May 25, 2024

Quinn Rollins on FB writes:
I made these custom LEGO Muppet minifigures last year -- my casting is:

Kermit as Captain Picard
Fozzie Bear as Riker
Rowlf as Geordi
Miss Piggy as Troi
Gonzo as Data
Janice as Dr Crusher
Animal as Worf

I based it on the drawing below, that I drew in 1994...if I weren't basing on that, I might have switched Janice and Piggy's roles. 😬😬😬

(If LEGO released a Scooter minifigure, that would be my Wesley)

Open Photo Gallery

"Everything happens for a reason" has two interpretations:
1. everything has a higher purpose, or at least was caused to happen with someone's intent
2. everything is a part of a complicated chain web of cause and effect

When people are frustrated or disappointed with the world, they look to "everything happens for a reason" for solace - but too often they think more about the former definition, how so many things happen because of someone's intent - and that that intent is something like "pissing me off"

Counterpoint, also from sci-fi:
Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain, perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station, and the nebula outside-- that burn inside the stars themselves. We are starstuff. We are the Universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out.
Delenn, Babylon 5

Been fooling around with a mobile app "Prisma", high-powered, sometimes AI-backed filters.

People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?
Rodney King
It's a shame that sentences gets mildly misquoted and in a joking way, because the sentiment is so sincere and important.

I dunno. Maybe it's my solid impregnable solid core of ego afloat on fluffy clouds of different vapors of privilege. Intellectually I see how people need to part ways for their own protection but in my heart of hearts I just see a lot of people struggling for good causes. I mean objectively they're not all good causes and sometimes they conflict but personally I don't encounter real malice that often, at least not that I can recognize.
One of the invitations and, I think, perhaps the main invitation of this poem is to go beyond the technicalities of the poem, to go beyond the language of the poem and the beauty of the poem and to actually go and taste something -- a peach perhaps, or a strawberry, whatever you like -- and then to gather all of the seasons and life and sadnesses and joys and laborers and people who worked and the consideration of the story, all gathered into the taste of this sweetness -- and then, to let that taste itself be a poem that you're living in.

(grabbed FB's avatar-message-display thing because it seemed to be particularly on target)
Time Thing One: a new era! Tomorrow I start a new job at Monster Worldwide, the jobs board folks. (Not to be confused with Monster the energy drink, Monster the audio cables, or Monsters, Inc.) Grateful that the job search was not all that bad - full of anxiety and self-doubt, and in more of a "buyers market" for hiring companies than in a while, but also reassuring that there are still plans Cs and Ds left untapped, ways I could still make a living even if they didn't meet my usual work preferences.

Time Thing Two: my most consistent ritual is making since quarantine started is making coffee, filling two mason jars and putting them in the fridge every other day. There's this niggling point about the repetition of it and I found I was well-served by reframing the rhythm of it- it's hard to describe concisely, but I was getting worn down by thinking "every other day, I'm finishing up the coffee, have to make some more" but then realized it was much more satisfying to think "oh, I'm going to make iced coffee for the next two days". Somehow looking at it as preparing for an enjoyable future vs having to restock since I ran through my stockpile feels much better, even though the situation is absolutely identical.

Time Thing Three: Looking at my stockpile of old video games, and also thinking about the change of rhythm from looking for work vs the ol' 9-5. How did I ever have time for games? How did I ever have time for band? How did I ever have time for techie projects, especially when I was working?

Time Thing Four: The other week I supplemented my old Timelines project with a small addition, time is relative. Timelines are traditionally a single line, but I wanted to see what it would look like if I stacked up all the periods in a column, inviting comparisons. I further made it so that if you mouse or press on the bars, the amount displayed is not the amount of calendar time, but what % of my life it represented up to that point. (So, I was born in Philly but only lived there 3 months, but that 3 months was 100% of my life that far. The proportional display didn't grant me too many new insights, but it was kind of interesting to see.

Making a Squirrel "American Ninja Warrior" course: Y'know s'funny that for both "Gladiators" and "Ninja Warrior" the American version says "American". (Also almost surprised you can have "Ninja" in the title of "Ninja Warrior UK" given how they made Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles.)
Free hint, Nintendo. If someone buys a new game through your Switch e-shop, prioritize loading said game over the package updates for games the user hasn't played for months.

