| < retrospect: 31 mar >


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March 31, 2008
Today I am 34.

I guess this means I am no longer "in my early 30s".

S'funny, I've been doing this site since before I was 27. That's a little nuts. I'm not sure I know what I would tell my younger self. Anyway, it would probably be more useful for me to try and channel my older self into giving me good advice for nowadays.

Quote of the Moment
First, I read in the paper how John Smoltz, the Atlanta Braves star, showed up at a training session one day with a painful-looking welt across his chest and, when pressed for an explanation, sheepishly admitted that he had tried to iron a shirt while he was wearing it.

Second, it ouccured to me that although I have never done anything quite so foolish as that, it was only because I had not thought of it.
--Bill Bryson, I'm a Stranger Here Myself

thirty and three

March 31, 2007
Today I am 33!

1/3 of a damn century, or thereabouts. Oy!

An old romance wrote that she wished me happiness and finding exactly what I'm looking for, which of course brings me smack dab into my fundamental existential issue at age 33: intense and sometimes overwhelming uncertainty about what I'm really am looking for.

But of course even that concept needs clarification: I can trivially envision an ideal life for me, a total flight of fancy involving world peace, immense wealth, and interpersonal relationships of an ease, depth, simplicity and grace described only in lesser novels (and then, described only in vague "Mary-Sue"-ish terms.)

The real challenge then is excluding the "you can't get thay-er from he-ahr" and focusing on the possible; but then again, I have a risk-aversion personality flaw that drags me towards the "probable" rather than the merely "not utterly unlikely."

Factoids of the Moment
  • Baghdad, Iraq is at 3333'N latitude.
  • Mircea Eliade establishes that there are 33 major religions in the world today in his book, The Eliade Guide to World Religions.
  • The Rig Veda apparently describes, "the 33 divinities."
  • According to the Lotus Sutra, Kannon Bodhisattva (Avilokateshvara) has 33 transformations in order to perform his task of salvation.
  • The 33rd degree is the highest degree within the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
  • The "Planck limit" or "Planck length" (physicist, Max Planck) is, "10 to the negative 33rd power cubic centimeters"
  • The Animal Kingdom is divided into 33 phyla.
  • Since atmospheric pressure will support a column of water no higher than about 33 ft (10 m), a lift pump can raise water no farther than this distance.
  • Britains eat 33 million turkeys, annually.
  • "Blue Moons" (two full moons in the same month) occur, on average, once every 33 months;
  • 33 is the smallest integer that can not be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers.
  • Pope John Paul I had been pope for only 33 days before being found dead in 1978.
  • In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Caesar was stabbed 33 times by the conspirators that killed him.
  • "Flight 33" was an episode of the television show the "Twilight Zone," in which a jet airliner is trapped in a "time warp".
  • The composer, John Cage, wrote a piece of "silent" music, entitled, 4'33".
  • Vinyl LP record albums play at 33-and-a-third revolutions per minute.
  • The ROLLING ROCK BEER Co. uses what they call, "The 33 Mystery," as a gimmick. The number appears on all the bottles and means 3 things, which are revealed upon inquiry to the company. It refers to the repeal of prohibition (1933); there are 33 words in the paragraph on the bottles; and there are 33 letters in the list of ingredients.
  • Among the universally employed abbreviations used in telegraphy and in telephony, the number 33 is used for "fondest regards, " for example, when concluding a conversation.
  • In Spanish, the phrase, "Diga treinta y tres" ("Say 33"), is used in the same way as is "say cheese" in English.
--From The 33 Mysteries Home Page. The have a lot of factoids, though I think too many of them are "33%" derived from approximations of "1 in 3".

descartes walks into a bar

March 31, 2006
Joke of the Moment
Decartes walks into a bar.
The bartender asks, "Would you like a beer?"
Descartes replies "I think not," and disappears.
--My favorite philosophy honor of my birthday today, which I share with the guy! And we both share the day with the Eiffel Tower. Yay us!

Site Update of the Moment
I know no one uses this site's archive or search 1/10 as much as I do, but I'm tweaking both. The old view past entries script turned out to be really crufty, so its been updated a bit, and the one script that could view links to all months, a single day, weeks at a time, or entries for a single day has been broken up into seperate scripts.

I'm having to bite the bullet and admit Google is a lot speedier and more flexible when it comes to searching the site than my own scripts, so I'll be resorting to them for the primary search. (Though I'll keep a link to mine around because I like how it can sort chronologically.) But I want to restrict Google a bit, because any given entry could show up in multiple places: view that day, one or two forms of view that month, and my retrospect feature. Unfortunately I'm not 100% clear how Google gets to the individual day entries, so hopefully blocking the wider views won't stop Google from knowing what's on my site.

