This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Today our DSL started behaving like DSL again. While a week of 14.4-style modem speed gave me that warm nostalgic feeling, to be back at real speed, especially with Safari, is stunning.

Squelch, write post. So, we return from another binge of non-postings. I've been distracted; I discovered my lost love of adventure games after I went looking for a way to play Zork on the Unix layer of OS X. I found that (as well as a way to play them on Palm OS), but discovered there a whole sub-culture out there, who refer to such games with the somewhat lofty title of "interactive fiction," and a whole sub-subculture of folks who write new programs for the "Z-machine," the virtual computer which the old Infocom games ran on. There are free Z-Machine interpreters for nearly every platform out there, and not only are the first three Zork games released to the public, but so is The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which was actually the first adventure game I ever played.

So now, I'm thinking: Hey, I'm a writer and an actor and a programmer to boot. What could be better than trying to create an interactive world? I can see it now! I'll learn the language. I'll enter contests! I'll take them all by storm!

All the while, never revealing that I never actually finished an adventure game except Hitchhiker's, and that only because I bought the hint book and read every darn hint...

Monday, January 27, 2003

Literally? Heard on All Things Considered last Friday:
You have a situation where the President and CEO of an organization are literally dropping boulders on each other in public!
-- David D'Ellesandro of John Hancock Financial Services, speaking of what must be really nasty infighting at the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Sunday, January 26, 2003


Saturday, January 25, 2003

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Yesterday the Gonnas performed at a party. It was like we were rock stars, man.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Startin' early.

D stopped going to a developmental pre-school (which was doing him no good at all) and started going to his regular nursery school five mornings a week. He had been going there three days a week--Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, in a very small class with only three other boys (no girls). Yesterday was his first day at the Tuesday-Thursday class. There are two other kids who go all five days, and the rest are new.

So we asked him who he saw at nursery school, and he answered, somewhat rakishly:

"Malcom, and Marcus... and girls!"

Monday, January 20, 2003

At what point does a mom-and-pop store become an evil, profiteering monolith from whom it's OK to steal? I mean, would you have ripped off the Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) when they were building machines in their garage? Or, would you have made (if you could) and released an MP3 of "My Guy" when it was the first hit for Barry Gordy's upstart record company?

Think about it.

As for me, I encourage you to steal content from this blog. I've given up on riches, and I'll settle for notoriety.
This is worth a look. I don't neccesarily agree with the implication, but it is food for thought.

Funk soul brother.

Have a good weekend?

There was something profound I wanted to say. Alas! I don't remember what.

Someone asked me the other day to help work on a Star Wars fan film. Except it's not a film, but a radio drama. They had seen Star Wars: Episode One and a Half and enjoyed it, so they asked me to do some dialogue editing.

I'm touched. I'm also busy. But I'm afraid I have the Michael Caine disease (I Just Can't Say No). Still, I really really want to finish my current projects before I embark on anyone else's. So I'm thinking I should decline on this one.

On a side note, I found out today that my older brother, who I haven't seen in well over twelve years and haven't talked to since 1995 (nor has anyone in my family), got married in 1998. My Dad told me this, and he found out vis a Google search, of all things. Yes, I love the family communication skills.

Really, though, my brother (whose name I won't mention in this blog, to protect his privacy--he is not my younger brother C---s who I've previously mentioned) is a stranger to me. We didn't grow up together, he's twelve years older than me, he lived with his mother while I was growing up, and he doesn't keep in touch with anyone in our family but my older sister (also a product of my father's first marriage). I do have a few happy memories about him on the rare occasions he would visit my Dad; one particularly vivid image was one spring day, and all of us were running under the "helicopter trees" (you know, those seeds that spin around as they fall through the air) which were showering down like mad, and I ran straight into him and we bonked heads somehow (he must have been bending down). I can still hear the clonk! sound it made.

That's actually one of the few happy memories I have from childhood. Not that my childhood was unhappy; it's just that when a divorce happens, it tends to crowd out all the other memories. So I imagine my brother doesn't remember that moment, since his folks (obviously) divorced before mine... not to mention that if his folks hadn't divorced, his little brother Squelch wouldn't have even existed.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Bumped. Well, the NPR story came and went and they didn't use K after all. However, she did pop up in this USA Today article, where she even got a promotion (she is most definitely not "head of the [National Marine Fisheries Service]'s highly migratory species office").

