Chris Rapier
20 January 2010 @ 02:03 pm
Losing the supermajority is not a death knell to the idea of progress. In fact, the problem has long been that even having a supermajority doesn't mean that you'd end up with a cohesive majority. Anyone that has seen the machinations of the Blue Dogs knows that. It's also important to keep in mind that the party is power traditionally loses seats in midterm and special elections. It's just how it goes. The fact that the economic crisis is on going and that there is an awful lot of populist hatred of the government (of either party) sort of drives that home. That the dems have fielded some really poor candidates doesn't help matters any. Of course, being that all of these thing go through primaries the voters really only have themselves to blame.

Remember, all politics are local. Some voters may have been been voting against Obama on Tuesday but most of them were voting against a bad *local* candidate that ran a piss poor campaign.

Lat thing to keep in mind... Clinton failed and failed big on health care reform as well. We all know how that turned out. So let's not get hung up on stories of the 'inevitable decline' of the Obama administration.
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
04 January 2010 @ 04:14 pm
It's been a long time. The past month has been, to say the least, a little hectic. There was a week in Atlanta, a week long trip to Philly, and a weekend trip to Chicago all since the first week of December. I had an amazing time on these adventures and, for two out of the three, I had a fantastic traveling companion. It's really great to actually go on a trip with someone who really enjoys traveling.

All thing considered last year had some really astoundingly bad parts but some really wonderful things happened as well. Things that hold a lot of promise for the future. I'm really excited to see where my life takes me over the next few to six months. I have a feeling a lot of really cool things will be happening to me.

Yeah, I'm being vague. I don't know why. In time I'll say more.

Also, my feet are very cold. For some reason this makes me have to pee.
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
08 November 2009 @ 12:39 am
While I'm very disappointed with the inclusion of anti-choice language in the health care bill I will say I'm pleased we have something. It sure as hell ain't perfect but it is a hell of alot better than the status quo.
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
28 October 2009 @ 03:53 pm
I spent the past two days trying to nail down a problem with an application called wkhtmltopdf. It's just a small app built on top of Qt that allows you to generate a PDF from a webpage. I use it in a webapp I built and it was working just ducky. Then I upgraded to OS X 10.6 and it started failing in a huge horrible way. It would just suck up lots cycles and spit out errors until I sighup'd it. It took me two days but I finally figured out the problem. Apple must have changed the way in which user nobody works under 10.6 in some weird way that prevents it from accessing the font cache. No font cache - no pdf. When I run the web server as myself it works just as I expected it to. Of course, that's really fucking dumb.

Oh, when I build the app against the Qt 4.6 beta it doesn't lock up... it just takes a hell of a long time and creates a nicely laid out pdf wherein all the text is replaced with capital As in boxes. I really do blame Apple for this.

Nice. Real nice.

EDIT: Also, Hey Apple thanks for completely horking the X11 libs and making it nearly impossible to update them to a current version forcing people to use the xquartz ports. I think I want to downgrade from 10.6
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
14 October 2009 @ 01:47 pm
I've managed not to die for another year. :)
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
07 October 2009 @ 04:05 pm
I don't like Michael Pollan. There, I said it!
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
28 September 2009 @ 06:14 pm
I want to thank everyone who left a note following my announcement a few days ago. I also want to thank everyone who has been there for me over the past few months - even those just sending good thoughts my way. Its been a hard slog and I still have some crappy times ahead of me (paperwork &c.) but I have, so far, succeeded in what I set out to do - namely, not become a gibbering idiot. I owe a lot of that to all my friends and family that have been so wonderful and understanding in all of this. Thanks again, I have a lot of really amazing people in my life.

On a happier note, I'm *really* looking forward to 4 days in New Orleans. Its great city and I'm really looking forward to building some new and improved memories of that place. I'll update people when I get back. I have a slew of great restaurants that I'm planning on going to (Jaques-Imos, Cochon, Stella, etc) and what will hopefully be a great concert.
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
23 September 2009 @ 11:40 am
Astute observers may have noticed that my posting frequency has been significantly reduced for some months now. Some of you may have wondered about this - others of you already know why. In any case, for the sake of oversharing I thought it has come time to actually explain this prolonged absence.

On May 27 my wife of two years and companion of seven, Tricia, left me. Its a sordid tale the details of which are both tragic and utterly banal at the same time. I'll not be going into them here but will simply say that she had her reasons and, while I don't agree with them, I have no choice but to accept them. Over the past few months I've been trying to do just that. Shortly after this happened I came to realize that I don't have any control over what happens to me but I can control how I react to these events. As such, I made a conscious decision to not become "that guy". Who "that guy" was changed from hour to hour but the idea was that I wasn't going to let this destroy me. As much as I loved (and still love) my wife I had no choice but to learn to live without her. I wouldn't, and couldn't, let this wreck any more of my life than it already had. So I've spent the past few months focusing on maintaining my performance at work, spending more time with my friends, keeping my house together, and not letting the little things slip. Stupid things like making my bed everyday, keeping the clothes from piling up, making sure the cats were fed and the boxes cleaned, became focal points that helped me impose some structure on the shit storm that was swirling around me.

It has mostly worked. I'm not 'over' Tricia. I still miss her and I accept that I will for a very long time. She was an important part of my life and someone that I care about very much. I can't just turn off those feelings of love and affection like a light switch. In fact, I don't know if I ever want to turn them off. I want to reshape these feelings into something healthier and positive rather than let it become a festering wound. I've had enough of that in my life and I don't really need anymore.

I will say that I am still angry. Not to the point of being mean or vindictive and not to the point where it's ruling my life. Its just something that is there (albeit fading as time passes). While this was traumatic, Tricia didn't act with any sort of malicious intent. This is just what she felt she needed to do and I've always encouraged her to do what she thought was right for her. Bravo for life's little ironies. Anyway, I'm not generalizing what happened to anyone else either. I'm not going to be cynical about all women, people, or relationships because of what happened with one woman in one relationship. That's just a kind of crazy I don't want to subscribe to.

In the meantime I've been social, reconnecting with a lot of people, meeting new people and generally getting on with the whole process of living. It has had its up and downs. I have good days and bad days. Lately I've been having more good days than bad so I'm feeling alright about where I am. Its not where I ever thought I would be but I rarely end up there anyway.

I'll be here off and on. I do keep track of people on here, but I don't know how much motivation I'll have to use LJ more frequently than I have been.

Next week I'll be taking a short vacation in New Orleans to see The Dead Weather at the House of Blues. I'm looking forward to that. Beer, fried, music. What more could you really want?
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
17 August 2009 @ 02:24 pm
So  
Its been a long time since I wrote anything in here. Maybe once I get some sleep and my brain re-engages I will address this problem. All I will say is that this has been the worst and best summer of my life.
 
 
 
Chris Rapier
13 August 2009 @ 02:16 pm
So I bought a duck. A dead duck but a duck nonetheless. Being that it was dead I decided my best move was to eat it. I dismembered it and pan seared the breasts. Very tasty but I was left with a lot of duck - including two legs. I was looking at the legs and, like any red blooded american male, the first thing I thought of was deep frying them. Southern fried duck. How could it be bad? How could it go wrong?

Turns out it can go wrong in a number of ways.

Primarily the problem is that ducks actually use their legs. So not only is the meat tougher its also a much stronger flavor which didn't work well with the minimalist seasoning I used. I have a couple more ducks coming in and with these I'll confit the legs and then southern fry them.

BTW: The duck breasts were good. One was slightly less rare than I like. The sauce was mushrooms, shallots, and pears in a seriously reduced chicken stock with some red wine. Need to bump up the acidity a bit next time.