November, 2004: 13 posts.
On the eve of a national election here in the United States, I feel as though all things are changing.
From Wikipedia: Lever:
In physics, a lever is a rigid object that is used with an appropriate fulcrum or pivot point to multiply the mechanical force that can be applied to another object. This is also termed mechanical advantage, and is one example of the principle of moments. The principle of leverage can also be derived using Newton’s laws of motion and modern statics.
It feels as though all things are about to change.
Change is already occurring,
On Saturday Leah’s kids played the last football game of their season.
On Sunday we changed from Daylight Savings to Standard Time.
Last week my part time gig moved offices.
The weekend before last I saw some family who had been thousands of miles away, for years. It was useful.
Last week it rained cats and dogs.
It’s cold again in our house. The fan will be stored, and the heaters are coming out.
The cat is less crazy, and more snuggly. This proves, I think, that part of why he likes us is to maintain his body temperature. Yes, this is a cynical view. I admit he also likes us for the wet food.
School admission dates are happening now. I’ll not state where I’m applying for the moment. But they’re all in the Los Angeles area. Yes, that change will happen.
Today Leah got word that she’s gotten a job in the L.A. area starting in January! I’m excited! Time is changing.
I intend fo have some party’s here in San Diego before we move. Maybe people can come see our killer Sherman Heights place before we go. Maybe we’ll even make it a rent party!
And I’ve not even mentioned the election yet.
Tomorrow I, and my my fellow Americans have the opportunity to participate in a process that has lasted for centuries. An imperfect, complex process. A wonderful, scary process. A process that makes us the greatest democratic republic on the planet.
Lord help us, I hope the process works. And I pray that there will be a clear winner, and that the divisiveness that the Republican Party and President Bush have fomented these past four years will begin to fade into memory.
My fear of course is that it will get worse before it gets better.
But we stand at a pivot point in time, where great power may shift.
Do your part to help shift that power. Vote for John Kerry for President.
And please, wish Leah and I luck in our future. I have grown so much in the past year. I’m ready for the next version of myself.
Onward, and to victory!
Best thing I’ve read today is over on waxy.org: Greg Knauss on the Political Divide
Yes, It’s been quiet in here.
Catching up a little.
just posted this to websandiego mailing list:
I don’t know.
What it feels like that with my personal involvement down to nominal levels, the feeling of “action” on the list is much less than it used to be. So people simply don’t *think* to post to the list.
There’s a pile of to-do’s for me in here, as well as in other parts of my life, and I’ve not the energy to do them. I’ve failed to delegate these, as well.
I’m wondering if maybe what we need is to “hot-tub” the list:
Or do something else.
As it is, it’s very quiet, and not as vibrant as it once had been.
People used to always credit me with the greatness of the list, and I have always demurred. It is the contributions of the list-at-large that make the list great. If the list is sucking or not as great as it once was, it’s not me, but rather a dimunition of the contributions of the list as a whole.
As it is, I am too consumed with 1) school and 2) my personal life to devote to this list the level of commitment and effort that I once did.
What are your thoughts on the future of WebSanDiego?
Great H.L. Mencken Quote, via the Interesting People List
When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the
most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack, or count himself lost. His one aim is to disarm suspicion, to arouse confidence in his orthodoxy, to avoid challenge. If he is a man of convictions, of enthusiasm, or self-respect, it is cruelly hard…
The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even a mob with him by the force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second or third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.
The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
— H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
This is not really new, but it’s something I want to do more work on. Much of the code is in C++ (the topic of a current class I’m taking), so maybe this is worth looking over very closely. Analysis of an Electronic Voting System from February 27, 2004, by Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, Aviel, D. Rubin, Dan S. Wallach.
Lyrics of the moment (from The Drug Suite by Stew):
adams and crenshaw is beautiful and we
laughing in the sun
we parachute into church so we can sing
practice is done
when we raise our voice
stoned angels weep
i can feel the holy ghost
creeping up on me
and suddenly there is a meaning
arlington hill helped me see everything
cause suddenly there is a meaning
“If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.”
— Albert Einstein
Was it back in June? Dang.
Today I’m puttering.
Puttering is what Leah calls it when I work on miscellaneous stuff. It may include, but is not limited to: doing dishes, doing laundry, organizing my comics, taking a bath, doing homework, blogging, doing invoices, rearranging furniture, alphabetizing tapes and CDs (not anymore, that’s what iTunes is for), throwing out the trash, cleaning up cat poop.
Today I’m doing a few of these, but not nearly all of them.
One thing I’ve been meaning to write about was the Reality Show I auditioned for.
I found some old notes I had taken on the directions to the studio.
It was back in June. There was a posting to craigslist, Leah forwarded it to me. I sent an email to some anonymous address, and I got a call like a few hours later.
I asked Leah if I should call back. She asked me how I felt. I said “strange.” I wasn’t expecting an answer, and yet here it was.
I called back, and got an audition.
I “auditioned” on a Monday. Showed up for a 1pm meeting.
No, I didn’t ever really talk about it here. Caution I guess. The subject of the show was weight loss.
First thing I did when I arrived at the studios in Manhattan Beach on the Raleigh Studios lot was go in the main gate and park in the designated “visitors area.” Nice security guard lady gave me a generic parking pass. I parked, and made my way to 3Ball Productions.
They gave me a 10 page (or so, I didn’t count) questionnaire. So many questions. I took some notes about it. It asked me if I ever hit anyone. It asked the typical “job interview” questions: what are your strengths? what are your weaknesses?
It also asked if I had ever been featured on any websites. This was around the part of the questionnaire where they asked if I would have any objections to putting my family on camera. I specifically said “only if they agree to it.” This was also the area where they asked about felony convictions.
I sort of figured that all the websites I take part in would basically disqualify me, but I felt as though I had a shot. I’m an energetic, personable overweight guy. I’m a great candidate!
As I was filling out the questionnaire, in the nondescript office block, I could see and overhear the production assistants and staff talking about “The Terminal” and what kind of numbers it did over the weekend. L.A. never changes — people love to talk about box office figures. I also overheard them talking about Wes Anderson, which was sort of cool.
The questionnaire must’ve taken about 45 minutes. I handed it to a redheaded female PA in flipflops. She takes it to an office and (presumably) to the producers for review.
Afterwards an East Coast guy (nice guy) comes out and takes me to a small room. This was the on-camera (camcorder) interview. The guy was personable, and had read my questionnaire, sort of playing talk show host from behind the camera as I answered, on-camera. It was sort of fun. It was so self-conscious for a while, then it was fine. That is the same feeling I got being on the radio. It’s intimidating, but strangely natural. Not that I want to spend lots of time in the media spotlight, but I could do it if I needed to.
The thing I remember most about the interview, 5 months on, is that I told the guy about blogs and said he should check out Defamer (the snarky Nick Denton L.A. entertainment blog). Who knows? Maybe he did. He had not really heard of blogs before. I guess I can’t stop evangelizing blogs, even when just talking about myself.
After the 30-minutes-or-so interview I said good-bye and made my way home.
The show I think is this one The Biggest Loser, which matches what I was told about the format and matches the production company. At the time they didn’t know what the show’s title was going to be about.
It’s a mixed blessing to be rejected from a show called “The Biggest Loser.”
And that, kids, was my experience in Reality-TV-land.
Okay, back to puttering.
the LUNG part of artLUNG dot com is not something I worry about much, but occasionally I come across illustrations or sites that are interesting go me. so i’m hard-drive cleaning, and i cleaned this one off to flickr. heaven knows whose copyrights I’m violating, but it’s a cool illustration i picked up months ago.