August 6, 2022

August 6, 2021

Death avoidance is not an individual failing; it's a cultural one. Facing death is not for the faint-hearted. It is far too challenging to expect that each citizen will do so on his or her own. [...] Adults who are racked with death anxiety are not odd birds who have contracted some exotic disease, but men and women whose family and culture have failed to knit the proper protective clothing for them to withstand the icy chill of mortality.
Caitlin Doughty, From Here to Eternity

August 6, 2020

The unconscious mind doesn't know the difference between past, present, and future and is always trying to heal old wounds in current time.
I wonder if that's true, that the unconscious mind is so much less time aware. I really wish I had a better model of it. Is it the same as saying out emotional self, our intuitive self? Is it useful to think of it as a separate entity, like our "inner child"? (Or lately it - that is, my subconscious self - seems more akin to a clever but unruly dog.)
Life was durably sweet, it improved like a keeping apple.
Ralph Kello in Sylvia Townsend Warner's "The Corner That Holds Them"

the haunted 'net

August 6, 2019
the internet is an inherently haunted place if you think about it like. it's so weird to see long abandoned discussion boards stuck in a snapshot of the past, old conversations between kids from over a decade ago who have now grown into their own lives, obituaries taking the form of half finished profiles. and the silence that fills the gaps between. there's a constant ghostly record of each generation's thoughts, fads, their sense of humour. back when the future was at their fingertips. even stranger, people you used to know exist openly in that space, and they watch you watching them. if you want, deceased musicians can play through your headphones. there's always an underlying sense of reminiscing and time escaping our ever shortening attention spans. what a fuckin graveyard
This kind of thought has been on my mind as I go and tend to almost two decades of blog entries (This year I decided to get retroactively persnickety in how I've visually handle quotes over the years.) Skimming the output of my old selves... connected to the current me, but not quite the same person.

If Jim Morrison was alive today, he probably would[n't] write "did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a wikipedia page on?" and it's harsh to recognize that's probably not the case for me... so I have to make my own monument. (Risking violating Van Webster's direction to "Don't be both Homer and Odysseus--at least not at the same time.").

I think about what I should do to best preserve my public archive - ideally for as long as we have a digital-using civilization. I suppose I will be forever there in the bowels of the Internet Wayback Machine, and god bless for that. I think about ways of paying in advance for my webhosting, and trying to batten down all available hatches so the site is just static HTML and images. (Also toying with the idea of putting a backup archive on blogspot... its business model of funding free, low-traffic blogs with skimming from ad revenue from more traveled blogs might be at least as stable as some of the other ideas I have.)

Sigh. Just grasping for some measure of the immortality promised me in my youth, I suppose. Or maybe the desire to live on forever precedes that, just a natural human view of time?
It's your legs.
Maynard Ferguson advising Miles Davis
The quote is about how to stand when playing trumpet. (Referenced in this instructional video)
From another direction he felt the sensation of being a sheep startled by a flying saucer, but it was virtually indistinguishable from the feeling of being a sheep startled by anything else it ever encountered, for they were creatures who learned very little on their journey through life, and would be startled to see the sun rising in the morning, and astonished by all the green stuff in the fields.
Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

RIP Toni Morrison. I took all the African-American literature courses in college I could in order to double up on English and World Culture credits, and so got to enjoy a ton of great stuff. What a voice.
Paul D sits down in the rocking chair and examines the quilt patched in carnival colors. His hands are limp between his knees. There are too many things to feel about this woman. His head hurts. Suddenly he remembers Sixo trying to describe what he felt about the Thirty-Mile Woman. "She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind."
Toni Morrison, "Beloved"

a good guy at a great time

August 6, 2018
Thanks to Facebook I just played the "autocomplete your epitath", where you type "here lies [your name]. [pronoun] was " and then let autocomplete run the rest. I got
here lies kirk. he was a good guy at a great time
which I actually like a lot.
Not only did the Red Sox sweep the Yankees, Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals thanks in part to companies like my own employer CarGurus...

August 6, 2017

Well truly does conquer all.

Except herpes. Love does not conquer herpes. Herpes is undefeated. Herpes is the Floyd Mayweather of STDs.

Here's the New 'Frozen' Musical Poster (and Seven That Didn't Make the Cut). Really great seeing the brainstorming at work.
ha, JoustPong for sale on ebay - complete with color manual and limited edition commemorative t-shirt!

