Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Putting the antic in pedantic.

And how small am I that I can't resist pointing out this sort of thing?

I didn't want to say anything because you don't correct friends when you're not too sure you're right yourself, but detritus. Three syllables there.

Monday, May 16, 2005

"I'm not smoking crack"

Dave Chappelle is OKAY. (HWHAT?)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Public Apology

I think a public apology makes sense for a public mistake.

Some bad timing here, a poor choice there, and a few weeks ago I'm pretty low. It snowballs, bad news from other people becomes contagious, and when I get that depressed, the best thing I could possibly do for myself is just to walk outside and do something.

Talk to people. Go; do things. So I tell everyone, "I'm going. I'll be there. I'll do it," because I want to believe that I am doing right, that I am becoming better. When I freak out and cave in, I make a liar of myself, and fools of others. I'm sorry.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Finance and you

I balanced a checkbook. I think this is the first time I've ever properly done that. This is probably not something I should be bragging about. I put everything in Grisbi, an open-source personal finance tool, because I (a) don't have the hard drive space to install an X Windows/another OS to run GnuCash, (b) didn't feel like buying hardware or software, (c) think Grisbi it does the basics of what I need it for. It's a bit unstable on my WinXP Pro box (read: mean time between crashes is 30 minutes of continuous usage).

Hunter S. Thompson's passing reminded me of an image that was my desktop background for a while. The quote's from Fear and Loathing:

Holy Jesus, what are these goddamn animals?

Something about the expression on Spike's face gets me.

Also, in the last post, てまえ (temae) would be more insulting than お前 (omae). Pronounce it tey-mey, and sound like a gangster.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Your Mom's box

Since .Pete asked:

I'm not using this space for anything else this week, I might as well figure out the Japanese and Hebrew translations of "Your mom's box". Also, editing this post was a pain, so sorry if my misspellings make it worse

Japanese was easier because I knew of a reliable on-line dictionary that contains slang terms, but it was harder because I don't know it as well. お前のお母さんの箱(o-ma-eh-no o-kaa-san-no ha-ko) would be the literal translation of "Your mom's box". The only slang term I could find was 玉門 (gyo-ku-mon, a "beautifully decorated gate"). Judging from the few sites I could find it used in the desired context, I'm guessing it's more of a literary or formal euphemism than the neatly abrupt 'box'. If it's any consolation, お前 (omae) is often used in an insulting context. Use あなた (anata) if you want to be more straightforward, or, even better, leave it out if it's clear from context whom — or whose mom — you're talking to — or about. So: お前のお母さんの玉門 (your mom's "gate") would be o-ma-eh-no o-kaa-san-no gyo-ku-mon.

For Hebrew, a quick run through a translator yields a perfectly acceptable literal translation. I also went looking for a dictionary and found this as incomplete as it is. Here's a citing showing koos is apparently in common use (though the 'mom' part is more commonly spelled emek instead of ummek). This page looks like to be a slang dictionary (maybe) that includes the term. Koos has the opposite problem from the Japanese term — it's way more crude and explicit than "box".

So: הקופסה של אמא שלך, pronounced hakufa shel eemah shelcha, with a guttural ch, stress on the syllables ku, ee, and cha, is literally "your mom's box", and the modern slang derived from Arabic is קוס אמק, koos emek.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Laying bear a PHP bug

I've been playing around with security profiles on my main home computer (XP Professional), and have found new ways to destabilize my system. Upshot is, with the non-admin account I usually use, Firefox is crashing occasionally on form submittal.

I wanted to post here my response to a problem Mr. Bear was having at "The Truth Laid Bear" was having in case I lost it again:
This might be due to a known PHP bug.

The one thing I noticed from the lsof output is the value in the size/offset column for the one Unix domain socket (~544MB). Not the IP socket — I think that's stuck in CLOSE_WAIT because that's how Apache deals with connections while it's waiting for possibly dependent file handles to close.

If this is an error with Unix sockets, then it's probably an inter-process communication problem. Running 'lsof -U -r' should who that one socket going out of control parallel with the HTTPD process. Something in Apache is going nuts trying to talk to some other process, most likely MySQL.

