Archive for October, 2003

The world needs more like Jim McDermott

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

I’m sure that right-wing pundits and peoples wince whenever they hear the name.

Rep. McDermott has a remarkable history of voting for the right thing [from my opinions anyway]. He consistantly votes the long view [not what is best for us right now, but what is best in 50 years], he consistantly votes against war and warmongering, and he consistantly votes against the removal of civil liberties. On social services he’s mixed – but I almost always agree with his choices.

It makes it kind of hard to send the guy letters, though. I mean, my best mode for writing to congresspeople is irate – but all I can ever say when writing a letter to McDermott is ‘You done good. Keep up the good work.’

Sometimes I wonder if I should just stop.. but it seems that a show of support is a nice thing to do.. and it’s so reassuring to have a representative that represents me.

Of course, that makes me wonder about my fellow constituants. Enough of them must agree with McDermott to vote him into office.

I’ve only heard him speak once – at an antiwar rally – and he said what needed to be said, and pulled no punches. He was a good public speaker – I suppose that’s hardly suprising – but he looked older than I expected. I guess not everyone turns warmongering and conservative as they age – well, I knew that already..

Mostly, I wish he were younger because I want him around and voting in the house for another 50 years. 😉

In other news

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

I registered,, and a few other varients. Look for ‘Sheer Sound Studios’, the alliteration kings, coming soon to a web browser near you. Features will include downloadable tracks and a attempt to sucker more electronica musicians into my lair by offering free recording time 😉

Okay, so..

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

Beginning to make forward progress on the parking meter code again, after a long case of writer’s block.

[They never tell you writer’s block applies to programmers. Perhaps it doesn’t apply to *all* programmers. I wouldn’t know. I just know that sometimes I can spit out code as fast as I can type, and other times it takes me several minutes for each line. I call the second condition being ‘blocked’, and it’s really frustrating. ]

Ron is hopefully coming over tonight – he was supposed to come last night, but didn’t quite get out of some meeting in time. Looking forward to taht, no doubt.

Some anonymous person [and I hate to guess who] posted in my journal ‘oh, yeah, quitting is easy, I’ve done it dozens of times’. Well, obviously. I imagine in this case I will restart on purpose.. but I want to go a few months first, to make sure I’m not addicted. [This makes no sense, does it?]

Whoever said dance like no one’s watching didn’t really mean it? Or did they?

Sometimes I wonder about the significance of the fact that the english word ‘mean’ means both ‘average’ and ‘cruel’.

I talked to a really cool guy last night.. he was just standing, waiting for the bus.. I’m slowly getting used to the idea that most of the people wandering the streets are, in fact, friendly.

Is P. right? Do I still see rejection where none exists? Am I outcast by my own mind? How humerous..

Maybe I should see a counsoler.

[watches the hard drive lights blink for a second or three]

I can’t shake the feeling that my reality comes in frames, with frames of nonreality interleaving. Or something.

Right eye swirls the colors togeather. Left eye renders absolute fact. Who would think that left/right stereotypes could apply to vision? Perhaps we’re never supposed to learn how to switch.

Being on the right side is almost like a drug experience in and of itself.

Why does it matter if I’m crazy? I have to be crazy to do what I have to do. But I must start moving forward again.. I’ve spent a year standing still on everything except making money, and in ten years, a hundred years, it will matter not one bit how much money I’ve made.

Learn to have perspective.

I’ve decided, after experimentation, that it’s better to have lots of friends than lots of money. I’ve tried both ways, and it’s pretty clear which one is more fun and ultimately more productive.

Maybe I’ll go to SeattleWireless’s hack night. I want to try and get the baby laptop working anyway.. and, really, isn’t that kind of thing what hack night is all about? That, and it sounds like I could find several friends in the SW crew. Apparently one of the founders is also a musician who records technoesque stuff.. maybe he’d like to jam sometime?

It’s rediculous that I have almost no friends to hang with.

