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Last Build Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 13:16:32 GMT

 




Fri, 11 Jun 2010 13:16:32 GMT

I wouldn't say I got up on the wrong side of the bed so much as I got up on the side of the bed where I'm basically a 90 year old bachelor whose dog was run over the night before by a bunch of teenagers doing donuts in his heretofore manicured front yard.



Parka

Wed, 21 Apr 2010 19:26:58 GMT

I wonder if when we look back at this month of iPad if we'll think what an amazing moment to have lived through, or if it will be like some guy with sideburns telling your dad about the reel-to-reel player in his carpeted van.

-- ftrain.com



Stocktake

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 05:45:47 GMT

Sometimes I rue the lack of real seasons that our post-agricultural work lives have engendered. That moment when one takes stock is no longer reliably at the end of a fall harvest, nor will its end result in a quantitative and definitive idea of what the following season will hold. I have no idea the reality of this scene, of course, but I imagine an experienced farmer of yesteryear could enter his silos and instantly know how much wine would be had for that year's celebrations. On those years when the sun and insects had conspired against him, perhaps those silos spoke of debt, and perhaps just one bottle of wine would be added to that debt, to ease its sting and to bring hope to the prayers spoken for the next spring.

To his progeny and employ, it was simply the wine that indicated prosperity or hunger and thus became the icon of success. To the forebears and their closests each bottle was in fact feet of grain in their stores, grain connected to a vast ecosystem and positioned in a long timeline that was present not just in the mind but in the blood.

Similarly, what the next day held, and the reason to start after it in the morning--and for that matter, the reason to rest that night--were well known, and in that knowledge was held satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, of art, even.

Now our seasons, our stores and our debts, and even our daily work have been abstracted, their ecosystems obscured. I can feel a new season approaching. Perhaps this coming "season" resembles summer, likely it does not. Likely it fails in any material way to fall into a cycle of sowing and reaping. I bought wine* tonight and I used debt to do so** without any concept of what it meant or to whom it was owed. My work days are dictated by ticketing systems and emails, but mostly by interruption and urgency--either in real life or via instant message. My existence is premeditated not by seasons but by a radically nonlinear attention fishnet. The value of my work relies on focus but it is not my work but my focus that is valued.

I feel like ours is the last generation concerned with these issues. Those that have followed swim natively in these seas. They travel through meanings and tasks like they click on AJAX hyperlinks, pulling data from the server without losing their place. They are unencumbered by their brain's devolution to the plow.

Perhaps. More later.

* In my experience, the number of bottles of wine that have been spoiled upon opening has increased by an order of magnitude in the last 6-12 months. Is anyone else having this experience? Any information about why this might be?

** Granted I am not carrying credit card debt over a billing cycle and therefore in theory simply using my card as a form of payment. But the option to purchase without money lies there, in a dark corner, a monster in the closet.




Tue, 13 Apr 2010 04:46:18 GMT

"You look like a father now. I remember when you were just the cute guy behind the wine bar. The one who lived in his gallery."



Motivational Limbo

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 14:58:05 GMT

I'm in that place where everything is tolerable but not yet perfect or finished, and the list of everything is rather long. Having trouble connecting this long list of next todos to anything that might motivate me to accomplish them (funny how much effort a single phone call can take sometimes) or deciding which of the long list is most important right now. Nor do I have any tools (software or wetware) to help in this matter.

This, besides the day job, is the problem domain that is consuming me. I've designed a tool to help; I just need to build it. I need the tool to help build the tool. Talk about eating one's own dog food.

In the meantime, I'm very curious about others' systems/tools for getting things done (especially if it's not Getting Things Done, for which there is a lot of information out there--it does not help with the core issue described above, it assumes you're already motivated to "turn the widget", or worse, that turning widgets is motivation enough for humans).



