Thursday, June 30, 2005

let them study your brain

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

MIT is doing a study on blogs and blog authors.

Click the image if you want to take the survey.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 is not for sale

People register weird domain names. Sometimes I stumble across them looking for other things, like I'm sure most people do.

Sometimes they're just sites with dumb names that actually have a purpose. Fine. Whatever.

But, I'm facinated by the sites that have dumb names and then have no purpose.

For instance, Ilia likes to dance to poorly looped music. More power to him. But, what the hell is this site? (Note: if you're a fan of complete and utter cacophony, watch his flash movie and when it prompts you to play it again, do so. Repeatedly. It's pretty special. I sat listening for a few minutes to see just how much I could take.)

There's the classic It's funny. But, there's still no point to it.

Um, poses a pretty poignant question.

I'm a little concerned by the warning given at It claims that "the countdown has begun." Problem is, I dunno what countdown, nor does it display the countdown. Did the countdown already end? Is it still going on? Tell me,!

Is it this one?

Monday, June 27, 2005

some of my finest work

Last night, I was telling Amanda a bedtime story as I am often fond of doing. I ended up writing what might be my best and most succinct work to date. I call it The Ballad of Possum Canyon.

The Ballad of Possum Canyon
by Jesse Harlin

It was the end.


I rule. Dear Association for Library Service to Children, you may send me my Caldecott Medal care of LucasArts in San Francisco, CA.

Friday, June 24, 2005

wild and wacky weekend plans

Tomorrow we get two things:

1.) Cable. Hello, TV. Hello, Internet. One of the things Amanda and I were really looking forward to in our new place was quiet. Guess what we learned? Quiet is really freakin' quiet. ; ) It'll be nice to have a little noise all up ons instead of just the sound of boxes unpacking.

2.) Games. I'm hooking up the entertainment center and dusting off Metal Gear Solid 3. The freakin' The End boss (note: note the End Boss, but a boss called "The End") sniped my heinie from here to Peoria last time I tried to fight him. My plan is to do some laundry and brush up on my Solid Snake skills at the same time.

So, that's my Saturday plan. Sunday we're heading over to Amanda's old apartment to clear it out and clean it up. And on top of all of that, we might see Batman Begins this weekend. ^_^ <--- obligitory cooler-than-thou anime emoticon

Thursday, June 23, 2005

tying one on

I hate tying my shoes. Hate it. If it were socially acceptible for anyone under the age of 80 to wear velcro, I would. Mainly it all stems from my extreme disgust for knotting and unknotting shoelaces. Over the years, I've tried numerous ways around it.

- Slipping my shoes on while still tied (result: painful, ruined the heels of the shoe)
- Checkerboard Lacing (result: loose fit, annoying loose ends of the laces)
- Velcro (result: bliss mixed with a decline in social standing)
- Flip flops (nope)
- Sandals (see: Velcro above)

Anyway, I got some Blackspot Sneakers from by brother as a christmas present and I love them. I love their look. I love their comfort. I love their concept and ideology.

But I swear ... I hate their freakin' laces. Every day, I grumble about having to tie them.

But not anymore! (Cue Ronco music) Amanda taught me how to tie my shoes with The Fireman's Knot. A quick googling of the name turns up only some kind of Boy Scout knot used to rescue people from mountains or some such crap. Anyway, that knot is totally useless.

The one that Amanda taught me, however, rocks my world like a hurricane. No longer do I find myself nawing on my knotted shoelaces like some kind of animal in a pathetic attempt to untie them without fingernails. It's just so freakin' great!

I was going to try and give instructions on how to tie it, but you know what? It's really difficult to try and describe how to tie a shoe.

For example:

"1. Take one lace in each of your hands. Cross them, then loop one under the other as is the normal way to begin tying shoes."

Now, maybe I'm just bad at describing it, but I'm giving up and I'll have to just travel the country showing people how to tie it and spreading the gospel. Next time you see me, if you care, ask me and I'll show you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

picture pages, picture pages ...

