roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (John Bauer - Tyr and Fenrir)
This shit going down in my beloved Twin Cities is fucking madness. And I fucking KNEW this would happen! The Republican Party is like a dog that shits authoritarianism on the couch every time you let it inside.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)


So the big drama in Twin Cities quaffery lately is that New Belgium Brewing is distributing their beer here again, and people are kind of freaking out about it. I'll grant that I enjoy a bottle o' Fat Tire as much as the next guy or gal, but the whole thing is amusingly fanboyish. And, as you can see above, they are playing it to the hilt. (There are also posters up all over town. It's nuts.)

What's interesting is that this is probably the worst possible time for them to be making their triumphant return. Surly's been open for about a year and a half, and their brew is available in big pretty cans and something like a third of the tap-rows in town. Flat Earth opened their doors about four months ago, and looks to be aiming for a similar level of local stardom. The Cities have a real live brewery culture now. Two years ago, New Belgium probably could have waltzed straight back to the top tenth of the totem pole with zero opposition—nowadays, not so much.

Not that they're going to do badly, or anything. I'm just wondering what the scene is going to look like once the freakout dies down.

EDIT: Um, this just about broke me:
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (WELL?! DO YOU?!?)
So I went to the Douglas Wolk / Austin Grossman reading/presentation/panel/event at MCAD tonight, and it was pretty sweet -- the thing itself was pretty engaging, plus I got to hang out with Steve Burt and Jesse, who I haven't seen for a while and who are moving to Massachusetts to accommodate his new professorial gig at Harvard. (Dang. No more hanging out with the cats, I guess.)

Anyway, I learned a great many things, but I specifically want to share this conversation from the final leg of the afterparty.

Rod: Well, [the Old Stillwater Prison]'s gone, now.
Michael: What?
Rod: Yeah. Arson. These 17-year-old kids. Burned it down.
Michael: Seriously?
Rod: Yeah, they were, like, these quasi-urban-explorers, and they broke into the place to go look around and they found all these birds, nailed to the wall.
Nick (entering conversation): What? HOLY CROW.
Rod: That was the most visible thing; they found all this other evidence of, like...
Nick: Of serious evil?
Rod: Yeah, pretty much. And they were just like, "This place is evil; we must destroy it." So they took some videotape of it and then just torched the place and left.
Michael: Did they get caught?
Rod: Well, the cops caught up with them pretty quickly; I don't think anything particularly serious happened to 'em.
Michael: Anyway, I get the feeling this is all coming back around to--
Rod: That's right, the Circle Pond Cave Satanists.
Michael: I knew it.

(I'll skip past the part about the eviscerated goat stuffed with fruit. This has been your Cautionary Tale of the Outer Suburbs for the day.)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Reversal!)
I got a ticket to go see The Books tomorrow night. Close fucking call, too; I should have done it a week or two ago, but I was half-heartedly trying to co-ordinate with some other people who may or may not be going. Ah, well.

The ticket I got was in the last remaining open section* of the second show, which was added after the first one unexpectedly sold out. This is actually super good for me, because it means I can catch at least the first 2/3 of Luis' 8pm recital at Macalester and still make it back to Minneapolis in time for the 10:30 Books show.

It'll be an action-packed evening, though.**


_____
* Nosebleed, but who cares.

** Starting with me jetting off on my bike as soon as I can physically finish cleaning the shop, so's to make the 7:27 eastbound 21. At least I'm significantly faster on my new ride.***

*** I'm thinking of naming it Brigadelle.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Vast and solemn spaces)
It's still coming down. I don't know if or when it's going to stop.
a snow shot.

a snow shot.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Viva! La Revolution!)
Hey Nick, did you end up actually going to that Fort Wilson Riot show tonight?

Yes. I laugh at snow.

Good times?

Yup. And Ad Astra Per Aspera were pretty decent (that keyboard player had some nice licks), and Thunder in the Valley can raise a holy motherfucking racket. (Recommended particularly to BRMC fans.)

But no WAY were you able to escape some ridiculously implausible fly-in-the-ointment, right?

Right, so while I was standing outside the Triple Rock, someone in a truck shot me in the back with a glow-in-the-dark paintball while driving past.

It's not so much the "OMFG ASSHOLE" factor that gets to me. It's that these dudes were driving around in a snowstorm in search of someone to mildly injure/soak with oily fluorescent paint. I feel like I've encountered the Shithead Of The Future.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
For some reason, it hadn't really registered with me before now that Bruce Schneier lives in Minneapolis. But he totally does.

