2005 December❮❮prevnext❯❯

up up and away

(1 comment)
December 1, 2005
Potential Travesty of the Moment
Recently recovered from a slashdotting, the stories of the Superman movies that never were are almost scary in how little they care for the traditional story of Superman...the most telling quote is they wanted something "sans the tights and more Matrix-like." I've read some of the comics, and there's so much potential in talking about how this outsider with godlike powers deal with it and his relationships with mere mortals...and he's so iconic...those descriptions are just weird. And a bit longwinded. Same with the "detail analysis" of those other movies, they're really blow by blow descriptions of terrible movies...funny, but long.

Moving On of the Moment
Today was my last day at Taxware. I'm a bit sadder than I expected.

At the risk of sounding creepy, I assembled a list of coworkers I could think of by name, and it was larger than I thought. Plus I did memory-aiding "personal descriptions"...there were more "really sharp"s than I expected. I don't know if I chronically tend to underestimate the compentence around me, or have a low self image that makes everyone else seem better, or if it was just that good of a place to work.

Three and a half years....7/8 as long as either high school or college! But of course those feel much longer, the general speeding up effect. Though if perceived passing of time is coorelated to the emotional impact of that time...well, maybe in some weird way I should be grateful to Mo and the divorce for slowing some of that down for me.

Of course it's all mixed up in how Taxware is changing its office space at the same time. It's just very unsettling all around.

amazing gracelessness

December 2, 2005
Funny of the Moment
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 Dhubghall wrote:
Of course that's one reason they were so effective as martial instruments [...] They could be heard above the battlefield noises. I got to expereince this a few years back at the big celtic fest/highland games in Phoenix. They were doing a demonstration of various heavy weapons fielded by various scots regiments and even when the gatling gun was on steady fire you could hear a pipe band performing.
Those guys on the gatling gun must have been bad shots.
Les Albert on alt.fan.cecil-adams

Link of the Moment
Boingboing linked to Happy Palace... a journal of unadorned but thoughtfully selected images from various sites, just the images and the links. Oddly compelling!

the uncle tom of fat people

December 3, 2005
Quote of the Moment
"Aaron", title character of a short grahic work in a collection called "True Porn 2"
...it's a collection of (for the most part) not-terribly-explicit but absolutely real-seeming and captivating short autobiographical "comics" of people's experiences with sex. Aaron is an assistant editor at a weekly porn magazine one of the author's worked at, and he says that while watching a video of himself and an ex-girlfriend doing sex-themed performance art. (Actually, a bit of Googling makes me think the piece is about this guy, now a porn director who's received some accolades.)

Anyway, the collection is pretty darn cool...it reminded me of why I'm sure to stop in at the comic store "Million Year Picnic" at Harvard Square every once in a while.

Video of the Moment
Anyone fond of the Hello, Kitty gang, Voltron, or Anime in general should check out this great claymation video...

[insert attempt to transcribe donald duck outburst here]

December 4, 2005
Quote of the Moment
The thing that I consider most important about my work is this: I told it like it is. I told my readers that the bad guys have a little of good in them, and the good guys have a lot of bad in them, and that you can't depend on anything much; nothing is always going to turn out roses.
Carl Barks, May 29, 1973.
Barks made the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic books in the 1940s and 50s...highly regarded, especially in Eurupe, I've found first hand.

Aside of the Moment
Is it just me or is the rate of technology getting cheaper vastly slower than it used to be?

I guess it's what you're in the market for, but I was looking for an extra small external harddrive for data swapping, and I swear those things aren't many more Gigs per Dollar than they were a year ago, maybe longer.

Schadenfreude of the Moment
Heheh WOW -- Yankees reportedly lost up to $85 million last year...guess big money ball doesn't always pay off! Not that the Red Sox are any spending slouches, but no one is in the Yankees league in terms of shelling out.

premature adulation

December 5, 2005
Neologism of the Moment
I was trying to think of the word for when someone at an instrumental concert starts clapping before the true end of the piece. (Hint: wait for the the conductor to drop his or her hands.) The best I came up with was "Premature Adulation". Can anyone top that?

Game of the Moment
Cool but a little long for the joke (I didn't actually get to find Samus) it's Megaman vs Metroid, a mashup of two Nintendo classics.

