| < retrospect: 30 jun >

June 30, 2016

Last week with Porch-i-Oke at Make Music Boston...


June 30, 2015

"If you think about it, your family tree is an upside down tournament bracket of surnames competing for your last name"
--Triton95, (but given Western Culture that's pretty sexist!)
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
--Ferdinand Foch. I find that an evocative and scary and kind of hilarious image. I guess part of growing up with a (partially self-inflicted, I guess) fear of endless hellfire, one that still gives me a perpetual sense of being judged by some ineffable Other that might mete unknown but possibly terrible punishment if I get out of line with what I Should Be. Which I guess has kept me on a generally more secure path in life, but it seems like there should be gentler ways to get there.

Also, I dunno, just a weird visual of a dude running around, hands flapping furiously, "MY SOUL'S ON FIRE MAN!!! GAAAAH!"

What a rainbow-ish celebration! Headphones and full screen recommended: Casio has been doing intriguing things with watches for a while!

June 30, 2014

Get companies the F*** out of healthcare. This is just stupid.
Near end of workday conversation: How many syllables in "world"? (Sprung from a comparison of the difficulty in sayin "world wide web" vs "double-u double-u double-u" which in turn came from me saying "Eff Double-u Eye Double-u for FWIW", just to be annoying. LOL!)

thoughts of the produce section

June 30, 2013

click for fullsize

"Oh, christ. RT @neiltyson: Just an FYI: The year 1980 is as far in today's past as 1947 was to 1980."

i feel happy of myself!!!

June 30, 2012

And then, the TED talk, 20 years later...


haw haw

June 30, 2011

--thoughts on hair spray, slowed down... via 22 words
Neatening up the edge of my beard I may have gone a smidge too far. Now I'm worried that cheek is a tad more amish than the other.

babbling giants

June 30, 2010

--via Bill the Splut
Why has agnosticism fallen out of favor? New Atheism offers the glamour of fraudulent rebelliousness, while agnosticism has only the less eye-catching attractions of humility. The willingness to say "I don't know" is less attention-getting than "I know, I know. I know it all."
--Ron Rosenbaum in An Agnostic Manifesto, on the "New Agnosticism"
Oh man, I remember Melanie Hamburg, my Kindergarten (maybe 1st Grade?) fiancee... we were pretty serious about it, none of this just "playing house" stuff... but then Chris wanted to be our son... 'well, I guess we could adopt him...'
--Jotted that down in response to a Friend's FB post about her kid's early marriage plans...
"Passive-aggressive voices in my head are urging inefficiency at undesired delegated tasks! A relief from that tiresome ‘Kill! KILL!’"
Oddly captivating sign in the kitchen at work:

Just found out Dice Wars lives on iOS as "Strategery"- simplified "Risk" - so addictive
Swampscott Twilight

things on and from the way to my mom's house in virginia

June 30, 2009
Went to my mom's place for a family reunion in Virginia. One of the nice things about taking the Acela is the views you get, like this sunset on Thursday:

Also, Union Station in DC is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...

My mom and I went to Mount Vernon, since she lives practically on top of it (on land that used to be part of the estate, actually.) I liked the people there working with cattle:

Finally, a sunflower grows in Maryland:

farm math

June 30, 2008
So back in high school my calc teacher (Mr. Pawlowski! Yay old yearbooks.) gave me an interesting way of solving this one classic-sounding algebra problem.

Like many math problems, the premise is a bit absurd: Farmer Brown knows he has, I dunno, 30 animals, cows and chickens. He doesn't know how many of each he has, but he does know that among them they have, say, 74 legs. (Why Farmer Brown is able to count legs but not animals, and not distinguish a chicken leg from a cow egg, is not made clear...)

Now there's the fancy-pants school-larnin' way of solving this: (let c be the number of chickens, m (for moo) the number of cows)
we know c+m=30
thus c = 30 - m
plus the legs means (c*2)+(m*4)=74
and c = 23
Cosmic Cow Says:
"Hey, speaking of cows standing, anyone remember the show Too Close for Comfort?"
"Monroe said his secret was being able to draw an inoffensive udder!"
but Farmer Brown doesn't know from Algebra. So what does he do? He has all the cows stand up on their hind legs! (and part of the fun of this is the teacher demonstrating what a cow on two legs looks like.) Since he knows he has 30 animals, he can know without counting that there are 60 legs on the ground. 14 legs unaccounted for, 2 each per cow, so there must be 7 cows, and 30-7=23 chickens.

