Knock knock, I'm here.
This entry jumps in time a bit, since I wrote some Saturday and the rest Monday. Deal with it. Quite a few links today, some good extended reading for those left with an empty feeling over yesterday’s missed post. Enjoy.

Sunday night around midnight, I felt my daughter kick for the first time. And man was she kicking, she was squirming all around in there. Sharaun said it was because she could hear us arguing (we were, she’d gone through my closet as she tends to do every so often and packaged some of my clothes for Goodwill… she always picks my favorites). Anyway, Lil’ Chino heard the bickering and decided to shut us up with a tactile distraction. We were in the middle of a: “You never wear that, and the collar is all stained brown!” “What are you talking about?! I wear this shirt all the time!” When the kicking began. Quieted us right up. And for the record, I don’t think it’s fair that the poor and homeless have to wear my browned-up-collar threadbare shirts anyway.

I’m constantly asking Sharaun what it feels like to have a human growing inside her, as if she could explain it to me in any way I could approximate it. She says that, right now, it’s just like little flutters, almost like gas bubbles. Doesn’t sound quite as exciting as I imagine it feeling. But, I just think it must be an amazing thing to feel a little person moving around inside your belly. For her though, she’s breezing through this pregnancy. For the most part, it’s hard to even realize she’s knocked up. If not for the growing belly and being able to feel the squirmy little girl inside it – her behavior wouldn’t be that much of a tipoff. She doesn’t complain of much, and her routine is largely unchanged. It just seems “easy” for her or something. I guess I shouldn’t say that, she’ll be jinxed with horrible pain and suffering now.

Last week we were supposed to go see Architecture in Helsinki in San Francisco. However, come the morning of the show, folks weren’t feeling too into it – and we made the call to call it a loss and just not go. I was kinda bummed, but also kinda OK with it. I’m just not really into driving all the way to the city to go to shows anymore. Maybe it’s a sign I’m getting old, but it’s gotta be a super compelling show for me to want to drive out there. Now, considering I consider AiH’s album one of the best released this year, I was willing to make the long haul to see them. But, the stars were not aligned, and the $30 seemed a little too write-offable – so we it was a no-go. Also in shows, tomorrow (Sunday as I write this) I will accompany Sharaun to a show of her choosing – Gwen Stefani and the Black Eyed Peas. I’m not that excited about it, I really don’t like the BEP at all, but at least I’m half-interested in seeing Gwen… some of the Ocasek-produced tracks on her latest album are catchy. The one thing the show has going for it over the AiH show though, is that it’s actually right here in town. 20min to and 20min back, you can’t beat that. Dang, I am old.

So, let’s fast-forward to Monday (since I didn’t write enough over the weekend to build an actual entry). The show was surprisingly enjoyable. Still not he world’s biggest fan – but there is something to be said for a show that can motivate people to their feet, rather than have them standing and swaying with the occasional head-bob. Indie concerts can be kinda mopey at times, a whole bunch of thirty-somethings all reveling in their deep pain at being misunderstood by society while they nod along to dirges about self-doubt and ruined romance. But, at this show, thousands of whorishly dressed young women were instead up out of their seats, shaking and bouncing and jiggling… yes my friends, there is something to be said indeed for the virtue of music that makes the ladies dance. Let’s get the picture indie bands, we can learn from the likes of the Go! Team and even Arcade Fire – both of whom inject a good amount of energy into their live shows. Now if we could just pull the same level of talent, I’d be at show after show after show.

This weekend the Halloween decoration efforts paid off in full. With some help from friends, we were able to repair the original ghost motor and get her moving again (only for a few hours though before she broke again, so we now have to re-fix her today). We also managed to setup the coffin in it’s final place. We routed the air hose, and rigged up a motion-trigger mechanism to set it off. Now, when someone walks by, a bright light snaps on spotlighting the corpse as it pops up out of the coffin. The effect is great, and the motion is really good. For non-Halloween or party nights, you can aim the motion sensor toward the road and it will trigger the action when cars go by, drawing their attention as the prop lights up and corpse snaps to attention. It really is gratifying for the project to be working so well. If you want, I put together a little movie so you can take a look at the completed effect in action, enjoy.

