I just found and loaded

I just found and loaded up a backup of my eudora install, circa late 1996. Reading the email I wrote to friends, I can’t belive what I’m seeing. It’s as if I’m reading a stranger’s words.

Among the messages, there were a lot of goofy, gushy stuff I sent to Kay, but here’s one of my favorites:

To show you my love, I swung by the bookstore to buy a book of poems I could read to you, but there were all these trigonometry books on sale, and they were so much cheaper. With some minor adjustments (every time you see the word “angle”, change it to “angel”), they do the job just as well, heres a sample:

I compliment you, angel,
and define you infinitely.
I am your adjacent angel.
You are my cosine.
I denote you factorially.
I am the curve generated
by the motion of your point.
Oh! Acute angel!

(actually I stole that whole thing from a bogus self-help book, but I thought it was funny, even if I lifted it…)

New photos from this weekend,

New photos from this weekend, with plenty of more macro experimentation goodness. This is my first camera with a decent macro, so please forgive my temporary indulgence with this feature. I’ll be posting normal photos soon.

The first image in the set is worth discussing. The intersection outside our apartment is Masonic Avenue and Fell Street, and sees plenty of traffic. A few months ago, they began work upgrading the old traffic signals, which are small, dark, and off to the sides of the intersection. The city got as far as putting bright new shiny aluminum poles on one side which stretch across the intersection, yet even months after their installation, they are free of new traffic lights. Now, we’ve lived here for over a year, and up until recently have never seen or heard an auto accident occur outside, but in the past two months alone, we’ve witnessed at least four major, car-totalling, injury accidents. Previous to the traffic work, we’d occasionally hear a skid once a week or so, and now it’s nearly a daily occurrence.

My hypothesis is that the new traffic poles obscure the signals on the right side (I wish I had before/after shots to illustrate this), leaving only the small, dark signal on the left side to show drivers whether they should stop or go (which is non-standard for the city, most traffic signals are on the right and above the intersection). Additionally, the bare poles have a bright, shiny quality that draws the eye to them, and being devoid of lights, my guess is some drivers just don’t see a signal, and if there are no drivers in front or beside them to remind them to stop at a red light, they continue through what appears to be a non-signaled intersection. This has resulted in several serious accidents, all involving speeds high enough to spin vehicles out of control and in this last case, flip them over completely.

Interfaces can kill, and in this case, the traffic interface is causing accidents. My hope is that the city of San Francisco completes their projects soon.

Ozomatli is the hardest working

Ozomatli is the hardest working band in show business. I’ve heard great things about their live shows but nothing could prepare me for their show experience. The opening band was well matched with their style and sound, and when Ozomatli emerged in the back of the crowd, playing on their way to the stage, they didn’t stop until two and a half hours later. It was high energy from start to finish, with the crowd becoming part of the band, singing along all night. They played old and new hits, got the audience jumping over and over again, and ended it by going back into the crowd and jamming for 20 minutes or so. The time flew by, and I was happy to see they never did the rock star encore thing.

If you have the chance, see their live show, it’s an incredible experience.

Finally saw Hedwig and the

Finally saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which was great. What really blew me away though was the preview for Waking Life.

It appears as if it was shot digitally, with post-production that posterized each frame. It looks like an amazing piece of work, a nice blend of reality and art. I expect it to play with the possibilities of animation and make for an interesting experience.

Today, while leaving the theater

Today, while leaving the theater (saw Iron Monkey, it was like Crouching Tiger, except free of those annoying details like plot or love interests), I noticed a poster for Shallow Hal. Now, the thing is it looked like I had seen the poster before. I figured out what the resemblence was, and it was the fonts used in the title. Hollywood has been producing a screwball comedy about once every 3 months for the last few years, and they often carry fat, sans-serify fonts with mild outlines. I’ve created the ultimate movie poster title here:

this movie is going to be side-splitting funny!

If you don’t believe my trend-spotting, here’s a quick sampling of recent wacky movies with similar poster font choices: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Windows XP comes out later

Windows XP comes out later this week, and I doubt I’ll be upgrading anytime soon. I used one of the betas on a laptop, but I’m not that impressed with the features (especially on a desktop – cleartype was pretty cool on a laptop LCD though). This release seems to be Windows 2000.1 with a bunch of weird marketing features. There’s also one big thing I don’t like about XP.

You no longer own software.

When you go to the store and buy a box with a CD in it, you figure you own those 1’s and 0’s that make up the OS, right? When I was testing out XP earlier this year, I couldn’t help but feel I was leasing or renting the code from Microsoft. Their Passport system hooks into their instant messenger and hotmail in outlook express, the photo printing is done through their online partners, and the activation process and their periodic monitoring of my system seem to be a bit much.

If I buy the digital bits that compose a program, I expect that to be the end of the relationship with the company. When I want an update, I’ll contact the company, otherwise our transaction is over. XP doesn’t allow for that, and instead I’m forced to maintain an ongoing relationship with the company, whether I want to or not.

I’m really surprised Microsoft took things as far as they did, encroaching on customers’ systems and desktops, especially given their ongoing legal troubles for previous monopolistic actions. XP makes win95’s OS integration with their browser seem like a joke. We used to worry about that?

Hopefully some enterprising young hackers will devise ways to completely remove all the passport hooks, keep MS from checking on me periodically, and kill the activation crap. I just want to buy software and be left alone, is that too much to ask?

Today was a full day.

Today was a full day.

After getting up far too early and heading out to Sacramento, I got to see David Carson speak. It was about two hours of slides and maybe 30 minutes of his videos. He talked about inspiration, intuition, and putting as much of yourself into your work as possible. Overall, a great experience [photos from the trip].

When I got back, a bmx street contest was in full swing, just outside our apartment. I took a few quicktime movies of the pro-level action.

I spent about 15 hours

I spent about 15 hours driving during the past 48 hours, and a couple thoughts came to me in that time. Long drives are great for conjuring up big ideas.

1). If society made one small change, we would be living in everlasting peace, with boundless prosperity, and experiencing eternal kindness to one another. Simply base all countries’ forms of currency on the doughnut.

“Say, how much is a haircut?”
“Four doughnuts”
“Great, and here’s a doughnut hole for your trouble”

“Today’s payday, here’s your check.”
“Woo hoo! 384 doughnuts!”

I’m telling you, war and famine would be a thing of the past.

2). Seeing a few dozen “United We Stand” billboards and bumperstickers on the highway got me thinking… what the hell is Hawaii doing halfway across the South Pacific? Did you know that Alaska is just miles from the coast of Russia? That’s not united! From this day forward, I am choosing to no longer recognize Hawaii or Alaska as members of the United States. You want to be part of this country? Move your goddammed state next to the rest of them.