December 2nd, 2005


Dumb passenger tricks

Well, that was stupid. Despite reading the instructions for packing firearms in checked baggage about 50 zillion times over the last week, not only did I forget to unload Masha's two magazines, I forgot to throw the remainder of the ammo box in my suitcase. So TSA did their job, made me unload the magazines, and confiscated the ammo. This is more than I can say for the NWA baggage check-in woman, who not only acted like I'd crapped on her nice shiny counter when I made the legally required declaration that I was carrying an unloaded weapon in my luggage, but intentionally misdirected me to the TSA agents at the end of the counter instead of pointing me at the third floor security post. Ah, well.

Parking at the airport is pretty insane now - they want $16/day for the general parking, which means it's cheaper for me to drive in to work and then out to someplace like Park 'N Fly. I'll probably use the LRT on the way back. Now, back to shooting the zombie dogs.
  • Current Music
    Tom Petty - American Girl

Music considered as a tool

The Master of the Bleat winds up his daily blog post with a meditation on disco and its descendants, inspired by Camille Paglia's unhappy review of the new Madonna CD. Money quote:
Disco at its best is a neurological event, a shamanistic vehicle of space-time travel.
Well, I don’t know about the time-travel part, but I understand what she means. I can’t write to classical or jazz music; it makes me listen. But I have hours and hours of trance / techno, and I do not dance to it. Just as well; it would frighten the dog. But it works at a level no other music reaches.

Indeed. Unlike Messer Lileks, I can and do write with classical or modern jazz playing in the background; it's white noise that helps sever me from where I am and puts me in the other world I'm writing about. Rock and country, on the other hand, are table setters, mood makers that set a tone for a particular piece of writing. This is pretty common in the fanfic community, and the songfic genre is well recognized. You can also see this in anime music videos - pounding, heavy metal rock music gets used most often with clips of shonen anime for action videos, while quieter ballads and pop music are matched with romantic imagery from shojo series. There are exceptions, of course; I'm just talking in generalities here.

The essential point is that music is a creative tool that unlocks the head and the heart, and it's neat to see this being talked about by people I respect. See also Ann Althouse, who like Paglia enjoys the music in her head rather than her feet. I think that's pretty hot, myself.
dead wombat

I'm going thud now. But it's a good kind of thud.

I'm not going to complain too much about the flight down here, because it was free and besides, I slept through most of it, but I will note that the Airbus 330 is grossly inferior to the Boeing 737 in leg room, seat width, and overhead baggage capacity. This is why Airbus and NWA must die while Southwest and Boeing must live.

Called the hotel to summon the shuttle, which arrived 10-15 minutes later and got me to the hotel in good time; check-in was effortless and soon I was in my spacious room reading the note Carlos left me - he was holed up in an Irish bar (!) half a block away. So I joined him there after stowing Masha in the safe, had a celebratory Guinness (my first one in years) and then made our way down King Street to the Flying Fish. We proceeded to demolish over $250 worth of sushi in two rounds, assisted in the second round by his GF Arlene. Unfortunately digex and my other friends were unable to join us, but these things happen and there's always tomorrow, to say nothing of the weekend of the 16th.

And now I'm going to set up my nose hose and get a decent night's sleep before catching the breakfast buffet and then setting out for SunTrust in Arlington to start out the day's entertainment.