Thursday, March 31, 2005

Recommended CD: Bettie Seervert's Attagirl

Listen to a couple of live tracks from The Current's In Studio Performance Page. Lots of other good bands with tracks there(such as The Owls).

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

article on improving your DAW mac.

Don't read this kiddies, as it's just here to remind me to do this stuff when the new computer comes in(on Friday, as the FedEx link tells us).
Watch in real-time from the FedEx website as my new iBook crawls across the country into my loving arms.

Oh. Last Saturday I also bought a new MIDI controller/electric piano. It's a Casio PX-100 . Yeah, as a whole Casio makes crappy keyboards but this one seems pretty decent. The hammer action is superb. It's supposed to be the same as Yamaha's hammer action(and Yamaha's keyboards are MUCH more expensive), as Casio apparently licensed the technology. The only weak point would be the sounds, as it only has 32 note polyphony. But for practice the internal sounds don't suck that bad(if I ever use them, once the new computer arrives).

That's all the news that's fit to print right now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I'm house sitting my sister's place while the rest of my family are in Florida. Boring. I like my sister's place-it's in a nice place(on Grand Ave), wood floors, etc but it's small. Like 500 sq ft. My condo is almost twice the size.

Anyway, I ended up watching PBS. Funding Drive. Ugh. Now, as evidenced by my donation to the current, I don't have any problems with funding drives for public radio or (in this case) tv. But why do the people asking for the donations have to be sooo unlikeable? The program they were running was on the St John's Bible a project started by my old school. The jackasses called us St. John's College! WTF! We're like, 90 minutes north of Minneapolis. We're one of the best private liberal arts colleges in the state! Winningest football coach of all time! Hamline University isn't called Hamline College. No one ever calls the University of St. Thomas St. Thomas College. Bethel University is sometimes called Bethel College, but that's because they renamed themselves from that only a little while ago. And that is just one example of the way they bothered me. They were just grating.

Anyway, the show I was watching was cool. I learned some things. And I always get kinda nostalgic when I see the old tundra. Still kinda feels like home.

Oh-a link to a version of the bible you can by from Amazon
A place where you can buy prints of the illuminations (via SJU)

Monday, March 21, 2005

I got a iBook

It was refurb from apple, thus $100 dollars cheaper than a actual new one, so I decided to get it over the mini.

It'll be a few months until I can get logic, but it's on the way.

Next up: a new midi controller.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

In the long-running decision for a new computer:

I'm getting a Mac Mini, and I'm going to get a gig memory stick in it. For about a grand( $479 for machine, $189 for memory, $499 for Logic Pro Student Edition), I get exactly what I want for recording. Err, or at least I hope so.
Remember that girl I met at a party in January ? Well, nothing really came out of it but she's having a gallery show in a April. check it out . It's subject is "a visual exploration of the coal mining landscape in Central Europe." Interesting, and beautiful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I was trolling around on the net (avoiding work), and I found this blog: The Online Dating Diaries . Funny, smart. It was the blog of the day on City Pages.

Friday, March 11, 2005

March 11, 2005 | WASHINGTON (AP) -- A boy no older than 11 was among the children held by the Army at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, the former U.S. commander of the facility told a general investigating abuses at the prison.

Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski did not say what happened to the boy or why he was imprisoned, according to a transcript of her interview with Maj. Gen. George Fay that was released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The transcript of the May 2004 interview was among hundreds of pages of documents about Iraq prisoner abuses the group made public Thursday after getting them under the Freedom of Information Act.

Karpinski, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib from July to November 2003, said she often visited the prison's youngest inmates. One boy "looked like he was 8-years-old," Karpinski said.

"He told me he was almost 12," Karpinski said. "He told me his brother was there with him, but he really wanted to see his mother, could he please call his mother. He was crying."

Military officials have acknowledged that some juvenile prisoners had been held at Abu Ghraib, a massive prison built by Saddam Hussein's government outside Baghdad. But the transcript is the first documented evidence of a child no older than 11 being held prisoner.

Military officials have said that no juvenile prisoners were subject to the abuses captured in photographs from Abu Ghraib. But some of the men shown being stripped naked and humiliated had been accused of raping a 14-year-old prisoner.

The new documents offer rare details about the children whom the U.S. military has held in Iraq. Karpinski said the Army began holding women and children in a high-security cellblock at Abu Ghraib in the summer of 2003 because the facility was better than lockups in Baghdad where the youths had been held.

The documents include statements from six witnesses who said three interrogators and a civilian interpreter at Abu Ghraib got drunk one night and took a 17-year-old female prisoner from her cell. The four men forced the girl to expose her breasts and kissed her, the reports said. The witnesses -- whose names were blacked out of the documents given to the ACLU -- said those responsible were not punished.

Another soldier said in January 2004 that troops poured water and smeared mud on the detained 17-year-old son of an Iraqi general and "broke" the general by letting him watch his son shiver in the cold.

On another subject, Karpinski said she had seen written orders to hold a prisoner that the CIA had captured without keeping records. The documents released by the ACLU quote an unnamed Army officer at Abu Ghraib as saying military intelligence officers and the CIA worked out a written agreement on how to handle unreported detainees. An Army report issued last September said investigators could not find any copies of any such written agreement.

The Pentagon has acknowledged holding up to 100 "ghost detainees," keeping the prisoners off the books and away from humanitarian investigators of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he authorized it because the prisoners were "enemy combatants" not entitled to prisoner of war protections.

