Known Johnson

October 27, 2005

Grammar lesson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 8:38 am

This may reveal a 12-year-old mentality, but fear not, I have no shame in writing, apparently . . .

Being clever and intentionally rude at the same time is an admirable thing, and so I greeted with a laugh the news of the release this week of the debut CD from Goblin Cock. As humorous as that is, in the commercial world it takes a special someone to be clever and unintentionally rude and manage to get away with it, and hence the giggles I could hardly suppress when I found at Target last night the words “Gobblin’ Sack” emblazoned on a big bag of some kind of snack items (so distracted was I by that name that I didn’t even manage to notice what was packaged in the “Gobblin’ Sack.”) Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing the term as a compound noun but rather as a verb and an object.

Pair this with the fact that only a short while earlier I’d mentioned to Alissa the existence of the Goblin Cock album (whose album are you really must see,) and that on the route we take to Target we pass a road named “Sack,” which rarely fails to elicit some kind of childish response from me, and, well . . . yeah, I’m mentally about 12 years old.

October 26, 2005

Lunchtime confession

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 11:51 am

When I microwave something at work in a container, I will carry the then-hot food back to my desk using a few napkins to dampen the heat. When I get to my desk, I will throw the top-most napkin away because it had been touching the bottom of the container – which had been touching the microwave. No matter how clean the microwave appears, I still don’t trust that some invisible food chunks and/or disease elements have not attached themselves to the bottom of my container, and then transferred themselves to my napkin, which would then transfer to my face when I need to wipe myself clean (at which point the situation would then be ironic.) Even then, I’m still a little suspicious of that second napkin . . .

October 23, 2005

A note to readers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:57 pm

Due to a catastrophic Windows failure last weekend, I have lost the email addresses of anyone who has written to me. If you’d like to hear from me, please feel free to email me here.

A note to readers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:57 pm

Due to a catastrophic Windows failure last weekend, I have lost the email addresses of anyone who has written to me. If you’d like to hear from me, please feel free to email me here.

Recommended: John Coltrane – One Up, One Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:55 pm

Jazz fans need to run out and pick up the incredible new release from the John Coltrane estate, One Up, One – Live at the Half Note, a live release overseen by Coltrane’s talented son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane (whose new album, In Flux, comes HIGHLY recommended as well – one of the best new jazz releases of the year.) This is not “easy” music by any means – what you hear on this set is Coltrane developing ideas, and in that sense it’s truly fascinating. As other notable musicians note in the liner, the solo of the title track is one of his most important musical statements, a piece that has been sought out by jazz afficiados for decades and existed only as shoddy many-generations degraded copies-of-copies. This is definitely not something you’ll want to put on during a polite dinner but rather something that needs careful, close listening to really grasp what’s going on. The compositions here form a bridge between Coltrane’s later, wilder work and his more standard-based music of the earlier 60s. As Ravi and others point out in the liner notes, this is music that existed only in the moment, and no one has quite managed to capture whatever it is that Coltrane was able to let free here.

The sound quality is overall excellent, but the buyer should be aware that these tapes are not perfect – there are occasional dropouts in the right channel – but the music contained within is so superb that any audio issues are a distant concern.

October 19, 2005

Another achievement for Arrested Development

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 2:19 pm

On top of the Emmy awards and nominations, the critics’ undying love, and a small but ravenous legion of fans, Arrested Development now has one more beautiful achievement to parade around: it is one of the many Fox shows that top a list of TV programming that a parents group deems distasteful. The fact that it’s not #1 shows that they didn’t even watch the show – no other program on TV has gotten away with a line like Tobias’ recent outburst “I can just taste the meaty leading man parts in my mouth!” and repeated mentions in season 2 of how he “blue himself.” If they missed that or somehow didn’t think it was offensive, perhaps the show really is too subtly subversive. Either way, congratulations, Arrested Development! You know what they say about “bad” publicity . . . let’s hope it really is true.

October 17, 2005

PSA: toilet etiquette

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 3:44 pm

Gentleman, I can see that it’s time for a little talk again. I don’t like to have to do this, but you leave me no choice.

Guys, come on, if you’re going to use a stall to do your standing-up peeing, please at least aim for the toilet. There are no excuses for excess spillage outside of the toilet. If you’re going to be sloppy, take it to the urinal, please. Better yet, lay out one of those nice protective tissue rings and have a seat – you deserve a rest, don’t you? Take a few minutes for yourself. You’ll thank yourself later, and I’ll thank you immediately for not peeing all over the damn floor!

randoMonday II: the sequel strikes back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:38 am

Having nothing else of value to post at the moment, why not duplicate the rousing success of my first “randomMonday” post last week? “Random shuffle” posts seem to be a “Friday thing” but, really, Monday deserves some special attention. randoMonday it is!

