1. I do not not feel this the way I used to not feel this.

    (Drinking ALL the coffee was not a great step 1.)

    I used to go to work on Monday and come home on Saturday.

    (and, yeah, it was mostly a workaround for a bout of agoraphobia, but still.)

     
  2. I love an international McDonald’s¹ primarily as a free wifi location², but I also love hunting for the little differences and reading weird³ corporate documentation abroad. At some point one has to take pictures and divest from paper copies of things, though.

    Shaka (Shaka), your American BBQ fries, when the walls fell.

    ¹ Regardless of potential other feelings about multinationals, as someone who also has a CamelCase last name, I do appreciate McDonald’s as a juggernaut pushing toward making that more and more of a thing that is reasonably and accurately dealt with in paperwork.

    ² I also maybe ate double digit numbers of soft serve cones in Sydney because it was a wifi legitimizing purchase and *25¢*.  Also, maybe I had one or two when not checking in, but I was there for a couple weeks and they are tasty.  And I don’t think I have since.

    ³ That Gnome is so German.

     
  3. image: Download

    “Threatening Chicken”.
Gosh, the Germans.

    Threatening Chicken”.

    Gosh, the Germans.

     
  4. Plays: 39

    I would have tried to filter out the ambient sounds of my lab, but I didn’t want to cook this weird version of the 20140513 Back to Work live raw feed at all.

    The Muppet Babification function remains my favorite elusive, but always delightful, type of robot voice.  I think this is maybe also the best way to hear discussions of SIM card swaps from multiple devices, though maybe not effective for all listeners:

    (I find that authoritative rapid Spanish subdues white people.)

     
  5. How could I have forgotten to share “Legge e Ordine”! Though perhaps more compelling on “Recht und Ordnung”, my primary foreign language tutor should always be some incarnation of Jiacomo McCoy.

    (The “Chung Chung!” still transcends all lingual barriers, pals.)

     
  6. image: Download

    On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.
(I was actually looking for something from this day 5 years ago and stumbled onto this international madness.  But—Fun fact!—I am actually pretty okay with a Magna Doodle, the EAS was what I had and it worked out as all the sketches of that era were performed in one of my favorite underground places and within feet of a not exactly well shielded 9.4 Tesla magnet: A lot of sitting still, a lot of extremely sudden movement.)
Usually they don’t spell it Kunstler. Drop the sler, c/k swap, jiggle the letters around a bit.  That’s what I’m more accustomed to seeing without the James.  (James → Peak Oil → Peak Hair  → Bubbles.)

    On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

    (I was actually looking for something from this day 5 years ago and stumbled onto this international madness.  But—Fun fact!—I am actually pretty okay with a Magna Doodle, the EAS was what I had and it worked out as all the sketches of that era were performed in one of my favorite underground places and within feet of a not exactly well shielded 9.4 Tesla magnet: A lot of sitting still, a lot of extremely sudden movement.)

    Usually they don’t spell it Kunstler. Drop the sler, c/k swap, jiggle the letters around a bit.  That’s what I’m more accustomed to seeing without the James. 
    (James
    → Peak Oil → Peak Hair  Bubbles.)

     
  7. image: Download

    Sad Clowns who have secretly abandoned their formal livelihoods retain their ability to masquerade as any of the other characters.  It is pretty near to completely harrowing to coulrophobes.
Is that a Revolutionary Guy?  No, that is a Sad Clown who has undertaken the mantle of rebellious sedition as part of an attempted escape from the self.  But regardless his adopted trappings and accoutrements, he will always have Sad Clown DNA on the inside. (A little gross, a little tragic.)
…
One finds weird things on a desktop when manuscript deadlines start to get serious.

    Sad Clowns who have secretly abandoned their formal livelihoods retain their ability to masquerade as any of the other characters.  It is pretty near to completely harrowing to coulrophobes.

    Is that a Revolutionary Guy?  No, that is a Sad Clown who has undertaken the mantle of rebellious sedition as part of an attempted escape from the self.  But regardless his adopted trappings and accoutrements, he will always have Sad Clown DNA on the inside.
    (A little gross, a little tragic.)

    One finds weird things on a desktop when manuscript deadlines start to get serious.