Coffin Popper for fatty pipes (~3MB)

Coffin Popper for dialuppers (~800KB)

Now that looks nice!

Let’s do a link roundup, apologies if you’ve seen these elsewhere:

Here’s a funny piece about the real marketing gold that is the video iPod; and here’s a good little rant on religion and modern society – although it’s pretty low on respect for said faith… so if you have a less than steel constitution when it comes to what you worship and hold sacred you may want to skip it. Oh man, before I go I had to share this one. Members of several illustrious indie bands (Wolf Parade, Arcade Fire, need I say more?) got together and made this excellent send-up of the “Do They Know It’s Christmas” song called “Do They Know It’s Halloween.” Indie music and Halloween, it’s like peanut butter and jelly y’all. Not only is the song awesome, but the video is super entertaining too, check it out here. I’ve always wanted a fun Halloween anthem, and this could totally be it. You know what suck about linking in blogs? These links will likely be long-dead in a year or so… bummer.

Goodnight my friends.

where the grass is greener

Sister Ima Hypocrite
I love the USA, and I love my USA friends. From the moment I got home, I was able to hang out with my friends. All of my friends are good people who I enjoy spending time with. Remember when I mentioned that Sharaun and I broke down and finally put some color on our walls? We never quite finished – and we’ve been living in a half-painted room for months. Well… Saturday morning, Pat and Cynthia showed up for the regular watching-football-all-Saturday regiment – but this time they brought along the tools for painting. Cynthia immediately set about prepping for painting and motivating Sharaun to do the same. Then Erik and Kristi came over to help with the Halloween setup. How awesome is that?

I think I’ve ID’d at least part of the cause of my recent work-slump. It seems I’ve just lost interest in what’s going on, lost that “fire” that was driving me a few months back. Part of it is due to the big worker-bee-to-manager transition, I know that. The model of my tasks has changed so much that I can’t help but feel somewhat “lost” or aimless with respect to how I’m doing things now. But, that’s not really it. What’s really got me dragging at work is how extremely great things are going at not-work.

I mean… In comparison to my personal life right now, work is bland and stupid-boring. I thought about it this morning while talking to Wes at work – I feel like, right now, things in my life are arguably the best they’ve ever been. Sharaun and I are enjoying the pregnancy so much, the excitement over Lil Chino’s February arrival cresting so that at times it makes some nights like a near-sleepless Christmas Eve; we’re safe and happy and comfortable all-around, even working on getting nagging little “nesting” type tasks taken care of before she arrives: painting and furnishing rooms long stark and empty, finishing the backyard, shopping for cribs – things I never thought could be so fulfilling. Just looking at the miniature pink one-piece outfits in the baby-store makes me a bit giddy – you’re gonna be able to fit in that? Nothing’s broke, nothing’s wrong, nothing’s pressing, nothing’s weighing on my mind.

And that, my friends, is my theory regarding why I currently care a little less about work than I used to. Sure, somewhere in me I realize that the means work provide me enables a lot of that happiness – and I’m not eschewing that – it’s just, I can get along at work without making it an 18hr/day thing like it was back in the last peak. Right now, I’ve got down time and I’m gonna enjoy it. Call me slacker, if the shoe fits.

Now, fate will probably make me get hit by a bus or go bankrupt for saying all that – just to show me that life can’t be all ups with no downs, but I’m not too worried about jinxing the whole deal. That’s right, I flaunt my happiness in fate’s face… right were he can smell it but not grab it, like that dog on a rope from the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons – I know right where that line is. I’m not afraid to say things are going good, because I know for certain that there’ll be times where they are once again not so rosy – it’s just the way things go. So, why not relish a little in the sunny spots? Linger, hang out and enjoy it without reservation – I know I will. That’s just how I roll.

Yay God! Let’s go.

I don’t know what it is, and this may sound silly… but more and more lately the concept of religion being practiced in a way that would most closely relate to modern Catholicism has been appealing to me. I feel like where I am, spiritually, is beginning to align less with the charismatic Reformation-based practices, and more with the interesting mix of longstanding tradition and somewhat more liberal interpretation that comes with modern Catholicism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really looking to “convert;” my heart’s not really signed-up anywhere anyway. I could honestly care less where I choose to go, maybe even if I go… I haven’t fully fleshed that out yet. I guess what I’m saying is, by non-denominational loosely Protestant standards, I’m guess I’m becoming a “watered-down” Christian. Or, I’ve always been one – and I’m just now OK with saying it.

