Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dear top 1%: deal.

This graph is pretty striking. Okay, it's nothing new; it says that the democrat's tax plan will help poor people more, and the republican's tax plan will help rich people more.

Maybe there are economic reasons to favor the republican's tax plan. Trickle-down economics, blah blah. Read those books, draw those supply and demand curves. But listen: I am almost in that top quintile. (source: Wikipedia, shut up.) Suppose I were. Suppose I got a surprise raise, and I was making $88k.

Eighty eight thousand dollars! I am now in the real world, so I know how far that goes.
Right now, my budget includes enough for me to live in a swank apartment in a big city, travel wherever I want, max out my 401k, spend $100/week on entertainment/fun/whatever, and still have thousands left over at the end of the year. And I'm not even making $88k.

At this point, even if a severely progressive tax were passed, I would not be whining about disincentives, or slacking off because "my raise wouldn't be as big." Living as a single man in the top 20% means you're living large.

Okay, okay, at this point you're saying "but what if you had kids to feed???" Fine, throw in a wife and two kids, and bump me up to the top 5%. $157k. I might have to scrimp and save a little. Say, move a few blocks out of the trendiest part of town. Maybe take two transoceanic trips instead of three. Buy note pads instead of scrawling shopping lists in Sharpie marker on Andrew Jackson's noggin.

So you folks in the top 1%, don't give me this nonsense about how "I deserve most of the tax cuts, because I pay most of the taxes." Suck it up a little bit. And take off your Ivy League sweatshirt before you tell me "I'm a self-made man, and I got here because of my own hard work." Because I'm a self-made man who got here because of my parents' support, the right interests (CS) at the right time, and only a tiny bit because of my own hard work; I will soon be one of those paying most of the taxes; and I'm willing to sacrifice a bit to help our country solve its huge huge problems.

(vote Obama, and vote progressive taxes!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good day to you from a Monday in which I'm doing better than last Monday.

Whew. Let's just put that little episode behind us. (although, semi-relatedly, I do have a thing to say about swear words, but that'll take some more time to formulate.)

Quick thought, and yes it's about a thing I put into my body, just like every single other post I ever post. Today it's coffee. I've noticed a pattern where, for a day sitting at my desk, a cup of coffee is like turning the key in the ignition: I'm sleepy before it, and I'm rocking all day after it. If I go halfway, like some tea, or a half-decaf cup of coffee, it doesn't help, but once I hit that threshold, boom, off to the races.

This isn't ideal; I don't like the idea of any chemical dependencies. But if we're just talking one cup of coffee a day, can I rationalize myself into it? I think so. It's a pretty natural, and mostly harmless, dependency. Plus, it helps me concentrate and work better. And I enjoy it.

(I guess that makes me more a white person. But hey, I like Trader Joe's and riding my bike, too.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Again, not my style. But my mom and my dad are now both pretty concerned about what I wrote about my job the other day, and if they're both thinking the same thing about something, maybe it's true.

And I guess if you read this post in isolation you might get way the wrong idea. I would hate for anyone, particularly at Google, to think certain things about me based on one bad day.

For the record:
- Google is by far the best company I've ever worked for. Okay, I haven't worked for many, but they're really great.
- I am lucky to be working there.
- Starting a new job is hard. Moving across the country is hard. Sometimes I get stressed. Sometimes I blog about what's bugging me.
- That post was written on a bad day. Maybe it's a little angrier than it should be. I'm sorry.

Most importantly, if you have a problem with something I've written, or you think I have an attitude issue, for crying out loud please talk to me. Please. Odds are it's just a misunderstanding based on the fact that the INTERNET is bad at carrying emotions. (it's great at denoting sarcasm though.)

And I'd like to ask you, blog readers, do you think I say too much on this blog? Is it a little too prickly? Unprofessional? I go pretty much without review here, so it's possible I'm being a jerk. And was that post in particular a little whiny?

Oh! Homesickness.

