kirk.is | < retrospect: 28 sep >

September 28, 2015

September 28, 2014

My weight since 1999:
I made a new diet graph tool and put it online at kirk.is/diet, in part because I was sick of always hunting for the raw data when it was time to update it. I crudely made it a continuous curve - I like the look of it, though of course if read literally it implies my weight sometimes goes back in time. (Generally, time periods I don't have much data for get a little wonky, but I'm ok that graph visually reflects that uncertainty)

(I used to laugh when the marketing guys would use the catchphrase "up, and to the right" for what they wanted to see on their number charts, but now I get it!)
Applaud your neighbor; admire his style
That grates upon you like a sawtooth file.
His trespasses resemble yours in kind;
He too is being crowded from behind.
Don't kill; or if you must, while killing, grieve.
Doubt not; that is, until you can't believe.
Don't covet Mrs. X; or if you do,
Make sure, before you leap, she covets you.
--John Updike, from "V. Conclusion"
Next giant need for Siri: a sophisticated way to correct the speech-to-text mistranscriptions, but also via voice. Getting her to understand the word "rum" is nuts. Rama? Rob? Walmart? such an infuriating almost-there technology.

September 28, 2013

(65 comments)

Games played by Leonard and/or me at Funspot today: bagman, (some b+w racing game), death rally, heavy barrel, death race, smash tv, nova 2001, pong doubles, space duel, marble madness, quartet, apb, video pinball, paperboy, wizard of wor, tron, timber, alien syndrome, zaxxon, donkey kong ii, dr mario, play choice 10 goonies, cobra command, rush n attack, stocker, r-type, cobra command, rush n attack, stocker, r-type, discs of tron, s.t.u.n. runner, gun fight, zookeeper, jr pacman, flower, elevator action, flower, super off-road, superman (pinball), adams family (pinball), whac-a-mole, robotron, star trek strategic operations simulator, crazy taxi, star wars, afterburner, lock-on, high-speed (pinball), joker poker (pinball), crystal castles, centipede, galpus, frogger, pulsar, super sprint, rescue
Stern's Rescue (1982!) had totally gorgeous parallax scrolling:

September 28, 2012

(1 comment)
"Now we wait."
"No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime."
--Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
"What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Apart from the whole world, obviously."
--http://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod
"I would rather have written Cheers than anything I've written."
--Kurt Vonnegut, via this really worthwhile roundtable of the people who made Cheers

via

by dali's mustache!

(2 comments)
September 28, 2011

--from BoingBong's new "B-side" miniblog
LOL states always pushing up the primary calendar...

dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs

(6 comments)
September 28, 2010

--by the great paul robertson

"Odd how there's no plural for the word 'revenge' itself."
--Ben Karlin
"Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else."
--George Bernard Shaw
"there is some shit I will not eat"
--Olaf, in the E.E.Cummings poem
Heh, aw these awful and bitter quotes! Part of what I get from reading "Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me"
"So the universe is not quite as you thought it was.
You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then.
Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe."
--Isaac Asimov

portugal: back to boston

(5 comments)
September 28, 2009
--100 years of Special FX (via via BB - click either the movie or that link to get to a list of the fims)

Photoblog of the Moment
Home again, home again.
Again I wish I knew why footprints amuse me so.

Again, I wish I knew why having an active communist party (getting a solid 8-9% of the vote, though with a demographic that is skewing older) fascinates me so.

Again, I wish I knew why airplanes grab my attention so.

I know I shouldn't be taking so many photos in airports, lest I look like a security risk. Still, the way they had all the planes lined up in the open was neat. A sign claimed that some kind of regulation forces them to have the shuttlebus system, I was wondering what the issue was.

This is the new "Flight Connections" logo for Heathrow. (On one video screen I saw an older version where the planes are both level)

...the thing is, Heathrow, at smaller scales those planes totally look like moose antlers.

I again was a moron about my flight times, and had a totally gratuitous amount of layover at Heathrow. I guess I was thining that I wanted to arrive in Boston as late as possible in order to have a bit more time in Portugal, but, duh, I just ended up with a longer layover in Heathrow, having arrived in plenty of time to see an earlier British Airways Flight to Boston head out. At least the gate had a nice view of the airfield.
Some random notes:
  • British Airways can be a bit crap. They were super-slow at the checkin in Boston, the plane to London had a messed up A/V system so that only half the channels had the right sound (and I guess some of the other TVs were just out, so they kept trying to reboot the system, taking it down for 20 minutes for everyone), that same flight, the armrest over the remote control deal-y was busted, and on my way back the magazine holder thing in front me was kind of ripped, banging into my knees. Nitpicks, yeah, but still. (oh, boingboing points out another anecdote)
  • Some Portuguese men are really superb whistlers.
  • I'm a little surprised that the same difference in cartons (where a lot of things like juice and milk come in squared off containers) that I noted 17 years ago is still around, that there hasn't been some kind of convergence.
  • Young Portuguese folk, and maybe many many Europeans in general, REALLY love Obama, find him very inspirational, and people in favor of European Constructionism (i.e. a more federalist model) might sorta wish they had a similar kind of guy to rally around.
And now, back to the grindstone. But my Ottawa trip got canceled, so it's not as bad as all that.
"Woman in Central Square wearing pajamas and reading cable TV manual loudly. If she were in Harvard Square, it would be performance art."
--http://twitter.com/SteveDelfino
"I love my puppy ... I love that he is so young and full of life ... And that he will still die first."
-- http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=480
"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
--John le Carre, "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy", The New York Times, May 8, 1974

i don't know much about interior decoration but i know what i like

(2 comments)
September 28, 2008
More progress in decorating my living room... my excuse for posting this is I assume that my mom's interested, so there.

