April 27, 2008

Oh, will hitman monkey ever find happiness?

posted by sstrader at 12:54 PM in Misc | permalink

April 13, 2008

Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! Aack!

posted by sstrader at 10:14 PM in Misc | permalink

March 17, 2008

Weird mortgage ad with spider

Ad seen on Digg. What in the hell?!?

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

July 12, 2005


What happened? I think I just blacked out for a few days.

posted by sstrader at 11:04 AM in Misc | permalink

July 1, 2005



Krusty: About the Ribwich: there aren't gonna be any more. The animal we made them from is now extinct.
Homer: The pig?
Otto: The cow?
Krusty: You're waaay off. Think smaller. Think more legs. People, we went through something magical together. And it's not important who got rich off of whom or who was exposed to tainted what...

I've mocked late-era Simpson's quite a bit, but they have some good lines. And this episode--for sheer referential fun--parodies Requiem for a Dream [IMDB].

Continue reading "Intransigence"
posted by sstrader at 8:47 PM in Misc | permalink

So tired

This commencement speech by David Foster Wallace made a timely appearance today on Blogdex.

I woke up slightlly hung-over this morning after a fancified dinner out with friends and had the worn-out, world-weariness that often accompanies a draining evening of manic mood. Sometimes I'm tired of feeling as if I'm constantly running. And tired of always trying to shoot a few meters in front of my current position. It's not as if I work too much or achieve too much or even that I'm constantly busy. It's just that every nowandthen the number of spinning plates manifests itself and I think about how many I've broken already and am waiting for the whatever. The inevitable. I suspect that it's a not uncommon feeling that hits everybody when they're at their weakest.

And I thought about what it is like for someone to have their beliefs crushed or at least abandoned. Any beliefs. And those beliefs could be Completely True or Completely False and Ugly, but there's a type of experience where the abandonment doesn't mark a growth but instead a chopping off and the person is never the same. In mourning. Not that I've had my "beliefs crushed," mind you, but it's an interesting psychology and sortof goes hand-in-hand with the spinning plates. As you struggle to achieve whatever it is you're trying to achieve, and trying to achieve it because it's part of your belief system or whatever, you could eventually at some point invalidate that belief system. (Coincidentally, I had to re-write a small section of code today after realizing that: it sucked. This was, however, a "growth" type of thing and not one of those "chopping off" types of things.)

Anyway, DFW speaks a little on these subjects and others.

posted by sstrader at 3:42 PM in Misc | tagged david foster wallace | permalink

June 24, 2005


Does everyone else know that Tom Cruise is a jackass?

posted by sstrader at 6:51 PM in Misc | permalink

A seat in hell

From Ms. It's-Friday-And-I'm-Bored-At-Work (some know her as Shelby): the tale of the disgruntled flyer.

The current status at Snopes is "undetermined." And they have a full transcript.
Continue reading "A seat in hell"
posted by sstrader at 2:19 PM in Misc | permalink

June 21, 2005

Last weekend

Went white-waterin' on Saturday in Nantahala with friends and, although I regretably did not purchase a photograph that would have been even better than the previous, we had a great time. Our guide, Dee Dee (who was baffled when I asked her about her mad scientist brother), was a young turk who caught endless grief from the more seasoned guides. At one point, another female guide jumped onto our raft and wrestled with Dee Dee, trying to knock her in the water. I know. It was hot.

dee dee

Battling the rapids, I was the first to fall in, with Dan a close second--we were at the front of the raft. He did much better because he got caught in a whirlpool at the base of some rapids and couldn't swim out. Eventually, a raft filled with elderly ladies wearing those t-shirts that made them look like they were wearing bikinis came to his rescue. After they pulled him out of the water, another raft of their friends commented "oh, they'll do anything to get a man." I hope I'll be white water rafting when I'm 60.

The falls at the end of the trip was where we really shined (and where the abandoned photograph would have shown us as the Kings of the River that we were). We came in sideways to the right of the falls and could not paddle fast enough to miss the huge rock that made the falls, well, fall. Our raft was suspended on the rock, with a five foot drop to our left and the falls (that is: the correct route down) behind us. This was exactly how Dan and I took a dive earlier--Dee Dee took us too close to rocks. Anyway, she pulled some sort of river magic out of her ass and got us to paddle off the rock, down the falls, and into an amazed audience.

We gave the Rocky cheer with our paddles, but alas we were jackasses once we hit the shore and completely forgot to tip Dee Dee.

Sunday was all about recoverin'. After some major house-cleaning, I hit the piano and Lisa went to see Sith with Shelby & Robert. She got back late and we went to Vinocity on a whim to hang out at the bar. Several friends had had truly awful experiences there recently, yet I could not forget the great dinner we had the first time we were there. And getting wine at a wine bar seemed safe. I was rewarded for my loyalty with 1/2 price bottles on Sunday. Yay!

We spoke at length with a professional photographer (Michael?) at the bar who lives in LA and was in town for the weekend to photograph some actors' headshots. He hops between LA, Atlanta, and NYC taking photographs and (apparently) going to wine bars. We bonded on our mutual art upbringing and the will to "do what you love" (favorite saying of my painting teacher). Hopefully, his card is floating around Lisa's car somewhere. Not in my wallet. Not in her purse. And my desk is clean so I know it's not there.

Continue reading "Last weekend"
posted by sstrader at 12:58 PM in Misc | permalink

June 13, 2005


Just got email confirmation of my new laptop I ordered on the cheap from the Dell outlet for < $1000. I need something portable to do the work-from-home thing. Of course, I wait till late in the contract to get a laptop, but I've just never been that ... "smart" I think is the word I'm looking for.

The specs:

  • Inspiron 6000 Notebook: Intel Pentium M Processor 715 (1.50 GHz/2MB Cache/400MHz FSB)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz (1 DIMM)
  • 80 GB EIDE Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
  • 15.4 inch WXGA Notebook Screen
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 2915 Internal Wireless 802.11a/b/g,54Mbps
  • 8X DVD ROM Drive

I don't often purchase new hardware, so I'm excited. Not as excited as for the new messenger bag, but still excited. And I think it's got more processing power than all of my desktop machines--including the Web server--combined. I really don't purchase new hardware that often.

inspiron 6000

Although I'm most excited about the "AOL 9.0 ISP Software" that comes bundled. Sweet. "You've got crap!"

posted by sstrader at 10:21 AM in Misc | permalink

June 9, 2005

Things I learned, part 2

  1. With both RealPlayer and Winamp, you can stream an MP3 from a Web site, without downloading, and scroll to any point within the MP3. I really should have known that already. The Wife pointed it out to me.
  2. I know very little about the law, specifically copyright law. As an online type of person, I really really should know more.
posted by sstrader at 9:39 PM in Misc | permalink

