Monday, April 30, 2012

The Thoughts of Monday

Really don't have much on the brain today - Yesenia had drinks in the city with a friend, and when she got home, we had a late dinner of pancakes and sausage.  Pancakes and sausage at 8:30 PM on a Monday - it's the type of thing you only do if you're an adult or if you're a kid in a John Hughes movie.

Right now, we're tangled on the couch, with me blogging (obviously) and Yesenia crocheting yet another in her insanely good baby blankets.  When she does so, she occasionally sings and hums little snippets of Spanish music.  Add that in with the digesting breakfast/dinner, and it's all very good for feeling completely content, but probably not so good for spurring the mind into thoughts worth recording.

And, yes - the sausage was vegetarian, of course.  Even when I did eat meat, I never did like sausage, so I can honestly say that this stuff is way better than the real thing.  Mostly, meat substitutes fail when they try to be like meat, but let's face it - the stuff that's in real sausage is far enough away from actual meat for the most part that going that extra step and leaving meat behind altogether is a plus.

If you try it, I strongly recommend the chipotle.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday, Muddy Sunday

One of the things I like about life in the suburbs is the rhythm (or rut) that you fall into when you've managed to tamp down a lot of the bigger problems.  Yes, it's always nice to have a schedule, sometimes to distract from aggravation, sometimes to give form to aimlessness, sometimes to allow you to prioritize time when time itself is a rare commodity.  But there's a special kind of pattern that emerges when you don't have too much to do and you don't have to bury yourself in freelance work to make ends meet, or anything else that adds negative energy to your life.

Yesterday was a good case in point.  The master bedroom is certainly a major project that needs to be finished (for the record, initial demolition on the room started around this time last year, so it's been officially too long). We're at the plastering stage, and it's obviously the kind of work that's more tedious and time-consuming than it is difficult.  But tedious and time-consuming aren't a real problem for me - it's experiencing them solo. Standing on a ladder for hours ladling goop on the ceiling with only the radio for company is a drag.

So I finally thought to ask people to come and help me complete it.  Sean Scorsone was the first of invitees to donate his time, and there are currently two more lined up (Jim and Karl) - not quite enough to finish it, but enough people and man-hours to get over a big hump of crap.  And it was actually fun, in that whitewash the fence kind of way.

Afterwards, Bran came by and Yesenia cooked pizza and the four of us ate, and drank and kibitzed and then the three musicians jammed for a little while.  And it was just a good evening.  Homemade pizza is the new Saturday tradition, and I always enjoy eating, drinking and jamming, in no particular order.  And today is the laundry and housecleaning day - housecleaning and laundry float from Friday to Sunday, depending on what else needs to be done.

And everything is nice and relaxed and fun.  Soon, we're heading out to buy (among other things) new cushions for the porch chairs so that the Summerporch can begin.  Which is niceness and relaxedness and fun given physical form.

Summer breeze makes me feel fine, don't you know.  With two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard - now, everything is easy because of, etc.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Wuz Here

So, I got this in the inbox, yesterday:

You are receiving this message because your email address is associated with an unmigrated legacy Blogger account. As we announced in April of last year, legacy accounts will no longer be accessible after May 30th, 2012 unless they are updated to the Google Account system. Any blog content associated with this account will also be unmodifiable after that date.

Etc.  Which is fine.  It's Google's free blogging software, and Google is primarily in the business of data-farming, and it's obviously much harder for them to farm data from email addresses that aren't provided by them - at least harder legally, if not technically.  They're Google, they can do pretty much anything on the internet that's possible to do.  They built the place, after all.

Thing is, the account the Rambler is currently tied to is my account from the old Copper Man website, which has since become my own website, for reasons having more to do with legacy and laziness than anything tangible and practical.  So when Google comes and says 'you can't login as Copper Man, anymore,' it seems like much more of a personal statement, if not an outright affront.

Is it silly to be more iffy about the idea of having my login change to a Google account for personal reasons than for issues of privacy?  Maybe.  There was a time when it would have been the other way around, but I guess I've started to adopt the millennial mindset about the new notion of privacy and online identity.  

If you need that spelled out for you, it's that people my age and older are generally more suspicious (and quite rightly) about both the blatant and subtle loss of privacy that comes with the age of digital/social networking.  People who are younger are more interested in finding ways to somehow stand out in the stream, and for people who are even younger, the idea of privacy, and increasingly, ownership of content, is falling into the past.  

