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June 1, 2024


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too many tubas on international tuba day!
for some reason the asphalt on part of a street near me gives your shadow a rainbow halo that moves with you... or my canonization has been approved...

JP Honk played for the Haley House Block Party today! Great cause. (Huh, maybe we should start mentioning this stuff ahead of time?)
Anyway here's the official premier of our new cover of "Ring of Fire" along with our "Hurricane Season" - EAT! MORE! KALE!

June 2, 2024


new music playlist may 2024

5 star:
* Unconditional I (Lookout Kid) (Arcade Fire)
If you want to get (at least!) a little bit verklempt about the relationship between grownups and kids this morning, this song is it. Great video as well

4 star:
* Portrait (Sasami Ashworth)
Lovely little heartstring tugger of a song from "Articles of Interest" podcast

3 star:
* Thunder Rumbles (The Cat Empire)
* Once I Had a Love (a.k.a.. The Disco Song) [Bonus Track] (Blondie)
* Dedicated to Hiroshi Yamauchi. 01 (Chip Tanaka/Acerola Beach )
* All the Small Things (blink-182)
* Mysteries We Understand (Sophie B. Hawkins)
* Limb By Limb (Phish)
* Chaal Baby (feat. Sunny Jain) (Red Baraat)
* Ya Mama (The Pharcyde)
* Dad's Yard (Catie Curtis)
* Eye of the Tiger (Walk Off the Earth)
* Vivaldi Winter Drill #2 (veneris)
* J.B. Shout (Fred Wesley and the J.B.'s)
This Monday morning JP Honk and some other folks from the HONK community were asked to add some energy to Boston City Hall raising a Pride Flag - got to hear from Mayor Wu, a bunch of city council people, and activists in the area. (For the raising itself we played "This Little Light" with a new extra verse "Raise This Rainbow Flag, Raise It High With Pride")

Happy Pride! Celebrate being who you are and loving who you love!

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security nightmares for fun and profit

Why is Microsoft so hell bent on making this security nightmare?

Like, even putting the security dangers aside, it's such a weird usability misthink (IMO; I'm sure some segment of users would appreciate it.) Like, you sort of need to embrace the ephemeral nature of day-to-day digital, and take steps to recognize what you want to preserve, and come up with a mechanism and structure that works for you to preserve it. Leaning on the computer playing "Little Big Brother" as a convenience feature is no way to live.

I think of parallel examples from a simpler age: bookmark managers. Every browser would like to be your main bookmark repository, since that increase the browsers value (and "stickiness") to you. But early on, I took the HTML page that Netscape Navigator was using internally to store your bookmarks (yes I'm old) and put that on my rented webspace. (yes I'm an old geek) Then I could use any browser at work or home and do my own conscious curation of what bookmarks were worth keeping.

(As an old geek aside: I am appalled at the universality of linkrot. A Good URL can and should live forever, us old school geeks thought, and I try to live up to that with my personal sites - but this seems to be an increasingly rare approach, and maybe one in fifteen links I have on my old 90s bookmarks page still works)

Similarly, a lot of product lines try to lure users with being able to pick up on one device where another one leaves off - like handing off from a phone's browser to the laptop or vice versa. I'm not a purist against cross-device sharing - I rely on Apple's shared clipboard fairly often - but making a "seamless" handoff seems like a fool's errand to me, and as likely to startle the user as to be helpful - they are different devices with different use modes, and when the need to transfer does occur.... I mean that's what URLs have always been for.

This isn't a black and white issue. There are some kind of "ease of use" features I depend on - like I don't usually need my browser to record my bookmarks, but I DO lean on autocomplete for website URLs pretty heavily, and if i switch to a completely new machine it's a pain in the butt for a few days. But recording all my activity via screengrabs (and recording lots of stuff as plain text?) What a disastrous mixup of "can" and "should", one of the most idiotic paths in the current AI arms race.

Interesting exercise tips for us olds.

one strap good, two straps bad

So I freely admit that my reluctance to use both straps with a backpack - because that was just tragically uncool in the late 80s - is ridiculous (counter arguments: a lot of backpacks properly worn make for a sweaty back)

But as I look at a "fanny pack" I had in a closet (part of my band outfit, especially useful when I was favoring a "sexy copy onesie" that had no pockets whatsoever) - I think about Men's "sling bags" which are like... reflecting a parallel prejudice? Like, hip bags/fanny packs are uncool. But put it over one shoulder? Kinda ok! (and I will ignore the whole genderization of purses thing)

That said I think a good courier bag wins out for looking ok and not sweating up your back - but it might not be enough to stash a hoody in.

