2009 October❮❮prevnext❯❯

single ladies redux


--Really starting to dig this whole genre of "playful covers of recent hiphop/pop".
http://io9.com/5371327/the-grand-unified-theory-of-supermans-powers - one theory to explain all of Superman's myriad abilities.
http://wikidumper.blogspot.com/ - mixed feelings about seeing all the nominated-for-deletion wiki articles. Some of that stuff seems brilliant.
http://www.thedailynice.com/ - in theory I like the idea of "one nice image a day" (purposefully ephemeral, in that it's not easy to save or review the old ones.) In practice, eh.
TOPTIP: add "pwn" after the http:// for any youtube URL (for example, http://www.pwnyoutube.com/watch?v=oIr8-f2OWhs for today's) and you get to a website that still lets you download the .flv -- 'cause the link for the MP3 for today's video didn't work.
http://lifehacker.com/5368294/top-10-ways-to-get-more-from-a-cameraphone - I like to take snapshots of screens, like my travel itinerary. The food/diet idea is interesting.
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/10/01/tilt-shift-video-a-d.html - disney tiltshift. Still amazed at what an illusion mere focus can make!



Barack Obama's amazingly consistent smile from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

I was noticing he has kind of a crooked mouth. If I was an idiot birther or something, I'd probably try to get cheap points by saying "see? He's ALWAYS talking out of the side of his mouth".
http://www.offworld.com/2009/09/one-more-go-why-halo-makes-me.html - the humanist heaven of Halo (the game)
For only $23,000, you can buy [Montblanc's] Mahatma Gandhi pen. "18-carat solid gold, rhodium-plated nib, engraved with Gandhi's image, and 'a saffron-coloured mandarin garnet' on the clip."

Why do I know who Tom Green is? I mean I think I knew him before "Freddy Got Fingered" but can't remember anything he did...
http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/herrick/vine.htm - wow, 17th century tentacle rape poetry?
Yo mama so fat I feel terrible even bringing it up.

I was kind of hoping for Chicago or Tokyo for the Olympics. (At least the latter got some much needed handicapped-access to its subways.)
http://www.acontinuouslean.com/2009/10/01/the-original-ibm-thinkpad/ - never put together IBM's old "THINK" campaign w/ "ThinkPad" name...

first day of my life


--Oddly enough I encountered this song on a UK bank, Halifax - can't find the spot but it was cute, all the people building a human bridge this one scruffy young guy could climb to go up and propose to his gal on the 2nd or 3rd floor of an office building.

Sweet, sweet song.
Why am I decisive ordering food, and nowhere else in life? Because I'm the only one who suffers from a bad choice? Or just easy to please?
In an hour I start 24 Hour Comics Day w/ Kate + Miller... exciting! Didn't sleep during last year's event, wonder if I will this year.

24 hour comics day: six toed one eyed battery operated laser sloths

Here's what I've posted at kisrael.com/features/sloths/... it was great fun working with Miller and Kate again. The 100 panel guideline for webcomics is seeming a bit excessive; frankly I didn't have quite that much story, so I added a bestiary thing at the end. Miller got a full stoy drawn and captioned, a first for him, and Kate got a lot of great panels I'll be linking to here. Mille blogged it a bit on his livejournal but it seems to fade out in the early hours.

My previous experience, plus my quick sketch doodle style, let me get done in about 18 hours even after following a false start for the first half hour and then losing another 30-40 minutes of captioning due to laptop failure, so I got a bit of sleep in.

Six Toed One Eyed Battery Operated Laser Sloths is my work for 24 Hour Comics Day 2009.

It is a story I originally came up with in the seventh grade, redone and deconstructed.

You can see the original here - I'd recommend reading it first, it's short, and kind of gives a context to this.

by Kirk Israel

Call me JinJin.

I am a Six Toed One Eyed Battery Operated Laser Sloth.

You could not easily pronounce the name of my home, but it translates as "The Place Where It All Is"

I have six toes, 3 per foot.

And of course, my one eye.

The eye is the source of our laser. We take pride in the strength and accuracy of our lasers.

When I was young, I could drop a Dokdok Tree nut from its Dokdok from a distance of 80 meters!

Batteries are the source of our energy and much of our culture.

We harvest them from our Alkaline Forests.

