Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

Journal: Why?

Journal by Matthew Weigel

So I volunteered for a "week locked in a hotel room" medical study today. I dunno if I think it's a good kind of study, I dunno if I'm going to follow through with it (I have until the end of May to back out!). With a phone line I can get work done, and there are those philosophy of math books I've been meaning to read... Lauren will probably go nuts at the house, but if we're smart about taking care of groceries and things then at least she won't starve.

I guess I sort of view it as a funky sabbatical; if I can get enough work done to justify it being "working from home" rather than "taking a week off", then I'll come out pretty far ahead.

Piercings: pro/con? Con: I'm too much of a wuss to try to fight with some piercings, and I love mixing it up with friends, so those are right out unless I can figure out how to deal. Pro: far less permanent than a tattoo, with about as much pain and look-at-me value. I've always see-sawed between being squeamish about doing semi-permanent damage to myself, and playing at scarring, but I've always had an irrational sense that I just shouldn't put ink or metal in me. Pro: I can explore that feeling without permanent effect with piercings, and all I'll give up is the fact that I've never done it. Con: it's pussy-footing if I think I'll get a tattoo; just get the tattoo. Except for the ever-astonished Eckerdt, I doubt anyone would notice if I got a simple little earring, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't jump in with both feet and get a nipple ring or nose ring. Pro: this is gonna sound weird, but there is an appeal to tracking my life history through piercings or tattoos.

"I got this one when I got drunk and said something unkind to Lauren, I got this one for the argument I had with my parents, and that one when I provoked a fight..."

Real appeal. Con: the desire to record my shame on my body permanently is probably not healthy, and might not be something I should encourage in myself.

Music

Journal: Music Formats

Journal by Matthew Weigel

Well, I guess this is the place to put this:

Even though Ogg Vorbis isn't big time like mp3 yet, it's getting there - and it's picking up a little support in every area where mp3 holds sway, too.

That makes me kinda happy, although as with anything there are caveats:

  • Limited stereo component support: as far as I can tell, the sliMP3 is the only such a thing to support Ogg Vorbis, and it does it in a screwy fashion, using the custom server to reencode Ogg music into mp3 at play time; quality suffers, of course, because you're going from one lossy format to another, but it's probably pretty manageable.
  • Limited portable support: again, it's very limited, with just a portable here and there... but with the new PalmOS 5 devices coming out with processors that can run decoding software, I'm almost willing to forego 5+ GBs of music if it means I don't have to carry around another device. I rarely use my iPod for more than about an hour of music at a time anyway, so it is tempting to go with, for example, the Tungsten T with a software Ogg decoder.
  • Limited encoders: for Macs, there is Ogg Drop... and that's it. For Windows? I don't even know, but the field is not as rich as it is for mp3 encoders. Which is kind of surprising, given that the Ogg library is as totally free as you can possibly get. Maybe it will change? I dunno.

And, well, that's all- most software players now support plug-ins, and all the ones I care about have such plug-ins: notably iTunes, and the iTunes competitors Audion and Mint.

Quality is better per bit, it's free, and the players (home and portable) that stopped Ogg before are starting to come out now; since I no longer have an iPod, or most of the music that was on it, I've got to encode all my CDs again anyway. I am seriously looking at switching over to Ogg entirely and completely.

Announcements

Journal: Snow

Journal by Matthew Weigel

Wow. This is the snow I've not been missing all these months of winter. Fucking snow. Streets are so bad right now that the snowplows are either overworked or not able to get out themselves. Guess I'm staying in the house right now.

User Journal

Journal: What the hell

Journal by Matthew Weigel

I guess I'm giving journals a shot. Free without invite saves me the time of asking for one, or bothering to finally turn my web server back on. There's an attraction to LiveJournal using a Cocoa app, but OmniWeb 4.2 gives me the text box I want anyway.

But it might be worthwhile to try to keep thoughts somewhere. When I was a kid I wrote about one journal entry every six months, and that was usually an attempt at a suicide note. Thankfully that stopped around the time I discovered girls. Ignoring that, lately I've been reading a lot of online journals, and while the English sucks and the thoughts don't matter a bit outside casual conversation, it does seem to make people feel better. Is it just an addiction, like playing video games makes me feel better? Time will tell.

I'm thinking about shaving off my mohawk. It's a conversation piece, yeah, but not something I particularly care about. The real appeal of a mohawk, for me at least, is that washing is simple, and I spend 30-45 minutes once a week bothering with my hair, while still having more style (or a petty attempt at such; I'm hardly punk and I don't know anything about style) than a shaved head. Then again, it's pretty pretentious to choose one "I don't have to worry about it" hair style over another because of style.

I'm still dealing with not having an iPod anymore; desire to save money by not replacing it is at war with desire to listen to my music. It helps that I'm getting a ride to work more often, and that the car in which I'm riding is getting its speakers replaced. Better speakers at home would help, too, and any speakers outside the territory of my officemate at work, but none of that addresses late night hacking (or insomniacking, like now) sessions or the times I do ride a bus.

Speaking of listening... I am so damned cynical about stereo systems. There are so many different types of audiophile that I won't try to characterize other people's arguments for expensive stereos, but I'll believe it when I hear it. So far, most of the defects I can hear in my own stereo are attributable to using $5 speakers that have been beaten around the country in the back of a U-Haul for 8 years or so. Does that sound bad? Yes. Does that mean I want to spend more than $5 on each speaker next time? Probably. Does that mean I'm going to spend more than $50? Probably not.

There. That's what is going on in my life, and there's a slim chance that one of my friends will stumble upon this and gain new insight into my life. Or maybe even that I'll feel better after this.

Bug

Journal: Use a +

Journal by Matthew Weigel

Hopefully Mike - err, StandardDeviant - will read this. For Slashdot things, replacing spaces with '+' seems to work fine - my friend Scott is a good example, since his username on /. is Scott Wood.

I'm the kind of guy that likes to keep up on his friends, so I've actually got http://slashdot.org/~StandardDeviant, http://slashdot.org/~Scott+Wood, and http://slashdot.org/~MaxVlast in my Slashbox.

User Journal

Journal: Buggy

Journal by Matthew Weigel

I'm sure this is perfectly reasonable, but journal entries appear to disappear. Actually, I'm sure this is a bug, that might be called "reasonable" and a "feature" in the future, but whatever.

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday next Monday, there will be no garbage collection.

Working...