Quote of the Moment
August 20, 2001
"Talking and listening to the people in this marketplace is the best way to learn. The trees in the countryside can teach me nothing."
--Socrates. I feel the same way about nature, nice to see the viewpoint backed up by such a big thinker.
Image of the Moment
I'm usually not a big "aww, isn't that cute" kind of photographer, but... "aww, isn't that cute?" Taken at a barbecue held by some friends. I love the concerned expression, the "stop with the cameraing and make with the drink-getting!"
Image of the Moment
September 23, 2001
I've been scanning in my old photo album. This is one of my favorites, my dad and I on a public beach on St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) where my family lived for a year.
Quote of the Moment
"How many times must I tell you? Queens consume nectars and ambrosia, not hot dogs."
--King Tut on the old Batman series
Quote of the Moment
October 5, 2001
"The guy's nuttier than squirrel turds"
--Officer in Me, Myself, & Irene
Link of the Moment
Nutty liberal conspiracy theory or did Gore win an outright victory in Florida? (Even more likely to be unmentioned in these times of crisis. I'm glad that President Jr. and Co. haven't just rushed in there, but I think Gore would have avoid loose talk of a "Crusade" and all the cowboy chatter.)
Image of the Moment
I just wanted to say that this tree that I pass weekdays on my way to work, although partially obscured by a telephone pole, looks a lot like a rooster. That is all.
You know what I like? I like putting on loud music in my car and then watching the image in the sideview and rearview mirrors shimmy with the thump of the bass, that's what I like.
August 17, 2002
Image of the Moment
|My camera's 3000th photo: a loader that was parked outside my building yesterday with wheels about as tall as me. I have a 6-yr-old's fascination with machines like that.|
Link of the Moment
Somehow, I'm a little weirded out but not terribly surprised that we process brand names using emotional logic, not the same kind of thought we use to identify regular objects. I guess the book The Space Merchants got it right...
Funny of the Moment
"The Bad Erotic Fiction Award, for bad writing about sex, went to AA Gill. He told the organisers what they could do with it - but not very well."
--from the ComedyCollective(UK) via rec.humor.funny.reruns.
October 5, 2002
Link of the Moment
Getting some attention recently is a 'blog created by a Kevin, a homeless man--I think he's using publically available computers at the Nashville library. Seeing thoughtful descriptions of homeless life really bridges a gap that many people see between "us" and "them".
Joke of the Moment
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?"
The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."
There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?"
--The world's funniest joke according to LaughLab. A lot funnier than many of the other jokes they had on that site.
Moment of the Moment
--Thanks Ranjit. This may signal the start of more intraday updates.
It's funny how getting engrossed in a project can take your mind of the problems of you and the world. I get up to my neck in the Blender, and suddenly it's like we're not marching to war with Iraq, the potential for ever-increasingly-devastating terrorist attack isn't there, and my job is completely secure for as long as I want it with an even better there for the asking. And I gotta wonder, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is it a healthy break-taking from all the neurotic fretting that can be of no help to the situations anyway? Or a dangerous flight from reality that threatens to keep me from taking positive steps of preparation to deal with whatever comes next?
October 7, 2002
Image of the Moment
|--Mo doing her best James Dean impression. (Ok, not counting the shoulders. Pbbbt.)|
Giraffe in Bathtub with Lightbulbs of the Moment
Bill, who thinks that I get to his site by searching Google for man who fired shots in front of UN Bldg. yesterday, linked to this site, Rumsfeldism: The New Surrealism. Rambles a bit, but the first few paragraphs are great.
Political Jab of the Moment
Statistics point to Democrats being better for the Stock Market, which goes against current conventional wisdom about the pro-business Republicans. Maybe unfettered "do whatever the hell you want" economics isn't ultimately what gets the job done. I think the most apt analogy was by a middle or high school teacher, who saw today's companies reflected in the behaviour of his students. There's a lot of terrific raw energy and creativity in there; but left alone without some level of regulation, and you end up with chaos. The Lord of the Flies syndrome.
Kirk's Law of Group Meetings During Uncertain Times
"Once any layoffs have occurred, you cannot schedule any business meetings for more than than 6 or fewer than 3 without causing large amounts of anxiety and trepidation."
