| < retrospect: 16 feb >

February 16, 2017


February 16, 2016

NASA is providing keen free downloadable retro-future posters of space tourism...

Contronyms. Words that are their own opposite. English. Is. Weird.
Roses are red, violets are blue
People think it don't be like it is, but it do
--Cordelia A (see also)

February 16, 2015

"God! Throw this shirt! You've had it since we were dating. It's covered in holes!"
"You don't understand. The shirt is cursed. It grows older. I stay the same age."
"No you don't."
"I mean emotionally."
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal #3642
Trying to live "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up"
This morning got rid of a big snow-thrower box worth of clothing, and now can live with a small closet, things hanging in a wardrobe, and a skinny chest of drawers.
Next on the plan comes books. "Put everything on the floor she says". Yikes!

I hope to go from 5-6 book shelves to 2-3, and out of the living room that is pretty much Miller's space and into the hallway and my own room. Much less "look at my massive intellect with all these books!", not even "Oh yeah I remember reading that"... the goal is just books that carry a spark of joy for m. Like Marie Kondo says:
"Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn't that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?"

I suddenly had the thought - last purge, didn't I go and index all the books I was getting rid of? Like put it in Good Reads? But then, the idea that I had to think about if I had or not and still wasn't 100% sure is a sign that maybe that doesn't have to be a critical part of letting go.

That said, I think making a list helped Hannah​ and a few others pick some titles that they wanted. And right now I'm hedging a bet in that direction by not closing the cardboard boxes and making all the titles readable from above.
So weird putting a book in a box, thinking "I may never think of this book again". But I guess acceptance of that is part of the process.

February 16, 2014

This snippet of a poem, from a postsecret, stopped a 16 year old from attempting suicide.
fuck the poets of the past, my friends.
there are no beautiful suicides
just cold corpses with shit in their pants
& the end of the gifts.

I sold a Macbook Air 11" to a friend-- but I'll miss its stickers:

February 16, 2013

(1 comment) -- redrawing the USA map into 50 roughly identically populated states...
"You want your kids to be tech-savvy and empathetic, which is why I was touched when daughter today said 'I feel so sorry for Bing.'"

creepiest robobaby ever

February 16, 2012
Warning: Creepy!
From's 5 Creepy Ways They're Replacing Humans with Robots. Also good was their lead-off:
This is the Talking Robot Mouth, and it's intended as a robotic emulation of the mechanical process that humans use to produce speech. And yet it stills sounds like a wet Atari begging for death.
Crazy. How to Tell HTML from HTML5
"But a world is not for you. A world needs a substance, an independence, a sense that it doesn't just disappear when you turn around (even if it kinda does)"
--Tevis Thompson on the Problems with Zelda - I like the video game essays of this guy.
4 Years ago I started making playlists of new music I discovered that quarter. Reviewing old ones is oddly "I've known that for 4 years?"
Man, I forgot how many solid ports of great games were in the old GameCube Midway Arcade Treasures...

how goes the battle

February 16, 2011
--from here -- love, love, love the Plato quote and dig the presentatino.
Impressed w/ the engineering of the Dunkin Donuts iced coffee lid- easily supports the weight of a full cup- safe to carry in a coat pocket!
The old Salvation Army Mass HQ to become this big triangular building... supposedly in 2 years! The old building was kinda cool though...
Such mixed feeling for a coder when you fix a misdesign you had a day or two ago and suddenly all the code slides together w/ much less gunk.

lost-ly laughs

February 16, 2010
So yesterday I gave Amber the second part of her Valentine's Day gift (after a small pile of roses in her favorite color...) it was a pair of Caffeine molecular earrings, but the thing was I had ordered them for Christmas but they didn't arrive nearly in time, so then I repurposed them for Valentine's Day. And then Valentine's Day went by without me having time to retrieve them from my secret hiding spot and so they were for President's Day... I'm not the easiest boyfriend to have, sometimes...

