Beer drinker, rocker, programmer, and sex peddler.
Almost two and a half years ago, I showed up to be a zombie extra in the filming of Necroville. I had a great time, in spite of getting killed by a chainsaw.
And then, nothing happened.
Well, nothing is finally done happening. Necroville debuts on August 31 at the Guild. I hope I'm not on the cutting room floor.
..just got a little better.
One of my peeves is the intersection of Gold and 8th, which I walk through at least 4 times per day, often 6.
It's a 3-way stop, with traffic coming from the north, _not_ stopping. This has various consequences.
1) You better be alert and watch for traffic coming around the curve to the north. A good idea anyway, of course, but here it's extra tense.
2) Drivers _know_ how weird it is, so some of them coming from the north, stop anyway. They're not supposed to. I wouldn't, either. And yet, I sympathize. It "feels" wrong to not stop. But you shouldn't, because the other cars just have to wait for you anyway, and traffic is backing up behind you, and everyone is projecting psychic waves of "you don't have a stop sign, idiot!"
I think the reason there's no stop sign, is that it's really intended as a relief route for eastbound Central.
So what changed? Why do I hate it a little less now? Because I found a $20 bill in the crosswalk. Yep, just sitting there on the pavement in the middle of 8th street. Nobody else around, either, to ask, "Hey, did you drop something?" It's mine, all mine! I guess Torture Victim gets a round of whiskey sent up to the stage tonight.
Paul asked if I use a refrigerator to ferment. "No, I don't make lagers," I said.
Then it hit me: it's summer (my brewing up to now has been in the winter and spring) and my new home is hotter than the old one, for a variety of economic and technological reasons.
Maybe if I were to leave the AC on around the clock (ugh, can't afford that) it would be ok, but realistically, the place is in the mid-high 80s in the daytime. That too hot even for ale! Oh sure, it'll ferment, but it'll have some icky effects.
I'm going to have to get a fridge even for ales. Ugh. I thought I was done buying equipment; I thought all my expenses were just going to be ingredients from now on.
I guess the upside is that if I get a fermenting fridge, I'll be able to make lagers too.
But I'm looking into some cheaper techniques, too. There's some good info at [link] and [link]
In the 1980s, SNL had a surreal skit. It was a fake TV ad for General Dynamics (the leader in laser-guided technology), as if running TV ads would be part of their business model.
Fiction becomes reality.
Today I was reading a transcript of Bill Richardson on MTP, and I saw a Boeing ad. It doesn't suggest any particular product that I should buy -- it just shows their logo. I guess this is just to build up some name recognition, for the next time that I impulsively buy a large passenger jet airliner. I will think, "Boeing, huh? Yeah, I've heard of them. Ok, I guess I'll get one of theirs, instead of some mysterious, obscure Airbus."
What do YOU think? The next time you're in the checkout line at the supermarket and have an impulse to drop a few billion dollars on a fleet of the aircraft they have on display, what will YOU buy? If you said Lockheed Martin, it's probably because your Firefox installation includes an ad blocking extension.
I declare May to be "I Hate Web Browser CSS-bugs Month."
I noticed that my comment on a Daily Word column, where I lament that peoples' attitude about cryptography still doesn't seem to be changing, made it into the print edition of The Alibi..
..right next to a letter from Don Schrader.
I don't quite know what it means to find myself in such company, but I suspect it supports my point that most people -- you know, _normal_ people -- view communications security as an odd thing to care about.
The question: is it the good kind of odd ("ooh, prescient and insightful"), or the bad kind of odd ("sheesh, what a paranoid loon")?
I guess that gives us something to discuss at the next PGP keysigning meeting. Remember to bring photo id and a hardcopy of your fingerprint. I'll wear my EFF baseball cap to make myself easier to spot. (Pocket protector optional.)
I FINALLY got around to bottling batch 5 last night; the rye cream ale thing.
As as soon as I racked from the secondary fermenter to the bottling bucket, I smelled a problem: a strong vanilla odor. I had a vanilla bean soaking in the secondary, hoping for just a hint of flavor from it. Well, 10 days is a bit much, and what I got sure ain't a hint!
Anyway, this beer isn't undrinkable, but almost. It's my first "bad" beer, which is a shame because a week and a half ago, when I drank a hydrometer sample, it was SO good.
Anyway, in the future: either soak the bean for only 2 or 3 days, or better yet, just use a controlled, measurable dose of vanilla extract.
