June 11, 2021

The field of geology can unlock a deep Dread in a similar way that the spaces between stars or the depths of the ocean can, something existential and primordial.

I have learned about the moving and colliding and buckling of tectonic plates beneath the Earth's surface, how the crust is miles thick and the heat increases with every kilometer closer to the core. The forces it would take to push mountains miles into the sky and melt and compress rock and force continents to bend and break? How impossibly heavy a mile of stone must be?

Best not to think about it. You will never be crushed by a mile of stone, or warped and metamorphosed by the heat and pressure in the depths of the earth, or anything like that.


I mean. Perhaps you will be after you are dead, if you turn into a fossil. Lots of things that were once alive and breathing are now trapped so deep in the earth we will never find them, and they will never be exposed to light again.

...Just don't worry about it.

Geologic time, too, is crushing. The Grand Canyon forms a cross-section of millions of years of geologic history. Near the bottom, there is a layer of rock from the Cambrian period, the Tapeats Sandstone--about 500 million years old, and 230 feet thick. Good? Okay. Below that, a body of impossibly old rock called the Vishnu Schist, which is hundreds of millions of years older, from the Precambrian era.

(Why? Well, there's a gap in the record called the Great Unconformity, which represents hundreds of millions of years of geologic history just straight up fucking gone. We don't know why. Maybe don't think about that either.)

Rocks from the Precambrian era are rarely exposed to the surface, which is why fossils from then are so rare--and when we find fossils, they are of living things so alien, we have no words for them. Some of the Precambrian fossils are always being slowly, inexorably annihilated in the earth's molten mantle, pressed down and forced underneath continents to meet a death beyond death.

But I don't know what chills me more--the thought of those Precambrian fossils, records of living creatures so unlike us we cannot name them, slowly being subducted into the mantle, pushed underneath miles of stone into ever-increasing heat and pressure until they are erased forever from existence, or the thought--the reality--that they are simply...still down there. Deep, deep beneath us, locked in a primordial tomb that we cannot reach because it is just...too...deep.

We can find the imprints of microscopic organisms in stone that tell us that they lived, but being pushed underneath the earth and melted into magma? That's truly irretrievable annihilation. And it happens all the time.

I'm just saying. There's a reason people thought hell lay deep beneath the earth.

For me, coming to terms with this kind of scale of personal insignificance and vast scale impermanence is an important part of self-care. I know for some, the wiser tactic is to steer clear of thinking about it, but I find if I really embrace the "This Fate" tattoo I added a few years ago (we get tattoos of things we love or aspire to love, so my tattoo is a loose translation of "Amor Fati") I am better positioned to cope with what my more immediate world confronts me with. For me, hiding from something - catching myself realize I'm distracting myself - gives that thing I'm hiding from a more power than it would otherwise have, confirms it as a potentially unmanageable threat.
A delightful take on sudden plethoras of upcoming baby announcements
Simone Biles in Extreme Slow Motion:

June 11, 2020

Decide to sticker my work computer to celebrate my new employer Monster...

June 11, 2019

Gonna go see The Man Who Killed Don Quixote tomorrow!

when I find myself in times of trouble mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom "log off"

I wasn't quite happy with any of the free Invoice generators out there so I hacked together my own.
So astonishing that the film The Matrix is 20 years old. Still feels fresh. Here's the best analysis of it I recall seeing:

June 11, 2018

A musician, a trombone, and a loop machine...

I guess the two biggest features on my psychological landscape from my childhood are A. "Kirk is Already Great and Personal Growth isn't Really a Thing" - this is a big set back in terms of ambition, but is hugely protective armor in other ways and B. "Every feeling must submit to rationality and any thing that doesn't jive jibe (with my best guess as) to an objective viewpoint should be discarded". That's a lot of will-power coiled up like a spring in that sentiment. I don't really know how people who don't have that get through.
TIL: jibe is a word, distinct from jive. Thanks Tom Parmenter!