I found myself meeting lots of fun people, in a cool setting, drinking a tasty drink (that included Zwack Unicum!) and yet not having a good time. This was cause for a bit of self-questioning.

I emerged from the bout of questioning moments later with a simple answer: I'm homesick. I mean, of course I miss many particular people. (if you're reading this, you're probably one of them.) I knew I would. But I also miss the feeling of being home, you know, of being with family or friends or people around whom you can be yourself. Where you can make an inside joke (because really, friendship is nothing but inside jokes, but that's another conversation). Where you don't have to start every conversation with "what's your name?" Where you can say, hey, it's Friday night, I would like to do a fun thing with people I love, and then go do it.

I guess I'm more homesick than I was in Maastricht, because we all knew that was temporary. Most of my friends would still be there when I got back. I would still be home when I got back. And even at CMU, I was still only a couple hours from home. Okay, that was tougher. But still, there was a community set up for me; it just took some time for me to adjust to it.

This is a whole new thing on two levels: I'm not going back home, and I have to make the community for myself. Huh! That's a double whammy.

But still, I'm just homesick. Oh! Okay. Well, if that's all it is. In a sense, knowing that (or even, becoming mindful of it) makes it easier. In another sense, it doesn't, because there's still that issue that it doesn't end until I create a new community for myself.

Here's how I would like the state of my mind to be:
*humm* mindfulness mindfulness mindfulness *humm* so I'm not constantly surrounded by friends, so what? that's okay. *humm*
and it is that way sometimes, but not always.

Anyway, as we're jumping around, I agree with Rolf Potts in this interview.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Windows. Really?

Windows Se7en? Really?

Dear Microsoft Branding and Logo Team,
1. I hope I don't have to point out to you that the thing that comes to mind when I and most people think "se7en" is a really gruesome horror movie.
2. Was Vista that bad that you need to cover it up with a new "version" (read: upgrade, costing hundreds of dollars) already?
3. Where did you get "7"? By my count, even if you only count major consumer-facing releases, you have Windows 3.1, then 95, 98, XP, and Vista, making this Windows 8. If you count NT, ME, 2000, 2003, etc, you have a lot more than 7.
4. Oh my god that spells "sezen."

*huuuhhh* publicity on the internet

There's been some concern about recent things I've written being public. That is, my mom wrote me an email worrying about how public my rants about work are. To which I promptly responded "geez, Mom, I KNOW!" And then I thought about it, and I guess part two (in which I wonder if software engineering is really the job for me) could be misconstrued.

Some would go back in and delete that paragraph. That's not my style. First of all, people have already read it; second of all, it's on the internet, so it's still there somewhere; third of all, I'm not going to censor myself above and beyond the regular, sensible censorship I already put myself through.

Instead, I'll clarify, you know, for the sake of my manager who happened to stop in here (hi!) (<--note I didn't even say hi [my manager's name], because if you knew my manager and my location, maybe you could find out our organizational structure, or something else confidential, see, I'm not as dumb as I look) : It's not like I'll just put in the hours, grumble about work, and then go home and drink to forget it all. For chrissake, I care about what I do. I hope Google knew that about me when they hired me. I'm pretty sure Google wouldn't have hired me if they didn't. And I care about the company too, and if I thought I wasn't doing my job well, I'd fix things until I was. I'm pretty goddamn lucky to be working for a company that I care about (especially considering there are like 4 corporations in the world that I'm pretty sure aren't evil). And my coworkers are pretty cool.

But I'm not sure if software engineering is the life for me. Who ever is, after a month on the job? Right now, I think it is; I think I'm doing fine, and after I get all acclimated, I'll be an all-star. If I'm not, that'll percolate up to the top of my consciousness, and I'll change things. I just don't want the rest of my life to fly by me in the meantime.

