April 23, 2017tuba

Ezequiel playing in the March for Science in today's NY Times; Andrew, Dave, and me behind

It's cool how both the Boston Globe and the NY Times select photos with younger players front and center, and some taller folks backin' em up
I've moved around 20 times in my life. You think I'd be a bit less crap at it by now...

April 23, 2016

"We should probably get back to the theater- those pre-movie trivia questions aren't going to answer themselves, are they? ...actually they do."
--Mitchell on "Modern Family"
With Kristin L at Honest Weight Artisan Beer

April 23, 2015

Her name was Danuta Danielsson and she was originally from Poland. Her parents died in a concentration camp. The nazi was later found guilty of murdering a homosexual man. --via http://dogscantlookup.com/post/117158123091/combatbootsoftolerance-sonounsoffione-a-woman that talks about the controversies of proposing a statue in her honor.
"The Fear Will Never Go Away As I Continue to Grow"
--Susan Jeffers' "Truth 1" from "Feel the Fear ...And Do It Anyway". Continuing this self-help book kick I've been on. Not quite as tuned for my needs as the Albert Ellis, but certainly compatible in outlook, and with some useful thoughts even if I don't embrace it mantra-wise.

This concept is good though... if I'm a little nervous and anxious as I go through my day, that's a sign I'm doing it right. If I retreat to the low hanging fruits only, that's not so good.

http://pando.com/2015/04/19/the-war-nerd-the-art-of-turf-war/ - The War Nerd on turf war. Major, "low-level" ethnic war is happening in South Africa. Gary Breecher's realpolitik view takes such a richer, more informed view of what's going on than the simplifications, and frankly, disinterest of mass media.
Like if you want to understand the situation in Yemen

April 23, 2014

Walked past a construction worker in Seaport- snuck a glance at the stickers festooning his hardhat, was braced for ideas I might not agree with, but foremost was a "Hardhats for Elizabeth Warren" sticker. Good lesson about not jumping to conclusions…
I wonder how long I've been casually using the New England "wicked" to mean "extremely". I think at some point I may have been using it self-consciously and ironically, but now it's just a part of how I communicate.

"Hella" might be going down the same path for me... right now I'm very aware when I use it.

April 23, 2013

"Life's missed opportunities, at the end, may seem more poignant to us than those we embraced -- because in our imagination they have a perfection that reality can never rival."
--Roger Ebert. I find solace in this thought, a way to temper the bittersweet nostalgia I'm blessed and cursed with.
http://boingboing.net/2013/01/25/the-secret-to-feeling-like-you.html -- the secret to not feeling time starved is to have a feeling of awe.

For two jobs, five of the last ten years, I worked a block or two from the end of the marathon...


April 23, 2012
click to play:


(Decided not to embed the game since it starts out playing music...) This was my Ludum Dare 23 game, though the core idea and puzzles were generated by my collaborator Glenn Iba. I can't say it's so original, since Glenn has a very similar iOS game and a host of Lisp computer programs to make these puzzles, but still it was a nice exercise in UI and design.
"Love thy neighbour as yourself, but choose your neighbourhood."
--Louise Beal
"I want this to be the perfect date. I haven't had a real date since I was 13 years old. "
--Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn". Like Amber mentioned, so many things wrong with sentence...

and i don't even know spongebob

April 23, 2011

Wish I could communicate to kitty Rex that no kneading claws, random licking, and less up into our faces would make snuggles more welcome.

not to brag

April 23, 2010

Man, I love the views from the cafeteria at my new job. Sorry about the reflection in the first one...

And today this patio was open, but the sky was gloomier and less photogenic than last week...

Even the view from my group's conference room is pretty nifty...

