Saturday, January 27, 2007

snowman is an island

more snow today, at least on & off flurries and dribs & drabs: pretty, but insubstantial. and still wicked cold this morning, but better by noon. (and this is a picture from the last storm, not today's.)

coming toward the end of The Great Escape; interesting reading what was changed for the movie -- what they left out and what they made up wholesale for it. also still wading through The Mill On The Floss, moving much slower so as not to miss any unique phrasing which makes George Eliot such a joy to read. for me it's good to read a fast story as well as a slow.

and Starbuck's is noisy today. (yes, i admit: i'm writing this entry ahead of time, not at the library with the free internet.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

snow one home

it may have been only half an inch or so of the white stuff, but it sure makes the land feel more like winter. this picture is of a little section of the Sudbury Reservoir Trail, which i pass by on the way to Starbuck's or the gym. it may not have been the Blizzard of '78, that so-called snowstorm; but it makes this feel more like home.

did anyone watch the president's State of DisUnion address last night? i had it as a PIP in one corner of the screen as i played Tekken 5, a fighting game which seemed an appropriate surround for W's address (which the tv's sound was on). maybe W's motto should be "If we're going to do something wrong [like the war on Iraq], let's do it wrong RIGHT [by surging the troops]."

have been reading THE GREAT ESCAPE, by Paul Brickhill. like the movie, which was based on the book, but with way more detail and sad details and pain & struggle and some humor. a compelling read. the movie was sort of a distillation of a few facets of the book, and it's interesting to read the characters who were combined into the movie roles.

happy day, all.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Wyvern Press has me busy putting together a dual-language version of EN ATTENDANT GODOT, with the original French and the translation by Samuel Beckett also.

another dual-language Wyvern Press title coming soon will be 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight', with the original Middle English and a translation by JRR Tolkien. more good stuff.

half an inch of snow last night, and another dusting this midmorning. practically a blizzard compared to what snow we've had so far.

am trying one-legged exercise cycle at the gym, and one-legged leg curls and leg presses; this whole hip-rehab thing is getting to be a drag.

stay warm, all.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

muss ill man

no, i'm not really ill; just a little sore from the gym. but it's the good kind of sore, instead of the injured kind. (or at least that's what i keep telling myself.)

finished the new Michael Crichton, NEXT. lot of fun. good stuff on genetiocs and bio-ethics and that sort of thing (from someone who knows what they're talking about, medically). and chimps.

watched the first disc of Looney Tunes Golden Collection; nice to see the cartoons not trimmed to fit the small commercial television slots currently in use.

bookstore quiet this morning, after a few initial visitors.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gerald Ford tribute

here's this month's last-quarter moon next to the half-staff flag: about as political as you'll see my blog get.

Ford was president when i was very young, but i don't remember anyone at my house ever speaking his name; my parents didn't talk about such things as politics (at least in front of the crumb-crushers). i remember Carter and Reagan and all, but not Ford or Nixon.

and on a personal note, today i took the plunge and signed a 1-year contract with a local gym. guess that means i plan to spend another year here (or that i'm willing to eat the rest of the contract if i move). sounds like the fulfillment of a New Year's resolution that i never made (but can't resist making up) -- to more fully engage my life and take advantage of opportunities around me. (and trying to rehab my bad hip by not running for a while -- i needed to arrange some low impact workouts.)

am just getting toward the end of Michael Crichton's new book, NEXT. pretty good stuff -- genetics and bioethics and such; better than STATE OF FEAR.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

belfry moon :-)

ok, so no pictures of the *full* moon, but caught this nearly-last-quarter moon in the belfry of the local church; so i'm good with the cycle.

have been spending time again with Mary Ann, an dear friend from my early days as an English major. she's always helped me with my writing & speech: "And if you deliver an opinion at all, it is mere stupidity not do it with an air of conviction and well-founded knowledge. You make it your own in uttering it, and naturally get fond of it."

