January 31, 2005

Score and MIDI for The Silent Spectrum

Here's the score (in Allegro's MUS format) and MIDI for my rock opera The Silent Spectrum. The MIDIs were exported directly from the scoring software, so there is no articulation and the vocal melody is represented by a string sound. Information on getting the free Finale Notepad client required for viewing the score is here. The premiere program with lyrics is here (lyrics are included in the score also). Total running time is around 1 hour 10 minutes.

Continue reading "Score and MIDI for The Silent Spectrum"
posted by sstrader at 5:33 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

Simon Singh interview

I recently recorded this interview (33 MB MP3) with Simon Singh from KQED [RadioWave] out of San Francisco. Spencer Michels gives him a good grilling over the subject of his new book Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe [Amazon]. Michels plays the perfect dubious layman as he machine-guns aggressive and skeptical questions (why should we trust any scientist when so much has been passionately believed in the past yet eventually proven wrong?). Although the book is getting very mixed initial reviews on Amazon, the interview was spirited and entertaining. Singh loves the subject of cosmology.

Sady, I only got the first half of the show because the stream dropped, so the listener Q&A is cut off. The recording will be available for a week.

Continue reading "Simon Singh interview"
posted by sstrader at 3:48 PM in Science & Technology | permalink | comments (0)

Book: Mastering Tomcat Development

A few weeks back I got fed up with hacking through my Tomcat [Wikipedia] installation and its various configuration files--with only online flotsom to guide me--and went on the hunt for a book. Yes, a book made of paper and not bits. I went to B&N to use one of those new-fangled gift cards. A book bought from a physical store? Now I've seen everything. Mastering Tomcat Development [Amazon] looked like the very thing, but at $45 I was dubious. So I browsed Amazon with my phone and found it for ~$9.

Online purchasing: 1. Brick and mortar: 0.

So I'm now digging in to update my Tomcat installation to 4.x and fix the hacked configurations that grew from necessity and convenience. The book has very clear explanations going from square zero of where to download the files through configuration, Java servlet programming, JDBC, JSP, Tags, Strust, etc. I bought it for an explanation of the finer points of Tomcat configuration, but it will be a nice addition to my Core Java [Amazon] programming books. Expect some downtime as I move from Tomcat 3.x.

Continue reading "Book: Mastering Tomcat Development"
posted by sstrader at 12:43 PM in Programming | permalink | comments (0)

January 30, 2005

Emergent communities and taxonomy

Looking at bobafred's recent photos from our wonderful Atlanta ice storm and reading his brief explication of his decision to use flickr to host the images. I have decided to scrap writing my own photo logic for the site and use Flickr. The reasons for this decision were: storage/bandwidth, easiness, they take PayPal, and I like the community feel of Flickr. This is important.

Continue reading "Emergent communities and taxonomy"
posted by sstrader at 1:38 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (3)

A9's Yellow Pages

Amazon's A9 search engine has recently added Yellow Pages to its search tools. Along with a map of matches within a specific region, it provides addresses and--get this--store-front photos. You can also move the view up and down the street or get a listing of nearby businesses.

This will be a must on our next trip to NYC at the beginning of June. Hopefully by then I will have figured out how to link to stores. The URLs are session based but come from Amazon, so they should be similar to their other URLs. I can add the results to a travel Web page with addresses and photos of places to go. We had been regularly staying at The Metropolitan on 51st and Lexington, but a recent bad experience during renovations and the resulting cost increases after those renovations have us looking for new lodging in an as-yet-undetermined neighborhood. Currently reading recommendations from The Morning News.

[ via CNN -> A9 ]

Continue reading "A9's Yellow Pages"
posted by sstrader at 1:01 PM in Science & Technology | permalink | comments (0)

January 29, 2005

Genius idea #5

Create a site that indexes all online MP3s into a database. With this, users can search for bands or songs in one place without having to scramble from site to site. I've recently discovered several sites with free, legal MP3s that are regularly updated. A Web indexer could automatically compile these into the database. Google searches with "filetype:mp3" return very few hits.

