March 14, 2004 Header
ArtLung. March 2004.

March 2004 Fifty-one posts

Leah and I

Leah and I May hit this this weekend: S/he’s Crafty Craft Fair

Greens for Kerry?

A buddy of mine is tight with these folks… and it’s an interesting concept: Greens for Kerry.

Cox High Speed Internet: Out This Morning

For no reason, Cox was just out for 30 minutes. That chaps my hide.

Historical Spain/USA/Roosevelt/Franco/Bush Observations

in… Bush is a fear president.

I’m considering starting a links blog a la waxy, diveintomark, anil. Anyone else think this is a good idea?

The Theme Today:Games

The Theme Today:Games
Started the day with a rousing game of racquetball with my Aunt and Uncle. This is a followup from Thursday, when I played doubles at my other Aunt’s workplace. Very cool.

After racquetball I went to the bank and gassed up the truck.

The main thing we all did today was go to the Family Fun Center Boomers in Clairemont. The six of us played miniature golf, which was actually pretty fun. Competitive. The question of the day is this: at what point do you learn to enjoy the game, and not focus so much on the competitive aspects of “sports”! Competition is good, but hyper-self-criticism is not so hot. I’m glad I’ve gotten to a point where I can enjoy games like that.

Anyway, we had fun, then the kids rode the go-carts. Then we moved on to the arcade for videogames galore. The older boys played DDR, while Leah’s daughter and her youngest focused on the ticket-garnering games.

Back when I was a kid, I used to love coming to this Family Fun Center. I guess ages 13 to 15 it was a big deal to go there and try to flirt with girls and play Battlezone and Centipede. Centipede is still there, well, actually it was there, as a combined Centipede/Millipede/Missle Command.

The game I really liked today was Mr. Digger – a sort of Tetris / Dig-Dug-ish game. Very frantic, very puzzley, very fast, very fun. I’ll be looking for that one again.

Now we’re back home and I’m watching A League of Their Own, another game-themed affair.

And I just downloaded MacIago, a free Othello-ish game for OS X.

I am worn out from all the activity. But it’s a good kind of tired.

And hey, onward.

Amazing Van –Steve and Natty’s “THE HULK” For Sale

So my friend Steve Kapali got married this month, and is now moving to Hawaii. (I went to his bachelor party which is kind of a fun story — but not for here). Anyway, he and his now-wife Natty tricked out a van to take a cross-country several-months-long trek all around the country. It’s actually linked from my sidebar, and I’ve mentioned it before — Anyway. The amazing van is now for sale. Give a little link love to The Hulk, currently for sale for any interested parties. And even if you’re not interested in buying it, check it out. The pictures and the modifications to the van are amazing!

Site Launch: FireMapper

This past week and today the finishing touches were put on: Space Instruments’ website– The site design was done by Benecke Creative, and I did the underlying html, CSS and JavaScript. It’s got some nifty stuff on it. I particularly am proud of some of the mouseovers in areas like the Oil Spill Mapper and the FireMapper. It’s not terribly accessible code, but it does demonstrate nicely the features of their powerful sensing equipment. I did essentially no design work, other than advising Benecke Creative on what was feasible for mouseovers and navigational text.

Another cool thing, I’ve built the site using PHP, though you cannot really tell that based on the urls. With the powerful mod_rewrite capabilities in Apache (all on wonderful LAMP Host, of course), the site pivots through a few pages of PHP code, which gives me maximum flexibility to control the whole site in once place. Content files are placed in a subdirectory which the client can change using the most basic HTML possible. It’s not a full-blown content management system, but it’s simple, robust, and powerful.

There may be a few more changes to FireMapper in the near future, but they’ll largely be evolutionary. This site is a radical redesign of what came before, and it’s something to be proud of.

Tonight I was given a tour of some of the products showcased on the site, the GIS capabilities and sensing capabilities are remarkable. With the San Diego Fires still fresh in the memories of folks here, these products are relevant. The client indicated to me that their previous site had been inundated with traffic when the last fires hit, as people were searching for “San Diego Fires,” so much so that they got a huge bandwidth bill. We at LAMP Host are working on solutions to let people know when their sites will be approaching such limits, and give people options in that kind of an instance.

