July 20, 2021

FB "this day" (7 years ago, 2014) came up with this shot.

I have other shots with a similar bell decoration, but usually with blue tape. (Tape-on-bell is more classic than my current use of covers, but of course hard to change between bands.)

July 20, 2020

Death destroys a man: the idea of Death saves him.
E.M. Forster, Howards End

We had a good slot. A lot of people were watching.We had record numbers watching. In the history of cable television there's never been anything like it.
Trump on his plans to resume COVID briefings.
SO PRESIDENTIAL! It's funny, too, like you know he's regurgitating some line written for one of his briefings, with the clear mandate to "make POTUS feel good + special"
I try to have a weekly call with my 6yr old superniece Cora. Not that I can complain relative to actual parents, but sometimes it's tough to be mutually entertaining over a FaceTime for hours at a time... but we're both only kids so we figure stuff out. Sometimes parallel play with Legos and/or her "magic sand", sometimes little dramas with her dolls and my lego figures or old robot-y toys (she figured out a clever way to have the toys using FaceTime as part of the story.) Yesterday we came up with semi-collaborative drawing on our tablets... here's what I made on my end, from Sea Creatures (including a seal, and I tried to illustrate working-to-get-better-at-something, and it was ok that my first seal was meh, but then I used some reference art....) then unicorn and dragon hybrids, including a Winnie the Pooh dragon and a Roomba dragon, then some talk about ALien Bill, then we made the same birds I made for my sixth grade story Koans (good exercise for her in going step by step for drawing) I also lightly touched on the whole "sometimes you draw by doing the whole shape, rather than piece by piece."

Wish I had access to her side of the drawing but here's mine:

July 20, 2019

It takes a lot for a white guy to learn that he is not unbreakable... I remember showing Hari Kondabolu a picture of my son as we were on the side of a precipice trail, a cliffside, in Arcadia Park, in Maine, and he said 'Boy O boy, the things some white people will do to feel danger in their lives.'

Anything's porn if you jerk off to it... that's from the Supreme Court decision.
Baby Geniuses Podcast - didn't realize that's Lisa "Tuca + Bertie" Hanawalt, and then Emily Heller who I was following on twitter already... (not sure which said the quote though, I'm terrible with that.)

DAILY PRAYER TO COMBAT IMPOSTOR SYNDROME: God give me the confidence of a mediocre white dude

July 20, 2018


via the-ice-castle
Marshmallows aren't this good [referring to chaos around marshmallows and the fire pit] I wouldn't walk five feet for a marshmallow.
Dr. Dan

on the new zelda

July 20, 2017
Videogame Nerdery Ahoy! (Got a lot more long-winded than I planned) I'm trying to figure out if I should stick with the new Zelda, if it's a good investment of time for me. It's high quality in many ways, but the cooking/crafting doesn't grab me, the endless treadmill of "get a weapon, wear out a weapon" rankles (especially with the limited inventory slots that cost a lot to improve), and in general I'm not as engaged as I would have hoped.

While in some ways the game has that "more than one way to solve a problem" approach, 90% of those feel like something clever the programmers thought of first and then coded in, rather than an organic, player-driven combination of basic interactive elements. They give you a cool "magnet" tractor beam power that you can only use in carefully defined areas, magic bombs that can't really aim and take forever to damage anything anyway, a "freeze time" thing that A. is misnamed (it's more about messing with certain object's kinetic energy, but I guess they thought "kinetic energy" that was too fancy a term) and B. also only works hardly anywhere...

I guess the game doesn't resonate for me in two critical directions; one is the world-building. "Far Cry"s, which feels like such a big influence, do a much better job of painting "living breathing" worlds that mask the fact that they exist only as a place for the player's story to take place in. Vs Zeldas: Link, is (spoiler alert?) the knight errant destined to come back and fix everything in Hyrule, and by the way here are all these precious little mini-dungeons scattered about to test his mettle and build him up gradually for doing so.

