Thursday, November 30, 2006
Things that drive me nuts
What do you think this code will do?

var array = [4,24,8,627,10];

Or, for the laconic among you, alert([4,24,8,627,10].sort());.


It will pop up the following window:

Why? Because, by default, sort() sorts things in lexicographic order.

Sunday, November 26, 2006
A Flickr tour of my hometown
Everyone gets to missing home. Like last year, I didn't go home for Thanksgiving (I generally take an extended trip back over Christmas).

I don't have many photos of my hometown as it didn't seem all that important to take any while I was living there. But I was browsing through photos on Flickr and thought to look for a Wisconsin Rapids tag. Lo and behold, there are digital cameras in the middle of Wisconsin.

And so, to leech on the work of others, a Flickr tour of my hometown:

McMillan Memorial Library. It's right next to the junior high and, so, kind of an after-school hangout. Parts of Google Page Creator were written in this library.

The Shopko Mall. Notice how the storefronts are empty. The area's stagnant economy and the big-box development in nearby Plover, Stevens Point, and Wausau have gutted a lot of the city's retail. Still going strong: the local Super Wal-Mart. I hear there's a new Home Depot too.

The Little Pink Restaurant. I think it's moved a couple of times, but I remember them having really big and tasty loaves of bread.

The city's economy has always been based on the local paper mill. The old industrial barons would put up big mansions by the river—many of them are still standing and beautiful. They're probably roughly the cost of a San Francisco condo.

Downtown. My high school rock band played the coffee house there a few times. I worked a summer as a software engineer in an office down the street. The office was converted from an old department store that went under.

A wedding at Red Sands Beach. It's a public shelter and, now that I think about it, I remember going to a lot of events in that building—company picnics, school events, triathlons, etc.

I'll be back in a month or so.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I'm, uh, bloglinking myself.

A new way to browse books, The Official Google Blog

Update: Ooh, Ajaxian action.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Run Russ Run
My mom emailed me this letter from Russ Feingold this morning.
Dear Friends and Supporters,

On Sunday, November 12th in Racine, I will hold my 1000th Listening Session with the people of Wisconsin. Before reaching that milestone, I want you to know that I've decided to continue my role as Wisconsin's Junior Senator in the U.S. Senate and not to seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

It's sad, as Russ is one of the politicians in this world that I genuinely admire. But I think he realizes that a campaign would be quixotic and there are some very strong candidates in the field.

Well, at least I won't have split allegiances anymore.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Brief election thoughts
I'm happy to see Doyle reelected. Wisconsin's a better place with him serving as a veto check on the Republican legislature.

I'm happy to see that John Gard was beaten. May his career in politics end tonight.

I'm happy the House switched hands. My congresswoman, Nanci Pelosi, is now speaker of the House, the ultimate good ol' boys club. My hometown congressman, Dave Obey, will likely be the head of the Appropriations Committee.

I'm less happy to see the gay marriage ban adopted. I hope to see that ugly smudge on the Wisconsin Constitution removed someday.

All in all, a bittersweet night.
Monday, November 06, 2006
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
No, not Christmas. It's... election season!

I've largely been avoiding the television, but it's hard to ignore the fact that a phonebook's worth of paper has been dropped on our doorstep or hung on our doorknob.

I hate propositions (if only they gave them letters instead of numbers. Then we could vote on Proposition H). There's a reason we have representative democracy—every citizen doesn't have the time to keep sufficently informed to make budget decisions or decide policy. But since the proposition option is there, all sorts of interests try to make biannual end runs around the legislature. I'd like to consider myself a relatively intelligent and informed cititzen, but I don't have an informed opinion on any of them. How am I voting? I'm bringing in a copy of the San Francisco Guardian's editorial endorsements.

And it's not like I'm voting in any competitive races. My House member is Nancy Pelosi, who will likely be the next House Majority Leader. The Governator (a palatible Republican) seems a shoo-in against his weak and unimpressive Democratic challenger Angelides (don't blame me—I voted for Westly). Even my city supervior race seems pretty sewn up.

At least I've been largely spared from robocalls. Not only are they largely ineffective, they strike me as absurdly insincere (see Soglin's rant, Gleemie's link, or the New York Times).

In my book, they rank right above the fake issue surveys I get in the mail:
Would you prefer a) less jobs, b) same number of jobs, c) more jobs?

You picked c? So did our candidate! Give us money! There's an envelope enclosed!
I wouldn't be so cynical if they wouldn't give me such reason to be.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Oh, so you're dressed as Borat, huh? How clever.
The party follows me, I guess. Madison's Halloween festivities were notoriously rowdy and violent ever since 2002 (when I luckily left the scene a few minutes before getting tear gassed). Soglin had been pooh-poohing the city's efforts this year. But it ended up pretty tame (albiet costly).

Not in my neighborhood, though:

At least 10 shot at massive San Francisco Halloween street party

It happened about a block from my house.

I, gladly, spent very little time outside yesterday, instead tending to our guests that evening. Everyone I know got back safely. Our party was nice. I went as half of Hans and Franz. A guest showed up dressed as me (in flannel, of course). Photos to come.
"I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored."
-Wayne Campbell

Now that my spat of jet-setting days are behind me, I'm paying the price. My flight back from Madison two weeks ago was grounded because of a flat tire—I got rerouted and missed a day of work. I worked really late the next night in order to make a deadline on Friday. The next day I nearly fell asleep at work a few times, despite sufficient sleep.

Ever since then I've just felt lethargic. I've been working to put in my eight-hour days, but I went home early twice last week.

Of course, I've been scouring Wikipedia ever since trying to self-diagnose, matching symptom lists to my own symptoms. Oooh, swollen lymph nodes—I've got that! Fatigue? Check!

With all this viral stuff, there's so much overlap, a net-enabled hypocondriac can't narrow it down. I could have a bad cold. I could have a upper respiratory infection. I could have mono.

Not that knowing which would be any help—there's nothing I can do about it. It just would be nice to plan the fact that I'll be sick for a while.

I brought it up with a med school friend:
"Give it six more weeks. If it lasts, it was mono."

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