Archive for October, 2008

I love the internet

October 31, 2008 - 12:57 am Comments Off on I love the internet

There’s a scene in Robert Heinlein’s Friday where the protagonist is given free access to her employer’s computer network and she’s able to explore to her heart’s content. She wanders throughout the network, finding all sorts of information, feeding the curious Elephant’s Child inside of her, and ends up making mental connections with worldwide implications. Of course, the novel was written in 1982, far before the web, but hell – Heinlein was basically describing Google.

Here’s where my internet wanderings took me tonight. I saw a news story about Phil Spector’s trial being postponed. That led me to look up his Wall of Sound technique, which took me on some side excursions to echo chambers, Abbey Road Studios, and zebra crossings. But something about echo chambers made me remember the wonderful awful album I used to listen to as a kid, Music to Suffer By, by the incomparable Leona Anderson. I found from that page that she was an occasional guest on the Ernie Kovacs show, and of course I had to go watch some of his skits. Enjoy – here’s Percy Dovetonsils, the Tilted Room, and the Nairobi Trio.

Baby swinging

October 30, 2008 - 2:03 pm 3 Comments

Real or fake?

Popcorn trick

October 28, 2008 - 9:45 pm Comments Off on Popcorn trick

I just discovered the neatest trick.

You know how, when you get a bag of microwave popcorn out of the microwave, your instinct is to hold it by the top and shake it? Well, turn it over and hold it by the bottom. All the unpopped kernels will come out of the slit.

A good feeling

October 24, 2008 - 9:37 pm Comments Off on A good feeling

My school years, from about 6th grade on, were pretty rough. Sixth grade is when I had a teacher who bullied me, friends who ditched me, and the beginning of a severe inferiority complex about the popular clique. It pretty much went downhill from there; I wasn’t cool enough for the cool kids, hip enough for the hipsters, nerdy enough for the smart kids, and so on. Paging John Hughes. So I got picked on a bunch, didn’t have many friends, and had plenty of personal issues to boot, many of which I’m just not going to go into here.

So it was that much more gratifying when I got a phone call this week from someone I knew in high school, with whom I was friendly but not friends. (He had his own personal demons while growing up, which I imagine were also pretty hard to deal with, but of course in high school it’s all about our OWN problems, right? Nobody else has anything wrong with them, and even if they do, mine’s worse!) He wanted to tell me that he thought kindly of me in high school and wished we had been friends then. It really made my day. So if you’re out there, caller, cheers to you.

Sometimes it’s not what we HAVE to do, but what we DON’T have to do that’s important. He didn’t have to call me just to say that, but I’m so glad he did.


October 24, 2008 - 9:24 pm Comments Off on Nostalgia

Man, I miss going all-out on building a grassroots ARG. There’s something so liberating and scary about the freedom and malleability of a game that’s not beholden to corporate sponsors, but to its players. Where you can just totally change direction midstream without waiting a week for approval from the client’s legal team. Where you work insane hours and make exactly no money. Where you make such excellent friends with your fellow team members and alternately cry and laugh yourself silly at the latest crisis. (“What do you mean, our site was defaced by Somali hackers??”)

Reading back over some of our old chat logs, and then reading the ARG class presentation on Dread House (or Urban Hunt, if you’re so inclined), plus reading the all-too-infrequent checkins from past team members on our super-sekrit forum have me all melancholy.

When kids get a good zing in

October 9, 2008 - 12:54 pm 1 Comment

The other day Hub was talking to #2 daughter about her bad habit of jumping in and trying to do stuff. Like, she’ll hear the first part of the sentence “I didn’t feed the dogs today” and jump in and start to do it herself before the rest, “Because they were barfing all night and they shouldn’t eat.”

#2 daughter was taking it pretty personally, because although she’s somewhat scatterbrained at times (takes after her mommlepated), she means well and she wants to be helpful. So she endured the scolding for a minute, then asked the $1m question:

“Why don’t we have this conversation when I pick up your dinner plates for you?”

Out of the mouths of seven year olds. All I could do was gawk, and applaud in my head. Nice comeback!

This is not an update

October 7, 2008 - 12:38 am Comments Off on This is not an update

Well, maybe it is, but there’s not much going on lately so I’ll just bore you.

• There’s a huge lice outbreak at the elementary school. Rumor has it that 80 kids have teh boogs. We all hate the nit comb.

• The in-laws made it through Ike okay, although they lost power for over a week.

• I skipped my high school 20th reunion and went hunting instead.

• The mail carrier still sucks. Only both he AND his substitute suck. I just got two things I’d been waiting for in the mail today – one was postmarked 9/26 and one was 10/3.

• I’m really not getting into school like I was before. The class is enjoyable enough, but I just don’t think I’m up for it. I’ll probably take a break for a couple of semesters after this one is over.

And um… really that’s about it. Yay?