April 9th, 2012



Today's been reasonably productive; made sure a major configuration change at work is working correctly (trying to make the mail infrastructure more redundant because the hardware they're using is flaky), then lugged my bike through the subway to a repair shop in northern Prospect Heights (getting the bike through the turnstyles is kinda tricky), while imagining the channels through which the subway runs near my place (in Brooklyn away from downtown, the Q train seems to only go underground when it needs to go under something) being more numerous and having some abandoned channels perpendicular to the train ones being places where people live. This started to balloon outwards into a full story/world, disrupted by the need to hop off at 7th Ave.

The bikestore people (not sure if I reached the bikestore I was looking for but found *a* bike store) showed me how to use a very nice pump they showed me; bought it, filled my bike, and rode back to a nice cafe I passed on the way there, where I am now enjoying milk and granola and some iced tea. The place is called Milk Bar Cafe (620 Vanderbilt). Good atmosphere, comfortable, kind of small, only a few plug seats but I got one. People seem healthy here.

Today's (very small) adventure already had me pass some 5 or 6 other places I'd like to check out sometime. Many of these places are small and probably have a local crowd. It's so nice seeing people walking everywhere. NYC coffeeshop people seem puzzled-but-appreciative that I throw my garbage out and bring my plates back to their bin. Huh.

Last night, I was thinking about dimensions of variability between places I've lived; Collapse )

Later tonight, I'll be going to Karaoke with some of the secular humanists in the East Village. Looking forward to it.


Negotiated Music

Last night, while walking fairly late at night through my neighbourhood, I heard what seemed to be a neat bit of street percussion; I kept walking, but eventually turned my head because it was pretty interesting and maybe deserved a clap, and it turned out to be a bunch of kids running in front of a building that just happened to direct all the sound nicely at me; no intended beat, just accidental music for someone who happened to be in the right place, namely me and a few people following me on the sidewalk.

Today, on my ride home from the bike shop (yay biking in Prospect Park), I heard the sound of a semibroken reflector on one of my bike wheels tap the side of my bike frame in another rhythmic way, and had a bike-daydream (I get these all the time; part of my brain does the mundane task of driving/walking/running/eating food/ordering food/rote conversations, and another part goes off to daydream) of trying to express repetition in music through series of gears; it felt like programming in LISP mixed with writing polymorphic viruses in assembly, oddly; trying to hold the vision of what behaviour we want (in this case, the finished song) while factoring it into a physical object, using those pokey-up-bits in a musicbox combined with inter-gear connections for delegation (and "ghosting" of wheels for offset-choruses), which is now beginning to make me feel that I was doing the lower-end of reaching towards Hofstadter's analysis of some Bach pieces.

Anyhow, fun bike-daydream. Also, biking in NYC is totally intense. It might be even more intense in Manhattan, but having just given Brooklijn a go that's pretty wild.