| < retrospect: 19 dec >


advent day 19

  ...of the moment  
My housemate and I decorated the Tuba for Christmas this year, plus I used my traditional family folk-artsy tree-- with a piece of art my mom just rediscovered, a wooden board with a cool magazine advert of Santa my dad and his cousin shellacked to it...

"No I won't stop 'screaming obscenities in your baby's face.' The first amendment is too important"


advent day 19

  ...of the moment  
"nobody tell dogs that they are made of bones deep down inside or they'll all just rip themselves apart out of joy"
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.

javadvent day 19

  ...of the moment  
Christopher Hitchens quotes.
"Poor Kim Jong-il. He's with L. Ron Hubbard now."
Paint.NET is so good that it's probably time for me to retire using Paint Shop Pro 5 (1998 called, it wants its software back) The thing about the program is it's a little tough to find a download... there's this malware-looking GIMP download masquerading.

(2) the times regrets the error

--from the NY Times correction July 17, 1969, right after Apollo 11 launched and a few days before it landed on the moon...via -- regrettheerror seems to be a blog about this kind of thing.

javadvent calendar day 19

  ...of the moment  
"All energy is only borrowed and one day you have to give it back."
--Avatar. Heck of a flick! (and 3D IMAX was worth the 9:15AM start)

(3) chomp
My office is almost deserted, and downtown is kind of empty as well...

The photographic negative of Boston's radar map weather from looks a bit like Pac-Man about to eat Boston...

It's like 495 is providing some protective barrier, at least for the time being.

Quote of the Moment
"We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankenstein logic."
--David Russell

Video of the Moment
Embedding disabled, alas, but Pinball Collector Tetris is worth a quick peek.

  ...of the moment  
Man, Back Bay and the office are both pretty deserted. That first flake is going to fall with a giant thud, echoing off the emptied blocks
Thinking about piercings... the urge to get a trinket installed on your body. Why not something practical, like a coin purse?

(7) get up get up get up now get down 9-11 was an inside job near your town
Wow. On the bus this morning I think I was sitting next to a Real Live Crazy Guy, writing a letter in big sprawling block letters to Dick Cheney, telling him that 9-11 was an inside job, and that the Patriot Act was ready beforehand, and maybe something about Halliburton.

Advice to Crazy Guys: learn to type, your handwriting impresses no one. (Though I was mildly impressed that he knew that the office of the VP is in the Old Executive Office Building when he was addressing the envelope.)

Joke of the Moment
A man comes rushing into the psychiatrist's office, apologizing for being late because he overslept.

"But I had an incredible breakthrough in my dream," the man says breathlessly, "I was talking with my mother and she suddenly turned into you! That's when I woke up, got dressed, grabbed a Coke and a donut, and rushed to your office."

The psychiatrist says: "A Coke and a donut? You call that a breakfast?"
--from Cathcart and Klein's "Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes".

Robot of the Moment
Cute little story about a jury-rigged "robot", a PC set up so its CD tray could hit the reset switch of another server. Melancholy in its own little way.

(4) dude, where's your job?
One of my favorite knock-knock jokes comes from a Dilbert cartoon
"Knock Knock"
"Who's there?"
"Not you anymore."
Which is my of saying...I'm gainfully unemployed! Work had a layoff, which depending on your perspective was either small (2 developers and a part time HR type) or big (1/4 of the company).

So I'm surprisingly relaxed about it, which is either because it hasn't really sunk in, or it seems like the best hiring environment that I've ever been laidoff in. (This is my 3rd layoff... first was classic dotcom, second was my supposed "safety job" still suffering an office closing, despite the division doing very well... heh, that might be one of the few recent cases of jobs being moved wholesale to Detroit...)

I really, really need some level of break. I jumped straight from my last gig to this one a year and a week ago, and I was terrible at setting up significant stretches of vacation early enough that I'd get approval from my manager at both places...I'd have to check my journal but I'm not sure sure if I've had more than a full week off for a long time, and even full weeks have been pretty rare over the last 2 or 3 years. So this break is, for the time being, welcome.

War Commentary of the Moment
In other words, the alternative was never between a tranquil if despotic Iraq and a destabilizing foreign intervention, but it was, rather, a race to see which kind of intervention there would be.
--Christopher Hitchens in this Slate piece on Iraq's neighbors getting involved, albeit in a faction-centric way. That's a pretty bold claim, that variations on the staus quo just were not possible in Iraq, but I guess I can't think of convincing evidence that Saddam's regime was that unstable, sanctions and all.

Video of the Moment

--Tony vs Paul in a stop action supernatural powers duel! Thanks Evil B!

(10) so...what's the deal with those airline peanuts?
Link of the Moment
The Hack FAQ...circa 1998, but still surprisingly relevant in what stale themes to avoid in standup comedy. (via Nick B's LJ)

Personally, I think trying to sit there and write something that will make people laugh, reliabely, sounds like one of the toughest things in the world. I'm kind of afraid to try it.

Nitpick of the Moment
New England is getting hot at the right time. The Patriots have won five of their last six games, including three in a row, and take on the Jets and Dolphins in their final two games, giving them a chance to enter the playoffs on a five-game streak.
--Shannon Sharpe's column. Umm, wouldn't winning 5 out of 6 REQUIRE one streak of at last three in a row? I don't know if he meant to imply "the last three in a row" but still...

(4) an irreducible integral of despond
Fantasia of the Moment
Last night I did a Fourier transform on my attitude and wound up with an irreducible integral of despond. What was I to do. I thought long and hard. At last, I decided it would be worthwhile to find the eigenvector of my own ennui. Just as I started arranging my matrices on the page, though, I found an imaginary number jammed in among the memories of my childhood. Squared it, and found the square was negative, as I pretty much knew it must be. Cancelling this negative from both sides of the equation left me with a transcendental number, neither e nor pi, somewhere at the periphery of my imagination.

