2009 August❮❮prevnext❯❯

infinite moonwalk


via http://iammattjordan.tumblr.com/
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
James Thurber

pope in a baseball cap


(via and ap link)
When someone over powers us and we let them have their way, we "say uncle." Isn't that creepy?

Plant mass comes from the air - not water or dirt. Animal mass comes from plants and other animals. We are all fancy clouds.

Amber's cat digs being pet while fed and vocalizes her complaint when that's not the case. That's kind of a spoiled cat but can't blame her.

do electric sheep dream of androids?

--Very psyched that Patrick Farley's lamented electric sheep comics is getting a reboot, domain squatters be damned.

The archive index has great stuff like Overheard at the Rave (image here from that), the Apocamon literalist take on Revelation, and the brilliant The Guy I Almost Was.
http://www.doublex.com/section/arts/i-am-so-not-charmed-youtube-wedding-dance-sensation - hate to say it but I kind of agree with the haters on this one... kind of cool but it was just too big and sunglassesy. (Boingboing is right that it's good for the copyright holders to relax and make money than clamp down.)
Last night at Arian's cookout we played the "game of questions", converse only in questions, (as seen in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead") Even the non-sequiturs-allowed variant we played fun (and challenging for some, though I found it pretty easy to pre-think of what to say.)
random gmail ad of the moment : http://princessvisits.com/ - is it just me or is it that a little creepy?
Dinner with old coworker/project lead Rob. He used the phrase "animated conversation" - that's a good word for some of what I'm looking for-
I've never seen how the New York freeways bend, 'like a woman having an orgasm,'
Olga Ilnitskaya, an essay in "Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States". Not sure I get this quote.

the am love with at your

Like  No  yes  Cat  Dad
Mom  Can  And  Not  Was
Who  I  a  To  From
Stop  Go  Of  Off  She  he  me
Of  Off  This  my  you  is  it
The  am  Love  with  at  your
Went  Will

--had dinner with Rob B last night, and this vocabulary list for his 6 year old daughter was tacked to a wall. I'm calling it found poetry.

http://gizmodo.com/5152042/how-palms-os-tried-to-go-from-pdas-to-smartphones - in some ways, PalmOS (esp. the home screen concept) lives on in the iPhone. And come to think of it, PalmOS looks much like early Mac...

fast font


a bit more info, along with the font... I love how it's a smartcar (or something very much like it)

http://mightygodking.com/index.php/2009/08/03/its-fine/ - a canadian speaks of nationalized health care, and against the negative BS...
http://www.slate.com/id/2223965/pagenum/all/ - ha Dunkies over McDonalds over Starbucks when it comes to coffee...
http://www.slate.com/id/2223285/ - 12x12 guesses about how America might end. Choose Your Own Apocalypse!
But hard fiscal realities can put a strain on any marriage, and the new governor, Jan Brewer, is finding that life with the Legislature and a $3.4 billion budget deficit is several feathers shy of paradise.

wipe that off your face


--An expired pass I was about to throw out... err, not the most detailed portrait of me I've seen...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxCNCDWaWyE - the "Hitler Yelling" original that launched a thousand re-subtitles. I liked Hitler does 'Agile'. This one gets meta about the whole scene.
Word That Looks Misspelled of the Moment: "says"
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Twitter-outage-clamps-tweets-apf-349574516.html?x=0&.v=3 - "For Twitter users, the outage meant no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter is down."

r.i.p. john hughes


--Shermer, Illinois has lost its greatest son. (Man, just look at his wikipedia page!) He really set the stage for being a teenager in America for a generation or two.
Word That Looks Misspelled of the Moment: "became"
http://www.nytimes.com//interactive/2009/07/31/business/20080801-metrics-graphic.html - kind of amazing "how we spend the day" chart...
One faint silver lining about my job: I don't have to worry about the old "debug the code, not the comments"- no comments! Just opaque code.
The way I angst before trying a possible fix to a complex debugging problem is my ego life writ small; don't want to know I'm wrong and unsmart and need a plan B.
techno-irritation of the moment: iTunes sorts playlists punctuation first (so stuff in quotes is at top of list.) iPhone sorts it last. Duh.
http://translationparty.com/ fun computer translating from Japanese to English and back 'til it stabilizes - but it needs a simple loop detector. (Wasn't there an old babelfish app for this?)

