Apathy - geek rock nerd jazz

Fitch: dgfitch@yahoo.com

"Who's got some famous last words?"

#   bifurbic rivets
ve   bovineinversus
rc3   browse-o-tron
hack   yuppieslayer
zippy   lycos top50
pokey!   card house
onfocus   bluesnews
memepool   genehack
pitchfork   tinomen
streettech   medley
eaton-blogs   eaton
robot wisdom   bird
awad   random   oed
linux   geek   suck
syzygy   /.   pitas
jlileks      scalzi
camworld    barrett
flutterby  meta log
anildash    entropy
gorjuss      grouse
kottke   aa   looka
kempa   pjoe   pcjm
math   saturn   nbs
jjg   westernh   jc
al   mr pants   ars
a   metaseen   almt
ly   renegade   bud
dog   anitalol   tv
bump   newsfeed   :
slave   rebeccab
raster   scribble
britain   valueape
strgbrew   gmtplus9
magnetbox   peterme
lystworthy   pigdog
lake effect   feed!
monosyllabic   rock
record addict   1sf
northern light   ev
about - bomis     !

Upcoming: Opinionation, Lewis Carroll Logic
Currently: Unfortunate Random Mode

Noise, noise, noise: In between frolicking through the 404s of the web searching for data on the next coherent update, I went off on a noise tangent starting from the All That Noise underground / noise / experimental linklist. Quite a few dead ones, but the chaff led in some way or another to the following places:

  • Sheep Fiends are the indescrible genre lifters. They have a veritable ton of mp3s on mp3.com if you're feeling adventurous.
  • Mechanoise is sonic warfare, with 4 band/idea-makers creating-creating. Most of you would probably not enjoy this type of random war against senses, I'm guessing. But the pages are interesting, even if the music is off your dial.
  • Broke Bunnie Recordings carries a softer, ambient set of noise by so-called "amateurs". It's a non-profit label, lots and lots of mp3s. I recommend Acumentice on the slightly spastic side, Toho on the new-agey side [quite good], and Violent Feast if you liked the MIDI soundtrack to DooM.
  • WFMU pops up again as the radio station to beat. They have interpretative comics based on Captain Beefheart lyrics, by gum! Also, just plain weird comics decorate their halls -- unique for a radio station. The upcoming events page lists many intruiging things, but most notably December 12th and 13th David Grubbs stops by with an amazing cast of notable French performers to to a show of improvisation, and a show of his tunes. Note to self: Do not miss this.

I keep finding links to noiseweb.org but the domain is down. Sounds like a fun place, too.


Sad; Pokey, the beloved king of Unternet comedy got hacked today. Thanks a lot, Fishingboat-man.


I remembered what movie I forgot when I talked about BJM being the best flick in a long time. Babe, how could I forsake thee? Okay, I'm a guy (tee hee alice) that's not afraid to admit... I enjoyed that film most thoroughly.


Searching for visual aids on quantum computing, I am reminded why I love Google: This URL is no longer around, so search on it and up pops a mirror. Unfortunately, not quite what I sought.

Off to the Centre for Quantum Computation with its Hofstadter-esque logo, and eventually we find Quantum computation: a tutorial. Boggle...


Weird Pictures:

Doctor Megavolt [pigdog]

Doctor Fun [nowthis]

And while we're in the vein of pictoral oddity, the Brunching Shuttlecocks are still having fun. Way too much hilarity going on with The Guy Who Knows Karate. That first picture looks a lot like Keith Noto! [coworker]

Classic Brunching toys you may or may not have seen: Metal or Trek?, Elvis Movie or Cocktail?, Porn or Pony?, Sports Car or Impotence Drug?, Ten Question Purity Test, Chat Room Bingo, Yahoo Yahoo, and you best Certify.


I should prolly read through Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style sometime. [me love anitar]


Britain is back with a vengeance. Another Darn Fine Pita.



Pointer Wars [memepool]

Holy technical parallell processing, Batman! [renegade gene haven]

Raster has a funny bit for 11/24: Pokémon Character or Unix Application?

