Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Am currently listening to Ontario Today on CBC Radio 1. Today's "Phone In" topic: improving your concentration and memory.

Couple points of interest:
  • Memory does not behave like a muscle, in that you can't strengthen your memory by doing "memory exercises".
  • Concentration, which is like the gatekeeper to memory (ie. you stand a better chance of remembering what you concentrate on), is somewhat like a muscle; you can improve your concentration skills through certain activities.
Real Audio of the show will likely appear in the archive later today, or tomorrow.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Oh, all right. I'm getting impatient too.

I'm pleased to announce that this blog is moving to:
Although, the above link probably won't work for you while all the DNS servers play catch-up.

[12 March 2003 -- the DNS thingy seems to be kicking in, so the link should work for you; if not, there's always the alternate link below]

For those of you whose ISP is lagging, you can click this link to see the new site.

BTW, my apologies for the screwy archives here. That's just the way things happened.

[Addendum: Yes, I know saying "DNS server" is redundant. So sue me.]

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Soon. Very soon.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Interesting blurbage on the use of tabs in web browser interfaces (via Slashdot).
Two very cool music links, courtesy of Consolation Champs:James also endorses The Mod Pop Punk Archives, which I have linked in the sidebar.

Today's acquisition from Sonic Boom: Laugh? I Nearly Bought One!, a compilation of tunes by post-punkers Killing Joke. For those of you unfamiliar with them, their sound is not unlike Joy Division, but more angry. And, like Joy Division, towards the end of their career they released a radio-friendly song that became an 80s retro mainstay -- the tune "Love Like Blood".

BTW, if you happen to spot the March issue of Mojo magazine on the newstands, they've got a lovely compilation of old and new punk tunes to go with it. Representing the old school are the likes of The Damned, The Buzzcocks, X-Ray Spex, The Only Ones, and others. The only reason why I didn't buy a copy the instant I saw it is because I already have several of the tunes in MP3 format. But I may just break down and get it.
Yeah, it's 8 in the morning, and I am awake.

As a change of pace from my usual dream, I dreamed that I was back in an office and someone tried to hand off to me a file folder of the kinds documents that I used to deal with in my days at the Soul Crushing Corporate Job From Hell. I got way pissed off and was yelling, "You are not sucking me back into doing that job again!" Then I woke up.

BTW, today marks the one year anniversary of my layoff from my last IT job. You probably don't have to be Sigmund Freud to realize what's been ricocheting through the back of my head.
Whilst spelunking through the Circadian Shift archives, I decided to check in at Last Tram to Mancentral and see if there was anything new. There was this message:
This site is closing down.
Which means, for all you KLF/Justified Ancients of MuMu fans out there, "You have at least until 7th March 2003" to download this treasure trove of sounds (including many rare mixes of their songs in MP3 format), images, and whatnot before it all disappears into the ether.

Shit -- March 7 is today. Hopefully Mancentral can hang in there for just a little longer.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

New on Search Engine Watch: a look at Google's entry into the contextual advertising market.
The Spring 2003 issue of strategy+business is available online (free registration required). Of interest:There's also a new mix available on Brilliantine available for your downloading enjoyment.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Just happened to stumble across this on the "Recently Updated" list on the Blogger homepage:
excited utterances -- a bevy of knowledge management links and posts, with a heavy slant towards KM in law firms
Will have to add it to my bookmarks.

My afternoon sojourn outside The Hovel took me to my local Home Hardware store, where I acquired the "Benchmark Retract-A-Bit" and "Retract-A-Bit Mini" screwdrivers. They're very nifty (if you happen to like dorky things like that).

The Mini shall be put to good use over the next several days while I mess around with my two desktop PCs. I'm finally, finally going to rebuild my Windows desktop PC (having relied solely on my notebook for quite some time). Am also going to stick a bigger hard drive in my Linux box.

And I'm still working on my web sites. Was messing with my resume/portfolio site yesterday (ah, the joys of using CSS 2 for layout), but there's still much to be done.
Every once in a while, Mother Nature likes to give us a smack upside the head to let us know who's still boss. Damn, it's cold out there.

Believe it or not, this article appears on the InformIT website (free registration required):
Face-Off in the Gulf: Why Iraq, Why Now?
The journalists of Reuters look at the case for and against a war in Iraq, examining the Bush Doctrine, the chronology of events since the Gulf War, and why this is coming to a head now.
Also on InformIT, and of interest to the film/video enthusiast, is an article on the different types of shots you can use when making your own digital movies.

