Fortunate Tuesday

Fujin goes on vacation for a month starting tomorrow; thankfully I got three fortunes in my cookie this afternoon.

You will be rewarded for being a good listener in the next week.

Can’t really imagine how, but let’s check #2 fortune for clarification.

Opportunity awaits you next Monday.

That’s July 6. Is that the day Bedeviled is approved for the App Store? Will I be ready to receive the message from Apple and get the marketing out to everyone on time in order to capitalize on the first days of release?

You will inherit an unexpected sum of money within the year.

That would be unexpected, because nobody in my family has much money. Unless, of course, it means unexpectedly small.

Tear Down the Walls

I can’t talk, I got to go

Don’t call me back, I won’t get the door

Got to focus on the job

‘Cause I got a new job climbing the walls

I was grinding my teeth, I was wasting my youth

And using up my teeth

Now I’m done chewing my nails

Hanging my head, chasing my tail

It got so bad I quit my job

Then I got a new job climbing the walls

Too much junk, too much junk

Can we please clear out this house?

In the trunk, in the trunk

And then we’ll take it all to the dump

Then we won’t need the car

‘Cause we’ll stay where we are

And I’ll have all this room

I got tired of pacing the floor

Sick of it all, I’m done with the floor

Walked away ever since I got a new job climbing the walls

I was grinding my teeth, I was wasting my youth

And using up my teeth

Now I’m done chewing my nails

Hanging my head, chasing my tail

It got so bad I quit my job

Then I got a new job climbing the walls

The deep end, the deep end

People talk a lot, but they don’t know

They pretend, they pretend

They don’t really know how deep it goes

Now I misunderstood,

Thought the wall was just good

For staring blankly at

I got tired of pacing the floor

Sick of it all, I’m done with the floor

Walked away ever since I got a new job climbing the walls

Now I’m done chewing my nails

Hanging my head, chasing my tail

It got so bad I quit my job

Then I got a new job climbing the walls

Got a new job climbing the walls

Got a new job climbing the walls

They Might Be Giants, “Climbing the Walls,” The Else


Are you going to Bermuda?

Would you go there if you could?

Now, now

If you go there, plan on staying

Whether you like it

That’s the way

In Bermuda

Are you, are you Bermuda-bound?

Do it call like a siren sound?

It’s so high and it’s underground

But you never come back

Before you’re never found

In Bermuda

It’s just the innocent

Devil’s Triangle

It dares you to come down

That’s it’s angle

But the Devil is innocent

Like you

When the word you want

Is Master, Master, Master

In Bermuda

Bermuda, Bermuda, doesn’t call

It haunts you

Make you wonder

Make you want to go

Make you curious

Too much burn

But you never, ever

Will return

From Bermuda

Roky Erickson, “Bermuda,” Don’t Slander Me

Hey, Big Spender

Apropos of The World, the gargantuan addition to the Portland waterfront for the past couple of days, an article in the Oregonian today mentions the economic impact the ship’s visit might have:

The ship’s 140 residents and crew of about 270 are touring the Portland area and seeing sights such as Multnomah Falls and Mount St. Helens.

They’re also leaving behind some cash. Travel experts predict the ship’s stop might inject some extra life into the local economy. While the exact economic impact of the Portland stop was unclear Wednesday, the industry standard for spending by cruise ship passengers is $125 a couple per day.

Bruce Connor, vice president of Sundial Travel & Cruise Center, which helped arrange the local itinerary, said the passengers could easily spend three times that.

Lessee, 70 couples times $125, times two (we’ll make it three) days, times the luxury multiplier of three…does everyone else get $78,750? Now, if you had a standard cruise ship of approximately the same tonnage (~45,000), like Carnival’s Holiday with a passenger capacity of over 1,400, that’s a daily yield of more than three times The World, even when they’re spending a third less per couple.

Not that I’m looking down my nose at any money coming into Portland myself or that cruise ships have been making the city a regular stop, but the desperation on the part of the O to make a $25K bump per day seem like a big deal in a city this size just makes us look kind of pathetic.

Car Talk

As if Barbara didn’t already find the handheld GPS I bought for the smart car annoying enough:

Now Homer Simpson is getting his turn. Starting today, TomTom, a GPS manufacturer with US headquarters in Concord, Mass., will allow users to add Homer’s voice to their navigation systems.