That math seems a lot easier to do in your head! I'm not sure what the equations for it look like though... let me see...
c + m = 30
he quickly figured 2 * (c + m) = 60
but he knows 2c + 4m = 74 I guess he was able to tell that
(2c + 4m) - (2c + 2m) = 74 - 60
2m = 14
m = 7
c = 23
So that's a lot of steps that seemed easier to manage when you chunked things the right way. Maybe it's more like
Let a be the number of animals
t be the total number legs (2c + 4m), 74
let d be the number of legs down, 2*a, 60
d - t = 14
2m = 14 (I think that's the smart bit)
m = 7
c = a - m = 23
I'm not quite sure what the takeaway math lesson from this is... maybe it's the use of more variables when you're trying to do stuff in your head?

Why are the Onion headlines on the Slate sidebar all about homosexuality? Celebration of the CA ruling or what?

sweet home chicago ... cleveland rocks

(1 comment)
June 30, 2007
So what better way to celebrate being in Chicago than a music video in praise of Cleveland?

That's the full version.

I really appreciate how Drew Carey used his show to explore some interesting ideas. There were some abject failures (like the episode based on live improv) but some of the stuff really used the bully pulpit. (Unfortunately, one of the things I wanted to post here got dumped, a really neat "loop" bit where they have a speechless repetitive scene in the office, adding a little bit of surreal action each time, until finally Drew points out they're in a rut.)

So hopefully this video will stay:

(It cuts out the intro where Lewis shows off his new tattoo "scary skeleton riding a motorcycle" "I thought you were scared of motorcycles" "Eh, I'm scared of tatoos too, that's why I drew it on..."

I'm sure it was hard word to put together productions like that, but man it looks like they were having fun.

the sci fi idea machine

June 30, 2006
To view this content, you need to install Java from
Source code: scifidea
Built with Processing
So recently I read about Georges Polti's list of the 36 Dramatic Situations in literature, the idea that's that's about it for plots. Unforunately, most online versions of the list don't go into much detail. However,'s Plots for Novels and Stories page does the list justice, and has many other related taxonomies. Thought it turns out it cribbed from this page which lays out the details of the 36 in a wonderful hierarchical fashion. I also found Hatch's Plot Bank, as well as the Big List of RPG Plots.

But what grabbed me the most was Julia West's pages of science fiction ideas, with lots of mix and match elements. The thing was I wasn't crazy about the UI for it, so I made the beast you see to the left. You can click on any of the categories to start it spinning, or on the arrows at the bottom to get them all moving. Hopefully it won't be TOO too taxing for people's computers. All of the content (except for the cartoons there) is stuff that she collected.

absolutely radishing

June 30, 2005
Activity Suggestions of the Moment
Zen Pebbles - Buy a bag of aquarium pebbles at a pet shop and scatter over the top of a bank of horizontal file cabinets. Pause in your busy day and rearrange them as the mood strikes.

Local Delicacies - In Ellicot City, Maryland, Mr. S.J.Yates shoves peppermint sticks into lemons. You can drink the juice through the candy stick as if it were a straw! [...] If you can't visit Mr. Yates today, try making this lemon treat yourself.

Fiddle Away Your Entire Weekend - "There is nothing so hard for us to understand, as so eazy for others, az that we hav fiddled our time out. Kindly Yurz, Josh Billings, 1874"

Fun at Work! - Keep a water balloon at your desk as a pet to create a frisson of excitement--it might someday pop.

--Excerpts from 2003's How To Draw a Radish Calendar. Love the "water balloon as office pet" idea.

autowalk, autocrawl, autostop, whatever

June 30, 2004
Tip of the Moment
Your life might be better if you disable AutoRun for CDs in Windows. Really, how hard is it to click instead? And then they can't sneak all that crap onto your system...

Workplace Trauma of the Moment -- anonymous tales of workplace idiots. Interesting to compare and contrast that with Enter the Cow-orker, ongoing tales of the mental trauma inflicted by a single idiot.

Update of the Moment
So, in the "keeping friends and relatives informed" function of this site, a couple of milestones today. It is, technically, my third wedding anniversary, since the divorce isn't final 'til early August. Exchanged a few emails with Mo, that's about it. Also, annoyingly, it's Jane's last day as a contractor at my company...there's a small chance there'll be another opening for her here but I'm pessimistic. I really owe Jane a lot being a lot of the driving force behind this whole makeover thing. I really do think it's a great deal of improvement of how I present myself to the world, and I worry that if it wasn't for her I'd still be the same old shlub and that would make some of the tasks of building up a new life (especially in the whole finding and wooing women shtick) that much harder.

did you clean your pants with windex? i can practically see myself in them.

