(show oldest first)

from NOLA extra photos

My "first half/second half" galleries of our NOLA trip had more of an eye for the photos that worked well visually... these are photos that didn't make the cut but help tell the story of a lovely week, a story we might want to refresh our memories of later.
Fun "Best of" Video for my far and away favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon, the street style teaching marching band that is School of Honk :-D

from NOLA visit food gallery

I'm not usually a food glamour shot person but it seemed to make sense to do a log of the most interesting meals we ate in New Orleans... we tried to make our own food tour in terms of hitting most of New Orlean's most well-known specialties.

from NOLA second half


A nice lagniappe - Kenneth Terry outside the Café du Monde

52 Things Tom Whitwell learned in 2019 - great stuff.

from NOLA first half

Melissa and I are about halfway done with our NOLA getaway... here are some photos splitting the difference between "documenting our trip" and "I like the way this photo came out" (so not showing all the food diary shots, I'm better at eating food than photographing it.)

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
Andre Gide
Found this quote I grabbed 16 years ago... it really summarizes an important aspect of my philosophy. There is an objective truth, and you should feel compelled to align yourself with it, but you can never be certain you're there, and an important part of both understanding both probability and empathy is to be respectful of other's view of it, so long as there is a good chance they are being sincere and not obviously cynically manipulated.

Heh, another relevant previously blogged quote form 5 years ago:
The universe of ideas is just as little independent of the nature of our experiences as clothes are of the form of the human body.
Albert Einstein

from jp honk @ pronk

JP Honk played PRONK!

from pool, pug puppy, and ponies


from dave's big birthday bowling bash blowout


from sunset kayaking


--Before the "moonlight kayaking" (and a nice campfire on a remote beach with smores) with some of Melissa​ prev coworker friends via Essex River Basin Adventures​, there was an astonishing sunset...

More photos and B-roll videos - including hermit crabs! To meet a request from one of the fellow kayakers-- (some of the odd horizons were messing around with "pano mode")

All the electrons,protons and neutrons in your body were created at the beginning of time, They have always existed and they will be there long after your death.
Not sure if that is 100% true, but the principle- of the stuff that makes us pre-existing us and sure to outlast us- is solid. Anyway, a good reddit thread.

from beach-y keen


from sunrise over ognj

Seeing the sunrise from the Jersey Shore had always been on my "should get to that!" list, this morning Melissa and I did just that...

from lake george 2018


from May 25, 2017

Later, [poet Patricia Lockwood] falls in love with the man who will become her husband when he emails her some of his verses and, amid many lines about "the majesty of canyons, arroyos, and mesas," she finds "one good image": The milk bottles burst like scared chickens.

Here Comes SkyNet! Thanks, Google. I remember wondering in the mid-80s when Bill Gates was going to write the computer program that writes the computer program...

from KristAnna Bday Party 2016.12.10 at Night Shift Brewery!


advent day 11

from October 29, 2016

Sarah Leadbeater's annual pumpkin carvening... my two in front, script Pumpkin and this years tumblr favorite mini face

alas poor vine
No matter who wins the World Series (and my heart's with Cleveland even though I'm not crazy about the name or the Wahoo) it's an echo of Boston's 2004 + 2007 wins; Theo Epstein is President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs and of course, Terry Francona for Cleveland...

from October 18, 2016

Had a small shindig, an unbirthday-ish thing... Melissa bought Pac-Man cupcakes which Chasity + Karen's lil girl Cora seemed to dig very much

photo by Rebekah
Amused that Wendy's is hyping the return of the Taco Salad. It (or possibly its near descendent, the "Baja Salad" that added a dollop of guac) and atomic fireballs were at the heart of one of my best weight drops, 15lbs in 6 months in 2012 - the chili made it really satiating. I was surprised when I went back to Wendy's last year and it was off the menu.

Now I'm all about Sweetgreen and sometimes Panera, but when the Wendy's what was on the block at work, the Wendy's is what I got.
Here's a post I made on the JP Honkband Page on FB:
WE WANT CANDY!!! We're gonna revamp this song for our Halloween Gig on Dunster Road, but lets give it some sweeter lyrics... Here's some verses:

I want candy, that is the truth-
Butterfinger, Twix, or Baby Ruth
Candy that can make my day,
Twizzlers, Rolos, Milky Way

(I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy)

Pop-rocks, they are so bizarre
So break me offa piece of that Kit-Kat Bar!
Packed with Peanuts, Snicker Satisfies -
But why you call one inch "fun size"?

(I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy)

M+Ms or Reeses? I can't choose!
So maybe go for Charleston Chews --
But you know you better sign a waiver
If you try to give me that NECCO wafer

Wanna suggest a verse? Here are some well known names we didn't use:

Wrigley's Gum, 3 Musketeers, Almond Joy, Hubba Bubba, Skittles, Reese Peanut Butter Cup, Hershey's Kisses, Bit O Honey, Caramello, Hershey's Bar, Milk Dud, Sweettarts, 100 Grand, 5th Avenue, Chunky, Clark Bar, Heath Bar Crunch, Krackel, Mars Bar, Mounds, Mr. Goodbar, Nestle Crunch, Nestle Milk Chocolate, Nutrageous, Oh Henry!, PayDay, Toblerone, Whatchamacallit

from October 16, 2016

Three photos (from School of Honk's trip to Georges Island) by drummer Lilia Volodina

I love the sky in the first one.

from October 10, 2016

Donald Trump's own daughter doesn't want a kiss from that loathsome man.

via Jezebel's Donald Trump Got Curved by Both His Daughters Tonight
tomorrow, we are all going to wake up and try and go about our lives with some measure of normalcy... but please, take a moment to remember that tonight, in front of the entire country, the republican nominee for president said that he would use his office to persecute and jail a citizen... allegedly for a crime of which she has already been investigated and found free of wrongdoing, but probably, more likely for daring to be his political opposition.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Such a busy weekend at Honk!

Photo by Candace Esslinger - this was the clear Saturday before the Drenched Sunday
Man, iTunes store search is so pathetic. Supposedly a while back they had a power search mode, but now it's just keywords. You can't search for just a song title, for instance, you're going to get any artist or album who has the same name. Even better - their version of "All Results" cuts off at 100. So if there are over 100 non-title matches for a song you're trying to find a good cover of, and the song's title is later in the alphabet, there's no way the song you're looking for will show up on the list.

Even more insulting is the message after those 100 items:
"Less relevant items are not displayed. To narrow your results, use more specific search terms."

I would if you'd let me, jerky.

from October 9, 2016

I've been doing a ton of scanning lately, indulging in a bit of digital packratting so that I can let go of the physical items. Here are some "candid" photos of Euclid High's 222nd Street Jazz at the Lakeland Jazz Festival

from September 5, 2016

Photos from my mom's friend Alyce:

This one I'm most struck by. The back says "7-23-76 From our balcony" which would be when we lived on St. Thomas. My Super Niece is now almost exactly the same I am in this photo.

Ahh, fashion. Makes me wonder when plastic cups became popular.

On Torbenson Road, where Cleveland's Booth Memorial Hospital was. And speaking of fashion! Candy stripe pants! And an amish beard. My dad was amazing.

Man. First time I glanced out the window this season and thought "dark already?" (quarter of eight)

from September 3, 2016

Aug 11 we had a repeat of playing with the Landmarks Orchestra at the Hatch Shell...

here I am front and center, both as we calmly played along with "Hall of the Mountain King" and then when we went into full on honkin' mode

from in dublin

I wasn't sure how much tourist time I'd get in Ireland during AOL #DevFest2016, but a 2 hour walking tour on Thursday, ending at the AOL office and with a great guide Sean of LetzGo City Tours showed us quite a lot in the two or so hours we had.

I know I'm being dense but I don't get the graphical message here. The text is implying things are cheap here (~$4.70 for a small bottle of soda not withstanding) but unless they're making a really bold claim about relative currency evaluations, it doesn't make a lot of sense? how do I parse this?
I think that the pain in the ass factor of our customs and immigration process relative to other wealthy democracies says loads. and not in the USA's favor. It's not that we're THAT much more popular, we're just a big old C.Y.A. nation.

from August 17, 2016

AOL #DefFest2016 in Ireland...

from parasailing para ti y para mi


Nice little bit of New Yorker Shouts + Murmurs Mini-fiction, "The Wedding Announcement".
"I want to YouTube about my life. I'll call my channel Happy Is Always The Answer."
--A young Human of New York

from June 30, 2016

Last week with Porch-i-Oke at Make Music Boston...

So, a Zika bill poisoned by Republicans with amendments to promote the Confederate flag and other crap repugnant to everyone but GOP loonies. Republicans, you are unfit to lead. If you can't understand politics has to have SOME level of bipartisanship, you deserve Trump.

from June 23, 2016

From last night's School of Honk @ Aeronaut...


from June 21, 2016

Yes. Fruit is good, too, you mentioned fruit. Yeah. Fruit kept me going for a hundred and forty years once when I was on a very strict diet. Mainly nectarines. I love that fruit. It's half a peach, half a plum, it's a hell of a fruit. I love it! Not too cold, not too hot, you know, just nice. Even a rotten one is good. That's how much I love them. I'd rather eat a rotten nectarine than a fine plum. What do you think of that? That's how much I love them.
Mel Brooks as the Two Thousand Year Old Man.
He's right, just had one and they're great.
This was another shot from School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest:

By Nobuko Ichikawa. I'm not soloing (I think Carlos on the metal clarinet is), just dancing, but still, I love how expressive my posture and hands are... it's more cluttered than my previous profile-able tuba shot but has more energy, and I like that it's my own horn ("Beauty") not a School of Honk one I was borrowing for kicks.
Typeset in the Future takes on Blade Runner
Trump pays $30K to a well-nigh fictional ad agency. Jeez, what's the line here? "Mad Men, indeed?" "Truth is fictioner than fiction?" Trump is a shyster par excellence. He goes to where what his audience wants to hear; the trouble is some of that is understandable, but the rest of it is really, really gross.

from time for pride

Re Orlando: fuck fundamentalism of any flavor. When you "know" you have the answers before the questions are even asked, you're part of the problem. If your doctrine is more important than basic humanity, you are the problem. Anyway, then off to march with Brass Republic at Boston Pride: (and after School of Honk at Arlington Porchfest)

from May 9, 2016

How did the U.S. become so much more conservative than other Western democracies? I thought there was some thoughtful discussion here. I've been thinking about what the USA does better and does worse than some of its peers, and why...
Alanis does Ironic 2016
"Old Jon Snow knew nothing. Existentialist Jon Snow knows nothingness."

There's a big difference btw knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is something you can glean by Googling. Wisdom comes from Googling for years.

Played tuba with my super niece yesterday...

from Chelsea Ruscio's Photos of School of Honk May Day Dance Party


It turns out the knack for selling 'luxury' to people with no concept of value is the same as the one for selling 'liberty' to people with no instinct for democracy.

Heh, Liz Ryan who throws together a marching group for Boston Pride asked me to record a little bassline I made up last year, to supplement the cadence the percussionists were doing.

It's meant to be easy on my jaw, 'cause it's kind of a long parade!
I just now noticed Iron Man and some of the better folks from Game of Thrones share the name "Stark".
From "The Book of Honk", the School of Honk bass section:

from scenes from around the edges of HONK!TX


from January 23, 2016

Portraits by EBB2 (Age 6 1/2)

from December 25, 2015


advent christmas day

Messing around with a new logotype for http://kirk.is/ - I think I like the third one best... am thinking about making the "graph paper" background stretch at top across whole screen and then putting logotype on it, line up with the "graph paper", but over the content which will probably be fixed-width + centered.

It's fun teaching a computer to do the kind of graph paper font work I'd tool around with in high school. (See also "trifontula" http://kirk.is/2007/07/20/ ) In this case it would have been a lot easier had I not wanted to let the "graph paper" shine through.

Any suggestions?

from December 24, 2015


advent day 24

Gas for $1.68. Kind of obscene. To quote Vonnegut, "Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum."

Y'know iPhone's panorama can be really nice

from like super-niece like super-uncle


For love, it seems, is like the peacock's tail: blind, yet full of eyes.

Years ago I posted a link to this article, and while the title leaves a to be desired, it really does make me think about how perfect some Game Boy sprites were...

from August 27, 2015

"You can't think seriously about thinking without thinking about thinking about something."
Seymour Papert, "Mindstorms"
Wonder if LOGO might end up a good bet for helping kids learn the possibility space of computers...
I was talking with Jeremy a bit about computers for kids, he recommended this book. I'd love to see a followup that takes the last 30+ years into account. Like, the BASIC he's most likely talking about is the one with line numbers (tho as he twittered "Say what you will about line-numbered BASIC, it's *incredibly* easy to teach from scratch, one concept at a time") and not the named subroutine stuff that came along in the Amiga era.

One thing LOGO brings to the table is a physicality that might be useful for some folks, just a subjective concrete sense of thing you can mentally ride along with. (Conversely, it's very plotter/line based. You can easily make a "draw circle" routine, but the noun then is a recipe, vs the circle itself as an object... so there's also no easy way of coloring something in, except for maybe a flood fill.)

"Scratch" gets a lot of attention, with the "building blocks" approach ala Lego Mindstorms, though it's been said kids might spent more time fooling around with other people's creations and funny sounds than building their own.

Going over old home computer mags for http://gazettegalore.blogspot.com/ reminds me what a special era it was... having BASIC be both the door to running more advanced programs as well as something you could make your own stuff in was great. LOGO (and stuff I code up in, like Processing) is always in a walled garden of sorts, while BASIC made you feel much closer to "the metal" so to speak.

Anna Anthropy wrote http://boingboing.net/2015/08/24/a-game-making-app-for-everyone.html ... recently, I'm reading it now. Some neighboring thoughtspace of this stuff I'm thinking about; though (roughly) her focus is more on friendlier tools as a means to the end of games and creating in general, and I see games as a means to the ends of picking up coding skills that I've found rewarding these years.
This place is definitely in the top three for view from places I've worked... probably the very top

from August 6, 2015

Last night I played at Honkin' at the Hatch Shell where the HONK! Disorchestra (a inter-HONK magaband) joined the Landmarks Orchestra for the finale from Aida and then we took the stage for two Italian medleys and then some good ol' core honking....
Here's what the Hatch looks like from the other side...

JP Honk!

Ted Cruz is Nathan Lane minus the charm. And music.

from July 22, 2015

The eyes might be the window to the soul but the nose is the front door to the brain.

Kind of old news now, but I love this "Everything's a Product" parody in the Honest Trailer for The Lego Movie:

New glasses!

from July 4, 2015

On the Charles waiting for fireworks...

from atlantic city

Went with my Aunt and her friend to Atlantic City. I don't really get gaming, so I puttered off on my own.
I have yet to come across anyone who admires virtue as much as sexual attractiveness.

Just found out about "Preterism", the idea that the stuff in Revelation happened along with the destruction of the Temple in 70CE.

It's kind of a weird idea, and possibly a twist of a plain reading of the books, but I've heard weirder and twistier.

from frozen in time

Going through old photos. Took this one in 2001, with this weird click-on attachment camera for the Palm Pilot, the Kodak PalmPix.

from april 2015 new music playlist

Only a few 4 stars, listed in red. The rest put in descending order of interestingness, either for the song or the video.
A few photos by Joni L, from JP Honk at yesterday's "Wake Up The Earth" parade and festival in JP. It was a LONG haul up Centre St but the chance to do a set at Stony Brook, and really walk around and through the audience, was special

from May 2, 2015

Arlington St Church

Annie: So, what got you into photography?
Sam #2: Oh, I wouldn't call it photography.
Annie: What would you call it?
Sam #2: I love taking pictures, I guess.
Annie: Okay. Well, why do you take pictures?
Sam #2: Umm.. I don't know. When I see something I like looking at, I get to keeping looking at it.
Nicest spin about photography I've seen in a while.

from April 1, 2015

One Second Everyday:

Image for the final shot, a reflection at the end of Thorndike Street :

If Christian businesses really stuck to their principles, they'd serve everyone regardless of their sins...
I might put sins in scare quotes, but in either direction it's a huge point. So many Conservatives worship Conservatism, and assume they have the spirit of the Bible on their side, when they just don't. Like Vonnegut said: "There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too."
https://vimeo.com/64586136 - Gruber on the simplicity of Pac-Man, the Early Mac, and iOS. A little long (I wish Vimeo had the same "1.5x speed" option Youtube sports) so: Pac-Man = iOS, Android = Mr. Do, and simplicity is awesome.

from March 26, 2015

Yesterday JP Honk was at the head of a march to the statehouse because Arts Matter

from a farewell to books

A Farewell to Books! The one box with M.C. Esher Popups is claimed, I have a labeling system such that if anyone seems a must have in there they can put in a request over the next few days... I of course feel a little guilty about book purges, as is natural, but I think it's for the best. Having 2 tall shelves of stuff I really love is terrific. (Basically, I realize it's akin to my music collection; in iTunes only 3 stars and up get onto my device, but here the cut off for physical presence is 4.)
You know, just because I didn't like that ridiculous comedy you did with Goldie Hawn did not mean I did not love you. That's what you always do. You confuse love for admiration.
Sylvia in movie "Birdman"

from November 14, 2014

https://soundcloud.com/koosha/comet-bumblebee - The song of the comet fits Flight of the Bumbleebee... (though to be picky, just like the lander, I'm not quite sure it sticks the landing)
Not sure if this photo montage captures it, but sometimes I really love the clouds around the seaport district.

What the heck 7. Everything else under 11 is cool with just being one syllable. Go over there and stand with W.

from Cora @ 4 and 6 months; Great Baby, or Greatest Baby?


from spooooooky


This year my tuba gets a costume too:

Look like 6 years of being the party of no and blaming that on the president will pay off for the Republicans

from white water on the penobscot

Yesterday I went White Water River Rafting with some coworkers on Maine's Penobscot River with Northern Outdoors- their final rafting day of the year, which is too bad because it was GREAT! Here's a montage (crudely iMovie'd-- cripes, what a frustrating UI'd program) of the "One Second Everyday" footage I took with my waterproof Canon.

Highlights of the day included M. getting swept out of the boat on the very first (admittedly Category 5) rapids, gentle life jacket swimming, shooting numerous rapids and getting lots of water in the face, an excellent lunch with a choice of "river" chicken, steak, or salmon, getting flipped trying to "surf" (getting the raft to stay in one place on an Eddy - it's great, reminded me of staying on a bucking bronco), a fun plunge down a small waterfall (hauling the raft back up some rocks for repeated trips), an awesome prolonged "surf" in that same area, again leaving the raft to do some bodysurfing down the "waterslide", then using oars as crude sails, pushed along by a tailwind from stormy weather behind us.

A set of photos from the day, cunningly arranged to imply a totally misleading story:

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. [...] Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love.

A+W makes, like, the worst, weakest Diet Root Beer. At least until you realize that it's Cream Soda. Then it's pretty good, actually.


from August 18, 2014

The jaded sousaphonist...

from July 26, 2014

Today we played at the Haley House Community Table, in Roxbury! The local, pay-what-you-want/can food was so good, as was the DJing after, and this panoramic glitch photo of the Honk Band is so awesome...

from tuba, front and off-center

Me at Saturday's JP Porchfest... I have to say the day was a smashing success! Awesome turn out for a first-year event and great enthusiasm and fun all around. As far as I could tell my lil' website for it (http://jpporchfest.org/) held up fine - in fact I've heard rumors some of the Somerville Porchfest Organizers (who were the (freely admitted!) inspiration for this event) might like to pinch some of our ideas to punch up their own site.

I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.

Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:

I love things that recast pop culture mythos and show how the lens we're given to watch and read this stuff as children isn't the only one: "LotR DVD Commentry" by Zinn and Chomsky http://kottke.org/14/07/lotr-dvd-commentary-from-zinn-and-chomsky and even better: https://storify.com/tcarmody/the-people-s-history-of-tattooine A People's History of Tattooine, where Luke Skywalker group up.

from in maine with jane


Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal.
Mike Ditka

On Google+, a friend pointed out sometimes failure IS fatal. I countered with well yeah, but that's rare; once-in-a-lifetime, at most. Said friend counter-countered with well for say Doctors, it can be someone ELSE's life we're talking about, and he finds Ditka's inspiration sometimes trivialzing, and he wanted a better way to say what Ditka was getting at. My countercountercounter was this:
I mean, you could pull the punch with a modifier ala "failure generally isn't fatal" (because he wasn't saying "failure is never fatal in any circumstance".)

But I don't think this is a trivializing sentiment. In fact, I'd say picking on him for not including mortal peril edge cases is a bit trivializing -- because for a certain ("fixed") mindset, fear of failure and seeming foolish, and/or having your limits put in stark relief, can be paralyzing, and I find his sentiment a bit inspiring.

In terms of a better way to put it... an attitude I need to learn to get is "So you maybe fail. So fucking what. Trying and failing doesn't take away from what you are, the potential you embody. But on the other hand, never trying means you're a person who doesn't try - and that's a killer of potential."

What's red and bad for your teeth?

A brick.

from slipping the surly bonds of earth

Saturday i went on a Zero G Flight -- parabolic flights over the ocean in order to get legitimate doses of zero gravity.

This is the modified 727 they use... seats are removed from everything but the back, and the rest is lined with mats, kind of like the wrestling room in gym class.

The first few arcs are acclimating Mars then Lunar low gravity. You can do one-armed or one fingered pushups with ease.

You might notice the socks. They break the group of 30 or so into 3 groups: Gold, Silver, and Blue. (I was on Team Blue.)

Finally: Zero-G!

I was clearly very proud of my Blue Lego Astronaut T-shirt...

Each arc only last 15-30 seconds, and there are about 15 of them in all.

This kind of thing is also called "The Vomit Comet", though one of the reasons they make it a relatively short trip is so that no one gets sick.

Eventually, you come down with a bit of a thump.. (they yell "feet down, leveling out" or some such, and you have to quickly get your feet oriented correctly.)



They also have each team do a "superman" group shot, I made the series of photos into a GIF...

So overall, it was an exhilarating and amazing time. To be completely honest, If "space travel" wasn't on my bucket list (my inner child thought he was going to see casual space travel, but this plus "Gravity in IMAX 3D" is gonna have to suffice) it might not be quite worth the sorta of exorbitant cost, but still, recommended if you got the cash and the dream!

UPDATE: A Video:
My friend David H on FB said "dude! That is awesome. Describe what it felt like?"
My answer was:
"it's... short! And intense. And fun and disorienting. Suddenly the world of gravity you've known is gone, and you can push and shove and every direction is kind of like every other direction and people in jumpsuits are laughing and yelling and flying every which way and jostling and you can grab a bouncy wall and go into a fun spin like a ice skater and pull your arms in and go faster and try to find a grip again and then look for the little water blob or candy the your group leader released and then "FEET DOWN! LEVELING OUT!" and you have just a second before you come down to the floor with a thump and you lie down to wait for the heavy gravity, focus on a point on the ceiling to help prevent motion sickness, and then a minute later you do it all again...."

from March 16, 2014


Rayman Legends for Wii U-so good. Great art, awesome, unique, and forgiving co-op play, slapstick physics, and a terrific physics-y "soccer" Kung Foot

from holiday snaps


from December 19, 2013


advent day 19

My housemate and I decorated the Tuba for Christmas this year, plus I used my traditional family folk-artsy tree-- with a piece of art my mom just rediscovered, a wooden board with a cool magazine advert of Santa my dad and his cousin shellacked to it...

No I won't stop 'screaming obscenities in your baby's face.' The first amendment is too important

from 'twas halloween(ish)

Saturday Miller and I hosted a late Halloween party Saturday w/ mutual friends. Costume wise, clockwise from left it's Swedish Chef, Vyvyan from "The Young Ones", Boston Sox Fan / Hypnotoad Minion, Carlos Danger, Two Hoodeh Figures from the podcast "Welcome to Night Vale", a Mormon, a Steampunk Researcher and his feline companion, and Space Sex Cop Kirk.

Jack O' Lantern wise, it's a spider, alien bill, cyclopsian monster, Jason Voorhees, Big Grin, Picasso-ish (people get really concerned when you slice your pumpkin all the way around so the two halves separate like a cocount), kitty.

Most important lesson learned: the special Halloween Kit Kats (orange tinged white chocolate, really) are the most divisive candy: people love 'em or hate 'em.
Chess 2: The Sequel - How a street fightin' man fixed the world's most famous game Even if you dislike Sirlin, you have to admit Chess 2 is pretty interesting...
Ever since Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural, pronounced government to be the problem, elected Republicans have been doing everything possible to make it true.
George Packer

Raising a child is like taking care of someone who's on way too many shrooms, while you yourself are on a moderate amount of shrooms. I am not confident in my decisions, but I know you should not be eating a mousepad.
Ron Funches

from AK aug 6 - 3 flights, then wild berries and mushrooms

I realized I was a bit remiss in not posting photos during my Alaska vacation, so I will be posting them in serialized form, one day per day over the next week. 2 weeks late but making good time!
Ah, moving's peculiar existential silver lining... Life may be short, but (with Amber's help, maybe) there was certainly time enough to accumulate all this stuff I am taking to Goodwill.
Vine is an underrated medium:

(seems like it was some kind of best vines of 2013, found a replacement)

from alaska

(1 comment)

[Kirk has] an estimated 3.0% Neanderthal DNA, which puts [him] in the 92nd percentile among European 23andMe members.

from alaska


from alaska


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from alaska


from alaska


from a waterproof camera at a family reunion


Blender of Love Digest

from June 29, 2013


jamaica pond

from June 26, 2013

Long-ish, thoughtful piece on The Obesity Era; the fact that it's increasing even in animals fed lab diets is greatly disturbing to me.

It's temping, then, to think every attempt at weight management is hopeless. Which is a little true, but not 100% true, and I think I'm able to have some success in the fight. Still it's humbling to know that simple "a calorie is a calorie is a calorie" thinking is dead wrong.
alewife bike cage under watchful eye of cardboard cop, new to the squad

DOMA gets the smack down!
Remember folks, you saw it here (In OUR DAMN GREAT COMMONWEALTH) first...
We sent DOMA and Prop 8 off to a farm where they can play with other outdated, fear-driven legislation. It is the worst farm.

Whoa, back on the obesity thing: Holy crap, what if it's the CO2 counts?
Wow. Texas Legislature CHANGES TIMESTAMPS and tries to rewrite the history of the Wendy's heroic filibuster...

from rockport beach day and night

Spent a nice Saturday afternoon and evening with EB and his family. We went to the beach in Rockport...
Shout out to my peeps who occasionally choke on their own secretions like they've never inhabited a human body before

Just watched Scarface for the first time. Keep thinking if only I had darker, richer eyebrows, I have the scar to totally rock that look.

from even more amazing rainbow over boston

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click for fullsize

It has been making the rounds but this "across the decades" cover of Get Lucky (a song I like more in theory than in practice) is terrific:

Clicking around looking (fruitlessly) for end of Bruins game-- it's kind of hard to believe that the show "Hogans Heroes" happened.

from fortress duplo


fortress duplo

fortress duplo east wall

from from Hannah's 1920 party


from March 28, 2013


outside paxeast

Apple AirPlay is kind of amazing. Letting people be a dj and "throw" their music to a shared device, no setup being on the same wifi - brilliant. Gives Apple TV an edge over Roku, I think.

from worshiping thirst

"O Mighty King, remember now that only gods stay in eternal watch.
Humans come then go,
that is the way fate decreed on the Tablets of Destiny.
So someday you will depart, but till that distant day Sing, and dance.
Eat your fill of warm cooked food and cool jugs of beer.
Cherish the children your love gave life.
Bathe away life's dirt in warm drawn waters.
Pass the time in joy with your chosen wife.
On the Tablets of Destiny it is decreed
For you to enjoy short pleasures for your short days."
Siduri, "Epic of Gilgamesh"
The quote comes to me by way of this Forbes article The First Immortal Does Not Live Among Us Today. It's sad to realize that we aren't as close to earthbound immortality as some think science implies, but I think less sad than living with false hope.

And you know, there are some benefits to not living forever. Besides knowing you're making way for new and different stuff, many of humanities problems are only as much your problem as you choose to make them.

For a slightly melancholy spin on the Gilgamesh quote and the logic of putting the best spin on our existential plight, check out this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic...

Last night I realized I was conflating
Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams. Kind of another Sarah Michelle Geller / Sarah Jessica Parker thing.
http://instagram.com/p/W2BuMLQLRB/ -- how odd it is when the desire to record a moment totally becomes the moment
7PM and not even dark. I love DST.

from some january photos


The bull is the eternal principle of life, truth in action.
Kakuan (via "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones")
It is not the same to talk of bulls as to be in the bullring.
Spanish Proverb.
(Both of these are from Phil Jackson's "Sacred Hoops")
eating is so badass i mean you put something in a cavity where you smash and destroy it with 32 protruding bones and then a meat tentacle pushes it into a pool of acid and after a few hours later you absorb its essence and transform it in energy just wow.

Honk if on windows you make a new .html file by making a New|Text Document in the folder and then you "sure you want to change it"

from December 31, 2012


via. Man, I need to relearn how to make animated GIFs from videos. (2019 UPDATE: not sure if this was quite the video)
If at first you don't succeed, that's one data point.

I am the margarita king. I can do anything.

That's the first step to self-canibalism; put some guacamole on it.

Why is Time Square a sea of blue dicks?

Anthony was jealous of the novelty 2013 glasses on TV so I made him these

from December 21, 2012


advent day 21

So this is Maya2K! I do admit, I would at least describe New Jersey as "very windy" today.

Actually, I think over the last few months there's been less hype than I expected...

The Broken Boadwalk of Jersey:

Another thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a situation where "bad" guys have fewer ways of getting guns. Duh.

from December 9, 2012

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advent day 9

A little out of date but:

Blender of Love

Inspired a bit by Macklemore's Thrift Shop when I was dropping off some furniture-y bits at Goodwill I went looking or shirts, since I'd like to get some that aren't so tent-like on me noew. Really, not bad stuff-- especially at $5 a pop! Also I like how they sort by color, that matches how I think about shirts.

main st, Gloucester MA

from October 27, 2012

fooling around with garageband... I have a lot to learn.

Apropos of that last video, a song I learned about from my mom and aunt yesterday:

I'm not sure if I dig the genre, but Assassin Creed III's detailed portrayal of Colonial Boston might be worth the risk.

jack o'lantern self-portrait(ish)

tap o'lantern
Rape is 'God's will' but homosexuality is my 'choice.' Talk about making shit up as you go along.

God doesn't make you get raped or die in childbirth, just decides you get pregnant? Sounds less like God and more like the Aquaman of sperm.

from September 27, 2012

Dutch people, ages 0-100:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19670686 - UKisms making their way unto the USA vernacular
'There but for the grace of God,' said John Bradford in the sixteenth century, on seeing wretches led to execution, 'go I.' What this apparently compassionate observation really means-- not that it really 'means' anything-- is 'There by the grace of God goes someone else.'
Christopher Hitchens, "God is Not Great"

The Quantum Theory of Romney

from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Nice, balanced piece on Presidential Leadership, Obama, and Romney.
latest pseudo-dyslexia: typing ebay when I mean facebook in the url bar. I think that strong "b", maybe along with the two syllable nature, leads to the mixup.

self portrait 1

self portrait 2

from corn maze day


from subway shots


It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
Jonathan Swift

I look in the mirror And I see a monkey But then I remember I love monkeys

Coding Geekery and Curmudgeonism:

http://vimeo.com/49092644 - unconvincing video about the merits of Test Driven Development. Circular definitions and strawmen ahoy!

I think TDD is hunting for that promised land of tests that aren't A. trivial B. implementation coupled C. externally dependent D. more fragile than tested code. I'm not sure it exists.

Those are my practical reasons for disliking TDD. In theory too, it fails: its been mathematically demonstrated that any sufficiently powerful testing setup is as as prone to error as the thing being tested...
I am I, plus my circumstances.
José Ortega y Gasset

from hazy sunday in cleveland


http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/ on my UI dev blog: EMPOWER EVERYONE - What Google Hangouts, AppleTV, and ITS PDP-6 have in common

from let us exterminate the galaxy together


Everything has its time, and everything dies.
The Doctor, Doctor Who

from moving day

We were helping my buddy JZ and his family move. He seemed to spend a lot of time handing this down from and putting things up in attics.

from gummiver's travels - a midsummer day's prank


Boobs aren't fat! They're filled with mens hopes and dreams!!

Finally getting to playing "Just Cause 2" on Xbox 360. It has fewer vehicles than Mercenaries (despite the fun Bionic Commando Arm /'Chute combo) but still is fun, and so beautiful in parts, pretty sunsets and the moon reflected on water. Enjoying it even more after I realized the main character sounds just like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

from east arlington microburst 2012!

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My city got smacked, albeit in a very localized fashion, with what they're saying was a microburst. Many, many trees down. Our power was restored late at night, though oddly neighboring blocks seemed to never lose power...

from tuba peering plaintively through window during time of bibliographic upheaval


from boom


http://gigaom.com/2012/07/05/patent-troll-stalks-travel-site-hipmunk/ Software patents are just food for trolls. End them.

from mooning

Monday evening, the full moon was crazy-beautiful over the Atlantic...

Because it was still almost daylight, I could really make out the details of the moon. I tried to fiddle with my camera to do likewise, but my best efforts made the surrounding sky really dark...

Man, that doesn't look much like a Man on the Moon. I think the French say it's a cat... I could kind of see that, curled around.
A fetish is a story masquerading as an object.
Robert Stoller

from morning at the beach

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I think premature abstraction might be more evil than premature optimization.

from meet smokey


This is Smokey, a recent addition to our extended family. He is a Russian Blue with that terrific two-tone fur of the breed. His tail is enormously long.

from stone zoo, spectacle island

Yesterday my friend EB invited us to join them at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, and after we went on a trip to Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor.
Yesterday when I was hiking a bit in the Boston Harbor islands, none of the guide or rangers knew why it has an area called "Hypocrite Channel".
http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/pictures-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity - I admit I got a little misty at some of these "restore your faith in humanity" photos...
My "actionfigurefighter" was the featured screenshot on this Penny Arcade report about Pirate Kart gems.
Indeed recognizing that with death the relationship must end gives marriage much of its human pathos. The vows say 'I'll love you for as long as I possibly can. I can't love you after I'm dead, because I'll be dead.' Marriage begins from death, as it were, and work backward to fill the intervening period with love.
Robert Rowland Smith on "Tying the Knot"

from emma is one sassy cat

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from a day in dc with jz

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Took a fun little jaunt to DC with my buddy JZ, partially to see the "Art of the Video Game" exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery...

from some photos


I need to remind myself unnoticed meanings exist as well. It isn't the noticing of some thing that makes it true or false.

from lonely robot


--Messing around with Instagram
I lost all respect for myself when I bite my own tongue. I've been chewing for decades, how did I manage to fuck that up?

from mike marnie and kirk


from mario and peach head to head

My birthday was rather toy-riffic... EB and his family got me a Mario Kart Slot Racing set... the racers were squirrely as heck but you know, pretty photogenic...

from weekend photos


Let me think about the people who I care about the most... and how when they fail, or disappoint me, I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them. Let me extend that generosity to myself.
zefrank, "An Invocation for Beginnings"

That NY Times piece on casual games is interesting for scratchware gamer makers like me.

from ice skating

went ice skating with EB and his 2 gals...

http://creativejs.com/2012/04/multiplayer-asteroids-with-node-js/ Holy Crap. 1800+ people playing Asteroids Arena. Node.js has some amazing power!

from tuba and cake


from mass moca in december

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Last December Amber and I took a weekend mini-break to Western Mass, the centerpiece of which was a daytrip to MASS MoCA. This contemporary art museum is about as far west as you can be and still be in Mass.

For more information you can check out this Artsy.net page about Sol Lewitt as well.
Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.

from christmas in photos


from super dynamic christmas decoration time!!!

Last night Amber and I decorated for the season a wee bit...
The highest paid people in America today create no real wealth for the society.

I like getting calls from recruiters, even though I don't want something new, because it assures me that i *can* get something new.

I asked my Italian instructor about Italian crisis. "We've seen worse," she said. When, I asked. "Fifth Century was pretty bad," she said.

Recaptioned school posters from the 70s. Funny.
Tragedy plus time equals comedy-- but who has time anymore?
Michael Shaw

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Give a man handfuls of bees and he'll get really mad. "What the fuck", he might say, or "Stop".

SciFi: "Laugh at me?" said Dr Zarxo. "I'll show them! I'll show them all!" So he did a double-blind study and got the results peer reviewed.

from in front of lake champlain

Last weekend Amber and I were up in Burlington, VT, visiting her brother, along with their folks. I like this series of photos in front of Lake Champlain taken by her step-mom Laura... I keep trying to tell Amber that we (and everybody, I think) have too many boringly-posed photos like the first one, and not enough like the others... ...maybe that's a good thing
I kind of enjoyed reading about the 101 most despised athletes in sports history

from endlessly repeating twentieth-century modernism

Went to the MFA today... besides Christian Marclay's "The Clock", Josiah McElheny's "Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism" might have been the most intriguing work we saw... some intriguing glass vessels in an amazing mirrored box (there's a diferent tableau on each side) with the repetition going off into the virtual distance... and a good use of one way mirrors so you can just see the vessels, not your own reflection...


The MFA store used to be a delight after an afternoon of museuming. At 1/3 the size and minus remaindered books it loses a lot.
The Boston MFA broke their Buddhas room by ripping out a permanently closed side door, transforming from sacred space to graceless gallery.
Also the MFA Art of the Americas wing is grand, but the great big glass doors' handles are terrible, the pull side identical to push-bad design. Sigh.
But I loved MFA's showing of Marclay's "The Clock", 24 hours of beautifully spliced footage from movies synced to real time by the time they show in the scene- memorizing. We watched from 12:30-1, coulda stayed for hours.

november blender of love

from random photos


Under a bridge near the Museum of Science

Wind turbines are popping up all over...
BASIC is the Computer Science equivalent of 'Scientific Creationism'.

"I'm learning to code" is the new "I'm working on a novel"

"I was surprised Hannah at work didn't know how to make a paper airplane."
"She's young?"
"Well like 22ish? I mean I knew how to make one when I was 8..."
"She didn't grow with no other stuff to do."

"Boketto" - I like that the Japanese have an explicit word for gazing into the distance without thinking. (2019 UPDATE: I guess English has "zoning out")

from some photos


Some men are born to greatness, with others the devil simply says 'you'll do.'
G.K. Wuori

from photos


from final cleveland photos...


from photos from cleveland

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Woman's sufferage, abolishment of slavery, winning WW2, the moon landing: those are things I'm proud of the USA for, but I don't think they would have happened under a Tea Party-led USA.

from big boy

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Also on Friday we went to the Wester Reserve Historical Society where they have a lovely selection of old cars, and this american icon in the lobby...

Best things in Cleveland: vintage store Big Fun, the superfast "gourmet sandwiches" of Jimmy John's, DIY froyo toppings at Menchie's. The latter two are franchises that Boston totally needs.

from a real-life easter egg at the cleveland museum of natural history

In the basement of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Sam directed us to a nicely arranged display "A World of Beetles"... but then invited us to look more closely...

Beautifully, there is no hint of anything amiss on the exhibit's placard, it's played totally straight, a lovely bit of scientist humor for the attentive to discover or the gregarious to have pointed out to them...
http://www.cracked.com/article_19330_8-wtf-aircraft-designs-that-actually-caught-air.html Amazing aircraft that made it to prototype!

from more photos


I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'

from smile uncle bill!

--MELAS rediscovering the fun of her camera...

from to fly


There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'
George R.R. Martin

from unearthly glow


from life in rockport

After watching the new, final Harry Potter (IMAX is great, but the 3D is just starting to annoy...) we went up to Rockport to hang with EB et al...
Jordan's- please. Update the pre-IMAX music. 90s retroswing has not come back yet. So sick of Zoot Suit Riot. #jordans #cherrypoppindaddies

from cannon mountain

Today we went up to New Hampshire for a belated Father's Day thing for Amber's folks. We went to Polly's Pancake Parlor.

from eurotrip day 8 - germany


Since I'm in a land of "funny lookin' money"... ideas for US Currency redesign by Michael Tyznik

from eurotrip day 7 - germany

Yes, past, pre-publishing me (see below) I am in Germany now! Today we went to Heidelberg.

--They were saying this is one of germany's favorites...thought I'd post it since I should be there now!

from eurotrip day 5 - final full day of paris


from eurotrip day 4 - paris

Oddly, despite being at the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe and the cabaret, it wasn't a super-photogenic day.

At the risk of sounding like "un poseur" -- ubiquitous cheap baguette and very good inexpensive table wine is a nice way to live.
Hooray for FC Porto... your fans were making a hell of a lot of noise around the Arc de Triomphe tonight!
Motown Single Ladies:

from eurotrip day 3 - paris

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My wife suggested spicing up our sex life with role playing.Now a d20's wedged in my crack, the DM is staring at us & this isn't sexy at all

Boingboing pointed out this awesome Princess Bride ambigram... I made a little tool to enjoy it more. It's such a clever bit of typography!

from eurotrip day 2 - paris

We slept in way later than we have before, like 1PM... must be a bit of jet lag... then we headed to the Modern and Contemporary collections at Centre Pompidou...

RIP Jim Henson, September 24, 1936 - May 16, 1990
Why, IMO, OSX sucks: no Irfanview. Think about installing ImageMagick. Installer for that requires Xcode. WTF. I just don't jive with Macs.
half the shit in my Netflix queue could be listed as:
Things A Better Version Of Me Would Actually Sit Through
(The other half of mine tends to be "might contain boobies")

from eurotrip day 1

For technical reasons, at least for the time being I'm going to have to be very selective about how many photos I publish here, just saving the truly odd or visually decent ones...
Safely in Paris. loving the app CityMaps2Go-- even without paying for data roaming you can preload maps and then know where you are!
You know, from a UI perspective, toggle push buttons that change the state of a system are kind of problematic. If the current state isn't immediately clear, than it's ambiguous if a button should tell you what the current state is, or what the state will change to if the button is pressed.

For example, my cellphone has a virtual button "Speaker On", and if the other person isn't talking, I don't know if that means the speaker is on, or will turn on if I press that button.

I see this a lot with music players... there's the convention of the right pointing triangle for "play" (and a square or two vertical lines for "pause") but often it's a guess if it means "playing" or "play".

from egging us on

Yesterday Kjersten and Raya came over with a whole egg dyeing setup!

here is the fruit of our labor, except it's not fruit, it's eggs.


The center egg is mine: I made a K with electrical tape, then died it green, the orange. Clockwise from top are two electrical tape colored ones, a neat orange-pink one amber made by using a Q-tip to remove color, an Alien Bill I made using the Q-tip as a paintbrush, Raya's GI Joe/Rambo-ish egg with the tap still on, Kjersten's polkadots, one with the tape technique and stickers, a really ambitious and lovely flower in wax by Amber (with green grass on the bottom) and then an egg I started with Ambers "remove color" technique that came out weirdly so I decided to use a sharpie for outlining. It came out kind of cool and funky, actually.

Comedy gold was me grabbing my glass of beer, noticing it was kind of vinegar-y, and then running to the bathroom to get rid of the green dye before it did too much staining...
Make love when you can. It's good for you.

http://www.thisisaurl.com/ - Leukemia Blog of Austin Castaldi, a guy I knew from a brief stint working in Andover. Man, screw this universe.

from copter!

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This guy was taking a photograph from the Boston Common, and I took his picture. Funky light!

So the rest of these shots are from my converted groupon helicopter ride with the East Coast Aero Club...Amber gave me a copter flying intro lesson last year, but I wussed out on the study needed and had a nice tour instead.

from photo phuries


from photos from a valentine's day

So yesterday Amber and I kind of played hookie and headed toward that Mecca of Winter Romance, Swampscott..
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/newsgraphics/2011/0119-budget/index.html - pretty awesome infographic on the Obama budget.
Cracked on what has come from Donald Duck. No wonder there's so much love for Carl Barks, especially in Europe...
The Face of Watson the Jeopardy-playing computer... nice use of color and space.
I don't need no tv, I don't need no news. All I need is a bumpin' beat to bump away my blu-u-ues
Basement Jaxx, "Do Your Thing"
(Do Your Thing To The Music by Lenlow is the most amazing version with that lyric)
If you're at IKEA around Christmastime and they have gingerbread toffees for sale, BUY THEM. We got some for a quarter a pack on clearance-GREAT

from photo unload


I love big game airforce flyovers over domed stadiums. Do they at least hear it in there?
Black Eyed Peas sound like bad karaoke versions of themselves. Almost as bad as the Fox promos.
Now I'd like to see Axl's impression of Fergie...

from amber by the seashore


Just watched "Real Genius". It really gave geeks of the 80s and 90s something to aim for. Longing for a Richard Feynman biopic though.

from our princess is in another babycastle


You can stop running that response to Virginia's letter about Santa. She's probably dead by now.

from yo dawg. err, cat.

(1 comment)

December Blender of Love

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/out-of-our-brains/ - Amber linked a great piece on gizmos as extensions of our minds. That articles talk on "body thinking" makes me think that a "neuron accurate" computer brain model wouldn't work if it were sans body...

from from alewife to copley square


At that amazing Arcade Mecca of the northeast, Fun Spot, with Leonard. Would Pengo be so well regarded if it was called "Sno-Bee Holocaust?" I think not.

November Blender of Love Digest here!

It wouldn't be the first time the power of love was responsible for a whole lot of bullshit.
Leonard Richardon, "Constellation Games"

from decordova and ova

(1 comment)
A few weeks ago Amber and I went to the deCordova sculpture museum and garden, a first for both of us.

from john mccarthy says...


Headphones in the store always sound better, because you're actively listening to the music.
Sweet, JoustPong is going to feature http://www.montrealindies.com/?p=93 (kind of an after-party for http://sijm.ca/2010/?language=en )

from new camera fun

So, fun with the new camera... I still feel, I dunno, defensive about not getting something that was more manual-settings-centric -- I thought that maybe I should go for a larger camera to carry in my bag, since the iPhone has gotten so decent, but you know, for really quick shots, the iPhone camera app is a little fiddly to launch, and then it's too easy to obscure the lens with an errant finger and too difficult to hit the shutter button.

But the Canon SD4500 has a much bigger lens assembly, which allows for 10x optical zoom (great options for framing a shot just so) and I hope might be even cooler for poor light conditions.

I really think the automatic settings are getting pretty brilliant on these things... the shot you take is always better than the shot you miss because you were fiddling with manual settings, or just didn't have the camera with you...
Look at the ground this evening to see the eclipse of the sun by the Earth.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=rapid-thinking-makes-people-happy -- maybe my scatterbrain is self-medication!
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/c8863726da/judd-apatow-psa - surprisingly funny plug for the American Jewish World Service...
The WHOLE BUILDING smells like soup!"
Amber at the deCordova

from phoenix in concert

(1 comment)
So Amber really likes the group Phoenix -- a few weeks ago cmg noticed they were playing at BU so I surprised Amber by getting tickets.

I'm not quite the huge fan Amber is but they put on a rockin' show.

One of the least enforced rules there is against cameras, so I had some fun making concert shots, concluding with one of the audience.
Capitalism conquered communism, and now it's got democracy on the ropes.
David Swift
(via http://twitter.com/JPBarlow)

http://gizmodo.com/5667682/twitter-can-predict-the-stock-market-six-days-in-advance - holy cow, could someone get rich from this?
Trying to grind my way to "inbox zero". 13 starred items, 7 non- in my gmail priority inbox. Here's hoping.
<![CDATA[ and ]]> -- I cringe every time I need that, in part cause the tag is so damn ugly.

from what the fart


--via Cracked.com's The 5 Most Ridiculous Lies You Were Taught In History Class. I don't know why but the befuddled Einstein going "what the fart?" amuses me greatly.
"Sometimes masturbation takes so much focus I end up just daydreaming on my stomach."
Man, what a weird mix of titillation and wistfulness.

from birthday in rockport


from the sandwich fair

Today Amber, Kjersten and I went to the 100th Anniversary Sandwich Fair in New Hampshire. We had a lot of great fair food, but, ironically enough, there were absolutely no sandwiches to be had.

The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
G. K. Chesterton

So is Gap inviting people to do their logo for free because their Helvetica one is so bad, or was that the result of asking for free work?

from ladybug ladybug driveaway home


iPhone 4 photo of a ladybug on Amber's car. Fullsize original here. I laid on the "digital zoom" a bit too much, but still pretty impressive for a cellphone camera!

At the Peabody Essex Museum...
"Punch bug green! [light tap]" "What are you, twelve?" "...Times three!"
Me and Amber, Fresh Pond Rotary.

It is going into the Library of Congress, you know.
Sardonic Note Amber after I spent a little too much time fiddling with that last as a twitter submission

from shore thing

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click for fullsize

Surprise find: Asbury Park's Silverball Museum- lots of awesome old school pinball from across the decades!

from to haz, or not to haz


--Amber noticed this local blatant Reserved Parking FAIL... or is it a Handicap WIN? Doubt it'll make Failblog but who knows.

There's not a sky in the cloud...
Nice Turn of Phrase by MELAS

That's what I look forward to about getting old- advances in kitchen appliances.

Atlantic City, 9AM
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring pop on it... I have low standards.

from i love to waterski snowboard jetski skydive PARASAIL handglide rollerblade mountainbike bungeejump well i mean i'd love to do these things if i ever had the time

(1 comment)
For a while I've had in my head a list of three activities I'd like to do before I got too old: Skydive, Bungee Jump and Parasail...

Extreme Outsourcing. Just like the photos yesterday, it's always (academically) interesting to hear what kind of approaches work best at starting romance internetally, but even if I were looking, I think I'd have to be me.
"Kid, I don't know what kind of crap you're trying to pull here, but you are CLEARLY NOT A TEAPOT!!!" New day care guy: not working out.

The cool thing about snorting while laughing, really, is that it gives you something to do on the inhale....

from gullable

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.

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.
Herbert Prochnow

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...

from kittehs on deck

Kittehs on deck...

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it.
Joan Rivers

Heh, the last photo on this iPhone 4 admiration page shows how much it looks like that German scale
When I'm in deepish codemode I "chainsmoke" drinking 32 oz waters. Healthy, but man, all those trips to the men's room...

from photo roundup


from alien billin'


--Portrait of Alien Bill I comissioned from HARVEYJAMES... Check out the other stuff from this batch he did.
HOW THE MIND WORKS FOR DUMMIES (by Amber M and Kirk I, 2010):
It's complicated. You wouldn't understand. THE END.

It was to Forks that I now exiled myself-an action that I took with great horror. I detested Forks.
That's from the first few pages of Twilight, I stopped reading shortly thereafter. I mean, I'm not quite sure she knows what "exile" means... surprised they couldn't find an editor for Stephanie Meyer.
Coffee separates us from the dead. Tea separates us from the animals.

Ballmer and the MS Response to the iPad - He says it's Windows(TM) for the "Slates". OK, that's fair, but funnily enough, avoiding windows (no TM) is a UI strength of the iPad.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_Runyon - whoa -- Damon "Guys and Dolls" Runyon helped invent the Roller Derby as we know it!
The glass spiral staircase at the Boston Apple store:

Damn it I forget how much more effective and less distracting my energetic work "!psyched" playlist is that my other playlists.

from canoe-dling

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.

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...
I take you to the beach sometime and i'll bring the blanket and the chicken. Is this not the makins for love?

"Pretty please?"
"The physical appearance of the please makes no difference."

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

from random photos


http://derp.cheezburger.com/ - when did "Derp" replace "Duh" and "Duhhr? I admit it's a better term, more concise. Funny website.
http://lab.andre-michelle.com/pulsate - lovely sound toy... I like the logic behind it, once I figured it out.
I've converted Amber to the best way of dealing with scraps of tortilla chips: crunch even smaller, mix in with salsa, eat with spoon.
The perfect half moon visible with the sun still out gives me a sense of the crazy 3D clockwork of the solar system....

from the art of the cookout

(1 comment)
Amber and I had a housewarming bbq today... we had a bit of sidewalk chalk on the driveway, this was by Miller:
Kate did the top and middle part, Amber did the bottom, not sure of the middle...

from t party!


I've only got one setting, old-timer: 'KERBLAM!'
Warpath, "Transformers: War for Cybertron"

from pretty things

(1 comment)

Note to future self: ignore radio shack guy, fuse should be same amps, voltage can increase. (Also: why do subwoofers need fuses?)

from near massart

Amber and I went for a long overdue trip to the MFA the other day. Walking back to the car, we saw this liberally decorated mailbox:


I really like the Dali. I guess that's what the neighborhood gets for being right across the street from Mass Art...
omg a Massachusetts Gulf gas station where they didn't disable the freakin' handle clip, so you can let go of the damn thing. Living on the edge!
Amber has a new theory that the almost complete lack of "70s Classic Rock" in my collection might be a manisfestation of an indifference to string instruments in general.


Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.
George Orwell
(also this month's quote for http://loveblender.com/)

from cleveland filler day 5

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Yours 'Til Niagara Falls of the Moment
Random photos from before and after the Niagara Falls part of our trip-

from cleveland filler day 3


Yours 'Til Niagara Falls of the Moment
After we took in the falls we headed over to Clifton Hill, which is a crazy mashup of glitzy and lowbrow rides and attractions. Amber consented to go on the big old ferris wheel the Sky...
It's humbling, actually. When you devote your entire life to the endless, selfless quest to improve the lives of others; when you live a monk-like existence, and focus all of your power and genius on the singular goal of creating objects that nourish souls and transform people's lives with magic and wonder; and when people tell you that this is, indeed, what you've done -- well, it's gratifying. Namaste, entire population of Spaceship Earth. I honor the place where your desire to consume becomes one with my desire to create.

http://www.metafilter.com/90762/LADYGAGA-for-14-points#3028153 - alternate rules for board games (in honor of the "dumbing down" of Scrabble) - I wonder if Candyland could be fun with those rules?
You know what I think will really revolutionize comics? People making better f*cking comics.

from snowshots

It was a wet, heavy, sticky snow the other day... walking by Russell Field near Alewife I saw someone had made a really big snow fort/igloo thing... unfortunately they ducked inside before I could get a shot with them in the frame, for comparison...

Backyard the next morning.

After I took that shot, Amber txt'd and asked if I could get more shots with snow covered trees against blue skies - it was such a gorgeous clear day. Where I was in Brighton was a bit too urban to get shots of trees without powerlines and streetlights, but I did my best...

What does "faith" mean when the concept of "faiths" exists?
I kind of treat my iPhone as a humanist holy icon, providing direct guidance thanks to the Appigo ToDo app I have on it.

from deconstructing malden


--the other night cmg and I happened upon this tableau of deconstruction in Malden... it was so theatrically lit, it was kind of spooky. A reasonably friendly security cop guy mentioned there had been some looting, so hence the light and security detail...
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places -- and there are so many -- where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Howard Zinn, 1922-2010

http://axecop.com/ -- "a completely amazing comic strip written by a 5-year-old" (via http://twitter.com/SpindleyQ)
Sigh, snowflakes. I can't be the only one who gets lulled by the 50 degree weather into thinking "maybe winter's done early..."
Google how is twitter making money - two Wired articles, "Twitter to Get Down to Business in 2009" and "Twitter To Make Money In 2010"
Similes are like metaphors.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/bunch_of_phonies_mourn_j_d - the onion nails the death of J.D. Salinger.


Last week I saw a commercial that reminded me... I always kind of wanted to see a Monster Truck rally thing. It is a testament to Amber that she was willing to go along. (Actually she ended up kind of liking it as well.)

It was a small arena as these things go... so it was LOUD. People who knew what they were doing were packing earplugs. (It was a small arena, though also not such a packed house, not sure if today's show will have better attendance.)

Don't worry about avoiding temptation--as you grow older, it starts avoiding you.

Sucking it up and reading the damn XSL book. Man, structured data wonks are such lousy salesmen, it makes me argumentative and wanting to point out the straw men.
Mostly, it's the ivory tower negatavism about pragmatic technologies; I hate screeds that ignore positives or influencing factors of things they don't like.
All these tax prep software sellers "FREE! (Federal Edition)" - talk about giving away the razors (except for maybe those 8 states w/o tax)

new loveblender is here

from holiday photos day 2!


Sherlock Holmes: the rootin-tootinest episode of "Scooby Doo" set in Victorian England ever! (Not bad, actually, but unjelled in parts.)
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/12/07/mobius-bagel-interlo.html - MOBIUS STRIP BAGLE OMG (Catching up on like, a month of Boingboing)
Saw a guy playing a Hurdy-Gurdy at Harvard Square. Kind of like a mechanical stringed bagpipes - I thought it was just an adjective!

from holiday photos day 1!

Wow, that was a whole lot of Advent Calendering! I want to do a day or two of photos, mostly as a reminder of a kind of nifty (and photogenic!) Holiday Season I had to end the 00s... More tomorrow!
https://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=35555A783D7883AD - youtube videos HarveyJames likes. I liked the Nintendo "no disk inserted" animations.
Google Calendar Mobile seems to lack a "All Day Event" checkbox.Man, Google, why you gotta be like that?

from at the playground

So today I hung out with EB and EBB1. We went to the playground at Rockport Elementary School. Man, I have to say - playgrounds have gotten truly amazing.

from do two negatives make a positive?


I find it hard to be sympathetic toward beggars when they have smartphones, even if they are Blackberries.

Why did Dr. Manhattan cross the road?
It is May 18, 1979. I am crossing a road.

november loveblender

Defense has to be the best part of most sports. These guys can throw and catch in their sleep; how do you stop that?
Least favorite part about undefeated Colts; those guys don't even try for unbeaten seasons, so the Dolphins' achievement will go unchallenged.

from jackolanterning

On Sunday Sarah repeated her fine tradition of an afternoon of social pumpkin carving. (Photos from last year here)

http://www.slate.com/id/2232669/ - the pride and shame of coupon jujitsu
Boingboing PROTIP: construct date URLs ala http://boingboing.net/2009/10/26/ to catch up on articles with full previews...
Remove the rivets, the battle-cruisers disintegrate, and the water is calm once more.
Henri Michaux

Ever get that feeling like you've purposefully put something stressful out of your mind? But you force yourself to remember what it was-- like just in case it was important, and then it ends up being, yeah, something dumb and you shouldn't worry about it anyway. This is what happens when you have an associations-based memory and trace things back by the emotions they caused.
Don't make me come over there; because, you know, I will. Maybe not right this second, but eventually. Sometime really quite soon. Much sooner than you think though not exactly right now. You know, I've got things to do and stuff. But... I will
Dwayne Plain via cmg

I love how DBAs reflexively use powers-of-2 to size their table columns. Usually it doesn't matter - it's just voodoo / cargo cult thinking-

from photodrop


from photos from the grove and back again


My first crush on an Irish girl...I was ten years old, and her name was Elaine. Little red-haired girl; Well, she looked like you, But if you were ten, Which you're clearly not. Not that you look old, but you get my-- I'll just stop now.
Jason Robert Brown "I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You"

http://www.slate.com/id/2226697/ - analysis of "Black Bart Simpson" T-shirts and related merch. If in a hurry just check out http://community.livejournal.com/pacific_novelty/31181.html
Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.
Garrison Keillor (via)

Sometimes I really miss enforced naptime. Work is never like kindergarten in the good ways.

http://relaxationresponse.org/steps/ - I remember reading "The Relaxation Response" a long while ago at the recommendation of a college infirmary doctor. I was impressed that it seemed more concerned with helping people in a secular way than selling either a belief system or books. It somehow seems contradictory to say "I really should add a daily Todo app entry of 'medidate'" but I think I really should.
Finishing up a biography of Washington. His last act was to feel his own final pulse. As a society I think we've forgotten what a hero he was.
He then led his guests to the piazza facing the Potomac, where he paced back and forth and liked to talk about farming (plow designs, the dreaded Hessian fly, crop rotation schemes). He often enjoyed an after-dinner glass of Madeira, which he held casually with his arm draped over a chair while listening impassively to any political talk that he preferred to avoid. Awkward silences did not disturb him.
Joseph J. Ellis, "His Excellency, George Washington"

Are you ever tempted to look at the human form as something alien? Regard a face upsidedown, mouth moving in the forehead... or the odd columns of arms and legs.

from wedding and road

Yesterday Amber and I got to go to the wedding of Scott and Josúe! Yay Massachusetts!

from photos of the moment

The backyard of Amber's new digs is verdant:

I'm having to admit I have a hard time resisting making images of bugs and slimy things and creatures in general:

We went to see one of the last days of the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the ICA. Outside the main exhibit they had a nice stretch of white wall for me to use as a backdrop for pictures of Amber.

And, I am a dork.

The view opposite the white wall wasn't so bad either:

The following weekend we went to visit EB and his brood up in Rockport. You know, I didn't even quite realize that gulls HAD tongues before this:

And EBB1 is as charming as always

But her new sister is no stranger to being hypercute herself:

3 Cheers for Cheap Digital Cameras!
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/08/17/scary-psa-warns-agai.html - HORRIFYING PSA against driving+texting. Even more than the impact footage, the cool professionalism of the emergency workers freaks me out.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10309716-71.html?tag=rtcol;pop totally awful and lovely: probability theory in marriage strategy optimization
People who host a blankish page saying "This page is undergoing a major update. Please visit again soon" do not understand how people use the Internet very well.

from photowednesday


Geothermal energy projects cause earthquakes? - Yikes!
http://hothardware.com/Articles/Asus-Eee-PC-T91-SwivelScreen-Netbook-Review/ - Asus making tablet netbooks, nice - reviewer wishes screen was conductive, but resistive makes for such better doodling! Glad to see more options for my compulsive need to doodle in a techish way.

from old orchard beach

So yesterday I went up to Maine to visit with Jane who was "in town" (relative to Ann Arbor, at least) for he folks' 50th Anniversary. Eventually though we slipped away to Old Orchard beach and its pretty awesome Palace Playland...

When the light gets coherent, the coherent become lasers.

"It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down [and] plod along," Sarah Palin said Friday, in an attempt to suggest that serving her full term as governor would add to the nation's apathy. "That's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out." Sarah Palin is no quitter. That's why she's quitting.

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/07/03/compuserve-shuts-dow.html - RIP Compuserve- post-AOL it's easy to forget what a groundbreaker it was!
http://lookatthisfuckingtumblr.tumblr.com/ - SO MUCH META
In a flurry of flame and fur, fangs and wicker, thus ended the world's first and only hot air baboon ride.

http://cellar.org/iotd.php - my firework-over-kayak-bow photo was Cellar.org's Image of the Day.

from kayak and fireworks

(1 comment)
So finally, notes to my future self should I do this again: That was a nice time.
http://kirk.is/photos/misc/2009july4/ - full set of photos from the 4th Kayaking!
I always live by the motto don't do anything you'll have to explain to the paramedics.

http://c1.livejournal.com/216148.html - C1's coverage of the event

from wildlife on the patio at my mom's place: a bee, a squirrel, a slug, and another bee


The Buzz Boar is easily the most devastating weapon in the COBRA arsenal, if viewed from the perspective of a weary parks groundskeeper.

http://cmdrriker.tumblr.com/ - way too much Commander Riker

from things on and from the way to my mom's house in virginia

Went to my mom's place for a family reunion in Virginia.

from photo unload

You know, the other week I bought a replacement for my Canon, which about half of these are from. The new one is... well, sleeker, more megapixel than my old one (which was an experiment in going for a slightly larger form factor) but man, I'm a little bummed I didn't get much of that "hey new toy!" feel.
http://www.wired.com/wired/scenarios/ - heh, the hardcopy of "Wired predicting the future" at a time Windows 95 was buying all their adspace
You know, I wish they DID make "liquid courage" except it didn't make you drunk, just a bit braver.

from bee-peat -or- the bee's knees


--I know it's a repeat, and I know the focus wasn't perfect, but I wanted to give a better sense of this zoom effect... and even this is 50% shrunk.

Here is the full image in its 8 Megapixel glory.

Rushhour Construction on Route 9 Westbound - because one lane should be enough for anyone.
A Java project with javadoc painted as "Documentation" and not just "reference" is hopeless. JAVADOC HAS NO PEDAGOGICAL STRUCTURE PEOPLE!
Looking forward to the Star Trek film tonight, got some great press, but just to be a dork I am wearing a Chewbacca "Chewie" retro T.
http://www.slate.com/id/2217905/ -minor movie spoiler, but a retrospective on when 'Trek had a really thoughtful study in the use of torture

from "somewhere, andover the rainbow"


--It was a great time for rainbows in New England last evening.

A buddy of mine (I'm applying at his company actually) kayaked into work today. That is just plain cool.
The trouble with being neurotic/paranoid "maybe they're talking about me" is that every once in a while you're right... intermittent reinforcement FAIL
"So you want to save the Earth,for YOUR KIDS"
"Isn't that what's really important?"
"Not to the Earth."

from we made peeps!

(1 comment)
Happy Easter!

For Easter/Passover/Whatever frickin' Pagan spring thing it is, Rebekah and Kate organized a makening of tasty homemade sweets.

from the image of january


KHAAAAAAAAN! ... Khan? ...khan.
Big Comedy from the accidental (but benign) "Reply to All", the "I think I got this accidentally", the "Please stop cc'ing all", the "OK"...
Today I got two "help wanted" type emails for techies, though that reminds me that before the holidays, there was more of a steady stream.
New Yorker article on the "Eureka" effect. Feynman like to ponder at topless bars?? Twitter helps me capture my own transient thoughts--FWIW
Concentration, it seems, comes with the hidden cost of diminished creativity.
Jonah Lehrer.
Implications for geeks? Or dot com playrooms?

from prelude to 2009

Hey Happy New Year!

Man, was it brutal out there last night! The cold, the snow, the bitter wind...

There were a small group of anti-Israel protesters at Copley Square in the afternoon:

After some other plans seemed a bit foolhardy, given the weather and traffic, JZ invited me along with him and his girlfriend up to her work, a penthouse office overlooking Boston Common to see the fireworks...

What a view! So odd being at about the same height as the action.

Finally, I just can't resist the allure of novelty glasses, especially since this is the last year they can use the general design (at least not 'til 3000 or so.)

Whatever happens to robot fighting and junkyard wars type shows?
I realized my day is better when I know what I want from it
Green Mountain Coffee Ad.
Such an anti-zen thought - enjoy what IS
At least the New Year snow is still light and fluffy, easy to shovel. Note to future self: seems like the left side of street has it easier.

from photos of the season


Ha, Pats ahead 13-0, Cassell just punted on 3rd down and pinned the Bills at like the 2 yard line.

from why don't you make like a tree and pine?

This morning went out to a pick your own Christmas Tree place, Oaknoll Farm. I guess these things aren't generally "cut your own" (liability being what it is, I imagine) but Emil, the proprietor, was good company and very patient with EB and co.'s selection process.

from attitudinous of gratitudinous

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all! Take stock of all you have to be grateful, even in, or especially in, these frightening times.

Photos of the Moment

The pub at the end of my street, Flann's, has guitar and drumhead both signed by the members of U2. Bono signs his name and writes the year.
For what turned into a 2-day week, today feels a hell of a lot like a Friday.
#mumbai -- http://tinyurl.com/5kleyu : "Eleven of our policemen laid down their lives, including five good officers" -- ??
Youtube: pretending you are fundamentally widescreen and using side letterbox bars 95% all the time is actually pretty lame.
Today I mildly impressed a Finn with my knowledge of Joulupukki.
In XP, I love scroll-button-click to open in new tab, HATE that weird scrolling gizmo thing... anyway to disable it?
The Little Mermaid music number in the Macy's parade has the performers in Heelies... kind of near how they can step and glide.
Wow, Macy's parade rickrolls America, sweet. But he needed to dance more.
Mom says my grandmother would punish her and my aunt by giving up not smoking. Passive aggresivness parlayed into a martial art!

from pumpkin pimpin'

So Obama spent $3-$4 million on that infomercial... to me that seems pretty cheap, able to create such a media event at the price of, say, 30-50 good urban annual salaries. (Not to mention, a tiny fraction of the bailouts we're all going to be a part of.) Which tells me, I have a very poor intuition about high finance. How does any company manage to employ anybody? I just can't grasp the scale involved -- even a figure as "humble" as the population of the USA -- 300 million and change -- is really beyond my ken. (Ever see that book with a thousand pages of a thousand dots, with certain milestone dots labeled, ala Guinness book of world records?)

Photos of the Moment

Politics of the Moment
Slate was writing about both campaigns lawyering up and mentioned the "Brooks Brother Riot... I hadn't heard much about these wacky out of town Republicans that effectively managed to shout out the Miami-Dade recount in 2000 which in turn gave rise to the SCotUS stopping all recounts. Scary how much our republic was changed by this pitch fork and torches style management! (Like Marge Simspon says: "I guess one person can make a difference. But most of the time, they probably shouldn't.")

Obama's infomercial was $3-$4million. Doesn't seem like all that much, like vs. real estate, and to get to talk to everyone nationwide...
Brazilian coworker mentioned that they'll say "he eats like an ostrich" to mean "he'll eat anything, indiscriminately". Interesting ref.
Also: Brazilians don't have iced coffee.

from costumes through my ages

Happy Halloween!

I was pleased enough with the way my costume came together (suggested by EBSO at a Red Sox game) that I thought I'd try to dig up my best previous costumes...
Maybe the worst part of my costume is wearing sweatpants out in the world, that whole "I give up" feeling
I realize that I have a playlist ("psyched") where the central motif is "could be danced to by Jay in Clerks": http://tinyurl.com/jayclrk
Just read "A Clockwork Orange"- was nervous about the madeup lingo, but it was fun parsing in context, and catchy. Great Bolshy Yarblockos!

from focus

(1 comment)
btw, what's up with this whole bloomberg/city council thing? "hey guys, what do you say we let ourselves run for a 3rd term?" "OK!"
I feel a Jack-O-Lantern should use a pumpkin AS a head... when it is used as a general carving canvas, some kind of magic is lost.

from oktoberfest


<<the best thing you've ever done for me / is to help me take my life less seriously / it's only life after all>>
I got your four finger gesture right here, Steve Jobs!
SO ANGRY because of loops other coders go to do automagic form to model mapping. Screw that! "model.foo = formelem.val" ain't that hard!
"Eternal Sunshine" collectors edition box is oddly selfpromoting, embossed msgs like "Dazzling", "Profound", "Timeless"-for academy voters?
"let's hear it for the boy", modernized, would replace "watches every dime" with "is up to hid eyeballs in credit card debt"

from night and office photos


Using stress of Wall Street Splodin' to excuse blowing off my ToDo list utterly. Damn, Eagles/Cowboys is some good high scoring football.
(I use 'having been in marching band' as an excuse for putting football games on. Fewer drumlines than then, but more couch and less tuba.)
Career Idea: Odor Detective. Someone with a good nose and/or directional-sensing hardware to track down the most mysterious smells...
cmgaglione fair enough; but just to get you to roll your eyes, check out the Minsky quote at http://kisrael.com/2001/06/23/
TJ's ginger chews, (hansen's awesome) ginger ale, ginger with sushi... ginger ginger ginger!!
My aunt digs the slots-- she got a PC sim of one. Very amused to see she'll let it play itself... "hey I'm a gambler who gets bored easily."

from photobreak day 2

One more day of photos:
After coming up with the "The Dude a-Bidens" as gtalk status, I realize I really need to see the "The Big Lebowski" again, and soon.
Bummed and bugged at how my current amigos have so little human empathy for certain of my former romantic interests.
I can't think of a single person I hate.

from photobreak day 1

Time for photos!
A bit of wisdom my mom picked up in NYC, echoed today at New Brothers Deli in Danvers: Greeks really know how to run a good restaurant.
The Team USA "Redeem Team": because "hadn't won a gold medal 'since 2000'" sounded so much more harsh than 'since the time before last'

from sparkly beige finance

Alright, time to gripe.

Both my credit card company and my bank have decided to send me new cards. Neither for any reason that has much to do with me, like an expiration date or other problem, just because. And here are those two cards:

Man, I was using the wrong card at the wrong time when one was blue and the other tan, now that it's all a world of sparkly beige, I'm hosed. ("Plus th'both of 'em got squares fer numbers! Hyuck!")

Since that was something gripey and dull, here's something better:

Actually, it wasn't that much better at that.

Quote of the Moment
Oh I see how it is, so chicks dig scars when they are caused by motorcycle accidents, but my circumcision is somehow less impressive?

on the T right now I am flanked by guys fiddling with iPhones. so I of course had to break mine out and twitter it.
pentomino mostly I was just enjoying giggling at being such a tool, but I'll park my scion by other scions. I like to think they like it.
Comcast sucks at dealing with people moving out. Oh wait--I could've stopped at "Comcast sucks".
Complentary colors, harmonic chords; the appeal of both explained by Hawkin's neocortex idea, just rhythms that nestle in juxtaposition?
Bargain or weird milestone? Prudential's Talbot's is closing with 75% off and I just voluntarily bought a sweater for the first time ever.

from skimboarding


Gladys Knight... 5 singers, guitar, bass, keybordist, pianist/conductor, 2 percussionists... hot show, hardly miss the pips..
Before my Aunt and Mom and I got into Dr. Mario, I didn't realize there was such a thing as passive aggressive trash talk.
Hee, old computer at the vacation house - how long had it been since I heard that grunt of a floppy drive being checked for a boot disk

from photo time!

Man this site has had a lot of talking as of late. Lets get some pictures!
Dig neuroscience books-fun to think about thinking, and if my brainwork is on the unusual side, or if my mental life is par for the course
katwinx "bring out the gimp! ... so we can show him this property's lovely, lovely floor coverings."
consciousness is like eyesight. peripheral vision is supper-blurry but we don't notice 'cause everywhere we look is in focus.

from new camera time!

(1 comment)

from yet another boston sports victory parade

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a parade.

Quote of the Moment
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut

A popular theme of bathroom decoration is- bathrooms?? Kind of like halloween costumes with the character's head emblazoned on the chest.
hey you know who won the NBA championship? THE CELTICS and why did they? 'CAUSE BOSTON -AND MAYBE ME PERSONALLY- IS AWESOME

from there be dragons

So Miller, my former housemate, is looking for a new housemate. $500+utils gets you a good sized bedroom (the other rooms are furnished already for the most part) and offstreet parking in a great neighborhood, Arlington Center (Starbucks and a bookstore down the street, a ton of fantastic restaurants on the block, within shouting distance of Spy Pond and the Minute Man Bike Trail) which is also pretty damn near Cambridge/Somerville etc.

Camera Gimmickry of the Moment
It's surprising what goofy digital fun you can have even without photoshop, with some of the color modes of a Canon point and shoot...
Color Accent. You know, I was kind of poo-pooing black and white digital photography, since I know b+w film has better dynamic properties than color film, but I figured b+w photos are just the color version minus the color information. But this photo I took in that portrait class makes me reconsider; maybe some of the appeal of black and white is letting the eye see the subject differently, free to examine texture and light and shadow without the "distraction" of color.

Color Swap. JZ getting ready for his Blue Man Group audition. Or maybe he just really likes the smurfs.

Quote of the Moment
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
G. K. Chesterton

Chewing gum on the sidewalk should be a jailable offense. Singapore went too far with an outright ban, but I say Bring On The Canes-- grrr.
yow, just carried $310 worth of coins to coinstar... no fee amazon gifts certs ahoy!
The corner packie (booze store, for you non-NEers) sells individual ping pong balls -- must be for your beerpong playing convenience!

from the tragedy of the three day weekend

(1 comment)
Three day weekends are so funny.

Monday is all like "wow... I should be at work! Woo!"

Then Tuesday arrives, and it wants to be like a Sunday. But it's not. Back to the grindstone.

At least you have the comfort of a four day work week.

Photos of the Week Or So

3 day weekend paradox: monday: "ha ha i'm not in work, wow!" tuesday: "damn it it feels like sunday". at least it's just a 4 day week.

from scrape

Busy in Rockport. Luckily I have noise canceling headphones if I need to do any of the dreaded scraping of paint, so I should feel less like I'm having steel wool dragged across my spinal column.

Photos of the Moment
Today's theme, random things around Boston.

from pap, smeared.

(1 comment)
Wow, twice in a row now Pap has let the Red Sox down in the 9th. (Though the Sox are keeping up their proud tradition of leaving legends of men on base.) Maybe I'm jinxing him by tuning on the radio in the eighth as I get ready to turn in!

Apologies for the crudeness of today's title. You know, it's funny how every once in a while I still think "Wow, I can't believe the Pats won every game and then lost the Super Bowl." (Makes me think of that "BeliCHOKE!" headline idea I had, along with a thousand other football fans.)

So ummm... Go Celtics!

Photos of the Moment

from riveting!

Yesterday EB observed that the local Thai place (Sweet Chile) had not just "Crazy Chicken" but "Excited Chicken".

This got the two of us and MrsEB wondering about a restaurant that featured dishes named after emotional states: Complacent Potatoes, Smug Steak, Serious Sprouts. MrsEB thought it should be Curious Cupcakes, though I thought it would be a better name for Curry, and of course the inevitable "Bi-Curry-Us" was thought of by both me and EB ("Curry Us" wouldn't be a bad name for a curry shop actually.)

So we came up with more, Angry Lobster, Angsty Noodles, etc etc.

Anyone else got some ideas?

Photos of the Moment

Quote of the Moment
There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again.
Clint Eastwood

from manholespotting

Ugh, break-up today.

My fault.

Sigh, like Milan Kundera wrote "We never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."

Japan of the Moment
So one odd series of photograph I took in Japan were manhole covers. Not every one I saw, but I saw a few that caught my eye, either because of design, or with a splash of cover, or because the hole was in grass instead of asphault, etc...

That last one probably is the one that got me noticing them on one of the first days, but I didn't think to photograph it 'til the end.

from turkey day photo roundup

(1 comment)

from manny being reasonable

So, with the Red Sox in a do-or-die Game 5 (and, if it comes to that, 6 and 7), Manny came up with this gem:
Why panic? If we don't do it, we'll come back next year and try again ... If it doesn't happen, who cares? There's always next year. It's not the end of the world.
I guess a lot of fans are irritated with that kind of thinking, but to me it seems kind of sane. Stressing out isn't always the best strategy for winning, some say it was being in a hopeless situation in 2004 against the Yankees that let them relax and just play ball. (And "wait 'til next year" doesn't have quite the sting that it used to, though it's a bit odd to say that before the day is lost.)

The big problem is this team is less clutch than a '78 Gremlin. They've left more men on base than...err...an army general...whose wife had an affair with a sergeant...and so he canceled all the weekend leaves...

Damn, metaphor mojo weak today. Wait, is "more X than a Y" a metaphor? Stupid parts of speech.

Personal News of the Moment
Boston.com coverage of My company Enpocket being acquired by Nokia. I've been meeting quite a few Finns.

Photos of the Moment
More stuff for my Photo Composition class-- focusing on shape in particular:

from may fuel of psychotic intensity

Announcement: I will never be able to spell "seperately" correctly on the first try. The problem may be phonetic.

That is all.

Inexplicable Objects of the Moment

Hmm. When did fire alarms start spouting sideburns? Oh, and: ewww. (Taken in the Arlington Street Station hallway.)

USE THIS PRODUCT MAY MAKE ENGLISH NOT TO SO GOOD! (Taken at the South End 7-11 magazine rack.)

Music of the Moment
All of the Beatles' LPs condensed into an hour of extremely weird and fast music.

from size matters

For my photo composition class, I got 8.5x11 prints made, $2.50 a shot at the print shop in my office building.

New rule of thumb: big prints make any photo look a bit artsier.

Snapshots of the Moment

from ridin' the (commuter) rails

Written on the commuter rail last night:
Riding the commuter rail up to Rockport, listening to Paul Simon on my iPhone, my eyes dilated from the eye doctors. The iPhone is pretty good in these situations, its zoom feature means you can make text big to a silly degree.

You know, that's one of the things I miss about my old palm journal, random little "What I'm doing now", slice of life vignettes.

The landscape outside the window looks dark and threatening, storm coming on, but maybe its the sunglasses I'm wearing to protect my poor dilated pupils, or maybe the windows are tinted. Funny not to know.

It feels weirdly adventurous to take the commuter rail, maybe because I've probably ridden more trains in foreign countries...

Photography of the Moment

from no man is an island

So, hot weekend in Rockport, and on Saturday Evil B and I knocked off early and headed to the beach (along with wife and child (not that you'd know from these photos)).

It was a lot of fun. Clambering up the big stones of the wall made it an interesting physical challenge. Especially because those rocks were sharp. Unlike the guys climbing them, perhaps.

from this july in photographs


from vacation scratchlog flush #5

Possibly more than you wanted to know about Boston Bike Messengers. They say it's all about sex.
Decent optical illusion video. (I recommend hitting youtube's full screen video button.) I've seen most of these before. It's kind of funny that there are two new trends in optical illusions I don't remember seeing: careful use of color to create a sense of movement in a static imagery, and then a variation on the old after image trick (stare at this, and then look at a blank surface) where you look at colors that are already a bit like an afterimage, and the brain edits them out. A few weeks ago after posting that spinning female optical illusion I got a link from the guy who runs Mighty Optical Illusions. Seems like a very worthwhile stop if you dig that kind of thing.
Similar to that previous guy who put a digital camera on his cat, this is a camera peeking out of the box its being shipped in. Weirdly voyeuristic, in a business-world kind of way.
Some final pre-Chicago photos:

davis square twilight, 2007.06.28

airport t stop hydrant

from moderately well

Really odd detail in a dream, apparently I was given the superpower of performing any normal human skill but only "moderately well". So I could, say, speak a bit of Chinese, but not, say, fly.

It wasn't quite clear if these skills came at the cost of the things I feel I actually do well, if programming "moderately well" would override my hard-won Java mojo.

Chicago Photos of the Moment

Today's theme: color.

from the shapes of chicago


under a bridge near navy pier

blue line train car

ferris wheel on navy pier

view from the ferris wheel on navy pier

from @ boston public garden


from it only thinks it's happening.

(1 comment)
My company has a "Beer O'Clock" tradition of having some booze at 4PM on Friday. Somehow yesterday it got joined with a "Whisky-Thirty" supplement to toast some birthdays.

That was good.

Images of the Moment

Quote of the Moment
Oh man, this isn't happening. It only thinks it's happening.
Saying "it only thinks" is more clever than I remember it being; I never noticed the kind of sly nod to Descartes in that before.

from coffee power

(1 comment)
So Overheard in New York had this exchange:
Barista: Would you like to try a cappuccino muffin?
Customer: No, thanks. I don't want to start my appetite yet.
--Starbucks, 45th & Broadway
I didn't think that was funny, because I could totally relate... you can get by with just coffee in the morning, and oddly if you eat something you might still be ready for lunch at about the same time, or even earlier.


Photo Work of the Moment
So the other day we were walking, and I snapped one of those typical shots of the church and the Hancock at Copley, a little cooler than average because of the reflection of the clouds:
I then remembered FoSO borrowing my Kodak DC-20 (arguably the "Brownie" of the Web's toddler years) back in the day and taking a series of photos from her office building, which I then stitched into a collage:

click for fullsize
Funny to realize that this image is over ten years old, which means A. I've been doing digital photos for a while now, and B. I've been in Boston for a long time, and so finally may be feeling a bit more rooted. Oh, and, C. DC-20 images really haven't aged so well. It was a nifty minimalist camera back in the day, but...

Passage of the Moment
Tim Crane thus describes the basic two requirements for an emergentist position as 'dependence' and 'distinctness': 'mental properties are distinct from physical properties'. That some kind of dependence relationship exists seems hard to deny: destroy enough molecules within a cell and you no longer have a cell; kill enough cells in an organ and the organ ceases to function; watch your discussion partner ingest enough alcohol and his sentences will cease to be coherent.
Phillip Clayton, "Mind & Emergence".
Admittedly not the funniest... I guess it caught my fancy because of its resemblance to this Monty Python bit, (though less racist and sexually explicit) in a fairly serious and dense tome.

Passing of the Moment
Oh, huh... BC-Creator Johnny Hart died. It's weird seeing his early stuff when he was a bit cutting edge, and not just in the weird "Fundamentalist Wacko" way.

from flutter-by

Ahh, my last day of self-indulgent non-workday before returning to my role as dutiful office denizen.

And set myself for some bigtime indulgence I have, with the purchase of an Xbox 360 as an early birthday/lets get it while I still have a smidgin of vacation left gift to myself. I generally don't get a new system until I see something of a personal "killer app" for it. This system it happened to be the game "Crackdown", which I hoped would be a blend of GTA, Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and Mercenaries. So far it's mostly like Mercenaries, but it's decent fun, and there are some upcoming titles that probably would have convinced me to buy the system anyway. The Xbox 360 isn't cheap, but probably fits within the price differential of what I could have spent on vacation, and what I actually did. No wonder the travel industry is so big; people can drop so much on a trip without even thinking about it.

Of course, a vacation gets me out of the house, into some warmer climes, lets me catch up with distant friends, and provides many interesting photo-ops and chances to catch up on my reading, while a video game system is an enabler of cocooning. Which might be reasonable as I finish up recovering from such a big cold.

Looking back on the past 8 weeks, I'd have to admit I did not get my personal project mojo working the way I had hoped. I don't think I was quite orderly enough about it. I did a number of small projects, but mostly ones that entered my head on a given day, and not off of "the list".

Floria Photos of the Moment
So on my final day there Felisdemens and I snuck in a trip to Butterfly World! (It was either that or, I kid you not, a trip to the firing range, which is something I've always wanted to try.)

from alas, poor coconut

Florida Photos of the Moment
This Florida trip included my first ever visit to a ren-fair, where people get dressed up all Old-Tymey. (Tangential link: Chaucer's Pickup lines: "Art thou a disastrous poll tax? Bycause I feele a risynge comynge on.")

Quote of the Moment
The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.
HG Wells. (Yes, I know it's lame to be cribbing from qotd...)

from politicks

(1 comment)
Do you think politicians ever change each other's mind, like with debate on the house floor? Does a convincing argument even matter at determining the outcome of votes, or is the real action in all the party-wrangling and poll analysis and the arguments are just good for sound clips on the evening news?

Link of the Moment
Potentially useful link: GetHuman.com... how to talk to a real live person as quickly as possible, for a big array of companies. (via Sarah, who wishes Dylan was on that list.)

Vacation Photos of the Moment
So on my first day in Florida, Felisdemens and I went to The Morikami museum and gardens.

from by the wyland whaling wall


from quit bugging me

In a recent Tuesday Morning Quarterback Easterbrook mentions "The Progress Paradox" (Hmm, I might have to read his book on the subject.) In TMQ he writes
Kahneman, Krueger and their collaborators also offer a vital insight -- that happiness comes from choosing time over money, but most Americans choose money over time. "Leisure is better for happiness than increased income," they argue, supposing that time spent in travel, having new experiences, relaxing, hiking, reading, or simply looking up at the stars is more important to our sense of well-being than a new car or impressive house. Unless you are in a bad financial situation, Kahneman and Krueger recommend you spend less time working, accept somewhat lower income, and use your freed hours to experience life.
Man I wish I was better at living that! I guess there are two things drawing me back from trying to coast on savings: health insurance and vague fears about retirement. Of course, I'm way overdue for bucking up and figuring out my 401Ks situation once and for all. But man, I so wish the Clintons Single Payer Healthcare idea had made it in the 90s. Rent and food, I can budget for that, but it always feels like healthcare has this risk for becoming an unlimited and vast expense at any moment, even though it probably won't.

I was talking to a Candian Ex-Pat He considers Canada's healthcare to be, and I quote, "best in the world". Which doesn't jive with how it's sometimes painted here.

Photos of the Moment
Another bug at work... bigger than the last one I took photos of but mercifully on the other side of the window. A bit backlit, but I kind of like the parking lot behind:

from a dead whale or a stove boat! or, um, neither.

Ksenia's friend Alla is in town, and we decided to go on a Whale Watch cruise and hit the aquarium...

Link of the Moment
Via Bill the Splut, it's Bad Congressional Hair.

Quote of the Moment
The Bay Area is the cradle of the computer and software industry, which continues to create jobs for our children. The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco. There may be a reason for this. Creative people thrive in a climate of openness and tolerance, since some great ideas start out sounding ridiculous.
Garrison Keillor
He's discussing the Republicans rush fearmongering about Nancy Pelosi "a woman from SAN FRANCISCO" as Speaker of the House, which he feels is an irritating viewpoint, especially from a party that seems to have lost its ideas of fiscal responsibility and general simple conservatism.

The idea of the association between high intellectual and economic activity in a region and a thriving gay population harkens back to that one study I kisrael'd a while back.

from the schooner fame

So for our 2-year date-a-versary Ksenia and I went on the Schooner "Fame", which, oddly, was immediately below my room's window at Taxware, since it launches from Pickering Wharf in Salem,but I never took advantage of it. We'd strongly recommend this trip over the regular Boston cruises... Salem is in many ways friendlier and more interesting than that part of Boston, there's something lovely about moving by windpower alone, and overall the operation is a very...well, if not "family" affair, it's a small, tight-knit-but-friendly group making up its crew. It was built 3 years ago as the reconstruction of an old privateer vessel. (Privateering is interesting... I had kind of forgotten it was essentially government-authorized piracy.)

Indecent Proposal of the Moment
As if people in a "blue state" state of mind didn't have enough reason to dislike the red... according to CNN and businesswire, comedia Jeff Foxworthy is... well, let me quote:
In celebration of Jeff Foxworthy's "new baby," his new CMT sketch comedy television show FOXWORTHY'S BIG NIGHT OUT, CMT is awarding $50,000 for a BIG NIGHT OUT to the mother of the first baby born in America during the premiere of the show at 8:30 pm ET(a) on Friday, September 1, 2006. As part of FOXWORTHY'S BIG NIGHT OUT on CMT Baby Bounty cash giveaway, CMT will also award an additional $55,000 -- $5,000 each week -- to the mother of the first baby born in America during the premiere of the 11 subsequent new episodes of FOXWORTHY'S BIG NIGHT OUT airing Fridays at 8:30 pm ET(a) on CMT.
This mix of good-old-boy "wouldn't it be funny if..." jocularity, shameless huxturism, medically poor ideas, and desperation of the people who might really struggle to hit the deadline (or, almost as bad, couples who aim for the deadline 'all in fun') is mind-blowing.

Are their doctors willing to go along with this? Could this be a new medical specialty, on-demand baby delivery? Ugh.

from the new beetle

So, yesterday I noticed an attractive beetle crawling on the window ledge at work:

click for full 600x600

I checked, and lo and behond, my Canon SD400 has a nifty "Digital Macro" feature. Once I learned to stop messing it up with additional zoom, I managed to get some decent shots. The focus isn't perfect for all of the image, but with these 2 shots (Both are heavily cropped) I managed to get the important detail.

click for full 1600x1200

The second one is resized to make good wallpaper, and both of these images have been added to my desktop wallpaper page. I think it's worth clicking to see the full version of both.

Hedbergism of the Moment
I was in a casino, minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move. You're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. Unless you are a table.

Essay and Jokes of the Moment
A longish but worthwhile essay on the jokes people in communist countries told. I remember one that I think Lena told me in college:
Stalin was walking through the park eating caviar on a bulky roll. An old frail hungry woman comes up to him "Please, Mr. Chairman, " she begins, "may I have a bit of your sandwich?" "No, get away from me, you stupid woman!"

The woman returns to her friends and tells them what happened. "Oh, I'm so happy!" she says. "Why?" they ask, "he was totally rude to you!" "But... he could have had me killed!"
For some reason it's the detail of caviar on a bulky roll that makes me remember that one. Ksenia told me another joke:
A woman sees a starving woman and her son near a zoo. She takes pity on them and gives the boy the apple that she had with her. The mother prompts her son, "well, what do you say?" The boy looks down at the apple, looks up, looks down and says "Hello, Apple!"
I posted a version of that joke in the comments to help explain my Hello, Money! greeting of newborn cash from the ATM, but I left out the poverty aspect, which, after reading the article, I realize is what made it a political joke rather than just a bit of absurd humor.

News Event of a Past Moment
Color me parochial but I don't think it sunk in that Mumbai is what used to be called Bombay.

from pluck your magic twanger, froggy (?)

Saturday evening, after hanging out at my family's annual reuinon, I hightailed it to Cape Code where Ksenia's family was nearing the end of their annual "rent a campsite in Nickerson State Park". Sunday we went to the nearby ocean beach, and then later to the even closer pond. But at the beach, I traced a big Alien Bill in the sand:

It makes me realize I don't do a lot of artwork at that scale. (Though I suppose with a laptop and a videoprojector...)

That's Ksenia's brother Nick in the corner. Actually the Alien Bill might have been inspired by him writing "Megaman" in the sand. Writing "Megaman" wasn't too surprising, the kid is a big fan. Writing "by Capcom" was a little bit more surprising, but that surprise was then trumped by him including "(TM)" after the name Megaman. What a deep respect for Intellectual Property law at a tender age!

Here's a small, lily-pad laden pond next to the larger swimming pond:

By the way, what pondish creature makes a "twang" noise at night, like a banjo being plucked? Was that the frogs?

Hedbergism of the Moment
I have an oscillating fan at home; it looks like it's saying 'Noo...' so I like to ask it questions that a fan would say 'no' to. "Do you keep my hair in place?" "Do you keep my documents in order?" "Do you have three settings?" Liar! My fan fuckin' lied to me! Now I will pull the pin up. Now you ain't sayin' shit!"

Video of the Moment
You can watch the headbutt that may have cost France the World Cup... it seems pretty random and aggressive.

from kayakkity-yak

Yesterday, on a whim, Ksenia and I decided to celebrate the fourth by renting a kayak and paddling down to see the Boston fireworks.

I learned a few things. Anyway, a few images:
Nostalgia of the Moment
Speaking of Dylan and Sarah (as EB was in the sidebar) I dug up pictures from July 26, 1998 when I went kayaking on the Charles with them and their friend Mandy.
Two points: I think it is a even more fun to have a definite goal such as as "seeing fireworks" than just "paddling around for a bit", and man... in 1998 I had a craptacular digital camera. That last picture of Sarah was ok though.

Link of the Moment
Fun Facts about Springfield's Fireworks. It was my first clue about the names for the various types, which the wikipedia page now covers in greater detail, from Peonies to Cakes and including my favorites, Salutes... just a big sound and a big noise. (Heh, that first link was probably in my backlog since before I knew much about wikipedia.)

from remember, kids, it's all thanks to *science*!

So the other day I decided to go catch the Boston Museum of Science Star Wars exhibit before it headed out of town, pay a bit of homage to the Trilogy that still has such a visceral grasp on my imagination, with Ksenia in tow.

from had had had had

Puncuation Fun of the Moment
Puncuate the following so that it makes sense...if you give up, hit Ctrl-A or highlight the text (with its ten HADs) and reveal the puncuation:


My coworker Tim showed that to me yesterday, I HADn't seen it before.

Kittens of the Moment
Ksenia's family is catsitting Mia, a mamacat who just had herself a batch of kittens...last night FoSO, FoSOSO, Ksenia and I headed over for some kitten therapy. I was going to dole the photos out one per day but Ksenia accused me of being too stingy, so here you go all at once...

from nyc: blue eight

Back from NYC. Seeing those two towers reflected in the "Millenium Hilton" when your back is to the WTC site are a little unnerving, at least for a moment. The Guggenheim wasn't quite so blue as the other subjects, but it's always fun to photograph. The eight is there because I admired the craftsmanship, and then I could make it look like eight blue photos is what I was aiming for all along.

Other trip highlights were a terrific cheap Russian place in Brooklyn, just outside the Hassidic Jewish neighborhood our hotel was in, a Klee exhibit at "The Neue Galerie", hanging around where the St. Patricks Day parade was coming to a stop (always fun to see bands and groups coming undone, relaxing and grateful to be finished), Times Square, seeing "The Producers", and meeting up with Tony from Tufts.

from orange you glad i didn't say banana


from yippy ki yay

I ended up having fewer interesting photos from Texas than I expected.

Here's one oddity....the room had a note waiting for me that said, in part:
Please let us know what you think of our new bedding package. At this time, we are still waiting on two items that will complete this initiative; bed skirts and bed scarves. We have been waiting on these items for the last several weeks and could not, in good conscience, wait any longer to let you feel the new bedding.
What amuses me is the "in good conscience" bit. I never thought bedding would carry such a moral imperative... Here's a photo of the bed once they got to adding the "bed scarf":

I have to admit, the scarf didn't seem that great to me. It was there just for my final night, and actually had fallen on the floor by the next morning. The rest of the bedding was excellent, and I don't see that a decorative scratchy throw adds to it that much.

Anyway...one other bit of Texas ephemera...

Beek jerky in convenient (?) "chewing tobacco" shredded form. Pretty gross. It was pretty finely shredded, I was expecting something more like "big league chew".

So, the only shots I really like are of these flocks of birds in Addison...

Umm, don't park your car under the trees in that area. But full size versions of the images are on my desktop backgrounds page.

Finally, the ugliest self-portrait I've ever taken...


from end of year / new camera photo blowout

Not too long ago I made my holiday gift for myself a Canon SD450...I shouldn't have waited for so long, it's a big improvement from the S200 I've been using... most notably, response time is much better. It has like twice the resolution, though that seems mostly useful for taking up more diskspace and making my image editing programs rather sluggish...it's also smaller, with a friendlier UI, but the same physical interface Ive grown used to.

Anyway on with the photos...

from people place things

(1 comment)
photobook iii: people, places, things.
















I finally finished photobook iii and added it to my photobook page. It's divided by theme: 8 galleries of people, 4 of places, 4 of things. I aimed to be more selective than a "typical" photo albums, mostly focusing on photos that are visually interesting, with only a smallish percentage of ones in there just for nostalgiac purposes. Let me know which ones you think are good! It's been too quiet around here lately.

Funny of the Moment
Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---

(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)

Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?

(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)


Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap. Certainly, all the evidence points to the hypothesis I broke your kneecap. For example, your kneecap is broken; it appears to be a fresh wound; and I am holding a baseball bat, which is spattered with your blood. However, a mere preponderance of evidence doesn't mean anything. Perhaps your kneecap was designed that way. Certainly, there are some features of the current situation that are inexplicable according to the "naturalistic" explanation you have just advanced, such as the exact contours of the excruciating pain that you are experiencing right now.

Intelligent Design advocate: AAAAH! THE PAIN!

The Abstract Factory...it goes on for another 4 or 5 exchanges. Funny stuff, nice to envision the scientist finally getting fed up with playing nice and by the rules with people who clearly have their own agendas they're trying to jam down people's throat the back way. At the risk of mixing a metaphor or two. (Thanks morecake!)

Passing of the Moment
Oh...and of course, RIP Rosa Parks.

You know, seperate "white" and "black" sections were bad enough...having the "white" section in the front and the "black" section in back was horrendous. But worse than those, it's not like they were even differentiated...when the white section "needed" to grow, the black section had to shrink. That's just horrendous in at least 8 different ways.

from sky, tree, stones, water


Three photos from three consecutive Augusts, added to my desktop wallpaper page. The water one is probably the best background... nice how it made kind of a squared off Yin/Yang.

Sports Note of the Moment
Not that I have a dog in this fight, but the injustice of a blown call in Game 2 of the World Series rankles me to no end. It just ain't right. The Umpire said it hit the guy, not the bat, every bit of replay showed he was dead wrong, but still, there was no recourse.

I hate trivial injustices almost as much as the big ones.

from the light at the lynn shore


from six ways of looking at a snail

I was having connectivity issues at home...almost worried about getting out a kisrael today! Not that this week has been so hot anyway.

Interesting party last night, my upstairs neighbor had a "roof" party, they set up a video projector and sheet (which had little flowers on it, amusingly enough) on the roof. No railings up there or anything, so it has that electricity of risk. I think I've heard that my grandfather had a weird kind of vertigo where he would be drawn to jumping in that kind of situation. I'm free of that feeling, but still, it's cool peering over the edge.

Six Slug Shots

from hunt hunt gather gather


from joisey shore and alewife

Photos of the Moment

from chicago photos - random

Some very random photos from a recent trip to Chicago:

from chicago photos - night

Some evening and night photos from a recent trip to Chicago:

View from the Sears Tower at Twilight:
(great time to go, the lights come on
but it's not too dark to see the detail.)

Not sure what building this is, near the Sears Tower:

Navy Pier on a Foggy Night:

from chicago photos - portraits

(1 comment)
Flash Toy of the Moment
Yesterday boingboing posted a link to what might be the freakiest flash animation ever...a ragdoll woman manuequin falling through and sliding over an infinite amount of spheres. (You can grab the figure with the mouse and help her if she gets caught in a dead end.) EERIE.

Photos of the Moment
A few portraits of sorts taken during a recent trip to Chicago:

At the Häagen-Dazs at Navy Pier:

Afterwards, tired while walking around downtown searching for the Blue Line:(yet another "reflection")

from chicago photos - reflections

(1 comment)
With uncertain web access this weekend, I thought I'd highlight some photos from Chicago for the next four days. Or you can just see all of the photos in three sets. UPDATE: the link now has a bit more text describing the days we were there.

Reflections from Chicago
Ksenia getting ready for the day:

Elevator down in the Sears Tower:

Cloud Gate at Millennium Park...unfortunately it's still kind of an ongoing process, so we could only see one end sticking out of a protective tent:

News of the Moment
Oh boy, here come the Supreme Court Retirings. And wasn't she generally a moderate, my favorite outlook? It's kind of dry reading but Slate has the Supreme Shortlist. Lets see if Bush has any chance of nominating someone who fairly represents this 50/50 nation of ours... (yeah, right. If he was "all or nothing" when it came to recreational substances, why should he start understaing "moderation" now?)

from beachy keen


--The shore at Lynn, MA, 2005.05.09

from marlboro man

(1 comment)
Photos of the Moment
So, yesterday I went hiking with Ksenia, Shawn, Ellie, Ash, and Andy. While The Marlboro Trail on Mt. Monadnock is considered not too tough, the snow and ice made parts of it really challenging...especially descending. Especially while descending in the twilight! We got a late start and then the newbies took longer than expected going down, so it was dark by the time we were halfway down the trail. Luckily three of the experienced people had flashlights, and looking at the stars from this one plateau made it pretty much worthwhile. Still, it was like a seven hour hike...my knees were killing me.

So, the experienced hikers all brought those "trekking poles", like skipoles but for hiking. I got to use one for a big part of the hike and it was a huge help. Someone who knows what they're doing and using two can make incredible progress, they're like 4-footed beasties.

Incidentally, Shaw has a site, UpHillTrek, about the climbing he does with Ellie. They're pretty serious about it!

You can also see more photos from the day.

Thought of the Moment
My knees, which have been pretty much fine all my life..the left one started giving me some pain after messing about with some jogging over the past few weeks. And then yesterday both started killing me. But you know, ibuprofen really helped my knees once I got home. It's funny, I always thought of Advil and Aspirin and Tylenol and all that stuff as little more than placebos, but for certain problems they're really good stuff.

from pollution is pretty

Oil Rainbows of the Moment

Link of the Moment
When Bad Scenes Happen To Good Movies and then vice versa. (via Bill the Splut)

from float like a butterfly, sting like treponema pallidum

(1 comment)
Quote of the Moment
If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
Muhammad Ali

Photo of the Moment
--at a loss for things to say today, thought I'd show you this twisted picture. These are some of the same guys involved in happyface bowling a few months ago.

from today is like the day after "the day after tomorrow"

Man, that was some amazing snow. I was up with Ksenia for the whole weekend, her family who's she living with went on a ski trip, and she needed to hang around for her grandfather who's been having a bit of a respiratory thing lately.

