2013 July❮❮prevnext❯❯

one second every day june 2013


The Palm V as the platonic ideal of the standalone PDA
Tornadoes the NE, 125 heat in the SW. For the records, if you've been a climate change denialist you should probably consider the other things you're wrong about.

playlist june 2013

June was a relatively sedate month for new music... maybe I'm spending more time out doors, or maybe just getting old and curmudgeonly.

Three sound clips I had used a decade ago as intros to party mix CDs: No 4- or 5-stars. Exclamation points mark out the more visually interesting videos.
Ugh. The pilgrimage to Mecca could be a killer.
fuck this fake nostalgia bullshit, props to the 80s for drawing inspiration from the future, a time that DIDN'T EVEN EXIST YET

the closer-up the thumbnail, the farther from reality #aphorismsOfTomorrow

Amtrak, Assault, Axel, BC, Class, E-Z Rock, Flack, Fresh, Jay-R, Jazzy Jeff, John, M.I.F., Mc Fear, Moule, Mystic, Shadow, Steve Porter, Topcat #postyourDJs
Neologism from Wendy M: "Jackass of All Trades". I need to find opportunities to use that.

jimmy carter says it well


(Bleh the quote might actually be by John Fugelsang; why the hell do people change attributions?)

July 4, 2013

(1 comment)
RIP Douglas Engelbart. Google "The Mother of All Demos" if you don't know who he is.
Dang, and oy.

My landlords want to sell my apartment. I have first dibs, but it would be a financial stretch.

I have really mixed feelings.

The apartment is great, but really needs two people. I picked it with Amber and have enjoyed having Miller as a housemate after that.

Still, the place is pretty damn expensive... but I love the neighborhood and commute.

My gut instinct says to try and make a go of it, but I'm worried that's more about wanting to have less disruption in my life.

Running some numbers with an online calculator, if I go for a 30 year mortgage and a 15% deposit the rent would be a couple hundred more than I pay now. (heh, of course if I had hopped some months ago, the gap would be much less). I suppose stuff like real estate tax and what not complicates that too.

Also, the 15% deposit would kinda wipe out my nest egg/buffer. I mean I'm still saving for retirement, but I think things would feel more fraught in general.

It gets me into what do i want to do with my life territory.

Like, right now I don't want to ditch Miller, and it's a nicer place than either of us would have on our own, and he generally has fewer options than me. On the other hand, being generous to a housemate is a suspect reason for making a big financial decision, and maybe it's just kicking the problem down the road anyway; like if I want to have some romantic type person move in with me, or even though it's a little remote at this point, start a family; woud it be easier to take the hit now when it's the landlord forcing the issue than say "alright, I need you out of here".

Also, I guess I really kind of do hate moving.
I moved out of Waltham to be closer to the city,
out of Inman to be in a big shared house with Mo (that semi-communal house being one of my favorite living arrangements, frankly)
out of the Big Yellow House because Mo wanted that, and it seemed grown up
out of the cracker jack box apartment because it was ridiculous
out of watertown apartment to own a damn house
out of the damn house because of the divorce
out of the apartment with miller to be with my aunt and uncle
out of my aunt and uncle's to live with amber

Only a few of those were really because of factors internal to me, and it's always easier to orchestrate a move when you have a partner.

Yesterday I made a note about what I'd need to research/pontificate on to reach a decision:
how to figure out house
1 JP and Arlington rents
2 likely mortgage
3 endgame with miller
4 likely futures of romantic bliss

So far I think I've figured out "2" and that's it.

I hate how my life a year ago seems a lot closer to what I wanted out of life than right now, on multiple fronts.

Thoughts and ideas welcome.

over 400 bucks of good old NH fireworks- 2 for 1 - #gonnabeagoodnight

July 5, 2013

This was the view from David's place last night near sunset. That is actually an old ruined castle there in the sunlight. Later the panorama of the lake was decorated with dozens of small lakeside firework displays in the distance, over the course of an hour or so. An intriguing night!

click for fullsize

July 6, 2013

How can one know to dance except by dancing?

