Apple was closed over the holidays, and I stayed in San Francisco. I spent the time relaxing, reading, and hiking. It was great.
For Christmas, my brother got me this great Chinese Revolutionary opera from the Mao days. For whatever reason, it is in English. There are great painted pictures in the front that look like nothing from the West. There's a little bit of the classic revolutionary propaganda look to it as well. The thing that is the linchpin is that it is called "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy." This is the same name as one of the classic Brian Eno albums of the early 1970s.
Shoot, it's happened again. I have new computer lust. I really like the new 12" Powerbook Apple has just released. It's super small, powerful, and feels completely solid. The only thing I wish it had was DVI output. If it had one, I'd get it with a huge Cinema display for working at home.
The team I'm on at Apple has declared the latest work we're doing a Beta release. It's a great thing. Now the team just has bugs to fix!
I updated the program that generates this web site to build with the latest Project Builder tools. In addition I fixed some broken generated links in the dates and the home page throughout the site. I also added a link icon that will show up with the page in Apple's new Safari web browser. #
So I went on the web to read about this year's NoisePop festival. It's like South by Southwest in Austin, but much smaller. Anyway, I couldn't believe what I saw. Check out the web site, and then look back at the top right corner on this page. Coincidence? I'm not sure. I sent them an email, and asked for a free pass. They declined. Anyway, it looks like I can be considered as more than just an artist with the java code. I'm an artist with the 8 bits and the shapes as well!
More Internet fun. So I was a little bored at work (I had builds going on two machines at once) so I Googled for 'bolsinga' again. I found a link I hadn't seen before. I had completely forgotten about hearing about this story when I visited my brother in Korea. It happened the first time Mike went to China. All he had when I visited was the newspaper but it was all in Chinese. Strangely enough he had just found the web page the day before I had. He had never been able to read the article before. He told me he was glad they weren't making fun of him.
There's a radio station I like to listen to while driving in the car when the iPod or NPR isn't on. It's called the Bone. They play 70s and 80s hard rock or heavy metal music. They play lots of Zepplin, Ozzy, and AC/DC. Turn it on, and you rock. Anyway I'm listening the other day and they have a commercial for the radio station that has telephone calls of listeners asking if the Bone will be covering the Iraq war, should it happen. The announcer nicely informed us that they would break into anything they had going on and that they were a member of the Associated Press. They will be able to play their feed, I suppose. This whole exchange simply struck me was terribly odd. Would someone really keep listening to the Bone for news if there was a war going on? I'd sure like to meet that person. In addition, the Bone is all about escape to me. It sounds like 1986, and for a bit you're just rocking. Nothing else matters. So I hope the Bone keeps the rock going if there's a war going on. I'm not turing to the Bone for up to date war news. On the contrary I'm 100% certain I'll need an escape from the non-stop coverage on TV that will not have any new information for hours at a time, and in between keep re-iterating and re-playing the most horrific images they have from the previous few hours.
Yesterday was an interesting day. The war protest was going on here in San Francisco. I didn't go because I think I'm still disillusioned with the last war protest I went to about 12 years ago. However I think that this time they may have made a point. So there were about 2 planes and 4 helicopters covering the march and rally. I couldn't see the people, but from my view in my apartment, I could see the tops of the buildings all the marches and protesters could see. I also heard helicopters for about 7 hours. Oh, I also saw a falcon and some strange blue jay that wasn't a Blue Jay right outside my window. It was a real falcon too!
Latest interesting rock music on TV commercials sightings: The Stooges' "T.V. Eye" on a Nissan ad. I had read somewhere that "T.V. Eye" means (excuse the vulgarness, but it is the Stooges after all) "twat vibe". I'll let you all fill in the blanks. The other ones is a Toyota Camry ad with what has to be Jon Spencer screaming, but I can't prove it. #
There's going to be a big change in my life soon. I'm not going to say what it is so that I don't jinx it, even though that's close to impossible to do at this point.
