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Monday, October 31, 2005 
DST is the new Y2K
cory has a post on boingboing about DST and last weekend's "fall back". update 1, about the tz database is particularly interesting.

cory notes that "It's cool how many more of my clocks do this automatically with each passing year." and having lived for 4 years in a dst state (missouri), i can definitely appreciate the convenience of your clocks automatically adjusting themselves, saving you from the chore of remembering that it's changin' time and manually changing all the clocks in your house (of which there could be quite a few, what with clocks built into so many appliances these days).

but the boingboing post only hints at the technological hurdles involved whenever there's a change to dst observance. somebody out there has to write all the software so that our computers and clocks can automatically change themselves.

for example, windows has an "indiana" time zone setting that sets your computer at eastern standard time year-round. most computers in the state probably use that setting. but come april, that will be wrong, and all computers in indiana will have to be changed to either the "eastern" or "central" settings, depending where in the state they are. and that's just windows computers... older mainframes and legacy systems (which are the backbone of our information infrastructure) will require much more effort (and expense) to update. and it all must be done by april 2, or else bad things will happen to those systems.

also, while the boingboing quotes a passage from wikipedia that mentions offhand that the recently-passed energy policy act of 2005 will extend dst by a few weeks (snuck into the bill using extremely questionable "energy savings" numbers), it doesn't include this passage, which explains what an enormous pain in the ass this will be for the world's programmers and computer admins:

Starting March 11, 2007, daylight saving time will be extended another four to five weeks, from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November. The change was introduced by the Energy Policy Act of 2005; the House had originally approved a motion that would have extended DST even further. Proponents claimed that the extension would save "the equivalent of" 10,000 barrels of oil per day, but this figure was based on U.S. Department of Energy information from the 1970s, the accuracy and relevance of which the DoE no longer stands by. There is very little recent research on what the actual positive effects, if any, might be. (See this article, for example.)

The extension, which puts the U.S. out of step with other countries in North America (for example Canada), was greeted by criticism from the airline industry and those concerned for the safety of children traveling to school in the dark before the late sunrise (see this article for example).

An additional issue raised by this extension is that it requires reconfiguration of virtually every computer in the United States. Most computers are programmed to adjust automatically for DST, but they do so based on static tables stored directly on the computer itself. In order to change the dates and times at which the automatic jump to or from DST occurs, these tables must be modified, which requires some sort of manual intervention by a human being in the great majority of cases. A two-minute procedure for updating a computer, multiplied by a hundred million computers, represents nearly 1700 years of full-time labor. More difficult to quantify is the amount of labor and money that may be spent correcting errors that arise due to a failure to update computers. Certain types of information systems (those that schedule future events with reference to UTC, for example) are almost guaranteed to encounter serious desynchronization problems unless both computers and databases are carefully updated—in some cases by hand.

hoosiers might be the only ones really howling about DST this year, but as march 2007 nears, a lot of geeks all over the place will start kvetching as well.

speaking of which, my last dst post has attracted a troll, who dusts off the old "if it's the most controversial issue in indiana then it must be the biggest problem in indiana" straw man, and suggests that "if you want to earn some respect from bloggers nationwide" i should "begin blogging about real issues"... for some reason i don't think that was a regular reader. but it might be my first troll.

nightmare on edgewood
it's halloween! and while yesterday i stated that virago & i would go to a haunted house tonight, we ended up going last night because the forecast predicted rain for tonight. we didn't want to get stuck in the rain while waiting in long haunted house lines, so we went last night instead.

we chose to go to nightmare on edgewood at edgewood athletics, because it seemed like the best compromise in terms of proximity and price: most of the local haunted houses and haunted hayrides are way out in BFE in various directions, and most are on the south side. (there are only a couple on the north side, such as the hardee's stagefright which is on the grounds of verizon/deer creek music center. and last night there was an insane clown posse show at verizon so there was no way we were going anywhere near that.)

the first step was getting into costume. virago didn't have a costume and instead wore a pretty dress. but i had my new devo radiation suit from target (first blogged about here, and i was eager to wear it out, since i probably won't be doing anything halloween-related tonight.

the costume is basically made of tablecloth plastic. the material is exactly the same as you would find on one of those red-and-white checkerboard picnic tablecloths, except it's yellow. as you might imagine, this material doesn't breathe and collects a dewlike layer of sweat on its inner surface.

also, the costume is apparently designed to be "one size fits all/one size fits most", and since americans are fat, it is sized to fit most american fatties. it even seemed like the jacket and pants were sized to fit different people, as the jacket was relatively snug, and the pants were enormous fatty fatpants that made it look like i was wearing a diaper underneath, or was stuffing my groin with a couch cushion. pillow penis is not very sexy. also, wearing all that plastic is loud; i made crumply noises with every motion.

we forgot to take photos before we left, but were sure to take a few after we got back. virago took the pic above with the "night photography" setting, which explains the blur effect (i actually thought the picture was done and turned to pose for another shot while the shutter was still open). if you prefer, here's a non-blurry photo.

then off to edgewood, which is right off US-31 on the south side. i've never been very fond of the south side, and i've never gotten too familiar with its geography, so after a while we ended up on east st and i decided i was lost, so i turned off and went in search of madison. then, once we got to edgewood st, we spent another 10-15 minutes trying to find the place, which was supposed to be right there according to the directions. of course, it turns out that we hadn't been lost in the first place, and that 31 splits off from madison and follows east st after all. how people are supposed to know that i'm not sure, as i saw little to no signage indicating 31 at all. but we got there, which is what matters.

while you wait in line to enter the haunted house, which is a long and slow process, you are treated to hip-hop hits of the early '90s. yes, while we waited we heard such classics as "u can't touch this", "ice ice baby", "OPP", and "whoomp! there it is!" finally, we made it in.

the haunted house was pretty cool. you get led through it pretty quickly. it's often somewhat dark with tons of strobe lights everywhere, which can be a bit disorienting, and people hiding in every crevice, waiting to jump out at you. at one point you are led into a closet-sized area. i knew from reading the writeups on intake that this would be the room with the "drop-out floor"; and it was pretty exciting. the room shakes loudly like an earthquake. we clutched at the walls and tried not to fall down. then more madness, with the big finale being a cylinder-shaped rotating room covered in fluorescent paint splatters, which was pretty disorienting. i thought it would be interesting to take psychedelics and hang out in there. actually, that would probably be nauseating.

so it was fun. nightmare on edgewood is not open tonight, like many other haunted houses. i guess this is because it's a school night, but that still sucks... on halloween night, you should be able to go out to a haunted house. but there are only about 3 that will be open.

scalito nominated
last week was probably the worst week ever for bush (though there is some competition for that title), what with the miers withdrawal, scooter's resignation, and the fact that fitzgerald's nomination still hangs over them all, threatening that more heads might roll.

what's a president to do? change the subject! so how about a new supreme court nominee, one far more controversial than roberts and possibly even more controversial than miers?

i wrote last week that the right-wing wanted a super-right-wing nominee: they wanted a "scalia junior". so how appropriate that bush has picked a man whose nickname—"scalito"literally means "little scalia"!

President Bush, stung by the rejection of his first choice, nominated veteran judge Samuel Alito on Monday in a bid to reshape the Supreme Court and mollify his conservative allies. Ready-to-rumble Democrats warned that Alito may be an extremist who would curb abortion rights.

So consistently conservative, Alito has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But while Scalia is outspoken and is known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered.

in other words, alito is the answer to the question "what if scalia were not such a huge prick?"

as someone with an italian-sounding nickname myself (in italy they use the name "stallio e ollio" to refer to laurel & hardy, and on my old [now dead] hard drive i had partitions named "stalito" and "stallone"), i can appreciate a man with a good nickname... but i don't like anything else i hear about the guy.

from think progress:

ALITO WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE: In his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980's. Alito went further, however, saying the majority was wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion. The Supreme Court later rejected Alito's view, voting to reaffirm Roe v. Wade. [Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1991]

ALITO WOULD ALLOW RACE-BASED DISCRIMINATION: Alito dissented from a decision in favor of a Marriott Hotel manager who said she had been discriminated against on the basis of race. The majority explained that Alito would have protected racist employers by “immuniz[ing] an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer’s belief that it had selected the ‘best’ candidate was the result of conscious racial bias.” [Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 1997]

that's just the beginning. there's more at the think progress link, and that's just what we know as of this morning. surely more will come out.

the white house didn't waste any time in parading scalito in front of rosa parks's corpse, which is rather offensive considering that scalito's record shows him to be anything but a civil rights crusader.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 
a reminder—halloween monster mania
tomorrow is halloween. virago & i might go to a haunted house tomorrow night, but that's about the extent of my halloween festivities for this year. but last year i played shows two nights in a row. so i made some halloween material, including an almost-8-minute-long monster mashup featuring the cereal monsters (boo berry, count chocula, and frankenberry) and everyone from tim curry to the shaggs to the misfits to mc vapour:

halloween monster mania

i was too busy this year to make any new halloween material, but i'm still pretty proud of this piece. so now that it's halloween again, why not dust off this old mp3 for another listen? and if you never downloaded it last year...

