Archives for August 2003

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the joy of hating comcast

It's not cool to hate the cable co. That means that instead of just going ahead, biting the bullet, and subscribing, you instead think of things like "DirecTV is so much better of a deal." But then you realize that your apartment is very north-facing, and that could present issues since the building refuses to let people put new dishes on the roof. But then you think, "I am on the 4th floor, and that is the top floor of my building. If I were to install something attached to the balcony, but on a pole tall enough to clear the roof, that would function." And this would be true, but I'm not sure how hard that is to manage. The balcony does stick out farther than the roof overhang, so we have a clear line up from the balcony railing to the sky, and it would only be about six feet higher than the railing. I'm thinking it's doable, but I really want this confirmed.

a big world, a little world

Last night after church Kathy and I headed over to North Hollywood to see Lee Beth Kilgore do an acoustic set. She played at a place called Kulak's Woodshed, which I'm at a bit of a loss for words to describe. I love the concept, but when I stepped inside I couldn't get over just how odd it was to have a place like this right next to the glitz of Hollywood and Los Angeles. I was talking to Lee Beth afterward and she was pretty heavy-handed criticizing her own performance, but I think it was a lot better than she gives herself credit for. She is pretty pumped about full band performances right now, though, and I agree with her that a supporting cast would really fill out the sound.

The craziest thing of the night, though, was when we were talking afterward and I happened to mention something about "Rodney". She instantly asked, "Rodney who?" When I said Rodney Branigan she lit up. She owns both his cds and really wants to meet him when he's next out here (Sep 9 - 13). It's a small world.

BTW - If you haven't seen Rodney play you HAVE to check out the video on his site. It's insane, because he's insane. He's the best guitar player I've ever seen. A musician friend saw the video the other night and wrote me back -- "o my god i just watched rodney's video and my head exploded." He does that to people.

good times

Friday night Red Elvises were at Rusty's. I think this is the fourth time I've seen them, dating back to July 4, 2000, when I made the trek over to Summerfest in Ann Arbor, MI, to check them out after hearing them online. Since then two members of the band have left, and two new ones have replaced them, but at the core the Red Elvises are still the same fun time they've been for years. How can you go wrong when Oleg's playing that bass? (DISCLAIMER - pizza slice not present at most shows) Anyway, it was Oleg's birthday and mine was the next day, so the confluence of events required that I attend.

Rusty's is a $10 cover if you're 21+, but $12 if you're under, so I figured I'd try rationalizing to save a few bucks. As I handed the guy my ID I told him, "I'll be 21 by the time I leave." He looks at my ID for a bit, which in bright red letters says "UNDER 21 UNTIL 08-16-2003," then looks back up and me. "When's your birthday?" "Tomorrow." "$10." Score.

everybody's got a sky cam

The end of the 6pm episode of The Simpsons got interrupted today by "breaking news" of a car chase. These are pretty boring... Just long shots of a suspect driving down a freeway usually. A portion of today's chase happened to head down the 10 west, which I can see from my apartment. I walked out to the balcony and counted eight helicoptors over the freeway. KCAL9 (or CBS2) looked to be in the lead, followed by ABC7. Most of the others were less bold in their coloring, so I couldn't tell who was who. Right now I just want this to clear so I can take that freeway to get over to Venice Beach for dinner.


Today I switched my server over to mod_perl. The change has been a while coming, I finally just got around to finally doing it. eThreads still isn't the happiest, and leaks a little memory, but I've got things set up to clean up every while and keep control. In return I get a 250+% speed increase, so it all works out.

reading the newsgroups

I've always been fascinated by urban planning and transit systems. Growing up I loved SimCity. Now that I'm actually living in an urban area, and even making an attempt to be a transit commuter, I've started to read newsgroups related to the subject. The ones I hit daily: la.transportation, alt.planning.urban, and misc.transport.urban-transit. Cool stuff if you're interested in the subject.

matrix: reloaded on IMAX

Last night we went out to the rip-off known as Universal CityWalk and saw Matrix: Reloaded on IMAX. I enjoy the movie, so it was cool, but I couldn't help but think about how that IMAX screen really isn't a lot bigger than the screen at the Chinese, which was where I saw it on opening night.

I call CityWalk a rip-off, and it really is. $8 for parking. $12 for IMAX. Resturants that are expensive shadows of their real selves (much smaller menus than their original counterparts). And it gets really crowded. For what? What's cool about it? I really don't plan to be back.

butterfly boucher

Many people have been searching google for butterfly boucher and ending up at my site (319 in July, in fact), and there's really not much information to be had online. To try and act as a clearinghouse where people can aggregate the bits they do know, I've set up a Butterfly Boucher forum. It'll be interesting to see if people actually use it.

woo hoo for browser CSS

Up in SF this weekend I found that my nav tabs weren't working in Opera. A while back I had also seen that they didn't work in Mac IE. I forgot to look into it back then, but did today to find it was a one-line fix. When filling a div element with no set width, apparently Mozilla and Windows IE assume the proper course is to increase its width. Opera and Mac IE assume that it's best to size the div to its largest element and then wrap everything vertically. The fix consisted of just specifying the width of my nav bar, but this is the kind of fun that makes CSS development always remain interesting.

night at the ballpark

I just got back from the Dodgers game. Believe it or not, in my almost two years in LA this is only the second game I've made it to. That's pretty bad. It's not for lack of desire, usually it's been lack of money and time. A night at the ballpark is still just such a fun experience. You get everything from little kids fighting over the aisle seat (even though the other seat was no different in view or quality) all the way up to the older lady sitting behind us who commented that she'd been coming to games since Sandy Koufax was pitching. She had a little radio with her, listening to the broadcast of Vin Scully -- in my opinion, and many others, the best in baseball. The Dodgers won, 5-2. Kevin Brown pitched very well, Shawn Green even hit the ball, and Eric Gagne is the coolest player in major league baseball.

a weekend in SF

This weekend Kathy and I went up to San Francisco to see the city. We stayed with Nick and Judi, who were great hosts as always. My back was especially appreciative of their hot tub.

We got up to the Bay area on Friday evening, and then hit SF on Saturday. Kathy really wanted clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, so we got that for a brunch of sorts, and then just started walking. We didn't have any sort of destination, and eventually ended up walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and down to Sausalito, where we caught a ferry back to town. Quite a walk, and my left knee decided that it didn't take too kindly too it. Mapquest says that from Market and The Embarcadero to Sausalito is 9.5 miles, and that's taking the direct route downtown, so I'd say we probably walked a touch over 10 miles. Back in SF we ate a snack at Ghirardelli and then walked back through North Beach and Chinatown.

A good time was had by all (or both of us, at least).

once more to the hotel

Last Thursday I made it out to the Hotel Cafe after a longer layoff than usual. Again I was headed to see Penny, and again they didn't disappoint. They're the sort of songs that just sort of get you caught up in the emotion of the moment, and I like that. They really benefit from a live environment where the sound can just envelop you. Thursday was the second of two shows they were taping to put together a live demo cd, and I'm really interested to see how that captures their sound. I think it should be really good.

We also stayed for Joe Purdy. He plays a really mellow folk, and has a great voice for it. Unfortunately, it was also getting late and slow folk did little to keep the sleepiness from creeping in. Joe's great at what he does, but it's probably not the best music to come tired into. I did enjoy it, though, and one of the songs has been stuck in my head a lot since.