Archive for ‘music’

2015/03/27

Gin and Juice: Summary

Good that old Wikipedia versions never die.

Summary

The song begins with a sound effect of a human urinating, followed by an interlude in which an unknown male is speaking, denouncing one of his associates for either committing maternal-sodomy in the immediate vicinity or for having bad breath, it remains unclear which. The unknown male requests some bubblegum, presumably to remedy the situation.

We are then introduced to the narrator with the nom de plume of Snoop Dogg as he discusses the exigencies of his life; his hometown of Long Beach, California, is very dramatic. He finds the will to create his unique musical style amidst all this drama, and does so daily. He then entreats the listener (affectionately called a “g”) to enjoy his tale in said musical style.

Snoop Dogg’s tale starts at 2 am in his domicile, where a party has been taking place and is able to continue late into the night due to the temporary absence of his mother. Women are copulating in his living room, presumably in a lesbian fashion, and intend to do so until 6 am, when they will depart. Snoop Dogg and his associates decide to join the sapphic women. Ever-prepared, they pull condoms out of their pockets before turning off the lights and shutting the doors behind them.

After making it clear that his regard for the females does not involve love, Snoop Dogg and his associates decide that the use of one ounce of marijuana would be a fitting commemoration of the casual polyamorous scenario. Rather than go into details of what is taking place behind closed doors, he tells the listeners (affectionately called “motherfuckas”) to reminisce of revelry in general, preferably while bouncing.

The said revelry consists of the chorus line and the subject of the song title: cruising down the street, smoking marijuana, and sipping on gin and an unnamed juice. The unnamed juice is likely of citrus origin, though the properties of gin are agreeable to all fruit juices.

It is possible that the previous scene, and the upcoming scenes, are projected memories of the narrators told in the present tense. Mr. Dogg then attempts a palindrome about his constant preoccupation with pecuniary matters.

In another memory, Snoop Dogg has procured a bottle of Seagrams brand gin and is intent on consuming it himself, but his associates have worked up a thirst as well. They present their empty cups for Mr. Dogg to fill, but have not offered any payment for the alcohol. Snoop Dogg is angry at the prospect of sharing his alcoholic beverage without reasonable compensation, as these requests happen all too often. He acknowledges their requests, but reminds them that his needs come first.

Snoop Dogg quickly diffuses the situation by reminding the listener that he is very good at cultivating music that captivates his listeners. He wants to know, “Who listens to the words that I speak?” This is most likely a rhetorical question. We do not learn if he ever does share the Seagrams.

Snoop Dogg leaves the party with his beverage to the middle of the street, presumably because his house party has grown beyond the bounds of his yard. He meets a young lady named Sadie who had previously formed a romantic attachment with one of his associates. He flirts with the young lady, but does not expect physical contact because the weather has remained a sultry 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As she initiates physical contact with his testicles, the heat becomes too much. Snoop tells Sadie to refrain from palpating his scrotum and informs her she should not make further contact with that part of him. He says “at ease”, likely to calm down Sadie, but also in an attempt to relax all involved. Snoop Dogg then runs off to engage in an act of mobbing with his associates (affectionately called the “Dog Pound”) in order to cool off and feel a breeze. He urges all to do the same.

We return to the chorus narration, where Snoop Dogg continues to consume marijuana and gin and juice while cruising in a vehicle. He is still concerned about his financial situation, again stated palindromically.

The narrator then recalls a memory that happened later in the same day, presumably at the house party. His friend, Dr. Dre, pays Snoop Dogg a visit, presenting him with several bottles of Tanqueray brand gin and a very well-endowed joint of marijuana. The marijuana is of a strength colloquially described as lethal, which he cleverly alludes to through a reference to the bubonic plague. The combination of drugs proves too intoxicating for Snoop Dogg, and he is forced to imbibe less vivaciously, but he refuses to stop altogether. Snoop Dre then introduces Snoop Dogg to some women who he has brought from a neighboring city in Los Angeles. Snoop Dogg makes his intent to bed (or cot) the women clear, but warns them beforehand that he does not intend to make them climax nor remain near them after copulation has occurred because he does not love them. Women whom he does not love are referred to as “hoes”, the etymological origin of which is unclear, but is in no way related to the garden tool.

