December 4, 2019

Last night Melissa and I did Christmas decorating- my dad's old "folk art" minimalist tree (Melissa really sees my only-child nature in how many of my ornaments have my name imprinted...) and the more real-looking one she prefers, with lots of lights.

I realized I didn't have an appropriate holiday drink like a nog or anything so here is my new recipe:

King Santa's Beard:
Pour 1 or 2 shots of Crown Royal Whisky in a tumbler. Put a big dollop of spray whipped cream on top.

Universality and diversity in human song gets into some questions I've been thinking about; how much of our formal music system is universal, maybe tied into some mix of math and our shared neurobiology, and how much is just a cultural artifact?

FOLLOWUP: on FB Nick B reminded me of this:

And say simply, Very simply, With hope: 'Good morning.'
Maya Angelou

December 4, 2018

Really bummed about Tumblr. I was always a little surprised when encountering people who mostly thought it was for porn, since it was pretty easy to avoid. For me tumblr is more of a gathering place with a pro-Social Justice vibe. I guess some of its sub-communities are based on shared horniness, but it was easy for me to curate a collection of folks posting stuff I found interesting on the regular. More visual than twitter, more dialog based (and less self-absorbed) than Instagram, less special-topic than Reddit, and not "folks I already know" than Facebook.

Jerks at 4chan can continue to be as alt-right and pornish as they want, I assume. From a culture war standpoint this stinks.
On my devblog- Shape detection is on the iPad! As seen on the Newton circa '95 or a '63 Lincoln TX-2... (and I suppose CAD programs have been doing it all along, but still.)

December 4, 2017

On Art and Sesame Street.

December 4, 2016

advent day 4

I'm a hick," I recall saying to him.

"No," Harrison answered. "You think you're less than you are. You're a smart hick." And then, "You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samurai.
Carrie Fisher, "The Princess Diarist"

november 2015 new music playlist

December 4, 2015
Music I added to my collection last month, 4-stars in red.

advent day 4

"Show Your Work". I think I do that too much when I write: it's not enough to state what I believe, but why I believe it, because I have this subconscious fear that at any moment I might be held to account for it, and being Wrong is kind of Sin.

But in truth, no one (or at least a small select) gives a damn. The indifference of the universe is at once utterly disheartening and rather freeing.

"The winds blew and the clouds moved on as if they were oblivious to their mortal plight." <- best video game quote ever.
With a presumed life span of over 500 years, it's safe to say that every plastic bottle you have used exists somewhere on this planet, in some form or another.

after ordering a nice cheap pair of gloves from Amazon, I wonder what it will be like for kids who witness their parents doing this... I mean money and the worlds of commerce are already kind of mysterious for kids, I think-- witnessing parents who type at a computer and then two days later or so stuff just shows up on the doorstep... That's kind of weird!

animal advent ala emberley day 4

December 4, 2014

So the Eric Garner strangler is either lying about using a chokehold, or the man needs to stop watching so much MMA.
'@kcbeerminx: Kid Rocks looks like he would smell like stale farts & cigarettes'. Pff, more like fresh farts - and CIGARS.

December 4, 2013

(1 comment)

advent day 4

Thinking about the power of mindfulness. It seems greatly empowering to be gatekeeper of one's mind, letting good thoughts hang around and linger and dismissing the distractions and negative ideas. Trying to think of why it scares me a little though, and I realize it's because of past frustrations with people who are very contentedly ensconced in a particularly arbitrary mindset or faith or belief system, and utterly unassailable to logical debate of what they're believing. I... don't want to me one of "them".
Don't Start a Company, Kid - interesting counterpoint to the usual ra-ra-entrepreneurship thinking.
The dramatic oversimplification of one of the longest studies ever: "Happiness = Love. Full stop."
Playlist November 2013:

Taking over some Java Swing UI code... compared to HTML5/js, it feels SO WEIRD to try and build your nouns via a series of verbs...