(You know, it's occured to me more than once that, despite the fact that this blog is subtitled "Reading. Computers. Film. Music. Insomnia.", I almost never talk about film -- a deficit that I will have to address in the future.)

Meanwhile, over at (where registration may or may not be required -- depends on the article, I think):Also, md links to a site called I Want Media, for those who like to watch those who purvey information. I couldn't help but notice their catalog of layoffs in various media outlets.
Linkage:If that's all too "meta" for you, how about an article on the demise of the metaphoric interface? (Yet another link cribbed from Blogdex.)

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Thanks to "J" for e-mailing me on this: Paul Gutman has posted an essay (115 KB PDF file) on blogging and employment law. Good stuff.
Seeing as we are now in a new month, I've gone and thrown a couple more MP3s into CS: The Outpost:I don't know why Ultravox doesn't get more of a mention, whatwith all the renewed interest in 80s synth bands. To me, their 1980 album Vienna, particularly the title track and the song "Sleepwalk", puts them right up there in the synthpop pantheon with the likes of Gary Numan, the Human League, early Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark, and early Simple Minds.

And, yes, "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" is a good song, but I don't think it's one of their best; of course, the video, released in the days when anxiety over nuclear war was at its peak, made for prime MTV/MuchMusic fodder.

Fun fact: back in 1975, Ultravox lead singer Midge Ure was approached by some bloke called Malcolm McLaren to join some fledgling band known as the Sex Pistols. Midge turned them down. Whatever happened to that band?....

(More about Ultravox at their official web site.)

Anyway, the track I chose to post -- "The Voice" -- is from their 1981 album Rage In Eden, and fits in with what's evolving to be my theme-of-sorts for today.

Also in the same thematic vein is the Missing Persons' track "Words"; I rambled about Missing Persons before when I posted another track from them in January.
New articles on Slate:The latest blog highlighted on Blogger's homepage: Anne... straight from the hip. You have been warned.
Yikes, it's March already. How did that happen?

Couple links for you:
  • Problem Behaviors in Cats -- "You cannot discipline cats as you would dogs. Dogs form social hierarchies that you can take advantage of by placing yourself at the top. Cats form social groups only by necessity and the arrangement is based on respecting territory, not by respecting the "top dog". Many mistakes made with cats are due to thinking that they will react like dogs." (via Neat New Stuff on the Net)

  • A treasure trove of writings by and about George Orwell (via Lactose Incompetent)
She is watching me. She knows. She knows.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Altova, the makers of XML Spy, are now offering their Authentic 5 XML document editor as a free download. (Sorry, Windoze platform only.)
Really, really, really gotta buckle down and work on my websites. In the meantime, here is some linkage for you:BTW, something has happened to Blam!Blog.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

For lack of anything else to say, here are a couple links to items I saw while watching CBC television last night:Must do laundry.
There's a song I heard on Brave New Waves a few months back from a group(?) called LCD Sound System. In "Losing My Edge", the narrator/vocalist laments how he might not be as on top of current music trends as he used to be; his plaintive refrain is "I was there...." during various epochal moments in punk/new wave/alternative music history.

Tell me about it.

Monday night's Ladytron show went well, although I had a headache by the end of the night from all the cigarette smoke, and the noise (I had procured ear plugs for the event, but forgot to use them). I also couldn't resist playing Wizened-Old-Music-Curmudgeon by constantly applying labels to the effect of "Old Music Act 'A' meets Old Music Act 'B'" to all of the songs.

Of the first opening act (Phaser):
"Somone should tell them Smashing Pumpkins broke up already"

(Oh, OK, that was Graig's quote, but it could've been mine, dammit.)
Of the second opening act (Simian):
"It's Pink Floyd meets The Happy Mondays"

"Jesus Jones hacks a Speak & Spell"
Of Ladytron themselves:
"Gary Numan meets Siouxsie and the Banshees"

"Vince Clarke (of Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure fame) meets Blondie"
Etc., etc.

I'm also never going to be Ms. Fashion Queen, even on a good day, but this point was particularly brought home to me observing my fellow Ladytron fans. Women with skinny neckties (which, I archly noted to Graig, I was wearing 20 years ago), guys and girls with vertical hair a la The Cure, small round pins with band names on them (another 20 year old throwback) and even a couple Kraftwerk-meets-Chairman Mao buttoned up tunic-thingies.

At one point I was standing in line in the women's washroom and noticed one of the young fashionistas looking at me. I caught sight of myself in the mirror and observed:
  • faded green Giordano sweatshirt that I bought in Hong Kong ten years ago

  • black MEC polar fleece jacket from seven years ago

  • faded blue Eddie Bauer khakis of unknown vintage (double pleats)

  • brown leather lace-up boots made by Prospector (rounded toes)
Christ, I looked like a freaking soccer mom. Well, okay, maybe a soccer mom who drinks....

