2013 April❮❮prevnext❯❯

April 1, 2013

(1 comment)
March one second at a time:

April 2, 2013

Praise is very hard to come by in Cleveland. People here are bitter; I can't blame 'em. I still haven't gotten over how we lost the 1954 World Series.
Harvey Pekar.
I highly recommend "Harvey Pekar's Cleveland", one of his final works. He's in top form, and the art by Joseph Remnant is perfect.
Omnia quae sunt, lumina sunt -- All things that are, are lights
Johannes Scotus Erigena / Ezra Pound, Canto LXXIV

You know when I was younger I was under the impression that quick sand was going to be a serious issue in life...

Whenever I see a shirt worn off the shoulder I can never get enough shoulder

Yeah, you catch more flies with honey, but shit gets more attention.
David J.

April 3, 2013

I would seriously kill to see an urban fantasy series where fairies and demons are in awe of humans: our inventiveness, our creativity.

The days of the digital watch are numbered.
Tom Stoppard

Do you think the Aryan Brotherhood counts as a "well-regulated militia" that is the justification for our 2nd Amendment?

April 4, 2013

All the things we value, however rare, however small, that give point or meaning to our lives -- the friendships, loves and absurdities; those soundscaped memories entwined with shared passions and glances that magically ensnare and enfold; the intoxications of wines and words, and wayward musings and music, with which we wrestle into misty slumbering nights, our senses revived by sparkling waters, much needed at dawn; the seascapes of wild waves, mysterious moonlights and images and widening skies that stretch the eyes -- do indeed all cease to exist; and curiously the most enchanting are oft those which we lose ourselves and also cease to be -- yet they, and we, existed at some time remains timelessly true, outside of all time.
Peter Cave, from "Can a Robot be Human?", emphasis mine.

April 5, 2013

What a remarkable coincidence! Jaromil, who had been enraptured by Magda's weeping eyes, knew all about the beauty of sorrow and fully immersed himself in its enjoyment.
Milan Kundera, "Life is Elsewhere"

http://www.facebook.com/home Facebook Home would be WAY too much FB for me, but in theory I dig big video and big scrolling image backgrounds
You are too young to know yet what nostalgia truly means. It takes time to become sentimental. But for the sake of your success, you must quickly learn. When you touch a man's nostalgia, he is yours.
Amy Tan, "Rules for Virgins"

April 6, 2013


Blender of Love

playlist march 2013

March was a very solid month for music... I'm wondering if I'm too stingy with the 4 and 5 stars, because "So Fast, So Maybe" is so near a 5, and some of the other ones are close to a 4. Maybe I should start using 1/2 stars like people tell me I can now... (UPDATE: I decided to be a little less stingy. "So Fast" is 5 stars, and a few other 4 stars are marked in red.)

As always exclamation marks point out videos that are more than just static images.

Hiphopish Modern Stuff with Retro Forms Spoken Word and Misc 90sish Brass and Marching Band Related Covers

April 8, 2013

MOMFILTER highlight to read "Life is hard and filled with failure. Think of it as a raging erection, but replace the forthcoming ejaculant with failure. Did that help? Somehow I don't think that helped."
--Gladstone, in Cracked.com's 6 Seemingly Simple Tasks Everybody Sucks At


thoughts on emma

Old Kitty Emma is looking more and more as if she's on her last legs. I'm worried about how much she might be masking discomfort and constantly second guessing myself about when it'll be time to call it. And always guilt about maybe I coulda been a better keeper for her, though rationally I don't think that's a fair judgement on myself; sure there's always more of a degree of "intense cat person-ness" one can aspire to, but I don't think that would have changed the landscape here that much; the setup, with that many pills, was probably had signs of its own unsustainability, though it has been a good number of years. Amber, Emma's person for most of her 16 1/2 years, was over last night (in town for work) and is definitely in the "she's just really old" and it can be well-meaning but inadvertently hurtful to prolong things camps.

April 10, 2013

One weird, ugly detail about considering putting a pet to sleep: remember all those time they *hated* going to the vet? This last time makes all the previous vet fear and loathing somehow justified, retroactively.
It is human nature to look away from illness. We don't enjoy a reminder of our own fragile mortality.
Roger Ebert.
Kinda poignant for today. (2019 update: this was about the day of his death.)