Between that and having to enter brutally long passwords over and over, and then general weird details like never having the most useful button being highlighted and ready to press, oddly ugly user experience.
AIWeirdness continues the machine learning oddness, now it's My Little Pony vs Metalband names.
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...
Star Wars IV as an infographic. Kind of amazing! And long.
"I know a life of crime led me to this sorry fate...And yet- I blame society. Society made me what I am."
"That's bullshit. You're a white suburban punk, just like me."
Repo Man (via Daniel Nester's "Shader")

For writers it is always said that the first 20 years of life contain the whole experience-- the rest is observation.
Graham Greene

If only this movie had the charm of a Warcraft unit who's been clicked too many times.
Great story on Ali, Liston and that photo...

Liston's epitaph of "A Man" is pretty bad ass.
"You were thinkin' too much. I mean, he's there, he's hittin' ya, ya can't think about this, Joey, it takes too long."
"I thought you said it was a mental game."
"In a sense, yes. But primarily, no. Primarily, you gotta hit the guy."
Ethan Coen, "Destiny" (speaking of boxing...)
Forgiveness is the number 1 trait linked to happiness in humans.

Staring into the fire was the original looking at your phone
at the highest level of abstraction a human is basically just a vertical tube

It is my sincerest hope that the act of dying feels like finally peeing after a long bumpy car ride.
I scanned in another small batch of photos in preparation for my 20th high school anniversary-- a small selection, me and Mike in the hallway, my favorite teacher Mrs. McLaughlin (looking like she's setting a boozy example for us at '91 Prom), Marnie showing a little leg before prom (so strange how entrenched the garter dance tradition was there, for prom...) and finally Kofi "Reggie" Obeng and Ernalisa...
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.

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...

--Just before everyone forgets about Lost entirely...(via) -YouTube 5 yearaversary video. Just noticed maybe "YouTube" is a play on calling TV "The Boob Tube"... I mean, why else "tube"?

I can barely express my contempt for the web forum game of "First Post!". What a waste of people's attention.
Happy 25th Anniversary to My Ever Lovin' Aunt Susan and Uncle Bill! Here's the (heh, Amber) frog pin and earrings we collaborated on for Aunt Susan...

Plus we got 'em flowers... "Sweet William", get it?

--I love the meta-level goofiness of this. (via)

What a crazy fun holiday weekend. Quiche making and picnic, Rock clambering and picnic, kayaking and cookout. Thanks to all who made it go!
Urk. Looks like at least for the time being my room arrangement options are constrained by the difficulty (or, Evil B claims, mathematical impossibility) of getting the love set into the back room via either of the two hallways. Drat and blast, I was really leaning towards the backroom as livingroom but now I'd have to be acquiring new furniture of fairly specific movable dimensions.

Thank goodness the Celtics won in Detroit last night, otherwise this "Boston teams can't win away games" meme would really be picking up some legs. Even now it seems pretty bizare.

Funny of the Moment

--via Bill the Splut, who claims to have been laughing his ass off to that punchline for 40 years.

Video of the Moment
In the news today... absolutely nothing.

2 year old catherine calls all hatchbacks "kirky cars". she knows car types more than colors! weird.
"autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of ... the decepticons." that sounds preemptive! who is the aggressor here?
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Biked around Malden and Melrose yesterday. But today... I can't believe it's not Friday. Thank goodness for the 3 day weekend.

Video of the Moment

--National Geographic on the anatomy of the one punch knockout. Scary stuff!

Quote of the Moment
Hipster: When I was little and went to Sunday school my teacher told us we all have a little piece of God inside of us, and I thought, I hope I have his thumb.
I guess this is a variation on the "kids say the darndest things" line that I most tend to repost here, but still...
Yesterday my coworker let loose with a mighty sneeze, one on par with my own. Some of the other coworkers commented, and I mentioned that a "sneeze like that is nothing to sneeze at." Not my finest humor moment, but hey.

So what is something to sneeze at? One coworker suggest pepper, or pollen, but I don't think causing a sneeze is the same as being sneezed at, despite the likely proximity.

All lame jokes aside, it is an odd expression. I guess sneezing could be construed as a sign of insufficient respect, but hey... when you gotta sneeze, you gotta sneeze.

E-mail excerpt of the Moment
(After some talk about yesterday's diet-related kisraeling, and how even though Zippos are great fidgits I really shouldn't even joke about taking up smoking as a diet aid.)

>>>>Sometimes I find myself wishing
>>>>that I had a tapeworm or something though :-)


>>clearly you haven't seen enough cute, cuddley,
>>muppety cartoony tapeworms.

>again, 'eeeeeeewwwwwww!!!!!!!!!'

No, really, take a look!

--Me and FoSO. Of course, there is nothing new under the sun, and every good idea you have is probably already done somewhere on the Internet.

Personal News of the Moment
Just got the news from my boss...

Sure I'm just going to waste it, but still.... FOUR DAY WEEKEND!
Photo of the Moment
-- via boingboing, more Star Wars fandom.

Ramble of the Moment
So for the past two nights with the storm blowing and trying to work its way into my drafy apartment I holed up in my bedroom; turning on the space heater, cranking up the laptop, burrowing into the covers. I had the video projector in there as well from previously where I had played some videogames this weekend in a similarly lazy mood. It reminded me of that Quentin Crisp quote about the benefits of one room living, and I thought about my old fantasy of condensing my life into one room. It would have to be a bigger room than that of course, and I'd have to really pare down my books and dvds and video games, and I would be hard pressed to have groups over for games or parties. And I guess from a status point of view, you definately risk looking more like a guy who can't maintain a "real place" when you live like that. But still the idea holds a deep appeal for me...actually it has for a while, I remember that section being the favorite part of the New House Book when I was a kid.

I guess there's a philosophy I have, an appreciation for the simplest and most elegant thing that gets the job done. Like cars, for instance, and I know the same idea influences my computer programming style. (Heck, there's a small chance that there's a common thread with my historical "thing" for petite women, though that's tied in with some level of historical coincidence.) When things are pared to the functional minimum, often you increase flexibility, but more to the point there's more room for the other "interesting" things in life.

Quote of the Moment
The meaning of life is to become a legend.
Kefrens, Desert Dream.
I saw "Troy" last night, and actually that quote echoes one of the central themes of the movie, the Greek heroes looking to have their names live on...sometimes I get hung up on that kind of thought. Though playing "what if" while standing in line for the Cyclone at six flags, Peterman and Leslee both said they would rather be rich than famous enough to go down in history.

Sophomoric Bit of the Moment
How much funnier would the first Harry Potter book be if you replaced 'wand' with 'wang'? Pretty funny, actually, or at least worth a giggle in parts.

Link of the Moment
A somewhat less cool Heavy Little Objects, it's My Urban Dig, a gal digging though and writing up the tchochkes in her house.
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Gamebutton of the Moment

You must steer the Starfighter Hyphen (behind its worthless defense shield) through the oncoming Dashteroids field. Click to move the Hyphen. Due to extensive damage to your craft's navsystem, the Hyphen is steerable in only one direction at a time.
Tip: once you click with the mouse to start the game, the spacebar is much more reliable than the mouse for registering button hits

More gamebuttons on the way!

Game of Last Night
Mo an I went to Macaroni Grill (oddly, owned by the same people who run Chili's) and since they give you crayons and a big white paper tablecloth, we played a game John Sawers taught me, "Mr. Snowman": one player draws a snowman, then the second player draws something to melt or otherwise destroy the snowman, then the first player draws a defense, and then you repeat the attack/defense cycle. She started with a blowtorch, I put an asbestos wall (with the snowman going 'COF'). Later she drew a bulletbroof train with a team of deadly attack ninjas. I drew a happy helpful chef, who threw the switch to divert the train away from the snowman, along with providing delicous pie to distract the ninjas, because everyone knows, Ninjas Love Pie. It's a great game.

Link of the Moment
Hey, today is ArtBots! (I was I was in New York!) Physical machines that make art...Ranjit entered his Sketching Device #1...very cool, everything I make is too virtual...
Sigh, Mo got laid off yesterday. Damn dotconomy. The timing relative to the wedding is a bit irksome.

Quote of the Moment
Why should I love God? He strung up his only son like a piece of veal. I should fear what he would do to me!

Got a new alarm clock with big old numbers.  You know, I'm kind of nostalgic about the old one.  It's been in my family since the 70s, I remember it sitting in the bathroom throughout highschool, and of course it's been by my bedside through college and beyond.  Possible Blender Ramble material.
"Your life would be very empty if you had nothing to regret."
"Why do you suppose we only feel compelled to chase the ones who run away?"
--Dangerous Liason
Of course, degeneration is programmed into our DNA: Nature seems to want us to reproduce and then fall by the wayside. But your generation wants to hang onto its youth into its 90s, on the theory that if you stay around long enough maybe you can get your life together.
--Mr. Blue