October 13, 2021

Devblog of the moment:
Heh, in 3 days my UI Dev Blog will be a decade old! I was proud of this morning's entry on making and positioning circular image masks in p5.js - i also made up a sandbox program demonstrating the technique.

My friend Jeremy (of Glorious Trainwrecks thought this guy making art with big heaps of HTML checkboxes might be up my alley, and he wasn't wrong!

It reminds me of a mix of my Etch-a-Sketch animator art and my all-game-in-a-pushbutton game buttons.

October 13, 2020

Excellent Poetry Unbound podcast on Natalie Diaz' "Of Course She Looked Back", a poem about Lot's wife. It reminded me of Donald Justice's "There is a gold light in certain old paintings", the second stanza of which has a deep place in my poetic memory:
Orpheus hesitated beside the black river.
With so much to look forward to he looked back.
We think he sang then, but the song is lost.
At least he had seen once more the beloved back.
      I say the song went this way: O prolong
      Now the sorrow if that is all there is to prolong.
I've always been a looking back kind of guy.
Picture a coordinate graph. Time x versus money y, with a horizontal line at a certain y value that represents not only the worth of all the goods stored but also generously includes the value of all the labor it would take you to acquire their equivalents all over again. For many people, it would be hard to abandon ship even as time went by and the cumulative cost of renting crept upward across that line. As money becomes time, time itself becomes sunk cost.

Think of another graph. The x-axis is still just the unalterable fact of time. But the y value represents some combination of hassle, perceived or actual usefulness, regret, hope, etc. As the first graph grinds on, this graph, tracking the willingness to keep going, comes to look like exponential decay. You could say this graph reveals the half-life of attachment.
Rafil Kroll-Zaidi in Harper's Magazine Reason Not The Need: Self-storage and the dream of infinite space.
I've been thinking about decluttering lately especially in terms of "our office", which is my office space slash playroom slash wardrobe. Like my collection of about 60 or so Graphic Ts, most of which are pretty well curated already. It's still hard to get rid of them, or know what the ideal number of shirts to have would be. Each shirt is literally technically irreplaceable. And ironically, sometimes it's the second or third tier of shirts that's harder to get rid of "oh I can wear this shirt, since I'm stuck at home anyway and nobody will see it much, and then save the wear and tear on shirts I'm actually psyched for people to see." (I've gone on shirt purges before, however... taking photos helps lets go.)

We use a little bit of space in our apartment's basement, but overall I am dead set against ever using self-storage outside of special circumstances (like between houses with a gap). It's a line in the sand I draw between me and clutter...
For a hot second I got fooled by a phisher - a plausible enough gmail address for the minister of a UU church I used to be associated with (I think including her photo) and included the church's actual physical address in the sig. The first message was "write me back quick", the second was
Glad to hear from you Kirk, I'm in a conference meeting right now and only have access to email that's why i'm contacting you here. I would have called, instead of emailing you but phone calls are not allowed during the meeting.

I just need to get eBay gift card today for some women going through cancer at the hospital but I can't do that right now because of my busy schedule.

Can you get it from any store around you possibly now? and I will pay you back later in cash or check. Let me know if you can get the card for these patients.")
You can google most of that message online as a known scam, but I imagine for many a semi-plausible request for help from a religious authority for a sad situation is pretty convincing. I'm a little alarmed at how much I had to think it through.

chill out, spartacus

October 13, 2019

"Hey Ted, thanks for lending me 'All Man.' I read the whole book last night, and it's really put me in touch with my true inner 'Brute Force.' It changed my life overnight."
"That's fantastic, Reuben. Y'know the chapter by Charlton Heston really helped me to admit that I've always like swimsuit calendars, and that I never wanted to be 'a sensitive male.'"
"Hey you wanna go find a parking lot and beat the hell out of some total stranger?"
"Chill out, Spartacus"
Max Cannon, "Red Meat"
One of my favorite comics from college - I still use "Chill out, Spartacus" when someone is being needlessly aggressive. (Looks like the original was circa December 14 - December 20, 1995)

original photo album part 3: sophomore and junior years

October 13, 2018
Dances, band trips to Detroit and Boston, and ending at Veronika's prom...

