Fairly Symmetrical

March 2003 Archives

05:39 PM by Eric: Console RPG Cliches Current Fruit
10:26 AM by Eric: Weekend report Personal

Pretty wild weekend, for us. Saturday night we went out to dinner and then out dancing at Have a Nice Day Cafe for Christina's birthday; got home about 3 am, completely exhausted. I'm learning to enjoy dancing, which is something I never thought I'd say. :)

Unfortunately Cara decided to spend much of Saturday morning (between 3 and 9 am) throwing up wood chips, which meant we were both exhausted most of the day Sunday.

Last night we had an Oscar "party" (I think you technically need more than 5 people for it to be a party, but whatever). We printed out Oscar ballots from E Online and gave away a $10 gift card to Blockbuster to the winner. Lots of food, lots of alcohol, and a pretty good time. Jenny won the gift card with 12 correct answers; against all odds I tied for second with 10.

Some bad news: My ferret, Galt, has a tumor which has apparently gone critical in and around his lower spine; apparently he can't really move his hind legs all of a sudden. He's the last of our five ferrets; poor things really seem to get hit hard by tumors.

Some worse news: A friend of our family who has spina bifida is in really bad shape. He probably won't make it much longer. Matt has the kind of courage and spirit you don't see very often; I doubt I'd have put up the kind of fight he has. Atheist that I am I find myself hoping there's something good waiting for him.

10:08 AM by Eric: Professional Bootlegging Culture | Filesharing and DRM | Music | Tech

I had a thought today, one which has grown out of previous posts on the Internet Bookmobile and on-demand back catalog production of music CDs.

Last year, we went to a Dar Williams concert here in St. Louis. After the concert I was kicking myself for not taking along some sort of digital recorder—a minidisc recorder or some such—because in the course of the concert, Dar sang a pair of tremendous duets with her opening act. Those versions of the song are lost, unless I miraculously find someone who bootlegged the concert.

It seems to me there's a huge opportunity here. If the artist were to have every concert professionally recorded, and the results were burned to CDs and sold at the end of the concert, you could create an entire new revenue stream with a huge bonus: unauthorized bootlegging would virtually vanish (who wouldn't shell out for a high-quality, authorized recording of the concert rather than deal with the hassle and risk of a lower-quality recording they made themselves?). All it would take is some recording equipment and a couple of towers of CD burners.

12:34 AM by Eric: The corruption proceeds apace… Personal

Muhahahahahaha… Jenny has decided to read The Return of the King after we saw The Two Towers again tonight. She will be a geek, oh yes; she will be a geek.

12:08 AM by Eric: The Beauty of the Rain Culture | Music | Reviews

Dar Williams, perhaps one of the best-known modern singer-songwriters, released her 6th solo album, The Beauty of the Rain, on February 18th. This album is an interesting mix of symbol and story, solo effort and collaboration, though it continues Dar's gradual sidle towards a more mainstream sound.

11:36 PM by Eric: (Not exactly) bringing down the house. Culture | Movies and TV | Reviews

This is the first of possibly many reviews I will be doing for blogcritics.org.

Start with a trite, shallow plot. Add Steve Martin as every other role you've ever seen him play. Mix in a little Eugene Levy working those bushy eyebrows to reprise the wannabe hipster we saw in American Pie 1 and 2. Stir vigorously with a Queen Latifah playing a role which, after her work in Chicago, can only be described as "meh". That's pretty much Bringing Down the House in a nutshell.

10:17 PM by Eric: Pretty good day Personal

Today was just about the perfect day. Sunny, ~70°. We took the dogs for a 2-1/2 hour romp through Forest Park and the Central West End; they went swimming for the first time this year. Pictures to follow on the photo album as soon as I get around to uploading them. A little bit of job research tonight while eating cheesecake and drinking coffee at B&N, a nap this afternoon, and the NYTimes this morning. I couldn't construct a better Sunday if I tried.

11:19 PM by Eric: The secret to marital bliss… Personal

"I think the best thing about having married you is probably gazpacho. My life was sorely lacking before gazpacho."

Jenny, ruminating on the highlights of our joint life.

09:48 AM by Eric: Jenny's home… Personal

Finally, Jenny has returned. Unfortunately she spent most of yesterday feeling quite ill, but it's still great to have her home. Hopefully we can spend a few quiet weekends together before things get all crazy again.

09:44 AM by Eric: Why I refuse to purchase from Amazon.com Culture | Politics | Tech

I haven't bought anything from amazon.com in a long time. I don't expect I ever will. I refuse to support an organization which continues to exploit the USPTO in obviously idiotic ways. Today I saw a news report entitled Has Jeff Bezos Patented E-Mail Discussion Groups?:

First he received a patent for 1-Click e-commerce. Now he has one for e-mail discussion groups. Last Tuesday, February, 25, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a new patent to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of online retailer Amazon.com, granting him exclusive rights to "a method and system for conducting an electronic discussion relating to a topic. As was the case when he and three other Amazon executives patented the company's 1-Click ordering system, Bezos has gained control of a technology that may not seem particularly innovative to the everyday Internet user.

Or anyone else, for crying out loud.

06:35 PM by Eric: Personal Update Personal

Weather's nice today, sunny and about 50. The ground, however, is about as soggy as corn flakes left in the milk all day because of all the snowmelt.

Jen's currently driving somewhere in Connecticut with her mom and sister; I'm still sick (going on the 8th day) and starting to lose my voice, which could make the nightly phone call with Jen a little more difficult. :-(

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