I’m believing less and less by the letter, and more and more by what’s in my chest. I want to acknowledge something, but I don’t know what it is – and I’m OK with leaving it at that. Maybe it’s nothing; a yen for spirit that’s hard-coded into human DNA, who knows. But whatever it is, and however you get it – be it climbing mountains or handling serpents, there’s no denying it’s there. Plus, I enjoy acknowledging it. Maybe it’s the kindred feeling I get to the whole history of humanity acknowledging something similar – an entire race searching for something greater than themselves. I don’t want to say I believe things I know I don’t believe anymore – there’s no point. Oh sure, I can still go to a church that believes those things, but I’m not gonna front anymore. You can deal with this “faith issue” however you’d like – I’m comfortable with it and that’s all that matters.

So what, become a Unitarian – get the best off all worlds. Sure, whatever, like I said I don’t think I really care. I like the virtues that religion attempts to uphold. Yeah, I know, you can be super-virtuous without religion, don’t forget I was once the antagonistic agnostic as well so I have all the secular arguments before I put down the outlandish non-secular ones.

Oh crap, got interrupted while writing and lost all drive to continue with this same-old-same-old. It’s OK, my God-talk is largely circular anyway, so I’m sure I’ll come back to it eventually. Heathens, you may resume reading now.

So… to close out today’s entry I’ll leave you with some pictures of Halloween progress (credit due to the More’s for all their upholstery and corpse-stuffing help!).

the coffin, painted brown, with red satin lining


bendin’ benton, in his final resting place

benton, rising from the dead to scare kids


the witch at night, with broom

Woulda been the best Halloween night ever if the crank ghost’s motor hadn’t finally given out. It gave a valiant effort over the last two Halloweens, but it sounded sicker than ever when I fired it up this year. Time to get a new motor, and maybe redesign the mount… not looking forward to it.

Love ya all, g’nite.

baby talk

Go pharb.
Sometimes, when you’re anticipating something so much – it’s hard to write about anything else. You end up skipping a day because you can’t really think of something to put down, you’re too focused on planning what you’ll eventually write when your anticipated event happens. If you know anything about how I write, you know that I’m sitting here writing this on Tuesday night even though I’ll pawn it off tomorrow as a Wednesday entry. That means, stuff that may have already happened when you read this tomorrow hasn’t yet happened as I write it today (but you probably already figured that out). Meaning, unfortunately, I can’t write now about what I’m waiting on so patiently to happen tomorrow: Lil’ Chino’s sexy test. So yeah, you won’t know when you read this – but if you check back after lunchtime on the west coast – I think you’ll be able to figure it out.

Leaving Friday morning for a week in Shanghai. After my last laptop crash, I realized that I’d lost all my NES and N64 emulator files and savegames. This really disappointed me, as one of the things I look forward to on my overseas flights is picking up where I left off in Zelda64 on my last overseas flight. Now, all my overseas flight Zelda gameplay data was gone… I’d have to start from scratch. Luckily, I managed to scrounge up an archived copy on an old backup hard drive. That, and making sure Tyson’s Punch Out! and Super Mario work are essential pre-flight chores. OK, OK, I’m also pretty pumped about going to Shanghai for the 1st time. I’ll be traveling with quite a few friends, and know more than a few folks there as well – so the trip should be pretty fun from a non-work perspective. Work-wise, I do have quite a bit to get done… so it won’t be a complete boondoggle. Wow, this paragraph is about completely nothing… sorry about that.