Dang, I think both the title and phrasing of this law need to be punched up if it's going to catch on as any kind of meme.
Signature of the Moment
Normally I'm not one to believe in little green men from Mars. But one night, as I was driving home from a party, I caught something in my headlights I still can't explain. It had weird, catlike eyes and only stood about a foot tall. It was covered with grayish fur, and walked on all fours, like a cat. It had a tail, which if I had to describe in terms of something here on Earth was, in a way, like a cat's. Also, it was carrying a ray gun in its mouth. It was either a ray gun or a mouse.
--Dave, at cellar.org's Image of the Day.
Air Travel of the Moment
Apparently Continental changes their rates at 7 Eastern....in an instant our flight to Cleveland (for my high school reunion) went from $235 to $930! D'ohh.
Image of the Moment
November 26, 2002
--Detail of Salem Parking Lot, 2002.11.22
Gross Article of the Moment
Sigh. Cruel Site of the Day pointed out this article from the Tufts Daily [R-rated link, not for the squeamish], paper of my alma mater. It starts "I don't believe that there is a woman, homosexual male, or flexible boy out there who would claim that semen tastes great" and goes downhill from there. Looks like someone is trying to capture that "Sex in the City/on Campus" vibe and failing miserably.
Book of the Moment
Today I'm raking. I haven't really raked for years, maybe not ever, really. It's not bad work, really, but I in trying to think of a good way of bagging the results, I decided to consult Google. Amazon offers me a chance to buy a book, How to Rake Leaves, for the low low price of $40.24! Now, yeah, technically I was the one looking for some pointers, but $40 for How to Rake?
Tip of the Moment
Whoa...I'm a bit of an inadvertant expert in getting around Windows without using the mouse (it goes back to the day when I used to sit way back in my Papasan chair with the keyboard in my lap.) Anyway, I knew about tabbing through links in IE, and using return to open one, but I only now just realized I can hit shift-Return to open a link in a new window. (BTW, the other thing I always setup is the Accessibility option "MouseKeys" that lets you move the pointer via the numberpad.
Funny of the Moment
(The ship SINKS.)
Image of the Moment
September 21, 2003
--Peterman hurtling towards true love with Lelsee on a Cape Cod beach at the post-reception gathering for their wedding, 2003-9-20.
Link of the Moment
Sorry for the kind of bare weekend, update-wise. It doesn't get much better unless you're interested in video games, in which case you might find Game Spy's 25 Most Overrated Games of All Time list a good read.
Photo of the Moment
September 26, 2003
|--Mo went to an acupuncturist the other day, and also had some "cupping" done. Mo now has spots! Actually, they're kind of like giant hickeys...|
I'm almost suprised that my inner-skeptic isn't dismissive of acupuncture. I'm not sure I buy into all the explanations about why it works, but (even though I haven't researched it much) there does seem to be some empirical, or at the very least strong anecodatal, evidence for what it claims to be able to do.
Dialog of the Moment
"I learned a lot from that encounter group you sent me to."
"Everyone was totally honest. We told each other what we really thought of each other. No one was allowed to get away with any falsehood or insincerity"
"You must've learned a lot about yourself."
"Yes, I learned how valuable self-deception can be."
--Stuart Hample's 'Inside Woody Allen' comicstrip.
Link of the Moment
Hey Kids! WIN BIG! With REAL! SUPER MARKETING: Ads From The Comic Books! Great for a Quick Browse! Or a Good Long Read!!
News of the Moment
Europe is about to launch their first moon probe. "Despite decades of research, we have never fully discovered what the Moon is made of," says Manuel Grande at UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, who built the spacecraft's X-ray spectrometer. Haha! So my cheese theory has not yet been disproven!
Update of the Moment
Dang, I was wondering if someone would have something (hopefully nice!) to say about a slightly risque picture of Mo...then again I've always found jeans sexy. And Mo sexy. Despite the acu-hickeys.
Quote and Ramble of the Moment
September 30, 2004
"Considerable evidence suggests that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods -- such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job -- then the evidence paints a very different picture. The less we spend on conspicuous consumption goods, the better we can afford to alleviate congestion; and the more time we can devote to family and friends, to exercise, sleep, travel, and other restorative activities. On the best available evidence, reallocating our time and money in these and similar ways would result in healthier, longer -- and happier -- lives."
