September 10, 2019

"I know what you're saying. But it isn't because words are inadequate. I won't go that far."
"Certain things words can't convey."
"Oh, but they can. Because those things you're referring to are . . . well, if they're not actually made of words or derived from words, at least inhabit words: language is the solution in which they're suspended. Even love ultimately requires a linguistic base."
but the poet, Andrei Codrescu, once wrote that 'Physical intimacy is only a device for opening the floodgates of what really matters: words.'
Tom Robbins, "Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates"
(Man, language. Great quotes but makes me wonder... is it just the linguistic / narrative part of my brain telling me that language is so important? )
Laura Ingraham Schooled By Benjamin Watson In Deeply Satisfying Fox News Segment HA. Go Patriots, and go thoughtful athletes!

quotes from bell hooks' "yearnings"

September 10, 2018
In educating myself about anti-racism, someone suggested I check out the black feminist author bell hooks, so I got a copy of "Yearnings", short essays.

From "The chitlin circuit on black community":

That way "downhome" black folks had of speaking to one another, looking one another directly in the eye (many of us had old folks tell us, don’t look down, look at me when I’m talking to you) was not some quaint country gesture. It was a practice of resistance undoing years of racist teachings that had denied us the power of recognition, the power of the gaze. These looks were affirmations of our being, a balm to wounded spirits.
Two from "counter-hegemonic art do the right thing":
Cool Pose, manifested by the expressive lifestyle, is also an aggressive assertion of masculinity. It emphatically says, “White man, this is my turf, you can’t match me here.” Though he may be impotent in the political and corporate world, the black man demonstrates his potency in athletic competition, entertainment and the pulpit with a verve that borders on the spectacular. Through the virtuosity of a performance, he tips the socially balanced scales in his favor. “See me, touch me, hear me, but, white man you can’t copy me.” This is the subliminal message which black males signify in their oftentimes flamboyant performances. Cool Pose, then, becomes the cultural signature for such black men.
and then
Racism is not simply prejudice. It does not always take the form of overt discrimination. Often subtle and covert forms of racist domination determine the contemporary lot of black people.
That second one has really stuck with me. In the progressive community, there's sometimes a use of the word "racist" that doesn't quite match the vernacular sense of the word - for one thing it's not just about race and ethnic group, and for another, sometimes it draws attention to how insufficient examination of privilege can be complicit in perpetuating bad power structures. Understanding that surface prejudice isn't a requirement is useful.

Finally, a quote from Cornel West in the dialog with bell hooks "Black women and men partnership in the 1990s"

I don’t think it’s a credible notion to believe the black middle class will give up on its material toys. No, the black middle class will act like any other middle class in the human condition; it will attempt to maintain its privilege. There is something seductive about comfort and convenience. The black middle class will not return to the ghetto, especially given the territorial struggles going on with gangs and so forth. Yet, how can we use what power we do have to be sure more resources are available to those who are disadvantaged? So the question becomes “How do we use our responsibility and privilege?” Because, after all, black privilege is a result of black struggle.
I don't know if it's unseemly to focus too much on this quote, to use it as a justification for the amount of my own middle-class privilege and material toys I am unlikely to willingly part with. I suspect this helps paint the picture of liberal racism; it's not that we think other groups don't deserve privilege, but we would rather work to help other groups get the same privilege and not worry that much about giving up our own.

September 10, 2017

"I look at myself as [sort of trapeze artist, without a net] if anything. But it's a way of expressing feelings about, a group of feelings. Wanting to put something back into the world. You know we're constantly taking. We don't make most of the food we eat, we don't grow it, anyway. We wear clothes other people make, we speak a language other people developed, we use a mathematics other people evolved and spent their lives building. I mean we're constantly taking things. It's a wonderful ecstatic feeling to create something and put it into the pool of human experience and knowledge."
Steve Jobs over dinner with Steven Levy
The interview transcript is an appendix to a new edition of his older book about the development of the Macintosh, "Insanely Great"

One thing the book mentioned was John Sculley pricing the late-80s Mac a bit high, going for profit margin rather than marketshare. I guess a version of that strategy is working well for Apple now, taking something like 90% of the mobile phone industry profits, but still visions of a world where the Mac had early, Apple II like penetration, and where every college kid had one rather than just the artsy ones... if HyperCard had been in the hands of even more people...

