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March 20, 2008
I am presently typing this with my mind. I have gone to bed early, my eyes are shut and I am using the movement of my pupils behind eyelids to move the cursor of the GUI being projected into my visual cortex. The text of this post is being generated through subvocal recognition as I lay on my sweet, chilled pillow. Ah....so relaxing.
I was home from work today, the unfortunate victim of an accidental overdose of medication. After putting Will to bed and waiting for my wife to return from her class, I went to The Asgard in Cambridge for karaoke with friends. This is my 3rd time at DJ Paul's karaoke and first time singing.
I got home and took my meds before going to bed at 1am. I woke up at the unfortunately-usual time of 5:45 and took my meds again at 6am. Did I mention the technicality that the "one pill twice daily" should be spread about 12hrs apart? Yeah, didn't ever really get that. I always took one before bed and one in the morning - but that was when I usually get to sleep between 9-10pm.
The usual 1hr of slight dizziness turned into several hours of said dizziness, extreme nausea and miosis - the latter incredibly NOT helpful to someone who does 90% of his job with his eyes. This did not hit until 15min after I was at my desk followed by an hour of trying to get work done while taking several breaks of closing my eyes and putting my head down. Not good.
My system seems mostly clear and it has run its course. This happened twice while I was at SourceBoston and up late....only today did I determine it wasn't the flu bugs that had been savaging SXSW, ShmooCon and now SourceBoston attendees but stupidity and lack of pharmaceutical instruction.
I will be going to bed early tonight - as soon as I finish this post. (Hopefully quickly.) So apologies for the lack of polish, hyperlinks and grammar checking but I am spent.
I sang my first song at public karaoke last night! I've sang at karaoke before but it was at a studio with only 8 or 9 people who I mostly knew at a friend's birthday party (I started with "Its the End of the World and We Know it" followed by U2's "One").
Last night was a very important song and sadly, two of the three people I performed it for were not there. (They shall not be named). It is a long and pretty easy song to sing -"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot. I am a HUGE singer-songwriter and folk fan but this one was extra special due to an additional affiliation: I dedicated the song to my friend Kevin, Paul Gross, and Callum Keith Rennie. (\o/ FTW)
You see, I have always been a big fan of the TV show "Due South" as I watched it when first aired with family and again in reruns with my girlfriend, now wife. There was a great episode called "Mountie on the Bounty" involving well, Mounties of course, pirates and awesome cheesy camp.
The music for the whole series was awesome since my Mom raised me with a healthy liking for all forms of Celtic music (including much originating from Canada) but the aforementioned Due South episode had a song called '32 Down on the Robert Mackenzie'. However, that wasn't an option to sing at karaoke. Fans of the show know that Paul Gross (one of the main actors and an Executive Producer) wanted to use "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" but Gordon Lightfoot said that could only be done if Gross received permission from the survivors of those who perished. Gross, hesitant to bring up the painful past, chose instead to write a ballad of his own.
So very long story short - that's what I sang. Loved it.
The second song? "Birdhouse in your Soul" by "They Might Be Giants" - my son is already a fan of theirs due to their prolific sound appearing all over Disney TV. Unfortunately I had a hard time hearing the music and was a bit offkey, starting late. Those who know my music history are aware how much of a snob I am about rhythm, tone and key...so it was very nerve-wracking to be off.
There may have been some rumor of a poor attempt to show up some non-dancing friends by cutting in – let’s just say two leaders do not a dance couple make. FAIL.
Second Shift and Escape Pod
Oh. My. Gosh. So, I've had an iPod shuffle for a while now. I haven't really downloaded podcasts all that much as it was too much of a pain, I didn't want to deal with syncing and I simply didn't have time.
I made time and boy am I glad.
In addition to catching up on quite a few PotterCasts that I've missed due to being out of Leaky Cauldron circulation for 4 years, (funny that I registered the domain and tried to push for a launch prior to Book 6. We ran out of time but when they did....boy did it ever rocket to the top. Amazing.) , I've started listening to two podcasts.
The first is Escape Pod which is a great show by Steve Eley wherein each week(?) listeners are treated to a reading of a Science Fiction or Fantasy (until they launched PodCastle), short story. They have the grand old authors of Sci-Fi and several new ones - most of which I like. Steve is a great reader and often has guest readers that are also entertaining. Not only does it kill the massive doldrums of the work commute but boy am I catching up on a lot of missed reading in my lifetime. There are some stories I don't care for but most of them I truly enjoy. I'm still behind in the stories - I think I have worked my way up to Spring 2007.
I haven't hit up PodCastle yet because Escape Pod does a good job feeding my futurist and transhumanist ponderings quite well.
The second is, well, Second Shift - a fantasy podplay written, performed and produced in the Boston area. I was introduced to this by a new friend and actress in the troupe. The story is about 3 college friends who get transported into a fantasy world of magic and their attempts to get back home. Sounds like disappointing de rigueur for fantasy fans but the story and canon/magical setting is incredibly well-detailed and very well performed - they even went so far as to create a new language. It seems to surpass the cheesy cliché my above plot summary might invoke and the story is filled with hilarious pop-culture Sci-Fi/Fantasy nods as well as plenty of opportunity for shippers and fan-fiction with the well-developed characters.
As with anything I get quickly obsessed with, I find myself running around the house, playing with my son and speaking to him in the accent of the Amirand people even using some of the words from the Charendraen language they created.
I'm rapidly running out of time to still be in the realm of "going to bed early" so a few more quick notes:
I'm sticking my nose back into the Harry Potter fandom. With news that the final movie will be split into two and continued promises of The Scottish Book (which I strongly believe will contain a decent amount of new canon to keep the fandom going for a bit while longer), I'm ready to come back and am digging through the archives to write up a small history of The Leaky Cauldron fansite from when I joined as Editor in December 2000 to when Melissa Anelli took over a few years later. Mostly for my own edification since I have all the emails and want to remember my time as part of it.
I am aiming to attend Terminus in Chicago this summer and hope to contribute to the planning of LeakyCon 2009 in Boston.
Security, SourceBoston and BeanSec
I seem to be getting more and more re-involved in the information security community mostly due to my job but also through participating in industry events (such as the recent SourceBoston and BlackHat this summer) as well as gatherings such as the local BeanSec held the 3rd Wednesday of every month. I suspect the more time I spend researching information security issues, the faster I will move to creating a separate "work" blog for my musings. Stay tuned for "Secured BrainStream" which presently has no ETA for launch.
I think that covers everything for now. Still lots of BrainStreams jammed in my head trying to find egress points for release but almost no time to post about them. Spending this coming Easter weekend with family in NW CT and "The Happy Valley" of WMass.
In the meanwhile, I still find myself using Facebook and LinkedIn quite a bit as well as Twitter for more up-to-date, quick musings. I can always be chatted up on any number of the IM services as bkdelong or using my email address.