“Mixing/Memory and desire”

The New York Times finally ran the profile on Doug Ketcham, my friend from Monroe Hill at Virginia who was in the World Trade Center when it collapsed. As should surprise no one, Tin Man wrote a much more evocative eulogy for him two months ago…. It still doesn’t seem real. I had lost touch with him after graduating and didn’t even know he was working in New York. Seeing it in the Times just adds to the unreality.

A more appropriate time to be re-reading The Waste Land than I had realized. From “The Burial of the Dead” (which is ironic since Doug is still officially “missing”):

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.

more…

Spending => more spending

Home electronics upgrade month continues. We replaced our TV a few weeks back with a new model from Costco, and today we splashed for an Onkyo surround receiver. The audio sources are hooked up, and hooking up the video will wait for another day. However, there was a bit of disappointment about the remote control. It controls a wide variety of video devices, but not the CD player we have. And both the CD and the receiver have remote connectors on the back panels so that you can control one device with another–but the CD player is Sony and the two remote interconnectors are not compatible.

So I’m in the market for a universal remote control…

Good Morning

I’m a little slow moving this morning. I’ve been getting this wonderful almost-cold for a couple of days now. It hasn’t really blossomed into runny-nosed sneezing fits, but I’ve been lethargic and stuffy and it’s been really difficult to think. That probably explains yesterday’s scripting fit. Ever since I first started writing code–even the good old, bad old days of Excel macros for my physics professors–it’s been easier for me to sit down and write code and fight with it until it works than to do something that requires actually talking to someone….

Hello Swindon, Goodbye Kitty

A couple of links this morning, some good, some bad, some just scary.

My friend John Vick, with whom I sang in the Virginia Glee Club and who was a housemate for a while back in Virginia, continues to do good things with his band Hello Swindon. They have a webcast today via Knot Radio from 10 to midnight Eastern time. Check it out.

There’s a pretty good Vladimir Nabokov web site that I just discovered yesterday called zembla. Lots of stuff about Nabokov and his works. Check it out. Now. 🙂

Finally, the scary-funny one. Seems that in the 1960s, the CIA was bugging
kitties so that they could eavesdrop on the Soviets. My favorite part: “They found he would walk off the job when he got hungry, so they put another wire in to override that.” Of course this wouldn’t be a funny Cold War story without a really bad first test of the technology…

Man of Visions, Job of Nightmares

A very nice weekend. We were here in cold New England watching leaves change and drinking bad microbrew. It went from the low seventies to the mid forties over a two-day period. Lots of fun for the sinuses.

I was really sad to hear that “Man of Visions” Rev. Howard Finster, folk artist and (improbably) rock album cover artist, had passed away. The coverage of this event on SonicNet was one of the sadder pieces of journalism I’ve seen, though. No definition of why he was important: just “known to rock audiences for paintings that appear on the covers of …” Surely he deserved more respect. Any man capable of producing images like the cover of Little Creatures (below) was clearly more than just a “cover artist.”

The cover of the Talking Heads <i>Little Creatures</i> album, by the Rev. Howard Finster (1916-2001).

And now for something … horrible

I refuse to say anything about this link, except that it puts the struggles for jobs that my classmates and I are experiencing into stunning perspective:

“Is that…?” we asked gingerly.
“It’s not soya bean,” replied Mr. Binatang grimly.
“Isn’t it dangerous?” we asked. Mr. Binatang was silent for a
while.
“They know I’m not there as an enemy,” he finally said…

Perspective

“What!” you cry. “No words about the Windows XP launch?”

Well, I have a midterm exam today, so in lieu of a real update I present this short note courtesy of the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. I’m not just a user; I’m also an alum.

From Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle:

He was working in the steaming pit of hell; day after day, week after week — until now, there was not an organ of his body that did its work without pain, until the sound of ocean breakers echoed in his head day and night, and the buildings swayed and danced before him as he went down the street.

And here I’m complaining about a finance midterm.