The Halloween projects are coming along nicely. I got my pneumatic cylinder today, right about when I expected it. I’d also been expecting my solenoid, since I ordered it before I did the cylinder. Well, a week and a half later I get home to an e-mail today saying I’ve got a refund from PayPal. Apparently, the seller didn’t have the item “in stock.” Whatever that means. I was a little peeved it took them a week and a half of having my money to decide to inform me that they didn’t actually the item they were selling. So… it’s back to the drawing board on the solenoid, which means I won’t get to test the working setup before I leave for Shanghai – which is a real bummer to me. And, since I got such a killer deal on the solenoid from Ebay… I’ll likely end up paying more now that time is more of a factor. Bummer. I wonder if the seller just canned the transaction because they effed up and sold a $90 solenoid for $35…

Until noonish, peace out.

brotherly love

Bridges yet to span.
Dangit. In a shortcut attempt to go back and add a bunch of entries into the “Halloween” category – I wrote a small SQL statement to update the category value for all entries containing Halloween-related keywords. Too bad I didn’t bother to understand how the post-to-category mapping works, and I ended up making all Halloween-keyword-havin’ entries belong to only the Halloween category, erasing any other categorizations they used to have. Owell, add it too my to-fix list.

Anyway, in that vein. Sunday Erik came over and we worked a little on the Halloween props. Since last years witch project ended up being a static prop, I wanted to choose a better location for her this year. The peak of the roof in front was my 1st choice, but I needed a way to hang her a few feet out from the roof so she’d have room to hang freely. Erik came up with a pretty simple solution that incorporated a decorative thingy on the front of my house, and we were both really pleased with the results. You’ll have to imagine her broom and some colored spotlights on her, but here you go:


When I was in Taiwan a couple weeks ago, I was preparing to leave on my last morning in town. It was 6am, and I was hastily bundling items into my suitcase, scouring the floor for stragglers. Before I got on the interminably long flight, I wanted to sync-up my work mail so I could do some offline replying/housecleaning. Staring at the mails piling into my inbox, one from my Mom caught my eye. “Frank,” read the title. I double-clicked it up.

I haven’t written about this before now because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say about it, not because it didn’t matter to me. I wanted to make that clear up-front.

The missive went about explaining that my lil’ bro was in the ICU at the local hospital. He’d been “jumped” by some gentlemen the evening prior outside a bar, and was beaten unconscious. He had swelling between his skull and brain, thus the residency in ICU – but all expectations were for the swelling to go down and his condition to stabilize. I read the rest, and decided to call my pops just before I walked out the hotel door to find out the latest. Frank was out of ICU, but fairly well doped up to relieve pain. He’d certainly got a thrashing: a bad concussion, likely broken nose, two black eyes, and a Frank-head shaped dent in the steel frame of the car into which is head was repeatedly banged. He would be laid up for a few days at least, and likely would not have any permanent aftereffects. Well, good, I thought… at least he was alive. But man, what the heck?

So you want the rest of the gory details here, but there aren’t any. He got out, he got better, he’s OK now. But guys, the reason I’m writing this is not to tell you the story of my brother getting his ass kicked (as compelling a story as that may be). The reason I’m writing this is to examine my reaction to my brother getting his ass kicked. And, if I write this the way I want to, I may risk sounding callous, aloof, over-cool, whatever… but I’m just gonna run with it, OK? OK.

My immediate reaction was a bit of a surprise to me; it was almost just like reading about the story as if it hadn’t happened to lil’ bro. I wasn’t scared, sad, shocked, upset; I wasn’t much of anything. My first reaction was to call my parents to check on his current condition. Upon hearing he was doing better, my mom suggested I call him at his bedside – a thought that didn’t appeal to me much at all. I dunno, maybe I won’t sound callous because I can’t really explain it. It’s odd, like, I somehow knew it wasn’t that big of a deal. And, I don’t mean to trivialize it, I just mean… I wasn’t as surprised, looking back, as I’d think I’d have been. If I get brutally honest with myself, I think I know the reason that I wasn’t so surprised. Lean in, I’ll tell you if you don’t think I’m an animal for saying it: I wasn’t surprised because, somewhere deep in me, I half-expect stuff like this to happen to my brother. Bad shit happening to Frank just doesn’t shock me anymore.

No! Wait! I don’t mean it like that. I mean, I feel like my brother has been dealt an undeservedly large hand of bad luck in his life – not that I “expect” this kinda thing because of him or something about him. Also, you have to realize that I tend to have a very hard-to-elicit “shocked senseless” reaction. I wrote about it once, how bombshell news tends to phase me… my almost too-laissez-faire attitude toward ground-shaking happenings. I think my somewhat ho-hum reaction to Frank’s incident is a product of these two aspects of me working together.

I still feel like I need to expand here, because I’ve done my brother a disservice – which is mostly because I do pretty poor at putting down complex feelings in paragraph form. Hey, it’s hard, try it. Bitch. Anyway, like I was saying (poorly), I just feel that, compared to me, my brother has had his fair share of crap. For some reason, I got handed this extremely dumb-luck driven bloom into adulthood, while his has seemingly been one stormy sea after another. Maybe this is unfair; perhaps, perceived from his point-of-view, he’s simply had an enjoyable and hard-won road to grown-upness, much as I perceive my own trip. Maybe it only seems rocky to me, looking in from the outside where I truly have no idea what’s going on. I guess I can’t be sure. But I do know that, wrong or not, it sure seems to me like, compared to my brother, golden apple after golden apple has been presented to me on silver platters, or simply dropped into my lap.

I hate that I feel this way; hate that I feel like I’ve had such an easier go at it than Frank has. But, that’s how I feel. It brings guilt. It’s hard-to-explain guilt though, because I feel bad for feeling guilty – if that makes sense. Who am I, so richly blessed, that I have can afford the luxury of feeling bad for my poor little brother? It’s like the first class passenger who looks down his nose at the poor steerage shuffling past into the Super Saver seats… taking mock pity on the lot that life has given them. What right do I have to even feel guilty, have things been that super-duper for me? It’s bullshit. Frank and I are just the same, he’s dealt with what I’ve dealt with, I’ve dealt with what he’s dealt with. Right? Anyway, all of this becomes immediately unimportant the second I sit down with him and have a couple beers.

OK, enough of that.

Sharaun bought some stretch-top pants at the maternity store on Friday (yeah, her belly pretty much dictates a wardrobe change at this point), and when she got home and took them out of the bag, the store had stuffed all sorts of associated-marketing goodies in. There was some boob-lotion, some Strong Mom vitamin drink, and this little green and white piece of paper. On this little green and white piece of paper were some words, so I decided to read them. The words on the little green and white piece of paper were telling me about this Mastercard I could get. Nothing new there, with the amount of credit card offers we get in the mail – I could apply for three or four new cards every day. But the green and white paper-pitched Mastercard was different from those other Mastercards. The green and white paper Mastercard earned money with every purchase you made – money that went into a fund; money that went into a fund for your child’s eventual college education. I stared at the paper for quite a while, y’all.

College? Hey, Lil’ Chino? Listen up. I think you still have a vestigial tail at this point and Mastercard wants me to think about saving to send you to college? I don’t even own my diploma yet, and Mastercard wants me to start saving for yours. Hey, Mastercard? Listen up. Why you gotta scare a brother like that? That’s just not cool man, totally uncalled for. College?

G’night friends and family.

my lungs hurt

Teeter.  Totter.  Tatters.
Big plans to work on the coffin tonight, and finally post some pictures of the progress. Big plans fell through. An old war buddy asked me over for beer and pizza; I obliged. Close to one foil-covered side of Djarums, four beers, and too many slices of pie later, I’m sitting here in front of what I wrote earlier today, ready to post it without so much as a proofread. That’s just how I do folks; that’s just how I do.

Today at work…

Gee, kinda sounds like the beginning to the old “Show and Tell” thing you used to do as a kid in grade school. Can I get sidetracked for a minute here? Yeah? OK. Show and Tell was awesome; you could get up there and monopolize the floor with personal stories about nothing. It was encouraged bragging, “Yesterday I went to a fancy restaurant and my dad let me get the ‘All U Can Eat’ shrimp; I ate 45.” I can remember doing “joint,” or tag-team, Show and Tells with my best-bud Shaine… we’d regale the class with stories, making them laugh while confirming our ultimate coolness to ourselves. Anyway…

Today at work, I was in training from 8-5. Not bad really, since I’ve been a bit lax with what I’ve been doing during each day of late anyway; the 8hrs away from the normal grind was quite welcome. A day of training on how to manage people. We learned great things like how to “caringly” tell someone they have offensive BO, and how to properly reward good work. Now, a lot of the stuff is common sense, everyone knows that telling someone they did a good job will encourage that person to keep doing a good job. But, some of the stuff is actually quite relevant and interesting. What’s also interesting, at least to me, is that I feel there’s a unspoken theme running under the proceedings. That them being that: most folks in the class are there because they are good at reading and manipulating people and situations. Sure, it sounds negative – but I think it’s true.

