Sunday, March 23, 2008

Glory Box

i've since
given up
the will for
driving down the 5
on weekends,
the sun rising
over san clemente
setting in san joaquin
the gauntlet of
coffee cups and
cigarette butts
and hours of
lost dreams

storm in the morning light

please, could you stay awhile
to share my grief?

The new Portishead album is on pre-sale. Let's all reminisce.

...


New website I started on: www.theDefrag.com. The point of this site is to pull in the different parts together. I've also linked my new fitness calendar on there. Just a more suitable place for my training and nutrition ramblings.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

By the Cover

Recently started on my fourth Dave Eggers title, What Is the What. And that would put him up there with Henry Miller, J.R.R. Tolkien, Raymond Carver and Charles Bukowski as one of my most-read authors. (His memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, is one of my all-time faves). Plus, as seems a developing correlation, I like the cover art for his latest:

Speaking of effective book covers, I don't think I ever big-timed the original Karel cover:

Anyhow, I've decided, in the interest of time, to put off the pseudocode of Karel and start practicing usable programming languages. A huge focus in development, I've come to understand, is on the info-gathering and analysis stage, which is its own area of practice that I'll be immersing myself with while at work.

And wouldn't you know? Once I blog about the awesomeness of Charles Petzold's Code, I hit the wall once he starts drawing the schematics for a binary calculator. I'll have to revisit this after I've absorbed a bit more. Lots of the enjoyment was reading Petzold's writing itself, and not necessarily the material covered. So in the meantime I can get the fix from his blog.

And since this is my booklist, I've decided that unfinished non-fiction can qualify:

Code
, Charles Petzold
Karel The Robot, Richard E. Pattis
Making Beats, Joseph Schloss
People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordan
Love Is a Mix Tape, Rob Sheffield

A quick thought on Making Beats and sample-based music in general. Forget chopping, flipping, beat-science, whatever. The simple truth is that sometimes a loop and a fat beat can sound so freakin' perfect together. I offer the piano from The Procussions "All That It Takes" as an example.

...


Resolve 0308
1) Top Billin, Audio Two
2) I Got It Made, Special Ed
3) Forgiven, Ben Harper
4) Slither, Velvet Revolver
5) Sound and Vision, David Bowie
6) Celebration, The Procussions
7) N- What, N- Who, Jay-Z
8) Lost Ones, Lauryn Hill
9) Let's Ride, Q-Tip
10) Freedom, Rage Against the Machine

Jukebox, Cat Power
Back to Black: The B-Sides, Amy Winehouse
As Iron Sharpens Iron, The Procussions
The Reminder, Feist
The Impulse Story: Alice Coltrane, Alice Coltrane
Greatest Hits, Guns N' Roses
The Heart of Saturday Night, Tom Waits


Saturday, March 8, 2008

00 01 10 11

I'm only a third of the way through so maybe this is premature, but Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold is shaping up as one those Life Changing Reads.

Up there with, say, Burn the Fat and Feed the Muscle for losing the gut.

Up there with, say, Running and Being for running and, well, being.

Up there with, say, On The Road for the wanderlust.

Like that. For the best explanation of logic gates I've read. For breaking down, visually and concisely, every important concept and example mentioned. For the charm and wit of the writing.

I also like Code's simple and effective cover design, the letters C-O-D-E over their equivalents in Morse Code, Braille and binary. White space in effect.