adrian is rad



Filed under: — adrian @ 4:54 pm

maybe you believe in coincidences. maybe you don’t. maybe you ascribe them to fate or God or something.

I like coincidences. They make me like life.

Friday night I went up to the City to go to the m.ward show with Gums and Dasha. We met up for a drink beforehand at Toronado. We walked down to the Fillmore and when we got to the fillmore, I discovered m.ward had sold out the place (a place larger than Slim’s, which he half-filled last time through SF). Scalper’s wanted more than 2.5 times the face for a ticket, so I said screw that and started walking back to my car. On the way, I decided to see what people were up to in SF, since I was there anyway. I called dug, who was at the (birthday) party a girl I’d met once (at a dinner jwerberg threw when he was out here—she was the then roommate of one of jon’s former housemates, an acquaintance of mine) and he invited me. I was a bit reluctant to go, though the party was pretty close to where I’d parked. I was considering it though; after all, I had met her and, actually, another person I had randomly evited me to this party earlier in the week.

I was on the fence until about 3 minutes later when I got a call from yet another guy at the party that I knew and he handed the phone to none other than Zach Anderson, USC HS class of ’00. Yeah, a guy I went to high school had heard dug mention me (first name and last, probably due to my relative unfamiliarity to the hostess of the party) and said that he knew me from high school. Turns out he was friends with the hostess due to them both currently being at Berkeley. That pushed me over the fence and I went to the party.

I’m glad I ran into him. It was cool catching up with him.

I’d run into another guy I knew from high school, Balaji, after a Giants-Pirates game, but that’s really not much of a coincidence, because after all both of us had a greatly increased likelihood to go to said game.

I’d say that was the second most coincidental happening in my life.

The first was as follows:

My brother and I were newspaper delivery boys back in middle school and junior high. One time my family was going on vacation so asked my friend John to deliver ours for us for that week, as he was also a delivery boy. I also happened to take piano lessons from John’s mom. Part of the piano education were these group lessons once a month or two months in which you had a lesson with people of a similar skill level and basically practiced playing in front of people. These lessons were at a different time and day from my normal lessons. So I was at John’s house at a different day and time from my normal lessons and the phone ringed. John’s mom didn’t normally pick up the phone during lessons, I think, but she did that time. Next thing I know she was handing the phone to me. It turns out that one of the people we delivered newspapers to wanted to stop her newspaper for a week while she was on vacation, so she found the flyer we sent out when John was going to be taking over for a week, with his phone number on it and had called thinking it was our number during the one hour that I was at John’s house on a different day and time than I normally was there and asked for me.

That was more of a cut and dry weird coincidence.


play play playlist

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:18 am

I was on the ray ray radio.

New show assignments go out next Tuesday. I’ll let you know if my show changes times. Big changes may be in the future. Stay tuned!


oakland clinches

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:24 pm

The A’s clinched the division last night after a few days of sitting at a magic number of 2, so my tickets will now be useful.

The four AL teams that are in the playoffs are the Yankees (booh!), Tigers, Twins and A’s. As I believe is the case, the A’s will have to play a Central team because they can’t play each other, so that gives us either the Tigers or the Twins. The Yankees and Tigers are tied for the best record, but we know that the Tigers can’t play the Twins, so unless something dramatically changes, I think it’s going to be Yankees-Twins, Tigers-A’s for the ALDS’s. Oakland is 4-5 for the year versus the Tigers and 4-6 against the Twins for the year, so it might actually be slightly better to get the Tigers.

worst writing on the front page of today’s Palo Alto Daily News

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:53 pm

Parents of Covington Elementary School students had reason to rejoice Tuesday when their prayers were answered in the form of the Los Altos City Council’s rejection of plans for a cell phone tower [inside a to-be-constructed 10ft cross] atop a church near the school.

“Their prayers were answered”? Really?

These people who are objecting to a 10ft cross and mobile phone transmitter for aesthetics and health reasons were praying that the Los Altos city council not allow it? I find that unlikely.

Lesson of the day: language is made up of words; words have meaning.


sms alert for football (NFL) scores

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:35 pm

The other day, I was thinking it’d be cool to have sms alerts sent to my phone whenever the score changes in the Steelers game. I noticed that the NFL scores page has some peculiarities in their structure that would make it somewhat easy to pick out the scores.

