"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
February 1, 2004

Spent the majority of the day yesterday hanging out with Kyle and Pete at Factory. Went to lunch at the supergood Mexican place on ~9th and Washington, then chilled at the space until 2000 or so.

Got SMTP-TLS working on the Factory mailserver, did a little more work on gate, the new firewall, and spent a couple hours reading bash.org.

With regards to SMTP-TLS, a couple years ago I waded through getting Postfix TLS and sasldb for a machine at work. This run through, I just used The Perfect Setup HOWTO and was done with it.

The only thing that really bugs me was having to use a couple backports for libsasl2, which possibly I didn't need (since I'm using the pwcheck daemon, authenticating against /etc/shadow), but I didn't think about it too much.

There are also a few useful notes here.

Around 2000, Ian showed up with his friend Mike and Samid. Ian had his LinuxWorld swag, including a copy of Sun's Java Desktop System, which we've all been very interested in seeing.

Shortly after that, Pete and I took off, as it was getting late and it was already hovering around 0 degrees out.

Ah, Pennsylvania winters. How I love you like truck.

February 18, 2004

Yesterday was William Gibson day.

Philadelphia's Free Library was his last stop on his paperback release tour for Pattern Recognition, and the place was packed. We showed up an hour and a half early, and our group took up about half the third row.

After an essay read by some woman from Rutgers (which admittedly was a good essay, and captured a lot of the hard to describe things about Gibson's work), he seemed to sway out onto the stage.

The podium is bronzed, shaped like a large tome. He leans on it heavily. The man himself is 6'6", 6'7", with his hair all messed up, eyes squinting out behind round frames. He looks exhausted.

He read the first chapter of PR, with much laughter from the crowd in all the right places.

The Q&A session was interesting. He rambled a bit, but always brought it back and managed to make a point. A third of the questioners had British accents, which I thought was odd.

One of the questions related to how print is apparently dead (again? someone should probably mention it; people seem to claim print is dead just as often as people claim Apple's marketshare is about to completely collapse), and the questioner asked if printing books was a rebellious action on Gibson's part.

(possibly paraphrased, I wasn't taking notes)

"Hell, I don't know. Ask Barnes and Noble or Borders. Why are there more book stores and books being printed than ever before? Why does selling books have such a huge retail slot, bigger than it ever has?"

I've long maintained that there is some undefinable thing about a book, something that can't be replaced by a digital copy. Reading long pieces of text on a display of any sort invariably gives me a headache (including, unfortunately, code). Even when smart paper becomes marketable, and business-viable, it'll still have to be shaped, I think, in some way not entirely unlike a book.

"I'm sure there are some people who read books on their PDAs, but I don't know them."

We all looked pointedly at Andrew, who is the gadget freak of the group. He gave us a What?! look in return. :-)

The crowd itself was perhaps 10% geek, the rest lit people, most of them old. Back in the day, reading Gibson was part of what being in the scene was (not that I've ever been in the scene, just on the fringes of it, enough to know that everyone'd read Neuromancer at least), at least for the cyberpunkish kids.

It was the same mix at the Stephenson signing, in fact. Most of them were literature people; a sprinkling of computer or EE dorks.

The signing itself is where the only really good story comes in.

O'Donnell had decided to give Gibson a copy of Hacker's Challenge 2, a computer/network security book series he co-authors. There's a Gibson quote in the front, and one of the stories O'Donnell wrote is very cyberpunkish. So he marks the cpunk chapter with his business card.

We mocked him relentlessly for this, calling him many names.

However, Gibson thanks him and said it could be useful, and that he'd put it on his research shelf.

Afterwards, we all agreed it was cool and a nice thing for Gibson to say, but remained adament that O'Donnell is just a big dork.

So this morning O'Donnell gets a call, waking him up:

"Uh, hi, Adam? This is William Gibson."

Needless to say, a very cool way to get woken up. Gibson had a couple compsec questions for him, for a friends book. Adam can answer just about any security question you have, so.

The moral of the story here is: Being a superdork pays off.

Have you exercised your inner nerd today?

February 21, 2004

Walking up South St is always an adventure. You never know what you're going to see, what diverse and overly specialized sub-culture you'll get to interact with. It's like going to the zoo, without the cages. However, you'll still see the same depressed looks you see in the lions or bears eyes, wishing they were anywhere but here, living this life, entrapped by social forces they can barely comprehend but have little choice pushing against, acting out in whatever way they can. Their little rebellions.

Eventually giving up and just wanting it to end, rubbing their fur off against the tree branches and fences that contain them. Genetic memory telling them how wrong this is, living like this, constrained and tame.

Maybe that analogy was too much.

But really, I like South St. Overhearing the random conversations as you walk and weave between the bubbles of cliques, you hear the damnedest things. You also begin to realize that while these groups of people, these punks or preps, gangsters or nerds, the old, the young, no matter how different they look, they have things which bind them together, culturally. They wear different colors and clothes, they put their hairs up in liberty spikes or dye their hair black and wear thick nerd glasses and whine about ex-girlfriends who done them wrong, but they're all really the same people.

It doesn't matter if they're a big fat black woman or a big fat goth chick, a hardcore Hell's Angels wannabe, or a Honda-riding crotch-rocket toting pretty boy.

They all use the word "like" every two goddamn seconds.

(Also, sometimes you get random crazy people demanding if Scarface was Cuban or not. Poor Adam.)

March 1, 2004

Went up to BHL for the weekend, to hang out with Rik and Gloria. No jcap, so I guess you can't really call it a true #tildedot con.

Rik already did a write-up on it, but: Good times were had. Rik gave me a quick overview of Perl OO and namespace structure (which I vaguely recall, as I'm pretty sure I had a fever by that point) using SubEthaEdit, which is a neat little OS X app perfect for things like that.

I'll be doing a review of Passion shortly, but synopsis: "Bullshit. Utter bullshit."

March 11, 2004

Got home yesterday around 1645, read the Postfix book that had come in for a while (good book thus far), then fell asleep. Woke up around 0230, took a shower, fucked around with archivist for an hour or so, then headed out.

Philadelphia at 0500, with a clear sky, is just about perfect. The city's still asleep, but the subsystems, everything behind the wall, is gearing up. The lunch trucks are being pulled out and fueled, laden with food and coffee. The bread distributors are opening their gates, other low-level maintenance humans are in motion, while the majority of the populace is oblivious to their work.

Headed down to Factory, stopping at Sev to get some Gatorade, and it's a pretty decent way to start the day, I think.

There was a cabbie asleep in his car in front of the Sev. Thought that was a bit odd. Usually they crash out in the street in front of Factory, or on Broad St.

Trawled my daily sites, dug through the 100 or so overnight logcheck messages, deleted a bunch of spam. Typical routine.

Pretty soon I'll be off to work, taking the Broad line up to Locust like I did yesterday, then PATCO over to Jersey.

Speaking of yesterday morning's commute... there were these two high school kids on the Broad train. At first I thought they were script kiddies, talking about the Internet. They looked the part: young teenagers with messy hair and baggy clothes. Like skaters back home, but not quite.

I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention, as I was reading Driver's Just Another Empire (again), but it became pretty obvious they were some new form of newb. Not AOLers, I think, but something lower. Some sort of proto-newb.

It was more than a little disconcerting.

Not much on the agenda today except for work, work, and probably some more work.

March 15, 2004

So Adam calls me up Saturday afternoon and says, "We're going to Manhattan. You should come."

So Ian rolls up with Adam and Jason (who was down visiting for a show our friend Nick was spinning at), with John in tow, and after a quick stop at Ian's house, we drove up to Jersey City where Ian had some religious program thing to go to. We walked Ian to the house where his thing was, and he got us some directions to the train station. There's an SUV there, with Hawaii plates. First time I've seen Hawaii plates on a car outside, you know, Hawaii. Jersey City is a mix of old Philly suburb and South Philly. Broken concrete and sidewalks, too many law and bail bond offices.

After asking a few people for directions ("Yeah, man, it's over there", pointing in the opposite direction we'd been going. "You can walk wid us."), we get to the train station. John, Adam, Jason and I PATH into NYC around 1700 and headed to Jason's dorm at NYU.

I manage to get my bag caught in the fucking doors getting on the train, to the short-lived amusement of the other passengers. John had to push the doors open for me. That was fun.

In New York freedom looks like
Too many choices
In New York I found a friend
To drown out the other voices

This being my first time in New York, I suppose I should relate some of my initial impressions: Streets encased entirely in the shadows of buildings. People are much more vocal here than in Philadelphia, or Phoenix, or Albuquerque. It feels like L.A., only maybe less mean and turned sideways so it's vertical.

Walking towards the dorm, we see numerous BDSM shops, some transvestites scuffling (I missed this, apparently). People talking loudly, yelling at each other (though generally not meanly, just being loud). Tiny corner stores and a twenty-four-hours flower shop.

Voices on a cell phone
Voices from home
Voices of the hard sell
Voices down a stairwell
In New York
Just got a place in New York

I see someone with my model cell phone, for the first time in three years, and it's the first of maybe four. Fucking figures.

The subway is necessarily more complete than the Philly transit system. You can buy rechargable cards, which is awesome. Each trip costs two bucks, which is less than awesome, but whatever.

Twenty-eight floors up, the view from Jason's dorm room is amazing. Adam gestures to a point in the sky and says, "That's where the towers were."

In New York summers get hot
Well into the hundreds
You can't walk around the block
Without a change of clothing

We drop off our bags and head back out. They take me to see the Hole. People are selling photo albums of the towers, the five-picture time lapse series. The towers crumpling. The Hole is awash in floodlights, fenced in, with a concrete barrier on the other side so you can't actually see down it, just look across at the buildings on the far side, at the spanning emptiness.

We go for food. Adam has been talking about this Japanese place for a few hours now, how it's so cyberpunk, just like the noodlecart in Blade Runner. It's less than cyberpunk, the service sucks, but my udon was good so it's all whatever. They manage to make Adam's ramen without any seafood, so he doesn't end up dying, which is also probably a good thing.

Jason gets a hold of Akira via SMS or AIM on his cell phone and we agree to meet up at 2130 in Times Square.

Hot as a hair dryer in your face
Hot as handbag and a can of mace
New York
I just got a place in New York

We head out, and Times Square is Vegas without the over-planning and less guilt. The crowds are close, volatile things. The smell of roasted peanuts and the ever-refracting glare of neon off mirrored glass. We go to Toys R Us to play in the Legos section, and there's a projector on the ceiling displaying an interactive demi-game on the floor. You step on what look to be floating candy bars and a computer in the projector notes this, and breaks the candy bar into pieces. Kids are bouncing up and down on the tile, stomping on light. A life-sized version of the T-Rex from Jurassic Park roars every few minutes, and young girls giggle at it, daring each other to touch it.

We wander up into the giant Barbie Dream house, and there's just too much pink, everywhere you look, and it's damn near suffocating.

In New York you can forget
Forget how to sit still
Tell yourself you will stay in
But it's down to Alphaville

Adam is getting twitchy by this point, too much mediation, and Hell, it's New York, there's plenty else to do. We wander around for a while, go into the Virgin for a few minutes.

Finally it's time to head to the damn bar for Scotty's birthday party (which I suppose was what initiated us coming up here). A couple of guys are standing outside some giant store with frosted glass, rapping to the passing human flood.

Akira finds us as we're wandering down a mostly empty side street and we pile into his car. Akira's driving is what people are always talking about, when they talk about New York drivers. Considering his method of navigation, a constant and seemingly uncontrolled weaving in and out of traffic, cutting around cars lined up to turn and a complete disregard for safety laws, lanes, or even simple common sense, you'd think anyone driving with him would be praying to any God or other nearby creature with a supposed omniscience, but not once did it feel like Akira was in any way out of control of the vehicle.

Of course, the fact that everyone else was driving like this didn't do too much for my nerves, but hey, if you're gonna go out...

Kyle calls us just minutes after we get into the car and we go to pick him up at Penn Station. Jason gets the privilege of Kyle sitting on his lap. New Yorkers have no issues with yelling at you if you're half-hanging out the window of a car, either.

After a half hour of driving around we find parking and head to the bar. A few things should probably be explained about this place. It's Remote Lounge, which according to mdxi was talked about a few years ago on teh Interweb. I hadn't heard anything about it until Adam brought it up, however.

The Irish been coming here for years
Feel like they own the place
They got the airport, city hall
Asphalt, asphalt
They even got the police

Irish, Italians, Jews and Hispanics
Religious nuts, political fanatics in the stew
Happily not like me and you
That's where I lost you

The concept of the place is painfully and disturbingly post-modern (or pomo as hipsters and the unsubtle ironic say): There are cameras all over the place. Each booth is equipped with a console containing pinhole cameras on servos in a glass jar, a phone, a video monitor, and simple controls (about a dozen buttons and a joystick). You can control cameras anywhere in the bar from the consoles. The bar itself is also equipped with cameras and controls, and there's a bank of monitors above the bartender displaying what people are looking at.

In New York I lost it all
To you and your vices
Still I'm staying on to figure out
My midlife crisis

There are roughly fifty cameras in the place. Mostly they're pointed at girls chests or butts.

We meet up with Ian and Eric in the bar, and get introduced to Scotty, who I don't think anyone but Jason knows, and some guy who will forever be known as the Wisconsin Guy.

After tooling around for an hour or so, Jason finally procures a booth and we start drinking and fucking around in earnest.

As Jason has a Zaurus, and Manhattan has all the 802.11 coverage you could ever want he starts leeching bandwidth from a misconfigured access point and spams porn at the bar via the booth camera. Not to be outdone, the guy on the other side of the booth moons his camera (a couple times, actually).

I manage to get Adam and Jason to goatse the bar. I can only hope that by that point there were many people tuning into our booth feed, because that may be the only crime against humanity I'll be able to partake in, and get away with.

Some people come and go, some of which we seem to know, some of whom Jason has invited over via the booth's phone. Eventually Adam gets some woman to get some Jaeger shots and she and her friend join our table. This is the part where the story gets funny.

I'm mildly drunk by this point, and not really giving a damn about much of anything. So this woman, who turns out to be 41 year old, Italian-Cuban, and from 181st Street (which meant little to me), starts hitting on me. A lot. After a couple hours she's draped herself on me and continues to refer to me as her "little blond boy". She says, repeatedly, that I look like Andrew McCarthy, who she's always had a crush on. I have, at the time, no fucking clue who this is and go so far as to deny this persons existence. He is, however, a real person, and was, in fact, in Pretty in Pink and fucking Mannequin.

At some point, Eric left with two girls.

You know I'm still afloat
You lose your balance, lose your wife
In the queue for the lifeboat

You got to put the women and children first
But you've got an unquenchable thirst for New York

I don't recall much, if any, of the conversation, except for me saying vaguely and improbably profound things about how surreally fucked up the entire concept of the bar is (considering that I've been dealing with IRC for almost a decade, and various socio-political and personal relationships stemming from all that, you'd think the whole thing would have affected me less), but I do remember Jason explaining some of what he does at NYU (neuro-science) to Nyra, the woman who at that point was nuzzling me and playing with my hair. To put it mildly, Jason is fucking smart.

Another round of Jaeger was ordered, which I declined on the basis of me already being drunk enough.

Lucky too, as by the end of the night (around 0330), Adam attempted to get the woman to take me home. Insisted on it, in fact.

I managed to fall over getting out of the booth, not all that drunkenly, simply because Kyle was looking at me and edging in and out of my vision. I get up and stare at Adam, who is still arguing the case for me getting taken home by someone old enough to be my mother, almost, and I say "Dude, she hassa go to Mass in the morning, fuggoff." Or something. I don't remember.

The short of it is I didn't go home with Nyra, but instead got put into a cab with Adam and Kyle, by Jason, who told the cabbie: "Take them to Fulton and Waters, and don't let them move." I haven't mentioned yet, but Jason's a bit of the fucking insane. A typical thing for a genius to be, right?

So Adam, Kyle and I end up at that intersection, wherever the fuck it was, and decide that it's too goddamn to stand around on the corner and that anyway we're hungry. So we walk up to the street to a McDonalds and get some burgers.

In the stillness of the evening
When the sun has had its day
I heard your voice whispering
Come away now

I couldn't really explain why, but eating shitty hamburgers on a Manhattan corner at four A.M. was probably one of the strangest things I've ever done. Skyscrapers rising up around us, empty cabs sliding past, and we're devouring the nation's favorite meat by-product.

Jason showed up a few minutes later, and we stopped by a supermarket where he informed a couple of girls that he was in search of cookies. "They're down the aisle," they say, and go back to their conversation.

"No," he insists, "You don't understand. We want cookies."

"Yes. We do understand. They're down the aisle."


I can't tell if it's because he's drunk, but I sort of doubt it. I suspect this is just how Jason acts. Adam is laughing the whole time, as Jason wanders around some more, demanding Kiwi Water from random people who stare at him. Eventually he buys some milk.

He explains all this to the clerk, who says "Shit, no wonder you didn't get the girls. They wanted the fucking Kiwi Water, man, and you got milk instead." Or something equally nonsensical. I'm sobering up by this point, but that doesn't mean anything is making any sense to me.

There is music reverberating down the street, coming from the third or fourth story of a building, a party obviously in progress. Our New York host gets the attention of someone leaving the building and asks if the party's any good, what the cover is, what the ratio is.

"Yeah, it's aight. Ten fuckin' bucks, man, you believe that? And about one to one, half. S'aight."

Jason's vote of going to this party is shot down by myself and Kyle, and we head back to the dorm, where we proceed to sit around for a half hour. I fall asleep for a few minutes at the very least and am woken up by Adam who informs me that we're going to head back to Philly now.

I'm down with sleeping in my own bed instead of on Jason's floor, so we head down to the subway and stand around, bullshitting and talking about the night. Finally, though, it's decided we should just cab over to Penn Station as it's damn near 0500 and the first train to Trenton leaves at 0515.

We get a cab coming out of the subway station and say our goodbyes to Jason, thanking him for the awesome time. We end up running through Penn Station to catch the train, running down an escalator the wrong way, and careening across the platform juts as they're making last call. And here is where our story takes a tragic turn.

Kyle's about twenty feet ahead of me, and we're all running flat out, and I see Kyle's cell phone jump out of his pocket and go skittering across the platform and down under the train.

Adam and the stone-faced transit employees manage to convince Kyle that crawling down onto the tracks is about the least good idea ever. "Dude, I don't have any [next of kin] contact info for you," Adam quips.

The ride into Trenton and then the switchover to SEPTA for the ride into Philly is mostly full of napping. I force Kyle to read Just Another Empire instead of his Java Cookbook for a bit. Finally we get to 30th St Station and share a cab.

Philadelphia sunlight filtering down through light cloud cover, and it's good to be home.

Except for Kyle losing his phone, I'd have to say my first trip to New York was pretty much perfect. Good people, good fun, random funny things happening. We'll definitely be doing it again before too long.

Oh. There are pictures.

April 17, 2004

Went to my first Philly Film Fest movie this afternoon, with Sophy, Adam, Andrew and Evan. Otaku Unite! is a documentary about the anime scene, produced by a Drexel grad.

I'm not a hardcore anime guy. I just watch the stuff, and I enjoy it a lot. But like I'm not a hardcore zealoty nerd guy, I'm not Oh Dear God Fucking Crazy about anime. The closest thing I have to religious fervor is my loyalty to William Gibson, and that's because the man's writing has never let me down.

The film itself wasn't horrible. It could have done with a lot of editing; the pacing was loose, there was too much uninteresting history, not enough freakin' weirdos (it's the anime scene, come on), and it needed a soundtrack to keep the energy up during the boring parts.

As it stood, it was just a bunch of fat people or skinny hot chicks with defective personalities spamming about why they're smarter than every other sub-culture out there, yadda ya. There was one guy, though, who reminded me of fucking mdxi pretty much to a tee. The guy who runs Anime Weekend Atlanta. Full of bitter juicy hate for other scenesters, decrying the pathetic use of half-ass Japanese by dumbass gaijin.

I could have sworn it was Shawn.

There was a brief segment on yaoi, which is pretty boy on pretty boy manga. Thankfully brief. It's not that I'm homophobic, I just don't like penises. Hell, I break out the EVA gloves to take a piss (ah, Joe Rogan, Hell is indeed a naked fat man chasing a tiny skinny guy around, forever).

The opening shorts were the best part. One was done by a five year old kid, starring Yoda, Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Sebastian (the crab from The Little Mermaid) flying around on a hamburger. It was awesome. I hope the kid and his family were in the audience, because the reaction was very positive. So cool.

Another was done by a UArts kid that Evan knows. Started off with a couple guys playing soccer and suddenly one is attacked by a giant pink animated monster... thing. Hilarious.

Before the films started up, just as we were sitting down, these middle-aged people in front of us were talking about Japanese media culture. Specifically, the movie Azumi, which was godawful. I mean, I like bad movies (See: Mean Guns) but Azumi was just horrible. Astoundingly, it was by the same guy who did Versus, which I really enjoyed (and which also played at the PFF a couple years ago).

Anyway, they were deconstructing Azumi. Obviously pseudo-intellectual academics, they reminded me more than anything else of the asshats that Randy has to deal with in Cryptonomicon. So goddamn annoying. I wanted to just smack them and ask that they please not to be taking a pooped-out waste of carbon like Azumi seriously in any way. Yes. I have superiority issues.

But only about things that don't matter.

I overheard someone talking about Dramarama, also, which is a band I've not heard of since... talking to Rob Towner about it in mid-2000. I used to listen to Dramarama all the time in '98, driving to ITT every morning...

After the movie, we went to some University City Japanese/Korean place that was very sub-par. I was not impressed with my chicken teriyaki at all, and it was expensive to boot.

(Speaking of food, rjbs informs me that the superb Ice Cream Lady of Bethlehem has created a new flavor: Peanut Butter Doom. I must get to ABE before she ceases making it. Doom.)

Also, there's some Cameron Diaz vehicle being filmed in the city right now. Based on a book by a local, at least. They've managed to pretty much fuck the streets, though, with the filming crews.

Crowds standing around, hoping for a glimpse of a star. Licking at the hand of Media, wishing and fantasizing...

You know what? I'm too tired to do this. It's been a long day. I managed to dump at least a hundred bucks on food and books. And anyway, Mark is just so much better at it.

I'll talk about the books in another post. I'm going to go take a bath and read.

Remember kids, pop culture is just another societial control. Suck at its teat, and you have only yourself to blame.

Also: Hypocrisy is love. War is peace. The grass is always greener after a nuke strike.

May 10, 2004

Spent the weekend in Bethlehem hanging out with Ricardo and Gloria. As always, had an excellent time with much good food. G made muffalettas, which is Cajun for BIG SAMMICH. It was very rockstar.

Also got to try Barbara the Ice Cream Lady's latest concoction: Peanut Butter Doom. It was most peanut buttery and definitely full of tasty doom.

Rik and I played quite a bit of co-op Halo, which was made watching Red vs. Blue all the more amusing, I think. I also dumped about 15G worth of anime on him, so he should have stuff to watch at work for a while. ;-)

We stopped by a comic shop and picked up some stuff. I got issues three and four of Transmetropolitan, which solios has been bugging me to read since I've known him, and Rik got some Superman trade. I also read the four existing trades of Astro City, which Gloria and Rik both highly recommended. And they're definitely great comics. If you're interested in the form at all, I have to pass along their suggestion. It's definitely worth reading. My favorite plotline, I think, is Steeljacks, as it seemed the most developed. The one where the family has just moved to Astro City is also good. And of course, the Confessor arc is pretty bad ass.

I also recommend Transmetropolitan. It rails against post-modernism, media-tion, and the horrors of the monoculture. And Spider Jerusalem spouting things such as: "Tell me why I should give two tugs of a dead dog's dick" will make sure that you have interesting things to say during departmental meetings.

The trip home was much quicker than it usually seems, I think. We went to dinner at A&W/KFC, then they dropped me off at the bus terminal. There was a bus sitting there (a 1815), and I managed to jump on that just as the guy was closing the door and prepping to leave. It was a pretty full ride, and I forgot to charge my iPod after the trip up, so I had to listen to everyone's cell phone conversations.

Got home, showered, called my mom and grandmother to wish them happy Mother's Days, then read Transmet before falling over.

Have I complained recently about only being able to sleep for four hours at a time? Because I can't seem to sleep any longer than that.

It's driving me insane.

However, to end on a happy note: This weekend's ~con was as enjoyable as they've all been so far. jcap needs to start coming again. :)

June 17, 2004

This week I'm at YAPC, and it's been a long damn day, so I'm going to be brief.

Ricardo has a good post of Monday and Tuesday. Today was pretty interesting. After the initial State of the Perl by Allison Randall of the Perl Foundation, and some brief comments from Jim Brandt, we got spammed at by an Apple guy from Toronto who nominally explained how to effectively use Perl with OS X but really only managed to be funny and play with Interface Builder.

After that I headed over to Mark Fowler's "Building a CPAN Distribution" and a half hour or so of "CPAN Modules Every Perl Programmer Should Know" talks before skipping out after the lunch break to hang with Rik and billn (Bill's from my hometown) in another room where the wireless actually worked. (UB graciously set us up with wlan accounts for the duration of the talk. Pretty awesome of them. The power situation could be way better, though.)

I didn't pay much attention to the talks until Pierre busted out "Lessons Learned from Many Interviews With Perl Programmers". Pierre is goddamn hilarious. 'nuff said.

Jumped over to Damian talking about Perl 6 (as it stands this week), until 1740 or so when they finally forced him to stop talking and let us leave; Damian is fun to listen to, and lots of Perl 6 stuff seems way cool, and lots either confused the hell out of me, or scared the nuts off me. Mostly it was way cool.

