22 Oct 2000 @ 4:13 PM 

Sunday –

Yep, feeling much better now. Went to an exceedingly loud club recently, bought real food, listening to less depressing music, and changed all my wallpaper.

Since some people come to this site just to see what my desktop looks like this week (Chip), here’s the latest. As usual, I’ve made a scaled version (800×600) to complement the full-sized version (1152×864) linked below.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2004 @ 12:34 PM

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VAST

 
 20 Oct 2000 @ 11:32 AM 

it’s time to be what i need to be.
now i’m free.
now i’m free.
current_music:
current_mood: bouncy

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Oct 2000 @ 11:32 AM

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CDs

 
 18 Oct 2000 @ 4:15 PM 


I’ve been making custom tapes and (lately) CDs for years. Here’s the
latest…
VAST – Free
Cake – I Will Survive
Buzzcocks – What Do I Get
The Cult – Love Removal Machine
Dramarama – Anything, Anything
Vertical Horizon – All Of You
Everclear – Hating You for Christmas
Oleander – Stupid
SR71 – Right Now
Incubus – Pardon Me
Stroke 9 – Letters
UPO – Godless
Robbie Williams – Rock DJ
The Soup Dragons – I’m Free
Doug E Fresh – The Show (Oh My God! remix)
LL Cool J – Going Back to Cali

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2000 @ 04:15 PM

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 17 Oct 2000 @ 4:16 PM 

Tuesday –

Just some thoughts that I wrote down while driving around this summer.


He was mesmerized by the dust devils, like miniature stationary tornadoes. There were two near the highway, one on each side. With the desert heat, he thought of them as entrances to the netherworld, coughing up a plume of dust rather than brimstone.


There are many cities in the desert that post their elevation rather than the population on the city limits sign. I can only assume this is because the altitude outstrips the populace to such a degree that it looks much more impressive to outsiders.


That was the great irony of it all: As soon as there was no reason to hide, there was nothing left to be hidden.


Surviving isn’t living; it’s merely the stubborness of biology running long after your reason to live has departed.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 06 Jun 2004 @ 06:44 PM

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Work

 
 15 Oct 2000 @ 9:34 PM 

Hey, I got my first commission! Thanks, Shawn. Assuming I complete the job satisfactorily, I’ll have something else to add to my resume.

Only 106 days until I take off my uniform for the last time. Woohoo!
current_music: Waterboys – When Will We Be Married?
current_mood: hopeful

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Oct 2000 @ 09:34 PM

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 10 Oct 2000 @ 9:34 PM 

At first I was afraid.
I was petrified.
I kept thinking I could never live
Without you by my side.
But then I spent so many nights
Just thinking how you’d done me wrong.
I grew strong.
I learned how to get along.

It took all the strength I had
Just not to fall apart.
I’m trying hard to mend
The pieces of my broken heart.
And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself.
I used to cry.
But now I hold my head up high.

I will survive.
As long as I know how to love
I know I’ll be alive.
I’ve got all my life to live.
I’ve got all my love to give.
I will survive.
I will survive.
current_music: Concrete Blonde – Everybody Knows
current_mood: drained

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Oct 2000 @ 09:34 PM

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 09 Oct 2000 @ 3:02 PM 

I think my scanner overheated. Way too many photos for a one-day project, I guess. 🙂
current_music: New Order – Temptation
current_mood: tired

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Oct 2000 @ 03:02 PM

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 09 Oct 2000 @ 10:54 AM 

Scanning in photos from the previous 15 years. Do you realize how tedious this can be?

Who are these people, and why, if they were important enough to take pictures of, haven’t I kept in contact with them?
current_music: Lou Reed – New York
current_mood: apathetic

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Oct 2000 @ 10:54 AM

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Music

 
 08 Oct 2000 @ 3:51 PM 

An old friend mentioned something recently. When I was in High School, almost everyone of my friends and acquaintances were into music of some kind. It was a significant thing in our lives.

Any notes we passed were laced with poignant lyrics. We identified people by what bands they listened to: the hiphop/funk kids, the metalheads, etc.

That doesn’t seem to be the same today. I encounter mainly 19-22 year old people in my job, and most don’t really have that same burning love of music that we did as kids.

Wonder where it went?
current_music: Everclear – Now That It’s Over
current_mood: crushed

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 08 Oct 2000 @ 03:51 PM

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 08 Oct 2000 @ 2:17 PM 

OK, so here’s some info on my recent trips around the country.

I went out to California in July, visited with an awesome girl in Arizona en route. Saw my newest nephew out in L.A., as well as a couple friends I’d not seen in a while.

