Octopus Hat
We have the technology!

Thursday, July 28, 2005  

Do Not Adjust Your Sets
Anything look different?
I’ve actually updated my blogger template and now everybody’s blogs should be linked-to over on the right (if I missed somebody please let me know.) I’ve also added a few links to other sites and enabled a few RSS feeds (also on the sidebar under “Me, Elsewhere.”) This feed is a straight-up ATOM feed of the blog. However, This one is the exciting feed as I’ve used Feedburner to combine the blog, flickr, and even select links from my Del.icio.us account into one handy feed! So if you are into the whole RSS thing I recommend subscribing to that one.

posted by JMV | 7/28/2005 12:46:00 PM

Wednesday, July 27, 2005  

Rebirth of a Quiz
1) Does your birthday excite or depress you?
2) DO you have a favorite pair of jeans? What makes them your favorite?
3) What is your favorite ethnic cuisine?
4) How expensive is too expensive for pants? Shoes? A shirt/blouse/top?
5) At a live-music performance do you “rock out” or listen quietly?
6) Do you have a “signature” drink? What does that drink say about you, and how id it become “your drink?”

posted by JMV | 7/27/2005 03:31:00 PM

Tuesday, July 26, 2005  

From The Archives 1
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

From the Archives 1
Each Tuesday I'll be posting a newly-scanned image from "the archives"

This week is a rare picture of my Grandfather, Lou Verive, at the reception held after my graduation from High school in June of 1996. The figure in the background is his son, my uncle, Tony Verive.

To this day both of Lou's sons have very full and thick heads of hair. However, both of my Grandfathers were/are bald. Should I be worried?

posted by JMV | 7/26/2005 05:15:00 PM

Do any of my loyal readers get their dose of Octophat via my RSS/ATOM feed? Would you if I had an easier to find/suscribe-to feed? I've been checking out Feedshake and Feedburner as alternate ways to publish a site-feed that is integrated w/ flickr and del.icio.us, but want to make sure people will use it. Let me know...

posted by JMV | 7/26/2005 01:23:00 PM

Monday, July 25, 2005  

Your Best Buys…
I obsessively read the Frys ad in The Times, though I never actually end up making the drive to the bowels of Burbank to brave the hideousness that Frys can be. Until Saturday, when they were advertising an insane deal on an HP scanner and I was able to convince Julie we should take advantage. I’ve ALWAYS wanted a scanner and have been half-heartedly researching them for the better part of a year, but the feature-sets, weird software, and wide cost-difference have put me off the purchase. But when the well-reviewed “Scanjet 4570cxi” was advertised for $30 ($30!) I figured I’d have nothing to loose! We hit Frys early (for us) on Saturday and Julie (how feels the someway about Frys that I do about Pier 1) even found a new PC game before we managed to traverse the length of the store to where they keep the scanners. What we found was an empty shelf, and while I wasn’t surprised I was still saddened as my dreams of scanning things died on the vine. Thankfully, Julie rocks and actually tracked down a salesman (!) and demanded he show her the secret stash of scanners. Actually, she was so happy (giddy even) with the impending purchase of “Roller Coaster Tycoon 3” that she sweet-talked the sales-grunt into revealing a stack of scanners (literally) hidden in a dark corner of the store. So far I am very happy with my first scanner. The TWAIN driver/software works about 80% on OS X (which is more than can be expected) and it took me all of 15 minutes to get it set up and scanning. We have now started the arduous task of scanning the hundreds (thousands?) of pictures from before we got the digital camera, and we will be posting a whole mess of random scans over the coming weeks. Yay! Scanner! (If anybody has tips on scanner workflow I’m a scanner noob and would love to hear them.)

posted by JMV | 7/25/2005 11:10:00 AM

Thursday, July 21, 2005  

Old Friends
Took the afternoon off yesterday to try and get ahead of my worsening sinus issues, so that explains the lack of Quiz… I haven’t decided if I’ll post one today or not….
I dreamt of an old friend, Rob Bolinger, last night. Throughout JR High and the Beginning of High school we were inseparable, but then something happened and we drifted apart. Rob killed himself in 1998 and I’ve always regretted not mending our friendship. As a result I’ve been in a bit of a funk today.

posted by JMV | 7/21/2005 05:13:00 PM

Monday, July 18, 2005  

My New Coat
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

I ::Heart:: My New Coat!
I mentioned the new coat a few weeks ago, but Saturday night was my first real chance to wear it out on the town and I frankly wasn’t prepared for the reception. All my friends liked it well enough, but what really stunned me was all the random people off the street that commented on it. One random barfly at “Big Wangs” spent a good 15 minutes trying to convince me I was a spitting image of Wolfman Jack (from American Graffiti fame) and that I need to get an agent so that I can surf the impending 50s-era resurgence to stardom. I was also accosted by some drunken Russian gangster-types who were convinced that I would like to wager $100 on something. I was never sure on what exactly, but I was able to convince them I had no money and escaped back inside the bar. So yeah, that was $80 well spent!

posted by JMV | 7/18/2005 02:39:00 PM

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  

I Think I Have Run Out of Titles
…And what was up with last week's piss-poor participation (only 8
readers responded)? Was it the questions? The comment hiccups? Are
you guys just bored with this concept?
Well, you get one more week at least:
1) Is there a bigfoot/sasquatch/yeti out there somewhere?
2) What is your favorite cinematic musical number?
3) How do you reward yourself for a job well done?
4) What does what you drive say about you?
5) What are you looking forward to?
6) What is your favorite movie made before 1970? Before 1950?

posted by JMV | 7/13/2005 11:09:00 AM

Sanctuary Gets Makeover in Hollywood
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

This banner was hanging on the church on the corner of Highland and Franklin and I thought it was really funny.

