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»  June 30, 2009

What the...?  

Fortunate Tuesday: Fujin goes on vacation for a month starting tomorrow; thankfully I got three fortunes in my cookie this afternoon.

You will be rewarded for being a good listener in the next week.
Can't really imagine how, but let's check #2 fortune for clarification.
Opportunity awaits you next Monday.
That's July 6. Is that the day Bedeviled is approved for the App Store? Will I be ready to receive the message from Apple and get the marketing out to everyone on time in order to capitalize on the first days of release?
You will inherit an unexpected sum of money within the year.
That would be unexpected, because nobody in my family has much money. Unless, of course, it means unexpectedly small.


What the...?  

Tear Down the Walls:

I can't talk, I got to go
Don't call me back, I won't get the door
Got to focus on the job
'Cause I got a new job climbing the walls

I was grinding my teeth, I was wasting my youth
And using up my teeth
Now I'm done chewing my nails
Hanging my head, chasing my tail
It got so bad I quit my job
Then I got a new job climbing the walls

Too much junk, too much junk
Can we please clear out this house?
In the trunk, in the trunk
And then we'll take it all to the dump
Then we won't need the car
'Cause we'll stay where we are
And I'll have all this room

I got tired of pacing the floor
Sick of it all, I'm done with the floor
Walked away ever since I got a new job climbing the walls

I was grinding my teeth, I was wasting my youth
And using up my teeth
Now I'm done chewing my nails
Hanging my head, chasing my tail
It got so bad I quit my job
Then I got a new job climbing the walls

The deep end, the deep end
People talk a lot, but they don't know
They pretend, they pretend
They don't really know how deep it goes

Now I misunderstood,
Thought the wall was just good
For staring blankly at

I got tired of pacing the floor
Sick of it all, I'm done with the floor
Walked away ever since I got a new job climbing the walls

Now I'm done chewing my nails
Hanging my head, chasing my tail
It got so bad I quit my job
Then I got a new job climbing the walls
Got a new job climbing the walls
Got a new job climbing the walls

They Might Be Giants, "Climbing the Walls," The Else


»  June 26, 2009

What the...?  

No Morons, Please!: Last of the specific job skills in a Craigslist ad for a web developer job at Columbia Sportswear:

Must have mental capability to troubleshoot and solve problems of a moderate complexity or difficulty
Kind of makes you wonder what happened to make them think something like that was needed, doesn't it?


»  June 25, 2009



Are you going to Bermuda?
Would you go there if you could?
Now, now
If you go there, plan on staying
Whether you like it
That's the way
In Bermuda

Are you, are you Bermuda-bound?
Do it call like a siren sound?
It's so high and it's underground
But you never come back
Before you're never found
In Bermuda

It's just the innocent
Devil's Triangle
It dares you to come down
That's it's angle
But the Devil is innocent
Like you
When the word you want
Is Master, Master, Master
In Bermuda

Bermuda, Bermuda, doesn't call
It haunts you
Make you wonder
Make you want to go
Make you curious
Too much burn
But you never, ever
Will return
From Bermuda

Roky Erickson, "Bermuda," Don't Slander Me


»  June 18, 2009

What the...?  

Hey, Big Spender: Apropos of The World, the gargantuan addition to the Portland waterfront for the past couple of days, an article in the Oregonian today mentions the economic impact the ship's visit might have:

The ship's 140 residents and crew of about 270 are touring the Portland area and seeing sights such as Multnomah Falls and Mount St. Helens.

They're also leaving behind some cash. Travel experts predict the ship's stop might inject some extra life into the local economy. While the exact economic impact of the Portland stop was unclear Wednesday, the industry standard for spending by cruise ship passengers is $125 a couple per day.

Bruce Connor, vice president of Sundial Travel & Cruise Center, which helped arrange the local itinerary, said the passengers could easily spend three times that.

Lessee, 70 couples times $125, times two (we'll make it three) days, times the luxury multiplier of three...does everyone else get $78,750? Now, if you had a standard cruise ship of approximately the same tonnage (~45,000), like Carnival's Holiday with a passenger capacity of over 1,400, that's a daily yield of more than three times The World, even when they're spending a third less per couple.

Not that I'm looking down my nose at any money coming into Portland myself or that cruise ships have been making the city a regular stop, but the desperation on the part of the O to make a $25K bump per day seem like a big deal in a city this size just makes us look kind of pathetic.


What the...?  

Car Talk: As if Barbara didn't already find the handheld GPS I bought for the smart car annoying enough:

Now Homer Simpson is getting his turn. Starting today, TomTom, a GPS manufacturer with US headquarters in Concord, Mass., will allow users to add Homer's voice to their navigation systems.

