| < retrospect: 6 feb >

February 6, 2016

Nutrition is weird. I do hate it when something that seems like it should be more or less "ok" has nutritional gotchas. On the other hand, unlike the burger, people are less likely to have that salad with fries. I hope.
The Big Sleep, about a couple who lived incredibly full and rich lives and decided to exit it on their own terms. As much as my comic is for people uptight about their own mortality, I think we have to admire people who are at ease with it, who make very rational and humanistic decisions that being alive is worth it for the amazing things you find it, not strictly for its own sake, or because of supernatural prohibition against ending it.

February 6, 2015

Aargh. I agreed to catsit for a coworker's cutie Persian kitty for 3 weeks. She and her person got here via Uber late last night, I drove the person home... I have not seen said kitty since.

I was vaguely uptight about not seeing her on my return, but just went to bed (I feel like at some point I felt her walking on the bedcovers, but wasn't awake enough to confirm.) And now I'm worried. My housemate and I have done a reasonably thorough "look in everything" tour with no luck and I don't know what to do now, left out some food and am trying to remember how it looks so I can tell if it gets nibbled at.

Either she is freaked out and very good at hiding (probably the most likely scenario), she zipped out with an open door (though we've been watching) or she found some exit from the house (which in someway is a variant of the first scenario)

Ugh. I feel horrible but also not like there was much I should have done differently.

Frickin' cats.
Kitty has remerged!
Two final ways for Patriots fans to savor last Sunday, and then "We're On to 2015": 1. this photo - I am amazed at how Ricardo Lockette looks like a tumbling bowling pin in that shot. 2. Bill Simmons grantland piece is some of the most detailed and energetic football writing I've ever seen (I don't catch like half the references) recapping the 3rd quarter (I missed how the ref TOTALLY got in the way of the Pats Defender on that Doug Baldwin TD with the poop-the-ball celebration) and then doing detailed play by play. The final analysis: as much as the would be smart fans think BB shoulda called a timeout, there's a chance his experience with the crazy pace of big game endings led him to think that making a stand had a better chance than trying to drive for the FG.

Listen to music off the "Broad City" music pickers playlist, trying to decide if I like "Azealia Banks - Desperado"... I realize that my "3 Star and Up" criteria for adding songs to my music collection has a direct correlation to "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" concept of "spark of joy".

February 6, 2014

"See you at the barricades, comrade."
--Jack Ross in Robert Heinlein's "A Bathroom of Her Own". I'm trying to find more about the origin of the phrase-- I get the general idea, but unsure of the true context.
Creationism considered Stupid-but-Harmless I think the article is partially right that, by itself, Creationism is misguided by harmless. The real problem is the way it represents bowing to the idea that faith is more important than skepticism, that it's ok to cling to some ideas no matter WHAT the facts are.

Yes, skeptics still tend to have "faith" in the current findings of science, but that's because they know science is a process of finding stuff out, that it holds on to ideas only as tightly as it seems unlikely new facts are going to come along and knock those ideas out. But sometimes those new facts come along, and the body of people who "believe" in science changes its views about the universe accordingly.

Don't trust any system of knowledge that claims to have all the Answers, because the best Answers are the ones that raise new Questions.
I love this set of ASCII-ish graphics from the Sharp MZ-700 computer, via text-mode. Love all the little game possibilities invoked.

adieu alleyoop

(1 comment)
February 6, 2013
Today is my last day at Alleyoop. I'm leaving a terrific, smart, fun and productive group of folks and their epic quest to give teens what they need to enter and prosper in college, and that bums me out, because while I've had many jobs over my career (kind of par for this course) there haven't been many that I've liked so much that I've left voluntarily.

Still, great things are awaiting me as the UI point person for Cafe X, the R+D striketeam of ThruPoint. Enterprise-minded high powered in-browser communication. I start Monday! It will be awesome working at the Cambridge Innovation Center at Kendall Square, I'm hoping even more of the MIT-ness will rub off on me.
iTunes store's search is unforgiving of typos and shows results without the track time. WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT GOOD UI. -- I honestly do prefer the redline to driving, but this is one of the better collection of GIF memes out there. Kids and stress-- interesting to hear about "Warriors vs Worriers" -- a postmortem of my GGJ team's HTML5 / Processing.js game Heartchers
"Occasionally I wonder what a football game would be like if played by Zombies. Would be slower, but oh so much more violent."

convo of the moment

February 6, 2012
L: have you ever asked siri about abe lincoln?
L: i hope she responded in a similar way
L: hahahahaha
kirk: that is kind of awesome
kirk: what a world we live in
kirk: anywhere i go
kirk: i can ask for pictures of boobs and get them
kirk: crazy!
L: hhahahaa
L: even when you aren't asking for them!
kirk: oh right... times when I'm NOT asking for them, those times
L: hahahaa
On French Parenting. They seem to have the knack for cultivating delayed gratification and patience. Wish I had that.
Screw software patents. Maybe hardware ones too. They're supposed to help innovation? Really?
You know it IS pretty weird for SO many people, yours truly included, to tie their equanimity with the fate of sports teams.

photo unload

(1 comment)
February 6, 2011

Snow in January, back when it was still kind of fun and charming.

