Archive for March, 2002

Flustrated? Try spamradio

March 31, 2002

OK, I just heard “flustrated” on the radio yesterday. The speaker was from Fresno. An painting teacher I used to have during my brief art school period used that terms as well. I guess it blends flustered and frustrated?
Meanwhile, I’m finding spamradio to be oddly soothing.

Mosquito Hawk

March 29, 2002

I noticed, without it registering, the neighbors’ garbage cans down on the curb this morning as I drove B downtown to her job. Lately we’ve been walking part of the way to her work together. We walk through our neighborhood angling down to Park Boulevard and then to her bus stop, where I turn around and climb the hill back to my home office. Just now I was writing a long-ish reply to questions from a writer I represent and hearing the sounds of the garbage trucks outside without really heeding them.
Suddenly, as I clicked the Queue button, I put one and two together and realized that I had not put out the garbage (or the yard waste) last night or this morning. I went out and saw that the truck was already a few doors down the hill. I grabbed my garbage can and started wheeling it down the street. The truck moved off quite a ways, not noticing or waiting for me. I didn’t want to slow them down on their route so I just kept trundling down the block and caught up with them at the next stop. The guy gave me a quizzical look but put out his gloved hands to take my can from me.
First he smashed his fist on the handle, killing and knocking off a wasplike insect that I believe was a mosquito hawk. (One of my favorite lines from Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly concerns the druggies killing a mosquito hawk for their frightened neighbor and then telling her that they are harmless: “If I knew it was harmless,” she replies, “I would have killed it myself.”)
He hoisted the can high and dumped our garbage in to the back of his truck and gave the container back to me.
Hey, that was my insect I was thinking, from the ecology of my house, but I also thought that of course the man was doing me a favor, and probably has to deal with spiders (which is what I thought he was crushing at first), slugs and snails, stinging insects and other slime. Let him do his job his way and I’ll keep doing mine mine.

Gettin' Serious about PHP & MySQL

March 28, 2002

On shacker’s recommendation (a while back) I finally today ordered Jay Greenspan’s book on Database-backed web applications using PHP and MySQL. Along with a book another book on PHP applications (this one by David Medinets) and the entire online community devoted to sharing info, I think I have the equipment I need to get the hang of this model of dynamic website building.

I also now have the time, or I will when my Dreamweaver book is finished, within a week or so.
Writing this from my couch, enjoying a clear Airport signal now that I moved the base station.

Paddle Your Own

March 26, 2002

Went out onto Goodyear Slough in Suisun (so-soon) Bay over the weekend, canoeing with B in Save the Bay‘s “Canoes and Sloughs” weekend program. Man, it was a glorious day! Threatening to rain, yes, but the clouds were billowy and fat, the wind gave us something to struggle against, and the color of the sky, the green hills, the tawny marsh grasses were just stunning. Probably the first outing I’ve had in months. The first airing, the first exercise besides yoga and walking.
It took a little while for us to get the hang of paddling together, but we figured it out after a while. There’s just something about being out on water, “messing around with boats,” that I’ll always love. Yes, now the heels of my palms and various other muscles in my back and shoulders are complaining, but so what? It was worth it.

For the Want of a Torx T-8 Screwdriver Tip…

March 25, 2002

…the back of his g4 powerbook stayed screwed on tight, for the want of an opening, the airport card stayed uninstalled, for the want of an airport card, the plan of sitting on the couch while answering e-mail and idly browsing the web was postponed.

Take a Picture It Lasts Longer

March 24, 2002

Last night, standing outside my backdoor, looking at the chimney on the grill, charcoal smoke wafting up into the air, the driveway sloping down to the old garage/shed, the billowy clouds and blue sky, a fantastic perspective, I thought about running to get my digital camera and snapping a picture, then thought, Art is about noticing these things, a reminder about how it feels to be alive. Just drink it in. Just enjoy it.

At Last, the '70s Again

March 22, 2002

I know that retro-’70s nostalgia has been with us for almost two decades ago. In fact, the television show called “That ’70s Show” is about a period now as long ago as the ’50s were when “Happy Days” was the rage. (Look closely and you’ll see that the show is somewhat similar, with another red-haired scamp and his dorky friends along with one “cool” one.)
ButI feel a different kind of ’70s coming on. The ’70s of the post-’60s letdown and hangover. If you believe in these thirty-year cycles as a quick read of history, then the Internet utopianism of the ’90s was a clear echo of the rock ‘n’ roll fantasies of the ’60s. Now once again we are in the period of retrenchment. The dreams are being rolled back. A corrupt Republican president dismantles our freedoms one cynical move at a time.
Of course, if you squint hard enough just about anything can be seen as analogous to just about anything else.

Posting from my TiMac

March 21, 2002

Just downloaded iJournal for Mac OS X. Discovered my Farallon Skyline wireless card doesn’t have a Carbon driver yet. Gonna try the OS X Eudora next. This thing is beautiful. I’ll snap a picture soon.
Just attended EB’s art show opening at CCAC’s North Gallery on College at Broadway near the Oakland/Berkeley border. The whole Nastek 2000 crowd showed up. Fantastic, mysterious art. EB seemed to be in her element. She told me she recently read the journal, wondering how people who don’t know me or B might interpret it. A stranger asked me a few weeks back to write for a new ‘zine, adding the p.s. “Your LiveJournal rocks…” so I guess it’s not entirely unintelligible to strangers.
Must remind myself to post some thoughts about ‘s recent post about the two types of blogs and the reasons for journaling online. So much to digest recently but I’ll get it all out eventually.

That Urge to Go Underground

March 19, 2002

For the first time in months I keep feeling disinclined to report on my thoughts and observations here. Hard to explain why, except that I seem to have an awful knot in the pit of my stomach.

I Guess I Wasn't Really Paying Attention

March 16, 2002

Took a break from working on my book today to run three errands along Lakeshore and Grand aves today. First, I parked in the large lot on Lakeshore and walked by the crowd outside Peet’s across the street to my friendly bank from Washington that came in and bought up all the banks a few years ago, greatly improving service. Deposited a check for B, deposited an advance check into the Open Publishing checking account, and transferred my monthly savings to the joint savings account. So far, so good.
Now, my left shoulderblade has been killing me lately, probably from falling asleep on the couch with my head and neck propped in an awkward position, somewhere between a good angle to watch the TV and a good angle for dropping off to nod. There’s also a parallel pain in my chest on the left side, either a chest muscle or the lung itself. My allergies have been bad lately (so windy and with the Spring starting), so it could be that, or it could just be the same overall muscle ache or pull, with overcompensation and a parallel affect on the other side of the body. Who knows? Anyway, I’m standing there waiting for the pedestrian light to change to walk again and I’m trying to stretch my shoulders and back muscle. Then I feel like doing a standing forward bend, and only then do I notice that I somehow—in my haste to rush out and do these errands—put on two nonmatching shoes, a black one on the left and a brown one on the right:
[two shoes]
I felt a mild, private form of embarassment, but I also found it strangely amusing. I looked around and of course nobody had noticed, although I do suspect most women of looking at shoes and noticing them far more often than I do myself. Like, whenever I think about how I don’t like my shoes and would like new shoes but I can’t figure out really even what my options are—what looks good these days, what other men are wearing, that sort of thing—I tell myself I should start looking at guy’s shoes. Just look down and notice what other people at work are wearing, guys on the street, wherever. But then I never remember to do that.
The other two errands (returning videos and exchanging smoke detectors) were relatively uneventful, though it was nice to be out on a sunny day tooling around in Mr. Bean and gettin’ stuff done. When I got home I remembered to snap the above picture before changing my shoe(s).