the joy of craft

June 29, 2020
My friend linked to Craft is Culture which had a big emphasis on Working From Home as standard practice. (Oddly I think that's what is using the term "Digital by Default" for, which is a rather misleading way of putting it, IMHO.)

Danco writes
There are many reasons why the west coast won, but one of the most widely agreed-upon was the fact that California state law forbids non-compete clauses.
I only agree with the part of that before the comma. For my career since the mid 90s at least, they've always been thought of as probably not-enforceable and generally ignored, though obviously the same explicit-IP-protections apply.

I'm not sure of all the reasons for the coast migration. MIT + Harvard and then military contracts like Lincoln Labs and Raytheon were early anchors. But other companies like Intel, Microsoft, Atari, Apple, those were all West Coast, and the new anchors.

I think that there's a limited time when a techie is likely to make a big move to follow a job (though I guess I can think of more examples than I first realized if I try). But there's a big anchoring effect... you go to college, then you either stay in that area, return to your hometown, or maybe land a new job someplace new to you. Then there's about one period in your late 20s where you might relocate again.

The thing about follow your craft is... I think the majority of techies are rather bad at monetizing their craft. They really rely on businesses to make money. Many coders are as stupid about the very basics of how a business can scale up to afford salaries (and health care) and rent - as stupid about those basics as the non-techies are about a full website works. So the 40 hour grinds continue.

It follow from that that I think most techies are fairly risk averse. They might takes some swings w/ a low salary but uncertain high reward in a startup, but that's about it. Entrepreneurial crafters are not so common.

Danco brings up the Cathedral and the Bazaar - and indeed, Linux is amazingly impressive. But I think projects like that work by programmers "scratching itches" as they say. I think Linux was an usually fortuitous mix of some folks who wanted to take on the "big itch" of a whole damn OS, and a legion of people happy to work a bit smaller. Going back to my earlier point, folks coding for the love of craft are usually not working on something that will be as universally useful as Linux has been - or anything that they have a real hope of making a living off of.
There is a great big online game list but some of my buddies are working to make a more curated version (also going to be useful for work)

pool, pug puppy, and ponies

June 29, 2019

and the best dressed award goes to...

June 29, 2018
My company has a joke of "Best Dressed Award" when 2 or more folks wear the same thing... turns out working just a few doors down from Old Navy when there having a sale on cephalopods-theme shirts right at the front makes this an easy "win".

If the rule "dress for the job you want, not the one you have", our VP of Consumer Solutions would prefer to be doing UI Engineering.

Oh good lord.

Great thread of life-in-eras-of-shitsnami-news advice from a former CIA military analyst...

I don't know what I want right now, but I'm gonna need more than a couple of days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers, because our whole lives have been shattered. So thanks for your prayers, but I couldn't give a fuck about them if there's nothing else.
Capital Gazette reporters Selene San Felice after the latest shooting

June 29, 2017

"I guess it must be capable of it," Laney said, as something under her seat began to clang, loudly and insistently. "But I don't think that means it'll necessarily happen. What the hell is *that*?"

"I'm exceeding the speed limit," [Arleigh] said. "Every vehicle in Japan is legally required to be equipped with one of these devices. You speed, it dings."

Laney turned to Yamazaki. "Is that true?"

"Of course," Yamazaki said, over the steady clanging.

"And people don't just disconnect them?"

"No," Yamazaki said, looking puzzled. "Why would they?"
William GIbson, "Idoru".
This passage has stuck with me, kind of a meditation on cultural differences.

June 29, 2016

A cell is a machine for turning experience into biology.

Experiences Over Stuff Is a Tired--and Sexist--Idea Hmm. Still I hear the siren call of minimalism from time to time, or at least, a bit less...
Going over old photographs, saw some of John Maeda's Shiseido calendars (Java programs) that were on display in a museum in Portugal. Pain in the butt to get to run, but got to see them via Firefox and putting his site on the special "unblock" list in Java.
I see this logo for "Tischman", who are doing some building near Seaport. I really dig the design.

June 29, 2015

Ice Man was the decent one, Tom Cruise was the dork in Top Gun.
So I'm probably 7 or 8 pounds above my recent low so that means like 12-18 above a dream goal. Need to hunker down on Way-of-Eating, but- should I be grateful for my "fat shorts"? These cargo shorts I got that, without a belt, can just drop off my butt on their even when buttoned.

During my week vacation I was going over and weeding out a lot of old pictures. I guess I can see the difference when I was 20-30 pounds more than I am now, but it's so hard to quantify I'm not sure if I REALLY see it.

June 29, 2014

So I do that "stuff you buy from gives a small % donation to the charity of your choice" but it feels pretty manipulative, especially the nag screen that says "remember to always start at". I guess the play is to get a amazon-based page as the homepage, and eliminate people seeing competing offers if they start a search on google or what not.