(For those who don't know, JoustPong was a game I wrote for the Atari 2600 in 2003 or 2004 or so (you know, twenty years or so after it would have been an actual commercial proposition) - but still back when you had to write that kind of thing in assembly language. Got a nastygram about the name from Atari's lawyers so it became FlapPing)
Fantastic, somber little article Questions for Me about Dying

second best photos of 2011

August 6, 2016
(Err, not counting the second best of the Europe Trip, but I think I'll leave those be.)

Open Photo Gallery

JZ in one the Pax East hallways.


For ten years, I attended (and sometimes ran) a 'covenant group' at my UU church - this is the crew at its height, I'd say

Spider web on Cannon Mountain.

Amber's brother did some bike racing. STOP GUYS! You're going too fast.


The Cleveland Natural History museum has this board of Beetles, but one of them is special.

Karaoke night with some Alleyoopers at Limelight.

MELAS (My Ever Lovin' Aunt Susan)

At the MFA, "Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism"

I'm known for making this face in photos, but usually at the camera not at the person I'm with.

My dad's folk art Christmas Tree, and his typewriter. (It was an antique when he got it, he wasn't THAT old.)

30-plus years of being a Star Trek fan and I just now realized that fictional doctor Leonard McCoy and science fiction actor Leonard "Spock" Nimoy share a first name. - I've had this link open in a tab for way too long, meaning to write about it a little.

I'm very non-goal-oriented, which I kind of view as a source of weakness (recognizing it's because I'm a bit too wussy about the ego damage of failure vs the more even wear of not trying) but also strength (I think I'm better than average at locating low hanging fruits and making small but meaningful tweaks to existing things.)

August 6, 2015

Last night I played at Honkin' at the Hatch Shell where the HONK! Disorchestra (a inter-HONK magaband) joined the Landmarks Orchestra for the finale from Aida and then we took the stage for two Italian medleys and then some good ol' core honking....
Here's what the Hatch looks like from the other side...

JP Honk!

Ted Cruz is Nathan Lane minus the charm. And music.

August 6, 2014

protip: refer to all your mistakes as 'artistic choices'

Slate on adjective order. I heard about this a while back... it's one of those things that kind of freaks you out when you notice how wrong "Red Big Barn" sounds vs "Big Red Barn".
"I saw Owen, yes. He's just as melancholy, just as charming, as uncomfortable with himself, quiet, nostalgic, sharp.... and we went out and had a pleasant round of small talk, and we went home. And like a good little trouper I explained how I don't spend my time in love with people who don't love me back anymore, I'm all grown up now, adults don't do that, and now he doesn't have the burden of guilt that all that messy unrequited shit brings. I'm all grown up now, I'm 'just anyone', and I don't have grand romances anymore."

"And what did he say?"

"'Ah.' He said 'Ah.' Nothing else. I could tell he was hurt, maybe more hurt than he had been at not being in love with me. He's just as stoic as he ever was, though. Good ol' Owen. Tucked me into bed in a green room with faery prints on the walls. Made me breakfast in the morning. And then I left. I finished up with business and came home...." My voice drifted off to silence. I blinked to keep back tears and turned off the hot water. I noticed the orange juice and began drinking it in big sips.


I leaned back into his chest to wait, trying not to seem overeager. I could hear his heart beating, a soft thudding in my ears. I was reminded of a time we had gone swimming at night. Phillip had held me against him so that I was floating in the water. I had closed my eyes and listened while he hummed lullabies. I'd heard them like this, muted and deep, my ear pressed against his heart. I was soothed again, as I had been then.
Two snippets from "In The Bath", a story from Usenet's rec.arts.erotica.
The original some BDSM themes that may squick some folk, but it's well written, and these paragraphs have stuck with me.


August 6, 2013

Off to Alaska!
So it'll be Sales Tax Free weekend in MA? Does it count for that bullshit tax on software services? GET YOUR CODING IN THEN!!!

you spin me right round baby, well sort of

August 6, 2012
As @Todd_Roy put it put it,
"Oh this? Its nothing, just a picture of 2 perfectly round concentric circles that ur brain will refuse to see."

