2009 December❮❮prevnext❯❯

javadvent calendar day 1


So this year I've decided to turn this site into a big Java Advent Calendar for the run up to Christmas! Every day you'll get a small Java toy or game, a little interactive amuse-bouch.

I've also made a bookmarkable Javadvent Calendar page if you prefer. My site will continue it's usual twitter-ish collection of quotes and links and random observations though...

This project is kind of inspired by the Advent Calendars I had growing up, the one Lego puts out (I'm doing one this year) and the Perl Advent Calendar project. Also by this Game-A-Day project and the little toys you got with Warioware Twisted.

(How do you make homophobia even more wrong-headed and harmful? By trying to use homophobia to suppress action against climate change. Colson stands by his "principles" come Hell or high water because, apparently, Hell and high water are his principles.)

javadvent calendar day 2


http://www.slate.com/id/2236563/ - philosophic rambling of the day. I think the "something rather than nothing" quandary is worthy, but I don't think the questions on consciousness are well-formed.
Your name must be Citation, 'cause baby, you're needed.

javadvent calendar day 3

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What things cost in Ancient Rome....
diesel sweeties explores the infinite...

javadvent calendar day 4


Regarding farting in space, I'm not sure if the smell or the spinning around would be more nauseating.

Just discovered http://openprocessing.org where people can share their java sketches - here's a great one: http://openprocessing.org/visuals/?visualID=1811
Almost as interesting as all this social etymology is how depressed Dick looks in panel two. "Am I ready for long-hair music?" he asks himself, as if this was the last stage in a man's life before death. "Normally the only music I listen to is made up of perps begging for mercy as their bones are shattered. Has it really come to this?"

C# Compiler sucks ass through a straw, especially in terms of locating errors. My opinion of Visual Studio is through the basement.
Sometimes I forget how my name is soaked in religion: Kirk the Scottish church, Logan the evangelist, and, well, Israel.

javadvent calendar day 5


Mayhaps I FAIL fontography forever and ever, but I don't see what's so god-awful about Papyrus. Comic-Sans, of course, but Papyrus?
In Concord NH- "Pitchfork Records" sells vinyl, CDs, even audiotapes. Man. Browsing CDs feels very removed from current life, anchronistic. Maybe it was the clanky plastic security cases (like the old "long boxes") that let them fit LP bins.
Totally just made Amber's day by telling her about how if she *double* twists her key in the car door it unlocks the passenger side too.

javadvent calendar day 6


http://sketchysantas.com/ - just in time for the holidays!

javadvent calendar day 7

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Since covered phones can't be admired by anyone but their owners, there must be some unspoken pleasure in the idea that you--and you alone--can lift that burqa of molded silicone.
Slate on smartphone covers. I always thought they seemed silly myself, not to mentioning spoiling to cool pebble-like physicality of an iPhone.

While it's not setting the world on fire, it's gratifying to Google on "javadvent" and see where it has gotten. (There were only 2-3 hits for the word prior, mostly with this "jav/Advent.htm" variant.)
I really, really hate my brain. Luckily, I'm slowly killing it with alcohol, so in the end, I'll win. Eventually. I suppose.

javadvent calendar day 8


Working at Ambers, I get hopeful she's returned when I hear the garage door opener, then I remember- no garage, must be the furnace. Sigh! (The weird thing is I don't think I've lived in a place with a garage since high school.)
http://www.zefrank.com/zesblog/archives/2009/12/brief_history_o.html - good simplification of the history of us in Afghanistan.
Just voted in the MA senator special primary. Guess it's good there's not been many "(acting) Senator Kirk" headlines, giggles for me aside.

javadvent calendar day 9


Ugh- semi-lucid zombie dreams, the slow shamblers, two nights in a row- in Cleveland and on campus. I don't even like the movies that much.
http://openprocessing.org/visuals/?visualID=4675 - virtual Rorschach (from Watchmen) generator - man, why can't I think of stuff like this?

javadvent calendar day 10


In theory, Google Labs gives a (clunky, usable) RSS-driven "random signature" feature for Gmail-in practice, it's broken, and quietly fails. Super irritating, that.
How Underdogs Can Win - Girl's basketball, batch processing, and I think a lesson for a Goliath like the USA vs the world's Davids. (Though there are some interesting "quality of life" issues on Goliath's side.)

javadvent calendar day 11 - happy hanukkah!