The battery replacement ritual is very important to us! You can't let just anyone replace your batteries! (We have a name for sloths like that!)

I wish to tell you a story from my past. I was very young, I had just received my first tie from the Tie Store.

(and what a day THAT had been - the ties of that age, so colorful, so much life!)

It was the time our Electronic Parchisi Tournament -

Sloths from across the land gather and through this system our leader is determined.

But as we parchised, a menace was creeping across the land.

They were the Zappers - creatures of electricity wrapped in a skin of malice - moving onto our precious Alkaline Forest like a hoard of locusts.

Long after, we could see that they had stripped the Alkaline trees of their homeland - all that was left was scrubbrush and waste branches.

Old ParNok had just proven his worth to be our leader when word of the Zapper invasion came

We tried to mount a defense. We used our lasers - at first warning shots, and then we used our beams directly.

But it was no use. Laser against Electricity - nothing. Electricity against sloth flesh, however...

...we lost many fine sloths that day.

The Zappers occupied our precious Alkaline Forest, leaving huge swaths of wasteland behind. I weep a single tear when I recall the beauty of that old growth.

Those were dark days. Many sloths went dark for want of batteries.

ParNok called a general meeting. Although I was all but a youngling, still sporting my first tie, I was allowed to speak. I had an idea.

"Lets get Puddo!"

I had met Puddo months before through a strange set of circumstances I will not relate here. But we had traveled together to the land of the Uniccordions, and I saw the respectful distance the Zappers kept from him.

The relationship between Puddo and the Sloths was even then the stuff of legend; something about the lending of a cup of milk during a hard time.

The messenger Mamabird was sent to Puddo's hi-rise condo...

(And that condo was something, hundreds of meters above the ground. He took me up there after our journey, I could see from What's-His-Name Island to Big Lake in the West!)

Puddo was almost arrogant in his confidence. The other sloths took heart in his stance, but even then I saw something else.

Anger? Hunger? Hubris? to this day I'm not certain.

We formed a small party and journeyed to the Alkaline Forrest.

Those first Zappers didn't stand a chance.

I feel honored to have been there to see the great warrior Puddo in his prime!

The Zapper's bolts ricocheted off his soft flesh, leaving just the tiniest scorch marks and the smell of burnt sugar

We hid behind a Flob Rock and hoped it didn't choose that moment to Flob.

The enemy had been beaten. Full of cheer, we went back to the gathering area to report of the glorious victory.

We started preparing small groups of foresters to inspect the forests, and to resume the harvest.

We were ready to resume life, but Puddo warned ParNok against complacency.

He encouraged us to form a war party and follow him. Because of the special relationship I had with Puddo, I was selected to carry the quart bottles of milk that was part of our tribute to the mighty Puddo, as well as some of his sustenance.

"Puddo", I asked, "How will we find them?"

Puddo confided in me that he had had a special device, a relic that could catch voices from the air, that was also excellent at locating Zappers.

For days we followed Puddo as he bounced along. I think I had my batteries changed twice, and could barely keep up.

Finally we spotted the Zappers in the distance.

There were hundreds of them! They had set up some kind of camp in the shadow of a big rock.

I hadn't realized Zappers could breed, but there were small Zappers running around, looking like snogworms after a heavy rain.

Puddo bounced forward. And just stood there.

You could hear a DokDok Tree nut fall.

Dozens and dozens of the Zappers gathered around him.

My fellow sloths and I retreated to the branches of a nearby tree. (We don't look like it, but Six Toed One Eyed Battery Operated Laser Sloths are terrific climbers.)

Some kind of signal was given. Energy started jumping between the Zapper Warriors

Sparks arced every which way, connecting them in a crazy lacework of electricity.

Puddo just stood, and grinned.

Then - the biggest ZAP I've seen and a second later, the loudest CRACK I have ever heard!

I turned my head, my eye blinded by the afterimage.

The air was bitter with ozone.

Puddo was gone.

I nearly cried out, but was sushed by one of my companions.

The Zappers were celebrating.

I couldn't understand their foul tongue, but their tone was clear. I shivered, thinking of what they might try now that they had vanquished our champion.

And then... and then...they looked up.

I could hardly believe it - it was Puddo.

Flocks of disturbed Mamabirds circled him.

