Sunday, March 29, 2009

Closing Time (Pycon 2009)

Last night's dinner was a high point of the conference for me. I got to sit across from Scott Gray of the O'Reilly School of Technology, over excellent food, cabernet from his county, talking constructivism versus objectivism. He expressed sincere admiration for Andre's Crunchy project and talk. As the six of us conversed, the hotel dimmed its lights to mark Earth Hour, a global event.

Scott is in the Jerry Uhl lineage (Urbana-Champaign) and following a productive trajectory. My thanks to Steve, PSF chair, for making this introduction. I also finally got to meet the elusive (to me) Julie Steele of O'Reilly. We compared notes on Newark, NJ briefly (she likes it there).

To my right was Ben Bangert inventor of hellanzb, a principal Pylons developer etc. His take on the afternoon's ORM panel discussion was helpful to me. I enjoy clear expressions of bias (e.g. from Leonard also).

Later, I was enabled to crash a party at a nearby hotel. The PSF legal counsel and I eyed the xBox guitars but I didn't play until later (easy level, higher than beginner) opposite a real pro, and thanks to some Black Label.

We had lots of connections to Iceland in that room. Insofar as I was able to decipher the chatter, we were multi-user game programmers with rather vast followings. CCP is one of the major league players. As CSN CMO, I was pleased to learn more about Mochi as well.

Ian Benson, Steve Holden and I are planning to brave the light snow and visit Starting with the Universe. I've got my bag parked at the hotel so I might hop off the El (train) and onto the O'Hare shuttle, looking forward returning to PDX.

Friday, March 27, 2009

About Python Namespaces

Jeff Rush is up front in ballroom E (our plenary room with the dividers installed). We're waiting for the signal from A/V (a Quakerly silience..., keys tapping). Jeff is our Dallas chief.

Namespaces are mappings, the foundation of Python: globals, locals, (builtins). Lexical context, dynamic context (Python uses lexical context for closeures).

Name binding occurs during assignment, defs, imports, arg declaration, for statements, except clauses, as a result of closures. Code objects + namespaces = coll stuff. Steve makes this same distinction ("object spaces").

They're not namespaces, run inside namespaces, are not function obejcts. import, compile() exec, execfile etc., are code object creators (compilers we could say). The "assembly language" of Python. He's showing compiling on his slide. from dis import dis. co = compile(blah blah). ns = {}, exec co in global_ns, local_ns.

He's showing us where the code objects are. Just fragments, not everything defines a code object. You get these trees of code objects, with the module the outer code object. Good use of pointers for assignment.

When you instantiate a module, you get this "knitting" among code objects, assembled into a constellation of objects (not all of which are code objects).

The object tree is what's in the .pyc file. The namespace assembles the code object starting with the root node, throws that away, gives us the new namespace in sys.modules. You don't get your function objects until post-execution. The body of a class is actually a function. The post-execution view is closer to what my level understands, so its good to see pre-execution diagrams.

Generators keep the local namespace around, but functions and methods throw it away. A closure is a nested scope. My way of returning a derivative function (from a function) is a good example of closure.

He's giving some really excellent code examples, going by lickity-split. These slides better be on the web someplace. I need to come back to this stuff, think about it some more. globals() is locals() -- when is this true?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Google App Engine

I'm learning more about cloud computing this morning. Hey, YouTube is coded in Python, didn't know that.

J.C. Gregorio is taking us through the app.yaml file (don't use /_ah/ or /form). You fall through the rule set. List the top level handlers, what to skip, caching rules. Not everything in your tree has to be mentioned though. Specify whether a login is required and, if so, must it be admin.

Django 0.96 is the current default templating language, but you're not forced to use it. Use os.path.dirname(__file__) to build an absolute path to our template file. We're getting questions about using Mako instead of Django. I found some stuff in the blogs about that. What about Jinja2?

Lars is here from the Mozilla development team. He's been working on a crash detector that phones home (sends httpRequest) with a binary payload, with Python doing the analysis on the server. Mozilla is able to monitor, in quasi-real time, where their browser is breaking.

Read PEP 333 to get a better handle on WSGI, which supersedes CGI. The SDK includes a lightweight version. We're moving quickly here, as the datastore is what's most important.

