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November 2004 Archives
November 30, 2004
Photo update

I realized I haven't put up any family shots in a long while, so here's a whole family pic, from the week in Osoyoos. Unfortunately, Aron (Lisa's partner) couldn't make the trip, but the rest of us are there. Sorry for the size, all you bandwidth impaired, like myself:


[From the 'Gareth' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:48 PM
Idea Today: Immersive Associative Browsing

November 29 -- Happy Birthday to me! -- 3.5 miles, Treadmill, 3 degree incline
November 30 -- Day Off

The nice thing about reaching the anaerobic stage in my runs is that it leaves me free to think about things other than the sound of my breathing. One of the things that occurred to me on Sunday had to do with the iTunes Music Store, and iPod/iTMS browsing.
I love my iPod and iTunes, and, for legal music, I think the iTMS is a pretty good mix between rights and freedoms in digital music. Not perfect, but good enough for me to plunk down some cash for (among other things) the new kd Lang album, and Lisa Loeb's recent release. Apple thinks I'm American, apparently, so I can buy from them.
So here's my issue. While I love the iPod/iTunes and their interfaces, I'm forever listening to it just in random play, since I'm too lazy to go searching for tunes. And, I find that when I browse the iTMS, I usually either search for a specific artist, or start from one of the links on the front.
Both Apple and stores like Amazon have recognized the value of associative product upselling ("People who bought X also bought Y, Z, A...." as well as the "Celebrity Playlist" concept). But what about if you could click through metadata associations of songs or albums in real-time?
Here's what I'm envisioning. You start with a song in the middle of the screen in, for lack of a better idea, a bubble, and have lines drawn from the song to other bubbles. Use Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" as the example. These associated bubbles would be labelled with items that were directly associated with the song. A bubble attached to "Sweet Emotion" might be labelled "Armageddon Soundtrack," (shudder), with a sub-bubble that is labelled "movies." The movies link would go to other movies that have used the song in their soundtrack. The "Armageddon" link (shudder again) would go to the album, from which more bubbles would emerge. Now, picture the whole thing being in a 3D environment, where the bubbles get bigger and smaller as you move closer or further away from each one.
I can't believe Apple hasn't looked at doing something like this in the iTMS yet, from what we've heard publicly. Why can't I? Two reasons:

1) They're all about metadata these days. Look at the new "Spotlight" feature that's going to be built into the next version of Mac OS X (Tiger), which is metadata searching in realtime, through indexing of supported files or content and (bing!) metadata. Read more about it here.
2) They've already got the technology. Years and years ago, Apple had an idea like this that was a browser plugin and standalone application, called HotSauce (thank the Maker for Wikipedia). HotSauce generated a 3D visualization of the contents of a Meta Content Framework file that you could interactively browse. I remember downloading it and fooling around with it, but not seeing a feasible use for it.
I think this is it.
Hey Apple, I'll give you the whole package, too. Apple's penchant for taking words and making them into pseudo-trademarks (Rendezvous, Spotlight) fits this one perfectly. Just call it it this:


Okay, it's cheese, but then, so are the others. Look after the jump for a screengrab of HotSauce in action, courtesy of Wikipedia.


[From the 'Tech Bytes' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:39 PM
November 29, 2004
Kidney Donations to Perfect Strangers

I heard a piece on the CBC yesterday about kidney donation. A woman in Toronto donated her kidney to a perfect stranger who was in renal failure. It was a painful story to hear, as they detailed the red tape they needed to wade through to make it a reality (doctors, psychologists, counselors) before the Canadian health system would let her donate.
By coincidence, I found this story this morning, at Craig Newmark's blog, how several people were using craigslist to find a kidney donor.
I'm amazed at the generosity of spirit that would enable someone to do this for a friend or relative, let alone a stranger.

[From the 'Miscellany' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:52 AM
Running in the country

November 28 -- 3.0 miles, road run, 1cm snow

Ahh, the beauty of living in the country. I forget, sometimes, how much of what we see living in Emo would be considered amusing, quaint, archaic or even bizarre, by city standards. Last night was just plain funny -- and pretty nice. Keep in mind that Emo is about 1500 people, so it's not a completely tiny outpost of civilization.
As I was out running last night, I got about a mile into it, and got stopped by the train. Three minutes later, train is gone, and I stumble across the track, and keep going. A few minutes later, a car passes me. I keep running, and finish at home about 25 minutes later.
Total number of trains I saw on my run? One.
Total number of cars I saw on my run? One.
I was amused, anyways.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 09:01 AM
November 28, 2004
Back on the horse

Well, this last week has sucked -- Typhoid Naomi has had everyone sick, and this week was my turn. No running for the last five days, which has been a real bummer, after how well last week went. Ah, well, back at it today. Frances was laughing her posterior off at me yesterday when I bought a pair of polyester mid-layer running pants. It really does your ego good when your partner looks at you in the pants, starts howling, and says, "Men shouldn't wear spandex." Geep.

