This is what I do when I’m not at work.

You Funny Little Man

Posted: March 31st, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: characters, eulogy | 2 Comments »

Man, I can’t believe it. 37.

Mitch Hedberg

I just don’t understand it. Mitch Hedberg worked hard at being one of the funniest people on this planet and he was successful. Very successful, as far as I could tell. Definitely one of my beacons of light along the dark path of the last decade. I guess I should consider myself lucky for having seen him perform in Raleigh (thanks to the ticket-getting prowess of the Lint Queen) and even getting to chat with him after the show. What a genuinely sweet, talented individual.

But instead I’m just pissed off with no target for my invective. I guess I should be mad at heroin for continually fucking up the lives of people I adore, but the problem is much more complex than that and I’m left with nothing but frustration. Yes — these are adults who are willfully choosing to mess with that garbage, but why? What is driving them to do so? Goddamn. FUCK!

Life is unfair. Don’t get hung up on what you ain’t got or what ain’t working out for you. Instead, figure out what you do best and what makes you happiest and do it for the rest of your life (a la Rushmore). Goodbye, Mitch. I’m very sorry to see you leave the stage so soon. I’ll never look at turkeys the same way ever again.


Extraordinary Machine

Posted: March 31st, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: music | 3 Comments »

Fine Fiona Apple

Thanks to Fiona Argentina for the image.


O.B. — Over-Blogged

Posted: March 30th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: interwebby, music, technospiel | 2 Comments »

Two words. Holy Crap.

The sheer volume of info (good, bad, both combined, whatever) put on the Internet each day is staggering. The link aggregators (such as MetaFilter, Google News, Plastic, bordom .oO!@#;,., del.icio.us and perhaps a zillion others) alone can batter your reality and blunt your sensibilities. Then you get into the whole world of blogs and the links they’re posting and re-posting, well, mind-boggling sounds like a good term for it. Here is a wacky sampling of this info tsunami.

  • First things first. Screw you Sorny Records! Thanks for sitting on a great record for two years while waiting to find a radio single. They are probably trying to artistically stifle Fiona Apple the same way they tried with Mariah Carey years ago. Jump ship, Fiona! Find a better record distributor. I wish there were a combined hit counter on the zillion Extraordinary Machine download sites to show how many fans would have been happy to buy the cd. Lame industry bullshit.
  • Indie labels seem to be figuring this whole fiasco out. It seems that most of them understand that pervasive global exposure for their artists would be a good thing.
  • Glastonbury will turn the headphone rave culture on its ear this year when it debuts their “silent disco” idea. I thought it was cool when the Flaming Lips did it for The Soft Bulletin tour, but many others didn’t like the rather remote karaoke feel of the whole thing. I just wished the headphones they gave out were closed ear headphones. Twas impossible to wear earplugs with the cheapies they were handing out. IMHO, this drastically reduced the effectiveness of having the headphone content enhance the show.
  • The Jr.-Sr. High School in Proctor, Vermont just decided to ban access from school computers to blogging applications and social networking sites like myspace.com. The primary decision cited was that “blogging is not an educational use of school computers.” I would have to disagree on this point. It may not be an educational use now, with zero interaction from teachers. However, this could be an excellent way for teachers to get across important ideas such as not giving out too much personal information on the net or an early introduction to journalism and information science. This could teach kids computer skills, including hardware, software and Internet aspects. One major added bonus for anyone going to college — enhanced keyboarding skills. And it seems strange to me that they would want to discourage kids from reading and writing. Now limiting how much school time can be devoted to such efforts is important, but cutting off this aspect of adolescence and our techno-culture influx won’t do much to help these kids. What is significant about Proctor, Vermont? That is the town where I was raised for nine years (ages 2-11). My brother and sisters went to this High School. C’mon Vermont. I know you’re more liberal than that. 😉
  • My Raleigh-based homie S. Dawg Champeon was at SXSW to talk about the web cruft — namely spam, trolls, stalkers, Oh My! I’m sorry I missed it. As we all know, that is my favorite topic when it comes to bitching about weblogs.
  • There is so much cool stuff on the web. alexking WP 1.5 Theme Browser and ColorWhore. Amazing. Thanks to geeksmakemehot and nothing fancy.

Well, I think thats enough for now. Must… go.. to.. sleeeeeeeppp…


This Has Simply Got To Stop

Posted: March 28th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: eShopping, grousing | 5 Comments »

Just when I thought I had seen every crass manipulation of the original ribbon campaign idea, now they’ve gone too far. Die Hard Ribbons is now selling sports team-themed ribbons. Perhaps most insulting is these “support ribbons” seem to be for teams that no one has ever fucking heard of!!

At least show some respect and produce these awesome ribbons for REAL TEAMS like the Tarheels or the Tigers! Honestly, before I saw the Illinois (which is a state, right?) one, I thought it was a joke and somebody was making ribbons for gangs. Southside? Northside? What about West Coast Marauders? LBC Crew? These are freaking gang names. Let’s be honest. The Product? Bullshit. Execution? Poor. The whole genre of ribbons? Played out.

Guess it’s about time for the Terri Schiavo R.I.P. ribbons, eh? Anyone want to submit a design to cafepress?


Egg With A Double G

Posted: March 26th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: interwebby | No Comments »

Happy Easter (or “Spring Holiday”) to you! Like, everyone I know has sent me the Hip Hop Easter Bunny animation. It is pretty funny, well, if you’re into rapping bunnies. I think Har Mar may have directed this video. This thing obviously got popular fast because the original URL redirects you to this flowgo site. Too many freakin’ ads, but I guess that’s what pays for the bandwidth to host it…


The Long Tail of Winter 2005

Posted: March 22nd, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: grousing, photography | No Comments »

I’m hoping that my letters to god will pay off soon and make any last sign of Winter disappear, but until I hit that jackpot I will be satisfied collecting images that make me think Spring is right around the corner (yeah — I know about the calendar thing).

Futon Drowned in stream

This is the stream which runs behind my house and over to OWASA on Jones Ferry Road. I pass this outlet every time I walk to the J bus stop. There is always a wide variety of items cast into the creek, but this was the first time I saw parts for a bedframe. Some majorly disappointed futon customer was like “Fuck it! I’m drownin’ this mutha today.” I love this about my neighborhood.

Struggling maple in front of R.B. House Library     Wilson Library

On the left is the Japanese Maple that lives out in front of R.B. House Library on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus. I had to do some work in Wilson Library on my first day back from being sick for over a week and this recovering red soldier was sharing my vibe. It looked as if we had both weathered a difficult winter and were both looking forward to Spring. At least that’s how I felt.
    (The other photo is Wilson Library, of course.)


10 Tons of Gravel Make You Feel Like a Man

Posted: March 22nd, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: humor joke, photography | 3 Comments »

10 tons of gravel in the driveway     10 tons of gravel - Alva cameo

That’s right, G. Rock hard. Cold as stone. Ten tons of 3/4″ gravel up in your grill. Don’t even try to front.
    (Junkyard Alva makes her cameo in photo #2)

Yellow Blossoms at top of driveway

Oh yeah, and there were these pretty flowers blooming atop the driveway.


Knocked Out the Box

Posted: March 21st, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: generic | No Comments »

It seems like everyone is getting the flu this year. The outbreak so prevalent at work they took to calling it the “Library Crud.” Regardless, I just lost the past two weeks of my life to its enchanting spell and am still a week or so away from really being rid of this mess. The week or so of fever sweats, nausea and bad hallucinations over with, now I just have to deal with occasional temperature imbalance and coughing up enormous chunks of phlegm every five to ten minutes all day. I’m loath to stay in the office too long making such a racket, but alas the ship sails on.

