Thursday, December 18, 2008

Whoa, nelly.

Been off this pony for a while.

I'll get back on eventually, but the next two weeks are going to involve some seriously hectic changes, including:

1) moving most/all of my worldly possessions about 220 miles SW to Brooklyn
2) flipping my job from working at home in my pajamas and talking to stuffed lobsters to working in an office in pants and talking to real people.
3) ceasing my Krav training up here (for more information, visit Curt's Krav Maga Blog) and picking it back up in Manhattan.
4) oh by the way xmas/new years
5) oh god, oh no, this can't be happening, selling my car?! We'll see about that.

Not much else happening at present.

Crazy times a'brewin though, good gravy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

AnaChrono Trigger

It is the year 12,000 BC. Dalton has stolen your time machine/airship, the Epoch, and is about to make his maiden launch. As a video game villain, he clearly needs to say something both proud and menacing to herald this, his greatest coup to date...

Excuse me?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Just dawned on me...

I've been a non-smoker, uninterrupted, for 6 months now.

Feels like both a laughably short and impossibly long time.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dear Apple: reprising the reprise

I always forget in the heat of hardware fury how easy it is to be nice to tech support people, and how far being nice will get you as a customer.

Interject: unless you're dealing with the Bender Ball people, who from my experiences are all trained like sheep to be as unhelpful as possible AND to try and sell you DVDs over the phone while you're furiously trying to cancel shipping of shit that you never ordered. I have never balled out a phone service person quite like the time when I called the Bender folk to dispute an unauthorized charge on my credit card and the dude on the phone -- who sounded like the Dog Whisperer -- followed my comment of "Please cancel shipping immediately and remove all of my information from your system" with, "And while you're on the phone, would you like to buy...?"

But yeah, Apple's always pretty decent on the phone, and I have a new mouse in the mail.

That was fast.

Dear Apple: reprise

Dear Apple,

Once again, shame on your Mighty Mouse. The scroll ball is such an intolerable piece of shit that it requires almost-daily maintenance -- in fact, run a google search for mighty mouse scroll ball and all you get is forum after forum of people saying, "I can't believe I keep buying this shitty piece of shit because it's the only thing that scrolls the way I need -- briefly."

So one of the common solutions for a jammed/dysfunctional scroll ball is to flip yer mouse upside down and roll it around vigorously on a sheet of white paper.

Apparently if you do that too many times, however, it will jam the scroll ball in, and then BAM, every click is a center click and your mouse is toast.

And can you unjam the ball? NO! Why? Because Apple doesn't give you a way to OPEN THE F'ING MOUSE. You also can't get under the ball and pull it up because, well, it's a slippery little bugger. Basically, in the process of my daily make-my-stupid-mouse-work routine, I managed to break it in some new, unrecoverable way.

Screw you guys, but bless your 12 month warranty, and failing that, bless your store clerk who will, whether he likes it or not, give me a new one for free under the duress of Furiously Disappointed Customer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Monetize me

Well, minimal traffic coming through ye olde bloge these days...

So I fired up a possible monetizer at a silly Red Sox fansite in hopes of pulling some special-interest readership and better utilizing AdSense. Will it work? Doesn't really matter. I'll have fun doing it.

Of course, it was foolish of me to try and start a Sox-topic blog in the middle of the NBA playoffs, but there you have it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Notes to self

Upcoming topics that probably deserve some airplay:

(1) I care about basketball for the second (?) time in my life. Thank you, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, et al.
(2) The Alchemist has terrible food, and after briefly trying really, really hard to like it, I am back to the opinion that it is bad for JP and should be re-replaced by a sports bar.
(3) The Milky Way, in addition to being a phenomenal name for a bar, is moving down to the Sam Adams Brewery lofts. This may herald the dawn of gentrification on JP's proverbial Wrong Side of the Tracks, and I'm not so sure I like it. Also, that dawn might have already been heralded.
(4) In non-bar news...I've been having a really hard time getting burgers to cook a consistent medium rare for me lately. Advice would be appreciated.
(5) There is no number 5.
(6) Actually, there are a lot of restaurants and recipes that deserve some attention. The Mission, for example, is really friggin tasty and has never disappointed me.
(7) Stump.
(8) Adventures in Text Twist.