October 13, 2017

"1111 multiplied by 1111 being 1234321 is the mathematical equivalent of white light dispersing through a prism to make a rainbow."
Hogwarts for Would-Be Christian Miracleworkers.
The show is the new dress

It's different for me, though, how I can toggle my view in a way I just couldn't with the dress - the dress was ALWAYS gold with (blue-tinged) white to me.
how to draw in perspective:

Ugh I've been doing it wrong all these years pic.twitter.com/NQkZOYqjwG

— Patrick LĂ©ger (@frenchprinter) October 12, 2017

Wait, how was I gonna start this off?
I forgot... oh, yeah
That's an awfully hot coffee pot
Should I drop it on Donald Trump? Probably not
But that's all I got 'til I come up with a solid plot
Got a plan and now I gotta hatch it
Like a damn Apache with a tomahawk
Imma walk inside a mosque on Ramadan
And say a prayer that every time Melania talks
She gets a mou... Ahh, Imma stop
But we better give Obama props
'Cause what we got in office now's a kamikaze
That'll probably cause a nuclear holocaust
And while the drama pops
And he waits for s**t to quiet down, he'll just gas his plane up and fly around 'til the bombing stops
Intensities heightened, tensions are risin'
Trump, when it comes to giving a s**t, you're stingy as I am
Except when it comes to having the b***s to go against me, you hide 'em
'Cause you don't got the f**king n**s like an empty asylum
Racism's the only thing he's fantastic for
'Cause that's how he gets his f**king rocks off and he's orange
Yeah, sick tan
That's why he wants us to disband
'Cause he cannot withstand
The fact we're not afraid of Trump
F**k walkin' on egg shells, I came to stomp
That's why he keeps screamin' 'Drain the swamp'
'Cause he's in quicksand
It's like we take a step forwards, then backwards
But this is his form of distraction
Plus, he gets an enormous reaction
When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that
Instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada
All these horrible tragedies and he's bored and would rather
Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers
Then says he wants to lower our taxes
Then who's gonna pay for his extravagant trips
Back and forth with his fam to his golf resorts and his mansions?
Same s**t that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered
Then does it more
From his endorsement of Bannon
Support for the Klansmen
Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that's black
And comes home from Iraq
And is still told to go back to Africa
Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa
Who keeps ignoring our past historical, deplorable factors
Now if you're a black athlete, you're a spoiled little brat for
Tryina use your platform or your stature
To try to give those a voice who don't have one
He says, 'You're spittin' in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards!'
Unless you're a POW who's tortured and battered
'Cause to him you're zeros
'Cause he don't like his war heroes captured
That's not disrespecting the military
F**k that! This is for Colin, ball up a fist!
And keep that s**t balled like Donald the b**ch!
'He's gonna get rid of all immigrants!'
'He's gonna build that thang up taller than this!'
Well, if he does build it, I hope it's rock solid with bricks
'Cause like him in politics, I'm using all of his tricks
'Cause I'm throwin' that piece of s**t against the wall 'til it sticks
And any fan of mine who's a supporter of his
I'm drawing in the sand a line: you're either for or against
And if you can't decide who you like more and you're split
On who you should stand beside, I'll do it for you with this:
F**k you!
The rest of America stand up
We love our military, and we love our country
But we f**king hate Trump"

Lets let Graphic Designers fix the country

October 13, 2016

devgeeks, Is the ratio of care and feeding and general fragility of tests and QA environments to the actual code always much, much greater than one, or have I just been unlucky?

October 13, 2015

october blender of love

[Christopher Columbus] discovered the New World much like a meteorite discovered the dinosaurs.
The site suggests we celebrate Bartolomé Day instead.

October 13, 2014

On the one hand, Columbus was a big slave owning jerk who missed judge the size of the world and got lucky. On the other hand, I kind of wish I had the day off too, dammit.
Picture of our group from yesterday's Honk Fest Parade... that's Chris, leader of the kids who joined us from the Conservatory Lab Charter School. Check out this Oral History of the Honk Festival, or this set of photos

Sweetgreen's "Roasted Turkey + Fall Vegetables Salad" is AMAZING. Brussel sporuts and sweet potatoes and I was worried cranberry vinaigrette would be too sweet but it's kind of perfect.
From a gardening book: Don't plant an oak tree or you'll break some gardener's heart in 350 years.
Tom P.

A buddy - giant horror fan and radio show runner - is kickstarting a genderswap'd take on Dracula. Should be fun!

