Friday, February 18, 2005

Strange Day

I spent most of the day at work yesterday messing around with RSS feeds and XSLT and if that means nothing to you then congratulations. It was one of those strange days when everything seems to work. Granted, XML and related stuff ain't exactly brain surgery, but it's nice to get into a good flow occasionally and get some work done even if it's not terribly meaningful. Since basically nothing on the Internet is meaningful, it's mostly a matter of degree.

After work i went to my kung fu school and broke boards with my instructor. Yup-- 1 foot square, 1 inch pine boards. It went pretty well except for my side kicks, which i had to try a couple of times before getting the right force to break the board. I also managed to do 3 boards at once with an elbow drop. I'll probably work up to 5 or 6 before my test. I had a few spectators at the school. People are impressed with breaking even though it's far simpler than a lot of the other things i have to do.

In the evening i went to the boys' school because Nathan was part of a program about Martin Luther King. It was a fairly typical 5th-grade presentation, but one feature caught my attention. They projected video of both the "I Have a Dream" and the "I Have Been to the Mountaintop" speeches using a computer and some media player (InterVideo maybe?). I guess it really is the 21st century. MLK was such a great speaker. Compared to the banal idiocy that passes for a speech these days, MLK seems almost supernatural, almost magical. My 7-year old son Henry, who was watching with me, said to me "Do you know why i like Martin Luther King? Because if he hadn't made all of those laws i wouldn't be able to be friends with Josh". It's hard to capture everything that's wrong with this statement, not the least of which is that his friend Josh is not African-American (he's either Asian or Latino). But i liked the sentiment.

After we got home i started messing around with my Linux box. In the space of a couple of hours, i managed to install JBoss 4, deploy a servlet i wrote during the day, poke a hole in my firewall with iptables, and set up dynamic DNS for one of the domains i own so that it would go to this computer (i had to get up early this morning to set up port forwarding on my Linksys router). Did you know that kung fu translates roughly to "skill acquired through time and effort". Kung fu, indeed.

Right about this time, the time passed midnight and Charlie Sheen was on TV dropping bowling balls off of a building in New York. Another fact that is probably only interesting to me: I now have at least 3 ways to transfer files from any wired computer to one of my home computers without using any sort of hard media (no floppies, tapes, or zip disks).

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