--Robert Frank, Professor of Economics at Cornell, saw it in Wired but googled a longer text from kottke.org
Man, what a thought-provoking statement!
I wish I knew how to act on it. Wish I had a better understanding of how my budget worked. It seems like I should be able to live on a lot less and I'm essentially debt-free (and with a comfortable buffer from the house) but my Savings grows very. Very. Slowly. Is it the toys? Media? Rent?
I can't complain about my job: it's not very strenuous, it's not physical labor, it pays well, my team has added some interesting and fun people. I must complain about my job: it's really tough to get motivated about its random projects, it has an awful commute, and I'm not happy with my work there. I guess most of my complaints are about the cosmic injustice that we all have to work except for this exceedingly tiny minority. Is it a life out of balance? Am I missing some fundamental daoist thing in not being able to find a deep satisfaction with my daily efforts?
There was an interesting Ask Slashdot about how to make programming fun again. It sounds like this guy really has it together.
One question: how restorative is travel? It always seems kind of stressful but fun, along with being something people "should" do. Or maybe the problem is that vacations always get lumped into these 1 or 2 week chunks, enough time that you feel compelled to "do something cool", but not enough time to really fit into the new lifestyle?
Sometimes it feels like my life and relationships and nation's politics all need a reboot. Not to wipe everything out, just get rid of the cruft, start with mostly the same installed programs, but free and clean to make a better go of it all.
Image of the Moment
|--Ksenia (this very nice gal I've been dating as of late) at the top of the stairs. I like the way the lighting came out.|
Rant of the Moment
December 6, 2005
"Evolution is supported by the entire scientific community; Intelligent Design is supported by guys in line to see The Dukes of Hazzard. No. Stupidity isn't a form of knowing things ... 'Babies come from storks' is not a competing school of thought in medical school. We shouldn't teach both and if Thomas Jefferson knew we were blurring the line this much between church and state, he would turn over in his slave."
Gadget of the Moment
The Japanese Segway has no handlebars, just a little handheld controller. (Glad it's not a remote control, I'd hate to see that thing hacked.) Just lean and go... as the article points out, it makes it a lot more stowable at the office.
Photo of the Moment
--My Dad as Superman, or at least in a Superman T-shirt. I believe this is at the Salvation Army's "School for Officer Training" (SFOT, their seminary) and this is a bit of a prank, the T-shirt there to get people to think he's gone off the deep end and might just jump.
Back now. Will try and catch up on comments etc. later...
November 6, 2006
Heh, actually there's less to catch up than I thought... maybe at some point I'll post screenshots of my editing system but I'm not who besides TSM would find that interesting.
Anyway: the Pats-Colts game. Bleh. Some crazy-weird calls, like taunting on Troy Brown (Referee: "he taunted me by gently tossing me the ball when I wasn't ready and making me look bad!") My co-worker is convinced (and predicted it a few weeks ago) that Belichick would basically throw the game to keep his team angry. Given how it looked they could have just kept it on the ground for the whole game, I almost think he's on to something, but that's a heap of wishful thinking.
Quote of the Moment
"I am the emperor, and I want dumplings."
--Ferdinand I, emperor of Austria. According to Bartlett's Anecdotes this is his "one recorded notable saying." It reminds me of Sarah and I riffing on a similar theme many years ago: Her was "I would that the minions bring me my biscuits" and mine was "Summon the waitstaff--I would have a scone." Hers has aged a bit better.
Image of the Moment
|--A scenic pond my mom and I drove past in New Hampshire. It was chilly up there, I almost had to rethink my current idea of "wear sandals until I have to wear boots."|
Politics of the Moment
Iraq as the Ultimate Welfare State, and pointing out how Bush is kind of an anti-Reagan in that regard.
Link of the Moment
The Wikipedia Knowledge Dump, "Knowldge's Last Chance", picks up the best of what Wikipedia discards. (via BoingBoing)
September 6, 2007
--Methuen MA, 2007.09.03
As Evil B pointed out to me, yesterday's entry was pushing the already high self-indulgence bar for this site. Mostly it was just a goof.