Which leads to the second game theme Zelda does, one I respect intellectually but don't find deeply engaging: the classic "from zero to hero" journey, the grind up of gathering intrinsic strength and various add-ons that lets the player slowly grow into the role destiny (or rather, the game designer) has laid out for them. I know in the real world I have a blind-spot for personal growth; people seem to be about the same to me on the inside throughout their lives (Hmm, this is probably why preschooler's incompetence so startles me... Like, "C'mon, color in the lines! Focus! I can talk with you, you have the raw physical control here, why can't you do this?") It's troublesome for me in life- I tend to feel like I can gain knowledge of how to do things, but the process of "growing" a skillset per se seems.... I don't know, unlikely. I assume at some point quantitative skill improvement can become qualitative ability increase, but I never really *feel* it. (Similarly, even in a game, "practicing and getting better" is sometimes indistinguishable from "try and try again until I get lucky and can move on"...)

It's why I feel Mario games have more in common with Grand Theft Auto than they do with Zelda games or Metroid games. Mario is the same guy, with about the same skillset, at the start of the game as he is at the end, there's no "take away all your skills at the game start so you can grow 'em back", and so is the protagonist of a GTA game, he just has more access to vehicles and money and weapons. (Conversely, Mario games have even more of that "this world exists only for the player to experience" than even the Zelda games, but still).

Also, now that I think about it, the physics of this latest Zelda are all too down-to-earth. Link jumps about as well as I do, more or less. He's a much better wall climber, but that's a plodding straining process. He's got a glider, but that's only a slow parachute with a bit of horizontal movement. He can do some tractor-beam/grav-gun manipulations, but only in certain designated areas and times. Compared to a later Saints Row and those games' joyful leaping, bounding, running up the side of buildings, magic grabbing and blasting nearly anything, or Just Cause's kinetic soaring and goofy playground of "link two things together with a wire and see what happens"... those games have more of what I come to video games for, superhuman empowerment fantasies set with visuals and interactions convincing enough to be viscerally enjoyable. (and while Zelda has plenty of mooks to dispatch for its adolescent empowerment fantasy, other games serve 'em up and knock 'em down wholesale -- sword combat is still pretty much a one-on-one, retail experience in Zelda....)

This went on much further than I expected. I'd love to hear from folks who dig the game what works for them, hopefully I've done a good enough job couching my critique as highly subjective, as I puzzle out (so to speak) why a game that is clearly so good in so many ways is on the bubble for me making time to play through...

DON'T TRUST WHAT THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA SAYS ABOUT CERSEI LANNISTER
Trump thinks health insurance is priced like life insurance. This makes Bush Sr's "amazement" about the supermarket checkout scanner (grossly exaggerated, tbh) makes him look like Joe Sixpack, relative to Trump. He truly has no idea, but claims everything is easy.

best photos of 1999

July 20, 2016
My Dozen Best Photos of 1999...


Interesting! I had no idea you're much more likely to fall into an eccentric orbit than to actually hit the sun. (I guess satellites around the earth have just enough resistance from the upper atmosphere to not enjoy a similar free ride?)
30 Years of Saying Government is the Problem means you're going to be bad at government.
Mad Magazine released their Trump issue online. Trump vs The Bible is great. Christians: Trump is not one of you.
This is terrible

July 20, 2015

Aww, nuts. Davis Square's Johnny D's set to close. I was chuffed that I got to play there last year, at Chandler Travis' Christmas Cavalcades. Such a landmark...
The most significant difference I notice switching from a flip phone to a smart phone is that the number of times one can break-up and reunite in one week is greatly enhanced.
J.M.

I'd like to say there's a correlation between the quality of the girl and the song, but there's not. Some perfectly good girls got no songs at all - I have no explanation for that. It's a matter of poetics. There's no justice in poetics.
Steve Earle (Saw him live at the Wilbur last week thanks to my cousin Billy)

A nor'easter is just a frozen hurricane - and those things are THAWING OUT...
Steve Earle

July 20, 2014

Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold Well thank heavens the cops are there to protect the vulnerable citizenry from untaxed cigarettes
O fer cryin' out loud -- when Titanfall for Xbox 360 came out, I found out I had to get an HD for my Xbox Slim. So I ordered one, but the video for installing it intimidated me... I had to get special screwdrivers, and I put off the whole business for a few months.

