Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LOLsecretz combines PostSecret with LOLcatz in a way which seems inevitable, in retrospect. Fun times.

Marcel Marceau, dead at 84.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Onion has shocking news about the new Wes Anderson film. Actually surprisingly, Kumar Pallana isn't in the film, though I don't think he was in The Life Aquatic, either.
New report documents the danger of rising carbon dioxide levels in our oceans. We have a new exhibit on global warming at the aquarium, which I thought was quite well done, and while most of the stuff wasn't news to me, the discussion of the effects of the rising acidicy of the ocean due to increasing carbon dioxide levels was, and was rather disturbing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I started volunteering with my local library this week. My plan had been to start this summer, but because I took my sweet time in applying, and because the background check and health screening took longer than I anticipated, I'm starting only a week before school starts. But that's okay, I intended to keep volunteering during the school year; I find the more things I have going, the more I end up getting done, and I'm more likely to do well in school when I'm kept busy elsewhere as well. Next week, they're going to start my training as an internet docent, but for now, I've just been shelving books. Nice to see that the kids are still checking out the Encyclopedia Brown books. Overall, I find the experience rewarding, though I'm a bit worn out by the end of the shift, from all the bending over to the low shelfs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This Sunday was the 15th Annual Sea Chantey Festival on board the Star of India here in San Diego. Always one of the highlights of the year for me, and for the most part this year was no exception. Oceans Apart was sort of the headliner, the big non-local act, and were rather good. But some of the local acts are my favorites, particularly Ken Graydon and Gilman Carver. Graydon was good, which was a relief, as he seemed to be a bit off last year, and Carver was excellent as always, and I was very happy to see he had a CD for purchase this year, finally. It's just a transfer of the cassette, so the sound quality is what you would expect, but it's nice to have the album in a format I can hear on my iPod.

In case you're wondering whether or not you want to make the 16th Annual Sea Chantey Festival a part of your life, here's a couple poor-quality videos of Gilman Carver, to give you a general idea of just what this event is all about:

And I have some photos up at flickr.

I feel like I should say more about the festival, but I'm very tired, and so I'm going to say that saying something is better than saying nothing, and just leave it at that. Fun times.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I failed to report the death recently of major-league pitcher Bill Henry, which was good, since he turned out to be a fraud. Actually, I only heard about him due to the hoax, and its eerie resemblance to a recent plot from Gil Thorp. Now, the New York Times continues the fraudulent-behavior-belied-by-obituary's-dissemination theme with a discussion of an unscrupulous, or senile, photographer. So remember, friends, if you're living a lie, make your final wishes very clear: No Obituary. Stress your humility, or make up a story about a murder rap in Idaho. More interesting than a padded resume.

Friday, September 14, 2007

SCO Group files for bankruptcy. It only took about two weeks longer than I thought it would.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My picture made it up on the Comic Curmudgeon today, showing off my new shirt and mug. Same pictures here, but now with the validation only the authority offered by someone else's blog can provide.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The fabulous merchandise I purchased from the Comics Curmudgeon arrived on Thursday. It occurred to me that I didn't have any pictures of Sable, and what better occasion than the arrival of my Cassandra Cat mug to rectify the situation?

Tanner was barking, so Sable wouldn't stick around for long, so these photos were the best I could get. In answer to your questions, yes, my front yard is scattered with Club Anti-Theft devices and bags of charcoal, and no, despite appearances here, I do not weigh 600 pounds.

I signed up to volunteer at the library a while back, and the end result was I spend this morning with a man cupping my genitalia. Apparently, all county library volunteers have to go through the same physical exam required of county employees, so today I had to get a TB test and a physical exam. Pretty routine stuff, though, not having drank much water this morning, and having used the facilities before I left home, I had one hell of a time filling the cup, and it looked like the nurse had to improvise to have enough urine to complete the drug test. I also learned I'm color-blind. Not a huge surprise, I'd suspected as much, but I'd also tended to think the color-blindness test in my high school biology textbook was just full of crap. But being put through a series of the tests, and not seeing a damn thing in about a third of them, I'll have to accept the diagnosis. Guess I'll not be becoming a pilot after all, what with the color-blindness. And the crippling fear of heights. And fear of airplanes. And the fact that I'm a bit of a dullard.

