Archive for October, 2000

Webley of Destruction

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Wow. A show last night was more of a performance art piece than a concert. And sometimes it’s hard to tell where the reality ends and the performance begins. So now, I’ve seen Jason 3 times in the last 6 weeks, and some how I think that this is the last time that I will see him for a while.

The first time, it was an evening of drinking songs. The second time it was some drinking songs, some sad songs, and a little bit of performance. This time it started with singing, a couple of drinking songs (in a mostly non-drinking audience) and ended with a bunch of people following the tomato goddess through the Seattle night rain to the Sylvan Theatre on the UW campus. Where the real show began.

After asking if we wanted to sacrifice the tomato goddess, Jason mentioned that he spent a lot of time on it, and wanted to sacrifice something that he had spent more time on. At which point, the goddess attendents helped him out of his hat and trenchcoat, then brought out razors and scissors.

Standing in the rain, with my lovers and my friends
Goodbye forever, once again.

So as Jason sang in increasingly halting tones, the attendants cut his hair, shaved his beard, then helped him out of the rest of his clothes. The crowd sang along in tones almost appropriate for a church.

When the glass is full, drink up, drink up,
This may be the last time we see this cup
If God wanted us sober, he’d knock the glass over
So while it is full, we drink up

His clothes on a pole, lit on fire. Jason naked and cold, in the rain. The crowd singing a drinking song, while wine and bread were passed around. Jason then was put in a coffin and carried out of the theater to a waiting van.

I’m not really sure what it means. My best guess is that this is a ceremonial break with the image of Jason Webley as a performer. That it’s going to be a good long time untill I see this sort of concert again. But then, I’m not sure that I can tell the difference between performance art and reality.

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So I was browsing the salty snack and beer aisle in the grocery store. And I came across:

Alcoholic Spring Water

What’s the point? It’s vodka and water. Well, it’s not, Vodka and water would be a lot cheaper. It’s clear. It’s stylish? But you pay $6 a sixpack for it. I guess it sells, or they wouldn’t put it in the store. Some people will buy anything.

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Head Down

Wow, It’s been a week. All three of you have probably noticed.

What’s changed…. I still don’t care about the subway series, except that it’s probably going to leave half of New York mad at the other half. The best line I’ve heard about it was on NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, regarding what a Sox/Cubs series would be called. The “Hell Freezes Over” Series.

I lived in upstate NY for a while, and I do miss it. It’s got bearable summers, real winters, and crisp falls. And they have Bagels. Not bagel shaped bread. There are no bagels west of New York State. It just doesn’t happen.

I’ve been playing with Andre’s Frontier-Postgres database connector. One of the results is the search engine on the navbar. The other is a little hacking of the Userland aggregator.root release to store all the data in the relational database. It appears to work, and that sort of scares me. The front page (such as it is) is here.


Deciding Better

I read on deciding better quite often. (more often than he updates it, but that’s beside the point). I really like the rational decision theory that James brings to the stock market.

So in reflection, he’s probably saved me some money by reminding me to stick to the investment objectives and guidelines that I decided on a long time ago.

  1. If it’s a good idea now, it should be a good idea in a week. If the opportunity horizon is less than a week, It’s not in my investment profile.

  2. Diversity pays. Lower the risk by not concentrating investment in any small number of stocks.

  3. Don’t move chunks of money in October, either for stock purchases or for initial mutual fund purchases. (It’s not rational, rather it’s a response to getting bitten before. One day, off 10% in a fairly diverse mutual fund)

  4. Dollar Cost Averaging, Tax Efficiency, Low Transaction Cost, and Long Term Investing are the Themes.

Not acting this week has saved me 10% in Apple stock. The last time I though Apple was a buy was in the dark days of $12 a share, red ink, and 1.25 price/book value. They’re close to that now, in terms of price to book value. I think they’re a buy, but I’m going to wait for the end of October to even ponder it.

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One on, One out

One on, one out, and I’m fiddling with 10 cents worth or wire, connected to more than a thousand dollars of stereo gear.

Just to reproduce mono AM radio.

It ain’t over till it’s over. But it’s over. 9-7. So much for the baseball season.

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Fall as a time for redemption?

