Evil Twin


1: the IRS says hi.
So about a week ago our mail carrier dropped us off two little pink slips of paper, one for each of us, saying that we had certified mail awaiting our leisure at the post office.
From the IRS.
Now I don't know if you've ever received a letter from the IRS but I haven't, at least not one I've had to sign for, so my brain is going into overdrive trying to figure out what could be going on. What does getting audited mean, how much does it suck, etc etc. We had trouble actually getting to the post office when it was open, so for about a week my brain was idly angsting about these letters and what they'll mean.
Meg manages to pick them up, they're two big fat envelopes stuffed with papers. Didn't bode well. We pop them open and start decoding the bureaucratic nonsense. Eventually I manage to discover that all of this was because we owe them $0.17.
Yup. Seventeen cents.
I can't imagine how much they spent on those letters between time spent creating and collating, material costs, and two certified mailings, but I'm fairly confident that it adds up to an order of magnitude (or two) more than seventeen cents.

2: car shenanigans.
A brief history of the last few months: new shocks all around that required a cutting torch to remove the old ones, New tires purchased online after nearly skidding off a highway on-ramp in the rain, and at least two separate obnoxious noises noted.
I took the car to the garage next to work yesterday to get the tires installed, one of the noises fixed (since I know what it is) and the other noise investigated. I don't hear from them until about 2pm when I get a call from the mechanic over there.
"Hey, so that noise is because your ball joints are pretty much gone. I can't get parts for it until tomorrow. Were you... planning on driving this home tonight?"
"Yeah, I was going to..."
"Ah. Well...drive, uh, VERY carefully, ok?"
Now when a mechanic tells me that with that particular tone of voice, I take that shit seriously. I grabbed a ride home with a co-worker and left the car at work. Got it fixed today for lots of money. Whee.
On my way home it was great at first, but quickly started making a terrible metal on metal noise, loud enough that it startled a few bikers and was turning heads all through Somerville.
Get home, pop it up on ramps, check it out, and discover that it was just the dust shield rubbing on the rotor. Bend it out of the way and Bob's your uncle. (Which he is actually. Mine that is.)

Good times.

(Thought I had a third story but it's not coming to me. Later I guess.)
Evil Twin


Since I was about 16 I've wanted a music related tattoo at some point. I even have a pretty set idea of what it should be, though I'm not quite sure what the line style should be. Today for the first time I've gotten the desire for a different piece... inspired by this video. (Trigger warning, visual drug references.) Not going to post details of my thinking yet, but there's something swirling there.

In doing a bit of research I stumbled across this guy's ink, which is possibly the sweetest backstory and most awesomely music nerdly ink I've seen: Paul J. Hermann.
So very cool.
  • Current Music
    Laidback Luke and Robin S.
Evil Twin

(no subject)

My profession, in #upgoer5:

People's computers and other things break, I fix them. Then I teach the people how to fix it themselves. Then I try to make it so they don't break. Then I try to look at the big picture and make all the things work better and faster.
Evil Twin

(no subject)

This is amusing the hell out of me today.

Just sharing, commentary welcome if you want to strike up a conversation.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
Evil Twin

(no subject)

So... who's free tonight?
And wants to help me hang sheetrock in my kitchen?

Free chili and beer... or i'll order pizza if you're a veggie. :)
Evil Twin

(no subject)

Anyone available to lend me some hands Thursday night, late?
Like, 10pm-midnight or later?
Payment in awesome karma and all the free beer you can drink...?

(Moving some servers, no super-heavy lifting but certainly some carrying of stuff and awkward shoving-things-through-ceiling-tiles.)

all set!
  • Current Mood
    hopeful hopeful

(no subject)

(x-post with G+)

And now a bit of audio geekery...
Since I spend the better part of 8+ hours a day with my headphones on I figured it was about time I took my audio sources a bit more seriously.
Awhile back I scored a good deal on a set of Grado SR125 headphones. LOVE them. Best sounding audio purchase I've ever made.

I built a headphone amp to drive them (a gainclone) which worked well but ate 9v batteries like candy. Once I realized I was even burning through rechargeable 9v's at an unsustainable rate I decided to just get a desktop headphone amp instead. Enter Fiio E9 amp, which sounds 99.9% as good as my gainclone did, (I think it has a hair less bass oomph but that could be listener bias; hard to A/B them) and doesn't burn batteries. yay!

This config really made it apparent how lossy even Pandora's "high quality" option sounds. The compression they put on it for streaming really became apparent. I still use it for music discovery but I'm moving more and more towards listening to high quality source files. (Thank $DIETY most online services are offering 320kbps mp3 or lossless files these days... bandcamp wins with FLAC.)

The last hardware step would be a standalone DAC to do my digital->analog conversion, but I haven't been able to justify the $100ish it would run for a worthwhile one.

Anyway, on to the point of this ramble.

I just A/Bed a new piece of software against Winamp, my longtime friend. And winamp lost, handily.
JRiver (who I stumbled across randomly this morning) makes a very audiogeek friendly media center which does everything and the kitchen sink. (WAN streaming? sure. DVD archive and playback? Why not.) It's $50. Bleh. BUT! They also make a free product for audio only with all the core functionality for playback. WIN!
Supports direct hardware playback if you don't mind locking up your audio hardware (no system beeps will make it through), but even just through the DirectSound conduit it still sounds better than my old warhorse Winamp.

Thus I can happily recommend JRiver Jukebox ( http://www.jriver.com/mj/ ) for all your audio playback needs.
It really whips the llama's ass.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm