July 31, 2002
Apparently, my reputation precedes me. Well, I'm looking forward to this meetup too... I'm about to head over for cards night with some friends, but afterwards I'm going to run over to one of the coffee shops that's in the running for the meetup. Hopefully I'll get some pictures and be able to post a general review of the place. I'll check out the other coffee shop later this week.
I assume the bowling alley is just a generic bowling alley.
Some people say that bowling alleys got big lanes (Got big lanes, got big lanes)
I've flown Kansas City based Vanguard Airlines just about every time I've made it up to Chicago to visit the folks, mainly because they were always much cheaper than any other carrier on that route. I was also always happy with their service because there was never a line at their check-in counter, which is particularly a treat at Midway in Chicago, where the check-in lines for other carriers often extend out of the terminal building.
Well, I guess cheap fares + no customers = bankrupcy. Almost their entire staff has been let go. Feel free to read the termination letter on their website.
July 30, 2002
Pickin' up the Pawpaws...
Put 'em in a a basket... More than you would ever want to know about Pawpaws.
On the other hand, some band called Smokestack is playing a free show just down the street on Sunday. I downloaded some mp3s, and they sound all right. Also, I wouldn't have to drive sixteen hours to be able to see them.
The closest that Particle is going to get to me on their current tour is Chicago. It's this Saturday. Hmmm....
I won an autographed Cracker promotional flat for knowing that Cracker performed a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Man In Me" on their most recent tour. Rock!
Hey, looks like I got a great birthday present from the baseball players and owners yesterday. It looks like the day after which I will never again watch a baseball game has been moved up to August 16th.
At this point, I think I want them to go on strike, just so I can watch their pathetic little sport go down in flames.
July 29, 2002
This is some very cool flash that I saw almost a year ago, and have been trying to find since... I've finally tracked it down.
Also, the authors have a cautionary tale to tell about web hosting.
Why in the name of all that is holy won't New Line release Run Ronnie Run?
Entertainment is here...
Birthday? Wedding? Bar Mitzvah? Entertainment is taken care of...
Just book Dolemite.
Happy Birthday To Me
Well, I'm winding down the night with a birthday glass of scotch.
Let's see. The insomnia-avoidance tips I got were:
Well, one two out of eight is something, at least...
Blogging for CDs
Blogger Eric Olsen has an idea. (Not my uncle Eric, a different one. This one is from the heretical Olsen sect.) He has friends in the music business, and bloggers have an audience. Why not give promotional CDs to bloggers in exchange for a promise to write about the bands they listen to?
He's currently taking applications, and I've already thrown mine in. This would definitely be a good way for me to find good new bands... You're invited to apply here.
I said, "I remember you, I crashed your wedding.
July 28, 2002
Sick of it...
I would like to officially declare myself sick of getting tired, laying down to go to sleep, then tossing and turning for an hour trying to get to sleep. So what are your miracle insomnia cures?
Obligatory Fight Club Reference
I heard this story about a woman suing an airline for the humiliation she sufferred when they inspected her sexual prosthetic and laughed.
I'd be wondering who would be the first to make the obligatory Fight Club reference. The winner, at least as far as I've seen: The Flangy News.
July 27, 2002
Well that certainly is odd...
So I'm upstairs watching TV when some of my lights start turning on and off. "Hey, cool somebody's on the site," I think. Seeing as I'm nosy and all, I'd like to figure out who's doing it. So I take a look at my server's logs, and find the IP of the person who hit the lights at 10:54PM today.
It's this machine. My windows machine.
It's coming from inside the house!!!
Damn military time... That was 10:54AM. I still don't get why the lights changed if that's the last time anybody hit the lights page...
Hutchinson on Miller
Drug Czar Asa Hutchinson is going to be the guest on Dennis Miller next week. Hutchinson used to be my senator when I lived in Arkansas, but I didn't get the pleasure of voting against him because he was running unopposed. His appearance on Miller has the potential to be good, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dennis lobs him softballs.
Then again, I don't know that I've ever really seen Dennis have a guest on that he really disagrees with... I'll definitely try to catch that.
Hitchens on Miller
Well, if Dennis Miller is going out, he's at least going out with a bang. Christopher Hitchens was on the show last night. There's a repeat tonight on HBO2 at 10:00 CDT.
If only I had a working VCR... Maybe we won't go out until after that...
I would like to propose a law banning the airing of Kevin Smith movies on basic cable, where the word "bozo" has to be dubbed over so many creative uses of profanity that the movie loses any punch.
I've scanned a collection of cigarette ads from the 1950's, back when you could make statements like "More Doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!" Have a look, I always find these amusing.
Harry's, my favorite bar here in Kansas City, used to have a bunch of these framed and hanging in the bathroom. They disappeared one day... I guess some jackass decided to pull them down and take them home. That's a real shame. When I have some money to blow, I think I'm going to get these ones framed. They make excellent decorations.
Kind of late, but I'll link to Glenn Reynold's column on the pending R.A.V.E. act currently working its way through congress. The upshot is that this bill would make event promoters criminally liable if they could have reasonably expected people would be using drugs at their event. Ostensibly aimed at shutting down raves, the language in the law is incredibly vague, and could apply to all sorts of events. I'm sure the SuperFly guys that put on Bonnaroo could have been prosecuted under this law. I can't remember the last time I've been to a big concert and not smelled pot at some point.
In other drug war news, a letter sent to the San Francisco chronicle points out that the FBI apparently isn't taking this war on terrorism all that seriously. The CIA and FBI both have strict zero-tolerance policies when it comes to drug use. In this case (if his account is to be believed), an otherwise qualified candidate was turned away because he admitted to experimentation with marijuana over twenty years ago. Ken Layne has some comments on this issue as well.
I've always been somewhat upset at the amount of resources that our government spends in the failed war on drugs. Now that it should be obvious that those resources are badly needed elsewhere, I find it just inexcusable.
Hmmm... Having temperature problems again. I think what I did was let the charcoal burn down a bit too much. I've added more, but it isn't catching just yet. I bet it probably will in another half hour or so, but the heat is dropping rapidly.
Only three hours to go...
Hey, did you know that all the Palestinians want is peace?
Not a "This American Life" fan anymore
Not me... Bored again, so I randomly surfed over to www.iraglass.com. It is not in fact the website of Ira Glass but rather a very angry man who says he has hijacked the domain until Ira makes reparations for taping live shows before an audience. Like the show they're running this week, for example.
I guess I don't really understand the guy's complaint...
The brisket is cooking and I'm getting hungry. I ran into this same problem when I smoked ribs several months ago. You put the meat in the smoker, and after tending it for several hours, you start getting very, very hungry. Unfortunately, there's still at least another four hours until it's done.
God bless Wal-Mart. I got a printer/scanner a while ago, and it stopped working recently. Since it was a gift I didn't have the receipt, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try to exchange it. No hassles at all. I now have a new scanner, which I am hooking up now. Hopefully I'll have some cool stuff scanned out of my roommate's old Popular Mechanics magazines soon.
Enough with the talking... Charcoal is lit in the smoker, a brisket is sitting on the cutting board, and wood chips are soaking. Stop by for barbecue at around 6:30 or so if you're interested...
If you've spent any time listening to NPR's All Things Considered or Morning Edition you've probably heard the work of Nina Totenberg. She's known for courtroom reporting, often reading court transcripts of Supreme Court proceedings, but also reporting on other trials.
The Zacarias Moussaoui trial has taken so many twists and turns, it's always fun to hear her reading of the transcripts. Particularly not to be missed are reports from the last couple of weeks when Moussaoui tried to enter his guilty plea and when he took it back earlier this week. The transcripts are wacky enough, but to hear Nina read the parts of all the parties involved, including Moussaoui's interruptions and non sequiturs is just a riot.
Up too early...
I was in bed early last night, so when I woke up at around 5:00 this morning, I though I'd head over to the transient employment agency to try to get some day work. I hung out for about an hour, then I decided not to hang out. So now I'm awake, and I guess I'll surf the blogathon folks for a couple hours while getting the house cleaned up a bit.