Thursday, January 16, 2003

(Burma Shave)
and a lot of things, at that.
I actually have things to say
so it will look like
post tiny little sentence fragments
I think I will just
Oh, and I actually made some progress with the music for the movie. Sounds like utter carp [sic] but hey, it's a start. There's time to finesse it after I get Directorial Approval.
K's NPR bit didn't happen tonight, so presumably if you listen to Morning Edition tomorrow, you'll hear it.
More! More! Give me more, I want more! (You know who you are, you PIRATE!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

I want to perform again. I want people to tell me how wonderful I am and how privileged they feel to just be in the same room with me. I want to make people laugh and cry and love. I want to be flattered because people think I'm in a position of power. I want to be surrounded by fakes and hangers-on. I want to have an agent, a manager, a personal assistant, a makeup artist, and various other people whose sole purpose in life is to make me look good. And then I want it all to go away in a flash, so I can spend the rest of my life trying pathetically to recapture my glory days.

Oh, wait. That already happened. It was called "high school," when people used to stop me in the street and say how much they enjoyed my performance in the school plays. And I was sure I was the best performer in the school, nay, in the state. And when I was on stage and people were laughing, there was no one who could touch me, damn it.

I mean, sure, I never kissed a girl 'til I was nineteen, and my father would occasionally throw me out of the house, and my sense of self-worth when off stage was nonexistent... but so what?

Whatever that ineffable Thing is, that It, that thing that's generally translated as Talent, but also encompasses charisma, confidence, presence: I had It then. Then I came to college and It started to weaken as I realized there were folks around me who were better than me; and then college ended, and I gave up, and now It's gone forever.

I want validation, and yes, it is painful, and no, no matter how good it is, it will never be enough.

I'm like a drug addict, and my whole life has been a search for that high...
You know, people pay ridiculous amounts of money to have video edited. Maybe I should hang out a shingle?
Violin, lin, lin... My friend Rex and I have a film we've been trying to finish for over a year now, gathering dust (metaphorically) on my hard drive. We finally did two re-shoots a month or two ago, so now all that's holding it back, really, is the score, which is up to me to write. Have you ever tried to compose music whilst caring for a toddler and an infant?

Sometimes I do wish I had a genuine STUDIO where I could compose, edit, animate, and write to my heart's content. But would I do those things, or just fritter the time away like I do now?

I'd love to not have to share this computer. But then, I'd love to not have to share time, either, to not have any obligations, to just do MY THING whatever it may be.



Anyway, needless to say I didn't do the music yet. I have the tune and beat that I want; but I have to actually get it into the computer with my *&@$#% software synth and sound-editing suite that only works under Mac OS 9. So does my video editor, for that matter, so I have to reboot the computer every time I want to work on the film. This is what I mean by not wanting to share; I can't just let the machine linger, knowing that K will use it if she needs to and won't disturb my projects. As long as it's sitting in OS 9, K can't use it.

And now stupid Apple says that the newest Macs won't boot up in OS 9 anymore. So if I ever get a new Mac, I'll have to get a new video editor, sound editor, and software synth.

It's enough to make one turn to piracy. Hello, LimeWire?
Miss K is supposed to be on All Things Considered tomorrow, or possibly Morning Edition on Friday. Enjoy.
Cool shit:

Forwarding Address: OS X
The Humane Environment

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Talk to me instead! So my wife will be interviewed on NPR in the next few days, though I don't know for which program. It's always been my dream to be on NPR. I've been reminding her of this ever since I found out. I wonder if she's annoyed yet.

Anyway, I think she'll probably be dropped at the last minute. Why? Well, I was checking my referral logs today, you see; and there were three page views from someone searching Google for her name. With some dread, I checked what server this person was using. Guess what it was.
Bits. Another birthday present was a new SmartMedia card to go with my new digital camera. The one that came with the camera had 8MB--the new one has 128MB. For comparison, consider that I could take about 16 high-quality pictures with 8MB, and now I can take over 250.

