tin omen

moveable type


You're {not} my master.

So, uh.

1. Kristen went home post work on Sat. and fell asleep. No hard feelings.
2. Lisa likes godflesh. AND noise. NOISE!. :O, etc.
3. Kristen + Lisa = some sort of sarcasm-loaded Voltron.

People are weird.



Us and Them



Hit Lava Lounge around 9, since that's when Randy tells me Beth's 21rst starts - and he tells me in a "you miss out you're DEAD MANG" tone of voice, so, hey. I'm there. And I'm the only one. For about forty minutes - at which point some fratstain makes it his mission in life to induce the juke into sucking rancid buttermilk out of a dead man's asshole.

Switch gears, ten minute bus wait and I'm at Ceremony. Figure I've already spent (read: wasted) three or four hours of the day waiting on shit, what's a few more for the second appointment? Especially when the music doesn't suck shit?

So apparently Kristen's idea of "late" is either "not at all" or "last call", since I missed her as well and left her a snippy little voicemail to that effect.

A week of being "social" and I'm remembering with crystal clarity why I spent two years being Anti.

On the upside, Matt played Clock DVA (Sound Mirror), Godflesh (Descent) and Killing Joke (Love like Blood) - all without asking, and he remembered the Clock DVA from a previous conversation.

Usually I'd be all >:| 'n shit about people not showing up, but DUDE.


I've been bugging Don to play them for ever and then Matt goes and does it without even asking.


So my existing impressions of existing social groups and persons whose behavioural patterns I already know remain valid.... and one of the Night Shift DJs happened to bust out the Set Of Awesome. Which validates my existing impression that Matt not only knows his shit, but is straight up Weapons Grade awesome.

I'm marking this one down as a win, despite "missing"* two admittedly loosely-arranged meetings.

* This would be the "politically correct" term for the "9pm is 9pm" rant I unloaded on my roommate's GF when she asked how my night went. She's of the "always early" school and I try to be - but that really only works when you're dealing with one person. When you ante up to a group of people - where group is "more than one" - then you're either seriously fucking late or you're in the military. I'm the kind of guy who hates waiting on other people to get their shit together and would rather walk home than accept a ride - especially since ride offers historically come from people who put the ride at the end of a 40+ minute bullshit session with someone on site who has absolutely no intention of leaving any time before the year is out.

Waiting? Fuck you. Hate it. I may eventually reconsider, assuming I'm ever in a position where anyone is forced to wait for me and I am by process of action forced to see it from the other side - but this has yet to happen... and I'd like to think it won't.

Well. Jolie's waited for me a couple of times - but that is almost entirely due to the fact that I spent a good deal of time waiting for her in the past, and had gotten into a habit of expecting her to be somewhere between "a bit" and "quite a bit" late, so I started interpreting a 630 as a 635. Then she suddenly Wasn't Late... and by the time I adapted, she was Gone.






Downtown, around 1330 hours.


It'll be dead, gray and shitty like this for weeks, sometimes months at a time. Eat your heart out, Seattle.

Looky what the Obscurotron horked up.

Premium DCR sonic memory jogger courtesy of Amazon.com :


Also Godflesh, Winterkalte, Jesu, Front 242, Clock DVA, and Gridlock, courtesy of Eides. I already "have" everything but the Jesu, but now I own it, which makes a Big Difference*.

The CCI is almost comically goth - I've been keeping an eye out for it off and on since 1998 and finally stumbled onto it during a drunken Amazon trawl during recent DCR development. The memories it keys to are critical to parts of the story, so it was worth the paltry eight bucks just for that.

As for the rest, I've always said if I like an album enough I'll buy it. I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

* High quality rips, for one thing. A nice looking CD shelf, for another. After the Nicotine Years, my "collection" has been stripped free of the crap and now consists largely of stuff you'd have one hell of a time finding online.



Energy Shift

Haven't smoked for a year, my bank account just went negative (thank you Speakeasy), I'm Suddenly Social and have either heard from or seen just about everyone who's still in town and Matters in the past week or so, I found some shit that makes my brain work fairly predictably (neurotransmitter. So obvious it hurts.), and Mylo's enlisted in the Navy. Dad bought an emac, mom doesn't have cancer and my roommate makes a pretty damned good dinner.

Oh, and the week's only halfway out.

Of course, I have just enough resources to get through the next two days if I do nothing but creative work.

After the initial burn, DCR has settled into a general sort of enthusiasm. People seem interested. Part of it, I think, is that it's a project I want to do, while ATC is always something I've felt I have to do.

When the time runs out
When the money runs out

I wanna do comics.




Welding Goggles

Without and with.


I see it as more of a sepia/tint than Night Vision Green. I'm assuming that's more the Canon attempting to compensate than anything else.



Chinese Arithmetic

No adjustments.





Blast from the past:


18:39 <@solios> xeno_drunk: I SAW KREV
18:39 <@solios> well, talked to.
18:39 <@ejp> I saw Jesus once.
18:39 <@ejp> he was balls-deep in the midget hooker at the time
18:39 * xeno_drunk hates it when that happens
18:39 <@xeno_drunk> sadljk;fsd
18:39 * xeno_drunk stares at solios
18:39 <@xeno_drunk> OMFG WAS HE PLANKTON
18:39 <@solios> [ the above ]
18:41 <@xeno_drunk> O_O
18:41 * xeno_drunk dies laughing
18:41 <@solios> he's on dialup.
18:41 <@xeno_drunk> omfgwtfbbqFAG
18:41 <@solios> about 15 minutes from State College.
18:41 * xeno_drunk pointsalksdfj;alsdfasd
18:41 <@xeno_drunk> !
18:41 * xeno_drunk prepares a krevcon
18:41 <@solios> :o
18:41 <@solios> pwn.



Inside The Torn Apart




Peter Jennings is Dead.

Who's Peter Jennings? Is he ABC? NBC? I don't know. I got CBS growing up - Rather and Kerault, Geist and Reasoner formed my worldview... and Rather being laughed offstage? Ain't him I'm >:| about, it's the assholes that diminished him, shat away the Power Of The Anchor. Dan was the guy I believed in - Jennings was just another talking head in an endless sea of spin.

Cancer's a bitch. :/

I respect the loss experienced by all those to whom Jennings was The Oracle but he was not mine.

Peter Jennings is Gone, and that means something to some of you.













The artery-clogging "goodness" is good for two "meals" and is cheaper than the local diner.


It also packs enough sodium to kill a fucking moose.



Crack is cheap.

Monitor Check:


Approximate (Welding Goggles)

The shades are bit more green, but this is fairly close.


21:47 <@ejp> what's this go to do with welding goggles?
21:49 <@solios> if that moon was the sun...



Retraction (re: Another reason I'm single.)

Kristen H. is excluded from said entry.

She rocks.




Biochemistry 101

Gin and thinking Ben's answering machine is mine and/or that I'll give a shit about what gets left on it don't mix.

I was quite the pissass on the seventeenth. I don't apologize.

I don't change my plans on a dime just because other people think I should. Especially where my favorite thing is concerned. Ask two ex girlfriends and the smouldering ruin of my social life: poking me in The ATC Spot makes me bitchy, irrational, and instantly distant. I take "surprises" that screw up production very, very badly. If I let my life interfere with the thing I'd never have gotten out of the gate.

Planning in advance rocks. By "advance" I mean "weeks", whereby I'm actually party to the decisions and can agree, disagree, etceteras - as opposed to blowing out my vox at one in the morning because somebody just assumed I left the one day of the month I plan for completely open.

Sorry, wrong answer.

Technically speaking, I'm not free until July 15th. It's a three day weekend and I haven't plugged it yet. If that slot is still empty on the 7th, it'll be plugged with another ATC marathon.

Once I commit to one of those, the only thing that can stop me is hardware failure. RSI or data loss. The clarity of focus required to do the work comes with fault-intolerant tunnel vision and the amount of hell I've had to bring down to ensure I have the space and the time and the mental health to get the thing done is fearsome.

Pre-production notes date to 1995 at the earliest. I'm a few years behind on The Big Schedule, so the thought that someone would want to tear me away from hitting one of the most important self-set deadlines of my life isn't something I like to entertain.

I'm off the grid until The Goal is Attained.

Unless something {stupid|funny} happens on IRC.



So. Home number, work number.

Forget those.

I have email. solios at metaserver.org or mirrorshades.org. I can check metaserver from anyplace with an internet connection.

Use it.

Even if it's just to arrange a phone call.

Your convenience is my living hell. This fucking phone thing has gone from being a chunk of irritating plastic and metal on my desk to completely fucking over my entire life in the span of not checking messages on a machine that isn't mine. It's like getting billed for cable without owning a television, pay up in full, here come the kneebreakers. I FUCKING HATE THE PHONE and if you can't respect that, you're hurting me. And in this case, you're hurting yourself as well.

You want my attention, meet me halfway.

All of you.



OS X68 (shut the fuck up, donny)

1. Pentium-M.

2. Wine. I hereby pledge fifty bucks and a case of beer to the Wine project, to aid with an OS X/intel port of Wine. ANYONE INVOLVED IN WINE PLEASE TO EMAIL ME TO CLAIM SAID BUX AND BEER (sometime after July). Games, etc.

3. VMware. Same shit as 2. in a window. OS/2 on OS X. They need to get on this shit, plz.

4. Cheaper upgrades (in theory), video cards (endian, again in theory), hardware (also also in theory)., wireless (ditto), etc, etc. ALL THE APPLICATIONS YOU CAN HANDLE IN A NON-GHEY CANDY SHELL. WITH BASH. And between 2. and 3. I can run the one 3d app I know how to use without having Windows between the app and the hardware. Woot, pheer, etc.

Pull up your pants.



Another reason I'm single.

Sex should, by all accounts, be fun. Sex hasn't been fun since 2001. It's been work. The shitty, tedious, painting-the-house-with-a-toothbrush kind of work.

Probably says something (src=ejp) about the quality of the hardware I interface with. And the fact I'm about as interested in being a meal ticket as I am in being drawn and quartered.

Big fucking clue for all you girls out there : Sex is "interactive". You just lie there and do nothing, the guy is eventually going to lose interest. Why? Simple. You're not actually doing anything for him, or to him. It's a two way street - otherwise you're just giving your fuck buddy a bulk discount on vaseline and tissues.



Cold day in hell.

If anyone asks me about marklar, I pull turnips for a living.

If Rosetta doesn't handle Classic, I'm going to have huge issues professionally, as I'm tied to Office 98 for useable HTML conversion and Photoshop 5.5 for subtitling work at the day job and for ATC.

And if CS could do what I use 5.5 for, I'd have switched up by now. It can't.

11:33 <@bda> No one cares. Hardware sucks.
11:33 <@bda> Bring on the whores.


16:49 <@bda> Hey, solios.
16:49 <@bda> Guess what.
16:49 <@bda> Rosetta doesn't support Classic.*
16:49 <@bda> SUCKERS.

* "Applications built for Mac OS 8 or 9." The Classic Environment itself isn't specified, though I'm thinking this could include some of the transitional carbon binaries that ran "natively" (read: slowly) on both 9.x and 10.x, such as Photoshop 7 (a complete slug on the mac by any standards). 68k -> PPC -> OS X -> OS X86 and they wonder why their market share is as low as it is. This is the fourth Big Transition for the platform - Microsoft has only had to do it once (getting the lusers onto the NT bus with XP, but NT had been out and used and valid and viable, etc, etc, for years before that occured.).

Oh, and shit what runs just fine under 7.6.1 runs in Classic now, so. Clinging to hope and so forth.



Five Minutes Alone

Went to work to do comic. Work got camped by the sort of coworker who has a phone clamped to her face 90% of her professional life. Obviously, she likes people a good deal more than I do - I unplugged the phone when I walked in the door. The people that don't understand why I do this - why Being Alone means No Phone Calls - are the people that call at Exactly The Wrong Time.

Which, lately, is whenever I'm awake.

Too many people have my work number. So many of them are people I never gave it to, and very nearly everyone who has it shouldn't. The problem with telephones is you can't decide who gets to call you and who doesn't- once that number gets out into the wild you are, as they say, fucked.

I'm starting to develop a pretty serious neurosis about privacy and my massive, screaming lack of it. It's fueling my mysanthropy - bringing the heat on the burners up to fever pitch - and the only thing more absolute than my desire to get the fuck out of here for some length of time is my complete inability to do so. Invasions of what little Alone I have left shatter my concentration, mindset and mood so thoroughly that I'm left twitchy and obsessive, just waiting for that fucking door to open. Because I KNOW it will... and when it does, it will be to disrupt, annoy, and otherwise end Happy Quiet Time.

I think they call that a "negative feedback loop."




Biochemistry back to approximating normal, berserk rage curtailed.

Doctor before the month is out, dammit.




Spent a good chunk of Saturday afternoon passed out under my desk, head buffered by rags. The floor, it's hard.

Sunday night ten pm the plug gets pulled and I'm -_- until I can jack myself out of it with enough nodoz to kill a moose.

Monday evening, I've been awake for all of three hours and I'm half-napping, awake but not the least bit conscious, locked in torpor for a few hours, call it six pm. Seven before I can dynamite my ass out of bed and make a half-assed attempt to accomplish something.

Fucking gay, man.

Maybe I'm out of vitamins or something.

In other news, I need to get out, but there's nowhere to get out to that hasn't been spawncamped by some sort of drain on my intent. I need out of this town the way a virgin needs to get laid. I'm so optimized for productivity that everything that isn't assaults me with the abrasion of a spree rapist. The defensive FUCK YOU DIE MINIMUM SAFE DISTANCE FOUR METERS reaction to the rest of the human race (re: The Enemy) does nothing to buffer inevitable burnout and need for downtime.

This said with a head full of boozahol, naturally. I went to the bar to get some ATC work done and didn't. Not sure how the social end works around in a positive or negative sense, but fuck - I've worked this weekend and I need more than one day off to vent off my burgeoning people-rage.

The problem with boozahol is I'm using it to relax and to scratch the "we all need people around us rather we like it or not" itch. I'm not using it socially. The social thing is something I apparently need for reasons of mental health, but I'll be damned if hanging out with meat people for extended durations doesn't inevitably turn into a clusterfuck that leaves my ass all kinds of loose and bleeding. Insert inarticulate angst-loop, repeat twice, sign off.

All we're waiting for is for something worth waiting for, etc.

Headspace : Hell

Liberty's been on my mind lately for some reason. Probably because according to mom, my sister hasn't been able to dynamite her ass into someplace a little less soul-sucking, and because my friends Deni and Jason are still in the area.

Dante Alighieri wrote volumes about this place. The fact I'm one of The Few, The Angry, The Escaped... well, I'm not sure how I feel.

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

Until then, Steve Albini and co. summed up Liberty a hell of a lot better than I can, using far fewer words.



V for VD

Through jwz's lj, Rich Johnston on Alan Moore's issues with DC, Larry Wachowski, Joel Silver, etceteras - in short, an in-depth on Moore's low opinion of the present state of cinema. Pay attention to the bit about Option Money - Moore got something like 8k$ for V to get assraped on the big screen (which he gave to David Lloyd, the artist).

In this press release, Joel Silver, as well as announcing that the release date November the 5th 2005 was the 100th anniversary of Guy Fawkes attempt on Parliament, instead of the 400th anniversary, also said of Alan, "he was very excited about what Larry had to say and Larry sent the script, so we hope to see him sometime before we're in the UK. We'd just like him to know what we're doing and to be involved in what we're trying to do together"

Alan felt, basically, that his name was being used in vain. Not only had he expressed the opposite to Larry, but his endorsement was being used as a selling point for a movie - the reason he'd requested his credit and association be dropped from all of these movies.

Don't take this out of context. Read the article, and understand why I'm so itchy about the notion of seeing my work in print.

A couple of other relevant excerpts from the article sidebar:

Alan gave some details about bits of the V For Vendetta shooting script he'd seen. "It was imbecilic; it had plot holes you couldn't have got away with in Whizzer And Chips in the nineteen sixties. Plot holes no one had noticed."

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons signed a deal with DC that "Watchmen" would revert to them after the comic book went out of print. He didn't know it would still be in print twenty years later. The evasion of royalties on the "Watchmen" Button Set by labelling them promotional items was the cherry on that one.

And people wonder why I cringe when they say ATC should be a movie. It "should", if anything audiovisual, be a Production I.G. produced anime, 20-26 episodes, with music by David Thrussell. But I don't speak Japanese, I'm not well connected, and the thing isn't even finished yet.



The spawn has multiple exits, people.

Happiness is teaming up with a competent field operative.





All in all it was all just etc, etc.



On the downside, he also somehow managed to get the gas shut off.





I've upped. It's got its quirks, but no showstoppers.





ATC useage stats and /. posts hit the same number on the same day.


We can thank MNH cleaning staff for this one - they're slower than a penndot road crew and so cataclysmically loud in their attempts to not be that I had a good solid twenty minutes of time to waste - time I could have been spending, say... productively. Not being able to get anything useful done until people leave is totally last season, and the recurrance is as irritating as it is unwanted.

Yes, that's my real /. uid. :P



Killing Time

Feeling the ATC burn, the Moving Gear burn, the hangover burn and the "humans suck" burn. I can't take off and nuke the site from orbit but I can WET. Which involves dropping mortars on people named Crap^Ass and s1utm0bile.


Unfortunately, limbo and other screens don't seem to dump with F11, or I'd have a lot more to show for myself tonight. Like timing an equipment switch right before a map changeover and hosing the entire allied team with a flamethrower and grenades, etceteras. It would make this a hell of a lot more tempting if I didn't already know all of the gotchas and pitfalls. :P

Another suburban family morning.

My roommate rocks, with one very noteworthy exception- the things he does to the kitchen leave a lot to be desired.

IMG_0369_.jpg IMG_0370_.jpg
IMG_0371_.jpg IMG_0372_.jpg

In the above shots, the toaster is mine. The mess, in its entirety, is his. You wouldn't believe what this shit smells like in the summer.

Trent Reznor needs a speech therapist.

Seriously, people. It's "you" like "uterus", not "you" like "jew". It's been how many albums?

There's an elephant in the room.

I can't see the fucker, but I know it's sitting on the answer to whatever is clogging up my head with regards to certain meta-professional creative things I fixate on, but can never seem to nail down.

It's not time or the value of time or even skills and demand for them without the understanding of what goes into their useage or developement. It's more along the lines of obligations, real and perceived, and how easily social norms become perceived obligations and how very, very easy it is for some people to confuse those perceived obligations with concrete, name-on-the-notarized-document obligations.

Think coworkers and the things they do outside of their jobs - working the same job doesn't obligate you to go to the same gym, or to walk their dog, or even to punch them in if they have a funny habit of being two hours late for their entire careers. It's a similar headspace, and the elephant is sitting in it.




16:08 <@john> just got my first "Out of Memory" from a run away proces
16:08 <@rjbs> Shit dude, that's serious.
16:08 <@rjbs> You could die.
16:08 <@john> I probably will
16:08 <@rjbs> that's the spirit!




I feel like Nietzsche directing The Breakfast Club.


80s night upstage- badly dressed women who can't dance trying not to get hit on by balding hipster wannabes whio listened to this shit in college.

Axel Foley versus a trainwreck, round one- fight!




Nice lesson w/r/t sugar - it's like kicking nitro in a hotrod. Only there isn't an off switch. Well, there is. But "running out" doesn't really count. Rev rev revvrooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM blang. Burns fast. Heat, like it's too warm (could be the cold?). Turns into pressure, like your head wants out of itself, etc. and you're fixated on whatever you wind up on and you're running, running, running.

Explains the string of blog entries today and the work done on The Edit over the weekend. I didn't exactly choose the subjects so much as just kind of... fixate.


... and I haven't the foggiest how to harness it properly, as yet.





19:36 <@ejp> fagbot: doot for solios angst
19:36 <+fagbot> my soul isn't worth a dixie cup full of piss
20:14 <@solios_> ?
20:15 <@ejp> mercury
20:17 <@solios_> oh yeah.
20:17 <@solios_> that.
20:18 <@solios_> I just kind of went off.
20:23 <@ejp> LIKE A NEUCLEAR BOM!
20:24 <@solios_> dude.
20:24 <@solios_> speaking of.
20:26 <@solios_> look what I found on the bus. :D


One man and his anger.

Go Go Gadget Previous Post.

Being in the act of producing my own sequential travesty, I've considered it bad form to voice my thoughts on Teh Industry, since, yanno, maybe one day I'll get paid to do this or something.

Then I found Leifeld's site, and that was the end of that.

I fucking hate superheros. Not the concept itself (which has been with us since we dropped out of the trees), but what's being done and not done. Mainly the fact that there isn't a hero book that can TOUCH Watchmen. But I could get past the lack of High Octane Scripts if the current popular "styles" interested me. Unfortunately, any artist who has a chance of doing that isn't going to be hired by Marvel, image, DC, etc.. Why? 'cuz look at McFarlane pages makes me puke. And for every one of me, there's a few thousand fanboi who think McFarlane is the second coming of AWESUM and buy his shit site unseen. If you're highering inkers, a McFarlane wannabe is a sure bet in the superhero section of the comics sphere. And Marvel, Image, etc. are positivlity brimming with the fuckers.

If hero mags were to comics what "new metal" is to the music scene (a small part of the greater whole), I wouldn't be >:|ing. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Unfortunately, hero mags are everything fake and annoying about "new metal" and the own the fucking scene.

Or rather, they don't. Not by a long shot. But they own the mindshare (and in all propability the vast majority of print runs, etc), and that's where it gets irritating. You can't be into comics without being exposed to the shit. It's the black everybody's wearing at the funeral, it's the "quick buck" everybody thinks they can make. Everybody's got a billion ideas for what to do with it all - I ran through a ton of them when I GMed a Hero System game... and lemme tellya, there wasn't any godsdamned SPANDEX in that setting.

The hero thing is so damned BIG that non-superhero publishers (Antarctic Press, Radiocomix, etc) have to toss NO HERO STORIES warnings into their submission guidelines, lest they be swamped. X-Men, Superman, Spiderman, Avengers, Batman, Fantastic Four, Marvel, Image, DC (possibly excepting Vertigo*) combine to form Manowar-level NOISE, completely rending the signal ratio with apocalyptic levels of CRAP. Every month, courtesy of Diamond.

I'd love to burn it all down and write something decent, but the majority of comics-buyers aren't buying the stories I'd find interesting. I'm very much into beginning/middle/end Finite Storytelling, and there's not much of a place for that in the Franchise model the companies {dominating|smothering} the industry have been driving into the ground since before I was born. The kind of superhero shit I like to read is psychological drama, as opposed to the traditional empty action bullshit. Costumes are for cosplayers. Code names are for military operations. Finding an interesting perspective on the whole mess that isn't the one I was working on in 1996 hasn't happened.

When the static, noise, bullshit and general unreadability is screaming louder than a nuclear weapons test, it makes finding the signal somewhat... difficult. The suitable solution, then, would be to pack up and move to quieter climes.

With that out of my system, I'm going to shut the fuck up about hero comics until I can think of something more intelligent to say on the subject.

* these being the only "american" comics I've bought over the past few years - the Vertigo label is good shit, mang. Transmetropolitan++.

It's like watching a trainwreck.

Rob Liefeld has a web site, which puts him something like eight years behind the curve. He certainly hasn't been spending the time improving his linework, which makes you wonder what, exactly, he's been doing with it.

One look at it and at the other clients of the guy who designed it and I'm reminded that Jim Lee isn't the only reason I stopped giving a shit about superheros* and American STYLE IS SUBSTANCE** comics. It's too much like masturbating with sandpaper soaked in motor oil.

No wonder any hardcopy comics I read are written by Englishmen (Moore, Ellis, Gaiman) and Canadians (Dave Sim).***

There's gotta be something in the water that makes Americans think this shit is interesting, but I'll be damned if I know what it is. Says something for the state of your culture when you have to reach outside the borders to haul in a readable superhero script.

* I was about eighteen years late for the Watchmen party, and lemme tell ya- reading that just TOTALLY nuked any interest I had left in the genre. To think that Watchmen was released in '86 and nothing genre has managed to claw its way above knee-high since? If that? For shame!

** DOOD IT LOOKS COOL will get me maybe one issue, tops. If the cool doesn't hit the bone, I'm not coming back. The unfortunate thing is that the kind of shit that's making it onto American shelves is either Leifeld/Lee/McFarlane afterbirth, Whatever's left to scrape out of the bottom of the manga barrel, and, if you're lucky, a few indie books. Out of all of these, I find MarvelimageDC offerings aesthetically repellant; Manga to be severely lacking in the writing, and the indie books to be severely undercooked. We're talking "opinion in the absolute broadest possible sense with an eye to the defficiencies of each" here, so don't blow a gasket or anything.

The last American artist that got my drool on was Joe Madureira, and that's only because Red Monika was the first girl to hit mainstream comic covers with gratuitously huge tits, and I'm a sucker for in-your-face superboobs. You know this. Of course, she had something like six panels an issue tops, the book had something like three issues, and the whole mess very quickly burned down fell over and then sank into the swamp. The rest of the book, in my "I HATE EVERYTHING FUCK YOU DIE" opinion, was decent if you liked the style. Unfortunately, my appreciation for Joe Mad stops with Red Monika's boobs, so I don't even own an issue to critique- I could tell from the production pace (I am, in all honesty, faster.) and the "quality" of the writing that this was one of those "the style is the substance" things.

And that's fine if you like the style.

I'd die happy if I could get the stupidhuge boobs AND the everything-else-is-worth-looking-at-too AND a DEAR GODS I GOTTA GO TO A CON AND GET THIS FUCKER SIGNED!!!! story AND not have to draw the fucking thing myself, but that doesn't look like it's going to be the case.

*** I still buy Battle Angel Alita trade paperbacks. Rolling into the current volume while simultaneously researching Dave Sim caused me all kinds of cognitive dissonance, and was the nail in the "I don't just read it for the art, honest!" fascade. Gorgeous book. Dunno if it's being translated by a fourth grader or what. I'll be damned if there's a single american who can assemble anything as pretty... but I have yet to read a non-Akira non-Shirow manga that induced the complete and total pants-shitting of, say, inkstains Allen Moore leaves on napkins.

GITS:MMI totally killed my Shirow boner- I'm not bothering with anything he puts out unless it's Appleseed volume five. MMI is roughly analagous to the second film in that it's drop dead gorgeous to look at and boring as fucking hell to experience. This is after rereading Appleseed in its entirety (first time as an adult) and getting smacked around by a seriously well-done story. A second read might wash the foul taste out of my mouth, but I doubt it - the second movie was about as exciting as watching Waking Life; which is to say, if you like watching people walk around voicing "incredibly deep" (in the Livejournal or Coffeehouse sense, not the PHD-in-philosophy sense) thoughts about life, etc. you'll blow a hole in your pants. Gorgeous, but I've had these conversations more times than I've had the Batman and Superman discussions. Having been through art skool, I can assure that the only other things that the students talked about were Star Wars and The Matrix... so we're talking two-to-three times a week here. For 104 weeks.


You know, art for money.

Since I can do the former and am semi-permanently incapable of amassing the latter in any sufficiently useful quantity, I've been thinking about comissions off and on. Off and on for quite some time.

The porn thing is a bit of a hangup, obviously. Mostly because if I'm going to draw porn, it's going to be something that gets me off. Frankly, I'd rather draw ATC, since erotic anything is about as professionally satisfying as farting at a wedding. But ATC isn't a paying gig.

Which leaves the question of a rates schedule that's weighted to my liking. Pencil sketches being the cheap end; ink being more expensive, CG being even more so, backgrounds costing extra; separate schedule for coloring line work that isn't mine, separate schedule for photoshop work. Separate schedule for web template work, since people that commission that shit always want sixty billion changes, now, for free. Multiplier fee for unlimited commercial use of anything generated; multiplier fee for the .psd files; muliplier fee for unmerged .psd files (trade secrets, baby. Trade secrets.). No copywritten characters or concepts {I|You} don't own the rights to; etc, etc. Still thinking about the language, which boils down to "$Client pays solios X fee in exchange for minor course correction to what solios does anyway."

I get paid to do video work already, and the hypothetical schedules above would be based roughly off of what someone in said field is making - which is more than I am at the moment, since my job title has nothing to do with my job function, etc.

In other words, I'm not charging less than I currently make, but I'm not quite doubling my current wage, either. It would certainly be stupid of me to waste my time, which is what I'd be doing if the rates weren't commensurate with the effort.

Unfortunately, the only other "easy" alternative to whoring the art skills is selling shit on ebay.

My shit, it is finite. Don't believe the rumors, they're all lies - I only have so much of it. I have less shit than I have financial obligations. As a "creative professional", limping along on four year old equipment is painful. Etceteras, etceteras.

Also thinking about selling prints of ATC candy to drum up the funds I need to buy the software/data that'll progress the comic. Gravicon CG if there's interest.

