new music playlist

5 star:
Maybe (Dan Reeder)
Another 5 star! Thanks to Andrew Mills for pointing this one out to me... just a very plain spun and elegant recollection of experiences with death, and a humbly skeptical view of the chances of an afterlife.

4 star:
Futurama Theme (Ben Morfitt (SquidPhysics))
An extended cover... at one point I got 1967's Psyché Rock with its clear influences (especially the chimes) but the Modem-noise aesthetic of it was too grating so I got this.
Wake Me up Before You Go - Go (Scary Pockets & Swatkins)
Scary Pockets makes these fantastic funky covers...
Don't Let It Bring You Down (Annie Lennox)
I finally got to rewatching "American Beauty" - obviously a problematic movie in a few ways, but also interesting to see in going through middle aged struggles in American suburbia. Anyway this lovely, richly orchestrated cover was in it.

3 star:
Shave 'Em Dry II (Lucille Bogan)
The most raunchy imaginable old song!
Planet of the Bass (Kyle Gordon)
You've Got Your Troubles (Re-Recorded Version) (The Fortunes)
there was a question on the "Strong Songs" podcast about the haunting counterpoint in the last part.
Ned Nostril (And His South Seas Paradise, Puts Your Blues On Ice, Cheap At Twice The Price Band) (Ray Stevens)
Ray Stevens turned into a conservative putz but I had a tape or two of his, he could be kind of funny!
The Universe Is Weird (Hank Green)
Coffee (beabadoobee)
Hell Is Round the Corner (Tricky)
Interesting song based on that Portishead piece...
I Got It from My Mama (
23 (Projekt Atma)
Nookie (GH Version) (Limp Bizkit)
Public Service Announcement (Interlude) (JAY-Z)
Happy Hour (Ray Stevens)
I'm In Love Again (Fats Domino)
Because (Elliott Smith)
We need to talk about tongues more. Dextrous. Moist. Littered with the normal types of skin receptors and also its own unique receptors for its own Bonus Sense. Hides in its own dark cave of bacteria and biological rocks. Peak muscle.

new music playlist for september 2022


Dear Mr. Fantasy
There was kind of a dumb Quora asking if "Hey Jude" was a rip off of this song...

Same Song (Edit Version)
Digital Underground
For some reason "The Humpty Dance" was bouncing around our house a lot, and so I looked him up - didn't realize he was a persona of Shock G, who died last year. Interesting seeing Tupac running around Digital Underground (and all the culturally responsible references to condoms...)

Weird Goodbyes (feat. Bon Iver)
The National
Melissa pointed me to this song, crushingly sad, the idea of trying to impress a moment into memory as a stand in for a longer time in a place really resonates. Tantalizingly ambiguous - is it a break up song, or of another life transition?

Glory Box
John Martyn
Male-vocal, R+B-ish cover of the Portishead. I think it brings something out, but the genderbent lyrics lose something.
Neko Case
Melissa and I went to see Neko Case who is one of her favorite performers.
Shots (feat. Lil Jon)
Just wanted the source of where my friends go "shots shots, shots shots shots" Raunchier lyrics than I expected.
The Teddy Bears' Picnic
Henry Hall & The BBC Dance Orchestra
My friend Nick was wondering if there was a name for the the "derp de derp" song some tuba players will use to mock alt-right assholes... I was wondering if this could be the source. I had a teddy bear w/ a built in music box that would play this.
A Shot In the Arm (Remix Version)
There was a "Strong Songs" episode about "Jesus Etc" but it mentioned this song's lyric of "The ashtray says / you were up all night"
The "In" Crowd (Single Version)
Ramsey Lewis Trio
RIP Ramsey Lewis... admittedly I hadn't heard much about him but this song is a bop.
Would You... ?
Touch & Go
I mostly know the high energy Trailermen Go To Rio remix version but the original has its own charm. I mean how could "Um, I've noticed you around. I find you very attractive. Um. Would you go to bed with me?" not be alluring?

Cat Power
A friend of mine going through a rough time mentioned learning and doing this rough-edged cover of Rihanna's original.
Ur So Gay
Katy Perry
Someone one on tumblr mentioned Katy Perry's first song was this stridently anti-metro-sexual and kind of regressive piece...

On and On, Pt. 2 (feat. Ty)
Hocus Pocus
Some great, friendly rap (mostly in french) via this iPhone 14 hardware review
Who's Ready for Tomorrow
From the "Cyberpunk" anime, mentioned on the "Get Played" spinoff "Get Anime'd", derived from the recent large scale video game.
Black Sweat
Funky Prince. Heard during a late hours Trader Joe's run. I'm always struck by the sexy thang/prude ambivalence of mid to late era Prince.

I had a big realization about [fans being upset when series sequels have changes], which is that Fandom is not about loving something. I think Fandom is a separate occupying experience, more akin to obsession than it is to love. And I think, like, Religions are Fandoms because most of the time you aren't actually loving the details of the religion, but rather obsessing about your version of the thing? And I feel like all of the fandoms you interact with online are like, Religious and Obsessive about something that they think is the thing, as opposed to loving the thing no matter how it comes out. Right?
I can't imagine that there is [a single fandom that doesn't lose its shit every time [a major change happens]]... to be a fan means that you think it's YOURS, it's more like ownership than it is like appreciation. It's like "This is my thing" and as soon as the sort of metastasizes into identity, you're fucked, because any change that happens to the thing that you love, or "love", is a reflection on your own personal self-knowledge. So you're fucked! If you're obsessed with a thing and it changes, you're ruined.
Heather Anne Campbell on "Get Played"

september 2021 new music playlist

My Life Is Better With You (My Brother, My Brother and Me Podcast Theme Song)
Decent indie pop.
Theme song from the "My Brother My Brother And Me" podcast. Honestly it sounds way too slow to me, since I usually hear it at 1.5x to 1.8x speed.

Beast Unleashed
Vin Jay
Dumb video but I like the chanting in the song, and the beat.
My friend Jonathan Z is one of the few people who is pretty locked into songs I'll likely like. I think it's a pretty shallow thing about the percussion.
Hootie Hoo
Old school slow flow hiphop.
Was tracking down a character saying "Hooty Hoo!" as a greeting on Ted Lasso. (I also remember it referenced in a Missy Elliot song.)

I Can't Decide
Scissor Sisters
Kind of playful old-timey sound, but with a serious dark edge.
via this tumbler post

End of the Road
Noga Erez
Her vocals remind me a bit of the background of's Trump song GRAB'm by the PU$$Y
Found digging up her cover of "I Walk The Line" below.
I Walk The Line
Noga Erez
Slow female / orchestral cover of "I Walk the Line", right out of How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer playbook....
Trailer for Netflix "Sex/Life"

Seven Nation Army
The White Stripes
Indie rock with an infamously catchy bassline.
I have and love a number of covers of this song but never had the original, looking to it when someone said I wasn't playing the bassline as it was written on a chart.
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Nina Simone
So the original, with a more famous cover. (Along with "Tainted Love", songs I'm chagrined how I assumed they were work of their more famous cover artists.)
from the movie "Nobody"
Pat Benatar
late 70s/early 80s Rock!
played in the movie "Nobody". I missed out on a lot of classic rock by being a nerd who pretended he only liked classical and jazz.
Witness (1 Hope)
Roots Manuva
UK hip hop... like the glissando sound and the line "Breakneck speed we drown ten pints of bitter"
Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in "Ted Lasso" was listening to this on her bike (and then got hit by a car :-( )
Crazy (Radio Edit) [feat. Joie Tan]
female cover of modern r+b song
Playing at my dermatologist's office... I really love Shazam sometimes.
El Sueño
Javi Colina & Quoxx
South/Central American club music.
Played by DJ at a friends retirement shindig.
Hard to Handle (Live)
The Black Crowes
Big hit Otis Redding cover (speaking by white folks making bigger hits covering black folk's songs)
Went to see these folks live with Leigh... didn't really know a ton about them...
Ben Folds Five
Jesus, I didn't really think about this song's lyrics until just now... wow is that raw and dark.
From this goofy meme "She's a brick"... "house"? "and I'm drowning slowly"?

Chief Rocka
Lords of the Underground
Pretty cool oldschool hiphop. Shades of Beastie Boys and Onyx.
Playing from an open air restaurant near harvard square

Falling In Love
Julia Wolf
Sardonic modern indie pop. (Warning, cuss words.)
Apple blogs, that's like an iPhone 13 new camera mode exploration.

Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds)
Regina Spektor
Moving song from Hamilton, to an illicit daughter. (I need more Regina Spektor in my life)
From the Hamilton Mixtape, now that I've finally watched the musical.

An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude]
Old school beat box behind a clever bit of Hamilton lyrics.
From the Hamilton mixtape.
My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix]
The Roots
Hiphop rework of Hamilton song. I do love Busta Rhymes sound and flow.
from the Hamilton Mixtape

new music playlist september 2020


It's the End of the World as We Know It
Solid cover of the REM song, I remember when a Cleveland radio station played this for like 72 hours straight as it changed format - felt kind of apocalyptic.
I often poke around and see if Pomplamoose has done any good covers.

Nine Inch Nails - Closer But It's Funkytown By Lipps Inc.
William Maranci
Ha, such a mashup. In itunes I use the title "Funk You Like an Animal", suggested by a youtube viewer.
Random youtube recommendation.

Uh Huh
Jade Bird
I do dig this delivery of girl rock, or whatever a less sexist descriptor of it is - also the jaded attitude of the lyrics.
From Arun's collection.

Star Trek Theme w Lyrics
Tenacious D
Infamously, Gene Roddenberry penned lyrics to the original Star Trek theme in order to snag some royalties.
Cracked mentioned this Tenacious D version.
Daydream (feat. Alia Farah)
M. Ward
Sweet cover of the classic song.
Music behind a Stella Artois beer commercial
Addicted To Bass
So Very 90s.
From my buddy Arun.

Cock Block
Little Jackie
Whoa, delightfully vulgar lyrics ("My mind says no, my heart says maybe so / And my body says go go go go go / Sorry I can't see straight there is a cock blocking my vision")
Random recommendation researching last month's playlist.
Don't Worry 'Bout That Mule
Louis Jordan
Haven't heard enough Louis Jordan since that "Five Guys Named Moe" soundtrack I had. This video which also covers his more famous "Caledonia" has delightfully decorated instruments
A list of quotes from John Madden quotes mentioned “Who cares if the horse is blind? Just keep loading the wagon.” Found this trying to find out more about the expression.
Behave Yourself
Booker T. & The M.G.'s
Mellow R+B.
Found this video of Steve Cropper talking on the history of Green Onions.

It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop (Hip-Hop Remix)
Dead Prez
Great flow.
Walk-on music for the Dave Chapelle show. (I also love his African colors "C" logo)
Five Man Electrical Band
70s crunchy protest-y.
Guy at a Whole Foods protest rally suggested we do this one.
The Diarrhea Song
John Roberts, Eugene Mirman, & Bob's Burgers
cover via Bob's Burgers... I envy Gene's sampling keyboard, I used to have one (the "Casio SK-8") Don't know why they don't make them any more.
I always wonder about this song, like if started as a "camp song" or if there was another origin.
If and When I Die
The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
Artsy, existential.
Saw a sweat shirt with the name band's name "The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die" at a rally and I had to find out what it was about.

Hitch It to the Horse (Bonus Track)
The Fantastic Johnny C
Harper's magazine mentioned a different B-side, "Cool Broadway", got this as another recommendation.

Oh, these are so good! Reagan Ray isolated the lettering of the artists' names on 100 jazz records. I've always loved this kind of design work.