We then (Rik, Steve, Phil, hachi, and about a dozen other people) headed over for a Stem bof by Uri. That could have gone better, I think, though I'm not sure how. Uri is a big guy.

We dropped out stuff back at the hotel, then headed up to the Anchor Bar, where buffalo wings were supposedly invented (while good, Rik says they were not awesome, as seems to be the case with most places that "invent" something). The waitresses were cute is all I really got out of the place.

Then! Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on IMAX, sponsored by O'Reilly. A few minutes before the movie started, Rik laughed and said, "A couple of muggles managed to buy tickets." Poor norms.

Overall I was happy with the movie, and disappointed with the heckling. We had the theatre to ourselves, and I expected way more out of fifty Perl hackers MST3King a movie. You can only take pedophile jokes so far.

Just got back to the hotel now, at 0115 or so. Totally ready to crash. Tomorrow is going to be a long day as well (though hopefully not as long), as I'm spending the entire day in Learning Perl Objects, etc, which is going to be pretty hardcore, but useful for me. Anything to make things I'm pretty sure I mostly understand more clear.

Obviously the alternatives are far beyond me. I think anything "Beyond Advanced Regexes" would cause my face to catch fire.

At any rate. The time for sleeping is now.

June 18, 2004

Last day of YAPC::NA. Good stuff. Excellent talks all around, some good stuff from the Town Hall meeting at the end of the day. Damian's "Sufficiently Advanced Technologies" talk was good stuff.

Here's a little sample of my notes from Abigail's "Parsing Strings" talk:

/(["'])((??{ "[^$1]*" }))\1/

Or how about this?

my $re = qr /[{] # opening brace
(?: [^\\{}] # not a brace or backslash
| \\. # or a backslash followed by any char
| (??{ $re }) # or a balanced string
)* # zero or more times
[}] # Closing brace

Someday I'll grok regex, but not any time soon. Thinking of it as a Real Language as opposed to a bunch of "Perl syntax" is the correct way, many humans insist.

A number of useful Perl modules came up, some previous known to me, some not:

  • UI::All

  • Regexp::Common

  • Sort::Maker (Which Uri uploaded to CPAN at the end of his talk on it)

  • Devel::Peek

  • IO::Progress

  • Smart::Comments

Stuff to play with.

The plan now is to eat food in a bit, then crash out. Quite a few people have gone pub crawling, but rjbs and I are both pretty beat and elected to stay at the hotel. Heading back to Bethlehem tomorrow morning, then back to Philly on Sunday.

Definitely planning to go to YAPC next year.

July 1, 2004

Woke up at noon today, after a long night of alternating reading a PKD collection and working on Resync::*. A good balance of activities, really. Switching my code with the deranged stories of a completely mad person whose primary plot elements consist of totalitarian governments, shrewish women, and mutants with psionic abilities, the question of what is real...

This evening, Adam, Eric, Kyle and I met up at Ritz East with the intention of seeing Farenheit 9/11, but the next three showings were sold out. Unsurprising, I suppose. We walked down to the South St Diner and got some dinner.

I love South St. I really do. Passing some guy on the street... "Yo, wan' some hot mix tape fo' yo' ass? Three dollahs!"

And then later, in the grocery store, some crazy old man tried to engage me in a conversation about the U.S. supplying arms to various resistance groups in the Middle East. "We gave them those guns!" and later, perhaps only to get my attention, rattled on about how there really are aliens.

Reptilian aliens. Among us.

But they don't hurt no one.

But we need to show them that they can't just come down here anyway.

And then I came home, did laundry, and watched Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which I enjoyed just as much as I did the first time I saw it, ages ago.

July 9, 2004
July 12, 2004

I was going to move today. Andrew and I were going to get a U-Haul and get a bunch of stuff from various places around town where he has kit stashed that was earmarked to be thrown away. Including a Sun E4500.

Then we were going to swing by my place, get the big stuff that couldn't be easily transported in a cab (like, say, my bed, and desk, and monitors), and dump it off at my new place.

Pity it's fucking pissing rain out.


July 15, 2004

Spent Tuesday packing and getting everything moved into the new place.

After moving a van full of stuff out of Hahnemann and then all my junk, Andrew, Evan and I spent about four total hours moving crap around the city. The new place (Pete's) is a trinity, which means it's small, three stories, and has Death Stairs up which no bed may climb.

So Russ (the landlord's son) helped us get the bed (slightly smaller than a queen, and freaking heavy) up into the second story window using nothing but a power cord and a threat against Pete's life (who was pushing the thing up the wall on top of a step ladder).

I didn't do much of the work on that one, and was busy pulling the end into position from the third floor, so didn't get to see the glorious moment when the bed went in the hole.


My week has been insane even without moving. Work continues to be strenuous. I was up all Tuesday night, curled in pain, because I'm a weak little bitch of a nerd. Yay for strained muscles. Always my arms.

Last night Mike and I left work just as it started pouring rain, and for the ten seconds I was out of the car (he dropped me off in the city), I managed to get completely soaked. Spent the rest of the night finishing up my room and hanging out with Pete.

He suggested I read Abarat by Clive Barker, so I started it last night as well. About a hundred pages in, enjoying it thus far. Suitably weird.

Tomorrow my parents are flying in for ten days.

This is going to be interesting.

July 28, 2004

So NWS has been a lying whore lately, and telling us all that there is a chance of rain every other day for the past two weeks or so. Apparently chance rain is actually something that can be accrued and used at a single time, because last night, lo, there was what Adam correctly described as Matrix Rain ("You know, from the first movie. The one that didn't suck"). Rain that bounced three inches when it hit the pavement. Rain like a woman's wrath.

Adam and I are walking up Broad from Factory, looking to get a cab, and the sky Opens. He scurries under the cover of a gas station and I mock him, because I am an ass. Eventually a cab rolls in to get gas and we jump in that.

This is after we go to SFBC for dinner, where all they play any more is 80s pop music. Finally met Drexel Eric (muhar) and I think we spent the better of an hour trying to figure out various songs we knew the lyrics to, but not the title or artist. Our culture is fucking awesome.

Get home, soaked, and Pete informs me that The Bourne Supremecy was great, but all the OMFG ACTION CAMERA SHAKING actually made his friend Joe vomit. That's pretty fucking awesome, if you ask me. The last movie that made me vomit was The Little Mermaid Does Atlantis. You wouldn't think merfolks tails could used be like that, but nature will find a way.

Michelle has asked me to be her date to Adam and Sophy's wedding in September, which is pretty great. Apparently she gets twitchy in crowds where people are speaking a foreign language, so regardless of the ceremony of itself, I should have a decent source of amusement. The wedding is three days long, though we'll only be going Saturday (which is the religious component. There will be monks. We will attempt to get them to do body shots. As I told Michelle, no doubt monks are wild and crazy guys under those top knots), and Sunday (the reception). It will be an Experience.

My parents were visiting all last week, and it was Good. I think my mom got to see everything she wanted to see, they went to New York (which my mother proclaimed to be "small", a concept I am having difficulty understanding), they got to meet all my friends, so now they know I hang out with a bunch of insane vagrants, as opposed to simply having to believe my stories.

Actually, they got along well with everyone and perhaps my mother will cease berating me constantly about going out and meeting people. If these are the sort of people I'll be meeting, maybe I'm better off sticking with what I've got, hm?

We watched The Boondock Saints, which they enjoyed muchly. During the deleted "Mom Calls From Home" scene, I thought my parents were going to explode from laughing. You can say anything, apparently, as long as it's with an Irish accent, and it'll be okay with them. Word up.

Work has continued to be crazy. We're moving furniture and running cable today. The electrician was kind enough to leave pull strings in the drops he punched in the wall, so it's just a matter of measuring the runs. Joy.

I love ladders, and I love crawling around on ceilings. They are my most favoritest things in the whole wide world.

Speaking of, I should probably get ready for work. Need to do laundry, so finding somewhat non-smelly clothes will be amazing.

July 29, 2004

Today was freaking exhausting.

Work was pretty awful. I accomplished very little (save for getting mirroring on the production volumes working again... which was trivial), and was incredibly frustrated by the end of the day.

So we recently swapped old Macs out for new WinXP boxes in accounting. I would prefer eMacs, but whatever. So like most accounting/payroll departments, they have an ancient printer that they use for invoices. The "invoicing printer". Which is always ancient.

The previous printserver on this printer was AppleTalk only. So I get the CTO to buy a new printerserver. It comes in last week, and I don't get around to installing it, or swapping out the second machine (there are two), because I'm too busy, and interrupting her work this week would not be good for anyone (payroll! invoices!), but the CTO tells me to do it. So I do.

The CTO is getting his interrupt privileges on me removed.

First off, the Wintel box's print driver for the Okidata 320 is screwed. It prints huge, I don't know why, but she has other probelms with the machine so I swap her old Mac back and have her use that until I have more time (next week, probably). We do a test print with the old AppleTalk printserver, it's fine... Then I realize that it's probably just a DPI issue... so I go and look, and while the Mac has 72x72, the Windows box is printing at 120x72... but it only does 60x72. Which is an issue. I swap the printservers back, just to see... sure enough, it cuts off the right margin. Which is where the dollar amounts are. So 1500.00 becomes 150, which is less than trivial.

So I swap em back... and the Mac refuses to print. It sees the printer okay, but says "Waiting for printer to become available." What the hell is this, I wonder. I run Adam's car back to him at the other building, and we head back over so I can deal with it (hopefully) before leaving (or staying until I deal with it and figuring out some other way to get to the train station later).

I'm really frustrated by this point. I mean, really getting pissed off. My entire day has gone like this, and this is just one more thing I don't need on top of three months of crap. So Adam looks at the Mac, sees that it's all set up correctly, and goes and pokes at the printer.

He holds up the other end of the printer cable and says, "This may be the problem."


Then I headed back into the city, and got soaked through with sweat waiting for the Broad Line. They need to install fans or something in those stations, it's fucking awful down there. Met up with Adam, went to Factory, hung out for a bit... And then. Then!

Had to go to the old apartment to clean up. I spent an hour and a half there (30m more than I wanted) and ended up completely cleaning out the basement, which I didn't care about at all. The only good part was kicking a couch apart. Completely destroying the thing to get it out of there. That was keen. The pile of garbage was about four feet high and seven feet long. I have my doubts about the garbage crew taking it, but who knows.

Except I think I bruised the bottom of my right foot. :)

Stupid lack of steel inserts in my boots!

After that, it was a matter of running a few more errands, heading home to get clothes, talking to Pete for a few minutes, heading over to Adam's to wash them (the clothes, though Pete can always do with a good rinse cycle), getting food from Sev, heading back to Factory, talking about Factory for a half hour or so (which we haven't done in a while)... came up with some good propaganda ideas, etc. Need to get solios on those.

And... while we were at Adam's, he was busy mirroring (using the "Are you migrating from an older machine?" functionality of new Macs) his RevA PB12" with his new (grant supplied) RevC PB12". Which is now sitting on my bed finishing it's OS X Panther install. Yay. New laptop for me.

In fact, selene Mk II just finished, so I'm going to copy all my junk over so I can use it at work tomorrow and then crash. I'm pretty excited about having a fast laptop finally. It shouldn't take me 45s to parse an NMAP XML file with 50 hosts in it... even if my code does suck. :)

And yeah. That was all very poorly written (ha!) but I'm beat. So. Setup then sleep. Yes.

It is so awesome having clean clothes, I can't even tell you.

Clothes that don't smell like me at my worst are possibly my favorite ever right now.

Except perhaps for the fact that my new laptop has wireless and I'm typing this entry from the shitter.

Pete Moffe: you are such a fucking pig. that rocks.

Much <3

July 30, 2004

I am sick and tired of all my sad songs.

August 2, 2004

Friday was interesting. Long day at work, dealing with recovering this hard drive (part of an array; we just sent it off to have the drive's platter swapped... hopefully that will work out). Went to Factory, eventually about a dozen people showed up: Akira came down from New York, picked up Alex (who I will refuse to refer to as "assrabbit", cDc nickname or no) in Jersey. Emmet Plant (from pobox) and his girlfriend, Steph, came out. Emmet seems pretty hardcore about joining Factory, and has some good ideas about it. Went to dinner at Nam Phoung, which everyone seemed to enjoy (lots of nerd humor, etc). They sat us away from everyone else, obviously detecting Akira's miscreant streak and the effect it would have on everyone else.

Hung out at Factory for a few hours after that, getting some work done. It's goddamn hot down there.

Saturday morning I went to dinner with Alex and Adam before Alex headed back home. Stopped by Showcase on South St. to pick up a couple books of The Authority and Y: The Last Man. Sat around for a few minutes before Andrew came over and we headed over to Home Depot to buy some fans and then swung down to my old apartment to get the last of my stuff. Jason tried to get me to clean "my" bathroom, but I refused, stating that he and his pothead friends have been pissing all over it for the last month and a half and I have no goddamn intention of cleaning it. I'm glad to be done with all that. Definitely appreciate Andrew's help in getting my shit out of there.

Back to Factory, then, to pick up some stuff Andrew wanted to take back to his apartment. He's still pretty reticent about letting anyone in there, and dropped me off at home before taking the junk back to his place. I imagine something like John Doe's apartment in se7en, only with computer manuals and boxes full of twenty year old computer gear.

This is the first day in a while where I've got to sit around doing nothing. Woke up, ate some cereal, watched some TV with Pete (we've been watching season one of Millennium. Read some comics once Pete left for his folks place.

Cleared the last of my shit Andrew and I went and picked up yesterday from the old apartment out of the middle of room . A bunch of stuff I don't need, except for my computer chair.

Nice, lazy day.

Got a headache around 1600, so I took a nap. Got up, watched more Millennium, made some dinner (PB&J, Easy Mac, pepperoncinis; I should have made a salad, but we're out of lettuce and I definitely didn't feel like trooping around anywhere).

And now it's time to watch a couple more eps of yet another show Fox cancelled and maybe read some Y, and then sleep.

It maybe isn't much of a life, but at least I've stopped bleeding out my ass.

Goddamn aliens.

August 3, 2004

Has media so affected our perspective that we've lost the ability to live our own lives? When we fight with our loved ones, are we actually displaying true emotion, or acting out the script from last weeks teen angst drama? When we argue with our girlfriends ex-boyfriend, are our words our own or some self-righteous pretty boy so far removed from actual people he may as well be another species?

When we tell her we love her and that it will work out, is that us, or the lines of some craggy forty-something actor with his eyes slitted against a western sunset, grating out chosen words about love and life?

Have our relationships always been so convuluted, so intertwined and complex, or did we just soak it up while in the womb and become acclimated to the idea of it? When did straight-forwardness become rare?

When we walk down the street, watching the people around us, fragments of overheard conversation becoming a torrent of background gossip radiation, is this life? These dramatized overreactions, the thrill of thrusting intimacy into the ears of passing pedestrians; were we always like this, before someone sat down with a pen and thought to themselves, "How can I glamorize this emotion? How can I make this edgy and sexy and make people want to wear it or talk like it or pretend in their head that this is how the world is, just so they can get through their nothing day?"

Have we so lost our way through the maze of commercials and soft drinks and designer clothing that we have no concept of whatever true human interaction might have once meant?

Where do the lies end, and we begin?

How much more of this can I take?

August 6, 2004

Sitting at home on a Friday night, coding and eating noodles.

Going to watch In the Mouth of Madness.

Adam is leading a Factory team-building exercise at Intermezzo at the moment, relying on alcohol I suspect to dull the pain.

I think I'll sit here with my Perl and my ramen and pretend I'd rather not be elsewhere.

August 12, 2004

Yay for drinking alone.

Vodka out of a whiskey glass, not so awesome.

August 17, 2004

I've been down-hearted, baby
Ever since the day we met

August 29, 2004

Just got back from the last party at MIchelle's old place. Still drunk. Typing with eyes closeed, head won. Somehow managed to get upstairs. Have hiccips. Bad. Major hippcups.

Apogolize in advance for anything I may have said, or did not say, tonight.

Recall everyone leaving as soon as The Drunkfuck Drexel-related crew entered a room.

Recall sitting on porch with Michelle gods know what sort of nonsense.

Good thing I'm okay with making an ass of myself, yeah?

No idea what idioicy I was spouting. Excellent.

Sat downstairs for twenty minutes after Pete gave me a glass of water before he went to bed and sang along to Everclear.

There is something wrong with me. My life.

The tracks are broken.

The train has fallen.

Why the fuck do I have the death hiccups.

Note: Eric Gallo is funny as shit when plastered.

Note: Michelle is hot.

End transmission.

Showered. Teeth brushed. Hydrated.

I feel almost human again.


The obnoxious thing is that I really didn't want to drink last night. But something cracked, and I gave up. Not gave in, just up. Internalized nonsense leaking out and infecting my better judgement. Typical.

I suppose, as Eric said earlier this afternoon, we just needed to learn a little more respect for Jeremiah. If merz actually drinks that garbage on a regular basis, he's more insane than he looks. Just looking at a picture of the bottle makes me want to go stick my head in the toilet for another eight hours.

One of the more amusing things about last night is how segregated the party was. All the loud, faced, academic nerds making asses of themselves and talking about feces on one side, with everyone else vacating the premises when we wandered towards them.

I vaguely recall stumbling into a conversation with Nick, Mihai and Pete, where Nick was explaining his research. Christ knows what nonsense I spouted.

I'm really not a fan of drinking. I know this, I knew it last night. I just need to remember, regardless of internal conflicts, what a fucking awful idea it is.

If nothing else, at least I apparently amused the hell out of Pete. That counts for something.

(Also: Eric, you ate chicken, you drunk homo vegan!)

September 1, 2004

There was lettuce inspectors at the salad bar today.

They was POKIN at it with IMPLEMENTS.

There wasn't any beepin' stuff, though, and no blinkin' lights, so I don't think they was from the govment.

I wonder what them salad people done to deserve the pokin'.

September 4, 2004

I am very tired.

Today was Day One (for humans who aren't Sophy and Adam) of the much-feared Mass Wedding Event. A traditional (or near enough) Cambodian wedding which is taking place a week after their civil ceremony. So they've technically been married for a week now, but until this whole thing is over, they aren't effectively married.

I'm not really sure I'm conscious enough now, or ever will be again, to describe today in any detail, so I will just ramble. I am sure you are very surprised by this sudden change in my story-telling.

Yesterday I was supposed to be off from work. But ha ha, the CTO had other plans and came and picked me up. I spent the day accomplishing nothing, certainly not what he wanted me to fix. I get home, try to convince Pete to come with me to Men's Wearhouse, fail, and go by myself. Run into merz at Wawa, then everyone else on the corner. Adam reminds me that Liz's show is that (Friday) night. I say I'll be there as soon as possible (though this is in Bryan-time, which everyone knows is massively unreliable), and go to the suit store. I procure a suit with very little effort. I go home. Pete and I go to Liz's show at Nexus, which is awesome and had what appeared to me to be an Extreme Turnout.

Andrew asks me how work is going, and something snaps, and I start yelling "Fuck you! Fuck you!" while pointing and waving at nothing in particular. Andrew is extremely amused by this, the breaker pops, and I quickly calm back down.

Then dinner at Aoi, which had some pretty awesome beef teriyaki. I will have to take Ricardo and Gloria the next time they come down.

Everyone else went to Mom's but I bitched out, as usual, and came home to sleep, as I suspected the ceremony would be not incredibly comfortable.

Got up early, went and got a haircut. The woman told me I looked like Doogie Howser, which is something I haven't heard in a few years but is apparently still true. Picked up a couple roses for Michelle, as in some technical world we were supposed to be going to the wedding as a date($rand). Got home, took a shower, and then sat around. Mm. Sitting. After the rest of the day, I would look back on that sitting with much fondness.

Michelle showed up at Pete and my place a little over an hour before we needed to be at Sophy's (at 1400), with Mihai in tow as he was kind enough to offer us a ride to South South Philly. We took time getting dressed, sat around watching the first twenty minutes of Akira, and there was some point-taking with regards to our DVD collections.

Get to Sophy's. Stand around for two hours waiting for the band to show up.

Band shows up at 1600. A bunch of stuff happens and obviously none of the white people have a fucking clue what is going on. There is paper which describe the proceedings, and we read it, but it continues to avoid making sense. I suspect the paper was laced with a narcotic of some sort. There is someone from Sophy's work who looks like a young, very tall, Mathew Broderick, but apparently he is not a genetically altered clone, but a guy named Br[i,y]an. I mention it because I think he felt left out of us standing around talking to each other, which is never a fun person to be.

Time passes. It is hot, uncomfortable, loud, no idea what anyone is saying, but it remains somehow mesmerizing. I think the amount of pain and discomfort Sophy and Adam are in is somewhat akin to watching an autopsy, only much less pretty. There is an enormous amount of food sitting in the living room (the dowry; the Groom's, I believe) and Pete is staring at is as he has not eaten. Pete when he doesn't eat is sort of scary.

Eventually we all go outside and they hand the dishes (there are two of everything) to people. Michelle and I were handed chickens. Or duck. Or some fucking thing. Later, Liz told me they still had their heads on but I somehow failed to notice this fact and was suitably freaked out by it. Evan and Andrew get plates with bottles of Pepsi lashed to them, which we decide is meant to signify sugar. We all get lined up, in pairs, and walked back into the house with the food. Traditionally, the groom's family would have brought all this food and we wouldn't have been already in the house to start with. However, Adam's family being Italian, we all agreed that it was unlikely pasta was what Sophy's family was going for.

There was some music, some talking. There was much reverb. The band managed to fix the reverb for the talking, but the talking guy demanded the reverb be brought back, and thus it was.

I don't remember a whole lot. We all kept each other amused by making faces at Adam, Sophy and Eric (who was the Groom's Dude, I have no clue what the terminology would be, but he had to dress up like Aladdin, too, so).

Then there was The Pretend Hair Cutting, Signifying Some Stuff. I tried to get Michelle to go up with me to Pretend Cut Adam and Sophy's Hair, but she was having none of it, so Liz and I did it instead. As did many other people. Sophy's mother was apparently afraid Pete was going to actually cut Adam's hair and almost took the scissors away from him. There was also a little bottle of perfume that you weren't actually supposed to spray, just act like it, but everyone was spraying it. The smell apparently made Eric incredibly nauseous as he looked like he was going to vomit for a while.

There was also a little mirror so you could show the bride and groom how well you pretend cutted their hair. When Adam's father showed him the mirror, all the non-Cambodian people laughed, thinking it was just Adam's dad being funny, as apparently he has an awesome sense of humor, but no, it was actually part of the ceremony. I didn't feel like an ass laughing, though. Humor was needed.

I told Adam and Sophy they looked fabulous and absolutely gorgeous while wiggling the mirror around to make it impossible to see the hair Liz hadn't cut off them. They looked like they needed a fucking laugh is what, but more like they needed to get out of there.

Eventually more stuff happened, but I don't remember much of it. We went to Sonoco for stuff and there was food brought out at some point. I didn't eat any of it, figuring it would probably be an ungood idea. Undoubtably I was correct, thought it certainly smelled good.

Then there were pictures, which was entertaining. We finally got out a little after 1830, I think. Not sure on the time. Adam and Sophy didn't actually get done until 2130 and 220 respectively.

Everyone else (Boston Nick, NYC Jason, Irene, Liz, Andrew, Evan, Pete and myself; Maggie, Matt and Kyle also came out) went to the Diner for dinner. I destroyed a salad, cheesesteak, and a just about all of a piece of cake. Fucking starved.

Except for all the uncomfortableness and how obviously unhappy Adam and Sophy were (her family is insisting on all of this), it was an interesting day. I like having any excuse to see people I never, or rarely, get to see (Nick, Jason; Michelle, which is kind of sad), but it would be awesome if we didn't have to sit around for six hours to do it.

And tomorrow is another five hours, then the reception tomorrow night.

There's other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention. A lot of amusing comments, which is why I enjoy hanging out with these meatbags, and some other stuff I will be beaten for repeating.

Mm. Beaten.

I require the sleep now. Must be out of here early to get to Ceremony of Doom Part II by 0900.

Thank god Monday is a fucking holiday, or there would be extreme amounts of unhappiness spilling out of my skull and burning holes in things.

September 5, 2004

(Everyone likes wombats.)

I just took the best nap ever. I don't know what I did to deserve it, but man, I rock for whatever it was.

Got up at 0700 this morning, laid in bed for a while. Eventually Pete stuck his head through the door and said he wasn't feeling well, so I was probably on my own for the wedding stuff this morning. I stumbled out of bed, showered, called Liz, and we took a cab down to Sophy's. Michelle called mid-route and informed us that nothing had started yet, so being thirty minutes late wasn't a big deal.

Harry was there, and a couple more people I didn't know. And Jim. Jim in a suit. I didn't recognize him at first. Fucker cleans up damn well.

There was more ceremony stuff, with the music, and a lot of dinging today. There was some dancy, some walking around.

People tied string to Adam and Sophy's wrists, and eventually we got to throw little rice things at them, which we stripped off the stalk ourselves. Very odd.

Some old woman threw her stalks at Nick and I.

There was this little kid who needed a spanking. Or a swatting. Or a damn Ritalin martini. He ran into me about a dozen times, and kept laying around all over the floor. While extremely annoying, apparently the faces I was making kept everyone around me amused.

They gave Adam a little sword, which Adam told Eric: "This is the sword I kill my in-laws with." Then there was more walking around then we pretty much all fitlered outside; Michelle, Liz and I hung around for a few minutes, then made a break for it.

Tonight is the reception. I have a s/toast/roast/ half-prepared. Apparently Adam's brother Scott has the same idea. I should discuss it with him beforehand. Tonight is also, apparently, formal, so I will be Suiting back up. Fear my sexy suitness. I know you fear it.

