Here it is 2008. And today is Chip's birthday; he's now 12.
I had off from work for the holidays; it's another nice perk of working at Apple. My brother flew in from Chicago. We went to see Van Halen in Oakland; it was a blast. The next day we drove my car (I finally fixed the heater after 8 years!) up to my parents' house in Oregon. We had a nice relaxing time up there. My mom was just recovering from foot surgery, so there were no forays into the wilds of Oregon on this trip. It snowed quite nicely on Christmas night, even down in the valley where my parents live. It was snowing in the mountains for the ride back to California. I-5 has an elevation of about 4500 feet near the California-Oregon border. I had to buy chains for my car, but we didn't have to use them. I had a great time spending time with my family.
Once I got back, I pretty much have been just lolly-gagging about. It's nice not to have to do anything. I did get out and jog twice to Golden Gate Park and back. Since starting at Apple, I no longer ride my bike 5 days a week, so I need to get back to exercising.
Last Saturday I went on a hike in Point Reyes with Aram and Mary. We collected lots of chanterelle mushrooms. You're actually allowed to do this (it was a park ranger who told us), which surprised me. On our hike back, a bobcat crossed our path, and then it waited on the side of a meadow, just nochalantly watching us. Aram took a photo of the bobcat watching us. #
Sometimes people think I'm younger than I am. Lately the range has streched past the decade mark. Imagine if I didn't have my beard! I'm not sure how to make this to my advantage. I'm not too good with deceit.
I had done some work on the iPhone software release that came out last week during MacWorld. The Maps program is pretty damn cool. I swear that at times it even seems to know which side of the street I'm on here in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the wifi database doesn't seem to have my house, as the range when I check at home is pretty wide. It's a good thing that I already know where I live.
I'm updating the program that generates this web site to also support
JSON as a data serialization format. I think this will get me nice round trips from an eventual Cocoa GUI program right to the web page without too much processing power needed on either side.
Today is January 20, 2008. Do you know what that means? It means it's only one more year with the worst president of all time. My only hope is there is not enough time left for that man and his administration to mess up our country any further. Never before have I realized how good it can be to have a lame duck period.
Last night I had a dream that my mom had read recent posts on my web site, and critiqued them and me. The funny thing is that my mom doesn't do anything like this at all! #
So yesterday I voted in the first primary I can remember where my vote could make a difference. Usually the primary system seems to have made its decision before I have even cast my deciding vote. Sheesh the process is messed up. Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to the future. A future where I don't wake up nearly every day worried to read about how our President is disgracing the country I live in.
I've been working my ass off lately, and I can't talk about it. I posted this while riding on the bus to work. While not working, I've been watching a TV show (on my computer) called "The Wire" that is excellent. Without commercials, TV doesn't seen as bad as I remember. #
Otherwise, it's been quite nice here in Northern California lately. I've gone on some great hikes and bike rides.
Oh, and check it out, I've seen 700 shows!
At this very moment, I'm listening to The Grifters, and I'm loving it. If you don't have any of their records, go get some. I suggest starting with "Crappin' You Negative" followed by "Ain't My Lookout". Regrettably, I had to miss their show of their last tour when they came through Austin. #
So I've been having fun getting the data that makes this web site into a standard Cocoa Foundation program. That way I can get it into a native iPhone application. This is fun for me. However we've been having beautiful, I've not seen a spring like this since I moved here, weather lately. I'm always torn: play with my computer or play outside?
I learned yesterday that a woman I have a little crush on is leaving town. I don't regret things I've done. I only regret things I haven't done. Even though I realize that, I haven't seemed able to do anything about it. #
While walking back from getting some beans from Blue Bottle coffee, I found myself saying "
star 5 4 6 7" over and over in my head. Then I realized I was walking up upon my old building, and that was the key code to punch in to open the main door. I've tried, that code doesn't work anymore. Anyways, it's funny the types of things you get into your head, and can't seem to get rid of.
As of Thursday last week I have lived in California for 8 years. Tomorrow Chip has been with me for 12 years. #
A little more than three weeks ago when I went on a great hike in Butano State Park, I got poison oak. I didn't know until that night. I either got it on my forehead, and then transferred it to my inner elbows while wiping my brow, or the other way around. I don't think I've ever had it before, and thankfully it didn't itch. Nevertheless, my forehead looked fine just a couple days into it, but my arms still look like bruises and tracks from shooting up heroin. So I've been wearing my long sleeve shirts to cover it up. In the last week, I've worn out 2 of the elbows on 2 shirts! I only have like 6 long sleeve shirts, so this is just crazy odds. Either that, or I need to get more than 2 shirts a year. Or less pointy elbows (just the left one).
I neglected to mention it in my last entry, but I participated in the carrotmob in San Francisco last weekend. Do you need photographic proof? Here it is. I'm the guy with the beard at the register. I bought a banana, a large bottle of whiskey, and some food for the food bank. #
To sum up things since I last wrote: not much to say. I need a new hobby.