Met a guy at the Dukes of Ale meeting on Tuesday, who is doing two side-by-side brews with two different systems on Saturday morning, and he's invited us over. So I'll be over there for a while, and then I'll buy some minor equipment from him (scales).
Then when I get home, I begin my number 6: Scottish Ale. This'll have a little peat-smoked malt in it, heather in place of some of the hops, and I'll be doing some funny stuff to increase carmelization. After all my pale ales, and the exotic number 5, this will be yet another direction.
Don't expect to taste any until at least 3 weeks later.
I watched the first episode of Do No Harm and thought it was ok. Or at least that's what I thought I thought. "I'd watch more," I said. The second episode came out, and .. huh. I never got around to it. I felt no urge to see what misadventures Dr. Jeckyl would have next. The file's still sitting there, unplayed. My mouth said I like it, but my mouse-clicking hand said I don't.
It's said that Do No Harm set a new record in low ratings. No show has ever failed quite as utterly as that one.
I hope Hannibal makes it, though. It's growing on me. It's kind of sad that this show (like Bates Motel) has to build on already-known-characters; the fact that I'm watching it is directly related to why Hollywood makes so many sequels. But once you get over that, and of course the "atrocious" deviations from Thomas Harris canon, and the silliness of Will Graham's quasi-psychic visualization power, and .. ok, maybe the show actually sucks, but I like it, anyway.
I just wonder who decided that 2013 is the year that it's suddenly cool to retrofit our old favorite fictional serial killers, so that two of 'em are happening at once. Surely it's not an accidental coincidence.
Both series have good actors, too. Or at least actors who did a great job of studying and mimicking earlier actors who played the same characters. ;-) The guy who plays Norman Bates doesn't just look like Anthony Perkins, he acts like him and has the same not-quite-right feel. And in the Hannibal series when you first meet Dr. Chilton, he's not introduced by name. But as he's speaking his first sentence, I was thinking "That's so Dr. Chilton" and they confirm it a few seconds later when they say his name. But they didn't need to confirm it, because the actor was totally channeling the actor from the Silence of the Lambs movie. He just fucking nailed it. Good job, (google google) Raúl Esparza.
This occurred largely because Warner Archive wants to set up its own instant download service. Soon you’ll be able to pay every studio in Hollywood $10 a month to access films out of their library—and only their library.
This'll either be good progress, or a clusterfuck which causes even more piracy, all depending upon the details. (Gee, I wonder which one they'll choose.) For what it's worth, I'd be happier to deal with studios instead of "distribution networks" (or worse, network aggregators such as Comcast) since that's one step closer to dealing directly with the creators.
But as the number of parties I'm expected to deal with grows (there are more production studios than networks, and more networks than cable companies), standard interfaces and formats become all the more important. One proprietary digital cable box was marginally unacceptable to me. (It could have been ok, with a few simple changes to how it worked.) Multiple proprietary clients (Netflix, Amazon, iTunes,etc) each with their own UI and different limitations, were beyond unacceptable, to where they only got a laugh. A Warner Brothers download app? I hope not, because that won't even get as far as the laugh.
I'm simply not going to get all those things or deal with their problems. And fortunately, I don't need to because, Hollywood, when you keep resisting the standards which would allow your businesses to sell simple non-DRMed files to any customer who waves money in their faces, then there's always someone else who has far more patience than we consumers, who will convert them for us. Guess who.
Right now, the standard interfaces which are working best, are Bittorrent and [censored]. (The first rule of you-know-what is that you don't talk about you-know-what.) Bittorrent is the modern version of the old analog "cable ready" input jack. And the standard formats that work best are Matroska, mp4, and avi: those are the modern equivalent of NTSC, if I may stretch analogies a bit. When someone sticks to supported standards, things Just Work, flawlessly. Well, no .. there is one little flaw, isn't there? Someone didn't get paid for their hard work: the pirates who added value, by converting a useless shitty user-hostile format which hardly works with anything because it was designed to lock people into buying one particular consumer electronics product or subscribing to one particular online service into to something easy, friendly, foolproof, and interoperative with the widest variety of players.
But not always. Louie C.K. cut them out, by using standards and therefore obsoleting the pirates' conversion sevices. He used the same kinds of files, and he used an even better interface (the web!!) instead of bittorrent.
And so he got paid. Warner Brothers, are you going to open for business like LCK did? Or are all your geeks still unable to play tech catch up with some middle-aged comedian?