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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Joel's LiveJournal:

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Friday, October 1st, 2010
9:48 am
House & Dreams
I've never before had a dream where it was obvious my subconscious was trying to tell me something. (Usually I seldom remember dreams at all, but lately it seems I remember them as often as not, which has been cool for the most part.) Last night though, was filled with dreams of climbing around really sketchy buildings and cliffs with no rope or protective gear, and I woke up with some ridiculous acrophobia bothering me.

Not coincidentally, I spent several hours yesterday spraying moss killer on our roof, but I'm nowhere finished. Today, I think I'm going to be using a safety rope. On a side note, it's an organic moss killer, which is largely citric acid(40%) and clove oil(18%). I'm not sure how effective it will be, but damn if our house doesn't smell delicious from yards away!
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
7:25 am
Offending Shadows
The past few days I've awakened with music stuck in my head. Two days ago, it was the main theme from Muppet Treasure Island. Which isn't too surprising, since it's ridiculously catchy, but I haven't seen nor heard it for months. I can't remember now what yesterday's was, but it was less memorable.

Today's though, I had to share, since it was by Offending Shadows, a heavy metal band covering Shakespeare poems. The more unusual thing about this band is that they exist only in my head, although after a bit of research, the Metal Shakespeare Company, and Shakespeare in Hell come fairly close. Still, I think my band has a much cooler name. :P
Monday, April 5th, 2010
10:26 am
Internet
To whom it may concern: Our wireless modem has refused to work since Sunday morning, therefore we have no current access to internet at home, and I'm posting this from work. Felicia's going to try to get it working today, but we will be somewhat out of touch until it's going again, whenever that is. If you need to get ahold of us for something urgent, cellphone is the way to go.
Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
5:28 pm
Book rant
So, Felicia has been acquiring books from the library for me since I've been laming out on making time to go there myself. She's been picking up a variety of fantasy and sci-fi, and I've enjoyed much of it. However, today I started a book only to discover that it was the fourth fantasy book I've tried to read recently that opens with a scene of a very pregnant woman(sometime actually in labor) struggling alone through the (often snowy) wilderness.

Okay, there's not much actual rant here except to gripe that none of the books were very compelling to me for reasons not to do with the first scene, and to wish that they'd either written better, found a less-commonly used opening scene, or both.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
10:04 am
Saturday, January 9th, 2010
11:06 am
Coincidence-ish
Today, I'm finally getting around to finishing up tiling the bits of floor in the new house that need doing. I'd been putting it off due to a combination of laziness and waiting for my back to stop being sore from the prior episodes of tiling. One of the big problems was that laying tile is boring, and since today Felicia is out of town, I felt free to crank up the speakers and listen to some music, and since our big external drive is kaput, I decided to try out Pandora.

I'm impressed. They even had obscure groups like Jason Webley, Gogol Bordello, and the Red Elvises. So far, a dozen songs in, they haven't pulled up a single song I dislike. The coincidence I was referring to in the post title was when I was thinking of bands I might want to include, and was considering Radiohead. I had just decided that while I like Radiohead, including too much music like theirs would be depressing when a song of theirs came on.

Other bands on my list:
Click here.Collapse )
Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
6:28 am
Philosophy
In a short while, my band is playing at a wake for a friend of one of the members. (Felicia made the point "so they really wanted to be memorialized by a punky pirate band?", but I'll leave that aside for now.) It might be due to that and other somber events lately but whatever the reason I spent less time sleeping last night and more thinking about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

If that's the sort of thing you're interested in reading about, read on.Collapse )
Saturday, October 31st, 2009
8:36 am
House
Since the vast majority of you read bychoice's journal, you already know that we've placed and won a bid on a house. (Yay!)

My comments on the process:Collapse )

The weird part about the house we found is what feels like a huge coincidence. The house I grew up in for the first 13 or so years of my life had two red-leaf maple trees out front and a lilac bush and a decorative cherry tree out back. The one we won the bid on? Two red-leaf maple trees out front, and a lilac bush and decorative cherry tree out back. They're even on the same relative side of the house!