The 24-Hour Blogathon is starting in about twenty minutes. 213 bloggers are spending twenty-four blogging for charity. The event should raise over $50,000 for various charities. If I wasn't so broke, I'd be sponsoring someone myself.
July 26, 2002
What's a good free CD Ripper, by the way? I used to use Real Jukebox until the new version came out which featured popups you couldn't turn off.
DAMN DAMN DAMN I HATE MICROSOFT!
I've had my copy of Big Smith's new album "Gig" for about a week, so I decided I'd give it a proper review up here. I wrote up a nice long review, and I was going to copy the CD to my hard drive so I could stream it over the weekend. I clicked on the "MP3 Information" button in a dialog box in Windows Media Player and instead of bringing up another dialog, it opened up a web page in the same window I was writing the review in. Of course, when I hit back it was gone.
That is my fault... I should know, save early, save often, but damn... I still haven't gotten used to programs redirecting browser windows I have open doing something else. If you need to send me to a web page, open a new window for God's sake. The review will have to wait for now as I'm not in the mood to write it again.
Oh, the review is overwhelmingly positive by the way. Gig rules. Ask me for mp3's if you're intersted. First one's free...
Big Smith - Drive Every Weekend
"I'll always love you", that's a quote, correct me if I'm wrong.
And I'd drive every weekend to see you in Springfield, Missouri.
There's a little white chicken smashed to hell on this road to Missouri.
And I'd drive every weekend to see you in Springfield, Missouri.
So I want to submit my site to Blog Hot Or Not, but it keeps saying that I'm not registered, and have to follow the instructions in the email. I've tried to have them send the email to three different addresses, and it's not showing up at any.
I guess this is similar to when I tried to get MIT to send me an application in high school. After the third time I requested an application and did not receive one, I took the hint.
Wishing I wasn't so ignorant
I often get upset with myself that I don't speak another language. Also, that I'm fairly ignorant about cultures outside the United States.
July 25, 2002
I just got back from seeing Austin Powers: Goldmember. It was all right. There were too many of those "this joke isn't funny, but we know it, so it's funny" sort of moments. That can only go so far. It did have its moments, though.
July 24, 2002
On a roll...
Ken Layne has been on a roll since his return from exile. Read it all.
Of course, James Trafficant was expelled from congress today. The vote was 420 to 1. Who was the 1? None other than Gary Condit.
My dumb, ill-informed comments got quoted in USS Clueless. I've said it before, but this time I mean it.
This is the coolest thing that's happened to me ever.
Warning: Kansas Politics Ahead
I'll have to admit that I'm a bit of a politics junkie, but only as a hobby. I read all the cool political bloggers, and it's fun to smack down Fisk and Chomsky, but local politics affects us almost as much as the national and internation scene. We also have a lot more control in local elections. Local politicans are the folks that hope to go on to national office, and Governor is a high-profile office where a politician can make a name for himself. If we want to nip the next John Ashcroft in the bud, this is where we need to do it.
Well, I just finished listening to the Kansas Republican Gubernatorial Debate on KANU. I have some thoughts on the candidates. I'm not sure that I'll vote Republican when the general election comes, but as a whole I have more in common with the Republican Party than with the Democrats. I used to vote Libertarian, but now I'm inclined to be a moderate Republican and try to get some folks in there that aren't raving psychos.
The debate was heavily focused on education and taxes. Like most states, Kansas is running a large budget deficit. Education is by far the largest item in the budget. Most of the questions addressed how you fix the deficit. Are you going to raise taxes, or are you going to cut education? If you're going to raise taxes, how are you going to do it? The other major issue raised was rural depopulation. With new farming technologies, fewer people are needed in agriculture and we're seeing many small towns shrinking and disappearing. The candidates were asked what, if anything, they would do to stem this tide.
Tim Shallenburger is the self-defined conservative candidate. With respect to taxes and education, he flatly states that he absolutely will not raise taxes. He feels that the budget crisis can be overcome simply through eliminating waste in government. He says that the way budgets are structured, departments have an incentive to spend their entire budget whether they need the money or not. Implicit in this is his assumption that they do not need the money, and are therefore being wasteful. So he'll cut. I give him points for honesty and for principle. I don't have kids, so I really can't comment too much on the state of education in Kansas. (Other than that evolution thing, but I'll get back to that.) I do concede that education is important, but I think a balance can be struck between tax increases and education cuts.
When asked about rural depopulation, Shallenburger launched into a tirade about Rural Character, and how rural depopulation is only a symptom of people pursuing The Almighty Dollar over what really matters. Nope. Of course, I really knew when he first defined himself as "The Conservative Candidate" that it would be very unlikely that I would support him. This little screed was enough for me to cement that. I liked his principled stand on taxes, and he was the least squeamish of the candidates about talking about budget cuts, but from his little character speech I got the feeling that he probably supported the evolution ban, if not in public at least in private. So nope to the conservative.
Dave Kerr is a Republican State Senator. He raised my cigarette taxes, and bragged about it. Fuck you. You don't get my vote. That alone was enough for me to not vote for him, but in case that doesn't convince you, let me try to give you some more reasons. He said that the main reason he is running is to tackle the "problem" of rural depopulation. He says that a major focus of his administration would be to bring high-speed internet and road improvements to rural Kansas. I'm sorry. Now I love the idea of the family farm. Hard work, etc. Those days are past us. Kerr wants to tax me more, and distribute my money out to rural Kansas so that people can continue to live where there aren't any jobs. He justified high-speed internet by saying that it would then help people be able to conduct commerce without having to travel. What, are people going to download their groceries? Hrm... He just didn't do it for me. Plus, most of his answers seemed a bit weasely and evasive.
Bob Knight had to go to the dentist, so he couldn't make the debate. His running mate Kent Glasscock fielded the questions. Glasscock said he absolutely would not cut education funding, but would make cuts elsewhere. When he was asked where, he sounded a bit evasive. He isn't against local funding, even if that means that more wealthy counties (Johnson, for example) end up with better education systems than others. When asked about specifics of the formula, he said that others would have to help out with that. It sounded a bit whiny ("All those other legislators aren't playing fair... Wah...")
Looking back over my notes, I can't really come up with any strong stance he took, other than saying he absolutely would not cut education. He said he would be willing to raise taxes, but didn't really say where. To be fair, he never really was asked. Others were, but he mostly got asked about cuts. He did talk about health care a bit more than the others, saying that we need to encourage the use of generic drugs rather than the major brand names, but pretty much all the candidates agreed.
Nothing he said really stood out for me. He seemed like a politician. He hemmed and hawed every answer, spouted a bunch of platitudes, and evaded. He did not impress me, but I didn't really hear anything that seriously turned me off.
I liked Dan Bloom. I really did. He sounded a bit sound-bitey at the beginning, but I liked his pro-business stance. He says he'd be willing to raise taxes if necessary, and specifically says he would probably raise it on home property before anything else. I may not like that personally, but I liked that he could say it. He believes that the best way to deal with the budget crisis is to get more business to move to Kansas, and that raising taxes on business is not the way to do that. I sure as hell don't want the major corporation I work for put under any more stress than it already is. They've let enough of us go already.
I guess the thing that really won me over to him is that he stated that he is the only pro-choice candidate. That is important to me, and I liked that he was willing to state it.
Now there he has some major drawbacks. You may notice that his campaign does not have a website. That doesn't fill me with a lot of faith that he's running a serious campaign. Nor does the fact that his running mate is his son (a college student).
As far as the abortion issue goes, it is somewhat moot on the state level. There have been some wacky attempts made by the state legislature to force the Kansas Supreme Court to decide when life begins. I really don't think it matters what the state court says since I'm absolutely sure anything they could possibly do would be overthrown in a federal court. Nevertheless, I get the feeling that Shallenburger would be whole-heartedly behind that sort of action. As a matter of fact, I get the feeling that he would make that a priority. Kerr and Knight probably would avoid that. So I guess I can deal with them saying they're pro-life. Enough about that, though. I use the abortion issue as a litmus test to seperate the wacky Christian Conservative from the normals, so I'm reading a lot more into it that I really probably should be.