June 11, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Pride Parade Video - BABAM! is playing in the background and then there's a shot of the band (with me bopping along with the weird left-hand style I sometimes use) at 0:39
I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade

I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade. It shows our Commonwealth and our country at its best.

Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday, June 11, 2017

RIP Adam West...

The atoms that make up my body aren't mine, it's just my time to use them.
I guess I still prefer Avatar's "all energy is only borrowed, and one day you have to give it back"

Blender of Love

June 11, 2016

Double tuba whammy today: marching with Brass Republic at the Boston Pride Parade and then hustling to join School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest (31 Sawin St in Arlington from 4-5pm)
Daddy Long Legs is a really pimp name for a spider

June 11, 2015

Code is inert. How do you make it ert? You run software that transforms it into machine language.
Paul Ford in What Is Code - a whirlwind from start to finish

We sing because life is beautiful, and even when it isn't, we're gonna sing anyway, 'cause it's all we got.
Quote or paraphrase, about dixieland, from an old old love letter

June 11, 2014

PHILLIPS: Analysis should do two things that are linked together. It should be about the recovery of appetite, and the need not to know yourself. And these two things--

INTERVIEWER: The need not to know yourself?

PHILLIPS: The need not to know yourself. Symptoms are forms of self-knowledge. When you think, I'm agoraphobic, I'm a shy person, whatever it may be, these are forms of self-knowledge. What psychoanalysis, at its best, does is cure you of your self-knowledge. And of your wish to know yourself in that coherent, narrative way...
Adam Phillps in the Paris Review
That is an excerpt of an excerpt from kottke.org. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the goal of desiring less knowledge. For me, the sticking point is always accountability; if I can understand an urge, rationalize it, "hammer at an emotion until it becomes a thought" as one therapist once put it, than it is controlled, and if it's not, "who knows what would happen". The full Paris Review interview is interesting but not a "must-read", IMO.

June 11, 2013

Another Alien Bill by my co-conspirator James Harvey. Not sure I've ever seen the guy in pants, but at least it sets him apart from that damn Monsters Inc guy.

PROTIP: if you're trying out the upgrade to iOS7, take screenshots of your homescreens, because icon ordering might not be preserved.

amazin' skatin'

June 11, 2012

"You down wit OCD?"
Yes, you know me.
"You down wit OCD?"
Yes, you know me.
"You down wit OCD?"
Yes, you know me.
"Who's down wit OCD?"
Every homie, without exception.

After a weekend jaunt to Pittsburgh Amber noted a surprising lack of river- and harbor-side dining options...

run away

June 11, 2011

--This is the Gnarls Barkley song I was looking for today, after hearing the instrumental version in "X-Men: First-Class"
Just saw "X-Men: First Class" -- probably the best X-men flick. Anyone know the "go-go" music when they're recruiting Angel and the others?
Gnarls Barley Run - try googling a little harder silly!

cada uno es libre de usar protector solar

June 11, 2010

--from Marcos' FB... never saw the video for this... don't know if there's a version sans subtitles. Still, I love the sentiment
"Big Wheels" were so cool, like a Mad Max take on a typical kid's tricycle.
"Redoubtable" is one of those dumb words that means about the opposite of what it sounds like, ala "inflammable".


Wondered why Steve "No Porn on iPads" Jobs didn't install a rating system on the AppStore. Now I see they have one and "parental locks" on devices- why can't they just rely on that?
Dangerously mixed metaphor: "It's like the pot calling the kettle watched."
Luxuriating in long summer days; haunted by the feeling of not long enough-miss SUPER-long westerly Cleveland days, and the fireflies after.

can't touch this... BUT YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO

June 11, 2009

--Man. "U Cant Touch This" Flash Mob. That would have been an experience. Thank goodness for youtube, who else would believe the people who were there? (via Mr.Ibis)
I weaponized your mom.

