Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank you, GNU/Linux...

... for not being Jolicloud, which is to say, yourself under a layer of silly hype (I only have heard of it because it was mentioned in an Audacity bug report... I had to go to its website to confirm that it was indeed just a re-packaging of some Free Unix running an X Server and wxGTK)...

... Also, for not being Windows, which accused me of pirating it when I booted to test some stuff today. It corrected itself when I clicked through some stuff, but it would have been polite, on the “ZOMG UR A PIRATE” screen to have at least had a “WTF I IZ NOT A PIRATE” button. Given the activation tool's spotty accuracy record, it seems natural that there should be some humility baked into the user-facing messages, but not really.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

JUST MARRIED *cans dragging behind bike*

Jess and I got married last week. Don't feel offended that you didn't get an announcement or invitation, it was just the two of us, my brother and his girlfriend (who served as witnesses), and the judge. Because both of our families are centered around Chicago we're planning to have a get-together in Chicago next time we're in town. She's taking my name; we talked quite a bit about this and decided we wanted our family to have a single name, and we seriously considered changing our surname to Duck, and then decided against that. So we're the Dimond family. I think there was a time when we couldn't have envisioned Jessica taking my last name in marriage — I guess we're getting communitarian in our old age.

The night after the wedding I had a dream that I cheated on Jess. And when I realized what I'd done (in the dream) I felt really awful and told her the next time I saw her. And she looked at me (still in the dream) with a sardonic look on her face and said, “So you had to wait until the day after we were married to screw around on me.” I told her about this dream a few days later and she said that's exactly how she thinks she'd react to that news. Let it never be said we don't know each other a little bit.

The day after we were married (which was 10/10/10) we saw Hitchcock's The Birds at the Grand Illusion theater, on 50th just east of the Ave. It's a hell of a film. A lot of (crappy) horror movies imply or outright state that their horrors come from Hell, and that the victims are being punished for their own morality, or the decline of society. One of the many things I loved about The Birds is that while that's one of the possible explanations for the onslaught of birds upon Bodega Bay, CA, it's only one. It's clear that this possibility gets under the skin of the protagonist, to the point that she even strikes out physically at a townsperson that suggests it. You can draw a psychological parallel to any of the trials we face in our lives, or even a philosophical parallel to the existential angst that some find endemic to the human condition. In particular, the protagonist has to live with the idea that she's brought a terrible plague onto a town of people that are, as far as we know, as innocent as anyone else, because she's conspicuous as an outsider in town and because she's conspicuous to herself simply by virtue of being herself. There are many possible explanations in her personal story that could account for the onslaught of birds (just as there are many explanations put forward by townspeople in the cafe) but none is satisfactory. The cause is unknown; perhaps it's unknowable. I haven't really read anything about The Birds, and I'm hardly breaking any ground by calling it a masterpiece or something... but it's a film I hadn't seen until then, and if you haven't seen it you should. There's a lot there.

Today we took care of some vehicular business. It turns out you can't initiate a title transfer by selling your car to someone for $5 in Washington, you have to either sell it for something resembling its market value, or give it as a gift. I think it has to do with taxation. I mention this just in case it's relevant to anyone reading this, because we didn't find that out until we were at the licensing office (meaning that Jess still doesn't own her car in the eyes of the state). The basic libertarian impulse is to ask why the state doesn't recognize any selling price agreed upon by two adults of sound mind, but I'm guessing that there are possibilities for tax fraud that create a significant state interest in enforcing this rule.