June 6, 2024


June 7, 2024

new tuba bead set just in time for the big Pride weekend! a bit more percussive, durable, and fabulous than the previous mardi gras style throws.

June 8, 2024

My bass section compatriot ADubbs at the Boston Dyke March last night, a more real prelude to the more corporate Pride parade the next day


June 9, 2024


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waiting for Boston Pride
I love "The Commonwealth Requires the Education of the People as the Safeguard of Order and Liberty" on the BPL
At the Leftist Marching Band's 20th Birthday Party gig

June 10, 2024

The other day Connections taught me a black / "urban" colloquialism/euphemism: "feeling some type of way". (And here I thought the Connections editors were just being weirdly vague)

sage advice from self help singh

As either Denzel Washington, Cicely Tyson or some other fucker (google isn't sure) once said, "a uHaul does not follow the hearse."
Self Help Singh, "Things to ponder while taking a shit: Lessons on unfucking your life"

Sometimes you have to reconcile the notion that your competency maxes out at a mere 3 out of 10.

What is important is not your score. What is important is that you understand that you still serve a purpose, even if that purpose is to make marginally average people look like fucking rocket scientists.
Self Help Singh, "Things to ponder while taking a shit: Lessons on unfucking your life"

A car window shatters more easily when it is fully closed.

A window that is slightly open to world, is able to absorb sudden impact without shattering or cracking under the pressure.

Make what you will of this metaphor.

There is no wrong conclusion here.

Except, of course that you should leave your car window open during a rain storm.
Self Help Singh, "Things to ponder while taking a shit: Lessons on unfucking your life"

Chasing after something or someone who has already demonstrated that they don't feel the same way, is like trying to sell oxygen to a person in a foreign language.

They are already getting the oxygen from somewhere or someone else, and they do not understand what you are talking about.
Self Help Singh, "Things to ponder while taking a shit: Lessons on unfucking your life"

"Fool me once, Fuck you! Fool me twice, Fuck me!"
Self Help Singh, "Things to ponder while taking a shit: Lessons on unfucking your life"

10 out of 10 betrayers are not strangers.
Self Help Singh, "Things to ponder while taking a shit: Lessons on unfucking your life"

June 12, 2024

Why Russia is Happy at War from The Atlantic
Sometimes these conversations took a sudden prurient turn, like when a haphazardly tattooed psychology student with whom I'd been discussing SpongeBob SquarePants sent me an unsolicited photo of his confusingly shaped penis.

Three things a lot of techies think are cool that I don't:
  1. dark/night mode
  2. black/super-dark-gray as the best color for Macbooks
  3. shared passwords (like for wifi) in l33tsp34k. For people who have synesthesia or are generally more phonetic in their word processing than visual, l33tsp3ak sucks. "4" goes with "r" not "A", duh (I have a relic from my early childhood where I scribbled my name KI4K)

June 13, 2024

Got a new job! It's a hybrid role in Boston at a cool place called CodaMetrix.

I kind of dig being in an office space again at least some of the time. Yeah WFH has its pluses, but it also kinda turns your home into a bit of a prison.

Anyway, I wanted a new mouse and I bought this one from Amazon because of visibility and its goofy anime-influence styling (also now I realize its USB option makes more sense for my home setup than its BT modes - not sure about the LED stripe though). I kind of love that it has a typo "Compfortable"

June 14, 2024

Bump stocks!


Fuck this bought and paid for driving-for-theocracy SCOTUS, built by Republicans abso-fucking-lutely cheating, and getting tons of hither to undisclosed trips by big money donors.

Even Trump fucking knows it: 'Trump described bump stocks at the time as converting "legal weapons into illegal machines."'

Call me (call me) on the line Call me, call me any, anytime


Was thinking about the old "If You Call Me Without First Texting To Notify That You're Calling, You're A Monster" meme, and how it does and doesn't apply for me.

I've been working up a somewhat more regular rotation for phone calls of people I'm close to and I generally try just calling - most notably my mom, but then a few other friends.

I guess that doesn't count... all those non-Mom people have all been in the category of "best friend" at some point in my life. And in some of the cases there's a typical weekly time where I'm more likely to call, so it's not out of the blue.

Of course, I kind of got the idea by based on how my friend JZ (no not that Jay-Z) started calling me. And it reminds me of how some close friendships get sparked with an act of courage (or maybe the brave person is just oblivious or come from a different cultural set of expectations?) where they suggest hanging out... almost like asking for a date, minus the romance.

And pondering on cultural differences... I remember witnessing some folks here from Russia, where just dropping by the house was more of a norm for family and close friends. It's like they're living a 90s sitcom!

Getting back to phone calls - There can be a kind of asymmetry if it's always one side who calls the other, but it's wrong to assumes the callee has less strong feelings than the caller... it can also be based on bravery or depression or cultural expectations or just timing.
Interesting if true!

As my friend Julian puts it, only half winkingly: "God blessed me by making me transsexual for the same reason God made wheat but not bread and fruit but not wine, so that humanity might share in the act of creation."
Daniel Mallory Ortberg


June 16, 2024


the imp vs wheaton's law

I've been thinking of Poe's "The Imp of the Perverse". Like its even darker cousin " L'appel du Vide" (the appeal of the void) which is about impulsive thoughts of self-destruction, I see the Imp as a more generalized momentary recognition of an opportunity to do something bad or harmful.

As a kid, my dad would take me to a lot of antique-y stores and craftsman saleshops, and I got a reasonable stern rebuke once for asking "Wouldn't it be cool to go to one with a baseball bat and just start swinging around." No, it would not.

Yesterday, taking a solitary night walk to the beach (I'm staying briefly with my folks on the Jersey coast on my way back from a family reunion) I saw a few pairs of sandals and shoes left at the beach entrance, and just marveled at how trusting those folks were, how easy it would be to run off with the shoes and make their lives a bit more miserable.

But I'm pretty well-regulated, so it was just a stupid and cruel (two adjectives that so often travel together) fleeting thought. (And I think most people are similarly built, so that leaving your shoes like that is a reasonable thing to do.) The most elegant remedy I have for such thoughts is recalling "Wheaton's Law 'Don't Be a Dick'". It really does provide a simple mantra to counter the Imp.

Wheaton's Law's eloquence (boosted by its vulgarity) makes it compare favorably to Rabbi Hillel's famous summary of the Torah: "That which is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah; the rest is commentary."

And a large part of society depends on folks refuting the Imp. Societies where everything is as locked down as it possibly can be, and/or dependent on the threat of discovery with accompanying retribution and punishment are much less pleasant.

(The one that gets me is litter. So full of scorn for the ass I saw throwing a half full coffee cup from the passenger seat of a pickup I was driving behind. Or, worse, some of the fellow people at the bootleg swimming lake where I live who just throw wrappers and anything else down on the ground. Like what the hell? Who do they expect to clean up after them, how are they so incapable of basic empathy with people doing the same thing at the same place after them? Of course at some point it becomes a self-sustaining cycle; they might feel more free to be lazy careless assholes because they had to tolerate the garbage that was already there from earlier arriving assholes. But still, we're already in a gray zone of (moderately risky!) prohibited behavior, enjoying wading and swimming away from lifeguarded areas - why give ammo to those who would call for tougher enforcement by being childish pigs?)

I think there's implications for broad stroke (or even somewhat sloppy) thinking about what's behind conservative vs liberal values; conservatives and the impulse to favor a circle of trust shrunk so that empathy comes easier because the people in it are more clearly like yourself, and with harsher penalties for people who violate the social contracts, vs the sometimes naive liberal impulse to expand the circle so that you have more shared benefits and drawbacks. It's not always easy progressives such as me to think past the refutations of other folks goodness and trustworthiness, but it's still a goal worth pursuing to get to a world worth living in.

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June 18, 2024

Celtics made 2024.06.17 #617strong #iykyk

June 19, 2024

ok, we've had the "cute" girlfriend conversation and you know exactly what i think about that! i *do* understand that you're looking for someone who is attractive to you in every way. more than that, though, is that she should be the person who's always on your side, picks you first for dodgeball, and makes your knees weak. if the package she comes in isn't a ringer for, say, samantha mathis, are you going to pass that up? what a fool ye mortal be.
FoSO, 2004.08.09
It took me half an hour to hunt for this- and i found it in email in 2007 where I wrote "The even worse part is, I'm worried this isn't the first time I've forgotten it, and may have hunted for it before."
I Will Fucking Piledrive You If You Mention AI Again - really very thoughtful piece:
The crux of my raging hatred is not that I *hate* LLMs or the generative AI craze. I had my fun with Copilot before I decided that it was making me stupider - it's impressive, but not actually *suitable* for anything more than churning out boilerplate. Nothing wrong with that, but it did not end up being the crazy productivity booster that I thought it would be, because *programming is designing* and these tools aren't good enough (yet) to assist me with this seriously
The thing is, in an age where frontend programming libraries and toolkits have just EXPLODED like mushrooms and we have more "flavors of the month" than a Baskin-Robins in a timelapse, "churning out [customized!] boilerplate" is an enormously helpful thing.
"The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed" - "50 Shades of Grey" meets "Napoleon Dynamite" (via "Girls")

"Doctor - it hurts when I do this!"

