I Think. This is hopefully the last test of the britcoal mailinglist system. If you get this in your email Sara, drop me a note to let me know.. I seem to be receiving fine.
Also, you are free and welcome to reply to posts through the mailing list.. I doubt anyone else will ever join it but it might be a fun way to bounce comments back and forth and various junk.
Bumbled across spreadfirefox.com
the other day - the site/community responsible for getting a full-page ad for the Firefox web browser in the New York Times. They accomplished the feat through user donations. Impressive.
I've been on a Firefox trial now for quite some time.. It's a browser I've used in the past but this is the first time I've been using it exclusively and, usually not one to be passionate about this sort of thing, I do love me my firefox. It's got it's shortcomings but it's a nice little browser and fast enough too. I feel good using it if only for the fact that it's not
Internet Explorer. I'm generally not one to ignore superior products so I used IE for quite some time as it was the most effective for me for quite some time. I think, perhaps, a new time has finally come. I enjoy firefox's download manager much more (despite it's inability to auto-launch executables). I enjoy the cleaner look and feel of the UI. I enjoy that tabbed browsing is there if I want it. I enjoy that there is an RSS reader built in. I enjoy it's seemingly quicker response and I especially enjoy that it's not
microsoft, that it's free as in no strings attached
, and that it's community supported.
Don't get me wrong, I still have my doubts about free and open source software... but those doubts are mostly based on the nightmares I have of what large corporations might possible do to abuse the movement (e.g. by co-opting it into oblivion). For now, Firefox is my security blanket. As I move from house-to-house of relatives and friends this christmas season uninstalling spyware, removing virii, and generally repairing horrendously botched systems, my evangelical push is to use firefox, use firefox, use firefox. At least the pop-ups die down and my friends find it harder to install midget-porn adware.
My motto in the new year? Not perfect, Better.
Anything else is either a step backwards or too much of a leap forward to land on your feet.
Improve Render and Load Time In Firefox
From Daily Science News:
Aircraft the size of bees that get the energy they need by feeding themselves a diet of dead flies could be buzzing around the battlefields and motorways of the future, thanks to research in southwest England.
Whoa.. The cool part is that they already have a working prototype that works. Next step... Lexx?
Do I talk too much about blogs on this blog?
Yeah, I think I might. It's addictive. I can't help it. It's that whole self-awareness thing that's been plaguing humans for, oh, a few thousand years anyway. It's a bummer of a backlash to that "thought" thing we acquired awhile back.
Everything comes with it's pros and cons.
Even Shaq. Even Paris. Even Porsche.
But just to talk very briefly about blogger:
It never keeps me signed in, even when I click the little thingamajig that says "Keep me signed in" or whatever the hell it says. This can't (I imagine) be a problem on my end since this is a problem on 3, 4, even 5 computers that I've used somewhat regularly - PC and Mac - as well as various web browsers like firefox and explorer and so I'd say something funky is going on over on their
end of things.
Secondly, blogger reports the number of posts made to this blog on the 'Dashboard' as 1,333.. which is fine, but it's reported it as 1,333 for a few months now. Maybe even 6 months. Hell if I know, but it's probably wrong.
Finally, blogger with no picture hosting??? Or, um.. at least not for the mac folks yet..
But then again...
and I say this with the utmost sincerity..
It's free. So what the fuck do I care?
After a nasty four-month decline
in hits I finally recorded an up-month this month. I don't know why, but I'm not complaining. I was feeling pretty low there for awhile. See, the problem with art - a lot of the time, but not always - is that it's expressive and because it's expressive you have to question why? And that's because the artist is trying to say something to somebody. Reach out. Cry out. Strike out. Whatever. But the point is that it's often intended for an audience and, well, the artist sometimes gets a little bummed out when the audience walks away.
I've had audiences walk away before and it doesn't feel good at all. I've had huge ginormous months of hits (big for me, anyway) and then teeny-tiny little months. But I keep on plugging because, in my screwed up little head, I'm convinced maybe I can win them back.
I probably can't but I end up with a few more readers from somewhere else in the process and I guess that's not so bad either.
But even the real big ones, the tonys, the antis, they check their hits and what sites are sending people their way.. pretty meticulously sometimes, too. It's just part of the game and I hesitate to call it narcissism or something ugly like that. It might just be that they want an audience. They want to share.
The english language is a pretty expressive one. It allows me to say "They want to share" and "they are narcissistic ugliness" and I'm talking about the same thing. Two different ways of describing the same phenomenon and, well, two very different spins on it. I dunno, you can choose to be someone who doesn't understand blogs or someone who doesn't "get technology" or maybe someone who thinks it's all a bit of ego-stroking.. or you can choose to see it as an interesting trend, a cool experiment, a brave new worldmedia. Whatever.
I guess what I'm saying is don't hate me because I'm beautiful. I just am. I got up one morning and *BAM*. I was beautiful. Now, my whole life, every waking minute of it, is trying to figure it all out.
Trying to figure out how I'm supposed to share this beauty.
With all of you.
I'm awaiting neural computer connections with baited breath, you really have no idea. Sometimes I just want to lie in bed with my eyes closed and tippity-tap an email out, or pay my phone bill. Sometimes sitting upright, in a chair, keeping your eyes open, and actually moving your fingers is just too much to ask.
Especially after christmas dinner with the turkey's sleepy-effect kicking in and a warm cup of tea just begging for you to wrap your fingers around it, instead of tapping them against a cold keyboard.
So I guess I'm done here for now. But happy holidays for everyone who might be celebrating one today.
Raymi tells us today in tony's comments that
... i am not that hard to understand. cynical + short fuse + arrogance + insecurity/lots of security + booze + half-ass sense of humor + social anxiety + read a lot of books way back when = most annoying person to be around who thinks they are an expert on everything. oh i forgot vapid and vain.
which probably outlines exactly why a lot of people love her and her blog. She is what she says she is, she admits it, and that's that. And somewhere in all that short-fused cynical arrogance and insecurity there is a certain amount of fearlessness or maybe enough insanity to just not know any better. Either way, it works.
Some people who read this blog don't understand why I find Tony's writing so appealing and sometimes I can't always explain it well but it basically goes like this - often times I'll read a post of his and 1/3rd of the way into it I think to myself "man, that's a good idea, I can totally expand on that.. I got things to say about this," and I continue to read. When I'm 2/3rds into it I think "gee, I could have written this but with a different twist.. I wouldn't do what he did there and there but it would be the same idea and.. damn, he's already done it." By the time I'm finished I'm back to square one - staring at a computer screen with nothing to say because, basically, it's been said already and probably better than I could have.
It's his stories that get me the most, like his Kurt Cobain trip to hell. It's those abstract and slightly off-kilter ways of looking at things, as if you could actually take a trip to hell with Kurt Cobain via Death Valley on a Greyhound. Brilliant! Most of the writing I do on here is chock full of bad metaphors and lousy analogies, which is what I have the most fun doing. It's not something I plan or really put a lot of thinking into, I just think that way. I abstract. I relate completely unrelated things. Everything, in the end, comes down to a car analogy. What Tony does, however, is write some fun stories that are themselves bizarro abstractions on the way we see people, places, and things. Like having conversations with
his blog. Like comparing kissing a girl with time travel.
And not only do these people - Tony
- do some interesting things, tell interesting stories, and throw up fun photos; they also do it a lot
. Would you read the New York Times if you didn't know whether it would show up on your doorstep every morning or not? Would you tune into the nightly news if there was a 50/50 chance they'd play a repeat? I dunno, I wouldn't.
This Nutrigrain Commercial
is mildly entertaining.
And that's all I got for today, folks.
More for myself than anything, here is a link
to a good overview article on the existing 802.11 WEP cracking tools out there.
Perhaps more interesting to a wider audience, here is an article
about self-heating coffee! No kidding. Whadlltheythunkupnext?
(pdf) are at it again, suing college students, websites, and probably your grandmother's cat, for essentially beating them at their own game. Apparently Bittorrent is giving them quite the trouble these days, accounting for (as one statistic put it) 35% of all internet traffic. I believe every statistic only so far, but that's alotta traffic. Even still, it's been clarified
on Slashdot today that the $10 billion video game industry has not
in fact surpassed the movie industry - If DVD and VHS sales and rentals are taken into account, the movie industry revenues approach $30 billion. Wowser, and I'm supposed to feel bad for them?
Given my mention of the shutdown of the LA Times national edition, here is a timely link
about what could
happen to media and news delivery by 2014. Sensational, exaggerated, and somewhat annoying at times, it is interesting nonetheless. It begs the question:
Do we love Google too much?
It is entirely possible that given the growth of the free market, given the creation and evolution of giant corporations from the ashes of tiny mom-and-pops, and then given the backlash towards big business, given the Microsoft haters, EFF fanatics, Open Source pundits, and trendy hipsters, given Enron and Worldcom and all that is evil, Google is convincing the world that it's just right
in some sick emulation of a goldilocks fairytale.
If ever there was a media darling right now - bigger even than Amazon at it's newsworthy height - Goggle is it. Google, with it's searching, it's google groups, blogger, and now it's gmail is pandering to the crowd, feeding the frenzy, and maybe.. just maybe.. biding it's time. Remember my discussion about the most powerful resource of all? People.. Well, it worked for Microsoft. Everyone all thought Billy was quite the media darling too, at one point. Mr. Gates and his nifty little DOS program were quite the hit 15 years ago and Microsoft didn't seem to be at all threatening - especially with the real powerhouses like Intel and IBM calling the shots. Only now, when the giant is too big to be killed and 95% of personal computers run Windows, do we start to question our logic as a group, as consumers, as a powerful resource
in this global economy.
Now I'm not saying Google is evil. I'm not saying Microsoft is really all that evil either.. they're just trying to make a buck. But if that's the motive, fine, we just have to keep remembering that that is the motive and take things with a grain of salt. When Google gives us a Gig of gmail space we should question why Google wants to archive all our mail. When google buys Blogger, we should question what it's really buying: a webhosting portal, or .. people
And after all this discussion, is it any surprise to find a new zdnet article
posted that tells us:
A Web worm that identifies potential victims by searching Google is spreading among online bulletin boards...
What happens when Google starts taking people's content by eminent domain? Yahoo seems alright with it
I finally added my meta tags so you can now click the little envelope at the bottom of a post to email the post to a friend. You can also get my site feed automagically, though I've left the Atom Feed link in the top bar. And finally, I've added a subscription link
if you care to get posts to this blog directly in your email box (this is a test, we'll see how it goes).
Oh, and I threw up some christmas cheer a few days ago, too.
It takes Peyton Manning about 4 minutes to make what I make in a year. 10 snaps of the 'ol football or so and that's all I'd need to go home happy with a full paycheck.
Somehow, though, I suspect those 10 snaps would be pretty painful.
Not a whole lot scares me in the area of pain but somehow I suspect a little NFL action for this 5'8" 160lbs. dude wouldn't do me so good.
So instead, I'll sit here and plug away, making my money the old fashioned way: by dicking around on the job.
America is the longest working country in the world. We work more hours, on average, than any other (reported) nation in the world. We take fewer vacations. But somehow I'm not sure longest
necessarily correlates to hardest
. I dunno, maybe it was the unions that have set up a level of expectation among workers. Maybe it's the work-hard-and-you-can-go-places
culture that inspires some people to just stay-where-they-are
. Maybe some people, in the end, are happy to be what they're doing and think it's just enough. I'm not sure. But if what I've seen of American work culture is any indication.. we might show up at
work, but we certainly don't do
much of it. Not for the amount of time we're hanging around the proverbial office.
Instead we're gossiping at the water cooler, playing dice behind the factory, selling drugs on the wharehouse floor, and jerking off in the bathroom. We're shopping on the internet and taking long lunch breaks and, *gasp*, even blogging from work.
Sometimes I feel like there is a certain understanding there. The management knows they can't stop everything so they pay you just low enough that they feel they're getting what they paid for out of you. They hire more and work with less. Then again, sometimes I feel like they're asking for it - asking for a little bit of their own medicine.. putting out shoddy products and providing crappy services. Trying to make a buck on low-quality. Cutting corners. And then when you see things like Enron fall apart, you gotta wonder who the real bad guys are.. They keep trying to tell us it's the striking factory workers but I have this inkling that maybe, just maybe, it's those suits at the top.. no wonder they have so many pockets in their Holt Renfrew's and Armani Exchange's.. all the more places to put that stolen cash.
Really, though, it's all one big nasty economic process that is, in a strange subtle way, shaping and forming the american work ethic. These things didn't come from nowhere. If I work a little harder and this place ships a few more units, I won't see an extra dime. Profit sharing is even worse when you get your $100 or $1,000 check at the end of the fiscal year - 1) you can't even use it cause it goes straight into your 401k and 2) for every $100 you get Mr. President at the top is getting $10,000 and
taking a few bucks out of yours as well.
The rich get richer.
The big misunderstanding with politics sometimes is that it's really the result of economics, not the passions of forward-thinking men. Politics is the practice of expectation maximization and people - like little tiny pennies littering the planet - are the currency of these global politicians.
It's all the same game.
Another misunderstanding is that the balance of the system, the equilibrium, is static and obvious but it's not. The complexity of the system is far worse than a simple bacteria-in-a-petri-dish simulation, though the correlation is there. Resources are constantly discovered and depleted. Technology advances our knowledge and capabilities with the resources we have. People - the currency - wear out and must be replaced. With so many variables in flux it's no wonder that we haven't reached an equilibrium. In fact, we might not have even seen
equilibrium yet as we passed by it in a cyclic swing.. we might be so new of a species, so new of a planet, so new of a solar system (in all its millions and millions of years old) that we haven't even gotten close to equilibrium yet..
Maybe we're just gaining momentum like a skiier heading into a valley, sharp mountain walls on either side. Maybe we're just creeping now, as if on a giant plane with a tiny dip in the middle, a local minima that we'll never reach.
Some people argue that the universe has no equilibrium - that when the universe stops expanding it will start contracting, as if in an infinite loop. That'd be a bummer for us I think but I guess I won't be around to notice if it does happen. For now, however, I think I'll stick to the simpler problems of my own personal economy, my own equilibrium. I'm smart enough to know that I'm an erratic enough creature that perhaps I don't have my own equilibrium but I do know this... I can sit here and plug away, making my money the old fashioned way: by dicking around on the job.