I'd love to vote for Bloom, but after some quick web searches and trying to contact his campaign for more information, I just don't feel that he's a viable candidate. His campaign number is his home phone number, for God's sake! He didn't even record the greeting on his answering machine, his wife did! So I guess Knight/Glasscock gets my vote. I know absolutely nothing about the (unopposed) Democrat who will be running, but I know that I'll be voting for her if Shallenburger gets the nomination. If we can get a moderate in there at all, I'd rather have Knight than Kerr.
OK, no more posts about politics for a while. For God's sake though, vote on August 6th.
Update: 7/25/2002 17:07: I just got a call from Dan Bloom. He does have a website here. However, I stand by my "not a chance" statement.
I just remembered that the Lawrence NPR station is hosting a debate between the Republicans running for Governor of Kansas. I have a feeling that the Republicans are going to win the governors office, so I think it behooves me to vote in the Republican primary. I'll post my thoughts on the candidates after the debate, which starts presently.
Boring night, apparently.
Normally Wednesdays are fairly busy for me. I sometimes work out after work, then I play cards with some friends, then head out to a bar of some sort with other friends.
I'm too sore from Boxercise yesterday to work out today, cards are off because one in our crew is going to be out of town, and I think the bar crew is collectively broke, so none of that tonight.
Hrm... Boring night. Maybe I should rent a movie. I haven't been out to Blockbuster in a while.
A friend of mine from Texas is about to start law school. He was accepted at a school in St. Louis and wait-listed at some other preferable schools, so he made tenative plans to move to St. Louis. Well, the plans became less and less tenative as the date approached (he was going to be storing his car up here in KC next weekend), and it looked like everything was settled in.
Then he got accepted to a better school up in Chicago. Things are rather up in the air right now. He's currently homeless, having sold his house in preparation for the move to St. Louis, so now only has a couple weeks to find digs in Chicago and make arrangements to move.
Yikes. I don't envy him the moving preparations, but it'll be cool to know folks in Chicago. My parents live up there, so I head out that way several times a year, but I don't really know anybody to go out with. I can now damn them with my presence several times a year instead of once every several years like I do currently.
He'd just better not turn into a Bears fan.
Coolest. Movie. Ever.
There are rumors of the Coen Brothers' next picture. Apparently, it's going to be a musical called Romance and Cigarettes. Rumored cast members include James Gandolfini, Julia Stiles, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi and Christopher Walken.
Riddle me this...
The coolest part is that he doesn't post answers... I think I might mess around with these a bit this evening.
July 23, 2002
This house is definitely haunted. I've heard enough noises tonight (a dresser drawer closing, many footsteps, and one very odd clanging sound) that I'm convinced that:
A. This house is haunted.
Actually, I'm not entirely sure that there isn't actually somebody in my roommates room or the extra bedroom, but I don't particularly want to go up there unarmed. Where's my sword? Ah... It's in my room. If I haven't blogged by noon tomorrow, call the police.
I am the champion! Well, not really...
Well, the parks where I could have gone and done that Letterboxing thing all closed at 8:00 tonight, and I'm not rebel enough to stay past closing, so I just went to the gym tonight. I ran my mile to warm up then started doing some weights...
Then an announcement came over the intercom.
Maybe you should download this musical theme for this post.
"Boxercise starting in five minutes," was the announcement.
Well heck. I'm warmed up, I think I'll go give that a shot. I wander over towards the boxing room. There are about eight people waiting over there. The instructor shows up and takes us outside. Just a quick jog to the grass and back to warm up. Easy enough.
The we do 75 squats. OK, that's starting to sting just a bit. Oh, now we're sprinting to the grass and back. Ok, fine... I can do that... I wasn't even the last one to finish up. We're climbing these stairs now? Oh, I see... Calf raises. Up... One-one-thousand-two-one-thousand, down, up... one-one-thousand-two-one-thousand... My calves were a bit sore by the time we got to fifty. Oh, these ones are different because you hold in the down position... I see... down... one-one-thousand-two-one-thousand, up, down... one-one-thousand-two-one-thousand... Wow, fifty more of those... Well, I guess this is going to be a tough workout. Oh, now fifty more without holding. OK... up, down, one, up, down, two... Well, now my calves are definitely starting to cramp a bit. But I'm trying to keep up... Really trying to keep up here... Ah... We're done. OK, well, 150 calf raises isn't too bad.
So now we're sprinting to the grass and back on our toes. Well, I thought that would be bad, but it's actually stretching my calves out a bit again. OK, that's nice.
Oh, more squats. I see, these are different because our toes are pointed forward instead of out. I see. So seventy-five... no? Oh, one hundred and twenty five of these. OK... That seems like more than I would normally do, but you're the boss. How hot is it out here, anyway? Oh, 85... Is that all? It seems hotter.
Oh, I see. I'm pushing my shins too far forward. Yes, that certainly does burn more when I do it that way. Yes, I can certainly feel that. So only another hundred of these, you say... Two lucky guys got to take a break and sprint to the grass and back during the last twenty-five. Oh wait... Now they're back and they have to hold their squat until the rest of us sprint to the grass and back. Well my legs are definitely sore, but I can make it there and back. Hey, I still wasn't the last one to finish up.
OK, up the stairs again. Ah, calf raises again. Only one hundred this time. Well my calves are still tight from the last couple of sets we did, but sure. No, no... Definitely trying to cramp. We're not holding these, it's just up and down, you can handle this. No.. No you can't. You're pulling and your legs are just not lifting you up. Well, I guess I'll just pretend to do the rest of these. Well, I can't really pretend as my calves are no longer responding to the signals that my brain is sending down to them.
Now how did I get this high up the stairs? It didn't seem quite as hard to climb up these stairs as it is to get back down. How am I doing? Oh, fine... Definitely getting a workout. Ah... Lunges now. Well, I really need some water here... But I'm back... Back in line. Lunges to the grass and back. Well, I only missed half-way to the grass... I'm still getting 75% of this exercise. These certainly are tough with my legs shaking as much as they are. Not too bad, though. I can finish these up.
Oh, to the hill now? Hmm... There's kind of a gradual hill you drive up on the way up here, I think I can handle that. Oh, yes... It is much steeper over here. A lot higher than I thought it would be too... Ten times down and up? One a minute? Hmmm... Sure, why not. Well, going down is kind of tough, seeing as it's so steep and all. Wow, going up is even tougher. Are you sure it's only 85 degrees out here? Ok, I can do another... Down is still tough. Up, that's starting to be a problem. I need water.
You can go ahead and stop that music now. That song is pretty damn annoying anyway. I stumble back in to the gym and drink a bit of water. Just a sip, my stomach doesn't really feel right now. Urge to vomit rising... Rising... RISING... falling... falling... RISING... falling... gone... I can drink some more water now. I think I'll sit down for a second.
OK, I'm settled now. I can stumble back to my car and go home now.
My legs still aren't quite working, though. I don't think I'm quite ready for a workout that leaves me unable to operate a motor vehicle properly. This is one of the few times I'm glad my car is an automatic. Finally I did make it home safely.
Honestly, I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. (Or at least I was about two months ago... I've slipped a bit since then, but I'm back on a regular workout schedule at least.) However, there is a reason I'm a computer programmer and not a professional athlete. I almost made it through the ass-kicking cardio/legs workout part of the Boxercise class. I entirely missed the bag-punching, medicine ball throwing and abdominal part of the workout.
Since my partner still probably won't be ready for racquetball next week, I think I'll try to redeem myself next Tuesday by actually finishing the hour-and-a-half long class. That will be the last of my exposure to Boxercise, though. I have a feeling I'm not going to be walking right tomorrow.
Lost in La Mancha
Well, Terry Gilliam hasn't put out a film since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but it hasn't been for lack of trying. The doomed "Man Who Killed Don Quixote" has spawned the closest we're going to get to a new Gilliam picture for a while.
Gilliam says he will start working on a new movie by the end of this year, but it doesn't look like it'll be Good Omens.
I've said on here a couple of times beore that I rarely have trouble getting to sleep. As of this date, I will no longer say that. It turns out that I fairly often have trouble getting to sleep. Beyond that, I'm just not sleeping well, and I'm ending up tired all the time.
Probably my fault last night. I should have gone in to the gym, but I didn't. Instead, I stayed home and ate too much pizza. That rarely helps me get a full night's sleep.
