I'd read a few quick fluff summaries of the news that Palm was closing most of its retail locations which prompted me to wonder where the fuck these retail locations were exactly. All curiosity left me when I read the Times article that mentioned that utterly insignificant fact that there were only eight (not including the weird airport stores) in existence. The retail sector may never recover. Oh dear.
I added the Art (actually 'Art Art Cut A Fart' because I'm classy like that) category because I've been reading a lot more, uh, artsy stuff lately and I wanted to clearly delineate between that and the more technology-related stuff. The tech news sites have been really boring lately which probably has less to do with their content and more to do with me just not being all that interested in incremental (viva revolution!) updates to the same old crap and the endless streams of lawsuits and acquisitions. The past few years have made me a lot more platform agnostic and my opinions just aren't as vicious (read: fun to rant about) as they once were. That stuff won't go away but I'm not going to talk about something that barely interests me like version bumps. Actually, no one should really be that interested in that sort of news.
Classical music is fucking strange and I don't mean that in the simple sense that the acknowledged classical music was composed entirely by people dead for centuries instead of the usual standards of decades or even years. I've never been a fan because classical music works a little like the way churches work: you're welcome and they're always trying to recruit but really they would prefer to recruit you away from another franchise to avoid all of that awkward learning stuff and to get you straight away into clock punching your way through some sermons or half-smiling and limp handshaking your way through some community event. It all feels too much like a trip to the DMV only with lesser tangible returns. The performance (because god knows it isn't anything informal) is another established ritual that people feel obligated to slouch their well clad asses through and demands codified behavior to even participate as a politely clapping observer.
This review of 'new venues' really speaks volumes about how uncomfortable the traditional performance really is. This critic is excited because *gasp* people seem to actually enjoy the music instead of the dress up, get dinner, observe concert, blah blah blah routine. This shouldn't astound people and generally it doesn't. The classical fans are the exception because I'm convinced that they are unable to separate the music part of the deal from the event part. I'd rather go to the fucking DMV on a Friday afternoon. At least there is a point in that venture. I guess I'm actually kind of stoked that classical clients (yeah, I know that is getting a little old) are actually attending events outside the normal monochrome spectrum of classical venues but I'm a little taken aback by how new and revolutionary they're perceiving something that I've done (albeit in an even scruffier and less moneyed format) for most of my life.
Since intermittent posting with occasional breaks for dumping the interesting link with little more than a sentence or two to provide context is like the new black I'm feeling pretty hep these days. I've been incredibly busy but not really busy doing things that translate well into little 'dotes like these.
Things I've been thinking about:
1. Parenthood is just around the corner (well July anyway) and I've been thinking a lot about how I spend my time and would like to continue to mismanage my time. Here is the short version of my worry: I really, really dig the spare moments rather than full on event participation (I may even hate this) or time purposely alloted for leisure activities. I get up earlier than I need to and seldom hit the sheets before the next day has begun because I crave the sort of empty time that allows for thinking, reading, writing, and the the other essential stuff that doesn't feed me or entertain cats. How do people deal with this? Do you swear off slack time like an ascetic or is there some strategy that I'm likely overlooking?
2. MS SQL server. What. The. Fuck. I've never had to deal with this collection of disasters before and now I am wishing that I could douse myself in some kind of SQLServerAgent removing cream. Is the CPU above 70%? Are there a million processes blocking one another for no apparent reason? Is the administration of it less like actually maintaining something concrete and more like a bad office joke in circulation that involves horse shoes and hand grenades in the punchline? Are the errors worse than useless because they send you searching around the web only to find other people wringing their hands over the same useless errors for entirely different reasons? Awesome. I've looked for far too many hours into this inky blackness hoping for a glimmer of light or any sign that this system is anything other than a generator for tears and entropy and the abyss is staring back into me with no empathy at all. I wonder how people do anything with this other than organize recipes and then I remember Access and then I just have to try to forget.
No links. No sleep. No no no.
The masochistic need to see what the Archie Bunker's of computing had to say about the Macbook Air I followed the link in from Gruberland and wasn't persuaded of anything much less caring about software running on the latest and cheapest from House of Clearance or whatever. It reminds me of the typical Linux review by Windows guys who were all huffy that the flashy eye candy wouldn't run unrealistically fast on their six year old doorstop machine dragged up from the basement where its 'Designed for Windows 98SE' sticker can gleam insipidly in the light of day once again.