Anyway, this might be a good time to explain my privacy policy too. I'm pretty outspoken here, which is the beauty of the internet. Maybe you, my friends, do not want to hear my latest thoughts about why Kraft, Perdue, Cargill, and Monsanto are the four horsemen of the apocalypse. If I shout it out here, loud and proud, you can tune in or not. Similarly, maybe you're halfway across the world but would like to hear the juicy details of everything I do: you can opt in to hearing me. But I do have some guidelines, so here they are, in 7 parts:

- I try not to call people out by full name. If someone searches for "Dan Tasse", they'll find this page, which is fine, but if they're searching for "Joe Bloggs" and my most recent post is "hahaha Joe Bloggs got so drunk last night", that may not be so good for Joe. (I'm not shy about booze, parties, etc. I don't party a ridiculous amount, I'm not irresponsible, and it is in fact legal for me to drink. In fact, I even drank before I was 21! Yessir! However, Joe may not share my outspokenness, and his employer may be a fire-and-brimstone stick-in-the-mud, and I don't want to get Joe fired.)

- Nothing confidential. Duh. Ooh, except here's the secret of PageRank!

- Nothing about love, dating, relationships. If you'd like to talk about it in person, that'd be great! Manly man though I am, I dig a good conversation about girls and feelings. But I'm not going to livejournal it- I'm not a whiny teenager. (Okay, if you go back in the archives, you may find a couple references, fine. Want to dig through my love life? That's not creepy at all.)

- Nothing illegal. Big brother is watching you. No, really: I'm as paranoid as anyone about our warrantless-wiretaps patriot-act government.

- Nothing dangerously personally identifiable. It's okay for you to know that my name is Dan Tasse, I live in Seattle, and I work for Google. Much of this blog might not make any sense without a little bit of context. But I'm not going to tell you where I live, or the fact that I live on the first floor, and I keep the door unlocked, and I have an actual bag full of gold coins with a dollar sign on it.

- Nothing I wouldn't tell a stranger. My friends will never have to censor their conversations with me because of my blog. I'm not dumb. My friends (also of the facebook generation) understand this.

- Finally, privacy policy part 7, c/o xkcd.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Here's hoping you don't become a robot/

EDIT: please read this and this.

clang clang clang whoops, too late

God! Today was a fog! I am posting this right now to give some concrete proof that today even happened! What a crapper!

I slept through work, like all day, just zonk, and I was mentally unconscious even if physically responsive. My total output for the day was half a test and a one-line bug fix. I talked to humans for like five minutes at lunch. I drank five cups of tea (it was good tea, but I didn't even taste it) and ate some crappy pistachio snacks. I think I've gotten to the point where I don't just eat out of boredom anymore, now I go to the bathroom out of boredom too. Honestly- it was like hourly. I was amazed that I had any liquid left in me, but what the hell, go to the bathroom again. There was a fire drill! I almost provoked a chuckle with a lame joke about how our team is going to win the fire drill; that was the humor high point of the day.

And now I'm home, and forgetting about work. Hargfh! I've got to start working 9-5. Screw the dinner- it's fantastic, but getting home at 7:30 is too late. Blahness is the worst calamity at all, but it's not even, it's just the most blah.

But the occasional boring day is not a big deal. I'm just a little worried that I'm not at all cut out for software engineering, and I'll just put up with it for a while (because all the perks are great) and then I'll wake up all of a sudden and be 30. I made a pretty awkward comment about that yesterday, in the company of four 30-year-olds.

Uhhhhhhhhhhh I gotta get off the computer. Uuurgghh.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Register register register register register

Let's flowchart. I have no drawing tools. Okay.

Are you registered to vote? yes --> okay, you can stop reading.
do it now
Did you open this link? no --> OH MY GOD OPEN IT.
Did you register to vote? yes --> okay, you can stop reading.
Seriously, do not close this page until you have registered to vote. Do it. Time is running out. I think. (I don't really know much about registering to vote, but you might have to do it 30 days before the election, which is like a week or two away.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I can lock all the doors, it's the only way to live

Is it?

All this talk about fuel economy standards, battery-powered cars, hybrids, goddamn ethanol, emissions regulations, hydrogen cars, fuel cells...