Random Question of the Moment
Do Vegans like cold cereal? (Ok, a bit silly to speak off ALL Vegans as a single group but...) If so, what do they put on it? Soy Milk? Or is that seen as just a ghoulism impression of animal cruelty? OJ? That ghetto-unfabulous or no-time-to-run-to-the-store-option water?

stupidity isn't a form of knowing things

December 6, 2005
Rant of the Moment
Evolution is supported by the entire scientific community; Intelligent Design is supported by guys in line to see The Dukes of Hazzard. No. Stupidity isn't a form of knowing things ... 'Babies come from storks' is not a competing school of thought in medical school. We shouldn't teach both and if Thomas Jefferson knew we were blurring the line this much between church and state, he would turn over in his slave.
Bill Maher

Gadget of the Moment
The Japanese Segway has no handlebars, just a little handheld controller. (Glad it's not a remote control, I'd hate to see that thing hacked.) Just lean and go... as the article points out, it makes it a lot more stowable at the office.

Photo of the Moment

--My Dad as Superman, or at least in a Superman T-shirt. I believe this is at the Salvation Army's "School for Officer Training" (SFOT, their seminary) and this is a bit of a prank, the T-shirt there to get people to think he's gone off the deep end and might just jump.

happy one billion seconds to me!

December 7, 2005
Today at 2:05 in the morning (Eastern), I was one billion seconds old! (Give or take a minute, but still, that's like 5 decimal places of accuracy!)

Funny, I hardly feel a second over 900,000,000.

This and other feats of extreme chronological geekification can be performed on my good old date toy, the same one that told me that August 16th was my 10K Day. (And yes, I had the exact same "funny, I..." joke back then. Same (and forgetful) minds think alike.)

In other news, I start my new job today. At a place called "Refresh". Maybe I should try to work it so the obvious symbolism of that name, plus starting my second billion seconds, has real meaning.

Aside of the Moment
Pet peeve: I don't know if my phone has a better workaround for this, but I hate when you call someone on cell, their voicemail kicks in, and then you get a message that they're calling you back...as far as I can tell there's no "hangup on this call (voicemail), don't just switch to the incoming call" option on my phone, so you end up leaving a big message of silence on their voicemail. I found a work around, at least for when I'm calling someone's Sprint voicemail: hitting * brings up a menu, and * again cancels the message. So it's good to know how to do that at least.

Quote of the Moment
The quickest way to a man's heart really is through his stomach, because then you don't have to chop through that pesky rib cage.
J. Jacques

never underestimate the palate-exploding power of k-centric marketing

December 8, 2005
So yesterday was my first day at my new job. It's interesting working at a small company. Here's one difference: it's entrepenerial. People besides marketing actually think and make jokes about how what they do affects the bottom line. Which is kind of funny; you know your salary, you know what a license for the program costs. That part of the equation is pretty damn stark.

Quote of the Moment
The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don't have to pay taxes, naturally no one wants to live any other way.
Judith Martin.
Ain't it the truth? Man. I know some people look back on their college days, but to me, high school was an even better blend of some amount of freedom with a near total lack of responsibility. Classes were pre-determined and relatively easy, band provided lots of dates...(one time, at band camp, etc.)

Astute Linguistic Analysis of the Moment
And by the way, I love this new "Talk to Chuck" slogan. It's refreshing to see a little informality from a financial services firm. But more important: so percussive! "Charles Schwab" comprises two of the mushiest syllables you'll ever hear, with those soft, retreating l's and b's and ch's. It was time to add some sticky consonants, and a pair of k's does the trick. Nike, Coke, Starbucks, Kinko's ... never underestimate the palate-exploding power of k-centric marketing.

oh honey, you so sound like you know what you're talking about

(1 comment)
December 9, 2005
Exchange of the Moment
[Ksenia was sitting on the side of the bed after a late night shower, towel only around her waist, hair up a bit, and looking quite lovely if I do say so myself. Or tried to:]
"Wow...you look really lovely...like one of those Roman Statues. Or, err, painting. I mean, not painting, ummm, I don't think the Romans are known for painting but...one of those paintings. By Italians. But of Romans..."
"Oh honey, you so sound like you know what you're talking about."
Me and Ksenia last night.
What's funnier is that Ksenia has studied a lot of art history. And I have, well, not.