Michelle also made "I am so completely average noises". I kept my mouth shut today, as last night I got yelled at for making other noises. I'll probably be getting yelled at for making those other noises shortly enough, however.

Now I need to work on my toast and possibly find something to snack on.

September 6, 2004

Pete and I headed down to the restaurant a few minutes early, got seated, and sat around watching all the crazy stuff going on. Sophy and Adam were pinning flowers on people as they came in, there were many people taking pictures, kids were running around. It was pretty chaotic.

There was much fooding, twelve courses in all, most of which was seafood, so I didn't eat a whole lot. A chicken came out with its head still attached, and Jason (asm) made a disturbing little sculpture out of it.

A full fish, empty inside, but with all sorts of stuff baked onto it and cherry eyes came out. Adam's little brother Dane walked up to our table, saw the fish, and made a face that caused me to laugh for a good two minutes.

Pete is completely enamored, to put it politely, with Cambodian/Asian women now.

The band was painfully loud, Cambodians do this thing that looks like Hawaiian hula dancing (the thing with the hands), but only in lines. Hula line dancing. Or in circles. Watching a bunch of Italians do this was completely hilarious. Watching Cambodians boogy down while Italians dance around with mad American style through their lines was also pretty awesome.

Adam's brother Scott gave a toast which was completely offensive, and pretty entertaining. He kept skipping pages, which he later came back and read to us. I didn't get a chance to give my toast at the reception, as there wasn't really any time between all the incredibly loud music, dancing, eating, and finally the cake cutting and boquet throwing.

All in all, I think it was exceedingly cool. Sophy looked amazing in her wedding dress.

After the reception, we all managed to get over to Adam's to sit around for four hours for drinking and laughing. It was pretty fucking awesome. I smoked way too many cigarettes with Eric.

Adam busted out the champagne (which was astoundingly awful, I gave my glass to Nick who, while a trooper and drank it, was making Faces the entire time), and I gave my toast. There were many interruptions, those bastards, but I think it was received well. The text follows. Unfortunately for Michelle I didn't manage to record it, which is a pity, because the comments while I was giving it were very entertaining.

First, I'd like to thank Adam for bestowing upon me the privilege of carrying a chicken in yesterday's dowry parade. It was very exciting. And heavy. Unfortunately, my fellow chicken-bearer couldn't be in attendance tonight.

I've known Adam and Sophy for a few years now. Adam and I have seen each other in good and bad times, some of which involved handguns or too far much alcohol, but luckily never both at the same time, and I'm proud to have witnessed the last couple days. As a career bachelor, I'm sure I only know a fraction of the trials and tribulations they've faced to get to this point; the dragons slain, the mountains moved, the rivers re-routed. And here they are, through the rings of fire and over the pits filled with Kevlar-adorned venomous monkeys.

I'm incredibly proud of both of them.

Now... THAT said, Adam can be absolutely intolerable at times. Anyone here who knows me knows that I am a man of infinite patience, but somehow Adam has the singular facility of pissing me off at the drop of a hat. He can be pedantic, long-winded, disgusting, overly detailed, and needlessly perverse. And when he gets VERY drunk, he gives incredibly awful advice -- like telling his poor drunk friend he should go home with a 40 year old woman -- or tries to pay people to throw potato salad at other people. Which I, as an Irishman, find morally repugnant.

Sophy is OBVIOUSLY an angel.

However, there is a thread of decency that binds Adam together, and resonates with a similar thread in Sophy. Something that pulls them together, strengthens them, and drives them to better themselves as human beings, for themselves and for each other. The last few days have been, if nothing else, a testament to the strength of that bond.

And it's that thread, that will to be a better man, that requires me to consider Adam a worthwhile human being and a good friend despite hearing the same poop jokes dozens of times.

There should be something here about a successful marriage, or something, blah blah blah.

And so, Adam, Sophy, may your marriage age like a fine wine: May you gain clarity, and may you spend plenty of time horizontal.

Got home around 0345, and now I'm going to read for a little while, try to ignore the cigarette smell on my hands, and then sleep for a day or two.

September 9, 2004

It astounds me that anything works, ever.

September 10, 2004

Went downstairs a half hour ago, realizing I'd forgotten to kick a sleeping Pete off the couch to go pick up his suit for yet another wedding this weekend. Instead, there's a note on the coffee table:

Have a horrible weekend fuckhead. - Pete

Made me laugh.


Now I need to figure out what the hell do to with myself this weekend.

September 11, 2004

Jesus fuck.

I'm glad Evan and Hil are okay.

I would not be a happy monkey if Evan managed to get his silly ass capped in a fucking MCDONALD'S ROBBERY.

People. I dunno sometimes.

September 13, 2004

Correcting for the time it takes the world to turn, I'll be twenty-five in about six hours. Since I'm not going to be awake to bitch about it then -- hopefully, assuming I don't get a call from work dragging me out of beautiful unconsciousness -- I figured I would whine about it now.

Then I thought, what really do I have to whine about?

I have a job. I have a place to live and a roommate whose throat I don't want to rip out. I have friends, and things to do. Books to read. My family is all healthy, knock on wood.

Of course, sitting over in the negative pile are a lot of things I consider more important than most of that. Ambition. The willpower to finish anything I start. A girl.

Mostly I lack willpower. Self-discipline I have, for the habits I'm entrenched in, but no willpower for new habits or new disciplines.

So looking around, I'm twenty-five and don't have fuckall to show for it. No real idea on how to get that far, either.

What I need are some birthday monkeys to give me a swift Converse-covered kick in the ass to help me figure out what I need, what I want, and how to get it.

If I remember correctly, Michelle promised birthday monkeys. So?

September 15, 2004

Eating beef jerky for breakfast is pretty awesome, though not something I want to do regularly.

Getting no sleep last night was not awesome. The sheets my mother sent me for my birthday, however, are pretty awesome.

Coming in and having a drive I was working with last night, before turning the machine off, and having that drive dead, is not awesome at all.

Watching NTFS compile is about the most entertaining thing ever, whereby "entertaining" I mean it's like punching myself in the nuts every two minutes, to commemorate a percent formatted.

Except for Adam and Sophy getting back into town tonight from their honeymoon, I can't think of a single thing I have to look forward to today, except going home and sleeping.

(Whoever guesses where the post's title is from gets to cockpunch me for being a big pussy.)

September 16, 2004

Adam and Sophy flew back into Philly last night from the mean streets of San Fran, looking tired but, I think, much more relaxed than when they left. Adam called as their plane was taxiing and woke my ass up (from a dream where I was at the diner with him, annoyingly enough) from a nap. I called Andrew, and we agreed to meet up around 1930.

Michelle called, surprising me, and I wandered up to the Diner a bit early. She gave me a birthday monkey, which is pretty awesome. I think I'm going to name him Smack da Monkey. It seems Jhonen-esque. Also, I wore the monkey on my back as we walked back to my apartment, so the name will work on multiple levels. Pictures will be forthcoming.

Dinner was entertaining, though Michelle had to bail early to nominally get work done. Over their honeymoon, Sophy got her hair cut and dyed it. Contrary to everyone insisting it looked awesome, she decided to dye it brown again. Even the clerk at CVS where she bought the brown dye said she should leave it red.

Freakin' women.

September 24, 2004

I hate not having anything to look forward to.

I hate looking forward to something only to have it blocked by everything else.

If you had to make a list of the things you could do, today, and tomorrow, and the day after, to make yourself a happier person, how long would that list be?

September 26, 2004

Today was a good day. The plan was for me to come up to Bethlehem Friday night for the start of the Celtic Classic festival, but work interfered. So Saturday morning, I got up at 0500, showered, dressed, called a cab. Saw a squirrel running along phone lines, no doubt going about some evil machinations. Saw a Deer Park water bottle full of what appeared to be urine sitting on a sewer grate at 9th and Spruce. Sat in the Greyhound station for an hour or so, trying to read The Dark Tower while a woman sat next to me prattling in Spanish on her cell phone so fast it was almost impossible to recognize as language.

The brief pauses as she listened to the few words whoever she was conversing with could get in before reattaching to whatever ranting thread she was spinning out.

Eventually the bus comes, and I get on, and try to sleep against the constant droning of some woman boring (I can only imagine he was just being polite) the hell out of the bus driver. Reiterating her points over and over, such as they were, using minutely changed phrasing and then agreeing with herself.

Get to the Allentown station, climb into the car with Gloria and Rik, and almost fall asleep. Hang out for a bit at their apartment, then decide to head out for the parade. As we're walking up the street, we run into John and his girlfriend, M. (whose name I am not going to try to spell). Good timing. We go and watch the parade. Many drunk men in skirts playing bag pipes. A number of school bands are also in attendance. Several convertible PT Cruisers are in the parade as well, which was somewhat jarring. The drivers all looked to be car salesmen. Slicked back hair, the works.

Eventually we made our way to the festival itself. I had a meat pie of some sort. There was some dancing. Some cupar tossing and weigth for height throwing. Unfortunately we couldn't actually see the guys tossing the cupars; the crowd was so thick we saw only what appeared to be telephone poles moving under their own power, and sometimes, if they wanted it enough, jumping into the air, and possibly spinning when they hit the ground.

I got sunburned, which is something that hasn't happened in ages.

Went to go see Shaun of the Dead, which I highly recommend, even if you aren't into zombie movies. It was all sorts of funny.

There were two kids that sat in our row who had to be trying to look like Jay and Silent Bob. If they weren't, they must have been lost, because Jersey is miles and miles from here.

The Seed of Chucky preview ended on a line that made Rik, Gloria and I groan: "GET A LOAD OF CHUCKY." Awesome.

Went to the Golden Gate Diner (which, as Rik found out after asking the owner after our meal, was named after the Greek Golden Gate to Heaven, and not after the fact that much Bethlehem steel went into the Golden Gate Bridge; as always I love when names work on multiple levels, so I was very amused) for dinner. I ate too much, but seeing as how I had a small meat pie and three tacos in the last two days, I'm not too worried about it.

I am unhappy that neither Pete or Michelle got to hang out with the tildekids today, as it's such a good, relaxing group. C'est la whatever, I suppose.

Time to read some more Dark Tower, and then sleep. I'm about two hundred pages from the end... and I'm scared of what King is doing. I don't know that it's bad. But it isn't good.

Mostly I'm afraid it may be right...

September 27, 2004

Just got home from work. Walked to and from the respective stations, what has been oft referred to as angry white boy music deafening me.

Tired, hungry and more than a little sweaty now.

Felt good to just walk, though.

Debating on food, reading, or maybe staring at my notebook until I fall asleep. The latter is becoming a habit.

October 1, 2004

Went out with Pete and his friend Elise last night. Got some food at The Last Dish then went upstairs for the Moqita show. It was even better than I'd been expecting. Those guys are phenomenal.

We met up with Adam, Sophy and Jon around 2200. Pete and Elise took off around midnight, Sophy and Adam shortly thereafter. Jon was still raving out when I skulked off around 0100. My throat was killing me. It's still killing me. Awesome.

The show, though, was awesome. The fluteboxing stuff was great, the timing on everything was perfect. Excellent. J.G. called Ashley (?) up to sing Round the Way, and she was incredible. I took off just as J.G. was asking if everybody was ready to shake their ass, because, well. No one wants that.

Great time.

October 5, 2004

I got a twenty dollar bill from a Wawa ATM yesterday with the following message stamped on the back:


I was suitably entertained, but now I don't want to spend it.

October 9, 2004

There are few things I enjoy more than walking down 130 in the dark.

Mm. New Jersey.

October 18, 2004

Woken this morning by the subtle beating of someone else's heart, the bellows of their lungs a rhythmic calming; the sounds of kids being readied for school, sneakers sending ancient wooden beams creaking in the freezing air.

Hours, nowhere near enough, later, we took Nancy to the Burlington airport so she could catch her flight home.

Keri (the bride) and Steve (the groom, a friend of mine of many, many years, though at times our contact has been somewhat patchy) and I grabbed lunch at a most excellent Thai place. I got some pad beef and brocolli, Steve tried the beef pho on my suggestion, and Keri got Vietnamese pad Thai. Extremely good. They dropped me off at the airport so I could catch my flight. There was much talk of their visiting Philadelphia in the near future, which would be awesome, though I think they should wait until the spring so they can do all the touristy things without freezing their asses off.

Got through security with no issues, and sat in front of the giant windows overlooking the field; watched F-16s flown by the Burlington "Mountain Men" National Guardsmen land on the strip, listening to Vermillion Pt. 2 on repeat. Eventually the flight was called and I slept for an hour.

These regional planes are so damn tiny. Twin jets, and you can't even stand up in the cabin. The first plane was a three-rower, and seemed to be full except for the seat next to mine. Lucky me. The second was a four-rower, but my fellow passenger was an older businessman and obviously well-schooled in flight and caused me no troubles.

Touched down, got my bag, and hailed a cab. "Yo, man. Philly." The driver looks me. "You know, just somewhere in the city," I quip. According to the card in the window separating us, his name is Yuri Berger; he has a thick Russian or Czech accent (I can't tell the difference, I don't think) and I restrained the urge to ask him if that was an Americanized name, and why had he changed it. He laughs and says, "That's good, but any streets in particular?"

I really can't believe how much fun I had at this wedding. Those damn French Canadian-derived humans can drink just as much as the Irish/Hungarian crowd, and know how to party down. In truth, I fully expected this last week to be pretty awful, and was extraordinarily happy with how it all turned out. I really miss hanging out with Steve. He's fucking awesome. And having finally met Keri, and watching she and Steve interact, and how he interacts with her kids, I feel much better about the whole thing. After we all filed out of the chapel, when we're hugging and kissing and shaking hands with the wedding party, Keri hugs me and says, "Didn't think it would actually happen after the other night, huh?" Referring to a stress-blowout.

"I never had any doubt."

The wedding itself was amazingly beautiful. Keri looked astounding. The ceremony itself was non-traditional and very, very classy. The mayor did the actual marrying and did an excellent job... but he somehow managed to miss an important bit, after having pronounced the marriage:

Mayor Dan: "Now, Keri and Steve would like all of you to attend a reception they're holding---"
Steve: "uh, pst, we haven't kissed."
Keri: "What about the kiss?!"
Mayor Dan: !
Mayor Dan: "You may kiss the bride!"

The next day, looking at pictures with Nancy, Keri and a very nice relative of theirs whose name I don't recall, we were laughing about that, and how perfect the rest of the ceremony had been. I opined that something like that had to happen, just for the sake of the story it provided.

It's the flaws that make things interesting.

Jesse and I drove over to the reception, which was a great time. We ended up staying two hours after it was scheduled to stop because people were having so much fun. The DJ was that good, which surprised the hell out of me. I expected cheese, and there was some, but he pulled it all off with easy skill. Everyone was dancing and having a good time.

The best man's speech was awesome (he choked up in the middle of it, and the entire room started tearing up as well; later he had the nerve to worry enough to say he thought that he'd fucked it up somehow, because he had to fight to get the words out. We were justifiably angered and insisted it had been perfect). There was much dancing and drinking. I got a few slow dances in with Nancy, and got a little freaky as well. Not well, mind you, but I can't say I cared much about how I was doing at the time.

On top of all these great events, there was a near-constant hanging out with cool people. Word to the Plattsburgh Crew for being such good people. Also got to see Jesse, who I haven't heard from in years.

And now I'm home, showered, in my flannels and too awake to sleep, too tired to get dressed to get food. Displaced. A lot of really good memories mixed in with the sad leave-taking of new friends and old.

By no means was this trip trans-oceanic, but I'm still waiting for my soul to catch up to the rest of me.

October 19, 2004

The kind of phone call that I just had, I could do with more often.

Interesting how random life can be, and how completely untethered it can become.

October 22, 2004

Moqita is playing another show at Liquid next Thursday (Oct 28). People in for Pumpcon should plan on attending. :)

Lali Puna, a German techno-ish band Andrew found a while back, is playing at First Unitarian on Nov 18th. Definitely down for that. Grats to merz for paying attention to show listings.

Went out to Tavern on Green last night with the Drexel kids. Not really a fan of that bar, I think, but the nachos were okay and hanging out with fellow meatbags is something I seem to enjoy.

Talked to Nancy for a couple hours last night. Things there certainly seem to be working. I am encouraged. Just got cleared for my remaining vacation days. Hmmm...

Now I just need to get work sorted out a bit more than it is. Just three or four big things need to be done, as well as somehow accomplishing the Move.

The ditto script is being refactored right now. Objectifying it and adding a couple useful features.

Wrote a couple pages of stuff last night. Some continuing in the hotel clerk girl vein, and a couple paragraphs of what felt very, very much like system. The latter isn't very surprising, as I had gone through some of system yesterday afternoon before sending it off to abuse Nancy with.


October 23, 2004

Needed to work off some nervous energy, so I got dressed and walked up to City Hall. That's a good fifty or sixty block walk, for those of you who have both have no idea where I live and don't live in Philadelphia. I haven't done that walk in a long, long time. It was needed.

Started off with Duality, then edged into Vermillion for a few repeats, then the acoustic version of The Hollow. Somewhere in there was an acoustic version of The Freshmen. After that I just let the iPod be random and more often than not, the music was appropriate to my mood and surroundings.

I walked up South St. to Broad, then up and around City Hall. Then back down. Took about an hour and fifteen minutes, and just as I was locking the front gate and heading up the walkway to my front door, Nancy called.

She has been reading some stuff I sent her the other night, and used words that would have had me blushing had I not just worked up a decent sweat in the process of walking fifty fucking blocks. Thanks to the Irish blood running down the Allen line, I tend to glow red after a moderate amount of exertion. The word "talent" was uttered a number of times, which is a word that always makes me really nervous. I tried to explain to her that whatever I have in me, regardless of its quality, isn't something, as Gibson put it, I have consistant access to. But she liked it all, and that makes me happy.

I also related to her my idea of flying down there for Thanksgiving, though that's an entirely arbitrary date, really. The idea went over very well.

Now I'm going to put All That Could Have Been, Still on repeat and stare at the ceiling for a while.

October 24, 2004

You aren't around to talk to anymore, though even when you are, I don't know how. I never thought that would happen; that I'd forget how to talk to you.

Of all the myriad ways in which you gained my trust, when it was over, I couldn't trust you to be around. And over all these days, these years, while I held myself open for new wounds to be made, I was always holding back, always secretly wishing and hoping for some perfect thing to emerge and scoop me up, to be wrapped up in covers and someone else's love.

For the idea of you to become reality. And, now...

October 26, 2004

Dreamed last night that I was Little John in some fucking odd variation on Robin Hood, in which the Maid Marian burned to death in a tavern fire.

What the shit?

(Title from John Keat's Robin Hood, to a Friend, not his best stuff.)

October 29, 2004

So last night I was at work until around 2230, doing various sysadmin things that because of this merger have been neglected. I spent an hour or so at our colo, updating kernels, rebooting machines, testing applications, etc. I got home around 2330, talked to Nancy for a couple hours, and then crashed.

At 1000 I get a call from Adam saying that osiris, the production database/fileserver is acting weird and none of the applications that use it are working. So I log in, note that the load average is 150 and rising, and notice that a) many many rsyncs are running (there is a live mirror of all the data on another machine), a lot of pgsql maintenance processes. In fact, I notice that anything that tries to talk to the RAID array is hanging. So I check the system log and sure enough, there are all sorts of SCSI errors.

I think to myself, could this becaused by 2.6's new Adaptec 7k driver? Naw... maybe I hit the cable or something last night (ignoring the fact that I tested the apps after the kernel upgrade).

So I spend a half hour updating the backup server (because save for syncing the database data, dump files, and the production files themselves, I haven't really set this box up as a secondary server) with everything, changing all the application information (which amounts to changing "foo-db" entries in /etc/hosts and changing NFS mounts to point at isis, the secondary), and it all seems good. In fact, the clients say that it's noticably faster. Considering that osiris (the sad primary) is a dual Opteron 240 with a gig of RAM, and isis (the secondary) is a P4 something with half the RAM and a slower drive, I'm inititally confused. Then I think about it for two minutes and realize it makes perfect sense, though I still don't really care about it.

Anyway, then I get a call stating that anubis, the pre-press backup mirror (which eats backups from the production pre-press server via an NFS mount and ditto_sync.pl) is dead. In fact, it's dumped to the debugger. Awesome. First time I've seen OpenBSD eat itself.

Then I get a call saying that sobek, the pre-press Xserve with attached XRAID, is being "really slow".

Note to self: Update ditto_sync.pl to check what it's writing to. If it's trying to write to something that is not an NFS mount, exit. Otherwise / will suddenly be very, very full, and the machine will be running very, very slowly.

It's a problem, but one easy to fix.

Amusingly, while OS X continued to operate more or less just fine, the GUI completely stopped responding and wouldn't wake up. Go BSD "subsystem".

So to fix sobek I have to go into work. Adam and I then go out to the colo to fix osiris, or rather just reboot it and deal with it later, deciding that isis is now the new primary until we can re-architect the whole data asset management network thing into something that isn't a thing but a thing that doesn't suck. I head back into the city just as solios is getting off his train at 30th St Station. He takes a cab into the city and manages to get to my apartment before me.

We then spend the day walking around the city, eating about four lunches with various people, two dinners with other various people, and see very amusing things, like:

  • Arab cab driver with a bullhorn out his window stating that if you love liberty, you will vote for Bush.
  • On Christian or Carpenter, a line of row houses with a hole in the middle of the block, with a sign out front: "Another P.H.A. Mess. The neighborhood thanks you."

And other things I am sure I am forgetting.

We head to dinner at Gusto with Adam and Sophy, then down to B&N and Borders to get a copy of Pattern Recognition for solios, which apparently they simply do not have in Pittsburgh. Apparently Neuromancer has been re-released, so Adam and I, the fanboys that we are, picked up a copy a piece of that. Awesome. Hopefully I can get that signed if Gibson does a tour for the new book (whenever the hell that'll be out... next year hopefully).

We hung out at their place for a while, until Nick and Fred showed up, then we split up, agreeing to meet up at Liquid shortly.

I showed solios what the cover of system will be, in the unlikely even that I ever, ever get that far.

Tonight there was a Moqita show which we didn't actually geto to see Moqita play at (we got there two hours late). Two other bands were supposed to play tonight as well, but both ditched for some reason. By the time solios and I swung by Factory to get my shit, back to my apartment to drop said shit off, and got to Liquid, JG and Billy were incredibly drunk. JG complimented solios on his Crass shirt, stating that now that someone wearing that band's shirt had come to one of his shows, he was done. His career was complete. Liquid was pretty beat, which sucks. Last time there was a decent crowd up until around 0100.

And solios hasn't even heard any Moqita yet.

We then hit up the Diner for the second time today so Nick and Fred could get some food. I had some tasty pie.

I showed solios the Korean War Memorial, explaining about the whole Losing My Shit episode, and now he's crashed out on the couch and I'm about to burn out as well.

Tomorrow is Pumpcon.

October 30, 2004

Night one of Pumpcon was exceedingly cool. I am still mildly buzzed off gin and tonics. There was much amusement and enjoyment by all.

I feel relatively certain that Hinder has had a good time thus far, and will continue to have a good time. The hardcopy of ATC he had went over very well, unsurprisingly.

The question now is whether or not we'll make the talks tomorrow afternoon. Hmmm.

I amused Nancy for a good twenty minutes by going off on some random writing-related tangent when she called.

My eyes feel like I smoked a pack of cigarettes, which I did.

Alex, who last year was going for a kind of literary Bohemian thing, has since spending two months at Rutgers turned into Mark from Blink 182, was also very amusing. I love that kid.

It's currently pissing outside, and I'm listening to selected tracks of Kid A. The same ones I used to drive around Phoenix listening to, on the rare occasions when it would rain.

Life, at the moment, is good; I can only hope that it continues on this path.

October 31, 2004

Pete had to jump on my bed to get me to wake the hell up this morning. He, Dan and I went to the Diner for cheesesteaks, then rolled over to the Best Western for the talks portion of Pumpcon. We missed the Hacker Trivia section of the day, but managed to get in just as Jason was gearing up to give his talk on simulating a cortical network. Totally awesome stuff. Jason is one of those humble geniuses and one of my favorite people.

Apparently with 250 nodes in this neural network, something like ten million neurons, it's still only hitting a three millimeter thick one centimeter by one centimeter square of cortex.

I wish we had audio of the talks. The simulated neurons were related to ravers by one of the audience, to which Jason responded with something along the lines of "And now I'm going to hit ^C and kill one of those ravers."

The other talks were also entertaining, but Jason's was definitely the high point for me. I was disappointed that mudge didn't give his buffer overflow talk. He was apparently not feeling well.

Kyle got pulled in to give a brief run-down of Factory. Someone asked what exactly we do there and I had to pipe up "I think the proper answer at the moment is fuck-all." We keep saying that needs to change, but have yet to come up with anything other than it being an office away from the office.

After the talks, we headed back to our apartment and I took a much-needed nap. Eventually I got kicked out of bed again and we went to Pietro's for some awesome pizza. Then it was off to Nick's for the afterparty.

We only spent a couple hours there, as we were all pretty beat. Dan and I left with Hunter and Faith, and hung out with them on South St. for a bit. I haven't seen Hunter in months, since he quit work to go to school full-time, and he seems like a much happier individual, which makes me happy. Hunter is awesome.

There were many, many crazily dressed people out on South St. Most of them wearing too little goddamn clothing. I really wanted to yell at some of them: "Look, girl, a pair of cat ears and skank clothing do not a costume make. k? k!"

Dan and I came back here, played some Katamari Damancy and Puzzle Fighter, I talked to Nancy for a while (she called while we were in the car headed back into the city, and Hunter and Faith both gave me 'wtf' looks when I answered the phone "Hey, sweetie." People are going to have to get used to this shit) and now I'm going to read for a bit and then crash.