October 12, 2007
I was in Rockport helping EB clear way for an insulation work crew last night, and I crashed there and took the commuter rail down this morning. He mentioned that if you stay on the left side of the Rockport-to-Boston early train you can some nice sunrise views. I was too slow for some shots, but I thought this one was OK, if a bit pedestrian:
Article of the Moment
Lieberman, Michel, and colleagues built upon previous study of seven competing rules for verb conjugation in Old English, six of which have gradually faded from use over time. They found that the one surviving rule, which adds an "-ed" suffix to simple past and past participle forms, contributes to the evolutionary decay of irregular English verbs according to a specific mathematical function: It regularizes them at a rate that is inversely proportional to the square root of their usage frequency.--From Harvard Scientists Predict the Future of the Past Tense. Other tidbits: New verbs entering the language are always regular, and the word "wed" might be next to go, with "wed" being dropped for "wedded"
In other words, a verb used 100 times less frequently will evolve 10 times as fast.
Site of the Moment
Unclutter.com... yet another one of "those" sites, but pretty good.
So Manny is out of here...
August 1, 2008
in retrospect, his lackadaisical outlook could get annoying, but in some ways, it's nice how relaxed he could be. "It's only baseball, have a sense of perspective" was an attitude that served him and, as much as we hate to admit it, the Red Sox as well.
Photo of the Moment
--Fast Moving Bird outside the Au Bon Pain near Copley Square - wasn't expecting two catch an image like that.
I lived Slylock Fox this morning! "Man on T thinks Kirk has his stolen bag. How did Kirk prove it was his own?" [Kirk showed him the holes]
Charming. Boston has a god damned first of the month expired inspection sticker patrol.
Ah the highway food court service plaza. Such a throbbing mass of humanity...
Apologies (mostly to my folks) if my blog has been a bit coarse the past couple of days, I'll try to get back on track.
July 24, 2010
Friday my company had an outing, canoeing on the Charles (Newton area) followed by some tasty meat from Red Bones. Most of these are from my photoset of the day...
Ok, so these two aren't -- this is Spy Pond from last weekend--
I was surprised at how well this other shot of the moon came out. (while still always bummed that the cratering on the moon doesn't really look like anything else.)
Although in my heart of hearts I prefer the July 4th Kayaking on the lower part of the Charles, I was kind of stunned at how scenic it is upstream...
Though as always, I'm just as fascinated by human engineering, like the underside of this bridge, closeup...
And a bit further back on the way back in...
And I'm not above admiring the odd bit of graffiti, if competently done, and/or oddly placed, and/or with an odd word or phrase in it.
Finally, a bug in the window of the men's room--
"I take you to the beach sometime and i'll bring the blanket and the chicken. Is this not the makins for love?"
--"Random black guy" to Tristan's mom
"The physical appearance of the please makes no difference."
--Despicable Me (Funny how "Minions" fee like redone Rabbids...)
Is Time Itself Slowing Down? (or "disappearing from the universe" as the article is headlined.) You know, I have to say that makes more sense to me than "Dark Energy". Also: would creatures in that universe really notice it? Or just move slower and slower, asymptotically closer to stopping forver? (via Bill)
Can't figure out if flikr's UI lets me do what I want, namely, quickly go through large versions of photos in set and discard ones I dislike.
The gratifying *SNAP* of unfurling a new garbage bag more than makes up for any drudgery of taking out the kitchen trash.
Been thinking about how the iPad might represent a new breed of "Casual Computers". I was thinking about my computers before the web; for me they were game players and word processors and that was it; nerdy and/or boring. Would I even bother owning, say, laptops if not for the web? With the iPad, the PC might return to a workhorse type role; it's good for more serious browsing, and critical for getting things done, but not so much fun beyond that.
"It was grandmotherly, as though grandma... might have done it with... her axe."
--Patrick O'Connell on Top Chef
July 31, 2010
--Max Headroom was really ahead of his time -- kinda predicted Fox News by a few decades!
"Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat."
--Sir Julian Huxley
August 2, 2010
click for fullsize
The photo is quite a lot like the collage FoSO shot with my borrowed Kodak DC20 back in like, '96 or '97 -- but now it's a heck of a lot easier.
