2011 December❮❮prevnext❯❯

javadvent day 1


So like in 2009 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 its usual twitter-ish collection of quotes and links and random observations though...

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank.

Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHLSiIVxjUs -- probably my favorite Christmas Hiphop song, edging out "Christmas in Hollis". Love the off-kilter machinery beat.
Am I imagining things or is the new Apple Store where the climax of "The Untouchables" took place?
At times like this I regret not having had more meaningless sex. And by "times like this" I mean "weekdays".

The human brain is perhaps the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ it does not know how to use.
Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8G4q52EsCc Looking for Dirty Dozen Brass Band's "When I'm Walking" I found this jam w/ Gov't Mule of "Chameleon"
There's an obscure school of programming that says every function should have one normal exit point. I don't do that, but it makes a kind of sense to me.

javadvent day 2


The All-22 View of the NFL, where you can see all the players (albeit as stick figures) -- annoying that its kept so secret, I always thought some of the promise of HD TV was allowing multiple viewpoints, including presumably that one.

javadvent day 3


javadvent day 4


I am always amused by nunchucks. I can't recall ever hearing of a single incident where anyone successfully has used nunchucks to either defend himself or to attack someone else, yet they are illegal in three states. They can't be easily concealed, and pose as much of a danger to the wielder as to the target. Presumably, if nunchucks were in any way effective, all soldiers and cops would carry them. And yet everyday factories manufacture nunchucks. And every day some teenage boy covers his back and forearms in bruises in his futile quest to master the noble of nunchuckery.
Alex Gregory, answering "What are some things in life that make you laugh and why?" in "The Best of the Rejection Collection"

javadvent day 5


The great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas H. Huxley

javadvent day 6


My biggest fear is that this, right now, is the golden age.
History says, ya, Romney will get the nomination, it's always the runnerup from last time. So whats that say for 2016? Newt?

javadvent day 7


Take some time to think about time.
On my devblog, a pretty nifty double helix animation in processing.js

javadvent day 8


Everything you can imagine is real.
Pablo Picasso

Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil -- might he be the most dangerous Dark Lord of Middle Earth? (Personally I don't think that's how Tolkien rolls, but hey.)
(Oh the Tom Bombadil thing is the same guy who came up with that brilliant R2D2 and Chewbacca as the movers and shakers of the Rebellion.)

javadvent day 9


What should I be when I grow up? A computer programmer! My capsule profile for my company's College Readiness blog.
Software patents are like patenting '1 teaspoon sugar' as part of a recipe to make cinnamon buns.

Men-ups-- dudes in various traditional pinup-girl poses, showing the weirdness of it all...
FWIW the Nokia Lumia 710 reminds me a lot of the old Palm Z22.
In the early-2000s, an apathy-starved American culture took the "eh" from their northerly neighbors, added an "m", and came up with today's most important phrase of indifference: "meh"
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the sketchiest of these is faith.

javadvent day 10


Article about Applejack and dangerous homebrew "jacking" reminds me what a poetic name "moonshine" is for booze.
I love museums where Amber's bag is verboten as a backpack, but she can just wear it on one shoulder and it's magically an accepted purse.
Wow, the folks at Amazon are out to be the biggest dickbags in the history of retailing.

javadvent day 11


Crazy huge gorgeous orange moon as we head back east to Boston...
"There's an Occupy Berkshires. We missed that when we were driving around there."
"Occupy Berkshires-isn't that just called 'camping'?"

javadvent day 12

(1 comment)

Sometimes terrible people produce things we like. Sometimes things we like are terrible. You can enjoy things without agreeing with them.

Seeing all the billboards at Park Street being holiday ads for "Dietz & Watson Premium Deli Meats & Cheeses" feels oddly depression-era.
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?
Satchel Paige

javadvent day 13

(1 comment)