Browserola Browser Emulator [unknown originator] The Perl Power Tools: Unix Reconstruction Project is a very impressive project headed by Tchrist, with the goal of fully emulating all common Unix cmdline apps in Perl. This will be a godsend when complete, and I wish I had it a year ago. PPT Doneness gives you an idea of the scale... this project has already come a long way.

XBlog [lw metalog]

Asheron's Call beginner's review carries through in true role-playing style. Also see the PC.IGN review. File under "The Horrors of the MSN Gaming Zone".


Whilst rocking yest'rday morn, swaying to the praises of Silkworm I rememb'red their photo-graphic display and checked back in time to see more picture-wares on display. Like this serene image of Silkworm and Shellac floating on a ferry-boat!

While we're on the topic of flashing colors, Made in Mexico has some fine artsy-fartsy photos of the Pedro the Lion/Damien Jurado tour last year and the just Pedro the Lion tour this year.


Bob Seric seems to be maintaining both a Blogger-powered normal log and a Pita here in the kingdom of fun. His main collaboration domain-page thingy houses some good hijinx, like the Stickman Appreciation Page - "The Stickman. What an incredible thing."


Just a quick note as I depart for a wintry walk: no Opinionation issue this weekend. It shall be delayed until I find mo' bettah content to throw at it.

Right now, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find papers/sites with opinions about opinions. Have to improve my search methodology.
Buzz me if you come up with something, please.

Logging will continue on the pretty darn daily schedule! It can be stopped by nothing, except maybe the release of Quake 3... [sustained orchestra dissonance]


Almost forgot. Today is Buy Nothing Day.


Or maybe it's Steal Something Day [yslayer] ... I'm confused.

[11/26/1999, later]

Aside: It's really quite difficult to buy or steal when you're working.

[11/26/1999, later still]

For the requisite Thanksgiving link, I'm pretty sure I've seen the Onion run this at least three years in a row now: Make a Hand Turkey


Muckyfoot.com [ex-Bullfrog guys, including the lead art director for Magic Carpet] churned out one very fun Urban Chaos demo. Yes, it's as clichéd as it sounds, but what a blast. You're gonna need a 3d accelerated Windows machine to play. It looks great, partially due to their crinkle technology which makes it simple to extrude textures from their normally flat housing.

Also, don't miss their level editing insider peek, which includes a groovy graphical discussion of game states. [aka game AI]

Fight on! "You're booked, punk."


Being John Malkovich finally reached Madison. It took a day to fully sink in, but that film was excellent in every sense of the word. I might have missed or forgotten something obvious, but I don't think I have seen a movie of that level for a few years. The puppetry and general theme brought a Dis Plan lyric to mind: "Every time I try to stand up for myself, I feel my knees start to buckle, buckle yeaaaah."

Dang, super movie site too. Funny Picture Ablum, Funny Noodleman Security Guy, Unbelievable Puppetry


Really strange spiderbait? Go here with login Guest, password Arpa. The man has a plan for fudging the spammers. I still think his dadaist text is fun to just read through. [hint: some of the email adresses link to other urls] Hit this while doing the query: opinions + reviews + anonymity in several engines.


This was a link on Robot Wisdom. All I have to say is, disgusting. It gets worse. But, at least their links page is highly humorous. Whee!


Etymology of nerd and geek [groovy kottke] I knew nerd was likely a Seussian invention, and it's good of them to point out that the "circus freak" meaning of geek was just a transitive thing. However, this sentence makes positively no sense at all: "Geeks can be nerds, but nerds can't be geeks." Obviously not written by a fan of logic.


Headphone amps: Crank dat rock.

I just don't understand amplification. I need to get louder output from my portable CD. Something I can stick in my pack, that doesn't cost more than the phones I have.

This tour of the universe got touched off by the cheap lil' Boostaroo, reviewed by Dan's Data and Street Tech.

From the tiny amp with decent output to the big ol' box with 70's-style LED bar graph... Who knows, you might actually need studio-style headphone amp racks.