The worst part about being the NFL fan that I am is that most of my favourite teams are all in the same division and if not, they're at least in the same conference. New England, Miami.. I even have a soft spot for those bastard Jets. Then there is the old standby of Pittsburgh who, quite frankly, I always like to see do well. But right now I'm pulling for the Indianapolis Colts because, I dunno, they're due.
What seems like a long time ago (but was really just two years before I was born) in 1976 Peyton Manning was born to Archie Manning, a New Orleans Saint quarterback (Archie's other son is New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning). After playing college ball at Univ. of Tennessee he was the first pick in the '98 draft and off he went to the Colts.
That next season when I saw him play I said he had the potential to become one of the greatest to play the game. I said this kids gonna have a long and celebrated career. I'm not tooting my own horn here, cause I know I like to say spectacular stuff sometimes just for shits and giggles, but the way this kid would bounce around on the balls of his feet, never standing still in the pocket, I thought for sure he had something.
Now, Peyton Manning is the highest paid NFL player ever earning about $14 million a season. Considering an absolutely stellar season, that's about 24 games, if you count pre-season and going all the way to the superbowl for a whopping $590,000 per game
.. Presuming the Colts control the ball (have offensive posession) an exaggerated average of 60% of their games that's $16,400 per minute
of game time or about $5,500 a snap
. None of this, of course, is taking into account his $34.5 million signing bonus for his seven year contract or his $19 million in potential incentives.
Makes those Ford commercials that say "come on down to take advantage of our year-end $2,000 incentive program" seem kinda puny now, doesn't it?
He may be the highest paid NFL character out there but he's also doing his best to earn it. He's played in every NFL game of his career and missed only one snap due to injury. He's broken Dan Marino's (my other favourite) record by throwing five touchdowns in four different games in 12 months and he has also set an NFL record by throwing at least four touchdown passes in five straight games.
Perhaps most exciting of all, though, is his potential to break another of Marino's records: most touchdown passes in a single season. As of today he has a whopping 47, already a mighty achievment, and he's got two more games to complete two.. seemingly numbers that he should have no problem with.
All of this makes next weeks game between the Colts (11-3) and the Chargers (11-3) seem pretty interesting. Pretty interesting indeed.
Interesting. I watched Road to Peridition last night, a mob-type movie about a man and his son in a tight spot and one scene in particular caught my eye: The two of them head into what I think was Al Capone's headquarters in Chicago and while the boy waits for his father he sits in a giant room full of rows of chairs, every last one of them filled with a man - in a suit - reading the newspaper.
Newspapers are one of those ubiquitous items in everyday life, always there on the coffee table from the day before, wrapped around presents of the poor, crumpled in the garbage and covered in paint smears from some child's art project, wrapped tightly and smacked against an ass, even fluttering down the street sometimes like a scene out of American Beauty.
And yet, newspapers have a lifespan. Newspapers won't always be here. Some day we will get up one morning to find our doorstep bare just as we now find our back stoop empty of fresh milk. Newspapers are on the way out.
Earlier this month the LA Times announced that it was shutting down it's daily national edition. It wasn't a long-standing paper by any means, at only 13 years young, but the reasons cited for the decision are potentially more foreshadowing for the rest of the industry:
"Over time, other electronic ways of reaching [Washington DC and New York] audiences became more plentiful," Times spokesperson Martha Goldstein said.
Some university professors studying garbage and decay rates once dug deep into a Philadelphia landfill and found fully-preserved half-eaten hot dogs, steaks, and they even found newspapers. Fully readable. Almost completely in tact. They read about the wind-down of World War II. They read about the local sports teams. I'm not sure what they did with the newspapers when they were done, though.. probably just threw them away.
I just bought a new suit today. Or yesterday.. sort of. You know how it goes, Ebay. I still haven't realized that sometimes, certain things are best left to the real-deal brick-and-mortar shops. Like shopping for suits. Thing is, I got a helluva deal for a brand new suit so I shouldn't complain.. and I won't.. until it arrives and it doesn't fit me. It amazes me every day the level of cheaposity I am capable of. Somewhere in my brain there is a switch that tells me my time is worth very little in lost opportunity cost if it is spent researching a product in order to save money.. even a few dollars. Sometimes I don't see the big picture. I see, in the short term and right in front of me, a bill for $A,BCD.XY and I figure that anything that will make that number less is a good thing. Even if it means wasting a weekend staring at stereo specs online. Even if it means climbing under a grimey car in the middle of winter with a blow-torch and some bubble gum. Even, in fact, spending more money
, on occassion. A case of the "I'm saving
money because it was on sale
". A case of buying quality over something that will "just get the job done" because, somehow, I want to reward superior workmanship. Because somehow I want to appreciate the finer things in life (even though I don't want to pay the price for them). Even though I always end up with a lemon anyway. There is no such thing as superior workmanship. If it was built, it can break, and believe me if you wait long enough, it will.
I don't particularly need a new suit but it just struck me as something I should have around. You can never have too many suits. I think. Men in suits are some of the only good things to come out of this entire western culture and goddamned if I let that slip away through the cracks like one more lost jewel.
is one of the best short films I've ever seen.
The amount of cussing that's been going on here on this blog has been seriously dwindling down as time goes on. I'm not sure why but I think I should heed that as a warning not to get too complacent and sit on my ass too much. Cussing sorta implies a certain amount of passion, I think, and without it what do you have? A bunch of people grinding their teeth and being nice to eachother. Think of the dentists bills!
So I'm not going to just go out and start laying smack down everywhere just for the sake of uping my swear-count but I'm going to try to remember, more often, what we're all here for in the first place.
It makes me wonder sometimes that we live in a society where local weeklies contain dangerous stuff like sexual content, swearing, and *gosh* liberal thinking, and you can pick them up at almost any store or restuarant in your downtown yet if we hear the word Fuck
on tv well then christ, it better be cable and preferrably after 10pm! Double standards. Maybe the really uptight ones are the ones who are so dumb they don't bother to read.
It's hard to understand because teevee is as much an option as anything else in life - you don't have to choose to watch television any more than you have to choose to murder someone or get up in the morning. If you don't want to hear the word Fuck
on the teevee I'm sure you could find enough shows to watch that don't have it. Would it kill you if *I* had the option to choose to hear the word Fuck
on the television? Or are your feelings so much more important than mine that yours trumps the rest of us?
I'm not even trying to be a champion of swear words on prime time, either. It's not necessary to tell a good story. Swearing for the sake of swearing is childish and fills time slots easier than actually writing a story sometimes. But that doesn't make it invisible
. That doesn't make swearing not exist
. It's a part of our lives and who we are. Little toddlers spending time with their grandfather only to come back home to mom to say "Goddamn this is good food mom".. this is life. It's got swearing in it.
Hell, I dunno. Maybe they're only words. Maybe they mean nothing. There are so many words in the english language you'd almost think you could cut the whole thing in two and get by with just half of it. But we don't. We drive cars with leather interiors and heated seats. We make hollywood movies. Why would we want anything less from our language - excessive, over the top, and fucking
Language is great like that, a sort of instantaneous snapshot of english culture at any given moment. A whole society expressed in word counts. And I'm not even talking about grammar yet - the tools of a poet's art.
