links that make you go Hmmmm

ok, so a couple of relatively long reads have muddled up my brain today. The first and lighter topic is a post over at six different ways about why people blog. This is of course one of my favorite topics, the metablogging question, and this rant was great. (a little long, but full of links citations, which were really excellent and to the point.)

There are several things about this blog are conscious decisions, despite, (maybe to some people) appearing as omissions. The most obvious one of which is my lack of side-links. Almost everybody has them, and yes, occasionally I will click on someone’s. I’m not sure why I don’t have them except to say that hey, this is my blog. Yes, there are blogs I love and would like to promote, but I keep those another link deeper, in the “blogs I read” link at the right. In some ways, I suppose keeping a list of bookmarks is not that different from the sidelinks that most people have, but I guess I had the bookmarks before I had the blog, so maybe it’s laziness. I did at one point consider including the bookmarks (and especially the blogs I read part) as part of this page, but it was going to involve some stupid javascript since I wasn’t about to start using SSI or PHP to include stuff here.

Another voluntary omission is the trackback feature and the whole ball of wax in that can of worms. Paul Hammond pointed out in his post on this topic that “Something about trackbacks, pingbacks, referer lists and the like makes me uneasy. But I don’t know what.” This struck an immediate chord with me. I don’t know what it is either, but maybe I’ll do some thinking this weekend and try to come up with it. There’s got to be some weird social or psychological quirk that keeps me from wanting these. (Strangely, this uneasiness does not extend to user comments, as it appears to for Paul, even though he didn’t mention them.)

Ok, enough about that, the second link that gave my head a whirl is this piece by John Barlow about the possible war with Iraq. As you may or may not know, John Barlow is one of those EFF people, and someone who (at least from afar) I have admired. The piece is long, but very interesting, and it made me take a step back in the way I’ve looked at US motivations for the conflict, (if not, actually, the uselessness of the possible conflict itself). That last part is to say that yes, I disagree with the possible war, and I would even go as so far as to say that the shaking of our mighty military fists is just plain wrong, yet now at least I can say I’ve heard one plausible justification for the whole fiasco that doesn’t make Bush and Cheney out to be complete blithering idiots. (Yes, there is quite a bit of evidence pointing to calculation behind Bush’s various idiocies, but until today I had mostly written it off as coincidence and circumstance.)

On a related subject, something I will merely link to and say no more.

Nalda’s on reserve

So Laura subscribes to Bust magazine. (On more than one occasion, I’ve picked it up, and there’s some interesting stuff in there! Not just lesbian stuff either!) Today she got a new issue, and there’s a review in there of a new book published by Stuart David, (frontman/basist for the band Looper). Looper is one of my favorite bands, so she told me about it.

I did a little searching and found an excerpt. I will be picking up the book shortly, (it’s on hold at ruminator) but then I also decided to see if looper has a website. That was how I found out that they also have a new album!!! Well, it’s not even that new, it came out in May of last year, called the snare. I feel horrible that I didn’t know about this before now!

I’m also tempted by looper’s backpack-type-things available from their site, but since I made quite a few purchases this weekend (after paying bills, of course), I should probably hold off on that one. I called in sick on friday and monday (hence my lack of updates, for some reason this thing is a lot more fun when it’s on company time — ooh that’s incriminating!) and played one of those purchases (Dark Cloud 2) all day yesterday. So far, it’s pretty much a lot like the first one, addicting and fun… I don’t yet know how I’ll find time to read.

simple pleasures, snowpenises

I just went for a walk with Alex down to the bridge out behind the building. Barely anybody has walked on it since it’s snowed, and today the snow is ripe for snowballs and snowmen. I made a snowman, (that Alex tried to put a penis on! hehe… snowpenis kinda sounds a bit like subloopiness… coincidence?) and then we amused ourselves for quite a while by throwing snowballs at the frozen creek. Finally, after rolling a snowman-sized ball of snow and hurling it as far as possible, I managed to puncture the ice. We did so another time before I rolled our last snowball, (Which was probably 3 feet high!) up to the edge of the bridge’s railing. Actually, I had to get Alex’s help even to push it that far. We grunted and strained to get it over the railing, but it was well worth it, falling straight into the middle of the river, creating a hole exactly as large as the snowball. The water was black and murky underneath it, and splashed brown sludge everywhere. Fortunately, we were above the splash threshold.

I kept thinking as we walked back to the building. I actually affected something today. I accomplished something. My life has meaning.

MT 2.61

Well, here it is… I spent the last hour reading the movable type support forums trying to figure out why MT was giving me a servelet error after I upgraded carefully to 2.61. I meticulously went through each directory, making sure everything was actually there, and found nothing. I don’t have access to my webserver’s error logs (or I seem to have forgotten where they are, I’m not sure on that one) so I was pretty much at wit’s end when I finally just re-uploaded all the .cgi files in the main directory. Low and behold, it works. (so far.) Kinda frustrating, seeing as how I uploaded them in exactly the same way both times.

I guess the internet works in mysterious ways. Either that, or my beloved copy of WinSCP2 isn’t as wonderful as I give it credit for being.

