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Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
12:58 pm - Never Right Now CD Release!
My band Never Right Now, has released its first album -- a collection of demos of many of our songs. Three tracks are fully-produced home-recorded versions (including one all-new track, and new mixes of our other two previously-released songs), and four are simple acoustic renditions (including three new songs!). The album is called "Please Play Please" and you can listen to all the tracks on our bandcamp site, and purchase a download if you love it. We also have lovingly hand-made cases for the physical copies that we'll have with us at shows and open mic appearances.

In fact, I think bandcamp's embedded player might work right here, using the magic of the web 2.0 blogonet!

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Thursday, November 26th, 2009
2:40 pm - Mirror's Edge
I have this habit of playing videogames a while after they were released and when no one cares about them anymore. Something on youtube reminded me of Mirror's Edge, and when I saw it was only $20 on steam, I said "what the heck" and went ahead and downloaded it. (Of course I found out shortly thereafter that EA was not making the new downloadable levels compatible with the steam version which kind of sucks. But eh, I'd rather not deal with EA's copy protection system anyway).

Anyway, this is a game that got a lot of excitement and hype from its demo, and then got a lot of mixed reviews after it was released. Some people loved it, and others absolutely panned it. Personally, I've been interested in Parkour ever since that Russian Climbing video (which is actually more "Freerunning" but it's a distinction most people don't make), and I'm always intrigued by new innovative game mechanics, so Mirror's Edge definitely piqued my interest.

So did I end up liking it? Read on to find out! Also some slight spoilersCollapse )

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Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
12:56 pm
Summary of the California special election results:

We're not going to let the legislature balance the budget, and then we're going to punish them for not being able to!

yeah go direct democracy

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Monday, November 24th, 2008
8:18 am
Oh hey, as long as this guy says so. I guess we can all rest easy now!

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Thursday, October 30th, 2008
3:12 pm - California Props
I still haven't completely delved into the gritty details of all of these measures yet, but here's my feeling at the moment:

Proposition 1A (train): Yes
Proposition 2 (animals): No
Proposition 3 (children): No
Proposition 4 (abortion): No
Proposition 5 (drugs): Yes
Proposition 6 (crime): No
Proposition 7 (energy): No
Proposition 8 (gay): No
Proposition 9 (victims): No
Proposition 10 (fuels): No
Proposition 11 (districts): No
Proposition 12 (vets): Yes

This may change over the weekend as I get the chance to do some more research. Feel free to try to convince me of my errors in the meantime!

edit: oops forgot prop 11, which honestly i'm the least sure about anyway

current mood: thoughtful

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Friday, October 24th, 2008
5:36 pm - Two-question personality test that's actually pretty interesting

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

5 - the Observer

what does that MEAN?Collapse )

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
2:58 pm - The chicken's wingspan is a hot political item this year
I was thinking of doing one of those "how I'm going to vote on california propositions" posts but honestly I haven't researched them all yet. But I've had one on my mind a lot recently, and I just need to write something about it.f

I'm planning on voting No on Proposition 2.

I actually support the sentiment behind it.

The problem is that the exact standard it lays out for egg-laying hens -- that they can extend their wings fully without touching the sides of their enclosure or other hens -- is oversimplified and demonstrates no consideration of the scientific research on chicken welfare or of the practical consequences of its implementation. It might even make things WORSE for chickens.

Basically, the wording of this standard effectively bans all caged systems. But "cage-free" does not magically mean "humane." In fact, it's much HARDER to ensure chicken safety and health in cagefree systems than with battery cages -- that's why the battery system was invented. In a poorly run cage-free system, chickens will attack and kill each other, will have higher incidences of diseases due to poor sanitation, have more foot problems, higher mortality rates, and so on (see the table on page 10 of the laywel final report if you don't believe me). Small farms that actually care about the animals can pull it off, but I don't trust big factory farms to. They'll just comply with the letter of the law but will still only care about profits. The "cage-free" systems will still be indoors with artificial light, they'll most likely use extensive de-beaking to deal with chicken-on-chicken violence, and will have to use antibiotics and harsh cleaning agents to deal with poorly controlled sanitation.

Basically, if you're going to completely rework the chicken farming methodology like this, you need to have a detailed, researched plan. Not a one-liner that feels good. Otherwise the unintended consequences could go completely against what you were trying to achieve. The fact is, improvements such as furnished cages are gaining a lot of support in academic research but they would be completely disallowed by this proposition, forcing everyone back to the drawing board.

Making this more difficult is how emotional of an issue it is. People want to be for animal welfare and so do I. When I vote No some part of me will still be internally yelling "I can't believe I'm supporting big agro-business!" at myself. Also making this difficult is how easily people are willing to misrepresent this proposition's merits. I keep seeing people claiming that this bill will "prevent animal cruelty" (it won't), or that "other states have adopted similar measures" (regarding veal and pigs, yes, but not chickens), or even pointing out incidences of animal cruelty that aren't even covered by this proposition (such as the treatment of meat chickens). Of course, the fact that the big opponents to the bill are playing up some sort of west-nile scare isn't helping either.