anastasia krupnick where are you

December 10, 2005
Ksenia and I watched "Anastasia" last night...she thought the Russian translation was better, at least for the song lyrics. Even before they had Aaliyah introduce the Featurette (she was on the soundtrack, though it's not clear if she's one of the character singing voices), I started thinking about how weird it is that most of the time for animated musicals they have totally different people as the "acting voice" and the "singing voice". I mean, shouldn't there be a stronger connection between's someone singing voice and speaking voice than that? Shouldn't we be able to see right through such a blatant fraud?

Or how a lot of voice over work is done in total isolation from the other voices, that conversations are just pieced together...or even the way different shots and takes are stitched together to make a conversation in a film. (Actually, I've become extremely sensitive to even small little gaps in continuity in movies and sitcoms, where an actor's arm or head is from shot to shot...it becomes maddening after a while.)

That seems so wrong somehow, just so threatening that our conversations might be nothing more than parallel monologues, with at best slight recognitions of each other's thoughts. We're all on the verge of becoming actors in a great big Samuel Beckett play.

Image of the Moment

--The World's Most Populous Countries, sized by population, but still roughly in their regular geographical forms. (via boingboing, natch) Hellooooo China and India! Though, you know, the USA holds its own...sometimes that surprises me a little bit.

sometimes a monument is just a monument

December 11, 2005
Quote of the Moment
Even young children need to be informed about dying. Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.

Article of the Moment
Slate had a good, not-afraid-to-be-opinionated tour of the monuments of our nation's capital

Kind of weird to think how tombstones are also kind of like one-person-honoring monuments themselves.

gwen is a funny name

December 12, 2005
Lyrics of the Moment
For music in the car, I tend to get kind of stuck on whatever CDs happen to be floating around. Lately I've been listening a lot to a lot of Gwen Stefani's "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." disc. (I got it because of all the cool marching band percussion and horns in "Hollaback Girl"...incidentally videos for that and a few other songs are available off of her website.) Anyway, one of the other songs I've really been digging is "Bubble Pop Electric" (a kind of counterpoint to Meatloaf's infamous "Paradise By The Dashboard Light") where Gwen sings to her sutor that "tonight I'm gonna give you all my love / in the back seat."

But there are two parts that I really relate to...one is from the voiceovers (unders?) that play through the song, dramatizing the tale of the boyfriend picking up Gwen from her house. It's the way he says "Hi Mr. Stefani!", and you can almost hear the goofy grin on his face...cracks me up every time, I remember saying the exact same thing to Marnie's folks (substituting their last name of course, though it also starts with S and has 3 syllables, which maybe is why the song strikes such a familar chord for me.) In fact, Marnie's mom nicknamed me "Eddie", because I reminded her of that punk kid in "Leave It To Beaver" who was always so bright and cheerful with the parents.

The other thing I dig is where the boyfriend asks "so baby where you wanna go, huh", and the background chorus answers, sounding an almost ethereal "drive-in movie..." which repeates but gets (almost imperceptably) changed into "drive in, move me" and finally morphs to "Drive into me..."...yowza! That's Dave Matthews Band-esque in its starkness when you start to think about it.

So, those are the lyrics that have been bouncing around in my head lately. Thought I'd share with you all.

Cartoon of the Moment
--"Ghost of Christmas Present"...a cartoon I made for the Guest Ramble of the latest issue of Love Blender Digest.

Dueling Viewpoints of the Moment
Boingboing linked to a NY Times piece about the difference in Americans and Brits' smiles...later followed up with a different spin on the same research by a UK paper. The Americans say that the Brits' smiles are more forced and aware of the social hierarchy, the Brits say the Americans' are more shallow and easier to fake.

a prayer for tuesday

December 13, 2005
Prayer of the Moment
God, grant me the ability to remember those who love me. For those who do not love me, turn their hearts. And if you can't turn their hearts, turn their ankles, so I'll know by their limping.

Edumacation of the the Moment
See the Alphabet Evolve right before your very eyes!