The song ends with a repetition of the chorus one more time, where some spontaneous words are uttered after the title verse (a slang word phonetically spelled BEE-OTCH). Mr Dogg’s mental preoccupation with fiscal matters is restated multiple times, likely in attempt to finally make a palindrome, but never succeeding.

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2013/11/22

Amanda Fscking Palmer!

(That title’s sort of a joke, in that she has used “Amanda Fucking Palmer” as a sort of branding thing, and “fsck” is an old nerdphemism for “fuck” so “Amanda Fscking Palmer” is arguably a cute title for something about her appearing before a buncha nerds. Also it keeps me from having the F-word (“fuck”) in the title of a weblog post, which might be nice because who knows how ol’ WordPress reacts if you do that?)

I don’t want to just constantly gloat about how amazing my new workplace is, but just this once… :)

Amanda Palmer and some guy

So as I’ve probably mentioned before here and/or on the Face Book and/or elsewhere, I think Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls and general musicness, not to mention a great TED talk) is awesome in all various ways, and I’d thought wistfully that it’d be great to see her live someday if I weren’t so lazy.

And then there was this poster at work saying that she and some guy were going to be appearing, right down the hall in the talk room.

Today.

Right after lunch.

That first picture up there is them doing a sound-check, which those of us who got there early to get good seats got to see, because they arrived late. :)

Palmer an' Gaiman

These picture are all awful, because it was dim and I was just using my iPad rather than something more camera-like.

That is her husband, Neil Gaiman, who is apparently a well-known Doctor Who impersonator writer in his own right, and was I think reciting a poem, while she laughed and looked appreciative from the piano bench.

Ukulele!

And there she is probably singing the Ukulele Anthem, which is just marvelous on YouTube, and actually had me tearing up a bit near the end in person. Such energy and goodness…

(Not to mention boots and coat; I want them!)

So anyway she sang some things, and Doctor Who read some things, and the two of them sang one (very creepy) thing together (he says that he doesn’t sing, but she makes him do it), and then they sat down like talk show guests and answered some questions from the host, and a few from the audience, and then it was over, except for those of us who hung around forming lines of fanboys and fangirls to get our Gaiman books and Palmer CDs signed, and even…

Amanda Fucking Palmer, and some dork

… get our pictures taken with her. :)

I mean, you can sort of see from her eyes there that she is doing this because this random dorky fan she doesn’t know at Google has sort of attacked her with his iPad, and she is thinking about how she and Neil have to get over to Town Hall for their performance tonight, and do they have all the instruments packed and stuff, but still.

Swoon…

They were both warm and patient with the lines of adoring fans. And I really do know who Neil Gaiman is, more or less, and while a million years ago I read some comic of his and didn’t like it and haven’t read anything to speak of by him since, I do now have a copy of Neverwhere on the iPad.

But mostly now I’ve seen Amanda Fucking Palmer live. :)

2013/11/07

some additional words

So I woke up with some Upper Respiratory invasion on Saturday morning, and didn’t feel pretty much normal until yesterday sometime. That was no particular fun!

It did allow me to determine firsthand that, while the New Employer do as a general rule like team members to interact in person, if you need to work from home for three days because of an invasion of replicators, it is No Problem.

Also, they do Working From Home, like everything else remotely technical, very very well. Really very well. Remarkably. Quite.

read more »

2013/01/26

So!

Who’s the wiseacre that thought it would be funny to sprinkle powdered diamond all over the car and driveway during the night? I mean, it’s pretty and all, but it took forever to sweep up. Sometimes felt like I should be using a shovel — hey, wait a minute!

I’m collecting transitive verbs that can be used only reflexively. So far the only one I’ve got is the neologism (well, it’s a neologism for some of us) “bootstrap”. (“Finally, the Internet has bootstrapped itself to sentience.”)

It can also be used intransitively, with the reflexive object implied (“Man, that spent a long time bootstrapping”). I’d expect this is probably true of any verb in this category; given that there’s only one possible object, it’d naturally become optional to spell it out.

Bonus points for a reflexive-only transitive verb that can’t be used intransitively, of course! We are nothing if not generous with points!

In WoW news, either Panda Tanks are way overpowered, or the game is just dead-easy up to at least level 70 these days. Or both.

Probably both.

Can’t spell crazy without R-AZ!

