Usually, I know what I'm going to ramble about.
Tonight, I just know that I'm setting the boat of LJ adrift and we'll see where the current leads.
I'm a fan of "Dead Like Me". Some bits I'm not so keen on - it's got the "Wonder Years" voiceover schtick that doesn't work for me. Ellen Muth is attractive, but something about her face looks to me like she's about to sneeze. Also, I'm not sure if the show is supposed to be set in Seattle or Portland. They've had a map of Seattle at one point (you know, with colored pushpins) and a satellite image of Portland. Just tonight, the license plates seemed to be Washington plates. Not a big deal, of course.
Some days I'd be inclined to gripe about Washington being one of the few states where you have to specify that you're talking about the state and not the city. Not tonight. Random fact (possibly true): when they were deciding the name for this chunk of the US, they discarded "Columbia" because that would be too confusing with the similarly named District back East.
Still on "Dead Like Me": in the show, the reaping is done through an act of touching. Somehow the significance of the touch speaks to me. Perhaps it's not significant, perhaps it's part of how I'm wired, perhaps it's me reacting to a way of life that involves little physical contact with others. I did mention that I danced with a cute woman, yes?
Many of my work-friends were there at the reception. Several folks asked me variants of 'did you get her phone number?'. I'm amused to think of how much talking behind my back they did ("hey, look, isn't that Dave? Dave, dancing with a woman?"). Flattered, too, because I'm sure that their interest came from a good place. And I'd love to dance with her again, and talk more with her, and all that fluffy goodness that is dating. And the little devil on the shoulder is whispering discouragement in the one ear, while I attempt, if not to listen to any angels that might be trying for the other ear, at least to avoid taking the pessimistic view right away.
And if nothing else, the delight that I've found in one small act of socialization serves as encouragement to get a real life.
Speaking of not having a life, I've been working on ripping my CDs to MP3s for my overengineered car MP3 player. Today, I upgraded one of my linux boxes to Fedora Core 2 so that the Perl CDDB module that the ripping tool I use would work. There are easier paths, I'm sure, but it was about time to upgrade. I hope I didn't have anything important on that machine. I now can rip CDs on the new box about 3x faster than on the old box. Maybe 2x. Using the two of them together, I can turn around a dozen CDs into MP3s in an hour. All this so that I can hear "The Final Countdown" in my car. Also "We Built This City".
I'm also putting together a reimplementation of the ripping tool. The tool that I use is written in Perl, which seems like eating soup with chopsticks - you might be able to get the job done, but it'll be messy. I've tried modifying the script, and I have managed to get it to output files categorized by artist, then by album. That's something. It'd be much easier if the tool were written in Python. Because I can read Python. Perl looks like chickens got loose too near the keyboard. I think that comment was originally applied to APL. APL, the language where code is indistinguishable from line noise. Line noise. Back when I was a kid, we had modems, and we had to worry about garbage intruding on our connections.
Another feature I intend to put into the Python version (do I hear crickets? Is anybody still listening?) is the facility to rip from multiple devices essentially unattended. I have a number (nonzero, possibly nonprime) of CD-ROM drives that I could conceivably hook up to one or more of my Linux machines. It'd be kinda nifty to load up my "MP3 farm" with CDs before going to work in the morning, and come home and find that all of my music is turned into convenient MP3 format. And probably mislabeled in Hungarian, besides.
Last Amazon shopping Spree: way too much Thompon Twins music. I owned an LP of "Into the Gap" at one point. Probably got lost in a move. Maybe Mom discarded it as part of cleaning up. Maybe both. "King for a Day" still gives me chills.
Have I mentioned? I'm having a 33 1/3 birthday. Inspired (in the sense of 'given encouragement by', and not really in the sense of 'I'm ripping off') by wendywoowho and some of my local friends. (Who not too long ago celebrated their pi-versary. That kind of friends. Oh, now I'm getting confused. Mike and Amanda were thinking about celebrating their pi-squared-versary, and Joe and Susan actually celebrated their pi-versary. Really, they're not nearly as geeky as all that.) Yeah, so 33 1/3. I'm celebrating it by putting on an 80s dance night. You're welcome to come. I encourage you to bring a record. Bring anything that's dancable, it doesn't have to be Madonna or Culture Club.
I'm staring at my router/access point/firewall, and I'm seeing traffic on ports 1 and 2. I've had people get into my machines enough times to be paranoid. Maybe not enough times to have developed good security measures. The traffic's stopped now. Hm.
Well. Time to rotate the CDs, time to bring this ramble into port.
Here's to future days.