April 11, 2013

The footage for todays "One Second Everyday" came out rather nicely...

We are born into a box of time and space. We use words and communication to break out of it and to reach out to others.
Roger Ebert
(I will be on a Roger Ebert quote kick for a week or two.)
Logic is what other people use to prove that you're wrong.
Manuel J. Smith

April 12, 2013

Awesome New Old New York photos:

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.
Roger Ebert

needing is one thing, and getting, getting's another

(1 comment)

I remember seeing this video but not paying it nearly enough attention; both the video and the song are terrific. (You can get an MP3 from the video version, which I find a lot more viscerally appealing than the (also good) studio track.)

Its chorus "Needing is one thing, and getting, getting's another" brings up a point that might sound pedantic as hell, but for me is serious, and existential, and came close to disrupting a romance of mine at one point. (And I found out while writing this, might echo for my vision of relationships to this day.)

What does it mean to "need" something?

Some part of me (a well-meaning yet still smart aleck inner child part) wants to say it HAS to be existential; without the needed object, the needing subject would fail to exist. "You can't live without me? Why aren't you dead yet?"

But that seems a little blunt. Some old guy might need his meds, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'd die without him, or right away. As a young man I needed my dad, but I survived his passing. (The romance I mentioned stumbled (but recovered, for a long while) over my reticence of using that kind of "I need you" language; I think I might have used that logic of "I survived my dad's death, so I guess I'd survive you leaving me or something happening to you." For a guy who runs loveblender.com I really have my moments, or lack of them.)

So is it just a form of "extreme want"? Or to avoid the side effects of not-having? That seems to lack a certain rhetorical punch...

OK, I think I figured it out, and actually figured it out for the first time, after pondering it a few days, while writing some disclaimers as a now-deleted second part of that smart aleck paragraph, which I then decided to save for this conclusion: properly used, "need" IS existential, not necessarily in terms of life or death, but a true need is such that lacking the needed object the thing needing would become a whole 'nother thing. I survived my dad's death, but I'm not nearly the same guy I would have been with him, I think. The old guy without his meds just isn't the same person.

(A "needed" but lost romantic interest, then, should leave a husk of a man or woman behind. He or she may grow back into something stronger, but it will be strong but different. Hmmm... This may be why I find "I want you" sexier than "I need you". I worry I had my "need" romances in high school and college and what's left, the me that is... doesn't want to need, or be subject to the responsibility of being needed. I guess I prefer love that springs from a rich luxury of two self-realized and independent people over a "need" that is tough to separate out from codependence, or other types of dependence, like financial.)

Thanks for reading. Writing helped me figure some stuff out. Let me know what you think.

April 14, 2013

What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable.
Roger Ebert

April 15, 2013

am fine. weirded out that I just bought shoes at that marathon store a few months ago.
Eyes Wide Shut is an even better film when you understand the central theme: Tom Cruise is not nearly as cool as he thinks he is.

Aspartame tastes like sugar made of JPG artifacts.

April 16, 2013


How do I keep finding myself talking to programmers who think *more* code and *more* levels of indirection is 'simpler'?

I just typed "me bawling as a baby" as "be bawling as a maybe". Which is kind of poetic but man, my whole m/b mixup is so weird.
I like calorie counts at restaurants- never would have thought a Panera PB-dream cookie has the same calories as a large Thai Chopped Salad.

April 17, 2013

Slate: Please stop talking about how flinty and resilient Boston is.

April 18, 2013

http://boingboing.net/2013/04/18/austerity-economics-only-works.html Lies, Damn Lies, and austerity-agenda blowhards cherry picking data and screwing up their own Excel

bye, emma

(1 comment)
In other news, yesterday I made the call to bring Emma's discomfort and weakness to an end. It was sad but less wrenching than in previous weeks when the right course of action was less obvious; even though she seemed to perk up a few days ago (probably a side effect of not making her take meds), yesterday she couldn't even hold up her head properly, though she enjoyed a bowl of tuna I gave her an hour before her final trip to the vet.