Need to prove something you already believe? All you need are two graphs (to overlay) and a leading question
Tool-assisted speedrun creation of a NES emulator. Amazing. ("Tool-assisted Speedruns" are usually people PLAYING videogames, using the computer to help them cheat and play a superhumanly perfect game, not write an emulator that lets you play the games of an old system.)
Habeas Corpus, who needs that latin crap? Martial Law all the time that's what we need!
In the early mid-90s Perl introduced me to hashmaps; the first non-array, non-DIY linked list collection I'd seen. Mind blown! And then I found out about cheap rentable web space, Perl CGI, and how POST and GET params could work like a hashmap... sky was the limit!
Panera with all the calorie counts labeled... what's more amazing, how many calories a cookie has, or how many a really tasty salad doesn't?
Most hugely reviled things, I can see why people hate. What kind of person am I then if I don't get what's so godawful about Nickelback? Is it 'cause they're prefab, but meant to sound indy and authentic? Or what?
The cutest broken leg in the history of ever
Even beyond the permanent marital law National Defense Authorization Bill gets us, it makes the dumbass mistake of treating terrorism as war.
Posting this makes me feel a million years old but Reader's Digest's 20 Secrets Your Waiter Won't Tell You is pretty great.
Being poor is having to live with choices you didn't know you made when you were 14 years old.

javadvent day 14


Republican Horserace... Now that's a fun (animated) infographic!
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201112120005 Fox News lies so hard, they can't even draw a simple graph.

javadvent day 15


Ah, sweet alcohol. Like a true friend, you replace the anger with better, louder anger.
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive

When the process isn't good, the product is suspect.
Don Brickell

On my devblog: Image Magick, Notepad++ Macros, and a batch file for super quick bulk image trimming!
Between NDAA and SOPA, everything kinda sucks.

"Look, there's a chipotle."
"That used to be a Buck-A-Book."
"People don't read any more. They just eat burritos."
Amber and Me @ Davis Square

javadvent day 16


I've seen enough on the Internet that nothing fazes me. I think that cost me a small piece of my soul, but it beats just watching cat videos all day.

I fucking hate Thoreau. Pastoralist sentimental bullshit. He'd rather exist in wonder and ignorance than knowledge.

After a year of calling the project Darwin, at the company party they're assigning "awards" based on different animals per person-so telling
And I'm the Platypus... guess that works. Subtext: you're an odd duck (so to speak.) I was worried it was going to be one of the Sea-Monkeys I keep in a little tank thing on my desk.

javadvent day 17


When the red red robin comes bob-bob-bobbin' along, there'll be no more sobbin'- just the screams.

Well, maybe then some sobbin'.

javadvent day 18


Figure out who you are, and then do it on purpose.
Dolly Parton

I've never seen a tax cut build a bridge.
Barney Frank on This Week

javadvent day 19


Christopher Hitchens quotes.
Poor Kim Jong-il. He's with L. Ron Hubbard now.

Paint.NET is so good that it's probably time for me to retire using Paint Shop Pro 5 (1998 called, it wants its software back) The thing about the program is it's a little tough to find a download... there's this malware-looking GIMP download masquerading.

javadvent day 20


To be a nerd is often to live with a nagging feeling of one's own incurable heartlessness.
Benjamin Nugent, "American Nerd"

javadvent day 21


Wow. 8:45 and I'm already typing ("entitlement"=="Assessments") instead of (item.entitlement=="Assessments"). Gonna be a long day.
"How can you sex up the gift of a coffee grinder?"
"Try saying 'now you got the grind, I'll bring the bump?'"
"...hmm, maybe."

I saw mommy shaking Santa Claus' hand / but in a meaningful way

Jingle bells / jingle bells / jingle at least most of the way

Frosty / the Snowman / was inert

Rudoph / the damp-nosed reindeer / had a rather damp nose

Bittersweet contentment to the world!

O the weather outside is frightful / I hope the god damn furnace guy gets here soon

I'm dreaming / of a ... Christmas / without so many wolves in it

Silent night / shut up.

It came upon the midnight overcast

I'll be home for Christmas / that's what "house arrest" means
12 minutes of fail for your holiday schadenfreude needs. The driver at 7:46 is one of the subtlest and best.
Deregulate. 4 months later, a coordinated "Bear Raid" crashes your economy. Conclusion: Duh.

javadvent day 22


http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/ - using scale9grid to let old IE have drop shadows. Or not. BONUS: Fireworks muddled through cheatsheet!
An arcade cabinet is a vending machine that dispenses excitement.