Ultimately, the negative end of this is that it's a potential self-esteem nightmare waiting to happen. Also lots of hassle and people-dealing-with which will be taken into account whenever I drum up a rates schedule. The positive end is that it's a potential source of income. I've quit smoking, and this is pretty much the only way I can get a "raise" without moving to a cheaper area.

If you think it'll fly, email me. I know there's at least one guy who's interested, or at least was.


CMNH is run like the Mexican government. If it isn't, it should be.

Jason Matthews is getting married. I have that weekend off, and a few months to arrange transportation. It's Liberty - one of those areas where you spend your early teens saving up for the first of many vehicles you'll be spending a chunk of each day of the rest of your life in.

Experimenting with sugar the way some people experiment with illegal stimulants, as it stimulates in ways they don't. It's also an ingredient in practically everything- making it easy to find and easy to afford.

Picture cocaine going for eighty cents a gram and you're starting to get an idea as to how this works on my biochemistry.

The big change here is appetite - occasional sips on a Doctor Pepper or a root beer (and by "occasional" I mean, a sip every 30-45 minutes and by "sip" I mean an ounce or so) seems to have rolled my appetite back to smoker levels, though there may be other factors involved. I'm not complaining at all. If I could plug myself into the wall in lieu of food, I would.

I'm on vitamins again, for the moment.

ATC edit : all the easy stuff is done; getting my shit together for the harder bits, which puts me back on a "regular" production schedule with ~11-14 pages to redo, or most of May if I don't drop the ball.

Almost caught up on a two year email backlog.

Juuuust enough money to make it to payday.

Etc, etc.




Imagine my surprise.






I was sorting through the results of today's photo safari with Smith when I got distracted. Else this would have been up a few hours ago.


Only downside to the Canon is a flaw shared by all digital cameras - namely, the LCD looks like ass under sunlight or any kind of overhead lighting. The resolution on this one is nice but the size is itty bitty, so all of my outdoor photography was looking like ass (quality as well as composition). Turns out the quality is Mostly Fine... and short exposure times on a gloomy day results in some pretty serious Power Gloom.




I still need to remove the iMac. Among other things. Which involves spending more than as little time as possible here and throwing away a good deal of unus{ed|able} equipment.



Finally burned through the first set of batteries. Good to know that I'll kill a quartet of AA NiMHs with about two thirds of a 512m CF card. Shooting hand-held on standard exposure with the device set for "motion" shots, since I can hold my hands steady or hold an object with them, but not both.




Vitamins are important and boozaholic treats do bad things to them.

If alcohol is your soother, stress will hike your nutritional needs and alcohol will reduce nutrient availability.

{"6 steps for handling stress," Lauri Aesoph, ND, Health World Online, June 2001}


Alcohol destroys B vitamins. This is a list of minerals and vitamins that you will need to supplement if you drink alcohol: calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, vitamin C, thiamine and riboflavin.

{“The Complete Guide to Your Emotions and Your Health,” Editors of Prevention magazine. 1986}


Man. I suppose it's a good thing I OD'ed on Red Bull last year. Otherwise I'd be severely lacking the ability to recognize the symptoms of vitamin {toxicity|overdose|defficiency}. Troubleshooting the whole "feeling like somebody puked in my head" thing by trial and error is FUN, dammit.



Uh huh huh huh huh. You said "work."

There are vastly prettier areas in the workplace. They're of no interest to me. If they're of interest to you, I'm sure a tour can be arranged.


The OS X Server. It actually runs 10.3 client for various reasons, most of which have to do with Server being a pain in the ass for the two things we need it for. Blue G3 chassis with a G4/400 processor, a gig of ram, two SCSI drives, ten IDE drives, gigeth and two outboard firewire cages. It's fast like a slug.

s_sink_ceiling.jpg s_spray_room.jpg

Two different angles of the spray room, which connects the Work Area to the Shop.

s_sink.jpg s_kiosk.jpg

The sprayroom sink and a gutted kiosk casing, also in the sprayroom. We call these kiosks "bananas."

f_refridgimicator.jpg f_boner.jpg

The fridge needs to be defrosted, and I'm not sure what (extremely large) animal that vertebrae belongs to. It's just kind of There.

c_quality_workmanship.jpg c_this_vent_has_no_off_swit.jpg
c_union_patch_job.jpg c_vent_handle.jpg

Work Area ceiling, which I can't say anything good about. The garbage bag over the vent was my own Expert HVAC patch job - the thing has no off switch and either oozes or blasts cold air 24/365. The duct-tape encrusted mess of ventilation duct is Buildings And Grounds' idea of a "repair job." Proof that Pittsburgh is a breeder reactor for retards - these people have obviously never heard of pop rivets, solder, or that funky metal striping stuff (muffler tape?) that's occasionally used in similar situations.

There are more Industrial areas, but they photograph better in the daylight. :)

Line Noise

Tangentially off-base, as usual. Hence the title. Still meandering through the post-drinking-binge-rehydration-and-vitamin-restock superstore, etc.


... I could use more of an attitude adjustment than I've affected already. I suppose that's what I get for slacking off in certain areas I keep promising myself not to.

Funny how that works. :P

Freelance (Money Is Not Our God)

Big rant. Something of a deterrent, I hope. Immediate friends and pre-existing obligations are obviously excluded, though this may address the frustration of some associates at their inability to interest me in whatever it is they'd like me involved in (the short answer is that I like you as a friend and am about as interested in collaborating with you as I am in swimming the Atlantic).

Digital Soundtracks

Despite the rabid amounts of hell slogged through on the day of the 25th, the evening was a serious improvement. Draft of some ATC scenery, stupid amounts of booze, some rather odd social bits, and I didn't quite sleep off the hangover...

... but I still finished Chapter Zero of ATC today. For my next trick : Getting into The Edit before anyone in meatspace notices I'm their definition of "free of obligations." It's gotten progressively easier to tell people to fuck off when they start sniffing me up for freelance - though this may very well change if the money to hassle ratio is ever favorable.*

Come home to find out that the important part of my recent NewEgg order has shipped to Pittsburgh - which means it'll either be delivered here tomorrow or left at the sort faccility for pickup. The convenient PCI card shipped separately and is completely optional - the rest of the goodies are all together. Which makes me paranoid, but hopeful.

* see "Freelance", which has the timestamp proceeding this one.




Man, what a nasty, horrible day. Shit weather, fucked over climate control, shitty night life. Cold and annoying and all that other fun stuff. Haven't had a day this miserable in months. Not up for repeating the experience and hopefully shouldn't have to.

And to think that when I woke up I figured that today would go smoothly - 'cuz hey, I didn't have a hangover.

Apparently that isn't the case. Apparently I've gotten one of those hangovers that completely skips any kind of physical symptoms and instead attacks nomenal reality. With any luck I'll be able to sleep it off. :P

Given a choice, I would have taken perpetual nausea, headache and Arrakeen dehydration. That shit's a Known Commodity that can be dealt with relatively easily.



The Demon was an idea.

Logged in to find some 600+ comment spam in the various mercury blogs.

Odd, seeing as how mercury doesn't have any commenting templates, comment capability is off by default, and comments have never, ever been enabled on this blog.

Fucking incest spam, no less, left by subhuman animals.

delete from mt_comment where comment_author LIKE '%';

Thanks to bda for that little snip what cleaned up the mess quickly and easily. The comments cgi has been moved on the off chance I'll ever actually want to use it - though if I want comments, I'll use something less prone to spamshitting, like, oh... livejournal.




Yay Monday hangover. Went Out, did layouts for the next two pages of ATC, proceeded to Get Drunk, bumped into Randy, did Tom's Diner, walked around until 4am and passed out until noon.

Funny how I can repeatedly scratch on layouts while trying to do them at home or work, but the second the alcohol hits the bloodstream, I've shat out four pages of notes and, rather than struggling with different layout concepts, I've Gotten It Right The First Time. \o/, woot, etc.


In other news, I've needed to do laundry really really badly since Saturday. We're descending into sniff-testing here. It's pretty gross.

In other other news, I've decided to forego a processor upgrade for the time being, in flavor of an air conditioner and a digital camera. My current AC unit is b0rked- my old roommate scooped it from somebody who was in the process of throwing it out. The control interface doesn't work- the knob snapped off and fell down inside the unit somewhere, so it's on/offed with a power switch and sucks so much juice that I've popped the breaker that controls my room at least half a dozen times. It's a beast, and anything current would be a huge improvement in the energy consumption arena- the idea being that I'd like to run my machines without soaking my keyboard in gallons of funkass mansweat.

The AC unit is sort of optional but not really. I'd like something that works and energy efficiency and timer control are things my current unit doesn't do and I doubt a new unit is going to make my room smell like mold or freeze itself shut if I leave it on for more than six hours.

The camera, on the other hand, is something I've been thinking about for quite awhile. It's one piece of gear I'm constantly in need of and the one piece of equipment I don't have access to at work. I've got speed and a scanner at work, I can put these things off on the home front. Just need to find a model that suits my needs.

Much like AC, I already have a camera, and it's comparable to my climate control system - a Quicktake 150 that requires specific Quicktime plugins, a beige Mac for serial ports, and prefers to interface with MacOS 7.6.1. The quality is ass, and I'm in need of non-ass quality. Something that's a little more "with it", technologically. Something that can handle night shooting.



The root of all evil.

Money is the thing I hate the most about being an "adult". Rent. Phone. Broadband. Electric. Student Loans. Bus Pass. Oh, and the money I was "saving" by quitting smoking? That's been sucked up by food. Empty stomach has a funny habit of completely destroying creativity, which is kind of pretty much the only thing I really want to be doing.

What money I could be "saving" I'm instead wasting on alcohol, which is about the only area that I can seriously optimize in.

Oh, and I moved a tax bracket in the wrong direction last year. Somehow. So I've gotten more hours at work, I've quit smoking, my bus pass comes out before taxes get ganked from my paycheck and - get this - I'm somehow making even less money now than I was this time last year.

I'm not entirely sure what to do about this. I hate money. It's a giant blind spot. It does nothing but impede my will and get in my way. It's required to do absolutely everything and nobody's willing to give me any of it in exchange for anything I do. People seem to think I'm still in that shitty position where an artist needs to "build a portfolio" - which is industry-speak for "take it in the ass in the hopes it pays off in the long run." Wrong answer.

I'm in a position where I can be horrifically irresponsible for a month in order to aquire a few bits of gear that I'm not going to be able to access otherwise. It's mostly a question of what, exactly, I acquire. Thick line between want and need- want being the more insidious of the voices.

Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here.

1970.04.14 03:08:53.555 UTC (April 13th in the US) : Explosion of number two oxygen tank, Apollo 13.

Ex luna, scientia.

From the Encyclopedia Astronautica :

Haise found he could scare the dickens out of the other crew members by actuating a lunar module relief valve, which made a loud bang. When the fuel cell tank exploded, taking out the whole side of the service module, the two first looked accusingly at him, thinking it was another of his jokes... the Apollo 13 accident happened on April 13 at 13:13 Houston time - so when Lovell began the post-flight press conference, his first words: "I am not a superstitious person"...




1961 : Vostok 1 : Yuri Gagarin. Launched 0607 UTC from Baikonur cosmodrome. Gagarin is the first man in space. Duration : 1 hour, 48 minutes.

1981 : STS 1 : Shuttle Columbia : John Young, Robert Crippen. Launched 0700 EST from Kennedy Space Center. Duration : 2 days, 6 hours, 20 minutes, 53 seconds.



/. motd

Why are you doing this to me? Because knowledge is torture, and there must be awareness before there is change.

-- Jim Starlin, "Captain Marvel", #29



Kid Video (redux)

I'm officially ceasing work on Drone 1.5. Not that I've worked on it in months, mind you... but a recent attempt to refamiliarize myself with the footage left me with the realization that while video makes a fine day job, there's other things I'd rather be doing with my time.

I spent a good amount of my late teens and early 20s trying to develop several projects simultaneously, and succeeded in keeping them all on some degree of life support, but ultimately didn't accomplish anything until I threw all of my efforts behind one of the projects. Drone 1.5 is one of those high-effort low-gain things that I just don't need cluttering up my life, so I'm freeing up some disk and dropping it. At least for the moment - it's backed up, so if I do feel like finishing it, I'll have the option. But I don't, really.

What to do, what to do...

Passed out around five last night and woke up around four this morning. Continued reading Dave Sim interviews while listening to Napalm Death and Ministry; finally wound up skimming webcomics with Skrew, wondering vaguely if the neighbors are aware of my 1337 metal-industrial stylings at 7am as I skip into some better KMFDM. Shift gears, Front Line Assembly - Caustic Grip - Mental Distortion. Skip through John Zorn and Marilyn Manson to get to Skinny Puppy, Gwar, INXS and the New York Dolls.

iTunes on full library random. Bruce Dickenson, The Sex Pistols, Guns 'N Roses, Vangelis, Tatu, Argyle Park. Melt Banana, Killing Joke. Black Lung.

Then, just to make me wish I'd stayed in bed: Dune (One Day In Glencoe) followed by Def Leppard (Animal). My head asplode.

I have a shitload of industrial and should probably be promoting ATC as such. In my experience, it's the only industrial comic on the internets- the genre isn't as popular as it could be, dammit. But then, Biopsy isn't exactly accessible, and Leeb doesn't seem to be fooling anybody with his attempts to turn FLA into Delerium-with-male-vocals.

It is not five am, and you are not listening to Los Angeles. Wrong coast, fucker. Similar effect, too much to think about and I really need a shower, so I'll probably do that soon. I'm sure as hell not reporting to work any earlier than I have to, so I still have about three and a half hours to kill.

DST puts my schedule back to normal- I've been an hour "late" for work since the Fall clock bit. Now everything fits back together like it should, dammit. Bed at 4am instead of 5am, etc, etc.




'When you find out you've been standing in shit, you don't jump up and down on it to punish it, you walk away.'

Allen Moore to Dave Sim




Isolation is critical. Isolation and complete silence for hours on end. If you can't hack that you can't do comic books for the most part. You have to relish being by yourself. Relish it. Community is an evasion of this, I think. I've heard all the reasons as to why you need to be in contact with other artists but all of the experiments I've seen with it have proven to be failures. I used to draw more and better usable work visiting Gene Day, but that wasn't because of the community thing; that was because he sat down at ten o'clock in the morning and drew until eleven o'clock at night. Half an hour for dinner, a sandwich at the drawing board for lunch and aside from that just cigarettes and coffee, cigarettes and coffee. If you stopped drawing to read a comic book, or quit because you got a page done, it made you feel like the biggest sloth to ever hit the medium. You'd start your next page or pencil an illustration or ink a panel of Gene's Marvel work just to keep from feeling guilty.

Community (friends, family, lovers) kept to its place and confined to a few hours here and there can, on very infrequent occasions, and to a small degree, be viewed as not destructive of creativity.

--Dave Sim, from The Usenet Interview.



Mercury Blog Entry #666

05:37 <xeno> fucking april fool's day.
05:37 <xeno> HATE.
05:37 <xeno> funny how hitting the keys harder doesn't make the text do anything different.
05:37 <xeno> I want an analog keyboard dammit

Slashdot's idea of 20050401 is pretty k-lame compared to previous years- you know the userbase is getting sick of a "joke" when a site that averages ~250 replies per post is still in the double digits come rush hour. The VGCats bit was cute, but you'll miss the joke if you're unfamiliar with the strip.

The pope and the italian news service can't decide if he's past or present tense- I find their indecision in the matter amusing. Wagers have been placed- I bet low, as I'll probably lose. I'm not a betting man, but it's The Pope. Exceptions are made to be broken. Or something.

In other news, my office is about to be swarmed by two separate squads of girlscouts, twenty minutes apart- the first was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago. Something to do with the DITW model, I'm assuming- it's out on the table with ejimikashunul materials strewn about. The whole "useage of exhibits space to hold Speed Learning" thing came as news to me, though it had apparently been in the works for at least a few weeks- a few phone calls and everything's sorted.

Cleaned up the ATC RSS output, added a mime type to the site and changed the meta info on the index- all this to make Firefox happy. I'll probably have to make some more tweeks to the file when Tiger gets released. :P

Summed up : Hating the mass geek holy girl convenience. Dig it.

Oh, and the Beast is total, not published. There's a decent amount of draft material floating around in the database, never intended for mass production (or offlined after I sobered up, you pick.).



PORT FORWARDING (for my convenience)

Port forwarding file (edit as rewt):

13:59 <@ejp> /etc/network/if-up.d/start-nat

Apply the shit:

14:29 <@ejp> iptables -t nat -F PREROUTING


14:46 <@ejp> solios: that's not correct. to actually *apply* the changes to start-nat you rerun it. if you add things
14:46 <@solios> k.


Okay, so. Roughly this time last year (give or take a few days on either side):

1. I was still using the same desktop wallpaper. The MacOS creation date for the file is 18 September 2003, so it's been well over a year. Haven't done anything that knocks it out of the awesome slot, though I probably could if I put my mind to it.

2. I was whining quite a bit about focus. 360+ days later I've got so much focus that I've lot sight of how to unfocus. I'm either Producing The Comic, sleeping, working, or drinking myself into a coma. I'm fucking FOCUSED, yo. At the expense of a social life, but I don't really miss it. :P

3. I've been using the same home desktop for just about a year with nary a complaint, though its faster sucessor is the other position on the two-port KVM it's plugged into. I've upgraded keyboard and mouse to non-shitty (re: non-Apple) kit, gigged the RAM, and dropped it from three heads to two, but other than that, my dual g4 450 is still surprisingly useful for everything but production applications. Handles terminal, iTunes, video apps and browsers just fine, and it's good for RTCW and Quake if I'm patient.

4. 20040327, I wrapped animal, one of the scenes that'll be retitled during The Edit. This finished Chapter Two and put The Dualist at 76 pages. I've done 80 pages since then, or one page every 4.5 days.

I was just about to gripe that updating twice a week would have given me an additional 24, but hey- 80 in ~9 months is nothing to sneeze at- and it's more than I accomplished with the first two chapters.

Page count won't be an accurate measure of brute force achievement after Zero is finished... I plan to spend the spring and a chunk of the summer ironing some of the bigger problems out of Chapter Two, as well as tuning up everything else.

If I need to address anything, it's that my current creative MO doesn't allow for doing writing or layouts outside of a bar - the effort and twitching involved in working out the control layouts at work was intense. We're talking some sort of fucked up Pavlovian OCD here.




In the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 29, Discovery rolled over from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. There it will be attached to its redesigned External Tank and twin Solid Rocket Boosters.

On Monday, April 4, Discovery begins its eight hour journey to launch pad 39B. Discovery's mission, STS-114, is targeted for launch in May.

From the NASA release.




Blogtastic, thanks.

Got a ride to work from a girl I dated briefly in the fall of 2000. Workstation is up 26 days and Quake3 audio is still on helium- the announcer sounds like Foamy. It rules.

Stumbled across a blog devoted to Pittsburgh blogs. Completely unsurprised at the volume of sports-dedicated opinion outlets in the list- Murphy's done a pretty thorough job of giving city residents little else to talk about- the city is broke, which means neighborhood immolating things like the South Side Street Spectacular ain't happening, among other things. This doesn't bother me in the least, as I've lived through a few of them, and if there's one thing I hate more than Pittsburgh natives and Steelers fans, it's a few THOUSAND of the fuckers mobbing my neighborhood for four days straight in broad daylight. Gah.

And Scoble thinks commenting is the killer feature for blogs. I think commenting is an ego thing- as a user you want comment capability so you can impress the blogger with your AWESUM WERDSKILLZ and as a blogger or webmaster you want comment capability so you can unzip and wag it around at the bar. Newsflash- the number of posts your blog posts recieve will not get you laid. It's an ego thing, pure and simple- visitors leaving comments validates your existance, etc. Kind of amusing how everyone in the blogosphere blogging about how much the blogthing matters are already successful elsewhere... and are only being read by other bloggers. This is a lot like the "success" of the linux desktop- everyone who uses it thinks it's the shit, so they say it's the shit, so "the linux desktop is awesome," period, despite the fact it's a technical and useability nightmate and a horrid piece of shit that's an improvement over Windows but not much else. Dissenting opinions are not tolerated by the community. Blogging is easier than networking, it has the RSS thing going for it, it's less ugly than modern bulletin boards, but the signal to noise ratio is insane- blogs are continuing proof of Sturgeon's law, self-contained- maybe ten percent of the posts of ten percent of bloggers are useful, edifying, or otherwise worth reading. If anything, the sum of blogdom seems to be that peoples lives are even more boring and filled with irritating shit than mine is. As with all media, the biggest problem is finding the ten percent that doesn't give me hives.

Mercury doesn't have comments. This is largely due to some pretty extensive mistakes I made with regards to distribution of my creative output, and I'd just as soon people not use my own webspace as a vehicle for flinging poo at me- I've already had to do turd cleanup with ATC comments. Mercury is a "notebook" of sorts- most of the shit that gets slapped in here would be committed to paper if I weren't at a machine when the thought(s) occure{d} to me, and my notebooks are the most private thing I have.

The one thing I can say in favor of blog commenting is that it's more satisfying and immediate than email. But I really, really hate email. So anything that lessens my reliance on it is good in that respect alone.

I read blogs about marketing and software, since the future of both interests me greatly. I tried reading blogs maintained by other comic artists, but I appear to be the only comics artist who doesn't have INDUSTRY FANBOI tattooed onto his genitals and advertised above him in large neon letters. My experience with tabletop RPGs is the reverse of my experience with comics- I love to talk about gaming mechanics but hate to play; I love to make comics, but I couldn't give two tugs of a dead dogs cock about the gibbering, quivering, oh GAWD DON'T GET THAT ON ME undying "love" that industry participants and/or wannabes have for the industry. It absolutely reeks of ghey, and ghey is not something I wish to get on or near me, kthks.

In other news, my culture-lagged ass has finally caught up to Futurama.




I always wondered why Hugh had such a huge lubed-up hardon for Seth Godin. Thinking about such things usually conjures up an image of a platoon of industrialized Truth Through Hate rivetheads gangraping the cast of Rainbow Bright with pitchforks- the personalities broadcast just do not match up.

Then Godin went and said this, and Hugh's crush suddenly makes sense- especially when it's applied to all the ego-driven creative efforts out there (re: all of them).



Bounty Hunting

This "cleanup" thing is starting to get a bit out of hand. Probably a good thing- the hangover certainly isn't clearing up and I'm putting the >:| to good use. Handy thing that I have a huge amount of personal work locked behind an .htaccess- the kind of stuff that has a definite audience, an existing mindshare, etc. I'm starting to realize that it's leverage and I'm beginning to use it as such.

Poker chips. Having something that's always in demand is useful, even if it's not where I want the focus to be these days.

Housekeeping, Take Two

This time, Work. Tossed three boxes of crap that have been sitting under my desk for a few years. Moved the linux iMac to the server rack. Moved the so-called "intern station" (never used for such) under my own desk and cabled it up in place of the iMac. Spent some time trying to figure out how to eject the Dock wannabe the previous user had installed- wound up with a system that has no fucking idea what to run for a default shell, so it doesn't. It isn't on the domain, either. Made myself a user, set the beast up to my own liking, and aside from the fact that it's Windows and hence an assrape of an interface anyway, the only "inconvenience" is having to run explorer manually.

I kind of hoped Windows would have improved in the useability sense since NT 4, but it hasn't. No wonder KDE and other linux desktops look and run like ass- they're chasing after the third place interface, and they keep slipping on the trail of {ooze|shit} it's left in its wake. Rhapsody / OS X being second and Classic MacOS being first in my book, though if you're talking an install with third party extensions, then OS X wins- it has Quicksilver. I'll keep not using linux as a desktop until the developers get a clue and start aiming for first place. No wonder MCSE is a four letter synonym for "retard" and the punchline of many an IT joke- you'd have to be horribly, horribly brain damaged to consider a system like this good.

Conversely, the OS X version of firefox needs to be as snappy and go fullscreen, please and thank you. And OS X needs something as non-shitty as Winscp- all the sftp clients I've used for OS X have left me fucking around on the command line. It's cleaner and doesn't crash nearly as often.

Worked with Smith to get the table the machine had been sitting on moved. Found my Indigo users manual. Still extensively hung over for a shitload of scotch. Go Go Eighties Night - at least I have a few bits of ATC Evil taken care of. Closing in on getting the next scene ready for production. Still trying to figure out what to do about mercury, etc.



Halo in a nutshell.

Yes, I'm a year or so behind the curve. If not more. Hell, I just watched Cowboy Bebop. I usually have better things to do that vidiot the fuck out, which ultimately saves me time on sorting through bullshit to get to the good stuff- I just ask $genre afficianado what they're into at the moment and check it out. But I'm currently what we industry professionals like to call "burned the fuck out" and creatively constipated to boot*, so it's a good time to play catch-up.

Anyway. Halo is very pretty in the "icing on the wedding cake" sense of the term. If you've played Oni, you can tell that some (or all) of the same people are in the creative pipeline... and whatever their actual tastes, I'm left with a very strong impression that these guys wear polo shirts and listen to Dave Matthews Band. iD, conversely, comes across like they wear combat boots and listen to Carcass, which could easily be part of why I blew so many bits writing about Doom 3, etc**. Halo ain't ugly, but it does have a certain softness to the texturing (Radeon 9600, 1280x1024, everything jacked to the max except antialiasing and The Goddamned Lens Flare) that makes me hungry for cake. It ain't industrial, that's for sure.

Weapons. The pistol's a joke. Drop it the second you get the chance, you'll never, ever regret doing so. I like the sniper rifle, the machine gun is okay, the rocket launcher is amusing (but ammo is scarce), and the Covenant weapons are decent. Least favorite weapons are the needler and the pistol. I would have used the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher a hell of a lot more if ammo wasn't an issue- as it was, I ran around with the assault rifle, since it holds the most ammo. Frag grenades are nothing to write home about, and it's neat to watch enemies scream and run around with plasma grenades stuck to them. Bungie seems to have gotten grenade physics playable- you pitch the fucker and it blows up. None of this half-gravity aluminum pingpong ball bullshit that iD seems to be spunky about. You get a shotgun when the game turns into Night Of The Living Dead. It's a shotgun- I got so impatient with the Flood that I rarely used it. Okay weapon, I guess. Prefer the rifle.

Vehicles. Brutally unfair that the Scorpion tank is only used once in the game. It kicks the most ass and it has the best handling out of everything. Main cannon is a bit tricky and the machine gun slops, but otherwise it's love. The Warthog is a goddamned JOKE on controls and absolutely SCREAMS CONSOLE BACKPORT!!!! in large, friendly letters. The fact that your success in Halo is completely dependant on controlling a vehicle that handles like you're shouting orders at a pair of interns pulling on monkey testicles is really, really annoying. The Covenant aircraft is useable for going Up and that's pretty much it- the hoverbike handles a bit better and is the most maneuverable indoors. Not sure why the Covenant tanks can't be skanked- might have something to do with the fact that a Mazda has thicker armor.

Plot. Hey, I beat the fucking game to see the story. Anyone who's made it as far as the Flood knows what I'm talking about. Story : good. Recycling maps like Pacman : bad. Simple formula, and Bungie gets a big fat fucking F for their interior map design for forgetting this. The backtracking was about as fun as the Flood- which is to say, it wasn't. Weather conditions sure were purdy, though. +5 bonus points for not having huge shitty bosses and mini-bosses, and +10 points for not ending the game with a huge shitty pain in the ass bossthing like every other goddamned FPS I've ever played has done.

Gameplay. Wouldn't mind trying multiplayer at some point. I played through part of the single-player a second time to revisit the fun bits and stopped to write this when the game turned into a slogfest again. Most single-player FPS hit a point where they stop being fun and start being an endurance test- for me, it's the second you hit the control center. Vehicle control is a major drag- not only does it scream CONSOLE! CONSOLE! CONSOLE! it screams DATA EAST / Ocean. You know, the really shitty second-rate third party developers for the SNES. The guys that made games the stores are still trying to get rid of. The fact that you can carry a max of two weapons of your choosing, use any of them as a melee weapon, and carry up to four grenades is pretty cool. Might stretch the realism a bit too much for the CounterStrike assholes, but for a guy used to Quake 3, I found this bit to be especially noteworthy. I found the checkpoint system to be amazingly FUCKING ANNOYING the first run through, as I'm very much used to quick{save|load}, but the second time through I found it to be quite a convenience. Still annoying as hell if you hit a checkpoint with one health and no ammo and there's a shitload of enemies around the corner, though. Love the marines. Love 'em. The game started to suck ass for me when they all disappeared.

