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2012.01.01 The king is dead… long live the king.

It has been a year and half since this site has seen a new post, and twice that long since brian has made his presence felt. I have been hanging on to bipolar, thinking that one day I would resume posting again, but now I believe its time has passed.

As with most things in which I've been involved online, I'll endeavour to keep bipolar up in perpetuity, as an archive of times past.

If you want to catch up with me, head over to, which is a window into just about every aspect of my online life.

Brian, bipolar, and friendly readers, thanks for the memories!

chicago road trip, 2000

brian and matt

- 12:00 am - PL ::
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Calls to Action - Cool Links - Nostalgia - Personal Projects - Pleased/Like - x:13 Family


2007.04.19 whomp:

i'm not quite ready to talk about the recent tragic events at Tech, where my brother attends college. his story will keep, until i have more time to tell it appropriately.

as occasionally happens, i have been quiet on bipolar, but working busily behind the scenes. in fact, i have gone a little plugin crazy. last week i added the gregarious plugin, which gives us digg buttons on posts that have been dugg, and a "share this" link which now lives at the bottom of each post, and is great on the off chance you might want to bookmark or share us on one of several social link-sharing services. the "share this" page also gives you the opportunity to email a link to a particular post directly to a friend, directly from the page. part of the impetus for this addition was brian's recent lamentation on our lack of social penetration (yeah, knock it off) and his self-referential digging. plus, i have a few major posts in the works that i think might be suited to a digg-type feeding frenzy. we'll see.

with this addition i've also reformatted the post-ending link bonanza just a bit, i think making things a bit nicer. gone is the abbreviated "pl," in favor of the slightly less obfuscated "permalink."

the other obvious thing you might notice, looking down there, is a new starred rating thingy, again for individual posts. apparently, this plugin only allows you to vote once, and doesn't allow yout to change that vote once it's cast. i may have to do something about that, but i'll let it stand for now.

one less obvious addition is a "subcribe to comments" plugin, which allows you to indicate whether you want, when you comment on a post, to have subsequent comments sent to you via email. there's also a subscription management feature, so you can come in and remove yourself from subscribed posts if you like.

a very obscure (to you the viewer, anyway) plugin is one which checks for incoming links to a post (from offsite), and registers any that are found as "pingbacks" without the offsite poster having to actually initiate a formal pingback. if you understand what that means, congratulations, you're an official blog geek.

behind the scenes, i've also added a plugin that counts post views, mainly for the benefit of the last recently added plugin… a bipolar stats page. The plugin lists on that page many various stats from the blog, including the new post ratings and post views. One really fun feature (i thought, anyway) is the ability to see the nicks off all previous commenters, and the ability to go to a page listing all their comments. being that we allow "anonymous" comments (i.e. you don't have to register), many people have visited and used different nicks, so the list is rather longer than the actual number of individuals who've commented.

i still have a short list of plugins left to test and install, but i thought these were the most immediately useful ones.

here's what i've installed:

here's what i'm still considering:

so digg, email, subscribe, rate, view, and link away.

- 02:18 am - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Calls to Action - Computers/Tech - Personal Projects - Pop Culture - Society


2007.04.05 a list:

a cow-orker was asking about Sonic Youth today, specifically for a "best of" type of list. i responded with a limited list and the stipulation that i never feel comfortable picking favorites. i figured, with my resurgence on ye olde bipolar, it might be an interesting thing to pass along.

the following list is primarily made up of my highest rated SY tracks in iTunes, though i haven't rated every track that's in my library, so i don't claim it to be a complete list. i did cherry pick a couple of tracks from among the currently unrated ones, to fill out the list.

Washing Machine
Skip Tracer
No Queen Blues
Confusion is Sex
Confusion is Next
A Thousand Leaves
Hits of Sunshine
Bad Moon Rising
Death Valley '69
Murray Street
Disconnection Notice
NYC Ghosts & Flowers
NYC Ghosts & Flowers
Hendrix Necro

so, if you've never heard of 'em, or you just haven't made up your mind about 'em yet, i'd say these are a really great starting point.