The datastore is an "entity store". It's not an RDBMS. You can't do joins. GQL is the new language, based on SQL but different. Subclass db.Model and create your properties, setting defaults (e.g. auto_now_add=True for db.DateTimeProperty). The writes probably take longer than you're used to, given the redundant write stipulations (like the Hadoop, you'll have x3 replication). Update the same entity about 5 times a second, but as many entities as you like in parallel. Reads are very fast.


I got stuck trying to store and read the above GIF in a model blob property, couldn't get it to work. The famous Wesley Chun in the row in front came back and showed me his solution (he liked the challenge, which I'd asked about publicly). He knew some tricks it'd've taken me a long time to come up with (set mime-type, use read method). Thx! I hope he sends me the source code (note later: he did).

Mozilla Guy
Cowboy Programmer
(K.L.L., Mozilla Corporation)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More on Race

There's a tendency to distill humans into subspecies, at least for storytelling purposes. We have the more dog like, the dwarf like, the geek like... the elvyn like. Every Middle Earth has its lore and its peoples, its nations, its guilds & ethnicities.

Astrological birth signs brought some order to the scene. Personality types -- people are big into measuring those.

Not everyone wants to be a goth (and you don't have to be one to love one).

In terms of our shared genome providing needed plasticity, adaptability, I'd say the record proves we're well endowed. That doesn't make us masochistic however. Let's not invite stupid outcomes. Let us not "just see what it's like" to survive another nuclear holocaust how about it?

Keith talked about a new Van Allen Belt thanks to nuclear testing. In sweeping the web, I see lots of caveats and denials. It's gone now they say. Some people got angry about those tests and I can see why: those testers don't own the world, merely act like they do (= bad acting). That level of hubris is ugly to behold.

I can see some of those races people believe in. They're less transient than cloud formations certainly. Others I don't see or am less likely to want to believe in. I'll suspend my disbelief, but only by so much. Call me a skeptic.

Yes, I believe the lunar landings (Apollo) really happened.

Once we start arguing who is racially "pure" (archetypal) versus who is "mixed" (mongrel) I tend to walk away, unless we're talking about breeds of horse or dog maybe (seems harmless enough).

I don't trust the judging or judges where humans are concerned. They start making it matter, make it more than a show. Yet there's no "racial essence" in the DNA anywhere. Pigeon holing, or coming up with percents ("the mix"), is a nightmare, a quagmire, and an exercise in futility sometimes. Pseudo-science takes over, pandering to some "master race" mythology.

There is such a thing as taking racial categories too seriously, kind of how I felt about the WTO. I liked it when Yes Men poked holes. Not every story has the same half life, just like not every open source project achieves critical mass or long term momentum.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Noodling and Doodling

I'm sitting at the big table at Pauling House, yakking with Drs. Feinstein and Taylor, regarding the future of computer programming.

I expressed my frustration with this "la dee da" attitude that any given computer language is a passing phase (a "flavor of the month"), whereas we're swiftly heading into a push button walk-away civilization, computers humming beneath the surface, a few Morlocks in the tunnels, tending the pipes. So why bother learning what's slated to fade away?

On the contrary, I contend, we've made approximately zero progress towards removing human intelligence from the picture, nor are the smarter shops, like Pixar, even trying to make all cartooning an AI project. What would be the fun of making movies, if you didn't get to actually make them? Human intelligence is here to stay, serves a critical function.

In terms of curriculum, there's this idea of "hard fun" (not an oxymoron). The psychologists among us, looking for brain cycles in the fantasy lives, the daydreams, of their intended customers, ala Smallville, Grey's Anatomy etc. (i.e. in TV melodramas, soap operas), may encourage vicarious living versus fantasizing realistically about one's own future. Either way, you get audience engagement, provided the surrounding society nurtures escapism, other forms of anti-realism (important genres, I agree, right up there with sports).

Is it possible to doodle in computer language, just for the fun of it? Storyboarding for television is a kind of programming.

Yes, and it's a sign you're getting an education, when you want to play the "language games of science" (Bill Nye voice) just for the fun of it. Chess is entertainment, not a chore (for some people), though in professional life, one sometimes has to "slog through" a "book of changes".

Allen is off to Oregon City to lead a meeting of the L5 Society. Shomar is here in the house with us, an honorary Wanderer. We're looking forward to Patrick (a psychometrician) joining us later. Buzz just walked in. Retreat in progress...