June 29, 2013

jamaica pond

meet smokey

June 29, 2012

This is Smokey, a recent addition to our extended family. He is a Russian Blue with that terrific two-tone fur of the breed. His tail is enormously long.


June 29, 2011

via - subversive headline vs sub-headline: "BUSH V. GORE / Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence?"

bullfroggy went a courtin'

June 29, 2010
On this Thursday, on this particular walk to school, there was an old frog croaking in the stream behind the hedge as we went.

"Can you hear him, Danny?"

"Yes," I said.

"That is a bullfrog calling to his wife. He does it by blowing out his dewlap and letting it go with a burp."

"What is a dewlap?" I asked.

"It's the loose skin on his throat. He can blow it up just like a little balloon."

"What happens when his wife hears him?"

"She goes hopping over to him. She is very happy to have been invited. But I'll tell you something very funny about the old bullfrog. He often becomes so pleased with the sound of his own voice that his wife has to nudge him several times before he'll stop his burping and turn around to hug her."

That made me laugh.

"Don't laugh too loud," he said, twinkling at me with his eyes. "We men are not so very different from the bullfrog."

Roald Dahl, "Danny: The Champion of the World".
What a charming book! Funny how I mostly remember the darker parts of it from way back when- now it's a very quick read, highly recommended.
Language is convincing. Seeing is believing. Touching is reality.
Alan Kay

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he'll eat for weeks!
Animal Crossing: Wild World

Err, about "Jorts"- are these the same as "denim shorts" from like the early 90s? Or is there an unfortunate bit of 'Daisy Dukes' influence?
It is always dangerous to make assumptions about people's basic philosophies, and those assumptions tend to (quite conveniently) track with the way you, yourself see the world, so maybe I should limit the scope to myself purely for safety. I tend to think of technology as a force. It's not so much a physical object as it is a manifested capability. Having serviced technology, and having loved it for years beyond that, and now utterly dependent on it for both my livelihood and leisure, my relationship with it has an (ironically) pre-industrial quality. When I actually think about it, of all the ways it intersects with my being, I wouldn't know what else to call it but worship. I'm not trying to be a poet. I believe that statement to be accurate.

There's a pragmatism there. If you're going to have a god, you want to be able to call on Him; it stands to reason that you might want to make a call on Him. on Apple's skeuomorphic sins, giving me a name for that "make it look 'real world'" aesthetic I dislike too.
My favorite least favorite example of terrible skeuomorphic design: drop shadows. They just don't need to exist. (2019 UPDATE: hearing about 'dark mode' on MacOS - something I will never love because light text on dark generally is less pleasant for folks with astigmatism - Gruber et al point out that you lose the ability to see the layering of windows a bit, because they rely on darkening/shadows. So maybe there is at least one place where they are useful.)
HERMAN Miller does chairs. HENRY Miller did books, and Anaïs Nin.

Copley Square via iPhone 4...

In the last 2 hours, 15 minutes I've received 4 calls from recruiters. Does my resume on my site have mad google mojo, or what?

maryland reunion filler: the mother of funk

June 29, 2009

--I ripped this as an MP3 if anyone's interested... great stuff!

Growing old -- it's not nice, but it's interesting.
August Strindberg

The Accela crowd is so much more PC laptop and Blackberry than Macbook and iPhone....
I guess I have no sense of scale for business in this country. The way that there's enough business to keep all these jokers on the Acella busy seems crazy. I think we all survive with an insufficient sense of scale.
He was your Elvis, and when your Elvis dies, so does the private lie that someday you will be young once again, and feel at capricious intervals the weightlessness of a joy that is unchecked by the injuries of experience and failure.

In other words, you two died a bit today.

Welcome to the only game in town.
Cornelius Bear in this Achewood on the death of Michael Jackson.
Man, why have I not been reading this comic?

[my number 27]

June 29, 2008
Rockport was weird and humid yesterday, like a rain forest, maybe not quite as hot.

Design of the Moment
--I love, love, love this ammonite shell inspired sink. I wonder if it's impractical, though, if things like shaving bristles would tend to get stuck earlier in the path.

Article of the Moment
GOOD magizine's guide to the Shadowy Organizations That Rule the World each one rated by mythical power and actual power. The big winner is the Davos World Economic Forum... I had forgotten about the reporter Laura Garrett's Insider View e-mail from 2003, and how dire the outlook was then. That was right before the start of our miscapades in Iraq.
Promotional items I want to see: "BUBBLE HO-TEP" brand gum.

kirk tree

(1 comment)
June 29, 2007
So today I'm leaving for a weekend in Chicago to catch the wedding of frequent-kisrael poster Mr. Lex!

Kirkism of the Moment

This is the Kirk Tree! It was planted on the day I was born.