MIT Mystery Hunt video game mascot pirate party.

The team behind sredavni...

I love a good whiteboard!

The (inside) outer wall of the new American Wing of the MFA.

I love big game airforce flyovers over domed stadiums. Do they at least hear it in there?
Black Eyed Peas sound like bad karaoke versions of themselves. Almost as bad as the Fox promos.
Now I'd like to see Axl's impression of Fergie...

if browsers were women

(1 comment)
February 6, 2010
amber: sad about Chrome, kinda :-(
              I am switchin' to Safari!
sam: IE is my favorite on this list, truly. :-)
amber: shoulda had a Mosaic one!
sam: How about a gopher one?
amber: LOL!!!! I'd hate to see that!
It would look. 
         Like this.  
amber: or like this?

--Email exchange (massaged into a convo) between Amber and her friend Sam. I kind of misread it and thought the stick figure was a good representation of the old text-based web browser "lynx"... I never used "gopher" much, but they functioned in similar ways, so the same joke works with both...
"When all you have is a hammer, a nail, and 95 theses, everything looks like a church door."
-- how to (try and) survive a fall from 35,000 feet...
Battlestar Galactica the board game does a remarkable job of capturing the political infighting and hopeless despair of the series.

ny ny it's a brick of a town

(1 comment)
February 6, 2009

--MELM sent me a link to I LEGO NY, some very clever abstract lego scenes from the city. Lots of semi-insider jokes but I think there are only two of them I don't "get".

I have TNA Wrestling on in the background. They have a wrestler named Governor Palin. I can not tell you how amused I am by this.
At the South Station Au Bon Pain I just understood a German dialog! Man to woman about to spill coffee: "Achtung..." Her: "Scheisse!"
Note to future self: the MIT lot on Hayward St is thought to be available on weekends...

many-worlds interpretation of save states

February 6, 2008
I'm not sure if I'm a fair-weather fan, just reeling from a horrendous, bad-decisions, other-team-awesome loss, if it's the gap before "Pitchers and Catchers" or some kind of seachange but... I'm digging NPR again, over the sports radio thats been it for me for a couple of years now.

Video Game Quantum Physics Thinkpiece of the Moment
--So this is rather brilliant. This is a play through of a fan-built, very very difficult level of Super Mario World -- you can watch the standard playthrough, showing failure after failure, to get a feel for how it usually looks. Now, one trick modern game emulators can do is "Save States" -- you can save periodically, and when you mess up you get to rewind and do as many "do-overs" as you need, resetting the whole game universe to the point of the save. The genius of this video is letting you see all those failed attempts while still watching the successful run through. The end result is very parallel to the Many Worlds interpretation of Quantum Physics, where every possible option (at the quantum level) splits the universe into multiple branches. More Explanation by the author of this technical and philosophical feat here. (thanks Nick B)

what to watch

(1 comment)
February 6, 2007
I learned something the other week, in dealing with a few different remote offices that needed my signature for some paperwork: more places assume random individuals have a printer and fax machine than a scanner. Since they were emailing me the forms, I asked if I could print and sign and scan and email back rather than print and sign and fax back. (I don't know why that seemed interesting to me. I guess if I was working in an office, it would be easier to get to a fax machine, and I'm more aware that I'm working from home than my next company or Blue Cross/Blue Shield is. Maybe just because the same thing happened twice in a day or two.)

Newspiece of the Moment
I kind of liked reading about a phone thief who relented after 21 text messages.

Videos of the Moment
In decluttering I found an August 4, 1995 copy of Entertainment Weekly I had saved because of its feature "The 100 Greatest Videos For Every Occasion". In the spirit of recording things electronically so I can get rid of the physical clutter, here they are (minus the small blurbs that made the article pleasant reading in the first place)

What to watch...
When Your Parents Come Over
1.The Joy Luck Club 2.Field of Dreams 3.Quiz Show 4.The World According to Garp 5.Amadeus

When The Kids Are Home
1.E.T.The Extra-Terrestrial 2.101 Dalmations 3.National Geographic's Really Wild Animals / Geokids 4.Raffi in Concert with the Rise and Shine Band 5.The Bear 6.The Gods Must Be Crazy 7.Singin' in the Rain 8.Bringing Up Baby 9.Ferris Bueller's Day Off 10.The Trouble with Harry

