2023 October❮❮prevnext❯❯

October 1, 2023

I Love Lucy, Multi-lingual "telephone"! Delightful to watch.
if you like every single person in your community, it isn't big enough

September 2023 Photos of the Month


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There were two heroes in this case. One was the child, and the other was the book.
Judege in a case where Harris + Emberley's It's Perfectly Normal helped a child tell her mom about sexual abuse she had received.
Good point for people who want to ban book from libraries.
I like the music listened to by Hispanic people in their late 40s and early 50s... not afraid of challenge or victory.
From "Duck Tales" in some dream I had.
(Wonder if it could be related to the Roslindale Parade - my street band (on a float) had to compete with loud Latino music - this one car with a truly ridiculous amount of speakers on top, spread like moose antlers...)

new music playlist

5 star:
Maybe (Dan Reeder)
Another 5 star! Thanks to Andrew Mills for pointing this one out to me... just a very plain spun and elegant recollection of experiences with death, and a humbly skeptical view of the chances of an afterlife.

4 star:
Futurama Theme (Ben Morfitt (SquidPhysics))
An extended cover... at one point I got 1967's Psyché Rock with its clear influences (especially the chimes) but the Modem-noise aesthetic of it was too grating so I got this.
Wake Me up Before You Go - Go (Scary Pockets & Swatkins)
Scary Pockets makes these fantastic funky covers...
Don't Let It Bring You Down (Annie Lennox)
I finally got to rewatching "American Beauty" - obviously a problematic movie in a few ways, but also interesting to see in going through middle aged struggles in American suburbia. Anyway this lovely, richly orchestrated cover was in it.

3 star:
Shave 'Em Dry II (Lucille Bogan)
The most raunchy imaginable old song!
Planet of the Bass (Kyle Gordon)
You've Got Your Troubles (Re-Recorded Version) (The Fortunes)
there was a question on the "Strong Songs" podcast about the haunting counterpoint in the last part.
Ned Nostril (And His South Seas Paradise, Puts Your Blues On Ice, Cheap At Twice The Price Band) (Ray Stevens)
Ray Stevens turned into a conservative putz but I had a tape or two of his, he could be kind of funny!
The Universe Is Weird (Hank Green)
Coffee (beabadoobee)
Hell Is Round the Corner (Tricky)
Interesting song based on that Portishead piece...
I Got It from My Mama (will.i.am)
23 (Projekt Atma)
Nookie (GH Version) (Limp Bizkit)
Public Service Announcement (Interlude) (JAY-Z)
Happy Hour (Ray Stevens)
I'm In Love Again (Fats Domino)
Because (Elliott Smith)
We need to talk about tongues more. Dextrous. Moist. Littered with the normal types of skin receptors and also its own unique receptors for its own Bonus Sense. Hides in its own dark cave of bacteria and biological rocks. Peak muscle.

October 4, 2023

narratives about doomed love that aren't romantic in nature. the love between siblings who understand each other the most but are growing apart no matter how much they try to come back to one another. the love between friends whose life paths pull them apart and they never see each other again, only remembering the face of a once kind childhood. the love for a hometown that year by year becomes less and less the one that raised you until you are a foreigner in your own backyard. there was no stopping it. the love was there and it mattered and you can never come back again.

oh noes, I need to start and stop another email soon!

October 5, 2023

Cracked's list of 100 Greatest Looney Tunes characters - could use an adblocker (if not reload the page- it's suspiciously good at keeping your place in the scroll while suspiciously bad at not heating up your laptop) Still a fun read.

October 6, 2023

It's HONK! I decorated my tuba for the lantern parade.

It got a lot of positive feedback! I feel bad because some tuba players put so much work into decorations, electronic and otherwise, and I just tape on these rows of lights I got off a FB ad and convert my marker and valve oil pouch to a USB power pack carrier literally 20 minutes before showtime.

