Fri Sep 28 12:14:35 CDT 2001

If Synaesthesia is cool, G-Force is downright awe-inspiring. (It's available for the Mac, *nix, and Windows.) Thanks to Stephen for the link.

It occurs to me that really advanced sound visualization software is probably going to do beautifully weird things to the concept of a music video.

I should go study some German.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 28

Wednesday, September 26, 14:59 CDT

Looks like this site'll be down for a couple of days some time soon, as Webmages is being forced to move servers around.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with Webmages so far. Nice set of features, no downtime that I've noticed, running Linux, and excellent pricing. Heck, I might have to upgrade my account one of these days.

Oh, and a detailed stats package. Gotta love that.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 26

Tuesday, September 25, 20:50 CDT

Tue Sep 25 21:08:44 CDT 2001

I just spent something like an hour watching Synaesthesia do pretty things with the Grateful Dead's American Beauty, a bunch of live Our Lady Peace mp3s, and Kenna's Hellbent...

If you're running Linux, I'd suggest trying the SVGALib mode. Full screen, and at least on my system a lot lower CPU usage.

Tuesday, September 25, 18:46 CDT

The network's down again, disgustingly enough. I suspect it's not unrelated to the unilateral ban on using filesharing services or downloading audio and video that They (Network Services, Housing... Somebody, or several of them) imposed last week.

I just attended the first half of a Society for Automotive Engineering (or something like that) meeting. The stuff I get myself into when people say Hey, ya wanna go to a [blank] meeting?...

Not that I've got anything against messing around in a shop and building little buggies and stuff. I just don't know the first thing about it. Should've taken some voc ed classes in high school, learned how to use a torch and weld...

Hindsight being what it is, I'm continually disgusted at how uneducated I am in ways that matter. My parents are probably the two most useful people I know. My dad turns out furniture - bookshelves, dressers, desks, wardrobes, cabinets, tables, stools, chairs and shelves - and a huge assortment of Other Wood Stuff - boxes, candlesticks, ornaments, half of the stuff they give as Christmas gifts. He can replace a roof, tinker with an engine, make a decent weld, drive a combine, and generally cruft together a solution for nearly any problem that arises. My mom sews, cooks, launders, plants, does endless artistic things with flowers, and somehow becomes essential to any organization she joins. Collectively, they manage to grow a massive garden and boil, bake, fry, can, juice, jelly, preserve or turn into pleasant decoration most of it. In a word, they're competent.

So how did I wind up, at the age of 20 years, a directionless slacking half-ass almost hacker who's lucky if he can change a tire?

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 25
tags: topics/technical

Mon Sep 24 23:15:03 CDT 2001

I've used it as a command line for years now, but until recently I haven't played much with bash's more advanced features. The ones that make any self-respecting shell essentially a programming language, that is. Frex, it'd never really occurred to me to do something like:

for file in `ls`; do mv $file UNDEFINED: file.html; done

Which adds an .html extension to everything in the current directory, which makes life much easier. It's been ages, but I'm pretty sure that's one of the few things that MS-DOS's actually made easier.

Yeesh, I should sleep.

Tuesday, September 24, 19:29 CDT

I just ran something less than a mile. Just about killed me.

Drove home today to get a pair of shoes to run in. It was half an excuse to drive along and look at the country, instead of sitting... Here. Fall's comin' on fast; you can almost watch the landscape shift to browns and golds and fading greens. Corn's turning, air's almost cold, sleep gets better, the woodpile starts to look smaller than it ought...

Trippy cool sound visualization programs with slick interfaces: Synaesthesia. Trust me, you really just need to try it. I want to see this stuff projected on the side of, say, Bowen Hall - the giant ugly dorm a block away that's the tallest building in Wayne.

My high school science teacher tells a story about being hit by a truck and hearing colors / seeing sounds. I suspect getting a few sensory wires crossed would be a fascinating experience, if not altogether a pleasant one. (Then, well, head trauma does have downsides of its own, and I'm just not sure about hallucinogens...)

Odd conversational intersection with synaesthesia: Eric and I're suddenly talking about Alfred Bester and The Stars My Destination. Saying more would be a spoiler, but I will once again point out that TSMD rules.

Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation.
Deep Space is my dwelling place,
The stars my destination.

I get chills, honest. (Speaking of which, have you seen recent LotR movie promo stuff? *shiver* I geek out just thinking about it.)

