The plague and a congratulations. Really, that’s it.

So, anybody who’s talked to me in the last couple of days will know I have the plague. I took yesterday off from work, and today’s been mostly lounging, because I can’t do much else. But the Nov-Dec issue of Women’s Press is due on Wednesday, so I’ve been doing a little bit of that…

So, yeah. Busy. Busy. Busy. And sick, but hopefully getting better.

Oh, and CONGRATS to my sis for getting an A- in Math this quarter! Rock on!

And, congrats to Matt Dixon for turning one year older tomorrow. You the man!

Fingerbone found!

Well, it had to happen sometime. I succumbed to the plague of iTunes. I had to do it.

As I previously mentioned, any album of My Friend the Chocolate Cake’s is about $30 to import. On iTunes, it’s about $7.97. So, although I hate the DRMtasticness of iTunes and really wished there was a better way to get stuff that’s really available nowhere else…

I blame pandora. But the album is sooooo good. And here is the song I was gushing over:

My Friend the Chocolate Cake – Fingerbone (mp3, 5.46megs, 192kbps)

My favorite of the “Very Short Stories”

Wired had a cool new post today, called Very Short Stories, in which they asked authors to submit their best six-word-long stories.

My favorites are below:

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
Orson Scott Card

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.
William Shatner

Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so.
Joss Whedon

“Cellar?” “Gate to, uh … hell, actually.”
Ronald D. Moore

It’s behind you! Hurry before it
Rockne S. O’Bannon (creator of Farscape)

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
Stephen Baxter

We went solar; sun went nova.
Ken MacLeod

Batman Sues Batsignal: Demands Trademark Royalties.
Cory Doctorow

Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back.
David Brin

So bloody awesome. You know it.

Bride of Firefox

Be prepared to rejoice, my brethren. Two days ago, Firefox2 was released in all it’s non-beta-release glory.

I’ve been a user and staunch supporter of the project since 0.5 days, back when it was called Phoenix and the idea of tabbed browsing was the most innovative thing since zombies first started carrying squirt guns. I was there when it was renamed Firebird, and then finally Firefox. And I will be a staunch supporter of it until I find something better.

Firefox2 is a joy to use. It’s funny that it is now supported by more Windows OS’ than IE7 is, given that Microsoft has only released IE7 for XP SP2 and Vista. It also looks and behaves more like a Windows application than IE7 does… I mean, there’s still a file menu, for heaven’s sake!

I think that my favorite feature of it so far has to be the inline spell check. Crazy cool.

Anyhow, go to GetFirefox.com to procure the latest and greatest web browsing experience.

The nightmare before IE7

A couple of weeks ago, I was really surprised when I told my sister to download GAIM and install it, and she didn’t know how. I think I felt a little like my older brother did when I, 13 years old and wanting to play a game on his Sega Saturn, asked him how to take a CD out of its case. On my defense, the CD felt flimsy and was securely lodged in there. Growing up on casette tapes all my life, how was I to know you press the center to pop the disk out?

And so, it’s this idea that the next generation will naturally know more than you do about computers, as if the knowledge is genetically hard wired into youngsters minds, even when there’s been a lack of exposure to said technology. And myself, like my brother before me 10 years back, just happen to be major technofiles with all the latest gadgets… I mean, I just got Synergy to work on my two laptops!!! I guess I’ll save that for another post…

So, I felt a bit like my sister when I decided to install IE7 yesterday. I figured it’d be similar to downloading any other program, or at least similar to downloading the uber-awesome Firefox, but boy, was I in for a shocker. I grabbed my laptop and headed to the crapper, because I thought it couldn’t possibly take very long to download… and that was the last anyone has heard from me.

So, I head to Microsoft’s web site, downloaded the installer, which was about 14 meg, if I recall. And right here, I’m expecting to do only two things in the installer. 1) Accept some crazy long-winded legalese, and 2)  Tell it where to download to.

It asks for neither.

Instead it goes through validating my copy of XP SP2 (which is genuine, WOO HOO!) and asking me if I want to install more programs. Ummm…. okay, sure.