But he was.... bigger than before? It was hard to tell, he was so far away

...But somehow his bulk continued to grow, and spread

He landed across the entire encampment

And that was that. The mighty Puddo took a few hours to shrink and regain his shape, made good use of the milk I had carried for all the miles.

For a month after, we roamed across "The Place Where It All Is"

Puddo used his Zappo-Detectomaticmeter and found the last groups of Zappers.

They weren't happy to see him, I'll tell you that at no cost!

At long last it was time to go back.

On our arrival, the Six Toed One Eyed Battery Operated Laser Sloths threw another Electronic Parcheesi Tournament.

(It was mostly our way of celebration, but I think too sloths were happy to see ParNok give up the tie of leadership.)

Puddo bounced back to his condo.

I accompanied him one last time.

He hummed his war song all the way home.


Paint Pond

Tuba Ceral Killer


Hop Rock

Flob Rock

Bop Fish

The Tie Store

Popper Piranha

Zapper Youngling


Water Thingo

The Big Tree

DokDok Tree

Alkaline Tree

Mama Mamabird and baby mamabirds



(1 comment)

That is one amazing sight. Interesting to hear how they had to teach the dog the value of moving.
Oh, cool, Miller assembled the Twitter he, Kate, and I made during 24 Hour Comics Day: http://cobie.livejournal.com/526111.html. Kate always twitters in haiku form.
I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.

Kate's work: http://www.masukomi.org/24hcd2009/ - she used a neat little iPhone app that let her use words as lines in her sketches.
http://www.cracked.com/article/147_7-secrets-only-two-living-people-know-for-some-reason/ - oddly compelling piece on old secrets...
http://www.itp30show.org/permalink/aglpdHAzMHNob3dyDgsSCEJsb2dQb3N0GGAM - getting a computer script to use google to play Apples to Apples

hey ladies


Dating Montage, via FoundFootageFestival and smithy00101
http://www.slate.com/id/2231320/ compassion + ownership are likely hardwired in, not bestowed by "civilization"- but baboons are real jerks!
http://conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project -WOW- Besides being brazen, it so doesn't jive w/ a "biblical inerrancy" core that has been a bedrock assumption - Conservatives finding their presumptions more important than the history of the Word of God... YIKES.
http://blog.okcupid.com/ - holy cats, the analysis from okcupid is amazing in a gazing at other people's navels kind of way
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1JpJ53FbXg HS Football- the joy of playing to the whistle, 1:30-2:00

hey mister snowman

Before my trip to Portugal Amber and I played a round of Mr. Snowman at the Summer Shack near Alewife. While not as epic as the round with Miller, Kate and Tammy (I think crayons make it a bit tougher, plus it might be better as a four player game) Amber (on the offense) did quite well...

Clockwise from top we have her attacking polar bear being distracted by my delicous baby seal, her lead off sword being deflected by a cunning ninja, a water gun with the attached tank of water - that's being drained by a fat man out for tea. However, that fat man had a dodgy heart and thus the Mr. Snowman was again imperiled... until the paramedics from the 70s show "Emergency!" showed up to resuscitate him ("CLEAR!"). A more traditional gun had its bullets diverted via a powerful electromagnet. Then, we have a plow truck being stopped by a stake in the ground and chain. I'm not sure what the gentleman is doing to lift up the stake, but he (and his curious- err, tripod base-) is being...umm, licked by another guy as yet another distraction. Finally, we end with what was probably chronologically the first, the melting sun being blocked by clouds.

The weird thing is, they've managed to, in effect, put this game into videogame form. There's this AMAZING game for the Nintendo DS called Scribblenauts, with a vocabulary of over 20,000 nouns. Type in any of those nouns, and it magically appears, and can then be used to help solve various puzzles like escaping from zombies, knocking over bottles, or keeping food from ants without killing them (lest you upset the hippy).

Never thought there would be handheld technology to do that in a game!

Going back to more primitive toys, I rather liked Amber's little house made out of an obscure, flinty building toy called "keystones"...

