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Wherein the Autographed Cat has been very very busy and neglecting this journal

Life for me can get very, very busy.

Monday was a good day. My birthday, hurrah, and all that. I went into work, because I’m taking most of the week of July 4th to go and visit my sister-by-choice (more on that later), her husband, and their daughter, in their new home in Knoxville, TN. They’re wonderful people, and we don’t visit them often enough, so I’m really looking forward to the trip.

Monday evening deidrecorwyn and I went out to dinner with telynor and her husband. deidrecorwyn wanted to go to a sushi place, and telynor knows where all the good sushi places are, so I said sure, as long as they serve actual food there as well. I don’t get along well with the idea of sushi. I don’t mind that other people eat it, but it’s just not really my idea of a good time. Fortunately, this place also had excellent teriyaki. I had teriyaki beef and shrimp fried rice, and deidrecorwyn had this massive sushi platter that could feed three people, from the look of it. Ah, sweet decadence. She took about half of it home with her for lunch the next day.

Tuesday I went and got my hair cut. Nothing drastic, just thinned a bit and trimmed so I look less like a wildman come down from the mountain. I’m trying to get the sides to grow out the same length as the back. We’ll see how that goes. Long ago, someone said “Oh, I know just what to do wit your hair”, and it’s never quite recovered. I suppose I really should just have it all chopped off and let it grow back, but I’ve never quite had the gumption to do so.

Wednesday was a long day. One of our core servers at work had a pair of software RAID-5 disk arrays from back when you actually made 20GB disks out of 12 2GB disks. I’d argued successfully that once these disks started to go bad, it’d be nearly impossible to replace or repair them, and that we really should be using hardware RAID devices anyway. So having acquired the hardware for this task, I’d been slowly moving files from the old devices to the new one. I was down at last to the directories that couldn’t easily be moved while the machine was up and running. I got to work at 3am, brought that machine down into single-user mode, and moved that last bit, which took about an hour, all told. Then, since I had to leave early that day for a doctors appointment, I just stayed at work. I slipped out at 7am for breakfast, and just worked until 4pm, after which I went to my doctor’s appointment and then came home and crashed.

Today was dull. After work I dropped by Borders and Barnes & Nobles in search of Tove Janssen books. I heard yesterday that she had passed away, and i realized that I had LOVED the Moomin books when I was a child, and that I no longer had any copies of them. I did manage to find one (Finn Family Moomintroll), as well as a Rocky and Bullwinkle book in the bargain books section. Borders is apparently having a blowout clearance sale, and I found a Stan Rogers CD I didn’t have (Between the Breaks Live) for 75% off. Sometimes the good guys win, eh? 🙂

And that’s the news. I’ll try and actually keep up from now on.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/state/la-000056553jul10.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Ds

Now here’s a fun can of worms. You own a satellite, which is in orbit. It’s out somewhere over the equator somewhere, and nowhere near where you actually have your business offices located. But the country decided that hey, you’re here, and it’s worth X million dollars, so let’s charge property taxes on it as if it were here where your office is.

I’m not sure what to think of this. What happens when a company has multiple headquarters? Who’s liable for the tax then? If I have an office in Gwinnett Co and another in Fulton, I don’t owe Gwinnett Co. property taxes on my office in Fulton. So it seems to me that the taxes on the satellite are owned to whoever has jurisdiction over County Space.

But hey, anything for an extra buck.

Offensive Lyrics?

A list has been circulating the internet from ClearChannel, a conglomerate which owns more than 1700 radio stations, of songs with “questionable lyrics or content” that should not be played. The list can be found here: http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/news/songs.html (Thanks duality).

Now, this isn’t censorship, but it is stupid. Some of the songs suggested are at least reasonably defensible as “in poor taste” given the moment, but some of the songs on the list are inspirational: The Youngbloods “Get Together”, for instance.

