2009 March❮❮prevnext❯❯


So my former roomie Miller is making some nifty Turtle-tastic t-shirts!. I bought this one:
I like the idea of a turtle pontificating on mortality.

Sorely tempted by:

And Turtle Ninjas were awfully cute:

So I'd encourage anyone who wears T-shirts or knows someone who does to go buy a few. (His livejournal page on the subject has some closeups of the designs in question.)

What I learned from twitter (and wikipedia) today: asterisms are like the safety schools for starts that didn't make constellations.
RIP Paul Harvey [insert "rest of the story" joke here]. "Good day."

sushi-eye view


--at a japanese conveyer restaurant (via)

Rumor mongering... based on a survey I think Micro Center is considering a second Boston store, either near Burlington Mall or Framingham.
Bleh. First day of actual unemployment, and it's a damn snow day for everyone anyway. What fun is that?
http://www.trainhorns.net/sound/ - I could hear the mp3 when its cranked up (how dumb is it not to give visual feedback that it's playing?)
If you don't know concentration which gives you peculiar pleasure, your life looks like a hell.
Hiroyuki Nishigaki, author of "How to Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday."

"it gives you pep, see?" --greg bauer, 1992

So, famously, Pepsi adopted a new logo. (Actually, with variations: a more slender gap for diet, a larger gap for max.) Here is some of their new campaign at South Station, always the place for giant faux-agitprop monumental banners:

And here is the previous logo, still visible here and there:

I liked that the old logo seemed like a shoutout to Daoist balance of Ying/Yang, albeit with a large border between. So the new logo can be taken as a weird kind of shaking up of the universe, if one were so inclined to free mix Asian religion and pop culture via Jungian synchronicity.

Followup! China might not get the new logo, which totally reinforces the Yin/Yang theory. PLUS! When did Pepsi announce the new logo? October. When did the Dow/Jones cross 10K and then continue tanking? I rest my case.

Huh... so, I guess there was a (unverified) redesign document that put the new logo in such grandiose terms (though it might just be a hoax) that MightyGodKing.com had some fun with it...showing how Pepsi will save the Earth:

and How Pac-Man Reacts to Different Pepsi Logos:

(The core images were actually from that document; I had assumed they were original.)

But after all that, I think I'd like to let Lawrence Yang have the final word:

if you don't ask the right questions / every answer seems wrong.
Ani DiFranco

http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2009/03/h-e-double-hockey-sticks.html - some thoughtful observations about hell as it appears in the Bible, and how weird it is to become such the focus of so many Evangelicals.
Last Tuesday I interviewed for a job I am really hoping to land. They said it was prescreened to me and one other applicant who was talking with them today. If my nemesis' schedule mirrors mine, in 40 minutes they'll get underway. My time there went well but I have no idea if I'm up against a rockstar or a shlub! Ugh!
Yesterday I tried one of those handheld scanners at Stop and Shop. So not worth it, even if you try to minimize human contact while shopping. Plus it caused me to inadvertently shoplift.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123604419092515347.html - WSJ argues that 2 months of Obama has made things worse... the assumption that this would be a typical downturn save for Obama's anti-capitalist plans. That's a huge stretch of course, but when could we switch blame from Bush to Obama?
http://paulgraham.com/convergence.html : tv + computers = ...tv. I know about hulu, but do people sit and watch full shows on PC screens?
Housesitting in Rockport. Theory: change of venue = massive, less-distraction productivity. Practice: endless Youtube surfing.



--Wow. That was the most nightmarish ad for Kinder Surprise Eggs I could possibly have hoped for.

http://www.slate.com/id/2212616/ - David Plotz bogged the Bible. "I began the Bible as a hopeful, but indifferent, agnostic. I wished for a God, but I didn't really care. I leave the Bible as a hopeless and angry agnostic. I'm brokenhearted about God."
"Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with."
Bob Wells

"For the boy I was, the book I could not find"
dedication to Ed Emberly's Drawing Book of Animals.
I think my dad was touched by that turn of phrase. Also, FUN book!
http://alwaysblack.com/blackbox/bownigger.html - pardon the slur in the link but it's a tale of triumph, real life cyberpunk.
I really hope it's illegal or something to start putting "Important Tax Document Enclosed" on junkmail. Or not put it on tax documents.
I miss OK Soda. "Things are going to be OK."

enuf iz enuf?


