I continue to investigate moving to Moveable Type, which I'd really like to do. I like the layout options, the look, that it sits on your own server, etc. My limited HTML and related skills continue to slow me down. Argh! I'm receiving advice from a number of caring people, for which I am grateful. I downloaded the MT installation and user manuals, ftp'd the required files to the server, but am stalled at a point where you need to check for Perl scripts by executing a .cgi file. So far, I cannot execute this file, or for that matter, any of the .cgi files sitting in their directory. Instead of executing the files, I get asked by the computer if I want to save or download the file - duh. I've posted a message on their support forum and am hoping someone can help. Truly this is frustrating. It's interesting to note that Telus does not permit access to Perl and related files on their server, unless you buy domain access.
Bottom line is that I'm determined to make this work. Somehow.
I burned a CD tonight for my dear friend Stevie Ray's 12th birthday, on Sept 2nd. I hope she likes the tunes: 1) The Strokes: Last Nite; 2) Dalbello: With All Your Heart; 3) Nickleback: This Is How You Remind Me; 4) Los Lobos: Run Away With You; 5) Spacehog: In The Meantime; 6) B52's: Love Shack; 7) Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: The Rising; 8) Goo Goo Dolls: Slide; 9) Buffalo Tom: Soda Jerk; 10) Ned's Atomic Dustbin: Stuck; 11) Jimi Hendrix Experience: Spanish Castle Magic; 12) The Cult: She Sells Sanctuary; 13) Presidents of the United States of America: Cleveland Rocks; 14) Tommy Tutone: Jenny (867-5309); 15) Sherena Dugani: Accidental Angel; 16) The La's: There She Goes Again; 17) Let's Active: Waters Part; 18) Pete Yorn: Life on a Chain; 19) Snow: Everybody Wants to be Like You; 20) John Mayer: No Such Thing.
I like making compilation CDs and tapes. It's a Guy Thing. And I've been listening to a lot of Los Lobos for the past two weeks, and have concluded that if I could be in an electric band again, it would be a lot like Los Lobos: rocking out with guitars, sax, vocals, great percussion, in other words, mucho fun.
I've been hesitant to post items about Sept 11; there is a glut of information out there, the anniversary is impending, and I have a personal connection to NYC. That said, this story truly moves me. It provides brief insight into the last few moments on Flight 11, and speaks to the courage and professionalism of the crew on the plane.
Taz talked me into seeing Wilco tonight at Red's. The show was much better than I expected. Jeff Tweedy was really into the music, the band rocked, the drummer, Glen Kotche, hauled ass on every song, and Leroy Bach, the new multi-instrumentalist, filled songs with various electronic noises and sounds, in addition to adding sweet keyboards and guitar.
Tomorrow is the final stage of getting my root canal completed. This last trip is to have a filling inserted into the crown of the tooth that had four canals repaired. Lovely stuff. I'm also hoping to study Movable Type with the idea of migrating to that software from Blogger, which isn't always user-friendly.
Rebecca Blood has made available, from her new book, her take on weblog ethics. I'm pleased to point you to this column, because I think it's important, and because ethics is a strong interest of mine. Rebecca proposes that the weblog's greatest strength, that it is uncensored and not influenced by outside sources, is also its greatest weakness. Take the time to read this, it's worth it.
I had a great time at Angayla's wedding last night. She looked stunning in her dress and with her hair done so well. I met new people, including beautiful women, played guitar with her Angayla's brother Krispian (Heather's boyfriend) and his friend from Ireland, Pat, until after 1:00 am. Having not played much guitar lately, my fingers are still sore. But we had much fun, and Angayla's family certainly made me feel welcome. (I was perhaps her "newest" friend at the wedding - I've known her for six years, but only in the past year have we been able to visit and talk when time permitted. This year I was fortunate to have her added to our crew, Perfomer Hospitality, at the folk music festival.) Anyway, the food, company and atmosphere was wonderful. Jeannine's husband Mark created some interesting shadows using a napkin and the sun.
