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The Life 2004

I have been living one hell of a life the past week and a half. It's been fun, but now I'm tired and needing to take a lazy Sunday to recover. Pride 2004 will just have to carry on without me.

In chronological order:
Suffered massive comment spam attack. Obtained great big set of data to recognize that comment spam pattern even when I only get one isolated message. Very handy for those abuse reports.

Saw Rube Waddell at Cafe Van Kleef. Great band, great bar. BBQ with my old out-laws (B.J.'s parents). Genetic and official ties aren't the important part; they and B.J., his wife Bev, and her parents are part of my extended family.

Allergy attack prompting this message to my co-workers:

Hi, I got woken up at 4something in the morning again with these horrible allergies and took the half tablet of Benadryl which doesn't normally make me too drowsy to function, but apparently when combined with either especially bad allergies or that time of day makes it impossible to wake up. I am now moving sluggishly in the direction of the office ("...what rough beast slouches towards Emeryville..."). Regular allergy sufferers, first, my profound sympathies. Second, how the heck do you cope with this? Do I need to go to the doctor and get some prescription stuff to be on all the time? Do allergy shots help? And how long into summer do you usually suffer? Representing all the dwarves (with Bashful manifesting in his Tardy aspect and Groggy, Itchy and Scratchy substituting for Greedy, Doc and Happy), Dinah


Hanging out late at Tantek's place with Min Jung, Matt, Dunstan, Simon and Jane. Dinner at Crepes on Cole with the WaSPs and party at Tantek's place. (Matt's pictures)

Thought I'd get a good night's sleep to recover from the prior 3 short nights. Allergies woke me up at 4am again.

Back to Cafe Van Kleef for As Is Brass Band (oh joy!) and my delighted introduction to 1 Man Banjo (Sean Lee), about whom you'll be hearing more. Caught ride home with the band and thus reached bed around 3sumpthin. Set alarm for 7:30a.m. Woke up at 7:28a.m. Had a surprisingly functional and creatively charged day at work.

Expected to come home and go to bed early. Instead went to dinner with Dunstan and Min Jung, joined after a while by Tantek, Matt and Anil. Then we rambled around North Beach and ended up at the Bubble Lounge where champagne, foie gras, and chocolate with strawberries were consumed. (Here's a picture which sums up the decadence of the evening). Some of the party were interviewed by an HBO TV crew for Real Sex. Dunstan expressed a certain preference which I can hardly wait to see the footage of; I think I may want that sound bite as a system error sound. I stroked Matt's head until he became blissful. I got to see Liz, which was a pleasant surprise.

Finally, O joy! Sleeping in.

High tea at The Palace with a bunch of beautiful, intelligent women to celebrate Heather's upcoming wedding. Certain topics were approached and then veered away from ("You can't talk about that here; we're at The Palace!") and Anil would have been thwarted from making certain hand gestures, had he been there.

Went to Kaiser's pharmacy finally and picked up some of their generic Claritin stuff. I look forward greatly to non-sneezing, non-itching nights and days.

Started some food marinating, napped, cooked and then headed out at midnight to NIMBY in Oakland for the Extra-Action Marching Band benefit for their mission of good will from Amsterdam to Sarajevo. Wonderful humans. I got to see a few Burning Man art pieces I'd only enjoyed in pictures before and listened to more great music.


Freddi_Price_27Jun04Amazingly, I arrived during Freddi Price's second song, "Oh Father". and got to hear his whole set including an extremely-heartfelt version of John Lennon's "God". Wish I'd had the equipment to record that; it was perfect. Yes, Lennon's song when you thought about it, but in that moment, fully Freddi's.

The poor guy had some turbulence in the first part of his set. The power on the stage went out while he was singing, so there was a little dicking around fixing it and then he started belting the song out with no mike and no stage lights and no guitar amp. Just as people were huddled in close, clapping, feeling the raw version, *boink* back comes the power. A cheer from the crowd. Freddi's sideways smile, a grin and he steps up to the mike to really launch into it and *pwing* his guitar string breaks. Blink, blink, and then he roars with laughter. One song with no high string, followed by a quick string change, and then back into it. A great show, most definitely.


Oh, and Extra-Action was huge fun; there were other good bands to be heard (e.g. LOOP!STATION), art & wild outfits to be enjoyed and all the lunatic pleasure of an all-night party.

I contributed a vegi dish to the food choices (recipe coming later) and kept the marching band hydrated during their set. At the end of the night, which is to say at 6am this morning, I gave four happy people a ride back into San Francisco and returned the City Carshare car. In bed by just after 7am and slept until 11:30am or so.

I feel pretty good. My legs are tired from standing and stomping my feet on cement all night, but it was fine fine fun. I encourage you to get out and do something. Share yourself. Appreciate what other people have to share. Life is good.

Posted on June 27, 2004 at 02:20 PM in creativity, friends & family, health, mundania, music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (2)

Read Justin's thoughtful review of Fahrenheit 9/11. At least the film, even as polarized as it sounds like it is, is provoking this kind of conversation.

Posted on June 27, 2004 at 01:10 PM in Current Affairs, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

When he told me about it, I thought Dunstan's clever solution to being in the U.S. and unable to watch the football (real football) match was cool enough, but check out his post showing his blow by painful blow reactions to the game. Lovely use of technology and what faces! Terribly funny.

Posted on June 27, 2004 at 12:59 PM in creativity, friends & family, Sports, Television, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Candy Medicine? 2004

In frustration in the midst of an allergy attack at work I decided I'd be less miserable with some candy. I joked with a co-worker that I was testing the allergy reduction properties of the York Peppermint Patty. About 30 or 45 minutes later I suddenly realized my eyes had stopped itching, my sinuses were clear and I hadn't sneezed for quite a while.

Very odd and interesting.

Since then I've repeated the experiment a couple times and had similar results. Now perhaps if I just wait 30 or 45 minutes after any allergy attack the symptoms will abate, but I'm thinking perhaps I'm onto something here...

(Note: it's not the peppermint oil. I had Altoids before I resorted to bigger candies and they didn't have the same effect.)

If you've got allergies and proper medication is unavailable, you might give it a try. Let me know what happens.


I told someone about this (Dunstan, was this you?) and he said his family always used completely flat Coke (not any other cola, only Coke works, apparently, and even Diet Coke won't do) as a cure for major digestive upset.

Posted on June 26, 2004 at 06:38 PM in health | Permalink | Comments (2)

commuting home 2004

A snapshot from the bus heading back into San Francisco going over the Bay Bridge.


Posted on June 25, 2004 at 12:00 PM in San Francisco, work | Permalink | Comments (0)

More great music at Cafe Van Kleef 2004

I went back to Cafe Van Kleef* last night to see the As Is Brass Band. They were quite delightful. Sweet, strong, clear sounds, backed by the stellar percussive skills of their drummer Tommy. Their opener, One Man Banjo (a.k.a. Sean Lee), was also quite good. I bought both his CDs and will see about getting the poor computerless lad hooked up with a little website.

I definitely encourage you to make a visit to Cafe Van Kleef for music some night. Great space visually, adequate acoustically, and with a mood that can't be beat. It's at 1621 Telegraph just a block or so from the 19th Street BART station.

*I think I misspelled this before as Cafe Van Cleef, but it's Kleef with a K.


By the way, I should mention that The Whoreshoes are playing tonight at the Odeon Bar around 10pm. Go down and raise a beer to 'em for me - I gotta get some sleep. Getting a ride home with the band (thanks, Freddi!) makes for a late late night.

Posted on June 25, 2004 at 09:11 AM in music | Permalink | Comments (4)

He was a little beefy for an elf.
- Rebecca Blood at the Sony Metreon, December 12, 2003

Posted on June 21, 2004 at 05:28 PM in Film, quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Facade 2004

[originally posted to metagrrrl.livejournal.com]

Okay, so, I'll be honest. Not a lot is gonna happen here. I've been keeping my real website, www.metagrrrl.com, and keeping it well for over 5 years and see no reason to change my approach.

I do really want to be able to post non-anonymous comments on my friends' LiveJournals though, so here I am in LJ-land.

Dear diary,

Today I woke up and thought about the guy I really like and want to ask out but am afraid to ask out because if he's not actually interested in dating me then I'd still really like to be friends 'cause he's witty, intelligent, and makes me feel good.

I took a walk. I visited with friends and ate BBQ food which was excellent. I took a walk back home.