--By Miller (original here).

Now is as good as time as any to mention his hypercute turtle shirts for sale.

Also-- he will likely be looking for a housemate for his place in Arlington Center. So if you want to live in a great little community, not too far off the beaten path but with plenty of cafes, indy cinemas, a bookshop, and great little restaurants, and/or are SO obsessed with me you want to live where I used to, drop me a line and I'll set you up.

Harveyjames says yesterday's lament for OK Soda is "an Altermodernist's nostalgia for the more innocent and simple postmodern era"
NPR is economy, economy, economy, terrorism, economy, economy, sports. I think the CNN/foxnews/Internet cycle is an amplifying force.

the safe water landing of flight 1549


--According to the BoingBoing comments the video recreation and the audio aren't as well synched as they should be, with stuff clipped from the original transcript, which might explain why the ATC doesn't seem to "get" the Hudson aspect.

http://slate.com/id/2212953/ - the Watchmen by Woody Allen, Tarantino, Sofia Coppola, etc...
http://slate.com/id/2208971/ - a large week long series on why we haven't yet had a repeat of 9/11 finally wraps up.
In the mid-90s "-by-net" was an online indicator. (I did vote-by-net.com) Then it was e-this and i-that. And -ster. And "flickr"-like names were a sign of Web 2.0. What else?

would he?

(1 comment)
--Ashley Quigg, from What if Woody Allen Had Directed Watchmen? he and Dan Kois speculate on "How other directors might have filmed the comics classic."

Just reread "Watchmen" because I wasn't getting all the jokes going around. Speaking of... if there's one thing this movie release is demonstrating, it's that the only way to make the word "wang" funnier is to precede it with "enormous blue".
http://gods4suckers.net/archives/2009/03/03/good-stuff-2/ - What if god disappeared? (tongue in cheek disguised atheist rant)
Republicans love to harp on "what if healthcare becomes like the local DMV"? What a cheap and facile shot-- I don't even think the DMV is that bad.
Ha what to do with an old Windows XP laptop that works, IF you use a rubber band to hold the power connection up and in.
http://www.moonmilk.com/2009/02/ - heh, Ranjit is on All Things Considered - he made an instrument a day in Feb, the Mobius Musicbox is genius.
One scifi idea from George R R Martin's "Tuf Voyaging" (great read) that's stuck with me is an overpopulated planet using the "calorie" as currency.
Everybody talks first draft.
Larry Niven, Niven's Laws for Writers

The Internet would be 0.09% cooler if Youtube embedded the title of videos in the links, rather than random strings.

impossible is eating the sun


I wanna tell you something because you're very dear to me. And I hope you understand it comes from the bottom of my damaged, damaged heart. You are the finest piece of ass I ever had, and I don't care who knows it.
Mad Men

Sorry boys, this is Impossible mode. Difficult is winning the Nobel Prize. Impossible is eating the sun.
"Lou Reed" in "Penn & Teller: Smoke and Mirrors"

Just watched 2 automatic clocks (macbook + radio-based) skip 2-3AM. Yay DST-- love sunset coming an hour later.
http://www.cracked.com/article_17103_5-ways-your-brain-messing-with-your-head.html - fun with perception
My "Dinner with Cupid" in the Boston Globe - me, "bit of a round figure"? Humph. Plus: "He was considerate of who had the floor in terms of talking; however, he usually was on that floor" -- do I not leave enough dead space? Hope I spun the Sisyphus thing to not sound like a total jerk.
Earlier this week I was hoping to find a job and maybe romance. Right now I'm pretty happy to have just found the remote.

looking on the bright side


daphaknee: WOAH YOU'RE OLD
kirk: yes when i got into retro gaming IT WSAN'T FUCKING RETRO IT WAS THE FUTURE
god damn it google stop switcihing to "moderat safe surf"
if i accidentally see a boobie when looking for something, that's a GOOD thing
She brings out the bad typist and cussing and trying to be funny in me... I miss having funny IMs.
http://englishrussia.com/?p=2272?=rssfeed - Russian anti-Coca-Cola calendar.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101619832 - amusing anti-twitter rant, but, who really twits "What are you doing"?

sic transit gloria laundry


Not our video or anything, but that's how JZ and I spent a few hours last night, launching cars and humvees via Grand Theft Auto IV's "swingset" glitch. (I also downloaded the MP3 used in that video, but it's not quite as cool on its own.)