Emma was a fine cat. I really appreciate that she liked being pet but wasn't really a lap cat, so she'd keep company and then enjoy the petting and attention when the human was willing/able to give it. (I never knew her during her fat cat days with Amber and Karen and David -- too me she was always a skinny old lady.)

This photo, the final photo with her, tries to show off another one of her lovely features: she had terrific two tone fur, darker grey towards the end, lighter towards the roots. It made it so pretty!

RIP Emma. You were a sweet old cat.

I'm kind of worried this will bring Russia and the USA closer together, in a shared populist loathing of Chechnya.
Again to paraphrase some dude on twitter- the Elvis impersonator who tried to poison the President is the 10th craziest story this week

Meet the 28-Year-Old Grad Student Who Just Shook the Global Austerity Movement This is an awesome story. Go Evergreen and UMass Amherset!!! Sometimes just paying attention is enough. (I guess economics is pretty far from being sufficiently "peer reviewed")
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again -- and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
Mark Twain

Getting iTunes to keep ratings and metadata when moving to a new machine is like pulling teeth. Hack the XML-- maybe THAT will "just work"

April 20, 2013

Time to make a joke about the consumption of marijuana.

April 21, 2013

We are put on this planet only once, and to limit ourselves to the familiar is a crime against our minds.
Roger Ebert

April 22, 2013

The social media is a lot like Ancient Egypt... writing on walls and worshipping cats.

Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.
Roger Ebert.
Not sure if I believe it or not.
TECHNOLOGY RANT So I had a brilliant idea that if I can't preserve or restore "Date Added" to my iTunes collection, I could try a different file copy method than I had previously used that would then preserve "Date Modified", and then I could just sort my "recent music" smart playlist on that. Smart, huh?

Turns out you can sort a playlist on "most recently added", "most often played", "most recently played", but not "most recently modified". Holy living fuck, why do they make this impossible? Is it such a vanishing minority of people who A. like to listen to their recent music more and B. change computers that it's a bizarre thing to want?

I've found 3 or 4 potential ways to potentially keep this sort order, and Apple has thwarted all of them. Damn.

Think Different my ass.

April 23, 2013


Life's missed opportunities, at the end, may seem more poignant to us than those we embraced -- because in our imagination they have a perfection that reality can never rival.
Roger Ebert.
I find solace in this thought, a way to temper the bittersweet nostalgia I'm blessed and cursed with.
http://boingboing.net/2013/01/25/the-secret-to-feeling-like-you.html -- the secret to not feeling time starved is to have a feeling of awe.

For two jobs, five of the last ten years, I worked a block or two from the end of the marathon...

load and lock

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My bike lock succumbed to salt and I replaced it with a Wordlock brand steel cable lock, where you can choose your own 4-letter word, with each letter drawn from a pool of 10 possibilities.

Here was each set of letters:

I ran that against a list of the 5,000 most frequent words in English, and in order the 360-odd make-able words were:

that, they, from, that, what, make, will, time, when, them, some, take, than, like, then, more, want, look, more, find, here, many, well, tell, work, last, feel, when, most, mean, same, seem, help, talk, turn, hand, part, most, week, work, play, like, hold, must, home, book, word, head, line, lose, meet, team, best, lead, sure, walk, food, foot, send, home, fall, plan, late, hard, pass, sell, mind, pull, free, less, full, form, site, base, land, wall, test, film, tree, look, soon, less, term, well, fire, bank, west, seek, deal, past, fill, drop, plan, fine, than, dead, fund, list, hard, loss, deal, bill, miss, sort, dark, help, form, seat, that, firm, ball, talk, head, base, play, best, deep, past, heat, fall, whom, test, beat, tend, task, shot, born, wind, fast, like, bird, hurt, turn, date, hole, park, boat, wood, farm, band, tool, wild, tiny, feed, shop, folk, warm, past, deny, burn, shoe, bone, wine, mean, hell, fire, hire, will, lean, tall, hate, male, lots, fuel, pool, lead, salt, poll, desk, like, last, mark, loan, deep, male, meal, link, file, duty, wake, warn, meat, late, part, host, hall, tank, bond, file, mean, seed, busy, mass, tone, hill, hand, land, milk, mind, weak, list, wrap, mark, diet, post, dark, bike, link, mass, lake, bend, walk, sand, pose, sale, mine, tale, pass, dust, sure, boss, mood, boot, bean, peak, wire, holy, toss, bury, pray, pure, belt, moon, soon, line, date, pink, poem, bind, mine, drop, fast, flat, snap, teen, bell, beat, wind, lost, like, pant, port, dirt, pole, bake, sink, tire, free, hold, mask, load, fate, poet, mere, pale, load, flee, plot, palm, pile, fund, mall, heel, tent, bite, pine, boom, host, wise, firm, sake, dare, mess, hunt, pill, bare, shop, pump, slam, melt, park, fold, dose, trap, lens, lend, warm, last, leap, past, pond, dump, tune, harm, horn, beam, fork, disk, hook, mild, doll, hers, bite, fist, bold, tune, hint, peel, bias, feel, lamp, pump, silk, wake, hook, seal, sink, trap, fool, mate, slap, heat, barn, post, lane, seal, bull, loop, pork, seat, lion, harm, sort, soap, shed, heal, damn, mill, hike, tray, sole, weed, deem, pile, fame, toll, butt, bulk, part, poke, fare, soak, slot, tile, till, bolt, till. Oddly the word I chose was a real world that wasn't on the list, so maybe my method wasn't so good.