Gotta long will I be doing this site? It has been over 5 years so far! Is there any chance I'll be doing this as an old man? (It makes me want to look into setting up "perpetual website" services for people to preserve their bits after they shuffle off this mortal coil.)

Filing System of the Moment
I've heard a bit about the Noguchi Filing System, but here's a pretty in-depth description. It makes a lot of sense, especially for use with a language that might not have a sense of character-based (alphabetical) ordering.

I guess I could say I accidentally follow a very similar system at work... just drop every paper into a filing cabinet drawer, dig out what I need (which is pretty rare, actually, most of my documents are softcopies) and then put it back on top when I'm done.

Business Idea of the Moment
Should this be my new small business? Offering restaurant patrons a place to hurl plates at the wall...I wonder if it would be tough to get insurance for something like that. Sounds pretty cathartic overall.

31 on the 31st

March 31, 2005
Today's my birthday...goodness I'm getting old. 31 on the 31st. Not that it's much of a milestone, but I guess that's the oldest I could be and have that happen. And like I might've mentioned before, it's a little odd having a birthday that's also the end of a quarter, because you get little birthday reminders all the time before then, usually along the lines of "offer expires March 31st"..."hey...that's my birthday!....oh, great, another damn expired offer."

Looking back at some past birthday entries it's kind of weird to think I've been doing this site even back before I turned 27...what a young spring chicken I was!

Also, looking back at some past journal entries...I guess everyone's birthday moves forward one day in the week per year, except for leapyears (or the year after leapyears, for people who have a birthday before March). A few years ago I enjoyed some weekend birthdays, now it's a Thursday. Come on 2007!

Of course, then there are those people blessed with being born on a Leap Day...that must be both cool and annoying.

Quote of the Moment
"I believe we were put on this earth to do a lot less than we think."
--Albert Zuckerman. I hope he's right!

Birthday Wish of the Moment
Happy birthday on you
Happy birthday on you
Happy birthday all over you
Happy birthday on you
--"xoxoxo Bruce". Wow, that's a pretty evocative little jingle there, from today's Comments ...I'll have to file it away for future reference. Thanks Bruce!

Funny of the Moment
"If he doesn't stir, you must inter!"
--friend of Henry Farkas on the recent death of Johnnie Cochran. I've seen surprisingly little coverage of this death. Racism? Overshadowed by the Terry Schiavo deal?

big three. big oh.

March 31, 2004

Quote of the Moment
"Birthday blues, I've seen it before. What's the meaning of life? What's the grand plan? What's to drink?"
--Jack on MacGuyver ("Friends" episode). I actually prepublished this mid-December last year when LAN3 pointed me to this MacGuyver page.

Article of the Moment
The Council on Foreign Relations thinks that Outsourcing isn't the threat the American worker that many people make it out to be. I know a headhunter who called me to touch base was surprised to hear my company is going back to an inhouse strategy after doing some singificant offshoring.

twentynine is prime

March 31, 2003
I'm 29!


BTW--snow? Today?


Image of the Moment
--The Ghost of a Snowman. Inspired in two ways by Ranjit; it's similar to some photos he took in 2001...and his offer of being a guest poster for the April Fool's edition of his site Moonmilk got me to make some shots I had taken more presentable, so click that link for more and larger images. (A fullsize version of the original snowman shot on my wallpaper page, which was also inspired by a page by Ranjit. He rocks!)

Quote of the Moment
"I can't read porno by candlelight!! Who am I, Abe Lincoln?!"
--Krusty the Clown, last night's Simpsons

Current Events Link of the Moment
The Iraq-O-Meter, for all your at a glance war stats needs.

War Analysis of the Moment has two pieces that, together provide some insight to the thinking behind getting ourselves into this war. The first is What Was Rumsfeld Thinking? and it argues that Rumsfeld tried to lowball the troopcount in order to prove neoconservative thinking about the effectiveness of smaller and lighter forces, as well as demonstrating a more credible simultaneous threat against "the Axis of Evil", Syria, and heck, lets throw Saudi Arabia into the mix too. I guess one sliver of silver lining is that if this is a quagmire, the administration is likely to not be as hawkish as it would be if the "regime crumbling" scenario won. Of course, from the neocon point of view, it makes as look less strong in the world. Think it might bring us to to something closer to a "humble foreign policy"?

The other article gives some of the background to the Iraqi force being "a bit different than the one we war-gamed against." I remember hearing about the armed forces wargames last summer, and how the commander of the "bad guys" quit, because he was overly constrained in the tactics he could use, his strategies overridden by the staff running the game. We're such idiots! We broadcast how we're going to invade, how much it's going to hurt if we don't get our way, and then we're surprised that the Iraqis don't want to follow all the rules we expect them to?

