so-called profundity

8.01.2008

a new use for post-it notes

The great, ongoing countdown:

Going...



... going...




... almost gone.


posted by Dave at 5:39 PM | 0 comments |

6.12.2008

I have been successful in making Russ snort gin.

It's what I do.

... and it serves him right.

Incidentally, after my last post, I noticed a lot of traffic on my site report showing up from Charter's corporate domain. Uh, if you're reading this guys... yeah, I still don't have a DVR. But we did get the bill from you today, so thanks for that.

posted by Dave at 8:11 PM | 2 comments |

5.27.2008

It's official: Charter Communications gets the "Eat My Shorts" award for the most inept customer experience in recent memory. Now, for the fourth time, we have scheduled an appointment to have a DVR box installed, only to learn from the technician on the day of the appointment that there is in fact no equipment for them to install in our home due to a backlog on DVR orders.

Color me pissed.

posted by Dave at 2:54 PM | 1 comments |

5.25.2008

profundity theater presents:

Scenes From Our Garage

A couple of nights ago Bean and I hopped in my car to go hang with some friends over drinks and TV. When I turned the key, sounds of mechanical anguish erupted from under the hood. After a few failed attempts at starting the car, coupled with a lot of cursing, we gave up and took Bean's car instead. I've yet to take the car in in for repair (like I need anything else to deal with), but in the meantime there has been housework to do which necessitated moving the car from the garage.

Yesterday, around noon, in our garage...

DAVE: (Yells up the stairs) Honey? Can you come help me for a second please?

BEAN: (Enters garage) Sure - what's up?

DAVE: I need you to steer the car while I push it out of the garage.

BEAN: (Somewhat surprised, partially annoyed) What?! You're gonna break your back trying to push this car by yourself!

DAVE: (Frustrated by her apparent lack of faith his abilities) No, I won't honey - it will be fine. Just get in, please.

(BEAN sits in the driver's seat while DAVE steps to the front of the car, hands on the hood and bumper, preparing to push. DAVE hears the gear shift click and gives the car a hefty shove - it moves nowhere. Not an inch.)

DAVE: (Confused) Do you have the car in neutral?

BEAN: No, I have it in reverse.

DAVE: Please put it in neutral.

(The gear shift clicks again. Pushing with all his might, DAVE cannot get the car to budge.)

DAVE: (Getting irritated) So - you have the car in neutral, right? With your foot off of the brake??

(...a mechanical thud is heard... and the car begins to roll backwards.)

DAVE: (Curses under his breath and looks up into the windshield.)

BEAN: (Flashes a beaming smile back to DAVE.)

(Hearty laughter ensues.)

posted by Dave at 10:01 AM | 0 comments |

5.20.2008

So, in brief, here is a rough list of home improvement skills now under my belt as of the last two months:

some basic carpentry & electrical
priming/painting/caulking
wallpaper removal
drywall repair and patching
wood prep/staining
cursing (already had this one down, but skills have been honed)
installing electrical outlets
demo of all sorts (really no skill involved here)
refrigerator water line installation
installing vinyl tile
replacing locks/deadbolts
building/running coax cable

And today - by no choice of my own - I will add to this list: toilet repair.

posted by Dave at 6:56 AM | 2 comments |

4.11.2008

Man... I need a nap.

There has been so much shit going on the past few weeks that I can barely see straight. Serena and I have been working way harder than those punks on the DIY network. We've painted, we've sanded, we've mudded drywall, we've scraped wallpaper, we've cleaned, we've scrubbed, we've pulled up old floors, we've taken down cabinets, we've spent way more money than I ever thought some of this stuff was worth. When not engaged in one of the above mentioned tasks, we've each been trying to find time to do our actual jobs - you know, the ones we get paid for. We haven't even packed a thing. And we're moving on Monday. Nice.

In all of this commotion, some unseen force of nature decided to provide us with some levity. Let me describe our backyard landscape situation: imagine a partially overgrown kudzu-fest with random weeds and brush, with various sizes of pine and oak trees scattered throughout - some living, some... well, past their prime. We know that we'll have to remove some of these trees (i.e., put them out of their misery) before they decide to make our lovely new home an unexpected duplex. There is one in particular - a scrawny looking, dead-ish pine, probably about 50-60 feet - that I've had my eye on for several weeks. I keep looking out the window, checking out its precarious degree of gangsta lean. It seemed like every time I looked it was leaning more and more - but I eventually chalked it up to my eyes playing tricks on me. Paint fumes, you know.

Now, I told you that story to tell you this story. We were at the house just the other morning waiting on the floor guy to arrive, and my curiosity got the best of me. I walked through the yard, tromped out into the brush, and inspected the lean of the tree in question. Sure enough, it was all up in the business of a nearby perfectly good tree. I surmised that the only thing holding up the deadd (two d's used for effect) tree was the resistance provided by one or two branches of its living neighbor. I said to Serena, "We should get that removed soon - it's only a matter of time before that tree falls." Have I mentioned yet that the tree is leaning towards the house?