Anyway, hopefully this means I can start volunteering at the library soon. I'd hoped to spend my summer helping out there, but took my time in applying (ill, then decided to wait until after Comic-Con), and didn't realize the background check/physical process takes so long. But now, once I go back Monday for the results of the TB test, hopefully they'll put me to work soon.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle, dead at 88. All I can remember about A Wrinkle in Time is that I liked it very much, and that I associate it very strongly, every time I think about it, with eating strips of sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheese while I read the book at my grandmother's kitchen table.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti, dead at 71.
So, today was the big day for us iPod fanboys, as Apple announced their new iPod lines. I refrained from joining in the rumor-mongering, but what I was hoping for was an iPod with at least 120GB of storage, and iPhone-like touch-screen capabilities. And Apple came out with both features, but unfortunately not in the same iPod. For $349, you can buy an "iPod Classic" with 160GB capacity. I figure that's more room than I'll be needing anytime soon, but that's what I thought when I bought the 80GB iPod, and that one's nearly full. In addition to the extra capacity, the iPod Classic features a revised operating system (based on OS X, no doubt), but that doesn't interest me much; I've never found Cover Flow all that exciting, and it is especially irrelevant to how I listen to music on the go.

What I was excited about was getting the non-phone capabilities of the iPhone, and that is now possible. The iPod Touch looks absolutely amazing, but at 16GB of storage in the largest model, it's useless to me. Reading the various live-blogging coverage of the press event, I realized, when the iPod Touch followed iPod Classic, it was going to have less capacity; reports that the iPod Touch would use flash memory instead of a hard drive must be correct, and no way Apple can economically provide 160GB of storage in flash format. So I was starting to think if I could get by with 40 or 60 GB of storage; my music collection, without podcasts and video, is only 57 GB, and to be honest, I only listen to a relatively small portion of that on my iPod, sticking to a few familiar playlists. But I just can't see 16GB working for me at all. Which is a shame, because other than that, the iPod Touch is exactly what I was hoping for (though a radio tuner would have been nice).

I was all prepared to declare my current iPod a useless hunk of junk, and run out to my local merchant and demand two of each model of the new iPods. But now I'm not so sure. I understand where Apple's coming from; they decided to stick to flash memory for the iPod Touch, and large-capacity iPods with flash aren't currently cost-effective, so they're throwing a bone to those of use who demand storage space, and releasing the 160GB iPod Classic, to hold us over until next September, when surely they will have an iPod Touch of that capacity or more to release. And I would certainly not mind having the 160GB iPod. But I don't think I can justify the expense, while my current iPod functions. So here's hoping something terrible happens to my iPod real soon.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Used book store owner burns books in "protest." He apparently had some excess books to dispose of, and couldn't come up with a means of disposal that satisfied him. He received lots of advice on how to dispense the books, he said, but none that didn't involve expense, or that "would have us provide our inventory to organizations that compete directly with used bookstores." In other words, some fools wanted him to donate the books to those dens of iniquity, libraries. How dare a library try to reuse books for the public good; not like this noble man, Tom Wayne, who reuses the intellectual property of others for his personal financial gain. I have nothing against used book stores, but still; what a jackass.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Johnny Cash Show is coming to DVD this month. Looks promising. I went to JohnnyCash.com looking for more info, and that's where I discovered they have a Johnny Cash podcast, to which of course I immediately subscribed and begin downloading the back episodes (about 12, total). Haven't heard it yet, but it will be awesome, no doubt. I can't figure out how to link to it directly on their website, but you can subscribe through iTunes. I'm trying to cut down on my podcast subscriptions, since I never seem to listen to them, but this is one I'll definitely make time for (and shake my head ruefully when I consider how many This American Life episodes I have to get caught up on)