Archives for September 2004

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Muskegon? Mayhem?

I was reading the USC Hoops message board today and ran across something that sort of made me do a double-take. I had seen the other day that Desmon Farmer signed with the Pacers but today noticed a followup post saying that he was also the number one pick in the CBA draft. I clicked through to that article and had my "what?" moment when I saw:

The Mayhem then flew Farmer to Muskegon on a private jet, which arrived at the Muskegon County Airport at 7:15 p.m., just in time to make it for the draft party's start at 7:30.

Muskegon? Pro basketball? Wha?????

I really hope Des makes it with the Pacers, but the idea of Des playing in Muskegon is pretty crazy. I would definitely chase down some games when I make my annual trip back to Muskegon around Christmas-time.

someone needs an economics lesson

Walked up out of the subway tonight and into setup for a movie shoot (no big surprise there, this is downtown). Outdoor shot set up to be the exterior of a hotel with maybe a cafe, outdoor seating, etc. Other props included a valet station (complete with keys inside the box) and a newsstand. Walking by the newsstand, here are the two magazines at my eyelevel in what would be a prime selling position: Computer Shopper and Scientific American. I wanted to stop and ask questions. Who thought that was realistic? Who picked these things? I mean, I know you're not trying to portray a real downtown LA, but I've got to believe that's real nowhere.

Crazy movie people.

To Do: Read more Don DeLillo

One of the readings I had to do today on the train down here was a selection from Don DeLillo's short story "Human Moments in World War III." I've mentioned DeLillo before when I read White Noise. Again I was struck by how much I liked his writing, and how I need to check out more of it.

So, uh, yeah... I need to do that.

long beach

I rode the train down to Long Beach today (I'll write more about that later). I'm down here for ION GNSS 2004. Don't worry, I don't know what it stands for either; I'm here for work. I've got a little time to kill before on-site registration reopens, so I'm currently sitting at Hooters enjoying Long Beach's downtown wireless zone. I have to write a paragraph on cinema depictions on Utopia to get in to a classmate for a group presentation we're doing tomorrow. Fun fun fun.

My philli cheese steak beckons me to get off the internet.

Downtown: Arts, Asthetics, Culture, & Education

I went to my second neighborhood council type meeting tonight, this time the Arts, Asthetics, Culture, & Education Committee. I'm not a member of the committee, but I figured that if I'm going to be Area Wide Resident Artist I might as well see what I can do for the arts. A lot of it was what you'd expect of any meeting: motions, procedures, etc. There's always going to be a lot of beaurocratic nonsense associated with any sort of meeting of this size and scope. Neighborhood Council meetings have to follow Robert's Rules, which pretty much assures having to grind through a lot of procedure. At the same time, though, you can quickly see why you have to follow some concrete set of rules. Without it things would just degrade into a mess.

So what was talked about? Arts stuff. A big part of what the AACE is concerned with right now is the business aspect of downtown arts. As the downtown housing boom is occuring there is inevitably upward pressure on commercial rents. Artists aren't really in a position to survive spiralling costs. What groups like AACE can do is work with artists to educate them about the business side of things like negotiating leases, while at the same time working with property owners to identify those interested in bringing arts into the neighborhood and connecting them with tenants.

Next step for me is to start taking advantage of events like the downtown art walk to get out and meet gallery owners and start seeing what's around here.

a fun next few days

It's insane how much I'm doing in the next few days.

  • Movie due back to the library tonight
  • I'm planning to attend a neighborhood council Arts Committee meeting tonight
  • Tomorrow I'm in Long Beach 1pm-9pm for work
  • I have to do some work for a group project, type a little thing up and get it to a classmate tomorrow
  • I've got a short paper due for a class on Thursday
  • By Friday we have to have the merch we want to sell at homecoming approved by USC's trademark office so that we can turn in the appropriate forms. Yesterday I got the art to the promo company, now they take it to trademark and we see what happens
  • Friday I'm in Long Beach mid-day
  • Saturday night I'm attending a screening of THX1138 on campus where George Lucas will be there.
  • Sunday afternoon I'm running sound at a wedding

Wish me luck.

oh the memories

So I mentioned earlier that magically a hard drive I thought I had lost in January came back to life. This drive had been my audio drive, so I had been forced to rebuild my collection from scratch (and from cds I had on-hand) when it had gone south.