Where's the talk about owning fewer cars?

See, even if a car had 1000000 miles per gallon, I wouldn't want one. And I wouldn't want to live in a world where it would put me at a (more) significant disadvantage not to have one.

Even if a car had 1000000 miles per gallon, you still have the negative environmental impact: large swaths of land cut out for building roads, huge hunks of metal required to build the cars, graveyards full of dead cars, oil, antifreeze, batteries, all the rest of the stuff besides gas that goes into a car.

You still have the negative personal impact of cars: suburbs. These McMansions on McEstates with all the spread-out-ness and personal separation that that entails. You say cars bring people closer together by letting people go places; I say what if the cars->roads->suburbs didn't bring people apart in the first place? Strip malls. Grocery stores. Factory farms. Megachains in every industry: Best Buy, Borders, Bed Bath and Beyond. Cars allow everyone to own their own big plot of land, and everyone owning their own big plot of land makes everything less efficient.

And you still have the negative health impact of cars. We're fat blah blah blah. Nobody walks or bikes anymore, etc. Well, in a sense, I don't blame them! If your supermarket (and therefore nearest source of food) is 4 miles away, no wonder you don't walk there every time you want some milk! But still, the fact remains that nobody DOES walk. ("we'd take a limousine 'cause it costs more")

Granted, cars have their purpose. But life is better without them. Unfortunately, living without them often requires a huge paradigm shift, the first part of which is moving to a city. So I'm not asking for a grassroots burn-your-car campaign; some people just can't do it. I'm asking for a top-down solution in this, because it's the only way it'll work.

Government leaders: give us more public transportation! Subsidize bicycles as well as hybrid cars! Quit with this whole ethanol kick! Do everything you can to move towards more consolidation, not more sprawl.

Give us the freedom to live without cars.

post script: Obama at least mentions "transit-friendly communities" and "public transit." Please vote for him.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Okay, first of all, Bill Nye is great.

UNRELATEDLY, here's something that's particularly chafed my willy the past few days, weeks, whatever: doublespeak. I think I'm misusing the 1984 concept a little bit, because they were all about just saying lies, like calling the war department the Ministry of Peace. What I mean is a little less blatant, and actually happens all the time. Let me explain:

Regardless of what you believe, or what's true, you can spin things two ways. Let's take drilling for oil in Alaska. I have a clear stance on this! (it's bad!) And if I were at a cocktail party with my more leftist friends, I could be all like "Yeah, drilling is a bad idea. It won't even help the economy, and it'll totally mess up the beautiful Alaska wilderness."
But if I were at a cocktail party with, say, my dad and grandpa, I could say "You're right, we need to help the economy! It's the worst it's been in years! And reduce our dependence on foreign oil! Therefore we need to drill for our own oil!"

If I didn't know you, I could spout truisms either way to make you think I believed anything, on any issue. Even on less important issues, like a new restaurant.

And I find myself playing both sides of the same issue. Like I test the waters one way, then turn around and argue the other side, or the first side, or whatever YOU think.
Me: Yeah, I went to that restaurant, the food was pretty good. (test the waters)
You: I didn't like it. (shit! retreat!)
Me: Right, yeah, it wasn't great, and the atmosphere isn't great either. (test the other waters)
You: Yeah. (oh! you agree!)
Me: It was overpriced, too. And hell, why go there when there are so many other awesome restaurants around? (pile it on! I super agree with you now! We are friends! File this in my brain: you do not like this restaurant!)

This is kind of frustrating. I feel like I'm losing my individuality. Am I just some dude who agrees with everyone on everything? But that's kinda a whiny little complaint, and it's a quirk of my personality, and it's not important. What's more important (and frustrating) is POLITICS, in which they do this all the time.

A recent example...
McCain: The economy is strong! (let's test these waters)
Everyone: AAAAAGH Lehman Brothers AIG Merrill Lynch! (shit! retreat!)
McCain: I mean, the American workers are strong! (a truism. I can agree with that!)