David Byrne Divorced, Focused More on Art Than People

Not particularly a newsflash, admittedly

CNN says:

“The gray-haired Byrne, 51 and NEWLY SINGLE, is caught in a frustrating career trap.”

And the Sunday Herald says:

The feelings of alienation were exacerbated by his personal situation. He has been separated from his wife Adelle Lutz, with whom he has a teenage daughter, Malu, for about a year or so , although they are not yet divorced. His girlfriend, Louise Neri, is a well-known art curator. There were so many changes in where I was living, where my office was and all that sort of thing. It made me question, Who am I? What s my identity? Where do I fit in? Is this where I should live? This is not my beautiful house, you might imagine him thinking. This is not my beautiful wife.

And this part includes a devastating quotes about David from Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth:

I spoke to Chris Frantz, the former drummer with Talking Heads, about the end of Byrne’s marriage. “David is a person who immerses himself in his work no matter what,” he told me. “I think his work is more important to him than anything else. He really cares about his artistic legacy, and unfortunately for everybody involved, his notion that this is the most important thing in his life gets in the way of his human relationships.” Frantz said this without harshness, as if he were stating a plain fact.

It is a sentiment echoed to varying degrees by other people I interviewed for this piece. Everyone agrees that Byrne is massively focused on his work, both his music and visual art. The word that keeps coming up is “control”. When he is working, he feels in control, therefore it would make sense that he orient his life in the direction of his work, prolonging the feeling of being in control for as long as possible.

Brian Eno, who produced three Talking Heads albums, co-wrote the seminal album My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts with Byrne, and is now writing with him again, agrees that work is more important to him than personal relationships. “I get the feeling that he’s much more at home in the world of art than he is anywhere else,” he says. “He’s not only very at home, he’s very sure of himself, very engaged, happy and thrilled by it. He’s more comfortable there, perhaps, than he is elsewhere.”

The downside of this retreat into art, of course, is that it can be rough on the people in your life. Tina Weymouth, bass player in Talking Heads, claims that Byrne is “incapable of returning friendship” and emailed me to say that, “Cutting off attachments when a thing/person is perceived to have served its purpose or there is a perceived threat to ego is the lifelong pattern of his relations.” Is he as cold as all that? He does seem to be slightly distant from his own emotions. According to Eno, “One of the aspects of David’s character is that he likes taking pleasure in things that other people either haven’t noticed or are slightly suspicious about.”

That’s quite revealing, I think. Byrne doesn’t just take pleasure, he enjoys taking pleasure; he is always one step away from the sensation itself. When I ask if he now feels more rooted than he did at the height of 9/11 fever and during his breakup with Lutz, he replies “Hmmm, maybe. Maybe. I suspect I do.” He speculates about his own feelings as though they belonged to someone else.

I certainly hope I am not ever afflicted with this kind of distance from my own emotions.

Ted Kennedy’s Office Loves Macintosh

Apple gets juiced up:

“The Senate has also been attacked by computer worms and viruses recently, but those attacks have all targeted Microsoft Corp. Windows users, so Kennedy’s Apple-based office has been unaffected. Panther has proved more stable than the previous version of the OS, called Jaguar, suffering none of the dreaded kernel panics that occasionally afflicted Jaguar, Pole said.

‘We’ve had tremendous interest from federal, state and local governments because of the security of a Unix foundation,’ said Ken Bereskin, director of Mac OS X product marketing. ‘Every aspect of the OS has been enhanced, from the drivers to the kernel.’

One feature of OS X 10.3 that could be particularly useful to federal customers is the FileVault 128-bit real-time encryption. Kennedy’s office has not yet begun encrypting its files, but a recent incident in which Republican staffers accessed Democrats’ files have prompted Pole to plan to do it soon. ‘I’m not saying it is going to happen again, but it is what people do,’ he said.”

(via San Diego Blogger Primary Main Objective)

Props-Thanks; A New Week Begins

Thanks for the linkage of late, for my birthday and for otherwise:

The week begins. I have a backlog of stuff to do. Wish me luck catching up.

The birthday was a smashing success. Kudos to Leah for putting it together.

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