Lawnchair Painting (one of many)

This is one of the last oil paintings I did… This picture was taken a little bit before I decided it was done, and the others in the series burnt up in a fire. Also, the more recent pictures had of it burnt up in my last hard drive crash. The ‘finished’ painting, I gave to some friends of mine and they actually have it hanging up in their home. I love that. I will try to remember to take an updated picture of it next time I’m at their house in the daytime. Anyways, I like the basic idea of it so I thought I’d post it here.

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I think it’s about 30 inches wide.

“In The Beginning” & “Begging”(from the Four Eyed Monsters Podcast)By Popular Demand

 

“In The Beginning”

MP3 LINK HERE Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This is a piece of music I made for the first episode of the Four Eyed Monsters Video Podcast. Arin sent me a loop of him playing his nylon string guitar and said “See if you can do anything with this…” or something like that. So this is what I did with it and they liked what it added to the episode, so after a few revisions (there’s always revisions), this became the score for that episode.

Because I never intended for it to be listened to on its own, I can’t help but not really consider it a song. Musically, it’s sort of a one-trick-pony, doing the same couple of phrases over and over, but I get so many requests for it and so many people put it on their MySpace Profiles when it was up on myspace, that I decided to make it available to anyone that wants it. I guess people like it. :)

I should mention that Episode 6 has a piece of music I made to compliment this one. It’s based on a Minor-ized version of the same theme so I’m posting that here too.

 

“Begging”

(As heard in Episode 6 of the Four Eyed Monsters Podcast)

MP3 LINK HERE Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

The Looking For Work Chronicles Parts 1 & 2

In case you didn’t know, I’m looking for a job right now. All the fuss got me thinking about how silly the process is, at least for me. I find myself in a weird sort of personal Woody Allen movie, where not only am I totally insecure and the world around me more or less completely nonsensical, but at the same time I find myself entertaining totally self-absorbed notions in a world where I appear to be the only one bothered by all the nonsense. It’s an “I must be the only sane one here” type of thing. Of course, that’s an oxymoronical idea. The insane one is the minority by definition. And that would be me. I thought it would be cathartic for me and possibly entertaining for you if I purge some of my observations and insecurities here. Here are the first two bits of this.
Continue reading “The Looking For Work Chronicles Parts 1 & 2”

WebKit is the Sharpest Knife in My Drawer of Web Browsers

UPDATE: I’ve had to change this post.  I learned after posting this that WebKit is merely the rendering engine that Safari uses.  Although Safari updates will eventually include the latest ‘stable’ version of the WebKit engine, by running an instance of Safari using the latest ‘beta’ version of WebKit you can take advantage of improvements being made to the engine now, but at the risk of encountering bugs etc, which so far I have not.

Anyways, I’ve had a hard time completely abandoning Safari for Flock. It turns out, while Flock has some features I really like and use on a daily basis, as well as the ability to run FireFox Extensions, it is a little clunky compared to Safari. I found myself still using Safari because it’s FAST. It’s just a more efficient App.
And I just recently learned about WebKit.  Running Safari this way seems even faster than normal. They update WebKit on a nearly daily basis -seems like about every other day.

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Anyways I’ve found that I’m using different browsers for different things. This is nice for two reasons. First, I’m taking advantage of each browser’s strengths, choosing which one to use depending on what I’m doing. Second, I’m addicted to Keyboard shortcuts and I love being able to Apple+Tab between the various things I’m doing.

One thing that would make doing things this way a lot better would be to have an aggregate view of my browsing history from across all the Browsers I use, Safari, Flock, NetNewsWire & FireFox. Then when I look at my history, it could be in chronological order regardless of the browser I used, but returning to an item in my history could open it in the same browser I opened it in the first time. Alternately, maybe a contextual (right-click/Control+click) menu could let me choose amongst them. I bet there’s a way to set this up using Automator, or maybe someone has thought of this and there’s an app out there somewhere. We’ll see.