(Of course, looking around in the environs of Boston tech and Cambridge coffeeshops, it's astounding that only 1 in 10 PCs are by Apple - they seem to be omnipresent)

Getting back to the Steve Jobs quote, thinking of what I try to add to that pool. I guess except for "JoustPong" (heh) my best bet is helping people to calm down about death via So, You're Going to Die.

September 10, 2016

I've been fascinated by the left brain / right brain split lately - the weird tales of how a split-brain patient seems to have two utterly independent selves living in their skull - and in those cases how cheerily the verbal left brain will make up the oddest stories to justify what the half of the body controlled by the "other brain" is doing, in order to maintain an illusion of unity of purpose, and self. (I'm convinced everyone get tons of practice making up those stories every night as we dream, that dreaming is an exercise in the left brain making up rationalizations and interpretations of much less ordered sense impressions/illusions.)

I'm trying to read up on the topic (haven't found a really focused book yet, though I'm optimistic about one of them) because I know I'm currently tempted to make up unverified "Just So" explanations, and attribute to my right brain every impulse my rational analytic self doesn't approve of - such as my desire to snack and eat unhealthily (and the absolutely scary "junkie reasoning" my subconscious came up with once after my analytical brain said "look, I'm not really hungry, and I'm not even craving anything in this fully laden vending machine of free snacks, I should walk away" -- "well, that's just why it's OK to indulge in it - because you *don't* have that pressing desire for it!" was the conterthought, rising up unbidden from the mental depths.)

But why the desire to attribute unwanted feelings to a physically distinct part of my brain? I mean does it matter that it's physically separate? (As opposed to the model of the mind as a cacophony of "virtual" subconsciousness, subconsciousness where it doesn't matter precisely *where* each is firing neurons in the brain... this is the view I tend to hold to, and it's more nuanced than the mere 2 part split this split brain "Just So" story implies.)

I understand the temptation for my analytic brain to declare itself the "real me", even as a higher part of me (or, lower?) understands that that's not correct. "The impulse came from my right brain", then, is kind of akin to "The devil made me do it!", a kind of rhetorical distancing from things I don't like about myself, and undeniably originate from "me"

I wonder if "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" gets into this?

September 10, 2015

For-Profit Prisons are the worst. Thanks, "Everything is Better Privatized!" A__holes!
Deadspin's "Why Your Team Sucks" has been a fun read all along and reaches its pinacle with the Patriots.
So I'm dieting, and it's board game night, with four delicious pizzas ordered in. The solution: I allow myself one slice, and then say I will give twenty bucks to each of three other guys there if I have a second.

September 10, 2014

I liked this video a lot. It's made by the same guy who put into Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and both have a good use of both digital and non-digital "effects" to communicate a certain nightmarish vibe.

(note to my future greping self: this might be the video you thought was for "Where Do I Begin", the "Can't even focus on a coffee cup" one)
Here's what the USA should do every time ISIL releases another "british sounding dude in black executing a journalist" video- get our hollywood and meme-making best and brightest and produce a pitch-perfect parody... like the knife or whatever jumps out of the killers hand, and then the journalist in orange leaps up and starts chasing the would be killer around Benny Hill style, Yakkety Sax included. Or it morphs into an action movie. Or a Monty Python skit.

