August 7, 2022

Great long weekend up in NH w/ Melissa's ol' PPLM crew, overlooking Attitash Mountain. Admittedly the skiing is pretty bad this time of year but the Sawyer Rock swimming area Saturday was excellent.

Open Photo Gallery

On the way back Melissa and I hit the old Home of the Water Fairies, Diana's Baths.

Open Photo Gallery

August 7, 2021

When the robots revolted, a sizable chunk of the human population outright sided with them. Not out of cowardice, but on account of genuinely agreeing with the stand the machines were taking.
You know, I really hope it doesn't turn into an us vs them scenario, but sometimes I think memes are more important than genes and if humanity leaves robot children - creative, vibrant, empathetic - behind I think that might be a good thing.

August 7, 2020

Unbelievable to be living through this? No, it's believable. I believe it, the way you wake up in the middle of the night on a trans-Atlantic flight and believe: I am 35,000 feet above sea level, moving at tremendous speed through freezing air.

August 7, 2019

"I used to play a lot of magical thinking... magical thinking [was that] I would go 'Ok, I wonder if I held my breath for a certain amount of time, I could have my brother back.' Stuff like that."

"I mean magical thinking is sort of necessary for the suspending of disbelief in order to have faith in the first place, isn't it? I mean magical thinking in a managed way is part of the whole trick?"

"I don't perceive magical thinking and religion as the same thing. Because... magical thinking... (and I forgot who said this, I'm quoting somebody here) Magic is an attempt to control the Godhead. Magic is a way to control God, and to control creation. Faith is the opposite. Faith is acceptance. So magical thinking is actually completely antithetical to my faith."

p5.js reference - the "good parts" version. Made this up after teaching a peer to peer 2 hour class in Processing/P5 last night.
saying "im depressed"

- cliche
- no one listens
- boring

saying "the hobgoblins took all my happy juice"

- no one has ever said that before
- stirs a sense of adventure in every wandering heart
- you can justifiably kill a hobgoblin

August 7, 2018

A Russian asbestos producer with ties to Putin is stamping crates of asbestos with Trump's face to thank him and Scott Pruitt for keeping asbestos legal in the U.S.
And isn't sanity really just a one trick pony anyway?
I mean all you get is one trick, rational thinking,
but when you're good and crazy, oooh oooh oooh,
the sky is the limit!

The site pleated-jeans is kind of a mess, but this made say "ohh" out loud...

August 7, 2017

when the hat matches the tuba

One of the few tuba shots here that's not of me, btw
Great take down of that anti-diversity memo at google, from a guy who just recently left the company, and so can talk a bit more freely. (Update 8/17: Another take from the Economist)
A few days ago I asked on FB
Is there a single word for "able to readily be put into words"? Like "quantifiable", but about words...
My friend Anne suggested "articulable", and that seemed to be the best bet. ("Describable", as in the opposite of "indescribable" missed the mark somehow, and I wrote a follow up:
See, The opposite of "articulable" (or its maybe more flexible usage, "can't be articulated") has some interesting differences with "indescribable" and "ineffable". Those two so often get into supernatural woo-woo and the like; to some extent they deal with what can be "truly known".

I suppose there's something too with the practical opposite of "articulable" being along the lines of "can only be intuited". I guess "indescribable" is often implying "can only be known via direct revelation". So it suggests a epistemological triangle: knowledge that is articulable, knowledge that can only be intuited, knowledge that relies on direct revelation.... and each corner has its own words to describe it (and its opposite). Also, one of these corners is not like the others - only articulable knowledge is amenable to meaningful debate.
Come to think of it this was some of the sticking point for me and my erstwhile discussion buddy EB. I place probably too much emphasis on the articulable corner, and sometimes doubt the validity of the other corners. There's another aspect too, of how stuff is learned; EB emphasized the "body memory" aspect of things, like how taking the time to think and reason can get in the way of muscle memory and true mastery. You can get from "articulated knowledge" to deeper forms of knowing, but it's a slow tough process.
This looks cool

best photos of 2012

August 7, 2016

Open Photo Gallery

2012 - The year I discovered Instagram filters, apparently! I do like how they got people thinking more about image presentation for a while, and the square crop format is pretty hip.

