2019 February❮❮prevnext❯❯

February 1, 2019

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: "I have to go to work -- as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for -- the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?"

So you were born to feel "nice"? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don't you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you're not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren't you running to do what your nature demands?

You don't love yourself enough. Or you'd love your nature too, and what it demands of you.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. It's not quite sympathetic enough, I'd say, and yeah - a lot of people don't love themselves enough. (To clarify, I want to make sure"You don't love yourself enough" to be seen as a sympathetic observation, not a judgemental criticism.) That last line reminds me of "amor fati" and truly loving one's fate, however crap-laden it seems. Love THIS fate, for there is no other.

Britain is one of the richest and most advanced democracies in the world. It is currently locked in a room, babbling away to itself hysterically while threatening to blow its own kneecaps off. This is what nationalist populism does to a country.
Ian Dunt - his WaPo perspectives piece is one of the first I've seen that tries to get into what the Backstop actually consisted of - i.e. keeping Northern Ireland more inline with EU regulation so that the land border didn't have to be as locked down.

Wish I could find a better link but man, Sheila E on BBC4 talking funk drumming is great.

Awesome to pair that with Bootsy's Basic Funk Formula...

january 2019 new music playlist

February 2, 2019
It's groundhog day. Again.

Last month was ok for music. 4+5 star stuff in red...

One 5 star: A lot of hip hop (much of it kind of raunchy) last month: Two songs my honk band is working on: Most of the rest came from shows I watched -
[For Trump] dominance does seem to rank at the top. "I love to crush the other side and take the benefits," he wrote in a book called Think Big. "Why? Because there is nothing greater. For me it is even better than sex, and I love sex." He went on to observe: "You hear lots of people say that a great deal is when both sides win. That is a bunch of crap. In a great deal you win--not the other side. You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself."
LOL President Conan the Barbarian - "What is best in life?" "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."

This is why he ok as a reality tv star or WWE guest, and a shit politician. I pray to god he is bluffing with declaring a damn national emergency... declaring national emergencies - like to paraphrase Archer: “DO YOU WANT A BANANA REPUBLIC DICTATOR? BECAUSE THAT’S HOW YOU GET BANANA REPUBLIC DICTATORS.”
"Oof, it's 18 degrees out!"
"That's not enough degrees. We need more degrees."
Melissa and Me.

February 3, 2019

Maturity is realising how many things don't require your opinion.

And not only don't require an expression of an opinion, but don't even require the formulation of an opinion.

I remember when my youngest kid was asked by a guest, "And what is your favorite color?" He looked puzzled, and then answered, "But I like them all for different things. Do I have to pick a favorite?" No, son, you don't.

There is a weirdly large amount of super bowl ads w/ robots. And all the robots kinda look like the same design, (usually) white plastic surface with some geary bits visible.
Go Pats, and Red Sox...
Celtics and Bruins gotta quit slackin'.
Finally, kind of weird that it's the lowest scoring Super Bowl AND the Patriot's largest margin in a Super Bowl game. Uh, good on the defense, I guess...

the silence of the rams, part deux

February 4, 2019
17 years ago - to the day - I titled my blog entry "the silence of the rams", but between being held to 3 points and the Pats having virtual homefield advantage crowd-noise wise, it fits even more this year.

Like I said, there was a weird-amount of robot themed ads. Wonder if it taps into our anxieties about automation?

Anyway, for me the most memorable ad was the Bud Light / Game of Thrones crossover - for people annoyed by the "beer for normal folks not the effete elite" of the original series, seeing it get wiped out by cleansing dragon fire was terrific - and the thing was so unapologetically violent and Thrones-y -- kind a surreal and nightmarish, but not in a bad way:

(FOLLOWUP: HBO said the Bud Knight had to die)
Slate in 2005 on The Lamest Dynasty in Sports.
Oh, also Burger King just straight up showing "Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger" was artsy and nuts.
When a bird is buried, the worms have their revenge.