With all that is going on in politics, international relations, the environment, and the economy lately, I really find it hard to understand why there is so little forward looking & positive ideas being discussed. All I hear about are externally focused problems that somehow aren't our own. Here's what I'd like to hear. Since many problems today seem to generally focus around where energy comes from and how it is obtained, wouldn't it make sense to fund research into alternative energy? If there were money spent on research, it could potentially revive the technology business sector, reduce the dependence on unreliable foreign sources of energy, reduce damage to the environment, and even create entirely new markets. Just think of the possibilities. After all, this is a country that figured out how to get to the moon 8 years after setting it as a goal. I find it unlikely that this country cannot reach an equally amazing accomplishment with something from which even more people can benefit. That's the kind of thing that makes this place so great, not alienating everyone else.
Oh, and The Flaming Lips won a Grammy. Somehow this seems worth noting. #
So the news from last time is that I bought a condo in San Francisco. I moved in on April 1. It's near Church & Market. I'm close to the Mission and to the Castro. It's a little bigger than my last apartment. It has a patio so Chip can get out in a breeze with no roof over his head and the sun in his eyes. The Muni is right in front on Church Street, but it isn't as noticeable as that may seem. You'll hear it if you're sitting alone, but otherwise I don't really notice it. I'm not all the way moved in yet. Check out the pictures link to see some outside pictures.
I went to Austin for a wedding. It was great to see the friends and the weather was great. I got to go swimming in the creek again.
Latest TV advertisement: Coke "Real" ad with a fake band singing "really real real" really real real. #
Here's a super cool feature in Safari Public Beta 2 (aka Safari-73). If you control click (or right click if you have a two button mouse), there's a pop up for "Google Search". You select some text on any web page, control click and then you get a Google result! This is excellent. How many times have you copied something from a web page, gone to Google, and then pasted into the Google search field? Now it's a one step process. Excellent stuff.
The new iTunes 4 and the Apple Music store are incredible. At Apple, there's a lot of people with iTunes, of course. And in iTunes 4, you can share your music with other people on the local network. So you can play other people's music. It's fun to go through their catalogs and play something you haven't heard, or haven't heard in a long time. I particularly like to find music that I love to hate and play that. I've had no trouble doing this at work either!
I like to go by G. Bo nowadays. #
It's pretty cool. I just updated a graphics program I wrote 11 years ago! It now works on my Cube running Mac OS X. I originally wrote the program while I was a senior at the University of Illinois. It was written in SGI's Iris GL, which is the precursor to OpenGL. OpenGL is implemented on nearly every computer today, even cellphones have it according to the website. Thankfully for me, my program from 1992 was relatively simple. This made it easy to port to OpenGL. I originally developed it on big expensive SGI machines. It now runs so fast on my 3 year old Cube that I have to throttle it down so that it displays reasonably! There is no doubt that the machine on my desktop is more powerful than the crazy powerful machines I benefited from using in college. It is pretty cool, alright. #
Here's what I did today. I got up at 7 AM and ran 7 miles across San Francisco in the Bay To Breakers race. It was an absolutely beautiful, sunny, and 67 degree day. This is the oddest and largest race you've ever seen. There's about 60 to 70 thousand people. Many are wearing outrageous costumes and pushing and drinking from beer kegs along the way. Some even forgo clothing and the resulting chafing altogether, attracting amateur photographers galore while they run in the buff. Unfortunately in my experience, there's absolutely no one running in the buff that you'd like to see running in the buff. I made it to the end in about an hour and 20 minutes; that's about a 12 minute mile. Not too bad considering I walked for nearly the first two miles. There were just too many people at the beginning to run at a decent pace. I got home about 11 AM, and I relaxed and read the Sunday paper. After that I went to nearby Dolores Park to have a bite to eat, sit in the sun, and read some more. At the very same time, the park was hosting a Tranny Picnic. This increased the already significant freak factor by 15 points. As a bonus, while walking though the park I apparently heard the unique sounds of the only transsexual choir in the United States. Soon I found a spot away from the picnic up the hill where I could check out one of the better views of downtown and the hills beyond Oakland. It was beautiful and inspiring, even without the attractive lesbian couple making out in the grass nearby. It was also mildly entertaining to watch some gay guys try to get a kite out of a palm tree. Then I came home and spent a half hour in the hot tub at my condo complex to relax my bones. This was a very memorable day. #
My view at my new place is nice, but not as big as the view at my last apartment. I can see Twin Peaks from here. One thing that's funny is that at night I can occasionally see flashes from people taking pictures of the view. I wonder how good those pictures look.