December 4, 2012

advent day 4

The problem with unit testing is that "units" hardly ever fail. Components fail, Systems fail-- it's the interaction of units that's usually the problem.
Look, suffering doesn't make you better, it just makes you suffer!
Art Spiegelman
(reading his MetaMaus now, fascinating.)
Everything happens so much

javadvent day 4

December 4, 2011

I am always amused by nunchucks. I can't recall ever hearing of a single incident where anyone successfully has used nunchucks to either defend himself or to attack someone else, yet they are illegal in three states. They can't be easily concealed, and pose as much of a danger to the wielder as to the target. Presumably, if nunchucks were in any way effective, all soldiers and cops would carry them. And yet everyday factories manufacture nunchucks. And every day some teenage boy covers his back and forearms in bruises in his futile quest to master the noble of nunchuckery.
Alex Gregory, answering "What are some things in life that make you laugh and why?" in "The Best of the Rejection Collection"

march on

(1 comment)
December 4, 2010

(2019 UPDATE: unsure replacement)
SUFFERERS OF ADHD. Look on the bright side. At least your deficit of attention is in high definition.

#screenshotsaturday !

Youtube Skimming Enterprise "Mirror Darkly"; always like "elseworlds" stuff; TOS Defiant kicking Terran Empire butt is fantastic, as well as the old school uniforms. CGI Gorn is as cheesy as the original in its own way though. - some GREAT mashups (tho also broken links) Cyprestition, My Shiny Gun Mosey, Do Your Thing to the Music, Kanye Mahna--
Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior - I am humbled by the nuance of Pac-Man's AI (not to mention the A/V!)

javadvent calendar day 4

December 4, 2009

Regarding farting in space, I'm not sure if the smell or the spinning around would be more nauseating.
Just discovered where people can share their java sketches - here's a great one:
Almost as interesting as all this social etymology is how depressed Dick looks in panel two. "Am I ready for long-hair music?" he asks himself, as if this was the last stage in a man's life before death. "Normally the only music I listen to is made up of perps begging for mercy as their bones are shattered. Has it really come to this?"

C# Compiler sucks ass through a straw, especially in terms of locating errors. My opinion of Visual Studio is through the basement.
Sometimes I forget how my name is soaked in religion: Kirk the Scottish church, Logan the evangelist, and, well, Israel.


December 4, 2008
In the comments for yesterday's minimalist entry, I got this:
I think your New Year's Resolution should be to not blog the entire year. I double-dog-dare you.
--A concerned individual
Whoa, whoa, WHOA there, you don't go straight to double-dog-dares!

Heh, well, "concerned individual" (oy, pseudo-anonymity is so odd) this week at least I'm concerned too, but mostly with how I've been so obsessed with this "Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts" building game... times I've legitimately ducked out of work for a scratchy/stuff cold, I've been wrestling with this games interesting set of building/driving challenges rather than resting... In fact, that obsession explains why some of the entries have been a bit more sparse the past few days, I'm not quite as thorough with my own daily web-browsing rounds.

But would a hiatus from blogging be helpful? Watching my mom browse I realize Twitter could potentially step in for letting folks know I'm still alive, and how I'm feeling, and captures some of what I think is funny. So the idea of pausing the site isn't as remote as it once was, though I think Twitter's message length limitations are a bit too sharp to fully stand-in.

But what would the benefit be? Would I focus more on the other parts of life, maybe do a better job of life-management in general? There are certainly many aspects of what I do that deserve more and more careful attention than they're getting, but I don't think they get less attention because of this site. Being a web-junky, yes. (Actually, that's a side benefit of my current short 'bout of hardcore game obsession; it's reminding me that I don't have to let myself be constantly distracted by the websites I like in order to keep up with them and the world.)

cmg followed up that comment with:
I don't think he could stand the fact that he might have to go without attention
But... seriously, that's not why I do this site as a daily practice. I mean it is, in part, but it's an extension of something I was doing with a Palm Pilot before I expected anyone to read it -- I want to bear witness to the world, from the meaningful and thought-provoking to the just plain goofy and fun.

I do ride the coattails of those people actually doing interesting things to show them to people who don't share my web habits, but the attention I receive is just icing. (And besides, except when people comment, online or in person, I have little idea of who or how many are actually following this page.)

Like I've said before, a central reason I blog daily is so that I can look back at the footprints from every day. I dig the site's "retrospect" feature on the sidebar, that shows me what I was thinking this date over the past decade or so.

Going back to the original suggestion, a better resolution for the year: no more damn muffins from Soup'r-Salad in the morning, the things aren't that great anyway, just convenient. Maybe I'll start this morning.