It's my bag, baby

Thanks to Lady Crumpet's kind, personal shoppery assistance, I have a new messenger bag on its way to replace my reliable Gap book bag (purchased on an NYC trip several years back, no less).

my bag

I went to Timbuk2 and Made My Own Bag. Their wonderfully easy site changes colors and styles within the photo as you select options. Too many choices, but I think I got it down. This is a big move for me--am I ready to give up the book bag? For the cost of this messenger bag, I'd better be ready.

posted by sstrader at 4:05 PM in Misc | permalink

Things I learned

  1. Although I was mocked for my spelling of That Princess From Star Wars 4-6, Google gives 688,000 for Leia (my spelling) and only 351,000 for Leah (from those jackasses last night). I'll trust the source [IMDB].
  2. I need to look at ML [Wikipedia] or CAML [Wikipedia] for its functional language goodness [Wikipedia].
  3. After having spoken with two people obsessed in varying degrees with Web anonymity, I'm still lost as to why it would be beneficial. The boss can find me if he so chooses, but it's unlikely that an entry here would trump my good work there. And anything an old girlfriend would have to say, she's free to say it. My only concern is identity theft, but thieves will get more crucial information elsewhere--probably from any of the major corporations that seem to be handing it out like Halloween candy these days. The fact that I'm currently reading Sherlock Holmes stories won't get them far with my bank. Am I missing something?
  4. I need to get a flickr account. Possibly from this guy.
posted by sstrader at 1:25 PM in Misc | permalink

June 1, 2005


Heading off to Nantahala with friends on June 18th, so I dug up a photo of Lisa and I taken from a previous trip [when?].


I don't remember it being so dark and turbulent. It looks like we're travelling to Mordor. But at least we're having fun.

posted by sstrader at 11:58 AM in Misc | permalink

May 31, 2005


Gettin' ready for NYC and another long weekend. It should be the last until the end of the contract in July, although my boss has been trying to find work to extend my stay, as was his boss's boss (my Great-grand-boss). Busy doing a lot of Java at home over the past several days. Finally finished the arrangement for The Who song a couple of days ago and will clean it up and post it before I leave. Got the new version of Allegro, but not sure if it has any better exporting. Dad left last Wednesday for his 6-month hike down the Appalachian Trail [Wikipedia] (beginning in Maine). We should hear from him again in a week or so. He'll be sending photos and such, and I'll try to find a way to get them posted.

NYC will be fun. Plans for: Philip Glass concert, the Statue of Liberty (I was up in her head in 5th grade--wish I would've left my initials to re-discover!), Flute (a hip champagne bar), and DJ Sasha at Crobar.


Continue reading "Busy"
posted by sstrader at 11:22 PM in Misc | permalink

May 30, 2005


Another weird rule that rules my life: I won't practice piano unshowered.

This rule, recently, made me think of how many little rules I have. Blogs can be, but don't have to be, enablers to certain harmless qualities of OCD. Categorize this and file that. My obsession with organization (another activity besides recycling of what makes me happy) is a symptom of a need to control my world, but I'm not sure why. If you'd have asked me, as one of those millions of What Type of X Are You quizzes probably does, if I feel (A) in control or (B) out of control of my life, I'd say A with little hesitation.

But something's nagging at me. Why so many silly rules?

Some rules are because I get so distracted. Shower-comb-floss-brush-deodorant-iron-dress-done. If I do one out of order, I'm likely to forget whether I've done it at all because I'm generally thinking some dumb-ass thought while I'm doing it and not paying attention. But some other rules are just from a desire to control my environment--usually where it's unnecessary. And what's more, I think those rules have been multiplying lately.

(Tangent: creatively, a person has to embrace a certain lack of control. You can't force creativity; you can only learn your own personal tricks to tap into it. In order to tap in, you must relinquish control.)

posted by sstrader at 5:06 PM in Misc | permalink

May 25, 2005

Thrown off the beach

Almost as bad as thinking about friends moving away is thinking of how many recycleables I let get thrown away at Destin. Especially since recycling is a major part of what makes me happy. I'm kicking myself now for not having planned some way to collect and bring back all of those bottles.

Next trip.

Continue reading "Thrown off the beach"
posted by sstrader at 9:58 PM in Misc | permalink

Off the beach

Wednesday is the perfect post-vacation Monday. Am I the first person to have disovered this? Drinkin' coffee and warmin' back up to the code and eatin' an ice cream sandwich (Big Wigs from the home office are in, so meeting leftovers are appearing randomly in the breakroom).

We encountered a range of wildlife at Destin. At least one frog made it into a late-night drunken photograph session. Weird-lookin' lizards too. And I discovered why those wacky sand pipers run up to the edge of the water whenever the waves flow out. When the water comes in, sand fleas expose themselves from under the sand to eat whatever it is sand fleas eat. As the waves flow back out, there's a short period where they remain partially exposed. Once we figured this out, the sand flea hunt was afoot (yes, still reading Sherlock Holmes)! That kept us occupied for about 10 minutes. During the day, however, we saw the slightly more intimidating sea creature: the wily shark.

Mister Jaw

The two that we saw were about 3-4 feet long and maybe 20 feet from shore. Responding to cries of "shark," swimmers would rush out of the water, then slowly filter back in. I think it was the most exercise we got all weekend.

There were several discussions about the possibility of moving away from Atlanta. We've thought before about what it'd be like to move to another city and start fresh. It's an odd concept to consider being faced with that isolation without moving.

posted by sstrader at 3:25 PM in Misc | permalink


From bobafred, a meme:

Total volume of music on your computer:

Windows says 13.9 GB (15,002,454,257 bytes) in the Music directory on the network. RealPlayer's organizer says 3,106 songs, 275:02:04 hours:minutes:seconds of music and 13.12 GB. There may be a few radio shows I haven't added to RP.

The last album you purchased was:

Two Fiery Furnaces CDs for our trip to Destin; Blueberry Boat and EP.

Song playing right now:

All is silence since we returned from Destin. So, I guess I could say I'm currently listening to John Cage's 4'33".

Five songs you’ve been listening to a lot recently, from several genres:

My playlist pretty much says it all, but I can be more specific:

  1. Shostakovich, Preludes Op. 34, No. 6
  2. The Fiery Furnaces, "Here Comes the Summer" from EP. It reminds me of ABBA, of all things, yet I like it.
  3. Woody 'N You, Coleman Hawkins & His Orchestra. From the boxed set that I picked up in a Dublin flea market for 20 Euro called Bebop Spoken Here [Amazon] (and is finally available on Amazon). Much of it is extremely lo-fi, but the music comes from that great in-between period from big band to bebop. 97 tracks of groovy fun.

Five people to whom you’re passing the baton:

Since my range of music is as limited as my online aquaintences, and since the exponential implications of sending this out to five more people could be disastrous to all available space on the Internets, I'll limit my infliction of this meme to The Centrifuge to get him out of his non-posting funk.