Quakers (Friends) have a track record of improving conditions for mental patients, so the fact this was Asylum Avenue, because of Dr. Hawthorne's mental hospital, even before it gave birth to the Silicon Forest (Doug Strain & Co.), gives us lots to think about, in terms having a good neighborhood (97214).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Uncovered... (movie review)

CIA brass, other experts, come out of the closet to denounce the USA's being "neoconned" into nutty actions in the Persian Gulf region.

Moral: There's a reason you don't want to pester those Langley people, make 'em rethink their positions. Ask 'em questions sure, but don't tell them how to do their jobs. That's their business, not yours (this was Robert Baer on "data mining" -- similar to "stovepiping" in trying to force intelligence to fit the politics).

I checked this out
from Multnomah Friends where it's been kicking around for while (it's from 2003). This isn't news in zip code area 97214 I don't think.

I liked Peter Zimmerman (chief science guy, Senate Foreign Relations) talking about "cartoons". Aluminum tubes... 16 words. Good seeing Bearden again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pi On Demand


I need to counter the stereotype, nay ethnic smear, which says buckaneers tape over the 'pi' key on their calculators because they don't believe in it. "I don't believe Nature is using pi" Bucky kept saying, even though he'd publish the opening digits, like in Grunch of Giants (subversive!).

Whereas it's true that we're skeptical of calculators, prefer actual laptops, there's nothing verboten about using 3.14 to get the circumference, in meters, of this building in Wichita, Kansas, home of the Wichita House and/or Dymaxion Deployment Unit (DDU).

In honor of said operational process (using the pi feature), and leaving aside the deep philosophical questions about nature's discreteness, I provide the above Youtube by Wesley Fryer and company. Linking geometry with geography is what we're all about n'est pas? I appreciate his take.

Greetings to Nirel, on the beach in Malibu, had beers with your dad just now. We're hoping Kiah is enjoying her XO, even if the screen isn't touch sensitive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chauffeur Duty

I'm escorting an MVP again today, Razz at the ready, although sometimes I do Max from the airport, show my guest how to get around town without me. I don't like to hover.

I'm reminded of tour guides I've enjoyed in exotic destinations like Shanghai and Guangzhou (training from Hong Kong, ate snake soup that one time), Tashkent... they met our plane or whatever conveyance, made sure we weren't looking the "wrong way" when crossing the street, then set us free, remaining on standby to ask questions, lead a foray if called upon.

As aliens, we weren't allowed just anywhere, unless we had a proper escort. In Bhutan, that meant special papers. Bhutanese are a generous people, yet understandably leery about wannabe landlords trying to muscle into the place.

Another role model: James Lambert, high level escort for the State Department. He was major league, would go all over the country with visiting dignitaries, like that newspaper editor from Zimbabwe, the neice of the DL. Finding people to talk to is a challenge sometimes.

Not everyone is as gregarious as Borat at the end of the day.

Like I recall that Thanksgiving, our Tibetan guest here in town, a lot of the guys just wanting to huddle around the TV and watch NFL or whatever, whereas I know plenty of women who'd've given their eye teeth to be in that room talking with such a deeply spiritual person.

James was quiet to the point of invisible, and debonair, as you'd expect. Maureen's family made the connection, likewise to the late Admiral Crowe's family (another hat guy).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nine Lives (movie review)

Here is one of those gems where it pays to watch the Special Features and listen to the writer-director Rodrigo Garcia, producer, actors.

The Nine Lives themselves focus on nine women, their names starting each featurette as the curtain rises. I'm a Sissy Spacek fan, so was led in to this rotating sequence of exhibits by her name on the marquee, to discover many marvels, in terms of capable, strong, intelligent performances. I liked seeing the sheriff from Invasion again, now deaf, yet still attracted to this squid of a woman (gorgeous and well played by actress Amy Brenneman with just the right distance).

The girl Samantha trapped between two parents who always say the same things was especially claustrophobic. As a casual drop-in, one has the luxury of knowing it'll be over soon, not so for the imprisoned. Nonhumans didn't have much of a role in any of these scenes, in itself a source of claustrophobia for me. Like where are the horses, the snakes?