(Now I have to decide if I should keep the lights as is all the way through Halloween and Christmas... the one drawback is the tape looks like a just-out-of-surgery patient in the daylight...)

scenes from honk - saturday


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photo by Melissa

photo by Dominic B

scenes from honk - sunday


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One of the newest things to me was a few tubas that had a QR code sheet taped to the bell. (Unfortunately my phone had trouble reading the code itself so I don't know if it was for tips or to a band website...)

photo by erika s

photo by erika s

October 9, 2023

Just in case I hadn't had enough Honk-style fun, I joined School of Honk at PRONK

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i do like big clouds
detroit party marching band @ Pronk afterparty
detroit party marching band's bus, the Catawampus
We took a peek inside
More clouds...

October 10, 2023

I cropped a photo of Sophie's kitty Nessie...

October 11, 2023

My buddy Josh reposted
Everyone thinks that hate and love are somehow opposite forces. They are not. They are the same force, facing opposite directions...Love turned the wrong way has killed as many as hate. *Reason*, young wizard, is the opposite of hate, not love.
Jim Butcher, Battle Ground (Dresden Files)
And you see this turned-around-ness when you talk about what we're seeing in the Middle East right now - when because of historical animosity and conflict, love of one's group seems to demand hatred of another.

Another commenter referenced this quote:
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Elie Wiesel
I had forgotten it went past the first sentence, but I tried to wrestle that into my own smaller set of problems.. my ability to let emotions that I don't think will serve me wither on the vine and not giving them water... all as opposed to the recognition that emotions are kind of the point of it all, and there can be no human motion without emotion.
It took me a few tries to label the horizontal axis; at first I thought it went from "logic to emotion" (which is kind of the point of the Butcher quote) and then "objective to subjective". (but that's not quite fair...many things people Hate are very hateable for objective reasons.) So I realized that really it's that sense of Connection that makes it...

I live a lot in the top left corner. Some of that comes from a life that has been relatively easy, some of it comes from appreciating hardly anyone is bad on purpose, they're just serving goods that may or may not be objectively worthy, some of it comes from my intense discomfort from being confidently incorrect, from making a strong judgement that later turns out to be wrong, and so I give everything (maybe too much of) the benefit of the doubt.

I think some interpretations of Buddhism and Non-attachment are on that left side, which seems to put it at odds with my interpretation of Wiesel's admonitions. Maybe that's where loving-kindness meditation is trying to work from, and get back to the love without losing some of the benefits of the left side.

Just like the snacker, a snack contains multitudes, belying the monosyllabic limitations of the word itself. It's like that old proverb: *Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are.* Show me what you reach for when you're hungry, or procrastinating, or bored, or trying desperately to sublimate your emotions, and, well.
I've been thinking about even the slightest technical challenge gets me up out of my office chair, and that often gets me to the kitchen, though usually a bite of something will suffice. I think back in the office days I was better able to turn to my big water glass...

October 12, 2023

Everybody Needs Money. That's why they call it MONEY.
Danny DeVito in "The Heist"

October 13, 2023

Wired reports Finding a Tech Job Is Still a Nightmare: Tech companies have laid off more than 400,000 people in the past two years. Competition for the jobs that remain is getting more and more desperate.

Welp, that's not great!

I guess I'm lucky because I'm not in financially dire straits, and can look to retool and suspect that "this too shall pass". My rosiest retirement plans have fallen by the wayside, but still.

Like you can never shake the suspicion that you could be hustling more (but- you'll never be sure how much that would have helped, along with the fear of taking a truly dire desperation role)

So a faint silver lining to this period is that an employment gap in this time probably won't look godawful, and to the extent you can enjoy the time, you should.

And the industry is still bigger than it was in 2019... but because the industry's eyes got bigger than its stomach during the quarantine-field boom, the indigestion right now is truly horrible.

October 14, 2023


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turkey near harvard
at The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at the Putnam Gallery
my night tuba looks pretty good even with a banner...

October 15, 2023

Stood in on tuba for Roma Band in the Señor de los Milagros procession at Sacred Hearts in Malden - a "The Purple Christ", of special meaning to many in Peru. I dialed in my tuba lights to purple.

October 16, 2023


taking a ride on the ship of theseus

I'm reading Jeff Hawkins' "A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence". I really appreciated his earlier book "On Intelligence" that introduced me to the idea that most of our sensory process is test-and-verify (seeing if the incoming sensory signals match what we'd expect to see.) "A Thousand Brains" builds on that, focuses on the "cortical columns" of the neocortex - how they use "reference frames" to identify things from different angles and perspectives, and how active movement (running your fingers along a coffee cup, your eyes darting around to see different angles) is also key to this cognition. And in this model, the neocortex layout is pretty universal, like across species; humans mostly just have more of it.

Later in the book he touches on some of the tropes of where philosophy and neuroscience (and science fiction) overlap, like uploading our brains into a computer. He points out that, putting technical challenges (or maybe impossibilities) aside - your uploaded-self might wake up inside the computer, sure, but if the procedure was such that your biological-self was intact, staring at that computer, the uploaded-self would definitely feel like a mental copy and not a transfer. And if the transfer process was destructive (more likely, in my guesstimation) then at least the "computer you" would have no rival to the claim of being "the real you", but the earlier version of the thought experiment would still fill us with doubt as to if "computer you" was a new copy or a legitimate transfer.

(He also points out that it's probably false to think we could have a high fidelity copy of the mind without also emulating the body - taking phantom limbs as an example, our neocortex is really use to a very rich embodiment, and booting up a human mind copy in a sparse, abstracted environment would be unlikely to go well.)

I'm reminded that there's a "Ship of Theseus" solution to the copy/transfer problem - that if you were able to *gradually* merge with a set of computer hardware and software, first enjoying the increased sensory and cognitive possibilities of living in silicon, and then gradually replacing worn-out brain and bodily processes with virtual equivalents until finally the old body was discarded as a husk that was no longer carrying the loads, we might work away around the "is it a copy or a transfer" quandary - we could more easily see uploading a gradual transition of growth and change, much like childhood and puberty.

Of course much of this come back to what some Buddhists have known all along, that our sense of self is an illusion, that all we ever have is this moment, that the sense of continuity and being we enjoy - while useful and rewarding - are made-up nouns we use to glue together a bunch of verbs.

(We have a flashlight of awareness strapped to our head, and so everywhere we turn is lit, and we start to think that the whole landscape is full of this light. Whenever we pause to think about ourselves, we are there for the thinking, and we can piece together our history, recent and long-term. But I don't think we do that as often as most folks seem to assume.)

So yeah. I of course can't shake my own feeling of consciousness and continuity, I am bummed about the prospect of my own death the way all but believers convinced of a pleasant awaiting afterlife are (and even some of them.)

Actually that last note makes me wonder as well. I think American Folk Christianity used to be more in tune with the older idea of a bodily resurrection (I think most canonically at the end of the world, after a period somewhat akin to dreamless sleep.) But I feel like a kind of cartesian dualism has strongly returned, the more common view is potentially disembodied souls flitting around, making the body almost coincidental. I mean, cynically, that's a pragmatically utilitarian and soothing explanation for why cremation and other forms of corpse destruction aren't a barrier for eternal life.

So with the "soul is separable" model, there's the same question of identity and consciousness the uploaders wrestle with. Or it's different; like, in that model is it the "soul" or the meat brain that's doing the thinking and feeling - either the physical brain is extraneous, or it would be a vastly different experience being in a divine form than when we were mere humans.

I guess I have seen glimpses of art wrestling with this; like where the transferred soul doesn't really remember much of its previous life. I would say it feels like most Folk Christianity dwells on the conundrum much; you just figure God can do whatever He wants, and heavenly life is either a continuation of how we live now, but nicer, or so radically different that we have absolutely no comprehension of the matter, but still hold faith that what our church has taught us has been correctly revealed and interpreted.

October 18, 2023

The very act of thinking is a form of movement.
Jeff Hawkins (paraphrased by Richard Dawkins) in "A Thousand Brains"

The neocortex and the older parts of the brain are connected via nerve fibers; therefore, we cannot think of them as completely separate organs. They are more like roommates, with separate agendas and personalities, but who need to cooperate to get anything done.
Jeff Hawkins, "A Thousand Brains"

