Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Forgotten day

Gah! For the first time in about ten years, I forgot to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!!!

Two reasons, I think. One was that I wasn't at work (I usually dress about 80% green on those days). And the other is that my folks came to town to visit for a week, the day before St P's Day. So I was mentally sidetracked.

Ah well: next year.


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Professor Elemental interview

Professor Elemental: amazing rapper: witty, and etcetera.

Here's an interview with him.


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Friday, March 16, 2012

In the wet

Back when you didn't mind getting wet in the rain...


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Waiting for the real thing

This is a sign near where I work, downtown. You may have to click on the photo to enlarge it.

Every time I see it, I say to myself, ''No thanks -- I'll wait 'til the permanent lawyers are in.''

Yeah, I know that ''Guest'' is probably the surname of the person that runs the law firm. Still amusing.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Just before Valentine's day, I bought a pair of tap shoes. I'd wanted to learn how to tap dance for a few years now, and -- similar to when I bought an electric guitar -- I figured that you can't learn how to tap dance without tap shoes.

And now it's a month later. How am I going?

Well, I discovered that it's a lot harder than it looks. It's fun -- I'm teaching myself through YouTube videos -- but apparently a lot of it involves keeping your heel **just** above the ground. This is hard work, and also tricky to balance (you're on the balls of your foot -- usually on just one foot!).

The Lady asked that I not tap dance on the floors: she was afraid I was going to scratch them. So, I got a white piece of shelving from the shed and used that. But I kept running out of room. After about a week, I got another piece of wood -- which you can see, under the white wood -- and I've been using that instead. More room; works better.

I practiced every night for about two weeks -- then got busy and didn't touch it for a while. Then I did it here and there -- maybe once a week. We'll see how it goes.


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Separated at birth

One of these is of a co-worker; the other is of Ricky Martin. See if you can pick who is who.

And -- dangit! -- there's some actor out there who **totally** looks like my co-worker in that photo. But I can't remember who...



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Small houses

This series (available on YouTube) looks interesting.

This one is about a houseboat with enough room for band practice (!!!).

And this tiny row-house is pretty nifty, as well.


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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cowboy book and quote

Borrowed the book OLD WEST: THE COWBOYS (Time-Life Books), by William H. Forbis. Engaging, informative, and well-written.

A good quote, on business resilience, from an old-time rancher that was wiped out in the great crash of 1873:

"I'm all right. I'll come back. I came here fifty years ago with only sixty-five cents and asthma, and I still got the asthma." (p. 56)


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Friday, March 09, 2012

Minimalist drum kit

Clearly, it's the drummer, not the drum kit, that makes the good sound.



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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Laser harp

Apparently, there's such a thing as a ''laser harp''.

I want one!!!


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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Stats bilingual

In grad school, I started off with SPSS. Then for my Ph.D., I used Stata. I used Stata for all my research work since then.

But then at my current job (which I've now been at for more than a year!), I've been using SPSS -- because that's what was available.

And then, **now I have Stata again!!!

Although -- even though in previous posts I've clearly preferred Stata, it's not perfect: there are some advantages to SPSS. Stata maxes out at 1GB file sizes (for non- 64 bit computers), and (unlike with SPSS) you can't display the value **and** the value label at the same time (e.g. if 1=male and 0= female, you can have the percentage tables show "1" and "0" **or** "male" and "female" -- but not both at the same time).

But, I prefer how Stata handles missing values: you can toggle on or off whether you want missings to be displayed -- and you actually have the **choice** to include them in your percentage tables (whereas in SPSS it's not possible to display them.) On Stata, the default is to break on error -- and you can defeat that if you like -- whereas SPSS just plows through the whole script, and there's no way to get it to stop when it hits an error (I confirmed this with SPSS tech support).

And, I think the scripting language is cleaner in Stata. Below is a script in Stata, and then a functionally equivalent script in SPSS.


generate isolated_location_YES = Off_Loc_Isol_Recode
label value isolated_location_YES yesoth

replace isolated_location_YES=1 if Off_Loc_Isol_Recode==2
replace isolated_location_YES=0 if Off_Loc_Isol_Recode==1

*Verifying .

tab2 isolated_location_YES Off_Loc_Isol_Recode


compute isolated_location_YES = Off_Loc_Isol_Recode .
value labels isolated_location_YES 1 "Yes" 0 "No, other situation" .
execute .

if(Off_Loc_Isol_Recode=2) isolated_location_YES=1 .
if(Off_Loc_Isol_Recode=1) isolated_location_YES=0 .
execute .

*Verifying .

crosstabs /tables= isolated_location_YES by Off_Loc_Isol_Recode .

Same number of lines; but less typing with Stata.

Anyhow, it's interesting because now that I have both programs at work, I switch back and forth between them. It's like trying to switch between French and Spanish: similar, but with important differences -- such as in SPSS you must end each line with a period; but in Stata, that's an error. Or using ''double equals'' for conditional equivalencies (e.g. if gender equals 'male') in Stata, but single equals in SPSS.

But -- **extra** geeky. So it's all OK. :)


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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

MMA guy vs Obama

Found this on this website (if you want to see the original interview).

Basicially, some Mixed Martial Arts ("Ultimate Fighting") guy says in an interview that he'd like to fight Pres. Obama. (As the "comments" section under the original video clip notes, that's a **really** good way of getting on to several national security watchlists.)

Anyhow, here's Jay Leno's (reasonably non-partisan) take on the situation:

(March 11, 2012 -- update -- OK, so that link has expired. Luckily, someone else posted a copy to Y'alls Tube. Unfortunately, they've disabled embedding, so you have to go to that YouTube page.)


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Monday, March 05, 2012

Read the kids a comic book

Surprisingly, until this recent weekend I had never read my kids a comic book! This is surprising, given that I still have my comic books from my teenage years, and I current collect (slowly!) a few series of graphic novels.

Read them an Uncle Scrooge comic -- and then the next day, a few stories from a Richie Rich digest. The Girl -- being older -- liked comic books the most; B1 (Blondie Boy) was the least interested: he wandered off.

Gonna have to dig some more of them out... :)


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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Parental hearing

Parents apparently have specially-attuned hearing.

Today's Saturday, and I'm in the kitchen getting breakfast for the kids. From the other end of the house, I hear ''blarrgggh!!!'' -- that is, a barfing sound -- coming from my daughter's room.

''Are you o.k.?'', I holler.

''I'm o.k.!'', my daughter replies. ''I was just pretending!''

Mmm-kay. (??!!)

Interesting that I could hear that.


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Friday, March 02, 2012

A difficult task

I was leaving a comment on a blog, and one of those word verification things asked me to type in some scribble-looking words, with the instructions ''Please prove that you're not a robot''.

Prove that I'm not a robot? **That's** a bit of an ask!

And just typing in some words doesn't prove I'm a robot: maybe it proves I'm a really smart robot!


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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Good parenting

Even though I've been a dad several years, it was only in mid-February of this year that I thought to provide these for my children.

Been remiss in me duties, I've been.


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