I brought in a print out of the other day's entry, mostly to show Alex the Japanese woodcut (turns out he does prints and woodcuts as well) but he picked up on the idea of using the "oldest extant" Alien Bill, the same one I've been using as an avatar on websites -- he blew up the image a bit and used it to trace, essentially. I think it was a good choice, a bit looser and more dynamic than I usually draw him these days. I think Kate was right in suggesting holding off on the speedlines, the looser draw manages to be balanced without them.
Periodically throughout the day it strikes me as an odd thing to have had done, but overall I dig it. Actually it's kind of funny to think of how relatively rarely it will be seen.
Anyway, I'd endorse Fat Ram's Pumpkin, it was a great experience (even if my tattoo was one of the least challenging possible, and not representative of what all Alex and the rest of them can do.)
I guess everyone gets tattoos for their own reasons, but it's interesting that there are a lot of other tattoos I look at online that I don't "get".
Ultimately though, it's weird. The "decision" to be fit or flabby aside, a body just kind of is. There's something transformative in proactively altering it. You get something a bit similar with a haircut or glasses, but that's temporary, and altering the presentation of the face, rather than the body.
--Obama, Berlusconi, Medvedev (and some other guy below) at the G-20 summit. I'm all for projecting confidence, but this seems to be veering dangerously near a Bush-like "Mission Accomplished" disconnect.
Things my tattoo has taught me: when your arm rotates 90 degrees (vert to horiz in front), the skin on your deltoid only rotates around 45.
http://tinyurl.com/da5aft - att'n Tofu advocates: as you demonstrate there are worse things Tofu being bland. (Cloony-flavored? Really? And it wasn't April 1?)
"It was my first time. Did you like it?" "Me? Are you kidding? More fun than laughing." --Woody Allen's "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex*"http://plif.courageunfettered.com/ - man I had forgotten about the webcomic "The Parking Lot is Full" - great, twisted stuff.
Too useful for words: http://www.dramabutton.com/DOW 8000! NO WHERE BUT UP FROM HERE
Woo. Just got some contracting work despite F/T irons in the fire, in part to help an old mentor. In some ways a consultant life sounds cool.
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/Economics/Unemployment-rate.aspx?Symbol=USD - didn't notice how much worse the unemployment rate is than in the dot bomb. Still, not as bad for tech workers I'd say.
With my new contractor gig suddenly I'm on the other side of the phonescreening. Conceptual whiplash!
At Tufts seeing a concert of my old group sQ. Am suddenly aware that I am now twice the canonical age of a college freshman.
Strolling the old campus on a damp spring night. Thinking of some of my old stories, but humbled that there were probably better and more interesting stories that happened in those places since.
"God is not a judgmental giant sitting up in heaven. It's a force within us all - we are lightbulbs in the electrical system of the universe." --Gayatari via Sarah Macdonald's "Holy Cow", a kind of amazing memoir by an Australian woman encountering almost a dozen faiths in and around India and learning something from them all (the work ends shortly after 9/11)"Some will be drawn to Buddhism but I really think it's best that you try and find truth in the religion of your forebears and ancestors. It is very hard to change religion. I think it's safer not to." --Dalai Lama"These Romeos are ruinous. No! We're playful paramours." --Bollywood lyrics, translated by Aarzoo in "Holy Cow""The scanning finger of the TV screen is at once the transcending of mechanism and a throwback to the world of the scribe." --Marshall McLuhan, via "Racing the Beam" a deep, technicalish book on the Atari 2600I always thought Amazon wishlists should default sort by priority. And Mobile Amazon wishlists don't even let you sort on it! **UI FAIL**
The other weekend EB presented the idea that a child's capability for glee and total delight springs in part from a brain small enough to be more readily flooded with serotonin...
HA! -good task angst jujitsu! I parlayed wanting to postpone some work related stuff into great backlog tackling (hence the "...of the moment" flood. Also: retrospect, "last X weeks", month/day archive, and search are all now "of the moment" aware, and with the right comment counts.)
http://www.slate.com/id/2215160/ - Slate on the unearthly hold Star Wars has on young males.
Installing XP on a MacBook Pro. Despite the... you know, existence of Boot Camp, I feel like I'm offending some kind of Apple Deity.
http://omegle.com/ - randomly connects you to a stranger to chat with. Odd.
http://www.horkulated.com/ - NSFW in parts, but for a "random images and movies" site it has a lot of soul.