System Requirements and Such. Holy mother of fuck. I remember this shit being demo'd on early G4s and kicking ass. I played it on a mid-gen G4 and it was sucking ass. Playable on my G4/733 with a (shitty like a malarial ass and destined for replacement) Geforce2 and gigaram at 800x600 with everything set to low or NO, though audio would stutter and spurt and spunk and the game would drop frames, choke, hork, puke and generally shit its fucking pants for a good three to eight seconds every time I hit a checkpoint. Cut the horkage in half every time the game needed to load and keep in mind it was running off of a SCSI-160 controller. Smooth like butter on a G5 2x2ghz with 2g ram and a 64meg Radeon9600- but for fuck's sake, current mac games had better run smooth on this shit.

Final Analysis. This seems to be the Final Fantasy VII of FPS. Fucking absolutely everybody*** has blown a spunkhole the size of Nebraska in their pants over this game, despite piles and piles of as-good stuff that's come before and since. There's about an eighth as much Halo fanart on DeviantArt as their is Sonic the Hedgehog fanart, but it's enough to be noticeable. There's better stuff out there (imo), but there's also much, much worse. And it's really nice to actually be able to beat a non-tournament FPS without using cheat codes. So I give it a B-. Originally an A- brought down to an F+ by post-Control Center level design, but bumped back up to Decent by breaking a couple of really shitty FPS convenitions. The grade was originally an A- after the adjustment, but I loaded up again a few minutes after writing this review, encountered the bit where you're supposed to find Keyes in the swamp, hit the complex, had a flashback, remembered that from here on it Really Fucking Sucks Shit, and decided to revise my estimate in order to warn the others. If you haven't played Halo yet, be warned- the second half (closer to 2/3) of the game is a slog through most everything you've slogged through before, only in reverse and with more enemies. And the interior map design would fit into the system limits of the N64- it's bland, unoriginal, boring, claustrophobic, and surprisingly repetetive. The exteriors, however, are nice.

* Stuck on a few points of the next scene of ATC and lacking the funds to get thrashed enough to think my way through it. Go me.

** The Unreal guys, conversely, come across like Incrediboy. Leghumping wannabes out to try and impress absolutely everybody- they're choking on benchmark and feature cock so hard that the part of their brain that's capable of acknowledging aesthetic and gameplay has long since died. The team producing the Unreal games comes across like they read shitloads of Image comics, took a spare change of underwear to the third Matrix film, and listen to whatever whoever they think is cool now namedropped in a recent interview. They might be the hoopiest froods in history, but their shit feels like a really bad Escape From Los Angeles ripoff written by Rob Liefeld and run through the turd polisher until it glimmers like a parody of a zircon. I'd shit a gold plated brick if they swapped out their obvious Image/Liefeld love for some Vertigo/{Gaiman|Ellis}. Man, I love ripping on these guys.

*** Outside of my monkeysphere, that is. My monkeysphere is of the averaged opinion that "vehicle control sucks", "HALO SUCKS", "you mean that game you play backwards?" and/or "It runs like shit on my system! Bad engine! BAD! IT PEED ON THE RUG!!!"



MT Patch

MT sploitfix, sploitable only if comment notification is turned on, tested back to 2.661, etc, etc. Mildly annoying to find, posting it here for easy reference, etc.




Hard drive enclosure showed up. Thanks to Smith for swinging me out to the Fedex offices and back. Assembly went smooth. Smacked a Light Cycle icon on the drive and loaded it up with work accumulata.

Stripped LOC down to Fear and loathing, 2600 style. Attempted to reconstitute Drone, found I'm missing... more or less everything critical. Whatever I'm not missing is in media100 format, requiring a Classic quicktime player and transcoder. I have backups of all of the internet dumps and all of the unlicensed video, but none of the stuff I actually shot for the project. Go figure.

Pulled enough source to mix with the "dissonance" material and rev up something new. Don't have the software I need to check the DVD files at home, need to haul it all to work. Not sure if I really want to, but I have this vague gnawing urge to buy some more hard drives, reconstitute all of my data AGAIN and burn it all off Properly... while leaving the stuff on disk so I can pull it when I need to. It would be handy to have rapid access to- I wouldn't find myself digging through trunks full of Gravicon and Mp3 cds looking for data I may or may not have burned off during one of the least sane periods of my existence.

Found : Killing Joke, Pandemonium; two Tea Party albums; Fear Factory : Demanufacture (first run CD in second run packaging, first and not the last time Dave's Music Mine staff fucked up).

In theory, I have enough material to do a partial "update" of Drone. I'm thinking Summer, after ATC c0 and Edit are complete.

In the meantime, my data is highly disorganized, minerva needs a Final Cut Pro install, and I'm exhausted.



Jakalope (or : Skullfucking the namedrop for a quick buck)

Artist :Jakalope
Album : It Dreams
Year : 2004
Genre : Hot Topic Pop. They'll tell you it's "Industrial" - it isn't. It's electronic by technicality. I've tagged it Hot Topic Pop 'cuz the kiddies are going to eat this shit up. The spooky girls finally have a Poe of their very own, etc.
Rating (iTunes ratings / number of tracks) : 2.16/5
Number of tracks : 12
Length : 45:16
Sounds Like : The bastard child of Poe and Shirley Manson

Synopsis : Pretty Life sounds like somebody took Poe out to Hot Topic to get her all gothed up, followed by a stop at the DNA Lounge to give her an idea of "the Scene" on the way to the record studio- the result is simple, smotheringly hooky pop, the kind of track that screams SINGLE! SINGLE! RADIO PLAY! over and over. Screecher is easily the strongest track on the album, Baddream is by far the biggest turd that's come near my ears since the last time I listened to the radio, though it starts off with a deceptively promising beat. The lyrics are shit. I mean, they're really shit. See Genre- with songwriting like this, you simply are not aiming at anyone older than, say, six. Maybe seven year olds, if they're retards. Nothing Nowhere is a fairly groovy and laid-back, a bit of a surprise after the shitfuck that is the distortion break in Light After Night, the track that leads into it. If you like the idea of a bastard child of Shirley Manson and Poe trying to kick out the angsty goth-rage through a poppy, marketable, hyper-processed "even Britney Spears will listen to it!" slurp, you'll laud this album as the second coming of.... well, of something.

Notes : The Orange bio page for Jakalope lists a total of 35 "members" of the band, and lemme tell ya- this shit sounds like focus-grouped, designed-by-committee, kid-tested-mother-approved poppy sludge for the spooky kids. Pump a few thousand Menthols and a heroin habit through Katie B and you'll have a replacement for Shirley Manson whenever she feels like keeling over. Said bio goes into some length about various people the writer feels are relevant- the name dropping includes Goth-Industrial wunderkind Trent Reznor and producer Dave Ogilvie, who's still riding that "I produced Skinny Puppy! I am TEH KEWL!" wave. Hey, I fucking catered Foetus and got his drummer and bassist extremely fucked up after the show- and if you think Ogilvie has anything to do with what makes Puppy what they are, then you're the kind of person who'd be dumb enough to believe that anybody who actually played at the Foetus gig remembers the guy who replaced the lock on their gear trailer. The point is, a phat little CV with your name in near proximity to Projects Of Quality does not necessarily mean you're capable of generating quality your own damned self- one need only take a gander at Kevin Ogilvie's solo album- synthpoppy casio-toned grammar school drool, brought to you by Skinny Puppy's very own vocalist. Funny how the nursery rhymes stop when he hits the studio with Cevin Key.

So you've got two guys who'd like you to think they ARE "Industrial" (one Skinny Puppy's producer, one the guy who did the score for Quake and that Closer song that every angsty guy who's never listened to Carcass pulls out whenever he's feeling down). Trent and Dave have their names on some pretty intense shit- check the Discogs CVs for Dave and Trent respectively. You'd think with these guys and a girl (a girl and Trent, fancy that), you'd get something that would sound like Awesome. But you forgot about those thirty two other thumbs in the pie, damned near all of whom I can gurantee you've never heard of. 35 is a shitload of people to be involved in any kind of project, and what they managed to shit out of the other end of the assembly line is a design-by-committee slurpee that's about as industrial as rose-scented toilet paper. It's got COMMERCIALLY VIABLE stamped all over it, it screams WARPED TOUR or OZZFEST or whatever the fuck festival bands that are trying to be "gritty" and profitable whore themselves at these days. It's so overprocessed and overwrought and ultimately devoid of impact (the tempo change from one commercially viable style to another right when Screecher COULD have erupted into a kick in the balls, but instead it shifted gears into rancid slurp-rock lounge groove... the whole album is like that, never staying in place long enough to sink in and hook.) that with just the right amount of marketing, it's a guranteed smash hit. This album, or concept work, or whatever the fuck you want to call it, feels like the result of extensive gangraping and focus grouping by a crop of musicians who by action profess a sincere belief that the world needs another Garbage, and who by production appear to be vastly more interested in sucking in warm bodies than they are in producing something that might manage to evade the "remember those guys? no? me neither." rack of the Captain Trendwhore record store that Suicidegirls are recruited from. It feels like Dave and Trent pulled the masters of every angry girl to hit the top forty in the last ten years and smushed all of it down into an album you'll be able to choke down in an hour, with time left for commercials.

Did I like it? Fuck no. I like what it obviously had the potential to be, and the fact that it falls short of being even minimally satisfying doesn't leave me wanting more, it leaves me wanting to kick Dave in the jock. Do I recommend it? If you're up for the disposable, mushy, trendy, "kind of dark but not dark enough to scare off the geeks and the fratfucks and the other normals" sort of thing that you can slip in the iPod and forget about, then yeah. Go for it, it's your {money|bandwidth}. And beware of track 11 - Baddream is so unbelievably, unrelentingly shitty with its hyperqueer hairdresser male vocalist whining out lyrics that would embarass anyone who survived their first year of puberty that there oughtta be a law. That piece of shit drags the rest of the album down like a lead brick- it's a lot like throwing, say, a State of the Union address delivered by midgets on helium into the middle of The Downward Spiral. And the fact that mister Dave "Rave" Ogilvie let this piece of shit onto the disc with eleven properly homogenized and vaguely poppy tracks says more about his "taste" than is probably good for his career.

That's the angst in a nutshell. The rest of this entry is the "live" IRC listening marathon. Apologies to Eric- he really does like this album (as does Bryan), and while I do not think less of either of them for doing so, I'm not about to endorse it myself. That's the funny thing about musical taste- it's like politics and religion, by which all dissenting views are uninformed, ignorant, heathen savages who should either be Cleansed or Thoroughly Mocked, etc. Proof marketing and hormones are doing their jobs. Doesn't help that I dislike high pitched vocals and prefer my lyrics to either be intelligent or an instrument, as opposed to the sort of thing you find scrawled in a high school urinal.



Note to self.

Awareness of the need to change does not necessarily impart the ability to do so. Re: motivation, cross reference habits, inertia. Also reference quitting smoking, cross-index against the perils of an existance without the "milestones" of the education industry, etc.



The choice of a new generation.

Finally got a chance to play with the iTunes Music Store with no risk- a couple of OMG FREE SONGS SIGN UP FOR THE SWEEPSTAKES OH GOD THE PEP etc.

Caps don't usually mean soda caps, in my experience.

So I hassled through, used my Apple ID (you can also use your AOL handle. Dear gods.), got through the FREE FREE FREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 hassle, racked up a wee little mass of credit, the entire user experience is everything it's craked up to be, it's really nice I like it BUT...

... I couldn't find shit.

If you know me at all, you knew this would happen. I stopped listening to the radio when bullshit like Beck and The Black Crowes started edging out Van Halen for airtime. The post-Cobaine pop scene is a shriveled, syphillitic dick with delusions of Holmesian grandeur. It is diseased cock, and iTMS is loaded with it.

Lots of searching ensued.

I found two Godflesh albums, three Front 242 albums, ONE Front Line Assembly TRACK (the preview of which is probably as misleading as Metropolis putting the hardest loop from the hardest track of their pussiest album up as a preview), several variants on "DID YOU MEAN TOTICO?" in response to a search for Hocico, etceteras. One Killing Joke album, earmarked for Friday (payday)- I'm not going to be finding that in the wasteland of the Pittsburgh "music" scene.

Whitehouse. NO.
Watts. Everybody but Raymond.
Pig. Turns up a Ministry track.
Ministry. Have it all. Most of it legally, working towards all of it (got Twitch for cheap not too long ago).
SPK. No, I did not mean Sjk.
Melt Banana? FIVE ALBUMS. O_o
Merzbow : Two tracks. One collab, one remix.

And so on.

At least my argument of "I'm not bothering, they couldn't possibly have a fucking thing I want!" is invalidated.

Their genre selection most definitely sucks, and sucks HARD. Melt Banana is classed as Alternative, Godflesh is ROCK, and Electronic is overly broad. Putting Bass $whoever and DJ Fillintheblank in the same list as Front 242? Might as well put the cadillacs with the yugos- they're both CARS, AREN'T THEY?!



Fucking orgy for those of you who allow your tastes to be defined by coffee house fliers, Clear Channel Media, and Viacom. Enough breadcrumbs for the rest of us.

You'd think Metropolis would put their catalogue up, what with them being the "premiere" post Wax Trax industrial label, industrial music and iTunes both being synonymous with TEKNOWLEJEE, etc, but no.

Anyway, it's decent. Genreing is Radio-grade levels of overgeneralized inaccurate blandness (you could cut it down to one genre, MUSIC, and it would still be just as easy to browse), the interface is great if you know and they have exactly what you're looking for, the previewing thing rocks, and... really, they just need more music I want to spend money on. There's quite a few bands with albums I'm willing to buy without a prior listen, and I'm not down with lurking around the soul-sucking, skate-rock blaring pretention-aggregating suckathons that are Pittsburgh record stores waiting for something I might like to roll in.



Electric Head pt. 1 (The Agony)

Skimming the "front page" (such as it is), I noted that I'd stated previously that mercury will be decomissioned "shortly."

Keep in mind, I work for a museum. We percieve time geologically and act accordingly.

ATC will be revamped and mercury will be Dealt With and hopefully this'll all be done before summer hits.

In other news.

HST died, see below and anywhere else that has an interest in the Real Culture. The kind the Ubiquitous Eye doesn't inject into your synapses.

I finally broke down and configured irssi to autoconnect to the three networks and five channels I'm in on startup. I'm on efnet for Factory and dalnet for a webcomic I'm not involved in. From what I've seen, webcomicdom in general is starting to notice IRC, which puts them something like... what, fifteen years behind the times, at least?


Probably. Give it a few years, they'll be all about the Video Toaster and the VAX.

Kids these days.


I helped friends move, which was fun to a point, despite profuse amounts of sweating (dressed too warmly for the weather, as usual). My hypothetical ride got sucked lock stock and yuengling into a No Doubt DVD, so rather than sit through the root canal that is Gwen Stephanie, I walked home. Thirty minutes down the hill, five of it through transwarp ghetto and ten of it through one of those connecting roads that's inside city limits but is really a warp in the spacetime continuum that transposes you to Wyoming. There's a few of these around- nothing like catching a deer out your right eye and the USX out your left.

Drank a beer after the moving thing happened but before the MTV brainwashathon started. Haven't had a beer since 2000. It tasted pretty fucking decent, but it's not even tomorrow and the muscles of my back and arms have already acquired that tight, strung-out, cramp-that-won't-stretch-out rinsed-in-puke feeling I know and loath. It's been slowly creeping into my eyeballs over the past hour or so and I'm putting off going to bed on the off chance that continued attempts at hyrdation will do the trick.

Already used to the walls being pr0nfree. Brain's already working overtime to compensate, filling my dreams with weirdness. Fired off a lengthy rambling email to Bryan regarding post-mercury web presence, etc. Dunno what I'm going to do just yet- I really need to just sit down and map shit out, etc.- ATC upgrades and alterations, moving around what's been dumped into mercury over the years, etc, etc, etc.

Drop the focus and the imagination is off to the Beksinski-esque pre-dawn riverside city of railroad ties and rotting superhighways, support beams lined with doors, screaming Lud.



Sky high with a heartache of stone

Breakups suck.

Worst through AIM, and this isn't the first one.

Worse when it's your own goddamned fault, you know it's your own goddamned fault, you know stopping it's best for her, and you can't bring yourself to do what's best. Because you Need, just like everybody else. Because you can't articulate or reciprocate that need worth shit, and you have no idea how to articulate just how much your inability to do so sucks.




Ass, off-getting (ctd)

Depr0ned the bedroom. Walls are startlingly empty.

Went through a good chunk of backup media- not all of it. Focused on the really annoying shit, the backups of backed-up backups. p2p loot I've never used, p2p looted games I've never played, etc. Too many CD-Rs. Way too many- hundreds. Never had a clear inventory as to what existed on disc and off, so I wound up tossing several copies of copies of copies. Mindless sorting- just the thing to work through a light hangover.

One of these days I'll reboil it all down to DVDs and keep a local copy on disk so I don't have to go rooting through piles and piles and piles of backups to find a three year old .psd.

With all the spindling of like-minded media I may eventually need (or wish to blowtorch, as opposed to discard), and all of the pitching of old software, etc., I have a double-stack of jewel cases about a foot high and two 100-disk spindle sheaths, one full, the other 3/4 full. And I still need to figure out a solid solution for video, and... uh... reburn the damned mp3s.

Or not - currently they're spanned between two machines, and that's enough of a backup for the time being.

Clearing out the 7300 was just the start- the amount of CRAP I still have to sort through, categorize, file and/or discard is still pretty considerable.

Spring cleaning starts early.

Getting off of my ass (somewhat)

Finished distortion -8-, went the Upstage, marveled at the suck and did some journalling. Walked home. Preheated the oven, noticed Nitzer Ebb blasting from the bar behind my house. This struck me as odd- it's always poppy eighties CRAP on Fridays... usually I hear The Cure every time I come home- Ray Parker if I'm lucky.

Nitzer Ebb ended while I was taking a shit and was replaced by, of all things, The Cure. Sororisluts fucking LOVE Robert Smith. Stick my head in at the bar and bump into Theresa- talk to her for a couple of minutes while I sober up and the oven preheats and left the bar with my clothing reeking of what I can only describe as mentholated vomit. Even when I smoked, I couldn't stand menthol.

Depr0ned the first and second floors. Still need to do my room.

FINALLY (after MONTHS of thinking "Hey, I'm not using it, why don't I...") pulled the 6g out of the ravaged begie g3 and swapped it with the 60g in my iMac. It did not go quietly. Turns out the drive - a six gig Western Digital that's older than god- is one of those "ATA compatible" models, from that era where standards were optional. Some googling got me working specs and a cute CNN article from 1998, which begins with this little nugget of whatthefuck:

Hard drives are getting so big they're almost scary. Who really needs 8 gigabytes of storage, much less one of those gargantuan 14GB drives that are shipping with Pentium II 350- and 400-MHz PCs these days? If you don't use your PC for more than a few basic applications, anything beyond 2GB is overkill.

Yeah. My home directory is eating 96 gigs, and I don't even keep the mp3s and video there. Go technology.

Anyway, it turned out the iMac was sad because the drive had somehow made it through the past eight years with the jumper set for Factory Default. On modern drives, this is Master or Cable Select (typically with no jumper being Slave, so I always make the Slave a Cable Select instead so I don't lose the thing). In this case, Factory Default wasn't Cable Select. It wasn't Master. It wasn't Slave. It was, in fact, Factory Default.

Yeah. And here I thought SCSI was voodoo.

Set it for master and everything works. Put the space egg back together, all the while cursing Apple for making such an obviously disposable machine even accessable at all. Dropped Minerva and popped in the 512 stick Bodine had given me, and the 60g drive from the iMac.... running the machine completely out of molex. The sixties will have to be swapped for a 120 in order to free up enough plugs for the Radeon 9800 I plan on buying sometime in the nearish future, but in the meantime the machine has more disk than it needs, and it's cruising along with a gig of ram. Woot.

So, 2,432 gigs of ram, 652 factory gigs of disk, and a WHOPPING 1.999ghz spread across the three running machines (2x450, 733, oc'ed 366). Of course, the fastest machine has the middle video card and the lowest drive capacity.

... and I still need a scanner, so I can actually use the gear for something other than the internets, video playback, audio playback and CivIII. :P



What goes around, comes around.

At some point during the inking of the current ATC page, Bryan started jonesing for a current Tiger build. He does this a lot. Apparently they've gotten scarce since Apple sued a few people for torrenting builds. Which is, if you're a developer, a violation of the EULA.

Back in 2000, I was an ADC member courtesy of Sean. He's probably let his membership lapse- that account got killed by the fuckery of Apple's "secure" password system a few months later, but it was enough to get a couple of dev builds of 10.0 Server and a 10.0 Gold Master. I mentioned the benefits of ADC membership to ~..

Apparently my timing was spot on. I owe rjbs a c-bill and am once again a Developer, alongside Eric, Bryan, and John.




A Small Deadly Space

I remember being goal-oriented, as opposed to avoidant. Exploratory as opposed to routine-driven. I remember having more things I wanted to work towards and fewer things I wanted to leave behind. I remember when reserved enthusiasm was the mindset and potential was everywhere, like oxygen. I remember being passionate about... well, about anything.

Then I started smoking, Got A Real Job, the biochemistry gave out, routine locked itself down in an ironclad fist, it was proven time and again that proving an idea is rarely worth the spiritual agony, and I find myself burning off a few hundred gigs of data to DVD-R on three hours of sleep on a Saturday, because hey! I get to work on Saturday!. I've stopped smoking, but it hasn't brought back the love.

Far from it.

I originally thought weekends would be a good idea, but both of the times I've been up to bat, I've been completely braindead. Nothing like pumping yourself full of sugar and caffeine and water and food and waiting for the cocaine/nicotine Wakefulness that never comes. Sluggish freeze-frame dropout torpor is good for a certain variety of introspection... but I'm not, I've noticed, the kind of guy that's good at finding answers to the questions. Routing around terminal blindness takes months or years and by then you're rolling against Habit at a -5, looking for reasons to give a shit and coming up dry.


Somewhen, IGNORE EVERYTHING got to the top of the list. Theory being focus, application being the head distracts itself regardless. Give it nothing to work against and it starts digesting itself.

Somewhen, TOTAL ISOLATION IS HEALTHY AND DESIREABLE got into my head, became reflex. Despite boatloads of evidence to the contrary.

Somewhen, this would have been the kind of indigoth livejournal-grade motivational spanking that my eyes have blinded themselves to, defensively.

Funny thing about jealousy is you're hating other people for making more of their potential than you are of yours.

The Human Race is not the enemy.

Blood sugar, brainwaves and biorythms are the enemy.

Inward isn't the way Out.

And while we're at it, theory isn't application. :P

All we're waiting for is something worth waiting for.

Yes, Pittsburgh is full of things to do. In theory.

If you're sick of the shit booze, asshole security, and tepid patrons of the Upstage (the only bar in the burgh what plays goth-industrial), and maybe, gods forbid, want to see an industrial show that ain't local* or no-name, well...

Laga and The Club Formerly Known As Metropol (M, The World, etc, etc.) both closed in 2004. Ministry played at Mr. Smalls last year, but a venue without a bar is a lot like sex without genitals- frustrating.

Strapping Young Lad will be here in April. At The Rex. If The Rex has a website, they've made it hard to find. The Red Elvises play at the end of April. Everything else excavated during my brief archeological dig smells like what Mr. Anderson might call "That damned hippy crap."

If you're part of the Clear Channel Homogeny, there's plenty going on in this town.

If you're part of the Clear Channel Homogeny, you're probably wondering why so many people have left this town, are leaving this town, or really fucking want to leave this town.

Culture has a lot to do with it.

If Hippy-With-Guitar isn't your idea of a good time, if you're not into The Motherfucking Steelers, if you're not into the Pirates, if you're not into Hockey, you've no reason to stay in Pittsburgh after you're done with skool. There's very little here- and what the city does have to offer is being rapidly crushed out of existence by a cash-starved, pathologically deranged** city government and greedy universities that treat the entirety of Oakland like it's some kind of Educational Militarized Zone***.

I could keep going, but I do believe that's enough for three hours of sleep.

I'm interested in finding the kind of city that people move to and tell their friends about. I'm living in the kind of city that people move out of and warn their friends about and it's wearing thin.

* it would be a serious inaccuracy to consider the pghgoth band list "up to date." Parvulus Infectus broke up in 2001. Andraculoid split from Parvulus in 2000 and moved to Philly. Hedra was dismantled somewhere between 2k1 and 2k2. I've never seen a Dark Martyr flier. Probably because there aren't any venues in Pittsburgh.

** The mayor swapped iron-clad firefighter job security for reelection last term. The end result is that the fire departments can't be optimized- a wet dream for union stewards everywhere. Murphy's been forcing his view of what Pittsburgh Should Be down the city's throat for years... people keep voting him in and the deficit keeps getting deeper.

*** Nevermind the fact that it is. There used to be nightclubs in Oakland. Now South Side beer troughs outnumber Oakland bars something like 73:1 and the entire fucking student body of Pitt and CMU come to the South Side to party, and scream and yell and piss and puke in my alley before they go home. Thursday through Saturday, 1800-0300, you'll pay for the whole seat but you'll only need.... the edge. They like it so much that Birmingham is now awash in college students and rents are skyrocketing into the Oakland range.




Drinks with Justin Kownacki and Theresa at Dee's, followed by a coffee at Tom's Diner with Justin. Haven't hung out with him at length since 1999.... and all of the loveable bits of Mayor McCheese are still there. Awesome.

Get home and my roommate hands me a CDR loaded with a 108 page web-rez comic- excellent timing, as I now have material to go exploring with- keenspace or graphicsmash or whatever. Something, somewhere. Yeehaw.

Week of social DOOM continues.




Just got off the phone with Randy (Chambers), who's relocated from the barren, sucking desert of South Side to the pre-fab Yuppie enclave of Shadyside. Among other things, he wanted to know if I was interested in doing something with him on the local Public Access channel (odd timing, given my recent encounter with Justin). He also pointed me at Jalbum, which might solve the viz problem.


The 9500 I gave my friend Randy awhile back puked recently. Won't power on. Typically this means the power supply fucked itself over... and who wants to waste time hunting down a component that fits ten year old hardware?

Not I. Not anymore.

I yanked his hard drive (9g IBM SCSI), RAM (128 across 5 chips), and two of the three PCI cards (8 meg Rage, 2-port USB. Left the Twin Turbo video card.), shattered the 600i CD drive pulling out the Tangerine Dream that was lodged in it, threw all of the parts back into the case and loosly slammed the thing back together, telling him to Bulk Night the carcass. Made my way home by around eight PM Sunday night.

Spent several hours resurrecting my 7300 and hunting down SCSI termination problems. I fucking hate SCSI termination problems- especially MacOS's way of telling you that you have them, which consists of either not booting at all, booting but ignoring the PCI bus, booting but ignoring MOST of the PCI bus, partially booting and collapsing under a "bus error", or working just fine for an hour or two before succumbing to a hard freeze.

Got all of that shit sorted out. Made sure the USB card worked. Installed the drivers for the G3/300 upgrade board in the 7300. Dicked with the RAM until the machine had 168 and I had a small pile of dead or flaky chips, subsequently binned. Threw out two 2g Seagate Hawks, a 2g Quantum and a 4g Viking drive, rather than spend the time to track down jumper and termination problems on hard drives that won't hold a modern OS and applications.

Drop in a 10/100 board long enough to back up the hard drive in its entirety- something like six and a half gigs of data, give or take.

Driver install for Scanjet 3c, which Bodine gave me before he departed for the left coast. .hqx decompresses to folder named Disk 1. Installer freaks about being run from a folder. Drop it onto a disk image. Says the disk image is the incorrect floppy. Drop it onto floppy. Says the floppy is the incorrect floppy. Check the install contents folder and notice it's loaded with .sit files. Decompress and throw the appropriate files into System Folder:Prefrences:TWAIN and the fucking thing works on the first try. Don't know where the "help" files are supposed to go in the System Folder, don't care. Slap a monitor adapter on the motherboard video and call it done.

Lock the scanner lamp into the bed and stack it on top of the 7300 in the usual place of the laundry bag for transport out Tuesday, somehow. Spend a few minutes looking over the 9600 the 7300 had sat on during assembly and testing, thinking about what to do with the machine. Check over a couple of boards from the 7300 and from around my room, find out that two SCSI boards and an IDE controller are slag. Look around at the pile of drive sleds, screws, low capacity attention-seeking hard drives, cables, etc. Bin the boards, bin a few more drives. Keep the screws.

Wonder when and how I ever thought any of this was useful. Slow application of technolust alongside a pack and a half a day with one or three vodka and {tonic|cranberry} nightcaps, and call it the 21rst century.

There's a few bits I can actually give away. Minus some parts, the rest of it is going to be binned.

C.S. (Conservative Shithead) Part 2

(Napalm Death)++

I suck on my teeth and find myself wondering when the next opt-in for dental is as I spit blood into the garbage can.

