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Cool. I just acquired Scott Miller doing "Beach State Rocking" live and solo. This song was done before Scott started the band he was in before he started the band he's in now. I think he was 17. Astonishing. You can see the future genius at work. Scott's songwriting is so distinctive and he knows something about using chords that even some of the best artists don't exhibit.

Scott has a willingness to use a whole lot of chords. He busts out the F#minor-sus4lower9th/B with a twist of lemon type chords alot, but... I guess the best way to explain would be this: Take a verse. One band or songwriter might be happy to incorporate two or three chords into the progression of that verse's structure. Scott will use eight chords. This gives the music an amazingly melodic, shifting, complex character. He will use gorgeous vocal harmonies. He will have shifting basslines and multiple musical "streams". It's something that my brain cherishes, wrapping itself around these musical shapes that go beyond the everyday. Add to the mix his outstanding voice and brilliant lyrics...

"Beach State" is great, but obviously doesn't reach the heights of his later work. But it's fascinating to look at the roots. The lyrics from the REAL early stuff (before he was 18) tend to be much simpler, but honest and well-rounded. "Beach State" sample:

"Having deferred to the longer run
I give up my right to be young
My blood flows as the joyride comes
And my heart says to grab on
But my fingers are numb

And pleasure means nothing so they said
And so I had some pain instead
And turned my face when tears were shed
Nobody knew that I followed each church you led

I felt dizzy as I walked the beach
And the sunbathers gave no sound
But the radios all told me
That what was not lost can't be found
Well I'd call myself an artist
If I could make these feelings clear
But there're a million things to think about
When you're cutting off your ear

I found a 1/8 mile drag strip very near my home. They have about the worst website ever, and I wish it was a full quarter, but whatever. I don't want to run the Stealth there, but it's good to know it's there for when I get a sportbike so I can work on my launches.

I'm so poor I can't afford anything. I've pushed this not working thing about as far as it will possibly go, and spent thousands of dollars, and now it's becoming ridiculous. It's more of a short term problem than a long term one, but not eating is not eating, yannow?

A friend emailed me an article about the genome project: vindication for Darwin. Good reading but I'm not sure people who don't want to be convinced will be convinced. For the record, the Lutheran church never denied that evolution was perfectly possible and a valid theory.

[rant]How 'bout that new liter Gixxer? More HP than my freaking RX-7 and one fifth the weight... It's madness. The Zero to 100 time is outrageous. Gets to 150 faster than MOST CARS get to 60. The problem is it's so inexpensive (the only cars cheaper are the base models of the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, and Daewoo Lanos) that almost anyone can buy one if he really wants to, and it's so fast (faster then a whole lot of race cars as well as probably every street legal car in the country) that some people are going to kill themselves buying the coolest machine on the road. I'm sorry, but that bike scares the hell out of me. There's very little call for that kind of razor sharp steering and ungodly mountains of power on the street--but the price, the next big thing factor, the short wheelbase, etc. = dead riders. Yah, a Busa is probably quicker, but I don't think it's as much of a problem as the new Gixxer will surely be.

I can just imagine some squid finding out you can buy a $9K bike on time that outruns a Viper by over 3 seconds in the quarter and immediately wanting the fast one, not realizing the steep learning curve involved and not really having a concept of the warp speed acceleration that comes from twisting the wrist. You twist too hard and suddenly you're going 120 or you find the bike falling on you backwards. I mean, I like to check the operation of my heart and adrenal gland as much as anyone, but there's a line. Damn, we need graduated licensing in this country before the government reads the statistics and decides to BAN motorcycles outright![/rant]

Damn, I miss my RX-7. The Stealth is kind of soulless. Plus I've figured out its problem: way too tall gearing. 5th is nearly useless, the car REALLY needs you to have the right gear, 3rd is much too tall (3rd gear should not be good for 130 mph), I find myself revving higher in a lower gear because upshifting brings me to a too tall gear (especially when trying not to bust out the turbos too hard). It would just be more driveable with much shorter gearing.

I've decided to buy new handlebars for the 454. The bars will put the riding position further forward and lower. They're almost straight, but they have a slight bend. I'm also going to lower the bike 1" in the triple clamp.

So it looks like the state is going to require volunteer work (28 hours in one semester) of anyone attending a public university and wishing to graduate. Ummmm, ever read the Constitution? Coercing someone to perform "volunteer" work is forbidden. This is bullshit. Forcing you to volunteer.

Decision: Denton will not be my home forever. The job market here is sparse, compared to other surrounding areas. I can't stay in this town for too long, as there simply aren't the kind of fulfilling opportunities here that can be found elsewhere.