July 7, 2013

OSX users... one thing I think Windows does better is that its standard File Open and Save dialogs are functional explorer windows - you can do little helpful tasks like creating folders and deleting files. On OSX it seems like I always have to switch to Finder, navigate to the location, and THEN do whatever file stuff-- even though the dialog LOOKS pretty much like a standard Finder window, it's in "read only" mode. Any workarounds for that?
I en

I really enjoyed this GIF about giving peace a chance in the NHL.

My friend/mentor/collaborator Jeffrey Ventrella implemented an idea I came up with years ago, and now ported it to Javascript: Breeding Gliders in Cellular Automata

New Blender of Love

July 8, 2013

I like this cover of Easy Like Sunday Morning

First US Aerial photo, of Boston:

July 9, 2013

Hindsight is fifty-fifty.
David Mazzucchelli in "Asterios Polyp"

At a prim and proper public garden named Minnewater Park, courting couples ambled arm in arm between willows, banksia roses, and chaperones. Blind, emaciated fiddler performed for coins. Now he could play. Requested "Bonsoir, Paris" and he performed with such élan I pressed a crisp five-franc note into his hand. He removed his dark glasses, checked the watermark, invoked his pet saint's name, gathered his coppers, and scarpered through the flower beds, laughing like a madcap. Whoever opined "Money can't buy you happiness" obviously had far too much of the stuff.
"Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell

July 10, 2013


July 11, 2013

This looks fun...

(French soccer with cars and then excavators for goalies ... Avez-vous déjà vu un match d'auto-football?)
Yearly reminder: unless you're over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.

July 12, 2013


One martini is all right, two is too many, three is not enough.
James Thurber

Wow. "Having a boss who's worried about his ability to keep it in his pants" is a fireable offense in Iowa.
I went to the Home Depot, which was unnecessary. I need to go to the Apartment Depot, which is just a big warehouse with a whole lot of people standing around saying, "We don't have to fix shit."
Mitch Hedberg. Newly relevant quote I grabbed 7 years ago. The convo Miller and I had that day was pretty funny too: http://kirk.is/2006/07/12/

July 13, 2013


July 14, 2013

fissure, n.: No relationship can grow without also cracking; the key is to use the cracks as handholds, to pull yourself up.

Just an FYI: In a mirror, you can only kiss yourself on the lips.

Raise your hand if, like me, you only know the word 'analgesic' because you played the Hitchhiker's Guide text adventure as a kid.

July 15, 2013

The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.
J.D. Salinger

'Valleysmen'd not want to hear,' she answered, 'that human hunger birthed the Civ'lize, but human hunger killed it too. I know it from other tribes offland what i stayed with. Times are you say a person's b'liefs ain't true, they think you're sayin' their lifes ain't true an' their truth ain't true.'

Yay, she was prob'ly right.
Cloud Atlas

July 16, 2013

Father Edmund begins the meeting by asking us some personal questions about ourselves. He does not seem put off by the fact that we are living in sin. Nor does he seem to care that I am Jewish. In fact, he asks if we would like to incorporate Jewish wedding traditions into our service. The only Jewish wedding tradition I know is where you stomp on the wineglass. Can we do that one? He says of course we can. What about jumping the broom, like black people do? He says he's not sure if that would be appropriate.
Michael Ian Black, "You're Not Doing It Right".

July 17, 2013

And yet, despite their love of all things fried, the Henderson-Thompson-Shannons are living life the exact right way. Their priorities are: love, enjoy, and hang with your family.

https://medium.com/behavior-design/1de726c2d7a4 I wonder if I could use the Hafta vs Wanna distinction for some motivational jujitsu on myself...

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, coverboy

Grr. I'm probably too cranky about my apartment situation, and so I'm somehow goaded into wanting to put my two cents in about the whole Rolling Stone Cover thing. I dislike feeling like I need to hold my peace but I'm not being argumentative for its own sake either.

