Friday, September 30, 2005

Safety Razor Success

(originally posted at

This morning was the first time I've shaved with a safety razor.  I've always been curious, and a culmination of external stimuli prompted me to take the plunge.  Mostly it was the ridiculous news that Gilette was going up to a five-blades shaving system (linking to The Onion because Gilette hasn't bothered updating their page yet).  Just another excuse to charge even more for something that's only marginally better, if even that.

So I bought a safety razor and this morning I tried it out.  I was scared shitless.  I just knew I was going to slice my face up something awful.  The short of it is, I didn't, it was great and went without incident.  It took a bit longer and it was a bit tougher to reach the bits directly under my nostrils, but I feel I got a closer shave.  There was no slicing or dicing, but I suffered the same rough shave on the right side of my neck as I did with multi-blade products.  I don't blame the razor, more the fact that I'm supposed to shave in the direction the hair grows - and in that particular nook of my neck, it grows in all directions.  Mutant, I know.

The how-to was pretty spot-on.  It's all about preparation.  I used Avalon's Mint Thyme shaving cream, worked up into a crazy lather.  I brought two bottles of this shaving cream with me from Rochester, and I'm almost done with the second... so I need to find some place that sells it.  Whole Foods only sells lavender, gross.  Maybe Walgreens... Anyone know?  Suggest something better?

Updated Flickr

(originally posted at

I let a whole bunch of photos pile up on my memory card, and just uploaded some to my Flickr account.  More to come.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 + itunes woes

(originally posted at

In honor of ljkrissy, today was my own personal Jeff Buckley day.  Everyone has artists that they've heard of but haven't really heard... and until today, Jeff Buckley was one of those for me.

Oddly enough, Krissy didn't have Buckley in her iTunes share, but btrott did and I've been listening to it off and on for most of the day.  iTunes doesn't really have any built-in mechanism for monitoring who's listening to your shared songs.  There's a widget, but all that really gives you is an IP address and what song is being streamed to that IP.  Not so useful.

I got to wondering how Ben might find out that I've been raiding his Buckley collection.  Aha!!  On the off-chance that he obsessively digs through my recent tracks, I went to my profile page to check them out (also; for that little thrill) of seeing what I'd listened to)... only to find... no Jeff Buckley!  Denied!

Turns out, iTunes doesn't keep track of songs that you play from other people's shares, hence the iScrobbler plugin doesn't pick them up and send them off to audioscrobbler.  Bummer.

I wonder if the family dog in Royal Tenenbaums was named after Jeff Buckley...

Spaced Music

(originally posted at

So I've been re-watching some episodes from the first season of Spaced and I decided that I needed to find some of the songs that weren't on the OST.

I give you audio clips!

And more importantly, for dkp who is still rebuilding his mp3 collection, the A-Team Remix.  Oh yes.

Still the club scene in episode six is scored to Camisra's Let Me Show You (Tall Paul Remix) - which I've yet to find.  Bummer.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Solid Steel Goodness

(originally posted at

I don't know how they do it.  This week's Solid Steel mix (2005-09-23) has a hidden gem in it that seems like it was meant just for me.  It starts around 49:10 with the Nextmen mix of Roady, by Fat Freddy's Drop.  Towards the end of the song, a sample is overlaid:
the world is an intolerable place for a poet,
i was broke, starving, at my wits end,
and then i had the brilliant idea...

i'd escape to a place where i'd have no need to earn a living,
where i could write to my heart's content in peace and security,
and where is this place?
right under your nose...
so close you'd never think of it...
i'm not living in...

grace brothers department store!
And then they break into a weird funky mix of the Are You Being Served? theme.  WTF?  Ok, granted, Ninja Tune is a UK label.  But AYBS? was never that popular as a britcom.  AYBS? is one of my guilty pleasures.  I used to stay up late on school nights to watch reruns on PBS with my mom.  It's so camp that it borders on bad taste.  They recycle jokes and the studio audience is volume-controlled so that you'd swear it's a laugh track.  Naturally I own both DVD box sets, and as dkp will attest, I watch them very often.

I couldn't believe my ears. I'm still in awe.  How the fuck do they do that?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Who Amazon Thinks I Am

(originally posted at

I spent some time tonight trying to train Amazon to understand my taste.  Futile.  It seems Amazon has a tendency - whether built-in or learned from user habits - to take a specific case and generalize it.

Because I like some cartoon shows, doesn't mean I like them all.  Because I like some britcoms, doesn't mean I like them all.  Because I've bought some books on technical subjects doesn't mean I need to be recommended the exact same material from a different publisher.

