March 25, 2022

The older you get, the better ginger ale tastes.
Scott Albertine

The line between skinny dipping and having a bath is shaped by the most expected form of duck to behold at any given time.

A tanker from the big city tells the infantry how to deal with the tanks on the other side...

I mentioned this other month, but I'm seriously wonder if the "Body Thetan" concept of Scientology - if sheer nonsense on many levels, might be psychologically useful in terms of treating self-defeating thoughts as externalized enemies...

March 25, 2021

Melissa and I are moving in just under 3 weeks, I'm already leaning hard into "sorry future self, I'm just throwing all this stuff in a box, you sort it out, I'm on a deadline."

I'm (again) wanting to embrace a mild minimalism, or at least reject some of my present packrat tendencies. Trying to think about my trouble spots:
* books - they let me feel like I'm projecting smartness, and I do sometimes want to refer to the odd volume.
* old games - another self-image issue ("I am deeply versed in the history of video games") combined with "every once in a while I might want to get back to play that one thing" - even though sitting down to play is uncommon for me. Our new space is great, but compact enough that I won't be making too much of a separate gaming den; I'm even on the fence about "old CRT with an Atari" corner.
* movies (DVD/BlueRay) have elements of that, but are only a few shelves worth of stuff, and fairly orderly looking.
* electronic doodads
* toys and interesting items - decorative but enjoyable to fiddle with (like random percussion instruments etc)

I think those last two are where I need to work the hardest. I've shoved most of that stuff in boxes, and I don't think I'm going to miss much of it in the weeks 'til I move... and so I'm trying to really breathe in how much nice having JUST the stuff I use regularly at hand is - that the absence of piles of crap is a nice framing for the stuff that matters.

And part of it is understanding is that it's a 80/20, 90/10 kind of thing. For all the stuff I might get rid of, its almost a certainty that I will say "oh I wish I had that" for at least one thing (or worse, futilely hunt for it, forgetting it was disposed of)/ But that's ok. Life is full of small imperfections (like lacking an item you used to have but don't now) but feeling hemmed in by clutter is a LARGE imperfection.
The day I got my execution date, I learned something that's never left me. You have to be right here, in this moment. Like a child. They're not thinking about tomorrow or last week. They're just here. Now. Seeing a smile on someone's face, the light in their eyes, is enough. That's perfect contentment. That's joy. It's taken me a lifetime to learn that life's deepest meaning isn't found in accomplishments, but in relationships. All there ever is is this moment. You, me, all of us, right here, right now, this minute, that's love. And that ... That's a whole lifetime.
Death Row Inmate, collected by Lyden harris in "Right Here, Right Now".

Sage Sohier, Bruce and Don, Washington, D.C., 1987 via “In the Summer of 1986, photographer Sage Sohier set out to document the lives of gay Americans in their homes. It was the peak of AIDS hysteria, and her intimate photos stood (and continue to stand) in humanizing defiance to the horrible rumours and fears circulating about the gay community in mainstream society”
I wonder how many religious conservatives who say that student debt forgiveness is an immoral slap in the face to people who have paid up know about Jubilee years?
"According to the Book of Leviticus, Hebrew slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of Yahweh would be particularly manifest."
William Shatner Celebrates His 90th Birthday by Being Turned Into an AI. Huh.

March 25, 2020

The earliest bird gets the worm. But the second mouse gets the cheese.

Super Ambitious Lego Projects
OMG, Tiger King on Netflix.

March 25, 2019

Hello my name is Ryan, I am a professional writer who in school once completely forgot the word "mood" existed - but still remembered the concept - and so wrote a whole essay about the powerful literary effects of "ambient emotion"

March 25, 2018

There are people out there you haven't met yet who will love you.

March 25, 2017

From BuzzFeed: Trump Got To Sit In A Big Boy Truck Because Today Was A Special Day!

Looks like they're selling physical story books of Trump's big truck day. For a guy so concerned with his tough dude visuals, it's a surprisingly Dukasis-in-a-Tank style scene.

March 25, 2016

Donald Trump sounds like a character Walt Disney would have invented...who was actually a fart that could talk.

