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Learning the hard way

You know how when you buy a new Mac you look at the price of factory-installed RAM and snort, knowing full well how much cheaper RAM can be bought at any computer store in the world and easily self-installed? It’s only RAM, after all; it’s a standardized, mass-produced stick of crap you’re going to upgrade sooner or later anyway, right? Where’s the risk in third-party stuff? Why pay twice as much for the pleasure of AppleCare-protected RAM? Well, that was what I thought at the beginning of last year when I bought my PowerBook. Feel free to tut.

Halfway through my trip this summer gone I noticed things were starting to slow down on the ol’ lappy… particularly when I was running iPhoto. Though I noticed the slowdown, it never really worried me; or rather, it didn’t set off any alarm bells. My photo library had exploded from one thousand to six thousand pics in a matter of months as we snap-happy tourists set about capturing the globe on memory stick, of course it was going to run a little slower.

Later, the crashes came. iPhoto would bomb intermittently, and I dreaded even launching it because I knew how it would dog the system. Later still, the kernel panics came, and I became concerned. I’d seen them before, obviously, though never on 10.3 and never on this PowerBook, but when they happen twice in a week you have to be a little suspicious. Opening the ‘About This Mac’ panel for no reason in particular, I was told I have 512MB of RAM installed. Hold up… there’s 256MB on the logic board, and… uh… there’s supposed to be another 512MB in the expansion slot. The math definitely didn’t work. Unless I’m stupider than I look.

System Profiler confirmed it: the built-in 256MB shows up fine, but the 512MB DIMM was reporting itself as 256MB… half my fucking RAM was corrupt. Or, I should say, is corrupt. I’m still waiting on my replacement and my copy of Tiger (which should arrive tomorrow), and refraining from anything too strenuous in the mean time. At least the new stick is officially endorsed and AppleCare-protected should anything happen in the future. It just kinda smarts that I’ve now paid twice for something that only saved me a little cash in the first place.


The shit is bananas

Straight outta left field: I’m a No Doubt fan way back to their breakthrough Tragic Kingdom days, but my god is Gwen Stefani’s latest little solo effort horrifying. She has a fantastic voice and a very attractive midriff, both of which she has flaunted effortlessly for over a decade in ways the Spears and Lohan generation could only dream, but be damned if she can produce a decent song without her big brother around.

Don’t get me wrong, I have every suspicion that she is simply positioning herself as the girl-power poster child of the new millennium (hey, the Spice Girls are gone, right?) and, as such, has a responsibility to produce vacuous (though undeniably catchy) hip-hop–pop anthems, but it’s really a shame that this is the way she follows up a successful (and not nearly as deplorable) career fronting a ska/rock/pop band.

To be completely transparent, I must admit I’ve been listening to Hollaback Girl for the last week straight… and have almost succeeded in turning myself off of it completely. The video clip, too, is oddly addictive (see comment re: midriff, then multiply that by ass), though I doubt I’ll get sick of watching that so fast. On sampling the rest of what her solo debut has to offer I found it (surprise surprise) to be completely lacking. Hey, whaddya know, file sharing does lead to a decrease in record sales: consumers are forewarned of lousy records and know to avoid them.

This does not, sadly, guarantee I won’t listen again in a year and find myself tasting felt (ie– eating my hat), as has been the case with revisiting old Eminem and K’s Choice albums of late. Goddamn fickle ears.


Stanford would’ve been a better choice

I heard a fantastic story last week from Lee, starring Mel’s friend Emma following she and Lee’s first meeting at Mike’s birthday last year. I doubt it translates well to text, but it’s worth a shot:

Lee is introduced to Mel’s little quartet of girlfriends and is told by Emma (a blonde) that people tell them they look like the Sex & the City girls all the time. Riiight. Besides Emma, Mel is also a blonde, then there’s Charmagne —a brunette— and Paris, a redhead; so at least they have the hair down pat. Emma asks Lee which one he thinks she is (floosy alert), and though the answer is obviously Samantha, saying as much implies that she’s a chubby whore — not the best of first impressions to make upon a friend’s girlfriend’s best friend. Lee is cornered, since fingering Emma as Carrie would imply that Mel is Samantha (another gaffe)… and would be altogether too cheesy to suggest that Emma is ‘the star’ when she’s obviously fishing for compliments. Quick on his feet, Lee tries to throw a curveball by naming another random character from the show…

“You’re Big”

Total silence from the girls. Lee kinda motions to save himself from his own words, but doesn’t get anywhere. More silence. Emma, who is especially touchy about the weight she’s just recently put on, is not impressed. The cold glare from her direction pierces Lee’s skin, he cowers a little and makes good his escape. Five months later, he still can’t look her in the eye.