Random Thought About Lost (that has Nothing to Do With Much of Anything), too Long for Twitter

Mon, 29 Mar 2010 15:20:32 GMT

So now that I'm caught up on Lost, I'm wondering why I didn't hear any uproar from Christians about the latest episode, given the way it seems one of the main elements of the Lost world runs totally counter to Xian worldview. I know there are some evangelicals out there totally into the show; were they all too busy being up in arms about how our government wants to help protect the widowed and orphaned to notice how a huge cultural development is attacking the core of their religion? Is there going to be some tie-in to western religious thought, or is there some other religion (or mix of religions) that Lost seems to be drawing from?




Fri, 29 Jan 2010 20:29:24 GMT

Western religion (like all religions) is an aesthetic. It used to be the driving aesthetic of our overall culture. Now it is primarily following cultural trends. This is how it has failed. Not as a spiritual practice, of which it is one of many and as relevant as any, but rather in pretending its spiritual directives ran counter (or at best secondarily) to its cultural directives.



Washed Out / More Great Art From People Younger Than You Who Don't Care If You Think It's Great Art

Wed, 13 Jan 2010 07:09:41 GMT

(image)

Washed Out, aka Ernest Greene, see, he has his own blog and YouTube channel and as far as I can tell he's just a 26ish-year-old guy living in rural Georgia who just got married and is making this incredible music in his bedroom late at night.

I put art on the Fail list but really I've never had such a sense that we've just entered an amazing time for art, particularly this immediatist-yet-somehow-on-the-net thing that seems to be best and most perpetuated by print designers and those well under 30. I'm really excited about it and have this folder in my Google Reader that just blows my mind every time I look at it which these days isn't very often, but...the funny part is that I have to resist my old-man desires to try and jump on the aesthetic train and figure out the best ways to publish all this shit to get eyeballs and blah blah blah...although I do want to put out an electronic record of some sort this year, and I'll for sure be listening to a lot of Glo-fi at the time...in the meantime I have a gig in a week and a half and I have no idea what I'm going to do for it. You know, I don't even have guitar calluses on my fingertips anymore. It's shameful.

Anyhoo, besides those blogs Vimeo is also usually a ridiculous place to go find art that will blow your mind (if you have enough bandwidth...with our account it is usually a waiting game). On Vimeo I found what is possibly the quintessential of said art, and they just happen to be videos set to Washed Out and Dallas' own (getting rather big) Neon Indian. I can't embed the Vimeo vids in LJ (another reason I'm hoping to transition blogging platforms soon), but it's just one kid's (I use that pronoun to emphasize my oldness) account, here.

(When I was 26 I was about to move to DC. Soon I'd be divorced. 26 feels like three lifetimes ago. The 00's was a hell of a decade for me. I predict this next decade goes twice as fast and is half as exciting, but in a good way.)



Totally Obsessed With Glo-fi Right Now

Sun, 10 Jan 2010 01:56:29 GMT

(image)

Here's all the Washed Out I found on the internet plus one I bought from Amazon.

(Per request, I'll post more mp3's in the near future.)
(As always the files themselves will not live on my server for long, so grab them now.)
(I have a lot of plans for the site(s) and having to post my images on Flickr is not part of those plans.)



We procrastinate because we are afraid

Fri, 08 Jan 2010 17:52:56 GMT

We procrastinate because we are afraid. We’re afraid it’s too much work and that it will drain us. We’re afraid we’ll screw it up and get in trouble. We’re afraid we don’t know how to do it. We’re afraid because, well, we’ve been putting it off forever and every time we put it off it seems a little more fearsome in our minds. That’s why not putting things off is so liberating. We’re forced to confront our fears, not let them grow bigger by repeatedly running away. And when we confront them, we find they’re not so scary after all.
http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/doitnow



...a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it

Wed, 06 Jan 2010 04:20:57 GMT

The human mind delights in finding pattern—so much so that we often mistake coincidence or forced analogy for profound meaning. No other habit of thought lies so deeply within the soul of a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it
--Stephen Jay Gould via



Concerning the Curious Confections Coming out of Calopezzati

Tue, 05 Jan 2010 16:07:39 GMT

Dear Editor:

I knew my short airing of grievances might stir some feathers, but I had no idea what strange and oddly delicious consequence it would have. It seems that an unusual alliance formed shortly after your publishing the piece on December 30th. Two parties heretofore only acquaintances via strange gender-biased clothing-optional soirees and otherwise only linked in their previous friendship with yours truly and thenceforth hatred of the same seem to have linked together to express their distaste for my rhetoric by engaging in industrial baking. I was greeted this morning at my door by a package of unknown origins. Having just been released from some kind of low-security prison I expected it to be some of my belongings I might have left behind, but instead discovered a box of gold-wrapped cylindrical chocolate wafers. I instinctively unwrapped one and took a bite, before I realized the inside of the wrapper was imprinted with slanderous quotes about me! I was, of course, instantly concerned that the pastry might be poisoned, but having already taken a bite I was forced to simply wait it out and after the course of many minutes I decided that was not the case. They were in fact quite tasty. But as I read the vile words attacking my character that had sat so closely to the sweetness of the sugary goodness, I was left with a deep sense of contention within.

Dealing With
Dallas, Texas, Jan. 5, 2010

The writer had a weird-ass dream last night.



2009 Fives, Part 3: Wins

Fri, 01 Jan 2010 05:30:44 GMT

You know what #1 is going to be already, right? :)5. My Art. What you say? That also made my top 5 list of failures for 2009? It did. But I did release a digital EP that I am proud of and I did a benefit single collaboration and I did continue to get some work published in a small UK publication and I did make a couple little videos. I have a lot more to do and not as much time to do it, but at least I'm not completely stalled.4. Friends. We made new, good friends and continued and strengthened old, rich friendships. We had good times. I liked Carissa's description of one of our too-infrequent brunches: This is the time frame in most of my friend's lives where we're all settling into this world we created. We're settling in to our ideas and our beliefs and how it's all panning out. We're settling into our mates or what we want out of a mate and understanding more about what was so totally wrong with that last boy/girl friend. We're nestled in with sticky-faced children. We pride ourselves more on our practical functionality and less on our storebought fronts. We're not so swept away by the masses, trends or media and can focus on the big and small pictures individually. When we gather around food and beverage we can connect things from all over and we suddenly need to take care of one another.3. Family. Parenting also made my top 5 list of failures for 2009. But you know what? The other 60% of the time, total win. And collectively? We always win. The four of us have little tough spots almost daily but overall we rock. There is rarely a day when we don't find ourselves all gathered around and I have these really lucid thoughts about how much I love all three of these other people and how well we all work together and how happy I am that we found ourselves together forever.2. Collecta. I totally fell into this job but I am constantly amazed at how much happier I am with my work than I have been in a long time. The people I work with are incredibly smart, capable and passionate. We're building something important. It's a shit ton of hard work, don't get me wrong, but this is the environment I thrive in. And we ship and iterate and ship and ship and ship and ship and iterate and ship and ship. This, my friends, is the way it's done. As I put it to the team at one point: I wanted to mention that I freaking love working with you guys. By far the most brilliant--intimidatingly so--and fun group of people I've ever worked with and the most engaged I've ever been in something I didn't start myself.1. Margot. I had no idea. People had told me, I had drempt about it many times in the past, but she's really here. I have a daughter. A baby girl. Who's the cutest baby anyone has ever seen. I can't wait to watch her grow up.[...]



