Thursday, April 28, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
At the end of the meal he asked us to fill out comment cards, and the cards featured a blank for an email address. I have an address that I use specifically in cases where I might be giving it to someone who wants to send me something useful (such as coupons) or might just be lining up to spam me. So I jotted it on the form and didn't think anything more about it.
Then yesterday I get an email from Paradise India. It had some info on the restaurant's recent appearance on KCPT's restaurant show. It had some general chatty stuff. It had a coupon (good move there). But it also included the "Joke of the Day."
I reproduce it here in its entirety and defy anyone to decipher it. About the only part that gave me a snicker was "heads off to a great meal."
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
That said, I promised myself I wasn't going to spend the whole day tinkering with the MSG. Other work is piling up.
I've been good, but I can't last. So hurry, sabbatical. Hurry fast.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Not much there at the moment. Just 16 Survival Cows in a four-by-four grid. For now I'm focusing on keeping the "active" part of the page set up as a 1024 x 768 box in order to keep things simple if/when I convert this to an iPad app. So I'm sure I'll have a lot more adjustment work to do.
But at least now it officially exists.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
It's a relief not only to be making some progress on the site but also to have taken a bite out of such a key element of the design.
In the spirit of the occasion, now would be a good time to tell the story of how the Survival Cow came to be (for anyone who doesn't already know it). Many years ago I worked for Academic Computing at the University of Kansas. One of my duties was to work at the Engineering CAE Facility, a computer lab with a couple of Harris mainframes over at the School of Engineering.
Most of the work was fairly boring, but once we got the chance to do something fun. We got permission from the powers that be to come up with an instruction book covering basic computer use, some of the more common applications, just about anything a new user might need to know. The book was to be patterned after a similar book -- a First Aid Kit -- from one of the state schools out in Nevada. We didn't want ours to be an exact copy either in word or in spirit. And of course back then I was somewhat heavily into the whole survivalist thing. So a Survival Guide was only natural.
In keeping with the light spirit we intended for the project, I came up with some offbeat illustrations. One that was prominently featured early in the book was "Survival Cow." This was a stippled ink drawing I made based on a photo from the cover of Soldier of Fortune (or perhaps it was SOF's survivalist-oriented offshoot, which I think was called Survive). The photo was of a cow wearing a gas mask, supposedly a graphic illustration of the Soviets' commitment to surviving a nuclear war with even their livestock industry intact. All I really cared about was that it was a weird image, that it fit with the survival guide theme, and that the cow thing had a nice tie-in to Kansas.
Of course the project died a premature death. Some jackass in the Chemical Engineering department got wind of what we were working on, called our boss and told him that in his opinion computers weren't funny. The truly strange part -- and a good illustration of the insane bureaucracy that is KU -- is that they pulled out all the funny text but left most of the illustrations (including Survival Cow) intact.
Thus it's a genuine pleasure to return a new generation of Survival Cows to the stage in a production over which I have absolute creative control.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Jesus. All that data gone. Photos. Stories. Diaries. Financial records. And more to the point for the purposes of this blog, the last three months of 8sails. Plus all the notes and drafts for upcoming postings.
On the one hand, that's what I get for falling behind on 8sails stuff, not to mention what I get for not regularly backing up the computer.
On the other hand, damn.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Needless to say, this hasn't been a big step forward in the getting-8sails-caught-up effort.
And it's weird just how addicted I've become to the computer. Or to be more precise, what I really need is a fix of connectedness (assuming that's a word). I feel like I've been cut off from the rest of 21st century America, relegated to peering in from a tablet-sized hole in the wall. This is also seriously messing with my work routines.
So I guess until tech support does something about the problem, I'll just go sit in the corner and read The Odyssey on the iPad.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
This is worth watching for the sheer shock value of watching a Hollywood studio actually attempt to make a movie with artistic integrity. Of course they can’t resist the temptation to plug Mickey Mouse into it, but fortunately that sequence is offset by some of the more innovative work elsewhere in the collection. Personally I’m fond of the abstract, Oskar-Fischinger-inspired animation that accompanies the Bach toccata, though most of the rest of it is quite good as well. If nothing else, it’s astounding that a movie like this could be made back in 1940, when a lot of the rest of the animation world was making silly cartoons. Worth seeing
Friday, April 1, 2011
If the end is so near, wouldn't it be smarter to just wait for it? I mean, if the Rapture snatches away all the fundies, the Sun turns black, the Moon turns to blood, the temple gets rebuilt, the plagues hit and the whole Book of Revelation nine yards, I'm absolutely willing to believe in the literal truth of the whole thing. So when the Rapture-ready squad absolutely assures me that the End Times are imminent, all they do is give me a strong incentive to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. If I end up Tribulated, I've every reason in the world to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. But until what they say is going to happen actually happens, skeptics are entitled to our skepticism.
I will say this for the show I watched: they're the only Rapture-ready pundits who ever tried to address this. "You can wait," they warn, "but if you do, then God will cloud your mind so you still won't believe in Jesus." Nice try. However, this ignores two major problems. First, it violates the scripture they're preaching, which specifically says that people will come to Christ after the Rapture (not to mention that the "clouding your mind" thing is an extremely strained interpretation of the verses they cite).
Second -- and more important -- it turns God into a deceptive jerk and the End Times into a big practical joke on the human race with eternal damnation rather than a jock strap full of itching powder as the ultimate consequence. Perhaps it's just natural for people who are themselves deceptive jerks to want to remake God in their own image.
And of course all of this as usual side-steps the actual important value of the Christian faith in favor of stupid, pseudo-theological parlor tricks.
Sorry about the religious rant. That isn't really the function of this blog.
Speaking of which ...
After my flurry of MSG activity yesterday I have nothing new to report. Still waiting on news one way or another about the hard drive in the laptop I've been using for years to work on 8sails. Fingers still firmly crossed.
In the meantime, I'm waffling back and forth about the current background art for this blog. I can't decide if it looks like an extreme close-up of Turner's "Sunrise with Sea Monsters" or an extreme close-up of Serrano's "Piss Christ." So if you're looking at it and it doesn't look like either one, that means the Serrano impression won out and prompted me to change it to something else.