Archive for October, 2003


Friday, October 3rd, 2003

Well, I flew home from texas today.. P. came and got me from the airport (thank you! ;-)) and we went and had sushi at the sushi express. [For those of you seattle readers that like sushi.. oh, wait, I only have two seattle readers, and one of them was already there – but, for those of you seattle readers who like sushi, Sushi Express is in the ‘cheap but good’ category, with miso that’s out of this world, and they deliver their sushi on a _train_ – how cool is that? of course, it leads to me thinking of all kinds of spurs, automatic routing systems, and cuteness like putting the soy sauce in tank cars. But it’s still cool.

Then I was going to go home and go to sleep, really.

Except I got one of those ‘come dance with us’ emails. And, hey, why not.. so I did, and ran into what I perhaps somewhat optimistically think of my friends..

It was great, as it always is. Three steller DJs (and one who was definately interesting, although I couldn’t quite get into, at the very beginnign). Good stuff.

Only down side marring the event was that the bass went away. Now, I complain when there’s too much bass, undoubtedly.. but too little might be even worse ;-). Apparently the amp driving the subs overheated, and then never quite did cool down.

[Either that, or they told us that to make us feel better and actually the management told ’em to keep it down to a low earthquake.. ;-)]

Anyway, I offered to help, which was both uber geeky and probably not the right thing to do. My theory is they’re trying to run bridged into a 4 ohm load with a amp that doesn’t like driving 4 ohms bridged. But that’s a hard thing to communicate and I couldn’t tell if the sound guy was saying ‘no, that’s not the case’ or ‘you’re on crack’ or ‘I don’t understand you’. Anyway, should not offer to help.. none of my business.. argh, perpetual engineers disease or soemthing..

I tipped the bar lots, which seemed like a good compromise as I was getting nothing but water, which is free. I always feel bad about this.. I mean, presumably the bars are hosting the music as a incentive to get people to come drink. But I very seldom drink, and never mix drinking and dancing. [Trust me, it’s bad enough when I don’t 😉 but at least I have lots of fun..]

Still, my body is reminding me that it hasn’t had any sleep in a long, long time.

So guess what I’m going to do. 😉

G’night, all. Tomorrow, parking meters, oh boy oh boy.

Local Heros..

Thursday, October 2nd, 2003

I was talking to a friend of mine on Brigidine ( 9390) about T-shirts and misadventures, recalling the time I wore a linux T into a meeting at microsoft..

and this lead to recounting the story of the youth who wore a pepsi shirt to Coke day – and it occured to me – this guy was a local hero.

Maybe he originally did it as a joke.. and it is rather funny.. but he also was making a statement, possibly inadvertently, that his education was not for sale to any corperation that would make a business agreement with his school..

.. which is kind of a novel idea in this day and age, with channel one broadcasting to our children, coke and pepsi vying for their affections before they even get out of high school.. [start marketing to them early..]

No, seriously, I think it’s pretty shameful that we’re allowing our children to be invaded by corperate propiganda before they’ve learned enough to develop immunities to it. I remember back in my day (geeze, geeze) that we actually had, as part of our english courses, a few days spent on understanding the mechanisms of advertising – deliberate attempts to inject immunity from such things into us.

Now any teacher teaching people how to be immune from ads would probably be let go. Heck, students apparently get suspended for failing to toe the party line.

Nonconformity in a high school is a bad thing — The principal of Hylton High School, 1995

Here’s to all you future local heros out there.. those of you with the balls to inject your own signal on top of Channel One, wear Coke shirts on Pepsi day, point out in loud voices the obvious fallicy of nutritional education sponsered by McDonalds.. to the younger generation of intelligent rebels, we’re counting on you. Make it funny, and make it hit them where it hurts.

Memesheep, memesheep, bah bah bah

Thursday, October 2nd, 2003

It occured to me the other day that LJ is the perfect medium for meme-echos to occur. Here we are, all reading each other’s journals.. (Well, I *think* we’re reading each other’s journals.. anyway, enough of you all keep commenting on mine to make me think I’m being read) and hence accepting the new input of each other’s ideas and being influenced by them..

So in a sense, the LJ community as a whole becomes one large ‘brain’ around which ideas echo, and in which we are each individual neurons. Of course, this is true of any community and any time people communicate, but the interesting thing about LJ is that there’s a record of it.