The songs I find most amusingly offensive to suggest banning are the two Cat Stevens songs. “Peace Train” and “Morning is Broken”. Why? Because Stevens converted to Islam? (And no, he did not advocate support for the death sentence against Salman Rushdie, either, but that’s another rant…). Frankly, I think songs like “Get Together” and “Peace Train” are JUST what we need.

Anyway, my reason for even bringing this up is ClearChannel is now saying that this was a memo sent from one station manager on an internal mailing list nd was not a company edict. The story is in the San Francisco Chronicle

It’s been a busy two weeks in Lake Wobegon….

Another long overdue update, but life gets busy from time to time. Behind that cut-tag below is a fairly boring account of the last two weeks, but if you’re interested.

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A Small Piece of Heaven

I’ve been saying for about 4 years that someone should start up an all 80s format radio station in Atlanta. I’ve loved 99x’s “Duplex of Retro Pleasure” since it debuted, and have often lamented that it’s only an hour long and at a time I can rarely listen to it.

Well, my prayers have been answered. 105.3 WMAX in Atlanta has debuted an all 80s format — they’re apparently still doing their demographic testing, which means like as not it’ll disappear just as soon as I’m used to it being there, but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s here.

Thanks to my friend Charis for turning me on to it!

Today’s reading…

Singer-songwriter Janis Ian weighs in on the subject of music sharing on the Internet:

“I don’t pretend to be an expert on intellectual property law, but I do know one thing. If a music industry executive claims I should agree with their agenda because it will make me more money, I put my hand on my wallet…and check it after they leave, just to make sure nothing’s missing.”

http://www.janisian.com/article-internet_debacle.html

Hey, where’d the weekend go?

kitanzi and I had a fun weekend hosting my mother, who finally made it down to visit! I’ll let Kit talk about how the whole “meeting the folks” thing went herself 🙂

Mom arrived Friday night, with just enough time to turn right around again and head down to a little veggie bar called ‘The Sprout’ to see Atlanta’s own Three Weird Sisters. Nothing on the menu looked terribly appealing, but the music was fun and I enjoyed introducing the girls to Mom. She ended up buying both the 3WS cd and telynor‘s solo cd, so it’s a pretty fair guess she enjoyed the music.

Saturday, we went out for breakfast, and then came back home while Mom went out shopping. Unfortunately, about 10 minutes after she left, I happened to glance into #filkhaven and discovered about the Columbia disaster. We flipped on CNN and watched sadly for about an hour, then decided to go and take a walk, instead of wallowing. The fresh air helped, and when we got back, Kit went to take a nap. Mom came home a little after that. When Kit got back up, I got my guitar out and we played some filk for Mom, which also helped keep our mood up.

There was a housefilk scheduled that evening, but most of the people I’d asked indicated they weren’t going, so we decided instead to go out to eat at Shogun, then came home and, amusingly enough, ended up watching Iron Chef, which Mom had never seen. It wasn’t one of the better episodes, but she seemed to be amused anyway.

Sunday morning, we went out to breakfast, and then Mom started her drive back up to North Carolina. Hopefully, it won’t be four years before we get together again. Kit and I spent the afternoon at a concom meeting for next year’s Gafilk, then came home and fixed dinner…barbecue that my mother had bought me from my favourite barbecue restaurant back in my hometown. 🙂 Then we sat down to watch some TV. “Changing Rooms” was up first, and that was fun as usual, and then we finally got to see an episode of “Coupling”. Oh. My. God. I thought I was going to strain something, I was laughing so hard. I think we’ll be making a point of seeing when it’s on. 🙂

(The plot of this one revolved around a girl trying to convince a fellow to have an affair with her; hilarity ensued. This led to an amusing conversation about how most sitcom plots would collapse when approached from a polyamorous point of view. “I fancy you, and I think you fancy me. Let’s go back to my place.” “But I have a girlfriend.” “So?” “Well, i need to call her and let her know I won’t be home tonight, or she’ll get worried.” The whole thing would be about five minutes long.)

