January 1, 20181sed

"It's only now, as an adult, I realize: they're always homeless! They're homeless vagabonds!" --Melissa as we ring in the new year with a 3 Stooges Marathon...Happy 2018!
Continuing my annual (and, err, daily) tradition of one second of video footage every day.

Long year. Still lots of bands, and lots of protests.

december 2017 new music playlist

January 2, 2018
New music from the last month of 2017 (4 star stuff in red) A lot of this month was holiday tunes... Other songs....

annual media roundup media

January 3, 2018
My annual Media Wrapup, mostly all the media I consumed fully during the year. Disappointing stuff in grey, Stuff that met expectations in black, really good stuff in red, really great stuff in red and bold. (Each category name has the count and then how the count differed from the year before.)

Movies at the Cinema (4 (-2))
Wonder Woman, The Dark Crystal, Blade Runner 2049, The Last Jedi
Always surprised to see how rarely I get to the cinema. Seeing "The Dark Crystal" on one of the last 2 70MM prints was amazing, hadn't seen it before.

Movies on Video or Streaming (33 (--))
What We Do in the Shadows, Raise the Red Lantern, Mistress America, There Will Be Blood, Make Happy, Backbeat, The Third Man, Henry and June, The Commitments, Dave Chapelle: Age of Spin, Louis CK 2017, The Matrix, Old Baby, Get Out, Rory Scovel Tries Standup for the First Time, Ladyhawke, Enter the Dragon, Immigrant, Whisky Tango Foxtrot, Quest for Fire, Bringing Up Baby, Ghostbusters, Iron Sky, Blade Runner, Baby Driver, Arrival, Trolls, Chappie, Atomic Blonde, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, The Maltese Falcon, Stooger Things
"What We Do in the Shadows" and "Baby Driver" are stronger than average 4s, and it was nice seeing some of my all time favorites "Backbeat" and "Henry and June" with Melissa.

TV Show Seasons (10 (-2))
Black Mirror Season 2, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Better Off Ted Season 2, Girls Season 6, Better Off Ted Season 2, Drawn Together Season 1, Difficult People Season 1, Black Mirror Season 3, Game of Thrones Season 7, Rick and Morty Season 3
"Black Mirror" is the real standout here; it's like the twilight zone for our time. Rick and Morty has some greatness too it as well, and for similar reasons.

Books (32 (-24))
Dangerous Visions, The Alchemist, This Is It, Predisposed, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Norse Mythology, Front-End Developer Handbook 2017, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, Capek: 4 Plays, Master and Commander, Giggling Into the Pillow., The Doors of Perception, Taking Care of Red, eat pray love, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, Consciousness Explained, Bull, Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design, Priestdaddy, Kingdom Hearts II, Soft & Cuddly , Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Breakout: How Atari 8-bit Computers Defined a Generation, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Disrupted, Men Without Women, Essays After 80, The Old Soak and Hail and Farwell, Insanely Great, Bhagavad Gita, Quotes Every Man Should Know
Less reading done this year, though I made up for it a little with the new Audiobook section... I reread "Consciousness Explained" - it wasn't as jaw dropping as it was in 2000 or so, but it still gets nod as one of my top 5 ever books... "Bull" is a great retelling of the story of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth, worth checking out. "Priestdaddy" was excellent as well, and Sedaris' "Theft by Finding" stuck with me.

Audibooks (12 (+12))
Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, Staring at the Sun, From Bacteria to Bach: The Evolutions of Minds, The Righteous Mind, Nothing to be Frightened Of, Talking It Over, Making Money, Love, Etc, Malagash, The Brothers Karamazov (abridged), Vacationland, Down and Out in Paris and London
So here's where I made up for my lack of books - and I actually think the format led me to take on some heavier tomes than I might have otherwise. "Staring at the Sun", with it's tales of therapy and dealing with mortality, really reintroduced me to the "theraputic hour". I'm going to lead a discussion group on "The Righeous Mind". Speaking of mortality, "Nothing to Be Frightened Of" and its dealing with the subject keeps it as one of my top 5 books and me fall in love with Julian Barnes' writing, which lead to "Talking It Over" (and its sequel "Love, Etc". "Malagash" by Joe Comeau, about a precocious coder teen coping with the impending death of her father by trying to write a computer virus that can act as his virtual ghost really stuck home.

