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Touched by his noodly appendage
August 2009
Thu, Aug. 20th, 2009 10:33 pm

Tara's going into labor tomorrow. Er, going to be induced anyway.

See you soon kiddies.


Thu, Jun. 4th, 2009 03:09 pm

Ello all, it's been what, five weeks.

Little in the way of developments I suppose. Turned 30 a few weeks back of course, and it was awesome to see so many friends. Been puttering along with fixing the attic (have to kick it into high gear), and we still haven't decided on the daughter's name.

Just wanted to babble on about something for a bit. I hope no one will feel I'm being judgmental, but I honestly can't understand why anyone would stop being a vegetarian/vegan, or at least someone who has been one for any length of time.

I very much do understand why people who have always been carnivorous, say, keep their diet, even when they feel guilty about it. Habits are a hard thing to break, especially ingrained ones from childhood. I remember in middle school before really I stopped eating meat, I decided a few times to become a vegetarian, and promptly forgot and ate something I shouldn't have. It takes a lot to break the cycle of repetition, a lot more than merely the intellectual resolution that I thought my actions were wrong and personally wanted to change.

Once I made the switch though, I never looked back. Meat looked absolutely disgusting to me initially, but now (unless I smell it cooking) my mind doesn't even recognize it as being food. Dairy products never turned my stomach in the same way, but there is really no residual appeal there either. A few years before becoming vegan, I sometimes went months without eating things like ice cream and cheese, and I found when I tried them again just before becoming vegan, I just didn't like them at all anymore. I found ice cream, for example, to taste like tofutti, except with an awful film left in my mouth once I was done.

I have gone through, however, times of what I can only call existential crisis over my diet. Where, on an intellectual level, I've wondered what difference my diet ultimately makes in the world, and if I was only keeping to being vegan out of sheer momentum. I never felt any real temptation to eat anything non-vegan however, so every time this has happened the feeling passed within a few months, and I felt a renewed...faith...in my choices in life.

In the end, I think being a successful vegan boils down to a few things.

1. Personally speaking, I am a very rigid, black-and-white person, for whom willpower has always been important. For no particular reason I didn't drink coffee between the ages of nineteen and twenty-five. One day, I just decided I didn't like it anymore (after drinking it regularly in high school), and just stopped. And as time passed, I became more proud of the fact I could say I hadn't drank any coffee in X number of years. Eventually I had it again in an Ethiopian restaurant. I think I've drank it four times since then. Actually, I originally became a vegan only because I was sure that I could be one for a year and not break edge, and I guess it's stuck now for 13 years. Heh.

2. I think being part of a small minority appeals to me. My brother became a vegan the exact same time as me, but he stopped after two years. He stopped because he was tired of feeling alienated. I replied, in all seriousness "That's the best part!" Being so unpopular when growing up affected me in some profound ways. In order to survive, I ultimately came to believe that the only opinion that mattered was my own self-opinion. Because of this, giving in to any peer pressure, or being similar to anyone else, or even changing, would mean being untrue to myself. I've moderated with time, but I really do enjoy that I eat different things from most people, that I shop at co-ops, that I go out to different restaurants. There's no part of me which really wishes he could sit down and have a normal meal at a T.G.I.Fridays, any more than there is no part of me which wants to read Stephen King novels, watch Adam Sandler movies, and listen to...shit, I don't even know popular music anymore.

3. I think a lot of people stop because they miss something they ate years ago. I've never felt that way, since food for me is about experimentation, not comfort. Indeed, if there's anything about being vegan I sort of regret, it's that there are so many bizarre, gross foods to the eyes of westerners I won't be able to try. Still, that's only an intellectual concern.

I really hope this didn't come across as a diatribe. I've tried my whole adult life not to be the preachy vegan, because there's nothing I hate more than people who are sanctimonious, except perhaps that combined with hypocrisy. But I know at least a half dozen of you have "broken edge" at some point or another. And I'd honestly like to hear, with an open mind why, because it seems so personally alien to me. Probably it shouldn't surprise me though, any more than it surprises me anyone can find watching sports enjoyable.


Wed, Apr. 15th, 2009 11:38 am

I've been doing demo in the attic to prepare for the daughter on the way. Right now the ceiling is coming out. Taking down the plaster is no problem, but underneath the lathe there is literally a century of what appears to be coal dust - an inch thick layer of disgusting black fines which get everywhere. When Tara's dad was helping me last weekend, he left the door to downstairs open - twice - and we've been cleaning for days trying to get the black dust off of everything. I also almost lost my right thumb nail in an accident. I keep telling myself it will all be worth it in the end though.