if wet, in the library

Death seemed to be having a bit of a swim in my memepool yesterday. Besides John Hughes untimely demise, there was a deeply moving and thoughtful piece by Terry Pratchett, brilliant author and Alzheimer's... I don't know the word. Not victim, not yet. Not patient. Sufferer? Anyway: he has it, it's going to get worse, and he wants the option to, like Holmes, willfully jump off the edge locked in mortal combat with his Nemesis, rather just lay, and wait, and wait, and wait, becoming less and less of the person everyone who loved him loved. As he puts it:
I am enjoying my life to the full, and hope to continue for quite some time. But I also intend, before the endgame looms, to die sitting in a chair in my own garden with a glass of brandy in my hand and Thomas Tallis on the iPod - the latter because Thomas's music could lift even an atheist a little bit closer to Heaven - and perhaps a second brandy if there is time.

Oh, and since this is England I had better add: 'If wet, in the library.'
According to the article, there is a legal judgement pending in England on Debbie Purdy, an MS victim who wants to travel to a clinic in Switzerland and end her life on her terms, and her husband, on if he will be subject to persecution for assisting her.

(So apparently the movement is missing a good word for what it advocates. Apparently "euthanasia" has taken on a tone of "involuntary"; "physician-assisted suicide" has a rather ugly taint about it as well. Pratchett likes "mercy killing".)

So I read this shortly after reading slacktivist railing against the right setting up straw demons to be knocked down. He quotes the Christian Worldview Network
Please e-mail this program to EVERYONE you know! Topic: Ron Meyers interviews Brannon Howse on Obama's national healthcare that will euthanize America's seniors and the disabled through the rationing of healthcare, make someone's intrinsic value based on the State's definition of whether or not they are productive human resource, require doctors to break their Hippocratic Oath in order to be able to make a living and continue practicing medicine, force seniors on Medicare to go through "end of life counseling" every five years so they can be brainwashed into the liberal's "duty to die" propaganda ...
And this is what the right claims national healthcare would be about.

I think it does harken back to old issues of "why do we live?" I think everyone needs to work out their answer for this. For a certain fundamentalist outlook, the answer is simple: because God says human life is sacred... (and to be on the safe side, we should adopt as wide-ranging a view of "human life" as possible, which informs their stance on abortion.) (Does John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends", add any nuance to the ironclad rule?)

Beyond the religious aspect, we live because of the old animal dread of not living. Nothing gets the guts riled up like the sudden fear of death, and that goes way below the intellectual and maybe even spiritual intellectual levels I'm going on about here.

My current favorite intellectual reason for living is that life is interesting... like the Alice Walker quote from quotes about mortality page:
"Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it."
Or maybe Annie Dilliard puts it a bit more romantically:
"We are here to abet creation and to witness to it, to notice each other's beautiful face and complex nature so that creation need not play to an empty house."
(Incidentally, just to reassure people, it's not like having to think of reasons not to commit suicide is an issue for me! I have no instinct that way, at all... this is just me abstractly pondering the classic issue of existentialism. I mean hell, one easy argument is enjoying my loved ones (friends, family, Amber...) a lot and wanting to maximize my time with them. From a more intellectual point of view, it's not good if a person considering taking their own life for whatever reasons doesn't at least consider the horrific impact that even has on the people they leave behind...)

But I've gotten offtopic. "Right to Die" is a complex issue, especially in cases where the person can't express their wishes, or there's some kind of tiny chance of recovery -- but I think when a clear-eyed preference is stated (but again with a caveat: "and the person doesn't seem to be despondent or depressed to an unwarranted degree") -- those wishes should be respected.

Here is some of the Thomas Tallis Pratchett mentions...

That is Beautiful.
http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=haught_29_5 - see, Bush knew we HAD to go to Iraq to stop Gog and Magog - JEEZ!
http://snacksandshit.com/ - funny rap analysis, unfair sometimes. My favorite so far. The "file under" postscript for each really makes it work; there's some valuable comedy lesson there about that kind of stinger/echo.
An object lesson in my office landline phone: I generally keep it muted, but if it gets unplugged, it rings for calls again. It takes more energy to be silent sometimes.
The Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko, while in orbit during the Soyuz-17 flight, relaxed by reading the Strugatskys, making theirs the first science-fiction novels to be read in space.

http://armorgames.com/play/4309/this-is-the-only-level - this is the only level, interesting study in game mechanics. Hated the meta stuff.