Most of the time I take my coffee black. It's dark, it's bitter, and it might burn me. But sometimes, every once in awhile, I want lotsa cream lotsa sugar, syrupy sweet, with a cherry on top. Okay, not the cherry. But you get the picture.
Fuck, sometimes I just like to swear.
I can be an awful moody bitch sometimes and I don't even know why. Finishing my paper last night made me feel great. I got to sit in front of the teevee without any of that background noise that is pending-responsibility. I soaked up the latest episode of The O.C. (my super-secret, don't tell anyone at all, I'm embarrassed for me
favourite show at the moment) and then I headed downtown for some drinks with my old roommate. Luckily he happened to be the guy working behind the bar so then I soaked up a few Jim Beams and then switched over to Maker's Mark. Somehow I've always found the pseudo-wax enthralling.
. I haven't used that word in quite some time but somehow it just popped out without me even thinking about it. It's really quite a word. It's got a lot of weight to it, like you really mean it, and it's deep. If exciting
were both lakes you could stare into them and, while you could see the bottom of exciting
lake clearly, you would have only a hazy mysterious view at the bottom of enthralling
I got pretty drunk last night. It happens on occassion. I considered driving long enough to give the keys to my friend and then it was off into the woods for me. Woke up not hung-over but feeling like I hadn't gotten any sleep at all. I sort of feel like I haven't
been getting any sleep for awhile now. I think it's the couch-to-couch life style I'm living at the moment. Bummer.
After the elation of last night I sort of feel funky today. The programming is going a little slowly, I have no sense of the weekend and how it will shape up, and and.. I guess what I'm saying is that I have no reason to be in any sort of funky-funk.
And just like that, I guess I'll decide not
to be in a funk. That's the best part of being me, being human, being a thinking creature.. I can be dupped, even by myself. Dupped into feeling funky or, alternatively, dupped into feeling great. After awhile, if I can pull it off long enough, I won't even be dupping myself anymore.. it will become real. As real as beard, anyway. As real as anything us humans have made up.
I'm going to go see an old friend tonight and she told me she rented the movie Elf. I'm excited because it's about that time of year for dumb christmas movies. It's exactly what I'm looking for. So much so, in fact, that I feel pretty great. Right now.
There is no end to me and car troubles
. If it's not one thing it's another and if it's not that then there is one more thing. The worst of it, really, is that I have a vague sense of "the way things work". When I'm checking out a car I might buy I know enough to be able to check for uneven tire wear. I know enough to test the brake rotors out. I know the probable reasons for blue or white smoke out the exhaust and which one is bad and which one is worse. I can change my own oil and brakes and I've even been known to whip out the bondo on occasion. I can check plugs and wires. I can drive a standard without a clutch. I can limp home on 3 cylinders..
Yet there is no end to my bad luck with automobiles. My last car was a Honda Prelude. Hondas are generally reliable cars and are known to go well over 200,000 if you take care of them and so I thought my little auto would be racking up the miles for quite some time when I bought it with about 130,000 miles on it. Not so. Within a few thousand I lost an oil seal valve - some $2 piece of rubber that was actually recalled on all years of my model except my year - and all the oil drained out onto the ground. Luckily I caught the problem before I destroyed the engine but I still had to replace the timing belt since it got covered in oil. Timing belts, for those who don't know, are generally expensive to replace (a few $100 or so) because it requires a fair amount of labour to get into that part of the engine, depending on the make and model. So after my timing belt incident I figured I'd earned myself some care-free miles but oh no.. within a year I was back in the garage with a blown ignition switch.. Not just any old switch but an expensive electronic ignition switch and, come to find out, a lot of fucked up wiring. Turns out the previous owner's boyfriend was a Best Buy shmuck who thought he could install his own radios and security systems and this, of course, resulted in another few hours of labour for the boys at honda to sort the mess out. And is that the end of the prelude saga? Not even close. A Broken master cylinder, a blown gasket, a full exhaust system, full brake system replacement, and one tire that almost fell off TWICE later and I'd barely managed to put 30,000 miles on the damn thing despite a maintenance bill of well over $3,000.
I only bought the damn thing for $7,000.
Fast forward to this last summer and I just wanted to get rid of the damn thing so when I was offered a free car from my uncle I jumped at the idea. I passed the headache of the prelude on to my father since he seems to like to play used-car-salesman and I headed down the Mass. to get myself a brand spankin new... 17 year old Saab 900. I didn't know exactly what sort of shape it was in but I knew there wasn't much visible body rust, it only had 120,000 miles on it, and I remember my uncle constantly pouring money into it over the years so I figured it to be fairly well maintained.
Boy was I wrong.
It has it's fits and starts when warming up but in general the engine just loves to run. In the last few months she has been from Mass to Maine to Montreal to Toronto to Montreal to Maine to Montreal to Maine. She's got brand new snow tires. I thought she was going to be good to go for awhile.
Boy was I wrong.
On my way across the Pont Champlain bridge heading out of the city of Montreal on my way back home last week I blew something in the exhaust in the middle of stop-and-go rush hour traffic. By this point I was ready to just get the hell outta there and so I just grinned and bore the rumble. It sounded like a tractor with no manifold. By the sounds of things I figured the pipe had come disconnected from the manifold itself.. but I just kept on driving. I crossed the border in northern Vermont and the Customs agent just laughed at me. I roared through western Maine in the middle of the night, covered only by the darkness of the early winter night. I cringed. A lot.
When I got home I discovered what seemed to be just a pipe disconnection but a look by my local mechanic proved it to be the catalytic converter.. another pricey part.. but not only that, he found a section of the frame practically rusted right off. "I," he said gravely, "wouldn't trust this car 10 miles". I decided not to mention that it had just come all the way from Canada.
So, it would seem, even free cars for me are lemons and as much as I squish and squeeze I just can't seem to make myself any lemonade. I'm gonna see if I can't weld up the frame and hack the converter with some soup cans and drive it anyway, risking life and limb to save a buck, but this time at least I'm not going in too hopeful. Just make sure that next time you have to replace a $2 wingnut that you keep your curses to yourself.. cause I probably won't have much sympathy for yah.
Like Saddam or Bush.
I'm not saying those guys shouldn't be loved, ever, by anyone.. I mean, their momma's had to love them - right? They didn't really get a choice, I'd imagine, and for their sake I hope they died before the noticed how rotten their little children were. I dunno, is Bushes mom still al.. whooops, guess I shoulda known that one myself huh?
Really, though, Barbara.. for a Republican she wasn't all that bad. I mean I never really dug on Nancy that much and this current bimbo of a first lady is certainly no treat but I remember when I was younger they'd show Barbara on tv reading childrens books to grade schoolers sometime.
Do they even do that anymore?
I dunno. Maybe I'm getting too old. Maybe I don't really understand the culture of the kids these days.. Bush seems like a whacko to me and I'm only 26. Just think how bad things are going to be in a few years when the President will have grown up playing Castle Wolfenstein on his daddy's old 386. Imagine.. and it's not even that far off. Those older kids who knew what was going on back then, they gotta be pushing 30 to 35 and, well, it's only a matter of time before we elect a President who knows what the hell up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-a-b-start
I should be writing a paper about now - it's due at the end of the week - but I'm not. I'm procrastinating and writing to all you good folk out there on the innernector.
