tag/travel

in boston

October 15, 2001
Mike and Dave
Mike and Dave from this weekend. In the background is that neat building with big arch, between 93 and the harbor.

We went on the subway this weekend. I've always been struck by these two signs:
PASSENGER EMERGENCY INTERCOM
UNIT AT END OF CAR.



SISTEMA DE INTERCOMUNICACION
PARA PASAJEROS EN CASO DE EMERGENCIA
SITUADO AL EXTREMO DEL TREN.



They say basically the same thing, but it always struck me how much more concise the English version was than the Spanish. On the other hand, certain other phrases, especially involving verbs and recipients of action, are much tighter in Spanish. That plus the smaller selection of word ending sounds probably is what makes for better poetry. But English seems good at the nouns.

Link of the Moment
There has been 4 of 5 cartoons in the What The Drugs Taught Me series up for a while, don't know if the fifth one is ever going to show up. (UPDATE: Here's the Final Cartoon) I like the narrator's mom's rule, a two year statute of limitations, after that you can admit anything and she can't get bad. (Other favorite quote: "Maybe everything I've been told is bad... is good!" Such a goofy sophomoric way of looking at the world.)

yippy ki yay

(4 comments)
January 28, 2006
I ended up having fewer interesting photos from Texas than I expected.

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



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

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



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

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




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

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



Tada.

seattley scenes

(5 comments)
September 19, 2006
So this is Seattle! I got in town around 4 last night, so I figured it might be the best chance to explore a bit. And I splurged a tad and decided to give Canon one more chance, with its weirdly PSP-looking SD630.

These photos aren't all that stupendous even as far as vacation shots go, but I guess I can't blame the camera for that.


This taxi was parked as my own more normal cab pulled up to the hotel. At first I thought it was some odd Hummer-derived monstrosity, but then I realized it does sport wheelchair access, so it's not just for show.


I believe that this funky building, right by my hotel, is the library.


Downtown Seattle is on a slope. After driving San Franscisco for a day (well, maybe the outskirts) and walking this place's downtown, I'd say Seattle at least gives it a run for its money.


I took Max's suggestion and checked out the Pike Place Market... and yeah, lunch would have been better, since some things start to close at 5 or 6 but I got to see some neat stuff, including a bit of the famous fish flinging.


I had dinner at "Soundview Café"... some great salmon on a bulky roll with beer. The view was lovely... the waitress mentioned she was glad to see this cruise ship headed out, I think the implication was it was just too many people there to be docked for that long, like a floating city.

see ya seattle

(3 comments)
September 22, 2006
So I bid a fond farewell to Seattle. I think my consulting role went well, though I had to put in some brutally late nights, and it was one of those things that never feels perfectly resolved.

Got a chance to wander the city a bit more on my last evening there.

I even found a very fun little arcade at the lakefront. I think the arcade games were set at their easier settings for the most part, which I appreciated. I played Star Wars Tilogy Arcade, destroyed the Deathstar which is always enjoyable. I also played ticket games, I usually don't go for that but they had this one mallet game, sort of a virtual Whack-A-Mole but with a real mallet on a big screen.

So see ya, Seattle... I'll miss you, and how you have the Daily Show on at a decent hour. Plus my hotel had the NFL Channell... man, as much as I enjoy following the Patriots and gaving a game on in the background, 24/7 football coverage is kind of creepy.


LAN3 showed me the inside of the Seattle Public Library. It's oddball on the inside as well!


Space Needle, as seen from my hotel...


It really looks like the rain forest is trying to reclaim the city... there's some beauttiful greenery, a bit like, say, Vermont but more... moist.


The arcade had a carousel!


The city from the pier... more rainforest takeover.


And a final view, yet another boat sailing off into the distance.

Fortune of the Moment
"You may find if you relax that you dream a thousand new paths and awake to walk your old one."
--Excerpt from the card I got from the Arcade's mechanical fortune teller. It was a lot better than the one from the mechanical Elvis at the Pike Place magic show that started "You are nature's stepchild. You enjoy nature and thrive when you spend time outdoors." Damn, Mechanical Elvis just doesn't know me at all, does he...

hello japan! (backlog flush #65 and travelog)

(2 comments)
March 14, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
In theory my jetlag "isn't so bad", but then again I'm writing this at 4AM (3PM Boston time.)

I now have the technology and 'net access to try travelloging in real time. This likely means my observations will be extra facile and I'll be less likely to know if they represent just what I see, or Japan as a whole. And so it's going to be more raw and mundane than if I were pulling it together after. So, those disclaimers out of the way:



A few other notes:

hello japan! (backlog flush #66 and travelog)

(1 comment)
March 15, 2008
Travelog Photo Insanity of the Moment
So, Saturday. Josh played tour guide and we hit Kamakura, with dozens of temples and a giant Buddha, and then the port area around Yokohama. I appear to have gone a bit crazy nuts with the photos this day.

hello japan! (backlog flush #67 and travelog)

(4 comments)
March 16, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
Another amazing day with Josh. I'm going to be traveling to Hiroshima and Kyoto on my own by rail, so I might not be posting quite so extensively for a bit...

hello japan! (backlog flush #68 and travelog)

(6 comments)
March 17, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
So I thought Monday would be mostly travel, but I got to see some important things. I braved the Tokyo subway and then the bullet trains all on my own, got to Hiroshima, and then determined to heed Josh's admonition to "don't be that girl from Lost in Translation" (i.e. sitting moping around a hotel room) I headed out for a few hours of exploration.

So, the trains. It's too bad that "and the trains ran on time" has such a negative connotation, because it's actually quite handy. They are extremely punctual, except when someone stepped in front of one... a not uncommon occurrence, maybe 2 or 3 a month - infamously the result of a nation that has A. a strong and idiosyncratic sense of honor, B. not much of a religious prohibition against suicide, and in fact a social precedent for it (A Spitzer in Japan would be dead by his own hand by this point, Josh says) and C. Really, really fast trains.

near the hypocenter (backlog flush #69 and travelog of hiroshima)

(3 comments)
March 18, 2008

Travelog of the Moment

that we figure this thing out or learn to love the figuring (backlog flush #70 and travelog of kyoto and nara)

(3 comments)
March 19, 2008

Travelog of the Moment
So Wednesday I went on a bus tour of Kyoto and Nara. I wasn't utterly blown away by the tourguides (who may have been gearing for people who did zero reading about Japan in general) but it was the best way to get to these geographically diverse sites. Plus, a day with more riding and less walking seemed like a nice idea for my feet.