Anyway we were watching DVR'd "Lost" last night... Amber's pretty patient in explaining all the stuff I haven't seen because of missing previous seasons... and the SPOILER WARNING revelation at the end was that Claire was still around, and seems to be bouncing around two different time lines, which led to this exchange...
Her: "They're all Claire"
Me: "No wait, not the fat guy - his name begins with 'H', like 'Hugo' or something...
"...Hurley? Wait, what, no -- they're not ALL Named Claire. They each have their own names."
"Oh, ok."
I'm not the easiest person to watch TV with, sometimes. But sometimes I'm funny... there was this Walmart add where this shlub guy is sheepishly standing around a Wal*Mart display, from seeing it before I know the set up is he's thinking about getting his girlfriend or wife something and then she shows up and points out what she wants, something like that. But since we're DVR'ing we zip past the commercial, and I suggested the replacement dialog
"Er, yeah, I was looking for the cheapest possible gift for my girlfriend..."
But then Amber topped it by following it up with
"...but then I remembered, wait! I still have that gift leftover from Christmas!"
Maybe you had to be there but I laughed and laughed. Touché... I dig having a funny girlfriend.
"I became aware that the invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love."
--Gabriel García Márquez, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores"
I am absolutely FLABBERGASTED to realize that Youtube is only five years old- the whole first half of the 00s were Youtubeless? 9/11 wasn't covered by it? Iraq? The end of the Curse of the Bambino? Wow. I would have put its origin at 1999, 2000, easy. (And I remember how impressive of an infrastructure feat it seemed at its origin.)
Supposedly the Oldest Known Recorded Joke is "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap".

Hmm. In trying to find the canonical top ten oldest jokes list, via the Dave Channel, I found out a page on my site is the top google match for
dave tv oldest jokes net fart lap "in silence"
And I don't think that has anything to do with the list I saw at
Take out the quotes and it goes to that list. Weird.
"Well, this should be relatively straightforward" is what I should have on my tombstone.
the snow at twilight has an apocalyptic feel, like maybe this is how the world ends after all

from "vicky cristina barcelona"

February 16, 2009
Cristina: [Looking at a sculpture of Jesus] Are you very religious?
Juan Antonio: No, no, no, no, I'm not. The trick is to enjoy life, accepting it has no meaning whatsoever.
Cristina: No meaning? You don't think that authentic love gives life meaning?
Juan Antonio: Yes, but love is so transient. Isn't it? I was in love with a most incredible woman... and then in the end...
Vicky: Yes?
Juan Antonio: She put a knife into me.
Cristina: My God, that's terrible!
Vicky: Well, maybe you did something to deserve it.

--via imdb

I'm kind of irritated that I'm finding radio and TV as background noise more distracting; website hacking is a bit too solitary.

OSes made easy

(1 comment)
February 16, 2008
Snark of the Moment
--from ftw... (warning lots of really weird and sometimes obscene stuff there, it's as much wtf as ftw.

Dang, did they never get to finishing that Tron Man: Buffer Overrun game for the Atari 2600?

florida filler day 1

February 16, 2007
Hopefully at this point I'm in Florida.

I'm digging through my old old backlog. It's amazing how many of the links are dead. or how little enthusiasm I have for the subject. Guess that's why they didn't make it here in the first place.

Today's theme: robots!

Eric Joyner's Tin Robots are really cool, though I guess the whole Rock'Em Sock'Em has been co-opted for that one truck ad...

But Maria from Fritz Lang's Metropolis has to be one of the hottest fembots of all time. It's hard to realize what big influence, design-wise, she was; 3CP0 just cribs off her and we barely notice.

Finally, Low Life Labs' Robots and Us is a kind of kid-science take on the real thing.