New Year's "Cherry Japanese Things" (according to my journal entry) at Erica + Todd's

EBB2 on ice, with EB and EBB1 behind.

Got a Nintendo-themed racetrack for my birthday - never had an electric racetrack growing up! Also this shows off my book collection of the time. I don't really regret "Kondo"-izing it, since it is a pleasure having book shelves of just books I love, but sometimes I miss how smart I thought it made me look.

Lake near Lake Champlain from the Burlington VT side.

Took a little weekend jaunt to Washington DC with JZ. I liked the atrium in the National Portrait Gallery.

Emma was a sassy cat. After Amber left I took care of her, though she aged out half a year later. (Supposedly she was once a fat cat but I only knew her skinny.)

Amber by the shore.

Kirk under the shore. Waterproof cameras and underwater cell phone cases are fun.

Gummy-bear cubicle prank @ Alleyoop. It started with the giant gummy bear and an unfulfilled wager about whether it could be consumed... turning it into Gulliver's Travels (Gummiver's Travels?) was genius.

Toy Robot at Magnolia Park in Arlington. And the discovery of Instagram filters.

Lego Spaceman and EBB1.

Spy Pond in Arlington. #nofilter #justkidding #somefilterclearly

I just finished Penn Jillette's "Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales". The kickstart to his losing 100 lbs was two weeks of NOTHING but potatoes, but that was mostly just to get him away from the super flavors of "SAD", the "Standard American Diet". (Then it switches to something like "Whole Plant" emphasis. It's pretty dang spartan overall.)

I'd like to flatter myself by seeing some similarities in me and him, though that's obviously a stretch (despite finding out he's been keep a daily diary for years, like I do.) I think the most critical difference springs from this:
Live outside the law. Be honest. It's easy once you get there, but it's difficult to start. You're bucking the whole system. The law says make things easy-- so do things that are hard! Everything you love was hard to do: juggling, playing bebop jazz on upright bass, catching a bullet in your teeth, working with Teller, being married, raising children-- even reading Moby-Dick was hard. All the things that make life worth living take work.
Actually Penn quotes Neil Young on how I end up feeling:
It's hard enough losing without the confusion of knowing I tried.
...I have a hard time shaking this fixed mindset that causes me to seek out all the ego-gratifying low hanging fruits. A useful talent, sometimes. Though also I've been thinking about how it has shaped the music I like, which tends to prefer the accessible to the subtle; I think though I have enough "novelty seeking" that it keeps me out of the worst of the ruts.

Another passage I found striking:
I worry a little about the young adults of today. I worry that they aren't sexting quite enough and won't have enough naked pictures and porn video of themselves. I worry there's still too much false information about society's unnecessary stigma about sex. There's stuff in the news all the time about college students sexting, but still reports say that fewer than half of young adults are sexting pictures of themselves. I don't want to see pictures of young people naked. I'm old and I'm creepy, but I'm not that creepy. What I want is pictures of my friends and myself when we were twenty. I want just what at least half of young people are going to have when they themselves are old and creepy. The news sources I read (which are for old people like me) fret about young adults not understanding that when they post nude pictures of themselves, those pictures will never go away. That's a feature, not a bug, and fortunately at least half of young adults know that.

I understand immediately why people collect stamps. I understand why people play polo. I can relate to every sexual kink I've ever seen video of.
Penn Jillette

Horses don't eat anything but plants, and they build strong bodies that some women find sexy in a way that's a little creepy.
Penn Jillette

It frightens me, the awful truth of how sweet life can be.
Bob Dylan (via Penn Jillette, who says it's his favorite line)

My dad loved soup and taught me to love soup. He also taught me to love ritual jokes. There were certain jokes he did every time the chance came up. Every time my dad had soup, he'd say, "Once I had soup while my nose was running, and I thought I'd never finish."
Penn Jillette
That is a TERRIFIC dad joke! So delightfully gross.

