Tuesday, May 31, 2005

MS Excel tricks

If you have a column that has some values and some blanks, if you would like to replace the blanks with something like "n/a," select the column and find/replace nothing with "n/a."

Also, if you have some Word or text documents that have some sort of structure, it's easy to paste text into a text editor, and then do various find/replaces, manual changes, and execute scripts on the text to get it into spreadsheet format.

And Deep Throat is

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/31/politics/31cnd-felt.html

That's right baby, the man himself.

Gorged and Sated

I spent a very relaxed Memorial Day weekend scheduling a box of toffee Klondike bars for eating, but I only managed to get through 5 of 6, and I look forward to going home today to complete the cycle. I feasted on many of the things I like this weekend. On top of my Klondike bars, I burned through a case of Blue Moon beer (albeit with the help of friends), a double bottle of wine, 2 pounds of pasta, a host of vegetables, various fine cheeses, and a sack of lemons.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I'm Only Posting Because I Told Brad I Would

And because I'm bored from bouts of writing other things. I hope the weather everwhere else is as nice as the sunlight and breeze pouring in through my windows. My summer tranquility is interrupted only by the sqawling children down the street.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Movin'

On August 1, Brad, Eric, Becca, and I will move into a cozy little house in Shadyside. Equipped with 4 bedrooms, a sun room, a dining room, a living room, and its own washer and dryer, as well as a gas stove, the place is guaranteed to be comfortable and fun. Celanie also might live there for an extended period of time if she chooses to goto Northwestern in the winter instead of Scripps in the fall.

So we'll be the odd quartet -- a salesman, a grant-writer, an advertiser, and a massage therapist, and possibly a journalist -- all wrapped up in a cozy $1100/month cocoon. The gas bill is gonna be killer, and sharing one bathroom is going to suck, but I'm looking forward to moving into a new space since Celanie and I live in a shoe box.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Someone needs to...

Someone needs to sue the government for illegally blocking the flow of information, and therefore stomping on our first amendment rights. While I do not condone the theft of intellectual property, the conversation about P2P networks and file-sharing too often revolves around the idea that the majority of files are copyrighted. However, if you could demonstrate that a large amount of digital information that is shared is public domain and protected by the first amendment, then the RIAA and the MPAA would have to fight copyright battles with less draconian measures.

I have downloaded some files illegally in the past, but an enormous chunk of my downloads were public domain works like old blues, live concerts, etc. And when you curtail my right to listen to those, you violate mine and the artist's rights.

Yesterday

Yesterday, I got some good work done, and I found a couple of apartments to look at, and I practiced the guitar, andI cleaned the kitchen. This productive day was topped off with a nice selection of Netflix, which everbody should have. Oh, and I tried this Indian buffet downtown and it turned out to be pretty good, but with a price tag of $6.50, it will probably not get my frequent attention since I can get Mr. Sree's food for $4.00.

So much to do and so little time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What the hell?!?

The hit train keeps coming. Post a comment if this is your first or only time. Why do you people keep coming today?

Oh yeah

Uh uh uh. Unf unf.

And a great summary on the subject of filib(l)ustering in the Senate.

The Good Life

Yesterday, Celanie, Brad, Becca, and I went to People's in East Liberty for Indian food. It was my second visit to the establishment, and it was every bit as good as the first time I went. We had potatoes and peas, black eyed peas, okra, nan, and some appetizers, and the carnivores also ate some chicken.

We decided to eat there because we were in the neighborhood scoping out apartment. Now that Brad has landed a job, we can execute our plan to get a house far away from the hellholes in which we currently live. The house we looked at was great, having been recently remodeled by the architect that owns the place. It's decked out with hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a lot of sunlight, as well as pretty new appliances.

The place has a couple of drawbacks, the least of which is not the $1,300/mnmonth price tag, which is more like $1500-$1700 a month depending on the season, since we have to pay utilities for 1,700 square feet of high ceilings enclosed by huge windows and plaster on brick. Other problems included the place being equipped with an electric stove (which makes it a lot more time-consuming to make 20 quarts of sauce), only 1.5 bathrooms, and it's lack of proximity to Becca's and Eric's work.

