So, not that I would have expected anything different, but I read this and sat back for a minute, thinking about all the poor slobs in Baltimore City Jail doing the maximum 10-20 year sentence for possession, after having been screwed royally by the three-strikes law. Call me a bleeding-heart liberal, call me a wussy pinko, call me whatever you want. I just think that if this stupid broad gets three strikes, niece of the Prez or not, she goes to the pokey for more than ten fucking days. Otherwise, get rid of the three strikes law completely. Tell me what you think.

Date posted: October 17, 2002 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

chevrolet, eastern avenue, 10.14

chevrolet, eastern avenue, 10.14

I got a cryptic call from my ex-girlfriend last night, asking me to do a favor for her and our cat, whom she took when she moved out. I had just gotten back from scuba class, and my hair still stank of chlorine from the pool and cigarette smoke from the instructor’s ashtray after we took him to celebrate our final pool dive. I played the first message- the same jerk who keeps calling me about “Debt Consolidation” (but not as annoying—or as creepy—as the used car dealer who folded up a newspaper ad in a plain number ten envelope, with a cryptic Post-It attached that said, “Bill, this looks like a great bargain for you.”) and erased that; the second one I mistook for Jen’s boss at first, by the way she pronounced her name. I think she’s going to ask me to take the cat back, but I’m not sure. Only a call tonight will tell.

Date posted: October 16, 2002 | Filed under history, photo | Leave a Comment »

The balance of my Citibank card is, with the exception of about $500, paid off. You better believe I can deal with the interest on $500 instead of $3K+. That’s a good feeling, to have that liability gone.

So I got DJ Shadow spinning Ape Shall Never Kill Ape on iTunes right now; does anybody know when he cut this and if it was a tie-in with that *ahem* Tim Burton movie…? (It’s really funny to have Charlton Heston screaming about damned dirty apes! over a real sweet backbeat.)

I was able to put in the first step to the deck last night; there’s a 4×4′ support on either corner with carriage bolts tying in the step and the overhang boxes (pictures to come) so that everything is secure and won’t hop or sag. Next I’m going to pick up a 2×8 or so and fabricate some stair hangers to tie in that step with the main frame; then I can lay and secure the rest of the joists, run wiring to the stair lights and planter boxes, and then the difficult part—figuring the math for the stairs and building them.

Note to Amazon: I want to hear the audio clips you so generously provide on the site, but I absolutely refuse to download and install the Real player or any software written by that company.

Date posted: October 15, 2002 | Filed under house, money, music | Leave a Comment »

grand theater, eastern avenue, 10.14

grand theater, eastern avenue, 10.14

We had a busy and fun weekend. Saturday we went to get supplies at the Home Depot, and I started on the deck. That night we had dinner with some friends and slept like babies. I was able to get a good portion of the framework in place Sunday, and I think in another two weeks or so we should have a pretty workable deck in place.

While I was doing that, Jen was filling the house with the warm yummy smells of cinnamon and rosemary. She’s practicing with my sucktastic oven in preparation for Thanksgiving, when the two of us will be making the feast for my fambly, which has been Dugan tradition for the last six years or so. As usual, my oven refused to cook evenly or keep a constant temperature, so the cinnamon rolls were cooked longer than she would have liked, but they were still very tasty. She also made rosemary-garlic roasted potatoes with herbs from the garden, and we feasted on those while waching Amélie on DVD.

Windows Media Player sucks ass. I have an MP3 of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist and about every 20 seconds it drops out a full second or so of the file. At first I thought it was bad mixing, but now that I’m listening to it with Quicktime, it’s complete and sounds worlds better. I so can’t stand that WMP shit.

Wired did a great article this month on Lawrence Lessig, the lawyer responsible for bringing the copyright battle to the Supreme Court on behalf of you and me.

Date posted: October 14, 2002 | Filed under geek, house | Leave a Comment »

change of the seasons, lakewood ave, 10.11

change of the seasons, lakewood ave, 10.11

I thought I had lost my birth certificate this Monday. For work, we’re getting passports in case of travel, and I had been a good Boy Scout and gathered my birth certificate, carefully filed away in the archives at home, as well as passport photos and the application. I put them in a white manila envelope and tucked them away at work until we got a caravan of people together to go to the post office.

Fast forward to this monday, when we got a group of people ready to go. I can’t find my envelope anywhere; it’s not in the hastily organized shelf that acts as my desk (we work at folding banquet tables here- no desks to be seen) or in my laptop bag, or my sketchbook. I’m screwed.

Fast forward to last night. I open my file cabinet to organize my invoices, and what is sitting in the invoice folder? the envelope with my passport info. I had tucked it into my laptop bag for safekeeping and it got stuck in the invoices folder. Too bad I already put that $30 check in the mail to the Massachussetts clerk’s office to get another certified copy…

…It’s amazing how much darker the photo below is on my PC’s CRT than it is on my Powerbook.

Todd sent me a link today where I can see just how many crimes were committed within a variable distance from my house. There’s also a website devoted to my little corner of the world; now I can pull up important information like recycling dates.