One of the nice things about 24 Hour Comics Day is I often hear a bit of new (to me) music. Bummed this song isn't embeddable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw9wE1nutc4
I think Pooh and Gopher are the only straight ones in The Hundred Acre Wood.

kitty slide treadmill

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http://ce.sysu.edu.cn/hope/Education/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=4883 - 50 Great Examples of Data Visualization
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/10/07/jugaad-indias-duct-t.html - Indian jury-rigging ingenuity. Unfortunately too many of their programmers code the same way...
http://www.slate.com/id/2231535/ - spiritual cat poem
Wish I could show my 15-year-old self some of the toys I have now. What's cooler, an iPhone or the 'Net in general? And today's videogames - such graphics... I'd be shocked.

do the mario


--from Cracked.com -- Some stuff I've shown here before, but nice over view of the Italian Plumber of Infamy.

http://kisrael.com/2002/11/14/ - 7 years ago I was singing the praise of the Pilot Precise, but its retractable is even better - no leak issues-

crabulous? more like FABULOUS!

Decluttering Rule #538: if in the course of decluttering, you find a hat or helmet, you must wear that hat or helmet for at least a while.

let me google that for you


Google Image Music Video "Lisztomania" from fleshforks on Vimeo.

I hadn't heard much of this technique before (google image search each word pf they lyrics, glue the results together). Also, a good song (Amber got kind of obsessed with it and its album for a week.)

um, go celtics?

now THIS is bullet time


--via kate

would you believe, there's not a man on the moon

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--Primitive and Beautiful model of the lunar lander, from Life Magazine.

But, damn it, I can't come to terms with the fact that the last person on the moon was there before I was born.
I like how everyone is always calling their pets the best pets and i constantly yell at my cats THAT THEY ARE THE WORST CATS EVER

But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday rumors and TV specials


monkey strokes dove


from b3ta - I find it totally hypnotic

http://www.thebigmoney.com/slideshow/new-buck-starts-here - ideas for a US currency dacelift. Probably bad ideas, but fun to think about.

playlist: season_2009 2 summer

I like music to come into my life my happenstance. I tend to dislike importing other people's musical collections all at once, I think you should take more time and get to know new music.

I prefer interesting singles to full albums.

I've started making smart playlists in iTunes of recently added music, starting a new one every season. And I thought I'd jot down what was in the music here, in case anyone wants me to send them an mp3 or two, and as notes to my future self if I ever wonder "how did I get into THAT"?...
Well, that's it. I wasn't expecting to be able to find Youtube videos for all of that! (Well, I didn't try for the TV themes -- either you know them or you don't want to.) Some of the links will probably be taken down, but for now it's a fun way to share.

For the record, I make an honest effort to pay for a (DRM-free) MP3 version of every song, but after that I have little compunction about ripping the music straight out.

It's kind of reassuring that I'm still discovering new music at a fair clip. For a while after college, I felt kind of disconnected, since college is such a good way of hearing new stuff. Now thanks to the Internet (often, background music for unrelated Youtube clips) I hear new stuff, plus have a way to get to buy singles for songs I liked in the 90s but not enough to buy a whole album.

Any new music discoveries for you?
Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
Phyllis Diller

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/10/14/farewell-captain-lou.html - RIP Captain Lou Albano
http://www.wififreespot.com/mass.html - the free wifi spots around Boston
In Elizabethan slang, "something" and "nothing" were sometimes used to refer, respectively, to male and female genitalia. The title of Much Ado About Nothing is thus not simply a reference to the illusory conflict at the heart of the plot, but also a nifty dirty pun.

where the wild things were


Daphaknee points out that Vice magazine has a totally excellent PDF with lots of artists reinterpreting "Where the Wild Things Are" including this one by her Japanese Comic favorite Kago Shintaro (warning, strange and pervy- but evocative and brilliant - stuff if you dig into that link there.)
The Dawkins vs Armstrong dueling essays from WSJ that my UU Science and Spirituality discussed last night. Dawkins is a fundamentalist literalist who just happens to have truth on his side. Doesn't mean he's 100% right though - I really think fundamentalism of all stripes is the core problem, when faith becomes more important than life. (But at least Dawkins is a fundie about the process - the scientific process - and not just the current result of that, the scientific consensus, such as it is.)
http://alienbill.com/2600/playerpalnext.html - way too often I find myself cribbing CSS/Javascript from that page I made back in the day.


JZ sent me a link to this:

Not bad! Better music than this one I remember from back in the day, but I still prefer the visuals of the classic: "Music with Windows Sounds", how it looks like it's using the old SoundReorder program...