My housemate is playing guitar. He's wearing headphones and so I just hear the unamplified electric guitar sound and his foot thumping out the time. He's probably playing Meshuggah or something insane like that. It's a very fast tempo. He must drive our downstairs neighbor insane.

Posted on June 20, 2004 at 07:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tech support is hard, frustrating, often monotonous work. Cool cars and uniforms that make you look like Agent Smith from the Matrix plus job titles like "Double Agent" seem perfectly reasonable ways to make the work more bearable. More power to the Geek Squad. (And do check out their website. Great attitude!)

Posted on June 20, 2004 at 11:37 AM in linky goodness, Web/Tech, work | Permalink | Comments (0)

Freddi Price 2004

Cafe Van Kleef, Oakland.

(Wish this was a better camera. I love the thumbnail image of this.)

Posted on June 18, 2004 at 09:00 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (0)

A book store is a place of dreams. Not only do they sell the written dreams of published authors, but also the dream of having time to read lots of good books.
- Seth Golub

Posted on June 18, 2004 at 06:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

ART 2004

Janitor's cart in Civic Center BART station.

Posted on June 18, 2004 at 12:00 PM in creativity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shoveling under the back of the horse 2004

Well, it just keeps on coming. 1-3 comment spams per minute since last night at 11:18pm, it appears, all promoting the sites mentioned in my prior post. These sites are all registered through this site:


Go Daddy Software, Inc.
14455 N. Hayden Road
Suite 226
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

I'm giving them a call.

(602) 824-1300

No answer. Darn. I guess I'll just call their local Better Business Bureau.

Which gave me the website URL http://www.arizona.bbb.org/ where I was able to look up a report on the company, get another number, and call and leave a message for the president of Go Daddy Software.

Since they have a satisfactory rating with the BBB at present, I'm guessing that comment spam attacks are against their terms of service and once I send along copies of the hundreds of comment announcement emails I've received in the last 13 hours, that registrar will proceed to discontinue the accounts of the offending three domains. If they do not, I will, of course, file a complaint with their local Better Business Bureau.

By the way, those domains are now blocked from commenting, but prior to that being put in place I received a total of 1460 spam comments. I've taken a vacation day to deal with this and will be investigating the possibility of small claims court for recouping my costs.


Update as of 2pm: Go Daddy Software is eager to hear of this sort of violation of their terms of service. Just send it to abuse at their domain.

Posted on June 18, 2004 at 11:59 AM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (4)

Honey Pot 2004

I had another comment spam attack this evening - might still be going on, actually - and some patterns are immediately obvious. One thing about getting so many is the patterns become clear.

The domains you want to ban are:
antydialer dot com
antydialer dot net
sexylaski dot com

These two appear with many different subdomains (e.g. erotic-stories-xxx dot antydialer dot com).

They come from many domains. I'll post a full list when I'm done banning them myself. (Yes, I know they're probably hacked servers, but I guess that's a new rule around here. If you are trying to post from a poorly secured server and get denied, better tell your ISP to get their security act together.)

Posted on June 18, 2004 at 12:19 AM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (1)

"The new API is HTML, and the new winners in the application development marketplace will be the people who can make HTML sing."
- Joel On Software, How Microsoft Lost the API War

Posted on June 17, 2004 at 01:24 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

A little trip to Oaktown 2004

I need* to see Rube Waddell in Oakland at Cafe Van Cleef (1621 Telegraph, near 19th Street BART, I am given to understand) tomorrow night. Now, as the right Reverend tells me, they'll be going on at "rock time, y'know, by 11" but I'm hopeful they'll start a wee bit earlier or that I'll hook up with someone driving back to San Francisco afterwards. But even if they don't, even if I have to leave early to catch the midnight train home, it's okay. Half an hour of good live music is better than no live music at all.

Anyone wanna see a show?

*Why yes, "need" is the appropriate word. It's the Rubes, man.

Posted on June 17, 2004 at 11:31 AM in music | Permalink | Comments (0)

The anaconda in the chandelier - a very interesting essay on China, power and self-censorship. [Link found in a post by Xiao Qiang on the Many-To-Many group weblog]

Posted on June 16, 2004 at 06:12 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

no news is, in this case, good news 2004

I'm feeling much more cheerful this weekend, but just don't feel inspired to write much of anything. I cleaned house. I played computer games. Went walking a little bit. Had a drink with friends at Zeitgeist. Cooked soup. Saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again. Still like it, slightly less rabidly, but a lot. Much sneezing. Still fine-tuning the allergy medication ("half a Wal-Dryl minitab? Hmm, not too dopey, but still a little itchy...") And that's really about it. Slept well. Nice weather. Pretty views. All fine here.