Exchange of the Moment
Takashi wrote:
shnozlak wrote:
shrugtheironteacup wrote:
It was fun to hear about this while trapped in Northern Idaho. You end up watching the coverage on Fox News all day while various relatives filter through your grandmother's house and share with you their opinions on why they think this happened, now.

My relatives have taught me that this happened because Obama.

That more things like this will happen because Obama.

That "the week before he's sworn in there'll be stuff blowing up all over the world."

Conclusion: Obama.
I dont follow.
I think the point here is
SO like ...Obomberman

Gave to the WBUR fundraiser, in part for the "Not For Tourists" Boston Guide, also so the nagging - while continuing - won't feel so bad.
Disliking the new embedded youtube search box... bad enough on the "click to play" screen, but why when paused or ff'ing? Sucks.
Way back when I used to think Shirley MacLaine might be a bit evil 'cause of the New Age stuff. (Now based on the wiki page, she was cute!)
Reviving old Iced Tea maker at work - no more 25 cent cans of diet coke for me - science lesson: ice can chill hot liquid in real time


December 4, 2007

draggin - source - built with processing
Just a small Java game I put together... one of the first things I've done there with sound! Devour the villagers who are threatening you and your precious apples. (You can eat them with your head, but they are deadly to the rest of your body.) It was inspired by this processing demo code which was simply moving a chain-like set of links on a screen. I'm not sure if I quite got the interaction feel I was aiming for.

i want money, that's what i want

December 4, 2006
Here comes the snow. Bleh*3. Shovel, scraper, extra gloves are dutifully brought to back of car. Bostoners, watch out for the idiots who have forgotten how to drive on snow, but I guess we should count ourselves lucky, if this is the same system that punished so many to the West, it seems like we're getting off pretty damn easy.

Video of the Moment
This video (Umm, PG13 lets say) about pre-nookie negotiations with lawyers is actually pretty funny. I think I saw the basic idea on the Chappelle Show, but this takes it to the next level by bringing the counsel. (via BoingBoing.)

Anecdote of the Moment
"During the contest for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, Kennedy visited a mine in West Virginia. "It is true you're the son of one of our wealthiest men?" asked one of the miners there. Kennedy admitted that this was true.

"Is it true that you've never wanted for anything and had everything you wanted?"

"I guess so."

"Is it true you've never done a day's work with your hands all your life?"

Kennedy nodded.

"Well, let me tell you this," said the miner. "You haven't missed a thing."

[insert attempt to transcribe donald duck outburst here]

December 4, 2005
Quote of the Moment
The thing that I consider most important about my work is this: I told it like it is. I told my readers that the bad guys have a little of good in them, and the good guys have a lot of bad in them, and that you can't depend on anything much; nothing is always going to turn out roses.
Carl Barks, May 29, 1973.
Barks made the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic books in the 1940s and 50s...highly regarded, especially in Eurupe, I've found first hand.

Aside of the Moment
Is it just me or is the rate of technology getting cheaper vastly slower than it used to be?

I guess it's what you're in the market for, but I was looking for an extra small external harddrive for data swapping, and I swear those things aren't many more Gigs per Dollar than they were a year ago, maybe longer.

Schadenfreude of the Moment
Heheh WOW -- Yankees reportedly lost up to $85 million last year...guess big money ball doesn't always pay off! Not that the Red Sox are any spending slouches, but no one is in the Yankees league in terms of shelling out.

heads will roll

(1 comment)
December 4, 2004
Image of the Moment

--Happyface Bowling, 3 Dec 2004

our very best to you

December 4, 2003
Feature of the Moment
So I jumped the gun a little bit and added 2003 to my best of kisrael page. (If I do anything clever in December, I can always add to it.) After I revamped the best of page, just having two years looked a bit lonely, hence 2003. Of course, 'best of' is a bit...I dunno, misleading maybe. It's mostly just days when I've created something interesting, an image or an online toy. I link to stuff more interesting than what I personally create all the time, but "best of" is the stuff I can take credit for.