Out back there are also plenty of blackberry vines to deal with, and a small but fruit producing apple tree. I'm really hoping that the home inspector doesn't turn up anything hugely wrong with the place (or miss something they should have turned up). Mostly, Hooray! House!
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
7:42 pm
Joel Traps
Felicia has a habit of referring to reading material left lying around the house as Joel Traps, since I am highly likely to pick up any random book I see and start reading it. Recently, she's even started getting books from the library to leave around the house on the fairly good assumption that I'll read them, and probably enjoy doing so.

However, books aren't the only Joel Trap. Informational panels at zoo, roadside viewpoints, etc. may even be better Joel traps than books. I ALWAYS want to stop and read them. I also read the back of shampoo bottles in the shower and I'm sure most of you can extrapolate from there. On the way to band practice this evening, I passed by a copy of Adbusters magazine lying in a parking lot, and a while later realized that it had gotten too dark to read any more.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
9:09 am
Morning Fail
So, I woke up this morning after getting not enough sleep last night. Breakfast went fine.

Then I checked my cell phone to discover that my automatic payment hadn't gone through, so my service was disrupted. I unpacked my backpack from the hike we went on yesterday, to discover that the water bladder in it had sprung a leak, and soaked my backpack and all its contents. After I got everything unloaded from it and into a gym bag, I went out to the shed to discover that my bicycle had not one, but two flat tires. Tiny problems, but enough of them at once that I had to laugh.

Luckily, my schedule at work is flexible. I'll work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week and get everything dealt with today. I like my life.
Friday, April 17th, 2009
2:24 pm
Safety gear
Sometimes, when riding around on my bicycle in my full face helmet and armor padded gloves, I've looked around at my (often) helmet-less and (nearly always) glove-less fellow riders and felt a bit overdressed. Other times, I think everyone else is being sort of dumb. Having put both bits of gear to their intended use today in my first bike wreck in five years, and feeling much better because of them, I think I'm pretty much done with feeling overdressed.

As has been the case in the great majority of my bike crashes, I was turning a corner fairly fast, lost traction, and the bike went out from under me. It was a fun corner of a sidewalk that does a quick S-curve, and I usually try to zip through it as quickly as I can. Unfortunately, today everything was really slippery because it had just rained, and I probably wasn't in top form since I was on my way back from donating blood. I hit pretty hard; I've got a bruised knee, I had to wash blood out of the ankle of my sock, and behind the LJ-cut, I put a picture of the scraped-up chin guard of my helmet, and the damage done to my knuckles through the padding of my gloves. I'm SO glad that scrape wasn't skin being removed. I probably would have needed stitches. But, as it is, I'm not feeling too bad at all.

Cut for very mild bloodCollapse )
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
2:26 pm
Gig
This Saturday, Felicia and I will be traveling to Portland where my band will be playing at the Tarts & Tartans Ball. Since the link is a myspace page, and many of my more refined friends might prefer not to visit such low-class places (seriously, how did a site that loads so poorly and encourages such poor design get so popular?), I'll copy&paste the blurbs under the cut of this post.

The show will be mostly acoustic, and will probably be slightly ridiculous. There will be a LOT of music. Our set list is almost 40 songs. Felicia has shortened up her kilt and is converting a cable-knit sweater to a bare midriff for the event. (For her. I, and the rest of the band will be wearing black shirts custom tailored for us by the event hosts.)

Blurbs.Collapse )
Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
11:59 am
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
So I've seen several of my friends posting things worried about H.R. 875, the "Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009", since there seems to have been a bit of a fuss lately with articles saying that it will end organic farming, backyard gardens, and basically sell our country to huge multinational agribusiness corporations. (Although that last probably came true years ago ;)

Thing is, I've read that bill, the whole thing, more than once, and it really doesn't look like it could do that. If there's a point to it I can see, it's to try to get some kind of controls in place to prevent things like the salmonella scares we've been having lately. The alarmist articles imply that it requires massive pesticide use, but the actual bill has quite a few sections aimed, as far as I can tell, at limiting pesticide use.