Ok, cool. At my current pace of output, that should keep me busy for about two years.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dear Apple

Ok, real quickie here --

Shame, shame on you, Apple, for creating, marketing, and continuing to produce the Mighty Mouse. This mouse is the weakest piece of shit excuse for consumer hardware I've seen since those retarded track-ball stationary mice (you know who you are). Seriously, for $50 I'd like something that I can open and clean, or that will at least retain all of its advertised functionality for more than two days at a time before I have to go digging at that stupid little rubber ball with a toothpick and an alcohol-soaked q-tip.

I don't think I've ever held such a sustained fury at any single object in my life. I'm actually astonished that I haven't broken this thing yet given my lifetime track record of defective-hardware-as-projectile.

I love Apple. I really do. They (tend to) make excellent hardware, pretty, user-friendly software -- but for $50, if using this mouse doesn't make me shit rainbows out of my palm, I must say I find it to be a huge disappointment.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

100 points to Julia for the following, as we sat down in the car to go grab eggs and candy:

Me: Hmm... maybe we should put on some Easter music?
Julia: What, like Lamb of God?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lucky Lucky

First of all, St. Patrick's Day, oh, how mixed my feelings are for you... it's like, ok, sure, I'll start drinking at 5 or whatever, and I do think that with all the people we celebrate on our annual, federal holiday schedule -- MLK, George Washington, Veterans, Dead Veterans, The Working Man, Columbus (mmm...genocide), Jesus -- we might as well add Drunks. After all, drunk people are (at any given time) a substantial societal constituency.

And really, I know it sounds like a joke, but I'm dead serious -- drinking is pivotal to this society and much of the rest of the world. Booze is what human beings, as a species, have chosen as an acceptable, leisure-time drug, and we use the hell out of it, so we might as well celebrate it.

On the other hand, St. Patrick's day is truly celebrating the bringing of Christianity to Ireland and the clover represents the holy trinity, so really... it's just a 250-year old Americanized bastardization of a holiday celebrating something that happened 1700 years ago, far away, with a church. Which makes getting hammered and celebrating the City of Boston a pretty hilarious way to celebrate it.

Or in my case, drinking like, 4 beers and watching a basketball game. At home. In my sweatpants. It was awesome.


Topic 2: Lucky Charms. Bought a box, had a bowl, and I swear to St. Patrick they've tipped the marshmallow ratio. It's's like the box was assembled by that same fat kid who always sniped the M&M's out of your trailmix. I'm talking multiple marshmallows per spoonful. Almost too sweet, but really just kind of great.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Ok, so I've set up a Technorati Profile...c'mon, visibility...

On a lighter note, a pork chop recipe!

Spice Rub:
Minced garlic

Breading materials:
Egg (2?)
Bread crumbs

Pork chops
Sweet potatoes
Bacon (thicker and smokier = better)
Mascarpone (optional)

Whatchu gon' do:
1) Chop and fry some bacon (the start of all great recipes)
2) Your potatoes -- cut 'em, boil 'em, mash 'em. During the mashing process, add the chopped bacon, some butter (to taste), and optionally the mascarpone. Be light on the fatty stuff -- you don't want to lose the taste of the bacon.
3) The chops -- Give the chops a couple whacks to tenderize them and rub them w/ the spice rub.
Bread them (flour -> egg -> bread, make sure you keep one of your hands dry!)
Heat up some olive oil (or butter or both) in a pan and sear them bitches on both sides. Reduce heat, cover. They're cooked when they resist a push from your thumb and the meat inside is all white. Because they're pork.

Serve w/ barbeque sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's. I also advise setting the BBQ out ahead of time so it's at room temperature.

Eat with like, 14 glasses of water and at least two helpings of salad.

Recaps and Variouses

Ok, so I've been off the blogowagon for a couple weeks. Why? Because I'm extraordinarily absent-minded.

Accordingly, here's a little brain-vomit:

I'm going to go ahead and echo Andrew on this one -- screw you, Ohio, for keeping that crazy lady's campaign alive. Had Hillary been swept out of the midwest once and for all, Obama could do what any incumbent-hopeful would do -- focus on a campaign going forward for the general election. Not today, Barackadoo, not today. Instead, both senators get to waste a shitload of time and money campaigning against each other for 2 months while John "Dramatic Hamster" McCain sits tight with his terrible opinions and stupid face.