     
  8. image: Download

    Finding the hidden pictures on the (now somewhat out of date) cover of the German airport version of “Highlights” Magazine is not super difficult.
From the back: 

Können Sie finden die
Weinende Roboter
Mercedes Benz Logo
Einzel-Propeller-Flugzeug
Edelstahl Familienhilfe
Beispiele des demonstrativen Konsums


or, for those of you who are not practicing Int’l Comm Skills:

Can you find the
Weeping Robot
Mercedes Benz Logo
Single Airplane Propeller
Stainless Steel Marital Aid
Examples of Conspicuous Consumption

Though I like when the translations for euphemisms are in fact just translations of euphemisms, imagine how a proper Deutsch Schriftsteller would have described that fourth one. I bet there is really such a great compound-word for that. (I do like the implicit interpretation shift of Marital—>Family.) …It causes me great distress to not know all the things sometimes.  

    Finding the hidden pictures on the (now somewhat out of date) cover of the German airport version of “Highlights” Magazine is not super difficult.

    From the back: 

    Können Sie finden die

    • Weinende Roboter
    • Mercedes Benz Logo
    • Einzel-Propeller-Flugzeug
    • Edelstahl Familienhilfe
    • Beispiele des demonstrativen Konsums

    or, for those of you who are not practicing Int’l Comm Skills:

    Can you find the

    • Weeping Robot
    • Mercedes Benz Logo
    • Single Airplane Propeller
    • Stainless Steel Marital Aid
    • Examples of Conspicuous Consumption

    Though I like when the translations for euphemisms are in fact just translations of euphemisms, imagine how a proper Deutsch Schriftsteller would have described that fourth one. I bet there is really such a great compound-word for that. (I do like the implicit interpretation shift of Marital—>Family.)
    …It causes me great distress to not know all the things sometimes.  

     
  9. "R-E-ST-R-O-O-M".
    That is information that’ll TOTALLY keep blind ladies out of the men’s room and blind men out of the ladies’.

    Wait a minute…

    I guess it isn’t like they’ll inadvertently see …parts.

    We were in a cab last week (not you and me, but me and somebody else—it’s an irrelevant detail beyond putting me in a place where I could see a thing,) and it dawned on me that there are label makers that do the embossed text and so there are clearly ones that could do braille (BOOM! It is great that these things are easy to look up!) and for a mere 20 dollars I could clear up so many ambiguities.

    I have, however, never actually seen anyone else reading braille.  But (and I don’t mean this in the most callous sort of way, though clearly it is a jerky thing to write,) maybe neither has anyone else who might actually need to be reading braille.  Eeep.  I mostly just don’t love the idea of inadvertent* promulgation of misinformation.  (…Or, as in this case, information that while true is not as relevant and complete as one might think/hope.)

    Also, on that braille labeler website, at the top of the page the store is labeled “future aids” and because of the lack of specification about capitalization, that seems really unfortunate. 

    *Intentional stuff can go either way, weirdly enough.

     
  10. image: Download

    On any given day—due to the litany of date, holiday, and seasonal exclusions (red)—if the caller ID says "Stevie Wonder" and you jokily answer “Are you just calling to say you love me?”, a self-consistent answer would be "no" some 77⁺ % of the time.
The “no” could be to a variety of sub-components of that query, though: maybe there is other pressing business, not JUST declarations of love; maybe it is a wrong number, even if he does love you it wasn’t his intention to call or say it; maybe it’s butt-dialing season, there’s been an uptick in that, sure; and, yeah, maybe he doesn’t love you. But maybe it wouldn’t’ve worked out anyway, even if you’d gotten really good at reading braille. 
Good news: you’re maybe still pretty okay at reading braille.(That puts you a good couple steps ahead of Henry Bemis)

    On any given day—due to the litany of date, holiday, and seasonal exclusions (red)—if the caller ID says "Stevie Wonder" and you jokily answer “Are you just calling to say you love me?”, a self-consistent answer would be "no" some 77⁺ % of the time.

    The “no” could be to a variety of sub-components of that query, though: maybe there is other pressing business, not JUST declarations of love; maybe it is a wrong number, even if he does love you it wasn’t his intention to call or say it; maybe it’s butt-dialing season, there’s been an uptick in that, sure; and, yeah, maybe he doesn’t love you. But maybe it wouldn’t’ve worked out anyway, even if you’d gotten really good at reading braille.