Tonight I saw a link to a video about a bee keeper in San Francisco, and I thought it could be in my neighborhood. You see the guy that owns the nice old house behind mine had a Holiday Party (this is San Francisco, so it wasn't a Christmas Party) and someone there was a bee keeper on Waller, who sells his honey as Mint Hill Honey. Anyways, the video wasn't my neighbor, but the video was interesting, and I liked his site (My Robot Is Pregnant) even more. I think I read it for a couple hours, and I only got through to last October. #
Bands and albums and shows I wish I listened to when new, or saw when I could, and didn't for some odd reason or other.
Silly me, I thought this was 1-2-3-4 punk rock. I can remember one of the punk rockers in high school with this written on his army jacket. Later in college many of my friends said how much they liked it. Still I didn't listen. I finally got it about 6 years ago, and now I regret every year I didn't listen to it.
I probably passed up countless times to see them. Once I finally did, it was 30 years into their career and an awesome show. Made me wonder what it would have been like 15 years ago?
Took me until 2004 to get into this band. Where was I?
I can remember a fellow 'alternative rocker' in high school telling me about the show he saw at Cabaret Metro in about 1987, wishing I had gone. Apparently it was all noise, they didn't face the audience, and it lasted 30 minutes.
I always like the idea of Ramones, as well as a few songs. Just never enough to get some records and see them the countless times I could have.
By the time I heard of them, but not listened to them (somewhere between 1988 to 1990), I had decided I was over the industrial thing (Ministry, etc.) How little I knew.
Things you'll see in San Francisco on Market St. A 13" Cable-ready TV sold by a guy lugging it around, hawking it for $10. He calls out, "It gets lots of stations!" A guy in a staggering wide legged stance, jerkily bringing his 24 ounce can of beer up and back, finishing off the last drop. Then he takes the can and smashes it against his forehead. The unusual thing is this entire act isn't a show put on for anyone in particular, except for everyone who happens to be around. A guy with presumably stylish baggy pants down around his knees and backwards (!) leaning on the wall near one of the multiple electronics shops near skid row.
Things I don't like in clothing, or when buying clothing: silk screening anything but t-shirts and sweatshirts. Converse All-Stars being sold at the Gap. Late 80s alternative rock acts as my shopping sound track. Clothes that fit funny. #
So I've been messing with Cocoa JSON, and getting it ready to build for iPhone in my spare time. I decided it would be best to create a 3rd party SDK, and dynamic libraries are not available on iPhone. So Cocoa JSON needs to build as a static library and a Composite SDK is cooler than copying the resulting
.a file into your own project. Here's how to build it so that it installs into individual SDKs. Because the iPhone simulator and Mac OS X both use the
i386 instruction set, you can't make them Universal Binaries and you need to build them into separate locations. To create the SDKs, here's the 3 build commands you'd need to enter into
cd'ing into your Cocoa JSON directory):
xcodebuild -target json -configuration Release -sdk iphoneos2.0 install \ DSTROOT=/Data/SDKs/JSON/iphoneos.sdk xcodebuild -target json -configuration Release -sdk iphonesimulator2.0 install \ DSTROOT=/Data/SDKs/JSON/iphonesimulator.sdk xcodebuild -target json -configuration Release -sdk macosx10.5 install \ DSTROOT=/Data/SDKs/JSON/macosx.sdkYou can prefix the
DSTROOTpath however you'd like, up to the very last directory. Then you have to copy the
/Developer/Platforms/<iPhoneSimulator|iPhoneOS>.platform>\ /Developer/SDKs/<iPhoneSimulator|iPhoneOS>2.0.sdk/and edit it in a sensible fashion. I say this because Composite SDKs are not documented, and I don't want my instructions to get stale! If you're doing this in the first place, and can read a
.plistfile, I think this is a great exercise left for the reader. One hint I will give is that you must copy along the
PLATFORM_NAMEvariable. It will not work without it.
Next you need to get your personal project to use the SDKs you just created. You edit your project settings, such that (using the
PLATFORM_NAME. If you play with it, you'll see when. For those cases, as an exercise left for the reader, set
PLATFORM_NAMEfor those targets manually.
Things to do: Create an iPhone and iPhoneSimulator version of the test programs. Probably would be coolest to have it load the data files from the web, and display in a Cocoa Touch program. Reading from files is tricky (left as another exercise for the reader).
I left some of these as exercises for the reader because these are Xcode bugs that I have filed. I don't want any hacks I imply to become a practice set in stone. Hopefully they will be fixed by the final release. #
So I got to thinking that my OpenGL Carnival ride program that I originally wrote using IRIS GL on a refrigerator sized SGI machine and then ported to OpenGL and Mac OS X would be a funny program to get working on iPhone. According to the comments in the source files, I first wrote it in about April 1992, for an advanced computer graphics course. I ported it to Mac OS X in May 2003. I spoke with one of my teammates at Apple, who's done lots of OpenGL-ES hacking on the iPhone. Basically, I'd have to re-vamp my program to get it to work on the iPhone. He wanted to see the program. So I showed him it and the source code. I set him up to let him know I had written it in 1992, he laughed and said he was 8 years old then!
