Thursday, November 28, 2002

So Thanksgiving really is a Catholic thing. Who knew? I suppose, then, that when the time comes and the elementary school teachers make 'Xander want to dress up in dippy little buckled puritan hats (assuming they let kids dress up as anything readily identifiable with any particular ethnic group in the public schools five years from now) I shall send him to school in Spanish Conquistador armor.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, actually, we had two Thanksgivings! One with my family, and then one with the in-laws. It was great to see all the families, whole and complete, for the holidays. I'm thankful for much (pretty much everything I could name, I'm thankful for, so really Thanksgiving is probably a pretty redundant holiday), but I'm especially thankful for this.

So, Deo Gratias!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Free PC toy of the week

If you have a PC and a CD-ROM drive, head on over to and download a copy of the free Ots CD Scratch 1200. Basically this application emulates two turntables (you'll have to provide your own microphone) and allows you to play two tracks off the same CD (or two tracks off of two CDs, if you have two CD-ROM drives) at the same time (I have no idea how they manage that), match their tempos and pitches, and then scratch them on the two turntables. The app also provides some nice effects whch emulate various record characteristics (like surface noise and belt worble). It's a lot of fun. Or, as Jackie put it when she walked in during one of my furious DJ sessions: "Well, that looks really useful."

Most impressive for a free toy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

So I'm home sick from work this evening and I'm curled up on the couch surrounded by wadded-up kleenex and 24 ends (seriously, I don't really think they needed to do a whole 'nother 24 hours for season 2. The second season should've been called 12 or 8 and it would've been more effective and watchable. It's still Keifer Sutherland, though, and he's real cool as Jack "I Will Kill You!" Bauer... though his wife really got the short end of every kind of stick last season, which sucked. And for those of you who haven't seen tonight's episode: Darlene from Roseanne -- or Melissa Gibert's sister for the Little-House-inclined -- dies. Yeah, like we didn't see that one coming. Michelle Forbes is still on the show but she's looking a little worse for the wear when compared to her Ensign Roe days on ST:TNG -- though she was still at her best in Swimming With Sharks in my opinion, but I'm getting way far afield here) and then the news comes on.

I haven't watched the news in ages and I came to this conclusion: you have to be really really mentally sick in the head to watch the news. Either that or watching the news will make you mentally sick in the head. All it is is one terrible story about some awful thing happening to someone after another. And then they have the "Problem Solver" story which was about a dog who lost a litter of puppies (stillborn) and then the owner finds a litter of puppies in a shoebox in a dumpster, half-frozen to death which she then gives to the sad mommy dog ("Problem solved!"). It was just such a hollow thing to hear, such a lame attempt at a "canine interest story" coming right after the story about the young couple with the baby who had the house they were housesitting at broken into by crooks who raped the 22-year-old woman. There's no framework provided for how one should deal with any of these stories, no explanation, no letup; they just hit you with them one after the other. Oh, and then they keep you on the hook for 20 minutes by telling you at every commercial break that a "very popular" Christmas toy that is "probably on your child's list" will make their eyes burn and get puffy -- and then after 20 minutes of this sort of setup we learn that "very popular toy" is Crazy String. Like we didn't learn in elementary school that shooting Crazy String into another kid's eyes will make them burn? Duh! That was half the fun!!

So yeah, you have to be mentally sick in the head to watch the "news".
The Hillsdale Collegian, publication of my alma mater has a nice editorial about the lack of hipness over at the Natrional Review. I think a lack of hipness is the least of their problems.
Rod Dreher on Mary Stachowicz & Hate Crimes on National Review Online

Read this article. If you read nothing else today or this entire week, read this article. It's almost enough to make me change my opinion of NRO. But read this article.
Save your brain. Here's AnalogX's handy delay calculator. You tell it the tempo and it calculates the delay in milliseconds. Though I don't suppose there's any reason you couldn't make your own sliderule to do the exact same thing.
Zorak hates this kind of article and so do I.

First, it's too long. Way too long -- even for a pointless feature piece, which is what it is: a pointless feature piece... of crap. Ahem. Judging from the little scrollbar on the side of my browser I didn't even make it 1/4 of the way through the article before I lost interest. Had I managed, by some miracle, to maintain interest I would've been reduced in short order to vomiting. Sorry, but it's true. Which brings me to the second reason why I hate this article and others like it. I hate it because it's a blatant attempt at normalizing and legitimizing the shortcomings in character of the baby boomers. I hate it when the baby boomers (not all of them, just most of them) attempt to normalize their selfish, childish, irrational, mediocre behavior. God forbid anyone should ever be forced to face up to the consequences of their actions -- heavens, no! that sort of responsibility is only for society's convincted criminals! But I hate this selfish, mediocre tendency even more (if that's possible) when kids have to suffer because of it (as will happen in this case, should divorce become even further normalized in the minds of even one more couple).

It's not selifshness? Read what perfectly divorced wife Debbie has to say is the reason why she and Eli (not their real names, I hope) drifted apart:

Even now, it's hard to describe precisely what was wrong. You could call it a lack of connection, she says, which was a word she used in counseling a few years before the separation, but "what does that mean?" She understood "on a primal level" that there was something missing in her marriage, a kind of emotional understanding and support that she hadn't, at first, even known that she needed.

"Lack of connection" on a "primal level"? Give me a break.
So I'm reading all these headlines about a French air-strike and I'm thinking "Whoa! Way to go French! It's payback time for basically being a doormat for the last 200 years!" (and I would just like to say that the Flemish, unlike the Germans, defeated the French back in 1302 when they, the French, were actually a formidable and superior military power and not in the 20th century when all they, the French, could manage was a little stunt in Vietnam). But sadly, no. It's just an air traffic controller strike. How lame is that?
One of the disadvantages of working with some sixty or eighty other employees in a center with recirculated air is that when someone gets sick, everyone usually winds up getting sick (we call them plagues). So I have the latest iteration, it would seem: a headcold which, while not too debilitating (I'm still well enough to go in to work and ensure that the plague circulates for another week or so), has left me with what feels like a head full of Spaghetti-Os. So if my thoughts seem a little off this week, that's why.

Oh, and I will probably be moving to HaloScan comments sometime in the near future. The YACCS model, as they say, just doesn't scale. And I haven't given up on Moveable Type either. I just couldn't get that darned mt-load cgi to work (within 15 minutes so I gave up).