Ah well.

back to work

More Indigo Girls Lyrics [ Hammer And A Nail ]

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

Clearing webs from a hovel
A blistered hand on the handle of a shovel
I’ve been digging too deep, I always do

I see my face on the surface
I look a lot like narcissis
A dark abyss of a emptiness
standing on the edge of a drowning blue

I look behind my ears for the green
and even my sweat smells clean
the glare off the white hurt my eyes

I’ve got to get out of bed,
Get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands
Not just my head,
I think myself in a jail
But now i know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose

Had a lot of good intentions
Sit around for fifty years and then collect the pensions
I’ve seen the road to hell
and just where it starts

But my life is more than a vision
the sweetest part is acting after making a decision
start seeing the whole as the sum of its parts

My life is part of the global life
I found myself becoming more immobile
when I think a little girl in the world can’t do anything

A distant nation my community,
A street person my responsability
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring

Many of our artists may not last.. but people will be listening to the Indigo Girls 500 years from now, if we still have the technology to play back what has been recorded.

I think..

Wednesday, October 8th, 2003

I think I’m going to give up smoking [as in inhaling burning anything] for a while.

It’s just not doing me any good, ultimately.

To quote a Robert Aspin novel (from memory and incorrectly I expect), ‘Skeeve, the problem isn’t that you’re drinking too much. It’s that you’re drinking at the wrong time. And I don’t mean like the wrong time of day.’

This isn’t a point in my life where I need to have anything but clarity. I have a complex maze of decisions, and I have to make them all right.


P.s. message to the universe: I don’t want to be an asshole. But I don’t want to conform, either. How does one balance these two conflicting desires?

Indigo Girls lyrics

Sunday, October 5th, 2003

Have you ever been listening to a song, and suddenly started crying, and not known why?

Anyway, this is what did it.

Some will strut and some will fret
See this an hour on the stage
Others will not but they’ll sweat
In their hopelessness in their rage
We’re all the same the men of anger and the women of the page

They published your diary and that’s how I got to know you
Key to the room of your own and a mind without end
And here’s a young girl on a kind of a telephone line through time
And the voice at the other end comes like a long lost friend

So I know I’m alright life will come and life will go
Still I feel it’s alright cause I just got a letter to my soul
When my whole life is on the tip of my tongue
Empty pages for the no longer young
The apathy of time laughs in my face
You said, “Each life has its place”

The hatches were battened the thunderclouds rolled and the critics stormed
The battle surrounded the white flag of your youth
If you need to know that you weathered the storm of cruel mortality
A hundred years later I’m sitting here living proof

So you know you’re alright life will come and life will go
Still you feel it’s alright someone’ll get a letter to your soul
When your whole life is on the tip of your tongue
Empty pages for the no longer young
The apathy of time laughed in your face
Did you hear me say, “Each life has its place”

The place where you hold me dark in a pocket of truth
The moon had swallowed the sun and the light of the earth
And so it was for you when the river eclipsed your life
And sent your soul like a message in a bottle to me and it was my rebirth

So we know we’re alright
Though life will come and life will go
Still you’ll feel it’s alright
Someone’ll get a letter to your soul
Then you know you’re alright
Then you feel you’re alright
And you hear dry your eyes
And you know it’s alright
And you hear dry your eyes
And you know it’s alright
And it’s alright
Though life will come and life will go
Someone gets your soul
When my whole life is on the tip of my tongue
Empty pages for the no longer young
You said
Each life has it’s place
You said
Each life has it’s place
It’ll be alright

gender and journal comments

Sunday, October 5th, 2003

I’ve noticed something odd – all my female friends always have like 10 or 15 comments on journal entries, whereas all my male friends always have like 1 or 2.

I’m pondering if there’s any actual meaning to this, or if it’s just one of those things.

Comment with your opinion. 😉


bleh and geekery

Sunday, October 5th, 2003

1) I’ve been deciding that I’m taking this whole ‘never believe anything good anyone says about me’ thing a little too far. Today I was actually contemplating whether a friend of mine actually didn’t like me at all, and merely pretended to. And then I had to ask myself, why would anyone bother? I’ve seriously contemplated whether everything I’ve ever recorded sucks, and people are just telling me it’s good to keep from hurting my feelings. This has _got_ to stop. I mean, it’s striking _me_ as pathetic. Come on, sheer, get a grip here..

2) So I got my mac back yesterday.. and today I hooked everything back up to try a few test recordings with the VoicePrizm. Foolishly, while I was just messing around on the keys getting warmed up, I let it update the operating system. The last step was a reboot, and when it finished that, ‘Your computer has crashed and needs to be reset’ in six languages, upon reboot.