I'm on one of those pop-culture media overload states at the moment. Too much to watch, read, listen, play. Only 24 hours in the day. My magazines are piling up. Was up till 2 am this morning, after hanging out with the BAWC (Bi-Weekly After Work Club) at the Fringe, enjoying ourselves with beer and good company in the warm evening shade in a beer tent. I returned at 12:45 and was compelled to watch the first of eight new OZ episodes. (Those of in the USA have seen these episodes already, remember, I'm talking about the backwaters of Canadian television here.) In 45 mins, I'm off to Angayla 's wedding.
There's much I've been wanting to write lately - it's a question of time management. I don't believe in the expression, "I don't have the time". It really is: "I haven't made the time", or variations thereof.
Finally, Chris tells me about The Degree Confluence Project. "The goal of the project is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures and stories will then be posted here." Excluded are the oceans (hey, another picture of WATER!), and some of the north and south pole locations. Who has time to do these kinds of things?
Some of us were out last night to see Ann Vriend and her band, The Dropouts, perform. Ann begins recording her first CD next week, and I look forward to it. Despite really bad sound, I enjoyed her performance considerably. This is a woman with a strong and powerful voice. Her songwriting mixes many styles, making it hard to describe her music short of saying that she mixes pop, folk, a little jazz, motown, funk, and God knows what else. With such a mix of styles, she is able to utilize the considerable range of her voice. As mentioned, the sound buried her voice in the mix. Her band features solid guitar and bass players; if I dare suggest a weakness, it may be the percussionist, who could be tighter and more compact in his delivery. Regardless, she comes highly recommended, folks, living proof that younger artists can produce and create great music that doesn't have to be considered alternative to be cool. Watch out for her.
The question was put to me today, "How would you define peaceful, i.e., being at peace with yourself?" Answering something like, "not being anxious" wasn't acceptable. I've yet to develop an answer that satifies me (it's a life-long journey). How would you define "being peaceful, at peace with yourself"?
CD sales continue to slide in the USA. The RIAA continues to blame downloading, but that's a load of hooey. Read Mark Jenkin's piece in Slate, which highlights past declines, and what the industry blamed at that time. Instead, he discusses the real reasons: fragmented audiences, younger listeners with no artist loyalties, and the fact that the big five labels are all controlled by five multinationals in trouble, with little interest in the music biz. Don't forget that a lot of the music being marketed to ALL of us is shyte. All the more reason to continue to support indie labels and local music.
What's sacred (anymore)? A company in the USA called LifeGem is now offering to take the carbon from the cremated remains of your loved one, and use it to manufacture a diamond that you can wear forever. According to a news release, the diamonds are "certified by the world's foremost gemologists at the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) in New York". "Hi, wow, what a nice diamond ring, where'd you get it?" "Oh, from Grandpa's ashes!"
I broke down and had digital cable installed today. I ordered the basic package, which includes a handful of "Movie Central" channels. I'm really doing this so I can watch/tape HBO shows like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Six Feet Under , Six Feet Under, etc., when they are first broadcast. I swore I'd never do this - I detest that we cannot subscribe to channels like HBO and Cinemax in Canada. Damn our federal regulations. But I can't change it myself, so I've given in to my baser reflexes and done the dirty deed.
Here is a short, positive review of Rebecca's book.
On campus right now, there is an eerie calm-before-the-storm feeling. Few students are about, yet in two weeks the place will be crawling with 30,000 of them. My first research skills presentation is on Sept 2 to 135 Chem Eng 200 students.
I planned to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding today, but screwed up the times and saw Blue Crush instead. A film with no plot but great action photography. Admittedly, seeing attractive bikini-clad women throughout the pic doesn't hurt either. Beforehand, I went to our local book monstermega chain store to look for Randy Cohen's and Al Franken's new books, and discovered Rebecca Blood's new book as well. Previously I'd mentioned that when I called the store, they told me they had no copies. Duh. I've been up for 18 hours (triathalon volunteering early today). Been surfing blogs (after seeing a surf movie, ha ha ha!), eating the best Italian sausage pizza while drinking Orange Crush. Hey, another Crush reference!