JZ probably had the single most beautiful shot, launching a car that was ON FIRE -- like the closer for the video, but on fire the whole time, streams of flame pouring from the wheel wells making comet tails.

It's kind of weird, because we had just downloaded the PS3 game Pain, which in some ways is a whole small game based around the same idea, except you're launching just people from a slingshot, with a bit more aiming. I think in a lot of ways the swingset was more fun.

For what it's worth, I really like my line about the laundry below.

Laundry: a ritual of cleansing, rebirth, renewal; but the lint in the filter reminds us of our slow decay and final end. Sic Transit Gloria Laundry.
Why did I ever consider changing to the spare on my own? The guy from AAA was the model of macho-ish efficiency with power tools and all!
I was suspecting there's a DOW floor around 6,000, but then I realized that's just because of where it was when I started looking at the DOW on a regular basis.
Hit the terrific board game selection at Compleat Strategist, now on Comm Ave. Man, geek culture is both the same and different since I found out about the place two decades ago.
Bleh, two "no thanks" todays... funny it took them both 2 weeks +/- 1 day. I'm only bummed about 1, really, and they said it was very close, I just don't have a professional game title under my belt. But, another recruiter contacted me out of the blue based on my 2006 search, and I'm still in good shape all around.
GAH missed Boston PostMortem talk on iPhone game dev. Though with 15K apps and http://tinyurl.com/b2sg7z - seems more hobby-able than job

alarmism at the local costco


JZ suggested going out and laptopping in a public cafe etc as an easier route to productivity than home-officeing... gotta try it.
Snacks are of course incredibly important, nay, essential to the roleplaying experience. Being part of a balanced diet, it's essential to have representatives of all four basic food groups: sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine.

Interestingly, these are usually combined into the pairs (sugar, caffeine) - cola or other caffeinated fizzy drinks - and (salt, fat) - pizza, potato chips, other assorted snack foods. The pairing (sugar, fat), while perfectly valid - e.g. cakes, doughnuts, ice cream - is not seen anywhere near as much. And its counterpart (salt, caffeine) is just too bizarre to contemplate.

And then there's (sugar, salt) and (fat, caffeine), which we don't even want to think about.
Now I really want to think of a good salt-caffeine mix.
http://stuffunemployedpeoplelike.com/ - thanks cmg. Lots of dead-on stuff.



--The fight scenes from the Star Wars version of "Battle Chess", which was just chess with battle animations. They vibe reminds me a bit of that cartoon from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special that introduced Boba Fett. (Heh... just noticed that that cartoon has Luke Skywalker in the "Y-Wing" rather than his usual X-Wing. I wonder if that was driven by the plot (having to fly with C3P0) or to sell toys of a ship that barely gets any screen time in the movie...))

BTW, I still <3 Youtube. It's crazy how much stuff you can find there.

Starting out with OSX Leopard, wish I could see the "guided tours" for previous versions, in case there's something I missed.
Things I didn't know had Wikipedia pages: 5 Second Rule, Go Faster Stripes, Buttocks (though a generic google search for "buttocks" brings up the wiki page for "buttock augmentation" earlier than that hit.)
Think of the Trade Federation as a Galactic version of IKEA.

http://siskoid.blogspot.com/2009/03/live-blog-of-doom.html - 2/3 down is an interesting "DC Comics Tarot"
http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html - visualize a trillion. Frankly, most people don't even visual 30 or 40 very well.

timish: a watch for literate time

it's around...
--This is a working mockup of a watch I might actually wear. It tells time more or less like a human looking at an analog clock would... (Thanks Miller for help on the CSS vertical alignment.)

Hmm, maybe that needs an accent mark to show it's "Time-ish" not "Tim-ish".