1. Evil can be gorgeous and seductive and that's some of what makes it so scary. (FWIW, that's about the best selfie I've ever seen)
2. Is Rolling Stone making a "rock star" of this guy? I dunno, but I think the message that "he comes from a place many people can recognize" is worth a risk, even if it's just demonstrating how an idea of lashing out at innocents as collateral damage when "fighting" greater injustices can take root. That is a critical moral lesson.
3. People who say "well the NY Times used that same image on their front page" are really missing the point as well; big difference between rock star cover and an AP photo. (Similarly, the crude mockups of RS covers w/ headshots of people we lost to this asshole are heartfelt but need to be more attuned to visual language.)
4. This reminds me a bit of the OJ-Simpson-on-Time-magazine controversy, http://blogcritics.org/ojs-last-run-a-tale-of/ , where Time used a tweaked version of the mugshot that seemed to demonize him.
5. At the risk of offending, and admitting that all I suffered on April 15 and after was a few days of inconvenience and a feeling of safety around public spaces: Boston is a resilient city, but this was a small event by most standards of terrorism. (Actually I stand corrected: I just checked and it was "only" 3 people killed but 260 injured to various degrees. I thought it was fewer) It is great that we hunkered down and showed our willingness to lock down to help catch these asses, but the scope compared to what is possible, even likely, in the future, or to the past (the WTC, the 2004 Madrid bombings or even Newtown) is limited, and we should adjust our putting ourselves on a pedestal accordingly.

Yet see how elastic our stiff prejudices grow when love once comes to bend them.
Herman Melville

I had the thought that in the end, we are whom we love and what we do.
Joshua Prager in Half-Life: Reflections from Jerusalem on a Broken Neck

It is healthy to acclimatize to burdens. And on this night in Bnei Brak, it seems to me that it is healty to acclimatize to blessings, too. Were one to appreciate every breath it would be hard to breathe.
Joshua Prager in Half-Life: Reflections from Jerusalem on a Broken Neck

I hope that people will know that even if they cry or confide in the face of disability, they are wrong to marvel at those of us who smile as we limp. They don't know that they have lived through worse, that problems of the heart hit with the force of a runaway truck, the problems of the mind are greater still, more injurious than a hundred broken necks.
Joshua Prager in Half-Life: Reflections from Jerusalem on a Broken Neck

Oh, Thank Cheetos, Miller and I have a new apartment lined up!

My current landlord is trying to get me out before the end of August, which means moving will be a pain, but at least we can go ahead with this.

I've got to figure out a strategy though. I might be misunderestimating how much I have to do, and taking a week to Alaska before then ain't helping. I was thinking of just going for ZipVans and lots of trips, but if I only have a week of overlap between Alaska and move out day, I should probably get real movers and plan on doing more packing.
http://toys.usvsth3m.com/watch/ Can you hit 1:00 seconds? Also some fun easter eggs...

July 19, 2013

Two interesting things on Slate this morning: one on the book that lays out the formula virtually every big summer movie follows and a thing on coping with an anxiety disorder that makes me grateful that my general sense of nervousness isn't any more severe than it is...
Latest from my Art Class. We had the 4th off and I had band practice the next week, so I was a little rusty.

July 20, 2013

A neurotic is a person who worries about things that didn't happen in the past, instead of worrying about things that won't happen in the future, like normal people.
Henny Youngman

Is a month too long to be living with cardboard boxes, moving-wise? I don't move-move til Aug 17 or 24, though with a week in Alaska.

It feels like it's too long, but I'm worried about procrastinating, and I guess I can handwave it as part of the separation process with the old place.

July 21, 2013

I ran into the typewritten sheets that represent a few months of diary from my sophomore year of high school. In some fundamental way, it feels like a different person is writing that-- a sense I don't get from my writing, say, a decade and a half ago. Which raises the question, is there a transition point between who I was and who I am?

If I had to pick a point, I'd choose losing my virginity or coping with unrequited love, both around college time.

July 22, 2013

I call my son at his room in college. From what I can hear in the background, it sounds like he and his roommate are majoring in laughing and shouting.

"Hey, son, miss me?" I greet.

"Who's this?" he wants to know.

"Very funny. Hey I thought it would be fun for you to come home this weekend. You and I can hang out, maybe go to the grocery store."


"Why wouldn't you want to come home and visit your father?"

"I don't know, Dad, let me guess: college women?"
Bruce Cameron, "Driving Mr. Daddy" (As a carbon-reducing cheapskate he's trying to sweet talk his children into driving him around.)

