“Year” in “review,” get it? Some of my social media utterances for the past year.
(Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.)
- Growing Up Unvaccinated
Vaccine deniers endanger themselves, their children, and (what not enough people seem to understand) ME and MY CHILDREN too.
- I just upgraded from Fedora 19 to Fedora 20. Notably absent: teeth-gnashing; hair-pulling; garment-rending; hot salty tears of frustration. It Just Worked. I… I don’t understand.
- Jonah, just before falling asleep at the end of New Year’s Day: “It’s 2014. One more year until hovercars.”
- Climate-change denial. Vaccine denial. Evolution denial. I suspect a healthy suspicion of authority is behind all of them, but if so, it’s misguided, because science is anti-authoritarian. That is to say, you don’t have to take anyone’s word for it when it comes to scientific claims; you can in principle test them for yourself. I don’t think people understand this well enough. Then again, there’s an awful lot unsaid in that “in principle.”
- Is Wolf of Wall Street Really the Sweariest Movie of All Time? A Slate Investigation.
Scorsese strikes again. (Previously: http://www.geebobg.com/2010/09/15/wtf/)
- There is a stereotype in WWII movies (including documentaries) of the pugnacious but lovable Italian guy from Brooklyn fighting alongside his other American GI buddies. This at a time that German-Americans and Japanese-Americans were being interned or expelled or regarded by other Americans with everything from suspicion to outright hatred. Why? After all, Italy was part of the Axis too.
- We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell
Cory Doctorow is not your usual hair-trigger alarmist.
- Your thought for today: You can’t spell Russia without U-S-A. You can’t spell United States of America without R-U-S-S-I-A. That is all.
- Pancake mix: not delicious. Add water: not delicious. Drive water back out (by heating on a griddle): delicious. Can’t explain that.
- Lisa: This show is the biggest farce I ever saw!
Bart: What about the Emmys?
Lisa: I stand corrected.
- My kids refuse to watch Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day because, in their words, “It’s boring: it’s just the same thing happening again and again.” Where did I go wrong?
- A Nobel prize! A piece of string! You know what’s awesome? Everything!
- Wow, splendid days!
- Andrea, on the box of chocolates she bought me yesterday: “I almost didn’t get them. They said “dark hearts.” That’s not positive!”
- In Arizona’s defense, it’s where we saw our first and only gay rodeo.
- I remember a lot of predictions about the future of computing from when I was younger. Some far-out ones have come true, and some obvious ones haven’t. But no one predicted that in 2014 we would call our computers “phones.”
- According to a New Study, Nothing Can Change an Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind
Sigh. If there ever really was an Age of Reason, it’s surely over now.
- The Adele Dazeem Name Generator
Awesome. My Travolta name is Brian Grizeen.
- Pepsi YouTube preroll ad made entirely of movie quotes, you had me at hello. http://youtu.be/OCXr7ECpGQg
- One terabyte for sixty-nine bucks. Unbelievable.
- Grave Science
Heard this NPR story recently and was amazed at the importance people place on the remains of their loved ones. For the record: when I’m gone, the one and only thing I care about how my remains are handled is that they present the absolute minimum of expense, inconvenience, and distress to the living.
- How do young couples today cope with new marriage, parenthood, and job stress without having had “thirtysomething” to guide them?
- Spring has sprung, the boid is on the wing!
Don’t be absoid. The wing is on the boid!
(h/t Chuck Menahem Kanafi)
- Speaking of thirtysomething, I’ve been rewatching it on Amazon Instant Video. Like all TV shows from 1987, it was originally presented in 4:3 format, and supposedly the DVD release was in that format too. So how is Amazon Instant Video managing to show it in 16:9? The picture isn’t stretched, and nothing is obviously missing from the top or bottom of the frame.
- I fretted for a long time about how I’d know when it was time to let the kids roam more widely, unsupervised. But as with all parenting things, when the time was right it was self-evident.
- Scarlett Johansson is OK I guess, but I don’t think she’s as super-h4wt as everyone else seems to think. Do I have to surrender my guy credentials?
- If you’ve ever wondered “What is the right number of Ritz crackers?” I’m happy to be able to tell you the answer is 7.
- Happy 10th birthday to Amazing Awesome Astonishing Archer.
(Photo: E. 59th Street, NYC, August 2006.)
- Time is a lot older than tide.
- Five minutes into the Laserium revival playing at the Chabot Space & Science Center, I was thinking, “Chalk up another mind-blowing thing from the 70’s that didn’t age well.” Fifteen minutes into it I was all like: whoa.