Porno Holocaust is one phase of a larger operation. Seeing as how a huge amount of my time goes into one specific online project, it stands to reason that I'd likely benefit from a certain amount of image control. If this were politics, this is the point at which the campaign contributors with mafia connections would be asked to take preemptive action against certain potential inconveniences.

I asked Bryan last week about loading up another website for me on the servinator. In this case, a dcr subdomain. Which means mercury's days are numbered- at least in the active sense and possibly even in the available sense. It may well end up depricated- filed away like Bryan's earlier blogs on walled city.

Control Freak

(mirrored from the gravicon devblog, which is .htaccess'ed)

Wiped most* of my pr0n out of DA for professional reasons. Left a few pieces around as a science experiment. Still need to lock down fiction and inversion here- so don't be surprised if you suddenly can't access those.

And if you suddenly can't access those, don't ask for the password. The idea here is presentation control, and getting the more embarassing bits of the more embarassing thing locked away.

It's a bit hard on the ego, but this is image control. A professional decision. I might eventually make the Gravicon or some element of it a pay thing, but in the meantime.... radio silence.

* Four left, as of this post.


Spent some time on IRC discussing the pile of crap hardware I own and how I'd like to get rid of it. Walk out to get juice from the minimart and there's a garbage truck lumbering around on dumpster rounds to underscore the point.

At Some Point I'm going to move, and when I do, I'll be damned if I'm taking most of my legacy hardware with me. So over the next few months I'll be throwing it out a piece at a time- whatever I can't find an owner for. It's hard to even think about letting go of this stuff until I consider what it is I actually do with my gear, and the fact that out of the ~20-some machines I own, only three are capable of doing any of it.

Less crap would be handy- on the web as well as in the "closet".



Bombing Run

Bodine's gone and there's been two runs on the supply cabinet today- one looking for tapes (honest enough), the other looking for hard drives. He's still standing there, slackjawed. Funny how people act when their technological answerman is gone and they suddenly have to think for themselves.

Reminds me of most of the Users I know- the people who expect you to throw in the effort to actually solve their problems for them.

'Cuz, yanno, learning is hard.



Well, I saw Lon Cheney walking with the Queen

Justin Kownacki (the Ford Prefect of my AIP tenure) on 18th street, getting into a black sedan.

A couple of emails earlier this year, and before that a drive-by in July of 2002. Loaded him up with a copy of Drone.

Thinking about Max Headroom, Transmetropolitan, Gonzo Journalism, Dead City Radio. The manifestation of Mayor McCheese indicates I'm not wasting my time.


* Getting a different job, finding it sucks complete ass, showing up for work the Monday after my last day and somehow everything's all right. Though somehow better lit, and decorated in the style of the Channel XXIII control room.

* in Point Park dorms in front of a fireplace of some kind, laid out like North Penn Juvenile Detention Center and there's some serious "noise" (yet there's never sound, is there? Submersion in mute technicolor). Ramsey is busting Joseph Orbin out of this prison. Stick my head out the door through a crowd of orderlies and yell for him, haven't seen him in forever and it's him from '99, no less. His shade spreads large packages of camel lights across the mantelpiece while he grins from the door, cigarette to his lips. He doesn't know I quit in August of '04, but it that isn't the point. Sweep the smokes into my bag and follow him and Ramsey out the door, it is Time To Go.

Wake. The remainder stays at its own level. Underneath.




As seen through jwz : HIËRONYMUS BOSCH ACTION FIGURES. o_o

Here's a sample:


There's sculptures of the work of other artists on the site as well- I'm curious as to what these things look like from non-painting angles.... and I'd love to see a Beksinski. Not that Bosch isn't totally fucked the fuck up to similar extremes.



Overkill (Surge Mix)

It's Bodine's last real day of work, my ass is totally spastic from the worlds nastiest steak sammich, the clerk at the Exxon (where I bought ice, for the creation of whiskey and cola, to be had before five as a going-away thing) was cool, and mercury does RSS. So does LOC. ATC will shortly- I have some decisions to make about the how of it first.

Oh, and Civ3 ate my balls. So, three hours of sleep. Go me.




Another dayquil powered workday, spiced up with benedryl. Combine the two with some whiskey (brought it in Saturday- it's Bodine's last week and I'll be damned if we're not going to do a bit of drinking on the clock), and I'm a total space case. Floaty, even. Throat is raw and nose is gurgling like a thickly congested bathtub.

Heating system at work is venting cold air. Heating system at home has parched the air so dry that Arizona would feel like the frigging Amazon. Sucking in air slams a drywood spear against the top/back of the nasal cavity. Feels like hardpan, working overtime in the shower to hork up and hawk out globs of congealed dust. Tasty.

Roommate killed the toilet and rather than fixing the thing, shut off the water, disassembled the tank, emptied the thing of water and put a "USE BASEMENT BATHROOM PLZ" sign on the thing, which is further evidence that plunger-weilding is some sort of ancient hereditary art passed down through the ages. I probably got it from my dad- nobody else I know seems to be the least bit competent when it comes to debugging the shitter. I'd be amused if the Emergency Toilet weren't one degree above freezing- between the bathrooms at work (practically outdoors) and the basement "bathroom" (also practically outdoors), it's a wonder my thigh muscles haven't exploded from all of the hovering.

Bank account hit ten bucks and a money order showed up from the 'rents. Just in time for bills- good timing. Balance would have been higher, but I elected to pay my broadband bill this month. Still have to deposit the thing, which means I still have to cash in the Jug Of Change on Tuesday. It's full to bursting, so I shouldn't have anything to worry about.

ATC models are damned near complete- the Loki needs some minor interior details, stage animation (hatches open, hatches closed, back down hatches open, back down hatches closed), and some minor texture twiddling (graphing on a few decals) and everything's locked for the next scene of the comic... and everything's good for The Edit, etceteras. Happiness and Joy, etc.

Bodine's last day is Wednesday, and I have Friday off- a GLORIOUS THREE DAY WEEKEND. Thank the gods, it feels like it's Tuesday. Might be the Plague- I'm still Sludgy McHeadmeats, after all- snorkeling through sinus-induced synaptic supression. Funfun.

Haven't drawn anything since the 12th. Feels incredibly fucking weird.

I'm not in the business. I AM the business.

Had the occasion to finally watch the theatrical/Criterion and Director's cuts of Blade Runner back to back tonight.

I take back everything I've said along the lines of "U NEED TO SEE WITH TEH VO TO APPRECIATE THE DIRECTORS CUT OMFGWTFLOLZ!!!!!1".

I spoke lies, damned lies. You need the Criterion cut like you need a second asshole.

Besides, I thought Appleseed sucked when I was a teenager. Reread it last year and realized the only thing that sucks about it is every attempt to adapt it to the screen. I'm older. I've read more books, put up with more bullshit, seen things you people wouldn't believe, etc, etc, insert Bruce Willis's bit about rereading a book when you're older (from Twelve Monkeys) here, etc.

Haven't seen Blade Runner since Beechwood. Before that, the summer of 1997 at the Byham Theater on Sixth Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Balcony seating with Phorce Phed and M. Kadath, the director's cut no less, nice and big with naked cherubs painted on the ceiling as this happened to be a Proper Theater, the sort you'd see the ballet in. Clockwork Orange the same week. Four years at least. Finally hit with the significance of Zora being retired into the artificial snow of a department store display. Careful attention to Deckard's face, expressions, attitude. Gaff's limp stuck out for some reason. Amused at how so many things that have come since have ripped off, borrowed, stolen so much.

Funny how a movie that's almost as old as my sister can ask the hard questions by sketching them in between the lines, leaving them for those who are paying attention. None of the mealy-mouthed masturbatory wiping-your-nose-in-the-shit-on-the-rug blatancy of Waking Life, GITS2 or The Matrix.

Blade Runner is bereft the blunt, heavy-handed cinderblock-to-the-skull instant satisfaction that passes for "entertainment" these days, and it's better for it. It caters to people who can think - people who like to think. Which is what science fiction was all about before the genre was hijacked by tits and ass, "cool" weapons, shiny boots, adolescent coffee shop philosophy and big explosions. It lacks all of these things and holy shit it doesn't suck. Spandex tits waxing socratic over nine millimeter discharge doesn't get me wet in the least, and the fact that Blade Runner is deeply philosophical without actually TALKING ABOUT PHILOSOPHY is one of the many, many things I love about it.

Philosophy works best when it's used in the construction, rather than being glopped on in buckets over the finalized superstructure and dressed up with whatever Hot Topic happens to be pushing this year. Philosophy works best when you're left to articulate and answer the questions yourself, on your own time, rather than having some Absolute Opinion rammed up your eyelids like so many dirty photons.

It's still one of my favorite movies... now that I'm older and wiser, now that culture STILL hasn't caught up or surpassed it*... it's still near the top of the list, and it ain't goin' anywhere. Not for a long time.

* I have a similar gripe about Watchmen, which came out in '86. I wasn't into comics at the time, but I've been told that "the comics industry shit its pants." Which may have been true, but they've long since wiped their ass and gone back to producing the same B-grade schlock they've been oozing for decades. If Watchman is to blame for the goddamned anti-hero craze, then I'm firmly of the opinion that the fault lies first on the creators of the bullshit that's come after, and second on the consumers for failing to demand higher quality product. The only reason Americans think the Japanese imports kick all of the ass is because Japan's only shipping over what they see a market for - we're getting the cream of their crop. When it comes to The All Mighty Dollar, anyway- look at the number of jocks that were wearing DBZ merch in '99. Gack.

There's more here, but I'm not up for articulating it.

Not right now, anyway.



Sinus Pressure (redux)

As usual, anything that infects my respiratory system hits my sinuses and stays there, festering and throbbing for days or weeks after all the other symptoms have packed up and left. I'm more or less Plague free now, less the thousand or so wet cotton towels that have been shoved between my eyes, into my ears, and up my nose. Fun. That shit's there to stay, too- no tissuing it out.

Also, it turns out that Barnes & Nobel closes at FIVE on Saturdays. Which means their holiday hours (which I thought to be unreasonable) were actually longer than their regular hours. Disgusting.

Though apparently the one in Squirrel Hill is open until eleven, which means I may actually be able to continue my quest for the Dark Tower while I'm freezing my ass off. Florida has left, Minnesota's come over to visit and shows no signs of leaving. Funfun.

Oh, and work was cancelled today. Snow. Fancy that. Good thing the models for ATC are almost complete- if Bodine and I hadn't gone gangbusters last night, I'd be in fullbore panic mode right now. As it is, there's still a chance that things will get finished in time.



Hardware (Chapstick)

Laundry is done, after much dicking around with hardware- noise on maniac's DVI connection, several reboots, problems with the 1710 wanting to be babysat. Resolve to upgrade from two 15"s and a 20" to a row of 17"s or better, hopefully by June- need other parts first.

Dropped gridlock after laundry, yanked the CD-RW, inserted the disk from the dead firewire case and a vanilla CD-ROM drive. Box came back up with minor problems- insert a ; into the dhcp config (turns out I'd been editing the wrong one), Bryan runs me through partitioning and formatting, rework the fstab. Machine is relocated. Everything has been dusted, and all of the parted out, weird, malfunctioning, etc. hardware is on one side of the room- the kind of thing I can toss out the window and never miss.

Have a long list of parts and toys and so forth needed for the home hardware, more pieces to throw out or upgrade. Fucking money pit. :P Start at the fun bits and work my way 'round, I guess.




Shitmouth late Monday night, developing into dry mouth, a thick glaze of napalm snot, total loss of appetite (see previous), the kind of sinus headache you expect Athena to explode from, slightly painful to swallow, etc. Was late to work Tuesday in a dayquil haze... even later on Wednesday, burning a good chunk of sick time and showing up around four thirty. Went back home, slammed some more Dayquil, did some reading.

Took out the garbage around three in the morning. Found the kitchen to be a sickening sewage pit, just the way my roommate likes it- spent another hour cleaning dishes, cleaning stove, cleaning up a mess that wasn't mine and throwing out another couple of garbage bags of debris. "Gross" is an understatement- the kitchen has, however, transitioned from septic tank to Fincher set. You'd think it was disgusting, but you haven't seen it previously. Largely because I don't like having people over, since it means bringing them through my roommate's leftovers- a chair back that had sat on the floor for some three months, half of a coffee pot he'd pulled off of some forsaken curb and left to rot in the closet, an ankle high pile of fiberboard he'd no use for and no interest in tossing in a garbage bag. Ten thousand jars of eighth-full, filthy jars of pasta sauce cratering the counter like some sort of shite-alchemist's workshop. All of it, binned.

The problem with leaving people to clean up their own messes is that the filth level is relative.

The kitchen passed my event horizon of the blind eye and inflicted itself upon my awareness. It was summarily dealt with, with much gagging and swearing. I usually don't give a shit- I'm here long enough to sleep, shower, and occasionally bother with email. But I'm Out Sick, I've been stuck home for most of the week, and it's finally sunk in that if I don't want to live in filth, I'm the one that gets to do something about it.


Finally get to bed around five, to a beep... beep... beep... of some kind of thermal warning in the firewire case atop maniac. Finder SPODs on the drive, disk isn't there on reboot, case is a space heater and the fan is dead. Yank it all apart and power test the drive. Case is shot. Throw the drive in minerva- it shows up. Good. Bin the case. Finally pass out.

Wake up and get lambasted by the King Effect, devouring a third of Dark Tower V before plucking my KVM out of 22 degree heat- an abandoned cardboard baby in a snowdrift on the back doorstep. UPS status : D E L I V E R E D. Guess they forgot about the "signature required" checkbox on the slip they left Wednesday.

Clean my room to the extent that I'm able, figuring my throat isn't going to care if it's bathed in a thick coat of paint dust or not, as it feels like a septic desert anyway. Sweating and feverish. Hope I'll be well enough to hang out with Ramsey this weekend, hope Bodine and I can get models for ATC wrapped and serviceable within the next three days- we're running out of time and I'm getting very, very nervous.

Laundry, more cleaning, maybe a shower... nyQuoma and hope I'm feeling better in the morning.




Ever notice how people only bitch and whine about global warming in the summer?




Chafed (Freeform)

The hot air blowing is kind of the point- what makes it a circle jerk is reversing the hoover in somebody else's space in the expectation that your snorting and bellowing will lure them over to your corner of the interweb so they'll comment on your thoughts. The people that undertake this sort of endeavour frequently have nothing of value or interest to contribute... though naturally (just like me) they think they're a God Damned Genius Worthy of Recognition and so forth.

One of THOSE days.

Up until three watching The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly- one of the longest movies EVAR. Storm through ratnasty impaled on copper tubing smuggling some kind of something sort of whatever nightmares jammed in around the alarm clock. Finally get sick of the bullshit and yank myself awake- no more making up for sleep lost the day previous. Business as usual until subjection to mithering wasting-my-time niceties from the clerk at the crossroads.

Work. Ceiling in Egypt Hall continues to degrade, security thinks we should be moving shit and we know it's their job. Apparently a massive cluster fuck on the third floor- I have yet to be press-ganged into bullshit "you're full time now, you get to do tedius manual labor that's not in your job description just like the rest of us!" happy time, but I probably will be come the three o'clock break.

Cleaned up my desk. The 21" KDS I've been using as my secondary monitor since 1999 objected to this with a loud CRACK!, dropping video. Dead screen with a green light for GO! TO THE TRASH! Waited a few minutes, cycled the monitor. A static that can't focus Akira-style for exactly 1.78 seconds and CRA-POP! out comes the smoke. Inform Lorraine and she throws a 17" Dell-branded flat CRT that's crisper and cleaner than the G520 primary in my lap. Prop it up on a stack of IDE zip drives so it's even with the main, jot a big :( THE LAST EXHIBITS KDS*, 1999-2005 with a red sharpie and leave it out for people to trip over.

* Deke Kincaid was Exhibits Computer Support Monkey in 1999 and stocked the entire work area with KDS Visual Sensations 21" monitors because they were cheap. Of the N monitors purchased, N-1 died within eighteen months.



In other news...

I have a hangover. It's not of the Badevil variety, but it's a hangover nonetheless. I vaguely remember parts of walking home and taking a piss on a building somewhere in Oakland.

Slept like a fucking rock for the first time in a few months. No anxiety- fancy that.

Managed to make some progress on ATC before my third drink. Not much, but I have at least two weeks before the next section needs to be scripted. Probably closer to two months, depending on how things flow through January.



Butterfly Wings (III)

Third discernable increment of a single stream of consciousness blog entry.

One of the reasons I have yet to completely cleanse Gravicon material from Deviant Art- despite all the scoffing and what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you-ing I get, I still get email asking if there's more of the stuff.

You can choose what you're known for... but you have to make that decision well before you show anything to anybody.

And I do mean anything- I was recently leghumped about a piece of fetishized fanart I'd done back in 1998, when I thought that mass market appeal mattered more than personal satisfaction.

Seven years later and somebody remembers it clear enough to AIM me about it. Proof that the road to eyeballs has nothing to do with what you want to say or how you want to say it- it has everything to do with what people want to see.

There's a strong possiblity that I may have fucked up in that respect- and until I'm as passionate about getting ATC noticed as I used to be about getting eyes on Gravicon material, I can't really weigh the situation evenly.

Xand candy gets enough hits to register near the top of the traffic logs, and ATC traffic fucking died when she ran offscreen- proof that people want their tits and ass, and they don't want the crazy or the blood or the spooky attached to it.

Too bad, really- her role in the remainder of the story is negligible, unless I tweak things... and I'd rather not deviate from how things are supposed to be going.

Butterfly Wings (II)

Further perusal yielded Byron- one of those glaring, unnecessary reminders that I suck ass in the anatomy and fine art departments. Though I have yet for a hand/limb transposition to make it out the door without catching it and correcting it first. My professional jealousy at the quality of his work is tampered by the fact that every rivethead in town during late 2002 saw the piece in question.

Slight hazard of the art world.

A fuckup gets out the door and you can scrub it out of physical existance, but you can't scrub the brains of the critics that have laid eyes on it.

Butterfly Wings

Bored perusal of the pgh goth personality list (like livejournal, only with more gay) yields Chris Mattick, my old DJ Boss from Back In The Day.

I shot him an email.

What the fuck else was I going to do?



I'm not big on resolutions, so here's a list of the some of the stuff that Happened this year- all of which is Important (at least at this writing), none of which was resolved.
  • 38,500 Quake III frags since the early summer. 43,700 if you count my home machine. Go me.
  • I'm Still Not Smoking (I started Not Smoking in August)
  • 76 pages of ATC
  • Relinquished drivers license (expired 1999) for state ID
  • Started a bank account, got direct deposit. Money is piling up.
  • Upgraded home machine from beige G3 to G4 dual 450- the only computer to pass through my hands this year. 2005 should see another upgrade.
  • Nicotine free, I've started building my library again.
  • Hung out with Xeno for the first time in a few years- a few days split between Clinton and Allegheny counties at an obscene monetary burn rate, with lots of booze, poop jokes, and so forth.
  • Turned 25. Officially pushing 30. Summed up The Story Thus Far with Memory Lane (still haven't responded to Kyle's email- sorry about that, man!), which is an extremely abbreviated history of Everything that leaves out all of the badevil things and most of the good stuff as well. It is, however, fairly detailed.
  • Hung out with Bryan for the first time in a few years- five days on another planet.
  • Fulltime at work (effective September, give or take)- slight raise, paid vacation.
  • Discovered the wonders of Amazon.com (books!)
  • Discovered the wonders of buying stuff elsewhere online (keyboard)
  • Discovered the wonders of the discman (particularly useful at the laundromat)
  • Moved away from jeans (to dark blue/gray camo Battle Pants)
  • Broadband.
  • Saw Skinny Puppy in Philly (the only show I bothered with this year)
  • Pumpcon (my first con EVAR!)
  • Registered to vote.
  • Stopped lugging around the powerbook. One battery died, then the power brick that can charge the machine died, then 1g USB pen drives hit the same price (after rebate) as a fourth power yo-yo, and that, as they say, is that.
  • Biochemical issues continue to become more pronounced.
  • Drew less pr0n this year than at any point in the past eight years. Less sketching, anyway- there's 23 pieces of pr0ncg in the 2004 directory.
  • Record low number of ATC and mercury site revisions- two each.


Apparently my roommate tried to clean the water filter with dish detergent, as evinced by the froth of fragrant suds the resovior shat out when I attempted to fill the thing early this afternoon. After a thorough rinsing, it still smells odd but doesn't bubble anymore. I'm sure he would have figured out his error if he ever bothered to actually fill the fucking thing, but that's neither here nor there. This bit of unpleasantness (that being a good five or ten minutes dicking around to fill my water bottle and wondering why they call it "common" courtesy) lay the groundwork for the rest of the afternoon and early evening, as follows.

None of the 1998-era film turned out. Which means one of three things- either (a) Giant Eagle film development subcontractors are more censor-friendly than wal-mart, (b) generic film is shit for quality, or (c) those rolls were never shot. Expectations of an archeo-anthropological glimpse into my past were shat on by a mousey brunette in a faux lab coat and authentic bad teeth. I stormed out* with the ghastly tendrils of a depression clawing their way up my cortex.

This bit of unpleasantness gave way to having my ears and mind gang-raped by the vicious syphillitic skullrending frequencies of whiny post-Cobaine alternapop gleefully dispensed by the manure spreader that is the Radio Shack home theater demo hardware. It was agnozing to say the least, and did nothing to stabilize my already unstable mindset. Point of fact, this aural shitbomb seemed to go intentionally out of my way to get in my face and ears and intentionally disgust me to near-violence- the prozac-and-thorazine pep of the lardheap clerk actually humming along to the fucking song boiled my anxiety to a near-frenzy of uncontrolled screaming.

But I am a god damned badass, and god damned bad asses do not lose it in public.

I never did find the RCA switch I was looking for. The shitstorm of "music" ushered in the opening strains of the anxiety attack- I opted for a coupler (freeing up my own switch) and left the store post-haste, head spinning, mind seething, incoherent. Wondering how much Godflesh it was going to take to scrub the popshit out of my head. On the way back, remembering that it's no specific song- it's the fucking hertz range that anything that hits the top forty is recorded in. The sound that hits the sheep like soma is like nails across the chalkboard of my sentience, and bows to no restrictions of genre, gender, age or era. I'm sure this can be tested for, narrowed down, and filtered. No surprise if it's in the same hertz range as babies and telephones.

Home, with five or six hours of extended FUCK MY HEAD IS GOING TO FLY APART unfocused high-anxiety panic attack THING, along with butterflies in the stomach and vague nausea. Cheap entertainment if you're the sort who puts Eraserhead, Tetsuo and Begotten at the top of your list of Best Movies Evar. Otherwise, a hellish sort of experience whereby you're essentially stumbling around in the back of your mind, frozen in terror as the front and lower regions tear themselves apart. Burying myself in a book helped for awhile, but eventually the torrent got past that barricade at the same time the mast showed up in Malabar, and I found myself unable to proceed further, headmeats strapped to the launch pad of OMFGDOSOMETHINGNOW.

I've eaten (twice), I've been out of the fucking house. My hands are still fucked from yesterday's ATC production marathon**, and still my mind refuses to cease with the incoherent SCREAMING, like the blast of air that rips through a car when you crack a window at high velocity- destroying speach and ripping up the cabin. Only the fucker won't roll up- it has, in fact, become a sort of perpetual motion machine, feeding on anything that strays within line of sight.

Back in August, I would have just smoked it off- I'm beginning to think that this unpleasant spate of (seemingly random) mental freakouts is another one of those things nicotine was troweling over like so much plaster on a shitty, uneven wall. :P

The blackest bit- the bit that makes the void explode into a fresh burst of incoherent banshee wailing every time it enters my stream of consciousness- is that today I'm on the receiving end of two pieces of gift art a warm invitation from Ramsey to hang out and ring in the new year.

No reason to be freaking out, right?

Exactly, and completely beside the point, as biochemistry has never given the ghost of a shit about the day planner. Rather than a day full of happy, I've spent the day freaking the fuck out and contemplating the immediate and long-term benefits of trepanning. You can't forget to take, forget to refill, forget to drink a glass of water with a hole in your fucking head.

* Small comfort- on the way into the store, some ghetto piece of genetic waste, blatantly not paying attention, attempted to exit through the entrance, which is an automatic door. I smirked as the glass slammed into her face and stormed through, proferring no apology- her lapse, her loss. She would have smacked into it anyway, as her friends hadn't noticed either. The Giant Eagle traffic shaping was obviously done by a goddamned retard, and may eventually be remedied of the type of genestain with a litiguous heart is "victimized" in a similar fashion.

** This seems to have started yesterday. I took an anxiety attack with me to bed last night for the first time in several months- possibly years. It sucked, and I did not pass out until after five. Woke up with it out of my system only to trip over it again in the kitchen.

Send Me an {Angel|iBox}

According to the mac rumor mill, there's a sub-600$ Macintosh in the works.

Minimal specs, headless. Fucking headless. Right now, if you want a Mac without a monitor, they start at 1500$. Pretty fucking steep for an 80g hard drive an 256 megs of ram, don't you think? The rumor mill is spouting of things like 10/100 ethernet, USB 2.0, Firewire 400, VGA (holy fuck), combo optical, shit hard drive capacity, etc, etc. The rumor mill is claiming this sucker's aimed at potential switchers. You know, the "I wanna be cool like the kids who take their iPods to shop at the GAP " motherfuckers who go apoplectic every time they see the price tag on useable Apple swag.

Maybe. If this thing is real, you can bet it's also aimed at people who want a second Mac, people who don't need stupid amounts of horsepower, people who consider firewire expandable enough, and poor motherfuckers like me who can't afford a 1500$ start point with another 600$ sunk in before the machine is useable.

Slashdot whined that they want an expandable version and PCI slots and bluetooth and the kitchen sink and, as usual, missed the fucking point. That's what the G5 and the rest of the line are for. This is Apple shifting into the pusher role- this is the first hit on the crack pipe. And Apple being the pusher, the first one's gotta be as free as they can make it.

I already have an expandable machine- a G4 with three PCI slots, an AGP slot, four PC-100 ram slots, two firewire ports, etc. Fucker has three monitors, two SATA hard drives and so on and so forth. It's strangled by dual 450mhz processors, which is enough to run the OS and surf the web and listen to mp3s and edit video and watch divx- perfectly useable until I load photoshop, at which point it's living in swap, the mouse is doing a doggy paddle, and it's completely useless.

Naturally, Photoshop hauls ass when the machine is running OS 9.

If the iBox is real, I'm buying one as soon as they're available. Yeah, it's the new 6100 (and hence further proof that Apple's stopped innovating and started polishing and releasing ideas that were ahead of their time when their time finally arrives), and that's all I need. A media box that plays my music, plays my movies, runs my SSH sessions, etc. I can cable in storage and burning capabilities with firewire, and finally put my existing machine to good use as the graphics system it wants to be. Yeah, a hypothetical January announcement means the thing will actually ship sometime between March and July. I don't care. It's the same fucking price as a processor upgrade, which still won't be enough to run photoshop at a comfortable speed in OS X. The upgrade and the iBox are both cheaper than an eMac, which can't do the job either, and the G5 that can is waaaay beyond my means.

iBox? iWant. I already have all the horsepower I need- but to use it properly, I need a modern lcIII to offload my bullshit day-to-day background tasks to. The alleged featureset is right, the alleged price point is right, the alleged form factor is a non-issue, the alleged VGA/headless bit is the home run out of the park. Everything I need with none of the bullshit I don't.

It's too good to be true, so I'm just going to assume that it's all lies, damned lies, and push off my processor upgrade purchase until the end of January.

Just in case.



Vacation (slug)

It's four thirty in tha morning, and my third day off this week. I spent the first two with Ramsey, which kicked ass. Hopefully I've gotten all of the Castlevania out of my system. I wound down the second with some convenient shopping (Dark Tower V, vodka, chinese, dropped three rolls of three year old film off very late for "next day" processing). Saw an El Camino in the Giant Eagle parking lot late Tuesday night, which I took as an omen.

Today, I woke up around two, read some of The Confusion, took a nap between three and five, read some more of The Confusion, surfed a bit, read some more of The Confusion, read and replied to email, did some communication through Deviant Art, popped the seals on cargo shipments from north central, read some more of The Confusion, did as much tidying of my room as I can possibly do without furniture (which isn't much), listened to George Carlin (thanks mom!), read a hell of a lot more of The Confusion, found a typo on page 423, took out the trash around four, slashdotted, noted that my room is approximately 30 degrees warmer than the rest of the house, blogged.

I left the house once, for less than a minute, and haven't spoken. At all. I haven't popped photoshop. I did organize pr0n while listening to Carlin, and move files around, and generally make an effort at tidying up my workstation. I did none of my usual day-to-day stuff, other than a shitload of reading, and some minor layout adjustments to the next few ATC pages. Started formulating post-Bodine work contingencies, diplomatic and otherwise.

Oh, and I haven't showered. >.<

In short, a day off in every sense of the word.