One day during recess at the beginning of the school year, a group of about ten children gathered in a circle on the playground. I joined them. They were taking turns saying what religion they belonged to. As each kid stated what he or she believed, the other kids joined in to say how that religion differed from their religion, such as what holidays they celebrated and what rituals they practiced. The conversation consisted of statements such as, "We believe what Martin Luther said and you don't." "We believe in reincarnation, which is different than what you believe." There was no animosity; it was just a bunch of young children playing back what they had been told at home and sorting through the differences. This was new to me. I was raised in a nonreligious home and had never before heard descriptions of these religions or many of the words the other kids were saying. The conversation focused on the differences in their beliefs. I found this unsettling. If they believed different things, then shouldn't we all be trying to figure out which beliefs were right?
Jeff Hawkins, "A Thousand Brains"
I know that feel.
[On Genes vs Knowledge] Genes are just molecules that replicate. As genes evolve, they are not heading in any particular direction, nor is one gene intrinsically better than another, just as one molecule is not intrinsically better than any other molecule. [...] There is a direction to knowledge. Knowledge of gravity can go from no knowledge, to Newton's, to Einstein's, but it can't go in the opposite direction.
Jeff Hawkins, "A Thousand Brains"

October 19, 2023

The most important contributing factor to the lower birthrate was probably *coitus interruptus*, which was called the "French sin" and was spoken of by French Roman Catholic priests as "conjugal onanism," a term which also included mutual masturbation known as "*les plaisirs de la petite oie*" or "the pleasures of the little goose." Informal terms for *coitus interruptus* included jumping off while the train is still running; fireworks on the lawn; knowing how to blow one's nose; and plowing on the inside while winnowing on the outside.
(I ran into this googling about "la petite oie" after Guillaume Blanc's The Cultural Origins of the Demographic Transition in France - this twitter thread has some summary info, but basically saying France's noted early population rate decrease might be explained by secularization.)
And I think it's so funny that, out of all the dumb things that I've done in my life, and all the weird times I've been on TV in my underwear, headbutting thumbtacks or whatever,the thing that I get called out for the most is having just way too many copies of the game "Sneak King." And if that's how I'm remembered, if I ever die in this world, I think that's a valid, noble thing to be remembered for. Just the fact that I made someone laugh once is enough for me. It justifies storing all this and all that. If I could get a good laugh, get a couple of points on Reddit, it doesn't matter. It's about the story, it's about the laughter, it's about the humor. And that's what life is about. It's not about becoming super successful or famous, it's about finding things that make you laugh, and rushing toward them, and holding onto them dearly because we have so little time on this world. And if you're not doing stuff that produces laughter for yourself and others, then what are you doing?

Leroy Patterson, collector of wayyy too many copies of the BK promotional tie-in game "Sneak King", closing out this video on the Burger King games - I liked "Big Bumpin'" (More physics but less quirky than "Sneak King")
I had forgotten about the Oliver Twins (from the UK early 80s home computer scene, maker of the Dizzy games) - interesting comparing them to the Stamper Bros of Ultimate/Rare.

Promo games were interesting - like too many were pointless platformers, but sometimes (like with "Big Bumpin'") they were retro-like explorations of a simple fun idea. I especially liked Doritos' Dash of Destruction. Like Big Bumpin' it leaned on multiplayer - but it had this cool idea where you could be the T-Rex *or* one of the little cars - fun asymmetrical game play, and I don't think many games played with a sense of scale like that - the dino player is zoomed out and can smash through buildings, the more agile car players zip around and have to drive around obstacles - almost Katamari Damacy-like.

October 20, 2023

A man who is named one of the ten sexiest men in America by *Playgirl* magazine has a responsibility to his fellow men to say a few words about it, especially if he is forty-four at the time, a Midwesterner who majored in English at a Big Ten school, and wears glasses and grew up fundamentalist--not to gloat over what is, after all, a God-given asset (how many men does God put in the top ten, anyway?)--but to offer help and counsel. Unfortunately, it's 10:30 on a Saturday night and I'm about ready to head upstairs, so this will be a shorter lecture than what you hoped to hear, perhaps. (1) If you have a choice between poetry and football, choose poetry. Football wrecks your legs and you can't use it for anything. Other guys put their arms around you in football. You write a poem for a woman, you give it to her, she is speechless. What can a jock give her, his socks? So I chose to write poems about her delicate body being like a shy deer nibbling the blossoms of an apple tree. It's not an original image but it was an easy choice. A quarter-century later, my wife remembers it. (2) The human elbow, particularly the tip of the elbow. I don't want to say more. (3) Foreign women release something in men, and perhaps vice versa, so don't shy away from your foreign side. I'm Scottish with some Canadian. (4) Fundamentalists have more fun. You can't enjoy sex to the fullest unless you've spent some time in the wilderness, being repressed. (5) Sex is better in marriage than anywhere else you can imagine, like the song says: It's all right to get your appetite walking round town just as long as you eat supper at home. (6) Eating in bed afterward is perfectly natural. (7) It gets better.

