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March 26, 2002
Yesterday I finally ordered a

Yesterday I finally ordered a pair of glasses. So come Friday, I'll have a new face, or at the very least, the smae face with glasses on it. It's an important step for me. My eyes have been kinda bad for years, butI always hated glasses. Can't wear contacts becuase I have keratoconus. So I squint. I squint pretty much all day long. It works fine for me, but I'm starting to think that one causet of my, shall we say less than spectacular productivity record, is that my eyes aren't very good. I probably tend to avoid things where I have to work to see. It's a pain in the ass to read, play the guitar (while reading music), and then there's work. I also think it's killing my back.

It's also possible that I'm just lazy and it has nothing to do with my eyes, but I figure it can't hurt to see. It's a big thing, though. I'll be a glasses wearer from now on, or so goes the theory. I can't quite imagine having something on my face all the time, and I'm a bit irritated that it will become a crutch, that I'll no longer be able to get by without them. I'll beone of those guys who's all worried that he'll get hit in the face with something.

And what of volleyball? Oh lord, I hadn't even thought of that. Two possibilities: I'll get better because I'll suddenly be able to see the ball. It'll hang up there like a beach ball and I'll just hit the hell out of it. Or, I'll be worried that I'll break my galsses and become all the more tentative. Or, I'll take my galsses off to play volleyball, which unleashes several other possibilities which I'll leave to your imagination. That was three.

Usually not a fan of

Usually not a fan of the guilt trip, it does have its uses. I may look like a monchichi, but at least I'm writing something.

Writing here becomes a little unfamiliar when I don't do it very often, and I find it harder to know what the voice is. Who am I telling all this too again? I used to have a somewhat clear, if insanely complicated, organization in my head; people who read this, people who didn't, me, them, you. I took it all into account and crafted a bunch of crap that didn't have anything to do with it. Now I've lost track, but I bet the crap won't suffer. Don't worry.

10 day update in ten words (reverse chronologically): sushi halfpipe stratton volleyball nimprovyc yoga vertigo pizza cat shit

That brings you up to date.

Oh no wait wait wait. There's big news!! My project, long talked about, long anticipated, barely worth it, is finally done. Well, done may be a strong word, but it's, how do you say, versioned. Version 1. Disco. It's fantabulous. I learned a lot doing it, and hey, one day someone might even use it. Ladies and gentlemen, it's the Slapnose Startpage-O-Matic, Jet Groove Edition.

Since it contains no explanation, I'll explanate. This tool helps you to create a nifty "home page", meaning a page you can set your browser to open up to, that has all your oft-used links and such conveniently arranged and spiffily presented. Via the included (no extra charg!) "edit" button near the bottom, you can come back to the generator and move things around, add things, delete things, to your heart's content. And I for one say it's about damn time. You may not have even realized what a great need you have for a product such as this, but here we are.

My favorite part is the color picker. What's yours?

I've also written about 5 pieces of songs, but not one actual song. The pieces range from 1 line to 10, but none of them a song make. Also needed for song status is music, and I keep forgetting that.

Here's a more exciting shot of your shredding host. Tearing up the halfpipe. Woo!

March 16, 2002
Um. Volleyball carnage returns. First


Volleyball carnage returns. First we got our asses kicked pretty well on Wednesday, swept for the first time in a month, then last night Luke reinjured his foot, probably ending his season. Shit. It really sucks because we all know how much volleyball emans to Luke, how much he enjoys it, and what an important part of our team(s) he is. True to form, though, he's staying as positive as possible.

Thrusday night went to see Terry Gross speak at The Town Hall. Very interesting to see a "show" like that, just someone talking about their life. I guess these things happen quite a lot, the "lecture circuit" and whatnot, but I've never paid much attention. The talk was at once inspiring and sort of depressing. It was inpsiring to hear of her simple story of finding work that she loves and that she's very good at. Inspiring because she faces and has faced all the same challenges that everyone else does, so it reinforced the idea that every life is as interesting, difficult and beautiful as any other. As I heard just a few minutes ago, "Each life is, at the very least, an act of bravery."

I was just watching a rerun of 60 Minutes and it very nearly made me cry. Not even in a normal, pull-at-your-heartstrings kind of way, but, well, let me explain. There was a story about a new treatment for Parkinson's Disease in which they described inserting electrodes into the center of the brain (they also showed this procedure, amazing), and two controlers, like pacemakers, are implanted into the chest. They had discovered long ago that stimulating particular regions in the center of the brain released the muscle tension that cripples Parkinsonians. They used to probe around to find the right area, and then remove it, noting that the probe made the patients better. Eventually someone came up with a way to provide continuous stimulation.

ANYWAY, the amazingly dramatic moment was a home video of a young guy with Parkinson's. He was in a field, trying to walk, and making very little progress. It took him 20 seconds or so to move each leg, and even then, it didn't look like he could control where it went. He slowly turned to face the camera and leaned over to pick up a magnet from the grass. He touched the magnet to either side of his chest to turn on the charge generators, put the magnet down, turned on his heel and strolled across the grass completely normally. I got a big chill down my spine and almost burst into tears. I'm often fearful of directions that technology and science take, but every once in a while I'm just really impressed.

I think what makes it really powerful is that people with Parkinson's have perfectly sound minds, but lost all control of their bodies, they become like terrible prisons, I imagine it's kind of like being buried alive. These people described brushing their own teeth and being able to be seen in public as miracles.