- Each morning I start in my driveway at home and have to make it to my desk at work. When I think about all the possible places there are to end up, getting to my desk should be like finding a needle in a haystack, but I never fail. Also, millions of others _don’t_ end up at my desk. What a display of intention! I’m often amazed by how casually we all repeat accomplishments like these. Who’s with me?
- I love these kinds of comparisons: the original Star Wars came out closer in time to the bombing of Pearl Harbor than to the present day. Do you have any good ones like this?
- To everyone forwarding me the link about the Star Wars casting news that was burning up the Internet yesterday: thanks for thinking of me, but it’s a little like telling a woman, “Your abusive ex-husband is out on parole and has been seen with his old drinking buddies.”
- Back in sixth grade, when I left too much work for the last minute, which was often, I would have a frustration-and-despair meltdown when confronted by how much I had still to do and how little time. Bit by agonizing bit I would finish my work and end up with something crappy, reflecting my mood.
When Jonah leaves too much work for the last minute, which is seldom, he buckles down and gets that shit done, producing a result of his usual high caliber. Proud of that guy.
- Bike to work day: not so challenging when you’re working from home.
- Seven years is a long time to miss your mom, especially when her grandkids (and once in a while, her son) keep achieving things that she would have loved hearing about. She would also have loved Facebook and YouTube and Candy Crush. She would have loved the hunky star of “Arrow.”
And that seven years is only going to get longer and longer. Sucks.
- [Mother’s Day.]
Two great kids = one great mom
Thanks for parenting with aplomb
As a mom, you’re the bomb
- Godzilla is this year’s Prometheus: a movie on which inadequacy in the film criticism industry failed to prevent me wasting my time.
- I am a grown man. This was my dinner tonight. I leave it to you to decide whether a contradiction exists.
- I’m that middle-aged man who finds that a little whisky and soda helps him unwind after a difficult day at work. How did that happen?
- I’m a mathematician, and the fact that hot dogs are sold in packages of seven and hot dog buns are sold in packages of eight makes me want to buy 56 of each at a time.
- Looking at myself in the lavatory mirror, I can report that any long flight is a red-eye.
- This morning my kids reaffirmed what a great dad they think I am. But how could I ever have been without the example of Eddie Glickstein? He taught me everything I know… but he didn’t teach me everything he knows. Thanks Pop, and happy Father’s Day!
- My rule of thumb is to avoid posting on Facebook unless I believe I have something reasonably original and/or amusing and/or interesting and/or important to contribute. (You can decide for yourself whether I generally succeed.)
This is not to pass judgment on those who use other guidelines for what to post. On the contrary, recently I read the following (at http://www.theguardian.com/news/oliver-burkeman-s-blog/2014/may/21/everyone-is-totally-just-winging-it):
“[O]ne of the biggest causes of misery is the way we chronically “compare our insides with other people’s outsides.” We’re all […] projecting an image of calm proficiency, while inside we’re improvising in a mad panic. Yet we forget (especially in an era of carefully curated Facebook profiles and suchlike) that everyone else is doing the same thing”
…and it occurred to me that, without meaning to, I might be projecting just such an image.
I think I’ve outgrown my own tendency to compare my insides to other people’s outsides, but I can remember how crummy it felt. This post is to assure you that the “outside” you see here omits an awful lot of stuff from my life that is neither calm nor proficient nor original nor amusing nor interesting nor important.
- I spend a lot of time commuting, and a lot of that time listening to podcasts. I have my podcast player set to play audio at 1.5x normal speed. Increasingly I find normal speaking speed to be unbearably slow.
- Thanks to having a best friend in high school with a mom named Merry, when I got to college and read Lord of the Rings (none too carefully, apparently) I got pretty far into the story believing that Pippin and Merry were a quarreling husband-and-wife team until my eye finally caught an unexpected pronoun and my brain said “Wait, what?”
- The distance between San Francisco and New York is nothing compared to the distance between what San Franciscans consider to be the very finest local Italian bread and the vastly superior stuff in New York that is so commonplace New Yorkers seldom even give it a thought.
- We taught our dog Pepper the proper way to ask when she needs to go outside to relieve herself. But she asks far more often than she actually needs to go, so we have a hard time knowing when it’s for real. She’s the wolf who cried wolf.
- They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, and Radiolab’s Jad and Robert all on the same installment of NPR’s Ask Me Another. Nerd pleasure overload!!
- Blueprint for Armageddon part 1
On this, the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, do yourself a favor and listen to (at least) the first installment of Dan Carlin’s series of podcasts on World War I. Learn how the modern world was born in blood and fire and a cascade of outrageous events.
- [For my niece’s 21st birthday.]
Yo! Yo! McKenna!
I knew you way back when-ah!
Come visit us again-ah!
McKenna! Yo! Yo!
Today’s your birthday-o!
You can drink some alcoho’
Which you couldn’t do befo’!
- Driving through Lassen Volcanic National Park on July 4th, the car filled with the scent of millions of conifers.
Archer: My second-favorite smell.
Me: What’s your first?
- Saturday morning: drinking coffee, waiting for the rest of the family to be ready for an outing to the Sundial Bridge in Redding. I start reading The Circle, by Dave Eggers. On page one, describing the campus of a Google-like company, he mentions a “Calatrava fountain.” What’s that? I wonder, but I have no data connectivity so can’t look it up. A short time later we’re at the Sundial Bridge. Its designer: Santiago Calatrava.
- If your goal is to catch up on watching the best movies and TV of the past few years, your evenings are going to be Matthew McConaugheavy.
- [For my sister-in-law’s birthday.]
D is for disestablishmentarianism! E is for establishmentarianism! N is for noncontemporaneousness! I is for interdenominationalism! S is for stereophotomicrography! E is for establishmentarianism, I already told you, weren’t you paying attention? What’s that spell? DENISE! What’s that spell? DENISE! What’s that spell? DENISE! Yaaayyy!
- Saw Edge of Tomorrow yesterday and really liked it. But I am so fond of Groundhog Day that part of me resents Edge of Tomorrow for co-opting its premise and structure so successfully. (It’s redeemed in part by naming its female lead “Rita,” acknowledging the debt it owes to its predecessor.)
- I defy anyone who parrots the conventional wisdom that The Godfather Part II and The Empire Strikes Back are better than their respective predecessors to lay out their reasons why in as clear a fashion as I have explained why they are not.
- One quibble about the otherwise excellent True Detective: in a scene set in 2002, Woody Harrelson enters what looks like a modern T-Mobile store to buy a flip phone. It has a built-in camera, and trading phone pics with another character becomes a plot point. This is all anachronistic. In 2002 T-Mobile was a newly launched brand in the U.S. (it had been Voicestream) and its stores looked very different; among other things, Catherine Zeta-Jones’ face was everywhere. Cameras in cell phones was not yet a thing. For the few who did have cell phone cameras, exchanging photos by MMS barely worked. And even if it had occurred to anyone to look through the pics on someone’s phone, which it wouldn’t have, any casual user would have had a hard time figuring out how.
- Just woke up from a dream that I was trying to adjust the aspect ratio of the picture on my TV. In the on-screen menu, all the menu options said things like, “Shocking! This setting’s value revealed.”
- The Internet has everything. This was probably the first record I ever owned. http://youtu.be/9b6M1LqQVjg
- Andrea: “Jonah is a self-proclaimed laid-back guy.”
Jonah: “I never said self-proclaimed!”
- Had a dream about S.W.A.T. In the dream I thought S.W.A.T. stood for “strategic weapons assault team.” (It doesn’t.) I was going around trying to point out the semantic difference between “strategic” and “tactical,” but they weren’t willing to change their acronym.
- The Cluss Test
6 out of 8! 3x better than random. How good are you at taking tests on subjects you know nothing about?
- 21 Jump Street: aggressively offensive and unfunny, or am I just getting old?
- Some people have never driven away from the gas pump with the nozzle still stuck in their car. Some people have. Guess which group I joined today?
- PAPERWORK BATTLE!
BUYING A HOUSE
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
- Just saw a guy walking down the road with an actual bindle over his shoulder.
- My sleeping brain made a joke that it took my waking brain some time to “get.”
I dreamed I was using a fitness app called Wheat. Remembered after waking up that, in the dream, it was a stripped-down version of another app called Toast.
- At a suggestion from Terry Gross I am re-reading The Great Gatsby and (as promised) finding it infinitely more interesting and enjoyable than I did in tenth grade, or whenever it was, when I didn’t know… anything, really, including how to read literature.
For instance, back then I could never have understood Fitzgerald’s intention with the seemingly throwaway line about the elevator lever near the end of chapter two. http://goo.gl/N5Rl68
- I moved to California in April 1992. Each morning I looked at the cloudy sky and wondered whether it would rain. For months it never did. The clouds burned off by 10 or 11am and the day was always sunny and gorgeous. I never failed to appreciate that, but I was missing having some variety in the weather. Paradise gets monotonous. Finally, one day in September the rain came, just like today. I was at work, in a meeting, and saw it through the window. I shouted, “Rain!” and left the meeting at once, running outside to do a giddy dance and get drenched.
- 25 years this week that I quit a pack-a-day smoking habit. Still miss it.
- The phrase “in one’s wheelhouse” seems to be having a moment. It’s suddenly everywhere. With luck, this will push aside all the recent abuse of the word “iconic.”
- [In response to a comment about the popularity of the word “curating.”] There’s a small chance I’m personally responsible for the currency of “curating.” When I joined YouTube in 2008 I pitched some feature ideas to support and reward curators of good videos — those who find and share the best content on the site. That word was not in use at YouTube at the time. It was my new coinage in the context of online social media. Before long “Creators and Curators” was the name of a whole department, and people talked about video curation all the time.
I can’t be sure the rise of the word “curating” at YouTube is due to me, let alone in the wider culture, but I can’t rule it out either…
- Any coffee machine failure that creates a mess of coffee grounds on your kitchen counter rather than a potful of coffee ironically, and unavoidably, comes at the worst possible time: namely, when you’re needing a cup of coffee.
- [The SF Giants won the World Series.]
Joy in Mudville!
- How is “trust but verify” any different than “don’t trust”?
- [After the 2014 election.]
My poor benighted countrymen.
- Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
Star Wars VIII: The Force Eats a Balanced Breakfast
Star Wars IX: The Force Is Late for the Bus
(Rise and shine, Forcey!)
- HBO Will Make Asimov’s Foundation With Interstellar’s Jonathan Nolan
1. OMG! OMG! OMG!
2. Please don’t suck. Please don’t suck. Please don’t suck.
- I wasn’t having a great week. BUT THEN HUMANS LANDED ON A COMET.
- Here is a list of ways I would rather have spent the past 26 years than with Andrea Glickstein:
- I don’t believe in magic
I don’t believe in I-ching
I don’t believe in Bible
I don’t believe in Tarot
I don’t believe in Hitler
I don’t believe in Jesus
I don’t believe in Kennedy
I don’t believe in Buddha
I don’t believe in Mantra
I don’t believe in Gita
I don’t believe in Yoga
I don’t believe in Kings
I don’t believe in Elvis
I don’t believe in Zimmerman
I don’t believe in Beatles
I don’t believe in Cosby
(In case the reference is too obscure: http://youtu.be/nZ5PQppudHc?t=1m.)
- Nothing like coming home after being away for a few days to realize how much your house smells like dog.
- My anniversary gift from Andrea: the same Casio calculator watch that she remembers me wearing in 1988 when we first met! Some things never change… and then some things, like my ability to make out the button labels and display elements of this watch, do.
- Archer is a picky eater and doesn’t give me many options for his school lunches. He does like roast beef sandwiches… but only if the roast beef is warm. What’s a source of heat safe enough for warming up roast beef at an elementary school? Our solution: a few chemical hand-warmers.
- Hi Mom, on what would have been your 52nd 29th birthday!
We’ll be observing your day by engaging in your favorite activity: swimming!
- So, we went swimming the night of my mom’s birthday. It was too cold for swimming, really, so we were in the pool for only a short time. But somehow it was just the right time to see a shooting star pass directly overhead — the brightest one I’ve ever seen, so bright it lit up our surroundings, making us look up to see it. As we watched, it burst apart into a shower of glowing fragments just like fireworks.
Mom approves of our commemorative swimming tradition.
- Schrödinger’s pressure test.
Both sent to the same address on the same day. One says our gas line was tested and is fine. One says our gas line was tested, leaked, and needed repair.
- Jonah has been catching up on the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies of the 80’s and 90’s. What a laughably cringeworthy, calamitous mess they are.
- My poor family. I just discovered a trove of high-quality karaoke tracks on Google Play Music.
- From the depths of my food coma I still have enough presence of mind to extend endless thanks to the amazing Suzanne Glickstein for coming to visit and single-handedly preparing for us a large and very belated traditional Thanksgiving feast. It, and she, were worth the wait.
- When the furnace in your house hasn’t worked for the past two days, and they’ve been the two coldest days of the year, and the indoor temperature has dropped to 52F, wearing layers can keep you perfectly comfortable… except when it comes to the toilet seat. Yow.