EDIT: Context? Okay.

Beyond Fear is one of the most important books of the decade thus far. The human brain is not optimized for modernity, and Schneier is one of those precious few people taking concrete measures to drag the rest of us into the 21st century. If I met him, I'd probably go totally fangirl.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Reversal!)
So yeah, it's been one of those days. One of those days where your bike's seat post gets stolen and you have to frantically walk/run to the bus stop.

Thank goodness nothing on my bike is worth a dime except the tires!
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Vast and solemn spaces)

Post one



So the weirdest thing about the Mississippi is that it's just kind of there. You know, it's this huge mythical thing, but it was also just like half an hour's run there and back from Macalester. It's all very mundane, except, you know, not.

Anyway, after I got back from a grueling shift at work (there are these, like, burst raids of people who have done their time in church and deserve some damn pastry, which gets kind of nuts), had my lunch, and took a 45 minute nap, I found myself at Liberty, with a clear blue sky and temperatures of around 12-13° celsius. So I went exploring. And it was very nice. When you get down to it, I really haven't seen that much of this city at all, and even less of the river. and it's always soothing to fill in some gaps. You go here, building. River, you go here. Street, you curve this way. Hi. How are you?

Seeing a place for the first time feels sort of like bringing it into existence, and it's one of my favorite things to do.

Post two



Quicksilver iTunes popup

If you use Quicksilver and Growl, you can make them do these slick little popups whenever iTunes starts playing a new song. Kind of useless, but I like it. But for some complicated reason I don't get, the song info it displays comes out of Quicksilver's internal cache, and if you've added music since the last time it scanned, it gets these weird off-by-one errors that make the wrong info show up. But the errors seem weirdly intelligent. For example, it apparently knows that members of B'ehl went on to form Paper Moon after the band broke up.

Anyway:

Oct. 4th, 2006 04:11 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
So yeah, here's my new job:

It won't pay the bills, and it's a 20-minute bike ride from home, but I sort of like it. It's a local, baker-owned biz, they make good food, it has a nice atmosphere, and the co-workers are chill.

So now I'm looking for another part-time job to help supplement what I'll be making at the pan-ya. I'm thinking... aerial courier service. I've already got the bag; I should probably start checking the "brooms" section on Craigslist.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Unplanned fringe benefit of writing my major projects in plain text and keeping them in an SVN repository: I can work on them from multiple computers at once with no real penalty. Fuckin' sweet.

Yeah, context, right. The (radiant? sardonic?) Crow doesn't have a case yet, and until then, I'm a little loath to take it out on the town. Which is kind of irritating, since I enjoy typing in cafés around the neighborhood. However, I happen to have been wrangling my Cheaters files using tools that were designed to let several dozen people work on the same files at once, and which have built-in allowances to handle conflicting changes and out-of-sync versions. So I get the ability to keep writing on the Albatross without worrying about keeping track of what I took with me, and I get it for free.

Not that I actually wrote anything yesterday afternoon. I'm kind of neck-deep in The Element of Fire. Hot damn is it good. I've been warned by people in the know that, partway through your first novel (maybe earlier, maybe later), you lose the ability to read fiction for pleasure, and won't get it back for a year or three. It's one of those situations where your brain is recompiling itself, and one of the symptoms is hyper-awareness of what other writers are doing craftwise coupled with an obnoxious predilection for backseat driving. I think I may be starting to get that; ask me again in three months. If that's what's going on, though, this is exactly the novel I need to be reading right now, because it's like riding behind James Bond: all hazards to navigation are being met with proper action and massive flair. If you're not reading it yet, climb on, man.

Bits and chunks: )
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Mischief brewin'!)
I have my new MacBook! And because I am me, there are fiascoes. None of them are filled with Chianti.

Fiasco 1! So to upgrade that RAM, I needed a very tiny phillips head screwdriver. Didn't have one. Neither did the first five hardware stores I went to. The only thing more I'll say about that is that the Ace on Bloomington and 24th is the proper one to go to.

Fiasco 2! Did you know that the OS X Migration Assistant can't warn you whether the things it's bringing over from that PowerPC Mac of yours are going to cause massive system conflicts? I sure didn't! Which is why I'm writing this post from the Variegated Albatross, while the [adjective pending] Crow is elsewhere on the desk doing an Archive + Reinstall. Man, speaking of Chianti, I think I'm gonna go grab some alcohol.