Then, since I still had lots of leave days to burn, I took more time off in September. I went back to AZ to visit the wonderful girl mentioned above. Then, I went up to Minnesota to visit my sister and her family, as well as my mom.

I’ve not seen my sister’s oldest two kids since they were in diapers, so it was weird to meet a couple teenagers. All my sister’s children seem normal, but they’re still insane. Damn, how can she handle those hyper-active creatures all day long? 🙂

Now, after all this traveling, I’ve got to get back to the real-life issues of my impending separation from the Army. I can’t wait to get out, but it’s a little scary not having the safety net for a short while.
current_music: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
current_mood: contemplative

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Nov 2007 @ 05:57 PM

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 07 Oct 2000 @ 2:09 PM 

Due to choices made at a rather young age, I’ve never done some “normal” things that I’ve got to start thinking about now.

For example, I’ve never had to fill out a job application or resume. I’m 30 and now I have to.


I’ve gotta figure out this dating thing too. I don’t like that.
current_music: Cake – I Will Survive
current_mood: pensive

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Oct 2000 @ 02:09 PM

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New

 
 07 Oct 2000 @ 1:45 PM 

Just checking out this new system. Let’s see how this looks.
current_music: Asia Alpha
current_mood: blah

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Oct 2000 @ 01:45 PM

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 03 Oct 2000 @ 4:18 PM 

Tuesday –

Totally freeform today. Just felt like posting part of a story I’m working on, as well as some other random bits. To be multi-talented…


He normally felt a kiss after smoking was akin to licking an ashtray, but her mouth was sweet, with just a tinge of bitterness from the tar. He wanted nothing more than to hold her close and continue teasing her lips with his own.

She pulled him close so fast he knew she was feeling as much tension and anticipation as he was. Always agressive, she pulled his face up and kissed him, long and wet. Pushing away all doubts, especially that nagging Huxley quote, he responded quickly, pulling her up and falling to the bed together.

With as much teasing as either could stand, they pulled their clothes off and became more passionate. After several minutes, she was screaming while he was finally letting himself relax after so many years of tension.


"What do you mean, you don’t remember feeling that way?" he cried. "You said you loved me. You wanted me forever."


I should be moving on. But, I’m a sucker like I said, fucked up in the head. Maybe she just made a mistake, and I should give her a break. My heart’ll ache, either way. What the hell do you want me to say?


He drove out into the desert, marveling at the surreal landscape. Ocotillo and Joshua Trees conspired to make the view look like something out of Dr. Seuss, especially paired with the hot pink sunset. Always sunset.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 06 Jun 2004 @ 06:44 PM

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 21 Aug 2000 @ 4:20 PM 

Monday

Listening to Prince, thus the title of this page. Also, I’m in an uncharacteristically warm-and-fuzzy mood of late. I’m in a remarkably sane relationship, regardless of the complete lack of sanity surrounding the rest of my life.

I’m completely unable to express how totally happy my woman makes me, without sounding like a complete moron of sappiness. Since that’s not really my style, I’ll leave it alone. Just be aware that any excessive joy you may notice on the website is due to her influence. 🙂


More on the subject of web updates and such… For those 20 or so people that actually come back to my site more than once, I hope you noticed the little navigation aid I added back in May to these Thoughts pages. That was to be the first step in my complete revamping of my site, during some spare time I was hoping to have when the Army stopped jerking me around.

The cessation of jerking has, naturally, not occurred. In fact, I’ve been told today that I’ll probably be teaching new recruits up to the day I start out-processing the service. No rest for the weary.

So, no major site update for a while, but I don’t intend to stop this random webjournal. I have actually added a new page to the labyrinth: Internet Primer. For those of you who know people that still don’t understand that the Internet Button on their desktop does not contain everything that is the Net, point them to the Primer and hope they can grok it eventually.


In other news, the only close male friend I’ve made in the past ten years is getting ready to return to Korea, where I will undoubtedly lose touch with him as with so many other people in my life. (Kerry, where are you?)


Further making things interesting is the Freeservers monstrosity is having still more problems. Generally, the problems with my domain have been a blockade on my email forwarding. Some of these breakages have lasted for 3 days or more, a veritable eternity in net-time. Now, I’ve been unable to update my site for several days. So, although this page is dated 21 August, who knows when I’ve actually posted it.

The moral of the story regarding my Freeservers travails is a simple one and one you’ve probably heard before: you get what you pay for. As the name may imply, I don’t pay for my webhosting nor for my email forwarding. So, it is difficult to fault the service of a company that is giving away service. As soon as I get some real cash, I’ll set up my site on a stable, for-pay server, sans banner ads and everything!

