November 22, 2023

My new inspirational motto - ABC, Always Be Closing (all those tabs and windows)
Happiness does not reside in strength or money; it lies in rightness and many-sidedness.
I think I like this guy! Wish I could find some more context for the quote...

November 22, 2022

Beautiful collaborative story about a small god and his congregation of one.

November 22, 2021

Would love to see a deep dive of the semiotics of highway billboards near NYC/NJ vs other areas. They just feel different... like more brazen and ostentatious, or more command and authoritarian, on average. I think.

November 22, 2020

The other day I was reading about China's curious cult of the mango.

Salamanca Press and Gothic

One of my parents' favorite appointments was in upstate NY, the city of Salamanca - as Salvation Army officers they really connected with the communities and groups there, from the Seneca people (from whom the land was leased in an odd arrangement) to the Newspaper that was literally right next door to the church to the Catholic school down the street (St. Patrick's, where I attended and my folks got a "clergy discount") to the local theater troop "The Village Players" to the people who had standing orders for bread or cookies when my dad did a round of baking...

The best way not to be unhappy is not to have a word for it.
Douglas Adams
(I'm not sure if this is actually true- it's a pretty big stretch for the whorf hypothesis)
F*** Trump's use of the phrase "Human Scum"

November 22, 2018

Worth heading back to WKRP in Cincinnati...

November 22, 2017

Audiobooking (what's the audiobook equivalent of "reading"? "Listening to" is clutzy, with "reading" you don't really have to specify it's a book...) Joey Comeau's "Malagesh". It's about a young hacker gal preparing for her father's imminent death, and one night they have a "final movie night"- the father's favorite movie is "Harvey" and so that's what they watch.

My mom says my dad wasn't much of a movie goer. But it also strikes me that before the 80s or so, and the rise of the VCR - it would be much harder to have a favorite movie, or at least one that you could watch and watch again.

That must be a part of how movies that got regular network television play - Miracle on 34th St, Wizard of Oz (I think) loomed so large over the popculture landscape.

November 22, 2016

The abbreviation for 'down' (dn) is just 'up' upside down.

November 22, 2015

I just finished "The Once and Future King"... it's a frustrating book at times, so long and wandering. Maybe it needs all that wandering to get to the payoff at the end, the frame borrowed by the musical "Camelot"; King Arthur, weary, heartsick, the triangle with Lancelot and Guenevere breaking him, and also his kingdom and all he strived to create, by his ill-borne son. I was moved by it, not that "Panera" is the best place for catharsis.

I liked this passage:
Elaine recognized Lancelot in two heartbeats. The first beat was a rising one which faltered at the top. The second one caught up with it, picked up its momentum from the crest of the wave, and both came down together like a rearing horse that falls.
Every letter written is a wound inflicted on the devil."
(attributed to a 'medieval abbot')

And finally, this bit of play between Lancelot and Guinevere, now well into middle age or beyond:
"Are you unhappy about something?"
"No. I was never so happy in my life. And I dare say I shall never be so happy again."
"Why so happy?"
"I don't know. It is because the spring has come after all, and there is the bright summer in front of us. Your arms will go brown again, just a flush along the top here, and a rosy round elbow. I am not sure I don't like the places where you bend best, like the insides of your elbows."

What th'

November 22, 2014



It's a shame they end this with a kid looking so dazed and skeptical, because some of these seniors are dancing great and having a blast. People need to get over the "old people aren't really people and shouldn't do things."

November 22, 2013

"Livin' the dream, kid, cup after cup."
"Dr. Donuts", at the register of the Alewife Dunkin Donuts
(he asked me how things were going, and I returned the question. The guy always seems like Belushi if you tried to replace the cocaine with Dunkies Decaf)

November 22, 2012

Before God and the bus driver we are all equal.
German Proverb

iMovie is a UX disaster. Reminds me of everything I used to hate about Macs. "my way or the highway- not intuitive for you? Get stuffed."

in front of lake champlain

Last weekend Amber and I were up in Burlington, VT, visiting her brother, along with their folks. I like this series of photos in front of Lake Champlain taken by her step-mom Laura... I keep trying to tell Amber that we (and everybody, I think) have too many boringly-posed photos like the first one, and not enough like the others... ...maybe that's a good thing
I kind of enjoyed reading about the 101 most despised athletes in sports history

back at ya


So excited Apple has finally released iOS 4.2 for iPad. Now I can finally tame those unruly screens of barely organized apps!

at the playground

So today I hung out with EB and EBB1. We went to the playground at Rockport Elementary School. Man, I have to say - playgrounds have gotten truly amazing.

viridian dreams

Boingboing posted to the last of Bruce Sterling's final Viridian Manifesto. He advocates for that certain kind of minimalism, dividing possessions into
  1. Beautiful things.
  2. Emotionally important things.
  3. Tools, devices, and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
  4. Everything else.
(With the implication that the 4th category should generally be disposed of.)