Friday, October 28, 2005 
odd music @ odd fellows
does it seem like it's been forever since we had a big bad taste show? like, there hasn't been one since the one that was supposed to be in january was cancelled? i don't mean a bobby vomit show or a stAllio! show—i mean a big show with a dozen or more artists, a show that lasts well into the night?

well you're right. and you're in luck. on december 3, we're having our next big to-do in anderson, indiana at the odd fellows lodge.

check out the flier on awia news.

scooter indicted, resigns
i lewis "scooter" libby was indicted today on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to the grand jury. the smoking gun has the indictment papers.

word is that rove is not being indicted today but is still under investigation. is rove preparing some kind of deal, like copping to a lesser charge? there's also a lot of speculation that john bolton (current UN ambassador who wants to disband the UN) is under investigation as well.

this will be all over the news all everywhere all weekend, so just turn on the tv or swing by your favorite news site for the latest details.

update: raw story suggests that rove wasn't indicted today because fitzgerald thinks he can hit rove with more serious charges:

While many people were left confused by news reports that said Rove wouldn't be indicted Friday, the lawyers said that Rove remains under intense scrutiny and added that Fitzgerald is betting on the fact that he can secure an indictment against Rove on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, the misuse of classified information, and possibly other charges, as early as next week.

“This investigation is not yet over,” one of the lawyers in the case said. “You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation. Rather than securing an indictment on perjury charges against Mr. Rove Mr. Fitzgerald strongly believes he can convince the grand jury that he broke other laws.”

The lawyers said that in the past month Fitzgerald has obtained explosive information in the case that has enabled him to pursue broader charges such as conspiracy, and civil rights violations against targets like Rove. Specifically, the lawyers said Fitzgerald is focusing on phony intelligence documents that led to the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity: the documents that claimed Iraq was attempting to purchase yellow-cake uranium from Niger.

friday cat databending
well leland is back from the vet... he was a little loopy at first, perhaps from the ketamine in his system, but he seems to have come down from his special k trip by now. he's going to need some aftercare for the next couple weeks; the hardest part will be the recommendation to rinse his mouth after he eats. he never really eats meals; he's more of a snacker. he's peckish. giving him a rinse after every time he eats would require very close monitoring, which i can't really provide (for example, right now i'm at work). either that or try to force him onto a "mealtime" schedule, but i imagine it'll be hard enough to switch him over to canned/moist food... he was hungry enough to eat it last night, but this morning he didn't seem too interested.

but anyway, without further ado, here is friday cat bending!

as a contrast to last week's edition here is a super new photo, again of leland lying on my performance rig, but this time in my new (current) house, so the background is very different. i took this sometime last week; if you look closely you can even make out the growth (which was removed yesterday; right now, the area is understandably red, and the wound was sealed with one suture—the suture looks like a little piece of string on his chin, or an extra-long, extra-thick chin hair).

also, to be different i went with good old-fashioned PSD bending this time, rather than JPEG.

i got 11 bends out of this bending session before the PSD file broke. 11 seems like too many for one blog post, so i'll post 6 this week and the other 5 next week.

leland-rig-2k5a.JPG: original image:

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Thursday, October 27, 2005 
leland is awake... and toothless
just got the call from dr simpson that leland is waking up from the anesthesia.

he said "once we got him in there it was a no-brainer that this was absolutely necessary." leland only has three canine teeth left! the other 27 teeth are gone! his tooth decay was very advanced.

poor toothless kitty. he doesn't seem to like moist/canned food very much, but i guess that's too bad because he probably won't want to eat much dry food in the next couple weeks! cans it will be for the time being, if not the rest of his life. or if that doesn't work out, maybe i'll switch him over to tender vittles.

let this be a lesson: get your pet's teeth checked! because i don't think they make kitty dentures.

leland goes under the knife
i got up early this morning and took leland in to the paw patch. dr simpson looked at his mouth and confirmed that "a couple of those teeth are probably going to have to come out today." he gave me an estimate for $542.64, which includes vaccinations. they're going to put him under, clean his teeth, probably pull a couple of those teeth, remove the growth, and pray he wakes back up.

dr simpson called me a few minutes ago to re-confirm that i wanted to go ahead with the procedure. with leland's heart condition and other health problems, giving him general anesthesia is a bit dangerous. dr simpson was concerned enough that he called an anesthesiologist at IUPUI, who agreed there was a "significant risk" and gave dr simpson some recommendations for how to make the procedure as safe as possible. so dr simpson wanted to be sure i understood that there was a chance that leland will not wake up today. he also wanted to assure me that they will be as safe as they can, and that he thinks leland's teeth, in the condition they're in, are probably causing him a lot of pain. "cats keep their pain close to their chests" he said, or something like that.

i told him to go ahead with the procedure. dr simpson thought i was making the right decision, the decision he would make for his cat.

of course i knew that there was some chance leland could die—the nurse told me there could be problems anesthetizing him before i even set up the appointment. but hearing the doctor tell me so straight up—"if we do this, there's a chance leland won't wake up"—was still distressing. my voice broke as i told him to go ahead. i started crying as soon as i hung up the phone. and the crying comes back in waves, ebbing and flowing as my mind wanders.

i didn't post first thing this morning because originally i intended to post about everything when i got the call that leland had woken up from the anesthetic. but now i'm a little freaked out. i needed to vent. and i didn't want my first post about this today to have to be "leland died in recovery"... shit, i can barely stand to type that.

i'm going to try to keep my spirits up. i should know within a few hours whether he's going to make it. dammit, what am i saying... he is going to make it! he has to.

miers pulls out
it was clear things were bad for bush when it was the conservatives who were most vocally opposed to the harriet miers nomination, even taking out tv ads against her. she was not even close to qualified for the job, and everyone knew it.

this ap story was awaiting me when i logged into my yahoo mail:

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.

President Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House — disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said. "Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers — and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."

Miers' surprise withdrawal stunned Washington on a day when the capital was awaiting news on another front — the possible indictment of senior White House aides in the CIA leak case.

that last graf is key: if today really is fitzmas as some suggested it would be, then adding miers' withdrawal on top of it would make bush look that much worse. in that case, today would easily be the worst day ever for the bush administration.

we know that bush is pretty much incapable of admitting his mistakes, so one must wonder: did miers withdraw because she wanted to? or perhaps was her withdrawal "recommended" from on high? (though i don't see why bush or his crew would want her to withdraw today of all days, for reasons stated in the previous paragraph.)

now we wait for the next appointee. the right-wing still wants their scalia junior. with the white house in full crisis mode, i don't think even these guys are stupid enough to actually nominate another scalia. then again, nobody thought they'd nominate someone as outrageously unqualified as miers, either.

update: according to this ap story, a spokesman for fitzgerald said there would be no announcements today; none before friday. so bush won't get the 1-2 punch of withdrawal+fitzmas on the same day. still, it doesn't really affect my point; if the indictments are announced tomorrow then that's still two major blows one after the other.

also, harry reid says that the radical right wing won with the miers withdrawal; reid suggested miers to bush and thought she was qualified. if true, that would make two people in the country who thought she was qualified. others have theorized that reid suggested miers because he knew she would be a flop, but is he really that crafty?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 
fitzmas eve
actual announcements of who is being indicted aren't expected until at least tomorrow. however, rawstory is reporting that fitzgerald did indeed ask the grand jury to indict karl rove, scooter libby, and a couple others:

Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.

Libby’s attorney, Joseph A. Tate, did not return a call seeking comment.

Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.

Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.

Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.

save us from daylight saving time!
daylight saving time for 2005 ends for the northern hemisphere this sunday. this will be the last dst change that we in indiana get to sit out, as we will be forced to start observing dst in april... though many counties still don't know what time zone they will be in come spring. (technically, those counties that are currently in eastern non-dst that move to central with dst will not actually change their clocks on april 2 either, but we're quibbling now.)

so it's oddly appropriate that we now have a major development in the tale of indiana's quest for daylight saving time. as always, doug at masson's blog has all the info you could want and more.

but first, a recap:

indiana is geographically located right at the cusp between eastern and central time zones, such that if the state were considered to be in eastern time zone, kids statewide would be waiting for the bus in pitch darkness during the winter, and it wouldn't truly get dark in the summer until close to 10pm. if the state were officially in central, the sun would rise obscenely early in the summer and it would be dark by 3 or 4pm during the brunt of winter. either situation would totally suck, so a couple decades ago, hoosiers came up with a compromise: the bulk of the state would stay on eastern standard time year-round. or in other words, most of indiana opted out of daylight saving time. this fixed any sun-rising and -setting problems, but caused a bit of confusion for people in other parts of the world, who couldn't always tell what time it was in indiana, and especially for indiana residents in the areas of the state that still observed dst.

arizona and hawaii did the same, for similar reasons. other countries like japan did also (not that they were copying us). and those other places didn't seem to have any problems. but parts of the indiana business community were unhappy. they said that our non-dst ways were hurting our economy. they even blamed indiana's "brain drain" on dst, rather than more obvious causes like... i don't know... our abysmal public education, our backward bible-belt ways, and so on.

in came new governor mitch daniels. mitch wanted dst. many hoosiers didn't want it, and those who did couldn't agree to what time zone they wanted. mitch promised us that he would move the state to being (pretty much) all on one dst-havin' time zone (he said he preferred central). using the kinds of dirty tricks that republican legislatures have perfected in recent years, dst was forced through on a razor-thin margin and became law.

but then, at least according to doug's interpretation, mitch didn't submit all the info that he should've to the dept of transportation. as a result, DOT said it would accept petitions, on a county by county basis, for where the time zone border would move. instead of the "whole state on one time zone" we were promised, we would end up with an even messier patchwork where chunks of the western part of the state would be on central and other chunks would be on eastern. not to mention a big intercounty battle over where the line will be drawn. 17 counties that previously on "eastern" (non-dst) submitted requests to be put on central time.

which brings us to the present day. the DOT has issued a proposal to move 5 of those 17 counties to central. the proposal is not final:

"An opportunity for oral comments will be provided at four public hearings in Jasper, Logansport, South Bend, and Terre Haute."

