2001 March❮❮prevnext❯❯

quote quote

Odd, this journal entry seems to have erased itself, (I must've had an old edit window open that overwrote the contents) but I still have the notes for most of it...

Guestbook Quote of the Moment
the mental capacity of recalling or recognizing previously learned behavior or past experiences. OR COMPUTER COMPONENTS THAT STORE DATA. 2 different definitions for the same word that you have mastered.
Jenny, 2001.02.27
I'm not sure what this means. Is the word "memory"?

Movie Quote of the Moment
[Challenged to say if he considers anything holy.]
Yes! The individual human mind. In a child's ability to master the multiplication table, there is more holiness than all your shouted hosannas and holy holies. An idea is more important that a monument and the advancement of Man's knowledge more miraculous than all the sticks turned to snakes and the parting of the waters.
Henry Drummond in From Inherit the Wind (1960) via IMBDB

t.g.i.end of the friggin' week

Quote of the Moment
"How am I this morning? Frankly, Mister Never-Around, I'm as horny as the middle-school band."
senior couple drinking coffee in New Yorker cartoon, Aug 14 2000

Art of the Moment
Your missing colored flying wireframe snakes. In a box! Rotating!
Been playing with some simple 3D code. And when I say simple, I mean simple... X and Y (the plane of the screen) are handled as usual with 2D computer graphics, except the origin is in the center of the applet. Z (depth into the screen) is just a scaling factor: for things 'further' back, it becomes smaller and smaller (though always positive.) And the rotation is just a simpe sine/cosine 2D rotation applied before the final drawing. (That I bummed off of comp.algorithm.graphics.) This site will probably see a few more things based on this same engine before I get bored with it...


Man, Winter has gone on way too long. I find my self getting charged up at the site of skin-- almost any bit of bare upper arm or torso. At first I thought it was some kind of odd, visual "polymorphously perverse" thing but then I realized it was just missing seeing skin. I'll be glad when I start seeing women in tank tops again, that really marks the return of warm weather for me.

Movie Quote of the Moment
Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.
Saw that movie last night. Pretty good! I had some trouble believing some of the plot twists, but cinematically it was doing some really interesting things. But I really really like that quote. It catches so much of how I'm trying to cope with mortality. It has some kind of weird old world charm, invoking some kind of cordiality along with a general cheerfulness. I'd almost like it as my epitath.

Link of the Moment
OJR's Spike Report has some really well written story/link combos. At the moment, interesting coverage of the whole "did Shakespeare smoke marijuana" question-- was it the "noted weed" from Sonnet 76?


Dream Quote of the Moment
"I finally had a vision of what life was all about. Even more than just bowls of chocolate ice cream. Also containers, made of plastic. And those same containers with vanilla as well."
Dream Script of 'What's New, Pussycat?" from a while back
(also there was a giant blue atari symbol in lasers, don't know what to make of that)


Staying home away from the snow... they're comparing this to the blizzard of '78 (the one I was on the island of St. Thomas for, when I was like 3.) I wonder how it will compare to the winter I saw at Tufts in 1992...

Observation of the Moment
Why it's a good thing tattos have an age requirement in 5 words: "Harry Potter Forehead Scar Tattoos"
Inspired by a Mark Parisi "off the mark" cartoon.

Image of the Moment
"That tanker split like a melon when it tore through the zoo's chain link fence. Sulfuric acid was everywhere."
"Oh, that's horrible. Was anybody hurt?"
"Thank goodness, no. But now I'll be haunted for all eternity by the image of penguins screaming as they dissolve."

