Amphibian Update

Okay, time for an amphibian update. If it’s 3am and you think you’re hearing Chorus Frogs, you’re probably hearing Gulf Coast Toads. They don’t sound even remotely alike so you have to be really tired to make these sorts of mistakes. Anyway, the Gulf Coast Toads sound like this. If your browser can’t play aiff files, try saving it to disk and using some other sound player.

Music at the Meyerson and at the Pond

At the Meyerson last night we listened to lots of Beethoven including the Fidelio Overture, the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major (sorry, I just never quite developed a taste for Piano stuff, though it was fun watching the antics of the pianist), and the Symphony No. 3. Afterwards we managed to get ourselves lost in the parking garage but eventually found our car before we were asphxiated from exhaust fumes. I had received a call from Germany about some urgently needed spreadsheets just prior to the concert so next we went up to the office and crunched numbers until about 3am. While we were there we noticed the chorus frogs at the pond behind the office were unusually loud. When we walked out to hear them, the noise level was easily 60 or 70 decibels. I tried unsuccessfully to catch one and we found the whole experience very amusing (but at 3am just about anything is funny)…

SETI@Home Update

For those who are keeping track of the SETI@home project, Team Slashdot is in the lead right now with over 27,000 work units processed – more than 76 years worth of CPU time. And if you examine the stats for Team Slashdot, you’ll notice me in the top 10 with just under 300 work units processed. Now I would think somebody out there would be so truly impressed by this charitable contribution of CPU cycles that they’d call me up and offer to buy me lunch…

Backyard Biodiversity

Susan and I just returned from a walk. The sky was full of lightning and we may have narrowly missed getting rained on. There’s nothing like a leisurely late night walk. You see some really strange wildlife if you’re out late enough. We’ve seen possum, racoons, night herons, bats, and, almost always see the ubiquitous Mediterranean Gecko. Speaking of reptiles, we saw one of our usually secretive five-lined skinks in the backyard while I was grilling our dinner.

The Patron Saint of Cyberspace

Interesting news for Catholics. The Vatican is considering the appointment of Saint Isidore of Seville as the Patron Saint of the Internet. I’m wondering, though, does his patronage apply only to the application layer? Do we need Patron saints for the transport and physical layers? Maybe a Patron Saint of TCP/IP? Or a Patron Saint of Unshielded Twisted Pair?

VAIOs and Other Dinosaurs

The Sony VAIO has left the office and returned to its owner. Despite a smooth 24 burn-in of the refurbished machine, I don’t have high hopes for its future stability. But it should be good for web surfing and playing solitiare.

While eating lunch today at Frijoles, a family of Mallards wandered onto the patio. Only in Texas do you see baby ducks going out to eat at Mexican restaurants. A couple of waiters gave them a plate of tortilla chips to munch on.

I also saw some small plastic dinosaurs while I was at lunch. Which got me thinking… how many of you have plastic dinosaurs on or near your computer? Taking an inventory of the plastic menagerie around my computer at home I find a Stegasaur, Triceratops, Brontosaur, Parasaurolophus, Tyrannosaur, Brachiosaur (all gifts from an ex-girlfriend), a blue pterodactyl that for several years sat on the dash board of a red Honda CRX, three other pterodactyls that were gifts from my wife, and finally, two foam rubber human brains (one from NAB ’98 and one from SuperComm ’99). Nearby on my bookself are several small plastic robots and somewhere in a box I think I may still have my bag of over 100 realistic ants. Hmmm… what does it all mean?