I think you could replace "idiots" with "nearly anyone".
On Philly's "Jawn". I lived there for my first three months, not enough to internalize the linguistic wonder that is "Jawn"

March 25, 2015

Phone # portability at risk... I think the article overstates the risk to consumers, but it's a striking reminder of how much our phone number has been tied to our identity. It's like the SSN that it's ok for people (except spammers) to know.
Some folks rented a plane to get the best view of the March 20 eclipse...

March 25, 2014 Why the hell do corporations need religion for? They're already frickin' potentially immortal. I mean it would be great if we could teach 'em to "do unto others" but at best they'd be doin' unto other damn corporations.
Friend got me White Rabbit Creamy Candies, a Chinese import. These things are like vanilla milkshake in semisoft candy form.

March 25, 2013

Worry less about the world ending and more about making it worth saving.

Do hardcore Harvard sports fans claim that they "Bleed Crimson"?

life as seen by family computing, january 1984

(1 comment)
March 25, 2012

I've been on a kick of reading back issues of 80s-era computer magazines, some of which loomed weirdly large in my youth. This is from the January 1984 issue of Family Computing, an issue that also contains this weirdly fictionalized accounting of a family's first few days of their new home computer, full of the nerdiest safety best practices imaginable.

This image accompanied some odd type in game "One in Six - Take your Pick", with the program by high schooler Steve Horowitz and the puzzle and illustration by Josh Gosfield. The illustration probably warped by view of gender and careers at a tender age.

I like Fred, with his "I'm Studying Girls" and how he finds his niche and stays with it.

kirkjerk is the new (rebecca) black

March 25, 2011

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? [...] Was that you? [...] Well it certainly wasn't the Rock. [...] The Rock isn't cooking a fart casserole.
Doogie Horner, "Things to Say During Sex (Bad)"

I'm confused by Tablet haters who say they don't do anything a laptop doesn't -- I mean it's a giant touch screen! People besides me like to doodle, right? I think iPad should come with "Paint" app. (Then again, I use a stylus to doodle, and Jobs hates styluses.)
Okay, never mind: what's wrong with scientists is that you DO see wonder and beauty in everything. - best sims of LCD games ever. Wonder if the gameplay is recreated by hand or ripped? Such a great, constrained art form. - kirkjerk is the new (rebecca) black
I'm counting on all of you to make me famous. Or at least get more hits than , my one 58K hit vid.
Whoa, I'm user 600,702 out of 100,000,00 at linkedin. Reminds me of how I'm 134,664 at slashdot- coulda been 5 digits if I was aware.
Thanks to an old coworker, Eclipse's "Synchronize with Repository" will always be "Stink-ronize with Suppository" in my head.
Java Geek Rant: it's useful that eclipse "reuses" its search results editor window, but it needs to let go if the file is edited...

love potion #10 or 11

March 25, 2010
MOM WARNING: cussin' and sex ahead, a bit

Wild-eyed, flop sweating man runs into a gypsy's tent...
"I need more of that love potion!"

"Did you drink the potion?"

"No no - it got spilled ... I just need another one. I'll pay again!"

"How many times? The POTION is NOT for YOU ... she drinks the potion. SHE... DRINKS... THE POTION..."

"I know, but I just can't stop thinking about that potion!"

"Get out of my tent."

"You should sell it in wide-neck flasks that you can fit your cock into!"


So, Oglaf claims to have started as an attempt to make pornography that degenerated into sex comedy almost immediately. Funny as heck, very often NSFW, and actually pretty sexy in parts when that's what the story calls for...
Aw man, the super cool huge glass spiral starcase at the Boston flagship Apple store now has ugly black felt safety carpet and runners.
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds that darkness has always got there first and is waiting for it.

Earbuds are icky and fragile and headphones w/ mics have too few < $200 options. Gonna try a Monster $10 clip-on mic w/ normal headphones.
I can't prove to myself that I'm not immortal- I'm going to have to take everyone's word for it.
Well, except the idea that I don't want to make the Citizen Kane of games. I want to make the Fred from the B52's of games.

why do clowns have red noses?

