parking lot butterfly photo

August 20, 2018

"It's a gift to get to be anything at all."
--Louis, a can of Go 2 Cola.

Liz introduced me to this episode of "99% Invisible" helping to launch a new podcast, Everything is Alive. The podcast feels like a shadow of Shintoism, it gives inanimate objects voices and then interviews them. The premiere episode interviews a can of generic cola named Louis, and the unscripted dialogue ends up feeling like a very funny style parody of the "This American Life" genre - but it actually made me a bit verklempt.

(I remember I did a similar bit as a 9 year old or so, running around with a tape recorder and interviewing objects for some sort of faux radio program - but I didn't think to give them human voices, so I had to interview loud things like a handbell and an electric pencil sharpener.)

(Related: once you've heard the podcast see Margaret Davis' "Peas")
Law 1: Every program can be optimised to be smaller.
Law 2: There's always one more bug.
Corollary: Every program can be reduced to a one-line bug.
via https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Programming - oh wait Ken Arnold had "Every program has at least one bug and can be shortened by at least one instruction — from which, by induction, it is evident that every program can be reduced to one instruction that does not work.", that's what I was thinking of

tuba pinwheel tuba

August 19, 2018
Shaunalynn parade led a parade where brass sousaphones were in full effect ...



"A cat heroically struggling to call 911 with his paws while you watch, dying and helpless on the floor, but he's using the tv remote"
--JP Lovecraft Sometimes, my friends' big problems feel like the person on the floor, and me the frantic cat - trying to help with some feats of empathy and intellect that on some level could impress but really, I'm just fumbling with the tv remote.

anti-alt-right tuba

August 18, 2018
Two shots from today's alt-right counterprotest-- Marie and my mom's old trombone, and then our merry little crew (not shown, Dave B who set it up at the last minute and then did his double slide whistle). Things were at a standstill, with the remainders of the 30-odd alt-righters standing there in their army helmets staring at the 300-odd counter-protestors chanting anti-Nazi thoughts at them, then the band (who had been doing a lot of chant backing and the odd song) stepped forward and backed a kind of chanting-crowd/honk-band duet, and then shortly thereafter the police said "enough" and shoo'd away the alt-righters. (I guess they try to spin it as they left the left there and went off to bunker hill, but it was clearly not a victory for them.) Anyway, timing might've been a coincidence but maybe not! I believe both Antifa and the alt-right-folk were prohibited from amplified music by the police, which means HONK! style groups like BABAM give the left a current asymmetrical advantage.

Marie and my mom's old trombone!


"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks."
--Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935)


Blender of Love

August 17, 2018

Cris Valenzuela's Text to Image, neural network software that attempts to generate images from text descriptions.

I like just putting in names, which create more abstract images. Here's "kirk israel":


See many cooler examples at AI Weirdness has great writeup.
Joined Melissa for lunch on a bench outside our office building:
Me: [After going to town on a piece of BBQ Chicken]
"Oof.... Daddy needs a wetnap... ...That's the worst thing I've said in the last 20 minutes."

August 16, 2018

IMO one of the most important episodes yet, the Fringe Game History Podcast interviews Shawn Hargreaves who started the Allegro game programming library in the 90s. I missed out on it for the most part, but it was hugely influential.
RIP Aretha Franklin

roger screws up

August 15, 2018

--an old favorite Far Side of mine. I know the feel.
I'm having a pretty severe case of "why is there no time during a week"?

I feel like there was a time where there was an ok balance for, say, reading, projects, and video games, as well as some quality time with an SO.

I guess the main culprit is band tuba stuff. It's at least 2 chunks of time a week, usually a bit more. And it's a highly rewarding activity, but not cheap.

It seems like if you work you kind of have to pick a single free time activity (like "kids", for some people!) and everything else goes around the edges. (Maybe even if you're not working) Maybe with intense discipline you could get 2 or 3 big things juggle at once, but man. It's not easy.

live like an animal or die quote

August 14, 2018
"There are two adults and one child. Majority rules. Live like an animal or die."
--James Israel (my dad) circa 1974 (i.e. shortly before my birth) 20 years ago I recorded this quote via my mom, but didn't write the context, which was the two of them reflecting on how life would change with the addition of a baby.
The New Nancy by Olivia James is really good!

I went back and read the recent series about the charaters at Art Camp, great fun. Art-y and Camp-y.
Melissa: "[pokes at puffy part of blouse] [sighs] Oh... I was hoping it was air. It's stomach."