"Your life's Episode IV starts at 30. Everything before that is just prequels."
http://www.slate.com/id/2261955/ - I guess what technology has given nerd romance in 'Net dating it is taking away with the rise of e-readers...
http://technologizer.com/2010/08/01/the-great-operating-system-games/ - heh, just thinking about GORILLAS.BAS and Space Cadet Pinball. Seriously, someone out there is the best 3D Space Cadet player... I wonder who...
Strangely hungry this AM. Might end up being a 3-Atomic-Fireball morning.
So I'm at the family vacation homestead in Ocean Grove New Jersey, "God's Square Mile" just down the street from Springsteen's Asbury Park.
August 10, 2010
Open Photo GalleryMonday on the shore with gulls...
A little closer.
Amber is damn serious about her little shells.
MELAS + MELUB
A little corny but I like the sentiment and willingness to actually make it an embedded plaque...
...and if nothing else, it was in somewhat better taste than this:
Guess someone was declaring a War on Terrier!
http://arst.ch/lyv How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad... 23 years ago
"A city is a large community where people are lonesome together."
http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/ - this was twittered as "iPhone users are whores" but I dig the camera/photo details comparative analysis.
Cracked.com's Real Life Death Stars and their Fatal Flaws - interesting historical superweapons and their fatal flaws...
August 14, 2010
--Peggy the One-Footed Sea Gull, who was screeching and generally hassling us last evening on the beach.
August 29, 2010
Alien Seed Pods for sale at Fresh Pond Whole Foods under the brand name "Maxixe"
Nice evening for a Rockport Legion Band concert by the shore! Amber took this next one:
September 5, 2010
--Interesting refutation of some widely held beliefs -- I'm a crappy artist and tend to think in icons, so I'm impressed by any kind of ability to generalize facial structure in a meaningful way. (Though it makes me wonder... do northeast Asians look more like *western* animated characters, too, by nature of a flatter facial structure?)
"My hard nose, glass jaw, and soft heart."
--Test Text for the typeface Warnock, via http://imprint.printmag.com/type/ten-typefaces-of-the-decade/
If that One World Gov't the rightwingers are uptight about would mean no region-locked DVDs and games, I say- BRING IT ON! UN Uber Alles!
Apple synching kind of sucks. iTunes: some things live on iPhone, some things live on iPad. Leave the apps the hell alone.
September 10, 2010
--Rex is a right jerk sometimes, but he can also be super cute... photo by our friend Kjersten...
"You kind of look like Harry Potter"
"I look like 'Somewhat Harrier Potter'"
--Me and Amber
retroremakes says "The design doc for Marble Madness is well worth a read btw, if you haven't already:" http://www.atarigames.com/page5/files/page5_5.pdf (warning kind of a big PDF file)
"Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively."
"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred."
Hey LazyWeb, is there any way to use a laptop as an external monitor for a second laptop? Like "extend my desktop" onto whole 'nother PC...
"Living each day as if it were my last makes me ask: WTF? I have to go to work on my LAST DAY EVER?!"
July 29, 2011
4/6 of my team "The Yooper Doopers" at the Boston waterfront, during the Cashunt photo scavenger hunt part of Alleyoop's Summer Fun Day.
November 7, 2011
|--Sticking my head over Amber's shoulder in the mirror reminded me what an oversized cranium my neck sports... hadn't thought about that in a while|
"The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything."
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"I think grown adult in a "SAW" movie should have to use algebra practically or EXPLODE, just to weaken some punk middle schooler's argument."
I have to admit, I had mixed feelings telling people we were "going to my folk's place at the Jersey Shore" which gives the wrong impression it at least two directions. But, it is also kinda nice.
December 26, 2011
Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg! Batmobile lost a wheel, and Joker got away!
August 4, 2012
Hauled out the Lego when EBB and his brood came over.... my collection is pretty immense but sadly underutilized... I might need to break it up and share the wealth, though it's maybe even tougher than giving up books!
My idea for a new Olympic sport: swimming tug-of-war. Brilliant, right?
August 20, 2012
August 27, 2012
Spy Pond, Arlington
Instagram's "Lo-Fi" filter is becoming my favorite. I kind of like the idea of having a signature look for this stuff, and Lo-Fi simplifies and makes thing pop a bit, allowing more focus on form and shape, which I think is more important to me, style-wise.
http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/ digging this site reviewing branding/logo makeovers.