Quote of the Moment
"I don't think I'm a robot...I'm not sure I could tell if I was, though."
--Will Wright (creator of the Sims) when asked "Are you a robot?", from the book "Smart Bomb"

the original computer mouse

(1 comment)
February 16, 2006
Geek History of the Moment
"The mouse cage was pretty funny. We knew mice would eat the insulation off the wires, so we got samples of all the wires that were available and put them in a cage with a bunch of mice to see which insulation they did not like. We only used wire that passed the mouse test."
-- ENIAC co-inventor J. Presper Eckert, in this interview making the rounds. ENIAC was one of the first, if not the first, electronic computers ever built.

Toy of the Moment
And now we can use computers for such silly fun as this Super Mario Brothers Sound Machine...didn't realize how many different sound effects there were embedded in that game. My favorite music is defintely the "underground" theme, second from the top on the left side.

Swap of the Moment
I really love the whole proto-Mickey Mouse Oswald-for-Al-Michaels swap betweem Disney and NBC. Admittedly it was funnier to me before I realized I was thinking of Al Roker in place of Michaels, but still.
Of course it reminds me of that old quote from Dylan, thinking about the corporate influence stuff like Dilbert has wielded: "You know, sometimes it annoys me that these cartoon characters have more power in this world than I do."

February 16, 2005
Lately I've been thinking about love vs. friendship.

I realize that in many ways, my former marriage just about met my ideals for a good marriage: a secure base that met many needs and wants of both people, but it also was a platform for two independent lives and sets of interests. In the long run, this turned out not to be enough for my ex and it occurs to me now that I was caught so offguard by the marriage's collapse because it did seem to be just what I would have hoped for.

But I have to admit, a marriage like that does look like an "enhanced friendship" extremely strong friendship with an additional layer of physical intimacy. It has quantitavely more closeness than even "best friends", in terms of sharing plans and finances and housing, and I think part of the question is do those differences add up to a qualitative difference--or is it just a big spectrum of gray?

Sometimes I feel like a monster just for thinking of the question in these terms, that something is missing or so damaged in me (and has been since before my former marriage) that I have to pontificate about what comes naturally and instinctively to almost everyone else. (On the other hand, I've met enough people with whom I vehemently disagree who "just know" that they're right that I have a strong distrust of intuitive knowledge.) Or should a hunt for "true love" be to keep searching until these feelings show up?

Romance has a lot of traditional boyfriend/girlfriend patterns that friendships lack. Are these cultural artifacts or just what come naturally, or some combination? Sometimes I feel like I'm "going through the motions"...but I'm usually happy to do this because I really don't want to dissapoint the other person. And trying to meet the other person's needs and wants is a big part of what passes for romance for me--I didn't have an overwhelming want to be married, or to buy a house, but I was perfectly content to throw myself into both because I sincerely cared for Mo, and it seems like that's what she needed for her own happiness.

I'd welcome thoughts on any what makes romance romance relative to the other types of close relationships we have.

jung and hung

February 16, 2004
You know, some times I feel like an "Onion" headline: Area Man Projects Anxieties About Impending Divorce Onto Cats. "They seemed kind of stressed out, you think they know somethings up?" "They're really after attention these days, are you going to be able to pet them enough?" When mostly, of course, I'm worried about how I'm stressed out, and not being pet enough.

Photo of the Moment
--"Home Depot is on an Heroic Scale". Mo and I engaged in an epic struggle to get ceiling tile.

Slash Fiction of the Moment
I've decided to Mom-filter this very, very funny (and not really very explicit) bit of porn-lite "slash" fiction by Michael Kelly...what if Freud and Jung got it one? Select the text below or hit Ctrl-A to view.
'I had a dream last night, Siggy.'
'It was you and me together skipping in a field. Und then this great serpent appeared and slithered into a cave.'
'Du lieber gott! Do you know what you are saying to me? Do you know what zis serpent means?'
'Ja, it is some manifestation of the World-Spirit.'
'Dummkopf! It is my cock! Ze serpent is my cock that you are craving!'
'Nein, nein! All ze time you think of cock! The serpent is some Kundalini thing.'
'Stop mit zis craziness! The serpent is my great big cock that you cannot get out of your mind. Admit you want it!'
'Nein, nein, is some archetype, Ouroboros ze great world-serpent maybe.'
'My hot throbbing cock is ze great serpent of the world and you want it bad! Look, look, look at my cock that you crave inside you!'
Freud unzipped himself triumphantly.
'That thing?' said Jung in surprise. 'That looks like a cigar.'
>Transfer interrupted

Code of the Moment has an overview of some of the comments in the leaked Microsoft Windows code. Fascinating stuff, especially the coders griping about other software they have to put in little fixes for. Because it just quotes comments and not code, it should be "safe" for people working on open source stuff or other companies to read without fear of being accused of stealing code...

