Monday, June 20, 2005


Friday, June 17, 2005

Testing others

Blogger doesn't play nice with my isp. grrr!

Avoiding blogger burnout

"about blogs, the way I see it is this. Blogs are online 'columns'. The big issue is that since we are not subject to editors or newspapers/magazines, we have no given 'subject' to work on. Entertainment columnists work the gossip, critics-food, movies, etc. Politics, etc. either we give ourselves a topic and slavishly stick to it, or we hit ennui as the posts get more and more vague. Finally we stop, wondering why we're posting in the first place..."

Many of my colleagues as well as I are encountering the dreaded 'blogger burnout'. What to write about? If there is no definitive point to be made every week, why would you type unless you like the look of your own words (which is usually enough for some people). There are some who write what happens to their day-to-day lives. I guess that hits the voyeurism aspects of some people, but when you're writing it, you encounter the 'what about my life is so interesting to other people?' question. This blog started as a film industry blog. I was working on a reality show and thought the daily struggles involved in putting it together and dealing with the politics would serve as good fodder. As I went along, I realized a lot of it wasn't interesting even to me. Why relive it by blogging it again? Also, there was the issue of the politics being, well political.

So I changed the focus. It went from "Film Editing in LA" to "Surreal LA". I'd document the strangeness I saw in this patchwork of a town. It went ok for a while, but the photoblog aspect collapsed under it's own weight (and a crappy camera phone), and again the experience of not finding enough to write about.

It really comes down to two factors: the setting of a bar that's unable or unwilling to be kept; and the constant vigilance needed to contribute. When you start a blog, you're making a promise to deliver, day in and day out. It's great practice for writing as that is what you'll be doing. You're required to deliver witty prose at least once per week or else your readership will decline. With the advent of Sitemeter, Blogshares and other such services (see the side bar), blogging took on the aspects of a competitive sport. Who has the most hits?

Blogging is a job. Plain and simple. And for 90% of us, it's an unpaid job that fights for the author's mindshare alongside his real job, life and family. So maybe Sugar & Splice needs another reinvention. A redefinition of what it's purpose is. We'll see as the days develop.

Blogging. Try it sometime.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Recurring Dreams

Taking inspiration from Brother Jones, who, in addition to naming me "raconteur and gadabout", recently espoused on the topic of recurring dreams. It got me thinking, so here's mine.

I've had a few recurring dreams in my time, the one I remember the most is quite unremarkable, except that I've had it before. Sometime in pre-adolescence...... (cue dream music)

I'm on a large boat, traveling through one of those strange lands.. It's a wet place, with scattered villages. Then the scene changes to outside one of those houses and I'm talking with those people. I actually don't remember much more beyond those two images right now. I know there's more, it's just been a while.

The recurring part happens when 6 months later, I dream of the same setting, except that 6 months have passed in the dream as well. Nothing crazy, just the people I talk to in the dream refer to it. That I haven't been back in 6 months, and I know that's true. I look around, and the settings the same, it's just....later. If I recall correctly, I've returned there three times in my life. And it's one of the most 'realistic' dreams I have (no purple monsters, etc). Time just moves there as in the waking world.

This probably explains my fascination with the sometimes overwrought prose of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft was fascinated with dreams, often the darker side of them. My favorite stories of his are collectively known as his "Dream Cycle". While not a cohesive cycle of continuos stories, a reading of them gives the impression of a definitive world, populated by various creatures and minds, that exhibit a curious conformity to the rules set out by Lovecraft. I found much similarity between "The Dreams in the Witch-House", and "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" even though the characters are different. They both inhabited the Lovecraft realm of 'dream as another viable reality', and one could easily connect the methodology from one story to the other. "Kadath" was Lovecraft's finest work, in my opinion. A sprawling visionary piece, it followed the adventures of one Randolph Carter as he 'descended the thousand steps of sleep' into a land he traveled frequently, in search of meaning for an earlier dream of a glorious sunset city with no inhabitants. Interestingly, Lovecraft proposed that the Earth had it's own dreamworld, governed by it's own gods, that differed from the dreamworlds of other planets. One could travel from one dreamworld to another, but the way was often perilous and populated with all manner of beings and minds most terrible. Of course, if you made it to another dreamworld. Who knew what you would find, or comprehend? Who know what other beings dream of? ( A recurring theme of Lovecraft was the human encountering 'outside' intelligence, and being driven mad by it.)

