September 28, 2022

I still repeat myself too often. Ask my kids too many questions and forget the details. I forget to shut the screen door, and I occasionally leave the burner hot on the stove. I am no longer ashamed of what I can't remember, and I consider it an opportunity to remind others of my human frailty and their own.

With the future uncertain and the past fuzzy, I have developed my capacity to be wholly focused on the present--which I've learned has its own value in this world. I think more with my heart, now, than with my head. I am less concerned with appearing corny or woo-woo or sloppy in my thinking.

I've learned that I am not my thoughts--that *"I"* exist somewhere else, as something else. I am no longer an intellect. Perhaps I am a soul.

This is important to me.

I lived for three years as 40 Percent Martha and another three as 80 Percent Martha. There were times in my life where this was, and would have been, completely untenable--when I was caring for babies and elders, or building a career. I am grateful that my brain changed after those tasks were complete enough.

As it stands, I don't have any desire to go back to 100 Percent Martha. She could do too many things at once; she thought too fast to see all the beautiful things that you can only see when your thoughts are slow. She could get lost in a sea of facts and details and miss seeing the underlying eternals.

She didn't know she was more than all that she could think of

So, I'm not at the point where I'm as accepting as the "woo-woo"; it's good to not identify with your thoughts, but I think the "somewhere else" that we are is only metaphorically distant; emergent (and transcendent) from the base physical and neurological material we start as, but not separable.

Reading about Crawford's experience... I have never had a great mind for "unimportant" details - with a self-serving circular definition of "important", though I think I've isolated it to: does the detail reflect how this thing interacts with other things, or is it "merely" intrinsic. So I have hopes that I'm more adept at leaning on external aids - todo lists, notes, etc.

I do have to brace myself for being less adept at coding up projects. That could happen - I mean it might already be happening, sometimes I am very impressed with the scale of things I would take on just for funsies. And I never feel like I'm great at learning new things like languages - I suspect I'm hampered by "but I already know how to get these results with the system I already know, new way for the sake of new way is not worth it", but that's not a new trait.

From a UX perspective, it's interesting for us people who grew up as "the smart kid" that, frankly, you don't have to be that smart to get around ok in a lot of contexts. (Heh, actually I think about musicians who smoke a little weed before hand, get a little more loose, let things flow. I wouldn't do that just because I don't have experience/confidence in being a reliable bass player in altered states.)
When looking for the purpose of existence, consider petting your dog.

September 28, 2021

Music makes you feel feelings;
Lyrics make you think thoughts;
Songs make you FEEL thoughts.
Yip Harburg

September 28, 2020

So glad to see the Poetry Unbound podcast is starting up another season. (One of the the few things I'm not tempted to put on 1.5x speed.) In each the poem is read, thoughtfully discussed, and then read again. The first episode of the new season, Ada Limón's "Wonder Woman" was moving.
Myth is not something that's false; myth is something that's so true that we find fantastical ways to tell it.
Pádraig Ó Tuama

This ain't our fight, baby. We want no part of the war between the Boomers and the Millennials. We took our lumps as young people in the 80s and 90s, and now we're middle aged, most of us just living our lives, doing the best we can.

Besides, no one ever wanted our fuckin opinions anyway. Why ask now?

Plus, and this is the biggie, there aren't really that many of us, at least as compared to the two ginormous (and noisy -- oh, so very noisy) generations we're sandwiched between.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I'll go watch Clerks and reminisce about the good old days.

dirty songs from dad

September 28, 2019
Was thinking about dirty versions of popular songs - my dad was a fan, I think.
(WARNING, PG13 or slightly worse content follows)

Like for the show Howdy Doody and its theme song, I think there's a story where he regaled my mom with
It's Howdy Doody Time
This show ain't worth a dime
And as for Clarabell
Well he can go to hell
and she said "I didn't know there was a dirty version!" and he said "I didn't know there was a clean one!".

I thought of that this morning with the naughty version of "Lady of Spain"... (PG13: "Lady of Spain I adore you... Pull down your pants, I'll explore you")

Of course what I really wish I could get a recording of is the naughty version of "You're The Top", attributed to Israel Balin...
You're The Top!
You're a gin and tonic
You're The Top!
You're a high colonic
You're the burning heat
Of a bridal suite in use
You're the mound of Venus
You're King Kong's penis
You're self-abuse!
You're an arch
In the Rome collection
You're the starch
In a groom's erection
I'm a eunuch who
Has just been through an op
But if, baby, I'm the bottom
You're The Top!

