Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Chronicles of Ille

Recently, I befriended a leprechaun who hailed from Dingle Bay, County Kerry, Ireland. As he needs a quick and easy name for his California state ID and credit cards which is: Ille (pronounced "Illie" after a quick swig of Guiness) and roughly stands for, Itinerent L'l Leprechaun Erin. As he wants to soak up as much Americana as possible, he'll be contributing reports for Indian Roller. Here is his self-portrait:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rockin' Down San Joaquin

"There...that takes care of the Wikipedia page on DOG..."

While driving up the 5 interstate freeway up through Central California, I made two new discoveries that could offset the fact that I nearly fried my brains in the 100+-degree summer heat. First off, we found a great classic rock station K100 (99.7) out of Visalia which is miles away but manages to reach the 5 freeway because the land is flat and bare and desperately needs a lift from Jimi Hendrix, Eagles and their ilk. That's definitely a relief for motorists who are not into Mexican ballads and Christian sermons that fill the airwaves for a big swath of the 5 freeway. Secondly, if you are looking for an alternative to usual fast-food chains, there's an Indian Restaurant, Taste of India, snuggled away right off the 58 Highway Exit at Buttonwillow.

We ordered a half plate of tandoori chicken, a green salad, a veggie-wrap, and some raita (yoghurt salad) to douse any extra heat. The food was uninspired, the decor in this windowless restaurant is punctuated with bizarre notices (e.g., "You must pay for what you order"), and the carpet could use a cleaning. We didn't pay any attention to the rating, because we were just happy to discover an alternative to the run-of-the-mill highway diners and fast-food chains. But I'd probably stop here again on another trip because it seemed like a family-owned/operated restaurant and I often get a craving for some red-hot tandoori chicken.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Did Not Have Viewing Relations with that YouTube

"After YOU..."

Viacom would like to review the usage patterns of YouTube viewers in its lawsuit against YouTube and Google. The music industry went after individual users and it will be interesting to see how this wrangle between an old communications behemoth and a relatively new kid in the digiverse affects the viewers who have been getting their daily dose of uploads and downloads. What would be an ideal result of this litigation is a way for artists to get royalties for their copyrighted material that is being freely distributed on YouTube. After all, it would be fair for YouTube to share a portion of its revenues with the original content providers of copyrighted material. While this could result in a complex math to determine the exact share due to an artist, it's still worth exploring. The downside might be that YouTube, strapped by legal straightjacket, would lose it free-wheeling flavour in order to safeguard its bonafides, similar to the new Napster.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bamboo musings

"C'mon Suzie, think positive thoughts..."

I have been trying out the Bamboo from Wacom for the second day now and it's quite responsive compared to my old-as-Moses Intuos 2 that ran through a com port with a separate power attachment through a Wacom adapter. I bought the Bamboo (black) through Amazon and paid around $170 for it. The setup for the Bamboo was pretty straightforward and the tablet gets its power from the same USB connection. Less mess, less cables. And I like the name, Bamboo. Reminds me of the days when I used to paint bamboo leaves for hours with a black sume-i ink. And my first gag is dedicated to the Indian Roller, of course.