    Good news: you’re maybe still pretty okay at reading braille.
    (That puts you a good couple steps ahead of Henry Bemis)

     
  11. Kurt Vonnegut Library Adventures, Newish Exhibits
    (from this last weekend)

    (1) Pages from "Fluctuations Between Good and Ill Fortune in Simple Tales". 

    "In an attempt to raise his salary while at the University of Iowa, Vonnegut tried again to submit a master’s thesis to the University of Chicago. ‘This time he wrote a thesis comparing stores of primitive societies to contemporary short stories.  This, too, was rejected—he was told that it wasn’t valid to compare primitive an civilized societies.’ (Wakefield, 74)"

    I think those plots are pretty amusing.  However, if I had been his TA at Cornell, I would have probably had to take points off for unlabeled axes.  He would have probably called me out on cheating life vis-à-vis time travel.  I would have suggested it as a topic for side-project writing.  We both would have probably gotten in trouble with the Chem department.   That actually MAY have happened!  Which continuity is this?

    (2)  AND there is now a braille version of the A/V tour, AND I found an angle and lighting condition that almost kind of works for being able to visually read double sided braille, though clearly the last page of single-sided braille is still easiest.

    This is what I do on the weekends, this is what I think about when the data is collecting and I have a moment.  Decode, decode, decode.

     
  12. (Ohman, I’d almost forgotten about this!)

    In Germany — and this particular bakery was, appropriately enough, in Mannheim — they maybe forgo the idea of blog-to-book deals for pod-to-bake deals.  Of all comfortable enough notions turned establishments that I’ve walked into, this was easily the best smelling.

    AND, since there was a bread slicing machine by the door, one could easily draw direct comparisons to sliced bread.  (You can parse slightly more accurately when I was there by nearby cross-timeline action.) I sat by it for about a half hour and missed a train waiting for someone to buy and slice a loaf.  And, just before I hit the level of disappointed acceptance that would make me give up on the hope of seeing it in action, someone did and it was pretty special.  And then I caught the next train.  Flexibility as regards a plan is probably one of the easiest traits to cultivate toward enabling the enjoyment tiny weirdly magical moments.  Anyhow: freshly sliced bread; I can see how it would be a sort of standard best thing, even if brotschneiden ist kinderleicht!

    (I did not buy bread.  I could have just bought and auto-sliced a loaf, but it felt like it would have been a weirdly fraudulent thing to do, like going to the zoo INSTEAD OF hunting down kangaroos in the wild (, although I am historically okay with doing both).  I did buy a Coke Light (which is what Europe calls a Diet Coke) and 2 pairs of fingerless gloves from the place across the way. They were a gambit and, while I wouldn’t say I regret nothing, they are pretty cute and enable me to roll up my sleeves AND maintain dexterity WITHOUT exposing my forearms.  Which would seem simultaneously like both my most American of semi-conscious mannerisms and maybe my most un-American of weird subculturally ingrained hang-ups.)

     
  13. **FUN FACT**
    In some foreign lands, instead of closed captions, they use layers of elderly persons filmed on green screens (dressed incongruously to any of the the scenes behind them) to reiterate and translate the goings on in sign language.

    There was no information to prove this gentleman’s first name was NOT Razzle. I bet that was a common name in his town growing up, like Buzz or Florian or Matthias.

    (I love closed captions, but I also was amused by Mr. Dazzle; as such, I was a little torn that afternoon in Zurich.)

     
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    "Nice try, language program, but I’ve never even owned a real cat. Your cat is YOUR family. Ha!"
"What do you mean you’ve never owned a *real* cat?"
"Every person goes through an imaginary pets phase, no?"
"You think you want to maybe amend ‘person’ to ‘kid’?"
"Shut your tuna hole, imaginary cat."

    "Nice try, language program, but I’ve never even owned a real cat. Your cat is YOUR family. Ha!"

    "What do you mean you’ve never owned a *real* cat?"

    "Every person goes through an imaginary pets phase, no?"

    "You think you want to maybe amend ‘person’ to ‘kid’?"

    "Shut your tuna hole, imaginary cat."

     
  15. Klein Homer’s LP of Captain Beefhead induced an airport bookstore “awww!”, but neither he nor the beste der besten came home mit me.