Yay for the MacArthur Maze Collapse!!

BART was Busy This Morning
This Morning's Commute

I am really happy about the MacArthur Maze collapse. That is to say, I'm sure it's going to be a little tougher to get around for the next month or two, but I think it's worth it.

BART ridership hasn't changed much in the last couple years[1]. Just by casual observation, BART was twice as crowded this morning as it would be on an average Monday. If there are a few thousand people that have never taken BART before and are forced to learn this week, maybe they'll notice how awesome and easy it is. And if ridership goes up, they'll need more trains to accommodate the new passengers. With more frequent trains comes shorter waits on the platform. (In Paris the busy lines on the Metro come every 2 minutes). Luckily, with increased ridership should come increased revenue from fares so they'll be able to afford to bring in more trains.

Ok, there are a few logical leaps here, and maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but considering the amazing lack of deaths/injuries to come out of this, a little traffic is a small price to pay for fewer cars on the road. Remind me of this post in a couple weeks when I'm sitting in traffic taking an hour and a half to get across town to my Dad's house in Piedmont.


Two Things on the Mac Gaming Radar

First of all, Dan F. told me about Frets on Fire this weekend. Open source Guitar Hero that you play while holding your keyboard in your lap? I'm there. Sadly, the Mac version isn't available on their site yet. I managed to find v1.2.438 on a fan forum, but it BSoD's on launch (where B is Bk not Bl). So I'm keeping an eye on that one. (PC users, wail away, tell me if it's worth the DL)

In the mean time, another platform agnostic game worth your attention is Flow. I can't even describe this one, it's unlike any game i've played. Just check it out.


I sooo want to do this...


Music to Sleep By

I've suffered from mild insomnia for as long as I can remember. I'll lay in bed for an hour or two, my body exhausted, and my mind going 100 miles a minute. It's frustrating because I know I'll be dead-tired when my alarm goes off in the morning, but I just can't get to sleep. My mind is too active.

Back in college, I'd listen to music to help me fall asleep (The Cure - All Mixed Up, Depeche Mode - 101, Tracy Chapman - Self Titled). I'd focus on the music and it would help me relax a little. Myshelle prefers it quiet at bedtime so I ditched that habit a few years back. The alternative solution that I've found is staying up way past my bedtime playing video games till 1am and then stumbling to bed and passing out right away. It works well, and as an added bonus I get to play lots of video games, but it leaves me severely under-slept by the end of the week. Come weekend I could sleep in till noon if Myshelle let me (don't worry, she doesn't).

So Myshelle went on a cruise to Mexico with her mom a few weeks ago and I took advantage of having the bed to myself (ok, I share with Zahava and Sophie, but they don't complain about music at night). I discovered a new solution and it's been working fabulously. I downloaded a couple sleep aid MP3s and they knock me right out.

The first one I found is called Delta Sleep System by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. There are two tracks, they both consist of nature sounds and new-age orchestration. It sounds kind of like the stuff we'd play at the acupuncturist's office where I used to work. Supposedly, there are pulses of embedded sound that encourage your brain to enter Delta Sleep. Here's a link with more information on what it is and how it works from Amazon.

My results: It took about the same time to fall asleep. Once I fell asleep, my dreams were more vivid (and bizarre) than normal. I woke feeling rested.

The second CD I found works even better. Meditation for a Good Night's Sleep by John Daniels. This also consists of 2 tracks, but the first one is a guided meditation. A deep soothing voice walks you through falling asleep. He talks about the importance of enjoying the process of falling asleep rather than focusing on the goal of being asleep. He tells you how comfortable and relaxed you are, goes over a couple breathing exercises, etc. This is followed by a second track of nature sounds and relaxing new age music. Here's the Amazon link if you want to read more or buy a copy.

My results: The first time I listened, I stayed away through the entire 28 minute meditation because I was curious what he was going to say. Subsequent listenings have worked amazingly. I often fall asleep in the first 5 minutes. I can't recommend it enough!!

Now the only problem is finding a more comfortable pair of headphones so I won't bug Myshelle. For all my fellow insomniacs, I hope this helps.

Bonus tip for reading this posting all the way to the end: click on the album art to download a demo copy of either CD so you can try it for yourself before you buy it.


Wedding Pictures are Online

I helped Dan and Scott, photographers extraordinaire, set up a photo-booth at the Fancy Dress Party for Michael and Erin's wedding the weekend before last.

We had a pretty technofabulous rig, with a Nikon D200 connected directly to Dan's MacBook, which was connected to a projector. 10 seconds after a shot was taken, you could see it projected bigger than life right behind the cameraman.

Some amazing photographs are proof of a job well done. You can find all the pictures at the wedding website: spectacular-spectacular.com, but here are a handful of my favorites:

Credit to the photographers, Dan and Scott