Thinking about it more, I had access to a 24 hour lab with this independent study course (where I made the carnival program). With IRIS, I could actually open more than one terminal window at a time. I liked this because the RS/6000 computers I was using for another course were slow as hell. So I'd log into more than one at a time from the same SGI machine. I had to run my program on lots of data sets, and I'd usually just sit waiting for the RS/6000's to spin. So since this was 1992, I'm not even sure if I knew about the web (I didn't have a cell phone either). But I sure liked usenet newsgroups. One of these nights while working on this was when the Rodney King riots occurred. I remember reading about them live in real-time on the claris (I swear it was called that, but I can't find it on Google) usenet group. So I was reading the news live on the internet in 1992. Were you?
I have two Lower Haight stories from this last weekend. For those readers who have not been to my place, I live on a nice quiet street. This has its advantages. It's quiet. It has its disadvantages. It's quiet. Therefore people seem to think they are free to do more on my street.
If you spend anytime in the neighborhoods I spend time in in San Francisco, you'll notice something odd. People leave crap out on the streets: shoes, clothes, furniture, etc. I think it's because the bleeding hearts in the neighborhoods are loathe to throw anything away, figuring someone will want it, but they are too busy with their fabulous lives to, you know, give it away or sell or whatever. These are typically small things and self-contained. I used to joke to myself that it must have been someone's high-concept art project. What abandoned hipster residue will you see today? However you'll also see items that are clearly dumped, where the last owner just wanted to get rid of the thing, and didn't want to pay for bulk pickup or dropping it off at the dump near the Bay. I've seen countless mattresses and pieces of furniture. I've even seen a transmission on the sidewalk on my street.
Once a broken toilet was left on my street. Then one night I saw a dude in a truck, pulled up and over the curb on the sidewalk in the same spot some weeks later. He had the back of his panel truck open, and there was a toilet coincidentally sitting in there. Even more coincidentally, he was 'adjusting' the toilet. I say adjusting, because before he got around to dumping it, I had yelled to him, asking what he was doing. He told me it was all a misunderstanding, that he was just adjusting it. I pointed out that it was odd to be adjusting this toilet in his truck while his trunk was at an angle over the curb, especially on a one block long street, not on any regular route to anywhere, and in the dark. As I pressed the point, he came over to shake my hand and wound up leaving. Strangely he didn't have to adjust the toilet anymore before he left.
Anyways, a couple of weeks ago a bunch of crappy furniture was left on the sidewalk (in the same spot as the toilet). My neighbors David & Brandi and I had all just been out there too. We were amazed that they had dumped it so quickly without us knowing. So on Saturday I was working a little bit from home. It was a beautiful weekend, so I had the windows cracked open. I work up in my back room, away from the street, but soon I heard something loud from the street. So I walked out to my bedroom, looked out the window, and saw two guys dumping mattresses and furniture in the same dumping spot. So I threw the window open, and yelled, "What the fuck are you mother-fuckers doing?!" (Or in Flight of the Conchords-ese, "What the uck are you mutha uckers doing?!") They looked up, surprised. I was surprised too, as I was yelling out my window. I was afraid they'd just bolt now that I had yelled, so I yelled their license plate for their silver Nissan pickup truck with black contractor rack even louder. "6R50723!" I yelled a few times, so I'd remember it. The bald dude with a goatee said something like "It's nice stuff, we don't want to take it to the dump. Someone may want it." To which I responded, "If it is such nice stuff, why don't you dump that shit on your own god dammed street, mother fucker?!" I then ducked inside to get my iPhone. I did this to make them think I was calling the cops, and to enter the license plate because I knew there was no way I could actually remember it. I have a terrible memory. Why do you think I write down all the shows I see? Anyways, they had just about finished their unloading when I had caught them (red-handed even!). Now while they were re-loading all their crap, the other guy said "You don't have to take pictures of us, man." Little did he know there was no way the iPhone camera would have gotten a clear picture at that distance. I asked if they had dumped crap there last week, to which they had a suspiciously quick response of "No!". I waited at the window as they had to load up their crap back into their truck. If it was such nice crap for people to have, they sure weren't taking any care getting it back into the pickup truck. My only solace was that they had to unload and reload their crap. Score one for the guys yelling out their windows! "Damn kids!"
So for you readers who haven't been to my home, right next to my building is a series of garages, I'd say about 8. So there's very little street parking here. What people who want to visit quiet streets will do is park in front of the garage right behind the last legal car in front of my house. I think they believe that people looking up and down the street won't notice them. They then proceed to do the types of things that people who want a quiet street away from it all will do in a car. What they may do is left as an exercise for the reader.
