"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
March 1, 2006

<kitten-> Man, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.
<bda> ?
<kitten-> Like, in general.
<bda> Is it blissful?
<bda> I've always heard that's what ignorance is like.
<kitten-> No.
<kitten-> It's annoying.
<kitten-> Like being a creationist.
<bda> Well, that's a let-down.
<kitten-> You have this dim sense that there's something you should know, but you don't, so you become angry and fearful.

March 4, 2006

It's been an odd few weeks. I've been writing again, and listening to Kid A quite a bit. Been busy with work, but managing to read a decent number of books. Pete went out with his orkers tonight, and managed to bring more home than he left with. There may have been cell division, it's hard to tell. Now one of them is in his bed and the other two are on the couch, complaining about work and watching Napoleon Dynamite.

I went for a walk an hour ago, which is something I haven't done in years, I guess. solios and I wander the city every pumpcon, but that doesn't count. Back when I lived on Lombard St., I'd often walk up to and around City Hall, then back home. Usually at 0230, when Jason and his far more dubious friends would get home to smoke a bowl and pass out in the living room.

It's windy tonight, and cold. But that's why I moved here, so I left the scarf at home and the coat open. Walked up Front St. through the Korean War Memorial (which is fenced off for some reason), then down Walnut through Old City and all the emptied bars with the night's trash piled on the curb. Down 4th St., through Society Hill.

In this dry winter with the wind up, the trees make all the noises you would expect them to, if they were lording over two hundred year old cemeteries hidden behind ancient iron wrought fences.

They are.

The metal bars twist and claw, and you can't quite tell if they're meant to keep grave-robbers out, or the quiet dead in. You can feel the city's age here, where you can still smell the Delaware on the air. You walk by half a dozen churches, and you know each has its own plot of forgotten bones and headstones with the engravings all worn down by time.

It's easier to believe that the constant torrent of humanity flooding through the streets wears the markers down than it is to think that years of simple, natural elements could rub away the memory of someone's life. It's impossible to shake the feeling of a permanence whittled down with every breath.

The wind alternates as you cross the streets, buffeting you from every direction, blatantly ignoring the one way signs and stoplights. It catches the dead leaves, and they hiss, rattling over broken concrete and brick.

You pass by an apartment buildings basement windows, and behind the grates something growls a machine growl, blunting blades on stone; there's no explanation for it, closer to morning than midnight, and you hurry on.

The neighborhood is deserted, except for the rare passing cab, a pool of light and noise, engineered chaos in this deepening chill. But you never see the drivers, even when they honk to see if you want a ride. You never see their faces, and it's easy to convince yourself the cabs are driving themselves. Or that they aren't cabs at all, but constructs of the city, creatures building themselves up from shards of cobblestone and rotting tree roots, the city's shed skin, gathering itself into new, unobstrusive forms; old, old dust, conjured and given life through psychic osmosis, leeching will from a quiescent citizenry.

But then some kid drives by in his dad's Beamer, blasting gangster rap from its stock speakers, rattling the door panes more than anything else, and you are annoyed enough to feel relief. The spell is broken, at least until they drive on.

Until you look down a side street, and see it twist off at ninety-degrees, halfway down the block.

Only you know that's impossible, because 5th St...

You shake your head and move on, and by chance, look to your left, to the east. And you see someone keeping pace with you two blocks down, on 2nd St., with their coat flapping out behind them much like yours. Locked in step. So you stop, daring them to halt as well, but just as you do they disappear behind a parked car and you lose them.

And of course then you hurry to the next block, but they're gone.

Vanished, and you're left with nothing but the wind, and you start looking forward to the detritus that will be slathered all over South St. like an evening's overindulgence. The cops and the last of the hardcore party kids. The tenders and waitresses wishing each other good day, because why not; heading home or to their own after parties at other bars.

You walk past a final cemetery and leave the sense of the old city behind, and walk into the neon and buzzing street lights, the broken bottles and yes, more trash piled up on the curb.

Out of the demesne of the city, back into where the humans live.

3:50 AM | Life
March 7, 2006

<@bda> uhm, so like.. does everyone see the game 15 feet above where shit is happening?
<@bda> Or maybe it's just none of the charactesr are rendering.
< mdxi> something's defniitely fucked up
<@bda> Annoying.
<@bda> Wait, no.
<@bda> It's just the ultimate ninja game.
<@bda> Shit be goin' down fo' rizzle, but you can't *see* it.
<@bda> Cos they mothafuckin' ninjas!

note: Happy Go Fun Danelope says Flash8 required

10:01 AM | irk
March 13, 2006

Cronin and I were driving down Lombard back to Drexel to pick some stuff up, and in the middle of the right lane some crazy bum was standing with his pants and underwear around his ankles, yelling "They ain't shit widdout us!" over and over.

A cop car was pulled up in front of him, on the sidewalk. As we drove by the cop was walking up to the guy and in the most hilarious "annoyed cop" voice said: "Put your clothes back on."

Upside: I'm going to be laughing about this all week.

Downside: I saw bum wang. :-(

8:27 PM | Life
March 15, 2006

I noticed last week that Space: Above and Beyond had been released on DVD recently, so of course I had to pick it up...

Imagine my surprise when I popped in the first disc and noticed something very familiar in the menu splash:


(As a sidenote, OS X doesn't let you take a screencap if DVD Player is running. From the GUI that is. There's a handy little program called screencapture, though. ;-)

12:08 AM | Television
March 17, 2006

<@zeroday> wow sharon stone should never talk
<@iverson> what did she say?
<@zeroday> 3/13/06 daily show
<@zeroday> she was at some peace conference thing and ... well it's hard to describe
<@bda> When she opens her mouth, is like the scene in Basic Instinct 2 where she crosses her legs and gives a flash of old woman vagina?
<@zeroday> ha she does talk about her boobies a lot
<@MyAss> *twitch*
<@iverson> bda: that's "Urban Cougar" vagina
<@iverson> come on, use the hip terms.
<@bda> ...wha?
<@zeroday> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060309/ap_en_ce/people_sharon_stone
<@bda> That's going to go over really well. An unveiled white woman in the Middle East being sexually promiscuous and making light of their beliefs.
<@bda> At least there won't be another Basic Instinct in 15 years. Her beaver would have to be cybernetic.
<@zeroday> we can only hope

March 25, 2006

I guess almost two months ago now I started playing around with Solaris 10. I spent a lot of time reading up on it, and even ordered a SunFire X2100 because I figured I might actually want to run it in production (things like Zones, DTrace, SMF, etc, just are that awesome). I probably wouldn't have thought of getting the SunFire, but mdxi was very positive about his experience with the machine.

As I get older, I seem to notice the noises computers in my room makes more and more. Whenever my fileserver (which is across the room -- but it's a really small room) runs it cron jobs at night (which are all very heavy I/O) it sounds like a small motor is chunking through a duck or something. Last night I finally got tired enough of it that I cleaned out my closet with the intention of moving any machines that don't require a display in there. I also figured I would take the opportunity to do something productive with Solaris 10: Replace my current OpenBSD Samba server.

8:09 PM | Systems Administration
March 29, 2006

< alect> ticket previews!
< bda> haha. :)
< bda> My users will like that. They have issues hitting "preview" and then bitch.
< alect> heh
< alect> it always struck me as odd :)
< bda> Users don't like validating things.
< alect> that is so true
< bda> They're shotgun-minded. You just sort of point your will in kind of the right direction, pull the trigger, and there's little doubt you'll get a chunk of what you were not entirely totally aiming at.