Monday, November 25, 2002

MIKE WENDLAND: Spam king lives large off others' e-mail troubles

I come in from the weekend and have to delete 120 messages -- multiply that by 60,000 employees and you have some idea of just how badly this affects just this single company -- and the spam king lives in a $750,000 house.

PS. His personal contact info isn't that hard to get. Not that anyone should do anything with that information, should they be able to get it.
SAPD to probe storming of wrong house.

Zach writes:

So a SWAT team invades a house. They shoot through a glass door, throw a concussion grenade into the building, beat the hell out of the three people living there (sending two to the hospital), handcuff the residents... and then realize they have the wrong house. Here is the best part:

"Later, after the scuffle, Officer Darron Lyn Phillips and other officers went to the correct address two doors down, knocked on the door and arrested the suspect without incident."
Weird: today I went into BestBuy -- traditionally one of my favorite stores -- and I felt physicially sick. It could be I'm coming down with something, but it was more than that. The store felt empty and hollow instead of exciting and fun, like it usually does. I don't know if this is because I didn't have any money to buy or even ogle comfortably all the things I would have wanted (I did buy a spindle of 50 blank CD-Rs and 25 cases for $5 after rebates and a music CD, though, so I'll 'blog about that tomorrow or the next day), ordinarily, or if it's because I don't want all those things like I used to and now when I see it all there with the loud music and the people throwing Radeon graphics cards into their carts and then with all the Xboxes and DVDs coming at you from every direction... it was truly oppressive and I couldn't wait to leave: only I had to wait because they had the checkouts cordoned off so one had to walk all the way to the back of the store to then file around the queue back to the front of the store to check out and leave -- yes, just like pigs. Last Christmas season I went to BestBuy like 8 times to buy gifts for everyone. I think, this year, I've just made my only trip to that store. This is very anti-capitalist of me, but there is the beginning of feelings of disgust in me for people who buy things they don't really need (or don't need in order to make the world a better place or their families happier). I know: it's good that people can spend their money on whatever dumb stuff they think they want. Our whole way of life is based on people who spend way too much on cars, toys, housing, and whatever else. I'm certainly not going to be the one to tell other people how to spend their money: it's just by-and-large bad stewardship is all (most people don't need that faster, bigger computer -- especially not if all they do is game or surf the web... Now, electronic music production, on the other hand...). And I guess it's a good sign that I'm starting to feel sick about all this materialism and what-not... it was certainly a lesson I needed to learn as I doubt I would've given any of this a second thought even as recently as three or four short months ago.

But there are many good things out there. To whomever invented the casserole: THANK YOU! It's so great to just take whatever leftovers you have in the fridge, mix them up, throw them in a Corningware dish, top with cheese, and cook for 35 minutes. Instant dinner. Tonight we had baked surf n' turf ziti. Believe me: it was better than it sounds.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

I loathe Susan Ager, but she's on to something here... of course, usually, as soon as she gets on to something, she shoots herself in her silly Birkenstocked foot with her tired freeze-dried incohate liberalist rhetoric. But she doesn't get that far this time. Which is good.

At Cedar Creek Church outside Toledo, for example, worshiper Laurie Wuerfel sipped on coffee and told a reporter, "Who wants to sit in church if you're uncomfortable? I grew up in a Catholic church, and I hated sitting on those benches."

She brought her two sons along to the new, nondenominational church with 1,400 seats soft with four inches of cushioning topped by burgundy upholstery.

The boys drank hot chocolate.

As a friend might say "if you think your butt got sore sitting on those hard Catholic benches, think about how much more it's going to get hurt when it's licked endlessly by unquencheable fire?" Of course a Catholic Church nearby in Canton which Jackie and I went to once when we were Church shopping has the same individual, padded comfy seats (and a huge overhead projector which projects the latest prayers and song lyrics -- they change far too quickly to be contained by any single hymnal! -- onto a screen high above the altar).
I have to say again how much I appreciate reading Zorak's 'blog. Anyway, as much as I love her 'blog, I couldn't make it past the first paragraph of this article she linked to: New Gadgets May Spark Deregulation.

NEW YORK (AP) - It almost sounds too "Star Trek" to be possible: A multipurpose cell phone that also serves as an FM radio, walkie-talkie, garage door opener and TV remote control.

Huh? Has this person, Brian Bergstein, ever watched an episode of Trek? I don't recall in any episode, including those of the goofy Original Series, any character using their communicator to open a garage door or change the channel on a television (though the way "Enterprise" is going, those days are probably not long off: "T'Pal... activate the garage door opener!" "No!" "C'mon, T'Pal!" and the episode just runs on that little disagreement as "drama" for the next 53 minutes). It's just... too silly for me even to think about. I'm sorry. This isn't so much "Star Trek"-level technology as it is "A-Team" technology. the "everything is either about Harry Potter or sex or why your boss is a dummy" web-portal attempts to provide some enlightenment this "holiday season" with a list of Eight Sexy Holiday Tips. I'm not sure where the "sexy" is supposed to come in. Good communication (which encompasses tips one through... well, eight) is pretty much required for holiday survival, much less paving the way for any sort of "sexy holidays".

So, all in all, I was disappointed to see that none of the suggestions even mentioned Christmas lights.
I guess this counts as web ephemera if anything does: it's a page where alamuni of Richelieu Valley Regional High School (I'm afraid to speculate as to where that might be, exactly), in this case the class of 1985, have left posts. Why is this interesting? Well, because right at the top of the page is a post left by Steve Rooney. Who is steve Rooney? Well, aside from playing bit parts on Alton Brown's "Good Eats" program (Rooney plays the Mad French Chef, among other characters), he also went to Italy for a spell with Mario Botali for the "Mario Eats Italy" (trust me, Mario really did... all of it... seriously, it's not there anymore... look for yourself!) program.

So if you ever wanted Steve Rooney's hotmail address, I guess now you have it.
The Food Network was good enough to run one of the original pilots of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" television program tonight. It was cool to see how it all began. Anyway, I began looking online and found a number of good sources for all my "Good Eats"-related questions, including this very comprehensive FAQ.

Here are a couple of questions that have bugged me the most:

111a) Where are the kitchen scenes from seasons 1 to 4 shot? They are shot in a real home in the Atlanta area but the house does not belong to Alton. (Post 251.1)

111b) Where are the kitchen scenes from season 5 and on? Beginning with season #5, Alton's own production company, Be Squared, began shooting Good Eats. My sources say that they purchased a real house—also in the Atlanta area—solely for use by his company. No one actually lives there.

