Monthly Archives: February 2013

Baseball is coming!

baseballsI will confess that, by the end of a 162-game season, baseball starts to wear just a little bit. If your team, or even another team you like, makes the playoffs, that can make it exciting again. And even if not, the playoffs usually feature some pretty good baseball; last year’s were really fun to watch, for example.

But at that point it’s been six months of baseball. I have the Fox Sports North cable channel, and between them and Fox Sports, it is possible to watch almost every single Minnesota Twins game. And I do try. (Some weekday day games I can’t watch, of course, but MLB has a Flash app that provides a way to monitor a game in near real-time.)

The flip side is that, come spring I’m cravin’ me some baseball!

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Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan 1“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which the most crucial elements — transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting, profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995

I ran across the above quote on a blog, and it really hit home on a point I’ve been pondering and struggling with recently. It has to do with that line about how “almost no one understands science and technology.” It has to do with how weary I am of living in that world.

But rather than rant about it, here are some other quotes I like from a truly great man and wonderful scientist.

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BB #21 – Days Daze

holidazeI was reading the fan and detractor blog posts about infamous Valentine’s Day. It strikes me that being against it still acknowledges it. I suppose if one wanted to abolish it, that would be reason for protest. (Maybe they regret the killing of all those roses!)

I’m inclined to let the romantics have their harmless fun. No skin off my nose. Oktoberfest for lovers (with chocolate rather than beer—a nearly acceptable tradeoff)!

There are those who say it’s silly to have this one day a year where we observe and honor love (and murder roses). We should observe Valentine’s day all the time.

I’ve decided to take to heart that idea.

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Hey…

Think my readers are trying to tell me something??

stats

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Out of Words

This is my third attempt to write a post this evening. No amount of editing seemed to make the other two worthwhile. I don’t expect this one to be much better.

[…all efforts deleted after several tries…]

No, ain’t happening. I’m in a major funk and sick to death of my own words and thoughts.  I’m not going to subject any of you to any of it.


BB #20 – Touch Once

BrainFireThe week is off to a weak start. Last week I thought things at work would finally start to move along on my project. But it turns out the guy who told me “next week” didn’t expect me to read his email until last Monday. So this week turns out to be the week he thought he’d have something.

No word so far, and he didn’t answer my email this morning.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the data chain, oh, it’s a big disaster that makes me shudder. Late today we got an opportunity to test just one link in the chain I’m trying to build. Tests failed, so it’s back to the vendor.

I’ll rant about that later (and you’ll be free to leave). First I just want to share the only time management tip I ever learned that turned out to be hugely useful.

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BB #19 – Pixel Bubbles

Random pixels!

Random (inexpensive) pixels!

I’ve been listening to U2 all evening, so I’m energized, and you get a bonus post today.

The last two posts used a lot of words, so I need to let the word barrel fill up a bit before I use too many more.

(And as you know, work really taps into the barrel, so word conservation is really important. I recycle many of the words I use, and there’s that old trick of putting a brick in your mouth to cut down on word dumps.)

But pixels are really inexpensive these days, and they come in a wide variety of colors. I’ve arranged a bunch of them in some interesting patterns you might enjoy!

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Desiderata

sundaeIt’s a gray skies snowy Sunday afternoon, the fireplace is turned on, Bull Durham is on the TV machine, and I’d rather play with POV-Ray, snooze or get back to reading Terry Pratchett‘s Going Postal than spend hours working on a blog post. Sunday should be a day of rest or, at least, of difference.

I’m not particularly stuck on Sundays; my Lutheran background programs me for Sundays, but there are other ways to keep a Sabbath.

I do think it’s important to observe one day a week that is tuned differently than your other days. I think it’s mentally and spiritually healthy to change your pace one day a week. Dedicating a day helps insure following the practice.

Saturday thousands died for my amusement; today my desiderata is pax and nepenthe, so I thought I would share a Desiderata with you.

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Film Clips

Ramen Girl 1I haven’t talked about movies for a while, and I’ve seen a bunch that are worth mentioning. Which is not to say necessarily mentioning them in a positive way, but there are two I really did like and highly recommend.

Of course, it depends on your taste in movies. Any recommendation has the implicit disclaimer, “If you like that sort of thing.” For instance, one of the films I’ve seen recently is The Raid: Redemption. It’s an extremely brutal Indonesian martial arts film that I found interesting and would recommend if you like that sort of thing. (I’ve never mentioned my love of Asian martial arts films; a topic for another time.)

I might touch on martial arts films today, but mostly I want to talk about a hockey movie, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, Martians stealing our moms and a slightly magical film about noodles.

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CG Tardis

blue light specialSpeaking of Happiness Moments, I finished my POV-Ray Tardis project.

Or more accurately, I finished the first phase of the project. The beauty of something like this is that you can return to it later and add details or make improvements. Sometimes you learn a new trick that can be retro-fitted to an older project.

That can happen on programming projects, too. Exposure to the Smalltalk and Lisp communities gave me a view of code as a living thing that evolves (sometimes daily) as all living things do.

I’ll write about that sometime, but today I just want to show off my Tardis!

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