There are people who you can pay to do this. (Or, I discovered today, there are sort of sketchy places that will do it for “free.”) But let’s say you don’t want to pay. And let’s say that you, like me:

  • have unlimited (or plenty of) sms’s
  • have a server or access to a server
  • are slightly obessive your team
  • love being a geek

So I wrote a perl script to do it (with some help from jesse and a lot of help from andyl). I’ve put it online here. Grab it if you want it. I ran it with a cron job which checked the score every two minutes during today’s Atlanta-New Orleans game:

[insert crappy picture of sms]

What you’ll need to do to make it work:

  1. download the file
  2. get WWW:Mechanize and HTML::Tree::Builder perl modules. if you’re running debian, you can type ‘apt-get install libwww-mechanize-perl’ and ‘apt-get install libhtml-tree-perl’ respectively.
  3. open Score:
    1. find ‘mail 0123456789\’ and replace it with your phone number and email gateway. (here are two lists of email gateways. So if you have sprint and your phone number is 987-654-3210 then your put ‘mail 9876543210\’. It’s important you \@ your @ sign or it won’t work.
    2. if you want the scores of a different team than the Steelers, find the two instances of ‘Pittsburgh’ in the file and replace them with your town’s name. (Check to check how they write it).
  4. save the file
  5. open your crontab file (in /etc/crontab) and add the following line:
    */2 9-21 * * 00 root perl /home/directorypath/Score >& /dev/null
    where /home/directorypath is whereever you’ve put the Score file. This will check the score every 2 minutes (*/2) between 9am and 9pm (9-21) on sundays (00). You can adjust these parameters if you’re on the east coast (adjust the times) or if your team is playing on a non-Sunday. 1 would be a Monday, etc.

It emails you the team names, their scores and the time (2nd Qtr, 2:54, for example).

It worked very nearly flawless during tonight’s game. I made one change so that when the game ends it’ll sms you the score and say it’s “Final” as well as smsing all the score changes. It does send one unnecessary sms when things are resetting the first time the cron job runs. You could probably figure out how to make it not do that.

I’m just putting this code out there. Use it if you like. I’m not really in a position to offer any warranties or support on it. I’m putting this out there under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

Pittsburgh friends, I can add you to my script if you want to get Steelers alerts too. Just let me know.

page mill ride

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:05 pm

I did Page Mill Rd, one of the hardest hills around here, for the first time on Saturday (coincidentally so did Palo Alto Cyclist). The sort of triumvarite of hills around here are Page Mill, Old la Honda and King’s Mountain.

The hill part of Page Mill is 7.2 miles long and 2400 feet of elevation. It starts out fairly shallow, like the lower part of King’s Mountain (for about three miles). Then it hits some steep sections:
Page Mill Road (at Los Trancos parking lot 19.25%
Page Mill Road (at Moody Road) 14%
Page Mill Road (lower view area) 15.50%
Page Mill Road (long, steep section) 15.5 – 17

The long, steep section they’re talking about hits right around Gate 3 of the Foothill Park and is about half a mile of steep. It hurts a lot. Then it levels out and even goes down a little bit before the 100 or 200 yard section right before the Los Trancos parking lot. By this point my legs were pretty tired so even though it leveled out a bunch, it was still fairly strenuous.

I’ve had a pretty good riding season. I started out never having gone up Old la Honda or King’s Mountain non-stop. I set some cycling goals through the summer and I did pretty well:

  • Old la Honda non-stop
  • King’s Mountain non-stop
  • Old la Honda in under 30 minutes (and under 29 minutes)
  • Old la Honda and King’s Mountain back to back
  • Tahoe Century
  • biking to SF
  • coast ride
  • Page Mill

My total mileage for this year (from January through now) is something like 1400 miles.


ALDS tickets

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:38 pm

Oakland’s ALDS tickets go on sale at 9am PST on Monday (later today). I’m going to grab a few bleacher tickets for an early game and a couple nice tickets for a late series game.

They failed to clinch the division with opportunities on both Saturday and Sunday. I think they’ll pull it out in the next couple days.

[Update:] I ended up getting 4 bleacher seats in 136 for Game 1 or 3 and 2 Field Levels in section 106 for Game 5 (if necessary. Yeah, the links suck.

steelers good, sucking

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:34 pm

The steelers alternated being dominant and sucking badly in today’s 28-20 loss against the Bengals. When dug came over at the end of the first quarter, I told him the Steelers were dominating, at which point they started sucking. In the 3rd quarter they were dominating again, and then sucking in the 4th until it was do or die and they almost did.

The AP write up and the post-game quotes.

There was some stat that all x points were scored with the wind. Heinz Field is basically a nasty wind funnel on some days. I don’t know if the stat held all the way through the game, but at least the first 34 points were scored with the wind.

Willie Parker and the offensive line played really well all day and that made me pretty happy because they didn’t play great in either previous game.


Announcing! online mix tapes, vol. 3

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:14 pm

It’s time for another online mix tape. This one was a bit later than I’d intended, but here it is.

You can download the zip file with the following:
1. mp3s of the songs
2. liner notes
3. playlist files (iTunes txt file and an mpu file)

(for the iTunes file, simply import all the songs to your library and then go to file->import and then select the song list. you should now have the 2006sept playlist in your iTunes with all the songs in the correct order).

If you want to read the liner notes before downloading the whole thing, they’re here. This one has a bunch of songs by unknown bands and a few by known great bands like Sigur Ros, Notwist and a time-appropriate one from the Mountain Goats.

Adrian’s September 2006 mix tape [zip file moved to password protected folder]

This’ll be up for a limited time (~1 week) before being moved to a password protected folder.

If you like the artists or songs, I suggest supporting them by buying their music, going to a show, buying merchandise from them or at least telling other people about them.