I liked hearing Tony Hawk talk about tricks from the "simple" to the mind-bogglingly athletic.

Fascinating that he isn't 100% consistent on even the "low level" stuff like a "frontside 180 ollie" - I've never skated but had assumed at some point for a pro the simpler stuff became trivial.
*all the animals gathered around Adam*
Lion: Tell us again how you named us
Deer: Yes tell us tell us!
Adam: Well I-
Lumpsucker fish: boooo
Adam: I just-
Cockchafer beetle: BOOOOOOOO

September 28, 2018

photo by Jason Victor Rosenman, on PARKing Day
Tom Hanks and Wilson on Gilligan's Island. Gilligan then makes his own Wilson out of a coconut. Skipper feels displaced. And he's worried it may be his blood on Gilligan's Wilson.

September 28, 2017

RIP Hugh Hefner! Shame "the Playboy Interview" became less of a force over the decades.

September 28, 2016

Barking Up The Wrong Tree continues to be one of the best weekly newsletters I get. Sunday's entry, with its emphasis on classical Stoicism and its emphasis on identifying what's out of our control is especially timely in this election season - there's lots of other good stuff in that entry too.

The mushy area for Stoicism has always those spaces that are neither under our control nor 100% out of our control. Say with democracy, how our vote matters, but not very much (and even less if you're in a stalwart red or blue state) or our smallish political donations, or activities like volunteering - it's a fine line staying motivated when our contributions are so limited and all you have is the "Categorical Imperative" of saying I should act in a way that I think it would be better if everyone acted that way.

I'm not saying I think Trump isn't dangerous, and that between the economy, the courts, and the military, there's a lot of peril. And I also acknowledge that I can speak from a place of economic and racial privilege, where a large chain of things would have to go wrong for me to be really hosed, and not everyone shares that shielding. But I'm thinking that many of my friends here (and it's funny how FB sometimes becomes a thousand preachers preaching to 998 choir folk, with just those 2 choir folk there keeping things heated) are in similar circumstances. Finding that balance of "this matters" with "this is out of my control and might end up in a way I think is terrible" and "I will probably muddle through anyway"... it's tough.

I'm almost as worried about the emotional health of many of my friends and loved ones than the circumstances of a negative outcome to this election. Some of that is justifiable, and I don't want to completely downplay it, but it's so easy to get wrapped up in this kind of tribalism thinking. I guess I find some cold preemptive comfort with a few friends I have who are fretting the other way, who think Hillary and/or the establishment is bad/bad/bad and that despite the known unknowns of letting a reckless populist egomaniac in the whitehouse, it'll work itself out. I think they're wrong, wrong enough that I'm fighting for Hillary, but I take comfort in how the country has survived lots of gruesome ugly political idiots before, and all of our perspective is distorted through the echo chamber media and the difficulty of know what political life was like in the last two centuries.

September 28, 2015

September 28, 2014

My weight since 1999:

I made a new diet graph tool and put it online at, in part because I was sick of always hunting for the raw data when it was time to update it. I crudely made it a continuous curve - I like the look of it, though of course if read literally it implies my weight sometimes goes back in time. (Generally, time periods I don't have much data for get a little wonky, but I'm ok that graph visually reflects that uncertainty)

(I used to laugh when the marketing guys would use the catchphrase "up, and to the right" for what they wanted to see on their number charts, but now I get it!)
Applaud your neighbor; admire his style
That grates upon you like a sawtooth file.
His trespasses resemble yours in kind;
He too is being crowded from behind.
Don't kill; or if you must, while killing, grieve.
Doubt not; that is, until you can't believe.
Don't covet Mrs. X; or if you do,
Make sure, before you leap, she covets you.
John Updike, from "V. Conclusion"

Next giant need for Siri: a sophisticated way to correct the speech-to-text mistranscriptions, but also via voice. Getting her to understand the word "rum" is nuts. Rama? Rob? Walmart? such an infuriating almost-there technology.

