June 1, 2018

Honestly the only way I keep track of Latitude vs Longitude is the old beer commercial (Corona?) that says "change your latitude", i.e. think in a more southernly climes way...
"i want small government, by which of course i don't mean cutting the largest military budget in the world, avoiding foreign intervention, reducing the prison population, or limiting the state's ability to imprison people without trial. mainly i'm just mad that food stamps exist"
--https://twitter.com/kulturalmarx
Hot take: Jeff Bridges was in Tron, Iron Man, and of course was "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski, and is not the same person as Kurt Russell (who was in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Escape from New York)

Spring 2018 1 Second Everyday

June 2, 2018
My seasonal 1 Second Everyday! Still assuming that 1:30 or so of a season tells a better story than 30 seconds of a month. Lots of Fenway Porchfest and the obvious revival of band season...
AIweirdness blog's neural nets continue to delight, this time with Roller Derby Names. Would love to see the source material as well.

June 3, 2018

the long and lat of it

June 4, 2018
I have to think a bit about Latitude and Longitude to do Porchfest website maps - especially when I try to tweak their position in an X/Y axis kind of way. The other day I posted on FB (and here)
Honestly the only way I keep track of Latitude vs Longitude is the old beer commercial (Corona?) that says "change your latitude", i.e. think in a more southernly climes way...
Some of my friends responded with some interesting devices to remember which is which:I tried visualizing all of these, but none of them seem helpful. I realize maybe it's because I'm a "interactional" thinker - each of these describe how the lines look when inscribed on a globe (latitude is fAT, or like lAdder rungs, or running EAst to West) but my visualization is more "what number changes as I travel north to south, say?" - kind of the exact opposite of Tim's method.

I think this may be an example of "nouns vs verbs" thinking. I feel it's a spectrum for many folks - probably "bathtub curve" shaped. It's pretty abstract, but I think many programmers think in nouns, and they're the ones who love Object Oriented programming, and Declarative program -- "lets start with what you are, and then fill in what you do, or how you do it" while I'm always more concerned with "what are we doing, how are we interacting".

June 5, 2018

Mac Users! Tired of seeing an ugly "ransom note" effect when you copy and paste some text, and the system "helpfully" tries to keep the old font and color info? Try this:
Voila. Any app that supports "Paste and Match Style" will now just paste the damn text as text, and you can stop pasting into an intermediate text app (or in my case, browser address box) to avoid your document from devolving into a crazy pastiche of colors and fonts. (Why this isn't more of a clipboard-level default, I'll never know. It's hardly ever helpful - just feels like OS developers trying to show off.)
"'Words are just an invitation. Actions are the party.' Dang, that's some sage wisdom. I kind of want to write that out in my fanciest lettering over a poignant photo."
--Missy at Basic Instructions
DeVos: Safety commission won't look at role of guns in school violence
"Will your commission look at the role of firearms as it relates to gun violence in our schools?" Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked DeVos.

"That is not part of the commission's charge, per se," DeVos responded.

"I see," Leahy responded. "So, you're studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns."

"We're actually student school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school," DeVos said.
LOL Republicans. They are billboards of their own bullshit.

may 2018 new music playlist

June 6, 2018
Music I "discovered" in May, 4-star stuff in red.
Me: I wish to spend an extended time rubbing my fingers over some small patch of pleasantly-textured surface. Perhaps the fur of an animal?
The miniaturized apex predator with which I share my home: [vibrates at a soothing frequency to encourage this behavior]
--gallusrostromegalus

June 7, 2018

Hmm. Quiet. Maybe TOO quiet.

*SCREAMS*

Ahh, that's better.
Josh followed up with

June 8, 2018

"Just heard a kid say 'yo mama so fat thanos had to snap twice.' The youth are in good hands."
--@DrewNextDoor_

me and wally down by the school yard

June 9, 2018
BABAM ran into Wally before marching Boston Pride

"Follow Your Blisters."
--Companion advice to "Follow Your Bliss", and don't expect it to be effortless or always fun.

June 10, 2018

A week before his suicide, Anthony Bourdain bought an artwork called: "The sky is falling, I am learning to live with it.", as tweeted by the artist John Lurie.

