kirk.is | archive | 2012 dec

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December 1, 2012

(4 comments)

advent day 1


mary the turtle


My new housemate Miller, mastermind behind the miniquiche party: varieties include fajita, pepperoni pizza, cheeseburger, mashed potato, and breakfast sausage...

December 2, 2012


advent day 2

December 3, 2012


advent day 3

Besides the amazing mechanical work they did to get the mouth to move, the best part of the original Chewbacca costume is the mustache.
I really dig my Doctor John Bordiuk... He's been my PCP for like 10 years, he was my yoga instructor for like half of that (he balances rock solid Western medicine with respect for what other traditions do well.) Anyway, he just set up a new practice (right off of 128 in Wellesley) and I think he's open to new patients... highly recommended,
"what I've done
and what I've failed to do...
wind-blown leaves"
--Johnny Baranski, ‏http://twitter.com/haikumonk

December 4, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 4

The problem with unit testing is that "units" hardly ever fail. Components fail, Systems fail-- it's the interaction of units that's usually the problem.
"Look, suffering doesn't make you better, it just makes you suffer!"
--Art Spiegelman (reading his MetaMaus now, fascinating.)
"Everything happens so much"
--http://twitter.com/Horse_ebooks

December 5, 2012

(3 comments)

advent day 5

"I've squirted this entire bottle of No More Tears shampoo in this babies face, he's still crying, babysitting is hard."
--http://twitter.com/weinerdog4life
"Want to learn how to BEATBOX? Just repeat: 'Boots and Cats and' TRY IT! =)"
--http://twitter.com/McFunkypants
Getting good use of that James Harvey Alien Bill... now it's a GelaSkin for my phone...

December 6, 2012


advent day 6

"A neurosis is just a solution that has become a problem."
--Paul Pavel (as quoted by Art Spiegelman)
"Well, I decided that behaving ethically was the most nihilistic thing I could do."
--Paul Pavel
"'Holy Infant, so tender and mild' always sounds a bit too culinary."
--http://twitter.com/BillCorbett
"Look after your health, because there is a skeleton inside you and you are the only thing holding it back."
--http://twitter.com/SeeBeeWhitman
Oh time, you crazy thing. I had 2 days of seminar training, so Wednesday felt like Monday, but now today feels like Friday. DANG.

December 7, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 7

December 8, 2012


advent day 8

GTA:Vice City is out for IOS. Big open world games with missions, guns, and helicopters make me happy.

from this Star Trek: The Animated Series episode

December 9, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 9

A little out of date but:


Blender of Love

Inspired a bit by Macklemore's Thrift Shop when I was dropping off some furniture-y bits at Goodwill I went looking or shirts, since I'd like to get some that aren't so tent-like on me noew. Really, not bad stuff-- especially at $5 a pop! Also I like how they sort by color, that matches how I think about shirts.

main st, Gloucester MA

December 10, 2012


advent day 10

"You know how non-techies have terrible mental model of how a computer works? I often feel techies have similar models of businesses."
--http://twitter.com/patio11
Making the rounds? Nuanced and hilarious for anyone who saw the latest Batman movie:

20 years from now, the movie "Swingers"' swing dancing may be obviously retro relative to the movie, but what about playing NHL 93 on Genesis?
http://www.thisismyjam.com/kirkjerk -- Kathleen Edwards "Back to Me"

December 11, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 11

"People want to believe so badly, and that's exactly what they do."
--http://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod

December 12, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 12

Today is National Soundcheck Day, "1 2 1 2 1 2". Sad that I won't see another day of this format, and that it had been a darkhorse candidate for a day to get hitched with Amber...
I just sponsored the IndiGogo project GravityLight, http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/282006/x/430319 -- in part because it's awesome, and in part because i want one.
http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/ -- on my UI devblog, some fun with the minimalist program "10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));:GOTO 10"

December 13, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 13

Dialog between me and Amber last night, after I described my evening using Emoji. It's a challenging narrative form!


Every once in a while I hear "not information dense" as a critique of a UI. (Win8 or iOS). Man, that is backwards thinking in my book.
JIM HENSON: I think Ms. Rand and my character Oscar the Grouch would have a lot to talk about actually. I am laughing out loud at this idea.

AYN RAND: Why would I want to talk to him. What has he achieved or trying to achieve.

JIM HENSON: He has achieved what I think is the ultimate goal of your way of thinking. Isolation. Contempt for others. A hard heart. Yet even he can muster a bit of empathy every now and then.

AYN RAND: I am not isolated. I have no contempt for others. Millions of people read my books and find my thoughts inspirational. I hardly spend my time on the sidelines in a trash can grumping.