Also I met some nice people from Norway and Finland (dropped my Nokia street cred) and to be honest often they seemed more interesting than the tourguide's spiel.

get hot communication (backlog flush #71 and travelog of osaka)

(1 comment)
March 20, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
Today I took trains to Osaka, third largest city of Japan. Osaka is know for its cuisine, its dialect Osaka-ben (confession: it all sounded like Japanese to me), and the easy-going nature of its people. Scheduled to be in Tokyo, I was worried I didn't have enough time, and while a daytrip is never enough to really take in a city, I got to hit the major things Josh suggested.

it run on love (backlog flush #72 and travelog)

(3 comments)
March 21, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
Fairly relaxed day today.

fine foods - better life (backlog flush #73 and travelog)

(4 comments)
March 22, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
So today was another day taken at a leisurely place, sight-seeing-wise, but with plenty of hiking. Josh and I headed out to Hakone, near the base of Fuji, and then went toa traditional Hot Spring.

with a dream is continued (backlog flush #74 and travelog)

(5 comments)
March 23, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
Now reading: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This is actually a profoundly wonderful book, thanks for the suggestion Lex!

You know, I've taken almost 1,200 shots so far this trip. Yeesh!

Today was a bit of a repeat of last week, visiting the electronics store area Akihabra and meeting up with old college buddy Alex.

kanazawa, noh problem (backlog flush #75 and travelog)

(4 comments)
March 24, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
So today I set off once again on my own to Kanazawa on Japan's west coast.

hello japan! (backlog flush #76 and travelog)

(7 comments)
March 25, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
Mornings in hotels I tend to watch kids' tv, it's more interesting that the news and I like watching people teach English. There's this one show with muppet-like folk, they all play instruments along with a human pianist. I'm impressed with how much fidelity the instruments seem to be handled; they're not just holding them and flailing, which seems to be the standard for puppet musicianship.

sayonara japan! (backlog flush #77 and travelog)

(5 comments)
March 26, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
So today, back to Tokyo. Kind of melancholy, I can feel a part of myself working to say good-bye to Japan, knowing that while a return trip isn't out of the question, it's not assured either.

japan observation ramble wrapup extravaganza!

(7 comments)
March 28, 2008
So during my trip I kept a list of "Japan Topics" on my iPhone, a few words to remind me of a topic I wanted to mention in the travelog... the thing was my daily updates were often done for speed, so most days I just selected, picked, and captioned the photos without so much verbiage.

On the plane ride back I decided to type up what I had to say while Japan was still fresh in my mind. It got pretty wordy though (also some if it reads as if I was typing on a tiny laptop keyboard while sleep deprived on a plane) so rather than taking up all the space here (or breaking it up over a course of days...) I made each iPhone note a link to display/hide what I wrote about that on the plane. Or just hit "Show All" and see just how wordy I got... there are a few last photos lurking in there to.

SHOW ALL

"biggest/ seems like land w.o. enough to do"
"there is a lot of language to ignore people don't read anyway - also USA fairly multilingual"
"land of cell ringtones"
"josh on students consulting each other"
"point cards / loyalty programs"
"internet cafe / overnight"
"frission of earthquake"
"superweapon"
"thankful for robot"
"Einstein letter to FDR / military police committee minutes"
"little sense of big cities small when talking tickets"
"ask showing fingers over five"
"doorways step up over"
"use of please"
"rr pass envy and reserve seats"
"Japanese foreplay = 'brace yourself!'"
"formula at register / and tray / seasonal foods"
"green spot / eyelids Japanese"
"build boat on lake water?"
"kabuki description"
"fedora and alex"
"libraries in museums"
"tipping, lack thereof.. sales tax wired in / most coins clearly labled... big bills ok"
"rice balls are neither, sort of"
"stairs more for disembarking"
"trains and naps, warm... plus heated seats"
"conductor and cart ladies on train always bow"
"train timing makes up for not knowing Japanese"
"stabber"
"loyalty to objects I travel with"

So thanks again Josh and Tomomi and Erin... I had a fantastic great neat time there and it was all over way too soon...

travelog of the moment

March 29, 2008
OK, I know I've written an awful lot about Japan, and this should be my penultimate entry (assuming I get to assembling the list of interesting man hole covers I photographed...) While I really enjoyed assembling each day's travelog just after it happened, I kind of longed for a summary like I had for some previous trips -- a way of telling my future self, where the heck did those 14 days go? As well as having a single URL.

It's kind of odd that each day's entry starts with three random quotes or links, but oh well.



thursday/friday
to Japan!
Fly to Japan, via DC instead of Chicago. Josh meets me at Narita Airport and we take trains to his place in Shim-Matsudo in Chiba.
 

saturday
Kamakura and Yokohama
Josh and I head to Kamakura. We hike all over place and see the Zen temple Engaku-ji, the larger Shinto temple Tsurugaoka Hachiman, wash money in (Zeniarai Benten) and adore Daibutsu, the outdoor giant Buddha. After we head back east to Yokohama, go up Japan's tallest building the Landmark Tower, hop the water-taxi, and then have dinner in Chinatown.
 

sunday
Akihabara, Takeshita Street and Harajuku
Josh and I meet up with my college buddy Alex. We geek out at the Electric City Akihabara, taking in one of the giant stores (Yodobashi-Akiba) and the weekly street fair. Then we see super-you-threndy Takeshita Street and chic Harajuku. Finally we have dinner near the famous scramble intersection (as seen in Lost in Translation when it had the giant dinosaur on the electronic billboard.)
 

monday
to Hiroshima
I head out on my own to Hiroshima, walk to my posh (but cheap) hotel and pay my respects at the Atomic Bomb Dome. After I go gift hunting in the impressive Hondori shopping arcade.
 