I felt my second earthquake while living in California the other day. I guess it was actually an aftershock of one out of Santa Rosa. I didn't feel the original incident. I was laying on the couch and the whole place started shaking side to side. There's been quite a few earthquakes during the last week around the world. I wonder what that means, if anything.
Here's a thought. Wouldn't it be great if there was political undo, like in a word processor? #
The way I see it, last week's Microsoft and AOL Time Warner settlement is a power play to control the pipes in the future. More and more data will be coming digitally, and apparently their idea is that AOL will provide it using Microsoft's technology. Let's hear it for lock in. The toll booths are being built to get access to this data, and I don't see the everyone asking why. If I were a content creator, I wouldn't want these two companies controlling access to my data. What is their interest in keeping some data accessible if it isn't agreeable to their company's bottom line? What about the future of my data? What if, by using undocumented proprietary data formats, some day it suddenly becomes more expensive for someone to access my data? Remember Microsoft wants to start charging the equivalent of rent to use their software. Do I want people to pay Microsoft to access my data? If I were a content creator thinking of the long term viability of my content, I would consider the possibility of someone down the line being unable to access my content due to conflicting corporate priorities. However if I used an open data format for my content, this all is a non issue. These companies are agreeing that they will split the toll to access my data, and it has been sanctioned by a court. I can't see anyone who provides data in any manner agreeing with this potential outcome.
One of my least favorite words is "rhythm". I never know how to spell it, even after, what, 25 years of knowing these kinds of things. #
What would you if you had a helicopter? Avoid traffic? Rent it out to paparazzi? Film war protesters for 18 hours straight? Or would you do something like this? Californiacoastline.org is simply the most impressive web site I've ever seen. It's fascinating. I could spend hours looking through it. It shows me something that I've seen before in a way I've never seen it before. If that isn't the definition of amazing, I don't know what is. This is art and science and obsessiveness combined. #
Ah. Another WWDC has passed. I did two demos on stage this year. I think one went well, and in the second I felt like I rushed through it too much. What will be fun is that they will be on DVD (via QuickTime) and translated to Japanese. I can't wait to hear that. I don't think they will be available for everyone to see, but I'll see what I can do.
It was a crazy week in other ways. It was 96 degrees in San Francisco. That simply does not compute. I didn't go to Cupertino but one night, for the traditional beer bash. I went out fairly often as well. #
I got to see the QuickTime video of one of my presentations from WWDC. Thankfully it's not nearly as horrible as I feared. It's even good, if I do say so myself. It wasn't in Japanese yet, however. I'll have to see if I can get these clips up on this website.
My dad made a web-page with pictures that he took! I'm so happy. Now I just need to get my Mom and my brother going, and the Bolsinga's will be a web publishing power house.
"Nobody has the time to be vulnerable to each other." - free spirit Chet, from the movie "Faces". #
So for the last couple of years, Chip has been having a problem that is typical for older male cats. He has urinary tract problems. Usually they last for a week. When I've brought him to the veterinarian in the past when these occur, I've been told it is something that not much can be done about. So the other Friday, Chip was fine when I woke up. About an hour later when I left for work, he wasn't very happy. When I got home from work later that day, he was even worse. He was hissing at me, and howling. This is not what Chip does. So I took him to the vet, and he had stayed there overnight for 3 nights. It was very hard to get used to not having him around. There's only been one other night since I got him 7 years ago that I've been home without him here. He's home now, and acts like nothing happened. The power of a small brain.
While I was running the other weekend on the beach, I came across a beached whale. Apparently it was a 41 foot, 5 ton Baird's Beaked Whale. It had shark bites. It reeked like nothing else I've ever experienced. I found a website dedicated to the whale. It's a little hokey, but it gathered all the news reports in one place. #
The last few weeks have been warmer than usual here. Admittedly, that means all of 85 to 90, but hey, that's why I live here. The ocean is still about 58. I've jumped in 3 times in the last week or so. It's invigorating and refreshing. I don't swim, I just get all wet to cool off.