October 13, 2013

Interesting Times! Marching in the Honk! Parade today, then tonight I fly to the UK for work for a week. I don't feel like i should be a nervous traveller, but one thing I've learned in the past few years is that I am, that the days before a big trip I'm all wound up. I think it's just the sheer number of known unknowns, unknown unknowns, and little chances to be hosed by own lack of competence, slash familiarity with wherever the hell I'm going: from missing a damn plane to forgetting a passport (got that one covered at least) to not realizing I need a Visa (I don't) to just screwing up Customs or the customs.
I've decided to nickname my tuba "Beauty"

Honk! Parade went well.

Is imperturbability to bad news something you are born with, or can you will and practice it into being? And would it come at the cost of other, more positive strong reactions?
I said to Aaron, upset, why are they all so angry here? & he took my hand gently and said, that's just how they talk in Boston.

Life is meaningless, but you can customize the meaninglessness.

October 13, 2012

"There are many decent, honorable men on the Yankees who truly have no idea they are doing the devil's work."
The show Dr. Katz's Bar scenes use a pinball sample that is the same as my iPhone ringtone. Very distracting.

tea not love

October 13, 2011

RIP Dennis Ritchie; hooray for the C language.

October 13, 2010

--Love this Chris Ware cover for the New Yorker

would you believe, there's not a man on the moon

(1 comment)
October 13, 2009

--Primitive and Beautiful model of the lunar lander, from Life Magazine.

But, damn it, I can't come to terms with the fact that the last person on the moon was there before I was born.
I like how everyone is always calling their pets the best pets and i constantly yell at my cats THAT THEY ARE THE WORST CATS EVER

But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday rumors and TV specials


at the topsfield fair

(1 comment)
October 13, 2008
So, like I suggested yesterday, EB and EBSO and EBB and I went to the Topsfield Fair... TOMORROW: COMPARE AND CONTRAST WITH THE HARVARD SQUARE OCTOBERFEST AND "HONK" PARADE!

Not only working today but there's the regular all-division townhall meeting at 8:30... Nokia Finnish overlords know not from Columbus!
<<we've got a long way to go / it's beyond Martin Luther, upgrade computer>>
Listening to MP3 playlist versions of R+B mixtapes I made for my car in 1996. The 90s were a good decade for mixtapes.
"Now lets take it on home! 'Cause ummm.... we gotta go home!" --Marge Simpson, "Springfield Soul Stew"


October 13, 2007
Rockport again, Rockport again, Jiggity Jig.

Man, it's getting cold again. Why do non-snowsport-enthusiasts live this far north again. Is it, like, mostly habit?

Link of the Moment
While I've never actually rolled a meaningful D20 'round the gaming table, I liked reading the RPG rules and sourcebooks when I was a kid. This Literary Sources of D&D page was intriguing, seeing where in literary fantasy the designers of the game cribbed from.

Cartoon of the Moment
--Basic Instructions, how to write haiku. I've never seen my vague sense of disappointment with "funny" haiku called out like that.


October 13, 2006
Sweet Jimminy Crickets, Buffalo under 2 feet of snow. Not a promising start to a winter they're saying could be a doozy.

Then again they say that most years, but still.

Cartooning of the Moment
Oh, nifty, Gabe of Penny Arcade has his own art blog, including this video (WARNING: he threw a soundtrack with its fair share of cussing, so turn down the volume if your not so inclined) of him inking Boba Fett:

I find it interesting (in small doses at least) because I'm trying to get my own PC/comic mojo working. I do need to get the software working for the variable width linestrokes.

Anecdote of the Moment
'Promise me solemnly,' I said to her as she lay on what I believed to be her death bed, 'if you find in the world beyond the grave that you can communicate with me--that there is some way in which you can make me aware of your continued existence--promise me solemnly that you will never, never avail yourself of it.' She recovered and never, never forgave me.
Samuel Butler

this site was made for ramblin'

October 13, 2005
I've been thinking about the conventional wisdom concerning the similarities between Apple and Nintendo. (Heh, back in 1988 then Apple-president identified "Nintendo!" as Apple's biggest threat.) Neither is the market leader in their fields, but both are well-respected, with a rabid fanbase (plus a few naysayers), and producing some really striking design work.