Sad to say, I can't even hear the word "education" on the radio without mentally transforming it to a Simpsons-esque "Edumacation".

Idle Chat of the Moment
In other news...how is everyone? Haven't heard much on the comments section lately.

The new job is a little stressful but I'm starting to get a grip on things I think. A high-pressure job does make one re-evaluate life priorities. I really need to get that stuff together, and maybe even try to get some goals. They're not pushy about it but my family thinks I should get some more edumacation education... my Uncle has been the bluntest about it, just thinks that graduating with top honors from a good school is kind of a waste if it ends there. I dunno... interviewing techies, many with Masters, has made me kind of disenchanted with it, since the pool of Masters-ed-up folks seems about as full of bozos as the general population.

Then I'm going through classic early-30s "is this kind of career tech stuff what I want to be doing with my life?" questioning. To which the answer is... "well, no, of course not, but it's much much harder to make a living pursuing your hobbies."

I daydream about a lateral career change--something more graphic and create, but I'm not sure what.

And then other life things. How do I feel about trying to get in a situation where I could have a kid? Do I want it only because of pressure of society, as something that "should be done", and/or a fear of missing a window of opportunity? Do I not want it just because I like life being the "me" show, or am I too anxiety-prone to pull it off well, or do I have legitimate concern about bringing someone into a world that seems teetering on the edge of a thousand different giant disasters?

Does this kind of ambivalence about having children, feeling I should weigh the pros and cons, indicate that I shouldn't go for it, or is it totally normal and healthy? (Or does it turn into the "wife's decision anyway", like I've heard?)


At any rate, I know one thing I should do to improve my life: bring in my damn wireless mouse to work. I think using a touchpad 24/7 at home and at work cranks up my stress level a bit, the things are ok but ultimately add just a dollop of friction to my online life everytime I use one.

Oh, and I really got to get moving on getting Christmas Gifts for my family...

keep some sunshine on yo face

December 14, 2005
"See I lived through hardtimes before,  people talkin bout these is hardtimes.  HARDTIMES was waaaay back, and it was...they didn't even have a year for it, just called it 'hardtimes'.  It was dark ALL the time.  I think the sun came out on Wednesday.  And if you didn't have your @$$ up early, you missed it!  So I happened to be out there one Wednesday, and the sun hit me right in the face, and I grabbed a bunch of it - rubbed it all over myself.  Cuz shyt, I ain't have nothin else.  Said 'Shyt, I might as well have some sun on my face.'  And, as time went on, I remembered it was Thursday.  I said, 'Damn, that sun was a bytch.  That's why they didn't want us to have none of it.'  Cuz it cheer u up inside, you see. 


....you didn't ask to come to this muthaf#*%@, and you sure can't choose how to leave.  Cuz you don't know when u gon go, so don't take this shyt serious.  You better have some fun, and plenty of it.  Cuz when the shyt old and you ask for a recharge, it's too late.  So all I can say is, keep some sunshine on yo face."
Richard Pryor's character "Mudbone".
Last night Comedy Central was replaying a tribute to Richard Pryor from a few years ago, with a lot of old footage. (Ironically, the tribute was called "Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$#@!!"). It ended with this monologue. I cold only find it one place online, and even then I had to dig through the internals of Google's cache, but I kind of like this font-astic version of it.

corpse bride

December 15, 2005
So I was in yoga class tonight. Class always ends with the instructor walking us through "the corpse pose", a step-by-step walk-through all the parts of our body, letting each relax in turn. He urges us that if we have a thought to just let it go, it will be there when we're done. Also, he says we should try not to fall asleep, which is pretty easy to do when getting that relaxed...ideally the pose requires as much focus as any of the more difficult twists and bends and what not.

Of course, neither of these instructions are particularly easy for me to follow... I mean, I really like those little thoughts I have, I find them very interesting and ultimately a very rewarding pat of my life. (Sleep ain't that bad itself, come to think of it, though realizing you were just snoring is kind of embarrassing.) So last night during the corpse pose I had a thought (which I tried not to dwell too much on)... that I could use some kind of admonishment, like this:
This time doesn't belong to those little thoughts.
This time belongs to your body, for it to relax.
This is not the time for your mind to relax into sleep;
Your mind is needed to guide the body's relaxation.
Well, the first two lines are stronger than the last two, and it's a bit corny, but still...I think the idea of "ownership" is powerful in this case. I know to often in life I take my body, such as it is, totally for granted. I'm totally dependent on it, but because I wish I wasn't, I'm usually reluctant to give it some of the attention it really deserves.

