| < retrospect: 18 jan >

January 18, 2018

For the longes time I had a Sticky note on my Mac desktop "enterprise volltron - dream of".... I guess it would look something like this:

Don't "Help" by stacking plates at restaurants
I sort of hate when people rip on Beats headphones assuming it's just a branding thing, and also that you can truly tell the quality of headphones by pure audio fidelity.

Bass is emotionally resonate, so a pair of headphones that emphasizes that may well be better for many people: see Pump up the music -- especially the bass -- to make you feel powerful and Here's Why People Love Deep Bass Sounds In Music

Of course, I think modern Beats headphones aren't as over the top in bass as the first few years of 'em.

Then again, I am a tuba player, so take it with a grain of salt.

January 18, 2017

A few days ago I posted my Ed Emberley Tribute animal puppets on his official Facebook page and last night I got this email from his personal account!

Needless to say I am stoked!
Aww Mr. Rogers!

January 18, 2016

Still a work in progress, but I'm optimistic about this arrangement of "Peter Gunn" I made for JP Honk...

Yesterday I noticed I can play tuba almost as well with my left as my right - an old observation for me, actually, but I realized there might be a tie-in with another bit of physical modeling i do: I tend to remember which key on my keyring is which via it's physical placement, and more specifically, I subconsciously expect them to be in left-to-right order corresponding to the outermost/innermost arrangement of the doors. Take my car and house keys (one for the front, one for the back)... holding them all "teeth up", my hand expects the car key on the left (corresponding to how I first arrive), and then the front door key to the right of that (since it's the key I need next) and ending with the key to the back (either since I don't need that then, or because the back of the house is "more inner" than the door facing outward to the street. It takes much more mental effort to remember which key is which when they don't align to a inner/outer concept.

So: tuba valves, three in a row. I would have assumed I associate them with either specific 1,2,3 placement. And maybe it's just that I use the same finger for each valve, just on the other hand, when I play leftie. But it seemed like a "deep" revelation that maybe I think of them more in terms of which valve is closest to me - and that maybe years of playing brass as a youngster imprinted that way of thinking on me. But maybe that's mixing up cause and effect, or so there's another, simpler explanation.

In general, I'd say I have a hard time than average remembering left from right.

Hmm. This could explain piano being challenging for me as well? Like it's just harder to integrate things when on my left hand, the thumb plays a higher note, but on my right hand the thumb is the lowest note. Yeah; when I try to play basslines with my left, everything feels wackily backwards.

January 18, 2015

"Scariest phrase in the English language: 'In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Scalia...'"
Damon Linker:
Liberalism offers the following deal to individuals and groups: give up the hope of controlling the whole of social life, of using government power (and violence) to enforce your vision of the highest good, and allow the natural pluralism of society to grow and flourish; in return you'll be granted the freedom to find a home within that highly differentiated socio-cultural ecosystem, a place where you and those with whom you freely choose to associate can also grow and flourish in peace.

Tolerate -- and you will be tolerated in turn.

That's the liberal bargain. It is one of the finest achievements of Western civilization, and one of its greatest gifts to humanity in all times and places -- nothing less than an all-purpose strategy for getting along despite our often rancorous disagreements about the highest good and ultimate ends of life.

Muslims who admire (let alone who go to fight for) the Islamic State, or who favor a form of sharia law that would make apostasy a crime punishable by death, have effectively rejected the liberal bargain and opted to exile themselves from liberal civilization.

And therein lies the challenge confronting the liberal West.
--from Can Islam ever make peace with liberalism?. It's interesting to think about the differences between the US and Europe in their relations to their Moslem populations.
I refuse to read the Superbowl XLIX as anything but "X-Licks".

I always think postseason Win/Loss records are kind of wonky, because the postseason is 1 and done, so you actually get fewer opportunities to lose, so to speak.

January 18, 2014

Interesting. I am now "Dropbox Guru" status with 48 Gb "for the next 24 months". Sounds like a sneaky way to get me to pay in 2016. holy crap we are all bioluminescent?

