A Very Joy Division Easter

I never really knew what goth sounded like, when it came down to it. I went through a fairly brief phase in high school when I listened to a Cure mix tape my girlfriend made me, basically because she was convinced that we had to like the same kind of music or the relationship was doomed (it was, of course, in the long run, but that didn't have anything to do with the Cure, at least directly.) I also liked what used to be called industrial - Ministry, Pigface, F'ing Nine Inch Nails, etc. - I think industrial had some weird, tangential relationship with goth.

Anyway, when C gave me all of her records, she included a few that lead me to believe she must have gone through a more substantial goth phase than I ever did, what with the Bauhaus and the Joy Division. On Easter Sunday we hung out and I ripped goth records and we ate burritos w/ my brother in-law. It was fun. It turns out that goth is surprisingly funky rock n' roll...the monotone vocals make it gothy, but the music is actually kind of party-tastic. Let's all party to Joy Division, you guys.

Speaking of parties, P-town homies are reminded that it's Plan C's one-year b-day party this Saturday. See you then.


Oncall and the Baby Can Crawl

  1. I'm oncall for the software job pretty-much all the time now. Being oncall is this odious, revolting job duty concomitant with IT itself. For a period of time, usually a week or so and usually as part of a rotating schedule shared between people in the IT dept., you are chained to a pager, waiting for something to break so that you can instantly leap out of bed at 3:00am and totally fix it, VPN'd in to the work network and firing off commands and connections to SAVE THE DAY, YOU GUYS! In fact, the way it usually works is just a lot of lost sleep to no productive end (see: my Tuesday night - 3 hours is not a lot of sleep to get.) That said, the oncall situation at this company is infinitely better than other ones I've had to deal with in the past, and it helped cement my place as official systems guy there, so I'm making a tough-guy face and just pushing through.
  2. Plan C taught herself to crawl the other night, finally, one week before her first birthday. She finally concluded that it would be easier to crawl around herself than to just point at places she wanted to go and shout at us. Thanks, little kid. We appreciate it.


Analog to Digital

Rippin' records to mp3 this morning before I go to campus. Here's how to do it:
  1. Hook your turntable up to a stereo amplifier that has a line out and get an adapter cable that goes from the 2-prong out to a 1-prong in so you can plug in to your computer. Obviously, you need an amp with a proper phono input, otherwise you'll need to buy a phono pre-amp (which are cheap.)
  2. Plug it in to the line-in. I'm doing mine on a cheapo Dell laptop and it works fine; if you want to get all fancy with a proper audio card, party on.
  3. Install Audacity.
  4. Install Lame for Audacity.
  5. Fire up Audacity, play a record and adjust the line-in volume. Mine is super loud, so I had to turn it almost all the way down otherwise the recordings sounded all fuzzed-out.
  6. Hit record and play the record. Once you're done, zoom out (Ctrl+3) so that you can see the blocks of sound that represent each song. Drag over each selection and select File -> Export Selection and save it as a mp3. Do that for each song.
It's fun, albeit time-consuming. The goal is to have a lot of the 90s Pac Northwest indie rock that I got from C ripped by the time she comes over to hang out on Sunday so that I can give the mp3s to her as a thank-you for the records.


Blood Boiling Over. Also, a List.

  • Blood pressure ratcheted back up to hummingbird level after a brief respite, following yet another logistical screw-up. Me trying to stay on top of everything is the mental equivalent of one-handed push-ups.
  • Nice weekend in Ilwaco, WA, staying at one of my boss's vacation pad (i.e. I have three bosses, but said boss only has one vacation pad. Plurals got lost in that syntax.) B and I haven't had a recharging time-away thing since well before C was born.
  • Fun home-buying facts: you are supposed to earn roughly 3 times your monthly mortgage payment (before taxes), and you need at least a 640 credit score for a loan, preferably closer to 740. A down payment of 20% of the overall price means that you don't need to buy mortgage insurance.
  • The only kind of beer I really don't like is brown ale. I am a little burned on IPAs, too, but that's just because of over-exposure to hops.
  • It takes a real man to wear almost-white jeans. I am that man.
  • Today's lecture is on the iron age and the ancient Hebrews. I love the head-fuck factor of telling the students that the Hebrews only became monotheists about 700 years after Moses supposedly led them out of Egypt (an event with no corroboration from Egyptian textual records or archeological evidence, BTW.) Facts have this wonderful corrosive effect on religion.
  • Plan C is seriously teething and has been seriously demanding of late. But she's still slay-you cute, so we put up with it. I've always been a sucker for a pretty face.


Man, I Hate Learning

(side note: when you become a parent, one thing that happens is that you cringe every time an emergency vehicle goes past while the baby is taking her nap. Shut UP, ambulance!)

I did a dumb thing recently, dumb enough that I'm not going to post about the details in a public forum, just a few hours after I had been musing on the fact that it really sucks to have to make the mistake-from-which-you-learn-a-valuable-lesson FIRST to learn the concomitant valuable lesson. My whole personality revolves around valuable lessons that might be learned without making the mistake first; this is called "anxiety."

Also, this morning, I spent a few hours at work (note: it is Saturday) trying to get a Microsoft server thing to work. It didn't at all. It was like the bad old NT 4 days, of clicking a thing and it saying "ok!" in the dialog box but nothing actually happens. No errors, nothing in the logs, just a pure vortex of utter blackness deep in the machine's memory. Up yours, Redmond.

I am done with learning for a little while.