So yeah, the writer is skilled at coming up with these puzzles (seemingly insoluble). The mom behind bars, wanting to talk with her daughter (but the phone was broken) was especially poignant as well. The woman about to have surgery, lashing out at the guy... Sissy got to be in two of the sketches. The meeting in the supermarket (two people pushing carts) took me back to a scene in George Tenet's stormy book, although neither character was pregnant in his version (a similar "pattern language" though).

As I remarked during the viewing (not too loudly I hope), this was all very theatrical in flavor, didn't feel like "a normal movie" and the reason is obvious: each vignette, though rehearsed, is shot as a mini-play, a sustained 14 -17 minute take (mas o meno). You can be 10 minutes into a perfect performance and flub somehow, have to start again.

Standard procedure is to edit together all the best bits, but in theater one doesn't have that luxury, and as the producer reminds us, this very low budget effort had only nine shooting days to get it right, 17 total, basically two days per ordeal. I say "ordeal" because it's really challenging to dive in to a script like this, with steadicams dancing around, but on the other hand it's the kind of work thespians really enjoy, as you get to live the character and scene, aren't tasked with the exhausting chore of "chopping it up" into 5-30 second takes so much.

Thanks for putting on great skits and inviting us back stage after the performance. You're wonderfully skilled people. Thanks for adding this to the stacks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Busy Busy

I just got off the phone with someone at Yale (she called me), having placed my OS Bridge proposal in the hopper. We're looking to attract an out of town audience.

Dr. Nick scoured Powell's Books on Hawthorne last night and came up with Walking With Nobby as an ultra-cool find (I promptly bought it, so he could peruse as my guest, leave it for me). Nobby is the late Norman O. Brown, author of a kind of aphoristic glue language important in my formative years, helped tilt me towards Princeton philosophy, Dr. Kaufmann etc. Later, E.J. Applewhite showed me where he'd added Love's Body to his Georgetown apartment collection. NOB has links to Wittgenstein too.

Razz, my "welcome wagon" (for chauffering guests around Portland), is overdue for some maintenance. I'll take her out to Dick Hannah if my earmarks get through. You'd think we'd be further along by now, but big wheels turn slowly.

I was late to Oversight tonight, glad Maye thought to call me. I'm somewhat distracted. Dr. Nick is on his way, drove him to Union Station this afternoon. I'll start reading that book now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

PPUG 2009.3.10

PPUG (Python)
Wow we're a huge group tonight, packing a big room. What beer joint will handle this crowd (Produce Row tonight).

PyParsing (Brett Carter):

Brett Carter is talking about PyParsing ("the best thing ever", heh). It's a Python library that easily lets you create BNF style grammars. It's geeky, very CS (shades of bison).

Backus-Naur Form (BNF) is a formal notation for languages. Is this linguistics, "are we not men?" (citing Devo)? Yes, all 35 - 40 of us are XYs (not always the case, as I've met many an XX "FOSS boss").

There's a full grammar specification for Python 2.6 on the screen (yow -- or maybe not that bad?). "Regular expressions on steroids" might be a way to describe this language game. How simple an application might still be interesting?

Now we're eyeballing a parser for SQL statements, now for Icon (another language). Why Brett, why? Trying to convert a CVS repository to Mercurial...

Machine Learning (John Melesky):

I lost power in the middle of blogging about Machine Learning, unfortunate but I think there's a video recording happening somewhere...

The presentation was all about geometric approaches to analyzing documents (hyper-dimensional -- lots of geographic metaphors) versus the more statistical, as in Bayesian approaches (naive and not). Detecting spam is a common example for the latter technique.

Targeting advertising to specific contexts is a typical application for machine learning, automatic tagging. Getting a handle on large stashes of documents, like blog posts, is the name of the game.

Divmod's Reverend
(Bayes was a reverend) is way better than Ruby's Bishop, the port, in terms of speed and accuracy (plus Bayes wasn't a Bishop).

Support Vector Machines: PyML... Orange (academic i.e. semi-broken, still usable). Technique: munge with math to make the non-linear linear, then employ linear separation.

Sorry I'm skipping the light bulb jokes (despite their mnemonic value). John also said: "I have no Python code, I am a horrible, horrible man, but I do have an excuse, we found rats in our kitchen this morning". This guy cracks me up.