There are some nasty comments on the support forums about this new version, so I’m crossing my fingers…

I want to publicly appologize to Laura for snapping at her in the middle of this fiasco. She’s got a headache, and I should really go tell her I’m sorry.

(After that, if this post works OK, maybe I’ll tackle re-creating the whole blog, so I can take advantage of some of the new features.) *rubs hands together*

bad letter feng shui

asphyxiated on these the —
definitive beasts
climbing out of sentence trees
to throw their poop at thee

how shallow an article be
slimy worms at sea
a worthless word to me
any floating tiny decree

equally useless are these
noun wanna-bees
Pronoun’s bell rings at three
he drools his mind thinks feed

an it and a the
with letters two or three
bad poem feng shui
avoid in good ones, hehe

consumerism, take me away!

Are we defined, (as hypothesized in Hornby’s High Fidelity) not by what we’re like, but by what we like?

This weekend I bought Dynasty Warriors 3: Extreme Legends. It’s more of the same. If you liked Dynasty Warriors 2, you were pleasantly surprised that DW3 was exactly the same game, but with more of everything, (and a much better UI). DW3XL doesn’t even pretend it’s a sequel. It’s just an upgrade. But one that’s worth the $30 price, if you ask me. There are 7 new musou (or story) modes (for the “unaligned” characters that you could previously only play in “Free” mode.), and tons of new items to collect, including a new 5th weapon for every character. I’m excited for DW4, (which comes out in a month or two), but this is enough to keep me slaughtering hordes of enemy soldiers for at least a few weeks straight.

Now, how does this game define me? Last night I dreamed I was at a science fiction convention, (perfect setting for this, actually), and presumably slaughtering hordes of people… I only remember the last part, when I sat down by the pool, just after dispatching someone with my smaller sword (I had two). I was wiping it off, and cleaning it before putting it back in my sheath, so I could go swimming, (I was wearing trunks underneath my ninja/samurai garb) when Laura said I had to drag the body at least a certain distance away from the pool… I did so, grudgingly.

Second purchase last weekend (first chronologically) was a book that Jason recommended to me on the basis of a few preview chapters he’d read online. I read the chapters too, and decided it was definitely something I was going to have to read. I know he bought the book for his trip (he’s been out of town for a week–and we have his kitties!) and so I was going to wait for him to finish it before I read it. But somehow I found myself at barnes and noble on Sat. night, with a giftcard for $20. So Max Berry’s Jennifer Government ended up costing me less than $2. I finished it Monday morning, around 2AM. It was damn good, and well worth reading.

I found myself, upon later reflection, a little puzzled at the end of the novel. For a very satirical (and generally negative) portrayal of capitalism, the novel ended on a note that in many ways could be considered a pro-capitalism way. I don’t want to say too much. I’d love to have this discussion with anyone who has also finished the book. As a purveyor of Adbusters and most things anti-corporation, I find myself (despite having thoroughly enjoyed the book) left with a rather bitter aftertaste.

poetic discourse as therapy

That last poem was inspired by Laura, who said I should write a poem using the sound of snowpants.. “vvvvvt-vvvvvvt-vvvvvvt-vvvvvvt” (which I had IM’d to her). But… it’s dedicated to irish-girl, who was the second person I showed the poem to, and who apparently actually broke her brother’s leg sledding when she was a kid. (Hmm. On second thought she didn’t specify when the leg was broken. Perhaps it was recently.)

My previous entry, the agate poem, was written as I woke up wednesday morning. I was feeling the particular slowness of winter eroding into spring, and the agate metaphor popped into my head. “Seasons change like agates smoothing”. I let the line run through my head as I did my morning rituals — shower, get dresssed, collect things to bring to work for my lunch… I didn’t actually type it out until just before I left for work. I also didn’t title it until then, and the title is the part I most question at this point.

Poetry is one of those things that I love to think about. I was all crabby and pissed off after reading a news article about bush’s tax breaks for the rich, and now I’m feeling at least a little better. Poetry is therapy. Poetry is rich cream in your coffee.

snow pants and sleds

My pants say:
when I walk in the snow.

The sled goes:
when I go down the hill.

The watching crow says:
“Caw! Caw!”
from a tree-branch.

My brother’s leg goes:
when he catches the snow wrong.

He cries, and we go home.

agate clouds

Seasons change like agates smoothing
You could never notice something so slow
But from day to day the burnt umber clouds settle later in the sky
Like stones on the horizon
Slowly wearing away to smoothness
In the sunÂ’s relentless stream

Chocolate inside chocolate fudge ice cream pops

In the frozen foods at the grocery store after I pointed out the chocolate ice cream pops with chocolate filling, my friend Alex said “I think the world is coming to an end. There are movies about movies, and chocolate filled chocolate… Creativity is dead.” (I’m paraphrasing, I can’t remember the exact quote.)

xomina and I have agreed to disagree on this very subject. I enjoy writing poems about my poetry. (And even collect good quotes on the subject.) Does this make me less creative? Perhaps it’s true! (I’ve never felt coming up with new ideas was my strong point. More coming up with new ways to say the same things — hopefully they’re good, inventive ways.)

EL Fudge has come up with a new way to say Butterfinger (inside an ELFudge cookie), so I’m going to go have that conversation now…