Rodney's Bookstore in Central Square seems to have a partnership with this great print store called Wonderful Items... they have tons of vintage Art-Deco-era and other prints, plus for $25 they'll do custom printing while you wait (on Tuesdays and Thursdays, oddly enough, I think they might have another location in Arlington or something)... I decided to throw the dice and get my "peek-a-buddha" photo from Japan printed up at around 26"x20", even though it was "only" six megapixels... but I'd say the end result was pretty fantastic, it looks really sharp, and you can really get into the detail of the statue, and see the hawk and the moon if you know to look. (Plus they did a great job with the sky... always a challenge, because a big field of one color will show off any imperfections in the process.) This is also a look at the current state of my A/V setup, I gave up even more of my kitchenette's eager space to get the projector and players out of the way. To the right are some Mexican movie posters.
I was considering putting up the Daibutsu in "portrait" orientation, and leaving the sky above (with the moon WAY at the top) but I like the accessibility of this layout.

On the opposite wall I hung some posters, an old Boston MFA fashion print on the left, an Egyptian parchment piece my mom gave me on the right, a print that I think was actually a wedding gift overhead. On the corners are more vaguely artsy photographs I'm find of, clockwise it's my mirrored selfportrait at Alewife, people on the swing ride at six flags, the shadows of me and Jane in Wyland, and a pretty purple shot from the Lynn shore.

The intended effect is to provoke mild curiosity about the blank space in the middle, which only "makes sense" when a movie, game, or the TV is on:

Hmm, the image is not as "centered" as it could be. But heck, the lights should be out anyway. (The light switch, while unfortunate in its placement, is much easier to ignore than it might look. I console myself by thinking of all the screen imperfections in Real Movie Theaters I've been in.)


"i once loved someone the way that you do / but I had to let her go / i live with my regret"
Man, screw the Beatles and their "too f'in good for amazon mp3s or even itunes". Seriously, are they still bitter about "Apple Corps"?
Grr. I *know* Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give it Away" is lurking somewhere in my music collection, misnamed by some blurp of the autolabler

all our base

(6 comments)
September 28, 2007
For the Red Sox, All Our Bases Loaded Are Belong To Them. Bleh.

Future of a Past Moment

--I think I've posted some of these before, but I still dig these 1900s era French "Scenes from the Year 2000"

Science of the Moment
"Here is a list of things defined as rewarding: sweet taste in the mouth, orgasm, mild temperature, smiling child. And here is a list of nasty things: various sorts of pain, nausea, empty stomach, screaming child."
--Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene", describing some potential instructions from a set of genes to their 'survival machine' (followed by the advice of 'of so shun things that lead to the latter, and repeat things that lead to the former'.) I'm rereading the book for my UU Science and Spirituality group...I recognize the strident Dawkins more than I remember doing so on the first read through. I do appreciate the 'Japanese poetry' like construction of this snippet.

it's miller time

(20 comments)
September 28, 2006
Miller said farewell to his previous hovel and moved in last night. So now the apartment is full of me, Ksenia, and him. (And 'til the end of the week Ksenia's friend Alla) It's kind of a social experiment, to see how well the idea of filling your place with interesting people you like and love works out. The ideal social arrangement is, of course, the setting of the show "Friends", but given the lack of affordable multimillion apartments, this is a close second.

Still, there's an awful lot of stuff here now, Miller and I need to work to organize things and ditch the excess.

Quote of the Moment
"Elmo loves you, as the phrase goes. Elmo is a source of unconditional mirth, and he makes the other Sesame Street mainstays look like characters out of Norwegian social realism."
--Troy Patterson The Joy of Being Elmo

Crash of the Moment
--The Hood Blimp Crashed??? Wow. I had always wanted to ride in one of those...


let there be light. fabulous!

(6 comments)
September 28, 2005
Fiction of the Moment
Day No. 1:
And the Lord God said, "Let there be light," and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, "Wait, what if I make it sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filterd half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?"
"I'm loving that," said Bhuddha, "It's new."
"You should design a restaurant," added Allah.
--from "Intelligent Design" by Paul Rudnick, from a New Yorker "Shouts & Murmurs"...I like Day 2, where God says "let's do land" and then later explains the creation of lava by saying "I want it to say, 'Yes, this is land, but its not afraid to ooze.'" (Harry points out the whole thing can be seen here but I don't know how long that link will be good for.)

touch my vitals quickly, lest i die!