The very next morning I was awakened by a ruckus outside my bedroom window (the very same bedroom window I was yelling out of to foil an illegal dumping). I hear someone yelling at someone else. It's a quiet street, so you notice loud things, but I suspect some of these windows are 100 years old like the house. They are so thin, you can hear nearly everything. (That sentence sounds like it should be a "your mama" joke. "They are so thin, your mama..."). So back to my story. I'm awakened by a woman yelling at what I gather from what she is saying is a man. I get up and peek out of my window. Sure enough I see a car in the typical 'outsider' spot. Strangely there's a car right next to it, with its passenger window open. The woman yelling is in this car, yelling out and into the other car. Wow, I think to myself, this is an atypical morning, usually the yelling only involves one car. She's yelling at a guy in the 'outsider' spot who is in a car with another woman in the passenger seat. I can only paraphrase, as I was awakened to this drama. To be honest I have no idea what the two were doing in the 'outsider' spot. But the woman in the other car didn't like it. She told the man that her love for him was strong, but she didn't know if it could handle what he was putting it through. From her tone, and the very little of her body language I could read from the second floor, I am still not sure if this love was romantic or family. Nevertheless I could hear very clearly in her voice that she meant for everything she was saying to come from deep within her soul. I don't think in the 5 minutes I ever heard the man say a thing. At one point, he got out of the car, and let the other woman out of the passenger side. They both walked around to the driver side (and the scorned woman). The scorned woman said to the passenger, "I know who you are and what you do." The passenger walked down the street while the man got into the other car. The woman reiterated again how disappointed she was, and how she wasn't sure if her love, as strong as it was, could withstand him violating her trust again and again. I still didn't hear him say anything. After more soul bearing from the woman, the man got out of the car, and back into his. They both drove off soon thereafter. I went back to bed, alone, and slept another two hours or so. #
For the readers out there that aren't refreshing the Statistics page on every visit, you may notice that there is one less unknown show! The former drummer for Steakdaddy Six, and fellow Viking and graduate of William Fremd High School (who knew?) Gordon Pellegrinetti found this flyer for the Dirty Dishes show. He said right away it was in 1988. I'm going to assume he also confirmed it was an August Sunday in 1988 using
cal 1988 in his local
UNIX terminal. All I can remember about Dirty Dishes is two things. They had a song called "Hunk of Cheese" and Jace Krause was in the band. I don't remember what he played; I have a hunch it was drums. Jace was a metal head who got into punk rock then hippie punk rock. He was one of the first vegetarians I knew. Believe it or not, when I was a senior in high school, the punk rockers (and I'm including myself here, although I think I just listened to R.E.M. and shit like that, but it was 1987 people!) decided to run for student government. The name of our party? Psychik Youth Party. I'm not kidding. We made lots of cool flyers like it was for a rock show or something. I have a bunch in my basement still (not hanging up, they're in a folder). I'll have to scan them. There's so much I need to scan. Anyways we almost won, but the popular preppy kids won instead. Damn preppies. What did they listen to in 1987? Def Leppard?
I am much closer to getting this JSON and iPhone and Composite SDK thing working.
I sure have been posting often lately. #
I went to Maker's Faire yesterday. Frankly, it was a lot like the previous 2 years. Perhaps I need to go every other year so it is all fresh? There were so many more people this time as well. I did buy some cool art however.
I was talking to my mom last night. She's been taking a class on the history of religions. They've been talking about many of the major religions from a factual and historical perspective, not a theological one. So then she mentions that she's decided that she had raised my brother and I as Buddhists, because she didn't teach us about a supreme being, and that we should respect others and strive for happiness. I said "I didn't know you taught us that!" She laughed, and said "Well I know what I taught you, I just don't know what you learned!" Hah. My Mom's cool.
The bus I take to work drives on Interstate 280 (the world's most beautiful freeway). It's been nice and green on the hills along the drive until about 2 weeks ago. It's the time of year that California embraces its moniker of the Golden State. All the grasses are turning yellow to golden brown. #
I bought an acoustic guitar. It's a Harmony from 1975. It's a beauty. From reading the web site, it looks like it was from the last year they built guitars at their factory in Chicago. Foreign guitars were cheaper to build by 1975, so they shut down. Can you imagine what this factory must have been like? It was 75 years old or so. The Ludwig drum factory was also in Chicago. With everything that was built in Chicago, what a place it was. The guitar sounds great. I have a lot (if not everything) to learn. I'm going to teach myself for now. Personally I'd just like to play Johnny Cash and Hank Williams songs for myself. #
I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this yet. I'm leaving today for Champaign-Urbana (via Chicago) to see bands from my college days. Lots of friends will be coming from all over as well. I'm most looking forward to Honcho Overload and Mother / Menthol, neither of which I've seen play in the last 10 years or so. That's 2 out 10 of the bands I've seen play the most! Oh an interesting side note is that besides the main page, the most popular pages on my site recently are bands that start with 'H' or 'M'. So I'll be in the land of corn and $2 pints of Leinenkugel this weekend. Wish me luck, by which I mean a speedy recovery. #
Well my visit to Champaign was a blast. I swear I saw about 75 people I knew from college. We all gathered at Esquire Friday night to drink beer. I couldn't believe it, but Esquire acutally didn't have Leine's on tap!?! We then settled in on the Quad Sunday afternoon (not drinking beer). There were several jokes about who brought a hacky-sack, and whether or not we should blow off our 3 o'clock today. Later that night we rocked out in downtown Champaign, drinking more beer. I think we were all pretty hoarse afterwards from yelling. The last day was a fine brunch hosted at the home of one of the band members. It was a hell of a lot of fun, like a wedding is a lot of fun. I got to see lots of people for a short bit, and other people for a longer bit. I think overall I had seen many of these folks in the intervening years, but not all at once. There were also a few surprises who I was happy to see. Also so many folks have kids! I think I talked about kids more than I usually do. Not too many people I know out here in San Francisco have kids.