The notice emphasizes the preliminary nature of the proposed rule and, in particular, stresses that neither counties for which a time change is proposed nor counties for which a time change is not proposed should regard the matter as resolved. "If supplementary information is filed by the County Commissioners supporting the inclusion of additional counties and it is not otherwise refuted, an
appropriate change will be made in the final rule."

mitch daniels promised us that indiana would no longer be the land of confusion. we would be one state, one time zone. easy. simple. businesses would suddenly flock to set up headquarters here. what we are actually getting is a virtual checkerboard of time zoniness. if most or all of the counties that requested central end up getting it after the hearings, answering the question "what time is it in indiana?" will be far more difficult than it is now. if something closer to the current propsal goes through and most of the counties that requested central don't get it, we're going to have a bunch of really pissed off counties. (they're already pissed that mitch forced them to deal with this issue instead of fixing it on the state level as he'd said he would, but that's SOP for the daniels administration.)

as part of his diligent tracking of this story, doug has been maintaining an indiana time zone map. i am reprinting doug's map here, without permission (though i am at least copying it to my server). counties in gray already observe central time (with dst) right now. the red counties are the ones that DOT has propsed moving to central. pink counties are counties that requested central, but don't get it in the DOT proposal. and yellow counties are ones that initially filed for central, then thought better of it and revoked their central requests.

now aren't you glad that mitch decided to make the time zone issue easier for us?

be sure to read doug at masson's blog for further analysis, including why the DOT proposal makes no sense. (especially for, say, the region around st joseph county.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 
here come the indictments
the blogs have been abuzz awaiting any possible indictments in the plame investigation. an almost constant stream of new rumors and revelations has kept them on their toes: "scooter" libby and karl rove have been revealed as having leaked plame's name (and then probably perjured themselves before the grand jury denying it). indeed, the scandal appears to go at least as high as dick cheney. the whole white house could come tumbling down once the indictments hit. for analysis of this complicated story, firedoglake is a good starting point.

some bloggers are so anxious for these indictments to be announced that they've turned indictment day into its own holiday, called fitzmas. and it's starting to look like fitzmas falls pretty close to halloween this year. from rawstory:

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has decided to seek indictments in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson and has submitted at least one to the grand jury, those close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

Fitzgerald will seek at least two indictments, the sources say. They note that it remains to be seen whether the grand jury will approve the charges.

Those familiar with the case state that Fitzgerald likely will not seek indictments that assert officials leaked Plame's name illegally. Rather, they say that he will focus charges in the arena of lying to investigators.

Any possible indictments are now in the hands of the grand jury. They are expected to be made public later this week.

RAW STORY has not learned who Fitzgerald is seeking to charge. Reports indicate that of those fingered in the case, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, is in the most jeopardy. President Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, also appears to have given conflicting testimony to the grand jury.

Fitzgerald may also charge those who leaked Plame Wilson's name to reporters. Rove and Libby have not been identified as the sources in Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 column which first identified Plame as a covert agent and the husband of Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Administration's Iraq intelligence. Novak cited "senior administration officials" as his sources for the report.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 
the patio is closing
broad ripple landmark club the patio has announced that it's closing. last show under current management will be otis gibbs on nov. 26.

After 40 some years in business, in one form or another, the Patio at 6308 N. Guilford Ave. in Broad Ripple will cease operation. Based on the market, the Patio has not been doing the business it used to in past years, and sales have continued to decline. Therefore, we are closing the Patio effective November 30, 2005. It is strictly a business decision and no other factors weighed into the decision.

With regard to the history of the Patio , The Patio began its history as a bar and live music club in 1950 when it was called the Terrace Lounge. That name changed to Lazas Cocktail Lounge until 1954. In 1955 it became the Pink Squirrel. Then in 1960 it became The Doris in Broad Ripple. (No one seems to know who Doris was.) The name of The Patio began in 1962 when it was named Jim Moore's Patio Bar, which was only about half the size it is now. As the smaller businesses moved out of the building, the Patio expanded into their space. Eventually, in approximately 1977, the Patio became the size it is today under the ownership of Arthur "Chubby" Wadsworth. Chubby was a well-known character in and around Broad Ripple. He ran the Patio with the help of Tyrone Tice and Randy Roy. They operated as the Patio Lounge with live rock bands. At that time the Patio was one of only three live music clubs in Broad Ripple. These three included the Vogue, the Patio, and the Garage. (The Garage operated out of where Cardinal Fitness is now.) In 1985 Chubby sold the Patio to Randy Roy. Then in 1987, Randy sold the Patio Lounge to Steve Ross and Dennis Burris. They called it the Patio Nightclub, but most people just call it "the Patio."

In regards to band bookings and live music in Broad Ripple, Matt Schwegman, who has been the Booking Manager for both The Patio and The Vogue, will continue to serve as talent buyer for The Vogue. In turn, The Vogue plans on increasing the amount of live music, which comes through the venue. Not only will The Vogue continue to focus on national touring artists, but will also book more local artists and historically "Patio- type" bands. We encourage all local musicians to continue to contact Mr. Schwegman in regards to any upcoming show ideas you may have.

Going into the Patio will be a new club operated by David and Maggie Lee, owners of Naked Tchopstix in Broad Ripple. Naked Tchopstix is a sushi bar and operates in the building south of the Vogue. If you would like to speak with them you can reach them at 317-506-7677.

If you have any questions for us, please contact us at

a shame. the place was legendary in the indianapolis music scene. and while i enjoyed naked tchopstix when virago & i went there a few weeks back, running a club is fairly different from running a sushi bar.

Friday, October 21, 2005 
friday cat databending
i've been anxious to post this all week, but had to wait until today... after all rules are rules, and friday is friday.

friday cat blogging is an old prestigious tradition in blogdom. basically, on fridays, people "cut loose" by posting pictures of their cats. because TGIF, or something.

since i've already blogged about my cat a number of times now, i was considering starting some cat blogging of my own. then i thought of something better: cat databending blogging!

so periodically, on fridays (but not every friday) i will post a picture of leland (or maybe some other cat[s], in future editions) that i have databent. here we go.

original image is 640x480. smaller than i'd like, but it's a few years old. this was taken in the second half of 2002 or the first half of 2003: i bought the rig (which he's lying on) in late summer 2002, but this was clearly taken while i was living at my parents' house, and i moved out of there around august 2003.

the file was resaved using progressive compression (setting 8) and bent using a wav editor, except for "leland-rig-wordpad", which used the wordpad effect. i bent the file until it rendered differently in paint and firefox (wouldn't open in IE). the other files are earlier iterations of this bend.

leland-rig-original.JPG: original image:

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click here for actual bent image
(will probably not open in internet explorer)


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Thursday, October 20, 2005 
glitch art
how did i not come across this until now?

glitch art is a blog by tony scott (aka beflix). for four years, beflix has experimented with visual glitches, and has even collaborated with "big-name" glitch musicians like kim cascone.

perhaps most interesting is the flat panel technique he's developed, where he makes photo prints of digital images by holding photographic paper up against his monitor.

he's working on a book, too, full of submissions by other artists. (no publishing deal yet.) the deadline is past; too bad i didn't find this 9 months ago.

i guess part of the reason i never heard of it is he uses the term "glitch art" exclusively. the term "databending" doesn't appear anywhere on the site—maybe he's never heard the term before? i only found the site because someone on had tagged it with a dataBending tag.

the terms aren't exactly synonymous, at any rate. "glitch art" refers to visual art based on glitches or glitchalikes. databending is a technique that can potentially be used in any medium, and while glitches and glitchalikes may be a part of the process (they certainly are in my bent art), they don't need to be.


i've been noticing an increase in comment spam recently. before a few weeks ago, i hadn't really gotten any... just one comment from someone allegedly trying to peddle his book on rev moon (and it was a post about rev moon, so even though it was shameless and spammy, it was somewhat acceptable). i didn't delete that comment, but in the past few weeks i've received several spam comments. it's on the rise. right now i have no intention of turning on word verification because that shit is annoying, but if i start getting lots & lots of comment spam, i won't have much choice.

zdnet has a story about a new kind of spam, which it calls "splog":

The attacker, or splogger, used automated tools to manipulate the Blogger-BlogSpot service and create thousands of fake blogs loaded with links to specific Web sites (home mortgage, poker and tobacco sites among them). The move was designed to doctor search results and boost traffic to those sites by fooling the search-engine spiders that crawl the Web looking for commonly linked-to destinations.

The counterfeit blogs also triggered thousands of RSS--Really Simple Syndication--feeds and e-mail notifications, swamping RSS readers and in-boxes.

The splogger executed a script that ran searches on blog search engines for specific keywords, said Wyman, notably names of some of the A-list bloggers, like Dave Winer and Chris Pirillo.

Then the splogger took the results, went to Blogger-BlogSpot and, using the service's application programming interface, or API, automatically created tens of thousands of blogs that contained text from the bloggers' real Web sites, Wyman said, along with links to the mortgage and other sites.

People querying the well-known bloggers' names in blog search engines, and people who track these bloggers and their write-ups via services like PubSub, Technorati and Feedster, then received feeds to the fake blogs, jamming RSS readers with useless links, Wyman said.

As a result, PubSub may stop including entries from Blogger-BlogSpot feeds in the normal results it delivers to users. PubSub is also considering requiring that users explicitly opt in if they want to see results from Blogger-BlogSpot feeds, Wyman said.