posted by JMV | 7/13/2005 09:33:00 AM

Spectacle at the Bowl
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Probably not what Wagner had in mind.

posted by JMV | 7/13/2005 09:19:00 AM

Tuesday, July 12, 2005  

Mix it Up
Back in high school I used to love making mix tapes for friends and crushes, though I was never really skilled at the art. It was just too much of a pain in the ass. Remember having to time-out all the songs so they would perfectly fill one side of the TDK T90 Metal tape. The digital music revolution changed everything and has made compiling a kick-ass mix almost too easy. On my lunch I sat w/ my iPod and tried to rough out a mix for a special someone and recalled that scene in High Fidelity where the narrator enumerates the “rules” for making a mix tape. Do you have any rules or guidelines when mixing up a batch of CDr? Any tips on how to create a good “flow?” My general guidelines are:
1) Only one track per artist (unless I’m doing some kind of weird theme-disc)
2) I try to strike a balance between singles and album tracks
3) Ideally the disc should span genres and eras
4) It sounds obvious, but keep in mind the intended audience
5) I try to mix in more commonly known songs between blocks of more esoteric stuff
6) Personally, I try to create an “arc” for the disc so it builds towards the last third. (I also attempt to make the last few songs on the disk a “dénouement” that will then lead back into the first song as most of these mixes get listened to several times through.)

posted by JMV | 7/12/2005 10:02:00 AM

Monday, July 11, 2005  

Twilight of the Gods
Yesterday, as part of the long-standing Sunday night Opera at the Hollywood Bowl, The LA Philharmonic was performing the final act of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung opera, and a group of us set out into the Hollywood hills to take in the show (as well as a fair amount of wine and cheese.) The show was certainly good, though I felt kinda out-of-pace among the older crowd and I wasn’t as familiar with the music as I would have liked. I had some issues w/ the whole experience and idea: how does a twenty-something child of MTV and pop-culture take in a show of such gravity w/o being A) pretentious, B) a poser, or C) some low-brow interloper. Thankfully the venue lends its self to casual listening, but I still felt slightly out of place.

My reasons for even going to this show wasn’t to be “cultured” or somehow edified by the performance of 1/20th of a great opera, but rather to celebrate the dawning of summer in LA with friends. Music is magical and the Hollywood Bowl is a fantastic nexus of musical, natural, and communal energy and $20 is a small price to pay for the experience no matter what the performance is. But I couldn’t escape the feeling that the whole endeavor was somehow flawed. I don’t the endeavor of walking to the bowl, eating and laughing, and then taking our seats for the performance was flawed but rather the enterprise of producing such an event seems like a pointless uprising against the tide of lowest-common-denominator media and fast-food nation story telling. How does the performance of the last 80 minutes of a 13-hour operatic epic even begin to convey the artistic intentions of the creator?

As the final act wore-on Brunhilde lit the funeral pyre of her dead husband and a tiny ring of fire was lit on the stage of the Bowl. I began to feel despondent about the veneer of integrity applied to a work we couldn’t hope to fully grasp, and I scoffed at the attempt to gain an modern audiences’ attention with cheep parlor tricks. But then the House of the God was set ablaze and great plumes of flame licked at the night sky from atop the arched shell of the ‘Bowl. Blue stage lights turned on the thousands assembled in the crowd, turning the audience seated on the rising slope of the amphitheater into the wave rushing down the Rhine to claim the cursed ring of power and drown the avaricious Hagen in its purity. Truly a moving moment that was able to transcend culture, media, and time and I can only imagine the impact such a scene would have after three-and-a-half operas worth of story.

And now it feels like summer.

posted by JMV | 7/11/2005 04:53:00 PM

Friday, July 08, 2005  

No Comment
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

posted by JMV | 7/08/2005 12:49:00 PM

Wednesday, July 06, 2005  

Bueller? Bueller?
1) What is a necessity that you loath spending $$$ on?
2) What are some of your favorite Guitar Solos?
3) Downtown, Uptown, Cross-town, or Out-of-town?
4) Do you enjoy going to the cinema or watching movies at home more?
4b) What is your favorite movie-snack?
5) Do you have any OCD-ish behaviors?
6) What are some of your all-time favorite shots (as in cinematic not mixologic.)

posted by JMV | 7/06/2005 10:48:00 AM

Tuesday, July 05, 2005  

I Might Be Wrong

Tuesday means “John Digs.” Deal.
My New Coat I’ve had my eye on this Claiborne neutral-colored pin-striped linen sport-coat for about a month now. I must have tried it on half a dozen times and talked myself out of buying it. But this weekend it was over 50% so I couldn’t say no and I’m very happy to have it now. I was going to get the matching pants too, but the resulting suit was a little too “Banana Plantation” (Julie says drug-lord) for my tastes.

My job What the fuck? Yeah, things have been going better lately as my department ahs had two excellent months, which takes a lot of pressure off from the owner and allows me to focus on developing and implementing new policy. I evidently get-off on that. Day-to-day it can still suck, but overall I’m much happier with where I’m going and I feel like I’m getting more respect from the management. I’m pretty damn freaked out that the most together thing in my life right now is my career. When the fuck did I get a career?

Fat Weasel Pale Ale A Trader Joes house-brand, this Pale-ale is like a malty-er Sierra Nevada, and at $5 a six-pack a helluva bargain. A good easy-drinkin summer brew.

posted by JMV | 7/05/2005 11:33:00 AM

Friday, July 01, 2005  

OctopusHat Photo Caption:
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

So, I'm stealing this idea from Mary. Post captions for this photo in the comments.

posted by JMV | 7/01/2005 11:30:00 AM
Octopus Hat
Pics From Flickr
Other’s Blogs
Me, Elsewhere
Buy John Beer
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com