I know people would think this is disrespectful to the slaughtered, and to their family, during all too tragic and serious times. But we give way too much power to these monsters, letting them gain status, look bad-ass to their target demographic, and goad us into actions that may or may not be the correct approach. The power of parody could dilute this, utterly. ISIS would be forced to change their video presentation template, and we'd follow suit. Eventully they couldn't make a video like this without the masses wondering what hilarious spoof would follow.
Spider man
Spider man
How do spiders control a man?
Down the throat
Behind the eyes
Walk among us spreading lies
Oh god.
Run from spiderman

September 10, 2013

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.
Richard Feynman

Someone once told me that how we relate to our Parents is a lot like how we relate to God.
JT Waldman, in what might have been Harvey Pekar's final collaboration, "Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me".
I've been pondering on this statement a bit.
Always looking for that outside perspective, I was fascinated by the Quota on What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America?
Hanging my collection of 20 or so 5x7" prints of people who are important to me, watching over a VHS to DVD transfer of my senior year high school "video yearbook", that one cover of the muppets' "I'm Going to Go Back There", and then wondering why I'm filled with bittersweet melancholy.

so much bill murray

September 10, 2012

UX thought: odd that Apple sticks with separate Address + Search boxes for Safari; Firefox and Chrome seem friendlier. In iOS, the address box hints its non-search by a ".com" button and lack of space bar on the keyboard. Desktop Safari, it's jarring.


September 10, 2011

cupboard kitty

(1 comment)
September 10, 2010

--Rex is a right jerk sometimes, but he can also be super cute... photo by our friend Kjersten...
"I look so cute in my new hoodie!"
"You kind of look like Harry Potter"
"I look like 'Somewhat Harrier Potter'"
Me and Amber

retroremakes says "The design doc for Marble Madness is well worth a read btw, if you haven't already:" (warning kind of a big PDF file)
Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.
Mel Brooks

You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
Woody Allen

Hey LazyWeb, is there any way to use a laptop as an external monitor for a second laptop? Like "extend my desktop" onto whole 'nother PC...
Living each day as if it were my last makes me ask: WTF? I have to go to work on my LAST DAY EVER?!


September 10, 2009
For over a decade now, I've put all my important files in "C:\data\" - it's the one stop shopping for what I have to transfer when moving to a new primary machine, and what I have to keep a backup of.

In the interest of decluttering, though, for the non-bulky stuff (music, photos) I'd like to start either posting it or just plain ditching it... so in the interests of "if it's worth hoarding it's worth posting", here is the (former) content of c:\data\media\images\animations\ ...

Star Wars in pixels:

Just one of those generic CGI things:

"Connie Dance" - Church of the Subgenius related?

Disco, Baby. (This one and the last I might have saved for use in evites. Man, I do kind of miss having big house parties.)

Already posted this, but what the heck... proof of concept for the game "Lemmings":

One image I'm repeating here 4 times:

Vroom: - Bebot is about the best iPhone music app/toy I've seen... $2 well spent! and - grading as text adventures - the 36 plots of RPGs, though many are just background settings...
In high school we borrowed Huxley's "Brave New World"'s use of "pneumatic" for voluptuous. The Russian word for this translates as "juicy". - 5 sex self help books. Seanbaby rides again!
you're munchin' cabbage instead of chugging München's finest beer
a line that's been buzzing around my head and website. -Programmers at Work, continues, organically - original book is a gem, worth it for the Pac-Man inventor Toru Iwatani alone!
Oy, just found out that my uncle isn't really keyed into what season it is- guessed that it was the chill of spring, not fall.

the world keeps turnin'

September 10, 2008
So, as this page helpfully points out, the LHC has not yet engulfed the world in an artificial blackhole, so to celebrate I'll post that rap that has been making the rounds.

Yay Big Science!

Quote of the Moment
The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
William Gibson

Heh, sitting at Finale outside of Maggiano's, remembered the odd "handshake" prenup we came up with there at a family birthday. Who knew?
This "pig on a lipstick" "attack" fiasco is like a parody of the whole "lets call a spade a spade" "was that a racist remark?" kind of thing
Apple's "Cover Flow" UI... do people dig this and/or find it useful? Seriously?
The green line's wheels sing an ethereal song. It's too easy not to notice.

3.5 years a second

September 10, 2007
Ugh, so zonked from staying up way too late last night finishing up some more of those games. I'll write more about the experience when some other secondary activities around it get finished up (i.e. wrapping all 100 games with a single giant launcher) Quite a culture-burning geek experience.