Eh... I'm going hiking somewhere tonight. Maybe I'll check out one of those Letterboxing sites I heard about on Jessy's site. Basically, somebody has hidden a waterproof container somewhere in the city containing a note and a log book. You find the box, read the note, stamp the log book, and replace it. It looks like the Kansas City ones are in some parks around here. Hopefully that will wear me out enough that I'll sleep well tonight.
July 22, 2002
This American Life is a repeat this week. Not only that, it's the same one I listened to last night.
It's really good, though. Sarah Vowell talking about goths, David Rakoff, and They Might Be Giants. Whee!
Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
I put the home control thing up on Saturday afternoon. I went to see Big Smith Saturday night, and had left before it got dark. I got home from that show in the early morning and went more or less right to bed. I was home during the day on Sunday, but it wasn't until Sunday night that I really noticed how much my lights were turning on and off.
That was cool...
Everything is so damn expensive...
Now that I got my Home Control section working how I want it to, I'm on to my next idea. I'd like to have one of those cool scrolling LED displays in my living room, and have a section on here where you can leave a message for me. Unfortunately, I'm looking for those on the web, and most of the manufacturers don't even list prices, and those that do are in the $600-800 price range.
Seriously, how much can it really cost to make one of those? I thought Think Geek used to carry one, but I certainly don't see it now. I think I'd be willing to pay up to $150 or so for one, but damn... $600 is just too much.
July 21, 2002
Everybody has a weblog...
The Drums & Tuba weblog. Sounds like they just got back from Japan. I'd love to go to Japan someday. I guess I should start a band.
When I was at that fella's apartment in Lawrence last night, one of the guys asked me what kind of music I listen to. I really couldn't come up with a quick answer.
Of course, probably my two favorites are Big Smith and The Steve Kimock Band. I go see them whenever they're in driving range for a show, and listen to them plenty in my car. I guess I am getting old, though. I just don't like the music the young whippersnappers are listening to these days.
When he asked me what kind of music I listen to, I came up with a nice generic "Jam Bands". Which I guess is about as close to true as it could have been. I devotedly follow Kimock and Big Smith, but I'm currently in the process of trying to find some new bands. I saw a lot of folks at Bonnaroo, but when I look at their schedules, their tours usually seem to go East Coast to West Coast, but don't really hit the middle too much. If they do, they're usually shows in Chicago, Wisconsin, or St. Louis, and invariably during the middle of the week. I could go catch them, but that would involve taking time off of work to do it, and I've done enough of that this year that I'm starting to have to conserve or I'm going to run out of vacation for Christmastime...
Bonnaroo did definitely inspire me to start downloading more music. I've been using Furthur, a peer-to-peer file sharing utility that restricts itself to legally tradable live shows. In the last month or so, I've downloaded shows by Drums and Tuba, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Disco Biscuits, Jurassic 5, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, some old KVHW and Zero (old bands Steve Kimock was in), moe, The Big Wu, Rusted Root, and Particle. I've had Furthur running more or less non-stop for the last month or so, and I've just about filled up my brand new 80 Gig hard drive. As a matter of fact, I've downloaded so much music, I think I have about a 16 hour backlog of stuff I've downloaded and have yet to listen to. I'm slowly trying to work my way through it, and here are some thoughts so far.
The Disco Biscuits and Particle are somewhat similar. They are regular guitar/bass/drums bands that also include some elements of electronic music. The Disco Biscuits have DJs sit in while the band plays, and I'm not sure if Particle is using DJs or synths and sequencers. With both bands, the live band is the driving force behind the music, but they work the electronic stuff in seamlessly, and it works. I've heard other bands try to mix electronic stuff in with an improvisational live performance, and it doesn't always work, but both of these bands pull it off well. I've been listening to The Disco Biscuits Bonnaroo show and a New York Particle show a lot over the last week while driving.
I don't really know how to describe Drums and Tuba, but I've been listening to one of their shows a lot while at home working on the computer. Their name is quite literal, they do in fact have drums and a Tuba. According to their press kit, they're a band from Austin that originally started with the idea of creating a stripped down marching band. Two of the guys started playing on 6th Street for tips (that's called busking, you know), then they added a guitarist and formed the band. I know I saw that they were playing in Fayetteville several times, and I know they've been to Lawrence. Now I'm kicking myself for not having caught them before, and they're not touring this summer. They'll be touring in the fall, but haven't annoucned dates yet.
I also keep Bela Fleck and the Flecktones on the playlist now, and I may have to head over to Columbia, MO on Sunday, August 4 to catch them, or maybe down to Eureka Springs 9/10. Bela Fleck plays banjo, and the rest of the band is fairly standard. The stuff with The Flecktones is different from what I heard at Bonnaroo, but good as well. I'm still upset that I can't seem to find a copy of the Bela Fleck/Edgar Meyer show from Bonnaroo. That rocked. It was just Banjo and Bass, and all classical sounding music. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Others that I've listened to, but didn't really catch my attention immediately included moe, The Big Wu, and Medeski Martin & Wood. Of those three, MMW really seemed to play well, and they're definitely worth a second listen (I was cleaning yesterday while listening to them), but I think I'd catch moe or The Big Wu if they were ever passing through town.
I've been reading so many good blogs lately, I had to link to a few more. I also reorganized my links section a bit too. Be sure to check out Tom Tomorrow's excellent weblog. Also, you now get permanent links to the websites of Big Smith and Steve Kimock. Also, if you are so inclined, you can go he
Back from the show. Great as always. I ran into a guy from Fayetteville that I've run into at Chester's shows before. I hung near him and some of his friends from Lawrence for most of the show, then we went back to their place and hung out for a while.
The guy from Fayetteville was up with his fiance. Their friends were a couple of math Ph. D students at KU and a guy who owns a bar in Stillwater, OK. All cool folks. They all play instruments, and it made me wish I actually knew how to play my bass. I'd like to think that it'll motivate me to practice a bit, but it probably won't. Maybe I'll mess around a bit tomorrow.
I got my copy of Gig. I'm listening to a bit of it now, but I'm about to go to bed. Excellent recording, and the tracks include almost all of my favorites. Listening to a bit now, and I swear I heard a shout by a friend of mine from Texas who came up for the recording of that album. Probably just my imagination, though.
But as I said, it's bedtime now.
July 20, 2002
Gimpysoft.com Proudly Presents...
I'm proud to present the updated Gimpysoft.com Fort Awesome Control Panel. Stop by and turn my lights on and off for a while, won't you? Now with moderately snazzy graphics and access to almost all the lights in the house.
Please, use this as often as you can, it really freaks out my roommate.
I thought I had found a copy of the Bela Fleck/Edgar Meyer show from Bonnaroo, but when I finished up the download, it was actually the "Superjam" that took place on Sunday afternoon. I'm having trouble finding a real recording of the Bela Fleck/Edgar Meyer show. That's too bad, it was one of the highlights of the weekend.
It rained during that show, and most of the tapers had umbrellas over their microphones. I wonder if the rain coming down on the umbrellas drowned out the sound of the show...
Now listening to: Phil Lesh and Friends featuring Bob Weir, 6/23/2002 (Bonnaroo).
I now show up #1 on a Google search for "Going back to Houston, to get me some pants".
This is the coolest thing that's happenned to me ever.
July 19, 2002
Well, downloading a second copy of the Disco Biscuits' Bonnaroo show was definitely worth it. This is a much better recording.
Regional BBQ Sauce
Here is a list of regional Barbecue sauces. No recipes, though.
I'll Fly Away
I really hope Big Smith plays "I'll Fly Away" tomorrow night. I've heard many, many, many bands play that song, but Big Smith's is my favorite arrangement. Of course, this Bob Marley cover I'm listening to right now isn't too bad either...
I went to get a new racquet today at lunch. After lunch, I went downstairs to have a cigarette. As I was just about done, my racquetball partner limped out of the building over to the smoking area. He had his ankle X-Rayed and nothing is broken, but he is definitely out of commission. I should be able to play with my reporter friend sometime next week, but probably not until next Friday. I hate having a new toy and not being able to play with it.