Sex is a progression of sweet blessings, and one learns to enjoy each one of them whether or not it leads to the next.

It is good to be with you.
To talk with you.
To touch you.
To be alone with you.
To kiss you.
To be naked with you.
To make love with you.
To have a baby with you.

After a while, each blessedness seems more or less as enjoyable as any other, except the last, which is distinctive.

I accept this honor on behalf of all fundamentalists, and all Midwesterners, and all forty-four-year-olds, and good night.
Garrison Keillor, "We Are Still Married"
I dug this up, a little surprised I didn't quote it before, especially that poetic progression near the end. I tend to misremember it a bit, and think of it more in terms of how for a chronically non-judgemental guy like me, the range of pleasure between "doing something super cool!" and "just hanging out" is smaller than with most folks - which can create tensions with and seem unbearably lame to people with more ambitions in activities.

October 21, 2023

Random thought on decluttering:
Melissa gets frustrated with me because I don't see clean up (or closing cabinet doors in some cases :-D ) as part of the basic task. I WILL, generally, swing back to it, but as part of a separate noticing "oh things are out of whack" task later. It's not that I expect someone else to do it for me, but my tolerance for having it undone for a bit is higher.

And she points out, rightly, this isn't great for a concept of "shared space" and indeed I am trying to mend my ways and be better about cleaning up as I go.

But it makes me think - especially at the moment where we've done a fair chunk of decluttering for houseguests - in a way decluttering is like acknowledging your FUTURE SELF as someone you "share space" with. Like keeping things organized and out of the way is a way of respecting and being kind to that future version of you.

relevant dialog from 2004:
"I could spend the time to sort this crap out properly. But I'd rather send a message to my future self. That message is 'F*** you, YOU sort it out, I'm busy.'" [begins dumping stuff from closet into cardboard box.]
"Yeah, but didn't you already kind of do that to yourself, that's why it's in this state now?"
"Nah. That wasn't me, that was my past self. He was a real prick."

boston weekend rain

For grins I wanted to see if everyone's intuition that "dang, it's mostly raining on the weekends!" was correct. (I know there are some theories related to auto traffic that try and explain it a bit - it's probably not JUST Murphy's Law...)

I handscraped some data from Wunderground, got ChatGPT to help me massage it into JSON, and used P5.js to come up with the attached chart, where darker bars mark the weekend.

Conclusions: Indeed, 15 out of 20 weekends going back to June had rain.

Eyeballing the chart you can see that the blue rain bars do seem a bit likely to line up with the gray. (rainfall averages and days with any rain listed below)

(Just a plug, I am on a job hunt for a UI Developer role. So if you know a company that might need someone who likes making data approachable and can throw together a static or interactive piece in P5.js to go along with the bread and butter React/TypeScript/Next.js, maybe I'm the one for them!)

Weekends: 15 out of 20
Su 0.258 (10 out of 20)
Mo 0.169 (10 out of 20)
Tu 0.209 (11 out of 20)
We 0.194 (7 out of 20)
Th 0.043 (4 out of 21)
Fr 0.062 (6 out of 21)
Sa 0.245 (9 out of 21)

October 23, 2023

yesterday I Sousaboned up again for the Somerville Monster Mash parade with School of Honk
(and was center speaker for introduction/invitation routine)

October 24, 2023

Space Impact on the Nokia 3310: heh I didn't realize Nokias had games beyond "Snake". Kind of cool, where they obviously have some processor/memory resources earlier phones didn't (not to mention the influence of later arcade games) but still super low-rez and bad sound. It reminds me of big pixel stuff on the TRS-80s.
I've always been interested in one-button games, Nick B sent me tapsnake (reminds me a little of my old game snakedrive)