2009 Fives, Part 2: Fails

Thu, 31 Dec 2009 05:30:44 GMT

5. Intellectual property. We have billion-dollar corporations suing house moms for millions over file sharing while I can't successfully track down a person to pay for recording a cover tune on my record (despite many attempts). Even if I could track down the legal entity responsible, we can't seem to figure out a reasonable way to compensate them for allowing that recording to be played and downloaded over the web. Meanwhile so-called news sites (aka poorly modified WordPress and Drupal templates) and "lifestyle blogs" are straight-up copy-and-pasting their content from other sites/publications/Flickr/emails/you-name-it. Why bother with writing and editorial staff in the first place? Just deploy some spam-blog code and be done with it.4. Nonprofits. From One Laptop Per Child (which I was an early supporter of) to the what-was-the-big-deal-again? Open Source Applications Foundation (which I modeled my own non-profit after in 2003) to locals whose cost-to-benefit ratio must be the worst of any charitable organization ever. There are a lot of high-value non-profit organizations out there, sustained because of that value. But there are (seemingly) equal numbers of those sustained solely by their ability to execute on public relations. 3. Art. I could discuss the validity of hanging art on walls and charging money to take it home all night long (preferably over numerous adult beverages) but that debate aside, if you are going to engage in such an activity, please hold yourself to some objective standard. Due to the wonders of modern technology, it is now possible for any person with a ticket to Thailand, a DSLR and a handful of free Photoshop actions downloaded off the internet to create a nice little series of photographs. Hell, there are thousands uploaded to Flickr every day. We have the internet, people--go forth and publish! But art...art...that takes work! Disclaimer: You'll notice I have in the past been very guilty of all three of the above. Hell...I founded a nonprofit that helped start an eponymous art gallery and produced software for people to better create, organize and share intellectual property! The fact that I still have strong opinions about these areas is because I still have strong passions in these areas and would love for others to learn from my mistakes. Respect others, learn about intellectual property issues, don't be greedy. Don't work for fame, work for love and let your ideas be honed in the great tumbler of the market (if that is where they truly belong). If those ideas turn into art, then consider their place within our culture before thrusting them upon the world; trade some of that scrap for some wisdom.There are a million great examples out there of all the above done to perfection. My previous list should have been much longer (but I went for quirk over quantity). Creative Commons, Wikipedia, 20x200...and on and on.2. My art. I haven't had the time or propensity to do anything artistic in the manner I would expect from myself. I haven't put in the work (as described above). Even since ditching some of my previous endeavors like photography, I'm still spread pretty thin with writing, music-making and coding/designing. I finally achieved two long-held dreams, professional and personal, but neither of those involved art. I did release a digital EP that I am proud of and a benefit single collaboration, but haven't written music all year otherwise. I haven't really played out or gained any traction. My web sites are a mess, I've barely written. I've had some work published in a small UK publication and that was a great pleasure. One of my favorite creations of the year I did in one night, with the cheapest possible equipment; it was more an act of[...]



2009 Fives, Part 1: Culture

Wed, 30 Dec 2009 06:53:05 GMT

(image)

5. Salim Nourallah released Constellation, Ciphers (edit: oops that was actually the end of '08), produced Rhett Miller, became a man with a more-than-respectable catalog and further established himself as the reigning godfather of Dallas music.

4. Justin Terveen took photographs and made Dallas look like a cool city to live in. Brock Davis made amazing art every day of the year.

3. Old single women living alone in interesting houses. Particularly, Dallas' own Ronnie Claire Edwards (here is a street view of the property--I rode by it just the other day) and Pennsylvania's recently departed Violet Hobaugh (here are some pictures of her home--Laura Kicey's photographs are how I discovered this story, which takes place really close to where I grew up--in fact I undoubtedly rode by her house a few times, 17 years ago).

2. _why's disappearance. It's hard to describe _why's importance, but you'll either get it or you won't (and no harm in the latter). Great places to start: his wikipedia page, his book's wikipedia page, _why the lucky stiff interview on the setup, a great _why quote and picture of his book, and a rather well written "eulogy to _why" (by Javascript guru John Resig).

1. Irony ate itself. Hipsters, as a cultural race, have mostly died off. Maybe it didn't happen this year, maybe it hasn't really happened (and it's just my perception), but it seems like a decent swath of our cultural tastemakers and coolhunters looked around, took a deep breath, and realized they weren't getting any younger and that the simple life can be good...

Honorable mentions: Type, whitespace, harmonies.



Social Media: You're Doin' It Wrong

Wed, 30 Dec 2009 04:42:14 GMT

It started with a couple few tweets. Which I can't find. But I complained because I bought some bad beer.Then I got this message on Facebook:Hi Daniel,Lennie from Saint Arnold here. I saw your tweet and wanted to send you a DM but you aren't following us. Sorry you had a bad experience with the DR9. I suppose it is one of those love it or hate it kind of beers. We have been lucky though that, so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. If you are interested at all, here is what some other folks are saying about it: http://bit.ly/87B2YFYou asked what we put in it. The answer is: pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, lot's of chocolate malt, hops, yeast, and water. Our goal was the make the best pumpkin beer ever, sorry you don't agree. We aren't aware of another Pumpkin Imperial Stout out in the market.We won't be able to give you your, "goddamn $$" back but if you ever see that we are doing an event in the DFW area please stop by and we'll be happy to buy you a couple beers. I'm sure there is someone that would love to take the DR9 off your hands. Hope the rest of your holidays are better that last night. Hope we didn't ruin them. Cheers,LennieSo I replied:If the 6 pack was a normal price, it would have been, "Eh, another Saint Arnold (or any other beer) I don't like." (The Lawnmower is also horrible, but more in a Bud Light way, and I didn't even ever buy it to try it, someone had a keg of it at a party one time.) But the Amber I LOVE and have spent $100's (probably approaching $1000's) on, the Christmas is also quite good and I have had it on a number of occasions already. I've had the Brown from a keg and it is rather good although from a bottle it was not worth returning to (but didn't offend me either).The trouble is when things are so bi-polar. Amber is literally my favorite beer to have from a bottle. This Divine 9 is truly the most awful beer to pass my lips. It's like some kind of bait and switch with you people. It's like a bad relationship. You're like a woman who's always pregnant but with no baby at the end of it.I've had pumpkin ales before. This had no hint of pumpkin. The reason I asked if it had anise (or some relative herb) in it was because it tasted exactly like beer with a shot of Becherovka in it. And I like Becherovka, but I've never put it in my beer. Maybe it is the high alcohol content? Except I've had other high % beers before and enjoyed them, even. Maybe it is that combined with the spices? I don't know, all I know is my experience was so bad it left the realm of the subjective.I'll tell you what, tonight I'm going to pour a bottle into a glass and put a "goshdarn" (better?) thermometer in it and check on it every 5 minutes until it is exactly 50 degrees and then have a sip. But let's just say my expectations are low.For what it's worth, I've already had free St Arnold at an event, so we're even already. That's how I got introduced to the Amber and the Brown. And since then, some St Arnold's employee's kid has had her teeth professionally straightened. You're welcome.And I will probably come back to the Amber after a break. I'll stand there looking at the selection and I'll hate myself for it but I'll grab the Amber. Then I'll re-schedule with my therapist and ask her why I like to be in abusive relationships.PS. It would be "lots of chocolate malt" not "lot's of chocolate malt," unless you meant "Lot's chocolate malt," which might be the problem, I think he was more of an expert in the savory flavors.To which he replied:Wow. You are one passionate and flowery dude.[...]



I follow the path of the comet

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 07:58:12 GMT

(image)
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb. #
My friend and colleague Wood Ingham wrote the most amazing Christmas poem, one of the best things I've read all year, something I've read over and over, and something that has sent me down giant rabbit holes the likes of which I have not experienced in probably two years (and inspired this tweet). Seriously, go read it.

For music: We Three Kings of Orient Are by Sufjan Stevens.

image by Kevin Tyson of the Garabedian House Christmas Display



Margot Update from CarissaKings of Convienence - I Don't Know What I Can Save You From

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 16:25:14 GMT

Margot has passed the pesky fussy caterpillar stage and butterflied out into adorable. She is wide mouthed smiling happy most of the time. Her powerful cuteness causes entire grocery store aisles to spontaneously line up and goochey-goo. Her dimples can draw an entire crowd of kindergartners from a playground. Her eyes still twinkle a mystery of colors. Golden nugget giggles drip out of her mouth when we manage to kiss the right toe....
Carissa Byers: Raspberries



CPU vs

Sun, 08 Nov 2009 21:40:50 GMT

Having an older Mac that positively freaks out when I try to watch videos or do anything else rather CPU intensive, and even having a relatively brand new one that gets pretty hot doing the same, I was excited to find in my Twitters this morning a YouTube HTML5 Viewer that takes a given YouTube link and renders it using the new(ish) HTML5 video tag. Common sense and the blog post that introduced it claimed to use less CPU than Flash on Mac and Linux. Here were my quick and unscientific findings.