javadvent day 23


"A code review of Eric Chahi's "Another World" - a close look via reverse engineering. http://t.co/f2HJ8fWp #retro #fascinating"

javadvent day 24


javadvent day 25


The new kitchen at my folks' place in NJ has these weird, magnetic or pneumatic no-slam drawers. Eerie how they slow at the end.
A&E really has a series all about parking tickets?
On North Korea -- Just read the book "The Cleanest Race" about North Korea propaganda, and it makes me thing that article is halfbaked. North Koreans eem to really believe their racial purity myths, and their entire internal system depends on the propaganda about their nuclear strength and the world's fear of that.

beach shadows on the beach at ocean grove, christmas 2011


I have to admit, I had mixed feelings telling people we were "going to my folk's place at the Jersey Shore" which gives the wrong impression it at least two directions. But, it is also kinda nice.
Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg! Batmobile lost a wheel, and Joker got away!

playlist: season_2011 3 fall

This year's advent calendar caused me to delay my seasonal music summary... not that there's so much of a clamor for it, but people who like this kind of music will find this a good collection of the music they like.

(Actually my tastes are a bit eclectic, but still, there's some fun stuff here.)

So, the one five star song in the fall was Might Like You Better by Amanda Blank, an incredibly fun and EXTREMELY raunchy song. Another great one was the cover of Addicted To Love by Florence + The Machine. (It was used on the ad for some TV show.)

Other songs by category:

Energetic Electronic or Mashup Hip-Hop Indie/Softer Retro 90s Leftovers from Video Games Funny/Novelty/Misc
A robot walks into a bar and says, 'I'll have a screwdriver.'
New York Times

rex and emma

Personally I'm not such a big fan of the endless deluge of cat videos online (Intellectually it's kind of interesting though, as a commentary of how cats are so... I dunno, around us? and often make good subjects) but I am a big fan of Amanda's Four-Legged Friends, a really terrific pet-visit service in Boston Metrowest. The care is great, the rates were terrific, and I think the clever bit was every visit she posts a quick youtube video of the pets. That's a great idea! It's not like we checked them every day, but they were nice to know they were there.

So, these aren't the most compelling things on youtube, but hey:

"If lovin' you is wrong...well, no, I still want to be right. I need to be right. That need is greater than love."

Though artificial intelligence remains underdeveloped, there have been great gains in artificial stupidity.

christmas in photos


christmas wrap rap

Back when I was a lad in high school my folks bought me a seasonal hiphop album, Christmas Rap. Recently I bought the CD version, because I couldn't find the tracks anywhere.

I was surprised at how deeply so many of the songs were enmeshed in my brain. There was another surprise, though. Here is the cover of the CD, which is about how I remember the front of the cassette tape:

Kinda cool, classic Run DMC-ish sneakers, some weird decorative paper that I assumed were being used like legwarmers.

The inside art tells a different story:

GAH! It's Run or DMC as a Christmas Mummy!

The final mystery to this CD is the Derek B track Chilling with Santa. Its attributed only to Derek B, but the song has lines like "my DJ Derek B who's the best" and "Derek B popped a tape into his box". Who's rapping?

(Hmm, if I'm extrapolating from this bio correctly, it might be "EZQ" which is actually Derek B's alter-ego. He's referring to himself in the third person. Sort of.)
More of why I'm disenchanted w. soduko: RT @factlets: Clever E. coli bacteria have been taught to solve Sudoku puzzles. http://t.co/hGLWd1KB
Some of the reststops on 93 in New Hampshire have fireplaces they keep stoked with nice big fires. I dig it!


From this old Penny Arcade... (not for the squeamish)
Don't say another Goddamn word. Up until now, I've been polite. If you say anything else - word one - I will kill myself. And when my tainted spirit finds its destination, I will topple the master of that dark place. From my black throne, I will lash together a machine of bone and blood, and fueled by my hatred for you this fear engine will bore a hole between this world and that one.

When it begins, you will hear the sound of children screaming - as though from a great distance. A smoking orb of nothing will grow above your bed, and from it will emerge a thousand starving crows. As I slip through the widening maw in my new form, you will catch only a glimpse of my radiance before you are incinerated. Then, as tears of bubbling pitch stream down over my face, my dark work will begin.

I will open one of my six mouths, and I will sing the song that ends the Earth.
I dunno, it's been a while since I've been drawing on my backlog for the site, and I thought it was a good end to 2011, the year before 2012, with all the silly "Mayan Y2K" issues people think mean the end. (For all we know, it could be the begining...)

Happy New Year!
Dog breeding is the cutest eugenics there is

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.
Ernest Hemingway

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