Open Photo Gallery

Arlington Town Day Fireworks
Red Rebels and Extinction Rebllion, Copley Square Die-In
Harvard Square Traffic Cones
BABAM @ Newton Teachers Association Rally

from "Incompleteness"

The reciprocal relationship of epistemology and science is of noteworthy kind. They are dependent upon each other. Epistemology without contact with science becomes an empty scheme. Science without epistemology is--insofar as it is thinkable at all--primitive and muddled.
Albert Einstein

The secret of the demagogue is to appear as dumb as his audience so that these people can believe themselves as smart as he is.
Karl Kraus

Nary a mathematician I have spoken with has a good word to say about Wittgenstein. One particularly incensed mathematician I know characterized Wittgenstein's famous proposition 7: Whereof we cannot speak we must remain silent as "accomplishing the difficult task of being at once portentous and vacuous."
Rebecca Goldstein in "Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel"

Platonism isn't of course tantamount to religion or mysticism, but there are affinities.
Rebecca Goldstein in "Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel"

As one textbook on psychopathology puts it: "Delusions may be systematized into highly developed and rationalized schemes which have a high degree of internal consistency once the basic premise is granted. . . . The delusion frequently may appear logical, although exceedingly intricate and complex."

Paranoia isn't the abandonment of rationality. Rather, it is rationality run amuck, the inventive search for explanations turned relentless. A psychologist friend of mine put it this way: "A paranoid person is irrationally rational. . . . Paranoid thinking is characterized not by illogic, but by a misguided logic, by logic run wild."
Rebecca Goldstein in "Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel"

Early this morning I was woken up with this dream snippet song:

(I later made the voice memo a video with a random HONK!fest photo I had on hand that look suitably cheerfully apocalyptic.)

October 26, 2023

Cracked on family idioms. I still think of "got 'em all back now, mom!" - what you say when you realize there had been an unseen danger, now receded (What I said after I had been stealthily re-capturing all these little peeper frogs and putting them back in the kool-ship container while Mom assumed I was asleep in the back)...

Also "I don't talk to know walls", my dad's response when my mom yelled up from the basement to toss some of my clothing down the laundry chute, but he was in the bath. I guess we bust out this one when we're looking for an excuse not to do something for the other person.

Oh also there was "crabs and ice water" - not unique to our family but I liked it the few times I heard it. It can be an exclamation of frustration akin to "crap" or I guess it means "nothing".

Oh and "Balls" as an exclamation of annoyance, sometimes followed with "said the Queen, 'if I had them I'd be King'"

supplying the army of me

Slight follow up to my "think of sharing space with your future self" productivity psychological hack:
1. I am only me in this moment. I'm continuous with the me of my past and the me of my future but in some ways I'm not the "same person".
2. I really imbibed an idea parallel to what Star Trek said when Spock and Kirk exchange "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." My preferences shouldn't be ignored, but my actions should be based on what the group prefers, with my preferences aggregated into that. (And sympathetic thoughtfulness w/ rationality is the tool to see past first intuitive response, rooted in emotion)

So, the trick is to think of tasks as favors to my future selves - which form a rather big group! Sure *I* might be fine with this messy space, but wouldn't my set of future selves appreciate a less cluttered environment? (To be fair my future self will be sympathetic with who I am now, but they'll still appreciate what I manage to get done...)

Lets go Army of Me!
"your days are numbered" yeah it's called a calendar you f***ing idiot
elijah, @realaccountyeah

October 28, 2023

on life before modern lighting which is one thing we take for granted, but is a huge recent change that many period pieces get wrong

October 29, 2023

I was looking for something to do in Minecraft (which I play with my niece) and I also like shouting out to my past geek projects...

Pixeltime was a (sadly defunct) brilliant site hosting contests in making 45x45 pixel images with a limited 16 color palette I write about it (and its brilliant Max Headroom meets a belligerent Mr Rogers host) on my pixeltime tribute page.

Back in the day I wrote programs to automatically put real photographs into Pixeltime, faking mouse clicks but otherwise using the program as intended. One was a portrait of an elephant, and I decided to put that into our Minecraft realm.