Lastly, there's the fact that the White House has an organic backyard garden, and even if the rest of the country weren't so impressed by organic agriculture (which in my opinion, it is), if the president of the United States is pulling weeds, if there's a bill banning backyard organic farms, it's probably doomed to failure (unless he REALLY hates weeding).
Friday, March 13th, 2009
9:06 am
Gigs!
There are two shows coming up in the next few days. The first is a fundraiser for the Whiteaker Block Party (which I was sad to miss last year, but since I was at a wedding of two good friends who themselves threw an awesome party I couldn't be too upset). The gig runs from 3pm-9pm, and we're supposedly starting at 7:30. I don't know what they're planning to charge as a cover. A bit of irony is that it was being touted as 'featuring members of Toad in the Hole' before I joined up.



The other gig is, unsurprisingly, on St. Patrick's Day, Tuesday Mar. 17th. We'll start playing at around 9pm, and we may well be the only band playing. (although there's a chance that Le Petite Morte and/or Mark Mullaney may also be there) The best part is that there's no cover charge! (We're still getting paid - 25% of liquor sales - Woo!) If you want to get the party started earlier, I'll also be playing (but not with Man Over Board) at a jam session at the Cooler from 6:30-7:45 or so. If you're unavoidably busy Tuesday and Saturday but still want your Irish music fix, there's another jam session-y sort of thing (again, not with MOB) at the Agate Alley Bistro (1461 East 19th Avenue) on Wednesday from 8pm-11pm.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
9:44 am
I'm in!
A while ago, I'd discovered that someone had set up a myspace fan page for my former band with a few of our songs. I was more complimented than anything else (although technically they should have obtained our permission before sharing our music over the web), and I've found it useful if I want to quickly let an internet friend hear some of what I've played. I was sending someone the link on Monday, and checked to make sure the page was still up. It was. Furthermore, one of the bands who had friended us (and had played with us before) had a disclaimer saying "drummer wanted".

I had to set up a myspace account to message them, which I did, and got a reply back in under an hour. I'd been worried that they'd already filled the spot or something, but it turns out that they'd posted the change just a few hours before, and it was sheer coincidence that I not only checked the page right then, but that I bothered to scroll down the few pages necessary to notice it. Not only had their percussionist quit the day before, leaving them to wonder where they could possibly find a drummer on short notice, but in fact several of them had been wondering for years how they could get ahold of me since they'd been thinking ever since Toad in the Hole broke up that I'd be perfect for their band.

So, last night I went to rehearse with Man Overboard (they practice twice a week - a good sign) and it rocked. They play fast enough to challenge me, especially in contrast to the rather sedate jam sessions lately, and I like the songs and the musicians. At the end, they had the same opinion of me.

Aleka (lead): "That rocked. Shortest probationary period ever. Welcome aboard."
Me: "Thanks. And possibly, Arr.
Chris: "Ugh. Damn. Are we still a pirate band?"
Aleka: "We're playing Sea Dog Nights, some random huge pirate gathering in Salem, and Plunderathon. Yes we're still a pirate band.
Chris: "Aww..."

They're actually closer to irish/folk/pirate/punk with some heavy metal influences, which is fine by me. Info on gigs & whatnot to be posted shortly.

Current Mood: ecstatic
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
7:00 am
Prosopagnosia
"Prosopagnosia (sometimes known as face blindness) is a disorder of face perception where the ability to recognize faces is impaired, while the ability to recognize other objects may be relatively intact." - wikipedia

The first time I heard about the existence of prosopagnosia, I was fairly sure I had it, if only a mild case. I'm horrible at recognizing people. If I encounter someone I've met and talked with a half-dozen times somewhere I'm not expecting to see them, I usually won't know them from a complete stranger until they inform me otherwise, and even then I won't know how or from where I know them until they remind me of that. You can imagine this doesn't really go over very well.