Thought of the Moment
Anyone who says life is short really isn't paying attention.
March 4 2001

tanks alot

Quote of the Moment
I am a d____d ODD animal
Ada Byron, visionary and first very bad programmer

Inappropriate AOL-IM Chat of the Moment
(On the San Diego School Shooting)
kirk: Oh, I was just going to say, so I'm watching the breaking coverage on CNN, and you know, I'm feeling pretty bad for them, it's a hell of a thing to go through, but damn it, I'm in a protoblizzard and these jerkies are in shortsleeves
brooke: lucky little traumatized shits

History of the Moment
While stairmastering I was watching "Wartime Deceptions" on the History Channel. Kind of neat stuff, but I was struck at how blatantly pro-American it was. Good cover of Operation Bodyguard (misleading the Nazis about where D-day was going to happen), and plenty about faking amphibious landings to fool Saddam during Desert Storm, but nothing about how he's run circles around us, or how Milosovich and friends totally fooled us with some really basic tricks-- we bombed a hell of a lot of fake tanks.

shove it

I hate the snow. At least I can feel macho shoving Mo's car directly through snowbanks... or that's what it feels like I'm doing. If I'm still living in a place with this kind of weather when I get my next car, I'm going for something with 4WD.

Link of the Moment
Salon.com had a story on Chuck Barris, the guy who gave us the Newlywed Game and the Gong Show. The author paints those shows as precursors to today's "reality programming". He's a very interesting guy.

Line of the Moment
"I doubt my getting fired from the Dairy Queen is a bellwether of recession, but it sure is a bellwether of I stuck my wang in the butterscotch."


Spent two or three hours getting my car dug out last night. Stupid snow. Stypid driveway on a hill. Though sometimes I managed to find a sense of play in it, crawling around, picking up and throwing off big scabs of snow, over all it was a grind.

Quote of the Moment
God is silent, now if only we can get Man to shut up.
Woody Allen, "Remembering Needleman"

Cartoon Quote of the Moment
There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy... ...because your philosophy sucks.
Lore is a regular feature on The Brunching Shuttlecocks (usually one of the more reliably funny websites.) The entire Lore Archive is worth clicking through.

hob knob job

Rant of the Moment
Mo's waiting to hear about a new job. For a while she was so fed up that she was considering quitting even she didn't have her next gig lines up, just to get out of there. Talking with some cow-orkers who had been laid-off convinced her otherwise, that just like the classic "the bank will lend money to people who have money," it's much easier to land a new job when you have one already. What's up with that? Shouldn't the business world try to move beyond the politics of high school dating? "Well, we're looking for employees who will be really loyal, who will really give their all for the company. Tell me, are you willing to sneak off from work and interview with us on Tuesday?"

Story of the Moment
And so [Abraham] took Isaac to a certain place and prepared to sacrifice him but at the last minute the Lord stayed Abraham's hand and said "How could thou doest such a thing?"

And Abraham said, "But Thou said--"

"Never mind what I said," the Lord spake, "Doth thou listen to every crazy idea that comes thy way?" And Abraham grew ashamed. "Err--not really, no."

"I jokingly suggest thou sacrifice Isaac and thou immediately runs out to do it."

And Abraham fell to his knees, "See, I never know when You're kidding."

And the Lord thundered, "No sense of humor. I can't believe it."

"But doth this not prove I love Three, that I was willing to donate my only son on Thy whim?"

And the Lord said, "It proves that some men will follow any order no matter how asinine as long as it comes from a resonant, well-modulated voice."

And with that, the Lord bid Abraham to get some rest and check with Him tomorrow.

Woody Allen, "The Scrolls"


Wow. I have nothing to say today. I'm having too much fun playing videogames with my friends last night and my cousins today.

It's funny thinking how I influence Ivan and Kayla. We're not biologically related, but we might as well be. They're both in middle school, and we often get together for Nintendo fests. I try to be a good influence on them, teach them how to be sarcastic and witty, make sure they don't grow up irony deficient, and how to trash talk with a certain amount of grace. What's funny is how months later they'll quote good lines back at me, like "You put the UCK back into suck" and (when their friend Hannah was having trouble manuevering her character's airplane in Diddy Kong Racing) "Fly Air Hannah-- you'll get there... Someday."