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
Carl Sagan,
This months quote for the new http://loveblender.com/ Digest
"Whatever Works" - pretty good, actually. Larry David's Woody impression was solid and I always dig that existential stuff. Plus, funny.

oddly enough amber's kitchen was lacking these this morning


--on the offchance you don't get it

oom to the pah


--Man, sometimes I miss playing Tuba. I was kind of known for the beatbox, and knew about the two-tone thing he does here, but never quite mastered it enough to get a decent version of chopsticks going, which was my goal.

But truth be told, the music I miss most isn't the church stuff or the orchestra stuff or the jazz band stuff or the wind ensemble stuff... it's the fun, dumb stuff of marching band. Actually, more precisely pep band, where you didn't have to memorize everything. That disinterest in semi-classical music and the fact I never owned my own horn are the main reasons I don't play today.

Amber and I went to a closed-circuit Drum Corps International semifinals thing at Fenway 13 Theaters... we didn't realize ahead of time that it was like a 5 or 6 hour event, so we bugged out arond halfway through, which is too bad because the groups play in order of their seeding from previous rounds, and since each group is doing the same show it did earlier, that usually means the good stuff is coming later in the evening.
The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.
John Cage

Public radio's top-of-the-hour news brief tends to have two parts: main stories, than either local coverage, or secondary national. It seems weird to me that there's a class of national news I miss... important, but not THAT important, I guess. It's hard to admit how much of the universe we don't have time and attention for.

solar jetman flower


--Sprite Sheet from Solar Jetman, a lovely physics-y based game on the NES (video here). via auntie pixelante's twitter
http://www.slate.com/id/2223835/ - Slate on "What Do Babies Think About All Day?"
WBCN having sign off day- kind of sad day for Boston scene- http://mmone.org/ museum - also old "Boston Tea Party" by where JZ used to live-
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.
Miss Piggy

http://tinyartdirector.blogspot.com/ - the littlest art director tells her artist/designer what's what and no mistake. Very cute!
Listening to the last hour of WBCN.

"did you know that the things that hold the ends of your shoelaces together have a name? aglets! couldn't do your car. aglets."

I was going to drop the store's car off and just sit at home until they fixed my car, then I'd figure out a way to pick it up. Because I had a very strong feeling that it wouldn't be ready on Monday.

Hey, guess what! It's Monday, and it's not ready! Was the engine accidentally shipped to the Lost City of Atlantis? No, that might make sense. Here's the actual reason I was given:
"The mechanics went to a race. They were supposed to be home last night, but, you know, all this rain!"
I paused, then said "Uh-huh." But I thought "I don't even know what that's supposed to MEAN!" Rain? Were they driving cars made out of paper? It was like he was reading some Surrealist Garage Excuse Generator. When I call tomorrow, I expect to be told one of the following:
"Well, it'd be done today, but one of the guys saw a bee once. And, y'know--hives."

"Did you know that the things that hold the ends of your shoelaces together have a name? Aglets! Couldn't do your car. Aglets."

"Seriously, in Flashdance she's got this huge loft apartment! How could a welder afford that? And who put that bucket of water up there?! MAN, I have to lie down now."

"I can't tell you when your car will be ready. (leans in, whispers) The corn has ears."
This is the last time I take my car to a place with a sign over the bay doors reading "Ne c'est pas une Garage."

But after TEN DAYS of having my car, they finally offered me a loaner. I ran to it because you know, all this rain, and sat down and realized "This is MY car!" A Ford Escort, but a Mercury Tracer's the same thing with a few differences in the bodywork. And despite it having the same dashboard layout as the car I've driven for 10 years, after only 10 days in another car I tried to shift into reverse by turning on the windshield wipers.

Any bets as to how quickly my car gets done, now that I have THEIR car? When they call tomorrow, I'll say "Yeah, I could bring it back today, but pancakes made the Pentagon a gerbil. Y'know, all this prune of dog barf!"

Something I had on my old backlog. You know, in trying to figure out if I had posted this before, I found out that according to Google 'til now, Bill's site was like the only place the phrase "mechanics went to a race" (words in that order) appears on the web.

(that's the result of a new sketch program I'm making that I hope will encourage me to do more doodles for the site.)

play the guitar just like ringing your bell

(1 comment)

I was talking about "Learning Guitar to Get Laid" the other day... and Tuba is like Bass, only much more so.

