| < retrospect: 21 oct >

(35) sunday dash for london and home
Finishing off London with another mad dash, not helped by having almost the whole dang Northern Line being closed, and then bus stops randomly shut down. We hit the New Globe Theater, Camden Markets, and the British Museum before heading off to Heathrow.

The Blackfriar's Railway Bridge, and the columns of the old one next to it.

We were on our way to the Globe Theather, where we had some time in the exhibits before the tour. These are a type of shoe called "Chopines", originally met to keep ladies out of the muck. I think the style is long due for a comeback!

click for larger
Panoramic shot from the galleries of The New Globe theater.

The buildings on the roads near Camden Markets had some cool stuff.

click for larger
So we were just barely able to squeeze the British Museum in there... its Great Hall is amazing, I love the effect of the frosted glass over a vast area.

Also: torosos. I dig torsos. I'd like to think my drawing class gives me more appreciation of them, but... torsos.

Don't think this reflection shot on the Tube was taken at the very end of the weekend, but it pretty much looks how Nick and I felt.

  ...of the moment  
"Getting drunk is like having a 3rd base coach that waves you on no matter what"
"'And what could be smaller than something that *doesn't exist*?' 'Whoa, whoa there, Saint Augustine!'"
Animated GIFs before there were computers
Haha, Sound FX from Atari 2600 Donkey Kong ride again... so funny to hear in the safety video on British Airways.
"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it."
--John Cage
"We both came to live in this modern city. Are we not B(3) Middle people? Even your excrement would have proper market value if packaged properly."
--Brian W. Aldiss, "The Mighty Mi Tok of Beijing"


  ...of the moment  

--HAHA! I've been quoting this Raggedy Ann + Andy alarm clock message for years, nice to see it again. (I remembered it as "start your brand new" rather than "happy" day, thought)
Thanks Internet! -- got Amber's bike fixed up -- they're often parked where Mass Ave meets Minutemain Trail but they'll come out to you! Thumbs up for that concept and execution.

(9) the pirate kart
So a few days ago I put in one little entry (beebash) to the 2012 IGF Pirate Kart, 300-odd games by 100-odd game makers. (In retrospect I should have added a few more, since all the entries are getting at least a bit of attention.)

So the IGF is a big event for Indie Gamers. Glorious Trainwrecks has a big tradition of making Pirate Karts, just big honkin' compilations of small goofy games. It's fun watching the IGF fans try to figure out what to make of this super-inclusive project. Auntie Pixelante provides a bit of context, also I started a Glorious Trainwrecks discussion about the coverage its been getting.

I love the logo they made for this, which is just a take off of the IGF's "i" logo but with a goofy skull and crossbones.

(5) hold, please; or, 'whata-fermata!'

--Another musical joke, I think from justgrits

  ...of the moment  
Almost considered a Mac for garageband and coding; deprecating Java? Never mind, then. How long 'til people need to jailbreak Macs? Though I do wonder what the best iPad or Windows equivalent of Garageband is...

(7) what is it to be in love
What is it to be in love? Well, I'm in love, and it means you feel you have sailed into port. At the end of the road, after each day of the petty struggle for power and glory, I get to be with this marvelous human being whose company is continually interesting, whom I admire, who can speak the truth to me, who I am loyal to and fond of to an excessive degree, whom I crave being naked with, and who reciprocates these feelings. There is deep bass drumming and there is also a high degree of civility, I believe. And it does exist. And it's worth your time and trouble to find a person you can be in love with. Surely there are many men you could be in love with, maybe as many as 214, and all you need to do is come across one of them when the stars are shining and the light is right for your complexion. He'll look at you and fasten himself to you for the rest of the evening and it'll be all you can do to shuck him and after a while you'll give up on it and marry him.
--Garrison Keillor writing as Mr.Blue

  ...of the moment  
iTunes UI Fail: Apps, Ringtones, Movies, TV Shows, Podcast, iTunesU, Photos have their own synch tabs. Audibooks are hidden under Music Playlists. (And I colda sworn the Audiobooks icon wasn't there at first even)
Car got broken into, GPS stolen. Should I be insanely grateful or scornful of the assholes who missed the 2 laptops I stupidly had in there?

Heh, so much for listening to my audiobook, they grabbed the iPod radio adapter.
I wonder if leaving my car unlocked would have spared the window...

young astronauts in love part (3/4)
Like I twittered the other day, when I write Josh, the American living in Japan I got to visit last March I find myself switching to more Japan-English stylings... I wrote "please enjoy this book" for "I hope you enjoy this book", and in general there's a deference thing going on.

I also like when encountering little bits of India English... today part of our offshore QA team asked me to "Please do the needful" for what an American would write as "Please do what needs to be done". The India version is more concise! Also, my Aunt has mentioned that she's had to learn not mark down the Indian phrase "According to me..." in places where an American would use "in my opinion..."

You wonder which of these things represent differences in outlook, and which are just arbitrary turns of phrase.