Link of the Moment
The Movie Spoiler just discusses the happenings of many movies. Good if you think you'll never see the film anyway, but are kind of curious to know what it's about.

nutty, cheeky

December 16, 2005
Photo, Link, and Anecdote of the Moment
--Squirrel and Peanut, from CuteOverload.com.. a great antidote when you see gross stuff on the 'Net.

Cute story: my mom tried to get me to eat peas, putting them into a medley of other veggies. Apparently I dutilfully tucked each pea into my cheeks, and then spit them out in a neat little row when I was done. Was my mom surprised!

How-To of the Moment
How To Write a Fruitcake Joke. I'm always a fan of such serious and studious sounding approaches to silly topics.

Of course, that's just a call to envision a world where jokes about fruitcakes are No Laughing Matter! Stop the Hate! Hug a Fruitcake Today!

Quote of the Moment
Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one's bath like a lump of sugar.
Pablo Picasso

twisty thing, that is red

December 17, 2005
Links Etc. of the Moment
Bill the Splut has had some interesting links not too long ago... Baby Bush Toys was worth a grin...I especially like the simplifed Rubic's Cube (aka "Twisty Thing, That is Red") on their Products Page.

But even better was the page on a new scientific theory, Incompetent Design...basically, there are too many kludges and misjudgments in the construction of our bodies to really accept a theory of intelligent design...so the designer must be rather bumbling. Or as a new song puts it (sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic":)
My bones proclaim a story of incompetent design.
My back still hurts, my sinus clogs, my teeth just won't align.
If I had drawn the blueprint, I would cer-tain-ly resign.
Incompetent Design!
Heh heh. Hello Captain Appendix!

In related news, it looks like it might have been a single small genetic mutation 20K-50K years ago that essentially "caused" white people.

There are ways this kind of finding can be misused...I'm sure some racist is going to propose a gentic test to determine if someone is white or black "for real". (And given the broad pallette of complexions I've seen, it seem kind of weird to think it could ever be considered a "boolean" thing.)

twentyeight to nuthin'

December 18, 2005
Patriots got a tremendous win last yesterday against a team widely regarded as pretty decent. Great to see! Lets people have theories like the first part of the season was just a bunch of injuries plus Belichick going "back to basics" like he does almost every year.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that this photo of Brady that has been seen frequent web use lately just isn't that flattering:

It kind of looks like some foppish dance step...1 2 Kick! and 3 4 Spin! and 1 2 Throw!

Aside of the Moment
I find the language that I've seen Ksenia use on Instant Messenger programs sometimes interesting: Russian, written phonetically, I think with English pronunciation. As far as I can tell it doesn't have very formal rules for spelling. Does that count as a pidgin? I guess it happens with a lot of different languages, especially Asian ones. Does anyone study these, or is it just a little side thing?

so...what's the deal with those airline peanuts?

December 19, 2005
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, reliably, 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.
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...

and an unooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to paradise

December 20, 2005
Quote and Personal Observation of the Moment
You're inches away from death every time you go on a mission. How much older can you be at your age? A half minute before that you were stepping into high school, and an unooked brassiere was as close as you ever hoped to get to Paradise. Only a fifth of a second before that you were a small kid with a ten-week summer vacation that lasted a hundred thousand years and still ended too soon. Zip! They go rocketing by so fast.
Dunbar in "Catch 22"
Lately I've been thinking about how he he liked this other character Clevinger "because Clevinger annoyed him and made the time go slow" It also said he loved shooting skeet, because "He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years."

I definitely don't hate my new job, but I'm working a lot harder than I have for a while. And the funny thing is, it is kind of stretching time...especially the beginning of the week. It feels like it should be Wednesday or Thursday already. I'm not sure what's up with that, actually. But I appreciate that aspect of my job.

I still wish I could retire...well, nowish. I have this personal myth that my little projects would be the perfect way to fill the hours and have a meaningful life outside of work and family.