I feel somewhat pathetic tonight. My roommate is out of town and I don't really feel like going out tonight. I just made a trip to the grocery store. My purchases: One (1) Carton Camel Lights Hard Pack, Six (6) Marquez Spicy Beef And Bean Frozen Burritos, Two (2) Pints Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream (Cherry Garcia and Peanut Butter Cup) and One (1) Spicy Pepperoni Stick. As I was checking out, I looked at my purchases and was filled with a deep sense of Ennui. (Hey, there's that word again! Twice this year! Probably used wrong again!)
Anyway, I went home and put some music on. The hum I get when my computer is running through my stereo finally started to piss me off enough that I decided to fix it. I went out to Radio Shack and got a Ground Loop Isolator. Basically it's just several transformers in a block with cables coming out of it with RCA ends on the cables. The signal still runs across the transformers, but there isn't a physical connection, so you no longer have the loop that causes the hum. Electrical Engineers, does this make sense? I guess it does, as I no longer have hum on the stereo. It only cost me fifteen bucks. Now I can continue to listen to all the This American Life archives without that damn hum.
Which is what I'm doing now. I'm going to go try to get some work tomorrow, so I'm going to sleep early tonight. Tomorrow is Big Smith at The Bottleneck. Lawrence/Kansas City folks, be sure to head out for the show. They're fixin' to get hillbilly on your ass. Dallas Jones and Lucero are opening. I've seen Dallas Jones before, and he's pretty decent. Lucero is Pitch Weekly's pick for Saturday, for what that's worth. That story kind of makes it sound like Big Smith is opening up for Lucero, but I'm pretty sure Big Smith is the headliner. Regardless, it's going to be a great show.
Early to bed tonight, though. I have a long day tomorrow, either working or cleaning the house and smoking a brisket. Hooray.
Can I just go to sleep for the next two weeks?
Pre-pre-season football officially begins tomorrow as the Houston Texans begin their training camp. The first official pre-season game kicks off two weeks later. San Francisco plays Washington 10:00 PM on Saturday, August 3.
Ohio Representative James Traficant is completely insane.
"I will take with me a file, a chisel, a knife, I will try and get some major explosives, try to fight my way out," Traficant said of the possibility of his incarceration.
July 18, 2002
Be sure to head over to BeerPal.com and submit reviews of your favorite beers, interact on the message board, or view other reviews.
I went off to play racquetball. I got there a little early and my partner showed up on time. We played about four points, then he twisted his ankle badly enough that he decided to lay off for the rest of the evening.
I went off to lift some weights, and between sets I noticed somebody else hitting a ball around on the court I had reserved. I asked him if he was waiting for someone, and he said no, so I offerred to play a game. We warmed up for a bit by hitting the ball around and I could tell I was outclassed. I'm struggling to return balls, but he gets everything, and consistently hits it exactly two inches off the ground against the front wall.
We did play a game though, and he went a bit easy on me. I could tell that he probably could have killed me with just about any return, but he seemed to be trying to put them just out of my reach, and I even got a couple of shots in on him. The final score was 14-16, but I'm sure it didn't need to be that close.
I also broke a string on my racquet somewhere around the 11-8 mark, so I finally have an excuse to spend a lot of money on a new racquet. Much like in golf, when in doubt, blame your equipment. And spend more money on it.
And tomorrow's payday...
Futzing around again...
I'm messing around with the layout of the site again hoping to get a bar along the right side, hopefully to hold the Home Control section once I get that going. Hopefully that'll be tonight, but I have to go play racquetball in about half an hour, then I'm probably going to just going to spend the rest of the evening making sure the layout works correctly.
Anyway, I have a new X10 controller that I just got some linux software for called Heyu. It's a little better than the old software I was using in that it's two way, it can receive commands from a remote. It still doesn't sound like it'll keep the current state of all the lights. If I turn a light on or off from a wall switch, that doesn't get reported back to the computer. That is unfortunate, I was hoping to have a cool page where you could see which lights in my house are on or off. Then you could turn them on and off and see the results. I still don't have a webcam, but I took pictures of all the lights in the house on and off and was hoping to shrink those down to create a remarkable simulation. Too bad. I swear when I had the windows software on there it could query for the status of units, but maybe not.
So I am messing with it right now. If you notice anything weird, please let me know. Or just drop a comment on this entry. If you can see it.
July 17, 2002
Partly Cloudy Patriot
The Stadium Pal
The This American Life I just got done listening to included a recording of a story I heard David Sedaris read when he was in Kansas City a couple of months ago. In it, he talks about The Stadium Pal. The Stadium Pal is a product for those who don't have time, or just can't be bothered to find a restroom. This product does actually exist.
I remember them selling these at Mardi Gras this year, but they were called "The Sneaker Leaker" there, and it didn't come with the 34 oz. (1000ml) leg bag.
I'm truly, truly sorry.
So I'm sitting here listening to a This American Life that I missed a couple of weeks ago and I turn on the TV and flip through channels without sound. A particular program catches my eye.
Now, everybody likes Highlander. I caught it for the first time when I was in school in Houston, and I liked it as well. This was quite some time after Highlander II: The Quickening had been released, and I was naturally curious. My friends all told me to stay away. Most of them don't even admit that such a movie exists, but IMDB tells me otherwise. The Sci Fi Channel does as well, apparently.
I had taken my friends' advice until now, lo these eight years later. So I turned it on, minus sound. I see Christopher Lambert having some fight with guys who look like the Baron's doctors from David Lynch's version of Dune. They have some sort of winged backpacks that they use to swoop down on Connor MacLeod, but he is too wily for them. He uses some sort of wire conveniently laying across a city street to clothesline one of them, who then flies into a breaker box and explodes in a shower of sparks. The entire city then explodes in a shower of sparks.
Then Sean Connery warps into the middle of a play of some sort and I hastily change the channel.
The only IMDB review I see of this movie is headlined "One of the worst movies ever made." Just from the five minutes I saw without sound, I'd say it was the worst, if only I hadn't seen Destiny Turns On The Radio.
True Porn Stories...
I thought I'd switch it up today by stealing my links from memepool instead of Fark. If you listened to This American Life last week, you heard a story by Ali Davis about her experiences working in a Chicago video store with a large porn section.
There's more where that came from. You can find her porn-counter weblog here.
We break from our normal programming to bring you a picture of a cute kitty taking care of a baby rabbit.
July 16, 2002
Welcome to Fort Terror!
I used to be very inclined to believe in ghosts, ESP, telepathy and the like. These days I try to be more skeptical since in my twenty-something years on this planet I haven't really seen any evidence. Even my little sleep paralysis episode doesn't have to have a supernatural explanation. Your brain can easily come up with all kinds of weirdness on its own, especially in a sleep state.
However, I am becoming more and more convinced that there is something in this house. My roommate got very freaked out about lights turning on and off, but that's just the home control section of this website that I haven't fixed for the new site layout yet.
Besides the lights though, we've both seen stuff here that's freaked us out a bit. When I was out of town once, my roommate said that a light turned off in the computer room. Again, I'm sure that's just the website, "Lamp 1" is actually the light in my computer room. However, because the light turned off, it got dark in the computer room, and he was then able to see out the window into the back yard. My back yard isn't fenced all the way around, and he said he saw somebody walking across the back yard looking towards the house.
Again, nothing supernatural, but still rather creepy. If it was me, I would have called the police, whose station is right across the street. He didn't. It's freaky enough to think we have prowlers around. Particularly since we have a tendency to forget to close the garage door at night. I also don't own any weapons except my cooking knives and a big sword.
The supernatural part comes in later. A couple of weeks after my roommate told me about the guy in the back yard, he was out of town on business and I was staying here alone. I was down in the computer room tapping away and listening to music when I distinctly heard four footsteps going up the stairs to the bedrooms, ending with the creak in the board at the top of the stairs that happens every time you climb them. Naturally, I was concerned. I know that I leave the garage door open, and I've been surprised by my roommate before if I was concentrating on something down here. The door to the garage was even open. So I was absolutely convinced that someone had entered the house and was upstairs. I quickly armed myself with my big Chef's knife and went up the stairs. I checked all the rooms and all the closets and found nothing.