Comic / Graphic Novel (10 (+1))
Vision 1: Little Worse Than a Man, Vision 2: Little Better Than a Beast, Deadpool Killiistrated, Deadpool Kills Marvel Universe, Punisher Kills Marvel Universe, Misc Star Trek comics, Mouth Baby, Boy's Club, Michael Rosen's Sad Book, Great Lego Sets: A Visual History
James Harvey's "Mouth Baby" is disturbing and genius and great.

Video Games (9 (+8))
Lady killer in a Bind, Star Fox Zero, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, GTA: VC, Ghostbusters (2009), Super Mario Odyssey, Desert Golfing, Mario Party: The Top 100, Blaster Master Zero
I made a deliberate effort to play more games this year. It was great showing Smooth Moves to Melissa. Super Mario Odyssey was brilliant- really getting into the physical kinetics of stuff, which is why I play games. Blaster Master Zero was a satisfying retroromp during Christmas break.

Turns out Intel Inside is a threat, not a promise...

January 4, 2018ramble

"Helpless rage is a major cause of falls in the home."
--"Don Giovanni" (by Garrison Keillor)

I've been thinking of this quote a lot lately, as I play with the idea of if it's ok (meaning, compatible with the kind of moral life I want to live) to keep my dismay at events cerebral, rather than deeply emotionally processed.

It's balancing a desire for a healthy sense of equanimity against the idea that without emotion, there is no motion; that every action we undertake happens when our emotional elephant gets the impetus to move, our rational rider just trying to guide the elephant as best it can (and then take credit for it with post-facto rationalization, its true talent.)

In general curating my own emotional landscape might be more of an option for me than some because I have an almost-OCDish history of justifying and rationalizing myself, and some practice letting my rational side preempt emotions it thinks are invalid.

Also, the option to do so might be coming from a place of privilege - but maybe not as much as it first appears. An existentially bleak universe and set-point theory of happiness, if valid, would be available to almost everyone regardless of privilege.

"Textese" and code-switching or why a period at the end of a text message sounds harsh. Often, good messages in a dialog trail off, inviting further reply. This makes me feel a bit better about all the smilies I use. (And slowly I'll be less aghast at "u" and "r" showing up so often.)

January 5, 2018

I guess Republicans are all for states rights and small business and jobs except when they have a chance to overturn something Obama's administration set up.
I <3 b3ta.com

"All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you."
--Ernest Hemingway

January 6, 2018

I guess I've been meaning to post this forever... (found on tumblr)

Last night my company had its semi-fancy dress holiday party and I found out that dress rentals for women is now a thing. (and maybe new-ish, like the past ten years or so.) This makes a tremendous amount of sense to me. (I mean there's still a lot in what our culture expects women to wear that doesn't, but still.)

January 7, 2018

"I am the very model of a Very Stable Genius.
I have a mighty button and no problems with my penius.
I have no time for television, golf, or social media
Since my brain is way way better than the best encyclopedia."
"In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it."
--St. Augustine. Francis S. Collins, who was big in the human genome project, cites this, saying it's Augustine sorting through the seeming self-contradiction when Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are taken together and more-or-less literally. (Did humans or plants arrive first?) I think it points to a major problem of religion in this country: some strains of Christianity hitched their wagon to science a long while bak, and a in world after Newton but before Darwin, that kind of explanation made more sense. But when science started veering away from things that Christians clung to as "this must be true, and not just in a poetic and moral sense", some flavors of Christianity decided to double down and claim a validation in the scientific view of empirically observable facts on the ground that becomes harder and harder to justify. Augustine shows that it doesn't have to be that way.

chappelle on truth and reconciliation and #metoo

January 8, 2018
"And I feel bad. But I just feel like this is all happening for a reason. And ladies I want you to win this fight. Ten years ago I might've been scared but you know, I got a daughter now; so if you win, she wins, so I'm rooting for you. And I agree with you.

At least ideologically I do. I don't know if you're doing it just right but I mean who am I to say... I don't think you're wrong, I just think that you can't make a lasting peace this way. You got all the bad guys scared. And that's good. But the minute they're not scared anymore, it will get worse than it was before. Fear does not make lasting peace. Ask black people.

