| < retrospect: 5 jul >


  ...of the moment  
Observing my own behavior, I think there's going to be a trend where people will use multitasking to avoid pre-video video ads. Unskippable 30 Second Sears Ad? Ok, I'm gonna go do something else, then hop back in a bit. (Of course they still have my ear, and also that might lead to an escalation where videos autopause when they lose the focus.)

I know some folk use AdBlock, but I think that does too much. I enjoy a lot of content for free, and don't mind being some part of what keeps that going -- it's a question of where the line should be drawn, and how.


  ...of the moment  
This was the view from David's place last night near sunset. That is actually an old ruined castle there in the sunlight. Later the panorama of the lake was decorated with dozens of small lakeside firework displays in the distance, over the course of an hour or so. An intriguing night!

click for fullsize

Before the fireworks, a shot of Amber. She prefers the ones where she's, you know, smiling, but I dig this one.

Before the show I experimented with my camera's "fireworks" mode... Amber likes this one.

Reflection in the beach water.

Finally from the day before, this sunbather looked lonely.

  ...of the moment Software patents are just food for trolls. End them.

(4) noodle on up

--Man, I wish I was famous enough to make commercials for Japan.

  ...of the moment  
"1776: The USA is born. It was over 200 years before it announced the birth of USB."
"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite."
--Paul Dirac

(2) the art of the cookout
Amber and I had a housewarming bbq today... we had a bit of sidewalk chalk on the driveway, this was by Miller:
Kate did the top and middle part, Amber did the bottom, not sure of the middle...

(2) kayak and fireworks
Coming up - fireworks! But first: EB's and his new baby, henceforth known as "EBB2":

So Amber and I decided to kayak the Charles for fireworks - we were joined by much more experienced kayakers rhysara and c1, who had their own equipment (AND HOW - Rhysara managed to get all her luggage on her monstrous beast of a craft:)

Last year I noted "Hmm. 34 years old and I'll still veer off my path to steer towards a pigeon for a bit..." -- apparently you can add a year to 34, and change the pigeon to "swimming geese"...

I worry that not enough of the composition class has stuck with me, or else I would have seen this lovely arch of a bridge as a framing device rather than just notice by accident after: (And maybe hold the camera straight for once)

Getting near the fireworks site we found this lovely beast of a pontoon highrise homebrew craft. Braver souls than I!

Twilight came...

Rhysara asked that I make a LJ-icon-able photo including the bow of a kayak and the fireworks... a challenge, since the fireworks were usually high up. This is the best I could do, though I think the square cropping should still be interesting:

So finally, notes to my future self should I do this again:
  • If you're wavering about the hoody (being too warm at first, but useful if an evening chill sets in) wear it now, unless the day is truly sweltering.
  • It's a bit over 4 1/2 miles each way. So get paddlin'!
  • You do need food, but not that much food...
  • The strategy of not drinking too much so as to avoid emergency port-a-lot trips to shore is a good one.
  • Yes the anchor is super handy. Ideally with about 100 feet of line but a bit less will do.
  • Anchors should ALWAYS be tied to the bow, not the stern, and if you're clever, look how the big boats are pulling from their anchor to figure out which way you'll be facing. HOWEVER - if you are facing directly into the fireworks, you are at risk for having a lot of smoke and ash blown in your face.
That was a nice time.

  ...of the moment - full set of photos from the 4th Kayaking!
"I always live by the motto don't do anything you'll have to explain to the paramedics."
-C1 - C1's coverage of the event

(2) new camera time!
After dropping my camera at the Celtics parade I bought another Canon much like it -- PowerShot SD850 IS. This has not made me a better photographer.

New camera is bulkier but zoomier. Harvard Square birdie.

EBSO (Wife of EB) wields tongs and fork.

MEB (Mama of EB), also in the backyard for the 4th cookout.

Mac the Dog

The whole EBclan has been enjoying fresh peas-in-the-pod as of late...

Rockport 4th Parade, just fooling around with "Color Accent". There was much red!

I learned about the tradition of "Horribles" parades and the musical groups therein. (Come to think of it, I was totally in that tradition and didn't realize it in '95 or so at the Bunker Hill Monument Halloween Parade.)

The Rockport Parade also had a Precision Lawnchair Drill Team, doing spinning formations in the parade and generally having a grand time. What they lacked in precision they made up for in lawnchairs!

(1) kirk the soggy vampire slayer
So I was kayaking yesterday, and like a complete genius let my phone and palm get all wet, and both are at least temporarily out of commission. (note for next time: plastic baggy, genius) So for the moment, online communication is probably going to be the best way to get my attention.

So last year we benefited from some kind people who thought to bring anchor and food and a little wine and were willing to share, and this year I was able to "pay it forward", at least anchor-wise, with Ruby and Benjamin who were canoing but would otherwise be adrift for the fireworks. (Being able to kick back with an anchor is so much nicer than having to constantly adjust.) They also had a bottle of champagne to share, so it was a very agreeable time all around.