PyTyrant etc. (Michael Schurter):

Tokyo Cabinet
, a data store (like for key:value pairs, B+ tree, other formats) is wrapped by Tokyo Tyrant, with PyTyrant the Python remote client. The Tokyo Tyrant daemon is the database server and offers a lot. It has replication, Lua extensions, hot backup, http option, is high concurrency, multi-threaded. PyTyrant is lagging, probably because Tokyo Tyrant is evolving so quickly. Other languages are ahead at the moment.

Followup: this post to the PPUG list; link to Michael's slides.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Patching a Hole

Glenn Stockton likes to auto-generate new geometry using stone age tools, found objects, and recently showed up with some pentacaps, folded from tetrahelixes passed through by Nat Bobbitt at our meeting of the minds in Eugene that time (Dr. Nick also present, plus expected later today).

IcosaCap Analysis
:: icosacap analysis
by D. Koski w/ vZome ::

The pentacaps (Johnson Solid J13 in particular) got him musing about the role of regular tetrahedra in the world of five-fold symmetry, i.e. an "eternal war of incommensurability" as we think about it in Synergetics. I submitted a request for good data on Synergeo and Adrian Rossiter came back with some answers, as did Dave Koski in top form. In the process of checking, we discovered Wikipedia is sporting a wrong formula, not even linear, relating edges (a) to height (H). Here's the mistake:

Error in Wikipedia
:: oops ::

I didn't immediately apply a fix, not having the fancy math notation LaTeX or whatever, although I did figure the right answer. Instead, I posted something to the Pre-College Geometry list, suggesting some younger serious-minded person put themselves to the task, earn some street cred.

Wikipedia invites public spirited individuals to correct mistakes, one of the hallmarks of an open source literature base.

My thanks to Glenn, Nat, other cast, for getting us another step along the journey. Fighting misinformation is a full time job.

Followup: Wikipedia was fixed within a few hours of our drawing attention to this problem. Here is the corrected formula:

WIkipedia Fixed
:: all better now ::

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Quaker MVP

:: Nancy and Gandhi statue, London ::
original by K. Urner
special Fx by Peter Schütte

Friends,

Nancy Irving, General Secretary of FWCC, former attender of BCFM and current resident of London, England, will join BCFM on March 8, 2009 for Worship. At rise of Meeting we can gather over our coffee cups to hear her speak to us about FWCC's activities and her extensive travels with the organization. In her position Nancy interacts with Quakers of all stripes in all areas of the world.

If you have ever wondered what it means to be a Quaker, come hear Nancy describe the Friends she knows in every corner of the world.

Pat Shields

Nancy Irving
:: photo by Peter Schütte ::

Friday, March 06, 2009

A High School Melodrama

Having high schoolers stage Romeo & Juliet is completely age appropriate, as this was the age group these romantics represented.

The story is as accessible as it is absorbing to teens, unlike polyhedra maybe, however colorful ("I'll bet none of these kids knows what a MITE is" I found myself thinking, given my teacherly obsessions).

This play took me back.

We all learn in English class how the actors were all male in Shakespeare's day, even when cast in female roles. How refreshing then, to have Tybalt be this fearsome "mean girl" (a real one) complete with leather skirt, fishnets and boots.

I'd forgotten how hormonal our Romeo was already being for Rosalyn (always off camera) when suddenly Juliet gains his attention. He's mocked for this from all angles but is too self-absorbed to really see their point.

I was pleased to encounter the play's co-director Johnny Stallings (& angel) at this venue, so appropriate given his stellar status in Shakespearean circles, not to mention his street cred as a transcendentalist. We compared notes on Dr. Nick, expected in town this coming week.

My thanks to Tara for dragging me out to this enjoyable production (even after the drive home from Seattle) which she needed to take in as an honors assignment for Cleveland High.

She's read and seen the play a few times already, had no trouble following, nor did the rest of the Catlin Gabel audience, which caught most of the jokes it seemed.

The set was starkly polyhedral, minimal, skeletal, like a jungle gym (monkey bars). Every "scene change" was a mere rotation of the scaffolding by silhouetted stage hands with head sets.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Field Trip to Seattle

00059
The traveling Lucy exhibit includes more recent Ethiopian history, with a focus on Aksum and Gondar, the various religious influences, Italy's more recent occupation.

Britain accepted the occupation at first, welcomed Italy to the colonial club, reversed itself later. The Soviet Union never did accept the occupation and one of the audio tracks mentions the Russian airplane used to transport an important stolen relic back to its native context.