Rik and Gloria are supposed to come down tomorrow afternoon. Should be a good time.

November 1, 2004

Matt Gansert: can i ask you a personal question?
Bryan Allen: I've never retired a human by mistake.
Matt Gansert: dammit.

November 3, 2004

12:21 <Danelope> And now I return to officially not giving a shit about politics in any capacity.
12:22 <Danelope> Because the people of this country are fucking idiots,
destined to choke us all on bigotry, deception, and an utter lack of accountability.
12:22 <Danelope> The feeling in my gut today is moderately worse than on September 11, 2001.

America isn't a country. It's a nursery school. We're fat. We're terrified. We're easily confused. And easily convinced.

The only cities to actually get hit by terrorists voted against Drooling. Every real American city voted against Drooling.

But, look at the Idiot Curtain, red as a splattered Marine. Not a chance in hell the boogieman will hit Branson, and still they cower. Pussies. Burn the entire fucking Midwest down. Let it spread to the Plains. The South. Show them a picture of god. Send them off to war. Show them a picture of god. Kill their jobs. Show them a picture of god. Close their hospitals. Show them a picture of god. Poison their wells. Show them a picture of god. Fuck their children. Show them a picture of god.

Show them a picture of god. Show them a picture of god.

America deserves whatever it gets.

Stewart/Driver in 2008.

November 5, 2004

Kerry won...

Sounds plausible to me, considering the state of things.

November 7, 2004

A good, long day starting with a walk up to Borders, always walking against the wind, reading Don di Fillipo short stories while taking a lunch at Pine St. Pizza, capping with an excellent night hanging out with the O'Donnells.

Walking home, feeling the last shot of Jim Bean right around Broad St., as I hypothesized.

Stopped at the hole in buildings between 16th and 17th, and smoked a cigarette while looking up at the towers, envisioning the cover of system, which I fear is something I will never write and will prevent me from writing anything else.

Went and saw The Incredibles tonight. Highly recommended.

I didn't talk to you today, and it affects me more than I think I like to admit. I leave you voicemails and I think how I sound like the nagging boyfriend, or whatever I am, whatever we are, so I joke about it. All day I expect a call, something, and all day I hum song lyrics to fend off thoughts that by no rights should I be having.

The ambiguity demanded by distance, trust like leaves fallen in Autumn, and every day feels fragile, waiting, wondering, will Thanksgiving ever get here? Thinking about you meeting me at the airport, what the expression on your face will be, and how long is time when you're waiting...

The gin and tonic at the theatre bar kicked the shit out of the same at Doobies. I am disappointed: The place is no longer falling apart (on passerby) and the drinks are surpassed by chain movie theatre bars. One of the bartenders at the theatre had cleavage you could lose your mind in, and looking down into it as she got something from under the bar, I admit to feeling fear; I expected, the gin starting to wash over me, to see a light coming from somewhere around her navel, hearing the voices of the few dead loved ones I have calling to me, their voices oscillating as the ethereal sound waves flow over the contours of her body, nothing like hidden under what passes for her shirt.

Alcohol and kid's movies: An excellent combination.

Drunkenly debugging code by reading documentation is a singular experience, and how Adam can program in monochrome I have no idea; it has always made me seasick. (And remembering, now, a whale-watching trip my family took out of San Diego years ago; we saw no whales, but my mother saw her fair share of the hull of the schnooner while my sister and I ran up and down the stairs, watching the ocean cut against the portholes below deck, grinning as we were covered in sea spray at the bow underneath a deep California sky. If you could bottle that color, the depth of it, you would make no money because the feeling it engenders, you would want to give away...)

Philadephia at 0400 makes its own indelible music, coating my ears with the sound of the few cars on the roads, bums and cabbies hailing each other. The sound of my blood in my ears, desire and whatever is left in me. Mostly there is the wind through fences, through alleys, catching up leaves and plastic bags and newspaper. The sleeping sounds of the city, breathing softly in time with its citizens.

Walking across Broad I look north at City Hall, and for no reason at all I kiss my Claddagh ring, heart facing in; I bought it and its mate with you standing three feet behind me at some craft store in some town whose name I can't remember, Katie and Zoe lost somewhere amongst the rows of knick-knacks and paintings and sculptures. I hushed the owner so she wouldn't say anything as she rung me up, so you wouldn't know. And driving you back from your mom's in Steve's car the next night, it's freezing; my coat seeming to envelop you, Vermillion Pt. 2 quiet on the radio, I ask you if you went through my pockets. "Of course not," you say, almost indignant. "You should do that," I quip, and you do, finding the box with the rings in them, and walking now, not entirely in what you would call a straight line, I can almost, almost taste your lips.

Here, in this city, all these miles of concrete and glass (and how in love with that phrase am I?), the opal heart tastes like cigarettes and a long day, miles of asphalt passed under my big black boots, and underneath these street lights that stretch forever into the ghetto and suburbs of this eroded concrete paradise I've come to call home, I miss you, and long for you and I hum tunelessly, the gin and bourbon making my legs feel miles and miles away, somewhere maybe in the mid-west where there's nothing but flatness and that slow drawled accent.

I think of lines from Amy Hempel short stories and I want to scream at the broken sidewalks, because I can never tell, with her, if these stories are true or a passing fancy; a day dream or a nightmare or just something that she woke up to one morning and struck her enough to put pen to paper.

Did you know people who tend cemetaries don't call them rows, but plot lines?

You said I remind you of Sinantra, and I have no idea what to think of that.

Earlier tonight, and I'm standing in front of the mirror in my bathroom, winking at myself. I do this because I was reminded, for some reason, of you sitting down the table from me at the reception, and you looking over, catching my eye, and winking. This is an art that is closed to me, I think; my eyebrows are more easily controlled, though my eyes themselves say more than I wish them to. I think about what you said about them, words barely remembered, losing myself in you, and I turn off the light.

Later, I walk down South singing Fuel's Shimmer and Black Lab's Anything to the mostly empty street; a few drunken college kids lean over the rail of their second floor balconey, talking about what I don't know; and there are always bike punks on the streets, no matter the hour; and we come, we go, we say we know, but we don't remember, and we don't recognize each other.

Could have been anything, could have been anyone.

I pull All Tomorrow's Parties off Adam's bookshelf long after Sophy has gone to bed and I read: Through this evening's tide of faces unregistered, unrecognized...

Finally at home, I look up at the moon through the bars in the gate, and I am reminded, inexplicably, of the taste of your lipstick, your hair tickling my nose, and the sway of your hips against mine.

November 12, 2004

So very tired.

Long day at work. Swapped switches at the colo, did a quick reinstall on what was a fresh OBSD 3.5 install that I just hadn't had time to deal with.

Found a Catalyst 2900 that was full of styrofoam and spider corpses.

Didn't get home until midnight.

The switch worked, amazingly enough.

I fully expect it to catch on fire as the arachnid souls trapped in their plastic prison something something I'm going to sleep now.

November 13, 2004

I hate waiting for things.

I hate knowing that I have some big thing that is either coming up, or that I have to do. I hate knowing that I have to have a conference call with someone at 1300, or sit in a meeting Monday, or be at the airport in six days.

Instead of filling the time until the event, I sit and stare at the clock, unproductive and becoming more and more annoyed with myself.

Instead of working on my various little projects, or doing some writing, I watch the shadows on the ceiling not move. I listen to the rain.

I sit here, and I wait.

November 14, 2004

Met up with Adam for lunch yesterday. Hung out at Factory briefly. Sophy fed us dinner, then we went to Doobies with Andrew. Eric and his new boytoy showed up. Adam, Sophy and Andrew ditched around 2200 but I hung out with Eric and Russel for another two hours.

Eric was just as entertaining as always. Hopefully I did not make too much of an ass of myself, but whatever.

Nancy called and I talked, briefly, to her bartender, whose name is Brian. We gave each other shit about how we spelled our names. I gave him shit for his Kansas drawl, and then went all South Philly on him to the best of my drunk-ass ability.

Got home, drunk, and Russ (my neighbor) called so I walked down the street to the pub to meet up with him. Hard to figure out what table the nerds are sitting at, let me tell you. Waitress displayed incredularity at the fucked up AZ license but still brought me my gin and tonic. The fact that I was already drunk probably aided in her decision.

Back to Russ's, did a shot of some sort of whiskey. Back to my place, hung out with Pete, Russ, and John for a bit. I saw Pete more in the last two hours than I have all week, the gamer bastard.

Somewhere in there I woke Nancy up twice. She's so cute when she's barely awake.

Time for the sleeping.

I found Amy Hempel through an interview she did with Chuck Palahniuk. Hempel writes about things that ordinarily hold no interest for me. A family weekend BBQ. A woman dealing with an abortion. Things that are very human, but really don't encourage me to care about them.

The way Hempel writes, though, is completely amazing.

Here's a short of hers. Not her best. There's also an explanation, after the story, of the events that inspired it. (If you've read Invisible Monsters, there's a lot of this short story in Palahniuk's book, as well. Not too surprising as he's repeatedly said how much he adores her work.)

I think I prefer not knowing, at least with her work, simply because it's hard for me to discern what might have happened, and what didn't.

I've been trying to get my hands on her second book, but it's out of print, and the cheapest I can find it is $125. Figures.

November 16, 2004

What a great night.

Adam and Sophy invited Pete and I over for sausage and pepper sammiches. We picked up salad mixings, cherry pie, and ice cream.

Spent a good four hours killing two bottles of wine (one homemade which Pete supplied, garnered from a friend) and eating some incredibly good food. This is the second real dinner that Adam has had a primary hand in preparing (I already knew that Sophy was a good cook), and I'm impressed. This will hopefully become a very common thing, because it's super.

I'm not so full I feel ill (which is awesome), but am at that stage where I'm completely content.

Great night. I absolutely needed it after the pointless and frustrating day I had at work.

Now to lay in bed listening to all the blues tracks from the various Cowboy Bebop soundtracks and possibly nap until N calls and wakes me up. Mm.

November 25, 2004

The last five days have been the most surreal and emotionally erratic experience I have ever had.

I spent all day today feeling either completely dead inside, or wanting to cry my fucking eyes out.

I caught a flight out of Wichita this evening, and I can only assume that the people sitting next to me thought I was on drugs because of how I was acting. I'm spending Thanksgiving with my parents now, instead of with Nancy.

I don't know that I can talk about what happened.

I don't even really know myself, still.

I just want to sleep, but I know I'm going to feel even worse tomorrow, and right now, I can't even begin to believe it will be better any time soon.

November 26, 2004

I stole a copy of American Gods I left for my mom to read last year (and of course she hasn't, even though I know it's something she would really enjoy), and took a two hour bath.

And for the duration, I didn't think. I managed to escape, a little.

But it didn't help.

Run, desire, run
Sexual being, run him like a blade
To and through the heart, no conscience, one
Motive, to cater to the hollow

What are you supposed to take away from something that was welded together with lies, with exactly what you needed to hear, regardless of the truth?

And later, after the angry noises of the betrayed, the tears and apologetic noises, the continuing insistance that all the parts you needed to hear, they really were true. That what came out of both sides of her mouth, it was all of it true. Except some of it omitted, twisted to keep you, hold you, make you believe in her.

What are you supposed to take away from things whispered and promised, cried out?

Screamin' feed me here
Fill me up again
Pacify this hungerin'

Sitting on the couch with Eddie, and saying how there's nothing here, no meaning, nothing to take away but what she's made us feel.

Nothing but chemical responses, an incomprehensible need to believe in her again.

Nothing but momentum.

So grow, libido, throw
Dominoes of indiscretions down
Fallin' all around, in cycles, in
Circles, constantly consuming
Conquer and devour

I keep staring off into the distance and losing the thread of what people around me are saying. I'm not even thinking anything. I just feel shell-shocked, looking a thousand miles into the blurring distance of a desert night.

The moon so bright it's like a spotlight, drowning out the stars. Perched up on the mesas around this valley, I feel disconnected. Raw and bloody and my chest won't stop hurting.

I keep feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket, and I reach for it, knowing that it's all in my head.

'Cause it's time to bring the fire down
Bridle all this indiscretion
Long enough to edify
And permanently fill this hollow

That it was all of it in my head.

Screamin' feed me here
Fill me up again
Feed me here
Fill me up again

Sitting here, haunted by the understanding that yet again I was the fallback crutch, the pawn. That I stepped down and didn't fight, even though at the end, I wanted to. Just to feel her hand in mine again, and believe I'm the only one. To have her tell me how much she needs me, and have it just be a given.

Just to have her feel my eyes on her again. The way it felt like gravity between us, the tugging weight of tides and slow ions. But somehow saying instead, "We can't do this."

"I know. Just stop," she says, "stop looking at me like you do."

"Like what?"

"Like you can see right into my soul."

And you want to laugh at the sheer cliche of it, but her voice, the way it trembles, the way the neon glitters off unshed tears in her eyes, you can't do anything but reach over to the table and it's something like midnight outside in the flatlands, but in the purple-tinted darkness of the room, you put your mirrorshades on.

My voice like dead leaves in deep autumn, crackling under boots, and I say, "I don't know any other way to look at you."

Memory rattling around in my head like shattered glass in a metal box.

The way her back arched under my hands. Nuzzling my neck or chest, whispering: "You smell so good."

How, around her, I felt safe. How awake.

And now I'm here, alone, lost, and feeling so, so stupid.

Still wanting her.

November 27, 2004

Went to a little emergency care type place this morning and got the staples pulled out of my head. Painless process, and I could have done it myself, but I thought the staples had claws on them. Not the case. They were shaped like little "M"s, which makes sense considering they're meant to hold wounds together until they heal, then be easily removed.

I almost asked to keep them, as a memento, but I decided I have enough scars that I don't a few grams of metal to remind me.

It'll be nice to be able to comb my hair and not get the teeth of the brush caught on the damn things.

November 29, 2004

I'll be on a plane back to Philadelphia in nine hours.

Staying with my folks for Thanksgiving has allowed me to get my head straightened out a bit, but I still feel fragile.

Fragile, and angry, and angry about feeling like I might shatter if I remember the wrong thing.

I hate this part, but I'm not going to let myself turn off again.

I'm not going to lose another four years of my life because I let a girl get in my head and she started pulling wires.

No fucking way.

November 30, 2004

Finally home, in my own bed.

Pete and Nicole (who is visiting from Oahu) picked me up from the airport, then we met up with Adam, Sophy and Kyle at Mom's. All around a good night.

So happy to be sleeping in my own bed.

And at some point last week, we got our heater installed downstairs. Awesome.

Working from home today. I need to decompress.

December 5, 2004

Finding motivation to do the things I know I need to do is proving difficult.

So instead I sit around watching Lost and ReGenesis (Canadian show, actually very good; yeah, I know, right?) and wasting time.

Here I am, still skating.

December 8, 2004

Why the hell can't I sleep for more than four hour stretches?

I'm sure I've complained about this before, and it's not a really common thing. But when it happens, it goes on for weeks at a time, until I can't even see straight.

I sat down yesterday and made a list of things to do at work. It was an entire page long, and didn't cover things like "updating documentation" where there is documentation, or creating some where there isn't. Most of it's about a year old, though little has actually changed in terms of architecture or operation.

No progress on system so far this week.

No motion on anything at all.

December 10, 2004

Still in the grip of timed insomnia, my body slamming me into consciouness like fucking clockwork, just before I manage to actually get any rest.

No direction, and so no progress.

I think I got into a fight with Michelle last night, but it's hard to say. Guess I'll find out when she doesn't talk to me again.

Funny how familiar those words are...


It's just a matter of gaining some semblence of control. And not even taking it back because it has become clear to me that it was never mine to begin with.

(Apparently I managed to scrawl a few paragraphs of something before I passed out last night. Looks to be typical hackerfic crap. Blah.)

December 11, 2004

<kitten> Just the "hookup" thing is crap.
<kitten> These things should, ideally, happen organically.
<bda> That's how it's always happened for me.
<bda> Add one part Bryan and one part Girl to a room for a few hours, and hey, some sort of mold thing happens.
<bda> Only cute mold.
<kitten> Sounds like a great recipe.
<bda> It's worked so far. Getting to that stage is somewhat difficult.
<kitten> The hard part is getting the "girl" and "alone" and "hours" part.
<bda> Quite.
<bda> What I need to so is:
<bda> 1) Get a real ID.
<bda> 2) Go to the bar literally one block south of here.
<bda> 3) Write and get drunk.
<bda> 4) When a girl asks what I'm writing, I tell her "some stupid crap. I'm Bryan, but you can call me shit-faced."
<kitten> Yes, get a real fucking ID.
<bda> 6) We end up in my room.
<kitten> What was step 5.
<bda> I have no fucking clue.

The nice thing about the bar down the street is that it's down the street, you see. So it's a short victory walk. Or a short pathetic loser walk.

Either way, really.

(Please note that this is mostly said in jest.)

December 12, 2004

Adam O.: I can tell I'm hydrated again because I have to pee every ten minutes.
bda: Or you're pregnant.
A: With your baby.
bda: Er. Have you been scraping off my sheets and artificially inseminating yourself again?

December 15, 2004

Spent most of the day downstairs, which is a rarity seeing as how it's twenty some degrees out, and not much warmer in the living room. Cooked up some burgers that have been in the freezer for uhm, four or five months, in the George Forman grill. Dowsed them in A1 sauce and it was all good. Just goes to show, I suppose, that you put enough steak sauce on anything that it'll be fine. An Alien hasn't burst out of my chest and started singing and dancing yet, at any rate.

The Avril "Sessions at AOL" thing was on Fuse for the umpteenth time, and I noticed she was wearing a "BUTCH SUCKS" shirt, which was vaguely disturbing. Michelle's birthday took place at the Butch show up at the Northstar last week.

That was not a very happy night, unfortunately. cough.

Watched a lot of Law and Order, the season finale of South Park (which was fucking insane). Read a bunch of shell scripting docs (which I haven't done in years, as all the scripts I write, I write in Perl, but I'm bored), and did a little work.

Tickets have been acquired for flying home for the holidays (the 31st to the 6th, not exactly traditional, but...), and the plan as it currently stands is for me to fly into Phoenix, get picked up by my sister, apparently there's going to be a hotel involved, then drive to Albuquerque the next day.

Why we aren't just driving straight to ABQ I have no idea. It's only seven hours.

And of course to get back home I'll be driving the seven hours back to Phoenix, and then the sitting around in the airport, and then the flying for gods knows how many hours...

Why am I getting thos awful sense of deja vu -- oh, because I just did this last month. Hopefully I won't get punched in the head this trip.

What a fucking charlie foxtrot my life is.


Finally got around to playing with NetNewsWire after everyone and their mother wouldn't shut up about it. RSS is one of those things that I ignored because "open all in tabs" was Good Enough. Now that I've spent a day using an aggregator, I'm annoyed that half the sites I read don't syndicate...

The backup situation at work is slowly beginning to stabilize.

The mail situation at work is slowly beginning to stabilize.

It sort of drives me nuts that system is not even remotely written but I already have an idea for the sequel in mind...


I'm going to bed now.

December 19, 2004

Yesterday Adam and Sophy hosted a potluck at their apartment. About a dozen people showed up, stellar humans all, and a good time was had, with much feasting, drinking, and conversation.

I showed up a couple hours early, procured salad fixings, and made a Big Salad which I was not happy with, but eh, whaddaygonnado.

Sophy cooked a turkey, which was totally awesome, and Eric Cronin made some of the best chili I've had in years.

Saw Bryce and Steph for the first time in more than half a year, I think. Steph, as always, way more fashionable than the rest of us slobs. I unfortunately didn't try any of Bryce's curry, as by that point I was totally full and busy rolling around on the floor in my excess.

I thought Adam was joking about this, but my bottom lip actually did get stained by wine. I looked like a fucking Mentat. Awesome.

Gallo didn't smoke enough of my cigarettes and Russel was as understated yet cool as usual. I yelled at him to take off his damn tie, but he refused. Gallo: "Don't worry, I'll take it off him later."

Liz, Matt and I walked back to our part of town around 0200, I think, just in time for all the drunk people to be getting out of bars and amuse us.

Heard while walking down Pine, near 5th St, presumably some drunken frat guy: "Hey! Look at my penis!"

A truly excellent night.

And shortly, I think I will head back over and help them clear out some of those leftovers. :)

December 26, 2004

It isn't winter until I slip on ice in the street and fall in front of half a dozen people.

I am the awesome.

Time to look into re-treading my boots.

December 31, 2004

It's so awesome that I have to be on a plane in about ten hours, and instead of packing and then sleeping, I'm doing stupid sysadmin crap.

And as soon as I hit Sky Harbor, apparently there is going to be partytime. Mm. No sleep, alochol, and probably lots of people I haven't met before...

I am the rockstar.

January 2, 2005

Got into Sky Harbor at 2120 last night. Liz called, saying she and Matt were going to watch the fireworks, and was I anywhere near Penn's Landing?

Yeah, unfortunately not.

Mike and my sister picked me up. Mike's car has a biohazard symbol on the hood. Stopped by an Albertsons for a bottle of Bombay and stood outside while they bought stuff, making calls. Jason called me, which was surprising and fun. I felt like a moron when I asked him where he was, meaning what bar, and he said "I'm in the City". I heard him say "I'm in the city" and thought he meant Philly. I don't spend enough time in New York to be hip to their slang, evidently.

Off to his girlfriends, where Mike cooked a superb steak my sister bought me. She makes a mean gin and tonic, by the way.

The two guys that were there, Alex and Brady, reminded me of different actors, though I can't recall their names. I suppose that works out, since I couldn't remember Berry Pepper's name, but instead said I was once described by a crazy woman as "that sniper from Saving Private Ryan." I was being the typical obnoxious Irish drunk, I think. Good on me.

Launching bottle rockets in the middle of the apartment complex was, for some reason, thought to be a good idea. I related the story of Ian setting his beard on fire, though badly. (I also related the Quinessential Philadelphia Story as experienced by Harry, and told that one badly, too. Ah well.) While they were turning a bottle of (I think) Mike's Hard Lemonade into a blackened, smoky outline, the neighbors tossed an M80 into the yard about ten feet from me.

My first, sluggish thought when I noticed something sitting there, smoking: "Mike, how the fuck did you get the bottlerock to land there?" Then it exploded and, ears ringing, I wandered back inside.


Eventually the DDR was brought out and people began fleeing, as people are wont to do when those not blessed with the seeminly Asian-only gene which allows them to not look like complete dicks while DDRing DDR.

It took my sister and I an hour to get to the hotel, which is just unheard of. We got on the only goddamn road in the city which does not follow the grid topology of western cities but instead loops back on itself. We ended up in downtown Tempe twice before she said "Fuck this" and followed what I can only describe as a visual sense of direction. The cardinal points mean nothing to her, but once she has been somewhere before, she can rotate the area mentally and get where she needs to go. Me, I have to think about it; and me, I was intoxicated.

Get to the hotel and crash out. Woken up at 0700 by some fucker with a goddamn in his room, and it barks for a half hour. Then twenty minutes later, after it's finally shut up, some kids start running up and down the halls, screaming.

Eventually we get going. Check out, then drive-thru. Seven hours, of which I think I drove perhaps three. My laptop managed to hold power for a good portion of that, surprisingly. I will be picking up either CD-Rs or a tape-deck-thinger for my iPod for the return trip, however.

Drive-thru for dinner. And finally, around midnight (MST; 0200 EST), I take care of email and sleep. And four hours later, I'm awake... 0618 according to my laptop. It has the luxery of at least being confused about its location. Me, I'm covered in cat hair in the middle of the desert.

Hopefully I can get back to sleep soon. I have to go shopping in five hours...

At some point, I think in a daze of half sleep while driving through the Navajo strip mall that brackets either side of I-40 just west of the New Mexico border, I had a conversation with an Indian in my head, who was talking about the power and mystery of Land. And this brought to mind my High School freshmen year of English, when the teacher asked us what our natural habitat was. Most kids answered the desert, because that's where they grew up. My friend Zeb, who at the time was huge into industrial and computers and cyberpunk, said "urban."

Thinking this, I tell this imaginary Navajo in my head, that I'm in love with the city. That the city is an entirely human construct; land, open and wide, cut by swaths of wind-worn mountains, this place where I grew up, is at once familiar and completely alien to me. Cities are informed by the gross flaws and base glories of their citizens, and to me this is a fine thing. It breathes desires and loss, and almost randomly, it deigns to let you feel the weight of it. All those people and their experiences, the entirety of their lives, encased in this stone and steel organism. A city has a tangible personality I can put my hands on; something my mind turns to, gritty and wet though it might be.

The sound of foghorns on the Delaware at three A.M.

And on the other side of my mirrorshades, the desert rolls by. Dunes and big sky.

January 7, 2005


Long flight, nothing to expound upon.

Pete was awesome enough to leave newly delivered Indian food cooling to pick my ass up, then drop me at Doobies (above and beyond, that). Hanging out with the kids (and Andy B's father, who seemed to deal with us pretty well) for four hours, standing outside in the cold for twenty minutes discussing the finer points of Bratwurst creation and gestation, then walking down to Broad for a taxi.

Driver a not-so-recent emigrant of some African country, his accent sliding from straight up South Philly to something entirely other. Bob Marley piped through the cab speakers; songs I've never heard before, but on some gestalt cultural level I know, definitively, that it's Bob Marley and not some just some reggae.

Graffiti on the back seat: A poor man's rainbow and clouds proclaiming "Another Rainbow Day"; a guerilla advertisement for some clothes shop on South St., and someone's response: "I went there!"

"Shakespeare Rules", bracketed by dual lightning bolts, no doubt the work of some UArts or Temple kid.

