Archive for November, 2005
Lately I’ve been feeling kind of like my nervous system has been put on one of those medieval torture devices known as The Rack, and ratcheted up just a few notches. There’s sort of this constant slightly raised level of stress permeating my life. It’s mostly to do with the whole condo thing and the realization that it seems like we will never have any money ever again. The monetary freedom we’ve grown accustomed to will have to be greatly reigned in. I’m sure this will settle down a bit once we’re moved in, Jess has a job and we have gone through several months of the new budget and become accustomed to its fit, but it still scares me and stresses me a bit. My mind goes over everything from the necessary (doctor’s appointments, house/car repairs that may come up, etc.) to the leisurely (musical instrument related purchases and maintenance, computer upgrades, FUN).
Then there’s the whole Jess’s job thing which is a separate dilemma altogether. I so want her to work at the same company as I do because it’s a cool place, but the pay sucks. There is always the hope that she would eventually move onto to bigger and better things within the company, but that’s only a hope, and one that probably wouldn’t even have a chance of becoming reality for at least a year (no particular reason other than job loyalty and just a random estimation). She could very well be offered some other jobs more in line with her skills which actually pay real money too. If this situation arises, which route should she take? I honestly don’t know.
Then there’s the constant and ever ongoing saga of my creative pursuits, or more in line with reality, the lack thereof and my ever fading dreams fed by laziness and the worry that I’m entrenching myself more and more firmly into “the big machine.” There are people I know and admire who have done and are doing admirable things with their lives. I am not one of those people. I’m not really in a position where I can or even desire to “pay my dues” any more (I say that, but if the right opportunity just landed in my lap, that might change).
In the words of one of the greatest (and under-appreciated) bands of all time:
“All I want is Everything”
I have decided that Darin Murphy is my arch-nemesis. Who is Darin Murphy? Ahh, where to start.
Darin Murphy is a professional working musician here in Austin. I actually remember him and his sister Trish Murphy playing around College Station many years ago when I lived there. When I first moved to Austin and started trying to do some freelance work with that studio here writing jingles, I quickly found that there was this little clique of artists who get most of the work there. One of these people was Darin Murphy. As time went on, I heard his name (and that of the others in the elite cadre of musicians) more and more. I would hear him performing on the morning radio show. Then I heard about how he had been cast in the Broadway show, “Lennon” and moved to New York temporarily while he was in the show. It was especially noted that he he was the only person cast who had no acting experience at all, but had still impressed people so much and knew some great contacts. As I read his blog it just depressed me that this guy seemed to have it made. He seemed to be my successful twin. There was definitely a kindred spirit thing there too. A familiarity. I didn’t hate him. On the contrary, I felt like we’d probably be great friends and have a lot in common artistically and personally, but he seemed to be somewhat living the life that I so often feel is missing. He seemed like an alternate me who had usurped one of the better time lines that I could have followed leaving me in this time line disconnected and wanting. He is what I could have been.
As I studied up on my nemesis, I found out that he’s also in a cover band called the K-tel Hit Machine. The other members of the band are those same compadres from the Elite Cadre clique whose names seem to keep wafting into my life like a taunt. The band sounded exactly like something I would be a part of or would have started. I heard them on the radio this morning. They were awesome. I hate them.
Darin Murphy has stolen my soul. While he isn’t necessarily living my dream life 100%, he’s living what I see as a most realistic version of what could be a point in my journey to my life’s ultimate destination. He’s like my doppelganger living a version of my life that I’ve yearned for. This is the stuff comic book villains are made of. I don’t really hate him, of course. I envy and respect him, but it’s much more fun to blow it up into some mythical duality where he’s somehow cosmically stolen my life and therefore he is my arch-nemesis. I seem to constantly be taunted by references and allusions to this whole musical league of super heroes, and with each occurrence, the wind is sucked out of my sails.
He lives the life while I do what I’ve always done…dream.
I think the following story is a wonderful indicator of the kind of place I work (that is meant as a compliment as I think the company and the people I work with are a lot of fun).
Today at work a large chunk of the company gathered outside for the McRib challenge 2006. One guy took on the
challenge of trying to eat 10 McRib sandwiches in one hour. Throughout the week emails had circulated laying out the official rules.
I had a moment of extreme amusement today as I stepped outside my normal everyday routine to realize that not many people have jobs which entail them entering the subject “Mutant goo tub is really shiny” or “Crazy rock around goo lake” into a database.
Once again it is time to spread my geeky joy and evangelize!
I recently started using the Logitech G15 keyboard at work. Awesome. First off, I love the feel of the keys. They are just a pleasure to press. A lot of people might dismiss this keyboard because one of the big features is the LCD screen on it, which in my opinion, is just the icing on the cake. The LCD is cool, but it’s not the biggest selling point to me. It normally displays time and date, and can also display CPU and RAM usage if you like. For games that build in support for it, it can also show game relevant information like your characters health, or a mission objective.
Aside from the feel, the coolest thing to me were the “G” keys. 18 keys in 3 groups of 6 on the left side of the keyboard Which can be totally customized to do just about anything you want. you can set them up to open your favorite programs, or even execute macros, which can be very helpful in games or other programs to easily execute pretty much anything that can be done with keystrokes. For example you could program the keys to open various game menus or execute certain powers. Maybe you normally have to type “//godmode on” to enable god mode, but now you could just set up a macro so that if you hit the G1 key it automatically does that. One key press and god mode is on!
While it is touted as a gaming keyboard, these functions could easily be as useful in any of your everyday programs. If 18 keys isn’t enough, there’s actually three different sets of 18 which are selectable with the M1-M3 keys above them for a total of 54. As if that weren’t enough you can also set up profiles which you can switch manually or which will load up automatically with a certain program. For example I have a “City of Heroes” profile which automatically loads up when I’m playing that game and has all the keys and macros I want within that game, but if I switch back to my email program then it either uses the profile for that program or else the default profile if I don’t have a program specific profile.
The keys are all lit from underneath with a blue glow, and it has the usual media dedicated buttons such as play/pause, stop, next/previous track and a volume wheel. Even though there is no ergonomic version of this yet, I will be ditching my ergonomic keyboard at home in favor of this one. It is far too cool. Now that I use it at work, I could never go back.