The tone of the essay can read a bit arrogant, and in some parts (like the insistence on a multitool) gratuitously high-falutin' rationalization of the author's preferences.

Some of the comments by boingboing readers were interesting; John Mark Ockerbloom, in particular, points out that Sterling is describing the ideal for a global nomad; nomads always travel light. Some people who choose to keep a surplus around themselves will do so for the sake of community, and as he and others point out others might be poor, or afraid of being poor, and the costs of keeping the extra stuff is a kind of interest payment, a hedge against a time when ready cash might not be available for a used item's replacement.

Sterling also argues for investing in good beds and good shoes. Beds are tough - he admits to the difficulty of cultivating the awareness needed, and I really despair of ever knowing what kind of bed is best. Even a catnap at a mattress store doesn't seem like it would be enough to know how a bed works for you overnight, and there are always so many variables going into a good night's sleep that I'm not sure I could ever isolate the power of a mattress. Which is a bummer, because I haven't been sleeping particularly well lately I think.

Maybe I'll split the difference and buy a $150 tempur-pedic mattress cover from CostCo.

Bush: LAMEST DUCK EVER. What is this, some kind of perverted "do-nothing" scorched earth policy? Seriously. Worst of All Possible Presidents
Talk afoot that Obama should ditch DST. Screw that noise - DST all year long! (I *hate* that a change for consistency is default "no DST")
Twice now I've seen guys getting the dunkin donuts order for their crews, orders scrawled on big pieces of cardboard with magic marker.
I'm usually pretty descriptivist and loose about others' usage, but the slogan "Exceptional Care. Without Exception" makes me sad.
I am trying to come up with ONE f'in business or technical reason why iPhone's don't do MMS. Lazy? Thanks for the tough-to-type codes, AT+T
Feeling oddly energized. Can neurochemically okish people go through times of being, like, mildly bipolar? Or is it just "having moods"?

happy thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!
(Turkey of Love shamelessly recycled from this month's Love Blender)

nuclear war fun club

Feh. Still not a lot of time to ramble. Not helped by bringing home a Nintendo Wii last night... I'm sure there will be more on that later.

Scary, Scary Video of the Moment
Google Video has The War Game, a BBC production from the 60s that wasn't broadcast until the 80s about how awful a nuclear war would be... it's in a scary pseudo-documentary style, and takes you through a lot of what would occur. WARNING: that is some scary, scary stuff. Nightmarish, in both the strongest literal and figurative senses of the term. What a truly horrific threat we lived under for so long.

It reminded me of that The Day After miniseries (or maybe it was a one-off.) My folks wouldn't let me watch it. For years I assumed that not watching it made it loom larger in my mind than watching it would hav, but after reading the Wikipedia article on it I'm not so sure.

glub glub

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Image of the Moment

--from Life Inside a Water Bottle, one of those 360 (actually, more than that because you can look up and down) Quicktime VR views

Paraphrase of the Moment
[On having to cook for his son's new vegetarian diet] "I mean, how hard could it be to cook vegetables? What's the recipe for Broccoli? Oh yeah, right...'Broccoli'!"
"The War At Home", a so-so new comedy on Fox.
Makes me wish I had a Tivo to get exact quotes for stuff like that.

chef of iron, jaw of glass

Funny of the Moment
Most of what I know about Japanese cuisine comes from Iron Chef, so I was going to recreate it. It fit my fourth of July theme perfectly. It starts with Chairman Kaga emerging in riding gloves and a cape to reveal a secret ingredient from a billowing cloud of his own gay. Then two superhero chefs make luxurious but insane dishes out of it. And every single episode, one of those madmen makes ice cream out of ham or asparagus and a team of elite food eaters spout mistranslated nonsense about the emotions it brings out in their large intestine. It gives me a surge of patriotism, because it's as if every second of it is designed to make me and my country look not crazy.
The rarely-updating Seanbaby has graced us with a new article exploring the twin worlds of Japanese mystery foods and homemade fireworks. Laugh-out-loud funny in parts.

English Lesson of the Moment
Ksenia hadn't known the word "bellybutton", but it's her new favorite English word, replacing "exactly". She just think it's such a cute little image.

Marcos from Portugal's favorite word was "marshmallow".

I guess my favorite English words aren't actually English...but middle eastern food names: "Falafel!" "Cous Cous!" "Huh--Hummus!"

What's your favorite word?

what's in a word

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Heh...I must be getting Popular Science effect...327 unique IP for a noticeably lackluster day? Dang, I wish I was posting better stuff lately, I'd have a better chance of getting some regular readers.