Trees are the Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.
Rabindranath Tagore


To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
drumdots - source - built with processing

My Klik-of-the-Month-Klub #28 entry. Didn't live up to my aspirations, which started out as "SimTunes Lite", narrowed themselves to "BluesBugs", further diminished to "DrumBugs" and ended up with these stupid noisy dots.

Still I like the drum noises.
NFL breaks off a terrifically exciting ending to Vikings/Ravens for an ad and presumably start of Pats/Titans for "contractual obligations"-screw that noise.
Crossing fingers, today might be another instance of 2 recent Boston sports traditions: A. feasting on bad teams and B. loving home field

iphones girlfriends and god

Kjersten sent this along:
10/GUI - 10 Finger Multitouch User Interface - Kind of intriguing, a nice split-the-difference between Minority Report and Real World kind of stuff. (Though I wonder how many people who deal just fine with a mouse and keyboard might have problems with this, either because of missing digits or arthritis and the like.)

I'll use this to ramble a bit about something which will sound insanely stupid but: I really love my iPhone. To the extent that sometimes it's a motivational tool; I urge myself to be worthy of having such a nifty device.

And it's not just its beautiful and elegant design that I want to be "worthy" of- though that plays a part of it. This little, well-night featureless (and Star Trek TNG "PADD"-like device) also acts as a focus for nearly the whole of the web. And all the good parts of the music collection I've amassed over the past 20 or so years. And the ability to keep ToDos and a datebook and random notes with me, though Palm had that pretty well covered since 1996. So it's all those things to live up to, that I should hunker and focus down and be a worthy recipient of so many of humanity's creative fruits.

Relationships have a similar effect on me. I make my bed, try (marginally succesfully) to keep my apartment and car neater, try to make more interesting and pretty things all 'cause I'm smitten with Amber.

I suppose Religion, getting right with God, can have a similar effect for some, though that can be so abstract, and Jesus et al provide such a high target to shoot for...

(Sigh. I think I've managed to roughly equate, or draw big parallels among, the iPhone, my girlfriend, and God. This is likely to displease at least someone...)

If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.
Vince Lombardi

http://wallofpaul.com/swiss-krissly-yours - I'm kind of weirdly fascinated with Louis Armstrong's love of laxative.
Wow - just got a backup for my Fujitsu P1510D, old but durable netbook-sized tablet, for $260 buy-it-now from Techreplay@ebay. Good deal!

"that's disgusting, and..." "...and captivating." "...yeah"


I apologize for the recent New England snow- I had raised the odds by tempting Murphy and His Law by not putting shovel in car- fixed!
Not a very deep sports thinker, but I wonder if its the Ass't Coaching that was the old boon, now bust for Patriots? We keep losing 'em...
http://www.slate.com/id/2232914/ - Slate on the magic behind the iPhone app "Shazam"-for me it's one of those "wow they can DO that?" things
http://www.visibone.com/colorlab/big.html - decent little web colors thing. Its name for Brown seems to be "Obscure Dull Orange"

what is it to be in love

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What is it to be in love? Well, I'm in love, and it means you feel you have sailed into port. At the end of the road, after each day of the petty struggle for power and glory, I get to be with this marvelous human being whose company is continually interesting, whom I admire, who can speak the truth to me, who I am loyal to and fond of to an excessive degree, whom I crave being naked with, and who reciprocates these feelings. There is deep bass drumming and there is also a high degree of civility, I believe. And it does exist. And it's worth your time and trouble to find a person you can be in love with. Surely there are many men you could be in love with, maybe as many as 214, and all you need to do is come across one of them when the stars are shining and the light is right for your complexion. He'll look at you and fasten himself to you for the rest of the evening and it'll be all you can do to shuck him and after a while you'll give up on it and marry him.
Garrison Keillor writing as Mr.Blue

iTunes UI Fail: Apps, Ringtones, Movies, TV Shows, Podcast, iTunesU, Photos have their own synch tabs. Audibooks are hidden under Music Playlists. (And I colda sworn the Audiobooks icon wasn't there at first even)
Car got broken into, GPS stolen. Should I be insanely grateful or scornful of the assholes who missed the 2 laptops I stupidly had in there?