Turns out the installation was A. open door on case B. push in HD 'til it clicks C. close door.

Yeesh. But, I guess I should be grateful. How many things end up being much much simpler than they first appeared?
The weirdest thing about this optical illusion video for me has little (I think) to do with the main illusion; it is that when I'm distracted by the visual pattern and realize that the letters for reading out loud (I think mostly meant to keep your eye in place on the center) spell words, I don't read the letter names but the phonemes they're making. The f of of I read as "of", the "a" I read as "uh" as in phonetically saying "uh good idea", when I see that p, e, r, c, e is there I read the "p" as "cep", since my mind has jumped to what it has spelled. That phonetic jumping is so fundamental to how I process information, it takes a great act of will to restrain it.

July 20, 2013

A neurotic is a person who worries about things that didn't happen in the past, instead of worrying about things that won't happen in the future, like normal people.
Henny Youngman

Is a month too long to be living with cardboard boxes, moving-wise? I don't move-move til Aug 17 or 24, though with a week in Alaska.

It feels like it's too long, but I'm worried about procrastinating, and I guess I can handwave it as part of the separation process with the old place.

the mean mr. wizard

(3 comments)
July 20, 2012

--Mr. Wizard's a Dick reminds me of that old "Mr. Wizard and Timmy" shtick.via bb
http://www.aimlessdirection.com/2008/17-tips-to-make-your-life-easier/ Random Bits of Household Hints
English is essentially Pictish that was attacked out of nowhere by Angles cohabiting with Teutons who were done in by a drunk bunch of Vikings masquerading as Frenchmen who insisted they spoke Latin and Greek but lacked the Arabic in which to convey that.

Once again I find a consistent lunch of Wendy's Baja Salad (w/ chili+guac, sans chips+dressing) the most reliable way to lose weight.
I guess Beans+Meat+Guac on Greens is a satiating combo (I have replaced "Atomic Fireball" candies w/ Extra Dessert Delights' oddball flavors of gum -- Mint Chocolate chip, Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Creamsicle... I have a stockpile on hand at work to deal with my sweet tooth, and share with my coworkers.

the power of puncuation

July 20, 2011
Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours?
Gloria
Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
Yours,
Gloria
from Marda Dunsky's "Watch Your Words

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
Gustave Flaubert

Quiet, Tea-Party, grownups are talking.

tweet

July 20, 2010
TWEET.

BY OYL MILLER

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by brevity, over-connectedness, emotionally starving for attention, dragging themselves through virtual communities at 3 am, surrounded by stale pizza and neglected dreams, looking for angry meaning, any meaning, same hat wearing hipsters burning for shared and skeptical approval from the holographic projected dynamo in the technology of the era, who weak connections and recession wounded and directionless, sat up, micro-conversing in the supernatural darkness of Wi-Fi-enabled cafes, floating across the tops of cities, contemplating techno, who bared their brains to the black void of new media and the thought leaders and so called experts who passed through community colleges with radiant, prank playing eyes, hallucinating Seattle- and Tarantino-like settings among pop scholars of war and change, who dropped out in favor of following a creative muse, publishing zines and obscene artworks on the windows of the internet, who cowered in unshaven rooms, in ironic superman underwear burning their money in wastebaskets from the 1980s and listening to Nirvana through paper thin walls, who got busted in their grungy beards riding the Metro through Shinjuku station, who ate digital in painted hotels or drank Elmer's glue in secret alleyways, death or purgatoried their torsos with tattoos taking the place of dreams, that turned into nightmares, because there are no dreams in the New Immediacy, incomparably blind to reality, inventing the new reality, through hollow creations fed through illuminated screens. Screens of shuttering tag clouds and image thumbnails lightning in the mind surfing towards Boards of Canada and Guevara, illuminating all the frozen matrices of time between, megabyted solidities of borders and yesterday's backyard wiffleball dawns, downloaded drunkenness over rooftops, digital storefronts of flickering flash, a sun and moon of programming joyrides sending vibrations to mobile devices set on manner mode during twittering wintering dusks of Peduca, ashtray rantings and coffee stains that hid the mind, who bound themselves to wireless devices for an endless ride of opiated information from CNN.com and Google on sugary highs until the noise of modems and fax machines brought them down shuddering, with limited and vulgar verbiage to comment threads, battered bleak of shared brain devoid of brilliance in the drear light of a monitor, who sank all night in interface's light of Pabst floated out and sat through the stale sake afternoon in desolate pizza parlors, listening to the crack of doom on separate nuclear iPods, who texted continuously 140 characters at a time from park to pond to bar to MOMA to Brooklyn Bridge lost battalion of platonic laconic self proclaimed journalists committed to a revolution of information, jumping down the stoops off of R&B album covers out of the late 1980s, tweeting their screaming vomiting whispering facts and advices and anecdotes of lunchtime sandwiches and cat antics on couches with eyeballs following and shockwaves of analytics and of authority and finding your passion and other jargon, whole intellects underscored and wiped clean in the total recall 24/7 365 assault all under the gaze of once brilliant eyes.