Copy and paste

Apple’s press corps should probably show a little more diligence in updating their press releases. Bumping spec numbers and OS versions is all well and good, but the devil —as they say— is in the details:

Offering the latest high-performance I/O, the new iMac G5s include built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed networking, built-in AirPort Extreme for fast 54Mbps wireless networking*, built-in Bluetooth, a total of five USB ports (three USB 2.0) and two FireWire® 400 ports for easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as Apple's market-leading iPod® digital music player, digital video camcorders, digital still cameras and printers. (emphasis mine)

While I appreciate that it’s still possible to hook your iPod up to your iMac using FireWire, it’s not exactly the norm anymore, is it? Where is FireWire going, anyhow? I would’ve hoped they’d’ve made the iPod FireWire 800 compatible by now, to at least show that they’re a little interested in furthering what was once a key technology.


Maybe it’s just stupidity

A girlfriend of mine, Rosalyn*, asked for advice today about a guy she knows. OK, so she actually asked for advice about a “hypothetical situation involving a hypothetical guy”, which is about as thin as veils come, but the story remains the same:

Rosalyn
I’ve been out with him a few times as friends, and I’ve made it pretty obvious that I’m not looking for a boyfriend… but he’s asked me to dinner at his place this weekend. What do you think?
Chris
Looking for sex.
Rosalyn
Noooo… really?

Dinner. At his place. Alone. And she found that invitation difficult enough to decode that she needed verification.

I had always assumed that the fact that we guys can’t penetrate the female psyche is because we’re kinda stupid, or because they’re just too complex for us (which is a variant of “we’re too stupid”, but sounds nicer), and I also always assumed that guys were about as open a book as anyone could hope to find… but I guess I was wrong. My first instinct was to consult my local man eater, Beatrix*, to see how a, uh, worldlier breed of woman saw the situation:

Chris
If a guy asked you to have dinner with him, alone, at his place, what do you think his motives are?
Beatrix
Looking for sex.
Chris
Exactly!
Beatrix
Why, you asking someone to dinner?
Chris
Heh, actually Ros was just asking me about some “friend” of hers who asked her over to his place.
Beatrix
Well if it’s a friend, that’s a bit different. I mean, I have friends who I know I’m safe with, and others who are more likely to take a drunken crack at me.
Chris
Oh. So you’re just as dense as she is.
Beatrix
What?
Chris
Exactly.

I can count the number of home cooked dinners-for-two I’ve prepared for women on my hands, and not one of them was for “just a friend”. The same goes for foot massages, the same goes for unexpected gifts, the same goes for shaving before a date. The golden rule is thus: if the possibility of a shag arising as a result of one of the above favors isn’t greater than zero, it isn’t worth doing. It gets sticky here, because there are series of “lesser favors” that a foolhardy young man might do for a girl just to score points, and sometimes I really just need a shave, but those once-obviously-calculated favors on the guy’s part are eventually diluted.

This is where the nice-guys-finish-last conundrum comes into play. She thinks he’s a nice, non-threatening guy, a good friend; he thinks she’s waiting for him at the top of a ladder, naked, and that every little favor he performs puts him one rung higher on the ladder. Not the case. When the lesser favors become commonplace, the greater favors (“hey, I’m at the Rise and the trains have stopped running and I don’t have enough money for a cab, could you pick me up?”) don’t register any more.

I like the way Ros goes out of her way to explain that she’s already laid down the “we’re just friends” barrier as if it has some great relevance. I have to admit here that guys are exceptionally duplicitous when it comes to that label: quick to apply it, just as eager to discard it. Share a few bottles of champagne and see just how “friendly” he is. The impending drama will either secure a relationship or end a friendship, or, if he’s particularly gallant (read: feeble), he’ll do nothing because he “doesn’t want to ruin the friendship”. Bullshit. That’s supposed to be your excuse when you turn him down. There isn’t a man in the world who is intentionally friendly toward a woman he’s not attracted to.

The more women I talk to about this matter, the more time I spend with Beatrix and her kin, the more woefully clueless womankind appears to be. You seem to have the basics down pat —shake your ass a little and you’ll get a free drink— but anything that can’t be taught in a Britney Spears video clip seems to evade you completely.