September 15, 2012
from a collection of artifact toys my mom brought me,
some i recognize from my childhood, but some i don't, like this...
study in black cat and white ikea daybed
about 300 cubic inches of Lego
I decided I had too giant a surplus of underused Lego, so I divided it three ways, and am giving 2/3 of it to two different friend families. It looked to be about 300 cubic inches (at least seemed to more or less fill 3 10.5 cubes.)
"I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to see how small you are.
I'm going home now."
--Felix Baumgartner right before falling to Earth faster than sound can travel... http://gizmodo.com/5951621/watch-the-video-of-the-space-jump-here
"My childhood would have been that much less confusing if George Lucas hadn't named one planet 'Tattooine' and another 'Dantooine.'"
"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."
November 18, 2012
hard day basementing
Trigger warnings galore, this is one of the most disgusting local abuses of power I've ever seen... http://boingboing.net/2013/07/28/nv-court-marshal-sexually-assa.html Thank God there was a video record of it, and that the broken system at least kept the tape undeleted.
"Sousaphonic Cityscape" from JP Honk Band @ Figment 2013
(Someone else's photo, but my horn!)
August 6, 2013
Off to Alaska!
So it'll be Sales Tax Free weekend in MA? Does it count for that bullshit tax on software services? GET YOUR CODING IN THEN!!!
August 9, 2013
Singing the song of my self, I updated http://kirk.is/java/ with recent projects and http://alienbill.com/ with gamejam results.
The typewriter repair store that is LITERALLY next door is having a typewriterfest at noon. Hit me up if you're curious!
october blender of love
Hanging with the typewriter fans at the Cambridge Typewriter Co's Type-Out... my beauty circa 1936 holds up really well, it has a nice feel. (Not as crazy about its typeface, but still.)
Interesting Times! Marching in the Honk! Parade today, then tonight I fly to the UK for work for a week. I don't feel like i should be a nervous traveller, but one thing I've learned in the past few years is that I am, that the days before a big trip I'm all wound up. I think it's just the sheer number of known unknowns, unknown unknowns, and little chances to be hosed by own lack of competence, slash familiarity with wherever the hell I'm going: from missing a damn plane to forgetting a passport (got that one covered at least) to not realizing I need a Visa (I don't) to just screwing up Customs or the customs.
I've decided to nickname my tuba "Beauty"
Honk! Parade went well.
Is imperturbability to bad news something you are born with, or can you will and practice it into being? And would it come at the cost of other, more positive strong reactions?
"I said to Aaron, upset, why are they all so angry here? & he took my hand gently and said, that's just how they talk in Boston."
"Life is meaningless, but you can customize the meaninglessness."
October 27, 2013
(iPhone 5 macro mode isn't half bad. Although the lens isn't up to my Canon's quality, the touchscreen helps...)
The performance that Inspired the new James Brown movie. I checked out the soundtrack for the new James Brown movie on iTunes, and was kind of bummed that it was the original versions, and not remixes with a modern feel - as great as the classics are, they've been available for a while. Anyway, watch this. James Brown was the showman of the century.
"At my husband's grandmother's wake my MIL took my 4 or 5 year old up to see his grandmother in the casket. Everyone was hushed, listening. He paused, looking curious. "Why is there a pillow under her head?" he demanded.
My mother in law faltered. "Ummm, so she could be comfortable," she said, trying to placate him.
He looked at her incredulously and spoke to her as if she understood nothing at all. "Grandma, she's dead. How could she be comfortable? What do you mean? You could take a chain saw and cut her up and it wouldn't matter at all. " Everyone was literally speechless."
--Anita Bozzo, via http://www.quora.com/Parenting/What-are-some-of-the-best-questions-asked-by-kids
http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/companies/radioshack-future/index.html Say goodbye to Radio Shack, for reals. I'll miss it; sometimes for the odd bit of obsure electronics it was pretty great. (Not to mention for my first laptop in 1991, an hard drive free 1100 FD (haha someone put that 20 year old machine on the Internet via the serial port... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs4vvUoueOE )
Now I've now started grabbing little things like that from Amazon - that's the dark allure of Amazon Prime, stopping me from having to arrange trips out for things I can wait a day or two for.