Interjection -- McCain has in the past week garnered endorsements from two of Texas's great cult leaders: John "Crayzee" Hagee and George "Retard" Bush. Now Bush is an easy target and an obvious endorser. Yes, he might be the figurehead for the fall of Constitutional democracy, yes, he might be the herald of a global moral apocalypse, and yes, he might look and act like a confused child...but he has a political obligation to endorse whatever else comes out of the GOP's infected womb, so there it is. John Hagee, on the other hand, is a real piece of shit. Discussions of his piece-of-shit-atude can easily start and end with his profession -- evangelist, crackpot -- but what fun is it if we don't ping Reuters for some quotes? Apparently Hagee "envisions a blood-soaked clash between East and West leading to the return of Jesus Christ." And you know what, with McCain's stubby little finger on the button, it's not bloody unlikely. Except for the second coming of Christ part. That's just silly.

Let's not forget, boys and girls, what happened last time we let Texas cult leaders get too far ahead of themselves.

Ok, so coming back to the top: thanks, Ohio, asshole, for giving Hilldog and The Obaminator (®) two months to dig away at each other and give Stumpy McShitfucker all the quotational fodder he'll need to bury the DNC in mud come November.

Remember 4 years ago when one self-contradicting John Kerry quote got taken out of context and spun into a national ad campaign that sunk him? Flip flops? Bush riding a campaign of "I may be completely unqualified to run the country, but at least you know where I stand"?

We are a nation of short attention spans, fleeting patience, and extremely shallow judgement. God help us if one of the democratic hopefuls drops a soundbite worthy of muckraking -- if either does, the general election will be over before it starts. People in this country are like screaming toddlers -- all they need is one phrase to repeat, one hitch they can grab and run with so they can express themselves loudly and without thought. Republicans understand this, and that is why they keep winning elections. The American populace is really goddamn stupid, so get on their level.

All I can ask, is please, please -- Hill-o-vision, Obaminator (®), please don't say anything stupid in the next 7 weeks, because you will be slaughtered for it, and we will all suffer.

Friday, February 8, 2008

This is pretty.

Found while trolling some message board about AJAX/prototype. It's made with Processing, the same toolkit I used for that weird drawing project I did at the end of senior year. That reminds me, I think that's documented somewhere...

In any case, this is pretty:

Solar, with lyrics. from flight404 on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Beep beep! Here comes old crazypants!

So Romney pulled out, all but handing his votes to John McCain...

...which is scary, because McCain will appeal to moderates in big, wishy-washy purple states like, I dunno, Florida. This will be especially true if Obama is nominated, as that gigantic chunk of voters who say experience is ever so important may default to the old kook. Of course the lack of hindsight it takes for any dem to say that experience is a top priority is staggering. After all, we just watched a man get four years of practice presidency and then immediately screw up four more. Bush has been like the Miami Dolphins of politics. Take a 6-10 season, get psyched because you have nowhere to go but up, and then promptly go 1-15.

Sadly, hindsight is hazardous to American politics.

McCain, despite being a psychotic little troll of a man, is kind of friendly-seeming. And kind of electable-seeming. On the other hand, just about the worst thing you can have when you're balls-deep in a politically and economically destructive war is an ex-POW with an anger management problem.

I really don't know how to feel about this one, but I know it makes me nervous. McCain is just the kind of gun-slinging retard that a country full of gun-slinging retards could get behind.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

John Edwards doin' it wrong and here's how

In short, I appreciate the championing for the middle class. I really do. Here's why it doesn't work --

1) A speech that's all sob-stories about individual, lame-ass people makes for a lame-ass speaker.

2) Any dem is going to fight for the middle class, the individual, the little guy. It's part of the party agenda. If you make it your main running point against two people declaring eras of "change" it gives the impression that you have nothing original to say.

3) We have a federal government, we have state and local governments, and we have constituents. There is a food chain. Perhaps as the president it would be best to focus on improving state and local governments so they can take care of individuals. If you worry primarily about the individual on the presidential scale, you are applying for the wrong job.

Good guy, good ideas, just the wrong focus for a national leader.

Romney Update

For some reason, the most interesting part of this year's elections for me is consistent development of a long-forgone conclusion:

Mitt Romney is a complete and total ass.