And now to sleep, the city's skyscrapers hazy through winter night on the west side of Broad St., cupped in the foreground by row housing and streelamps.


January 17, 2005

Bitingly cold.

70% chance of ice wraiths and/or Wompas.

January 22, 2005

Went to get food with Eric C. and Kyle this afternoon. The place we were going to was closed, but we ran into Sophy and Adam while Eric was parking. After some brief snowball volleys, we stopped by Springboard to check out the Mac Mini, then headed back to S and A's place for some patented O'Donnell pasta. Hung out, watched Natural City, a Korean rip-off of Blade Runner, Aliens, and a half-dozen other movies.

Actually pretty decent flick, all around. Sophy is such an incredible girl while watching movies. I had completely forgotten how she acted during Hellboy (hiding her face at the "gory" bits), but wow. Girlie.

On my way home (about a 25 block walk) I saw four or five snowball fights and two cop cars stuck in snowbanks. The second one I had to stop and laugh at.

While crossing Broad, what had to be UArts kids were discussing the smell of one of the girls shit. They seemed to come to the conclusion that her shit only smells good when she eats lots of avacado.

Other than the roaming UArts spazzes, it's really awesome when the city gets any real snow: Everyone takes to walking down the middle of the street, hardly any cars out. Everyone's in an entertained mood. Hell, I almost joined in the biggest of the snowballl fights I witnessed, but I had my laptop with me.

Dropped my shit off at the apartment (distracting Pete from WoW for a few seconds), then headed down to Wawa. On one of the side-streets I use to get there, there were these two kids taking turns pegging each other with snowballs. They were so engrossed in this behavior they didn't notice me, and I had to announce myself: "Non-com in the CZ, yo."

A group of older people standing outside the Wawa were waiting for some of their friends inside. One, a woman of perhaps forty, was laughing because the check-out guy carded her for her smokes. "What a sweetheart." "You should go back in there and kiss him." No doubt snowballs were thrown for that comment, but I was on my way inside.

The two gunslinger-wannabe kids were still at it when I came back from procuring junk food and soda.

It still weirds me the hell out when my hair freezes.

Put up the photos I took today.

Note: My camera sucks for night shots, and I'm the worst photographer ever anyway. The blurry shit in the night shots aren't even because I was shivering, I'm just crap with dumb hardware.

January 28, 2005

I put in my notice at DCI today.

Dan suggested I do the following, and I did:

Print out a copy of Nixon's resignation letter, cross out the date and his signature with a red Sharpie, and sign and date it myself.

<Danelope> You probably don't need Kissinger to notarize it, however.

The CEO laughed, and then cursed. We talked for a bit, and he told me he wanted an exit interview in writing, and then a meeting to discuss it. My TODO list is pretty long, but manageable assuming the CTO actually gets me the gear I requested a month ago.

In fact, I'm still at work (2355) doing installs to prep for next week. Michelle and I are driving up to ABE tomorrow morning, too. I'm spending the weekend with the Signeses and (I think) jcap. Gonna be so tired.

I'll be starting at Drexel University on February 14th, working with Andrew and Harry. Totally awesome. Free classes!

<@bda> hhoffman: What do I get in way of workstation/laptop?
<@hhoffman> bda: have you ever used punch cards?
<@eniac> ha
<@bda> Only when your mom was visiting.
<@hhoffman> haha
<@hhoffman> prolly Danny's old Mac
<@bda> Whuzzit?
<@hhoffman> same as Andrew's
<@bda> 15" PowerBook?
<@hhoffman> guess so, never really bothered with it much
<@bda> 15" won't fit in my bag.
<@bda> ;_;
<@hhoffman> boo-fucking-hoo
<@bda> :D
<@eniac> new bag time dude
<@hhoffman> haha
<@bda> 12" is just right, though.
<@bda> Doesn't bang on my cervix.
<@hhoffman> don't know what to tell you bout that ;-)
<@bda> :)
<@eniac> tappin the ring eh
<@bda> True, true.

I'll miss working with Adamk, but it's good to know the sort of conversations we've had in the last four years have will be fair game at the new workplace.

Free classes!

February 6, 2005

Rik is down from ABE this weekend, for the Queensryche show.

His account of it is here, and I don't have much to add to it.

It was pretty awesome that someone threw him a beer as soon as we got out of the cab. Go Philly.

Like most metal things, the show seemed to go on just way too long in some places (or maybe that's just my knees talking). I had never heard any Queensryche before tonight (except sampling a song that Michelle spammed me, which I didn't like at all). I can't imagine ever listening to them again, but the show was pretty awesome. A definite experience.

At one point the MC/guy from some local radio station asked everyone from New Jersey to yell (about three-fourths of the crowd), then everyone from Pennsylvania. Then "all four of you" from Delaware.

My response to three fourths of a metal show crowd being from Jersey: "Big fuckin' surprise."

During a couple of the songs, the lead broke out a tamberine. I tried to yell at Rik what they really needed was more cowbell, but the two guitars, bass, drums, and everyone singing along made it unpossible. Lots of energy.

I would have enjoyed the show much more if the guy who decided halfway through the Operation: Mindcrime set to stand right in front of me did not have a neck the size of my chest, and if his girlfriend had not kept rubbing her ass against my thigh. Yeesh!

Walking back to Market to get a cab, some dude asked us if we wanted him to watch our car, so "no one breaks into it." Go Philly.

Crossing the Vine St. Expressway, some fat girl in a car yelled something at us. No idea what. Damn yelling girls.

And now it's time to go the fuck to bed.

February 15, 2005

Yesterday was my first day at Drexel. Orientation took less time than expected, thankfully.

I got tagged with a Nextel (sigh), and apparently there's a PDA on the way as well (sigh). Also a 15" PowerBook, which I'm not sure what I'm going to do with; it won't fit in my WaterField bag (a silly complaint, I know, but).

My cube (yes, I live in an actual cubefarm now) smells sort of... special. Air freshener is definitely on the list of things to procure. The lights are also on, which is going to take a long time to get used to. DCI was nice in that it was pretty much always dark inside due to the pre-press work.

First couple projects are actually things I've done, or at the very least thought about, in the past... though how far I'm going to get on them before I get Access To Things and start having to deal with DMCA complaints all day, well. We'll see. Today I get to start writing code to talk to an MS-SQL box. Ew. Rik (who does this on a regular basis) suggested a few possible solutions.

The kids went out to lunch (and they bought me food to boot) at New Deck, a keen little Irish pub sort of place. I had some tasty mac 'n cheese and a burger. And I didn't have to drive anywhere. Pretty super.

The transit is trivial. Straight up Front to the el stop at 2nd and Market. Done. Much more gooder than walking through Camden.

Time to get dressed and head out, I guess.

February 20, 2005
February 24, 2005

Went and saw Constantine the other night with Adam, Sophy and Eric C. Pretty awesome movie, overall. Felt a little long. There were a few things that were just stupid, and could definitely have been done without (or simply done a little differently and been okay). It actually made me interested in reading the comics, which Hellboy didn't managed to do. Perhaps.

Eric managed to sleep through at least 90% of the movie. The other 10% were when Sophy's elbow jabs managed to wake him up. Expensive nap. :)

Drexel has been interesting, though somewhat meh, mostly due to the environmental issue of it being 80 all the time because no one will fix the heat in the basement.

It was 25 and snowing out today, and I was sitting in my cube sweating. Needless to say I'm not getting much code written, which is pretty much my primary task at the moment.

Drexel cancelled evening classes today and closed at 1530. Should open tomorrow at 1000, though the snow doesn't really show much sign of letting up.

Pete is still in Hawaii, no doubt caked in SPF45 and lounging on the beach watching the hot Hawiian girls and fat Continental tourists cavort.. Bastard.

I should probably go battle the monster that's lodged itself in the sink before he gets back. Hmmm.

February 25, 2005

Guess what I saw on the train today?

A cute, sad Asian girl.

And guess what? It was full of snow outside.

March 8, 2005

Wind and ice make me so very very happy.

Walking down 2nd St. I could have just used my coat as a mast and skated down the sidewalk.

While I didn't fall over at any point, I did stop when the wind gusted to near lightspeed to shake my fist at it.

While we were walking up to 30th St Station for food, Harry exclaimed "Damnit! Ice in the ear! Fuckin' wet willie from Mother Nature, I guess."


March 13, 2005

The night shift manager at Wawa, Bashir, asked why I wasn't out celebrating St. Paddy's.

I told him I was just too Irish tonight.

March 17, 2005

Went to Gusto with the O'Donnells and Sophy's sister last night, for the now-standard tasty pizza. Thought about stopping at Barnes after dinner to pick up a Poul Anderson book, as Dan Engler has been going off about him for a couple months now. Called Dan up to find out which I should, but he was still at work (I presume) so instead I just left a message: "Wakka wakka. Wakka wakka. ... Wakka." Went home instead. I'll stop by Penn Bookstore this afternoon maybe. I need a break from this Super Epic Fantasy Political Nonsense of the second "Ice and Fire" book.

(Pete described the series as "War of the Roses with a little bit of magic", which to me isn't much of a compliment, but.)

Yay for crashing at 2030 or something stupid, and waking up at 0200.

Well, I finally got around to resizing /usr on ghetto at least. And upgrading dovecot on there, and hastur as well. This should (hopefully) fix the hanging runaway imap process that eats the CPU.

Now I get to sit here and watch Mail.app re-cache a few thousand messages.

The other day I had to go back to Jersey to do some contract work for DCI (the RAID blew its SCSI interface, so we had to set up using a ccd with the backed up data; trivial work, but it was nice to do actual sysadmin stuff instead of the silly shit I've been doing at Drexel for the last couple weeks), and as soon as I stepped out of the station at Ferry Ave., I smelled burning tires.

Good to know Jersey hasn't changed at all.

It was entertaining hanging out with adamk again, as well.

And now... back to playing with Catalyst and MojoMojo.

March 20, 2005

Friday, waiting for the el at 34th St. Station, I saw some kid carrying a Blue and White PowerMac up the stairs.

If nothing else would suggest that the kids are moving back into the dorms tomorrow, that should have.

I remember when I first got the machine that hosts ghetto now, a Dell PowerEdge something or other tower box. SCSI. Heavy as hell. Carried it home on PATCO, then walked the eight or nine blocks to my apartment.


That sucked.

April 1, 2005

Just because it is April 1st does not make you clever. Shut up.

April 6, 2005

Today was a relatively stupid, but somewhat productive day.

Got silc running and mostly configured for work. Got crowley (the new mirrorshades box) installed at Closed Networks. Walking around South St. and Headhouse Square in particular, the realization that yes, spring is here, and it has come bearing gifts of bare midrifts, tanktops, and tight shorts. Thank you, Spring.

Stopped at 30th St. Station and picked up some awful doomtacos, then sat in my cube, sweating, and getting more random work done and trying to remember how to configure silcd properly.

The office was too freaking hot to actually do work that required thought, however, and I was starting to lose my temper, so I skipped out around 1630. Stopped at Borders and picked up the new Murakami, Bester's The Demolished Man, and Richard K. Morgan's new (likely) brainless "cybertechnonoirthriller", which is evidently not another Takeshi Kovacs novel, Market Forces.

...Hell. I just realized the day isn't half over yet. Back to work!

April 11, 2005

Someone please explain to me why I was having dreams about the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which I have not seen in the better part of a decade.

My brain. Sometimes I just don't know.

April 29, 2005

Bryan Allen: What are you ordering?
Peter Moffe: for dinner?
Peter Moffe: ehh,
Peter Moffe: i'll take...
Peter Moffe: creamuv sum yung gye
Peter Moffe: they have that?
Bryan Allen: Well, I ain't all that young no more.
Peter Moffe: hahaha
Peter Moffe: order me...
Peter Moffe: veggy lo mein and an egg roll
Bryan Allen: wtf.
Peter Moffe: and a thing of white rice
Bryan Allen: You order it.
Bryan Allen: I'm not home.
Peter Moffe: i'm not home either
Bryan Allen: wtf!
Peter Moffe: i'm still at work
Bryan Allen: You sloppy whore.
Bryan Allen: I thought you were at home.
Peter Moffe: no
Bryan Allen: Well, I'm probably not going to be out of here for another 30min.
Bryan Allen: And then it will take 30-45 to get home.
Bryan Allen: So.
Bryan Allen: I want some chicken and mixed veggies.
Bryan Allen: And an egg roll.
Bryan Allen: With a side of Natalie Portman and an extra helping of Jessica Alba.
Bryan Allen: kthx
Peter Moffe: ok
Peter Moffe: but i'm dipping my weewee first
Peter Moffe: and not pulling out
Peter Moffe: tell me if it tastes like salt
Bryan Allen: Then I'd like to change my order to something that's on fire.
Peter Moffe: hahahah

April 30, 2005

Well, I'm an ass.

I had my laptop cut into two partitions while I was running the Tiger dev builds. Now that ADC has seeded 8A428 (which is the Tiger GM) I figured I would reformat and install on a single partition. So I back up /Users/bda to my 10G iPod and then wander upstairs to put more crap on the iPod while Tiger installs on my laptop.

I sit down at my desk, plug in the iPod, and go "wtf is this bda directory doing here? Delete!"

I've been like this all day. Just. Wow.

So I break out Data Rescue X and it sees nothing useful. Sucks for me!

So I pretty much lost ~/tmp, which contained all sorts of random stuff, like data from my work network scans, and ~/Projects, which contained, well... code from the last four years. Whoops! Thankfully it all sucked!

I have backups of the working code, of course, since I'm using it elsewhere. And I have backups of my address book, calenders and thank the gods backups of my keychain and ssh keys. Cos wow. That would have been pretty much awful.

I'm sitting here building an encrypted disk image of what I can find to back up, like an asshole, and it has gone from a 2.3G ~ to 260MB.


Smooth fuckin' move, Allen.

May 13, 2005

Spent the day writing use cases, playing with Catalyst and taking an unwanted nap. Pete and I ordered dinner from Pine St. Pizza, he went off to some movie thing at Michelle's, and I played some WoW.

This has pretty much been my routine for the last month or so.

The last three weeks we've been dealing with this idiotic AIM worm nonsense. So far I'd say that 300 or so machines have been infected... pretty entertaining stuff. The first week was the worse, no surprise. I still haven't seen anyone issuing commands to the zombies, which is... odd.

I've been spending a lot of time reading... just started God Emperor of Dune. All I really have to say on that is Leto the Worm.

Looking forward to the next Song of Ice and Fire book, due out probably never.

And of course whenever the next Gibson book is due out...

May 27, 2005

I had a dream I went to some awards show. Some Viet Nam vet was presenting. The Gorillaz played, and then Everclear. As soon as Art and the boys came out, Steve Mack showed up with a camera, started snapping shots. And then Ryan Rycowski was sitting in the row in front of us.

Don't remember what song they played. It was probably something awful, like The Boys Are Back in Town.

My brain is strange.

May 29, 2005

Ah, glorious weekend. Absolutely nothing of any real value accomplished.

I think the most productive thing that has happened since I stopped coding on Friday was I shaved the beardthing off.

Had to fight the fucker down the sinkhole, too.

Man, what was up with the season finale of Lost, eh? Damn cliffhangers!

May 31, 2005

One of the dangerous things about tabs is you'll be going through sites, opening links in tabs, closing the current, repeat.

Finally you get to a site you've no damn idea how you got to it. In this case, Kofa High School's. So you dig back through your history for a few minutes and realize that for some reason, Caleb's site, au-tism, is pointed at users.yumaed.org some odd reason, but the vhost has been removed or is misconfigured.

And then you realize you haven't worked for yumaed.org in uh, four years, so you should probably find something better to do at 0651 than care.

Stupid interweb.

June 3, 2005

A couple years ago Dan Engler discovered a small piece of madness in the "Young Steve Jobs" beanie. This amounted to a topless Steve Jobs button on a beanie. Propeller optional. He threatened to send me one for a while, but I beat him to the punch.

He vowed eventual horrific revenge which never actually came to pass.

And now, thanks to ejp and the full extreme power of both interwebs, I may taunt him a second time.

(Check out Steve's tats! Damn, yo! All Henry Rollins and shit.)

June 6, 2005

My sleep pattern seems to have been designed by a narcoleptic.

Started reading Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. I haven't read true crime in something like a decade, since before that silly phase where I wanted to be a Fed shrink, but I'm enjoying this a lot. Simon knows how to write, and he definitely knows how to write cops.

I've spent the last week coding... writing the front-end for our net management system in Catalyst, which is, how do you say, super awesome. My only problem so far was seriously lackwit on my part... getting JOINs going in Class::DBI. The author of CDBI::Plugin::DeepAbstractSearch sorted me out. While I'm not using his module, he did point in the right direction. And by "point in the right direction" I mean he spelled it out with example code.

chansen on #catalyst is talking about how arbitrary SQL and paging/search/count is going to be in the next revision of CDBI::Sweet, which will make my life much easier once I hand this code off to someone who isn't me.

Hopefully this week will see a complete featureset port from the currently used code, along with authentication and roles so the help desk people can use the same db we do. That bit doesn't look all that hard.

Next bit will be moving everything out of the front-end code into a set of libraries so I can write different interfaces, etc, for it. Though I suppose in theory I could write a Curses/CLI View for Catalyst... eh. :-)

After that will be porting all the SNMP management code. That will be entertaining.


Didn't mean to geek all over the place. Oh well.

So about sleeping... fell asleep around 1900, I guess. Woke up at 2330. Watched some Adult Swim, went to Wawa (Bashir put out another box of sunflower seeds, so I can stop chewing on my fucking fingers while reading), sat on irk.

Yup. Exciting.

Need to work on the crowley.mnet transfer tomorrow... the box I got (via ejp via craigslist) has been not very happy. I think I burnt out one of the procs when I didn't check to make sure everything was seated properly after unpacking it... just turned it on. Genius. Left it that way for a day, it dropped itself... Genius, indeed.

Just a P3, though. Cheap. Still pretty annoying. I had to hack out the SCSI backplane, too, which also grates. I like SCSI root disks, but there was just no way to fit IDE in the second drive bay. Ah well... hopefully that will be resolved tomorrow.

"Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the death of PowerPC, and will soon see the end of the Transmeta."

Sorry, Dan, Rosetta don't do Classic. But since it's just an emulator anyway, who cares?

Debian Sarge was also released today.

My dad called to ask me a question about Fight Club, and then my mom asked me about Perl.

Either Hell froze over or someone has left a cheese sandwich to melt on the Reality Machine.

June 10, 2005

Another night with three hours of sleep, woken by confused birdsong at 0430.

Been following this same routine for what seems like a year now, running myself ragged for why I don't know, and seeming to accomplish only a fraction of what I should be.


June 13, 2005

I don't know why this never occurred to me before, but henceforth when I venture into the steamy, smelly pit of the restroom, my iPod will accompany me.

It shall be my rod and my staff against the ass-cheek-rippling flatulence and the awful gurgling intestinal noises of my thankfully anonymous cow-orkers. Who, ready to send the pre-processed fast-food cardboard meat they devoured not ten minutes earlier into the Stygian abyss, stumble like a herd of drunken elephants into the next stall over.

It shall be to the glorious sounds of Flogging Molly, Johnny Cash or Dido that I do my, as they say in "tha hood", bidness, not to the grunting and wheezing of some desk drone just begging for a coronary on this, their only Throne.

Never again shall I be assaulted by the aural destruction of someone else's Big Bomb Burrito, their super-deluxe-with-double-onions Burger of Doom.

Never again shall the sounds of someone's extra-pepperoni power-lunch infect my ears, for the rasterbated croonery of Trent Reznor shall hold me and protect me.

I bow before you, iPod, who holds my hand in the darkness when the flourescents flicker, and breathes cool air to cool my brain in the humidity between the gunmetal grey stall walls.

June 17, 2005

Breaking weblogging rule #1. Posting while drunk drunk drunk.

If you are an ex-girlfriend who has left me alone for months and months, now would have been the time to send me an email out of fucking nowhere full of fucked up shit that would have made me drunkenly go "Wuh tuh fuh?" Alternatively you could have called me at the bar "just to say hi".

Went to two bars tonight after dinner, with two different groups of people (well, save for Harry and Nick, the subset of the range which remained true throughout). Not so drunk that when the two girls asked the one guy what his first sexual experience was, the veto card was not cast, and so Nick K and I (that's Philly Nick by way of Wisconsin, not Yuma Nick K, who remains, I have no doubt, hilarious and super cool) jetted. Harry took off perhaps a half hour before that fateful question.

Theatre people. Whaddyagonnado.

At the first bar, since it was suddenly and no doubt miraculously (Hail Jesus) nice out, we sat outside at a plastic table, weighted, as the 'tender informed us, with a six hundred pound of concrete, to the sidewalk. It also sported a large umbrella (or, as Andrew insists on referring to them, "brelly") which Nick was forced to remove less the table be removed from us.

It should be noted that we went to dinner first, and that Sophy had started drinking far before the rest of us, as a "department happy hour" she had organized. She was, of course, the first to ditch. Pft. Tiny little Asian girl can't hold her liquor!

We were also asked by a man, who insisted that we not be afraid that simply because he was black, he was not a criminal, but he did have four daughters and a wife, all of whom were HIV positive (he himself having full-blown AIDS) and that while he was not asking for money, if we could buy him a sandwich...

As with all outings where this occurs, things are quiet until someone regales the rest of the group with the latest scam another homeless (or whatever?) persona ran past them for their perusal.

I related the experience Andrew and I had at 30th St. Station the other day as well, in which a very large man, who I didn't get a very good look at, walked behind us for several minutes singing about how he was going to fuck us in the ass like little bitches. Indeed, "fuck you in the stanky". And when I stopped to tap MAC, he sang out, "You gonna need money when you fuck with us." This city.

Cab ride home was uneventful. iPod continues to improve my life in that I no longer feel that it is rude to ignore the cabbie when he is talking on his cell phone, about gods know what. I maintain that cabbies live much more involved lives than pretty much anyone else, or that perhaps they have some sort of cellular IRC analog, like #cabbies4chat.

Time for the sleeping.

Tomorrow hopefully Batman Returns, with many humans who I enjoy, at various and sometimes entirely copious levels, being around.

Drunk drunk drunk.

June 18, 2005

Drunk. Blogging. Sensing a trend?

Tired of sitting three feet from you, and saying nothing.

So tired of the pathetic silence that I had to drink it down. No doubt Adam will tell this story over and over.

Not that I blame him.

Pathetic. Drunk. Blogging

It's okay,t hough. I'll probably juts delete it tomorrow.e

This is what happens when somoene fucking plays the fuckign Church "Under the Milky Way" and remeber

1) sitting under the stars in 1999, with Her next to you
2) pulling to the side of the road with ryan and dan p. and just staring up at the milky way

You'll never see that here, on the east coast. It's a desert thing. A sand and sky thing. Nothing but dust and stars and light in the middle fo nowhere with nothing but Radiohead whispering to you from the truck speakers.

Translate that to gin and jaeger and tears and ...

PHiladelphia. Drunk. BLogging.

How far can you fall, eh?

Somedays when you can almost feel the small of her back under your fingers, smell of her hair, cynical eyes across from you, and those days you just want to go home. Dust and starlight and the middle of nowhere.

Just gvie up and go home.

...well, today was certainly fun.

As an aside, Batman Begins was really really good.

June 21, 2005

Pretty sure that was the oddest dream I've ever had... just playing some non-sensical version of word association for what felt like the majority of the night. Obviously when I woke up I couldn't remember any of the words, or any possible themes there might have been in the unlikely even they existed at all.


Had to go to Jersey yesterday morning as, get this, svscan died on a client box. No idea how as djbware logs leave a fair amount to be desired, and I couldn't even get at console to check readproctitle ps output (damn thing wouldn't eat a keyboard). Anyway, it was a trivial fix, but it was definitely just another example of how sad ssh gets when DNS goes away. That was actually supposed to have been rectified months and months ago, but the registrar entries apparently never got changed. Sucks.

Bernie dropped me off at Drexel once we got out of Jersey. Started working on more cognition authentication stuff, and getting a glimmer of how the priv system is actually going to have to be more of a framework than anything else. Andrew and I went to Mad4Mex, where service was shockingly fast for once, and we talked mostly about media, as is typical. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. Docs, notepad, some coding.

Andrew and I had our semi-traditional braindump once 1700 hit, and then I hopped a cab from 30th St. up to Mugshots to meet Michelle. Mugshots is across the street from Eastern State Penitentiary, which is this gothic castle given over to tourists and art installations.

Place is falling apart, but from the outside it's still an imposing edifice. It's rare that she and I get any face time where I can actually seem to manage to open my mouth, so we shot the shit for three hours or so, then walked back to her apartment. Explained my un-reasoning for my behavior Friday night. Said all I needed to say, I think, and it certainly wasn't much, but I can already tell it was enough. It's odd how you can go into a conversation knowing exactly how it's going to go, and still feel relief when you come out the other side.

Sometimes my brain gets stuck on something, and just won't let go. Emotions just go all Oroborus on me, and instead of dealing with them I mix alcohols and make myself blind, stupid and sick.

Insert just about any Everclear lyrics here.

Today I need to make some lists defining lists of things I need to do, because kids: don't work hard, work recursively, and keep it all as meta as possible.

June 24, 2005

ugh. Ate too much for lunch, was up too early writing too much code, so! Just woke up from a short nap. Dreamed I was stuck in my old pick-up with some Indian guy who was renting the guest room of my parents house, with my little sister and two of her friends in the back seat (king cab). This is out west somewhere, near some business park, and we're waiting in this two mile long queue to get on the exit ramp. The Indian guy, he gets tired of waiting so cuts up onto the park and of course everyone starts honking at him.

"Dude, you can't do that. Another thing in America is: You wait your goddamn turn or people fuckin' sue your ass."