90s Saturday morning cartoon anti-drug crossover. I want to see a Smash Bros. clone based on this.
Some stuff I find sexy now was stuff I found sexy as a teen. Do teen years SET preferences, or are they just the first reflections of innate 'likes'? Probably some of both. (This was partially inspired by stumbling on Craig Thompson's excellent graphic novel Blankets, about young love in an Evangelical Christian environment.)
GEEKRANT. debugging JSF bean-driven crap -- *gah!* -- THE JSP IS RUNNING THE ASYLUM. This is no way to live. Or to pretend to be MVC.
It's spooky when you're debugging someone else's code and find a suspiciously helpful debug statement - here be dragons...

henry miller's bathroom

June 11, 2008

Henry Miller monologuing about the photos in his bathroom. (Mildly NSFW, though not as bad as the start of Part 2 or parts of Part 3)

(I'm intrigued by the style of decorating, I'm thinking about trying for something vaguely similar in my apartment, filling it with a mix of the visually interesting, the intellectually stimulating, and the personally meaningful. The art and posters I've hung over the years, some of my own photography of friends and places. I guess it might end up a mess but at least it would be my mess.)

In Part 2 he talks about a Buddhist Monk who strives for enlightenment for 15 years, then finally gives up and finds it the first time he sleeps with a woman, a geisha.
The important thing was that he had allowed himself to go to the very end of doubt and despair--had he not this would have never have happened. But he went to the very end of the tunnel and saw the light. This is, of course, something that does not happen to people in psychoanalysis. They may be adapted to our corrupt world when they're finished, but they never reach satori, and they never see things as they really are, in my opinion.

Of course there's another aspect to it, and a very wonderful one. It is like William Blake's idea of reaching heaven through hell... It doesn't matter what road you take to reach paradise and besides that even, one might say that paradise is not even just around the corner but right under your nose, if you happen to be lucky and aware enough.

And I think that's the great burden of it, that one should-- accept his doubts completely. As the Buddha once advised. Accept despair, and anguish, and frustration. And see it through, don't go to a doctor, don't go to an analyst above all!
The original blog post focused more on focused more on another clip, Miller expressing thoughts on the New York of his youth (I think while in a Hollywood backlot recreation.) The Boingboing post included a comment from the guy who shot the documentary ("Henry Miller Asleep & Awake") 30-odd years ago, Tom Schiller. I don't know what other Henry Miller footage was about, but I think I see elements of this documentary informing Fred Ward's nice performance in "Henry & June", also there's a scene in the movie where Miller is making faces in a mirror that seems to be straight from the first moments of this clip.

Moving into a small apartment feels like an ecological exercise. I can live on what I've already moved, but more remains to bring over.
article says new iphone ditches "brushed aluminum that takes scratches so easily" - but I kind of like scratched, worn things. wabi-sabi!
I can't even say how much I dig the movie "drumline"- could it be black drum corps tend to use more bass, and white, more ratatat snare?

monday with morrie

June 11, 2007
Passage of the Moment
"I've picked a place to be buried."
Where is that?
"Not far from here. On a hill, beneath a tree, overlooking a pond. Very serene. A good place to think."
Are you planning on thinking there?
"I'm planning on being dead there."
He chuckles. I chuckle.
"Will you visit?"
"Just come and talk. Make it a Tuesday. You always come on Tuesdays."
We're Tuesday people.
"Right. Tuesday people. Come to talk, then?"
He has grown so weak so fast.
"Look at me," he says.
I'm looking.
"You'll come to my grave? To tell me your problems?"
My problems?
And you'll give me answers?
"I'll give you what I can. Don't I always?"
I picture his grave, on the hill, overlooking the pond, some little nine-foot piece of earth where they will place him, cover him with dirt, put a stone on top. Maybe in a few weeks? Maybe in a few days? I see myself sitting there alone, arms across my knees, starting into space.
It won't be the same, I say, not being able to hear you talk.
"Ah, talk. . ."
He closes his eyes and smiles.
"Tell you what. After I'm dead, you talk. And I'll listen."
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom.
I finished it a month ago but it's still kind of in my head.

