October 9, 2019

The circus is the only ageless delight that you can buy for money. Everything else is supposed to be bad for you. But the circus is good for you. It is the only spectacle I know that, while you watch it, gives the quality of a truly happy dream. The big cats do things no cat would ever do. You can see them jumping effortlessly over Mr. Konyot's head instead of making that unbelievable low rush they close with in the dusk when the female lion shows her cubs the way to kill.
Ernest Hemingway, writing in the "Circus Magazine and Program" for the 83rd Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
Reposting from 15 years ago or so - of course the "ageless" aspect is tempered by an awareness of the treatment of animals. And this passage ends with what almost feels like a parody of Hemingway's "manly" writing...
It's a five-minute walk from my house to the pub.
It's a thirty-five minute walk from the pub to my house.
The difference is staggering.

October 9, 2018

HONK portrait by Steve Jewett

PRONK portrait by Daniela G

October 9, 2017

I am about to finish Dan Dennett's "From Bacteria to Bach: The Evolutions of Minds" and it's pretty good (though recapitulating stuff I've heard before from him) but it's a little disconcerting how he writes about Java Applets in the present tense - they were a great model for virtual machines, but it's not clear he knows how much they've slipped into the dustbin of tech history for the most part.
In The Kalevala, Vainamoinen and the others are burrowing into a mountain to find The Sampo, when they come across a bunch of snakes drinking beer. Vainamoinen is infuriated for some reason and curses all snakes so that they can never drink beer again. This is never mentioned again.

October 9, 2016

I've been doing a ton of scanning lately, indulging in a bit of digital packratting so that I can let go of the physical items. Here are some "candid" photos of Euclid High's 222nd Street Jazz at the Lakeland Jazz Festival

October 9, 2015

Thinking about the "Freedom Caucus" that is stopping the Republicans from having an orderly transition of Speaker of the House. In my naive understanding, it seems a bit like a parliamentary system where there are multiple parties and the need for coalition governments: Republicans have 247 seats (vs Democrats' 188) but since 42 of them are "Freedom Caucus" they have veto power over some things that need a majority of Congress (218) to run. (It would be even more ironic if Republicans minus FC was less than Democrats, but since the 2015 election that's not the case.)

Lets hope the "Freedom Caucus" doesn't get much more power. They're willing to trash the economy with their debt ceiling terrorism.
from my FB post:
The PVC scaffolding for the JP Honk hoop banner underwent a major upgrade, thanks to Tuba Honker Kirk and his buddy "'EB". Instead of just being 2 loooong poles and 2 short ones making a rectangle to hang the hoops on (see last years picture below) the new design comes apart, with two fold out bits (kind of like the stand for a tv tray) and two shorter connecting pipes. It should be a lot easier to travel with, a bit sturdier, it can be carried by two people or maybe even one, and should do a better job of standing on its own when the band isn't on the march.

October 9, 2014

Note to self: Andrew W.K. != GG Allin, despite the parallel names, and famous photos of each with a bloodied face.
The mistake comes from ignorance, not hearing much about either of them. GG Allin I know because of this one article contrasting his path to Morrisey's. Andrew W.K. I don't even less, but then saw a tumblr post with his very positive party tips.
So my thoughts were, "wait, I thought he died" and "man, that doesn't sound like him at all".

I guess I might have seen footage of Andrew W.K. rocking out, and that wouldn't have helped the confusion, though it's the "music/noise" balance is more to the left with him. But mostly it was the initials, kind of messing with my pseudo-dyslexia.

Of course, neither of them are Louis C.K. either.
This is funny. That head mounted camera is terrific. And kids say the darndest things....