And, oh no, that same site actually has transcripts for each of the episodes, including my favorite, "Three Chips for Sister Martha" (three tweaks to the famous Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe which yield puffy, chewy, and thin cookies). I love the green muppet they have in that episode, noted cookie expert Maj. Wilfred D. Cookie.

Alton: Now, I'm a little pushed for time so I'm going to turn this over to a noted cookie colleague. You may know his brother from ...
Maj. Wilifred D. Cookie: I told you never to mention that ruffian. All he knows about cookies is how to shovel them into his face!


Friday, November 22, 2002

I think my favorite "Weird" Al song of all time is "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota". No other song even comes close, I think. It's on the UHF album which, regardless of if you're a "Weird" Al fan or not, should be in your CD library (though they haven't released a 20-bit gold remastering of it, though... which kind of stinks).
Recurring Dreams

In a post below I mentioned a cryptic dream I had a few nights ago. Every once in a while I have a dream (they're always different) that gives me a glimpse into a different potential life I might've had (or might still have, God forbid). It's kind of cool to think of all the different Victors in all their possible worlds, some affluent -- and really big(ger) jerks -- some really impoverished. Some Victors live in Moscow, some live in New York, some still live in my parents' basement, and some in Hillsdale. I guess the dreams are their way of checking in with me. I wouldn't trade my life now for any one of theirs.... But still.... Well, curiousity, they say, is a sin -- or at the very least an occasion to sin. And I'll buy that.

But my post inadvertantly sparked a conversation about dreams, and particularly recurring ones. I think we've all had a variation of the dream Kat Lively mentions below. Mine usually involves Latin and I'm either back in High School or in College. I know I need to go to Latin Class and it's always on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I can't remember what time. Or what room. And so I always miss it. Is it four absences and you automatically fail the course or can I be absent as many times as I like so long as I pass the midterm? The midterm is this week? But I haven't been to a single class!!! And Dr. Holmes is going to be so disappointed.... Arrgggh!!

(It should be said I never fully applied myself to Latin and that I regret that. I regretted it then and I regret it now. My conscience is a MoFo).

I can't say as I've ever had (and remembered) quite as Portentious a dream as The Kairos Guy had (in the comments below). I've heard the voice of God clearly on only one occasion and He coud only manage to say "two" before I started interrupting: "Weeks? Months? Not years, I hope? What?! Oh, shoot. Sorry, God!" So, God, if you want to reach me, probably keep at it with the whole ineffable epiphany punch-to-the-stomach bit: those seem to be doing the trick so far.

But I, for one, fully expect and hope to have The Karios Guy commenting in my comment boxes for many, many years to come!
Some days I really miss playing videogames. I mean the really violent shoot-em-up games with the really cool graphics and explosions. I've pretty much reconciled myself to the fact that I'll be playing (in a couple years) Elmo's Great Chicken Adventure (or whatever) but still it would be nice to play Resident Evil 0 or Dead To Rights... games which are rated 'M' for Mature and most definitely not allowed in this house (since we've had a baby who really doesn't need to watch Daddy make the man's head explode in a hail of bullets).

Of course, I'd be just as happy playing a round of Mappy every once in a while. I WANT MAPPY!!! Are you listening all you retro-gaming publishers? BRING BACK MAPPY!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Hope in the war against terror!

Best Defense May Be a Good, Offensive Stench

Thanks, Minute Particulars!
Goebbels comedy hits Germany, something the BBC finds tastless and morfifying as opposed to Popetown, which it produces and promotes.
Well, we knew this was coming for a while... Ave Maria University is moving to Florida. After the board of Ann Arbor Township shut Monaghan down earlier this year, Plymouth Township made an offer but just couldn't compete with Naples, Florida. And that's a shame: not that I ever had anything to do with Ave Maria College while it was nearby (though if I'd been about four or five years younger, I might have) but I do enjoy a number of the activities associated with the various other Ave Maria groups around Domino's Farms (which is about 15 minutes from my house): WDEO (the Catholic radio station), the Mens group (which I used to attend before my work schedule changed), and Credo, though that's not around anymore.

What's most interesting is that they're going to create a "town" down there called Ave Maria. I don't know if this will be a real town with other things besides the college (like a recording studio and/or record label? Hmm?) or if it'll just be, like, a Starbucks, a snack bar, and a Shell station and then they'll call that a "town". Should be interesting to see.
It took almost a full day of instrospection (since I wasn't in a position to drink heavily, it probably took longer than it could have) but I think I've finally gained some insight into why I was haunted last night. I figured out rather early that it had something to do with the date -- November 20 -- but I had to go back five years to associate some meaning with it. The good news is that it wasn't one of those regret-what-you-did-what-you-never-thought-you-could-do-and-learn-something-about-yourself moments but rather a warning, I think, not to give up in quite the same way a second time. Fun stuff, my subconscious! Or maybe it was the Holy Spirit. Or just a regular spirit (or even spirits). Who knows.

Well, I'd go into this more but 'Xander, who was asleep, woke up, started crying, and just burped all over himself (gas in, gas out), so I'd better see to that. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

The Gleeful Extremist really is an enjoyable read. Go read it. It's enjoyable.

Thank's Zorak!
I can handle nightmares. I rarely have them and when I do they're easily dismissed. It's those other dreams, the ones which show you a glimpse into another life, an unrealized potentiality, which I find troubling and which are not so easily dismissed.

I shouldn't spend quite so much time sleeping.
Planned Parenthood: Election 2002: The Mourning After

Okay, yeah, I bogarted this link from Emily Stimpson. And yeah, that essay title is pretty offensive when one considers the actual mourning many women experience for years and years after having an abortion. And what's with the photo on that page of the young woman doing the Kellogg's Special K/Flintstones Vitamins pose? But the point to be made is that, reading the essay, it really becomes apparent that once you start killing innocent people, and then do it for 30+ years, you start to lose all perspective on things. Notice the way Dr. Harrison and his abortionist friends become Christ (defending "our environment, the middle class, the poor, ... girls and women of childbearing age, their children, and their families") and anyone who disagrees with him is someone who would rape (simultaneously? Try not to think too hard about that) the forests, streams, shorelines, and public lands. Oh, and also a war-munitions manufacturer (but not the good kind, like that Shindler's List guy).

Fortunately for Dr. Harrison, there is a cure for this kind of complete and total loss of perspective. It's called "shut the hell up."