And, since I do own my own domain name, you’ll still be able to find me with the same URL. Damn, I’m smoove.


Since I have to include a screenshot with every entry in my journal now (it’s a sickness, but I’ll get help someday), here’s one of my virtual terminals. Aren’t we adorable? Here‘s the smaller version (full-size is linked from the thumbnail). Rachel is adorable
Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 06 Jun 2004 @ 06:38 PM

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 13 Aug 2000 @ 4:21 PM 

Sunday –

Alicia Witt

Just showing off how much stuff I can have running on my machine without a slowdown. A friend was comparing his Windows experience with my Linux one. He has to reboot about every 8 hours or so. As I took this screenshot (and the 800×600 mini one), I had gone over 5 days since rebooting. And, the only reason I had reset then was because I had to do some audio editing in Windows, not because Linux crashed. Damn, I’m smoove.

I promised a big site re-write in June, but I ended up postponing my leave until July, and then leaving town instead of playing with my website. Sorry, but such is the pull of a new girlfriend in another state. 🙂

So, I may get to a reorganization in September, but maybe not. Deal.

I’m down to 8 months until I finish my indenture to the Army. I suppose that’s too early to be looking for a job, but I can’t wait!

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2004 @ 05:05 PM

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 29 May 2000 @ 4:23 PM 

Monday –

Alicia WittWell, here’s another screenshot of my Linux machine (and the 800×600 shot). Not much has changed in a while, which is a pretty good indication that I like it the way it is. I took this capture for two reasons: Alicia Witt is hot, and LICQ has a new version, which supports the floating window seen above Alicia’s head. Oh, and the skins for GKrellM now can skin the GKRellMMS buttons, as this cool Aliens skin shows.

I’ve been working some very very strange hours lately, so if you see me online, I may have just left the ICQ or AIM window open and gone to work or sleep. I’m not responsible for my actions of late. 🙂

Still looking for a purpose after the Army lets me escape next year. Anyone with a cool job in Central California (or San Diego I guess), for someone with my obvious talents in graphics, audio, web design, and just all-around geekiness?

Stay tuned for a big site re-write in the next month. I’ve got a few ideas for cleaning things up and making the site easier to navigate. Maybe I’ll even formally set up Linux and SIGINT sections.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Feb 2007 @ 05:47 PM

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 03 May 2000 @ 4:38 PM 

Wednesday –

I’m using Linux pretty much exclusively these days, but sometimes there is a glaring lack in the Open-source world.

I enjoy burning CDs to listen to in my car, rather than making cassettes as I did 15 years ago. No biggee, right?

I can burn audio CDs very easily in Windows, and kind of easily in Linux. Here’s where it gets weird. I took a series of tracks that came from old cassettes or CDs or even (heaven forbid) MP3 files, and wanted to make a themed audio disc for the drive to work. I wanted all the songs to be nearly equivalent in volume, and some of them had been recorded at much reduced volume levels than others. So, I ran them through the "equalize volume" feature of Spin Doctor (a feature of Easy CD Creator in Windows). Then, since I was in Windows, I had Easy CD Creator make the disc. I surfed the Net while waiting for my burner to finish, and then played the CD on the way to work (great lunch break, eh?). It sounded like crap in places.

I had forgotten one of the primary rules of Windows: it sucks at multitasking. After making several data CDs in Linux, I’d forgotten that Windows doesn’t want you to do ANYTHING else while you’re burning a CD. So, although there were no errors reported by the CD-R program, and no apparent buffer under-runs, the CD was a coaster.

Fast forward to the next evening. I rebuild the tracks, all in Linux. I used MPG123 to convert the MP3s to WAV files; I used CDParanoia to rip the CD tracks to WAVs, and I eventually used cdrecord (at the command line even!) to burn the tracks to CD. The glaring omission in all this is the audio editing. I can’t find a decent audio editor for Linux. I’ve looked, and found a lot of half-finished projects that may turn out to be worthwhile someday. But, nothing to compare to CoolEdit or SoundForge is available for my favorite OS yet. So, I put together my pack of WAV files, booted into Windows, equalized the volume with CoolEdit (sweet program) as well as chopping out some dead air. Then, I rebooted into Linux to make the CD.