Man, my GPS that was stolen was rather easy to replace with a newer model, but the cheap MP3-to-FM-adapter I got, not so much. Can't find it at Walgreens, and most other models don't have the nifty bass boost feature... FWIW the adapters that use the headphone jack A. work with every MP3 player and B. let you crank the volume and get a stronger signal to the radio. It's frustrating to have a car that can play MP3s if they're burnt to disc, but then the cheaped out on the fifty sense to have a stupid plug in the thing. Hell, sometimes it would seem better to have a cassette deck, the adapter would be easy then.
I wish when I was born my first word would've been 'quote' so that right before I died I could say 'end quote'
Steven Wright.
Hmm, maybe I should try to get EBB2's first word to be "quote" - "antidisestablishmentarianism" might be a little too ambitious anyway.
The point isn't to 'understand' music. It's to empathize with it.
Roger Ebert

Sigh, yet another work account set up for "kisreal" not "kisrael". An easy enough mistake, but still... semi-seriously (well, very semi-) changing my name to "Kirk Is".

javadvent calendar day 12


loveblender is here!

Like whose alley ISN'T it up?

javadvent calendar day 13


javadvent calendar day 14


Dance like it hurts, Love like you need money, Work when people are watching.
Scott Adams, The Way of the Weasel

There can be no finer damnation of the Microsoft Engineering Mentality than the way they embed SQL Server DB backup metadata in the dumpfile - including the full path of the file, so if you want to put the db on a slightly differently configured machine, you are hosed. AARGH!
Oh, but the NAME of the database has to be entered by hand. Seriously, MS? What am I not seeing here?

javadvent calendar day 15


http://www.slate.com/id/2237640/ - guy decides to give up sports fandom. Somehow I guessed he was a Boston fan. Courage, brothers! Though I guess I'm coming to terms with my own fair-weatherness.
http://www.slate.com/id/2238342/entry/2238343/ - and YOW, pre-Victorian british sex clubs... never heard the term "posture moll" before.
I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Totally digging the DJ Santa outside of Macy's at Downtown Crossing- big beats against Christmas tunes...
Random Family Lore: my dad and grandma's joke that the hygiene product "FDS" stood for "Fur Der Schnapper"

javadvent calendar day 16


[On a masturbation] As I record this now, however, I wonder why I didn't think through more of the possibilities. Why did I assume that God, if He was watching, necessarily disapproved of how I was spilling my seed? Why did it not occur to me that if the sky did not fall in as it witnessed my zealous and unflagging self-abuse, this might be because the sky did not judge it a sin? Nor did I have the imagination to conceive of my dead ancestors equally smiling on my actions: go on, my son, enjoy it while you've got it, there won't be much more of that once you're a disembodied spirit, so have another one for us. Perhaps Grandpa would have taken his celestial pipe out of his mouth and whispered complicitly, "I once knew a very nice girl called Mabel."
Julian Barnes, "Nothing to be Frightened Of".
Man, it's been a long time since I've read such a well crafted book.
We should think more about it, and accustom ourselves to the thought of death. We can't allow the fear of death to creep up on us unexpectedly. We have to make the fear familiar, and one way is to write about it. I don't think writing and thinking about death is characteristic only of old men. I think that if people began thinking about death sooner, they'd make fewer foolish mistakes.

He even had a dry run at the deathbed utterance. "The last time I nearly died, my almost last words were, 'Make sure that Ben gets my copy of Bekker's Aristotle.'" He adds that his wife found this "insufficiently affectionate."
Julian Barnes on his brother's (philosopher Jonathan Barnes') near-death experiences.

Waiting for God to reveal himself, I believe that his prime minister, Chance, governs this sad world just as well.

http://www.javaworld.com/community/node/3156 - 10 Business Lessons I Learned from Playing Dungeons & Dragons:
God, with a sword, can make a man a king. But a king, with a sword, can only make a man a knight. A knight, with a sword, can make a man a corpse. So... I kind of forgot where I was going there.

http://is.gd/5qkkO - just donated to Beau's virtual Salvation Army Christmas kettle. Still a grueling time for charities - give if you can!

javadvent calendar day 17

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those who make videogames are engaged in the important task of teaching people and machines to play with one another.

javadvent calendar day 18


http://www.boingboing.net/2009/12/17/the-simpsons-turns-2.html - Simpsons is only 20? Coulda SWORN I saw "black bart" t-shirts in middle school - hey remember SIMPSONS VS COSBY for the heart and soul of Thursday evenings?
I'd love to hear a gender studies analysis of eminem's kind of atrocious song "FACK". I'm not sure but I think he goes from heteronormative guy to faux porn starlet to flaming meterosexual barely clinging to his straightness.
I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

'I pay taxes' is the best retort to 'If you don't vote you can't complain'
-- yeah but you should still vote....

javadvent calendar day 19


All energy is only borrowed and one day you have to give it back.
Heck of a flick! (and 3D IMAX was worth the 9:15AM start)

javadvent calendar day 20


Nightmare fighting w/ fat canibal w/ knife wearing pig mask. Also Amber says I told her about dream method of making unix commands harder.

