Archive for July, 2006

But is it art?

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

We’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. If we start putting big sheets of paper on the floor of our house with piles of tempera paints for the cats to walk through, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you here first.

MySpace may be hazardous to more than your social life

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Wow. Between this:

MySpace Banner Ad Infects Million Users

and this:

Worm lurks behind MySpace profiles

I’m awfully glad I’ve been too busy to visit MySpace lately. And you know, I think I’ll be avoiding it for a while until they tighten their security a bit.

Big news on the Kazaa case

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

In case you haven’t seen it, this is the big news in the music biz this morning:

Major Labels Settle With Kazaa For $115 Million

By Susan Butler, N.Y.

The major record companies and motion picture studios have reached an out-of-court settlement of international litigation, revealed today (July 27) by the RIAA and IFPI, with Sharman Networks and other operators of peer-to-peer network Kazaa.

I especially liked this quote, from Mitch Bainwol, the chairman/CEO of the RIAA:

This is welcome news for the music community and the legal online music marketplace. Steadily but surely, we are passing another important marker on the remarkable journey that is the continuing transformation and development of the digital marketplace. The winners are fans, artists and labels and everyone else involved in making music, and our partners in the technology community.

Hey, as a songwriter who hopes someday to make lots of money from the legitimate distribution of my work, I won’t lie: I’m pleased as punch with the outcome. But I think saying that the fans are winners in this ruling is going to take some convincing. But then it’s a little like the legalization and control of marijuana and other drugs: the people who are for it (myself included) are often convinced of the value of quality control measures and enforcement of safety and security, while for some people, the thrill and freedom may be tainted by legalization and limitations.

OK, maybe that’s where the comparison breaks down. But the point is, this is great news for music creators and everyone else whose livelihood depends on fair compensation for trade of music. It may not be such a party for people who’ve been building up an enormous MP3 collection without having to pay a cent for it.

What’s your take?

Fair value of real estate

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

A local real estate agent sent out a promotional email and included a link to this CNN Money article dealing with the “equilibrium” effect of real estate — in other words, why some U.S. markets are “correcting” themselves while others are still growing. Nashville is considered “fair value” with room for 8% growth to the equilibrium point, whereas San Jose, no surprise, is over 60% overpriced. At least, according to this organization. At that site, you can even download Excel spreadsheets showing some of the data that were used in producing the report.

It’s working! Hurrah!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

For all I know, it was a miracle, brought about by the power of internet community. I could barely sleep last night, and at 6 AM I popped out of bed to check and see if anyone had sent suggestions. And you had! I took krasota’s suggestion and hooked up an external monitor and powered the laptop on. Well, somehow I not only got a display on the external monitor but also a display on the laptop screen. It appears to have healed itself overnight!

Of course, I quickly backed up everything I’d been lazy about backing up recently just in case it was all a fluke, but everything still appears to be working normally.

And now that I’ve gone through the trouble of disconnecting the monitor from my Dell desktop, I have a second monitor to use with my laptop when I’m at my desk (until I need to use my Dell for something, which is increasingly rare anymore). Bonus!

Thanks to everyone who commented with suggestions and sympathy. Your support healed my laptop!

Freaking out!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

I dropped my personal laptop as I was packing up to leave work tonight, and now it won’t start. It was only from the height of my chair, and I did manage to slow its fall a little, but still it won’t power up.

Well, more accurately, when I first tried to start it up, I got a white screen with some ASCII text in the upper left corner saying something about firmware and asking me to type one of two commands (either resume startup or “shut-down”) at the prompt. I winced and typed “shut-down.” It did shut down, and when I tried to turn it on again after that, I heard the startup sound but got no response from the screen. I tried several times with the same results.

I have an extended warranty, but the hours shown on the Apple support documentation are 8AM to 8PM CST, so I have 9.5 hours left to freak out before I can call.