One of the new tools that Google is offering - Drive, an online file-sharing/cloud service similar to Dropbox - has as one of its agreement points wording that implies that whatever you upload there, Google has the right to use.  Wording and discussion here.  It reads more like a Creative Commons copyright line than anything else.

This is the world we're in, now, rather than the world where everybody busts a blood vessel when John Lennon is used to advertise Nikes.  It's all grist for the mill, and I suppose Blogger, like Facebook and every other social networking site in which I participate can claim some sort of ownership of the content I've created over the years.  I've never not known this.  So why should I care if the name and the little creative avatar I've defined for myself digitally is no longer the literal key to this door through which I communicate with the world?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'll Have What I'm Having

The last two or three days have been highlighted - more like lowlighted - by a huge wave of enervation.  Which actually may be the result of an outside agency, and not just me getting mopey.  Most likely, it's the pollen.  Either that, or I've suddenly got mono, which would be really odd.  I can't remember - does mono leave you glassy-eyed and feeling like you're just one sneeze away from either waking up or going to sleep at any moment?

Yesterday, I woke up when I heard Yesenia leaving for work, but 'woke up' is far too strong and definitive a term for what actually happened, which was more like slowly seeping into my body from somewhere else and not quite being able to operate it properly.  I tried to say 'love you,' but couldn't even muster a grunt.  Now that's beat.

Hopefully, it will pass in time for the weekend.  Not that I've got anything going on, but I hate to be sick on a weekend just on principle.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shedding Skin

Today is a pretty eventful chapter in Spring Cleaning 2012 - to the point where this year's cleaning is turning out to be the largest decision pool of stuff being removed probably since we moved into Beadboard Manor a little under 10 years ago.

On today's docket is the cleaning of Yesenia's closet and dresser, which had gotten to the point where we could no longer find a place to put any of the clean clothes once folded and/or hangered.  Which isn't to say that my own wardrobe couldn't stand a purging, but while mine is merely bulging, Yesenia's was knocking out rivets and through drawer bottoms.

It's also a little easier for me to find space my stuff, since I do all the laundry.  With Yesenia's clothes, I'm already a a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to deciding where things go.  But that's moot, since there's no space left for things to go anywhere, anyhow, so even if I decided to start hanging t-shirts and wadding up corduroy skirts with the socks, I couldn't follow through.

We're at the completely emptied out point, with all of the keep/toss/donate decisions taken care of, and the donated clothes sitting in bags by the front door.  The shoes have gone back into the closet, and next up is the most tedious task of putting everything else away.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Hating to be Right

Well, the third major bit of malware in just a few weeks has turned up for Macs, and I'm philosophical about it.  It wasn't that it was necessarily hubristic of Apple to use the lack of viruses and virus-like things on the Mac to sell them, but in typical Apple fashion, the selling went beyond the obvious point and tried to make some universal, unchanging truth out about it.  "Mac's don't get viruses, and never will!", went the ad.  Okay.  I didn't believe it then, and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, presumably brought by the chickens when they came home to roost.

Oh, and the 'obvious point' being that the primary reason Windows machines were targeted while Macs weren't was that Macs only represented about 5% of the worldwide market at the time, and Microsoft was the big evil giant.  Now, even though Mac hasn't really gained much PC market share, Apple has become such a dominant tech leader and done enough of the other kind of stuff that pisses off hackers that we are a target.  Yay?

It's certain to drop off as Apple moves away from making computers to being a manufacturer of consumer mobile devices and similar things.  It's not a big surprise - they've created the market so they could dominate it, and it will be the close of a long game they were playing, starting with their release of iTunes in January of 2001.  In many ways, Apple was leveraging their hardcore supporters to bring in new ones, but what's the point of a business if it can't grow?  I'm largely unmoved by the as-yet realized potential of their iPhone/iPad things, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the complete brilliance of the decade-long set-up and pitch salesmanship that Jobs and Co. ran.  It's not the long con, since they delivered the future they promised.

Presumably the endgame features something close to a completely curated web experience, one that minimizes time spent outside of services and entertainment provided by the App Store and iTunes and iBooks and whatever else there is.  I think that's the part of the plan that won't really ever be realized, especially with Jobs out of the picture, and it also means that the mobile devices will be prime targets for hackers.