But let's not get all liberal smug. I mean,
Obama: I'm going to pull out of Iraq. (people will like this, right?)
Half the country: Don't do that! (shit!)
Obama: I mean, I'll refine my Iraq plan, and do the right thing. (yes! doing the right thing is good!)

Everyone does this about everything! There is no truth, or even consistency! (welcome to American politics, right?)

SO. Next person who criticizes my man Barack for "flip-flopping" gets punched. Every politician does this all the time. And even if they didn't, I'd rather have a president who can change his mind sometimes.

Unrelated quick rants:
How can Bush's approval ratings be at like 30% or whatever, and almost half the country is still willing to elect Bush #3?!
How can anyone not believe in evolution?!
Why is the whole Catholics-voting-based-only-on-abortion still happening? Even if fetuses were babies and we're killing lots of babies, I mean, we're killing lots of Iraqis, who sure are people; and hell, farm subsidies for corn are slowly killing lots of Americans through obesity (segue to another rant, but one is probably enough for tonight)


Go here:
Green Dimes

Sign up for their free unsubscription service. They will give you a nice list of like 10 things to do, half are going to websites, half are mailing physical mailings. Do them all. This will help stop junk mail.

"But Dan, I can just throw my junk mail away. It doesn't bother me."

No. Do it. This will save you time in the long run. O(1) asymptotic runtime. Digging through your junk mail is O(n).

(my secret agenda here: save some trees.)

Free bambooooooooooos department?

First of all, have I mentioned "I Am Rich"? This is The Best iphone app. It costs $1000, and it does nothing. It just displays a little red light. That's pretty vainglorious. Unfortunately, I just looked it up in itunes, and it appears not to exist anymore.

Why did I link to Fox News? Because I was trying to figure out if bamboo sheets are really environmentally friendly, or if I got suckered in. I think they are, on the philosophical non-data-based arguments that:
- it grows real fast
- lots of people say it's more environmentally friendly
Jared called me out on that, because those are pretty shallow arguments. So I went looking, and here's what I found:
Fox News says bamboo is better than cotton
A bamboo clothing seller says so too
And another
Dr. Hauser says the chemicals involved in processing bamboo make it bad
Some people on some forum have lots of views both ways
Shit shit these are the sheets I bought
I'm inclined to agree with this person:
"Just my .02 worth, but I don't do business with or associate with companies that would not offer "green" products but for the "green" market has grown to a point where it cannot be ignored.

For example, the USDA lowered organic food regulations to allow products with only 95% organic content to be certified organic. Why? So General Mills could enter the organic market profitably. I'm sorry, but food with 5% synthetic ingredients and grown with 1 of 38 approved pesticides sprayed on it is not organic. Thus, I avoid companies like Bed, Bath & Beyond that suddenly offer "Bamboo" sheets because the "green" market is no longer ignorable.

Stick to companies that produce only "green" or organic products and do or have done so because it's the right thing to do, not because they cannot afford not to."
Right on. And it seems like organic cotton has fewer issues than bamboo overall. Maybe I got served, or bought a greenwashed Bed Bath & Beyond product. They certainly seem like a bit of a crap company to me anyway.

Although who can really tell?! This gets me mad. I feel a rant coming on.

Also, to further ramp up into said rant, this quote from the Direct Marketing Association website:
"Important: You have selected to eliminate all mailings from organizations participating in the DMA Mail Preference Service. Are you sure you want to proceed? The average household can save $1422 dollars per year from marketing offers. By eliminating all mail offers not only will you miss out on these savings, but you’ll miss out on at least 80% of all commercial offers and discounts! And you will miss the environmental benefits of shopping at home rather than driving to the mall!"

rant to be continued

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I sure like lists!

I was gonna freak out about politics, and I may still do so, but that would take some time, so instead I'll treat you to this:

The Omnivore's Hundred.