Or, go to the incapacitatingly expensive part of the scale, then you get cool Quicktime VR models of the wallet-busters. (This review points out that the Grado amp only works well with Grado phones, so out with that.) These Headroom guys are alright, a few of their techs do Epinions: Todd & Tyll. They both think the Sennheiser HD 580s [my current primary phones] are a good bang for the buck: Todd on 580 & Tyll on 580.

Headroom's premiere product is way out of my league. I'd be looking at the AirHead. However, a hardcore audiophile's review finds that it's got interference and radio tuning trouble. ZDNet says, "Duh, what amplification?"

Almost feeling crazy enough to do this: Build your own headphone amp , or cheat with a pre-packaged kit. The schematics for these things are a bit beyond my level of circuitry comprehension.

I'm learning here, but I think it has come back full circle to the Boostaroo. Just want to blast the music with less distortion, so I won't hear the bus honking as it careens towards me. Heck, the Boostaroo costs less than the price of two CDs; not too much of a loss if it stinks.

Extraneous audio sites found during this search:
An excellent drill-down portal for audio information. And oh yes, the Headwise guy maintains a decent general headphone FAQ. Soundstage Audio Reviews and Soundstage Music Reviews look handy if I suddenly become rich and picky.


Graphics marketing strikes back in a rather pathetic and underhanded way. Read the article if you are: a.) a computer nerd, b.) a student of advertisement, or c.) someone who believes in the general goodness of humanity. Assume nothing...

Ars Technica is an excellent resource for slicing, in-yr-face geek rumour-mongering when Slashdot isn't quite cutting it. It's swiftly becoming my one stop for priority hardware, OS, and game news, and their detailed reviews are a step above the rest. With the ArtX spectacle, do I have reason to doubt?

[This should make a good segue into this weekend's Opinionation issue.]


Jeff was very nice and let me gamble to get the rights to my firstborn child back. (crossing fingers...)


Didn't notice these new Shut up, I'm talking essays had been posted last weekend, and they are a good little bunch:

I've played paintball with the boss and coworkers, but never got paid for it. Shucks.


Different Things Found in Pitas: A Christmas Wish List Log, Geekwings, Machim, and Wisdom. Andrew should be a proud father; I rarely comprehend the depth and span of his poke-funnery.


Thanksgiving Filler [wisdom]


I am listening to the funky fresh Starflyer 59 record. It is engulfing me, growing on the senses slowly. Dig that color. It gets me in the mood... for holiday! [aside: they're playing an acoustic show? syntax error, grok failed]


Bohavia slow-mo RPG looks interesting, from a Salon text gaming article.


Interesting Win32 shells:
Europa 3D OpenGL shell
Icesphere, with Python interpreter
[will be trying the new Icesphere beta this weekend]


Mike's Radio World: I'd been looking for a comprehensive list of college radio stations that broadcast on the net. There it is. [mrpants rox]


Zany Video Game Quotes [too durn many funny ones] Hee hee! Battle Clash, shooting large robots with shoulder-mounted rifle! Well, crud. Castlevania 2 always confused me. I beat this space shooter. The Fossil twins! Now we know why Earthbound Zero never hit the streets. What a resolute ass! FF1 Well. The classic FF quote. Farming games rule, especially when you get the girls. Watch the shoes, he's back. Magic Sword: "Get me escape!" Rap games must die. Phantasy Star on the ol' Sega scares the children. In Soul Blazer, this passed for plot. Strange and wonderful things. Terranigma is crazy enough without the unintentional pointless rhyming and bad translation. [mrpants again and again!]


Blink promised to send me an email "immediately" after Pokey updated next. Start the stopwatch, there's a new puppy.

[New Pokey Alert]

Humor: Ten Consecutive Corners. [another McSweeneys masterpiece]

Read the Story of Mr. Show. Then, relive the magic with unofficial transcripts. Hee hee, one of the all time craziest transitions (commercial malfunction to marriage skit to badly-done cop show) In my opinion, this show is their peak. Too bad the transcript doesn't have the subtle wordplay of the mustayoardaisse commercial string.

This handy site houses a recent disjointed interview with Bob and David from the Austin Chronicle, where they talk a bit about the possible Ronnie Dobbs skit-powered movie vehicle.