Perhaps the weirdest thing is that Amazon seems to think I'd like books that teach you how to take advantage of people, win people's trust, read body language, diffuse arguments, become an effective public speaker, conceal motives, tell when someone's lying, trick someone into revealing a hidden truth, analyze situational dynamics (whatever the fuck that means)... the list goes on.  I was amazed at how many books have been written that basically boil down to "charisma is the art of being a bastard... for dummies!"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Discontinued Media

(originally posted at

I just finished re-reading The Illuminatus! Trilogy and for the first time since April I headed over to my Amazon wishlist.  I was surprised to see just how many things were unavailable for me to purchase.  Whether they were rare to begin with, foreign, sold out, or just plain poor-performers... a lot of what I want, I can't get.  That annoys me.

So before I delete them from my wishlist, I thought I'd list them here for posterity:
  • Do Android Crows Fly Over the Skies of an Electronic Tokyo?: The Interactive Urban Landscape of Japan by Akira Suzuki
  • Making Common Sense of Japan (Pitt Series in Policy and Institutional Studies) by Steven R. Reed
  • Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy by Matt Ruff Thanks Mark!
  • Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution by Eric Drexler (may be available free online)
  • The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life by Richard Florida
  • Hyperthought by M.M. Buckner (he may still be active on the extropians list, might have a copy around)
  • Freedom Evolves by Daniel C. Dennett
  • Going Inside: A Tour Round a Single Moment of Consciousness by John McCrone
  • Speedology: Speed on New York on Speed by Timothy Levitch
  • The Cruise by Bennett Miller (VHS)
  • Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power by Victor Hanson
  • Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist Dictatorships by Mancur Olson
  • Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny (Vintage) by Robert Wright
  • The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig
  • Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures by Tyler Cowen
  • Alternatives to Economic Globalization by John Cavanagh
  • Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold
  • Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years by Bruce Sterling
  • The Coming Biotech Age: The Business of Bio-Materials by Richard W. Oliver
  • Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology by Stephen Wilson
  • Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism (may also still be active on the extropians list)
  • Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama
  • Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School by Gene Callahan
  • The Power of Identity: The Information Age - Economy, Society and Culture (Castells, Manuel. Information Age, 2.) by Manuel Castells
  • Linked: The new Science of Networks by Alberto-Laszlo Barabasi (may be available free online)
  • Painful bu Fabulous: The Life and Art of Genesis P-Orridge by Douglas Rushkoff
  • Vurt by Jeff Noon (audio cassette)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The New Hotness

(originally posted at

No more old and busted, it's time for the new hotness. New Vicksburg theme fixes my own broken styles, new Earnings management tools for Pro users, a great new buy-one, give-one-free promotion... and TypeKey is now an OpenID server.

All you really have to do is go into TypeKey, republish your profile so it picks up a new link-rel, then use your profile URL as your OpenID identity URL. Slick.

BTW, if you've been looking for me, I've been messing around over in lj-land for a while.

Yet another music meme

(originally posted at

I picked this meme up via MySpace bulletins, but since I'm philosophically against bulletin-spam, I figured I'd post it here and hide it behind an lj-cut.  So without further ado:

The basic premise is that you name a band and then answer questions using song titles from that band.  My band, obviously, is Stereolab.

Are you male or female: The Man with 100 Cells
Describe yourself: Surrealchemist
How do some people feel about you: Naught More Terrific Than Man
How do you feel about yourself: Need to Be
Describe where you want to be: The Flower Called Nowhere
Describe what you want to be: The Light that Will Cease to Fail
Describe how you live: Intervals
Describe how you love: Long Life Love
Share a few words of wisdom: People Do It All the Time

I found the hardest to answer was describing how I live.  Other possible answers to that would've been - Simple Headphone Mind, Exploding Head Movie, The Free Design.  Describing how I love could've also been The Emergency Kisses.

New TypePad Features

(originally posted at

Look how pretty my other blog is!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I need to get out more.

(originally posted at

I stumbled back onto Leonard Lin's blog earlier today. I have no clue how I came across it originally.  Today I explored his sidebar with the links.  I'd been aware of upcoming for a while - likely from the mt-upcoming plugin - but I'd never actually used it until tonight.  Hey, it's cool!

So I found the following shows that interested me in the SF metro area:
  • 9/20 - Her Space Holiday
  • 9/21 - Dead Can Dance (sentimental)
  • 9/22 - Kronos Quartet
  • 9/23 - Afrika Bambaataa (old school, yo)
  • 9/23 - Mono
  • 9/24 - Nouvelle Vague
  • 9/26 - Blackalicious
  • 9/30 - Acid Mothers Temple (can't imagine how awesome they'd be live)
  • 9/30 - The Notwist (saw them with The Essex Green at the Knitting Factory, hot!)
  • 10/01 - Sigur Ros (bound to be sold out)
  • 10/03 - Four Tet (always a good show)
  • 10/05 - Idlewild (Nick was telling me about them...)
  • 10/05 - M.I.A. (turned on to her via BoingBoing. Galang video is well done.)
  • 10/11 - Dirty Three (collaborated with Tortoise)
  • 10/20 - Tortoise (in my top 5)
  • 10/26 - Negativland
  • 10/28 - Broadcast
  • 11/11 - Chicks on Speed
So, yeah.  I'd have kicked myself if I'd missed some of these.