How nice to see one person shout this out to the world and everyone say "yeah, that's a pretty good list" instead of "but you haven't LIVED until you've tried ____". It's a great list! No, it's not The Best List Of Food For All Time For Everyone, but it's pretty good.

I do think it'd be fun to make my own list, just for my own personal benefit, though. But as I'm only 22, and therefore 22% of my way through life (I'm going to be at least 100, I've decided), so I think I'd only get to make "The Omnivore's Twenty-two."

In other news, the new Of Montreal CD (it's out in a month, I heard it at a laser show) is an unrestrained nuts-o psychedelic party; Balkan Beat Box is also a party; my boss likes Balkan Beat Box too, and that's neat; I have all this furniture and I'm so proud (oh yeah, post about that coming up too); I hate politics; I like blues dancing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Are you fucking me?!

I'm real cheesed off by politics and Internet companies right now, and I just made a nice long post about them (on my iPhone because I still have no Internet) and safari just cut out! (note to prospective iPhone buyers: it does that sometimes.)

Goddamn! I guess this rant will have to wait till I'm more connected. I hate every corporation and political party in the goddamn world!

('cept google.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eat less meat ++, and cut down fewer cotton trees

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri from the UN says so!

Not trying to browbeat you into it. Just saying, if you're thinking "I wish I could help the environment, but I don't know how," vegetarianism is a lot easier than giving up your car (depending on where you live). And semi-vegetarianism is easier still!

Says a 90% vegetarian for 2 1/2 months running. (some weeks I have gone over, but some weeks I've gone under, and I think it works out to under 10% of my meals that have meat in them. And this is strict meat-counting: a little bit of chicken broth or gelatin counts. +1 hardcore points.)

Also, if you want to do something else, try bamboo sheets.
- informal googling around makes me think that they're a lot more environmentally friendly, although I have no proof, besides the rhetorical argument of "it's bamboo! bamboo grows super fast! and non-organic cotton is full of pesticides and awful chemicals."
- they feel very nice
- they're more expensive
- but not much! Check out these cheap bamboo-blend sheets at Target. I paid a bit more at Bed Bath and Beyond (I was kind of exasperated and I wanted to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible, and hopefully while killing as few environments as possible.) but ended up with 100% bamboo sheets. Hoo-ray.

Side note: Bed Bath and Beyond is absurd. They have so many varieties of everything. I wanted a comforter. I found duvets, throws, bed-covers, blankets, rugs, dust ruffles, mattress pads, beds-in-a-bag, and not comforters. Also, I wanted bright lime green sheets. No luck there either (especially not in bamboo!)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Why are pirates okay and Nazis are not; also, I'm a pansy

I kinda dig this "A and B" formula of posts, where A and B are entirely unrelated.

Here's part A of today's post:
Pirates are a cool thing, or at least a pop-culture-tolerable thing. Pirates of the Caribbean, for one. And Talk Like a Pirate Day. And every single goddamn idjit on the internet. This post is not about how pirates (and ninjas and zombies) are not funny anymore, although that is true. This post is about Why are they not offensive? And why are they even glorified? I mean, Johnny Depp is this roguish hero, and nobody cares.

Pirates were bad people! Right? They plundered and pillaged, and so on! Correct me if I'm wrong, but these guys were just common thieves, except common thieves who would kill you!

Nazis were bad people too, but we can't have a movie with a hero who's a Nazi. Is it a too-soon thing? If so, that's silly, because it means in 100 years, Johnny Depp's great-great-grandson will be playing a rakish, handsome Nazi. Is it a question of scale? Because Nazis were oppressive controllers, and pirates were just like little guys who committed minor (in comparison) crimes? That makes a little more sense... but I mean Jeffrey Dahmer committed minor crimes, in comparison to all the Nazis. Is it a question of premeditation? Nazis were systematically evil, while pirates were merely chaotic? Hey, guess who else is "merely chaotic": suicide bombers.

How about talk-like-a-Nazi day? Or Nazis of the Baltic? Hmm.