January 18, 2013

Day 2 of my Galloway 5K program. As an ex-Marching Band Kid, I gotta say having music set a pace is enormously helpful (and I can still adjust my stride to work it less or more). On the other hand, I am compelled to do a little stutter step so that "left foot on one" holds true when the music skips a beat in its transition.

mark twain in color

(1 comment)
January 18, 2012

--To promote her photo restoration services, Swedish artist Sanna Dullaway colorizes icon images. via 22 words, with 9 more examples including Lincoln-- see her deviant art page as well, which has that icon VE day kiss in Times Square.

So easy to start thinking of the old world as black and white, though Calvin's Dad explained that that's the correct viewpoint anyway.
"Our health is a voyage and every illness is an adventure story."
--Magrid Evans
"The measure of success is not whether you have a problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year."
"The problem with sweeping a girl off her feet, Sammy, is that you have to keep on sweeping. Love doesn't work that way."
--Joseph Heller, "Closing Time"
"If God can do anything, he can make a mistake."
--Joseph Heller, "Closing Time"
Holy cow. With SOPA would we have no ?
McArdle on how NYC's reversal to better fortunes probably depended on the financial sector boom. - a simple (well nigh trivial!) jQuery slot machine effect demo'd on my UI Devblog.

u$a, u$a!

January 18, 2011

Just noticed XP's taskbar has an odd nod to Fitts' Law; if the mouse is on border at edge or corner, a click nudges the mouse to hit the button. (Though I still think "Fitts' Law" type analysis tends to neglect cognitive load issues.)

My desk at work! Rockin' the Vertical Second Monitor, Bonus Baby Third, and Sea Monkeys.

"The moon is lovely tonight."
"So are you."
"So perfect. So bright."
"So are you."
"Yet so distant and cold."
"I don't suppose the moon will come back to my place tonight, either."
--Stuart Hample, "Inside Woody Allen"

the ballad of pink five

January 18, 2010
Pink Five Funny Videos | Spoofs | Star Wars Fan Movie Champions

So yesterday I got a new laptop (Toshiba P505) with a 18.4" screen. "Laptop" might be the wrong word, I've had standalone monitors smaller than this.
The Toshiba P505 is good, but the "zero pressure media buttons" just to left of keyboard are WAY too easy to accidentally hit, plus they're hardwired to make a super-obnoxious BEEP?? What a dumb design decision - luckily you can just turn them off in BIOS.
Unsure if I dig "Aero's" translucent window borders, but long for a CSS virtual color "translucent" that showed the windows beneath.


January 18, 2009


Hunt feeling not so bad. Scavenger activity went well and was fun. "Courier Bag" is an anagram for "Aerobic Rug" (Yoga Mat), so we did that.
Sarah explained my willingness to have the MIT Seal imprinted on my collarbone and keep score on sharpie on arm is why she likes me.
Just saw someone drinking from a water fountain. Been a *while*! I remember Germans thought that odd, in high school; maybe they were right
The Letter W and The Number Seven: the Polysyllabic Dorks of their respective little worlds.
via Bill the Splut, 5 second movies: - man do I dig brevity!
Happier with my role at the Hunt, seeing myself as the Sanch Panza to these puzzley Don Quixotes.
"No corporation will ever pay a creator enough to sue them successfully." --Dave Sim
Geek note: how deeply ingrained is "i" as my generic counter variable?
Solving 3D Minesweeper Arrangement problems by brute force. Did I mentioned I slept in a sleeping bag on a table last night?
Geekery: need to learn to think in regular expressions... I use substr and iteration when I should just do regex groups. Bauer showed me up!
Done with the hunt. Unwinding. Terribly ugly non-pass interference call at the end of Philly vs Arizona.
Mystery Hunt made me feel like Gollum in the Hobbit... "What have I got in my pocket?" isn't that hard a question, but it feels unfair.

years go widdershins

January 18, 2008
If you were to plot the year as a circle, would you put Winter at top? Would the months and seasons run clockwise or counterclockwise?

For me, counterclockwise (aka widdershins, which is a great word) I'm not sure why, though. I saw some kind of ad lately that had Winter at top, Spring at left, Summer bottom, Fall right, and it seemed totally natural to me, even though thinking logically, you might want it to shadow (heh I was going to say "mirror", which is misleading in this case, and then "reflect" which wouldn't be any better) the way a (half) day is portrayed on a clock.

