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social connections form the whole
This entry was cross-posted to cgranade::streams.

Well, folks. It's time. The open-source Metashell project (hosted at Google Code, read the blog) is underway. Sure, it started as a class project, but it is time to try and make something wonderful out of it. I strongly encourage anyone who's interested to go and read about it, and to give it a try. There isn't a snapshot up yet, but the Linux users among you can download MonoDevelop and use it to compile a copy. It can't do too much yet, but it does have enough there to be interesting and to be fun to mess with.
That said, to say that Metashell is rough around the edges is a significant understatement, and it serves to drive the point home that I'm not good at everything. Thus, I do want help. I want someone to write a nice installer and to get it to compile under Windows, for starters. More than anything, though, I want this project to get attention. I think that, even if the project itself isn't that well written, that the ideas behind it are sound, and I hope that developers writing all kinds of software can glean some inspiration from it. If it sounds conceded to write that, it is. I'll admit that much. I can't justify why I feel conceded about it, but I hope that at least my conceit isn't too offensive to anyone, and that you give my work a fair chance.
In short, if you want, it's there to download and play with. The Metashell project has commenced. Spread the word.

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Well, I haven't used this social space in far too long, but what worse time than now? Chinook is dead, and I can't sit in silence about it. I miss her. She was put to sleep today while I sat here and surfed the web, not knowing what was going on some several thousand miles away. Chinook's face.

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Current Mood: mourning

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I have realized that no one service can provide me with what I want. None. Well, not yet anyway. Thus, I am returning to LiveJournal to explore the social side of blogging, while continuing to use Blogger to explore the publishing avenues offered. In addition, I am also adding a degree of spontaneity with my new mobile-phone published photo blog. To complete this transition, I have rebranded my little islands of content, and with them, my very identity.

Introducing:

  • cgranade::projects
    I have ideas. Strange and sometimes wonderful ideas. Here, I maintain an informal scratch pad of some of these ideas.
  • cgranade::mobile
    A nifty facial expression worn by a dear friend, or a bird doing something funny. Life presents spontaneous moments which deserve to be shared. Here, I explore the nature of a spontaneous lifestyle through low-resolution camera phone pictures.
  • cgranade::social
    I am, like most humans, a being of social connections. Here, I explore personal relationships through banality, inside humor and personal news.
  • cgranade::streams
    To quote Network, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore." Here, I explore pressing political issues of the day, as well as how technology interacts with these problems.
I can only hope that you all enjoy this rebranding as much as I do.

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Following the horrible tradition set by this post, inspired by the antics of Caleb (not an LJ user), masstreble, thetakogun, and myself, we present this list of horrible, horrible jokes. Same crew, sans masstreble (he's in another city right now).

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone lit themselves on fire. (Cheyanne Pepper)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and someone shit on the floor. (Shit?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and someone pulled my finger. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and there was a murder, and now everyone's running around the mansion trying to solve it. (Bloody Mary)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone was stoned. (Pot)

It's like there's a party in my mouth but no one showed up. (Plain Cream of Wheat)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and I'm fucking your mom. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and I've got a box of Mardi Gras beads. (Breasts)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and breasts. (masstreble)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, and then I ate it. (Uh... huh. Suuure you did.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, and ... lesbians? (Tuna -- this one is purely thetakogun's)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, then I swallowed it. (thetakogun's idea of a protein shake)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's just there for the snack bar. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and the cops showed up and sent everyone home. (Short bit of flavor - wish I had more)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and then the bard did something stupid. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and the fighter's drunk. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and your mom's the cleric. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and the creepy old guy is hitting on me. (Sour Milk)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and there's this cute wallflower... (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and then I had the clean the place up. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and some guy camped out the stereo and is only playing AC/DC. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth but we're all outta booze. (Virgin $MIXED_DRINK)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and now there's videos of me all over the internet. (WTF?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and I wasn't invited. (Rice Cakes - you hear it crunching, but there's nothing there)

It's like there's a party in my mouth except the aquariam is a bong. (Pot - again)

It's like there's a party in my mouth but who invited all these ravers? (Wintergreen Lifesavers)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone is saying "I'm shuper, thanks for ashking!" (Buried Treasure)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone there has parties in their mouths. (WTF? If we knew, we'd make lots of money...)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and no one's wearing pants. (Don't want to know.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's just watching football. (Potato Chips)

It's like there's a Communist Party in my mouth! (Vodka)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's Mormon. (Coke)

It's like there's a party in my mouth and I had to buy the pizza. (Celery - took more than you got out of it)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but my mom keeps brining in cookies. (?)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but it was a dry one. (Saltines)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, and then I punched someone. (Potatoes)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, and someone brought really horrible beer. (Bad beer)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but we blew out the speakers. (Thai food.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but I got disconnected. Damn lag. (NO CARRIER)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but we're just power leveling. (Protein shake - no, not that kind)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but I lost in the primaries. (Liberman)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but my site got hacked... I mean shut off. And it took a few days to get to me. (A series of tubes.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but my dog's missing. (Korean food)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, and we're not electing Bush. (America.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but I was sent to buy batteries. (Another one I want no knowledge of.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but I've got one more in me. (This post.)