September 28, 2013

Games played by Leonard and/or me at Funspot today: bagman, (some b+w racing game), death rally, heavy barrel, death race, smash tv, nova 2001, pong doubles, space duel, marble madness, quartet, apb, video pinball, paperboy, wizard of wor, tron, timber, alien syndrome, zaxxon, donkey kong ii, dr mario, play choice 10 goonies, cobra command, rush n attack, stocker, r-type, cobra command, rush n attack, stocker, r-type, discs of tron, s.t.u.n. runner, gun fight, zookeeper, jr pacman, flower, elevator action, flower, super off-road, superman (pinball), adams family (pinball), whac-a-mole, robotron, star trek strategic operations simulator, crazy taxi, star wars, afterburner, lock-on, high-speed (pinball), joker poker (pinball), crystal castles, centipede, galpus, frogger, pulsar, super sprint, rescue
Stern's Rescue (1982!) had totally gorgeous parallax scrolling:

September 28, 2012

"Now we wait."
"No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime."
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Apart from the whole world, obviously.

I would rather have written Cheers than anything I've written.


by dali's mustache!

(1 comment)
September 28, 2011

--from BoingBong's new "B-side" miniblog
LOL states always pushing up the primary calendar...

dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs

September 28, 2010

--by the great paul robertson

Odd how there's no plural for the word 'revenge' itself.
Ben Karlin

Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.
George Bernard Shaw

there is some shit I will not eat
Olaf, in the E.E.Cummings poem

Heh, aw these awful and bitter quotes! Part of what I get from reading "Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me"
So the universe is not quite as you thought it was.
You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then.
Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe.
Isaac Asimov

portugal: back to boston

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.

I love my puppy ... I love that he is so young and full of life ... And that he will still die first.

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

i don't know much about interior decoration but i know what i like

(1 comment)
September 28, 2008
More progress in decorating my living room... my excuse for posting this is I assume that my mom's interested, so there.
"i once loved someone the way that you do / but I had to let her go / i live with my regret"

Man, screw the Beatles and their "too f'in good for amazon mp3s or even itunes". Seriously, are they still bitter about "Apple Corps"?
Grr. I *know* Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give it Away" is lurking somewhere in my music collection, misnamed by some blurp of the autolabler

all our base

September 28, 2007
For the Red Sox, All Our Bases Loaded Are Belong To Them. Bleh.

Future of a Past Moment

--I think I've posted some of these before, but I still dig these 1900s era French "Scenes from the Year 2000"

Science of the Moment
Here is a list of things defined as rewarding: sweet taste in the mouth, orgasm, mild temperature, smiling child. And here is a list of nasty things: various sorts of pain, nausea, empty stomach, screaming child.
Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"
He's describing some potential instructions from a set of genes to their 'survival machine' (followed by the advice of 'of so shun things that lead to the latter, and repeat things that lead to the former'.) I'm rereading the book for my UU Science and Spirituality group...I recognize the strident Dawkins more than I remember doing so on the first read through. I do appreciate the poetry like construction of this snippet.

it's miller time

September 28, 2006
Miller said farewell to his previous hovel and moved in last night. So now the apartment is full of me, Ksenia, and him. (And 'til the end of the week Ksenia's friend Alla) It's kind of a social experiment, to see how well the idea of filling your place with interesting people you like and love works out. The ideal social arrangement is, of course, the setting of the show "Friends", but given the lack of affordable multimillion apartments, this is a close second.

Still, there's an awful lot of stuff here now, Miller and I need to work to organize things and ditch the excess.

Quote of the Moment
Elmo loves you, as the phrase goes. Elmo is a source of unconditional mirth, and he makes the other Sesame Street mainstays look like characters out of Norwegian social realism.

Crash of the Moment
--The Hood Blimp Crashed??? Wow. I had always wanted to ride in one of those...

let there be light. fabulous!

September 28, 2005
Fiction of the Moment
Day No. 1:
And the Lord God said, "Let there be light," and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, "Wait, what if I make it sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filterd half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?"
"I'm loving that," said Bhuddha, "It's new."
"You should design a restaurant," added Allah.
from "Intelligent Design" by Paul Rudnick, from a New Yorker "Shouts & Murmurs"
...I like Day 2, where God says "let's do land" and then later explains the creation of lava by saying "I want it to say, 'Yes, this is land, but its not afraid to ooze.'" (Harry points out the whole thing can be seen here but I don't know how long that link will be good for.)

touch my vitals quickly, lest i die!

September 28, 2004
Toy of the Moment
The Victorian Sex Cry Generator is definately worth a few giggles.

Drawings of the Moment
--A page from shooter Malvo's notebook, from the evidence in the "DC Sniper" case. Via Image of the Day, which has a bit more information and a larger version.