[Update] The mpu file above doesn’t work. Jesse sent a correct and working m3u file for everyone. Right click and save as.

best pitchfork headline in a while

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:36 am

Beck and Devendra are Friends

travel list

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:04 am

I wanted to make a list of my overseas/ abroad trips. We always traveled a lot because my parents are from South Africa and Germany and we have relatives in five or six countries (more now) so we were always visiting and whatnot. With my dad’s help, here it is:

  • 1982 March-April: South Africa, Holland and Germany, Düsseldorf for my Opa’s 70th
  • 1984-85 Dec/Jan: England, Gloucestershire, South Africa (the never-ending Christmas presents in 3 countries)
  • 1985 July: South Africa, surprise trip for my Grandpa’s 75 birthday (the last time I saw him)
  • 1987 April: Germany, my Opa’s 75th; Holland, Düsseldorf, Köln, Nürnberg, Regensburg (Bischoffshof), München (except Frauenkirche inside*)
  • 1988 August: Germany, my Oma and Opa’s 50th wedding anniversary, Black Forest, Düsseldorf, London
  • 1991 March-April: South Africa, Johannesburg, Kruger Park
  • 1992 April: Germany, Aachen, Holland, Belgium, Düsseldorf for my Opa’s 80th
  • 1993-94 Dec-Jan: South Africa, Hermanus, Pilanesburg
  • 1994 March: Canada, Niagara Falls
  • 1994 July-August: England and Netherlands with Alex, first trip without my parents
  • 1995 July & August: Germany, Solingen, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Austria briefly
  • 1995 October: Germany, my Oma’s 80th in Berlin
  • 1997 March: Hong Kong and China with my Mom
  • 1997 May: Canada, Niagara Falls
  • 1998-99 Dec-Jan: South Africa, Vic Falls (Zimbabwe, Zambia), Kruger, Cape Town
  • 1999 April: Canada, Toronto
  • 2000 May: Italy, Alex’s graduation
  • 2001 January: England, with Andy Chadwick
  • 2001 March: South Africa, my Granny’s 90th
  • 2002 Summer: living in Germany, Stuttgart, Behr Group, side trips to France and Switzerland (and America for the weekend)
  • 2003 May: Greece, my graduation
  • 2004 Sept-Oct: South Africa and Tanzania, my dad’s 60th
  • 2005 February: Mexico, Cabo San Lucas
  • 2005 April: England, London for my cousin’s wedding
  • 2006 February: Mexico, Playa del Carmen
  • 2007 Jan-Feb: South Africa, Swaziland, my mom’s “40th”
  • 2007 August: Kauai, Hawaii
  • 2007 Aug-Dec: living in Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2007 September: Indonesia; Thailand
  • 2007 October: Hong Kong, China, Macau; Kaohsiung (TW)
  • 2007 November: Japan (Kyoto, Tokyo)
  • 2007 December: Taroko, Kinmen (TW)
  • 2008 February: Zihuatanejo, Mexcio
  • 2009 February: Maui, Hawaii
  • 2009 August-December: South Africa (Cape Town, Ingwavuma); London for a day
  • 2010 Jan-Dec: South Africa (Cape Town, Ingwavuma), Lesotho, Zimbabwe, World Cup, road trips
  • 2011 June: Canada (Toronto)
  • 2012 August-September: France (Paris, Villiard de Lans), Iceland
  • 2013 May-June: Peru
  • 2013 December: Hawaii

The counts are, I think.
South Africa: 7 (8th in January) 8 11
Germany: 7
England: 5
Netherlands: 4
Mexico: 3
Hong Kong, China: 2
France: 2
1 each: Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Tanzania, Indonesia, Thailand, Macau, Lesotho, Iceland, Swaziland, Japan

Averages (per year of my life):
Countries: 1.38
New countries: 0.62 (or one every 1.6 years)
South Africa: 0.27 (or once every 3.7 years) (this will lower to once every 3.3 years in January)
Germany: 0.27 (or once every 3.7 years)
England: 0.19 (or once every 5.2 years)

*The Frauenkirche Incident as I call it. We’d toured Germany and went to famous churches in every town. By Munich, I’d had enough so I said “I’ve had enough! No more churches!” and sat down outside the Frauenkirche. Much to my surprise my parents said “Fine.” and they cycled in with my brother. I still have not been inside the Frauenkirche. It is on my to-do list.

Note: updated 13 Oct 2007.

Note: Updated 22 Jan 2008

Note: updated 1 Jul 2009.

Note: updated 26 Jan 2010

Note: updated 15 Jan 2014



Filed under: — adrian @ 11:36 pm

playslist from tonight.

[Update] The playlist may look a little strange; I am trying out a new radio show format: mixing indie and oldies. I traded off ~20 minute sets between sets. I’m also thinking of making the move to the morning again, particularly Friday morning. I don’t know if it’ll happen or if I’ll stay at my old slot. I’d kind of like to do a Friday AM oldie and indie rock morning show, completely with self-awaredly stupid schtick. Recorded sound effects!

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