Google's image search is really interesting. Not only because of what it does. Yeah, it's neat that it can find you pics quickly all over the web; but what I love about it are the strange things that come up in searches that seemingly have nothing to do with what your search term was. Particularly, I love the phenomenon that certain terms end up inadvertantly completely insulting random people.

To illustrate the point, I tossed some insulting terms into the search bar. Here's what we came up with:

This poor guy came up with the word "moron."

This kid's parents probably wouldn't be too happy to know their kid comes up when you search for the word "tackiest."

This rock musician pops up with a seach for "hideous."

These poor Russian musicians are somehow tagged with the word "pathetic." They look like a happy bunch to me, though.

This one was my favorite. Very strangely, this picture of a meeting being held in Hong Kong at a Tokyo university pops up with a search for the racial slur "honkey."

Monday, June 20, 2005

home sweet homes

It's amazing how much life changes over time. This weekend we moved into our new place. For the full report, check out Amanda's blog. Anyway, new apartment = new commute. I started to get curious and decided to check out Google Maps to see all of the different places I've lived and what they look like from the air. I suppose its like googling your friends and family, only this time it's with your own house.

What I found interesting about it is how much everything looks the same. Here's a composite of every place I've ever lived. It includes 2 different states, 2 different countries, 4 different major metropolitan areas ... and yet everything just looks like a big concrete mush from space. Well, everything except for rural Pennsylvania.


But, for the most part, even though these things were taken from all over the world, they pretty much look as though they could have all come from within the same town.

So much for wanting to get out, see the world, and experience its diversity. ; )

Thursday, June 16, 2005

the joyous noise of Joyous Noise

Today was gobbled up by a bunch of work related moving stuff. Tonight will be gobbled up by a bunch of apartment related moving stuff. As will tomorrow and all of this weekend.

While working in my office this afternoon, I had a nice rare opportunity to just listen to some new music. I've packed up all of my CDs and moved them back home, so I found myself needing to find something that I could listen to online.

Because of our firewall, I have a very hard time streaming things off of the Internet. 9 times out of 10, it won't work. So, I was very happy to find Joyous Noise Radio.

Their streaming radio worked, for whatever reason, and was just what I was looking for: absolutely nothing I knew but not something pop or classical related.

Enter Joyous Noise Radio, a radio station devoted entirely to didgeridoo artists. I got to record some really great didgeridoo stuff for Republic Commando with a local artist known as Ben Hayes. We had Ben improv performances on 5 different didgeridoos in 5 different keys and I then cut them up, looped pieces, etc. and wrote around them so that they sounded like they were played specifically for the tracks they occur in.

Anyway, didgeridoo=good and I'm totally loving listening to Joyous Noise. Just wanted to offer everyone else the chance to check out this incredible instrument if you hadn't really ever heard one before.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

little ol' me


My dad sent me this picture. I thought it was interesting. It's what I largely remember from my childhood. If I had to distill my childhood into three activities it'd be:

1. Playing with blocks/action figures
2. Riding my bike
3. Hiking in "The Woods" next to my house

Big shout out to Logray, Pando Baba, Zuckuss (and yes, the link takes you to the photo archive for '4-LOM' 'cuz I'm just that nerdy), Chewbacca, and the Rebel Commando for sitting so nice and still with me for this photo all those many years ago. Sorry I smashed you all of you guys with a hammer when I turned 13.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

i'm onto you, bucko ...

When I was looking for links for the Clear Channel/FCC post below, I found this site called Petition Online. Basically, anyone can create a free petition for anything that they want.

I've seen this thing floating around recently in relation to a couple of things from work. On this site, there are some normal petitions you'd expect, such as:

Stopping McDonald's-related animal abuse
People who want to abolish the Electoral College

But, normal would be boring and not worth writing about. So, I also found a number of "special" petitions. I love that people felt so strongly about these things that they'd create petitions about them:

A petition to celebrate Halloween twice a year
A petition directly asking President Bush to ban Dragon Ball Z from our planet
And the beautifully succinct petition to ban all Boy Bands

As a means of testing it all out, I decided to make a petition against my good buddy Ceymick. So, there you go, bucko. Consider yourself officially organized against.