I've created a work-in-progress version of an "about me" page. Let me know what you think, if you are so moved. The pop culture information needs massive updating, I'm a wee bit lazy at the moment.
I was up this morning at 6:00 am to volunteer at my local Y's Triathalon. I sat on a chair and directed people running in the 5K mini-marathon. At one point the chair collapsed and I smashed and scraped my right elbow into the concrete curb, so it's now swollen and bearing road rash. Now it's around 1230 hrs, and I'm going to nap, then go to the library to pick up some Los Lobos CDs, and get that latte I need...
Movie Punks is a hilarious comic strip from Toronto. Check it out and have a good laugh. I see it as a parallel to the library-based strip called Overdue, which I mentioned recently. Thanks to Taz for bringing Movie Punks to my attention.
Rebecca Blood's new book, The Weblog Handbook, is a title I want to buy. However, here in Edmonton (metro population ~900,000), there is not a copy in sight. Canada's megamonster bookstore chain, Chapters/Indigo, is not stocking the book. I called our best indie store, Greenwoods, and they don't have it. Argh. I will resort to ordering it online.
This week I've been dealing with odd and sometimes negative comments and misinterpreted writings and the like. It's happened three times already, weird. It's also unsettling. Some of it is my doing - not articulating my thoughts correctly, opening them to misreads, or being overzealous in trying to keep others informed. It's humbling, and brings you back to earth. I get emotional before I get rational. I recognize that about myself, and try to pull back before acting, but it's not always possible in some situations. *oh well*, you live and learn. Thank goodness for good friends who care.
I am restless and impatient with the world, and with myself. I am exhausted, mentally, physically, emotionally, from the events of the past few days: relatives and friends staying at my house, working 5 days at our amazing folk music festival, dealing with screaming pain in my face from an abscessed tooth, working on plans for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary dinner in Winnipeg on Sept 21 2002. The latter event is one of love, but requires much energy to be spent in a month in which I am the busiest on my job (Sept). I have played little guitar lately (although I did get to noodle on a mandolin at the Folkfest), am behind in my reading, and haven't worked out for a week. In a moment of weakness, I ordered digital cable this evening so I could have access to Movie Central and watch the new Sopranos episodes when they appear in September. (It is frustrating living in Canada, where federal regulations do not permit networks like HBO to be broadcast on cable services here. I hate that this rule exists, it is shit piled too high for me.) In a few weeks, I'll be watching new L&Os, West Wings, and God knows what else, succumbing to my weaknesses for these shows. SNL, MAD-TV, Sports Centre... Never mind that I am behind in my movies. Heaven forbid I might actually get a girl friend and find other things to do. Why is there only 24 hours in the day? I mean, what is UP with that?
In blogging, I am equally impatient. I want to emulate sites like Like an Orb, Rebecca's Pocket, Abstrusities.com, pabulum, and others (the links are on the left). I want a layout like Rebecca's, and I want to post pictures like George and Cia do on their sites. I don't know the coding. Argh. Too impatient to learn it. Lazy bum. Something will give soon. Good night, world.
1. Do you have a car? If so, what kind of car is it? Yes, a 1996 Toyota Corolla.
2. Do you drive very often? Every day.
3. What's your dream car? Difficult to say, but it could be an Audi or a Mercedes.
4. Have you ever received a ticket? Yes, a few for speeding, primarily.
5. Have you ever been in an accident? Yes, all of them minor fender benders.
I survived the FolkFest. More on this later. I've lost the commenting feature on my site, and have noticed other YACCS users have also lost it as well. I don't know why this has happened...well, maybe not. I see YACCS is back in business. Probably an afternoon glitch. One thing at the festival: I spent two days in excrutiating pain from an abscessed tooth - I will require endodontic treatment tomorrow. *sigh* More later, including photos from the festival.