One of the things that never used to get my goat at all was computer virii and you know they still don't really bother me too much except for the way they have indirectly changed my life. For one, it's impossible to step up to a computer these days and not get bogged down by antivirus software popping up in your face every two seconds, or www browsers warning you of illicit content or that you're leaving a secure site, or bulletins that your computer is going to gang rape you while you sleep. Personally I wish they'd all just shut up and get it over with. I won't scream.
It might be doubly annoying for me since I pretty much refuse to run any of this crap. The worst of all is when the Parents call (I know I know, I should be gracious they brought me into this world yadda yadda yadda but come on people). At first it's just a small problem
that I can fix over the phone
they tell me but by the time I'm done listening to their saga it has become clear that someone's been a little too click-happy with their porn sites. I really get a kick out of listening to them insist
that they never clicked yes to install anything, that they didn't surf any questionable sites, that they don't even know what goat porn is
. Right ma.
I wouldn't call myself a serious Internet veteran or anything but I've been around long enough to know a few things: everything is reversible, don't let things escalate, and ultimately, you're gonna buy a new computer every few years anyway and have to move all your data so what's a few OS re-installs a day gonna hurt yah?
Seriously though, I've never really had any problems. I haven't really avoided the darker corners of the innernector either. It blows my mind that people can be so adept at fucking their computers full of porn and online casino spyware and adware.
Maybe this is what my professors feel like when I ask them what an integral is.
Ultimately I don't really have any problems with spyware or adware - as long as it's on someone else's computer. It's when I have to use the computer that it truly begins to make my blood boil. It's not even so much my
inconvienence but the fact that these people have been living with - continue to live with - this excrutiating experience of the internet, as if it's just the way things gotta be
Amazing. No wonder hitler had such luck with.
People do the darndest things.
So today, in an attempt to be a good samaritan, I cleaned out my pals computer. I actually built it for him back in the day and within a few weeks of it's birth it was full of junk. He's married, too, and catholic, so not the sort to be searching around for kiddie porn in the wee hours of the night, but somehow he manages. Somehow he gets more crap on his computer than the side of a barn in a shitstorm. I mucked around for almost two hours watching status bars tick by, uninstalls creep along, and virus checkers scan away, and in the end I don't even have much to show for it. What this hunk of bolts really needs is a clean reinstall or a date with a long chain attached to a sailboat, if you get my drift. But I do it anyway, probably for the fifth or sixth time, because I do. I do these things. This is what I do. I do. I do it again. And then, cause I do these things, I do it one more time.
Time - this life we lead - moments of our lives - these things are precious. And I use them to clean porn off my friends computer.
I should be writing a mobile robotics term paper on sensor network topology inference using Expectation Maximization and a first-order Monte Carlo Markov Chain but I'm writing about wasting time cleaning porn instead.
In the end it's all the same I guess. Good will on earth. Peace towards men. Solving world hunger. Cleaning out the porn. Someone's gotta do it and if they don't it'll never get done. I think there is a morsel of, uhh.. something.. wisdom, maybe.. somewhere in those few sentences.
Hmm.. nah, nevermind. I went back and checked. I got nothin.
And again I have to question the little things. How much time will I waste in my entire lifetime typing two spaces after a period instead of one because I arose from a dying culture of typewriters and early computers where spacing wasn't handle robustly? How much time will we waste killing eachother in the deserts for an inferior and ultimately doomed form of energy? How often will we question God, create a new one, and fight our neighbours to prove we're right? Who will stop it all?
sidenote: i still don't know what i think of tabbed browsing
People like the strangest thing, in the end. I like blogger an awful lot and I can tell you one of the reasons I love it so much is that, despite the fact it can't seem to keep a cookie to save it's life, I happened to use a simple password when I signed up - my try-this-one-first
password, in fact - and it's just so damn nice when you go to a site and get your password right the first time. I've trained myself to always have three derivatives since it is common for sites/programs/servers to give you three chances to get it right. That means I get to try each of my three passwords. I actually have a few more, what with the weird requirments some passwords have - "only alphanumeric" or "at least one non-alphanumeric" or "at least one letter and at least one number" - bullocks.. passwords will never be truly secure, so what's the point? I just sent some money to some guy I don't know, might never meet, and I don't even know what the money was for. My roommate asked me to send it in lieu of rent, since he owed some cash I guess. I am in the U.S... I sent it in Canadian dollars. Over the web. To a hotmail email account. Cash from my bank account even though I wasn't even at my bank's website, even though I never contacted my bank in any way shape or form about this transaction. Just, in the end, cause I said so. Or someone that sounded enough like me said so... or rather, someone that typed enough like me typed so. Or, well... clicked.
It just took me four tries to get into my CafePress store that no one buys anything from but they were gracious enough to give me an extra try - or someone who was pretending to me at least.. heck, I dunno.. maybe they weren't even pretending to me at all. Maybe they were just bored and typing in random letters and numbers.
Anyhow, CafePress let's you publish books. In fact, you could grab any old PDF (well, presumably not copyrighted material, but who knows..) right this instant and go on over to www.CafePress.com and sign-up and before you'd know it you'd be published
. It didn't really occur to me how impressive this was until just now, when I read tony's
post about it. I mean, self-publishing.. rad man, I know that's cool. Tubular even. But then he pointed out that there was a certain flexibility that hadn't occurred to me before: one-off printing. Which is to say, when you make a typo in your book and notice it when you get your first copy you can go right back online to CafePress and re-upload a newer-faster-better-quicker version of your book and Voila!
, it is done. No longer are you stuck with piles of old copies. No longer are you forced to stare at piles of copies of your book that never ended up selling at the renessaince fair (bummer, sorry about that). No longer are you forced, even, to convince someone to waste their time publishing a run for you. And all for pretty cheap money.
Tony is selling his book for $19.08. An arbitrary number, maybe, but if I did my calculations correctly it's costing him somewhere in the range of $17 maybe? Not entirely positive.. but the bottom line is that this is affordable publishing. 210 pages is nothing to scoff at and $20.. well.. these days it just might be. It's like the world has opened up, a scism has appeared, and into it we are throwing the remnants of a stiff and formal corporate society only to whip out our new, trendy, pliable, plastic, amazingly affordable.. corporate society.
Still though.. yah gotta figure it's some
sorta step up, doncha?
I should be writing about the excessive number of matlab simulations I have run in the last month or so - probably a good years worth of computing, between the 10 or so machines that I chewed up at the computer lab - but I don't really have the resolve, right this minute, to do much about it. Sometimes you eat the mobile robotics, sometimes it eats you.
The other day, while writing a post, I threw in a paragraph about hitler. It wasn't overtly offensive, it wasn't pro-anti-semetism (I just wanted to prefix an anti prefix with pro..).. it wasn't anything, really, but for a brief moment I stopped - mid sentence - and looked at what I was writing. I thought about the people I knew who read my site. I thought about the people who I don't know who read the site. I thought, for some strange reason, about Greenland. Does anyone else ever think about Greenland? Anyhow, I can't really put my finger on it but I decided it was probably a good idea not to include the paragraph. I slowly deleted it the way a professional etch-a-sketch artist erases his canvas and I had to wonder the whole time I was doing - who am I doing this for
So today I threw in that little bit about hitler. Not just because I wanted to make up for the other day - the comment did actually just pop into my head, I just chose to accept it - but somehow maybe today I'm a little closer to the no fear, will it , write it
attitude I'd like to have all the time.