As always, avoid men in salmon polo shirts. Keep your eye on your drink. Dinner for two implies forthcoming nudity. Good night.

*If I’m going to fabricate names, they might as well be cool ones.


Check that one off the list… kinda

The 32-bit .ico rendering problem exhibited by Mac OS X pre-Tiger, though still not fixed, is at least nicely sidestepped in Safari 2.0: it uses the 8-bit icon by default. I haven’t conducted any serious testing to see whether it takes the 8-bit icon even in cases where transparency isn’t an issue, but I imagine it would.

Try opening my favicon in a browser window, or in Preview, and you’ll still be met with the ol’ funky transparency handling. Weird. Firefox & Co are still behaving correctly, bless their hearts, but at least my icon doesn’t look like ass to the majority of the Mac-using populace any more.


Untelligent design

You don’t need to be a linguist to know how terrible the English language is. Native speakers have enough trouble with it, adopters find the millions of exceptions to the thousands of rules that make up its syntax overwhelming. It’s a shambles.

Why on Earth, then, would intelligent design advocates even try to make like it was explicitly designed this way… by anyone or anything ‘supreme’? Pretty fucking lousy job they did of it, if you ask me.


My hot tip for the week

Get a mirror for your shower.

I’ve always shaved at the bathroom sink before taking a shower. I tried a few times to do it afterwards but found my skin would get irritated by the soap or foam I was using, and I always felt kind slimy afterwards. I tried shaving in the shower, but was always concerned that the spicules of beard-hair would find their way into somewhere undesirable… plus I always did a lousy job because I couldn’t see what the hell I was doing. Missing spots, overdoing spots, cutting yourself. Not cool.

After installing a mirror, I can’t recommend it highly enough. That whole spicule thing might still be a concern, I’m not really sure, but the speed, ease, and convenience of shaving in the shower can’t be overstated. Constant lubrication, constant rinse, and accuracy comparable to pre- or post-shower shaving in front of a larger mirror. Fog-proof your new in-shower buddy (or bring it up to temperature under the running water to prevent fogging) and you have yourself a gay old time.


While we’re at it, let’s ban internet dating

Via Slashdot: I like it how shooting animals for fun is legal, ethical, humane, and sportsmanlike, but shooting them using a computer is none of the above. Only in America, I guess.

I wonder if anybody will cry foul over discrimination against people with motor disabilities. If I lack the physical ability to hold, aim, or fire a gun, who are you to deny me my right to murder stuff? Assistive technology! I guess the Humane Society and the Department of Fish and Game buildings don’t have wheelchair access, either.


Yech

I’m still at a loss as to why the Clown Department at Apple decided to use a custom control for the PDF functions in Tiger’s print sheet (screenshot), particularly when they’re already embarrassed for choice in that area of controls.

Quite a selection: rounded, square, square textured, shadowless square, and borderless pulldown menus
Engineer 1
Hmmm… we need a control that pulls down to reveal a choice of actions that the user can perform. A control that pulls down and looks comfortable next to other Aqua elements like the Push Button.
Engineer 2
Like a PopUpMenu? They’re in the Interface Builder.
Engineer 1
Yeah, but those are supposed to be Selection controls, not Action controls. They’re not really supposed to be ‘doing’ words, whatchacallem… verbs.
Engineer 2
Sooo… like a PullDownMenu?
Engineer 1
Yeah, I guess. How do we get one of them?
Engineer 2
Dunno, can’t see it in Interface Builder. What’s say we just make our own?
Engineer 1
Right on.

Interface Builder really needs some attention, it’s been years. While I’m right glad they updated a lot of the controls to include things that were previously only available programmatically, it’s still a disorganized mess. And don’t get me started on the HIG.

Check out the guidelines on the PullDownMenu… it reads as though the only place you’re allowed to use them is, well, in Apple-designed system-wide panels like the color panel or the font panel. This is obviously not the case, but it becomes a point of contention between people who try to use them sensibly and those to-the-letter HIG proponents who get in their way. The HIG is like the Bible: it’s a good set of rules to base your work around, but to apply it word for word you’d have to be a fucking maniac.


Overloading, part 1

I think the thing that has always bugged me about the Services menu in OS X is that I don’t use it, and I can’t see a possible universe in which I would use it. It’s just there, slowly cluttering itself up with lame-ass services provided by applications that never asked me if I gave a damn. Worse still, applications that think they’re particularly special have the option to give their service a keyboard shortcut —that is, a system wide keyboard shortcut— so that you too can have the three-fingered convenience of creating a new sticky note out of whatever is lurking on your clipboard, any time you like.

Ordinarily these shortcuts don’t harm anyone. It doesn’t matter to Camino users that Command-Shift-F sometimes performs a Spotlight search of your clipboard contents, because it’ll never do that while they’re using Camino; it’ll do what they expect it to: put keyboard focus on the toolbar’s Google search field. Why? Because the active application has precedence. If there’s a conflict between an application-specific keyboard shortcut and a Services menu shortcut, the application wins. And so it should.

But it does have consequences for the percentage of people who will, upon using Camino for the first time, express frustration that their favorite system-wide shortcut for spotlighting is broken in that browser. Putting aside the fact that there has long been a de-facto standard shortcut for search field focus that the Camino team seems intent to ignore (Command-Option-N, and it’s not just de-facto), this “sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t” game the Services menu plays, while benign, has the potential to confuse.

Confusion, however, is just the beginning. There is a rarely-occurring conflict between certain applications like MarsEdit that provide customizable keyboard shortcuts independent of the menu bar (presumably employing their own listeners see update) and applications like Acquisition, whose contribution to the Services menu can mess with those shortcuts. In this case, MarsEdit’s fully-customizable HTML insertion menu loses the tug of war with the Services menu — as those with Acquisition installed may discover when they try to “Paste Link” with Control-Shift-A, only to launch Acquisition and perform a P2P search for their clipboard contents.

While the subordination of MarsEdit’s nonstandard shortcuts sucks, it is just a technical problem that can be solved in any number of ways. Ranchero could fix the problem on their end, the user could change their shortcut for Paste Link (it’s customizable, after all), or the user could disable Acquisition’s service manually or with a bit of help. Not a big deal, if it bothers you, but it illustrates just what can go wrong when we start overloading single keyboard shortcuts with multiple uses in different contexts. Context sensitivity is useful at times (though many old school UI guys would strongly disagree), but under no circumstances should I be forced to remember just when I can and cannot not use a certain shortcut.

Update

Brent sez:

MarsEdit doesn’t have its own listener for shortcuts. What it does in the case of the HTML menu is put the menu in the toolbar of a document window and give the commands shortcuts.

Which is a straightforward thing: there’s no custom event handling code or anything going on.

My guess is that the system gives priority to the app’s menu bar, then the Services menu, and then to menus that appear outside the main menu bar.

To fix it, we probably need to implement our own listener for shortcuts. (In other words, to work around what I consider a flaw in the design of the system, we’ll need to add some custom event handling code.)

That sucks. Oh, the joys of software development.


Overloading, part 2

As if context-sensitive overloading of keyboard shortcuts as discussed yesterday wasn’t enough of a problem, Tiger has unleashed introduced a whole new kind of pain in the ass for the unsuspecting user: shortcuts that go out of their way to cause conflict.

Take at look at your Spotlight preferences. The shortcut is Command-Space, right? That’s cool, Command-Space is, and always has been, a reserved shortcut. Some applications made use of it, like LaunchBar, but did so knowing that it was not recommended practice. Looking back, though, Command-Space wasn’t always reserved for Spotlight... it used to be reserved for switching keyboard layouts. That is, until... wait. It still is. Sucks to be an internationalist, don’t it? And the operating system ships like this.

I’m sure, as a reader of this site, you’re well aware of the yen I have for keyboard shortcuts and consistency, among other things, so forgive my need to rant, but there is a shortcut on ye olde reference sheete that has been yanking my chain for years. Command-Option-T, or as Apple puts it, the “Equivalent to the Show/Hide Toolbar command” has to be one of the most ignored shortcuts on the face of the planet.

[Big red tick] indicates that these are suggested keyboard shortcuts for applications. Unless your application does not implement the functionality represented by the shortcut, you should provide these keyboard shortcuts.

So Command-Option-T is the standard, but apparently nobody can read. I’ve rallied software companies for years to adopt this shortcut, my latest success with Panic for Transmit 3, but it looks like it was all for nought. Preview continues to use Command-B to toggle the toolbar (which has, sadly, been picked up by an awful lot of third-party developers), Safari uses Command-|, and Mail uses Command-Option-T to move the selected message to wherever you moved the last message; an archive folder, the trash, wherever.

Read that again: Mail uses one of Apple’s own recommended keyboard shortcuts not for its intended purpose, but for a potentially destructive one. Madness. Methinks Cupertino’s documentationeers should start writing in a gruff voice and switch words like “should” for words like “must”, and words like “suggested” for words like “mandated”, then forward copies of the new documentation to the head of UI on every internal project. Without internal consistency, external consistency will never follow. Apple needs the Consistency Police.

But hey! Forget about it! Tiger now ships with Command-Option-T as the default shortcut for showing the Character Palette! Thus, any application that doesn’t already use that key combo to show or hide the toolbar now uses it for ‘special characters’. We’re deadlocked. I can no longer recommend Command-Option-T as a toolbar toggling shortcut, despite the documents backing it up, because it’s in conflict with a basic system default. Why “Show/Hide Toolbar” never defaulted to anything in the first place is beyond me, so now we have nothing. Dumb and dumber.


Germans!

I received a rather unexpected letter in the mail today… from Munich. It would appear my men and ladies down at the München Staatsanwaltschaft have really been on the case, and decided to write me with the details. In German. Here’s Google’s attempt at translating:

Preliminary investigation against Nassim Ben Othman Athimni because of theft.

Dear Mr. Clark

The preliminary investigation have I with order adjusted of 20.04.2005 in accordance with [Section] 170 exp. 2 code of criminal procedure.

Reasons:

Euro Youth, Senefelder road 5 was appropriate for the accused one of in Munich, the Hostel hunter, Senfelder road 3 in Munich and/or to the load, to 20.02.2005, 09.02.2005 and 26.03.2005 articles of the damaged Bick, Stuebs, Clark and Leuratti from the hotel. likewise (bezgl. the damaged Leuratti) the hotel euro Youth in the Senefelder road 5 in Munich to have stolen. The preliminary investigation was to be stopped.

The act for the disadvantage of the damaged Bick and Stuebs is not provable, since the accused one of did not genaechtigt at the act time demonstrably in the hotel and the search ran with it unsuccessfully.

Those did not do in the Hostel hunter debited to the damaged Clark is provable, since in this case evenfalls despite initial suspicion it will not prove can that the accused one of was at the act time in the questionable hotel.

Finally to act-to the disadvantage of the damaged Leuratti is not provable also despite initial suspicion, since no concrete note for it is present that the accused one of was involved in the act.

Faithfully

gez. Brose
Public Prosecutor

This report was provided electronically and contains therefore no signature, for which for understanding one asks.

I get the impression they spent a lot of time chasing some dude who they suspected of committing four thefts at two hotels and have nothing to show for it. They mailed a letter across oceans —in German— that I had to type into Google Translate myself, for that.


New RAM!

My replacement RAM finally arrived. I’ve heard crazy stories in the past about corrupted memory —weird symptoms misdiagnosed as software problems, the whole bit— but I've only fully come to appreciate it in the last few weeks.

Overall slowness during memory-intensive tasks is to be expected when your 512MB DIMM is reporting itself as 256MB… you know something’s screwy and you can’t trust the DIMM, but FireWire malfunctions? An inability to burn CDs? Very weird. Thankfully, every one of those problems has been fixed with the installation of some new and dependable RAM… and everything feels a bit snappier, too.


A Musical Baton

Where do these memes get their names? I’m assuming this musical baton, passed to me by Sascha Höhne, is like all that chain mail I get in that if I drop my end I’ll be hit by a truck… so here goes:

Total volume of music files on my computer
10.51GB, after a recent paring. Equating to 2522 songs in 269 albums by 394 artists. Try doing the math on that.
The last CD I bought
Bleed Like Me, by Garbage.
Song playing right now
Cake – Short Skirt, Long Jacket
Five songs I listen to a lot, or mean a lot to me
Since the top songs in my iTunes play count reveal only a disturbing string of passing infatuations (go and listen to Kay Starr’s Rock and Roll Waltz if you don’t believe me) I’m going to have to go with the “I like it a lot and it’s been played recently enough to come to mind” deal.
Five people to whom I’m passing the curse baton
Hmmmm…

Come on down.


Live! Live! Live!