(via kottke)
Happy German Unity Day! 30 Years Ago West + East Germany were reunited, a highpoint of Western Triumphalism and marking "The End of History" that... lasted about a decade? Maybe?
On my devblog: I just realized the breakout hit "widgetsmith" offers a version of the "time in words, roughly" time display that I was prototyping a decade ago... - my vacation project was a free, minimalist shared whiteboard webapp. (Worked to make sure it was reasonably mobile friendly) Basically if you're on a call and need to express an ideally visually, and both sides have a gadget handy, you can run here and fire up a new board. (Some messaging apps have something similar already built-in, of course, but I still think this might be handy...)

september 2019 new music playlist

New music I added to my playlist, a little lighter than some months.
Thunder and Blazes
Big Top Orchestra
AKA "Entry of the Gladiators" or "that clown music" - I like the fast pace of this version!
Been on a small "brass music I know and/or played" kick lately

Lipps, Inc.
Famous song, it has some interesting bits acoustically speaking...
We play this in School of Honk. I sort of forgot it had lyrics....
Duramax (feat. Young Gunner)
Lenny Cooper
Good ol' boy Hiphop. Trucks blowing black smoke to own the libs is not my culture, but I like the use of the voice modulator and the fiddle
every noise has this as the exemplar for the genre "redneck".

Ride (EP Mix)
Cary Brothers
Wistful and longing.
I am so endlessly enamored of their cover of Something About You that I'll always keep my eyes open to them...

Where Is My Mind
Maxence Cyrin
Piano cover of the Pixies song (didn't realize it was a cover at first... not sure how I feel about that vs when I thought it was such a lovely sparse piano piece...)
One of the Chapelle specials used this

Very sweet english piece about a 5 year old driving in a piece of construction equipment with his daddy.
The artist for this was in Belmont Porchfest, and namedrops Ed Sheerhan being influenced by this...

Booty Boogaloo
The Party Band
Love when this piece falls into cut time... Party Band taught that to folks at a HONK! festival song share session.
Saw Party Band play it live, bought their CD.

Mad World (feat. Gary Jules)
Michael Andrews
Sad version of a famous song.
Sam made up a ska-tinged version of this for JP Honk and I realized I didn't have this famous slow cover.
Like Dis, Like Dat (feat. Pop Sykle)
Young Droop
Raunchy slow groove hiphop.
Heard a song by the same name and similar spirit on "Derry Girls", but different song I found.

For What It's Worth
Crystal Bowersox
Modern country cover of "Stop, Children, What's That Sound"...
I was kind of hoping to find the cliched "woman singing slowly in a minor key cover" used in Jack Ryan Season 2 trailer but no luck - still this version is kind of neat.
Club Yoko
Fun but way-over-produced studio song...
From a Samsung Galaxy commercial I think.
Day Drinking
Little Big Town
Modern country. Kinda like how I like songs and jokes about marijuana more than I actually partake, "day drinking" in a social way always seems nice.
Mentioned on Jeopardy on this montage of Alex Trabek saying "genre"
Heck No! (I'll Never Listen to Techno)
Fun Indie-Pop...
Rediscovered the lite-brite video for this I posted a while back.

Mic Check
Good hiphop. This video has a freestyle the my copy of the song lacks.
This artist was on the old Scion Mix CD ("Lost Your Mind)

from pleated jeans:

september 2018 new music playlist

In some ways September felt like a lost month to me and I didn't run into much music. 4 star stuff in red
In Praise of Mediocrity (like with hobbies) Two thoughts come to mind - Vonnegut's "A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but the world's champions" and an old Demotivator:

It's good advice! Reminds me of how I'm trying to grow more comfortable but videogames on easy mode.

October 3, 2017


October 3, 2016


The Viagra commercial says 'make sure your heart is healthy enough for sex'. That's a really deep question if you think about it in a more metaphorical way.