Heh, so much for listening to my audiobook, they grabbed the iPod radio adapter.
I wonder if leaving my car unlocked would have spared the window...

the loss of zelda


--from Cracked.com's Photoshop contest The Collateral Damage Video Games Never Show. I LOL'd.

hi guys i heard there's this new version of windows


New version of Windows, baby!

PS That may be the worst recipe storage idea I've heard. Plus I'm not sure there's actually that "turn your voice into a robot" thing.
"Breathe Deep and Let Go of Things"
I LIKE being stupid. You see things clearly. Being stupid is like squinting through the sunlight.
Ford Prefect, "And Another Thing" (H2G2 sequel by Eoin Colfer)
I'm digging audiobooks, and maybe will add Podcasts into the mix. I look forward to driving commutes, second best thing to actually having time to read. Heh, yet another reason for me to adore the iPhone and modern technology in general.
I'm telling myself I have mad geek cred after reading today's xkcd and thinking "well, the introduction of boba fett cartoon was kinda cool"
http://www.intel.com/consumer/learn/netbook.htm - heh, Intel doesn't sound like they like netbooks all that much...

dirty jokes: the newlywed trilogy

Yesterday tooling around with Amber and EB we got to thinking about old dirty jokes we liked as kids... Here are the two I remember telling most often in middle school and high school- MOMFILTER engaged, highlight to read:
So a newly married couple can't afford a hotel and they're staying at the groom's parents' house. The bride doesn't want to because she thinks his folks are snoops, but he convinces her to anyway. That night, though, the new bride says "I can't stand this. I know your parents are listening in. I don't care what it costs, lets go to a hotel." The guy reluctantly agrees, and they go to close up their overstuffed suitcase - but it won't shut. "Ok, let me try getting on top" she says, but the bag won't shut. "This isn't working," she says, frustrated, "you get on top." Still, no luck. "Jeez, ok, lets both get on top." Voice from behind the door: "now this I got to see!"
Ok, another newlywed couple. The guy is older and more experienced, and the young bride is really nervous. Plus they're having to honeymoon at her parent's house. "It's fine, dear - I'll wait downstairs. If you have any questions or problems, just come downstairs and ask me". So the girl says ok. That night, after the long wedding, they're in the bedroom, and the guy takes off his shirt. The girl runs downstairs - "Mama mama, he's got hair all over the top of his body!" "That's ok dear, Men are like that. Go back upstairs." So she does. Then the guy takes off his pants. Gal runs downstairs "Mama mama he's got hair all over the bottom of his body!" "That's totally normal dear, men are like that, go back upstairs." Now this guy, he also had a prosthetic leg, and he starts to take it off. She runs downstairs "Mama mama, he's got a foot and a half!" "You stay down here, I'M going upstairs!"
Ok, newlyweds again, but they're staying at a hotel. This time it's the guy who's nervous and he goes to his friend, "Look what if I don't know what to do?". "No problem pal... I'll wait outside the room -- any question you got, just yell and I'll yell back." So ok, but the guy's still really nervous, and he spends like hours in the bathroom fretting and stuff. But the woman REALLY has to go to the bathroom, keeps knocking, but he won't come out. So she finds the shoebox her wedding shoes came in and goes in that. Finally he comes out, and now she goes in to freshen up before anything happens. So he's pacing around the room, and finds the box, and opens it, and yells "There's shit in the box!" And his friend yells back "Turn her over!"

I can't believe how dorky they were, and in retrospect, how much they reflect the insecurities and wonder I had about the unknown world of sex at that age...

So before that age, my family had another, more innocent joke. It was from a jokebook I had, and for some reason my family decided to put it to a little tune:

Of course, the all time classic still remains the one the dad taught me a bit after that one, so either of us could set it up and have the other answer: "Did you hear the one about the constipated mathematician?" "Yeah, he worked it out with a pencil!"



it's been a fast four years

Amber and I got to talking last night. At one point she put one of the differences between us starkly; her gaze is more to towards the future, I tend to dwell more on the past. I think this makes us a nice complementary set, but it also puts up some challenges in terms of expectations we have for each other.

Kirk as Buddha. Fun fact: one of my parent's earliest nicknames was "Buddha", and their friends thought they were odd enough that maybe that was my real name!
Like I've said before, I'm either the most or least enlightened person I know. I find my thinking naturally falls in tune with a lot of Buddhist thought-- be in the moment and enjoying it, restrain your desires so that you don't end up miserable about what you don't have rather than appreciative of what you do-- but it comes from kind of a bad place, a desperate psychological need to not be responsible for making bad decisions that mess things up.