I am reading the webcomic Questionable Content from start to finish (that link points to the first one; don’t worry, the art and typeface both improve pretty rapidly). It’s very good, in a “wow I’m not really into soap operas and all, but this is great” sort of way. All friendly and geeky and snarkily heartwarming and stuff, with the occasional digression into why the advent of human-level AI hasn’t made much of a difference in the world (yet?). Also lots of cute girls in a pulchritudinous but almost entirely SFW way.

And on the other hand I have already read start-to-finish, and am eagerly hoping for more, the never SFW in the slightest webcomic oglaf. Dripping with sex an’ laffs!

Speaking of laffs, you may have heard that there are Amusing Videos on the internet! Here is one that I found!

Is that not amusing? In at least one of his other ones, he makes his cat dance on the video. Couldn’t do that with our cat; she’d rip your face clean off…

So!

2012/12/19

How The Light Gets In

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

On the way

Due to a chain of serendipities, I went into The City last night, met work and SL friend A and her friends and neighbors J and J, and saw Leonard Cohen live at Madison Square Garden.

Grand Central Station

It was amazingly wonderful.

Somewhere near Madison Square Garden

I’ve decided that no one else does what Cohen does. He’s not, you know, a singer (I know M will agree with that, haha), not someone who writes songs and then tours around performing them.

Instead he’s a poet, who often puts his poetry to music. He’s a performance artist, where the basic materials are the same as those of singers, but the product is shaped and integrated very differently.

Seventh Avenue and Thirty-Fourth Street

In a good song, there might be one or two lines of lyric that take your breath away, or open your mind for a second (or a lifetime) to whole new universes, or call up some emotion that you’d forgotten, or never felt before.

A good Cohen piece does that with, like, every freaking word.

Stage Door Deli

That’s A above there (left), and one of the J’s (right). The other J (not shown) is to the right of me (also not shown). We’re having liverwurst (me) and pastrami (everyone else) sandwiches at the Stage Door Deli, one of the very few places in the City at which I’ve actually eaten more than once.

Nude Woman and Horse on the backdrop

We got there in plenty of time (but probably good that we decided to skip dessert), and the seats were good (better than they look in the iPad’s zoomless snapshots, although the biggish screens up high to left and right were nice to have; very good camera work and crossfades and all on them; kudos to the camerafolk).

Leonard Cohen, live!

I only discovered Leonard Cohen in Second Life, when Callipygian “Calli” Christensen, who I knew as a photographer and hostess and general breathtakingly smart person, started DJing; she plays lots of Cohen. His poetry really touches something in me (obviously!).

Really nice lighting work throughout

Image above during “Suzanne”. Very nice, mostly understated, lighting work throughout; no sparks or explosions or anything, just the occasional flashes of brightness on or over or at the crowd, well-placed spots, and color-wash effects on and against the backdrop.

Hallelujah

(That’s an appropriate light-burst during Hallelujah up there.)

A very high-quality production in general; the band were all amazing, very much including the backup vocals, all of whom got their own solos. Sharon Robinson (who I now know alot more about) sang “Alexandra Leaving”, after Cohen read part of the poem. I thought I would reset the time listening to someone other than Cohen, but she was marvelous; utterly different from him in tone and delivery (in fact the one thing that I’d say didn’t work during the show was one place where they attempted to duet on a line a few times, and their voices just didn’t blend), but somehow very much the same in deep mesmerizing emotional effect.

And the Webb sisters had a duet solo (yeah, yeah) on “If it be Thy will” during the encores (again after Leonard did some of the poem first), which was also lovely.

The Screens

(Oh, and can someone puh-leze go put more content into the Wikipedia page on Roscoe Beck? Sheesh. I would if I actually knew anything. But as Bassist and Musical Director of this whole multi-year Leonard Cohen World Tour, and generally amazing musician, he ought to have more words.)

Tons of stuff I could talk about. :) Cohen’s an old guy now, and his voice is deep and throaty and rough. He spends lots of time down in his signature kneeling position, but he also skips in an amusing manner with one hand over his head between numbers, coming onto or going off the stage, to great audience amusement.

He tipped his hat gallantly at the very end, and the crowd went (even) wild(er).