javadvent calendar day 21


http://onastick.net/drew/sinistar/ - The 80s videogame Sinistar as seen by Descartes

javadvent calendar day 22

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I was doing some mid-holiday relaxing with Grand Theft Auto 4 "The Ballad of Gay Tony". Lovely moment on a rooftop, fighting guys on neighboring roof, sniped last guy just before he throws a grenade - ragdolls everywhere.

javadvent calendar day 23


Step 1. rally your troops to block health care (on behalf of the deep-pocketed insurance industry)
Step 2. ensuring narrowest vote margins
Step 3. accuse opponents of making "sweetheart deals" to get over the blockage
Step 4. profit?
http://www.slate.com/id/2239252/ - Swedes have a tradition of Christmas Eve Donald Duck cartoons, and they take it seriously. I like that.
What's worse: Having pubic hair in your kung pao chicken, or having kung pao chicken in your pubic hair?

I used to feel guilty that in high school, my mom would run the snowblower w/ me warm inside. Turns out she just digs powered equipment...
I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota.
Fran Lebowitz

javadvent calendar day 24


The Atlantic on what a decade has meant for gadgets. (They kind of mess up the specifics of Mario, FWIW)
The way audiophiles feel about vinyl and headphones, I feel about getting online with ethernet instead of wifi.

Enjoying Christmas prep with the family in Ocean Grove NJ, but missing Amber and kind of longing for a catch-up staycation...

javadvent calendar day 25


http://todayspictures.slate.com/20091224/ - photo 06 is best holiday photo of year. Merry Christmas!
Homeric gods, being corporeal, can and do laugh; we are told that Zeus, after his birth, laughed continuously for seven days.
Jim Holt, Stop Me If You've Heard This, A History and Philosophy of Jokes.

The object in sexual congress, according to the Marquis de Sade, is to elicit involuntary noisemaking from your partner--which is precisely the objective of humor, even if the nature of the noisemaking is a bit different.
Jim Holt, Stop Me If You've Heard This

"Knock knock." "Who's there?" "9-11." "9-11 who?" "YOU SAID YOU'D NEVER FORGET!"
via Jim Holt, Stop Me If You've Heard This

"Why is there something rather than nothing?" "Even if there was nothing, you still wouldn't be satisfied!"
Sidney Morgenbesser

A realistic expectation also demands our acceptance that one's allotted time on earth must be limited to an allowance consistent with the continuity of our species... We die so that the world may continue to live. We have been given the miracle of life because trillions and trillions of living things have prepared the way for us and then have died--in a sense, for us. We die, in turn, so that others may live. The tragedy of a single individual becomes, in the balance of natural things, the triumph of ongoing life.
Dr. Sherwin Nuland

...if any doctor tells me, as I lie in my hospital bed, that my death will not only help others to live, but be symptomatic of the triumph of humanity, I shall watch him very carefully when next he adjust my drip.
Julian Barnes, "Nothing to be Frightened Of". Incidentally, today I got some messages from a gentleman in Greece about the Skeptics Guide to Mortality

Got my Aunt one of those Plasma Ball lamp things - so sci-fi and cool.

holiday photos day 1!

Wow, that was a whole lot of Advent Calendering! I want to do a day or two of photos, mostly as a reminder of a kind of nifty (and photogenic!) Holiday Season I had to end the 00s... More tomorrow!
https://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=35555A783D7883AD - youtube videos HarveyJames likes. I liked the Nintendo "no disk inserted" animations.
Google Calendar Mobile seems to lack a "All Day Event" checkbox.Man, Google, why you gotta be like that?

holiday photos day 2!


Sherlock Holmes: the rootin-tootinest episode of "Scooby Doo" set in Victorian England ever! (Not bad, actually, but unjelled in parts.)
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/12/07/mobius-bagel-interlo.html - MOBIUS STRIP BAGLE OMG (Catching up on like, a month of Boingboing)
Saw a guy playing a Hurdy-Gurdy at Harvard Square. Kind of like a mechanical stringed bagpipes - I thought it was just an adjective!

yankee ingenuity at its most ferocious

Around the beginning of December (and the run of Advent Entries) Bill the Splut described this dream he had... I've been remember my dreams a bit more as of late, but still, nothing like this:
In one of my many dreams last night, the United States had been conquered from within by some vile dictatorship in a Second Civil War. They had the entire country under their bootheels, with the exception of New England. A Cold War now existed, a false peace while both sides built up their forces for the final battle between tyranny and freedom--literally, as The Enemy had brought back slavery. New England was hopelessly outnumbered, and the front line was Connecticut. The final battle would be swift, and we would be massacred.