So I’m posting this entry from my Treo, and looking for sympathy, suggestions (man, if someone has an idea on something I can try that won’t void my warranty and WORKS that person will be my new best friend), uh, sympathy again… yeah, and suggestions. And sympathy.

But no fair telling me what an idiot I am for dropping it. I already know that.

Edited to add: It’s working again, hurrah! But thanks to everyone for the comments, both sympathetic and suggestive. Er. You know what I mean.

Want.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

I really, really have to have this. For so many reasons.

Trip Report, or OK I’ve dawdled long enough

Monday, July 24th, 2006

There are two major topics I need to cover: the new job and the recent vacation. Regarding the vacation, I had every intention of writing up a long, detailed trip report for my archival purposes, but, well, the new job made that impractical.

So, the job in a nutshell: I started this past Thursday. I’m doing business analysis with a music technology company. More than that I should probably be slow to divulge — after all, I had to sign fifty gazillion non-disclosure agreements. (Besides, who doesn’t like to tease?) The important thing is that the problems I’ve learned about thus far are relatively comparable to some of the problems I helped solve at Netflix, and it’s fun to be dealing with issues like that again. And about music!

So yay for the new job! It’s only the end of day three, but so far, it’s looking good.

As for the trip: it was just what we needed. Getting to see and his wonderful woman after so long an absence was fantastic. They were gracious hosts, even though we kept them up ridiculously late night after night with excited-to-see-you-again conversation. We stayed with them in their spiffy new house for three days and then headed down to Santa Cruz for another two days. At that point, we got to hang out with another pair of friends we’d been missing very much, and it was wonderful to see them, too.

There was much questioning of when we’d be moving back, and it’s official: as soon as we’ve written enough number one songs to pay for a house on West Cliff Drive, we are so there.

I’m back

Friday, July 21st, 2006

A longer post is underway. I’ve started my new job, and I’m also trying to catch up a bit from the trip. But I have plenty to say about the trip, and a fair share to say about the new job. The sneak preview version is this: the vacation was fantastic, and the new job looks really great after the second day.

More later.

Nice view

Saturday, July 15th, 2006
knekkebjoern's backyard
knekkebjoern’s backyard,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

I’m just sitting here sipping good, strong coffee, enjoying my morning, and looking out over the peaceful backyard at ’s house. Karsten is outside checking out the gardens and watching the hummingbird that keeps coming back for more nectar.

Hope everyone else’s weekend is going well, too.

Whew! Busy day.

Friday, July 14th, 2006

Getting ready to go-see-do. Tying up last-minute details. Figuring out what to pack.

Tomorrow I’m off to see and his fabulous new house!

I’ll try to post occasionally while I’m gone, and I’ll try to keep up with my reading, but if I don’t, I’ll try to catch up when I get back.

And then it’s off to my new job!

See you all after a few days! (Except for you, you I’ll see tomorrow. Woo hoo!)

a wasted year

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

In talking about publishing content on the web, Rex Hammock quotes zefrank saying

A wise man once said (okay, it was zefrank and he said it yesterday) “Someone who does something bad three times still has three times the experience of that other person who (hasn’t done something because it isn’t perfect and is) still dreaming of all the applause.” He calls these unattempted ideas “brain crack” that people get addicted to and then sings a song with the F-word in its title to illustrate his point. In other words, it’s not for everyone.

First of all, part of the value in writing this is keeping a link to that episode of the show, because it rocks. As a songwriter, “where the fuck do ideas come from?” is easily one of the most pertinent questions I could ever ask.

But I’m also writing this to mention the comment I left in Rex’s blog, saying

I’ve been musing on this myself the past few days, having just the other day had a job interview where I spontaneously came up with this chestnut: “If you can’t look back on stuff you did a year ago and see mistakes, that was probably a wasted year.” (Incidentally, I got the job.)

Which is my way, I guess, of letting you all know: I have a new job. I start next week. More details later after I sign the relevant paperwork.