If we can get the guy down to $1,000-$1,1000 or work out a deal wherein he pays utilities, it'll look a lot better. But the search continues, and now, so does work...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Google makes books obsolete

Boo-hoo. Whine whine. Noone will buy our books. Well, save the rainforest I say.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05144/509191.stm

Friday, May 20, 2005

News you can use: Google

Put link:www.elias-savion.com (no space!) in Google to get all links back to the site.

News you Can Use: Google

Search By Number (copied verbatim from Google)

Parcel tracking IDs, patents and other specialized numbers can be entered into Google's search box for quick access to information about them. For example, typing a FedEx tracking number will return the latest information on your package. Other special search by number types include :

• UPS tracking numbers example search: "1Z9999W99999999999"
• FedEx tracking numbers example search: "999999999999"
• USPS tracking numbers example search: "9999 9999 9999 9999 9999 99"
• Vehicle ID (VIN) numbers example search: "AAAAA999A9AA99999"
• UPC codes example search: "073333531084"
• Telephone area codes example search: "650"
• Patent numbers example search: "patent 5123123"
Remember to put the word "patent" before your patent number.
• FAA airplane registration numbers example search: "n199ua"
An airplane's FAA registration number is typically printed on its tail.
• FCC equipment IDs example search: "fcc B4Z-34009-PIR"
Remember to put the word "fcc" before the equipment ID.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

News Flashes

Headline: Lowly Writer To Participate In First Ever Client Meeting
Subhead: Experts Expect Lack of Shaving and Mismatched Tie

Headline: Pittsburgh Journalism Sensation Gets Accepted to Northwestern
Subhead: Money May Cause Non-Attendance of Most Prestigious Journalism Program in World

Tappin' the Beat

Life is sort of like music I think. For it to go well at all, your first off need a beat. Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. And then once you have that and the foot's tapping steadily (still got it? bum bum bum bum) then you can start to do other things. You can get some chords going, and then you can connect the chords with notes, and you can embellish on the chords. And you can mess with the rhythm, maybe swing the 8ths or hit the bass on the downbeat.

But first you need that beat, and you've got to be aware of that beat. You shouldn't have to concentrate on the beat -- you internalize it -- but you need to be aware and you gotta be listening to make sure you're playing with and around the beat, but never losing it.

People need the beat as much as any song needs the beat. People need to go to bed and get up at regular times, people need to have their little comfortable activities, they gotta brush their teeth, balance their checkbook, and have the food they like around. Then life, like music, starts to get fun and beautifulall at the same time. There's variation and improvisation and embellishment.

Or look at it this way. Once you master the beat, then you can master the rhythm. You can take the steady tap tap tap of life and turn it into something great in a sustainable way. BumpatA bumpatA bump bump bump BumpatA... The basic pattern of life gives way to a more complex pattern and itsinfinite from their baby. Beat, then rhythm, chords, and then the melody of your life is ready to be written.

I know some frat boys who...

I know some frat boys who might owe some serious money.

Red Women

What's up with those women that bask in the sun and heat lamps year round in order to turn themselves thye brightest shade of red possible. Maybe there is a sect of people in the world who find these women to be attractive, but I'm not one of them. And don't they know that later in life, they will shrivel up like prunes and look much older than their years.

These women always seem like there coming from or on their way to the beach too. They tend to be garbed in light, airy blouses and bright colors suitable to a day in the sun.

And what about the CANCER?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Red Alert

Celanie got into Northwestern too for grad school.

Email and say how happy you are, and send donations to my house.

Bread's done

Pizza's eaten.
And the extra dough is in the fridge.
Goodnight.
Fin.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The bread continues to rise

Feel the rhythm.

Finito

Well, finito mostly. I have divided the bread into 10 dough balls. Three are proofing, six are in the fridge, and one is waiting on the counter for when Celanie gets home and I make a pizza, margherita-style sort of. I will use provolone, tomatoes, basil, olive oil,and garlic, cooked at a sizzling 500 degrees, with ultra-thin crispy crust.