June 30, 2003
Happy Anniversary to Me and Mo...

Link of the Moment bills iteself as "The Most Complete and Most Useless Collection of Pick-Up Lines" and I think it lives up to this billing. (Err, not that I need lines like this anymore, what with the being married and all...)

Quote of the Moment
"My father, a surgeon and urologist, studied sex professionally all his life. Before he died at 82, he told me he hadn't come to any conclusions about it at all."
--Katherine Hepburn, RIP. Interestingly, her biography page also quotes her as saying "I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other," a sentiment I've seen a few times before on my mortality guide quotes page.

Article of the Moment
Interesting small CSM article on how London cabbies acquire "The Knowledge"--they know their routes much better than cabbies in most cities, and there's why.

anniversary getaway filler day 2

June 30, 2002
One sort, two sort
little jig'a'jam
bobtail dominick
little tory tam
virgin mary
hallum scallum
jingle 'em
jangle 'em
bowl 'em buck

william william
tremble toe
he's a good fisherman
catches hens
puts 'em in pens
some lay eggs
some not
how brow limble lock
sit and sing 'til 12 o'clock
the clock fell down
the mouse ran around
o u t spells out
--a little singsong by grandfather (Papa Sam)
taught my mom and aunt.

wedding bells

(1 comment)
June 30, 2001
THIS IS MY WEDDING DAY! WOOHOO! I'M THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE ROOM! AND THEN SOME! (yes, I'm writing this in advance, far too busy getting married and all to journal this day.)

Advice for the MOment
Some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware of such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easily take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise, what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.
--Rith Smythers, from Instructions And Advice For The Young Bride, 1894

Link of the Moment
Salon gave me the analysis and breakdown of the the movie Momento that I had been looking for. (You can still see the original short story here)

from the T-shirt Archive: #6 of a Series

This is from the Cleveland International Film Festival. It was one of my first really cool shirts, interesting design, referring to a relatively obscure cultural event. It was having to give up shirts like this that made me want to have the archived photos.
KHftCEA 1999-06.3 June KHftCEA 2000-06.3 June

KHftCEA 2000-06.3 June

"If your sexual fantasies were truly of interest to others, they would no longer be fantasies."
--Fran Lebowitz
"This is what the Lord asks of you; only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God."
--Micah 6:8
"Being 'in a state of nudity' is not an inherently expressive condition."
--Sandra Day O'Connor, in a Surpreme Court ruling upholding a ban on nude dancing
"Mr. Madison, I am from the 21st century!"
"I thought you might not believe me, so I brought PROOF! Try this!" [Pours cup of Sprite]
          "Fizzy... sweet... refreshing! [...] Truly the beverage of an idyllic future!"
--Bob and James Madison, "Bob's Adventure Through Time", [Ruben Bolling's Tom the Dancing Bug]
Information wants to be anthropomorphized.
--Golias on
Brought Denali the Cat home last night. We're not rushing with showing her to Murph. Sweet tempered cat.

Keren mentioned this one photography class that was "shoot a roll of film a day." I might try adding something to my life.

Two nights ago I had a mortality attack based on a NYTimes piece on the idea that nanotech might beat aging... man, I'd hate to miss immortality by a few decades. On the other hand, me a few decades from now wouldn't be me. I wrote to humanism, cecil-adams, and sf-written, but they all seem to be more focused on the 'measure of a good life' question I asked with it. But it's harder to come to peace with death when you think that there might be an option; should I be angry with myself for not being a big health nut?
KHftCEA 1999-06.3 June

"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him."
--Ancient Eastern Saying?
Family Anecdote:
"I don't talk to no walls."
--James Israel
Q. How come so many women love horses, which are big and dirty and smelly and stupid and go to the bathroom all over the place, and yet women are highly critical when men exhibit exactly these qualities?
A. That is a good question.
--Dave Berry's Questions and Answers
Check out Cher's Believe song.
Had a good talk/touch with Mo last night. Mentioned my thoughts about starting to seem more comfortable in the "traditional male" of touching as opposed to being touched. The funny thing is she's feeling the same about the "female" role. Her fear is that she's going to end up just "laying there"- my concern is giving philosohical ground to social conservatives who see these roles as "normal" and therefore "right".

< retrospect: 30 jun >