- 24 October 2008 05:27pm: The sun is still up by the time I get home from work and I am listening to happy music. Must mean something. :)
- Today at 07:02am: Flies are out in force today. Everyone is flapping their hands about like they are trying to take off.
In four years in Tucson, I remember it snowing exactly once. Actually I don’t even remember the snow itself, but reading about it the next Monday morning in the Wildcat, because I had slept through the snowing (and immediate melting) and it having snowed was newsworthy enough to be on the front page. Not that the front page had to be terribly newsworthy when it came to the Wildcat. Although I think the Wildcat probably had more content and journalistic integrity than mX does, and I always pick up a copy of mX if I am going through Town Hall station at the right time of day. The price is right.
I have been rewriting bits of my website in PHP in order to improve my PHP coding skills. It’s painful because Perl (on which most of my website is already written) is about a million times more powerful in almost every regard. It’s sticky to configure I guess, and is horrible to maintain if written by someone who is unskilled in the ways of the Perl. This is why companies that do OpenSource web development tend to stick with PHP, which bundles itself with everything and dumps everything (including kitchen_sink_faucet_on()) into the same global namespace. Hence the need to brush up on PHP and the loathing of said PHP.
I have also been introducing Tristan 賢 to some of my music. Some of it seems to be taking. I have this dream that he won’t be as conventional in his approach to things artistic as my dad is. He has to figure out what he likes on his own though, and he will do that, but it is fun to show him things that he might not otherwise see or hear :)
So, speaking of music. I had the ol' iPod on random today, and it picked something I had ripped from Digitally Imported's chillout station that I liked. My collection is quite eclectic. I have industrial, video game (music), classical, rock, folk, stuff in Russian, techno, chillout, trance, and something I think is called noise that Theresa gave me, all taking up 39 of 40GBs on my iPod. I often find something previously undiscovered on my iPod, where it turns out that I like it a lot.
Anyway, this song I liked was in some Asian language and the artist was listed as Ayumi Hamasaki. Since Wikipedia is the best source of information for all things trivial (and some things not so trivial), I checked out her entry, and sure enough she is a Japanese pop singer-songwriter. Knowing that Tyler is into Japanese culture, and music, I sent him an e-mail asking if he had ever heard of her. To which he replied that he was aware of her existence and that she was Japans answer to Britney Spears! "Oh yuck!" I thoughts to myself, "I can't like her music now!" And it is possible that I wouldn't. Often the non-chillout versions of music that I like so much on Digitally Imported sucks a lot in it's vanilla unmixed revision. It's hard to say.
My friend Melly taught me that it isn't all right to have your own opinion on music. Especially if you aren't a musician, then if you liked, say Cake, it's because you are naïve. I don't get along with Melly so well anymore; it saddens me.
My other friend Theresa, on the other hand, taught me that music majors are people too (and as in Theresa's case, they can even be nice people), and that it's okay to have an opinion on music, even if you are, for example, a computer programmer with zero musical talent who just happens to like Cake (among other artists).
 but wait, there's more!
People you love, will turn their backs on youI've never had someone tell me, "Wow me too!" when I told them that my favoritest band in the world is Cake. Maybe it is just the way that I interpret their songs though, but I feel like I relate to what John McCrea is singing about, and of course I interpret "the end of the movie" in this song to be when the credits end, not when they start. I'm mostly in the minority on that one too.
you'll loose your hair, your teeth,
your knife will fall out of its sheath
but you still don't like to leave before the end of the movie
People you hate, will get their hooks into you
they'll pull you down, you'll frown
they'll tar you and drag you through town
but you still don't like to leave before the end of the movie
no you still don't like to leave before the end of the show
Cake, "End of the Movie" from Pressure Chief
A friend of mine who shall remain nameless  asked recently, "Do we have the tape?"
...and I was like, "you guys got VHS?"
...and she was like, "oh I meant DVD, it's just easier to say 'tape' ... fewer syllables."
...and I'm of course like, "how about 'disc'?"
I realize I am splitting the most irrelevant of hairs for the majority of the population out there, but I know Tyler would never confuse or abuse terminology, and I miss that about him and his appreciation and understanding of quality in media. Of all my friends he is probably the most likely to understand why I wanted to get this silly G5 with excessive memory to manipulate photographs (and dude, why getting a dell wouldn't cut it), in part because he has his own silly G5 which he uses to manipulate sound effects (and he does it very well).
Tyler is also one of the few people who will wait and watch the credits with me when we go see movies.
 Because she is a good friend, and it sounds like I am splitting hairs - and I am - but only for the purpose of dissecting the weird way that I look at the world, not to exercise critical thinking on my friend. My friends are awesome.
- I was talking to e's friend at the lake today and she the subject of talking cars came up (when doesn't it?) and apparently she was too young or too Russian to have ever heard of Knight Rider. Now I want to watch Michael Knight ride into action with KITT and fight crime. It's weird because the last crime fighter that I wanted to watch was the corrupt and brutal Vic Mackey.