On the less humorous and infinitely less tolerable side of irritating: John M. Ford died last night. Haven't read his books yet; never met him personally. I just knew him as a Making Light commenter with a friendly manner, an unnaturally sharp wit, and a talent for parody the likes of which I've not seen before nor since. And a good poet, to boot.

Which is by way of saying: I've far less reason to miss him than practically any of the rest of that crew, and I still feel the burn something fierce. (He lived in the Cities; I'd held out hope of running into him sometime.) I join my fellow nerds in calling foul on the universe.

So don't get me wrong up above. I'm reveling in these hilarious computer hassles. They're MUCH more fun than anything else that happened today. My sincerest condolences to Ford's family and friends: I envy them the chance to have known him so well, and pity them for the loss of all that, having known it.

(I was debating using the other icon for this post, but honestly? It's probably as good a prescription for grief as it is for anything else.)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Jake got on the guest list for the Man Man concert tonight and brought me with him as his +1, because he rules.

Man Man was pretty awesome, though that might not be the word I'm looking for. Try "explosive." I hadn't heard their music before, and figured that their name must be ironic? NO. They really are all about the testosterone. And there were two to four very large men off to our right who clearly could have listened to them all night.

Man Man weren't the real surprise of the night, though. That honor goes to the Fort Wilson Riot. Hot damn, have you heard these guys? First time in a good long while that an opening act just got up there and blew my ass away. They were just so... musically engaging. Every song just kept twisting around and doing startling and awesome things. Think Fiery Furnaces meets Neutral Milk Hotel meets Jethro Tull. Except, you know, not.

If you get a chance, go see them. And if you're in the Cities, you have a chance to see them tomorrow night (Sunday) when they play with The Mathematicians and Screamin' Cyn Cyn + the Pons at the Triple Rock (21+, $6, 9pm).
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
This afternoon's thunderstorm seems to be occurring in two stages. I went ahead and took a nice long walk during the earlier huge-fat-droplets-all-over-the-place stage, which was comfortably warm and very nice overall. Then there was a bit of a respite, and what's going on now seems to be our dark-sky-and-ominous-amounts-of-electrical-discharge (plus hella wind) stage. Iiii think I'm just gonna stay in here for that part.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Aayuuuuup—preeeetty fuckin' hot.

Weather widget sez it's plannin' on gettin' up near forty celsius today. I think in Fahrenheit that comes out to about ouchholyshitjesus degrees. But my math might be off.
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Mischief brewin'!)
These guys are outside busting up some furniture hauled out of that blighted wreck of a hospital. Including some chairs with padded seats on 'em. I was thinking of going to rescue one—just like I've thought of going to grab a desk or filing cabinet or wastebasket—but I keep reminding myself: "You really don't want anything that came out of that place. Seriously."

I guess they're having a meeting over at the Loring Nicollet Community Center tonight to go over what the current plans for the place are (to wit, replace everything that's not a designated historical landmark with condos), but I have a futon delivery to accept around that time. So we'll see how that goes.

EDIT: Scratch that about the futon delivery; it showed up at 5:00 on the dot.

roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Mischief brewin'!)
The Central Library has wireless access for people who bring their laptops in. It only allows HTTP connections, which I suppose is fair, and in order to access it at all in a given 8-hour period, you have to first visit a login site and confirms to their router that the person using your computer's MAC address has agreed to the library's minimal code of internet contact.

This site is encrypted and authenticated, but it only supports SSL 2.0.

SSL is the protocol used by secure sites to both prove to you that they are who they say they are and to encrypt your connection. SSL 1.0 never shipped, so SSL 2.0 was the first public version. SSL 2.0 has some "known security flaws." Luckily, you can block those flaws by using SSL 3.0.

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 is dropping support for SSL 2.0. It's not even going to be available in the preferences dialog. You can turn it on, but only by using about:config. So if you're using the next version of the second-most popular web browser in the world, you can't connect to the library's login site unless you deliberately open yourself up to security holes, using an arcane process that probably only 10% of Firefox users even know about.

SSL 3.0 shipped in 1996 with the release of Netscape Navigator 2.0.