Introductory paragraph for a longwinded slashdot rant about software quality:

I use OS X more for reasons of backwards compatability and hardware lock-in than anything else. That, and Windows makes my ass bleed. I fell out of love with Apple when I saw where they were going with OS X and when they started catering to the Yuppy/GAP crowd... but my high school sweetheart getting implants and a cel phone isn't going to drive me into the arms of bubba, the 400lb prison stud who bathes annually (aka, Windows), or the dork with the emo glasses and the overbite who thinks being a dork is cool because the only media he takes in says it is (aka, Linux).



One of these things is not like the others.

How this came about is anybody's guess.





From the Daily Rotten:

Dec 25 272 : First official public celebration of Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, a pagan Roman holiday that was later co-opted by Christians to celebrate the birth of their favorite Jew. Turning the holiday into "Christmas" (in 336 AD) was part of a pattern of the church stealing various pagan festivals and feast days.



In OTHER news...

I'm going to bed waaaay early.

Might be just the thing, looking at the mess that is todays wad of blogasity.

Don't place faith in human beings, human beings aren't reliable things.

The worst part about being a perfectionist and a picky, elitist asshole is the knowledge that your best isn't even in the same league as the worst work of your idols. And that nothing else is worth your time.

Puts the desperation into the ennui of creative burnout- that condition whereby trying to be you AND earn a living become seventeen hour days, seven day weeks, haven't had a day off since my last full-spectrum mental breakdown, etceteras.

If you're creative and have ever been :|, you know this. Burnout is a weird bastard- you're going going going going it rocks going going awesome SHIT NOTHING FUCK pffffffft just staring at the monitor, the sketchbook, trying to summon something, anything, wondering if that part of the brain that is the gateway to Ideas and Visuals is gone and dead, if it's finally silenced, if that's it, that's all, end of line. Equally disturbing that freakouts aside, it's been quieting steadily since puberty.

The worst part is that the OMFG FUUUUCK!!! pressure to find something to do is even worse than trying to think of something to draw. Burnout ain't just creative- it explodes outwards, conquering the decision making process with a carpet of atomic bombardment. It's a conflict- thinking about doing has preempted the doing itself. In my experience, the only solution is to let the thinking about bit run itself ragged, blow itself out, exhaust itself, spunk its introspective mind-semen all over the walls, the floor, the drapes... then quickly and quietly get back to work while it's collapsed in a heap, half-awake, semen-encrusted hands twitching, spluttering, nothing left.

Conflicting priorities, inertia, some other thing I had thirty seconds ago but it fell out of my head like a hubcap through a sewage treatment pool. Etc.


My holiday gift: I'm at work, on the clock, doing stuff, and I'm The Only One Here. Everybody else is gone. I can think in peace, work in peace, chill out without being shackled to my workstation with headphones, and there's none of the water cooler bullshit that's been making my skin crawl and brain scream ever since I snuffed out the little white dick and started spending more time indoors.

A workday without any of the stress. If I had a wish list, that would be right at the top of it.

Of course, my failure to start the day properly rested puts a bit of a damper on it, but hey- I get another go at it on Sunday.

Dad got the Amazon stuff I sent him- he's pleased. I paid rent. Opened a gift that had been mailed to me, laughed my ass off and thanked the gifter profusely. Some people make it much easier to put up with the rest of the species. :-)

I think I let Ramsey down, which makes me wonder about things like socializing- it's fairly obvious it's not something I like doing (especially with New People, New Environments, etc.), and I know some of that has to do with operant conditioning stemming from the reasons I left the Beehive and some of the reasons I quite smoking- anything beyond that (like, you know, the thesis statement, the actual motivating factor, the EUREKA!, etc.) is going to require a shitload of masturbatory introspection to get to.

It isn't quite that time of year yet. I'll save that for February. :P

In the meantime, it's my hope I'll be able to hang out with Ramsey tomorrow, and get some decent rest tonight.



My Own Light

Applying the previous post to mercury (and everything else in the bloodstream), it's patently obvious I could benefit from listening to my own damned advice, as well as the cluebat Hugh weilds so effectively.

Bitching about the state of mercury is ultimately counterproductive as it does nothing to answer the real motivation to bitch- namely, the site isn't doing what it needs to be doing. Or if it's doing it, it's doing a PENNDOT job of it.

Bitching about ATC is ultimately an exercise in airing the pathological urge that every artist has on some level to be seen. Problem is I'm whining, not bellowing about how FUCKING AWESOME ATC IS. Conviction moves units. Artboi angstification runs counter to most of my "It's a work in progress and I'll advert its existance when it's ready" verbage. Go me.

Bitching about SGG, work annoyances, etceteras ultimately does nothing to advance my intellect, social capabilities, or ability to confront. I do it anyway. Keeping a running log of the mess is like painting a picture one color, one texture, one stroke width at a time- eventually a solid idea as to why I'm pissed begins to emerge, and I can act on it.

In the meantime, I'm whining for an audience, a situation that isn't doing me any favors. If I really wanted to whine for an audience, I'd use my livejournal account as more than a placeholder, and I'd be saying things like this more often and louder:

Still, it's annoying as FUCK when five o'clock rolls around and coworkers are not only showing signs of not leaving, but of digging in for the long haul- thus undermining and actively thwarting the entire purpose of my work schedule. Structured for a few hours of meetings and social workplace filler, and a few hours of actual application. I need a certain amount of mental space to do certain kinds of mental exercising, and people staying later than they need to and doing nothing but filling my peripheral vision with that time isn't helping my mental stability any. If my brain could handle seven and a half hours of being talked to, I'd be showing up earlier. Fuck the water cooler- work suits my social needs about as well as a hedgehog's pubic bone compares to a walrus's. Fear and loathing in the intellectual void, with a nine percent chance of any given conversation relating to the job description or the paycheck.

If I had an office, I'd have office hours, and the door would be locked and bolted the rest of the time, from the inside. But I don't have an office. I inhabit a space with three other people who don't have an office, which several other people find horribly convenient for meetings. It's like spending six hours a day getting my brain gangraped. It was fine for the first few years, but after I quit smoking it became an intensely claustrophobic annoyance that I can't manufacture enough excuses to get away from. Cabin Fever, after a fashion.

On the upside, after five I'm getting paid for the inconvenience. They aren't.



Day of Awesome

Did some online holiday shopping for the Male Parental Unit prior to passing out around three. Order shipped this morning, he should have it just in time to get the maxium use of it.

Get to work, there's a key to the office on my desk. Office manager and ~supervisor are totally down with my Shutdown proposal, boss is out. The Chris are out (NDO and Floater), so I have the work area completely to myself for the first time since Thanksgiving. Somebody loves me.

Install some new front page stuff for ATC on a trial basis.

Phoner from Ramsey. O.o

Blood sugar dropout around four. Almost bit Matt's head off. Caught myself cleanly- he's never done anything that's gotten under my skin, so the bile stood out like a sore thumb. Medicated with m&ms and a beef sammich. Solid.

Four forty five and everyone but Matt and Mindy have left. Phones start going off in alphabetical order- like someone is running the Exhibits phonebook. Mine goes off. Turns out they are- no, there's nobody in. It's just me. And Matt. And a case is leaking in Egypt Hall. No good. The other end of the phone manifests briefly to confirm I'm not talking out my ass and disappears.

Mindy's going in for an MRI this weekend. She's not looking forward to it- the claustrophobia of the hardware moreso than getting her skull imaged. Wonder how she handles the darkroom.

Shut the place off.

Poopenread. Do some pr0nCG. Play some Quake. Write a shell script that keeps iCal synced to my USB flash drive and generally chill the fuck out. Get ready to leave and notice I've apparently been punched in the right armpit. Curious. Make some ATC notes waiting for the bus. Do some reading. Alain and Cuthbert are up to their asses, Tarantino style. Tanya's on the bus, wonder what Randy's up to.

Pizza. Home, giant slug of NOG. Love that stuff. Sync iCal, sync Gravicon hardcopy. Listen to Godflesh, report in.

Close to buying a scanner, saving for a proc upgrade that's suddenly cheaper than another machine in the same class as the one I'm running. Still gotta do rent, should be able to hit all three.



Solios vs. SGG (Scary Goth Girl) in a nutshell:

Happened across this by way of this, which is just too appropriate. ROFFELHAUS, LOLLERSCATES, etc. Thank the gods that most of the >_< is firmly interred in 2002.




Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth.

Head straight, keyboard loud. Washes out the timeshift, slow down.

Loving Amazon for rounding out my Stephenson collection. Reading King- Book four of The Dark Tower- about as good as it gets, really- I'm tearing through it at record speed.

Holiday greetings to my fingers in the form of a Matias Tactile Pro keyboard. Caps lock is kind of a disappointment, and the | key required a thorough breaking in, but otherwise quite enjoyable. Mechanical and very, very loud.

Feeling the artistic burn- coming up with an idea and executing it in the same day is, I'm realizing, not one of my strong points. The ATC production model complements this nicely- by the time I get to an illustration, I know the exact context it's fitting in to, how it's going to be lit and textured... it's planned months or weeks or hours in advance.

Also, a sudden burst of the opposite sex. Spent some quality time with Ramsey on Monday night... then bumped into Jolie on the bus- Stacey got on at the next stop- no words, her face quickmix of recognition and shock, oddly amusing. Email from Kristen.

Ramsey rocks. The volume of things we have in common is staggering.

Struck out on graphics production today- no burning focus for it. My head's straight and the game of life is taking a break from vigorously fucking me in the ass, so it's all good.



My head feels like a frisbee.

Mercury feels distant, unuseable. Nothing to say and no way to say it- nothing but hate and angst as the same tired arguments rerun themselves in my head- the rage and anxiety of a metabolism that refuses to manage itself properly.

I'm in a high / shock right now. Feel like my brain is going to explode out the top of my head on a column of thin white smoke at a velocity beyond the capacity of the human eye. I can't speak without starting, stopping, stuttering- I have to deliberately stop and feed each word into my mouth a syllable at a time or nothing comes out at all. When I do this, I sound extremely angry- moslty because I am. It's irritating to actually have to think about the act of communication.

Irritating but necessary, as not thinking about it has caused me some serious problems this weekend- problems that are hinting at an awkward and depressing week. You could crack walnuts with the effort it's taking to think these sentences- the act of typing them could shatter glass. My hands want to pop claws and rip at throats, my mouth wants to scream until my jaw rips free of its moorings, my head wants to fucking explode.

What kept me stable a few days ago is driving me completely fucking insane today and may not even register tomorrow, when I'll likely be a braindead suckzombie who can't even remember his own name.

I'll be seeing a doctor in January. I'd rather sit at work and listen to my brain rot further than spend even five minutes in a waiting room filled with holiday schlock- that shit's what they call a "trigger" in the headshrinking trade, and a trigger is an object or an event or a seasonal decorating style that evokes ("triggers") a reaction in the subject- in this case, annoyance, hate, and the vague itching in my ass as my family-loving supervisor fucks me over for another day off.

So I've hit an emotional land mine, damaged my relationship with someone I care about, and I need my fucking head to be STRAIGHT so I can talk about it without making it worse and my head doesn't WANT TO BE STRAIGHT it wants to RAGE AND KILL BECAUSE IT'S FLYING OFF TO JOIN THE HAWKS and I'm sick of the fucking balancing act because it's not fucking working and "Biochemistry That Works Like A Normal Person's" isn't something I can add to my Amazon wish list.

I wish it was. I'd be able to think straight all of the time, instead of some of the time. Which means I'd be able to communicate with people without hurting them. I'd be able to get my point across without jamming it into your septum by way of your lower jaw and I'd probably be able to listen to what you have to say without taking it personally.

And life would be good and we'd all live happily ever after and that's all I want, really.

Biology continues to insist that's too much to ask for... and mom wonders why I don't want anything for christmas.




Ordered one of these yesterday at the sale price. It shipped this morning. This afternoon, my third powerbook power brick shit the bed, which puts me back on the spare (old Duo brick, which will run the pismo but won't charge it) until I can acquire a replacement. If I elect to purchase one.

Frankly, I don't use it much these days, and I rarely have cause to haul much more than a few hundred megs between work and home. I still have to run OS 9 on the pismo if I want to actually use it for anything, which limits my options with the machine quite a bit. It's spent most of this year serving as a data donkey- and a poor one at that, as the machine only has a 20g drive. A 120 gig 3.5 ATA and a firewire enclosure will cost less than a 40g or 60g 2.5", and will probably weigh less than pismo.

The SanDisk might actually scratch my transport itch, which will save me some weight- in which case I may well forego raising my 9600 and might just throw a bunch of gear into the Pismo, turning it into a standalone occasionally portable "spare" machine at home. I wouldn't mind getting a newer portable, but I really don't need one at this point in time : I need the real estate of multiple monitors, I need the vast storage of 3.5 disks. Portability is a distant second at this point in time- some tweaks and I can rebuild the machine as a dual-head demon box with a shitload of funky bits attached. Right now, I could use that more than the portability.


Turns out dad read Hole, and emailed some information and details of his own history with sinusitis.

The Hole matches up with the Sphenoid region.

The title of this post stems from waking up with a wanging nasty sinus headache this morning, after receiving said email last night. I can breathe, I'm not gargling snot, but it feels like my eyeballs are being crushed and my upper jaw is in a vise. Go figure.

This may not be the thing that's eating my brainmeats. It may only be a contributing factor if it's not something else entirely. The fact remains that shortly (like, less than a week) after I quit smoking I caught a cold, and was snorkling tiny gulps of oxygen through gallons of thick ropy mucous for weeks afterwards, and my head hasn't felt right since. There's also the fact that I have a history of becoming a brain-dead zombie whenever sinus pressure reaches fissile levels- an irritating state of affairs which lead to the abuse of ephedrine in 2002, and serves as a convenient explanation for recent mental fogginess.



(Head Like A)

<solios> I've come to the conclusion that blogs are online public-access notebooks.
<javaman> yeah thats what I am thinking too

The obvious downside of this is that a psychotic break or any other form of mental instability is spread around like a monkey painting on the walls with its own feces. Quite a bit like a monkey poop-painting, honestly. I used to take braindumps in a physical notebook, but not so much these days- I've cooled off of the Mead Five Star Brain Log for awhile. ATC is in the bag and all there is to think about after that is a short list of things I've repeated throughout other notebooks. Better to be reading A Scanner Darkly than repeating myself yet again.

Doesn't help from the health perspective, obviously. Two solid weeks of full work days and full ATC production with the usual Holiday Weekend Ordeal thrown in hasn't helped either. I'm used to the quarterly mental meltdown- I'm not used to my sanity hanging by a thread subject to the whims of diet, especially when the only substances that seem to slow down the decay have drastic consequences the morning after.

The obvious conclusion is that either something is missing from my diet (a definite possibility), or years of heavy ritualistic caffiene abuse have taken their toll in the form of permanent brain damage. I'm hoping for the former and deathly afraid of the latter. My head really has not been the same since I quit smoking, and I'd hate to think that four bucks a day and years off of the lifespan are what it's going to take to set things square.



A Mike Hinder Cameo (with commentary)

Every so often my dad will suggest that a bit of an email may be blogworthy. For the most part, I haven't taken his suggestions, for various reasons. Given the tone of my past couple of posts, I think my reasons for posting this one are self explanatory. I should note that I've always interpreted dad's use of multiple exclamation points as emphasis and weight- in this context, he reads like he speaks. Kind of like me and emoticons. o_o

When I got back home from {work} earlier this morning, I watched "Jay and Silent Bob Stike Back" on the Comedy Channel. In a nutshell, this movie is incredibly lame and hilarious as hell all at the same time!!!! Some of the scenes were so goddamn screw-ball that I told your mom..."......I'm just coming back from [having been in] 10 hours of THAT!!!! If any one movie ever could exemplify {work}, this would be the one!! Most likely the reason why I sat there and laughed my goddamn ass off the whole time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O_o I still need to see this one. My own job compares cleanly to Office Space, albeit with a pre-columbian Moose skeleton instead of a hypnotist. Some days it's more like working for the Bureau of Information Retrieval.

Jen and her boyfriend just showed up for Thanksgiving Dinner a few minutes ago. THIS is the first I heard about THAT!!!!!!! Your mom invited them, in other words!!!!!!! So it looks like I got screwed out of still another Thanksgiving Dinner. There are certain things I hold sacred that your mom evidently does not, or ever did for that matter!!! Last night me and another guy in Engine Assembly threw in with the two guys in Engine Test and one in the Stockroom for a couple of Domino's Pizzas. Looks like its a good thing I did, as I accurately forecasted (as it turned out) that this would be my Thanksgiving Dinner.

Anyone who's ever been curious about my >:| attitude towards holidays needs to reread that paragraph and picture me saying that or similar. I can guarantee that Dad's impromptu pizza party was a hell of a lot more fun than any Family Event could ever hope to be. The problem (per se) with Holidays is that you're either out of the loop, or putting up with a whole bunch of people you'd just as soon use for target dummies- paintball or ICBMs, you pick. The shittiest thing about holidays is that I don't have control over the guest list. If I did, there wouldn't be many genetic relations on it. I'd rather have breakfast with my sister, lunch with mom, and dinner and a drink with dad than all three at once- yelling always seems to result. :P

Pizza with coworkers beats turkey with assholes any day of the week. And twice on Thursday.

Oh, and this sort of thing happens times five in about a month- I agree with dad; at least from the standpoint that doing stuff that sucks does not constitute a holiday!

Last Sunday, prior to going to work in Engine Test, I attended the monthly Union meeting. I think I may have mentioned this before, but these meeting ALWAYS start off with a prayer, followed by a Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. In this day of "political correctness" and the fear of upsetting somebody's goddamn fragile sensibilities; I think this sez a lot...the Union still has backbone!!

I'll admit, I have more respect for the spinefull than the spineless, regardless of spiritual differences- I've never worked in a multi-tradition workplace. Most of us haven't. Wouldn't mind seeing how a Union would interact with Islamic members, occultists or Libertarians. :)

The song that never ends.

Hit work like a ton of bricks and Gave Thanks that I was able to work without interruptions from security, cleaning staff, the parking lot, the coworkers, the project lead, or any of the other things that make it impossible to accomplish anything during work hours. Cranked out an ATC page I'm quite pleased with and proceeded to get more work done in five hours than I have in the last two weeks. Things were Decent.

Minus the usual fuckishness of the temp storage server being offline, the target video display being complete shit, the sluggishness of OS X under load, etceteras. Eight hours of good flow followed by five of hair pulling, murder warranting horseshit, wherein everything fucked itself over nicely and, for once, none of it's my fault. All the breaking and fuckishness is something that can be cleanly and completely hung on my coworkers.

Which is why I'm working on a holiday at all, really. To get things done without getting fucked over. Without having to smile and nod while I'm screaming inside.

I got fucked over anyway.

All of this would have been a problem any other day of the week. Right now, it's just disheartening, disappointing and annoying.




To offset the previous post, I offer you this old chestnut.



Aphids Don't Bite People.

Early to bed, early to rise, and off to the Waterfront with Ramsey, by way of Oakland and Phantom of the Attic.

All told:

Battle Angel Alita : Last Order (volume 4)
Stephen King : The Gunslinger
Stephen King : The Drawing of the Three
P.K.D. : A Scanner Darkley
Battle Pants, 32x34
Battle Pants, 34x32

The King and the PKD are books I've been meaning to read. I'd wanted Stephenson's The Confusion, but Barnes and Nobel doesn't have it, which is no surprise. Yes, they can order it for me. But I can order it on Amazon with none of the holiday hassle. The King are large format with illustrations, which is apparently a Good Thing, as the standard format paperbacks are evidently lacking this detail.

I now have three pair of Battle Pants- all the dark grey-green camo. Fuck jeans- the pockets on Battle Pants are Just Right, and they don't try to castrate me first wear out of the wash.

Had serious blood sugar brownout, was all kinds of stupid for parts of the day, synapses firing randomly, stumbling verbally. Lunch at Boston Market. Never a dull moment.

Ramsey totally rocks.



Deja Vu downslope

Went music shopping.

Front 242 : Fuck Up Evil : After Off, one of my favorite 242 albums.
Front 242 : Official Version : It was cheap. I can follow the red team.
Front 242 : Tragedy (For You) : See previous.
White Zombie : Supersexy Swingin' Sounds : It was worth the used price for the first track, which I absolutely love. The rest of it's blah.
Die Warzau : Big Electric Metal Bass Face : It's not Engine, but it has Dying In Paradise on it- which is directly referenced in ATC Chapter Three Page 38.

Bumped into Theresa and Beth. Didn't hear them at first, couldn't focus on them at all- serious mental brownout, low blood sugar or something. Lots of familiar faces around tonight.



Blunt Force Trauma

Four ATC pages in five days, blueprints for the next four, scene extended by two pages (maybe). All that pencilling, inking, and Quake Breaking and I've done blown out my left hand.

RSI blizzows.

So tonight I'm going to have a couple of drinks, then go home and read.

I'd rather be working on the comic, but the asdfg side of the board, which is where pencils and inks come from, is mad stabby.




Atlivec-optimized firefox (link courtesy of javaman).

Like, HOLY SHIT. Visible difference. Tactile difference. From "slug on ketamine" to snappier than Safari. Not just UI, either- though UI is traditionally the area all Mozilla progeny SUCK ASS IN on the Mac (ESPECIALLY Thunderbird)- I'm talking the whole enchilada. My ancient crotchety nursing-home grade G4 2x450 actually feels kinna... snappy.

It's kind of confusing, since I'm used to it feeling like a 7100.

Now if only Firefox had non-gay bookmark management and non-gay download management. Then I could drop Safari and join the rest of the trendy non-gay trans-platform kids.



Stephen King's Wang

Pattern Recognition was worth the read. Like all Gibson, devoured quickly. Gone in an instant. Leaves a hint of a Burroughs aftertaste, exceptionally strong at points.

Met the author in the disturbingly vivid and awkward unconscious doldrums of a post-gin pre-dawn Sunday morning. He seemed about as irritated as I was surprised, the whole situation out of context. A hotel bar, somewhere in the jungle. A dream, strength of detail implying otherwise.

He took a duck to the face at two hundred and fifty knots.




Okay, I've bitched about politics enough. I'm starting to sound even more hysterical and reactionary than usual. :P It's wasting my time and not exactly educating anyone, since nobody listens to this kind of shit anyway. Hell, the election proved that better than any opinion poll ever could.

So. E-Fucking-nough of politics for a bit- unless I retool mercury (again) and add a political category to lob said bitching into.

I bought pants on Saturday. Dark green/gray camo BATTLE PANTS. Well, cargo pants, technically. They're stupidly comfortable and lack the lameass designer splat above the ass. Consider me sold. Jeans have a certain stigma about them now.

Gradual fashion shift in line with perceptual shift. This is good.

Chewed my way through the urban demolition bit in Pattern Recognition, which I started reading a few days ago. Mostly a bus and laundry thing at the moment. I've found the work to be quite enjoyable with that single exception- it sickens me to see that a couple of airplanes and an agenda have become as culturally pervasive as the dead guy on a stick, thrown about with levels of reverence and righteous indignation usually reserved for unpreventable, undeserved tragedies. It's a cheap shot, a below-the-belt emotional appeal, the instant sympathy ploy, and finding it referenced in PR (in some detail) was about as enjoyable as realizing that the dog shit on the rug while you were out for the evening.

Clean up, flush. Life goes on.

I'm just under the halfway point- time will tell if the scene in question was a personal statement from the author or critical to the story. Presently leaning towards the former and hoping that's the end of it. Looking forward to more on the subject the way I looked forward to bible camp- which is to say, not at all.




Okay, so. I haven't stopped FUCKING SNEEZING since I got back to Pittsburgh. Specifically, South Side. My house is one giant sneeze inducer and work is orders of magnitude worse.

In other news, viz got its first update in something like siz billion years, and holy shit does that section of the site need an extensive overhaul. Again. The current setup is not working. Pain in the butt to maintain, etc. Some of which is MT's fault.

So now I'm wearing a dust filter and Ron's commented that I've been Really Bitchy the past month or so- which is true, especially in the context of my interaction with him and other members of the department, specifically anyone attempting to handle me in a "managerial" role, seeing as how the failure rate in said respect is nothing short of interstellar.

Of course, the last month has also been the Apple Juice Experiment, which wasn't exactly a resounding success. I'm out of the Homicidal Rage phase and back to being merely disgruntled, which is a vastly happier state of affairs.

Right now, Pittsburgh is making me sneeze and morale in the building is so low that administration is staging an appreciation month, which further proves that The Powers That Be really have no understanding of how repeated firings, layoffs, forced retirements and budget cuts can affect ones willingness to strap on the shit-eating grin and dive into the cube farm five days a week.


Loot from Philly:

1. Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Borders, with Bryan and Adam and Sophie. First night in Philly. Sweet.

2. One (1) Pumpcon t-shirt. Dark blue. Swapped for finishing work on the new PWF logo, which is worth more to Adam and the Factory than the $ equivalent. Dark blue isn't necessarily my thing, but until Friday, neither was Gin.

3. binary @ omnidance 2004 live mix CD, slipped to me by binary. Don't remember exactly when this was beyond the fact that the exchange was triggered by my Killing Joke shirt. We may have been drunk.

4. Fiji brand water bottle. Love those square bottles. Wawa. Bryan needed something to drink.

5. Ministry : Side Trax, released in the second week of October. Picked it up at Sound and Vision- Relapse was closed. Bryan picked up some Flogging Molly and some The Faint, so it was a quality haul for both of us. Side Trax collects all 1,000 Homo DJs, Acid Horse, Pailhead and PTP releases on one disc- including PTP's elusive Show Me Your Spine. This is so far beyond cool that it borders on transawesome.


After getting all pissed off at my house and realizing I was starving, I left (via the back door) and stomped to Tom's, which was promptly closed for carpet cleaning until 6am. Stomped to the Beehive (saw Scott on the other side of the street) and bumped into Brooke- found out SGG had been at Dracula's Ball on Sunday. The fact that Bryan didn't feel like Going Out and my reluctance to wander around Philly alone saved me considerable mental stress. This confuses me, but Bryan rules nonetheless. Brooke found a house and her birthday's on Wednesday, which seems to have made her even more indomitably cheerful than usual. Nothing like some ^_^ to defuse a roiling >_<. Impeccable timing.

Hit Crossroads for a Payday. Never could find one in Philly for some reason. Bumped into Luke- he mentioned the bit about the carpet cleaning.

Bumped into Ray and his girlfriend at the CoGos, which I hit to pick up pizza I still need to eat. They offered me a ride home- I politely declined, as it's all of two and a half Pittsburgh blocks. Which are about half the size of Philly blocks.

Pittsburgh sucks most of the time, but every so often it Doesn't.

Also, the upside to waiting 40 minutes (or what felt like it) for a bus in downtown was that the bus was a 51A, which dropped me on 22nd and saved me the annoyance of walking home from 18th. So that bit was nice.



I hate it here.

Roll off the train and promptly spend 40 minutes waiting on a bus.

No cabs. Civilian vehicles very nearly non-existant. Pedestrian traffic the ghetto scum types you'd sooner be scraping off of your boots. Ghost town.

Get home to find that the locks on the front door are jammed / stripped and are conveniently useless. Likely due to my roommate's baiting taste in politics.

A terse note has been left in a convenient location, demanding to know what the deal with the locks is, if known.

No signs anyone's been home since I left, and the first floor smells like rot.

Fuck, this city smells like rot.

Torrents are fired up. It'll be tomorrow before anything useful congeals, at which point I'll need it. Completed torrents are one thing to look forward to- brings the total to two.

Number one with a bullet is The Day I Leave This Shithole For Good.

I still have around 250 pages of Cryptonomicon to read.



Executive Summary (1)

High of 74 today. Bright and sunny. 20 degrees warmer than Pittsburgh. Ate Veitnamese with Factory crew for lunch- had some funky beef soup thing. Adam gave me a crash course on how it's prepared and how to eat it. Fantastically good food. The coffee was some of the best I've ever had.

Split the day between Factory (lunch), bda/rjbs/Gloria (post-lunch), Roland (post-lunch coffee, walkentalk and hangout), and bda (pre-dinner, dinner, post-dinner walkentalk). The rock I made a promise to on the Birmingham is now at the bottom of the Delaware.

I've adapted to the Grid a bit. It's still confusing, but more in a scalar sense. Philly just goes, in all directions. Pittsburgh is balkanized- segregated into sections by hills and rivers. Modular, isolated, labeled and stereotyped. Philly flows in ways that Pittsburgh can not, and the Steel City feels like a claustrophobic wasteland by comparison.

Train leaves in fifteen hours.

The Factory/CDC guys kick ass. Bryan kicks ass. Pete kicks ass. Adam kicks ass. rjbs kicks ass. Hunter kicks ass. Roland kicks ass. So many great people, such a warm welcome. I've had a great time in Philly and I think I've worn out my boots.