This has happened several times since then. My roommate has noticed the same thing. I know houses make noises, and rationally I know that is what's going on. That still doesn't help when you're trying to get to sleep at midnight alone in a big house with creaking floorboards. Some other part of your brain just takes over once you plant the seed that there's something in here.
Maybe I should have my house dehaunted. I wonder if I have to disclose that when it's time to sell the house...
Dragons vs. Warthogs
Steven Den Beste at USS Clueless posted three excellent discussions based on the movie Reign of Fire. In them, he ponders how an army of dragons would stack up against our modern military. All very long, but highly recommended.
My defense industry fighter-jet-designer readers should take note.
I know I shouldn't, but I think I'm going to be going to bed soon. I'm feeling rather poor right now. Practically no sleep last night, and a mildly upset stomach, probably from the Indian food I had for lunch. It's unfortunate... That had become one of my favorite lunch spots, but this is the second time (in a row, no less) that I've developed an upset stomach after eating there.
Going to sleep at 5:00 is a terrible idea. I'm sure I'm going to wake up at 2:00 and not be able to get back to sleep. What do you do at 2:00AM in Kansas City if you're not tired? I haven't found too many late night hangouts here... There was always House of Pies in Houston. I guess we have IHOP and Denny's here, but I think I like my late night diners a little bit grimier than that. Citysearch has a "Best Late Night Dining" category, but Kansas City is conspicuously missing from their list. There's one place I've seen, I think on 39th and Southwest Trafficway, but I've never stopped there. I can't remember the name, though. If I do in fact wake up at 2AM, I'll head over there for some breakfast and give a report.
However, I think it is time for me to turn in, at least for a bit.
On a tangentiality related note...
Carl Streator is a solitary widower and a fortyish newspaper reporter who is assigned to do a series of articles on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In the course of this investigation he discovers an ominous thread: the presence at the death scenes of the anthology Poems and Rhymes Around the World, all opened to the page where there appears an African chant, or “culling song.” This song turns out to be lethal when spoken or even thought in anyone's direction–and once it lodges in Streator's brain he finds himself becoming an involuntary serial killer. So he teams up with a real estate broker, one Helen Hoover Boyle–who specializes in selling haunted (or “distressed”) houses (wonderfully high turnover), and who lost a child to the culling song years before–for a cross-country odyssey to remove all copies of the book from libraries, lest this deadly verbal virus spread and wipe out human life. Accompanying them on this road trip are Helen's assistant, Mona Sabbat, an exquisitely earnest Wiccan, and her sardonic ecoterrorist boyfriend Oyster, who is running a scam involving fake liability claims and business blackmail. Welcome to the new nuclear family.
I rarely have trouble getting to sleep. I often am able to get to sleep, then sleep the whole night and wake up still tired, but I can almost always get to sleep. Last night was the worst time I've had at it in a long time. I laid down at around 11:30 or so and read for a bit. Come midnight, I tried laying down and finally gave up and read some more at around 1:00. Tried sleeping again and gave up again at around 3:30. I was finally able to get to sleep for a bit at around 5:00, but woke up at 6:00 and just gave up. I think I'll probably be crashing out early tonight.
July 15, 2002
Big Smith again...
I'm going to die.
Racquetball kicked my ass. We played for an hour and a half, and I'm thoroughly exhausted. I meant to stay and lift some weights, but I'm beat. I'll be asleep if anybody needs me...
Sweet! Finally I'm finding the Bonnaroo shows I've been looking for. I'm currently downloading Disco Biscuits, Bela Fleck/Edger Meyer, and Phil and Friends. Hopefully they'll be done by the morning.
Dave on Dave
The Dave Matthews Band is on Letterman tonight.
Yet another boring weekend. We went out to Harry's on Friday night. The bartender there (Justin, I think) is the best bartender I've ever had anywhere. I don't know how he does it, but 90% of the time he has his zippo out and lit between me taking a cigarette out of my pack and reaching in my pocket for my lighter. Now that's service.
Saturday was less interesting. I got a copy of Empire Earth, and I finally installed it and started playing. It seems all right, but the single player campaigns are very annoying. Of course, I hated the single player campaigns in Age of Empires II, and played the hell out of it in multiplayer. I'll have to hook up with my old AOE buddies to play some Empire Earth sometime (Roka, you out there?) First, I'm definitely going to have to try some Random Map against the computer.
That shouldn't be a problem, though. My roommate is going to be out of town on business for the next seven weeks or so. I'm kind of getting tired of hanging out at the places frequented by my drinking buddy friends. If I can't convince them to try going somewhere new I'll probably be seeing a bit less of the normal Wednesday night drinking crew. My friends from work don't go out. Bleh.
So back to gaming and lots of trips out of town it is. I'll be heading out to see Big Smith in Lawrence this Saturday, but that's hardly out of town. Next Friday, I'm still fairly certain that I'll be going to that Midwest Blogger Bash in St. Louis. I may continue on from there to catch Big Smith in Chicago the Saturday after, but due to lack of funds will probably just head back here. It wouldn't be that expensive a trip since I'd have a place to stay, but gas for the trip and the show itself would probably be more expensive than just coming back to KC and hitting some local bar. Particularly since I'll be seeing Big Smith this Saturday anyway.
The Disco Biscuits are playing in St. Louis on Thursday, August 1, but I don't think I want to take a day off of work for that. They're also playing that Terrapin Station Grateful Dead reunion show on Saturday, August 3, but I'm not sure that I want to pay the very high ticket price for that show. I ought to catch one or the other, though. That's the closest they're getting to KC on their current tour.
Racquetball tonight... I'll be playing again this Wednesday with my reporter friend. I haven't played with her in a while. She and her boyfriend just bought a house, so they've been busy with the closing and the moving and buying appliances and the GLAYVEN! They're close to settled in and almost have their housewarming party set. That should be cool. I hear journalists are notorious drunks; It should be a fun crowd.
Aliens vs. Predator
Well, we'll see how it goes, but apparently Aliens vs. Predator is now officially in production, with a director and writer chosen.
Big Smith time...
Big Smith in Lawrence this Saturday at The Bottleneck. According to the latest news from the guys, the Gig CD's should have shown up last Friday, so I should be able to grab myself a copy when I'm over there. Rule!
July 12, 2002
Everybody else is linking, why can't I?
Another one bites the dust...
More good television ending... Dennis Miller Live will broadcast its last episode August 30.
Humor from Arab News...
I am very glad (and knocking on wood right now) that I haven't seen a roach at my house yet. Foul, foul creatures, those...
Ahhh.... That explains it...
I've never really understood Muslim/Jewish dietary laws. Luckily, the prohibition on pork is explained for me here:
The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. In America, most people consume pork. Many times after dance parties, they have swapping of wives; i.e. two men sleep with each other’s wives. If you eat pigs then you behave like pigs. We Indians look upon America to be very advanced and sophisticated. Whatever they do, we follow after a few years. According to an article in Island magazine, this practice of swapping wives is common in the affluent circles of Bombay.
Dang, I need to start eating more bacon. Oh wait, I don't have a wife. DAMN my luck...
Funny Monkey Pictures...
I would proudly display any of these, but I don't happen to have $72,000 sitting around right now. Someday...
July 11, 2002
I don't think I've read anything from Dan Savage other than his sex column Savage Love carried in The Onion AV Club, but after reading this article in The Stranger, he's going on my short list of sensible left-wing commentators. (The list includes Dan Perkins, Christopher Hitchens, and now Mr. Savage.)
That Independence Day column is the first I've seen in a long, long time to propose a Marshall Plan for the middle east. Bush has said he's against nation building. I used to agree to a point, but now I absolutely feel that that is simply not possible. If we're going to execute this war right, there are a lot of ugly religious dictatorships that are going to have to be overthrown. If we don't fill in the vacuum that's left, it's only going to come back to bite us like it did in Afghanistan. Knock their governments over then bomb 'em with Nikes.
I've decided that I'm no longer voting Libertarian. If a democratic presidential candidate ran on a platform of executing the war in that fashion, I'd vote for him or her over Bush in a heartbeat.
