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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.

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Music TopicWe now resume our band of the day festivities. This is yet
another musician I saw at that benefit last January. It is rocker Sonia Tetlow. I saw her at the
Ralph Nader rally earlier this summer (I was the only person in the
entire building who was there only to see Patti Smith and Sonia Tetlow
and had no interest in Nader) and I always enjoy seeing her. She
doesn’t have any downloads on her website but she’ll be at the New
Orleans Hurricane festival, and they have some high quality Real Audio
files on their
web site
. Sonia is a great musician and I really dig her. I asked
her to mail albums to WREK, which they programmed and I hear pretty
often. She has my stamp of approval.

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Blood drive was a washout. I couldn’t park near the GT student center,
so I had to park halfway across campus and walk. By the time I finally
got over there, they were turning people away. Sigh. Maybe I’ll drive
out to the Red Cross place on Saturday. I’d like to be giving as close
to the maximum as I can, 6 times a year or so.

Since I’m on campus anyway, I’m now in WREK digitizing music into
automation. I’m exercising my personal agenda, and only spending time
on the Cajun and Zydeco things in the queue. I e-mailed a bunch of
Cajun labels to get them to send us stuff, and MTE Records was the
only one to really respond, sending us 20 releases or so. At least 6
or 7 of those were programmed, with more still getting worked on, so
it payed off for everyone involved, really. I’m rocking out right now
to Aldus Roger and the Lafayette Playboys. I met my share of Cajun
playboys in my time in Lafayette.

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I’ll be leaving work a little early and giving blood at Georgia
Tech. I’ve been getting back in the habit of doing this regularly. I
used to do it like clockwork but fell away a little. I’ve moved and
lost cards and such, but if you add up all my donations over the last
15 years, I’ve got to be in the several gallons of blood given. Since
I have no problem with it and never have. I in fact give the blood so
well that I used to race my friends – I can give a pint in a few
minutes and if I really pump my fist I can make the tube wiggle like a
firehose. Might as well do my civic duty.

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At this moment, I’m sitting on my couch, listening to some of Steve
Coleman’s music I downloaded, and looking at downloading the
Jabberzilla client. Truly a dorky evening. Must copyedit Moorcock
interview, must copyedit Moorcock interview…

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Technology TopicDid a little futzing around with the wireless network just
now. I moved the access point to under my wife’s desk and plugged her
computer into the switch on the Linksys. We’ll see if she
notices. This is to put it such that I can get a good signal that
doesn’t drop from the couch. The connection was shaky with the WAP in
my office and this reduces the amount of wall between me and it from
the living room. I mostly use the laptop in the living room and my
office, and both have strong fast connections now. All good.

I’m listening to WREK streaming, a radio station sound where the
analog is converted to digital, streamed via MP3 to my cable modem,
then to my NetGear router, under the crawlspace to the WAP, converted
to radio, delivered to my laptop, and the digital finally turned back
to analog. Kind of involved for something that could actually be done
by a crystal radio.

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I’m a little tired after our “school night” excursion. David Ryan
Harris (still no website to link to!) really put on a good show,
playing for 2 and half hours, mostly just him and his guitar. His
bandmate from Brand New Immortals joined him for a few songs
(including their one hit, “Reason Why”) but mostly Dave just rocked,
told jokes and otherwise held court. The place was packed, since
everyone that wanted to go to one and never did knew this was their
last shot. He talked a little about the White Dot, a club I will post
a little bit about later. He used to play the club underaged while I
attended his shows underaged.