Anyway, I did actually have a good time at the show, and have an increased appreciation for Ladytron's music, having heard it performed live (synth bands never a compelling stage presence, but the sound had a certain energy to it that I never got from listening to their recordings).

If you're curious, you can listen to a few Ladytron tracks at Epitonic.

Further reading:
  • GAK's take on Ladytron's show in NYC last week

  • Jeremy's writeup of Monday's show

  • Carla's pithy summary

  • Zhan's report

  • Josie's writeup (for those of you who are cool enough to have a password)

I also note that while I did not get carded at the door, Josie did. We are the same age, but she is clearly much cooler than I.

[Addendum: Oddly enough, Graig had the opposite response to the show from me -- he thought the live act was more sterile than the recordings. Maybe it was the enthusiasm of the crowd that got me pumped, or maybe the fact that the speakers were so loud as to send a ripple effect through my entire body and make my ears bleed, but the live show definitely left an impression on me.]

Monday, February 24, 2003

OMG, reading this sent a chill down my spine:
While I was at The Corporation (a pox on King Stan!) I wrote that it was like being in an abusive relationship; you get smacked around, but you keep coming back because your sense of self-worth is tied up in there, and you keep lying to yourself that the good times compensate for the bad, and that a bad relationship (or a bad job) is better than none at all. You reach a point when it becomes so deeply a part of your life, you can't imagine what you'd do without it.

-- Lactose Incompetent
Shit. Been there, done that. Stockholm Syndrome, ahoy.

Anyway, just wanted to check in and let y'all know that I'm still alive. Didn't do any work on the new blogspace over the weekend; had a bitch of a headache that set in Saturday night and didn't release its grip until today.

This evening, am going to see Ladytron play at The Phoenix, accompanied by other members of the local blogging posse. Yay.

Friday, February 21, 2003

I don't. I really don't.

brought to you by

Blogwhore 2, brought to you by Shel, is in its final week; Liz has shown that she can whore with the best of them. Go, Liz!

BTW, new web space has been obtained by yours truly. I'm in the process of fixin' it up so it'll look all nice 'n perty, and all that. Will let you know when it's time for the big blog-warming.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

On a less bile-filled note, there is a gallery of vewy adowable puppy pictures available for your viewing enjoyment (via sam-i-am).
I'd meant to stay up last night and read e-Business Essentials. Instead, I found myself re-reading Bridget Jones's Diary; Chapter 1 is available online for your perusal.

BTW, according to Helen Fielding, "fuckwittage" rhymes with fromage.

Meanwhile, over on Heartless Bitches International, The Morrigan is back after a very long absence with several new additions to her "I'm Not Bitter" column.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Pardon me for one moment:


Thank you.
Tunage links:
  • Brilliantine offers amazing "mix tapes" that delightfully combine artifacts from the 80s with present-day electro (props to Josie for bringing this site to my attention)

  • Canadian DJ Tommy Zee has house, trance, and other dance music sets available for download

  • Rare 1980s MP3 of the Week is currently featuring the 12" mix of Ministry's "Over the Shoulder"; if you haven't downloaded it yet, what's wrong with you?
Anyone remember the song "Moonlight Shadow" by Mike Oldfield? That's what I found myself listening to at 4 am this morning.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Just because I'm such a glutton for punishment, I thought I'd try to fix my Blogger template again. No dice.

Yeah, I'm still planning a move to other webspace. It's in the works. Really.
I just realized I never use my pens any more.

I have several fountain pens; some are nicer than others, none are particularly expensive. I prefer them over ballpoint or felt-tip pens when I have to write more than a few sentences.

The fact that my pens have fallen into disuse means that I have not been:
  • writing in any of my notebooks

  • studying anything and making notes

  • working on any projects
Then there are the reams of paper, notebooks, and sketchbooks that are here, unused. Not to mention the markers, pencils, pastels, crayons, and paints.


I reorganized all my CDs and books yesterday, so that I can actually find things when I want them. I went to make some lists of books to read, and that's when I realized that I didn't know where my pens were. I did find some of them (fortunately, the nicer ones) but the others are still hiding somewhere in The Hovel.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this little screed. I've also got some Roxy Music playing on the stereo ("Out the Blue" seems tailor-made for moody 2 am listening), so that's distracting me slightly.

Perhaps a wee break from blogging is in order.