Strangely much of the organizing and reminiscing took place on Facebook. So, yeah, I got a Facebook account just for this event. Hopefully we can all keep up the love for another 15 years. There's lots of pictures up there about the event you should check out too.
Also, downtown Champaign is hopping. It was a Saturday on Memorial Day weekend. School was out; it wasn't even summer semester. However there were people walking around and at all the bars and restaurants. I think there were 3 bars in downtown back in the day. The story goes that Tiffani from The Highdive was the mogul behind all the development.
Champaign-Urbana is so much smaller than I remember. I think you could walk from downtown Champaign to Urbana in less than 30 minutes, if you wanted. That used to be so far away. So many of the houses that friends of mine used to live in are gone. The apartment I shared with Jeff Wagner is still there. I think my last apartment is gone, or just so remodeled I don't recognize it anymore. I didn't look for my John St. apartment. The crappy house where lots of people I knew lived in over the years (809 Main) is surprisingly still standing, and still painted yellow. Both towns were as quaint as ever. I like the brick roads and the big trees and yards and houses with big porches.
Omigosh I've been busy since I visited Champaign-Urbana. Apple's WWDC is next week, so that has kept me busy. I've seen a couple other shows. I've been playing with my guitar (I don't think I can rightfully call it playing yet).
I've also been busy getting slack for slacking about writing about the C-U 1993 Reunion show. I sure have been procrastinating, but I've done it before. I've also not had so many people interested in what I'll write.
Years ago all I did was write down the bands I'd seen on a piece of paper. Then sometime when I lived in Austin, I decided to type it all into a file on my Power Macintosh 7500. Then I got the bright idea to create a program that would create this web site. First it was written in standard ANSI C++, and later I re-wrote it using java. I put up my site, and then I decided to start writing 'reviews' of the shows. So nice. Then Google came along and all sorts of people would find my site. I think they typically think I have tapes of all these shows. Occassionally I'd get a "hey I was in that band" type of email (usually from someone from Champaign-Urbana).
Here's my dilemma now. Lots of friends tell me "I love your site, we were at so many of the same shows." However, we each have our own memories of the show. I've since become friends with some people from the bands back then. I never wrote an opinion on something that so many people I consider friends also have an opinion on. The pressure I'm giving myself is to make sure that what I write can stand up to that. I don't want to upset anyone, since I didn't write about their favorite part or song or memory. In my opinion, lots of my writeups focus on things other than the music.
Well WWDC is over. It was fun. I attended my teammates talks, and helped out developers in the lab. I even got a question about the JSON work I've done (and I still haven't finished that project, alas). The features I worked on for iPhone 2.0 weren't discussed publically yet, so I shall reveal them when I can. #
So there's nearly always a breeze in my neighborhood. Because of this all the leaves on the trees and plants in both my front and back yards face away from the wind. It's interesting to wonder if there are things like that about myself, where it is clear that something makes me physically different than I'd be otherwise, and at the same time, I have no idea, as it is all I know.
So lately I've been so happy living in Northern California. A couple of weeks ago, I went on a 2 hour sail boat ride for a friend's birthday. We went under the Golden Gate Bridge, and past Alcatraz. And I can't forget to mention the wonderful view you get of San Francisco out there. Then we've had some perfect weather (and then it got really hot last week). Last weekend I went up the Healdsburg for a friends' wedding. The next day we went to a friends' friends' family's 300 acre plot of land near Guerneville. It was in the middle of nowhere (approximately 5 miles of single lane 18% grade driving through a state park full of redwoods to get there). They had an octoganal house at the top of a mountain with a view all around. It was off the grid, run by DC power off of solar panels. We rode around on the back of a pickup truck to get to their garden down the hill and further to get to the swimming hole. What a beautiful place!
Incidentally, I've now been back at Apple for a year. #
I've made some tweaks to my site. I'm using some newer
CSS, so that in Safari and Mozilla, you'll see rounded rectangles, and on Safari, you'll see a drop shadow. I've also broken out the number of live bands from the total, and the sets from the dates. You can also see how many states I've seen shows in. Finally, these entries that aren't shows have titles! So modern and up to date. I hope I don't get Slash-dotted! #
I went on a nice bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge today. I had no idea it was going to be such a beautiful one either. My friend Benjamin, C++ hacker extraordinaire, (once of Austin and San Francisco and Chicago and Paris and now Berkeley) took BART over in the AM. We had 2 beers as we rode the ferry back. We geeked out talking about C++ and other computer languages. I came home, and realized I got too much sun. #
While talking with Benjamin on Sunday, he mentioned he's moved 28 times in his life. Here's my list.
Funny things: I still have the leases from 1992 onwards. The entire year for the apartment on Green St. in Urbana was $3180! Suffice to say, that number does not equal a year nowadays. I have just as many homes as moves, since I moved back into my parents' house for a year. That's longer than I thought I had moved back there. #
I went on a 45 mile bike ride with 10 friends yesterday up in Marin. We started in Fairfax, up and over Sir Francis Drake to Olema, south on US 1 to the Bolinas exit, and then up and over a killer kill in the sun at noon, quickly down the other side in the shade to Alpine Dam, and then back to Fairfax. Afterwards we ate and drank at Aram and Mary's. I slept well, and woke up feeling so relaxed today.