You're so humble.... I mean, for someone so full of himself, you are humble.
Amber to me this morning

'The brain seems to be more stingy with mechanisms for pleasure than for desire,' Berridge has said. This makes evolutionary sense. Creatures that lack motivation, that find it easy to slip into oblivious rapture, are likely to lead short (if happy) lives.

The time you spend reading this tweet is gone, lost forever, carrying you closer to death. Am trying not to abuse privilege.

http://www.gamedesign.jp/flash/dice/dice.html - forgot how much I dig "Dice Wars". Like a dumbed-down "Risk".
Decades ago I noticed that any month that has a Friday the 13th starts with a Sunday... err, FWIW.

confidence: the ultimate essay collection

It's a bit amusing, or possibly deflating, when you double check and find out you've pretty much written a ramble for your blog before. A lot of the links here are from searching for "confidence" on this site's search engine...

What's on my mind is my job. We're starting up with a new client, and one of the company's partners talked with the tech lead on my first gig at the company. In general I came out pretty well with that, but I guess in early days I come across as "too deferential" - and I think that is a good term for my issues with projecting the front of "can-do" confidence a consultant is supposed to have. As a consultant you're often asked to clean up a messy situation. My knee-jerk reaction is to give the people who worked on it before the benefit of the doubt, figuring I'm not THAT much smarter than them, if at all...and I have trouble with the default assumption of "this is a solvable problem", or at least, "this problem is solvable by me with the time and resources I'm likely to be granted for it.". (In January 2005 I express my general sense of "maybe this technical problem IS going to kick my ass".)

This piece from February 2006 lets me see the parallels with the consulting job I had then and the situation I'm in now. Then though, I had some more senior techies to defer to, and with my current gig I might not have that safety net.

(My boss mentioned that some of the people he's talking with to come onboard from our mutual dot-com company have often been at product companies and are eager to try a consulting role... in my heart of hearts I'm worried I'm feeling the opposite. At a company with a core product (and maybe side projects) there's a sense of "we're in this together" that a consultant doesn't have. Also, when there's a fixed technology base, you can dive deep into a smaller number of toolkits, rather than having to fake expertise in whatever fool thing is coming down the pike. (And while I do feel I'm an excellent techie, especially with the core Java/J2EE stuff, I'm having to play catch up with some of the toolkits that are emerging as possible "winners"))

Right now I don't have a ton of confidence. I'm bright, but it seems like I am slow to pick up new technologies -3 years ago I was kind of interested in what I think I actually AM good at, technology and other-wise. I also dislike setting goals, like I mentioned all the way back in November 2003. Back then I looked to some childhood examples of my resentment of goals that might not be met. Then in December 2006 I point to some early factors that might be cause or might just be fellow effect: this ridiculous ego thing - and in November 2007 I find an article describing it as par for the course for clever kids:
The result plays out in children like Jonathan, who coast through the early grades under the dangerous notion that no-effort academic achievement defines them as smart or gifted. Such children hold an implicit belief that intelligence is innate and fixed, making striving to learn seem far less important than being (or looking) smart. This belief also makes them see challenges, mistakes and even the need to exert effort as threats to their ego rather than as opportunities to improve. And it causes them to lose confidence and motivation when the work is no longer easy for them.
I also point to the death of my dad as early(ish) proof to me that sometimes the worst-scenario plays out, that things don't always get better, that situations might be as bad or worse than you think. Right now I'm not sure if this was as formative as an event as I tend to assume, or at least not formative in this way.

Other factors: like I mention in January's "25 random things" list: "A theme of my life seems to be not wanting to be responsible for something going wrong. So I'm very slow to pick up new commitments, but once I have them, I'm very committed". This might just be a variation of that other stuff, or it might be... I dunno.

Finally I wonder where my big anxiety-ish times tie into this. In April 2005 I thought Y2K anxiety might have broken something in me in the late-90s, causing me to not lose a kind of happy-go-lucky demeanor. And then I got spooked about EMF pulses, but finally I got to grip with that kind of fear by thinking and writing the content of my guide to mortality... once you accept the end, it's easier to live with what comes before (even though some lives are much more unpleasant than others.)