Contracted my imagination to a point, ran the number through a couple trigonometric polynomials until I arrived at unity. A couple sharp, upward pulls, right at the beginning, and I had acheived Unity.

Now I am larger than life, as anyone would be.

{BTW, did you know that e to the (pi * i)th power equals -1? [e^(pi*i)=-1] That's weirdness so big it realy is larger than Life.}

--Arakasi responding to this Sawer's LJ entry. Which reminds me...sidebar people! Write something!

(3) and on and on
Exchange of the Moment
"wouldnt you say suicide is a permenant solution to a temporary problem?"
"I'm a Buddhist, I'd say suicide is a temporary solution to a permanent problem."
--Neo-Tokyo and `[6], on the site, which is 'best of IRC' site (kind of like yesterday's, but more egalitarian, and therefore has a worse signal-to-noise-ratio). LAN3 reminded me of and Sawers found this exchange, which he points out is a lovely example of chiasmus.

Bad News of the Moment
Ugh....slashdot has a link to a CNN report that a quarter of a million fewer programmers will be employed by 2015, or 25% of the work force. (Huh, only a million programmers now?) Gah, sometimes I wonder if I need to diversify, look at different career possibilities. Other times, I figure I'm probably at least in the top 75% of all programmers, so...

News Commentary of the Moment
Freedom Tower to rise from ashes at 1,776 feet at the location of the WTC towers. I can't be the only person who thought "Freedom Tower? Huh, why are they naming it after the French?"

Still, world's tallest building? I hate to say it but it makes for an awfully large target.

Activism of the Moment
Mo writes
Go vote online at
This is a poll by the American Family Association (right-wing) about gay marriage. The results will be presented to congress. At the moment it's 48% pro, 43% against, 8% for civil unions, but that could tip depending on how big a push different factions make. So take 2 seconds and vote!

Of course, being a soon to be ex- of Mo, I want to chime in "Yeah! Why should they be deprived of the trauma and heartbreak of divorce!" but you know. Also, I'm vaguely amused by the "family" moniker anti-gay-marriage people have adopted. Yeah, lets be pro-family by trying to deprive gay people of it.

(2) games just ain't what they used to be
News of the Moment
So they busted some guys from Infocom for possible terrorists. While I don't think it's the same Infocom who made all those text-only games in the 1980s, it brings to mind some funny ideas...

> look
You are on a sidewalk. There is a bus stop to the north.
What do you want do now?
> i
You have:
a cheap wrist watch (being worn)
a vest of explosives (being worn)
a can of diet coke
What do you want do now?
> north
You are at a bus stop. There are many Israelis here. It is sunny.
What do you want do now?
> martyr myself for the glorious jihad of the palestinean people!
Sorry, I don't know how to "martyr".
> wage jihad and smash the infidel jews in a rain of fire!
Sorry, I don't know how to "wage".

Ok, maybe not quite as funny as I envisioned.

Movie Link of the Moment
FilmWise's Invisibles are a very cool idea...they photoshop out people's bodies from scenes from movies, leaving just the clothes, and the results are surprisingly difficult to identify. This here is a famous scene from "Basic Instinct". Only a hardcore movie buff will be able to guess more than one or two.

Movie Quote of the Moment
"If pictures have anything to say, it's this: I was here, I existed. I was young and happy and someone cared enough about me to take my picture."
--One Hour Photo. Haven't seen this one, actually, but it was the quote of the day.

Graffiti of the Moment
     (I just found an example of what the link was talking about, this was taken at the 7-11 by the "Garage" at Harvard Square.)

oooh uma
Portraits of the Moment
The other day Mo and I watched Henry & June. It might just be my favorite movie ever, I wrote a review of it for the loveblender back in 1997--the penultimate paragraph of that review is kind of interesting. I was looking around for some information on the movie. It introduced the NC-17 rating; unfortunately the idea of movies for adults that aren't porn but still get nationwide release is still a bit of a pipedream. There's a book of the same name, a selection from Anais Nin's diaries that inspired the film.

I believe that the portrait up and to the left is the one that appears tacked to Henry Miller's wall in the film. (From the planet out movie review) And on the right is one with Fred Ward. He gives me hope for bald guys looking good. (I never saw what all the geek chicks see in, say, Picard on Star Trek.) But in general, I wish I could learn to take photographic portraits like these. (The two on the right are from a Kevin Spacey fansite, though Spacey was relatively a minor character in the film.)

These are about the best two portraits I've ever done. I hope it's mostly a matter of composition, since I'm sure my digital camera, no matter how beloved by me, won't win any awards by itself. (In fact, these were both taken with primitive Kodak digital cameras.) I wish I could find a photography class that talks about composition without going through all the "mechanics of 35mm film" first. I suspect the main factors are interesting lighting, framing the shot, and getting the person not to smile. (Speaking of photos, I think I need to pick the most interesting photos and make a new "photobook" rather than all the random collections listed on the sidebar.)

Quote of a Previous Moment
"Uma Thurman on a Hog Harley: now that's heaven." --k.d. lang

KHftCEA 1998-12.1 December CB

KHftCEA 1998-12.1 December CB

slave girls from beyond/embrace of the vampire
"Love? What is it? Most natural pain killer what there is. L O V E"
          --William Burrough's Journal
Clinton's probably been impeached by this point.  Man, congress has NO business overturning the results of an election, especially when the majority of the voters want him to stay. It makes me angry that the congressmen were not given the option to vote for censure- that kind of bending of the game rules has always irked me.

< retrospect: 19 dec >