Archive for July, 2003

meet me! meet me!

I signed up for the movable type meetup: http://movabletype.meetup.com/

So far there are only 3 of us signed up to meet. The more I think about it, the more I’d like to have a generic blogger meeting than a movable type meeting, but then again, I have for the most part always thought movable type users are way cooler than any other type of blogger. ;)

Never mind all the stupid livejournals I’ve been reading lately!

Mondays are bad for me anyway, and I’m sure I’ll wait till the last minute before I decide whether meeting new MT users is more important than going to juggling on that particular day.

Meetup.com needs some work, btw. I expected it to be more like evite, where you could say whether you think you’ll be there, that kind of thing, but no. If you sign up, I think it pretty much assumes you’re going to go.

Today is my first day of vacation, (I took a week off for NAUCC) and I’m sitting at home catching up on some stuff I should have done a long time ago and doing some spontaneous blog reading. You can probably guess how much of that “stuff” I’ve finished so far. I’m going to get to it soon, I swear!

itchy red eyes, wide open

Sunday was the first day of the family reunion. A bunch of my dad’s side of the family rented a cabin about 2 hours out of the city, on a lake. My dad recently picked up another 14′ sailboat, so we had both of them out, to see if either seemed faster than the other… it was fun. They both ended up performing about the same. Unfortunately, the wind was pretty sporadic all day, and I never felt like we were really flying like you sometimes do on a sailboat.

The whole day I had been sniffling and itching my eyes and sinuses (upper mouth, with my tongue, which was raw by the end of the day) because of some kind of allergic reaction I had while swimming in a lake the day before. Last night I made the stupid mistake of going back to the same lake, and now I feel miserable all over again. I had actually thought the first allergic reaction was more from having water up my nose than anything else, but I guess that’s not the case, as last night I was very careful not to get any up my nose.

Now I don’t know if I should avoid lakes entirely, or if it was just that one. I guess I didn’t have the same reaction the time I swam in lake Calhoun earlier this year, but that could just mean that it’s something relatively recently developed in the water, I have no idea.

Of course, I am doubly frustrated because this is the one lake that’s perfect for skinny dipping. (And of course that’s what I was doing both times.) Lets hope I feel better by the end of the day today. Grrr.

Nothing to say.

Why is it that whenever I think about how I haven’t updated my blog in awhile, my mind immediately goes blank? In lue of any actual topic to post about, I will now spout several random thoughts:

* Right now, I am sucking on a piece of hard Tamarind flavored candy.

* It is relatively difficult to track down the spelling of the phrase “in lue of”.

* Laura has a relatively new blog. I think we’re through pretending that I don’t read it. I like the design of her old blog much better.

* She and I are members of TCUC, the largest unicycle club in the world, and next week we’ll be at a national Unicycling convention. (Wednesday night we unicycled in the Minneapolis Aquatennial’s Torchlight Parade. I didn’t juggle torches because I didn’t think there were enough to go around, but it turns out several people had some extras in their cars.)

* I am currently reading A Brave New World, which I realized recently was sorely lacking from my education. It is both a classic, and science fiction! So far it is damn good, even though there hasn’t been much plot.

* I told Jason on monday that I was going to post about how he is the inspiration for many unattributed links in my blog entries. (He is!)

* Yesterday, for a work “party” I sat in a dunk tank. I also rang the “strong man bell” 5 for 5 (It must have been set on a “whimpy” setting.) I also mentioned to a co-worker this guy I know named Tiny who runs the strong man bell thingy out at ren-fest.

* Last night I fixed a problem with my driver’s side car window where it wouldn’t roll back up. Turns out some bolts had just randomly unbolted themselves.

* My Tamarind candy is now gone.

speaking of cashola

Last night I saw a guy riding one of these Trikke thingies. This looks almost as fun as riding a segway, and I can find them for only $150 on ebay! (now if only I had some spare cashola.)

Speaking of cashola, I was caller #6 (of 7) this morning for tickets to see the Love Cars this Thursday at the Triple Rock. It burrrrrns, it buuuuurrrrrrrns!!!

And tonight the eels are at 1st ave. Tix are only $15 at the door… I will beg borrow or steal my way into this show. I believe MC Honky will be opening for them.

.sig silliness

I sign most all of my emails:

-marty

I don’t know why, but twice in the last day I have almost sent out an email saying:

-kmarty

Earlier today, I wrote an email to a friend with a ton of exclamation marks. I realized that I was getting a little bang-happy, so I signed the correspondence:

-exclamation marty

(In case this is not as obviously funny as I think it should be, the pun is on exclamation mark.)

BTW, for those who care, this is entry number four-hundred-one in this crazy little thing called blog.

poem courier

I saw this list of America’s Most Literate Cities last Friday. I have to read more about the study, but apparently I’m in the right place. I did finish the (short) novel I was reading this weekend. Echos of Chaos, by Robert E Vardeman. I’m still debating reading the two sequels. I did start the second one yesterday, but it’s pretty so-so. A bunch of us went swimming yesterday, and I was reading the last 10 pages in the back seat of a tiny sedan with 3 other people. Everyone made fun of me, but I had to finish it.

I’ve decided I want to publish a new book of poetry. I have most of the poems picked out, but I’m still debating the title. I came up with the title Poem Courier because I want to use Courier font to layout the thing, and I like the double meanings, but I’m not completely set on that title yet. I did, however, write a brief poem with the same title.

===

poem courier

text is not interactive
reading is linear
a word per thought
too fast for conscious-
ness to follow
a path through wordiness
not seeing the letters
for the words
not seeing meaning
for the letters

===

Other titles in consideration: Photocopies and Staples, Subliminal Beatbox, TextPanderer. Let me know what you think! I will probably do some more formal brainstorming in the near future.