The floor guy arrives, we leave, and return later that afternoon to check out his handiwork. We're walking through the house wide-eyed at our brand new floors and carpets, giddy with their shiny new look. My eyes pass by a window and I notice something funny. I take another look... I shift my angle... I move to another window to double check... and yep - the leaning tree is definitely no longer there. I wondered for a fleeting moment if Tony's tree fairy had paid us a surprise visit and removed the offending tree out of the goodness of his heart. Then I - oh... nope - there's the busted tree lying on the ground.



I wish I could have seen it fall - it must have been something. The tree evidently splintered on the way down, cracking into multiple pieces before landing in the yard and thankfully NOT on the house. It crushed a fence that was in the yard, but said fence is destined for the trash heap anyway so no love lost there.



In the "things-that-could-have-gone-terribly-wrong" department, here is a final shot looking up the fallen trunk towards the direction of the house.



1) Wipe brow; 2) curse a bit; 3) thank lucky stars.

Check, check, and check.

posted by Dave at 8:23 PM | 0 comments |

3.12.2008

I realize that I don't usually write about things that would be topically relevant to my career, since most people probably won't really care to read it. But screw that, 'cause it's on my mind and I feel like writing, so this is what you get. Besides, if I'm worried about the art form being relevant, but am hesitant to discuss it in public, then what does that say about me?

Most people have heard of the "Mozart effect" - roughly, the idea that listening to a dead Austrian guy's music makes you smarter. You may recall that as a result of studies about this phenomenon, the former Gubna of Georgia once proposed a plan to buy every child in the state a CD of classical music. I'm not sure if that plan ever got off the ground, or if any tiny Georgians were ever presented with a CD or not.

What really would have been hilarious, however, is if the execution of that plan ended up being dumped in the hands of some state house intern who, in a moment of ignorance - or a college transcript lacking a music appreciation course - instead of Mozart, actually supplied the children of Georgia with CDs of "Charles Ives' Greatest Hits" or "The Complete Works of Milton Babbitt". Okay - not hilarious. But funny. To me.

In all fairness, Mozart is far more than some dead Austrian guy. He was an extremely important and prolific composer - and in simpler terms, a fucking musical genius. That may be a tough pill to swallow for some people - without historical perspective it's hard to really comprehend his music as being "innovative". Most people would probably assume that in the last 50 years we have seen more musical innovation than in any other time in history - and that may very well be true. But that doesn't mean that past innovations, to those experiencing them, were any less revolutionary. (Clarinets in the orchestra? Gasp!)

I don't know where I read this, but recently I read an article describing the journey that music has taken in the last 100 years or so... that in the relatively recent past, "classical music" did not exist as a genre per se - it was just music. That's all there was. Then Les Paul invented the electric guitar, and since then it's been on like Donkey Kong. Whereas "classical" music was once the music of the people, it has taken a back seat to rock, pop, and hip-hop, and has now become viewed as the music of only "some people."

I heard on NPR a story relating to a different kind of Mozart effect. This is old news (2006), but interesting nonetheless, and really the inspiration for this post. It was a letter from a listener in response to a story about shop owners using high-frequency sounds, audible to kids but not to adults, to keep kids from loitering at their stores. The response goes:

"Well, our story reminded listener Doug Wisecoff(ph) from Cincinnati of an incident a few years back while he was filling up his car with gas. 'As I stood there holding the gas nozzle,' he writes, I suddenly realized they were playing a very enjoyable Mozart symphony.

'When I went inside the mini-mart to pay for my gas, I complimented the man behind the counter and his choice of music. He laughed and informed me that it was because the students from the high school across the street used to hang out in front of his store being obnoxious, being loud and constantly littering. He tried playing classical music to see if it would influence them to behave better and he found that it actually drove them off instantly.'"
(National Public Radio, All Things Considered, June 1, 2006)

Perfect! Glad I chose this great career I have.

For a while, classical music was the only musical art that felt compelled to try and reinvent itself. It is a mantra that can be found in almost all arts media that exists, and permeates trade publications and arts blogs. There are folks on both sides of the coin - those championing the great strides being made in new art forms, and those taking their seats to witness the final snorts of the dying corpse in the throes of its demise. I prefer to be an optimist on that point, though I've not always been.

Regardless, it is interesting now to see the major record labels being forced to reinvent themselves. Imagine it - multi-gozillion dollar global corporations facing the same types of issues as the poor little non-profit arts world. Not nearly the same scope, mind you - not even close - but the same concepts nonetheless: how to make themselves relevant to an increasingly changing market/population.

They've seemingly started to pull out of the nose-dive of suing 17-year-olds for downloading illegal music, and began to focus their efforts on real solutions their very real problem - the fact that they no longer have control. Brett turned me on to Bob Lefsetz recently, and I've really enjoyed reading his perspective on issues facing "popular" music - a term I actually kind of despise, since it presumes that any other type of music is "unpopular".

At any rate, the pop world is not really in danger of dying, as some believe classical music to be - the economics behind it won't allow that to happen. However, pro rata, there are just as many (if not more) pop musicians trying to squeeze out a living as there are classical musicians. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Read about Mozart's life, and tell me if it doesn't read like a 1700's version of "Behind the Music". The parallels between these worlds are there, despite all of their differences.

posted by Dave at 8:17 AM | 1 comments |

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