CNN ran earlier this morning a little bit of a speech he gave contrasting himself favorably with John McCain. It amounted to a 15-second-ish laundry list of disparate votes they each took, each entry of which was like a virtual tick on the checklist of Why Mitt Romney is an Offensively Backwards Chump-ass Fool.

The top 5 that Romney was really proud of, complete with snippy remarks:

1) McCain opposed drilling for oil. (Romney did not!)
* Yes, screw McCain and screw finite resources, too! Drill the shit out of those fossil fuels before they (gasp!) run out forever. Clearly more effective than researching alternatives.

2) McCain opposed tax cuts for the wealthy. (Romeny supported them!)
* Come on, this is America. If the rich, white guy who's never once looked prejudice in the face can't get richer, then who can?!

3) McCain opposed the amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. (Can it, Mormon.)
* Welcome to 21st century America, where in addition to socially persecuting you for being gay, we'll make extra-special certain that you get to feel the cold, hard dick of legal injustice, too!

Really, marriage is a joke. It's just as easy to get out of as it is to get into, and its main purpose in current society is a fat tax break. Amending the Constitution to ban homarriage (you heard it here first) is nothing more than bigotry. It's an absolute abuse of the Constitution's dynamics, and just the kind of bullshit moral parading that people in high office should be shamed for doing.

Moving on.

4) McCain supported embryonic stem cell research.
* This one is a little touchier, so I'll be gentle about it. Fuck Romney, fuck Bush, fuck this entire debate. If you can eat eggs, you can harvest precious cells from the unborn, and if you can mass-murder civilians on a political Jihad, then playing god is already fair game. Oh look, no issue anymore!

5) McCain supported amnesty for illegal aliens.
* Ok, so there are fair points to be made from both sides of this one, and I offer the following in bullet-form so as to avoid the stylistic choice of overly verbose diction that has at times in the past become not uncommon for me to use while writing. In no particular order:

- Immigration has vastly different effects from state to state.
- If you can get someone to trim your petunias for $3/hour, go nuts. Same goes for vineyards and vinyl siding.
- Land of promise, my ass.
- Only in this country can denying amnesty for anyone regarding anything be politically beneficial.
- Ok, that's probably a lie, but I still find it pretty abhorrent.

My advice: grant federal amnesty, then let the states decide what to do for themselves. That is why we have a multi-tiered form of government, no?

Oh, that reminds me, John Edwards doin' it wrong, and here's how --

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Food Update

A couple of cooking novelties pulled from a recent camera-dump:

1) Bear egg

This is not super complicated to pull off.

1 egg
1 cookie cutter
salt & pepper

All you do is crack an egg into a cookie cutter. The smaller your shape's area, the trickier it is to cook the egg through without turning the yolk into a crumbly little piece of crap, but the metal frame makes it really easy to flip the egg early and cook it evenly.

bear egg

2) Beer can chicken

This one was lifted from Achewood pretty much verbatim. Basic procedure is drink a few beers, then another half beer. Throw some spices and taste into the halfie, shove it up the chicken's bum, cut up some vegetables, get it all really oily and bake it. Simple and delicious and crispy and really, it's just a great recipe. Excellent as-is or as a template for repeated experimentation.

beer can chicken

3) Meat cake

Oh, that meat cake. Meat cake, meat cake, meat cake.

This was my birthday cake this year, courtesy of X and Julia. Truly stunning. Three layers of extremely good meatloaf iced with mashed potatoes and decorated with ketchup and, yes, bacon. Mmmm, bacon. Original concept, Black Widow Bakery.

Seriously, check out that bacon work. That's some professional quality bacon lettering right there.

meeeeat caaaaaaake

And a very convincing cake. Just look at that slice action.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Alive: wow this album is tight.

If you have ever listened to Daft Punk and thought "Hey, this is pretty cool, but I wish it were a little cooler," um...

Look, point here is that Alive, Daft Punk's 2007 venture into recording live techno, is really, really goddamn sick. Truly, it has been kicking my ass on repeat since I got it.

So get it. And on the one hand, if you're largely unfamiliar with Daft Punk, using this album as a starting point is really unfair to both listener and band. It's much more open-ended and creative than most of their studio work, and quite frankly it's more interesting to listen to. It's not that the studio catalogue is particularly uninteresting, but rather that this album is kind of a curve-breaker in terms of overall quality and creativity.

