personal comments edit

The Ironic Email of the Day award goes to the spam I just received to advertise… anti-spam software.


personal, family comments edit

This weekend went, as most weekends do, altogether too quickly and now that it’s Monday I can only wonder at the speed with which the weekend sped by.

Honestly, I barely remember what I did. I know that Saturday morning I vacuumed the apartment and dusted stuff. That sucked. The rest of Saturday… I don’t remember. We eventually ended up going to Hollywood Video and renting some movies and the PS2 game The Sims.

Saturday night we ended up playing The Sims too long and didn’t watch any of the movies. Jenn and I discovered that The Sims is specifically engineered to appeal to the micromanagers of the world. The stupid characters you create require so much attention that it’s almost hard to have fun with it. We played it forever, just trying to figure out how to make the characters happy. What we decided is that it’s too real: There are just not enough hours in the day to actually keep your characters happy and meet all of their needs adequately. Just like life, huh?

Sunday we made the rounds to visit parental units. After a quick stop at Jenn’s parents’ house, we went over to my parents’ to hear about their recent trip down through Reno, NV, to Las Vegas, then up through Provo, UT (for my sister’s graduation), then home again. As far as I’m concerned, yuck. I’m not one for car trips, and this one is no different.

At one point, they went to Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley. Dad told stories about how the place came to be and what it was all about. Mom told a story about how bad she had to poop on the way there. I think that pretty much sums up how that trip went.

While we were there, we watched Ghost Ship, one of the movies that Jenn and I had rented. It was actually pretty decent, with a good ending and everything, sort of like a big Twilight Zone episode.

After that we went home to finish up the laundry while we watched another of our rentals, Wasabi. That was a French comedy/action movie from Luc Besson and was pretty good. Great soundtrack, too. I find that I like to watch foreign films in their natural language with English subtitles rather than with English overdubbing. There’s something about overdubbing that just doesn’t work for me. Unless it’s Jackie Chan.

After Wasabi was a new Alias, which was probably the highlight of my weekend. It ruled, and I can’t wait for next week’s two-hour season finale.

And… now it’s Monday. Ugh. I’m sooooo tired. And I have a headache. Someone just shoot me.

music comments edit

I’ve mentioned this idea before, but I keep thinking about it so I thought I’d expand on it here: The idea that music can be represented by a mathematical equation of some nature and can potentially be analyzed for certain qualities that can be reproduced in other songs.

First we need to find a way to accurately represent music mathematically; that is, to be able to model every aspect of a piece of music numerically. This would have to include the type of instruments being played, the notes themselves, the quality of the singer’s voice, the rhythm, the volume… every possible quality of a given piece of music.

Then we need to do this modeling for several pieces of music. Model similar pieces - pieces by the same composer, pieces played by the same band/orchestra. Discover the similarities in the pieces. Now model very dissimilar pieces. What makes them different from each other?

With enough data, you could generate a model for how music looks mathematically. From that model, you could potentially create a formula for the generation of other pieces of music.

This would totally revolutionize the music industry as we know it. Someone needs a song, they plug in a few parameters into the formula and out pops a new hit tune. People could create a song-generating machine - push a few buttons, it prints out the sheet music with all the arrangements and everything for a pop hit or a new symphony.

What would that mean for creativity? Would it mean that good songwriters are the people who naturally understand this equation? Would it put the songwriters out of business? Or would it change the way songs need to be written? Maybe both?

personal comments edit

I had this dream the other night that Greg Brady was a serial killer and I was the next victim.

The thing about it is, I don’t know if it was a movie I was watching in my dream, or if that was just the dream. Around the time that I was going to find out, Jenn got up to pee, then came back and started a fit of sneezing. Halfway through the sneezing fit, the cat started crying really loud outside the door and decided it would be a good idea to just stand in the middle of the Sofa Scram mat so the alarm would just stay on. She doesn’t like the sound of the mat, but I think she realizes the humans don’t like it, either.

Fucking cat.

When I have weird dreams like that, Jenn and I will compare in the morning to see whose dream was weirder. But it’s no contest; when Jenn dreams, she dreams “realistic” - only stuff that could actually happen. My dreams… whoa, Bundy.

hardware comments edit

I did this network upgrade of my primary workstation to Windows XP Professional so I could test the deployment that we’re going to use to upgrade the whole company. In the process, I found that the upgrade seemed to have broken some of the software on the computer, so I started looking at fixing it. Eventually I ended up opening a support call with Microsoft because it was just not getting fixed.

I got a support rep on the phone this morning and we started reinstalling certain components to see if we could get things back up and running. At one point I rebooted the machine and saw this message:

The hard drive controller detects imminent failure of the disk. Please backup your data and replace the drive.

Uh oh. I don’t like that at all. But, fine, most of my stuff’s already backed up anyway (at least, the mission-critical stuff is), so I wasn’t too worried. I hit the key to continue booting the machine…

… and it wouldn’t come up. It just wasn’t working. So now I’ve got a new hard drive in the machine and I’m rebuilding the whole thing from scratch.

This is exactly what I wanted to be doing today.