31 May 2002 @ 5:31 PM 

OK, I was inspired by DarkMoon‘s post about this special period in the online evolution.

When I first got online, I was 14, it was 1984, and I was on my second computer, a Commodore 64. My first had been a VIC-20 when I was 10. The C64 had a great modularity to it, so I started with a $200 machine hooked to an old TV and using a cassette deck for its storage medium. I gradually added various $200 components, including a monitor, 270k floppy drive, 300 baud modem (that may have been $100), later a 1200 baud modem, an inkjet printer that sucked, a dotmatrix printer with the unlikely name Gorilla Banana, and so on.

The online world of 1984 was disconnected, and polite. If people were rude, they were banned by the owner of the BBS. Nobody owns the internet, so nobody gets banned anymore. We all typed our messages and waited until the following day to get a response. Constrast that with the folks on IconRequests who insist on a response within minutes sometimes.

I went to a couple BBS parties. They did not in any way resemble the LA LJ Bash, of course. One was in a park, and it was for the biggest C64 pirate warez board in L.A. county, River Conditions. RC had a massive 20 megabyte hard drive to store all those ill-gotten games. Another party I went to was at RoundTable Pizza, and was for a chat/forum BBS. I printed out several months worth of conversations to share with the table. I was sitting next to one woman with whom I’d had great conversations about life and the universe, and she was in her 40s – I was 17. We were peers.

Amazing to think of the liberating power of the online medium, when people don’t know the person on the other end of the line is supposed to be young and stupid.
current_mood: nostalgic

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 May 2002 @ 05:31 PM

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 31 May 2002 @ 11:31 AM 

I don’t understand how the CIA can be allowed to have agents working for the FBI on a longterm basis. The CIA is foreign intell, and FBI is domestic. The CIA is not supposed to be allowed to operate in the US. Is that a law or just Atty General rule, though?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 May 2002 @ 11:31 AM

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 31 May 2002 @ 10:19 AM 

Anyone familiar with a supersaturated solution? It’s one in which, by all rights, the suspension should have crystallized, and it’s being held in solution by lack of a catalyst. One example can be sugar water, which will crystallize around a string to make rock candy but otherwise will stay liquid.

I think the air in Tampa is supersaturated. If someone had the right catalyst, the entire atmosphere in this town would turn into a ball of water. Geez, how do people live here?
current_mood: hot

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 May 2002 @ 10:19 AM

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 30 May 2002 @ 7:34 PM 

Although stuck in Tampa for 3 weeks to do one day of work, I’ve got one bright spot: there’s a new Concrete Blonde album! I was wandering through Border’s, buying something to read, and saw the new CD. The whole lineup is together for the first time since 1994’s Mexican Moon. Oh, happy day!

Of course, I’ll have to listen to nothing but air handlers and boring old men tomorrow in the tent, but at least the CD player in the hotel is getting a workout now.
current_music: Default – Deny
current_mood: happy

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 30 May 2002 @ 07:34 PM

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Swampy

 
 28 May 2002 @ 11:12 AM 

I’ll try not to make fun of the “but it’s a dry heat” nonsense in Arizona ever again.

Today in Tampa – 85 F, 78% humidity, and no wind at all. Like a steam bath…

Good thing this tent is air conditioned. Never had A/C in my tents when I was in the army…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 28 May 2002 @ 11:12 AM

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 27 May 2002 @ 11:47 AM 

Why does “Taps” bring a tear to my eye every time I hear it? Is it because I associate it too closely with the funerals I had to assist with during my time in the Army? Or is it just a sad song?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 27 May 2002 @ 11:47 AM

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 27 May 2002 @ 9:33 AM 

It’s becoming harder to find the Keirsey temperament profile for free. Apparently Dr. Keirsey has been requesting people to remove it from their sites, but there are still a few out there. Anyway, here’s my latest results. I seem to waffle between INFP and INTP from year to year. This year, I’m INFP, the Healer. The INTP character is the Architect, so I apparently am idealistic and arrogant. I’ve been INFP more frequently through the years, so I’m gonna stick with that one. It sounds better anyhow. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 27 May 2002 @ 09:33 AM

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 27 May 2002 @ 5:50 AM 

Carpe Mamma!
current_mood: silly

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 27 May 2002 @ 05:50 AM

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 26 May 2002 @ 3:12 PM 

Somehow I’ve ended up defining the word dystopian twice in the past month. I’m sure I’ve not used it in conversation more than a half-dozen times in my entire life, so this is odd. Although, it is nice to be able to have conversations that use words like dystopian and sylvan, proves I’m not dealing with complete morons for a change. Ah, well, back to work next week. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 May 2002 @ 03:12 PM

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 26 May 2002 @ 1:53 PM 

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
That maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

Sad eyes follow me
But I still believe there’s something left for me
So please come stay with me
‘Cause I still believe there’s something left for you and me
For you and me
For you and me

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 May 2002 @ 01:53 PM

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Fade

 
 25 May 2002 @ 1:03 PM 

The sun fades into the sea
The fire on the water
Weaker than that in my heart

The depth of the sea
Contrasts poorly with my love

I drink of your lips
No wine can compare

We fade together


Yes, it’s an original work, no matter how derivative and simple it is, complete free verse…
current_mood: artistic

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 25 May 2002 @ 01:03 PM

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 25 May 2002 @ 11:23 AM 

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labor and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here, no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
current_mood: devious

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 25 May 2002 @ 11:23 AM

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 24 May 2002 @ 8:25 PM 

This page is truly bizarre. I’ve really got to stop picking up weird magazines when I’m on business trips. WYWS had this company listed, so don’t blame me for it. Who wants a bronze replica of the Oklahoma City Federal building, post-bombing? WTF?
current_mood: amused

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 24 May 2002 @ 08:25 PM

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Dali

 
 24 May 2002 @ 4:08 PM 

At the age of 25, Salvador Dali met Gala Eluard. She left her husband and 3-year old child for Dali, and became his muse, lover, and chief inspiration.

