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Personal

Happy Birthday Sarah

Before it’s too late, I wanted to wish the wonderful Sarah Michele Williams who plays trumpet a happy 18th birthday.

Birthday Wish

On your Birthday,
Stretch for a sunbeam…
Reach for a star,
Go for a beautiful dream…

Pick out some wishes,
no matter how far,
or how hard to reach
they may seem…

Cherish some hopes
that are dear to your heart…

And as a new year comes in view,

Treasure & keep them,
and know from the start,
that this year,
you can make them come true

I hope your birthday was as special as every day deserves to be for you.

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Personal

New Child in the Meyer Family

I’m sure everyone is going to be making #eric_meyer :first-child type jokes so I’ll just link to the announcement, and say congratulations. 🙂

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Personal

A Thousand Resolutions

For the next two weeks I’m going to try to write at least a thousand words a day, every day. Some of these words will be here, others may be other places, and some might not even be destined online. (Gasp!) When I met Tyler Cowen he told me that writing every morning is just about the best thing you can do to improve. We’ll see how this goes. I’ve always thought lots of reading was crucial to good writing as well, however my reading time is currently monopolized by John Locke. And thus if I start to write like him, it is within your rights to slap me upside the head.

One thing that’s making it nicer is WordPress has an option to make your posting <textarea> as big as you want and I already know all the quicktag shortcuts by heart so posting is as easy and pleasant as using a good editor like Dreamweaver or Topstyle. My textarea is currently 50 rows high, which is growing on me.

I would like to have more links in entries.

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Personal

On Compliments

A compliment from someone you respect is worth infinitely more.

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Personal

Opera and Hallowe’en

Haven’t been around here much lately, though I have been posting to the WordPress blog, coding like crazy, and generally keeping busy. However there are two recent events I wanted to highlight. The first was attending the opening night of Julius Caesar with the lovely Elissa. The performance was excellent, though longer than I am used to, and I would recommend it. I saw several people I know from school there, which doesn’t happen often, but they all seemed to disappear after intermission. Did we miss the party or something? We stayed in our nosebleed seats all night, but apparantly the thing to do is scope out empty seats during the first act and grab them after intermission. Noted.

Elissa and I before we left We grabbed some fries beforehand.

The following night was the first official “party” I hosted at my new place, and it went well. Hallowe’en is my least favorite holiday, which isn’t to say I don’t like it, because it’s still a holiday, but as far as holidays go it’s the one I tend to enjoy the least. Anyway the party went well with food and candles and costumes and people I liked, and we ended up watching Ringu (the Japanese movie that inpsired The Ring), ordering pizza, and then by popular demand (with one dissenting vote) following it up with its American cousin, The Ring. Everyone had told me the Japanese version was supposed to be scarier and better, but I actually prefer the American version for a couple of reasons. Though things are less tidy, it’s more interesting and engaging. I hear a sequel is in the works. I didn’t dress up, but we did have one or two interesting ensembles.

Sarah and Elissa Patriq with Sarah's fake cigar Your author with bunny ears

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Personal

Chilly in Dallas

My goodness Scott Roman keeps his house as cold as I used to keep the classroom. I woke up this morning to the thought that “Gee, it’s cold,” and just dealt with it for a while, however eventually the air constantly blowing became too much and I got up to look at the thermostat to see where it was. It was set at 60, which I’ve seen before but what surprised me was that the temperature actually was 60 degrees. Insane. It’s woken me up though.

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Personal

Ongoing

I usually write entries in my head before I put my fingers to the keyboard. The problem with this is that the longer I go between entries, the more that I try to cram into my mental post and inevitably the more that’s lost.

When you last left your Author he was gearing up for the second night of the Kemah Jazz Festival. It was fantastic, as expected, and he had good fun with the company. Tim Hagans made a guest appearance on Woody Witt’s set and it was the highlight of the night. Ended up leaving a little bit early due to tiredness, and slept well.

Saturday started with leftover pizza from Star Pizza, which, in hindsight, was most likely bad. Your Author was very, very hungry and ignored the fact that it tasted a little funny (it was vegetarian “gourmet” pizza anyway) and he was already on the way to rehearsal. By the end of the dress rehearsal with Steve Fulton things were queasy. But not too queasy to miss Kathy and Christine‘s birthday party that night, to which he was accompanied by Elissa. Too queasy to eat much there save a taste of really nice meat stick from Coffee “BBQ” Mike and a slice of cake, both of which were sorely regretted later.