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 : Jackson Dangles Baby From Balcony

No doubt, Mark. If anyone else dangled their baby out a fifth-story window you can bet they'd be spending the night in jail...
Stuffing a turkey doesn't have to be rocket science: RecipeSource: White Castle Turkey Stuffing
U.S. Catholic Bishops - Office of Migration & Refugee Services: Race Car Circuit Apostolate

How come you never hear those "Priesthood: Try it on!" vocations directors talk about this? Become a NASCAR chaplain and see all the races for free for life!

One question, though: how does this fit into the Office of Migration and Refugee Services? I mean, I know some NASCAR fans dress a little shabbily, but I wouldn't classify them, by and large, in the same camp as most refugees.
So let's say you've got $5,000 to spend on transportation. Do you buy this... or this?

Monday, November 18, 2002

Yahoo! News - Actor Jeffrey Jones Arrested

Noooo!!! Say it ain't so! Okay, it's so... and so, so sick.
Looking for the perfect gift for that special someone who just loves to laugh at hopelessly clueless foreigners?

J-List: OH! Mikey DVD Box Set

Welcome to the world of the Fuccon Family, aka Oh Mikey!, a bizarre and amazing "mannequin drama" that has taken Japan by storm. Based on a popular independent film, OH! Mikey is the bizarre and hilarious story of the Fuccon family, who have come from America to live in Japan, despite the fact that they are mannequins.

...A fantastic and hilarious parody of foreigners living in Japan, this limited-edition Oh Mikey! DVD box set is fully subtitled in English....

Xenophobic humor at its racist best!

I'm trying to determine if it would actually more offensive to have, instead of mannequins, ethnic-Japanese people in white-face portraying the Fuccon family, but I really don't think it would be.
Someone just asked if they'd set the thermostat to "Smurf."

But we'd all be three-apples-high if that was the case.. and sadly, I'm not even buzzed.
The HisTory of Michael Jackson's face

'Nuff said. I like the "Almost, but not quite" comparison photos in the right-hand column. Second gamer dies after massive binge

They don't mention the game but since it occurred in an internet cafe (this time in Taiwan, last time in Korea), I surmise it was one of those massively multiplayer role-playing games: possibly Phantasy Star: Online. At least I'm telling myself it was PS:O because I really want to play that game but can't justify the money or the time. Now I have a "real" excuse to not play it.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

We just caught "The Man Who Wasn't There" on the Sundance channel (I don't know how or why we get that channel, but we do). And I have to say that as much as I enjoy watching the Coen brothers' movies, I'm beginning to get a little sick of their nihilism. I mean, "The Man Who Wasn't There" was certainly exquisitely filmed and acted (the performances by Jon Polito and Tony Shalhoub, for instance, are alone worth the two hours you'll spend watching the movie -- though Abraham Benrubi was absolutely wasted in this film) but... well, try this little test. Go out and rent "The Man Who Wasn't There". Then, in that same week, rent and watch Henry Bromell's "Panic", a movie which on the surface seems very similar, but has much more meaning with which to nourish audiences (it also has William H. Macey, Donald Sutherland, John Ritter, and Neve Campbell). I think you'll see what I mean (and it also has Neve Campbell -- which is not to take anything away from Frances McDormand).

Oh, and the special episode of "Do Over" on the WB tonight was, as to be expected, very good. Joel (the 34-year-old who has been sent back to his 14-year-old days) rebells against his dad's (Bill Larsen is the funniest TV dad since Homer Simpson -- and he actually has a heart, some degree of authority, and real respect for fatherhood) stupid rules and is kicked out of the house. Living with his friend Pat (who is the coolest TV character ever) who's permissive mom is never around (Pat pays all the bills) he learns that you can't blame your parents for all of your problems and sometimes it's good to have someone around to tell you what to do.

Oh! And in tonight's episode we learned that Joel's mom (the show takes place in the early 1980s) invented retractable dog leashes and the fanny pack -- the running joke is that every episode Joel's mom invents something which won't exist in "real" life for many years (in past episodes: Post-It notes, Lunchables, and so on) and gives it a goofy name (she named the Fanny Pack the "Ba-Belt" for "Bag Belt"). Bill dimisses his wife's invention but then Joel (our traveller from the present day) sees it an goes "No way! Mom! You invented the Fanny Pack!" and then his mom likes Joel's name (the "real" name) better than her own. It's a cute and funny running gag that really works. Another running gag is that Joel's older sister is always recovering from some wild night-out partying (don't worry, the pot humor is fairly subtle) and yet is a perfect little angel in her parents' eyes while Joel, who is in every episode going out of his way to do good (encouraging his mother to follow her dreams, trying to save his parents' marriage from falling apart, and many times saving his sister from some awful effect of her partying) is often misunderstood and punished for his troubles. And he always accepts the punishment. It's a good show!!!!

Friday, November 15, 2002

Excellent episodes tonight of both "A Family Affair" (any show that allows Tim Curry to play both broad comedic roles and act pensive and betrayed to the point where you actually truly feel sorry for Mr. French -- and extremely convincingly so -- has won me over) and "Do Over" (again, the show that never ceases to impress me with both the sharpness of its wit, the subtle hilarity of all of its actors -- particularly those in "bit" roles -- and also the sincerity of its moral message) on the WB. They're also showing another new episode of "Do Over" on Friday night at 9:30 (EST), though I don't know what that one is going to be about. Again, folks, this is the sort of show we want to see more of on television: sincere, funny, well-acted, yet with a serious moral message with which all Christians should identify (knowing the future and yet being free to act as we choose brings with it a lot of responsibility to do the right thing) -- so start watching!

The "Jamie Kennedy Experiment" (Jamie Kennedy being "that guy" from the "Scream" movies and from "Clockwatchers", among many other movies) also is a fairly funny hidden-camera show (impressive mainly for the make-up jobs they do on Kennedy for each skit especially when you consider that the makeup has to fool real people in the real world in real light: not just the television audience), though I never think the marks quite react as much as the writers think they will.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Jeffordsism: The first refuge of a scoundrel. (Apparently).

Actually, I am a bit worried about Arlen Specter.
Slate: TiVo, We Hardly Knew Ye - Sorry fans, but it's destined for the ash heap of history.

A very nice article on several counts: it describes the average TiVo fan perfectly, it explains why TiVo will fail in one sentence ("As the CD-burning craze proves, people like their storage media cheap and portable, rather than entrusting everything to an unseen hard disk"), and it vindicates the Commodore Amiga (if not Commodore, itself).
Kat Lively links to The Lord of the Peeps. It had to happen....

