2016 December❮❮prevnext❯❯

December 1, 2016


advent day 1

advent2016.alienbill.com Once again, I made a virtual advent calendar! An original little digital toy for each day leading up to Christmas. You can comeback daily to see what's unlocked.

november 2016 new music playlist

A shorter than average list, sadly I didn't hear much new music in Malaysia. 4 stars in red, check out the video for Carment
The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one!
Donald Trump, on Twitter in 2012 when he wrongly thought Obama lost the popular vote. Presumably he meant to say "the loser won" not "one".

Very mixed feelings about Trump scotch taping his tie.

advent day 2

Ugh, vague feeling of remembering "Oh I should put this down someplace where I'll remember it" followed by less vague feeling of being pretty sure I didn't.
The 52 Things I learned in 2016. Whoa.

December 3, 2016


advent day 3

December 4, 2016


advent day 4

I'm a hick," I recall saying to him.

"No," Harrison answered. "You think you're less than you are. You're a smart hick." And then, "You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samurai.
Carrie Fisher, "The Princess Diarist"

December 5, 2016


advent day 5

December 6, 2016


advent day 6

December 7, 2016

Wears a hat of someone else's choosing
A sunset lover
Smooth elbows
A man with specific mannerisms
Sleeps diagonally
A perplexment
Rides the carousel
An evening botanist
Classically athletic
Wears a light wristwatch
Gives a careful handshake
Gives too much change for a dollar
A fluent swimmer
A keen-eyed birdwatcher
Fond of his mother
Built on an uncertain foundation
A real jackdaw
Avowed bachelor
A gentleman of the piers
Born with the caul
An aesthete
In the way of uncles
He throws a party with an open guest list
Son of the moon
A boy from Eton
Always rings twice
Has a silk bathrobe
Not quite up-to-code
He hitchhikes instead of taking the bus
Stays ahead of the game
A skillful mountain climber
Salutes another flag
An upside-down chimney-sweep

advent day 7

"I feel like one of my life goals should be getting a lifesize cut-out made out of me. Would you want one?"
"You're such an only child."
Me and Melissa
(it only sort of helped when I explained, no, I meant would she want one of herself.)

December 8, 2016


advent day 8

December 9, 2016


advent day 9

December 10, 2016

By @christhebarker :

more info. Lets hope thats pretty much it for this year.

advent day 10

I don't have to outrun the lava, Abbey, I just have to outrun you. Or am I thinking of bears? I'm often thinking of bears.

Donald Trump and Vince McMahon have worldviews and business approaches shaped by similar experiences. They understand how pro wrestling and its carny traditions can make money off of 'marks' the unsuspecting fans who don't know (or don't care) that it's a con.

Aargh. I've done a ton of scanning with my eyes on the prize of just having less clutter - but I have trouble plucking up my courage to get rid of the physical material, especially the photos, even though they're carefully scanned, and even as I recognize that the cursory glance I gave each piece as I scanned it probably represents more attention than it would have other gotten otherwise.

Any advice? Dumping them all in a garbage bag seems like such an ignominious end, even as they'll live on in digital form.

Blender of Love

KristAnna Bday Party 2016.12.10 at Night Shift Brewery!


advent day 11

December 12, 2016

Bob Deskin linked to this last week and it's been on my mind ever since

(Today's advent entry is one of my top three for this year)

advent day 12

December 13, 2016


advent day 13

December 14, 2016


advent day 14

December 15, 2016


advent day 15

New work laptop. A little larger than would be my preference but- more for stickers!

Admittedly it's cooler when stickers get acquired over time, but as I said yesterday "I fear I am akin to a tween when it comes to stickers"

December 16, 2016


advent day 16

December 17, 2016

Boston area reminder: sure days like today aren't necessarily fun, and "oh but we LIKE a place with seasons" may just be what gets us through the (long dark) night but without this the city would be even more overpopulated with college kids who'd have even less incentive to leave. So... hooray?
Pretty good blog to read along with my Lego Star Wars advent calendar this year. They also have it for previous years: 2014 and 2015

advent day 17

I wrote a final wrapup entry to that type-in games of Compute's Gazette blog I did last fall.

December 18, 2016

Watched Rogue One - Spoiler Free Thoughts, mostly about the gear and ships and possible art influences.

I think I liked it better than Force Awakens, in part because it wasn't trying to duplicate the beats of the original.

Besides a few touches of Mad Max (Forest Whitaker's character had a bit of a trace of Immortan Joe - and almost served like an echo of Darth Vader) the probable influence I most enjoyed recognizing was the Star Wars video games - flying low under radar through fog filled trenches (ala N64 Rogue Squadron) Walkers through shallow tropical waters (ala the GameCube entry in the series) - probably a touch of the Battlefront series in the soldiers running around combat as well. I'm assuming.