Today and tomorrow we’re getting our final preparations for vacation complete. Wednesday we take off for England. Can’t wait to see everyone who’s gonna be there!

A very sociable week.

kitanzi and I tend to do most of our socializing on weekends. Most of our friends live far enough away that visiting is an actual expidition for most of them, and no one ever comes to visit us, so on days when we’re tired after a long workday, we’re mostly inclined to just stay home and enjoy each others company. This week has, as a result, been a bit unusual, in nice ways.

Matt and Mary are filk community friends who just relocated to Atlanta from Philadelphia. I had suggested to them that we get together for dinner at some point, wanting to make them feel welcome in their new town. We finally settled on Tuesday night, and since everyone’s money was tight, I offered to make dinner.

I settled on Carolina style Barbecue Pork for a main dish, with cole slaw and dinner rolls to round out the plate. This is one of my favourite crockpot recipes and always goes over well, and it had the advantage of being something I could prepare to cook in the morning before work and have it ready when I got home.

Tuesday morning turned out to be a comedy of errors for both Kit and myself. I had just pulled out on the road when I thought I heard a scraping noise coming from my car. I turned the radio off and confirmed that I wasn’t imagining it and pulled into the elemetary school which is next door to our apartments. Getting out of the car quickly revealed the problem — I had a flat tire. Closer examination showed a large metal object embedded in the tire, and thus the obvious culprit.

I called into work to let them know I would be delayed, changed the tire, and set out for a Goodyear place. About halfway there, my mobile rang and it was Kit, calling from home to let me know she realized after she got to work that this was the day she’d agreed to switch shifts with a co-worker. Lucky, it was the co-worker on the later shift, so this was merely inconvenient, and she went off to do the shopping she’d planned to do on the way home, since it meant our guests would likely arrive before she got home.

I got the tire replaced in short order, and the rest of the day was relatively uneventful. Matt and Mary showed up at about seven, Kit got home a little after eight, and we enjoyed a pleasent evening of food and conversation.

Wednesday night was a rare mid-week night out. Our favourite local band (and in fact, a band we think of “our” band, since I took Kit to see them way back when we were first dating and she was visiting every month from New Hampshire), Screen Door, was playing at a barbecue joint in Roswell, about 10 minutes from our house. As a bonus, we’d convinced friends to come along. I’m always happy to expose new folks to my favourite music. 🙂 We ended up with a party of six and half, including my co-worker eloren, her husband J., their four-month-old son R., and their friends heathrow and her husband T.

The band was in good form, though I was tempted at several times during their two sets to go find whoever was (or, I think more likely, wasn’t) running the sound board and beat them senseless. I’ve run live sound for both small and large venues, and the mix was awful. The actual volume was fine, but the vocals were unbalanced and too far down in the overall mix to be really heard well. I talked with them during the break and found that they weren’t controlling the house sound system at all, so the venue was definately to blame.

Oh well, the food was excellent, and the company was fun. It was nice to meet heathrow and T., who I’d heard so much about over the last couple of years, and R. was adorable — he was clearly interested in and responding to the music, or at least the vibrations. 🙂

Tonight is Thursday gaming, and then tomorrow we’ll be heading up the Tennessee mountains to see chosen family. Life is good.

More Meme-y Goodness

Ok, so while I’m being memerific today, this one, stolen from nrivkis, was really intriguing. I may do it again later with another artist, but since I’ve been really listening to Screen Door’s new album a lot this week:

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A Moving Experience

I awoke this morning to a series of IMs from my oldest friend, Jeff, who took advantage of the fact that I forgot to log out of AIM to complain about the fact that after much pestering, he finally started reading my journal on a regular basis, only to find that I haven’t been updating it on a regular basis. Well, it’s a fair cop, and I should write more often, so let’s start with the most recent weekend…

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