We joked to each other going in that it was going to be an old crowd, and certainly there weren’t alot of teenyboppers, but it wasn’t entirely (or even mostly) geriatric either; a good mix of ages, mostly upper middle class and whitish (although there was one very pretty non-whitish woman in the row ahead of us, so not an utterly pale audience).

Cohen had a few, but very warm and funny, conversational asides. Before “There Ain’t No Cure For Love”, he said something about the times having their terrors, and how sometimes he feels that he needs a forklift to raise his spirits, and that he looks at himself in the mirror and says “Lighten up, Leonard!” (lots of crowd laughter there), “When are you going to recover from finding out there ain’t no cure for love?” (segue into song).

He put out a portable keyboard (for which piece I now forget) and said something about how this was a new piece of technology that most of us probably hadn’t seen before, and it plays itself! He turn turned on some drum loop, to more audience laughter.

During that number he played a couple of notes on it, and the audience applauded and whistled and he sort of paused the song and said “was that just sympathy for an elderly guy? I can do alot more than that; I can play two notes at once!” and he did a little of that and the number continued, and the audience was generally ecstatic.

What else what else? He sang that one line of Hallelujah as “I didn’t come to New York City just to fool ya” (as I gather he tends to when playing live). He introduced all of his co-performers at least three times, with very genuine (genuine seeming? is that an oxymoron?) warmth.

He opened with “Dance Me To The End Of Love”, a classic and a popular favorite, and opened the second half with “Tower of Song” (similarly). At least one person in the audience kept yelling out “Hallelujah!” in between numbers (well, the numbers before “Hallelujah”, anyway); I yelled “Freebird!”, but only loud enough for the immediate row to hear. :)

They did “Democracy (is coming, to the USA)”, to considerable audience cheering and stomping, I think during the encores. (Complete setlist is here; they are fast!)

Hallelujah was the official finale, and then they did “Take this waltz” while he thanked all the band members again, and the audience then insisted on encores. We got “So long, Marianne”, and “Democracy”, and the aforementioned “If It Be Thy Will” with the Webb sisters, and they finally chased us off with “Closing Time” (“All the women tear their blouses off, and the men they dance on the polka-dots, and it’s partner found and it’s partner lost, and it’s hell to pay when the fiddler stops”).

(Of my favorite Cohen numbers, the main one missing from the concert was “Light as the Breeze”. Too elite for the masses, I’m sure! :) )

Headed home

A and J and J had snuck out a little before the last encore to get the 11:52 back south (the next train being at 1:30 or so). I wandered about looking for Penn Station and the subway (which you wouldn’t think would take much wandering, being basically in the same building, but the place is a bl––ding maze), took the Seventh Avenue Express up to Times Square, got the last shuttle to Grand Central (I guess they stop at midnight, the wimps), made the 12:08 northbound local with like 45 seconds to spare, and before long was nestled asleep in my bed.

What a good time. :) Extreme thanks to A, and to the Deities of Chance, and to Mr. Cohen and the Band.

2012/09/27

It’s Hard To Overstate My Satisfaction

(Note: this is all geeky in-jokes. Don’t worry if you don’t get it; it just means you are not obsessed with weird old console games!)

So I have one of these on the trunk of my car; here is a rather bad picture:

When I was driving out of the lot at work the other day to go home, I noticed a piece of paper had been tucked under my windshield wiper, so I parked again and got out and looked at it.

Here it is:

Needless to say, that made my day. :) Thank you, anonymous colleague and fellow Portal fan!

It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

2012/05/08

Ane Brun

Okay so I have found a new person to get some of the music of!

(Note; hearing the track with and without the video are rather different experiences. Also, everyone else in the world is listening to this today too, because it was on NPR during morning drivetime. Well. Some morning recently!)

2012/04/28

The internet really is changing the world!

So it’s very hard to estimate, objectively, how much the world is actually changing. Except in the oddest of times, after all, the perceiver is changing at least as much as the world. Stairs get steeper, burdens heavier, music louder, children younger and their jargon less comprehensible (ikr?), the people who run the world more obviously incompetent, because of the shift of viewpoint, regardless of any other sort of change.

You can’t go down to the same river twice, that is to say, even if the river is the same.

Having said all that, though, the world sure has changed! :)

I went to The Mall today, to get my both pairs of glasses repaired (the world’s gotten blurrier, too, as it happens). My reading glasses have been held together with a little twist of wire for months, and yesterday I figured out that my driving glasses have been bothering my nose because although the lefthand nose-piece was still there, it was subtly torn enough that the metal bit was sticking through whenever I actually put them on.