This morning, I found an online test for face blindness. An average score would be 85, and some vast majority of the population scores above 80. Much to my lack of surprise, I scored 63. Also, taking it was about as much fun as having a cavity filled. I am so not cut out for remembering faces. Luckily, a few associated websites look like they might have some advice for people who have prosopagnosia, so I may be able to improve things a bit.

One guy's website talked about how he had gotten better than most at recognizing people from their body shape, gait, posture, etc. and I've noticed a bit of that. When I was working at Hyundai/Hynix, after a while I wouldn't usually have a problem recognizing any of the people from my area no matter that they were 30 yards off, walking away from me, and wearing a full-body plain white nylon anti-contamination suit- since that was how I was used to seeing them.
Monday, February 2nd, 2009
10:03 pm
This evening, I googled myself to see what information about me was floating around on the internet. Not too many surprises.

I performed in the play Wild Oats in 2008.

I performed in the band Toad in the Hole 2001-2005.

I was quoted in a year 2000 article about the U of O games club, in favor of the game 'claydonia' (google it!)

In 1996 and 1997 I ran in the Prefontaine memorial classic 10k race. According the the site, I placed 32 out of 90-odd runners both years. (with times of around 44 minutes and 40 minutes, if I remember correctly).

I was (in 1995) on a Mercedes Lackey fan club mailing list.

The most frequent result that wasn't me was an actor in the movie Midnight Madness.

Years ago there were a number of posts linked to me in the Infiltration mailing list digest, but I couldn't find them now. It's likely just as well if those have disappeared, as they might have tended to incriminate me.
Saturday, December 13th, 2008
9:22 pm
Laid-back
A while ago, Felicia and I were having a discussion, trying to figure out an antonym for laid-back that wasn't terribly insulting. Uptight, stressed-out, high strung, demanding, etcetera all have rather negative connotations. A few days later I was able to come up with conscientious. Now, Felicia still thought that there were some negative associations with that word, although it's always seemed essentially positive to me. The two aren't entirely mutually exclusive, but lots of one attribute seems to mean that the other is less likely.

However, being laid-back clearly has some drawbacks of its own. Earlier this week, I woke up and had a nice relaxing morning around the house, playing with the hedgehog (not euphemistic ;), reading a book, playing some video games. This evening, I called up some friends, Liz and Johnathan, to see if they were available to spend some time with, and they invited me over for dinner. We had a surprisingly delicious lemon, egg, and broccoli soup, and some yummy dinner rolls Felicia had made, and I got to have a good time talking to them, playing with their cat and holding their baby. Still, a more conscientious person would probably have remembered about their dentist appointment, or at least the well-catered office holiday party they'd been looking forward to.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
7:36 pm
Random
Unrelated to pretty much anything except that soap bubbles were briefly mentioned in the book I'm reading at the moment (Against a Dark Background, by Iain M Banks), I'll post this memory from at least five years ago that sprang to mind.

I was walking west on W. 11th, and was waiting for the light to change at an intersection, I think High St., when a 'soap' bubble drifted past, south to north. Since I was on the north side of the street, I was surprised a bubble someone had blown had made it that far. But, when I looked across the street, I didn't see anyone who could have blown a bubble, much less someone who actually appeared to have just blown one. As I watched, the bubble kept drifting along to the north, still fully intact for as long as I kept track of it. (For about half a block or so - it blew out into traffic and there were things I had to do anyway.) It was such an odd "I didn't think things worked like that" experience that I felt a little disconnected from reality for the rest of the day.

It was almost certainly something like 'catch a bubble' that lets you blow a bubble that then hardens, but still, an enjoyably weird experience.
Sunday, November 16th, 2008
9:27 am
Mocking sci-fi/fantasy
So, anyone who had roughly the same reading tastes in junior high/high school that I did will likely find most of these book title parodies absolutely hilarious.
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