tuesday
Hiroshima
I visit the Peace Memorial Park and with a heavy heart view the displays at the Memorial Hall. Then I hike across the city and up to the Museum of Contemporary Art and check out the Manga Library. Finally a train to Kyoto.
 

wednesday
Kyoto
I take a bus tour of Kyoto along with some friend Finns and Norwegians. The rainy day tour features the elegant Nijo-jo with its Nightingale floors, the Golden Pavilion shrine, and the Imperial Palace. After a buffet lunch and light shopping at the Kyoto Craft Center I switch to the Nara tour for the afternoon, getting attacked by friendly but hungry deer outside Todai-ji, world's largest wooden building and home of a Buddha even larger than Daibutsu. I paint a tile there, the tour makes one last stop at the Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha, and then it's back to the hotel, damp but happy.
 

thursday
Osaka
I hop the train to Osaka, the third largest and most generally easy-going big city of Japan. I go to the of Osaka-Jo, have some squid on a stick, enjoy seeing a slightly twisted version of home in America-Mura, have more great vendor food, and then witness the restaurant apocalypse that is the Dotombori district. Finally I ride the Hep Five Ferris Wheel (starting on the 7th floor of the shopping center and spinning its way up) and catch the bullet train back to Tokyo
 

friday
Ginza and Asakusa
Josh and I head through the Ginza and Asakusa district and take in Sensoji Temple, with its giant lanterns and huge festive row of vendors. Then we watch two great programs of Kabuki.
 

saturday
Hakone
Josh and I journey out to Hakone, near the base of Mt. Fuji. We take a bus over steep climbs and scary hairpin turns and do a bit of hiking. We drink in magnificent views of the lake and Mt. Fuji, as well as a visiting a few neat shops. Finally I try the Japanese Onsen, natural springs, with nary but a little towel to hide my junk and then sit folded on my hand as I decompress in the hot water
 

sunday
Akihabra Again and Shinjuku
Another day in Tokyo. Josh and I go back to see some stuff we missed in Akihabra then we again meet up with Alex. After a brief respite in Starbucks Josh heads home and Alex and I head to the top of the neo-Gothic Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for more great views. We then see a bit of Shinjuku and have some great conversation over some Shabu-Shabu hot pot cooking.
 

monday
to Kanazawa via Echigo-Yuzawa
Time to head to the west coast on my own, this time to Kanazawa. The snow covered landscape near the Echigo-Yuzawa station is just breathtaking. I walk to my hotel, taking in some cool public sculptures and then see the Oyama Jinja shrine with its lovely rustic pond gardens. I get a feel for the city watching a video at the minimalist Noh Museum and then head to my hotel, right in the heart of the Katamachi scramble area.
 

tuesday
Kanazawa
A brief stop at a Shinto Shrine and then I spend hours exploring Kenrokuen Garden, arguably Japan's finest. I follow the water, see some shops, and take tea. Then I get lost in small forest of Kanazawa Castle, never sure if the storehouses I saw were all there were to see because of the construction or if I was just lost. I then experience the delight of the 21st Century Contemporary Art Museum, including the so-brilliant permanent installation Swimming Pool. A quick dinner at McDonalds (lemon pepper shaka shaka chicken is weirdly good) and then I see the Red Sox opening the season against the A's.
 

wednesday
to Tokyo
I walk to the train station and then head back to Tokyo. On my own I hunt down the brandless brand store Muji (at last!) as well as a particular shop in Akahabra I wanted to check out for some gifts. Back one final time to Shim-Matsudo where Josh and I head out for some pizza - Pizza Hut, but Korean BBQ style!
 

Final Thoughts
All the things I didn't have time to fully ramble about when putting together the previous updates.
 

Manholespotting
A quick postscript, manhole covers that seemed a little interesting at the time.
 
Bonus: Larger versions of 13 of the most visually compelling shots on Flickr - now backed up here in 2019

manholespotting

(4 comments)
March 30, 2008
Ugh, break-up today.

My fault.

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

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


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

at the topsfield fair

(1 comment)
October 13, 2008
So, like I suggested yesterday, EB and EBSO and EBB and I went to the Topsfield Fair...

EBM and Mac, faithful canine, seeing us off.


It is getting to be foliage season. (Sigh, nature's beautiful coma.) I like the layer effect and motion in this photo.


One of the other rides they had there was the "Earthquake"... I loved the art on the side...


But you know, if you were really trying to survive during a major geological upheaval and resulting catastrophe, maybe it would be better NOT TO HAVE A LIT STICK OF DYNAMITE IN YOUR HAND. Just sayin'.


I guess a more recent variant on "Calvin peeing on a [Chevy|Ford] Symbol" is "Calvin kneeling at the Cross".


EBSO+EBB, nice mother/daughter photo.

So we saw us some agriculture and livestock... Topsfield is the oldest agricultural fair in the USA (since 1818!)

They had big pumpkins...


REALLY BIG pumpkins.


I tried to capture the stately dignity of a cow.


[INSERT JOKING ABOUT HAVING ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW HERE]


Of course one of the best parts of any fair are those giant turkey legs...


O jeez this is awkward.

TOMORROW: COMPARE AND CONTRAST WITH THE HARVARD SQUARE OCTOBERFEST AND "HONK" PARADE!


Not only working today but there's the regular all-division townhall meeting at 8:30... Nokia Finnish overlords know not from Columbus!
<<we've got a long way to go / it's beyond Martin Luther, upgrade computer>>
Listening to MP3 playlist versions of R+B mixtapes I made for my car in 1996. The 90s were a good decade for mixtapes.
"Now lets take it on home! 'Cause ummm.... we gotta go home!" --Marge Simpson, "Springfield Soul Stew"

portugal: calling london

September 19, 2009

--impressed by the deftness of this Python/Trek mashup. (via)

Photoblog of the Moment
So I'm not sure if I'll be able to match the photoblog I made in Japan last year, in terms of # of photos, in terms of internet access, in terms of Europe not being as exotic as Japan. (Heck, in terms of me lying about the apartment too much, though I'll try not to overdo that)

Still, here's a day of it. Because I didn't think things through, I ended up having an overnight stay in London. But it worked out ok, I got to see a little bit more than I would have otherwise, and maybe a layover in an English-speaking but foreign country helped ease the transition...