In short, years go widdershins for me and I have no idea why.

Site of the Moment
One of my favorite gripes is the griping of others. (Kind of a "how tolerant can we be of intolerance" derivative, which had its apotheosis in the Onion's ACLU Defends Nazis' Right To Burn Down ACLU Headquarters)

So the #1 Google hit for "Carberry's Central Square" is a page on a site called Yelp.
Visits here always spawn the question of how mediocrity can survive for so long.
or for the nearby 1369...
Nice interior, and I'm sure the drinks are nice too. I'm here to comment about the rotten tasteless tuna salad that I had a few days ago that cost $4.50 too much, albeit costing $4.50. A sorry substitute for a light lunch, I had to go down the street to Shalimar for something decent to eat.
Latte was boring and tasted off. Like the coffee beans were rebelling against providing taste, or something. Also, ordered a quiche, and what I should have called it was a "Salt Cheese Pie".
So the negativity is irritating, but then again, I'm even skeptical when people go to the other extreme. Basically, any review of a place longer than a quote inside a Zagat's snippet is going to say more about the reviewer than the place itself.


January 18, 2007
A few weeks ago when I was helping my mom move in I had the responsibility of setting up a few pieces of "flatpack" furniture, a bookshelf and then a rather more ambitious computer desk. The desk was actually kind of a pain to get right ("no tool assembly" my left buttcheek! Maybe if I had the gripstrength of Chewbaccca...) though it ended up coming out ok.

It made me wonder, though, what the main cost savings is with these things. Passing some of the factory labor cost onto the consumer, in terms of time? The cost to ship it? The cost to store it? A kind of artificial price differentiator, so that they can charge more for the pre-assembled stuff? Or is it just the lowcost materials all around?

It's probably some of all of that, but according to some of my friends in retail management, shipping is likely one of the bigger issues. I guess shipping is by volume, not just weight, because they were talking about having to pay to "ship air" for things that are less dense, like an assembled piece.

Well, long live flatpack. The desk manufacturer had some kind of slogan like "making good furniture possible" and there is a bit of an egalitarian aspect to it all.

Slashdot Article of the Moment
Huh, some guy wondering if he can age himself out of a programming job, kind of tangentially related to the whole age discrimination issue. That's certainly a concern of mine... I don't really seem to have a management temperament, even though I feel I do pretty well as a technical lead, but at some point, people are going to start wondering why I'm content just being a developer...

travellin' man day 4

January 18, 2006
Poem of a Past Moment
Don't you know
how kisses can lie?
That taste of milk
and salt
That can be a matter of artifice
Carefully constructed
put together like a fine..
like a good story

But sometimes...
it can be nuthin' but truth

--Oct 11 2004. Not my finest poetic moement, but hey.

Boom and Bust of an Upcoming Moment
So a guy who they says totally called the 90s boom and the 2000s bust sees the same cycle happening again, but with a higher high and then in 2010 or so, a lower low, something between the US economic funk in the 70s and Japan's 90s and the actual Great Depression. "Maybe we'll see unemployment at 15 percent, give or take" -- ack, plus he thinks the worst part is deflation, as a result of the shrinking workforce. This kind of mirrors that one Atlantic article "a view from 2012" or whatever it was, that says some of the same thing though without the boom, especially with our insane amount of debt....

Wonder what I should do to brace myself, assuming this is roughly accurate... go crazy trying to get money now, but don't speculate too much investment-wise I guess....

it's curtains for me!

January 18, 2005, it's cold.

I finally got up some drapes for my bedroom and the tv/video room...tan suede, a little "western" feeling but I like it. It's not utterly "lights out" in the bedroom but it is significantly darker and I think it helps my sleep quite a's noticeably harder to get up in the morning if I went to bed too late (in the "I think I've been sleeping deeply recently" way, not the "I slept fitfully" way.)

But man is it cold. My thermostat was set to like 68 but the temperature was reading in the lowish 60s. I need to get some more drapes for the other rooms...I think. But I worry, unless I pin up the bottom of the curtains they're going to be covering the radiators, which looks ugly...would that undo the good I'm doing in blocking the chill from the window by also trapping the heat from the heating system? Maybe I should just buck and pin 'em up and see what happens. My place is going to be relatively dark though.