(This is a reference to something too vague to properly recall which happened earlier in the dream... at my parent's house, dealing with some serial killer who looked like Nerdy Tobey McGuire. He should have been in the truck as we all left together, but eh, dreams.)

Anyway, so we're back to waiting in the line for the exit, and we pull up next to a bus stop. Where Britney Fucking Spears is waiting in sweat pants and a sweater-thing, not looking too skanked out. So I strike up a conversation with Britney Fucking Spears and eventually ask her if she wants to come out with my friend Harry (I can only laugh at imagining Harry and Britney Fucking Spears hanging out). She hesitates for a moment, then gives me her digits, which I proceed to write on my arm in giant bubble numbers. A few seconds later, the area code has already vanished, Back to the Future-vanishing-limb-style. Britney Fucking Spears says that for some reason she thought I looked familiar. When pressed as to why I would look in any way familiar to Britney Fucking Spears, I am interrupted by:

Cut to just before I wake up and I'm explaining to Harry what "je ne c'est quoi" means, how "ne" is just an operator much like "!" in most scripting languages.

I stumble up the stairs to Pete's room, and explain this (or most of it) to my roommate with the extra-special outlook on life, and he says "Man, you need some ass."

Me, I just figured "no more pizza before nap."

(There was another, earlier part of the dream, before the serial killer bit. I was stuck in some bubble universe, much like that opening sequence in Abre Los Ojos or Vanilla Sky, no one else around in my old hometown.

Whatever was running the universe would randomly suck people in from the real world and dump them here. My interactions with these people would solve, or fail to solve, some equation the universe controller was attempting to figure out. This bit didn't really go anywhere, so I didn't mention it initially.

The most amusing bit, I thought, was how when I went to take the trash out, it went not in the giant green stereotypical suburanite trashcan but in the cab of my goddamn pick-up truck. There was some lame dream-joke about garbage collection processes I'm just glad I don't remember.


June 27, 2005

Miss a night of exercises, such as they are, and it's back to four hours of useless sleep.


Figured out the major plot point that's been evading me for system for the last, well, two years. Bit of a cop-out, but it works. Started rewriting it last night, so the Chicago stuff comes first, then L.A., then the first bits with the narrator, who still needs a name.


Got the first draft of this here book review ready for the DOJ last night... need to throw it by a couple people. Meh, etc.

July 6, 2005

I always feel like some sort of adulterer when there's a bum other than the usual one outside my Wawa, and I give him my change.

I assume this is blow-back from being raised in California.

I love when I realize I've done something so stupid I can't help but say it out loud, not necessarily to out of disbelief, as Hollywood suggests people do when shot (e.g., "Fuck me", "Shit on me", "Fucking shit fuck shit", and other scatological references involving grinding), but that in some way by saying it -- by actually generating the sounds, extruding them into the aether, and then having them enter my ears, parsed and processed by my brain -- I will fully comprehend just how fucking stupid I've been.

For instance: Sitting in bed, cross-legged, laptop in front of me, hacking on Cognition's templates, I pause, look up at the blank wall in front of me and say, aloud, to the empty apartment (no one to hear but Smack the stuffed monkey):

"I left the salsa in the fucking freezer last night, didn't I."

July 9, 2005

Yesterday was somewhat productive. Got to work, and messed with Cognition reporting: Now all reports and templates are stored in the database, completely user-customizable. If no template has been specified, it just uses a generic one.

A simple example of that code. It works pretty well, though I think it's rather ugly. I have to use DBI instead of CDBI as I'm allowing the user to run completely arbitrary SQL. Gratz to jester for the sth_to_objects hint, and to mst for confirming that while it's gross, it's a decent solution. Yay #catalyst. :)

Once I have the tiered ownership checking in place, some users will be able to add group or global reports as well. Which is roughly how the rest of the app works anyway. Overall I was pretty happy with it.

I got home, read for a bit, then took a three hour nap. When I got up, out of pure boredom I "reorganized" the living room. The catalyst for this was actually the fact that I had four boxes of books from Amazon waiting on my desk yesterday morning, and we'd run out space on our bookshelves. So, me being me, I took that as a sign to move the couch to the other side of the living room, sweep and ghetto-mop the floor, and generally fuck with the layout of the room.

Not very happy with it, but it should be better once the entertainment center I ordered comes in. Need to get some longer coax for the satellite TV box, which is more or less where it was -- now on the wrong side of the room. Makes channel surfing a bit annoying.

I did free up four shelves for books, and once the center is in, that should free up another four (as I can move Pete's DVDs to that, and off the bookshelf).

I wasn't very sure how Pete would react to my moving shit around, but in typical Pete fashion, he was completely apathetic. He came home pretty wasted in the middle of me making a mess, and could barely get in as there was shit in front of the door. He almost knocked the TV over. :)

July 18, 2005


I sure do love summer. 90F. 90% humidity. No wind.

Fall please.

July 21, 2005

Sen H. Clinton: "We need to treat violent video games the same way we treat tobacco and alcohol."
Lewis Black: "Namely as valued contributors to our re-election funds."

< bda> 0230. Perfect time to make decisions you will probably regret when the sun comes up.
* bda goes to shave his head.

Pictures included.

July 22, 2005

Even days: Up at 0600. Code until 1800 or so. Read. Asleep by 2200.
Odd days: Up at 0230. Code until 1700. Sleep. Up at 2200. Watch TV or read for a varying number of hours. Sleep more. Up at 0230. Watch more TV, code more.

These are not hard rules. For instance, I'm up at 0130 instead of in an hour. Perhaps in some alternate plane I'm still asleep.

Perhaps in some alternate plane I actually sleep normal hours, exercise, eat healthy, and have stable relationships with people I am emotionally bound to.

I bet I don't have fucked up dreams in this magical other place, too.

Also, I haven't eaten since yesterday sometime. And there's an earwig the size of a golf club in the bathroom.

At least I can do something about that.

(This is not to imply that I'm going to eat the earwig. Rather, I'm going to collect Pete's Bug Killing Shoe and act like the man of the house. Or something.)

July 23, 2005

Spent most of yesterday evening at pobox poking at boxes with Rik and some of co-workers (who were all very nice!). It was all relatively easy stuff, but I hadn't done any actual Linux administration in so long it took me a bit to ramp back up. I especially hadn't ever touched lvm on Linux (vg*), so that took a little while to figure out.

The evening just reinforced my reasoning for switching from reiserfs to ext3 several years ago when I had a similar problem with reiser eating itself and causing me all sorts of trouble. It also reinforced my decision to move from Linux to OpenBSD two years ago. It's just... so much nicer to deal with. So much more straight-forward (thought just about all the things that were driving me nuts last night were definitely not Debian Standard by any stretch of the imagination).

I did find out that you can dump usernames with silly characters like "@" in them (such as user@domain.com) into passwd and it will actually work. Adding 25,000 users via useradd is not the fastest thing ever. ;-)

(Some usernames were really not valid, and it seemed easier to just let useradd deal with it.)

On top of doing other contract sysadmin work earlier in the week, it definitely makes me miss being a systems admin. This programming stuff is for the birds.

We had some tasty (and free!) Chinese food (sizzling beef with black sauce remains super awesome) for dinner and since it was around midnight, Rik crashed on my couch for the night.

I just stumbled downstairs to see if he was up and maybe wanted food, but Pete (who is up and having to go into work today) had already let him out to catch a bus back to Bethlehem. Ah well.

Michelle is having "I'm moving to Boston to go to the Smart Kid's School and leave you mediocre fucks behind not that any of you can blame me" party up at her parents, uh, in Allentown. So I guess I'll just see her next week to say bye. ;P

My damn entertainment system/console thing didn't get delivered yesterday, either. I'm pretty pissed. It's been sitting somewhere in the area since 0300 Thursday and was supposed to have been delivered yesterday.


Now I guess I will make some breakfast and possibly watch Constantine.


July 25, 2005

Went to Pietro's with some friendly humans last night, at the 18th & Walnut location. Hadn't been there before, but the pizza was at tasty so I was okay with it. Sophy and I wandered over to Barnes after and I picked up some more books.

The books Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George co-authored under the pen-name "Stephen Bury" have been re-released. So I picked up The Cobweb (I already own Interface); it's actually sort of frustrating in the same way that Interface was. You can see all the Stephenson-isms just under the surface of "Make This More Accessable", and as I love how Stephenson writes, it is, as I said, frustrating.

The Cobweb takes place in Iowa, some wrestling-centric town, some guy who is running for sheriff, his wife, and some Weird Government Stuff I haven't got into yet. I know nothing about the book except Stephenson seemed proud of it when asked at his book signing a while back.

I also picked up his early novel Zodiac, which I haven't read in years, and the new Harry Potter.

The queue portion of my bookshelf is now two rows instead of the one I've managed to keep it at for several years.


Too much time spent coding, not enough reading.

We then headed back to Adam and Sophy's place and hung out with Liz for a while. Liz and I walked back to my place so she could retrieve some books of hers I've had for way to long (and only one of which I read; I suck). Since it was raining around 0200 when she left, I hopped a cab with her and stopped by Wawa to get more soda and food for today.

Liz and Matt are moving to Portland next month so Liz can go to a high-falutin' art school. I was all excited to introduce ejp them, since Liz is totally one of my favorite people (who I never get to see) and for some reason I was convinced Eric lived in Portland, and uh, not Bumfuck, WA. Whups.

Adam and Sophy are (likely) moving to San Francisco in October. Michelle is moving to Boston to go to MIT.


And I'm sitting here still waiting for that goddamn furniture to be delivered.

July 29, 2005
  • Refactor Gnosis's RBAC doe as a Catalyst plugin.
  • Install svk on gordon, test with RBAC code.
  • Finish Invitare (pumpcon invite system).
  • Set up multi-project trac install on crowley for consulting clients.
  • Assemble newly delivered entertainment system which is currently in pieces, making the living room smell like cheap wood.
  • Trace copper at Factory, for the eventual installation of a fat DSL pipe.


July 30, 2005

So my uncle died last year. He was drunk and riding his motorcycle, and took a corner too fast. After passing a fire engine on its way to a fire, he greased himself over a few dozen feet of asphalt and dirt.

He left behind a crackwhore girlfriend, her fourteen year old daughter, Allison, by another man, and their seven year old son, Zach.

August 4, 2005

I know I'm drunk because:

  • I remember which way the key turns in the gate, so I get it on the first try.
  • I can type my ssh keyphrases.
  • Eric Gallo is telling me we should be good friends but not that kind of good friends.
  • There are hot girls around, and them telling stories involving their boyfriends penis -- who is sitting next to them -- and puke-covered hair is not detrimental to their overall hotness.
  • I am blogging about being drunk.

Yay for new people to be an ass around! Though as I said, we like to send Gallo in as sort of a shock trooper. He goes in, softens everyone up, then we hurtle in in all our drunk-ass stupid fucker glory, and nothing we do is worse than his typical "I can totally kill two more pitchers" behavior. Much less-than-three, bitches.

A big eff you to all you hatahs.

O'Donnell: Your software is not going to be finished tonight, but it's your own damn fault this year!

August 8, 2005

Feeling a bit under the weather, to put it mildly.

Friday after work -- in fact, as soon as 1700 hit -- I think the entire office went out to New World Cafe and started with the Mass Consumption of Alcohol. That was ... special. I don't know more than five people at the office, really, and the rest I think maybe I don't ever want to see drunked-up again.

Saturday afternoon Pete and I hit up the diner. The one waitress asked us where everyone else was, and where the hell we'd been lately. Which is amusing, as we go there maybe one a month these days. Used to be three times a week. Pete doesn't go out much anymore, and we got a window booth, so needless to say there was a fair amount of remote ogling going on. I totally got a dirty look from some hot girl's average-looking friend. Made my day for sure.

kitten was up in Cherry Hill over the weekend for his grandfather's 90th birthday. He managed to flee to the city Saturday night. I picked him up in a cab at 8th and Market, and we hit up Doobies, which was pretty much totally beat. Evan and Juli came out, and Nick K. showed up randomly.

I didn't think to take any pictures, but kitten was pretty gothed out. A bit out of place at Doobies, but hey. Fuckin' collared boy.

After killing a couple pitchers, we walked down to Factory, and kitten, being the silly fuck he is, scaled the wall from the third floor walkway to the roof; there's a stairwell about two feet from where he climbed up, but hey. Stairs are for pussies, evidently. Of course, he became convinced he had lost his keys while climbing the ten foot wall, so we got to scrounge around with our cell phone displays looking for them.

Philadelphia is less than awesomely pretty when it's covered in hazy doom.

Eventually he managed to get back to his hotel in Cherry Hill, and I passed the fuck out. The next day he txt'd me, insisting his keys weren't in his hotel room. So me, my immune system already shutting down, dragged my ass down to Factory (thanks for the ride, Pete) and looked around for the keys. Unfound. Txt'd him back asking maybe had he left them in a bag or something, which is what I do when traveling, to avoid this very problem.

"Don't you think I looked there?"

Followed by a call ten seconds later: "Uh, you can call off any search operations. Found them." "Good. Where were they?" "...where the fuck do you think? Where you said they'd be."

Silly kitten.

So yeah. Other than that, nothing happened this weekend. I'm well-sick. Super Throat Doom Action, with the Sinus Killer of Pluto to boot.

August 17, 2005

Just returned from Wawa, victorious with my leet suboptimal protein warez.

There was an older Mexican guy with a cane, who was waiting on something, so he told me I should ahead of him: "Go ahead, holmes."

Do you have any idea how long it's been since someone's called me that with a real accent? For a split second, I was afraid I was in a Circle K in Yuma, and not a Wawa in Center City, Philly.

August 19, 2005

Two hours of sleep. Awake again.

If it weren't for these Cocoa Puffs, I'd be out slaughtering the innocent or something.

August 23, 2005

Finally got the pumpcon invite system working yesterday morning around 0600. It's been in a mostly-working state since last month, when I spent about four hours working on it. Took another hour or two to add some debugging (though not enough) and the mailer and import scripts. Started spamming the invite list at around 1400. Ran into three glitches, which isn't too bad:

  • We forgot to put the fucking dates on the first version of the invite.
  • I could have sworn the mailer script was looping around already-processed addresses, so I killed it about 30 in and added a bunch of debugging, then tested against 200 or so dummy accounts. It worked just fine. Re-ran against the live db and everything was okay. Freakin' brain.
  • ghetto (where this is living) moved recently, and the new provider has yet to do RDNS. So three MX (that I saw) told us to fuck off because we looked like a typical commercial/residential link. Ugh.

Beyond that it seems be working pretty well. Code needs to be cleaned up and will be released after the 'con if anyone cares. It's written using Catalyst, so it's pretty small and easy to understand.

And now that I've had my "middle of the fucking night" wake-up, I think I will try to sleep again.

August 30, 2005

Long long day. Three hours of sleep. Andrew and I more or less stopped working around 1945 or something. We wandered up the Subway on 34th St. because there's a Sev across from it, and I'd been wanting a Mt Dew Slurpee all fucking day. So of course they didn't have one. The Subway was amazingly ghetto; built into an old two-story house, smelling strangely like Pizza Hut, with not what I would refer to as competent service. I will be taking my custom to the one at 30th St. for sure.

Back at Korman, we spent an hour or so swapping stories at the office, waiting to hit Doobies at 2100. Andrew suggested that I might be able to get around the problem I've been having with VirtualPC (it crashes when I try to install any of the bigger OBSD sets) by using a non-extending disk image for the VM. It's possible that it's hitting a barrier while untarring... not able to expand the image fast enough, and then crashing. Dunno. I haven't looked into it very much, and of course there are no freakin' logs.

We got our table at Doobies tonight for the first time in a while. The place has been full of Penn kids or hipsters for a while. Very annoying. It's been ages since all the PWF guys have been together. We decided that with Adam leaving (Wednesday) we want to continue with Factory, preferably revitalizing it a bit. This seems to happen every year right around Pumpcon, but I'm hoping we can get some momentum behind it this time.

Need to talk about it more with dragorn or porkchop who run a hackspace up in Poughkeepsie and seem to subsidize their costs rather well.

There were some mediocre emo hipster lesbians sitting next to us, who spent the night scooching closer and closer, and eventually went to the bathroom together. The bathrooms at Doobies are rather akin to airplane facilities. Good on them if they managed to get anything done in there without bruising anything or picking up gods know what kind of bacteria.

We've done the "Last Adam and Sophy Night Out As Actual Philadelphians" thing three times so far, and it still doesn't seem like they'll actually be leaving for San Francisco tomorrow morning. They'll be back for his PhD defense in a couple weeks, and then for Pumpcon. Maybe after that it'll actually seem real. I dunno.

It's rare that my friends go anywhere. Usually I'm the one who leaves.

Even Saturday while Andrew and I were playing Tetris with their belongings, rearranging boxes of things in their Door to Door pod, it didn't really seem very real.

It is saddening.

And for the fucking record, you fucks (you know who you are, snippy bastards), I am not drunk blogging.

... for once.

September 6, 2005

I've met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, "Why?"
Why did I cause so much pain?

Didn't I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?

Can't I see that we're all manifestations of love?

I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God's got this all wrong.

We are not special.

We are not crap or trash either. We just are.

We just are, and what happens just happens.

And God says, "No, that's not right."

Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything.

Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk

September 9, 2005
September 14, 2005
September 18, 2005

Been sick all weekend, but I felt okay when I woke up around 1800, so I figured I'd make some food. Only all the food I would usually "make" around here has been used; all that was left was some pasta in the freezer. So I figured what the fuck, and went with that.

* bda is attempting to make gnocchi.
<@bda> If I go offline, it's because I burned the house down.
< esch> with boiling water.
<@bda> This is me we're talking about.

It looked alright.

I didn't screw it up.

Someone send Satan a parka.

September 28, 2005

I love how a two hour nap will revitalize me to the point where I can't sleep for the rest of the night, but I'm not awake enough to get anything done. My body seems to think it's 19 or something, which would be awesome if I didn't actually need an old man's full eight hours.

The last couple weeks have been pretty blah at work. Just doing scut security work; the new term started, so it's just all the typical worm propagations and everything that happens before things start settling back down. I think I need to take a couple coding days. I can't concentrate at all while I'm there, and when I get home I'm too tired to write anything so all my projects are effectively stalled. No good.

Harry and I had a brief conversation before he took off for class about not wanting to be sysadmins for the rest of our lives. I've felt like that for a while (it's why I finally made the effort to leave DCI), and I kind of feel like I'm stuck there now. A lot of what I do is reactive (by definition a large portion of it has to be), but I also think a lot of it can be automated. But that requires the aforementioned coding projects to not be stalled out.

More and more I'm just tired of computers, I think. I can look at something these days and go "oh, that's a cool idea" and whereas two or three years ago I would have immediately started playing with the shiny new thing, these days if it doesn't fit directly into whatever I'm working on, I don't really care. Even my toys projects (OpenBSD IDS sensor LiveCD) aren't really that exciting. They're just different than the other stuff I'm doing. Feh.

I've finished A Fire Upon the Deep which has to be the best scifi I've read in years. I'm about a third through A Deepness in the Sky and while it isn't as good as A Fire is it very fun. I love the 1930s-style spider aliens. Vinge is awesome.

Last week was Adam's PhD defense. It went pretty well, though apparently a lot of silly questions were asked very early on (which is somewhat unusual, according to Gallo). Andrew, Evan and I made giant neon pink/orange fingers which were under-utilized but still somewhat entertaining. Adam was nervous enough, so we didn't roll them out until it didn't matter anymore.

Obviously, he's a doctor now. :)

We all went out that night (Wednesday) and had a blast. If he ever gets around to uploading the pictures, I'll spam them. No doubt there are quite a few embarassing ones which are photoshop worthy.

Now I'm sitting here waiting for subversion to build on my laptop so I can check out gabb's (and draven's?) CMS thing they're writing in Catalyst. Not that I'm going to do anything more than look at it tonight, but I've been thinking that as soon as it's usuable, I might go back and look at /tmp again. Who knows.

September 30, 2005

As I was walking up to Korman just now, there was a woman with rainbow clown hair handing out pamphlets. Some guys walking opposite me got one and there was a brief discussion about dogs as they walked away, so I assumed it was some sort of animal-rights activist.

But no. Ran into Harry just outside the building and he pointed out the woman, "Jews for Jesus, eh?"

"Er. Is that what that is," Says I, looking back at her.

"Yeah. I thought those were Catholics."


October 7, 2005

So a while back, you may recall that solios drew a totally awesome picture of me wearing a Dr. Who season 12 scarf. Well. My dad was apparently amused enough by this to actually go buy one, from Germany, via eBay. My dad uses eBay. I'm kinda scared. (I don't have pictures of the scarf anywhere yet, but it is indeed about four meters long and way cool.)

Got to my desk this morning and found a couple packages. The first was from Mac Hall and contained:

A decent enough haul.

And then the box from Amazon, which contained Battlestar Galatica s1 DVDs. woot.

And of course there's that gift card pobox hooked me up with for helping them out a while ago with a box being unhappy. A veritable ass-ton worth of tech books at Amazon that will be trickling in over the next week or two.

Yay for accumulating Stuff.

October 28, 2005

So tired. This weekend is Pumpcon. It follows.

solios got into town yesterday afternoon. He brought me harboleon prints! And as thanks, I made him sit around Drexel for a while, then we headed down to Factory after a stop at my place to drop off some gear. We picked up the Pumpcon shirts, which are totally awesome. Dinner at Nam Phoung, then drinking at Doobies. Too much drinking at Doobies, really. Don't get home until 0200 or something stupid.

So around 0700 my phone chirps. Then it chirps again. I think "Why the fuck is kitten sending me fucking text messages when it's hardly light out?" because no one else really txts at me. Then it rings. "Jesus fuck, if Andy is calling me at fucking 0725 there is going to be bloody Hell to pay."

But nope, it was Adam, "FUCK YO' BED!" "Wrrrrgh. Hungover!" "Come to breakfast with us!"

So I somehow managed to drag my sorry ass out of bed and actually ate breakfast for the first time in... ages. After hearing plenty of stories from both Adam and Sophy about the SFO crew, I gotta say that while we're more boring, there's something to be said for being mundane.

Gotta say it's good to see those two bastards. They need to move back home. :-\

And now I'm at work. Out of clean clothes, so I'm wearing Drexel IRT schwag, which is this awful jean shirt.. thing.. with "Drexel IRT" and the dragon logo stitched on it.

Hungover. Even less fashionable than usual. I want to sleep.

November 5, 2005

<@bikepunx> anger and hatred rising
<@bda> bikepunx: Uh oh.
<@bda> bikepunx: Hey.
<@bda> So I've been ordering from Giannas a bit recently.
<@bda> And all the delivery guys are different dudes, right?
<@bikepunx> nice
<@bda> But they all look like you.
<@bda> Y'know.
<@bikepunx> hahaha
<@bda> Punkemohipsters.
* bda grins.
<@bikepunx> hatred rising
<@bda> bahah
<@bikepunx> which giannas... south st or center city?
<@bda> South St.
<@bikepunx> i didnt even know they delivered
<@bda> For a couple months now.
<@bda> I'm just glad they're giving those alt kids jobs.
<@bda> Delivering my food gives them the training they need to be real couriers and earn their actual courier bags.

When I lived on Lombard, I used to go to Gianna's pretty regularly for lunch as it was four blocks from my apartment and I worked from home rather often. Good stuff. Their big thing is they serve actual vegan food as well as, y'know, dead things, so all the alt punk bike messenger kids go there. Along with all the people who will put up with those people so they can get some real south Philly cheesesteak tastiness. The cook while I went there was this big Italian dude, greased hair, sneer, the works. It was just so surreal it was not hard not to love the place.

They had really weird hours, though, so sometimes I'd end up walking the half block to Subway when I really wanted an actual cheesesteak.

I don't know why, but it's hilarious to me that they deliver now, keep sane hours, but their delivery guys are all courier-wannabes. They've got the threads, the piercings, the right kind of bikes, the shoes.

It's entirely possible that I'm just too easily amused.

November 6, 2005


  • Laptop decided to change my password while I was in the shower and it was screenlocked. This made me somewhat paranoid, so I reinstalled it.
  • It made me so paranoid that I regenerated my SSH keys and randomized my passwords on all the machines I have a shell on. I have too many shells.
  • Harry and I were going to do some work at Factory, but the lock was busted. So we couldn't get in. I wasted eight bucks on cab fare, and he drove out from West Philly for no reason. I had a list of things to do; nothing was accomplished.
  • iPod appears to have locked up.


  • Went to grocery store. (This is also a con, as we had to deal with going to the grocery store.)
  • I'm finally able to do laundry after oh, weeks. And weeks. Clean clothes are so awesome.
  • Pete made tacos.
November 13, 2005

Woke up around 1500. Harry and I had planned on going down and doing some work at Factory, which we've been planning on doing for three weeks now (first week I overslept, second week the door was busted so we couldn't get in, today I overslept again), but that was more or less out. However, we also wanted to get Phoebe's for dinner, so uh, we did that. Pretty good turn-out, and we ate at Factory. Got to see Bryce and Steph who I never see these days.

Also, Phoebe's? Best goddamn BBQ. I didn't like BBQ until I had Phoebe's. A couple years ago, when Adam had his third-floor apartment on 23rd St (with the restaurant being oh, two blocks away) we would get some take-out and kick it on his fire escape. It was quite awesome.

After dinner, we sat around talking about shit to do to Factory and maybe getting involved in community efforts again. Then everyone but Evan and I left and I started puttng together a junk box for him. Managed to cut the front of my index finger on something in the case (yay for typing) and generally managed to get angry at stupid old hardware.

Instaling Ubuntu on a P266 is not fast. :)

The last few weeks have just been work, coding... I re-read the whole Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and it was Good.