Seems like a waste of two boots, eh? I wish I had a Gigahertz machine so VMWare didn’t seem so damned slow…

I’m outta here. Surf well.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Jun 2004 @ 07:54 AM

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 16 Apr 2000 @ 4:36 PM 

Sunday –

Cool XMMS
Playing with cool toys some more this weekend. I’ve got some visualization plugins for XMMS that are pretty weird. Here’s a screenshot of one hiding between Gkrellm and the WM Dock. I’ve got a bunch of Plugins running here: Waterfall, Synaesthasia, BlurScope, GDancer (with the Penguin addon), and KJofol. Naturally, I’ve got a lower-res version for you poor souls with small monitors. 🙂

The quest to pipe a playlist to the CD-R was solved by a Linux hacker on one of my mailing lists. All is right with the world. Here’s the secret: The "for" loop in the BASH shell doesn’t care about the standard quote method of using long filenames. Since BASH chokes on long filenames, it wouldn’t handle the standard method of sending MP3s to the CD-R. But, a geek sent in the following redefinition of the IFS variable that does the trick.
IFS=$(echo -en nt)
Once you type in that line, you can pipe the FOR loop to the recorder and it works fine. Assuming you’re using a terminal from within X, just close the term window and you’ll reset the IFS variable back to normal. Magic, eh?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2004 @ 05:06 PM

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 01 Apr 2000 @ 4:34 PM 

Sunday –

Screenshot OK, so now I’m playing with skins again. I love themes and skins, even though they are completely pointless. I usually hide my skinned XMMS, and the themes for GTK or KDE tend to be rather minimal or amazingly baroque. I don’t do baroque computer decorations. 🙂
The pic to the left will go to a full-size image (1152×864). For a slightly smaller version, go here. The MP3 player is actually XMMS, but with a plugin that allows KJofol skins to be added. Pretty slick, eh?

I have a quest. I want to be able to make an audio CD using an M3U playlist as the input. So far, I’ve discarded putting quotes around the filenames in the playlist, as that doesn’t work. I’ve tried redefining IFS to something else, and that worked poorly as well. The only solution anyone has given that actually works is renaming everything to have underscores instead of spaces. It works, but it is inelegant, so I’m still hoping for another solution. This is in Linux, but I haven’t found anything in Windows that will do this either.

A group of hackers has made a pretty decent Agent clone for Linux now: PAN. Very slick, and it works pretty well. Needs better filtering ability and such, but I remember when Agent was pretty bare too. Here’s my screenshot of PAN in action, with an Aqua GTK theme.
Again, a smaller version.

On a more personal/professional note, most of my long-term coworkers are heading off to training and Korea soon. Some of them much sooner than anyone had predicted, unfortunately.

I’m getting ready to leave the Army next year, and I’ve got a lot of preparation to worry about now. Anyone have a job for a computer geek who doesn’t code but know graphics, sound, and video? I’d prefer Central California, but I’m not too picky. 🙂

So very tired of SDNCO, CTT, CMT, AER, NCOPD (or is it NCODP?) and all the other damned acronyms that I’ve been inundated with for the past 11 years. Only 53 weeks to go.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Jun 2004 @ 07:50 AM

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 08 Mar 2000 @ 4:33 PM 

Wednesday –

I’m on vacation, but without any money to vacate with, so just staying home playing on the computer all day. Kind of fun, in a geeky way.

While home all day, I’ve noticed that telemarketers don’t keep normal hours at all.  I always assumed that nobody would try calling my house when normal people are working, since the odds were against actually selling anything then.  So, these bozos call my house all day long!  The dog would be driven half-insane, if she weren’t completely nuts anyway (being a Korean dog and all).

Of course, I never actually talk to these morons.  So, how praytell, am I so sure they’re telemarketers?  I love Caller ID.  Who else calls, has their personal information blocked on Caller ID, and refuses to leave a message?

So, now I just pick up the phone, don’t put the earpiece near my ear at all, and say, “How about not calling here anymore?” and hang up.

Why do some people feel compelled to answer the phone, if they have an answering machine and are busy with other things?  You’re not going to miss anything; if it’s an important call they’ll leave a message.  And, if it’s unimportant (as most are), you didn’t waste your time and effort bounding over furniture to silence the electronic intruder in your home.


Windoze on LinuxIn other news, I’m playing with VMWare under Linux, because I’m addicted to Dreamweaver and will not leave it behind to code HTML by hand. So, here’s a shot of my desktop in Linux with Windows running under VMWare. Freaky, eh? If you don’t like my big-ass 1152×864 desktop, here’s a scaled version (800×600), which is mostly legible.

I’ve also been using VNC to talk to the Windows machine in the other room and vice-versa. That’s not nearly as elegant, but it’s still pretty nifty. Not sure if I’ll blow the hundred bucks on VMWare once my trial month is up. I’ll keep you updated, k?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2004 @ 05:13 PM

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