Continue reading "Genius idea #5"
posted by sstrader at 2:19 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Joanna Newsom video

The video of that cutie-pie harpist Joanna Newsom's song Sprout and the Bean from her album Milk-Eyed Mender [Amazon]. I was pointed to this a while back and was prompted (by her interview in The Wire) to revisit it. File it under new folk.

posted by sstrader at 7:57 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

Deep in the new

I got sidetracked on a spelunking tour of the Internets and found some new music sites. Those along with a few previous acquisitions need to be enumerated:

Continue reading "Deep in the new"
posted by sstrader at 7:12 PM in Music | permalink | comments (2)

Phew

I performed my rock opera, The Silent Spectrum, to a roomful of friends last night. It went off fairly well--nerves made me hack about 30% of the music, but no one really noticed. In a post-performance poll, some friends remembered the couple of quick false starts yet none of the glaringly wrong notes or ragged tempo. I'll take whatever I can get.

Here's the program (PDF) I created for the occasion.

Continue reading "Phew"
posted by sstrader at 12:13 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 27, 2005

Sexy beast

RobotJohnny is out-o'-control with his post of Bugs Bunny in drag (high quality captures, too). Be sure to check out the resulting diatribe in the comments (concerning Focus on the Family's attack on SpongeBob) between David and Candy, how she kicks his ass, and the eventual revelation from Junior Detective i b joshua that David actually did work for Focus on Family.

Bugs was stacked.

hotchi motchi! Continue reading "Sexy beast"
posted by sstrader at 11:28 AM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

Maximalism

Maximalism [Wikipedia]. A term I've heard frequently but have only now looked it up. Art with a rich density of style and content.

Works from this genre are generally bright, sensual, and visually rich. ... Maximalism is used to describe the very extended post-modern novels, such as those by David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon, where digression, reference and elaboration of detail occupy a greater and greater fraction of the text.

I finally understand the label and then Salon says it's dead!

posted by sstrader at 12:40 AM in Art | tagged david foster wallace | permalink | comments (0)

January 26, 2005

References: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Whilst working through a transcription of one of the arias in this Nyman chamber opera, I found these sites:

  • The Nyman Bug by Grant Chu Covell.
  • A collection of short paragraphs on possibly every Nyman recording published with some interesting background on the composer. Only comments on the Sacks opera with regard to the movie [IMDB]. Sounds horrible.

  • Music score from Chester-Novello publishing.
  • andante's review of a performance of the opera presented to the World Congress of Neurology.
  • The performance obviously went a little wrong: Was Dr. S tapping the wrong joints as he tested the reflexes of the unfortunate Dr. P? I wouldn't know, but the German neurologist to my right was snickering behind her programme and she was not the only one. Medical accuracy in performance aside, the author criticises the work for its narrow range of emotional expression:

    And as Hugaas sang "Ich grolle nicht" and quoted "Auf einer Burg," it was diffcult to resist the impulse to leave the theatre and head for the nearest recital of Dichterliebe or Liederkreis. If that's the point — if Nyman is comparing agnosia to a world without musical beauty or emotional variety — it's a very, very risky gambit.

    Condemning the Nyman work for its Schumann quotations is like condemning Zorn for his trespasses into Mozartean sonorism in between the atonal noise. The quotes are used functionally (the character portrayed is actually a singer) and dramatically ("Ich grolle nicht" is about a person who is suffering greatly but who "won't complain"--an obvious parallel to the patient).

  • A biography and discography from autumnleaf.
Continue reading "References: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"
posted by sstrader at 11:06 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

Scandal

In the article "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience" from Christianity Today, Ronald J. Sider examines the materialist corruption of evangelicals.

Then the pollsters started conducting scientific polls of the general population. In spite of the renewal movement's proud claims to miraculous transformation, the polls showed that members of the movement divorced their spouses just as often as their secular neighbors. They beat their wives as often as their neighbors. They were almost as materialistic and even more racist than their pagan friends. The hard-core skeptics smiled in cynical amusement at this blatant hypocrisy. The general population was puzzled and disgusted. Many of the renewal movement's leaders simply stepped up the tempo of their now enormously successful, highly sophisticated promotional programs. Others wept.