Saturday night and Sunday morning were very harsh, and will not be discussed. Many thanks to my angel of a mother who helped smooth things over.

Sunday the Author was still sick, but knew he couldn’t miss the gig at Kemah, so went and played anyway. It went well, and many thanks to those such as Cody, Elissa, Greg, Sarah, and the others that attended. Food was still a bad idea though, and the trip had an early end. That night the fever came back strong and not much sleep was had.

Monday was a day of recovery. Tuesday was a return to normal affairs and catching up with things.

Which brings us to today. Things are very busy with many projects, but that’s par for the course. Tonight is the Radiohead concert which I’ve been looking forward to for months it seems. The weather is gorgeous. Can’t wait.

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Personal

When Jish Comes to Town

It seems lately that the prolific Jish can’t get enough of Houston. He was just here last month and this Wednesday he made another appearance. (It’s even rumored he may be back next month.) Last time we all met at the Crazy Cantina and that was the plan for this month but apparently they were a little too crazy over there so the Cantina is no more. Christine luckily found this out last week and moved the party down the street to Cabo’s. There still wasn’t quite enough air conditioning (or maybe the company and conversation was just too hot) but it was all in all pretty cool as we got an entire room to ourselves. (For better or worse, some people had trouble finding it.)

There was just too much going on that night to even begin to cover it all but I’ll add that my photos from the night are now online.

Other posts about the night:

Note: I posted the first of what I hope to be many stealth disco movies to that album, but it’s too dark and I can’t figure out how I could adjust the levels to lighten it. If you have any suggestions regarding this please let me know.

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Personal

Athenian

It’s appropriate to write about this topic as so many changes are happening all around the world, but particularly in my own life. A child of the web, weaned on ADSL, at some point in my development I developed an insatiable thirst for change, newness. Whether this was an inherit quality magnified by the hyperlinked nature of the web or whether it was actually developed as a result of my exposure, I don’t know.

My desktop is a randomly generated fractal pattern, changing every two minutes. Before that it would rotate between about a hundred random photographs from my photolog. When listening to music at home I’m more inclined to put my entire collection on random (a virtue of having them all in electronic format) than pick any one CD. Anything that doesn’t constantly change loses my interest over time until I’ve moved on.

Now this isn’t true of everything in my life, though it may be more than I like to admit. The design of this site, after changing every month for several months, has remained relatively constant over the past year or so. When driving I’ll often attach to a single CD and listen to it repeatedly for anywhere from a day to weeks. (Fiona Apple comes to mind.) My tribe of friends has settled down more than it has in the past. I’ve settled down more.

I saw my friend Alex Jones today and one thing I like about him is that he never looks the same twice, every time you see him his hair in particular can be completely different from the last time you saw him. (I should find some pictures.) That’s a quality I’ve tried out myself, but I’ve never been successful to any significant degree.

Most of all I’m curious how this chaotic thirst affects the things I do. This current design, once finished, will probably be around for a while. However at the top of every page is a randomly rotating thumbnail drawing from no small corpus of photos. If I didn’t touch anything else on the site, you could refresh every minute of every day for the next week (roughly) and never see the same thing twice. Is it too much? Am I alone? Looking back at every significant website I have created for myself since I began, there has always been an element of controlled chaos, a random rotator or quote or time or weather or timer or whatever the technology would permit me at the time.

Why am I so afraid of the static?

Getting back to the web at large, it keeps me content. There is a constant stream of new information coming in, and I don’t even frequent traditional news sites or use a RSS aggregator. First there are stats, thousands of referrers every day to dozens of sites, each referring URI representing an avenue of exploration. Technorati is an extension of this, cleaning things up and alerting you to something you might have otherwise missed. The WordPress Support Forum has frequent traffic, and represents hours and hours of possible diversions not only in itself but also in the actions it elicits. I’ve shunted all but a few of my subscriptions to lists, procmail keeping them out of inbox and out of mind, but still there is a constant stream of new communication, beautiful in its asymmetry; I can address it at any time, and do. Let’s not even touch instant messaging, the killer app of online communication and singly the greatest timesuck of anyone overly connected.

There aren’t enough hours in the day.