I wasn't in the military, but I and a half-dozen others were going across the enemy lines into Long Island to recon. The Enemy was gearing up for the last attack. We were given some of the highly sophisticated Enemy firearms that had inexplicably fallen into the hands of Connecticut's forces. With surprising ease for a war zone, we crossed the border into Long Island on foot (it was connected to land somehow--look, it's a dream). After several bizarre non sequitur adventures (it's a dream), we were met by a seemingly insane Enemy soldier who knew who we were, and wanted to defect. Before we could get any info from him, his spandex pants swelled up from giant hemorrhoids, his face began to bubble like his skin was boiling, and his head burst like a water balloon. This attracted the attention of his fellow soldiers, as one might guess.

I wasted a lot of ammo from my hi-tech handgun on the first one, so when he fell, I grabbed his submachine gun and sprayed the oncoming troops. Literally, as it was a squirt gun. I switched to my gun and shot the rest quite easily, as they were moving slowly and randomly in the open and not firing back. I reloaded and realized that they were also armed with toy guns, or even dinner forks. Baffled, our side stopped shooting, and suddenly our enemies all got really bad hemorrhoids, and then their heads exploded. One was staggering around and began bragging about how great he felt, and showed us his arm. He was on drugs, and I don't mean that he showed us his needle marks, but a big IV bottle taped to his arm, a bright yellow liquid being pumped continuously into his bloodstream. It looked like power steering fluid. Since the drug didn't have a name beyond "Zip!" (with "!" in the name), maybe it was power steering fluid. Maybe those Russian air force pilots stationed in Siberia who drink the windshield washer fluid from their MiGs are onto something after all.

Oh, and his ass and face swelled, and POP! "Zip!" was an instantly addictive drug that had only been around for a month, and after a month, you died spectacularly. Everyone in the Enemy's army was using it. All around us, they needed O-shaped pillows to sit for a few seconds, then their heads exploded. The Enemy instantly developed a gun that shot Zip! in syringes at people, and we were the closest people. We all dodged their attacks, and in their addled state, the enemy soldiers all decided "If I'm going to die, I'm taking SOMEONE with me!" and began dosing their own side.

We stood there, not really sure what to do, when suddenly a hologram appeared in the air, a warning from a New England doctor. "We've discovered the reason for these Zip! deaths. DO NOT put Zip! in a slow IV drip! The bottle should be injected all at once directly into the carotid artery or jugular vein!" All the newly infected enemy did this immediately, and instead of dying in a month, 5 seconds later, KABLAM! Head fireworks display! Like human dominoes, they were falling dead from where we stood to the horizon! Connecticut troops rushed past us across the border, and within days the Enemy's dictatorship, its armies either unarmed, already dead or currently head-explodey, had been overthrown!

Zip! was so addictive and so expensive that the Enemy army's soldiers paid with whatever the drug dealers would take--and the dealers were very happy to trade Zip! for their advanced weapons. The reason the border was so easy for us to cross was because the drug dealers were in New England, and that's why we were armed with Enemy weapons, while they only had realistic-looking toys or dinner forks. Because the drug had been created in New England to kill them, as there was no other way to defeat the Enemy...Yankee ingenuity at its most ferocious.

http://www.bobhobbs.com/files/kr_lovecraft.html The C Programming Language -- Brian W Kernighan & Dennis M Ritchie & HP Lovecraft
Every year 'round this time, the Colts start phoning it in and getting all rested for the playoffs. It makes the Pats' SB loss, with that bizarre, bizarre play, that much sadder - hooray for the frickin' 72 Dolphins.
Life is short, play dead
Bumper Sticker

The would-be bomber of Flight 253 used pentaerythritol, shown here. Notice two things: 1. that looks a bit like a SWASTIKA wouldn't you say? 2. It also reads "HO HO OH OH" -- and that attempted bombing was on Christmas Day. I rest my case, such as it is.



--Terrifically brilliant. Does something like this really exist? It should.
In pressing open a door that might be a bit heavy, I automatically go to brace my wrist with my other hand. Wuss, or just conservative?

the many moods of batman


click for fullsize
The many moods of Batman, as seen through the classic D+D "alignment" system.
http://www.cracked.com/article/18355_the-top-10-decades-century-how-2000s-compared/ - yay 90s.
"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."

playlist: season_2009 3 fall

So like I posted after the summer, I've been rounding my new music into seasonal playlists - the season is just a coincidence, when I happen to discover or rediscover some music.

I tended to get music in big chunks this fall, as I ran into some CDs I had forgotten to rip back when I did the bulk transfer to MP3s...

The first few songs listed I particularly like, the stuff from Portugal is great as well.

I made some fun discoveries hunting up videos for these, like how you can find old Beavis + Butthead music videos on youtube, and the Goops/Mallrats "Buttercup".
http://www.doublex.com/section/life/tuesday-night-dinner-party-16-key-lessons-learned-slapdash-entertainment - "slapdash entertainment", neat idea...

2009 December❮❮prevnext❯❯