Then, it spends almost 10 minutes downloading additional content, updating said content, and finally installing. And guess what?!?!? NO PROGRESS BAR!!! That’s right. I thought it might take 1, maybe 2 minutes, enough time for the foul feeling of downloading Microsoft products to leave me with my fecal. But there I am, counting away the time, thinking how silly I really am and finally getting off the toilet.

Oh, and the best part: It overrode IE6 without asking. Now, this is good for most people, but for a person who does ANY website design, not being able to test a site out on a browser that whether I like it or not 95% of the population uses is like a divorce on Christmas day. You just. don’t. do. it.

So, aside from that, it’s pretty, has a bunch of security fixes, deals with tabs a little differently than Firefox, and will be pretty awesome once it’s shoved down everyone’s throats in the next couple of months.

But, if you care about being able to surf the net freely without your computer crashing, go with Firefox. They know how to write installers.

Book designers are soooo dreamy.

For a while, I’ve been giving a bit of thought about what my “dream job” would be. You know, the job I’d first apply for if ever I move to the big city. And lately, that job has been to work as a designer for a book publisher. Designing books, inside and out. I just think it’d be the most awesome.

And I don’t know if I’d rather design the interior, or the exterior. Book covers are pretty awesome, but in the last two years, I’ve understood that the upper echelon of design is in laying out text. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity, and is utterly unique in one major way: in almost everything that is designed, it is meant for design to be seen and noticed.

In book design, the layout of text should be completely transparent. If there’s anything on the page that is so cool-looking that it makes the text more difficult to read, then you’ve done a poor job, because the only purpose of the guts of a book is to be read.

Anyhow, aside from a tirade into my own ego, I wanted to share this with you. It’s a blog showing off cool book covers. It’s FREAKIN’ Awesome. Check it out, check it out, check it out now.

DeviantArtness!

I’ve had an itching to update my site for about a month now. Update my portfolio, show off my new art, and basically completely revamp the appearance, merging the journal and portfolio sections. So, that’s going to happen soon,

Recently, I thought I hadn’t been doing much art in the last year. I have a lot of projects, school and otherwise, but not art… well, I came to the realization that’s simply not true.

So, to see some of the 80+ pieces I’ve done over the last three months, check out my deviantart site: penciledin.deviantart.com. It’s scrumchtaculous!

The Wager with Mr. Wagner

Maybe we’ve become rich suburbanites. Maybe we have nothing better than to turn art and the inner turmoils of the human soul into a feckless competition. Maybe we just like Shin’s sushi bar.

I don’t know exactly why, but when Red approached me with his wager, his voice almost cracking with glee… well, how could I turn him down?

So, here’s the dealeeo as I understand it: We write blog posts. We write more blog posts. We write better blog posts. At least four a week, from Saturday at 12:01 am to the next Saturday at 12:00 am. In the coming weeks, that number may grow, and we may institute a word count requirement. Whomever doesn’t fulfill the ever-mounting requirements buys dinner for the other at Shin’s.

Ah, I can see it all now: in a year we will be huddled around the keyboards for warmth, our sites blooming with nearly slashdot-like omnipotence, and we but two hulking shells of men. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

Update: Now, I know how to spell Shin’s. 

Brubeck, 2005-2006. He will be missed.

Well, my external drive went kerplunk. Last week, Brubeck, as he was affectionately called, suffered a great fall. Doctors tried to resuscitate him to no avail.

Memorial services will be announced soon. In his passing, he leaves behind a void where the entire series of Farscape, Sliders, Battlestar Galactica (the original), and many others used to be. 160 GB of storage will be donated to the landfill in the near future.

In grief, I’ve begun ordering the Farscape DVDs… I just don’t know what I’m going to do with my life now. You just believe that data will last forever, and then poof. You become a shell of a man who used to have a 160 GB hard drive. Oh, woe is me.

Battlestar = OMG WTF?!?!?!

Wow. The third season is blowing me away. Well, not as much me as some of the characters. Egads, perhaps I’ve said too much…

But really, the first two episodes, shown last Friday, were absolutely remarkable. I had begun to argue that Battlestar jumped the shark somewhere in the back half of last season, but now I’m seriously rethinking that.