If I was really cool, I'd post a Google Map of the route, but I didn't figure out how to do it in 15 minutes in Google Maps (and Google Earth), so tough. I also took some videos of the ride with a cool camera mounted to my handlebars. I will be posting that and other pictures someday. I think it's been over a year since I've posted any pictures, for crying out loud. #
I got some old Stereolab albums as used CDs yesterday! I'm so happy to have Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Refried Ectoplasm: Switched On, Vol. 2 literally at my fingertips! I have both of these in double albums; the first is clear yellow vinyl with embedded sparkles, and the second is a green-ish clear vinyl. These albums must be listened to loud. I think I might have first gotten into these guys around 1993 or so, maybe 1994. I remember the first time I heard of them was a Chicago Tribune article (I assume by Greg Kot) that I know I cut out and saved. My bet is the clipping is somewhere in my basement. The article was something about their first tour of the U.S., but they weren't taking along their signature array of analog synthesizers and organs. I didn't have cable then (and not until a brief and shameful period in about 2003). I had no idea that Stereolab had videos. It's wonderful just to see how beautiful Laetita is. Wow And Flutter. Ping Pong. Cybele's Reverie. The Free Design. The Noise of Carpet. Miss Modular. Jenny Ondioline.
This one made me laugh out loud. The oil companies are scared?!? They have consistently been making more profit, quarter after quarter, more than any company ever, as long as Bush has been President. Hmm, now that I write that down, maybe they should be scared. Their benevolent servant and his puppet master are going to be out of office in less than six months. Makes me wonder if his other constituency the defense industry is also scared.
I had a link to here to a YouTube of a late night cable funny person talking about how the iPhone can kill you. Viacom, in all of its smartness, took the link down. Therefore, I will just mention they have no clue. #
I finally got around to posting photos from the last year or so. I went sailing on the bay nearly a year ago. Dennis threw a great party just after Thanksgiving in Chicago. I was using my iPhone for more than just phone calls. I had a great time seeing about 75 friends in Champaign. I went sailing on the bay, again. I saw a Cubs game at Wrigley. I was a tourist in my home town. I grew a beard and cut it off. #
So I found the link to Suzi Quatro the other day via a link to a Runaways video and Wikipedia. Apparently Joan Jett emulated Suzi Quatro. I bought a Hits compilation album over the weekend. Some of the songs are quite catchy, most of them are, let's say risque. Some are clunkers. But on the whole the album is pretty damn fun; the songs are in my head as I write this! I simply don't understand the lyrics to the early songs unless they are overtly sexual. In a way, that makes them alot like T. Rex. I'll leave it to others to dissect her feminism (it's a I'll do whatever I want, so long as you want it vibe), but it's pretty damn fun. And the rockers rock.
So anyways, I'm walking down 16th St. between Valencia and Guerrero past The Kilowatt. And what do I hear blasting out of there? Freaking Suzi Quatro's "Make Me Smile". I'm pretty damn sure I have never heard a Suzi Quatro song (except for the hit I didn't know was hers, "Stumblin' In") in my life. I have certainly never heard anyone I know talk about her. But she was Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days, so I'm sure I was aware of her. So of course, I think I'm kitchy cool for finding her music. Shrug. You only know what you know. Now hipsters are playing it at Kilowatt. I won't let them take Suzi away from me.
Damn crush after 4 days. #
It doesn't look like I'll see any shows this month. However there's a lot coming up the rest of the year. So I've had Suzi Quatro to tide me over the last few days. But what else?
Looks like I spoke too soon. I'm going to see Beck at The Independent on Sunday! That's the very last day of August. I'm worn out after hitting refresh so often this afternoon. Felt like a battle. I'm going to bed early. I learned of the show at about 4:50 PM, tickets went on 'sale' at 5 PM, and I hit refresh until I got my tickets around 6:10 PM. All that time I was debugging at work. You see, I have three computers on my desk, and about five iPhones and one iPod Touch. Awesome. #
I've read David Foster Wallace. Nearly a year ago I finally started "Infinite Jest". I was reading it voraciously. It was so fun to read, with so many interesting takes. The combination of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico into one nation; former French Canadian separatist terrorists, who want Canada back in one piece; environmentalism; commericalism; and wonderful use of footnotes as foreshadowing. However I only made it through 450 pages of this beautiful book. It's the best book I've not yet finished. I seriously don't understand why I put down a book I was enjoying so much. I did much of my reading while travelling or commuting to work. For awhile there I wasn't allowed to work from home, so all I'd carry with me to work was "Infinite Jest". That made me feel pretty cool. Perhaps work and the rest of my life got in the way. I'm so sad about the loss of David Foster Wallace. I really enjoyed reading again once I finally picked that book up last year. #
I've been very busy lately, both with work and life. I still have 6 shows that I haven't updated here yet. I've been a little sick, and even had computer problems! Yeah, yeah, I use a Mac, they don't have problems. Until you somehow get some internal not quite baked software on your machine that is. Anyways, all appears to be fixed now.