  1. King Crimson: “Easy Money” (King Crimson Collector’s Club #29, Live in Heidelberg, March 29, 1974
  2. Bruce Cockburn: “Trickle Down” (You’ve Never Seen Everything)
  3. XTC: “Snowman (live)” (Coat of Many Cupboards, disc 2)
  4. Bruce Cockburn: “Celestial Horses” (You’ve Never Seen Everything)
  5. Charlie Hunter: “Changui” (Right Now Live (DVD rip))
  6. The White Stripes: “Red Rain” (Get Behind Me Satan)
  7. Bill Frisell: “Rag” (Live)
  8. King Crimson: “Radio I” (Thrak)
  9. Bill Bruford’s Earthworks: “Nerve” (All Heaven Broke Loose)
  10. Bill Frisell: “Avulet” (Masada Guitars)

Hmm, not a whole lot of variety going on there. So goes the mystery of Ipod’s “random” shuffle.

October 16, 2005

Learning to laugh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 8:26 pm

Amanda is caught being fascinated by a mobile of furry bears over her playpen.

In the past week, we’ve seen a sudden shift in Amanda from passively observing to actively reacting to things around her in a way she never had. Aside from just watching the world around her, the most fun has been getting her to not only show off a glorious, gummy smile, often urged on by a game of “nose/chin” wherein I gently poke first her nose, then her chin (which seems to delight her,) but to make some obvious early attempts at laughter. They’re primitive attempts, to be sure, but her choppy squeals and gurgles leave no doubt that she’s taking part in some sort of simple game. This doesn’t last long – her attention span is only so long – but those few minutes of smiling and laughing are guaranteed to be the highlight of every day.

Click through to my Flickr account to see more stuff – I’ve uploaded some digital art I’ve done over the years as well as the previous photos of Amanda.

Weekend of Windows

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 8:00 pm

I have another personal first to announce: in the past month or so, I have installed Windows XP FIVE times. Three times for the first incarnation of my dad’s new computer (which was doomed from the start due to a defective motherboard – boy, was that fun,) once yesterday for my dad’s real new computer, which went quite smoothly . . . and then again today – in my computer (the one I’m typing on right now, in fact.) This last one was not by choice.

If you’ve noticed a lack of posting lately, it’s because most of my nights the past week and a half have been dealing with a slowly disintegrating computer, or spending time with Amanda (much more preferable, obviously.) It all began when I installed a DVD-viewing program, then Adobe Illustrator (to show you how little illustration work I do at home, I managed to go over a year without having Illustrator on my computer) . . . and then all hell broke loose. Last year when I put together this computer, I allocated 10gb to a Windows-only partition – meant only for Windows and programs, no files, etc. In that year, even with constant vigilance about keeping this partition free of crap, I managed to fill up that 10gb with programs and probably a billion massive Windows Updates. So when I hit the magic number of 200mb free space, warning messages about space issues abounded and having started a nearly complete birth announcement (yes, I know, it’s getting a little late for that!) I couldn’t really uninstall the monster that is Illustrator. So I offed as many smaller programs that I could, hoping that I could swing Windows back to believing it had enough drive space to operate. Time and time again, I found myself facing the same warning message about space – nothing would stop Windows’ attempt to fill every nook and cranny of my drive. I managed to hold it at bay, but I knew the outcome was inevitable: I would have to not only reinstall Windows, but find homes for all the files on the other partitions of that drive. When I woke up the other day and found Windows frozen, I knew it was dire. I moved two of my partitions onto an empty drive and hoped for the best.

When I got up this morning, I came out to check email, rip some CDs, and do some reading. Windows wasn’t having any of it – everything was frozen, a small space-warning pop-up staring me as if to say “ha-ha, I told you so.” I hard rebooted, figuring it would come back like the other day, but it was not to be: the computer greeted me with a black screen, and even Safe Mode wouldn’t boot. I had everything I desperately needed saved, so I grabbed my XP install disc and spent about an hour massaging my computer back to shape. A couple hours after that, I had most of the vital Windows Updates installed and had even gotten a few of my most-used applications installed again. Everything seemed good – Windows was clean and new, fast like it should be, and I had lots of space to fill up with crap. When I went to grab some files from one of the moved partitions, however, I realized that I never made sure the other drive actually had all those files. It didn’t – they were long gone. Lucky for me, however, the most important files were saved – dozens of shots of Amanda that hadn’t been secured on a DVD yet, along with less-fun things like our tax returns, resumes, etc.

So, here I am, 12 hours later, having spent most of the day behind one computer (my dad’s) or another (mine) trying to get everything back to normal. Don’t doubt for a minute how enticing Linux is sounding right now . . .

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