June 11, 2018

A musician, a trombone, and a loop machine...

I guess the two biggest features on my psychological landscape from my childhood are A. "Kirk is Already Great and Personal Growth isn't Really a Thing" - this is a big set back in terms of ambition, but is hugely protective armor in other ways and B. "Every feeling must submit to rationality and any thing that doesn't jive jibe (with my best guess as) to an objective viewpoint should be discarded". That's a lot of will-power coiled up like a spring in that sentiment. I don't really know how people who don't have that get through.
TIL: jibe is a word, distinct from jive. Thanks Tom Parmenter!

June 12, 2018

Ran into this song in a Coors advertisement I think - instantly I know I love it. Like from just a few bars of the percussion. Can anyone who is better at categorizing music - even beyond genre (motown?) but to like instrument and rhythm name, tell me what it is I'm responding to?

June 13, 2018

Here's a argument between baseball umpire and manger, with sound (Lotsa cussin') (MLB is trying to remove this, but this version showed up)
"I like my women like I like my coffee, strong enough to kill me but with a hint of mercy."
--Aaron Giles, "How to Survive the End of the World (when it's in your own head)", a book on anxiety attacks.
Miyamoto in 2002 : "Get accustomed to the GCN Controller because, 10 years from now, this controller will be the standard" -- and in 2018 the Switch will let you play Smash Bros using it! It was so good, I love how differentiated the buttons are and how the scrunchy-then-click triggers work

June 14, 2018

Happy Flag Day Dedham

June 15, 2018

"No worries. I had just been hunting for a walking buddy. But my phone kept me company."
"who needs people when you can have a glass and steel slab with ALL the people"
"Exactly!"
--MiFi and me on work Slack.
"Those macarons were pretty good. I mean it's not the glory of a cupcake. By the way, I want that to be the title of my posthumous biography, 'The Glory of a Cupcake'."
--Melissa

June 16, 2018

This got the cartoonist fired. Share it.

June 17, 2018

With the caveats that IQ tests are problematic, I made a potentially reusable tool to put state data on a USA map, seeding it with Inc.'s We Compared the Average IQ Scores in All 50 States, and the Results Are Eye-Opening.

Because I am a partisan jerk, I was curious if it would reflect the political divisions of our nation. Nope, though there is a maybe even more problematic latitude correlation.

June 18, 2018

Who wore it better: Children detained in McAllen, Texas or Ivanka Trump pic.twitter.com/atifVrteeY

— Orli Matlow (@HireMeImFunny) June 18, 2018



Hank Azaria on his voices. Man, I love voicework. I don't have a careful enough ear to be good at accents, but putting on voices is such a good way for even wannabe funny guys like me to temporarily change persona...

June 19, 2018

On our asses in the Jackpot. (and more)
Happy Juneteenth Everyone.

June 20, 2018



Blender of Love

from this tweet, The result of taking a panorama while rolling down a hill

June 21, 2018

What's on the Voyager Probe Golden Record?
"Is depression funny?"
"Oh, I think it's hilarious. I really think it's funny. I am not interested in well-adjusted people because they just don't know they're depressed yet. I'm a snob about depression, I think we are superior. I honestly do. I think our brains are more developed and it's... and it's a burden."
--Jen Kirkman answering John Moe on his The Hilarious World of Depression podcast. Funny hearing about her being panicked by low flying aircraft in the 80s, like I was, assuming they were the harbinger of nuclear doom. (I got over the fear on my own years before my buddy Mike pointed hey, ICBMs travel MUCH faster than the speed of sound, you'd never hear 'em comin'.)
¡7 Trombones for niños y niñas! is a fundraiser I started on FB...