Also, seeing Star Destroyers directly over urban areas made me think of those "Death Star over SF Bay video", circa 2008:

Another art influence I think, but obscure: the lanky K-2SO reminds me a LOT of the robots in Paul Rivoche's art in the appendix of Isaac Asimov-moderated "Robot City"-- see the art at the bottom here.

There was a bit too much "THIS year's toy" in the ships- (which is funny, I think one thing I didn't like about Force Awakens was how the ships didn't feel different *enough*) - for geeks who care about that kind of thing it's going to be tougher to justify why more of them didn't show up in the Original Trilogy. (Unless they make another Lucas-ian touch up and rerelease A New Hope)

You know, most prominent in that are all Imperial Shuttle-derived transports, ships with a center body and then 2, 3, or 4 folding wings, like Kylo Ren's ship. When the Vader's Shuttle started up Return of the Jedi, it was unlike anything we'd seen in Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back, but now they're everywhere, they just decided to sit out two films.

Speaking of making Return of the Jedi look bad - I know Star Wars has a "bad guys built a superweapon, good guys have to take it out" problem, but this movie talks about the criticality of the Death Star plans SO MUCH that it becomes weird how Return of the Jedi was just able to throw in a "the Death Star - again! But bigger!" so easily.

(Also everywhere in this movie: those little things that look like fancy pens in Imperial (and others?) pockets. I guess they're "Imperial Code Cylinders" but they're so ubiquitous as to be distracting.)

I loved the humanity in the opening scene at the farm - like what life might be like in an Empire dominated galaxy. Oh and Jyn Erso is a total badass gal. I wish we'd seen Carrie Fisher doing more of that kind of leading, either in the original trilogy or the new movie. (Though I guess technically she grew up in very protected royal circumstances...)
Oh, though I guess Luke's toy T-16 kind of had that Imperial Shuttle look.

advent day 18

December 19, 2016


advent day 19

December 20, 2016


advent day 20

Almost exactly ten years ago I wrote: "a pair of robot arms that did nothing but accept shirts handed to it, hanging them neatly up in the closet, would be one of the niftier uses of robot technology I can think of. Worlds more useful than those stupid "can bring you a soda, if someone on the kitchen puts one on its little tray" robots that so captivated me in the 80s."

Scientists are finally on the case!

December 21, 2016

A lefty debates with his more conservative younger self. I like the dialectic in this, even as my own views lean left.

advent day 21

December 22, 2016


advent day 22

You know, I was going to write about mixed feelings about if Donald Trump was backing off "Drain the Swamp" rhetoric (you know, just leaving big money as the only long term interest in DC) while still utilizing it as BS puffery--- but Newt saying he had to take it all back. Yeesh. I'd say it sounds like someone got sent to the principal's office, but Trump is more... bully? Commandant? Metaphors fail me. What a cluster.

December 23, 2016


advent day 23

Look Who's Back A German Ali G explortation of various Trumpian populist formulas. Kinda brilliant.

December 24, 2016


advent day 24

December 25, 2016


advent day 25

On my devblog, grumbling about HD space

December 26, 2016

For grins I finally got around to putting up a tag system here on the site. Right now the most useful addition is as a guide to my Malaysia photos.

I should be grateful I don't get periods...I don't even know what that stuff would come out of, frankly.
Me, Dec 10.

Americans now spend more money on casino gambling than on music purchases and going to movies and sports events combined
The Atlantic.
That blurb was from the print version only maybe, but the article was good. I admit, I don't really "get it" - and this isn't meant to be judge-y at all, but when I'm play slots, anxiety about the slow drain of money (along with echoes of a puritanical 'doing a bad thing' concern, my church growing up was zero gambling) overcomes any boosts I get from winning. But it's not just me - there's that tenet of "loss aversion" in psychology, right? You can frame things so that people clearly are more at pains to avoid loss than to go out for potential gains - but something in the casino experience masks that. Is it just the pile of all the little tricks? All the near misses (the article says the lizard brains reads those as practically wins), or all the tiny semi-wins that might not even make your money back, but still feel like something?

December 27, 2016

We are such insistent storymakers that we tend to find intention and purpose in every damn thing... It is ridiculous that so many of us, for me example, have a hard time not taking traffic personally.
Be Princess Leia in 2017. Fight on the front lines. Strangle fascists with the chains they would have you wear. Be a motherfuckin' general.

December 28, 2016

I made this on my iPad a while back. One of my favorite things since these

December 29, 2016

A while back the Cambridge Scout wrote about School of Honk - I show up in 2 1/2 of the 4 photos, I think because my tuba is so shiny and brass.

Spiders are the only web developers who are happy when they find bugs.
Thoughts from the Shower

December 30, 2016

you know, is it too corny to say that Carrie Fisher's mom died of a broken heart in both the movies and real life?
The Digital Library of Babel - one of my geekiest yet literary devblog posts yet!

December 31, 2016

See ya, 2016. Don't let the swinging door hit your ass on the way out.

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