March 25, 2009
--A Commie Clown from's 6 Reasons North Korea is the Funniest Evil Dictatorship Ever. Guess it's a 'shop but still, I like the double menace of it. - felisdemens on her Seneca heritage, and its irritatingly matrilineal definitions. Some nice discussion in the comments.
Kate is twittering in haiku. I retaliated with 140-character limericks... she wrote
I dreamed of beasts. Huge rampaging porcupines. The pictures were great.
There was this one though...It was of a sloth peeing. That was kind-of weird.
I came back with
BEASTS! Kate was seein'- in dreams, what's the meaning? of vast porcupines, with dangerous tines- also that sloth that was peein'-
I liked her defense of mandatory haikus:
Time? No time at all. Haiku writing's tres facile, like breathing out smoke.
Admittedly they are more sustainable than limericks. I just get tired of all facile-faux-clever haiku contests, especially when they don't have the theoretically mandatory season reference.

Of course ultimately I'm more of a prose guy.
cmg introduced me to, delivery menus for many places; unlike DiningIn, it seems like just a creditcard middleman, not w/ extra fees.
For HR reasons yesterday's interview got moved to tomorrow, now I have pre-interview angst; what kind of, and how much, techie brush-up to do. As much as I want this job (and it's a great match, though with a so-so commute) I'm more afraid of having an interview not come through, especially because indicators are so good for this one.

If the economy wasn't so bad and the idea of full time employment gaps so scary, I'd love to take a year off. Relative success in getting personal projects done buoys me a bit; but then the old Protestant work ethic thing comes to bite me on the butt - there's a self image of Being a Guy that Works, though sometimes 30 more years of 40 hour weeks seems disheartening.
The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation's financial system. The original idea behind Glass-Steagall was that separation between bankers and brokers would reduce the potential conflicts of interest that were thought to have contributed to the speculative stock frenzy before the Depression.
Also EB sent on a Rolling Stone article explaining the insane, swingin' dick gambles AIG took on and that we'll be paying for. The bit about the eyerolling "you wouldn't understand, it's a finance thing" was amazing. - the Stirling Engine. Robert Stirling was a genius, if a bit phallic minded.
"How did I fail women's studies? I love bitches!"
Jamal, "How High"

I found chocolate! Hiding in my pocolate!

I am please that Perl/Tk provides a way to make simple drag and drop UIs in windows... pity Tk is so gourdawful ugly and under-documented.
Black Electrical Tape: the Duct Tape of My Generation. My printer is now something like fixed.

hello japan! (backlog flush #76 and travelog)

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.

z22 powa!

(1 comment)
March 25, 2007
So my Sony Palm (Clié SJ22) died the other week. Palm is, I fear, a dying brand. (You can even get those Treo-phones with Microsoft's OS, which is an abomination, an affront to people who dig good UI design) and the selection of models is shrinking.

I took a small gamble and tried Palm's $99 entry-level "Z22" and, mirabile dictu, it is fantastic. Cheap and light, with a comfortably curved rear shell and the same UI that has been topped in the 10 years since the first Palms emerged... so good. The screen isn't as high quality as the old Sony, but Palm has never needed more than that basic 160x160. I have some other quibbles, the 4 way pointer thing isn't as useful as the Sony scrollwheel, and not as reliable as the up-and-down buttons on the old units, and I kind of miss having 4 application buttons, but still. I slapped on the included screen protector and don't worry about it not having a case or cover.

I'm almost surpised this came from Palm, whose design group seemed stuck on the idea that "compact" means flat but wide and long (so as to not sacrifice screen real estate, I guess, but disregarding the hand- and pocket-feel.)

I was surprised how long I was in that "looking for excuses to fiddle with it" zone with this gadget. Many well-designed devices will grab me like that for a bit, but I felt the compulsion for over a week, even with a decade of familiarity with the basics of it. Other folks dig the higher-end models, with wifi, or integrated phones, but this one is compact enough that I don't mind it as a standalone device, and cheap enough that I worry about it less.

(Weird... I just now noticed that the "SJ22", which I was happy with for a number of years, and "Z22" share that model number. And that number is 2 of the 3 digits of my lucky number 222. So maybe it's an omen!)