- According to Wikipedia the air foils used in KITT's Super Pursuit Mode were actually unnecessary to make a Trans Am drive 300 MPH. And I was about to super glue some wings to my hybrid!!! Also: apparently KITT is also a Cylon.
- The spaces in Word are all messed up today. I hope it rights itself soon, because it is annoying.
- For some reason I was thinking about nin as I was driving back from the lake today. This is weird because I was listening to my "happy mix" which doesn't have any Trent on it all. Anyway, sometime back Brian claimed that some cover of hurt was way better than Trent could ever do. I know it's lame to like nin now , but my favorite version of hurt was the duet version Trent and Bowie sung on Bowie's Outside tour.
- Tyler mentioned a "the pig" totally unrelated to the "the pig" in his LJ entry today, which also contained clues as to how to defeat dodongo. Damn it. Now I have to go massacre some Moblins (which, incidentally, I love the smell of in the morning) because I am too cheap to shell out twenty rupees on bombs (everyone who is not Tyler, please forgive the densely packed series of in-jokes).
- I installed PPC version of Fedora Core Linux on my iMac last night, and I was feeling pretty good about it. Unfortunately when I tried to install it on my PowerMac it used the wrong monitor sync rate when it went into X11. Configuring X11 in Linux makes me irate, and is more or less the reason I refuse to use Linux as a workstation anymore. Fuck you RedHat.
- According to the UNIX-HATERS Handbook chapter on X11, a "server is the remote machine that runs the application." While I agree with him that X11 is an example of very poor design, he clearly knows nothing about the terminology. A Server is a "computer software applicationthat carries out some task (i.e. provides a service) on behalf of yet another piece of software called a client" . Hence it is perfectly reasonable to call an X11 server a server because it provides a service for the client, and it is totally irrelevant where either of the processes actually run. The "remote machine" after all is a relative concept.
 I guess. Whatever.
 see here
I decided I really needed a paper clip. I riffled through my desk drawer, but come up with nothing. I decide to go buy some and tell Tyler: "i need to go get paper clips. i'll be back in a bit."
To which he responds: "no; they don't work. my dad actually wrote a book which describes why"
I was about to walk out of the room, but I stop with a feeling of dread in my heart. Suddenly I had been thrust into some strange universe where Mr. Spock has a goatee and for some reasons all paper clips have become non functional. I wonder what else is different about this parallel universe? And why did Tyler's father write an entire book on why paper clips don't work? I've been so wrapped up in the future and being an optimist and all that B.S. that I have made myself susceptible to believing it just may be true when somebody tells me something like "paper clips don't work."
"huh? what?" I type.
Then I remember the question before that. "oh. heh. cool. got confused there."
Tyler responds with: "the diets"
"i thought you were saying PAPER CLIPS didn't work."
Relieved that I wouldn't have to double check my Star Trek DVDs to insure that Spock didn't have any extra whiskers (except of course for that one episode that he did), I went off to get some paper clips.
On the way back I'm listening to a CD I burned with just music that I like to listen to and none of the extra chaff which is on those CDs that those musical corporations expect us to buy. It struck me recently that with the exception of the first ("reptile") and last song ("suicide notes") it is all "happy" music, and that I haven't been much interested in listening to the "unhappy" tracks. Guthrie used to imply that the fact that I used to listen to depressing music made me unhappy. I contend (as I did then) that I listened to depressing music because I was depressed, and now that I prefer to listen to "happy" music because I am optimistic.
For a second there it didn't even bother me that I still don't have plans for New Years Eve. It occurs to me that New Years Eve is really Old Years Night... and is so about the past, not The Future.
I recommend listening to happy music in the morning. It changes your outlook in life for the better.
(click for more pictures and movies)
|Denmark: My Prison|
So in the end somebody finally won this auction for four nine inch nails CDs and I send off an invoice, waited a few days, sent a reminder notice, waited a few days, sent an extremely polite eBay message asking the buyer to pay up, or at least contact me, waited a few more days and finally filed a non paying bidder complaint with e-mail, waited a few more days and still heard nothing. I sent an offer to the next highest bidder (our Canadian bidder) and posted negative feedback for the non paying person. The first time ever, I really didn't want to do it, but I felt like I had run out of alternatives. I was planning on re-listing the item the next Wednesday, which was only a couple of days away, since I hadn't heard back from my Canadian bidder about the second chance offer.
The next day I got a message from the winner of the auction apologizing and saying that she had sent payment via PayPal. I checked my account and sure enough I had received my dough. This left me a little uneasy, because I had a second chance offer out there to my Canadian bidder and only one set of discs. I wasn't sure that it would end well if he decided to take the offer, and I wasn't sure if I could cancel it. It all worked out ok though, because I was able to cancel the offer and sent this stern message to the winner (and now paying) bidder:
I really wish you had contacted me sooner. It said quite clearly in the listing that payment needed to be received within ten days. I was about to relist the item. Anyway, since you have sent me the money, I will be posting you your CDs first thing tomorrow. Thank you for taking care of this.