Just as it had to happen that someone should endeavour to re-create Escher's drawings in Lego form:

Escher's "Balcony" in LEGO
Escher's "Belvedere" in LEGO
Escher's "Ascending and Descending" in LEGO

These are remarkably well-detailed. Check out the motley fool with his moebius cube in the "Belvedere" model. Very cool.
Yahoo! News - Michael Jackson Turns Up Late for Calif. Court Case

SANTA MARIA, Calif., Nov 14 (Reuters) - Superstar Michael Jackson (news) turned up hours late for court on Thursday after his lawyer objected to a photographer whose pictures set the Internet buzzing over the reclusive singer's bizarre appearance.

Okay, now I feel a little bad :(
While we're on a faux superhero kick (you didn't know it, but we were), allow us to present Waffle Woman, an alter-eggo -- er, alter-EGO -- of one Ann Melberg of Arkansas (apparently).

Note: Waflle Woman appears to be a faux superhero, as opposed to Terrifica (see below) who appears to be the real deal. What is the big distinction? Well, I doubt that any piece of Terrifica's costume has ever spontaneously just dropped to the floor (whether by accident or by choice), the way Waffle Woman's waffle did on the night of the big interview.
Looking for some exotic avant garde traditional dance music? Check out The Reptile Palace Orchestra. Very good musicianship. Though their lead guitarist seems to idolize Frank Zappa (there are worse guitar players, to be sure, but admit it -- the guy had only one guitar solo) and their male vocalist on "What Did I Come In Here For" sounds like a cross between Satchmo and Bobcat (Goldthwait). Their takes on traditional folk dances are the real show, though. Check them out.
Yahoo! News - Tanya Grotter: a Harry Potter Parody?

In other news, Homer returned from the dead this week to sue Virgil. I do like the titles of the Grotter books, though: "The Magic Double Bass," "The Disappearing Floor" and "The Golden Leech".
Robot guard-dragon unveiled in Japan

A home "guard dragon" robot has been unveiled in Japan. The four-legged robot can sense smoke and alert its owners to a smouldering fire - via a howl or a mobile phone text message.

"Oh, hold on... I'm getting paged. Shoot. It's the guard dragon again. He says my house is on fire. I probably should take this one."

Seriously, if I didn't have a baby and a dog crawling around the house already I... probably still wouldn't consider this -- even if they dropped the price from $16,400 to $164.00.
Zorak points us to a story about Michael Jackson's trial and notes how rough he's looking in the picture. Well a (now former) friend just sent me this extreme closeup.

Warning: that photo is extremely scary and, yes, he does look a little bit like Helena Bonham Carter's character in the remake of The Planet of the Apes only way more scary than anything Tim Burton could've dreamed-up.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

In a post below I mention a VSTi piano which I found fairly convincing and, most importantly, free. There's been some interest as to which VSTi that was, so here's what it was.

The actual piano itself is part of IK Multimedia's Sampletank library. But wait: doesn't SampleTank, which uses its own file format, cost hundreds of dollars? Yes, it does: unless you download the Free Version. The free version comes for both MAC and PC and doesn't allow you to save your own samples (and it doesn't play the AKAI samples, the way SampleTank L and XL do) but it does include the built-in effects, which are quite nice. Oh, and that Free Version page also includes about 20 free samples for you to play on your new SampleTank free player (check out the Ohh-Ahh female choir). If I had a couple of hundred dollars to drop on a sample-playback VSTi, I'd lean more towards SampleTank (more specifically SonicReality's SonicSynth, which uses SampleTank for playback) over GigaStudio, HALion, Kontact, or even VSampler because a) it seems to work pretty good, b) it's not so feature-laden that I'd never use it, and c) the versions usually come with exceptionally good-sounding samples -- and lots of them, things which I could spend a fortune on acquiring on my own.

Of course in order to use this or any VST instrument you'll need a MIDI keyboard and a MIDI inteface (though many companies now make MIDI keyboards with USB interfaces, specifically for personal computer). You will also need a DAW (Digital/Desktop Audio Workstation) software suite as well, like CakeWalk's SONAR or Steinberg's Cubase. I use SONAR, myself (as of two weeks ago). But wait -- doesn't SONAR only allow DXi (DirectX compatible) plug-in instruments? Yes, it does: until you pick up a trial copy of FXpansion's VST->DXi adapter (go to the downloads page) which lets you use any VSTi in software which only allows DXi. Of course it expires in 30 days and then you need to drop $30 or $60 for the "real" version which rather bites (but I guess even computer programmers need to make some money -- and I should mention here, more for reasons of personal pride than anything else, that my studio is 100% free of pirated software, thank you very much!). Oh, and about the adapter: both v3.something and v4.1 are available on their website. 4.1 worked for me in SONAR 2.1 and the older version didn't. Hope that little tidbit saves someone a headache.

But wait! you say. Sampled sounds are all well and good but I want a free VSTi virtual analog synthesizer which also has a DXi version available and which includes some pretty cool presets! Well, it's a bit of a resource-hog (but check out how nicely those knobs turn!), but I had some fun with RGC Audio's Triangle II Virtual Analog Synthesizer. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the presets, though, so you'll probably have more fun experimenting with your own sounds. : Meet the Anti-Sex in the City Superhero

Link from Mark Shea's blog. I actually think Terrifica does some good work. I was kind of a similar sort of vigilante in college (though I didn't wear a leotard: just a trenchcoat and a kufi -- I didn't have a name, really, just "That Angry, Frustrated Guy Who Really Needs To Get Drunk"). I don't know if I buy the bit about Fantastico, though. It seems a little too pat. Mark also encourages people to renvision themselves as a superhero. I'll have that up shortly.
FoxNews: Freshmen Get Orientation on Capitol Hill

"Everyone here have orange packets? Good. Now I want all of youse new Congresspeoples to get something straight. I don't care what you think it was what got youse elected, but there's one rule heres we don't break: we don't talks about abortion, and we DON'TS try to reverses the Roe v. Wade. Okay? So just take your little agendae of protectings the helpless and take it back with you to Muncie or wherevers the next times youse there. Got it? Keeps youse nose clean and ol' Moose will see to it youse don't gets a wedgie."

Tuesday, November 12, 2002


Thanks, Jane, for the link. This family photo project really is pretty wonderful!
Detroit Free Press: Germs develop a deadly defense

Well, this sucks. I live right outside of the city of Detroit, in the Metro Detroit area.

