Volume Contra-indicated

Which way do you turn the knob when you want more water from the garden hose or kitchen sink? Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty, right? Counter clockwise, of course.

Why, then, do we turn stereo volume control knobs clockwise to get more volume? It should be like opening a valve to let more volume out. Counter-clockwise should equal more volume, not less. Open it up, let it flow, like Pompeii.

Heptatrema Madonnahood

Okay, which one of you you nutjobs is masquerading as Heptatrema Madonnahood? I swear, I get some seriously messed up email sometimes.

got a shiny new PowerBook. Spent Friday night feeding it spirulina and granola, geeking out w/Mike.

Saturday worked on the MacWorld piece all day.

Sunday house hunting, again no joy. Now getting too close to the baba arriving, afraid we’ll take it too close to the edge and end up not having room ready here in the rental because we were too busy dancing in an impossible market. Have decided to withdraw from the housing market for now, which is really hard because we’ve been at it for 18 months and have met nothing but frustration and defeat, and it’s going to be even harder once Appleseed is here. But there you go. Color us bruised. We’ll pick up the search again in November or so.

Fascinating piece by Tim O’Reilly : The Strange Case of the Disappearing Open Source Vendors, in which Tim quotes another piece by Dale Dougherty saying:

Nike is running a series of bold, new commercials featuring Tiger Woods, who says his contract with Nike doesn’t require him to use its equipment unless he finds it to be the best in the market. He says with amusement that it puts the pressure on Nike to be the best or else. If Microsoft is the best at what it does, then it shouldn’t have to resort to this kind of lock-in of its contract with users. Let us choose the best.

Shacker Is…

Shacker is:

Shacker is one of six researchers nationwide investigating the use of a cream to treat genital herpes.

Shacker is continuously expanding their product offerings to meet your needs.

The ‘Shacker’ is omnivorous usually eating any Circle K cuisine.

Usually, if the “Shacker” is a female she receives a t-shirt from the resident of the house she stayed at.

Shacker is a derivative of the phrase “shacking up,” used when two unmarried people are sleeping or living together as sexual partners.

At the moment, Mr. Shacker is not sure of the scope of the project but he expects the task to take about a year to complete.

Logic Bug

In a dream, was helping other humans to birth whale calfs in shallow water, and cried because I realized I had never done anything as meaningful as that with my life. For the more difficult births, we had a whale birthing facility made of light blue fiberglass. The facility consisted of cavern within cavern of calf birthing rooms built into a hillside, and fiberglass seats built in rows for an audience. Was waiting with several other people in one of these calf birthing rooms for something to happen, and nothing was happening. As I woke up, conscious mind entered and observed that the room was only big enough for a whale calf — about 30′ feet long — and not long enough for the adult mother whale. So there was a logic bug in the dream that had caused it to hang, which is why we were all standing around doing nothing. Unaware we were in a dream, and unaware there was a bug in the dream. Once fully awake I realized this too was wrong, since impossible things happen in dreams all the time – bad logic does not constitute a bug to a dream.


Miniature donkeys are more expensive than one might expect!

Chicken Head

Give a man a chicken head and he eats for a lifetime.

as he appeared with the rubber chicken head I made him wear for his starring role in Visit To A Sad Planet.

With principal shooting complete, the chicken head had nowhere to go and nothing to do. So our hero cut it in half and gummed the business end to his motorcycle helmet.

Ladies, admit it – you want to date this man. Serious inquiries to .

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Stayed home sick Thursday – clogged head, cloudy thoughts, generally achy. Found “Thunderbirds Are Go!” videos at the video store, rented a few. Wow wow wow! These are so good. Sci-fi stop-motion puppet supercharged rescue action, filmed in “Supermarionation.” Tremendous attention to detail, super-stiff dialogue:

Stewardess: “It’s the maiden flight of the new atomic-powered Fireflash.”
Passenger: “Isn’t that the new aircraft that flies six times the speed of sound?”
Stewardess: “That’s right, but don’t worry: it’s perfectly safe.”
[Cut to: interior, Fireflash landing gear, a device clearly labeled “Auto-Bomb Detonator Unit”]
Sinister bad guy (talking to himself for no readily apparent reason): “Perfect. Enough explosives to smash the Atomic Reactor.”