Every event had a cause, no matter how opaque or oblique. So yes, "everything happens for a reason", but not necessarily a reason you'll like. Perhaps you're thinking of "silver linings"- they're down the hall, to the left.
I wish more elevators weren't closed opaque boxes. It's like we're trying to pretend it's not vertical travel but magic floor teleportation.
Grr. I like having a monitor at work, but using the laptop for some background information, mail-monitoring etc. And I also like using Win-m or Win-d shortcuts to "Minimize All" and start with a clean slate. Increasingly irritated there's no way to say "just clear the screen I'm working on..."

The iPad Kindle app's highlighting feature is SO BROKEN it makes me angry. It adds a bizarre "shift whole block" feature that is SO WRONG.

disasterporn!

(4 comments)
July 20, 2009

2012: THIS IS A DISASTER from Garrison Dean on Vimeo.


via mattjordan's tumblr -- guess it's mostly just a remix of this trailer for "2012" but with much better music.


http://www.slate.com/id/2222931/ - Slate on making lucid dreaming happen
http://www.slate.com/id/2223035/ - Slate on why USA should embrace the Roundabout... the article implies that the Northeast's "Rotary" is something different, but I think the stuff at, say, Alewife/Fresh Pond are textbook examples - and they seem to have much more reliable throughput than the nearby traffic lights.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/07/20/apollo11.irpt/index.html - the 10 year old who helped Apollo 11
When does later become never?
/usr/bin/fortune via slashdot

http://wechoosethemoon.org/ - "live" moon landing replay RIGHT NOW.

You know in a lot of ways the moon landing astronauts remind me more of deep sea divers than anything else.


mario mushrooms from radishes!

manspider

July 20, 2008
click to play

manspider - source - built with processing

My entry for Klik of the Month Klub #13: manspider! (The theme was beards. So he has a beard!)

Another springy physics-y game, here your goal is to catch the flies you need to supplement your rapidly diminishing health bar. Click on the floating green leaf pods to throw a web strand and try to consume flies for both health and points.

the danger of graph paper

(7 comments)
July 20, 2007
So finally at Staples I found what I was looking for, item 716522, spiral bound graph notepaper. (I could live without the 3 holes, but whatever.)

One day during a meeting I started to see if I could make an alphabet where each letter was a 2 x 2 grid of triangle and squares. My first attempt had little lines to help define letters, but then I wanted to see if I could make a font without those tweaks. The result was something like:



Not the most legible, but hey. Kind of looks like the old Pac-Man font.

So here's the Java applet I made to help me... you can type your own text.

To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com "trifontula" // source code // built with Processing

(The code is very raw, but clever in bits, especially some of how it draws the outline but not in the internal squares.)

I tried adding certain punctuation (especially what a URL would need) with mixed results. It's not the most useful font in the world, but I think it clearly shows the dangers of letting geeks take notes on graph paper.

why babies are bald

(2 comments)
July 20, 2006
Not to still EB's thunder, but...