Here’s what I use the various Browsers for as of today:

Safari w/ latest WebKit release

  • System’s Default Browser… The articles that come in on the feeds in NetNewsWire usually get opened with this.
  • Extended research sessions. I can’t stand waiting for Flock when I’m really trying to get some learning done or whatever.
  • Quickly grabbing links and such while I’m blogging in Flock

NetNewsWire

  • RSS/Atom Feeds for News, Blogs, continual queries of certain sites like craigslist

Flock

  • My “HomePages.” Flock is set with three tabbed homepages, My WordPress Dashboard, FaceBook and MySpace. I don’t go too far from home with Flock
  • Quick Web Searches via the add-on capable search thingy. I have stuff like dogpile, wikipedia and del.icio.us in there (and a ton more) (I wish pipl and definr would work in it)
  • Generally I blog using Flock, Apple+Tabbing over to reading materials open in NetNewsWire, and the two instances of Safari I’ve been running at the same time (with and without the latest WebKit release).
  • Flock’s blog editor comes in handy for quickly editing lite HTML while blogging, commenting or doing things like updating my MySpace (I’m such a dork).

FireFox

  • I use FireFox for all the Extensions I don’t need to have in my face and clogging things up during normal operation. Stuff like the Google Toolbar, The Web Developer Toolbar, Etc Etc Etc… Ugh! Disgusting. I hate all the toolbars. So much clutter.

Safari

  • I still find myself opening the normal version of Safari to have two history paths, or to be able to have one more space to Apple-Tab over to… But basically right now I’m mostly content with the “WebKit version.”

Anyways, I wish there was an automated way to always get the latest stable or near stable version of WebKit automatically…. It’s getting annoying constantly downloading disk images, mounting them, dragging the app, ejecting the image… An automator script maybe?

Digital Permormer Can’t Save After Hard-Drive Clone/Migration

NOTE: the following refers to DP 5.1 on a Mac with OS 10.4.11… If you have a different version of OS X or if you’re running an older version of DP, things might be a little different

After cloning my drive with Carbon Copy Cloner and migrating to the clone, I found that Digital Performer wasn’t able to save files! Error Says:

An Error occurred while writing to the disk. The file [name] was not saved. This file was created in a later version of Digital Performer and cannot be opened in this version. Try to save your file on another disk or folder, or with a different name.

Oh no!

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A little digging found me these Instructions from MOTU but they are slightly incorrect, at least they were for me.

The fix is to delete an invisible file called Auth-DigitalPerformer 5.0 from your Hard Drive’s root directory.

If you’re not comfortable doing things in the Terminal, File Buddy is a great app for this sort of thing. It’s like a souped-up Finder allows you to work with invisible files and do all kinds of other advanced things with the stuff on your Mac. It’s a very useful program but it does cost like $40 bucks.

A free Applications that will get the job done just as well is called Visibility and it’s made by a company called Zevrix Solutions. Download it, install it, launch it, click on Show Invisible Files, the Finder will relaunch, then you will see the file called Auth-DigitalPerformer 5.0 in your Root directory. Trash it and DP should be happy again. Afterward you can use Visibility to put the Finder back to normal.

Do be really careful not to move or delete any of the other invisible files. They’re hidden from you for a reason.

###

HEY!  Did this post help you?  Did it save your life?  Did it save you time?  If so, please consider donating to me.  I need the money and every little bit helps.  No donation is too small!  Thanks.

Police.

This is sad.  And I’ve seen behavior like this on the part of law enforcement officers far too many times.  I like to think that all this interconnectivity between us with our gadgets and the web is going to make it harder for our public servants to get away with treating us like this.

Trying to Manage My Social Graph – So Much Work!

Some steps I’m taking to get all my contacts in order:

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  • Syncing my phone with my Desktop Address Book using iSync.  (Unfortunately, my phone, a Nokia 6126 isn’t supported by iSync so I had to find a hack to make it work)
  • Installing Plaxo‘s extension for AddressBook on my computer so I can take advantage of Plaxo’s syncing service
  • Setting up Plaxo to retrieve as much info about the people I know as possible from the various online services on which we are connected.
  • Manually attempting to find redundancies in this master-list of connections and fix them.  I have multiple incomplete address cards for many people, often with each one containing different pieces of the puzzle.  Also, I wanto to include MySpace URL’s and Blogs that aren’t discoverable using Plaxo or any of the other tools I have at my disposal. I guess I have to do this more or less manually.
  • Re-Syncing with Plaxo then Re-Syncing with my phone.
  • With a few exceptions, I’m not going to include people who I’ve only met online thru Social Networks Etc.
  • Publishing this data, Minus Private information like emails addresses and phone numbers in Semantic Formats like FOAF, XFN Etc.  I wonder about how other people would fee about the ethics of this.  I’ve decided that since I’m not revealing anything that isn’t already findable on the public web, via a MySpace search etc, it isn’t unethical even though many of the people I know might haven’t thought through what the implications are of participating in the Social Web.  I am going to take special care to not reveal blog sites and other things that people I know are doing anonymously.
  • This will probably take me a few days at least and I’m not looking forward to the work.

Hack: Make Nokia 6126 Work With iSync in OS X

Just switched to AT&T and of all the phones they are offering for free, the Nokia 6126 looked like the best bet to me. It’s got a Micro SD expansion slot and a slightly better camera than the others I had to choose from.

Unfortunately, in Tiger, iSync doesn’t work with the 6126 by default but I was able to find a work-around and it’s fairly simple. All it takes is a quick edit to an XML “.plist” file.

Here’s how you do it:
Continue reading “Hack: Make Nokia 6126 Work With iSync in OS X”

SIOC Should be Called SIOD. Discussions, not Communities, Right?

SIOC (pronounced “shock”) stands for Semantically Interlinked Online Communities. It’s the emerging standard for distributing forum and blog discussions, if I’m understanding it right. Considering the possibilities of this, I think of trackbacks on steroids.

Here’s the example of SIOC from the Wikipedia
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I think the C in SIOC is a little misleading.

I Scraped My MySpace Friends. Scrape Yours!

Is there a way to download MySpace Friends? Not officially.I used “O-Community” to scrape my friends out of myspace and I used TextWrangler to turn the file into a series of <a> tags within <li> tags that include the XFN rel=”friend” attribute. I will be looking into how I might publish this information in a more relevant structure/format, probably as SIOC or FOAF data, if I can figure out how to do that.

I wish FaceBook & MySpace allowed you to download a spreadsheet (excel or whatever) of all your contacts and their demographic information like Age, Gender, Location Etc. Some other formats I would like to be able to download my contacts in are RDF/XML, vCard, CSV Etc…

Actually, it is explicitly against MySpace’s and FaceBook’s Terms Of Service to do what I have done here. Scripts and Bots are prohibited. Perhaps this will change some bright beautiful day in the future.

We need to be able to mine the ‘Data of Our Lives,’ including of course the contacts we make through Social Software services. We also need to be able to Back-Up all our Data.

If you would like help scraping your MySpace friends, drop me a line and maybe I can help out.

  1. retard a ..
  2. no profile
  3. Matthew
  4. Leandra
  5. Matt
  6. Giraffe
  7. Arin Crumley
  8. Susan Buice
  9. Elijah
  10. Big Love
  11. John
  12. OG Readmore
  13. Kim
  14. Four Eyed..
  15. aletia
  16. JB
  17. Tom
  18. hachurui
  19. Ehly
  20. Bianca Ba..
  21. philipb
  22. johnny
  23. Vodka Tan..
  24. Stephanie
  25. Stefi
  26. alien
  27. tamiko
  28. kefentse
  29. sonja
  30. Sonoma Co..
  31. Miss White
  32. Jamal
  33. Chicago U..
  34. Alexandra
  35. Molly
  36. monkey gl..
  37. RUN
  38. Mandy
  39. GODFATHER
  40. connie
  41. The Datas..
  42. P.P.A.M
  43. mikehedge..
  44. megadethk..
  45. Cat
  46. molecules
  47. Simply Pa..
  48. First Tim..
  49. Jessica E..
  50. Sarah Miller
  51. rigel. th..
  52. Erik
  53. EVERYBODY..
  54. bad kissers
  55. Aaron
  56. Velvet Ha..
  57. Malik
  58. brian
  59. wei
  60. selena
  61. RADFORD
  62. marissa
  63. Continue reading “I Scraped My MySpace Friends. Scrape Yours!”

House of Representitaves Says Colleges Responsible for Piracy

I hate how our Congress slips irrelevant terms into legislation all the time. “College Affordability? What do Piracy, P2P and File-Sharing have to do with the affordability of ‘Higher Education?’

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From CNET (I really like CNET lately):

“The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a higher-education funding bill that includes controversial new antipiracy obligations for universities.

The 354-58 vote to approve the College Opportunity and Affordability Act leaves intact an entertainment industry-backed provision, which makes up just a tiny part of a bill that has ballooned to more than 800 pages.

It says higher-education institutions participating in federal financial aid programs “shall” devise plans for “alternative” offerings to unlawful downloading–such as subscription-based services–or “technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.”