And that's what it is. What this city really needs, without irony, I'll say this: the cure for L.A. is in South Africa. You motherf***ers need truth and reconciliation with one another. 'Cause the end of apartheid should have been a f***ing bloodbath by any metric in human history, and it wasn't. The only reason it wasn't is because Desmond Tutu and Mandela and all these guys figured out that if a system is corrupt, then the people who adhere to the system, and are incentivized by that system, are not criminals. They are victims. And that he system itself must be tried. But because of how the system works, it's so compartmentalized as far as information, the only way we can figure out what the system is, is if everybody says what they did. Tell them how you participated."
--David Chappelle in "The Bird Revelation". I saw Melissa cringe with some of his views, but we laughed a lot and I think there was some wisdom there in seeing some parallels in the history of dealing with racism and sexism. The Truth and Reconciliation idea stuck with me. That might have a lot more legs than truth and retribution. I'm not sure if it can work though; in part because men aren't always embracing the truth aspect. Also, the end of apartheid was the end of a minority rule (20% or less) and had just about the whole world condemning it. If it's demographics, men are about 50%, and it's going to be that much tougher.
This weekend I found out Jackbox Games (who made "You Don't Know Jack" under the Jellyvision brand back in the 90s - those were WAY ahead of their time in terms of production values) is making some awesome games - they leverage the fact that so many folk have a smartphone with a web connection these days (or can borrow a tablet) and they can be a great tool (using a simple 4-letter code to hop intoan active game on the website, and then using the shared TV or monitor screen for common information) -- Fibbage is a great game of bluffing, Quiplash is like Cards Against Humanity but people actually have to use their own imaginations, Drawful is a pretty solid Pictionary-ish spin off... good stuff.
Pshaw, our vaunted "stealth" bomber, captured by some dude in a Cessna 206? Sad.

(More on this amazing photo)
Interesting - a Football player and Computer Guy from Tufts might be one of Belichick's secret weapons...

January 9, 2018

By Jen Sorensen. It reminds me of a term Dave Chappelle uses: "Tiki-Torch Whites". I think that term captures what Hillary Clinton was meaning with her disastrous term "deplorables", but it's less likely to be misinterpreted...
Trump doesn't know or has forgotten half the words to the National Anthem. He seems to do the "bombs bursting in air" pretty well (of course) and the big finish, but for the rest he reminds me of my friend EB trying to sing along to a Beastie Boy song he only sorta knows. (The trick I use there is to do what the Beastie Boys do and just shout-reinforce the final, rhyming word of the line)
Dunkies Dumbing Down their menu. Already missing the flatbread. But the steak and egg stuff seemed really hit or miss already, in terms of availability...
Retronauts Podcast New Years Special covering '78, '88, '98, '08. It reminded me that classic Space Invaders had a "destructible environment" that's still a big feature these days - in fact, blasting through your base to make a little gunport was a big strategy. I guess that's the power of 2D gaming...
At work we have a Slack channel "#stupid-idea-buddies" where people propose ideas and no negativity is allowed. (I know some other workplaces have followed our lead - I'd recommend it for any office using shared chatrooms) Here's my latest:
#1593 Make years start on March 1. This will have 3 big advantages:
1. meteorological seasons now line up year - starting with March/April/May spring, June/July/August summer, the school year starts with Sep/Oct/Nov Fall, and then Dec/Jan/Feb Winter
2. September and October now fall on their appropriate Latin numbers (7 and 8)
3. NFL season is no longer this weird ambiguity springing from regular seasons and playoffs of one "season" being in different years
I hate the word "sanguine"

January 10, 2018

npm and new cities for trojan horses A slightly more interesting than average post on my developer blog.
Great comic essay on How WW2 nostalgia plus 9/11 let conservatives erase what we learned in Vietnam.

January 11, 2018

From my devblog - Dunno if anyone will find this useful, but geeks on macs who want to add simple captions to a series of images and then make a PDF from 'em might find it a decent solution...
"If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life - and only then will I be free to become myself."
--Martin Heidegger
Huh guess it's ok to write "shithole" without asterisking or anything on news outlets now. Thanks Donald!
Why is it usually drawn as science vs religion when there's philosophy to split the difference?

January 12, 2018

You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind's sighs that are like caves in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.

The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing you can do.

The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.
--Mark Strand

bad artists copy art

January 13, 2018

from badartistscopy.1
I tried to replicate the much more compelling effect of Line Girl by Low Sugar Eye Candy, who has a lot more practice at it than I do.
I think people are missing the point of the shithole comment.... Trump fans are ok with a vulgarian raging asshole in the white house, so long as he's not liberal or AT ALL likely to make them feel dumb, and probably agree with the tweet "If they aren't shithole countries, why don't their citizens stay there? Let's be honest. Call it like it is."

These same fans are too "AMERICA NUMBER ONE WOOOOOO" to get the obvious counter, as another tweet put it 'Norwegians: "We have health care, free college, a living wage, and great social services. Why would we move to your shithole of a nation?"'