Young Astronauts in Love

chapter 3

those were some great times

we figured out how to schedule leave time together

cities look better when you're with someone

something about the bigness, the aspiration, even a medium university / corporate / federation city like this one.

i mean, small change compared to what humanity was aiming for with the ghibal anomaly

but like the old wisdom says, "the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion."

but it's the little things. knowing where to get a good raspberry lime rickey

touching hands at the theater

hanging out with friends as a couple

even the shamelessly goofy stuff. thanks to the anomaly, we were able to watch the sunset every direction at once

still, there was a lot of work to do. the anomaly obverse beckoned!

it was a long drive back. luckily, neither of us needed to actually drive...

time passed. she had to make her rounds, but gamma-222 was really becoming her base-away-from-base.

and my side project was coming along

actually, in retrospect, i think the project helped catch Lydia's eye, the months before

nothing too ground-breaking but I was proud of it...

it was looking to be the most advanced 'bot on GHIBAL 3, all made from my giant pile of parts,

finally it was time for the full AI/body connection and powerup...

something wasn't quite right...

"RUN!" I shouted.

luckily, lydia didn't need to run

back at the minilab there was a universal kill switch

guess i know why fed regs require the cutoff circuit... no one thinks they're building a frankenstein!

later the post-mortem revealed it was "anomalous" radiation and the virtual synapses.

actually, years after that lydia wrote her dissertation on the interaction.

  ...of the moment  
Lovely but drafty stained glass windows by bed. Putting up that taut plastic sheeting... window condoms, basically, with the same +s and -s
(btw, self-medicated earlier with a choco-taco. like 7-11 brand prozac)
Hoftstadter says how the (cognitive) ability for a species to support a concept of Friendship may be a decent measure of soul/consciousness.
"FedEx Kinkos is now FedEx Office"?Aw, man... why would they change from an obscene clown name to sounding like a Microsoft ripoff?
My "Young Astronauts in Love" comic reminded mom of how "space medicine" was her 7th grd career hope(she willed herself not to get carsick!)
So my mom willed herself not to get carsick. And I willed my feet not to be ticklish. Are those pretty typical feats of willpower?
The Fat Boys did one of their "rap remakes" of "Sex Machine"?? And I was amused enough to rate it at >= 3 stars so it got on my iPhone???

(32) conwayice

To view this content, you need to install Java from
conwayice sourcecode / built with Processing

Conway's Game of Life with subsequent generations plotted in 3D to make ethereal sculptures.

The viewer may click form a new sculpture; the higher in the window the click, the denser the initial populating and resulting sculpture. The view is of 32 generations of a 32x32 wrapping grid. The rotation roughly tracks the mouse, but will start on its own if left idle.

Inspired by the traditional 2D plots of 1D Cellular Automata and the realization that the same use of a spatial refactoring of the dimension of time might be informative for 2D CA. Or at least pretty.

(Basic "life" code lifted (with thanks) from Mike Davis.)

For a more advanced version, see Conwayice2 that lets you set up the initial pattern and see how it runs as well as zoom in.

(10) you, i
Sometimes I think I'm surprisingly worse at using bad UIs than my peers.

On the one hand, compared to, say, some people in my family, I'm pretty good, and sometimes my mom will trust me to help her navigate through a computer program or gadget that's new to both of us. And usually it's not too tough: figure out what the program does, figure out what information the program probably needs to do it, and then try to match what's onscreen UI-wise against those expectations.

But I'm easily misled, and dumb when some expectations (especially in labeling, or how controls are associated with other controls aren't met.) Here's an example:

The other day I wanted to find a hotel near the Wilmington Train Station. My boss recommended Google maps, which I was of course familiar with... I looked up the address of the station and entered it:

I think I figured out that I should click on "Find Business" easily enough, but for some reason this screen of interface stumped me:

As it turns out, it's easy enough, just enter "hotel" in the box on the left. But for some reason I Just Didn't Get It. It's like I needed the "near" prompt between the two textboxes, or something.

Maybe I was confused by how much it looked like the "Get Directions" symmetrical box pair, which I was more familiar with:

That, at least, has a little two-way-arrow icon (albeit a functional one that also swaps the start/finish locations).

But wait! I just realized that when I hit "Find Business" or "Get Directions", and then change the Map/Satellite/Hybrid view, there's a prompt ("What e.g., 'pizza'") that made it all obvious:

I gotta say, I think having that kind of "what to type" prompt appear when doing another arbitrary function (switch to Satellite view) and not when switching to that search is a definite UI bug on Google's part.

So anyway, Lately at work I've been experimenting with "load balancing" programs, software that will hit your website or application over and over and over. But I just feel like I'm the wrong guy for it sometimes, because I'm just not that gifted at picking up a new, not-well-documented or obscure UI in a hurry.

Musical Judgement of the Moment
"I'm not anti-Phil Collins. I'm just pro-Peter Gabriel."
--FoSO, just now. I have no idea why I find this amusing.

(2) even sketchier
Wonder of the Moment
Dan Ellis and the 10,000 year clock. I love how it's built to be self-winding, but also seems to thrive on human attention.