Rowling’s latest…

I just finished Order of the Phoenix. My sister beat me to it by a day. I guess she was up last night until 3:30 finishing it, and now I’ve been up till 4:30. (I was up till at least 3:00 last night too.) Obviously, it gets compelling at the end.

Actually, there were times in the middle where I felt it was too compelling. I think Rowling has a propensity for suspenseful writing, even when it’s inappropriate, although, with a novel of this size, I guess you probably need suspense wherever you can get it. I just didn’t really appreciate it at times.

I had this revelation looking back on it… It’s probably an idea only suited for novels of this popularity (and I don’t think there have ever been any others), but when a novel is this length, I think it would make sense for the publisher to come out with two versions of the thing, a regular version, and a “authors cut” version. This would work especially well for the H.P. series, because so much of the audience is young, and you could make the shorter version also a “younger” version.

Of course, I realize I would never settle for reading a shortened version, even though, having read the long one, my main complaint was that it could have been about 2/3rds as long and still retained pretty much everything of any importance or significance to plot or character.

I will go to sleep now, and possibly dream of long corridors with mysterious doors at their ends.

monetary misery

Last week I knew I was running my bank account close to empty. So on Tuesday or Wednesday I took the first step towards balancing my checkbook–I checked my balance. It was good! Like 300-some dollars good! So I didn’t need to balance it, the last time I wrote a check more than $100 was ages ago, right?

Well, three weeks. That’s how long it took the car place to cash the $310.82 check for Laura’s new carburetor. So on Wednesday I bounced 2 checks, each less than $30, and on Thursday… guess what!? Another two! These were each less than $10! And how much does my bank charge me for each one? $31 each! Yes sir, that’s a nice big $124 that I guess I didn’t need.

The sad sad part of this is that I’ve been carrying around a check for $110 to deposit. I could have done it last Monday or Tuesday and spared myself all this frustration. (Not to mention $124.)

After getting paid on Friday, (and getting Nate’s third of the mortgage) I had just enough to cover the mortgage and two other bills that I put in the mail on Thursday.

No money for me for at least two weeks. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No spending cash, no gas money, no lunch at the Ritz.

OK, so on Saturday, I had an appointment to talk with a financial advisor. Just for fun, but I wanted to look into 1) debt consolidation (can we please have 1 credit card payment instead of 4 please?) and 2) a possible refinance of the mortgage, which would probably go toward the new roof we so desperately need. Turns out I only qualify for option 3) none of the above. But my larger financial picture is actually quite good. I’m putting away lots of money into my 401K, (probably too much), and will actually be looking at lessening that amount to free up some more cash for emergencies and the like. Possibly to be put into some kind of money market fund or just a simple savings account.

Anyway, in two weeks, I get my next fatty paycheck, but what, you ask — aside from the bills I didn’t pay this week because I was so poor — will that go towards? Oh yes, the door. I have been meaning to mention this now for awhile. (Particularly this last week.) As it’s a long story, I’ll put it in the “extended entry”. You know what to do.
Continue reading ‘monetary misery’

cybermind glut

In this interview with Andy Clark (The author of Natural-Born Cyborgs), he mentions a about future where we’re so melded with technology that having that technology break or disappear would be the equivalent of having a stroke. The interviewer equates the disaster to more of a lobotomy, which he disagrees with.

But I’d like to explore this possibility that, rather than being lobotomized, such a person (who has lost their technology) would actually just be reduced to the kind of person that we all are today. At that time, such a backward evolution would seem at least as bad, if not worse than, having had a lobotomy. Sure, they would seem normal to you and me, but to the hyper-brained individuals of the future, they would be near useless. I mean, I often think that the work I do will be so trivial in the future that it won’t be handled by humans at all, but rather by software of some sort.

When I say I’d like to explore this possibility, I mean, I’d like to write a novel on the premise. Just today, I feel particularly useless and depressed. My life is meaningless monotony hung precariously on these wires for you to scrape into your eyeballs like thick sludge at the bottom of some electronic barrel. Maybe one of the barrels that Donkey Kong throws at you.

Another of the recurring concepts in the book is that of the mind as it extends into our bodies, and even outside of our bodies. For instance, I’m not only writing this entry in my brain. I’m also using this computer, and my email software too (which does a nice job of spell checking for me). The extra effort I put forth to use these tools is far more than offset by the added value. In fact, without the tools, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what kind of communication I’m about to put forth. The concepts are just foreign without knowledge of computers and the internet.

And with that, I think I’ll flit into the back-paths of my cerebral hemisphere, and daydream for another half-hour before I kick this meatspace like a bad physical addiction.

stuck in nostalgia mode.

So tonight, prompted by riotdorrrk, I’m going to try and fire up a Commodore 64 emulator, and play Wasteland. While I was at it, I downloaded a few more of the C64 games from my list of sci-fi video games I haven’t yet played.

I was surfing around looking at pictures from the con (and new-to-me blogs of people who went to con), and ran into this guy Dan’s website. I used to know Dan back when I called BBSes regularly. Admittedly he was mostly just a friend of a friend, but it was a long time ago, and brought back some hazy nostalgic moments. Anyway, part of his site has this list of old NES games that have hidden (nasty) eastereggs! I wonder if you can do the nude metroid thing with the version you can unlock on the Metroid Prime disk.

Surfing around in someone else’s group of friends/links is a weird deal. I think I probably have serious voyeuristic issues here that need to be worked out.

What is it about looking at other people’s lives from the outside that makes me want to befriend them? On a probably related note, I sent a bunch of old friends emails today. Dan wasn’t even one of them. (Although I’m tempted to write and ask whatever happened to the genesis page he briefly mentions.)