2022 June❮❮prevnext❯❯

June 1, 2022

In the 70s it was black and minority ethnic people, in the 80s it was gay people, trans people are just the latest to get it in the neck from comedians who can't be bothered to try at their jobs anymore. I *cannot* stand there and watch another dogshit comedian go: 'Ooohh if a woman can identify as a man, maybe I'll identify as a chair!' Why don't you identify as good comedians, you hack motherfuckers?!
Nish Kumar: "It's In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves pt.2"

A case for deregulation under Trump as the cause of the baby formula shortage.

Republicans think the unregulated market can solve its own problems when it has proven ridiculously unable to do so. Monopolies grow - the rich get richer is a general rule (and a large scale player can take localized losses to muscle out a regional competitor) and the resulting monocultures is incredibly vulnerable to changes in condition - as happened with baby food. Also, health and safety regulations don't exist for the fun of 'em, or to give agencies something to do - they exist because people died.

(That seems to be a whole thing on the right these days, not accepting that stopping some long term serious problems does entail some short term inconveniences? They just look locally and don't think of themselves as part of trends. Statistical innumeracy combined with unempathetic not giving a shit and general muleheadesness)
Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob Riis

"In the same way that magic cannot be magic if it is perfectly understood, people can only be hot if they look a little weird."

"These things are related"
normal-horoscopes and headspace-hotel, via

bees live beyond gender
New optical illusion. Nothing is moving, but I definitely see the black space as expanding... like I can see the shadow dark as I watch.

hot take: The Form Element was a mistake, one from which society may never recover

June 2, 2022


If someone asked me "What are the signs of love?" I would have said without hesitation, It's the familiarity and the removal of cost, And to find yourself not having to lie, and the embarrassment removed between you two, and see yourself acting in your nature without trying to be something else so she likes you, And that you two keep silent and the silence gets delicious, And that one of you two talk and listening gets delicious.
Mustafa Mahmoud

photos of the month may 2022


Open Photo Gallery

The Driskill Hotel

Tree at Inner Space Cavern

Inside Inner Space Cavern

Took my call with Cora at The Dinosaur Park

Still from a video inside the Car Wash

Schmidt and Leeloo

Fish at the Austin Aqua Dome

Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dreaming so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it? A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled back, skin falling off. But he wasn't afraid of that. It was a beautiful day. How 'bout some coffee? Don't mind if I do. Take a little ride on my donkey, I love that donkey. Hell, I love everybody.
James Tate, "Goodtime Jesus"
Loved this prose poem in high school, hadn't thought of it for years.
40% of Uvalde's City Budget went to the cops. The other summer when we were saying "defund the police"? This is some of why (not the same as 'abolish', more like 'demilitarize')

Actually I think "I support the Police, Blue Lives Matter" should lead right into "more gun control". In this country, the police have to treat every traffic stop like it might end in gun fire - cause it just might - much more likely here than anywhere else in the industrialized world. That's a crazy amount of stress that is a straight line to more police shootings - of and by police.

June 4, 2022

good lord cora's new bunny is a ball, with a face from the mouse in Spirited Away

Open Photo Gallery

June 5, 2022


At the SoWa Vintage Market with Melissa -i realize for a mindfully non-judgemental guy like me it's tough, I feel like I'm accidentally implicitly low key judging everything I walk past, or worse look or poke at and move on. "oh you put your whole self and soul into these art pieces? and then you spent more money on a booth now are sitting in the blistering heat hoping to make a fundamental human connection through your craft and works? cool, cool."