It's like there's a party in my mouth, but I don't give a rat's ass.
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Tired of the lack of functionality with LiveJournal, so am moving to Blogger.
See me at my new home: std::cgranade on Blogger.
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Given the opportunity, Texas will always surprise you. Not often in a nice sense, or the sort of sense which we would even remotely desire. Take this, for instance. Once again, we see two primary themes which I tend to harp upon in this journal:
  1. The security fad which, in reality, does naught for us.
  2. The idea of justice, by which one who has served his or her time may redeem themselves.
With regards to the first, as the article mentions, most sex crimes are perpetrated by an aquaintence or relative of the victim- not by a random stranger. No doubt, the latter does occur, but not with anywhere near the frequency required to justify this kind of arrangement. Furthermore, who is to say that these random strangers are already registered? What if this is their first infringement?
Also, consider the broadness of "sex offender." The term is not so straightforward as it may appear. Under some definitions, walking around one's own house in the nude is enough to be branded with this devastating label. Regardless of one's positions, it is obvious that this is certianally not in the same category of acts such as rape, pedophilia or the like. Rather, its morality is highly debatable. By my upbringing, there is no moral issue with such a thing, but I recognize that some people do not agree. (This explains why I don't walk around their houses in the nude!)
Consider as well, the proven "sex offender" (in quotes since we have not agreed on a definition- let's just pretend we have, and that this guy/gal did something really bad... the whole "dead girl or live boy" syndrome). S/he ostensibly served his/her time to society, as it were, and has been released. Rather than treat them as actual citizens, we treat them as second rate, regardless of any progress they have made. Is their act unforgivable? Probably. Does that mean we should forever seperate them? No... forgiving and advancing are different things. Even then, what about forgiving the unforgivable? For the Christians in the audiance, is this not a central tenent of the teachings of Jesus?
In light of these factors, I must admit with much chagrin that once again, Texas has blindsided me.

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Current Music: Sweep - Running Up That Hill

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The serious quotes:



The not-so-serious quotes:

  • "Target opponent chooses a number. You may have that player lose that much life. If you don’t, that player sacrifices all but that many permanents." - Card text for a black card in MTG.

  • "If this sees print as is, I'm going to pound my forehead against a cement wall until I get a little scab." - Discussion of a Magic card (also black).





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Current Music: Guardian Angel - Juno Reactor

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Very rarely do I make explicit reference to my mundane meatspace life. Thus, I feel justified in breaking this trend occasionally, such as to note one of the more interesting responses to a question from my history professor today. He asked the class why we might want children, to try and illustrate a point about population growth. Many different responses were given, almost none of which answered the question directly, but rather neatly danced round it. One of the responses, however, did, and in a very disturbing manner.

"Because having kids is what life is all about."

Let me paraphrase, then, and extrapolate to the human race: "the human race exists so that the human race might exist." In other words, the human race under this model is a machine which exists for the sole purpose of sustaining and continuing its existance. What purpose our arts, our sciences, our toils? We have no purpose but to propagate, and these are but distractions. Under such a dangerous model as this, there is none of the beautiful selfishness that allows us to educate ourselves, to enrich ourselves, to express ourselves. Individuals are part of a faceless machine, which has one purpose: to exist. Ultimately, then, the question of the meaning of life is answered then.

I don't particularly like this model, so rather than be purely negative, let me elaborate on an alternate model. Rather than live so as to propagate life, live so as to fulfil your own desires, and so as to enable others to do so as well. Then, the rearing of children becomes about allowing the maximum number of people to reach fulfilment. Of course, this idea might lead to overpopulation (have lots of kids! maximize fulfilment!) if naively applied, so let me delve a small bit farther. If we accept that overpopulation is a threat, then the logical course of action in order to maximize opportunity is to maintain a sustainable world, thus allowing for a lower population level for a much longer period. Thus, more people will have been born, though less will exist at any one time.

With this alternate model is rescued the opportunity for one to define one's own purpose, or even to have a purpose. Selfishness has been restored, and in such a way as to allow human expression to once again be returned to us. What meaning, life? To give life meaning. In the process of giving life meaning, our arts and works are allowed to exist; our thoughts and feelings become signifigant.

Go now, and give live meaning.


This is the second article in the series, What Meaning.
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What defines a neoconservative? Largely a seperation from the conservative ideals of, oh, say, conserving tradition, and a focus on fundamentalist "resotration," or "morality." But we cannot expect that the conservative movement is the only movement to suffer such a betrayal, or such an incursion. Contrary to this expectation, however, I do not tend to observe the fundamentalist incursion into many other American political movements. That is, at least, until now. As of late, the likes of Lew Rockwell and Gary North, who seem to be in the habit of attempting to co-opt the libertarian movement for Christian Reconstruction ends. By Christian Reconstruction, I mean the building of a "Christian" nation a la Marget Atwood's Handmaid's Tale (no referral- I don't get money from that link). If this seems scary, well, it is. Especially when you consider the methods that Gary North applies towards his ends. It is surely no accident that the writings of Rockwell and North are both littered with traditionally libertarian quotes such as "taxpayer funded compulsory education," or traditionally libertarian stances such as "anti-state, pro-market." To call them libertarians, however, would be a travesty, as it would elevate them and their "causes" to the level of legitimacy, and as it would tarnish the idea of libertarianism. These sick individuals are not at all libertarians- they sell libertarianism to you in exchange for cooperation in the creation of a Christian state the Draconian likes of which have not been seen since the Dark Ages. Don't be fooled by their promises of liberty. Freedom is their enemy, as that would imply that there is something outside of the 613 Laws of Moses. At any rate, the discovery of this pseudolibertarian (call it plib for short) movement is worrysome in that it may reveal a deeper and broader trend of fundamentalist incursions into every walk of life. Under assult from fundamentalists, will liberalism, environmentalism or any other movement survive? I strongly desire that this be only the paranoid ranting of yet another ignorant blogger, but I cannot help but worry about the spread of fundamentalism. When both sides of a debate are fundamentalist, what meaning has debate, logic, or rational thought?

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Occassionally, I am just plain damn wrong. Way the hell, outta-left-field wrong. At such times, I must reevaluate myself and my positions. Well, such a time has come again. Maybe the Nine Inch Nails don't suck as much as I thought.

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Current Music: Bjork - All is Full of Love

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