Crazy. Sometimes I think the state of the art in optical illusions has really advanced over the last decade or so. I think computers (and to a lesser extent the internet) are to blame, or thank, in part.
"[apple crunch]"
"Isn't it hard to eat lying down?"
"Nah Romans did it."
"That's not a good reason. And why did you have that answer ready so quickly?"
Me and Amber - my notes from the trenches on porting from Java-based Processing classic to processing.js
Gold medal for NASA in the 563 billion meters

First world humans are basically well fed apes sleeping under a shady tree. In order to get us to take anything seriously you need to beat us with a proverbial stick...
Sayf Sharif

Not only are tuba players known for having the biggest horns, tuba playing is all about use of the mouth and fingers.

You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do.
Tom the Priest (in Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird")

big boy

(1 comment)
August 6, 2011
Also on Friday we went to the Wester Reserve Historical Society where they have a lovely selection of old cars, and this american icon in the lobby...

Best things in Cleveland: vintage store Big Fun, the superfast "gourmet sandwiches" of Jimmy John's, DIY froyo toppings at Menchie's. The latter two are franchises that Boston totally needs.

the bit too simple life

August 6, 2010

--Kinda fascinated by this "Camper Bike Blueprint by" -- the page I got it from has additional renderings and an intriguing "shopping cart camper" as well. - one of the odder bits of the Boston skyline, the part of the Prudential complex with a skeletal "R2D2"-ish top, was apparently picked by Mayor Menino--

Geeknote: just found out about Firebug's console, and if you start it up it will track all the Ajax GETs and POSTs, input and output - nice.
Sometimes I wish I was one of those coders who felt subroutines should have ONE "return" statement. Arbitrary stack popping feels GOTO-ish.

wipe that off your face

August 6, 2009

--An expired pass I was about to throw out... err, not the most detailed portrait of me I've seen... - the "Hitler Yelling" original that launched a thousand re-subtitles. I liked Hitler does 'Agile'. This one gets meta about the whole scene.
Word That Looks Misspelled of the Moment: "says" - "For Twitter users, the outage meant no tweeting about lunch plans, the weather or the fact that Twitter is down."


August 6, 2008
The air has been nice and cool as of late. Could summer already be stumbling to a thunderstormy close?

I'm fine going up shorts, but I'm already dreading going back to socks and shoes, and I'm probably going to hold out 'til October or later for that.

Video of the Moment

--Yes. I am a giant goof. Also, weirdly gangly, or something. Taken while on break from cleaning out EB's old apartment, and we had some criminal bubble wrap that deserved to die. Can you tell I'm trying to stamp out "Carmen"?

I cut out the second part of this video, which was all taken with the camera sideways. Hint: there aren't many tools for rotating video 90 degrees, nor video players that really like the format.

Link of the Moment
Slate on The Ten Oddest Travel Guides Ever Published. The Nazi-era guide to occupied Poland is especially creepy.
Watching Clockwork Orange; my third or so time, JZ's first. Odd how the horrible scenes kind of wipe out the memories of the other ones.
"Eternal Mario Sunshine" is the best Diesel Sweeties title ever.
Googling "sin python" (the math function in the computer language) as an "image" search rather than "web" at work was not my best idea.

no man is an island

August 6, 2007
So, hot weekend in Rockport, and on Saturday Evil B and I knocked off early and headed to the beach (along with wife and child (not that you'd know from these photos)).

It was a lot of fun. Clambering up the big stones of the wall made it an interesting physical challenge. Especially because those rocks were sharp. Unlike the guys climbing them, perhaps.

that's even scarier than the time garfield got feline leukemia!

August 6, 2006
I always thought it was weird that Encyclopedia Brown's first name was actually "Leroy". Because that would make him the Baddest Man in this Whole Damn Town, and that just doesn't seem like a likely future for such a bookish fella.

Art of the Moment

click for fullsize

"June", by Timna Woollard
from Where The Heart Is.

Weirdness of the Moment
I have to admit the Garfield cartoon boingboing covers are really disturbing... the YTMND audio/visual presentation might be the best introduction to it... the idea of the entire Garfield series being the deranged imaginings of a cat, alone and starving in a decrepit house, is extremely spooky. Via Google I found the color version of the strips before the boingboing update mentioned them. I got confused by the UI and thought this strip came just before that run, which seemed to go along with the existential kind of vibe, though really that strip was years later.

(Odd that some of the strips in the mid-90s aren't colorized, but the ones back in 1978 have been. And so amazing how much the first Garfield looks just like Kliban's Cats.)

"puerile" ---the new yorker

August 6, 2005
Blurbism of the Moment
Blender of Love
New Yorker: "It will make you feel young again."

