Tuesday, March 29, 2005

interactions with nature (and Formac)


jess and I just got back from a stroll through the dessert. for her spring break we took a trip through Anza Borrego and Joshua tree, and on the way back stopped in LA to see my cousin and visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

We had heard tell of how spectacular the desert wildflowers were this year. to be frank, there's only so much time that I can look a wildflowers and be impressed. There certainly were a lot of them, but i felt like a bored tourist. Anza Borrego particularly just didn't have that "spectacular" feel to it. the terrain didn't provoke GLORY in me for some reason. Joshua Tree was nicer. in some places the flowers were so dense that it really did bathe an area in color. That was nice. But nicer still was the backdrop of the Joshua Tree terrain. The rock formations there are just so impressive. I kept dreaming of playing among the rocks like i did when i was a kid.

That bit was kinda depressing, because i don't really have that relationship with boulders anymore. I see a clump of boulders that might form a nice little hiding spot underneath them, but i no longer have the desire (like i did when I was little), to climb into every nook and explore it fully. hiking is cool, but honestly, this trip i feel like i was missing some of that primal connection to nature. I guess there's no surprise in that. I spend most of my time in front of this infernal contraption. I felt like i needed more of a sense of purpose in my interactions. Surfing is a much better nature interaction for me. sunsets too. but desert wildflowers didn't do it for me. Sad. where is my sense of wonder these days?

I got more into the Museum of Jurassic Technology. mind games hold my attention better, it seems, than Creation with a capital "C".


On my return to Santa Cruz, my computer had been repaired from the damage caused by the STUDIO TVR put out by Formac. A warning - If my experience is anything to judge by, don't use the StudioTVR. Twice it had a power supply problem, back-coupled, and burned out my firewire ports. I went through 2 Logic boards that way. It sucked. Formac's customer support is also terrible. They owe me a week of work and 2x repair costs. It also burned out connected firewire drives (the disks were fine but the ports were dead).

Diagnostics on firewire ports, tho they may be considered "mind games" do not hold my interest even as much as wildflowers. Nor does Formac provoke GLORY in any sense.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

GUR rewrite has begun anew

Alicia and I have started reworking the GUR re-write again, but it's gotta happen fast, cuz she's gonna be heading to Mexico soon (probably). Here's a hurrah for giving another go at finishing that thing.


project with Joe Uhl

a couple of months ago, Joe Uhl (my Detroit friend who I met in China), called me with a video idea. the video is made in short one-minute chapters, each successive addition by a different person. The video forms itself out of the interpretations each successive artist makes of what has gone before. It's a video version of the storytelling game where each person adds a sentence to a story.

Joe asked me to kick it off, so i gave it a shot. I probably tried to pack too much into one minute, but there you go. I'll try and be more simple next time it comes back to me.

props to joe. he rocks my world and kicks my ass into gear. a very encouraging man to know.


also, here's a link to the news story that part of the video came from.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Amazing Race

my mom loves the show "the Amazing Race", and wanted to try to get on the family version of it, so my sister shot some video last weekend and they sent it to me to edit a short entry...

Friday, March 04, 2005

my T-shirt - and SPRINT sucks.

i found this T-shirt in the bottom of my drawer today, and remembered how shocked I was when I found it at Council for the Blind. Thought I'd share:

That's all really.


Oh yeah, and I just thought I'd put a shout-out to Sprint cellular, for making Jessica cry. Their billing department decided to sic a collections agency on her for a $150 fee they've waived 5 times, in 5 consecutive months.

Each month since she cancelled service (and they waived the cancellation fee because her new address doesn't have sprint service), they have billed her $150. And each month she calls and has a long conversation with "customer support", and they assure her it will be cancelled out on the next bill.

the next month, the same $150 is still there. then she gets contacted by a collections agency for delinquency. She ended up spending a good part of a day on the phone with them. each time she was close to talking with an collections accounting supervisor, the line would be disconnected.

This is a prime example of the new "support" paradigm where more profitable customers get ranked for preferential customer support, and less profitable customers get shafted. In her case they're clearly walking a thin line as they can to try to squeeze a dime. Since she's no longer a customer, it doesn't serve them to resolve her case, and I'm sure some customers will cough up money they don't owe when threatened by a collections agency. We just happen to be broke, so we can't do that so easy. the last time the line was disconnected she ended up in tears.

I can just picture a service strategist in a back room thinking, "okay, so we'll string them out for 5 months, and disconnect them 5 times, because that's not quite enough frustration to sue us for psychological distress, but it is enough to get a lot of people to give up on it and just cough up cash they don't owe. People who call back for 5 months, and 6 times in one day are just plain persistent, and we should give them what they want because they might eventually take it to court."

It's strategic bad service and legal risk management wrapped into one evil burrito. In my mind, Sprint was criminally delinquent with her account, and if we'd treated them the same way they'd treated us, we'd surely be having legal troubles right about now.

I think she should bill them for her time.