no thanks, i’ll wait for the free one

lay up in the cut and retain some milk
I was thinking about Frank being at Fort Knox now, and how awesome it would be to be near all that bling. I mean, you can probably smell the bling as you’re driving up right? There must be some steel-reinforced cavern full of gold-brick-bling. Awesome. Bling bling, dubs, and Cristal – what else do you need in life? Wow, my brother is totally in the Army….

Yesterday I got a junk call from SBC (the phone company). The lady was telling me that they have a telemarketing-blocking system that you can subscribe to, of course the 1st three months were free as part of some introductory deal. The conversation went something like this:

Her: You wanna buy our anti-telemarketing thing? (paraphrased)
Me: You mean like the National Do Not Call list, right?
Her: Yes sir.
Me: Like the free National Do Not Call list, right?
Her: Yes sir.
Me: But yours costs money?
Her: Not for the 1st three months sir.
Me: So… you’re telemarketing me, selling a service that stops telemarketing?
Her: (awkward pause) Yes, I guess I am sir.
Me: Seems kinda self-defeating, doesn’t it?
Her: Our system blocks more calls than the National Do Not Call list sir.
Me: No thanks, I’ll wait for the free one.

What an odd conversation.

As music goes, I’m listening to the new Snow Patrol album, I don’t think it’s out in the US yet, but here’s a review of their old album. I grabbed it from absmi last night, and so far it sounds pretty good, a little predictable – but I am really jonesing for some new tunes. The more tracks I hear, the more I’m liking it.

This Saturday night is the Hot Hot Heat show at the Crest. Hurray for a show that’s 20min away and in a small venue. I think this one is gonna rock. If you’ve never heard of Hot Hot Heat, they are a rock outfit with a punkish tinge, and they remind me a bit of the Strokes. The lead singer sounds nearly identical, vocally, to the dude from Dexys Midnight Runners… you know, the band that sang that awesome 80’s one-hit-wonder “Come on Eileen.” Anyway, should be a good show.

Oh yeah, I got a new haircut. I have been “slicking” back my hair for nigh on 10 years now, so I decided it’s time to stop. Steve used my clippers to tighten up the do. Now I brush it forward, it’s awesome. I’m awesome. Chicks are all over me.

You guys read the internet, right? Check out Matrix Ping Pong (wait for it to load) and some Time Traveler spam.

overwhelmingly underwhelming

are we there yet?
Well, last night was the Radiohead show. Today’s entry is a late one for a couple reasons. First off, we didn’t get back home until 3am. Here’s the rundown:

The show was overwhelmingly… underwhelming. And it kills me to say that, believe me it does. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen Radiohead live, and each time they have impressed me. Musically, sonically, and with their stage presence and show – they are flawless. Sharaun and I had great seats for the Greek Theater show (my 1st Radiohead show), and it was amazing. However, the two times I’ve seen them at the Shoreline, we were so far back from the stage (in the general admission seats on the lawn) that the group looked like ants up on the stage.

The night was cursed from the getgo. We were running late getting to the venue, but actually ended up making it with time to spare. We took the new Ion, which made a great 1st foray into concertgoing. The 2.5hr trip to Mountain View, where the show was, was OK – although during dinner at In-N-Out Sharaun asked if “Mountain Dew” was close to San Jose. She swears she said “Mountain View,” but Ben I and I both distinctly heard different.

Unfortunately, arriving with time to spare didn’t do that much good. About a block away from the venue, we encountered what is possibly the worst parking situation of any venue I’ve ever been to. We were stuck in traffic just to get into the parking lot for something like 40 minutes. When we finally got in, we had about a mile hike to the amphitheater (really, not exaggerating). About halfway there, Sharaun saw the lights go down, and we heard the rumblings of “2+2=5.” By the time we actually got inside the venue, the band was midway through the 3rd song. That put me off right from the start, I think it’s the only time I’ve ever been late to a show.

The place was filled to capacity. We walked in and took up a spot near the very back of the lawn section, which is already miles above the actual seated sections below. The venue has two huge jumbo screens, which are nice since they allow you to see a little bit of what’s going on on the stage. Seeing a huge stadium show like that is such a far removed experience from the normal concert environment Ben and I have grown accustomed to. I mean, we’ve been seriously spoiled by small venues like the Fillmore, the Great American Music Hall, and the Capital Garage. It’s just too impersonal, being at the back of a crowd of ~20,000.

Ben said it perfectly last night, somewhere near the 2nd ecnore he turned to me and said: “Man, they sounded great, they looked great, and it seems like they’re having a really good time. I wish I could have been there.” Yeah. We coulda got a similar experience watching the show on TV with the volume cranked. Dave’s bottom line: Radiohead sounded and looked great, but I wish we coulda been a lot closer.

Here are a few of Ben’s snaps from the show, click on ’em for larger versions:

sharaun and dave after finally arriving at the show. you can see how pissed i am that it’s already the 4th song.

ben musta used the super-zoom, because this image makes it look like our ionosphere seats weren’t that bad… they were.

here you can see the ~20k fans, notice we are at the very back of the milling masses…. woohoo.

As an unintended side effect of the concert, I decided to take a vacation day today – partly because I was dead tired from getting back so late, and partly because there was so much work I had to catch up on around the house. So I woke up at 7am, sent an e-mail saying I was taking the day off, and proceeded to get back in bed and sleep till 11. It was awesome. Refreshed, I joined Ben and Anthony for lunch, then came home and mowed the lawn, edged, fertilized, weeded, and built a new rock/dirt sifter (yeah, the old one bit the dust; it was a flawed design). Later, Steve and Ragan (formerly referred to here as “the Mooneys”) came over, and we added another two courses of stone to the retaining wall. It’s finally coming together.

In other news, my mom called to tell me that the Army pulled a last minute switch on my bro, and he’s now doing basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Not that it makes that much of a difference, but I at least thought it might be cooler there. Who knows.

And, another interesting tidbit. Sharaun has the kids of two of the California gubernatorial recall election candidates at her school. McClintock’s kid is actually in her class, and Bustamonte’s kid possibly will be next session. Funnily enough, she said the candidates kids are actually like best buds. I thought that was interesting.

That’s it for now. Time to hit the sack.

dinosaurs roaming the earth

...dinosaurs roaming the earth...
I’m so pumped. We’re going to see Radiohead tonight at the Shoreline Amphitheater. This will be the third time I’ve seen them, and each time has been outstanding. The first time I saw them, Sharaun and I drove all the way to LA and caught them at the Greek Theater, that was an amazing show (I think Sharaun was most excited because Brad Pitt was in the audience). The last time I saw them was also at the Shoreline. Both the Shoreline and the Greek Theater are these amazing amphitheater style outdoor venues, and it was so awesome to listen to and watch live Radiohead while looking up at the stars. If you can’t tell, I hold Radiohead up to be the musical torch-bearers of this generation. I think no other band is as talented at this moment, an no one is near as relevant or dynamic. Anyway, hopefully the show will live up to my expectations. You can read about the last time I saw Radiohead at the Shoreline (about halfway down the page). I’ll be taking pencil and paper again tonight to jot notes and setlist.

Yesterday was supposed to be “mow the lawn and build another rock sifter” day… but it ended up being “fall asleep on the couch after dinner and wakeup at 8pm” day. Not a bad trade, but not quite as productive either. Won’t get a thing done tonight either, with the show and all. I guess I’ll just have to hit the jungle-lawn tomorrow after work.

I’m off. Look for an update tomorrow on the show. It’s gonna be a late night tonight, the Shoreline is like 2.5hrs away, and I don’t expect Radiohead to even get on stage until 9ish….

where dave learned to love the internet

handlecrank A mates with spinnaker flange B
An entry-less weekend. That would either mean that I was too lazy, or too busy, to get the blog updated. Thankfully, it was the latter.