That last links touched on thoughts of "anxiety as addiction" (a line put forth by the "Ramtha" folks). And not to use random theories about brain chemistry to dodge personal responsibility for keeping our own heads in order, but yesterday there was a that Slate piece on 'Seeking' behavior, how studies on mice might explain why Google and Twitter, with their frequent intermittent, small and non-satiating nuggets of information might be as addictive as crack for our distraction seeking heads. Combined with my desire not to remind myself how challenging some work things are for me, there are times when it's a struggle to control that stupid, angsting cycle.

Sigh. It's difficult to remember how good I have it on the scale of human history, how luxurious my life is compared to the sweeping bulk of humanity through history. Kate made a video about the show "Being Human" that kind of rants against cubicle life. I think she misses the point, though, that work is generally a part of life. It can be defining, it doesn't have to be. Like Rob said of office work though, "It ain't heavy lifting" - us geeks should be suitably grateful for that. Yeah, I which I was rich, I think I'd be able to handle early retirement more gracefully and productively than many, and no, I'm not certain if the standard work week (plus) is the right trade off of time and money for me, given how I don't have a commitment to making a family at this point. Still, there are much worse ways to live.

Alright. Believe it or not getting this stuff out on screen helps, so thanks for putting up with it! I didn't take a lot of time to go back and edit...

"shaping and hammering at an emotion until it becomes a thought"
--Kevin the Therapist in 2005, describing what I might be doing. Poetic for a therapist!
Samsung: nice monitor, but a smooth, featureless "glide touch" button bar, with buttons labeled dark grey on black? Artsy, but annoying.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/re-enable-hibernate-option-in-windows-vista/ - how to restore Hibernate in Vista- I find "sleep" tends to wake itself up.
Maybe I just fixed my iPhone's ability to place calls ("call failed" errors) by calling it from a different phone?
http://wayofthespatula.wordpress.com/ - miller is starting a new food blog! Seems very friendly, instruction-wise.
80s Transformers- remember the rub signs? guess they woulda been kinda sorta ok, just a bit lame, if they didn't have the grey border...

borrow some wabi-sabi sauce

Mr. Ibis posted the following recently, his comments below:

I found this arresting image online somewhere and I just had to save it. It captures so many facets of existence in one image. Overall, it has a very Wabi-sabi (侘寂) feel, which is an aesthetic I'm particularly drawn to -- impermanence, natural decay, the sorrow of the ephemeral. At the same time as this photo is pointing helplessly at sun-faded childhood dreams, it also affirms the power of nature to triumph over the works of man. And that, in the end, is a comforting thought. Not only for the health of the planet, but for the health of my soul. My impermanence is part of the natural order, and my own passing, and the passing of things that I love, is not to be mourned.
Fantastic thought, it really gave me pause. I'm not intuitively drawn to nature enough to have previously thought of the possibility of applying a satisfaction with the impermanence of all things to humanity in general, even though I'm a bit down on our long term chances. And by down, I kind of mean for the interesting idea of civilization that I so cherish, rather than our species as a whole. Or even an idea like "mammals".
A woman on the subway had a "Piggly Wiggly" plastic bag. Odd, probably aren't any around here. In fact once I iPhoned Amber noted that the list of states with Piggly Wigglys has a near 1-to-1 correspodence with her mental list of states she doesn't want to live.



To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
markovlove 2008 - source - built with processing
My entry for Klik of the Month #26. I harvested years of Blender of Love poems to make a computer/human collaboration tool for writing love poems using "Markov Chains"-- the last 2 words of the poem determine the options for the next words (the white/pink boxes on the right side) and once you click on the next word, the penultimate word and the word you just clicked determine the next set of options, and so on.

This is technically "markovlove 2008", using just the works on the Blender from 2008. The version dating back to 2001 won't run with the settings in most browsers. Possibly I should have picked a year with more entries, a bit too often there's just one choice, where the word pair only appeared once in what was sent in that year.

It was a huge turnout for Klik of the Month, which is kind of cool, but also makes it hard to to get heard, and kind of changes the group dynamic a bit.

