October 15th, 2005

computer

DEAR QUICKTIME

WHEN SOMEONE SENDS A REQUEST TO MY WEBSERVER FOR AN MP3 FILE, THEY GET HEADERS LIKE THIS:

200 OK
Connection: close
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 20:10:47 GMT
Accept-Ranges: bytes
ETag: "2b0a8-60ac4b-765d9280"
Server: Apache/2.0.55 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.0.55 OpenSSL/0.9.8 DAV/2 PHP/4.4.0
Vary: Accept-Encoding,User-Agent
Content-Length: 6335563
Content-Type: audio/mpeg
Last-Modified: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 20:03:06 GMT
Client-Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2005 20:10:47 GMT
Client-Peer: 64.81.85.145:80
Client-Response-Num: 1

PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, HOW THIS IS A "MOVIE" AND WHY YOU ARE RESTRICTING HER FROM SAVING IT TO HER LOCAL DISK UNLESS SHE PURCHASES QUICKTIME PRO. WE HAVE ALREADY UNCHECKED ALL THE BOXES. THERE IS A STORE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF MY HOUSE THAT SELLS SHOTGUNS, AND I HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS IN THE CAR. I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATION HERE.

LOVE,

SOMEONE WHO READS THE RFC'S AND TAKES THEM SERIOUSLY
bigmouse ignatz

Last Dance with Mary Sue

  1. Some of the genetic background of Tourette's Syndrome in a careful and fascinating article at Pharyngula. Neuroscience geeks only though, it's kind of detailed.

  2. To some folks, it's only copyrighted if it's their stuff. (WFMU)

  3. South Korea is to Spam as France is to Jerry Lewis. Inexplicable phenomenon is described in an LA Times article. Bugmenot or genital/genital for registration.

  4. Yamaha is showing a concept of a hybrid motorcycle, 600 cc engine + electric, which they say has the performance of a 1000 cc bike. Also, it has an awesome supervillain look:

    futurebike

  5. Here's an interesting summary of the drug-resistant bird flu report from Vietnam. Alert: science jargon here, may cause spirally eyes.
  • Current Music
    The Chicken - James Brown
  • Tags
asphalt

Annals of Finance: Those Loan Checks in the Mail

You may have seen these things, I get a couple a month. A check arrives in the mail. Sometimes it's an actual negotiable check, or if not it's a binding voucher of some kind. It's for a large sum of money, made out to me. If I cash it, it turns into an unsecured loan. I've always been curious why everyone wants to loan me $5000-$8000 without security.

I always shred these, since I don't need any more debt. But I can imagine getting one of these and saying "Okay, I sure do need five grand right now" and cashing/redeeming the thing.

I looked at the latest one more carefully. The "check" is bilingual; they sent it to me Spanish side out. It's for $6,000.95 (love the 95 cents). I can redeem it at any HSBC office. I have then taken out a loan for this amount at 29.980% APR. Because we still have some vestiges of government they have to tell me this in bold type, and also tell me my payments, how many payments there will be, and the total finance charges. This is a five year loan with monthly payments of $194.08 and:

The total finance charges are $5,643.85.

So that's why they're happy to loan that much.
bigmouse ignatz

Proust and Procrustes

Listening to these Mozart piano sonatas is evocative. I played some of these, and listening to them takes me right back to adolescence. I was an earnest and focused pianist who hated to practice but really loved playing when I got into the zone.

The whole world of me-as-classical-musician encompasses me as a 14 year old in dorky corduroy pants and a polo shirt and deck shoes, me with a mop of hair that fell into my eyes, me the scholar. Playing the piano was one of the things I did for my parents and also sometimes enjoyed myself. Like sailing, and excelling in school. Left to my own devices I would not have played or sailed or been the smart dorky kid. Sailing well or playing effortless Bach on the piano felt good.

And when I was left to most of my own devices in college I didn't do any of those things either. No piano or sailing since 1983, and no academic success since 1984.

The circumscribed life I had when my parents owned me worked a lot better than the decade afterwards. In that bubble world I was a huge success. My total misery was fairly unimportant, since it was expected that anyone my age would be miserable. As long as I played my piano well (on every level), everything was okay. I'm still angry that they never took my fucked-up emotional life seriously.

So I see in my mind's eye this serious young guy in his sweater and slacks sweating out a sonata and I think: you poor fucker. You're about to step off a dive board into a huge pool of shit, and no one's going to lift you out or even explain what's going on for a decade.
  • Current Music
    Mozart Piano Sonata in C Major, K545, II: Andante - Mitsuko Uchida