Doodles of the Moment

Ummm...yeah. The top left one might be a reference to "sex rodeo style". Don't recall if that Young Astronauts in Love is a copy or the origin. The guy with the dartboard is Dave from my Darts team, having a bad night.

I find it interesting how the limitations of the Palm's screen and touch digitizer influence my style, making it even simpler and less nuanced, since I can't generally depending on getting delicate features in.

(13) go you red sox
Headline of the Moment
"Yankees chip away at Sox in seventh" last night, well after the Red Sox's lovely, lovely win. This morning the guys on the radio pointed out a cool detail - for YEARS, whenever a baseball team is up 3-0 in a 7-game series, the announcer is going to say either that no team has come back from that besides the 2004 Red Sox, or that no team has dropped a 3-0 lead except for the 2004 Yankees...

Kinda Feeble Fable of the Moment
(Pot of gold is on stage with a monster holding an "On Strike" sign, but the audience can't read the sign yet.)
VALK: Hey-look! An ugly slimey monster with a pot of gold!
BRUNO: Kill it!
MARCUS: Smash it!
VALK: Hack it into small bloody pieces!
MONSTER: You can't kill me.
VALK: And why not?
MONSTER: I'm on strike. (Holds up sign so audience can read it.)
MONSTER: Think about it. What do we monsters get out of this adventure type stuff? Parties of brave adventurers outnumber us, hack us into small bloody pieces and take our gold while we die and get diddly-squat.
BRUNO: So what. Kill it!
MONSTER: Do you really want to cross a picket line?
BRUNO: Ahhhhhhhh, no...but I, I, I...
MONSTER: Listen, if I take my gold and run away fast, will you leave me alone?
MARCUS: OK, it's about time to end this fable anyway.
(Monster picks up gold and runs away, screaming. Blackout)
NARRATOR: This time the author didn't even try to think of a suitable moral. He just kind of abandoned this scene.
--The group performing this play at the Dobama theater added one greatly clever detail: they turned the Monster's "Pot of Gold" into a great golden potbelly...
Also, I'm not sure what the adventurer's reluctance to cross a picketline says about my early views on labor vs. management.

(1) steven seagal bad
Quote of the Moment
"I need a semibad movie to de-stress--like, not Jean-Claude-Van-Damme-bad, maybe Steven-Seagal-bad."
--Mo, 2003-10-18

Article of the Moment on the fraud of "saint" Mother Theresa. It's really funny how saint-crazy this pope is, you think he would have more respect for the process. Good quote from the article: "MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty."

Geek Link of the Moment
Eric Raymond has made a copy of The Art of Unix Programming available online (first link on that page, of course people are encouraged to buy the deadtree version as well.) Great reading about the history and philosphy of Unix...I liked Appendix D, The Unix Koans of Master Foo. (The Editor's Introduction links to some other cases of Westgern Programming and Eastern Philosophy.)

(6) new yorkers do not wear white
Link of the Moment
A blog entry with tips for visitors to NYC. Dang, but I miss my mom's apartment there. On the other hand maybe I'm just as happy she wasn't there during the tragedy.

Quote of the Moment
"As a girl who has been on the flip side of [the men vs women in IT] ratio, I can tell you it's not much better for us. As we liked to say when I was in school: 'The odds are good, but the goods are odd.'."
--Jeandre quoting someone on Slashdot

Small Gif Cinema of the Moment

--A tiny movie of the view outside my shared office space. Thanks to Ranjit who helped me put the fullsize 2 days-and-nights version into RealMedia format. The chair in the first part and the white and blue lights at night are reflections on the glass.

(2) is everything about drugs to you?
Link of the Moment
From the same thinking that brought us the Top 10 Reasons Scooby Doo is All About Drugs it's the Subtext of Gilligan Island Revealed! Actually, on a more serious note, I heard that it was originally planned as a fairly sophisticated philosophical metaphor for a class-based society, which is why you have all the types represented. (via Bill the Splut)

Web Comic of the Moment
Nowhere Girl is the first installment of a really good graphic novel style comic. Good artwork and a very good story. I actually used a new cheat script I made that lets you loads all the pages of it on one HTML page to view it, but I shouldn't publish the full link to that because of copyright issues...but e-mail if you want more info. (I just hate waiting for webpages to load as I'm trying to read something.) (via memepool)

KHftCEA 1997-10 October KHftCEA 1998-10 October CB

KHftCEA 1998-10 October CB

You're probably referring to a "backronym".  A regular acronym is created from its component words.  A backronym is created first and then component words are shoehorned into it.   

Note to self: check out Heinlein's "Lazarus Long" books
lena, lolita, enya, autumn night driving, nostalgia for walking to the aiwa stereo in the dark In my dorm room, lover in my bed.


window doorbell w/ a short circuit
KHftCEA 1997-10 October

My knife
Has a wife
But my spatula
is a batula
          --Patricia Frederick
Talking with mom, she mentioned my describing when dad was first sick and his frustration at not being able to give me money from his wallet like a father to his son. That kind of famlial obligation/ generosity was very important to him, like my grandma's outta the blue checks for 25 with a note to buy myself a coke.

< retrospect: 21 oct >