"In the fight between you and the world, back the world."
--Frank Zappa
A coworker says there's an ocean-based sequel to Avatar coming. My title idea: "Avatar 2: learn THIS language, nerds- 'blurgbuablublubgblurble'"
"Good advice given yrs ago by @atomiota, an old boss: "It may not work, but we're designers, so we try it anyway." I rmmbr that all the time."

gorilla my dreams

April 23, 2009

--The Rotterdam Zoo has special glasses so Gorillas won't think you're making eye contact with them, which ticks them off. I kind of want a pair so it will always look like I'm trying to think of something. (via)

http://www.kirksjerks.com/ - supporting UCF Men's Basketball. Who knew?
http://lileks.com/bleat/?p=1908 - jeans and the joy of lileks

klingon...you've killed my son...

(1 comment)
April 23, 2008

Today I had a revelation. I was talking with Jeremy, the guy who works in the print shop in my office building, and I realized once upon a time I kind of gave a damn that Captain Kirk had a son. (And according to the novel only, he was doin' it with the vulcan Lt. Saavik) Guess that sort of gets overshadowed by the whole "Death of Spock" in those movies, the fun with the time travel and Whales in 4 (or maybe the heaps of junk that came later in the movie series...)

Photos of the Moment
Today's Topic: Fakery in the Marketplace!

First offender: Starbucks.
So, this looks like a bit of corkboard you might see at your local coffee joint, but no, it's a premade poster. I think this is kind of an insult to both the customers (look, we know you're kind of corporate, and we're ok with that) and staff (what, they can't be trusted to assemble something like this themselves?)

Annoying clever guerilla marketing, some allergy product or whatever with advertising that looks just like a local xeroxed Missing Pet poster.
I find some small cold comfort in them having to put a copyright symnbol or something after the word "Claritin".

Finally, not fake per se, just disgusting...
DD's has some passable mini-pizza things. (Not to mention a deal (where you get a free small iced coffee after 11AM following a Red Sox victory) that I find irritatingly tempting.) This is the "Surpreme". It has enough tasty forms of grease and tomato on it that I don't quite get the need to include mayo and two packs of ketchup along with it.

Link of the Moment
So, returning to the Sci-Fi theme, the Sci-Fi Movie Bad Physics report card. Of course I'm still geek enough to know the counter-arguments, like Star Wars "lasers" aren't really lasers, but have some kind of physical element as well.

life is what you can get away with

April 23, 2007

Not to sound too much like I'm trying for my martyr card, but there's that saying "friends help friends move, real friends help friends move bodies." I'd prefer to think of that second part as "real friends help friends spend whole weekends doing the Herculean tasks involved in going over a house full of the antique-ish knick knacks (and lead paint) of a lovely old lady who'd lived there for decades while smoking quite a bit, and working towards the goal of having it be a fit place to raise a one year old child." but that really, really doesn't scan.

Politics of the Moment
I really liked this Slate piece on which presidential candidate is which stock?... John Edwards as Krispy Kreme is especially clever.

Toys of the Moment
--Chris Deck's MINI Star Wars models are just small and brilliant and lovely.

Quote of the Moment
"The reason I wear pajamas all the time is along the way I discovered I could get away with it."
--Hugh Hefner, on NPR this morning. Life made a little more sense when I realized that he wasn't the same guy as Howard Hughes, despite the alliteration.

remember, kids, it's all thanks to *science*!photos

April 23, 2006

So the other day I decided to go catch the Boston Museum of Science Star Wars exhibit before it headed out of town, pay a bit of homage to the Trilogy that still has such a visceral grasp on my imagination, with Ksenia in tow.

Not a bad shot of the Yoda puppet, pity about the shadow...

They had one of the Falcon models, it was cool seeing the detail they put into it. I'm not surprised that the Prequels' CGI never quite captured that dirty "used universe" look the way the original's real models did.

One thing about the Falcon... the audiotour talked about how it's supposed to look like parts were just bolted on, blatant non-standard modifications, and of course in the movies they say stuff like "you came in that thing?" and "fatest hunk of junk in the galaxy"...but it never looked that bad to me, maybe just a bit scuffed, with an oversized radar dish.

They had the model for the "Rebel Blockade Runner", and because of my deepish fanboy knowledge, I was able to search for and confirm a Star Wars easter egg... here's the model...