October 3, 2015

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" "I don't know, but I'm tired of living in a world in which we always question the chicken's motives."
The Minimalists

October 3, 2014

You know, if one 20 or so years ago someone explained to me how the confluence of ubiquitous personal cameras and dating sites meant that "dick pic" was a thing in the mid-2010s, I would have been kind of surprised. I would never have guessed that was the way so many dude's sexuality rolled, despite the cultural type of the trenchcoat-wearing flasher...

October 3, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V time lapse... sorry about the middle finger icon, kind of par for the course. Still, it's such an amazing bit of world building they did for such a crass game!

October 3, 2012

All the world's major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.

Life is far more interesting than it needs to be, because the forces that guide it are not merely practical.
David Rothenberg

From a brilliant riff on time travellers bringing good stuff back to the 70s and starting a little company...

Brilliant blend of old and new!

Not to be confused with licking everything.

That would be gross, because there is a whole lot of everything out there.
--me on Facebook

dealing with mortality: day 2


The Mission of this Site

"We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is."
--Dr. Mark Vonnegut, M.D.

I'm hoping that by making an online comic with these thoughts, I might help a few people who might be having the same anxieties. (I've read essays about the personal sharing that can occur on the web as the key to the next step in our cultural evolution; I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it is the most accessible universally-available publishing medium ever.)

I'm also creating this as a resource for my future self, a place to come back to when I again feel my anxieties rise. (If I started to think in these anxious terms when I was 25, what's going to be like when I'm in my 40s? My 70s?)

I've targeted this page at skeptics for a reason. If you have faith, real faith, in a solid Abrahamic religious doctrine, you should be able to find your solace in your conception of the afterlife.

I don't mean to dismiss this as an easy task: our animal nature leaves us with instinctive fear that even the most spiritually trusting may find difficult to overcome. (One thing I find sad is that I'm afraid to bring up my fears of death with some of the people I love the most, because I don't accept their answer of trusting in God.)

Also, for the believer, having a comforting philosophy might be a reverse form of Pascal's Wager, a comfort in times of doubt.

Lifespan And Our Perception of Time

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different."
--Kurt Vonnegut

Life can seem all too short.

Compared to the length of the universe, it's an eyeblink.

But compared to some other things we consider really long lasting: republics and empires, many buildings-- most of us don't do so bad.

My grandmother, who died at the age of 82 in 2001, witnessed over a third of the history of the United States...

sure that's just a fraction, and yes the USA is a young country, but consider all the change that she has seen: it is a huge expanse of time.

Time is largely subjective. I have a reasonable shot at living longer than my grandmother, and experiencing even more change in the world.

In the book "Faster", Gleick mentions how our perception of time is really a measure of rate of change, driven by the length of time between 'interesting' events.

This can lead to some unfortunate results: since, in general, every decade of our life has much less change (in the form of development and maturation) than the one before,

by some estimates the second half of our life might seem to go by twice as the first, with the second quarter going twice as fast as the first quarter, etc.

This might be so. I haven't lived long enough to refute it.

But I think that if I manage to fill my life with changes: learning, reading, thinking- and keeping track of those changes, I might help to modify my perception.

I think I'm helped by my journal (an ongoing collection of quotes and bon mots, and then a private "dear diary" journal I keep on my website) as well as my poor memory.

My inability to clearly recall things from as short as a week ago- but being reminded by them by the entries in my journal- helps me realize how full of life those ten thousand minutes were, and how full the next ten thousand will be.

So much can happen in a minute, if only we stay alert to the wonder around us!

How Money Got Weird. Sometimes I think the commies were right. Or at least... that there's good capitalism that is a fantastic engine for getting stuff done, and bad capitalism that's nothing but fancy pants ways of shuffling money around...

of the moments #1

My 24 Hour Comics Day project this year -- my attempts to come up with an actual story sort of fizzled, so I made this nostalgic and kind of self-indulgent work about moments and memory.... this is part 1 of 4.

this morning i was driving my car.

there was a green leaf stuck on the windshield

i used the wipers. the leaf left an arc of water droplets behind

by the time i picked up my friend, only faint spots remained

the arc of droplets on a windshield late on an autumn morning; these made a moment

when i was a kid i had an idea about the afterlife:

what if it wasn't heaven and clouds, and my mom (and women in general) getting to be angels (my earlier theory)

what if it was just one moment, a freeze frame, extended forever?