I wish we had a full transcript, because I think the real bit of dumbassery, besides his brutally inhumane lack of understanding of "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses", is that he thinks immigration is just a kind of proactive thing by the target country. The context was the immigration lottery, about limits on people from "the shithole countries" and he's all like we'd like to see "more people from places like Norway". Besides the likely racism guiding his country preferences, besides the history of US meddling that helped make those nations into "shitholes" 'cause we had some money to be made and some political agendas to followup on... well, to give him the benefit of the doubt, he'd love to "Make America Great Again" enough that we'd be appealing to Norwegians, but unless they're big fans of wealth-oligarchical kakocracies, they're going to stay away.

I know it's only half an hour ago, but I'm surprised Hawaii's false alarm to cellphones ("Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill") ain't bigger news yet.

Related: awaiting reports of a sharp decrease in sales of laxatives on big island of Hawaii.
Forecast for Sex By 50 When You Are a 46-Year-Old Black Woman This is sweet and brilliant. It reminds me of all the great African-American literature I got to read in college. (Admittedly I was initially driven by looking for double credits for my English major and my school's "world cultures" requirement, but it was great stuff.)

"Life is a hard battle anyway. If we laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight of freedom, it makes it all go easier. I will not allow my life's light to be determined by the darkness around me."
--Sojourner Truth
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. His phone rings. "Hi, this is Rachel from Card Services calling about your credit card account..."

January 14, 2018

from @JasonRitter
I wrote a very short story:
Charlie Brown looked at his ten year old son,
still wiping the tears from his eyes. He knew
what his son was going through, he had been
through it all before. He wanted to tell him
everything he had learned over the years, that
sometimes people let you down but you can
never let that stop you from trying. That kids
can be selfish and mean, but if you let others
define your self-worth, you'll never be truly
comfortable with yourself. He saw his son
looking up at him, eyes wet and open,
searching for any comfort that his father could
offer him
"Wah-Wah," said Charlie Brown,
tromboningly. "Wah Wah wawaWAH, Wah wah

January 15, 2018

Why is F***, Marry, Kill (or its clever hipster variations like "kill, betray, have on your zombie apocalypse team") even a thing? What kind of dumbass triage is that, even? Like either the answers, based on the given choices, are obvious, or you're having to say you kill something you probably like well enough or marry something you hate.

Can someone point me to one that was funny or insightful?

January 16, 2018

I posted this link to the Consoloation of Philosophy a year ago. Man, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal really gets me. Like, REALLY gets me... ""There's so much stuff that matters, but so little of it matters to my well-being!"
The bad UI that scared the bajeebers out of Hawaii

"Trying to remember you is like carrying water in my hands a long distance"
--Stephen Dobyn. What an image! I love metaphors that reveal further parallels as you think about it more.
"[during lull in conversation] maybe people who say the earth is flat are thinking of maps"

Fake News, and Meta Fake News.

January 17, 2018

There was a survey out with a some disturbing results about "Fake News".

The WaPo headline is "Study: 42 percent of Republicans believe accurate -- but negative -- stories qualify as 'fake news'"

But the paragraph I see at Politico says
Asked to rate "Accurate news stories casting a politician or political group in a negative light," Democrats said 26 percent always, 50 percent sometimes, 22 percent never, while Republicans replied 42 percent always, 46 percent sometimes, 10 percent never.
That 42% to 26% is still something, but a lot less than the headline might suggest. And complicating that is this line from WaPo:
Four in 10 [or 42 percent of] Republicans consider accurate news stories that cast a politician or political group in a negative light to always be "fake news." [The corresponding figure for Democrats is 17 percent.]
So reading the damn PDF -- Politico is attributing to Democrats what the chart in the PDF says is Independents??? The numbers for Democrats are 17% always, 55% sometimes, 25% never

Yeesh. So I'd say WaPo is more accurate. And while 17 is too damn high, it's significantly less than 26 and ESPECIALLY 42. It is pathetic and sad that this is all lumped under "FAKE NEWS" when "BIASED NEWS" would do the damn job. (In my Morality OCD, objective truth is CRITICAL even as I understand that the presenting and withholding of facts can add a lot of bias.)

Be Warned: Your Own Trump Is Coming Pretty good Cracked piece on what the Left-Wing-Trump will look and sound like....
Man, that was cool

via animatedscreenshots.tumblr.com

January 18, 2018

For the longes time I had a Sticky note on my Mac desktop "enterprise volltron - dream of".... I guess it would look something like this: