July 26, 2007

Happy mechanic story

So, my car has (1) it's check engine light on and (2) it's seatbelt light on. I need to get the check engine thing checked in order to get my emissions test in order to get my tag renewed, and there's some pressure since my b-day was two weeks ago, so I need to go to the mechanic. My nievete got the best of me and I was shocked at the $750 needed for (1), in the form of a new catalytic converter, and the $250 needed for (2), seatbelt sensor. Multiple estimates for the converter thing all hover around $750 even though I find the very thing I need online for $300.

I asked Catherine's if I could bring in my own parts and that took their price down to $175. Nice. Even better: they called me back after the estimate and said that if my car is < 8-years-old and has < 80,000 miles, the catalytic converter is under warrenty. It is, it is, and after calling the dealer I found out that yes, it is. Lisa had a good experience with Catherine's before, but this experience benefitted me so it's more meaningful. YMMV.

posted by sstrader at 2:43 PM in Personal | permalink

July 23, 2007

FS: 80-hour TiVo Series2 Dual Tuner DVR

Along with the DVR itself, this includes the 2 years remaining on the 3-year subscription (expires September 2009) and a wireless network adapter ($60 from TiVo, $40 from Amazon, possibly less expensive elsewhere). If I'm reading their current offer correctly, you would pay $100 (TiVo) + $300 (3yr service) + $40 (wireless), and I am selling it all for $200 (2yr service). That seems fair, yes?

Interesting trades considered. Honest Scott's Blog Sale won't be undersold!!

Following recommendations from the FAQ "What Should I Do If I Sell or Give Away My DVR?"," I will be clearing out the contents and we will need to contact TiVo customer service to transfer the service. Currently, that DVR shows up on my account page. That will probably need to change.

I'm selling it because I just purchased a new one (same model) after they offered a deal to transfer my original lifetime subscription from my long-defunct series 1 model. I've had no problems whatsoever, and it still has all of its TiVoey goodness intact. I'll also be posting elsewhere but will update this page as soon as a deal is made.

posted by sstrader at 11:50 AM in Personal | permalink

July 19, 2007

Sonata for Viola (3/5)

First of all: Shostakovich is the shit motherfuckers, and I'll stab anyone in the face who doesn't agree.

As for the documentary [ IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes ], it was exemplary at times and yet somewhat too abstract (formalist?!?) for what I wanted. The archival footage was both phenomenal in its clarity and impact (Bernstein's version of the ... 7th ... IIRC) and suspicious in its splicing (a video of a speech had mute talking and canned applause?). I wanted a second, special edition DVD with all of the source material. Alas.

It was more symphonic music than chamber, I prefer his chamber and solo works, and yet it quickly won me over. His story was told with care. There was no plodding on about the Stalin brouhaha and neither too much about his being a tool of the party. But also, the ambiguity we understand--while scholars of both sides argue--was somewhat elided. What's the appropriate way to handle such a subject?

There are clips of him playing piano (I knew about his skill but never really knew. wow.) and hugging Bernstein in the above concert (not what you're thinking, he was married three times). Shots of his grave, hospital room (phone number 140-94-06), at Prokofiev's funeral, signing manuscripts, et al. were phenomenal to see for me. I'm not sure what impact they have on those unfamiliar but again, face stabbing is threatened. Worth the effort for who he is and for the rare footage you might otherwise not get to see. I'm obviously biased, but it might even win you over with his music.

posted by sstrader at 9:35 PM in Cinema | permalink


Oberon/Auberon, the King of Fairies from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, is related to the character Alberich, lit. elf king from elbe and reix (Old Frankish?), from Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen, based on Norse mythology. Probably also related to the character in Schubert's song "Der Erlkoenig" (Ger.), erl being a mistranslation from the Dutch eller or elver.

posted by sstrader at 7:57 AM in Language & Literature | tagged ring cycle | permalink

July 18, 2007


You know, as I watch wave after wave of muscle-bound-cinema-hero modelled as far back as the Heracles/Hercules of 2500 years ago, I have absolutely no sympathy for the whiney bitches (oh, I went there) that say females are imposed an unfair metric by a society that demands they be "voluptuous yet slim."

posted by sstrader at 11:43 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

Beautiful ideas

Sam Harris at Aspen Ideas Festival. Three was particularly good.

posted by sstrader at 10:15 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

Josh Rushing, new book and Stewart appearance

Josh Rushing, of Control Room "fame," on Jon Stewart two nights ago (just catching up...). I loved Control Room and consider it--only slightly flippantly--to be part of The Iraq War Trilogy along with Fahrenheit 9/11 and Team America. The three are at polar opposites in all aspects, yet together I think the 50-years-from-now citizen will get an idea of what we were about. Intelligent, angry, and reflexively sardonic all at once.

