The Gentle News

Contrary to what you may have heard, vomitting while riding a bike is not at all fun.

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Doghouse Dilemma

June 2nd, 2013 · Potpourri

Dilemma: I’m building a Snoopy doghouse for photos at my daughter’s 1-year birthday party.

(1) Should I just build a facade, or make it a full-blown, functional doghouse?

(2) If I just make a facade, what should I put behind it so that we can make it appear as if midgets are sitting or sleeping on top of the doghouse?

(3) If I make a full doghouse, do I go for an authentic gable roof and thus still require an answer to (2), or modify the design so that there’s a flat portion of the roof for sitting and lying?

(4) What’s the optimum height of this thing for photos of midgets (and interior comfort for smallish to medium-sized beagles)?

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Gentlenews & Two Nagilas are moving!

November 11th, 2012 · Potpourri

I’ve moved my site to a new server, after almost a decade of using the same old dusty debian box. If you’re reading this and I host your sites, please contact me via subspace radio. At the end of November, the old server will bite the dust it has been collecting.

Does this mean I’ll start blogging again?

Do bears use toilets?

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DFW Bass Players (Who Aren’t Terrible): Read This

April 17th, 2012 · Potpourri

I play bass guitar for a band that plays out with some regularity. My wife is having our first child this summer, probably sometime in June. Though not mutually exclusive, these two interests have the potential to conflict.

If you play bass, are not terrible (at bass, at driving, at not being a jerk, at life… take that however you wish), live sort of near me, and would like to be an understudy, please contact me via whichever medium you wish. I’d like to work with one or two people to be sort of “on call” for our gigs in June in case I have to, you know, perform some fathering or husbandry.

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Computers Are Horrible And Should Never Be Used By Anybody

March 21st, 2012 · Daily, Potpourri

Last night the display adapter on my four-year-old 24″ iMac started going nuts, so I shut it down hoping a cool-off would make all my problems go away.

This morning it was still doing the bananashits. It’s probably just trying to manifest all of my suppressed emotions about the pending Michael Bay Adult Non-Ninja Non-mutant Turds culture brouhaha. After two minutes of uptime I can’t even ssh to it anymore. So I’m backing it up via target disk mode with SuperDuper. It will probably take all day to finish that backup process. I’m amazed that it’s staying online even in target mode.

normal view... NORMAL VIEW... NNOORRMMAALL VVIIEEWW!!

Tomorrow I will ask the Apple store people to tell me how much it would cost to fix it. The support site is down right now, and I don’t want to schedule anything until I’m more certain of when my backup will complete anyway. If it’s effed in the ay, I’m probably going to give myself a peptic ulcer over whether to buy a new machine and if so which one.

I have a brand new 13″ MacBook Air that my new job bought for me. I’d like to think that’s all the portable computing I need. I have my wife’s three-year-old MacBook, good enough for fiddling around while I’m in the kitchen or something.

What I won’t have anymore if the iMac has met its demise is a main machine I can throw stupid tasks at in my office. Recording and editing audio and video, watching stupid TV shows and movies while I clean or rearrange my office or fold underwear, compiling code, whatever.

I have gotten used to having many square miles of screen real estate: 27″ Thunderbolt display I connect to the Air when I’m at my desk, the 24″ main display on my iMac, and a 30″ secondary display connected to the iMac. I’ve got a system for what goes where on what screen and I love it. Right now, more than 60% of that space is unusable. I only have the work machine’s piddly 27″ display to use. I can add the 13″ built into the Air if I want to temporarily rearrange and keep the Air opened rather than closed, but I don’t see an efficient use of such a small-by-contrast screen at the moment. I could barely fit a 24pt Comic Sans “First World Problems” banner on such a screen.Haters will continue to hate

Should I consider downsizing all of that? Maybe just get a Mac Mini and connect it to that 30″ display? It would give me more free desk space for workbenching. Or I could get a much smaller desk and have more room for music gear in the office, since I have a very fancy workbench in the garage that would get a lot of use if I could just motivate myself to clean the damn garage.

Or I could get a MacBook pro. It would make life slightly less complicated when I want to move my recording workspace somewhere else.

I think I want to get another iMac, but I also think that I don’t need it. It would be cheaper. Two giant displays on my desk is probably more than enough for work and play. I’d try to downsize to just one, but then I’d run into the problem of having to disconnect the Thunderbolt from the work machine when I need to use it for play.

I briefly considered just hooking up one of the 500 PCs I have for now, but I don’t wanna do that, and it would still leave me with an unsavory environment for recording and editing. All of my stuff is in GarageBand, Logic, iMovie, or Final Cut. I guess I could go Hackintosh, but that hasn’t sounded like fun for a few years now.

I could also just not replace it, and only use the Air for work and light play, dragging out an older machine for any creative stuff that requires something more dedicated. It would certainly save a ton of money. We do have a baby on the way. I hear babies like money. Stupid greedy babies.

Anyway, here’s a video. No awesome, accidental, Abramsian lens flares, sorry:

 

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Christopher Hitchens: A Confession

December 17th, 2011 · Potpourri

This started out as a comment on Joel’s quite respectful comic about the death of Christopher Hitchens. In case you weren’t aware, Christopher Hitchens has been a pseudo-idol of mine for the entirety of the Current Farris Era (a little over a decade, I would guess). I was in a rather foul mood yesterday, due in part to this (from my perspective) abrupt but not shocking end to the man. The following is my attempt to convey how important his writings and persona are to me, as well as an admission that my love for Hitch is as deeply rooted in my own intellectual laziness as his eternal sparkle was conversely the result of his uncanny cerebral superpowers.

Christopher Hitchens was (and will forever be), aside from a great hero of mine, a very convenient crutch in a world of intelligent, well-meaning, and otherwise pleasant cow-orkers who, upon learning of my atheism, seek to “debate” with me over how untenable such a worldview is. After it becomes apparent that neither side is more open to re-evaluating a truth than the other, I often drop a copy of a Hitch book, essay, or article on their desk (or in their inbox) with a quick note along the lines of “Hey, it was fun, but this should explain why I’m really not interested in continuing this conversation.” Most of the time they send me a rebuttal such as “I see. I understand how someone such as yourself would be attracted to such a poorly-reasoned argument as Hitchens’s, but the evidence clearly indicates that he bases his conclusions more on emotion than fact.”

I get a good chuckle at that, refrain from taking the bait, and go on caring a lot less about who approves of my “worldview” than most of those folks do. Hitch just makes it very easy to find an eloquent way to end such a discussion, which is much different than trying to win one. I know I didn’t change the other guy’s mind, and I most likely didn’t even make him think twice about his position, but I do feel better having not fallen into the trap of getting upset over it beyond my capacity to hold my own intellectual ground.

And most of them do exactly the same thing for themselves with the writings of William Lane Craig. At the risk of sounding snotty (and feel free to chastise me if I indeed do): (A) Which of those two men is more entertaining to read or listen to? And (B) which name is better known?

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