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Sadly, the true original, 2 proud tall woody stems, succumbed to weird spidery things around ten years ago. But this springs from a cutting from that very plant. I think I missed the chance to make it a vertical growth kind of thing, but it's more dense than the first version.

I have a ritual where I take a sip out of the glass when I go to water it. Corny, but hey.


June 29, 2006
Dang, having to deal with my first bit of dieting "plateau"... Monday I hit 214.5, where I've been until today, where it snack back up to 215, despite me being "on plan" the whole time. Ah well, it's still a very minor plateau as far as these things go, and if I was measuring weekly with today as "the day" I'd still say I was down a pound for the week, but still.

Ksenia says she can see some visible improvement (and FoSO mentioned likewise on Friday, though thought that it might've been due to me wearing less bulky clothes for summer.) I think I can as well, but damn it, I'm never sure. That's why I'm such a weenie about daily weigh-ins... at my heaviest I can convince myself I look ok, and at my thinnest I still seem to have roughly the same bodyshape... so I crave quantitative measurement and unsolicited opinions.

Body Art of the Moment
Hey, you might not always feel clever, but there's an excellent chance you're better at making life decisions than the people featured in Type Brighter's 3-part Gallery of Bad Tattoos. (WARNING: horribly adorned penis at the bottom of Page 2) One of the most amazing sets belongs to a certain German "Mr. Cool Ice". You can see some stills from a talkshow he visited.

penguins don't have breasts

June 29, 2005
Still haven't gotten around to putting up the Chicago photos, so here's another cartoon for the meanwhile...

Politics and Sports of the Moment
Heh...Patriots' owner Bob Kraft may have inadvertantly given his superbowl ring to Russian President Vladimir Putin...I had a similar thing happen to me when I was showing off my Atari game "Flap-Ping" to the guy who was running Coolidge Corner Cinema's Atari night...he seemed to assume it was a gift and I figured "why not"...

Gripe of the Moment
Damnation, I see the Spam bots have gotten into the sidebar comments as well. What self-centered assholes these pricks are, writing such idiotic posts just to try to crank up their Googlejuice. I'm going to take corrective action soon, hopefully without disrupting the usability of the site...I think that "type in what this graphic says" is just awful, one time tokens should be good enough, at least for homebrew sites like mine.

Hmm...doing a little research and pondering makes me realize it's not going to be that easy to stop...I was assuming that they recorded how to enter a comment once, and the reran the "submit spam comment" script over and over, but there's no reason they can't automate the full "get fresh comment form...submit comment" which would circumvent any "one time token" barriers. And a site I ran into mentioned that it's pretty easy for them to run my form through a javascript engine, thus thwarting any advantage then.

I guess content filtering might be my best bet. It looks like spam almost always has "http" in if there's no http, it's probably safe to let it through. If there IS http:// , cause I want people to be able to share links, I might see what happens if I just put up another form, which then might require some additional action to verify the human-ness of the poster.

Damn spammers screw up the net for everyone. Frickin' product whores.

enough is enough. not enough is not enough.

June 29, 2004
Paraphrase of the Moment
You say in your book that you have every sympathy with Sir John Betjeman who remarked toward the end of his life that his greatest regret was not having had enough sex."
Naim Attallah, interviewing Milton Shulman, in the book "Insights"
(I gave a little background about the book when I kisrael'd this other passage previously.)
Vocabulary of the Moment
1 ilunga [Tshiluba word for a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time; to tolerate it a second time; but never a third time. Note: Tshiluba is a Bantu language spoken in south-eastern Congo, and Zaire]
2 shlimazl [Yiddish for a chronically unlucky person]
3 radioukacz [Polish for a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain]
4 naa [Japanese word only used in the Kansai area of Japan, to emphasise statements or agree with someone]
5 altahmam [Arabic for a kind of deep sadness]
6 gezellig [Dutch for cosy]
7 saudade [Portuguese for a certain type of longing]
8 selathirupavar [Tamil for a certain type of truancy]
9 pochemuchka [Russian for a person who asks a lot of questions]
10 klloshar [Albanian for loser]
1 plenipotentiary
2 gobbledegook
3 serendipity
4 poppycock
5 googly
6 Spam
7 whimsy
8 bumf
9 chuffed
10 kitsch
Those come from this poll of translators, further linked and discussed here. Not the most convincing list, really, and as someone in the discussion mentions, its been done, with a lot more background about the cultural assumptions and what not, by Howard Rheingold. I think it was a review of that book where I learned about the culture that has the word for "the truth that everyone knows but no one speaks"...

