The Nervous: Updated Report

Yesterday was the second meeting of the three-man rock n' roll party experience The Nervous. We ran through our "set," such as it is, a couple of times. We tightened bolts and adjusted screws. So to speak. Tunes so far include:
  1. Mental Retard (Riverdales)
  2. Stick Boy (Hanson Bros.)
  3. My Girlfriend's a Robot (Hanson Bros.)
  4. Not For Mary Lou (Hanson Bros.)
  5. IP V6 (me)
  6. Firmware (me)
  7. song that Ransom wrote that I can't remember the name of (Ransom)
I expect we'll end up dropping Stick Boy, because playing a song about Hockey doesn't quite fit the self-imposed / understood genre restrictions, but otherwise it's full speed ahead.

The Nervous: Punctuality, Cleanliness, Efficiency. An Iron Core of Discipline.


Reading (Zizeck) for Pleasure

I didn't read anything for fun for six years, the six years that happened to coincide with having to read 200 - 400 pages a week of dense academic prose (most of it in French during the latter few years). Now that I'm back in civilian life and I take public transportation every day, I am all about reading for fun. Fun includes the following so far:

  1. The entire Jim Butcher Furies of Calderon series (good fantasy.)
  2. The two amazing novels by Patrick Rothfuss.
  3. The Stupidest Angel and A Dirty Job by Chris Moore.
  4. Zizeck! I'm reading Living in the End Times right now and it's just chock full of radical theoretical giggles. Zizeck is a particularly interesting case for me, because most of the people I studied in grad school loved to read philosophy; they were philosophers who really sincerely enjoyed reading Hegel (which is about as much fun, IMHO, as taking a screwdriver to the soft tissue under your knee cap.) Zizeck is probably the first time I've really enjoyed reading philosophy. Even my dissertation work on Gorz wasn't like this; I liked and admired Gorz as a thinker, but it was still work getting through his stuff. Zizeck is like philosophy candy.
So now you know about that.


The Nervous: An Initial Report

Yesterday evening Ransom, T, and I got together for the first official "this time with drums" meeting of The Nervous. We played three Hanson Bros. covers, one Riverdales cover, and an original composition of mine entitled "IPV6." Ransom and I also mostly remembered our favorite Mondale song from back in the day, "Proto Unit V3."

The practice went really well. T is right at the same level on drums as are Ransom and I at guitar and bass. All of us felt tired and a bit beat-up after we were done since we're all out of shape with the necessary weird music muscles. I also determined that it's imperative that I re-remember how to play bass fast properly, playing with my arm and not my wrist. I have proto-carpal tunnel just from one two-hour practice, which is uncool and I must avoid in the future.

After the practice I hung around ate food and drank beers with some of the usual beautiful suspects. We watched a whole mess of funny videos, including highlights from both seasons of Flight of the Conchords and various meme-y songs on Youtube (First Semester of Spanish Love Song, etc.) I tried and failed to find the following video for everyone to watch, by Portland's proudest sons Red Fang:


It is really important that you watch that. It is really funny and it rocks super-hard. Now you know.


Bachelor Pad

B and Plan C are down in California visiting the 'rentals, leaving me to my own wily out-of-control paint-peeling-from-the-walls madness big-money-spendin' ways. They include:
  1. Eating pasta every night.
  2. Watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix.
  3. Playing a lot of Borderlands. I have shot my way through about 2/3 of the game so far.
  4. Not shaving. I have my scruff-tastic thing going on at this point.
  5. Going to work. Shit!
It sounds like they're having a really nice time down there, aided greatly by the fact that Plan C is sleeping through the night (A.) and pooping semi-regularly (B.), neither of which she did the last time they were down there back in January.

Anyway. I hope everyone is still good-looking out there.


Computer Post 1

There will be a couple of these, so get ready to get bored.

I was terribly pleased with myself in coming up with this analogy: being a systems guy is like being an airplane mechanic while the plane is still in the air. There were probably three times on Friday when I sort of hovered over something with my mouse, ready to click Apply and watch as either all hell broke loose or everything just kept pooping right along (happily, hell only broke loose once.)

A certain incident on Friday also brought the age-old Windows vs. Linux debate, on the server-side, to the foreground for the first time (for me) in a long time. I summarize the results of the discussion had with a friend/co-worker:

  1. It's easy-ish, because it's (almost) all done through graphical interfaces.
  2. MS has invested bzillions in it, so most of the time what you want is available somewhere, however buried in features.
  3. On a good day, it's pretty intuitive.
  1. Everything is done through the command-line, so you can just have a single terminal window to do 100% of everything.
  2. Thousands of incredibly smart geeky open source dorks have created almost every kind of system available.
  3. It's completely free. You can spin up as many Linux servers as you want and never have to worry about the licensing.
  4. Once it's set up properly, it just works.
  1. A big one here: even though most of it is done through the graphical interface, there are scores of these weird, and weirdly-important, little administrative tasks that happen on the command line. The problem is that they're incredibly obscure and there is no common language or nomenclature, unlike in Linux where the commands are well known and standardized.
  2. It's really expensive.
  3. It does stupid shit for no reason. We added some servers to the domain the other day and wham! The Windows firewall popped up and shut down connections between an application and its database, where it hadn't before, and it took us 15 minutes to figure out what had happened and fix it.
  4. Along with point 1., even the GUI stuff can be strangely unintuitive; it took me a long-ass time to figure out how to add a group as a local admin on a class of machines through a group policy object, and it should have been straightforward.
  1. It can be pretty F'ing cryptic.
  2. Seriously, it's cryptic.
  3. When it doesn't work, it really doesn't work. You have to know how to set it up properly; you aren't going to be able to just click through and magically have it work.
Tune in next time when I tell you about my neat new cheapo PC. Or you could just curl up in a ball on your floor and cry yourself to sleep; either way.


Thrust, Parry, Riposte

B made these - she hand-burned the lettering in with a little crafty hand-burner/letterer. Hence the Chinese restaurant font.

  1. We partied like it was 1789 this weekend with (many of) our friends and, a day letter, family members. My stance is that you should normally separate friends and family into distinct party arrangements (except at your wedding and/or funeral) - it's just awkward to hang out with other people's family, no matter how nice they are. (Note to my mom: this is a general principle thing; no offense intended.)
  2. Plan C can say things, crawls around like the dickens, and has another tooth coming in. Next stop: grad school.
  3. Speaking of, reading my homie K's posts and chatting w/ her via IM and e-mail has led me to conclude, conclusively, that no one should go to grad school. I mean it. I, personally, had a good run and had a lot of fun, but as a general principle thing, no offense intended, no one should go. You're really better off just trying to find a job you hate a little less and going on trips and so on.
  4. I have adopted an official "fuck it" policy on the stress level at my jobs.
  5. This whole "playing music again" thing is slow going, but progress is being made. Next Friday the three core members of The Nervous will assemble for the first time and play several Hanson Bros.* and Riverdales covers, as well as an original composition I am entitling "IP v6." (That's a tech joke/reference.)
* No, not those Hanson Bros., the punk ones. Jesus, dude.