As one english teacher once told me "Write, write, write like you mean it, like you feel it but most of all just write always all the time write"..
I wonder if he knows what a blog is.
Even my buzznet photo site is blocked by my company's new firewall, if you can believe that. I don't know if it perceives pictures of me and bad angle shots of industrial cranes to be "illicit content" or what but jeez.. Okay, well I am in fact pretty sure it's not about that at all. Who knows. When I showed up for work last week a lot of sites started to be blocked and it didn't really surprise me - it was only a matter of time. The worst of it is that the administration doesn't even mind. In general they don't want anyone spending excessive amounts of time on half.com doing their xmas shopping on company time but they don't really
care if you spend your breaks looking up smut or goat porn. It's just that the network guys - they have a name, I think it's "field engineer" but peolpe 'round these parts just call them network guys - they have nothing better to do then buy silly crap and install it. Last year it was webcams to watch the doors at night (or the cute secretary, you decide). Anything, really, and the more it disrupts the day to day routines of the rest of the company the better; at least in their minds. I'm not sure if it's a power thing or a look-what-I-can-do
thing or .. heck, I dunno. It's something about power and being noticed and something.
See people just don't want to be ineffectual nothings. They don't want to go through life as a smoothly turning wheel, they never get the grease. The cogs want to make some changes. The cogs want to flex their muscles. Even I
want to flex my muscles but damn if some people do it in the most inconvienent ways. Damn if some people just need to put the screws on someone else to do it.
I figure that's how hitler got started. He just wanted a little love and no one had any for the little boy with the cowlick. So he had a grudge.
Me, I just drink my coffee and keep quiet.. nothing more than a few wisecrack comments from this guy. I don't got no grudge at all. None whatsoever.
Lemme take a few minutes here to quote our reverend, the father of blog TP
selling out is a big deal to me. it might be impossible to explain but who knows, it might not.
the general idea is to try to remain yourself and not a tool for someone and not a whore for something and not a victim to small-time greed.
simply put, remain yourself no matter what.
for example, when this thing all started nobody conceived of ads on blogs. blogs were simply devices to get chicks to send you dirty pictures. just because you can throw some filthy ad on your blog and make a few extra bucks doesnt mean that you really should.
im sure johnny rotten could get visa to pay him to wear their logo but i would feel differently about him if he did.
keeping it real also means to communicate in an honest way no matter what.
when nobody is paying you, when youre not anyones bitch, you can say anything
And I have to say that this, as much as it seems to be a reoccuring fear for tony, it is also a fear of mine: the low-brow, no-hit wonder mike. Even I - even the mite on the bird on the buffalo - even I fear the sellout. Sure, it would be a sell out of a different matter, writing for certain people who I might know read this thing, writing to change their perceptions of me, to effect my outer self, to change the way people think about me - but it's still a sell out. It wouldn't be me
. I question myself every day. I look at life, I smile, I chuckle, I laugh - that's the good part, that I can still do these things day in and day out - and maybe deep down in the core of things I cry a little too. I ask if I'm whoring myself out. I ask if I'm, as tony says, "someone's bitch". It's a fine line to draw in the sand, getting paid. Paid with what? Paid for what? Is activism insincere if someone pays you for it? Is a non-profit false if it is staffed by paid employees? Am I a bitch if I'm getting something out of this blog? Nah, I don't think it's gotta be that complicated. I mean, sure, even tony is getting a little something something in the form of naughty pictures for his work and effort. If that's not a sell out, I dunno what is.. but I don't exactly think that's what he is talking about. It's, as he said, difficult to explain.
Somewhere deep down in it there is you and a bunch of other people. They're you too. It's sort of like a fight club with a bunch of you standing around looking angry at eachother but one of you - the real you - he's in there too, looking angry but feeling awfully damn scared inside. The rest of the crowd, it's all your imaginary friends, really. The crowd is who you want it to be - your worst nightmare. The crowd is everything you think you ought to be. The crowd is everyone that everyone else thinks you should be. The crowd is life's expectations for you projected onto your mind's widescreen.
That crowd might be about money or coolness
or some abstract idea of success. The crowd might be about where you want to be, where you wish you could go back to, or who you want to see. The crowd is in there, to give you something to fight against.
I dunno, maybe it's hard to explain, but I think tony is saying that selling out is like switching places with one of these people in your head, in the crowd. It's like walking up to one of these guys and slipping him a twenty, whispering to him if he'd maybe take it to switch places, and walking off into the sunset as someone else
. Maybe someone who believes wholeheartedly in the Republican party. Maybe someone who only cares about money. Maybe someone who doesn't really like life anymore.
But it's all a sham. Selling out is giving up on yourself. It's a break. A cut. A slice into the real you. It's not you. It's what will, ultimately, wash you away one day if you're not real careful. All that will be left is an empty shell and a bit of sand.
So maybe I sell out a little from time to time, I guess we all do. It's not something that's black and white, it's got degrees. The trick maybe is to just not stray too far, keep it in the white, out in the sunlight where you can see everything. It gets awfully dark the farther you stray. But I try not to. I try to stay about as real as I can here and I do it by saying what I mean, talking like I care about what I'm talking about, and saying things honestly, up front, clearly, hopefully understandably, and with vigor. Vigor? Well I gotta make it interesting, right? Okay.
WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get. I think that's what tony is talking about. You see a blog with an ad on it.. I dunno, WYS is maybe really WYG. Everything has a force to it, even a blog ad, and once that force takes ahold, it's gonna have an effect. Maybe not a big effect but an effect no matter.
I hope I'm not a tool for someone or a whore to anything and I certainly hope I'm not a victum to small-time greed but I suspect it might all be true regardless, depending on the angle you stare at things. But I like to get up in the morning and believe I ain't anyone's bitch so I can say anything I fucking want to.
Even the truth.
Even if it stings.
Even if it breaks open the earth and swallows us whole.
even if it hurts me.
In an attempt to perform some investigative journalism and, you know, maybe provide something like "content" on here, I went out and asked a bunch of people what they
think about a very important burgeoning area of technology: robot vacuum cleaners. Okay, so I didn't go out at all. I just asked some people on my messanger list. Also, they didn't say anything particularly interesting, either. Bummer.
> what do you think of robot vacuum cleaners?
> haha, like the jetsons?
> no, like the roomba or whatever
> i guess its interesting, why?
> i dunno. just wondering if you had an opinion
> are you doing something with it?
> no, just wanted to know what people think
> relatively cheap
> i'd like to see one in action
> I think the neatest feature of all is that when it is done
> it returns to it's charging base to recharge
> thats crazy
> how is it's suction
It's funny people's perceptions of the world around them sometimes, but almost more humourous is their infinite wisdom and insight into other
It's always easier when it ain't your kid, isn't that how the saying goes? I dunno. Anyhow, advice is cheap and easy to find but good
advice is like gold and more rare than the siberian sun on christmas eve, and that's what I could use about now. Good advice.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting it or holding out for it but I'm just saying it could do me some real good if it was offered, if I saw it for what it was - if I recognized
it - and most importantly, if I wanted to take it.