gumball theory theology

I've been thinking about the following folksy literary passage a bit, especially with ideas about "a total human life begins at egg fertilization" seeming poised to inform laws of this nation in a way that will violate women's physical autonomy and ability to determine what happens with her body:
Jim believed that God sort of generally watched over the world but didn't try to oversee every single detail. He said that, for example, when you're born, you could be American or Chinese or Russian or African, depending. In heaven are millions of souls lined up waiting to be born, and when it's your turn, you go down the chute like a gumball to whoever put the penny in the slot. You were born to your parents because, right at that moment when they Did It, you were next in line. Two seconds later and you could have been [someone completely different].
Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
The secular version of this - the version that has personhood emerging, rather than being popped in like a gumball - is haunted by a profound question of identity: how different could the circumstances of your conception, birth and upbringing have been and still let you be YOU, in a fundamental way? If a different sperm cell won that fallopian sprint - would you still be you in a meaningful way? Is there a strong cosmic connection between who you are now and you would have been in that case, can you imagine sharing your point of view with that alternate self?

The Buddhists poise the same issue as a koan, the challenge to "Show me your original face before you were born." (At least I think that's the same issue.)

A particularly precocious Star Trek fan might ponder how they could tell if the teleporter was actually a form of transportation, or more of a murder plus deep cloning. Is "beam me up" just another way of saying "kill me, then make a new me that thinks it's me back on the ship"? Could it possibly matter if the same atoms were used, the same hydrogen molecule in your elbow here? Since all atoms are really, truly fundamentally identical, isn't it just the pattern that matters?

So using the Trek example is a decent, if geekier, way of getting to some of those same places many Buddhists do. You understand more what "the self is an illusion means". Also that for the self there is no present or future, just this moment. Sure, in practice there's an important continuity... in at least some pragmatic sense it's the same you suffering the hangover from the drinks you had the night before...but you also have to live with the idea that you could have just been created this very moment, your whole memory and personal history faked up inserted. (Some literalist creationists seem to use a similar to story to account for an earth that geologists and biologists and physicists is so, so old...bad old devil running around planting all these confusing fossils...)

The gumball theory of soul has some seeming advantages of clarity, but it's simplistic and raises a whole host of other questions without answering them. But I think it's important to get a feel for how a person emerges from biological circumstance. They aren't magically there in a flash of DNA combination and trying to second guess God or fate or whatever, and advocate for protection for some person in the future who will MAYBE be around in the unknowable future is fraught when you are making that determination for other people - generally women - and their bodies. (even if you believe in separable souls, there's no reason to think the gumball is planted at the moment of fertilization, or implantation, and not later at, say, quickening...)

June 7, 2022


as anyone who has investigated the Windows control panels can tell you, there's a lot of decades-old code in our systems. If people evolved like technology, you'd be 6,000 lizards, 30 chimps, and a couple Neanderthals all glued together with an anguished human face stretched across it as a "visual refresh."

June 8, 2022

I don't think that every villain in the world actually thinks they're being a good guy, but I do think that everybody creates a value system that justifies the actions they're taking, and and I think there's a difference between those two things. Not everybody believes that they're on the side of righteousness, but everybody has a way of justifying the actions they're taking. Not every villain has to be a misunderstood hero, and in fact I think there are a lot of instances throughout history of people who were obviously doing the wrong thing and probably had an understanding of that on some level, but had some rationale or justification for it. A lot of villains in literature and media have these weird, Thanos-esque philosophies of what it is that they're trying to do, and I think human motivation tends to come from more primal places than that. So a lot of the villains I write can be brilliant or clever (and, in fact, probably should be), but their motivation tends to be primal. They wanna be rich, they wanna have power, they wanna live forever. There's something deep down that is, when you break it down, not too complex. Right? If you look at the real world, the people that are doing bad stuff don't need complex motivations. They wanna rule the world! They wanna be rich! They wanna be unafraid that other people can ever screw them over, so they screw other people over. Evil is boring. Right? I kinda believe in the banality and mundanes of evil. Evil is just selfish impulses, which at the end of the day are really easy to understand. It's easy to understand why people do bad things. It's like "yeah, ok, you're selfish and scared and cruel, I get it". Being good is complex and beautiful and hard.
Brennan Lee Mulligan, when asked how to create villains for tabletop rpgs.