Catherine was born with a surprisingly rich amount of hair. It makes for a very attractive baby but there are some disadvantages; her model of the world and her place in it is still very much a work in progress, but she still has that kind of grabbing things instinct (or maybe it's learned?)... and one of the things within reach is her own hair. Which can hurt, and she hasn't pieced things together enough to know to let go!

It's a bit funny, but also profound, just how close to a tabula rasa babies are when they come into the world.


News of the Moment
There's an escaped kangaroo roaming Ireland -- you have to love it when life imitates loony tunes, all we need now is a cat with speech impediment mistaking it for a giant mouse.


Commentary of the Moment
Wow, Lore's commentary on Youtube homebrew music videos is more scathing than usual. A bit funny as well.

"whoa - i know origami"

July 20, 2005
Animated GIF of the Moment
--via Big-Boys.com



Science Links of the Moment
Making the rounds, Google has a tribute to the moonlandings...the same interface they have for maps with satellite views, they have for earth's original satellite. (As people are quick to point out, be sure to zoom in all the way to get a real good look.) Slate discusses that new version of the Periodic table that's making the rounds, and finally not quite science, but still smart, a new chess variant (by Bobby Fisher...interesting) that tries to blow away the memorization of openings that is such a factor in the game as it's played at the highest levels.

knight rider, the motorcycle version

(1 comment)
July 20, 2004
Did any of my buddies who were over recently leave a black Medium Old Navy nylon-y light jacket in my living room? I have no idea whose it is. (Though I like how the label says "for best results, wear with another article of Old Navy clothing".)


Japan of the Moment
My friend Josh is with his Japanese fiancee T. in Tokyo and writes:
The attached picture is a one-person car, or a futurized motorcycle that Toyota will unveil in about two years. It is basically a reclining chair in a pod that has for wheels and is operated not by a steering wheel but by two joysticks. In park and for local driving the driver is situated up at about a 70 degree angle. For longer drives the angle goes to about twenty degrees and the driver is aided by sensors,cameras, and auto-pilot functions that prevent accidents. For highway driving the driving pod is flat and the driver cedes controls to the GPS system and the sensors.

We saw a limited demo and it was cool. But, I wonder if it is too impractical for actual use. It is good for single commuters, though, and would be good for situation similar to motorcycles today. It certainly is much safer than a motorcycle.

The other car we saw adjusts the chair and mirrors for the driver when the driver sits down in the seat. It can remember three people and even sets the radio, GPS, and TV as the driver preprogrammed them.

My thoughts were I hope those are good sensors, because I certainly wouldn't trust the GPS unit I have for my car quite that much...also...TV, huh? Well, I guess if the computer's driving...I really wish we could get autodriving cars so I could read a nice book on the way to work. I think it's a long way off, especially for this country.

Online Game of the Moment
Two different friends have recommended checking out The Kingdom of Loathing, a simple web-based RPG game w/ lots of amusingly sketchy graphics. (A bit like the doodles I posted the other day.) I haven't played it enough to get to much interaction with other players, so it hasn't been that exciting, and it has a lot of leveling up "grinding" (just click click click click click to get through little adventures and build up your character's stats) but much of it is fairly amusing--the What Is The Kingdom of Loathing page is worth reading through if you just want a taste.


Journal of the Moment
I was reading about Lance Armstrong taking the leader's yellow jersey back in the Tour de France, and they mentioned he as a strong supporting team, including fellow American Floyd Landis. For some reason, I always have more affection for supporting cast than for the stars, just the workmanlike way they go about kicking butt and living through triumphs and defeats everyone else hardly ever hears about, so I found Landis' journal at CyclingNews.com to make for some interesting reading.

it was a stark and dormy night

July 20, 2003
Passage of the Moment
She fumbled for her laser gun, knowing that the alien was eager to ravage her, unlike Captain Johnson, who wanted to take things slow since he was coming off the heels of a very painful divorce.
It's a contest (inspired and named for the creator of the 'classic' "It was a dark and stormy night..." intro) for the worst opening sentence for a hypothetical book possible. Worth reading through, though not too many belly laughs.