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Personal

To Read

Several people have asked what I’m reading this semester, so I thought I might as well post it here. I’m too busy right now to link everything, but they’re all fairly well-known works. Plus I love nesting lists.

  • Intro to Political Science
    • Machiavelli, The Prince
    • God & Company, Five Books of Moses
    • Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War
    • Dostoyevsky, The Grand Inquisitor
    • Plato, The Republic
    • Locke, Two Treatises of Government
    • Marx-Engels, Mark-Engels Reader
    • Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
  • Philosophy of Language
    • William Lycan, Philosophy of Language
    • Jay Garfield & al., Meaning and Truth
  • Honors American Government
    • Ketcham, Anti-Federalist Papers & the Constitutional Convention Debates
    • Mary Nichols and David Nichols, Readings in American Government
    • The People Shall Judge, Vol. 1
    • John Calhoun, Union and Liberty
    • Hamilton, Madison, Jay, The Federalist: Gideon edition

Ah, I shall have to finish this when I get back. Mostly done now. Heading out to see this Mars business with Elissa. We saw Mars, I think.

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Personal

Another Semester

It is with a slightly stuffy nose that I will start my third semester of college tomorrow. For the curious here is my schedule as it stands now, as much for my own reference as anyone elses.

  1. Monday
    • 10:00–11:00 — 3310: Introduction to Political Theory, taught by the prolific Ross Lence. AH 302.
    • 11:00–12:00 — 1336: U.S. and Texas Constitutions and Politics, taught by my favorite instructor of last year Dr. Little. PGH 350.
    • 2:30–4:00 — 3319: Politics of Social Policy, by Dr. Lineberry. PGH 347.
  2. Tuesday
    • 10:00–11:30 — 3332: Philosophy of Language, Dr. Saka. AH 205.
  3. Wednesday
    • 10:00–11:00 — 3310: Introduction to Political Theory. AH 302.
    • 11:00–12:00 — 1336: U.S. and Texas Constitutions and Politics. PGH 350.
    • 2:30–4:00 — 3319: Politics of Social Policy. PGH 347.
  4. Thursday
    • 10:00–11:30 — 3332: Philosophy of Language. AH 205.
  5. Friday
    • 10:00–11:00 — 3310: Introduction to Political Theory. AH 302.
    • 11:00–12:00 — 1336: U.S. and Texas Constitutions and Politics. PGH 350.

As you can see it’s a little light, but that’s by design as I’d like to devote myself as much as possible to excelling in these courses, which by virtue of their instructors should be pleasantly challenging. Also playing in two or possibly three big bands, developing a new business, and moving WordPress forward, I knew that my extra-curricular commitments would be high and I didn’t want to over-commit myself (and possibly get ill again) like I did last semester.

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Inside

Have you ever driven slower just to spend more time with somebody?

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Sometimes You Just Can’t Win

The last name “Mullenweg” has elicited various schoolyard permutations over the years, but by far the most enduring has been “Mulletwig,” presumably because mullets are so entertaining. Therefore it is with great trepidation that I point to Mulletwigs.com, “Business in the front, party in the back!” 🙂

It’s worth outlining how I came across this: Email → Politech posting“It’s the Economics, stupid” post on spam whitelist → scroll down to Hairy SituationOriginal Mullet Wig.

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Personal

Refresh

I love when it rains because I feel like it soothes my soul.

Last night in the space between conciousness and sleep I wrote an entry. It was beautiful, exquisitely thought out and relevant, and I even imagined the markup I would use. My last thought before I drifted off was I should write something down before I forget it in the morning. I forgot it, and I’ve been trying to toggle my memory since then.

I was trying to toggle my memory while driving this morning. However when I drive I don’t think, I just listen. I couldn’t find the two CDs I had planned for the drive but an older album did the job nicely. When I listen to music the bass vibrates all of the mirrors in the car when it hits. Depending on what pants I’m wearing, it sometimes vibrates my pants as well, making me think that my phone is ringing, but not any more because my phone no longer vibrates. Watching the rearview mirror when it vibrates is fascinating, as a picture of the world behind you goes from near-perfect clarity to fuzziness as the music plays. If I even make a movie, the first shot will be of a rearview mirror vibrating with the music.

A replaced faceplate apparently crippled my phone’s ability to vibrate. Now it is a beautiful, vibrant blue. Can I have my blue and vibrate too? We shall see. Maybe it’s just time for new phone.