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- 05:17 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Calls to Action - Happy/Love - Music - Raves


2006.04.18 another new feature:

this probably has limited intrinsic value, but it's something i've thought was neat for some time, and now that we've got wordpress, it was crazy easy to implement.

you know about avatars, right? as a limited example, they're the little images you choose to personalize your profile on bulletin boards (or forums as the young bucks like to call 'em). well, a guy had an idea that if you wanted, you should be able to use a single avatar, centrally controlled, from any site anywhere on the 'net. and, since we've all got unique email addresses, that could be the peg the hat hangs on. so now, if you login or post to a site that uses these "globally recognized avatars" and give them your email address, whamo-bamo, your personal little pic shows up on their site.

since I tended to use the same avatar (and username) on every site I visit anyway, this seemed like an obvious solution to a problem I hadn't realized I had. so, I signed up.

now, there's a plugin for Thunderbird so you can see gravatars in your address book, and, of course, there's a plugin for wordpress, so you guys can see your pictures when you post comments.

all you need to do to set up your free gravatar is go to and sign up. The gravatars have to be approved manually, and they are rated, so if you submit porn, someone will see it and rate it appropriately. because of the approval process and the 1-avatar, 1-email address limit of the free account, it could be a chore if you wanted to occasionally swap out your avatars.

i'd love to see all the regular characters set up a gravatar, just 'cause i think it's fun, and y'know, i went to all the trouble of installing the plugin.

oh, and btw, happy birthday to the amazing sharon—officially not a youngster anymore.

- 11:39 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Birthday - Calls to Action - Computers/Tech - Cool Links - Ex-Girlfriends - Friends - Pleased/Like - Pop Culture


2005.11.05 NaNoWriMo:

Not even going to attempt to explain the long hiatus. Needless to say, time is a precious commodity, and one must prioritize one's life.

Now however, i have thrown priority, precaution, and most things of a precious nature to the wind and decided to attempt participation in NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. Thus far, four days into it, i have a grand total of 82 words written.
**Update: 968 words as of 11/7 — 1 week in, just under 1/50th of the way there.**
**Update 2: 1359 words as of 11/8 — I'll post the prologue soon.**
**Update 3: 1840 words as of 11/8 — prologue posted**

I tried to do some leg-work prior to the start of this thing, and the result is a potentially unfortunate predictor of the remainder of the month. I did some work on a character sketch (yes, "A", meaning singular), but didn't quite get it finished. It did help me to think through and flesh out some of the backstory for this character, as well as some of his supporting cast, but the actual fiction portion remains incomplete.

Nevertheless, i thought i might post it to solicit feedback, and to wade on into the water by telling the world at large (i.e. those three obsessed readers who still persist in checking bipolar on a weekly basis) what i'm up to. Perhaps if i wade straight in rather than continuing to dangle my toes, it'll help pressure me into making some real progress.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the unfinished character sketch:


Old John Hoffstead was a fat little man with a generally pleasant disposition. Right now, however, Old John's brow was creased, and his outstretched arm was waggling a finger in the air.

"Young lady, you get down from there before you hurt yourself!"

A petite blonde with an almost comically round belly glared down at him from the top step of a 4-foot step ladder.

"John, seriously. I'm not a baby, and I'm not an invalid. I'm here to work, and I'm going to work, and you're going to just have to get used to that."

John lowered his finger, and his hand rested on his waist.

"I know that Mel, I just wish you'd be a little more careful, is all. It's not good for a woman in your condition to be exerting herself too much, or putting herself in danger. Why, my June, when she was carrying our 2nd, climbed up on a step-stool at home and nearly broke her damn neck. Damn near lost the baby too."

"But, she didn't do either. We women and these little parasites are a little more resilient than you apparently give us credit for."

Mel handed down the item she'd grabbed off the top shelf, and carefully made her way down the ladder, taking the hand John offered.

"Oh, I grant that you ladies can be pretty tough, but little babies are still pretty fragile… unless that really is just a big rubber ball you've got under there like some of the cashiers have been saying." He winked at her.