The drifts were chest-high in places...and I have a pretty tall chest. It was one the first times I ended up thinking that the pre-storm "stock up on canned goods" staple was justified. I was still amused when we were in Stop and Shop doing more normal shopping and we found this monster, 28lb hunk of cheese sitting in the juice aisle:

I had to remove a lot of snow. My car was entombed in snow coming up to the bottom of its windows, here is the before-and-after of my semi-heroic shovelling efforts:
The photos don't always show what was going on too well, all that white-on-white action, but I had basically a whole car length of snow to remove that was blocking my car in, and then had to dig around it so I could actually, you know, get in and drive.

Finally, I came home today and had more shoveling to do, namely a big square a bit longer and a chunk wider than car itself, this time only from hip to stomach deep:

That's a lot of snow!

from it's curtains for me!

So...wow, 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 bit...it'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!
At least she obeyed the Ancient Advice of when attempting a silly stunt, "Never say anything more predictive than 'Watch this!'"

from holiday photo parade


from why god why

Theology of the Moment
No answers can be found, and no amount of questioning will bring out those answers. We may continue to ask, but as Brown notes, one thing Wiesel's writing suggests is "that arguments justifying God in the face of evil are not only inadequate, they are diabolical." Any answer cannot come from man, but from God himself. This is what Moshe the Beadle had tried to tell Wiesel when he was a young boy in Sighet, before the terrors of the Holocaust destroyed his life. Moshe said, "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him...That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!" There can be no end to the questioning, even if there are no answers. To expect answers is a mistake, as Wiesel learned from the Wandering Jew, who told him, "When will you understand that you are living and searching in error, because God means movement and not explanation." That is his final discovery. His relationship with God does not depend on answers. We pray to Him. He handles those prayers in His own way. We can agree or disagree with that way. It's all very simple. In one of his prayers in The Six Days of Destruction, Wiesel writes, "We do not demand answers, God. But if this is the last page of the human chronicles, assure us that we had the right to ask." If we ask and accept God's answer, even if He answers in silence, then we will have reached the level of Elie Wiesel's relationship to God.
It was one of the few Google hits for the "God means movement and not explanation" quote which we saw in front of a UU church in Needham the other week, but I thought it was a thought-provoking paragraph.

Photo of the Moment
--One cool part about dating someone from another country is stumbling on some tiny bit of Americana that you didn't realize is unique, but is also quite wonderful...yesterday it was Caramel Apples for Ksenia, not really known in Russia.

--Turns out Ksenia wasn't crazy about that last photo to persuade her to let me keep it there I said I'd put up a better picture of her...I like this one from legal seafoods.

from dogs playing poker...and now they're starting to drive

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Photo of the Moment

--Looking at this photo now, I don't know what's odder...the dog driving, or the look on the face of the woman in the mural behind.

Quote and Video of the Moment
"So just remember--the Internet can be a very scary place if you're not prepared."
"How do you recommend they prepare?"
"I dunno. Try going to your local middle school chess club, hand out crystal meth and guns. That might be good practice."
Red Vs Blue are some pretty popular videos using characters from the Halo game as puppets...and now they explain real life vs. internet. Kind of a long download, but funny.

Geekery of the Moment
Oh, you think you know "Geeky", tough guy? Let me tell you this, friend: You Don't Know From Geeky. Seriously. They're just about as funny as you'd expect cartoons about the Java Enterprise Edition computer programming language to be.

from i musta been a beautiful baby

Baby Picture of the Moment
--Me at the age of 3 months, in Philadelphia. I thought this picture was lost, but it's my favorite...either I'm thoughtful, or doing a ferocious elbow smash.

It was a bit of a shock to discover that the photos in my photo album were all duplicates and rejects from my mom's collection...I had forgotten that utterly.

Cheer of the Moment
Gimme some angst!
Gimme ennui!
What do we got?
At my family reunions we usually end up with a few rounds of Capture the Flag, but this year most of the enthusiasm for the activity was on the other side, so I came up with this irony-tinged cheer.

from drumsticks for eatin', drumsticks for beatin'

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Played a little hooky Friday and went with Peterman and Leslee to Six Flags New England (we went despite the commercial with the wacky dancing old guy and the gratingly catchy jingle.)

While the coasters ended up being their usual fun selves, Peterman noticed that my two favorite parts, the ones that I ended up talking about the most, both involved drumsticks.

The first was lunch...I had been jonesing for a giant turkey drumsticks ever since I saw a tv show that showed 'em for sale at this giant Texas fleamarket months ago, and Six Flags had 'em...amazingly, they lived up to my hopes and expectations, just a massive chunk of tasty tasty meat you can rip off with your teeth.

The second was an arcade game they had there...I think it was an MTV Drum Jammer...it's basically drum karaoke, you pick a song and then drum along. (Not like one of those DDR games, it doesn't judge you or anything.) I've been thinking of using a little mad money on a drum pad setup, one of those tabletop models, and this convinced me I really need one.

Images of the Moment

from jersey shore

Here are some pictures from Ocean Grove and Asbury Park New Jersey. I also put a larger photo gallery online.

The Asbury Park ruins are really amazing, the old casino now a total wasteland. For a while the carousel building had a small indoor skatepark, but I guess that's gone as well...

I found this page with more photos via Google, and this page of how it used to look along with some quotes and lyrics from Bruce Springsteen, who famously cut his teeth at Asbury Park's "Stone Pony".

Note of the Moment
The this ramble on the 1-year relationshipaversary for me and Mo. Criminy, I had forgotten that that had set a record for longest continuous romance in my life. I hope that doesn't bode too poorly for the future.

Site Feature of the Moment
For some reason when I made up my best of kisrael.com lists, I kept the entries that I strongly considered but then rejected embedded in the list I was making. I decided those entries deserved a "second best" set of links, and so the best of page is updated accordingly, and 2003 "best of" and "2nd best of" have both been finished off, with a sad poem and a reindeer's butt, respectively. Also, I added a note of explanation and apology to the front page, just because I'm not sure that "Kirk's Digital Arts and Crafts", which is what those pages are full of, are really the best of kisrael.com.

Hmm. I have probably just exceeded the "gives a damn" quotient for most of my audience. Excelsior!

from eyes wide open

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Party Photos of the Moment
Brooke, Mo, and I threw a Masquerade Ball last night. We spent a lot of time setting up the place, trying to get a bit of a decadent feel...like that masquerade ball in "Eyes Wide Shut", but without all the naked women and sex. (Alas.) We set up new shelves with lots of candles, made curtains for the main door out of some plush purple velvet stuff, made covers for the book shelves, tv, tables, etc. (I assisted by cutting cloth and helping Brooke (on the sewing machine) figure out what piece connected to which from Mo's measurements.) Unfortunately, none of photos we took really shows off the room, but the effect with the candles and all was striking.

I was my evil twin Krik (you can tell Krik is evil because of the black clothes, slicked-back hair, and goatee.) Mo was an S/M slave. Brooke was a woodland fairy (and amazed everyone, including herself, by sewing her own outfit...what a short time before was mere bolts of cloth and thread became a terrific costume.) Sawers was a giant Furby...
And Lo, there was dancing:
Jane's spitcurl really made her flapper outfit, I thought...(she's here with Jennie--there were some great shots of her dancing.)
Brooke even had a dance with Death!
You can see 40-odd more photos that we took that night...it was a grand old time. Instead of burning mix-CDs ahead of time, we made some Windows Media Player playlists and hooked up Mo's laptop to the stereo...that worked out pretty well, lots more flexibility to change genres or pop in a new CD and get right to the good songs.

Funny of the Moment
The actions taken by the New Hampshire Episcopalians (INDUCTING A GAY BISHOP) are an affront to Christians everywhere. I am just thankful that the church's founder, Henry VIII, and his wife Catherine of Aragon, and his wife Anne Boleyn, and his wife Jane Seymour, and his wife Anne of Cleves, and his wife Katherine Howard, and his wife Catherine Parr are no longer here to suffer through this assault on traditional Christian marriages.
from a "recent letter to the editor in Tennessee" via rec.humor.funny

from peterman SMASH

--On yesterday's comments, bozo asked "Well, what happened in the NEXT frame" so here is the same image with the before and after frames. To my surprise the newlyweds were in the neighborhood and stopped over last night for just a bit of video game fun.

Quote of the Moment
The Eskimos had 52 names for snow because it was important to them; there ought to be as many for love.
Margaret Atwood

FAQ of the Moment
Wow. Does National Hurricane Center really frequently get the question Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by nuking them? Yikes, this world must have a lot of people who are even more insane than me.

Link of the Moment
Language Removal Service takes out all the language from soundclips and leaves only the breaths and "um"s and "uh"s. Here's their take on the California Recall Election. Sounds kinda like obscene phonecalls from the mentally handicapped, which probably isn't inappropriate, considering.

from get this pigeon off my head

Link of the Moment
Why not start your morning with Undeniable Forensic Proof that Paul McCartney really was replaced with a Look-Alike in 1966? Interesting animated GIFs, though obviously I don't find them that convincing...but I don't know enough about photography to refute them.

Photos of the Moment

from eye on london

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I was up at 3:30 this morning, after having gone to bed before 8 last night. Guess I'm still on London time...but that 3am ride to Heathrow combined with "gaining" 5 hours made for a long day.

Landmark of the Moment
London Eye was one of the coolest things we saw in England. It's a giant "observation wheel" (like a ferris wheel, but bigger) set right in Westminster, by Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. They built it for the Millennium celebrations, but then British Airways stepped in to run it full time. (Supposedly they might be looking to sell it...I certainly hope it remains a permanent attraction.) It takes about half an hour to go all the way around, and it generally doesn't have to stop to let people on and off. Anyway, it's such a cool thing to have built, I thought it deserved a photospread of its own...

Distance shots from tourbus, from two different days. Big Ben (well, its tower) is visible in the center of the second. I love the asymmetrical architecture of it, how it juts over the Thames, only supported by a few beams on one side.

Artsier shots, including a nearby elephant statue.

Here's an idea of what its capsules were like. Clever design, so views are never blocked by the infrastructure.
And of course there were some great views up there, including Mo in a tanktop. "Those people look like ants!"

Link of the Moment
(Trying to get back in the hang of non-vacation-related updates...) WayTooPersonals is a gathering of real personal ads that definately fall into the realm of "Too Much Information" about the people who posted them.

from twentynine is prime

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
Slate.com 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.

from the rain in maine falls mainly on the vain

Man, it sucks when the week of July Fourth comes around with such an air of menace. We sure as hell don't want that kind of fireworks. Is there anything we can do to make the situation right? Or at least less dangerous for everyone involved?

Anyway, had a nice weekend in Ogunquit, Maine, for our anniversary:
Got caught in the rain on the first day:

Got chased by hoardes of hungry seagulls on a boat trip to a lighthouse:

And then from that evening, a picture of Mo on the shore.

It's funny how much better a photo looks when you say
'don't look at the camera'.

from latest batch of photos


from three women one party


from oooh uma

Portraits of the Moment
The other day Mo and I watched Henry & June. It might just be my favorite movie ever, I wrote a review of it for the loveblender back in 1997--the penultimate paragraph of that review is kind of interesting. I was looking around for some information on the movie. It introduced the NC-17 rating; unfortunately the idea of movies for adults that aren't porn but still get nationwide release is still a bit of a pipedream. There's a book of the same name, a selection from Anais Nin's diaries that inspired the film.

I believe that the portrait up and to the left is the one that appears tacked to Henry Miller's wall in the film. (From the planet out movie review) And on the right is one with Fred Ward. He gives me hope for bald guys looking good. (I never saw what all the geek chicks see in, say, Picard on Star Trek.) But in general, I wish I could learn to take photographic portraits like these. (The two on the right are from a Kevin Spacey fansite, though Spacey was relatively a minor character in the film.)

These are about the best two portraits I've ever done. I hope it's mostly a matter of composition, since I'm sure my digital camera, no matter how beloved by me, won't win any awards by itself. (In fact, these were both taken with primitive Kodak digital cameras.) I wish I could find a photography class that talks about composition without going through all the "mechanics of 35mm film" first. I suspect the main factors are interesting lighting, framing the shot, and getting the person not to smile. (Speaking of photos, I think I need to pick the most interesting photos and make a new "photobook" rather than all the random collections listed on the sidebar.)

Quote of a Previous Moment
Uma Thurman on a Hog Harley: now that's heaven.
k.d. lang

from it's a...nice day for a...wet wedding

Image of the Moment
We got the wedding picture proofbooks this week, and Mo spent a big chunk of yesterday scanning them all in so long distance friends and family could select what they want prints of. This was probably my favorite picture of the lot:

--copyright 2001 Allison Evans Photography
In some ways it's an odd shot; it's after we all had changed our clothes (though Mo is still in white) and I'm soaking wet, but from the chest up only. (There was a Wrath-of-God style thunderstorm with hail and heavy rain for the last half of the reception.) Plus I have kind of a goofy expression. The photographer says she was just fooling around with a plastic lens camera she has. (No built-in flash, she held the shutter open as the assistant did the flash. I always wonder how photographers got that blurred-but-with-something-well-lit look.) Still, I like the feeling it captures, and it's visually interesting.

Quote of the Moment
Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more.
A bit of old Internet Lore, worth reading through them all if you haven't seen the list.

from smith family reunion

At yesterday's Smith Family Reunion...

from a plague of locusts o'er the land

Quote of the Moment
I have bought this wonderful machine--a computer. Now I am rather an authority on gods, so I identified the machine--it seems to be an Old Testament god with a lot of rules and no mercy.
Joseph Campbell, Mythology Scholar

Photo of the Moment

Political Link of the Moment
Salon article reinforces an opinion I've been forming... with all the treaty rejecting we've been doing: Kyoto, ABM, Nuclear Test Ban, Small Arms, Land Mine, Biological Weapon Enforcement, from other countries' point of view, we've become the kind of "rogue nation" Bush is trying to use as a bogeyman...the irony is, well, if not "overwhelming", at least kind of funny.

from playing photographer

Quote of the Moment
Photography isn't about the pictures. Pictures never come out right. It's about the adventure.
Jason the Australian, as we climbed up and over fences on the roof of my mom's 17-story apartment building in NYC.

Photo Gallery 1
So I got that new Canon Digital Elph, and I'm loving it. I've actually started carrying with me everywhere, the same way I do my Pilot and cellphone, and started playing at being a photographer. These are some of my favorite post-honeymoon pictures (shrunk down from the originals which were five times times the size seen here):