Bollocks.

If you look at the Yeas and Nays, you’ll see that the majority Yea votes were Democrats.  Actually, the only Nays were Republicans!  This is a good example of the Democratic party falling inline with Anti-Freedom, Pro-Corporate interests. I’m saying this only because many of my friends are self-proclaimed Left-Wingers and it is often assumed that the Left is more Pro-Freedom. Not so fast.

Linked Data is Growing Up!!

I love these Semantic Web diagrams and flow-charts that folks keep drawing up.  They help me to stay excited.

This one is from Michael K. Bergman’s post, “Linked Data Comes of Age.”

Sorry for the shallow post.  I do love the chart though.  I mean by all means go read the article… Cool stuff is happening.  There’s going to be the first ever Linked Data Planet Expo in NYC among other things mentioned there.  Feels like momentum!
…and I like the pictures.

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Zitgist Browser or “zLinks” Plugin for WordPress – Semantics In Action

Some discussion about the concept can be found on Frederick Giasson’s blog.  He’s the developer of the plugin.

It behaves similarly to the Snap Shots Plugin, the thing that makes the slick little preview windows show up when you hover over the links in this site, but rather than an image of the site being linked to, zLinks shows you a list of semantically curated resources.  Hell yeah!

To see the plugin in action, check out the blogs of Daniel Lewis, Michal K. Bergman or of course, Frederick Giasson.

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RIAA’s Cary Sherman Talks About Network Filtering

From the Public Knowledge Blog

Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA speaking at the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee‘s State of the Net Conference

I want to find the full length version of this. UPDATE: The entire video is available HERE. (Unfortunately it’s a RealPlayer File, and it doesn’t play back properly through my MOTU 828… The fix for this is to switch to built-in speakers. Lame. Through my 828 the sound is all garbled and slowed down and only comes out through one channel.)

There’s also a complete Mp3 download HERE.

I heard part of the panel thru an audio stream that stopped about ten minutes in. For this reason I can say at least that the jump-cuts in this youtube video aren’t edits to bend the meaning of what Cary Sherman is saying. They’re just speeding it up. I’m looking around for the full video. I can tell from what I heard that this is an enlightening panel with a nice selection of speakers on it.

Panel:

  • Mia Garlick, YouTube
  • Greg Jackson, University of Chicago
  • Gregory Marchwinski, Red Lambda, Inc.
  • Cary Sherman, Recording Industry Association of America
  • David Sohn, Center for Democracy & Technology (moderator)
  • Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge

NewsGator is Rad. Desktop App Syncs with Online Version

For a while now, I’ve been using Bloglines. It’s OK. But today I decided to dust off my old NewsGator account after hearing from BetaNews that NewsGator purchased the Macintosh feed reader NetNewsWire. I thought at the very least this would mean some decent drag-n-drop-ability, but that’s just the beginning.

So now, NewsGator offers a desktop client (they have one for Windows too) that syncs with the online version of the service. Of course it’s free.

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The UI is very similar to Apple Mail, the advantage being, among other things, that something isn’t marked as read until you actually highlight it, revealing the content in a resizable reading area. And if you double-click on the Headline, the article maximizes to take up all the space, aside from the main sidebar on the left and a tinier sidebar on the right that allows you to toggle between the two views.

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When you do read something, it doesn’t go away, it’s just ‘read,’ so it’s not bold and there’s no blue bullet next to it. Oh, and like Mail, you can reorder stuff by name or date (but not by flag or read/unread).

I noticed while using Bloglines, that my behavior started to change in a bad way. Since as soon as you see something in Bloglines, it goes away, I found myself not wanting to glance at my feeds until I knew I had pleanty of time to process all the articles. So this past week, for instance, my feeds were piling up and the more they piled up, the more afraid I became of getting started. Certainly this is not the way to go. And NewsGator solves all of this for me.

The best thing about NewsGator though is definitely the fact that when you manage (add, delete, move) your feeds locally, the online version gets updated and vice-versa. Sweet!

Unless this thing starts crashing all the time, I’m never looking back. Goodbye Bloglines. Sorry.

Great Idea, Brad Fitzpatrick!

thanks for the heads up, Mike Hedge

Brad Fitzpatrick of LiveJournal posted a blog about the idea of mapping email addresses to URL’s.

