October 9, 2005

Urban Renewal

My most recent reentry to civilization has been more graceful than the last, and I’ve been working hard on a little something I call The Brainside Out Urban Renewal Project. I won’t go so far as to say that our infrastructure was in shambles when I came back from the border country, but after four months of neglect there was definitely a lot of work that needed to be done to get things running smoothly again.

Two years of nomadic lifestyle, coupled with a season of abandonment, has definitely taken its toll. Fortunately, we’re reaching the tail end of this new phase of modernization, and with any luck things will start settling into a more comfortable rhythm over the next couple weeks.

You may be wondering what The Brainside Out Urban Renewal Project entails, exactly. In short, it’s a multi-pronged effort to modernize the existing technological infrastructure of Brainside Out proper, with the primary goals of outfitting it with the technical and socioeconomic frameworks necessary to compete effectively in an increasingly global market.

Whoa. I can see why marketers write junk like that, because I just got a serious head rush while doing it. Sheesh. The straight dope is this, yo:

I’ve got crap that sucks. It needs to be replaced by new and better crap.

This is done, for the most part. The new computers arrived and have been hitched to the wagon. The new software is installed. My Windows machine has been hurled off an overpass into traffic. I got a sweet neoprene sleeve and an awesome shoulder bag for my laptop. I resampled and imported the vast majority of my music collection (more than 400 albums, at last count) at 256 kbps, putting to shame my old sample rate of 192.

I wish that CDs were a far more archival type of media, as many of my CDs are scratched to hell and won’t import, and some won’t even play for that matter. Besides scratches, my entire Bob Dylan collection suffers from an affliction that I call ‘CD leprosy’, where the surface of the disc is intact but the foil itself has flaked off horribly over the years. Great sad hunks of rhythm and song are missing.

I also got a new cell phone, which was long overdue. My old one was nice and small, yes, but it only had enough space to store 12 characters for each person’s name. As my contacts list grew I knew that this would become an unmanageable problem, and before I knew it I had five ‘Brians’ with no distinguishing last names. Fortunately, phone manufacturers learned something in the two years since I got my phone, and my new one holds an unwieldy 32 characters. Also, sometimes when I was trying to manage contacts my old phone would suffer from a sudden bout of Tourett’s and bark cryptic warnings like ‘PHONE NUMBERS ONLY!’ This insensitive UI seems not to have made it into the new phone, about which I am deeply grateful.

This new phone takes miserable pictures, too, which is really exciting! ‘Hey! Hey you girls! Wanna see a really blurry picture of ya’ll? I can do it with this here phone! By some impossible twisting of space and time, this phone can produce a photo that bears no resemblance whatsoever to its subject! No wait. Don’t leave, you gotta see this! What, you’ve got a phone in your purse there? Can I take a look? Hey, that’s no phone, that’s pepper sprAAAUUGGGHHHHH!’

Camera phones are God’s way of telling us that’s he’s still plenty pissed about a lot of things.

Anyway, things are coming back together. In the meanwhile, I’ve been having such a blast down here in the Twin Cities that I’m not even sure I’m going to make it back up to Duluth. I totally dig Duluth and all, but I’m getting totally addicted to Minneapolis. There’s so much going on in this town, so much music and culture, so many friends, that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify a move to Duluth. This has come as a complete surprise for me, and I am continually flabbergasted by how much freakin’ fun I’m having down here.

My calendar for October alone already has 20 shows that I want to get out and see. There’s no way I’ll see all of them (seeing as how most of them overlap), but what results is a fun fun game of prioritizing. Meanwhile, someone needs to announce a kick-ass Halloween party, and I need to get my act together and figure out a costume. Last year’s Zombie Undead Trucker was a stroke of genius, and thus the bar is set pretty high.

Yay for October!

Glad to hear yer sliding back into civilization – even if its in grubby Minneapolis.

Heh. Thanks, Hal.
You should come down here so we can play a show at the Acadia. I’ll shout and run around a lot, and you’ll dance and play the guitar and sing those old-tyme lullibies. Maybe we can get Doug to bring his megaphone.

Dane buddy! Good to see your doin well, I’ve totally missed gettin on this wonderful site but ahhhhhhh my brainsideout addiction has started up once again. Take care brotha!

That would make four votes for staying in Minneapolis, one vote for moving to Duluth, and one vote for those really great cinnamon rolls you used to be able to get, that were more caramel than cinnamon anyway but no one really seemed to mind at all.
It’s turning out to be a wacky poll.

And one vote for you to stay away from any city that riots when Neo-Nazi’s DON’T march……