Sunday, September 28, 2008

70 miles

One way to get better at go is to record the games you play and review them later without the heat of battle. On the computer this is easy to do, you just have to save your game as a special file and then you can review it no problem... But playing on a real board requires something more. Kifu means game library or game collection, you can find blank kifu at all sorts of places but for me all of the game record books have one huge problem: they are all either 8.5" x 11" or the smaller one i saw was 5" x 7", both too big to put in my pocket, both too large to not get in the way while playing. So I made my own.

I bought a sketch pad that is 3.5" x 5", it had a wire spine, a hard back, and the paper was 60 lbs weight. Oh! it was $2.50, score!

Then at home using inkscape, a vector graphic drawing program, I drew out the kind of graph I wanted which took a little while but the cool thing about inkscape is that you can edit the svg file by hand (it is just xml) and in no time I had regular-expressioned my way into a final grid:

(This image will print a 3.5"x4.5" sheet if the printer is set to 300 dpi.)

Then it was just a matter of taking the binder apart and printing the pages (about 100). One problem was the pages are very small so they did not just go into my printer, I had to tape each page to a larger page and then print. It was only a little painful but well worth it!! I can't wait to try it out.

If there is interest, I can post the svg file as well... Let me know.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

68 miles

I have joined my friend Mladen's (and company) book club! WOOT. (Wow! Loot! (D&D))

I am doing my reading in the car, and by my reading I mean I am listening to "books on tape". Though I would love to read the books, I also love having something more entertaining in the car than the failing economy and dirty politics; not to mention the 30 or so songs the local radio stations choose to play over and over and over. The books are welcome, and the book club provides a source for book ideas.

This months book is "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov. If you want to feel like a perv while in the middle of 10,000 people all driving 10 miles per hour... listen to this book (and drive on the 210 at 7:30am). But really, it is a very interesting story. It seems to be one of those books that has made it's way into pop-culture but you are not quite sure where it all came from if you had not read the book.

Unrelated to the choice of "Lolita", the week before I began I herd an npr story about the new movie "Hounddog", and one of the main complaints about the movie is that it indulges persons prone to pedophilia. The person interviewed was trying to say that this kind of entertainment is new to the modern age of movies, but "Lolita" was released in 1955...

The clubs last book was "All The Kings Men" by Robert Penn Warren. Seeing that "Lolita" took me about a week to listen to in the car, I will have to fill the gaps with past books... If you have a MUST listen book for me, please let me know! comment or email me and I will call you awesome.

Monday, September 22, 2008

66 miles

The Cotsen was both a great and horrible. Horrible because I lost 3 games (and drove about 250 miles). Great because I won 2, and 2 of my loosing games were very close affirming my rank to be about 11kyu and rising!

Very fun. Meet some pretty cool peeps at the torment too! If you guys are reading this, shout-out to you!

In hardware hacking news: My interest in getting the OLED screen has been waxing and waning over the past few months. But now the go tournament is done and another is not insight for another couple months, I am starting to get pumped again to get the OLED screen to do something. I spent a long time looking over the ardunio schematic to see if I could convert it to a 3.3 volt board but it seems the blasted USB to serial chip is really mucking that up. I think thought about getting a skinny board from spark fun, but programming it is a problem for me right now. So back to the original plan of making a shield that converts 10 or so pins from 5 volt to 3.3. If anyone else is wishing they had 3.3volt converter shield, let me know? I saw a little interest on the ardunio forums but not really any response...

This weekend I am going to try to go to this old Japanese go club, I am told that if you sum the ages of the 8 guys that are the regulars, they easily add to over 700 years old. I also hear they take a little time to warm up to you, so wish me luck!

Well that's all, tell your friends that only losers drive on the freeway in the morning. (Maybe that will clear the road up a little so I can get to work in under an hour and a half.)

OH! And Colin's crazy roadtrip is fin, go check it out on the right side links.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

64 miles.

I have a theory: Coffee sucks the life out of you.
I have a revised theory: Caffeine sucks the life out of you.
I have a more specific revised theory: Drinking caffeinated coffee all day* will suck the life out of you. *More than 8 cups.

I have a problem.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

62 miles

I always have a guilty feeling when I am thinking about an electronics project but for it to be useful it would need to be left turned on all the time. Maybe useful is too strong of a word ;) more like entertaining or interesting, but never the less a power waster. So I had an idea for a robot: I would like to make a little robot that is rover style (shout-out to mars) that would map a rooms light intensity at different places in the room correlated to the time of day. So it would overtime find how the sun tracks accost the sky by mapping the edges of direct sunlight through a window! After it has this map, when it gets hungry it would think about what time it is and where it was and would roll on over to the closest direct sunlight and have lunch!

OK I don't think I will be making him any time soon, but it is a fun idea. I wanted to find out more about solar powered robots and found David Cook's project site. He has a nice writeup of a little experiment robot that is a simple version of what I was thinking of. His site is pretty cool too, I got sucked into looking at all his robots for a couple hours, goodtimes. I was not sure what BEAM robots were, so I had to look it up.

In other news, I ran 2 of my 3 miles today in one go! awesome! I have not done that distance of running in 5 years I bet.

Also, I went to the Santa Monica go club yesterday! I played about 4-5 games with some really nice people while some very strange things were being said during the open mic comedy night at the Unurban coffee house, they have a myspace for the event. The Unurban was the site of the coffee cup go tournament that happened a few months ago (hosted by the Santa Monica go club! duh).

Up next, Cotsen 2008!!! omgomgomg. The really cool thing about this tournament is that it is free if you play all your games AND you get 2 free lunches. It is in less than 3 weeks!

Monday, September 1, 2008

59 miles

September will be the month of experiment. I just finished reading the book In Defense of Food, and though it did not really tell me anything I did not know in general terms, the specific facts in the book were amazing. If even half of what they author lays down is true, it could be a life changing book. The basic idea proposed in the book is that we as Americans are not eating food anymore, we are eating foodlike substances that are making us sick. Foodlike substances are things like chips and soda, fast food and tv dinners, gogurt and yes even bread. Pollan proposes that food processing is the main culprit in this foodlike struggle and so as a result of the book, I am going to attempt to refrain from eating corn syrup this month. This will be hard... but it will hopefully be an eyeopener.

I have nothing else so leave me alone!