That's the biggest problem with good advice - it's most often the kind that people don't want to take. Like syrupy medicine that tastes like your aunt's brandy or chaulky pasty stuff that makes you feel like elmer's glue inside as you wheeze on the couch watching Rockford files re-runs, thinking about your lab partner at school disecting that frog all by herself. Nobody wants to disect a frog by themselves and, well, if they do then they aren't the kind of people that are important to this particular post so I'll move on..
A lot of the advice I get these days - heck, it could be good advice for all I know - but it seems a lotta hogwash. People seeing me painted in a corner and telling me to break the window just to get the hell out of there. But I derno, folks.. sometimes you gotta just watch the paint dry and when it's dulled and tacky you can just tip-toe across in your socks, hold your sneakers in your hand and slowly close the door with a creak as if, almost, you were never there. Course somebodies gotta finish painting that corner, that's the gist of it. It's not foolproof. What I really need is foolproof
advice and the sad thing about it is,
it doesn't exist.
Nothing in this life is certain, not even the morning newspaper, the tequila sunrise, or the assurance of another night in Paris, right? So why count on good advice? Why expect it to even work?
Sometimes grasping at straws is all you've got.
So they ask me, a lot of people, what I think I'm doing. They think I'm crazy and can't see the forest cause I'm stuck on one little tree and I can't really think of anything to tell them. I don't have a good explaination or reason. I never have a reason. It's really, in the end, cause I just gotta believe.
Suspension of disbelief.
The forced halt of thought.
I said before how thought - questioning reality - it's really just disbelief in motion and without it, we'd have ubiquitous logic. Ubiquitous logic being quite the opposite of what one might think - that is to say, it's very dangerous
. Think about it - no lottery. You think for a second anyone would play powerball if they only had their logic faculties about them? And life - most of the really big decisions - it's really just a big lottery. Taking risks and chances. Going for the big time. Giving it a shot. Trying
I saw a re-run of Letterman last night with Jerry Seinfeld and he asked, during his stand-up routine, why the human brain has crazy useless thoughts. "Why," he asked, "does my brain say things like 'I could stab this guy with these scissors, right now' when it's a completely useless thought? I can't use that thought. It's wasted!" It's funny because we're taught, by a two-pronged attack of life, that logic is sound and crazyiness is beautiful, all at the same time. It's funny because we think
we believe that stabbing people with scissors isn't a good idea but a tiny part of us, that little tiny bundle of nerves in the back, thinks that maybe, just maybe
, it might be a good idea.
You never know.
Whatever can happen will happen.
Expect the unexpected.
Sometimes they ask me if I know what she
thinks. Idaho, Alaska. They tell me that maybe I should just lay it out there - on the line so to speak - and "get it over with" as if this were all just a big chore and I'm looking to go home. Some of them, they've even told me that I should just give up
Whoo-aa, I say. Fault me for my optimism. Fault me for my patience. Fault me for my belief that good things - really
good things - are worth working for. But don't blame me for my disbelief of what is seemingly the logic of my life. It's only human nature. For now I'll believe the possibility is there, I'll believe I'm seeing the world through curved mirrors that are distorting the truth, I'll believe that my hopeless thoughts, my despair, my sadness, I'll believe
they aren't real. I'm going to really try
because, after all: do or do not, there is no try. I'm going to wait till I hear it from her: truly, that all those negative vibes, they really are
And then I'm gonna ask her if she's lying.
A guy can hope, can't he?
sales of tony's how to blog skyrocket and he is booked for a tv appearance
+++i'm still waiting for jaime's book
From Mind Hacks
Dr Allison Harvey (now of UC Berkley) took insomniacs and measured how much they actually slept during the night. Despite the insomniacs reporting that they had only slept for two or three hours, they had in fact been asleep for an average of 7 hours - only 35 minutes less than a control group who didn't have any problems sleeping.
This shows that insomniacs (and probably the rest of us) are very bad at judging the time it takes us to get to sleep, and the time we actually are asleep. It also suggests that worrying about sleep, and our beliefs about how we've slept, have a big role in the negative affects of what (we believe) is a sleepless night.
Which just goes to show you, all my muckity-muck a few posts down about dreaming the life, living the dream - it is much more often exactly
what you make of it then most people would seem to believe.
I believe I slept well last night. Did you?
GIRL 0 called me today and asked why I hadn't gotten in touch with her yet since I'd been back in Maine. Why? Well I just got back, that's why. That's what I told her. You can't expect me to drop everything the minute I return to the state just to be at your beck and call.
Well, why not?
she wanted to know.
Why not was because GIRL -1 was busy giving me an earfull for my forgetful nature. Birthdays. Who needs 'em?
Then GIRL -2 had the gaul to call me shallow and kick me out of her car before I even got to say sorry.
(Luckily GIRLs -3, -4, and -5 don't know about eachother)
Times, I tell yah. They're tough.
SO I am back in the U S of A and back to my old stomping grounds, making some cash and maybe drinking a few American brewskis before I head to the homestead and see the parents for the holidays. "The Holidays". Cripes the term drives me bonkers but I'll save that for a later date.
For now it's back to the same-old.
Last night I expounded on my cold water hypothesis to a post dinner crowd at my buddy's COOP. The colder the water you swim/play/shower in, the hungrier you are. The hungrier you are, the more you eat. The more you eat, the more you poop. The more you poop, the more of that lovely empty feeling you get. It's completely underrated. In fact, no one ever mentions that lovely feeling, and it's a fucking shame, because it's one of the great pleasures in life.
The crowd involved chicks that I knew would find poop talk inappropriate, and I feared lessening my chances of bedding one of them by continuing. But then I remember that I never get laid so I might as well do whatever the fuck I want.
2:26. I'll be right back.
Seriously confronting my patterns of work last night, I come up with the conclusion that I may be seriously unaware of my true motivations. Reading Elbow Room, a book about free will, I realize there is no a priori reason that I should have any access to my motivations. In fact, I have very little evidence that motivations exist.
There was a pretty intense moment in there. Last night. Thinking about this. I was thinking about goals in the context of motivations. Aren't motivations just the force behind reaching goals? And I heard this voice in my head saying "Finish the frog," over and over. And I thought, "How do I know when the frog is finished?" And the answer was, "Exactly." I don't really know if that has any meaning, but it felt like it did at the time. Maybe the meaning is that goals are illusions. Goals don't exist any more than motivations. There are just moments in time, filled with frogs. And auditory hallucinations.
Even when I try to say nice things, say someone has an identity, say they do something seemingly unique
like write every coffee shop stop down in blog.. people always seem to take offense. Or get in a huff. Or at the very least feel a little self-conscious.
Well stop. I've never insulted anyone in my life. I think everyone is perfect. Get out there and shake it. No matter what I say. I dun matter none, dude.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery than talking shit about someone has got to be number 2 because it's nothin' but pure jealousy, the most pure form of flattery. I dunno why people get all worked up about jealousy, it's kinda nice. Jealousy can be motivating and, if it's directed at you, it can be a helluva compliment. Why worry? Chillax. They'll get over it.
