Altered Prose at Pif’s Corner


Mixing Loops and Learning XSPF

I’m starting to really get into mixing loops (usually from single-track loops – royalty free – not already-published songs). I’ve used Acid Xpress in the past for a bit, and recently decided to go ahead and buy the Acid Music Studio 7 (unlimited tracks and fx, among other unlocked features). Since I created two “songs”, I also did a little looking into creating a playlist to feed into the JW FLV player; ended up using XSPF. It’s an xml-type scheme and really simple to use.

Anyways, here’s the results. Still rough, and I’m certainly no professional. But it’s fun and that’s really what it’s about in the end.

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Filed under: Music, Web Tech
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Dollhouse: Three Episode Review

Three episodes into the new series Dollhouse and I have to admit I’m mildly pleased. I’m a Joss Whedon “casual” fan (I’ll re-watch any of his shows but you won’t find me at a convention and I would fail at a trivia match), but the previews Fox aired before the series started did not entice me to watch the show. However, I got into Hulu, watched the first two shows online and then caught the last episode in primetime.

I’m not particularly enamored by Eliza Dushku, and my fear going into the series was that Dollhouse would be an eye-candy fest with no real substance. In fact, I thought this might be another Charmed in the making. Not my style.

However, Joss Whedon does wonders for his female leads, and Echo is no different. For all the memory and personalty wiping that Echo (Dushku’s character) goes through, she has this suppressed heroine quality that very slowly rises to the surface with each new conflict she faces. She strikes me as a cross between Buffy (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and River (of Firefly) – unaware of her own strength while being the super hero. Dushku does a good job pulling the character off; she’s believable in the different personalities her character has to take on, and although I do get a little of the “bratty bitch” syndrome from her it’s not nearly as bad as Jessica Alba (from Dark Angel). In fact I can see this brattiness transforming into one of her character’s strengths if it doesn’t overshadow her interactions with other characters.

Three episodes in to the series and we’ve already seen a rebirth in Echo who seems to be starting to realize that there is more to her employers, and to herself. The FBI agent Paul Ballard (played by Tahmoh Penikett of Battlestar Galactica fame) hides his own dark history, albeit seemingly cliche at this point of the series, while striving to uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse. And with the mystery Alpha running around as both hunter and hunted there’s a lot of plot to be uncovered.

Although I started as a skeptic, I am now intrigued by the show and am willing to call myself a supporter. I can see that as the show evolves the characters will become deeper and the plot will remain entertaining as Joss Whedon has a knack of doing.

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Twit? Tweeted? Twooter?

OK, I think I finally get it. I think — after months of scratching my head, holding it up to the light and pondering the meaning of it’s inner workings — I finally get Twitter.

I heard people talk of this grand social tool so unlike the others yet at the same time so much like them that looked at it. And stared. Tried a few words for a moment, ultimately rejecting them as incomplete, and never able to understand.

“So, it’s kinda like a discussion, but one way? And all my grand thoughts have got to fit into those tiny 140 characters? But, but…how’s this a discussion?”

And so for months I was Twitterless; I was one of the unTweeted; destined to remain deTwitterfied. Eventually I learned to be happy; I had a place, and that place just did not Tweet.

But like any card-carrying member of the iFuture I read blogs and eNotes on that iNet thinger. One day I read a blog about a company. And that company was able to connect with it’s customers with Twitter. Intrigued, I read past the first few nanobytes fo the blog entry. As I read, the gamma on my screen became brighter and brighter until I Knew. I Understood. I Saw The Meaning.

Twitter allows you — well rather me since I really was never that concerned with whether or not you were on Twitter — to participate in just those bits of the conversation…sorry, the Conversation (captial “C”)…that I choose to be of a part. I like computery things, so I follow Dell and from time to time Dell will tell me of a deal they have with a link to discover more. Cool. I also can have Barack Obama tell me just what he’s doing, and I can follow his links. I can wait patiently for Joss Whedon to place some nugget of Jossness into the timeline. There’s this whole Conversation going on around me, and I get to choose what bit of it I’m in. And sometimes I can add to it…but only for those who wish to hear it.

So I guess now I am a Twitterzen. In fact, I think I’ll Tweet about this.

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Filed under: Web Tech


Post-Modern Bedtime Stories

“This?” says Evie.


“This,” she says again, pointing at the page.

“Wolf,” I sigh.




“Belle. She’s being attacked by those three wolves. She’s also the little trollop scamming on the Beast.”


Beth chortles, verbally exhibiting her unacceptance of my artistic license.

“Well, that’s what you get for telling her I have boobies,” I retort.

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Filed under: Family and Friends


Conversation with Evie


“No honey, squid. Do you want to watch the squid with Daddy?”


A squid squishes by the television, a long arrow of sea blue flesh.


“Squid, honey. That’s called a squid. Can you say squid?”


More squid slosh by again, frenzy for food. Suddenly tentacles with spikes slam into the camera, suckers seemingly plastered onto the TV.


Sigh. “Yes honey, octopus.”

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