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Personal

Ignorance

The scene is Wal-Mart, there are boxes everywhere and even though it’s midnight the place is still busy because it’s tax-free weekend. Apparently this weekend people will save about 151 million dollars. In New York I understand they spread it out over two full weeks, which seems like a much better plan to me because you don’t have everyone trying to get in at the same time, you can spread out the chaos.

So I’m standing, I didn’t get a basket because I didn’t want to get too much stuff. My attempt at self-constraint worked halfway; I just ended up with my hands full. I’m standing in line holding a pack of socks, two workout shorts, a fat toothbrush, a CD, and a little CD holder for my car. She hadn’t called back. I had few enough items to make the express lane. However here’s where the story turns sour.

There was a couple behind me, the woman remarked to the man under her breath, complaining about the speed of the line, “Why don’t they give them a seperate line?” The “them” obviously referring to the black people in the line. The man replied, “I don’t know.” You don’t know!? It’s amazing in such relatively enlightened times we can have such ignorant people. I stared dumbfounded at them for an uncomfortable amount of time, then walked to another line.

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Personal

A Little Hair

Well so I finally did it. I’ve been flirting with the idea of growing my hair long, really long. Either that or I wanted to cut it all off, not quite bald but buzzed. I went in to the hair place not quite sure what I was going to do, either get a light trim just to clean it up or take it all off, and I ended up with neither. To satisfy everyone’s burning curiousity here is the obligitory before and after picture. What do you think?

Before the Haircut    After the haircut

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In Austin

As of last night I have been happily in Austin, a much needed vacation and also a wonderful oppurtunity to visit my sister Charleen whose birthday is the driving reason for this visit. It’s interesting because we didn’t get along terribly well when we were both younger (and there were ten years between us) but now we seem to grow closer every year. The goal for this weekend, when not partaking in festivities, are to finish all of my email, including the ones from January and December that I still haven’t taken care of. I tried to get it done yesterday to try and beat the weekend email rhyme policy but there was just too much.

Yes, it’s a policy now! I’ve decided for the forseeable future every weekend all emails except ones where it would be wildly inappropiate will be composed and responded to in some sort of poetic form. Sure it will probably increase the amount of time each email will take, but whistle while you work, spoonful of sugar and all that.

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Personal

Rain Rain Go Away

I usually don’t post lyrics, but today I just couldn’t resist.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring
Bumped his head and he went to bed
and he couldn’t get up in the mornin’
Rain rain, go away, come again some other day.

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Looong Day

I was at work for 10 hours today doing cabling and other things that need to be done by tomorrow. We didn’t finish, so I’m going in tomorrow morning as well. That actually wasn’t that bad, the work was hard but it needs to be done and it’s not like I’m not getting paid. What really blew though was when I booted up my laptop and it told me “No Operating System Found.” What? Where did it go? What could have happened? Who knows.

On my old laptop I would have just popped the drive out and plugged it into my desktop (I have an adaptor) and seen what was wrong, however a tradeoff of the nice look of this new one is that there seems to be no good way to open it without messing a whole mess of things up. So I’m downloading Knoppix to boot from the CD-ROM and see if I can see what’s up. Honestly I wouldn’t care and just go straight to a recovery CD if it wasn’t for the Vegas pictures that I haven’t uploaded yet that are still on there. I really hope this doesn’t become a recurring issue like the ones I had with the GRX.

On a brighter note, I got my review copy of Andy King’s Web Site Optimization yesterday. I had some time to get started on it and it looks very interesting. I’m going to be doing a review of it for the Web * SIGs here in town and I’ll also post something here. I have to be back at work at 9 tomorrow, which means I have to wake up at 7-ish (hour to get ready, hour to get there) so I better get to bed soon.

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Open Key

Open Key Works

The OpenKey system works! I would link to all the old posts, but it’s very late and I’m very tired. Browse the categroy.

Long story shorter, my keys were locked in my car since yesterday, and it seems I had given a key to everone but the people I live with (sometimes called my family) so I couldn’t get in, but key holder Sarah W. (who will have a photolog soonish) drove over and opened the car for me, and all was good.

I’m thinking of starting a gallery of people with their photomatt.net key to collect all the pictures in one place (when I have many people their key it was with the stipulation that they take a picture with the key and send it to me) and also to test out some new WordPress photolog stuff. Soon.

Also, keys are sexy.