30Jun2008 2129: Back in Action
Woopity woop, I'm back! Only...not on an iBook. It's some sort of terrible hardware fault that Apple Hardware Check can't even detect. Not even installing a completely fresh OSX could get it to boot reliably. I spent the weekend getting all the important files off and backed up into two or three locations around my PC tower. It was tense for a day or so but I finally managed to load the ethernet interface from the single-user mode command line, at which point I could mount an SMB share on my tower to a Unixy boot point and transfer files over the local network. This is about 75% easier than my initial plan, which inserted some Firewire and remote booting.
Anyway, throwing this up here quick since I don't plan to update on Wednesday. Just want to echo the Internet that both Wall-E and Wanted are worth your time, although the former about 100 times the latter. Wall-E is magnificent for the depth of character despite the incredibly limited vocabulary, and the eponymous little robot is a better actor than anything on display in Wanted. Wanted is magnificent for mapping the latest extremes in hating physics, to which it extends a gigantic middle finger that wraps around walls. There was shit in Wanted that I have never seen before, from the "bullet bending" that we saw in the trailers to the ridiculous ammunition that looks straight out of Daywatch to the undercurrent of hatred against public transportation. No, really. Wanted is biased against mass transit, as Angelina Jolie murders both a municipal bus and a passenger train with her car.
I want to say a few words to Disney right now. Disney: I know you own Pixar again in some sort of parasite/host arrangement. Fine. Whatever. You give them money, they give us awesome. But please do NOT put previews for your own Disney shit before a Pixar movie. You are only embarassing yourselves. You are only highlighting how much better Pixar is at this. YOU ARE TERRIBLE PEOPLE AND THIS TRAILER BROUGHT TEARS OF PAIN TO MY EYES. Beauty and the Beast was not shit like this. Little Mermaid was not this bad. But you, the current Disney that exists right now and blows godawful amounts of money on crap that John Lasseter wouldn't wipe his ass with, you need to stop. Stop. Take a step back, watch the entire Pixar catalog, and maybe some Animaniacs for good measure, and then think long and hard about making kids movies that don't cause adults physical discomfort. And NO RAPPING.
Done yelling now. I managed to get my iTunes up and running, so I can say that yes, [Sam Sparro - Black & Gold] is good, [Carter's Chord - Different Breed] is almost blues enough to counteract the country, and [Jorge Villamizar - Como Vivir Asi] failed to move me entirely.
25Jun2008 2015: High on Science
DAP revealed unto me this recipe for bacon ice cream that sounds like it should be inscribed on golden tablets and sealed in a temperature-controlled room. And that temperature would be ideal for eating ice cream. I'm not much of a cooker-person, but I feel that I must make this ice cream in the interests of science. Sweet, delicious science.
On the other side of "what hath science wrought?", I try not to agree with NORML and High Times and what-have-you. Sure, I may agree that the drug war is a silly idea, and that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as people invested in the drug war will tell you...but the pro-pot organizations are kinda creepy, too. I only bring this up because a recent Fark pot thread devolved into the usual back and forth, but one pro-potter made a very good point...seriously, WTF that our legal system can do this.
This next paragraph was going to be about how awesome my week has been, starting with the IRS deficit contribution and Guild of Calamitous Intent shirt I got on Monday. Right in the middle of typing about meatloaf, my iBook started stuttering on one of the free singles ([Sam Sparro - Black & Gold]...pretty good, from what little I heard) and stopped responding to input. I rebooted and got as far as loading my file manager, and it froze again. I rebooted again and it didn't even make it to the login screen.
Apple Hardware Test came back fine but fsck keeps finding new files to repair every time I run it and I'm typing this on my PC now and I can't review the other singles and aaaaargh this week is no longer awesome.
18Jun2008 1825: Deadpan in Concert
This is probably the most terrifying thing I've seen all month. The mediocre M Ward fronted by the unflappable Zooey Deschanel? I can't think of a more hilarious pairing that I would never ever want to pay money for. Not unless they had a single titled "The Problem with Tin Man."