Candy of the Moment
When the hell did M&Ms get 21 different colors? I thought it was a big deal when they had like, 5 or 6 and added red back in. (That link lets you mix and match colors which will then be sent to you with a seperate bag for each color....ahh, brave new world that has such wonders in it! Plus they have a calculator online to answer that nagging question "Having a Party? How Many M&sMs Will You Need?")

good news, bad news

(1 comment)
February 16, 2003
Bad News of the Moment
Another MetalFilter discussion, some interviews with author Robert Prechter, who thinks there's going to be a big ol' deflationary depression. On the one hand, he's been thinking this for a while, on the other hand, he claims he's trying to time something that's part of a 200 year pattern, so being off by even a decade might not be that big of a deal. Oy.

Medium News of the Moment
I think I previously posted this, but the previous link is defunct A Soldier's Viewpoint on Surviving Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Attacks. He argues they aren't quite the End of the World as We Know It to the extent that we assume they are. A bit reassuring in all.

Good News of the Moment
Ok, not really news, but after all that I think we need breakdancing guys in big animal suits.

gently down the stream

February 16, 2002
Pictures of the Moment
Making the rounds is this amusing riverside sequence of images of a boat that finds a new way to get past a bridge. (That link is a mirror (thanks david), the original is supposedly here but it never works.)

Funny of the Moment
The story went that the whole effing family went over to Greece and there were several effing days of feasting and effing celebration. On the last day, the narrator's effing sixteen year old sister went effing missing, so they looked all effing over for her. The effing party was still going on in an effing big hall, and when every-effing-body was there, they noticed effing movement behind the effing curtains. The effing curtains were drawn back to see his effing sister with her effing knickers round her ankles and the efffing priest cousin and they were, and I quote, "You know,... doing it!"
--Deborah Kelly discussing the use of cuss words and recounting an overheard story, on


(1 comment)
February 16, 2001
Link of the Moment has an interesting little piece on why Why capitalists should like estate taxes. Makes an interesting argument that we don't live in Aristocracy. We don't allow people to hand down political titles to their children (ok, well obviously we're not doing to well on that front at the moment, but you know) but when it comes to wealth, which is where we make our de facto aristocracy these days, we don't say anything.

I'm kind of a mixed case. I feel like I'm a selfmade person, more or less, though I have to remind myself I had a really good upbringing-- despite having parents living on minister's wages. On the other hand, there's a bit of property in the family trust, with me ending up sole direct heir of my maternal grandparents. But despite this middle ground I seem to occupy, I have to remember by view is skewed just by the happy job market I've stumbled into. Without that, I might be more counting on an eventual windfall.

Rant of the Moment
So I go to the United State Postal Service Website to find the nearest Post Office. Great, they have a link "Locate Post Offices". I enter the info for work, and get back an address. I have a bit of a trouble tracking down the address it serves up-- or rather, I find the building, but it seems to all belong to an HMO. I hunt around back. Turns out the address is just that of a mail distribution center. Gee, Thanks USPS, I really wanted to see all the grimy mailtrucks getting loaded with huge sacks of mail. I'm so happy you had a search engine that could oblige me on that. They really need a checkbox labeled "only show me post offices I might actually want to visit even if I'm not an employee or a homicidally irate patron." (Though I'm suddenly reminded of the mailguy job I had freshman year for Lewis Dorm at Tufts.)

< retrospect: 16 feb >