What do Atlanta and Murfreesboro have in common?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Give up?

I’ll tell you. Cable-TV-enabled residents in both areas can view ex-Nashvillian boy wonder Adam McIntyre’s new video “America” on Saturday night.

I totally want to see this, but I’m going to be, well, nowhere near Murfreesboro or Atlanta. I sure hope someone is recording it.

How much do you know about banjos?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Or more to the point, how much do you know about banjots?

For me, the answer was “absolutely nothing” until I read this entry at the apparently new muse: nashville blog.

Looks like it’s going to be one of those great resources for arcane information that will really win people over at cocktail parties. What? No, I’m serious! Try some banjo talk next time conversation is dragging. Report back.

Wow, I missed shopping with Kicole

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

And to think I’ve been meaning to go to Target for the past few days. That same Target. I bet Nicole and I could have really bonded over the clearance sections.

Edited to add: Actually, now that I’ve look at the pictures myself, I don’t think it is the White Bridge Target. And now I’m ashamed to have spent this much time caring about it at all.

In which I explain the naming of cats

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

On a discussion on flickr group “Cat in the Bag“:

We have six cats: three littermates, and three who are not related.

Bonnie and Clyde (usually known to us as Baby Clyde) are two of the littermates, and despite their outlaw names, are the most incredibly sweet blue tabbies you could ever hope to meet.

Barbra Streisand, the third littermate and the alpha male (yes, an explanation is coming!), came to us as a beautiful Bengal-like cat with the undignified name of Billy (undignified because it was presumably short for Billy the Kid). We thought he needed a more dignified name, so we started calling him "Noname" for a while until we figured it out. Eventually we realized that he had the same profile as Babs herself, and it just stuck. Also, he has the most sing-song meow of any of the cats, so it fits.

The next adoption was Blackberry, an exotic-looking Bombay-like black cat who came to us as Magellan, and Cocoa before that. I don’t remember exactly how we decided on Blackberry, but he’s very sweet, so it stuck.

A few months later, we adopted another black cat — a kitten — and she was named Angel at the time. It was definitely an ironic name because she was about the most terrifyingly energetic kitten we’d ever seen. Irony is good, but by now we were on a roll with the "B" names and we renamed her Black Cherry.

Finally, we decided that we needed a sixth kitten to round out our Brady-Bunch-esque cat clan, and for parity, it needed to be a female brown tabby with an entertainment name. Luckily, my husband tracked down the world’s most adorable kitten, we named her Bopper, and our family is complete.

Until the next round of kitten adoptions, I suppose. :-)

I guess I left out the part about Bopper being a ninjakitten.

If you dig this kind of thing and want to share your own cats’ details, go check it out.

Syd Barrett was still alive?

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

If you haven’t heard yet, Syd Barrett’s family is confirming today that he died Friday, apparently from either complications due to diabetes or cancer. He was 60.

To be quite honest, I was stunned when I saw the news. I mean, I had no idea he was still alive. And I’m speaking as someone who was fairly aware of the arc of his career as well as that of Pink Floyd’s.

It may be difficult to imagine, but even as a clean-cut pre-teen, I was really into Pink Floyd. Mind you, what I heard when I first experienced Pink Floyd was post-Syd-Barrett, and it wasn’t until much later that I heard the stuff Syd Barrett wrote and recorded with the band.

And maybe I’m dim, but I also didn’t know until today that the “Wish You Were Here” album was a tribute to Syd. (And at this point, you may be questioning just how aware of his arc I have been. I knew that David Gilmour showed a lot of loyalty to Barrett over the years, playing songs in his honor and all that. Somehow I’ve missed that those songs were actually written for Syd.) That title song in particular was extremely influential on me as a young poet and budding songwriter. It meant a lot to me without even understanding the full message of what was being conveyed. Now that I listen to it again, it’s nearly heartbreaking.