There being no convenient way to get them repaired at home (or maybe just by force of habit, really; come to think of it I didn’t even look online for home glasses-repair kits), I went to The Mall. The Sterling Optical was having, or was involved in, some peculiar event involving a local radio station, balloons, a popcorn machine, and other arcana, but someone asked if they could help me, and when I said I needed some repairs they summoned The Guy Who Does The Repairs from the back room, and he came out and took my glasses and said it would be just a couple of minutes.

So I stood there reading news and books on my ‘Pad until he (or actually someone else, which was slightly confusing) returned with my glasses all fixed up, and then I was all done.

I strolled around The Mall a little, got a coffee, wandered through the Video Game Store, didn’t go into the book store (or even, come to think of it, notice if there is still a book store there), went upstairs and got some lunch from Asian Chao, thought I noticed a “Rounders” to open soon where the Burger King used to be, but then decided that it was actually a “Rounders” that had opened and closed again where the Burger King used to be, since the last time I was there.

There were Akoo screens on some of the columns in the Food Court, and cardboard ads for the Akoo app (which in some sense lets you control what Currently Popular Videos appear on the Akoo screens) sitting on the tables. I looked briefly at the Akoo app on my ‘Pad, but it looked kind of dumb so I didn’t get it. After I ate I bought some (really rather awful) chocolate from the all-candy-same-price candy stand, and wandered through F.Y.E. and didn’t buy anything there either.

The Mall is really a pretty impoverished environment in which to buy things. The F.Y.E. has some little devices that you can run the barcode of a CD under and possibly listen to the tracks and read about the artists on a little display; last time I was there a few of them mostly worked. This time I didn’t even bother trying; I was going to be home pretty soon anyway after all. The book store that I didn’t even go into has some random selection of books that someone (I would guess the Home Office of the bookstore chain) has decided to stock, but there’s no metadata, no reader reviews, no easy way to find other books by the same author or “readers who looked at this also looked at” lists.

Part of me says that it’s nice to be able to browse through the physical objects and decide what to buy one-to-one with the thing like that. But how much sense does that actually make? It means that I’m deciding whether to buy based on how compelling the cover design and the blurbs are, and the things I’m deciding between are limited to whatever someone (else) has decided to stock. How are those advantages?

So one thing that The Mall has is Sterling Optical where they will fix your glasses (and for free!). It also has a somewhat wider variety of coffees and ice-creams than home does, and Asian Chao and Desert Moon and fast-food chains like that. But that doesn’t seem like enough to support a whole Mall really, does it?

And then it has the persons. Quite many persons, each one interesting and lovely in a different way, with eyes and limbs and clothing of different colors and designs, and hair in various styles and lengths. Persons with voices and stories, and laughs and quiet whispers and sidelong looks.

I do like persons. :) And you don’t get to admire them when you buy books on Amazon or music on iTunes or furnace filters on Furnace Filters 4 You Now Dot Com.

But you do when, for instance, you go out to hear live music in Peekskill. (And to an interesting extent that we won’t consider further here right now you also do when you go out to hear live music while staying home.)

So the Internet gets us lots of great metadata from other persons while we shop, but keeps us from encountering the actual persons themselves, and their voices and hair and limbs.

Does this deprive us of the company of other persons, or does it just mean that we have more time to encounter other persons in non-consumer contexts? Both, of course. :) But which more, and which when, and which to whom? Them are the questions (some of them)…

2012/04/28

Night Life

I so need to get into Peekskill more! Terrible how many years I’ve lived right down the street from this artsy little town, and gone to barely a handful of events.

Or to reuse a Facebook posting and put it more positively:

So I am sitting here in the Beanrunner Cafe in Peekskill (good crowd!) ordering soup and a sammich and mocha for dinner, listening to the music while the performers (including my little son, of whom I am wildly proud) set up, and Suzanne freaking VEGA is apparently performing down the street at the Paramount, and I am having my iPad here and I am reading my mail and buying digital books on the innerweb which instantly appear to be read, and now I am posting here, while sitting at this little table with a candle an’ everything.