This passage kind of makes me want to head to downstate Ohio where my dad is buried. (By coincidence, though, it was actually his sister who was taken down by Lou Gehrig's, the same thing that got Morrie Schwartz... I was too young to get to know her, unfortunately.)

One other point I remember from the book is Morrie expression appreciation for a kind of regression to physical infancy, and being able to enjoy the physical intimacy with his caretakers that that entailed.

I get the feeling we don't touch enough, especially here in New England.

Heh. Probably not the most cheerful bit to start the week with!

it's not you. it's me. i don't like you.

June 11, 2006
A while back I was toying with the idea of having rotating catchphrases at the top of kisrael.com, where "quotes and links. worth the click" sits. The three I came up with then were: I like how the first one points out the vanity nature of the site but besides that I'm not sure if I'm going to bother. Any other suggestions for pithy slogans for this site?

Nutrition of the Moment
A few days ago I got an answer back from Dunkin Donuts, about the size of their iced coffee servings so that I can correlate that with the nutrition/calorie information on their website. They replied:
Thank you for taking the time to contact Dunkin Donuts, the small iced coffee is 16oz, the medium is 24oz and the large is 32oz. The nutritional information online is for the small products. Hope this helps

Thank you and have a great day.
So now I know! I started a thread in alt.support.diet about this, but after a short while it devolved into "The Queen of Cans and Jars" telling me that if I wasn't willing to follow her idea of using half and half instead of skim milk, maybe I wasn't really serious about this whole life change.

Top Ten of the Moment
Via Bill the Splut, TechEblog's The Top Ten Strangest Clocks. I've always loved the "ball clock" and making it out of Legos always seems like fun. The Pong Clock is also pretty nifty! I wonder how it handles the hour rollover... I could consider coding something like that up for the Atari.

TechEBlog seems pretty cool actually. They have a few other Top Tens, for example Strangest Lego Creations and Music Devices. I think I'll have to put them on my "gosites" list. (Sites I mean to check up on every once in a while.)

do you believe, they put a man on the moon

(1 comment)
June 11, 2005
Urban Legend / Joke of the Moment
When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some astronaut training on a Navajo Indian reservation. One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The old man, who only spoke Navajo, asked a question, which the son translated: "What are the guys in the big suits doing?" A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon.

The old man got really excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts. Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate. He refused. So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation, where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed, but refused to translate the elder's message to the moon.

Finally, NASA called a official government translator. He reported that the moon message said: "Watch out for these guys; they've come to steal your land."

laserbeak, frenzy, eject. operation: funkification

June 11, 2004
So. Today the house gets 100% sold, I hand the keys over, and walk out with a big ol' check. Well, not really with the check, there's something about escrow for a bit, but in general, the house is no longer a part of my present or future. And it was a good house. Yesterday, checking things over, I started to get really sad. Not so much on the inside...home really is where your crap is, and the empty rooms didn't do much for me, except remembering a few great parties Mo and I threw. But something about the back lawn...it's exploding with life after the recent rains. It's a bit wild, we weren't the most pristine landscapers, the grass is exploding with clover (that the bunnies around probably find quite delicious), and there's really an abundance of crazy plants along the edges.

Should be a fun weekend...I'm heading down to Ocean Grove, NJ with my Uncle to meet up with my Mom and Aunt, both just back from London. We're going to see Garrison Keillor doing Prairie Home Companion at the Great Auditorium there...

Video of the Moment
If you grew up in the 80s, you're likely to find this video of Soundwave Gettin' Down with his bad self as amazing and wonderful as I do.

Quote of the Moment
I will always love the false image I had of you.
Slashdot's Quote of the Day

bring home the bacon

June 11, 2003
Just a reminder, if you're interested in what you see here on a particular day, feel free to use that "Comments" link up above. I love getting feedback, getting a feel or what people find the most interesting.