My flash was able to light up its cockpit, where I had read the original designers had included a little bonus, never seen by the movie cameras...

Hubba hubba! I love how maybe 1%--if that--of the people going through the exhibit would never think to look in there... and it was invisible without additional light (like a camera flash) anyway.

Then we went to the regular exhibits, including the good ol' reliable jumbled Mathematics room... this is the one that made me think "remember kids... it's all due to Mathematics!" Seriously (and maybe LAN3 has an opinion on this thanks to his job) sometimes I worry how shallow-ly most kids and adults take these things, just looking for a visceral momentary diversion...

Hillis et al's famous Tinkertoy TicTacToe computer

Err, if you look really closely at the image below, you can see that you're actually looking at Dolphins... remember, kids, THIS is SCIENCE so pay more attention at school!

This is a closeup from the Lunar Excusion Module (LEM) control panel... I was wondering about the whole Verb/Noun labels... I googled up this explanation. (I also Googled a confirmation that the good ol' Boston Computer Museum closedup and merged with the MoS... sigh, I used to love that place, but I guess since it took me 7 years to notice, I can't complain much.)

Finally, Ksenia behind a giant magnifying glass...couldn't decide which shot I liked more...


express gratitude

(1 comment)
April 23, 2005

Almost missed doing an update today...which really would've been the first time in like 4 1/2 years. Well, I made it!

Advice of the Moment
"For the next few hours the old man revealed more of his ingredients for successful social living. Express gratitude. Give more than is expected. Speak optimistically. Touch people. Remember names. Don't confuse flexibility with weakness. Don't judge people by their mistakes; rather, judge them by how they respond to their mistakes. Remember that your physical appearance is for the benefit of others. Attend to your own basic needs first, otherwise you will not be useful to anyone else." Scott Adams (of 'Dilbert' fame), "God's Debris"--the book is pretty sophomoric but I like this passage.

like castle wolfenstein 3d but better

April 23, 2004

Thanks for all the feedback yesterday.

Actually, it's not so much that the "getting ready to move" vibe is made worse by the divorce reminder aspect; it's that there's the additional pressure of the "will my house sell well" anxiety to clean it up right.

Well, maybe it's not all that bad, though I do worry my real estate folks are pricing it high enough that we might not get enough nibbles before something happens to interest rates. But I don't think I'm in danger of owing on the mortgage or anything, and beyond that it's all funny money anyway.


Openhouse this Sunday. And it looks like some city workers are adding gravel so that the insane jutting rock (that was left behind when some of the other dirtroad material eroded somewhat 'cause of the recent monsoons) isn't quite so dangerous. Yay Waltham!

Comic of the Moment

Stalin vs Hitler...with translations from the original Russian, and with annotations...great stuff.

Quote of the Moment
"I was the youngest of 8. All brothers. All lousy kissers."
--Woman on "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge". But she did go on to make it across the rickety bridge with all these volleyballs being launched at her.

memoriam: 5307 dayshistorydad

April 23, 2003

An odd milestone today: I'm exactly twice as old as I was when my dad died, I've now lived for as long without him as I did with him. (I figured that out with my javascript date toy last summer, and then noted it on my palmpilot.)

(For me the calculation is a little weirder than that, since I have this odd theory that I wasn't fundamentally who I am now until sometime during middle school. It's a self-serving rule of thumb, makes me feel less close to "middle aged" than I am.)