Reboot three times. Same result. Hmm. This is not good. At this point I’m starting to seriously consider going back to the PC.. this was supposed to be painless!

Well, actually, it more or less was.. I pulled down the handy copy of “OSX for unix geeks” (actual title) that P. bought me for my birthday, and looked up ‘single user mode’ in the index. A few seconds later I was watching the console and noted that the reason for the Big Nasty Reset Message was that the module had done something bad and awful and terrible.

So i rebooted without the 896es plugged in, downloaded the latest drivers from MOTU’s web site, rebooted again, and plugged the firewire interfaces back in. All was again happy, and I resolved not to sob into my mouse.

Note to apple: might not be a horrible idea to let us SEE TEH CONSOLE MESSAGES! Yes, I know, you want to be all user friendly and all, but how the fsck are people going to figure out what’s wrong when things break if you don’t let them see the kernel panics when they happen.

Ah well. At least it wasn’t that hard to figure out. I wondre if anyone has compiled a list of all the ‘magic keystrokes at boot’ for OSX. There sure seem to be a lot of them.

And I can’t sing today worth anything, probably as a result of spending a hour singing yesterday in the music store trying out the voiceprizm to decide if it was worthy of spending medium-large chunks of money on. (my final decision: it is. I jokingly call it the ‘Brittney Spears Box’ – because it can make even me sound good. For that matter, it can make me sound like Brittney, which leaves me with the urge to look inside my jeans to make sure nothing funny happened overnight involving hedge clippers..

Once my voice comes back, I will have great fun with this thing.

Still no musicians to jam with. E-mailed mike, he said we should get togeather but didn’t include date, time, or other thoughts of that sort. Left voicemail for Ron again.. maybe he’ll call back, I hope. E-mailed some random people on musician finter services. Maybe I should drive down to guitar center and see if they have one of those ‘musician-finder’ corkboards. Called Lara (mostly to get details of computer stuff) and think maybe I’ve talked her into helping debug my rhythm. Left a e-mail for Patti, no answer.

Am I like really obnoxious or something? Would someone please tell me if so?

Actually, I doubt if I’ll get a answer to that, since by dent of my texas ‘ten page journal entries’ you’ve all probably put me on friend-ignore filters.

At least my mac still loves me. (To quote Hackers, ‘You and me, Lisa!’)

Maybe it wouldn’t be so tempermental if I named it. Lisa strikes me as kind of a good name, actually. Hmm.


Saturday, October 4th, 2003

I woke up depressed.. ironically, in revenge for not missing someone, when the question is asked I find that the next day I do miss them. Hm.. I guess I dserved this.

Then I realized.. wait a second, Sheer, this is not like you. You’re sitting in a room surrounded only by the whine of the hard disks, no wonder you’re depressed.

So, envision each of those tiny heads over a spinning platter as a tiny record pickup, touching grooves of vinyl. Even upstairs I have a few hundred watts at my disposal, and it’s bloody well time to use it. What shall I listen to. Trance doesn’t seem to fit the mood.. I want something upbeat..

[reaches for his pile of 80s music..]

Insoc time. 😉

Hmm. the stereo up here doesn’t have enough bass.. I’m clipping the amp before I can feel it hitting me in the chest.. [forcable removal of depression through application of large amounts of moving air. Someone should write this one up for the psychiatric journals]

I wish I had more friends so I could throw a house party.. 😉

Oh, in other good news, my mac is back (with a new systemboard and a new display bezel, and the same hard disk and bumper stickers. [For those of you who wondered, those read ‘Carpe Noctem / Seize The Night’ and ‘DefCon 11’. ;-)]

I had a thought the other day.. I should really go to Cafe Press and make up some of the bumper stickers I’ve always wished I could buy:

‘Napster is communism and communism works’
‘Linux is communism and communism works’
‘I drive electric because I try *not* to be a asshole’
‘Everything I know, I learned in a library. School taught me how to spit. –Terry Prachett’
‘I’m PLUR, and I vote.’ [I imagine the nw-raves mailing list would have a feild day making fun of that one]
‘Pistons? Pistons? We don’t need no steeenking pistons! –Rod Wilde’ [for those of you who don’t get the joke, think what electric cars generally, as a rule of thumb, don’t have]
‘Your TV is physiologically addicting. Ask me how.’ [Great lead-in to the 60hz lecture, which no one believes..
‘I’m a musician, and I *like* Napster/Kazaa/WinMX/P2P.’ [and I always will. Even when my stuff is actually worth downloading. ;-)]
‘Music is far too important to be left to the professionals’

I’ll have to think of another fifteen or twenty or so. 😉

In the meantime, the basement is calling me. I can hear it..