So, that wasn't really the point of this post. What was really vexing more than anything else about this article was the weird string of mass commenting go on by a few people in their best faux columnist perfect pitch. Seriously, go read through some of the comments and it's a little like watching the official PCWorld blogger hatch larval young or worse. I understand when the conversation is interesting and there is a certain degree of non-stupid interaction going on within a comment thread but I'm not sure that I quite grok the multi-comment and audience-less soliloquy action.
Before staggering off to bed I tend to power skim magazine sites to see if anything interesting has appeared since the last visit. It works out best for the traditional publications as they seem to adhere to the monthly publishing schedule -- that way when something that would genuinely interest me as opposed to just piquing errant curiosity shows up there it is much more likely that I'll actually read it. Slow down the pace a bit and I may actually notice something worthwhile. I often think that it is far past time to dispatch with a feed reader entirely and to dive back in to just reading things that aren't recommended and endorsed by people who I share no interests with.
The New Yorker has an insanely engrossing article on the relationship that Raymond Carver had with his editor and how often the two came into conflict. I find this disturbing because I absolutely love Carver and to think that a goodly portion of his published output was harshly pared (at times halved) by an editor is irksome. Aside from that troubling bit this article really does expose some of the unique relationships that emerge between editors and writers. Carver's wife is actually working at the restoration of one of the gutted collections of stories which I'm looking forward to.
While procrastinating on some work that I need to have finished by Monday (and Friday night into Saturday morning is a fine place to begin the process of procrastination) I started thinking about how little sense I have of time passing. My figures are invariably wrong when I try to figure out how long it has been since anything happened. I hesitate to open up a can of worms like time dyslexia but you get the idea.
One of the spans I was trying to figure out was how long it has been since I switched from Movable Type to WordPress. Turns out it's been nearly four years (!) since I made my hasty retreat from ambiguously licensed software. Turns out that I've been using WordPress longer than I've been married. I think my inability to contextualize the passage of time is a self defense mechanism. Trying to isolate a single incident (and one of little importance in the larger scheme of things) within other events gives me a creepy kind of headache. In the future I believe I will abstain entirely.
Oh, for the sake of my own future reference: first post after migration. Weird.
The news that Sun acquired MySQL was a little surprising to me as I haven't been paying much attention to the flow of money in the tech world and have been more focused on getting technology to stop fucking breaking instead of the gossip-stream. Because Sun is any company but Oracle this is most likely a good thing especially given Sun's recent investment in FOSS projects that doesn't seem motivated by the urge to squash other products out of existence. I could probably blame them for trying to buy street cred but I'll pardon that in hopes that the course of MySQL development and improvement remains on track.
Gentoo has always been sort of a mess if only because it's a completely moving target. I used it exclusively for a really long time and had a lot of fun both playing and working with it. I run Debian on anything that matters these days because I can't deal with important stuff being broken or inaccessible for months at a time while devs talk a bunch of shit to each other in bug reports. In my own experience, I've watched the instances of holy shit, portage is really broken rise rapidly over the past couple of years while the external interest about the project tanked completely because many of the kool nu Linux kids beat feet to Ubuntu when it rose to a fragment of its current flavor of the month status and a bunch of people being incredibly pissed off at each other isn't the best recruiting tool. Trust me on that. I've advised people who asked about running Gentoo not to bother now because the work done under the banner of the purple G is wildly inconsistent. I've always shied away from really advocating Gentoo because to me it was more of a really fun play/development distribution that could spiral rapidly out of control if you didn't pay attention than a stable point to jump off from.
Gentoo was a helluva lot more organized under drobbins and a fair number of folks seem to be adverse to his offer to take the wheel again before the whole project goes careening off a cliff. Take the offer, really. Gentoo formed an incredible community around it and without the stewardship that Daniel seemed to give the project all of that will disappear or be replaced by disappointed people clinging to the husk of a distribution run on resentment instead of getting shit done. I've yet to see a better answer for reversing the damage.
Later: I realized that this is going to come off very much like a insert item is dying post and I suppose it is of the more personal kind as I've completely lost interest in Gentoo as a user. I have no idea why I feel like to add a snippet of clarification but there it is...
It (being too early to determine gender) is due in July. I feel appropriately scared and don't feel like this is exactly the soap box for this kind of announcement but am doing it anyway to break the silence. So there.
I have no resolutions to make. I have some secrets that I'm not ready to disclose. I have also observed that if you haven't watched the Dick Clark NYE show in many, many years then hearing Dick Clark speak in his new slurred post-stroke voice will scare the living shit out of you. In the future I will have to endeavor to research these things more carefully lest Yoon and I spend yet more time staring at each other in horror while things that always maintained the illusion of permanence fly apart into gravelly and tortured syllables. Okay, onward...