| < retrospect: 26 oct >

(1) 2013.10.26

  ...of the moment  
Seeing public radio's Radiolab's live show... I didn't realize how big The Wang is. #thejokewritesitself

my uncle made this
While helping clean out my Uncle's PC etc workspace (not sure how many copies of Win98 and 3.5 disks one man could need... I found this, Patent 3,582,675.

I admit these days I'm kinda skeptical about all patents, but this feels like it's from a time when patents still mattered.

ghost town amusement park
--The closed Geauga Lake as seen from the air. Spooky how they left the space needle thing about 2/3 of the way up. Very melancholy for me to see this, since the layout of the place is still kind of ingrained in me. While the park was always in the shadow of Cedar Point, it was a ton of fun.

Across the lake was a Sea World, which I always thought was a bit weird a thing for Cleveland to have.

I found this video while following up on some video about Randall Park Mall -- for a short time it was the biggest mall in the world, it was the go-to spot when I was in high school, and now it's closed, closed, closed.

Sigh, Cleveland.

  ...of the moment  
"Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses."
--German Proverb Would love to hear Jony Ives talk about Apple's "infantile kitsch" skeuomorphic UI. Does he dig it? Hate it?

(4) the mac: simply superlative!

  ...of the moment - OSX Dock losing "running app" markers weirds me out; odd not to differentiate "clean start" from "context I want to get back to". - RIP walkman, the device that introduced us to personal, customized musical spaces-- - lost me at "brightnessgate"

(3) it's been a fast four years
Amber and I got to talking last night. At one point she put one of the differences between us starkly; her gaze is more to towards the future, I tend to dwell more on the past. I think this makes us a nice complementary set, but it also puts up some challenges in terms of expectations we have for each other.

Kirk as Buddha. Fun fact: one of my parent's earliest nicknames was "Buddha", and their friends thought they were odd enough that maybe that was my real name!
Like I've said before, I'm either the most or least enlightened person I know. I find my thinking naturally falls in tune with a lot of Buddhist thought-- be in the moment and enjoying it, restrain your desires so that you don't end up miserable about what you don't have rather than appreciative of what you do-- but it comes from kind of a bad place, a desperate psychological need to not be responsible for making bad decisions that mess things up.

We got to talking about some people I know, both women, both close to JZ, who both independently felt the need to pick themselves out of the life they had here around Boston and move elsewhere in the country -- neither had clear job prospects or housing arrangement plans. If nothing else, that's some bravery! The desire to do that is really foreign to me, but again, that makes sense given my reluctance to make big, risk-filled decisions in the first place.

I don't know if that feeling is strengthened or weakened by my moving every couple years as a kid. But it also seemed a bit of an extreme, youthful impulse to Amber, even though she made a big move not too long ago, from Indiana back to nearer her roots in New England. And she thinks I might have an easier time of making a new social life, since I'm a bit more extroverted (or at least more of an attention-seeking introvert) than she is. But even I'm very wary of how friendships don't come as easily and maybe as deeply as they did back in the day, and that is one of several factors that keeps me rooted in Boston. (Actually when I think of some of the friendships I have developed, some of them come from the other person kind of pushing, sometimes suggesting get-togethers that seemed a little forced -- but almost all of these ended up being among the deepest and most important friendship I've had.)

Still, there was a wistful note Amber sounded that broke my heart when she spoke of her time since the move and said "it's been a fast four years". And in her voice I thought I could hear things: a bit of pain over the breakup with the person she moved back with, a bit of loneliness over the difficulty in making a deep set of friends, a bit of uncertainty about the best path for the best way to shape her apartment and career and everything else, but most of all a bit of melancholy about the fleeting nature of time and memory. (I might be projecting, or at least guessing, a bit here.)

And it broke my heart that I don't have a fix for that for her. I have ways around that for myself: my daily journaling (both public and private), my retrospective nature that counts passed days as a credit, not just a debit - but I recognize much of that just isn't in her nature, and she's going to have to find her own path to reconciliation with some of the tough existential truths of life.

I guess all of that is some of the pain of loving people, of not being able to make everything all-better, of not being capable of shielding them from a harsh and unfair universe. (Especially for guys, who tend to only value pragmatic, cause-effect fixes over more touchy-feely talking and listening.) And sometimes you need to just give them room to find their own path... I'm reminded of this old quote from Dymphna Willson's "A Different Drummer"
That's the whole point; at least I think that's what Bethrah was saying although it's difficult to accept. I mean it seems horrible that the most you can do for people you love is to leave them alone.
But of course it's not just leaving them alone that we need to do -- like Harvey Pekar said "This is a tough world, folks. We all need help t' get by so help yer friends an' make sure they help you or know th' reason why."


(Probably that's some of the solace people find in religion. Humble yourself before God, and you might feel like you have someone not just watching out for you, but for your loved ones as well, and also then hopes for the eternal can provide a sugar coating for even when terrible, terrible things happen to your good people.)

But I dunno. I think the undertone of sadness under "it's been a fast four years" is going to stick with me for a long while.

  ...of the moment  
I've read, and am willing to believe, that brains can become physically addicted to worrying. And I'd like to quit, but how do you go cold turkey?

(10) castles don't have phones a**hole!
Went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show last night with Ariana and Jose. Goofy fun! I think the most amazing thing is just how many snarky MST-like lines there are to know.

Quote of the Moment
The same point is carried by an old story about Shankara, the great eighth-century Vedanta philosopher. Shankara was being challenged with regard to his teaching that the world is maya. "What would you do," the challenger asked, "if you were being chased by a wild elephant?" "I would run," Shankara replied. "Why would you run?" the challenger continued. "After all, by your own account, the elephant is merely an illusion." "I would run," Shankara retorted, "because I am part of the same illusion."
--Disanto + Steele, Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Politics of the Moment

--Wassup 2008. Compare to the original.

  ...of the moment  
"Voted with bush X% of the time" is a political bludgeon. It speaks to Bush's terrible rep, also zero-sum politics based on conflict.
Rams have a player named "Richie Incognito"? Sweet.
Why do we think of lasting love as the truest kind? What if love is intrinsically unstable and the long form is the abberation?
Great accordionist by Harvard Coop. Again, an underrated instrument: the chords and dexterity of keyboards + expressiveness of woodwinds

(10) conway west
To view this content, you need to install Java from conway west - source - built with processing

This is a 2 hour game written for Glorious Trainwreck's Klik of the Month #4. (While probably more impressive visually, technically conwayice was a warm up for this game.)

This is probably a clearer introduction for people less familiar with Conway's Game of Life (and yes the title is a cheap pun on a current recording artist.)

Of course, Life doesn't usually have a random element like the ghost to stir things up, but I'm pleased with how he stops the board from falling into its usual simple pattern.

(8) rantastic
So at the risk of boring every non-techie there, a recent bit of exposition of mine from IM:
Yeah, that's one of the difficulties of technologies that try to say "and you don't write code"... same w/ things that make heavy use of XML files as controllers... for non-trivial stuff, the "non code stuff" (tags, or XML) needs to be written by someone smart enough to write code, PLUS it's another syntax to learn, PLUS it's another layer of plumbing to get through when something does go wrong. I'm definitely in the "keep it simple" and "prefer APIs over framework engines" camps, when I'm given control over architectural decisions.
So put that in your Struts-pipe and smoke it.

Nanofiction of the Moment
Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
--Eileen Gunn

Machine. Unexpectedly, I'd invented a time
--Alan Moore

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
--Gregory Maguire

The baby's blood type? Human, mostly.
--Orson Scott Card

Tick tock tick tock tick tick.
--Neal Stephenson

--from Wired's Six Words Story Challenge. I also like Hemingways ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") which manages to say a lot with a little.

Art of the Moment

--Alien Bill Landscape. Fooling around with an (almost annoyingly) realistic painting program called artrage...

(11) mr angry and mrs calm
Illusion of the Moment
To view this content, you need to install Java from
mr angry and mrs calm // source code // Built with Processing (0093 beta)

I made this applet to better view the Mr Angry & Mrs Calm Illusion as presented by Ian Rowland, but the original is by Dr. Aude Oliva and Dr. Philippe Schyns (see this MIT page for more cool and related stuff.)

Move the mouse over the image to shrink it. As it shrinks, the faces seem to swap places! No other image processing is done except the shrinking. Mr. Angry on the right becomes calm, and Mrs. Calm on the left appears angry. It's an amazing illusion, I think the applet makes it a little more fun to play with.

Article of the Moment
Neat little Slate Explainer about the spelling of the Red Sox and White Sox...I had no idea it died into that "spelling reform movement" near the end of the 1800s.

I still love names like the "Boston Beaneaters" and the "New York Porchclimbers"...more historical team names here.

Laffy Taffy of the Moment
Q. What kind of tea can be hard to swallow?
A. Reality
--Recent Laffy Taffy Wrapper. Ooooh, Snap!

Site Update of the Moment
I rejiggered by sidebar with the goal of making it easier to get to the interesting stuff. You can compare it old one and let me know if you think it's an improvement. I'm open to suggestions, especially for the section headings.

(4) the radio shack is a little old place where...we can get together....
Observation of the Moment
I just got a flyer from Radio "You've got questions, we've got cellphone plans" Shack. The back copy seemed to be a bit of rebranding gone amuck... "RadioShack presents the Apple iPod from HP!"

On a related note...anyone know how to stop the barage of those stupid supermarket flyers? I've decided my time is worth more than the stupid coupons' savings, and the things are so bulky...

History of the moment
I started googling about retired numbers for sports teams when I found The Baseball Hall of Fame's History of the Baseball Uniform...the timeline was pretty decent reading. But mostly, I love reading the names of defunct teams:
  • The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York
  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings
  • The Brooklyn Bridegrooms (aka Trolley-Dodgers)
  • The Reading Red Roses
  • The Boston Doves
  • The Cuban Stars
  • The Buffalo Blues
  • The Seattle Pilots
    But my absolute favorite:
  • The Boston Beaneaters
I love random teamnames, I already posted some fictional team logo design I messed around with when I was a kid. I almost want to rig up a big web compendium of all the teamns and logos I can get my hands on...

(1) kingfish of the world
Yankees lost the world series to the Marlins. In general I'd be against the Marlins after their previous win of that title over the Indians, and the way that their fans don't know what it's like to lose a postseason series. But they have some likeable players and a cool old guy coach and the sweet schadenfreude of watching the Yankees lose is just too much. Yay Marlins.

Patriots vs. Browns today, so I have a bit of divided loyalty. I guess my best strategy for games where I'd like to root for both sides is to put my stock in the team that's having a better season, and is more likely to end up in the playoffs. (And it's less stressful to not be rooting for the underdog.) Guess that's the Patriots this game.

Oh yeah...don't forget to set your clocks back if you haven't already. Oddly, my cellphone hasn't picked up the change yet, and I'm pretty sure its getting its time from the network.

Lyrics of the Moment
The bells of Hell go ding-a-ling-a-ling, For you but not for me; And the little devils sing-a-ling-a-ling, For you but not for me; Oh death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling, Oh grave, thy victor-ee? The bells go ding-a-ling-a-ling, For you but not for me.
--One day at Sunday School at Cleveland Temple they did an odd little skit thing with this song. The lyrics have stuck with me, either because of the fun of "the bells of hell go ding-a-ling-a-ling" or maybe the maliscous joy of "for you but not for me"...guess it's a schadenfreude kind of day all around.

Toy of the Moment
Sand is a cool little electronic toy. Little particles drift down, and you can draw in ledges and what-not. I had a little better luck with the windows download at first (plus you can resize it) but then the online java versions seemed to be fine, and had more interesting variations there from the sidebar.

Observation of the Moment
Huh. I think I finally found a use for's such a reliable flow, that when it stops coming, it might be time to double check that everything's ok with your email account...

(2) rainy wet saturday
Quote and Snarky Comment of the Moment
"[Muhammad] was a very normal, thoughtful, reasonable guy. He tried diligently to work it out. I don't know what people are supposed to do when they run up against a system where they are banging their heads up against the wall and there is no remedy."
--John S. Mills, former divorce lawyer for sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad, from this Washington Post Profile.

I don't know what they're supposed to do either, but I suspect that it isn't "start killing people with a high powered rifle from the trunk of a specially modified Chevrolet Caprice".

Just a guess.

(3) are you in, genius?
Image of the Moment "Salvador Dali, In Voluptate Mors, 1944", a photographic collaboration between Phillipe Halsman and Salvador Dali. I have a T-shirt with the women-skull on it (oddly I can't find the link for that now though I bought it online). The skull also shows up in the poster image for Silence of the Lambs.
Quote of the Moment
"You may be gone tomorrow, but that doesn't mean that you weren't here today."
--Slashdot. I find that a very optimistic thought somehow.

KHftCEA 1997-11.1 November KHftCEA 1998-10 October CB KHftCEA 2000-10.2 October

KHftCEA 2000-10.2 October

I just met with the Birdabon Society. I had to promise we wouldn't hurt any birds.

Our caterer served chicken sandwiches for lunch.

I pretended to give mine CPR but I was really eating it.
--Pointy Haired Boss, "Dilbert"
Mystery of the Month:
How did this sparechange get into the lining of my jacket and how do I get it out?
KHftCEA 1998-10 October CB

I hate seeing coats and jackets on the back of coworkers' chairs. It bugged me when people wore them in church as well. Something low class about it, as if you might have to jump up and make a run for it at any moment.
Waiting to meet up with Dave Johnson at the Druid. A little over a year ago I was doing the same for Rebekah, sometime after that for Mo. Always writing on my pilot; in fact, it was writing in my pilot that lets me remember meeting Rebekah.  Though the dates with Mo were more memorable, in general.
On losing Daylight Savings Time:
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Well I say fuck 'em both.
Would I be a better person if I reserved swearing for special occasions? It's kind of a staple of modern speech.
KHftCEA 1997-11.1 November

dark stormy night boding poorly for the indians?-- yes 3-2 loss. There is no joy in mudville, nor justice in the universe, all the snow is in Colorado, not hell, and there's always next year. Fuck those punk-ass marlins.

< retrospect: 26 oct >