Absolutely exhausted. Finished Day 1 of EFMF. Had a great visit with Janis Ian, we spoke about her article, "The Internet Debacle - An Alternate View". Her performance tonight was outstanding, a solo act to complete the night's main stage lineup. Back at the festival hotel, parties happen on Friday, Sat and Sun night. I learned that Los Lobos will be playing at the Sat night party - can you believe this? I hope they play Viking and/or Georgia Slop. I took 70 pix tonight, but you'll have to wait a bit for me to load them. I need to get to bed.
Let it be resolved that: in all further comments or blog entries regarding new movies, if what I write gives away major plot points, I will preface the remarks with the word "Spoiler", or a variation thereof.
Was playing the John Mayer CD in the car, and Chris thought it sounded like Dave Matthews. A little, perhaps, but the sound is refreshing to me. I have visitors at my house for two days - my Auntie Ida, whose appeared in an Oscar-nominated cartoon, her husband Bill, who has a famous cousin, and their two wonderful friends from Birmingham, England. I was treated to a scrumptious dinner tonight at Sicilian Pasta Kitchen (to die for), and then rented Waiting For Guffman for them while I went to the Folk Fest offices to pick up a package for Chris (who is on the Records Tent crew for the first time).
Tomorrow after work I pick up the booze for the riders of some of the artists at the festival. And it's bloody late, and I need sleep. And I apologize for my comments on Signs which contained a major spoiler for those who haven't seen it. The comment was deleted. Anyway, I hope to have some reports from the folkfest if I can find the time in between sleeping and being at the site. I don't plan to be very sentient from now until Monday. BTW, I'm a member of the "Performer Hospitality" Team at the FolkFest - yes, we pamper and take care of the performers, giving them rides to stages, help when they need it, massages (yes, they can book massages with therapists on site), provide a green room with wine and booze and munchies, and make them feel at home.
Admittedly, the previous entry was, well, lame-oh. I don' t know why I left it in, I can still delete it. However, perhaps it belongs there, in its simplicity and honesty. Maybe it's a metaphor for life. How is your life? I dunno, I'm "just testing" today.
As you can see, I loaded comment software onto my blog. It took a while, a few Google searches, but then I was checking Jennifer Piston's blog, and noticed her comment boxes originated with YACCS. I went to the site, and what I saw seemed to be straightforward, relatively, so I loaded it into my blog. It took an hour of tweaking, but if finally seemed to work.
This weekend I saw the two movies below, plus Signs last night, and Tadpole this afternoon. I'm still mulling over these movies. M Night Shymalan sets a great mood in Signs, and he uses his actors well, including the children. There is an enormous suspension of disbelief required, yet despite that, it's difficult to buy into a lot of it. The ending is too Spielbergian for my liking (and I like Spielberg). And it wasn't as scary as I wanted it to be. Despite the above, I can say I liked it and am glad I saw it.
Perhaps the best endorsement I can give it is that it comes across as a really good X-Files episode (which for some people, is no endorsement, I know...)
Tadpole is a coming-of-age film that crosses a few boundaries, given that a 15-year old boy sleeps with a 40-something woman in the movie. Had the sexes been reversed, we'd have Lolita. However, this is NYC in 2002, where the level of what might be acceptable has dropped a few notches since 1960. The script is very funny, and the dinner scene is priceless and very well-edited. The film is very short, under 80 minutes. The movie cuts corners given its short running time, and Robert Iler of The Sopranos, in a supporting role, seems wasted. But the other actors, especially Bebe Neuwirth, are wonderful to watch.
Relatives and others from Winnipeg descend upon my house tomorrow, and when they leave, it's Edmonton Folk Music Festival time. I hope to hear some of these artists next weekend (when I'm not working backstage helping them with whatever ...)
