2002 September❮❮prevnext❯❯

zap

(4 comments)
September 1, 2002

So I've started to dream in New Yorker Cartoons. Well, not really, but the other night I had a dream where I was looking through a book about them, complete with artist interviews and the like. The only one I remember (and it had the graphical style down) has a man in arab headgear standing in a living room, with his wife sitting on the couch, and a kind in a crib in between. The caption is the man saying "Yes, it's nice to be Prince Rudi Rannan of the Saudi province of Drunel. But when I'm working in the USA, I think it's good to have an SSN." I think the implication is normally being reduced to a number would be beneath the dignity of a prince, but since he wants a job here he'll give it a pass.

Links of the Moment
Is NY Defender an interactive political cartoon about the hopelessness of the struggle against terrorism, or just a little joke game in really bad taste? Slate had an article on online games as political commentary...they do seem to be the Internet equivalent of political cartoons, albeit with even less of a message than most.

Quote of the Moment
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cyborgs, for you are conductive and can support 110 volts."
--Wiredog, from this Slashdot article about 0wnz0red, a scifi short story that Salon just published. At the risk of spoiling the joke for those not geek enough to know, this is a play on "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger" from Lord of the Rings. (Another frequent variation is "Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.")

cute widdle viowence and destwuction

(4 comments)
September 2, 2002

Oy, I've slacked off on doing the Blender all weekend, better get to work.

Videos of the Moment
What happens when you cross the Care Bears with Dead Baby Jokes? Probably something that looks a lot like Happy Tree Friends. Warning: this stuff, while very cartoonish, is also very very macabre and violent. But kinda funny none the less. If you're in a hurry just watch the first one. (I only got up to #11 or so.)

Movie Quote of the Moment
"You have no values; your whole life is nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm and orgasm."
"In France I could run on that slogan and win."
--Woody Allen, "Deconstructing Harry"

grindstone and bear it

(3 comments)
September 3, 2002

Oy, time to drag ourselves back to work after the long weekend. Dang. I think the ideal workweek would be like...I dunno, 10-16 hours?

Stupid Pop Culture Observation of the Moment
If you made a diet pill, would you call it Norexin? Yeah, that sounds like it's a healthy way to lose weight, "Gee doc, I'm having trouble with my self image because of these unwanted pounds..." "Take a Norexintm!" How about a pill called "Vulemic"?

Emotional Exhibitionism of the Moment
I've put the Selections from the K & R Carousel up as this month's Blender Feature. It's an extract from the e-mail archive from a college relationship I had, some of my best and worst writing.

Link of the Moment
From deep within the backlog (last October, actually) it's n3xt.com, a series of odd little artsy flash animations, some with some minor interactivity. A new one every month by the look of it. (If you find you can't close a given animation, look for the "X" by the link to it on the main list.)

trolling along

(9 comments)
September 4, 2002

Media News of the Moment
Looks like the NY Times has finally made good on its plan to publish same-sex wedding announcements. I didn't realize the things gave so much backstory--this (probably soon to expire) New Yorker article mentions they only started doing that a few years ago. Pretty cool, though Timothy Noah on Slate thinks the whole idea of high-status-weddings as news is a bad idea to begin with.

Geekdom of the Moment
Dave's Book of Beings is very cool in a D&D geek way, a bunch of illustrated monster designs and descriptions, from the author's youthful imagination. Reading through the source books was always my favorite part of Role Playing Games (Never did get around to a proper set, with the dice and paper record keeping and all that.)

Quote of the Moment
"I guess one person can make a difference but most of the time they probably shouldn't."
--Marge Simpson. Man, I think love this line, but maybe it's just a way for me to justify being lazy.

an odepoem

(1 comment)
September 5, 2002

I hate pasta
I hate quiche
but what I hate
the most is feesh

smelly feesh
rots in a bag
smells so bad
it makes me gag

really nasty
not fit to eat
why do folks think
they're such a treat?

two big eyes
they stare at me
they always stare
but never see

swimmin' feesh
constantly take a bath
that is what
makes me laugh

for as they bathe
all night and day
then what the heck
makes 'em smell that way?
     --Kirk Israel, published in my High School's annual literary review, Eucuyo '90. They must've liked it, they closed the review with it. If I'm feeling masochistic I'll post the poem that opened the review, also by me.