Realized that I'm still living in the past - even in Windows, I put in an underscore instead of a space when naming directories.

When procrastinating, take a minute to laugh at future you. Ha ha, enjoy the work, loser.

Life is unfair, but that's a good thing. If it were fair things would go even worse for you.

I'm sure religious conservatives had a hunch that they were losing young people long before this polling data confirmed it, just by looking at the people sitting in their pews. Evangelical leaders have been fretting about this loss for a couple of years now, and it's an open secret that the youngest generation finds the reactionary politics and hostility toward science that marks religious conservatism to be repulsive. Some of the kids fleeing the flock just end up having no religious beliefs at all, but some clearly want to retain a connection to faith without having to sign off on the anti-feminism, homophobia, and creationism that comes with the more conservative churches."
I'm still worried about faith, and its ability to cling to a theory no matter what the facts turn out to be (which when turned on full blast becomes fundamentalism, some of the very worst of what humanity has to offer) but still, I can dig this.

July 23, 2013

Drawing teacher was encouraging us to mess around with composition, which led to me trying to punch way above my weight in terms of what I actually know how to pull off.

girl if i could rearrange the alphabet I'd just throw it on the ground so we could fuck in the chaos of impossible communication

The people who think the world will end all at once will be largely responsible for it ending gradually.

Timelapse plant growth looks so alien:

Macro Timelapse from Daniel Csobot on Vimeo.

July 24, 2013

Sure it mattered. When you get to my age you discover that everything mattered. Life isn't a series of good and bad choices. It's harder to steer it one way or the other than most people think. You just get pulled along. You look back and you wonder 'could I have changed the course of my life?' Maybe you could've ... but it would probably have taken a tremendous force of will.
Old Man in Seth's "It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken", a graphic novel (recycling this quote from 5 years ago -- the "everything mattered" line has stuck with me, but I had forgotten the source)

Every 2 minutes today we snap as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s. In fact, ten percent of all the photos we have were taken in the past 12 months.
I'm not 100% sure I buy the 10% line, but maybe!
If I had a dollar for every time someone called me an entitled white guy the problem would be even worse

Great quote from this goodmenproject article:
The core issue is this: many, many men in our society feel they have to be needed, because they can't imagine they could ever be wanted.
I wish the article pushed a little farther, though, to think about the background of this: the old trope of men as proactive subject, women as passive object. The old (and still around, alas) "male as default", especially for active roles. As society slowly gets better at accepting women as subject, men will be better served if they can accept a corresponding role as possible "objet du desir", someone you'd LIKE to have around than NEED to have around.

July 25, 2013

http://whistling-fish.org/thecolors.html -- cool color changing bookmarklet. Right up there with http://kathack.com/ !
https://github.com/jehna/VerbalExpressions - seems like a great idea of regexs!
A while back a friend tried to convince me that both political parties are equally as Machiavellian. Nope. NY Times on the Great Gerrymander of 2012 - found this after reading about how North Carolina is rolling back the clock with voter surpression, thanks to a shitergy with gerrymandering and the Supreme Court's trashing of the Voter Right's Act

on control and being the bestest

I don't mean to take a serious mental health issue some people wrestle with lightly, but lately I've been thinking about certain eating disorders, and how the choice to starve oneself can actually be a manifestation of the need to control SOMETHING in one's life-- "things may seem out of control, but at least THIS is something I can exert total influence over."

While it can be taken to unhealthy extremes, I think I'd be well served using a diluted form of that attitude in different parts of my life, from eating to work ethic.

For the eating, not the point of a disorder, obviously, but reminding myself that while the fight against a body's ability to subvert any set of good eating intentions (thanks to its innate need to prepare for some future famine or other unknown) is well-nigh unwinnable in the long run, at any given moment of mindfulness, I have the ability not to grab that damn snack.

For the work ethic, it's the desire to throw up my arms and run away when I fear a challenge is beyond my ken. On an intellectual level, I know I'm smart, but no genius, and my ability to quickly get the gist of something is sometimes countered by a symmetrical inability to really latch on to or remember details. (Or remember much of anything, sometimes!) My inner child, though, is convinced that my value as a person is tied to me being the cleverst and smartest, and that any endeavor that points to that not being the case needs to be avoided at all cost, no matter how destructive and hilarious self-contradictory a strategy that is.