Hankering is a funny word.

(originally posted at

I've had a hankering lately to watch the short film "To Kill a Dead Man" by Portishead.  Anyone have it?  I'm thinking of buying the Portishead "Roseland New York" DVD, as the short film comes as one of the supplemental features of the disc.

Update: Here it is. :)

Can't make this shit up.

(originally posted at

Aaah, the power of marketing.

I subscribed to MLB's "spam me with notices and offers" mailing list to see how they would be marketing one of the first projects I worked on at Six Apart - MLBlogs.  I usually receive one or two emails per week plying me with their special offers of ball caps or jerseys or whatever.  Today was something different, something special.

"Vote for MLB Comeback Player of the Year, Presented by Viagra"

Monday, September 19, 2005


(originally posted at
"To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The silliest conversation she'd heard

(originally posted at

"I just want to know - we're going to save the earth, but are we going to save the people?"

"What people?"

"The people that live on the earth."

"Oh - those people," said Hagbard. "Sure, sure, we're gonna save everybody."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bullshit Wisdom

(originally posted at

"The elephant is a poem written in tons instead of words."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Final Fantasy: Advent Children

(originally posted at

Wow.  That was the best movie I've seen in a long, long time.  It shared aspects of Akira and the first Matrix movie, and was as much like Final Fantasy as Spirits Within wasn't.  It was so good.  The full cast of characters were there, the locales were there, and updated version of key musical themes were there.  The remade theme for Sephiroth was especially effective given the context of the scene.

Though I pirated this through a co-worker/friend, I don't feel a single iota of remorse.  This was too good to wait for.  Sadly, I've not been able to locate the soundtrack - which doesn't even come out in Japan until the 28th of the month.  Sigh.  I need that Sephiroth mix.

Update: thing I meant to point out was how stylistically unique this film is.  This is a perfect example of what CG-animated films should be like.  I can only hope that this is the beginning of a trend.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

And there was much rejoicing

(originally posted at

One of the new Stereolab EP's is now available on the iTunes music store... I'm just settling in for a first listen.

Update: The first half of the album is very evocative of the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack by Philip Glass.  The second half is sounding more progressive, like Stereolab's normal evolution between albums.  This EP is also a bit of a throwback to an earlier EP of theirs - First of the Microbe Hunters - but I can't quite place why.  Listening to new Stereolab always makes me feel like I've come home again.

Further update: After some digging around, it seems that the EP on the iTMS includes all the songs on the 3 EP's that were to be released.  So for a slick $5.94, I've got all the new Stereolab tracks.  Joy.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Crisis Management, Ben Stiller-Style

(originally posted at

The fire alarm went off in my apartment building tonight.  It was very, very loud.  As I pass the elevator toward the stairs, Ben Stiller's voice comes to me: "no elevator! this is a fire!"

When I get outside I think "shit, I forgot Buckley" - then remembered our complex doesn't allow pets.  Bummer.  Anyway, it was a false alarm.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Underscoring the Lazy Zen Attitude

(originally posted at

A long, rough work day behind me, I settled into my usual corner table at a restaurant near the office.  Pulled out the novel I've been re-reading, though lately I'd not found any inspiration in the wild and free philosophy espoused within.  This particular evening I was cursing my awkwardness, cowardice, and inability to vocalize certain thoughts.

I take that back, I wasn't actually lamenting the situation I'd created through inaction - merely over-analyzing it.  Even on my way to the restaurant I had been thinking of ways to right the situation.  But then, halfway through the entree, the Nick Drake song came on over the satellite radio.  I almost lost it.  I hadn't heard it since...

It brought some clarity to the situation, in a sort of gut-wrenching, soul-searing way... and now I must listen to this song over and over again until it sinks in, or at least until I become numb to it.

Regardless, the lazy zen attitude requires no work, it just comes to you - and hopefully the answer to this dilemma will come to me.

More importantly, a happy birthday greeting to haloform, and a bon voyage to cameo.

Confessions of a Madonna Hater

(originally posted at

I hate Madonna.  Yep.

At first I thought it was my instinctive distaste towards things-mainstream, but it's deeper than that.  It slowly dawned on me that her much-touted "reinventions" were merely attempts at staying where the money was.  She was late to the electronica party, she latched onto the second Austin Powers flick, and it appears that now she's going to be in an "iPhone" ad.

I'd go so far as to correlate the trotting out of Madonna with a product's "jumping the shark."

I had high hopes for the iPhone, but now I worry...