This stuff was made in ’64, I should have seen it as a boy but didn’t – we didn’t have TV through most of my childhood. Don’t want to deprive our kid of this though – want to buy all 36 episodes, but the DVDs are expensive. Amy loved watching these as much as I did – they’re visually gorgeous.


Had dinner at Juan’s, which is probably the most authentic and most comfortable Mexican restaurant in the East Bay. Belly full of rellenos.

Amy got a new scanner, needed one that would work with her Mac. Epson 1250 Perfection. Hell of an improvement over the antique SCSI scanner we’ve been using, and she’ll get a lot of use out of the slide scanner add-on.

To test it, I yanked some of my old razor blade-n-gluestick collages off the wall and ran ’em through.

Quinine Leaf Pipe

Venus Fly Chick

Close in

At 300 dpi, you can see every tiny dot in the source paper, and can make out that the glass is ringed with “V8” symbols, which I had not even seen when making the collage to begin with.

God, it’s starting to become embarassing to look back at old birdhouse pages. Not so much the images, but a lot of the text, and the now-dated web designs. Would love to gut the site and start over from scratch, but there’s just so much content there to wade through.

Pink Oz

About a year ago we invited a dozen people over to watch the wizard of oz with the sound turned down, playing dark side of the moon as the soundtrack instead. It had been alleged to be a jaw-dropping synchronicity feast, and we weren’t disappointed. If you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, search google on “pink oz” – there are plenty of sites about it.

Today a friend pointed out this letter to the editor, which had me rolling.

Set up QuickTime Streaming Server today for the first time, for a test run. Need to be ready to stream live video feeds from the jschool in the next month or so. QTSS is pretty cool software, but I sure hope they get the MPEG-4 licensing crap sorted out in time.

Ear Wax Express

When I took that motorcycle trip to Canada last June, I came back with a pretty bad ringing in my ears. My motorcycle is pretty quiet and I wear a good helmet and earplugs. But I was using a Suzuki fairing on the BMW, and it set up this weird relationship where there was tons of turbulence in the face mask. It was really loud.

I came back and had the accident a few days later, which distracted me from the fact that the ringing did not subside. Well, it started to subside after a few weeks, but not entirely. There has been a high-pitched buzz/hum going on ever since. It’s been getting less pronounced, but seemed to stop tapering and plateau’d at a certain point. Most noticeable in quiet moments, like bed time and waking up. Lately it’s been surging on strongly for 30-60 second bursts, much stronger in the left ear. Finally decided to see a doctor about it because it became clear it wasn’t going to go away on its own. It’s really depressing when the body doesn’t heal itself. Makes you feel old and not invincible anymore.

Called up and they had me come in for “urgent care.” Uhh… it’s been eight months. It’s not that urgent. But whatever. Explained the whole thing to the doc. He took a look and said he couldn’t see my left eardrum — it was all waxed up! I had noticed that my motorcycle earplugs always came out dirtier than other people’s.

So an assistant came in for an irrigation (ear-igation?). Big 2″ syringe with a soft tip. Warm water. I held a basin under my ear and she plunged three syringefulls through it. Little pieces came out, but nothing major. Then she grabbed a long tweezer and plucked out something the size of a large pencil eraser — dark brown and hairy / fuzzy. I could not believe that thing came out of me. Unbelievable it could have been there all this time.

She said that some people just generate more wax and there’s nothing to be done about it but to irrigate occassionally. We can do it ourselves at home. Cool! Amy loves this kind of stuff, so we’ll get a kick out of it. She was fascinated by the story when I told her later.

Anyway, this doesn’t guarantee a resolution to the problem. I won’t know till bed time whether it attenuates the problem. And I still have to schedule an audiogram for full testing, to determine whether i have tinnitus or not. But this experience was like getting a hair cut and taking a dump all at once. Ecstasy!

By the time we were done I had seven minutes to get back up to campus for a meeting. Rode like the wind, and had the weirdest sensation of air rushing past my left eardrum. Didn’t even realize it hadn’t been there all this time, but I knew it was different.

Speaking of the motorcycle, I ended up with a big black toenail from the crash in June. I’ve been watching it grow out, and I just trimmed off the last of the black part. Now I know how long it takes my toenails to grow.

So busy listening to my own MP3s that I never get around to checking out all the great radio stations built into iTunes. Found this great Dr. Yo station tonight. Wow – one amazing track after another. I could listen to this for days. In fact, I think I will.