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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

[#] [1]
activate! apple just sent shipping notifications for the as-of-yet-unnamed powerbook & nocturne the nano!
Dear Apple Customer,

Apple is pleased to report that a shipment for the following order is on its way to you. The following products shipped on 12/01/2005:

Z0BB07BSW PBG4 12.1"/1.256GB/100/SD/AEX/LL
Apple is pleased to report that a shipment for the following order is on its way to you. The following products shipped on 12/01/2005:

and it might snow tonight! and fairies will wake me in the morning & bring me breakfast singing sweet and senseless songs!

i get to be giddy, right?

(btw, keeping the suggestions coming: she's silver & small & still needs a name!)

[#] [0]
oh, now this is too much! apple is sending me separate invoices for each thing that ships, further prolonging the agony while doubling their deliveries to my inbox. the suspense...!

[#] [0]
another tease from apple, who is shipping my order one tiny piece at a time:
Dear Apple Customer,

Apple is pleased to report that a shipment for the following order is on its way to you. The following products shipped on 11/29/2005:

the good news is that the nano has to be next. saving the best for last, i suppose...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

[#] [0]
when one sees "Subject: Shipment notification for order # 7026800345" from apple in one's inbox, one is bound to be a little excited. until one reads its contents:
Dear Apple Customer,

Apple is pleased to report that a shipment for the following order is on its way to you. The following products shipped on 11/29/2005:

what? you got my hopes up for a firewire cable? what?

bit by bit i'll get my latop.... :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

[#] [5]
today turned out nothing as planned.

the plan:
i would stride triumphantly from the bright & cheerful apple store with a 12" powerbook box in one hand and a bag containing a white nano, firewire cable and maybe some new headphones in the other while the apple employees waved and shouted "bon soir!" sven & michaelmas would be beaming, one on either side of me, and we would chatter excitably over the new family members in the pioneer place food court, eventually settling on charming thematic names for both the laptop & the nano. we would drop michaelmas off in time for his l-net session and then head home to transfer eliot to the new laptop, barely pausing to eat dinner, and i would be writing an "exhausted but accomplished" post from a speedy new keyboard.

what actually happened:
after we make plans, michaelmas reminds me, "don't forget your student id!" augh! mhcc didn't give me a student id this term! so even though i get up early, i waste most of the morning trying to find my old one or trying to decide if i want to go to mhcc and get one. i finally print a "certificate of eligibility" from the mhcc online services website, & call apple to ask if they'll accept it to recieve a student discount, which they will. however, they don't have the configuration i want (namely, a 100gb drive) and say i can only order it online. i agonize for a fair amount of time about whether to just get an 80gb drive, but if i'm paying so much, i just don't even want to worry about running out of room & want to practice good memory managment techniques which recommend keeping at least 20% of your drive free. so i reluctantly decide to order online even though i will give me vastly less time to download eliot & troubleshoot before i send eliot to live w/ carl's friend megan. finally, at around 10:30 p.m. (after dinner w/ michaelmas & a round of the new dr. who), i press the "confirm order" button while sitting on michael's couch and after evaluating every possible permutation. happily, even though i've gotten a powerbook, an engraved nano, a firewire cable & some ipod socks, the total is just under $2000. i'm hoping to get it by dec08.

i have a great name for the black nano ("nocturne") and a desire for a constellation/stellar/astronomical theme for the new powerbook (in fact, i'd call her "stella" if i wasn't already calling the bike that). any ideas? leave a comment!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

[#] [0]
pix had its last sunday brunch today! simpatica, which has created sumptuous sweet & savory breakfasts on a 2-burner hotplate in the back of pix for 2.5 years, is finally moving into their own space. i'm glad they're doing well, but have a lot of fond memories of pix brunches (and they're moving further away, which makes it less likely we'll do brunch there). so sven & i were the first ones there this morning to make sure we got a window seat.

then we went to saturday market to try to find the woman who sold me this cool bag because there are holes in the lining already. we didn't find her, but we did find some cute things for the studio instead (boy, the studio is going to be prettified by the end of the year!). then we stopped by music millenium for *cough* a few things *cough* where we ran into colleen and then andrew!

now i'm looking for powerbook stuff online. if the apple store has what i want tomorrow, i may just pick up a new computer! the big question is still do i want a white or a black nano? and i wish i knew when they'd release the next round: i don't want to feel like if i had just waited a little longer, i could have gotten a built-in- isight, too! but i'm not interested in being the bleeding edge for the first intel machines, mind you.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

[#] [0]
so i went back to using bash after a few years of using tcsh because that's what mac os x -used- to ship as its default shell. at some point mph raised his eyebrow at me for using tcsh and told me the os x default was bash again, so i finally got around to converting my io & eliot .tcshrc to .bashrc today. this took longer than i wanted (though probably not longer than i expected, which is why i initially resisted returning to bash) due to two key features: set nobeep & set prompt.

set nobeep: i tried the recommended
"set bell-style visible"
but .bashrc wouldn't touch it unless i put it into ~/.inputrc. having lots of little separate file settings drives me nuts & i had already fixed the .bash_profile issue by only having one line telling it to refer to the .bashrc:
source ~/.bashrc
it took me a while to find the answer to set the bell style without using .inputrc: adding
bind "set bell-style visible"
in the .bashrc. this worked on io which runs gnu/linux, but eliot (running darwin) continued to beep until i chose
bind "set bell-style none"

set prompt: tcsh's way to configure prompts is arcane but intuitive:
set prompt="%B[%m:%.3] %n% %b"
this creates a prompt that's bold & contains the machine name, 3 levels of working directory & my username.

compare to bash (though it doesn't include my username):
PS1="\e[30;1m[\h:\w]\e[0m "
the escape characters are scarier than the vaguely html-like %B %b entities to create a bold character. and this is the easy way: some bash prompt tutorials include actual lines of code to manipulate the escape characters, and this gui homegirl don't do that. and i don't think i can tell it to just give me three levels of working directory: it's all or nothing.

happily, bash now does tab completion the way i prefer (showing ambiguities, which tcsh didn't by default) & the history seems more reliable between sessions than tcsh. i also added a couple of new shell tricks to the .bashrc:
bind "set completion-ignore-case on"
(which helps when scrambling around in the mac's filesystem, especially Desktop & Documents)
bind "set show-all-if-ambiguous on"
(which immediately shows you the options for tab completion rather than having to tab again if there's several possible options)

in other tech news, it looks very likely that i'll be selling eliot to someone carl knows (yes, he can work miracles, even thousands of miles distant) and will be in the market for a new 12" powerbook. maybe an ibook. definitely nano+1. any advice/suggestions welcome. what will i do w/ larkspur, my current ipod? and i still have a newton languishing in the garage....

but boy, december is going to be an expensive month. xmas, new computer, some planned flair for the studio & some new calligraphy supplies: any of which by itself is a chunk of change, but together... whew. austere for the new year, that's my motto!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

[#] [0]
happy thanksgiving, all. we had some friends over today for thanksgving dinner: mph w/ his wife alison & their son ben, jalex & mari. michaelmas, feeling group-phobic, stayed home w/ arwen. not ever having hosted a thanksgving meal before, it was a bit of a relief to discover we had a pleasant time and that it wasn't even very stressful to prepare for it or clean up after it (the last load of dishes has just finished and the tablecloths & napkins need to be put in the dryer). heck, i even made placecards for the table settings.

i am grateful to be here, to be alive & breathing w/ leftover turkey in the refrigerator and a comfy couch to blog from. thanks, universe.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

[#] [2]
a discovery i hadn't anticipated: i think i prefer the metric system! it's just so much easier to count in tenths rather than consulting my mental model to determine whether a particular mark means 3/8 or 14/16 or 3/4. and if you need to add or subtract or divide or multiply, the system is infinitely easier. i'm not quite there yet for liquid measurements or weights or long distances, but once i embrace the centimeter, can the liter or kilogram be far behind?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

[#] [0]
expedition 360 got a write-up on apple's "hot news" page! the irony, of course, is that while stevie smith is on a book tour for the astonishing pedalling to hawaii, and -his- laptop is working fine, i've been posting blog entries for jason lewis who's emailing them to me 200 characters at a time via a satellite phone because his laptop died in a monsoon.

(thanks, jason & markalope!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

[#] [0]
q: how many tow trucks does it take to tow a minivan?
a: three.

sven & i thought we'd take a quick trip to scrap before it closed to donate the 10 large tazo tea crates i got from their warehouse not long after i moved here, which they were happy to take off our hands. then we poked around the newly opened lark press between scrap & pix (mmmm, letterpress! and i got to talk about gocco!). and what trip to that block would be complete w/o a trip to pix? we left with a happy assortment of colorful macaroons, a blue cheese truffle and a oversized bread pudding. we were tucking ourselves into the svan to return home but found ourselves marooned when the svan failed to start.

so aaa was called and they dispatched a tow truck in about the time it takes to order & heat a delicious goat cheese and onion tart from pix. our rescue was short-lived, however, when the tow truck driver announced that the tow truck was suddenly broken: it could move only backward, not forward. so he arranged for a tow truck to tow his tow truck and another tow truck to tow us. why didn't we have a camera to capture the irony? finally we left the svan at sven's repair shop on foster, walked to the nearest bus stop on holgate (hooray for the portland public transportation system!), walked home & wrapped ourselves w/ blankets.

so if you're going to break down somewhere, i highly recommend the 3900 block of n williams. and despite the towing snafu, aaa is still an incredibly handy thing to have. alas, i now know what we're doing tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

[#] [0]
ooooooo, at the last portland society for calligraphy meeting, it was revealed that we would be hosting next year's All Oregon Calligrapher's Conference (AOCC) and that it would include a keynote & classes by denis brown! I almost squealed out loud & fainted right there! denis brown is my absolute favorite calligrapher. he's irish & youngish & he does the most amazing layered expressive letters. i -swoon-, i tell you, to think i might -meet- him! i feel flustered even now. :) ee!

[#] [0]
burdell's back online and i'm slowly receiving the weeks' worth of queued messages. *sighs* i forgot how much spam i get at this address.

Monday, November 14, 2005

[#] [2]
the moon and mars rose together tonight. it was beautiful: the moon wearing her ruby star like a necklace below her shining face and dark, slender neck. it's been interesting to observe the ecliptic change as the earth spins towards the winter solstice.

[#] [0]
no email from burdell till wednesday, at least. continue w/ the alternative delivery methods. if i've not responded to something, please resend. thanks!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

[#] [2]
run, do not walk, to clinton street theatre to watch kamikaze girls, a charming japanese movie that's like a cross between amélie & thelma & louise. we also saw 24 hours on craigslist, but that was far less interesting.

when we got home, we discovered someone had stolen the lid from one of our pumpkins: sven's 3-horned pumpkin. i hate this neighborhood!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

[#] [0]
i totally missed that david cantrell was moving from georgia to new hampshire until i realized i wasn't getting any email tonight. heh. :) mail will queue in the meantime, but since burdell may not return till the 11th, please send missives to g[retchin] ATT mac DOTE com, or g[retchin] ATT scarletstarstudios DOTE com. thanks!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

[#] [2]
if anyone's sporadically following the expedition 360 indonesian journal, jason's computer was finally thrashed by one of the indonesian monsoons, so to update it he's sending satellite text messages to me which i post on the site. amazing thing, this internet. :)

[#] [0]
the comments here are generally negative, but i think for -most- people, a built-in backup drive is a freaking brilliant idea. instead of arguing against it, argue towards a working solution and you'll have done a lot of people a lot of good.

update nov07: thanks, carl!

Friday, November 04, 2005

[#] [0]
oo, and let us not forget that this is michaelmas & arwen's first anniversary! though she's gained quite a bit of weight since that picture was taken, she's still a sweetheart. health & happiness to you both!

[#] [0]
handy mac laptop trick you've never seen:
"Hold the Shift key down while using the volume keys to temporarily turn off the little "poppy" noises." To disable it all the time, uncheck the box in the Sound System Preferences."

thanks, subtext texts!

[#] [0]
and thus concludes round 1 of the wagnerian construction cycle: it looks like a family is moving into the first completed house across the street. ah, the sweet shrieking sounds of progress. the other house is -almost- done and the third is just beginning. the third will be the hardest one, as it will block the view of the horse pasture up the hill and our last remaining slice of powell butte.