Archive for November, 2008

28
Nov
08

Hidden Gemz: Ascii From Tha Vault #004

The following is something I drew not so recently – at least a year ago. It was intended as an NFO file for some cause or another, I don’t remember and it’s not important. I think they wanted something punk rock, maybe a skull or a demon, but they got this ink-blot doodle instead. Neither side of the bargain was happy so it’s unfinished, but essentially done. It will never be worked on again, and that’s OK.

What this piece kind of represents to me is a state of mind I rarely get the opportunity to capture these days. Back in the day, when I was young, drunk and carefree, I’d get hit with the spirit and work on ascii art for hours at a time. When things went well it was all an all consuming passion. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that feeling of pure creativity. It was electric, and when things were firing on all cylinders I would be completely out of control of my conscious mind. My fingers would move possessed over the keyboard, and I’d place every singleascii character with precision. Shading, shaping, and styles were all things to be seriously studied, improved upon and challenged. I’d often wake from a trance in my smoke filled room, ashtray full on my ripped, folding card table computer desk. My ass would hurt from sitting in a steel folding chair. The heat from the 486 I used far too long warming me. Sweaty probably. Tired. Completely satisfied with life.

Pausing, and thinking about the lack of this presence in my life is sad. Maybe more bittersweet. I’m sure everyone of a certain age has parallels to the feeling. An occasional melancholic reminiscence of days past. It’s a feeling I can appreciate in a lonely, resigned sort of way.

Not to say I give up hope of returning to ascii Art as a pure form. For now, the occasional “commissioned” piece can be drawn fast, and usually simply. Effort is needed to complete the piece, but usually not drenching obsession. I have my wife, life, career and goals.

I’ve been listening to the rapper Scarface’s “The Fix” LP a lot lately. He’s always been one of my favorites, and I grew up listening to his solo albums and the Geto Boys stuff. He’s always struck me, and countless others I’m sure, as something of a spiritual man. When he’s expressing darker emotions, he has a finesse that transcends usual genre cliches and speaks a lot of universal truths. Not to mention his gravelly voice is a perfect instrument for lament. One track, “Someday”, involves his spiritual beliefs concerning God, creation and the idea of belief. It’s good stuff. It always is when he’s reflecting on these things. But if the subject matter had been different, I think the last line of this song would have caught my attention. With a simple couplet he captured the feeling I got, and get, when inspiration strikes. I doubt it will translate to text, especially without context, but here it is:

“And I was singing this morning, got touched by the spirit
So I wrote it down for the homies to hear it”

You can download the song here

 

The saturation isn’t quite the same as it should be when viewed in Notepad, but this is close enough I guess

sp-facetxt

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17
Nov
08

Terabytes + solid state drives = THE ULTIMATE HTPC

Except not for me. Yet.

But surprisingly, this weekend, in the middle of being sick and babysitting a sick niece and a sick wife, I managed to get the three one terabyte drives I recently received formatted and sort of installed in my machine. The plan, and one must always have a plan, is to eventually backup my DVD collection (which is obviously huge) from physical copies in boxes to manageable .iso files on these drives. Then plug those badboys into my HTPC, and enjoy the world of tomorrow today. Relaxing on my couch (futon from the dumpster) with my ill-street-blues Harmony remote (totally worth the money) and wireless keyboard, surfing through the hundreds of thousands of hours of bonus features these dual layer DVDs have to offer.

The benefits?

1.) Once on hard drive, I can clear up about 20 cubic feet of storage space in my office’s closet, moving these archaic physical packages to the garage.

2. Easier access. Everything will be alphabetized on the drives, which is theoretically possible with hard copies. Anyone who’s had a substantial collection of media, be it games, music cds, vinyl, or dvds knows this is easier said than done. Things get put in the wrong cases, cases get put in the wrong spots, and eventually chaos rears its ugly minotaur-like head and eats the world in a dark cloud.

3. It’s totally bad-ass. I figure each DVD will take ~4.35 gigabyte. Divided by 0. Approaching infinite. Something like 200 full DVDs on a drive (albeit probably re-encoded for space concerns). Talk about a nerdversation piece at any geek party.

But the downsides…

1.) Talk about an enormous investment of time. Ripping, encoding dual layer discs to single layer sizes, rarring and creating parity files for data integrity, yada yada. Could take untold years. By that time HD-Graph technology will be here, and we’ll all be the zombie slaves of Venutians.