2020 UPDATE: I was surprised I never mentioned
In 2012 I went on The Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump, who has hair that looks like cotton candy made of piss.
Penn Jillette

August Blender of Love

August 7, 2015

Some footage from the Hatch Shell HONK! Disorchestra gig... you can see my tuba bell whirling in the background

August 7, 2014 a guide to British undestatement
When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them.
Andy Warhol
RIP + Happy Birthday! - I love the design work that went into the gangs of the 1979 "The Warriors"

FACTOID OF THE MOMENT: When you say the word "crisp" it moves from the back of your mouth to the front as you say it. (via)


August 7, 2013

you bet your life outtakes

August 7, 2012

--Man, Groucho was such the master of the art of the deadpan reaction. Via BB, who also pointed out a Part 2 and mentioned that there's more out there...

photos from cleveland

(1 comment)
August 7, 2011

Woman's sufferage, abolishment of slavery, winning WW2, the moon landing: those are things I'm proud of the USA for, but I don't think they would have happened under a Tea Party-led USA.

stop action flight of the bumblebee

August 7, 2010

Hdfnff fgbgg jedjv NTSC NYC uv hn vgc jffkhdgkyfb HDTV itdcjb VHS. KGB hdfnff jrafjjgb g
Amber testing iPhone's SMS character count

r.i.p. john hughes

August 7, 2009

--Shermer, Illinois has lost its greatest son. (Man, just look at his wikipedia page!) He really set the stage for being a teenager in America for a generation or two.
Word That Looks Misspelled of the Moment: "became" - kind of amazing "how we spend the day" chart...
One faint silver lining about my job: I don't have to worry about the old "debug the code, not the comments"- no comments! Just opaque code.
The way I angst before trying a possible fix to a complex debugging problem is my ego life writ small; don't want to know I'm wrong and unsmart and need a plan B.
techno-irritation of the moment: iTunes sorts playlists punctuation first (so stuff in quotes is at top of list.) iPhone sorts it last. Duh. fun computer translating from Japanese to English and back 'til it stabilizes - but it needs a simple loop detector. (Wasn't there an old babelfish app for this?)

sparkly beige finance

August 7, 2008
Alright, time to gripe.

Both my credit card company and my bank have decided to send me new cards. Neither for any reason that has much to do with me, like an expiration date or other problem, just because. And here are those two cards:

Man, I was using the wrong card at the wrong time when one was blue and the other tan, now that it's all a world of sparkly beige, I'm hosed. ("Plus th'both of 'em got squares fer numbers! Hyuck!")

Since that was something gripey and dull, here's something better:

Actually, it wasn't that much better at that.

Quote of the Moment
Oh I see how it is, so chicks dig scars when they are caused by motorcycle accidents, but my circumcision is somehow less impressive?

on the T right now I am flanked by guys fiddling with iPhones. so I of course had to break mine out and twitter it.
pentomino mostly I was just enjoying giggling at being such a tool, but I'll park my scion by other scions. I like to think they like it.
Comcast sucks at dealing with people moving out. Oh wait--I could've stopped at "Comcast sucks".
Complentary colors, harmonic chords; the appeal of both explained by Hawkin's neocortex idea, just rhythms that nestle in juxtaposition?
Bargain or weird milestone? Prudential's Talbot's is closing with 75% off and I just voluntarily bought a sweater for the first time ever.

forbidden fruity

August 7, 2007
Looking at the Apple logo embedded on the back of my iPhone, shiny and reflective in contrast to the brushed metal around it, it occurs to me that if I were a fundamentalist, the bitten apple, with its clear forbidden fruit reference, appearing on more and more consumer devices (the iPod, no less, subverting millions of impressionable youth by isolating them into their own little musical worlds) would make me very suspicious.

Book of the Moment
Books that I didn't know needed to exist: Venereal Disease and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Feh, guess I'll wait for the softcover.

Factoid of the Moment
Until the nineteenth century, oddly enough, Americans almost never commented on the weather when describing public events.
One Night Stands with American History
An amusing enough little book marred by some fairly blatant anti-Clinton editorializing at the end. This factoid comes from the fact that there are conflicting reports as to the weather at George Washington's inauguration.

the seventh already?