According to press materials provided by TomTom, “Homer’s hilarious, encouraging and sometimes unusual advice will ensure that drivers will not only reach their destination on time, but have a lot of fun along the way.” With voice work by Dan Castellaneta, who plays Homer on the “The Simpsons,” the download reportedly spits out advice like, “Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm … ice cream.”

We’ve had the car for just over 14 months now; the odometer turned over to 12,000 as I pulled it into the driveway this morning.

INM At 20

Darrel Plant and Vahe Kassardjian at MAX 2003

Anyone who is reading this blog for its now non-existent Director content already knows about Integration New Media (INM). I can’t even remember the first time I learned of their existence, it was such a long time ago, and they’ve been such a vital part of the Director community, with some of the first entries in database and PDF control Xtras.

So even though I haven’t really done anything with Director other than open up a couple of old projects (and, admittedly, do a 1-day Shockwave3D prototype of the iPhone game I’m working on) for a couple of years, I’m more than happy to spread the word about INM’s 20th anniversary. The various folks from INM with whom I met (they threw some nice get-togethers at conferences), talked to, and corresponded over the years were always great to deal with, and I’ve long hoped I’d have a reason to get to Montreal to visit in person.

That’s me and INM president and co-founder Vahe Kassardjian up top, at the 2003 MAX in Salt Lake City. Happy 20th, Vahe and INM!

Avast, Ye Mateys!

Panorama of The World docked at Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park
click to enlarge

The World, a floating community for 140 residents and another couple hundred hangers-on (i.e. “staff”) floated into Portland on Tuesday. Basic suites on the low end (around 400 sq. ft.) start at $3 million. And according to insiders, the daily “$100 Bill Barbeque” is every afternoon at 3:30 sharp. The same source says they’d use bigger bills if they could get them but they’re all in use as bedding for guys on Wall Street who like to dress up in furry gerbil suits.

I am intrigued by the fact that they have their own submarine, though. And they do use a photo of Portland in the Lifestyle section of their web site.

Darrel Don’t Surf

The music that’s been the background for my best programming runs has always been surf guitar, the type of surf music that came out of the early ’60s and was exemplified by people like Dick Dale and The Ventures, the latter of which lost a member Sunday with the death of guitarist Bob Bogle, who lived just across the river in Vancouver.

The Ventures — who only made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year — can be reasonably credited with kicking off the surf music genre with the success of their instrumental “Walk, Don’t Run.” In the last gasp of the instrumental pop hit, they had several, including covers of “Telstar” and the theme song of “Hawaii Five-O.”

Now, I don’t swim all that well, and the closest I lived to the beach growing up was about sixty miles (and that was in an era when surfing on the Oregon coast was pretty much unheard of) but given that The Ventures were formed in Tacoma, actual surfing experience seems to be a prerequisite for neither playing ort appreciating surf music.

I remember liking the songs I heard on the radio as a kid, but my real immersion into surf began in a dark period of the early ’80s in Eugene, when a long-term relationship (for that age, at least) had just broken up and I was starting to find my feet again after having been out of work for most of two years in what was then the most brutal recession this country had seen in some time.

A woman I met through my volunteer disk jockey stint at a radio station invited me to meet up with a friend of hers who (like her) was a musician. The three of us got pretty drunk on cheap wine in the Pioneer Cemetary across the street from MacArthur Court. He was the bassist for a band that played surf music, both covers and originals, and when I saw them at the next opportunity, they were incredibly good. And The Surf Trio got me started on a path that — once I got back into programming in the early ’90s — proved fruitful for some time.

The best of instrumental surf guitar surpasses silence, for me, as ideal programming music. Intricate rhythms, no lyrics to distract me, it’s like spackle filling in the cracks in my concentration and smoothing out my attention, making it easier to work for hours on end without distraction (the cats are another question). For years I was able to crank out material under the influence of surf music, but sometimes I forget the lesson and try to make do with the standard contents of my music library or radio news or podcasts, and everything just falls apart.

So I’m sorry to see Bob Bogle go. He was one of the pioneers of a form I truly appreciate. He’s left a legacy of great material. Hang ten, Bob.