Although I have to question being called a "pagan," I appreciate it when the sensible devout examine the hypocrisy of their culture with such pathos and logic. Here are a few notes:

Continue reading "Scandal"
posted by sstrader at 10:39 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

RadioWave on the fritz!

I got some mysterious failed and half-recorded recordings last night from RadioWave, and the logs only go back a few hours. Apologies to anybody who actually wanted it to work correctly.

(Debug debug debug ...)

Fixed. A recent update to allow begin and end time adjustments broke recordings for stations in different time zones. The 3rd party stream ripper still occationally locks up, but I haven't pinned that down yet ...
Continue reading "RadioWave on the fritz!"
posted by sstrader at 10:53 AM in Programming | permalink | comments (0)

January 24, 2005

Serious

Jared Diamond's answer to a quick final question posed by Brian Lehrer on WNYC [RadioWave]. What one policy change would you make to start us off in a better direction?

Take environmental and population problems seriously instead of blowing them off as something that is opposed to the economy.
Continue reading "Serious"
posted by sstrader at 11:44 AM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (2)

Reverse terrorist

The Moscow Times has an article discussing a secret Pentagon plan to foment terrorism by sending covert agents to infiltrate terrorist groups and goad them into action. They reported this two years ago, and a recent Seymour Hersh article from The New Yorker prompted this reassessment. Just one of many reasons to be appalled at the secrecy surrounding America's intelligence budget.

Continue reading "Reverse terrorist"
posted by sstrader at 11:19 AM in Politics | permalink | comments (0)

January 22, 2005

More Terry Jones

From a letter Terry Jones wrote to The London Observer in 2003:

... The one certain way to stop Muslim fundamentalist suicide bombers targeting the US or the UK is to bomb a few Muslim countries that have never threatened us.

That's why I want to blow up Mr Johnson's garage and kill his wife and children. Strike first! That'll teach him a lesson. Then he'll leave us in peace and stop peering at me in that totally unacceptable way.

You might remember that last June he had a similarly sarcastic take on the torture debacle. Salon has an interview with him (mirrored here) where he has similarly caustic comments for our pres. He also has a new book called Terry Jones's War on the War on Terror [Amazon].

Continue reading "More Terry Jones"
posted by sstrader at 5:29 PM in Politics | permalink | comments (0)

Hackers and Painters

In my recent job interview that was outstanding-but-somehow-went-horribly-wrong-because-they-did-not-offer-me-the-position, one of the developers (Everett?) recommended Paul Graham's book Hackers and Painters [Amazon]. The graphic design guy for the team was also in on the interview and the book came up after I mentioned to him that I have a BFA in painting.

Continue reading "Hackers and Painters"
posted by sstrader at 12:25 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

January 21, 2005

Up and down

Job search: I went from having a couple of offers to having none. The ones who offered me a position just didn't sit right with me, and the one who didn't was perfect. Gah. It's all part of the process. I might feel like kicking myself down the road (passing up both a senior development position and a chance to work with Microsoft), but I have to go with my gut and what's important to me. Nothing beats loving the work. Neither pay nor prestige nor convenience.

To be continued ...

posted by sstrader at 4:13 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (0)

Faith, private and personal

Yesterday, I caught the end of Terry Gross's interview with Rev. Jim Wallis of the religious group Sojourners. He had some wonderful points about religion and society--many very different from my own.

Continue reading "Faith, private and personal"
posted by sstrader at 11:58 AM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

TiVo ToGo and version 7.1 of Tivo

PVRblog (a primary source on TiVo information) has an entry on the current state of affairs with the newest release of the OS. TiVo is really starting to open up to the fortuitous accidents of the hacker community by creating new features that are intentionally open to modification. That's a stunning embrace of customer creativity by a corporation. The usual response is to squelch interest in order to retain complete control. TiVo, Inc. perhaps realizes that the world is a self-directed R&D department ready to customize their company's product to be more useable. And a more useable product means more product shipped.