What else? I found out that I missed my 20 year high school reunion. I like to think I'm pretty good with dates that mark how old I am, so I'm surprised that I forgot that I started college 2 months and 20 years ago.
Oh in my accounting of sets that I haven't been able to write about yet (if 3 bands play on one day that's 3 sets), I'll have seen 1500 sets by about 8 PM tomorrow night. That's equivalent to seeing 1 set a day for 4 years straight. If I hadn't had done that, well, you probably wouldn't be reading this now, would you? #
I've just now caught up on writing about the shows I've seen recently. Whew.
When I was looking for information about what song David Byrne played from My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, I ran across his blog. What an interesting time he had in San Francisco. He bicylced around town with bold face names, takes in gallery shows of bold face names under fake names, etc. How seriously cool is that?
Last night I made the mistake of going to see Oliver Stone's "W.". It was a cartoonish look at the debacle of Bush's presidency. I'm not sure what I expected, but everything came off like a cartoon or caricature of what has happened over the last eight terrible years. I think we need some more distance to have a fictional summary of the worst president of all time. I nearly left the theatre in the middle of the movie, and I don't think I've ever done that. I know I don't like Bush, so it wasn't that. It was that the terrible things in the movie were sometimes played for laughs, and the theatre was laughing out loud. They should have been yelling. I laughed when the script was just so absurb when it made you feel you had to laugh at this bumbling president. Don't people realize he's destroyed the fabric of politics, the Constitution, and international relations over the last eight years? There's nothing funny about it. I left off pissed off that I wasted my time. #
On Wednesday this week, I'll have been in my most awesome home for 3 years! I was looking at some old pictures from then online the other day. It's amazing how much the yard has changed in such a short time. The plants are so much bigger! My house isn't too different. The paint is the same and the basement is all that changed. I have new furniture since then however. #
So Barack Hussein Obama will be our next President. I'm so very happy about this, it's very hard to explain. When I watched his acceptance speech in Chicago, I was jealous I wasn't there. And it was a beautiful unusual warm November night there. Part of me wants to say I know all about him, since I'm from Chicago. But he became a state Senator after I had left; the first I heard of him I think was when he was running for the U.S. Senate to fill a seat of Republican from the northwest suburbs who had defeated Carol Mosley Braun, the first female African American Senator, whom I helped elect in 1992. Obama ran against the cynical choice of Alan Keyes, an out-of-state nutjob who replaced the Republican candidate whose divorce proceedings from the Hollywood starlet about forced sex club visits were too much to handle for the Republican moralism fashionable at the time. Crazy politics.
But then I saw Obama's memorable speech at the Democratic convention. As the eternally long presidential campaign started soon thereafter, I didn't like the talk of Hillary Clinton being the next obvious choice as the annointed leader. I felt that we had gone through enough baloney about who slept with whom and who's skeleton was in what closet. At the time, I liked Bill Clinton better than all other options. I was by now just tired of the drama. I figured the Republicans would continue to make hay and feast upon her nomination. So as time went on, I heard more about Obama. I just checked my emails, and the first email I have referencing him is from 2004. I think there was talk of Ditka running against Obama for a short bit? Anyways. I liked Obama because he wasn't into political bullshit (at least on my radar) and he was from Chicago. I pretty much decided upon him as soon as it was clear to me he was running.
When I watched him speak on Tuesday night, I was really emotional: I cried. All I could think while listening to him is that this is what I want my President to say. It was like a nice tall cool glass of water. I want him to lead me and my country to a better place. To not accept the bullshit that is given to us. At the same time I knew he was pulling every single string that I have to be pulled. And I didn't care. After the last eight years, my strings needed, no had to be pulled! We needed this win so that we can get our country back on track.
In my story of America, it slowly, painfully, is always getting better. By which I mean more democratic (and not just the party). At first, the Electors in the Electoral College were appointed by the state governments. In addition Senators were also selected by state legislatures. Only the House of Representatives were elected directly by the people. Soon, Senators and Electors were selected by the popular vote. And by the popular vote here, I sure don't mean everyone. The types of problems we've fixed were abolishing slavery, women's right of suffrage, abolishing the poll tax, normalizing elections, the voter's rights act, and changing the voting age to 18, the same age one can die for this country. In my mind this has been a steady hard nasty progression for the better. It is simply this progression that gives me hope about this country and keeps me optimistic, despite all the naysayers and my own tendency towards cynicism.
When I watched Obama's speech, and saw the shots of the Chicago crowd, and thought of my old neighborhood and my old city and my new neighborhood and my new city, I saw in Obama people I know. People who are smart, are urban, have travelled, have interesting family stories, have hard family stories, and who are some of the best people I have met and known. This is the type of person who will help us in our time of need. I feel very proud of my country this week. I can't stop smiling. We'll stumble along the way, and it will be hard work, but I'm more convinced than ever that we can do it. Yes we can. #
I've been busy and having fun since the last update.
