Negativity and hope, locked in an eternal struggle featuring titty twisters.
- Follows you
adventures in civic duty 3/21 '20
I did jury duty a few weeks ago. It was a rape case, and there were five charges in total. We were able to only deliver one verdict, guilty on the charge of traumatic injury to an intimate partner. The case was complicated by having only a single witness, the victim, who also was rather unreliable. She admitted freely that she did not remember many of the events of that day, and what she did remember, she wasn't sure of their order. Both people involved had been smoking meth, which was used as a way to further cast doubt upon her testimony, despite clear instructions during jury selection that we should not let that bias us. Three of the four charges which we were hung were overwhelmingly tilted towards guilty, where one juror held out because she felt that the witness was not reliable at all, again despite instructions regarding the single witness rule. The one charge where we were definitely not close to any consensus was the actual rape charge.
It's difficult not to come away from a trial like that feeling that the system is tilted away from justice for the more vulnerable population, or feeling that, by thinking that she could have gotten a more just verdict if she had been a more reliable witness, it's not that far from saying that the victim didn't do enough, which is certainly not compassionate. There was no question that the defendant was a manipulative creep, in addition to his prior history, including a misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence.
After the trial, the judge asked the jury if we would stay behind to speak with both lawyers in order to talk about the case and ask any questions or give any feedback. Half of us did it, and I'm glad that I did so. During deliberations, the court recorder came in to read testimony back for us, and she commented that it was a dream trial in the sense that both lawyers were not only on their best behavior but actually worked well with each other. I noticed how remarkably civil and helpful they were, a far cry from the scripted undercutting and backbiting you see on television. I asked the public defender how well-funded his department was, and he said that he would only consider working for Santa Clara County, San Francisco, or New York.
fool me once 2/7 '20
My FXTec Pro1 finally arrived! Except it won't work on Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. Hope i get my $700 back.
faith... again? 1/28 '20
I dreamed last night that i saw Faith No More in concert (whom i've not yet seen) for the second time (at a venue i didn't recognize). This morning, i got a Songkick alert for an upcoming FNM concert.
I can't process this.
irreverent canine 12/26 '19
Speaking of new music:
the year in music 12/24 '19
In alphabetical order, 2019 releases:
- Battles, Juice B Crypts— The band's down to two members now. Bleepier. Vocal collaborations like Gloss Drop.
- Andrew Bird, My Finest Work Yet— He's not kidding. He keeps getting better.
- Ioanna Gika, Thalassa— She had a guest appearance on Stumptown, where she played an amazing cover of "One Thing Leads to Another", so i looked her up and yeah, sold.
- The Joy Formidable, Y Falŵn Drom— The band reissued their debut mini-album A Balloon Called Moaning for its 10th anniversary, but also recorded new versions of the songs with Welsh lyrics.
- Juan Luis Guerra 4.40, Literal— He remains a force, so very good at what he does, and barely looks like he's aged since he came across my cultural radar 30 years ago.
- Mdou Moctar, Ilana: The Creator— Tuareg Nigerien rock. Recommendation from a friend, another instant buy.
- The New Pornographers, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights— Another TNP album without Dan Bejar, which is fine by me. Doesn't feel as good as its predecessor.
- Rodrigo y Gabriela, Mettavolution— Fabulous. They stretch by adding more multi-track work, electric guitar, and vocals. Their arrangement of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" is epic.
- Takénobu, Conclusion— Nick Ogawa is joined now on violin by his fiancée Kathryn Koch; here, they re-record some older tracks and add new ones. They're great together.
- Tool, Fear Inoculum— It's good but... the tracks lack separation. The overall feel is too similar. And their ultra-deluxe CD packaging ($45, if you can find it) feels like a cash grab from their legion of slavering fans (i bought the MP3 album).
There was also Sleater-Kinney's The Center Won't Hold, but it was super disappointing and, alas, prophetic.
changeling music 11/28 '19
Did you ever eagerly await an album by a favorite musician that was such a disappointment that not only did it sour you on subsequent releases, but also caused you to more skeptically analyze their previous work, as you wonder if you ever really liked it as much as you thought you did?
one dog is good 10/3 '19
Two dogs are better.
We picked Mila up in December and she's a goofball with a short attention span. We love our very cute and talented Staffords.
One does not simply listen to music. Sure, you can listen to a whole album at a time, old-school, or just throw everything into the shuffle blender, but the vicissitudes of statistics lead to things getting neglected. In addition, one wants to listen to new stuff, and listen to it more often in order to become familiar with it. How to balance listening to neglected stuff with the need to listen to new stuff more often?
After various attempts that were eventually unsatisfying, i developed a Fibonacci-based approach; songs are added to a list according to how many times they've been played, and each list has a backoff value where a song isn't allowed to show up until it has been Fn days since it was last played. These lists are aggregated into a master list. Another list is created for songs above a minimum number of plays that have not been played for a number of days that is larger than the largest value from the previous lists. The value varies in an attempt to balance the amount of tracks in the latter list with those of the former aggregated list.
As it stands now, I have lists for tracks played up to 11 times, aggregated in the ‘lessthan12’ playlist, which itself is bound to the ’Not Recently Played’ playlist in ‘listen’. I recently ran through the entire playlist, so I am back to playing my entire catalog on shuffle, in order to allow the lists to repopulate.
velocipedalian 7/28 '19
I was going to take my old Huffy mountain bike to the local shop to get a tune-up, as i hadn't ridden it in 4 years and i've been itching to get back on the horse since GBS. As we walked past our neighbor's house, he mentioned that he had a road bike he wanted to sell. I'd wanted to move on from the Huffy, because it's heavy and i'm just not as strong as i used to be, so i ended up buying his bike pretty much on the spot, putting the Huffy back in the Garage of Doom, and taking the new bike to the shop instead.
I picked it up today and rode it for the first time. It'll take a little while to get used to the new handlebars, but the main obstacle is keeping my head raised, which causes my neck muscles to quickly get very sore. This will no doubt be the primary topic when i next see my physical therapist (whom i started to see recently for fine-tuning my remaining minor issues, mainly my shoulders).