The article points to a thread concerning the legality of ripping or copying what TiVo stores (I'm not circumventing anything; I'm recording video playing back on my computer). This question came up recently when I was blabbing to someone about RadioWave. The radio stations provide the schedules and the streaming content. Is it illegal to rip the stream? Is it illegal to publicly share the ripped stream? Is it illegal to give others the ability to rip and copy the stream? If I sit up late at night and hit play/record on my tape deck to record a cool album, is that illegal?

Continue reading "TiVo ToGo and version 7.1 of Tivo"
posted by sstrader at 12:10 AM in Home Network & Gadgets | permalink | comments (0)

January 20, 2005

All about me

I don't like to talk about blogs too much, but this needs to be said. I'm tired of hearing the opinion that you must make your blog interesting to others. This blog is for me and me alone. If someone else finds something interesting or useful, then hooray for me I've added something to society. Or, if I state something incorrectly, hopefully someone will set me straight. Ultimately, and I don't think I'm unique in this, most everything here is just me talking to myself in public. No one needs to care that I lost my phone. Twice. Or that I created a poor but serviceable analysis of a Chopin prelude. Those things will happen without anyone reading about them.

A friend had mentioned before about how to get people to read your site. Who cares? Most people I speak with do this as a therapy of sorts. The readers (no offense if anyone's reading this) are a happy by-product. There are a majority of bloggers out there writing just to write and that's fine.

Continue reading "All about me"
posted by sstrader at 12:18 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (3)

January 19, 2005

My brain hurts

I just finished my final phone interview for a day that began at 9:00 AM and went non-stop until now. If anyone else asks me what a template is I'm going to crap a pair of angled brackets. I need ... (footsteps going away) ... (and back) ... have a drink. Ah. Thank goodness for left-over party beer.

The prospects are good for < a week searching. I did better technically than I expected (performance anxiety) ... although I think I pulled a Larry David with two of them: make a good initial impression then do something uncomfortable like compliment their son's penis. Gotta work on my social skills.

To The Vortex! Forthwith!!

posted by sstrader at 7:19 PM in Programming | permalink | comments (2)

January 18, 2005

Currently Listening To

Missing tracks 3 ("Guide Vocal") and ("Heathaze") for Duke, but they may be acquired and added later.

I've been piecing together the eight Walter Piston symphonies and finally ordered CDs containing the last three to complete the collection. They (1, 3, and 4) just shipped and will be added later (to 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8). It'd be nice to have one conductor/orchestra, but honestly if someone recorded them all now I'd be pissed.

Continue reading "Currently Listening To"
posted by sstrader at 10:30 PM in Current Interests , Music | permalink | comments (0)

'historic' v. 'historical'

Small grammatical question resolved via Dictionary.com:

Usage Note: Historic and historical have different usages, though their senses overlap. Historic refers to what is important in history: the historic first voyage to the moon. It is also used of what is famous or interesting because of its association with persons or events in history: a historic house. Historical refers to whatever existed in the past, whether regarded as important or not: a minor historical character. Historical also refers to anything concerned with history or the study of the past: a historical novel; historical discoveries. While these distinctions are useful, these words are often used interchangeably, as in historic times or historical times.

Wait, maybe that should read small grammatic question. ... No, they're synonyms.

Continue reading "'historic' v. 'historical'"
posted by sstrader at 7:12 PM in Language & Literature | permalink | comments (0)

What makes me happy?

What makes me happy? Beginnings of years often bring up such questions. And, although effectively meaningless, cycles--years, anniversaries, birthdays--are beneficial for just that purpose. Examine, reassess, revel, or stew. Here are my pros and cons of life (in no particular order):

Continue reading "What makes me happy?"
posted by sstrader at 12:39 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (2)

January 17, 2005

The Accursed Items

I heard J. Robert Lennon's prose piece "The Accursed Items" on the recent This American Life and greatfully was not the only person to appreciate it with the desire for a transcription...

