Friday, March 30, 2007

Ten Random Things About Me

i've been tagged by MeaningShapes and i'll bite.

"Here's how you play: Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird or random things, facts, or habits about yourself. At the end you choose a few people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them to be tagged. You can't tag the person who tagged you (they've already written theirs). Its the perfect excuse to praise fellow bloggers while posting an important piece of media in the comments. Tweak your entry or comments as you see fit."

ten random things:

1. this morning i had to do major surgery on my lily, who had became pot-bound. instead of finding a larger pot, i elected to cut lily in two and re-pot each half (on the advice of my plant-wise sister). lily lost a few stems of each half, but the operation seems to have been a success; and now lily is two.

2. Brad Delp (the lead singer to the band 'Boston') has killed himself, and i grieve. since i heard about it, though, i've been in denial and basically just ignored it. but today i've been playing all Boston's albums (or at least the four i have) as a sort of personal memorial. Boston was to have toured again this summer, but now they can't. maybe i can finally see that suicide is a bummer.

3. i've decided to re-grow my Abe Lincoln beard, which i shaved off on the vernal equinox a week or so ago. but i missed it, and so i'm letting it sprout again. maybe i also missed saying "The Amish called -- they want their beard back."

4. i have twelve (at last count) pictures and/or maps of boats, ships, or the coast in the front room of my apartment. it's a mania.

5. i'm learning Homeric Greek at the moment, which so far involves me sounding out Greek words letter by letter to figure out the meaning (with words specially chosen to have obvious English cognates, like μανια) – i feel like i’m four years old again, but i’m beginning to grok the Greek.

6. i’m slightly OCD about lists — i have lists of all my books and DVDs, for instance; i have 477 and 271 of them, respectively, at last count. μανια. and i have to have everything in order, whether it's my bookshelves, my bookstore, or the HDs and discs full of images, music, and downloads.

7. i’ve never owned a car, and i haven’t even been behind the wheel since 1994 (i think). i’ve owned six bicycles, though (and only wound up in the hospital three times because of riding them — heh).

8. if i was stranded on a remote island somewhere (which would be paradise for me, in some ways) and could only have one food, i would choose peanuts. of course i would probably soon die of some dreadful nutritional lack in real life; but if we’re going with a silly premise like this, i’d make it a remote *tropical* island and get some greens too (to go with the peanuts).

9. i prefer fiction & fantasy to real life (except as much as fiction & fantasy are parts of real life). although it's true that i like to take pictures, it's almost always of scenery and not people -- scenery without people stuff, if i can manage it.

10. i think i’ve spent more time in cafés than i have in classrooms (including K-12, college, & miscellaneous grad school). and if not more, then give me a few years. café scholarship.


[and sorry, MeaningShapes, i haven't been writing any stories lately. i think a few up and occasionally jot a few notes, but seldom do i write them out anymore.]

[and i can't tag any other blogs, since i don't read (or know of) any other blogs except MeaningShapes.]

Sunday, March 25, 2007

snow-flash (and on the road again)

this is from the snow at night, 16 March '07. i rarely use the flash on my camera, but it helps sometimes (in instances such as this) to freeze time and illuminate foreground objects.

and as of Friday, i'm back bicycling hither & yon again; my hip is healed enough for it; i just have to not overdo it.

i'm renewing my studies, too, of Homeric Greek, Middle English, and C, Java, & Python programming -- nothing like restricting oneself to a single course of study. heh.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

my wispy pink friend

sunset on the 5th of March redlit the most gorgeous sky-puffs i've seen in a long time. and from my back window, it's all about the timing & the geometry.

a week of resting my hip, and it's a little better; but i've a way to go yet. my patience wears thin, however. i miss the simple things -- bicycling to the cafe or to the local market.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

get me outta here

first blog entry with no picture; rats.

not getting around & about much anymore, trying to heal my (damned) hip. and it's driving me crazy. taking the bus (instead of riding my bicycle) -- and conforming to its schedule -- gets me somewhere, but passively. arg

so to retain some degree of sanity, i'm reading & studying a lot (more, that is, than usual). fiction and computer science and physics. revisiting old friends (and trying to make some new ones).

i even get out to Starbuck's occasionally, or the library. but only on the (damned) bus. so only on weekdays.

and music. Enya and Vivaldi help some to displace the crazies from my brain. and The Essential Mix. and whoever else i feel like.

and Star Treks. and movies.