Maybe I'm a little harsh sometimes... I'm trying to get them so they're interesting to talk with and be around, so sometimes I'll use the line (misquoted from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) that was used on me when I went into a rambling story-- "here's an idea... next time you tell a story, have a point. Stories are meant to be funny or interesting. The stories you tell are neither of these things." They fear this line now! But, they do tell better stories.


Wow. Not much to say these days. Probably too much time wasted playing videogames instead of wasted hanging around the web. (But, as always, time enjoy wasting is not wasted.)

Quote of the Moment
Love was a terrible thing. You poisoned it and stabbed at it and knocked it down into the mud-- well down-- and it got up and staggered on, bleeding and muddy and awful. Like-- like Rasputin.
I've had romances like that.

Ramble of the Moment
Yesterday I started counting "1 2 3 4 2 2 3 4 3 2 3 4 4 2 3 4". That's the pattern people use to use for counting measures of rest in band. (Tubas sometimes get a heckuva lot of rests.) I haven't counted in that pattern for a long time.


Real Life Quote of the Moment
"Self-medication with alcohol is generally a bad idea"
Mo, 2001.03.11

Cartoon Quote of the Moment
Dirt doesn't need luck.

Something In-between Quote of the Moment
Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because, if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, which is why I would not live forever.
Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA Contest (via The Stile Project, a pretty raunchy site)

The scary thing is, I think she's kind of right.


Man, all of the news seems so bad these days. The economy getting set for a long haul bout of fear and loathing, George W. pimping for a tax cut nobody really wants and a star wars plan nobody will really benefit from save for the military companies trying to build it, though it ticks off friend and foe alike to no end. Foot & Mouth in Europe, West Nile here. School shootings, a military dropping bombs on itself. More bad weather. The Red Sox getting creamed in the preseason-- and I don't even care that much about the Red Sox. Who woulda thought that the 2000s, such a beacon of promise for the future, would start out so damn bleak?

Ah well, at least I have my health, according to the Doctor yesterday. And Mo found new work. And I've come to terms with life in all its shortness and longness.

Poetry of the Moment

Why I Hate Snow

Because it moves in like a bad love affair
Drifting down in ardent white sighs
Smoothing over the entire world
Only to crust overnight
And turn to dirty slush
At the first sign of day

Because it brings unreasonable joy
To dogs and small children
And causes both to leap cutely
As if the rest of us were missing the point entirely
When, in fact, we still have to go to work

Because it brings out our worst human pettiness
Sparks brawls over parking spaces
Causes minor politicians to die stupidly
Collects in our cuffs
And leaps into our boots
And turns our toes to prunes

Because, finally, Snow becomes our disappointment
in God
What begins in ornate flakes
Inimitable, divine
Ends in wet socks and pratfalls
In human grumbling over why there is mud on the carpet
And who will shovel the walk

w lies

Bush blatantly lies about Pollution. Looks like the guy has a little truth problem. Wonder if he had told the truth if five or six hundred people in Florida might've realized what a oilman nut he really is?

And he's working that old Republican magic-- polls indicate that people seem to like the general idea of republicanism though they disagree with most of the individual policies, same for Bush.

Quote of the Moment
Programmers are going to be the assembly line workers of the 21st century.
More gist for the fret mill!

Link of the Moment
Wow. Thanks to Lee for sending me one of the most Horrifying Concepts of the late 20th century. The animation of that pig will live on in my nightmares.


Joke of the Moment
One World War II Quaker conscientious objector had been a professional wrestler. Once when he and some other inmates of the Coshocton CPS camp in Ohio made a trip into town, they were hassled about their pacifism by some local youths, who insisted that only force could change the German's views.

In response, the ex-wrestler took off his coat, challenged one of the local boys to a match, and promptly threw the townie across the room. He then asked the youth, "Now do you believe that force won't change people's views?"

"Heck no!" the local boy hollered back.

