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Geek License Plates

Ever since I started my first job in Northern Virginia, I've noticed that there was an obscene amount of vanity license plates. You know, license plates that you can get from the DMV with your own personalized saying.
Well, I started keeping track of all the ones that I saw, but quickly gave up. There were just too many! And, boy were there some really really dumb ones. So, I decided to shift my focus to seeing how many geek related personalized plates I could spot and keep track of. Since Northern Virginia has an extremely high density of computer and high tech jobs, the number of geek plates I've observed has been very impressive. Here is the list I've collected (with lots of help from my friends!)

The Honda Memorial

Back in the day, I had a Honda Civic. Alas, it has been put to rest.


This is the sad (but amusing) story of my old Honda -- the history and "features" of my infamous vehicle. My good friend Dave was available to help me document the last days of this fine vehicle.

Blackhat & Defcon Collages


While I was at Blackhat and Defcon in 2002, I decided it would be cool to create an image collage that reflected what people were doing with their computers while connected to the wireless networks. I hacked some programs together and ran a sniffer for a few hours at both Blackhat and Defcon which collected about 40mb of GIF and JPEG files from the ether. After hacking some more programs a bit, I was able to generate some cool pictures from this raw data.

Music and Streaming


I've been on a constant search for the best music streaming software. I'm one of the few people it seems that isn't satisfied with iTunes. I want all of my music stored in an archival format (lossless) and streamable to any location or device. Read on to learn about the systems I've tried and what I'm currently using.

XBOX Car Audio

In 2005 I attempted to build a car-ready XBOX + XBMC system for playing digital audio. I finished it, but never got a chance to actually install it in a car. Oh well. It was a fun project and I've done my best to at least document it here a little.

Recent blog posts

Long overdue Geek Plate update

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These latest items have been sitting in a memo on my Palm Treo for months... Well, that was until I traded it in for an iPhone :-) Anyway, here's an update to the Geek Plates list.

No Selling Stuff!

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I came across an amusing sign at a gas station in Nashville, Tennessee.

Turkey Vultures

I've spent the last couple of months working on site at a client's location. I've spent most of the time in a conference room up on the 12th floor of the client's building. The view from the conference room is nice, but I was kind of freaked out during the first week in the room when several turkey vultures landed on the ledge just outside of the large glass windows right behind where I was sitting.

Game of Tag

I normally don't blog about myself much -- I mostly blog about my projects, etc. However, Rick tagged me. I don't know where this whole "tag, you're it" thing started. Oh well. Guess I'm on the hook now to respond. Read more to see how I answered the "fours".

Welcome Wifi Guests

Hello! Some of you reading this entry may have been directed here because you connected to the wireless network I have running at my house. If you joined the arionnet unprotected network and then tried to visit a web site, you might have been surprised to see this page. Don't worry, I didn't hack your computer or anything! However, you have been subjected to the restrictions of my wireless network. I'm not quite ready to allow anyone to have unfettered access to the Internet through my system. So in the meantime, please feel free to view the rest of Arion.Net and send me an IM or email to say "Hi!".

For those of you that are interested in the technical details of this wireless network thingie, read on for more info.

New Post After Long Hiatus!

Hey. After seeing that the last article posted was in December of 2004 (!!!) maybe you thought I'd given up on my web site. Not so fast! I've been busy with work, life, and everything in between. However, I've got some new content to post soon. Look for updated Geek Plates (yes, I'm still collecting them!), notes on my Wifi network at home, and other general geek-type stuff.

Airport Oddity

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Who would have thought that a snack pack of pistachio nuts would actually contain pistachio shells. Crazy talk!

Geek Plate update

Its been a while since I've updated the list of Geek Plates. Well, here's a slew of brand-new ones! Check out the full list for my sarcastic comments about each one and a pretty picture of the plate. :-)

I BYTE (turbo porsche)
CAR JPG (dot painted, mini cooper)

Passed Out in Style

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Passed out with Gucci shoes

I've been using a new RSS program on the Mac called PulpFiction (no relation to the movie) to read several news feeds. One of the interesting feeds I stumbled across was from the web site Flickr. Flickr is a online picture database where people can upload personal images and then tag them with keywords. I've subscribed to a few RSS feeds of tags I thought would be interesting (such as tokyo, japan, hongkong, washingtondc, and graffiti). A few weeks back I stumbled upon the picture above in the tokyo category. I laughed out loud for a while. Only in Tokyo would you find a woman passed out on the street on a Sunday morning wearing Gucci shoes.


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Ok. I admit it. I'm hooked on J-Dorama. What is J-Dorama you ask? Well, J-Dorama shows (or JDrama, whichever you prefer) are prime-time TV dramas shown in Japan. J-Doramas usually consists of ten to twelve 1-hour episodes about a group of people and their relationships. Most have a central theme as well, but it usually just provides a backdrop to the interpersonal stories. Since each show is 10-12 episodes in length, watching each one to completion provides a sense of closure. Once a show is over, thats usually the end of the story -- with the really popular ones occasionally spinning off to a 'special' or movie.

I don't really watch any prime time US TV; I never got into ER, CSI, or other similar shows since I guess I didn't find them very interesting. However, my fascination with most things Japanese has lead me to J-Dorama. I guess I have my friend Eric to thank, since he got me started. Last year, he mentioned that he used to watch old videotapes of J-Dorama shows in college. When I told him that I had been downloading a lot of fan-subbed anime, he asked if there were any places online to find fan-subbed J-Dorama, He was interested in getting a copy of one of his favorite shows called Shomuni, a story about a group of office ladies and their comedic struggles within a large company. After some digging, I found a copy of it -- along with lots and lots of other interesting shows. This is when I also discovered, a virtual clearinghouse for all dramas that have been produced in the last 15 years. After watching Shomuni and enjoying it, Eric recommended that I check out GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka. It is a story about an ex-motorcycle gang member who has cleaned up his act and decided to follow his lifetime dream of being a high school teacher. It may sound corny, but the show is fantastic. Of all of the shows I've watched, GTO is still my favorite. Here's a list of some of the other shows I've enjoyed:

  • Good Luck !! - a story about an airline pilot in training and the relationships he has with his mentor and a female mechanic whose parents died in a plane crash many years ago.
  • Beautiful Life - a heart-wrenching story about a young woman who is physically bound to a wheelchair and a man who brings her happiness.
  • Hero - a story about an unconventional public prosecutor in Tokyo and his assistant.
  • Star no Koi - a story about a famous but mediocre actress who falls in love with an average salaryman who is able to help her realize her potential.
  • News no Onna - a story about a female news anchor woman for a large TV station whose coldhearted nature is softened when she is forced to assume custody of her late husband's son.

I suppose that the reason I've been hooked on J-Dorama is that all of the shows deal with universal human interest issues but since they come from another country I find it fascinating to see the subtle differences in culture and lifestyle. So far, I've enjoyed every show I've watched. And the list of shows I still have to watch is always growing, thanks to While the fan-subs are great, I wish a distribution company would pick up some of these shows and produce formal releases here in the US!