Sunday, August 28, 2005

More Palm Tuneage...

Again, even though you never asked for it, here it is - another Microbe extravaganza produced entirely on the Palm (well, except for the fade-out at the end, which I processed in Audacity on my Mac):

Wong (hi-bandwidth / stereo) - will pop up in a new window

Wong (lo-bandwidth / mono) - will pop up in a new window

Don't say I never give you anything... in return, I won't say you wanted it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Penn Jacobs is alive and well...

I was duped for a period of at least 3 years.

A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of his at a party - his friend's name was Penn Jacobs. Penn was a really likeable guy - intelligent, witty, charming, handsome. He lived in Boston. He was erudite - I thought "Wow! How lucky is this guy to have such a great name like Penn Jacobs!?!?! It totally fits!"

A few years later we visited Penn at his apartment in Washington, DC - he'd moved to take a job down there. During that visit, they dropped the bomb.

Penn's real name wasn't Penn Jacobs. That was merely a put-on, a josh.

I won't say what his real name is because this is the internet and I have a sense of decorum. Besides, I wasn't mad or anything - just a little shocked and disappointed - not in anybody, but just that his name, which fit him so well, wasn't really his name.

I still like Penn, and I even accept his actual name now, but I always think first of Penn Jacobs. Let this be a lesson to ALL of you - first impressions are the ones that count!

If you ask me, I still think he should legally change his name to Penn Jacobs. So rarely does a name fit one so well.

Anyway, the former Penn writes a blog named Thumos.

Now he's Mr. T... albeit, no mohawk.
Will it never end?

Friday, August 19, 2005

There's no longer a P.

... it's just "Diddy" now, in case you weren't paying attention.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

So, what do those North Koreans think of us, anyway? offers a searchable database of articles from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the official press outlet of North Korea (otherwise known as the People's Democratic Republic of Korea: DPRK).

The official KCNA archive lacks a search engine. So the nice guys at NK-News (who live in San Francisco and are not associated with the KCNA or DPRK), have developed a search engine for the KCNA archive, which will pull up whatever terms you're looking for in KCNA articles dating back to 1996.

Lest you think that Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter are the height of demagoguery, they are feather-weights in comparison to the lambasting, fire-breathing voice of the DPRK channeled through the KCNA.

Do one of the suggested searches for "human scum"... my particular favorite result is "KCNA Blasts Hwang Jang Yop's Hysteric Remarks", where this Hwang Jang Yop fellow is described as, well, human scum! (A term also reserved for Donald Rumsfeld - who alternately is described as a "political dwarf"...) Later in the article Hwang Jang Yop is referred to as an "ugly looking man". In the DPRK, this is the propaganda, er, news that's fit to print...

In the US, we may complain about Fox News, but at least we have 1,000 alternatives... in the DPRK, you'll listen to the KCNA and like it. Or else.

DPRK - government or cult? You decide:

Saturday, August 13, 2005

He talks the talk, but does he walk the walk?

Okay - regular readers of this blog (yes, both of you, and I'm one of them) will recall that last week I busted on SUV's. I said:

"And that's why a Boxter, Miata, or any other 2 seat roadster convertible is still "cool": you can't do ANY of that stuff in it - you can only drive from point A to point B with the top down, enjoying the real world as you're living in its elements."

And anybody who knows me said:

"What the hell does that Hunter-Green-Jetta-Driving-Wonk know about driving a roadster?"

Well, I guess it's time to 'fess up: I picked up a Miata back in May.

It's a little white number with a red dual racing stripe down the center (no really, it actually does look snazzy)... it has a black convertible top. It's a 1990, the first production year, and I'm told that vintage of Miata is already considered a classic car because of its history and design.

For a 15 year old car it looks just great - it was well-maintained and mildly restored... and the best part of it is, the former owner let it go very inexpensively. I bought a great 2 seat roadster sports car for less than many people pay for a TV system these days! (Ok - maybe a 42" plasma screen with an High Definition TV receiver, but still half that price...)

I took it to the dealer for a used car inspection, and they gave it the A-OK - and told me these vintage Miatas were really well built and just keep on running! That's fine by me.