I wonder, if one took a computer and taught it to look for both correlations in who is friended who and correlations of ideas (as identified by keywords, URLs, etc) what one would learn? BEsides that quizzes migrate, which we already all knew 😉

I also wonder what, if a analasys was made, it would turn out the most popular ideas to mutter about were. I’m betting love and sex would be right up there, proving that humanity is what it is. (IT’s amazing, that with all the time we’ve collectively spent thinking about these issues, we haven’t found the perfect key to all happiness in sexual relationships.. you’d think.. ). But I wonder what topics #3 – #20 would be.

Poetry? What is wrong with me?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

Carrier lights flickering in dusky twilight
Information dancing up a storm
VU meters dip to the beat, high as shit
Something about this scene is not the norm

Closing off the pulse, looking for the darkness
Turning up the dreams, looking for the light
Coming down from dreams, looking for a answer
Something about this scene is not quite right

Words scroll endlessly on the windows
People attest to care who lives or dies
Information living out it’s microsecond lifespan
Packets racing, no thought to hows or whys

Tube fed babies nestling in the flickering mirrors
“Buy now, you must have our product to be right”
Hard drive lights flashing on all the servers
Commercialism blazing terabits into the night

One single human sits behind one single desk
Thinking of one other single human who couldn’t care less
One single finger strikes one single key
One single answer finds its way to me

City spinning outward, the myriad millions
nine tenth asleep / one tenth awake
each one dreaming of commercialized answers
be rich and own a BMW, for capitolism’s sake

Did you see me there behind the windows
Could you recognize the flavor of my words
If I called tomorrow would you even answer
If I cried out, could you say you heard

Poetry, they say, is so self centered
Hard to imagine other, fictional plights
But you can write other people’s stories
You can send your own kilobits into the night

Hack the Spew!


Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

Apparently Rep. Mark Souder (R-3rd/IN) declared on the floor of the house that drug use was “a sin” that must be stopped.

Okay, I have a few questions for the honorable (maybe) representitive. I don’t expect he’ll ever read my journal, but maybe this will help me marshel my thoughts for the next time someone says something like that in real life.

1) Have you ever had a drink? THat’s a drug, you’ve commited a sin.
2) If your children were suicidal, would you place them on psychoactive drugs (i.e. antidepressents)? That’s a drug, welcome to the sinful world.
3) Why is it we need laws against things just because some person happens to think they are sinful? I think war is a far, far bigger sin than any drug use could ever be – does that mean I can put the whole lot of you all in jail for authorizing a war on a false premise?
4) Why would drug use be a sin? This part I’m serously not getting. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done any of the hard drugs.. but my personal drug habits such as they are seem to me to be about as sinful as swatting a few moths. Really, I’m pretty sure they hurt nobody. They may stunt my personal development a very small amount.. but it’s a very small amount indeed, and they lead to much happiness.

ah well. I see my latest build is done, so I better go do some actual work. More on this theme later.. (and over, and over, and over..)

Not fade away..

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

One of the things about working with Access in all it’s slowness is I have lots of time to do things like writing journal entries while I’m waiting for builds to finish

Feel like trash,
You make me feel clean
I’m in the black
Can’t see or be seen
Baby, baby, baby, light my way

A friend of mine once said, long ago, ‘Something’s up with the universe. Can you feel it?”.

Right now I definately get the sense something is up with my personal universe. I haven’t fully come to a understanding of what though, but it’s definately pretty significant, whatever it is.

Such memories.. I remember this song, crawling around my parents attic in fairfax wiring up the phone system and dragging speaker wires around in my teeth.. the Amiga I had built into my closet.. (I didn’t have a case for it, so I screwed it to a board. Eventaully this board found its way into a desk.. I remember the floppy drive, screwed into the desk.. I wish I had pictures, it was pretty funny.

I also remember booting the machine, a three floppy process as I copied all kinds of interesting things to the recoverable RAM disk.

I remember it was truly delightful the day I plugged in the hard disk. Ahh, no more flipping floppies.

Baby, baby, baby, light my way

More watts, please

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

Why is it no one ever puts big enough headphone amplifiers in CD players? It’s like they never consider that we might be driving full-size headphones with them.

Actually, this one isn’t so much not big enough (it does just fine on loud content) as it is not having enough gain for the quiet tracks.

I still remember how bitterly Spisak debated my assertation that these Labtec Elite-820s were good headphones. I have to admit, I’m still a little amazed.. but $10 for 20hz-20khz and something like 40 ohms impedance..

Okay, so I like low impedence phones. Quit smirking. I’m not a DJ, I’m allowed. To me it’s low impedence enough only if you can feel parts of the board / cd player / whatever warming up from the load. Nothing gives you that phat head-spacing bass like a nice 8 ohm pair of headphones. Hard on the battery life, though.

Of course, that was part of why Spisak was doubting my taste. No one goes for *LOW* impedence in headphones.

But you get so many more dBs per volt that way..

I haven’t found any phones.. and in this I include the $200 ones that the local music store sells.. that can match the 820s for precision bass, volume handling (i.e. doesn’t fall apart when driven at 1W), etc.

I think I better order some more pairs of them. [I tend to give them out to friends.. ‘here, check these out’.. ]

Heh heh heh. I just found a 24-pack of them. That might be a little bit of overkill.

Looking at digital cameras.. want to get a SLR, but don’t want to pay for it. Hmm.. What to do. I really like the ‘all-the-controls-are-on-the-lens’ style of my old Canon (35mm SLR) but I haven’t been able to find a digital with that style.

I wish I had some Dire Straits with me.. I’ve been feeling a hankering to listen to some.

I remember the first time I listened to ‘Money For Nothing’ – I got it because of the title track – just a MTV listener type, that’s me – but I remember how amazingly good I found it, starting from track 1. I was chipping paint from the back wall of my parents house, and I set up my stereo, with the two speakers that I’d rebuilt with piezo horns and good foam-surround woofers, driven by a Marantz receiver that I later gave to my dad and a Sony diskman.. and as I blasted away the paint with water, and scraped it with a scraper, I played that album over and over, and was totally floored with how good it was. (Aside from ‘Twisting by the pool’ which has always annoyed me)

I can still hear every song just by thinking about it.. such great stuff. It’s odd.. I think the memory of chipping paint off the house is fixed in my head *because* of the music.

I love the run in tunnel of love.. and brothers in arms, which ends with a line that is true eternally: But it’s written in the star light.. and every line in your palm.. we’re fools to make war on our brothers in arms..

And, of course, Telegraph Road.. a song I will never get tired of.

If I ever make anything a tenth as good as Dire Straits, I’ll be a happy camper.

Corperate Casual My Ass..

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

One of the fun things about the job I do in Texas is the exciting oppertunity to dress up like a monkey every day, and go pretend to be, if not conservative, at least not so rabidly liberal that I’d donate to the ACLU or something. [Yes, I have. Card carrying member. Proud of it, too]

But, since I drop the act come lunchtime, this can lead to some amusing – um – confusions. One of the people who works here was overheard remarking I was very ‘Seattle’.

SEattle has become synonymous with liberal? Unreconstructed leftism, perhaps? [I’d try and point to P.’s journal entry on the subject, but I’ve given up on LJ-tags. They’re not consistant, and they don’t love me]

[I wonder if it would kill the LJ people to accept a few of the more obvious mispellings and perversions of their tags. I suppose every ounce of CPU counts.. ]

Anyway, come 1pm my ‘nice boy who would never march in the streets shouting about what a louse bush is’ act is back in place, and everyone is more or less happy.

But it’s always strange, when I catch myself in the mirrors which adorn so many of the cubicle walls.. [to make them feel slightly larger than the average elevator no doubt]. I don’t really recognize myself with my hair combed and tied back, in button up shirts and pants that don’t have Levi on them anywhere or any holes in them.

A friend recently asked if my hair was my security blanket. [And my old boss used to joke that like Sampson, if I were to cut it, I’d lose all my mysical make-the-machines-work powers]. I don’t think my hair is, exactly, but I think perhaps my entire appearance is. I find it reassuring that no one has yet managed to cram me into a suit and tie for more than a week at a time, and yet I’m not working at burger king. When someone does.. and I’m sure tehy will, sooner or later.. I’ll know that I’ve well and truly failed.

My friend at the search engine (Accenture? Overture? I can never remember what they’re called) emailed again offering me a job in pasadena. Oh, how nice. I’d take it, but I’ve got more than enough to do already.

Whups, dinner calls, must run