"We may be forced to filter out everything from BlogSpot," he said. "That would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. That's really unfortunate.", co-owned by well-known Net entrepreneur Mark Cuban, also said it would stop indexing Blogger-BlogSpot posts until it could get a splog filter in place.

the hit to blogspot's reputation is a shame, as it's a great service that allows anyone to set up a blog for free, and this sort of spamming and splogging is in nor way isolated to blogger or blogspot.

and i suspect, splog or no splog, that an index that doesn't include anything at all from blogger would not be a very useful index, as blogger powers a huge portion of the blogosphere. hell, at least 16 of the blogs on my blogroll are powered by blogger, if not hosted on blogspot.

update: paul points us to this informative post. though i don't believe for a second that the proportion of splogs on blogspot is even close to 60% (even the original author changed that to 42% and admitted that the sample was way too small for any real analysis).

people who complain about conceptual art
paul points us to this piece in the guardian. (sadly, paul's new linky sub-blog doesn't currently allow comments, but maybe he'll change that for us soon.)

People who complain about conceptual art always do so on the grounds of craft. Anything that has no painterly or sculptural skill is not art, because anyone could do it.

this also absolutely holds true for experimental music or video art, and in fact it holds true largely across the spectrum of electronic music. i for one have gotten into the "that's not art" or "djs aren't real musicians" arguments so many times that i now pretty much refuse to participate. maybe that's selfish and arrogant of me, and i should be sharing my wisdom with those who don't know any better, no matter how aggravating it gets or how sick i get at hearing the same ignorant comments time and time again. but then again, the people i see most often espousing such "that's not music" arguments are actually trained musicians themselves... people who play "real" physical instruments, and quite likely have spent years getting "classical" training. music majors especially often tend to have the most conservative view of music imaginable, and anyone who hasn't put in the number of years of intensive study that they have get frowned upon as something less than "serious" musicians. i suspect a lot of this is jealousy: "why should they be considered musicians when i have to spend two hours a day practicing just to keep up?"

this is not to say that only trained musicians make those arguments. but they're the ones i see making them the most often. perhaps this is simply because the forums where i hang out tend to be music- or art-related forums full of musicians. but let's move on.

But when people object to individual pieces, it's almost always because of the subject matter. This has been true since the start of the readymade tradition - Duchamp, after all, could have made his point with any object, since his point was "this is art because I call it art". He could have used a foot bath, or scales, or even something that didn't belong in the bathroom at all. He used the urinal, presumably out of a sense of mischief, extra to his original purpose, but it's the mischief rather than the message which stuck. If he had used a washing-up bowl instead, I doubt he would be the father of conceptual art. I think someone else would have come along with a giant suppository.

The more tacit conservative requirement of art is that, besides being integrally skilful, it is also lofty in its subject matter (I don't mean "like a loft" - that would be only one step up from a shed). Heedless promiscuity, dead sharks and lights going on and off are not lofty; natural beauty, anything vaguely devotional, large tableaux of human endeavours such as wars - now there's lofty.

while this is certainly true in the visual art world, thankfully, i don't think this part holds true in the musical realm. pop music (and perhaps also folk music, parody music, etc) has acclimated the public to accept that music can be about pretty much anything, from "the lumberjack song" to "undone (the sweater song)" to "the thong song". people complain about the content of music all the time: they complain about explicit content, homophobia, misogyny, material that (they claim) is unfit for children, or even content that is too syruppy sweet to listen to without gagging. the most extreme complainers even want to ban music about certain subjects. but they never complain that "that's not music" because of the content.

You'd never hear people discussing the Booker Prize in these terms - it's unthinkable that a book would be criticised for a "nasty" plot or a load of swearing (the verbal equivalent of dung). It's accepted that just to ascend to the point of being published and receiving attention, an author must have invested enough seriousness in his endeavour that any topic will, ultimately, shed some light on the human condition, even if that topic is as childish as a talking tiger or as unseemly as paedophilia.

People assume this, often without reading the books, just as they assume the opposite about the Turner Prize, often without having seen the shortlisted artists' work. And for no better reason than that most of us had a verbal education up to at least 18, and a visual education that stopped at around seven. We trust authors not to gull us only because we trust ourselves to be able to tell if they're trying to.

the last non-elective visual art class i remember taking was in 7th grade. the last non-elective music class was probably even earlier. though this article is from a british paper, the same goes for the US. arts education is a joke. the only way to be exposed to experimental music (or conceptual visual art) is to seek it out. i actually did take a class in "electronics and computers in music" when i was an undergrad, but that was... you guessed it... elective. it was a great class, though; we got to study & listen to stuff like john cage and morton subotnick.

still, the average person has no such education in experimental music and thus has no frame of reference.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 
i think i caught one of my authors plagiarizing today. i don't think i'll be naming who it is here for various reasons (and definitely not before he has a chance to defend himself), but he's a fairly big name in the tech field and he's written books for us before. he even has his own entry on wikipedia.

after a chapter has gone through the various stages of edit (development, tech edit, copy edit), it is sent back to the author in a process called "author review", where the author answers editor queries & verifies that the edits don't introduce inaccuracies. then the author sends it back to us editors to approve (or sometimes reject) before moving it along the process.

i was checking the author review for chapter 11 and came across a query that the author hadn't answered. because this book is a huge sumbitch and it's already taking forever as it is, i went on google to see if i could find the answer to my question.

the first page i clicked on started looking very familiar. many of the figures (illustrations) on the page looked like ones that had been submitted for the chapter. i saw a very distinctive table that had been pasted into the book in two different places—he hadn't even changed the formatting after pasting it, so table rows had pretty colored backgrounds. and most importantly, about 2/3 of the text on the page had been copied verbatim (or nearly verbatim) into the text of the chapter.

the article, on a hardware manufacturer's website, listed no author information or attribution. i suppose it's in the realm of possibility that this author actually wrote the article in question, though i highly doubt it. (though even if he did, that doesn't mean he owns the copyright.) most likely he just thought he could get away with it, or didn't even realize he was doing anything wrong by swiping several pages of text and figures and calling them his own.

the funniest part is that he included the url to the article in the chapter! the url is right there in one of those "for more information, see" sections. now that takes some major balls. (or major idiocy.) nobody ever would've checked the site if he had answered all our queries (and i only stumbled across it by chance), but wow, listing the source of his plagiarism right there, in the same chapter that included the plagiarized material.

plagiarism is a touchy subject in the publishing biz. nobody wants to get sued, and content owners often try to exercise the same type of totalitarian control over their content that owners in the music/tv/film world do. (for example, the site that hosts the plagiarized article has a "link to us" page, where they expect people to ask permission before linking to their website. this "link to us" page actually says "We generally grant permission to reputable organizations for educational and informational purposes.")

so a lot of people in the industry tend to be overly cautious about any sort of copying or quoting, to the point of absurdity. but, at least where i work, we have no formal safeguards to stop plagiarism; we just have a bunch of people who are neurotic about it.

to demonstrate how ridiculous it gets, here's another example from a different book that i've been working on today. it's a certification book (a study guide to help readers pass a certification exam.) in it, the author occasionally wants to quote a few paragraphs—definitions, key concepts, and the like—from various authoritative sources. these block quotes are never longer than a couple paragraphs, and each time she takes care to properly cite the source of each quote. not being totally familiar with the intricacies of copyright law, she will often query the development editor as to whether her quotes are okay.

the development editor, who has been here for enough years that he should know better, answered by saying "if it's in the public domain, we can use it. if it's not, we can't."

whoa there! the laws are pretty clear that fragmentary quoting of a few paragraphs of a copyrighted work is totally acceptable, so long as the quote is properly attributed to its original source. the problem with plagiarism isn't the use of the material, but the attempt to portray that material as one's own creation. everyone uses occasional blockquotes from other sources, and they always have. the law and historical practice are more clear here than they are for, say, audio sampling, as people have been quoting each other for millennia but sampling technology has only been around for a few decades.

here's the worst example, again from the certification book: the author wanted to use a two-word term that she had originally seen used by another author. so this author asked the second author for permission to use it (unnecessarily). the second author told her that she could only use the term if if it's followed by a ® symbol (which we call an "R ball"). an R-ball for two words!

the term in question is "truth advocate". not even a good term if you ask me; it has that ring of business-ese, of marketing-speak, that screams "i'm using business-speak and techno-babble to leverage market forces in your favor!" if you do a google search for "truth advocate" you get 1,050 results. if you repeat the search but add on the name of the author who supposedly has a registered trademark on the concept of the truth advocate (i refuse to reprint the name, lest i give undeserved credit), guess how many hits you get?


authors who want to include fair use snippets in good faith are discouraged from doing so, harming the quality of the work. but true plagiarists don't ask if their unfair use is okay. they just do it. and unless they're unlucky (or particularly incompetent), they won't get caught for it either... at least not in time. what a messed-up system.

Monday, October 17, 2005 
more music blogs
drbmd fwd'd me the latest tb6 newsletter today, i assume to draw my attention to the fact that quintron and miss pussycat are scheduled to play bloomington on oct 30. (i haven't heard any of their stuff yet, so i can't judge how interested i'd be in the show [and virago & i have dinner plans that possibly conflict anyway] but i plan to remedy that soon.)

the top of the newsletter mentions that dj /rupture has a blog. it looks pretty interesting, with musical discussion ranging from breakcore to grime to reggaeton to all sorts of "world music". see his 10-step guide to selling out or these posts where he responds to a christoph fringeli post on the c8 board (which i haven't been keeping up with very much recently).

