where everything is discussed
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
There can be no excuse! over two weeks of nothing here! But it has been because of two weeks of too many things in other places, so you will forgive me, no? O, that's right, you stopped reading months ago. Anyway, I think I set a personal record for hours worked in a week, the week that ended last Tuesday. Those hours were spent getting ready to launch ConFab
, "An Ad-Hoc Conversational Space for the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference 2003", which was/is a great idea that went over kinda poorly because of some frustrating network issues that kept people from the conferencee from being able to access the thing.
While the conference was going on, the family and I flew to St Louis, where I have not been since moving away nearly 2 years ago.
The weather was beautiful, the friends a site for sore eyes, and the $1200 in travel vouchers for getting bumped a day on our return trip a welcome addition to our vacation fund.
So anyway. I am back. I had hoped to be back with tons of pictures, but of course my camera's memory card and card reader were lost in the idiotic airport-security-empty-your-bags-and prove-this-isn't-a-bomb-routine* on the way to St. Louis, so I took nary a snapshot.
*Did I mention that on my last trip to Vancouver and back I carried on my leatherman knife both ways without notice, despite having three separate baggage inspections in the Vancouver airport? Well I did. On the way there it was a packing oversight on my part, on the way back it was just to see if I could do it.
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
I think maybe the most important dividing line (a sort of mendoza
line, if you speak baseball) on the spectrum that stretches from "being
stupid" to "being smart" is that line to the right of which fall
people that are stupid, but smart enough to know it.
I think "ammended" is a pretty amusing misspelling of "amended". But then, I'mm easily ammended.
More on my 4 year old daughter:
Phoebe makes up games. The other day she drew some marks on a sheet of paper and said, (really, she said it): "these guys are the good guys, and these guys are the bad guys. If the good guys win, they still lose, but if the bad guys win, they really win"
She made up another game today. In it, "you can do anything" and that is the only rule. She promptly started playing the game, and decided she was going to make movies. Her first movie was to be called Saddam. Then she changed it to "A Man in Town".
Also, later she ammended the rules to include an injunction against "battle stuff". And no "sprawts", which is how she pronounces "sports".
Except Tennis ball, which is her favorite sprawt.
Friday, April 04, 2003
In order to keep up the appearance of posting, I present this actual dialogue between myself and 4-year-old daughter Phoebe:
Me: Phoebe, why are pigs your favorite animal?
Phoebe: Because they start with "P" and so do I, and because I like to eat them, and because they are pink and pink is my favorite color.
Monday, March 24, 2003
posted this E.A. Robinson poem to a mailing list today:
Cliff Klingenhagen had me in to dine
With him one day; and after soup and meat,
And all the other things there were to eat,
Cliff took two glasses and filled one with wine
And one with wormwood. Then, without a sign
For me to choose at all, he took the draught
Of bitterness himself, and lightly quaffed
It off, and said the other one was mine.
And when I asked him what the deuce he meant
By doing that, he only looked at me
And grinned, and said it was a way of his.
And though I know the fellow, I have spent
Long time a-wondering when I shall be
As happy as Cliff Klingenhagen is.
The happiness of people (or lack thereof) seems to be a theme
with E.A. (Oh, and check out this Richard Cory Interactive Adventure
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Some random moments in Canada:
- Ben: "Excuse me, but you wouldn't happen to have two loonies for a toonie?"
- Caterina: "Would you like some milk in your Golden Monkey?"
- Stewart: "I have a lot of gold. Anybody need some gold?"
Friday, February 28, 2003
Reading Daniel Libeskind's World Trade Center Design Study
and seeing this image
of "Memory Foundations" impresses me with just how focused Libeskind's proposal is. I wish I had a better vocabulary for talking about architecture, but since I don't... Oh hell, here goes: from early viewings of Memory Foundations I came away with a wrong impression of a jumble of buildings, of architecture for the sake of architecture, of style without substance; but reading Libeskind's design study and seeing how much the location of the rebuild affected his design decisions, and looking at the image (linked above) and seeing how much the buildings themselves focus your attention down towards the ground, where the Ground Zero Memorial will exist in the very foundations of the former WTC, I now am really quite happy Libeskind's proposal won. See also: Trachtenberg's A New Vision for Ground Zero Beyond Mainstream Modernism
« Another interview with Will Oldham
, from Nov. 2002. An odd fellow he is.
Monday, February 24, 2003
Oh, BTW, I saw Bonnie "Prince" Billy a couple of weeks ago here in NY at Irving Plaza, and after giving myself time to digest it, I think I can safely say it was the best show I've ever seen (supplanting either Television at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, 1996, or The Flaming Lips, same; I can't remember which). He started by playing most of the songs off his new album Master and Everyone
, but unlike the album, which is pretty mellow, Oldham and his band simply tore the place up. Nearly every song was a mad crescendo, a wall of sound which was all the more amazing considering it was built with naught but some drums, a couple of guitars and an accordian.
Anyway, here's an interview with Oldham
wherein his charming oddness shines through nicely:
If the general public welcomed one of my songs, the logical thing to do would be to retire or not make music anymore, because I could never to make it the same way again. If I had a hit song tonight I wouldn't be able to approach music the same way tomorrow morning. Rather than try to pretend that I could, I would rather pursue surfing. People would be buying my next record based on the acceptance of that one song, and it would create disappointment that isn't a part of the process now.
So the bearings were shot on our heating system's circulating pump, which means it made an awful lot of noise for just moving hot water around the house. So on Saturday I took the motor in to one of the more wonderfully named Queens establishments, "Three Way Plumbing", to purchase a replacement. Not heeding lessons already learned in previous dealings with the fine sales staffs of Queens establishments, I did not open the box until I got home, which is when I found that I had been sold a pump, not a motor. So I turned around to return it and get the PART I ASKED FOR, but they were closed by the time I got there. So I went back this morning, and turns out they only sell the motor and pump as a unit, not the motor itself. So I uttered the S word and bought the D thing. Now the movement of water throughout our house is accomplished with a minimum of noise. Why do you care? I don't know. Here are some other things you may not care about:
- On cause of the snow-melting rock salt laid down on the streets here in New York (and elsewhere), and because snow melted with rock salt tends to drip as salt water down through manholes, underground cables often suffer salt corrosion which can expose copper wiring. Salt water being a nice conductor, and under street tunnels being a nice place for all sorts of combustible gasses, such corrosion can lead to under street explosions ignited by a spark from said corroded cables. This can result in flying manhole covers. Should there be any flying manhole covers in front of your house, even at 1 AM, expect some nice firemen to want to inspect your basement for carbon monoxide. But don't expect them to be particularly forthcoming about what the H is going on. Continue to depend on the internet for explanations.
- Even if you wait a day to travel from Chattanooga home to NY because your path up I81 leads right were a blizzard recently was, you can probably expect to be delayed an hour or two by accident clean ups. 4 wrecked semi rigs, one truck with a frame twisted a full 90°, that might be par for the course.
- Vancouver, here I come! (For a spell.)
- Caterina called me an idiot last night when I wasn't around on IM. I don't know why, but I categorically concede her point.