A descending shadow is commonly used for a psychological state of mind (like a feeling of revulsion, depression, or impending doom). Use a ballpoint pen.

http://www.slate.com/id/2213558/ - Slate explores the universality of "M-F'er" type insults. Believe it or don't I didn't quite realize the term is meant to imply incest!
Damnation. My "3 stars or better" list just started not fitting in an 8gig iPod nano.
My default response to "bright and early" is always "well, early, anyway" -- FUNNY EVERY TIME.
For grins running roulette "Martingale" sims. If you want to lose an average of $12/day (but still winning $200 most days) come talk to me.

if there is one thing bob saget taught me it's nothing is funnier than a guy getting hit in the 'nads

food for thought. (now that the video has been removed.)
Wow, Flann's (local Irish pub) has a line waiting to get in. Must almost me St. Patricks Day!

bricklayer on the tower of babel

In early February I spent some time showing Leonard some parts of Boston. (Incidentally he and his wife Sumana are collaborating on editing Thoughtcrime Experiments, a very cool exercise in "best of the sci-fi 'slush pile'" excavation.)

The conversation was great and wide ranging-- Leonard's an author (both technical books and sci-fi) and that set a neat stage for some of our talk. (The mandate to write about the following has been haunting my Todo list for over a month.)

I feel like I have two problems with writing, and why I feel I'm so poor at coming up with plots:

The first is... I dunno, this air of "inevitability" I get when I read summaries of existing plots. I get this a lot when I read through TV Tropes (currently my favorite way of entertaining myself via iPhone.) It's an odd sense of fate, a feeling of "Es Muss Sein", it must be, this story could not be otherwise. So it was written, so it was done. (Maybe this creates the frisson I get from reading "alternate universe"/"elseworlds" type stuff) This sense creates a bit of writer's block in me, because I want to make something new, but I don't know how it has to be, and I'm worried I'm going to get it "wrong".

The second is a tendency to fall back to the same story/plot... I find myself inexorably drawn to the theme of people working on some corner of some great task, a task so monumental that none of them can really grasp it, and maybe none of them will see its completion. You really see this in the poem Bricks that I wrote in college, about a bricklayer on the Tower of Babel. (This may have been heavily influenced by a story from Omni magazine, a realistic account of the building of the Tower, and they hit the dome of the sky (holding back the deluge, the same used to flood the Earth in the Noah story)) It also shows up in Young Astronauts in Love.

There is a subtheme of this, the idea of being the "other man", the one doing some interesting artistic work, but the one who loses the girl and the fame to the real genius. I wrote a Loveblender ramble about that in 1997 (!), seeing it in both of the movies Henry & June and Backbeat:
What struck me about both films was the accomplishments of the 'supporting characters'. Both works end with texts going over the lives of the people portrayed. Anais' husband Hugo, portrayed as a loving but stifled banker, was an experimental film maker whose films are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Klaus Voormann, who loses his 'soulsibling' Astrid to the loose-cannon artistry of Stuart Sutcliffe, went on to create the cover to The Beatles' Revolver album (OK, not my favorite piece of album art, but still...) and played Bass in Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. To me, these ending texts are really the saga of the other men, the ones whose loves might've been the ones immortalized in film decades after the fact, if only fate had been different.
I guess it's not quite the same as the Tower of Babel plot, but they might spring from the same root, the acknowledgment that I'm not headed for greatness or cultural immortality, but the hope that I can contribute to some overall project and theme.

Leonard shared his "go to plot" with me, a melancholy "we had something nice, and it's nobody's fault, but it's all messed up now". We're not quite sure if this is the one he cited back in February, but it's a powerful idea, a kind of bittersweet failure of synergy. He uses it on a personal scale in Mallory and on a planetary/cosmic scale in an upcoming work about a planet of dinosaurs.

Does everyone have an overarching plot like this? A narrative that they find compelling above all others? Does it seem to spring from reality, or does it inform how you view the world you're in? (For many I think Religion tries to provide this for its followers.) It's the story you tell about yourself, it's the story that lets you make your own world, it's the story you use to make up new worlds.

So...what's your story?