When You Have Too Little Freetime
1.A Sailute to Friz Freleng 2.New York Stories 3.Footlight Parade 4.Duck Soup 5.The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash

When You Have Too Much Free Time
1.Twin Peaks, Vols 1-6 2.Berlin Alexanderplatz 3.Shoah 4, War and Peace 5.Terminator 2: Judgement Day - Special Edition

On That First Video Date
1.Breakfast at Tiffany's 2.Singles 3.West Side Story 4.Groundhog Day 5.The Evil Dead 6.Harold and Maude 7.Play It Again, Sam 8.The Shop Around the Corner 9.The Night Porter 10.Ulysses

When You Want To Dump That Someone Special
1.The Unbearable Lightness of Being 2.True Love 3.Bitter Moon 4.The Diceman Cometh 5.Bad Lieutenant

When You're Doing STuff Around The House
1.My Dinner with Andre 2.Puppy Love! 3.The Mind's Eye 4.The Planets 5.Grok Gazer 6.Pink Floyd at Pompeii 7.Swing, Swing, Swing 8.Fantasia 9.2001: A Space Odyssey 10.The Tales of Hoffman

When Your Sopa Gets Preempted
1.Grand Hotel 2.From Here to Eternity 3.The Magnificent Ambersons 4.Peyton Place 5.Roots 6.Magnificent Obsessions 7.The Betsy 8.The Group 9.Since You Went Away 10.Soapdish

When You're Stuck Inside On A Rainy Day
1.Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 2.Star Wars / The Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi 3.Lawrence of Arabia 4.Jaws 5.The Ten Commandments 6.Planet of the Apes 7.Deep Cover 8.Read Window 9.Misery 10.The Seventh Seal

When You're Blue
1.Airplane! 2.The Elephant Man 3.Imitation of Life 4.Mary Poppins 5.Earthquake

When You're Throwing A Bash
1.Thunderbirds 2.Koyaanisqatsi 3.The T.A.M.I.Show 4.The Trials of Live Vol.4 5.Vintage Commercials Vol.2

When You're Thinking Thin
1.Monty Python's The Meaning of Life 2.The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover 3.Fatso 4.Frenzy 5.Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

When You Need A Career Boost
1.The Fountainhead 2.How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying 3.A Shock to the System 4.The Bellboy 5.Ed Wood

Over and Over Again
1.The Godfather Parts I,II,III/The Godfather 1902-1959: The Complete Epic/The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980 2.8 1/2 3.Psycho 4.Raging Bull 5.The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 6.Rashomon 7.Nashville 8.Playtime 9.Betrayal 10.Beat The Devil

d to the c day 1

February 6, 2006
In DC. Quick hits about the trip:
  • It was a bit after sunset when the plane left, so we spent the first part of trip heading south towards just the tiniest bit of orange sunset on the horizon, though of course never reaching it. Something about that made me a little melancholy.
  • It was JetBlue that has DirectTV embedded into each seatback; they made a special deal to pipe in the Superbowl which was on at the time. It was kind of a dichotomy, having the usual visceral response to the football players hurling themselves at each other on the tiny screen kind of blocking a typical visceral response to a bumpy final descent.
  • With apologies to Mr. Dulles and the Dulles family, "Dulles" is a terrible name for an airport. (Dulles was Secretary of State under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Figures.) Check out that link for the "mobile lounge" concept, these odd shuttle buses that can raise themeselves to match a high floor height and than lower themselves for the drive...
  • You can see the top 1/4 or so of the Washington Monument from my hotel room, and judging by the flag the hotel overlooks the embassy of Columbia. And speaking of the Hilton Washington Embassy the "executive suites" are so great that you have to insert your key to get up to the right floor, why are the still dinging us an extra $12 for WiFi in the rooms? Jerks.
Quote of the Moment
"Whatever you are, be a good one."
--Abraham Lincoln

Image of the Moment
--from the Cellar, Underwater Nuclear Test.

it's a SUPER superbowl

(1 comment)
February 6, 2005
So today the Pats take on the, I hope they win. The Pats aren't used to being such strong favorites in such big games. It kind of alarms me how many people from different cities have hopped on the bandwagon.

Gay Anecdote of the Moment
When I was 19, I was in my hometown. A female aquaintance (I couldn't stand her) from high school came up and started flirting (she didn't know I was gay). We were both a little tipsy. After a few words her face came towards mine, I thought, no harm, just a lil' peck. When her tongue came out I screamed like a girl and ran out of the bar.
--Anonymous comment in answer to What is the GAYEST thing you've EVER done? A few of the tales are a little raunchy, but more are just campy...and almost all are very, very funny.