Now it's back, and it's fascinating to see what I've been missing. Some random tracks I'm glad to see:

  • Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This (Massive Attack Remix)
  • Gus Black - Cadillac Tears
  • Antiloop - Catch Me (with Timbuktu)
  • Danielson Famile - Smooth Death
  • Joseph Arthur - In the Sun
  • Bran Van 3000 - Go Shoppin (Featuring Eek A Mouse)

Good times...

the trouble with hard drives

As usual, computer problems strike me when I need them least. Just a few weeks ago I totally rebuilt my machine. Everything was working great. Then yesterday I come home to find console messages saying that the ext3 journal had stopped on /dev/hda3 (mounted as /). The mount had gone read-only. Uh-oh. I try to shut it down cleanly, but I end up having to hit the reset button. On boot-up, the situation starts looking more serious. When the bootloader goes to read its second stage info off the drive, I just get a slow clicking. The boatloader eventually comes up without it's graphics or defaults, and manual boot attempts are fruitless. Booting into a console on a distro install cd I'm unable to mount anything off the drive -- "Input/Output Error".

So it's dead. And that means it's RMA time. The drive's under a year old -- I bought it on January 5th, to replace another bad drive.

HOLD ON... Wow. So my drive from yesterday's still dead, but there's an unexpected twist. The 60gig drive I bought in February, 2002, has unexpectedly come back to life. Just last month I tried to spin this drive up to recover data from it that had been lost since January. No go. It didn't even spin. It just made a faint but ugly clicking sound. Just now I threw it on and got the exact same thing. I powered the machine on only to get that faint clicking sound and no spinning. I got angry at it and smacked it. All of a sudden, it spins up. I boot a recovery cd. I mount the drive. All my data is there. Amazing.

So on the down-side I'm pretty sure my 160gig drive is really dead, and dead with it are a lot of files that I really should have been backing up. On the up side, all the music I thought I lost in January is all of a sudden found.

Stupid computers.

Now I need to craft a custom kernel and initrd to put on a distro install cd so that I can install Linux onto a SCSI drive even though my SCSI card isn't supported by the stock 2.6 kernel. Woo hoo!

Same issue

I have the same issue with sites showing up as updated/not updated and I do notice that there is a tendancy for the same sites to show as updated, when they are not. If there is a better solution, I'm definitely on board to try it out.

Mark my calendar for... 2005?

Back in the summer of 2001 Kathy and I took a road-trip that sent us from Michigan to South Carolina, up the coast to New Jersey, and then back to Michigan. While in New Jersey we made the short trip up to New York to catch a Yankees game. We met my cousin Brent at his apartment in Jersey City and he took us into the city. Before we left the apartment, though, I started glancing at a little book he had laying around called Letters to Wendy's. Sometime later (probably that fall, definitely once I was out in LA) I decided to purchase a copy of my own. That was tougher than I expected. The recently deceased Midnight Special Bookstore had never heard of it, even when I got the author's name -- Joe Wenderoth -- for them to search the computer with. USC's bookstore special ordered it for me, but I think it didn't end up coming in until a few months later. In the mean-time I was able to order the book online somewhere.

Turns out the book's gotten a little more popular and a little more available since then (as you can see from the amazon link). Today, listening to KCRW (though it was KCRW Music after noon, therefore it really happened on-air Friday), they mentioned Joe Wenderoth coming to talk at Redcat. I quickly went to the website to check it out. When's he coming? February of 2005. How in the world am I going to remember that long? There's no chance. Somebody remind me in January, if you don't mind.

blogrolling goes boom

Blogrolling, the service that many blogs use to keep a list of what other sites have recently updated, has been having some trouble over the weekend. Apparently Thursday they did some maintenance, declared everything working, and then disappeared for the weekend while users showed up and left comments saying that their sites were broken. All I know is that the roll at LA Blogs has been the same for several days now.

This makes a convenient time for me to mention my number one complaint with blogrolls that use blogrolling: why do some sites show up as updated when they haven't changed at all? I'm not going to name names, but there are a few sites on the LA Blogs roll that I find particularly guilty of this. Now, I'm not trying to charge this to malice or an attempt to tweak position to get more traffic. More likely it's just a poor job of implementing something having to do with the pings that let blogrolling know the site has changed.

Basically, blogrolling just looks for a ping to come in saying "this site's been updated." That's it. Now I'll grant you that making sure content has changed is a sticky proposition. You can't checksum the page content, 'cause it could well have some dynamic element that's different for each load. You can't require an RSS feed to timestamp the latest entry without greatly limiting the pages supported. So yeah, I'm complaining without a solution to the problem. But still, there has to be something better. Surely someone with more time to devote to the problem can come up with a smarter solution than I could.

of course, i'm at work

Why does the cool stuff always happen the days I'm not on campus?

7 a.m.: The Discovery Channel films an episode of the television program "Big" until 1 p.m. at Hahn Plaza. The show displays oversized items in order to educate people on how they work. They will be displaying a giant working espresso machine and serving cappuccinos and lattes to passers-by.

Amazing. (From the DT's Upcoming Events)