Quote of the Moment
Here is a test to see if your mission on earth is finnished. If you are alive--it isn't.
Richard Bach (sometimes attributed to Francis Bacon, according to Google.)

Photogallery of the Moment
Ok, ok, this should be about the last bit of vacation coverage: Kirk and Mo's European Vacation in Words and Photos. I used my previous day-by-day break down and supplemented it with the best photos I took (around 220 out of the 480 or so I had in total...) There are also captions so you know what the heck you're looking at...overall I think it's pretty browseable and more interesting than a typical big bunch of uncaptioned photos. A few stitched together panoramic shots that came out pretty well are in there too.

Links of the Moment
Well, the bad news is that the Brunching Shuttlecocks won't be making any new content but there are two spin off sites: The Self-Made Critic (and if I had to guess, I don't think that he was much of a draw for the original site) and, fortunately, The Book of Ratings now gets its own site. Maybe this well bring some focus to one of the most consistently funny things on the web, only behind a few sites like the Onion. (Also, Lore mentions that if he gets an idea for one of those random things that used to show up on Brunching Shuttlecocks, like those great Lore cartoons they'll likely end up on his already pretty good blog Slumbering Lungfish.)

News of the Moment
I was pretty happy to hear about the court decision that had Ontario legalizing gay marriage. The other day I heard Christian Right radio's "Focus on the Family" bellyaching about lo, how Canada had fallen, and was wondering what it was all about. They were talking about "the family is precious, and if we don't fight for it we'll lose it" and really, I can barely fathom that kind of thinking. If two people want to commit to each other, what is their problem with the state sanctioning that? If they were really out to protect the concept of "family", you think they'd be encouraging this type of move. I mean, they don't want to let the straight kids see people having sexual fun outside the commitments of marriage, do they? So what are they trying to protect? What are they saying there? "Our monopoly on state-sanctioned relationships is precious..." comes to mind and, well, yeah-- no duh. Maybe since they think homosexuality is a choice, "heterosexuality is precious and if we don't fight for it we'll lose it"? Heh, you wonder. "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"...well, if we look to the account of Eden, it seems like Adam and Eve's kids were all about marrying each other, and I don't think Focus on the Family really wants to focus on that kind of family...

Maybe it's...I dunno, all because gay couples can't make kids? There is almost something to that, I suppose. You can't push this logic too far, because then it seems a few steps away from mandating straight couples have children, but any two people who make a family that's just about the two of them (and for all I know, this could include me and Mo) is going to be more "mutually self-centered", and possibly act politically according to that, then a family with kids. On the other hand, a number of "childfree" advocates would say that some of our priorities are too offspring-centric already. "Won't somebody think of the children??", blah blah blah.

not your daddy's screensaver

June 11, 2002
Link of the Moment
Wish your computer was doing more useful stuff in its off hours? (Of course someone pointed out that if you could get a handle on how much extra electrcity was being consumed by computers doing SETI@Home or whatnot rather than just going into idle, well, it would seem quite so free. Still, probably a good trade off.

Grumpy Old Rant of the Moment
Eighteen-year-old kid, head shaved, both ears pierced, both nostrils pierced, both eyebrows pierced, tattoos coming out of the arms. He's got baggy pants that start at the knees, and twenty-seven inches of underwear. What's that about? That's one of the basic rules we know about--the underwear goes inside the pants! That's why it's called Under-fucking-wear.
Denis Leary

eye for an eye

June 11, 2001
He died with his eyes open.
Witnesses to McVeigh Execution. Somehow, I think that factoid is going to be an inspiration or a slogan for a bunch of militia idiots.

watching almost-blind Mark Davis lumber around outside (waiting for a lift) gave me a twinge about my dad and his walks on Glen Ridge.
Longing can be such a handicap when trying to get stuff done.
Maybe the buddhist have the right idea.