Had a lovely gig playing for Make Music Boston which JP Honk, which I think is always on the solstice. Knowing it was the longest day of the year, and thinking about how June has kind of slipped by, reminded me of this poem:
THE LIVING END
Before long the end
Of the beginning
Begins to bend
To the beginning
Of the end you live
With some misgivings
About what you did.
--Samuel Menashe

June 22, 2018

hey kids remember the 90s? 'cuz Melissa says this shirt sure does

Consider the Lobster (as a potentially immortal being that made a deal with devil)
The idea of a graffiti robot is kinda brilliant

June 23, 2018

Just saw Paula Poundstone @ The Chevalier in Medford. "Electing Trump is to America what 'Beaching Themselves' is to Whales" and "Sir, all your honking and yelling is doing nothing to improve my driving skills" - thanks Cathleen who skipped Melissa and me the tix!

June 24, 2018

"Even sleepers are workers and collaborators in what goes on in the universe."
--Heraclitus

June 25, 2018

Got on page B7 of the Boston Globe, reporting on a Cosecha anti-family-separation rally that BABAM! backed.

Had I know I'd'a worn a better T-shirt than Rick and Morty.

"Boston, which used to be a city of a thousand nooks and crannies, back-alley restaurants and shops, dive bars and ice cream parlors hidden under its elevated, is now one long, monotonous wall of modern skyscraper."
--The Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence. I mostly feel this in Harvard Square. Too many landlords holding out for too much rent from too stable and boring a business, like another f'in Bank Branch or CVS. Squares with nothing but empty lots and boring as dishwater franchises are a blight on our land. I think they should be dealt with via tax breaks for funky, less-corporate businesses and harsh tax penalties for landlords who just sit on spots, waiting for the right boring client and bringing down the neighborhood values for everyone.

June 26, 2018

"He dealt in information, and the amount of information is proportional to its surprise."
--Michael F. Flynn, "In Panic Town, on the Backward Moon" Arun introduced me to the podcast "Clarkesworld Magazine" where Kate Baker reads short sci-fi stories published by the magazine.

June 27, 2018

Microsoft Windows 95 phone...

June 28, 2018

Will Stenberg:
I hate "we're fucked."

I mean, I don't want to shame anyone who has said it, thought it, or posted it. I have too. But as a philosophy, as a statement of belief, I hate it. Because it means you've given up.

We are absolutely NOT fucked.

Things are so bad. This country has taken a turn that I could never have predicted. It is absolutely fascist, nativist, and extremist. It's every bit as scary as it seems.

But we are not fucked.

I read a long-form article on the Russia hacks in the New Yorker not long ago. However much you think that influenced the outcome, it was an instructive piece of journalism. There is very little indication that there was a specific political agenda that was being wished for. The goal was simple: Sow chaos and undermine the faith of Westerners in their own institutions.

This is really important to think about right now.

I have a high regard for Mueller and I think his investigation will have some influence. But don't wait on him to save us. He can't. And don't wait on impeachment. I would support it fervently, but it is nothing to bank on. And especially don't assume Trump can't win again. He absolutely can. Our best bet - better, even, than all of our protests and actions - is actually voting.

It's so square. It's so old-fashioned. Many of us involved with the hard-left or anarchist scene have been trained to disregard it.

Fucking don't. NOT NOW, guys. It is the best tool at our disposal. Yeah, you can say that they will sabotage it, reject it, whatever. "Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof." In other words, don't create troubles before they exist. Anything seems possible to me right now, but it remains the case - despite hacked voting machines and gerrymandering - that there is no known mechanism by which our government can deny massive voter turnout.

Take back the House in November. Then take back the Presidency in 2020. The worst thing we could do is pretend that these are givens. I never, ever, ever thought that this piece of shit could sit in the Oval Office. I was so humbled by my error. Therefore I assume he could take it again - I know he could - unless we accept the threat as real.

When we say, "We're fucked," we roll over. We defeat ourselves. We do their job for them. Don't do that. We are NOT fucked. We are in a fight. It sucks. It's hard. People are suffering. The earth is suffering. It will get worse.

You know, since everyone loves the Nazi comparisons, there were people during the HEYDAY of the Third Reich who NEVER said, "We're fucked." They said, "We're in a fight." And you know what's interesting? Nazi Germany went from the worst regime in the world to a liberal democracy within a lifetime.

Look at Japan. Take the historical view. Stop pretending that the worst of what's happening now is what is going to always happen. This is what is happening RIGHT NOW. That's all you know. If you think it's going to be this way forever, read a book.