/rupture's blog points us to wayne & wax, who's very prolific and seems to have a lot to say about production, reggae, and other such stuff. even better, wayne blogs for a group blog called the riddim method, with lots of discussion about mashups, copyfighting, remixing, and what have you. it's like boomselection with brains.

i've added all these to the "mp3blogs" section of my blogroll, which should add a little more variety so it's not all outsider/incorrect blogs anymore, which is good.

weird m&m thing
what the hell is this thing?

i just found it in my bag of "darth mix" dark chocolate m&ms. it appears to be a grossly misshappen irregular m&m that somehow made it through quality control and into my bag. it reminds me of baking cookies, and you have that tiny little bit of dough left over at the end of the batch, and you don't want to waste it, but it's not enough to make a full-sized cookie, so you just toss that tiny lump of dough on the cookie sheet and it bakes into some funky-shaped microcookie (μcookie or just μc). (hey, i like that... i think i'll use mu more often, say, referring to a certain software company as μsoft [μ$ for short], or a certain audio pickup device as a μphone.)

apparently my digital camera isn't good enough for macrophotography (at least not when i'm holding it), so the photo here was the best close-up i could get of the thing.

i haven't been brave enough to eat it yet, but i probably will soon. for science.

the white and ghastly spectrum of the teeth
seems like every time i take the cat to the vet, they discover a new problem unrelated to why i brought him in. ("every time" doesn't mean every vet appointment—indeed, each "time" might include 2-3 vet appointments—but that each situation that calls for vet visits turns up something new. this is probably a sign that i should take him to the vet more often than i do.)

you might recall that last year, i took leland in to the vet because he had conjunctivitis, and the vet discovered a heart murmur, which turned out to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (essentially a hardening of the heart tissue, which means the heart has to work harder to pump the same amount of blood.)

today i took him in to the paw patch. the dr. (i didn't catch her name) didn't seem to be too concerned about the growth—just like i theorized, she suspected it was a normal cyst that he had broken open a few times recently. what concerned her more were leland's teeth, specifically on the left side of his mouth (his left, not your left as you look him in the eye). one tooth was badly rotten, and clearly painful to the touch—she probed it lightly with a swab and he recoiled in obvious pain—and the one behind it was so covered in tartar that she couldn't tell what kind of shape it was in.

her suggestion was to bring him in for a teeth cleaning (during which time one or both of the aforementioned teeth might have to come out). this would require putting him under gas anesthesia, so while he's under "we can snip that thing off"... cut off the cyst. once it is removed, if it looks like it could be cancerous, we might decide then to send it off for further testing.

so the cleaning/surgery is scheduled for next thursday, oct 27. she also took a blood sample, to run some tests and ensure that he is in good enough shape to go under anesthesia (as general anesthetic and heart disease do not go together as well as peanut butter & jelly). the results for the blood work should come in tomorrow morning, so assuming there are no further bombshells waiting there, i'll be dropping him off on my way to work next thursday and picking him up on the way home.

reading through all his health problems, you'd think he was like a sickly old man, feeble and on the verge of death. but, other than the growth (which until recently was hardly noticeable; the dr. pointed out that there was no note about it in his file, meaning that nobody there had noticed it last year), he doesn't look or act sick at all. still, he did turn 7 this year (he was a stray so i don't know his exact birthday), which i guess makes him a "senior". and yet i still call him my "little boy"...

Friday, October 14, 2005 
cats vs cars
a lot of cats hate getting in their carriers... or at least, they hate going in the carrier when you need them to. leland doesn't seem to have this problem. on the rare occasion when i get his carrier out of storage and open it up, he eagerly jumps on in there. i don't know if it's because he forgets the connotations behind this (ie that he's probably going to the vet) or because he simply likes his carrier.

he hates car rides, though. in fact, car rides are the only time when he meows with any consistency. he doesn't seem too bothered by being locked in a box and carried around, but as soon as i start up that car engine, he starts pleading with me. poor guy. what is it about being in cars that cats hate so much? the vibrations? the inertia from braking, accelerating, or going around turns? some high-pitched noise that we humans can't hear? it's not the carrier; it's the car. but why?

so we went in for his cardiac ultrasound this afternoon. after a car ride full of feline crying, we made it to noah's and were let into a patient room. we waited there for 10-15 minutes or so; leland spent much of that time voluntarily hanging out in the carrier rather than exploring the room. eventually the nurse (debbie) came by to grab him, telling me it would be about 20 minutes, and i read the indy star while i waited.

less than 10 minutes later, debbie reappared with cat in arms, and said, "i wish they were all this easy."

"that's what you said last time," i told her.

"i know! he's that easy to work with!"

leland immediately went back into his carrier and waited for us to leave. a couple minutes later, dr. kalt gave me the diagnosis: his ventricle walls are a little harder than they were last november, and his atrium is now officially dilated (last time it was not entirely dilated). so his condition has progressed a little bit in the last year, but no more than is to be expected for a progressive condition like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

in short: a good prognosis. not as good as if he'd suddenly been cured or the condition went into remission, but about as good as i really could've asked for.

but i'm still a bit worried about the growth. gotta wait 'til monday at the earliest before i find anything out there. while i was at noah's i grabbed a brochure about laser surgery. i hadn't realized they even did laser surgery on pets, but i guess they do. that reassures me somewhat: if the growth needs to be removed (rather than simply drained, popped, or treated with antibiotics), it seems like they could do a pretty clean job of it using laser surgery. the brochure even mentioned something about laser surgery being appropriate around the mouth area, though i didn't get to read it very thoroughly.

but how much would that cost? the ultrasound itself was $195. i'm sure laser surgery, even a minor procedure, probably costs significantly more than that. yikes!

down for the count
that tom delay is dirtier than dirt mcgirt (rest his soul)!

and now indiana congressman chris chocola (called "the count" by snarky bloggers... get it? count chocola?) has gotten all messy too.

Tom DeLay's political group used nearly $100,000 in corporate and unlimited donations to mail last-minute political appeals praising five congressional candidates despite rules meant to keep such money out of federal races, documents released Thursday show.

The records also detail payments DeLay's group made to Jim Ellis and Warren Robold, two longtime fundraisers indicted in Texas in the same state campaign finance case as DeLay. All three men say they are innocent in that case.

The documents from the Federal Election Commission's audit of DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC (ARMPAC) were obtained by Political Money Line, a group that studies campaign fundraising.

They show DeLay's ARMPAC sent money from its so-called soft-money account before the November 2002 election to pay for mailings for such candidates as Indiana Republican Chris Chocola, who won election to the House that year.

An ARMPAC mailing to gun-owning voters in Chocola's race for an open congressional seat praised him as someone who "will protect the sporting traditions that Indiana sportsmen have passed on. For future generations to continue to enjoy our heritage, we need the leadership of Chris Chocola."

note that this is unrelated to the ronnie earle investigation against delay, which has led to indictments against delay. yes, the charges do sound virtually identical, but it's a totally different PAC. it would seem delay runs all his PACs the same way... to hell with the law, soft money for everbody!

fakey fakepants

from the associated press:

It was billed as a conversation with U.S. troops, but the questions President Bush asked on a teleconference call Thursday were choreographed to match his goals for the war in Iraq and Saturday's vote on a new Iraqi constitution.

"This is an important time," Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, said, coaching the soldiers before Bush arrived. "The president is looking forward to having just a conversation with you."
A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

the written AP story really doesn't do it justice. watch the video! for some reason the abc video at the yahoo page i've linked to cut off midway through the story for me. if that happens for you, or you just want more, crooksandliars has cnn video about the story as well as a link to some audio on npr.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 
another demon bites the dust
new to the blogroll is shakespeare's sister, an intelligent and insightful political blog based out of bloomington indiana. there was some delay in adding it, as i struggled with whether to add it to "politiblogs" or "hoosierblogs"... eventually i decided on the former, as the blog's focus is on national politics and there isn't much actual discussion of indiana, indiana issues, etc.

anyway, shakes has a halloween treat for those of you who enjoy wacko fundamentalist propaganda like chick tracts: two posts featuring the adventures of christian singer carman in his crusade to defeat the devil!

Last Halloween, my nephew came back from Trick-or-Treating with two books in his bag o’ goodies, which my sister was appalled to discover (and removed from his sight before he read them). When she showed them to me, I begged her to let me have them, and she kindly agreed, looking at me like I was insane for wanting them, but they were simply too crazy for the rubbish bin. Apparently, some of their neighbors felt that kids didn’t need candy so much as a lesson on Christianity and Evil in the form of a demented little hardback comic book. I can't even imagine how many of these things were handed out to unsuspecting kids.

i'm almost inspired to blog about bibleman... but i'm sure i'll get to that eventually. probably sometime after i finally post about catman and "nin-ja" movies (cut and paste martial arts movies), which i was originally going to do... oh... last year or something.

back during my first two years of high school at cathedral, i rode the van to school. not the bus: the student body was too small (and too well-off) for a full-size schoolbus. (technically, i think the school did have a bus or two, but they were only used for field trips and transporting sports teams, not for bussing studends to school.) instead, there were two vans that bussed around those few students whose parents couldn't drive us to school in the mercedes or the lexus each morning (this was before SUVs were all over the place).

our van driver was a fundamentalist christian. i want to say her name was rita, but i could be off (i'm pretty sure it started with R). it seemed a bit strange for a fundie to be driving a bunch of kids to catholic school, but whatever. apparently she wasn't too fundamentalist or else she wouldn't have accepted work from those blasphemous catholics, right?

but she was a fundie all right. for one thing, she listened to gospel and christian music exclusively. we had many conversations in that van about how secular music promotes unwholesome and even sinful messages. of course, at the time i was listening almost exclusively to decadent hard rock and metal, while some of the black kids on the van were listening to gangsta rap like NWA, so us kids weren't convinced.

carman was her favorite. i remember this explicitly, as she talked about him all the time. once i even got some candy for knowing this: she was quizzing us for free candy, and i correctly answered the question "who is the best christian singer?" (quite an objective quiz, yes? i wonder whether cathedral knew she was trying to indoctrinate us like that.)

i didn't think i would ever have to think about carman again. and i definitely didn't think i would end up reading (or reading about) children's books starring carman and featuring phrases like "Guns are dangerous but have no power in the spirit realm."

take that, gun nuts! your guns have no power in the spirit realm! unless you're the saint of killers, that is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 
the growth
i have an appointment with dr. kalt friday at 11:50 to take leland in for a new cardiac ultrasound at noah's animal hospital (by 56th & emerson). it's a little hard to believe that he got his last (first) one way back in november! the docs originally recommended getting a follow-up ultrasound 6 months after the first one... i knew that, because of procrastination mixed with my busy schedule, it had been well over 6 months. but i didn't think it had been almost a year. oops! sorry li'l buddy.

fortunately i'm not too concerned about the ultrasound results, as last time the doc told me that his symptoms were so mild that "some purists" wouldn't even diagnose it as actual hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, so after 11 months of medication, leland's cardiomyopathy should be better or no worse than it was at that time. should be.

what i'm a little more concerned about is "the growth". for as long as i can remember, leland has had a little growth just below his bottom lip. he probably wasn't born with it, but it's been there so long that i can't remember when i first noticed it. it always seemed like a harmless little white bump and it never seemed to bother him, so i didn't think about it much. in fact, i totally forgot about it when last i took him to the vet—it was just something i accepted without much thought.

but in the past couple months, the growth has changed in appearance. it's a little bigger than it used to be, and a little darker. once it was off-white, but very briefly it turned red and now it's a dark gray. like it got broken open and scabbed over. i've done some google research but haven't turned up anything that looks like a proper diagnosis; the closest i've come was some site that mentioned (almost offhand) that a similar growth might be a symptom of feline leukemia (which he has).

growths that change appearance are bad—they can be a sign of infection or even cancer. one of my fears is that i have no idea how difficult it would be to actually remove a growth that's so close to a cat's mouth.... i can't think of a way to prevent him from licking the wound, for example. putting one of this big cones around his neck wouldn't do the trick. if it turned out to be really bad—like malignant—what could they even do about it?

so i've known for a while that i needed to get him into the vet to check out the bump, which i've been hoping is harmless. but i also knew the vet would want to follow up on the cardiomyopathy, which meant getting another ultrasound. and they don't do ultrasounds at the paw patch, which meant at least two appointments at two different vets. i figured the smartest thing to do would be to get the ultrasound first, so that it's out of the way, and when i go in to the paw patch for leland's "normal" vet appointment (on 2:30 monday), dr. simpson (leland's "GP", i guess) can focus more on doing a biopsy on the bump. if i didn't get the ultrasound first, i'd need to go to paw patch, then go to noah's for the ultrasound, then call dr simpson back about the ultrasound... not to mention any extra steps that might be necessary to take care of the growth, if it's more than just an overgrown zit or a harmless cyst. ugh.

so that's my blog entry. and fortunately, i can even post it! around 3pm we had a weird power surge here at the office; a bunch of lights went out and a bunch of computers went down. miraculously, i was relatively unaffected: my computer never rebooted, and while i can't access the network servers, i can at least access the internet right now (though i couldn't for 30 minutes or so, and puzzled over how to keep this blog entry so that i could post it from home, though thankfully i won't have to). it looks like everything should be fixed by morning, though, so i won't get a day off work out of it tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 
best governor ever!!!!!!!!~111
i haven't posted about the nomination of harriet miers to the supreme court. not much is known about her except she is one of bush's cronies. astoundingly, miers seems to be the last straw for many conservatives, who are finally (finally!!!) turning against bush in large numbers. turns out they didn't want another stealth candidate of dubious qualification like john roberts (who was at least fairly qualified in the legal field). the right wanted an arch-arch-conservative to get the nod; they wanted a rudy ray moore type, a scalia-on-steroids, and they wanted to laugh with glee while the democrats tried and failed to stop the appointment. this was supposed to be their ultimate moment, a moment of such importance that they put up with all the bush-shit for 5 years waiting for it. and now they're pissed.

everyone knew that miers's only qualification was her closeness to bush, in the scotus equivalent of appointing mike brown head of fema. many people pointed to the oft-repeated quote that bush was "the most brilliant man" miers had ever met. but that quote seems like a slur compared to past miers comments. from the nytimes:

"You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect," Harriet E. Miers wrote to George W. Bush days after his 51st birthday in July 1997. She also found him "cool," said he and his wife, Laura, were "the greatest!" and told him: "Keep up the great work. Texas is blessed."

"Texas has a very popular governor and first lady!" She recalled a little girl who collected Mr. Bush's autograph and said, "I was struck by the tremendous impact you have on the children whose lives you touch."

On March 25, on the letterhead of her Dallas law firm, Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, Ms. Miers wrote to thank him "for taking the time to visit in the office and on the plane back - cool!"

"Keep up all the great work," she wrote. "The state is in great hands. Thanks also for yours and your family's personal sacrifice."

"Hopefully Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are 'cool' - as do the rest of us."

She added, "All I hear is how great you and Laura are doing," and ended, "Texas is blessed."

the sun-herald has its own version of the story, with a different perspective and a little more detail on that "best governor ever" exchange:

"You are the best governor ever - deserving of great respect!" she wrote in 1997, in a belated birthday note that was typical of the tone she used in her correspondence with then-Gov. Bush.

The letter was one of a handful of personal notes included in more than 2,000 pages of documents released Monday by the Texas State Library - most of them routine legal memos, press releases and transcripts. The letters offer a rare glimpse into the mutual admiration that sprung up between Miers and Bush after they began working together on Bush's first campaign for Texas governor in 1994.

Bush responded to her birthday wish in kind, and included a humorous, if baffling, postscript.

"I appreciate your friendship and candor. Never hold back your sage advice," he wrote. "P.S. No more public scatology." Whether Bush was referring to Miers' rough-and-tumble time as chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission or something else isn't clear. Scatology refers to "the study of or preoccupation with excrement or obscenity," according to Webster's dictionary.

maybe the "scatology" referred to the metaphorical fellatio that miers was giving bush as she sycophantically blew all that smoke up his ass?

Monday, October 10, 2005 
brain music
this story, printed in today's indy star but originally printed a week ago in the record, reads a bit like a press release. but you might want to read it if you're interested in the sonification of data (translating raw data into sound; so closely tied to audio databending that some people actually think of them as the same thing, though as i've demonstrated not all databending involves sonification).

On her compact disc, the music of Jennifer Depaws' mind sounds like a determined child plunking methodically away at a piano lesson.

Depaws, 22, is a dancer, not a pianist. Nor is she a composer; but her mind is filled with soundless, endless melodies that move her. She can't sing or hum the tunes going through her head.

She never even heard them until undergoing a novel treatment for stress and insomnia called "brain-music therapy."

In one brief session, Dr. Galina Mindlin, a New York psychiatrist, recorded Depaws' brain waves and converted them to mood-altering musical notes, which were later transferred to a CD.

The idea is that the music so complements Depaws' basic mental state that she can listen to the CD to calm herself down when she is anxious or to get going when she needs energizing.

Neither New Age nor white noise, brain-music therapy is similar to biofeedback but quicker and "more complex," said Mindlin, who has treated 300 patients with the technique.

i guess the idea is that the doctors sonify the brainwaves of patients when those patients are in certain mental states. then, theoretically, listening to those recordings then causes the patient to enter that corresponding mindstate. presumably this only works for the patient whose brainwaves generated the recording—if i listen to your brain cd, it wouldn't have the same effect on me as it would on you.

Brain-music therapy was developed in 1991 by a physician at the Moscow Medical Academy. Mindlin, 46, was born and trained in Russia. Besides her private practice, she teaches at Columbia University and is supervising attending physician in psychiatry at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital at Columbia.