It feels like the end of a long extravagant summer. A time to ask for redemption of the excesses of light and energy. Time to face that the world is not always beautiful and perfect. And often times I’m not the one making it any better. The cold and wet and the falling leaves make me feel like an end is near enough that I should worry about it.

So I walk in the fall. At night, when the mist is falling. Or at night when the moon is out. There’s a stillness to the neighborhoods of the city when the sun goes down. A little wind, the odd cat, the neighbors walking dogs. Perhaps the peace of the city at night can help the mind work some things out.

The attraction of the mist started this time 5 years ago, a couple of months into living in this city. I remember November the most. Walking Greenlake in the mist,with a latte in hand, feeling the emptyness of a park in the yellow sodium light. Feeling that the cold moist of the night was better than the wet rain of the day. Seeing and hearing all of the smaller world curtained by the dark.

It’s either that or get out the gore tex, and fight the rain. So long as I have chemistry on my side, I shall prevail. Gore Tex, Coffee, Sugar, Beer. Ahhh, the medications of the Seattlite.

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New Theater

majestic bayThere’s a new theater in town, the Majestic Bay. Downtown Ballard, walking distance from my house. Three screens, supposedly great appointments.

They open tonight with 4 movies, including Casablanca. I can’t think of a better movie to start with.


Casablanca was wonderful, as it can only be. A new print in a sold out theater. What more can you ask for? The soft focus shots of Ilsa were as beautiful as they’ve ever been. Everything in that movie has become part of the cultural heritage. Perhaps not the Hamlet of the 20th century, but close.

“Make it ten thousand francs. I’m only a poor corrupt official.”

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“Help is giving part of yourself to someone who comes to accept it willingly an needs it badly.

So it is, that we can seldom help anybody. Either we don’t know what part to give or maybe we don’t like to give any part of ourselves. Then more often than not, the part that is needed is not wanted. And even more often, we don’t have the part that is needed. ”

“It is those that we live with and love and should know who elude us. ”

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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What a weekend

What a weekend, what a day. Been on a blues kick. Maybe not blues per se, but sad songs. Counting Crows, Anna Begins. Jason Webeley, Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. The whole When Harry Met Sally soundtrack (Don’t get around much anymore, It had to be you…).

Finally killed off the garden on Saturday, turned under the last of the green stuff, spread some compost, and planted a cover crop. I see no need to burden my own land and waterways with excess chemicals on my garden. It’s not like my garden is logical from an economic standpoint; unless you count it as therapy. It feels good to deal with something real after pushing around electrons all day.

Then I went to see a band at the Elysian Brewery and made the mistake of drinking ‘lying bitch’. It’s a beer at the Elysian, named for the brewmaster’s ex-wife. Good Stuff. Approaching 13% alcohol. Even the foam tasted strong. Half a glass cost me a day of feeling human. And the band? Can’t say they made an impression. I’m not going to tell you to avoid the stuff, just that if you do have some, make sure that you don’t even have to walk home. You want a cab.

Then in two days of work, I manage 4 hours of coding. Interspersed with meetings and vigorous discussions about specs, schedules, and what is right, true and proper. But oh those hours. Two and a half today, and I’ve got the basis of one new feature done then polished off another. I love it when a new approach appears that turns a week of work into an hour. Hours hours, and the moments in between.

I’m becoming a believer in the power of specs for programming. You get a few people looking at what you’re going to do before you do it. Including yourself. If you can’t write a spec enumerating at least what you need to change, you have no clue what you’re going to do. And you will waste endless amounts of time doing things that you don’t need to do. Been there. Done that.

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Shiny New Toy

Shiny CameraSpace Needle Thumbnail
Ups came today. With a shiny new toy, so I present the picture that I didn’t get for the behind the curtain photo shoot: Eric, Behind the camera.

The space needle on the drive home, such a beautiful day…

So now that I’ve got a ready supply of images, I think you might be seeing an image gallery manila plugin from me. Something that will take the alignment, thumbnail, fullsize and border attributes and turn them into the links that I sort of have to do by hand right now. And not forget the quotes at the end of urls.

Fading Twilight. I love it when the weather is clear at night.


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