Also, final(?) sportsball note... Boston "Beat LA" twice in half a year? Ha.
I'm not telegraphing anything. No, no, no. There's a difference. When President Obama pulled out of Iraq in theory we had Iraq. In other words, we had Iraq. We never had Syria because President Obama never wanted to violate the red line in the sand. So we never had Syria. I was the one that actually violated the red line when I hit Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles, if you remember. But President Obama chose not to do that. When he chose not to do that, he showed tremendous weakness. But we didn't have Syria whereas we had Iraq. So when he did what he did in Iraq, which was a mistake.


February 5, 2019
School of Honk's Ghostbusters Sunday - tuba duet at 2:30 :-D

25 scenes, 25 years - personal recollections about some of the most influential movie scenes of the last quarter century. Also some really sharp webpage work.
It's funny. When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.
Bojack Horseman

"Win or lose today, the most important thing is that you tried your be-"
"Shhhh! We can't let the others overhear that we tried out best!! What if we LOSE?"

What's the cost of the parade? Like net, overall... does it pull in tourism bucks or is it just a cost of doing business politicians get us to pay for 'cause people love them some winners in sports? Does the city get any of that sweet cash from sports jerseys and what not, or is it all just in "warm fuzzies"?

February 6, 2019

In high school I was placed in the English bottom class where a teacher said to my face I'd NEVER make it as a writer.
Today, 25 years later, after uncountable knock-backs from almost every publisher, I'm ecstatic to finally be able to announce that teacher has died. #NeverGiveUp

Quotes have always a critical part of my blogging, going back to when I was just keep stylusing out a private "common place book" in my PalmPilot in the mid-90s. On my blog for 2019, I'm making a daily ritual of using the "this day" feature and going back and decorating the quotes with a neat little bit of CSS that adorns each with a big stylized quote marker.

I've also been trying to find replacements for broken embedded videos. It feels like there's a bunch of youtube videos removed from a period around 10 years ago. I guess some of that might be copyright hell, but I wonder if Youtube just gave up converting them and yanked 'em, even on youtube the site itself.
From an interesting (if somewhat padded, 2x speed in youtube is your friend) series of weird rules in sports:

In theory I like defense in football - it's a smarter, less gaudy thing to like. Most people don't though, but here's some in-depth coverage of the performance of one under-heralded player on the Pats.

the calm down toad

February 7, 2019
please gaze upon The Calm Down Toad


February 8, 2019

"...and that building she's asking about isn't really haunted?"
"Buildings aren't haunted - people are!"
John Reyes and Rabbi, "Russian Doll"

February 9, 2019

With [...] enough [...] ellipses [...] you [...] can [...] make [...] a [...] true [...] quote [...] of [...] almost [...] anyone [...] saying [...] anything!
Anyone with enough reading to use the word "Elipses"

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequila.
Mitch Ratcliffe (am surprised this wasn't on my blog already somewhere)

February 10, 2019

Every couple years I think about this NSFW rant praising the Nokia E70 over the first iPhone... NSFW and if you're of a delicate sensibility don't try reading the next GIF too closely either.

Times when the world seems different somehow:

- being in your elementary school as an adult

- being in a pool when it rains

- train stations at night

- when the ghost of the girl who died in your building tells you to get out or die

- walking through fresh snow by yourself

February 11, 2019

It's sort of weird being a "side-sleeper". You're lying there on your left side, all snug in blankets and maybe a body pillow, and your body is like "you know what? sure, this is great and all, but you know what would be REALLY great? This same thing but on your RIGHT side." So you shift over, dragging all the pillows and blankets over and re-settling in, and eight minutes later- "you know what? .... "
So, there's another attempt at a kind of minor league for football, the AAF. Besides making some smart rule changes to the NFL setup, they made a whole set of 8 teams... I've always loved new team logo/branding (here's some I invented as a teen and then redrew 15 years ago for a "CyberWar League") getting some flavor of the city or region while being all tough and cool, so here's a link with all the new teams and logos:
There's a certain sameness to the logo treatment - I guess lacking the diversity you accumulate when teams get added and rebranded over decades, but overall pretty cool.

Slate mentions some of the rule changes and talks about the XFL and the USFL (but doesn't talk about NFL Europe which I thought was an interesting one.)