I know there are scanners around here - there's a multimedia lab in the library, a bunch of big monitors for Photoshop work and at least one scanner... I should begin posting more artwork and the like. I've no intention of shifting this site's focus away from text about my thrilling adventures and deep insights on life, mind, but I might as well expand on it a bit. (And figure out, while I'm at it, why Netscape 4.x renders my layout so badly.)

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 24

wednesday september nineteenth twothousand1

software:Blackbox, excellence in minimalist x window managers. XEphem, excellence in astronomy programs with crufty interfaces.

music(feeder dispatch & phish @ some length)

yesterday checked out a fat book of e e cummings' poetry
to skim through

some of it's )really good(
either way i don't

know how long I could keep this up


p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 19

Monday, September 17, 16:27 CDT

A belated happy birthday, Heather.

don't believe the forest when he tells you that the roses are free

I see Lake Effect, a blog I've enjoyed for a while, is off hiatus. I may as well steal a link: Phil Agre's Imagining the Next War is the best piece of long winded political commentary I've made myself read lately. Which isn't to say I'm in complete agreement. Agre is on the left side of a political fence I do my best to deny existing. (And am I wrong? Isn't Us 'n Them the worldview that keeps killing people for no good reason anyway?) Still and all, he articulates a lot of things I've been (darkly) thinking for the past 6 days.

I've been half impressed and half saddened by a lot of what I've seen on the 'net since the 11th. Early that morning, finding news anywhere but TV or radio seemed hopeless, but within a few hours, people seemed to have pulled things together. Even while the major news sites were nearly unreachable (and shifting to ultra-light designs that served them better than their standard look), places like /., Google and countless weblogs and journals were doing an impressive job taking up the slack. (At least 'til countless blogs got down to some serious opinionating.)

(I found myself wishing I still had a home IRC server to log on to and make sure friends were ok and just generally share the feeling of wondering what's happening. There's real value to that sort of thing when Stuff's Going On.)

But then of course there's the inevitable fallout, and I've seen no shortage of irrational hatred vented. Pick a flavor. If I still thought of the Internet as a single community and me a member, I'd be ashamed. And maybe a little proud, too - there are a lot of sincere, often eloquent voices out there doing what they can to quell the opportunistic flowerings of the sort of people who live for this kind of thing. And a lot of people sincerely trying to help, however they can.

Few things make you realize how little you truly understand like a time of ugly tragedy, thick flying rhetoric and widespread enraged confusion. Especially tragedy deliberately visited upon the innocent by evil men. And yet the world's full of that. I'm ashamed to admit that I seldom take notice. Just that now we're forced to pay attention, I guess.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 17

Thursday, September 13, 18:18 CDT

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p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 13

Tuesday, September 11, 19:46

Got up this morning, did some homework, and went back to sleep. Woke up to NPR's news coverage.

Today might be the first time I've ever seen a perfectly blue sky.

I have nothing to say.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 11
tags: topics/radio

Monday, September 10, 1:54 CDT

It was an uneventful sort of weekend. My sister turned 16 Friday, and since I was home I drove her to town and we wandered around for a while in the mall. I'd like to say I did something to make me seem like a cool older brother, but that was pretty much it. We did find a great Ryoko (blue-haired, short tempered space pirate of Tenchi Muyo fame) figurine in a Software, etc. Right next to all the Gundam stuff I'm always sorely tempted to buy. If only I'd ever been any good at assembling models.

We saw The Musketeer. Bad writing, bad acting, bad directing. And the thing is, it coulda worked - doing The Three Musketeers with over-the-top kung-fu movie style fight scenes seems like a natural conceptual leap if you've read the book. As is, well, it'd probably make an ok $3 rental. A lot of the lameness could be pretty entertaining.

I got a copy of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses Friday, and finished it late Saturday night. (While Unix sped toward it's billionth second, an event I somehow spaced off.) It was good. Excellent, even. Which I don't usually feel about lit'rature with a dearth of punctuation. It reminded me of Fire on the Mountain and something else I can't quite put my finger on, but something saturated with a feel of place and time. I'll read the rest of the Border Trilogy, whenever I actually find them...