It will be really hard to convince the next generations that the name "Radio Shack" was kind of a retro thing in the 80s and after, that it wasn't quite as out of date as the juxtaposition of "radios" and "shacks" would suggest.
Also, http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/ for all your old RS catalog nostaligia needs... I can almost smell the weird newsprint they used.
bouncy house! bouncy house! bouncy house!
yesterday, I saw a video on the physics of skateboard tricks and this morning I am suddenly weirdly struck by the everpresence of gravity; how it's always down down down and it seems like a miracle that anything can stand at all.
The Internet and Money and Hearts......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Standards_Day Today is World Standards Day. Except in the US, which celebrates it on the 23rd.
Also, the infamous Smoot became chairman of standards board ANSI!
Group shot of the band!
So, a few weeks late, here's what the costume for me and my tuba looked like on Dunster Rd Halloween night... I'm not sure if my makeup actually looked "skull-like" as was its intention, but overall it kind of added to the effect. Or maybe the affect.
Even though it was reviled as being inconsistent and unpredictable, I preferred the old OSX "zoom" button behavior, where it (kinda sorta) maximized the window within the context of the current set of windows over the new "take over the whole screen world" pattern it has in Yosemite. I often want a bit more real estate for a given window, and rarely am I thinking "boy I wish I was looking at this window AND NOTHING ELSE MATTERS IN MY COMPUTER'S WORLD".
Besides predictability (especially when resizing browsers; some people found it odd that it didn't always try to be as wide as possible) I suppose Apple is trying to catch an iOS-like sense of "focus on this one thing" monotasking, and so they hide the dock and title bar. Personally, I think this is a UX misthink; a flavor of multitasking (or at least quick task switching) is fundamental to many people's use of a laptop or desktop.
(I like how Windows 7 did it; the window still takes up the full screen, but then you can reposition it)
Anyway, you can hold "option" when you click the green circle, and then gets the old zoom behavior; I just wish there was a way to switch which one was the default.
November Blender of Love!
So, New Orleans changed its basketball team name to "Pelicans"?
They're bitter about Utah hogging the name "Jazz", but somehow passed on the name "Krewe" or "Brass". Too bad!
Ah, Inbox + Todo List Zero! It has been a while.
seaport has the best clouds sometimes
Friday at WTC station on the Silver Line I saw this new public art project - kind of awesome, it uses lenticular trickery so the goldfish change as you look at them from different angles.
Yeah. Been there since 2009. I started working and walking by it nearly daily since 2015.
How much of life do I miss by not paying attention?
Or maybe I can pretend it's my own private Berenst#in Bears Problem and I'm secretly from another slightly more mundane parallel universe.
On the escalator at Davis Square T, I have an epiphany: tubas are kind of ridiculous.
(that yellow strip is a cheat sheet to "Seven Nation Army" I put on a long time ago....)
"Gotta have opposites dark and light, light and dark in painting. It's like in life. Gotta have a little sadness once in a while so you know when the good times come. I'm waiting on the good times now."
advent day 11
Beginning of the End for Giant Glass? I would be kind of bummed if Giant Glass fell - including that jingle (why do I not mind it when 1-877-Kars-4-Kids unfailingly causes me to angrily stab for the radio dial? Maybe horns vs guitar?)
Fun fact: Giant Glass was named after the football team. Don't hold that against them though - that was before the Patriots. Hell, even my Waltham-based granddad liked the Giants then.
Yesterday I learned that Scheiny (nee "Beauty"), my lovely Holton Collegiate Sousaphone, has a serial number that dates it to 1954...
New Airplane Seating with a View More for the "I Wish I Was Insanely Rich" file.
glad I looked up from my book
advent day 13
today's game is one of the better playing ones, I think (yesterday's was probably way too difficult). If I was thinking more clearly "enemy mine" or "mine enemy" would have been a better name.
Melissa took this photo of my tuba in its Christmas lights doing Honk carolling Saturday night...
"Don't you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything."
--David Bowie. Oh man, at first I thought this quote was "a love poem about everything", which is a concept I like even more.
Looking to make up some band music (but not looking to spend hundreds of dollars) I've been wrestling with the interface of both "MuseScore 2" and "NoteFlight", both very similar programs with startlingly frustrating UI. Why do they make it so hard to enter new notes and/or select existing notes to edit? Didn't Music Construction Set have this figured out in like 1984? For reals.