more thoughts of returning to Ithaca and being near Cornell -- either for a visit this summer, or as a more permanent thing.

and my thumbs are sore from . . . from video games: too much Burnout 3; a mild case of 'Atari thumb'. (and am actually playing some 2600 games again too, like Adventure. good to see the dragons once more, hopping mad as ever.)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

no Wolf moon pics :-(

missed the moonrise pictures on Tiu’s—the sky was clear and a ghost pancake moon hung in the afternoon sky, but my camera batteries were still charging (i’d forgotten to discharge & recharge them on (ironically) Moonday). tried Wodin’s morn, but forgot until 07:10 and then the moon had either set or was behind clouds. cloudy last night (Wodin’s) and again this morning, so no shoot. *very* early this morning, the moon was an appealing white blob in the sky, behind a thin haze; but then the clouds thickened (by 06:30) and the moon was totally obscurred. so no Wolf moon pics this year. but another Cornell pic -- another Cascadilla gorge one, from '02.

Capcom Classics and Atari Anthology (PS 2 games) were delivered yester. i played some Street Fighter, Bionic Commando, 1943, Ghouls & Ghosts, and such; then, a little Haunted House (2600), Tempest, Battle Zone (both arcade), and then a lot of Adventure (2600). Adventure is easily the best game ever written, i think, from an efficiency point of view. 4 kilobytes! that's how big the game ROM is! first i played a level 2 game and finished quickly. then i played a level 3 game, set to maximum difficulty P1 & P2), and it was of great difficulty—magnet dropped inside the wall of White castle, which attracted (of course) the key to the castle, and the bat was flying around, wreaking its usual havoc. aggressive dragons, hopping mad (but afraid of the sword). haven’t gotten the magic dot yet (and found the secret message), but will soon. i still remember all the routes through the kingdom and passages through the mazes from all those years ago. such is the result of video game saturation at the age of language acquisition, i guess. digital brainwashing.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

fly away home

yay! i wrote my first 'real' Python program: it produced all the anagram combinations (720) of the word 'zombie' (none of which were actual English words, but i just wanted to figure out a way of doing it in Python). i did it a quick & dirty way:

w = 'zombie'

count = 0

for a in [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]:
for b in [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]:
for c in [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]:
for d in [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]:
for e in [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]:
for f in [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]:
if ((not w[a]==w[b]) and (not w[a]==w[c]) and (not w[a]==w[d])
and (not w[a]==w[e]) and (not w[a]==w[f]) and
(not w[b]==w[c]) and (not w[b]==w[d]) and
(not w[b]==w[e]) and (not w[b]==w[f]) and
(not w[c]==w[d]) and (not w[c]==w[e]) and
(not w[c]==w[f]) and (not w[d]==w[e]) and
(not w[d]==w[f]) and (not w[e]==w[f])):
print w[a] + w[b] + w[c] + w[d] + w[e] + w[f]
count += 1
print count

although there's probably a more elegant way to do it with Lists instead of strings, this way works. blah, blah, blah. anyway, that was yesterday. (and sorry that all the indents disappear in the blog text of the program -- makes it hard to read.)

(and why anagrams of 'zombie'? i was looking for a last name for Karen, and there's the whole big zombie thing in the philosophy of consciousness that i wanted to acknowledge, even though Karen *won't* be a zombie. maybe Karen Zimboe. but i thought of that before writing the program.)

today, my digital brother delivered a great gift -- his old Playstation 2 (he got a 3) -- and i hope this doesn't signal the demise of my non-video-game-playing activities. (it won't; but it *will* be a lot of fun.) i've ordered the Atari Anthology, Capcom Classics Collection, and Burnout 3; and those should keep me busy for a while. Baldur's Gate is on my list, but it's harder to find. any other suggestions?

the full moon is tomorrow night, but i forgot to recharge my camera batteries in time for tonight's moonrise, which will be before sunset -- tomorrow's may be after dark, and then it's difficult not to overexpose the bright moon. wish me luck.