Katamari Damacy is the most insane shit ever.

Pismo's hinges are well past end of life- this machine needs to be replaced with something a bit more up to date. Or at least in better condition. The fan is probably the loudest thing on the first floor of the House Of the Harble.

Had a long walkentalk with Bryan covering System and ATC from different angles. My hands really need work, and I need to get off of my ass and start chunking out pages. Be less of a techgeek and more of an artgeek. Etceteras. Bryan suggested taking a poke at Slave Labor for publication of ATC. Other Factory members mentioned similar, and Adam had some interesting approach suggestions- I have a feeling the hacker perception of the comics industry is the one I should be listening to here. If anything, it's more varied, more earnest, and less jaded. The response to the ATC hardcopy was a universal Get It Published.


Fucking intense, that kind of reception.

Actually put my sketchbook to use, too. Looks like shit, but it's crap paper and I'm still sketching in ink. It's something to do. It's nice to be drawing when I'm bored, rather than torrenting or looking at porn or playing quake or going {quietly|loudly} insane. Haven't sugarshocked at all- I've come close several times, but I haven't dropped off of the deep end into the Land Of The Assholes, thankfully. Stuttery with a lot of synaptic incapability, which is pretty frustrating- but the inability to articulate is preferable to vicious hatestuff.

I really don't want to go back to Pittsburgh, dammit.

I don't want to- especially seeing as how I get to dive straight into work, no less. Not something I'm looking forward to. Can't let the {town|place} grind me down to nothing. It wants to. It's been trying since 1997 and it has been trying especially hard over the course of the last six months. Harder than ever. You'd think it was personal. In a way, it might be- the city is a fickle, vicious lover and it's caught me looking and liking. Looking and liking a city that isn't rotting. A city that's a hell of a lot closer to anywhere.

That's a good thing- I have a direction to work in. Goals.

On that list, along with ATC, portfolio bulking, etc: Finishing up the PWF logo and doing some vizwork for the CDC. They know more or less what they want- I just hope I can give it to them. :D

I'd be hard pressed to find four consecutive days that were this cool at any point in the past.

As for the future, well... there's s3kr1t pl4ns regarding the expenditure of vacation time, and I'll need to seriously bust my ass on ATC to make everything happen On Schedule. I'd like to be out of excuses the next time I visit.



Bringing out the dead

Bryan's still waking up and Pete is listening to Finntroll through the wonders of playlist sharing. It's one forty in the afternoon and we're all in some state of post-hangover.

This is an Apple town- I've seen all of one x86 laptop. The portables are a stew of iBooks and Powerbooks- all newer models. Badass explosive building-shaking thunderstorm last night. Philly's expensive when it comes to food- not exactly thrilled with the burn rate on cash. Pete and Bryan are discussing pants- Bryan's trying to convince Pete to put on the real deal, as opposed to the sweatpants he's chilling in.

And Pete's making goat noises.

This town rules.




Is quite a lot larger than I remember. But then, I've never really seen it in the daylight. 30th street station is huge, as are the trains- like the bus, but with LEGROOM.

Met bda at Front and Catherine. Space-Age ATM at the Wawa- PNC, fancy that. South Street Diner for much needed food. Factory, where I'm typing this up. It's warm here, in many ways. Lots of walking on the docket.

This city has a pulse, which is more than I can say for Pittsburgh.

2316 : Borders had Pattern Recognition. The local Barnes and Nobel didn't. Four hundred miles for a book is something I can live with.

Second time around is much more comfortable than the first. In part because Bryan isn't hamstrung by DCI and I'm not coked out of my fucking mind. I am a bit mumbly and easily lost, things I chalk up to blood sugar issues. Not quite sure exactly how to deal with that at the moment- I can overcompensate, but these are good people and I don't want to get mindshit all over them. :P

Walking and talking with Bryan- discourse on the nature of "plot" and storytelling- I'm of the opinion that the plot is the outline you start with- if you're channelling the characters correctly, they'll take it from there and drive it someplace you'd never devise on your own time.

Coming to you from a dual G4 with a Sun monitor sitting on top of the carcass of an SGI Indy. OS X with eleven user accounts and I did the crop-job on Bryan's wallpaper. There's some yelling going on outside and the downtown 'scraper running lights are a pinkish purple.

We're a bit behind schedule, and I've walked more today than I have in the last three weeks.

The mens room is out the hall and around the corner. Bryan occupies it with a cel phone, and he is laughing.

Some times I feel I've got to GET AWAY

Train leaves at 0730 today and returns ~2200 of 01 November.

Barring complications, five days (give or take) in glorious Philadelphia.




Blood Sugar Rage Magick

Some links about hypoglycemia :

The Wikipedia writeup.
Alternate-Health.com writeup.
Alternative Medicine and Health DOT COM description

Of note is the bit about uncontrollable rage mentioned in the alternate-health and Wikipedia entries, and the example of Apples in the alt-health writeup. This is of particular value given the fact I've been supplementing my diet with apple juice of late- unlike ALL OTHER JUICE EVER it doesn't give me heartburn. Days I consume apple juice happen to coincide with days that I get pissed easily and enjoy taking it out on anything that moves- many of these cases being triggered by the personal habits of coworkers psycho-distorted to apocalyptic levels of premeditated intent. The sorts of activities which are under normal circumstances merely quirks or annoyances.

Same thing appllies at home. Kicked the everloving shit out of a chair in the living room, seemingly deliberately left in the doorway to the kitchen by my roommate. I say deliberately as it's been there Every Single Fucking Night for the past six months- sometimes trip-positioned, sometimes not. I kicked it so fucking hard he heard it upstairs and inquired from a safe distance- I bellowed something to the effect of being sick to fucking death of tripping over The God Damned Chair and, realizing I sounded Just Like My Father, stomped up the stairs to google up things like ("apple juice" rage hypoglycemia) and (rage hypoglycemia) and similar, as my brainmeats have a distinctly apple flavor to them, despite having laid off the stuff some six hours previous.

Diagnose-Me has a relevant list of symptoms, specifically the Symptoms - Mind subcategories, which apply in their entirety.

Obviously, I need to get this verified by somebody that pays three times my salary in malpractice insurance, since they're the sort of person who gets paid to tell people - authoritatively - what they really don't want to hear.

Obviously, Apple Juice and juice of any kind gets retired for the interim.


There are something to the order of six or more Barnes and Noble bookstores in the Metropolitan Pittsburgh area. There's one in Squirrel Hill, one in Downtown, one at the Waterfront, and they're installed in every mall in the area. Barnes and Nobel bookstores are like The Gap- you can't have a mall without one. There Are Rules.

Not a single one of these has a copy of Gibson's current book, Pattern Recognition.

I find this particularly amusing in light of the fact that they stock everything from Neuromancer through All Tomorrow's Parties but just seem to have Stopped right there.

They do, however, have not one but two variants of Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. They have the Standard Issue version, which is something to the order of three inches thick with itty bitty type, and they have the Bludgeon Edition, which is roughly the same surface area as a cinderblock halved across its thin side, though considerably lighter.

The Bludgeon Edition is around seven hundred pages and change- considerably less than the Standard Issue version by virtue of being printed on larger sheets of paper.

I bought the Bludgeon, on the grounds it will be handy for both passing the time on the way to Philly and defending myself while visiting, should the need arise.

It is of no surprise to me that the publication © on the inside flap of the Bludgeon is the same year as Parties- coincidentally the year that Pittsburgh peaked and began to tip precariously into the gradual tar-pit suck of decline it's been wallowing in while the rest of the country gets busy with this whole Twenty-First Century thing.


That was one heck of a weekend.

I'd unload details but people I actually know read this thing and I don't have nearly enough privacy as it is.

Still thinking about the aforethreatened mercury rework, as well as meditating on a lot of the points that spurred the purchase of dcr. I'm blank in both regards, which isn't necessarily a bad thing- I still need to think over information design and see if anything needs to be cut, added, mothballed, whatever. I'm really irritated with how moveable type handles for viz- it's one of those things that hasn't improved with 3.0, which doesn't surprise me at all. They're more concerned with improving their licensing code and the trackback circlejerk than they are, say.... improving other features. But if it handled images well, it wouldn't really be moveable type, now would it? :P

I'm spread out across quite a few sites right now, and I have some serious decisionmaking I need to do with regards to focus- the sort of masturbatory introspection one typically saves for New Years Resolutions. You know, the sorts of things you'd like to be doing or would like to quit doing- but inertia is sucking on your ass so fucking hard that imagining life outside of the prison of your bad habits scares the piss out of you, immobilizing you with fear and widening the gap between the period when life was interesting and the present.

Think of it is catharsis through allegory, if you will.



Self Bias Resistor

Originally blogged by bda back in 2002. I'm the other half of the conversation and it's suddenly Relevant, so I'm ripping it and injecting it in here.

(16:01:28) harblefu: You need to read Choke by Palahniuk.
(16:01:34) harblefu: There's this scene where the Mommy and the narrator are at the zoo.
(16:01:40) IkonLust: ?
(16:01:43) harblefu: And the monkeys are all masturbating; that's all they do is jerk off.
(16:01:56) harblefu: And the Mommy says "You take away its battle to survive, and this is what you get."
(16:02:02) harblefu: That's how I feel about college students.
(16:02:30) IkonLust: You know.... you're right.
(16:02:33) harblefu: haha.
(16:02:34) harblefu: No.
(16:02:34) IkonLust: I have seen it.
(16:02:36) harblefu: Palahniuk is right.

I've been the monkey lately. Fucking jacked myself raw because there ain't fuckelse to do. A lot of people I know are being the monkey. Jacking their brains raw because there ain't fuckelse to do. Pittsburgh is one big fucking bukake session and sloth is a virtue. Routine and Habit are the new Adventure. The urge to explore and question and actually Fucking Do Something is UnAmerican.

Fortunately, I'm going to the mall tomorrow. And to another district of the city on Sunday- one I've never been to. And I'm leaving this sucking pit of shit for five days starting Thursday. If I had it my way, I wouldn't be coming back. There's a full moon and daylight savings and My First Convention and an ELECTION all within a WEEK and I may even take the TRAIN. Yeah. I'm going to The Mall to look for a book to read on the commute and a cheap cel without a two-year plan and maybe an MP3-capable discman.

And Sunday I'm going to tell some somewhat important people to stick their head in a pig, as my friend Sean will be Gone when I get back from Philly and that's my last chance to see him. Sean leaves and the number of people I met in skool that are still in Pittsburgh will be single digit. My options for sunday are to wallow in sloth and get sucked off by Routine, or Do Something.

Sean's one of the few friends I have in this town. Saying it's a decision is like saying the next president won't be a christian. He's a blast to hang out with. The only person I've ever been completely comfortable barhopping with, with the possible exception of my friend Randy. Difference is the Sean-related drinking stories are a lot funnier.

The next ten days are going to totally rule. I won't even have time to masturbate.

The best thing about my life is that it occasionally wakes the fuck up out of the wet dream of sloth. And I clean the slothspunk off, change my underwear and get something done with my life. When that happens, I feel like there's a point to it, like I'm doing something that somehow Matters to somebody, and I'm not even half as bitchy and contentous as I have been the last few months. Quitting smoking was a solid step in the right direction, but I've faltered on the follow through and now it's causing more problems than it solved- a situation that's about to get a good solid kick in the ass.

'cuz the nine to five or the noon to seven or the whatever it is... unless you love it enough to wear the T-shirt, it ain't life. It's the Living Death.

They call it Adulthood in these parts.



Use the source, Luke

As an artist, ./configure make make install shouldn't be something you're exposed to. Ever.

But hey, I do video for a living, and I've wound up with a large number of multi-gig files floating around. We're talking three gig DVD images, sixteen gig source video files, shit like that.

NFS craps on > 2g transfers, and Netatalk 1.6.x crapped on > 2g transfers and filenames longer than ~33 characters. And the terabyte RAID that we have at work specifically for solving storage and organization problems isn't a mac.

I just compiled bdb and netatalk 2.0 so I could clean off my workstation. >_< I'D RATHER BE SAILING.

On the upside, after completely gutting netatalk 1.6.x, RTFM and dumping in bdb first, everything just kind of Works, which is Nice. About as Nice as having not spent half of my week screwing around with debian would have been. :P




Two of the six machines in The Pit are running OS 9 at the moment. One fuck of an improvement on my powerbook- for some reason the display is greenish under OS X. 9 is spacious and zippy by comparison, though it's missing quite a few things I've gotten used to, namely Quicksilver. But it runs photoshop in 9 quite a bit faster than it does through Classic in X, and that's kind of the point. Photoshop is, after all, the whole reason I have a Mac, and one of the things I hate about OS X- the dock forces 7 and CS to behave very much like their Windows siblings, and lemme tell ya- that just ain't right. That's the one app I can't function in without window shading.

The other box is the Media100, and it's not as keen about the whole thing as my powerbook is, for various reasons. The big one is that it's running the Powerbook install of the OS, so it's missing video drivers, since the Media100 is using an Nvidia board. Aside from that, everything's cool.

The performance differences for graphics purposes and the fact that neither of my ADB wacom tablets are supported under OS X are convincing arguments in favor of moving the home system into some sort of dual boot configuration- which then leads to the WHAT ABOUT MY MUSIC!!!!, which leads itself to "I'll just keep an eye out for a cheap G4 for graphics" which leads itself to "Fuck. I need money. :P" which then leads itself to "Fuck. G5s are expensive."

Stupid technolust.

Best thing is that in addition to gutwrenchingly smooth 2d performance, I've already had to three-finger salute my powerbook once, to clear out some stupid AFP issue. So many little things I do not miss about 9.



Captain Conflict

At some point in the past six weeks- or at the very least, right around equinox (when the z buffer on my ears failed and I spent two hours at a party completely unable to filter or sort conversations happening right in front of me from conversations on the other side of the house), I've been Avoidant. Sort of. That's my word for it, anyway- the actual definition of an Avoidant personality seems to tie the desire to avoid contact/things/whatever with the whole "fear of rejection" thing and that's really not the case. Quite the opposite, really. Rejection means you've at least been noticed, and I've been trying very, very hard to Not Be.

I've been trying to keep everything- including myself- at arms length. Haven't checked email since Sunday, haven't actually responded to any of it in weeks, and I have some inbox items dating back to 2003. Some part of my brain just refuses to look at it or even see that part of the screen when I'm on it. I've been doing the same thing with DA comments, IRC /msgs and AIM, whenever that's on- though much less with IRC. Nevermind people. Outside of coworkers, I haven't had a multisyllibic exchange with one of those since Sunday. It's like my twitching, screaming, cold-sweat aversion to the sight of sexual interface hardware has expanded to cover The Entire Fucking Universe.

The Motherfucking Phone is being ignored as well, though that's been par for the course forever- the marked tendency of anything with a pulse to use either its mouthbits, assbits, or some piece of technology to irritate the everloving shit out of me at the EXACT moment I slip into a state of Concentration is why I'll unplug the phone instead of answering it. This tendency to induce maximum annoyance at the worst time is also one of the main reasons I've been single for well over a year, and haven't even bothered to look around- bitching about sex and companionship over the course of the last year has been more raging about the fact it's a genetic requirement than about the lack thereof, which doesn't bother my cognition in the least. Minus that whole lungs-and-air thing.

In related news, some big piece of Bad has been dancing around the edges of my conscious mind, and has proven to be highly resistant to repression or confrontation. In part because it's one of those issues that by its nature requires a whole stupid amount of other shit to be changed or dealt with, and I'm sorry but FUCK THAT NOISE my life more or less WORKS as it is right now and I really do NOT need some SHIT IN MY HEAD demanding that I make it more complicated when I should be dealing with other priorities.

I'd be keen on wiping that impulse out of my head and grinding it into a stain on the floor save for the fact that I'm not being victimized by some bad memory so much as shat all over by the asshole of my artistic impulses.

End result is I'm quite impressively non-functional in many respects, most of them being of the internal dialogue and production variety. It's great. I'm so fucking twitchy about mister mystery thought that I can't even write it down on paper- the half of my head I'm betting on winning pulls the other half back and kicks it around. Thank the gods I have my discman, or the bus ride would be extra annoying.

Usually whenever I'm Extra Mental (which happens about once every three to six months and usually for much briefer periods of time), I'll fixate on a short magazine of songs that {in}directly touch on how I feel about whatever the fuck crawled up my ass and died during a given bout of instability.

Usually these have something to do with mental stability or the lack thereof- past focal points have been Contagious by Birmingham 6, Just One Fix by Ministry, Airport Bar by Cubanate, Panzer Ruin by Current 93, most of KMDFM's XTORT, and most recently Anything (Viva!) by Foetus. Currently I'm playing the hell out of Hamstrung on the Highway by Pig, specifically for the chorus: "I'll get a grip, I'll get a gun.".

If only problems were that easy to solve.



The Timely Experience of Doom 3

This started off as a short list of the weapons in the game, with a little paragraph about each one detailing my thoughts and feelings about them. It quickly spiraled out of control and has since moved on to become a halfassed game review and a semi-rant about the genre. Rather large for a half ass, but simply put: it was do this or think about shit I've been trying to repress for weeks. You do the math.

In the course of digging up links to corroborate various tangents, I found this review of Painkiller, which is quite nice. I also found a spiffy article on Gamespot that details how Daikatana was fucked from the get-go, which sort of underscores the complete reverse of everything iD's accomplished with Doom 3. Yes, it was an uphill battle, none of the original level designers are still there (I've played Doom and firmly believe that the fact none of the original "creators" are still there is a good thing), Paul Steed got fired, etceteras, etceteras. Ion Storm went through similar and shat out a stinking turd that has proven to be the butt of endless jokes, whereas iD fought through internal stresses, got the job Done Right, and has released something that is an undisputable masterpiece of the horror/suspense genre.

If you like Alien, Aliens, Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later or even Resident Evil, well, this is right up your alley.

If your machine can handle it.

An Evening in Delta Labs

There's a bus in about twenty minutes.

And it'll take me home, and I'll sleep.

I just beat Doom3 in what amounts to one sitting- having started around five in the afternoon and hauled ass for twelve hours straight. I'm a bit irked that you lose weapons in hell and lose them when you get back, which sort of defeats the purpose of putting together the BFG puzzle, imo. The monitor next to me randomly coming out of sleep and the one AM security sweep were nice touches, and I really hate the floating head things. And the goddamned fireball-tossing things. Hatem. That aside, Doom3 gets a 10 for graphics, an 11 for sound (with the sole exception being the CPU level, which is great excepting a halfassed tension-techno corny thing at a couple of points, smudging an otherwise flawless presentation), and a nice solid 9 for story, 10 if you're one of those people who considers the presentation a part of the narrative. The fact iD actually has a plot is fucking impressive- nevermind the fact that it's a nice solid one that'll please anyone who's seen Aliens and likes zombie movies.

Fuck, I just ran a twelve hour marathon on the thing. At work, since there isn't a Mac version yet. It's Good, and I'm going to be an empty shell for the rest of the week due to the amount of sleep I'm about to not get.

I've committed stupidity of this magnitude for work and gotten paid for it, and for school and gotten grades for it.

Single minded focus isn't really a benefit in a lot of situations, I've noticed. Especially times where one might need to focus on other things, like bills or email.

On the upside, Doom 3 has allowed me to COMPLETELY IGNORE all kinds of psychosexual bugfuckery what's been hammering at my skull for the past three weeks..... which is why I warmed up for this last night by running through the last 3/4 of Return to Castle Wolfenstein.



Cyberpunk whorehouse.

(if you're wondering what subject and body have to do with each other, well... uh.... immerse yourself in mercury. Or don't.)

Music : Naked City : I Want To Live

I'm in close proximinty to the whole 25k thing. It's taken me about five or six times longer to get there than the mainstream animepr0n 4r+1sts, but hey. Niche market. Be nice if somebody who ain't me catches it.

I'll be honest- I'd be happy if somebody caught it (or close), but rather or not there's a prize in the crackerjacks depends on who opens the box. Yay for the perils of being a conflicted fetish artist.

It's getting cold. As usual, the heat leaves and takes my awesome ability to not think about things like sex and sexuality with it, leaving chill and the notquiteheteroIHATEPEOPLE soup. Hopefully it's out of my system and I'm back to being my usual repressed, mysanthropic angsty self. Monthly mental episodes are good for the notebooks, dammit. Until then, soup.

Soup is warm. Soup is good food.





Fuck, lots of people here. o_o . Hips hurt. Quite a bit- irritating, not actually PAIN pain. Service is slizzow, Mr. Discman in the event of the jukebox. Staff's on the younger side tonight. Fortunately: no sign of the disapproving troll, etc. So, :). Easy to be negative. Want to go home, curl up, listen to Clock DVA and read, or watch a movie. Maybe stop @ Tiki on the way home- dunno.

They've got the heat on- first time this season. Dark around eight, chilly... can't really "see" past November- feels like it's going to be a rough winter, possibly- this based on the timing of chapter break for ATC, which will come in Nov. or Dec.

Tom's has a lot of neon.

So. Where? I don't plan on renewing the leaase, which leaves winter/spring to invoke and pull down the necessecary variables. Filtering Philly (fresh), or relocating w/in Pittsburgh?

Nicotine stained vent shafts.

Thick atmosphere of heat. Rearrange?

Victiminzed by negative inertia- that being the one thing I've yet to directly address. :P . The juggernaut rocks- makes me wonder if there's anything for personal use, need to check Zeus's library again. // Gay? Lesbian w/ a penis? Other? No answers in this city. Not anymore. Just a sea of genetic waste, sucking.

Ready for bed, power nap.

Hand hurt again, likely developing some kind of arthritis or RSI- would probably have a better idea of it if I moused with my left: as it stands // food, Jason Bannister in brief // strain is evenly balanced, both hands Go- perpetual pre-cramp, can't stretch it clean. Reminds me of beer hangovers.

Food. //

Consumed- crossroads, maybe tiki. Dunno. Home, music, Clock DVA. Sexualisty issues for some reason (log it to liquid?)


Swung by Tiki- too many people, too much asshat energy, some suburban darkhaired shescum blithering at a cel phone as her meshback Urban Outfitter boyfriend bellowed digits across the sidewalk at a volume sufficient to slice through headphones, Godflesh. Walked to the vacant lot- grass slowly destroying asphalt, unused- listened to Godflesh and stared at the USX.

Moved to the parking lot at the bottom end of 22nd, sat in the middle of it, listened to Pure II and stared at the Pittsburgh skyline. Depression- the city feels dead to me. It's felt dead for awhile- the stench of the corpse has finally become noticeable. Smelling the death of the social life is more like it- but without People Of Interest, this town has nothing to offer, and no reason to stay, short of inertia.




Okay, so I'm drunk and got a ride home from the night of the living HOLY SHIT GIRLS I'M ATTRACTED TO THAT'S A FUCKING FIRST.

And it's Oct 1.

And the last time I looked at the date, which was WHEN I LEFT WORK it was the 29th. It ain't no leap year and it ain't february.

So, segfault on the clock, or.............. dude, what the FUCK.

22:43 < solios> SINCE WHEN IS IT OCT !?@
22:44 < solios> I swear I checked clocks and they said 29!
22:44 <@ejp> heh
22:44 <@ejp> that way like, 2 days ago dude,.
22:45 < Drusilla> the clocks lied.
22:45 < Drusilla> alternatively: that was two days ago
22:46 < mdxi> 1.75h ago
22:46 < mdxi> ALIENS
22:49 < solios> FUCKING ALIENS

I'm aging at warp speed here. >:|

Hey, on the upside, I TALKED TO GIRLS AND I got some work done on ATC. On the downside, I'mma have the hangover from HELL thanks to hydration issues. And I'm still slurping snot. I love my genes. :P

MONTH OF THE PUMPCON and hopefully the BACK ON THE ATC. And stuff.




Rent is paid. Laundry is done. I forgot to buy food.

Memory's kind of shitty lately.

On deck this week: Some work on Dead City Radio, backup scripting on Gridlock, and another page or two of ATC.

Fortunately, a lot of what I'm Doing looks a lot like various day job activities. This is a fine thing, as I'm in one of those lengthy periods where I feel like a member of a PennDOT road crew. Which is to say, ornamental. In this case, however, it's a function of manegerial singlemindedness, as opposed to union belligerence. All hopped up on a project I don't come in on for another six weeks and I'm spending a good ninety minutes a day repeating this fact, and other facts, aud infinitum without progress. I understand why Dilbert is so damned popular and I'd love nothing more than to make a living off of one of my two passions.





I've got my Dayquil, NyQuil, Pizza, Hot Wings & Cheesey Blue, and enough Sunny D to kill a moose. Emphasis on the moosekilling. AND I have the world's shittiest rip (56kbps, 22.05khz) of Messiah's 21rst Century Jesus, the world's {awesomest|cheesiest} rave music. Fuck your visors, this shit is hardcore. Had the album years ago and lost it somewhere along the way. Still trying to find a hardcopy.

Splitting a sick day straight across, which means I actually get a decent night's rest for a change, and get to do some work on bills, etceteras. Assuming I'm reasonably coherent on Friday. Whoo. In the meantime, I feel like I have a few quarts of radioactive sludge about to fall out of my nose. About. Perpetually about. It hasn't, though. Maybe it will.

Left work at 1530. So. Much. TRAFFIC. Total gridlock on the south side. Long, long wait on Birmingham thanks to a badly placed traffic light on 22nd. Sun at that horrendous angle where you can't see anything, regardless of how polarized your lenses are. Whiteout. Too many people spending too much time doing absolutely nothing. Waiting. Headphones and Cel phones. A new appreciation for my work schedule.... I hit it right, it's a clean shot in and I almost never actually leave before dark.

Human congestion. Arteries, clogging.





I'm not sure which is more irritating- being forced awake at five fifteen in the morning by the warning signs of a liquid bowel movement Death Star blast ; waking up at ten thirty, fifty four degrees outside (and inside) and totally dehydrated; or the fact that it's September and I'm wearing PANTS.



Dreams (Contradicting Reality)

Contrary to what my head's been telling me while I'm out of it:

1. Xeno has both arms, instead of just his right. (last week)
2. My father doesn't have tattoos. Or if he does, I've never seen them. (back, left shoulder, last night)
3. I've never had sex with my aunt Becky (last night and the night before, what the fuck.). At least, it seemed like it was her. Grandparents house, same basic build and complexion and everything else, though closer to my age. Go figure.
4. My cousin Amanda was, in fact, not at goth night last night. For some reason, my head reran a lengthy chunk of the evening and stuck her in it, cameo style. Red dress you could count her ribs through. Given her penchant for starving herself, I'm sure she'd agree with the visual- my thigh muscles weight more than she does and there's absolutely no reason to speak of for her to have cropped up in such a fashion.

I blame getting a full night's rest instead of my usual six hours of sleep for this.




Spent last night getting the gravicon loaded and .htaccess info emailed to the Very Short List of people who've been given access to the site while it's still in development. Most of the bugs seem to have been worked out, and the database and actual data has been moved from a non-routable IP range to an actual address.

No, you can't see. It isn't finished.

Went out to the Upstage and left after about twenty minutes. The crowd and the music were so horribly off that I felt like I'd stepped into outtakes of Lost Highway. Shitty outtakes. It was horrible. Who the FUCK wears FLANNEL to an electroclash night? WHITE TRASH THAT'S WHO.

So I went to Dee's and proceeded to get stupidly drunk while talking with Pete Moon about the military and later with Pete Moon and Randy Chambers about the military. Then Randy and I wandered around until four after walking Pete home. There's some neat locations on the south side if you've been around long enough to get to know them- abandoned lots and empty parking decks and rotting rail lines. All kinds of decay. At least the air smells good down near the river.

I've spent today basically sitting here surfing, listening to Def Leppard, and moving files around in between various webservers in my bedroom and New Jersey. But mostly, Def Leppard.

I found a clean pair of underwear, which means I don't have to do laundry today. It's sixty two with a projected low of forty five. I may need to wear pants when I leave the house. :| Which I'll be doing for food and happy fun Goth Night here in a bit.

Monday I'll be winding down my pillow-boobs and bubblegum lips kick and getting my ass back on ATC. Unless the workspace refuses to allow it, like it's been doing over the past month or so.

In the meantime, cleaning.




Still waiting for a video I'm supposed to be subtitling to show up. Listening to Godflesh : Messiah : Sungod. Excellent tonal structure. Crunchy bass thing with higher pitched oscilllating something and illegible vocals with a heaping pile of CRUNCH on top.

Not the Fear Factory, Grip Inc, Killgore, BASS AND {LEAD|RYTHM} GUITAR AND DRUMS kind of crunch, either. This is much more the tank-treads-on-pavement, cement mixer, wrecking-ball-dropped-on-a-cow kind of crunch. Electronic without so much as a hint of the two-turntables-and-a-micraphone incompetence that has shat itself all over digitally processed music.