So, now I'm back to having... yeesh, a decade's worth of datebook, lots of notes, addresses, and my current Todo stack around with me at all times. It's not as important as when I was journaling on it instead of the web, but I dig it.

Passage of the Moment
[...]There was another bit of low-rent, half-assed psycho philosophy that I'd tacked on behind it somewhere along the line- sort of a corollary to "Deal with it"--namely, "Don't be a shit."

This doesn't mean I became some sort of namby-pamby little Candide with a smile in my heart and a kind word for even the lowliest vermin. Hardly. But choosing not to be a shit just made sense. You want to get good service in a store, in a restaurant, or while dealing with a government agency? Then don't be a shit. Remember that in most cases, the people you're dealing with are under just as much stress and have just as many unspoken crises facing them as you do, so show a little patience--and tip well.

Jim "Slackjaw" Knipfel, "Ruining It for Everybody"
He's been a columnist in some indy papers, a grizzled veteran of the school of hard knocks, suffering from a degenerative vision condition and all kinds of physical and karmic maladies.

It sounds like he's a bit of a barfly, and the book reminds me how nice it can be to just sit in a bar and hang out in some quite and dark recess of a bar, especially with just 2 people.

The quote now reminds me of a "This American Life" piece yesterday that came to the conclusion that, for the most part, people tip what they always tip, regardless of the friendliness of the server. But if you can make life feel a little better for everyone involved, even if it's just the American faux-friendliness, why not?

a fun game

March 25, 2006
Explicit-ish Movie Quote of the Moment
<filter type="mom" tip="highlight text with mouse or hit ctrl-a to read">
"You know what's a fun game?"
"You take three Excedrin PMs...
and you see if you could whack off before you fall asleep...
You always win is the best part about the game."
--from "The 40 Year Old Virgin"....sorry, but this made me laugh and laugh so I had to share it with everyone, just the "a winner every time" angle...

Videos of the Moment
BK on the Blender posted this amazing dance video, looks like some kind of competition... I remember seeing it a while back but it's worth checking out again.

And making the rounds recently, a British attempt to make a real life version of the Simpsons opening.

it's a dogs life

March 25, 2005
So, I got to thinking about dogs a I know a dog peeing on a post after a good hearty sniff is him "marking his territory"...but is it more like "haha, now I own this post" or more like "hi guys, I'm one of the dogs running around here too"? What can a dog's sensitive nose tell from a sniff? "Damn, better be careful, that smells like a big mean dog?" "Hey, George is around here somewhere!" or even "Dang...what's George been eating lately?" And is it just a boy dog thing or are girl dogs into it too, even if they're more vertical than horizontal about it?

Also, is a friendly dog, the kind that wags its tail amost hopefully to strangers as they walk past, the result more of nature or nurture?

Enquiring minds, etc...

Lyrics of the Moment
She came from Greece
She had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at St. Martin's college
That's where I...caught her eye

She told me that her dad was loaded
I said, "In that case, I'll have Rum and Coca-Cola"
She said, "Fine."
And in thirty seconds time, she said,

"I want to live like common people
 I want to do whatever common people do
 I want to sleep with common people
 I want to sleep with common people
 Like you."

Well, what else could I do?
I said, "I'll see what I can do."

"Common People", in my case off of William Shatner and Ben Fold's album Has Been.
Got it from Amazon yesterday (for some reason I bundled it with the just released DVD of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead so it was held up.) It's a very decent album. One other great track is a kind of dueling rant with Shatner and Henry Rollins, "I CAN'T GET BEHIND THAT!"

Link of the Moment
Back after a terrible slashdotting, the guidebook is a really cool sampler from most of the important GUIs from the 80s onward. Slashdot featured the icon gallery but stuff like a page of splashscreens is surprisingly interesting to the graphically minded, watching, the screens evolve over several generations. (The old Windows 3.1 startup screen really brought me back to college days...and I always thought the Windows 95 "It is now safe to turn off your computer" orange-on-black text was an oddly halloweenish choice.)