Only what can happen, does happen.
Dr. Manhattan, in the Watchmen movie.
Compare to "Nothing unreal exists", part of Spock's re-education in Star Trek IV. Though JZ thinks it sounds more like the original Murphy's Law "If it can happen, it will happen"
Last night during Watchmen I jotted the todo note "united states chef". I wish I had some idea what I meant by that.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison

http://www.arschkrebs.de/watchmen/ - the Annotated Watchmen (notes for the comic)
http://deadeuclid.blogspot.com/ - sigh, a whole little blog charting the decline of my high school-era hometown.
Do you think America's goal of an egalitarian, up-by-your-bootstraps society is tied into how English dropped the you/thou distinction?

the rise and decline of the blender of love

So I made a new Blender of Love digest yesterday... the ramble featured the following graph:
This is number of monthly submissions over time. While I'm grateful that I'm not having to read (well, skim) 500-600 pieces every month, I kind of wish it had stabilized at where it was a few years ago, because the numbers are starting to alarm me. The Blender has its stalwarts, but I don't really understand what happened to provoke either the rise or decline of it. I used to promote it in the 90s, some banner exchange programs, some plugs on like Usenet, but now I'm not sure what I'd do, other than possibly take a shot in the dark and advertise on Google AdWords.

So it's a bummer when a project of over a decade and a half seems in poor health!

I am proud of the look of my graph though, handrolled in Java processing.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2009/03/building-better-mousetrap.html - the better moustrap, with strobe photography!
http://www.najle.com/idaft/ - great daft punks toy. Not quite as cool as http://limmy.com/playthings/xylophone/ but less obscene and abusive.

the chef of the midwest


--The other day I wondered aloud about what my Todo "united states chef" meant... JZ reminded me it was something his gal Heather showed me, a bit of Midwest Lore, how there is a figure of a chef embedded in the USA serving up a Tennessee platter of Kentucky. Not quite as impressive as the boot of Italy, but some of those state borders are outlined by the large rivers, so it's not quite as arbitrary as you might think.

Has anyone else heard of this?

makeaworldfilm -- Ed Emberly has a posse! Or at least a film. Neat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecilia_(song) - the original LP for Cecilia had hidden high pitched sounds, maybe for/about a dog?

the treasures inside your vcr

(1 comment)

(Unrelated note: Lex seemed to like the colors I was using yesterday. Do people think various colors look better than the stark black I usually used?)
Anyone want an unlocked Nokia E61i cheap? Includes charger and (wired) handsfree thingy. (Not a bad smartphone, but it's no iPhone.)
"Burn After Reading" - Ah the Coen brothers, lettings us watch lives of quiet desperation go noisy.

why dolphins are cooler than people


Today's rule: the PC stays off 'til the apartment is straightened up. (iPhone to keep an eye on email, laptop for followup if needed, no cheating)

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine... War is hell.
Will Tecumseh Sherman, 1879.

Inside every army is a crowd struggling to get out.
John Keegan

The Silver Line is weird! I thought it was just a PC way of telling neighborhoods "Buses! No T for you!" but they're double length buses with long underground tunnels...

the unimaginable geometries of the biker gang

(1 comment)
--"My Uncle Cthulhu" by Fred Bastide -- Lovecraft meets the Hell's Angels. Read about the making thereof. (Formerly archmage's LJ background image.)

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/19/sacramento-to-make-i.html - tent cities in Sacramento. Will they be called Bushvilles or Obamatowns?
Getting tired of Republicans using "Democrat" as an adjective. I guess it resolves an ambiguity, but they make sound pejorative, like D's plans are about individuals not ideas.
"Kirk is the darkest of the white chocolate."

"Will you go get me a beer?" "Sure. Will you pour me a shot?" "Of course" "... and thus the mutual enabling is complete"


To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
rgbwar - source - built with processing
A Glorious Trainwreck for Klik of the Month Klub #21. More of a toy than a game... press space to reset the RGB armies. They swarm around (there's some pseudo-flocking behavior built-in) and shoot each other with lasers. The faster they're moving, the faster their lasers are recharging, and flocks tend to move faster than individuals. Also you can use the mouse to mess with individual blobs a bit.