There was a buoy that marked the edge you could go to, but then about 4 or 5 canoe crews started using that to anchor, and were slowly dragging it to the middle of the harbor... kind of funny to watch the slow-motion progression.

Also, COPS on JETSKIS!, with lights and everything, were new to me.

Fireworks of the Moment

--Kayaks = best seat in the house!

Exchange of the Moment
"So tonight I'm going to be biking, which is kind of a workout for legs, and tomorrow I'm going kayaking, which is arms..."
"Dude, you're going to be buff!"
"I'm going to be so 'buff' I should be slaying vampires! know, that might not be the imagery I was trying to project."
--Me and Jonathan on Tuesday.

(6) kayakkity-yak
Yesterday, on a whim, Ksenia and I decided to celebrate the fourth by renting a kayak and paddling down to see the Boston fireworks.

I learned a few things.
  • I'm "ok" at paddling if you define it by being able to make a kayak go forward, and roughly steer, but absolutely terrible if the definition of ok includes not getting a few gallons of water in the damn kayak. Stuff in the bottom of the kayak was drenched. Also, close quarters manuevering was like learning parallel parking all over again.
  • I prefer kayaks over canoes, because they seem less... campy, in both a figurative and literal sense. Plus the oar seems a bit more fiddley when you switch sides.
  • Muchies might have been a good thing to bring along...I didn't know what kind of room there'd be for one.
  • But maybe not beverages, because of the annoyance of having to locate a restroom. This we learned from experience.
  • Consider investing in a small anchor if you want to park your kayak...having to constantly adjust one's position while waiting for and viewing fireworks gets old after a while. Ksenia and I were quite fortunate, we made friends with a fellow kayaker named Rochelle, who was teaming up with 4 folks in a canoe... and they had an anchor! We lashed our watercraft together, Rochelle even passed around some munchkin bottles of Pinot Noir, and in general we had a grand old time.
  • It's a little disconcerting when you hear the concert from speakers behind you before the sound from the stage speakers has carried over the water.
  • It's a long way from the Charles River Canoe & Kayak (a couple of miles maybe? I was trying to figure it out) to where they have the fireworks. And, of course, even longer back.
Anyway, a few images:

Ready for action:

About to set out:

Some waterfowl along the way:

I like this shot of Ksenia, and also how you can see where all the boats are anchored waiting for the big event:

Rochelle et al used the good ship Integrity as a reference point. Also, you can see the Citgo sign, or at least make out its reflection:

We were pretty dang close to the fireworks, they really filled the sky and the sound was amazing. (I think I respond more to the sound than the light with these things.) I like the new ones, lots of noise, with many more miniblasts filling the sky. Though in those photo, the fireworks look a bit like a Sanrio critter. You can judge how close were from the silhouette of the other boats:

Nostalgia of the Moment
Speaking of Dylan and Sarah (as EB was in the sidebar) I dug up pictures from July 26, 1998 when I went kayaking on the Charles with them and their friend Mandy.
Two points: I think it is a even more fun to have a definite goal such as as "seeing fireworks" than just "paddling around for a bit", and man... in 1998 I had a craptacular digital camera. That last picture of Sarah was ok though.

Link of the Moment
Fun Facts about Springfield's Fireworks. It was my first clue about the names for the various types, which the wikipedia page now covers in greater detail, from Peonies to Cakes and including my favorites, Salutes... just a big sound and a big noise. (Heh, that first link was probably in my backlog since before I knew much about wikipedia.)

(3) an american childhood
Excerpts from "An American Childhood"
[After a huge childhood run, a scientific test just to make SURE that people couldn't fly by running and flapping their arms] "What could touch me now? For what were the people on Penn avenue to me, or what was I to myself, really, but a witness to any boldness I could muster, or any cowardice if it came to that, any giving up on heaven for the sake of diginity on earth? I had not seen a great deal accompished in the name of dignity, ever."
--Annie Dillard. Maybe that's why I've never been particularly defensive of my dignity. Sort of another take on that old "Weird Al" line "I'll be mellow when I'm dead."

"Do you advocate the overthrow of the United States government by force or violence?"
--Annie Dillard reporting on her mom's regarding even bureaucratic forms as straight lines.

Before I had watched [the amoeba, now caught by microscope] at all, I ran upstairs. My parents were still at table, drinking coffee. They, too, could see the famous amoeba. I told them, bursting, that he was all set up, that they should hurry before his water dried. It was the chance of the lifetime.

Father had stretched out his long legs and was tilting back in his chair. Mother sat with her knees crossed, in blue snacks, smoking a Chesterfield. The dessert dishes were still on the table. My sisters were nowhere in evidence. It was a warm evening; the big dining-room windows gave onto blooming rhododendrons.

Mother regarded me warmly. She gave me to understand that she was glad I had found what I had been loking for, but that she and Father were happy to sit with their coffee, and would not be coming down.

She did not say, but I understood at once, that they had their pursuits (coffee?) and I had mine. She did not say, but I began to understand then, that you do what you do out of your private passion for the thing itself.
--I guess this is how I feel about relationships in general...I mean, I also crave a bit of admiration, and for recognition that "hey, that IS cool..." but besides that, pursuits are personal and don't always need to be shared to a non-trivial extent.

