My Ass Wants Phone Sex

I went to lunch yesterday and was about to call the missus, when I noticed a new entry in my cell’s phone book. A mysterious “J” had appeared above Jessica’s name, above Jeff’s name. Who was J?
I took a look at the phone number and it wasn’t familiar: a strange area code, 888, and a repetitive number: 448-4444. Curious, I called it.
A woman answered, and before I could say howdy, she was telling me how much she wanted to suck my fleshplunger and fully drain me of my milky lifeforce. Well, she didn’t use those words, but you get the idea. Apparently I had called a phone sex line.
Not having lent my phone to anybody, I soon realized that just by chance, and by sitting on my phone in my back pocket, I had entered the number, saved it, and given it a name, all with my clever buttcheek.
Hence the title of this blog entry.

Katamari are Go!

Yesterday I had my first chance to play the cult PS2 game Katamari Damacy. This is the Japanese game where you roll a giant sticky ball (a ‘karamari’) around a virtual world and pick up various things, from candy to pencils, to cats and humans and beyond, creating a snowball effect until, supposedly, you’ve rolled up a ball the size of a star. This is a very addicting game and I loved the quirkiness of it. If I had a PS2, this would definitely be on the list. There’s a lot of chatter about KD, but for a website, you can check out the KD Desktops found here.

Say howdy to Shannon

Well, begosh and indeed begorrah, as my best friend Scott and his wife Kat now have a bouncin’ baby boy called Shannon. After much labor, he dropped like a big fat funky fresh hiphop album sometime around 3 a.m. this morning. I’m told he weighs 8 lbs., which is like a small racehorse or something. Wow! And look at the photo: eyes open already! Blimey.

Time Flies While You’re on the Web

Phil Gyford posts on his ten years being on the Internet. I get namedropped, which is always nice.

OK, to be honest it’s a couple of weeks until the anniversary of when I first ventured online, as it took that long to get my little Mac LC II talking to the Internet, such was the complexity of the unfamiliar fragments of software required. But, armed with the Internet Starter Kit, I finally made it and began exploring.
Which isn’t to claim I was some kind of pioneer; obviously the net was already well past adolescence and the media had probably stopped having to explain what “Internet” was at every mention. But even so, Ted was the only person in the world I knew who was online, so this did feel like an expensive solo mission into the unknown.

That was me, in Japan, having been connected to the ‘net since the late spring of ’94. I remember spending a long time getting my brain around the concept of email (why not write it out, I wondered) and then, later, trying to imagine what a graphical browser might look like when I started hearing about Netscape. Why would you want to see things? I asked. Answer: porn.
For a long time being on the ‘net meant going in using Apple’s ZTerm, and keeping the phone line occupied for hours. One of the earliest texts I have (saved somewhere, should go and find it) is a conversation between me and Dan Waldhoff, who was my Mac connection near where I lived in Japan. I’m asking him where the hell I can find simple household bleach. I think it was Dan who was responsible for getting me into the ‘net and showing what it could be used for. I also immediately joined the Japanese version of AMUG, and went to them for software and hardware problems. In a country where nobody seemed to own an Apple (biggest brand was NEC) this was essential.
My computer at the time? A Powerbook 145B.
Phil continues:

And now? The next ten years? I must admit to a feeling of exhaustion. There’s still plenty to get excited about of course. Even though the fields have long-since been paved over, this place is crammed with people doing wonderful, ingenious things and I’m lucky enough to count many as friends. But at the same time everything I do online these days feels like a chore. A decade ago a new email was a thrill; now it’s another item on the todo list. The Internet’s now just a job and a vast, rickety structure of never-ending commitments I’ve built up over ten years, and I’m not sure where to go from here.

Fortunately, I don’t feel so despondent. Every new development seems to reinvigorate me, even though the actual time I have to explore these things (Flickr, Blogger, RSS, etc.) is limited. I also too spend way too much time on the web, but not because it’s a chore. But that thrill of connecting to “cyberspace” and having words pop up from nowhere is definitely gone, and while I wouldn’t say it’s a chore, but the web has become that most familiar of things, a necessity.

Ted Mills Sings!

Ah yeh, my fine furry freaks, I have uploaded something I’ve had in the wings for a few months: Our almost complete set from my birthday party gig last September. Here me sing the hits of Bowie, the Beatles, Beck, and Byrne, while backed by a crack team of talented musicians. It’s not as cringeworthy as you may think!

