...currently reading.....

Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset

...last read.....

Trout, by Ray Bergman
Embed? Win!

Fantastic Contraption

Powered by: MySpace Games >br?

Saturday, February 12, 2005


Oh yeah...almost forgot...New art.

I finished The Salmon of Doubt last night. A little disappointing - I was under the impression that the novel was a bit longer than it actually was...it just stops suddenly. Which is a bummer, because it was shaping up to be a great one. By then it was 1, or something, and I lie in bed until a little after 2, then said screw it, got up, did some art, and went back to bed. Didn't get to sleep until after 4, so I didn't get out of bed until 11. My sleep habits are dumb.


Friday, February 11, 2005


So, by way of explanation for my sullen entry dated 8 February 2005, the following:

1) I was in the middle of an annoying cold, which I'm just now starting to get over.

2) I had just found out that my great aunt was about to die (she actually died yesterday - the funeral is Monday). I know most people aren't familiar with their great aunts or uncles, but this one lived in the same small town as my grandparents, so we saw her often, and she had the same birthday as me. Poor ol' Macky. I'll miss her.

3) I had also just found out that I was not among the 2 finalists for the research assistantships at Wisconsin. Actually, nobody has been offered the position yet - the top 2 people have to visit, make the grade, and accept the positions first - but I have no way of knowing whether I'm #3 or #10, but I'm sure as shittin' not going to wait around for another couple of weeks to see if I can squeak in as an alternate. That's horseshit, as far as I'm concerned.

4) The combination of 1-3 has made it doggone hard to make much progress on my thesis work. Basically, I have about a month to wrap up my analysis, write this up (likely over 50 pages of text, but will have to be whittled down to closer to 25 to be ready for publication), prepare and give my presentation, and defend. I can't seem to make it through an entire day without taking at least one nap, I am ready to go to bed by 10 o'clock, and I've pretty much sat around mopey and on the verge of tears for the last 4-5 days.

So that's that, and that sucks.

The Salmon of Doubt, though, is great. I'm into the novel portion...some great stuff there. I had almost forgotten one of my favorite lines of all time, which appears somewhere early in the Dirk Gently series: "I believe in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things." I forgot what a great character Dirk is. I'ma hafta go back and read the first 2 books. I think I would appreciate them more fully now.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005


So I'm kind of into ArcView as a drawing software now. My latest work is a drawing of my lovely wife, Jen(n)..

It gets easier to do work in ArcView, once you have things like skin tones set as legend files, an understanding of more efficient ways to do things, and suchlike.



Never buy a nice bottle of wine in anticipation of uncorking it to celebrate some happy occasion. It's bad luck. That's the lesson for the day.

Instead, buy a bottle of cheap wine and drink it as soon and quickly as possible, and you shan't be disappointed.



OK..So there are 2 new things on the Digital Refrigerator. The first is the predecessor to a future opus by G-Had, the other is my first attempt at vector artwork, using ArcView. I'm quite pleased with how it came out, and I can't wait to see G-Had's finished Cookie Monster..

The vector image (one that will look familiar to regular readers of this blog), is in correct proportions to serve as a desktop for your computer, by the by.


Sunday, February 06, 2005


No, not Beatrice's one homeless guy. Guitars. As in, I need another one. Possibly 2 more. At least one of which wouldn't break my heart if it was electric.

The problem is this: I kind of like playing Old 97's tunes. But the 97's play with their guitars tuned down a step. Fine. So I did this. But now I find myself wanting, sometimes, to play some Alejandro Escovedo - deeply satisfying - especially something like Wave, which is simple, but makes it almost sound like I kind of know what I'm doing. Besides, Old 97's songs without percussion are kinda lame, except the obvious ones - 'Adelaide,' 'Going, Going, Gone,' 'Salome,' 'Valium Waltz,' and 'Question.' But, I really don't have the finger-pickin' abilities, nor the thumb coordination, to do justice to 'Question, so it's probably not worth having my guitar all detuned for the ability to play like 5 songs.

I know, I know, I could use a capo. That would require having a decent capo. The one I have now is one of those ridiculous ones that is basically an elastic strap with a rubber-encased metal bar that fastens around the guitar. But..they never work...not tight enough to keep from having serious buzzing issues, which are problematic on my Harmony whenever I capo. Don't be dis'n Harmonys, though - that's what Blind Blake played. Although, perhaps they made a better product back then...

Speaking of capos, I noticed Kreg Viesselman was doing this interesting thing where for a few songs he capo'd all but the low E, I believe at the 3rd fret, but a girl's head was in the way, so I couldn't be sure. The effect was that he was kinda his own bass player. Of course, that's not something that my Spandex Wonder capo allows.

Secondly, I am not one of those people who can just twist away and have a guitar re-tuned in 20 seconds. It takes me closer to 20 minutes. So it ain't like I wanna just go back and forth all the time. I always tuned by ear up to about a year ago, but could never get it quite perfect, so I downloaded Chromatia, which is a sharewarish chromatic tuner emulator program-like thing. It works OK. But...It does that annoying thing like WinZip where everytime you start it up, it starts counting up the days you've had it without paying for it, except that it counts waaaaaaaaay slower than WinZip. I have to start it and then go do something else for about 10 minutes while it counts. Oh...but, I can't miss the actual startup by much, because it usually takes me about 5 minutes to tune with it, and the trial version only allows you to tune for 10 minutes at a time before it shuts down and you have to start the whole ridiculous process again. Anyway, if I'm going to detune a whole step, and then go back up, it requires some real hard thinking on my part (did I mention I'm a terrible musician?)

So. In conclusion, I need the following:

1) An extra guitar, preferably not a Harmony brand, and if it happens to require electricity, that's fine
2) A decent capo (i.e. one that doesn't involve elastic)
3) A guitar tuner
4) A harmonica (OK, this has nothing to do with my guitar issues, but it's something I've always wanted, and never had)



When I was younger (junior high), I wanted to be able to write like Douglas Adams. I loved the way he wrote - reading a book by Adams is kind of like taking a walk through the prairie with a dog. He bounds along, way out ahead of you, and every once in awhile, he suddenly stops and circles, sniffing the ground. Then, just as you're about to catch up, he lifts his head in a sudden jerk, glances around, sniffing the air, and bounds off in an entirely different direction. Douglas Adams was like a well-read, well-informed, more thoughtful Dave Barry. Not that Dave Barry isn't great, too, but I always get the sense, when I read Barry's stuff, that "I could DO THAT." Adams' work, by contrast, just makes me say, "Wowee."

Then I read A Farewell to Arms, and I wanted to be able to write like Hemingway. Each sentence is a tour-de-force of monosyllabic majesty, laden with latent emotion and depth.

Then I read The Grapes of Wrath, and I wanted to write like Steinbeck - that vitality, that basic, raw humanism, with transcendentalism everywhere in the subtext..

It's basically been a progression from there...back to Hemingway, back to Steinbeck, then Neihardt, back to Adams, back to Hemingway..more recently Abbey, Peacock, Turner, Cather...but...

The other night I started reading The Salmon of Doubt, by Douglas Adams. It's sort of a collection of occasional pieces he wrote, plus a stitched together novel, which was to be the final book in either the Hitchhiker's series, or the Dirk Gently series - apparently, it's not clear which..

It's good stuff. One begins to realize that there is alot going on behind the facade of facile satire (not that facile satire wouldn't be enough!). I haven't gotten to the novel part yet, so I can't comment on that, but the magazine and newspaper articles won't disappoint anyone who likes other DNA work.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?