that moment would be all you'd have. all your surroundings, everything you were feeling... ...right now, at this moment, i want to tell you some of the moments i remember

as a young child, inspired by something i saw on tv, asking my mom to give me a kitchen knife so i might chivalrously protect her

my grandfather papa sam helping me zip up my pjs, my weewee accidentally getting caught in the zipper...

some moments are family anecdotes, that are mine only through the hearing: my mom yelling up through the laundry chute to toss down kirk's clothes, his response from the tub: 'i don't talk to no walls'

my parents having friends over for dinner - being afraid to spit out the whole ice cube i had put in my mouth

breaking a sapling's branch at mrs davis' house to impress some other kids, and earning her justified wrath

christmas day at friends, my dad saying "MY BABY" and pretending not to give the daughter's dolly back

scared out my wits at sunday school, when the teacher (my aunt) showed a picture of firing squads christians might face during the apocalypse

a tough guy laughing as his compatriot got bothered by a cop, pulling the tree off a leaf as he passed

at the local fairground, they had one hotdog left, and my dad let me have it, he explained that was something dads just did

horsing around with my cousin in grandpa's chair, tipping back and impaling my forehead on a plant stand

one time in the car, dad telling me he loved me, and me feeling squirmy at that kind of direct pronouncement

getting told i was student of the week for my class at my new school, running down the hall and skidding on the floor - the friction blister was about as bad as the teacher chewing me out

an argument with my mom, where she told me my donkey kong jr custom minus the (scary-ish!) mask would be merely cutesy

a field trip to NYC, the waiter at mamma leone's saying he was 'da hudson rivah' as he refilled our water glasses

overnight stays at best friend todd's, the summerhot bedroom with him and me and his little brother talking and avoiding sleep

my dad angry at my "apple ii history quiz" getting a terrible score at the school history fair

shocked when realizing thinking "i hate..." triggered "...everything about this place" one miserable week at music camp

first day of my life


--Oddly enough I encountered this song on a UK bank, Halifax - can't find the spot but it was cute, all the people building a human bridge this one scruffy young guy could climb to go up and propose to his gal on the 2nd or 3rd floor of an office building.

Sweet, sweet song.
Why am I decisive ordering food, and nowhere else in life? Because I'm the only one who suffers from a bad choice? Or just easy to please?
In an hour I start 24 Hour Comics Day w/ Kate + Miller... exciting! Didn't sleep during last year's event, wonder if I will this year.

you betcha! can I call you joe?

Watched the VP debate last night. Palin wasn't terrible-terrible, but her answering whatever question she had wished she was asked and general issue dodging was horrendous. (And the "I'm not going to answer the question, I'm here to talk to the AMERICAN PEOPLE" -- plbbt, that's what political advertising is for, you're in a DAMN MODERATED DEBATE, give the sloganeering a rest for 90 seconds.)

Like they say in Rolling Stone...
"The great insight of the Palin VP choice is that huge chunks of American voters no longer even demand that their candidates actually have policy positions; they simply consume them as media entertainment, rooting for or against them according to the reflexive prejudices of their demographic, as they would for reality-show contestants or sitcom characters."
The sad thing is this is kind of how I've been acting on politics for a long time. It's like this weird continuation of the emphasis of "self-esteem" in schools, 'til we have kids who rate themselves most highly in Math and do the worst. The red states in particular seem to dislike people who act like they might be smarter than them, even if they are, even if they're not snobbish about it. "Jus' Plain Folks" ain't the best way to run a country, in my book.

Quote of the Moment
If everyone wore my clothes, I don't think there would be wars, truly. Of course, then I would be the richest man in the world and most people would become bankrupt. My clothes are expensive. So maybe wars are better.