We got to talking about some people I know, both women, both close to JZ, who both independently felt the need to pick themselves out of the life they had here around Boston and move elsewhere in the country -- neither had clear job prospects or housing arrangement plans. If nothing else, that's some bravery! The desire to do that is really foreign to me, but again, that makes sense given my reluctance to make big, risk-filled decisions in the first place.

I don't know if that feeling is strengthened or weakened by my moving every couple years as a kid. But it also seemed a bit of an extreme, youthful impulse to Amber, even though she made a big move not too long ago, from Indiana back to nearer her roots in New England. And she thinks I might have an easier time of making a new social life, since I'm a bit more extroverted (or at least more of an attention-seeking introvert) than she is. But even I'm very wary of how friendships don't come as easily and maybe as deeply as they did back in the day, and that is one of several factors that keeps me rooted in Boston. (Actually when I think of some of the friendships I have developed, some of them come from the other person kind of pushing, sometimes suggesting get-togethers that seemed a little forced -- but almost all of these ended up being among the deepest and most important friendship I've had.)

Still, there was a wistful note Amber sounded that broke my heart when she spoke of her time since the move and said "it's been a fast four years". And in her voice I thought I could hear things: a bit of pain over the breakup with the person she moved back with, a bit of loneliness over the difficulty in making a deep set of friends, a bit of uncertainty about the best path for the best way to shape her apartment and career and everything else, but most of all a bit of melancholy about the fleeting nature of time and memory. (I might be projecting, or at least guessing, a bit here.)

And it broke my heart that I don't have a fix for that for her. I have ways around that for myself: my daily journaling (both public and private), my retrospective nature that counts passed days as a credit, not just a debit - but I recognize much of that just isn't in her nature, and she's going to have to find her own path to reconciliation with some of the tough existential truths of life.

I guess all of that is some of the pain of loving people, of not being able to make everything all-better, of not being capable of shielding them from a harsh and unfair universe. (Especially for guys, who tend to only value pragmatic, cause-effect fixes over more touchy-feely talking and listening.) And sometimes you need to just give them room to find their own path... I'm reminded of this old quote from Dymphna Willson's "A Different Drummer"
That's the whole point; at least I think that's what Bethrah was saying although it's difficult to accept. I mean it seems horrible that the most you can do for people you love is to leave them alone.
But of course it's not just leaving them alone that we need to do -- like Harvey Pekar said "This is a tough world, folks. We all need help t' get by so help yer friends an' make sure they help you or know th' reason why."


(Probably that's some of the solace people find in religion. Humble yourself before God, and you might feel like you have someone not just watching out for you, but for your loved ones as well, and also then hopes for the eternal can provide a sugar coating for even when terrible, terrible things happen to your good people.)

But I dunno. I think the undertone of sadness under "it's been a fast four years" is going to stick with me for a long while.

I've read, and am willing to believe, that brains can become physically addicted to worrying. And I'd like to quit, but how do you go cold turkey?

king kat


--King Kat by cmg. Dignity, who needs it, amirite cat owners?
So, Penny Arcade is mostly about the comic, and the blog, right? Like that's their day job. Is it so hard to keep the 2 in synch?
While I've watched next to no Dr. Who, there's something about the usefulness of a Sonic Screwdriver that makes me a bit dizzy.
BoingBoing's new navigation is kind of broken. I'd really like a richer view of stuff that's old, but not old enough for "Earlier Posts"


On Sunday Sarah repeated her fine tradition of an afternoon of social pumpkin carving. (Photos from last year here)

http://www.slate.com/id/2232669/ - the pride and shame of coupon jujitsu
Boingboing PROTIP: construct date URLs ala http://boingboing.net/2009/10/26/ to catch up on articles with full previews...
Remove the rivets, the battle-cruisers disintegrate, and the water is calm once more.
Henri Michaux

Ever get that feeling like you've purposefully put something stressful out of your mind? But you force yourself to remember what it was-- like just in case it was important, and then it ends up being, yeah, something dumb and you shouldn't worry about it anyway. This is what happens when you have an associations-based memory and trace things back by the emotions they caused.
Don't make me come over there; because, you know, I will. Maybe not right this second, but eventually. Sometime really quite soon. Much sooner than you think though not exactly right now. You know, I've got things to do and stuff. But... I will
Dwayne Plain via cmg

I love how DBAs reflexively use powers-of-2 to size their table columns. Usually it doesn't matter - it's just voodoo / cargo cult thinking-

qaStaH nuq?