The troupe of performers known as the Upright Citizens Brigade is the last bastion of good skits on television. They have got themselves quite the arty site, but it's not too difficult to make out that there's going to be new season starting January 17th on Tuesdays. Rock.

Witness the UCB Manifesto as it kicks the walls down. The ChronoNotebook of the Brigade is done more in the style of the television show.

Elsewhere, here's a slightly offensive comedy mp3, kinda related to my earlier blabbering about q3a. (but probably only roll-on-the-floor hilarious if you're a game geek.)


They're making a Pern game. Reading McCaffrey pulled me through a tough spot in the elementary school, so I am worried about how they are going to murder my imagined visions. This is a video of one of the dragons. [big file, slow server] Oof, that model is detailed but in none of the ways I pictured. [ve]


You would probably consider me shy. This is a debilitating disease? Oops. Holding head in hands -- But Auntie, I mustn't embarass meself. Ooh, I am so afeared of those other devil-children! [run in fright from medley]


Making styles and tables play nicely... a must read for me and my constantly mis-behaving tables. [thx to eatonweb]


EchelonWatch: The ACLU is helping out with digging for public information about the mythical Echelon system. Go write to your congress-peeple, they make it very easy and painless. [grouse]


HTTPD guesser [from pcjm, of all places]


This corner-cutting design is superb for seperating Aureal's consumer and corporate sites.

I can't wait for the Aureal SQ3500 Turbo. MP3 decompression fully in hardware, and playing multiple sound streams is a piece of cake. Sa-weet.


Beware: Intense geekery for the rest of today's entry. Skip it.

Signatures of the real hackers. I want my mommy!

Now for the vi flood. Open the gates...

Claud Fleiner's repository is straightforward, but Ken is insane! Also insane: Somebody's using sed. [and his .vimrc]

Stephen wrote some bracket macros so I don't need to butcher my own!

Adrian's .vimrc has fancy date formatting and last modified autocommands. Oooh, ahhh.

Thomas brings funky tips.

Peppe's cave is full of knowledge as well.

Dr. Chip has color scheme tips and the Real Short Normal Mode List. That'll be good for future reference, as an alphanumerically sorted companion to the O'Reilly quickref.

Hari coded up a slick visual buffer selection app. Very handy to peer at your named buffers whilst editing, I just used it to paste in the correct end of this entry. That's right, the end. [Phew...]


2x3 mini music reviews:

  • Stavesacre - Speakeasy
    Evolving riffs charge. Melodic, challenging drums.
  • Starflyer 59 - Everybody Makes Mistakes
    Sarcastic fuzzy spagwestern. Echoing pop aftertaste.
  • Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Get Happy!!
    Still catching up. Elvis is king.

Quality output from both TND bands. I think the Stave disc tops their previous outings, and the SF59 is close; I have a soft spot for Americana.

Still having CSS problems with the page cross-browser; specifically, the links show up without underlines in Opera, although I don't specifically say not to show them. [except in the sidebar...]. If I force underlined links, Netscape feels the need to underline all text in each paragraph element that follows after the first link. So, I had to change the link color. This is getting ugly, but hopefully it'll all go away with the ever-impending redesign.


In the desert... standing alone with the universe. Stephen Crane writes some wonderful prose, as well as the stunning poetry. [poem via leonard]


Interesting: Lycos has a music directory, with mp3 and decent listings. Lots of neat bands to discover.

They've even got an entry for Frodus, and though they don't list any available tunes it might be a handy resource for finding similar or related music.


Vim interview! Those guys are the best.


Simplified mp3-streaming solution: MyCaster. Perhaps I'll set up a server over Turkey Day, it looks easy.


sCary's slick Q3A deal might come in handy soon.


Q3A is gold! Prophetic post below; next time, I'll listen closer, fingers.


MP3 of the Week: It's time to expand and contract your musical horizons again! This week, it's split personality song time, visiting two sides of rawk.