Kadath, The Silver Key, Behind the wall of sleep, and Celephais all deal with Randolph, his friends, and adventures in that dream world. A land fully formed with sentient citizens of it's own. Connected to all of us by the threads of dream and sleep.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Hell froze over?

Well, not exactly. While it seems as if the faithful have been given a shock, consider this: The G4's in Powerbooks are STILL at 1.67 ghz. G5's are too hot for portable use, and Apple can't break the 3 GHZ barrier. Something had to be done. This is all about laptops, Pentium M's and the such. Remember, Apple is the OS. OS X.4 is the bomb, and i'll run it over windows anyday.

though my linux portable dual-booting into tiger seems pretty cool a concept, no?

To end, here's some recent Spametry (Spam-Poetry)

Man Every man is an impossibility until he is born.,
The world will not help, the people must help themselves. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it, we may wage the battle of our life The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty - of Him who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward,
If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.,
Change occurs in direct proportion to dissatisfaction, but dissatisfaction never changes.,

which is so full to overflowing

Man i:lah They know enough who know how to learn.,
It seems to me that sorrow must come sometime to everybody and those who scarcely taste it in their youth, often have a more brimming and bitter cup of drain in afterlife.,
Don't go through life, grow through life.,
Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics,
When you are aspiring to the highest place, it is honorable to reach the second or even the third rank.,
It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.,
Great and good are seldom the same man.,
A true friend is one soul in two bodies.,
It is difficult to know at what moment love begins it is less difficult to know that it has begun.,
Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.,


Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006

Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006:
Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006

WWDC 2005, SAN FRANCISCO—June 6, 2005—At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple® announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh® computers using Intel® microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007. Apple previewed a version of its critically acclaimed operating system, Mac OS® X Tiger, running on an Intel-based Mac® to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system along with preview versions of Apple’s software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Secularism Vs. Christianity?

From - Daily Dish:


There are many disagreements I have with

this column

by Charles Krauthammer. But let me just point out one. Charles posits two forms of "imposition of values" on society. One is by secularists; and one by Christians. Here's a quote that suggests the dichotomy as he sees it:
It seems perfectly O.K. for secularists to impose their secular views on America, such as, say, legalized abortion or gay marriage. But when someone takes the contrary view, all of a sudden he is trying to impose his view on you. And if that contrary view happens to be rooted in Scripture or some kind of religious belief system, the very public advocacy of that view becomes a violation of the U.S. constitutional order.
It seems to me that this is the wrong formulation, and already concedes something that should not be conceded. Christianism - politicized Christianity - argues for the imposition of one religion's values over the entire society. So, in this context, it would forbid gay couples from getting civil marriages or unions and prevent pregnant women from seeking an abortion. Secularism is not the polar opposite. Secularism allows Christians, and any other religious faith, to affirm religious values, live exactly as they see fit, and avoid such moral outrages as abortion and gay civil unions in their own lives, if they so wish. All secularism does is say that as a political matter, there will be as much government neutrality as possible because the government should represent


citizens; that the Church and the state shall coexist, but independently of each other. Secularism is not only compatible with aggressive and proud Christian faith; in practice, secularism has fostered that faith. The polar opposite of Christianism, in contrast, would be a government that actively suppresses religious faith, discriminates against Christianity and forbids Christians from practising their way of life. No one is proposing that. I'm really concerned that secularism is slowly becoming tainted with the same brush as "liberalism." But secularism is the great modern achievement of Christianity and of Western freedom. It is an honorable tradition, integral to the entire concept of Western liberty. The difference between secularism and Christianism, to put it bluntly, is that one side is happy to let people make their own moral choices; and one side isn't. So who exactly is imposing on whom?

- 11:36:00 AM