The history is much longer and more twisted than a small exhibit might fit, but at least it hits some of the high points: Queen of Sheba, descendants of King Solomon, Arc of the Covenant... Stuff homo sapiens were into, long after Lucy's species had ended its tenure.

Lake Tana looks interesting: lots of islands with sacred sites. Dawn would have liked going there maybe, given her esoteric interests.

Haile Selassie's message, that racism must end if Africa is to ever have peace, gets some good press. He didn't consider himself a god though.

Hominids (bipedalists) leave a complicated puzzle going back some six million years, with many makes and models in the fossil record. Paleontologists have their various pet theories of how to fit the puzzle pieces together.

The Lucy fossil, some 3.18 million years old, was on display in the last room, the climax of the exhibit. She doesn't get out much, part of the motivation to catch this exhibit before it closes.

Tara and I stayed in a hotel near Seattle Center, joining our hosts for Japanese food in addition to some chess playing and dancing at Center House.

Yes, Lucy is named for that Beatles song.

Over the Door

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Explaining Esoterica

from the Wanderers archive (posting by me):

<anthropology>

Might help if you had some background about how some celebs and supermodels get snarfed up into esoterica, along with the Queen of England, UFOs, Da Vinci codes, other crazy-making stuff. Think of underground comix. I heard Britney's name a few times at Esozone (Glenn, Don also there, with some folks from Terwilliger Plaza) i.e. it's not just me designing this namespace, although I might be the only Quaker engineer on the project, not sure. Esozone pix: [redacted]

Heidi Klum is another source of fascination among some Robert Anton Wilson fans (not a literature I've kept up on -- only so many newsgroups one can track).

http://www.facade.com/celebrity/Heidi_Klum/
http://www.masonicinfo.com/kansan1225.htm
http://uk.gizmodo.com/2008/11/06/video_heidi_klum_in_undies_gui.html

Just think of the X-Files, its popularity among geeks.

Portland's techo-occulture is quite geekified in some ways, is also cosmopolitan e.g. includes some Asian XX-engineer types, also XYs, takes all kinds (Back Space is a hangout
http://www.backspace.bz/index.php, also Cubespace sometimes).

</anthropology>

Monday, March 02, 2009

HB2U Dr. Seuss



Sunday, March 01, 2009

Marley & Me (movie review)

I went to this movie a skeptic, secretly wanting to study this Aniston character some more. I tend to avoid sitcoms (and tabloids), have not observed much of her work to date. Her appearance on the CBS Morning Show with Harry Smith perked some interest.

Flashing back on Little Buddha with Keanu & Co., I was thinking their whole slice of life in this movie is within that part of the Buddha's career when he's still living the dream inside the palace walls.

It's a saga, but framed in those middle years of good health and young children, sustained by a more than adequate middle income. These adults are lucky dogs, not so shivering and alone as dear Wendy in North Portland, also a dog aficionado.

I recall Pamela J. Power's remark that it's OK for us to become more attached to our pets as we grow older, as they become the talismans for our inner journey. This film pays homage to that concept.

It's a film about choices within a very nuclear family, devoid even of grandparents: when to have a first baby, which adult gets the career, and how does that career nurture the careerist?

Pamela's remarks about violence also pertain, or let's just call it shocks to the system. Staying home with the kids is stressful, even minus some "official diagnosis" and Jennifer is good at portraying that. But these are also the basis of future memories, highly treasured in retrospect. Woof.

In what time period was this set I wonder? Political events don't obtrude much, even though these are both "reporters" we're told. There's something nasty unfolding in South America but that's not enough to go on. The newspaper computers look really ancient.

The film itself is a bit of a Wurlitzer, by which I mean it somewhat transparently fills the sponge and squeezes, getting emotion on cue, as one's made for TV life flashes by in a time of letting go. I'm not the crufty cynic here though (because I'm an Alan Arkin fan?), noting that people go to the movies for a reason. For some reason I'm reminded of Groundhog Day and Broken Flowers, both a little crazier than this one.

As for the male journalist character, the reporter-columnist, I'm thinking my own writing is far better, and so when do I get the big bucks? How does one "boost circulation" in the blogosphere anyway? I'm more into boosting coffee and donuts mixed with LCD content, than wood pulp. Which reminds me, here's a link to something I ran by the Portland Tribune, at the request of the education desk.

Happy birthday Alexia
!