There might be a metaphor in how as the war goes on everyone becomes an indistinct charred husk.
The parts of a car that look the most like a car are some of the least complicated and least important parts in how it works. As with people.

http://nelson.oldradio.com/origins.call-list.html - what call letters were meant to stand for

the icicle of damocles

(1 comment)

Do you think winter is finally gone? Or is its returning hanging over us like the Sword of Damocles?

I'm doing my part by keeping a snow shovel in my car, trying to use Murphy's Law jujitsu to reduce the chance that I'll need a snowshovel in my car.

I hate life without sunglasses, but I think sometimes in the morning it's good and energizing to walk around squinting in the sun. Is there any science behind that idea?
It's a pity "comrade" sounds so USSR-ish and commie; on its own it has some nice implication, like "brother" but not so familial.
For my birthday my mom got me a DVD of the Discovery Channel show "Time Warp"... good call! Never heard of it, but it is awesome, cool things slowed WAY way down.



--I have very little to add except I have always enjoyed the Tom Jones / Mousse T. song "Sexbomb", especially the "inside out"/reversed track bit.

http://joshreads.com/?p=2364 - The Comic Curmudgeon on USA's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" vs Canada's "peace, order and good government". Food for thought.
My small apartment, after a bit of cleaning, proved good for entertaining and is nice and cozy. Now to just declutter...

not baa-d


Marriage is OK, but there are two big points:

* ladies: your man will never change. His faults will not go away when you marry.
* gents: your wife will change.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47062214@N00/ - a Lego mech-ape and more. Man, Lego is just awash with fiddly little bits! But the artist uses them well.
Reading "Sum"... it's Einstein's Dreams but about the afterlife instead of the nature of time and space.
There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when hour name is spoken for the last time.
David Eagleman, "Sum" ("Metamorphosis"). It's that last one that bugs me!

[On God as a Married Couple] It is heartening to see that they learn from us in the same manner that all parents learn from their children. For example, it turns out they didn't know how to express the workings of their universe as equations, so they are greatly impressed with the ideas of their physicist children, who phrase clearly to them for the first time what they wrought.
David Eagleman, "Sum" ("Missing")

Thinking about how to deal with shoeboxes full of old photos. bulk scanning? Sort of like natives who think a camera will capture their soul, I'm sometimes loathe to physically dispose of them. And then it's weird, and sad, to see photos from less than 15 years ago of things I had no memory of... like a "Band Lemmings" trip to visit NYC in 1996. (A year before I started keeping journals.)

"Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives" is a great book. Maybe tied in to the rest of this ramble, some of the most resonant for me are the afterlives that let you explore what you were, what you might have been... one where your 8 year old self, and your 18 year old self, and your 35 year old self, etc all coexist... or one where you share the afterlife with all the yous that might've been... living well is its own reward, because you can lord it over all the shlub yous, but you resent the ones who did better.

why do clowns have red noses?

--A Commie Clown from Cracked.com's 6 Reasons North Korea is the Funniest Evil Dictatorship Ever. Guess it's a 'shop but still, I like the double menace of it.

http://felisdemens.livejournal.com/556665.html - felisdemens on her Seneca heritage, and its irritatingly matrilineal definitions. Some nice discussion in the comments.
Kate is twittering in haiku. I retaliated with 140-character limericks... she wrote
I dreamed of beasts. Huge rampaging porcupines. The pictures were great.
There was this one though...It was of a sloth peeing. That was kind-of weird.
I came back with
BEASTS! Kate was seein'- in dreams, what's the meaning? of vast porcupines, with dangerous tines- also that sloth that was peein'-
I liked her defense of mandatory haikus:
Time? No time at all. Haiku writing's tres facile, like breathing out smoke.
Admittedly they are more sustainable than limericks. I just get tired of all facile-faux-clever haiku contests, especially when they don't have the theoretically mandatory season reference.

Of course ultimately I'm more of a prose guy.
cmg introduced me to foodler.com, delivery menus for many places; unlike DiningIn, it seems like just a creditcard middleman, not w/ extra fees.
For HR reasons yesterday's interview got moved to tomorrow, now I have pre-interview angst; what kind of, and how much, techie brush-up to do. As much as I want this job (and it's a great match, though with a so-so commute) I'm more afraid of having an interview not come through, especially because indicators are so good for this one.

