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Mexican Day Tripper

Going to Mexico with Sara and Hillary. A day trip. I keep thinking of that Foster Farm's commercial where the chickens are driving and one of them yells: "{{popup fugitives.png fugitives 118x206}}we're fugitives!"


Border Crossing

Added some code to my site that changes the page background each night at midnight (maybe it's more accurate to call them borders on this site.) I created over forty different backgrounds/borders. Maybe I will do more later. That should be enough to create the illusion that the page border/background is different everyday. Does this still work if I talk about it here? heh.

So many things on the site are automated now I might create a control panel. Then I can change things after logging in while on vacation in Niue...


Bird Rescue

As I am writing this there is a bird struggling to extricate himself from the gas heater in the wall behind me. I've opened the little door to facilitate his escape but it sounds like he's working his way up rather than down. Called the SPCA who referred me to "Bird Rescue", where I left my number. Waiting for them to call back. I wonder if the bird would mind me turning the heater on --it's cold in here. Every now and then he'll make a big noise --fluttering his wings. Sounds like a bird, but I keep thinking of the movie "Alien" and how the monster got around the ship through the central air.


Cartman vs. the DMCA

"...some owners delight in replacing Aibo's soothing beeps with the voice of Cartman, the potty-mouthed South Park character."

Scientific American: Teaching Robot Dogs New Tricks

Hacking the Aibo


What's Nu?

People are always asking me about my top level domain. They want to know what's nu. Nu is the country code for the island nation of Niue. One of the Cook islands in the south pacific. If you want to know more about it you can check it out at the CIA World Factbook. Here's an article that explains the whole deal (guess I wasn't the first to think of that snappy title):

What's NU? Domain Name Shortage Sparks Idea.


Slacking Off

Came across this article on Salon that I kind of relate to: The new slackers.


Chinese New Year

Going to spin again for a chinese new year party that Cookie is having Feb 9. Potluck, then music (and hopefully dancing...) afterwards.


World's Smallest Web Server

For a laugh I thought I might try and find some software to run a web server on one of my Commodore 64s. Ran into the "world's smallest web server". I don't know if I will be setting one of these up...

"matchbox web server"
"Commodore 64 web server"


Kill Your TV

Brian Eno has talked about the attention problems he has had with television. After each viewing session he unplugs his television so that he has to make a more consious effort to be engaged by it.

Good article on the Scientific American site comparing television use to drug use.

"For growing numbers of people, the life they lead online may often seem more important, more immediate and more intense than the life they lead face-to-face. Maintaining control over one's media habits is more of a challenge today than it has ever been. TV sets and computers are everywhere."

Scientific American: Television Addiction


What Day is This?

I was on the way over to the Novel when Hillary called and asked me if I was free Saturday. After some disscussion we established that this would be the following day (now today.) I thought it was Wednesday. So now I'm going to Glendale with Hillary to check out windmills.

Here's a screen capture from the Sheena Ringo video {{popup KokoDeKisushite.png KokoDeKisushite 700x333}}Koko De Kisushite. I like her music a lot. She's fun to look at too.


Enjoy The Rest of Your Lives

Listening to some Punjabi music and thinking that I owe my taste for it to Jack Zinder. It's been over six years since he was killed by a drunk driver. The last time I saw him he was packing up his DJ gear after another Fuzzyland. As he was leaving he told everybody: "enjoy the rest of your lives... what's left of them."

The Marvelous Mr. Zinder


Harajuku A-Go-Go

A while back I ran into some pictures of unusually attired japanese kids that hang out on Harajuku (a street in Japan.) Yesterday Anthony sends me a link to "Fruits" by Shoichi Aoki ({{popup fruits1.png fruits1 716x244}}fruits1, {{popup fruits2.png fruits2 714x236}}fruits2, {{popup fruits3.png fruits3 714x234}}fruits3). "Fruits", is a collection of photos from Harajuku. This set me off on a hunt for web sites that had pictures or articles about the fashion scene in Harajuku. The best of these are collected here. I plan to do an amateur anthropological summary in a followup post, but for now please enjoy the "raw data":

Juicy "Fruits" is sexy, tasty and good for you

"...Some of the general prejudice against ganguro style has even become legislative. In Osaka, as of February, it is officially against the law for women to drive wearing tall boots. Apparently they just can't brake fast enough with the platform soles. One woman got in an accident and blamed her platform soles, so a battery of crash tests were conducted with drivers wearing differing sole heights. A maximum allowable platform of only a few centimeters for anyone driving a vehicle was determined..."