(2) in the land of cleves (backlog flush #49)
  • Raymond Kurzweil has written some good books and he's also been productive in areas of CyberArt.
  • North Korean anti-USA progagand:FUCKING USA. Interesting that's the word in English...don't they have their own swears?
  • "The old repeat themselves and the young have nothing to say. The boredom is mutual."
    --Jacques Bainville via Bill the Splut
  • Tokyo on One Cliché a Day: Wacky Food, Manga, Inane Protocol, Capsule Hotels, and Earthquakes...I love Slate so much. I wonder if they actually are in the black, or if they're just a big Microsoft charity case.
  • "There is no remedy for sex but more sex."
    --Author Unknown
  • --The Muybridge Motion Studies are amazing . His horse studies proved things about how they gallop.

(4) boomin'
So, I ended up getting into the fourth a bit more; I (Mo wasn't up for it) walked down to Waltham's own fireworks display. I hadn't heard anything about it, but I somehow got to Watertown's "search Mass Gov" form, looked for fireworks, got this pdf of Professional Supervised Fireworks Display in MA (which, oddly, lists Waltham's display at 1:00 PM, not 10 PM) and that gave me enough information to Google up a community newspaper article about it.) They had a mini-mini-fair going on, 4 or so kiddie rides, some sideshow games, food stands, and everyone sat in a local school's football field, with the fireworks at one end. Not a bad display.

Shopping List of the Moment
Mo forgot her shopping list, and it was easier to scan it and post it than to read it to her over the phone. So... this is pretty much every single thing that she and I will be eating this week...

(3) be true to your teeth
Argh, programming the Atari is tough, though some parts are getting easier...I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped for yesterday.

Quote of the Moment
"Cold are the hands of time that creep along relentlessly, destroying slowly but without pity that which yesterday was young. Alone our memories resist this disintegration and grow more lovely with the passing years. Heh! That's hard to say with false teeth!"
--Wienie King, The Palm Beach Story

Backlog of the Moment
I've had a link about an interview with Scot Adams (the guy who wrote old "text adventures", not the Dilbert guy) in my back log for a long time...the site it's from has a large collection of articles about IF, or "Interactive Fiction". For an interesting, if atypical, example of the form, see my loveblender review of "The Space Under the Window".

(3) honeymoon filler day 4
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart
How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not a language but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses and birds.
--Jack Gilbert

KHftCEA 1997-07.1 July KHftCEA 1999-07.1 July

KHftCEA 1999-07.1 July

We are, as the animal behaviorist John S. Kennedy calls us, "compulsive" anthropomorphizers. [...] Human beings do it so instinctively that they are forever ascribing malignant or benignant motives even to inanimate forces such as the weather, volcanoes, and internal-combustion engines.
--Stephen Budiansky, "The Truth About Dogs", The Atlantic July 1999
"Nostradamus did for bullshit what Stonehenge did for rocks."
--Unca Cecil
"Earth to stupid guy, hello!"
--Homer Simpson
Had an out of the blue visit from Mike Witczak and his friend Skyler yesterday.  He called me at 9 to tell me he was on his way (he also e-mailed from a Kinko's) He was travelling to work off some heat towards Chris, who told them to take this job and shove it.  

It was a nice way to spend the fourth. They got here in the late afternoon, showered, then we went to Cambridge Brewing Company and then to see the fireworks from the Cambridge side.  (Lot of walking around.) Then they left this morning.

Poor Mike.  He's not making nearly enough to support a family like this.  But he seems to be taking it in good humor.  We did a lot of good reminiscing (sometimes leaving Skyler out of it.)  He mentioned that he and I used to annoy Wendy and Lynn by suddenly picking up an hour old conversation, leaving them very confused.

He sure loves cars.  He's driving a $300 plymouth But it got him here.

He's reasonably concerned about Y2K.  He's a knowledgable guy, and I respect his smarts about a lot of stuff.  Hope this isn't one of them.
KHftCEA 1997-07.1 July

"the post literate society- 'of COURSE I can read, but THANK GOD I don't have to.'"
          -Tom Lehrer
“Pilot, entertain me," he said, drawing the electronic device near to him. ("To Gillian on her 37th Birthday" isn't the easiest movie to watch)
I've been in love on a private beach.  I've been in love on a beach with waves.  Why does it seem important to me to be in love on a beach with waves?  I wish "Come Home To The Sea" was a better song.
"Keep your knees loose"
          -old advice
this is a computer that's with me everywhere- like tonight to the sousa concert-"little brother".  That's kind of cool.
Goodbyes should be rushed in a flurry of activity, as if it were the schedule of bus or plane and not fate and circumstance bringing people apart.
I'm already dreading wearing long pants at the end of the summer.
at the sousa concert i'm suddenly brought back to christmas night with r, and making pictures, and her telling me i make her feel beautiful like few (no one?) else can.
I haven't felt that in a while.
new york news is SO new york-centric

< retrospect: 5 jul >