If the economy wasn't so bad and the idea of full time employment gaps so scary, I'd love to take a year off. Relative success in getting personal projects done buoys me a bit; but then the old Protestant work ethic thing comes to bite me on the butt - there's a self image of Being a Guy that Works, though sometimes 30 more years of 40 hour weeks seems disheartening.
The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation's financial system. The original idea behind Glass-Steagall was that separation between bankers and brokers would reduce the potential conflicts of interest that were thought to have contributed to the speculative stock frenzy before the Depression.
Also EB sent on a Rolling Stone article explaining the insane, swingin' dick gambles AIG took on and that we'll be paying for. The bit about the eyerolling "you wouldn't understand, it's a finance thing" was amazing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BetaStirlingTG4web.jpg - the Stirling Engine. Robert Stirling was a genius, if a bit phallic minded.
"How did I fail women's studies? I love bitches!"
Jamal, "How High"

I found chocolate! Hiding in my pocolate!

I am please that Perl/Tk provides a way to make simple drag and drop UIs in windows... pity Tk is so gourdawful ugly and under-documented.
Black Electrical Tape: the Duct Tape of My Generation. My printer is now something like fixed.

warp whistle, windy city


Warp Whistle by MatthewDominick

Watched more "Time Warp" last night. Didn't know that Tazers shoot a bit of confetti out (with the serial # of the device) along with the electrodes. Festive!
You should have seen how excited I was last week that I actually caught Flood Awareness Week, during Flood Awareness Week. Usually, I'm a week late! And then, it flooded a lot in the West this week! How convenient! I hope they were aware!

Jeez. Flood unawarenes. "Does somethin' seem funny to you?" "You mean the way water is covering the street and yard and making a dangerous current?" "Yah! Whaddya guess that is?" "I dunno, you s'pose Uncle Steve left the water on again?"
Candi and me this morning

http://www.viceland.com/int/v16n3/htdocs/pret-a-mutilate-722.php - literally, fashion's worst crimes against humanity (via Bill)
Interview went well, will have a 2nd round.

On way back, at Storrow drive, people in soldier outfits were poking around the jogger paths there, with a sign saying "MILITARY EXERCISE" or something. ROTC or National Guard stuff?
Oh man... light sprinkles TOTALLY smelled like a Spring Rain... what is that earthy smell? Whatever it is, I love it.


(1 comment)

--Lore Sjöberg, Bad Gods

JZ's superpower: an uncanny knack for pairing friends with new songs they'll dig. (Seriously, most people are lousy at this.)
Regaling your adversary with vague threats will make them uncertain, or fill them with an ill-defined sense of doom:
"IT IS GO TIME! FOR YOU!! And DOWN is the direction you will be GOING!!"
"Indeed, but I'll only be going to visit you, who I will have sent down first."
"...You win this round."

http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2009/03/none-of-your-business-contd.html - slacktivist on what if it was a "work" section rather than "business" in the newspaper.

It brings me back to a thought I had a few weeks ago... what the word "Capitalist" means. Over the years, its come to be synonymous with "freedom", which is a little weird when you think about it. (I'm not sure if I'm on etymology thin ice here, but--) It suggest that capital is the core of society -- there seems to be a fundamental assumption that you can't succeed unless you're getting external funding, and that being able to fund other endeavors is the central key to achieving wealth.

I don't want to sound like a flaming commie, but I think it's important to recognize how language and culture might be interacting in stuff like this.
Paraphrase from Last Night, me and my Aunt, about my apartment in their brownstone:
"No, I wouldn't move for a job. Probably the most likely would be some personal thing, like a new relationship. But there's nothing on the radar so..."
"Is there any chance you might be bisexual?"
"No, I... wait, WHAT? How did...I mean, yeesh--"
"Just trying to figure out how many people I might have to alienate you from..."
For way too long on my todo I meant to mention that one kind of hokey, faux-American Indian story, about someone who has two wolves that are fighting... the way I heard it first is one is hope, the other fear, and the question is, if they're fighting, which one wins, and the answer is "the one you feed".
EB was musing on the differences in style and self-assuredness among him, me, and JZ. He sits to code, he hears Queen's "Under Pressure.". I sit to code, I hear the same song but with a kazoo. JZ just kind of hears "We are the Champions"--it's about not sweating past mistakes or fretting about future ones.