It was when I was temporarily unable to recall the name of the iPod "Shuffle" that it hit me how many products Apple has churned out lately. I suppose many companies churn out wide product lines, but no one combines the innovation and sense of design of Apple. (The effect may be exaggerated by my personal sense of "time speeding up"...I couldn't find a complete product timeline.) Consider the online Apple Store... desktop-wise there were those old fruity iMacs (which of course harkened back to the original Macintosh, which was probably the most innovative thing of all!) and that was it for a while (except for the brilliant but ill-fated silent Mac cube...) but more recently there was that one with the swinging arm (no longer sold I guess), the other one where the CPU, DVD etc are built into the back of the screen (an idea I saw on a few PCs in the 90s, but crappily done), and the Mini. Laptop-wise, less distinction but great execution, and I admire their realization that some people prefer smaller, more lappable laptops (and shouldn't pay hugely inflated prices for it, ala Sony's pintsized models.)

iPod-wise, it was that one for a long while, then came the Mini (now totally eclipsed by the Nano, which is probably why Ksenia was able to get a 100% rebate on one when she bought her powerbook), the screenless "stick of gum" Shuffle, the impressive Nano, and then newer models with screens and, finally, video.

I can't think of any company that has matched, though Nintendo comes close. Most famously they're known for the terrible flop of the Virtual Boy (strain your neck peering through the binocular-like, ugly red goggles, and just generally feel like a total tool even further removed from the real world...) but they've done a lot of industry-advancing things...cross pad arrangement of buttons and shoulder buttons on the SNES controller, analog stick with 4 built-in ports on the N64, the cool clamshell of the GBA SP, and the twinscreen / touchscreen of the DS.

Nintendo seems to be taking another gamble with the "Revolution" and its controllers. Initial images of the remote-control looking controllers are almost alarmingly reminiscent of the Phillips CDi system. (My Aunt enjoyed the Backgammon game, but that's about it.) Supposedly, though, they're very good at tracking position and rotation. They used similar gimmicks on certain GBA titles (most notably "WarioWare Twisted") and the responsiveness of the new "in space" controllers should be much better than similar gadgets in the past.

These should allow for some unique and distinctive gameplay forms, ones that might have an appeal to a huge swath of gamers. Nintendo is fighting against the "elitism" of games (described by Raph Koster in his "Theory of Fun" book) where game designers start catering to their hardcore fan-base 'til finally the barriers to entry are surprisingly high. Anyone could step-up to Pac-Man or Space Invaders and start interacting, but not so much for, say, Halo or Mario Sunshine. It's a gamble, but it's refreshing--especially since Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3 seem geared around "more of the same, but prettier."

Hmm. I'm not sure if I have much of a point with all this, except...Hooray for scrappy companies doing good design!

Thought of the Moment
Can you make an Impressionist game? A game where the formal system conveys the following? The answer is, of course you can. It's called Minesweeper.
Raph Koster, "A Theory of Fun for Game Design"
He's talking about Impressionist art in different media and how Games could follow some of the same ideas.

"Lisa, I've had it with you and your stories. 'Bart's a vampire.' 'Beer kills brain cells.' Now let's go back to that... building thingy... where our beds and TV... is."

(1 comment)
October 13, 2004
Thought of the Moment
Today on the way to work I thought I saw a headline that read "Beer Recall." It was actually "Beef Recall," and the story explained the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States. Mad cow disease is a condition that causes wasting away of the brain, leading to dementia, loss of coordination, and death.

Now, will somebody explain to me why they're -not- recalling beer?
David Hinerman, rec.humor.funny

Congratulations of the Moment
Over my mom's three year stay in London she did some plays with the Beckenham Theatre Centre...she was Miss Daisy in "Driving Miss Daisy", she played Katharine Hepburn's role in "On Golden Pond", and she played the mother character in "Butterflies Are Free". She found out she was nominated for a new annual Beckenham Theatre award, the Beatties, (and her name is Betty, oddly enough) so she flew back there for the ceremony this weekend, and she got the award for Best Leading Actress for what she did in "On Golden Pond". How cool is that? Unfortunately I didn't get to see her in any of her roles, but other members of our extended family did...

Site of the Moment
Flashenabled.com (nothing to do with the browser plugin as far as I can tell) is Phillip Torrone's site with tons of cool gadget hackery...once again I find myself longing to be better at that kind of thing. Alas, I seem to be an almost 100% software kind of guy.

and on and on

October 13, 2003
Sometimes I'm startled by how much time I've been working on some of my online projects, but mostly I'm amazed at how they aren't much older than some other well-established things in my life. For instance, it seems like I've been doing the LoveBlender digest forever, and it surprises me to realize that the Blender took its new form (and got mentioned in The New Yorker) August/September of 1997, and I started going out with Mo just a few months after that...and that I started the PalmPilot journal, the journal from which this blog springs, in the Spring of that same year. (And of course, all of that was only like a year out of college!) And I started the blog version of my journal late 2000 (I probably should've just waited for the new year, but I liked the idea of at some point being able to say it started in 2000), and that seems like an eternity ago...but my wedding (6 months later) and WTC (9 months later) seem much closer than that. (It somehow seems odd to me that I'd only been doing the blog for 6 months before getting married, and that there's so much more blog "after" than "before".)