Continue reading "Musique"
posted by sstrader at 12:26 PM in Misc | permalink

May 21, 2005

In the drink

At the beach (posting from my phone). Ahh.

The road trip to Destin was a little rough last night, but the payoff was worth it. The weather and water is perfect. Damp air in Atlanta is muggy and oppressive; at the beach it's refreshing. (hollismb says hey).

But, ack, I'm already burned. What is it about covering myself with a greasy substance that I resist?

Road music was:

  • The Shostakovich preludes and fugues - I am in pain by how beautiful these are,
  • The Sibelius Symphony #1 and Violin Concerto - poor recording off of Internet radio but great pieces,
  • The Fiery Furnaces' EP and Blueberry Boat - Amazon Marketplace purchases fell through, so I picked them up at the Buckhead Tower Records. Talked about missing the Emory concert with the cute teen cashier. I love Tower.
  • Pizzicato Five. A good-timin' CD that is equal parts trash and inventiveness. Makes me want to learn Japanese.
Continue reading "In the drink"
posted by sstrader at 3:55 PM in Misc | permalink

May 9, 2005

1 year

My first official post was one year ago today--a rambling review of Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver. I was hoping to have a redesign by now (I've got a lot of self-loathing with the layout and CSS), but well ... it was a busy weekend. I need to clean up the layout and clarify the organization so I can find stuff a little easier. I had a few phases of redesign early on as I got comfortable with CSS and MovableType and am finally getting in the mood to dive in again. It's one of those spring-cleaning things: you're happy when it's done, but it eats up too much time to do it.

So, I made it a year and now I can stop with these silly anniversaries.

Continue reading "1 year"
posted by sstrader at 2:32 PM in Misc | permalink

Busy weekend

Which began last Wednesday with The Interpreter [IMDB] at the Lefont Theatre on Ponce and dinner at Pura Vida. Thursday, we missed the bloggers at Manuel's Tavern and the subsequent Simpson's quotes, but made it to a 5 de Mayo party (which later moved to Manuel's, but alas the bloggers had already dissipated). By Friday, I was too wiped out to make it to Oglethorpe's Shake on the Lake performance of Macbeth at Piedmont Park. It was a beautiful night and a great performance from what I heard, but I needed rest and some piano-time. Ended up meeting up with the theater-goers et al. later at Hand in Hand. Saturday was packed with Weirdbabe's wonderful Kentucky Derby party with the wife, Lady Crumpet, and Mr. Arkadin (who won the pool, whereas my horse, Galloping Grocer, didn't even make the race), moved to the amazing movie Born Into Brothels [IMDB] at Woodruff Arts Center with friends, then to Fuego for tapas. Sunday was recycling day (yay!) which included boxes of bottles I snatched from the 5 de Mayo party that were steeping in my trunk (boo!). Dinner at Cafe Lily in Decatur. Drinks at Da Vinci's (which had become my newfavoritebar a while back), including a long discussion with some-guy-whose-name-I-now-forget about the history of ska, In the Realms of the Unreal, postmodernism, the pros and cons of cover songs, and more about pop music and cinema than I could possibly remember now.

I need a break.

Continue reading "Busy weekend"
posted by sstrader at 9:10 AM in Misc | permalink

May 3, 2005

Genius idea #7

A service that de-logo-izes you car. Logos are on the hood, the trunk, the hubcaps, the door handles, the steering wheel, the glove box, the gear shift, the parking brake ... have I missed anything? Probably. Take your car in and get rid of all of them. Each part would be replaced by a "null" version of the same quality. It'd probably be too expensive to be feasible, but I can imagine that at a reasonable price it'd catch on.

I though about this while I was noticing the big-ass VW logo on the steering wheel of my Beetle. It's like, I swear, three or four inches across. I realized that a logo for something you love is still a logo and then wondered at how we succumb to all of this. It's in or nature, so fighting it is probably more unnatural than otherwise. But a logo-free car? That'd kinda be cool.

Continue reading "Genius idea #7"
posted by sstrader at 11:22 PM in Misc | permalink

May 2, 2005

Am I being too loud?

Over at my bro' and sis'-in-law's on Saturday. The nieces apparently thought I was too loud.

starring in too loud scott as too loud

The loudness was confirmed the next day upon receipt of this email:

Uncle Scott, last night you were very too loud. Can you please try to be quieter. Plus also your nose is very too roundish. And one eye is bigger than the other.

I would have argued about the eye problem, but the drawings seem to confirm that fact along with a considerably diminished vocabulary.

posted by sstrader at 11:43 PM in Misc | permalink

April 29, 2005

600th entry

I have been struggling over the content here. I don't want to just be a link monkey ("hey, look at this cool site") because my primary intentions are to get my thoughts down in some organized manner and to document any interesting events in my life. If I come back in a year, will this just contain links to some Web oddity or will it be a Poloroid of Me Today (ignoring the ontological point that what I link to, to some degree, is Me Today)? The public aspect of this forum eliminates the opportunities for detailed cathartic outbursts, but other benefits outweigh that loss.

So, I've been trying to put more what-I've-been-doing into the mix. And finally, I realized that the links often aren't just links. They're linked because they sparked some thought (or, more likely, some argument) that I have the opportunity to wrestle with.

And, on that note, we shall be headed to Nam later this evening for dinner. I'll have mine without fish sauce, please.

Continue reading "600th entry"
posted by sstrader at 6:41 PM in Misc | permalink

"I was ACTING!"

The bro'-in-law-in-law (my brother's wife's sister's husband) has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award [Wikipedia]! He's in a musical version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [IMDB] playing the role of the French inspector. The bro' and sis'-in-law got to go to the premiere and attended the Swanky Premiere Party. Wing ding! Here's the email from the sis'-in-law-in-law with the lowdown:

Greg got a Drama Desk nomination ... these are kind of like the Tonys in that they're for NY theatre, but are broader in that they cover more than Broadway (off- , off-off, etc.)

DRS got 10 nominations ...

2005 Drama Desk Nominations received by DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS:

  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - Outstanding Musical
  • Norbert Leo Butz - Outstanding Actor in a Musical
  • Sherie Rene Scott - Outstanding Actress in a Musical
  • Gregory Jbara - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
  • Joanna Gleason - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
  • Jerry Mitchell - Outstanding Choreography
  • David Yazbek - Outstanding Music
  • David Yazbek - Outstanding Lyrics
  • Jeffrey Lane - Outstanding Book of a Musical
  • Harold Wheeler - Outstanding Orchestrations

The awards ceremony will be May 22, LaGuardia Concert Hall, Lincoln Center.

We'll be in NYC for our yearly long weekend at the beginning of June, but alas will probably not make it to Greg's show. We will however be attending the American premiere of Philip Glass's Naqoyqatsi at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.

