Friday, August 29, 2008

Old Book, New Book #10: Brave New World

So, I cruised the The Tommyknockers fairly quickly. Kind of interesting, not too scary. Check one more off the Stephen King list for me. :) Makes me many Stephen King books have I read in my lifetime. Hang on while I go check that's the ones I've read (in the order they were published)

Salem's Lot
The Shining
The Stand
Danse Macabre
The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
Different Seasons
Cycle of the Werewolf
The Talisman
The Bachman Books
The Eyes of the Dragon
The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
The Tommyknockers
The Dark Half
Four Past Midnight
Needful Things
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
Nightmares and Dreamscapes
The Green Mile
The Regulators
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
Storm of the Century
Hearts in Atlantis
On Writing
Black House
From a Buick 8
Everything's Eventual
The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

Wow, that's 37 Stephen King books I've read (including a few written as Richard Bachman). And yet I don't own any of them. Thank goodness for the public library. Still, by far my favorites are the The Dark Tower ones, and then probably It, as a close second. Part of it is the way that his books kind of tie together in a lot of ways and form his own fictional universe of sorts, and the way that characters from one will show up in others.

Anyway, moving on. Since neither of the holds I've got in had come in yet to my local library, I tried to find something I wanted to read that was on the shelves. After a while, I decided on Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I've always heard of it, never read it. Guess we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #42: Never ever jam today

Today's video clip is pretty random. Its from a live-action tv version of Alice in Wonderland that I remember watching when I was a kid. For some reason this song about jam has been stuck in my head all those years.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Watch This Wednesday #41: I Got Soul, but I'm not a Soldier

Been watching a fair amount of the Olympics, and happen to love this Nike commercial featuring my all-time favorite Killers song (All These Things That I've Done) thats been playing occasionally.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Big Digital Gets an Article Accepted for Publication

I realize that I'm probably blogging more now that its "on the back seat" (I think I combined "taken a backseat" with "on the back burner"). But I figure this is as a good a way as any to let people know that I just got an email letting me know, finally, after three rounds of revisions, that my first paper has been accepted for publication in one of the top Informatics journals, JAMIA. Its a pretty short article (under 2000 words), but its satisfying to accomplish.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, the title is, "Evaluating the Accuracy of Existing EMR Data as Predictors of Follow-up Providers". Not sure if that will give you a better idea of what I do or not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Big Digital Gets a New Driver's License

With my current license expiring next month on my birthday, I finally bit the bullet and ventured out to the DMV this morning to apply for renewal. Last time I was up for renewal I was able to do so online, so it has been quite a while since last I visited the DMV. About 8 years to be exact. And remembering the unpleasantness of the Rose Park DMV, I decided to check out the Sandy "Express" DMV office, which happens to be closing its doors forever after tomorrow. Given my long absence from the DMV, I was still rocking the old school green laminated plastic license that Utah has long since abandoned. In fact, I think there was a whole generation of licenses that I missed altogether.

It took me a little bit of time to find it, but I did and made sure to grab a number as soon as I walked through the door. Lucky number 14. Sadly, they were only around number 84 or so when I got my 14. I was bright enough to bring my book with me to read while I stood (there weren't enough chairs for everyone waiting) and waited. I was maybe there for an hour or so (I wonder what makes this office "Express") before my turn came up, or maybe it wasn't that long, but just seemed long. While I waited, I saw one lady get denied because of failing the eye test (twice), and another lady get sent home to get her social security card because she wanted to change her name following a marriage.

Anyway, at last my turn arrived, and though tense, I managed to pass the eye test with flying colors. The lady administering it asked me if I was wearing contacts to which I honestly replied "no", but had I been wearing them and lied, I don't know how she would have known I was lying. Maybe its not important. I also feel like my photo turned out alright, although right now I just have a rough version on the temporary paper license. Anyway, hopefully its a good long time before I have to go back there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blogging on the back seat

If any of you follow this blog closely, you might have noticed that I haven't written about my last two weekends. I just haven't been really motivated to talk about them. Maybe I need to just make the posts shorter. I'll admit that a big reason why I haven't blogged so much lately is that all day I sit and think about writing that I have to do for my dissertation and that makes the mere idea of writing not that exciting sometimes. Even when its for fun.

So I'm not saying I'm not going to keep on blogging, but I'm taking a break from some of the regularly scheduled stuff.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Old Book, New Book #9: The Tommyknockers

So "No Country for Old Men" was definitely a page turner. Fairly violent and depressing, but it kept me interested until the end. Not sure I'd recommend it. I enjoyed reading obviously, or I wouldn't have read it so quickly. I guess I'd say read "The Road" first and then if you liked that one, try this one.

Next up: "The Tommyknockers" by Stephen King, for no particular reason except that I figured I should grab a second book in case the other went by fast, which it did. There was a time that I read a lot of Stephen King books, to the point that there are only a (slowly growing) handful that I haven't read, and this is one of those. Guess we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Old Book, New Book #8: No Country for Old Men

I finished "Get Shorty" about a week ago, and it was certainly a nice change from slogging through "Godel, Escher, Bach". Not to say I loved it, but it was just nice to read a novel instead of a textbook, at least for a while. As the first thing I've read by Elmore Leonard, I was kind of underwhelmed, seeing as how several of his books have been made into movies. Could be that "Get Shorty" was made into a movie, because it was a book about the movie business, and if there's one thing Hollywood loves, its itself.

Anyway, as I was done with "Get Shorty" and the books I've got holds out on haven't come in yet, I picked up another Cormac McCarthy book while I was at the library. "No Country for Old Men" was the basis for this last year's Best Picture winning Oscar, and as I just "The Road" and found it enjoyable, when I saw it on the shelf, I decided to give it a shot.

On another OBNB-related note, I noticed that I started tracking the books I was reading on the sidebar hear about a year ago, and I read 17 books in the last year. Not sure if that's a lot or not, but it was interesting to look back and see what all I'd read and to once again realize how long a year is.

Watch This Wednesday #40: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Brainchild of Joss Whedon, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" is a web-only three-act musical production thats currently available on It features Neil Patrick Harris as "Dr. Horrible" who is trying to earn his way into the Evil League of Evil, led by super-villain "Bad Horse", and Nathan Fillion (from "Firefox") as "Captain Hammer", a self-centered hero. Obviously its got some comedic elements.

The show features some great counterpoint songs, and I've embedded the beginning of act two that has one of these songs. The girl singing is "Penny", a girl that Dr. Horrible has a crush on, that Captain Hammer has just started dating and helping with a project to help the homeless.

Also, if you mouse of the bottom of the video panel you'll see a pop-up menu that include a button marked "CC". Go there and you can turn on closed captioning, allowing you to "Sing-Along".

The full feature is available on Hulu, and I recommend it with the caveat that there are a few lines of PG-13 rated dialogue.