Rushing on Stewart was necessarily precise yet cumbersome with his humor. In Control Room, he (playing himself) was the eternal model of earnestness and honesty. Who can imagine the experiences he was thrust into since fame and the fame of an inarticulate war took his life? At times, the Daily Show audience did not seem too happy with his new earnestness about international news organizations w/r/t those of American. I may be misreading the silences, but their silences to me suggested discomfort when an "outside" judge--as opposed to Stewart's judgment-by-compadre that leaves the viewer innocent.

Either way, a good interview not a great one. Re-watch Control Room. And maybe try to hunt down videos of Al Jazeera International on YouTube. My one recommendation to coworkers who thought that watching two oppositely biased news organizations (yes, those two) would somehow allow them to approach the truth, was to tell them to watch more international news. I don't believe that that is the answer. But I know it's better than the battle of corporate passions that we currently have within out media borders.

posted by sstrader at 9:30 PM in Politics | permalink

July 16, 2007

Where was I?

Vacation day on Friday just for the hell of it. Lots of piano and reading. Braves that evening with Ivy and Jason. Front row by the dugout! It was cool but disorienting.


Saturday was Shelby's b-day with a VIP table at Opera (née 1150 on Crescent) where I executed possibly my best drunk signature ever:


Sunday was a simple b-day dinner at Baraonda. Their halibut special was superb. No photo available.

posted by sstrader at 11:31 PM in Where was I? | permalink

July 13, 2007


So, I come across "discursive" in a Lingua Franca article and it's used in a manner that makes me question my internal dictionary ("leading to a logical explanation"), so I natuerlich look it up:

  1. passing aimlessly from one subject to another; digressive; rambling.
  2. proceeding by reasoning or argument rather than intuition.

Holy fuck I love this word. It's its own antonym. (Although some might consider it an abomination...)

posted by sstrader at 5:32 PM in Language & Literature | permalink

July 11, 2007


The god-of-the-gaps for global warming denialists just got smaller: 'No Sun link' to climate change. The original article, No solar hiding place for greenhouse sceptics, is behind a paywall at Nature.

posted by sstrader at 8:24 AM in Science & Technology | permalink

July 9, 2007

Apache on Windows, connection error

Connections start failing with the error:

The semaphore timeout period has expired. : winnt_accept: Asynchronous AcceptEx failed.

Add the following directives to httpd.conf:

EnableMMAP off
EnableSendfile off

Found at My Digital Life. The Apache documentation on Win32DisableAccesptEx elaborates some on the error and solution.

posted by sstrader at 7:12 PM in Science & Technology | permalink

Where was I?

Codermonkey's wedding two Saturdays ago (June 30th). They shuttled off to Gay Paree soon after, then to London, and they're probably back home (although his blog is still curiously quiet).

The fourth was spent at Stacy and Alby's joint where I was slightly more anti-social than usual when I saw that someone had brought a deluxe DVD of The Kids are Alright (purchased soon after). Then drinks on Ecco's back patio w/ Shelby and Kabao and a very slow-to-recover day at work the next day.

Friday was my brother's b-day dinner at Rathbun's Steakhouse. Mixed reviews from friends but we had a great meal (despite the two bottles of port that were accidentally added to the bill). Drinks afterwards at Ecco (see a pattern?) and then I--and I am not fucking you about this--logged in to work to help with a midnight upgrade. In bed by 5.

Saturday afternoon was all piano. I went through Bach's French Suite #4, the Stravinsky I've been working on (the last two pages are the killer), and variation #29 from the Goldberg Variations. 29 has like the most oblique rhythms of all of those. I had avoided it because of that but I'm now completely warmed up to it. Saturday evening was Allison's b-day and drinks afterwards at the Old Towne Bistro and The Catch, OTP.

Sunday was that crazy Russian movie Daywatch at The Plaza on Ponce with Scott and LC. The four of us had watched Nightwatch a year or so ago, so this was the long-delayed part two. Very visually creative. The plot is a mishmash but worth the ride. I recommend hunting it down. Dinner at Manuel's.

posted by sstrader at 1:55 PM in Cinema , Where was I? | permalink

July 7, 2007

Artur Schnabel quote

In four minutes [of recording] you play perhaps 2,000 notes; in every take there are two notes wrong; then you make ten takes and choose the one with 20 wrong notes. It’s like being married to death.
posted by sstrader at 12:20 PM in Music | permalink

July 4, 2007

Two recent Onion articles that were a little too believable

Revised Patriot Act Will Make It Illegal To Read Patriot Act - Bush also proposed extending the rights of states to impose the death penalty "in the wake of Sept. 11 and stuff."

American People Shrug, Line Up For Fingerprinting - Said Amos Hawkins, a Rockford, IL, delivery driver: "I guess this is another thing they have to do to ensure our freedom."

Maybe I'm being a little pessimistic.

posted by sstrader at 1:15 PM in Culture & Society | permalink


Back up on Apache.

posted by sstrader at 12:47 PM in Personal | permalink

July 1, 2007


IIS has been giving me untold grief the past two weeks. It just stops serving files for no apparent reason. This time I mean it: I'm moving to Apache.

posted by sstrader at 11:48 PM in Science & Technology | permalink