I've been blogging this dealio for well over three years now. Three years. That's a big number, relatively speaking, and yet I don't really know what it's all about. Sure, it's silly. Sure, I think about taking it down every day. Sure, I feel bad, good, indifferent, angry, stupid, and childish about it - on a daily basis - and I still continue to write in it. I don't have a fucking clue, and I continue to write in it. But someday, somewhere, it'll change the world. Change the order of things forever. It'll decide the next president or save stranded refugees in arfrica or send the first man to mars. MY blog will do this, something like this, someday, and if I just stop now I'll be killing that and that would make me a murderer.
I'm no murderer, right? You know that. I don't have to tell you. Alright then? Alright. So I'll keep blogging. So what.
Sometimes it takes a little bit to really understand how closely technology is woven into our lives - like having that technology taken away from us. The internet was down, or at least my side of the firewall was, and so I had to sneak into my roommates office to plug into his side. Then I stared at numbers trickling down the screen for a few hours, as matlab did it's thing. Graph theory makes for a boring Saturday afternoon, but what do I know? Maybe it'll save the world someday.
But not today so we're going to have to search for our heros somewhere else. Somewhere in the streets, among the throngs of regular 'ol people
just wandering around, you know, down in it.
So I offer to you the world's top sellers, just in time for christmas and whaddyah know, maybe there is a little bit of hero in each one of them. I'm not sayin they're literally top sellers but maybe I'm sayin' they represent a little bit of the heroism left in this world. A little bit here and a little bit there and before you know it, it adds up to real heroism. Collectively. So check out these two collections, a snap shot of the early 2000's, as perfect an artifact of the new millenium as you'd possibly be able to find - electronic self-publication, sold in print for a reasonable price despite a very low print number - everything this digital world was meant to be and more. Get your opinion's here, the Times' OpEd section has got nothin' on these guys.
Tony Pierce's new installment, How to Blog - including the entire Kurt Cobain chapters, the stuff that blogs are made of, my introduction into the blogging world, and why I blog now.
Anti's first outing, Anti's Boring Blook from Hell - he published his blog in paper, what's not plainly obvious about that?
You know, one really is the lonliest number when you've got work to do, it's dark and stormy out, no one is around, and there ain't a soul on your IM list. It's a lonely number when you really don't want to do that work at all, when you've got all sorts of things on your mind, and the only person to talk to lives inside your head. It's what crazys are made of.
One is a lonely number when you just need a hug and your arms only wrap so far around yourself. I'm no sap, really, but even a fighter can admit that he needs a trainer, no?
Alright so maybe I am a sap. So shoot me. Instead of climbing up out of this hole of emotional crap as I get older I'm only digging myself deeper. Maybe it's the realizations you have as you get older - that the world really does
mean nothing, that this society really is
empty, that life really doesn't
have a point - these things, you'd think they'd make you colder, harder, but they don't. They bring you in, they prop you up, and make you want to fight. They make you want to believe it all means something, or at least you can make something close to you mean something. A thing, a person, anything at all really. A passion
So call it crazy, I dunno, but I don't think that makes someone mad. I think it makes them human. If we read the pyschology books literally then we'd all be crazy, wandering around believing things matter, believing that human suffering can stop, believing that we can live in a world full of peace and happiness, believing that the sun also rises and the moon sets and there is some sense of a goal about it, believing that we can make things better
when in fact - there is no "better" and there is no "worse" for that matter, it's all made up - nothing really matters.
I'm not trying to be dark or cynical here, I'm actually saying, I'm actually admitting I'm a romantic, which makes me as looney as van gogh - just with two ears - but I'm okay with that. I'm saying I know it's wrong and to hell with that, I don't mind being wrong. I don't mind living in a world where things can get better. I don't mind living in this fantasy of mine because, really, what's this life for if not our fantasies? Where would we be if no one thought we had a chance? We are, by nature, crazy creatures, able to convince ourselves of the most absurd facts - like heaven and hell, ghosts, aliens, God? This is what makes us so great, gives us our drive. You think sane
creatures came up with Star Trek? Well it's those same people, relatively speaking, that gave us the wheel, flight, teevees, and hell, computers. They had a dream.
I dream all the time, day in and day out, hour in and hour out, minute in and minute out. If I'm not dreaming than I'm not living because life, my friends, is a dream.. and I don't give a fucking hoot if it's not true. I gotta believe. I gotta be a stupid romantic boy that gives girls flowers and I gotta believe, I just do, I gotta believe that means something.
If I woke up one morning and believed - truly believed - that it may never happen, this passion of mine, well... I'd be dead, wouldn't I? That's my point. This life is
a dream. You make things up in your mind - "I saw a ghost" or "I am fated to be with this person" or "I can build a spaceship" - and before you know it you're on the way to the moon. The only reason crazy people are crazy is because they're dreaming a different dream than everyone else. Black is white, up is down.
I dunno. My dreams, they're in technicolour. In my dreams there are a lotta trees and animals, flowers and butterflies, big oceans and small streams. In my dreams, the sun shines through the wet of a thunderstorm and on the other side out comes a rainbow. In my dreams, there is a girl next to me that is talking to me - not at me, but to me - and she is teaching me things about this world that I couldn't learn from anyone else. Of course she is beautiful and her smile burns through me like the August sun and on the other side out comes a rainbow. I look at her and I see the dream, and I say fuck it - I don't care - I'm gonna keep on dreaming this dream. Don't wake me up. Even if the world is ending, the sky is falling, the apocalypse is now, don't wake me up. I'm a gonna keep on dreaming this dream cause it's just that beautiful.
It's just that goddamn beautiful.
So, I have four million in chips now.
Again. Four million in nothing. But you know how dangerous that is? That means I can top out (max for sitting is 100K) 40 times. That's losing every time.
Tonight people were less homophobic. Did I mention that I'm experiencing homophobia on Party Poker? How crazy is that. My question is, how do they know? I mean . . . I mean . . . how can they possibly tell, from thousands of miles away, that everyone around me confuses me for a gay man. They don't ever know that I'm male! aschwa55 gives away very little sexual identity info.
I like to talk to people. But it makes me sad how they leave so quickly when I put them out. I am so successful because of my strategy. I'll go in with almost anything, and I bet 12,000 or so with even a marginal hand. That way people don't really know if I have shit or not. I took down someone for 600K today on one hand with an ace two - full house, just slow playing it. The key is four rounds of betting. Convincing people that they can make an easy 48k, because I throw it away at the last minute so often.
I'm playing again for real money on saturday. I expect to lose. This is a terrible way to practice, because it's aweful technique. But my typing is really improving. I realized a while back that I needed to improve my typing skills, as I was typing so often, and I wasn't really a great touch typist. Now I'm flying. It's a nice feeling. It gives worth to the party poker experience. I want back already. Just a little more. I can afford it . . .
Things, in general.. this life.. experiences.. things
. Good or bad. Indifferent? I don't believe it. Always, somehow, somewhere on the scale that has no middle. A Zero to Ten with no 5. Somehow, life is always sweet... or bittersweet. I dunno. These are things I need to talk about. With myself.