I went up to Mendocino's Anderson Valley this weekend. It was beautiful. We stayed at a friend's cabin off the grid. We searched for mushrooms and did tastings at a few wineries.
I've updated my personal source repository to git from svn. I've been using it for stuff at work, and its been working out nicely.
I'm going to Portland for Thanksgiving. My parents are going to be up there while we visit my aunt and uncle and cousins.
I like working at Apple again. I have less time to waste time.
I don't think I've opened boingboing.net (and I won't even link to them, hah!) in about 2 months. Thanks to Dave Alexander mentioning it on his site, I tried kottke.org. It's been much better. High quality, low volume, the Disney references approaching zero.
Last week he mentions "Timeline twins". This is a mental math trick I always use. I like to use them to realize how old I am.
Here's a good one. Kurt Cobain died 14 years ago, 1994. Fourteen years before that, 1980, John Lennon died. I have a John Lennon memorial pocket knife. I was really sad when Lennon died, and I was only 10. To be honest, when Cobain died, I made a joke about how he'd be spotted for years in supermarkets, ala Elvis. So much for my predictions of supermarket tabloid fodder.
The story about Gov. Blagojevich and his plans for appointing Sen. Obama's successor is nuts. It is so crass and over the top, especially while everyone knows that he's under investigation, there has to be something crazy about it. So I read the Gov usually is at home on the North Side of Chicago all day. With that and his raging delusions of grandeur rantings on the phone, it makes me wonder if he's on drugs or something. I mean how else could he have so little regard for the fact that he's under investigation and trying to threaten newspapers and sell Senate seats to the top bidder? Nuts.
As a side note, he was my Illinois State Senator when I last lived in Chicago. #
I've thought alot about it. For years, ever since I moved away from Chicago in 1996, I've been buying Christmas cards each year and sending a bunch of them to friends and family. I think I'm going to take a break this year.
So here's to all my friends and family that I'll be thinking of this year:
Dave Alexander; Marc, Ellen and Lucy Augustiniak; Chris Blumenberg; Dennis and Marcia Bolsinga; Michael Bolsinga; Brian, Edie, Jack, Fiona and Francesca Campo; Diane Campo; Jeff, Valerie, Rachel and Benjamin Campo; Mary Alice, Bill, Liam, Matt and Dan Connors; Kelly Cronin; Matt, Tamara, Lucas and Nora Daley; Matthew Daley; Robin Dannevik; Marika Davis; Marianne and Baltie de Ley; Tim, Lisa, Jack and Mike DeLisle; Rob, Tanya, Iris and Pearl Dimpsey; Sheila Diombala; Sara Diombala Sanchez, Victor Sanchez and Aden Sanchez; Kevin Elliott; Phil, Jen, Luke and Charlie Falkenholm; Alexandra Fraser and Ted Rzad; John, Becky and Jack Fuller; Pari Ghorbani; Brad and Mason Gilchrist and Suzanne Mason; Kate Glass; Alice and John Halloran; Claudia Halloran and Reed Lee; Victor Hernandez; Rebekah Hodgson; Seth and Ahmory Hodgson and Sarah Hirneisen; David Holloway and Brandi de Garmeaux; Penelope Horcha; Larry & Judy Jones; Larry, Emma, Max and Marisol Jones; Benjamin Kosnik and Abigail Derecho; Kim Laama; Lois Leen; Krystal Lewis; Jim and Hope MacGregor; Michelle Marie; Regan Martin and Teresa Radcliffe; Ginger McGilvray; Colleen Murray; Alysha Naples; Erika Ohlsson; Al Pacer; Andrea Pacer; Corrine Pacer; Jennifer Pitt, Andy Mueller and Owen Mueller; Ivan and Anna Posva and Brigitte Binkert; Ron Pranica; Josh Radding and Yasmine; Jeff Radice; Andrew Reynolds; Emily Rice; Adam Rosenberg and Natasha Kesaji; Lu Sapien; Kim, John and Josie Scannell; Jennifer Schaffer; Mark and Corinne Scheitler; Cindy, Allen and Rainey Sellars; Aram Shumavon and Mary Riley; Angie, Bret, Cole, Mia and Ella Staehling; Graham Stewart; Arshad Tayyeb; Karen Tsao and Thilo Heckrodt; Salim Virji and Anna Potterat; Jeff Wagner and Kate Hoag; Dennis Waldvogel; Jeff, Vanessa, Ethan and Max Wickenkamp; Jennifer Wickenkamp; Jonathan, Kim, J.J. and Rose Williams; Jon and Robin Bruns Worona; Elowyn Yager; Eric Ziegler #
I signed up for a 10 week guitar class that starts in January. I'm really looking forward to it.
I know that last Saturday morning (probably actually late Friday night), I decided to start my New Years reset early. Both of the things I mention above are the types of self improvement stuff I start around that time of the year. It just came earlier this year. Hopefully I can keep it going longer too. #
It is only one month until the worst President of all time it out of office. It's been a long and horrible 8 years. I can already feel my stress level declining. I won't wince when I hear the President speak. I won't look at the New York Times front page with dread every morning, wondering what new outrage the President and his administration have brought upon us. January 20th cannot come soon enough! #