Read the rest of this entry »

- 12:12 am - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Cool Links - NaNoWriMo - Personal Projects - Pop Culture - Writing


2005.05.12 a dam bursts:

holy cow. i swore (to myself) i'd stop mentioning with every new post how long it's been since the last one, but jeeze louise, i'm making history here! a whole month gone by without a single post in it, and just over two months since my last post! it's a bipolar first folks (and hopefully a last). i'm going to have to fix the archive index script (see way below) to skip April 2005 for me… weird.

anyway. as you might have guessed by my last few posts, and by my (even for me) uncharacteristic silence, i have been bizz-eee… no, not even that, i've been extremely fucking BUSY for too damn long now. let's recap, shall we?

1) finally bought a house.
2) closed on the house and moved out of the old apartment
4) slowly began to see light again
5) started writing this post

i think somewhere in there around 3 and 4, Sara and i spent a bunch of money buying stuff for the house, she had a couple of bridal showers, so we got crap-loads of gifts, i've been doing honest-to-god yard-work, washing a crap-load of dishes (no dishwasher), trying to get my stuff organized and put away, trying to finish the wedding website, trying to finalize wedding plans, trying not to go insane.

we're getting a load of brick today… how incredibly surreal and weirdly pedestrian and adult-like is that? i spent 8 hours on sunday outside… my world is currently sitting directly on its head.

the work roller-coaster was barely noticed (by me, anyway… Sara would've been freaking out if she hadn't had to study so much for finals), in that my 1 year contract expires at the end of the month… but my newly minted boss finally managed to push the paperwork through for a 6 month extension, so i'm gainfully employed until… er… christmas time.

all this, and the wedding is only… 4 weeks away. i'm not consumed with fear or anxiety yet, so that's a good thing. and hell, i'm looking forward to being able to get away from all this recent hubbub for a week and just enjoy *life* (and being married) for a moment without having to deal with anyone or anything else.

but i'm glad my sis, a new foreign service initiate, is coming into town this weekend and bringing that cute niece of mine with her. and she'll actually be staying in the states most of the year as she does her FS training, so it's conceivable we could see her more than twice in the next six months. and then, of course, she'll ship off to some foreign land, and we'll be hard-pressed to even get to see her once a year.

and my darling has successfully completed her 2nd year of med school and is even now studying for her first set of boards. i think we'll have at most a week after we get back from the honeymoon before she has to start her first rotation. thankfully she managed to get it set up so she doesn't have to leave town to do a rotation for a while.

and last, but not least, after giving up my precious kitties to Paul and Allison, and having been in the house for a month and getting it mostly whipped into shape, Sara and I are looking for two little kitties of our own. we want babies, and we'd like them to be litter-mates, but we are a bit flexible on that last bit.

and thanks to everybody for their well-wishes and congratulations re: the house. we're hoping to have a house-warming party soon, and i'll make sure to mention it here unless anybody out in the wide world has an opportunity to make it down for a weekend (pre-wedding, i'm hoping)

oh, one more thing… i just launched the wedding website yesterday, so go check it out!

- 05:50 pm - PL :: 10 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Calls to Action - Cool Links - Family - Friends - Happy/Love - Love Life - Personal Projects - Travel - Wedding - Wife - Work - x:13 Family


2005.01.26 301:

i've finally broken 300 posts (this is the three-hundred-and-first) on bipolar, which is pretty sad, considering we've been doing this almost five full years. brian over there's killing me in the post-count department, despite my recent spate of activity and his recent absence.

which reminds me, brian's been at home ill quite a bit recently, so everybody .

which also leads me to another point. i managed to steal a few hours yesterday and today "cleaning up" the x13design family of websites to eliminate bare email addresses on all the pages. i've realized i'm getting a fuckload of spam mail, and it's probably all because i've had my address right out there for the spambots to collect at their leisure for years. i found a cool little tool online that encrypts the email address and generates javascript code to display the email link. so now, just about every instance of our various email addys has been cleaned up and obfuscated, so hopefully the torrent of spam will subside a bit. it's a vain hope, i know, but every little bit helps, i guess.