Just _once_ I would like to see the ‘clip’ lights on on the sub amps. The problem is that unless the system is outside, I can’t safely test to that level without hearing protection. [As a bare minimum ;-)]

Peace out, y’all.


A test? & computer gifts

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

recently posted in her journal:

I don’t want a mate who only wants me if I can jump through a certain series of hoops and take a heap of abuse with a smile. I don’t need to be wealthy. I doubt I’ll find anyone who works; I’ll probably never have a family. I don’t believe in God. Why should I even bother studying for this test?

Strangely enough, I can relate. I think none of us want a mate who only wants us if we can only jump through a certain number of hoops – but all of us want certain things from our mates [both ‘mates’ in the sexual sense and in the, ‘eh, mate’ sense] and if they can’t provide, sometimes we find ourselves wishing they could and asking them to change..

And i’m as guilty of this as the next frood and probably doubly so – even though I hate it when people ask me to change. It’s all so awful – why are humans so broken and unhappy and isn’t there anything that can be done? JL’s voice echos in my head ‘You are not god’.

I mean, the other night I actually found myself yelling at myself internally.. ‘Look, they’re all just as afraid, and insecure, and as confused by the world as you are. There’s no reason why you can’t go up to the ones you don’t know and say hi. They’re not going to bite you, or make fun of you.. ‘

I guess that incident last year with the frat boys accusing me of looking gay and throwing water bottles at me and whatnot scared me off meeting new people more than I’d like to admit. Not that I’ve ever been any good at it anyway. But I do so want friends. Anyway, back to this test thing…

One of the things I was pondering recently was whether life was just a puzzle. Not a test, exactly, in the sense that I doubt it has pass/fail written all over it.. (I mean, what is a pass? Everybody hurts other people, everybody gets hurt, everybody dies, (almost) everybody pays taxes.. but a puzzle. What kind of puzzle, I’m not sure.

Like Lucienne, I’ll never have a family – by choice, I don’t want children for a whole lot of reasons. [
A: I’d make a horrible parent
B: this explains resource issues pretty well
C: It’s just not my thing

I’d like to think that I’ll still have the friends in 30 years I have now, but experience has taught me that some friends let link go dead, some friends die, and new friends appear.

As for why should anyone bother studying for the test – my only answer, and it’s not even reasonable, is because learning, when you’re not being graded, is joy. [Learning when you are being graded is evil, IMHO, but I know there are others who disagree with me strongly on this point, and even those who need the grades to motivate them]

Why should you keep playing this game? That’s a easier one. Because as long as you keep playing, you can always find winning moments. You can’t ever truly win, but you can have moments of happiness, and even joy. As soon as you stop playing, none of us know _what_ happens to you, but we presume you don’t get any of the above. And we’re all deprived of your company. 😉

I can see I’ve rambled in random directions again.

A friend of mine is trying to learn 3D rendering programs, and I’m likely to equip her with a computer powerful enough to handle that attempt. For some reason, this caused me to cast over a list in my mind of all the computer equipment I’ve given out over the years. Here’s a short list, because it amuses me:

1) JL – misc monitors, other hardware
2) Nicka – 486 laptop, AMD Athalon
3) Heather [friend of P.s] – P133
4) Lee – P-III, wireless networking hardware
5) – Celeron 433
6) Drachen – too much to list 😉
7) Pixel’s DJ friend – Celeron 433
8) DarlingBud’s boyfriend – P-II
9) Chris Mish – P-II, Pentium laptop
10) Woman [yes, that’s her alias] – 486

And I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked giving out systems. Maybe it’s because I know how much entertainment value I get out of computers, and I like giving a gift that I think will give it’s receiver entertainment. [Of course, if I were to also add in all the hours of frustration, I might not look at it the same way.. but in ratio, the frustration is very small compared to the enjoyment].