Plea of the Moment
And, if You deem it necessary (or just amusing) to take my mind before You take my body, let's try to keep the progressive dementia noble and epically sad rather than comical. For example: please let the last face I recognize be the photograph of a long-lost high-school girlfriend and not one of the plucky toddlers from the animated show "Rugrats." In my final moments, let me awaken--apparently lucid--in the pre-dawn hours calling out for a kiss on the forehead from a dead great-aunt rather than from the mustachioed black bartender on "The Love Boat."
Paul Simms, from "A Prayer", a New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs feature. (Probably a short-lived link.) Via Bill.

Politics of the Moment
I will say, the two day schedule jump for the Iraq handover was indeed a pretty slick move overall. (Which doesn't mean I agree with us being there, but hey.) Also, I noticed rightist radio is curiously silent on Cheney's use of the F-word. If it had been as prominent a Democrat saying that, we would NEVER hear the end how it was the "end of civility" and "a new low" and all that crap. Personally, I'm fine with and vaguely amused by him saying it, but I think the likely hypocricy (implicit in the lack of outrage) of the rightwingers is telling.

no carbs for you!

June 29, 2003
So I'm starting this diet Mo's been on for two weeks with pretty good results, Fat Flush. It's not just weight loss, but nutrition and detox. One of the newer generation of plans, like Atkins, that's more aware of carbs and insulin levels than at least some fats... Mo's and my holistic-minded doctor (and, er, current yoga instructor) thinks Anne Louise Gittleman, the program's maker, knows what she's talking about, so that's a good sign. Though (and some of this come from trying to avoid anything many people might be allergic to) it has some weird restrictions; like the only vinegar you can use is apple cider vinegar, stuff like that. Drinking dilute unsweetened cranberry juice, jumping jacks on mini-trampoline (the idea being the lymphatic system has no circulatory system of its own, so needs to be shaken up)...the kind of stuff that strikes me a little odd but I don't know the science well enough one way or the other to really object.

So, in yesterday's Comments (mm, love that feedback) people A. told me those pictures look a lot like the film Waking Life, B. identified the source of the quote (Chasing Amy, where a guy is ragging on a comicbook "inker" which he calls "tracing") and C. Pointed out it's kind of like Rotoscoping, but with one frame. All of which is true.

Oh, and I put some hopefully not too obnoxious ads on Love Blender from Google's program. We'll see how that goes.

Image of the Moment
Ok, probably the last one of these for a while; but this one uses a slightly different techniue that tries to use color boundaries rather than exact contours. Looks a bit like paint-by-number, but I think the effect comes out well, at least for the right images. Takes even more time though.

anniversary getaway filler day 1

June 29, 2002

Love Calls Us to the Things of this World

    The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
                Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

    Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly they are. Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing.

    Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water, and now all of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
                     The soul shrinks

     From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessed day,
And cries,
             "Oh, let there be nothing but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven."

    Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world's hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,

    "Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
                keeping their difficult balance."
Richard Wilbur.
We had to analyze this for a practice test for the AP English Exam senior year. I usually did really well in the class, but the teacher didn't think much of my theory that the "of dark habits"/"difficult balance" lines had an anti-organized-religion slant.

Every once in a while I quote that "Oh, let there be nothing but laundry" line, but of course no would get that but 2 or 3 people from that English class.

the old beetle

June 29, 2001
Woo, I already stocked up on blog entries for my honeymoon, but I should probably plan ahead for tomorrow and the big day itself. Not sure why I've become so determined not to miss a day with this.

Humor of the Moment
God: And here's the next species, one I'm particularly proud of...
Adam: Beetle.
God: Excellent. Now here's another...
Adam: Beetle.
God: No, you just named the last one "beetle". This one is quite different -- look at the pattern on the wing cases, and the shape of the antennae...
Adam: Beetle.
God: Well, OK, though they certainly look different to Me. Now, the next species is --
Adam: Beetle.

Link of the Moment
(Hmm, haven't been posting as many links lately...) Anyway, what kind of Flame Warrior are you? I actually haven't had the chance to read through each one yet, so I'm still playing wait and see. Pretty good art at this link, and a lot of "it's funny because it's true, or close enough".

1000 love poems read
about the sense of soaring, flying,
using the stars for navigation.
I realized that wasn't me, never was.
I am too much of this earth;
Of this joking earth, to be fair,
The world is too much with me.
"'Pet me a little then feed me'... Sounds about right."
--Mo on understanding different types of cats
"Who are you and how did you get in here?"
"I'm a locksmith.  And...I'm a locksmith."
--Police Squad
"'Course, a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay"
--Bull Durham
"Sometimes in pursuit of pleasure, we forget that what we are ultimately searching for is hapiness."
"...and He rolled the huge stone away from the mouth of the cave...and stepped outside...into bright sunlight...and......six more weeks of winter!"
--Bear on a.f.c-a
Amazing number of stars here at Lake George last night.  Easier to remember you're not the center of the universe than when you're in Boston.  (Surprise)
"Does he know he's always posing?"
          -Tracy on Dylan's brother Robert