Continue reading ""I was ACTING!""
posted by sstrader at 11:30 AM in Misc | permalink

April 8, 2005

Behold: The Napkin!

Geeks havin' fun. I was going to transcribe the contents, but that'd just make it all searchable and ... well, we don't want to fill the Internets with useless stuff, do we?

Continue reading "Behold: The Napkin!"
posted by sstrader at 11:18 AM in Misc | permalink

"You had that 'save me' look"

That's the line I get whenever I'm just on the edge and need to get home. It's when I'm done in by my own hubris. A point where I've mixed test tube A with test tube B and didn't consider the consequences.

The line comes from a weekend afternoon with friends at The Park Tavern at Piedmont Park. As it approached evening, I had had too much to drink and was getting that too-much-to-drink confusion where I can't understand other people and don't want to have to deal with them. So--and I don't know how I remember this--I go to the wife and wisper "protect me." She asks "from what" and all I can manage is "from things."

We shouldn't have gone for more drinks at Da Vinci's after Hand in Hand last night. It's going to be a long Friday.

posted by sstrader at 8:40 AM in Misc | permalink

April 5, 2005

Another weird dream

In a small town, sort of like Asheville, some people have disappeared. There's a cover-up and the police assume that they've been killed. A private investigator is hired. He questions a wealthy mother and her daughter but they don't provide any information and mock him because he also writes romance books on the side. He asks a friend of the family who is standing there, and looks like Robert Gillaume, to search through their garbage cans. Everyone watches him search until the local sheriff arrives and stops the illegal investigation.

There's a short scene on a wooded plateau in the mountains overhanging some rapids. They think the bodies are there somewhere.

At one point in the town, we encounter a thug who takes a long pair of tweezers and shoves them up his right nostril. After a couple of seconds he pulls out what looks like a 6 inch long, flesh colored centipede. It's thick and writhing around. The thug says that because of these parasites he will live to be 2000 years old and that soon everyone will learn of this technique. Everyone thinks he's a crackpot or survivalist.

I enter the dream at night on a street in the suburbs. I'm walking up to a friend's house and there's a party in the back. Their large dog runs up to greet me and I try to quiet him down so that I can sneak up. I finally get to the back. It's dark with just tiki torches for light, and there are around six people.

posted by sstrader at 7:36 AM in Misc | permalink

April 4, 2005

Last night's weird dream

The events were alternately a movie on TV and action I was experiencing, although I don't think I was a specific character. A group of people were beamed to a planet in another galaxy in order to explore it. The beaming technology was interesting, because I didn't understand how they could trust, on first use, that the people would end up in the correct location. I thought that they would require a receiver at the destination--but then how to get the reciever there in the first place? Anyway, the people ended up on an island in the middle of an ocean. A raft approached from the distance, and they saw that each of the aliens on it had several long strands of monofibers coming out of their bodies. The monofibers would cut through anything in their path, so everyone was going to be sliced to pieces. The end.

I think that the TV show started off as a "The Day After" type, post nuclear battle mini-series. I don't remember how it turned into space exploration. Everyone watching the show except me was familiar with it. Near the end of the dream, I was obsessed by the beaming technology and the monofibers and kept repeating those scenes.

posted by sstrader at 12:19 PM in Misc | permalink

March 22, 2005

Man, that's sweet

First paycheck in ... five months? I loves the moneys.

posted by sstrader at 11:09 PM in Misc | permalink

March 18, 2005


Busy week. Lot's of work. Good code--bosses very happy. Too many nights of drinking (and too early to rise). Couple of nights of practice--fingers feel good. Going out again in a few minutes. Brain can't form full sentences.

Ahh, the weekend!

posted by sstrader at 7:58 PM in Misc | permalink

March 8, 2005

Back to reality

Got a contract with Mobius (whose logo is not a Moebius strip) that starts tomorrow! Should be a very good gig.

Continue reading "Back to reality"
posted by sstrader at 4:57 PM in Misc | permalink

March 2, 2005


Catching up on /. and found this thread by a developer questioning the sanity of quitting his job before he had a new one. No, I didn't write it. The responses have been around 40% "do what you love or else life ain't worth it" and 60% "you stupid asshole--you'll eventually rue that choice."

I'll ignore that I think the OP's reasons were poor (reasons are personal and can be of inexpressible and subjective importance) and say that I recommend it to anyone who feels they need to and can get away with it. Even with the minor difficulties I've had, I couldn't justify staying with a company where I was dissatisfied. I feel like I'm a conscientious worker, but aggravation slips in and makes us slack (as I had seen with many of my co-workers there, conscientious and otherwise). So: you stay with a job you hate, are a poorer employee, and deep down realize that your output suffers (with the requisite rationalizations blaming "the company" for your shitty work).

No thanks.

posted by sstrader at 4:49 PM in Misc | permalink

March 1, 2005

A comment that didn't make it

I loved the composition and intent of this comment, but felt that it was too many of the things that it said it was (idiosyncratic and superfluous) to actually post it. I still think it's relevant, generally, so I'll remember it here. I had read an entry--whose subject was blogging--from one of my frequently read blogs, and it really hit home how important this impersonal-yet-personal media is:

As much as I know that this comment is superfluous, I also know that it is in many ways essential:

Thank you for that simple thing that is blogging.

These anecdotes, these opinions, these diatribes, everything that is provided is as important as the whole of the Web. I--and I cannot be unique--value this view into your world as much as I value the views into others' worlds. The effort it takes to blog--so subjective--is of unequal value as that perceived by the recipients: those anecdotes written have mass anecdotal value. That's the genius; that which appears casual and is consumed casually may generate much more than that in both instances.

I know that this is unfortunately idiosyncratic (a sentiment best reserved for the commenter's blog), but your entry was coincidental with a timely and personal theme.


posted by sstrader at 12:46 AM in Misc | permalink

February 28, 2005

500th entry

So, what's been happening since we last anniversaried?

I'm way behind on the job search. I have a few new opportunities each week, but they either fizzle out or drag out. Interviews have been going well, so I'm not sure where the failures are--probably just stiff competition.

I resisted an evening of 1/2 price bottles of wine tonight at Twist to finish up the demo. It's a very raw recording so it shouldn't be taking this long, it's just difficult to get time alone (don't go out drinking, asshole) and it's tedious to run the MP3 tracks back and forth from the MR-8 to the computer with the measly 128 meg card maxed out, then back again, etc. all the while setting up to record the piano, then voice, then back. Blah.

I finished the watercolor of my friends' dogs. I forgot to take a pic before I gave it too them this weekend, but I'll eventually get one and post it here. Nothing super-stupendous, but it's a nice little watercolor.

I of course lost and repurchased my phone, although that little event is perhaps best left unexamined.

Aaaand, we've had a fun time with the Atlanta bloggers! That's been a pretty neat-o outing every month (that's yet another excuse to go out drinking).

