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Between the road rage stuff, some work things I can’t go into
publicly, Zevon’s cancer and now this namecalling, I’m really down. Secret shameful
confession – I’m not much of a badass. More of a candyass, really. My
entire life, I have had a hard time shaking off insults even when I
know better than to take them personally. I used to get a lot of that
in high school and junior high since I was an easy target. I try to
grow a thick skin and seal it with a coat of apathy, but I never do it right and
the negativity leaks right in. I am determined to not be bothered by
this. Here I go, not being bothered by it. How’m I doing?

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Yipes, now I have been called a “techboy who [has] no knowledge of the
entertainment industry and how it works” in a post. That kind of
hurts my feelings. Damn. The response from my wife is always the same
in these situations, “Why do you care?” I don’t know why, but I do. Oh
well. Tomorrow is another day.

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Damn damn damn. I just saw news that Warren Zevon, about whom I wrote
recently has terminal cancer. Here is
the story from
E-Online
. His 2000 album Life’ll Kill Ya was full of
songs about aging, dying and loss. Shit. At least he knows it is
coming and can spend his final days with his loved ones. Shit.

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The world of entertainment appears to be safe from me as an
e-pirate. I left that damn process crunching the AVI to MPEG-1, but
forgot to clear out the failed attempts, so it filled up the disk and
then bailed. I’m trying again after deleting a few gigs of crap,
another 15 or so hours to go before the next step.

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I just found out that my Razor2 wasn’t actually working, because of
permission issues on the log file. I fixed that, and now I’m getting
both the Razor 1 and Razor 2 checks on my mail. Spiffy!

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I’m fed up with Atlanta. I really hate driving around here,
particularly the morning commute which seems to bring out the asshole
in everyone. Today I had a guy honk at me for slowing down when a bus
blocked my path. No shit! Tthere was not enough room in my lane to get
by, I hit the brakes, and the guy in the Lexus behind me (who had been
tailgating for half a mile) lays on the horn. Um, dude, can you not
see this giant fucking bus in front of us? Seriously, what is wrong
with these people? My god I miss the telecommute days of getting up,
checking my e-mail, showering, and being at work 15 minutes after I
awoke. Ahh, those were the days.

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So the day is about over and I sincerely hope that everyone did what
they needed to and moved closer to healing. I chose to not watch any
of the memorial coverage or participate in any of the events – some of
my coworkers took the opposite approach. As a wise man once said
“Whatever gets you through the night, it’s all right.” My wish is for
a world more peaceful, for an America devoted to freedom and democracy
with all the will we have, for an America that puts its energy towards
love and tolerance.

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Music TopicI need to get serious again about the band of the day. I’m
tired of not doing it for so long that it’s more when I did it was an
odd exception. I have found one! It’s a local Atlanta band called
The Hiss. I read about them in
the Creative Loafing
and checked them out. They seem to fit in that broad category of The
Strokes, which is to say they are reminiscent of the same kind of simple
early 70’s rock. They don’t have a CD out, but do have MP3s available for
download.
Give it a listen.

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As an experiment in “digital piracy”, I decided to try downloading one
of the episodes of MST3K that I’ve never seen from the Digital Archive
Project. I’ve been working on this since Sunday, and I still don’t
have what I’m after. My goal was to get the episode and then burn it
to a VCD and watch it on my DVD player. First I had to download and
install eDonkey, an odd P2P client. It took over a day to get the file
down. Then I had an AVI of the movie. I downloaded VCDEasy, only to
find out that I cannot make it recognize my CD burner (despite being
one of the supported ones) and that the VDC requires the AVI to be in
MPEG-1 format. I downloaded TMPGEnc and started converting the AVI to
MP1. That was 10 hours ago, it still has 7 to go. I’m still not sure
that this thing will fit on the VCD when it is done. All in all, I’d
have to say that $15 would have been a bargain compared to the pain in
the ass this is. Which has been my point in all the discussions I’ve
ever been in on this subject – despite what it may seem like, piracy
is not fun. The folks who are willing to do this regularly have lots
of free time (which does not have a high dollar value) and kind of
enjoy all the crap that it takes. I really don’t believe that we are
in danger of consumers lining up to steal this stuff digitally. It’s
cheaper to buy it, when it is made available.

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I’ve made the decision for myself that I’m not watching the extensive
major network coverage of the 9/11 commemoration. As a group, I think
we are teetering on the hairy edge of grief turning to morbid
obsession.