[insert size joke here]

(2 comments)
September 6, 2002

Backlog Link of the Moment
Tiny Games for Windows. They're really really tiny. Unfortunately, some of the more interesting arcade ones on the right need the original ROMS to work...but one of my favorites, Tiny Invaders (shown actual size here: ) doesn't. It's a bit smaller than most of them, and shows up in the SysTraym by the clock. (Make sure to read the read me files they include to know the controls.)

Lite News of the Moment
My mom actually sent this one along, UK McDonalds to make hedgehog friendly icecream cups. I'm just getting this image of chubby English hedgehogs.

Quote of the Moment
"Life isn't, and has never been, a 2-0 home victory against the League leaders after a fish-and-chip lunch."
--Nick Hornby, "Fever Pitch". A lot of UKisms I'm not quite picking up in this book. Maybe I like this quote because it has some of the lingo, but not too much.

thor's mama fat!

(2 comments)
September 7, 2002

Flash Toys of the Moment
More Artsy Flash Fun. Probably a bit cooler than the link I posted the other day.

Quote of the Moment
"Earth is a great, big funhouse without the fun."
--Jeff Berner. Don't agree with the sentiment, but it's a good quote.

Backlog of the Moment
I think Bill might've posted this one last October or so...The Final Marvel Comic, a duel between Hulk and Thor...the insult contest is funnier than I remembered:

"Thou shalt not BERATE the SON OF ODIN! I SAY THEE NAY!"

"THOR's MAMA! THOR'S MAMA FAT!"

"Wha...what didst thou SAY?"

"THOR'S MAMA SO FAT, SHE EATS...COW! HERD of COW!"

"I WARN thee, beast-- Ne'er shall THOR allow such...BASE speech regarding fair FRIGGA, former Queen of the REALM ETERNAL!"

"THOR'S MAMA SO UGLY, SHE REALLY SIT AROUND HOUSE! GRRRRRR, STUPID THOR'S MAMA IS UGLY!"

quote bonanza

(3 comments)
September 8, 2002

Video Game Quote of the Moment
"Man will always use his most advanced technology to amuse himself."
--Crane's Law. Crane in this case is David Crane, creator of Pitfall! and many other important games. From this inteview that was on slashdot a while back, though I found that Meet David Crane from a 1984 issue of "High-Res Magazine" had more information, so you might want to check that out instead. (Note to future self- this is NOT the article where he talks about how you could probably couldn't do Atari 2600 version of Ghostbusters)
IMDb Quote of the Moment
"But popcorn - ah, popcorn was made for watching the world go by. Look. I stick my hand in the bag without taking my eyes off the street. I throw some popcorn in my craw. I chew...and I'm still looking. That's what I call class."
"Sure. Peanut eaters don't know how to live."
--The Gilded Lily

GWB Political of the Moment
He characterized his consultations as less an exchange of ideas than an effort to "see the leaders of the world and remind them of the facts."
--from this news piece on Bush and European Leaders. This quote reminds me of everything I hate about the administration. 'Moral Clarity' my ass, it's just a deliberate myopia that makes the world look like Us=Good Them=Bad.

poetspoem

(1 comment)
September 9, 2002

i often wonder
what exactly is the difference
between "good" poets and "bad" poets
two lines, like a ticket counter--one labeled GOOD
and the
     other BAD
and which one am i in
and if it matters
for while everyone it seems
would like to be "good" it seems
to me
that the "bad" poets
have a better time of it
they can write for
greeting-cards and get money
or write advertisements
for if you measure
a poet's relative ability
by how he can change lives
why
the "bad" poets win
hands down
using little sing-songs
that run through your mind
and that make people BUY!
that is why and how the "bad" poets
change your life
AND "good" poets
usually aren't really good
until they're dead
chilled and rotting
and
what good does
it do you then?
--Kirk Israel, published in my High School's annual literary review, Eucuyo '90. This is the poem that I threatened to use here when I kisrael'd this other one, surprisingly used to open the review. Its only saving graces come from the way it rips o...I mean, reflects the cadence and attitude of Don Marquis and his "archy & mehitabel" works, which I was (and still am) very fond of.

oh baby

(4 comments)
September 10, 2002

Funny of the Moment
The Story About The Baby is a laugh-out-loud journal by a new dad. Typical quote: "She learned to piss whenever we're changing her. As soon as the diaper's off, she lets it rip. Once, she did it 4 times in 24 hours [...] I will make her pay for this. When she's eight, and really has the capacity for anguish."

Cartoon of the Moment
Speaking of babies...this here is Li'l Baby Cthuulhu, from Ghastly's Ghastly Comic -- "Tentacle monsters and the women who love them." This is PG13/R stuff, and you kind of have to be a fan of (or at least aware of) certain flavors of Japanese animation(Hentai.) If you meet those qualifications it's pretty funny in parts. I know the guy who makes it, he is (or was?) a regular on rec.games.video.classic. One time he posted a "slash" story (fanfiction, often sexual) about Pokémon on that group instead of a more appropriate one, and much hilarity ensued.

Quote of the Moment
"Since my objective is to get a woman pregnant every time I fuck and since in general a woman can only have a baby once in a year, in order to maximize my potential, I need 365 women."
--Sam Sloan, from his My Dreams page. See we were on a bit of a baby/adult humor kick anyway, this was the only referene of the word baby in the backlog.

frayed new world

September 11, 2002
This is a bit of a backlog clean out, just joining in today's likely media frenzy (assuming there's (hopefully) no bigger news today.) I grabbed many links and quotes related to WTC but ended up not getting around to using them. (The dates are when I added the entry to the backlog.)
2001.09.18
Voltaire said, "If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." I still think "faith" can be horribly misused, and that healthy skepticism is better.
2001.09.21
I was surprised at how detailed Islamic prophecies of the Last Days are, especially the description of their "anti-Christ". They also predict the return of Jesus.
2001.09.28
Ranjit sent me an English columnist supporting the US going it alone in Afghanistan.
2001.10.10
"I didn't dare look in the bakery for fear of finding red, white, and blue cakes, thereby confirming my suspicions that some people don't know the difference between a war and a birthday party." --Jamie quoting 'local group' on alt.support.diet
2001.10.17
"I don't see what happened in Pennsylvania as depressing or frightening. I see it as encouraging and heroic.
Then again, I'm not afraid of death. What's the point? It's like fearing gravity." --Carl Fink on alt.fan.cecil-adams
2001.10.26
Salon Quiz, The Bible, the Quran or "Mein Kampf"? and a Slate piece on Muslims and Modernity.
2001.12.26
Boston Phoenix on Astrology and 9/11. I also made a note to talk about this being described as Bush's "War Year". (Though now it looks like he's aiming for at least a couple of years...)
2002.01.19
NY Times' Which Way Did He Run? on a Fireman who was knocked unconscious and doesn't know if he stood or ran.
2002.08.19
A poem (in a surprisingly effective strict rhyme scheme,) John M. Ford's 110 Stories about the day.
2002.09.07
More recently, Salon on Forbidden Thoughts about 9/11.

beep beep beep bleep bleep

(1 comment)
September 12, 2002

It occurred to me that the title of yesterday's entry wouldn't make such a bad domain name: FrayedNewWorld.com.

Simple Answers to Complex Questions
1. Because they hate freedom.
2. Absolutely yes, because they're a rogue state that might let
     nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorists.
3. Drill for oil in Alaska.
4. Less, because less regulation is great for every market.

Quote of the Moment
"When Bono shook his hips, that crowd shook their hips...It was filled to the gills, and people were moving back and forth like corn in the breeze."
--Jesse Helms after attending a U2 concert (and turning off his hearing aid) via this article from Mother Jones. Who knew the old coot could be so poetic?

Pop Culture of a Few Moments Ago
This cartoon (via Wired) reminded me of their previous coverage of Apple "Switch" star Ellen Feiss--her various fan sites don't have much material to work on...mostly just repackaging images from the original ad. The appeal? "I can't stop watching Ellen Feiss and I'm not alone in this mini-obsession I think it's because she reminds me of the stoner girls I used to hang around with in high school ... sigh. Those were the days" said one guy...she does seem a bit, err, "mellow"...

sniff

September 13, 2002
Pet peeve: when people link to an article on a site, they often feel a need to link to the main page of the site. This is stupid, making it difficult to see what is the main link of the Blog entry. Almost any site worth linking to will provide a link to its own frontpage as part of its standard article template (and it's generally trivial to figure out the frontpage URL even if it's not displayed.) Slashdot articles do this all the time. If the main site's URL is obscure enough that its worthwhile to display, sometimes I'll show it, but not make it a link.

Passage of the Moment
[The family] sat around the kitchen table eating fish sticks and hash browns, and their dog Rex walked in and said, "I wish you people knew what you smell like to me. I think you'd find it informative."
--Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Summer 1956.

Political Point of the Moment
Rarely is the question asked: "Is our presidents learning?"

Backlog Link of the Moment
Ever want to build your own chatbot? Now you can. Not sure if I can think of a worthwhile reason to spend the programming effort, but it's an interesting idea.

go go dancer, your life is calling

September 14, 2002
Heh...Love Blender is the fifth hit for a Google search for 'blender'...that's pretty good placement given how it's the name of a major applicance.

Flash Toy of the Moment
I had been carrying around a defunct URL for a "Flashy Dancer" animation for years (literally, since 1998) and now I've found its new home. I can't link right to it, but go to the GlobZ flash site, click on the green box on the left (with Pacman on it), and then it is the first link listed. Fun to customize, especially the torsos.

Dream Quote of the Moment
"Despite their rather glossy coats, monkeys make poor mirrors."
--I awoke this morning with this line in my head. I suppose it is true, if a bit strange.

News Link of the Moment
(Not a link for animal lovers...) I guess the roadworkers thought the poor deceased badger really had become one with the road.

i have a great capacity for love! also a great capacity for dunkin' donuts french vanilla iced coffee.

September 15, 2002
:-) of the Moment
Some people think they have found the first 'Net smiley, with more details from the inventor here. (though others are convinced that this is a reinvention, that they were around before on various BBSs.) And even those may have been predated by Emoticons on the PLATO System which were even cooler. On that system, you can overwrite characters (like on a typewriter, you can hit "backspace" and put a character over the last one) and some of the results (like these two here) are cute...to the right is what you'd type, and to the left is the result. That link had even more interesting ones...

Quote of the Moment
"But even the thought of a Billy Joel 9/11 opera justifies raising our nation's bad-art threat level to CONDITION ORANGE."
--A Slate "breakfast table" on 9/11 Art

Link of the Moment
Frank Jump is the force behind Fading Ad Campaign, photos of the advertisements you would sometimes see on the sides of old buildings. Just realized now that the artist with HIV, and that might influence the subject matter...also, that (now defunct) Word.com helped put him on the 'Net.

knothing but knock knocksfunny

(3 comments)
September 16, 2002

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Dwayne."
"Dwayne who?"
"Dwayne the bathtub, I'm dwowning!"
--Earliest knock-knock I can remember.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Death."
     "Death wh--URK!"
--via Bill and Li.

"Wanna do a
Knock-Knock Joke?"
"OK!"
"You start."
"Knock knock!"
"Who's there?"
"...???"
--My Dad got me with this one when I was little kid.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Not you anymore."
--Boss in Dilbert using "humor to ease the tension when the workplace is being trimmed."

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Anxious Cow"
"Anx--"
"MOOOO!"
--High School favorite.

"Knock knock."
"Cow with ESP"
--Steve Sian, from a dream he had.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"




--"The World War III Knock-Knock Joke", from Middle School... doesn't really work without the title, alas.

fists of fury

September 17, 2002
Man, if the administration tries to just completely blow off Iraq's offer to accept inspections without conditions , we are going to lose what little credibility we have left. Maybe the Onion article Bush Won't Stop Asking Cheney If We Can Invade Yet was more right than I realized.

Heh.

News Story of the Moment
Previously making the rounds: The story of Buzz Aldrin, two fisted astronaut: he decked this "moon landing skeptic" guy who was trying to get him to swear on a Bible that he'd been on the moon. I managed to find coverage with video footage...unfortunately it doesn't get a great shot of the hit, but you can see how annoying the other guy was, accusing Buzz of being "a coward and a liar and a thief" right before Buzz let fly with his trusty right. (The link requires free registration, though Mr. foobar has a very obvious password...)

Link of the Moment
You don't always have to go to Japan for incomprehensible insanity with cute cartoon animals. Apparently we've started our own domestic varieties.

Usenet Funny of the Moment
Most of the molasses also goes abroad. I have _no_ idea what the hell anyone wants with that stuff; it's icky and stinks. It must be good for something, it's been exported for 300 years.
It is stored in a refrigerated platinum vault in Paris, and used as a world standard for "slow".
--Patrick James and Bertil Jonell, via alt.humor.best-of-usenet. Had to think about the implications of it for a second and then I laughed out loud.

a horse baared don't look him the tooth

(1 comment)
September 18, 2002

Sometimes I wonder if I'm "Selectively Lazy" or what. I voluntarily take on some projects that are huge expenditures of time and energy, but for other things, even smallish things sometimes, I often find it hard to get the ball rolling... (From a backlog entry consisting of two words "selective laziness" but I thought I'd expand just a little.)

Link of the Moment
Englih as She is Spoke is a legendarily bad phrase book, apparently written by a Portuguese who did not know English, or even have a Portugeuse-English dictionary, but he had a French-English phrasebook and a Portuguese-French dictionary. Zompist has decided to compare its roundtrip translations to those of the online translator Babelfish

Movie Quote of the Moment
"Do you believe in love?"
"I believe in saying, 'I love you.'"
--All That Jazz

luckily they're too dead to notice and it's dark anyway

(3 comments)
September 19, 2002

Link of the Moment
Some people think funerals should carry a certain dignity. Peachtree Caskets begs to differ! Where else are you going to go for a casket with a lighthouse, or a golf course? ("Fairway to Heaven") Scroll all the way to the bottom for the best one of the batch.

Exercise for the Class: pretend you have little taste. What would you want on your custom casket? What graphic would represent your biggest interests in life? I'm afraid mine would have a picture of Mario or an Atari logo or something like that.

Figure out how to put large reproductions of photos of the deceased family and/or pets on caskets, and you'd make a mint.

Geek Link of the Moment
You know, I know it's not really a fair opinion for a User Interface Geek to have, but sometimes it seems that users are kind of dumb. It's pretty amazing what people don't realize about their environment...are techies that different?

Bushism of the Moment
"There's an old saying in Tenessee, we have it in Texas...you probably have it in Tenessee too......Fool me once, shame on......shame on you... ...but fool me-you can't get fooled again."
--via the Daily Show. Jeez.

death and boobies

September 20, 2002
Yay! Mo finally got the "all-clear" for all the random crap going on in her guts, that got its start in Mexico and got worse thanks to some over ambitous antibiotic stuff after...

Followup Link of the Moment
After hearing about yesterday's fun for funerals, Sarah's friend Eric points out that the Italians really know how to sell their coffins...check out the "Cofani funebri e fascino" links at the bottom of the page, or their coffin "sexy calendario"... Signorina Novembre-Dicembre has a tantalizingly enigmatic enscription on her lower back... [PG13-R links]

Followup Geek Link of the Moment
In the same vein as yesterdays link on the masses and their computers, Why Johnny Can't Program has some interesting thoughts about why relatively few people get into programming.

Just to continue the elitest snob vibe, I think it ties in with people's professed fear of math. Not that there's that much math in programming, but both require a sort of systematic bravery.

Quote of the Moment
"Something about my life feels very spooky,
slowly paced and poorly lit."
--'Wes Shelby' in this Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon...
what a poetic line!

make a face

(2 comments)
September 21, 2002

Images of a Previous Moment
--Selfportraits taken with my Kodak DC-20 and manipulated with Kai's Power Goo, 1996 or there abouts. Fullsize versions here. Slightly reassuring to see I had about the same amount of hair then as I do now. Mo previously expressed amazement that I had these online at all, nevermind on this blog...

Normal Skeleton
Ape Alien

Link of the Moment
Dang, looks like Television Without Pity is having financial trouble...their Show Episode Guides are amazingly detailed.

Huh. They're having troubles with bandwidth costs...glad I found some flatrate webhosts, I wonder what they'd do if I got as popular as one of those sites...

News Quote of the Moment
"I don't think it dignifies their deaths. It's not art. It is very disrupting when you see it."
--Paul Labb, on a 9/11 Sculpture that was recently removed from Rockefeller Center. Now, I'm not absolutely arguing that this art was appropriate for that public space at this time, but the whole implcation of "if it's disrupting it's not art" is just terrible.

pie and ice cream and milk

September 22, 2002
Today's entry will be enhanced with photos from Thursday night, when Leslee made hot apple pie and we ate it with vanilla ice cream and milk and then Peterman and I went and played darts...

Backlog Link of the Moment
Nathan's Toasty Technology page has two parts I found very interesting: beta screenshots of the game DOOM and The GUI Gallery--The Misc GUIs link has all the information on Microsoft BOB you'd ever need...(Bob is a hilariously failed "Friendly Operating System" between Win3.1 and Win95, introducing the near relatives of the infamous "Office Paperclip") Right click and click "Show Picture" if an image doesn't load.

Movie Quote of the Moment
"No, nothing I ever do is good enough. Not beautiful enough, it's not funny enough, it's not deep enough, it's not anything enough. Now, when I see a rose, that's perfect. I mean, that's perfect. I want to look up to God and say, 'How the hell did you do that? And why the hell can't I do that?'"
"Now that's probably one of your better con lines."
"Yeah, it is. But that doesn't mean I don't mean it."
--All That Jazz

Map of the Moment
An amazing map of fetishes (different versions of it are available on this page.) There are some there that even I didn't know about! It's from an interesting site about a new book. I batted just above .500 on their Kinky Quiz

People are weird. [R-Rated Links, I guess, but it's all pretty tame.]

...it was very good pie, btw. And no, I do not have a pie fetish.

[insert 'billions and billions' joke here]

September 23, 2002
Quote and Link of the Moment
"The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world."
--Carl Sagan, from this Essay on Marijuana.

Game of the Moment
Speaking of drugs, I've found a new form of digital crack. Man, this game is insanely addictive: Spybotics: The Nightfall Incident. It's a Lego promotional game, made by Ranjit's group gameLab. It's kind of a...puzzle game meets a simple wargame, I guess you'd say, with great music and some cool pseudo-corporate design. You go around this large network, and reclaim nodes by fighting battles with these little "hacker program" icons, kind of like small robots...you can buy different types as you get further along. It's a bit confusing at first, but once you get into it it's hard not to go ahead and try to finish it.

I like it because while you have to clever to finish many of the boards, there's usually more than one technique that'll win. It's a great game, and I didn't do much else on Saturday but play this game and watch football. (Football's pretty good background A/V. For anyone who cares, but not enough to look it up: Patriots came a toin coss away from losing a game they should've romped on, when it flipped their way and they got first possession in sudden-death overtime.)

obsessive? compulsive? moi?

(1 comment)
September 24, 2002

Man, I was up until like 2am beating that Lego Spybotics game. Besides being a mini-wargame and a puzzle game, it also has elements of Pokémon (in terms of acquiring a stable of warrior programs) and that old Lightcycles game from Tron (well, not really Light Cycles: more like Snafu for the Intellivision, but fewer people know what that's about.) I'm really tempted to make a completely obsessive and geeky FAQ/Walkthru for it.

I know I'm really into a game when it influences my dreams: Tetris Attack (not Tetris itself, though I hear that's the big one for many people), Bangai-O, only a few others besides this one.

Silly Link of the Moment
Speaking of all things Lego, Peterman sent me a page where the minifig men build a PC...very cute.

Useful Link of the Moment
Google has made some great strides with its News Service. It's still beta, but now has a better organized frontpage, with images. (And it's been added to the frontpage and navigation bar.) It harvests articles from other sites, grouping them by story. It's probably not the best site for happening-right-now stories, because of a slight time lag, but it's very good for getting a few different views of the same event.

Movie Quote of the Moment
"Most things in life, good and bad, just kinda' happen to ya'."
--Cocktail. Not sure if this level of determinism is helpful or not, but I think there's an element of truth to it.

weebls wobble and they sure like pie

(1 comment)
September 25, 2002

Flash Link of the Moment
Cute odd flash cartoon the everyday happenings of weebl. There's a whole archive with tons of other episodes, but they're all minor variations on a theme...good music though, especially that first one.

Ad Link of the Moment
Loveblender was down this morning, which always make me nervous that files will turn up missing. Makes me think I should've read and acted on The Tao of Backup. It turns out to be a big advertisement, but it's somewhat amusing reading up 'til then.

Quote of the Moment
"From a marketing perspective, you don't introduce new products in August."
--White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card explaining why we didn't hear that much about Iraq from Bush + Co. until after Labor Day, via This Modern World cartoon.

darkening

September 26, 2002
It's a darkening time.

For starters, of course, there's literally less daylight. I think we've officially turned the corner where it seems to get dark "early", like 7. Most assuredly I live too far north for my own good. And the weather's still holding, but there are some hints that winter is on its cold and ice-laden way.

Then there's the war. Yet again, we are really going to war. Maybe it'll go ok, modulo a spike in oil prices, a worse recession, ever-deepening hatred of the United States, future terrorism, all that, but we don't know what we're gonna do with it after. You know, Iraq is not stupid, once you factor out Saddam's thuggish worldview. Sometimes they play us and International Opinion like a violin. (And you know, I haven't heard much about the fact that Iraq stopped the inspections when it was clearly proven that the inspectors were spies for the US. We're convinced we can get away with anything.)

And the economy...gak. My company had some minor layoffs a few weeks ago. Mostly "junior developers" who had earlier been working on the product that was replaced with a new acquisition and had been retrained for work on our grand march Java product, management thought they weren't pulling their weight or something. But a big core piece of that project is now in the hands of one of them consulting firms from India...never a good sign. My bet is hedged a little bit, I'm the one developer on a conversion bit for the old legacy systems and the new acquisition, but y'know, I'm very jumpy. I dunno what to do. Haven't voluntarily looked for work since the downturn. And I'd even feel guilty, some developers don't even have jobs in the first place. (Ooh, maybe I shouldn't be posting this in public; ah well. I do like it ok there, but I no longer feel I can relax about it. I want to be able to take having a job for granted for a while.)

Sigh.

I'm off to Florida with Mo, for her 10 Year High School Reunion, so there will be filler for the next couple of days.

One Bright Note
Spirited Away is a bit of a bright point. We saw it with Peterman and Leslee the other day, arguably the best movie I've seen all year, a cross between Alice in Wonderland and...well, a lot of things. One of the characters (the first one to show up in the flash animation on that link, actually) is "No-Face" who wears a simple stylized mask. Peterman pointed out that this is a clever little pun, because the mask is from "Noh", a Japanese performance art. Noh masks are known for their ability to have different expressions depending on the viewing angle, as shown here if you look closely. (I guess the ability to have both happiness and sadness is a pretty obvious metaphor for how I feel right now.)

florida reunion filler day 1

September 27, 2002
Florida Filler Update: (Yes, I am a geek, why do you ask?) Florida is very warm and humid. I love some of the wildlife here, the little lizards like we had when we lived on St. Thomas, the little toads like when we lived in Cincinnati. Family anecdote: I would collect these tiny frogs and put them in old Cool Whip containers with holes in the lid that I would bring with me everywhere. One time my mom was driving with me in the back seat, she assumes I'm asleep because I'm quiet for so long, and then she hears "got 'em all back now, mom!"...related family-in-law factoid: Mo's dad helped invent Cool Whip.

PEAS

"Wait!" cried the last two peas in the can. My hand stopped its arc to the garbage.

"What do you want?" I asked them, the two peas that clung in the slivery cylinder.

"We want out."

"What do you care? You're peas."

"That's right. We're peas. What is there for us but the fork and the plate? How can you deny us our place on the plate? We've lived on the vine, huddled in our pod on cold nights, striving away for greenness and roundness. It's all been in vain if you throw us away."

"I didn't know peas had feelings," I said.

"We do," they replied, "and this is our moment. We have nothing higher, no krishna, no green goddess, no madonna of the vegetable garden. This is our calling, no other, the climax of sun and rain and humus, green energy pushing through our vines, this is us, this is what we are. We are the peas."

"How can I help?" I asked them.

"Give us butter and salt," they said, "and maybe pearl onions."

"You know you'll be eaten." I said.

"Yes."

"Does it hurt?"

"No one knows," they answered.

--Margaret Davis

florida reunion filler day 2

(1 comment)
September 28, 2002

Florida Filler Update: Florida grass is very pointy and coarse. And there are tons of ants everywhere.

LeAnn Rimes sang the national anthem at Mo's school's homecoming game last night.


Racter's The Policeman's Beard
At all events my own essays and dissertations about love and its endless pain and perpetual pleasure will be known and understood by all of you who read this and talk or sing or chant about it to your worried friends or nervous enemies. Love is the question and the subject of this essay. We will commence with a question: does steak love lettuce? This quesion is implacably hard and inevitably difficult to answer. Here is a question: does an electron love a proton, or does it love a neutron?

Here is a question: does a man love a woman or, to be specific and to be precise, does Bill love Diane? The interesting and critical response to this question is: no! He is obsessed and infatuated with her. He is loony and crazy about her. That is not the love of steak and lettuce, of electron and proton and neutron. This dissertation will show that the love of a man and a woman is not the love of steak and lettuce. Love is interesting to me and fascinating to you but it is painful to Bill and Diane. That is love!
--RACTER/Chamberlain, supposedly written by a computer program (Markov Chains, an interesting topic) though some think it was a bit overly tweaked to make good prose.)

florida reunion filler day 3

(1 comment)
September 29, 2002

Final Florida Filler Update: Florida has a surprisingly rich selection of radio stations, the spectrum is really packed. There's a narrow band that includes normal top-40, some alternative, some New Wave 80s for Mo, some Electronica/House for me, and NPR for both of us. Is Florida that good, or does Boston's selection just suck that much?

A Frivolous Clown to his Love

You sit alone there in the stands,
Performance then you clap your hands.
I am the one to make you laugh
Though now you'll think that I'm quite daft

For I say you're the one for me
The love for the bringer of glee
Tho' I might seem rather too bold
I can offer you joys untold,

A rubber nose in store for you
It's made in red, held on by glue,
Too big blue shoes, upon your feet
True Love that will never be beat

A splash of seltzer in your face
Pancake makeup on you will grace
A strange cone hat, polka-dot tie
Baggy huge pants, to you drawn nigh

And balls juggled, and noisy horn
rorar of the crowd, smell of popcorn
if these pleasures thee may move
Then come with me and be my love

--written for Mrs. McLaughlin's 11th grade English (Grade: "93 - A: good idea / Meter seems forced in places - not as smooth in some lines") I think the assigment was to make a poem based on "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love".

back from florida

(2 comments)
September 30, 2002

Sorry this won't be such a good update, haven't got back into the swing of checking my regular sources for interesting stuff.

News of the Moment
We're doomed! Doomed I tell you !

Movie Quote of the Moment
FADE UP ON:
JULES AND VINCENT
In their T-shirts and swim trunks. They look a million miles away from the black-suited, bad-asses we first met.
THE WOLF
Perfect. Perfect. We couldn't've planned his better. You guys look like . . . what do they look like, Jimmie?
JIMMIE
Dorks. They look like a couple of dorks.
The Wolf and Jimmie laugh.
JULES
Ha ha ha. They're your clothes, motherfucker.
[JIMMIE
I guess you just gotta know how to wear them.
JULES
Yeah, well, our asses ain't the expert on wearin' dorky shit that yours is.]
--from the Pulp Fiction screenplay. I've found that "They're your clothes" line fits a surprisingly large number of situations, when someone is mocking something that they were mostly responsible for. The part in square brackets was cut from the original movie, but makes the whole exchange that much better.