District 9: 40 Year Old Virgin meets The Fly via Blackhawk Down and maybe a bit of... I dunno, Transformers and Enemy Mine?

give us running water that we may hydrate


--"Alive in Joburg", the original "District 9" short... according to this Slate piece, a bit better than the movie it inspired, and having seen the film I sort of agree. I guess it was less "40 Year Old Virgin" than "The Office", which meets "The Fly", with touches of Blackhawk Down, Robocoop, and/or Predator, but the plot holes were about as big as the ship hanging over Johannesburg. Not a terrible movie, though, just disappointing given the rich material they gave themselves to work with.
I know Les Paul was really old. But I am still convinced he died because you can hear Justin Timberlake on 104.1 in Boston now.

for amber: an aquatic ape fairy
(a mishear at Park Street Station)

photos of the moment

The backyard of Amber's new digs is verdant:

I'm having to admit I have a hard time resisting making images of bugs and slimy things and creatures in general:

We went to see one of the last days of the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the ICA. Outside the main exhibit they had a nice stretch of white wall for me to use as a backdrop for pictures of Amber.

And, I am a dork.

The view opposite the white wall wasn't so bad either:

The following weekend we went to visit EB and his brood up in Rockport. You know, I didn't even quite realize that gulls HAD tongues before this:

And EBB1 is as charming as always

But her new sister is no stranger to being hypercute herself:

3 Cheers for Cheap Digital Cameras!
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/08/17/scary-psa-warns-agai.html - HORRIFYING PSA against driving+texting. Even more than the impact footage, the cool professionalism of the emergency workers freaks me out.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10309716-71.html?tag=rtcol;pop totally awful and lovely: probability theory in marriage strategy optimization
People who host a blankish page saying "This page is undergoing a major update. Please visit again soon" do not understand how people use the Internet very well.

the theory of potbellies

(1 comment)
Slate had a piece mocking bogus trendspotting including "potbellies are hip", and they quoted this bit between Fabienne (Maria de Medeiros, who I've had a crush on since "Henry and June") and her boxer boyfriend Butch (Bruce Willis) in Pulp Fiction:
"I was looking at myself in the mirror."
"I wish I had a pot."
"You were lookin' at yourself in the mirror and you wish you had some pot?"
"A pot. A potbelly. Potbellies are sexy."
"Well, you should be happy, 'cause you have one."
"Shut up, Fatso, I don't have a pot! I have a bit of a tummy, like Madonna when she did "Lucky Star," it's not the same thing."
"I didn't know there was such a difference between a tummy and a potbelly."
"The difference is huge."
"Would you like it if I had a potbelly?"
"No. Potbellies make a man look either oafish, or like a gorilla. But on a woman, a potbelly is very sexy. The rest of you is normal. Normal face, normal legs, normal hips, normal ass, but with a big, perfectly round potbelly. If I had one, I'd wear a tee-shirt two sizes too small to accentuate it.
"You think men would find that attractive?"
"I don't give a damn what men find attractive. It's unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same."
You can see the clip here starting around 0:30.

It's a funny little bit of dialog. I think Fabienne overstates the case at the end, but for a while I've been thinking about a disconnect between wanting to sneak a glance at something or someone sexy, and then actually envisioning or even wanting to "do something about it". Like things that read as sexy kind of exist in isolation, and it would take an act of will to form them into a more cohesive spectrum of sensuality. Or something.

(Fortunately I find Amber pleasing to the eye and to the touch so it all works out that way anyway.)

Sometimes I feel like a lab subject, like those female widowbirds attracted to the super-extra-long glued-together male tails, or those guy fish driven nuts by the crudest simulacrum of a gal fish, just the naughty bits exaggerated to impossible degrees. I can kind of feel the zing of some attractive body bit, the urge to sneak a quick glance, and usually I'll give into it, but it's weird how it then dissipates and has little connection to my future desires. It's kind of like a mental M+M, a quick jolt of sweet crunchiness that doesn't have all that much to do with actual meals.

(You know this might not be unrelated to that Seeking Behaviour Slate mentioned recently, and the split between the pleasures of "seeking" and "satiating"...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM - missed the "Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism" video the first time. Secret to comedy: stingers!
People don't dig the heatwaves of summer but at least you don't have to shovel sunshine.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok - do people in general know about the scifi verb "to grok"? Good wikipedia entry, anyway.
iPhone technogripes: 1. I crave a way to say "just fix spelling typos, don't "correct" my capitalization. 2. If you accidentally hit shift in the middle of a word, go and delete the offending letter, it "helpfully" has the shift key activated.
It seems like he moon could be a little better, if I looked like something. We say Man on the Moon but not really. The French say a cat??

catholic dogs go to heaven

From comixed.com: (Pity about the JPEG compression!)