The best match I could find is this bug first reported for PHP 4.3.4. There's an official PHP bug page for it. It's been fixed in CVS, but I don't see it incorporated into any 4.x release yet. As a bonus, the bug descriptions include test script to recreate the problem on purpose.

If that doesn't pan out, I did find one other thread where it looks like mysql_close wasn't behaving as the guy expected it to.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

What image scares me

I was reading Erica's post and was reminded of a TV news item about the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Mind you, I only heard about this when I was flipping through the TV channels in order. I saw a picture on one of the Spanish-language channels and instantly thought, "that looks like Birkenau. What a creepy thing to show a picture that looks so much like Birkenau." I was surprised that a straight-forward brick gatehouse would be instantly recognizable to me on television when the only other time I had ever seen it was one day eight years ago.

Auschwitz-Birkenau was the most infamous concentration camp complex built by the Nazis, and estimates place deaths there during WWII at 1-1.5 million. The site now is a protected historical landmark, which is a good thing: I visited one concentration camp where the Nazis did their best to cover their tracks; the site was found because of eyewitness accounts of people who escaped.

But making a site of murder into a place to visit is an odd proposition at best. If you have an odd fascination, or a morbid curiosity to get out of your system, visit the Auschwitz part of Auschwitz-Birkenau. There you'll find the signs and exhibits you'd expect from a historical museum: a pile of shoes, a pile of hair, signs with dates of events, a plaque stating what this or that building was used for. Afterwards, you can eat a muted lunch at the picnic tables while the kids to young to understand play tag.

If you want a first-hand feel of the scope, the history, and the passage of time, go to the Birkenau part of the complex, preferably with someone who was interred there who is actually willing to talk about his past (an inevitably dwindling group of people). It is large. There is no plexiglas in front of the furniture. Half was preserved, reconstructed here and there to fill in blanks, and half is in ruins. Cramped wooden bunks are still intact, the buildings still stained and painted on the outside in dark brown. Grass is growing over the train tracks where the cattle cars ran. One of the caved-in gas chambers is now a muddy, stone-strewn morass. Half of it is neatly kept so that you understand, and the worst is left to the decay it deserves.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Bringing it on home (from work)

So the stuff I mentioned about productivity the other week is really, really working for me... at work. At home, it's crap. I think it's been easier to impose structure at work than at home. No surprise there: everyone at work also trying to create an order to things, and home is for non-productive time as well as productive time so requires more effort to keep them separate.

Pardon me while I brainstorm. Feel free to skip to the bottom of the list if you want. Possible solutions:

  1. Home just requires more effort.

    I'm willing to try this one; I certainly am willing to expand more effort than I have to date, and not doing so put me in a bit of a bind when the clutch went out on my car this past week.

  2. I need a place at home for non-work productive time separate from where I relax at home.

    There is a desk in Chris' recording studio area that I'm sure no one would mind me using for a bit every evening. Either way more effort is required, but I'm liking this the more I think about it.

  3. I need to have a place outside of home for non-work productive time so the distraction of computer/TV/books isn't there.

    I'm thinking local coffee shop or something. This is actually less feasible than it was before, though; now that I've moved I'm no longer in walking distance to a nice quiet place where I can sit down, and this Winter's made clear I need a place to go to even when I can't drive there.

  4. The system at work won't work at home

    Cross this one out, too. I'm not maintaining two systems, and what's going good at work is going really, really good.

