Thursday, November 29, 2007

We've solved the nutrition question!

It's just one number!

This irks me, because I tend to think I know a thing or two about nutrition (literally, a thing or two, not a lot of things) and that attaching numbers like this is misleading and will cause people to make more bad judgments. Especially if they find these numbers by combining other numbers. I mean, if you look at numbers (and follow current nutritional fads), Kashi GoLean cereal should be all you need: a lot of grams of fiber and protein, very little fat, no cholesterol, low sodium, and pretty low in calories per cup. Okay, so it's missing vitamins and minerals- so take a Centrum. Or a Flintstones vitamin. Whatever. There: by the numbers, you're eating super-healthy!

Maybe my biggest gripe is that I'll probably end up reading these numbers too, and I'll be just as deluded as everyone else.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The loneliest place in Pittsburgh

is not, in fact, the Wean cluster right before Thanksgiving break; instead, it is the Wean cluster DURING Thanksgiving break. Yessir, yessir, I locked myself out of my house. I'm a dumb guy.

Just got back from Florida, and while it did bug me to spend two days in slow motion, it was more than nice to see my grandparents and my uncle Jim. Plus I got to cook Thanksgiving dinner, which turned out really well, and made everyone a lot happier by sharing my good news.

Did I mention I have some good news? It's super exciting! Ask me if you haven't heard it! I have some bad news too, but the good news tends to cover it in my mind; you know how that goes.

And so I will continue to fritter away my time by doing a music vomit:

- I am liking the technoes more and more. (who am I, Jackie Bernard?) (not because she likes techno, but because she pluralizes things) And by that I mean, so far, Orbital, Aphex Twin, and the Prodigy. If you know what I should call those bands (besides just "techno"), or if you have any recommendations for similar bands, let me know!

- Patrick Wolf, "The Magic Position": RIYL David Bowie. (RIYL = "recommended if you like") This guy makes some pretty good orchestral pop.

- cloudDEAD: RIYL the Books but wish they were weirder. This is a little weird. Grows on you a bit though.

- Scissor Sisters: I started out hating them after "Don't feel like dancing", but now I kinda like them after "Lovers in the Backseat", "Music is a Victim", and of course their cover of "Comfortably Numb", which is gutsy but cool. Their pop is still the Spoonish sort of straightforward stuff that is not that great but still sticks in your head, but at least it's pretty good, and it sure is catchy, and also full of falsetto.

- Have I shout-outed Balkan Beat Box yet? They're great! Middle-eastern flavored pop, or pop-flavored Middle-Eastern, all a little bit hip-hoppy and dancey.

- Okay, the new Radiohead, it's awesome, shut up and die. Seriously, though, if you've never known what's the big deal about the Radioheads, this might be as good a place as any to start. "Bodysnatchers" is as good a rock song as anyone can make, of course "Nude" and "Reckoner" will grow on you, and I really like "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi", and even moreso "All I Need".

- Klaxons. They're like a band called "Portugal. The Man", which is like an accessible Mars Volta, but the Klaxons don't sound anything like the Mars Volta; instead, they're more like a slightly more sugary Bloc Party. Which is to say, there are flashes of brilliance (at least a few) and some dullness. The first tune ("Two Receivers") will drag you in to this CD. Epic rating: 2 1/2 epics out of 5.

- Pavement- I listened to Slanted and Enchanted again, disliked it again, but then grew to love it again. It's really good. "Conduit For Sale!" remains a favorite of mine, but this time it was joined by "Trigger Cut/Wounded Kite at :17" or whatever track 2 is called.

- Last and Most (not least!) Tegan and Sara, "The Con". Whoa. I was not prepared for the duo behind the catchy but annoying "Walking with the Ghost" to come up with something as sweeping as this! It's equally catchy, but in a minor key, and very grand! It's got a great album feel- 1 is a nice intro, 2-5 feel like one cohesive song, 6 is a dumb pop tune, then there are a couple of short tracks and a few with more meat at the end. Great drums and rhythms on 3 and 5. I love this album! RIYL: Mates of State

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Upon realizing, thanks to Alex Belton's blog, that I did a bit more spouting than asking for advice...

and that asking for advice is usually a good thing, I will now do so. I may have the opportunity to live in two places:

1. Seattle

2. The San Francisco Bay Area, meaning about 30 miles from SF, in the heart of Silicon Valley (I'd probably live in SF and commute via train)

So if you know anything about these places (you've lived there, visited there, generally like or dislike either one), and/or have any opinions, let me know! I have a lot of thoughts of my own, but I'd like your unbiased ideas.

