January 30, 2005

They Won't Poop

I switched over to a smaller litter pan in the toilet about a week ago. What I've discovered is that none of the cats will poop with this small pan, even to the extent of holding it in for a few days. Chie also won't pee into it, and I found him peeing on the curtain today (but I caught it in time before it spread). So, for a while at least, I'm going to switch back to the large plastic litter box on top of the toilet. I may try the toilet training product that is for sale at some pet stores. But it is not good for them to be holding in their poop for so long.

Posted by josuah at 5:23 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2005

Resetting MT PluginData

Turns out an unfortunate side-effect had manifested itself when I tried to install MT-Notifier before making the change to support binary data storage in PostgreSQL. The MT-Notifier plugin data record got corrupted. So even after making the change, MT-Notifier would not work as it was pulling out bad data. This can be easily remedied by deleting the record for Notifier in the mt_plugindata table.

Posted by josuah at 10:23 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Movable Type + PostgreSQL

I've been searching for a reason Movable Type didn't seem to want to play nice with PostgreSQL. (I prefer PostgreSQL to MySQL for databases where things are going to be changing somewhat often. Some will argue PostgreSQL is a real database while MySQL is a flat file.) Found an entry that describes exactly what is happening.

Here's a breakdown of what was changed:

sub data {
    my $data = shift;

    # Convert the data to hexadecimal.
    $data->column('data', unpack("H*", freeze(shift))) if @_;

    # Try to get the data.
    my $r;
    eval { $r = thaw($data->column('data')); };

    # Decode the hexadecimal if thaw failed.
    $r = thaw(pack("H*", $data->column('data'))) if ($@);

Posted by josuah at 9:19 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fahrenheit 9/11

I watched Fahrenheit 9/11 the other day. I was extremely interested in what was said, although of course Michael Moore has a personal opinion which the viewer should not forget. However, it is just as important to remember that his opinion and bias comes from what he has learned and the fact he believes in his country and is a patriot of the original sense.

Regardless, I think it is important for people to watch this documentary because this is an example of the sort of questions news magazines are reluctant to fully probe. Especially since the President and his administration are of international importance, but television news has a domestic focus. I've found that reading more international news sources has made it clear how little domestic mainstream news covers.

Perhaps the most telling epitaphs are those of the soldiers and soldiers' families condemning President Bush personally (and by implication those who facilitated recent military action) for what is happening to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Moore also highlights exactly how Orwellian the United States has become by interviewing groups and individuals who have been persecuted under the Patriot Act and expansion of the Department of Homeland Security. Those incidents have barely been covered by domestic news. It's easier for the masses to accept inhumane or unconstitutional treatment of foreigners that the administration wants us to fear, than to see it happening to your neighbor.

That also brings up something that I think is fundamentally wrong with our government. We base our institutional rights on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. But the government does not extend those rights to non-U.S. citizens. This goes directly against The Golden Rule, which was used to ensure human civilization, and is more important now than ever since breaking The Golden Rule can result in the death of millions.

Posted by josuah at 8:55 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou with Szu-Huey today. I found it amusing in its dry humor, inane content, and comedic approach. It is very similar to the comedy of Excel Saga, which I am almost done watching (Alla gave it to me for Christmas). I also really liked the soundtrack; it fits perfectly with the mood.

Posted by josuah at 7:05 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2005

FF: X Sleepover

Shannon and Yvonne slept over last night. They got here really late. Shannon and I played one game of Magic: The Gathering and then she watched me play Final Fantasy X for a while. This morning, she wanted to watch me play some more, but she also fought a few battles and walked around talking a little bit.

When they left, the door was open for a while and Niea ran outside (as I suspected). So I chased her back in and then gave her a bath, but without shampoo. I hope she didn't get any bugs or anything while she was outside. But if she did, I guess they all drowned. And those that didn't drown are now getting licked up by her.

Posted by josuah at 9:24 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Comments in RSS Feed

I was searching for a way to view comments of LiveJournal entries in the RSS reader I just downloaded, and ran across this Movable Type RSS comment template entry. So I've decided to add that to my RSS feeds so anyone so inclined to subscribe to my blog can view any comments posted.

Posted by josuah at 4:19 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2005

Wrath of the Ninja: The Yotoden Movie

I watched Wrath of the Ninja: The Yotoden Movie yesterday. It is supposedly one of the staples of anime, but I thought it was only okay. Turns out this may be because the movie is an edited version of an OVA which I wasn't aware of. As a result, it seems like there is a lot missing from the plot, and some of the dialogue appears very cheesy. I also watched it dubbed, and I don't think the English voice actors were amazing. Perhaps I should get the OVA.

Posted by josuah at 6:04 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 20, 2005

24 - Season 3

Szu-Huey and I just finished watching season three of 24. Another excellent season of this show. Although I am now wondering what the terrorist threat will be for season four. They've done assassination, nuclear bomb, and now biological warfare. I'm not sure what is left, unless someone starts orbiting laser satellites. Anyway, I don't watch TV, so I won't find out until season four becomes available on DVD.

Posted by josuah at 7:06 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 19, 2005

His Master's Voice

I finished reading His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem. The back of the book describes the work as a "mordant satire on scientific microworlds and the monstrous political and military systems bankrolling them" (Northwestern University Press; 1999). However, I don't know if I agree with that analysis.

After reading the story, I really don't see much commentary on the political and military aspects of scientific research. The majority of the discussions seems centered around the inability of the human race to identify, appreciate, and exploit the mysteries of the universe, no matter how advanced science becomes. I think the main thrust of the story is a statement that we should still recognize how little we understand of what we experience. That human beings are still ants trying to figure out the purpose or nature of an ocean.

Posted by josuah at 6:04 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2005

Updated T616 Firmware

I updated the firmware in my Sony Ericsson T616 today. I purchased a Terminator Dongle off eBay and picked it up from the seller this evening. I had some trouble at first but the troubleshooting tips off that web site helped me fix it. I had to use DIV 4.0 (version 5.0 did not work). Everything went smoothly and my firmware is up-to-date. Unfortunately, I don't think it made a huge difference in the bluetooth quality.

Posted by josuah at 7:44 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One Blue Fishy Gone...

Well, one of the two Electric Blue Cichlids is gone. Last night I saw its right eye was cloudy, and I think it may have been because one of the other cichlids attacked it. Apparently cichlids will bite eyes to assert dominance. Anyway, this cichlid then became very listless and wouldn't eat or move very much. This morning it was gone. I would guess the turtles took advantage of the cichlid's weakened state and finished it off.

Posted by josuah at 7:40 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2005

New Blue Fishies and Shrimp

I went to King Aquarium today and got two new Electric Blue Cichlids and also forty Ghost Shrimp. Hopefully these cichlids will not be eaten; they seem more aggressive than the first blue cichlid I got. One of them has an orange dorsal fin. As soon as I put the ghost shrimp in, one got eaten by my Electric Yellow Cichlid and one by a turtle.

Posted by josuah at 1:35 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 14, 2005

New Toilet Pan Approach

I'm trying a new approach to encourage the kitties to go directly into the toilet instead of into the litter pan. I cut the pan in half and closed up the side so the pan is now only half the size of the original. This means there is litter on half of the toilet and water on the other half. Hopefully everyone will start going directly into the water.

Posted by josuah at 11:16 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Malaysian VCD Pirate Shot

The Star (a Malaysian newspaper) is reporting that police officers shot a VCD pirate in the chest during a struggle. The bullet also hit a bystander after exiting the victim's chest. The pirate is in critical condition and the bystander in stable condition. The event is under investigation as the pirate did not have any firearms in his possession.

I think it is somewhat interesting to see this happening. In some ways, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Southeast-Asia is one of the biggest producers of pirated material. And the culture there accepts it as the correct way of doing business. Legitimate stores sell pirated material all the time; there are street vendors on every corner; and law enforcement seems to turn a blind eye.

I wonder just what caused the officers to focus on this particular person, and what led to the use of firearms.

Posted by josuah at 8:53 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2005

R.I.P Blue Fishy

I woke up today and started feeding the fishes and turtles. But they weren't very hungry. And then I noticed one of the fishes was missing. The Electric Blue Cichlid was no longer swimming around.

It seems that the turtles and fish got hungry last night and decided to eat the blue cichlid, which had just become comfortable in the tank again (the color was bold and bright). I guess I really do need to feed the turtles twice a day to make sure this doesn't happen again. I will go to King Aquarium this weekend to buy a new Electric Blue Cichlid.

Posted by josuah at 4:08 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2005

No WMD in Iraq

The New York Times is reporting that the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction has ended, with absolutely no evidence that there were ever any weapons built or weapons capabilities found in Iraq since 1991, and the no real belief that any such weapons may have been moved out of Iraq. This doesn't particularly surprise me, as I already do not trust President Bush or his administration. I think the call for a thorough explanation that does not brush off the questions is valid and necessary. Maybe lying to the public should be made into an impeachable offense, at all levels of government.

Posted by josuah at 9:57 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IBM Donates 500 Patents

Today came another illustration of why I think IBM is a great company that I can respect: IBM donates 500 software patents to the open source community. Of course, there are financial motivations for doing this, as IBM generates a lot of revenue on services and sales for open-source systems, but it is true that many of the people with influence in IBM recognize the problems with the U.S. patent system. Unfortuantely, any continuation of this sort of policy relies on what I referred to before as the benevolent dictatorship. As soon as the people in charge are replaced with those who believe otherwise, or if their views change, then this sort of important decision will become a thing of the past.

Posted by josuah at 8:31 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2005

Demand for EU Patent Directive Rewriting

Apparently a lot of politicians in the EU have been paying attention to what could happen if they accept the patent policies based on the US policies. Policies which the US is encouraging the EU to accept. There has been a call for the current patent directive to be thrown out and rewritten from scratch. The reason given is that many countries were unable to participate in the early discussions. I think going from scratch means when objections or issues are raised no one can say, "We already talked about this."

Posted by josuah at 11:47 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Apple Products

A bunch of cool new products were announced by Apple at MacWorld Expo over here in San Francisco. Best new products? The iPod Shuffle (which doesn't interest me much for what I use my current iPod for) and the Mac Mini. The Mac Mini is the perfect headless client. It would be a great media center computer because it is tiny, powerful enough, and super quiet. It's basically a box with a media slot and power cable and if you need it, a video cable (everything else can be wireless). All Apple needs now is the media center software to manage DVD collections. Microsoft's recent demonstration of their Media Center PC showed just how crash- and bug-prone Microsoft software still is.

Posted by josuah at 11:43 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2005

Kat's Wedding

Kat and Dixon had their U.S. wedding ceremony yesterday. They did some of the Chinese ceremonial stuff in Taiwan last year, and other Chinese ceremonial stuff yesterday too. I've known Kat for about five years now. I met her at UC Berkeley a few months after she started dating Dixon. She was in my CS61B and CS61C classes.

A bunch of Kat's cousins played musical instruments at the ceremony, which was held at One Ricon Center. Her cousin Sarah played a Chinese instrument very well, and someone else who I'm not sure is a cousin or not played the piano and sung and that was also very good. Unfortunately, the area was not acoustically friendly.

The dance time started around 8:30pm and ran until 10pm, but the DJ (who also was the music coordinator) didn't do very well with requests and seemed to play music she liked more than music other people liked. About half the time people left the dance floor because they didn't like the music or didn't know how to dance to it.

Posted by josuah at 6:09 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

T616 Firmware Upgrade

I found out why I was having poor quality with the Bluetooth Bluetrek G2 headset. Turns out my Sony Ericsson T616 has a very old firmware version. Upgrading to a newer version fixes the bluetooth headset issues.

There are three ways of going about this. The official way is to bring your phone in to, or ship your phone to, a Sony Ericsson service center. I need to find out if there is one near by. I don't want to have to ship my phone anywhere.

Another choice is to upgrade the firmware yourself using a cable and Windows software. The cable is called a "terminator dongle" and can be found on eBay as well as some other web sites. If there is no nearby service center, this is likely to route I will take. Some people sell this process as a service once they have the dongle and software themself. I'd rather get the dongle and software instead of sending it to someone who does, since then I can upgrade the firmware or perform other things to my phone in the future as needed.

The third choice is to have the phone remotely updated. I'm not exactly sure how this works, but it appears that someone else can update the firmware on your phone if you make a call to them. They then playback some instructions which are supposed to update the firmware. Apparently this is how Sony Ericsson supports their P900 out of the box.

Posted by josuah at 5:48 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 8, 2005

Urine Kitty Bed

I woke up today to discover the toilet roll inside the toilet litter pan had been knocked over, and all the litter used up or dumped into the toilet bowl. As a result, there were two piles of poop in the bathroom corner, but even worse, someone (I assume Chie) had urinated on the kitty bed again!

I think I will have to get rid of the kitty beds, to avoid this from happening in the future. Unfortunately, that means the cats may urinate somewhere even less convenient such as the carpet or a sofa. So maybe I will just have to keep it around as an emergency backup for when they knock out the toilet pan roll.

The thing is, now the kitty bed smells like urine which may encourage a cat to urinate there again. I think the only reason they may not is because the litter in the toilet is more inviting. However, Asuka was sleeping on the kitty bed recently, and this is weeks after Chie last urinated on it, so maybe after I wash the covering and try to sterilize the filling (cedar chips in a sealed bag, so that is difficult) it won't smell like urine to the cats anymore.

I should move to a larger opening soon.

Posted by josuah at 7:31 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I finished reading Solaris by Stanislaw Lem. It has the same premise as the movie but deals with more hard science and has a lot more discussion about the influencing entity. I think this is one case where it doesn't matter if you read the book first or watch the movie first, as they are very different stories about the same idea.

Posted by josuah at 7:29 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 7, 2005

Bluetrek g2

I got a Bluetrek g2 bluetooth hands-free headset yesterday, and paired it up with my Sony Ericsson T616. It works pretty well but everything revolves around a single button, so reading the manual is very important. Unfortunately, the audio is not crystal-clear (at least in the trials I've done so far). But it is better than a wired headset or no headset at all. I've added voice commands to some of my frequently called numbers and that works fine as long as I speak louder than normal.

Posted by josuah at 5:16 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 2, 2005

Dark Cloud Complete

I just finished Dark Cloud, a remake with plot of the traditional dungeon crawl (e.g. Angband/Moria/Rogue or more recently Diablo). However, I'd gotten my fill of the boring dungeon crawl genre years ago on those text-based versions. And the story and gameplay of Dark Cloud don't make things exciting enough for this game to really stand out.

It is fun and interesting to rebuild the towns that were destroyed by the Dark Genie, but the entire premise is very contrived. At the very end of the game, you start to see exactly what is going on, but up until that point, things don't really make much sense. The Fairy King is a pretty uninspired plot device.

The most frustrating and pointless game feature are the six characters that join you during your quest. There really is no point to having six characters. You only play one at a time, and except for the stupid character-specific obstacles and "magic" only allowing you to choose a specific character on one dungeon floor, they serve no point. The entire game can be completed by one ranged attacker. In fact, unless you are into mindlessly leveling up, you need only concentrate on one character at all. Just switch to the others when there is a character-specific obstacle, which of course are inserted into the generated dungeons for no real reason. On the other hand, if you decided to only focus on a melee character, you can't even finish the game.

It is also very annoying that your weapon can break and be completely destroyed. It may take you dozens of hours to get a weapon built-up, and then if it breaks because of carelessness, you're completely stuck. No one is going to continue the game at this point, and will just reset to the last saved game. So there really is no point of including this other than to annoy the player. In the originals, you could not load previous games. So if a weapon broke, it broke for good. However, you did not have to spend hours and hours to build up a weapon; you would find them or buy them. So if your weapon was lost, you could try to find another one of comparable value without too much difficulty.

The combat was not too bad though. The combat is very similar to the Zelda games for the GameCube or N64. The main character even looks a little like Link. My only gripe is that for some enemies, melee attacks just won't work well.

Posted by josuah at 11:51 AM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 1, 2005

New Year 2005

Last night I went to Pedro's new apartment with Szu-Huey to countdown to the new year. There were about 15 people there, but I didn't know everyone. He showed us some weird Ali G TV show that was kind of stupid. Then we counted down and Martin had bought ribbon blowers instead of Kazoos so everyone was disappointed. It was raining really hard and was really windy yesterday.

Posted by josuah at 11:47 PM UTC+00:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 2013
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31