So what's it all mean? I dunno!

Passage of the Moment
The Internation Express man couldn't understand it. I mean, in the old days, and it wasn't that long ago really, there had been an angler every dozen years along the bank; courting couples had come to listen to the splish and gurgle of the river, and to hold hands, and to get all lovey-dovey in the Sussex sunset. He'd done that with Maud, his missus, before they were married. They'd come here to spoon, and on one memorable occasion, fork.
Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett, "Good Omens"

Article of the Moment
I've always been a fan of Thurber, this Slate review of a book of his letters had some nice high-level analysis of his life and times.

(Solved) Nintendo Mystery of the Moment
Planet Nintendo talked about a very odd little tune that was showing up hidden in various Nintendo games...pretty cool and mysterious, though a relatively prosaic explanation exists, alas. But the whole idea of it was very provocative...

Headline of the Moment
CNN really does have the best headlines... Researchers: Monkeys use mind to move objects...I knew the research it was referring to (which seems a little behind what other folks are doing with artifical vision systems) but for a split second, I had to think "Oh my goodness...now monkeys are using the Force!" This might be how "Planet of the Apes" really gets started, you know.

the march of progress, with fries

October 13, 2002
Technology of the Moment
Some McDonalds now have little ATM-like machines where you can place your order. On the one hand, I'm not crazy about one of the canonical sources of low end jobs becoming fully automated...on the other hand, I loved using this machine. I wanted one of those Salad Shakers, and all my options for "in stock" salads and dressings were right there, same for beverages. The touch screen was very responsive, it took credit cards, and even though it annoying plugged its apple pies, all in all it was a better experience. It wasn't totally devoid of human contact, everything is still people based where you go to pick up your food, but it just made things easier. (And to think I had been impressed by another McD's that had flat panels up above the counter where the menus are...seeing videos of coffee and what not feels very Blade Runnerish.)

Funny of the Moment
"Son...your mother tells me that you don't believe in Santa Claus. Is that true?"
"That's right. I'm not going to pretend I believe in that junk, just because it makes you and mom happy."
"Welcome to adulthood, son. Hope you enjoy playing with pants and socks, because that's all you'll be getting as presents from now on."
Wish I could find the "Chill out, Spartacus" one online.

thoughts of the produce section 4

October 13, 2001
Hey, my high school best friend Mike's in town, with his friend Dave. I feel like I'm a pretty bad host when it comes to knowing how to show off a city, though.

Thoughts of the Produce Section 4

Notes: The pumpkin is kind of at the intersection of a few fairy tale ideas. The apple is a bit lovelorn. The potato is a reformed hippy, and the asparagus (tough to draw those) is spouting what I think sounds like old European wisdom. These four conclude my Palm-based Thoughts of the Produce section, though I still have some pixeltime ones to go.(More on the history of Thoughts of the Produce Section)

"Exceptional my ass!"
-Something About Mary, on "special" population
Looked up "Derek Doyle Superman" on dejanews. Besides learning that Rebekah's beau has refered to himself as "The Surfer", I came to the realisation that his fascination with Superman seems to come from a desire for pure absolutes in his heroes, something I find rather destructive.
I'm seriously thinking about seeing if my dad's companion Tracy would consent to a taped conversation about my dad. I'd be willing to drive out to upstate New York- hmm, maybe on the way to Syracuse?
SALAMANCA, NY--Captain and Mrs. James Israel were adopted into the Seneca Nation of Indians recently.  Mrs. Israel was adopted by George Heron of the "Hawk Clan" and Captain Israel was adopted by Mrs. Harriett Pierce of the "Bear Clan." Pictured are Mr. Heron, Mrs. Captain Israel, Kirk Logan Israel, Mrs. Helen Harris, representing the Hawk Clan Mother; Mrs. Pierce; and Captain Israel
          --The War Cry / March 27,1982
Falling in love happens like multiplication. Unfortunately, broken hearts heal only at the slow pace of addition.