I can hear Jeremy (my room mate) and Lewis (the RA) at the end of the hall, still locked in titanic struggle at the Playstation 2 controls, each convinced alternatively of their supreme skills and the obvious gross injustice being visited upon them by the Tekken Tag Tournament engine. Lewis has skills, or at least serious speed, which tends to kill in any button-mashing activity. He is a near-master of everything I have seen him play, and his ego is fully aware of this. But Lewis has no experience with first person shooters. Yet. I will teach him humility, oh yes. And then I will retire permanently from the contest, before he wraps his brain fully around mouselooking and becomes an unstoppable killing machine.

I am going to bed.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 10

Friday, September 7, 13:27 CDT

Happy b-day, CarolAnn.

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets. The original Japanese, Romaji, and English translations.

I was right. It's cloudy and cool today. I think it rained last night, though I wasn't in much condition to notice after I made it back to the room. I did manage to start Audiogalaxy downloading somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 files before collapsing into bed, though. It's almost too easy.

I'm presently listening to a bunch of live Phish. Farmhouse, Bouncing 'round the Room, Roses Are Free, Lizards (right title? No idea) Tuesday's Gone... I love this stuff.

An interview with The Get Up Kids.

INSTANT: OK, standard corny Instant question that we ask everyone. If you could go out on the road with any 3 bands from any time period in rock, who would those bands be and why?
THE GET UP KIDS: The Who (with Keith Moon), Led Zeppelin and Weezer.

At least they've got taste.

Friday, September 7, 8:49 CDT

Today's fortune, received upon logging into webmages:

Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations:
             Negative expectations yield negative results.
             Positive expectations yield negative results.

I felt like I ought to share that.

I'm going to go take a shower now.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 7

Thursday, September 6, 16:01 CDT

Cloudy outside, a little windy... Change just might be in the air. Or this long, hot late summer could just keep on hazing along.

Been messing with my display script here. Sorta have old updates by year working. I just need to go back and add all the stuff from 1997 to 2000, and it'll be good.

I have this vague idea that I want to go back to all those old updates and add a bunch of stuff. Annotations, so to speak. I'm wondering if that'd be dishonest...

Thing is, this journal/weblog/whatever-it-is is the only surviving product of most of the writing I've ever attempted. I feel like it ought to be more interesting - or at least more wordy - than it is now.

Man, I wish I could write like this.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 6
tags: topics/perl, topics/technical, topics/wrt

Wednesday, September 5, 19:21 CDT

It's been a hot, uneventful day. I've managed mostly to go to class, mess with the computer, and listen to some music. It could be worse.

A brief, disjointed list of stuff I've been listening to lately:

  • Feeder - Buck Rogers, High, Seven Days in the Sun
  • Stereophonics - Hurry Up and Wait, Local Boy in the Photograph
  • The Jealous Sound - Courage Was Confused, What's Wrong is Everywhere
  • Weezer - Hash Pipe, El Scorcho ('specially the acoustic version)
  • Pete Yorn - Life on a Chain, New Enough to Know Nothing At All, Strange Condition
  • The Snatch soundtrack, especially:
    • Oasis - Fuckin' in the Bushes
    • Overseer - Supermoves
  • Boa - Duvet (serial experiments: lain opening theme)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou?
  • The Grateful Dead - American Beauty
  • Arlo Guthrie - Arlo Guthrie's Greatest Hits
  • Blur - the best of (How did I not know, after hearing song 2, that these guys rule?)
  • Nirvana - Whatever Jeremy happens to play

I've been messing with the computer instead of actually using it to produce something because, while I'm loving KDE2 right now, the fancy, cleverly designed sound server keeps dying in a spectacular burst of CPU overload.

Ah well; nothing can ever be perfect, and I have to say that at this point, KDE is probably the best desktop environment I've ever used.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 5

Monday, September 3, 22:10 CDT

Got back from South Dakota an hour or two ago.

I'd have to say that of all the cheesy, tourist trap localities I've ever visited, SD's have to be among my favorite. It probably doesn't hurt that the landscapes of the Badlands and the Black Hills really do have a lot to offer, heavily billboarded Reptile Gardens and Petrified Forests aside.

We hit a bunch of the standard spots. The Corn Palace in Mitchell, a highway loop through the Badlands national park, Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood... And somehow, I had quite a bit more fun than I expected to.

More later; right now I need to finish reading The Rise of Endymion, do laundry, and finish the homework I ignored all weekend.

p1k3 / 2001 / 9 / 3