Continue reading "500th entry"
posted by sstrader at 8:15 PM in Misc | permalink

February 21, 2005


This is strange: I've been feeling kinda lost the last week but can't define the source.

Maybe it's because I'm finishing the demo for The Silent Spectrum and have no clear path beyond that. Moving from a sense of accomplishment to uncertainty is always jarring. Maybe it's because I'm starting a new painting for two friends--a process also filled with uncertainty. I'm a competent draftsman but have always struggled as a colorist. It's kind of embarrassing since my fucking degree is in painting, but a constant struggle keeps you sharp. Maybe the job search is finally getting me down. I've got a constant flow of in-process possibilities, so there's no reason for grief. However, such open-ended tasks can be unnerving.

It's even hard to focus on the RadioWave code, even though I have a long list of fun features (and not so fun bugs) to work on.

Maybe this is all just some form of seasonal depression.

The answer, I know, is to keep busy: don't sloth around like you'd like to because that just aggravates the issue. Get back to a tight work schedule. Yeah.

posted by sstrader at 2:07 AM in Misc | permalink

February 11, 2005

Give me a "G"!

mingaling's kickin' it with photos from the Atlanta Bloggers Extravaganza #2! Truly, we were busting routines and rhymes all night.

posted by sstrader at 2:41 PM in Misc | permalink

February 4, 2005


Off to Asheville for the weekend (but we have a ferocious dog in our condo so don't try to break in!!) and still no fix for Tomcat. I suspect my isapi_redirect.dll is fcuked because I'm getting the famous ajp12 error in the ISAPI log, but ajp12 references have been removed from the workers config files:

[jk_isapi_plugin.c (730)]: HttpExtensionProc error, could not get a worker for name ajp12

Everybody and their mother has apparently gotten this error and--depending on the version of Tomcat, IIS, and Windows--every fix has been different yet, for me, unsuccessful. I can hit JSPs from 8080 but not through IIS. Gah.

Continue reading "Asheville!"
posted by sstrader at 1:50 PM in Misc | permalink

February 3, 2005

Genius idea #6

A personal, editable Gantt chart of your life.

My memory's not the best, so I'm always looking for ways to supplement what's missing. I'm often misremembering when I saw Costello in concert, what year we went to Paris, when I worked for Attachmate and when they closed their Atlanta offices. Tedius little things that don't necessarily need to be remembered with precision but could be if maintaining that precision were easy.

Continue reading "Genius idea #6"
posted by sstrader at 12:08 PM in Misc | permalink

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

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

January 18, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

December 31, 2004

Goodbye 2004

Last post.

Bad news: I lost my phone again. Idiot. And after I was warned about keeping your PDA secured.

Good news: I just met the owner of the storage room down the hall from our condo. That room was part of the biggest regret of my short life. When we bought our condo, the developer was selling that room (like around 150 square feet of storage!) and asked that I make an offer. I low-balled and they would never return my calls. The one time in my life that I try to haggle and it goes south. So anyway, the lady who owns it was inside rearranging some stuff. It was completely filled and although I didn't think she'd want to sell I had to ask. Lucky break--she's interested and will call us next week with her asking price. Groo. Vee. I love it when a plan works out.

Happy New Year.

Continue reading "Goodbye 2004"
posted by sstrader at 6:57 PM in Misc | tagged new years | permalink

December 18, 2004

400th entry

My whiteboard's filled with topics I've come across and need to research (and post), but the anniversary's gotta come first. The only changes around here since the 300th are the Sheet Music search link bundled with the other music links on the main page and the very recent Current Activities section that I'm trying out. The Sheet Music link doesn't have a lot of content. The Current Activities is intended to keep important stuff bubbled up to the top for a period.

The more important changes have been the sabbatical (almost two months in!) and my obsessions: RadioWave and the new rock opera.

Life is beautiful.

Continue reading "400th entry"
posted by sstrader at 11:34 AM in Misc | permalink

December 11, 2004

Coming down, part 2

Two hours (and three cups of coffee).

posted by sstrader at 9:19 PM in Misc | permalink

Coming down

Years of drinking coffee, heavily drinking coffee, and I'm finally going through my first withdraw. My drinking's always been high volume but erratic, and I've never gone through this before. I think the sabbatical's ratcheted up my intake and age has ratcheted down my resilience.

Where's my Christmas miracle?

For those who haven't enjoyed such an experience: start with what you think is a low-grade sinus headache then move it higher and forward, all the while focusing in intensity. I was trying to ride it out--no addiction is going to get the better of me--but the wife insisted I stop the madness (here, take your heroin). We'll see how long it takes.

posted by sstrader at 7:18 PM in Misc | permalink

November 29, 2004

November 27, 2004

I will find him

An explanation of the Hopkin frog flyer. Also (why didn't I think of this?!?), a t-shirt.

posted by sstrader at 4:11 PM in Misc | permalink

November 14, 2004

Pure hilarity

[Lisa Simpson and another girl are playing tag. Homer's watching.]

Girl: You lie like a bee with a booger on its knee!

Homer: Hehe. The bee was funny, and the booger was icing on the cake!

Continue reading "Pure hilarity"
posted by sstrader at 12:02 PM in Misc | permalink

November 12, 2004


This weeks Onion has an article titled "I Must Take Issue With The Wikipedia Entry For 'Weird Al' Yankovic." I think Wikipedia has hit its tipping point. Getting referenced in The Onion is sort of like ... having your song parodied by Weird Al. A sure sign of fame.

But, an ecyclopedia run by obsessives--techie obsessives--is ripe for humor anyway:

I remained silent in regard to those smaller matters, but I cannot ignore the travesty you call a copyleft encyclopedia article on "Weird Al." Those who know me either by reputation or through IRC know that I do not suffer fools gladly. If you have been on the business end of one of my notorious outbursts of Internet anger, I do sympathize. And, for what is to come forthwith, I offer you my grim condolence. En garde.
Continue reading "WaY"
posted by sstrader at 2:55 PM in Misc | permalink

November 7, 2004

I banish thee

Over the past week, I've been blocking IP addresses from my server for any address that had comment spam (spom?) originating from it. It may not be the best method, but it seems to have worked for 99% of the crap. The biggest assumption is that they are using fixed addresses. Because this has been so successful, I think that most are.

Here's the list of offending addresses. Two are ranges.

Continue reading "I banish thee"
posted by sstrader at 7:10 PM in Misc | permalink

November 6, 2004

All your frog are belong to us

Check out the photoshopping of this kid's sign for his lost frog. Click on the images to see the next ones.


[ via BoingBoing ]

Continue reading "All your frog are belong to us"
posted by sstrader at 4:29 PM in Misc | permalink

October 29, 2004

I'm free!

Air smells fresher.

Food tastes better.

Even code doesn't look as convoluted as it used to!