July 10, 2002
Midwest Blogger Bash II
Well, I missed Blogger Bash I, but I'll be heading over to the Midwest Blogger Bash II in St. Louis on Friday, July 26th. Thanks a bunch to Juan Gato for his work organizing everybody and coordinating the initial planning and such. It's going to be held at The King And I Thai restraunt, and it actually looks like that's pretty durn close to where some friends of mine are going to be moving soon.
This should be interesting, and it gives me an opportunity to head up to Chicago after the show to see Big Smith, who play at Fitzgerald's Saturday night. I really shouldn't, and probably won't, but if my folks are going to be in Chicago that weekend, it should be cheap. See you all out at the bash!
I need it real bad... I think I'm getting the shakes...
My normal morning routine is to set my alarm clock for a time that I'd actually like to get to bed, but is actually an hour or so before I really need to get out of bed. I then turn on my radio and listen to NPR's Morning Edition on KCUR, our local public radio station, while I hit snooze for a while.
This morning, I was in my normal routine, and when the second snooze alarm went off, I awoke to hear static. Crap. So I woke up and tried tuning a bit, thinking that I may have hit the tuner the last time I went for the snooze bar. Nothing but the Contemporary Christian music stations in that vicinity of the dial.
I skipped lunch today, so I didn't find out until leaving work that the station was still off the air. I had my normal cards night tonight, and while I was there, one of the guys said that he read that the station was shut down due to some sort of licensing problem. I was ready to go on the warpath, but now that I'm back home I've found out that it's just technical difficulties.
It's all right for me, I'm far enough west that I can pick up the Lawrence NPR station, but in my car at least, that doesn't make it too far over the state line. I feel sorry for you folks over in Missouri, but it looks like they should have the problem repaired by this weekend.
This morning I woke up and my NPR station was off the air. Luckily there's another in Lawrence that I can get on my car radio, but my bedroom radio couldn't tune that one in. I hope they're fixed by now...
A boring life makes for boring blogging...
Nothing going on over here. In the approximately six weeks I wasn't going to the gym, I've atrophied to the point where I can lift about ten pounds less on every exercise I do. That kind of pisses me off.
Tonight is normally my cards and bar night. I'll probably play cards, that's free. As far as going out to the bar, probably not. Need to stop spending money. Does anybody have any ideas for stuff to do on the weekend that doesn't cost any money? Maybe some disc golf, but I doubt I'd be able to get anybody to head out with me.
The lack of interesting friends up here is rather starting to piss me off. I've been dying to play some tennis now that it's nice outside, but I can't find anybody who'll play. I'm tired of going to shows by myself, but I haven't really met anybody up here who shares my taste in music, or who is willing to go see something new at all. Crap...
Well, I did decide that whenever I'm sitting around the house bored, I'm going to go to the gym. I went last night, which actually wasn't really a good idea since I had just gone on monday and done a harder than normal workout. I'm even more sore than normal today.
Enough with the bitching already... I'll sign off now...
July 09, 2002
A Poor Credit Risk...
I just checked my email and found a message from one of my credit card issuers saying that my account had been closed. My first thought was that I had missed a bill or something, but it turns out that the bank failed. I guess they were giving too many credit cards out to losers like me.
July 08, 2002
Doctor, we've got no pulse...
I saw some ads for Fox's new news magizine show The Pulse during The Simpsons on Sunday. Good God. I guess I really don't have anything against Laurie Chue and Shepard Smith, but the combination of Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly is enough for me to make sure that I'm not in my house on July 11, just so that I don't accidentally switch to the show while channel surfing.
I think I'll go have a beer instead.
Well, there's a date at least...
You can check out the teaser trailer for Terminator 3 here. I'm looking forward to this movie more than The Country Bears Movie, but not as much as Run Ronnie Run or Bubba Hotep, assuming I'll ever get to see either of those.
I guess I just really don't understand the concept of shooting and editing a movie then never releasing it. I guess it must make sense somehow.
On a related note, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross are about to start a live Mr. Show tour and they're not coming anywhere close to Kansas City. Hey, you guys promised you'd be coming to my hick-ass town, now get out here!
I guess I'll have to settle for the DVDs.
Letters... I get your letters...
I've been receiving a lot more mail since I did the redesign of the site. I guess it looks a bit cooler, and now that I'm notifying Weblogs.com about updates, they're driving me a bit more traffic. Not that I'm getting a lot mind you, but I have received some messages...
I got one from the site administrator of Cyberball.com. I guess I posted a while back that I'd like to get myself a stand up machine someday, and he found me on a google search. His site looks pretty cool. He sets up regional tournaments, and holds online tournaments using Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. I've messed around with MAME a bit, but never really gotten it working. This might just be a good excuse to do so. I always did love playing that game... It's about the only football type video game that's actually enjoyable to play other than the NFL Blitz series.
I got another letter from someone who sent me a link to a cryptic site about the Hunter S. Thompson/Asterisk fiasco. Apparently somebody got a copy of an unpublished HST story and posted it to some website using the name Asterisk. Somehow this is related to some TV pilot, Jerry Seinfeld is involved, and some guy named Ted L. Nancy. It's been too complicated to follow, but there are several faxes from Ted L. Nancy and from HST to his agent at the bottom of this page at Gonzo.org. Somebody figure out what's going on and let me know.
Also, it sounds like they're going to make a movie out of The Rum Diary, yet another Hunter S. Thompson book I haven't read.
I finally did both give up on One Palestine Complete and finish up Ken Layne's Dot.Con. I liked Dot.Con, but never really could get into One Palestine Complete. I was hoping for more Israeli history, but the book seemed a bit too personal and anecdotal. Whatever, I guess I just don't really care too much.
I'm now reading a copy of Jack Kerouac's On The Road that I'm borrowing from a friend, and Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. My mom found a bunch of King hardcovers on sale for a buck a piece, so she grabbed them and I brought them home with me. Saves me the trouble of finding more stuff to read.
My weekend in Wisconsin was fun. My parents have a new place on Lake Du Bay, which is about fifteen miles north of where my parents grew up in Junction City and Stevens Point. It's a nice place. My mom said that she got up on Friday morning to take some trash out and there was a baby deer in the back yard. That's pretty cool. The weather was beautiful all weekend, I drank too much and ate too much fattening food.
However, I did play some racquetball and do some light weights tonight, so I guess that's helping a bit. I guess the time off did help me. I've won at least one game both times since I've been back from my extended vacation from working out.
I guess I have little else to say. I think things are going to be rather boring around here for a while now. I'm done with all my trips, I'm broke, and I no longer have any immediate dating prospects. I guess settling back down into a routine will be nice for a while, but I'd still like to try to go kayaking over in Colorado sometime this summer.
I'm so sorry, baby...
What the hell kind of a blogger am I anyway... I leave town for five days and don't leave a goodbye message, don't tell anybody I'm going out of town, and don't even post when I get back.
I hope I have not caused undue consternation among my legions of fans and admirers. I apologize and promise it will never happen again. It'll be different this time, baby... I still remember the first time you came to the site. Everybody else came and went, but with YOU there was something special. I could tell we had a real connection.
That's not something you can fake. Oh please baby, don't go. You know how I can get sometimes. That's why I need somebody like you, somebody who cares enough to take care of me. Don't you know how much I need you?
Darlin', I got you these flowers. I know it's not much, but I just had to do something to show how much I care.
Please don't go...
July 03, 2002
Your fun fact for the day.
Surprisingly, I think that is the first time that not having a land line running into my house has actually caused me any problems...
Dang it, why can't I get News Radio on DVD?
OK, that Disco Biscuits/Phil & Friends concert in Wisconsin I was talking about isn't just that, it's that Grateful Dead reunion I've been hearing about, and it's definitely back on. It sounds like they're only selling 35,000 tickets per night, and Ticketmaster says they're sold the hell out. Oh well...
As good an excuse as any to drink some beer...
It looks like there's another Midwest Blogger Bash in the initial planning stages. It sounds like the dates being bounced around are the weekend of July 27th and the weekend of August 3rd.
I'm seriously considering taking Friday, August 2 off to catch the Phil Lesh/Disco Biscuits show in St. Louis on Thursday, August 1. However, I could head up to East Troy, WI and catch them the following Saturday without having to take any time off.