I did take some time to watch the Pats. Man, I hope the Jets aren't as bad as the Pats made them look, and Tom Brady plus Randy Moss are just that good... I suppose Ellis Hobbs' 108-yard kickoff-return was a bit of a fluke (I mean half of the chance of that depends on a really good kick) but still. And Moss may be a go-to guy, but the Pats seem to be leveraging that to open things up for their other offensive possibilities.

Plus I got to see Lex and Michi over lunch, so a good weekend in all, if a bit oddly-focused.

Video of the Moment

--35 years of Shinjuku in 10 seconds. Amazing, I wish I could see something like this for Boston or NY.

we got ibis! we got mr. ibis on a m-f'in plane!!

September 10, 2006

So yesterday's festivities were rather much a success. We had a solid 4 people for much of the gaming in the afternoon, and then it was just over a dozen for the party itself. On the evite I described it as aiming for the "ass-kickingest party this side of the Mason-Dixon line", partially to emphasize the temporary reversal Mr. Ibis' and Felisdemen's southernly location, but in retrospect "ass-kickingest" isn't what I'm really aiming for with these things.

(FoSO's expressed disdain the "prepacked and unoriginal format" of invites, though I kind of appreciate being able to focus on one bit of custom art. I redid this one to use Mr.Ibis' preferred public persona, and that just reminds me... man, I have to work on my Photoshop-type skills in general. I use an ancient copy of Paint Shop Pro that barely supports layers, and even there I know I'm missing out on stuff. I don't know if I should seek out a copy of Photoshop or just really focus on learning "The GIMP". My problem is, I still tend to think in terms of individual pixels...)

Anyway, the party: We had lots of good snackies, did some basic grilling with good Trader Joe's burgers and interesting sausages, Ksenia made some great salads and then some damn fine Mojitos, EB made a wonderful batch of Margaritas. I even did an emergency run to CVS for a $20 blender.

Besides the general hanging of out and friendly debate of the merits of the movie Aliens, and if it's a horror movie or sci-fi or what, and general admiration of, etc, we played a few games including "Eat Poop You Cat" and "Catchphrase". I wired my rotating-ball-of-colored-lights to the ceiling in my front room, but we didn't quite have the spark to get dancing underway, though my old reliable party mix set was well-received. Feels like we're all getting old though, as things kind of broke down a bit before midnight (They had had an early 6ish start though.)

I really love how empty my physical desktop is at this moment, and it reminds me of my goals of decluttering my life. On the other hand, that decluttering urge is also the kind of thing that makes me have to run out and buy a $20 blender from CVS...

Political Jab of the Moment
So Afghanistan is unraveling, a bit. I've recanted my early naysaying about going into Afghanistan, it looks like a decent decision in retrospect, but man, sometimes I think we are stretched way thin, and I still think there might have been a third way between ignoring Saddam and toppeling him. I don't know if there's much validity to the "honeypot/flypaper" argument or not.

fun facts about bulkwater dam

September 10, 2005

There is enough concrete in the Bulkwater Dam (4.8 million cubic yards) to build a vertical highway as wide as the dam that would reach all the way to the top!

More men died in the building of the Bulkwater Dam than at the Battle of Shiloh.

The Bulkwater Dam is so thick and so heavy, if it were to fall onto itself it would crush both its original self as well as its falling counterpart.

Upon completion of the dam, hard hats emblazoned with the words Bulkwater Dam were handed out as rewards to any construction workers who hadn't died of head injuries.

Bulkwater Dam's structural volume surpasses the largest pyramid in Egypt, and its burial chambers are filled with treasures beyond the pharaoh's wildest dreams.

If all the copper wiring used in the Bulkwater Dam were laid end to end it would reach less than an inch. There is no copper wire in the Bulkwater Dam.

If the Bulkwater Dam was mechanically animated and fitted with a giant robot brain, it would successfully conquer the planet, forcing enslaved humans to work in its vast network of zinc mines. It could not be stopped!

--from "Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not" Information About Bulkwater Dam

mugging for the camera

September 10, 2004
> > >...or, as they say, a conservative is just a liberal
> > > who's been mugged.

> > From personal experience I can say that that is not true.

> William, William, William...
> ...have you been out mugging liberals again?