I like Godflesh. They don't have the two things that make a lot of music irritating- Attempted {Deep|Relevant} Vocals and treble. I used to be really into trance, but apparently there's some kind of law that every trance track ever has to have a really long, really irritating treble break just at the point where it should be getting interesting. Treble makes it hard to concentrate. A bunch of wankers in a band thinking they've got something to say is even more irritating, and Godflesh has none of this. This lack of nerve-grating noise and absense of pretention is practically a fucking first in my listening experience.

Music isn't something I can talk about easily- mainly because I really don't like masturbating all over some particular sound like it's gods gift to my pleasure center. Every music reviewer in the universe does that. It's a Rule, it's fucking pathetic, and it gets old. Word of mouth is the only thing that's ever sold me on music. I know how my friends communicate, and it's easy to tell when they're into something and what precipitates the liking.

I like Godflesh. They're hard, they're {slow|sluggish|powerful|dark|grindy|HARD}, and I appreciate that. They don't do annoying things with hooks, they don't dub in female vocals because it's trendy, they don't shit treble all over the place, and most importantly, they don't fuck around. It's a hard, slow, deliberate drive, and I can identify with that. It's easy to get work done with Godflesh blasting in my ears.

This sort of industrial death grind is an aquired taste, much like everything I've been listening to for the last seven years. Hell, I've Slavestate and Selfless for around four years and it's just recently that I can stand to listen to more than Perfect Skin (Dub) or Slavestate (Total State Mix). Not the kind of band you can skip around or scrub through. In short, everything I like about techno, everything I like about death metal, and nothing about either genre that irritates me.

Around the time I quit smoking, Slavestate (Total State Mix) became something of an anthem. This was mentioned to Peter, and Peter, it turns out, likes Godflesh. And, it turns out, I like the rest of the Godflesh discography. Quite a bit.

After a few days of it, everything else feels harsh on the ears.




Apparently, Xeno's from Io. Or his sphincter trained there.

In other news, I've finally reached the point in my life where Godflesh is Good. Also, appropriate.

Oh, and I'm going drinking. On a Tuesday. Because my workflow is totally fucked without nicotine.




Bryan hits the big two-five. And he turned comments off, or I'd give him an earfull.

Of course, I've just spent the last ten days not working on ATC. So. :P

Woke up at ten on the nose- minutes before the alarm- on something like four and a half hours of sleep. During which my neck exploded some more. Caffeine-colored strychnine hangover thing. Synaptic discharge, can't focus for shit and I'm actually writing typos, not just typing them. Immediate short term memory craps at somewhere around thirty seconds, a minute if I'm trying.


Fortunately, broadband means I can now listen to Godflesh at work. Huzzah. Means I can scrub out the snip of some pop song I can't identify. Sounds like Sponge, only shittier.


The research found that the rising rate of 15-year-olds with behavioural problems correlated to their increased chances of experiencing a range of poor outcomes as adults, such as homelessness, being sacked, dependency on benefits and poor mental and physical health.

From a Guardian article reporting the results of a three-generation study of UK youth. Which, in my opinion, can be extended to US youth... only we have eminem and Gangster Rap. Which makes things a lot worse for us, you ask me.

Thing is, it's kind of a Given. I'm happy there's some science to back it up, but it's still a Given. What the fuck reason is there to be happy when you know you spend the first eighteen years of your life in public prison, the next two to ten years paying to spend your life in public prison (albeit a more enjoyable one), and then the rest of your life in a fucking cube farm putting up with bullshit.... knowing full fucking well there is NOT going to be a support system in place by the time you're old enough to need one because your parents (the Baby Boomers) will have already sucked what's left of it stone dry?

Yeah. The youth of the civilized world isn't looking forward to a life of cube farms and food service. Not everybody gets the cool jobs. We know this, subconsciously. Just about nobody gets to do what they want to do with their lives and we're realizing this earlier and earlier.

And that's fine by me.

The more people that catch on to the fact that life isn't going to be what they're looking forward to, the more of them aren't going to take it lying down.

And that's fine by me.



Tokyo Halogen

This is rumor control. Here are the facts.

Eric made NAT work. Eric is God.

I'll be spending this weekend catching up on my taste. My taste has changed quite a bit since last I had the opportunity to indulge it.

Specifically: Noise, Punk, karma.

Tara gave me a ride home from the bar. The bar played music I haven't heard since 1997 and the bar played Bauhaus. I walked past three stores that were open the last time I looked to the left to get to the bar. I waited twenty minutes amidst a sea of Stupid to catch the bus.

I'm drunk, and a nicotine-free system has had a very strange effect on my alcohol tolerance. Namely, I've more of it.

That is all.




00:51 < solios> rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.
00:51 < solios> fucking HORMONES.
00:51 <@bda> Heh.
00:52 * solios applies chainsaw to testicles, spends rest of life clearheaded.
00:52 < solios> I hate this shit. Once every 4-7 weeks, I can't fucking THINK and I get all bitchy and WOMEN SUCK THEY ARE EVIL HULK SMASH and then I go crazy, masturbate until I'm raw, sleep too much for three days, forget about it and get back to business. Repeat.
00:53 < solios> Stupid biology.
00:53 <@bda> uhm.
00:53 <@bda> TMI.
00:53 <@bda> kthx.
00:53 < solios> yeah, well.
00:53 < solios> now you know.
00:53 < solios> and knowing is half the battle.
00:53 < solios> :)
00:53 < solios> AND I SLEPT IN YOUR CLOSET.
00:53 < solios> YO JOE!
00:53 < solios> :D
00:53 <@bda> I'm okay with losing that half of the battle.
00:53 <@bda> If you jerked it in that closet, I'm going to kill you.
00:53 < solios> heh.
00:54 < solios> dude, I don't jerk it in other people's homes. That's just Wrong.
00:54 <@bda> Yes.
00:54 < solios> public restrooms are fair game, however.
00:54 <@bda> o_O
00:55 < solios> also, the greyhound bathroom.
00:55 < solios> and all eleven men's rooms in the old Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
00:55 < solios> </tmi>
00:56 <@bda> ...
00:56 < solios> SIXTY-SEVEN!



revenge of the ultraslack

I blame the weather. It's cold, it's wet, it's gray, it's shitting hurricane leftovers all over the place and if I wanted Blade Runner I'd be working downtown, where the architecture fits. And dominates.

Loop gets closed tomorrow. Hardware shipped yesterday. Fucking UPS (pronounced "fuck-UPs"), unfortunately. So if I'm lucky, I'll get pipe by Friday evening. If I'm not, I get to wait until Monday or Tuesday.

Set up the cron tab on the new workplace webserver. Banged around with Mac On Linux, got both 9 and X booting. Hardware virtualization is fast, but odd- both operating systems think they're on a generic 400mhz g3 with a mouse attached and no network. Still need sound, still need TCP/IP. Photoshop on 9 on Linux is a fuckload faster than Photoshop on Classic on OS X. Kind of depressing, really. Makes me wonder how useable my home workstation would be. I'd be able to use my Wacom tablet and AEII keyboard if I ditched OS X. But I'd lose my iTunes library and a hell of a lot of video playback capabilities.

Dual booting is an option.

Frigging rain. Pants and sweater weather for a change and I'm shorts and a t-shirt. Shiver.



Joyful Slaughter (of the Capitalist Swine)

I still think it's funny that my parents gave me shit for not applying myself in school. Aside from a heaping dose of the Punk Rock gene from my dad's side of the gene pool, all I can say is that I had an inherent grasp of what Gatto's saying.

From the link:

School is like starting life with a 12-year jail sentence in which bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned.

I am not a number, thank you. Don't expect me to enjoy being forced into behaving like one for twelve years. I'm quite fortunate in that my dad gave me Heinlein, my mom got me into 4-h and cub scouts, and I had Mrs. Ritter subverting me with Kurt Vonnegut in second grade.

These days, I'd probably be thrown into therapy, branded a Subversive, shot full of thorazine and otherwise chemically lobotomized for (rightfully) thinking the Herd Mentality assembly line was Not For Me.

Personally, I'm happy that there are people in the system who know just how fucked the system really is.

Breakfast with a side of Bob Dobbs

Showered and left the house around nine thirty. PEE EM. For coffee. Also to get my hair out of my face- my recent weed-whacking has given me a whackass Savage Henry forelock first thing in the morning. "First Thing" being a span of something like ten hours today.

Today. I. Did. NOTHING.

Well, basically. I sort of wanted to buy food and do laundry, but that didn't happen. Instead, I made a halfassed start on cleaning my room and watched a whole hell of a lot of video. In the process of cleaning, I found a ten-pack of DVD-Rs and have been slowly boiling off some disk. It needs to be done. I've also milk crated most of my comics, marked some hardware for disposal, and am (generally speaking) more or less about as far as I can get into a reorganization without additional storage media (shelving, etc) or some pretty fucking serious destruction.

Myself, I'm leaning towards the destruction. Eject everything I'm not using, excluding the machines that have been pressed into furniture. :P We're talking gear so damned old that I can't even give it to people who need computers.

I've been looking around and thinking do I really need this shit? and so far the answer's been "no, but..." for a lot of things, which is kind of annoying.

I remember once a conversation with my roommate of the time, in reference to our approach to space. His attitude was one I'm all too familiar with- to him, space is meant to be filled with stuff. "You get older, you accumulate shit," he said. He couldn't really grok my approach, or rather, my take. Space is there to be emphasized. Spelled out. Underlined and bold.

Some of the shit that needs to go is obvious- most of it clothing I haven't worn in forever. Bitrotted CDs. Old and unused or unuseable hardware. It gets finer when it comes to data backups- I know I'm not going to need any of it until I throw it out, which makes it half tempting to do so, if for no other reason than to see what I actually need out of the past. Where's the line between nostalgia and viable? Memory and baggage?

Some of this shit I need to either pass off or burn. I don't know why I'm still lugging my entire AIP visual output from house to house when it all sucks shit and should be put to the torch. :P

The video games and the old art and the hawaiian shirts and the hiking boots and the RPG books and dice aren't me any more. They may well never have been to begin with.

Despite periodic hedge-trimming over the years, I still have my wisdom teeth. And three rolls of undeveloped film. I think they are from 1998, and I have no clue what's on them.

I forgot about them for quite some time, remembered them last week and have been pondering getting them developed ever since.

Time capsule. Photos don't eat much space.



Money, Speed, Upgrades

I wanted a raise, so I quit smoking. Worked out nicely, or has so far. Still working out the details.

I want a new laptop. Mine's showing its age- it has a SCSI scar across the flat panel, runs OS X like a pig on ketamine, Thunderbird sucks balls on it, and... yeah, my battery's basically dead. It discharges if I don't run the machine plugged in every single day and holds charge for all of ten minutes. The gunstar's taken four solid years of abuse and has finally been marginalized by software bloat.

So I'm getting a speed upgrade on my powerbook the same way I got a raise, sort of. I'm reformatting the fucker and putting linux on it. I have a spare battery- one I've only used in vehicles. It's still happy. All I use the powerbook for these days is email. That's it. That's all. Sometimes photoshop in OS 9. Five pounds of portable email. I totally don't need OS X for that. In fact, my options on OS X are all pretty damned shitty.


Problem is that the current sarge build barfs on booting from a firewire CD, which means I get to do all of the surgery at home. O_o

Star Wars Episode 2 (out of context)

Snip of an email from the Male Parental Unit:

I was watching "Star Wars Episode 2; Attack of the Clones". During the scene where Anikin and Senator Amidala were having dinner at her hideaway, Anikin starts blubbering and whinning about how he feels for Amidala. That scene hit me as being so goddamn disgusting that I blew up! I openly announced Anikin as being a goddamn whinny-assed pussy, and he should stop his goddamn blubbering and go walk it off!

My dad rules.

I've only seen ep2 on DVD, and I skipped every Amadala scene- after ep1, I'm about as into Natalie Portman as I am being the victim of an Australian Rugby team gangrape. Cutting out the whining, the movie was something like ten minutes long. :P

I do believe dad's summed up my feelings about Lucas's "script" quite nicely.

18:16 < xeno> :D
18:16 < xeno> the thing about it though was, that's the whole point
18:17 < xeno> he /is/ a whiny-assed pussy
18:17 < xeno> "someday, i'll be (sob) the most powerful jedi ever (pout). I'll even be able to stop people from dying"
18:17 < xeno> "and i'll wear a big samurai-helmet so i can make faces behind it."
18:20 < solios> point. Doesn't mean I like seeing my favorite childhood BADASS as a whiny little BITCH that even PRISON FAGS wouldn't want to be in the same room with.

Warp City

Cut my hair. Too short, and wrong. It works, but I currently have anime-style jaw-length "bangs" that are hovering about the idea of being in the ponytail thanks to hair gel. The actual ponytail itself ends right above the neckline. Hasn't been this short in awhile. Cut it myself, which I've been doing (badly and inexpertly) since I moved to this town. It's a ponytail. I'm a guy. Low fucking maintenance, yo.

Bumped into J. Lorenzo on the South Side while waiting for the bus to Oakland. I went to school with him and haven't seen him since. He's lost weight, gotten a car, and grown his hair. Barely recognized him- he spotted me first. Only thing that's changed on me is that I've discovered hair gel, changed styles of mirrorshades, and taken to grooming.

Had coffee around four. Practically shit my pants. Or rather, shit concrete right into my eyelids. Fortunately, that was the bad part of the day.



PPAC : Raw (Chafed Edit) (Olestra)



Raw : Chafed Edit is a remix of Raw (Drone Edit) by Acceptable Losses. Mixed by Solios (PPAC Angst Lead) at the Fortresss of Solitude, 2004.09.03. 4.6 megs, 96kbps. There's a higher quality version, but it's not friends with the modem.

No musical instruments were harmed (and by harmed, we mean used) in the creation of this track- either by Acceptable Losses (who doesn't use intruments, at all), or PISSPOWERASSCHRIST (Who might. At some point. If somebody has something that can be used as one.). BAD IS THE GOAL.




Placed the order with Speakeasy. Hardware cost/rebate was cheaper than I remember- which means (in theory) that costs have come down since the last time I looked into this. Awesome.

Also, I don't get billed until the shit's running. Double awesome.

Still need to get Direct Deposit activated, and look into GIVE ME MONEY PLZ options for ATC and other projects.

And.... one of my superiors decided to go home early on account of not feeling well in a timely, passing-the-buck fashion. Since the techs are both out today, I get to shut the place off. For some people, shutdown is a hot potato, kitchen duty, walking the diarrhetic dog.... something to avoid. Smile and nod, smile and nod. Makes me wonder who'd be available to cover my ass if my ass needed covering.

Super Awesome.




esch : UNIX, Minnesota
_Lasar : Angry German
solios : Lead Angst
Drusilla : Rhythm Angst

09:32 <@_Lasar> "If your face doesn't bleed, you're not down with PPAC."
09:36 <@solios> dude.
09:36 <@solios> we could be the first international noise band whose members have never actually met each other.
09:36 <@_Lasar> haha.
09:36 <@_Lasar> Except half of mp3.com :/
09:36 <@esch> Talk about making fucking history.

PISSPOWERASSCHRIST : Putting the POWER back in ASS. As opposed to putting the ASS back in POWER. Hardcore arrythmic NOISE.

09:02 <@esch> solios: you should record you dragging the outside of a computer case on concrete, lay some static behind it and label it Pisspowerasschrist and see if it propagates.
09:03 <@_Lasar> esch: It would be better than most of the MTV charts. Though without backing of a record company, no hit.
09:04 <@solios> pisspowerasschrist++
09:06 <@solios> esch: I could do that.
09:08 <@esch> You should. then send me the files, and I'll dub someone vomitting on top of them.
09:08 <@_Lasar> Make a video out of it, too.
09:09 <@solios> :o
09:10 <@_Lasar> And put recordings of people being in shock shouting "oh my gawd" for 15 minutes straight after the second plane on 9/11
09:10 <@_Lasar> That's more annoying than the standard fingernails on chalkboard noise.
09:11 <@solios> nah.
09:11 <@esch> we could _be_ Pisspowerasschrist.
09:11 <@solios> speaking or reading "post-9/11" is more annoying than the fingernails bit. Or getting kicked in the nuts with a bulldozer.
09:11 <@solios> yeah.
09:11 <@solios> that would kick ass.
09:11 <@solios> we'd be like whitehouse, only we'd suck.
09:11 <@solios> it would rule.


So international that the entire band has never met. Ever. Or even so much as talked on the phone. Not even once.

09:58 <@_Lasar> How in hell did you think of the thundercock?
09:58 <@esch> That's the album title.
09:58 <@esch> Well, it is now.
09:58 <@_Lasar> THUNDERCOCKS ARE GO!
09:59 <@solios> THUNDERCOCK
10:00 <@_Lasar> That's what it is.
10:01 <@_Lasar> So when we're playing live, will there be a live webcast for my angry german vocals?
10:01 <@esch> There will have to be.
10:01 <@solios> heh.
10:01 <@_Lasar> Better yet, "live" will mean all of us sitting at home on our asses.
10:01 <@esch> If we were ever to meet, PPAC would implode.
10:01 <@solios> esch would have to play unix by modem.
10:01 <@_Lasar> And there will be video screens for everybody.
10:02 <@_Lasar> Like kraftwerk, only different.
10:02 <@solios> like kraftwerk, only bad.
10:02 <@solios> :D
10:02 <@_Lasar> Yes.
10:03 <@esch> Like kraftwerk, only _pissing_.
10:03 <@_Lasar> There will be no crowd either. The video screens will be filmed by a camera standing in front of the stage.
10:03 <@_Lasar> And Angry!




Ligur was offline from somewhere around early yesterday evening until sometime this evening. Around four this afternoon the power grid in Oakland blew up, and CMU, CMNH, and Pitt campus were out for roughly an hour. Juice came back, DNS and DHCP didn't. There's something to be said for running a TCPdump and seeing nothing but division hardware on the map, on a network of a couple of hundred machines.

I'll be spending Friday tweaking shell scripts, fixing work machines, possibly blogging what happened during the service outage, and stuff like that. Had a great dinner tonight with Bodine- something to do while we were sitting out the outage, pseudo-celebration of my bank account being active.

Watched Boondock Saints last night, Borne Identity tonight. Still have an extra thirteen hours on my hands this week. Closer to nine if you subtract walks.

Heard from Mr. R. last night- he contacted me through IRC, prompted by mercury being out. We've chatted here and there over the past couple of years, but never anything to this extent. Funny how you can really miss hanging out with somebody you knew for most of a summer seven years past and haven't seen since.

So yeah. On the heels of Project Halcyon development and a walkabout in Allegheny Center last night.

Listening to a lot of Clock DVA. Situps and crunches last night. Spread out a bit, several reps. More than twice what I did previously. No ouchie.

Started character design and production design for Project Halcyon. It still needs a name- oddly enough, all of the ones I've domain checked so far are open.

That's most of it.

Probably need to catch up on email tomorrow as well.



Skeletons by Nature

Whups. Forgot about the previous entry until I got an email from the male parental unit with the title in the subject. The fact that people who aren't in the handful of IRC channels I make an ass out of myself in actually read mercury is totally OMFGWTF.

Fortunately, I don't have to deal with crankcase components bouncing around today- just the Head Designer of one of the projects I'm on demanding massive changes to everything. Again.

Fortunately, the deadline on this thing is something like noon tomorrow. :P



Detox (Money in the Bank)

It's Fucking Humid. Snorkle variety- thick and liquid. Lungs are tearing themselves up flushing out the asphalt they've been paved in for the last five years. Halfway through another attempt at an ATC page. Afternoon walk, walked home. Spent some quality time with ChrisB.

Set up a bank account.

Hauled ChrisB along as co-pilot, to keep me sane while I waited and to speak for me on matters which reduce my brain to so much library paste- namely, money and anything it touches. Between hauling him along for that and a trip back to his house for a license plate, Chris had enough time for a Windows install. Talked to the same Bank Guy I talked to in July of last year. July of last year, Bank Guy cited the Patriot Act and tossed me out. No valid photo ID, you see.

Today's conversation with Bank Guy was quite a bit longer. Bank Guy says I'll have a little hunk of plastic in five to ten business days. A little hunk of plastic with money on it, Gibson style. Welcome to the next level, now you're playing with power (super power!), etceteras. ChrisB is The Bomb, as is ChrisS- The Chris have made the nicotine cessation process bearable.

I'd planned on being here last year. At least with the bank thing. Quitting smoking just kind of pounced on me like a tax audit.

I think I'm better off hitting it now, under the current conditions, at the present time.

Might be the humidity, but the state of Euphoria (eighties flashbacks, gender and sexual alignment flashbacks and fuzziness, the perpetual sense of exultation, discovery, of something NEW) has dissipated and I'm back to business as usual. Coherent. Mostly. Albeit with (mathematically) an extra 160$+ a month to burn and an estimated 64 hours reclaimed for burning it in.

Ran the math and realized I spent something like seventeen hours a week smoking. Round down to sixteen maybe, but still.

This week, that block of time has been replaced by walks, with plenty left over.

I'm still giddy about this whole "breathing" thing. And I still have a few routine situations to run through before I can pronounce myself Completely Free And Clear of my addiction to sucking on the little white filtered dick.


I have a pizza. Somehow it happened to be ready to go as I walked into the Co-Gos. I'mma eat it now, and make an ass out of myself on IRC.

It's been one hell of a week.

Terminal Buffer (Attention Span)

23:38 < solios> I got through a Guardian article without playing Quake.
23:38 < solios> that's a fucking first.



After the Flesh

Still Not Smoking.

Went to the Upstage. Spent a truly Epic amount of time waiting for service, during which I calculated just how much money Proof was costing me. Had a drink. Waited a sub-Epic amont of time for the acquisition of my second.

Three sips and suddenly the shit's coursing down my spine, eating everything in sight. Hit the restroom, freak out, note vaguely that the MUST SMOKE NOW!!! urge isn't even the vaguest of tugs- subliminated to the level of "hey, check email. Sometime this week."

Throw the drink in the trash, 1/8 consumed. Leave, sweating bullets. Freezing. It's seventy five and ninety percent humidity and I'm freezing and Jack Daniels puked in my brainpan and the last thing I'm interested in is cigarettes. It hurts like a motherfucker and it feels like broken glass is being shoved up under my shoulderblades and it FEELS FUCKING GREAT COMPARED TO MONDAY LET ME TELL YOU and I swear I fucking ejoyed it. Somehow, I enjoyed it. The visceral thrill of everything breaking and exploding and shattering and Falling Down and despite an extremely painful blast of sugar-shock, I fucking soaked it and took the fucking Pepsi Challenge and in the midst of a meltdown I.....

Walked home.

Quite deliberately. Still inhaling fresh-air euphoria. Still amazed at my rapidly upgrading lung capacity. Feeling like shit and on top of the world. Allegheny Center Mall flashbacks, plot for a transexual love story. Forking my life, assuming the ass end of Septmeber 1997 went Right instead of the horrible, horrible Left.

I have comics. I bought them at Phantom of the Attic to-day. I spent almost exactly the money I would have spent on cigarettes on comics. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind volume one. Ghost In The Shell : Man-Machine Interface issues 9-11. Gold Digger 43, 44, 46. Perry's the closest guy in cognitive proximity to Allison. I was into GD the same time I was into Pervert Club. Perry's still chunking it out and Phantom is carrying it. Nostalgia dictating buying habits. Can't last for much longer, as Phantom doesn't have the things I'm really looking for.

I'm going to shower, and I'm going to read my comics.

Secret Skin

Lots of walking today. Walked with Smith and Bodine. Longer walk with Bodine. Shorter walk with Bodine. Some Quake. Not living behind the rocket launcher, but Quake nonetheless. Depression, of a sort. Remembering all sorts of things that I've repressed over the years. My fixation on the eighties became a fixation on Allegheny Center became a fixation on Building Seven became a remembrance of Gender Dysmorphism became something of an all encompasing emotional though-explosion thinger as I tried to execute the original planned layout of atc 3.24 - coincidentally page 101, the first prefix of my old phone number, the first post-Smoking page, and, oddly enough, featuring a walk down memory lane that will (eventually) make sense in context. Chewed on Mister Chewy Pen quite a bit. Breathed the Air. Smelled the air. Haven't done that in awhile.

The sensation of having lost seven years, in combination with being a few months behind "schedule" on ATC and generally wanting out of Pittsburgh lead to a stroll down one of the side streets of memory lane. Turns out to be one of the more depressing sidestreets, as two of my most formative influences aren't really doing much these days. :| Yeah, Will Allison has a blog and is on the production end of Radio, but.... man. He wrote Pervert Club, and a skim of his blog yeilds tons and tons of mentions of superhero comics. Kind of like going to watch Gibson speak and listening to him bitch about KDE for six hours. Larry Wall can make that sort of discussion framework work beautifully, but let's face it. There's only one Larry. Not to say that Allison's output isn't interesting in its own right- considering the temporal aspect, going in with expectations was obviously not the best idea.

Most of a week out. I get paid tomorrow- and then the Real Test of the whole smoking thing Begins. I plan to buy some comics, research the cost of broadband, and maybe do a little ebay speculation.

From Pittsburgh, Good Morning.



Alexander Yuvchenko

Mr. Yuvchenko was on duty at Chernobyl reactor number 4 on 26 April 1986.

It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I'd stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot because of gamma rays and neutrons and everything else that was spewing out.

Covered also on The Guardian, with a different slant.

"We had no idea there was so much radiation. We met a guy with a doseometer and the needle was just off the dial. But even then, we were still only thinking 'Rats, this means the end of our careers in the nuclear industry. We all thought, 'We've been exposed now, this has happened on our watch' and set about doing what we could."



Thunder Kiss '65

I tried quitting smoking in the summer of 2000 for monetary reasons. That didn't even last 24 hours. I hit a fullbore rolling freakout, Steve Dallas style, and that was that. Smoked half a pack in half an hour.

Take two. I've done some research this time. I expect no end of bitchiness. Mildly amused that most withdrawal symptoms match established behavioural patterns.

From the link:

It's important to understand that nicotine smokers need twice the amount of caffeine in order to achieve the same effect as a non-smoker.  Nicotine indirectly causes caffeine to metabolize (to be depleted) at a rate twice that of non-smokers.  If you're a heavy caffeine user who attempts to continue using caffeine at the same amount as you did while using nicotine, you may find yourself not only having difficulty sleeping but probably climbing every wall in sight.


I ran the math. I'm spending upwards of 180$ a month on nicotine, which has risen to $4.04 a pack for brand of choice. Cute. Roughly the same on caffeine if one doesn't count the third boost from the work vending machines. So, slightly more. Between 20$ and 80$ a week on alcohol.

That's somewhere between 300$ and 400$ a month. On vice.


Bicycle. iPod. Hard drives. Processor upgrades. Things like that.

Namely, hills and the ability to walk up them without sounding like a ninety year old rabbi at the top of the slope. Namely, not hawking up tar in the morning. Namely, the pleasure of telling dozens of fuckwads a week that they can fuck right off, as I have no cigarettes to bum them.

Obviously, this won't be easy. Or pleasant. Or fun. Especially for my coworkers- seeing as how Zero Hour of the Three Worst Days of My Life started at 7:10pm and I'm already contemplating hitting the crossroads for their buy-one-get-one-free and calculating rationing, etceteras. Junky style.

The plan is a fairly simple one. If I freak out, Fail, and wash out, then I'm making a doctor's appointment and getting anti-anxiety meds to take the edge off. That shit killed me dead last time.

This is gonna suck all 31 flavors of diseased acned ass.



(paper tiger)

[...] I'm sneezy. Fidgety guy in front of me- whoo. The day is dark and wet and green. Hangover's gone, thinking line art, pose eludes, subject oscillates. Man, that guy is really, really fidgety. Won't stop with the minute movements- adjust pants, hair, shirt, twitch, hair, look around, shoes, hair, eyebrows, twitch, pause, pants, pause (thinking?), hair with emphasis, glancing at me repeatedly. Shirt, arm, hair, other arm, pants, twitch, pause. Flex the fingers, twitch- and all of this in real time, no delays. Arms, hair, twitch. Shoulder, arms, twitch, twitch. Forehead, eyebrows, tongue, twitch, pause, twitch. Shake head, twitch. Flex fingers, twitch. Hair, forehead, twitch. He looks like a lanky Saddam, and fortunately, my stop is up. Twitch, twitch, nose, moustache, shoulders, twitch.

postscript: After I put my notebook away in preparation to get off of the bus, Twitchy twitched, looked at me again, and moved to the front of the bus- where he promptly stopped twitching and was staring ahead blankly as I made my exit. The decision to record his actions was automatic- my concentration is disrupted so frequently and so thoroughly by coworkers, friends and people like Mr. Twitch that it came as something of a relief to have my awareness infringed upon by a nutjob whose actions were actually recordable and vaguely amusing.