You need a peel and a pizza stone. Don't try this at home folks.

Kneading

Kneading,kneading,kneading,
Fluffy comes the bread.
The type of bread you can smell from afar
Or even in the future its scent so clings.
To each fiber and thread
And molecule of air.

Just a dash of olive oil
And honey from tiny drones.
It will grow into a living creature
Writhing on the table and set to boil.
And though it never moans,
As any newborn it is pure.

I have mixed

I have mixed and I have kneaded.

What do you guys prefer? Do you think my blog is better if I include the title in the body when it is the beginning of the first sentence like above, or what I have been doing and not?

The bread is going to be very yummy. I am also going to use some dough to make pizzas. I think selling doughballs from Claudio's restaurant would be a good business. Bread dough is very easy to make, yet can be used for many different things and sold at quite a mark up.

Soon I will have to go back to the kitchen and knead the dough some more. This will go on for a long time, back and forth. Then I will let the bread rise, and then cook it, and hopefully get to bed by 12:30-1:30.

It has begun

I have cleaned up the kitchen and put the starter together for the bread, so here I sit awaiting the opportune moment to add the salt and flour. I was briefly interrupted by someone asking to see the apartment, but I begged off, being in the middle of several things. One of the reasons I am baking bread is because my co-worker gave me a pair of very expensive opera tickets (to see Fidelio) and I feel that I must showmy gratitude in some way. I could usually get away with giving her a jar of sauce, but she has tomato allergies so I had to do something else.

I see more saucemaking and bread baking in my future, since Claudio will soon open some sort of small establishment/catering business, which will give us a kitchen to do some stuff. This will not be until the end of the summer though,so I will have plenty of time to get together all the marketing collateral, maybe set up a web site, and get a sense for exactly how much prepared foods we can get out of the place.

But this little independent venture will wait until I get a new laptop. I have to rationmy use of Celanie's to real work so she won't get mad at me for glomming on to her equipment. And there's no way I'm going to sit perched in the little red stool to work at my desktop pc. The final contenders are Dell, Lenovo, Sony, and Toshiba, basedon recommendations of friends and family, so now I'm going to make a spreadsheet and compare features and choose. The only requirements are 512 megs of RAM and at leasta 14 inch monitor. After that anything goes, within reason. If anyone has any very lucent advice left to give on the subject, I'm still listening.

Friday, May 13, 2005

I've been saying it's a shame...

That the U.S. is punishing these soldiers for their alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners. In the government's effort to avoid blame, they have even made up charges to scapegoat get lowly enough officers that don't reflect too heavily on the government and army.

What do you expect from these people? You whip them into a frenzy, tell them the Muslims are trying to kill everyone, order them to "soften up" prisoners, AND PROVIDE ZERO TRAINING ON WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE. And then you punish them when they follow bad, vague orders?

What is going on here? Poor country bumpkins are getting jailed for a decade and low-level officers are losing their careers over "you should have known better and so should we but you get the punishment because you are closer top the abuse."

The whole army should fry for this shit, not individuals. They should be sued and the U.S. government should be sued, and these mistreated Iraqis should be free and rich.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Marvel

If you don't ever take the time to think about the ways digital technology impacts your life, do so now. Just think of the world we live in, a world of cellphones, and email, and laptops, and computing power that used to fit in several thousand square feet that now resides in small boxes that fit under our desks.

We can transmit anything we want over long distances, from images to sounds to movies to text. If you stop for a second, you will feel the wonder of this technology craze fill you to your toes. And maybe a bit of idle daydreaming will give you an idea of how you can put the digital era to work for you, how it can fundamentally change the way you work, play, and live.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's been a while, I know

But that is only because last week was so killer, and then I needed to rest up. Yesterday, Celanie and I came home to find the following things wrong with out apartment:

1) Our dresser was moved into a doorway
2) Our clothes, stuff, and drawers were pulled out of the closet
3) there was a gaping hole in the wall in the closet
4) The shower caddy and its million bottles of Celanie's various annointments were in a heap in the bottom of the shower
5) Pieces of the shower were strewn around bathroom
6) Our hot water was turned off

And all of this because we requested that the landlord fix the leaky faucet in the shower. Well, this is how the handyman left it after he couldn't find the right part to fix the ancient shower. And was there a note? Nope.