Actually, I got to googling the difference between "curtains" and "drapes" and got admonished by this for Dummies article: it's draperies never drapes. Err, whatever.

Flowers of the Moment
--Flower arrangement (for a family friend's grandfather's memorial, alas) by Ksenia. I helped winding the ribbons around the base. I like how this photo came out.

News Quote of the Moment
"Watch to see what I can still do!"
--Woman falls to death attempting balcony handstand, At least she obeyed the Ancient Advice of when attempting a silly stunt, "Never say anything more predictive than 'Watch this!'"

backlog flush #42

(1 comment)
January 18, 2004
More backlog flush! Lots of computer science quotes this time. Don't hate me.
  • "People understand instinctively that the best way for computer programs to communicate with each other is for each of them to be strict in what they emit, and liberal in what they accept. The odd thing is that people themselves are not willing to be strict in how they speak and liberal in how they listen. You'd think that would also be obvious."
    --Larry Wall, inventor of the Perl programming language.
  • 'I've never liked the term "computer science." The main reason I don't like it is that there's no such thing. Computer science is a grab bag of tenuously related areas thrown together by an accident of history, like Yugoslavia.'
    --Paul Graham, Hackers and Painters
  • "It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."
    --Dijkstra's How do we tell truths that might hurt?, Computer Science circa 1975.
  • Yet more computer science quotes are around.
  • The invention of the
    biohazard symbol
  • A Christian tries to use "The Matrix" as a witnessing tool...or something. Soundclips, handdrawn comics, and more!
  • The online comic Achewood has many admirers.
  • This is a link. "This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpahs, but the overall pluggandisp can be glorked from context."
  • Like that last link, I guess I was on an everything2 kick: Common video game design flaws and Videogame cliches made some pretty good reading.
  • Either it took too much room, or I was just too chicken to post this 1974 Charles Simic poem about breasts.

backlog flush #14

January 18, 2003
Saw "Spider-Man" for the first time last night, a freebie Pay-Per-View. Not to sound like a barbarian, but they should have just called it "The Rack of Kirsten Dunst"...yowza. (And I thought of that before the scene in the rain. Ahem. I digress.)

So, once more we delve into my good old backlog. This brings us all the way up to halfway through last August!
  • Kartoo is a cool-looking but ultimately not terribly useful search engine that graphically displays the relationships between sites matching your search.
  • I must have made a note to check out FreeRIP to help with making some mix CDs...haven't tried it yet though.
  • Ranjit preserved his old staff page, including such Flash Shockwave-based hits as "Zen Meat Garden", "Anti-Tapioca", and "The Crossing Guard's Coffee Break". For reasons that are unclear to me, I added "Metal Fingers In My Body" to this backlog entry, the name of an animated pornographic techno music video =about a robot gigolo. Unfortunately I couldn't refind a link to the video itself.
  • Who doesn't love Paul Harvey? A bit much on the conservative side, but you have to respect his principles and work ethic. I think he's a Salvationist, actually. (I.e. attends The Salvation Army as his church.)
  • An article on Ben Franklin and his "Junto" group, a supper club that achieved many cool things.
  • The offical free software Hello World program. Another blow for the Open Source movement!
  • Slate's "ad report card" on Viagra vs Enzyte. Those Enzyte ads are really odd. I didn't realize that the phrase "suffragium asotus", displayed after Enzyte's name, isn't a chemical, just dog-Latin for "sensual assistance".
  • has made a Scorecard of Evil to keep track of our beloved president.
  • Saltine has a lot of good ideas, including an idea for yet another flavor of Diet Coke.
  • Looks like someone in Australia has managed to patent the wheel. I guess this is mostly to point out how absurd the world's patent systems have gotten.

optical delusion

January 18, 2002
Image of the Moment
Woman or Sax Player? (actually looks a bit like Bill Clinton...) I first saw this image years ago, and really liked the stylized woman. But then I starte asking, what part of the sax player is forming the woman's mouth? (via ZZZ online)

Link of the Moment
Public Service Announcement: How to identify if your cow has mad cow disease. A little corny, but still makes me laugh.