Quote of the Moment
'If all the neurons in your brain were laid end to end,' Funny Paper's college roommate used to say, 'you would die instantly.'
from the Funny Paper article archive (yesterday's link)

Japan Links of the Moment
Found some kind-of similar articles on Japan lately: a FAQ focused on the practicalities of moving to Japan, and a SAQ about odd things you might notice if you go there. The latter is more interesting, in general. It has some cool links, like a 'solution' to what is the sound of one hand clapping (a kind of ritualistic exchange that goes a little beyond Bart Simpson's "flap flap flap" suggestion) and a list of animation shortcuts and clichés used in anime. There's also a page on etiquette, with even more links down at the bottom. These images are pretty cool and informative.

Link of the Moment
"We are Tree of Borg. Your street signs will be assimilated and their biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own."

the campfire of consciousness

December 4, 2002
Quote of the Moment
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.
C. G. Jung.
Interesting to compare this to the first quote on this entry on my old Palm journal, from Babylon 5, which says in part "We are the Universe made manifest, tring to figure itself out."

Self-Improvement Essay of the Moment
I need to master the fine art of Structured Procrastination.

Read of the Moment
I just finished Alan Moore's highly lauded graphic novel "Watchmen". It was great, borrowing both from traditional superhero comics as well as some very Vonnegut-esque concepts of time. The concept that even beings with superpowers might not be enough to deal with the nuclear weapons of the superpowers was a bit disturbing. I found a site featuring odd tribute comics and with a lot of links (many stale, alas) including annotations by fans and other commentary. (Though most of those links contain spoilers, so you shouldn't read them without having read the work first.)

SUPERuperuper SMASHashash BROTHERS!!!

December 4, 2001
Woo Hoo! Smash Brothers Melee for the Nintendo Game Cube is out today! It's a turbocharge of the previous N64 game, which had bunches of classic Nintendo characters (Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus from Metroid, Link from "Legend of Zelda", newcomers like Pikachu from Pokeémon and Fox from Star Fox) duking it out in a big brawl, four players at once, with each character having features and weapons from his or her game. I'm going to be attached to the TV for quite some time...

Movie Quote of the Moment
Simon: Father! ...we must leave at once!
Stella Star: 48 seconds left 'til the explosion--we've got to get out of here!
Simon: It's true father--the count has mined the planet with nuclear devices. We're all about to die!
Emperor: You know something my boy? I wouldn't be Emperor of the Galaxy if I didn't have a few powers at my disposal. [To Ceiling:] IMPERIAL BATTLESHIP, HALT THE FLOW OF TIME!
from Star Crash, a "Spaghetti Western" attempt at a Battlestar Galactica/Clash of the Titans/Barbarella movie
Just as good as you'd expect a film featuring David Hasselhoff, starring a robot sheriff with a southern drawl, with intermittent kung fu scenes, bone wielding cavemen, and alternate titles like "The Adventures of Stella Star", "Female Space Invaders", and "Scontri stellari oltre la terza dimensione" to be. In other words, so bad it actually warps the flow of time and space around it. Mo and I watched it last night. Thanks Erin.

Link of the Moment
Is Your Son a Computer Hacker? An amusing parody of a parent's view of the current geek world. (Thanks to Peterman for the link.)

"Is that a can of polyurethane in your pocket... or are you just happy to see me... or is it a tumor of some sort?"
--Mo, 99-12-4
E! Ecstacy! M! Motherfucker Motherfucker! F! From us to you!
"You are closer to death, and that makes you kinder."
--wall at Man Ray

"Rationality tied to moral decency is the most powerful joint instrument for good that our planet has ever known."
          --Michael Shermer
Only $1600 odd left on my car-woohoo!
Garrison Keillor mentions Speedy Gonzalez jokes
Rural fastfood joints on the way to the Vermont B+B- you can tell a lot about a region by the preparers and consumers of fast food
Hollywood Squares says Einstein didn't wear socks much. I'd like to find out why.
the dye is cast
the dice are rolled
i feel like shit
you look like gold
" is what *still* goes on when you are *not* horny."
          --Robert Heinlein
{making love stay is easy... It's lust that flees}
                     --Tom Robbins
I guess the winter
Makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things
you could not show her
And it's been a long December
And there's reason to believe
maybe this year will be better
 than the last
I can't remember
all the times I've tried to tell myself
to hold on to these moments
as they pass
                     --Counting Crows, A Long December
"... if cats looked like frogs, we'd understand what nasty, brutal little creatures they really are."
          --Terry Pratchett
Waltham does such a beautiful job with the lights in the town square. White Holiday Season Lights really make the season for me.