Actual line: "The Heart-on-Sleeve corner posts love poems and missives from visitors (mainly women), most filled with longing and self-pity. It will make you feel young again."

Not quoted: "An editorial page ('Kirk Rambles Regarding Romance') is somewhat puerile, and much of the correspondence is downright sophomoric. ... Its creator, Kirk Israel, is not ashamed to post his own fiction (thought you may be ashamed to read it)."

Israel also wasn't ashamed of his blurbism, emailing it to Gelf and good-naturedly writing, "I'm always tempted to change 'It will make you feel young again'—The New Yorker to just 'Puerile'—The New Yorker."
From Gelf Magazine's The Blurbs feature of misleading review blurbs.
By sending in my very selective quoting for the 'Blender, I now feel absolved of some vague sense of guilt...

crazy people

August 6, 2004
I gave blood this morning...I rock!

Cartoon of the Moment
An illustrated tale from the psychiatric ward.

Bushism of the Moment
Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
GWB, Aug. 5, 2004, via's Bushism of the Day

Music and Videos of the Moment
Weird...The Chipmunks' Song [slowed down]..."Yes, hear Simon, Theodore and Alvin at their true speed, sounding respectively like an accountant, a hot-dog vendor, and a lunatic." Good ennunciation. (Actually, according to the amusing writeup at The Straight Dope, the voices are all done by one guy, Ross Bagdasarian.)

Speaking of things made funnier via chipmunk talk, Peterman is a big fan of Foamy The Squirrel in the toons at iLL WiLL PreSS. The rant "FAT-KINS DIET" is good if you're in a hurry.

Ramble of the Moment
You know what would be a useful minor superpower? The ability to really know how to pack things up for shipping. In this e-bay and what-not day and age, that has to be worth some cash. I always get stymied, trying to think of where to get the right size box, and what to use to stop it from rattling around, and get confused by some of the post office options, all of those details. "Packing Things Deftly" would definately be better than my current actual minor superability, "able to bring group conversations to an end by a comment that goes just a little too far."

Passing of the Moment
R.I.P., Rick James! Wonder what this will do to the plans for a movie based on the Chappelle's Show skit, about his wild days...So please. Everyone. One last "I'm Rick James, Bitch!" and then a moment of silence.

what do we want? moderate change! when do we want it? within a reasonable timeframe!

(1 comment)
August 6, 2003
Manifesto of the Moment
Slightly irritated with the world? Wishing someone else would pinpoint the world's problems and fix them up? Are you an armchair dweller with a conscience? In your humble opinion, is George W. a schmuck but the USA deserve him anyway? Do you feel that capitalism is flawed but the best so far? Do you belong to the concerned thinking set unwilling to invest the energy to speak up? If so, you have a place in the Non-Extremists for Moderate Change! We promise soft places to sit and possibly discuss what other people should rather be doing with the world!!! Join!! You know you want to! Even if it's just to piss off that tired commie in your class!
Not much information beyond this manifesto, though I think they've had a presence at IgNobel prize ceremonies. (I was with Tufts pepband when we played for that, must've been like 1995 or so.) ...I think the manifesto may end with a few too many exclamation marks, considering.

Games of the Moment
Hoo-ray! Ranjit and the fine folks at gameLab have released a new game: Arcadia! It's actually four really simple games at once, you can't concentrate on any one too much. Kind of like juggling...also it sports great retrostyling ala late 70s videogames and those old Atari catalogs.

At first I was hoping to find out that the gamebuttons were some kind of inspiration, but actually the opposite is more likely, I came up with the non-interactive buttons (including 1D pong) and Ranjit encouraged me to pursue the game possibilities.

Link of the Moment
Just about the most overly designed wedding website you'll ever want to see. I really wonder about people who get a domain name for their wedding. It seems like a bit of abuse of the namespace, you know?

when duckbills ruled the earth

August 6, 2002
I've spent way too much time lately playing Bangai-O, a brilliantly frantic 2D game on the Dreamcast. I wrote a Level FAQ for it, hopefully it'll show up on soon.

Scholarship of the Moment
One of the mammals' evolutionary advantages was that they bore their young alive. As research has conclusively shown, animals that bore their young dead generally got nowhere.

News of the Moment
To go along with Saturday's UFO stories, it's the story of the US's triangular stealth blimps! Weird! Though it's difficult to think that something like these could have been kept so secret... (thanks Bill the Splut)

see you

August 6, 2001
Wanna buy a Y2K Preparation Video cheap?