I've been uninspired this weekend. I think it's because so much is about to happen: my aunt, her husband and another couple will be staying at my house on Tue and Wed. On Wed evening, work on the Edmonton Folk Music Festival begins. I need to pick up booze for the various riders of some of the performers, bring it to the main site and help set up our area (Performer Hospitality). Then Thu-Sun is the festival itself, considered the premiere event of its kind in North America (sorry, Newport). These musiciansare performing this year. I hope Los Lobos plays Georgia Slop and Viking (a song featured in Season 2 of The Sopranos).
Yesterday I saw Lovely and Amazing, and The Mothman Prophecies. Mothman was interesting, better than I thought it would be. Lovely and Amazing was ok, didn't work for me too much. Emily Mortimer is lovely to watch. The story didn't hold my attention all that well.
A few things: 1) The Ladies of Star Trek (original 60s series); 2) Looking for some seaweed sheets, steel-cut Irish oatmeal, or a bottle of tender cactus to deal with those late night munchies?; 3. Do you need caffeine in the morning, but don't feel like having coffee after you've showered? Try Shower Shock soap; 4) A US law firm is preparing to file lawsuits against Dean Kamen and DEKA on behalf of people who are injured using the Segway, which isn't yet available for purchase to the public; 5) NYPD Green
1. What is your lineage? Where are your ancestors from? Hungary, Germany (somehow), Scotland, France, Quebec.
2. Of those countries, which would you most like to visit? wouldn't matter, but Scotland would be cool
3. Which would you least like to visit? None of them, I'd visit all of them if I could.
4. Do you do anything during the year to celebrate or recognize your heritage? No.
5. Who were the first ancestors to move to your present country (parents, grandparents, etc)? 13 generations back to my Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great grandparents, a man named Nicolas Marsolet, who was born in Roeun, Normandy, France in the late 1570s or 1580s, and a woman named Marguerite De Planes. Their son, also named Nicolas, born 1601, came to the New World in 1612 on Samuel de Champlain's second voyage to New France. However, these dates are in question, because when you do a Google search on "nicolas marsolet", you will find sites that suggest he was born in 1587.
Have you heard of the latest trend in trying to get your attention to buy something? How about: undercover or stealth marketing, or better yet, and more truthful: viral marketing, or roach bait marketing. Actors and actresses pose as regular people and interact with the public, engaging them in discussion or making them aware of a new product. They can pose as phony tourists, locals in a nightclub, whatever. You can close pop-up ads. But if you're at the top of the Empire State Bldg, and a nice elderly couple asks you to take their picture with their fancy new quadro-quirk T68i cellphone...
At work, I am building an online resource guide for nanotechnology. At the U of A, the National Institute for Nanotechnology is now open, and soon to expand into its own, yet-to-be-constructed building. I've added this site, which I think is very cool: "KurzweilAI.net features the big thoughts of today's big thinkers examining the confluence of accelerating revolutions that are shaping our future world, and the inside story on new technological and social realities from the pioneers actively working in these arenas.
We are witnessing intersecting revolutions in a plethora of fields: biotechnology, nanotechnology, molecular electronics, computation, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, virtual reality, human brain reverse engineering, brain augmentation, robotics, and many others. The leading visionaries represented on this site examine these transforming trends and their profound impact on economics, the arts, politics, government, warfare, medicine, health, education, disabilities, social mores, and sexuality."
Last February I lost my 90 Corolla in a fire. More about that later. A week later, I bought a 96 Corolla. It's ok, it runs, it plays CDs. Yesterday I was out for dinner at a friend's place, and when I left, my licence plate was nowhere to be seen, certainly not on the back of the car where it's supposed to be. I couldn't tell if it fell off, or was stolen. Regardless, I drove home, hoping no police cars would happen by, and reported it to the police. I received a file number, and this morning went to the AMA to get a new plate (we use only back plates in Alberta). The replacement was fast, costing $20.49Cdn. I also stopped at my local Toyota dealership, and picked up two special plastic screws (no charge!) for the back plate area. The police constable told me that plates are stolen as much as cars these days, and that he doubted seriously that the plate fell off of its own volition. Whatever.