Toys of the Moment
Adrian's Web Toys...a bunch of cool little interactive flash toys. If you're in a hurry, just check out the first three and maybe "Bouncing Putty Mask".

pornoh no

July 20, 2002
Link of the Moment
Making the rounds, True Porn Clerk Stories [R-rated link], the journal of a "first-amendment feminist" stuck in a kind of bad job. A lot of well-thought-out insights into the people who rent and the videos they watch.


Quote of the Moment
At last we understand. Everything they told us about communism was false. And everything they told us about capitalism was true.
The review makes the movie sound much better than the television ads do, I didn't realize it was set in 1961, told from an entirely Russian point of view, and based on a true story.

plot thickening, but no lumps

July 20, 2001
Conspiracy Theory
My buddy John pointed out how similar one of the stars of Pixar's upcoming flick Monsters, Inc. (right) is to my beloved Alien Bill (left). I had seen the same preview, but it didn't really register... maybe because of the claws, or probably the mouth. I was going to get all huffy about that, but then I remembered how similar Alien Bill's design was to Steve Jackson Games's The Awful Green Things from Outer Space (below). So I guess I have no room to talk. (Actually, I think that Awful Green Thing is glaring at me right now even.)


Tool of the Moment
Not as slick as some tools out there, spellcheck.net offers a very cool, free, easy way to do some spellchecking. It's a good UI. (http://spellchecker.net offers a slicker interface (blogger started using it) but it's a pain to install.)


Quote of the Moment
It doesn't matter what they say about you as long as they spell the name correctly
PT Barnum. I get 'Kurt Isreal' quite a lot, actually.

"You know- sometimes it's a good day to die, some days it's a good day to have breakfast."
--Thomas Builds-The-Fire, "Smoke Signals"
---
Wish I could've taken a picture of this highschool(?) age girl on the subway: tucked in corner of subway seat, knees up on the next seat, right elbow on seat back, head resting on that hand, eyes closed, head tilted down, light brown hair tucked up, light a little harsh, up and to the left. Reminds me of that one b+w headshot of R. Reminds me I should work on taking more serious portraits.
99-7-20
---
Fathers poem,etc from smoke signals
(book lone ranger + tonto fistfight in heaven)
---
In Palm news, they released the IIIe, a stripped down IIIx, aimed at the entry market. I gotta upgrade- I hear the screens are much better.

Looking over old KHftCEA, I notice that I don't write the same kind of prose snippets/ proto-lovebite stuff that I use to. Have I become more of an essayist? Lost some kind of ambition?
99-7-20
---
The World's Last Romantic took a breath and knocked on the blue door, flowers in hand.
99-7-20
---
They have already forgiven Clinton not only for his dalliance but for lying about it, and they have forgiven him not because they are indifferent to it, not because they don't care, not because "the economy is good," not because they find the behavior admirable, but because what they cannot forgive is Kenneth Starr's asking about it in the first place.
          --Steve Erickson, www.salonmagazine.com
---
I'm writing more qoutes and fewer thoughts.  I wonder what it means-- am I feeling different now that I let people read KHftCEA?  Is it just no more obsessing over R?  Or do I just have less to say?
---
> > P.S. There's nothing like the sound of the pipes (played by someone good) to make you feel home sick.
>
> Rather depends where home is, surely? :-)

Not really... Whenever I hear bagpipes I want to go home, mainly because my home doesn't have anyone playing bagpipes in it.
          --cam.misc
---
Listen, kid, stop adding up batting averages in sports pages. Go outdoors. Play in the sun and have fun, now, before it's too late, because before you can say Jack Robinson, twilight falls and the game will be over.
          --The Boston Globe Ombudsman
---
"Without music, life would be a mistake. ...I would only believe in a God that knew how to dance."
          --Friedrich Nietzsche
---
Toilets are a real luxury- not only the plumbing, but being able to sit down and not having to squat...
98-7-20
---
How do older women get their hair to stay up like that?
98-7-20
---
got hours to drive but I just bought a box of cherries from the guy who grew 'em. Life balances out.
97-7-20
---
back east the sun wakes you too early and leaves you in the dark too soon.  Grrr.
97-7-20
---