I went to Chicago for a wedding for John and Becky. It was a great time in Rockford. During the weekend I saw 2 people I haven't seen in about 12 years or more. It was quite nice. Because of one of these, I've been emailing a friend who lived in the same dorm as I did in 1988.
Chip was back in the hospital. He had some surgery, and he's home again. He's just about recovered. Let's hope it lasts. #
Quite a bit has happened since I last updated with a full update. At the end of September, I went to visit my friend Kate, who lives in Nashville. We went to honky tonks and had a fun time. Nashville reminds me of Austin in some ways. I think it was the wooded hills.
My brother Mike came to San Francisco for another visit at the beginning of October. What makes it really strange is we spent most of our time drinking beer and cheering for the Cubs in the baseball playoffs. Well, we had no luck this year (and wild card in baseball are a complete travesty of justice, but what do I know), but here's hoping for next year.
Panther came out at the end of October. It's a good release but there was a screw up for some people who did update installs from Jaguar. It's unfortunate because java is quite strong on Panther. In the month between when the java team was finished with Panther and when it actually came out, I did a lot of the work to bring 1.4.2 up on Panther. I had it working before Panther even came out, actually! I don't know when 1.4.2 will be available for everyone, but there are developer releases out for it now.
Kate came out to visit San Francisco in late October. It was her first time here, and it was unusual. It was in the 90s, clear as can possibly be, and dry. The Santa Ana winds were in full effect. The same thing was going on in southern California at the time to a much more perilous effect. Everyone who met her and learned this was her first time here told her that this was absolutely not what San Francisco was like. So I took her on some of the touristy (but fun) things here in town. We also saw Sean Penn at a local watering hole.
I'm now 33. I was in Texas for a wedding when that happened. My old friends Marc and Ellen got married. I was the best man. I think I did a good job. I limited myself to only embarrassing myself outside of the actual wedding.
So I live in a neighborhood that has plenty of gay guys, even for San Francisco. I've never felt comfortable of how I tell my gay neighbors I'm not gay. I don't date much, so it isn't obvious on the face of things, so this is actually an issue for me. It doesn't bug me at all if someone is mistaken that I'm gay, but it bothers me that others may think that when I don't protest their assumption that I'm gay, that I'm being untruthful. But then I don't want to be the ass that says "Oh, I'm not gay" all of the time. So, when I got back from the wedding my neighbor Olivier who took care of my cat decided to ask me, "So you like women, don't you?" I said, "Yes, my secret is now out." My experience with Olivier tells me that no one in the building will now think I'm gay. At least that is over.
Another celebrity sighting was Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol fame) in Union Square with a camera crew. Apparently he has a new show coming out in January. He also appears to be quite short. #
I'm going to Chicago next week for a little Christmas trip. Unfortunately I won't have any gifts for my family. I ordered them about a month ago online. I then kept track with the seller online, and on the Friday before Christmas they were going to ship so that they could get to me in time for the holidays. That very morning I asked if they would send me the tracking number, and they agreed. Then that afternoon I get an email from UPS saying my order would ship December 30. I call up the seller, and after some confusion, they apologize for not sending my stuff express. All I get is the shipping knocked off the price. I'm bummed.
For a short time I saw a link on Google to my site from some web site. My link is no longer there, nor in the Google cache. However it did say "Nice and compulsive: Greg Bolsinga's show listings." I don't know who this person is nor how they found me, but it's interesting to see nevertheless.
I saw Steve Albini on VH1 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock talking about Cheap Trick. Pretty surreal, really.
It looks like I have to update the program that creates this website again. It doesn't render URL's in the show reviews properly, but it does in these comments. That's a little odd, and I'm surprised I haven't noticed it before.
I haven't been called a poseur for years. I must be doing something right. #
The problem with URL's in the show reviews has been fixed.
I also found another site linking to me. They call me a "SF blogger." I checked on Google to see how he found me. If you search for a particular band, you'll get my site as the first hit, and it's a bad review of that band's show. Oh well. The real world is harsh. That site also quotes my entire entry verbatim. You think they'd at least drop me a line to let me know about it.
Is this website a blog? It dates from 1998, and I didn't call it a blog then. It's just my website. I don't think it's a blog. #