The Cootees jump around their happy house and confuse things with this gem of a self-referential song:
The Cootees - (blank) [2.2 megs]

...while Frodus, masters of cranked-out punk jamming, do angry justice to an old Devo song: Frodus - Explosions.mp3 [3.3 megs]

What else is happening? The Dismemberment Plan album is still ruling the crowd in a way few records have. If you're in NY, be sure to catch their show this Tuesday or Wednesday. Even if you're not, stay up past your bedtime and go to The Knitting Factory's site - they're supposedly broadcasting on the wacky Internet. During off hours they show archived gigs. Neat, since they have a lot of crazy jazz-er-rock-er-classical ensembles.

I caught some absolutely crazy band called Magma when updating this Sunday night. They invented a very sharp, bizarre language for their lyrics, and pretend to be visiting from another planet like M...oAM. Apparently this French musical conglomerate has been releasing music since 1970.

Q3A is so close. My fingers are aching in anticipation. Or maybe it might be due to all the links I tore up below.


Viewer mail leads to Leonard Grossman's ModemJunkie column which I have never had the pleasure of reading. While ostensibly not a weblog, he has an excellent linked article style that I find myself wishing I could do on cohesive updates for a particular topic.

I'm not sure if I agree with the emphasis on getting out of the house, doesn't everyone know that's where the big bright burning object is?

Archives go all the way back to upgrading from 14.4 to 28.8, in text format. Man alive, remember that? And now of course, in the most recent article he has joined the world of the fat pipe. It is hard to imagine going from DSL to a 28.8k analog modem. Let us give thanks for what we have.


Bits: If you're not a compulsive weblog surfer, here's some nifty links I've [cough] appropriated from the listed sites. Blink makes it easy for me to track these goofy things, so blame them this time.

Play a game with Snapple. Fun time! [from sara... neat two-person pita concept]

Norm Gregory weblog. He's a fan of Napster, which I went and tried this weekend. Good for those who like popular music, still not much help for tracking down obscure tracks. There's a distributed problem most folks using it are not aware of: when you start the app, you are shunted to one random server of a few, so you don't ever search the entire userbase's collection. [stolen from anitar]

Wow. A Lego AT-AT, so realistically articulated, it's scaring me! I tried to make one back in the day, but it was much smaller and ended up looking more like a mechanized camel than a functioning walker. [thanks to ed]

Beware the Sphericon, son of Möbius! Part of the incredible Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics. [wherefore, bifurback rivets?]

Also see the arXiv.org e-print archive: Science and math papers, with abstracts and Postscripts of each posted for printing. Far more serious than the Math Pages, but both are worth exploring for avenues in math. [mike is on a roll with the geekery]

Insanely huge archive of Microsoft-related "political" cartoons. Sickening in one way, but interesting to see how their ideas duplicate. Intentionally or not. Some browsing later finds me at the site of one Mark Brewer, containing this stunning bug image. [from the lovely backupbrain]

ee cummings index might cm fr handy, and Savoy Magazine's music section is pleasingly all over the board. [both from the font of air pollution]

Milemarkers is quite honestly one of the most engrossing web visions I've had the pleasure of being engulfed in. A picture every mile on a drive from NY to CA. They even have mini-videos where each frame represents a mile; be sure to check out the trip through Utah and Nevada. Bubbling kudos to Kodak. [and to magnetbox via metascene]

Perfect Sound Forever is even more spread into the nooks and crannies of music and un-music than Savoy, above. The current issue contains a wonderfully inconclusive analysis of US Maple. Digging through the archives, I come across this lucky explanation of Magma which I am still being bewildered by live on the Knitting Factory. Amazing music. [again with the metascene!]

What? [shockwave timewasting with misterpants]

If you haven't seen it, check out the Asheron's Call beta log for a few belly laughs. Or possibly a confused look and a click on the back button. [old man murray is causing trouble again]


Last week in the history of the world is here now.


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defunct rock
bach and tone

Dan Fitch dgfitch@yahoo.com: Ever the joker

I swear, I'll get a real blog off the ground soon. Until then, thanks to the wonder-full folk of Pitas.com for hosting my old-fashioned link-list!


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