Countries slide into fascism for long periods. It happens. Countries also have short-term extremist right-wing governments. Happens in Europe all the time. They get voted out. The threat remains. The threat of fascism will remain in America in a way it never has before. It's a real movement. But we're not fucked. Not even close. We can get off the ropes in the mid-terms and knock them out in 2020. But only if we stop saying that we're fucked, and start seeing this as a fight.

I'm no Pollyanna. Things are so unutterably bad that I walk around in a constant state of nausea and horror. But you have to take the historical view, and you can't lie down and say we're doomed, or else they have beaten you.

Again, I don't want to shame anyone who says, "We're fucked" as an emotional reaction. I get it, I really do. But if you say that as a historical reality, then you SHOULD be ashamed. We are so far from being fucked. It's time for that warrior spirit, from everyone.

Our best bet, actually our only realistic bet, is to mobilize the vote. There has always been a silver lining to this situation. I have always hesitated to state it, for fear of sounding like I am not taking the horror seriously. Fuck that; I do. But there has always been the possibility, there remains the possibility, that this is a time when our country faces up to its worst reflection, sees it truly, and breaks the fucking mirror. A time when the last bastion of white power and male supremacy and oligarchy attempts to enact fascism, but the antibodies of the American system and American multi-culturalism kick in to reject it.

Where do you want to stand in that equation? As someone who rolled over because we've have had two awful years of shit that much of the world has already experienced many, many, many times over, so you decided that we're finished and done for? Come on. Look at Europe, look at Africa, look at Asia. Back and forth with this shit, and much worse.

I have your back. Get up. Here's my hand. Let's fight.

It can't become hip to give up. It can't become hip to say we are fucked. Look at history. People have been so much more fucked than us, and won. If you truly believe we are finished, I'm sorry, but you were the first to fall. Stick a fork in you, turn you over, you're done. I don't want to see you do that, if only for the selfish reason that we need you.

Do all the protests, do all the direct action, make all the phone calls, then mobilize in October and November. That's when we can get off the ropes and start punching again. Take the long view, my sisters and brothers. Don't let them take you out of the fight.

And if you need me for anything, I am here.

RIP Harlan Ellison - "For I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" is one of my favorite titles ever, not to mention all his work on 'Trek...

June 29, 2018

"I don't know what I want right now, but I'm gonna need more than a couple of days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers, because our whole lives have been shattered. So thanks for your prayers, but I couldn't give a fuck about them if there's nothing else."
--Capital Gazette reporters Selene San Felice after the latest shooting
My company has a joke of "Best Dressed Award" when 2 or more folks wear the same thing... turns out working just a few doors down from Old Navy when there having a sale on cephalopods-theme shirts right at the front makes this an easy "win".

Great thread of life-in-eras-of-shitsnami-news advice from a former CIA military analyst...

If the rule "dress for the job you want, not the one you have", our VP of Consumer Solutions would prefer to be doing UI Engineering.

Oh good lord.

June 30, 2018

Over the years, I have spent so much on touch screen devices, thinking "Now THIS is what will let me reach my real (meager) digital doodle potential"... most recently, a "normal" size iPad, the cheapest one that comes with support for the Apple Pencil. (Mini would be my preferred size, but this ain't bad) Anyway, testing to find out what doodle programs I can best get along with, and after a brief dalliance with "Procreate" I'm back to the (Pro version, now) of Lucky Clan's Art Studio.

Anyway, a practice panel.

Young Astronauts in Love is my favorite of all the (mostly "24 Hour") comics I link from alienbill

I think the trick for me might be zoom way out to do the first rough outline - my natural doodle format runs small - and then do it over zoomed in.

I'm under few illusions about my level of talent. It has a sort of style is the best you can say of it, and I can usually get what I want to express across, more or less. I've never put in the work to learn it right- I think the studio art classes were a dead end, in the sense of, it's one thing to practice drawing precisely what's in front of you (and important to learn not to draw your brain's iconized version of it) but quite another to know enough anatomy etc to do a decent illustration from scratch...