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Best Chowder 2012 [21 Dec 2012|02:59am]
I did not have chowder in 2012
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Best Music 2012 [21 Dec 2012|02:03am]

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Best Joke 2012 [20 Dec 2012|08:26pm]
Knock knock
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Manny Pacquiao [17 Dec 2012|10:10pm]

R.I.P. Das Racist. This guy summed up some highlights pretty well. 10 Great Das Rascist Moments

They were never gonna be these super star rappers... but they did their thing and I liked it.

It's the drug I'm needing

People in the street eatin chicken and meat... what's really good, what's really guuuuuud, what's really good
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Desperate communiqué [13 Nov 2012|08:16am]
Everybody in my house is sick. Asha just threw up chunks all over Aliza. It was gross, you could see exactly what she had for dinner. I am struggling to type this over Izzy, who is attempting to button my shirt buttons that are already buttoned (so is she unbuttoning them? hopefully she doesn't have the gross motor skills yet).

I miss writing but man, time is a sieve. Did a whole year go by? Not yet it's just November. Thinking of highlights already, I should do a year end list cos it was an eventful year. I mean

- Asha born
- Obama! + senate + marijuana legalized in two states + gay marriage + ...
- Matthew's wedding in Scotland, see I even got to take a trip overseas by myself, life is good
- Left Google, joined Goodreads
- Lightning Field
- Lone Star Lodge - ah the lake in summer
- Jason's wedding in Mexico - in progress

But failures too

- Still don't know how to whistle or properly fold a shirt
- Still haven't been able to refi the house, losing money every day

Tons of good reads

AH i can't concentrate or type izzy is biting my knees (literally) and Asha is wailing

send help
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Amar's 2012 California/SF Voting Guide [29 Oct 2012|11:57pm]

President & Vice President - BARACK OBAMA AND JOSEPH BIDEN
United States Senator - DIANNE FEINSTEIN
United States Representative (i.e. Congressperson), District 12 - NANCY PELOSI


State Senator, District 11 - MARK LENO
Member, State Assembly - TOM AMMIANO


Member, Board of Education (pick 3) - RACHEL NORTON, JILL WYNNS, SANDRA FEWER
Member, Community College Board - WHO CARES


Prop. 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education, Public Safety, Etc - YES

Raises taxes on those making more than $250k. Due to CA's insane anti-tax measures and budgetary gridlock, bond measures and props like this are the only way basic services can get funded any more. If this fails to pass, a bunch "trigger cuts" (mandatory budget cuts) will kick in. $5.35 billion from schools/community colleges, $250 million from University of California, cuts to fire/water/police/fish & game/parks... it would be bad.

Prop. 31: California Government Performance and Accountability - NO

No idea, too complicated, don't make CA govt more complicated.

Prop. 32: Ban on Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction - NO

Funded of course by romney linked republican operatives… f*** you, union busters!

Prop. 33: Auto Insurance Rates Based on Driver History - NO

Sponsored by some guy from Mercury General Corporation (insurer) - no doubt it will make them a lot of money if passed

Prop. 34: Death Penalty Repeal - YES

Starkly racist, hugely expensive, no more of deterrent than life in prison without parole, alarming # of cases where prisoners on death row have been proven innocent by new DNA evidence

Prop. 35: Increased Penalties for Human Trafficking - NO

Seems like this is just pandering to hysteria about online predators. We already have sufficient laws in place for dealing w/ this. Mandatory sentencing restrictions won't make things any better, it will just lead to more prison overcrowding

Prop. 36: Three Strikes Reform Act - YES!!

It doesn't solve anything to lock up so many people and make sure they'll never be able to vote, get a regular job, get college aid, learn new skills or in any way adapt for life when they get out. Just stupid. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country on earth. What has it gotten us?

Prop. 37: Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods - YES

Funded by Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Nature's Path Foods, etc. Opposed by Coca Cola etc. Sure, I'm in :D

Prop. 38: Molly Munger's Tax for Education - NO

Wealthy attorney Molly Munger has poured 33 million into this -- raises taxes on everyone, not just 250k'ers. Prop 30 and Prop 38 are mutually exclusive-- if both are passed, the one with most votes will take effect and nullify the other. So if 38 gets more votes, the trigger cuts mentioned above go into effect. 38 ties down how the funds are used, restricts to just one or two things. Enough with this bullshit straightjacketing of funds it's made CA so hard to govern

Prop 39: Multistate Business Tax and Clean Energy Initiative - NO

I dunno this cleans up some tax loop hole, generates revenue, but (natch) ties up the revenue for some clean energy commission. Funded by a hedge fund dude who stands to get rich if clean energy takes off

Prop. 40: Referendum on Redrawn State Senate Districts - YES

Long story short, CA political districts got redrawn by an independent citizen's commission as the result of a proposition that passed in the last election cycle. The new district map they came up is an improvement over the old one, featuring less gerrymandering and more logical district borders. Voting YES votes to accept this new map. Cali Republican activists funded this referendum pushing for a NO vote, hoping to invalidate the redistricting plan so they could get their own passed instead. A recent CA court decision upheld the citizen's commission plan, so this whole thing may now be moot.


Prop. A: City College Parcel Tax- YES
Prop. B: Parks Bond - YES
Prop. C: Housing Trust Fund - NO
Prop. D: Consolidating Municipal Elections - YES!!!
Prop. E: Gross Receipts Tax (i.e. eliminate payroll tax) - YES
Prop. F: Water and Environment Plan (i.e. drain Hetch Hetchy) - NO
Prop. G: Repealing Corporate Personhood (i.e. nonbinding resolution) - WHO THE FUCK CARES

KCET Proposition Cheat Sheets (very useful! shows who's funding what)


SPUR 2012 voting guide:


SFBC endorsements:


Good SF School Board overview from sfgate:

SF school board faces touch choices
"On one side, there are three incumbents - Jill Wynns, Rachel Norton and Sandra Fewer - who voted to ignore seniority in teacher layoffs at 14 of the lowest-performing schools. Largely based on that one decision, the influential teachers union turned its back on the three, whom they had previously supported…"
I'm voting for the school board incumbents, cos they have the advantage of experience and there's no good reason to kick them out. Certainly not cos they stood up to teacher's unions with regards to choosing who gets laid off. Why should layoffs be based primarily on seniority, as opposed to merit? Sure, teaching "ability" is hard to quantify. It doesn't mean there's no distinction to be made, or that bad teachers don't exist! Also, Rachel Norton appears to be the only candidate who actually has kids enrolled in the SF public school system at present.

Stick a fork in it, I'm done
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What Love is Like [22 Sep 2012|08:59pm]
 Love is like
 a pineapple,
 sweet and
--Piet Hein
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Today's ohrwurms (plus awards for best names) [10 Sep 2012|08:47am]

1. Machinedrum - Where Did We Go Wrong

Falls into the category of "depressing songs where it's somehow enjoyable to feel depressed..." sounds odd but you know what I mean. Like the entire oeuvre of that sad sack Bon Iver. But this is better atmospherically

2. Machinedrum - Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real

Now ya know the deal / Now ya know the deal / Now ya know the deal / Now ya know the deal / 4 Real, 4 Real, 4 Real, 4 Reeeeeealll (repeat 5000x)

Machinedrum is such a great bedroom producer name. How did nobody think of it before now?


BEST TRACK NAME: Dance Til The Police Come

BEST ALBUM NAME: Piracy Funds Terrorism
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Super rich kids with nothing but fake friends [07 Sep 2012|12:19am]

Izzy and I spend some time coloring, most days. We just scribble aimlessly on paper. It's not not fun, but at the end you just have some random scribblings that go straight into the waste bin. (Or surreptitiously into the waste bin if they got pinned to the fridge by a well meaning but aesthetically senseless spouse)

Is there some way to direct our coloring towards producing something of lasting value? Could we color Rome? Or a cure for cancer? Why hasn't anybody come up with a coloring superhero? Like Aquaman except instead of talking to fish this hero (let's say it's a girl) uses magic crayons to fight crime and solve mysteries. I'm already bored with the premise so this paragraph is done now.

The new Frank Ocean's pretty good. I like this song anyway, especially the moment when he transitions from talking to singing.

super rich kids with nothing but loose ends / super rich kids with nothing but fake friends

Another Friendster memory-- or was it Myspace--? there was this section where it asked "Who do you want to meet?" Magnus's answer was: "A rich girl." Haha after that I changed my answer cos I realized I, too, wanted to meet a rich girl.

They are so thin and exotic... they all talk in weird boarding school accents and have places where they Summer... they casually have access to the best drugs...

the maids come around too much / the parents aren't around enough

Reminds me of an old favorite from Late Night with David Letterman...

Top 10 Canine Disorders or Debutante Complaints

  1. Distemper
  2. Rabies
  3. Broken heel
  4. Wilted corsage
  5. Mange
  6. Out of shrimp
  7. Heartworms
  8. Warm Tab
  9. Ticks
  10. Kennel cough / Daddy's Drunk (tie)
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Is Monday worse when it's Tuesday [04 Sep 2012|10:32am]
Have I woken up yet? Is this all a dream?

If so it's the most boring dream ever, I mean I'm just sitting at my desk at work. Work harder brain

I bought a beer making kit that's been sitting at home cos I'm too lazy to open it and make beer.

One thing I've struggled with after having 2 kids is how little free time there is anymore. When I DO get an hour or two of free time, I'm paralyzed with indecision over what to do with it, so I end up doing nothing! Or napping

I said a while back that I need a long term project. I guess the kids ARE a long term project. The thing about long term projects is, you don't necessarily get immediate gratification. Like when they were building Rome, on any particular day how much got done? You just have to enjoy the process and have patience for long term results

I think a man does need long term projects aside from kids. Sometimes work fills that role. I haven't got to that point at Goodreads yet. Maybe cos I'm working mainly on ads/revenue, which wasn't exactly the dream when I joined.

I tried making a pop up book... it's harder than it looks.

There's one I have with a T-Rex that pops out. The whole book (dinosaur pop-ups, it's by some pop-up master whose name escapes me) is so gratuitous. It's basically pornography. The half-assed descriptions of dinosaurs diets and bone structure are just an excuse for elaborate pop ups of ferocious stegosauri and ravenous raptors. But I do love the T-Rex one, it's so good! With those little vestigal arms and sharp teeth

I worry sometimes that my kids aren't developing a healthy fear of dangerous animals. We have a stuffed shark, numerous fuzzy bears, snakes, wolves, I think a couple of tigers... all of which Izzy and Asha find amusing and cuddly. They laugh at the T-Rex, which is clearly trying to eat them.

What happens when they run into a shark or a bear in the wild and they try to hug it? You can't hug a shark!

Well, maybe a bear could.
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Wide open spaces [02 Sep 2012|08:53am]
Back in the days of Friendster, people listed "interests" on their profile pages. One of Jeff Smith's was, "wide open spaces."

For some reason that has always stuck with me. I guess it struck a chord. I'm interested in wide open spaces too.

But maybe not just literally wide open spaces but the IDEA of wide open spaces. i.e. freedom, adventure, uncertainty, the chance to get lost, the ability to roam.

But also literally wide open spaces-- places where there's nothing around for miles in any direction, and at night the sky is filled with stars

In that sense, our trip to the Lightning Field was the highlight of the year
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Shirts I wanna get + Twain Harte house [06 Aug 2012|08:19am]

  1. 1. I (heart) WATER - seen on some guy at the lake. Me too!!
  2. SHIRT shirt - worn by Dude n Em in "Watch My Feet" vid. IMPOSSIBLE to google for

Today's ohrwurms posted to G+. Kvetching about Muni and longing for Twain Harte porch posted to Facebook. Livejournal what are you for anymore? I'd quit you if I could figure out what's better. I tried messing with Tumblr and Posterous and Blogger but none of them are quite right.

amarpai.com/blog -- I don't even remember setting this up, must have been in a fugue state. I do like the social media aggregation on right sidebar-- YouTube/Yelp/Flickr recent updates. Should just add Facebook/G+, done. But those are 'friends only' and this is public. Haven't figure out that distinction yet.

I think I've mostly scrubbed my youthful indiscretions from Google, at least as best I can, but real talk: I'm never gonna run for president. There's a LOT out there. I lived my life as an open book so long in the pre-Google era, by the time Google came around it didn't seem worth the trouble of cleaning up.

So now I self censor which makes things more boring; but half my friends on friends only Facebook aren't really friends, they're just people I know. So friends only just means a slightly smaller version of the public!

It's a mess

Izzy floated by herself for the first time this wknd very nice

Ajeet you would appreciate the house we were at. It had a lot of solid design choices-- open kitchen, nice front porch of just the right depth. You could see the backyard from the kitchen window to keep an eye on the kids. Hammock amidst super tall trees... so many trees everywhere. Swingset, hottub, state of the art appliances-- great coffee grinder, HE dishwasher, gleaming german dryer/washing machine. Lights everywhere! Any area of the house you wanted to light, you could light. Though one complaint, there were a million light switches and you could never figure out which ones controlled which lights. Spent a lot of time flailing about flipping random switches trying to turn something on or off.

Separate bathtub and shower. Four bathrooms-- such luxury! I'd settle for two. City living. It's nice to get out of SF in the summer just to remember what summer is like. When it's warm at night and you spend all day jumping into the water and time slows down and you throw stuff on the grill... oh yeah the grill was pretty good, it was SUPER simple to operate. And they had a firepit in the backyard which thank god Noel could build a fire. I was dreading having to try. Need to man up though and just do it

We swam in a private lake the last day (Liska had hookup). Property is theft and I'm opposed to this kind of thing in theory. It was a nice swimming hole though, def. enjoyed. Pinecrest Lake is better but you have to park an hour a way (you meaning the "man/woman of the house", the kids and partner get dropped off at the beach) and then hike back. But it's a nice hike and it smells like pine trees and BBQ and country living

I want a range life.... if I could settle down.... if I could settle down.... then I would settle down

Still always happy to come back to SF. Izzy I think is starting to like it to, perhaps love is contagious. For one of her bedtime books she requested This is San Francisco. We looked at illustrations of the bay bridge complete w/ freeway traffic... WE WERE THERE! THAT WAS US! Then sang "a little more blue than this" for a while then passed out

Life is good, at least for this moment... but don't worry I'll be grousing again in no time

After all life is a vale of tears
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I cry like a man b [21 Jul 2012|08:44pm]
14. Bye Baby - Another throwback to that cool ass 80s shit yo... The Guy sample really gives it that nostalgic flavor n at the same time it works for tellin his story....why he holdin part of Kelis's wedding dress on the cover of the album n whatever namsayin. Supposedly son found that part of the dress hangin in a closet at his crib after she left nahmean. The shit aint all bad memories to him tho...n he jus reflecin on the good shit mostly on this joint. But at the same time....its like he still holdin on to her memory n shit. Like its some bittersweet shit basically namsayin. Which is a beautiful thing b. But at the same time again he lettin her go. Ayo I cant even lie b...I connected wit that shit son. The god aint no emotional dude but this shit brought me back yo. Word. I could feel the tears son. They aint jus burst out my face like some corny niggas be doin tho. Im still a man b. The tears roll down the inside of my face namsayin. The tears come down under my cheeks. I cry like a man b. I dont cry like no little girl n be makin the fucked up breathin sounds n scrunchin up my face like I be pushin out a baby like some broad when I weep son. That aint how the god do it namsayin. Dont get that shit fucked up cuz I still smack a nigga n break his jaw in 18 places even when I be weepin son. The god dont jus be curled up on the kitchen floor clucthin blankets n shakin n cryin on some guhuuuhhh huhhhhh huuhhhhh wuhhhhaaaa wuhaaaa shit b....like some bitch namsayin. Lets jus get that straight my nigga. That bein said tho...this shit pulled on the gods heart strings a little nahmean. Fuck yall.
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Knock knock jokes [16 Jul 2012|10:49am]
I was trying to explain knock knock jokes to Izzy today. But I couldn't think of a single one that wasn't "meta" !! What's a knock knock joke that a 3 year old would understand?
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Last night's Wikipedia hole [29 Jun 2012|08:35am]

Pages in category "Side channel attacks"

Of course, nothing beats good old fashioned rubber-hose cryptanalysis.

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Security writing that doesn't suck [15 Jun 2012|09:39am]
I was moved to put together this list after reading some dashed-off piece-of-crap airport book on the topic of "cyber-warfare." Pro-tip: anything with "Cyber" in it is likely to suck. I mean who calls it that? When you check your account balance online are you Cyber-Banking? When you buy something on Amazon are you Cyber-Shopping? Only if you're a tool!!

Anyway, enjoy.

1. How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History | Wired
2. The Shadow Internet | Wired
3. Attack of the Bots | Wired
4. Flame: Questions and Answers | Karpersky Labs
5. Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far
6. Enter the Cyber-dragon | Vanity Fair
7. Fravia's anonymity lab (tricks and tips to survive a little longer on the web)
8. Fravia's page of reverse engineering: Packers and Unpackers
9. samy is my hero (how to make 1 million friends on myspace)
10. How a Bookmaker and a Whiz Kid Took On a DDOS-based Online Extortion Attack | CSO Online
11. Meet The Hackers Who Sell Spies The Tools To Crack Your PC (And Get Paid Six-Figure Fees) | Forbes
12. Shopping For Zero-Days: A Price List For Hackers' Secret Software Exploits | Forbes
13. Sex, Drugs, and the Biggest Cybercrime of All Time | Rolling Stone
14. Revisiting the Black Sunday Hack | Coding Horror
15. Stealing the Network: How to Own the Box by Ryan Russell | Goodreads
16. The Hacker Crackdown | Goodreads
17. The Zombie Hunters | New Yorker
18. Machine Politics: The Man Who Started The Hacker Wars | New Yorker
19. Your Botnet is My Botnet: Analysis of a Botnet Takeover
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Ch-ch-changes [11 Jun 2012|08:09am]
Today is my last week at Google. On Monday I'm joining Goodreads!

Kind of sad to be leaving-- been at YouTube/Goog for the last 5 years, met a lot of amazing people and it's the best work environment I've ever experienced by far. Yet I'm happy/excited to be embarking on something new. As people on Facebook have no doubt noted, I'm a pretty heavy Goodreads user. Always been passionate about reading-- my mom's a librarian, so it's in my blood. Our house was always filled with books. I realized while dating Aliza that I could never have married someone who doesn't love books. One thing I noticed early on about Aliza is that she gets VERY into novels, to the point of obliviousness. It's quite endearing. If there's one thing I want to transmit to my kids it's the love for reading. Much else follows.

So anyway, I guess this counts as following my bliss. It's definitely a bit scary-- gonna be a huge change in terms of finances etc., which as a family man w/ two kids and a mortgage is not a trivial thing. But long term I think it will all work out. And if not, we can always sell the kids.

fig a: matthew chrisman got married on a scottish beach. less dire than it sounds
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Ice Cream Mountain [07 Jun 2012|02:35am]
Artist: Li Ma
Title: Ice Cream Mountain
Date: 2011
Medium: Acrylic Ink and Pen
Original Dimensions: 54" x 35"

More artworks by Li Ma

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Amar's half-hearted voting guide - California/San Francisco July 2012 Election [22 May 2012|06:29pm]
I could barely muster the energy to fill out my vote by mail ballot this year. Basically voted straight democratic ticket. I contemplated leaving the senator spots blank. I'm not really endorsing Feinstein/Boxer so much as I'm repudiating the Republican Party and its ilk (Tea Party, birthers, climate change deniers, religious nuts, Fox New enthusiasts, etc. I feel like throwing up just writing that list.)

Had a really hard time finding info about the statewide props. Probably cos nobody cares. I voted no on both cos better to do nothing then to do something stupid. At the city level, I just followed SPUR's July 2012 voting guide. SPUR's voting guides are pretty reliable-- it's too bad they only focus on SF.


Senate: Dianne Feinstein (D)
Congress: Nancy Peolosi (D)

State (CA)
Senate: Mark Leno (D)
Assembly: Tom Ammiano (D) - yay I actually quite like Tom Ammiano. Nice to see him in there.
Proposition 28: reduce state legislator term limits from 14 to 12 years: NO
Proposition 29: tax cigarettes to fund cancer research: NO

City (SF)
Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC): Nobody - I completely don't understand or care about this. Spent 30 mins googling it (worst use of time ever) and still don't get it. Best coverage I could find is this: Everybody who's anybody at City Hall running for the DCCC.

Proposition A: nix Recology's exclusive waste mgmt contract w/ SF and open it up to competitive bidding: NO - My thinking changed on this-- read SPUR's analysis for details. It sounds good but it's not.

Proposition B: something or other involving Coit Tower: NO

Note to whoever the hell's coming up with these props: can we get a proposition to FIX MUNI? And to publicly execute whoever's in charge of the KT line? I would fund raise for that.
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lightning field report [11 May 2012|11:32am]
walter de maria wrote an article for art forum in 1980 soon after LF was complete. i think it's the only thing he ever wrote about it. it's in a bound book in the cabin. wish i could find it online-- the precepts are below but what was most interesting was all the engineering details. (38,000 pounds of steel for 400 stainless steel rods, 5 years of searching to find the right spot, 5 months of topographic surveying to place the rods, all of them are aligned perfectly at the top (to within 1/25 inch tolerance))

i think a big part of the "art" is just the project itself-- the project management, hiring of contractors, permit wrangling, etc. etc. something in my brain just gets tickled by seeing a huge large scale engineering project come together--- involving project planning on the order of a decade, tons of external consultants, etc-- for no real purpose, other than just because. so Type-A, yet so right brain. i like christo for the same reason.

1. Facts are not the art.

2. Isolation is essential to the art.

3. The sum of the facts does not constitute the work or determine its aesthetics.

4. Part of the essential content is the ratio of people to space — small number of people, large space.

5. The land is not the setting for the work but is a part of the work.

6. Light is as important as lightning.

7. The invisible is the real.

8. Isolation is the essence of land art.

the homestead cabin we stayed in was really perfect. i think it counts as part of the art too. it was built from pieces of old homestead cabins elsewhere. i liked it cos it was comfortable but absolutely functional-- no ornamentation, nothing there that didn't need to be there. it felt like everything was there for a reason, the whole thing just seemed right. like someone had really thought about it. the opposite of those horrible all-wood tahoe cabins where there's a moose head on every surface and everything is ersatz

it's really in the middle of nowhere. like an hour's drive from quemado which is already BFE

i wish the moon hadn't been so full that night cos i bet the milky way would've looked amazing

i want to go back.

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