Commercial Break

NASA's getting some additional use out of the various probes we've sent out thanks to last year's blast of space weather, and I'm currently dinking around with Adium. It rules.




mdxi has a blog. One that uses elisp and emacs as opposed to, say, MT or some other flavor-of-the-month CMS. That puts his 1337 score somewhere well above yours. Unless you're also the kind of person who does heinously badong things with emacs.

So. Yeah. The food reduction thing is Odd. Fortunately, it'll be over with on Thursday, which is probably when I'll start hacking on ATC again. Got the script for the next scenelet Done, which means there's only one bit left of the entire chapter that needs a treatment. Everything else is good to roll with minor adjustments.

Thinking about a pr0nc0m1c. I do that. Often. Wangaby pinups are fun to do every so often, but without a focus, it gets fucking boring after awhile. A short while. Graphically speaking, the full contents of the Gravicon aren't much different than the folder full of templated anthro bullshit I cranked out in middle school. Need to do something more with it. Fortunately, I have other priorities. Doesn't stop me from thinking about it, though.

Thinking about putting debian on my powerbook. Augmentation, not replacement- which means the lack of disk space needs to be addressed, among other things. I have an OS X install I've used a total of my vacation at Xeno's, and too much fucking mail I need to move... uh, somewhere. Mail keeps the box in OS 9 quite a bit. So does battery life. Linux is ripe for the wankery- plenty of server installs, but nothing running x11 that I can screw around with if I get bored or, like today, I wind up spending a good thirty minutes getting pissed at OS X and Final Cut Pro for slugging a G5 down to LCIII speeds during a file export. And another three hours waiting on After Effects processing that refuses to network render in a useable fashion. Ebay shat itself at the suggestion it might have VST expansion bay hard drives, which entails a minimum 70$ investment for a 30g capacity increase. 10g would do nicely, and costs just as much.

Pr0n and technology.

Trouble and money.

At least I managed to crank out a scriplet when I told myself I would, rather than give in to the immediate rush of OMFG NOTHING TO DO TONIGHT DRAW PR0N, which occurs with startling frequency.

Contemplating moving all web browsing shizzle to Firefox. It shits its pants a lot less than Safari does. Wondering what to do about the mail spool and really, really disliking mail.app for any number of reasons. Calculating the path of least resistance between myself and the package of ramen noodles that will be sacrificed in the Great Chowder Experiment this evening. Wondering how to get ATC promoted through the Great Webcomic Circlejerk without getting any of the ick on me. More importantly, without tainting the presentation.

Always a concern of mine.



You don't know where that watch has been.

The Guardian has an interview with Christopher Walken. It owns.

'I practised the monologue for Pulp Fiction for eight weeks, and every time I got to the line "Up my ass" I couldn't stop laughing.'

Update : The Guardian had an interview with Walken. Past tense. Where it went is anybody's guess.




Effective 12:45pm EST, I am again in possession of functional military-spec jungle boots. Shipped through the joke that is UPS straight from the manufacturer.

Wore out my last pair late last year. I've been wearing a pair of Magnum boots that look something like this since. Built more for winter. Laces are frayed out and nasty- compared to my previous pair of combat boots, which wore out the soles and leather but never the laces. Go figure.

My dad rules.

Twisted Metal

Courtesy of Vai, further proof that intelligence and discipline (intelligence at least) should be requirements to hold a drivers license.



The Fourth Act

One of those mind-sucking, soul-reaving hangovers that you don't realize you have until you've left the house. Made worse by stimulant overuse. You can't jump-start yourself out of a brainfog- too much caffeine and your brain misinterprets O_O for -_- and rising from the sludge just isn't going to happen.

Watched T2 with commentary. Snagged groceries, including new lights and garbage bags. Bedroom now has options of 70watt bounce light or dual 100watt nuclear test blast overheads. Did laundry. Gods that sucked. Showered. Zombied out into some sort of fucked up sleep paralysis "nap" for about thirty minutes. Went to the bar, told the landlord that the fridge is fuxx0r3d. Get to play phone tag on Monday.

There was some sort of solstice party thing that I was supposed to go to but didn't. I figured I'd rather spend a nice day with the windows open and T2 commentary than cringing as people I'll never be the least bit interested in having sex with hit on me relentlessly.

They're denser than I am. Which, all things considered, is fucking impressive. I could go on for paragraphs.**

Time to wind down and prepare for a week of OMFGWTF as I attempt to get the fridge fixed and contact my ex roommate, who I would have seen today at the party had I felt like getting sexually harassed for several hours. I'm supposed to be in Philly or some shit on Wednesday for a Skinny Puppy show. From what I've heard it's going to be a snooze- if I have to choose between being available for appliance replacement and not hearing assimilate played live, I'm opting for ice cubes.

** Simple logic. The hostess wants me there because she wants to hump me something fierce. I don't want to be there for exactly the same reason.



The Third Act

Ceremony. Uncarded, give Used Car Salesman inventory of backpack with physical examples and demonstration. Admission : 5$.

- Don plays Front 242 and Killing Joke.
- Duncan. English national, went to Oxford. Mid thirties. Looks kind of like Ronan from VNV. Talk Gentoo, Debian, SGI hardware. He picked up an Origin 200 (bare) for 31$. Met him a year or so ago and talked linux and britcoms at the time. This time, unix and politics.
- Chris. Newly minted 21 year old. Infer as much information about alcohol as can be conveyed in a 20 minute conversation, focusing on quality, octane, price range, and general psychological effects of various types of booze. He thanks me at the end of the night.
- Chad, who looks like Danzig and is now playing guitar for Agnes Wired For Sound. They need a web thing, he thought of me. Go figure. Gave him my email address. Fuzzy website potentiality.
- Dianna, who I've known for a couple of years. First in depth conversation. Specifically, sexuality and the occult; masculine and feminine sexual behaviour not being gender specific. Many other situation-specific point events. Dianna at goth night- go figure. She gives me a ride home, agree to continue conversation at some point in the future.
- Several Absolut and Cranberry's. Very, VERY dr1nxxz0r. Gonna be hung the FUCK over.
- But, hey. Don played KJ and 242. Bumped into Duncan, Chad, Dianna, Sean and Steve Owens. And 2/3 of Bastard Incorporated.
- Pizza at Co-Gos, where I asked Dianna to drop me off. Pepperoni. All of it, please. Boxed, oddly. Cheap. Tasty. Hangover buffer.

Victory over the forces of matter.

Closing on 30.




The Second Act

- Baklava (or however it's spelled) at the Greek Pastries place on Carson. I love the stuff. So much so that I only seek it out on Special Occasions.
- Terminator 2 Special Edition from Dave's Music Mine. For Later.
- Finished Sors Salutis 1 with Bodine observing. bda is still >_< about comic navigation.
- Quake III.
- Got some prints made of the current page and some other things.
- ET Phone Home. Talked with mom and dad. Dad would usually be at work. Took the day off on account of it being Nice and it having been some time since he's done so. Fortuitous. :-) Dad corrected the archery incident in the Chronology.

The Third Act will likely be a remix of Intermission.


Post Chronology, leave MNH. Hit Electroclash thing at the Upstage. First time, didn't bother previously due to expired ID. Cover is 5, in for 3- after midnight. Not carded. First drink is well vodka. Tastes like the paste your first grade teacher told you not to eat but you did anyway. Upgrade to better inebriatory enablers at a slight increase in price.

- Mike Propst. Haven't seen him in a LONG time (on account of Mike contracting a severe case of Detroit). Phoner with Sean Gebhart around 11- Sean mentions Mike is in town, doesn't have number. Catch up, buy him some drinks. Get number.
- Tara. Haven't hung with her in awhile. Catch up. Tara got a Real Job, and she's extremely happy about it. Job sounds like something she'll Kick Ass at. Awesome. Buy Tara a drink, Tara buys me a drink- good mind for numbers, knows it's my birthday.
- Leave Upstage around two. Ten piece mcnuggets at mcdonalds, open till three.
- Walk home.
- Kieth bumps into me. He's walking home from some bar in North Oakland. Stumble home drunkenly, pause to chat on Birmingham Bridge. Kieth takes a piss off of the bridge into the Mon. Chat some more, enjoy the view. Stumble home.



Night of the Day of the Dork Squad

cmib.png Well now. After learning a bit about cron and shell scripting and writing it up and all that jazz, _Lasar told me I could post his chmod calculator on SAB if I made an icon for it. So I did. Wasn't quite as hard as I thought it was going to be, really- though the software I used to finish it out was a bit odd.

Took longer than it should have, but hey. These things do. So now it's 10:13 and I'm mentally done for the day. Which sort of sucks, because I wanted to spend the evening drawing pr0n, but hey- I've accomplished a great many Nerd Things today.

Foreshadowing my present state of mental squishiness, I picked up the Extra Special Champion Edition version of Aliens during my locked-out-of-my-house Full Moon adventure yesterday evening- an 18 million dollar budget and a great deal of in-camera effects trickery hiding under a dvd interface that makes me positively moist. Huzzah.

Funny how Fullbore Geek Mode hits just as I'm getting my shit together to prep for ATC.3. Outside of the icon, I haven't created viz in photoshop since May 19th... and I haven't done much more than sketching otherwise. Did some on Sunday and it came out feeling positively rusty. o_O

Send in the dork squad.

I wrote my first shell script today. Posted the script and the experience to SAB, so I don't have to repeat it here. An edited version now takes the files that the original scripts drop onto the OS X Server and moves said files to another drive, saving some hassle and making my life a bit easier. Cron has officially pwnz0r3d me. It rules.

Of course, I still have to document all of this for work. :P

In other news, both of my coworkers have DA accounts now... which indirectly means that Gravipr0n has now made it into the workplace. Doom.



Corrective Surgery

Dan Engler is taking a poke under the ATC hood. I can't think of anyone better qualified to work it- hopefully I'll be able to apply the defuckulation to mercury and learn something in the process.

20:28 <Danelope> This is bar none the most retarded way to design a site I've ever seen, Dan.
20:28 <Danelope> :)
20:30 <solios> sweet.

Rubber Glove Seduction

Deadlocked at work- have to wait for a vacationing coworker to get information to proceed the current project. The display hardware for the reserve workload is broken- 40 kilobux to replace the hardware, or 20$ for new shit that suits our needs better, with no money in the hall either way. Kick. Ass.

Shot on finances as usual, 30$ and change to last until Thursday afternoon. Inconveniently timed month rollover dictates paying out of pocket for public transit for two and one half days, or six hops at 1.75 each- slightly more than laundry. Detergent injection takes a backseat to beans on the table. Unpleasant- two days and one clean pair of underwear.

On the upside, the machines are built, backups are in progress, and I've the unreleased P.T.P. track from Robocop. The rest of it's an inconvenience. iCal adjustment to reflect third person for Skinny Puppy - second trip to Philly- six plus hours assuming no stops like that's gonna happen - 23rd a Wednesday. Timing. Work Saturday.



Background Noise

It's update week. As of this entry, I've updated two machines to 10.3.4, patched four machines for security, downgraded the media100 from 10.3 to 10.2.8, made the media100 Work, installed phpsysinfo on everything that can run it, fixed broke shit (floor interactives), moved a good amount of data from point A to point B, listened to a good deal of Download (III++), gotten into the longest running email exchange I've had in three years, actually updated SAB, worked on texmapping the Daedalus for ATC, completely overhauled the division blog, and am presently compiling various updates that need to be applied at home.

Somewhere in there I've gotten some more ideas for ATC and have been mentally researching and revising the state of the Gravicon, which is currently Off and sitting where the home file server used to be. Still a lot of work to be done on all fronts. Go me.

This sort of thing goes in phases. Plan/fix/update/prepare/maintain; Go Places and Do Things; Break Shit Something Fierce; Buckle Under Stress And Lapse Into A Mentally Unstable State For A Week. Wash, rinse, repeat. We're in the Plan/etc phase at the moment, heading for Do Things with a Buckle Under Stress at a slow rolling boil in the back of my head. It's been there for a few weeks, to varying degrees- the sort of stress/rage that wants OUT GODDAMMIT and can't articulate itself. Ya gotta talk the talk to get out the door, folks.

Currently tired/overstimulated, attention span of a goldfish, random short term memory reformats, occasional mental data loss, periodic rolling optical migraines- in theory. Spotty optical blackout, losing pinpoints of visual input, pinpoints that move around and blink on and off like a lite-brite in reverse. No stranger to those, they come and go and were really bad back in 2002.

A ton of shit to do. No money, no resources, no time, no energy, no motivation. Par for the course, at least my bedroom is partially cleaned up, I've some new software to play with, I've cleaned up my AIM contact and filtering lists, nobody's really getting on my nerves for a change and I should be caught up on bills just in time to deal with the fallout on forgetting to consolidate my student loans again. No word from Harrisburg on the ID thing by which I'm assuming they ate it. Old plastic, indigestion.

Off to organize, ideate, filter, back up, update, clean up.



Cold Sweat

Friday, 54c

Utrecht -> 005 & 01 microns. Ready for more CG and I have NO idea what time it is. The last couple of days has thrown me off. T & T says 12:01. o_O

There's a squad of bizarro Liberty's on the bus. Roundabout proof of genetic archetypes. Feel stiff, assey- pepsi before bed was a bad idea (I just vurped, [scribbled out] deja vu last night) it was during CG construction and seemed an obvious memory transplant to 2001.

Oakland has the worst roads in pittsburgh has the worst roads in the state has some of the worst roads in the nation. Legibility reduction- Frau would on sight chortle gleefully and knock the whole paragraph a negative percentile higher than the class CGPA to date, because she can.



The Art of Noise

Got idoru back from the service center. The APC getting knocked most of the way out of its socket in the UPS caused some serious fuckery with current, frying the logic board and the video card. Both parts have been replaced under the applecare warranty. Purrs like a kitten, though for some reason my screensaver and security preferences were factory defaults (defaults are no password for sleep/saver, flurry screensaver; settings are password for saver and matrix gl).

In other news, the fact that I have an expired license means I get to fill out and ship off a form DL-81 to Harrisburg, as opposed to standing in line with four trillion pieces of mail, bills, social security card, birth cert, etc. At least that's what the nice lady on the phone told me. Harrisburg will probably check the expiration date on my license, realize it was late last century, and shit a brick or some other form of annoyance. Wait and see. That (and the electric bill) goes out Thursday or Friday.

Tonight, laundry.

Fact of the day : SOMETHING on Maniac keeps resetting my keyboard repeat rate and delay settings to Slow and Off. About the only thing that could possibly be doing this is Neverwinter Nights- though I ran the application on Idoru without any difficulties. Could be Quake III as well- it has "problems" running fullscreen above 800x600. In either event, Maniac is developing an attitude, and something isn't cleaning up after itself. :|

Yet another reason to aquire a PC for use as a gaming console. :P



They call it a service center.


* solios calls the service center.
< solios> idoru?
< d00d> waiting on a part.
< solios> logic board?
< d00d> dunno.
< solios> ...
< solios> eta?
< d00d> couple days.
< solios> k.
* d00d hangs up.
< solios> ...

In the meantime, I've been downgraded from a 2x2ghz g5 with 2g of ram to a 300mhz g3 with 640 ram, and my powerbook (400mhz g3/640 ram).





Sketched on an office note from my coworker. In reference to my extremely orange and even more extremely neglected side project.




Maniac and 3ch0. 28 Days Later on the main screen.

The Stack. Machines I still need to gut, reconfigure, rebuild, retask, and/or discard. A bit unsightly compared to the cleaning that's been done around the rig.

Jolie's boot.



Spreading the Disease

Tony Bowden discovered Wang Labs. mdxi has been spreading the love around, it seems.

And LOC is first up in a google for kol trance. SAB is second and third.

ATC, conversely, is the third hit.





Because it was either this or BZFlag.

Yay for tracing- I'll get something done with a site and get the strips moved there within the next couple of weeks. o_O



The Frontier

18:38 < solios> BLAM, MOTHERFUCKER!
18:38 * rjbs is a beta unit -- a perfect replica of Shawn, but not as loud.
18:39 < solios> hahah.
18:39 * mdxi giggles insanely
18:40 * solios notes that we're wearing UNSpacey helmets instead of Star League, but hey.
18:40 < solios> :D
18:40 < solios> mdxi: how's that work for you?
18:41 < mdxi> it is TEH AWESOME
18:41 < solios> :D
18:41 < rjbs> makes me want legos.

And the second revision, which is Fawking Hyooge and only a smidge bigger in file size:




My ankles hurt. Perils of using combat boots for jogging. Five out of the last six days with Saturday off for obvious reasons. At least my hamstrings aren't exploding in my nose anymore.

Baking MPEGs. Finished the revision redesign- the site's going to stay there for awhile and hopefully be eventually decomissioned. Ditto mercury- I'd like to turn the content over to straight LOC at some point.

More importantly.

I'm listening to Front Line Assembly's Millenium, which is to say, I'm listening to the "I'm going to fucking KILL ALL OF YOU BECAUSE I AM TEH RAGE OMFG" album of spiffy goodness. Nothing makes me want to break things more than metal with samples. Which gets me to The Point.

It's May 19th.

So for the next 30 days, The Point is a higher priority than you, your life, your problems, my supposed obligations to you, pr0n, s3xx0r, breathing, food, or video games. Probably even sleep.

'cuz ya gotta have goals.



Go Go Gadget Politics.

Courtsey of my homeboy homeslice, I've recently taken a browse over this tasty little list of proofs that Americans are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most easily swayed and snowed mass of sheep on the planet. My proof? We allowed for the factors that would precipitate the present situation without thought for the longterm consequences. We meaning the vast majority of Americans.

Dubya is the biggest joke I've ever been witness to in my life- total proof that what should hypothetically be the most respected position in the country is presently filled by some sort of prototype ubertool who's been following Machiavelli's manual to the letter.

The thing that bothers me the most is that for every person who's truly concerned about the issue, there are three who will vote straight ticket, and five who are so incensed about Iraq, planes used as ballistic missiles, and who are so "patriotic" that they buy the mealy-mouthed line of fourth grade level oratory and gleefully give away their rights and personal freedoms.

Guess what, asswipes. Those are MY rights too. And I have no intent to give them up for any reason- especially to Haliburton, the Bush clan, or the Republican party bottom line.

Give a man the right to vote and he'll get the government he deserves- the failure of the average American to exercise a few brain cells and consider the moral and ethical record of a candidate is a grotesque dereliction of one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a citizen of the United States. Given the lack of organization or a real showing of strength on the part of the democrats, the upcoming election is the best chance for a third party candidate in a long time- and you'd better believe that the FUD emitting from the fecund mandibles of the ubertool and support staff will put the Microsoft marketing division to absolute shame.

Ultimately, I don't care who you vote for- anyone with a moderately developed political awareness has known who they won't be voting for since 2001. Failure to vote at all, in my mind, is simply failing as a human being- why should you trust somebody that's willing to sit there and take it? I value my freedom- and I'll be voting for the candidate most likely to preserve and restore it, regardless of race, creed, color or gender.

I'd like to think this little outburst doesn't get me labeled as a protestor, dissident, or otherwise Patriot Act-style blacklisted: I didn't vote for the guy, and in the face of overwhelming evidence, I can't fathom why anybody did. Last I checked, only the military follow orders blindly. It's in the job description. I'm not enlisted- consequently I still technically retain my freedom to exercise my rights as a citizen. Namely, more so than anything else, making a little noise in favor of getting people to fucking think about politics, regardless of their viewpoints or opinions.

The only unacceptable mindset on this issue is apathy. o_O



Capital N. Small y.

The last couple of days have been brought to you by vodka, The Violent Femmes, Excel Saga, Naruto, the red NyQuil (OMFG THE RED NYQUIL IT IS RED AND TASTY! SUCH TASTINESS!!!!1).... and... lessee.... oh yeah. Fireworks shitting its pants on a 941 image batch process, without bothering to give much of an explanation for its treasonous actions.

Sore throat Monday night. Bombed half a bottle of red tasty warm fuzzy Q and woke up around four on Teusday. Went to work. Left after much work and much much DIVX and changing Fireworks diapers a few times. At 5:45 am. More red loveliness. Wake up at one. Repeat the work bit.

Fucking A.





The Killing Joke track, actually- though it's an apt description of exterior conditions. It's all wet and chunky outside, like the ground developed a really terminal case of a yeast infection that came from the sky.

Want an update? I knew you would....

My watch battery died after 7 years of hard labor and excellent service. I need to get it replaced with something that will probably last less than a third that amount of time ASAP. I successfully dropped Open BSD 3.2 onto my Quadra 650- it reads both ethernet cards and boots successfully into single user mode. Now I just need to configure the danged thing, which is going to involve learning unix. At least, more unix than I currently know.

I also threatened the Quadra with A/UX, which seemed to smack it around into getting the BSD onto the system correctly, which got me to thinking. The 650 is beefed- 88 ram, two nics, maxed VRAM, and presently two 2 gig drives. Given just how flakey the Hawk is, I'm probably going to reformat the IBM and try another install of obsd onto it. If it can take base32.tgz, it'll take the whole thing- and I know the IBM drive will boot... because, uh.. that's where the MacOS that's running things at the moment is located.

Yay technogeek stuff. IRC seems to be amazed at the fact I have A/UX 3.0 media and update packages. I only know one other guy who has it, and I'll probably end up talking to him about system enablers for bootstrapping A/UX onto the machine.

Whee network.



Ach! Oi! My colon!


Literally. Some combination of undercooked pizza, ramen for dinner (I have an intolerance to MSG, but economics dictate my food intake), or standing in negative abagazillion wind chill for the inevitably late bus has made my butt grumpy. Whoo.

Got the forebearance forms, which are very picky and exact. I need to call the lady at the office when she's in tomorrow and ask her some pointed questions- fact of the matter is that I honestly don't have some of the information- loan numbers for my Stafford loans aren't on the Sally Mae site and I've lost my situation data in the basement somewhere, if I even have it at all. Then there's also the fact that my current monetary situation of needing to defer and/or forebare is due to a MASSIVE negative spike in my income in late 2003, during which my supervisor decided, in his infinite benevolence, to give his part time, paid hourly, employees a week and a half off, enforced. A week and a half without pay at the ass end of the year. THANKS.

This hit at, as usual, the worst possible time- combine scheduling of bills and rent against the fixed scheduling of pay periods, a fucked up ebay transaction, and severely reduced hours at the end of the year and I find myself dealing with cancellation notices on two bills (total owed: 96.75$ and 380$ respectively)- bills that are utilities, so they're never going away- being forced into paying rent late, and a host of other minor annoyances including clothing replacement (several shirts bleach stained), hardware replacement (dead monitor) and the usual monthly living expenses and transportation on top of that and I'm fighting out of a really nasty hole.

I can be out of this hole by the end of March on the Ramen Diet, assuming a certain raging slacktard pays the 140$ he owes me for paying his share of his rent so his roommate could keep the mortgage on the house. White Knight Fever doesn't impress the loan companies, unfortunately- I'm sure they'd be about as pleased with it as I am. >:|

So. There's being out of the hole, then there's being able to afford to move OUT so I can STAY out of the hole. The only way this is happening is by moving in with a friend, which has been discussed at great length since the beginning of the year. That timeline coincides with the forebearance form time bomb, on the assumption I can actually meet the requirements. Which is the ethical dillemma. My income fluctuates a lot- you can't see it looking at my W2, unfortunately- I have good months, and I have shitty months, it's a downside of being paid hourly. So a bad streak of the past four months and my current utilities situation make for one statement of income, when paperwork is going to say something differently. This is icky. As usual, it's a few months of temporary pants-shitting that gums up the works and results in all kinds of panic and grumpiness.

If I can get the forebearance, despite the funkiness of my living expenses when listed out on paper (there's some large amount unaccounted for- I should hypothetically have 30$ in my pocket when it's more like 10$), I'll be happy. Hell, I'd be ultra mega happy if they'd just cut me a break in general, call the last six months a forebearance and bill me normally starting in March, because I can afford that. I just cant' afford a 300$ bill with a minimum payment of 300$, when I'm dealing with rent (360) and electric (390 and climbing) at the same time.... all with the same due dates, which is what got me into the mess to begin with.

THEN there's the fact that the washing machine is broken, not covered by the lease, and will have to be fixed out of pocket. This can't happen until I either talk to the landlord and convince him to let me expense it somehow, or until I get a spare couple of hundred. Because I'm NOT fixing it myself- dealing with 15+ gallons of freezing, rust-filled water next to live electrical lines and bad drainage is not my idea of a fun time. More expenses, less conveneince. Yee haw.

Yay money. I hate the stuff. It's a good thing I don't have a car, or a family, or credit cards, or a bank account, or any of that other stupidass American Dream suburbanite landfill bullshit.

In other news.

G6 UI is aesthetically complete, minus a little bit of refinement. I'm pretty sure I can start slicing and assembly tonight or tomorrow, depending. Whoo.



Liquid Separation

There's something about Front Line Assembly's Millennium album that makes life all warm and fuzzy in that "everything's cool." sort of way. Not the groove of Soul Coughing, but more the sort of cathartic satisfaction attained only through acts of extreme violence committed upon undeserving inanimate objects. Or Quake. Basically, it produces, when used timely, an endorphin rush that is simply much cheaper and less annoying than scheduled stimulants.

If I was still working revision as a "site" as opposed to a professional bin o stuff, I'd be blowing this out there.... but mercury is here for just this kind of generally aimless blowing-off of steam and/or irrelevant bullshit. Also makes for the appearance of something accessable going on in that thing people call life.

Wake up to RSI chewing my left wrist and my back deciding to scream at me for sleeping just wrong on a futon. The door frame ambushes me on the way down the stairs, and the day is off to a livid start. Storm through the grocery store, an ocean of geriatric genetic refuse- yes, I'm waiting in the lottery line, you shetwahn- not much point in waiting at the stock customer service counter when nobody's there, dig? Bus pass. 25 minutes of snow and cigarettes. Bus. Update. Work.

Dupe some DVDs on assigment and call the loan company about the accelleration notice my roommate had pointed out to me a few days late- something to the tune of "you owe us 2400$. Now, k? k.". Fifteen minutes of "saint elmo's fire", muzak edition. Yes, I fucked up. Oh, I have to tell AIP this? Phoner? ktks.

Call AIP. "Hey, I've been a bad monkey about my student loans." Literally. Handle it as smoothly as possible- admit I'm a fucktard about money, and oh yeah, my income and expenses minus this little student loan bill are still grossly disproportionate. Oh, you'll put me on forebearance retroactive to September when I started having other bills ream me in the ass? For a year, so I start getting this just when I'm resettled somewhere cheaper? Sweet.

Fucking finances. I suppose it beats asking my parental units if they'll make an icky blob on my credit report disappear- better to let my sister handle those sorts of requests. That phone call and the pending paperwork- which, if I'm lucky, I'll actually get, seeing as how my mail has a sick habit of disappearing- will get rid of one annoyance, just in time for me to kick a friend of mine in the ass about 140$ he owes so I can pay my electric bill.

Yay daily bullshit of money. Hate that shit. Makes me offensive.

In other news, I got sick to death of my lack of a satisfying layout for G6 and kicked it oldskool and fullbore- foresaking things like minimal layout and slim table design in favor of a totally over-the-top UI along the lines of the original ATC and AD4k layouts. It's BIG, but it looks nice and that's the only thing I give a shit about with this project. Fuck load time. The page layout will be modular anyway, so if the thing gets creamed by bad layout decisions or some such shit, I can bottle it up in a different interface without changing content- one of the reasons why PHP kicks all of the ass.

The layout looks decent, and does what I want it to do. I just need to look into css image rollovers, which are hypothetically possible, and finalize the base, tier one data structure. Whee. The project is at the point where I basically have to shit or get off the pot- time to build the site, decide on implementation (plain vanilla homebrew or MT), and get all that shit in, then start building it up to the project expectations.



So. How was YOUR weekend?

Strange, thanks for asking. My phone has been disabled. This in and of itself would have been sufficient reason to spend the weekend at work. Around the same time I discovered this fact, however, Stuff happened. This would include but is not limited to a family member of a friend being murdered; my house becoming clean; sex, drugs, rock and roll; and getting scored an 8.something on the sex scale with a deduction for using sound effects. I can't complain. Minus the usual flaming death and tragedy and drama, I had a good time, even without the webernet.

Also, I suck at blogging when I'm trying to be even moderately serious. So blah.


NASA is handling this better than the media, I'd wager. I'd bore you with anecdotes, but that would be trendy, and a waste of everyone's time. It's their job, the risk comes with the territory, and they get all of the cool points for dying in the course of doing one of the very, very few things we're doing for the benefit of the race, rather than the detriment of others and/or personal gain.

I think about the only way this weekend could have been any more extreme would have been if midgets were involved at some point.

Fortunately, no midgets.

The rest of this month will hopefully pale in comparison.