Dang it, I thought I was done with all my trips out of town... This sucks.
Ken Layne Dot.Con
I'm almost done with Ken Layne's book Dot.Con, and I must say it's one of the most fun books I've read in quite a while. I could have easily finished it up last night, but I did have to get to sleep at some point. It has everything... Lesbian bikers, a militant organization called FLAVA, corporate espionage, hairdressers who specialize in trans-sexuals, a lady-killer hero named Larry Jonestowne, geeky MacWorld reporters, and weaponized LSD.
I would give it my recommendation, but it looks like Ken's skipped town and you can't borrow my autographed copy. I remember reading a while ago that he has indeed finished up a second Jonestowne book, and I am anxiously awaiting its publication.
July 02, 2002
Respect to the Biscuits...
Yes, The Theiving Magpie by my all time favorite composer Gioacchino Rossini. The overture, at least... Done fairly well, I'd have to say.
Time Travel Spam
July 01, 2002
There's finally a date for Big Smith's new live CD Gig. If you've pre-ordered, it should be shipped shortly after July 12. If you're lucky enough to live in the Kansas City/Lawrence area, you can wait another week and grab one when you go to see the guys July 20th at The Bottleneck. I already see two opening acts, Dallas Jones and Lucero. I like Dallas Jones, I just hope that that show doesn't bloat to four opening acts like the last time they played there. That really cut into Big Smith's time.
But hooray for new Big Smith. If you listen real close, you might just get to hear me yell on the CD...
Back in the habit...
I guess I can't say I'm back in a routine, but I definitely got some exercise tonight. My elbow didn't bother me a bit, I won the first game, lost the second, and the last three were all close. Well, maybe not the last one, but I did come back from 2-14 to 10-14 before I finally gave up the last point.
Now it's time for a shower and to try to get to sleep in my overheated house. Ick.
Well, I still have the remnants of a carton purchased last week, so I haven't seen the new prices yet, but starting today taxes on cigarettes in Kansas went up by 46 cents a pack. I think that would make the price for a pack of cigarettes around $4.10 or so. It's time to quit again...
At least I don't live in New York City.
At the risk of sounding like a pompous ass (a risk I take every day), it's been a while since I've been dumped.
Oh, don't get me wrong... I've been rejected, stood up, and laughed at, but it's been quite some time since I've had anything resembling a relationship with a female that's been terminated by the female rather than by me. I'd really have to go back to Houston to remember the last time it's happenned. That time I decided to move out of town as a result of the after-effects of said dumping.
This time it's hardly going to come to that... I put the ? after Dumped in the title here because I'm not even sure that we had enough of a relationship for the breaking off of said relationship to be properly classified as a "dumping". Nevertheless, said relationship is in fact terminated.
You see, I have a group of friends that I've been going out with on Wednesday nights lately. Several months ago, the guys I'm normally out with had some female friends of theirs come by. We were sitting around chatting, and the subject of music came up. Since I moved to Kansas City I've been wanting to find some live jazz around here, and one of these girls was very into jazz. She said she knew some clubs around here that have bands out, and that we should go see a band sometime. We exchanged numbers, then I went on my marathon of out of town trips and I never did call her.
About a month later, one of the bar guys had a birthday party. I was invited, and a group of us, about five guys and five girls went out to dinner, then out to a club afterwards. Jazz girl was there, but I ended up seated across from somebody else at dinner. We got to talking, and it turns out that this woman sitting across from me works at the same large corporation that I do. We hit it off pretty well, and ended up talking all night.
I got her number, but was still in the middle of the marathon out of town trip thing, so I didn't see too much of here. We exchanged email fairly regularly at work, and I took her out to lunch a couple of times. Unfortunately, she has an eight year old daughter and I was out of town just about every weekend, so we never really managed to get a time to go out at night.
I had a party out at my place a couple of weeks ago and invited her to that. We talked most of the night, and I snuck a kiss (you sly dog, you) to which she was receptive. Jazz girl was there as well, and there was some sort of drama between the two of them that I never fully comprehended. The thought that Jazz girl may have been interested in me as well crossed my mind, but I didn't really let myself believe that because I have a big enough head as it is...
We continued talking, and managed to find an evening to go out for drinks and trivia after work one night. That went well, and we made tentative plans to go out on a weekend some time when we were both available. Bonnaroo, no babysitter and such had gotten in the way of that for a while, though we did exchange a few more emails.
Anyway, I sent her an email today asking how her weekend had gone, and she didn't respond to it until late this afternoon. She responded by saying that she had been giving it some thought and that she's been friends with Jazz girl a long time. Jazz girl had apparently told this other woman about me the night I met her at the bar, and had told her that she was interested in me. Obviously, when I hit it off with her, it caused some tension between the two of them. She decided that her friendship with Jazz girl was too important, so it was best that we just be friends.
I have mixed feelings about the friends vs. relationship issue. I used to be 100% convinced that I would trash any friendship, no matter how close, if it meant finding the person that was right for me. I'm much less convinced that that is the case now. I've screwed up too many good friendships, and I've seen too many other close friendships destroyed over relationships, and I don't think that's something I'm willing to do any more. So I respect her decision there.
It's not that bad anyway... She was definitely the stable, interesting person I've dated in a very long time, but I certainly wasn't head over heels in love with her. Nevertheless, it is mildly depressing to be back at square one with no prospects in sight.
Well, I'm going to be in Wisconsin this weekend, but I guess when I get back it's back on the prowl, so to speak. I haven't been out to our Wednesday bar night in a while, and I don't really think I'm going to continue that. The bar we go to really isn't my crowd. It definitely is a meat-market type atmosphere, the music is so loud you can hardly talk, and the people there just generally aren't my type of people. I'm going to see if I can't convince some of the normal bar crowd to try out a new place, but if I can't, I think I'll just start hanging out somewhere else either by myself or perhaps with my roommate while he's still around.
Eh... I guess that's all I have to say about that.
My triumphant return to Racquetball did not actually happen last Thursday, as my partner had to cancel. However, we are on for tonight, so it's going to be my first trip to the gym in over a month. I am not looking forward to the weight training after racquetball... I've actually lost weight since I stopped going to the gym, and I'm sure it's entirely due to muscle atrophy. Ick... I do need to get back on my routine, though.
Also, I mentioned on Friday that my air conditioner in my house didn't seem to be keeping up with the heat. Well, it is in fact dead now. Unfortunately, I have too much to get done at work to take time off to get it fixed. I guess I'll be doing that first thing on Monday. In the meantime, it's hot. At least it's overcast today... This weekend was miserable.
For the obsessive Public Radio Fan like me, a resource like PublicRadioFan.com is invaluable. (Thanks ps-ef) I only wish they had a staion finder that worked over the wireless web so I could find NPR stations that I'll be driving by while on long road trips.
Of course, they're usually on the low end of the FM dial, but I've been surprised before. I spent a lot of time on the drive home from Tennessee listening to Talk of the Nation on an AM station that I think was based out of Nashville. There was surprisingly good NPR coverage between Kansas City and Manchester, TN. As a matter of fact, I don't think there was any stretch of road that wasn't covered. I listened almost the entire way back.
Late at night as I was just about into Kansas City, I listened to a Commercial AM talk show from a station in San Antonio. I've listened to this show before, and it can kind of be amusing. The Phil Hendrie Show can actually be amusing, especially for 11:00PM after a long drive home. He often does a segment where he'll take some issue, announce that he's going to take callers, then he'll "call in" himself, sometimes as more than two callers, and just make stupid statements in different voices about some issue. In this particular case, he "called in" as a high school Military academy student who was upset that the administration was saying that Osama was dead because it took away the fighting spirit of our armed forces. He kept saying that he spent an hour every night talking to a picture of ObL saying things like "See this knife? This is the knife that's going to slay you" or some such nonsense. Then he takes real callers who get really pissed off about his fake callers.
Anyway, it seemed pretty funny at the time, after being on the road for about nine hours. OK, that's all....
I think I have finally gone completely insane.
Weirdest.... Spam.... Ever...
I received this message last night:
Subject: Time warping crystals needed!!!!
I kind of feel bad for the guy. Does anybody know where I could get some Time Warping moon crystals?