So, leaving Friday...

I'm on a plane! I'm on a plane! (not a boat - that would be slow.)

For reasons that are not clear to me, for the London-Lisbon hop I went for an aisle seat, and missed some better photops, but here's a castle on the way to London...

Like I mentioned, I love the "Look Right"/"Look Left" warnings they paint near the curb. (Of course, England seems to be very fond of posting lots of conservative, safety-minded warnings and disclaimers.)

Teehee, they call them "Bedrooms". Which I guess is accurate. But still cute.

I decided my schedule would be tight enough the next morning that I didn't want to risk travelling into London proper, so I explored the neighborhood near the Thistle Heathrow. The neighborhood seems to be strongly against the addition of a 3rd runway.

I thought I noticed a pub as the shuttle was approaching the hotel... The White Horse pours a good pint. (I decided not to be all touristy and photopgraph the interior, though I love the classic barman outfit.)

Again, the British fondness for safety. (Like, most people on bikes seemed to have dayglo vests with reflect stripes, the kind of stuff I usually associate with rescue workers.)I like the glowiness of these markers.

Finally, back at the hotel, one of the channels had this: no sound, no movement, just this:
Creepy!

portugal: lisboa!

September 20, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment

English has a big vocabulary, but Portuguese has a word, "brinde", for the secret toy surprises you get inside, say cracker jack or cereal.

--Time Lapse from an AMAZING $150 space balloon photography project - brilliant!

portugal: castle of são jorge

September 21, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment
Yesterday I walked around Lisbon on my own after getting up at the crack of 1PM. (Those external blackout shades they have here, with the pullcord on the inside, are terrific for that, just wonderful.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20cameron.html?_r=1 - "I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me. You don't have to." and other last words on Texas' Death Row.

portugal: oceanário

(3 comments)
September 22, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment
So the day started off kind of oddly - we thought we had ordered tickets for me for a quick hop over to Madrid, but the airline didn't get the message, so after some fumbling with getting around the airpot I took a bus over to the Oriente area. Near the Metro stop I saw this brilliant tacky old-Mini Cooper...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8201997.stm - hunting for fun/goofy leading economic indicators.

portugal: feira da ladra e cascais

September 23, 2009

From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be mistaken for light--a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut's eyes.

In about one and a half centuries--after the lovers who made the glow will have long since been laid permanently on their backs--metropolises will be seen from space. They will glow all year. Smaller cities will also be seen, but with great difficulty. Shtetls will be virtually impossible to spot. Individual couples, invisible.

The glow is born from the sum of thousands of loves: newlyweds and teenagers who spark like lighters out of butane, pairs of men who burn fast and bright, pairs of women who illuminate for hours with soft multiple glows, orgies like rock and flint toys sold at festivals, couples trying unsuccessfully to have children who burn their frustrated image on the continent like the bloom a bright light leaves on the eye after you turn away from it.

--Jonathan Safran Foer, "Everything is Illuminated"
"You've gotta choose people who aren't much more motivated than you are - but don't surround yourself with total narcissists. Otherwise, things start to be about something other than you."
--Wonderfalls

portugal: évora

(3 comments)
September 24, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment

MOMWARNING: Very, very weird, and just a tad homoerotic. But fun!



portugal: torre de belém e marcos

(5 comments)
September 25, 2009

Botswanan roads are famous for having big potholes and big wildlife to avoid. There's a joke among South African overland drivers: if you see two eyes in the middle of the road while driving through Botswana at night, chances are it's a giraffe standing in a pothole.
--Conor Woodman "The Adventure Capitalist"

--Thanks to the (maybe meanspirited?) People of Walmart site, many many more people now know the inexplicable video genius of RickyTic3

portugal: berardo museum / aqueduct / bica

(3 comments)
September 26, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment
My antepenultimate morning in Portugal! That pretty much stretched right into my penultimate morning in Portugal...
http://www.universityonyouthanddevelopment.org/ - Marcos set this up, with his role in the Council of Europe (sort of a non-defunct European League of Nations)

--from a Series of Video Game makeovers. Would be fun to use graphics like this in a real game.

portugal: sintra

(3 comments)
September 27, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment
My final day in Portugal! Marcos and I decided to hit Sintra.



--Best Fight Scene Ever? Cracked has analysis and a few other candidates

portugal: back to boston

(4 comments)
September 28, 2009

--100 years of Special FX (via via BB - click either the movie or that link to get to a list of the fims)


"Woman in Central Square wearing pajamas and reading cable TV manual loudly. If she were in Harvard Square, it would be performance art."
--http://twitter.com/SteveDelfino
"I love my puppy ... I love that he is so young and full of life ... And that he will still die first."
-- http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=480
"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
--John le Carre, "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy", The New York Times, May 8, 1974

portugal 2009

(2 comments)
September 29, 2009
Table of Contents for my vacation to Portugal ... (by coincidence, exactly a year and a half after my Japan wrapup)

friday

calling london


saturday

lisboa!


sunday

castle of são jorge


monday

oceanário


tuesday

feira da ladra e cascais


wednesday

évora


thursday

torre de belém e marcos


friday

berardo / aqueduct / bica


saturday

sintra


sunday

back to boston



http://gawker.com/5369364/william-safires-finest-speech - the speech ready if the Apollo moon landing had left the astronauts stranded. RIP, William Safire.
"HULK feel pain, too! If Wolverine prick us with claws do Hulk not bleed green? If General Thunderbolt Ross tickle Hulk with Apache gunships do Hulk not throw tanks? If gamma bomb poison Hulk do we not become Hulk? And if Ducky ignore us for Kenya-born Nazi Commie, shall Hulk not weep like little Disney Princess?"
--excerpt from The Incredible Merchant of Venice: Merchants of MENACE!, Stan Lee Shakespeare, pub. 1596 (via Bill http://www.thoughtviper.com/newest.html )
"Hi Kirk, Hope you are doing in the best of the mood!!" -- random recruiter spam to me. Nice to see the recruiters out I guess...
dumb kosher-ness thought: babies drinking breast milk. Isn't that like drinking milk from a bottle made of meat? (Some googling explains breast milks is pareve, ok to eat with meat or dairy)

cleveland filler day 1

April 5, 2010


Yours 'Til Niagara Falls of the Moment
Amber and I kicked off our Cleveland trip with a jaunt up to Niagara Falls... we got there a bit before sunset, and caught some nice light...
Whoa, thought I was just super dizzy after my nap...it was an earthquake!!