I reckon the library should probably upgrade their wireless login page to a 1996 level of technology; I passed the IT guys a friendly note to that effect through the guy at the reference desk. I know a few of you guys live in the Twin Cities, and it might be helpful if you could fire off an email or two as well. (Or better yet, talk to the reference desk people next time you're at Central.)

EDIT: Incidentally, you know the best part of doing your important stuff over at Central because it's too hot outside and it's a nice air-conditioned place where they won't kick you out if you sit for five hours and don't buy anything? If you suddenly realize you really really want a book, you can just... wander over and grab it. (There are five copies of that one in the system. Four are checked in. They're all at Central. This is why living in the City Proper is the shit.)
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Viva! La Revolution!)
Wow, excitement.

A little before 3 AM, I heard something that sounded kind-of sort-of like two .22 gunshots coming from the Blighted Fucking Dump across the way. Then I heard some clanking around. No voices.

Anyway, after turning off the main light, stopping the music, and stepping away from the window, I went back to take a look at things, and saw some jackasses monkeying around on top of one of the lower roofs. Then the MPD showed up, turned on some spotlights, hollered real loud, rolled up a couple of cruisers, and basically started the party off right, proceeding to make all kinds of racket and spectacle. I can hear 'em talking to or at some people, and vice-versa, but I really have no idea what's going on. And now they're doing something that sounds like a huge staplegun? WTFF.

While it's true that that building keeps my rent nice and low, I really just wish it would, you know, stop existing.

Also, if you are in a city and you make noises that sound like gunshots at 3 AM, please fuck off and die.

Outfoxed

Jun. 16th, 2006 08:41 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Default)
Matt, a casual pal of mine from school, started working at the AF just recently, and while I was sitting next to him today yesterday, I saw him go to the actual Yahoo.com web page in order to run a search for something. He was browsing with Firefox anyway (the AF PCs have some revision of 1.5 installed), so I leaned over and suggested he use the search box in the right-hand corner instead, pointing out that if you click on the search logo icon in the 1.x series, it drops down into a menu of search engines (which includes Yahoo by default and can be added-to at whim). I swear I saw the top of his head come off. It turns out that he uses something called Netcaptor at home (which makes the second time I've ever heard of that browser), and the ready presence of that kind of raw power--by default--kind of blew his mind.

So I did the socially responsible thing and blew his mind the rest of the way, demonstrating (in rapid succession) Live Bookmarks, incremental find, and the use of apostrophe-start FAYT plus ctrl-enter to open links in new tabs without looking at the screen. (THAT one was the real pisser, since it turns out he's a mousehater.) Then I wrote down the URL for today's Windows nightly of Bon Echo and told him he should skip 1.5 and go straight for that, since it will let him start using the new inline spellchecker, beefed-out search engine manager, and improved feed handling well before the rest of the world knows what it's in for. I am pretty confidant that Team Mozilla has a new convert.

Man, imagine if I was this dedicated a shill for someone who paid me for it.

In related news, I randomly ran into (いきなり出会った、not "collided with") Josh today on the way to work, so we biked most of the way to Mac together. I'd forgotten he was in the city, and it turns out he's living like five blocks away from me. So we'll try and hang out once he gets back from his pending California trip.

Kablam

Jun. 16th, 2006 08:19 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Viva! La Revolution!)
This storm is probably the most egregious display of meterological violence I've ever landed in the middle of. Holy balls. Swirling whirlwinds, probably two or three inches of rain, and enough marble-sized skullcracker hailstones that it sounded like the world was ending. Copious thunder and lightning to season (including a hit just now right before I wrote this that sounded like a bomb going off) and a whole shitload of police and fire sirens. They MIGHT have set off the klaxons for a while, too, but I had no way to tell those from the other five sources of horrific noise right nearby. Minnesotans, is this shit normal? What the fucking fuck?

Anyway, it's still going on impressively a few hours later. Love it. I'm holed up in Acadia right now with some beer.

ALSO, ATTENTION TWIN CITIES PEOPLE: On July 6 at around 7 pm, we are all going to the Amazon Bookstore, which is on Chicago Avenue South, down by 47th street or so. We are going there because Alison Bechdel will be talking about her new graphic novel and doing a reading. (DTWOF readers are already familiar with Amazon; it was supposedly the template for Madwimmin Books.) Seattlites have about twenty minutes to get their butts down to the University Bookstore, or they can catch her tomorrow.

(Hat tip to Colleen Coover!)

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