Floating Thoughts for the Month of February

Hey, what do ya’ know: Just a couple of days shy of February and I’m getting around to my first journal entry of 2007. But you should know me by now: I only post when there’s absolutely nothing else to do, and since The Reformed Citizen is complete, awaiting its release in April, I guess now is as good a time as any to spew forth…something.

Fans of action figure rock, rejoice: Sean and Claude have been working really hard in the studio, and have finally finished the first Clawn album, which should be available sometime next month. You know what this means: millions of voracious baby Clawns spontaneously emerging from manholes and sewer grates all across the Pacific coast.

YouTube is going to start paying for user-generated video content:


I wonder if this means I can make a quick buck off the Colossal Theatre back catalog. Oh, and if there’s time, I’ll compensate Claude, Sean, Chris, Fuzz, Andrew, Angel, Joey…nah, f*ck it. Wink

I saw Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) for the first time last night. The result was a swift addition to my MySpace movies list—and not just because I recognized several scenes / characters from The Simpsons. I can see how a lot of good satire, political or otherwise, has progressed over the years. Were it not for such classics as Dr. Strangelove, Futurama would never have made it past the first dozen episodes. Actually, it’s amazing the series made it as far as it did, what with the IT / geek fan base driving advertisers away in droves. (Hey, if they’d just switched to junk food and video game ads, the Planet Express ship might still be soaring high.) It remains to be seen how the forthcoming Futurama movie and / or series (I’m not quite sure which it is) will be nurtured by Comedy Central. One thing is for certain: I will be there…oh, yes…I will be there.

A few months ago I mentioned that I bought a new PC with Windows pre-installed. As I was knee-deep in Stories from the Steel Garden at the time, I subsequently used the computer as it was, which is truly an exercise in patience considering that the Windows version(s) of OpenOffice are about as spritely as a snail trying to cross the street. So, over the winter holiday (when I wasn’t delirious with the flu), I tried slapping Ubuntu (my previous favorite distro) on my PC—but it seems my shiny new Compaq would have none of it. Nor would it tolerate Kubuntu; in both cases, my system locked up during the installation process. I tried a variety of alternative boot options, to no avail.

I checked out DistroWatch shortly thereafter, and, since I used to be a huge Mandrake fan anyway, ended up downloading PCLinuxOS when the 0.94 / 2007 preview release became available. It installed quickly, and has run very well ever since—and it (thankfully) uses KDE as the default desktop. KDE runs fast and efficient, and hasn’t crashed once—which, unfortunately, isn’t the case with Ubuntu. Ubuntu is GNOME-based, which means you can install / run KDE, but it isn’t optimized, and, quite frankly, isn’t very stable. I don’t know if this is the case with Kubuntu, as I was never able to install it or even use the live CD without a freeze-up—again, my Compaq’s tempermental nature making itself evident.

In any case, I’m impressed with PCLinuxOS. OpenOffice doesn’t slow down during extended usage; system fonts, while certainly not as crisp as Ubuntu’s, are hinted nicely across the board; KDE 3.5.6 has a very nice horizontally-oriented ALT-TAB function that allows you to easily switch between running applications; multimedia codecs are installed by default, which means you can play a decent variety of videos using MPlayer—oh, and MP3s work out of the box. Thank God for small miracles.

I need more fiction books to add to my shelf (hint-hint: Contact me if you’re an author interested in doing a book / review exchange), but in the meantime I’ve been reading Howard Lyman’s No More Bull. Howard was the guy who appeared on Oprah in the mid-1990s and brought mad cow disease to the forefront of the media. I think he also coined the phrase, “Never eat anything with a face.” While I’m certain attention has its rewards (ie, the book deals), as well as its drawbacks (ie, the meat industry lawsuits), it nevertheless worries me that one of the staples of the American diet is suffering from a very serious blight, the details of which are being shoved under the carpet, left to fester in the dark, damp corners of the various media outlets. Cows shouldn’t be eating other cows, and we certainly shouldn’t be eating cows that eat other cows. This is as important as the war on terrorism, yet no one seems to know how or where to direct their attention. In the end, I have the sneaky suspicion that in order to do things right, farmers will have to specialize more and produce less, prices will have to go up, and consumers will have to either pay more or eat less. Every outcome has its price, it seems.