...and the next day I posted the CDs. Mind you, all of this was during the most stressful part of my Color1 class: preparing for my final portfolio, so I was already ripping the hair out of my scalp because of work and school.
|Denmark: My Prison|
(out of focus)
I started writing this story out at one point, but the whole thing seemed rather angry, and I wasn't in the mood to sound angry, because I don't think I was particularly. Then I forgot about it, but I was looking at someone's profile on-line yesterday. Boredom had set in I think, and usually I hate it when people have music playing on their web pages, like this one did, but I stopped for a minute to listen to it.
Sound a bit like a bad nine inch nails rip off... I thought to myself I wonder who it is. I found the place in the page where the music was playing. In this case it was actually a music video. I pulled the temporal navigation slider back to the beginning of the video to see if it would tell me who the band was. Nothing there. Then I tugged the widget back to the other end of the song to see if that would offer any clue. There was nothing there too, but in this case it was spelled out for me:
For those of you who don't know, don't remember, or more likely don't care, Trent Reznor's label is Nothing Records. Ahhh... I thinks to myself so this isn't a bad nine inch nails rip off, it's just a bad nine inch nails song. There would have been a time when I could not have accepted the thought. I would not have been able to utter a sentence which included the term bad nine inch nails song. Fortunately, my tastes in music have become less dogmatic, and maybe even more refined. I still listen to nine inch nails on occasion. I think my favorite song has got to be Reptile - I would still like to write a demo to that music - but my devotion is obviously not unquestioned, as evidenced by the fact that I was even selling off part of my collection. And oh yeah... the fact that I listen to Trent on the order of once every few months instead of several times a day as I did back in 1995 (which as some of you already know was the 1985 of the 90s...)
|Denmark: My Prison|
A friend of mine a while back essentially told me that my taste in music was, how shall I put it? Well let's just say that my taste in music is apparently "gullible." My initial reaction to this was amusement, because, it is such a silly "Ha-Ha" thing to say. After all how can my taste... my preference... be gullible? You can be gullible enough to believe that the moon is made of Swiss cheese, or that this gentleman here owns and can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. You can't be fooled into liking trance or rap or country or any other form of music, either you like it or you don't. Even when I described my taste as being dogmatic, I do not think I would be so insulting as to call my taste in music gullible. Which is how I sort of take this narrow minded kind of statement now: insulting.
Even if you are more "expert" in a subject than someone else it's quite obviously unfair to apply your standards to someone else's taste and expect them to take it as a friendly act. I see nothing wrong with being critical of a piece of art, for example, if you are a movie critic and are not critical enough of Titanic to write a poor review then you are clearly not doing your job (that is just my opinion... Man).
I visited a friend recently in an apartment which she had just moved into, so when I discovered that she had hung up on her wall one of my black and white prints, I was honored. Ahh... was actually my first thought of the prints I gave you, you chose to hang the most cliché. Instead of saying that thought, I simply said that I was honored. Now, admittedly it is easy to say something nice in place of something insensitive in this sort of situation, but pretty much in any situation if you are creative you can say something nice when socializing with your friends, and when you can't maybe you ought not say anything.
I suppose that means I shouldn't have said the last three paragraphs. Pretend you didn't read them.
I used to be somewhat crazy about NIN. I will now occasionally listen to one of their records, broken if I want something angry, or downward spiral if I want to drive my car faster. I have some NIN bootlegs which I never listen to anymore, so I decided to post them on eBay (try here, or here if interested). One asshole bid with multiple accounts, one of which had negative (-1) and another with zero feedback. He may have actually been legit, but I tend to doubt it, so I canceled his bids. At this point I was thinking NIN fans are a bunch of roguish, poorly bred, hoodlums.
Then today, I'm getting home and I get a message from somebody in Canada wanting to buy the CD. I don't ship to Canada, because the one time I did, the guy was a real asshole, and it was a hassle filling out the extra paperwork. This is what the guy had to say:
hello, i'm very interested in bidding for this item in particular the purest feeling, and i was curious if you would be willing to ship to canada, my girlfriend is a huge fan of nin, and she's been looking for a copy of the purest feeling for some time, and i would like to get her a copy, but you are the only one selling the album, and unfortunately it says for the united states only, if you could possibly see to mailing to canada i would gladly bid on it and pay for any extra charges in shipping it, as you can see i have a 100 ositive feedback and i pay for my auctions promptly, thank you for your time.
My usual response is "I'm sorry I don't ship to Canada." However, I was touched by the personal touch in this request, so I told him I would ship to Canada for him if he won the auction. I mean, if my girlfriend wanted a CD and the only way to get it were to purchase it from someone in Canada, I would hope that our neighbors to the north would oblige. The point is moot, since I am decidedly single, but the thought follows anyway.
After responding to this guys e-mail, I decided that I shouldn't be so hard on NIN fans, because this guy had been much more of a gentleman than the other buyers I had dealt with in the NIN CDs I was selling (as compared with my other sales). Then it occurred to me that he wasn't a good reason to change my mind after all, because he isn't a NIN fan; his girlfriend is.
Still, I'll give his girlfriend the benefit of the doubt and we will just say she's all right too.