November 26, 2007

Where was I?

Thanksgiving Eve drinks at Northside Tavern where I saw the funniest/most offensive graffiti joke about Cabbagetown, crack whores, and the relative cleanliness of the NST men's bathroom, in between watching episodes of Jerry Springer and Maury Povich. After that, an early-ish dinner at Marlow's and an early evening home.

Thanksgiving was just Lisa and me and my parent here at Peachtree Lofts Central. I cooked up the Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Cornish Game Hens (aka "Midtown yardbird") and Lisa slaved over garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and prosciutto, and the best cornbread chorizo and mushroom stuffing ever. Everything turned out surprisingly well.

table-with-food.small

Friday, Lisa suffered through an LSU loss after three overtimes, then we went to the ASO to watch The Wizard of Oz with full orchestral accompaniment. They need to do this with more movies (although, I'm not sure which would benefit most). It may have been The Live Affect, but the WoO soundtrack seemed to have so many more ideas than the orchestral soundtracks I hear today. I think the contrast is similar to, say, a Mahler or Wagner compared to a Copland or Diamond. Not necessarily better.

Sat nite was drinks and chicanery over at Alicia and Dan's then late nite appetizers at Milltown Arms (you know, because we'd been starving ourselves most of the weekend...).

Lazy Sunday in front of the TV catching up with Heroes and Dexter.

table-with-food.small
posted by sstrader at 11:18 PM in Where was I? | permalink | comments (0)

November 20, 2007

Podcast music

Last week and this past weekend, I wrote five short works for a friend who needed some music for their podcast and streaming. There's around 6-1/2 minutes of music, and you can stream the MP3 playlist here. The music was burned to MP3 directly from the MIDI. The tracks are:

  1. "Perpetual" (1:27) - bright, orchestral
  2. "Lunge" (1:15) - jazz combo, bebop
  3. "Precipice" (1:11) - piano, acoustic guitar, french horn
  4. "Aurora" (1:21) - electric guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, piano
  5. "Darkness" (1:09) - electric guitar and orchestra
posted by sstrader at 7:46 AM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

November 18, 2007

Offensive/stupid sidewalk grafitti on 10th St.

When I looked down and noticed this, it reminded me of the hang gliding scene at the end of Harold and Kumar:

sidewalk.jpg
posted by sstrader at 1:32 PM in Personal | permalink | comments (0)

November 17, 2007

Where was I?

Catching up on the past couple of months, for Future-Scott:

  • Lisa out-of-town a lot, so I got to watch a bunch of anime. Kite was very very very dark with hardcore sex that mistreated its protagonists. Bleak ending. Mezzo Forte was very fun, but also had hardcore sex that mistreated its protagonists. There's a contract that a writer has with their audience that says that any transgression will help the character or the story. These were very borderline. Mezzo Forte was good in that the transgressions actually "didn't happen" to the heroes, but they were a little extreme for western sensibilities. Still, I recommend Mezzo Forte (if you're OK w/ the 5 min. of hardcore porn). The Cowboy Bebop movie was completely G/PG and very entertaining. Except for the standard genre idiosyncracies, it was a classic action flick. If you have no problem with the animation/japaniquirks/slapstick, this is highly recommended.
  • Company dinner at Buco di Beppo (sp? later) where the spouses met the spouses. We were in "the Vatican Room" where a crude visage of The Pope sat upon a lazy Susan (lazy Lilith?). Bland wine and very bland food except for a few good dishes. Great to finally get the better halves together.
  • Went to see Resident Evil: Extinction [ IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ] at the Starlight Drive-in. Been a while since we went to the drive-in and this was the perfect movie for that. It was Milla Jovolicious. Prior to that was a light dinner at Haas in East Atlanta. Nice bar, nice food, recommended.
  • This past week was a $25 5-course dinner at Food Studio. Excellent. The next night was dinner at Houston's then drinks at Eno top flight night. Barbarescos that Lisa liked but I thought were average.
posted by sstrader at 4:57 PM in Cinema , Where was I? | tagged resident evil | permalink | comments (0)

November 15, 2007

Magic Sky Daddy brought some rain last night

Next up: I'm prayin' for alcohol sales on Sundays...

posted by sstrader at 9:09 AM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

November 10, 2007

Software utilities for my parents

My parents recently got a nasty trojan called Troj/Dloadr-AQG that installed ldcore.dll and attached it to all (?) running processes. Even after following the otherwise excellent advice of Coding Horror and using Sysinternals invaluable tools, it was too much for me and they had to go to professionals. The fact that the professionals had a tough time cleaning it up made me feel a little better. But not much. Serendipitously, Titus had recently set up a page on his blog aggregating links to software he uses on a new system, so I thought it'd be a good idea to set this page up for my parents.

  • Firefox web browser

    Disable cookies - Select Tools > Options from the menu, in the Options dialog click the Privacy icon, uncheck "Accept cookies from sites". This stops any web page from leaving a cookie on your computer.