They say CSPAN is the best way to watch the debate with the split screen and all, but it was pretty freaky when the sound was out of synch.
Hm. Who was the last Prez or VP candidate to wear glasses at the debate podium?
katwinx More the cop from "Fargo"... I'm just waiting for her to talk about coming to a suspicious scene in the prowler...
<<fact is there's nothin out there you can't do / yeah, even santa claus believes in you>>

ridin' the (commuter) rails

Written on the commuter rail last night:
Riding the commuter rail up to Rockport, listening to Paul Simon on my iPhone, my eyes dilated from the eye doctors. The iPhone is pretty good in these situations, its zoom feature means you can make text big to a silly degree.

You know, that's one of the things I miss about my old palm journal, random little "What I'm doing now", slice of life vignettes.

The landscape outside the window looks dark and threatening, storm coming on, but maybe its the sunglasses I'm wearing to protect my poor dilated pupils, or maybe the windows are tinted. Funny not to know.

It feels weirdly adventurous to take the commuter rail, maybe because I've probably ridden more trains in foreign countries...

Photography of the Moment

dig dug dag

As awful as the school killings are, I get just slightly more angry when the killer takes their own life. I guess, mercifully, I have almost no way of empathizing with this kind of deed, but...I don't know, are these guys trying to send some kind of "message"?

Message to would be mass muderers, your legacy will be: everyone just thinks you were a giant violent dumbass.

I guess my mistake is trying to attribute any kind of normal rationality to this.

Art of the Moment
--On a lighter moment, the videogame "Dig-Dug" reinvisioned by Handre De Jager, one of a series.

it'd be interstate guinea

Geography of the Moment
AFGHANISTAN: "Everyone here wears long beards that suit them well, but it must be tough when they're drinking milk."
EQUITORIAL GUINEA: "It's called that because it's right on the equator. If it were under the highway, it'd be Interstate Guinea."
UGANDA: "There's a bird on the flag, but its inhabitants are human. It's not a country of birds or anything."
ETHIOPIA: "A nation famous for coffee and marathon runners. Maybe the coffee makes you run really fast."
MOZAMBIQUE: "The flag of this country has a gun, a hoe and a book. It must have gone through hard times."
THE PHILLIPINES: "A country comprised of over 7,000 islands. It must be hard to find names for them all."
PAKISTAN: "There's a city here called Harappa. But there aren't any rapping dogs."
The King Of All Cosmos from "We Love Katamari"
harvested by Nick B

Seasons of the Moment
Fairly high up on the list of "simple self-built tools that have made my life slightly better" is that retrospect page that shows me the and Palm-journal entries for this day, reaching as far back as 1997 for the Palm stuff, with consistent coverage since kisrael's start at the end of 2000.

One thing it demonstrates is that there's...well, maybe not nothing new under the sun, but less than I would have imagined. It makes sense that stuff like birthday parties recur, but there's other stuff as well, like how Nick B. has been a guru leading to katamari for a while, or (and this was the larger surprise) I described myself as self-medicating with video games two years ago, something I've recently agen taken up, though currently I'm plowing through games I've been putting off rather than just going back to old favorites.

I guess I'm not surprised about the games-as-self-medication thing happening this time of the year. Specifically, the two-years-ago thing was a form of self-soothing as my marriage was falling apart, but historically this is far and away the karmically worst time of year, from the general sense of nature having to hunker down for the ice and the snow to it being the time of year my dad and at least half of my grandparents passed away.

I dunno. I guess I have this hope that maybe moving some place with less distinct seasons would somehow help get me out of this cycle. Dylan loves San Diego...and their football team did lay down the smack on our Patriots yesterday. (Not that football is such a big relocation determinent, but still.)

what is space and time and physics?


So yesterday I was invited to Ksenia's mom's birthday dinner, a traditional Russian much terrific stuff to eat and nice people to eat it with. Here's the table before everyone sat down, but you can imagine it filled with people, there were almost 30 place settings. And then there were all these courses of tasty food...many of the appetizers were fish-based, from caviar on hard boiled egg halves to salmon to a salty herring spread. There were so many toasts... One of the things that surprised me was that people cleared out and mingled between the appetizers and the main course and then again between the main course and dessert...a few folks went to grab a smoke, but still, it surprised me since usually in the big meals I've attended if nearly everyone left the table it meant the meal was over.