Continue reading "The Accursed Items"
posted by sstrader at 1:18 AM in Language & Literature | permalink | comments (2)

January 16, 2005

The Merchant of Venice; Shakespeare, William

I had purchased Shakespeare's histories, comedies, and tragedies a few years back in these Everyman's Library editions. Prior to that I had, and possibly still have somewhere, a mishmash of used paperbacks of a dozen or so different plays. The Everyman's Library hardbacks are nearly perfect: they have good binding and paper, good size for reading, are inexpensive, and have excellent essays and commentary. Each play has a ten-or-so page essay covering the major themes from both high level structure and detailed, sentence level nuance. Just reading these introductory essays provides a lesson in history and etymology. The footnotes offered throughout each play serve as sufficient struts to understanding. My only complaint is that I sometimes forget a footnoted definition that was presented early on whose word is repeated later in the play--a glossary would help considerably. Thanks to the brother-in-law and his fiance, I have this wonderful Dictionary of Shakespeare to fill the gaps of my poor memory.

I had purchased these volumes back in 2002 before we went to visit Diane in Sun Vally, Idaho where she played Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. The commentary almost made me sound intelligent about the theater when we hung out with the other actors after the show. You too can sound intelligent with the Everyman's Library! Buy yours today.

Continue reading "The Merchant of Venice; Shakespeare, William"
posted by sstrader at 11:26 PM in Current Interests , Language & Literature | permalink | comments (1)

Music ordered and to be ordered

Aw shit. I had to order the CDs from B&N despite their grievous affront to my sanity earlier this week. With it, I aquire three CDs that give me the final recordings in my quest to get Walter Pison's complete symphonies. It was like a Kazaa search trying to piece together all eight of them. Look for those in my next playlist. As you can guess, those will be paired with Duke and probably Nyman's operetta The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

And the more I listen, the more I realize I must own Nyman's opera Facing Goya. Maybe after I actually get a job.

I ordered the Piston CDs in a moment of resolution on the trip back from Knoxville (great time!) since I pawned off driving duty to the wife (most people think my Beetle's a chick car anyway...). I browsed some nonsense over my recently replaced phone and decided to see how difficult it would be to purchase using the small form factor. It's difficult. Damn difficult. Web pages are bloated; images don't have the alt property set; field values aren't retained. But whatreyagonnado?

Continue reading "Music ordered and to be ordered"
posted by sstrader at 12:51 AM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 15, 2005

Rock's tonal systems categorized

The current issue of Music Theory Online has an article by Walter Everett titled "Making Sense of Rock's Tonal Systems". Here are a few notes and thoughts on the content.

[ via Scott Spiegelberg -> Music Theory Online ]

Continue reading "Rock's tonal systems categorized"
posted by sstrader at 9:27 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 14, 2005

North! Atlanta!! Bathrooms!!!

Heading off to Knoxville to attend the grand reopening of an historic theater (oops, theatre) via a kind invite from the mother-in-law (the director of special events no less). I'll be softening the edge of having to don a tux by hanging around the open bar. I hopefully won't soften the edge so much that I embarrass myself in front of the mayor. See you there!

Last night a bunch of us geeks talked about being geeks at The Righteous Room. Good times. It was the first attempt at an Atlanta bloggers get-together and except for the cramped conditions was pretty cool. We're not so different, you and I. Come together, people. Big thanks to mingaling for suffering such a ridiculous moniker yet still coming up with such a fine, fine soire. Looking forward to more (monthly?) in the future.

Finally: I love bathroom graffiti. The Righteous Room has some classic bon mots, but I still think that The Earl has the best. The initial comments and limericks are always wacky enough, but then the additions and erasures add history and commentary. I need to start photographing these palimpsests if only to see if they're still interesting the next day.

Continue reading "North! Atlanta!! Bathrooms!!!"
posted by sstrader at 12:48 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (1)

January 12, 2005

I'm back, baby

So I ordered a new phone from drcoope off of Amazon (good deal, quick response, good quality) and have gotten the new machine activated. Although Ralph at the Verizon store acted like I was using a rotary dial phone. I'm a slow adopter and definitely am not going to drop $500 on a phone/PDA. This works just fine.

And I now have the password set just in case you-know-what happens again to you-know-who.