So far, everybody seems to like it - Nancy, my Folks & Family, strangers on the street. It needs a tiny-bit of body work, and maybe some engine work (the engine is very clean), but I intend to drive it around as-is during the warm weather, and then have work done on it in the Winter months (once it becomes too cold to drive with the top down).

So, yes, it's a new toy. It won't replace my Jetta (the practical car), it's a fair-weather weekend supplement for riding with the top down. And no, I won't do any practical errands in it - it's totally about the ride. I'd never drove a convertible before this car - I really enjoy it. Maybe motorcyclists feel this way as well, but when you drive with the top down, it really immerses you in the environment.

Anyway, enough of the blah-blah: here's a link to some photos...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mr. Fastfinger's Guitar Shred Show

This site requires a broadband connection, but boy! is it worth it!
Props to Mika Tyyskä, who made the thing.
Thanks to Michael Johnson for bringing it to my sphere of consciousness...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Another Palm Tune

I haven't posted any music on here for a while... so here's a recent Palm tune done with Microbe, a 2 voice + drum step-sequencer for the Palm.

Blinky (hi-bandwidth / stereo) - will pop up in a new window

Blinky (lo-bandwidth / mono) - will pop up in a new window

Yes, there indeed is a weird left-right tremelo thing going on in the stereo version (it's an effect!)... also the drum machine is run through a phaser, and the higher-pitched synth is going through a digital delay - all effects processing done in real time on the Palm!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Litterbox Challenge

OK... we have four cats.

That may sound like a lot, but think of it this way: we live in a house that has three floors and a basement, so that's one cat per floor. I know several people who have a much higher cat-to-floor-ratio. Needless to say, we are vermin free.

Anyway, there's a thing that happens when we clean the litterboxes. Now it's fair to say that cleaning the litterbox is as much good deed for the cats as it is for us. Cats are clean animals and they like clean litterboxes. They appreciate the fact that their poopies magically disappear, giving them a clean slate to again express themselves fecally.

But these cats - they are not content to let the litterbox lie fallow for a moment. A clean litterbox is a challenge to these little beasts. They watch as we scoop the litter, wide-eyed and calculating... with the intention to rush in the moment we replace the litterbox lid and poop as they have never pooped before.

I don't know where they get it all - do they wait all day like some bulemic in reverse, do they collectively pool their poops in the other litterbox and carry them down to make one big hoe-down, do they have it trucked in from out of state?

I am at a loss to explain why the litterbox looks the same 5 minutes after being scooped. Their productivity is remarkable.

None-the-less, I love the cats. Really.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

SUV's are the new minivan

Once upon a time, the Sport Utility Vehicle was a creature made for off-road travel, found in the back-country of the American Southwest or on the African Savannah. They were a rare sight.

Now, they they jam city streets, clog highways, and cram mall parking lots.

The minivan fell out of fashion as being too unhip, too uncool, too square - too tied to the mundane activities of life. Soccer Moms and Business Dads wanted something flashier to keep ties to their youth - to keep alive the fantasy of adventure, like off-roading in the Desert... They've chosen the SUV.

Unfortunately, it's not the form-factor of a vehicle that defines it's "cool-ness", it's what you do with it: grocery shopping for the week, loading the kids off to soccer practice, moving your daughter to college, cocooning into a protected environment detached from the world outside, pacifying the children with the built-in flip-down DVD player... the mundanities remain the same. Real adventure is rare if the family car can't afford to be put at risk.

And that's why a Boxter, Miata, or any other 2 seat roadster convertible is still "cool": you can't do ANY of that stuff in it - you can only drive from point A to point B with the top down, enjoying the real world as you're living in its elements.

The fact of the matter is - SUV's are the new minivan.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Happy Swiss National Day!

Today is Swiss National Day!

Having obtained a BFA in Graphic Design from PCA (now UArts), I would like to acknowledge the country that has contributed greatly to the profession.

Please take a moment and enjoy the following Swiss imagery:
(To my knowledge, they're not copyrighted - if they are, let me know and I'll remove them...)