Continue reading "I'm free!"
posted by sstrader at 3:28 PM in Misc | permalink

October 26, 2004

The sting

Cheeky monkeys. They send emails spoofing a reply-to from my own ISP and expect me to fall for their shenani ... shananna ... shannana ... their tom-foolery! No, I tell you. No!!

First, they send an email cc-ing every email combination from sstrader to sstreit (sorry, sstreit, if I just got you spammed further). Then, they hide a fractured url pointing to some Korean site at artcraft.or.kr and hiding behind an Earthlink url. The nerve. Notice the embedded null below:

Please take a moment to update your credit card information by clicking <a href=3D"http://billing.earthlink.net=01=%00@artcraft.or.kr/board_old/icon/Type08/">http://billing.earthlink.net/up=date.cgi?id=3D347182</a> and submitting your information.

I'm sick of them and thier comment spam brothers. They're all after me. All of them!

Continue reading "The sting"
posted by sstrader at 11:08 PM in Misc | permalink

October 25, 2004

300th entry

I really enjoy these anniversaries. 100 entries ago, I was just beginning to get comment spam and was considering anti-spam measures. They really hit me hard today (around 30 or so), but I still have done nothing to protect myself. I'm such a procrastinator. And yet 200 entries ago I was just getting organized, so at least my OCD has paid off!

I've since moved to more personal entries and, ironically, have subsequently gotten some non-spam visitors, including an old college friend! And I finally succumbed to a site tracker to see who-what-where is getting into my site. Thus begins the even greater aspect of self-absorption. I also began appearing on Google, albeit for odd and very specific searches. Just as I go on a series of self-pitying rants, the world gets smaller.

The next one hundred will be--if I haven't already mentioned this enough--the era of the sabbatical. Finally learning how to spell it will be, I'm sure, only the first trial.

Continue reading "300th entry"
posted by sstrader at 11:11 PM in Misc | permalink

October 23, 2004

Oh drat, part 5

Two problems: Eb maj 7, and G# to A.

Continue reading "Oh drat, part 5"
posted by sstrader at 12:59 AM in Misc | permalink

I'm number 3!!

As of right now, I'm number 3 when searching for Messages from the Ether (without quotes), and number 6 when searching with quotes. And for you numerological itentity thieves out there, multiples of three are prevalent in my birth date and social security number. Neat.

posted by sstrader at 12:03 AM in Misc | permalink

October 22, 2004

Two lines that made me laugh

Watched Around the World in 80 Days [IMDB] on the flight back from Las Vegas (don't you make the same mistake). It actually had a couple of classic slapstick lines that made me laugh. One had Phileas Fogg quipping as he was threatened by a Chinese ninja with a spikey wrist-band: "Your threats do not frighten me, nor does your silly bracelet." When the ninja flips his wrist and a daggar extends from the "bracelet," Phineas replies: "OK, it's not that silly." (Timing is everything. The shift from expecting him to say "OK, maybe I am afraid." and his emphasis of "bracelet" had a keen, Groucho sensibility about it.)

I just saw and ad for Comedy Central's Drawn Together, a cartoon reality show with vaguely familiar cartoon characters living in a house together. A Little Mermaid character reacts to a sassy insult from a (possibly) street-wise Valerie character (a la Josie and the Pussycats) with: "She’s attacking me like I’m the English language."


Continue reading "Two lines that made me laugh"
posted by sstrader at 11:20 PM in Misc | permalink

October 15, 2004

Two weeks

A weight has been lifted.

My resignation had been in for over a month with only the informal date of when-the-project-ships. That date may be slipping, and I realized that word-of-mouth contracts are not the best in this situation. Here's my letter that went out today:

Continue reading "Two weeks"
posted by sstrader at 11:44 AM in Misc | permalink

October 8, 2004

Coincidence of the day

For the first time--possibly ever in my life--today I used the word "surfeit." Then, just a few minutes ago, I read that unlikely word on page 231 of Malcom Gladwell's The Tipping Point.

Not all that interesting, but what are the odds (rhetorical)?

posted by sstrader at 10:52 PM in Misc | permalink

October 3, 2004

Gone workin'

Now I'll be out of town for a week for work. I'll have a laptop and my trusty phone, so updates will occur, but less frequently.

And my server will probably go down again.

Until then, enjoy a little Radio from the Ether. It's still spinnin' my own tunes, but I've got big plans to cycle stuff out (mimicking currently listening & such) eventually. Right now, consider it a vanity project--within a vanity project.

Continue reading "Gone workin'"
posted by sstrader at 6:34 PM in Misc | permalink

September 30, 2004

An unwatched server

The day--the day--I left for Greece, my server went down. And down for the first time ever. Still having some quirky problems, but I'm sure they won't cause any real trouble until I'm out of town again.

Downside #1 to hosting your own site: IT is only as good as the guy behind the keyboard.

posted by sstrader at 9:25 PM in Misc | permalink

September 22, 2004

Gone vacationin'

Flight's at 2 today to Greece, so there'll be a noticeable lull in the postings. I'll probably get hit by the comment spammers while I'm gone, but maybe there'll be some gems of wisdom ("they have online casinos now!?!"). γεια σου.

Reading Oblivion, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2, and Top 10, Book 1. Listening to ... shit, gotta get my iRiver loaded with music! Bye.

Continue reading "Gone vacationin'"
posted by sstrader at 8:40 AM in Misc | tagged travel | permalink

September 19, 2004

Oh drat, part 4

Had a meeting with Dr. Work this afternoon to discuss some software he wanted written. It sounds interesting and could be fun. He's very honest and friendly, and I think we were in agreement with the requirements and intentions of the project.

My finger is losing its range of motion. I was told to stop using the squishy-ball for exercise and to keep it wrapped in athletic tape to get the swelling down. I should be able to start exercising again next week. Since I've been off of it, I can't really tell if I'll have problems with it or not. Good not to think about it--I'll use new age positive thinking to make the bone mend!

Continue reading "Oh drat, part 4"
posted by sstrader at 9:19 PM in Misc | permalink

September 15, 2004

Why do the facts hate IE?

I obviously haven't been in IE in a while. This site is fucked right now. ... working ...

posted by sstrader at 12:18 AM in Misc | permalink

September 13, 2004

Oh drat, part 3

It's never what you expect.

I got to the doctor's anticipating either an appointment to re-break and re-set my finger or an appointment for surgery to fix what had gone wrong in the natural healing process. It was weirdly neither, but I feel somewhat better about things.

Continue reading "Oh drat, part 3"
posted by sstrader at 5:13 PM in Misc | permalink

September 11, 2004

Blogs, part 3

(Slightly more sober, Scott decides to finish his fragmented thoughts on blogs.)

