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Jun 25, 2006

An American in Paris

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Lucie and I went in to Paris on the 21st for La FĂȘte de la Musique. Our first stop before catching any music was Versailles. Unfortunately the place was undergoing a bit of maintenance as stated on the back of the Orientation Guide:

The public Establishment of Versailles has embarked upon extensive estoration works in the Palace and the gardens with the aim of both heritage conservation and enhancing the welcome accorded to visitors.

We apologise to visitors for any inconvenience that these works may cause.

Ok, apology accepted. As you walked in you could see the massive amount of work going on. The whole Royal Courtyard was torn up and it looked like they were doing some archaeological surveying. The outer facade was getting a face lift and the gardens were getting a hair cut. None of the fountains on the grounds were turned on which was a bit of a bummer. Inside the palace the hall of mirrors was being restored. We got to see half of it as the other half was still sealed up. That was the only work being done inside that we saw.

Next stop, Montparnasse and La Fete de la Musique. A day in France and some other european nations where there is music everywhere. In the streets, restaurants, metros and monuments. The biggest event was at La Grand Arche where a bunch of lame pop groups performed. We walked from Montparnasse to the Eiffel Tower and then to a bar nearby to watch the festivities at La Grand Arche. I think the US should participate in La FĂȘte de la Musique too. Maybe we'll start in Fortville and work our way to the coasts!

On Thursday we went to the Louvre. We saw a lot of really cool sculptures, artifacts and paintings. This completed my viewing of the 'Axe Historique'; La Grand Arche de la Defense, L'Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and Le Louvre. It's really cool inside the glass pyramid (Napoleon Hall) where all the entrances are to the exhibits. There are some really nice looking exhibit areas too. We didn't see everything but we saw most of the important stuff. We'll have to go back and catch all the stuff we missed some other time.

Jun 20, 2006

My computer won't boot?!?!

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Yesterday I rebooted my MacBook Pro. That sounds simple enough. I have verbose mode on at all times thanks to Cocktail so I normally watch all the output of the startup. Hey, i'm a geek, that's what geeks do. So everything looks fine and then OS X launches the login window app. All I get is a blue screen. No login box. This scares the shit out of me.

So now what? Lucie had a similar problem with her old Titanium Powerbook recently so I was accustomed to using the single user mode. There is a really good resource about single user mode here. First order of business, run fsck. Everything checks out fine. No errors on the hard drive. So now what? Well I tried every remedy I could find online, move the netinfo db out of the way, move the login window prefs out of the way, move network settings out of the way. None of that was working. Then suddenly it dawned on me. It must have been that piece of crap program I just installed last night! That's right, I had installed a program called DoubleCommand to remap the enter key on my keyboard to fn so that I could forward delete easily on my computer. That timesaver sure backfired on me. So in the end I just had to remove DoubleCommand from /Library/StartupItems, problem solved.

The moral of the story: If you install a program that runs on startup check to make sure it works when you install it. Not a few days later.

Jun 19, 2006

Robotic Thoughts is no longer coming soon!

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One day at work the idea came to me out of the blue. Claytron! How perfect is that. I wish I would have thought of that one sooner. My name is Clayton and adding one letter transforms me into a robot. It even fits perfectly across my knuckles Blues Brothers style.

I just looked at the whois record for and I registered it on April 11, 2005. That seems like a long long time ago. I promptly put up v1 of the site, this image:

A crudely drawn image of a robot made in Illustrator and poorly inverted to have a black background. I've learned a lot about Photoshop and Illustrator working on this site. The first design for this blog was horrific! It was a million gradients put together with these awful dark colors. You couldn't even read the text.

What you are looking at now was the second design I came up with. It's all based off of a super simple sketch I made which basically had the ink/blood splat and the line that you see coming out of it. The rest just sort of fell into place. Like the people at the footer of the page for instance. That happened purely by accident. I got an email from iStockPhoto telling me my credits were going to expire soon. I logged on and downloaded some pics and that one worked perfectly. The boxes on the right hand side were created in about ten minutes. I was just messing around in Photoshop and it really translated well to a portlet.

It's really nice to have this site live. I've been developing what you see here for about 6 months off and on (including the redesign). It's my first blog so we'll see how up to date it stays. I've always got things to rant and/or rave about so it shouldn't be too difficult.


Jun 17, 2006

Kick ass Broken Social Scene video

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This video is quite entertaining. The portrayal of a rock band as a sport is very comedic and there is a guest appearance by Geddy Lee! RAWK! Gratiuitous exclamation marks!!!

Jun 16, 2006

Sonic Youth live at the 9:30 club

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In a continuing series of live sets from NPR, Sonic Youth.

NPR has a stream of the live show at the 9:30 Club in washington DC. They also put up some pics of the show on flickr

Is it just me or does Kim Gordon look like Iggy Pop now?

Kim Pop