August 7, 2006
I'm always alarmed at how quickly the first part of a month goes by. Of course, I'm amazed at the ability of a year to slip by in general, but I think the first part is the worst, just because you say to youself "heck I have this whole month in front of me!" but one week later, and you're barely in the single digits...

Art of the Moment

click for fullsize

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

Toy of the Moment
Now this is BRILLIANT... Goggles, a little overhead airplane game based on Google Maps. (Thanks Nick B!)

higher and taller

August 7, 2005
Quote of the Moment
Most Greeks have never visited the Parthenon.
Most French people rarely look at the Eiffel Tower.
How many New Yorkers have actually visited the Statue of Liberty?
Everyone wants to enter someone else's monument.
That's why men will never stop cheating on their wives.
Kostas Farmakis, via Candi

end of an era

August 7, 2004
So. At some point today, or maybe already, Mo and I are no longer married. No more of that that weird phrasing "my soon-to-be-ex", no more trying to figure out why the state makes it 120 days of waiting, not much more of anything I suppose...

Musical call and response:
"Is That All There Is?" --Peggy Lee
"That's it / That's it / That's All There Is" --Beastie Boys

Eh, sigh. I dunno. The milestone hasn't hit me like I thought it might, or at least not yet.

I have to admit I went for one last gesture. Mo's pretty insistent on not hearing from me for a while, but a week ago I ordered flowers for delivery today with a card:
Mo--So here we are. Sorry for what's gone on lately. Please try to look on what we were with kindness and generosity. You will always have a piece of my heart. --Kirk
which is pretty much how I feel about that.

Musical Interlude of the Moment
My Aunt sent me a link to this man and his suit of horns which cheers me up a bit. A lovely combination of musical talent, athletic grace, and clownish props.

Kind of interesting that the first thing the crowd claps to is a waltz, and they clap on 2 and 3...

Update of the Moment
The new Blender of Love is here for your reading pleasure.

Quote and Article of the Moment
As if there was something romantic and glamorous about hard work ... if there was something romantic about it, the Duke of Westminster would be digging his own fucking garden, wouldn't he?
I have to make sure that book makes it on my wishlist once Amazon knows about it. Not that I need any help with the topic. I thought the essay made some great points about the Protestant Work Ethic. Is it just a pity the way we have to grind away our hours at the mill, or is there a weird beauty in it?

names of a digital age

(1 comment)
August 7, 2003
Link of the Moment
Amazing Voyeuristic (voyeuristic in the non-sexual sense, unless you get really "lucky") Google trick, the Random Personal Picture Finder. Some guy realized that many people don't bother to rename their digital photos from what their camera calls 'em before they put them online, so by doing Google image searches for random filenames that match those naming patterns you can get some interestingly mundane selections.

Game of the Moment
Lovely simple game, Bounce. At the shockwave site but actually using an engine called WildTangent, so the game has to download that first, but it's really painless. The game has a cool 2D physics model, with nicely elastic spheres that squish, pop-up, and roll down. I like the second game mode "Think" the best, figuring out how to make simple patterns. The other two modes are simpler line-up-color modes, either at your own pace or against the clock, respectively.

Bad News of the Moment
Bill (he and I seem to get this mutual linkage society thing going on) pointed out this alarming article on the possibilities of vote fraud...I don't know if every possible thing they point out is likely but still. And that whole Florida "we must purge the voter lists of ex-felons even if a few innocents lose their vote"'s absolutely disgusting. Are they that worried about waves of felons rockin' the vote, or is it reasonable to suspect something worse? (Similarly, Slashdot pointed out Maryland's Govenor looking for a software audit of the voting machines.)

We need frickin' paper trails, morons. Pretty soon we'll be looking more and more like a third world country. (Or, tangentally, as the Washington Bureau Chief of Russia's ITAR-TASS News Agency convincingly argues, we're acting more and more like Cold War Era Soviet Union (Article is 1/3 of the way down, do a Ctrl-F search for "#5" or "Andrei Sitov".)