Also, I need to grow a spine, in terms of social interactions. If I, say, need a book, I tend to phrase the question like "Hey, is that your book? Can I maybe borrow it? I mean, that is, if you don't need to use it anytime soon, and of course it's totally cool if you do need to use it, no really, that's fine." And the other day, this one guy was beating up another guy in the alley, broad daylight, lots of people around. That's not okay! I noticed it and stopped and looked, as if to say to the beater: stop it! He looked at me and yelled "What the fuck are you looking at? Cross the fucking street. Cross the fucking street!" So what did I do? I crossed the (fucking) street. But I felt awful! What I should have done is cross the street and call 911. I didn't even do that, and it didn't occur to me to do that until later. Or maybe yell back: "I'm looking at you beating the crap out of this guy. You want me to call the cops?" I know what you're saying, don't get involved, but he was far away from me and there were tons of people around, so he couldn't beat me up.

Whatever it was, I didn't do the right thing, and I felt like a glub for hours.

Pirates are like that guy! They're not like Johnny Depp!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Corporations and Rock Concerts

Interesting post. Admittedly, half the reason I like it is it gives me fuel for my rage against the corporations, because every young person needs something to rage against. I'll just add that corporations dehumanize everything, and humanizing things is good. Like when you call Dell tech support, and it says "everyone is busy, please hold", you get pissed. If you went to your computer store and said "hey, can you help me?" the guy would say "sorry, I'm real busy" and he'd be taking apart a computer or something, and you'd say, okay, he's busy, 's cool. Or if he was real busy for hours, you could get on his case, and say, hey buddy, give me some time here. But with Dell, all you can do is get mad.

Am I too old for rock concerts? Rephrase: am I too boring for rock concerts? I'm more and more losing my desire to go to them. Now, Ratatat last night was awesome, as rock concerts go. They had a video projector with that sort of video stuff you sometimes see at concerts, synced to the music. They were going nuts on stage, super-theatrical. Their songs were punchy, smooth, and tight: no noodling! They played all their hits, plenty of new stuff, and finished off with "Seventeen Years" which you could tell everyone was waiting for.

But the waiting time is very long and difficult. It's loud, so you can't really talk; it's a lot of standing, and you never know when it'll end. And you often have to wait through openers you don't want to see (although, for the record, I dig openers). Plus, it's always ear-ringingly loud. It's expensive, and prices are often +$10 once you go through Ticketmaster, or you run the risk of being sold out. And what do you really get out of it? That you don't get by listening to recordings?
- the ability to see them perform, because they're awesome: not a big deal to me
- the opportunity to really lose yourself in the music: doesn't happen a lot to me at concerts. I thought Ratatat would be perfect, but not so. I feel like there's a lot of self-consciousness at concerts, for some reason.
- the chance to see the artists as real people: maybe. but most don't even talk much.

Conclusion: not worth it! So why do I keep going?

Friday, September 05, 2008


I got a ticket! Thanks to a friendly stranger named Gabe, who is going to spend the next year traveling the world (and particularly the Asian parts of the world). That is neat.

My coworker has a dog! He's cute! (the dog, not my coworker) That is also neat.

I'm in the depths of new-project incompetence, where changing one line of code is very difficult because there are a lot of other steps along the way. This is normal. I knew it would happen, and it is. So it goes.

Oh yeah, and I'm in a new city where I don't know anyone and I don't have anything to do. I kinda saw this coming too. Again, that's life!

But to complain about anything at all in my life would be goddamn ungrateful. I know the future will be really good. I am hopefully slowly becoming aware that the present is just as good. Alles goed.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fit (but I know it)

That is what I'll have to become, if I'm going to keep up this commute every day. It's only 4 miles each way, but Seattle hills can be brutal! Moreso than Pittsburgh. (but not as bad as SF)

But it is SO PRETTY! Wow!

Also Chrome! I am no longer worried that I joined Google right after it jumped the shark. Haven't used it yet (no Windows box) but it sure does sound cool.