--My Super-Niece at the New England Aquarium (still from footage for my 'One Second Everyday'
Boot at Bread and Puppet
The One Thing The NFL Will Never Do To Make Football Safer. Spoiler: remove the padding and helmets. Like the "protection" added by boxing gloves, the body armor they wear lets the hits be a lot more forceful without as much visible damage at the time, and so leads to much worse long term problems.
No offense to (the?) Charm City, but my weekend would be somewhat better if it was not ending with a flight to Baltimore.
Waiting at an airport bar, reading, looking up at a March Madness game- oh, highlights, just the baskets. It's funny how you can tell which team is leading, by seeing which teams scores they're replaying- the other team has almost always made as many baskets, but not being a part of the easy narrative they're shuffled aside.
Nice little bit of New Yorker Shouts + Murmurs Mini-fiction, "The Wedding Announcement".
Parasailing with Belmar Parasail over Ocean Grove...
(Not actually us, just to show what's going on)
"I want to YouTube about my life. I'll call my channel Happy Is Always The Answer."
--A young Human of New York
when the hat matches the tuba
One of the few tuba shots here that's not of me, btw
Great take down of that anti-diversity memo at google, from a guy who just recently left the company, and so can talk a bit more freely. (Update 8/17: Another take from the Economist)
A few days ago I asked on FB
Is there a single word for "able to readily be put into words"? Like "quantifiable", but about words...My friend Anne suggested "articulable", and that seemed to be the best bet. ("Describable", as in the opposite of "indescribable" missed the mark somehow, and I wrote a follow up:
See, The opposite of "articulable" (or its maybe more flexible usage, "can't be articulated") has some interesting differences with "indescribable" and "ineffable". Those two so often get into supernatural woo-woo and the like; to some extent they deal with what can be "truly known".Come to think of it this was some of the sticking point for me and my erstwhile discussion buddy EB. I place probably too much emphasis on the articulable corner, and sometimes doubt the validity of the other corners. There's another aspect too, of how stuff is learned; EB emphasized the "body memory" aspect of things, like how taking the time to think and reason can get in the way of muscle memory and true mastery. You can get from "articulated knowledge" to deeper forms of knowing, but it's a slow tough process.
I suppose there's something too with the practical opposite of "articulable" being along the lines of "can only be intuited". I guess "indescribable" is often implying "can only be known via direct revelation". So it suggests a epistemological triangle: knowledge that is articulable, knowledge that can only be intuited, knowledge that relies on direct revelation.... and each corner has its own words to describe it (and its opposite). Also, one of these corners is not like the others - only articulable knowledge is amenable to meaningful debate.
This looks cool
May 26, 2018
July 16, 2018
Melissa and Me in a view from inside Alicja Kwade's TunnelTeller at The Crane Estate in Ipswich- took the tour of the great house and rambled around the grounds yesterday, with Kristin and Dave and her mom Nancy who took the photo. You could easily recreate the James Bond gun barrel opening!
You could teach a screenwriting class with this gif-— David Yazbek (@DavidYazbek) July 14, 2018
August 20, 2018
"It's a gift to get to be anything at all."
--Louis, a can of Go 2 Cola.
Liz introduced me to this episode of "99% Invisible" helping to launch a new podcast, Everything is Alive. The podcast feels like a shadow of Shintoism, it gives inanimate objects voices and then interviews them. The premiere episode interviews a can of generic cola named Louis, and the unscripted dialogue ends up feeling like a very funny style parody of the "This American Life" genre - but it actually made me a bit verklempt.
(I remember I did a similar bit as a 9 year old or so, running around with a tape recorder and interviewing objects for some sort of faux radio program - but I didn't think to give them human voices, so I had to interview loud things like a handbell and an electric pencil sharpener.)
(Related: once you've heard the podcast see Margaret Davis' "Peas")
Law 1: Every program can be optimised to be smaller.
Law 2: There's always one more bug.
Corollary: Every program can be reduced to a one-line bug.
via https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Programming - oh wait Ken Arnold had "Every program has at least one bug and can be shortened by at least one instruction â€” from which, by induction, it is evident that every program can be reduced to one instruction that does not work.", that's what I was thinking of
October 24, 2018