| < retrospect: 21 apr >


  ...of the moment  
"We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds."
--Roger Ebert

manufacture your meaning
Q:What can you tell a young man looking for motivation in life itself?

A: The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.
For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.

--Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist and science communicator, and heir apparent to Carl Sagan.

(7) mom dad i have ennui!

--Someone at work posted this outside their cube, it's from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Comics. Good stuff!

  ...of the moment  
"If everything is coming your way then you're in the wrong lane."
I think half of my problem with clutter is a refusal to believe that I'm not depriving some future biographer of precious research material.

(8) please open door carefully

--Man, this poster outside the stairs at work brings me no end of joy.
(Especially because there's a landing, it's not like the door opens right to the stairs.)

  ...of the moment  
The lost iPhone 4 story, with the phone disguised in a 3G case, reminds of how weird it seems that cases are so popular for such a durable and tactiley nice thing.
After dabbling with backpacks, back to courier bags. A child of the 80s, I always feel like a tool using both straps, and worried I might have left a flap open, or vulnerable to pickpockets. Kind of sad I can't remember what I used in college... maybe gym/duffle style bags? Or one that came with my laptop. (In high school it ws gym bags, including this one god awful huge Nike bag, I think ment for sports equipment or something.)
"Truman's in the White House eating bread and jelly. Dewey's in the pig pen rolling on his belly."
Three chains I saw in Cleveland that need to be franchised in New England: Jimmy John's (great fast subs), Steak and Shake, Sport Clips (haircuts)
"Even if a goose has an iron neck, it must have a spot where you can plunge a knife in."
--Ha Jin, Waiting. It reminds me of this odd bit of dialog from the Japanese game EDF 2017, something like "Even a seemingly strong defense must have a weak point - find that weakpoint!"

UPDATE The Meryman: Gin, Diet Tonic, Lime, a Splenda. Named after its inventor Amber.

(110) isometric castles

To view this content, you need to install Java from
iso - source - built with processing

Shortly after a study in the joy of smashing, a study in isometric graphics ends up becoming something about the loveliness of building. Use the mouse to move the cursor, the button drops blocks. Space clears, 'M' makes the bricks' 'mortar' visible or invisible. (Prettier hidden, in my opinion.)

(I was meaning to transfer all my data to my new PC tonight, but got sidetracked by this, in part because I started playing with isometric cubes the other day and was worried I'd forget about the project if I just turned the computer off.)

  ...of the moment  

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
--Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love. Like Larry "Perl" Wall says, programming is all about Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris.
"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."
--Bertrand Russell. (Yes, 2 qotd in a row. Sosumi.) - New Yorker on neuroenhancing drug abuse.

(11) riveting!
Yesterday EB observed that the local Thai place (Sweet Chile) had not just "Crazy Chicken" but "Excited Chicken".

This got the two of us and MrsEB wondering about a restaurant that featured dishes named after emotional states: Complacent Potatoes, Smug Steak, Serious Sprouts. MrsEB thought it should be Curious Cupcakes, though I thought it would be a better name for Curry, and of course the inevitable "Bi-Curry-Us" was thought of by both me and EB ("Curry Us" wouldn't be a bad name for a curry shop actually.)

So we came up with more, Angry Lobster, Angsty Noodles, etc etc.

Anyone else got some ideas?

Photos of the Moment
UPDATE: here's the view on the street outside my building.
I love the foil wrappers those guys wear, it's so future-y. Or cheap-burger-joint-y

I was reminded that today was going to be the Marathon last Friday when I went to the Boston Public Library to return a book and had to duck under scaffolding to get inside. I also saw this beast of a machine, which is kind of an unusual thing to see in the middle of a busy street:

So, I commute every day to Park Street, and a few times I've seen tourists facing me and snapping this photo as I emerge from the underground, which I have to admit is a pretty good photo-op:

Also near Park Street station is this statue commemorating "Industry":
I don't know much about riveting technique, but I'm pretty sure his crotch-centric style is not OSHA approved.

Quote of the Moment
There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again.
--Clint Eastwood

(1) rockin'port
Up in Rockport helping EvilB work on a house they hope to move into later.... I'll try to post more at some point.

Pointless Cartoon of the Moment
--Another taking-notes-in-meeting dragon

(6) such a card!
Hope yesterday's work wasn't too much of a slog for people, or if they just blew it off...I had a lot of fun writing it a few weeks ago

Lyric and Digression and Link of the Moment
I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that's not the shape of my heart
--Sting, "Shape of My Heart"

It's a good song and all, but it occurs to me as a little unbalanced, how half the suits (♠,♣) are related to fighting, with only and otherwise. It seems like...I dunno, having spades me the "tool of the farmer" or something would be more balanced, then you'd have food, fight, money, love, which seems to cover more conceptual territory than fight, fight, money, love.

Anyway, I enjoyed Wikipedia's entry on the history of Playing Cards. There's definately some kind of magic to all that I think.

Decoration of the Moment

--I hadn't realized the card suits were built into browser character sets; I like it. Reminds me a little of making art and "screenshots" with special characters on the old 8bits.

(13) oh e e
Poem of the Moment
i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big Love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new

--E.E. chance, had a article on his legacy on the day after I added this poem to the backlog. Must be a sign!

(1) we need more suckerscustomers
Oh, one goofy detail I forgot to mention yesterday...Monday, while watching the movie, I got a cellphone call from my Uncle Bill (it was set to vibrate). So afterwards, but still during "Kill Bill Vol 2", I was able to show Peterman and Dalton "Missed Calls". Entry #1? Bill.

Link of the Moment
A little while back this link about hidden stuff in Microsoft's own Word documents was making the rounds, where Microsoft inadvertantly lets you see the edits that were made to drafts of various documents, sometimes in an embarassing kind of way.

It reminds of how back in the day, online folk would write fake Delete characters, ^H^H^H^H, to undo "mistakes" they made and put the "corrected" versions after...e.g. "He's such a assh^H^H^H^Hforceful personality"

Essay of the Moment
Good essay on What is the meaning of life?, a close second to the Monty Python answer to it. (via Bill the Splut)

Article of the Moment
Slate on the Columbine Killings. It argues that it was a play for infamy, to make the world shudder at their power; it was their failure at wiring timers that made it a "mere school shooting". Talks about the killers from a clinical psychiatry health point of view which is kind of interesting.

(2) meaning of life, etc
Quote of the Moment
"...In essence this fellow is looking for all there is of life. The great questions for a man are what to do about his time and his passion, and where to find friends and money to live them with. When he's found the right answers, he's got all four legs a man needs to walk on. Could anything be more interesting or important?"
-O. Widsith Amergin Demodocus...Boyan Taliesin Golias

Link of the Moment
ForumFlames, images to add heat with no light to any online discussion. (Some swearing etc.)

Outrage of the Moment
Their most pressing problem was the breast-feeding picture, which the indictment characterized as sexual, "to wit; actual lewd exhibition of...a portion of the female breast below the top of the areola, and the said defendant did and then employ, authorize and induce Rodrigo Fernandez, a child younger than 18 years of age, to engage in said sexual conduct and sexual performance." In other words, says Chatham, the act of simulated breast-feeding, captured on film, was being portrayed as a sex act. "They're saying the guy who took the picture is a sicko and wanted a photo of this to satisfy his sexual desire."
--Really disturbing news story about a family who are having to defend themselves from pedophilia charges. The tactics the prosecutors are using sound really slimey, it seems like a real witch hunt. The kid in the picture shown had already been weaned, but still; clearly, if you're not using a digital camera (or Polaroids) already, be careful what you bring to the film stop...

Video of the Moment
Nina Paley's Fetch! is a great romp of messing with perspective and some classic optical illusions. Plus it has a puppy.

(2) we aren't the champions
So, today's entry is coming to you live from John Sawers' house. And from a Mac, which is probably a first as well. None of the little keyboard things in side a textbox (hop to the end of the line, etc) work right.

Quote of the Moment
"You make me sick, Homer. You're the one who told me I could do anything if I just put my mind to it!"
"Well, now that you're a little bit older, I can tell you that's a crock! No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you."
"Gotcha. Can't win, don't try. "
--Bart and Homer from the Simpson's Episode ``Homer at the Bat''...and as Kurt Vonnegut points out in "Bluebeard", "A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications puts him or her into daily competition with nothing but the world's champions. "

Link of the Moment
The Oulipo Compendium has some really interesting examples of Oulipo, highly formal methods of restricting writing. (Like, not using the letter "e" throughout an entire large piece, or replacing every noun with the seventh following it in the dictionary.) Check out the Excerpts page for more examples.

(1) blow
Finally got around to downloading the pictures from my birthday party on the 31st. (E-mail me if you want to see them all.) This one of me blowing out the candles is a little creepy:

Gag of the Moment
At the risk of beating this into the ground, this is an excerpt from a fake Taiwan news story that's making the rounds:

In a heroic dogfight fought over international waters off the mainland China coast, a 1960s era American built Lockheed Electra (EP-3) propeller driven airliner with 24 US military crew, passengers and observers aboard chewed up one of China's best state-of-the-art supersonic jet fighter aircraft.

The Americans, utilizing the infrequently seen combat tactic of straight and level flight accomplished relying solely on autopilot, engaged the unfortunate single seat combat jet fighter aircraft and knocked it out of the air using only one of the EP-3's four formidable rotating air mass propellers.

You know, at the risk of sounding like a 1950s racist humorist, it's kind of funny that the downed pilot's name is Wang Wei. Change the 'a' to an 'o', and you have a very stupid but apropos little joke.

Link of the Moment
Found Diary of a heroin using girl. Not as fascinating as I thought when I first heard about it, but kind of interesting view of street life.

KHftCEA 1998-04.2 April KHftCEA 2000-04.2 April

KHftCEA 2000-04.2 April

My extensive notes from an impromptu meeting:
•The word "Account"
•A crudely drawn Walrus
•On the back of the paper, the word "Acct"
KHftCEA 1998-04.2 April

doorhinge (roughly) rhymes with orange but month stands alone.

< retrospect: 21 apr >