Why are boobs so soft. What are they made of. Is it the dreams of a thousand small rabbits

October 9, 2013

(1 comment)

October 9, 2012

But he could, there was no rule saying he couldn't, he could just pretend he'd never heard that little whisper. Let the universe go on in exactly the same way it would have if that one critical moment had never occurred. Twenty years later, that was what he would desperately wish had happened twenty years ago, and twenty years before twenty years later happened to be right now. Altering the distant past was easy, you just had to think of it at the right time.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

feynman on beauty

October 9, 2011

--via BoingBoing
Regulators clamping down on high frequency trading... good. That stuff is zero-value-add capitalism at it's worse.

the sandwich fair

October 9, 2010
Today Amber, Kjersten and I went to the 100th Anniversary Sandwich Fair in New Hampshire. We had a lot of great fair food, but, ironically enough, there were absolutely no sandwiches to be had.

The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
G. K. Chesterton

So is Gap inviting people to do their logo for free because their Helvetica one is so bad, or was that the result of asking for free work?

do the mario

October 9, 2009

--from Cracked.com -- Some stuff I've shown here before, but nice over view of the Italian Plumber of Infamy.

http://kisrael.com/2002/11/14/ - 7 years ago I was singing the praise of the Pilot Precise, but its retractable is even better - no leak issues-

oontz oontz

(1 comment)
October 9, 2008
I wish this market would just find a frickin' floor. Yeah, I guess the credit situation is a mess, but you probably knew that yesterday, right? Sheesh.

Quote of the Moment
I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect.
George Carlin
Guess he didn't know about finance.yahoo.com

Video of the Moment

--"Young Folks" by Peter, Bjorn & John. (This was playing two different times at Flann's (pub at the end of my street) -- I had hoped that this nifty iPhone app "Shazam", which is amazing at "listening" to and then identifying a song off the car stereo could tell me what it was, but alas the pub seems to be too noisy for it so I had to go to the old fallback of asking the bartender.)

Apparently the catchy whistling is based on the Oriental Riff, those 9 pentatonic-ish notes used to signify "Asia" in Loony Tunes and a dozen other places. The Straight Dope has a few thoughts on what might have originally inspired it and I also found Martin Nilsson's very deep attempt to chart its appearance through the decades.

Your third Guinness feels like less of a decision than your second.
I can't believe how great a movie "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" is.
ESotSM's ?s: If you could erase the memory of heartbreak, would you? More: if you you could see the tragic end, would you start anyway?
With some exception it's been a poor week for getting into gear. Time to buckle down, straighten up, and fly right!
pentomino Took me a second to parse "e.d" -- so is that like, if this show continues for more than 4 hours, see a marketing specialist?
<<usually when things has gone this far / people tend to disappear / no one would surprise me unless you do>>
Lately I've seen so many people stumble on nothing as they walk towards me I'm starting to suspect I have a latent minor superpower.
I simply adore "OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ" to describe heavy electronica-- the onomatopoeia is just lovely, "human beatbox" deftly transcribed.
Realized I need to register to vote with my new address. Like how the rural area "indicate where you live" map example has "Woodchuck Road"
katwinx http://kisrael.com/2004/03/17/ "Paranoia of the Moment" - I made a friend snarf with the Judy Nielsen observation.
JIMMINY F'IN CRICKETS, here I was all thinking it was just another "ho hum, 150 points off the Dow" kind of day. Knock it the hell off!
NASDAQ had been a while playing in a range just a bit over half of its dot com numbers. I wonder what the new DOW playground will be.
Dow 36,000! 3,600. Whatever. (ok last one for a while)
http://tinyurl.com/4eq2pu - Obama to buy half hour on national prime time. Odd... feels more like a McCain "Hail Mary" ploy, hope it works.
iPod on streets & subway; don't think I like the disconnect. Seems graceless to try to be so insulated and isolated. (He texts, walking)
Odd, too, that I'm so preachy about iPods when all I want to do on the T is lose (or is it find?) myself in a book.

the man they call junior

(1 comment)
October 9, 2007
Obscure(ish) Patriots football humor.