The Ceymick Should Move to the Yukon Petition

humanity: 1, media companies: 1,000,000 and counting

In a blow against the FCC and media giants such as Clear Channel and Sinclair, the Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear an appeal dealing with the decision in a lower court to reject the FCC's "new" rules on the ability of media companies to take over the world.

Apparently the official statement went something like this:

Renquist: Hey, FCC. Suck it.
Scalia: Yeah, dude. You tell 'em!
Ginsberg: F' yeah, biotch! And Clear Channel can suck it, too!
Souter: Woot! Woot! Woot! Woot!

And so on.

Monday, June 13, 2005

peace, love, and

My mom is a hippy. Always has been, always will be. I sent out a mass email telling everyone about my new address and got the following response from my mom:

Thank you. I hope the move goes smoothly. Welcome to your new home. I want you to fill the home with laughter, love, good friends and happy memories. Oh yeah...and an occasional visit from me. Don't bother to pack any grudges, jealousy, frustration or anger, they have a way of arriving on their own. Pack only optimism, love and openness for understanding. That's all you'll really need besides your toothbrushes.
Love, Mom XXOO

Kind of her, if not a little bit of a Peter, Paul, & Mary song waiting to happen. Anyway, the actual response from her wasn't really what inspired me to write here.

Her email to me at my gmail account resulted in some weird Google ads in the auto-generated Google sidebar.

The "fill the home with laughter, love, good friends and happy memories" part seems to have resulted in a link to a site all about Toltec Meditation, a system of meditation that has something to do with Mexico in the year 900 A.D. My atheist mom probably wouldn't really suscribe to their belief in "the many side benefits of learning how to connect with your own divinity."

And yet, I know for a fact that she definitely wouldn't be a fan of the other link that popped up in the side bar. Bitch Sessions is a site where anyone who's unhappy with anything in their life can go and complain about it to the world. I'm sure my mom would be happy to know that by trying to pursuade me not to "pack any grudges, jealousy, frustration or anger" she inadvertantly directed me to gems like this:

"WELL HO HO FUCKING HO. It's the least wonderful god damn time of the year again.

And since I'm 21 years old I'm NOT interested in any far fetched happily ever after childish garbage or any crap about cute little animals either.Thankfully I'm armed with a good supply of movies about cyborgs and/or the Vietnam war."

Festive. Thanks, Mom. : )

well we're moving on up

For the past four days, I've been unable to log into my myspace page. It's getting to be pretty annoying. I get emails sent to me automatically telling me that I have pending friend requests and messages, etc. But, I can't check any of them. I went ahead and emailed the tech support at myspace, but haven't heard anything back from them. It sucks. It's a weird feeling, but it's kinda' like feeling like I'm locked out of my apartment or something. Only, I don't actually live in a website and the mere notion of it is crazy.

Amanda and I spent the weekend packing for the big move. Laundry? Done. Stuff? Packed. Trash? Trashed. All in all, very productive. I have a huge list of stuff that I need to get accomplished this week before Friday, but it's a list that keeps shrinking and that makes me feel good.

Also making me feel good right now is that fact that I said my last "see you in a week" to Amanda this morning. We've spent so many Monday mornings over the past 5 years saying "Have a great week. See you next weekend." and now it's all coming to an end. Adios, Long Distance Relationship. Bonjour, Co-habitation. (and apparently, trilingual salutations.) I can't wait. I'm really looking forward to the two of us getting to spend so much more time together.

One of the things that we've found over the years is that - only seeing each other on the weekends - there's an inherent pressure to make sure that the weekend isn't wasted in anyway. If we're just sitting around doing nothing, it's because we decided that it was what we wanted to do; not that it just spontaneously happened. We make plans, we make lists, we do chores/errands, we do social things, etc. But, there's usually some element of a hectic schedule involved (even if only minorly) because we know that if we don't finish everything, we have to wait another week before we can pick up with it again.