Saturday was a football slash work-party day. The Mooney’s came over to help finish the trench for the retaining wall, and Pat and Cynthia came over to watch college football. By the end of the day, Ben had stopped by too – and we all ended up working in the backyard. It was awesome, we got so much done. The labor was worth it tho, nearly the entire 1st course of the back wall was laid down. The trench was filled with crushed rock, compacted, leveled, and the stones were set. The french drain was installed behind the wall, along with the groundcloth. Pat then filled in the leftover trench gap in front of the stones, so everything looks a lot more “finished.” It’s still only 2 courses of stones, and no rock backfill yet – but man does it look awesome. I’ll post some pictures after the work tonight.

Sunday Steve’s water heater sprung a leak, so we spent the bulk of the day replacing that. It was a learning experience. It’s the 1st time I’ve ever had to sweat copper pipe together, which was interesting. In the end, we got the hot water returned to the Mooney household. Then it was off to a BBQ party at Ben’s crib.

In blog-related news, the “cast of characters” page is underway. Right now it’s just a Word doc with some text laid out. Later I’ll turn it to nice-‘n’-pretty html, and add some sweet formatting around it. I expect it to go up by the end of this week. Then the plan will be to link all the “nouns” in the entries to their respective writeup on the CoC page.

Right now my brother is on a bus to Jacksonville, FL, where he’ll go through MEPS. He is officially on the US Army payroll as of midnight tonight, and he arrives at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on Tuesday for Basic Training. Talking to him, he sounded more than ready, not hesitant at all. It was good to talk to him especially since his birthday is in a few days, and he’ll be unreachable at basic. He said he’d write me the 1st chance he gets, it’ll be interesting to hear what he thinks.

Well, with this, I’ll close this largely uninteresting entry. With the wondrous Google (well, I guess the thanks should go to Deja, whose usenet archives Google bought), I managed to search and find my first-ever posting to usenet, from Feb. 1995. Apparently, I hadn’t learned that posting in all-caps means you’re shouting. I was using Mosiac on Coach Marek’s Apple during my AP Biology class. Ahhh AP Bio… where Dave learned to love the internet.

you are an idiot

this came up on a GIS for "dissapearing"

Late night last night updating my Pac Man pages. I’ve had a bunch of new content (text) written for a long while, but just needed to work it into the page format/flow. Anyway, it’s done – but still needs another round of work before I can put the site on “autopilot” and be happy with it.

On the “web roundup” tip, an old friend sent me this page, and it cracked me up: Insanity Test (and no, it’s not the “you are an idiot” page, for those who think I’m evil enough to link that again). Also a great read is the page maintained by a guy named Brandon Joyce, which I found several years ago quite by mistake while it was still hosted at the U of Va. All the items on his page are worth a read, but some are particularly funny (warning to the timid, there is some “nasty” subject matter here). Stick around, I’ve seen a lot of the internet – and I’ll try to pass along a few of the better parts so you, too, can become as savvy as me.

As for the blog, I’m thinking of adding a “cast of characters” page. Back in 1998-99, I stumbled upon the first blog I’d ever seen, maintained by some guy who calls himself G-Rock. I laughed so hard at some of his entries (beware, that’s a super-old vintage link), and I’d love to do something like what he calls his “frequently used nouns” page. Thoughts?

OK, I’m out.

of fog

something's wrong with dave's tie rod
First off, I finally broke down and took the Ford in to get looked at. It’s been “clicking” when I turn and making ugly noises when it hits bumps. I expected the worst, but it looks like I have a loose “tie rod” and some kinda rogue nut/bolt lodged up in my “control arm.” Homeboy Mechanic Joe coulda told me that my Johnson rod and spliff rotator were loose and I’d believe him, I’m totally auto ignorant. I figured I could get the mechanical problems with the truck squared away first, and then move onto the cosmetic things. There are, sadly, a couple cosmetic things to fix: where that dang wrench flew up from the road and bashed my hood (2wks after I got the dang truck), the ripped vinyl on the interior center console, and the totally busted driver’s chair adjustment panel. Oh well, at least the work today is only gonna cost $235…. better than I had been bracing for.

Second off, why ain’t nobody using the comment script I spent so much time on?! You know (mom, dad, others), that instead of e-mailing or calling me to say something about my blog entry, you can click the little “comments” link at the bottom of each one and leave a nice comment for me to see. Oh well, I guess some people are just afraid of technology.

Last night I tested my new fog machine. For those not in-the-know, I am crazy about Halloween. Ever since I was in the 5th grade, I’ve loved the idea of going all out for that holiday. As kids, Frank and I used to take dad’s old clothes and make dummies out of them. Then we’d “hang” the basketball-headed effigies from the roof. Our displays usually included copious amounts of fake blood, and were scored in the background with one of those solid orange cassette tapes you buy at the gas station for 99? (you know, with tracks like “Torture Chamber,” “Howing Wind & Animals,” etc.). This year, I’ve got a house of my own for the first time, and I’m starting a new tradition. I’m building most of the props myself, and what I can’t build I’ve bought (fog machine, black light, etc.). The display will be replete with a fog-blanketed graveyard, a mechanical see-thru ghost, bubbling witch’s cauldron, a strobe-light-lit hanging victim, and much more. I can’t wait, and I’ll post pictures of the event and creative process that leads up to it as soon as possible.

Anyway, Ben, Sharaun, and I completely fogged up Anthony’s garage, and then when he came home and opened the door to drive in, the fog was so thick he had to stop. He was in on the gag, but Brontë wasn’t, she wasn’t that impressed tho. Owell, the fog was, and is, still awesome. We “improvised” a fog chiller to see if the stuff really hugs the ground when it’s cold, and lo and behold it did. Kinda sweet – can’t wait to put it into action on Halloween.

On another note, Jeremy called me today to ask me what a “TiVo” was (referring to my post a couple entries below). Poor sheltered farmboy.

ribbon for most hyperlinks

Anthony bid on, and won, a friggin’ truck on eBay (link hosted locally on my server, since the auction is over). Nice truck. I can’t fathom buying a car on eBay. Can’t wait to do some serious offroadin’ in this thing. It goes underwater, haha.

The Onion’s AV Club section has a good interview up with Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos fame, for those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about). I was reading somewhere (I think on the Death Cab site) that Postal Service and Bright Eyes were doing a joint show somewhere in Europe. How great of a show would that be? I’ve seen BE twice, and each time he was excellent. I also named the Desaparecidos album Read Music – Speak Spanish my personal #1 fave of 2002 (the Pitchfork writer who penned that review should be taken outside and shot).

The RIAA lawsuit thing seems to be making waves in the media almost daily, with articles being published left and right (for some great reading, check out these: 1, 2, 3, 4). At first, I was kinda ambivalent about the whole thing. Once I checked the EFF’s subpoena database and saw that I’m in the clear (thus far), I pretty much stopped caring. I uninstalled Kazaa Lite, and have resorted to using usenet 99% of the time (with a jaunt now and then on Shareaza). However, with the rash of recent media coverage, it’s been pissing me off more and more.

I just did a check on my music folder, and I’m proud to announce that I’m the “owner” of “34.7 GB (37,329,055,240 bytes)” of media. My primary source for new music is the internet. I will, however, buy cd’s when I like them enough. But don’t doubt that the actual purchase of the disc is delayed by me having a perfect-sounding mp3 version in-hand. The physical disc is a nice-to-have, not essential anymore. I still buy, but much less. Thankfully, most of the music I’m into is published on indie labels that are, more often than not, not members of the gestapo-like RIAA conglomerate.

Wow, I think this entry wins the blue ribbon for “most hyperlinks.” I got a little crazy there… sorry. Whatever you do, don’t click here. Told ya.