Friday, March 30, 2007

driving to spain

some people who are very dear to me (whom i miss terribly! hello if they're reading this!) have been in europe for a few months now. they are currently in spain. restraining myself from visiting them is hard at times, but i'm determined to save money like mad at the moment.

now, thanks to gadling, i found google's driving directions to madrid. step #24 is where it gets quite interesting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

jumpin jack flash

on saturday night, my little flash drive was in the right place at the right time to help solve a technical glitch at a play at my congregation. as j.s. plugged it into the overhead projector computer, i thought "gee, i should really encrypt that thing. if he wanted to, he could display my financial info or play unfinished songs to the whole audience!" he didn't, of course.

the next morning, the same thumb drive got run over by a car. in the snow. i had somehow dropped it in the street, and i consider it nothing short of a miracle that i was able to find it. the miracle continued when, after i cleared off the salt and grime and bent it back into shape, it actually started working again.

but i'm investing in a new drive with strong encryption.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

music items.

no, i'm not going to give you a link to a bunch of new root signals stuff. yet. we are progressing at a fair clip, though.

instead, a couple of things about listening to other people's music. first, i listen to a lot of internet radio. if you don't, you should, because it's great... just look for stations that play in the niches of music you like and then let your ears slurp it up for hours on end. but internet radio is under threat now from a prohibitively sharp royalty increase. and no, not artist royalties, of course. if you care about this (and i say you should!) and live in the US, you can protest the death of internet radio via petitions, writing to congresspeople, etc. is a good place to start.

next, fangirl time: i must gush about oh, my. yummy music as low as like $.26 per song, no evil DRM to tell you how and where you can play it, and they even carry many of those obscure artists that i love (most of whom i find via internet radio, btw). if you pay $20 per month you get 75 downloads per month, and there are cheaper plans too. i signed up for their 25-free-songs trial and scooped up some desert dwellers, koop, ane brun, arcade fire and more... and have about 200 songs (so far) saved for when the subscription month rolls over.

my only complaint is that they don't have a more expensive plan by which you can download more. who needs eating? ... um... yeah okay, maybe it's a good thing they cap it off.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


a week ago it was snowing, and i think it accumulated to like an inch. now it's summeresque out there. i am absurdly happy.

i must have backward seasonal affective disorder. it's not that i get depressed in the winter, but that i get positively giddy in the spring and summer. i can already feel my body trying to tell me that i should sleep a few hours less per night and just drink a lot of water instead.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

and dark energy is ... ?

Ever since I randomly saw a documentary about this a while back, my imagination has been captured by this (apparent) fact: 96% of the universe is made up of something other than the matter and energy we understand in our physical existence.

So, while I don't understand all the math and science of cosmic physics, I remain fascinated by the concepts of "dark matter" (22% of the universe) and "dark energy" (74%). My perspective is certainly more poetic than scientific, but I can't help wondering... is this the stuff of the spirit? Or do we know even less about what we don't know than we thought we didn't know?

If you haven't already seen it via slashdot (where I found it), the New York Times Magazine has a lovely little article about the concepts, written so that even a layperson like me can understand.

At any rate, three cheers for the universe not falling apart! Yet!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


to all my fellow women-folk out there: happy international women's day!

my lack of posts is due to being quite busy. here is a quick update:

spanish: is going well, though i am quite unimpressed by the teacher. if you don't already know certain concepts about languages (such as gender agreement, conjugation, &c.) she's not very good at conveying them. plus she speaks incredibly quietly. i'm seriously considering teaching a beginner's russian course with the same program, because i could do at least a better job than her. however, i'm attacking the spanish with all the vigor i have time for, so i'm starting to absorb some of the language.

writing: haven't had time for this at all. sorry. largely because of....

music: root signals is back in action and recording, after a hiatus of several weeks. we're updating some already-recorded tracks (nothing is ever really finished) and recording brand new stuff. last night we had a sweet little bass recording session for a smoky jazz number (crooned by our own j. shafty). it's beautiful to hear the input of several people come together so sweetly. i am seriously excited about this project. we'll soon post some fresh musical scents for our myspace bouquet.

oh, and i'm learning to drive. again. finally. i'm ambitious and even have a plan to be be-carred come summertime or so!