Little Caesar's pizza! Man how I've missed it, the old after church standby. Still frickin' cheap, $5 for a pretty big pie (but no longer square :-( )
Of all the criticisms of the iPad, "no multitasking" is probably the least real to me. Except for, like, IM-notification, you're only doing one thing at once anyway, and a fast context switch is good enough.
The iPad feels like the future. Despite the unfortunate name, it IS "more intimate" somehow-Still this generation feels a bit gimmicky, and the lack of Flash is a bummer.
Watching Butler lose at the final second, along side 2 folks who worked there, was heartbreaking. Screw Duke and their recruited freaks.

cleveland filler day 3

April 7, 2010


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

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

cleveland filler day 4

(3 comments)
April 8, 2010


Yours 'Til Niagara Falls of the Moment
After the SkyWheel we went to Brick City, an interesting lego exhibit thing...
The truth is always a compound of two half-truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say.
Tom Stoppard

Man, I can't find an iPad sketch app with really good webpublishing options... Some of that critique of it not being a creating tool is true
My kingdom for a pixel-centric iPad sketch app... I want flood fill, cropping, and resizing/anti-aliasing as the last step, damn it.
At Michael "Iron Chef" Symon's restaurant "Lolita" (corner of "Professor" and "Literary"). I'm like the Humbert Humbert of Cleveland dining!
Man- between being a bit more southerly than Boston and more westerly in the time zone, Cleveland is much lighter later. 8pm was still light!

coshocton and salamanca: you can't go home again

(1 comment)
April 10, 2010

cleveland wrapup

April 11, 2010

Sad how Outlook 2010 is trying so hard with discussion threading, and failing. A search should show you results, not hide stuff in threads!
New in iPhone OS 4: The Full App-by-App Breakdown - not much interests me except for folder for playlists and the homescreen, and FINALLY maybe the option to have an SMS character count. Still no sign of a "Ctrl-F"-style search in page feature for Safari.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/weekinreview/11giridharadas.html - interesting NY Times bit on 3rd world use of the "humble" cellphone.

lg10: the people

September 14, 2010
This weekend Amber and I joined good ol "what happened to my sidebar" Dylan and a crew of people up at his family's cabins on Lake George, NY...


Dylan and his man Dan



Amber and Me, ready to row.



Amber kayaking. Much easier than rowboating!



I think this is Dan's friend Stacie waving. Or drowning. Probably waving.



We went Apple Picking. No further comment on this photo.



Amber offering up a shiny apple!



Food prep was very important.
I think this is Stacy and Adam ready to grill up some corn...



...and Dylan later watched over the meat.



There was also a firepit. So primeval. We made smores.




http://www.thesandwichfair.com/ -Amber wants to go to the 3-day "Sandwich Fair" I was psyched, but it turns out Sandwich is a place name :-(

lg10: the nature

(3 comments)
September 15, 2010
So, one thing Lake George has is nature!


There's water, of course...



This shot was taken from a kayak.



As was this one, the island near the center of Gull Bay...



This is what happens when iPhone 4's "HDR" system
tries to work its magic on a campfire.



On the way to apple picking was this amazing bird's nest...



Closer shot. Anyone know what it is?



At apple picking, there were frogs.



And it just wouldn't be camp without a few friendly spiders and bugs!



Dan saved this lady bug from drowning.


Fearsome bathroom protector.



Things I learned about this weekend: "Nose Grease", a convenient lubricant at hand for carpenters and people with chapped lips and what not.
Things I learned about this weekend: I observed again how a star-filled, low-light-pollution sky really looks like a sky dome arched above.
Things I learned about this weekend: if there's no such thing as a "Jacksi-One" (Pepsi One and Jack) maybe there oughta be. (Why no love for Pepsi products as mixers in general?)
http://is.gd/fbWGN This spoof video and that Chappelle Show w/ Wayne Brady had that "shushing while strangling" thing- where's that from?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/13/charlie-brooker-google-instant -- Google's War on our attention spans.
Technically, my job wouldn't be impossible without jQuery and Firebug, but man, it's pretty close!
"If I ever saw an amputee being hanged, I would just start yelling out letters."
--Kalyn, http://www.lamebook.com/2010/09/14/rapid-remarks/

lg10: the things

(5 comments)
September 16, 2010

I like how the red cab has its own name, Shangri-La -- such a nice early-20th-century vibe! (The other two associated with Dylan's family are "The Pines" and "The Cedars")



Dylan's checklist of things to do to close up the cabin.



The Glens Falls Salvation Army Community Center - we lived in an apartment in there from when I was in 3rd grade 'til halfway through 6th.



My elementary school -- I had forgotten that the side street had my middle name.



I remember the old half-buried giant tires from the place... Amber says her school also had one of those "USA on the pavement" things that might've sparked an interest in geography in her.



Finally, from a gas station in NY. Why would someone be tempted to place the gas cap in the nozzle? Would it even fit?

"...at Jabba the Hutt's palace with Oola the slave girl, who, it turns out, has a rather long 'jabba' where her 'hutt' should be..."
--MAD, "What caused Anakin Skywalker to become Darth Vader?"
Maybe I should replace the Larry-the-Cable-Guy's "Git-R-Done" with Tim Gunn's "Make It Work" for describing crunchtime work methodology.
"How to spot a geek: have them make a list of scary words and see if they include "non-Euclidian.""
--http://twitter.com/loresjoberg
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsmaker/college-safety-rankings/ --yeesh, my alma mater Tufts "Most Dangerous College"? Harvard #3, MIT #14.

lg10: merri-vue extends to you

September 17, 2010
One final bit of Lake George-ism -- I've always liked this poster, an old party invitation, though I'm not sure of the year or of all of the references, but here's an attempt at transcribing it... (Merri-Vue must've been the name of one of the other cabins.)