Last week was the first meeting for the RPG rjbs is running, and while we just did character generation, it was still a good time.

The software I'm writing right now (which is about to hit its first milestone) is just trac/svn provisioning stuff, but it's sort of cool in that it uses SSH keys for system authentication and does a few other slightly neat things (like uses the trac WebAdmin plugin for user management). Nothing major, written in Catalyst so it's super easy. I'm running the latest Cat 5.5 RC (5.49 RC4) and it's very nice.

Bought tickets for Thanksgiving in ATL. Should be somewhat entertaining watching kitten cook a turkey considering he doesn't know how and broke his fool wrist. I will take pictures.

Took a cab home from Factory tonight. Get in, sit back. Suddenly, from the front seat:

"Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor."

So without thinking, I exclaim "Dude?!" and lean forward to see a DVD player set up on the console. Cabbie asks if I said something, and I mention how unexpected Empire Strikes Back is in this context.

This city is so odd.

November 20, 2005

Adam and Sophy got back into town for Thanksgiving on Friday, so we went out to Gusto for dinner. Hung out at Cronin's for a bit, was amused by his open access wireless (SSID: "The Interweb"). I bailed before Doobies, went home, played some God of War (which is lots of fun). Pete came home rather drunk, which was entertaining.

Woke up with a headache Saturday afternoon, and I've still got it. Not enjoying it, neither. I think I've figured out how I can tell if I'm going to have a good day or not. If the people next door have locked their dog out, presumably forgetting they let it out to take a shit, it barks every fifteen seconds. I've counted.

Somehow my day and this dogs are inexplicably linked. I'm not happy about it. I suspect the dog isn't either.

I've been reading The Salmon of Doubt for the past few days. It seemed appropriate after reading The Guide and the Dirk Gently books a couple weeks ago. I miss Douglas Adams. Some of his Apple rants are golden. I really want another Dirk Gently book.

Also almost finished with Silence on the Wire, which got really good once I got past the electronics engineering stuff (I just don't seem to have either patience or the brain for it). Just about done, so Harry can stop bugging me about it. :)

It's definitely solidified some of my vague ideas about passiving host fingerprinting. Not sure if I'll do anything with those ideas, but they could be fun.

And now I think I will find something to eat and try to keep my skull from exploding.

November 22, 2005

Screw two turntables and a microphone. Morning tea is where it's at, bitches.

November 23, 2005

I actually got a decent amount of sleep last night. After the three-day-migraine-from-hell, I died around 2030, and didn't wake up until 0900. It was quite awesome. I wrote some code until Adam called around 1100 asking if I wanted to get some food at the Diner in a bit. Met up with him, Sophy, and Andrew and had some rather mediocre lunch.

Wandered into work, talked briefly with my boss, coded some more, closed some tickets.

They let everyone out of here at 1400, but without the phone ringing, I can actually accomplish things. Yay for focus.

November 28, 2005

Andy dropped me off at the airport around 0615 this morning. Took 20 minutes to get through ticketing and security; not too bad. The flight was not awful either, though the thing with my sinuses (?) continues. It seems when the plane drops altitude (between certain heights), my forehead and eyeballs try to explode. It's exceedingly painful, and I'd like it to stop. It only started doing it a couple years ago, and I'm pretty sure it only happens on AirBus/MD-88-size planes.

I'm pretty much completely on board with O'Donnell about being too damn old to crash on couches anymore. Sleeping in my own bed is the best thing ever.

Anyway, an excellent trip all around. The Bag Turkey was very good, dinner with Andy's family was fun (his cousin? Yeah, teh hot), and we got to watch Kirk fight the Gorn (after going through two used VCRs Laura finally just brought one over -- and proceeded to fall asleep, pft). Got to hang out with Tom J. and Tom W. and drink some tasty beer and listen to Tom W. be loud. And obviously there was a trip to the diner (the Big Chicken continues its vigil).

Debating on what to do about food or if I just want to go back to sleep.

December 23, 2005

Happy Birthday to Engler. May he have many more, and all as full of hateful evil goo as they've been so far.

Less Than Three, Bitches.

December 26, 2005

Found an old archived mailspool, probably messages from 2000 to 2003, sitting in my ~ on gibson. Had the great idea of importing it all into Mail.app and sorting through it.

What is it about the holidays that make us be stupid for things that stopped mattering twofold on the other side of Sol, revolutions ago?

Sometimes it shocks me how little things seem to change, but mostly it just makes me tired.

Like how memory is just a tree, neurons burnt with language and whatever other low-level operations make you, you. How all those old associations never go, and are hard-pressed to fade when you keep reinforcing them; potassium ions whispering through the channels of these learned responses (everytime I hear "Raining in Baltimore" or "Sour Girl" or "The Bad Touch" or "One Headlight" or "Invisible City" or gods forbid "Amphetamine"; everytime I dream of a desert lined with pine trees; everytime I touch a UNIX box and remember how weird it all seemed at first, and then how natural; when I first got the idea for system; how I left sand and saguaro for snow and trees, cobblestones and diners; all of these things that have come to define me control me, and all of them, all of them, have a single common thread running through them).

I shaved my head again. Just because.

December 29, 2005

Flying to ABQ today. The two hours of sleep I got will serve me well, I am sure.

AMV Hell 3. Made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. via solios.

January 4, 2006

Finally goddamn home.

After what, ten hours in airports and airplanes, I get to PHL and what happens? Oh, there's no fucking cabs. So people are milling around, walking between dispatch stations, running around on fire, as you might expect. It's 0100 and people just want to get home.

I am amazed there was not a fucking riot. Apparently this shit has been going on since 1600.

Finally I get a cab, double up with some couple who has been travelling just as much as I have today, and ten minutes later I'm home. HOME, BITCHES.

Most Annoying Overheard Conversation: Some girl and guy talking about Brave New World. "And like, the women? Well, I don't remember exactly how like, reproduction worked. Maybe they like donated their eggs and the babies were born in a lab and you couldn't raise them yourself or something?"

Yay for iPod.

I am very glad to be home. And eating. Finally. So tired.

January 7, 2006

Ever have one of those days?

Well... dragorn will probably just top you, so don't bitch. ;-)

February 2, 2006

Kyle, Harry and I met up at Factory after work to poke at the space a bit and get a box up for Kyle, then headed up to Nodding Head for some food and a couple beers. They had BIG SAMMICH there, but there's no way it could approach Gloria's, so I didn't bother and just got a burger. Disappointment-avoidance. I must be growing up.

After food, they had to get back to their respective women, so I stopped by Barnes & Noble and picked up a few books: Cell by Stephen King, which from the sample chapters I read somewhere didn't look to be very awesome. I'm all about King writing about zombies, even if it's cell phones turning people into zombies (indeed!), but the tone just got on my nerves. Hopefully it will be good.

Also got Max Barry's Company, which came out a couple weeks ago, and according to Herr Kirsch is supposed to be pretty awesome. Other reviews suggest as much as well, so I'm looking forward to it.

On a whim I picked up Hammerjacks, which appears to be Marc D. Giller's first book. It was just kind of hanging out looking lonely, and rather beat up, so I grabbed it. It appears to be about l33t hax0rs and someone who gets like pwnt by teh man to find other l33t hax0rs, so we'll see. Sometimes that pisses me off, sometimes it's pretty okay. The amazon reviews seem mostly positive, at least.

I'm almost finished with the third book of His Dark Materials, which is more a testament of how awesome the series has been than me actually having time to read lately. Because I haven't. Maybe that will change soon, but seems unlikely. I'm probably going to be spamming the box set at select humans, too. Gratz to mdxi for suggesting it.

February 4, 2006

It's weird dreaming about people you haven't thought of in years. This girl I grew up with, Heather, the first girl I ever kissed (we must have been four or five? My family was stationed in Okinawa when I was five, so it had to have been before that), for some reason she just floated to the surface from somewhere in my unconscious. Gods know why.

When I was fifteen or sixteen my family took a trip up to Utah, where her family had last been stationed and decided to stay, in Provo. We saw a giant open-air mining pit, and went hiking a bit. The area was probably the prettiest I'd ever seen. I remember sitting in the back of the car with Heather at some point, while everyone else had gotten out to look at something or other, and there being a connection between us. Or so I imagine now. I can't remember the words, but I remember the closeness of her, and which of us initiated that.

But it's hard to tell, looking back, if me, the awkward, nerdy, teenager, was actually getting hit on by the beautiful, socially-accomplished teenager, or if she was just being nice. And gods, you think I'm bad these days, you should have seen me ten years ago. It was pretty bad. Stupid baseball cap and stupid jean jacket and absolutely nothing going for me, in terms of graces or conversational ability. Not that I've come all that far, I'm afraid.

The girl was smart, too. Ended up valecdictorian, going off to medical school. I haven't heard anything about her in maybe five years, so really who knows what she's managed to make of herself. But at the time, both of us just kids, it would not be a lie to say I was overwhelmed by her attention. We exchanged a few letters, though it's probably safe to say I let that die out, for whatever dumbass teenage reason. I've no idea where those letters would be now, and that's sort of endemic of the problem, I think.

As I get older, I look back on a lot of things I've done in my life, or more often not done, and feel a profound sense of regret. And looking around me now, at the things I'm not doing, or things simply still undone, I feel time just slipping away: sand through splayed fingers. I'm twenty-six, and every day is almost exactly the same. Same, to switch musical artists rather grossly, as it ever was.

When I woke up this morning, I was confused by the dream; why I would be thinking of someone who I haven't talked to in the better part of a decade, who I probably haven't even thought of in years? But Sarah was around the other night, and drunk, and upset. And of course the only time she ever talks to me anymore is when she's drunk, and upset, and it's sort of my job to fix the latter. I guess I'm good at it, at least. Maybe just stirred up old things I consider unfinished, or more likely still-born.

Or maybe it was just synapses firing blindly into the dark.

February 12, 2006

Cronin was asking about Xserves and video cards earlier, so I went digging through my closet looking for the Mac Radeon I used in DCI's a couple years ago. While looking for the box of PCI crap, I came across my letter box. Which isn't actually a letter box at all, but the leather Celtic-style cover from a journal I bought years ago and never used.

Nothing from the long-term Lauras (long-term by comparison, I guess. Long-term for me) is in here. If there was anything worth keeping, it got thrown away somewhere along I-40 or I-85. In fact, the things in here are all from girls that were whirlwind or make me hum Counting Crow's Raining in Baltimore.

Needless to say, reading letters from ex-girlfriends (or whatever they were) is never a good idea. The first few are from Sarah. We'll... skip those.

Ry made these. She was mad into the crafts, and just dropping little notes in the mail. Smart, gorgeous, empathic... And of course from Virginia and just visiting her boyfriend (well, ex-boyfriend almost immediately after she got into town) for a week. I had never met her before. Never talked to her, I don't think. Whirlwind, random, whatever you want to call it.

Years later, I'd go to my friend Steve's wedding and meet his soon-to-be sister-in-law and that part of it was the same. Everything after, including the part where Nancy was a lying bitch and I got punched out by her "ex-boyfriend" outside a bar in Wichita, well. That was obviously a bit different.

These are pretty damn neat, though. I don't think anyone else has ever made me anything remotely similar.

Heh. This one is because the first night she was in Tempe, for some unknown reason she insisted (as I remember it) on watching some anime. All we had (?!) was Wicked City, which is essentially hentai. I think there's even some tentacle sex in it. Definitely a spider-woman with a giant toothed vagina though. I believe she deemed it "interesting."

Her letters are hard to read. Constantly telling me what I mean to her. How amazing I am. If I was, I don't remember it. I remember wondering what the hell I'd done to deserve her attention. I remember sitting in bed and bitching about Ryan's girlfriend, Tori, for at least an hour. I remember sitting on the couch in the dark. Taking her to the steakhouse in the converted firehouse. Sitting in the airport after her plane left, and how incredibly not like a movie it was, though there were plenty of tears from her (and later, a list of things she wish she had said, five or six pages long. It's in here, too).

Of course, I remember the rest of it, later, after I moved to the east coast; me fucking it all up. So perhaps I'm shading it.

But if anything any of these letters have any truth, I wonder where that guy went. I wonder why he left me his things to find, years on. I'm not him anymore, but it certainly seems like he was a better guy than I am.

And then there's this, in among the photos and little drawings and words from Sarah...

Can't read anything she wrote. My brain knows better than that, at the very least.

I need some gin.

Something in my room just made the most godawful noise, and I have no idea what.

It sounded like someone stepped on a duck.

So, like, it's snowing and stuff.


February 14, 2006

Fell asleep with the light on. Typically means I have very vivid, very odd dreams. And so it goes.

Woke up with Johnny and June singing "Jackson" at Folsom Prison going through my head.

February 27, 2006

Kinda tired.

Spent the day out in the western suburbs with Harry on a job, yesterday. Left for the el at 0845, got home around 2130. Just migrating servers at Bryce's work, nothing too major. Shari came and got us around 1930, I guess, and we stopped at some Mexican theme restaurant. The food was not all that awesome, and it had a very frat-boy sort of feel to it. It definitely wasn't Taqueria Veracruzana in South Philly. :-)

Now I kinda want to stop at the Diner and get some breakfast before heading to campus. Maybe some waffles. Mm. Waffles. What I'd really like to do is go to Sandy's up on 24th St., but it probably wouldn't be as good without Adam and Sophy. (teh emo!)

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.

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. :-(

April 4, 2006

Bryan: "Ugh, I guess I better go back and read more SNMP docs."
Andrew: "S&M docs?"
Bryan: "Well, it's not nippleclamp painful, but it's pretty bad."
Greg: "Where do you come up with these analogies?!"

April 8, 2006

Long annoying day. Spent most of it reading SNMP::Info code, until I found A3COM, an old project designed specifically to manage 3COM switches. Whoo. So I'll be stealing elements of both.

Spent a couple hours this evening rewiring my closet, chaning up my network a bit, and then installing Apache2/trac on a Solaris 10 zone. The last bit took about ten minutes, thanks to the glories of Blastwave. It needs some fiddling, though. By default, Apache runs as nobody instead of a dedicated user, which is no good. I don't really like that it's in /opt/csw/apache2 instead of cut into pieces and placed as approprite under the CSW root. Oh well.

Time to... eat? I guess? And maybe watch some TV or something?

Whoo. And stuff.

April 11, 2006

Last night I dreamed I was at a hacker/security conference that was being hosted in what (I think) was my parents old house in Yuma. I don't really remember anything except the word 'hick' was being substituted for the first letter or so of every vendor mentioned.

So instead of "Cisco" it was "Hicksco".

The only thing I really remember is at one point I stood up and pronounced, "Yo, bitches, don't you remember we're a HickCOM shop?"

May 29, 2006
June 2, 2006

It seems like everywhere I go, they're ripping up the streets. Blocks of cracked concrete and asphalt, the air heavy with dust. The endless condemning sound of jackhammers. Everyone looking for something secret in the below.

Everywhere I go, new buildings are going up. Skeletal complexes slowly climbing into the above, eventually girdled with mortar and brick, steel and glass. Like those time-lapse videos of animals decomposing in reverse.

July 1, 2006

Last month was pretty busy in terms of people visiting. My sister was in town for a weekend, just hanging out. We attempted to find touristy things to do, but (if you know either me or her, it should be obvious that we) failed miserably at it. We ended up sitting around, threw an ad hoc BBQ (there's another one of those tomorrow, actually); overall she seemed to have a good time. My friends (though perhaps more Pete's college friends, who are entertaining dirtbags for sure) were amusing. She brought rolled tacos from Yuma, and those were a big hit (as if they couldn't be).

Since she was theoretically visiting as part of a birthday present, I got her an iPod nano, and gave her my old 12" albook (also maxed out the RAM; OS X is pretty beat with 640MB). We spent a couple hours going over various OS X features, and she picked up on it really quickly (which is not surprising; OS X is easy and she is a quick learner at most things anyway). She emailed me the other day saying how much she enjoyed using it, so unless she's saying that shit just to make an old nerd feel good, I'm pretty happy about it.

Adam and Sophy flew in from SFO that weekend for Adam's graduation. It was really good seeing them both. There was much eating and drinking and generally having a good time. By the end of the visit, they were both pretty beat and looked ready to get back home. Unfortunately for them, home is actually Philadelphia, and San Francisco is just some weird layover pyramid scheme thing. Assholes. Come back to Cu-ba, Paco.

Gallo threw a BBQ at his place the night they flew in, which was quite a bit of fun. Harry got a little too drunk and slapped Adam in the balls. You'd expect people on togas to be standing over him and chanting but no, it was just me and some other fuzzy shape (ah, alcohol) helping him up while he was trying to laugh and say "It's still funny, it's still funny!"

It would probably be wise to invest in a cup, just in case. The "watch your junk" buttons solios is making up for pumpcon this year will definitely be seeing a lot of usage, I reckon.

And last weekend Michelle threw a surprise birthday party for merz at her new place. Half the attendees were nerds, the rest were the music/emo/whatever people who avoid the nerds as much as possible. So you have all these people in the backyard, sort of milling around waiting for the birthday dude so show up, and when he finally does we just sort of stare at him for a few seconds, like those stupid little dogs who haven't yet decided if they want to flee or start yapping at you in their annoying little voices or just shit themselves.

Then someone (I don't remember who) realizes maybe a "surprise" would be helpful. No yapping, but I can't attest that no one shat their pants. merz may have shown some small amount of expression when confronted with twenty or so unexpected people in his girlfriend's backyard. It was shocking. I was shocked. Are you getting that there was totally some shockage and shit?

It was like High School that way. Or maybe I was just cranky that night because it was hot and I'd been hit in the head with a Cisco 4506 earlier in the day (those fuckers are heavy, even with the power supplies pulled out). I had went to some comic shop over by Penn's campus that afternoon to pick up a present for merz (according to Michelle he does dig graphic novels, and does enjoy superhero stuff -- so I grabbed the first trade of Astrocity, which is awesome superhero stuff); after walking the two miles from Drexel to 40th St. and back, I was pretty sweaty and smelly. So spending the rest of the night in that state was not very pleasant. I mostly hung around inside with Evan, Maggie, Nick K. and eventually Pete.

They had cake made with Guinness. I don't much care for Guinness. But it was fucking awesome cake. Overall, it was fun. We ended the night drinking wine out of coffee mugs, and it's hard, if not impossible, to top that level of awesomeness.

Tomorrow Cronin and crew will be coming over to cook me some tasty food, yet again. I wonder if I could get away with blaming him and Nick K for my getting fat. They're the primary impetuous behind these BBQs, and they were the ones who pushed the weekly dinners as well.

Attributing blame to others for being a lazy fuck is teh win.

Anyway, as you can might be able to tell, June was a pretty good month, and hopefully July will be even better. Now all I need is some hot chicks to come bathe me, roll me over every now and then so I don't get the bedsores, and bring me Cinnamon Toast Crunch every morning. And afternoon.

Fo' rizzle, it's the small things that keep one sane.

The week before last I put in my notice at Drexel. Yup. No more network security for me. No more bot-hunting. No more rewriting code four times and never finishing it. No more uncomfortable basement with no windows or environmental controls.

jcap is moving into the city and taking another job, so the SA position at pobox opened up and well... yeah. I used to be a pretty good SA. Hopefully netsec hasn't killed whatever ability I had in it. The pobox office is in Chinatown (yay), on the second floor, has been comfortable everytime I've been there (which with gaming has been quite a bit), and has huge bay windows that overlook 676/95. I have another two weeks at Drexel, and honestly I'm not looking forward to them. One of the bigger projects I was working on (CARP/pfsync active failover proxies) got made redundant without anyone mentioning it, and well... the basement. Eh.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I gave my old laptop to my sister while she was here. My current laptop is the last 12" albook model, and it belongs to Drexel. The current Apple laptop I'd be interested in getting is the MacBook, but it's still RevA. Usually you avoid RevA Mac kit like the bloody plague. I'm a big fan of their "last model of this type" gear, like the Pismo (a freakin' tank) or my albook, which is also a really solid machine. The thought of going without a laptop for (probably) six months wasn't something I felt I could really deal with. My entire work method revolves around a laptop. I have an iMac for media and gaming; all real production of any sort happens on my PowerBook.

Getting another cheapy system just to tide me over was something I thought about, but getting a non-Mac didn't really bear contemplating. Getting an iBook or another used PowerBook would have worked, but... eh. I admit that I am a consumer whore and like shiny things. So, there you go.

This afternoon I dragged Harry, Rich (the SA at Drexel; an entertaining British fellow), and the new netsec guy (who is one strange cat: He chews on tape, rubber bands, whatever is at hand) down to Springboard where I picked up a new MacBook. The sales guy matched ramjet's price on RAM, so the box is maxed out, and there was a minor discount for the 512MB stick the systems come with. I didn't get my .edu discount, but I'm not going to cry about it. We ended up loitering around the store for 15 minutes while they installed the memory. We were asked half a dozen times if we could be helped, which to me meant "get out of here already!" :-)

Harry gave me crap about someone else installing freakin' RAM into my laptop until he remembered my history with kit. Namely how hardware stops working when I get near it. I blame it on EM fields, but deep down I know it's because computers hate me. They're in it with the squirrels.

After Springboard, we walked down to Gusto and had some lunch (Rich, who eats earlier in the day, just had a glass of water; New Guy had a Coke and insisted he was full three-fourths of the way though it; Harry and I got salads which were as tasty as ever).

Back at work, I unboxed the thing. I tried to explain to Rich and New Guy that Apple marketing is all about trying to seduce you with their packaging. It's like you're stripping the damn thing; everything is in its own little condom wrapper. It's freakin' pornographic. They didn't get it, and quickly vacated my cube after I related this opinion.

I booted up the MacBook, configured it real quick. During setup you are asked if you'd like to take a login picture, as with my iMac, I actually did (mainly for the novelty of it):

That's the Sanity Flask. It's a hip flask, KGB logo with a bust of Lenin on the cap, that sits on my desk, empty. Because there is no sanity to be found at Drexel, no matter how much booze you consume. Ha ha, I am so clever, me.

It's sort of like the skeleton drinking the wine in The Last Unicorn, only, y'know, backwards.

I booted the albook into target disk mode, mounted it on the MacBook, and copied over the encrypted disk image containing my homedir (I use FileVault). Once that was done, it was pretty much just a matter of copying a few directories out of the crypto loop, setting up Mail.app again (the most annoying part of the process), and grabbing the Universal versions of various applications.

The whole thing took about 20 minutes, if that. I could have tried using the Migration Assistant (which would have done the above and more for me), but I wasn't sure how it'd interact with a FileVault homedir, and I like starting as fresh as possible on new machines anyway if I can.

So, a few thoughts about the MacBook...

Sitting it next to the albook, the color difference the glossy LCD provides is really noticeable. The albook looks flat and dim, whereas the MacBook's colors are deep and very bright. The display seems really wide and the res almost too high; I got really used to the dimensions of the 12", and 1024x768. I work with most windows maxed (Mail, Safari, Terminals I am doing actual work in as opposed to just IRC/silc), but it's not really useable with these dimensions. Everything looks stretched out and too far away from other elements of the application. 209x53 terminals are just... silly. So that's something I'll have to get used to, I guess.

Rik and jcap have both complained about the function key chording nonsense, and wow, yes, it is incredibly annoying. If you want to page up, have to hit shift-fn-up, as opposed to shift/fn in whatever order you are used to. For me it's fn-shift, and it's going to be a pain in the ass getting used to doing it the other way around. Hopefully this is something that can be fixed with a patch, and soon.

Andrew mentioned a couple weeks ago some issue that some Airport Extreme cards were having with the work wireless network (Cisco WAPs): the cards would associate, then start flipping between good/bad signal and then (sometimes) deassoc. My albook didn't have the issue, but the MacBook does. Looks like I'll be wired for the next two weeks (suck).

The magnetic latch thing is really cool. MagSafe (the magnetic power cord) seems to hold on tighter than the friction needed to pull the laptop off a desk, but I'm not actually going to test it.

The keyboard is freakin' sweet.

The trackpad is absolutely huge, and the mouse button is kind of squishy. I tried using the "tap trackpad to click" function, but I think I'm far too ingrained in how I use computers to really get used to it (though I did get used to using the trackpad to scroll, so maybe).

The system is damned fast; it's just as snappy as my iMac (it should be, the specs are almost identical). The shared VRAM thing pisses me off, but eh, it's RevA and the low-end model. What do you want?

It's already got fingerprints on it, and wrist-rest smudges. Makes me want to start wearing gloves when I use the damn thing.

It also doesn't fit in my bag very well, but I knew that was going to happen. I'm going to try and pick up a new sleeve for it, and just sort of deal with it, I guess. The bag is really nice, the laptop is really nice, perhaps they can work out the rest of it amongst themselves.

All in all, I'm happy with the thing after several hours of use. Unless the battery starts melting on me, I will be content to wait for the RevC MacBook, sell this one, and probably not lose a whole lot of money on the deal.

Last night Cronin, Melissa, Harry, Shari and I decided to hit up Pietro's in Rittenhouse for dinner. As Cronin, Melissa and I were taking the Penn bus (air-conditioned bus! What will they think of next? Rich would have been more amazed than he was by the trolley yesterday afternoon) we saw Evan and Maggie walking by. Me being me, I txt'd Evan "You are wearing a white shirt."

A few minutes later, after we got off the noisy bus and headed to Cronin's to drop shit off, I called Evan. He answered with "You are a creepy motherfucker."

Anyway, so we all met up at Pietro's eventually. Some bum was saying some stuff to me when Harry showed up, and Harry ended up deflecting him. "Man, always gotta help you out." I was tired and oblivious. I didn't even realize the bum dude was talking to me.