All this talk about music lately got me thinking about what my favorite album is right now. To tell the absolute truth, I can’t say. I don’t have a favorite drink, I don’t have a favorite color, I don’t have a favorite car. If I won the lottery tomorrow, how would I pick myself some pimpin’ new wheels if I don’t have a favorite manufacturer, model, or color? Whatever tickles my fancy at the time, I guess; and that’s what I usually expect from my CD collection.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the top five I picked a few days ago, no theme. And despite the fact that she didn’t even get a mention in that post, one album from one artist keeps floating to the top whenever I look for an absolute favorite: Sarah McLachlan, Live from the Perth Concert Hall. It’s a bootleg of the concert I went to last year. Not a particularly great recording, but what makes it special is that I was there for it. I lived it. The between-song banter, the atmosphere, the pure joy in the voices of the crowd as they sing along to Ice Cream at the end of the show — it’s locked in my memory, and listening to the show puts a smile on my face all the same.

A record like this, despite its poor quality and dubious legality, is the only thing that can make a deep and lasting connection with a cynical music lover. Pearl Jam knows this, they’ve been releasing ‘official bootlegs’ of their shows for years and are enjoying great rewards from it. It makes them money (buckets of it: since it’s impossible to make good money on a studio album, bands earn their real living on tour selling tickets and the associated merchandise) and it brings their core fans even closer to them. It’s not a “Live CD” of some show in Podunk they never saw, it’s a memory distilled, and it can turn someone who wasn’t previously a real big fan into a devotee.

So why aren’t more bands doing this? It’s different, for one. It messes with the status quo, puts the performing artist under more pressure than usual, and it costs money that just might not come back. They can’t know for sure. Pop stars could never do it: they have enough trouble performing live as it is, and don’t need to release permanent records of how terrible they sound without a studio behind them. Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson? Don’t even go there.

But what of the rest? What if I had a recording of the NOFX show I saw the year before last? What if I could skip a few tracks and hear Dave and me, pushed up against the front barriers, singing along as Fat Mike blurts out a short rendition of Bad Religion’s Do What You Want as the rest of the crowd remains quiet (big surprise, the kids at the show had never heard of it). What of the Garbage concert the same year? I want to hear the girl from the back of the crowd scream “We love you Shirley!” as Medication comes to a close. I want to hear Adam Jones play the final chords of Reflection for a full five minutes while the rest of Tool leave the stage for intermission before coming back to lead into Triad (Update: got it, snap). These are moments in time that weren’t captured, but should’ve been. These would be my favorite CDs, but they don’t exist.


Bonjour

Yadda yadda yadda court case, yadda yadda yadda Rendezvous, yadda yadda yadda Bonjour.

Still not sure about the name, reminds me a little too much of Aloha. Now Liaison, there’s a name I could get behind.


Geeks, everywhere

When I saw a guy on the bus today wearing the green and gold and reading The Golden Wallabies, two words popped into my head: rugby geek.

Amazing that a term once reserved for the lowest rung of the social ladder, a hater’s word, has had its teeth pulled like this; I guess it was about the same time the real geeks started taking over the planet. Now everyone’s a geek of some strain, and the OED has a special mention for the new usage:

a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest : a computer geek.

If you have a special enthusiasm for a subject, something that isn’t shared by everyone else, or one that goes to extremes others dare not (everyone loves music, but is everyone a music geek?), you get tagged. If you don’t have an interest worth being tagged for, what kind of sad, uninteresting motherfucker are you? Go get a hobby.


Ask and ye shall receive

After reading my lengthy plea for more official bootlegs on the concert circuit, a kind hearted soul by the name of Benjamin (a lawyer incidentally, sneaky) was kind enough to find me a recording of the 2002 Tool show I discussed. Thank you Ben. I’m surprised anyone got a recording device into that show… as I recall we were all patted down on entry. Like criminals. I guess we are.

I figure now that I have that desire fulfilled I should change my wish to a bootleg of the A Perfect Circle show last (?) year when some crack-addled loser decided to climb amongst the rafters of the pavilion (for a better view, obviously), putting the band in a tight spot when management decided that the show should be stopped until he came down. Funnily enough, the band didn’t stop playing… though their set was reduced to just one very long song entitled ‘Get the fuck down’. The crowd learned the lyrics pretty quickly. The guy came down. Some very angry Maori security guards ruined his shit. Ah, memories.


Elektra

After taking a raincheck on most of last year’s comic book films, I finally got around to watching Elektra on DVD this weekend. Like most people, I wasn’t that happy with Daredevil (considering I hate Ben Affleck, I’m not surprised), and wasn’t too sure about something that is effectively a spinoff in a long line of Marvel adaptations… but it worked out OK.

That isn’t to say it was good. Heavens no. But it was adequate, escapist, and probably a helluva lot better than most of the other action movies floating around the video library (National Treasure, for instance, of which I didn’t get through more than seven minutes). It passed the time.