Woot!!

and then I put up a Facebook photo gallery (my first!) of (dark, blurry, cellphone) pictures of the whole experience.

It was an absolutely wonderful time. The owners and lead performers were elated that they managed to pack the house even playing opposite Suzanne Vega (I would guess that having six High School students in the troupe and therefore drawing in parents and uncles and aunts and grammas and grampas may have had something to do with that, heh heh, although objectively speaking it was in fact a great time). The overly talkative people at the table behind me (why would you come to a live music performance and then TALK NONSTOP, LOUDLY SO AS TO BE ABLE TO HEAR EACH OTHER OVER THE MUSIC for half of the second set?) even partially redeemed themselves by asking me on their way out if the bass player was my son, because they’d thought I looked like him.

I had a big glass of wine (in addition to yummy soup and a wrap sandwich and a big mocha coffee), and while it didn’t hurt my driving-home any I feel somewhat hung-over this morning. (Or maybe it was just the kitten being all excited and/or sleeping on my legs much of the night.)

But it was so worth it…

2011/12/05

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So yeah all the swearing in that last post was just for fun. We have written about swearing in the distant past (and we still hold essentially the same views).

Since I’ve mentioned Glitch recently and how I feel like I’ve sort of done everything (although I did stay logged in longer than usual today so as to set up my brand-new still and start making hooch), I feel obliged now to link to the big unLaunching announcement in which the Glitch folks tell us that they are going back to Beta, in order to add more cool stuff to do without having to worry to a post-Beta degree about compatibility and stability and stuff.

Which I think is pretty cool.

In Illyriad my two cities are thriving and I’m slowly putting together the resources for a third. And exactly why one would want to do that still sort of escapes me.

I think I am doing Too Many Things, really, on this here computer and the Internets and things inside it. Let’s see:

  • Glitch
  • Illyriad
  • Second Life
  • WoW (nearly forgot that!)
  • No doubt other things like that that I have forgotten for the moment
  • Writing two different weblogs
  • Not actually reading the four million weblogs I have in Google Reader
  • Trying to remember to download my monthly allotment from eMusic
  • And so on and so on.

But oh well! Such is XXIst Century Life.

So instead of going on and on about that, here are the last few things that have found their way into my iTunes library, most-recent first, just for randomness:

  • The Legend of Zelda, 25th Anniversary Soundtrack (ripped from the CD that came with the kids’ copy of Legend of Zelda; Skyward Sword)
  • Pomplamoose, “Tribute to Famous People”, “3 New Songs Woot!”, and the single of “Bust Your Kneecaps” (it is not as deliriously fun to just listen to these as it is to watch Nataly Dawn sing them, but it is still fun)
  • Three tracks from Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works 85-92” (speaking of using up my monthly eMusic allotment),
  • Howlin’ Wolf, “The Best of…” (utterly classic blues)
  • Cream, “Disraeli Gears” (welcome to 1967!)
  • Meat Loaf, “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell” (I have not formed an opinion on this yet, I’ll have to get back to ya)
  • Feist, “The Bad in Each Other”, from “Metals” (no idea; probably trying to spend the last 50 cents in an eMusic month again)
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth” (less-than-three Joan Jett)
  • Fiona Apple, “Extraordinary Machine” (the whole album, although I really got it for the title track)
  • Sandy Bainum, “Extraordinary Machine” (just the one track; I heard this, I forget by whom, on NPR, and had to have at least two covers of it at once!)
  • School of Seven Bells, “I L U”, from “Disconnect from Desire” (I have even more completely random stuff than I thought I did!)
  • Seefeel, “Faults” (good electronica)
  • Thelonius Monk and Sonny Rollins, “Thelonius Monk and Sonny Rollins” (Jaaaazzzzz)
  • Martin Denny, “Quiet Village” (Have I never told the story of this album? Suffice it to say my parents had it, and I had an enormous crush on the woman on the cover.)

And that takes us back to about the beginning of October, so I’ll arbitrarily stop for now. :)

Hm, I bet I still have December money to spend on eMusic

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2011/10/21

Friday, October 21, 2011

So I don’t understand this kind of spam:

Hello,

My name is Franco Cavalier am sending you this email regarding in Purchasing Product from your company,I will like to know if you can ship directly to France , I also want you to know my mode of payment for this order is via CC . Get back to me if you can ship to that destination and also if you accept the payment type I indicated

Kindly return this email with your price list of your products..

