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Music TopicBand of the Day! This is the friend of mine that I alluded to
a few days ago. I was lucky enough to see him in Portland last week,
my rock and roll buddy Jonny X, leader of the band Jonny X and the Groadies. I like
his band, which is kind of techno-midi-metal in the Ministry mold. I
once saw this band play a basement gig at which I was at least 12
years older than the next oldest person. One of my early acts in
building the WREK automation system was to insert the Groadies song
“Gravedigger” into the system. In fact, during their last (and only)
nationwide tour, we had a house full of Groadies spending the
night. You can get one of their songs at their download page.

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More public radio stuff. I browsed around and was looking at the site
for This American
Life
. I really think I want to buy the comic
book about the making of the show
. It’s drawn by Jessica Abel of
Artbabe comics. I’ve always
enjoyed the program which is always good and frequently
brilliant. However, my issue with it is that it can be so
hyper-intellectual that it gets soulless. I think that it often is all
ego and no id. Still good. I started listening about five years ago,
shortly after we moved to Portland. In all that time, though, I’ve
never been a regular real-time listener. Luckily they now have every
episode available by RA streaming. One of the shows I particularly
liked since it fits with my fascination with Lucha Libre is the
episode entitled Leave the
Mask On
. Segment three is a story recorded in Mexico with some
Luchadores, including one who was unmasked and thus could never
wrestle again. I find this stuff very moving.

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We were listening to Prairie Home
Companion
this evening, the first time in a while. It made for a calm
pleasant evening, sitting in the living room whilst listening to
it. We saw the show performed while we lived in Portland, and it was
quite an experience. For me, the best part of the show is always “The
news from Lake Woebegon.” They are so often melancholy and wistful,
and that point where the monologue ends and then there are 6 or 8
minutes left of the show always leaves me kind of sad because it is
all over.

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From science fiction writer Maureen
McHugh
on SFF.net, here are a list of handy Latin phrases:

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit! God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt. When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.

Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est. The designated hitter rule has got to go.

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure. I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare. I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem. In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags.

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris. If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione. I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult.

(At a poetry reading) Nullo metro compositum est. It doesn't rhyme.

Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema. I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it isn't a poem.

Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri? How do you get your hair to do that?

Feles mala! Cur cista non uteris? Stramentum novum in ea posui. Bad kitty! Why don't you use the cat box? I put new litter in it.

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt. You know, the Romans invented the art of love.

(At a barbeque) Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri? Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

Neutiquam erro. I am not lost.

Hocine bibo aut in eum digitos insero? Do I drink this or stick my fingers in it?

Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur. Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.

Calling the race early

Here is an article in Business 2.0
about ebooks
. It’s interestingly bad journalism, full of foregone
conclusions, including the statement that ” One of the reasons e-books
failed is that so many formats … vied for attention.” Huh? When did
this race end? Ebooks are getting better each year, growing something
like 25 or 30% each year, and generally blossoming into a healthy
industry. This is about what I expect from Business 2.0, shoddy
journalism and serial fad jumping.

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I spoke too soon, we did eat dinner at Ryan’s. We changed our mind at
the last minute, and gorged on turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, okra,
mac and cheese, ham, and all the other good stuff. It being free day
today, I have to eat while the iron is hot. Tomorrow that goes away.

For fun tonight, we watched Monsters, Inc., which I
loved! What a good movie. This would be a good DVD to own, since there
is a whole second disc of extra stuff. I watched the fake bloopers and
some of the production stuff. I could see exploring the rest over time.

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Since we aren’t going anywhere or cooking anything, this has been a
pretty lazy day. We didn’t even feel like going to Ryan’s for lunch, so
we are going to an Indian restaurant in Decatur for dinner and calling
it good.

We watched part of the Paul McCartney thing last night. Sad thing
about him is that he played a lot of songs of his that I love, not a
one of them composed after 1982 or so. Unlike a Warren Zevon who is
good up to the end, McCartney basically stopped composing music that is of
consequence to me.

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Music TopicBand of the day time! This is a really weird one, suggested by
a guy who will be in an upcoming BOTD. They do songs based on science
fiction works and SF writers. On their website they have songs such
as “Neal Stephenson” and “Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore” for god’s
sake! It’s metal, and I can’t understand a word they are saying, but
that does not in any way make it less freaking cool. Direct link to
the download page is right
here
. From their website:

Dedicated to “the promotion of literacy in a heavy-metal format,”
BloodHag “will blow your illiterate ass right back to the library,”
promises the Seattle band’s Web site. Dressed, as one reviewer noted,
like a “gang of wayward librarians” in white button-down shirts, ties,
and glasses, and with a repertoire of songs exclusively about
science-fiction authors, the band isn’t afraid to reveal the “overall
nerdiness in heavy metal that no one wants to acknowledge,” lead
singer Jake Stratton told American Libraries.

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I took a first stab at the e-mail problem, deleting a lot of low
hanging fruit like mailing lists and e-mail notifications of stuff and
the like. This got me from 2475 to about 2200. My goal is to be at
zero by 12/31, after which every day I handle the e-mail each day. I
want to no longer use the in-box as an all purpose holder. If I want
to hang on to it because it has a good URL, I put it in the folder for
those things. If it needs a reply, it goes in that folder. I so
desperately need to get organized! The paper needs it worse, and is on
the list.

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Technology TopicI’m looking at working with a few Java packages for fun things on the
side. I want to develop some small Java Servlets running under Tomcat,
preferrably using Velocity as
the template engine and Cayenne as
the database connectivity/persistence layer. We’re looking at using
the latter at work, so I’m getting a little experience with it. I
found a pretty cool article on building a weblogging tool using much
of the above (not Cayenne though) at Oreilly’s Onjava.com website in
this article Building
an Open Source J2EE Weblogger
. Cool stuff.

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One of the things that I need to try to do over the holiday is get
control of my e-mail inbox. I had this goal a while back of getting my
inbox empty. Right now, it’s filled with all the mail I want to reply
to, plus things I might be interested in saving, and spams I haven’t
deleted, etc. At one point I was going nuts to delete/file/save/remove
100 mails a day. When I started I was at 1500, and I got down to 1000
or so. Today I have 2500 in my inbox. My goal is to make a folder
called “Needs Reply” and immediately put mails in there if that is the
case. Every day, I try to reply to everything in there, filing or
deleting it when I’m done. As it is now, the mails I want to reply to
get lost in the torrent of new ones, and it isn’t uncommon for them to
go a looooong time. The number of my friends who write me asking “Are
you getting my e-mail?” is alarmingly high (I got one this morning),
so I need to take care of this.