Quote of the Moment
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy ... neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
John W. Gardner.
And you you ever think about the massive infrastructure indoor plumbing represents? It's pretty astounding, just the volume of material a typical municipal system must have to deal with...I'm grateful for that time on Insomniac where the host hangs out with those guys down there, just gives a small sense of the scale of it all.

And of course, how do we judge "shoddiness in philosophy"? Ay, that's there's the rub. (proofreading EB)

ant acid

(1 comment)
September 28, 2003
Game of the Moment
Ant Arena is a challenging little game. It's based on the way kids would stage little ant gladatorial battles by putting a few in a plastic dish. In the game, you have to steer your blank ant so it hits the sides or backs of increasing numbers of red ants. Fun!

Passage of the Moment
It was good, making love two nights in a row. Doggone it, maybe we men are right about sex not being the answer; sex is the question, yes is the answer, and it blows away a ream of troubles, especially when it's your old beloved. Oh, miracle of miracles. Authentic rapturous passion between two old pros. You lie in bed afterward in a warm daze, tired, rapturized, like a salmon who made it back to the headwaters, like an old stallion who has fulfilled his destiny one more time, and life begins anew. In the dark, the judges are holding up their scorecards--8.1, 9.0, 9.0, 8.9--but that doesn't matter so much, what matters is that the war is over, the roads are open again, the ice is gone, spring is here, and you have discovered, for the 863rd time, the great beauty and simplicity of your life as an animal here on earth. You rise naked from the bed and go down to the creek for a drink of water and far off in the distance other males sound their cries of manly joy and you reply with a deep, chesty roar and the forest is quiet. You drink your water and return to the warm nest of percale and eiderdown and fit your naked self into the dozy curve of Madame's body where she lies swooned on her side and you smell her dew and roses and absorb a simple thought about marriage: this woman is all women, and when you chose her, you became Jay Gatsby and Robert Jordan and Prince Andre and Raskolinov and Ishmael and embarked on a life of imagination, which adultery cruelly violates, and breaks up the music in your head, and also it's a hell of a lot of work to scout up something inferior to what you and she can create at home. You have roamed the Western world in search of a the perfect tuna sandwich; your wife makes a good tuna sandwich; your powers of imagination are what make it perfect.
Garrison Keillor, "Love Me", at a point of reconciliation between the narrator and his wife.

Trivia Quote of the Moment
"One day he pulled up his shirt to show me his belly button, which he didn't have. He'd had an operation and when they sewed him up they took it away. His belly button was gone!"
--Karen Black on Alfred Hitchcock. So that's why Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a bellybutton.

Headline of the Moment
CNN had the headline Colombia explosion kills 10. I have to admit, my first thought was "Again? Why isn't the headline higher up?" And then it was "Isn't that old news? And shouldn't it be kills 7?" Then I read the article.

florida reunion filler day 2

September 28, 2002
Florida Filler Update: Florida grass is very pointy and coarse. And there are tons of ants everywhere.

LeAnn Rimes sang the national anthem at Mo's school's homecoming game last night.

Racter's The Policeman's Beard
At all events my own essays and dissertations about love and its endless pain and perpetual pleasure will be known and understood by all of you who read this and talk or sing or chant about it to your worried friends or nervous enemies. Love is the question and the subject of this essay. We will commence with a question: does steak love lettuce? This quesion is implacably hard and inevitably difficult to answer. Here is a question: does an electron love a proton, or does it love a neutron?

Here is a question: does a man love a woman or, to be specific and to be precise, does Bill love Diane? The interesting and critical response to this question is: no! He is obsessed and infatuated with her. He is loony and crazy about her. That is not the love of steak and lettuce, of electron and proton and neutron. This dissertation will show that the love of a man and a woman is not the love of steak and lettuce. Love is interesting to me and fascinating to you but it is painful to Bill and Diane. That is love!

(Markov Chains, an interesting topic) though some think this selection was a bit overly tweaked to make good prose.)


September 28, 2001
Paraphrase of the Moment
How to be safer these days? Wear a seatbelt. Don't smoke.
Daily Show guest quoting former member of National Security Council.
(Unfortunately, this is a paraphrase of a paraphrase.) The idea is that normal, everyday risks are much more likely to get us than the kind of attack that gets all the attention.

Funny Link of the Moment
It's Funny Stories of M-ura's Family. A collection of Reader's Digest-esque anecdotes of a Japanese person and the family. I'm not sure if it's the linguistics or the culture that's not quite translating, but I admire the effort and find this page fascinating and amusing.

Tomorrow we head to Germany... How exciting! All this time come to this!