I'm looking forward to that being over. I'm looking forward to being able to ask Amanda out on a date in the middle of the week. I'm looking forward to relaxing with her on the sofa after a long day at work. I'm looking forward to everything about it.

Anyway, guess that's the big thing on my mind today and all I have to write about. I went from packing up the apartment to coming into work and packing up my office for our big move.

Lots of changes these days. Can't wait for the dust to settle some.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

found 'em

I was watching the Today Show this morning as I sorted some laundry and a commercial came on that made my eyes bug out.

Aspercreme is a numbing old person ointment used to make being old suck a little less than it normally does. Old people + The Today Show = perfect target audience.

But, it was the jingle and tag line for the commercial that was so surprising. Here they are showing old people rubbing ointment on themselves and then all the sudden this ridiculous jingle comes on that sings:

You bet your sweet ASS-percreme!

I was so surprised. I mean, seriously ... that's the best they could come up with?

Well anyway, I thought it was ridiculous and hopped onto Google so that I could try and find the jingle online to share with you guys. Instead, I found the whiners who are ruining America.

It's a forum for where parents whine and complain about ads that they think the FCC should turn its fiery vengence upon. What I find so ridiculous is that when I was a kid, the biggest threat to my young ears and innocent sensibilities wasn't movies, wasn't tv, wasn't magazines or radio or billboards.

It was the other kids on the school bus. That's where I learned every single swear word, every rude gesture, and every racial, sexist, or homophobic slur under the sun. Usually it went something like this:

Dave Labarcca: Hey, Jesse. Do you know what a "circle jerk" is?
Little Jesse: [lying ridiculously] Yeah. Of course I do.
Dave Labarcca: Well, what is it then?
[cue giggling from the group of trolls at the back of the bus]
Little Jesse: Um. [awkward pause] Well, I used to know. But I just forgot.

Anyway, the media isn't the problem. The bus is.

If they really want to protect their kids, they should just drive them to school.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I hope it's Skippy from "Family Ties"

So, I don't know who Skippy is, but I love his list.

I think most of this applies to everyone's work life, not just army life.

[And by the way, I've noticed that I start too many of these entries with "So, ..."]

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

my potentially-evil twin

So, most anyone who reads this blog (I think there's only 3 of you) knows about my doppleganger.

A number of years ago, I found out about another Jesse Harlin in the world. No biggie. It's not like my name is something uniquely wonderful like Marvalu Triumphant. There have been Jesse Harlins. There will be more Jesse Harlins. (Does that sound like a threat?)

What's weird about it is that 1.) he and I both have middle names starting with "C" and 2.) [and what's weirder] he is also a composer who would like to do music for videogames. Strange.

Anyway, at first I just thought it was a weird little thing of fate. "Wow! What are the odds?" (Answer: 50/50) I didn't pay it much attention other than to use it as a weird little story when the subjects of names came up in conversation.

The thing is, my own career eventually started to take off. My name started to pop up on Google for things like my score to Republic Commando (shameless plug). And yet, as I found things on Google, I also started to find other things about the other Jesse Harlin.

- He was/may still be an actor. (so was I)
- He plays in a (prog rock?) band. (so did I)
- He loves Squaresoft RPGs (so do I)

Anyway, the doppleganger theory took hold and I've simply come to accept that we must one day have some kind of epic battle for control over the rights to the name and life of Jesse C. Harlin, Composer.

In the meantime, I have to simply be annoyed that there are quotes about him on google like this:

"...I didn't appreciate having my face masterbated on...Chad..."
-Jesse Harlin

Maybe I should just change my name to Marvalu Triumphant ...

Monday, June 06, 2005

the great purge

Manda and I spent the weekend packing up my apartment for the move. As such, lots of things I hadn't seen in a long time got dusted off and there was much unsentimental trashing of previously packratted trinkets.