Sure, they'll still keep making computers, but their market will be focused on the core users that kept them going all those years, high-end creative professionals.  I actually maintain hope that they'll start breaking the iPads out into class, much like their current computers, with a consumer-friendly model and a maxed-out professional version.  An iPad will only be of use to me if I can create on it with the same tools and same ease as the current five-year-old laptop I'm writing this on, but I suspect it's going to be awhile.

In the meantime, I'll play malware dodge'em, and try not to click 'okay' on weird popups.


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Weekends heading into Spring are still an adjustment.  Away from the nesting instinct of Fall and Winter, but still not quite driven by the desire to get out and absorb all of the vitamin D and ultraviolet radiation your body can handle.  Being as I'm whiter than white and already have things on me that I should get a good dermatologist to look at, I try to stay as much out of the sun as possible even when I'm in it.  But we're not at that time of the year, yet.

So today is a day of more cleaning, inside and out, and a time when the two divided spaces seem to blend a bit.  The plants went out to the porch, and the windows were opened.  The laundry went up on the line for the first time this year, and were it not for the threat of possible rain and the clouds blotting much of the direct sunlight, they'd come in all completely dry.  As it is, the t-shirts and blouses and even the jeans all were dry to the touch after an hour - just those heavier clothes and some synthetics take more time to dry.  That's okay - a quick tumble in the dryer on what they call the 'touch-up cycle' and we're good to go.

Some people take Spring more seriously, I suppose.  Yesenia is having a last local visit with a couple that's pulling up and moving to Asheville, North Carolina.  Which, by the way, looks fucking beautiful.  I'll have to see if we can take a drive there sometime.  The South is kind of starting to open up in that way - as time passes, more and more friends and acquaintances have spread themselves out down the Eastern seaboard.

But that's a trip for a future Spring.  The time frame that Spring seems most in tune with is 'now.'  Fall is about the past, and Winter is about the future, but Spring and Summer have the retention and judgement of a small child - everything is happening for the first time, and it will only go on forever.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Cage Match

In preparation for the half-takeover of the basement by my father and stepmother, dad and I went a couple of rounds about how the space should be laid out and such.  Thing is, our differences aren't that great, but it feels like we're almost prepared to argue going in to it, so argue we must.  Anyway, the arguing was mild as such things go, and I'm pretty confident that everyone is going to get what they want out of this... which, paradoxically, is what I want.


Old Time Religion

I've often wondered why Christians don't make a bigger fuss about the portrayal of Easter in the public sphere, the way we always hear talk about 'The War on Christmas,' or endless rants about how the true meaning of Christmas is lost under all the tinsel and Santa stuff.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Easter more important than Christmas in Christian theology?  It's not like people are worshiping Christ because He managed to be born - no matter how that's presented in scripture, just being born isn't all that big a deal.  Sure, it's a miracle, but it's the same miracle that every single other person who ever lived has also pulled off.  On top of that, being born just kind of happens to you, whether you choose it or not.

The Easter holiday, on the other hand, features a whole slew of impressive bits, from stunning acts of heroism and self-sacrifice to outright resurrection from the dead.  And everything that the religion is all about is tied up in the three day window of Good Friday to Easter - Jesus died for the sins of all mankind and then actually came back from the dead to show His disciples that death itself had been conquered, and that all who believed in Him would similarly be granted an eternal life in paradise.

Without Easter, in other words, Jesus was just some guy. With it, He becomes the central icon in a religion that's gone two-plus millennia and counting.  After all, the symbol of the whole religion, regardless of sect, is the cross, not the manger.  So why don't Christians get more bent out of shape about the most holy day on their calendar being reduced to a fucking bunny delivering chocolate eggs in a basket followed by some mediocre ham?


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekend Unlistening

I have a few things on deck that should make for cool listening/viewing over the next few weeks, but nothing ready to go just yet.  The video is still in edit mode, and the other stuff needs to make the jump from magnetic tape to the digital age, and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed to tackle that, right now - the big question is if I take the old mixdown as-is, or if I hunt through the poorly labelled archives to find the original 4-track masters?  Yes, the sound would improve somewhat, but I'm not even sure if I have a functioning Tascam left.

There's also the issue of it being more of a distraction from my current project(s), and I am so very good at distracting myself.