According to Time's "Your Brain" special, a patch of brain consumes up to 10x more energy than equivalent patch of other organ. Why doesn't thinking make us hungry?
Note to decluttering self: "irreplaceable" does not mean "will be missed".

yo logo!

I've been thinking about the Logo design of the some of the toy lines of my youth. (The best image of most of these online seemed to have black backgrounds, so I'm experimenting with colors here.)

Arguably, the most notable was Transformers, Autobots vs Decepticons:
(Despite their being kind of silly summer fare, Amber found the Transformers movie grabbing enough that she wanted an Autobot sticker for her car- but she didn't grow up with this stuff, so she had to double check that she was getting the right one. I had kind of assumed it was "obvious", the good guys have a softer, rounder kind of mask face, the bad guys are more sharp and wicked and pointy, and there might be some intuition to it, but only once you know what to look for.)

The toys all sported the badges of their particular faction, and for a while it was good, but then they added these "rub stickers", kind of heat sensitive, that were more or less opaque 'til touched. That would have been ok I guess (if a little non-sensical story-wise) but unlike normal stickers, the rub stickers were in grey boxes which were an aesthetic mess on otherwise cool robot toys. (I guess Hasbro wanted something for its toys that the knock-offs couldn't have.)

Arguably the very coolest logo of the 80s was for the G.I Joe bad guys, Cobra:
I've seen that as a tattoo.

(and then of course there was the time they teamed up with the Transformers bad guys:)
Weirdly G.I Joe itself didn't have much good logo work going on - maybe a traditional US military star, or sometimes the whole name of the group (what's that kind of logo called, when its just a stylized rendition of the name of the thing?)
(Of course in the cartoon, there was also the "audio logos", G.I. Joe's rallying call of "Yo Joe!" and Cobra's warcry "COOOBRAAAAAAAAAAA!")

I've seen this one floating around, I don't know if it is new for the movie or what:
Also, there's this modernization of the old name-as-logo:
Actually this page was kind of inspired when I read up on Cobra Commander's ally Destro, remembered how he's always sort of had his own organization, and wondered if they had a logo. I found this:
A little heavy handed, but not bad.

I'd argue that even back in the day this kind logo work set G.I.Joe and Transformers apart from some of the other toy lines. Like, compare some of this cool iconic stuff to johny-come-lately MASK:
It just seems so pedestrian.

Hasbro (or whoever) kept up the canonical mask idea for later toylines, like in "Beast Wars" where it was Maximals vs Predacons:
I don't think I have to tell you who was good and who was bad...

http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/the_android_opportunity - Can Android be saved? I worry the AppStore might make iPhone's early lead even tougher to overcome because people come to rely on specific apps.

lady and the tram


--"Lady and the Tram" from b3ta amuses me way too much - I think it's the detail of the spaghetti angle.

http://badgods.com/alternates.html - excellent Bad Gods cartoon in this world or any other
One word says it all: 'you never know.'
Joaquin Andujar

On XP, making a mp3 disk for my car was as easy as dragging files, Vista makes coasters unless I use Windows Media Player. (heh, reminds me of the mid-90s, where "buffer underrun" errors would make, like, $25 coasters.)
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/08/21/apple-replies-to-fcc.html 8,500 iPhone store apps a WEEK? Jeez, how does anyone get any attention--

catdance - IN 3D (sort of)

(1 comment)

wedding and road

Yesterday Amber and I got to go to the wedding of Scott and Josúe! Yay Massachusetts!

that's just how vader rolls


GI Joe: Wants to be Star Wars with Ninjas, turns out to be Team America World Police with slightly worse CGI...

me and you and me

Just finished "Me and You" by Margaret Diehl, a novel I first read back in college, a super sensual (in both senses of the word) story of an alcoholic painter woman. A few bits I found in it that I remembered, but not their source:
She didn't worry about my drinking in those days. She thought I was celebrating. (As the sweet, buck-toothed matron at the London drunk tank said, "What were you celebrating then, love? What were you celebrating?")
Also, this one, a bit more sensual, about the main character's older lover:
Jack knelt above me, his stomach muscles quivering. The light was behind him, his body dark. I looked at it dreamily, that bulk and tension. And, from shame, my vision was acute. I saw the pride of his stomach, that self-pleasing defense. I saw his penis's desire not only to carry the seed but to appear most magnificent, to best in power the muscular legs that carry the man, that stride the earth. Such grandiosity, such insecurity, often produce a fatal charm. Insistence seduces as endurance prevails. I let him inside.
The book is almost stunning in its sensuality, how it captures certain tableaus. It's funny coming back to a book that you don't remember distinctly, but remember as influential in your own former writing.