Part of the problem with all this is I feel comfortable in clutter. I'm ill-served by clutter. It's the last thing I need, and it's gotten to the point where I don't even notice modest-sized messes any more — not consciously, anyway. And since clutter feels like home to me, naturally I'm very cluttered at home. It's tough to give that up, but I have to.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Impromptu unspoken lyrics for thurs. night jam session

Yay! Angsty free-association poetry! Imagine guitars just this side of metal; Pretend that I can carry a tune.

three eggs laid themselves
bear the seeds of someone else
damned are you damned am I
damned the earth your wand'ring eye

everythings the same all day and all night
all night
all night and all day
all night and all day

pardon me as I lay over
pardon me as I roll down
pardon me as I lay over
and someone else moves in to town

everythings the same all day and all night
all night
all night and all day
all night and all day

excuse me as I lay over
excuse me as I roll down
excuse me as I lay over
and someone else moves in to town

everything depends on
everything depends on
it all f'kn depends on

everything dissolves to shadow
every ship sails off to null
everything dissolves to shadow
from every port they sail to null

we depend on
oh we depend on
f'k me I depend on

everyone goes back to weakness
every ship runs from the wind
everyone goes back to weakness
all the ships run from the wind

three things depend on
three things depend on
the world depends on

these three things

everyone longs for power
every ship seeks good strong tides
everyone longs for power
leave port hoping for good strong tides

Friday, January 21, 2005

Productivity vs. Blogging

There's a good reason for the past week's lull.

So Frank sent me a link about productivity, and after reading that site and, I've adapted the method to myself and it's working. (I haven't actually opened the book this is all based on, but that doesn't seem terribly necessary now.)

But I can't honestly consider blogging as important as, say, getting all my health insurance paperwork taken care of or picking up water and veggies at the grocery store. So blogging has fallen by the wayside. As a consolation, you can have a look at the linkpage I've been keeping. These are all the things I've been meaning to blog about (though a few are only things I wanted to email to people).

Also, how wrong is it that Blogger's spell checker's dictionary doesn't include the words blogger or blog? You better believe that in every dictionary that comes out of Redmond, Microsoft not only includes Visio, but makes sure you capitalize it everytime, too.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

SJM for SJF, self-centered bastard, likes good endings

yep, that's me.

I'd just like to say that, as much in my own little world as I am, I didn't realize that people I know beat me too the punch by no small margin and I didn't notice.

I wish I was listening just as they changed formats. The Post reported it as Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye, and there's nothing I like more than a good, sad ending.

When MTV cut loose their video mix crew on the show AMP, which is much of what made AMP cool (the show was canceled next season), they let them go out with Rez from Underworld. Well, not all 10.5 minutes, but, I mean, look at the thing. (Yes, this is just the sort of thing I like. I don't like the video's ending, though — they should have left it purely instrumental.) They also had the first commercial contest I remember winning. I won the Amp CD, which is pretty cool. We have explosive indeed.

Cómo se dice "alt-rock news coverage" en español

tangential to the WHFS going latino post.

While looking at the Google news searches for the format change, I noticed the local ABC affiliate, while posting the shortest article, was the only one to mention that people were injured at the last big WHFS concert (not to mention seeming to rip off the NBC affiliate's headline). Why? I'm guessing the article posted was from a transcript of the news broadcast. Pictures of EMTs treating people with eyebrow piercings was the best footage they had, and if they don't have good footage for the talking head to talk over, it doesn't get on the local TV news. This is why I don't like local TV news.

Contrast the Washington Post article, which got a short quote from Damian Einstein. He may not be the most photogenic, but if Infinity and its employees aren't talking, than Damian is the best person worth getting a quote from. Someone at the Post either knew enough of the history of the area's radio stations or actually did some research.

I am an American aquarium drinker.

Anyone want to see Wilco? Speak now or forever hold your $30.

I thought my radio was broken

Either that, or it was some kind of joke promotion — Ace's Mexican Ranchero Accordian Countdown writ large or something.

So I'm driving on the beltway around our nation's capital this afternoon (this afternoon apparently being an operative word here), and I turn on the radio, and I immediately assume my radio is wrong. There's salsa where my emo is supposed to be.

Admittedly, WHFS was in decline after Infinity bought it. Their willingness to play good music that other people wouldn't was part of what made their appeal, and large media corporations are infamously risk-adverse. Just a few months back, more or less, Frank made a comment about how it was sad that the station he fondly remembered from high school now clearly sucks much more than its long-time competitor.

Here's the Washington Post's article about the format change.