people don't want to acknowledge–and in some cases genuinely dont get–that being mean frequently feels good. people are often having a great time being mean. being polite, sharing, and working to make the world a better place pays off fairly long term rewards. cutting in line or making fun of someone's outfit or taking the last doughnut pays off right now.

you don't have to be the misunderstood hero of your own grand narrative. a lot of the biggest douchebags in the world spend zero calories on thinking about this kind of thing: who they are, what it all means, whether or not it's right to be treating people how they do. you don't have to have a huge excuse or a justification. you just have to take what you want, as soon as you want it, and enjoy it.

Pretty good set of small pieces on IPAs. I'm not one to yuck other folks' yums but I do suspect they're kinda overrated because it's such a recognizable flavor.
Polarized Lenses: the IPA of the sunglasses world.
(Just irritated. I love the affectation of mirrorshades, but am annoyed that almost cheap mirrored option is also polarized. Don't, like, other people look at screens too?)

June 9, 2022


30 years ago, we used to say (ok I said), studying AI will make you believe in god. Programming BIOS will make you believe nothing so evil could exist to create this universe. My continued practice in computers and security has firmly set my belief that we are in fact living in the bad place. The deep magic has bee turned to evil.

Those in the notes that claim to know semiconductor design, have never seen ghost pixels from fast rise time during video refresh, or off by one stack corruptions deeply embedded into code only teased out with hardware emulators.
I command daemons in far way lands, with spells, to create illusions. (Software build tools for a VR game, just the tools, not the game dev).

If your science is so good tell me the position and velocity of an elementary particle. Or predict if a general purpose Turing machine will halt.

It is hubris to claim to know what is unknown.

June 10, 2022



— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022

June 11, 2022


Anything that flies is a UFO if you're dumb enough.

June 12, 2022

A friend brought up the idea that there was going to be a divide in LGBTQ+, with LGB on one side and TQ+ on the other.

It would be unfortunate if the cultural line was drawn with Gays and Lesbians comfortably now in the "acceptable" line, and collaborating to redraw that line with other folks out - especially given the Transwomen who were at the heart of things like Stonewall.

It reminds me of this clip from Chasing Amy, where "Hooper X" (a gay effeminate-presenting black man who has to code switch to a fierce Black Power cliche for the sake of his comic) complains about the 90s acceptance of white lesbians relative to his demographics:

Overall, I think the lines are clear: either you leave it to trust people to figure out who they say they are and who they attracted to, trusting their insight more than your outsiders view, or you adopt a prescriptivist, authoritarian sense of who they must/should be.

Open Photo Gallery

June 13, 2022

People who think the US health care system is the envy of the world are very badly informed. (Maybe it's the best if you're a gazillionaire? Like it's optimized for the top 5% of expensive shit, but for the other 95 meat and potatoes stuff it's just out there.)

at the risk of being too nature vs nurture and too pessimistic about the ability to make some levels of change, I hadn't thought quite as much about athletic type being a cause and not an effect

June 14, 2022

it often seems. like the human is jealous of me. because of how happy i get. about the simplest things. i don't know how to tell them. they can do that too

My dad was a national competition level counted-cross-stitcher (amazingly fastidiousness, like the stitching looks as good on the back as the front) and I cherish some of his works my family has around, but sometimes I am bummed that the new stuff is really amazing. Like, he was working at an Nintendo NES-level of design, and now things are at least at the Gamecube era.
Oh, super sweet video of a young Jim Henson permutating a muppet...
You think because I'm kind that it means I'm naive, and maybe I am. It's strategic and necessary. This is how I fight.
Waymond Wang, Everything Everywhere All At Once

So, even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.
Waymond Wang, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Every new discovery is just a reminder...
We're all small and stupid.
Everything Everywhere All at Once

We're all useless alone. It's a good thing you're not alone
Waymond Wang, Everything Everywhere All At Once

June 15, 2022

Tonight I rewatched the movie "Walking My Life" (Zô no senaka) that I watched on my way back from my trip to Japan in 2008. (Had some problems finding where to pay for it and stream it, found a somewhat sketchy service instead, but it worked ok.)

