We said goodbye to our buddy Rudy today. He was paralyzed five years ago after a slipped disc. After a successful surgery and rehab he was able to walk again for several years, but his condition  began to decline again recently and it was time to ease his suffering. He gave us 12 awesome  years and we will miss him dearly.

We said goodbye to our buddy Rudy today. He was paralyzed five years ago after a slipped disc. After a successful surgery and rehab he was able to walk again for several years, but his condition began to decline again recently and it was time to ease his suffering. He gave us 12 awesome years and we will miss him dearly.

Built this table and benches over the last couple of weekends. Pretty happy with how it turned out.

Built this table and benches over the last couple of weekends. Pretty happy with how it turned out.

Alex turned 3 today. Not sure how that happened.

Alex turned 3 today. Not sure how that happened.

This guy was out flying a drone at La Jolla Cove tonight. Would love to see his footage. (at La Jolla Cove)

This guy was out flying a drone at La Jolla Cove tonight. Would love to see his footage. (at La Jolla Cove)

On Philip Seymour Hoffman

In March of 2000, in lieu of a spring break trip to Florida, my college girlfriend and I went to Manhattan. We had a lot of fun and saw several shows and thus spent a lot of time waiting in line for the TKTS location that was in the lobby of the World Trade Center (it was much warmer than the Time Square location).

I know we saw Rent, and Chicago, and maybe one other musical. But what I remember most is that our trip coincided with the run of a play called True West that featured two of my favorite actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly.

It’s a Sam Shepherd play that some may know from it’s run in Steppenwolf with two unknown (at the time) actors named Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. I considered this Broadway revival to be my best chance to see something comparable.

I went alone for some reason. My girlfriend may not have wanted to go, I can’t remember. I was only able to obtain an obstructed-view seat but took the chance anyway. The seat was unobstructed and quite good. It was a small theater and I was only a few feet away from greatness.

It’s just two actors on stage for almost the entire play, portraying the roles of two estranged brothers. The guys would periodically switch roles throughout the run (I saw Hoffman as the drifter) which is a testament to their talent.

I’ve enjoyed and admired the work of Philip Seymour Hoffman for many years, and we’re lucky to have his film work that will carry on long after his untimely passing, but I’m so thankful that I was able to see him work up close, if only for a couple of hours.

Inside Google’s Driverless Car

parislemon:

Burkhard Bilger:

The Google car has now driven more than half a million miles without causing an accident—about twice as far as the average American driver goes before crashing. Of course, the computer has always had a human driver to take over in tight spots. Left to its own devices, Thrun says, it could go only about fifty thousand miles on freeways without a major mistake. Google calls this the dog-food stage: not quite fit for human consumption. “The risk is too high,” Thrun says. “You would never accept it.” The car has trouble in the rain, for instance, when its lasers bounce off shiny surfaces. (The first drops call forth a small icon of a cloud onscreen and a voice warning that auto-drive will soon disengage.) It can’t tell wet concrete from dry or fresh asphalt from firm. It can’t hear a traffic cop’s whistle or follow hand signals.

And yet, for each of its failings, the car has a corresponding strength. It never gets drowsy or distracted, never wonders who has the right-of-way. It knows every turn, tree, and streetlight ahead in precise, three-dimensional detail. Dolgov was riding through a wooded area one night when the car suddenly slowed to a crawl. “I was thinking, What the hell? It must be a bug,” he told me. “Then we noticed the deer walking along the shoulder.” The car, unlike its riders, could see in the dark. Within a year, Thrun added, it should be safe for a hundred thousand miles.

I’ll repeat: “The car, unlike its rider, could see in the dark.”