I’ve been wondering a little why things are so radically
different between the Trade Center attacks vs. the Oklahoma City
bombing. The 150 or so people killed in Oklahoma City is probably a
similar percentage of the population as that of 3000 people is to
Manhattan. Why are Americans so much more worked up about this than we
were 6 years ago? Is it because New York captures more of our
attentions and hearts than Oklahoma? That the people killed in NYC
were more interesting than the people in Oklahoma? That we have an
“other” to blame and hate in this case? I just don’t understand it.

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I voted on the way to work, the least thrilling ballot I’ve ever
cast. Since I voted on the Democratic ticket in the primary, that is
what I had to vote in this runoff. I had exactly one decision to make,
the School Superintendent. I got there about 8:30 AM, 90 minutes after
the polls opened. I cast the first Democratic ballot, and one
Republican ballot had been cast. An underwhelming turnout, to say the
least.

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Wow, I thought I was saying radical things about being burned out and
tired of the 9/11 nonstop violin concerto. Here is a whole article on
reactions kind of like this at Salon.com.

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I upgraded my spam fighting software today, upgrading to
Razor 2.0 and
SpamAssassin 2.41. I’ve liked
both over the last 4 or 5 months, and am happy to be getting the
gee-whizzier capabilities of the new Razor. This is the one with
ephemeral hashes, trust based reporting (less vulnerable to deliberate
misreporting of righteous mail as spam), and other cool things. Like
when I first installed all this stuff, I find myself kind of impatient
to get spam now. I want to get some, to verify it’s all working and is
better. According to the docs, SA is now reporting fewer false hits
and better tagging things. We shall see.

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I fear this next week is going to be unbearable with remembrances of
September 11th. While not saying that I think we shouldn’t commemorate
or observe the anniversary, I note that those seeking to make hay from
this observance are thick on the ground. Politicians, TV channels,
newspapers are all plucking our heartstrings for all they are
worth. The artificiality of it makes me sick. This was a terrible day,
but probably not the worst moment in our history, not a reason to
alter the fundaments of our lives or values. Let’s spend a day
remember lost loved ones, thinking about what matters to us, and then
let’s move on. Morbidly obsessing on every detail that might fill up a
segment on the local news (“Local couple visited the Trade Center just
days before the attack!”) is not seemly and is a poor way to
memorialize an important and somber event.

Mike and Me and Tom Servo

The lady who took my picture with Mike
Nelson and Kevin Murphy was as good as her word, and she sent me the
photo in e-mail today. She sent it to me in 400 dpi, so you could
see every pimple and pore on all our faces. Note the clever product
placement of the WREK logo.

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My brother and sister-in-law were visiting Atlanta this weekend, with
my little neice Emily in tow. What a cutie, and she’s too little to do
anything even. Eat, sleep, cry, pee and poop. What a life.

I’m in WREK right now, digitizing some music and working a little
on the UI for the automation system. We’re down to less than 2 months
before I mostly cash out my chips and work on other stuff. I’m
organizing a media blitz for them over the end of October and
beginning of November, to announce their newfound wonderfulness, 24X7
operation, and other bits of fun radio goodness.

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This last week buzzed by. Has it already been a week since I was
plotting to inflict my wrestling tights on Dragon*Con? They are still
wadded up in a chair, in need of a wash. Where is the care tag on
wrestling tights? And do I need to polish the boots? I must learn how
to maintain all this crap now that I have it.

I had my first bad experience with OpenCOLA this week. When the
computer was down, I wasn’t online and logged in. After it all came
back up, all my data was gone. I thought the upgrade process had eaten
it, but when I mailed support they said that the data format changed
and everyone lost their data. Not good, replied I. If it happens
again, I’m cashing out of the beta. It’s a good and cool tool, but not
one I am inclinde to keep setting up over and over again.

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Although it didn’t feel so busy, I was kind of busy. I ended up not
putting anything in the weblog at all. My Dell nightmare is over, with
a new fan replacing the one that sounded like a jet airplane taking
off. One of my pet peeves was exercised, when Dell shipped me the fan
overnight, but Airborne Express wouldn’t deliver it because it needed
a signature. Why does Dell require a signature on what is essentially
a disposable part? If it doesn’t get delivered when no one is there to
sign for it (pretty common, when it is your house and you have a job),
then it isn’t next day delivery, is it?

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We watched More Tales of the City, Parts 5 and 6
tonight. We rented it a while ago, and our Blockbuster had 2
tapes. When the second tape ended on a cliffhanger, we realized that
it was actually a 3 tape set. We had waited about 8 months to finish
it off. It was a fluke, we were flipping channels and saw that it was on and
the parts we hadn’t already seen. It was a little weak, I thought, but
it was good to find out how it ended. I have many of the novels, which
I want to read in that mythical period when I have time.