Wow. That point of "value as a person" just came to me as I typed it, but I think it's a critical way of framing things I hadn't thought of before. I think it echoes some of what I posted the other day with http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-men-must-be-needed-because-we-cant-be-wanted/ where some men have a big problem believing they could possibly be wanted so they work to make themselves needed.

Somehow along the line, as a young'un, I think I developed that fragile way of establishing my self-esteem, and that Smart and Worthy is something people ARE, intrinsically, and not something they do. That's a terrible thing to think! And as far as I can tell, it's a view I kind of came up with on my own. At least, I don't think I should blame my folks for that one, but I don't know who, other than me. Maybe the nuns at Catholic School; the first grade teacher who let me go at my head-of-the-class pace, the disciplinarian nun the next year who shoved me back (sometimes literally), the testing they ran that said yeah, he's a clever kid alright, my parents (probably correct, and completely understandable) decision to keep me in a normal school, and just skip a grade for a while rather than take up the offer to put me to an advanced boarding school (where presumably I might have been exposed to kids who were even smarter than Kirk, Boy-Genius)

Maybe all that froze that inner child, vigilantly defended by other brain susbsytems (this concept borrows from the Internal Family Systems model, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Family_Systems_Model ). Sigh. To quote David Brooks:
"'Know thyself,' the Greek sage advised. But of course this is nonsense. Truly happy people live by the maxim 'Overrate thyself.' [...] Each of these people is a god of self-esteem, dwelling on a private Olympus."
But man, it's hard to get shtuff done from way on high like that.

Oh yeah? Well why don't you make like a tree and live in peace for a 100 years, needing nothing, feeling nothing, drinking the beautiful sky

July 27, 2013

If you'd gone to a publisher in 1981 with a proposal for a science-fiction novel that consisted of a really clear and simple description of the world today, they'd have read your proposal and said, Well, it's impossible. This is ridiculous. This doesn't even make any sense. [...] Fossil fuels have been discovered to be destabilizing the planet's climate, with possibly drastic consequences. There's an epidemic, highly contagious, lethal sexual disease that destroys the human immune system, raging virtually uncontrolled throughout much of Africa. New York has been attacked by Islamist fundamentalists, who have destroyed the two tallest buildings in the city, and the United States in response has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

July 28, 2013

I kind of have a rule that if something makes me giggle out loud, I will try and post it. I guess this was making the rounds a long time ago-- not so sure about the galaxy far, far away though.

Thinking maybe it's time to get rid of the 4 massive binders of CDs that represented my music in the 90s and early 2000s. What should I do with them? is it moral to give them to good will, seeing as how I'm enjoying all the music on them?

July 29, 2013

Trigger warnings galore, this is one of the most disgusting local abuses of power I've ever seen... http://boingboing.net/2013/07/28/nv-court-marshal-sexually-assa.html Thank God there was a video record of it, and that the broken system at least kept the tape undeleted.

"Sousaphonic Cityscape" from JP Honk Band @ Figment 2013

(Someone else's photo, but my horn!)

July 30, 2013

Slate had an inane (and heteronormative) who should text first? fluff piece, but it used "heyyy" as a example of what "she" might write-- it made me realize it's a pretty good transcription of that "vocal fry" thing.

I have to admit, I can see the appeal of the relaxed intimacy of both vocal fry in general and "heyyy" specifically.
This piece on the current abundance of Eliipses is pretty good, though... covers both the pros and the cons.

It's something I've been noting in my own e-writing for years... sometimes I go through phases where I try to cut back... I think writing is stronger without them... still it's probably not as distracting to other people as I fear...
There was a big jailbreak in Pakistan too? Damn. Reminds me of games of capture-the-flag at summer camp.

July 31, 2013

Cooking explained:
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Annette Funicello

Arlington's Elton's restaurant features "Elton's Famous Chicken Kabobs". Suddenly I want to see a place featuring INfamous Chicken Kabob.

2013 July❮❮prevnext❯❯