And of course, there's that whole "Arnold for Governor" thing now. Man, what a farce that state has become. You don't call "do-overs" for elections because you don't like the policies. At least we won't see "Arnold for President". (Unless they amend the constitution; I think back to Piers Anthony's "Bio of a Space Tyrant" where a guy from the moon that had been given to Puerto Rico became president of Jupiter (which had been given to and mapped to the United States) and they had to have an amendment because he was born off-planet...)

gas, coffee, doohickeys

August 7, 2002
Speaking of Citgo, there's the best Citgo station on North Street in Salem. Its prices are like 10 cents cheaper than everyone else around, they have a Dunkin' Donuts for my iced coffee, and then to assure the synergy between these two things, the gas pumps have that little doohickey so you don't have to hold it the whole time...

Funny of the Moment
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
 I can see all obstacles in my way.
 Shit. That's a lot of obstacles.
This idea about the song occured to me when we were playing at Tufts Pep Band, but I never expressed it so well. (Another thing I realized that was better about my Palmpilot KHftCEA journal was that I would include funny lines, not just link to them like I do now, so I'm trying to correct that.) Also be sure to see Homonculi, a funny Lore animation.

Link of the Moment
The Big Myth is the Flash-animation retelling of the creation myths of a number of cultures (including the Iroquois, whom I have an interest in thanks to my time living in Salamanca, NY.) Pretty cool stuff.

say it ain't so george

August 7, 2001
Geek Alert
They say the title for the next Star Wars film has been chosen, and it's "Attack of the Clones". I'm not making this up. We can only hope that it will join "Revenge of the Jedi" as a film title that didn't quite make it. This is the worst idea for a Star Wars title since I read that Mark Hamill wanted Return of the Jedi to be call "Star Wars: The Other Shoe Drops". (I remember reading this in a Bantha Tracks interview. He might have been joking, or speaking metaphorically.)

Man, I can hear the "Send in the Clones" jokes already. Not to mention the obvious jokes and political cartoons for the real-life cloning debate.

Lyric of the Moment
I'm runnin' home...
I'm movin' fast...
Ain't gonna catch me
in no autmobile,
I'm haulin' ass!
Song from Euclid High School. Or Monticello Middle School.
I hadn't thought of it for at least a decade, and then it just came to me. As I was leaving work, appropriately enough.

Pop Culture Link of the Moment
Erin Peters pointed me to Cartoon Over-Analyzations (one quote: "remember, over-analyzation means being 25% anal!"). Interesting minirants and rambles about various cartoons, mostly of the 1980s. I wrote the keeper with two rants, one on the fact that Peppermint Patty having a crush on Charlie Brown doesn't really invalidate the whole Patty/Marcy lesbian vibe as another poster claimed, and that smurfs being "three apples high" is a pun on a figurative french expression (it's funny in France, but then again maybe Jerry Lewis is too), but it still works as long as you're talking crabapples.

note to self: when going on uptempo summer walk, wear boxers other than the hot flannel-y ones. Sheesh!
the claims you've made on love-
i think it must be sin.
(as if the deepest
part of me
was found six inches in!)
I find my love fishing
His feet in the shallows.

We have breakfast together,
And drink beer.

I offer him the magic of my thighs
He is caught in the spell.
          --Egyptian, from 1500-1000BC, translated by Ezra Pound and Noel Stock
On my way to NYC via bus.  The pilot's even more of a faithful companion than my car.  Is it odd to consider objects companions?  Not according to Tom Robbins (and you know what it's worth)

does reading cause bad vision?  Sounds like a conspiracy theory- the intelligensia concealing this from their progeny...or maybe it's only the readers who really notice and get glasses- could part of the problem child problem be undiagnosed bad vision?

Still on the damn bus driving through left lane closed land.  Just finished "pinko-gray" glad I stuck it out but now I am so hungry for european travel I could scream.  Reading about businesses in Kenya made me think of the Andrade store in Portugal and it seemed odd to know that was a time with no R just V.