No, Chad. I am a *Scientist* conducting experiments.
Step 1: Mug liberal
Step 2: See if his political opinions change.
Step 3: Mug a Conservative
Step 4: Don't care if his opinions change, did it for the money.
Step 5: Enjoy a well earned pint or two.

Science takes commitment, but I'm up to the job.

William Hyde, rec.arts.sf.written (via Danny Sichel in
Link of the Moment
Junkmachine is all about some wacky Nintendo projects...most noticeably the NES case for a PC. I wouldn't mind one of those...

mechanical sabbatical

September 10, 2003
Image of the Moment
--There's something oddly appealing about the entries in the Industrial Art Gallery.

Link of the Moment
I'm also a sucker for an interesting clock display. I guess displaying the time has some interesting design constraints and possibilities.

Ramble of the Moment
Speaking of, tomorrow is the anniversary of WTC et al. You know, it's making me realize that my sense of time is getting a bit screwed up. Spring of 2001 Event Zero folded, Late Spring 2002 Gale Group decided to close its Boston office. It seems strange somehow that there was only half a year betwee EZ and WTC, but its been 2 years since then, 6 months or so at Gale, and coming up to a year and a half at Taxware. (Yeah, I know compared to the awfulness of the events two years ago one almost 30-year-old guy wondering about time squeaking by is such small potatoes as to require nanotechnology, but still.)

oh baby

September 10, 2002
Funny of the Moment
The Story About The Baby is a laugh-out-loud journal by a new dad. Typical quote: "She learned to piss whenever we're changing her. As soon as the diaper's off, she lets it rip. Once, she did it 4 times in 24 hours [...] I will make her pay for this. When she's eight, and really has the capacity for anguish."

Cartoon of the Moment
Speaking of babies...this here is Li'l Baby Cthuulhu, from Ghastly's Ghastly Comic -- "Tentacle monsters and the women who love them." This is PG13/R stuff, and you kind of have to be a fan of (or at least aware of) certain flavors of Japanese animation(Hentai.) If you meet those qualifications it's pretty funny in parts. I know the guy who makes it, he is (or was?) a regular on One time he posted a "slash" story (fanfiction, often sexual) about Pokémon on that group instead of a more appropriate one, and much hilarity ensued.

Quote of the Moment
Since my objective is to get a woman pregnant every time I fuck and since in general a woman can only have a baby once in a year, in order to maximize my potential, I need 365 women.
Seeing we were on a bit of a baby/adult humor kick anyway, this was the only reference of the word baby in the backlog.


September 10, 2001
Quick little update today, I wanted to put up some interesting media from yesterday's trip to Six Flags but didn't quite have the time. So:

News of the Moment
Payphones are going up to fifty cents around here. The Washington Post had an interesting voyeuristic piece on what you can overhear around payphones. It's interesting how it's becoming a bit of class thing. (via Spike Report)

Funny of the Moment
In my old office we had a power cut that lasted an entire day once because some British Gas people managed to do something nasty to the electrical cables outside. Drilled into them, or something, I dunno. Anyway, our office manager sent a letter of complaint to Britsh Gas about the fact that due to their incompetence we couldn't use or PCs or anything for a whole day.

A couple of weeks later the letter arrived back with a post-it-note on it that simply read "Gas powered computers?" and nothing else. He was going to write back with another complaint, but decided it really wasn't worth it.

When I'm lying on my death bed, looking back at my life, one of my fondest memories will be of my manager storming into my room, almost shaking with rage, and showing me that letter with the little yellow post-it-note attached.

"Rev. Owen Allaway" via

"Personally, I always claim Cecil Earl is a little screwy, or if he is not screwy that he will do very well as a pinch-hitter until a screwy guy comes up to bat."
--"Broadway Complex", Damon Runyou
620-V's room @ the Cosmopolitan
"Fenianism"-subversion seen listed at Ellis Island
idea for photo: her hands meeting behind his head, back of head (from V+B @ Empire State Building)

I miss the heat of summer already.  Though some of that may be the A/C here at work.
"The nipples of strangers sometimes means more than those of the ones we love."