On Sunday's game, Junior Seau made two interceptions. (His first in five years.) During the runback on the second, he threw out his arms in an odd (and probably showboating) gesture... dangerous, given how near some of the Browns were to him, but no harm, no foul.

Anyway, the pose looked oddly familiar, so I fired up the old Nintendo emulator...

He's just living out his Mega Man dreams.

(Hmm, maybe you had to see the replay for it to be funny. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Oh, and Congratulations Tribe! Thanks for taking care of the nasty Yankees. To be honest, my loyalties are terribly stretched... two hometowns, one where I'm making my life, but Cleveland needs it more. (Wonder if another 1-series-and-out will make the Yankees roster destruct... George was certainly talking trash about Torre, which is kind of a damn shame but hell... they're the Yankees. Elimination is too good for 'em.)

Article of the Moment
R U Sirius (of Mondo 2000 fame back in the day... glad to see him still kicking around) asks 10 professional writers Is The Net Good for Writers?.

There's a few recurring themes... Erik Davis :
One of the worst developments for me has been the increasing brevity of print pieces, something I do blame largely on the fast-moving, novelty-driven blip culture of the internet and the blogosphere.
Mark Dery:
As for its literary fallout, print editors are being stampeded, goggle-eyed, toward a form of writing that presumes what used to be called, cornily enough, a "screenage" paradigm: short bursts of prose -- the shorter the better, to accommodate as much eye candy as possible.
John Shirley:
And in my opinion this is partly because a generation intellectually concussed by the impact of the internet and other hyperactive, attention-deficit media, is assumed, probably rightly, to want superficial reading.
I think John Shirley does the best job into giving concrete examples about the drawbacks to literary compression, but still, I think they overlook the upsides. It's a great big world out there with lots of stuff going on, way beyond the human capacity to encompass all in detail. An idea has to be able to prove its "interestingness" in a compact, distilled fashion, or get the hell out of the way.

I don't think this stance precludes finding depth-- just witness the amazing opportunities for fanoboy-ish niche-finding the Internet offers, and how deep people will go into subjects decidedly off the beaten path.

Aw, who knows. Maybe I'm making the typical mistake of assuming everyone's like me: I mean, I dig soundbite, bullet point thinking -- my collection of quotes is that idea incarnate -- but I will take the time to read a long article I find compelling.

Anyway, Clay Shirky's bit on that page is great as well. I always dig when a writer captures that olde school flavour.

i can almost hear the wow-chikka-wow-wow guitars.

October 9, 2006
So Saturday FoSO and FoSOSO and I visited Miller doing 24-hour comics day. He was working alongside a dozen or so other comic artists at Comicopia near Kenmore Square-- great comic store, that... tremendous selection of mainstream and indy stuff.

The day has been giving me the itch to try something similar, and I've actually run a few practice panels on my tablet PC. Of course, the whole thing is, if it's 24-hour comics day that kind of gives a non-cartoonist the itch (as opposed to someone who already does comics on a semi-regular basis) then the danger is you'll start thinking that somehow, 24 hours, 24 pages (or 100 panels is considered the "web equivalent") is the most legitimate way of doing comics. Which is of course silly, 24-hour comics day is supposed to be more of a fun challenge experiment-y type thing.

But without the framework of that challenge, it almost feels presumptuous to think I can or should be a cartoonist, especially when I don't feel the urge to polish the art too much beyond my current doodle-ish stage... though it might be good to have that as a way of telling a story, and know more about blocking stuff out from that point of view. (Come to think of it, my work would be one of those comics where the art is less important than, say, the dialog, and I know that bugs some fans of the form.)

I've been refining my "handpainted paint.exe" Technique. Here's one of my practice panels:
So if I'd like to try 24-Hour-Comics day next year, I should really learn how to tell a story in comic form before then... especially if I want to sit in a room with talented folk slaving w/ professional tools and inks while I poke at my high tech laptop.

Sports News of the Moment
So the Yankees went down to ignominious defeat, the priciest 1-and-out team in baseball. The schadenfreude I take in that team is enormous.

