Nothing quite beats the adrenaline rush of realizing you just jay-walked in front of eight bored policemen in full crowd control gear: face shields, batons, body armor, and zip-tie dispenser hanging from the belt. It seems there was some kind of medical marijuana rally going on today. The corner of the square with the bible-thumpers singing and handing out pamphlets was overstocked with zealots trying to convince people that smoking drugs is bad, mmmkay.
Backspace was not either of the two nightmares I thought it would be. Based on their website and other information around the entarweb, I was expecting one of two scenarios:
(a) A room packed full of gamer geeks: rows and rows of people playing Quake/Doom/Whatever-The-Hot-First-Person-Shooter-Is at the computers that want to talk about nothing but their frag counts and kill ratios, tables full of smelly folks playing Magic The Gathering bickering over how much protection their magic shield gives them against an armageddon spell, etc.
(b) An overly trendy coffee house, too hip for its own good, with its monthly-rotating art installation, performance artists, and live DJs spinning fresh tracks, yo. Oh, and there are a couple of computers, too.
In actuality (at least before dark late Saturday afternoon), it was a good mix of everything. The space is typical for north side coffee shops: basically a brick warehouse with tall (two-story) ceilings, with much shorter artificial walls erected inside to mark off zones, halls, and rooms. The computers were in their own little space and everyone was happily using headphones. (It is interesting to note that all of the computers were turned around–back of the case forward–for easier access to the ports, so that people could bring in their own headphones, mouse, joystick, etc.) The music at the time was not a DJ, but decent background techno-y stuff that was well under speaking volume. The art installation (this month, “The Estrogen Show”) was not in-your-face annoying. It was interesting to wander around and see the pieces (some were cool and some were just silly), then easy to tune them out as background. Throw in some good, thick, french-press Stumptown coffee, free wireless, a bank of 80's arcade games, and $1 pool. Also throw in a little lounge room in the back with a large television, surround sound, and some video game consoles. The only drawback I see is that parking around there either sucks or is rather expensive.
I did some tweaking to my custom LiveJournal style. It is a fairly invisible change, but cuts down on annoyance factor. Now, each entry on my friends page has been wrapped in a DIV tag set to have a maximum width and an overflow:auto. What does this mean? In normal text posts, nothing. Everything looks as it did before. In posts where someone inserts a really wide picture, that particular entry gets little horizontal scroll bars (so it looks like it's an iframe or something) so that it does not mess up the width on all the other things on the page. The
I think I am able to successfully piece together events on the night that someone broke into my car. Someone was scouring the parking lot for cars that look like they contain nice stuff but do not have blinky alarm lights and came across my vehicle. This person then proceeded to slip a slim-jim between the window and the door and fish around for a bit. “Almost got it, almost got it, I feel the latch, *click* OH FUCK, this car DOES have an alarm.” A glance up at the rows of apartments and town houses. A glance down at the Mormon temple parking lot and residential feeder street (which is not busy, per se, but does get a fair amount of traffic at all hours of the day). In the sudden necessity of haste, said individual quickly goes through the stuff stored in the console compartments, finds nothing of use, and zips away.
If anyone wants a slim-jim, I think it fell to the bottom of the inside of the door. Removing the door panel is a pain in the butt, though.
I eventually wound up at a live performance of some band that was so memorable that I forgot the name. (Note: when I first typed the previous sentence, I had a bit of a freudian typo and wrote “bad” instead of “band.”) The name of the band was basically “someone and someone,” and the names sounded vaguely indian, but there were three old-ish white people. It was billed as some kind of (if I am remembering the label correctly) post-modern industrial folk. I rather dislike labels, and especially dislike crazy made up labels. “Folk” was correct. I am not sure about the rest of it. In my book, tambourines are not instruments and should only be used as kindling.