As Far As I Can Tell


Yesterday I put in my notice and quit my job. 2 years is long enough, and 2002 is my year of change. December 12th is my last day. I also parked my van over at John Wagner’s dadís factory. I’m going to work on it, and then sell it. I won’t be able to have it in Chicago, and Iíve gotten enough good use out of it.

I just started reading a great book: Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. I’m only a few chapters into it, but so far itís going through the history of identifying people within a society. It’s weird to think that the use of fingerprints as identification was a unique concept just 120 years ago.

I love the idea of being able to absolutely identify a person by their genetic makeup—itís the ultimate password. Of course this kind of information is more often used for controlling people rather than permitting them true security.

It’s continually a trade off between privacy and security. As of late I’m choosing the former. Ever since September 11th there have been shady dealings with what sort of permissions the government has to snoop on people. I actually found myself checking out the EFF website to see what they thought of things. I hadnít been there since the 1996 Blue Ribbon days.

If you follow the book title link above, you’ll notice that O’Reilly has sample chapters of the book online. They do this for almost all of their books, and I’m really impressed by it. While Amazon can give you some snapshots of up to 50 pages per book, nothing beats being able to get actual content before you make a purchase. Of course they also have a fully open source book.


 

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So it’s Buy Nothing Day, and I’ve already broken that idea; though, it was just a book and some shipping supplies. At least my drooling over “5 hour sale” flyers in yesterday’s paper didn’t have me up at 7am. Now begins the period of the year when I wonder: “Where did all these people come from?”.

I’m trying to learn Vector Math for 3D Computer Graphics. Could anybody recommend math resources for someone who is interested in computer graphics? My goal is to know how to create and manipulate simple shapes in 2D and 3D space entirely through math. Ultimately I’ll be programming this knowledge into Flash, but I want to take a foundation approach to the concepts.

If my job isn’t going to fire me, well goddammit, I’ll just have to quit.


 

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ďBut certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence… illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.Ē

Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity

I find it funny that Kalamazoo 3 pizza places with similar names.

Bimbo’s: Working class.


Bilbo’s: Hippie class.


Bruno’s: Mobster class.


 

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I just got done switching the Moped Army website to a new database. I wanted to do this so that everything Moped Army related was on one server, without any data from my other web projects. With the website being as popular as it is itís hard to do much of anything without effecting users. The process only took a few minutes but as soon as it came back up there was a post in the forum about the disturbance. Thatís pretty cool.
ó
So last week I sent my resume to a company in Chicago, applying for a programming position. The ridiculous thing is that I left off the two largest programming jobs Iíve done: Abacus Realty and DC Job Tracking. I suppose if I get any futher in the hiring process I can mention themóhow could I forget these?

All programming jobs are hard to show somebody else, since there often isnít anything to see that represents all the work that was done. These two jobs are particularly hard though. The Abacus job is a full content management system for a real estate company to manage listings and photographsóbut theyíre not using it due to a company sale. The job tracking project is a really complex system and allows two different ranks of users (teachers and students) to create, assign, and manage jobs, histories, and users for a graphic design agency. There are tons of cool little features in this siteóbut itís a closed system that you need a password to access, so I canít really show it off.

I guess a really good description would work, but then the potential employer has to take your word for it.
ó
I checked a book out of the library that Sarah Williams had recommended to me a long time ago. The writing is about societal changes and the speed of things now-a-days, which was an interesting and enjoyable read. However, the design is awful. Full articles in capital letters, single column pages where the type stretches on for 10 inches, and type running over light photographs making it extremely hard to read. This is a good example of one of those books where the designer tries to get away with doing something cool with the designóand throws away the idea of typography and readability while (s)heís at it.


 

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Omar wtih pie

Isaiah, Johanna, Casey :: Thanksgiving dinner

Omar and me
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I seem to be doing nothing at work again. Everyone is excited about the move to the new building, but I don’t plan on being around too much longeróeither by my will or theirs. Itís amazing how crazy you can go in 8 hours when your only job is to look busy enough to please people.

I keep content with This American Life, even when I have work to do. Since I only found out about it a few months ago I have tons of backlog to dig through, and itís all great.
ó
Iím listening to Kings of Convenience Ė Quite Is The New Loud. Itís like a warm cup of hot chocolate during the rain.
ó
Things you should see:

Photos from Sara of To Dream of Autumn.

On the night of Mr. Melvinís Murder Ė a simple, yet wonderful illustrative mystery.

ovidovi has been redesigned.

neumu is always good check out independent web writing. This is mostly about music.


 

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Iíve started watching the Sopranoís second season this week, and have already blazed through 6 episodes. I donít have HBO, so once I get done with this season itíll be another long dry spell before the 3rd comes out on tape. Iím hooked on mob / organized crime oriented movies. Last night I saw The Heist, which was good.
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Iím off to Ann Arbor tonight, two weekends in a row now. I’m picking up my brotherís moped to take to Sturgis tomorrow and seeing a rock show. Iím going to Sturgis for an early Thanksgiving with my family. Weíre having it early this year because my grandparents are going to Florida. I just confirmed yesterday that this Christmas Iím going to go to see their place in Florida for the first time. Itíll be interesting to see them act down there, in their home away from home. I have a warped vision of Florida in my head where everybody is either old or on spring breakóplaying cards or in bikinis.
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You might of noticed (Iím sure you didnít) that this weblog is now typographically correct. Iíve decided that itís important to use the proper punctuation instead of just what I can find on the keyboard. Examples:

Ď not ‘
í not ‘
ď not “
Ď not “
ó not —
Ė not -

Sure, itís barely noticeableóbut the purpose of typography is to be ignored, not noticed. Itís all in the details.