Geek Note of the Moment
Mentioning this for my own future reference as well as for any Java developer geeks out there...I hadn't previously heard of P6Spy (and I still don't know why it's called that) but it seems like a pretty nifty way of seeing the actual SQL your application is relying on...especially useful if you're relying on auto-generated SQL ala Entity EJBs. (God help your soul in that case anyway.) It wraps around whatever jdbc connection-driver you're using, and logs thing as they zoom on by...nifty.

wherefore art thou art

March 25, 2004
Art of the Moment
At Philly Classic, a woman named Aimee Dingman had a bunch of Atari-themed-art, namely, pixel-perfect acrylic paintings of famous atari characters and scenes. I didn't buy one, they price/size ratio was just one scale too large for me, though I was thinking using screenshots and a good photo printer might make some interesting results, in a rip-off kind of way. (Just for my own amusement and decoration.) Actually, as seen in the background of that photo with me and Howard Scott Warshaw, AtariAge printed up some large posters of the various cartridge fronts. I wonder where I could get access to something that could print that size, and how much it would cost...

Art of the Other Moment
Elsewhere in the art world, Niff Actuals are a cool crosspoint of handcraft and manufacture. (Be sure to click the "More Of This" buttons for closer looks.) I especially liked the Non-Specific Tape Measure and the 'It's My World' Fully Rotating Globe.

Quote of the Moment
When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest.
Bullwinkle J. Moose

Game of the Moment
Yahoo auto has set up a car racing game on a Times Square billboard that people can play by calling an 800-number on their cellphone. The gameplay is simplified speed up and slow down control only (like old kid's racing sets) probably because of lag time but still, it's a nifty idea.

News Quote of the Moment
"[Justice Souter] uses that wonderful phrase 'ceremonial deism,' a legal term of art for the 'God of the Hallmark cards'"
It always surprises me how intriguing a read it is. "It doesn't sound divisive? That's only because no atheist can get elected to Congress." was a good Newdow zinger, on the unanimous 1954 vote to add in "Under God". And, independent of one's belief, it's hard to argue that "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" doesn't flow better than "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

onward coalition soldiers

March 25, 2003
I've always been ambivalently negative on the war, but now I'm leaning even further towards the negative. Here's the thing; we really needed to express that we are against the regime, not the country of Iraq, but something in the reports of the fighting makes it sound like people there are fighting for their country. Like if someone invaded us (and we didn't have the military options we clearly do) and it was all up to bands of 2nd-amendmenteers and militias. Kind of like "Wolverines" in Red Dawn or something. I'm not sure if that's at all accurate, but that's the sense I get.

(And I think our hopes for internal uprisings were a little premature, especially given how we left the Kurds and Shi'a out to dry after the last war there...if anything, they're going to play wait and see, especially considering how thin-on-the-ground our forces must be in the places we kind of zoomed past.)

Obviously, we don't mount operations of this scale for humanitarian reasons alone. So all that's left is a hope that despite all appearances to the contrary, this really is advancing our medium and long term interests, that this team of advisors who have wanted us to get after Saddam for all these decades really know what they're talking about.

You know, our expectations for our military have really been amazing. In how many wars in history have the deaths of ten soldiers been so newsworthy? It's like we were holding out hope for it being completely bloodless on our side. (And it's notable how we hear so little about military casualties on the other side. Are they so firmly in the camp of "bad guys" that we just don't care, is it a big secret, are we worried about bad publicity?)

Quote of the Moment
I suspect [the war] will not have a large negative effect [on the Adult Video business] since the sentence 'This war has me not wanting to look at naked women' has never been uttered.'
Greg Salsburg of IVolt Networks
From this Adult Video News piece Will War Be Good or Bad for Business? (link doesn't have any explicit images, unless you buy into that "war is the last obscenity"/"battle footage is the new pornography" line of thinking, in which case you should know that there's a photo of a military helicopter there.)