Trying to console someone who is choosing to break up with you like
Thinking about this for a Zoom avatar....

I had forgotten about the Yo app - an app that merely let you send the word "Yo" to another user, and for most of its reign, nothing more than that... definitely a small milestone of a the early smartphone ubiquity age

June 21, 2024

Shoutout to all my Boston fair-weather peeps who, like, appreciate the Celtics enough to pick something green to wear today but don't actually have much Celtics gear. (My new job near Copley overlooks the parade route.)
Also shoutout to the guy already cracking his first Bud Light at 8:10am.

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June 22, 2024

Any of y'all's churches do this?
weird flashback... I remember Glens Falls Sunday School, we would sing the chorus of this song (dropping dropping dropping dropping hear those pennies falls, every one for Jesus, he shall have them all...") and then leading into "Happy Birthday to you". There was some little ritual where I think the birthday kid would put in as many pennies as their age or something? And maybe pick out a little present? (like, a colorful pencil or something) I don't quite recall...

June 23, 2024

Could Godzilla play (an appropriately large) saxophone or does he have the wrong kind of lips? Frankly I think our best bet might be some gigantic pitched percussion, like a huge marimba or xylophone.

some photos


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OGNJ path light
Cambridge Common
Providence St

Trump claims to love the 10 Commandments but is about .900 on breaking them. of course I'm sure a humble guy like that will repent at church.
"What is it with you and frozen yogurt? Have you not heard of ice cream?"
"Oh sure, but I've come to really like frozen yogurt. There's something so human about taking something and ruining it a little so you can have more of it."
Eleanor and Michael on "The Good Place"
Did not realize this was by Michael Schur who also did "Parks and Rec" and "Brooklyn 99". He was on one of the 99% Invisible episodes on Robert Caro's "The Power Broker" - they mention his book on moral philosophy ("How To Be Perfect") and now I'm binging "The Good Place" which probably draws from the exact same well. A bit pedagogical but I dig it (so far my main criticism is they're not engaging in how unlikely it is that a human self could adapt to something actually eternal...)

June 25, 2024

maybe I need to be back in the Cloud Appreciation Society..

June 26, 2024

If you're ever in Dollar Tree and see beads like this, do me a favor and buy all they have for me? (well like up to the full rack of 10) They are now my preferred dangling percussion for my tuba -much more durable and with a sharper sound than normal mardi gras throw beads.
But after buying all the ones at one Dollar Tree, and failing to find any more at a different Dollar Tree on a road trip... I'd love to build up a stockpile. (At a recent gig a young girl asked if she could have one of the 9 my tuba was sporting, and so while they're durable I'm worried about long term attrition because I don't know where else to restock.)

June 27, 2024

My laptop stickers game is still on point.

(and thanks to a clear plastic cover i can try and look like a rebel while meekly returning a pristine computer someday. plus i get to keep the shell )

Interview with the CEO/President of CodaMetrix (my new company)

As a kid, thinking of the computer-y future (and literally wondering when Bill Gates was going to make a program that wrote other programs) I kept up what was mostly a romantic, sci-fi driven hope that the best results were going to be from humans cooperating with computers, rather than either acting alone.

In a lot of ways that's where we are at now. Anecdotally, a lot of programmers are finding ChatGPT and its ilk enormously helpful as a "second pair of eyes" and as a well read but distinctly junior level paired-programmer. Similarly, I'm happy to have a role here on UX/UI at CodaMetrix, enabling pulling humans back in the loop either for specific medical coding issues and for providing informed guidance and oversight on the overall process.

June 28, 2024


Hola, amigos. How's it hangin'? I know it's been a long time since I last rapped at ya
Jim Anchower of The Onion
I used to really love his column (second only to Smoove B, and the apology greeting he always started with often comes to mind when I think about starting a note saying sorry for not writing earlier.

June 29, 2024

The vibe of driving your junker '04 Scion (no AC so the windows down, natch) after seeing Furiosa. Just for a minute you're like - hey, I could drive like that - just for a minute.

I guess despite being dark and a little dingy the car isn't too much like what you see in the movie - but the big brass tuba in the back seat helps.

June 30, 2024

As Pride Month comes to end, my band BABAM! got a shout out from the City of Boston for helping raise the Pride Flag over City Hall.

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Thanks to my friend Cathleen who made it happen!

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