I'm on GI Joe's special sleep squad
Me asleep last night

Office Debate: If actions speak louder than words, why is the pen mightier than the sword?

The English language is a belief in the human being and his or her abilities, despite anything. It is a belief that a plan, further work, and results are connected among themselves in reality and not simply in illusion.
Dmitry Vedenyapin

all you sucka djs who think you're fly

(1 comment)

I can't even tell you how much I love Germans doing American Cowboy.

"Usborne Guide to Computer and Video Games" (in weird .cbr format- need reader, or just rename to .rar and use WinRAR) I was just thinking about this book the other day! I remember how crazy impossible the pg.40 hand-held dirtbike game seemed ("video games just don't look like that, how could you play that") but now I guess the tech is prett much there... (via http://twitter.com/auntiepixelante )
Man, Ted Kennedy's funeral service will be happening like a block from my house. A huge loss, locally and nationally.
Random query from yesterday: cinnamon. Why does it seem so different in its gum and bagel forms?
There's a definite grace and pleasure in that initial "So what have you been up to?" exchange of Facebook messages with estranged friends.
Just got carded at TGIFriday's w/ the folks. Must be 'cause I shaved the sideburns...

lego dreams


--Dual tribute to Legos and the Commodore 64 computer - basically the things that made my childhood awesome

After night of reading book on George Washington odd dreams about his valet William Lee. (Also: I learned that small pox was big deal in war, and helping the army cope with it was one of Washington's big successes.)
http://www.incident.net/works/miseanu/nues.html - NSFW Flash-based (in more ways than one) art, a study in women clothed and unclothed. (Though the clothing is oddly mid-90s-feeling.) Turns out it's mostly based on the works of Akira Gomi.
List of Fictional Curse Words - still bummed this got deleted from Wikipedia in such ignominious haste.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112312561 - Reading Rainbow killed by Bush's Hooked on Phonics. Wait, RR was still on?
Just drove by the Kennedy funeral preperations.... lots of faux-campaign "Kennedy. Thanks." posters up in the area.

the ascent of sprites

--A study in GameBoy sprites from this Hardcore Gaming 101 article

why don't baptists have sex standing up? it might lead to dancing!

She is now in the vile embrace of the Apollo of the evening. Her head rests upon his shoulder, her face is upturned to his, her bare arm is almost around his neck, her partly nude swelling breast heaves tumultuously against his, face to face they whirl on, his limbs interwoven with hers, his strong right arm around her yielding form, he presses her to him until every curve in the contour of her body thrills with the amorous contact. Her eyes look into his, but she sees nothing; the soft music fills the room, but she hears it not; he bends her body to and fro, but she knows it not; his hot breath, tainted with strong drink, is on her hair and cheek, his lips almost touch her forehead, yet she does not shrink; his eyes, gleaming with a fierce, intolerable lust, gloat over her, yet she does not quail. She is filled with the rapture of sin in its intensity; her spirit is inflamed with passion and lust is gratified in thought. With a last low wail the music ceases, and the dance for the night is ended, but not the evil work of the night.

The girl whose blood is hot from the exertion and whose every carnal sense is aroused and aflame by the repetition of such scenes as we have witnessed, is led to the ever-waiting carriage, where she sinks exhausted on the cushioned seat. Oh, if I could picture to you the fiendish look that comes into his eyes as he sees his helpless victim before him. Now is his golden opportunity. He must not miss it, and he does not, and that beautiful girl who entered the dancing school as pure and innocent as an angel three months ago returns to her home that night robbed of that most precious jewel of womanhood--virtue!

http://www.slate.com/id/2225748/ - planned neighborhoods done right, a century ago...

history of humanity (with plenty of sex and death)


Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything.
Henri Poincare

http://scifiwire.com/2009/08/2012-15-doomsday-propheci.php - doomsday prophecies! favorite line: "How It Turned Out: World still here."
Nothing like August 31 to remind you you're living on a bit of a college street in a college town.

2009 August❮❮prevnext❯❯