Franco.

201, rue de Grenelle

FR – 75357 PARIS

FRANCE

Slightly even more puzzling because it was sent to my work address (in ibm dot com), and it was sent from an email address of “dummy” at somewhere in France (with a reply-to at a gmail dot com address).

What value does anyone get by spamming out a request for lists of goods that can be paid for by credit card and shipped to France?

I suppose he might just be gathering email addresses in general, to spam or to sell? But surely if you want to test to see if a vast number of email addresses are valid, you’d want to maximize the chance that the person will write back, and in that case asking for lists of products that can be bought via credit card and shipped to France doesn’t do that.

They could just be validating a big list of email addresses by sending any old junk to them and seeing what bounces, but (1) email agents don’t send “no such user” replies anymore, as I recall, for exactly this reason, and (2) this is an awfully weird “any old junk”. I’d hate to think that some spammer address-collector had this nice a sense of the absurd.

Ah, mysteries, mysteries…

I just got The Physics Book from Amazon (I think I’d pre-ordered it or something), and it’s lovely. Bigger and fancier than I’d expected, a nice weighty hardcover with lots of short entries about interesting physics things, and great pictures.

You should get it, too! And not just because the author’s office is more or less across the hall from mine or anything. :)

I’ve just started reading it (the introduction and then a few completely random pages), but I think I will enjoy it greatly; it’s nice and bite-sized (a box of intellectual chocolates!), which fits my current (tiny) attention span nicely.

I’m also enjoying The Quantum Thief quite a bit, in the digital edition, despite having sort of forgotten about it for long enough that starting out again I didn’t quite remember just who everyone was, or what had happened to whom previously. But it’s the kind of book in which you’re enjoying trying to figure out what’s going on anyway, so that hasn’t been a big problem. And the tech and the world and the culture(s) and all are interesting while one is trying to work it all out.

It occurs to me that I could just sort of leave this entry, with the date at the top, open in WordPress all day, and hit Publish in the evening or whenever I felt like I wasn’t going to write anything elsemore to speak of.

Maybe I’ll do that. Although I might forget. And it’s also nice to Publish shortly after writing, and get that sense of Accomplishment.

So for NaNoWriMo this year, assuming I convince myself that I have time, I’m thinking about a nonlinear hyperlinked novel. Say, 100 interlinked pages at 500 words per page? Or 500 100-word pages, or anything on that curve. Something like The Forked Stick, only I would “finish” it in a month, and not leave it hanging forever like I did with that. :)

Water Street runs close by the river, into the Dun Quarter, which is quiet but far from silent in this moony night, breathing with the sharp stillness of the river and the easy aches of poverty and long practice.

To one side is the pier, and across the street is an old building where a sign shows a cup and a hen. Far down at the other end of the street, the Long Temple broods in a feverish silent sleep.

(I am still quite proud of the Tic Tac Toe game embedded in The Forked Stick. Wow, that was some time ago!)

Didn’t you mean to say you assassinate your enemies
Didn’t you mean to say you kill journalists and artists
Didn’t you mean to say you give orders for the murder
Didn’t you mean to say you sell drugs to make your fortune
Holly Near, “Edge”

I don’t actually recall how Edge got onto the iPad here, but I’m enjoying it very much. Energy, novelty.

Also enjoying The Dresden Dolls:

and you can tell
from the smoke at the stake
that the current state is critical
well it is the little things, for instance:
in the time it takes to break it she can make up ten excuses:
please excuse her for the day, its just the way the medication makes her…
girl anachronism

What else should one mention in one’s weblog? I’m sure there are other things that will occur to me later in the day. But at the moment the desire to see it published and In The Can seems sort of strongish. So I will probably push Publish sometime in the next minute or so, assuming the universe and its laws continue more or less unchanged (something that it’s not clear how justified we are in assuming, or whether it matters whether we are).

Yep, here we go!

See you on the other side! :)

2011/10/17

Monday, October 17, 2011

I wear the chains I forged in life, mon!

Ha ha ha ha ha! We just came up with that in the office here. Maybe a little obscure, but it pleases me…

Secure yourself to heaven.
Hold on tight, the night has come.
Fasten up your earthly burdens,
You have just begun.
Indigo Girls

That pleases me also, because I have no idea what it means, but it sounds neat.