I know this lock isn't too secure, but A. I want more flexibility than with a U-shaped lock, B. my old steel cable lock probably was only a minor inconvenience for a thief and C. it's a cheap bike.
He would see this country burn if he could be king of the ashes
Varys on Littlefinger in Game of Thrones

The old scholar was watching the noisy young people around him and it suddenly occurred to him that he was the only one in the whole audience who had the privilege of freedom, for he was old. Only when a person reaches old age can he stop caring about the opinions of his fellows, or of the public, or of the future. He is alone with approaching death and death has no ears and does not need to be pleased. In the face of death a man an do and say what pleases his own self.
Milan Kundera, from "Life is Elsewhere"

This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as barrels...

via-- man that's a tall bike!
http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/photos-you-really-need-to-look-at-to-understand Lauren Garside's new favorite thing.

April 25, 2013

This is fun:

In 2001, the Supreme Court put into place one of the worst presidents ever, and we have the charts to demonstrate that: George W Bush's Presidency in 24 Charts
You don't just find true love. You team up with somebody, and build it from the ground up.
Roger Ebert

http://mightygodking.com/2013/04/25/the-family-tattoo-problem/ -- the problem with Obama's clever idea for pre-empting daughter's tattoos parallels his problem with the GOP: things break down if your opponent doesn't give a damn about the common good.

April 26, 2013

Kindness covers all of my political beliefs, no need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.
Roger Ebert

Leaving is not enough. You must stay gone. Train your heart like a dog. Change the locks even on the house he's never visited. You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don't wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Don't lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.
Frida Kahlo

April 27, 2013


New glasses. 10 days to decide if they're too much.

April 28, 2013

I like Wikiepdia's British Words Not Widely Used in the USA. The difference in vocabulary has always intrigued me (and that list seems so much cooler than the Reverse
It is strange how the romances of the teenage years retain a poignancy all through life - how a girl who turns you down when you're 16 retains an aura in your memory even long after you, and she, have ceased to be who you were then.
Roger Ebert

April 29, 2013

I am astonished at how bad the PS3 is; a labyrinth of menus, endless mandatory slow download updates, last night a big game-before-the-game of hide the downloaded titles. Rage-inducing.
Just found out OSX has all these great accented voices. Sangeeta's "English (India)" is really fun to listen to, and I like the strong accents you get with some of the voices that are meant to read other accents.

April 30, 2013

Do you know why trees can act as CO2 sinks? Because they fairly literally make themselves out of thin air (plus a few minerals from soil) That's kind of amazing! Many people don't have the right mental model of that process, and kind of see trees as solidified dirt, but it's air and water.
A man walks into a bar. He walks into it again. And again. And again. There are thousands of him now, confused & screaming.

http://kotaku.com/i-am-stereoblind-but-the-3ds-lets-me-see-the-world-as-484508038 -- A stereoblind man sees 3D for the first time ... on a game boy. Bittersweet story!
Kids Say the Creepiest Things!
For me, a movie is like a machine that generates empathy.
Roger Ebert

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