JIM HENSON: Not yet anyway.
--from this rather amazing conversation among Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Yoko Ono, and Sidney Nolan. Sometimes I really think Ayn Rand sounds like a parody of herself.
A burnt out and destroyed Detroit high school, then and now. Haunting!
"‎Anyone who acts without paying attention to what he is doing is wasting his life. I'd go so far as to say that life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece."
--Nadia Boulanger

December 14, 2012


advent day 14

http://www.xkcd.com/1146/ :

It is terrific that the Apache module that can correct "off by one" URL typos is called "mod_speling".
"Man plans, and god laughs.
Like the ant and the grasshopper."
--A Softer World, http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=909
Re: the shooter. The other day I saw a photo of a tasteless costume, a guy w/ orange hair, in an orange jumpsuit, and a sign that said "too soon?" Honestly, I had forgotten that Batman shooter. I know that the psychopaths who would commit this kind of travesty might be beyond our comprehension, but if they're doing it to be noticed or remembered, they won't be.

December 15, 2012

(1 comment)

advent day 15

December 16, 2012

(2 comments)

advent day 16

Had the cat fed, had showered, and was brushing my teeth when I realized it was in fact Sunday. Biggest internal calendar fail for me in a while!
What Science Says About Gun Control short answer: is it's pretty much a wash so far, and people will always argue as part of their identity/group affiliation, which seems pretty likely to (and about) me.

But relax, gun funs! The NRA's got your back. As This Modern World comic says: "Barring some seismic realignment in this country, the gun control debate is all but settled--and your side won. The occasional horrific civillian massacre is just the price the rest of us have to pay.

Over and over again, apparently."
"Be very careful about your cape. Don't use it for sexual high jinks. It can get ugly-- trust me. Also, be careful when flushing."
--Adam West
"There's no need to wait for the end of the world. It ends a little bit every day."
--http://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod
"I was a hipster before hipsters were popular. You probably never heard of me."
--http://twitter.com/ITNet1
Ooh, I just processed my first GitHub pull request! For http://lowLag.alienbill.com/ -- now I feel a little bit more like a real open source dev.
"You are the music, while the music lasts."
--T.S. Eliot

December 17, 2012


advent day 17

Via Cordelia, Another bit of childhood lore shattered:

Great New Yorker piece on artificially made languages (ConLangs), particularly Ithkuil. (Though I think the goal of removing redundancy from language is a fool's errand... but maybe a worthy thought-sharpener.)
Sometimes lately I've been feeling nervous, like my whole life is a sinking ship. Then I remember that's the human condition: the ship has always been sinking since it left the dock. So now I can stop and relax and enjoy the Orchestra's fine rendition of "O Nearer My God to Thee".
http://www.correlated.org/631 52% of people who know their Myers-Brigg type would choose tuba over bass drum in marching band vs. 40% who don't.
http://www.correlated.org/631 In general, 40 percent of people would rather play a tuba than a bass drum in a marching band. But among those who know what their Myers-Briggs personality type is, 52 percent would rather play a tuba.
"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
--Thomas Jefferson (via daring fireball)

December 18, 2012


advent day 18

"If you can not able use Perl for answer, you are ask wrong question."
--http://twitter.com/DEVOPS_BORAT
I always loved the classic Mega Man 'bot design, so seeing the sketches for 9 (including unused Honey Woman) was cool.

December 19, 2012


advent day 19

"nobody tell dogs that they are made of bones deep down inside or they'll all just rip themselves apart out of joy"
--http://twitter.com/rev_revolvre
whoa, actual hari krishnas at park street station? no robes though...
I am at once amused, appalled, and approving that Wahhabism's outlook on idolatry is letting them turn Mecca into Vegas.

December 20, 2012


advent day 20


ThisIsMyJam: A Long December Sometimes you dig a song, and try to apply it to your life, then it REALLY seems to describe the situation...
Thus starts the holiday vacation, just managing to get "Todo List: Zero"

December 21, 2012


advent day 21

So this is Maya2K! I do admit, I would at least describe New Jersey as "very windy" today.

Actually, I think over the last few months there's been less hype than I expected...

The Broken Boadwalk of Jersey:











instagramming it...

Another thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a situation where "bad" guys have fewer ways of getting guns. Duh.

December 22, 2012

(3 comments)

advent day 22

"There is no situation that cannot be made stupider and more volatile with the addition of a gun."
--Cordelia A.
My new drink concoction: Spum-O: Sprite Zero + Rum. On ice. In a glass. Enjoy with friends.