According to press materials provided by TomTom, "Homer's hilarious, encouraging and sometimes unusual advice will ensure that drivers will not only reach their destination on time, but have a lot of fun along the way." With voice work by Dan Castellaneta, who plays Homer on the "The Simpsons," the download reportedly spits out advice like, "Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm ice cream."

We've had the car for just over 14 months now; the odometer turned over to 12,000 as I pulled it into the driveway this morning.


»  June 17, 2009


INM At 20:

Darrel Plant and Vahe Kassardjian at MAX 2003

Anyone who is reading this blog for its now non-existent Director content already knows about Integration New Media (INM). I can't even remember the first time I learned of their existence, it was such a long time ago, and they've been such a vital part of the Director community, with some of the first entries in database and PDF control Xtras.

So even though I haven't really done anything with Director other than open up a couple of old projects (and, admittedly, do a 1-day Shockwave3D prototype of the iPhone game I'm working on) for a couple of years, I'm more than happy to spread the word about INM's 20th anniversary. The various folks from INM with whom I met (they threw some nice get-togethers at conferences), talked to, and corresponded over the years were always great to deal with, and I've long hoped I'd have a reason to get to Montreal to visit in person.

That's me and INM president and co-founder Vahe Kassardjian up top, at the 2003 MAX in Salt Lake City. Happy 20th, Vahe and INM!


What the...?  

Avast, Ye Mateys!:

Panorama of The World docked at Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park
click to enlarge

The World, a floating community for 140 residents and another couple hundred hangers-on (i.e. "staff") floated into Portland on Tuesday. Basic suites on the low end (around 400 sq. ft.) start at $3 million. And according to insiders, the daily "$100 Bill Barbeque" is every afternoon at 3:30 sharp. The same source says they'd use bigger bills if they could get them but they're all in use as bedding for guys on Wall Street who like to dress up in furry gerbil suits.

I am intrigued by the fact that they have their own submarine, though. And they do use a photo of Portland in the Lifestyle section of their web site.



Darrel Don't Surf: The music that's been the background for my best programming runs has always been surf guitar, the type of surf music that came out of the early '60s and was exemplified by people like Dick Dale and The Ventures, the latter of which lost a member Sunday with the death of guitarist Bob Bogle, who lived just across the river in Vancouver.

The Ventures who only made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year can be reasonably credited with kicking off the surf music genre with the success of their instrumental "Walk, Don't Run." In the last gasp of the instrumental pop hit, they had several, including covers of "Telstar" and the theme song of "Hawaii Five-O."

Now, I don't swim all that well, and the closest I lived to the beach growing up was about sixty miles (and that was in an era when surfing on the Oregon coast was pretty much unheard of) but given that The Ventures were formed in Tacoma, actual surfing experience seems to be a prerequisite for neither playing ort appreciating surf music.

I remember liking the songs I heard on the radio as a kid, but my real immersion into surf began in a dark period of the early '80s in Eugene, when a long-term relationship (for that age, at least) had just broken up and I was starting to find my feet again after having been out of work for most of two years in what was then the most brutal recession this country had seen in some time.

A woman I met through my volunteer disk jockey stint at a radio station invited me to meet up with a friend of hers who (like her) was a musician. The three of us got pretty drunk on cheap wine in the Pioneer Cemetary across the street from MacArthur Court. He was the bassist for a band that played surf music, both covers and originals, and when I saw them at the next opportunity, they were incredibly good. And The Surf Trio got me started on a path that once I got back into programming in the early '90s proved fruitful for some time.

The best of instrumental surf guitar surpasses silence, for me, as ideal programming music. Intricate rhythms, no lyrics to distract me, it's like spackle filling in the cracks in my concentration and smoothing out my attention, making it easier to work for hours on end without distraction (the cats are another question). For years I was able to crank out material under the influence of surf music, but sometimes I forget the lesson and try to make do with the standard contents of my music library or radio news or podcasts, and everything just falls apart.

So I'm sorry to see Bob Bogle go. He was one of the pioneers of a form I truly appreciate. He's left a legacy of great material. Hang ten, Bob.


»  June 16, 2009

What the...?  

Boo-boop-e-doop: Work's been kind of slow since cartoons went to color....


What the...?  

Nice Dog:

I see my future shuffling
A shaky step at a time
I got no choice but careful
Thank God I've done my crime
The tools I see on TV
Can't stand it when they fade
A prick's a prick at any age
Why give one a break?

I wanna live a little bit longer
I wanna live a little bit longer now
I wanna live a little bit longer
I wanna live live live live live

The soul is in the eyeball
For anyone to see
I'm better than a Pepsi
I'm cooler than MTV
I'm hotter than California
I'm cheaper than a gram
I'm deeper than the shit I'm in
And I don't really give a damn

I wanna live a little bit longer
I wanna live a little bit longer now
I wanna live a little bit longer
I wanna live live live live live

Iggy Pop, "I Wanna Live," Naughty Little Doggie


»  June 11, 2009

What the...?  