January 18, 2001
Link of the Moment
In this vast existential wasteland we all pass through, I was forced to explore what could fill the void in my soul. My friend Ranjit has revealed what could fill that void: Web Toys based on Bland Vegetables. For your viewing pleasure and mine, he has created: THE OKRALEIDOSCOPE. As he puts it, after I tell him he is not a well man:
"Hey, Louis suggested it! Of course once he did, I had to do it. [...] I haven't succeeded in getting any paid work done in weeks, but the moment I hear 'okraleidoscope' I jump in."
He requested that I link to his site moonmilk, where you can see a lot of his other creations as well.

Quote of the Moment
"I wouldn't presume to know, but in this I have a hunch -- Dr. King would agree with me"
--NRA President Charlton Heston on Martin Luther King Jr's Views on Gun Control, receiving an award on MLKjr Day (via The Daily Show)

"So Mrs. Lincoln, Mr. Ford would like to know how you'd feel about doing an ad for his theater..." Sheesh.

Geekness of the Moment
I finally caved and got a Palm IIIc. The iPaq is nice, but has synching problems, and was a bit more expensive. I decided I needed a PDA capable of storing and viewing a decent version of this Journal, and with AvantGo, the IIIc does quite a respectable job. Changing from a private text based journal to a public HTML journal actually is a turning point in my life.

Between this new color gadget and Ranjit hooking me up with a ROM site for MAME the Arcade Emulator, I don't feel a strong need to leave the house tomorrow.

KHftCEA 1998-01.2 January KHftCEA 1999-01.1 January CB KHftCEA 2000-01.1 January KHftCEA 2000-01.2 January KHftCEA 2001-01 January

KHftCEA 2001-01 January

"The sun setting is no less beautiful than the sun rising."
--Life Care Centers of America
This may be the final KHftCEA entry, written 'as I sits and as I shits' on my new IIIc. The kisrael journal seems to be a more direct way of doing the things I wanted to do with old faithful, recording quotes, playing with ideas, sharing those memes, recording myself for future reference.

Thanks, old friend. You won't be forgotten.
KHftCEA 2000-01.2 January

Q: D'you know anything about JavaPerl? As in how they combine the two?
A: Well. Imagine that Java is a dainty, well-dressed Victorian lady. And Perl is a big, grimy 10th century viking with a hard-on. JavaPerl is like a small room with a bed.
--irc from Paul Marquis
Interviewing at EventZero. Getting that thing where it's hard to hold my head still. Still the talks went well.
KHftCEA 2000-01.1 January

Modern electronic-rock music, inaugurated in the early 1960s, is, and always has been, a joint enterprise of British military intelligence and Satanic cults.
KHftCEA 1999-01.1 January CB

"[World War I] changed the language. It made patriotic words sound hollow, unacceptable, ridiculous"
--Stephen E. Ambrose, "Citizen Soldiers"
"God damn the bastards, they got me. The hell with it."
--Pvt. Jack Leonard, D-Day
"Fuck you, Hemingway."
--Pvt. Jack Crawford, Late Summer 1944
"Life is not for amateurs."
--Mort Gerson
"Prozac for Sharks"-inspired by Julia Novikov's Mexican Adventure
KHftCEA 1998-01.2 January

Mo as the sensual sneaker salesperson- That night in bed I would've bought the goofiest sneaker, even the ones with ugly plastic and neon colors.
"How do we stop an elephant if it goes berserk? What do we do? Do we use an AK-47? An M-16? An AR-15?... Frankly, would that stop an elephant? I really doubt it. Do they have a bazooka?"
          --US Senator Bob Smith, protesting plans in 1995 for a circus on Capitol Hill
Odd seeing a change machine with the bill acceptor lower than the coin dispenser- makes me realize I have a sub-concious image of the dollar being transformed into coins and falling to the slot below.
I just had a revelation: if I can't come easily after all this time, it's not on account of who I'm with. With Lena I wasn't sure of that: with Mo I am. It's reassuring in it's own way. It still leaves open future issues, but Mo's acceptance and optimism helps a lot.

< retrospect: 18 jan >