Monday, March 12, 2007

the moon is red -- that is, it was

she can't sleep now
the moon is red
she fights a fever
she burns in bed . . .
[Paul Simon, 'She Moves On']

this photo (cropped & resized) is from Panther Observatory, Austria from the recent lunar eclipse (2007-03-03); *all* the credit for this image belongs to them. go to their website (a link to them is in my LINKS list) and click on NEW for all the details plus a *very* hi-res version of the picture (with great stars & galaxies in the uncropped shot).

a hundred wounds remain within me unhealed;
you left just before it was over,
and i didn't tell you that i thought
that it was about to end.
you forgave me,
but i'm still sorry.

heh, Fellowship mishap.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

last month's moon (plus a link to the eclipse moon)

this is from the moonset morning of 03 February 2007, and the image is contrast & exposure enhanced on Photoshop.

i missed the full lunar eclipse moon on 03 March 2007 due to clouds (and i missed the moonset the next morning due to sleeping until 06:30); but if you want the most spectacular lunar eclipse picture i've ever seen, go to: [or click on the link at the top right]

and click on NEW to get to an 03 March 2007 Lunar Eclipse red-moon image, available in 3152 x 2368 -- absolutely fabulous!
i am indeed humbled by the quality of the Panther Observatory images, all of them.

shine on, all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

snow moon & Dan Brown ANGELS & DEMONS

here's another 1st quarter moon scene (not far from where i shot the previous one); the moon is in the upper middle of the scene, somewhere.

recently i've started reading Dan Brown's ANGELS & DEMONS, the prequel to THE DAVINCI CODE, and i can hardly stop laughing. it's all about a supposed particle physicist who has created substantial amounts of antimatter via a large particle accelerator, but the physics cited in the story is hilariously off.

supposedly, matter / antimatter explosions don't emit dangerous radiation, just a flash of light. doesn't he get that radiation IS just light, but very very high energy light? and the story goes on to propose antimatter as a great source of energy, because it explodes so cleanly & energetically with matter. what he entirely misses is that the amount of energy needed to create the antimatter in the first place would be at least equal to (if not significantly greater than) the energy output of an explosion.

sure, antimatter would make a great weapon; but it would make a LOUSY energy source (unless, say, a large chunk of antimatter could be found floating around in space and then harnessed for energy, with a lot of radiation shielding). aside from the usual Dan Brown gross (and subtle) historical inaccuracies, the distorted physics makes for some good laughs!
oh, and i forgot to mention: i finished THE MILL ON THE FLOSS, and there isn't really any redemption in the story after all. oh well.

and i just got a copy of Radford's MINIMALIST SYNTAX: Exploring the Structure of English -- what fun!

hope you're all out there finding joy or humor (or both) in various bits of life.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

aeolian waves of snow

here's that picture i promised a few days ago (taken the afternoon of 03 Mar '07) of wind-sculpted snow on the local reservoir ice. i love waves & periodicity in any phenomana; maybe my brain does a Fourier analysis in processing it (and then delivers a jolt to the pleasure center proportionate to the periodicity ;-).

and here's something i wrote earlier tonight (slightly drunk):

To me, she was a sucker for women — a sucker for women almost the same way many men are suckers for women. Ok, maybe not quite so much a sucker, but close. Falling for the wrong ones. Or one. She was sometimes nuts for a woman the same kind of way (a little) i was nuts for her (once upon a time). But a bit better at it. And more successful. Perhaps i exaggerate. And she liked how much i wanted to *be* a woman myself, even though i was so thoroughly a man. She even called me a dyke once: she said, “Oh, Rek, you’re such a dyke.” And she didn’t really approve of my liking Pink Floyd so much. Or at least that’s what my memory records. Fond memories. My friend. A million years ago. But she’s not so much anymore, a sucker for women. She’s grown. I haven’t, much. A little. Maybe enough. And i still like Pink Floyd. Whatever it takes to get you/me through the day/night/weekend.

Who goes there? (Or, rather, Who went there?)

sometimes i like to think of life as a series of footprints -- footprints other people have left on the landscape of my life and footprints i've left on theirs, and the times i've spent trying to figure out who left what footprints (and not being able to tell). all part of my de-personalization of life, i suppose. heh.

(ps, thanks to my sis for the first part of the title of this entry.)

any suggestions for Question of the week? or maybe i'll just use that.

Friday, March 2, 2007

there ain't room enough in this tree for the both of us

crows in the trees behind my house, part of the local murder.

ah . . . i'm back on dial-up and sitting in my apartment. slow, but cheap (for the first 6 months). and i finally scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to look at my damned hip; ouch.

a slushy wet day out there, so no trip down the hill to Starbuck's (or to the library to check my email) today. and no excuses not to get some work done on the GOFAI programming. :-D