The story is of a 48 yr old businessman who decides not to seek intervention for his deadly lung cancer. I didn't remember it clearly, and thought it might resonate for me because of my own nostalgia, since part of it is him making contacts with estranged friends, especially since the businessman is the same age I am now... but the story is mostly about him reconciling with his present relationships in the shadow of his fragility and impending death, and it really strongly brought to mind thoughts of my dad and what he must have gone through his debilitation, partial rebound, and early death.

(Sometimes it feels weird being this old and still poking at the old scar of my dad's death. Like I'm almost a decade further along than he ever got, get over it already! But the movie definitely gave me a twinge of this guilt I'll always carry for having snuck out of the house in the morning on the actual day of his death, kind of running away from my feelings of helplessness-to-help. My mom assures me he was too busy struggling to really be aware of it, but not saying good-bye on the day it was my last chance to say good-bye will always be a small shame of mine. Though I guess "have a good day!" would have rung a little false anyway.)

Anyway. "Walking My Life" is the best movie I've seen for getting a feel for authentic Japanese domestic and business life - especially how they deal with overwhelming feelings in a society of extremely strict decorum.

June 16, 2022


1. buy up all the refineries and have fewer of them
2. close down refineries here and there to drive prices up,
(Today:Oil prices: $115.83 a barrel, Gas prices today: $5.01 a gallon -- April 2008: $116.50 / : $3.51 a gallon)
3. PROFIT!!!!!!
4. Blame Joe Biden

A not too fond farewell to IE, most unlikely member of the "27 Club".

It did have a good feel relative to Netscape when it first came out.

June 17, 2022

I'm so bad at shoplifting it's technically looting.
Oglaf.com is a weird and wonderful porn/high fantasy comic.

June 18, 2022

Speaking of movies I think I saw on a plane...I think about the "Toe Pick" scene from "The Cutting Edge" alot.

(The hockey player trying to change into a figure skater keeps getting stymied by the "toe pick" brake bit that figure skates have and hockey skates do not.)

June 19, 2022


June 20, 2022

Toe nail clippings! They're like tiny adorable bits of sea shell that your feet make, and you get to harvest!
Just found out that Daniels, the duo who did Everything Everywhere All at Once, did the video for Turn Down For What, one of my favorites, and now that I think about it the parallels are pretty strong...

sun tzu famously once said "post like you are unemployed even when you are not"

A dick move is a bad thing, but a ballsy move is usually a good thing.

June 21, 2022

i can taste summer coming. there are certain smells that i forget about until summer rolls around, and then they all come flowing back in my memory: bonfires, sunblock, cookouts, fresh-cut grass... and then there are the images, pictures of things in my mind that probably weren't as good as i remember, yet i can see them so vividly: cramming in a car to go to drive-in movies, covered in bugspray and armed with snacks; wandering around amusement parks dripping wet from water rides; grabbing an elephant ear and some cotton candy at the local fair; seeing a movie on a weeknight and leaving the theater to meet the warm night air... these are the things i hope to do every summer; sometimes i do, sometimes i don't... but this year i'm hoping extra hard.
Ross Salupo (May 2006)
He's writing before Solstice, but the way I can take the long summer evenings on the porch in this goofy patio "zero-g" chair is a pleasure, and reminds me of how envious I am with West-Part-of-Timezone Cleveland - that extra hour 'til twilight, the not quite as pushy morning sun...

Anyway, he wrote that in LJ years ago, and the sense memories it invokes has always stayed with me.
If you're trying to be cosmopolitan it's easy to look down on American food in general, but there are some things we do really well....