a little more action please


Ah, the unemployed's "did one big thing" satisfaction: yesterday it was a trip from Good Will to the MIT lunch truck to Micro Center to Staples to Best Buy to the Post Office, in roughly increasing level of annoyance. But you know, for working life, many days that one big thing is just "going to work"...
Friends help friends move. Dumb friends help JZ move into a 4th floor walkup.
It's a little weird how many NPR shows are using Twitter, but it probably is a near ideal real time question screening tool.


So. Tuesday, for my 35th birthday, I'm getting a tattoo.

earliest known extant alien bill
It's going to be Alien Bill, on my side shoulder (right shoulder, so that he's running the same direction I'm going) not much bigger than I draw it, and covered by a short sleeve shirt.

I've thought about it off and on for many years. I've been drawing Alien Bill since 1990 or so, he was my first webdomain and my production company. There's a bit of personal mysticism with him.... I don't quite know what he's all about, if there's some cosmic or psychological significance to him always being in motion, or with the one large eye. (Though I do know he was cribbed a bit from some earlier sources.) He's not me, or my avatar, but he is my totem.

Also: I know I have trouble making decisions, of being deliberate when I feel like I'd be at fault if it goes wrong. I want to see this in the mirror and know... I made a deliberate decision. I'm sure my mom (I kind of wussed out and took up my Aunt's offer of mentioning it to her) might counter that the antidote to not making decisions isn't making bad decisions, but still: I want a reminder that I can take accountability, that some choices I make will be with be forever, but I can be something besides a pseudo-Daoist drifter.

I'm getting the work done at Fat Ram's Pumpkin Tattoo in JP, a place that has a very good reputation. Here is the artist, Alex Dawes, along with a reversed detail from Toyohara Kunichika's woodcut of Nakamura Nakazo III:
(Alex doesn't look like that quite so much in real life, still, I think the focus and concentration exhibited is a good sign.)
One advantage of unemployment: without an alarm clock, you get that early morning doze time that can be very creative. A few days ago I realized what I really needed was a pillow that could encase the top part of my head, acting as a comfortable light blocker while still letting me breathe. And this morning I had the oddest dream where a friend of mine was really getting turned on as I dissected and grilled an old pocket watch.
Yesterday JZ and I were at Micro Center getting him a screen for his projector. We grabbed some of the energy drink "Bawls". As I was carrying the screen in its long cardboard box back to his car, the following double- (or single-) entendres followed.

"So how are you doing with that long, heavy thing?"
"Pretty good! Just keep handling the Bawls and I think we should be fine."
"You think we'll be able to get the whole thing in?"
"Well it'll take some work, but yeah... but I'll be honest with you, I don't think it's going to be very comfortable for either of us."
The arcade cabinet has become a rare site in the United States, but in their best year, coin-operated games collected quarters that, adjusting for inflation, sum to more than twice the 2006 sales of U.S. computer and videogame software.
Montfort/Bogost, "Riding the Beam"

The store Cache at northshore mall is using live models in their storefront window. Creepy-ish!

beer bellies gone bad


--via Failblog. This is not quite the tattoo I plan to get.

Beautiful low clouds lit by the city of Boston at night as I drive home on 93.
My Aunt got carded buying me an M-rated (17+) video game for my birthday... ("Mad World". The game. Well, the world too.)
Cool Ranch Doritos are labeled 'Cool American' [in Iceland]
To quote Team America, World Police: AMERICA-- F*** YEAH!

happy birthday to me...


(This video got deleted once so if it does again it's Marilyn Monroe breathily singing Happy Birthday to Mr. President...)

Gotta decide...Alien Bill tattoo with our without the speed lines. I'm leaning with, just for balance.
...but Kate convinced me not too. Much easier to add later if it came to that! The tattoo, it is done.
JZ came up with a nice easy drinking game for "Time Warp"... every time they mention "Newton", drink.

2009 March❮❮prevnext❯❯