In class they call it “utilizing,” but it shares an awful lot with “exploiting.” In class they call it “guidance,” but it shares an awful lot with “manipulating.” It’s very much psychology… you learn it when you’re young. Subtle ways to make things work the way you want… little under-the-radar (of most) techniques to influence decisions and steer people to your liking. It sounds evil, but it’s not really… it’s just some people having access to more data than others – because they have the ability to “mine” it from places where others may miss it. A good leader knows how to deftly drive things and leave participants thinking it was all their idea. But a good leader must also be honest and have integrity – so it’s a fine line. The Prince is a good place to start… every manager should read that book before Good to Great or High Output Management; just to level-set on the realities of leadership as they have been since long, long ago.

OK, after all that, lemme state that I’m not all for management or control through fear, nor am I for some subversive form of uber-political management. So what am I for? I dunno. Being funny, being open, and being natural. Wanna work for me? I thought not.

Sharaun and I have been kicking around names for Lil’ Chino of late. Thankfully, we won’t carry the fetal-name through into the “real world.” We’ve mostly discussed boys names, since I’m still holding tight to the idea of one. A week from today though, we’ll know for sure… and we can center on one or the other. My mom, and Sharaun’s mom, and Sharaun are all convinced we are having a girl – so I’m a bit outnumbered. Actually, I’m still trying to get around the fact that we’ll soon be parents. All this time I’ve been able to still consider myself fairly young; at least, I still don’t hold the handrail going down stairs for fear of a broken hip. But, for some reason, the prospect of being a parent makes me want to do strange things like buy matching furniture and dust… it’s the damnedest thing.

Big week next week: find out how sexy my baby is, and hit the skies again bound for Shanghai. 100k+ miles in the air this year, that should be good for something right? Free upgrades from First Class to Handjob Class, perhaps? What, I ask too much?


homeland security

Back in the good ol’ US-of-A after a long week in Taiwan, mostly spent not blogging.

Y’know, I’m not one of those folk who put a lot of stock in vitamin supplements, herbs, fish oils or flax seed. However, I do take a daily multivitamin; and I actually think it does some good. For example, while in Taiwan last week, I made sure I faithfully took my two Mega Man pills a day – I have this unspoken (until now) fear that, should I forget them one day, I would somehow be sapped of strength and energy. This becomes more important when trying to keep the sleepless pace of a “business trip” to Taiwan. Part of the reason I have confidence in the power of my Mega Man is because, anomalous or not (but almost certainly so), my last couple cases of the common cold have happened to manifest right after I’ve run out of them. I did entertain the idea that perhaps GNC actually puts some common cold bacteria in each pill, but also puts in enough common cold antidote (something that exists only in this particular evil-GNC fantasy) in each to stave off contraction. Then, when you run out of pills, the virus can take root… or something like that. So, conspiracy or not – I fell for the Mega Man bit 100%. Wait, was this paragraph going anywhere?

Come October 7th, we’ll be able to schedule our sex-ID sonogram for Lil’ Chino; that’s two weeks from today (right?). This is the sonogram where we’ll be able to tell how sexy Lil’ Chino will be. I have my own thoughts, being that he’ll be the offspring of super-sexy me and uber-sexy Sharaun – but, from what I’ve heard, the sonogram will be able to tell us for sure. I’ll figure he’ll swagger out of my wife’s vagina, swishing a gold cane in front of him; wearing a crushed velvet smoking jacket and smoking a cigarette, faint echoes of Barry White wafting from his former home. The nurses will immediately faint at the sight of his thick, luxurious, and impeccably styled quaff, and his jewel-encrusted umbilical cord will fetch thousands at Christies. What? That’s not what the sonogram is about? Really? Oh; I see. I guess it’ll be good to know if he’s a boy or girl too – but I think the sexy test would be better.