Date posted: October 11, 2002 | Filed under Baltimore, history | Leave a Comment »

lakewood halloween display, 10.9

lakewood halloween display, 10.9

I deposited a hefty freelance check in the bank this morning that will then be used to pay off about 90% of my credit card debt tomorrow. God, what a great feeling that is. Although my mind regards the credit card debt as a liability, for some reason I don’t think of it that way- it sort of floats off on the side as a bill I just continually pay. Hopefully my 2002 policy of NEVER using the credit card will carry through and I won’t creep the balance back up on it like I did two years ago. (I did exactly the same thing last year—a freelance job paid off the balance, and within six months there was $1K on it again. Grrr.)

The living room is red. Very red. I painted the wall going up the stairs a deep shade of red last night, and it has changed the whole mood of the house. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, because I didn’t get the chance to cut the edges in or even out the application, so I’ll reserve comments until that’s done.

It’s because of companies—and CEOs like this—that the current investor does not trust the market. This company’s board should kick the two brothers out the door on their asses and keep the money. The employee made a great point. It’s too bad the only reason he knew he could say anything was because he was already leaving.

Date posted: October 10, 2002 | Filed under house, money | Leave a Comment »

I stink of chlorine. I mean, I reek of the stuff. My skin feels like it’s shrunk about two sizes. However, the pool was great fun last night; we spent a lot of time just swimming, floating and spinning. Clearing my mask is a simple task now. I did note an alarming consumption of air, though- I have to focus on slowing my breathing and conserving oxygen when I’m at depth. I burned through about 2100 psi of air in an hour and a half.

I found a fantastic roundup of interface design criticism here via Matthew Thomas. Hmmm. How might I use this information to kill videogame designers educate video game designers?

Nate let me, um, borrow some Dirty Vegas stuff today, and I really am digging it. I will definitely buy this one.

Some days you wonder whether or not you’re getting anywhere at all, and some days you get a sign that perhaps you are. Yesterday I got one of those signs, and for that I am grateful. Thanks, Julia.

Wow. I’ve been kinda down the last few days, and I’m not really sure if it’s a cold (which Jen and I a re pretty sure I’ve been nicked by) or seasonal mood swing disease (which I’ve been known to get stomped by) or just lack of quality sleep. My concentration is nonexistent, attention span is about 5 seconds, and on top of that is the guilt associated with not doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Which makes me get even less focused. Anybody else feeling the same way these days?

Date posted: October 9, 2002 | Filed under art/design, life, music | Leave a Comment »

Apparently there’s some crazed asshole running around with a sniper rifle shooting random people in parking lots. What would make somebody do this? I just can’t figure it out. My theory: another ex-Marine with an axe to grind.

Now that I’m 31 years old, I look back on what I sneered at as a punk 17-year-old and marvel at the power of early R.E.M. Boy, was I stupid.

Huh. Somehow, Amazon must have gotten some data on me from somewhere. Fully 60% of my Gold Box offers (6 out of 10) were in the ‘Tools and Hardware” category. Does anybody know how they tailor their offerings in that category? I would be the first to suggest that it’s based on past purchases, but I’ve never bought tools or hardware from Amazon before (that’s what Home Depot is for, baby.)

The Annual Lakewood Ave. Halloween Window Display was erected yesterday and lit up last night; I will be in scuba class tonight but attempt to take pictures for posterity’s sake tomorrow night for your enlightenment.

Here’s an old link that I dug up from my dot-boom days: Pornolize. There’s nothing funnier, after wading through days of re-reading and formatting the same new-economy doublespeak, than filtering it all through the pornolizer. It made all that marketing talk of synergistic cross-platform vertical tier-to tier value-chain plays so much more interesting.

Date posted: October 8, 2002 | Filed under Baltimore, humor, music | Leave a Comment »

For whatever reason, last night I had the annoying, frustrating experience of being able to sleep for 15-30 minute stretches at a time, and then waking up with some part of my body aching, twisted, or hot/cold. So I think I got about 4 hours’ sleep last night. However, I’m wearing my new shoes, so that makes life just a little better.

This makes me happy. I hope to god the Supreme Court upholds the NJ court’s verdict, and this guy takes it. I don’t want to contemplate the horror of a Senate with an overwhelming Republican majority. Not in the current political climate.

Date posted: October 7, 2002 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

When you’ve loaded your cart with a Super-Jumbo package of toilet paper, a pallet of canned cat food, the New Bonus-Size! can of tomato juice, three 25-lb. sacks of kitty litter, and seventeen other super-sized containers of consumer goods, remember this simple fact: The Humongous Warehouse Conglomerate Cleverly Marketed As A Down-Home Corner Grocery Store© does not take your MasterCard. No, little buckaroo, they have made it Corporate Policy® to only take Discover cards, so leave your fancy titanium frequent-flyer Corporate Edition card at home.

Date posted: October 6, 2002 | Filed under money | Leave a Comment »