A protocol for making it so for anyone who has your email address, you can give them access to a specific URL automatically. This could be a homepage etc, or it could also be an RDF file, if I’m understanding this correctly.

Great idea.

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Imagine all your contacts knowing where to find you! Imagine knowing where to find all your contacts! Access is controlled by whether or not we know one-another’s email addresses.

Maybe I give out one email to my closest friends and another to more peripheral social connections or business contacts… They get access to different URL’s and in turn, different information.

I love it.

Bolivia: Parasite Plus Lithium Equals Danger

My friend recently left the US for Bolivia to live indefinitely and the other day, I got word that he had become very ill and was in a “near-coma” state after some sort of parasitic infection and the dehydration it caused.

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I don’t have as many details as I would like but I figure I should post what I find out here so it might help some one else. My friend takes meds for Bipolor Disorder including Lithium which according to what I have recently found out about his condition, can really complicate a case of dehydration.

Here’s the email I got explaining my friend’s situation. I’ve removed the names of the four people mentioned and replaced them with ‘redacted,’ ‘blocked,’ ‘removed’ and ‘censored,’ to maintain the anonymity of everyone involved.

Andrew,

Thanks for writing me. I will do my best to be clear about what has happened and what is happening with [redacted]. [blocked] and I have been at the hospital for like 3 days, hence the lack of communication. But things are looking good and his state is improving daily.

Here is the story:

[redacted] had been having diarrhea for about 2 weeks. This happens to EVERYBODY that comes to Bolivia at some point, so we didn’t think much of it. However, [redacted]’s dehydration, mixed with the prescription drugs he is on for his various ailments, became his problem. The lithium he is taking keeps his sodium level extremely low. When you are dehydrated, sodium helps to retain water. Without sodium OR water and the continued administration of Lithium, [redacted] was unable to use his muscles to walk or to talk clearly. (This is what the doctors have led us to believe.)

So, his diarrhea, caused by stomach amoebas and colitis, among other digestive problems, led to dehydration which led to a lithium conflict and a dangerous drop in sodium levels.

So, [blocked] took him to the hospital and we got him a room and 24 hour care for 3 nights and 4 days. All of his vital signs and blood work came back at alarmingly low rates the first day he was there. He had low sodium, potassium and sugar levels. He had high creatin (sp) levels -ie. he wasn’t ridding his body of waste. His kidneys were suffering trying to get rid of the poisons in his body, but with no liquids, they were unable to do this. He was in bad shape.

However, with 24 hour care and all the vitamins and minerals he needed being pumped into his body, he improved greatly each day. By day 3, all of his vitals were normal and stable.

We brought him home from the hospital yesterday. We are giving him the medication he needs to rid his body of the amoebas and filling him with liquids and all the vitamins he needs.

As for the latest with [redacted], last night, he had diarrhea 3 times but was able to drink TONS of water. He should be finished with the diarrhea (and thus the dehydration problem) by the end of the week. We have a doctor’s appointment for him tomorrow to check up on his progress and vitals.

Now for the part that we are all worried about. Because of the low levels of lithium, we think his nervous system was affected. His speech is slurred and difficult to understand. He walks in small, assisted steps and needs help to use the bathroom and to walk. The good news, is that the doctors said there are NO signs of permanent damage. They say his speech and walking will be back to normal with practice and time. They say his full recovery is up to him.

Based on my being around [redacted] for the last 5 days, I would say that his mobility has really improved. He can and has walked unassisted, but is jerky in his movements still. His speech is understandable when he concentrates and speaks slowly. I have seen a BIT of improvement in his speech. Now that he is home, though, I think we will see more improvement, as he is around English speakers and we are going to ‘walk’ him every hour to get his muscles working again.

The doctors have assured us that this is a temporary issue and that his speech and walking will be normal within the month. However, as soon as [redacted] is able, we all think he should go back home to the states to get another opinion and proper care, as physical and speech therapy is not offered at the clinics we have been to.

If you want to talk to us, you can skype us. We are on skype under [blocked]’s name.

I hope this email helped a bit. To put you and [redacted]’s other friends at ease, know that he is being looked after by me, [blocked] and another friend, [censored] 24 hrs. We have other friends who are further researching his condition and how to speed his recovery with therapy. Bolivians are also assisting us through all of this.

I will keep you posted on any improvements or problems…

The consulate and embassy have been informed and involved as well, in case of emergency…

With high hopes,

-[removed]