The ACLU has sued Rumsfeld on behalf of four Iraqis and four Afghans who say they were tortured at U.S. military facilities. Rumsfeld and his spokesmen have repeatedly said that the defense secretary and his aides never authorized or condoned any abuses.

Six enlisted soldiers have pleaded guilty to military charges for their roles in abuses at Abu Ghraib, and Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. was convicted at a court-martial this year and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Karpinski, one of the few generals to be criticized in Army detainee reports for poor leadership, quoted several senior generals in Iraq as making callous statements about prisoners.

Karpinski said Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski, then the No. 2 Army general in Iraq, told her in the summer of 2003 not to release more prisoners, even if they were innocent.

"I don't care if we're holding 15,000 innocent civilians. We're winning the war," Karpinski said Wodjakowski told her. She said she replied: "Not inside the wire, you're not, sir."

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Well the ritual mourning of my 4 year cell phone may have been premature.

In a Star Trek:The Search For Spock type move, it was resurrected (not by the use of a M-Class Planet generator that looked really cool in theaters circa 1985, but resurrected none the less) after I cleaned the battery contacts.

Rejoyce, Ewoks!

Why wait, do you ask? Well, I want to wait until a bluetooth equipped phone gets really cheap. They say that by the Year 2000, we may be able to have our laptops use bluetooth to talk to our phones, then using their connection as a network connection. That would be sweet with my impending laptop.

Well the ritual mourning of my 4 year cell phone may have been premature.

In a Star Trek:The Search For Spock type move, it was resurrected (not by the use of a M-Class Planet generator that looked really cool in theaters circa 1985, but resurrected none the less) after I cleaned the battery contacts.

Rejoyce, Ewoks!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Well, my 4 year old cell phone, which I got in part because it reminded me of a ST:TOS clamshell communicator, has finally bit it.

If I have the thing sitting in it's cradle, it will work but it appears that the battery has just decided to shake this mortal coil.

I'm going to go pick up a new phone tonight at my local Sprint store.

Good luck in the afterlife my old friend!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The city is planning on tearing down the building Let it Be Records is in and building a 50 story condo building....
As detailed in this Star Trib story, a developer wants to build a condo and office complex over the 4 story height limitations there.....
And there are numerous buildings filled with Yuppie Lofts popping up all over the place.

I don't know how to feel about it. On one hand, I'd love to move from where I live, which I consider Greater Uptown(I define Greater Uptown to be the area along Excelsior Blvd in Saint Louis Park and my bit of Edina), to Uptown Proper or even downtown. But I'm also kind of nervous because they're tearing down or "improving" the things that I'd be interested in living nearer to.

Tragedy of the Commons.
Last night, I went out with a new friend(maybe more) to Buca de Beppo and the Kid Dakota show at First Avenue.

Buca was good, if a little bit too much. I've got a couple days of lunch from the encounter in my fridge.

At the show we ran into Courtney, a friend and fellow CSCI major and KJNB exile from St. John's/St. Ben's. She was always so cool and so smart....All the computer nerds and music geeks just fawned over her. She was really nice when I told her that I was in a first date type situation...A good wingwoman for the few minutes the three of us talked.

The show was good, and I was in bed(alone) by two. We're going to go out on Thursday, the last day of our shared creative writing class(the lucky girl sat next to me, impressed with my paper-scribbles).

On book news:
I finished Tender is the Night today.

It was great.

But.....I expected there to be a much more dramatic ending, I kept waiting to see Dick collapse. I didn't expect the slow falling apart the last chapter in the last book detailed(not that there was very much detail, but....).

Next Book: Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency--Something fun and profound.
After that: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury
After that: The Collected works of Carrottop, by the prop comic of the same name. If the first few chapters can successfully link his existential philosophy, his ideas of wacky prop comedy, and his lifelong training to be an enormous idiot it could be a great(and educational) read.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Has anyone else noticed the new First Ave homepage?

Holy Crap!

Although, I kinda miss the really plain old home page already.
I finished reading A Million Little Pieces last night...It's an excellent book.

The last few books I've read have been Tender is the Night, A Million Little Pieces, The Collected Poems of Paul Celan, and Dry by Augustine Burroughs. It hit me that I've been reading some really...disfunctional books lately. Books about drug addiction, mental illness, and/or social stigmatization. I think my next book is going to be fun. A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Last night, at class this cute girl sat next to me.....We got to talking and afterwards we went to Grumpy's and talked, drank, and could barely contain our enthusiasm for their Tater-Tots. Saturday, we're going to the Kid Dakota show. Her name is Laura. She has a lit degree from Saint Cloud State. She works in a candle/craft type shop in Maple Grove. She drives a Saturn. She was also involved in Slam Poetry, and did volunteer work when the Finals where here a couple of years ago.

This might be fun....

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

On Saturday, a really good friend of mine got married....It was just fantastic.

Afterwards, we went to The Oceanaire. It hardly needs to be said, but the food was great. If any of you ever head out there, even though you may be tempted to order fish strongly consider the side of lamb-it was excellent.

Tonight I'm restarting piano lessons. I haven't taken them since college. It should be a challenge, but fun.

I also finished Locas:A Love & Rockets Book, a collection of Love & Rocket's Maggie and Hopey stores. Buy it and check out reviews on Amazon.

I'm also going to have to start training for RAGBRAI(my annual trek across Iowa)....They cashed my check yesterday. I just ordered a new resistance trainer so I can start cycling in my garage. I might even wear spandex ;-)

A new pict of me, from the office newsletter.