Diet Food of the Moment
I'm always on the lookout for tasty convenient food, and cheap is a big plus. (I'm trying to keep my weekly petty cash spending to $50, including meals and random purchases to small for the credit card.) So, now that it's warmer it makes sense to walk 2 or 3 blocks down to Wendy's, where they have 99 cent Side Salads, Garden (Lettuce, Tomato, Carrot, Onion, Cherry Tomatoes) and Caesar (Lettuce, Parmesian Cheese, and some crumbled bacon). I think that nutritionally they're not too bad, especially because I'm learning to like 'em without dressing. (I think it's too easy to view salad as just a funky conduit for tasty dressing. Vegetables have their own flavor, even the ones you get at Wendy's.) I mean, I know bacon's never too great for you, but it's a pretty small amount. Also, for reasons I don't clearly understand, I kind of enjoying eating them at my desk as a finger food, though that part's optional.

To get to the Wendy's from where I work is kind of odd, you walk through some really rundown streets with apartment buildings, and there's a lot of trash on the ground. Before I started working here I didn't realize Salem was urban, not just witch and pirate themed tourist traps.

Link of the Moment
Flash-based lessons in learning English.

my trophy has a first name, it's o-s-c-a-r

March 25, 2002
Went to a mild manner but fun Oscars party last night. They did a little "pick the winners" contest/game. Man, I'm lousy at that...I guess it's not too surprising, considering I couldn't even pick Russell Crowe out of a police lineup...

Heh, Wild Turkeys outside the office window! I'd take a picture but I don't think it would come out very well from 4 stories up.

Quote of the Moment
Is this movie better than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?
Gene Siskel
I think it's a brilliant line and a decent movie criteria!

Link of the Moment
Deface GWB at Texas Drawl! At first it seemed just goofy with a bad interface, but click on "Popular Defacements" for some pretty good stuff.

good nintensions

March 25, 2001
Why Mario Will Rise Again. I love Nintendo. I just read "Game Over: Press Start to Continue" that talked about the people behind their domincance with the NES and their struggle to a tie with the SNES. Lately they've got a bad rap, with the N64 being seen as a kiddie game system, with fewer games, and that using cartridges instead of a CD like format was a total mistake. There are elements of truth to all these charges, but cartridges have zero load times, the games for the system tend to be a higher quality especially if you can see past the Japanese 'cuteness', by having four controller ports builtin to the hardware it has become the system if you actually have friends you like to game with, etc. In particular, the games that use the 'stable' of characters are all uniformly top notch.

The Mushroom Kingdom is a fan site that talks all about Mario, his history and that stable of characters. I love the encyclopdedic reference for all the characters, including all the minor bad guys, with images.

In related news, the Game Boy Advance is out in Japan. Kind of a sideways gameboy, but it can play games on par with the SNES (circa 1992 or so), instead of just the old NES (circa 1985 or so). When it comes out here in a few months, it's supposed to be retailing for $99! That's going to be a really interesting system. I'm almost sorry I got a Game Boy Color for Christmas, it's so outclassed by this one-- plus it has four player linking, including a feature with some cartridges that only one of the units has to have the game, the rest get what they need over the link. Neat.

I heard on the radio this morning that "Today the Pope celebrated mass on a hillside in Israel".  Now, I'm no theologian, but somehow, I just can't see this guy *celebrating* mass... "Woohoo!  It's *mass*!  It's there even when we're weightless! Without it there would be no intertia!  It's much better than volume or even density! It leaves length width and height *way* in the dust!  Chant with me! MASS! MASS! MASS! All-riiiiight!"

Then again, I can't really see this guy wearing a hat like that, so I guess we're even.
> Jesus knows how to get down!

Somebody must've taught Him then, because the last I heard, He couldn't.

Jesus Christ on a dance floor:  "Help!  I've risen but I can't get down!"  
--Delain, Expert Doughminatrix
[ courtesy of daniel ]

Nothing good comes from phone calls at three a.m.

"I'm so sorry," she began.

The caller ID said the rest.
"A small anarchic community of wireheads and hackers made the mistake of giving fire to the masses. Nobody is going to give it back. It is paradise lost."
--John Markoff  
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
--Bertrand Russell
Just realized I've been away from Cleveland longer than I was in Cleveland... that puts an interesting perspective on things.   Still ties into that life slipping away feeling however.