Posted on June 13, 2004 at 04:37 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

Good music gets me through 2004

I've been feeling pretty craptastic all day, but a little music therapy will help. I'm listening to my favorite soothing and/or cheerful songs in iTunes and it's doing the trick.

Looking ahead, I see some bright spots:

Thursday night (June 10th), The Billy Nayer Show is playing at Bottom of the Hill. (Note also that The American Astronaut will be playing at the Red Vic Movie House on July 16th & 17th).

At the end of July That One Guy returns to San Francisco after his long tour. Hooray!

In August Scott Miller will be performing at the lovely Rite Spot Cafe (and a few other locations).

Oh and in between all that there are bound to be some Rube Waddell shows and other mayhem caused by those hooligans individually and severally.

Posted on June 8, 2004 at 10:28 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (1)

I was there. 2004

Ronald Reagan was a shitty president.

In 1980 I watched the Republican convention and heard people actually saying "Better dead than red." They didn't just mean "I'll go down with my guns blazing", though, they meant that total nuclear annihilation is preferable to any form of government other than that used in America.

I don't remember "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" in 1987. I remember 1984: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

I remember that he was actively opposed to a constitutional amendment declaring women to have equal rights. We still don't have that protection.

And as for his economic plans, well, as I said over twenty years ago, trickle-down economics is just like any filtration system: it's designed to keep the big chunks at the top.

Oh, while we're looking back, let's remember the people he staffed his administration with:
James "We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand." Watt
Ed Meese
Casper Weinberger
John Poindexter
Oliver North
William Bennett
Alexander Haig
George Schultz

And his Supreme Court appointees:
Sandra Day O'Connor
William Rehnquist
Antonin Scalia
Anthony M. Kennedy

I could go on with some statistics about the deficit, but I better not get my blood pressure up any higher. If anyone would care to add some choice quotes to match Mr. Meese's do comment away.

Posted on June 8, 2004 at 09:00 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Cooking something tasty 2004

[I think this was my take on a frittata. Looks like carrots & leeks.]

[checking doneness]

[The finished meal. Looks like a pizza, but I think it was actually a carrot & leek frittata. That's probably plain old mild cheddar on there since this was a year and a half ago before I got onto the snootier cheeses.]

Posted on June 6, 2004 at 12:01 PM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hate is... 2004

Hate is a little man
Banging on my heart
and love is the heart
swallowing up the little man

- Meaghan Crowley, 7th grade
Davidson Middle School
San Rafael, CA

This little book is one of many on the side of a great big heart I saw in the San Francisco public library.

Posted on June 6, 2004 at 12:00 PM in creativity, politics & philosophy, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

Copyright San Antonio Express News/Jerry Lara

Oh brave new world: A macaque clings to his cage despite being released in a compound at the Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation center in Kendalia, Texas. The cage had been his home for 30 years at a laboratory in New Mexico.

- San Francisco Chronicle, Day In Pictures (which unfortunately doesn't appear to have any mechanism for linking to a specific image, so I reproduce it here. Text copyright SF Chronicle. Emphasis mine.)

Posted on June 6, 2004 at 10:58 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

I think you should be open-minded to any scientific test. There are still lots of things to prove and disprove. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
-- Emily Rosa

Posted on June 5, 2004 at 12:37 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Magic 2004

Because I worked a while on one of my sick days and came in early this morning, I felt no guilt about leaving work at 3pm and heading straight to the movie theater to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

It was wonderful. I wanted to go back in and watch it again. It's my favorite of the books and so I would have been quite disappointed if they'd done a drab job, but it's the best of the films yet. Beautifully realized, particularly in the treatment of time. Sign me up to watch everything Alfonso CuarĂ³n ever directs.

So, who wants to go see it tomorrow or Sunday? Or perhaps and Sunday?

Posted on June 4, 2004 at 08:11 PM in Film | Permalink | Comments (2)

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