January 13, 2022

There's been a big project going on at the end of my street for a while now. A while back I noticed a sign in the whole saying "Welcome To" but I couldn't see the rest. Snuck a video with this still today:

I'm not quite sure of the full (presumably sardonic) meaning of "Welcome To America" over an underground/sewer-ish hole but I have a hunch it might be a political stance I'd find disagreeable.

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2020

Lola on "Big Mouth"

January 13, 2019

My response to a "challenge" going around, where people post a picture of themselves from like 10 years ago

In 2008 I liked turkey legs. In 2017 I preferred pickles. Also I have a short beard.

PS what is this challenge all about anyway? it feels like some weird "build raw data to improve our facial recognition algorithms."

bad artists copy

January 13, 2018

from badartistscopy.1
I tried to replicate the much more compelling effect of Line Girl by Low Sugar Eye Candy, who has a lot more practice at it than I do.
I think people are missing the point of the shithole comment.... Trump fans are ok with a vulgarian raging asshole in the white house, so long as he's not liberal or AT ALL likely to make them feel dumb, and probably agree with the tweet "If they aren't shithole countries, why don't their citizens stay there? Let's be honest. Call it like it is."

These same fans are too "AMERICA NUMBER ONE WOOOOOO" to get the obvious counter, as another tweet put it 'Norwegians: "We have health care, free college, a living wage, and great social services. Why would we move to your shithole of a nation?"'

I wish we had a full transcript, because I think the real bit of dumbassery, besides his brutally inhumane lack of understanding of "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses", is that he thinks immigration is just a kind of proactive thing by the target country. The context was the immigration lottery, about limits on people from "the shithole countries" and he's all like we'd like to see "more people from places like Norway". Besides the likely racism guiding his country preferences, besides the history of US meddling that helped make those nations into "shitholes" 'cause we had some money to be made and some political agendas to followup on... well, to give him the benefit of the doubt, he'd love to "Make America Great Again" enough that we'd be appealing to Norwegians, but unless they're big fans of wealth-oligarchical kakocracies, they're going to stay away.

I know it's only half an hour ago, but I'm surprised Hawaii's false alarm to cellphones ("Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill") ain't bigger news yet.

Related: awaiting reports of a sharp decrease in sales of laxatives on big island of Hawaii.
Forecast for Sex By 50 When You Are a 46-Year-Old Black Woman This is sweet and brilliant. It reminds me of all the great African-American literature I got to read in college. (Admittedly I was initially driven by looking for double credits for my English major and my school's "world cultures" requirement, but it was great stuff.)

Life is a hard battle anyway. If we laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight of freedom, it makes it all go easier. I will not allow my life's light to be determined by the darkness around me.
Sojourner Truth

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. His phone rings. "Hi, this is Rachel from Card Services calling about your credit card account..."

January 13, 2017

I've been tracking "Todos" on a gadget for two decades now, and it works pretty well for me. But in December I realized the number of due items had been creeping up... I like to keep it from around 10-20 and it was hitting 30, 35. For New Years I thought I'd resolve to keep to 20 or less. So of course now it's at 50.

January 13, 2016

January 13, 2015

I just want a lover who'll make me chicken soup when I'm sick
L, Nov 1 1995.
Today, I'm kind of wishing I had a special someone to go for the saltines and gatorade.
I think the worst thing is worrying about spreading it to other people.

January 13, 2014

It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side.
Frank Zappa

You know, after years of "what are we going to call the first decade of the 2000s once we can't say 'this decade'?" it feels like "the aughts" is winning out.

January 13, 2013

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
Paul Valery

Software project 1) On time 2) On budget 3) With quality. You can not able pick any.

orange in the 60s, mus in the 70s, poon in the 80s, wu in the 90s. - history of tang prefixes

I'm getting used to the darkness now. Living below the city, I eat what crawls by, I talk to who is near. My looks don't matter here.

100 years of Markov chains via http://twitter.com/ProbFact

from here I think. Informative!
What will survive of us is love.

New Blender of Love -- psyched that I automated a bunch of the usual scripts I used to build the beast every month...

man kermit needs to lay off the sauce

January 13, 2012

MIT #mysteryhunt today- it's not the event to go to if you want to keep feeling smart. I think the large teams on it could cure cancer if it was setup as part of a puzzle.

beans, beans, beans

January 13, 2011
Baked beans,
Butter beans,
Big fat lima beans,
Long thing string beans--
Those are just a few.
Green beans,
Black beans,
Big fat kidney beans,
Red hot chili beans,
Jumping beans too.
Pea beans,
Pinto beans,
Don't forget shelly beans.
Last of all, best of all,
I like jelly beans!
Lucia and James L. Hymes, Jr.
My dad and I had that memorized when I was a kid.
A lot more class than "beans beans the musical fruit"!
Rumors that future iDevices might lose the physical home button-that sounds really dumb; 4 finger swipes too difficult in too many edge cases
The B in Benoit B. Mandelbrot stands for Benoit B. Mandelbrot.

the day like any other

January 13, 2010

--from Cracked.com's Tarot Cards That Might Actually Predict Something

http://www.retrosabotage.com/mario/jumping.html - deconstruction of the italian plumber
I'm, like, the black Greg Louganis of ice skating.