On a brighter (and much less frightening) note, while I was off sick on Thursday, after a 3-hour nap, I felt well enough to start my next batch -- I call it Truancy Ale:

Truancy Ale
250g Caramalt
6lbs Dark Dried Malt Extract
1.5 lbs Corn Sugar
1 cup coffee
48g Cluster Hops (Boiling)
24g Fuggles Hops (Finishing)
Boiled wort for 55 minutes, added Fuggles for an additional 10 minutes. Starting relative density: 1.054

Beer brewing room picture after the jump.


[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 01:33 PM
November 22, 2004
No mo' Halo'

November 22 -- 3 miles, treadmill 3 degree incline
Today's three miles was a little tougher, since I'm fighting off this week's ailment brought home by Typhoid Naomi. Tomorrow is a day off, because of workload.
On a brighter note, I finally finished Halo 2 tonight. Great game. Not as good as the first one, but great. Now if Bell would just pony up and install my DSL...

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:44 PM
November 20, 2004
The Zone

November 20 -- 3.0 miles, road training
I hate to use such a cliché, but I finally reached the running "zone" today.
My last road work on my 3-mile route in Emo was terrible. I stopped twice, and felt like I'd ad the crap beat out of me by the end. Today, it's cold (-2-ish), wet and windy, so I was not looking forward to it. But the run was great.
I did the full three, and could have done more. My legs are sore tonight, but I finally got heavily into the anaerobic zone, where I stopped spending all my time worrying about the stitch in my side, or how much oxygen I was pushing in and out of lungs -- I just ran.
Next week will be the move to 3.5, and maybe a slide into four on the treadmill. Tomorrow's a day off, partially because I have to babysit our migration team moving our web hosting to a new box. Can't wait, to be honest, but I'm going to have a *lot* of cleanup to do in the next few days. Wish me luck...

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 08:58 PM
November 19, 2004
Brew Recipes to add

Thursday, November 18 -- Day Off
Friday, November 19 -- 3.5 miles, 3 degree incline, treadmill

MY pal Tyler has put in a brew request for when he comes back to visit at Christmas, and I'm happily starting my first Honey Brown Ale tomorrow. Modified recipe is below, original courtesy of SueBee Honey:

6 pounds light malt extract
2 pounds Pure Honey
250g crystal malt (20L)
250g chocolate malt
125g dark brown sugar
50g East Kent Golding hops (bittering)
12.5g Willamette hops (flavoring)
1/2 tsp. Irish Moss
1 package Munton's Ale Yeast

Procedure: Steep grains until wort begins to boil. Remove grains. Add extract, brown sugar and East Kent Golding hops. Boil for 1 hour. Add Honey and Willamette hops in last 15 minutes of boil. Cool wort, and pitch yeast. Primary for 7 to 10 days, secondary for 17-21 days.

Seems a little ironic to have an entry that combines running and beer. Doesn't get any better than that.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 08:57 PM
November 17, 2004
Back after a break

I've been from Emo to Osoyoos, BC, and back in the last three weeks, as well as training n00bs on Mac OS X for a week, and installing the OS all over the office, for the last two weeks. Hence the lack of updates.
I've got a new daily to keep me on track -- both in blogging, and in training. I'm working up to a new goal in my running, the Freeze Your Gizzard 10K road race. January 15, 2005. To keep me on-track, I'm logging my daily distances here. I've got some catch-up to do, however. (Please note I have done training before these days...)
Monday, Nov. 15 -- 3.0 miles, treadmill, 3 deg. incline
Tuesday, Nov. 16 -- 3.0 miles, treadmill, 3 deg. incline
Wednesday, Nov. 17 -- 3.1 miles, road work

Tomorrow's a day off.

[From the 'Lincoln' Section]
Posted by Lincoln at 11:40 PM