naked people in yellow hats.

So, this morning I ran the 92nd annual Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco with my brother. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had at a footrace. It was 12km, or about 7.5 miles. Not too long. The fun started on the bus with the costumes and the driver keeping us entertained. The downside was having to board at 6:00am. I left the apt at 5:15.

We got to SF about 7, and headed in to where all the runners were gathering. There were already at least several thousand waiting at the starting line. To keep everyone entertained while we waited, they distributed thousands and thousands of tortillas. And by distribute, I mean threw at us. By 8:00am pretty much all of the 70,000 runners had arrived.

start of race

We started the race at a leisurely jog. In a few minutes we started noticing some good costumes. Then we noticed a few dozen people without costumes, or any other clothing, except shoes and a yellow hat. They were all old and wrinkly, so I didn’t snap any pictures. Nor was I able to determine why they wore day-glo yellow hats.

Probably the best costume we saw the whole race were a group of people dressed as salmon who started at the end of the race and ran backwards:

racing upstream in salmon costumes

Not pictured is the guy dressed as a sushi chef who flanked them. We ended up finishing in about an hour and a half (we decided to take it easy so we could see the sights and because going really fast was kind of impossible with the crowd). If you’re interested in more pics and videos, check out the complete posting on gallery.

Oh. And I beat Ocarina of Time. I rule Ganon. Now explain to me Cameron how WW is not a copy?

all that is required is for good men to do nothing… the lobbyists will take care of the rest

A bill is in a House subcommittee that should really, really pass. It basically tries to roll back some of the provisions of the DMCA (evil, evil law signed in 1998) that make copying of movies and songs you own potentially illegal (for example, it’s illegal because of the DMCA to copy practically any DVD you own). It also makes it illegal to reverse-engineer many products. This law should die a horrible, horrible death. This bill is a start.

Most of you know I’ve been bitching about the DMCA since 2000 and I’ve been cease-and-desisted by the MPAA and subpoena’d by Mattel over my various protestations (thank you, UT student legal services…). Now there’s a clear way to do at least something about it. I mailed my congressdude (and also Lloyd Doggett, for old-times’ sake). You should too!
You can learn more about the DMCA and the new bill here . Click the link “write to congress” and do your duty! EFF has another letter here.


Yes, it’s true. We went and bought tickets to go to Austin for UT graduation. We’re getting there on Friday night (21st) and leaving Tuesday afternoon (25th). Let me know if there are any parties we need to go to or if you might want to host us on your floor 🙂

prince of persia: yeah, it rules

Last night, I concluded my rocky love affair with the newish Prince of Persia game, “The Sands of Time.” I actually started playing it a while ago, and got about 70% of the way through the game, when I was stymied by a bug. I had recently saved, and a platform that was supposed to rise when I stood on it did not. Since I had no save game since 40%, in order to make it any further, I had to restart play at that point.

The game is beautiful. I think that it my be, graphically, the peak of what the PS2 will achieve (though Gran Turismo 4 won’t be any slouch, either). It has amazing lighting, shadows, and modeling. Part of the effect is acheived by giving the entire game a hazy sort of look, but it works for me. Even better than the way it looks, though, are the controls. I have never played a game with such a rich palette of character controls that was so effortless to use. It’s challenging while not being frustrating, with everything from running along walls to swinging around poles and sliding gracefully down ladders. It just works.

And the controls clear the way for the best part of the game: the puzzles. The game is basically one long string of movement puzzles, with a few fights thrown in. The puzzles usually revolve around getting from one room to the next, either by climbing or descending or opening a gate. Frequently, you’ll screw up, and end up plummeting to your death or impaled on spikes. That’s where another unique aspect of the game comes in: the dagger of time. With a press of a button, you can reverse time for 10 or 15 seconds, and give that tricky jump another try. It removes all the frustration but none of the sense of acheivement from the game.

Last night, I finally finished it. It took maybe 20 hours of gameplay, which in the age of Final Fantasy X seems paltry. But it was very satisfyingly spread over a couple of months, including the time to replay half the game :P. The game is out, I think, for the PS2, gamecube, XBOX, and PC, so there’s really no excuse for not giving it a spin. Probably the best action-based game I’ve played in years.