And when I showered this morning, after turning on the hot water from the valve in the closet, was the lady downstairs happy when she got a little rainstorm? Nope.

For this and many other reasons, we hope to leave this little hell hole behind us in coming months.

-----

I'd also like to mention that the Rolling Stones are starting a new world tour, and that I plan to go to one of their shows, as well as one of Paul McCartney's. None of the more modern bands really have me that excited about seeing shows though. I think about the only one I'd want to see is Radiohead, and maybe Coldplay, though the latter is likely to be quite morose.

-----

Here's another idea for basing a story or book around for me, since I've been thinking about fiction recently.

"It wasn't clear whether he lost his sight or his mind first, but as the bum sat rocking to the gospel music that emanated from his duct-taped boombox, his shadowed mind fought desperately to remember neither event."

-----

My computer speakers at home are falling apart now. All of my equipment has begun to expire. And now I must work.

-----

Check out Frank Black and the Catholics for some fun music.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Minor disasters

I can't say I was dissapointed when the DVD I was watching stopped working just now. I wish I more often had the courage to turn off or leave bad movies. I was a little dissapointed this morning, though, when I went to get the starter on my car fixed, only to find out the engine is shot. So I guess I'm down the $22.50 for the ad in the Post-Gazette, as well as whatever portion of the $1400 I was asking I was going to get. That's my second mechanical failure in the space of a week, though this one was doing little other than sitting on the side of the road and collecting dust.

I also today had a guitar lesson which went pretty well. I have reached a critical juncture wherein my foot can tap at a different speed than my strum. Next stop, Graceland.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Out of breath

The week has been busy as hell and the bullets have been flying. Teach me to ask for more editing work at work I guess, because they took me at face value. Not that I don't enjoy the editing, but new assignments just so happened to coincide with the end of the month, which entails for me finalizing some rather large reports.

So here I am taking a little break before I start calling media people again. I can take solace in the fact that the weekend is coming up, that I have leads on selling my car, and that Celanie and I accidentally both bought a bunch of wine. What a shame.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Here's one of the proper ways to Google...

the rules to alphebatizing things:

alphabetical ordering index

The Woyos

Claudio likes to call people woyo, which is short for the Italian word Ualione that loosely means buddy or friend. I think it's a diminutive. By some strange convergence of circumstances, all the woyos showed up at my place yesterday. I had summoned Krepsik to help me resuscitate my car for the selling, but then Claudio came by. And then the Bird came and gave me my cooking pot. And then Brad and Eric showed up with a bottle of wine, looking for some food. And a good time was had by all. Celanie eventually came home around 10pm, after a busy day of rehearsal for her play, and landing a job as a stringer for the Post-Gazette. But before her arrival, we ate a bunch of pasta, and drank lemonade and wine, and smoked. Oh happy day. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The verdict on the Nova is get the starter solenoid fixed or cleaned on Saturday and schedule appointments to sell the car the following week, and hopefully recover most of what I put in the damn thing over the course of the last year. After the car fixing, the merriment began, and we split a double bottle of Louis Jeudot amongst 7 people, and ate pasta loaded with banana peppers, zucchini, and onions. As usual, Claudio complained that I hadn't cooked the pasta thoroughly enough, but it was still good and there wasn't anything left at the end of the night. At this rate, I'm going to have to make another 20 quarts of sauce next week.

There was much arguing and music playing as well, which was all fun, but due to work constraints, I had to kick the team out soon after Celanie got home. And here I sit at work adding this little entry to my blog, but this is only in abeyance of a pile of work that is going to be NO FUN.