45x45 images are tiny, sure, but it's over 2000 blocks to put in by hand! (And in Minecraft terms, it's like at least 10 stories tall)

Open Photo Gallery

The process...
Distance shot for scale... 45x45 is pretty dang big in Minecraft, like 10 stories
Closeup you lose context...

I really need to do more studying and write an essay on how Americanism is a genuine folk religion which reveres capital and the vague concept of "the free market" as a god of providence to be pleased in order to lead a prosperous life, also that the founding fathers are prophetic, perhaps even messianic figures who basically gave birth to this god through the revolutionary war, and that the vast majority of conservative Christians in America revere capital more than the god they claim to serve in an ironic sort of golden calf situation.
balaclava-trismegistus, via

October 30, 2023

New glasses time!

My longest running pair (8 years) fell out of my pocket when I was wearing sunglasses, and I'm doubtful they'll show up.

Previous pair, for reference:

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They were fun, for sure, but See no longer makes that kind exactly, and my time with my back up Zennis told me three things:

1. I really like clip-on shades, especially the magnetic kind. Much easier than always swapping out to prescription sunglasses.

2. Progressives weren't THAT useful, really, especially if:

3. maybe slightly smaller glasses are easier to peer over (for near rang stuff) and maybe less likely to get quite as smudged all the time.

So I ordered two pairs of Zennis - they only have 3 or 4 large/wide options that have clipons, including the style that I dabbled with in 2013 and have been my spares.

Open Photo Gallery

The front running pair, - they have an interesting red color accent (that's why my head is weirdly angled, to show it off)- I tend to prefer blues and greens, but the red makes me remember my dad coveting Sally Jessy Raphael's signature red glasses back in the day.
Same pair with clipons
Photos three and four of a pair identical to my spares. Melissa thinks they're a bit meh/mid, a bit too obviously 2013 and might make me look older than the previous pair
The clipons are mirrorshades and fun, and meld to the glasses better.
So I'm open for opinions on 1/2 vs 3/4... or other ideas if they're not too expensive. (I've read how gouging most of the eyeglasses industry is) I do need wide frames for my pumpkin-size cranium...

Of course any radically new pair is going to feel strange. Sometimes I'm surprised I went as bold as I did last time...
list of misconceptions young people have of the past. Ashtrays and cigarette smoke being everywhere, few photos being taken, but most of them are a contrast to how now with the Internet, you can be more proactive about choosing what you get: information, shows, goods and clothing ,etc. (So then, everyone might be watching the same big shows - and you had to be watching when the broadcast started)

It's one of the reasons I try not to be as worried about smart kids who are indifferent to books; back then if you didn't read you weren't going to know stuff except what school showed you, what other/older people remembered to show you, or what happened to appear on tv. (I think reading, and reading FAST, helped me as a kid and on tests, and books are distinctive how a single person can create an evocative world.)
Not MY interest but I'm sure somebodies, from an Associated Press article predicting the emergence of tall women - via this blog entry

odd, i see, too

Retronauts had a podcast episode on the Magnavox Odyssey2. It was a more powerful system than I realized! (I guess I get it confused with its predecessor, which was pretty primitive and relied on overlays.) Prior to this mostly I thought about Monkeyshines, which I knew from a screenshot in Games magazine.

Here's every game:

I love that there was a German game called "Kinder im Verkehr" or "Kids in Traffic". (I guess it was a teaching tool but beautiful concept for a game)

"Smithereens" was highly recommended, along the lines of artillery games like QBasic Gorillas or Scorched Earth.

Also I love the indirect combat of "War of Nerves", but not actually a great game - still might have set the idea of an RTS where you play as a character in the game, ala "Herzog Zwei".

The podcast mentioned they dealt with the memory limitations of the time by hardcoding some default graphics - it reminded me of this evocative character sheet from the Sharp MZ-700 computer:

You can see some of those in action in this video...

I was trying to think of what other systems did that. Like Commodores had PETSCII, Atari 8bits had its thing, and even PCs had that ZZT thing...​​​​​​​
(not sure of the artist but wow)

Tonight I indulged in JP Honk's founding tradition, the Dunster Road Halloween Block Party!

I was a little worried lights might have distracted from the skeleton vibe but i think the result was pretty awesome

Also just for convenience here is an animation of how the setup can look:

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