Among the casualties:

- The lumpy futon I slept on for 2 years
- The collection of toys that used to grace the countertop of my first apartment
- Pretty much anything related to OS 9
- Antique technology like my, gasp, 56k modem, a digital camera that couldn't connect to anything anymore, and all of the serial cables I owned

Among the rediscovered treasures:

- Lots of artwork, lyrics, music (including a stack of coloring contests I created when working at THQ and my lyric notebook from when I was in my teens)
- Manda found a bunch of missing CDs I'd been looking for by undoing my master level Case Game attempts (like Enigma's third album and Jonatha Brooke)
- an original Boba Fett action figure

Unfortunately, when I moved up here two years ago, I had a bunch of important papers mixed with some junkmail that I didn't have time to sort. I shoved all of it into a box and said "I'll sort it later." Well, that ugly thing apparently sat unopened in my closet for the last two years and as of yesterday finally saw the light of day.

So, now I finally have to sort through that stuff along with an entirely new pile of important papers and junk mail.

I seriously hate mail. Why did I have to grow up? Why couldn't my mail just remain a collection of birthday cards addressed to Master Jesse?

I want more people to call me 'Master.' It doesn't ever happen anymore.

Probably the weirdest moment for me was when I threw away Logic Audio Platinum -- manual, disk, dongles and all (hee hee. "dongles). Years ago, that thing cost $1000. Now, version 4 is so far back into the past that you can't upgrade to version 7. You just have to rebuy it.

So, get ready for a nasty $1k hit, wallet. Logic's coming home to roost.

That makes no sense. Sorry, wallet.

Friday, June 03, 2005

farewell, old friend ...

Two weeks ago I made a promise. I promised Amanda that I'd say good-bye to my long time roommate, The Hermit Pile.

The Hermit Pile, for those who don't know, was an every growing pile of empty soda bottles and pizza boxes that greatly resembled Fraggle Rock's Trash Heap.

While it hadn't started to dispense with sagely advice yet, it did manage to take up quite a large part of my kitchen. In actuality, this was the second version of the Hermit Pile to have lived in my kitchen. The first one was evicted when I decided to host Christmas at my apartment 2 years ago.

So, though a week late in fullfilling my promise, I'm happy to say that I have parted company with the Trash Heap as of this morning. As I disassembled it, I went back in time through the archeological strata of my bachelorhood for the past year: shoebox for my blackspot sneakers, pizza box from the Superbowl, cardboard box from our corporate Christmas gift, box for small carrying case I took to Seattle last June, etc.

Anyway, it's gone and I got a whopping $9.12 for it. Probably should have made it start paying rent after a while. It had things pretty good there for a while.

The Hermit Pile 2.0 is dead. Long live The Hermit Pile 3.0.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I'm in the wrong business.

Each and every one of us went to the wrong university. I present to you The Dukes University. What is the Dukes University?

It's a job opportunity, really. An opportunity to get paid $100,000/year to spend your days watching the Dukes of Hazzard. Job requirements include:

- watch The Dukes of Hazzard every weeknight on CMT;
- know the words to The Dukes of Hazzard theme song, "Good Ol' Boys," written and performed on the series by the legendary Waylon Jennings;
- serve as media expert on The Dukes of Hazzard for the CMT Dukes of Hazzard Institute: must be available for TV, radio and newspaper interviews to share passion for The Dukes of Hazzard on CMT;
- write the CMT Dukes of Hazzard Institute online blog for;
- be passionate about The Dukes of Hazzard on CMT;
- make appearances at special events such as Dukesfest 2005 in Bristol, Tenn., (June 4-5, 2005).


I mean ... honestly!! There's only 85 episodes of the show total! You wouldn't even have to watch them all twice, and you'd make over $1000 with each episode you watched.

Take note, jerks with apparently way too much money, I'm preparing my resume as we speak for Simpsons University, Clarissa Explains It All College, and the Hogan's Heroes Votech Institute.