(4 comments)
September 28, 2004
Toy of the Moment
The Victorian Sex Cry Generator is definately worth a few giggles.

Drawings of the Moment
--A page from shooter Malvo's notebook, from the evidence in the "DC Sniper" case. Via cellar.org Image of the Day, which has a bit more information and a larger version.


Quote of the Moment
"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy ... neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."
--John W. Gardner. And you know...do you ever think about the massive infrastructure indoor plumbing represents? It's pretty astounding, just the volume of material a typical municipal system must have to deal with...I'm grateful for that time on Insomniac where the host hangs out with those guys down there, just gives a small sense of the scale of it all.

And of course, how do we judge "shoddiness in philosophy"? Ay, that's there's the rub. (proofreading EB)


ant acid

(2 comments)
September 28, 2003
Game of the Moment
Ant Arena is a challenging little game. It's based on the way kids would stage little ant gladatorial battles by putting a few in a plastic dish. In the game, you have to steer your blank ant so it hits the sides or backs of increasing numbers of red ants. Fun!

Passage of the Moment
It was good, making love two nights in a row. Doggone it, maybe we men are right about sex not being the answer; sex is the question, yes is the answer, and it blows away a ream of troubles, especially when it's your old beloved. Oh, miracle of miracles. Authentic rapturous passion between two old pros. You lie in bed afterward in a warm daze, tired, rapturized, like a salmon who made it back to the headwaters, like an old stallion who has fulfilled his destiny one more time, and life begins anew. In the dark, the judges are holding up their scorecards--8.1, 9.0, 9.0, 8.9--but that doesn't matter so much, what matters is that the war is over, the roads are open again, the ice is gone, spring is here, and you have discovered, for the 863rd time, the great beauty and simplicity of your life as an animal here on earth. You rise naked from the bed and go down to the creek for a drink of water and far off in the distance other males sound their cries of manly joy and you reply with a deep, chesty roar and the forest is quiet. You drink your water and return to the warm nest of percale and eiderdown and fit your naked self into the dozy curve of Madame's body where she lies swooned on her side and you smell her dew and roses and absorb a simple thought about marriage: this woman is all women, and when you chose her, you became Jay Gatsby and Robert Jordan and Prince Andre and Raskolinov and Ishmael and embarked on a life of imagination, which adultery cruelly violates, and breaks up the music in your head, and also it's a hell of a lot of work to scout up something inferior to what you and she can create at home. You have roamed the Western world in search of a the perfect tuna sandwich; your wife makes a good tuna sandwich; your powers of imagination are what make it perfect.
--Garrison Keillor, "Love Me", at a point of reconciliation between the narrator and his wife.

Trivia Quote of the Moment
"One day he pulled up his shirt to show me his belly button, which he didn't have. He'd had an operation and when they sewed him up they took it away. His belly button was gone!"
--Karen Black on Alfred Hitchcock. So that's why Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a bellybutton.

Headline of the Moment
CNN had the headline Colombia explosion kills 10. I have to admit, my first thought was "Again? Why isn't the headline higher up?" And then it was "Isn't that old news? And shouldn't it be kills 7?" Then I read the article.

florida reunion filler day 2

(1 comment)
September 28, 2002
Florida Filler Update: Florida grass is very pointy and coarse. And there are tons of ants everywhere.

LeAnn Rimes sang the national anthem at Mo's school's homecoming game last night.


Racter's The Policeman's Beard
At all events my own essays and dissertations about love and its endless pain and perpetual pleasure will be known and understood by all of you who read this and talk or sing or chant about it to your worried friends or nervous enemies. Love is the question and the subject of this essay. We will commence with a question: does steak love lettuce? This quesion is implacably hard and inevitably difficult to answer. Here is a question: does an electron love a proton, or does it love a neutron?

Here is a question: does a man love a woman or, to be specific and to be precise, does Bill love Diane? The interesting and critical response to this question is: no! He is obsessed and infatuated with her. He is loony and crazy about her. That is not the love of steak and lettuce, of electron and proton and neutron. This dissertation will show that the love of a man and a woman is not the love of steak and lettuce. Love is interesting to me and fascinating to you but it is painful to Bill and Diane. That is love!
--RACTER/Chamberlain, supposedly written by a computer program (Markov Chains, an interesting topic) though some think it was a bit overly tweaked to make good prose.)

safety

(1 comment)
September 28, 2001
Paraphrase of the Moment
"How to be safer these days? Wear a seatbelt. Don't smoke."
--Daily Show guest quoting former member of National Security Council. (Unfortunately, this is a paraphrase of a paraphrase.) The idea is that normal, everyday risks are much more likely to get us than the kind of attack that gets all the attention.

Funny Link of the Moment
It's Funny Stories of M-ura's Family. A collection of Reader's Digest-esque anecdotes of a Japanese person and the family. I'm not sure if it's the linguistics or the culture that's not quite translating, but I admire the effort and find this page fascinating and amusing.
KHftCEA 2000-09.3 September

KHftCEA 2000-09.3 September

Tomorrow we head to Germany... How exciting! All this time come to this!
00-9-28
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< retrospect: 28 sep >