 

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Yesterday I saw a truck that had religous Calvin stickers on it. This is the most absurd version of these stickers I’ve seen yet. I also found somebody else who saw Calvin pissing on “satan”. America’s trashy trends extend to everything.

Yesterday I drove to Grands Rapids to go music shopping. This is the sad state of affairs in Kalamazoo. I’m never satisfied with Music Express, and don’t want to just order everything off insound. By way of example, I wouldn’t have bought any of the records I got yesterday if I had to consciously considered them and buy them off the internet. They came about because I stumbled on to them.

Another thing about real music stores is that you can more often than not listen to anything you want before you buy it. I think of it like freely available MP3’s for everything I’m interested in. I know that’s a backwards analogy, but that’s how I tend to think. Like the time I called note passing a ghetto email.

Driving to Grand Rapids was good though, since I always do my best thinking when driving alone. I came up with some ideas for Dan’s BFA show poster, which I need to get to work on soon.

I’m looking forward to seeing Pele tomorrow in Ann Arbor. The last time that I saw them the drummer was out of control entertaining. He was making crazy faces and using everything around him as percussion. I hope that’s how they always are. Even those (especially those) that think instrumental music is boring should check out Pele.


 

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Amy Fusselman, who wrote The Pharmacist’s Mate, has a diary online from a nation-wide book tour she did this summer. These entries are just as wonderful as her book, and each one has a photograph to go with it. One word of advice though: scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and read the entries in the order they were written—it makes more sense that way. Snoop around the McSweeney’s site while you’re at it. They have tons of sample chapters, interviews, etc. from the authors that they publish.

Amy Fusselman with Marcel Dzama in a bear suit

Another must do: watch some clips from Pixar short films. They aren’t complete, but they give you the first minute of so of each one. The full-length version of for the birds is playing in theatres right now before Monsters Inc., which is great.


 

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Yesterday my van wouldn’t start, just as I needed to use it to help Chris haul wood to build a new stage for The Space. Me and John Wagner tried to troubleshoot it, and had the entire starter motor removed at one point, but with no luck. This afternoon I took the battery in to Pep Boys to have checked and charged, which seemed to fix my problem. It may not be much to look at, but I’m going to try and keep that van running for as long as I can.

After a whole summer of no moped thefts, Bob, a non-moped army member in town, got his stolen last night. He had it parked on the tip of the north side outside of the Frank Street building. The kids cut through his chain like nothing. He should of had it U-locked. Some of us are going to go out looking for it tomorrow. If we don’t get it within a couple of days it will be destroyed for sure.

A few weeks ago me and Ivo traded a Photoshop file back and forth to create an image. Here are the progress shots. You can click on the final image to see a full sized view.

simon

ivo

simon

ivo

click here for the full sized final version.


 

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Today is all about pefect fall weather, moped riding, art receptions and rock shows.

All afternoon, every couple of seconds, I’ve been peaking out of my window to see if the UPS driver is here. I don’t have a doorbell, and I’m afaid that (s)he’ll come and I won’t notice. The tracking number I have tells me that my new 21” monitor will be delivered today. Now that my system is acceptable speed-wise, I’ve started to focus more on output: monitors, scanners, printers.

Last week I finished reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. This is an amazing book that anyone involved in visual arts should read. He deconstructs not just comics, but the history between visual and written communication. His common sense examples and clear diagramming of this relationship really points out the opportunities that alot of strictly visual or strictly written communicators miss out on.


 

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This weblog has a new look, and Iím going to try and keep it updated. I need to be able to keep a record of my life; my memory just isnít cutting it anymore.

I got a piece of mail today urging me to vote Yes on Proposal A here in Kalamazoo on November 6th. Itís written with a lot of pseudo speak like Keep Kalamazooís equal rights laws! STOP homosexual special rights laws!. What theyíre proposing by keeping the current law, is to keep a law that blatantly allows discrimination against homosexuals.

It sucks that the commission for this proposal has the money to send out this sort of pamphlet to everybody in town. On the back are quotes directed toward different groups like Catholics and African-Americans, explaining to them why they should hate gays through religious talk. ĒJesus didnít condemn anyone, but he did condemn behavior.Ē.

So to anyone who is registered in Kalamazoo to vote, take the time to do so on November 6th. Vote NO on proposal A.

I finally got the tire on my van fixed today. It’s been flat for weeks now, and I bent a lug wrench trying to get it off. John Wagner helped me pump it up with his air compressor. The good news is that it’s holding air okay, though I’ll need to keep an eye on it. The bad news is that it’s destroyed enough that Discount Tire won’t fix it for me, and won’t put my spare on because it’s destroyed too. What I need is a new set of tires, but they’ll cost me $400.

This Halloween wasn’t as exciting as ones past. I think the fact that it was located in the middle of the week contributes to that. There was a party, on the Friday before (thanks Dave), but it just wasn’t as out of control as before. Maybe it’s because Dave’s mom or Dan wasn’t there. Maybe it was because Bill acting like himself instead of a character.


josh and bay, halloween 2001


 

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As far as who can tell?


Chicago, IL

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