And the Patriots won a defensively tough game against the Dolphins. What most struck me was when I heard this quote from Brady's press conference on the radio:
[2nd String QB Matt Cassel] and I fight like teenage girls. [...] We are always slapping each other around and wrestling and slap boxing and [messing] around with each other in the weight room. And so I decided to take that to the next level. And we were messing around in the quarterback room one day and he walked in with a milkshake, and I kind of put my foot by the door, and I kicked the door and the milkshake splashed up and went all over him. So he sat down, and I was laughing. So I said give me the towel, because I wanted to clean up the wall. So I threw the towel at his face, and it had shake all over it. He had a little shake in his mouth and he spit it all over me.
He had me at "And so I decided to take that to the next level." Plus, if you follow the link, he says he makes Cassel call him "Longshanks."

three rings, no waiting

October 9, 2005
So Ksenia and I went to the circus yesterday! A coworker had an emergency trip so wanted to sell 2 great seats to Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey's at the Fleetcenter. (Actually it's not the Fleet Center, but the TD Banknorth Garden, and I heartily applaud the billboard that says "Go ahead, call it The Garden again"...a breath of fresh air in a world of call them "LEGO bricks" and not "LEGOs" and the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim) Although the full, post-merger name of the circus is a bit much, I'm always glad to see the "Barnum" in there, given his connection to my alma mater Tufts University.

I was wondering what the show would be like in a post Cirque-de-Soleil world, and also how it would stack up to my childhood memories. It started slow...the clowns' crowd warmup seemed a little pathetic, frankly, but once it kicked into gear...wow. It is a tremendous show. (I was surprised the place wasn't more packed...if you're interested you could easily get tickets still. Not much publicity around here...actually I remember seeing last year's billboards (different "Tour", judging by the website) but nothing this year.) A grand event, some decent "theming" going on, a bit of sensory overload, sometimes a bit more focused...nice.

There seemed to a few glitches: a slightly flubbed highwire jump (nothing with a dramtic fall, though) and two times needed for the "sway-poll" switch, some feisty lions (I think they aborted one pose thing halfway through), and I think a motorcycles-in-the-stell-ball-cage finale that they kind of called off unceremoniously. Still, it was a great time, more of a spectacle than the artsier and more-intimate circuses can pull off. Ksenia thought it held its own against the Russian circuses, grander in some ways, lacking in a few others.

Far and away the most amazing thing was a bit from "Upside-Down World" where they have this little 2 person tableau, a nice domestic scene, completely upside-down (or is it umop-episdn ?). The two performers are attached to the platform apparently only by their feet, and whether it's a special form of velcro, or magnets or what (they did seem to have to take baby steps but otherwise had good mobility) I just don't know...and then they do some clever bits playing with their predicament, juggling, tryingto pour a drink...

Of course, being a geek, I was as amazed by the sheer logistics of the set build-ups and tear-downs as by the performers. I was never really "crew" for anything at my highschool, but I the precision and effeciency of the folks dressed in black, along with the cleverness of the staging, was really something.

(Oh, by the way, don't be intimidated by the weirdly formal "NO BAGS/CAMERAS/AUDIO" (No Audio? What, it's a silent circus?) on the tickets. Lots of people take pictures and they don't seem to make a fuss about bags, at least small handheld ones. Even the Ringling site mentions non-pro photos are ok, depending on the policy of the site they're at.)

Passage of the Moment
The circus is the only ageless delight that you can buy for money. Everything else is supposed to be bad for you. But the circus is good for you. It is the only spectacle I know that, while you watch it, gives the quality of a truly happy dream. The big cats do things no cat would ever do. You can see them jumping effortlessly over Mr. Konyot's head instead of making that unbelievable low rush they close with in the dusk when the female lion shows her cubs the way to kill.
...the Ringling Website has some great hidden gems like that.

backlog flush #52

(1 comment)
October 9, 2004

it slices! it dices!