Dig the art style, if the music seems a bit incongruous -- more info

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken

taking pro shots with an iPhone 3GS - I really dig this kind of aesthetic/stance, though I get better results and feel less like a hack with my tiny Canon.
More Programmers' Voodoo / use of "magic numbers": how 31 is established as THE go to value for overriding Java's hashCode()
New Introspection Flash: I can be frustrating with my lack of preference; if most likely options both seem pleasant to me, I'm reluctant to have an opinion, lest it prove the inferior path somehow... so when I don't have a preference, I really don't have a preference-- I'm not just being polite or playing the martyr. This can sometimes be frustrating for people close to me, at least until they get used to it and learn to leverage it. But also I think it makes me crap at thinking up fictional plots! Previously I attributed this block to a sense of "inevitability" I see in other people's fiction, but now I see it's likely deeply routed in my own reluctance to step up and have opinions I don't really need.
Just realized both gmail and outlook have handy "remove all formatting" buttons- Hallelujah! It's so easy to make these multifont ransom notes--
Might go as a "Feynman Diagram" for Halloween, THUS PROVING MY UNTOUCHABLE GEEK STREET CRED. ("Untouchable" in the India sense of the word)

convo of the moment

(1 comment)
Jim Graves pinged me on IM, we hadn't talked in a long while...
jim: howdy.
kirk: YO
jim: alright, chat at you next year :p
kirk: see ya then!

43 minutes elapse - this why I like Jim, making room to let comedy happen- the delay could've been a day and I would have been giggling the entire time.
jim: did Microsoft release some malicious code that slows down XP installs? Mine has been dogging for about 2months
kirk: I just got a metric tonload of updates
past few days though not past few months
So how's life up there at the Lowell conecctor
he asks
from his workplace in Andover
jim: lol. it's been rainy and leafy
kirk: any halloween plans?
jim: we're going to a roller derby costume party. i think.
what are you doing?
kirk: my ex housemate Miller's shindig
jim: will there be a disco ball?
kirk: I might go as a Feynman Diagram.
untouchable in the India sense of the word.
jim: Not too shabby.
I have gone the other direction in my costume choice.
ultra lazy... i'll be putting on glitter body cream and going as a twilight vampire.
kirk: man, that'll probably be a chick magnet
jim: the best part is, i can wear whatever I want.
as long as i have the body glitter on under it
so are you going to decay into a few pions?
kirk: IF I'M LUCKY!!!!
jim: i know very little quantum mechanics
extremely little
kirk: i see what you did there.

--Jim and me yesterday. Man, I have a lot less funny IM banter in my life than I used to. I blame facebook.

Also this was on gtalk, but I still feel compelled to make AIM-like red and blue marks of who is talking.

I just had the dumbest time with some lost car keys. They were gone, gone, gone, the car searched top to bottom, until they weren't.
There is no such thing as an ending. Or a begining, for that matter. Everything is middle.
Eoin Colfer, "And Another Thing"
Just finished the audiobook for this heretical non-Douglas Adams sequel to Hitchhiker's Guide and you know-- it was pretty good, if a bit long.
http://www.doublex.com/section/life/there-are-no-seven-stages-grief - on the lie of 7 stages of grief, and the resilience most people have - "What looks like strength, in Bonanno's book, is almost always strength."
http://www.slate.com/id/2233834/ - Slate on how a parked Porsche is more eco-friendly than a in-use Prius. No crap, you elitist twerp.


click to play

- source - built with processing

Happy Halloween! Click to carve yourself a virtual Jack O'Latern.

This was made for Glorious Trainwrecks' HALLOWEEKEND: A KLIKKIN' BONES SPOOKTACLE... but now I need to get back to my secret Christmas surprise for the site...
I like keeping my beloved tattered decade-old hooded sweatshirt over at Ambers for sometimes-use. It deserves a better nickname than "Sweaty".

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