Ugh, Haiti.
"I had the flu yesterday, and I feel all wonky."
"You own a giant chocolate factory staffed by pygmies?"
--Cashan Stine and Danny Sichel
I used to think learners were either "memorizers" or "learners" - i.e. people who were better at memorizing factsvs those who learned basic concepts and applied them as needed. But maybe it's more like... "nouns" vs "verbs".

Spelling is nouns but English (literature) is verbs. Foreign language, "nouns". Physics is verbs, Chemistry nouns, which is why I think I was so much better at the former. Math was delightfully verby for me 'til Calc, then I started having to memorize more formulas that were too complex to figure out in real time.

Programming for me is verbs. When you understand the verbs, how things interrelate, you can easily google for the "nouns" that you expect to be there. Of course this is why I'm not a fan of big toolkits that promise to do everything for you once you set them up correctly - you get all the nouns setup and configured, but if the verbs don't end up being what you want, figuring out what went wrong and how is much, much harder.
[dismissive hand] Dems cwums. No eat cwums.
me, circa-1979-or-so, explaining why I left the PB+J crusts behind.

linger a while, thou art so fair

January 13, 2009
Reading John Lienhard's Inventing Modern. It's one of those books with a giant scope, but sometimes you're not sure if the particular artists or creators discussed are the true central figures of Modern or just people Lienhard finds interesting.

In the book he quotes a WW2 movie that quoted a bit of Faust: "Linger a while, thou art so fair". In an anecdote he has put on the web as well as in the book, he discusses how that line resonated when he decided to accept a position in Houston, paradoxically after witnessing a moment of almost surreal beauty in his beloved Kansas. The enecdote is worth reading.

He attributes the ideal to the Romantics:
Goethe was a Romantic poet, and this was a primary Romantic sentiment. A driving restlessness is the mainspring of the creative person. Faust hurls his challenge at Satan: "When did the likes of you ever understand a human soul in its supreme endeavor?"
I think there's also a bit of the Eastern caution against over-attachment to the transient beauty of this moment. Of course, there's a longstanding Western ideal of turning one's eyes and heart to matters of Heaven "where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal", but you know, I think the Eastern interpretation catches the mixed feeling of that moment, more fully recognizes the divided heart we can have at this time, the legitimacy of that beauty of the world around us, not just the need to not let that beauty sway us from what needs to be done.

The line is so powerful because it asks for a respite; a time to hold time still. Only the context holds the tragedy of the condition, the need to move on.

Blog of the Moment
Slate is hosting a new blog The Happiness Project. I think I'll start keeping up with it for a while.

harveyjames 44 minutes into 2001? So what was that, like the space stewardess shuffling around the circular walls->floor?
"Linger a while, so fair thou art" --Faust. Lienhard show it as a warning lesson against over attachment to transient beauty.
Reliability is one of the finest of all the virtues. But I need to learn to relax and not fly off the handle when it's not there.
Humans see in stereo, but I think that implies that nothing is in perfect focus. We don't notice, because seeing is more like thinking.
cracked Generation Gap: 30-somethings maybe played TMNT on NES, 20-somethings know their names / colors / weapons / personalities.
Bush: "I believe this- the phrase 'burdens of the office' is overstated." I believe this- that Bush believes that. http://tinyurl.com/7ozmcl

fine's not a sound

January 13, 2008
Heh. A guy I know on Atari Age just told me he overpayed a bit ($50 was the final price) for a copy of JoustPong on Ebay. The person dealing the item mentions that you can't get it new anymore, that the best you can do is FlapPing - the same game but with a different title screen, which I suppose is a point of interest for a collector.

Plus it came with one of the 50 or so T-shirts I made with it.

No word on the mylar bag the game and T-shirt came packaged in. (Surprisingly, a professional quality box is about the more difficult things for the homebrewers to do a nice economical job on.)

Heh. It reminds me that I never quite settled on whether it was "Joust Pong" or "Joust-Pong" or "JoustPong" or what.