February 12, 2019

Whoa, a watch with touch screen gesture/number recognition- from 1984!


no crime and punishment

February 13, 2019

For me fretting about a decision is also about forgetting that there's no god's eye view even possible - no means of looking forward and back in time with perfect knowledge, and thus no ability to consistently judge what the right course is, or was, or will be.

This is beyond there not being someone or some thing to punish me just for the sake of not having made the optimal choice, which is the passage's point - that all the universe provides is circumstance and consequences, not judgement with punishment or reward.

(But even without that cosmic judge, it's easy to live in fear of my future self regarding my present self with scorn. So I try and be sympathetic and empathetic with my past self - that bozo was doing about the best he could with what he got, prisoner of a a chain of cause and effect going back to the start of the universe, as are we all.)

UPDATE: on my FB Matt I. brought up a good counter:
The OP is totally wrong--I'm not fretting that the universe will punish me, I'm really worried precisely that it *won't* punish me so there's no real incentive for me to do the right thing, and I have to be extra careful as a result.
I think the original passage doesn't half to be read s 100% selfish - like you could be anxious that others will be punished for your choice - but the point is that someone could be blasé about their own choices as long as the negative consequences were on others is a good one.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Both Matt and my ex Mo seemed to read the passage in the sense of personal good vs group benefit moral sense, but that spectrum didn't even register to me until Matt started talking about it - on closer inspection I think the difference is in the phrase "Right Decision" - I read it exclusively as "Correct Decision" while Matt and Maureen seem to have read it as "Morally Righteous Decision".
"We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book." Steve Colbert was the John the Baptist of Truthiness, but Trump is its Jesus. It is amazing how his followers will believe him over EVERY other source of information. Case in point:
‘Oh, crime actually stayed the same.’ Didn’t stay the same! It went way down. … These people, you know, you’d think they’d want to get to the bottom of a problem … not try and pull the wool over everybody’s eyes.”

Then Trump delivered his closing pitch, a direct appeal to intuition over evidence. You don’t need to check the numbers, he argued, since you already know walls work. “It’s fake news. I’m telling you, it’s just fake news,” the president jeered. “And you know what? You wouldn’t even have to know. You can say that automatically, without even knowing. It’s, like, it’s obvious, it’s common sense.”

you: the world has meaning

you: the world has no meaning

you: the world has meaning but not the kind I want

you: the world has meaning but only to me

you: i imbue the world w meaning

you: meaninglessness is a form of meaning

you: the world itself is meaning

the world:

February 14, 2019

My battery is low and it's getting dark.

( via cracked.com's 30 Fascinating Facts About All That Candy You Love )
From a FB tuba group I'm in...

"Many slightly over-weight children who do not have a lot of spare energy are very happy on the tuba. [...]You do not need an agile brain. [...] Responsible, good-natured boys who are happy belonging to a group can be content in band or orchestra playing what seems like endless oompahs to an outsider."
Guess they got my number!

February 15, 2019

C'mon. Obama pushed for his electoral mandate and popular vote victory of healthcare with politics and compromise, not a trumped up facts-don't-matter "emergency". This is dangerous territory.

being a bad negotiator is not a national emergency

Mexico was going to pay for the wall
Mexico was going to pay for the wall
Mexico was going to pay for the wall
Mexico was going to pay for the wall...

Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress.

February 16, 2019

On my devblog, ripping music the old-fashioned way, with a history of the 80s/90s/2000s ways of carrying music, and then realizing there's a USB dongle that let me rip some obscure stuff off of youtube that you can't get legitimately anywhere.
Huh. 7 years ago I linked to this article on how Zelda was broken, and longing for a return to a difficult and "indifferent to the player" Hyrule ("But a world is *not for you*. A world needs a substance, an independence, a sense that it doesn't just disappear when you turn around (even if it kinda does)") I think that's exactly what we got with "Breath of the Wild"...
Less than 24 hours after declaring a national emergency, President Trump's motorcade has arrived at Trump National Golf Club in West Palm Beach. This is the 169th day he has spent at one of the Trump Property golf clubs.

spidergoat, spidergoat...

2019 February❮❮prevnext❯❯