They had to split us up which was annoying, but eating was more gooder than standing around for 30 minutes waiting for one of the big tables to open up. Cronin, M and I got some pizza and shared a salad; the other table of suckers ordered real food and had to wait a fair bit longer than us. Our waitress was totally better than theirs, too.

Afterwards, I was feeling pretty tired and felt a headache coming on so I headed home. Eventually I took a nap and the headache went away. Now I am awake, posting pointlessly long blog entries and drinking Mt Dew instead of sleeping. I'm going to get a call around 1400 from Cronin to go to the store to pick up BBQ shit, and it's going to be a somewhat long day, so I should be sleeping. But. Eh.

I think instead if I will finish Earth Made of Glass so that I can spend the rest of the weekend reading Rainbow's End. Vernor Vinge sure is freakin' awesome.

July 4, 2006

Ever since they died, in my dreams the angels are all Jim Henson muppets, singing The Rainbow Connection with Johnny Cash.

And I wake up, feeling pretty okay.

July 7, 2006

Persistant headache since Monday night finally fell over the edge into full-on migraine. Woke up around 0430 to aura like I haven't seen in... ages. Sparkles and pain, staring at the ceiling for 45 minutes, until I manage to get the laptop open (forgetting it's not the albook, can't find the fucking button for the latch) to email my boss; one-finger typing, squinting, can't really see the screen because even with the brightness down the glare is murder.

Eventually I pass out for a while, wake up sometime feeling a bit better. Then it washes back in, and I'm gone again.

Pete comes home eventually and I manage to stumble to Wawa with him for some food. Do the dishes, watch Conan the Barbarian for no good reason at all. The movie, not the dishes. Dishes needed to be done.

Might be time for another MRI. For the headaches, or because I enjoyed Conan, take your pick.

August 18, 2006

Stopped at Borders on my way home. Got $100 worth of books. Gorgeous girl in line behind me. I was wearing my "We Must ALL Stop ManBearPig" shirt, listening to industrial, rocking the battle pants and laptop murse. That just how I roll.

She was all like, "ehhh", and I was all like, whatever.

It is shocking, shocking, that I got no play.

August 19, 2006

There's a poster at the bus stop of Market & 12th St. with an ad for World Trade Center in it.

Written between the towers is:

inside job

September 28, 2006

Last week I was in San Francisco visiting Adam and Sophy. I haven't had a real vacation in, well, forever, so I was looking forward to spending a week or so with some friends and no responsibilities. It was sort of ridiculous, but Adam was in town for a talk on Tuesday, and I flew out on Thursday. Very pomo, no?

October 1, 2006

Went to see Massive Attack at the Tower with Cronin and Gaurav tonight. Awesome show, though it seemed really short. Good crowd, everyone was really into it. Great visuals, and of course the music itself rocked. The venue itself was pretty damn nice. I don't even know that I've ever been out to 69th St., but the el stop is literally up the block. Next time I won't con Cronin into driving I guess. ;-P

Met up with Nick at Doobies afterwards, then swung by Wawa for a hoagie and came home. After a couple Mark-built gin & tonics is probably not the best time to be rebuilding my backup server, but hey. RAID 1'd a couple 300G Seagates, set up LVM, and am copying the backup images from the temp drive onto them. Totally trivial.

I remember back in the day when this crap was hard.

October 7, 2006

Motherless Brooklyn, starring Ed Norton, based on the the book written by Jonathan Lethem (Gun, With Occassional Music). This was probably the last really good book Lethem wrote (everything after just filled me with great annoyance), and the fact that it's starring Norton makes me really excited about it. Awesome.

I know this, because, well, Dan is losing his goddamn mind:

<Danelope> It's been one of those nights.
<Danelope> poster.jpg
<bda> Dude.
<bda> What the fuck.
<bda> What the hell is the source image for that?
<bda> It looks like Ed Norton, only FAT.
<Danelope> http://www.flickr.com/photos/ioerror/252721363/in/set-72157594299674015/
<bda> http://imdb.com/title/tt0385887/ # HOLY FUCK
<bda> No no.
<bda> The shirt is not mine. The jacket is altered. :P
<Danelope> You're right.
<bda> And y'know. Sideburns.
<Danelope> It started out with me trying to turn you into Dr. Orpheus.
<bda> Hhahaha
<Danelope> But that ran out of steam.
<Danelope> So, instead this.
<bda> I am cracking up.
<bda> That is hilarious. :P
<Danelope> I told you, you look like a supervillain.
<Danelope> Or maybe a detective with Tourette's.
<Danelope> Hahah.
<bda> I read that book years ago. It's good.
<bda> Probably the last good book Lethem will ever write, that fuck.
<bda> Y'know.
<bda> I probably don't want to know.
<bda> But why were trying to turn me into Dr. O?
<Danelope> For the same reason I turned you into Zim.
<Danelope> I was bored and I felt like annoying you.
<Danelope> :)

Itemized explanation:

  • With sideburns, I look like Fat Ed Norton. Something to keep in mind, I suppose. I went looking for the source image, because it reminded me of Norton somehow, and thus discovered Motherless Brooklyn becoming a Major Motion Picture.
  • Johnny Cash did a cover of the old gospel, Run On, called God's Gonna Cut You Down. It's on American V: A Hundred Highways, the album Rick Rubin released for Johnny, posthumously.
  • Lathe is the name of a Palahniuk-style story Dan came up with a few years ago, about a demon stuck on Earth doing a stupid, pointless job eons after Hell won the War. I was supposed to write it, but as with all things I'm supposed to do that don't involve UNIX, I didn't get too far.
  • Rian Johnson is the director of Brick, which is probably one of the best movies I have seen in recent years.

Besides being hilarious, this makes me want to work on Lathe again. The last thing I wrote was on the plane to San Francisco, and it was this six page long Howl's Moving Castle treatment, only robot/AI house and deserted suburbia kinda thing. Not uh, exactly the same mindset as disgruntled-McDemon-guy.

October 9, 2006

Flogging Molly played Electric Factory last night, and it was, as the kids say, totally bumpin'. Hands down, FM puts on the best show going. Tim was in town, and some of the local crew went with; stopped by Whiskey Dix down the street for a couple drinks, then headed over to the show. The opening band was half-decent, half-godawful. There were also some guys from a "comedy show" coming to fuse.tv called "The Whitest Guys U'Know", and it was fucking horrendous.

Thankfully Flogging Molly came on and washed all the nonsense away. An absolutely amazing show. Harry and Shari had never heard them before, and seemed to really enjoy themselves (as if they could do anything else). The mood from the audience was very positive; everyone was happy to be there, and indeed, there were random people doing jigs. Even I was moved by the music to move a bit. Don't tell anyone, though.

They're playing again tonight, and have a bunch of other dates you could go to. Even if you've never heard them before, or don't think it's quite your thing, you should give it a shot. If you go and hate it, you are broken.

The only regrets I have about the show is that they didn't play Every Dog Has Its Day or The Worst Day Since Yesterday, but belted out the rest of my favorite songs, so it's hard to complain. So good.

By the end of the night, I was pretty well drunk (no way am I going to a FM show and not having a cup of gin or whiskey to raise while yelling "Then the rosary beads / count them 1 2 3 / fell apart as they hit the floor / In a garb of black / we must pay respect / to the color we're born to mourn") and today I've got one of the few hangovers I've ever experieneced, but eh. It was worth it.

Go. Listen. Watch. (Whiskey On A Sunday is an excellent way to introduce yourself to the band... the audio CD if full of awesome, and the DVD is by turns hilarious, touching, and also full of auditory yay.)

December 18, 2006

<@nrmlgrl> i see bread people
<@bda> <3

December 21, 2006

About once a year, my sado-masochistic side rears up and demands that I spend half a day going to airports, rotting in airports, or Gods willing, on actual airplanes waiting in line to go somewhere. Nothing quite like grumpy people, longer lines, tiny seats filled with large people who may or may not have bathed during the most recent geological age...

Oh, holidays. How I love you.

December 27, 2006

Military considers recruiting foreigners

Pax Americana. Service guarantees citizenship.

Call it whatever you want.

Edward Gibbon famously placed the blame on a loss of civic virtue among the Roman citizens. They gradually outsourced their duties to defend the Empire to outside mercenaries who eventually turned on them. Gibbon considered that Christianity had contributed to this, making the populace less interested in the worldly here-and-now and more willing to wait for the rewards of heaven. "[T]he decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight," he wrote.

"The Empire had come to depend on the enrollment of barbarians, in large numbers, in the army, and that it was necessary to render the service attractive to them by the prospect of power and wealth. This was, of course, a consequence of the decline in military spirit, and of depopulation, in the old civilised Mediterranean countries. The Germans in high command had been useful, but the dangers involved in the policy had been shown in the cases of Merobaudes and Arbogastes. Yet this policy need not have led to the dismemberment of the Empire, and but for that series of chances its western provinces would not have been converted, as and when they were, into German kingdoms. It may be said that a German penetration of western Europe must ultimately have come about. But even if that were certain, it might have happened in another way, at a later time, more gradually, and with less violence. The point of the present contention is that Rome's loss of her provinces in the fifth century was not an "inevitable effect of any of those features which have been rightly or wrongly described as causes or consequences of her general 'decline.'" The central fact that Rome could not dispense with the help of barbarians for her wars (gentium barbararum auxilio indigemus) may be held to be the cause of her calamities, but it was a weakness which might have continued to be far short of fatal but for the sequence of contingencies pointed out above. (Bury)

January 2, 2007

I want to write a children's book titled God, Why Does It Burn When I Pee?, but I suspect it would be far too short to be published.

The book, that is.

April 12, 2007
April 14, 2007

Lately I've wondered where the greats of my generation are. The ones who will write the books and music which will catalyze us, speak the words which will engender in us some form of motivation. The ones who will be delightfully, poignantly weird. Who have lived in and through insane times, and came out the other side with a mind to rail against the madness. To push back the tide, even though it's all gone to sand, slipping through their fingers and caking up at their feet, shadowed ridges like the wrinkles deepening on their faces.

Instead all I see are narcissistic Toys-R-Us kids for whom apathetic despondency has become a mating ritual.

We bitch and moan, on blogs just like this, and think the world is changed simply by the movement of electrons. I include myself in this existential ennui. Our country is in the hands of, as the lamentably late Kurt Vonnegut said a few years ago, "upper-crust C students," and we argue and shake our fists and then go back to our television shows or overly complex obsessions about nothing much at all.

Barely two paragraphs into a whinging rant about the state of my contemporaries, and I find it impossible to continue (full of despondent apathy, no doubt).

Instead I will say:

We will see no more Kurt Vonneguts, no more Hunter S. Thompsons, no more Johnny Cashes. Look instead to yourself, to your closest friends. Try to energize them. While we may all eventually get our five minutes of glory (if only in the scanning Northrop eyes of Big Brother), you must stop living for the camera whose only concern is you fucking up or chipping away at order.

Be a catalyst to those who surround you. Inspire them. Force them to cleverness, to forget there ever was a box to think inside. And do this, for the sake of all the small gods, in Real Life (there's a reason it is still explicitly defined, after all), and not on blogs just like this.

If not you, then who?

Do not ask what Kurt Vonnegut would do. Or Hunter S. Thompson. Or any of the crumbling, fading dinosaurs of the counter-culture, before it shattered and fragmented into...

Ask yourself, instead.

May 2, 2007

Nothing to see here, citizen. Move along. Or we ask for your papers.

Next up: Freedom Hotline. Inform on your fathers. Your mothers.

(The State is your family.)

May 12, 2007

Ben Rockwood responds to Paul Boutin talking smack? maybe? about sysadmins.

My own experience with becoming a system administrator did not involve drawing Sun logos onto my Trapper Keepers or memorizing IBM hardware line-ups instead of important Civil War battles. I wasn't even really aware of those things. No, I fell into it from the bottom-up. The first UNIX box I touched was Linux, and I didn't even really understand there was a whole ecosphere of UNIXes out there for a couple years after that. I knew they existed, I suppose, but they were like funny birds you hear about in far-off countries.

Looking back on the (almost) ten years of my "career", it's only now that I actually feel I'm edging up onto the ramp of competency. It's more an understanding of all the things I don't know than a pride in the things I do, though. In some respects that's heartening, because it means I'm becoming good enough to know what I'm not good at, instead of simply being blindly ignorant. It's also disheartening, though, because there's a great deal of areas in which I know I need a great deal of improvement.

When I get down about this, I'll break out my (rather beat up) copy of Hagakure and read the following excerpt:

A certain swordsman in his declining years said the following:

In one's life, there are levels in the pursuit of study. In the lowest level, a person studies but nothing comes of it, and he feels that both he and others are unskillful. At this point he is worthless. In the middle level he is still useless but is aware of his own insufficiencies and can also see the insufficiencies of others. In a higher level he has pride concerning his own ability, rejoices in praise from others, and laments the lack of ability in his fellows. This man has worth. In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing.

These are the levels in general. But there is one transcending level, and this is the most excellent of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks of himself as having finished. He truly knows his own insufficiencies and never in his whole life thinks that he has succeeded. He has no thoughts of pride but with self-abasement knows the Way to the end. It is said that Master Yagyu once remarked, "I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself."

Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.

It doesn't necessarily make me feel better, but it usually makes me hate the world less. Getting back to even, maybe.

My job is often stressful, and mainly seems to be ever more rare islands of "ok, now this is cool" amongst a sea of frustrations. I wish I could say this condition makes it easy to lose sight of why I started down this path -- but like I said: I fell into it. I'm still here because I don't know anything else. I suppose it's enjoyable enough, and typically pays well enough, that the Irish genes kick in.

Like Colin Sullivan says in The Departed:

I'm fucking Irish, I'll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.

(Still not sure what it means, being California Irish by way of pretty much everywhere.)

And lately, anytime something ridiculously stupid occurs, it's harder to treat it as nothing more than a challenge. Now it's just another reason to stumble off this path and find another.

Good luck with that, me.

June 15, 2007

What a stupid, stupid day. I don't even want to get into it.

Let's just say: I could have used some beer when I got home at midnight.

But there was no beer to be had.

Damn you, roommate guy. Damn you to heck. Crying anime emoticon face here.

July 18, 2007

Oh, Queen's Village Wawa. Why are you closed? From 0000 to 0500 of all times? Did you not know I had not eaten all day and really wanted a breaded chicken sammich and some pickles?

And closed for a technology update? You have all the technology you need to deliver unto my face a delicious sammich full of chickeny bread. You have touchscreen LCDs by which I can order some food, so I don't have to talk to the people who will give me some food. You have lights so I don't trip over the scary people or knock into the coffee island and burn myself. You have an ATM so I can get money at any time to trade for the sammich of chicken.

Alas, you insist on "upgrading" your "technology" across the city, and while you are perhaps doing rolling updates so your users don't experience a total service outage, no other Wawas are as conveniently located to my palace of me.

For your sake, Wawa, you'd better be getting a nanotech replicator installed, a la Lucky Dragon, or I will be sad, sad panda.

August 17, 2007

I am really tired, and must sleep, but here is a brief, brief overview:

Cronin, Walt and I showed up to the Library around 1700. They closed it down until 1815, so we sat outside and watched the pretty girls go by (I hate summer, but I like pretty girls; cursed am I). Cronin also attempted to lure the disgusting city pigeons into attacking me via strategically placed pieces of Wawa hoagie, but failed miserably.

Then it was time for the awesome.

<@bda> Gibson Is A Prophet
<@bda> Adam Is Froody
<@bda> So because we think it's hilarious that Adam gives his biz cards to William Gibson, I gave him another of Adam's cards tonight.
<@_Lasar> hahah
<@bda> "A buddy of mine keeps giving these to you whenever he sees you, so we figured we'd continue the tradition in whatever city you happen to be in."
<@_Lasar> :)
<@bda> The first link makes it far less funny, and much more awesome.
<@bda> But Gibson remembered, and laughed, and said:
<@bda> "That's fine, but it makes me wonder if he's a distributed entity."

Though I am positive I said something far, far less coherent than that. He also looked incredibly tired (considering his signing schedule, and the ridiculous things that it incurs, who can blame him). Questions this trip were surprisingly sparse, not that I ever have anything to ask one of my favorite authors when I have the ability to do so. I remember last time he was here, lots of people were up for it, though. Kinda odd. Maybe everyone was just keying off his obvious exhaustion?

Also, my brain went into total Fanboy Glee Mode after his response, so I just sort of stumbled off, giggling.

After the signing, Cronin, Hunter, Faith and I went to Vietnam Palace for some tasty food and to catch up on the last few years. It was good seeing them again. :-)

On my way home, I was waiting to catch a cab and some suburbanite hipster kids were failing to hail one as well. Failing like they kept running back and forth across Market St., whenever they saw one. I mostly ignored them and talked on my cell. Finally I managed to get a cab, not noticing the kids running across the street to... cabjack me?

I figured, whatever, there's four of them, and they are obviously unused to how this works. I will be a nice guy. As I am holding the door for one of the girls, one of the guys gets all puffed up and starts to call me a douche, or a dick.

I let out a mighty "Ay, yo!" with the full intention of smacking him around (for whatever it would be worth, he was younger than me and it is impossible for me to be in worse shape, physically, without actually being made of donuts), but his buddy... held him back? Or something?

The whole situation was resolved amicably once the (drunk?) kids realized, oh, you are being nice and letting us have your cab, while we are too incompentant to get one.

It just makes me feel like a real Philadelphian though: "Ay, yo!" to shut someone up, perhaps precipitating a bout of violence, and then a random act of charity.

"Hey sorry about--" "Yo, no worries. You and me. We're cool. You have a good night now."

Then two seconds later I caught another cab.

People, eh?

Pete came home after I got back, and we sat around talking about uh, lots of weird random things (books, politics, I failed to explain even the most basic aspects of quantum physics, more books), which was pretty entertaining.

Now I must sleep. Before the doom.

December 28, 2007

In the end, the argument we are having between the candidates in the last seven days is not just about the meaning of change. It’s about the meaning of hope. Some of my opponents appear scornful of the word; they think it speaks of naiveté, passivity and wishful thinking.

But that’s not what hope is. Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task before us or the roadblocks that stand in our path. Yes, the lobbyists will fight us. Yes, the Republican attack dogs will go after us in the general election. Yes, the problems of poverty and climate change and failing schools will resist easy repair. I know — I’ve been on the streets; I’ve been in the courts. I’ve watched legislation die because the powerful held sway and good intentions weren’t fortified by political will, and I’ve watched a nation get misled into war because no one had the judgment or the courage to ask the hard questions before we sent our troops to fight.

But I also know this. I know that hope has been the guiding force behind the most improbable changes this country has ever made. In the face of tyranny, it’s what led a band of colonists to rise up against an Empire. In the face of slavery, it’s what fueled the resistance of the slave and the abolitionist, and what allowed a president to chart a treacherous course to ensure that the nation would not continue half slave and half free. In the face of war and Depression, it’s what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation. In the face of oppression, it’s what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through the streets of Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause. That’s the power of hope — to imagine, and then work for, what had seemed impossible before.

Sen. Barack Obama's remarks

January 5, 2008

"By slow stages we traveled eastward by present Gallup and Chusbbito, Bear spring, which is now called Fort Wingate. You ask how they treated us? If there was room the solders put the women and children on the wagons. Some even let them ride behind them on their horses. I have never been able to understand a people who killed you one day and on the next played with your children...?"

Fort Sumner

The Long Walk

January 9, 2008

This winter will never come.

January 20, 2008
February 7, 2008

* bda gets in a cab, after a long night of trying, and failing, to fix insane SCSI hardware.
<cabbie> Good night!
<bda> Heh, good morning. @cross_streets, please.
<cabbie> But I am going up.
* bda pauses.
<bda> You can't turn around?
<cabbie> Ah, I have a problem where I must be home by 3!
<bda> ...
<cabbie> So I cannot take you down.
<bda> Right. Well. Cheers.
<cabbie> I hate to leave you! But it is my big problem. I must be at my home by 3!
* cabbie mimes knocking on a door.
<bda> Really. No worries.
* bda gets the hell out of this maniac's cab and finds another.

February 8, 2008

Well, this explains all the smoke and helicopters all day.

Mithras gets some shots.

[link via Russ]

July 24, 2008
August 7, 2008

Went to Distrito for dinner tonight. H notes that it's run by Amada and Tinto head chef Jose Garces.

The decor is pretty cool, very oddball, and somehow manages to be eccentric without becoming tacky. The restaurant is huge, two floors, plenty of floorspace. Huge booths that put you in mind of 2001 line the walls.

The ratio of servers to customers was impressive, though presumably if the place is ever packed, that would be less noticeable. It was perhaps a quarter full tonight; H made reservations, but they were certainly not needed.

The food, "upscale Mexican", was pretty excellent. I especially enjoyed the carnitas tacos. H was having fits over the mole verde, and it was pretty tasty, but I'm just not a big mole guy. The queso fundido was delicious. We ended up sharing five items, and were both pretty stuffed by the end of the meal.

They also serve roasted nuts (heavy on the lime -- very tasty) to snack on between dishes.

Next time we go, I'm definitely going to save room for a churro. Because churros are delicious.

It's not a quiet place, which is probably my biggest complaint. There was a mariachi wandering around; he was very good, and it alternated between being awesome and annoying as it made conversation basically impossible (to be fair, I had a sore throat, so I couldn't speak particularly loudly anyway).

Overall, it's a very cool place, and worth the trip if you even remotely enjoy Mexican food and quirky restaurants.

Between the enchiladas (which had a subtle traditional taste under the upscale) and the mariachi, the place honestly made me kind of homesick.

August 13, 2008

Went to the Radiohead show in Camden last night, with H, her sister's friend, and a friend of H's from NYC (who I'd heard a fair amount about, so it was nice putting reality to stories).

We got some dinner at Penang beforehand (a spinach dish I hadn't had before was ordered, and it was just as delicious as everything else there), then took the ferry over the river. We had skipped the opening act (Grizzly Bear), and got to the stadium just as the show was starting. Awesome timing.

The set list seemed like a good mix of new stuff (most of which I wasn't familiar with) and older stuff (which I was).

They played Climbing Up the Walls, Everything In Its Right Place and How To Disappear Completely, which was enough to make me a happy little monkey.

The effects were quite awesome, comparable to Massive Attacks.

After the show, we sat on a bench eating pretzels and vending-machine-ice-cream waiting for the ferry line to become less insane (a thousand or more people were waiting), and would have been the last group on the boat except some old guy wandered up behind us basically as we were boarding.

An excellent evening, for sure.

August 19, 2008

On the way home, I asked a quartet of pigeons what they were doing up at 3am.

I suppose they could have asked the same of me.

September 5, 2008

* solios imagines that's Lud in the distance, squees

September 7, 2008

Ben Folds with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia last night, at the Mann Center.


Just amazing.

"Steven's Last Night in Town" pretty much requires an orchestra, really.

He played a couple new tracks last night, too, for the album dropping on the 30th. Definitely looking forward to it.

Even in the middle of a little hurricane, the place was packed. Everyone decked out in rain gear and ready to have an excellent time. And they did.

We ran into Nick and Mariah while looking for seats, which was hilarious though -- really -- not all that unexpected. (We hit up Doobies after with them, and ran into Gallo (Hi, Eric!), who is back in town and sounding very productive. Very excited for him.)

And, as H commented after the "three part harmony" section of the night, the Mann center has great acoustics.

Seriously. Last night was awesome. There's a reason H has seen Ben Folds twelve times now. I certainly hope I get to; I can't imagine it ever getting old.

September 10, 2008
October 28, 2008
October 31, 2008

< bda> Some girl in the elevator just slapped my ass and told me to get some.
< bda> A bunch of drunk Phillies fans.
< rjbs> That's what they wanted you to believe.
< bda> They were all wearing Phillies shirts, and were all very drunk, and asked me if I cared about the Phillies at all.
< bda> I believe they were drunk Phillies fans.
< bda> They were doing something illegal to a potted plant, too.
< rjbs> Right. They wanted you to believe they were drunk Phillies fans, so they put on Phillies shirts, talked about the Phillies, and affected a drunken demeanor.
< rjbs> Poor Bryan. So credulous.
< bda> And then she planted a tracking device on my butt?
< rjbs> no, that was just courtesy

Melissa suggested I should have asked her if she was volunteering. Why can't I think of these things when random drunk people are slapping my nethers?

January 31, 2009

Today Harry and I were walking to Five Guys to get some lunch and an old woman and her grandson had just gotten nailed by the PPA. She was doing this Old World Damn the Man Dance on the crumpled up parking ticket.

Philadelphia was very colorful today.

March 1, 2009

What with all my microblogging... well, anyway.

H is in Boston visiting her sister for the weekend, so I've been left to my own devices. Which seem to consist of many naps, baths, and lots of reading. I finished The Iron Dragon's Daughter, by Michael Swanwick. Nothing I'd recommend to anyone. Maybe to people who enjoy Laurrel K. Hamilton and are looking at a poor gateway to better fiction. Started the sequel, The Dragons of Babel, which is much, much better.

Beyond that, I've done little. The XBOX 360 is still broken (bloody Microsoft) and I haven't had the mental power to get over to Gamestop to get it replaced yet. I should do that. H is no doubt missing rocking out, and I'm sort of interested in Dead Space after hearing rjbs and a few other guys on IRC talk about it for a couple weeks now.

Tonight I apparently missed out on Social Activities, thanks to napping and headphone usage. Phone being on mute probably didn't help much.

I made some edamame to snack on earlier (yum!) but should probably find something more akin to an actual meal. meh.

May 20, 2009

Starting hypnosis next week.
That should be alarming.

For what?

To learn how to hack my brain.

Uh.. huh.
They tried that with me once.
Didn't work.

That's what they want you to think, but you still bark anytime anyone asks you the time.