"That's exactly my point," said the Quaker, who put on his coat and left.

from Quakers Are Funny! by Chuck Fager, via rec.humor.funny.reruns

It's funny, that story mentions Coshocton. That's where my dad grew up and my grandmother still lives. I didn't realize it had a CPS camp there once. (Also, I think it's known for Coca-Cola memorabilia.)

industry substandard

Yikes. Trying to figure out if things are afoot in my company. My heart's racing a bit.

Quote of the Moment
"It's so hard being neurotic. A normal person would be able to touch this [gooey brownie] with their bare hand, but not me."
Rob Baum, 2001.03.15

Link of the Moment
Scarily plausible article on Slate: The Case For Northern Secession.

Quote of the Next Couple Years
Initially, Bush wanted the bad economy to be associated with the Clinton era and was framing it as worse than it was and now he is framing things as being worse than they are in order to promote his tax cut to create support and rationale for his tax cut. It was disingenuous, and a really bad move. Because he's drumming up a pessimism about the economy that's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It points out that on the Clinton watch we had some sharp downturns that we managed our way through, but Bush is trash talking the economy to play up his taxcut plan, and that may screw us all. I have less faith in ever in Bush, and this electoral college driven mixup will haunt us for years.


Quote of the Moment
Bed is the poor man's opera
Italian Proverb

Related Quote of the Moment
I don't need viagra at all... all I need is a skinny, boney female

weekend edition

For some reason, I've been having a harder time writing a lot on weekends, when theoretically I should have all the time in the world for my magnum opus (opi?).

At this very moment I'm listening to this interesting radio essay on Fresh Air Weekend, an NPR show. It's linguist Geoff Nunberg. The piece is a bit of a defense of the word "like". He points out that it's not just a lazy filler as is "umm" and "you know", but rather it's a frame for a bit of a performance. When you say "and then he said" you're getting ready to quote words, when you say "and he was like" you're setting up a re-enactment. I had this same thought when I was in the British Isles with my family in 1995. I was near Castle Blarney it, come to think of (it's where I came up with "I just kissed the blarney stone, and now I'm wicked eloquent".) The Blarney stone is interesting, you have to lie on the floor high up in this castle, and bend at a very odd angle to give that thing a smooch. The tourist tradition is kissing it they say, and the drunk local's tradition is to pee on it...

Anyway, Nunberg traces back use of the word 'like' way back to the fifties hipsters. There might be a philosophical edge to the use of this word, that it also says we really don't know much of anything, but we can still identify traits and make guesses.

Link of the Moment
Project Omni, a brilliantly written (at least for the first few pages) account of some 20-something guys taking apart a 1981 Dodge Omni in the summer of 1997. Laugh out loud funny in parts.
(via Cruel Site of the Day)


Went ice-skating for the first time in my life yesterday with some of the Tufts Band Lemmings gang. It's a lot of fun, better than roller blading, just mostly because of the novelty of being on a big field of ice and not falling on my butt. I think I was pretty good for a first timer (possibly because of the roller blading I think.) There were a lot of kids there. At first that was a little annoying, but then I thought of them as forming a big obstacle course, or maybe a mine field. Then it was even more fun!

Movie Quote of the Moment
Corky: You know what the difference is between you and me, Violet?
Violet: No.
Corky: Me neither.
Bound was the first movies from the Wachowski Brothers Siblings Sisters who would later bring us The Matrix. That is a great closing romantic line to a neat neo-noir film.

slim vast

Mo's dad the doctor points out that a big honking thing of iced coffee on an empty stomach is probably not the best thing, that's a lot of acidic material for a stomach to handle. So for a while I'm going to try replacing my morning coffee and my evening grazing with Slim-Fasttm. It just feels so corny though...

Quote of the Moment
Oh I REALLY like your style, but this can't go up here, far too many nipples.
(She posts her art to the Love Blender somtimes, but you should check out her homepage for more)

More Art of the Moment
Willard Scott in an air shaft. I've always said art is what you can get away with, and I mean it.

funny costumes

Life's going a bit crazy right now, layoffs to the left of me, layoffs to the right of me, layoffs all around me! But I'll muddle through.

Funny Costumes of the Moment
A lot of funny costumes on this page, 70s Live Action Kid Vid. All these cheese shows that lived on in syndication in the 80s... I remember the Bugaloos, but somehow missed out on the even more famous H.R.Pufnstuf. Anyways, this is a really well researched page.

A little closer to home was this Great Space Coaster tribute. I loved this show when I was a kid. I can hear the theme song now, and then the brilliance of Speed Reader and Gary Gnu... wow.

Finally it's Kaiju. I saw a sticker with the URL at the men's room for the Upstairs Lounge in Boston. It looks like people making up some more of these elaborate costumes and duking it out. The FAQ says it got its start at the School of the MFA, where I took some of my first programming classes (they had a tie in with Tufts.)

the waiting game

At work... theoretically in 7 minutes at 9am is the big company meeting. Good news doesn't happen at big company meetings at 9am. Good chance I'll get laid off.

Link of the Moment
A talk with the author of The Phantom Tollbooth from Salon.Com. It's such a wonderful, intellectually playful book. Some of the images from the final climb up the mountain still live with me.

we doan need no stinkin jobs

So here I am, sans job, but with decent prospects, a Good Résumé, more than a month of severance plus 2 weeks vacation pay, and some freelance work to tide me over.

Quote of the Moment
In other words--and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxywide success is founded--their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.
Douglas Adams, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
(Hmm, sounds like some dotcoms I know.)


Link of the Moment
Whaddya Love? And Whaddya Hate? Odd little site, maybe not enough to hold long term interest.

Link of the Moment
This camptown races link seemed really cool until I realized the simple gimmick. "Easy when you know the trick, doo dah, doo dah." Still, the idea might come in useful someday.

good nintensions

Why Mario Will Rise Again. I love Nintendo. I just read "Game Over: Press Start to Continue" that talked about the people behind their domincance with the NES and their struggle to a tie with the SNES. Lately they've got a bad rap, with the N64 being seen as a kiddie game system, with fewer games, and that using cartridges instead of a CD like format was a total mistake. There are elements of truth to all these charges, but cartridges have zero load times, the games for the system tend to be a higher quality especially if you can see past the Japanese 'cuteness', by having four controller ports builtin to the hardware it has become the system if you actually have friends you like to game with, etc. In particular, the games that use the 'stable' of characters are all uniformly top notch.

The Mushroom Kingdom is a fan site that talks all about Mario, his history and that stable of characters. I love the encyclopdedic reference for all the characters, including all the minor bad guys, with images.

In related news, the Game Boy Advance is out in Japan. Kind of a sideways gameboy, but it can play games on par with the SNES (circa 1992 or so), instead of just the old NES (circa 1985 or so). When it comes out here in a few months, it's supposed to be retailing for $99! That's going to be a really interesting system. I'm almost sorry I got a Game Boy Color for Christmas, it's so outclassed by this one-- plus it has four player linking, including a feature with some cartridges that only one of the units has to have the game, the rest get what they need over the link. Neat.


Syncronicity of the Moment
"Here I am; I'm here-- in my mind, and yours, it seems. Please don't hold me too dear. Some dreams are unrealized."
This note popped up in my .sigfile rotation. It was written by my big college crush, on-again-mostly-off-again romance. I think it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever personally received. The day after it popped up, the grapevine was vibrating with news that the person may well have recently gotten engaged. Funny the timing of all that.

Quote of the Moment
Kind of funny being the keeper of the Love Blender-- right now I'm not sure I know that much about either.
Me to Mo
(After a discussion with Mo about all those Blender settings, as well as some wedding related rambling. I just got a 9 year renewal on the domain name.)

sick with a knife

Why is it when I have all the time in the world I have a harder time getting motivated to do a good update?

Guess I'm kind of bipolar when it comes to the jobsearch. Talked with the headhunter yesterday. Sometimes it seems like there's still plenty of opportunities for a good techie. Other times, it just seems like the whole online world is shriveling up. Sometimes it seems like I should take my time and relax getting a new position, other times it seems like I should go go go because who knows how long it will take, even once you've found the company.

Passage of the Moment
We conversed in French, a language alien to both of us, but more alien to me than to him. He said "gauche" for both "right" and "left" when he was upset, but when I was upset I was capable of flights that put the French people on their guard, wide-eyed and wary. Once, for instance, when I cut my wrist on a piece of glass I ran into the lobby of a hotel shouting in French, "I am sick with a knife!" Olympy would have known what to say (except it would have been his left wrist in any case) but he wouldn't have shouted: his words ran softly together and sounded something like the burbling of water over stones.
from James Thurber's "A Ride With Olympy"

wild wild west west

Media of the Moment
I was watching Wild Wild West on some movie channel the other day. You know, that wasn't as bad a flick as people seem to think, at least for being a summer blockbuster. Visually it was beautifully shot, and a lot of the "retrofuture" stuff, the giant machinery of war, was really neat. When I finished "The Difference Engine", a more down to earth piece that asked "what would 19th century England have been like had Babbage's mechanical computers worked", I was trying to think of other examples of "steampunk", a nickname for the genre. (The term combines 'cyberpunk', a dystopic scifi genre of the 80s and 90s, with the idea of engines powered by steam.) Anyway, Wild Wild West was it, albeit in a goofy summer blockbuster kind of way.

Quote of the Moment
"What? You're back again again already?"
"Hey, be nice to me. I've just been through a near-death experience."
"Really? When did this happen?"
"Well, it was kind of spread out over the last 15 years or so..."

when a plan comes together

WOW. I just found out my mom might be living in England for longer than the few months she was expecting...

Nostalgia of the Moment
In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire -- the A-Team.
"The A-Team"

Man, I used to love that show. A while back there was an odd web phenomen: Mr. T vs, where people would make up photoplays of Mr. T taking on a wide assortment of forces of evil. Pity the fool, indeed.

lies, damn lies

Link of the Moment
Read the Lies People Tell (the site seems a little disorganized, this seems to be the best starting link.) Kind of cool stuff, the "Lies our Parents Tell Us" was a Cruel Site of the Day recently.

Quote of the Moment
Information wants to be a Socialist... not a Communist or a Republican.
Karen Schneider

birthday boy

Hey... today's my birthday! 27. 9/10 of the way to 30! But this birthday is hitting me a lot less than last year's. Over the past year, I've really come to terms with what life is and isn't about, I think.

Hey-- I have the same birthday as UNIVAC! UNIVAC, the first commecial computer, is 50, and I'm 27... funny to think that I've been alive for more than half of this commercial revolution.

Politics of the Moment
"Welcome to the wonderful world of George W. Bush's brain, where it's always Casual Friday!"
The context is his decision to forgo traditional press conferences (where, as the article puts out, reports have this annoying habit of 'asking questions') in lieu of a less 'formal' way of doing things. Damn, we have not elected a smart guy. We didn't elect this guy, either, come to think of it.

He is also adding a baseball field to the white house. If I gave a dang about baseball and/or thought he was doing a halfway decent job in other respects, I'd probably say that this is pretty cool.

Post of the Moment

>please help me! where can I download 3 objects ,
>such as chairs tables,
>sofas and so on, i have tried already 3D cafe,
>anu other useful websites??
>Thank you!!

you mean like on that commercial where they get scuba fins out of their printer? that was just a special effect. So far, we can only transfer information through the net.

However, your optimism is appreciated.
Gwyn Judd, in comp.lang.perl.misc via alt.humor.best-of-internet

2001 March❮❮prevnext❯❯