Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Something new

There was a time in all of our lives when each day taught us something new. Or many things.
I do still learn things. Generally though, they are refinements of things I already know. I realize that learning something, to even have the possibility of discovering something entirely new, as an adult, on a daily level is fairly unlikely, but - with all the information at our disposal - shouldn't it be possible?

I'm not desirous of learning quantum physics, just a tidbit of something that hasn't been in my daily view.

I bet there's a website somewhere devoted to divulging something (randomly and daily of course) that you didn't know. Now, I don't want useless knowledge. I have plenty of that; I can flip a Snapple top and get that - No, I think I want to learn something new everyday, which could be useful.

Along those lines, I'm going to also listen to one new song, or (if classical) 'piece', of music per day. The advantage to a 'song' is that it shouldn't take much longer than 3:50 -- unless it's some pretentious band doing something pretentious. I'm not sure which retro-year we're in right now, so it is entirely possible that ELP-like, or Pink Floyd-like, or some other band that does hourlong 'songs' could be hot (with a different name and members). But I don't think so. Is Air still putting out albums? They were Pink Floyd, weren't they? And everyone knows that Oasis is the Beatles. Who is Jet?

I've really been trying to stay in touch with current music, but damn it - so much of it is soooo boring. Really, it is. I find my listening habits going backwards in time. Further and Further.

So - if you know of any cool new music, let me know.

Going to look at two places tomorrow. Fingers still crossed.

Later, when we have a new place, I'll write about some of the house hunt experience. Till then though, I don't want to jinx the search with cynical storytelling.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

focusing on the target

The hunt narrows. We're still looking around in Silver Lake, and that Altadena thing I wrote about continues to hold possibilities. Lately, South Pasadena has become of interest to us. Ironically, well maybe not ironically, but something very... something -- is that one of the places we really liked was only three blocks from where our present (now past) landlord lives. The guy who sold this place.
How does the world, that is so big, always end up being so small?

We like about three places right now. Each has their rub. We're hoping to look at another place here in Silver Lake and we have another lookie see appointment tomorrow. Fingers crossed, it could be the one.

Of course, now that we're in the last throes of Edendale living, a stray cat has decided to adopt us. It desperately wants to get into the house. Won't let it of course cause I'm allergic and we don't want to get attached. Marianne did buy some cat food though, and we've been feeding it at night. Does that sound unattached?

There are a lot of cats in these hills, and they somehow seem to signal events. Don't know why but they do. When we moved in four and a half years ago, cats circled the place. I even busted one in the living room when we were moving stuff in. When I was editing the movie, a strange cadre of black cats used to sit in the patio area and just stare, and now - this one. There doesn't seem to be anything ominous or premonitory about it. It just is. I'll have to research that more.

For my birthday, I was given a styrofoam radio controlled airplane. It's one of the coolest presents and I can't wait to fly it. With a freebie simulator program that allows you to practice flight, I have a slightly better than zero chance of not losing the airplane in its maiden voyage. Looking at the directions, I'm reminded of something. I do not live in suburban America. The directive of finding a wide open area the size of a football field, with grass - away from telephone, power lines and trees, is not nearly as easily accomplished in Los Angeles and the surrounding area as it was in Bucks County, Pa. I suppose I could go into the desert, but chasing after the airplane might be accompanied by dodging of rattlesnakes, dry scrub brush, and who knows what else. Till then, virtual flying it is.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

This is not my beautiful house.

Imprinting. It happens to ducks. It happens to Humans.

We're deep in the process of looking for a new place. Every place we look at we gauge by how close it is to where we presently live, and how close it is to what we presently have.
It's not a good thing, but has been difficult to avoid.

We go into a place and look it over wondering, can we make memories here. Will it work? Will the office desk fit over there? Will this room be okay for our bedroom furniture?
Where's the yard? That's what they were talking about?

The fact is that we have found several nice places. The minus is that they have gotten a bit more pricey since we last looked. Thankfully, not as bad as purchase prices of homes.

I have discovered that Altadena is a major secret of the Los Angeles area. The prices really aren't bad, and besides the fact that it's hotter than hell, the homes are stunning... and it's a suburb - with trees and backyards, and lawns, and pools. If you can deal with being twenty or so minutes further east than Silver Lake/Burbank/Hollywood, it's not a bad place at all. Of Altadena, I will now officially coin the phrase - Topanga of the foothills. With the San Gabriel mountains looming behind, it makes for quite a stunning place.
If only it weren't so damn hot.

Our hope is to stay in this area - it being the Silver Lake area. I fear that it has become a bit too trendy, which translates into pricey - something old timers were bemoaning five years ago. The real artsy feel is being replaced by a certain corporate artsy feel. Kinda getting a westside vibe. It does still has plenty of coolness to it though and who knows what will happen if the economy reverts to sanity. Still, it's disconcerting to see all the BMW's and Mercedes being driven by lousy drivers.
Damn near like being in Beverly Hills.

Hey, I saw something in the news which really bothers me -- and I can start this with: Those FRICKIN republicans. What is up with doing nothing but evil these days???

Okay - The FCC decided that phone companies no longer have to share their Internet lines with rivals. This was done as a 4-0 ruling from the commission (which has an open seat)

The chairman is Kevin Martin; a proud Bushie.

What this means is that the large companies win - we're going to be at the mercy of the people who own the phone lines for our DSL. I have a great price and great service through a company called dslextreme. Basically, they'll be screwed and SBC will win. I see this as a sanctioned monopoly. Their argument is that this is the only way that cable can compete.
Uh, NO.
If there's only two bullies on the block, they'll eventually get together and bully everyone together.

I leave with this question...


If I have baffled you with this, learn more... Google -- FCC DSL

Monday, August 01, 2005

Still Beatin

Back in the 80's Huey Lewis had a song called "Heart of Rock N Roll". It was a song in which he was happy and relieved to find that Rock and Roll was alive in well in various cities across the U.S.

Last night I went to the Derby for a Rockabilly show. Like Huey, I was happy and relieved.

A roomful of the right people and the right frame of mind.

It was a three band night, all of them really good. The headliner was the Dave and Deke combo, a fairly well known country swing/light rockabilly band of ten or fifteen years ago. Fantastic! Perhaps one of the tightest acts I've ever seen. It gave a chance for the cats and the kitties to come out and dance - and boy did they ever. Think Swingers and you have the picture. Well, that is exactly the picture, isn't it?

It was a good evening to shake some of the cobwebs loose and put me in the right head for a scene I'm rewriting in "Diamond Road" (Which is a Rockabilly action adventure after all.)

Insert CD, Rip. Next.
Though I have hundreds of Mp3's, I'm finally ripping my CD collection. Windows Media Player finally got the process of music archiving, ripping, etc. right. Like many of Microsofts products - they gotta rip someone else off. Once they do, it takes a couple iterations to get it right. However, once it's right, it's better than pretty much anyone else.

Generally, I leave my computers spartan. It has been a requirement of high end video editing -- can't have any other crap slowing things down. Now, since I'm not immediately editing with my new lappie, I'm allowing myself some of the fun doodads that makes computers go round.

Insert Disc, Rip... oops, classical - beef the data rate to 320.

Pretty cool. There's quite a bit of music I haven't listened to in a long time, so it'll be a chance to broaden my listening base.

In a few moments I'm heading out to sail the high seas to Catalina island. Twenty six miles across the sea. About six hours.

Finally, here is something that I used to see more of on the East Coast, though not to this size. A sign of trouble for farmers and bible carriers when they swarm, the sounds they make remind me of the dogs days of summer.

Locust Chiming in.

Enjoy your summer day, doing whatever.