Wed, Mar. 11th, 2009 08:15 pm

Why didn't anyone tell me Autechre actually came out with a *good* album in 2007?


Sun, Mar. 8th, 2009 11:15 pm

I'm going to be a father!

Tara and I have known for quite awhile now, but we didn't want to be fully public until the point where all the tests came back okay. Baby is due in early August.

It's a girl. We were so sure up until last week it was a boy we haven't even picked out a girl's name. Can I has opinions?

Read more...Collapse )


Mon, Mar. 2nd, 2009 07:23 pm

I'm still here.

I finally broke down and joined facebook. Most of the honeymoon pictures are actually up there. I admit it's become a time-suck for me. If you're on it and I haven't added you yet, lemme know.

I'd really like to start posting more here again. I just don't have any idea what to even say anymore however. =/

Hopefully I can be a bit more forthright in a few weeks.



Tue, Jan. 27th, 2009 10:51 pm

Sorry I'm falling behind yet again, dear readers. It's a friggin pain to go through all the Dominica pictures. There were maybe 300 originally, but even after culling 50 which didn't turn out, I have to sift through the rest, then shrink the ones I want to upload so I don't hit the flickr limits. Lame.


Read more...Collapse )


Thu, Jan. 15th, 2009 10:12 pm

A few more pics before I go out. Almost all of these are from the porch attached to the cottage we were staying in in Dominica, although a few were from elsewhere in the village. I'll let these images speak for themselves for the moment.

Read more...Collapse )


Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 10:13 pm

I got back from my Honeymoon late on Saturday night, and I finally have enough time to post some pictures of the trip. Hopefully this won't be like San Francisco, where I posted around half, got a warning I was at the flickr limit for the month, and couldn't be bothered to post the last few days, which had all the really cool stuff.

Anyway, here goes nothing. I have roughly 300 pictures, but I'm certainly not going to post them all. Let me start with the best ten from Sint Maarten, and I'll try and do a few more themed sets every day hereafter. You know, post with some regularity like back in the olden days.

And away we goCollapse )


Tue, Dec. 30th, 2008 07:40 pm

Greetings from our first honeymoon stop, in Sint Maartin

Don't have that much to say, and sadly can't post pics here. Interesting, but incredibly touristy. Glad we're only here for two days.

Later dudes.


Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 12:44 am

Today's 24 down is "Alternate name for musician Boyd Rice"

I have to wonder what percentage of people who were not rivetheads at some point in their life would get that.


Mon, Nov. 17th, 2008 01:49 pm

This weekend:

1. I lost almost all of of my keys. Not quite sure how it happened - it was either at the co-op or when recycling at construction junction. The bungee clip I had my keys on was bad for many months, and I guess they just fell off at some point. Thankfully, my car key is on a separate ring, as I only have one copy of that, and would be fucked if I lost it. Already made copies of my home keys and will make a new copy of my work key tonight. The big issue is my bike is outside locked to my front railing, and I no longer have a key for the cable lock. I don't have a fuggin clue how I'm going to get it off. I had a few barcode thingies on my keychain, but I doubt anyone can get them scanned and trace it back to me, so I'm all good.

2. After getting a shower yesterday, Tara came downstairs to find water was dripping off of the kitchen ceiling. We've had this problem before, and thought it was fixed when we regrouted the tub. Now we'll have to at least repaint the ceiling, and possibly redo a shitload of the bathroom, right at the point when money was starting to get tight due to spending down the kitchen and honeymoon money.

I suppose things are okay besides that actually. It's fun watching the economy implode, lemme tell ya.


Sun, Nov. 2nd, 2008 03:51 pm
A scientist is using virtual reality to create a personification of pure evil.

No really.

I'm not naive enough to think this is going to lead to disaster, but goddamn, this sure sounds like the plot of a bad Hollywood science fiction thriller.


Fri, Oct. 31st, 2008 11:33 am

Ahoy all! I've been even quieter than usual. Not even reading LJ as much as I should. I should sum up what's been happening these past few weeks.

1. Been working a lot lately. Weekend before last I went down to West Virginia to give a presentation at my union's public sector conference. It was (minus the aforementioned squirrel hunting on TV) a fun experience, though I didn't get a decent meal the whole time. Since then I've been doing budget projections and writing an article for our newspaper on the economic crisis. Busy busy busy!