Thanks to “the Crud” I missed out on my Dad’s 70th Birthday party, the March TriLUG meeting, a scheduled massage and a week of work. Damn. Each year around January 1, it seems as if we all get allotted 52 weeks for the year. This year I feel like I only got 51. Hopefully this is my last knock-down, drag-out illness for the year. And if you’re currently stuck with the Crud, I raise my liter of NyQuil in your general fuzzy direction.

I kept wanting to post things and update the blog, but honestly I was having difficulty reading things like the news and blogs. For the first few days it was no sleep, no food and constant sick. After that, it was more like suffering with body aches, endless fever and sweating and still pretty much no food. I hope I at least lost weight during the whole trauma. Then I had the recovery week of watching every DVD in the house and trying to make friends with food again. Let me tell you — I missed the hell out of some espresso now. It was agony to see the machine sitting unused in the kitchen every day. Those memories still too near to discuss.

Thanks to Page for bringing the Jello, Gatorade and Mean Girls by the house. (Best movie EVAR!) Without that Jello I might have truly lost it. Of course, Amy Poehler was awesome as the lonely housewife trying desperately to stay hip and in touch with her daughter’s generation. I almost spit strawberry Jello across the living room when she decided to dance “in the aisle” along with her daughter’s talent show routine. Classic.

Nothing else happened. For real. Which is what makes this post so damn generic. Everyone keeps asking me why I look so happy and my response is “Because I can eat food and leave the house again.” They seem to know what I’m talking about. Ahhhh… Winter. Where would we be without you? Happier and healthier, I suppose.


Über Meta Nerds

Posted: March 2nd, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: interwebby | 2 Comments »

Now that “blogs” have been driven to the forefront of the national conscience (to a certain degree), one remarkable trend I am seeing more of is the inconsistent idea of Blog Rules. Everyone seems to have their own (mis)conceptions about what a blog should be and what criteria makes a given blog “good” or “bad.” The key is to not stifle or restrict a vibrant technology & publishing format before it even blossoms into adolescence by imposing your personal convictions. Who is to say which direction this online dabbling will ultimately take? Or which way to proceed is best? Also, it would be only to your disadvantage to let certain guidelines color your experiences with (or opinion of) other folk’s blogs. Blogging is very personal, thus it is nearly impossible to draw up rules to corral such diversity.

There are Blog Rules for Corporations, Blog Rules for the Sake of Parody and Blog Rules that are downright confusing and overly bureaucratic. There are also cases of experienced bloggers being asked for suggestions and advice on how to have a successful blog. Alex King posted a fairly good set last May. However, most of the lists I come across are on personal sites. The feeling I often get is that the author is dictating to me exactly what I can use this space for (if I ever intend on getting into their über-cool blog clique). Not to pick on Justin, but his was the most recent list I reviewed and perhaps the one which sparked this post. (Plus, he has a caveat at the bottom which falls within basic agreement of my message).

Don’t blog about blogging?* You just broke the first two rules of Blog Club. How can one “blog about blogging” by posting their Blog Rules, yet request that others refrain from such pedestrian activity? I think it all comes down to the semantic dissonance of “guidelines” vs. “rules.” Perhaps we should kick back and watch the scene play out before we call the ending.

If I had to sit down and describe such a thing, my only two “rules” would look something like this:

  1. Get a blog up and running.
  2. Begin posting words, images, sounds, whatever you’d like.

Beyond that, the site owner should be able to take the tool in any direction they choose.

[*] This rule appears on nearly all Blog Rules posts I’ve found. So blogging about blogging must be really bad form.


The Passing of a Legend

Posted: March 1st, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: computers, eulogy | No Comments »

Jef Raskin is perhaps the one person I should thank most for my involvement in the realm of computing. After all, it was my fascination with the Macintosh at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Student Stores during the Summer of 1984 that got me hooked on the keyboard (and mouse). Since those fateful days bothering the store clerks while writing my school essays on the Macs and printing them out on those classic Apple printers, well, not much has changed I guess (‘cept the lack of a floppy drive). A grand time in the computer world, by my recollection.

I am therefore very sorry to note Jef’s passing and simply say “So long and Thanks for all the Interfaces.”