War Quote of the Moment
"It's my country."
--Young Iraqi Soldier, asked why he was fighting for Saddam Hussein. For more pessimism, Bill the Splut linked to this article tal about how numbingly difficult it is to fight in cities.

happy birthday to me

March 31, 2002
Happy bithday to me! I'm 28 today. Though I have this scheme where I always think of my age as a little more than it actually is, so I'm not rudely awakened and feeling old when the day finally hits. Now I have to decide if I should edge up my internal meter to 29, or say to heck with it and start mentally putting myself in my early 30s...

...and as I enjoy saying to all my friends on their birthdays, "remember, you're not just getting another year older, you're...well, let's just stick to the older."

Have You Played Atari Today?
Paul Slocum has recently released his synthcart for the Atari 2600. It's a way of using the Atari as a synthesizer/beatbox. The samples on the site are really impressive, especially the two that share the name "two ataris". (I guess this is a bit like I the Gameboy cart Nanoloop I wrote about on the first day of this month.)

Multimedia of the Moment
Khruschev's answer to "Itchy and Scratchy", it's "Worker and Parasite" (Slow Link)...the fine people on boingboing would like to make a t-shirt out of it. Maybe I should try to find out from a friend whether this is actual Russian or not...

birthday boy

March 31, 2001
Hey... today's my birthday! 27. 9/10 of the way to 30! But this birthday is hitting me a lot less than last year's. Over the past year, I've really come to terms with what life is and isn't about, I think.

Hey-- I have the same birthday as UNIVAC! UNIVAC, the first commecial computer, is 50, and I'm 27... funny to think that I've been alive for more than half of this commercial revolution.

Politics of the Moment
"Welcome to the wonderful world of George W. Bush's brain, where it's always Casual Friday!"
--from the Salon article The unspeakable Bush about his descision to forgo traditional press conferences (where, as the article puts out, reports have this annoying habit of 'asking questions') in lieu of a less 'formal' way of doing things. Damn, we have not elected a smart guy. We didn't elect this guy, either, come to think of it. He is also adding a baseball field to the white house. If I gave a dang about baseball and/or thought he was doing a halfway decent job in other respects, I'd probably say that this is pretty cool.

Post of the Moment

please help me! where can I download 3 objects , such as chairs tables, sofas and so on, i have tried already 3D cafe, anu other useful websites??
Thank you!!
you mean like on that commercial where they get scuba fins out of their printer? that was just a special effect. So far, we can only transfer information through the net.

However, your optimism is appreciated.

--Gwyn Judd, in comp.lang.perl.misc via
KHftCEA 1998-03.1 March KHftCEA 1998-03.2 March KHftCEA 1999-03 March KHftCEA 2000-03.3 March

KHftCEA 2000-03.3 March

2am on my 26th birthday. 2am thought- how do we deal with nothing lasting forever?  The last few weeks have been full of work and lately thls tv- my thoughts go between Peggy Lee's "Is that all there is?" and Vonneguts "God made mud...and said to some of it 'situp!'...thank you for the honor."
How am I gonna explain "Zamfir- master of the pan flute" to my kids?
Looks like I share a birthday with the Eiffel Tower. Not to mention Al Gore and Rene Descartes.
"Kirk, it's your birthday, do not be obsessed with death  [...] At least not until the project is finished."
--Rob Baum
KHftCEA 1999-03 March

My Birthday!  Wow.  25.  A quarter of a century.  

Had an anxiety attack the other day. Really stupid, too-- (possibly)-- the idea of a high altitude nuke's EMP taking out all a contintent's electronics- that would be  a stone age we would be ill-prepared for.  

My aunt thinks anxiety attacks might be brought on by other stress, though conciously it doesn't feel like it....
KHftCEA 1998-03.2 March

Knock knock...cow with esp
          --Steve Sian, from a dream a few days after a knock knock session at work

The big yellow house, my birthday- I never know what I'm getting myself into.
KHftCEA 1998-03.1 March

 "Love isn't something you can wrap in chains and throw in a lake. That's Houdini.  Love is liking someone a lot."
          --Jack Handey
josie 623 2862
leary 508-653-3604
$16 for 500@500
Remember, torturing animals is wrong, unless it is for cosmetic reasons -- because the only thing worse than a dead cat is an ugly woman.
You should be proud of your idea. It is a very good idea. To combine a spork with a spork and make a very spork. That's invention!
          --Max the Psychic

< retrospect: 31 mar >