I was forced to watch the Emmy’s last night. Oh. My. God. I sat through the opening “performance” by Earth Wind & Fire and the Black Eyed Peas – where they changed the words to one of those super-recognizable EW&T “smooth jams” from words about love and humpin’ to words about TV and TV shows. Seriously people. The Black Eyed Peas were up there rhyming about Everybody Loves Raymond and Desperate Housewives. Man, I hope those guys got paid a buttload of money for that – as it was one of the most embarrassing thing I’ve seen in a while. I was actually embarrassed for the Black Eyed Peas up there, spitting game about such gritty “keepin’-it-real” topics as Must See TV and TGIF. It’s a good thing the BEP aren’t a real rap/hip-hop outfit and don’t expect to be taken seriously, that way they don’t run the risk of ruining their reputation as serious artists. For real, I heard they’ll rap about Gynolotramin and Preparation H if the check is big enough.

Listening to McCartney’s new album… y’know, because my love for music was born with, and will always be with, his early efforts with the best band in the history of time: the Beatles. Macca’s solo output over the years has been hit or miss for me. The early stuff was great, and some of the pre-late-70s Wings is simply outstanding. Then there’s the albums I don’t know very well, and don’t dig that much. I adored Flaming Pie, and then there was that last one that was OK. First listen to this one and I dunno… some slow jams, some rock tinkering, but it’s most assuredly McCartney. I’ll reserve judgment until I can manage a few more listenings. But either way – rock on Sir Paul, glad to see you still turning out wax.

Goodnight folks, I love ya all.

output enabling

Patterns... mmmm...
Wednesday already, wow. Two more days and I’m off to Taiwan [cut to stock footage: Dave wants to go, but also doesn’t want to go]. Sitting at home and having a beer after a strange day of “now I’m a manager” realizations at work… where I’m finally realizing I have to “let go” of the stuff I used to covet and start focusing on more intangible things. For someone that craves the little gold stars on the top of good work, it’s a tough transition. Scary, actually, when your goals shift from a personal-output-based model to an output-you-enabled one. I take heart, though, that I at least “get” that, and that I’m cognizant enough to recognize and do my best to address it.

So yeah, I’m late to the Cloud Room party… dunno what happened there – guess you can’t be first to every party. Another one of the out-of-the-bowels-of-NYC wunderkind, their debut single is impossible to hate… seriously, listen to it try to think nasty thoughts about it. Put it on your headphones and think about punching it in the face, see how impossible it is. Give it a spin and try and make a disparaging remark about its mother, you won’t be able to; the dang thing is disarming. I say we give this track to the Army, have them aim humongous loudspeakers at Al Qaeda training camps, and play it over and over again. Then, rather than ascribe to extremist Muslim theology, prospective terrorists will instead clasp hands and dance around euphorically in a circle, smiling ear-to-ear while singing “… we’re goin’ downtown, take the bus there, pay the bus fare!!…” in broken English. It’s OK terrorists; it’s OK that your body wants to bounce around in its seat, OK that you “duh-duh-duh” along with the bassline, it really is OK – Allah said so, he digs the Cloud Room too – I saw him at the show at CBGB last week… he really knows how to let his turban down.

This weekend, I was finally able to see Sharaun’s pooch. Wow, that sounds massively dirty… but I assure you it’s much more academic than that. What I mean is, I can now see the beginnings of Lil’ Chino’s expanding 9-month lease. To me, this is huge; this is what I’ve been waiting for – even more validation than the indisputable ultrasound images we got weeks ago. Her growing belly is the physical evidence of progress that I’ve been craving! It puts my mind at ease, and makes me tingle with a heady mixture of anticipation and pride. It really is impossible I explain, I think, what a brick-wall realization it is. Lil’ Chino is more than halfway here… 55% here, to be exact. Thinking about February, it still seems interminably far away… but more than ever I’m realizing it’ll be on us in a flash. I guess I won’t even fully understand it until it happens, 5-months and counting in some semi-disconnected state of shock and no sign of the fog lifting in time. Bring it on, Lil’ Chino, bring it on.

Bedtime. Goodnight.