At JZ's... he really does have a pretty blazin' 'net connection, I hadn't known or forgotten that the local connection is so often the limiting factor.
http://www.jellotime.com/ - there's always time for jello.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hi99JdeBeY - Toe Jam. From last year, but the video just makes me so happy, and now the mp3 is available.
HOLY SHIZNIT - Windows went back in time and *broke* explorer's ctrl-F to find a DAMN FILE BY NAME in XP Home. What the hell IS this?
SRSLY what the hell is "Windows Search", why won't it find un"index"ed files - never thought that puppy dog assistant would be lesser evil!
http://kisrael.com/2004/09/04/ - I kvetch about sidebar based searching, vs the old Win95 "search app" - but THIS is just goddamn broken.
Woo, onsite for my new contracting gig. New jobs have so many unknown unknowns, and the tech challenges for this one are looking hefty.
Sigh. Once again I'm in the situation of having mutually incompatible sets of friends, and so invites by me and to me get stifled. That sucks, "why can't we all just get along?"
"The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever." --Anatole France"01010100 01110010 01101001 01110101 01101101 01110000 01101000 <3 (translation: Triumph)" --last words of the Mars Phoenix lander"A dying man can do nothing easy." --last words of Benjamin FranklinUI fail: maybe it's me, but it seems ornery how iTunes has the one+only "Import CD" button tucked way down at the lower right of the window
Ronald Reagan is our man The leader of our nation The only problem with him Is mental retardation --Childhood "Yankee Doodle" variant. Doesn't quite scan, and seems a bit mean now.http://b3ta.com/questions/unemployed/ - makes me wonder what I'd be doing if it wasn't programming. At one point I thought teaching English.
UI FAIL: Outlook for Windows client, compose an email, copy a URL from an address bar, paste it... font for it changes to Times New Roman.
Certain moments will never change nor stop being -
My mother's face all smiles, all wrinkles soon;
The rock wall building, built, collapsed then, fallen;
Our upright loosening downward slowly out of tune -
All fixed into place now, all rhyming with each other.
That red-haired girl with wide mouth - Eleanor -
Forgotten thirty years - her freckled shoulders, hands.
The breast of Mary Something, freed from a white swimsuit,
Damp, sandy, warm; or Margery's, a small caught bird -
Darkness they rise from, darkness they sink back toward.
O marvellous early cigarettes! O bitter smoke, Benton!
And Kenny in wartime whites, crisp, cocky,
Time a bow bent with his certain failure.
Dusks, dawns; waves; the end of songs. . . --Donald Justice
"Thinking About the Past". I found reference to this work on this page that reprints his "There is a gold light in certain old paintings" - something I saw in the New Yorker in the 90s and has stuck with me ever since, with the title, and stunning lines like "Orpheus hesitated beside the black river. / With so much to look forward to he looked back." and "I say the song went this way: O prolong / Now the sorrow if that is all there is to prolong."
"It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead." --Dame Rose Macaulayhttp://is.gd/rdCb - conclusion: Dubai is a kind of object lesson in Ayn Rand Gone Wrong, sort of a real world Bioshock.
The worst part about working in Andover is when your job gets repetitive you starting thinking "Andover, Andover, Andover again"
geeknote: http://freemarker.sourceforge.net/ - FreeMarker is a nice quick and dirty templating engine with just enough bells and whistles to be worthwhile.
Back to back SPAM: The Motley Fool: "Is it Time to Buy Oil?" -- Care2Action: "Sea Otters Coated in Oil? Never Again!"
A RAV4 in the parking lot has just the rim of its spare tire mounted on the back. It makes the loveliest resonant sound when tinged, like a singing bowl.
cmg + chorizo ftw. Sausage really is the finest form of meat, rivaled only by kabobs.
Tin foil is so cool. It makes me feel like a superhero -- "let me preserve this bowl of food by bending a sheet of metal around it-- WITH MY BARE HANDS"
"All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why." --James Thurber. Though I'd add "...though it doesn't help"Early AM Dream: for some reason I wanted to overlay the soundtrack to every Atari game into one cacophonous mess.
WBUR always has local news for the second part of the top-of-the-hour headlines, but I wonder what I'm missing on the national broadcast.
Boston, sans Globe, just the Hearld? The concept alone is kind of horrific.
(after I mentioned an interview that went well, with me providing a possible explanation for a Google SEO/SEM correlation) EB: i've been geeking on robotics recently (TED presentation on war-bots) EB: I now have vision of a warbot with "Ask me about my pagerank" painted on its chassis, standing over a torched web developer.
Running Windows on a Mac via VMWare Fusion. Was feeling physically cramped by "alt" key; realized my fingers were expecting it to be next to space. Used SharpKeys from http://randyrants.com to swap the keys and the sense of physical relief is almost tangible; kind of like what I get using a mouse after working at a desk with a touchpad.
The backsides of old printouts: not just good mousepads, also nice for jotting down TODO lists.
Huh... my Uncle mentioned that once he got in big trouble with HR for giving a pre-employment test; that to prevent discrimination, every kind of pre-employment test (except typing) is banned in the Commonwealth, including technical questions (which makes some kind of sense in an anti-discrimination kind of way; a prejudiced interviewer could ask more difficult questions for people they disliked). This goes against pretty much every interview I've had in the past decade... I've googled some things that indirectly support some unusual MA restrictions, but nothing concrete. Anyone in HR in MA know?
UI FAIL: long lists that use Ajax to refresh... but you don't see most of the refresh because the "More..." button was at the bottom.
Facebooking w/the guy who, after our high school English class read Brave New World, pinned me as "Alpha-Plus Semi-Moron"- perfect summary, I thought.
Nearly every modern auto is a tribute to the old god Janus, the face with the bright white eyes in front, and the softer red eyes back.
For Easter/Passover/Whatever frickin' Pagan spring thing it is, Rebekah and Kate organized a makening of tasty homemade sweets.
First up: Chocopuff/Ricekrispie Treat Eggs, modeled by Kate and Miller:
Due to misjudging the ratio of cereal to delicious chocolate mortar (too much of the former) these were not widely considered a success.
No one else liked them so I took them home. Two in a big mug of milk made a good breakfast! ("Good" in the Calvin and Hobbes "Chocolate Frosted Crunchy Sugar Bombs" sense - "tasty, lip-smacking, crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside, and they don't have a single natural ingredient or essential vitamin to get in the way of that rich, fudgy taste.")
Finally, you get a piping bag (before Friday I did not know what a piping bag was) or just a ziplock-with-a-corner-off and squeeze out a Peep!
The trick is getting the shape to be more "peep" and less "poop".
At first, they look like little peep angels, no eyes or color, just their little marshmallow souls on a tray:
But eventually, you get honest to goodness peeps! Some of ours our red-white-and-blue Obama peeps, along with the melted chocolate we used to give them the gift of sight.
Of course, there were mishaps along the way. One plate became a kind of marshmallow "Island of Doctor Moreau", with misshapen lumpy mutants roaming, the result of experiments with wetter colored sugar and cocoa-powder based faces.
I took pains to show that the one on the left was, indeed, a happy mutant.
A mighty army is made! I think we ended up with 2 or 3 batches.
Rebekah getting photographic evidence of the marshmallow legion:
Also made...Totoro Cream Puffs! Lovingly handcrafted homemade pastry shells carefully injected with puddin'.
So much supertastiness!
Many thanks to Rebekah and Derek for hosting and (I think) Kate for coming up with the plan!
"Without love, what are we worth? Eighty-nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely." --Hawkeye, M*A*S*H, from this month's Blender of Love
"When a big wave comes, lower your head and let it pass." --"Very Persian. Philosophy of Resignation" proverb in Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis
http://lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix - beautiful music toy
Amused by the tit for tat of "French Kiss:English Kiss", "French Leave:English Leave" - "Oh those ghastly frenchmen" "non non, c'est vous!"
"Creating your own blog is about as easy as creating your own urine, and you're about as likely to find someone else interested in it." --Lore Sjöberg
--I very talented artist I know online, Harvey James, put the real life adventure of Oh Daphny and got it published in Vice magazine. Warning: the story is a bit horrific and brutal at its core, the kind of thing you might not have realized can happen in an American local jail.
"I am not in favor of immortality. I believe death for humans is the way of getting rid of accumulated errors - as in trial and error. Without death, the old folks would start to gang up on the babies (the new trials). Immortality ---> immortal mistakes." --Esther Dyson"The thought of people in this day and age sitting down to listen to a radio variety show on Saturday evening is rather implausible and was even more so in 1974 when we started "A Prairie Home Companion." Thank goodness Minnesota Public Radio was too poor to afford good advice or the show never would've got on the air. We only did it because we knew it would be fun to do. It was a dumb idea. I wish I knew how to be that dumb again." --Garrison Keillorhttp://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/13/loop-of-disney-video.html - Disney repeats itself. Guess I can't blame 'em.
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/04/14/woman-publishes-book.html - cool but eerie. I'd read it.
Ripped a cuticle on my right pointer finger resetting office water cooler... workman's comp? (PS why are bandaids still "white folks" color?)
This company has whiteboard wallpaper. I think I need a room in my apartment with white board wallpaper. It's very dot-comish but I don't remember seeing it before,
"I agree with everything you say, but I would attack to the death your right to say it." --Tom Stoppard"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." --Kurt Vonnegut. My family seems pretty big into the laughing choice.http://frontalot.com/index.php/?page=dorknote_detail&id=27 - MC Frontalot's "stop smoking guide for the D+D gamer"
http://www.slate.com/id/2216238/ - interactive nationwide unemployment tool.
HA - good ol' Cleveland Indians broke in the new Yankee Stadium in style, beating those bums 10-2. That's another one Sox Nation owes 'em!
TGIF - EVERYTHING RANKLES
"You could try looking at it..." "Empiricism... is that all you got?" "Empiricism... that's all I NEED"
Knock the pyramid of bricks down (each brick beneath the level of the table) in order to... get a bigger pyramid of bricks to knock down! I didn't have time to add in a timer or score system, or the arrows showing where bricks might still by flying through the air.
Quidditch tourney with BU, Middlebury, UMass, Emerson tomorrow? They do know it's imaginary? Or at least, damn difficult to get flying brooms.
I'm getting jaded - a new desktop PC is barely worth a twitter now not like http://kirkjerk.com/2006/05/02/ - worried that with a fastish PC I'll now code java toys for computers that are as fast...
Shortly after a study in the joy of smashing,
a study in isometric graphics ends up becoming something about the loveliness of building. Use the mouse to move the cursor, the button drops blocks. Space clears, 'M' makes the bricks' 'mortar' visible or invisible. (Prettier hidden, in my opinion.)
(I was meaning to transfer all my data to my new PC tonight, but got sidetracked by this, in part because I started playing with isometric cubes the other day and was worried I'd forget about the project if I just turned the computer off.)
Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. --Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love. Like Larry "Perl" Wall says, programming is all about Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris."If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way." --Bertrand Russell. (Yes, 2 quotationspage.com qotd in a row. Sosumi.)http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/04/27/090427fa_fact_talbot?currentPage=all - New Yorker on neuroenhancing drug abuse.
"Humor is just another defense against the universe." --Mel BrooksThis led an annoyed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to dissent in a recent case that the court was peddling "nightmarish images of out-of-control flatware, livestock run amok, and colliding tubas" to justify drug tests for any student with a pulse. --http://www.slate.com/id/2216608/"life is unfinished business" --thought from a poem read at my covenant group. I so resist that idea, longing not to miss anything interesting!
"The Buddha In His Own Words" - not bad, interesting use of repetition as a narrative technique.
--The Rotterdam Zoo has special glasses so Gorillas won't think you're making eye contact with them, which ticks them off. I kind of want a pair so it will always look like I'm trying to think of something.
A buddy of mine (I'm applying at his company actually) kayaked into work today. That is just plain cool.
The trouble with being neurotic/paranoid "maybe they're talking about me" is that every once in a while you're right... intermittent reinforcement FAIL
"So you want to save the Earth,for YOUR KIDS" "Isn't that what's really important?" "Not to the Earth." --http://basicinstructions.net/?p=1063
I love the passive-aggresive audiophile wankery of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeadphonesSearching for video for King Missile's song "Dick", I was surprised how much Malcom X comes up in a search for "King Missile Dick".
UI FAIL: iTunes smart playlist, enter dates only via typing, illegal dates (like "June 31") make you redo the whole process; Apple != great UI, at least not always
Wow, Wall-E was great- funny where it hit a few notes I aiming for w/ my Young Astronauts in Love test panels http://kisrael.com/2006/10/30/
My bud cmg and I walked the Revere shore yesterday, the first summerish day of the year. We saw this guy doing some kind of surfing with a giant kite... though a minute of googling implies the sport is, err
kitesurfing. He seemed really excellent at it, keeping his kite out of the water, and getting a nice long cruise with and against the wind, without having to stop and paddle back out very much. It seemed like the most technical surfing fun you could have with such limited waves.
Afterwards we met up with JZ at Picante at Central Square, and ate at some tables outside. It felt kind of cool and european to sit and eat and banter a bit... the food is a few notches above the more typical Qdoba or
Anna's Taqueria -
bummer their license for beer etc doesn't extend to those tables...
JZ really digs on Micro Center, stops by like weekly or so. I think this area REALLY needs a Fry's Electronics, just for diversity. Listening to him chat with the employees in the PC building section is interesting... it's such a hobbyist approach to PCs, like it wouldn't be very different if they were talking model rockets or railroads or those high end RC cars or something. The fact that its computers is almost secondary to it being guys focused on a technically detailed building hobby.
"A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with." —Tennessee Williams, via">http://twitter.com/siwisdom">via
You know, I might have a bit of hoarding syndrome for information. I'm loathe to give up URLs that might be worth returning to.
3 game sweep of the Yankees, 2 meals of outdoor patio dining, 2 trips to the beach, 1 cookout... not such a bad weekend.
"To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all." --Peter McWilliams, Life 101. That's a big part of my condition in a nutshell.I'm pretty easy going and non-judgmental, but one of the few traits that really gets under my skin is snobbery. Connoisseurship is one thing, but to be blind to utilitarian values seems like a crime. (Of course the illogical extreme / parody version of this stance runs "how dare you have high standards"...)
"'I never said she stole my money' can have seven different meanings depending on which word is stressed." -- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/technology/27jeopardy.html?_r=1a on having a computer play Jeopardy.
For grins (nervous grins) I just registered PerfectCytokineStorm.com. Once the DNS kicks in it will say "Yikes."
future decades big trend: audio tattoos, subdermal chips that play your theme song when touched. I'd get http://kirkjerk.com/2003/04/27/ done.
--My buddy Leonard and his wife Sumana have finished editing their sci-fi slushpile rescue compilation Thoughtcrime Experiments -- I love their collaborative investment of time, money, and energy to make that happen. (This here is Patrick Farley's
"Gaia's Strange Seedlike Brood", one of the pieces they commissioned for it.)
A timepiece that came to me in a dream last Tuesday morning. I was toying with making an hour and minute ring, but it I had an attack of lazy, plus I kind of like keeping closer to my subconsciousness' rambling.
I'm not sure if it "means" anything, except I did have Java on my mind last week. Also I'm happy that I could punch out a first draft of this in literally 5 or 10 minutes, in terms of programming mojo and convenient tools.
MA legislature... 6 3/4% sales tax? Really? I hate retarded numbers like that. At least make it the nearest damn penny. (5% was pretty cool)
heh, years later this tiny pixel alphabet is still coming in useful...
Kate points out http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ a nice and extensive set of Creative Commons icons
(to dylan on facebook) Holy cats, a goatee?
Hey remember when we were in like 6th grade and I was jealous 'cause you were starting to get acne and I wasn't yet? I'm over that now.
One thing I appreciate about my new company: during my whole contracting gig, I never saw them misspell my last name.
One of my great pleasures as a professional programmer is when I come up with an idea for a cleverish tool that makes someone else's life better, and am able to implement it in a hurry. This little "colorfade" script does just that, giving you the rgb hex values for fading a color into white, black, or any other color. I'm sure it's been done, but hey, I like it.
For a nice sky effect, bump "# of steps" up to 100.
http://www.slate.com/id/2217147/ - Golden Girls as an underrated sitcom.
My friend Jane mentioned that she finds Twitter as a bit isolating. It got me thinking to how it compares to say Facebook, which I've been noticing seems much better at fostering feedback (which attention whores like me so crave.) I think some of its a semi-technical/semi-social aspect of how FB invites others to comment on everything, and other people can see those comments... in comparison, Twitter is people shouting (sometimes directed at each other) from their little fiefdoms, even though all the shouts get aggregated.
I think Slashdot was a similar social/technical win, with people's comments on a story showing up in a big public common area, 1 click away from the very front page.
Kate pointed out that Twitter is badly in need of a conversational threading model - some of its competitors have that, but that's not enough to overcome Twitter's early mindshare lead.
I'm worried that this site isn't as engaging as it was, that the "some ramble thought followed by 2 or 3 items with text" format was a bit superior, but the Twitterish/Tumblr-ish hybrid approach really is more true to what I was doing back on the Palm in the 90s. It also fits more easily into a busy life.
I want to market an extra-rough brand of kleenex called "grindstone".
Word of the moment: pulchritudinous (hint it doesn't sound like what it is)
Working with size limits of company logos at work, I'm amused to think of H+R Block's logo as a single green pixel stretched .
Attn Paul McCartney: because even if "no one really watching us", the road is still dirty and uncomfortably firm and gravel-y! Duh.