Which gets me to why Terry Gross was sort of depressing. The depressing part comes when I think of my own life and start to feel like I'm not doing enough. I try to be good and kind and add joy where I can, but I'm not exactly devoting my life to it. Lately I'm devoting my life to SSX Tricky. And then the doctor's who are breaking these patients out of their bodily prisons, I'm definitely not doing anything like that. So hence the down side. I always feel that the positive outweighs the negative in these situations, though. I learn more than I lose, I feel inspired more than I feel useless.

There was another example too, a series of films called 7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up and 45 Up, but I'll talk about those another time. Or not.

March 12, 2002
A long exposure shot, taken

A long exposure shot, taken from my rooftop in Brooklyn, of the Tribute in Light, which was turned on this evening.

I like this for a memorial. I guess you can't call it understated, but it has an ethereal quality that appeals. It feels more genuine than much of what swirls around the events of September 11th anymore. Frankly, most people I know don't talk about it very much anymore. I know I don't write or think about it a whole lot these days. When I think of it, I think mostly of the events since then, here and overseas, that have stemmed from that insane day. I'm not happy about most of it, and it doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. In any case, I like the beams of light. Simple, elegant, apolitical, non-denominational.

Remember when I used to write about politics a lot?

March 11, 2002
Yoga, wherein I spend 45

Yoga, wherein I spend 45 minutes trying with various contortions to tear my hamstrings in half (while simultaneously struggling not to fart, a move called Chumbawumba) in order to earn 5 minutes of peace. I believe it may be worth it.

The ideas flow and sometimes rush during those moments, and I must have more of them. The only thing I would add is some way to record the flow without disturbing it. That's the trick, isn't it? Once you're aware of the flow, you're no longer in it, you're watching. So, add to the to do list: A simple, unobtrusive, configurable thought recorder. Wait, that was already on the to do list. Maybe it's beyond my abilities. Come on Science, enough with the wireless web, let's get something really uselful. I had many interesting thoughts during post-yoga-quiet-time, but I forgot many of them. Some while I was still having them.

Speaking of useless gadgets, I seem to have sailed into another phase of aquiring them. I didn't even notice it, but here I am. On Sunday, in some kind of stupor (sounds like stupid), I bought a GameCube. About 2 years ago I did a similar thing with a PlayStation (internal capitalization is big with video games). I played it for 2 weeks or so and haven't touched it since. The logic goes something like, "Well, that was outdated. If I had the latest greatest, I'd get more out of it. That being of course more time spent sitting on my ass playing video games." There's also Theory B, which is that I'm simply not all that interested in video games, but need to be reminded of this once in a while. I'm constantly surrounded by all this techno mumbo jumbo, and despite my efforts, it infects me. I could probably think of cheaper ways to teach myself this lesson.

I've also somewhat accidentally fallen into a fairly extensive upgrade of my home computer, aka Betty. Coming soon: Betty 2K! No, that sucks. Betty: The Quickening. A little better. I'll keep working on it.

So far, I've ordered a fancy new case to alleviate the clutter, and a new power supply to restore our ability to hear what I'm told is the constant danger lurking at our borders (the new one is quieter, in other words). I'm trying to be patient and wait to buy the new processor, motherboard and memory until I get some more money and take care of nagging details like rent. Trying. The GameCube helps to distract me. Ironic, huh?

Lastly, I've gotten numerous anxious emails about the erstwhile announcement of my mysterious non-work-related computer project. Okay, I haven't gotten any, but at least one person has asked me about it, and Liz is sick of hearing about it. Well, the wait is... nearly over. It's not quite ready. It works, and I could say to hell with it and let people using it, as I'm sure thousands are dying to do, but I'd rather work out a few little kinks first. Liz will be away this weekend, so I'll have plenty of time to finish it up, providing of course that she takes the GameCube with her.

Congratulations to Luke, the winner of last weeks coredump contest. Hopefully he's put his winnings into some kind of retirement fund and hasn't blown the whole wad on moonpies.

March 6, 2002
Testing out this photo class.

Testing out this photo class.

Okay, it worked. How nice.

Instead of doing that, I really should have been writing interesting content for my long-neglected blog. Woe is me. I promised an exciting new entry and I failed to deliver. Woe is you. Woe is someone, that's for sure. But hey, that photo is spiffy, and it took me 15 seconds.

Really, I have an excuse. I've been working on the side project I mentioned a few posts ago, and it's coming along. Almost done. I'll share it soon. I showed it to Luke and he was appropriately psyched, so that's encouraging.

Note well-formed xml. I just learned that.

One of my volleyball teams is 7-1 and the other is 8-10. It's been feeling so much better lately, winning and so on, and Block Island (our gay team) is champs. We kicked some seriously flaming ass.

So, the picture explanation. This image, it's presentation and posting, if not it's original conception, is in response to an article cheekily titled Hereby banned from all web logs. Not so much an article as a web log itself, it listed one item that caught my attention, namely: - Digital camera photos that are: ... Intended for The Mirror Project - wink! ;). I don't know what that wink is about, but come to think of it. it's probably something akin what I've done, which makes what I've done all the more ironic or idiotic, depending on your point of view.

I posted this image to the mirror project simply because this guy told me not to. I don't usually subscribe to, nor pay any attention to, web log etiquette, so I thought it would be funny to blatantly thwart this "rule". In retrospect it's not very funny and he was probably right. The Mirror Project is dumb. I've violated most of his other rules too, many in this very post, so fuck it. Fuck him. Fuck you.

Ha ha. I'm kidding. I love you.

That's the story, now here's the challenge. The first person to tell me what's wrong with that picture gets a shiny nickel. From me. If it's after this Friday, I'll make it a quarter.