What really brings it home, though, is that this little chip, about half the size of a business card, has ten times the storage capacity of the computer I used throughout college. And 1024 times the RAM of my first Macintosh. And an insane amount more than my first computer, a VIC 20 with 5K of memory, of which 2K was video...

Sunday, January 12, 2003


I turned on the baby monitor, thinking both our kids were asleep. The moment I did, D broadcasted this important message:
"I love potatoes. PO... TAAAYYY... TOES!"

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Another day older. Things aplenty have been a-happenin' here. First off, today is my birthday. Had a nice chocolate cake and a few presents, the best of which was by far being able to go to a movie alone with my wife while someone else watched the kiddies. (We saw The Two Towers, but that's neither here nor there.)

Secondly, I'm finally able to burn DVDs and SVCDs on my iMac. I have a G3 processor and an external DVD-RW drive and those programs like iDVD only work for G4s with internal drives. BUT there are now, apparently, open-source DVD burning utilities which, though primitive (no menus, yet) do allow one to burn video DVDs that can play in your regular player. I did a test with a clip from the Star Wars spoof project, and man, was it ever exciting to see that in pristine 16x9 video! So that'll be my first full DVD burn, I think.

Thirdly, The Gonnas are gettin' serious. We're gonna invest in a digital multitrack recorder and make a decent demo CD. And--ta da!--you can now listen to our songs at So stop on by!

Phew! If I posted more often I wouldn't have to write so much at once. And I didn't even mention the silent movies...

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Pet peeve. Fully loaded with a 1GHz PowerPC G4, 1MB of L3 cache, AirPort Card, Mega-wide display, Radeon graphics and a slot-loading SuperDrive, the 15-inch Titanium PowerBook G4 boasts jaw-dropping features -- including it's price: all this is now just $2799.

They make good software, great computers, and the world's best operating system; but they still don't know the difference between it's and its.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

The first story is pretty bad, though. NaNoWriMo started me writing stories again, albeit at great cost. The key to success--for me, anyway--is to set deadlines and have a schedule. To that end, I've started a new site, called One Story, One Month. As its name implies, I will write and post a new short story every month. Some will be good, some will no doubt be awful. I hope that a few will be very good.

Unlike Rooster Spice, One Story, One Month will have comments as well, for any and all reactions (though I'm hoping more for specifics than for your story sux get a life d00d). Even if no one reads the stories (which I fully expect) at the very least I will write stories. And that's the important thing, isn't it?

Monday, January 06, 2003

Wookin' pa nub... Beatles lyrics, as interpreted by a three year old:
But if they seen
You talking that way
Keep wiping my face

-- You Can't Do That (A Hard Day's Night)

'Cause baby, achoo
(La la la la la la la)
Baby, achoo.

-- Baby It's You (Please Please Me)

Can't Mommy love?

-- Can't Buy Me Love (A Hard Day's Night)

K finds that last one a little disturbing. I wonder why.

Friday, January 03, 2003

I cost $2,222,298.00. How much are you worth?

Thanks to Trash Heap for the link.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little blogs. Well, we just finished paying the bills for December. After that orgy of spending, we have six dollars and forty-three cents in our checking account. That's actually better than we do most holidays, in that this year we didn't have to dip into our savings account. Heck, we have to do that most months, which makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, we're living beyond our means.

Oh, darn. My eyes fall on a reciept from Jiffy Lube--since it's a full sheet of paper, I missed it when I was putting in all my other checking account reciepts. I suddenly realize this means we're actually overdrawn by about fifty dollars. A cold hand clenches my heart. It is the hand of the Bank Examiner from It's a Wonderful Life, saying, "Mr. Bailey, there's a deficit!" Clarence! Clarence!

Oh well, we'll survive. We just won't, you know, eat 'til K's next paycheck. Suddenly I'm seized with the need to earn money again. But how can a stay-at-home father with few marketable skills (and less spare time) make money? How? HOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MONTRESOR?

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

It's a holiday, isn't it? Which one? Then, maybe I think it is just because it's my birthday month. That must be it. I wish I could remember why I'm awake at this hour. There must have been a reason but it's escaped my sievey brain.

Hey, look! The odometer!