...and on the other hand, if you are largely familiar with Daft Punk, Alive will it will make you go batshit raving bananas.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Love is...

...walking to the kitchen to get some more coffee only to find that your girlfriend left her travel cup on the mail table on the way out the door and then being like cool i'm gonna drink it and then tasting it and realizing it has nasty-ass splenda in it and then being like nah it's cool i'll drink it anyway.

oh wait, that's not love. that's just plain old lazy.


It is roughly 11:00 in the morning, I have been awake since easily 6:30, and I have not yet eaten breakfast...

Unless you count scarfing oneself into a sugar coma on a half-pound sack of LifeSavers Gummies as "breakfast".

Seriously, if you get one of the big bags and just start going at it, you can cover the full cycle of excitation to sugar crash in about 30 minutes... and then you're just sitting there, twitching, sweating, wondering, "Damn, how do they get them so gummi?"

Ah, more coffee, then back to the grind.

Also, there had to have been a way to better connect "coffee" and "grind" in that last sentence.

Has to have been? Had to have been? Is was? Whazza? Blaaaaaaarrrggggg.

Guh. Being able to edit as you write out an internal monologue really does a number on verb tenses. Or maybe that's just the Gummies talking.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today is Thursday

So are these things supposed to convey a sense of continuity -- "Dear reader, it's Thursday, and wow it's been a busy two weeks since the holidays and hey, happy New Year!" -- or is it cool to just pop in and scratch out some notes like marker on a public bathroom wall?

Were the Internet indeed a public bathroom, the "blogosphere" would certainly be the handicapped stall at the end of the row.

Meanwhile, it's Thursday, and it's been a busy two weeks, and Thursdays are really early days on the ol' Wrigley front, and I'm sleepy. I've been writing actual code lately (as opposed to doing my much-beloved secretarial and monkey work), which feels pretty good in an academic-justify-your-existence kind of way. I've also been eating candy like it's my job, which it kind of is, so I guess that's ok, too.

Seriously, though, I got some boxes of candy from Wrigley right around when I got back from Maine, including several boxes of Orbit. This is important, because I decided to quit smoking on New Years and now chew approximately 20 sticks of gum a day, at about 2 minutes per stick. Coincidence? Highly doubtful.

Also, I don't know what the etymology of "cold turkey" is, but...oh, wait -- wiki: Cold Turkey. Also, it is damn sweet that wikipedia exists, and that Google exists, and that both are such pervasive tools as to have become verbs, and that if you use Google for a phrase you need a definition on, it will more than likely point you at wikipedia. Only by the grace on the Internet is it completely legitimate to say, "Well I Googled it, but Google just pointed me at wiki, so I guess I could have just wikied it in the first place."


Went to Faneuil Hall with some heads for bar trivia the other night; nice bar, outskirts of the plaza. Too bad the start times listed on the trivia site and the bar itself showed a two-hour discrepancy, and too bad we showed up on the late side of it. So too bad we were in Faneuil with no reason to be there and ended up going to this empty wanna-be sports bar called The Tap. Why do I mention this? Because The Tap is in a long row of bars where someday, someone (maybe you!) might be walking and thinking, "Wow, so many bars, and which one should I patronize?" In the event of such a query, I advise skipping The Tap. Decent food, decent service, but horribly overpriced for the quality on both counts. Looks like a place where you should be able to snag a $10 pitcher. Not so much. Also the fries were soggy and the onion rings verily burst with room-temperature fryer grease. Note: if you are getting people drunk and you have a kitchen where 50% of your output is fried, do everyone a favor and make sure your fryer is hot and that you don't plate the fried stuff 10 minutes before you plop a crappy $9 club sandwich on the plate and trot it out to the table.

Really though, the nail in the coffin (checkpleasethankyougoodnight-style) came from a two-man band with which the bar was trying to attract patrons through the open door. We left halfway through their first song, a cover of Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, handled exclusively in the way-out-of-tune register and quite possibly transposed into an extremely depressing minor key. As we departed, the singer (who looked like an ugly rendition on something stupid) was whistling his way through the bridge and the bar was almost completely empty.