I like to be able to think of the world as a deep and complex place, with lots of secrets and interesting things I haven’t seen yet, where the lit-up parts that I understand and inhabit are a nice small-and-secure corner from which one could venture out.

Songs sung in unknown tongues…

Be kind to me or treat me mean
I’ll make the most of it
I’m an extraordinary machine

Heard that on the radio yesterday (yesterday?), and liked it. Seems to be an original Fiona Apple; my main mental impression of Fiona Apple is that she is too thin. Maybe I should listen to some of her music! I wonder who else has covered this ditty.

What Do They Want?

Here is a This Modern World on the subject. (Apologies for any Daily Kos popovers or anything.)

My sympathies are to a large degree with the Occupy Wall Street (and Things In General) protestors (protesters?). As are even some folks at Fox, which gives me a warm feeling. I think.

So what is economic justice, in this context? I can think of a few examples that one might work for. I’m not sure whether or not I favor them all / each of them in any particular sense.

  • Tax income from capital gains just like any other income. For: why favor rich people (who get lots of capital gains income), after all? Con: if we don’t favor rich people, they might take their ball and go home.
  • Let the Bush tax cuts expire like they were written to. Gets rid of most of the projected federal deficit with one blow.
  • Regulate the shadow banking system about like we regulate the normal banking system. ’cause now we know that otherwise they go crazy.
  • Bring back Glass-Steagall since on the whole it appears to have been a good idea after all.
  • Announce that the U. S. Government will no longer be bailing out failed financial institutions beyond what’s in the FDIC and so on. “Moral hazard” ain’t just a theory anymore, eh?
  • Stop lopsidedly favoring investment over savings in Federal economic policies. Savers are people, too.
  • Regulate corporations. I know, kind of general. But as the very interesting The Conservative Nanny State points out (free pdf available), being able to create this fictional construct to shield yourself from liabilities is a huge benefit; government has a perfect right to require a certain amount of good behavior in exchange.
  • Aggressively prosecute and convict (and get some of the billions back from) the people who ruined the world economy to enrich themselves. Seems like a no-brainer, but apparently not everyone is on board, even with prosecuting the most blatant and obvious parts of it, like fraudulent mortgage foreclosures.
  • Remove those administration officials with the most obvious conflicts of interest. The argument that only these people have the skills to clean up the mess is unconvincing; the only skills we know they have are to make the mess in the first place, and to enrich themselves and their friends and firms. Get rid of ’em.

Seems like a nice start. Hello, White House and Congress and all? You there?

Let’s see, what else we got?

Two postings on how the “SCADA” systems that control things like air traffic and the electrical grid are really not all that mega-secure after all, and in fact are probably not any more secure than one might expect. Which is a little worrying.

High-Performance Computing at the National Security Agency, not a book title one would necessarily have expected to find on the open Web. :)

The Best Thread in the History of the Internet; and I think they have a plausible case to make for the title.

Fleepgrid, a fun example of someone’s personal desktop virtual world that they’ve made available to everyone, just because why not?

I’ve been playing Glitch, which is kind of fun in a silly and amusing and relaxing way. I think I have like three invitations; tell me if you want one! I’m Orbst.

(Glitch has gotten some very positive press lately, which is notable. I have no idea how long I’ll keep playing in it; I think (sort of like WoW and utterly unlike Second Life) it will have alot to do with what the developers do to move the story that we’re all living in along in interesting ways.)

And I’ve been playing lots of Second Life, including a real clothing-acquiring spree in the last few days for some reason. (Evidence here and here and here and so on.) Perhaps decompressing after releasing my second major Serendipitous Exploration product in SL, which was great fun. (Sales are light so far, but I’m sure it will bring me worldwide fame and wealth soon!)

Otherwise, things are good in general. Missing Dad (and Mom for that matter) in wistful but nontraumatic ways, hoping that they are doing interesting things in whatever one does after one is done doing this. Loving the coming of Autumn, vaguely regretting that I can’t smell it (but not enough to go back to ENTs and talk about nose operations and stuff). Wondering about how one chooses an evaluation function (the answer being that ultimately one doesn’t, more or less inevitably, but then what?).

And writing in my weblog! Woot! :)