With the SCOTUS out to break down walls of church and state for school purposes, people who lean secular may find this article Modern American Satanism: The Church of Satan Vs. The Satanic Templeof interest.

(I remember "Church of Satan" and LeVey's "The Satanic Bible" scaring the bajeebers out of me as a kid...)

But yeah. This is an extension of what I figured out as a kid, that there are too many beliefs to not have our political system (and maybe some of our personal moral systems) be in the realm of overlapping secularness.

June 22, 2022

Armadillos are basically transformers?

June 23, 2022


I do love me some Venn Diagram Jokes

June 24, 2022

Welcome to the nation of fuck womens rights to control their own bodies, land of someone's religious theory of souls popping up is supreme over the whole tradition of self-determinism, individualism, and bodily autonomy.

UPDATE and clarence thomas, that pubic hair on coke can fuck wit, sends signs that he'd like gay marriage and contraception to be on the table to. Fuck your rights, better hope you're in a state you like , and that the authoritarians on top don't specifically override there.

Being an American used to mean something about freedom? now it's state by state. unless you like guns, that's everywhere.
huh, those wacky southerners who insinuated the civil war wasn't quite settled were right, and they're going to try and win with the fucking Electoral College on their side. Because clearly acres voting rights is more important than people's voting rights.

June 25, 2022


June 26, 2022


Christians: Palms 139:13-18 talks about being knit together - a gradual process. And Numbers 5:11-31 provides instructions for abortion, if the parents weren't right.

I know the movement has leaned pretty heavily into "abortion is murder" but it's just not. Roe v Wade had a compromise built in with trimesters. In earlier centuries, "quickening", human-detectable motion in the womb was the standard. "Life begins at conception" is just a misthink of the both theology and science.

In this country, we respect individual choices and bodily autonomy - like thousands of lives would be saved if we made organ donation mandatory, but we don't, because the bodily autonomy of people is critical.

By hunting down Supreme Court nominees willing to perjure themselves in front of the Senate and say Roe v Wade was settled law when they were just chomping at the bit to throw it away (and also Republicans in the senate breaking the court, ironically for 9 months, and refusing to review perfectly qualified SCOTUS nominees) you got your group will to destroy half a century of legal tradition and look for precedents from times when blacks could be owned as property and women couldn't vote. But yours is a victory for politics, not for justice or mercy.

un week-end rapide entre amis

un week-end rapide entre amis à Montréal, Melissa et moi avec Anna Kellie et Matthew.

Open Photo Gallery

Just a woman walkin' her pig.

Waffle cones done right.


cool street art


Pub Le Sainte-Elisabeth - loved the courtyard between tall buildings, a bit of verdant coolness on a hot day.

Pre-fireworks synchronized drone show was cool to see...



so many chips!

botanical garden...

"historical practices and understandings" is the most bullshit justification of white power SCOTUS has ever come up with.

June 28, 2022

Our poor kitty Dean has a touch of a small cell lymphoma - the prognosis is decent but his meds schedule (especially on top of his asthma, and wanting to track how we're feeding him) is intense!

I made a simple printable pill schedule generator webapp, I describe it in detail on my devblog.

June 29, 2022

Happy 50th Birthday Atari - Quick interview with Nolan Bushnell by Benj Edwards

Proof that we don't understand death is that we give dead people a pillow.
Jerry Seinfeld

June 30, 2022

Wow. "Independent State Legislature" doctrine says "hey if we read "the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof" like a baby , then we can say checks and balances just don't exist!

As far as I can, this RI-FUCKING-DICULOUS interpretation means a legislature could say "ok ballots are now just a big checkbox for the Republican". Like, literally there is NOTHING preventing that! If a loony Republican can get a bare majority of slate legislators to agree, they never have to have an actual election again, because they are uncheckable by the governor or by the courts.


And all that needs to fall for SCOTUS to sign off is Amy Coney Barrett?

Sleep well.

Human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another.
Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

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