Photography isn't about the pictures. Pictures never come out right. It's about the adventure.
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):
Open Photo Gallery
Arsenal Street, Watertown MA
I tend to take photos from my car. I worked in the building on the left, with Event Zero.
Bulldozer on a Truck
In Burlington, near where I work now.
I've been doing a lot of experimentation with not using the flash. Sometimes it makes the difference between a snapshot and something that feels like it could be art. The Canon does a much better job in low light than my old Olympus.
This one I tweaked with Gamma Correction.
Bedroom window. I like what you can see on the sides.
Brooke and Mo
At Brooke's Heaven/Hell/Angel/Devil birthday party, Friday.
Terri and Paula
At Lee and MZ's shindig, Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Open Photo Gallery
land of layoffs
Anyway, had a nice weekend in Ogunquit, Maine, for our anniversary:
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'.
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?!
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.For more pessimism, Bill the Splut linked to this article tal about how numbingly difficult it is to fight in cities.
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...
|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.
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
Open Photo Gallery
Window Washer in Salem
Pigeons in Boston:
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.
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.
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...
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.
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".
Open Photo Gallery
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!
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
Open Photo Gallery
--Peterman driving. I like the road as seen in his sunglasses.
--Coaster and Clouds.
--Leslee took this great shot of Peterman and me on the "Skycoaster". (I previously posted a video and description of our 2001 time on the ride.)
|--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!
What do we got?
--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."
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.
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.|
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(I love prophecies with expiration dates.)
(Ksenia (right) and her friend Tonya in Tonya's kitchen. I don't know why the hat either)
(Mama Mia working out chords on her trusty accordian)
(O Christmas Tree! And lots of presents.)
(I guess Ksenia just has a thing for hats.)
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!'"
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:
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!
If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.
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.|
Open Photo Gallery
--After the rain yesterday. The first two are from my street in Arlington, the second two are from the parking lot at my office park. I still like wet oil pavement a bit better, but these were kind of fun.
Link of the Moment
When Bad Scenes Happen To Good Movies and then vice versa. (via Bill the Splut)
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.
Open Photo GalleryIt's a bit of a drive, but I like this photo.
About halfway up. I don't think Ksenia is trying to fly. Quite a view from up there.
I like the first photo better, but the second one gives you some idea of how steep it was.
Andy gettin' down with his bad self.
Trying to recreate that one photo of me I like so well...
Nice sunset. Unfortunately, that gave us about half an hour of light, and we were only about halfway down.
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.
--The shore at Lynn, MA, 2005.05.09
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?)
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")
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:
Open Photo GalleryChicago doesn't wait for the 4th to have fireworks:
Carousel at the Navy Pier:
Finally, a billboard from a "coming soon" storefront at that big Woodfield Mall in Schaumberg:
Why is it here? Well...I've never liked cursive letters much. It's always so awkward, how every letter is supposed to end in a way that the next one can pick up without a break. And 'z' is one of the worst. It's like some guy was assigned the task of coming up with uppercase and lowercase cursive letters for the whole alphabet, had some that came out ok, a few flops (like G and Q especially) and is THIS close to being finished...one left to go...z...'gah, I have no idea,' he thinks, 'whatever....a little squiggle, a twist, a loop....DONE! I'm calling it a day.'
Open Photo Gallery
--Ksenia insisted I post this picture of me preparing to enjoy a chocolate dipped frozen banana on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. "That's so beautiful," she says, "Come on! Stop it! Kirk...what is it?" I'll stop transcribing now.
From the Ocean Grove Boardwalk they have a number of benches, most sponsored in "In Memory Of..." kind of ways. This is my Aunt on the one for my Nana and Papa Sam, using the way he would always sign off letters during WW2, "Forever and Always".
Ksenia and Me near Alewife during a twilight walk:
Open Photo Gallery
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
Open Photo Gallery1.
--Six shots of that snail from Rockport, MA. I can't decide which one or ones I should put on my desktop wallpapers page. Any decisions? Some of these look much better at the full 1600x1200 size.
I like how you can see the clouds reflected in the water in some of the shots.
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.
|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.)
Intelligent Design advocate: YEAAARRRRGGGHHHH! YOU BROKE MY 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!
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.
Anyway on with the photos...
Open Photo GalleryKsenia's Aunt Lucy and Ksenia's new cousin Irina...
Ksenia and Lucy, and Alex on the move in background...
And what can be cuter than a baby in a snowsuit?
Ksenia and the kitten Pushkin try, but I'm still voting for the baby in the snowsuit.
Ksenia..."God's given her a gift. She shovels well. She shovels very well."
I didn't shovel too badly myself...but Ksenia found this tableau afterwards greatly amusing. (This was after I had to rescue myself after my car stuck off the side of an unplowed road, that one Friday a few weeks ago.)
Photo I took of an art installation...actually, the installation took up the entire living room of the artist's studio apartment...it has an environmental theme, reflecting how jellyfish populations are blooming in places, partially do to pollution and other ecological factors. The red bulbs gave the place an appropriate sickly and otherworldly feel.
Finally, photos of three random things I just wanted to mention...
Is it just me or is it kind of creepy that Gold Medal doesn't actually come out and call itself "flour" on the package? (Actually, my family has a similar anecdote in its folklore... they had a nicely framed version of my grandmother's relish recipe made up but it calls for "two cups dissolved in water"...we assume that's two cups of flour, but you never can tell.)
Hopefully I won't get into trouble for this, but my previous employer had a succesful conference in Vegas as advertised by this poster. I don't know how sophomoric this is, but I started reading about subliminal advertising, and the oddly crooked finger along with the woman's head made me think.
This is embedded in the floor at the bottom of a stairway in my apartment building. I wonder what "Edith Hine" is, or was? Kind of a neat bit of Deco-ish work.
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...
Open Photo Gallery
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.
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:
ANN, WHILE BOB HAD HAD "HAD," HAD HAD "HAD HAD." "HAD HAD" HAD HAD A BETTER EFFECT ON THE TEACHER.
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...
Open Photo Gallery
Open Photo GalleryNot a bad shot of the Yoda puppet, pity about the shadow...
They had one of the Falcon models, it was cool seeing the detail they put into it. I'm not surprised that the Prequels' CGI never quite captured that dirty "used universe" look the way the original's real models did.
One thing about the Falcon... the audiotour talked about how it's supposed to look like parts were just bolted on, blatant non-standard modifications, and of course in the movies they say stuff like "you came in that thing?" and "fatest hunk of junk in the galaxy"...but it never looked that bad to me, maybe just a bit scuffed, with an oversized radar dish.
They had the model for the "Rebel Blockade Runner", and because of my deepish fanboy knowledge, I was able to search for and confirm a Star Wars easter egg... here's the model...
My flash was able to light up its cockpit, where I had read the original designers had included a little bonus, never seen by the movie cameras...
Hubba hubba! I love how maybe 1%--if that--of the people going through the exhibit would
Then we went to the regular exhibits, including the good ol' reliable jumbled Mathematics room... this is the one that made me think "remember kids... it's all due to Mathematics!" Seriously (and maybe LAN3 has an opinion on this thanks to his job) sometimes I worry how shallow-ly most kids and adults take these things, just looking for a visceral momentary diversion...
Hillis et al's famous Tinkertoy TicTacToe computer
Err, if you look really closely at the image below, you can see that you're actually looking at Dolphins... remember, kids, THIS is SCIENCE so pay more attention at school!
This is a closeup from the Lunar Excusion Module (LEM) control panel... I was wondering about the whole Verb/Noun labels... I googled up this explanation. (I also Googled a confirmation that the good ol' Boston Computer Museum closedup and merged with the MoS... sigh, I used to love that place, but I guess since it took me 7 years to notice, I can't complain much.)
Finally, Ksenia behind a giant magnifying glass...couldn't decide which shot I liked more...
I learned a few things.
- I'm "ok" at paddling if you define it by being able to make a kayak go forward, and roughly steer, but absolutely terrible if the definition of ok includes not getting a few gallons of water in the damn kayak. Stuff in the bottom of the kayak was drenched. Also, close quarters manuevering was like learning parallel parking all over again.
- I prefer kayaks over canoes, because they seem less... campy, in both a figurative and literal sense. Plus the oar seems a bit more fiddley when you switch sides.
- Muchies might have been a good thing to bring along...I didn't know what kind of room there'd be for one.
- But maybe not beverages, because of the annoyance of having to locate a restroom. This we learned from experience.
- Consider investing in a small anchor if you want to park your kayak...having to constantly adjust one's position while waiting for and viewing fireworks gets old after a while. Ksenia and I were quite fortunate, we made friends with a fellow kayaker named Rochelle, who was teaming up with 4 folks in a canoe... and they had an anchor! We lashed our watercraft together, Rochelle even passed around some munchkin bottles of Pinot Noir, and in general we had a grand old time.
- It's a little disconcerting when you hear the concert from speakers behind you before the sound from the stage speakers has carried over the water.
- It's a long way from the Charles River Canoe & Kayak (a couple of miles maybe? I was trying to figure it out) to where they have the fireworks. And, of course, even longer back.
Open Photo GalleryReady for action:
About to set out:
Some waterfowl along the way:
I like this shot of Ksenia, and also how you can see where all the boats are anchored waiting for the big event:
Rochelle et al used the good ship Integrity as a reference point. Also, you can see the Citgo sign, or at least make out its reflection:
We were pretty dang close to the fireworks, they really filled the sky and the sound was amazing. (I think I respond more to the sound than the light with these things.) I like the new ones, lots of noise, with many more miniblasts filling the sky. Though in those photo, the fireworks look a bit like a Sanrio critter. You can judge how close were from the silhouette of the other boats:
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.)
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.
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!"For some reason it's the detail of caviar on a bulky roll that makes me remember that one. Ksenia told me another joke:
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!"
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.
Open Photo Gallery
The view setting out was kind of amazing... hard to believe that's where I worked all those years.
Random sail photos, guess I did a poor job of winnowing them out...
After we walked around Salem. In many ways the area seems to have the potential to be "the next Harvard Square, you know, before it got all commercial" but they really have to work on that "almost every store closed by 8 on a Summer Saturday night" thing. (Oh, I guess "being right next to the 'hood" and "overwhelmed with corny witch and monster motifs" aren't such good things either.)
There was one fantastic shop that was still open-- Derby Square Book Store. The piles of books are a must-see kind of thing, teetering towers that make grabbing a book in the middle a daring adventure. Even at the front counter, you deal with the owner through a gap between two of the towers that itself is only a big paperback or so wide. Unfortunately the owner says he's aiming to close by the end of the year... too many 80 hours weeks, he says, not enough time spent sitting around and watching cartoons. In the meantime the place has some very good discounts.
We went to a new restaurant there, "Fresh Taste of Asia". The menu had two sides, one more or less typical "pan-Asian", the other more Sushi oriented. The Sushi side only had one dish with a little "chef's choice" smiley face, the Tuna Tar Tar, though the waitress wasn't sure what it was. But it was so good! Lovely fresh tuna on these tasty light chip bowl things, with some kind of nice lightly spicy orange sauce on the plate... I took a picture just so I'd remember to mention it.
A lovely time in all.
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.
Open Photo Gallery
There's a new-ish exhibit on jellyfish at the Aquarium... there's a strong eco message there ("as we screw the oceans and fish die, jellyfish take over") but it's a bit undercut by how prettily the damn things are presented, Ksenia took this one.
I was going to say this was a "typical" whale watching photo, but then I realized it actually has a bit of whale in it, so that actually puts it in the "better than average" category.
Probably my favorite whale photo of the day. A whale breached once, but I mostly just saw the splash.
The weather was doing some interesting stuff on the ride back.
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.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.
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:
Open Photo Gallery
Jane and I horsing around by the Wyland Whaling Wall by the docks in Portland, Maine. (I don't know who the artists are for the sculpture or chalk art shown in two of the photos, alas.)
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.
Open Photo GalleryI started to feel just a bit Zen...
Possibly even more Zen...not quite there yet though...
Full-on Zen, I am.
I don't play enough with the manual settings on my camera, but I thought a longer exposure time would help this image of a waterfall:
One of the niftiest things to do at the Morikami is buying a bag of pellets to feed the koi and turtles there:
The koi swarm like crazy, pushing and shoving. I started feeling kind of sorry for the turtles (who weren't even accurate at grabbing the food even when they weren't being hassled by the fish) and tried to toss more stuff their way.
Finally, one of my favorite shots of the entire trip.
Click here for a 40% larger version.
So kisrael regulars know this isn't the first time I tried this. I couldn't get quite as close as that earlier office beetle, but it was a surprisingly patient little bug, and the lighting and coloration was better.
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.")
Open Photo GalleryMr.Ibis bought himself a pair of horns:
But what I like about this photo is Felisdemens and myself in the glasses...
It being Florida, we of course had to at least pay homage at the beach:
(Like I mentioned, I tend to bring slight chills to warm places. Once I left Florida, it got back to the 80s. But while I was there, a brief dip up to my calves was all I was up for)
On this beach I found a waterlogged coconut rolling in the breaking waves:
But, Mr.Ibis is a better showman than I am:
And Felis decided to let the matter drop.
One of the most amazing things I saw in Florida, believe it or don't, was a small retail chain called BrandsMart. This is a store that relies on sensory overload:
The colors weren't the only loud thing in there... Mr.Ibis says they tend to have a much better selection than most retailers, offering older models along side the new unlike, say, Best Buy. It reminded me a lot of a typical retailer crossed with some of the stores I've seen in Mexico, just the overwhelming YOU BUY NOW of it all.
Finally, returning to their abode, I was struck by (on what was likely a library remainder) the old scifi section logo:
I couldn't figure out how to google for it and its other-department siblings. Any thoughts?
Quote of the Moment
The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.
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.)
Open Photo Gallery
I had to love the camouflage of this one: ("Who, me?")
They also had birds, like this patient humming bird:
But even more fun were the very lively Lorikeets... you could buy a small tub of nectar and the birds would gladly perch and sloppily lap it up...
Clever lookin' fellas...
Finally, along side they had a small exhibit with some even more exotic, albeit dead, bug specimens:
Man. The photo doesn't do the size of some of those guys justice, 'cause let me tell you, if I made landfall and saw that one with the giant antennae running around, I'd be like "sorry fellas, time to get back on the boat and our butts back to Old Zealand"...
Barista: Would you like to try a cappuccino muffin?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.
Customer: No, thanks. I don't want to start my appetite yet.
--Starbucks, 45th & Broadway
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:
click for fullsize
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.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.
That was good.
Images of the Moment
Open Photo Gallery
EB is a big believer in cheap coveralls during renovation work to keep the toxic stuff away from family and baby...I just like looking like late-period Beastie Boys.
A mirror inside the house.
Graffiti on the bikepath.
I enjoyed the self-referentiality of someone writing the word "penis" as opposed to scrawling the more typical crude rendition of one.
My team "Posh Spies" from the latest grunthunt. Tinfoil hats ahoy!
Aprés le Grunt, a smooch from soon-to-be-newlyweds.
The only recent photo in this lot, "hug harder" from a bench at the Harvard Square T station. I <3 hippy graffiti!
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.
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.
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
Open Photo GalleryNice advice from a bumper sticker:
One thing it's easy to miss with fireworks
is how they light up the faces of your fellow watchers.
And they were some mighty fireworks!
Am I missing something, or is this like
the world's least ambitious helicopter?
I was impressed that this syrup
(declining to be more labled more specifically than "breakfast")
managed to have not its top but
TOP TWO ingredients be corn syrup.
Jersey shore. It seems you get a lot of sunset shots
facing over the water, but not as many going the other way.
Best shot I took at Six Flags.
Open Photo Gallery
No man is an island but in still-but-salt-laden waters
I can do my best impression of one.
It's almost like a sensory deprivation tank there.
Here's a detail from the last one
of the stone seawall we then jumped off of:
EB showed me the way:
Finally EB took this one of me:
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
Open Photo Gallery
--The first two are for an assignment ("Camera Angle / View Point") in a photography composition class that I'm taking... I took a whole series of EBBaby, I like how that one kind of reflects the toddler's-eye-view. (Though come to think of it, I'm not sure if young children are the best bet for a series of perspective experiments, because they're already "out of proportion" relative to adults.) Then I decided to work with an observation I made a while ago, that cars (especially the stubby little ones I favor) tend to look dramatically longer or shorter depending on the angle... I feel that's about as long as I can make a Scion xA look. Finally, the last is a collection of mannequins at an (incoming? outgoing?) Anne Taylor store at Brattle Street Harvard Square, near where the class meets.
New rule of thumb: big prints make any photo look a bit artsier.
Snapshots of the Moment
Open Photo GalleryEvil B ordered too much PuPu. There were 2 cartons like that for 4 people:
On the way to the park: an office chair top, a separate office chair bottom, and rope seem to be evidence of a stunt gone awry...
Photo by EB. He was actually doing a series of photos involving lines that start very near and go very far:
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.
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:
Open Photo Gallery
Very much not my usual style, in general I don't find abstract shots all that compelling. When enlarged this shot has some nice texture, however. This is the remaining styrofoam board after I spent a few hours drilling wall-hole-plugging discs for Evil B's place in Rockport. (The gravel you've seen before)
Evil B. This is a art joke that doesn't work, meant to be a reference to Michelangelo's Pietà.
Open Photo GallerySo I finished up my class on Photographic Composition. The last assignment was "Thanksgiving" in general, here are the two photos I decided to show:
Self-portrait at Alewife. I think this reflects the weariness of travel (even if it is me at the end of a work week.)
Table shot from Thanksgiving with our cousins. I just like the macabre juxtaposition of a cartoon turkey (proudly labled Kirk) gazing on a plate of his massacred and delicious real-life cousin.
One of the other students in the class thought that I should have put up this image instead:
That's one thing I learned from the class: it's hard to judge your own work. I like the regular composition of it, but was worried it was a bit too "snapshotish"
That Sunday we went to a brunch they had at the Museum of Science. We caught the electricity show:
It is kind of funny how the twin Tesla towers look like a butt. "Remember kids it's all thanks to SCIENCE! Plus, watch out for lightning."
Finally, here is an animation of my mom:
The class was useful, especially in teaching me how to read shots. It also taught me that I approach photography different than most of the students there. They approach photography as more of a traditional studio art, often making careful arrangements at home and sometimes really getting into the lens type and focal length and all that jazz. My photography is a little closer to photojournalism, trying to document the interesting stuff I come across in life in as compelling a shot as possible.
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...
Open Photo Gallery
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.
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
Open Photo GalleryUPDATE: here's the view on the street outside my building.
I love the foil wrappers those guys wear, it's so future-y. Or cheap-burger-joint-y
I was reminded that today was going to be the Marathon last Friday when I went to the Boston Public Library to return a book and had to duck under scaffolding to get inside. I also saw this beast of a machine, which is kind of an unusual thing to see in the middle of a busy street:
So, I commute every day to Park Street, and a few times I've seen tourists facing me and snapping this photo as I emerge from the underground, which I have to admit is a pretty good photo-op:
Also near Park Street station is this statue commemorating "Industry":
I don't know much about riveting technique, but I'm pretty sure his crotch-centric style is not OSHA approved.
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.
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
Open Photo GalleryI'm not sure if this photo catches it, but the Boston sky was so thick and heavy a few weeks ago...
I think I've written about this before, but I love the optical illusion of the building next to where I work, how they've cranked up the railing to super human proportions, presumably for the visual effect of it from ground level. So there's a guy here poking around the AC unit, and I think it's funny how small he looks...
The Disney-Cinderella's-Castle-esque look of the colored flags are a nice touch.
The other week JZ was "helping" me pack by playing with legos (I kid, he was a big help)
Here's his creation, mostly a kitbash of some pre-designed sets I had barely dismantled. I christened it "Captain Cooly McAwesome of the Starship HELL YEAH".
JZ also went with me as the New England Classic Gamers finally got around to having another trademeet, and I got an old Game & Watch game "Bomb Sweeper" (a puzzle game, no relation to Mine Sweeper... here's an excellent Java model of it) I had to buy batteries (at like twice the cost of the game) and my picture to remind me of what battery to buy came out artsier than I expected:
Finally, at Ken Schwaber's ScrumMaster training, he brought out this particular cartoon of the story of the Chicken and the Pig. ("Hey Pig, I was thinking we should open a restaurant" "I don't know. What would we call it?" "How about 'Ham and Eggs'?" "No thanks. I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved!") Its meant to be a metaphor for software development, that the developers are the ones with their bacon on the line, and they get to point this out to the "chickens" of the rest of the company.
I've never liked this joke. For one things, jokes are best when they're funny. Secondly, it doesn't seem like that great of a metaphor. I expressed some of my unease with the cartoon by rewriting and redrawing the third panel:
Ken seemed to like it and asked if he could keep it.
Photos of the Moment
Today's theme, random things around Boston.
Open Photo GalleryMiller ran a very excellent grunthunt puzzle contest, and my team with Sarah and two other newbies (though our other two newbies were really, really good at puzzles) did ok, third out of seven. Here's a play-doh castle Sarah made for one of the challenges, note the drawbridge to the left and the dragon peeking around the moat in the back.
I was surprised to see one of Boston's duckboats at a normal filling station. I'm not sure what I expected them to use, maybe have their own at the duckboathouse or something, but still...
It's hard to see but the inscription on top of Wendell Phillips monument here says "Whether in Chains or in Laurels / Liberty Knows Nothing But Victories"
Not to oversnark, but like "they can take our lives but they can never take away our freedom!" this doesn't seem to be the most clearheaded slogan out there.
Finally, Boston finally got its own Mac store, the pilgrimage to the Cambridgeside Galleria is no longer needed. Here it is the opening evening:
People were around the blocks, and then cheers and high fives all around as groups got let in. Didn't stick around enough to see if there was much great schwag.
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
Open Photo GalleryMy original napkin sketches of room layouts (Hi Tiffany!) -- alas, didn't take into account my current problem of "you can't get [your loveseat] the-ahr from he-ahr"
At work, there is a man half in the ceiling. I found this amusing for some reason.
Why was there like ten NYC cabs and liveries in Arlington? There a long way from home!
Saturday in Rockport, MamaB and BabyB...
But life in Rockport isn't all flowers and smiles. Sometimes there's some serious lying about in cars with your boots on to be done.
Finally, just today: "How do you get to Symphony Hall?" "Practice, son, practice-- or just walk over there, between those trees, you big dummy."
I was walking around with JZ and his folks -- Memorial Day is his birthday this year. It's funny to get the reminder that I live and work in a tourism-worthy place.
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.
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...
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.
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!
Open Photo GalleryView from my office. I like blimps and the way they just hang in the air.
(It's one of my silly hopes to someday ride one.)
Later the scrolling billboard on the blimp made me realize that, by itself, the bottom half of the Celtics shamrock looks a little funny:
Big crowds! Admittedly I'm just posting this 'cause I liked this guy's Celtic yarmulke, the easy mix of the sacred and ephemeral:
(At one point I dropped my camera and it broke, so these are taken with my iPhone.) There was much confetti:
I kind of like the saturated look of the iPhone photos. So celebrate good times!
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.
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
Open Photo GalleryAfter dropping my camera at the Celtics parade I bought another Canon much like it -- PowerShot SD850 IS. This has not made me a better photographer.
New camera is bulkier but zoomier. Harvard Square birdie.
EBSO (Wife of EB) wields tongs and fork.
MEB (Mama of EB), also in the backyard for the 4th cookout.
Mac the Dog
The whole EBclan has been enjoying fresh peas-in-the-pod as of late...
Rockport 4th Parade, just fooling around with "Color Accent". There was much red!
I learned about the tradition of "Horribles" parades and the musical groups therein. (Come to think of it, I was totally in that tradition and didn't realize it in '95 or so at the Bunker Hill Monument Halloween Parade.)
The Rockport Parade also had a Precision Lawnchair Drill Team, doing spinning formations in the parade and generally having a grand time. What they lacked in precision they made up for in lawnchairs!
Open Photo GalleryFlies are dirty, dirty, dirty!
I am delighted every time I see one of the burly workman deconstructing the hallway in my office using a "Henry" vacuum cleaner:
Road photos! Was crazy about the inter-storm light last night...
Finally, one shot not taken by me, but I love it: EBBaby on a fender of the trailer they're using as they move this weekend.
Incidentally I've changed the layout of kisrael.com to allow for slightly larger photos to be posted. Good? Or does the readability of paragraphs suffer too much? (2019 UPDATE: of course now I've switched to stuffing photos into galleries...)
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.
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
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.
Open Photo Gallery
Dang, just can't resist red in that "Color Accent" mode... this from my rained out visit to Fenway.
Boston's Chinatown Dunkin Donuts. I'm bummed out that the Dunkies and McDs there have some localized stylings but a bog-standard menu.
Just an odd view, walking to the back of EB's house from the shed; after a year and a half of toiling, seeing lights shining from every floor, while not the most eco-correct message, was kind of touching.
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'
Open Photo Gallery
EBPnJ (she's getting a bit old to be EBB) and a magnifying glass.
Artsy-ish visual shots:
--EB's floor and moulding with the same "red only" filter as yesterday
--taken from around the same spot, but about straight up at the hallway light.
From EB's basement of mystery-- an empty jug with an unironic skull and bones label of "poison"! Soon to be a decoration in my apartment 'cause, hey, you never know.
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.
Open Photo GalleryAfter the game at Fenway:
OK, not as amusing as I would think, a rather lame "sign correcting FAIL". (An "at" would have done much better than the "the" that they used):
It turns out that the ultimate goal of my floor's lobby revamp was "iPod-esque", using the same 2 layer white-beneath-clear look. Kind of sci-fi, though still seeing the plywood beneath kind of detracts from the effect. I do like that instead of directional arrows indicating the direction for the elevator car they just have one of two featureless circles lighting up
Finally, Saturday I got to go to a neat roofdeck party... quite the view, wish I had a wind-angle lens to get the statehouse dome as well as the city...
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."
Open Photo GallerySo on Sunday I went with Ariana and friends to Harvard Square's Oktoberfest... and of course, it's all about the food...
(That's at Charley's... I didn't realize that they had an almost-proper beer garden in the back.)
...but probably the coolest part was how the Honk parade was ending there. I've just barely been hearing about Honk... it was pretty amazing, left-minded brass bands from all over just having a blast. There were giant chefs...
Lots of hulahoops...
(I think they're playing "Voodoo", I recognized it from a Dirty Dozen Brass Band cd.) It made me wonder if I should get a sousaphone and find a group, but A. these guys are coming from all over and B. I'm pretty sure I ain't that kind of good, especially since it's been a decade. Plus I gotta admit, I haven't seen too many trumpeteers smoking at the same time...
There were simply multitudes at Harvard Square...
Multitudes I say!
The pigeons above were all... WTF? Tell us when this is all over...
Funny thinking about the vibe of Oktoberfest vs. Topsfield Fair ... one was all Carny and Rural, the other was all Hippy and Urban Activist. Both were great, and considering I really didn't have much an idea about either before the weekend, I feel like I really made out well.
<<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"
Open Photo GalleryA while back men were walking around the roof of the building next door. I don't know why I find them so interesting to look at... I guess just because they're so out of place.
Last weekend 24 Hour Comics Day, Kate and Miller, hard at work...
I made a commemorative small gif cinema of me doing my happy dance...
Last night I drove up to Amesbury. I need to stop driving and photographing, but it was so pretty.
Sarah was hosting a jack-o-lattern making party! Here she is taking a photo of the results...
My first pumpkin was a slightly artsy experiment, not sure if it quite works... It's Jake from Young Astronauts in Love...a Jake-O-Latern!
Finished with amore traditional one...
So thanks Miller and Sarah!
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.
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...
Open Photo Gallery
Robot, circa 1982. This one impresses me most in retrospect, way to go Mom. (Robots don't need hands, just a slot for candy.)
1999 or so. "Unibomber" was my go to costume for a few years, because I had the basic elements (hoodie, dark glasses) with me every day.
2002's World War I... little plastic soldiers on a white shirt. I liked it, anyway.
This year I am Alien Bill!
Maybe the worst part of my costume ( http://kirkjerk.com for photo ) 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!
Photos of the Moment
Open Photo Gallery
I always thought pigeons had a certain dignity, or at least can fake it a bit. Also, they look huge.
The wide mouth pumpkin loses structural integrity more quickly than it's minimalist "astronaut" counterpart. My Aunt claims 3 times she had the dialog "what's that top one supposed to be?" "It's a spaceman!" "...Oh, OK... I can see it... sort of". My Uncle points out that the bottom one now is a pretty decent likeness of Senator McCain.
Miller had a Halloween Party at my old apartment!
Tedd was Gulliver Unbound, little plastic Lilliputians dangling from the ropes. I tried to get a Lilliputian-eye view for this shot.
Ariana (inadvertantly?) re-enacting part of the poster for "Wicked".
Thanks to the diligent efforts of Rhys, this party had pumpkins too! Small ones... Rhys accused me of remaking my previous pumpkin (sixth from the left, to the right of the dark one). I also tried to make an Alien Bill-o-Lantern (second from left) going so far as to adding his running arms with some pumpkin scraps attached with skewers. Unfortunately, it ended up more like meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
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.
Photos of the Moment
Open Photo GalleryDrag Queen Kris Knievil and her entourage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre:
The statskeeper Jen brought us this dire warning on election night that some thoughtful person had placed on her car, probably in response to her pro-Obama bumper sticker:
How not to photograph children:
How not to photograph self: (especially with big candy lips)
Finally, this is
It was just striking to me because I visually parsed it wrong when it was first paused, I thought he had his legs severely crossed but on second glance his knees are far apart. I guess it's just an optical illusion the way his coat is blocking the top of his legs, and maybe a visual assumption that something higher up is closer. FoSOSO pointed out it's not often you see a live human involved in such an Escher-esque illusion.
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!
Open Photo GalleryFor worse or probably better, EB got his wish of a nice picturesque first snow of the season...
EBB standing in the snow...
...and following EBSO
Sneak preview of their Christmas Card this year...
I had to give in and admit it was a pretty day...
Finally, hail to the conquering tree-dragging hero.
Open Photo Gallery
--Ice-covered garbage can lid, outside the brownstone.
--Same Lid. People kept asking me "how much snow did you get?" and it seemed like a tougher question than it should have been... you know, you're shoveling, there are snow piles and drifts etc. But I guess this lid says "well, enough."
--So my mom found out there's an ALDI grocery store near us in NJ... it's an interesting concept, rather limited selection of brands, frozen stuff but not much produce, bring your own bag or get charged for one, you pick stuff right off the pallets, but it's cheap - everything in this picture was $20 and change.
--Christmas haul for 4, along with our Charlie Brown Christmas-ish Tree.
Ha, Pats ahead 13-0, Cassell just punted on 3rd down and pinned the Bills at like the 2 yard line.
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 itSuch 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.
Open Photo Gallery
JZ is now getting into bowling. He actually bought his own ball. Here he is bowling it for only the second time ever. His ball has not one but two brands on it, "Hammer" ('cause it's heavy) and "Venom" ('cause it has 'bite', i.e. will curve on down the lane, or something.) That's pretty macho! Also, a nasty split there.
Had a drink with cmg at Teatro near Boston Common. It has the loveliest light on the ceiling...
For me, this is a very good visual metaphor for winter.
I'm kind of proud that this as cluttered as my desk gets at work these days. I was trying to figure out how to get the same minimalist vibe at home. I'm afraid the secret is "get rid of stuff!" but it's really tough to muster up the gumption to get that done.
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.Implications for geeks? Or dot com playrooms?
For Easter/Passover/Whatever frickin' Pagan spring thing it is, Rebekah and Kate organized a makening of tasty homemade sweets.
Open Photo GalleryFirst up: Chocopuff/Ricekrispie Treat Eggs, modeled by Kate and Miller:
Due to misjudging the ratio of cereal to delicious chocolate mortar (too much of the former) these were not widely considered a success. No one else liked them so I took them home. Two in a big mug of milk made a good breakfast! ("Good" in the Calvin and Hobbes "Chocolate Frosted Crunchy Sugar Bombs" sense - "tasty, lip-smacking, crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside, and they don't have a single natural ingredient or essential vitamin to get in the way of that rich, fudgy taste.")
But then, the main event: HOMEMADE PEEPS.
You whip up homemade marshmallow mixture which is gelatin and water and sugar. Here is my Cinéma Vérité study in it:
This substance has almost magical properties:
(Hey did you know Marshmallow is a plant and not just a made-up one like a "gumdrop tree"? Kate did)
Finally, you get a piping bag (before Friday I did not know what a piping bag was) or just a ziplock-with-a-corner-off and squeeze out a Peep!
The trick is getting the shape to be more "peep" and less "poop".
At first, they look like little peep angels, no eyes or color, just their little marshmallow souls on a tray:
But eventually, you get honest to goodness peeps! Some of ours our red-white-and-blue Obama peeps, along with the melted chocolate we used to give them the gift of sight.
Of course, there were mishaps along the way. One plate became a kind of marshmallow "Island of Doctor Moreau", with misshapen lumpy mutants roaming, the result of experiments with wetter colored sugar and cocoa-powder based faces.
I took pains to show that the one on the left was, indeed, a happy mutant.
A mighty army is made! I think we ended up with 2 or 3 batches.
Rebekah getting photographic evidence of the marshmallow legion:
Also made...Totoro Cream Puffs! Lovingly handcrafted homemade pastry shells carefully injected with puddin'.
So much supertastiness!
Many thanks to Rebekah and Derek for hosting and (I think) Kate for coming up with the plan!
--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."
--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
Open Photo GalleryFirst: Boston life:
Man. You see something like this on the street, you wonder about the backstory.
I noticed a new-ish solar powered public trash compactor, and then a day or so after saw a guy emptying it (inset). This was a week after watching Wall-E, with its titular character robot who goes around (eternally recharged by solar panels) turning garbage into building blocks... THIS TRASHBIN IS WALL-E'S GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER!
Nature in Rockport:
I'm not sure but this might be a bit of an inchworm orgy.
And trees were in bloom a bit before that.
And finally here goes EBB. Shame people are throwin' out a perfectly cute little toddler like that. (But seriously: where are her legs??)
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.
Open Photo GalleryOne of the nice things about taking the Acela is the views you get, like this sunset on Thursday:
Also, Union Station in DC is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...
My mom and I went to Mount Vernon, since she lives practically on top of it (on land that used to be part of the estate, actually.) I liked the people there working with cattle:
Finally, a sunflower grows in Maryland:
Open Photo Gallery
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
Open Photo GalleryComing up - fireworks! But first: EB's and his new baby, henceforth known as "EBB2":
So Amber and I decided to kayak the Charles for fireworks - we were joined by much more experienced kayakers rhysara and c1, who had their own equipment (AND HOW - Rhysara managed to get all her luggage on her monstrous beast of a craft:)
Last year I noted "Hmm. 34 years old and I'll still veer off my path to steer towards a pigeon for a bit..." -- apparently you can add a year to 34, and change the pigeon to "swimming geese"...
I worry that not enough of the composition class has stuck with me, or else I would have seen this lovely arch of a bridge as a framing device rather than just notice by accident after: (And maybe hold the camera straight for once)
Getting near the fireworks site we found this lovely beast of a pontoon highrise homebrew craft. Braver souls than I!
Rhysara asked that I make a LJ-icon-able photo including the bow of a kayak and the fireworks... a challenge, since the fireworks were usually high up. This is the best I could do, though I think the square cropping should still be interesting:
- If you're wavering about the hoody (being too warm at first, but useful if an evening chill sets in) wear it now, unless the day is truly sweltering.
- It's a bit over 4 1/2 miles each way. So get paddlin'!
- You do need food, but not that much food...
- The strategy of not drinking too much so as to avoid emergency port-a-lot trips to shore is a good one.
- Yes the anchor is super handy. Ideally with about 100 feet of line but a bit less will do.
- Anchors should ALWAYS be tied to the bow, not the stern, and if you're clever, look how the big boats are pulling from their anchor to figure out which way you'll be facing. HOWEVER - if you are facing directly into the fireworks, you are at risk for having a lot of smoke and ash blown in your face.
http://kirkjerk.com/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
Open Photo Gallery
That's a ride we considered but didn't try... they use a combination system where you can get an all-day pass or use tickets. The latter works out to about $3.45 - $4.60 a ride, which seems like a lot, but probably compares favorably to what you get to go on at a six flags, and it's nice to have the option.
We did give "Adrenalin" a whirl...
Also later went on Pirate Ship one of the classics.
Probably not 100% smart to be taking photos then, but hey. Just to play with rearranging that, getting the horizons about level...
Jane didn't quite feel ready for the "Power Surge", so here I am on it, up, up...
Old Orchard Beach is interesting to me... I heard about quite a lot when I was in Cleveland because the Salvation Army has Camp Meetings there, though I never went to them. Currently the town is a mix of visiting Canadians (so it's generally French-language friendly) and bikers.
On the beach Jane found a ringing cellphone... turns out some guy had left it there by mistake, so we were able to do our good deed for the day and return it to him, over by the place where they sell the famous "pier fries", so a win all around.
And they have a lovely old pier, with a bunch of food stalls and bars over it.
Finally, on my own way home, the setting sun was doing interesting things to the clouds.
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.
Open Photo GalleryJZ's puppy Brody. Everyone loves puppies!
They must have boarded the windows with some striking blue material at this Roxbury building:
Arlington's Spy Pond:
Mysterious and shady duck:
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.
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.
Open Photo GalleryHere are the grooms at their first dance...
Heading out, we had a nice and appropriately gay rights themed MASSIVE rainbow...
Head down to Ocean Grove we probably hit a bit of the dregs of that offshore hurricane, a bit Vanilla Sky-ish...
Open Photo GalleryOcean Grove, New Jersey is a beautiful beach town. Our neighbors there really take the flowers thing seriously:
Thee heart of the town may well be the Great Auditorium, shown here behind a statue of clergyman Elwood Stokes.
Mostly I included that to set the scene for this view of Stokes:
(It reminds me a bit of that one statue of a woman in Kanazawa, Japan I took, but a lot less naked.)
The ruined casino in Asbury Park has this interesting tentacle flapper mural:
Back in the Grove, the had a very odd "Christmas in August" pageant. We missed most of it but it's a bit surreal hearing "Joy to the World" floating over the beach at night.:
Finally, back in Boston, it's JZ and Rhodesian Ridgeback pup Brody...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Open Photo GalleryEB got one of those chimnea outdoor fireplace things that he, Amber, and I enjoyed a week or so ago.
Remember Honeycomb's Big, yeah yeah yeah? Well, yeah. "Enlarged to Show Texture" the box says. Uh-huh. Look, Honeycomb, when you're dwarfed by a cereal called "shredded mini-wheats", maybe you have to come to terms with certain conditions of life...
Plus there is a new kitten of total adorability...
The jury is still out but after a much brainstorming, the name Rex (as in "Oedipius Rex" though we're not aware of too many mommy issues except maybe being weaned a little early) is winning out. It's a nice homonym for "Wrecks"...
Open Photo GallerySarah has embraced the pumpkin, lulling it into a false sense of security:
Amber was ready with some two-knife action:
The carvening happening in earnest:
There was also meatballs and baked potatoes, and later a good round of "Apples to Apples".
By happy (or GHOULISH) coincidence, we had 13 carved Jack-O-Laterns, including the small little gourdish things Amber and I brought on a whim:
I carved the minimalist unhappy face to the right of those, and Amber made the pretty branch 3 down from that.
We also started playing with the face-like shadows (heh, I guess the eyes and mouths are examples of negative negative space, reverse shadows) on the wall behind:
It was quite a nice prolonged moment, all of us sitting in the kitchen, just taking in the row of our creations, bathed in the soft orangish light. Caught a bit of Autumn harvest magic I think.
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.
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
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-
Open Photo GalleryNegative of a negative Amber found in a cupboard in her house, presumably of some previous occupant. (I mirrored it here, not sure which way it's supposed to go but this looks a bit more balanced)
Ariana had her 30th birthday, and it had a Steampunk theme! (My costume was muted, an oddly militaristic outfit, a trenchcoat adorned with 2 steamish looking pipes, and an authentic late-1800s Voltmeter I found in the basement that I lugged around despite its weighing a good 15 pounds.) But Ariana was in full corset-and-bandolier regalia--
Michi, who helped arrange things and then flew in from Chicago, was probably the belle of the ball, what with her firedancing in the backyard and all... kind of amazing!
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.
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.
Open Photo GalleryFirst off was this giant structure. It's, like, almost more sized for adults than kids...
Kind of a fun shot by EB...
But this was the main attraction -- man it was huge! Like 4 or 5 slides, lots of climbing things, chimes to play music, some weird interactive things almost out of the Museum of Science, signs with sign language or braille on one side and jokes or phrases the other to try it out on... (and in the background, that wavy thing that is this crazy kind of multi-person, no-big-impact seesaw.
But of course EB and I had been playing the new Wii Mario game, and I noted that this random bit of asphalt looked an awful lot like the bushrooms from the game, and EB had to live out his Mario fantasies...
Open Photo GalleryThanksgiving Dinner at our cousins in Brookline to start it...
I dunno, I just liked these bricks when I was working up in Dundee Park in Andover...
So, on the day of special election primary for Ted Kennedy's seat, I noticed this sticker, a play on the old Dead Kennedies logo. I wonder if maybe it stood for "Dead Edward".
A house near Mill Falls in Meredith, NH...
EB, Kj, Amber and I went to see Avatar! How stylin' were we with the IMAX 3D?
After the movie we saw this very, very odd truck outside the Watertown Diner (great place, btw - don't know how I missed it when I was actually living in Watertown.) The truck got a lot of attention, which I guess was the point. The door of the truck reads "The Chicken Man".
I found the neighbor's snowman kind of endearing...
This is the fiber optic tree my Aunt and I set up...
Amber and I set up the folkart tree my dad commissioned. Rex finds it extremely inviting.
But Rex is so darn cute...
The wreath was also a nice mix of Amber's and my ornaments. WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF OVER-ORNAMENTING.
Those little magnetic acrobat guys made good Birthday/Christmas gifts.
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?
Open Photo GalleryDJ Santa at Macy's, Downtown Crossing...
Walgreens has, like, WAY too many Giftcards to choose from these days. It's almost like having to pick out an actual gift!
My Mom took this shot proving Virginia is for (Snow) Lovers - who knew?
I liked this self-portrait my mom made as she shoveled.
Amber was NH bound for Christmas, and I headed down with my Aunt and Uncle to our familial place in Ocean Grove New Jersey.
In Connecticut you see these signs that have been defaced by removal of the "SON". I'm not sure what happened to the N on this one, but I think the idea is that "SON" will be a shinier white and it's a religious "Son of God" thing.
Whenever I'm at the shore I kind of make it a rule to taste a little saltwater at least...
People crosscountry ski on the shore in New Jersey!
You know, I decided the Japanese V-sign is fun in photos, if only 'cause it gives you something to do besides stand and smile...
Our little tree in Ocean Grove with all that loot! (Well, there's a table under all that but still.)
My mom got her accordion Christmas Eve (and we actually did a bit of door to door caroling to some neighbor friends...) she seems pretty happy with it!
We had a lovely Christmas brunch laid out...
Christmas Day quote from my Aunt, after being accused of not being in the Christmas spirit: "Whaddya want from me? I'm wearing a pin!" To her credit, it was a very nice pin.
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!
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.)
Open Photo GalleryHere are the trucks in their usual "ready to go" formation.
The first part was the races.
It's... I dunno, kind of like Pro-Wrestling? This kind of weird, powerful, over-macho event with moments of surprising balletic grace... each race is over in a flash, though.
Besides Grave Digger in that last one (who seems to be a bit of an institution in and of itself), "Monster Mutt Dalmatian" was the big crowd favorite, in part because of its wagging tongue, which was way cute.
Dalmatian was driven by Candice Jolly, so it was kind of neat to see women getting on this.
So, Megasaurus was this funny squarish vehicle on tank treads that trundled out...(while a surprisingly detailed backstory is laid out)
And...out pops a robotic dinosaur!
Let us now praise awesome (robotic) dinosaurs
OM NOM NOM
NOM NOM NOM
*erp* (the flamethrower was a nice touch throughout.)
Coming over to say hi to the crowd... Here I started thinking about what kind of insurance these guys must have, and hoping that the "flame thrower" button was, like, very well marked.
You know, I thought it was more of a dragon than a dinosaur, but I wasn't about to press the issue...
OK, adolescent humor footnote -- there was a woman who was kind of the ringmaster for the thing, who would emcee and also a rodeo clown-type fella (no makeup, though a Mike Meyers mask at one point) who was a very good dancer, rode a weird modified chopper bike, and could throw a rolled up T-shirt WAY up into the high seats) They would try to keep the crowd engaged during down times. Anyway, it was hard to make out what she was saying sometimes, except the phrase "UTI" kept jumping out at us...
(you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means, but I might be wrong)
So there were 4 main events: the races, doing donuts, megasaurus, and then a fresstyle. Eradicator dominated the donuts, and there were a lot of those in his freestyle bit:
(I also made a tiny small gif cinema version) Anyway, a fun event in all. Our sectionmates were some interesting folks (though, jeez, some people really shouldn't be wearing thong undiess... but I liked the biker-lookin' fella with beard next to me, especially when he put on one of those grave digger hats that's a model of the famous truck) and it was just neat to see big loud machines do their thing.
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
--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.
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.
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.
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...
Open Photo Gallery
View of the falls from the thing... we were losing the light a bit...
To be honest Amber doesn't like big rides like I do. (Actually, she's not even crazy about driving over big bidges...) So this is her gradually getting a bit more freaked out (but putting a brave face on it...)
Me on the other hand...
View of Clifton Hill...
Catching the last of the sunset...
I think this final shot came out really well, so stark, but with the hit of blue...
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.
Yours 'Til Niagara Falls of the Moment
Random photos from before and after the Niagara Falls part of our trip-
Open Photo GalleryDoesn't this stack of Blueberry Pancakes from Watertown's own Deluxe Town Diner look great? Awesome place that, and worth the wait.
Moneyfor any old Warhol you might have lying about?
Amber's Yaris hit a nice milestone...
So one of the thing about Niagara is it was really windy... there was a dry warm dusty wind which you can kind of see the results of here, and then blasts of cold damp air from over the falls...
After the SkyWheel, I took this shot. I don't think many people in Boston think of it as having its own pizza style? I might be wrong on that.
Fans of old Internet Memes might find this amusing. Other people should just scroll on.
The parking garage near the hotel had this. The sign outside the door said "Please Use Other Doors". Yeah, that first step, she's a doozy.
I dunno, in the light of the next morning, the Frankenstein-themed BK seemed like some sort of weird PETA pro-Vegan thing... "DEATH... YOU'RE EATING IT"
I thought that the viewers for the Falls looked a lot like Wall*E, but maybe not all that much.
Err, just to complete the theme with today's youtube video... those are the pokiest T-shirt models I've seen.
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.(also this month's quote for http://loveblender.com/)
Open Photo Gallery
--Sky at Fresh Pond in Cambridge
--Amber at the shore in Ocean Grove NJ
--Raindrops at the Copley T-Station
--Trees after the Medford Twilight
Note to future self: ignore radio shack guy, fuse should be same amps, voltage can increase. (Also: why do subwoofers need fuses?)
Open Photo GalleryRandom photos: Arlington's Panera really knows how to make a note of apology:
I really liked the economy of expression in this one:
Also I forgot where I shot this flower:
So it was EB's Baby T's birthday party! Here's the guest of honor:
She had a lot of friends over- they flip for her!
Finally, random closeups at the party:
Another bug! Maybe an out of place water strider?
I've only got one setting, old-timer: 'KERBLAM!'
Open Photo GalleryBeetle on Mass Ave in Arlington: (looks a bit like Prodigy's "Fat of the Land" album cover)
Same city, different bug:
I dunno, there's just something so dramatic about the reflection in the back windows of cars...
Self-portrait in Jacques Demain's glasses, during our cookout...
So at SoWa today, I found a slightly different shot of the logo of my favorite site Glorious Trainwrecks, I liked how my celebratory workspace photo came out...
The image is the 1895 train wreck at The Gare Montparnasse -- Wikipedia indicates it helped inspire the surrealist movement.
Parking near Boton's SoWa outdoor art market -- this is the coolest paring garage I've seen...
Tower near SoWa...
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....
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...
Open Photo Gallery
Ok, so these two aren't -- this is Spy Pond from last weekend--
I was surprised at how well this other shot of the moon came out. (while still always bummed that the cratering on the moon doesn't really look like anything else.)
Although in my heart of hearts I prefer the July 4th Kayaking on the lower part of the Charles, I was kind of stunned at how scenic it is upstream...
Though as always, I'm just as fascinated by human engineering, like the underside of this bridge, closeup...
And a bit further back on the way back in...
And I'm not above admiring the odd bit of graffiti, if competently done, and/or oddly placed, and/or with an odd word or phrase in it.
Finally, a bug in the window of the men's room--
I take you to the beach sometime and i'll bring the blanket and the chicken. Is this not the makins for love?
"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.
--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:
Open Photo Gallery
Damn it I forget how much more effective and less distracting my energetic work "!psyched" playlist is that my other playlists.
Open Photo GalleryEBB2 in Rockport...like the expression.
Usually powerlines just get in the way of photographs, they're kind of a bit of urban blight, but I thought this looked pretty cool...
Graffiti on a Red Line train.
This poster, Blueprint of a Hot Fudge Sundae, I've had since I was a kid. Amber recently put a decent frame on it for me.
Actually this whole corner of our kitchen is pretty cool, how Amber used the kind of odd triangle cut on the other side of the stairs leading down to the basement.
Finally today Amber, Kjersten, and I went for a walk and Kjersten spotted this clover and moth...
The first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it.
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...
Open Photo GalleryMonday on the shore with gulls...
A little closer.
Amber is damn serious about her little shells.
MELAS + MELUB
A little corny but I like the sentiment and willingness to actually make it an embedded plaque...
...and if nothing else, it was in somewhat better taste than this:
Guess someone was declaring a War on Terrier!
http://arst.ch/lyv How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad... 23 years ago
A city is a large community where people are lonesome together.
http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/ - this was twittered as "iPhone users are whores" but I dig the camera/photo details comparative analysis.
Cracked.com's Real Life Death Stars and their Fatal Flaws - interesting historical superweapons and their fatal flaws...
Open Photo Gallery
...and then there were two!
I'd recommend Belmar Parasail to anyone around the central Jersey shore,, they run a nice little operation. (You go out in groups, there were 3 pairs of teenagers who went up together, than me and this other guy had solo flights.)
It's amazing how calm and still it is once you get up there - it's like you're hovering, with little sense of movement, just great height.
So of course, I couldn't let THAT last...
They'll dip you, I guess unless you ask 'em not too. It's fun, and the water was surprisingly warm today.
MELAS and Amber drove me down... we didn't quite realize that they allow a few extra folks to ride on the boat, so they played "para-spotter" and drove up the shore, stopping to take photos here and there, which I thought was pretty hip! Amber took this over-dune shot of me...
So the Belmar folk have "Sponge Bob" disposable cameras in waterproof casees for you to buy and take up there (PROTIP: make sure it doesn't bungee from where it's attached to your lifejacket and hit you in the face when you swing upsidedown, eh?) -- I asked that my turn be near our stomping grounds of Ocean Grove...
I think I took this one upsidedown, pointed toward Belmar--
And then the other direction, toward Asbury Park-- the ruined Casino (gradually being restored piecemeal) that I've seen in Tony's dream sequence in "The Sopranos" and that is also the setting for the start of the finale of Grand Theft Auto IV...
So yeah, you're way up there...
Way, way up there...
Stupid little boat! I step on you and crush you!!!
Parasailing: highly recommended.
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....
--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...
That's what I look forward to about getting old- advances in kitchen appliances.
Atlantic City, 9AM
Open Photo Gallery
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring pop on it... I have low standards.
click for fullsize
Surprise find: Asbury Park's Silverball Museum- lots of awesome old school pinball from across the decades!
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...
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Next two from the PEM's exhibit on optical illusions...
Later, outside the Liberty Tree mall...
"Punch bug green! [light tap]" "What are you, twelve?" "...Times three!"
It is going into the Library of Congress, you know.
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Plenty of livestock, though!
And the place to go to see comically oversized pumpkins.
They had a nice ferris wheel...
View of the people below.
Amber was much better than last time on a ferris wheel but was still a bit on edge.
These were the folks running the rides. I note that A. being from Tennessee, they must be frickin' cold -- we were freezing ourselves, especially in the morning. B. They certainly make that "High Voltage / Keep Out" arrow awfully inviting.
Kjersten and I braved the "Cliff Hanger" -- "up, up, and around!"
I was on my own for "Air Force One" though.
Man, that thing was pretty high...
I won a rhino for Amber! And Kjersten wielded a fierce plastic sword.
Amber in Kjersten's glasses.
And me in further reflection...
Our visit started and ended walking by the antique tractor section. It was interesting hearing how a lot of the old tractors were still "working tractors" as the guy said, not just old machines fired up for special occasions.
The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
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?
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--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.
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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.
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Capitalism conquered communism, and now it's got democracy on the ropes.(via http://twitter.com/JPBarlow)
PERVERTS ARE LIKE COCKROACHES YOU TRY TO STEP ON THEM BUT THEY LIKE IT
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.
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...
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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!"
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 )
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If I had a hammer...
Amber might be smiling because I had stepped backwards to frame the photo, tripped on a stair, landed neatly on my butt, and still got the shot. Then an attendant came over to tell us we're not supposed to take photos in the place.
Outside-- this shot is taken through a peephole in a sculpture called "Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories".
So while most of the sculptures where of fairly traditional material (stone, metal, etc) there was at least one that was just trees constrained into a squared off fence pattern... so I got to keep using my line "Is this art or landscaping? Look for a plaque!"
At the end of the month it was Kate's birthday. How old? Old... Miller made up an idea Kate had previously thought of, a "strawberry quiche". It was pretty decent (much to Miller's surprise considering the disaster it made of his kitchen), kind of like a custard.
Kate's partner has a dog Ben, notoriously camera shy, leaving the place when a camera is even pulled out. My new camera has a great zoom lens though so I was able to get a shot.
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I think I made an iPhone shot of the turkey around Alewife, but it still weirds me out.
There have been some nice sunsets this Autumn... this is over Brigham Circle
For my Uncle's birthday we went to The Palm, here he is with MELAS in front of the BPL.
Yet another shot of The Hancock, though from ten stories up. I'm always tempted to start a photoblog just of people taking photos of it. Can't blame them though, it the daytime it's so gorgeous.
It dwarfs the Trinty Church across the street. I don't think people realize what a big church it is, but if you look closely you can see a workman there. Those windows are at least twice as big as your eye tends to assume.
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.
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New Hampshire tree as we took our Thanksgiving walk...
The First Baptist Church of Boston's belltower has some detail people on the street probably don't see very much of...
Clouds over the Charles.
Amber and I decorated a wreath... I like how we both have a red sled ornament with our name on it from our childhood.
My dad's "folk art" tree decorated with some needlework ornaments my dad made, recently unearthed by my mom and aunt... (doubly nice because they're soft and won't get hurt if Rex knocks over the tree...
Speaking of cats...
Alright, a bit of a reach, but there was something about Emma's face in that fourth photo that looked so familiar.
(Not that it's that funny but click here if this makes no sense whatsoever to you.)
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...
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Frost covered ground in Arlington.
Lens flare! Amber points out that sans buildings this looks pretty darn rural.
The music and flailing lights preshow at Jordan's IMAX are getting old, but sometimes it can still be pretty.
A bushel of birds near Harvard Square.
First night of snow bike.
Since I was in NJ last night I went to see Babycastles Holiday Party: Julefrokost! on 42nd St.
On the way there I noticed I was looking up at the Times Square Soon-To-Be-Dropped Ball.
Loved the homebrew arcade machines there at Babycastles.
But honestly some of the appeal was just meeting the legendary Auntie Pixelante.
And of course her gal Daphny!
Babycastles had some interesting lectures that night. Afterwards: DJ rockin' out the gameboy
42nd St the other way.
NYC confused my GPS.
Finally back at the family homestead; Christmas loot a-waitin'
You can stop running that response to Virginia's letter about Santa. She's probably dead by now.
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click for fullsize
Just watched "Real Genius". It really gave geeks of the 80s and 90s something to aim for. Longing for a Richard Feynman biopic though.
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Snow in January, back when it was still kind of fun and charming.
MIT Mystery Hunt video game mascot pirate party.
The team behind sredavni...
I love a good whiteboard!
The (inside) outer wall of the new American Wing of the MFA.
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...
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In the balm 40+ degree temps, I was back in sandals for the actual beachwalking...
There were many many seagulls.
And one stately duck.
The duck is on the fast-flowing miniriver of meltoff that goes from the cement-y boardwalk (cementwalk?) and into the sea.
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(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
Open Photo GalleryComing home from getting an iPad 2 from Amber, our Red Line train had some breakdancers who did kind of a lot in the little space they have, plus they had a nice panhandling shtick ("I just got a ten!" one would yell "FROM WHO" everyone'd yell back "Some Rich Looking White Guy!")
JZ at PAX, the mostly empty Queue room:
A view of the future, random girl with cello spotted at Harvard Square.
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.
Open Photo GalleryView of Boston..
Cambridge Reservoir near Waltham...
Arlington High...funny being able to sms this as a photo to Amber in real time.
Pilot overlooking Lexington..
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.
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One of the first things we did was putter around our neighborhood in the 11th arrondissement, and they had a kind of amazing farmers market on the Rue d'Aligre. Including this street performer who was balancing a fishbowl on his head.
After heading back to the apartment we're renting for a nap, we headed to the museée du quai Branly. We may head back to this cultural museum and its first peoples exhibits, but for now we just got a all-Paris museum pass and then admired the greenery.
I think you may know this gal.
Tilt-shifted view from atop the Tower.. it doesn't really look like toys from up there.
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".
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Sometimes the coolest things about museums are the fellow patrons...
The space is huge with a neat courtyard next to it, and in between are these cool big tubes with escalators and hallways.
Notre Dame from the inside...
And from the outside...
Finally, after a nice meal at the just down the street from our apartment "Cafe Pure", it's time for bed...
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:(The other half of mine tends to be "might contain boobies")
Things A Better Version Of Me Would Actually Sit Through
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Tickling a rhino outside the Orsay.
Love locks on the Pont des Arts.
Not sure which bridge near the Louvre this was but I liked the Space Invader...
At the Rodin garden... interestingly I caught a lot of detail by sticking my camera in the grieving guy's face than I could see in person.
WWI tank at Les Invalides
Watcher of Napolean's Tomb.
Finally at the end of the day, Amber and I retire to the awesome 7th floor patio for a snack, and to reflect (in a mirror in an apartment across the street)
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!
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Miller's turtles on display at the Louvre!
This is how you see the Mona Lisa. It's not that bad, actually, if your patient you can get a front row view, and take it in albeit from a bit of a distance. It was more exciting when the guy was accusing another guy of being a pickpocket.
Amber framing a shot.
Sculptures at the Louvre. The scale of the place is breathtaking... some of the canvases are just... I've lived in apartments with less floor space than some of these.
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:
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Paris has some mean looking pigeons including these bruisers near the L'Orangerie.
L'Orangerie, the old greenhouse for the Louvre, has two magnificent oval rooms for viewing Monet's Waterlilies. Here an artist was painting a work in the second room. The work appears to be some kind of Impression of Impressionism, sharing the colors but damn little of the form. Metaimpressionism?
Near Belleville, Amber noticed this rather scorched apartment building.
After a rest, we headed out to Sacre-Coeur. Pretty!
It was probably the most tourist-y space we went to save the Louvre... a ton of street performers, including this guy doing tricks and acrobatics with a black soccer ball or somesuch.
I'm sure someone has pointed out the poetically just descent from the Sacred to the Profane, going from the basilica at the peak down to the Red Light District. Here is the famous Moulin Rouge windmill, though the shot is a little off because it's not night.
Finally, back to our temporary home away from home for a final night. We had one meal here at Le Pure Cafe, and drinks another night. Talk about picturesque... during the day today the street had been blocked off for a full film crew with crazy lighting rigs and stinky generator trucks filming at tables in front.
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The old ruined castle is just amazing. On the way in we wiki'd up the history, and what an influence the sense of ruin and fallen grandeur was for former generations.
Detail from a fountain in the upper courtyard.
I love how part of the castle behind the wall is there, and part not.
Far beneath the castle is the university town.
There was a protest rally in the middle of town by the church, but the protestors were outnumbered by the loaded-for-bear riot police around (including mounted officers and these motorbike guys) but all the cops were pretty relaxed and amused by the whole thing.
Volker and Caroline...
Finally, the river Necker.
--They were saying this is one of germany's favorites...thought I'd post it since I should be there now!
Open Photo GalleryVisiting Miltenberg today...
We saw "Zum Riesen", with a claim to being Germany's oldest tavern
Lovely old castle town, though the main castle was undergoing renovation.
Still, the nature was pretty amazing on the walkways up there... at the bottom is Volker and Coraline.
Oh rats, we forgot to get escargot in Paris!
The view of the vineyard-laden hills by the nearby monastery were grand.
Germans have a tradition of eating delicious cake on Sunday afternoon. I highly approve of this tradition.
Since I'm in a land of "funny lookin' money"... ideas for US Currency redesign by Michael Tyznik
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While we were waiting Amber rode their signature red horse.
Later we took the tram up cannon mountain. Unfortunately it was a rather foggy day...
It was pretty in an abstract and mysterious kind of way though:
And there was some nice nature...
Though I think my current Canon doesn't have as good a macro zoom as my previous ones (much harder to focus I like how this came out.
Open Photo Galleryhere Amber and I are on a park bench.
And here Amber has decided to start joining me in my favorite photo pose.
EBB2, just hanging out...
Jordan's- please. Update the pre-IMAX music. 90s retroswing has not come back yet. So sick of Zoot Suit Riot. #jordans #cherrypoppindaddies
Open Photo GalleryReady to go:
Amber was taking photos from the boat...
Once again, nice view...
I liked the coordinated efforts to reel the chute in at the end...
Back to the dock... Amber got the rubber chicken because she didn't feel like heading up herself.
There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'
Open Photo GallerySeen at Costco... man, I know what Prairie Oysters are, so I'm staying away from this...
Amber on the shore.
Fun with the waterproof camera:
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.'
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!
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.
Open Photo GalleryT-rex bones and Amber at the Natural History Museum:
They also had some live animals outside, including this
We saw some great sunsets over the lake..
And had our own two-woman Mardi Gras...
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.
Open Photo GallerySunday we watched the Puerto Rican Parade and Fair (big community in Cleveland) which was near the Free Stamp, one of my favorite bits of public art ever:
Then we went to Fairport Harbor and did some kayaking and swimming, and I fooled around with my waterproof camera...
This was from Saturday night actually, taken from the pier at Edgewater...
Open Photo GalleryKaraoke farewell to alleyoop interns...
Amber and I went to see the (ignoble!) final Patriots preseason game. Here's Brady!
For halftime, they had 2 Pop Warner minigames going on. It was kind of charming seeing all the little guys out there, though I think football is kind of a tough sport for the growing lad.
Finally today we visit EB and co up in Rockport, and we stopped at Top Dog, and Amber got us some condiments that I made into a traffic light.
Open Photo GalleryNorthboro September 24:
Topsfield Fair October 9:
Some men are born to greatness, with others the devil simply says 'you'll do.'
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."
"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")
IT COOL THAT IN HONOR OF ANDY ROONEY! WORLD GET EXTRA 60 MINUTE!
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
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I kind of enjoyed reading about the 101 most despised athletes in sports history
Open Photo GalleryThis corner, with the previously blogged typewriter, and my dad's "folk art tree" (we mostly decorated with soft stuff, because it's in reach of El Gato.)
We kinda like to go to town on the wreath...
Finally a fond farewell to this little flat tree of misfit ornaments, mostly ones that got stained in storage a long while ago, and never get to the wreath or tree...
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?
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.
Open Photo GalleryA couple weeks ago we had my company holiday party hosted by the company's president... here he is handing out my compay's version of the Dundies (this is the one with the animal theme to fit our fast-evolving "Darwin" project codename, where I was given the "Platypus" award.)
Christmas was at my folks summer place in Ocean Grove New Jersey. At the Rite-Aid Christmas Eve my mom and I spotted this bit of hilariously awful commercialism:
Jesus is the Reason for the Season, now BUY OUR CANDY... (There were also, and I have photographic proof of this, "Jesus: Sweetest Name I Know" candycanes. (On the tin, they flip the candycane to be the "J" in Jesus.)
Speaking of all things Jesus-y, Amber and I went to Kevin Smith's comicbook store "Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash" where they have props from his movies, including the "Buddy Christ" from the "Catholicism WOW" campaign in Dogma:
So, Christmas! Here was the tree corner looking as lovely as ever...
It's funny though how a bad angle can ruin a photo...
I got lots of cool things including a replacement for my London Tube map "Mighty Wallet". What a difference a year makes, eh?
We had lots of good eating over the weekend, including the Zucchini and Cheese Omelettes by Amber.
Here she with a blurry platter of chopped deliciousness behind her...
Dr. Mario is to my family what Monopoly or Scrabble is to some others, the game you can just play and play and play and play and play during get-togethers. In OGNJ we play the Japanese-only Gamecube version on a projector.
Amber just wanted photographc evidence that she should have won... clearly her final 2 viruses are being taken out there on the far left even as the bouncing "Lose" message taunts her.
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One of the greatest attractions there is a building dedicated to Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawings. These certainly challenge many folk's idea of what art is: none of them are actually constructed by LeWitt's hands. Instead, each consists of a set of instructions, for example:
A team of drafters produced this result-- (all of his works are done by various teams of draftsmen (draftspeople?) and there's a subculture of folks who have worked on his pieces. Also, the works are "portable", in terms of one can be painted over and made again at the same place or elsewhere, and the new one is the official thing. (Only one official instance exists, but people can of course make their own unofficial duplicates.)
That one was one of our favorites. I liked how small discrepancies are magnified until a 3D-ish, almost topographical quality emerges. Detail:
Other Sol LeWitt pieces:
Some other images of us strolling around the place:
Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.
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I traded up that Eb sousaphone for a proper BBb one. Just getting the right tone four notes down is worth it, plus now I have the theoretical potential to join a group (lacking the mojo to transpose in real time). I find that the mustache isn't a problem as long as I kind of tuck the edge of the mouthpiece under it.
I had a small shindig for my birthday.
Amber got me a lovely cake from Quebrada, which has Grey enraptured.
Pontification on the BBb Sousaphone. "See, this is my new sousaphone. Now a lot of people will confuse a tuba and a sousaphone. And... they're pretty much right."
Amber says she likes this photo of me, it's how she often sees me...
http://creativejs.com/2012/04/multiplayer-asteroids-with-node-js/ Holy Crap. 1800+ people playing Asteroids Arena. Node.js has some amazing power!
Open Photo GalleryFriday evening I hit pax with JZ...
Heading to the subway.
We went to the Friday night concert, the opening band was "Supercommuter".
It's not easy to look like you're rocking out when your main instrument is a gameboy...
Sunday was Amber's folks and mine meeting for the first time, for Easter Dinner...
...I just love how the color of the bowls matched the foods we were going to dip in them
Air shark peruses the pre-dinner snacks.
WHAT? WHAT IS IT?
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.
That NY Times piece on casual games is interesting for scratchware gamer makers like me.
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Scanning photos from my days in Euclid in preparation for our 20th (!) reunion. These were 3 of my favorites.
The first one is Mike at the Science Museum in Boston during a band trip up here... since then they've moved the dinosaur outside. The middle is Marnie at Winterfest, I think-- she wasn't my date that night but man I dug that dress, I think her grandmother did the sewing, with a great fabric that shimmers from green to purple-- I've seen the fabric since, but not for years after that dress.
Finally it's me before the Atlanta Christmas Parade in 1991.
Still bummed that at how much more poorly documented life was back then. And the photos were usually less adventurous.
--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?
Open Photo GalleryLately I've been seeing window washers...
at Copley Square...
And Faneuil Hall...
You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs...
My mom got me one of those Heroica Lego boardgames, Amber and I tried it out a few weeks ago.
Finally this weekend we went to see her brother's commencement at Saint Michael's in Vermont.
The night before we went down to Lake Champlain... lovely twilight.
I need to remind myself unnoticed meanings exist as well. It isn't the noticing of some thing that makes it true or false.
Open Photo GalleryUS Navy Memorial Plaza:
JZ in front of a rock at the Air and Space Museum.
Me reflected in their model of Sputnik.
An important note on early flight! From the gift store there...
Dragon at an Asian Culture Street Fair.
Hippo at the Natural History Museum.
Cool atrium inside the buildings that make up the portrait gallery.
Finally we went to a DC United Soccer game...
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Stone Zoo is smallish, but the Flamingo Flock is fun, especially now since they have all these baby flamingos!
EB taking photos on Spectacle Island.
EBB1 offering up some clover.
EBB2 got a little tired.
You can see the rainstorm we were heading into as the boat returned to Long Wharf...
View of the statehouse.
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.
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.
Open Photo GalleryThere was a blimp with "US NAVY" emblazoned on the side. Some kind of shore patrol, I assume?
Me and my new outdoor hat...
And then some fun with the waterproof canon Amber got me last year...
I think premature abstraction might be more evil than premature optimization.
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.
Open Photo GalleryBefore the fireworks, a shot of Amber. She prefers the ones where she's, you know, smiling, but I dig this one.
Before the show I experimented with my camera's "fireworks" mode... Amber likes this one.
Reflection in the beach water.
Finally from the day before, this sunbather looked lonely.
http://gigaom.com/2012/07/05/patent-troll-stalks-travel-site-hipmunk/ Software patents are just food for trolls. End them.
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First hint: there shouldn't be a tree across the bike path!
Or a small side road blocked.
Inspecting a lovely old Willow, pulled out by its roots.
Our street. Note the sidewalk levered up. There was a line of violently downed trees, perpendicular to the row of streets where we live.
Some flooding closer to Arlington Center...
Another uprooted tree closer to us.
Open Photo GalleryThe desk of a coworker... during his week's vacation, a legion of gummy bears took over!
Gummies marking their territory.
The smaller gummies subdued the giant gummy bear that has been in a box near the coworker's desk since time immemorial (that he long ago declined to devour, even after we offered to pay him.)
Gummy swat teams practicing their repelling...
close up of Gummiver...
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.
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fun beatle car rental
big fun is always a treat in the land of cleves
at the steelyard shopping center
Everything has its time, and everything dies.
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view from terminal tower- indians home game!
the view south.
(it was weird laterseeing the new packed casino in the same building...)
see ya later alligator!
(at the greater cleveland aquarium)
under the jellyfish
dinner at pickle bill's
http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/ on my UI dev blog: EMPOWER EVERYONE - What Google Hangouts, AppleTV, and ITS PDP-6 have in common
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
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.
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tractor and pumpkins
before the cookout
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.'
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
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)
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.
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
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:
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Another thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a situation where "bad" guys have fewer ways of getting guns. Duh.
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
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branch with a bit of dew
jan 12 evening , the fog over spy pond was lovely.
...and there were ducks walking on water.
that is a very orange bike
selfie: the new stylin' thrift shop shirt, the old baggy jean
fringe benefit of having a housemate who is a graphic designer: arrows with dropshadows.
The bull is the eternal principle of life, truth in action.
It is not the same to talk of bulls as to be in the bullring.(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"
"O Mighty King, remember now that only gods stay in eternal watch.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.
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."
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.
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.
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fortress duplo east wall
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.
Open Photo GalleryI was watching EBB2 who, being the younger, probably has fewer photos of her overall, and the light was great (it being darn near the longest day of the year) so I took photos of her:
Also before that there were some young ducks walking around the walks where all the people were clambering. (We didn't pursue them too vigorously. I admired how rock-colored they were.)
Finally, the tide previously had been really low thanks to that "super moon" effect (not that it's that big of a deal)... still it looked pretty over the waters.
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.
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...
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full(er) set on flickr
Blender of Love Digest
[Kirk has] an estimated 3.0% Neanderthal DNA, which puts [him] in the 92nd percentile among European 23andMe members.
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The first day was 2 flights to meet Riana in Juneau and 1 more to get to nearby Gustavus via a puddle jumper.
Some lovely wispy clouds out the plane window.
Seattle had more mountains than I remembered.
I admired the ability of such a small plane to haul itself and us through the air.
The view from the puddle jumper - putting the aqua into aquamarine, or something.
The greenery next to the cabin we were at.
We were headed toward 'nagoonberry trail' but wild strawberries were the attraction for us. Riana had an amazing eye for path-side berries through the entire trip: strawberries, blueberries, thimbleberries, watermelon berries, raspberries, salmonberries... and of course the odd nagoonberry.
She also knows her trailside mushrooms. This is "chicken of the woods". It was a main course and a side dish for several meals -- texture and flavor, it basically IS chicken.
Near the path was glacier bay at low tide, with interesting (and super mushy) tidal streams.
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)
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.
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.
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
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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
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.)
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...."
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Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal.
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?
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.
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:
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Annie: So, what got you into photography?Nicest spin about photography I've seen in a while.
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.
- Bounce No. 1 (Dave Leanza & Andy Manista) I ripped from a cassette tape [Cleveland] "Heights Jazz Night 1991". I think it may be an original composition, and catchy as heck.
- Joe and Paul (Barton Brothers / Stutchkoff) A Yiddish comedy bit from 1:00-2:55 - the video has some loose translation on screen.
- Bottom of the River (Tufts sQ!) New single by my college a cappella group, just had their 20th birthday. Freshman singing in the group were born around the same time I started singing with them, senior year. (The version from iTunes has better sound quality)
- Steal My Kisses (Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals) Surprised I missed this one when it came out, but everyone at the sQ reunion knew it.
- Rudy (Fusik) The soundtrack to that aweseme bboy/bgirl video. Man that is some amazing dancing/gymnastics.
- Loyalty Never Leaves (Lance Knight) On a radio station in GTA5, this odd Rasta-ish version of "Royals" - reading the lyrics helps a little.
- Opa Cupa Fly (Brass Menazeri) Romani Brass - I think this is a remix.
- Get Back (Ludacris) Wow... the Popeye Arms he's sporting in this video...
- Monty Python's Galaxy Song (Stephen Hawking) Hawking sings Python. (sad the buy now link only works in the UK; I had to rip it.)
- Leprosy (Eu-Four-Ia) An obscure Dr. Demento cassette-tape rip - I should probably put it on youtube.
- Lose It (In the End) (Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.) Ronson often has great percussion.
- Tables and Chairs (Andrew Bird) I think cmg sent me this. I like the post-apocalypse-with-snacks vision.
- Statistician's Blues (Todd Snider) Comedy bit. Like the tone but wish the numbers were better.
- God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get) (El Perro del Mar) Soft song I heard on "Girls"
- Moonlight In Vermont (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong) When my superniece's Mama K need to scat some song to operate a lamb puppet, she sang this, a song I hadn't heard.
- Can't Nobody Love You (The Zombies) The romantic 60s.
- Send It Up (Kanye West) James Harvey keeps me interested in Kanye.
- Knock On Wood (Eddie Floyd) Very Sam+Dave sounding.
- Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) (Iggy Azalea) The examplar from a "why we love pop music [that sucks]" article, but I have to admit I like Iggy Azalea's delivery.
- Work Song (Hozier) Not quite as good as "Take Me To Church"
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
Open Photo GalleryI checked out the Ripley's Believe It Or Not place, that led off with this 13-foot-high Hulk statue (they had an Optimus Prime as well):
The interior had a touch orientalism and maybe racism, but also some true moments of surprise and delight... a Tibetan Skull bowl split the difference.
I had a wicked classy T-shirt custom pressed:
Steel Pier is pretty cool...
I went on this thing:
Finally, the trip home was well-timed:
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.
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:
Here's what the Hatch looks like from the other side...
Ted Cruz is Nathan Lane minus the charm. And music.
"You can't think seriously about thinking without thinking about thinking about something."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
Open Photo GalleryPicture of me showing an "Etch-A-Sketch Animator" (with both of us in matching HONK! shirts) to my Super-Niece Cora. Once I got over how weirdly big my head looked in it, it reminded me of and caused me to dig up a photo of me and my dad when I was around 3. There's some parallel in the adult-paying-attention-to-child aspect (even if both are 'Kirk saying hey let me show you this')
Also: that photo was right next to
which reminded me of another recent favorite
(of course she's about 2 years younger than I was, I think that's a promising sign)
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...
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
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.
Open Photo GalleryPhotos of School of Honk May Day Dance Party by Chelsea Ruscio
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:
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...
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It started raining but we still punctuated the event with "Thrift Shop"
Boogyin' down, nice to see Arlington making its own Porchfest:
And backing our head honcho Kevin:
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.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.
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.
Open Photo GalleryParasailing with Belmar Parasail over Ocean Grove...
(Not actually us, just to show what's going on)
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
Open Photo Gallery
A silver lining to my wonky flight schedule including a layover in Germany was having enough time for an ice cream treat with Veronika and Volker and the kinder... I admired the design of the ice cream float spoon, that can perch on the edge of the glass...
I'm resigned to not getting a lot of touring in, but after I got to the hotel I walked around a bit.
St. Stephen's Green. There were a ton of young folks lying around. I asked what the special event was, but turns out nothing more than a particularly nice day!
Later I realized we were near enough Trinity College that it might be some connection to that, kind of like a virtual quad.
I found this herd of Pokemon Go players, though...
Stopped at a tiny pub. Like 4 or 5 lines of Guinness and a big variety of whisky on the shelf behind.
I just like the sentiment - gum on the sidewalk is a fantastic way of ruining someone's afternoon.
Dublin architecture and shadows.
View from the hotel's gym room.
It took an embarrassingly long time for me to realize that room 615 was to the right. I blamed being tired but really it was writing the range backwards that confused me
Sand Sculpture on - Dawson Street, I think? Tuesday evening.
Open Photo Gallery
One claim to fame of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland where we had the 'Fest was: Napoleon's Toothbrush!
I also liked this mounted table top, carved with people's names, presumably students?
Detail - I like some of the typefaces some of them used.
After conference Wednesday was dinner The Guinness Storehouse... the industrial scale inside is impressive. They also have a "learn to pour the perfect pint" certificate class. Can I put this on my Linked In?
Atop the storehouse is "The Gravity Bar" with a great panorama view of Dublin - probably cooler in the daytime?
Can I say, most Americans become big fans of the toilet stalls that are actually little rooms? USA stalls with their gaps and what not must seem awfully low-rent to Europeans.
@ Trinity College, first big stop for the walking tour.
Alleyway, festive for the upcoming Galway and Tipperary football match
It's the centennial of the Easter Rising, an important time for Irish Independence.
Dublin Castle has an interesting mishmash of styles on this wall!
It's worth reading up on the The Statue of Justice (mark well her station / her face to the castle / and her arse to the nation) but my photo of her companion came out better.
Detail from grounds of a viking house remnant. Before this trip I had no idea about the Viking influence in the culture. (Or the Spanish, "Black Irish"/"Northern Spaniards" connection, as our guide Sean put it.)
Castle and Linens.
View down the River Liffey.
Oh, Ireland. :-(
Well, Ireland maybe there will be hope for you yet.
The fortress of Guinness!
Panorama from AOL Dublin. On the left is the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and grounds, Phoenix Park (Europe's largest) and the Wellington Monument on the right... take that tooth, Napoleon's Toothbrush!
Can I just say, this Gas is $5.24 by my calculations. I know the USA is a larger country, but how would we be if our gas prices were anywhere near there?
More Viking Love.
The Science Gallery had an exhibit "Seeing: What Are You Looking At?". I disagree with most of this poster, except maybe the ending. Seeing is pretty awesome, and a remarkably detailed way of putting together a view of the world, though like the poster says, it's easy to mistake the map for the territory.
This piece was cool, sounds from the speakers, and screens that seemed empty until you used the maginifying-glass like filters to see the animation.
Piece by The Oakes Twins, they draw on concave paper.
Finally, even the men's room sink was cool at this place.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
I love the sky in the first one.
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
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...
advent day 11
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...
Open Photo GalleryI really love shots of the shore from the water... (Ocean Grove, NJ)
Panorama of the same...(Click for fullsize)
I dig nearby Asbury Park as well - a vibrang LGBTQ community that brought it back from bad days.
--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.
Open Photo GalleryI liked the more serious look as I model my outfit...
There was a brigade of massive aliens that danced with School of Honk, including this terrific giant ape...
After our set JP Honk met its twin band, Unity Street Band from Syracuse NY - same color scheme and some overlap in music! We joined forces for the parade.
Plezi Rara at the PRONK ampitheater where JP Ponk played in the afternoon... they got some nice light!
Fun with the new iPhone's night stuff (I'm also really digging its wideangle lens...)
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We arrive Sunday afternoon - the hotel concierge (Roy at the Maison on Dupuy) suggests hitting the French Market and then Coop's, local favorite but with a great tourist-friendly "Taste Plate" - Rabbit & Sausage Jambalaya is Melissa's favorite NOLA food so far. But this shot expresses how the locals feel about hot sauce...
View from our Balcony at the Maison Dupuy... the hotel restaurant is playing some great jazzy pop but with a Christmas bend, which always feels like a disconnect to witness in a land with palm trees (I'm not sure if it's just the tourist aspect but NOLA seems more into Christmas than Boston.)
Bourbon Street at night - earlier we were walking around the French Market, the Saints were playing the 49ers, and a lot of fans were in the area at night (we nervously split when we saw a Mardi Gras-esque float by the 49ers fans approaching, not sure how it was going to be received...) Before that we grabbed a Muffuletta and a link of Alligator Sausage.
I'm always a sucker for good signage.
Waiting for a tour bus we got a second look at something our cab driver from the airport had pointed out - in October an under-construction building (future Hard Rock Cafe hotel) had partially collapsed.
Our destination was the Whitney and Oak Alley Plantations. Whitney is strongly focused on presenting the perspective of the enslaved people that so much was taken from - including the heroic tragedy of the 1811 German Coast uprising. Oak Alley (as seen in many films including Interview with the Vampire) is also very careful at showing the human cost and not whitewashing the period. Photograph from the balcony of the main house there.
After dinner at Mahoney's we went to Frenchmen Street - The Young Fellaz, a group I knew a bit from HONK! in October, were in full effect on the corner. (After their set I went up and one of the tuba players let me borrow his horn (I had brought my own mouthpiece), and a few of the players briefly jammed over my signature bass line Space Cadet)
Tuesday bright and early we headed out for a city bus tour - you get a local telling you great stories and you cover more geography than on foot... we stopped at St. Louis Cemetery No. 3. (The NOLA burial traditions are fascinating.)
After the tour we went to the Audubon Insectarium - once upon a time a fellow student in a photography adult ed class asked me (in her charming irish brogue) "ooo, y'like boogs, doncha?" and I sort of denied it but you know, she wasn't wrong.
The Insectarium even has a cafeteria where you can sample crickets and waxworms in various preparations, like hummus and chocolate-chip-ish cookies, but the Butterfly Garden was more photogenic...
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.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.
Open Photo Gallery
Tuesday evening we went to Red Fish Grill (our driver the day before mentioned her son was a chef there, and seafood besides 'fried' seemed like a good change.) After we hit Preservation Hall - the quick, polished 45 minute set you get (with 3-5 shows a night) is a good little sampler. We sat in the good cheap seats, meaning on the floor on bench cushions right in front of the musicians. No photos permitted during the performance, alas.
Wednesday morning we set out to District Donuts and a quick jaunt through the garden district. Melissa was stoked when we overheard a segway tour leader pointing out a place Melissa's high school idol Trent Reznor had lived there for a bit. Meanwhile, we laughed at how her chilly weather gear made her look like she was casing the joints.
We spent the afternoon at The National WWII Museum. Yeah, it's a bit too rah-rah, and distinctly the American story - though I give them some credit for confronting the racism and sexism of the time. (Like the Insectarium, they had a "4D movie" but this one was truly grand: physical props flying in, suds as artificial snow for the Battle of the Bulge, good use of light and sound and rumble effects.)
The gift store offered knock-off LEGO ("COBI") sets with reproductions of military stuff. The front display was a diorama representing a beach landing, probably D-Day? I uh... I remembered why it took LEGO so many years to have any kind of weapons in their sets.
That night we dressed up a bit to dine at Galatoire's and then went to Snug Harbor where Doug had promised Delfeayo Marsalis' Uptown Jazz Orchestra was the best jazz in town - that night featuring a second half with Tonya Boyd-Cannon (former Top 20 Finalist on "The Voice"). Our seats were meh, and so no great photos for the evening.
Melissa had been hankering to try Fried Soft Shell Crab and we got some (along with my less photogenic, but tasty, eggs and grits) at Thursday brunch at Restaurant Stanley near the Plaza de Armas. Honestly? Looks weird but if you dig fried clams you'll be fine.
Languorous statue behind the French Market.
There's a small brass squad that seems to play mornings outside the famous Cafe du Monde (Legendary Beignets!) kind of a casual group, the Decatur Street All-Stars
Swamp Tour! We had Captain Eddie of Cajun Encounters.
Captain Eddie had to work hard to get us any glimpse of gator (they'd rather be sleeping), so that's one of the minor drawbacks to December travel to New Orleans, but still we spied 3 or so little guys...
Later he steered us to another part of of the Old Pearl River where there was a crew of racoons about....
Super cute racoons! I realize this group is probably a bit over-acclimated and maybe reliant on the tours...
There was also a grand wild pig who would come up for a hand out...
We went back to Coop's Place to bookend our trip, I finally got a properly dressed po-boy (not sure why I was mayo-shy before), fried crawfish and Melissa had fried chicken and more of their legendary rabbit + sausage jambalaya.
A nice lagniappe - Kenneth Terry outside the Café du Monde
52 Things Tom Whitwell learned in 2019 - great stuff.
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Coop's Place was recommended by the Maison Dupuy concierge Roy, and the only place we hit twice... this is the "Coop's Taste Plate": A cup of seafood gumbo, shrimp creole, cajun fried chicken, red beans & rice with sausage, and rabbit & sausage jambalaya
Street corn from the French Market... a little mushy but seasoned so well, loved it.
Grasshopper for the frog. Err, me. Never thought just being able to wander a street with a cup of booze would feel so liberating...
That night from the Court Tavern (I think) - muffuletta for Melissa, alligator sausage on a bun for me... I sort of loved the ingenious detachable handle to let you hold a large cheap plastic cup of cold beer without things collapsing.
Mahoney's was a bit too commercial maybe? Though friendly. I'm an idiot not getting my Po'Boy dressed, and we got onion rings and fried green tomatoes... at some point we realized maybe we were leaning into the friedness a bit much...
Beignet from the New Orleans Coffee & Beignet Co in the Garden District...
At the Insectarium - waxworms and crickets to sample... just shows you the power of proper seasoning!
Well, not actually something we sampled, but Moxie at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum...
Dinner at the Red Fish Grill (one of our tour drivers mentioned her son is a chef there, and grilled seem like a nice diversion from all the fried) I got Blackened Catfish (Cajun shrimp rice, shrimp veloute, green tomato chow chow) and Melissa's wood grilled snapper with Canelli beans, collard greens, and a veal sauce
Double Bourbon Pecan Pie.
District Donuts... mine was Hot Chicken & Honey Butter French Toast Biscuit, hers was Croque Madame (Applewood smoked ham, Havarti cheese, dijon, bechamel, sandwiched on a griddled donut topped with a sunny-side-up egg)
Fancying it up at Galatoire's - on my NOLA checklist was Turtle Soup (here "au Sherry"...)
My Shrimp Etouffée..
Melissa's Crabmeat Ravigote (Louisiana jumbo lump crab, green onions, béchamel sauce, hollandaise, and a side of sauteed spinach). For this meal and Red Fish Grill and District Donuts, Melissa's getting annoyed that we're both liking my choices a bit more than hers...
Brunch at Stanley of New Orleans... kind of mundane breakfast for me though I wanted to try authentic grits, Melissa had red beans and rice and fried soft shell crab
That crab again...
For our last night, back to Coop's Place. I finally got a properly dressed Po'boy (fried crawfish to boot)
Melissa met her craving for fried chicken, with their famous rabbit & sausage jambalaya.
Open Photo Gallery
Jet Blue was a pretty nice choice.
First afternoon, down by the riverside... we were approached by a young guy who said he liked my shoes... we were a little too uptight and wary so we didn't engage, later I learned it was probably the setup for a busking joke where he'd bet me he could tell me where I got 'em...
Fanciest Walgreens I've seen. Plus, palm trees - I know it's small-minded of me but I'm always surprised by palm trees outside of like Hawaii and L.A.
Melissa stretching, waiting for the bus... it's the "French Quarter" but the architecture is heavily Spanish influenced, which might explains why it reminded me of Mexico (specifically Mérida) especially on the smaller streets.
The Whitney Plantation does the best job of telling the stories of the enslaved peoples brought to the area, and has statues of young residents of the place.
Mahony's had some loaned Ford GT40s on display.
Riffing with the Young Fellaz on Frenchmen Street.
1955 statue of the guy who picked a sub-sea-level location to build a city on...
City tour guide Butch at St Louis Cemetary #3
St Louis Cemetary #3 above-ground tomb.
Melissa peeking up through an aquatic exhibit at the Insectarium.
Melissa's bright yellow shirt attracted the butterflies.
At the Pharmacy Museum, this is the kind of stuff that inspired "Love Potion Number Nine"...
Line for Preservation Hall on a rainy night.
Some roughed-up sidewalk in the Garden District... I'd seen broken up sidewalk before, but never quite this way.
Tried to capture The Ohio State University flag in front of one of the homes.
The National WW2 museum - tried to be even handed in someways, but definitely the nationalist perspective.
Striking diorama about D-Day
Always love these.
KIRK! Rufus Kirk was an F4F "Wildcat" pilot, this is his B-$ "Mae West" life preserver.
Our seats at Snug Harbor weren't great but they cleverly put up a big mirror across from the balcony...
I sorta dug the Crescent City's police logo. This type of barrier was often used to block off traffic during street-party times. Which is a lot of the time.
My friend Karen Dunahm is fond of this sculpture and fountain...
Well done street statue performer...
By the swamp.
Swamp... there's a bit of gator if you look carefully!
Many houses in the area are raised so they are ready for extensive flooding...
Whole swamp raccoon party actually...
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