FlashVideo
Safari30-60%80-100%
Chrome10-30%

Needless to say, I was shocked to find the video embed to perform so horribly in Safari and so well in Chrome (Chrome numbers were with a single tab open, all procs combined, for those wondering). I don't know the internals of how the video in rendered in the browser, but it is either not a part of the core Webkit, or it is something the Google folks have already improved upon despite its dearth of use.

I will perhaps spend more time testing this across different OS's (and OS versions--above was Leopard) and browsers, but would be curious what your findings were, were you to do a quick comparison.



About

Tue, 27 Oct 2009 03:31:05 GMT

When pressed for a new "about me" for my Google Profile, which I was setting up now just so I could test drive their new social search:
Too much a designer for the developers and too much a developer for the designers.

Too much a heathen for the Christians and too religious for the heathen.

Too much a lycra-wearer for the hipster fixie crowd and not hardcore enough for the racing scene.

Too much a fan of pop music for the indie scene and not glamorous enough for pop music.

Too opinionated about art for the local art scene but too into outsider art for the art academy.

Too much a meritocrat for socialism but too humanist for capitalism.

I live on the edge, in the sense of the word that involves lots of paper cuts.



Music

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 05:46:25 GMT

Presteign, randomly found site, love the overall aesthetic. Music-group-as-corporate-entity is not new (see dfg corporation #) but I also like the music-group-as-cultural-ministry, and the above-linked site pulls it off with a nice, subtle European flair.

Been thinking a lot about what I want/need to do in regards to my artistic pursuits, having done virtually nothing since the release of the last record last March.

Then there's this attitude, equally popular:
Call it God, magic, fortune or simply the sum of the variables you cannot understand or control, but know that your very best work cannot be scheduled of produced on-demand. You’ve got to be patient, you’ve got to try and try again and you’ve got to let God in.
-- from Let God In.

Coincidentally, I got a new temp site up for johnnycitizen.com, just conglomerated all the different iterations and content across four different sites. Still not sure what I'm going to do with it, but since it (and every site on my server) was hacked earlier in the summer it'd just been empty.

I have a bookmark folder around here somewhere full of great tunes I've found over the last 6 months, all free for the download. I might be posting another music post here soon.



BrunchHelios - Nine Black Alps

Fri, 11 Sep 2009 23:00:14 GMT

I've had a ton of blog entries stuck in my head and unable to make their way into any of my various publishing systems...something about having a baby and working for a startup. And getting old. But Carissa's take on our brunch last weekend was perfect:(image)
This is time frame in most of my friend's lives where we're all settling into this world we created. We're settling in to our ideas and our beliefs and how it's all panning out. We're settling into our mates or what we want out of a mate and understanding more about what was so totally wrong with that last boy/girl friend. We're nestled in with sticky-faced children. We pride ourselves more on our practical functionality and less on our storebought fronts. We're not so swept away by the masses, trends or media and can focus on the big and small pictures individually. When we gather around food and beverage we can connect things from all over and we suddenly need to take care of one another.



Hello World

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 18:53:30 GMT

Yeah, so we had a baby, in case you don't follow the twitters, facebooks, or even my boring old website.

Her name is Margot Rose Miller. She arrived promptly on her due date, July 23rd. Since then, we have been even more unable to be on time for anything.



Also, you should download all the mp3s here if you haven't already. Then you have to track down all those artists and buy their new records in full. Because they are all totally worth it.



Wie es um 4 Uhr morgens auf dem Charles de Gaulle Flughafen klingt!

Fri, 08 May 2009 04:06:21 GMT

(image) My songs were featured on a German online radio show (links actually came from here), I can't find an mp3 to download, but the gist of it was about free music in these troubled economic times. I don't know how they found me but I'm stoked! (Although I think they misunderstood the meaning of "What Am I Supposed to Do?")

"We hear what it sounds like at 4 in the morning in Charles de Gaulle Flughafen" they totally got right, though.




Sat, 18 Apr 2009 16:43:54 GMT

(image)
The king of Twitter isn’t amused.
Urlesque