2. "Wedding" (or should I say reception) stuff keeps piling up. I figured once we booked a place it would be pretty much done. Little did I know Tara can't do a half-assed reception. Honestly thinking about "favors" and "centerpieces" drives me up the wall. I need to get to booking the trip for the honeymoon in Dominica however.

(p.s. if you're local and didn't get an invite yet, let me know if you'd like to go. Zenith only seats like 86, so I couldn't invite everyone I knew, but I'll try to make a few more spaces once I know who isn't RSVPing.

3. Most of the free time we've had has been spent trying to finish up kitchen renovations. At this point we've completed demo, the initial plumbing/wiring, building a new wall, and hanging all of the cabinets but two. We still need to do the floor, countertop, install the new appliances, get the finished wiring done, and a few other random finishes. If all goes to plan, it will be done in time for my family and other out-of-town folks to see by the day of the party. This takes up just about every weekend now, along with weeknights where Tara is around.

Did I mention how much I feel like a boring adult these days? Strangely, it doesn't concern me that much. I might be getting older, but I can't think of anything about me that's changed in a fundamental way. It just feels like the right place to be.


Thu, Oct. 23rd, 2008 01:14 pm

I couldn't have said it better myself

In other news, West Virginia actually has squirrel hunting on television.


Thu, Oct. 9th, 2008 08:11 pm

I did tonight, and this is important enough to pass on.

As some people may know, same-sex marriage was ruled constitutional in California recently. However, a right-wing group, bankrolled by the Mormon church, has put up "proposition 8" in the state. This proposition, if it passes, will invalidate the marriages of thousands of same-sex couples. After months of being behind in the polls, a slim majority of Californians now support the proposition - and the forces of marriage equality are being heavily outspent in the state.

So please, throw along whatever kitty you can.


Tue, Sep. 16th, 2008 08:59 pm

We're all commies now.


Tue, Sep. 16th, 2008 08:55 pm


Tue, Aug. 12th, 2008 02:41 pm

Tara and I are, like, totally getting married. I feel pretty sweet about this, despite my somewhat mixed feelings about the institution itself. She didn't seem to down with the idea of having children out of wedlock, so I proposed to her on a whim. I don't see why not, since I anticipate staying with her the rest of my life and all.

There will be no wedding, as we both hate weddings. We would like to have a party however, which given our ongoing kitchen remodeling, will probably happen some time in November. Can't hold a party in a construction site after all.

I know it's a big thing to ask, but I'd sincerely like any out-of-town friends who are able to come out to it, even if (especially if) I haven't talked to you much in the past year or two. No gifts or money are needed - the presence of dear friends will be as much of a gift as I could ask for.

More details as they surface.


Thu, Jul. 24th, 2008 09:50 pm

Quite literally...

Sunday night, sewage backed up when it rained and came up through the basement floor drain. This was caused, we think, by our getting rocks and dirt into a drainage pipe in our "yard." We thought this pipe was just to drain the surface of the concrete, but it was actually the final stop of our sewage line before leaving the house.

So, on Monday, a plumber comes out, and unclogs the drain outside. We then attempt that evening to wash the sewage back into the floor drain with a hose, but it then backs up once again. So the plumber comes out again to rooter yet another drain.

He's cheap as hell and good, but unfortunately he's a wingnut who kept rambling on about how America was becoming a socialist state like Britain, and how his health insurance costs are so high because of SCHIP. I honestly didn't have the energy to argue with him, so I didn't say anything.

So, after the cleaning up this weekend, we will have a turd-free basement floor once again. I'm extatic.

Oh, and I'm seeing Matmos tomorrow, which I'm totally thrilled about. I have to say the two times I've seen them have been among the best performances of my life. Hopefully they'll measure up again.


Wed, May. 28th, 2008 11:24 pm

to a summary of last Tuesday and WednesdayCollapse )


Tue, May. 27th, 2008 10:19 pm

That's right, it's time for more San Francisco picturesCollapse )


Mon, May. 26th, 2008 03:58 pm

And recovering from my vacation. Without further ado, I'm going to begin the summary of last week - complete with photos!

This may take awhile to loadCollapse )


Fri, May. 16th, 2008 02:26 pm
Off to San Francisco for a week's vacation.

Will upload pics when I get a chance.



Wed, May. 14th, 2008 08:59 pm

Tara is awesome. She gave me an early birthday gift of a new digital camera. So I thought I'd share a few things with you...