Exchange of the Moment
"I just had an accident trying to see your picture."
"Will you get here in time to take me out to dinner?"
"I almost died."
"Well, you sound fine."
"Fine's not a sound."
Walter Kirn, "The Autumn of the Multitaskers"
An anecdote after being distracted by an incoming photo on his cellphone. I'm not sure I agree that integrated devices are that much the same as multitasking for people, though.

best of

January 13, 2007
So I revamped the site's best of archive. It used to be done on a "per year" basis, but I divided it into "kind" of thing.
creations digital art | comics | animations | projects | virtual toys
writing personal history | essays | technology | creative writing | introspection
other photography | snapshots | convos | videogames | misc
I then sorted each page into a roughly descending order of "interestingness". Even though I know this is probably about 20 times more interesting to me than to anyone else, I'm pleased enough with the results that I've moved the link to the top of the sidebar.

It's almost silly how long I spent on the revamp, but still, I think it was worth it, just as a way of gathering a big chunk of my creative output over the 21st century.

that'sa my grandpa!

January 13, 2006
Raunchy Joke of the Moment
A small girl was lost at a large shopping mall.
She approached a uniformed policeman and said, "I've lost my grandpa!"
The cop asked, "What's he like?"
The little girl replied, "Crown Royal whisky and women with big tits."

Q/A of the Moment
In the US, laptops have started outselling desktops. That's kind of interesting...for myself, I've realized that having my own cheap laptops around has changed my relationship to "computing", freeing me from the desk. And I can imagine that in 10-20 years, desktop PCs will seem a bit like relics...the possibility of having more power than in a portable package just won't outweight the convenience, except in a few specialty applications.

Loveblender of the Moment
--Cartoon for this month's Love Blender digest ramble, which is actually this kisrael entry. Still a good month for the Blender. I like the Atomic Heart but I get a funny feeling like I've doodled it before...

Mac of the Moment
Unsanity is not too impressed by the new Intel-based Apple MacBook Pro. They make a lot of good points, but
Another change is, of course, the name. Which is horrible. It doesn't roll off the tongue at all and is just too confusing. It actually sounds like some child created it. Well, some PC using child. It's uninspired. The PowerBooks were not named for the chip they used (unlike the PowerMac) as they used a 68k processor and were called PowerBooks long before the PowerPC chip was in them.
Are you kidding me? They're defending the name "PowerBook"? The only reason it's good is because people are used to it! Otherwise "PowerBook" would sound like a concept that escaped from a children's Sunday School Animated Series as a more radical term for "The Bible". Seriously.

i'm the very bestest

(1 comment)
January 13, 2005
Thinking about some of yesterday's themes... "Self-Confidence" is such a funny thing, too much of it and your a moron, too little and you're too afraid to do anything. And I think my state, where I have loads of it but try am generally loathe to try and test myself ain't such a good spot. UPDATE: related Scientific American article via R Pentomino

Tragedy of the Moment
Hold me, Bang, hold me
Indonesian woman to her husband ("Bang" is the term of reverance for a spouse) before being swept away by the Tsunami
From this Slate piece on the generosity shown by the survivors... that's one of the saddest things I've heard of; the sense of helplessness that husband and father must've felt just bowls me over. (There was another Slate piece that caught my eye: God: Has He Gone Too Far? I've heard jokes about how athletes are quick to thank God for victories but don't, say, blame Him for forcing them to fumble in the red zone. Though maybe that's just a practical strategy, maybe God is all-knowing and all-powerful but hasn't really gotten that "all-loving" thing down...at least not how we understand it. So why risk Old Testament style vengence...)

Random Observation of the Moment
Some of the Indian guys at work call me "Krik", swapping the i and the r. I don't know if it's just a little mixup, if it's easier to say when your first language is Hindi, or what. But I think I'm purposefully not too quick to correct them, since then I don't feel so bad at how badly I mispronounce some of their names...


(1 comment)
January 13, 2004
Hey, why didn't someone tell me that salad spinners are so much fun? A centrifuge for wet vegetables! It's like a last wish amusement park ride for criminal leafy greens condemned to die.

Project of the Moment
the walking
--Sample animations from the instruction booklet for the "Etch-a-Sketch Animator". It was a cool toy of the 80s that let you create up to 12 frames of 40x30 animation and play them back in longer sequences. Last year I e-bay'd up this favorite childhood toy of mine and made some art with it. (Well, mostly I laboriously transferred some small gif cinema onto the device.) In my decluttering frenzy I was about to get rid of the booklet, but I realized the animations were all pretty cool... I think I might make a special wing of small gif cinema for these.