Service of the Moment
Boingboing mentioned a free 411 service, 1-800-FREE-411. I tried it last night! Worked very well, and the sponsor ad wasn' too bad at all. It was kind of cool, I've never used that much Voice Recognition software, it seems to do well at doing speech-to-text without any training. ("Cambridge Massachusetts" and "Fedex-Kinkos", in my case.) And then it dials...sure beats paying Sprint a buck and a half.

geekly yours

December 21, 2005
Geek Article of the Moment
On Slashdot someone cut and paste this page on Basics of the Unix Philosophy from the The Art of Unix Programming. I found it worth a skim-through...

Geek Humor of the Moment
<microgal> and whiter than white
<Kronovohr> so...you're like #GGGGGG?
masklinn's sig on slashdot.
(For non-techies It's an HTML code joke...let me know in the comments if you want an explanation.)

knock knock

December 22, 2005
I was giving Ksenia some grief about the way she might have to work at the temple on Christmas Day...she's culturally ethnically Jewish but Russian Orthodox in practice. Of course, the 25th isn't Orthodox Christmas anyway.

At any rate, she got the hiccups as we were walking through Harvard Square, and I suggested maybe it was God punishing her, either for being a fence-sitter like that, or for being mean to me and tricking me into carrying the bag from 7-11. So I started telling Knock-Knock jokes:
"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
and then a bit later, down the street:
"Knock Knock."
"...Who's there?"
Finally as we were almost back to the car:
"Knock knock."
"Knock knock!"
"Fine, who is there?"
"A cute little kitten!"
"A cute little kitten who?"
So I'm not sure which Hell I'm going to end up in, but one of them.

Gripe of the Moment
Last year I griped about how dumb Window's file finder had become. Well, Outlook 2003 seems to be campaigning for a place on my S***list. It's just trying so darn hard to be helpful...rearranging the taskbar buttons for messages I'm composing, closing the window of an email I was composing but navigated away from, and tucking it safely away in the sent folder...bleh! So inconsistent with anything else I've ever used! And now it has some of the same "lets make search results look like regular content" that plagues Window's file Explorer...in this case they have a nice filter-looking search, but there's not an obvious visual cue that the filter is being applied. This means you can happily think "oh, no new mail lately" when what's really happening is "no new mail that meets the keywords you were searching for."


damon, damien, whatevah

December 23, 2005
--I know this is tragically naive of me, but it would be nice if any one on team had half the devotion of a typical fan. (Conversely, I know Boston buys from a lot of less rich team, but still... damn it, Damon would never have become this kind of star on a lesser team or if he had always been a clean-shaven Yankee droid.)

seventh inning stretch

December 24, 2005
Photo of the Moment
--I saved this picture of Bronson Arroyo for posting in September 2004 but never got around to it... but since I've been on a small kick of sports-related photos lately, I thought it would be a good time for it. I just want to say...damn! It looks like someone has been photoshopping, but I'm pretty sure it's the real deal. I like how is attention is nowhere near the amazing thing his leg is doing.

Link of the Moment
A kind of cousin to last week's CuteOverload site, it's Rose Colored News..."good news for progressives about politics, the environment, health, and more."

Quote of the Moment
There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
Richard Feynman

uncle santa says

December 25, 2005

so that was christmas

(1 comment)
December 26, 2005
Christmas Followup of the Moment
Slate had two good pieces about the "War on Christmas"...how how silly it is that the right can make up some kind of persecution complex about it, and how it forgets that for years, the "War Against Christmas" was mostly waged by various Christian sects who disliked all that paganism sneaking into their religion.

Link of the Moment
PC World presents the best 50 gadgets of the past 50 years. A pretty cool list...you can forget how neat some of this stuff was when it first came out.

Irritating News of the Moment
Police bust Supermarket Open on Christmas, even though the staff there is largely Asian. Yay Blue Laws! Heaven forbid we take away anyone's chance to think about Jesus, no matter what they actually believe.