Aquarium pictures...look away if you have a personal issue with thatCollapse )


Sun, May. 11th, 2008 11:04 pm

I've been playing around with Traktor DJ studio trying to learn how to beatmatch/mix songs.

And I found, upon accident, that Covenant's Tour De Force mixes damn near perfect with 2 Live Crew's Tootsie Roll.


Thu, May. 8th, 2008 03:56 pm

At the Raleigh Times bar in downtown Raleigh yesterday, Mr Obama arrived in the late afternoon with his wife Michelle only to find himself momentarily beerless.

"Where's my beer?" he asked, loud enough for the reporters to hear.

"PBR," he said, choosing Pabst Blue Ribbon, an inexpensive lager, before working the crowd.


Thu, Apr. 24th, 2008 05:13 pm

In only 36 years a lizard introduced to a Croatian island evolved from an insectivore into a herbivore!


Sun, Apr. 20th, 2008 11:32 pm

I've been left out of the loop with the whole muxtape thing, as I keep virtually all of my mp3s at 320 bitrate, ergo almost all are over ten megs, and can't be used.

There are plenty of other free ways to get music online, so I think I will shortly begin an mp3 a day thing. Before just sharing music I enjoy though, I think I'll go through the catalog of my own music and subject yall to it. Many of you who are IRL friends from the wayback have heard a lot of this afore, so feel free to skip this stuff.

But anygayz, let me premier with everyone's favorite pop song of mine, dawn

And no, that's not me singing, though I wrote 95% of the music, and the lyrics.

I have this on multitrack, and may actually do a little fucking around with the levels. Doesn't quite sound right to me. The S's need to be messed with a bit for sure.


Fri, Apr. 18th, 2008 12:03 am

I just went through like 20 old compilations from wayback (I think some of them date to the end of college). At that time I didn't really want to collect MP3s on my machine, so I routinely burned mixes and deleted them...only I never really bothered to write down the track listings. as a result, a large proportion of the music now cannot be identified by me. Most of the tracks with lyrics I get, but a lot of the drum & bass, ambient, and the like I have not a clue about.

I was going to just chuck them all, as I'm ordered enough with music that having untitled mp3s in my collection pisses me off, and I'll always find more music, but I figure I'll offer the CDs to whoever wants them...here are the contents.

clicky here for detailsCollapse )


Wed, Apr. 9th, 2008 08:09 am

Watch to the end...it's much funnier in the last minute and a half or so.


Fri, Apr. 4th, 2008 03:32 pm

yo, what up, this is dj whyte kid (cory's boy kenny) so i heard u wanted me to be ur tizzle it's a shame u didn't get to me sooner i woulda bought u all kinda coach things like purses boots shoes whatever u wanted get back at me thought oh and u coulda be sportin brand new necklaces and bracelets it's to bad i thought u were hot as hell and to and by the way i got bank and u coulda got the credit card

and today, he sent again

yo get back at me though lol

It' seems like dude got played and some girl gave him the wrong digits. Should I text him back to tell him it's not the object of his affections ignoring him?


Mon, Mar. 31st, 2008 11:06 am

Mind you, that elephant was probably trained to do that. Elephants are interested in painting if you give them paints and canvas, but they typically only paint the abstract shapes and colors that chimps do.

Still, it raises two interesting thoughts. One is it's astonishing, even if it is simply training, that there is an animal smart enough and dexterous enough to paint recognizable shapes. This is a lot more complicated than a parlor trick, as dozens of different brush-strokes are involved, along with a complex memory of where to go on the canvas, which color to use for the flower, etc.

The other is, even if the elephant was trained to paint - does that mean it doesn't understand what it's painting? I mean, a human requires training in drawing as well. I guess the trick would be seeing if the elephant could in any way alter what it learned and put it into a novel situation.

Edit: Apparently the elephant's name is Hong.


Mon, Mar. 24th, 2008 08:08 am


Sun, Mar. 23rd, 2008 09:25 pm

You know, the central problem I have with karaoke is I literally don't know enough songs well enough that are remotely popular. I'm sure that comes across as elitism, but I seriously *don't* know the lyrics to virtually any pop songs. And I'm always shocked when I look for things like the Smiths and Tom Waits which I like and know some lyrics by heart that I think are super-popular I come up empty.

But I was just listening to Current 93, and once again I realized on my top 100 must do things before I die is to totally belt out a stunning karaoke rendition of lucifer over london.

I seriously think it might be the pinnacle of living.