I'm straight but I was still try to think of my gayest moment. I don't know if dressing up in drag playing tuba (given my face, built like my mom's, I can "pass") counts or not. I suppose the general mincing act I do from time to time for my own amusement is right up there.

word to my peeps

February 6, 2004
Hahaha, I was wondering about the recent upswing in traffic, from around 100 hits a day to 300-500...turns out because I wrote about the recent superbowl controversy but spelled "Janet Jacksons Rhythm Nation" without the apostrophe for the possessive, and also "I love this picture" (about a completely unrelated photo) I'm the number one MSN search for picture of janet jacksons breast and similar queries. (It's often a little interesting to look at my referer log analyzer, see if anyone interesting is link to me.) scourge of horny typo-laden websearchers everywhere.

I do want to say...c'mon people, it's just a breast. The reaction is another bit of prudishness to get the Europeans to snicker at us. (For a while I was thinking that the sexualized themes of that stage show tied into it, but there would be the same reaction to a deliberately displayed, national audience, female nipple no matter what the context.)

Quote of the Moment
"Noooooo....more like a baby chicken. [...] I like baby chickens."
--Co-worker and old friend, Mary K., giving me a pep talk on my chances in the dating scene, after I said that I'd always look "like a Campbell's Soup Kid". Thanks, Mary.

Link of the Moment
Find the Guys Head. I was just a few seconds shy of, urr, "Genius", because I looked at the wrong scale at first. (I had recently been looking at a collection of old timey hidden images, usually where a face can be made out on a much larger scale.) And given how we're programmed for face recognition and what not, I think the scale of how smart you are if you find the face quickly is a little skewed...

Moral Righteousness of the Moment
I gave blood today...I rock!

You know, I have very little sympathy for anyone who doesn't give blood just because they're squeamish about it, either their own blood or the idea of it being used to help out someone else.

got the clap

February 6, 2003
Ponder of the Moment
Isn't clapping kind of weird? Is it instinctive or learned or somewhere in bewtween? Does it still really mean something? The BBC traces the history of applause.

Quote of the Moment
"[Getting royally tanked] shuts down the higher level brain functions and allows the inner fish to express itself.
On the surface I may seem very profound, but deep down inside I'm actually a very shallow individual."
--from a slashdot discussion on an evolutionary explanation of why we hiccup--that it's a holdover from something closer to our tadpole-ish days on the evolutionary ladder. It's still mostly speculation, but interesting.

Article of the Moment
Salon pro-hawk piece, arguing that a war in Iraq won't make our Al-Qaeda issues any worse than they are. Has some solid points, though also some I disagree with. (When he asks "Iraq is a distraction from what?" that's simple; from keeping a closer eye on our border and ports, from the general smaller scale action of tracking down the individual terrorist cells.)

stranger danger ranger

February 6, 2002
Videos of the Moment
From the July backlog...the four videos linked at the very bottom of the about page are really funny. They used to load randomly with reloads of the frontpage. I think the third one's the best, you might want to save that one for last.

Book Recommendation of the Moment
9-11: Emergency Relief is a collection of personal exeriences by many different comic artists. I went to a signing with 9 of the artists at Cambridge's Million Year Picnic, to meet K. Thor Jensen. All proceeds to the Red Cross, the book is worth picking up, both as a historical document, and to see the work of many artists, including some really big names.

Evil Joke of the Moment
Q.: What's worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm?
A.: Crib death.
--Tiger Magazine (Princeton U. Humor Mag) via rec.humor.funny.reruns

damn lies, statistics

February 6, 2001
SPAM of the Moment
You were referred to me as someone who was ready for a Financial Breakthrough!
--it's even harder to take this kind of come-on seriously from a guy named "".

Quote of the Moment
"There's something ironic about you having a machine named 'Placid'"
--John Trussell at work, where most of our PCs are named after bodies of water.

I made up a program to analyze the logs on, in general it works on one day at a time. It came up with the following: for 05/Feb/2001:
frontpage: 43 hits 31 unique ip
overall: 2359 hits 67 unique ip
(the frontpage got loaded 43 times, from 31 unique IPs (roughly meaning that many desktops), and over all 2359 pages got loaded, from 67 different IPs)

Anyway, I realized I could run the same script on the loveblender log:
for 05/Feb/2001:
frontpage: 2789 hits 2009 unique ip
overall: 42174 hits 3387 unique ip

That's a lot of unique users!

KHftCEA 1998-02.1 February

KHftCEA 1998-02.1 February

"Is there a dream part you would like to play someday?"
"A dumb guy with no dialogue. I hate dialogue."
          -The Onion's A.V. Club interviews Chow Yun-Fat
Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.
                -- Charlie Brown
Am I dangerous to be in love with ? relative to marieke 'cause I don't fall out of love, always give second + third chances.

< retrospect: 6 feb >