I started with the cat animation (which is really great, but the Breakdancing Skeleton is no slouch--trés 80s) but then decided to do them all as animated gifs. Some were easier than others.
in hat
the nosy
the spaceship
the creeping
the train
the cat
the horse
the breakdancing

Boston Geek News of the Moment
Huh...I hadn't realized that SoftPro Books had moved--from Burlington to about 5 minutes away from my house in Waltham. (SoftPro is the Boston area's geek's favorite place for technical books...I like supporting a local, specialized merchant who has some neat speakers and other programs.)

smile, you're on copious camera

January 13, 2003
There was this essay in the latest Wired (dang, I should go look up the author) by Jim Lewis, talking about our new found potential to record pretty much everything. An iPod could probably record everything you hear for a month, at middling fidelity. People with digital camcorders can record hours and hours of footage...but when was the last time you went back and watched that stuff? For the first time in history, the problem isn't recording our lives--it's having the time to review it.

That's one of the things having a weblog does for me, it gets me to put the most interesting stuff in my life in a browsable form. I'm still a digital packrat, with all of the almost 4000 photos I've taken over the past year and a half with my Canon Digital Elph filed away, but it's what I've posted here (and in my photobooks) that I'll most likely be looking back on in the years ahead.

Movies of the Moment
Wonderfully funny and surreal GI Joe public service announcements with new sound tracks.

Funny Drink of the Moment
The 'Trent Latte': A glass of black coffee, and a glass of steamed milk, in separate but equal portions.


January 13, 2002
My webhost upgraded the OS, and now my backlog database is busted. At least I don't think any data is lost.

Funny of the Moment

--Internet Lore. Hmm, not quite so funny post 9-11. Ah well.

technolust strikes

January 13, 2001
Political Joke of the Moment
"Well, ya know, old Bush is a post turtle [...] When you're driving down a country road, and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he can't get anything done while he's up there, and you just want to help the poor thing down."

Quote of the Moment
When you reach the ripe old age of 27 like I have, and you have the choice between investing time and investing money, you realize you should never go for the time. You can always make more money...
Me in a Dream Thursday Night
The other day I got a medium case of technolust for my cow-orkers's Compaq iPaq PocketPC. It's a handheld PDA, much like the Palm V I already have. It has a much better screen than any of the Palms, 320*240 vs 160*160, which is 3 times the number of pixels in the same space. And it's color. My friend was showing me the map app it came with, zoom in and out, like an amazing electronic atlas, I'm not sure if the Palm has enough oomph to do that-- he's also laying out the bucks for a clip-on GPS for it... I've been longing for one of those never-get-lost-while-driving setups for a long while. Of course, it's not quite as slick or small as the Palm.

The trouble with the PocketPC isn't the hardware, of course... it's the way each program has a new interface. PocketPC feels like Windows 3.1 in interface, before the standards were settled, while Palm has some of the elegance of early Mac, circa 1988 or so.

It sounds kind of weird, but changing away from Palm would actually be a bit of a lifestyle change for me. For almost 4 years now, I've been keeping up the KHftCEA on a Palm, a commonplace book (quote journal) / dear diary collection. It's become part of what I am, part of the "extended me". But with this new kisrael.com 'blog, I've had to think about the two should relate, and what the point of the KHftCEA has been. In many ways this 'blog is better: it's updated daily, it's designed to be presentable to people, it can use images, it links to the outside world. And I can get to it to update it at home and at work. Still, having a copy on me always is important, so that's why I'm thinking about changing my PDA.

"Tom will be working something like 4 jobs in the next few months. My advice to you - don't follow your dreams. It takes up too much time and leaves you poor."
--Dylan, 01-1-8
"Bringing the beast stumbling to its feet"
--John Lammers on how not to code up large software systems
Poem of the Moment
The world's
beauty intact, indeed
it can never be other

radiantly intact
like the stars, like the stars

when the stars have no names once again.
--Franz Wright (from 'From a Discarded Image')
"Unfortunately, in my experience the only places without ice have southerners or californians."
--Greg Owen, 01-1-3
"Worry is like a rocking chair--it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere."
--Dorothy Galyean
"I don't like the idea of anybody getting killed, but especially me."
--Clint Eastwood
Thinking about merging the KHftCEA into the kisrael.com 'blog. Especially if I go for a pocketPC iPaq, with its much better screen, cool map software and decent web browser. The kisrael.com journal has images, it's written to a public standard, it has links to the outside world.

I should think about it more though. The palm has a much better UI, and I have the keyboard for it. If Palm came out with a higher rez model I might consider it instead but that might not be for a while.
The other night I started thinking about high school days and making out in the back seat of the Mikey Mobile, with Veronika and later Marnie. I need to write to Mike and find out about the make of car; it might make a good Blender Ramble.
"It's Time To Party Like It's This Year!"
--Jackie Harvey's "The Outside Scoop", The Onion
Sex reminder: the a capela duet of C+C.
I'll miss Dylan if he really is California Bound.  I need to strengthen my social circles.

Mo's 2000 request, a promise for no proposals during the interim. Putting a timeline either way on romance makes me a little antsy. How *do* I feel about commitment?
My boss Kiran got the axe-
What should a romantic interest be?