With Santa...
My dad was amazing in a lot of ways. Minister, Counted-Cross-Stitcher (at a national competition level), Baker (when we lived in a small town, he'd announce he was baking bread, people would place their order and leave the money on the kitchen table, and on a related note, he never did reveal his double chocolate cookie recipe, or its source, which was a book in the town public library), Furniture Refurbisher, Registered Nurse (when he realized the ministry wasn't for him forever, he started attending a local college to get his degree), Art Collector (prints mostly; a few pieces from his collection were added to the Cleveland Museum of Art's permanent collection), Historian/Collector (especially Salvation Army memorabilia). He'd find a new interest, like circus memorabilia, or folk art rugs, or cigar store indians, get some books, and become a bit of an expert on all those topics. He gained an amazing amount of sophisticated culture for a guy from his background, salt of the earth folk in the farm country of Ohio. (It took him a while though, one time on a school trip to the Cleveland Art Museum, he told the teacher "Teacher, you can see her...her things.") He was the epitome of champagne on a beer budget (and knew some accounting tricks to pull that off from studying finance in college). I really think that my appreciation for the finer things suffers tremendously in comparison to his, especially when you compare our backgrounds, all the cultural advantages I've had.

He was sick for 14 months before his death (though, tellingly, I first estimated it at 2-3 years)...Spinal Meningitis that knocked his nervous system, made him half blind and left him with extremely poor coordination and difficult speech. (It also took out his sense of smell...and having been trained as a nurse, his first professional diagnosis was "huh, when you get spinal meningitis, your farts don't smell!") He had been on a road of slow recovery, regaining the ability to walk, relearning how to read, when treatment for a tumor on his left gave him a setback from which he couldn't recover. The saddest moment I know of, my own personal "what to think about if I need quick tears for a stage role", came a few weeks before his death. Word of my grandmother Eva's death had arrived that morning (and, historically, they had not always been on super friendly terms, ever since he managed to polish the anniversary numbers off of her silver--) and I had just gotten up and walked by his bedroom (he was bedridden again) and he was there weeping and weeping. Weeping for Eva, and with a likely foreknowledge of his own passing. Trying to put myself in his place there gives me a sense of horror and foreboding that's hard to comprehend.

He was generous too. He thought it was important for a guy to have a little "scratch" money on him, and would often slip a little something into letters to some of his nephews. Another sad and horrific yet somehow beautiful thing I remember is when he had first gotten ill, had suffered these grand mal seizures, was in the hospital bed, he urged my mom to give me a little money, a five or something. Because of his slurred speech it took a while to understand what he was saying, about how what's supposed to happen is a son goes up to his father, says he needs a little money, and the father takes it out of his wallet and gives it to him. And it took me even longer to get a deeper understanding of what he meant by it.

Favorite Photo Pose
People who knew him then, and me later, say I inherited his sense of humor, and his walk. One time Judy Hill, who knew him back from Coshocton, OH, walked up behind me as I was searching through some sheet music in my church's band room, and she said something in my stance really reminded her of Jim. That really touched me.

I guess some of my biggest regrets are not being able to interact with him after I grew out of my graceless adolescent phases. So much of what I'm proud of in life (getting my act together in school, going to a good college, pulling off neat technological tricks, things I've written and websites I've started, finding and wooing Mo, stumbling into a decent career, settling into my sense of humor, such as it is) have happened since early freshman year in high school... (this ties into that "life begins at 13" theory of mine.) And who knows, maybe if he had been around, I might've been a bit more culturally attuned, not quite the barbarian I am now.

Sigh. More than sigh.

James Edward Israel, 9/9/1949 - 10/10/1988.

it ain't rocket science

April 23, 2002

Funny of the Moment
I know I shouldn't be talking about my problems on this show, but frankly, it's depressing to get to my age and realize that probably this is about as smart as I'm ever going to be. Probably I'll just go on doing what I do now, which is brain surgery. I've always been interested in the brain, and the recent changes in health care aimed at controlling costs have opened up the field of brain surgery to people outside of medicine, and what can I say? I've been the low bidder on a number of operations.
GK: How're we doing here? He looks asleep, doesn't he?
Tim: Looks asleep to me.
GK: Well I guess we'll know in a moment. Say, when it says "right side of the brain," does it mean his right or our right?
Tim: His right, I think.
GK: I think you're right. (FX:POWER DRILL REVS UP, DRILLING)
--A Prairie Home Commonplace Book

Link of the Moment
Huh, the links haven't been too stellar lately...I think the quotes have been pretty decent, but I've been finding fewer cool sites.

