Phallic Logo Awards
Oh, man, somebody got paid for some of these.

Date posted: May 26, 2005 | Filed under design, shortlinks | Comments Off on Phallic Logo Awards

I love classifieds. I’m sort of addicted to them. My wife will tell you that I look at the Pennysaver religiously every Thursday. I scan the DC/Baltimore Craigslist every day for…stuff, stuff I can’t afford but sure would like. I had a brief dream of buying my bride a used Miata for an anniversary present (you laugh, but they’re pretty cheap) until I remembered that the Ireland trip is still being paid off and a new bed is much more important.

Yesterday, I found an ad for a $700 used 3/4 upright bass. I played upright bass for about ten years and put it down when I went to college, always hoping I’d be able to pick another one up someday. This morning, I went out and took a look at it, hoping for some reason not to want to buy it. I picked it up, felt the familiar balance and weight, and years of practice came back to me. It looked pretty good; it had a nice deep tone. The action was good; the strings felt like they had life, and the fingerboard was pretty smooth. Closer inspection revealed a cracked neck at the top of the body (it looked like it had split clean through, and the owner told me it had been repaired with a steel rod by a luthier in Annapolis) and a bunch of chips around the edges. There were two bows, both German (a good sign) and they felt pretty good, if not bent a little too much.

I’m really having a hard time knowing what to do here; I’d offer $550 for the whole thing, knowing the neck is split, but I’m having a hard time justifying the cost when we have so much other stuff going on. Plus, I have an electric bass that I don’t get to play at all, given my current schedule.

I hate classifieds.

Date posted: May 26, 2005 | Filed under music | 2 Comments »

A couple of years ago, I bought some used iMacs from a guy who, in hindsight, probably pinched them off a truck somewhere. The deal was great, and based on some fortuitous timing, I resold one and recouped the cost of all three. Having an extra machine to tinker with was good, and I put it to work as a music server and low-cost backup for my MP3 collection. I wound up bringing it to work and quietly advised some friends to download a copy of iTunes and take advantage of the library streaming feature.

Since that time, our company has grown to the point where there are twice as many employees, and word of my music collection leaked out. At one point, I was organizing a group of fellow music lovers to buy a used server and consolidate our assorted collections into one big library, but as the number of people expanded and the RIAA got more litigious, I decided to back away from the idea. (Dear corporate lawyers: I’m above board, and I don’t fileshare.)

These days, an interesting phenomena has occurred: new iTunes libraries are popping up inside the company. Some days there are as many as seven or eight, but usually we average about five. There are some gems in there, like the collection of Lewis Black recordings, or the guy that has seven Charlie Parker albums I haven’t heard, or the Metallica back catalog, or those killer Stevie Ray Vaughan bootlegs. But mostly, it’s one or two Pink songs, follwed by the entire Final Fantasy catalog (apparently there is one guy who only writes music for these stupid games), and then some band called Finger Eleven. New rule: your band immediately sucks if you have a number in the name. Three Doors Down. Third Eye Blind. Seven Mary Three. Eve 6. Echo7. These names tell me that the major music labels have a computer program that spits out dumb generic names, like the Pentagon’s “Operation” namer. Also, Linkin Park just sucks, and no amount of whining by that annoying lead singer guy will convince me otherwise.

I do wish people would name their tracks something other than “TRACK_1”, though. Spending some quality time being anal about metadata would be helpful, so I could make an informed choice about listening to a collection of Manga soundtracks or Bible chapters or muddy Evanescence live recordings. (No, no, and definitely not.) I suppose not everybody is as obsessive-compulsive about this as me, but I’m proud of the fact that 98% of the stuff I’ve got is correctly tagged so that searching provides useable results.

It’s funny, though, to see the variations in collections throughout the company. Scrolling through the lists yields the odd REO Speedwagon tune you hoped you’d forgotten, or a block of the Monkees, or a mislabeled Johnny Cash tune, or half the Footloose Soundtrack, or a whole library of hair metal.

Good times.

Date posted: May 25, 2005 | Filed under music | Comments Off on Personal Tastes, or: Your Music Sucks.

Here’s what the kitchen floor started out as, in May of 2005. (That’s right, I tore the floor up in the end of May, and we’re just now getting the tarpaper off.)

Kitchen Floor, beginning

Date posted: May 25, 2005 | Filed under house, kitchen | Comments Off on Kitchen Floor, Beginning

I’d better find a way to sleep on my lunch break, because the next three weeks are going to be brutal. We have the following events scheduled for the days leading up to our trip to Ireland:

  • Having the first floor sanded, which will take four days and require
  • Removing the floor-standing cabinets, sink, and stove from the kitchen in order to
  • Pull up two layers of linoleum down to the bare wood beneath.
  • Oh, and move all our furniture out onto the front porch, don’t forget that.
  • Then, there’s travelling by plane to North Carolina the weekend before our overseas trip for the Lockard Reunion, and
  • Somehow fit life, freelance, and a few beers in between.

We are doomed.

Date posted: May 24, 2005 | Filed under life | 3 Comments »

This weekend Jen’s sister Christi graduated from U of M, and we hosted 4/5 of the family in Catonsville. Saturday Jen spent the day retrieving people from airports while I attempted to mow the front half of the lawn before it grew higher than our roofline. We took everybody out to the Ship’s Ahoy (our local dive-bar-turned-respectable-restaurant) for crabs, something everybody wasn’t really sure they were in the mood for until the lady dumped two dozen steaming hot 38’s on the table. We had a great time sitting around and catching up with everybody over what turned out to be too many beers (our bar tab equalled or exceeded the food bill) and returned to the house to accidentally call Jen’s Dad and share our anniversary cake. I have pictures of all of this, but they’re stuck on my phone.

Just for the record, the bakers got the cake wrong again for the second time. (They offer a complimentary one-year anniversary cake free of charge so you don’t have to keep the dregs of your actual wedding cake in the freezer, which is a nice idea.) We were not amused. Almond, DAMMIT!

Sunday there was much driving. And sitting. And waiting. Speeches were given, asses were numb, and Christi walked across the stage. We hooted and hollered, and took blurry pictures, and then waited through more speeches to leave.

Congratulations, Christi!

Date posted: May 23, 2005 | Filed under life | 2 Comments »

Small Cool Apartments
I’ll never look at 250 sq. feet the same way again. And I thought 3000 sq. ft. was getting small…

Date posted: May 23, 2005 | Filed under life, shortlinks | Comments Off on Tiny Apartments

One year ago today, I woke up a bachelor for the last time in my life. One year ago today, I promised to love, honor, and cherish one special woman. One year later, I still can’t believe how lucky I got.

Happy anniversary, baby.

Date posted: May 22, 2005 | Filed under life | Comments Off on One Year.

Flag Art Project
Via Jen. What a great idea.

Date posted: May 20, 2005 | Filed under other, shortlinks | Comments Off on Flag art Project

My Governor is a Douchebag.
Health benefits for all vs. 380 jobs. Great choice, you whore.

Date posted: May 20, 2005 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Comments Off on My Governor is a Douchebag.