2.) I will kill at least one DVD-RW drive in this process. At least.

3.) I will want a 1:1 backup of each. Because that’s how I am. And that’s ridiculous.

So we’ll see. At the rate I’m going the drives might just end up sitting on my desk until these nifty new solid state drives (which a buddy has, and loves for his OS drive) eventually hit reasonable sizes, and the cycle of hoarding begins anew.

Also: I really need to buy some IDE to SATA power converters. Quite a few…

Eating: oatmeal, eggs. Coffee!

11
Nov
08

Twittering and twhirling

Prelude: Tonight’s definitely “one of those nights”. Everything’s broken at work. I feel like I haven’t woken up yet even though I’m an energy drink and half a venti coffee deep. It’s almost 3am, my night’s close to half over. My eyelids are still covered in crust.

Body: At the recommendation of some friends, I’ve joined up to Twitter, and it seems pretty cool. It’s kind of like IRC, kind of like a message board, but not really like either. Mostly, it’s reminding me how out of the loop I am on these things. Five years ago, I would have been King Internet up on this twitter nonsense. Now, I’m just limping along. But whatever, if you’re interested in seeing my updates about getting coffee, scratching myself, or aborted haikus, check me out on Twitter. Codename: Asciigod.

I’ve also installed the Twhirl application. Again this is at the recommendation of friends. It’s sitting there idling on my home PC while I write this at work. What magic will it produce? Not sure.

Now I really need to figure out some useful apps for Twitter, like Rememberthemilk and that blood sugar twitter thing Steve showed me. However, I don’t have free SMS on my phones. Hrm. I’ve been thinking of upgrading to an iphone or something, but I’m not sure what kind of plans they offer, and how expensive they may be. Guess it may be time to find out.

Other than all of this, I’m feeling completely “soggy”. I really need another shower and a shave to help wake up, but it doesn’t look like that’s  in the cards for tonight. Too much to do at work.

05
Nov
08

How to quit smoking: GUARANTEED!

Title spam, FTW.

It’s time to quit smoking. Again. Audio 5000 like housin’, low commission in this position. Poles, hold roll call at Auschwitz when I bounce with wet cigarettes. The sherminator aka terminator 4 when I’m in perfect form. Ford Prefect, predict that nobody reads this. My audience is heathens, but obviously I need them. Let’s pretend my page hits are higher than Rastafarians.

I don’t know what the above was. Well I do. I was listening to some freestyle rhymes I recorded a long time ago. Maybe they’ll surface on the interweb sometime. Probably not. Circle of influence = noted.

In an effort to  become healthier, I’ve been working out. Dieting. Changing my insulin routine. It’s a lot of work. The biggest thing I need to change though is my smoking. So to curtail this game and be framed like dovetails, I’m packaging my smokes up Bolivian style. 20 for now. Then fewer and fewer as interbreeding forces their population to dwindle due to sickness and disease. And because pictures make blogging fun, I present the evidence below.

smoke A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. IN THIS CASE, THEY ARE ALL SYNONYMS FOR “SADDENING”

Wish me luck. And a million more wishes.

GAPEMAN OUT

04
Nov
08

Managing my RSS feeds: the Bloglines bloat

It seems like it’s been months, years even, of agonizing toil and self-flagellation (school) since I last checked my RSS reader, Bloglines. In reality, it had only been about a month, yet this tentacled beast that captures my RSS feeds had begun to resemble an oldschool political cartoon. You know the kind. Black and white, detailed, giant octopus wrapping its many squirming arms around Abe Lincoln, a bear that represents the Soviet Union, a mass of railroad tracks, and freed, voting slaves – all while gnashing its cute little beak around the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. Shit’s bananas, out of control, cream pie (ew?).

I’m a procrastinator at heart, and there’s a point of imagined critical mass when I view something like this as a nightmare. The very idea of opening the bloglines website just to look at all those feeds, crawling like worms, upset my stomach.

But I faced my fears today, and cleaned up that shit. Does that make me a hero? Probably. Am I asking for a reward? Only financial.

So I hope to be back to checking people’s blogs, and trying to find more “personal” type blogs; I axed a few of the bigger ones. Sorry if you missed my awesome input. Every superhero needs some quiet time in his Fortress of Solitude.

L O L </ridiculousness>

Also, I kicked the living crap out of four tests this week. Take that scantron!

P.S. Ghostroach spotted at an Atlantic City casino.