Continue reading "Blogs, part 3"
posted by sstrader at 11:51 PM in Misc | permalink

The work question

I'm at a crossroads. No, that's not right. I'm at a point where I'd like to make a decision to either stay at the hypothetical company or leave. Leaving will mean two weeks and I'm gone--no bullshit waiting until I find another job.

Continue reading "The work question"
posted by sstrader at 11:41 PM in Misc | permalink

Oh drat, part 2

(In which I begin to record the travails of my broken finger and related psychological issues and recovery.)

Today sucks. Today my hatred of doctors grows. Today I plot my revenge on the one at Crawford Long emergency room who said it's not broken and sent me away even as the bone started fusing obviously crooked. Doctors gotta know you feel that way, that patients can feel such hatred. An x-ray, a splint, and ta-da. Instead, I'm forced to sit here and bitch.

Today I hate myself for playing piano last night. It's really sensitive right now. Something, somehow numbed me to not feel it, and I've been taught a lesson.

Doctor's appointment on Monday, 10 AM. Dr. Atallah (AKA Dr. X-ray) from my second visit to Crawford Long referred me to Dr. Frederick Work, a plastic surgeon.

posted by sstrader at 2:46 PM in Misc | permalink

Blogs, part 2

Kristin had made many statements and raised many questions. I want to break out of the comment and look a little deeper at the content and intent of blogs. Jeez, this subject probably has been written and overwritten, but let's go for it anyway.

Continue reading "Blogs, part 2"
posted by sstrader at 12:13 AM in Misc | permalink

September 8, 2004

Oh drat

My finger's broken.

posted by sstrader at 1:23 AM in Misc | permalink

September 5, 2004

Nobody tells me anything

Which is fine, 'cause I don't tell anyone anything either. However, Laurence getting a blog seems like big news. Maybe he didn't want to make a fuss. Or be a bother.

And (BTW), why is it that blogs, a world of writing, is dominated by guys? I thought that women were more the literary set.

posted by sstrader at 1:37 PM in Misc | permalink

September 3, 2004

Useless facts I discovered this morning

I woke up hung over, and my computer had the BSOD. Coincidence?

Sensodyne tastes bad, and it completely clogs up your toothbrush.

Apparenty if you leave Peachtree Lofts early enough in the morning, you get to see strippers walking from The Cheetah to the Midtown Marta station (Strippers, Jerry! Strippers!!). Well, they should be strippers if they're not. And yes, even though they're in regular clothes they Look That Good.

Small compliments go a long way. When I was at the dentist about to complain that my teeth whitener wasn't working (lots of coffee plus a little vanity), before I could say anything the assistant said they looked much whiter. When I was at the emergency room for my smashed up finger, the doctor complimented me on my hands (the non-smashed up part). She said they were very attractive--which Florence Nightingaled me into feeling a little better. Am I that vain?? Maybe.

Apparenty, strippers also get coffee at the Starbucks on Piedmont in Buckhead.

posted by sstrader at 9:28 AM in Misc | permalink

August 27, 2004


Yes: hot!

I was just speaking with a friend at work and realized that I'm not the only one who now thinks that boney, flat-chested women are hot thanks to Women's Olympic Beach Volleyball.

Don't take my word for it, check out the almost NSFW Misty May and Kerri Walsh photo blog.

posted by sstrader at 1:09 PM in Misc | permalink

August 21, 2004

About the author

This is a short description of the author of Messages from the Ether.

Continue reading "About the author"
posted by sstrader at 11:09 PM in Misc | permalink

Keyword Index

This is a collection of keyword searches into Messages From the Ether. Updates will be made as new subjects are discussed.

Continue reading "Keyword Index"
posted by sstrader at 10:53 PM in Misc | permalink

August 16, 2004


Office Depot is accepting old electronics for recycling. It includes the following items (with some restrictions):

  • printers,
  • scanners,
  • fax machines,
  • personal computers,
  • desk-top copiers,
  • monitors,
  • TV and TV/VCR combination units,
  • digital cameras,
  • cellular phones

Now, this is great, don't get me wrong, but they're only doing it until Labor Day. This is a service that needs to be always available. I'm sure it's a maintenance hassle, but it'd be nice to stop landfilling with all this crap.

Continue reading "Recycling"
posted by sstrader at 11:57 AM in Misc | permalink

200th entry

This is fun.

I expect I'll be slowing down soon--just because the novelty's gotta wear off at some point, and I'm not sure how much of a time-sink this is. It's certainly a useful time-sink, but we've gotta have our limits.

Since the 100th entry, I updated much of the layout and content with keywords and MP3 links, and cleaned up some of the cross-browser issues. And you should notice that I'm now XHTML 1.0 and CSS compliant. My main page images are a little large--but fuck dial-up.

And as a sort of anniversary present, I had my first comment spam today! Eight main page entries each had a comment from an online casino. We'll see how often that shit happens before I resort to a spam filter.

Continue reading "200th entry"
posted by sstrader at 1:03 AM in Misc | permalink

August 12, 2004


I woke up at 4:11 last night after I heard a blast outside. Must've been the storm, but all I could think of at the time was that it was some trouble-making off in the distance. So I looked at the clock to remember the time.

Continue reading "Storm"
posted by sstrader at 11:00 PM in Misc | permalink

August 6, 2004

Just give up already!

What would you do if you really enjoyed ... skiing? But what if you had no time to ski? Or lived in the desert? Pretty silly passion, huh?

Maybe you'd try everything you could to find a way to ski. It'd be like an after-school-special! You'd prepare special skis that work on sand dunes. Camels would pull you along, and you'd have overcome adversity. Tada! Or maybe you'd just be lying to yourself. You're not really skiing. And you've just replaced you dream with something else to make it seem like you've achieved something.

Move to the mountains! And if you don't: it's you that has failed.

posted by sstrader at 9:20 PM in Misc | permalink

No and then!

At this hypothetical company, it's been said that the grammar and prosody of some of the non-native English speakers is a barrier to communication.

Since for my undersand [the client] do not use click, just set the use scheduler flag in server to false, then do not need worry about this code. The crash is length problems.

And, no, understanding the context doesn't help. No and then!

Continue reading "No and then!"
posted by sstrader at 3:41 PM in Misc | permalink

August 4, 2004

A question in the form of an answer

You know how when you smell something bad you always try to figure out where it's coming from? And so you smell harder in all directions to get the scent. After a while you loose the scent and have to try all over again because the smell couldn't have gone away on its own. It's more likely that you've just grown accustomed to it and can't smell it any more. Which should be OK, but what if the smell's coming from you?

What then, smart guy?

Maybe it's not ... can't anyone smell that? And you should be happy if others don't notice anything, because then if it is coming from you then nobody'll care. They can't smell anything--why should they care?

But maybe, if it's not that trash can or some such nonsense someone tracked through the hallway, maybe it's a mental illness. Didn't Oliver Sacks study some weird people who smelled colors or heard texture or something like that? If there's no odor at all, it's gotta be some neuralgia or agnosia? Doesn't it?