Word Geekery of the Moment
A while back Ranjit got to thinking about word chains where you add a letter anywhere in the word and still have a real word, like "i in sin sing swing sewing" (which is actually intended as a poem by Ranjit , at least without that final "sewing" which tends to negate the devilish vibe.)
The longest chain he found was 11:
He found it was much easier to look at large words that subtract down rather than starting with one letter words and adding letters. He ended up with lightning-bolt looking "trees" of the various possible reductions. Here's a nice one, that again is almost a poem:

He created a web-based tool to help in the search. You can type in a word and find the reduction tree it makes. I think he kind of lost interest before adding some polish that he was thinking of, but it works, and is kind of interesting for the word geek in all of us.

Article of the Moment
Article about some eyebrow raising comments by General Tommy Franks saying that a major WMD attack on the USA might lead to discarding the Constitution in lieu of some militaristic form of government.

hu is the new leader of china?

Political Punnery of the Moment
Ok, since the new leader of China is named "Hu", it leads to some pretty obvious Abbot & Costello references. Hu's On First by James Sherman is one of the better ones, and throws in some other names from the international scene. Or you can go back to the original comedy routine.

Game of the Moment
It's Dinky Bomb! A bit like the classic game Worms (except the environment doesn't get blown up) or Artillery Duel, featuring online play. You challenge another player or accept a challenge in the lobby, pick your army of three guys, and then have at it, taking turns having a soldier adjust his position, choose his angle, and firing at the opposition.

Online Comic of the Moment
After seeing yesterday's link about Bobby Fischer, Kiru Banzai suggested in the guestbook that I check out Scott McCloud's online comic My Obsession with Chess. A good read, and interesting seeing some of the Boston places he draws in there.

I had a young geek's typical interest in chess, but it was passing. I didn't have enough patience to carefully lookahead even a move or two, and since I'm blind to nuance, I tended to dismiss it as the same thing over and over.

The best chess player I knew growing up was my church buddy Beau Hill. Beau really taught me something: although I was always the guy with the 'book smarts', he was a much better chess player and musician (he played trumpet, a much more competitive instrument than the tuba I played.) I think he learned to develop a super solid work ethic that I never have.

Bad News of the Moment
Ugh. Salon wonders if the next wave of terrorist attacks could be shoulder launched missiles against commercial aircraft. No one mention this to Mo before our trip to Cleveland, OK? (My solace is, look, yeah it's bad and all that, but I think the numbers would be pretty low overall, and the chance of it being me or my loved ones even smaller.) Gee, maybe the CIA handing these things out like party favors in the 80s wasn't such a bright idea.

Bon Mot of the Moment
The early worm gets the bird.
...subtly clever as well as making a good point about an old cliché.

monay monay turkey turkey gobble gobble kick me kick me

Happy Thanksgiving all. (The title are what we chanted at the end of this once "dance/drum break" in high school Marching Band for this one piece. There's a funny little step that goes with. Fun to do while wearing a tuba. (Well, a sousaphone.))

Fanfic of the Moment
Rumble: What's with the fuzzballs? Looks like they need to be toasted too.
Huggy Bear: Oh, such a terrible attitude, but I know what'll help. GROUP HUG!!!
<<About 50-or-so Fluffy Bears pile on top of Rumble>>
Rumble: Ack! Somebody help... mmmfh!! They're all over me! ergh!
Michael Allen Schwark, from a short scenario he wrote in 1995 in response to an Usenet post I made about the lack of crossover fanfic between "boys toys" and "girls toys".
In looking for some relevant images, I found Slim's Transformers page with some really cool "group shots", showing all the Autobots or Decepticons in a single shot, taken from the boxart I think. Man, I really loved the Transformers...

"She left a trail of hopeful, broken hearts behind her a mile long and ten feet deep."
Rereading Oliver Sack's "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat". Some of the patients' ability to construct narratives and create consitent but entirely fanciful explanations for the bogus data their neurological systems are sending them seem singularly amazing until you realize that's probably *extremely* similar to the stories our mind makes as we dream.

Similarly, I'm captivated by the idea (not directly from the book) that maybe many people who have "quirks" and odd elements in their personalities suffer from extremely mild forms of serious neurological conditions- like how Bill Gates may be borderline autistic. While reading the book I briefly considered that my bizarre outbursts when I'm alone in the bathroom may be a distant cousin of Tourette's, but researching that condition, I think it's an insult to the real sufferers, since I have no trouble controlling those outbursts in public. (Though there was that odd way I suddenly starting poking at Mo's Car's cd player screen to see the LCD shimmer.)  Over all this search for clinical names is me looking to be 'special'.
I'm not sure if I want to live in a region where people wear coats + jackets all the damn time.
B.J.'s Wholesale Club