Though software exists to make brain waves sound like any number of 120 different instruments, Mindlin programs them to sound like a piano.

but is this significant? did dr mindlin (note the name mindlin... almost like it's from a golden-age superman comic) pick piano for a scientific reason, or because she just likes piano? would it work if you used trombone? does the method of sonification matter? or i guess what i really want to know is... if i sonified my brainwaves using databending techniques (namely converting the data directly to audio using a wav editor), would listening to those recordings re-create my original mindstate?

happy subjugation of indigenous peoples day!
today is the day when we celebrate how christopher columbus "discovered" america. he is credited with this despite the fact that there were already people living there, and that the vikings had already "discovered" it centuries earlier, sort of how you tell your friends that you "discovered" this neat little cafe in that trendy neighborhood, where hundreds of people have already been eating for months. but "it's new to you" as they say in nbc marketing parlance, so you've "discovered" it.

columbus didn't even "prove" that the earth was round. educated people already knew this. but educated europeans didn't realize the earth was quite as big as it is, or that there were two large, inhabited continents to the west of europe.

what columbus did was sail to occupied land and begin to exploit and enslave the people who lived there. this is particularly egregious when you realize that columbus himself never even claimed to have discovered a new continent. he thought he was in india, which is why american indigenous people are still called "indians" to this day, and why my home state is called "indiana". he knew damn well what he was doing from the getgo: he planned to go to india and exploit indians. instead, he fucked up, went to the caribbean and south america, and exploited "indians".

why does a man like this deserve a national holiday? banks and federal offices are closed today. in past years, i'm pretty sure even i got columbus day off work a couple times (but not this year). if someone proposed a holiday to celebrate those slavers who sailed to africa, kidnapped african natives, and brought them stateside to sell, people would rightly flip out. so how is columbus any different?

some communities (berkeley is virago's favorite example) have replaced columbus day with indigenous peoples day, a holiday to celebrate the oppressed rather than the oppressor. i think that's pretty cool. but not here in indiana, the state that actually has "indian" in its name. maybe we should change the name of our state to indigenouspeoplesiana.

this passes for nonpolitical?
a story in today's indy star had this puzzling headline:

Nonpolitical rally backs U.S. troops

a nonpolitical "support our troops" rally? is such a thing even possible? maybe once upon a time it was, but now? in our hyperpoliticized culture when anyone who dared question the war effort (or the justifications for such) has been branded as unpatriotic or even treasonous for the past 4 years? when "support our troops" has become synonymous with "shut up and support the war, or move to iraq"? when far-right groups like move america forward (known for following cindy sheehan around and organizing counter-protests) throw "support our troops" rallies and list their mission statement as "supporting America's efforts to defeat terrorism and supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces"?

Surveying the crowd of more than 150 people gathered on the steps of the Indiana War Memorial on Sunday, Peggy Getty said she was pleased so many responded to her call for a nonpolitical rally to support America's military.
"This has been very positive -- no negative feedback," said the mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Jeff Getty, 20. "It's just good to see so much support for our kids."

okay, so nothing too objectionable so far. while the concept of a "nonpolitical rally to support america's military" would seem to be a fantasy on par with the existence of unicorns or compassionate conservatism, i can buy that a marine mom would propose holding such an impossible event, and being pleased at the turnout.

supporting the troops and supporting the war are fully discrete ideas. many people oppose the war precisely because they do support the troops and don't want to see them killed and maimed—and killing and maiming others—for less-than-perfect reasons. like, for a war based on faulty assumptions, justified with lies and faulty intelligence, implemented incompetently, and with debatably impossible goals. how could someone possibly support the troops any more strongly than by demanding that they come home, alive and as soon as possible?

but some people have difficulty discerning the difference between these two concepts. indeed, many military supporters state quite loudly that they can't comprehend any difference. they even tell us that by opposing the war, we do direct harm against the troops. it harms their morale, we are told, and we should just STFU and wave our flags until bush decides the war is over and iraq is a democracy.

not to put words into peggy getty's mouth, but doesn't this cut both ways? if many of our most vocal military supporters equate supporting the troops with supporting the war, how can they do one without the other? how can they host a nonpolitical "support our troops" rally if supporting the troops and supporting the war are the same thing in their minds? i know it's possible to do one and not the other, and you likely do too, but many of them don't, so how can they pretend to do it?

any suggestion that this rally was truly "nonpolitical" should be shattered by this quote from the article:

Other speakers offered military families words of encouragement, which were met with frequent rounds of applause. Lt. Col. Bert Owens of the Indiana National Guard recently returned from a year in Afghanistan and said soldiers stationed in the Middle East are eager to serve.

"The morale of the troops is extremely high because they are doing what they are supposed to do," he said.

quite blatantly a pro-war sentiment from the podium. and what exactly are our troops supposed to do? follow orders unquestioningly? blow things up? spread democracy?

so the rally was organized, according to the promoter, as "nonpolitical". it fairly clearly was political—though perhaps not overtly so. and yet the star gladly and unquestionably states that it was nonpolitical, by including that word in the headline. so pro-war rallies are deemed nonpolitical by the star. if i decided to throw a "nonpolitical" anti-war rally, do you think the star would put "nonpolitical" in the headline like that?

and if that wasn't objectionable enough, we find this in the sidebar:

Your message
To send a message of support to members of the military, visit www. These messages will be posted on the Web site, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.

so the rally is nonpolitical, and if we want to send our own nonpolitical message of solidarity, we may do at a .mil website that's operated by DoD—a website that was plugged by president bush on national television during his undeniably political fort bragg speech.

here's what prwatch had to say about

A visit to, however, raises questions about what the website is actually accomplishing. Could the site be nothing more than another Pentagon attempt to boost public support for war and distract the public's attention away from criticisms?

The site's primary function appears to be that of a message board offering words of encouragement and thanks to soldiers. At this writing, the site claims to have gathered over 98,000 "messages of support." A quick skimming of the messages suggests that most are thanking the troops and invoking God's blessings. "You have our deepest respect and heartfelt thanks. America is still a great nation, and you are putting yourself in harm's way to protect it. We hope you enjoyed the books, tapes and goodies we have sent through various collection groups here in our city. We will continue to pray regularly for you. God bless you. God bless America," write Bill and Helen, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

When it comes to offering more concrete support, one click takes site visitors to the "How You Can Help" page, where there are dozens of links to "organizations that will help you send messages and packages as well as provide other support." A lot of the links are specifically for sending messages and packages to soldiers. Many links go to the web pages of private groups trying to address the short- and long-term needs of returning soldiers, particularly injured soldiers who may face long recovery periods and disability issues. Other links are to organizations working to provide relief to financial and family stresses face by reservists. There is no doubt that these efforts are well intentioned - or that messages of support to soldiers under fire have fire. But simply placing numerous links on one crowded web page makes it hard for Americans to provide more tangible forms of support.

The rest of looks like a standard PR effort, featuring press releases, links to recent news stories, promotional video, inspirational songs, downloadable America Supports You logos, a radio public service announcement featuring actor Gary Sinise and a list of "Corporate Team Members." A read through of the site's "About Us" section leaves the distinct impression that publicizing citizens' good deeds for the troops ranks higher as a priority than encouraging them. In eight bullet points, the "About Us" page lists how the site will "recognize" and "communicate" citizens' support for the military. And as every good PR campaign benefits from some kind of paraphenalia, there is a bullet point for that, too: "The America Supports You Dog Tag, emblazoned with the America Supports You logo, will be the official emblem of the program, and serve as a visible force multiplier in projecting the message that America supports our military men and women."

i have no harsh words for peggy getty. her boy is in a battle zone where he could be killed or mutilated at any moment. peggy just wanted to hold a rally to show her son and others like them that they are loved. it's not her fault that the right-wing noise machine has so sullied the national discourse that a nonpolitical "support our troops" rally is little more than a dream, that the very phrase "support our troops" is now used more often as an epithet against war protesters more than it is used literally.

but shame, shame, shame on the indy star for perpetuating this fantasy, for promoting the pro-war effort as "nonpolitical", and for then taking the extra step of promoting a pro-war government PR effort.

donna summer
drbmd just forwarded me an email about the new video for "war photographer" by jason forrest (formerly known as donna summer). it's pretty good; it reminds me of the bearded viking character from samurai jack. plus it's a teaser for the new jf/ds cd, coming out very soon. (out now in at least some markets.)

it's weird to think that i was one of the first people to review donna summer, and that now he's been reviewed by the wire and mentioned on entertainment weekly, etc (my review of the original cdr version of the unrelenting... is at the absolute bottom of his reviews page. the unrelenting... has since been rereleased in a very different form on sonig). it's nice to be out in front of a meme before it becomes popular, but it also serves to remind me how patheticly obscure my own work still is after all these years. i need to hook up with someone who'll do some heavy promotion for me, since i'm not motivated enough to do it myself...

oh well, when i'm starving and living in poverty, those original handwritten donna summer cdrs will probably fetch good money on ebay.

Thursday, October 06, 2005 
state senate-bigot pat miller said "We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children."

but is this true? do the studies really show this? senator miller would probably be dismayed to learn that there is no evidence whatsoever that children of gay parents turn out any worse than children of straight parents.

american psychological association:
In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of gay men or lesbians is compromised in any respect relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by gay and lesbian parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth.

It should be acknowledged that research on lesbian and gay parents and their children is still very new and relatively scarce. Less is known about children of gay fathers than about children of lesbian mothers. Little is known about development of the offspring of gay or lesbian parents during adolescence or adulthood. Sources of heterogeneity have yet to be systematically investigated. Longitudinal studies that follow lesbian and gay families over time are badly needed.
With the exception of studies at a few universities with very close connections with conservative Christian denominations (like the Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, UT), essentially all research studies into same-sex parenting reveal that children of these families develop normally. There is some indication that boys are less sexually adventuresome, and that girls are more sexually daring. There are also anecdotal accounts of children having to endure ridicule, taunting and harassment from other youth because of their parents' sexual orientation.

a simple google search turns up tons of similar links, like this, this, this, and this. and that's just from the first page of search results!

unfortunately so far i can't find evidence of what steph says: "In fact, studies show the exact opposite; that children raised in households with single parents or with two parents of the same gender do just as well, are just as happy and well-adjusted as kids that grow up with a mom and a dad."

to be sure, studies seem to show pretty consistently that children raised by gay parents aren't any worse off than those raised by straight parents. but there are a lot of studies pointing to disadvantages of single parenting. it's entirely possible—and believable—that the majority of these disadvantages come from (1) economic difficulties inherent in many single-parent relationships (as the bulk of single parents are low-income mothers) or (2) the impact of divorce rather than any innate flaw in single-parenting arrangements. this makes a lot of sense, as obviously the biggest disadvantage of a single-parent home is that there is only one source of income, and the parent is likely to be gone for much of the day while they're out earning that income. but in my (admittedly limited) reading i can't find studies that account for that... perhaps it should be left to someone with more experience in analyzing empirical sociological studies.

my sister sends this update:

A controversial proposed bill to prohibit gays, lesbians and single people from using medical procedures to become pregnant has been dropped by its legislative sponsor.

State Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, issued a one-sentence statement this afternoon saying: “The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission.”

Miller had asked that committee -- a panel of lawmakers who meet when the Indiana General Assembly is not in session to discuss possible legislation -- to recommend the bill to the full legislature when it meets in January.

i can't help but think that the righteous indignation of thousands (millions?) of bloggers—not just from indiana, but from all over the country and the globe—helped to bring the intense pressure that got senator miller to back down on this issue. i knew the bill couldn't pass, but what a relief for it to be dead (at least until someone comes up with a replacement).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 
the hoosiermaid's tale
why is it that whenever indiana gets national attention, it's for something stupid, or worse yet, bigoted?

everybody's talking all this stuff about indiana's proposed unauthorized reproduction bill:

Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."

According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother throu gh assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.

Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.

outrageous, offensive, and flagrantly unconstitutional. i can't believe that such a bill could ever truly pass, even in indiana (though maybe further south, like in texas!), and even if it did, it would certainly be struck down before it could be enforced.

but the fact that the draft has even reached this stage disgraces the state of indiana. as practically every reasonable person on the blogosphere has already pointed out, proposals like this aren't a good way to encourage smart young people to move to or stay in indiana. in fact, if you wanted to create brain drain, laws this like are exactly how to go about it. educated and talented young people, the people who the state so desperately wants to attract, want to live in tolerant, gay-friendly communities. it's not that our "best and brightest" are all gay per se (though to be sure, a significant percentage are). but studies show that the younger generations are increasingly "orientation-blind"—they don't have a problem with it.

and make no mistake: this law targets gays (though not exclusively; it actually targets all non-married and/or non-churchgoing folk). if only "married" people are allowed to have kids, and gays are prohibited from getting married, then gays are prohibited from having kids. QED. if they are lucky enough to be biologically fertile, they could still procreate the old-fashioned way (penile penetration)... but then that requires "heterosexual" sex, so it's not a very good solution.

state senator pat miller on why she thinks this bill is necessary:

According to Sen. Miller, the laws prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new legislation.

"But it's not just surrogacy," Miller told NUVO. " The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well."

"Ordinary treatment would be the mother's egg and the father's sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary thing s that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents," she explained when asked what she considers "extraordinary" infertility treatment.

Sen. Miller believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.

"We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she explained.

When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill's intention, Sen. Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."

of course, the primary fallacy (and there are many fallacies) with this line of thinking is that it equates "married couple" with "committed, loving couple". if you perform a venn diagram, you will see that these terms are not even close to the same thing. and people all over the place are howling that the "studies show" line had been repeatedly debunked.

one final irony: steph and others point out one very famous person whose birth would have been illegal under this statute: jesus christ, whose unwed mother needed a little in-vitrio assistance from god himself.

technology voice podcast
got this in my email yesterday:

Just thought you'd like to know that I used a track from AWIA that I found on opsound a while ago in the latest episode of my podcast, technology voice.

thanks for existing,

Hul Mal Gamay

the show itself is interesting. it's edited in a fairly seamless manner so that it flows well, to the point that it's not always clear what's what. there's no back-announcing to speak of, though the show notes on the site itself do give an outline of each episode. of course, i was working while i listened so i couldn't give it my full attention.

they used an excerpt from "a prayer for cold turkey", as you might guess from the show notes.

so yeah, i've only listened to the one show so far (and was distracted), but from what i heard this is a promising podcast.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005 
stewie griffin, the sold out story
man, this new family guy movie must be one hot property. not only was i hearing from bittorrent users how good it was months before it came out, not only was i completely unable to find it at fry's on saturday after double-checking every aisle in the dvd section, but today i went to target for cat food and they didn't have any either. at least i was eventually able to find the empty rack space where it would've been if it weren't out of stock. grr... i will find this movie, and i will watch it.

target didn't have any copies of ghost in the shell: SAC 2nd gig volume 1, which i just discovered was out last night, though i wasn't too surprised about that. i don't expect target to get all the anime releases in immediately.

they did have devo radiation suit costumes, though, so i couldn't resist buying one. some of you have seen the pictures (circa halloween '98) of me in devo garb, but the radiation suit was the costume i really wanted—i just couldn't find a yellow jumpsuit at the time. now i have one, though it's a little flimsy, as you might expect from a halloween costume.

as weird as it is to see devo be embraced by the corporate culture they satirized, this is one costume where it wouldn't suck to see lots of people wearing the same costume as you. on the contrary, i would think that the more people wear the radiation suit, the more powerful it becomes. i don't know yet what i'm doing for halloween, but i want to see tons of people everywhere in radiation suits. i want it to be reminiscent of the "through being cool" video, with an ever-expanding group of joiners converging together, all wearing the same thing. sort of like santacon. smart patrol, unite!

i also grabbed a couple $1 halloween cds. i'm accumulating a lot of halloween cds: sound fx, spooky stories, and the like. i need to do something with them... maybe a holiday-themed ep is in order, collecting my old halloween material with some new stuff. (don't count on it, though.)

then it was time to drive through burger king on my way back to the office. when i saw that bk now has wallace & gromit toys i had little choice but to buy the big kids meal rather than an "adult" combo. the toy i got was "gromit's shine-o-matic", which is a little flashlight with gromit's face painted on the lens... sort of like the bat-signal, but with gromit. the gromit-signal. it'll probably make more sense once i've seen the movie.

Monday, October 03, 2005 
we have sound
installed windows (on drive c:\!). the same two files were still uncopyable, but i just grabbed them from another computer and loaded em in. ran windows update a few times. i'm now up to SP1 and need to run it one or two more times, then i'm good with that. (though oddly i got errors as it was trying to update windows media player 10.)

m-audio drivers loaded with no problems. there's still lots of work to do installing drivers and software, not to mention copying all the data off the old drive.

i'm not really sure what went wrong last time, but it doesn't seem to be happening now. so just assume things are going smoothly with the new hard drive unless i post otherwise.

frustrating, but at least in the end i'll have a better-performing hard drive and battery backup power to protect me from the flaky power i have here in the attic.

Sunday, October 02, 2005 
fixboot and the recovery console
clearly fixboot and fixmbr were not the solution. my computer rebooted in my sleep friday night and there was a DISK BOOT FAILURE awaiting me. windows didn't want to boot for me. an hour and a half later we went to the grocery store and it still didn't want to boot after i got back. so the problem is most likely that my hard drive is failing.

i went to fry's and got a new drive: 250gb pata with whopping 16mb cache for $99. that's a big cache. i also grabbed a UPS/battery backup. took it all home and plugged in the new drive... though because of short cables i couldn't hook up all four drives at the same time. i'll need to decide how to solve that later: get longer cables, move the dvd drive within reach, or just yank the "failing" drive once i get all my important data off it. right now, the "failing" drive isn't connected.

i formatted the drive and started installing windows. i got a couple errors: "setup cannot copy file 3dsomething.cu_". i'm not sure what was up with that but i grudgingly selected "cancel" for those two files and windows seemed to continue installing normally. everything seemed to work fine; i ran windows update and installed drivers. then, after i downloaded the driver program for my m-audio 44 card, i rebooted and windows got stuck at the "welcome" screen. i rebooted a few times and it still stalled there; even when i tried to boot to safe mode, it stalled there.

so i guess i need to start over, and reinstall windows. so far i have no reason to believe that this is the same boot problem. the symptoms suggest that it's a totally new problem and the boot problem was in fact caused by the other hard drive. though i could be wrong.

clearly i am not writing this on my computer. i'm at virago's apartment now and probably won't have time to work on my computer again until tomorrow night, after work. right now we're getting ready to go to the fancy brunch at the scholar's inn on massachusetts avenue. the menu looks like it should be pretty good, and they have champage cocktails for half price.

then a few hours after that we're going up to muncie to see the 16 bitch pile-up/burning star core show at the talley (with local support by unszene and bobby vomit). see awia news for details: it's free and all ages. we'll be back late, which means no time for computer fixin'.

update: i'm pretty sure the missing *.cu_ files were compressed cursor files, which explains why windows seemed to function normally with them missing. so that doesn't seem likely to be the cause of my most recent problem. the new problem appeared right after i installed the latest m-audio delta 44 drivers. did installing those drivers cause the problem, or is that coincidence?

another thought: when i first installed the new drive, i didn't get the IDE cable hooked in just right (actually, it was fine, but i pulled it back out when hooking it into the second drive). then i started up the computer once and it wouldn't boot, because there was no hard drive at bus 0, id 0. i quickly opened it back up and plugged the drive back in, although oddly the result of this was that my second drive (label SECONDRIVE) came up as C:\ and the first partition of the new hard drive came up as F:\! it seemed very strange for F:\ to be my primary partition, but windows seemed to load and run normally even with that drive letter. so i left it that way, but i suppose there's some possibility that this was the cause of my problem... however unlikely it might seem. of course, now that i probably need to reinstall windows once more, this should be relatively easy to fix: just unhook the second drive before starting the windows installation. in theory, that should reset the drive sequencing so that bus 0 id 0 will once again be C:\. in theory.

at any rate, in about 4 hours i will finally be able to tackle this again. i will post future updates as things progress.

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