October 9, 2003
Link of the Moment
LAN3 sent me this page on the autopsy procedure. Interesting simple cartoon illustrations (with an animated version of the whole thing as a link at the end.

Top Ten List Excerpt of the Moment
9. "Three words: Lieutenant Governor Urkel"
7. "I guess I'd have to quit my job as a security guard"
2. "I would form a task force to find out exactly what Willis was talking about"

Headline of the Moment
CNN: Siegfried: Tiger wanted to help Roy. Not quite as silly as it first sounds, but still...it got me to click!

back in black

October 9, 2002
Rant of the Moment
If the British are spending money on this, God knows what else they're spending it on ... The joke isn't funny. It isn't even in the ballpark of funny. 'Two Jews walk into a bar without a punch line' is funnier.
Lewis Black, on The Daily Show.
The Wolf Files had a lot of responses to the "Funniest Joke" I posted about the other day, as well as more information on the per-country breakdown of who finds what funny.

Link of the Moment
The Cellular (and Nobel-Prize Winning) connection between sex and death. There's a cartoon I saw once, some cell is presented the option between living forever or having sex in the first panel, in the second panel he sees some cute girly cell waggling at him, catching his attention, and in the final panel he's old and shriveled and thinks "damn". (Yeah, I know, a picture would've been worth a thousand words, but I couldn't find it.)

Exercise of the Moment
Either the coolest or dorkiest and most awkward workout ever: Cardio Strip Tease. (No picture for this one either, sorry.)

Quote of the Moment
Rome wasn't burnt in a day.

News Rant of the Moment
What a surprise...the CIA guy says that we're much more likely to get hit with terrorism if we attack Iraq, and the White House doesn't want to listen. Gee, it's like they made up their minds beforehand or something.

team apple

October 9, 2001
Ugh, I can't believe that yesterday there were flakes of snow floating about. How discouraging. (Shut up Dylan.) And to think just this weekend I was a member of

Band Lemming Special Task Force Team Apple

Also, thanks to Dan (lower left) for another great link,
Apple Picking with Mr. T.

Quote of the Moment
Mixed feelings are good. Keep ya balanced.
That's a good but not great Cinemax remake of an old Mermaid flick. Beautiful mermaid, though, almost up there with Catwoman.

Proverb of the Moment
Blood cannot be washed out with blood.
Especially timely now.

Libra: Your plan to commit the perfect crime is flawed in one important aspect: Sitting on the couch watching  football all weekend is not illegal.
--Horoscopes on The Onion
Everything seems a little humdrum after returning from Europe, a little overly familiar...
"What's your favorite instrument? You play them all."
"Mmm.  Stewardesses!"
--The Electryfying Mojo and Prince
1. We are not heroes.
2. Our time here is brief.
3. Our untapped potential is limited: We are doing about the best we can do.
4. Personal charm doesn't count for much.
5. There's no point in looking back. It doesn't help.
--Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente as told to Garrison Keillor
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs-- they didn't go for it, eh?"
"The people have more opiates than they know what to do with."
--Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente and Lenin (as told to Garrison Keillor)
Walking back from Alewife- years from now I'll remember this dark path.
When Mo was 10 a Psychic told her that her purpose in this life was to figure out relationships between men and women.
As we get older, we accumulate certain griefs that never go away. They're simply a part of our lives. We can still be happy and productive, but they never go away.
--Door interview with Garrison Keillor
...the universe is only five days old (it only seems to be much older because when God made it five days ago, He made lots of instant "memory"-laden adults, libraries full of apparently ancient books, mountains full of brand-new fossils, and so forth)
          --Douglas Hofstadter
"fiction gives aspirations to our relationships"
-me, ramble idea at some point
"Where's the pep spirit?"
          "Pap smear?"
                     "Pot smoke?"
          --Mike+Mo, EHS Homecoming