Continue reading "I'm back, baby"
posted by sstrader at 9:45 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (0)

Astronomical dating of an historical artifact

This Science News article is reporting on how an historian is linking the carvings on an ancient Roman sculpture to the work of the Greek astronomer Hipparchus.

Continue reading "Astronomical dating of an historical artifact"
posted by sstrader at 11:38 AM in Science & Technology | permalink | comments (2)

January 11, 2005

Gift gaffe

B&N Web Site: What would you like?

Me: I've got a $15 gift card and a $25 gift card.

B&N Web Site: Order over $25 and get free shipping! Hmm? Howzaboutit? It's free.

Me: OK. I'll order these three CDs ... that comes to $42. Sweet. Only $2 on my already-stretched-by-an-unemployed-budget credit card.

B&N Web Site: OK, but there's only one gift card per order.

Me: Hmm. That seems capricious, but OK. I'll drop this item and use the $25 gift card for these two CDs that come to $24. We'll call the $1 acceptable losses by friendly fire.

B&N Web Site: Alright then. Two CDs ... $24 ... that'll be $27 since you haven't met the criterion for free shipping.

Me: Oh, a wise guy! Wo-wo-wo-wo-wo. Nyuk-nyuk. (Cue exit music as I head to a store. Where's my gift card exchange?!?)

posted by sstrader at 11:43 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (3)

January 10, 2005

Operas today

The Brit bloggers are all a-buzz over the buzz over the recent broadcast of Jerry Springer: the Opera [Wikipedia] on the BBC. You can get a dose of the religious uproar in this Manchester News article. [A]bout 45,000 protesters contacted the BBC before the show was screened. And as if to create some meta-reference on decency vis-a-vis the media, to the right of the Manchester News article was a titillating ad for figleaves.com's Winter sale. Thongs only 7.

Continue reading "Operas today"
posted by sstrader at 12:05 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 7, 2005

A Kleptone Web

Waxy has a great list of the music sampled for each track of A Night at the Hip Hopera along with a list of mirrors. I'm not in there, thank god, but if anyone really needs the files they're on my site here.

Continue reading "A Kleptone Web"
posted by sstrader at 8:57 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

Tape heads

Here's a timely t-shirt design from Downhill Battle: Home Taping is Killing the Music Industry. Supposedly, this half-brained slogan was the creation of the record industry in the 80s. In my recent teary-eyed memories of my music tapes from high school, I complained that taping wasn't as reviled in the 80s as ripping is today.

I stand corrected.

[ via BoingBoing -> Downhill Battle ]

Continue reading "Tape heads"
posted by sstrader at 6:36 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

Today's reading list

  • Moral Values My Ass
  • Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism
  • K5 Article on Wikipedia Anti-elitism
  • Academia and Wikipedia
  • Nickelback
  • The Identity of a Song
  • Music In and Out of Time
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 2:06 PM in Today's reading list | permalink | comments (0)

January 5, 2005

A fond memory of music

I was 14 or 15 when the Genesis album Duke [Amazon] came out. I had heard of them but had no idea what the range of their music was like (except for "Misunderstanding" which was popular at the time). The album cover was odd and evocative, and a few of the song titles hinted at contiguity ("Dutchess," "Duke's Travels"). Every Friday evening at 12 o'clock, the local rock station would play The Sixpack: six complete albums played with no interruption from 12 to 6. Where was the RIAA then?!? Anyway, at the beginning of the show, the DJ would list the albums in order so that you (me) could have your fingers ready on the record-play keys on the tape recorder. Sweet.

Continue reading "A fond memory of music"
posted by sstrader at 3:43 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

Repairing and preventing

With a recent report on the military cost in Iraq, Frank Boosman has put things in perspective as they say and compared it to the U.S.'s tsunami relief. You remember the tsunami? An estimated 1/2 million people dead and millions more displaced? Hundreds of thousands of families across many countries fragmented? No? Well, anyway, the amount of money the U.S. has contributed is equal to 42.27 hours of war in Iraq. Less than Germany's or Japan's contribution (who combined have only a 10th of the U.S.'s GDP).