The New G5: Week One

One week later, I’m pretty much set up. The G5 is very stable, and I believe what I’ve read that some users have left their’s on for a month or more. However, I have pushed the machine to its (512mb RAM) limit and frozen it, mostly by using three CPU heavy apps in one go, which I would never do usually. The only other time was using–you guessed it–Toast and Jam. There still seems to be some problems in these apps, one between knowing what to do with an external burner set up, and with burning mp3s straight to CDR, encoding to AIFF on the fly. Much easier, I’ve found, is to save as a disc image, then burn. This actually turns out to be faster than the former way. Toast/Jam does not take kindly to Force Quit, which I think is the app coding, not the Mac. Is there a good open source burner with the versatility of Jam? Let me know.
I think it only took a day or two to accept OSX as the system of choice over OS9 (duh, no shit, said my friend Gene). Things I love: 10.3’s Finder windows, allowing easy dragging and dropping and transferring/copying of files. This is such an obvious way to do an interface it’s taken nearly 20 years to come to it. Found that my PCI card won’t work because these two top G5 models have PCI-X inputs. D’oh! I also got my IDE-to-USB cable in the mail ($4 plus a ridiculous $12 postage from eBay, but it was the cheapest on the web), so I can hook up my old secondary drive to the computer and back up my files.
I never used to use OS9’s assigned folders (Applications, Documents, etc.) but find that in OSX it is the obvious choice. This is probably due to the Finder window meaning I never have to go to my desktop to find things. On OS9, that was where all the action happened. Now it’s elsewhere, either in Finder or the Dock. Also: I love F9 (Expose! Woosh!) and F11 (Desktop! NOW!)
I have yet to find a working P2P app or a FTP app that allows connection to some sites I go to. None of the newsreaders I’ve tried connected, but then again, I don’t usually use a newsreader, so I’m most probably doing it wrong.
Finally, .divx, .avi, and those horrid .wmv files work on my computer. Yay! Files come in with the correct filetype/creator. Wow!
I went through my Case-logic books and realized that the 30 or so installation discs inside I will never need or use again. It kind of hit me there. Wow. Time to rearrange some stuff.
Successfully burnt a DVD (fast) though I have had a few coasters. I again suspect this to be Toast stupidity, as it happened when I wasn’t lavishing attention on it, and it is a needy little bastard of a program. I also have encoded a DVD from an old VHS of mine. I set the encoding rate high and it took 3.5 hours just to encode the m2v. This was a 98 minute movie of course, but does that seem long?
I’ve noticed the G5’s speed while using Photoshop, which is designed for dual processor use. Very few fingers were drummed here, I tell ye.

The New G5: Day One

Oh mah lordy, the G5 came today (the wife was home, fortunately, when FedEx turned up). I had requested free 5-day ground delivery, and it only took two days to get here, so I saved some money there.
First: It’s huge and heavy. My G3 looks like an embarrassed cousin next to it, and I felt a bit sad to let the old thing go after its years of service. But remember all the bad things it wouldn’t let you do, I told myself, much like a bereft guy thinks when he starts to long for and romanticize his ex-girlfriend.
I had to go into Virtual PC and grab some files I wouldn’t be getting again, then I shut down the G3 and went through the G5 startup. It plays Royksopp’s “Eple” when you startup the first time–a nice touch. In a few minutes it was ready to go. I had a quick look around. Ooh! Garage Band! Ooh! Graphic Converter pre-installed? Ooh! Quick Books! Ooh!
I shut down and opened the side panel to have a good look inside. I wanted to transfer my two old drives’ worth of stuff over and thought I could just plug ’em in to the secondary drive bay. Oops! Nope–I would learn later that I have IDE drives and these are ATA. Shit.
I backed up my main G3 drive, then, to my LaCie drive after starting up the G3 again. The desktop picture was one of a heartbroken girl crying and playing records, which seemed to suit the mood.
I also discovered that my PCI card (Firewire card with three inputs) doesn’t work in the G5–they take a different kind. I wasn’t even going to try the memory–I have a feeling that ain’t gonna work either.
My only complaint so far–only two Firewire 400 ports kinda sucks. I don’t like to chain too much, and at the moment I have one snaking around the front to the port there.
Installed some essential stuff: Office X (which I bought about two years ago when Jessica was at CalPoly expressly for this moment), BBEdit Lite, Firefox. Spent an hour or two transferring my OS9 mailboxes to Entourage X and figuring out how to easily import all my old bookmarks into Firefox (cut and paste the HTML using BBEdit). Realized feeling at home is directly related to having my Inbox and Bookmarks near me.
Got the desktop looking like my old one and I shall be modifying some more. Computer nice and quiet…
Talked to Mom, who is ready to toss out her iMac–maybe the G3 won’t be going too far then…

Pre-delivery jitters

After five and a half years, I am finally upgrading my Mac system. I am going from a Blue’n’White 350Mhz G3 to a 2.0Ghz Dual Processor G5. Yes, I skipped out on the G4 thing entirely, much like I was able to completely miss Laserdiscs between VHS and DVD. I’ll also be making the jump from OS9.2.2 to OSX 10.3.7. I do have an earlier version of OSX on a secondary drive on the G3, but I use it mostly to dabble with.
Here’s a quick list of things I will be looking forward to leaving behind in the switch:
After 2001, my G3’s complete inability to input an audio signal (a problem that no Mac technician, friend, local mechanic, or librarian was ever able to solve).
The G3’s inability to make DVDs (in particular, .m2v files).
My system’s inability to play any Windows Media Player file, whether standalone or embedded in a web page, and then having it crash IE.
Having no browser that can support GMail.
IE and Toast crashing my system.
Not being able to rip DVDs.
Not being able to use Adobe After Effects without assigning it all my memory and still having it crash my system.
Things I’m not looking forward to:
How am I going to replace all my apps?
Learning UNIX commands–having to rethink my 15+ years of Mac knowledge.
Having to let go of some of my favorite 3rd party share/freeware programs and go looking for OSX versions. For example: SoundJam, SonicWORX (still the best graphic representation of audio signal), Toast Audio Extractor (great for checking levels on homemade CD comps), Track Thief (rips damaged CDs better than any other), BeHierarchic, DiskSurveyor, and UtilityDog). If you know good OSX replacements, please leave a comment!
Things I am looking forward to:
Making DVDs!
Finishing several movie projects!
Working in Audio!
iPhoto in conjuction with Flickr!
Tons of cool share/freeware I don’t even know exists!
Anyway, I’ll be keeping you updated on my progress soon enough…