The infection was the first of its kind in the world and a landmark defeat for doctors and public health officials in the fight against growing antibiotic resistance. It also was evidence that the Detroit area has become an incubator for resistant strains.

Thanks, Zorak, for the link. Now I just need to buy all the alcohol-based hand sanitizer and microbicidal respirator masks I can find.

I hate bugs. Er, but Mantises are a-okay in my book! Heh! Don't eat me! ABC is developing a gay version of "Hart to Hart," in which a pair of interior decorators stumble upon a murder each week.

I don't know, but "Mr. and Mr. Nash", as a title, just doesn't have the pannache of "Hart to Hart". Memo to ABC: I think a better title would be "Cheek to Cheek".
ABC News - 13/11/02 : Putin tells reporter to 'get circumcised'

"We have specialists that deal with this problem. I suggest that you do such an operation that nothing grows out of you again," Mr Putin reportedly said.

Either Mr. Putin's Universal Translator was on the fritz (most likely) or he's even a bigger sot than Yeltsin was because that makes no sense. Still one has to admire his moxie. Those Danish reporters have had something like this coming to them for quite a while.
Bill Moyers: I'm A Big Crybaby Loser Pansy

If the Republicans knew what was good for them they'd use this opportunity to strip PBS of all of its public funding. And also to burn its offices to the ground.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Speaking of old fighter jets, I think a re-release ofThe Last Chase (1981) would be relevant these days (read the plot summary). I saw this on television when I was about 12. I would really like to see it again!
eBay Motors item: MIG 21: Classic Mach 2 Russian Jet Fighter

Oh, shoot. This auction already ended. And I was so looking forward to picking one up for my dad this Christmas. Oh, well. Maybe next time. Younger Catholics embrace traditions: Going against the flow on the subject of birth control?

An interview (with photo!) of Dr. Janet Smith. Okay, as much as I appreicate the Toledo Blade (!!) reporting on all this NFP activity, why must every headline end with a question mark?

"Going against the flow on birth control: Some people must really like chewing on ice?"
"Younger Catholics embrace traiditions: What are they? Nuts?" A couple who take a natural approach. Going against the flow on the subject of birth control?

Another piece on my old cartooning pal Sam Torode and his wife Bethany. I picked up a copy of their book recently for a couple of friends who were getting married. I suggest you pick up a copy for yourself -- it's a very cute, little book. Just the right size. Cinema Evacuation Saves Lives

So, two good things: no one died with the theater got blowed down and the patrons were all spared watching the rest of The Santa Clause 2.
If you get VH1 and you actually know which channel it is out of the hundreds you must get with cable well, then, I pity you. I pity you except for tonight, that is, when "Weird" Al appears on "Rock The House", a show which seems to take its whole format from TLC's "While You Were Out", a show which takes its whole format from BBC's "Ground Force" and TLC's "Trading Spaces", a show which takes its whole format from BBC's "Changing Rooms". Whew!

Anyway, tonight at 9pm EST (on VH1) you get to see "Weird" Al wreckovate his #1 Fan's house. If you don't get VH1, we'll try and tape it for you. Once we figure out which channel it is. Thanks to Catholic Light's RC for the heads-up (or should that be the down-low? I get those two confused) on this.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Better late than never!

I thought I'd already 'blogged this, but I didn't. The indefatigueable RC over at Catholic Light 'blog reports that the Most Rev. Edward O'Donnell, bishop of Lafayette, LA, has stepped down because of his health. Bishop O'Donnel, RC notes, was the same dude who banned Flannery O'Connor's writings from the CATHOLIC schools in his diocese (boo!). It was also in his diocese that A Saintly Salmagundi got silenced (countown until the six-month stay of 'blogging is over: about three months). So we wish him well. He may want to read the O'Connor story "An Enduring Chill" to learn what happens to people who become artificial and pandering in order to please fickle strangers while at the same time dissing their mother (in O'Donnel's case, Mother Church). Okay, so that's a bit of a stretch...
Harry Potter: Pampered jock, patsy, fraud.

Harry Potter is a fraud, and the cult that has risen around him is based on a lie. Potter's claim to fame, his central accomplishment in life, is surviving a curse placed on him as an infant by the evil wizard Voldemort. As a result, the wizarding world celebrates the young Harry as "The Boy Who Lived." It's a curiously passive accomplishment, akin to "The Boy Who Showed Up," or "The Boy Who Never Took a Sick Day."

It's nice to hear someone else saying it, even if it is Slate. Oh, wait. Someone else already did say it. Such is the point of Michael Gerber's Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody. The first chapter of Gerber's parody is available on his website there. It's well worth a read -- if only just for the parody titles of other works of children's literature.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

So, Victor, what have you been up to?

Well, I've been busy with both babies today: 'Xander and The Music. I've done a lot of playing around today and among my discoveries was a trial version of a VST Sampler instrument (and also a VST->DXi wrapper, so I can play the VST instruments in Sonar). Basically a VST instrument is a synthesizer (or sampler) which uses your PCs computing power as its engine, rather than being a stand alone module sitting in a rack or on your desk. I know -- I was skeptical at first, too, but the free version of the piano was the best-sounding piano (apart from a real piano -- and even then it sounds WAY better than the 100-year-old Kracht piano in our living room) I've heard.

Since it's Saturday night I figured it was time for some Rum and Coca Cola. My apologies to anyone who's ever played the piano before. You might need to right-click-save-as this file.

RumNCoke.mp3 (700k).

Friday, November 08, 2002

"Mucus: Nature's Silicone Caulk!"

Now there's a documentary we'll probably never see.
Though they're often overlooked, never underestimate the difference a good D/A converter can make during playback. I learned this tonight. I love my Edirol UA-5.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Sadly, we don't make our candidates in Michigan like Louisiana's "Live Wire" Landry anymore.

And yes, that's the way his name appeared on the Louisiana ballot: Patrick "Live Wire" Landry.

I’m also opposed to “made in China” products, and would like to see more products made in America, which would employ more people in Louisiana. Also, I will work to restore the large numbers of jobs in the oil industry in this state..

I’m #4 on your ballot on November 5th. I’m an independent candidate who will be the most motivated politician you will ever meet. Once again, I’m Patrick “Live Wire” Landry, candidate for U. S. Senate..

I'm really sorry that he did not win. Maybe 2006 will be Live Wire's year. Let's all pray that it is.
According to IDMB, Star Trek: Nemesis is going to rock. How do I know this? Because Marc Alaimo is in it! Who's he? Well he played Gul Dukat on Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and is only the greatest Star Trek antagonist of all time (better than Khan, I'd wager: greater staying power). Of course he won't play Cardassian Gul Dukat in the movie (he plays a Romulan, it looks like) since Dukat got burned up in the fire caves of Bajor.

Ron Perlman and Denise Crosby are both in the new Trek movie, as is Captain Janeway. No Captain Sisko though, unfortunately. I guess he's still stuck in the Celestial Temple.
Lest anyone doubt that the gubernatorial race in Michigan was about anything other than a victory primarily for self-indulgent, SUV-driving busy-bodies who never had to work a day in their life (and any child they may've had to actually work to support they aborted instead) toting signs reading "Estrogen Power"...

...we have this quote from Jennifer Granholm upon her victory in Michigan. I don't have a link to the actual story, but I have more than one person telling me she is to have exclaimed: "We're not making HIStory; we're making HERstory!"

Despite being an awfully fatuous thing to (allegedly) exclaim (even for a daughter of Canadians), and something which is pretty much bound to alienate a good half of your electorate, it accurately frames Michigan politics, at least in this election. And since, if science is to believed, the sheer amount of hormones being urinated into our public water supplies by women on The Pill is drastically reducing male fertility rates (if urinated hormones can give male fish ovaries one only wonders what it's doing to my boys) the trend is probably going to continue until someone finally stands up and publically denounces the progesterone abortificant as the public health hazard it really is ("But it's so conveeeeenient!" -- cf. self-indulgent, SUV-driving, pro-abortion, etc. above).

Anyway, in order to counteract this trend (and also to decend to Granholm's own level of etymological silliness, which apparently carries some water with Granholm's unionized NEA constituency while also being geographically correct, since this is Michigan) I propose that Dick Posthumous run again in 2006 under the slogan: "Put the 'PENIS' back in 'PENINSULAE'".

I also propose dumping testosterone into the public water supplies to counteract the urinated estrogen. I just haven't thought up an efficient (or tidy) way of doing that yet.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Greg Popcak writes: "As irritated as I am about Granholm, nothing can steal the joy I get from knowing that Tom Daschle is no longer Senate majority leader."

I feel pretty much the same way (and I actually have to live in Michigan -- for the time being). So all of you folks who get off on seeing me irritated, this is your day. Relish it quickly, though, because I'm a pretty laid-back guy and I'll probably not be irritated for long (like a samauri!). Especially not once you consider that with Republican control of the Senate it's bye-bye partial birth abortion (and that's just for a start -- maybe we can actually get some Federal court judges put on the bench for a change!). It's a real shame that states have virutally no autonomy apart from the Federal Government anymore but, on days such as this, it's tempting to overlook the tragic qualities of that fact. No more Tom Daschle posturing as co-President. Sweet.

Anyway, I don't have the final numbers but as of 11pm last night Granholm only had the lead by five points. One wonders if the outcome might've been different had our Catholic and Christian leaders actually been halfway-decent shepherds. If the difference only was a matter of five points, I propose we call those five points "The Maida Factor" in honor of our Cardinal here in Detroit who reserved speaking on the matter until only last month and then was not nearly clear or precise about it. When the CWT page (it's coming!) is finally put up, he'll be on the list -- pending, of course, his reaction to the St. Joseph Foundation's petition of interdiction.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Dave's Record Collection -- The First Moog Quartet

Very cool.
Ananova - Paramedics called out after motorist spots prone Winnie the Pooh

Oh, bother!
Ananova - Male viewers don't take in the news if the newscaster is attractive

Of course, the study was done in Rome. That might've had something to contribute to the results.
Bad@ss Priest

Korean priests rule!!! You'll never find one of them in CWT (what is CWT? Find out later this week!). Click on the image for the whole story.
If I'm ever put in charge of loading up the boxcars for a totalitarian regime, I'm making sure this person is on the first train out.

After years of planning, I was sure of what I wanted: a [tattoo of a] piece of chocolate cake and a glass of milk (a combo that gives me so much happiness that it goes beyond food and approaches a life philosophy). And I was going to get it on my ribs just below my left breast.

Thanks, Zorak, for lowering my confidence in our fellow Americans another notch still. (On the other hand a backwards tattoo across her chest which read "John G. stole and ate my chocolate cake and milk" would be witty and cool).
It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Note: I've only seen (parts of) the Muffin one (the muffin has a disturbingly well-defined backside). Other PBJ Dances may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised. I'm only listing this here because I haven't linked to any goofy Flash animations in a while. Not since last Thursday, anyway.
One question we get asked quite often here at et cetera is "What is Thane Camus, grandson of famed and deceased existentialist author Albert Camus, up to these days?" Well, you may not know it, but Thane Camus is a big-time famous gaijin (Japanese for "gringo" or "dam fureigner") star in Japan.

His latest project is a section on the variety program "Sanma no Super Karakuri TV":

"Funniest English" is a section where the famous Thane Camus interviews Japanese people on the street. He always has a special word or phrase called "Today's word" which he asks people about and they are supposed to answer in English. Most of the answers come out in odd sounding English so the viewers get a good laugh. Sometimes on this program, there's a foreign counterpart version called "Funniest Japanese."

Hilarity! Finally the Japanese have discovered just what an untapped comedic resource their poorly translated instruction manuals really are (they're funnier than anything Albert Camus ever wrote, anyway). Just don't expect an American remake of "Funniest English" in this country, however.
Brownie Q&A

The public outpouring of support when I announced that I'd been stricken with a dog has been overwhelming. In order to dispel any myths or rumors about my situation, I've decided to post this brief F.A.Q. And also another picture of the dog since folks seem to like that.

Whoops! Looks like I was uncharacteristically thorough and deleted the pictures of Brownie already. Check this space tomorrow for a new picture of the dog.

Q. Did he lose his whole foot/Where is Brownie's foot?
A. No. The initial picture a few posts down shows his front foot blurred because he was moving it. While his front foot there is intact, however, the rear foot behind it is missing a toe.

Q. So how long before he sleeps at the foot of your bed?
A. Since last Thursday. The day we got him.

Q. Do mantises love dogs?
A. That would appear to be the case.

Q. What does 'Xander think of the dog?
A. 'Xander who?

Q. You're joking, right?
A. Of course. We're still paying attention to -- and feeding -- the baby. Since the moment Brownie came home, 'Xander's been so cool -- like he's always had a dog. The dog has sniffed the baby, but not licked him. The dog respects the baby's space and that the baby comes first in the house. I saw in a movie once where the dog was the Nanny for a bunch of Darling kids. I'm hoping Brownie saw that movie, too.

Q. Can I get a ride?
A. What sort of question is that? He's a dog, not a pony.

Q. What's on top of a house?

Q. Does the rest of the family like him?
A. The dog was pretty much Jackie's idea, so yes -- but I must admit he's growing on me. And he's only 51 lbs, not 60 like we thought (the vet checked him out today and he's in really good health).

Q. Is it possible that Brownie was, in a previous life, either a service dog or a show dog?
A. I guess so. If he was, though, those days are long behind him -- so I hope he made some happy memories when he had the chance and that dogs can remember things for more than a couple months.

Q. Does Brownie like Cheerios?
A. Brownie loves Cheerios. He does do a good impresison of a Hoover, but he's not obnoxious. He will wait to start eating from his dish until you tell him it's okay, which people tell me is the mark of a very disciplined dog. We'll see how long that lasts in this house.
Someday, when I have my bluegrass/country band put together I'm going to record a song about a young man who goes to fight in Viet Nam (rhymes with "Spam") and who doesn't die face down in the muck, leaving behind either a heartbroken girl with a bow in her hair or a 1963 Corvette. No: in fact this young man comes home and, while not widely regarded as a hero, he nonetheless opens up a chain of successful retail appliance stores. The song slows down at the end, of course, and while the military drum cadence fades up through the fiddles we learn that the young soldier died tragically of lung cancer at age 78, leaving behind eight grandchildren. "And I know I would've paid more than I should for this dryer / Were it not for the prices at Private McGuire's."
Yay! I'm a Song You Should Know! Thanks, Justin! Seriously, I think that's a good choice. "Sarah's Lullaby" is one of my favorite songs by me... I guess I shouldn't be ashamed to admit that. It wasn't until months after that song was written and recorded, though, when I recorded "Tobiah's Journey" (which you can find at that I realized it was about Sarah in the Book of Tobit.

So, just in case you wondered why there aren't more songs about the Book of Tobit, there you go: you now have two, free for nothing.

Monday, November 04, 2002

You WILL experience the Ninja Burger difference!

"Guaranteed delivery in 30 minutes or less, or we commit Seppuku!"
Dave Pawlak sends along this prayer request: please pray for Monica Miller (Ph.D. Director--Church and Truth Project) who is undergoing cancer sugery this Wednesday at UM hospital.
Meet Brownie!

Meet Brownie!

Brownie is our new/used collie we picked up last Thursday. He was hit by a car about six months ago and even though he lost a toe, he still runs great (as I found out last night when I took him for a walk. He has an outstanding gait and I have to trot myself to keep up with him). We think he's about six years old (so sayeth the rescue agency) but he's so darn full of spunk we figure he has to be younger than that. He was also very well trained: he knows "leave", "go away", "leave Victor alone", and "shoo!". Just kidding. He knows "sit", "stay", "lie down", "shake", and "kill". Kidding again... but just about that last one. Seriously, the dog has been very well trained and we have to make sure we don't lose that discipline. He also weighs about 60 pounds which, if push comes to shove, means he'll feed a family of four for about a week. KIDDING AGAIN! Seriously, the dog is starting to grow on me after only four days and if you knew how much I am not a dog person, that's saying something.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Prayer Intention

So I was reading Angels and Demons by Peter Kreeft and he says that every nation has a guardian angel. If that's the case, it's likely true that every state, too, has its guardian angel. So I would ask all of you to pray for the help of our guardian angel here in Michigan (as well as that of your own state) to inspire the minds of the registered voters to get out and vote for life as we face the elections this Tuesday. We're going to need all the big help we can get and, if my feelings on the subject are correct, the guardian angel for an entire state has got to be pretty big.

And I'll have something completely different for you tomorrow: a new foundation (and I will be accepting donations for it). Yes, I'll be reversing my stand against 'blegging -- but only because it's such a great cause (as you'll find out tomorrow). Bet you just can't wait!
So we watched Panic Room tonight. It was pretty good but it won't stay with me the way Panic did (an entirely different sort of movie but it had "Panic" in the title). But you gotta love Forest Whitaker. He plays the whole working-man/badass-with-a-heart-of-gold so very well (cf. Downtown). His performance in Jarmuch's Ghost Dog was better, I think (Forest + samauri swords = cool). But still: it's got Forest Whitaker so check it out.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Ergo No Nanowrimo...

Nope, not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I did it last year, it was fruitful but I just don't have the time this year. And frankly, I'm kind of relieved. A marriage can stand only so much "waking up 2-hours earlier than usual, ignoring spouse, children, and chores to work on The Novel". Also this year brings with it the mysterious recording project "Project A.C.E.". In preparation for this project, I'm putting my new audio software through its paces.

And not that anyone really cares, but since I'm not doing NaNoWriMo and can't post my wordcount like either Kat or Mayize, I thought I'd post my test projects as I fiddle with them. So here is my first test: a test of how well Sonar 2.1 can handle Acid-ized loops, a test of how well the Cyclone DXi instrument works as a drum-machine/sample-playback device, and a test of some of Sonar's effects (mainly compression, EQ, and reverb) -- all of this on my Windows 98SE machine. Here is 30 seconds of looped, big-footin' funk:

Test1.mp3 -- and you may need to right-click-save-as that and then open it up in the mp3 player of your choice. Again, it's not a song, just an experiment. And check back for more!
I propose this to be the Official Motto of St. 'Blog's Parish:

From this month's (November, 2002 -- an outstanding issue) Crisis magazine, here is Evelyn Waugh as quoted by novelist and historian H.W. Crocker III:

"There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible."

Whatcha think? Can I get a quorum for my referendum? Or at least a few "Amens"?

Friday, November 01, 2002

Where on earth have I been? Well, it's been busy: Mass this morning, then I busied myself with cleaning out a 20GB partition to make it ready for all the recording I'm about to do. After that I ran some errands (remind me never to go to Mailboxes ETC again -- they do a good job, don't get me wrong, but they charge you for every bit of it). Then I did some other stuff, I forget exactly what. Then I mowed the lawn until it started to snow. Then I ate pizza and listened to some sound demos online. Then the dishwasher broke and I had to take it apart and stare at it and tap the solenoid pensively with a screwdriver until it decided to start working again (really!). So that's what I've been up to and tomorrow doesn't look like it'll be much different.

But I should tell you, tomorrow, about the new "addition" to our "family".