Geek Link of the Moment
Slashdot linked to a GameSpy Top 50 games. Interesting commentary from people in the industry.

Auto Design Ramble
There's this new model Volvo out, and it took me a while to figure out why the design of the rear of the car, specifically the tail lights, was bothering me so much:
Then I realized it was because of its resemblance to the cross section of a human, as in the Visible Human Project:
The car makes me think its back end has been chopped off a bit. It just ain't right.

The Visible Human project is very neat, with movies starting from the head and moving to the toes, one thin slice at a time.

Interestingly, Hollow Man was on last night, which had some terrific effects of Kevin Bacon and before than an ape turning invisible, with different organs and skeletal structure visible as the process went on. (Though we saw a bit too much of Kevin Bacon's Bacon, if you know what I mean.) Then in turned into a standard "5 people trapped in with a psychokiller, who do some smart things and some dumb things and most get killed" horror flick.

Family reunion. Nana died kinda young. You know, I really can deal with mortality so  long as I think there isn't a better alternative that I'm missing by bad decisions. Do the cyros have a chance in hell? Of course if I believed that I wouldn't make good use of extra centuries maybe it doesn't matter. You have to be so optimistic about humanity and the longterm viability of the planet to plan for hyperlongevity.

Some of this thinking came from the life extensions in Larry Niven's "Neutron Star" collection. It was interesting seeing all the ideas that I remembered seeing duplicated in the PC game Star Control- especially the mysterious answers-for-cash aliens that charge an unimaginable price for answers about themselves.

"Broken heart, huh?"
        "Does it show?"
"Listen, when you've been tickling the ivories for as long as I have, you see a broken heart for every drop of rain, a shattered dream for every falling star..."
--Rowlf and Kermit, The Muppet Movie
run away with me
        and then what
be with me

And our kisses were like chewing dynamite.
I turn the set back on and close my eyes.  "I want to understand you," a woman is saying to The Fugitive.  "You will in time," The Fugitive tells her.  "May I use your car?"
--Jay Gummerman, "We Find Ourselves in Moontown"
It's very hard to get your head and heart to work together in life.  In my case, they're not even friendly.
--Woody Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors
"The helicopter on the computer screen has to be spinning- otherwise it just wouldn't work."
--Rick Hanson on The Matrix and pretty much every computer mockup in movieland
Read a Dan Savage article about a widely ignored study that gay men have larger dicks on average, possibly relating to neonatal hormone levels.  Well, my some accounts my dad was well hung, I'm not particularly, so maybe it follows? (from The Relation Between Sexual Orientation And Penile Size, Bogaert and Hershberger, June 1999 issue, Volume 28, Number 3 of Archives Of Sexual Behavior)
here i am, i'm here
in my mind -- and yours, it seems.
don't hold me too dear,
many dreams
are unrealized.
"Why you're about as 'fatale' as an after-dinner mint."
[the excerpt from "In The Bath"]
Uma Thurman on a Hog Harley: now *that's* heaven.
This life is like an Atomic Fire Ball (r) - once you get past the stuff that hurts it's pretty sweet.
"[life is like chocolate covered espresso beans...] once you get past the stuff that's sweet, it's really dark and bitter and keeps you up at night."
[shiek of araby]
"She moved so easily / All I could think of was sunlight"
--Paul Simon
"Double integral is also the shape of lovers curled asleep."  Pynchon
Paul D sits down in the rocking chair and examines the quilt patched in carnival colors.  His hands are limp between his knees.  There are too many things to feel about this woman.  His head hurts.  Suddenly he remembers Sixo trying to describe what he felt about the Thirty-Mile Woman.  "She is a friend of my mind.  She gather me, man.  The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.  It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind."
--Toni Morrison
(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens,
   only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is
   deeper than all roses)
--e.e. cummings
[don marquis, life is not all jazz and joy]
I see friends shaking hands
saying 'how do you do?'
they're really saying
'I love you'
and I think to myself
What a wonderful world"
--Louis Armstrong
"I think it's kind of funny
you think I'm the boy to make you cry
I can make you happy...
if only for a while"
--George Michael
"Would not a rose, by any other name, have so many ?$^ thorns????"
The autumn leaves are falling like rain.
Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups at my table.
--Author Unknown, dated from the T'ang Dynasty