Damn, art makes people crazy.

Just got back from the Dali Museum a little while ago. You would think, considering how famous it is, that the Persistence of Memory would be a large canvas, but it’s only about 10 inches wide. On the other hand, the Hallucinogenic Toreador, a painting I’d never heard of before, was 15 feet tall and absolutely gorgeous. My new favorite Dali, far outstripping the Disintegration of Persistence of Memory even. Wow, what a great gallery. Anyone who hits Tampa or St. Petersburg needs to go there, it’s fantastic. And, I got me a new t-shirt there too. 🙂
current_mood: awed

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 24 May 2002 @ 04:08 PM

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 21 May 2002 @ 3:30 PM 

Last Tuesday, they told me to head to Florida on Sunday. On Friday, they told me that my part of this trip wasn’t actually scheduled until the middle of the second week of the test, but I had to go for the first day anyhow. On Monday, between joking about the broken equipment, they told me that I was the only one who knew what I was doing, and I barely know myself. On Tuesday, while watching the green suiters gibber at the broken satellite dish, they told me that my part of the test may not happen at all, but nobody can actually make the call that will allow me to go home now rather than after a long weekend alone in Florida.

Anyone in Tampa? Anyone? Beuller?
current_mood: cranky

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 May 2002 @ 03:30 PM

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 16 May 2002 @ 10:02 PM 

Talking with a social worker, preparing for my eventual adoption of the adorable Alex, the woman asks us to describe our personalities. I have always hated being put on the spot by such off-the-wall questions, much like Barbara Walters asking what kind of tree one might be. Here’s how I wanted to answer, but figured would freak her out:

I’m an artist, author, poet, music aficionado, literati, intellectual, sarcastic and cynical observer of the human condition. I’m a lover, a husband, a father. I’m a liberal libertarian who questions everything and believes nothing. I think the worst of the deadly sins is sloth.

Never say what you want to say, instead stick with the simple and safe statements they want to hear. 🙂


Quote of the night: Love is not kind or honest, and does not contribute to happiness in any reliable way. – Alice Munro
current_music: Barenaked Ladies – Falling for the First Time
current_mood: pensive

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Aug 2005 @ 07:22 AM

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 15 May 2002 @ 6:31 PM 

Listening to a strange potpourri of music lately, from J. Ralph to the Afghan Whigs to Lyle Lovett. This is from the very first Lyle Lovett song I ever heard…

Look
I understand too little too late
I realize there are things you say and do
You can never take back
But what would you be if you didn’t even try
You have to try
So after a lot of thought
I’d like to reconsider
Please
If it’s not too late
Make it a cheeseburger

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 May 2002 @ 06:31 PM

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 15 May 2002 @ 6:29 PM 

Ever have a flash of memory, and wonder why you’d think of such a thing at that time?

I just remembered a surreal night from almost 15 years ago. My friend Jason was heading out to boot camp to be in the Navy Reserve, and there was a party in Long Beach or Bellflower. I lived in Anaheim then, so it was a 30 mile drive or so. After getting lightly toasted at the party, I hopped in the car and drove home, on the nearly deserted freeway. At 3 am, I only saw about 1 car every 2 minutes during the drive home. Up ahead, I saw some flames from the center divider. Being a cautious sort (especially when I was sure that I would NOT pass a breathalyzer and I was underage anyhow), I pulled into the far right lane, and continued on. The flames were coming from a single car accident. The van was facing 45 degrees back toward traffic, nose against the concrete pillar of an overpass, and was completely engulfed in flame. In my illegally inebriated state, I had two thoughts: “there but for the grace of…”, and “ain’t no way I can stop to help.” Not that there was anything any normal person could have done to save them, but isn’t it the right thing to do, to stop for an accident and at least notify authorities?

Why in the world would that memory blossom in my mind, fully formed and vivid?
current_mood: content

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 May 2002 @ 06:29 PM

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 15 May 2002 @ 4:40 PM 

I check my home email from a laptop at work, to bypass the LAN nazis by logging into Earthlink instead of using the corporate LAN. Using Endymion’s mailman demo, I can check and send mail without a problem. So, today, I see something that has a subject line mentioning a meeting of some kind. I try to open it in MailMan and it kicks me out of the mail client. Bizarre.

I get home and check my email with Eudora, and that message pops up and immediately I get some weird-ass window on my computer that looks like a spreadsheet. When I close it, it comes back three times until I reset the computer in disgust.

After rebooting, there is no trace of anything wrong, and I just updated my virus definitions today. Maybe it was a wacky popup? Eudora does use MSIE for HTML parsing…

Anyone else seen this, or is it some anomaly of my system for the day?
current_music: Alex saying, “I’m myself cleaning up.”
current_mood: confused

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 May 2002 @ 04:40 PM

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 15 May 2002 @ 12:00 PM 

Buy this for me! July 19, my birthday.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 May 2002 @ 12:00 PM

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