the other band wrapped up recording tonight, so next sunday we'll get seriously started on the mixing process. hopefully, we'll also get a few steps closer to picking a band name. rob actually provided a hefty list tonight, and we all picked five of our favorites from his list. here's the result of that:
3 threadbare taken
3 mammon (? possibly taken, found tabs online, a ref in, and a record label)
2 permafrost (dubliners, some reference to an indie band from '97/'98, and a record label)
2 psychosomatic (3 refs, all dead, maybe dead, 2 on bandreg)
2 nexus (here, here, here, here, & about 20 on bandreg)
2 housing project
2 trite (yup.)
2 kitsch (here, here, & about six on bandreg)
1 homogenize
1 midwife

brax and jim have both promised to provide their own lists on sunday, so i'll probably have some more for you then. after we vote on theirs, we'll repeat the process a few times, 'til we finally figure out what to call ourselves.

- 02:00 am - PL :: 7 Comments
categories ::  Bipolar: News - Calls to Action - Computers/Tech - Friends - Mammon - Music - Personal Projects - Pleased/Like - x:13 Family


2005.01.25 rio, montego? oh, no:

sara and i finally decided on our honeymoon destination: Amelia Island, FL. promises to be relaxing, exciting, and enjoyable. now we just gotta find us a money tree.

we also finally figured out just how much we're willing to spend on a house, so that search will pick up speed (which is good, since the lease at my, Paul, and Allison's place is up approximately April-ish). wish us luck.

and finally, if you haven't checked out Battlestar Galactica you are doing yourself a grave misservice. if you like Sci-Fi at all, i mean even the slightest bit, you must watch this show. pick up the miniseries, download the first three episodes (or all 12 that've been released in the UK already) and plop your ass down in front of the tube for a while. it's worth every minute.

- 01:18 am - PL :: 8 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Cool Links - Friends - Happy/Love - Pop Culture - Raves - Travel - TV - Wedding - Wife


2005.01.20 keep on puffin:

everybody say happy birthday to the puffin! a big ol' 31, beginning that long slog towards middle-age, right along with me.

Happy Birthday Puffin!

- 09:19 pm - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Birthday - Calls to Action - Friends


2005.01.19 and you will know us by… er… what exactly?

i don't remember if i've mentioned it here yet or not, but my band Lucifigous Prick–which was a three-piece, then a four-piece–is now a three-piece again. we realized that the addition of the drums was taking the band's sound in a direction that we didn't want Lucifigous Prick to go… which is not to say that we didn't like the new sound, but it just wasn't what we wanted to do with LP. we toyed with the idea of breaking up or going back to a three-piece, until we realized that we could have the best of all worlds if we just split stuff into two separate projects. So now, we've got the original Lucifigous Prick line-up, and… the new band, which, after 4 months or so, still is unnamed.

still unnamed, and "in the studio" nevertheless. we're currently recording our 10(ish) songs under the able guidance of Jason Loewenstein, and have, in fact, gotten them mostly in the can already. pretty much just vox & mixing left, then we'll be ready to put out whatever it is we end up putting out under whatever name it is we end up stumbling upon.

in that vein, i thought i'd bounce a few ideas off of you guys. i had a previous list that i seem to have misplaced, but i was just thinking of some new ones last night, perhaps you all can pitch in and give us some more idee-s. oh, and the band's sound is still dark (not goth, not death metal, but dark) but more heavily rock centric than the Prick.

some possibilities:
Emergent Intelligence
Emerging Intelligence


Study of Human Behavior
Studies in Human Behavior



Go the Spoils

By the Victors


(from Medical terminology/disease names)
Vestibular Schwannoma
Otitis Externa
Acoustic Neuroma
Cotard's Syndrome
Scrivener's palsy
Worm Fit

(general rules for suggestions, no numbers, no use of the words "black" or "red", no use of "day" or variations thereof. phrases/cliches should be obfuscated or subtle)

well, that ended up being longer than i thought, especially once i started looking up disease names… still, i invite you to weigh in, perhaps make some other suggestions.

- 05:07 pm - PL :: 6 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Lucifigous Prick - Mammon - Music - Personal Projects - Pleased/Like




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