And if that isn't enough, take this quote from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) of the Senate Armed Services Committee:

I hope they ask for something big. Look, this is a test of wills. We need to show our enemies that we are not going to do this on the cheap.

Yes, all politics and diplomacy work with some degree of appearance-over-substance. However, this blatant show of testosterone over deliberation is in total disregard for just how lost we are (or even, let's say, may be) in Iraq. We have little international support and must dump greater amounts of money into it. Our monomania is apparently not un-stoppable.

However, am I acting the same way by comparing monies given by each country to charity? Or am I just weighing the two in context? How much is being accomplished in Iraq and how much could be accomplished elsewhere if more than 42.27 hours of that money were put to use where there is no equivocation on its usefulness?

[ via BoingBoing -> pseudorandom -> Chicago Sun-Times ]

Continue reading "Repairing and preventing"
posted by sstrader at 11:29 AM in Politics | permalink | comments (0)

TV and satellite recordings

Two relatively recent news stories from Wired regarding relatively recent news. First, TiVo is now offering the ability to copy and rip shows. The service is called TiVo ToGo (someone mentioned that it was Tom Wolfe in A Man in Full [Amazon] who pointed out the incipient trend in the 90s of companies with one word and two capital letters), and went into affect on Monday. I'd like to think it was caused by open-source PVRs, but I doubt it.

Next, satellite radio has been making in-roads into allowing you to record their streams. Back in October, I pointed out the XM recorder. Now a third party called timetrax (no upper-case) is providing the ability to rip either XM or Sirius.

Continue reading "TV and satellite recordings"
posted by sstrader at 1:44 AM in Home Network & Gadgets | permalink | comments (0)

January 4, 2005

Gift cards

According to a Wired article, several sites (including eBay) have already set up exchange centers for gift cards. Nifty.

posted by sstrader at 10:58 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

Premiere: The Silent Spectrum

This is tentative pending the wife's consent (and if Carlos the piano tuner doesn't bump my appt.), but anyone who's interested is invited to come over to our condo and listen to my new rock opera, The Silent Spectrum, on Thursday January 27th at 8 PM. It should last until around 9:15. Drinks and appetizers will be available.

This is partially a vanity project--I've been working on this for over a year and a half and would like to prove to my friends I've actually been working on something--and partially a milestone before recording. I did a "home premiere" for the first one and I don't think it was too painful for people. Again, there'll be drinks.

As further bribery, attendees get a cool program to follow along and a free copy of the CD whenever it happens.

This is very casual and more of a public run-through than a hoity-toity performance. No one's ever said I had a riveting stage presence, but the music is cool and the story is engaging. I'll post changes or updates if they occur and will tell any non-Internet-addicted friends off-line (there's an off-line?!?).

Continue reading "Premiere: The Silent Spectrum"
posted by sstrader at 12:43 PM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

January 3, 2005

Pass the phone

Well, the phone has still not appeared. Apres Diem is sure they don't have it, and the day of the loss we cleaned the house for our New Year's guests so there aren't too many places for it to hide. Yes, I am that scatter-brained sometimes.

The good news is that it forced me to change any password that might have been hidden away in there. Paypalbankingmindspringnetworkmortgagedomain. All taken care of. I was overdue for a password and user name overhaul anyway. If anyone finds this phone:

Audiovox Thera

Either around Apres Diem on Monroe in Atlanta or down the street near the ATM at Flying Biscuit, you have a generous reward waiting.

Continue reading "Pass the phone"
posted by sstrader at 7:57 PM in Misc | permalink | comments (0)

Hotly contested

Two days ago I read Larry Sanger's piece against Wikipedia in Kuro5hin. This morning, /. commented on and contributed to the debate.

Continue reading "Hotly contested"
posted by sstrader at 12:09 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (1)

January 1, 2005

Today's reading list

  • Repeat after me
  • Ways to fix your life: Quit your job
  • Let Them Eat Prose
  • Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism
Continue reading "Today's reading list"
posted by sstrader at 11:24 PM in Today's reading list | permalink | comments (0)