I also reject the argument that "it's not perfect, but we can fix it later." People, it's a California Voter Initiative. You can't just "fix" those up. The legislature can't touch it. It requires yet another proposition to be placed on the ballot and voted in (and this one probably wouldn't have $5 million from the humane society to back it). So I really think you need to get these things right the first time.

If someone honestly listens to these arguments but still believes this proposition is a step in the right direction, then I respect that. I just hope no one starts claiming I'm a chicken torturer or am brainwashed by big agro business. And if the prop passes, I really hope we get that "fix" in before 2015.

current mood: contemplative

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Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
3:24 pm
oh fucking fuck.

Target using Domo-kun as halloween mascot

What's next, Walmart plastering Totoro all over its stores?

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Monday, September 22nd, 2008
3:45 pm
Well I've sort of caught up with livejournal after the 2-week vacation. Sort of because LJ died on me after trying to go more than 360 comments back. Damn you!

I should post more about the vacation, but chances are I'll be too lazy to.

I will talk about briefly the movies I watched on the plane, though. The selection wasn't very good, and I ended up watching three: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Sex in the City, and Speed racer.

Sex in the city actually wasn't too bad as far as romantic comedies go. And Speed racer wasn't the worst of the 3. I'll leave it at that.

current mood: recovering from jet lag

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Friday, September 5th, 2008
12:02 pm - Time for some campaignin!
this is really well done

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Thursday, August 21st, 2008
1:46 pm - The gods smile upon our plans to travel to UK next month
British Pounds to 1 USD:

It's back up to right around where it was Sept '06. Nice!

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Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
12:31 pm - Finally saw that batman movie
Non-spoiler summary: liked it, but I think the more realistic style made it harder for me to maintain suspension of disbelief when crazy shit happened. Also, I want more background on the Joker -- he seemed to come out of nowhere.

More details, possible spoilersCollapse )

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Friday, July 25th, 2008
8:07 am
What's tougher to get than a same-sex marriage? A same-sex divorce

The list of federal tax problems same sex couples will run into when trying to divorce is especially frustrating. I never considered this aspect of the problem before, but the right to divorce is a very important part of the overall right to marry, after all.

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Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
8:26 am
Today is Firefox 3 download day!

(starts at 10am pdt apparently)

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Sunday, June 15th, 2008
7:39 pm - "eccentric" lady
While mowing our front lawn, an elderly woman dressed in colorful clothing called at me from across the street asking who my favorite musical performer currently was.

"Radiohead" I said.

"Well that sounds good but I don't really get any radio stations around here" she replied. By this point she had crossed the street and was now standing a conversational distance away from me.

"Do you think I'm Anorexic? Or Bulimic?" was her next question. "I couldn't tell" I said. "Well if you had to guess?" "Neither" I said.

"That's a nice house. Do you own it?" "No, we're renting."

"Do you want a small pool? For your backyard?" "... no, not really."

"Do you like baths? Or do you prefer showers?" "I like showers."

"Ah well that's more of a guy thing."

And so on it went, like some strange questionnaire the point of which I couldn't quite figure out. She had me shake her hand, and asked me if I would claim that to be assault with a deadly weapon. She asked if we should have self defense on the books ("I think it already is" I replied). She let me know that her middle name is "Smith" and that her friend's was "wesson" but that the gun got stolen from her house. It was registered to her mother. They think they can just steal her gun and then come in through the window and rape her.

She told me people say she's crazy (can you believe it?) and then jumped up and down a few times saying "they call this crazy?"

She let me know that Condoleezza Rice was a joke. She has a condo, but she doesn't lease.

She wondered why if she said to bomb Iran she would be arrested, but Obama says it and gets to be president?

She said something about Davis being full of itself as she walked away. She picked up a discarded orange from our yard waste pile. Much to my relief, she didn't try to eat it, but instead threw it at the house across the street.

There was more than this, but I don't remember it all. I'M NOT MAKING ANY OF THIS UP. THIS REALLY JUST HAPPENED. I just hope she isn't lost. I forgot to ask where she lived.

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008
6:56 pm
Ohnos, Google Street View has invaded Davis!

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
2:07 pm - City Chase San Francisco -- June 28th
this looks kind of cool...

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
6:31 pm
this guy is my new hero.

Check out his series on a giant robot project. It starts out a bit silly. But as you get deeper into the videos, you start to really see how awesome this guy is. He's building his giant robot ... off the grid in the woods. And he needs to build a new workshop for it. So he builds a freaking saw mill to get the wood he needs to build his workshop from the surrounding trees.

Yup he's crazy. But it's a good kind of crazy. And if you think a bit about his overall philosophy, he's not really that crazy at all.

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Thursday, May 8th, 2008
12:27 am
Just noticed a new sacramento meetup called "Musicians, Artists, Geeks, and Techies". Geez, judging by the name alone this one may have some promise. I'm thinking about stopping by their May meetup

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Saturday, April 12th, 2008
2:19 am - ++
I am now the proud owner of a crocheted totoro!

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