But can't dogs smell cancer? Or was it just fear?

(file under: gotta-write-something-today)

Continue reading "A question in the form of an answer"
posted by sstrader at 3:14 PM in Misc | permalink

August 1, 2004

Style guide

This is an explanation of the formatting styles used on this site. Updates will be made as I formalize the different aspects of layout and style.

Continue reading "Style guide"
posted by sstrader at 6:59 PM in Misc | permalink

July 26, 2004

Birds die every day

Driving to the movies, we saw a bird on the dotted line in the middle of the street at the Peachtree Place Marta station. It was flopping around weakly, and I stopped to get it out of the road. The little bluejay was very calm as I scooped it up and set it into the nearby grass. One of its spindly legs was dangling to the side. What's a better death: getting run over by a car or getting attacked by some street cats?

I know I'm a sap, but that bird is going to stay with me.

(Seinfeld references not needed.)

posted by sstrader at 12:55 AM in Misc | permalink

July 23, 2004

That's it for me

I gave up. As of Tuesday night it became too much effort and no reward.

We'll see how long it lasts.

posted by sstrader at 8:20 PM in Misc | permalink

Tea time

Skimming Atrios, he recently made a quick reference to an older Neal Pollack piece. Rated R, but it thoroughly cracked my shit up.

posted by sstrader at 6:10 PM in Misc | permalink

July 21, 2004


The phone has been found. Once more, peace is restored to the simple village folk.

posted by sstrader at 12:27 PM in Misc | permalink

July 19, 2004


Got up early (really early) 'cause of the night's cocktail encounters and joined the Sex and the City DVD marathon that had been going on in the living room. Not sure what season it was, but Charlotte's marriage was falling apart (sexually) and Samantha was in a lesbian relationship with Sonia Braga. A couple of episodes later the sun started coming up.

Sunrise is the most depressing time of the day. The night lets you feel that you have all the time in the world and then the sun comes up and you realize that you can't put off whatever it is you'd hoped to put off. I think I got this feeling from the all night, coffee-filled studio art sessions during college. Or maybe from the all night, sci-fi/monster movie marathons with my brother growing up. Either way, mornings can be pretty depressing. When the sun comes up, the fun has ended.

And I lost my PDA phone last night. It's either at Pura Vida (where there was a multi-national Microsoft contingent) or Apres Diem.

Continue reading "Mornings"
posted by sstrader at 8:56 AM in Misc | permalink

June 26, 2004

100th entry


And with uptight abandon, I've re-organized my categories. There were way too many "Misc" entries. I'm obsessive about both organization and standards, and although I'm more organized now I wish there was a more "official" way to categorize entries.

Continue reading "100th entry"
posted by sstrader at 3:50 PM in Misc | permalink

June 18, 2004

Spam names

I love the new algorithm that spammers have been using to spoof the spam filters. Well, I guess I love them in concept, not for the end result of me getting 80% of my maibox filled with junk email even though I only go to legitimate Web sites wink wink. At least we have Ad-aware and Zone Alarm to save the day.

So I've been getting spam from some of the most creatively named people. Who are these individuals?

Continue reading "Spam names"
posted by sstrader at 11:26 PM in Misc | permalink

June 13, 2004


Went to the wife's 20th high school reunion this weekend with Jim D. and her. Shreveport and Bossier (BO-zher) Louisiana apparently have become much more cosmopolitan than they were in 1984--"cosmopolitan" being a relative term--with most of that worldliness coming from the addition of four casinos. I got to see the changes through their eyes as we hit the hot spots and I met more people than I could possibly ever remember. I had a small dose of the understandable sitting-at-the-bar-trying-to-look-interested-as-people-reminisce, and my beloved Sierra Nevada was replaced by the much less beloved Miller Lite, but overall it was a really fun weekend.

Anyone who goes to their high school reunion is much braver than me.

Continue reading "Reunion"
posted by sstrader at 11:45 PM in Misc | permalink

June 8, 2004


A blog (or diary or notebook) has been a good way for me to examine my assumptions. I may, and often do, have SUPER BRILLIANT IDEAS. But, just as somehow bugs get diabolically inserted into my perfect code almost at the same time that I'm writing it ("wtf?!?"), my brilliance often falls apart as it hits the typed page. At least some semblance of credible thought gets eventually recorded. It sounds trite, but writing and researching my ideas always clarifies them. Or nullifies them ... but by the time research has proved them crappy, they never get on the page, and I can stop saying "well I think blah-blah-blah" whenever the subject comes up in polite conversation.

A blog is more for the audience that's listening in my head. Whenever I get an idea, I write a < one sentence note about it (in my Pocket PC), and it sits waiting for me to follow through and write about it. Some ideas are simple (bagels are old donuts!) and some are more elaborate (New Race Discovered Living Six Inches Under Denver -- All Named 'Mortonson'). All have been fully vetted, I assure you.

I like the hypertext format better than a written notebook because I can easily search it and I can provide all of the links/footnotes. Although there's a definite tradeoff if you like to draw or doodle. Or if you truly want to use it as a diary--there's a clash of public and private impulses as you attempt to get those credible thoughts on the page.

posted by sstrader at 11:33 AM in Misc | permalink

June 7, 2004

Help Wikipedia!

Wikipedia is down for backups. Go donate to help them out.

posted by sstrader at 2:44 PM in Misc | permalink

May 28, 2004

No one expects Flamenco!

An ex-coworker of my wife is married to a flamenco dancer named Julie. She was dancing again at Compound off of Howell Mill last night, so we went to see the spectacle.

Continue reading "No one expects Flamenco!"
posted by sstrader at 1:46 PM in Misc | permalink

May 18, 2004

Melancholy dream

Someone told me about a dream they had recently.

In the dream, they were dead. However, they had a certain number of days after death where they could walk around and spend time with those they cared about. During that time, they visited with friends and expressed all of the last-time-you'll-see-this-person confessions that could never otherwise be expressed. A relative bought thoughtful gifts, but there was no time to enjoy them. The few days passed.

And strangely, only certain people could see them.

posted by sstrader at 9:36 PM in Misc | permalink

May 12, 2004

Who are these people?

Two "anonymous" calls on my cell phone that Google helped identify:

  • 10 May 2004, 11:01:58 PM, 770-537-6149

    name withheld - (770) 537-6149 - 315 Field St, Bremen, GA 30110

  • 11 May 2004, 8:03:06 PM, 770-537-9076

    name withheld - (770) 537-9076 - 117 Greystone Dr, Bremen, GA 30110

    Who are these people? A couple of blocks away from each other and calling me here.

    How easy would it be (rather, how practical) to hook that up to caller ID? Visual caller ID.

    posted by sstrader at 3:17 PM in Misc | permalink