I saw The Incredible Hulk and didn't see The Happening, and I am completely satisfied with that arrangement. Hulk definitely didn't live up to the high standards of Iron Man, but I've heard that the lacking character stories may eventually be remedied. It just wasn't balanced as well as Iron Man between action and talky-talky...and even the vaunted 30-minute ending fight scene was wasted with lots of bitch-slapping between humans.
[Don Tetto - No Estaba Acostumbrado (Explicit I guess)] is punk! Yay! This takes me back to high school in a good way.
[Rebelution - Safe and Sound] is reggae but doesn't trip my "reggae" alarm. Maybe it's the nice mellow tempo. Maybe it's that I can actually understand what he's saying. Maybe it's this chocolate bar I'm eating. Anyway, I would say you should at least check this one out. I bet the little iTunes preview is enough to judge this one.
[Karina - Can't Find the Words] is quite obviously a product of Keysian economics. The music label wrote down a little formula on a napkin: black woman + fedora + piano = platinum. They forgot to solve for "music".
12Jun2008 1957: Moving Slowly
Please excuse the lateness of my reply. Last night was a going-away party for a coworker, which resulted in some kind of half-waking half-passed-out booze zombie state at a local bar. I'm not sure which shot punched me in the consciousness, but I think it was the second-to-last one. Today has been all about warm broth and not moving too quickly.
[Locos por Juana - Armando] is halfway between ska I like and traditional mariachi crap. It had my attention right up until the children's chorus butted in, which only invites unfavorable comparisons. Nothing can defeat a half-elf bard!
[Ludovico Einaudi - Andare] is a pretty nice classical piano piece. Ludovico makes a pretty strong case for being the opening credits theme to the new X-Files movie; there's a quiet menace to the song that, well, put me in mind of Mulder and Scully. But not like this.
[Whitney Duncan - When I Said I Would] is country music without any of the redneck self-awareness or humor that makes such a twang palatable to me. I've been struggling to come to terms with the iTunes singles not being a spearhead for indie music, but rather yet another outlet for the Music Industry to push its radio crap at me. I could live without the country radio doing so.
04Jun2008 2047: Eight Foot Tall Piss Cup
Eight foot tall piss cup!
So while I was in the Cities for Memorial Day, my bro (pictured?) and I were hanging out at a coffee shop while my sister took care of some official business. It was a nice neighborhood; the strip mall had an antique store, an ice cream place, a hair salon, and a couple of coffee shops. There was a nice amount of foliage around in full bloom. The blocks on either side of this small commercial oasis were well-kept residential houses. My tea was served in a frankly gigantic collectible mug. Across the street was an eight foot tall piss cup.
This is probably magnificent advertising. After all, I'm reproducing it here for free. It's the kind of thing I want to write folk ballads about. This urinary icon has embedded itself into my consciousness...my thoughtstream, if you will. Who, of the people in charge of administering drug testing at their company, would decide to use HealthPartners because they drove by/were enamored of an eight foot tall piss cup?
[Babasónicos - Microdancing] continues the iTunes trend of decent 80s-sounding pop music. Microdancing is all synthy and I can visualize the lead singer as Corey Feldman. There's even the quiet flowing synth breakdown at the halfway point.
[Joel Auge - So Deep In Love] is a radio rock ballad, the kind where the guy goes up all falsetto in the middle of a word. Not to mention the terribly generic lyrics about the ocean and hoping and...oh man, you know what? He's a Christian artist. And not in the sense that he's a singer who is also Christian; in the sense that he can't seem to write a song about anything else.
[The Wombats - Let's Dance to Joy Division] proposes a solid plan: let's all listen to Joy Division instead. This song is pretty good for the first half but then they run out of lyrics and foist a rather terrible bridge upon us. It's a close call but ultimately I just can't recommend it.
01Jun2008 2239: FireFox 3
FireFox 3 has been pretty great so far. It takes much less memory and renders pages lightning fast...because most of the time it just skips rendering the Flash and images altogether. It makes browsing half of the Internet much more enjoyable. There is one known bug that I've run into, where it confuses the current site's stylesheet with "usenet.css".
No, really, 3 is going to be great.>