December 27, 2005
Article of the Moment
CNN reports that people are easily fooled by how much more a wider glass holds...I've noticed this myself, a full to the brim "short glass" fills the majority of one of the much taller glasses. No wonder kids are so readily duped by that "Law of Conservation" experiment. (Which is easier than I thought, for some reason I thought the kid had to guess which actually held more, which really would be tough.) (thanks FoSO...she has a better feel than most for what seems like a "Kirk Article")

Poem of the Moment
Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.
from a Stanislaw Lem "Cyberiad" story, as translated by Michael Kandel.
In story, the poem is by Trurl's mechanical poet, after Klapaucius challenges him to compose "a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!!."

offensive material ahoy!

December 28, 2005
MOM ALERT: Today's entry consists entirely of three offensive(ish) but funny(ish) things I've had sitting around my backlog, but couldn't justify posting 'em on there own. I decided to combine the three into a single entry just to get it done with. Prudish people or folks of otherwise delicate sensibilities may want to stop reading here.

Insult of the Moment
I patented screwing your mom. But it got revoked for 'prior art.'
svallarian's .sig on Slashdot

IM of a Past Moment
Gabby: Did he kiss you?
KT: No.
Gabby: Did you kiss him?
KT: No.
Gabby: Did you lick his balls?
KT: WHAT?! No. Yeah, I just decided to skip the kissing and go straight to licking his balls.

Joke of the Moment
Two Canadians are sitting in a bar getting bored, so they decide to play twenty questions. The first Canadian tries to think of a subject for his friend to guess and, after a little pondering, comes up with "moose cock." He tells his friend he's ready to play.

"OK," says the second Canadian. "Is it something good to eat?"

The first Canadian thinks for a moment, then laughs and replies, "Sure, I guess you could eat it."

The second Canadian says, "Is it a moose cock?"

the hippo hippo shake

December 29, 2005
Cuteness of the Moment
--I gotta say, the story of the tsunami-orphaned hippo and his adoptive mommy Tortoise is really one of the cutest giant mammal / giant reptile pairings ever.

no news is no news

December 30, 2005
Great Jumpin' Jimminy Crickets! Today is the FIFTH Anniversary of this site in its current daily update form! Happy birthday to it!

I remember purposefully starting the last few days of 2000, just because I thought 2000 sounded like a cooler start year than 2001, and the math would be easier, its age is just the last two digits of the current year. Now I kind of regret it, in the archive by month I have this lonely December just hanging out on the left holding a meager pair of days.

The first two entry titles weren't too inspiring... a new thing and am i a 'blog?. Also, as always, I should get back to including more doodles. It was meant to kind of complement for (but then supplanted) my Palm-based quote journal, which got its start in February or March of 1997, so I suppose in a bit over a year I should celebrate a decade of this kind of recording the interesting bits of the world I encounter.

It seems so odd that I've been doing this website longer than I was in high school or college, and that when it started I was still working at Event Zero as those stormclouds were starting to gather over those crazy dotcom days. And that while technically one day I couldn't update the site on the site itself because of a server glitch, I really haven't missed a single day in all that time. (Maybe on June 21st I should celebrate my 2000th entry...yeesh!)

Passage of the Moment
Of all the ridiculous expressions people use--and people use a great many ridiculous expressions--one of the most ridiculous is "No news is good news." "No news is good news" simply means that if you don't hear from someone, everything is probably fine, and you can see at once why this expression makes little sense, because everything being fine is only one of many, many reasons why someone may not contact you. Perhaps they are tied up. Maybe they are surrounded by fierce weasels, or perhaps they are wedged tightly between two refrigerators and connot get themselves out. The expression might as well be changed to "No news is bad news" except that people may not be able to contact you bescause they have just been crowned king or are competing in a gymnastics tournament. The point is that there is no way to know why someone has not contacted you, until they contact you and explain themselves. For this reason, the sensible expression would be "No news is no news," except that is so obvious it is hardly an expression at all.
Lemony Snicket, "A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital"

end of year / new camera photo blowout

December 31, 2005
Not too long ago I made my holiday gift for myself a Canon SD450...I shouldn't have waited for so long, it's a big improvement from the S200 I've been using... most notably, response time is much better. It has like twice the resolution, though that seems mostly useful for taking up more diskspace and making my image editing programs rather sluggish...it's also smaller, with a friendlier UI, but the same physical interface Ive grown used to.

Anyway on with the photos...

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