Thursday, February 22, 2007

I have a huge monitor

Joost looks like it could be fun. I like the shots I see on the website, and I like the idea in general. For someone without cable who only watches DVDs and VOD on my PC, this could be great.

Along those lines, Netflix has rolled out its VOD service to some users, and I am lucky enough to be one! The streaming video has been seamless in my experience, and my only complaint is the limited selection of movies. I do hope this selection is growing.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Shut me down

The only thing thats brought me close to wishing I believed in a Heaven was the loss of people I really loved. I had previously thought that the main catalyst for faith was for people to give themselves some solace that their lost family, friends , and lovers were actually in a better place.

Another point of view to consider, and one which I have considered before settling on the aforementioned thought, was that people are driven to faith in order to believe that they themselves are going to a Heaven. I entirely agree that self-interest is part of faith, but I don't think that it motivates people to adopt a faith in the first place. Most of our lives we are not worried about death or the afterlife, whereas we are witness time and time again to the deaths of those whom we do not believe should die.

Anyway, in finally finished A Brave New World, there was a conversation between two characters which offers a new insight to these considerations. Quoting from Maine de Biran, the character Mustapha Mond reads: "... religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its workings ... whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, and turns towards the source of all light, turns naturally and inevitably..."

Still, it could always just be mental conditioning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not Quite Better

Several days ago I took on my second day of snowboarding in as many weeks. Everything I learned the first day came back to me quickly, and I was able to take it to the next level. Or try to. This resulted in another week of bruises, aches, and pains.

But this time, it gets worse. I had to take Nyquil to get to sleep after my long day of snowboarding, which was surprising to me considering the extreme physical effort I had exhausted on the mountain that day, as well as the pathetically few hours of sleep I had the night before. But I felt crummy and could not get comfortable, and just attributed it to the brutal day of lessons.

The next morning the truth was revealed. I awoke with a fever of 102, and a sore throat that turned out to be strep. I have spent the last 4 days on the verge of delirium, burning with fever and unable to eat or even drink much at all because of the pain in my throat. With my snowboarding bruises to top it all off, it has been a miserable week.

Lying on my couch to avoid the street noise, I have seen what it is to be really alone. All the phone calls in the world do not make up for the moment when you need your medicine, a different blanket, a small glass of water, or a tiny meal -- and you have to get it yourself. If not for my very close friend, who sacrificed the whole of her evenings to care for me, my sick week would have been infinitely worse.

If you find yourself burning and bruised and desperately in need of help, appreciate the people in your life that give it to you.

Friday, February 09, 2007

SUI

Napster has the shittiest user interface I have ever used. It is difficult to tell the name of the song that is currently playing, it is entirely unintuitive how to queue up songs, and it logs you out after a "long period of inactivity." A friend of mine today remarked "why would they possibly give a shit how long you've been inactive???" When you log back in after this inconvenience, it freezes the shitty user interface until it finishes whatever processing it needs to do. When it completes it then performs, in rapid succession, any actions you tried to do while it was frozen. Maximizing, minimizing, moving... all rapid fire. Its also impossible to use with keyboard shortcuts (as there are none), and has a limited selection of music.

If you want a music service, use anything but Napster.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Crunchy Kind

Using the crunchy kind is actually a recent shift for me. Variety is the spice of life.

I've started a tech blog. Watch out world.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sin-e

Live music inspires me to get back to my guitar and write my own stuff. It'd be awesome to have originals to play at local bars. No pipe dreams of being a rock star here, just hope to play a live show again someday. I am similarly stimulated after spending last night in the East Village watching some local musicians do their thing.

A friend of mine invited me along to check out Alec Berlin, whom he knew from years back. Alec is a hell of a guitarist, and has a good stage presence and fun songs as well. It was a good show, check him out if he's going to be around your area.

Coincidentally, a guy from my high school was also at the bar that night. His coworker was playing, and had good stuff. He sang with a deep voice; acoustic with good lyrics -- Johnny Cash style.

The last band was Mook, and was like nothing I had heard before. Very weird sounds and strange lyrics, but it all worked together and I ended up staying for their whole set. Their only guitarist and singer (though he said nothing in between songs and mostly didn't face the crowd) was Paul Dano. His movies are great. All two of them!