Anyway, cool but in a math-geek way, Cut-The-Knot "Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles".

'Course, this I haven't really checked out that link for a while, and right now my 'net connection is really really lousy. But it has some cool java and javscript bits.


(1 comment)
April 23, 2001

Start my new job today. Guess I should get in the habit of writing this the night before.

Last night (errr, right now) I switched from my winter exercise gear (uhh, t-shirt and pajama bottoms and sandals) on the stairmaster to my summer exercise gear (black cutoff shorts a Scottsman gave me at summer camp, tank top, and sandals.) What a beautiful day it was all day.

Link of the Moment
NASA's Solar System Simulator (via slashdot) sounds cooler than it is...it lets you get static images of stellar body A from stellar body B at time C. Good for stargazers, guess I was looking for something more like a dynamic toy...

KHftCEA 2000-04.2 April

"Your life is lived with the kind of excitement that your forebears knew only in battle. They, unlike you, were the prisoner of mundane tasks."
--Mark Hekprin
"The Web and TV complement each other perfectly. TV doesn't require much attention from the viewer. It fits perfectly into the spaces created by downloading Web pages."
--Steven Leibel
"We are a small-number people in a large-number world."
--James Gleick, Faster
Gone To get
Bug Spray
--note by Mo "bee slayer" Roihl, 00-4-23
Had a nice family time this Easter weekend. Saturday we had dessert over at Wigglesworth with my Mom and Mo's folks (who had already mentioned a $15K wedding budget.) Everyone gets along together so well, even when Uncle Bill reveals a reactionary Anglican/ predestinationism streak. Then today I went back for lamb and ham and yummy berry trifle with Nina and Billy and all of them. (Mo was with her family at the Longellow Inn.)

You know, I'm looking for something.  Or more accurately, I'm looking for something to happen, like, to give me meaning.  I don't know what.  But for some reason I keep visualizing it as a big yellow and black monolith thing- I don't know where that comes from, but it bears some relationship to lighting conditions.  You know, if I ever find religion I'll point to this paragraph as proof of something or other, but right now I'm not sure how I feel about simple answers.

KHftCEA 1999-04.1 April

          "Where? Did you see a sign?"
“No, for a name: Turnpike Israel.“
          "Grrr- how about 'Dumbass Israel'?"
K+R Summer 1996
Scott Getchell wrote a cool cartoon, 98-12-11 Boston Phoenix
Haven't had a lot to write down this month.  Maybe it's the rush of moving (in about 24 hours the movers will be unloading in the new place.)  Mo thinks we should get a joint account, just for bills that will be split 50/50.  Lisa points out that's just about getting married.  (And the sofa's already in the living room.)

I'm also not keeping up my goal of mentioning my thoughts on big current events, of making the KHftCEA not entirely self-absored.  Well, there's the Nato action against Yugoslavia, which is feeling more and more like a mistake to me.  Frankly, I'm not sure that preventing ethnic cleansing (while some of the mass killing reports *may* be true, it's no holcaust-) is worth provoking Russia and China.  It's a much more ambigous situation than anyone lets on to.

There's also the event of the "trench Coat Mafiosos" killing 16 people in the Colorado Highschool.  Man, besides the evil of this kind of happening, the gunmen sound ike total dorks.  People find it too easy to blame the media and video games.  Hey, just because they made their high school cafeteria into a big game of DOOM doesn't mean its the videogames' fault.

KHftCEA 1998-04.2 April

"As I've said many times before, the trouble with our business plan is that it depends for its success upon a steady, rapid increase in the supply of really smart people (to buy our stuff). Whereas what we see instead is explosive growth in the supply of idiots."      
In the spring, a young man's fancy
lightly turns to thoughts of what
The older man, throughout the year,
Has never even once forgot
          Isaac Asimov, "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man"
Game or Demo Idea:
BubbleBlocks, with floating bubbles pushed up by a central coloumn of air, maybe it could be a basketball like game.