Street Culture : Harajuku Still a Creative Haven|*|Harajuku gets gentrified.

How to Harajuku

Japanese Teen Fashion

Loser Bunny (a million japanese girls can't be wrong...)

Tokyo Skyline: Harajuku

Loose Socks

Harajuku Heaven

goatee.net

The Goths of Harajuku

Shibuya Girls Now

The Bold and the Beautiful: Fashion and Trends in Harajuku

Merry

More Fruits

Brain-Stimulating Fashion from the Streets of Tokyo

Harajuku

Urban Jungle: Tokyo teens ditch uniformity

The Japanese Fashion Experience

Welcome to City Gothic

So Hip it Hurts

Hello Kitties

I'll probably be paring this down...


Verdict Watch

Keep checking the search engine at the El Lay Times for news of Pat's preliminary hearing. Every couple days I put his name in, hit go, but all I get is a recipe for "French Onion Soup".


The Voluptuous Horror of Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Just watched my second film by this guy. I am a big fan now. Got to find other films by this director.

Can't compare him to anybody else --he's not like anybody else. I have not decided if I would say his movies were great, but I find myself thinking about his film "Cure" a month after watching it.

There is something about his films that I can't get a handle on. Some psychological connection that I can't explain (maybe easier for someone who speaks japanese but I don't think so.)

It's got a lot to do with sound. At least it does in the two films I have seen (Cure, Pulse.) There is also something about how he mixes other media and manipulates film itself.

In this film I'm watching now (Pulse) there is a theme of things indistinct. Figures seen through plastic sheets. The wind blows plastic sheets in the face of one of the protagonists. A stain on a wall looks like a person. His films have a quality akin to looking at old photographs. Some secret is there. If you look long enough it might be revealed.

LA Weekly article

still from "Cure" (warning! nudity and gore)


Milk Carton

pancake3 (17k image) Have you seen this teddy bear? Known aliases: Pancake, Stinky, Squeaky, Ted.

Last seen in a white flatbed scanner.


Emotional Distance

Goofing on the computer the other night. As Odd Todd says: "looked at some stuff... typed some stuff..." TV on, half listening to "The Charlie Rose" show. Charlie interviewing Ved Mehta. Kind of a deal: Charlie got to quiz Ved about his perception of the Indian/Pakistani/Kashmir conflict, Ved got to talk about his new book "All For Love".

The interesting part [for me] was when he was discussing his book. He talked about Freud's notion that all romantic love is neurotic love. The person "in love" suffers from a neurotic perception of the one who "is loved" (s/he sees the beloved as they are not.) He also spoke about the human condition of always being alone. Each man is an island --that sort of thing. While making a related point he said something like: "even when locked in sexual intercourse both partners are esentially alone". Charlie disagreed saying "he never felt closer to someone than at that moment". I was a bit annoyed by this --it struck me that he "didn't get" what Mehta alluded to. But I think maybe he did understand. Even realizing that what they were talking about made for "bad television" in the sense that it would bring people back to themselves. To that loneliness. Since television functions on a very basic level as a means of not feeling alone.

Odd Todd

Ved Mehta


No Place Like Home

The other day a friend asked me if I had seen any interesting software lately. What I told him surprised us both: I don't do Windows anymore.

I have been experimenting with using Linux as my preferred desktop OS. When I started the experiment it was hard not to cheat. Kept running up against habits I had of how to do things in Windows. So I would swap back to the Windows drive. Finally, I decided that the only way to really be fair (to Linux and myself) was to throw myself in the "deep end". I formatted the Windows drive.