Merri - Vue
extends to you -
a hesitant invitation
to come on up and grab a cup
of gin, or hooch libation .......
we've stripped the joint, so there's
no point to limit jubilation ....
besides our thirst, Anthea durst
have a birthday celebration .....
bring bob along (we may be wrong)
it's quite an education, to see him
drink and slowly sink in quiet stupification .
..... our john's inside, we say with pride
no need for constipation! ...........
so tell ivân to use the can*,
fur coats are his temptation .........
black tie and tails, long dresses, veils,
just use the imagination ..........
the date is Sun*, we'll go to Mon .
to miss. hyatt's consternation .........
come one; come all to the merry brawl
the seasons wind-up celebration ......


5:00 PM

"Hi! I'm Princess Laidup! Note that I'm wearing less clothes in this movie than before! That's because my Figure's improved! Unfortunately my acting HASN'T!"
--Leia from MAD's parody of Return of the Jedi... I remember being kind of fascinated by this drawing back in 1983 or so

the sandwich fair

October 9, 2010
Today Amber, Kjersten and I went to the 100th Anniversary Sandwich Fair in New Hampshire. We had a lot of great fair food, but, ironically enough, there were absolutely no sandwiches to be had.


"The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums."
-- G. K. Chesterton
So is Gap inviting people to do their logo for free because their Helvetica one is so bad, or was that the result of asking for free work?

eurotrip day 1

May 15, 2011
For technical reasons, at least for the time being I'm going to have to be very selective about how many photos I publish here, just saving the truly odd or visually decent ones...
Safely in Paris. loving the app CityMaps2Go-- even without paying for data roaming you can preload maps and then know where you are!
You know, from a UI perspective, toggle push buttons that change the state of a system are kind of problematic. If the current state isn't immediately clear, than it's ambiguous if a button should tell you what the current state is, or what the state will change to if the button is pressed.

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

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

eurotrip day 2 - paris

May 16, 2011
We slept in way later than we have before, like 1PM... must be a bit of jet lag... then we headed to the Modern and Contemporary collections at Centre Pompidou...

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

eurotrip day 4 - paris

May 18, 2011
Oddly, despite being at the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe and the cabaret, it wasn't a super-photogenic day.


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

eurotrip day 5 - final full day of paris

May 19, 2011

eurotrip day 7 - germany

May 21, 2011
Yes, past, pre-publishing me (see below) I am in Germany now! Today we went to Heidelberg.

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

eurotrip day 8 - germany

May 22, 2011


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

eurotrip day 9 - germany

May 23, 2011


--More fun with American currency

eurotrip day 10 - germany

May 24, 2011


Click for fullsize... it was on a new system where I was having a Bad Chrome Day.
http://www.slate.com/id/2295128/ The GOP: once the party of Lincoln. Then realism. Now, utter delusion and denial.

eurotrip day 11 - london calling

May 25, 2011
A fond Auf Wiedersehen to our friends in Germany and we head to London... take the train in, find our apartment, rest for a bit, then start wandering...


Why people think OSX is good is beyond me-File management sucks- coverflow view is no substitute for drag select region and cmd-c,x,v shortcuts
There's something haunting and sad about this: antiquity had its own antiquity. http://on.io9.com/ilQm4n

Plus OSX finder and Chrome have this ridiculous gesture short cut to zoom in- I accidentally make it all the time, no idea how to reverse.
And then Preview's "Previous" and "Next" buttons don't think "maybe I want the next image in the directory", I had to "open" 'em all. DUH! Maybe I could cmd-A select all, then "Open with" but I don't have a simple way to unselect the 5 .mov files so that Open with is there. With Windows, I could, say, click the first, hit shift-end, then shift-arrow back up. MACBOOK DOESN'T HAVE AN END KEY. Do Mac users type? Keyboard support is so bad, simple file manipulation so poor, the App-not-Task model is so weak-amazing iOS is so good, when OSX is so bad.

-H.R. Puffnstuff. Man, if you didn't grow up with this -- and I didn't - it seems really weird and nightmarish...

eurotrip day 12 - london

May 26, 2011

"For English-speakers, that notorious language barrier is about two feet high. It keeps many people out of Europe, but with a few communication tricks and a polite approach, the English-only traveller can step right over it."
--Rick Steves. Very true- smile, "s'il vous plait", point...the folks are willing to meet you more than halfway.

--I love the drama of the character name introductions, and the cleverness of the mapping to "realistic" characters. Tomorrow: live action!

eurotrip day 13 - london

May 27, 2011

Wow, this may be New York's best riot ever http://bit.ly/kWlpeT via @IBHirsch

I'm all for anarchy, but then again, who will keep up the roads?
Sean Conner

Coworker quote of the day: "I just realized that if you combine Lil' John and Lil' Wayne you get one full sized John Wayne."

So f'in irritated that (ironically, since I'm checking from London) US folk can't get the Kindle "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency". Money to be made here, get your stupid "rights" act together. Off to look for a bootleg PDF to supplement my well-paid for paper copy.

--I downloaded the explicit MP3 first, as is my wont... man, it's much funnier with Mario noises than with gratuitous F-bombs...

eurotrip day 14 - final views from london

May 28, 2011


A frame from every Loony Tune from 1930-1969... When the merry-go-round broke down, indeed!

a weekend trip to ogunquit with amber's folks

September 19, 2011





"So are you saying we're related to monkeys?"
"I'm saying you're related to yeast."
--Throwback Parent and High School Biology Teacher
I'm not sure if Netflix's streaming selection is strong enough to stand alone. Not having "ok, physical delivery" as a fallback will hurt. I think Netflix will now mostly be good for watching seasons of TV shows- otherwise might as well buy things a la carte with Vudu or whatevs.
"I refuse to believe that corporations are people until Texas executes one."
--making the rounds
Do people know the expression "net-net"? As in the bottom line, getting to the point AFTER weighing pros/cons? Realizing it might be obscure
At my UU Science and Spirituality group, the idea that Evil isn't "choosing bad" per se, it's choosing bad BECAUSE it's bad. Which goes along with my idea that deliberate, subjectively recognized evil is rareish; but people might be prioritizing an "ungood" good...
1. Something must be done
2. This is something
3. Therefore, this must be done.
--Bryan Caplan

a day in dc with jz

(1 comment)
May 20, 2012
Took a fun little jaunt to DC with my buddy JZ, partially to see the "Art of the Video Game" exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery...

cleveland air show

September 1, 2012

at the cleveland airshow


the blue angels, tight formation


come for the airplanes, stay for the hot dogs!


kirk and amber (outside of pier w)

AK aug 7 - glacier tour and river hike

August 21, 2013
This day we took a boat tour of Glacier Bay on the Good Ship St. Phillip (A "Jet Powered Catamaran", technically.) None of the wildlife photos really came out, but there were sea lions, eagles, mountain goats, whales, and lots of interesting birds including puffins.


Scalia is a disgusting troll, a "strict originalist" only when it's convenient to him and people like him. Disgraceful. (Another good view on this kind of strict constructionism )
Fun Quora about common knowledge at your place, astonishing everywhere else The Software Engineering one wasn't 100% right, but wasn't too far off.

AK aug 8 - sea kayaking glacier bay

August 22, 2013
It was the only overcast and rainy day I had in Alaska-- most years, that would be atypical, but it has been a sunny summer there. Perfect for kayaking Glacier Bay since we were going to be wet anyway.


The only thing can stop a bad guy with a gun is... Antoinette Tuff is amazing.
"My Halloween costume is gonna be Slutty Howard Taft. Oooo, ooo, someone help, I'm stuck in this hot, wet, sudsy bathtub, ooo"
--http://twitter.com/Iron_Spike

AK aug 9 - hiking and biking in gustavus

August 23, 2013
A day with a bit of hiking and biking in Gustavus before heading back to Juneau


Disheartening things about directing movers alone for big stuff, then spending day on dregs: 1. aloneness 2. too much big stuff 3. too many dregs. I'm so far removed from a minimal kind of way I( think I)'d prefer to be.

AK aug 10 - hiking mt. roberts

August 24, 2013
Mt. Roberts is a mountain directly behinf Juneau's downtown area. It has a steep tramway you can ride to a decent visitor's center 1800 feet up -- but taking the tram up would have been too easy and insufficiently nature-y...


Am digging unwinding from moving with Saints Row 4. GTA meets Hulk Ultimate Destruction via Crackdown and Bioshock.

AK aug 11 - mendenhall glacier and falls

August 25, 2013
We hitchhiked for the first time in my life to and from the glacier (shh don't tell mom -- but it feels much safer to do so there than most places, in part because the roads of Juneau aren't connected to any larger highway system.) Saw the glacier, admired the falls, touched some icebergs, and saw salmon there to spawn and (from the viewing platform) a bears that was snacking on them.

AK aug 12 - museums

August 26, 2013
A more chilled day, taking in some museums.


With EB and his two daughters yesterday-- we followed the fine Rockport tradition of going down to the waterfront and sketching and painting. I'm not sure if I've ever tried to do a landscape before... moderately pleased with the results.

Photo of the same scene:

AK aug 13 - final day ziplining and kayaking

August 27, 2013
For the final day, we decided to do a little ziplining in the morning, then Riana went on one of her vertical hikes and I took on a spot of touristy kayaking with a bunch of people from the cruise ships.


"We're basically the descendants of nervous monkeys."
--Bill Duane, meditation teacher for Google, in a Wired article on the popularity of meditation and mindfulness in Silicon Valley.
"As the crickets' soft autumn hum
is to us
so are we to the trees
as are they
to the rocks and the hills."
--Gary Snyder
"My hand is able to touch things only because my hand is itself a touchable thing."
--David Abram, "The Spell of the Sensuous"
"It was as though after the demise of the ancestral, pagan gods, Western civilization's burnt offerings had become ever more constant, more extravagant, more acrid--as though we were petitioning some unknown and slumbering power, trying to stir some vast dragon, striving to invoke some unknown or long-forgotten power that, awakening, might call us back into relation with something other than ourselves and our own designs."
--David Abram, "The Spell of the Sensuous" on our factories and vehicles constantly pouring out their exhaust into the air

October 14, 2013

Cardiff, Wales: LAND OF JUXTAPOSITIONS

Ox Flavo(u)r and Crisps. (And I thought Canada and Ketchup Chips was odd)


Rhubarb and Custard was totally great, though.


Dragons and Zombies, presumably?


Nick and Street art.

October 18, 2013

Dream thought: In our universe, mechanistic or quantum, every decision is Hobson's Choice. But the Self isn't Hobson's customer; We are the horse, galloping heedlessly into the night.
Slate on he Tea Party "Heroes" Oh man, I had forgotten going after Clinton via impeachment- since the 90s, after losing an usual 3 candidate race, Republicans have been tantrum-throwing toddlers whenever they lose the presidency. (And when they got the presidency, the neocon agenda got us into Iraq- brilliant!)
Skipped out of work early with my office/travelmate to see Cardiff Castle before heading to London. Quote of the day, from some informational signage outside the main house:
In some large houses, a 'Long Gallery' on the upper floor was used for exercise during poor weather. The 'Ladies Walk' at Cardiff Castle is an outdoor version. It allowed genteel exercise away from the smells of the medieval town of Cardiff.


The town was quite attractive

Norman Keep on a manmade hill

View inside the Keep

Some of the rooms had some intriguing statuary and the like... each of these figures had a tablet in a different ancient language.

The possibly unfortunately named but lovely, lovely "Arab Room"

panoramic-y, tourist-y london

(1 comment)
October 19, 2013
Officemate Nick and I are squeezing in a day or two of London into our business trip to Cardiff. I took so many crap photos today. Here are some of the ok ones, including a fortuitous rainbow over the Thames.

Quote of the moment, from a placard at the Tate Modern:
"For example, most of the cells in our face have migrated forward from a region at the back of our head."
View from the London Eye Ferris Wheel:


Nick took this shot as we went around the London Eye Ferris Wheel in the moring. Not the way I would have framed it but I kind of like it now.


Panoramic shot from a Tower of London walkway. I really appreciate how London is striving to make a modern skyline.


Pikeman statue on a Tower of London walkway.