And there's the off chance I may end up in Boston, too, as there is one company there that I'm considering. So throw that in the list if you have any ideas about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

First post in weeks, and it's just a link?

Essentially, yes. In the meantime, I've been flying around and interviewing with (company's name withheld for professionalism reasons), (company's name withheld for professionalism reasons), and (company's name withheld for professionalism reasons). It's very exciting! I can tell you that I really liked (CNWFPR) and want to work there, I was sort of impressed by (CNWFPR) and would be okay with working there, and don't really want to work at (CNWFPR). Come on, you can't post that stuff on a blog. Talk to me to fill in the blanks!

I will say that I'm not sure how I like the Bay Area, and the big reason is distance. I mean, I love the Bay Area because San Francisco seems one of the top n coolest cities in the country, where n is a small number. I mean, here's my unordered list of cool cities in the US, in my humble opinion, and by "humble opinion" I mean "random guessing":
San Francisco
New York
Okay, maybe that is actually ordered. SF seems nice. I only saw it at night, which is not quite fair, but I will say two nice things about it anyway
- As you drive in, it's like a scene out of the Matrix. Beautiful, exciting, and I wish I had had a camera. This picture doesn't even do it justice.
- It's the most colorful city! Even at night. I walked around the North Beach, Haight Ashbury, and the Mission for a while, and was just wowed by all the colors on signs and everywhere.
However, I wouldn't be working in SF; I'd be working in (city name withheld as it might give away a company name) or (CNWAIMGAACN). Which means a long commute, even on the CalTrain (which sounds very good); it'd be a bike ride plus a long train ride. I think I could deal with it though. I'd rather live there than in (CNWAIMGAACN), despite (perk of living in CNWAIMGAACN withheld as it may give away company name).

Talk to me in a month or so, and I'll have decided my future, and I'll be all gushing about whatever job I've chosen, and THAT'S okay to put on a blog! But for now it's all got to stay vague, I think.

Okay, so not just a link. Here's the link I was going to post. I'd heard about this "Keepon" guy before: he's a robot just recently invented by CMU folks, and he dances. What I didn't know is how goddamn CUTE he is!

This sort of stuff makes me sing Louis Armstrong. Not just stuff that's doing service to humanity, or stuff that's bizarre, or stuff that's cute, or stuff that's genuinely impressive, but stuff that matters to fall in the intersection of all those categories. I've got some bizarre loop playing in my head of
"I see great comedians, and philosophical dogs,
smart hedgehogs and dancing yellow blobs
and I think to myself... what a wonderful world."

Monday, November 05, 2007

I choose you, Ubuntu!

But it's all right, everything is all right, the struggle is finished. I have won the victory over myself. I love LINUXES.

I just got a DUAL BOOT up and running on my new hard drive. (that means it runs Linux, but I can restart it and pick Windows and it'll run Windows if I want.) 120gb of space, a new Windows installation, and to top it off, Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn". So far, I'm pretty happy with the Linuxes; it's a lot quicker and easier to get it up and running than it is to get the Windows up and running. I don't need to download 84 updates (literally) for an hour, then hunt around for my video driver which no longer exists. I do need to dick around with partitions, but that's because I'm dual booting, and it's not Linux's fault.

But I don't want to judge based on a couple days' worth of experience. I'll let you know my verdict after I've, for example, developed for a bit. But my initial response is that it's about as easy as Windows, and it fits in better with my Fair-Trade-coffee-and-riding-a-bike kind of life.


Take that, Identity Style Guide. I will teabag you later.

I'm excited about The Lounge. Not because we're creating great theatre. Mostly because it will be super fun.