I hadn't realized until that conversation that I'm no longer experimenting, I'm a Linux user.

No longer renting --I live here.

Take "The Linux Challenge".


Postfix Fix-up

Finally some success. After getting pretty frustrated trying to configure Postfix I took a break, installed Windows 98 Lite and the Mercury/32 v3.21c mail transport agent cause I figured I could get it working. It worked, and allowed me to test the basic idea of running an email server on Dynamic IP. That software has three strikes against it though:

1. runs on Windows (can you say blue screen of death?)
2. sendmail style virtual domain support (user namespace shared among virtual domains)
3. runs in a GUI (unneeded overhead for a server)

Right after I got that mail server running on Windows I re-formatted the hard drive and installed Trustix Linux. Starting to get the hang of configuring it. I like it. Using the command line makes me feel so retro.

Designer email coming up.


Designer Email

Setting up an email server. I could put this on the same box as the web server (and eventually might do that) but for now I'm going to keep it simple and use a separate box. That way if I have trouble it's isolated. If a server goes down I will still have web or email, whatever is the case.

I want to be able to micromanage my email addresses. This guy had a good suggestion about spam control that I want to be able to implement. Setting up virtual domains is the hard part. I want to be able to provide email addresses to the {{popup users.png users 689x511}}users of the various domains on my box.


Sex and the City

I try and avoid watching television as much as I can. Been getting harder lately. In the checkout line of a supermarket I suddenly find that I'm {{popup product.png product 600x400}}product being sold to advertisers. Or when I'm using an ATM. The ATM is charging me $1.50, while my bank is charging me $2.00. Excuse me? I have to see a commercial too? I even see commercials while pumping gas.

Sometimes though, I just can't help it --I got to watch some tv. Like when "Twin Peaks" was on. I wouldn't watch it at home. I would go out to a diner where I knew they had a tellie, and get them to turn it on. It felt like I was sneaking out to cheat on my wife or something...

I like this show: "Sex and the City". I'm sure this is old news to most everybody. I mean --the part about it being a great show. After watching an episode of it recently on DVD I realised that this was the first time I had seen it in Los Angeles. I have always watched it while traveling on business. I have seen SATC in Boston, Tucson, Dallas and now finally in Los Angeles.

I could have watched it once at a friend's house (ok, my dad --but he's a friend too.) He's channel surfing and blows by SATC and I say "hey, that's a good show". So he says [after I press him]: "I don't want to know nothing about no woman's sex life!" As if watching this show would suddenly make us both gay. Personally, I kind of feel like --the more I know about women and their sex life --the better mine's gonna be.

It's hard for me to hang out with my dad. He likes to watch a lot of TV. My brain is just wired in a way where that is not possible for me. I'm like this with everybody. I have a hard time visiting with friends and family simply because so many of them insist on having the tv running all the time. It's even tougher with my dad though cause he's got this thing about deliberately seeking out the worst programming possible. I'm not kidding, he really does.


Plastic Fantastic

There --everything on the sidebar is generated dynamically except for the first two links. First, a selection of translation links. There are several but you only get to see one at a time. Each time the page loads you get a different one. They cycle too, it's not random. Likewise for "blog links", "there links" and the quote. The quote is random but everything else cycles including the song download. A cron job changes the song every night at midnight. The whole thing being calculated to give the illusion that a {{popup monkeys.png monkeys 600x388}}team of monkeys works on this site behind the scenes. Maybe you already had that idea...

Kid on the street asked me today: "how much for the gorilla?". My answer? "not for sale... and that's no gorilla."


Babe in The Woods

Watched Frontline on PBS tonight. A piece about the Rampart scandal called "L.A.P.D. Blues". It tied together all the stuff that I heard a piece at a time reading snippets [mostly in the LA Weekly.] I thought it was amazing that they used gangster rap throughout the show. Particularly surprised when they played NWA's "Fuck The Police". Not just a clip, and no bleeping!

They talked about Rodney King and the riots. A vivid memory I have of the riots was when the harbor freeway was shutdown:

It seemed like the riots had or would soon calm down. So I went out to El Monte to pick up my daughter to spend the weekend with me. On the way back we were forced to exit the freeway at Martin Luther King Blvd. Shut down because of a sniper. If you know where I live you will realize this meant a long drive through south central. Thrill ride. We listened to NWA's fourth (and final) album real loud with the windows down. Fire engines raced through the streets. As soon as they put out a fire, they would race off to put out another. Firemen smiled.


Miller as Bud

I'm starting to get into Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer". I really liked this line:

For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some intrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, felt as though a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders.


Still Midnight...

I'm writing this between midnight and one 'o'clock on the night when we set our clocks back for daylight savings time.

It was midnight when I started writing, and it is midnight as I finish. And all the time I was trying to work out how to say this, well... it was midnight then too.

It stops being midnight at one 'o'clock, because at one 'o'clock it becomes midnight again.


Lynched

Saw the new David Lynch movie "Mulholland Drive" on Sunday. Foster got me in free at the Monica 4 Plex. I was a little disappointed with the movie but then when describing it to a friend I realized I was probably going to see it at least once more in a theatre.

Basically a rehash of the identity theme in "Lost Highway". While I think it might be done a little better, the fact that he has done it before made it both better and worse than "Lost Highway". It also makes it complicated in a way hopeless to figure out. Which is why I will be seeing it again.


Thrilla N' Da Miller

Reading Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer". It's ok so far. Was telling a friend about it. She says: "oh, I read that last summer. You know what it's about right? It's all about his search for cunt." So I say: "great...".

The only other Miller I have read was a chapter from: "The Books in My Life" which I had left laying around in my bathroom (along with a bunch of other pseudo-intellectual bs) so people could grog how cool I was. One day, I'm in there doing number two, see it sitting there, figure it's good for a quick read. The table of contents lists a chapter: "Books to Read in The Bathroom". Serendipity! I quickly thumb through to that chapter and start reading. What he has to say there is basically like this: "don't read in the bathroom --only assholes read in the bathroom. When you are in the bathroom, shit. When you are reading, read."

Kind of a zen/beat viewpoint --which I can dig, except now, Henry Miller has caught me being an asshole in my own bathroom. I'm keeping this in mind as I read his book.


Fogbound

Rode around on the bus today. Again I noticed how deliberate one must be when traveling by bus. Or maybe it's the reverse that impresses me more: how random one can be when using a car. Like watching TV. Don't like what's on? Change the channel. Easy to be superficial in El Lay. As soon as someone catches on to my bullshit, I jump in my car and go somewhere else. I guess this is the premise of Ballard's book "Crash" --that technology by it's nature leads to estrangement of human relations.


Whaa

I'm starting to feel like I am coming down with a cold. Do all men turn into babies when they get sick? I do. Maybe I'm just a baby all the time.


Arms Race

When I was a kid one of the older boys in the neighborhood had this homemade rocket launcher. Well... he had figured out how to get a clothespin and some rubberbands to ignite and launch a flaming stick match. Since this seems pretty cool when you're in kindergarden (at least it did for this kindergardner), I tried desperately to get him to show me how to make one. I never got that secret knowledge.


Color Me...

Added another dynamic feature. Page background changes color based on day of the week (can you guess what color Monday will be?) Some colors might clash a bit, but It's the thought that counts! Right? It was more work than it would be otherwise because the transparent part behind my head graphic needs to change colors as well. So, 7 versions of that were needed. My reasoning for doing this is to make the web site look as if something is happening --when nothing is happening. That way if I haven't felt like posting for a few days, at least the background of the page is different. Does it still work if I tell you about it?

Been a week since my last post. What have I been doing? See? Changing background color to the rescue!

Maybe I could do a similar thing with the song. I mean... when was the last time I changed that? I could set it up so that it changed automatically --expiring one tune and replacing it with another, maybe on a weekly basis. Going to change that song right now...


More With Less

I realized the last time I MP3 DJ'ed that the 40 gig hard drive in my computer is too big. I'm switching it to a 3 gig drive.

Ever since the first MP3 car stereo I built I have been wondering what it was about. You can have more music around when it's compressed. Faster access too. Maybe it's just cause it sounds "cool" to tell people "I have 5000 songs on my car stereo". The reality is: beyond a certain limit, the more music there is, the harder it is to figure out what you want to play.

The real answer is that it allows you to take advantage of "being digital". I like to think of MP3 as "music like water". You pour it into a container to listen to it. Compressed music is about liberation from the tyranny of the container.

Back to that drive being too big. I'm an "album rocker' so to speak. Or at least I used to think of myself that way. I'm used to acquiring music in album form. Vinyl or CDs, I am not one for buying singles. Maybe because they always seem so expensive in a "price per ounce" sense. I used to think it was also because I was interested in what the artist or band had to say as a conceptual whole. None of this matters when DJ'ing. When trying to get people to dance and party it's about having the right songs. DJ's carry around crates of records --each record having one or at most two songs that they are likely to play. This is a limitation of vinyl. When you spin with records it's something that you have to put up with. I have been carrying around all those records on my hard drive too. The extra songs that are there on each album --the ones I am not going to play.

Just because I can have the entire album on the hard drive don't mean it's a good idea. I mean, I have to search through these songs as I'm spinning. Preparation, preparation. I thought the reason that I kept all those other songs was so I would be ready when someone said: "hey, could you play this other song that is on that album?" The real reason though is that my thinking has been fashioned by the recording industry. My concept of a song's relationship to it's album is derived mostly from marketing. Record companies want me (and you) to think that way.

I'm sorting through these songs trying to figure out what to cue next.

If there is no chance I'm going to play it, it doesn't need to be on there.


The Stranger

Interesting day today. Ended up at MOCA before lunch. Some good stuff there. My usual experience at MOCA is to wander around wondering at how much crap there is but find 1 or 2 pieces that I'm fascinated with. More good stuff there today than usual. Then brunch at Sitton's cafe in NoHo, and a bad cafe mocha at Eagle's Pub (the caffeine was appreciated.) The best part of the day was wandering into Vavroom. An exotic/erotic clothing store. Kind of a wild place. It all started when, after seeing all the Marilyn Monroe pictures on the walls, I mentioned that I had recently visited her grave site. They knew about many other celebrities that are buried in the same cemetery. We sat and chatted with the owners on a couple of leopard skin couches. Interesting shop. I will have to go back sometime and buy something (like, when I have some money...)

In other news... it looks like one of my friends really is up for first degree murder. I don't know what to say about this. I feel pretty weird about it as you can probably imagine. I guess about the only thing that I can really say is I hope he didn't do it.


Site Redesign

I redesigned the site again. Kind of a retreat from the excess of the last design. It was too hard to experiment with the backend using that layout. Since I am more interested in working on the backend of the site I have decided to scale back the layout. When I get a stable configuration of the backend stuff I'm experimenting with I can go with a different layout. Ultimately I want to have a CSS 3 column layout so that I can look at the site on my Palm device without it looking weird. Right now though that's a pain that I don't need. So, eventually the site will look similar to that last look (three column with dynamic elements on left and right). Or maybe I will just stick with simple. Hmm.

The backend stuff that I'm looking at doing was inspired by Jeffrey Veen's "Hotwired Style" book. Man, that is a butt-ugly book and a lot of the design is butt-ugly but I totally agree with what he has to say about dynamic content. The first thing along those lines that I have added to this design is the logo at the bottom of the page. It is randomly selected each time the page loads. LOL, some of those logos are butt-ugly, so I guess I'm right in there with Jeff now. I'll be weeding them out, but for now: go ahead, hit refresh...



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