May 09

Not my type

Of all the reasons I can not use Windows 8, terrible interface and becoming Microsoft “Window” aside, is that the type engine no longer supports RGB sub-pixel rendering and thus any fonts look like they were excreted from the ass end of a marmot.

Way to move font appearance back 20 years to gain a tiny bit of speed, Microsoft.

The fonts in 8 are so bad that even non-font people are complaining about them.

And that takes a lot, as I’ve noticed that non-font people can read fonts that feel like chainsaws in my eyes.

May 08

Leaning out

I haven’t read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, nor do I plan to.

But this post about a bit of the book got me thinking about career risk-taking and being male, and the things I’ve gotten away with in my career that a woman probably wouldn’t, or at least would likely be effectively trained out of doing both by culture and having more responsibilities.

When I was 26 years old, I applied to and was interviewed for a job that I was objectively not qualified for. I didn’t lie in my resume, nor in my interview – but what I did do was absolutely kill the interview and effortlessly strolled through every tech and other question like I’d already been doing the job for a decade. In the interview, I suspect I went from the bottom-of-the-list candidate to “We have to hire this guy.”

So a few days later I was offered the job, and had a decision to make. Do I accept this job for which I am probably unqualified for and might utterly fail at, or do I stay in my safe and comfortable position?

Of course I opted to make the leap.

Overnight, I went from having been a lowly helpdesk tech into managing the entire IT operations for a company with offices up and down the Eastern seaboard. My salary more than doubled. I had a personal assistant (alas, the only time and job I’ve ever had one) and pretty much carte blanche as long as things got done.

To put it into terms and jobs that more people would tend to be familiar with, I went from being the district attorney’s janitor to being the district attorney in one step, effectively.

And I did well at it, through both skill, gumption and making shit up as I went. I honestly didn’t like the job much, but it was an important career step and I was really good at it.

For various reasons – all cultural and reasonable, and perfectly rational – I don’t think many women would be in a position to do what I did. Hell, looking back, I am not sure that I’d do what I did all over again.

May 07

CR

Let’s watch Carrie Rodriguez burn up the fiddle.

That guy on the upright bass in the last video also kills it. Wish it was more audible.

May 07

Lost

I do believe the Google Maps car got well lost. Or maybe this is intentional? I have no idea.

lost

May 06

Hacked off

Hacker News is a place where people know a great many facts, but know almost nothing about the operations and imperatives of the real world.

It makes for odd reading where one can encounter a list of facts so startlingly at odds with the conclusion that it almost seems to be a bizarre joke. Something like:

1) The sun is made mostly of hydrogen.

2) Hydrogen in the sun fuses into helium.

3) Helium is protons living communally, so helium is an anti-market liberal conspiracy!

Hacker News is a silly place.

May 06

Golden

It is really quite cool to be living through the golden age of one type of art – and I am referring to that of the TV show.

I’d date the start of the belle epoque of TV being around 1993, with the airing of the The X-Files, and it is continuing even today though I think we’re in the declining period of the golden age. In art, such periods generally last 20-30 years.

And if making a TV show is not art, and if no TV show is art, then neither is any music, nor cinema, nor painting.

The best season of any TV show ever is in my opinion Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica. Unbelievably gripping – and the best portrayal of utter desperation I’ve seen in any artistic medium.

And whatever its flaws, there will never be another show like Lost again. The show was sui generis – it “tricked” millions of people who believe they hate sf and fantasy into watching just that! – and its like will not be seen again.

These shows and others like them so raised the bar that mediocre shows now are better than the best shows that would’ve been aired 30 years ago.

Seeing an artistic medium pushed to its absolute limit is a really fun thing to to live through. It doesn’t happen all that often in human history.

Of course people who hate TV will not believe a word of this, but history will prove them wrong as so often happens.

May 06

Hypo

I wonder how many of the same men who are virulently homophobic and against the idea of gay marriage have happily watched lesbian porn? I bet it’s a very large percentage.

The problem with being born a man is you are associated by women (for understandable reasons) with all the bullshit that other men believe and do.

The problem with being born a woman or a gay man, though, is even worse – you must then directly experience all of the bullshit that all too many men believe and do.

Raw deal either way, really.

May 04

R&J

Lisa Mitchell performing Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet.”

I think the Dire Straits version is better, but she really makes it her own.

The camera operators and editor, however, should be thrown down a well. Axis shifts? Terrible angles? Jumping all over the place? Stupid vignetting?

I just want to see the woman play the damn song. Just leave the camera in one place for a bit, ok? And the vignetting — always a terrible idea.

May 03

On getting old

Turns out I’m not very good at it. I don’t, to quote someone’s Twitter update on men aging, want to talk about the state of the world and taxes. How damn boring.

I want to keep exploring, keep learning.

I want to rock the mic like a vandal.

I want to listen to new music, walk new paths. Learn new languages. Find new art. Take more photos.

I want to seek out new life and new civilizations.

To boldly go do cool shit all day long.

Being dead will be plenty boring. No reason to act dead before I am dead. Why do that? Why do so many people do that?

May 03

Rap

For those folks who don’t like rap and hip hop, are you, like, alive?

Those cats have about the best flow I’ve ever heard. Amazing. Anyone who says that’s not art is simply wrong.