Real party animals

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

I love these “adventure socials” the Nashville Zoo has been doing. Well, actually, we haven’t been able to make it to any so far this year, but I love the concept. We did go the Valentine’s event, though, which wasn’t officially part of this event series, but it was similar and it was excellent. Anyway, they’re doing another social this Friday, but true to form, we won’t be able to make that one either.

However, I just registered us for the August and September events: “Mardi Grassmere” and “Safari Swizzle.” It’s in the calendar. We’re scheduling other events around these.

So who’s going to be partying with us, besides the alligators and elephants?

Blogroll updates

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

After last week’s blogger party, I spent some time this weekend updating my links list into a local blogroll of sorts, though since LJ limits the size of the overall list to 50 links, I’m having to be selective until I spend the time to work out a more complex style to allow more links.

In the meantime, though, I just added one this morning: everyone say hello to my neighbor-up-the-street John H and wish him a speedy recovery from his heated confrontation with the curb. The odd thing is, I haven’t seen John and his wife in weeks, and yet we were all chatting in front of the Cat Shack earlier that evening, presumably shortly before the accident occurred. But I believe I can get several character witnesses to testify that I’m not the type of girl to push a man off a curb, so I hope I’m cleared of any suspicion.

“Murderball” and other unbelievable things

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Karsten and I just watched Murderball the other night, and were both moved and impressed. It’s exactly the kind of “truth is stranger than fiction” documentary I love, where the people and situations in the story are so unbelievable that any seasoned screenwriter would stay the hell away from them. I mean, the aging player who got pissed off for not making the USA team becoming the Canadian team coach as a giant “fuck you” to the USA? The guy who got injured in a motocross accident, described by his family as loving “anything with wheels,” getting depressed at being stuck in a wheelchair… until he learns about wheelchair rugby?

And I love the guys they profiled. They all had the kind of smartass sense of humor that made me want to hang out with them.

The filmmakers get a little manipulative with the editing at times, like when the defector-coach talks about how he’s so good at disciplining his son, and the next clip is his son acting up and the coach guy getting irritated. But it’s a fantastic story, and a very well-made documentary. If you haven’t seen it, see it.

Incidentally, it put me in exactly the right frame of mind to see these. I want these to be printable stickers so I can affix them to every damned disabled parking space I encounter.

The best recaps of the blogger party

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

are here and here.

Sunday morning comin’ down

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

I am completely hung over after a wonderful dinner party last night hosted by some wonderful friends in the Werthan Lofts building. Karsten and I stumbled the three blocks back home around 1 AM, fed the cats, fell into bed, and are now waking up hurting this morning.

Ooof. Even the typing is a little too loud.

Here’s trouble!

Friday, July 7th, 2006
Here's trouble!
Here’s trouble!,
originally uploaded by xnuzboss.

Very amused by this title.

Seen here with Gandalf Mantooth of Dork Nation. Or is it Mark Mays of Pith in the Wind? I can never tell those two apart.

From Sandra to Geena

Friday, July 7th, 2006

From time to time, I’ve been told that I bear a resemblance to Geena Davis, but this is the most I’ve ever seen it, and it’s probably only because I’m so far away and blurry. :-)

Blogger party tonight

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

I’m kind of psyched about the WKRN blogger party tonight at Wolfie’s (are you local? do you blog? are you coming?) even though, to most bloggers, LiveJournal is barely considered a blog platform. I’ve been kind of tempted to skip LJ-town and move over to one of the other blog platforms, just to gain some respectability, but then I remember that no one respected me before I had an LJ — why should things be any different now?

Anyway, other folks are thinking about what to wear, but I’m stressing about how to get there. Should I walk? Cab it? I hate driving to downtown when it’s such a short distance — it’s annoying to deal with parking when I could have walked. I could even ride my bike, but I plan to consume several alcoholic beverages, and biking afterwards could get dicey. Or I could walk there and then call Karsten to pick me up afterwards. Hee. That would be lamest of all, so that’s probably what I’ll do.