fighting the lack of good ideas

reading via the kindle app

To help fulfill my stated goal of reading more, I have installed the Kindle app on my laptops. So far I’ve found scores of free ebooks that I’ve either always wanted to read, or figured I’d give a chance since they’re free. The first one I read was a collection of Aesop’s fables.

Some reactions:

  • They’re all really short – rarely more than two paragraphs
  • I’ve heard the vast majority of them (perhaps with some characters changed) and never knew they were an “Aesop fable”
  • Reading with the Kindle app requires NOT using the arrow keys until you want to change *pages* – it doesn’t scroll like Word or a web browser – you *have* to read all the way to the bottom of the screen before “changing pages”
  • Not being able to linearly scroll is annoying because it’s how I read on a computer
  • Bookmarks are cool – being able to come back to where you were quickly
  • “Whispersync”™ – Amazon’s autosynchronizer is pretty cool, too: allows all of your Kindles to be at the “same” place in an ebook


On the 19th of June, I married my sweetheart. We then went on an awesome trip to the Williamsburg VA area. Like all vacations, that one was MUCH too short, but we had a blast.

Now we’re sadly back to reality – work, grocery shopping, walking the dog.. but that’s cool because I’m spending this time with the awesomest girl in the world!

Love you, honey!

cloudy driving in progress

In follow-up to a previous post, I saw this on today.

Seems Ford sponsored a class at UMich to develop Cloud Computing apps… for the Commute.

The new Fiesta can Tweet while it’s driving. Not sure I like that idea… but it’s interesting, to say the least.

denita smith, 1981-2007

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was a juror on a trial. That trial was the State of North Carolina vs Shannon Crawley in the unlawful death of Denita Smith on 04-Jan-2007.

Miss Smith’s fiancee, Jermier Stroud, was implicated by the defendant. Mr Stroud is a police officer in Greensboro. Under oath, and in his previously-sworn statements, he showed himself to be a scuz-ball. Simultaneously dating Denita (for 7 years) and Shannon (for 1.5 years in the middle of the time he was “with” Denita, and culminating in a pregnancy). Under oath he admitted that he never planned to tell either girl about the other. Under oath he showed himself to be untrustworthy, a “player”, a liar, and just a general “bad guy”.

He also said that within a couple months of Denita’s murder he was dating again.

However, as bad an individual as we all believe Mr Stroud to be, he could not have been at Denita’s apartment on either 03-Jan or 04-Jan, as Miss Crawley claimed – whereas she was at the apartment the day before (I think to “scope it out”), and admits to being there on the morning of 04-Jan. She claimed that Jermier had kidnapped her to Durham both days – but multiple incoming and outgoing cell phone calls place him in or near Greensboro on the third. With those, and many other, holes in her story, we found Miss Crawley to be guilty of murder in the first degree of Miss Smith.

None of us wanted to find her guilty. I believe we all wanted to believe her: we wanted someone like Mr Stroud to be punished for what he had contributed. However, as the evidence was presented and reviewed, that conclusion was not possible.

I personally think that he’s responsible for the death of his fiancee – he did several things that I think should disqualify him at least as a police officer (reliability, lying, trustworthiness) – I do not believe he was the one who pulled the trigger. I think he was the causative factor in Miss Crawley’s crime, but causative factors do not alleviate her of guilt in the actual crime.

I’m sure this will be appealed.

I hope Mr Stroud is brought out of his place of service to the community for having acted in such ways. However, regardless of his contributions to the crime, Miss Crawley still had a choice until the moment she pulled the trigger – and did not opt to stop.

N&O report.

2.5 months

A lot has happened in the last couple months.

I got home from Singapore, having ended my term with Barclays.

I found and started a new job.

I’ve been apartment hunting.

Oh, and I’ve been a member of a jury for the last couple weeks. After it’s over, I can say for whom – but it certainly has been an interesting process thus far to see how a trial progresses in the real world (I’ve been a part of two mock trials previously) – and how our legal system works… or doesn’t, depending on your point of view.

It’s not fast. But it sure feels thorough.

one month update

It’s been a month since I last posted on my weight loss attempts.

From a month ago, I’ve dropped 11 lbs. For my metric-bound acquaintances: I have no idea, so look it up 😀

Now I have a good (but somewhat costly) problem – I need new pants 😀

the national museum of singapore

Saturday I went to the museum, as planned. It was pretty interesting, but I would not suggest it either for small kids (probably under 10 or 12, unless they’re really really interested in the history of Singapore) or as place to go if you want to talk about what you’re looking at with the folks you bring with you.

Not all of the museum requires an admission, just the history hall and the special display galleries downstairs. Which, I geuss is most of the museum, but you can get to the museum store and the restaurant with no admission 🙂

After paying my 10 SGD, I was directed to the second level to pick up my “companion” – one of those carry-with-you, dedicated, personal kiosk thingies like the Gugenheim in NY has. After picking up my companion, I followed the tour into a large, cylindrical theater where a short film documenting a day in the life of Singapore is on permanent loop.

Every chamber has a large decal on the floor indicating what number you should enter in your companion to find out more about what’s on display. There are a variety of audio, video, and text selections describing [almost] everything on the walls and floor.

I found some of it to be tedious, but I also wasn’t as specifically interested in some of the individuals for whom they had longer aural work, but overall my visit to be interesting, and at least somewhat enlightening.

While Singapore has been important to Western countries for a couple hundred years (especially afetr it became a British colony in 1819), it’s only been an independent country for 44 years. It’s also only the size of the 5 burroughs of New York, so it’s very tiny. That all adds up to there not being a “lot” of history of the country, compared to, say, Canada – which, while young, is ginormous (a technical term).

If you’re interested in the history of Singapore, and you happen to be here anyway, it’s a decent place to go for a couple-few hours. I don’t think I’d intentionally go back unless there was something of interest on display in the special exhibits gallery, or the film they were showing sounded intriguing, but it was a fun way to spend part of my Saturday afternoon.