Metaphysics of the Moment
Basically yes, of course, but what is space? What is time? What is physics?
Hans Haubold, the senior program officer of the United Nations' Office for Outer Space Affairs
He was being asked if, in his opinion, SpaceShipOne did indeed reach space when it reached 100 kilometers. (via Slate)
I'd hate to hear this guy when some waitress asks if he wants a refill on his coffee. "Well yes, obviously, but what is coffee? What is this mug? What about eggs that are over-easy?"


(1 comment)
As it starts to get colder I think about time passing. If you're not careful a year can slip by quickly. On the other hand, it seems like such a long time since we've had to deal with snow...

Flash Toy of the Moment
Do you have the need to start your day by being crassly insulted by a foul-mouth virtual xylophone? If so you are in luck! Curiously amusing. There's some other interesting stuff at, some cool multiple exposures in the 'photos' section, and the other 'playthings' are worth clicking through if you're bored.

Comic of the Moment

Woo! The cartoon version of Lore (of Brunching Shuttlecocks fame) now has its own website, with promises of weekly updates: LoreBrandComics

Horoscope of the Moment
Libra: (Sept. 23-Oct. 23)
You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution, but in the end, being part of the problem is much more fun.
--Horoscope from The Onion

it's pronounced "wonk-um"

--I know I'm look at this through the eyes of my inner 12-year-old, but "Wankum's Got The North Shore Covered" is not the most appealing slogan for this billboard from Rt. 128.

News Links of the Moment
National Review had a Goldberg File on how other nations are wrong when they assume that the USA wants to be some kind of colonial empire. He might be right, but it still doesn't explain or justify our policy of making sure we're the only superpower on the block, and how we'll act unilaterally towards that goal. And this guy thinks it's all about the Empire.

Also, this Slashdot entry linked to an article on patents and [the lack of] innovation in the pharmecutical industries. Man, this is awful news for the science of making drugs...along with the way no company will fund the studies for "alternative" medications, (ala St. Jon's Wort) since their potential for profit is so low.

Speaking of all things medical, look at all the germs we sent our buddies in Iraq during the 1980s. Duh.

Quotes of the Moment
All nouns can be verbed.
Verbing weirds language.
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing because verbing weirds language. Then they arrival for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no verbs.
Peter Ellis, a.f.p.
Yesterday someone was struck by my use of the word "photoshopped". I google'd up this trio of quotes from this webpage.

toys and chocolate

Conversation between Me and Mo
"Is that a shirt or a blouse you're wearing?"
      "It's a shirt, duh."
"Actually, what's the difference between a shirt and a blouse?"
      "Easy, I don't own any blouses"
October 2, 2001.
I've learned the hard way that the same differentiation applies between a "small bag" and a "purse": if Mo is carrying it, it is not a purse.

Kinder Eggs
In Germany Mo and I had these great "Kinder Überraschung Eier", or "Kid Surprise Eggs". They're white and dark chocolate eggs with a yellow capsule inside, and inside the capsule is a toy, either a figurine or something you assemble. They're a lot of fun and are available pretty much everywhere in the world except our nanny state USA, where the FDA considers pretty much any toy inside food a choking hazard ("Won't somebody think of the children?" Alas, they have.) This Unofficial site from the UK has a good FAQ.
Recently I found out that people in the USA can order eggs from Jim MacKenzie will sell you a batch of 24 for less than a dollar an egg, including shipping. Supposedly everywhere but Germany gets the Italian version of the product, which they say aren't quite as finely crafted, but ones Mo and I bought in Mexico where interesting enough. (Link via and Bird Image blatantly ripped off of Ranjit's Kindereggs Page)

Happy unity day Veronika
"When hormones grab you it's bigger than you are"
          --John Updike