    Enable cookies for a specific site - Select Tools > Options from the menu, in the Options dialog click the Privacy icon, click the Exceptions button, under "Address of web site" enter the name of the site (e.g. www.mybank.com).

  • ZoneAlarm firewall, direct download here

    Once installed, this will display a yellow popup for each application that tries to access the internet. This will be annoying for the first day or so, but eventually it learns all of your applications and blocks the spurious ones.

    For example, in the popup shown below, "Opera Internet Browser" is trying to access the internet. Because I know that's safe, I would check "Remember this setting" and click the Allow button. For anything you're unsure of, click the Deny button.

    zonealarm-popup

Unless someone recommends otherwise, I say don't bother with anti-virus software (the anti-virus software you had didn't stop this ldcore.dll infection...). Two anti-virus application I've seen people use are avast! and AVG. With a more security-minded browser and firewall, you shouldn't need them. The same goes for anti-spyware software such as Ad-Aware or Hijack This. These are useful utilities for cleanup but not for stopping an attack.

posted by sstrader at 6:03 PM in Personal | permalink | comments (0)

Candidates

Lisa and I were talking the other night and realized that (1) the only man more evil than Cheney, Rudy Giuliani (see war mongering, 9/11 mishaps, socialized medicine, etc.), will probably get the Republican nomination, and (2) if Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, Giuliani will likely win. Scary. At this point, we're both interested in an Edwards/Obama ticket, know that many others are too, and yet also know that it's unlikely to ever come about.

I still have some interest in Kucinich (not just because the vote-o-meters recommend him for me) and am hoping for the best, but I feel that he's a tougher sell for the country and could get trammeled by The Beast that is Giuliani.

Speaking of longshots, Huckabee seemed to have captured the Xtian vote (possibly because he denies evolution) until the only man more evil than Creflo A. Dollar, Pat Robertson, gave Giuliani his support. While all of the Republican candidates show a disgusting love of war and torture (to paraphrase many others: how are we even debating that torture is OK?!?) and their party is in the middle of epidemic homosexual repression, the Democratic party is failing the country on a monumental scale (see telco immunity, Mukasey, Cheney impeachment, etc.).

Not much hope. I guess that's why I'm interested in the more optomistic ticket of Edwards/Obama. Obama's 2004 DNC speech (part 1 and part 2) captures what I think they represent. And people need to shut up about the experience canard they're still throwing out in criticism of him.

posted by sstrader at 12:49 PM in Politics | permalink | comments (0)

November 8, 2007

Holy Force

Religious fanaticism and intolerance being pushed at the Air Force Academy. It's like parochialism has to resurface every 50 years and take us two steps back...

posted by sstrader at 4:03 PM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

November 7, 2007

Public

NPR: Music Home [ via Digg ]. Streaming on demand. It is public after all. I just wish they had a composers'/performer's index.

posted by sstrader at 10:19 AM in Music | permalink | comments (0)

November 3, 2007

News bites

CNN was on the TV in the exercise room yesterday and some blowhard newsy (Lou Dobbs?) announced that the next story would be about a recent study on bias in the news media. OK, self-reflection is good. Then, he immediately goes into sarcasm mode (because that's what respected reporting is all about) and says "the study comes from Harvard, so it must be correct." Anti-intellectual much? They're not even trying anymore.

posted by sstrader at 7:43 AM in Culture & Society | permalink | comments (0)

November 2, 2007

Colbert

What his next move should be: create his own political party called South Carolina for Colbert.

posted by sstrader at 11:31 AM in Politics | permalink | comments (0)

November 1, 2007

Anime

A little while back I started getting on an anime kick thanks to Robert introducing me to Ghost in the Shell when we went to see Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence in the theater. Then, I watched the first film on Netflix streaming and thoroughly enjoyed it. Netflix also has the first season of the TV series Stand Alone Complex. I soon purchased the first movie, the first season, and the second season. Photos of the wacky tchotchki that came with each DVD will be posted as soon as I get the final volume. Right now 3 tachikomas are guarding my desk at work. Word is that the DVD of the second movie is crap, so I'm holding off on that.

The next step is, of course, to find other anime that I like. I'm warming up to Cowboy Bebop on TiVo. Clips I've seen from the movie look awesome. I also watched Mezzo DSA on Netflix streaming. Cute/sexy teen chick fighting bad guys with goofy dialog in between. The overall mood of the series is a more hip Scooby Doo but with about the same level of maturity. I was shocked to find out that the source movie, Mezzo Forte, is said to be quite more mature. Extreme violence and hardcore sex. Fight scenes look good in the trailer. So, naturally, I purchased it and the director's other ultra-violent anime flick Kite. Should be interesting. These were probably some of the source material Tarantino was referencing in Kill Bill. The rest of the anime on Netflix streaming looks weak, or rather, it looks like what you think anime would look like. Absurd/cute/mecha.

posted by sstrader at 5:15 PM in Cinema | tagged anime, ghost in the shell | permalink | comments (0)