December 23, 2012


advent day 23

On a Small Planet

I did not tell Uncle and Aunt about all of my visits to Aalam-104729. Or of the many things that I saw. Once, I hovered invisibly in a city that arched over a hill. The planet was one of a dozen orbiting an ordinary star, the smallest planet in the system. It was a quiet world. Oceans and wind made scarily a sound. People spoke to one another only in whispers. I floated above the city and looked down at its streets and inhabitants. Corners of buildings rusted in the air, billows of steam rose from underground canals. Through throngs of creatures moving this way and that, as creatures do in their cities, I spotted two men passing each other on a crowded walkway. Complete strangers. In the eight million beings living in the city, these two had never met before, never chanced to find themselves in the same place at the same time. A common enough occurrence in a city of millions. And as these two strangers moved past, they greeted each other, just a simple greeting. A remark about the sun in the sky. One of them said something else to the other, they exchanged smiles, and then the moment was gone. What an extraordinary event! No one noticed but me. What an extraordinary event! Two mean who had never seen each other before and would not likely see each other again. But their sincerity and sweetness, their sharing an instant in a fleeting life. It was almost as if a secret had passed between them. Was this some kind of love? I wanted to follow them, to touch them, to tell them of my happiness. I wanted to whisper to them: "This is it, this is it."

--Alan Lightman (author of "Einstein's Dreams",) from "Mr g", a kind of creation myth. God wanders the void with his Aunt Penelope and Uncle Deva (kind of representing a spirit of science and rationality and one of religious feeling, respectively) and creates a universe. It's a creation myth very in tune with our observations of the history and construction of the universe, a kind of plausible tale of a compassionate yet non-interventionist God, a watchmaker who set things in motion, things that have unfortunate side effects of suffering and pain as an inevitable result of the original parameters. It's a lovely book.

December 24, 2012


advent day 24

"If you spent $1 million every day since the time Christ was born until now, you will have spent $735 billion. Think about that."
--http://twitter.com/siwisdom
"You can know everything about a person by whether they refer to 4AM as '4 in the morning' or '4 at night'"
--http://twitter.com/dikshabasu
"It's weird how the group that wants arms to protect us from tyrannical government also wants more armed government officers."
--http://twitter.com/fmanjoo
My dad did needlepoint at a national competition level. I just found out he was inspired by ex-NFL player Rosey Grier and his "Needlepoint for Men". It took me a while to realize needlepoint is basically pixel art as a handicraft.

December 25, 2012


advent day 25

I liked this article on wrestler Mick Foley explaining how to channel Santa Claus.

via
"Anybody who thinks that having an orgasm isn't funny is probably bad at sex."
--http://twitter.com/kthorjensen
For all Zuck's talk of the "speed of the native app", landscape mode and copy and paste on FB mobile would've been nice.

December 26, 2012


It is possible there are too many Dunkin Donuts in my neck of the woods

Back when I was your age, spaghetti code was the curse of the industry. Random gotos pointing anywhere. Branching into the middle of subroutines, or out.

Then came lasagna apps. Layer upon layer of abstraction so deep nobody knew how it really worked -- if it did. Before you could dig down to the meat you had to scrape aside tons of moldy cheese.

Now we have onion corporations. No one really does anything. They just contract with someone else to do it. And if you peel away that shell (tearfully) you find another contact handing off responsibility but skimming some of the dollars.

It's turtles all the way down! Recursion FTW!
--Larry on The Daily WTF

December 27, 2012

(2 comments)
I'd rather need an umbrella than a shovel any time -- rain flows! snow blows!
So Windows 7 has a "Windows Experience Score". I dig the simplification, but having the aggregate score be the lowest subscore is cheesy.

December 28, 2012

A garage near me has a lot full of cop cars from all over: Boston, Stanton, Holton Mills, even San Jose. Why?
from http://skillcrush.com/2012/12/19/landing-on-your-feet/ a good lesson for me:
Don't overwhelm yourself, but it's critical to also stay out of your comfort zone. It's really easy to keep doing what you know, because it makes you feel great about your ability. While I agree that this is a good confidence-building approach, it prevents you from learning new things. "Stay out of your comfort zone" implies being in a state of discomfort, and sometimes it's true! This pain is a path toward gaining new knowledge and confidence.

The Calvinball of Chess:

"I was reminiscing just the other day."
--http://twitter.com/asjchae
Man, making a library to be jQuery-independent reminds me of how nice and useful jQuery's syntax is for basic DOM manipulation!

December 29, 2012

Early morning fun link finds: http://www.cracked.com/article_20173_6-places-youll-recognize-from-background-every-movie.html and this impressive bit of old school sound fx and new school web audio toys http://webaudio.prototyping.bbc.co.uk/
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2839#comic so that explains the whole time thing...

December 30, 2012

Coming to terms with the reality that yes, I do live in New England, yes, most winters have a layer of snow for the duration, and climate change hasn't knocked that away.

December 31, 2012


via. Man, I need to relearn how to make animated GIFs from videos.
"If at first you don't succeed, that's one data point."
--http://xkcd.com/1154/

I am the margarita king. I can do anything.

"That's the first step to self-canibalism; put some guacamole on it."
--Dachary
"Why is Time Square a sea of blue dicks?"
--Sam

Anthony was jealous of the novelty 2013 glasses on TV so I made him these
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