Random totem-pole-ish thing walking to the Tate Modern. (UPDATE: My mom says it's the "Seven Stages of Man", she used to walk by it on her daily commute.)


View outside the Tate Modern - rainbow panorama!



"Rpgs are a terrible genre for romance. Relationships aren't guaranteed if you do all the right things. They're more suited to roguelikes..."
--http://twitter.com/hoskingc

sunday dash for london and home

October 21, 2013
Finishing off London with another mad dash, not helped by having almost the whole dang Northern Line being closed, and then bus stops randomly shut down. We hit the New Globe Theater, Camden Markets, and the British Museum before heading off to Heathrow.


The Blackfriar's Railway Bridge, and the columns of the old one next to it.


We were on our way to the Globe Theather, where we had some time in the exhibits before the tour. These are a type of shoe called "Chopines", originally met to keep ladies out of the muck. I think the style is long due for a comeback!

click for larger
Panoramic shot from the galleries of The New Globe theater.


The buildings on the roads near Camden Markets had some cool stuff.

click for larger
So we were just barely able to squeeze the British Museum in there... its Great Hall is amazing, I love the effect of the frosted glass over a vast area.


Also: torosos. I dig torsos. I'd like to think my drawing class gives me more appreciation of them, but... torsos.


Don't think this reflection shot on the Tube was taken at the very end of the weekend, but it pretty much looks how Nick and I felt.


"Getting drunk is like having a 3rd base coach that waves you on no matter what"
--http://twitter.com/theshamingofjay
"'And what could be smaller than something that *doesn't exist*?' 'Whoa, whoa there, Saint Augustine!'"
--http://twitter.com/leonardr
Animated GIFs before there were computers
Haha, Sound FX from Atari 2600 Donkey Kong ride again... so funny to hear in the safety video on British Airways.
"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it."
--John Cage
"We both came to live in this modern city. Are we not B(3) Middle people? Even your excrement would have proper market value if packaged properly."
--Brian W. Aldiss, "The Mighty Mi Tok of Beijing"

September 7, 2014

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

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













"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. [...] Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love."
--From Thomas Jefferson's letter to his nephew Peter Carr, written Paris, August 10, 1787
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.

loveblender

montreal photos 1

November 18, 2015

A light dinner of Ketchup Potato Chips and Red Wine following a Kinder-Egg Amuse-Bouche. Some of why I love Québec!


montreal photos 2

November 19, 2015

Was looking into why my iPhone image/video file name counter had been set back to 0001, 0002. It's because it rolled over from 9,999... yeesh.

montreal photos 3

November 20, 2015

scenes from around the edges of HONK!TX

April 6, 2016

August 17, 2016

AOL #DefFest2016 in Ireland...

in dublin

August 19, 2016
I wasn't sure how much tourist time I'd get in Ireland during AOL #DevFest2016, but a 2 hour walking tour on Thursday, ending at the AOL office and with a great guide Sean of LetzGo City Tours showed us quite a lot in the two or so hours we had.



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

malaysia 2016: doha airport and kl

November 11, 2016

Weird happenings in Arlington - Accused FBI Impersonator Tried to Enter Arlington Home - my housemate reports seeing a news van right outside our house.

malaysia 2016: kuala lumpur, markets and temples

November 12, 2016

malaysia 2016: batu caves and kl tower

November 13, 2016

When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism. I'd prefer to be a citizen of the world myself, but we need to understand people who put nation over humanity. And sometimes there's something to be said for the view in the United States, there are many things we get right, and paths to improvement. Unfortunately the white-america first got this know-nothing elected.

malaysia 2016: george town, pinang peranakan museum and food tour

November 14, 2016

"A kissing booth at a fair is basically a PG rated glory hole."
--thegoose79
"[How is half of such an advanced country so hell-bent on going back to the 18th century?] Because the same people that like to mock "safe spaces" and "participation awards" and "the pussification of America" are fucking ignorant cowards who are intimidated that women and minorities might actually be edging to equality to the point where simply being a barely high school educated white male isn't enough to stay ahead of the curve."
--WhiskeyBlackout
Are. You. F'in. Kidding. Me. :
"Returning home to Trump Tower from the White House may not be Mr. Trump's only embrace of the familiar. His aides say he has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that were a staple of his candidacy. He likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide, and his aides are discussing how they might accommodate his demand."

malaysia 2016: george town tour, kek lok si, and penang hill

November 15, 2016

malaysia 2016: george town clan house tour and off to airport

November 16, 2016

malaysia 2016: langkawi junglewalla kayak and waterfall, excursion to kuah

November 17, 2016

malaysia 2016: panorama langkawi and the beach

November 18, 2016

malaysia 2016: langkawi lounging and the night market

November 19, 2016

malaysia 2016: langkawi waterfalls and farewell

November 20, 2016

My dad accidentally texted me with voice recognition...while playing the tuba...

malaysia 2016:kuala lumpur twin towers mall

November 21, 2016

best photo from malaysia trip 2016

November 29, 2016

"Relationships are all about asking people to hold things."
--Melissa. (This was especially true in the context she said this, the airport, as we both played that game of 'Ok do I have everything? Ok do I still have everything? Let me check again. How about now?')
My iPhone 6 was sort of on its last legs so I upgraded - but I went for the iPhone SE, which is the old iPhone 5 body with a 6S camera. There's something great about that old form factor, how easy it is to manage for quick camera shots etc. (Remember when smaller was considered better for electronics?)

second best photos from malaysia trip 2016

November 30, 2016


--from Concept art of vehicles driven by Toads from Mario Strikers Charged. via Supper Mario Broth
"I think I just summarized my life philosophy really succinctly to my roommate:
'you do what you gotta do. and sometimes you do it in heels'"
--Anna Anthropy

sunrise over ognj

August 24, 2018
Seeing the sunrise from the Jersey Shore had always been on my "should get to that!" list, this morning Melissa and I did just that...





digging it

August 25, 2018
Yesterday Melissa and I went to DiggerlandXL - Diggerland is a kid-friendly construction-vehicle themed amusement park, and the XL is the grown-ups area that lets you spend an hour in an excavator, bulldozer, or wheel loader.

beach-y keen

August 26, 2018