To Grandma Margaret:

Margaret Baker, 1918-2001

A word from my cousin Roxana about our grandmother, who died eight years ago today:

I have spent many years in a volunteer capacity working against domestic violence, so I was shocked when my grandmother was shot and killed June 11 in the White Salmon area. My grandmother was bedridden, blind, and has suffered many strokes over the years. I did not expect her to die in this manner.

She died because her caregiver, Toni Stencil, was the target of an angry man.

There is not room to write all the details Toni has given me, and Toni has her own story to tell. I am not a legal expert, or an expert in domestic violence. I am simply a granddaughter asking questions and looking for answers on why my grandmother had to die so violently.

Through my questions, I have found out that the state of Washington has a Mandatory Arrest Law, as does Wisconsin, where I now live. This law does vary from state to state, and I'm not clear on the stipulations in your law. What I have been told by Toni is that she called 9-1-1 on the Thursday evening prior to the (Monday) shooting because this man had bound her and held her against her will for over three hours. She talked her way out of this dangerous situation and did call 9-1-1.

I wonder why he was not arrested on that evening. Certainly this will be determined, and police in White Salmon have declined to answer my questions concerning this issue at present.

Why should you care about this law? Remember that my grandmother was an innocent victim of a dispute between two people that she had absolutely nothing to do with. This was a dangerous man. Are the laws you have in place working for you? If not, why?

These are the questions running through my head that keep me up at night. There is another state law that interests me as well that I'm checking into concerning self-help information that is to be given to victims of domestic 9-1-1 calls. Three days passed between Toni's initial call for help and the shooting; she needed professional help. I have found out that you have the Programs For Peaceful Living. This program could have offered Toni some very needed support in a number of ways.

I pose these questions and tell this story because it is my way of helping and healing. On my own, I cannot look into your laws and check into the rapport between your police force and your programs in place to help people. You need to be concerned because you care about the health of your community. I believe domestic violence issues are so important, because the health of a whole community starts in the home.

Please support your local law enforcement and program such as Programs For Peaceful Living in working together against domestic violence.


»  June 10, 2009

What the...?  


After the storm
Well all need to dry out
And the forecast will be
Sunny and fair
After the storm

Well have a big parade
And the smell of victory will be in the air
Well march in the sun
And listen to speeches
Life will be a bowl of cream and peaches

After the storm
Well be sucking on Swallows
And driving our trucks in the sand
Well redraw the maps
Wear snappy new caps
A gentle breeze will blow oer the land

Well pack up our things
Maybe get married
Throw off that weak, wussy
Feeling we carried
Bring it all home
In a bag to be buried
After the storm

After the storm
The flowers will grow
And pastures of plenty well see
Well dig a few holes
Heat up a few coals
And have a big barbecue feed

Well shine up our cars
Drive in the sun
Pitch a tent in the woods
And make a beer run
If somebody wants something
We might just give em some
After the storm

Well march in the sun
And listen to speeches
And life will be a bowl of cream and peaches

Stan Ridgway, "After the Storm," Holiday In Dirt


»  June 5, 2009

What the...?  

Neo-Natal: Speaking of naming issues and Microsoft, how creepy is it that within a day of the announcement of Microsoft Natal a hands-free controller for the Xbox 360 that an airliner goes down in the Atlantic after passing over...Natal?

New York Times Map of Air France search

Map: New York Times

Apparently, a commenter (not me) who noticed the same coincidence at Engadget hasn't been well-received by someone.


»  June 1, 2009


Ba-Da-Bing: I've noticed some carping about the name of Microsoft's Bing, their attempt to push back on Google.

My own feeling is that the Bing is a great cherry, and something worthy of having a major search (or "decision") engine named after it. And, in this day and age, it's probably a lot better choice as a name for a product than Black Republican, which was the other type of dark cherry that grew in our yard when I was a kid



The Norm Coleman Decade: In the NPR news broadcast that aired on KOPB at 8am, there was a story about the court contest between former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and the guy who beat him in November (by about 300 votes), comedian Al Franken. The first time she read his name, she got it right, but in the story summary (at about 3:15 here) she calls him "Franklin." The announcer's name? Korva Coleman (no relation).


What the...?  

Double Banks Shot: I've admired actor Jonathan Banks ever since I first saw him playing the controller of a team of organized crime investigators in Wiseguy back in the late 1980s. Don't see much of him these days. Then tonight I got him in double doses: first on Breaking Bad as the right-hand man of a sleazy attorney, then in a brief scene as a much younger man in a brief party scene in Coming Home. Still unmistakable with thirty years separating the two appearances.