21 December, 2006


mmm...tea, toast, cloth-bound cheddar, stilton and salami.


12 December, 2006


of all the ways i ingest tobacco, i must confess that a well-packed pipe is my favorite. tastier and more relaxing. and though i work from home, and thus can puff away all day, it's still more soothing to light up once the work day is done.

as it is for today. debugging is done, for the time being, code is checked into source control and the batch jobs on the mainframe aren't going to be finished till late, and so can wait till the morrow to be checked and have the output processed.

the bowl is packed, the sparks have lit into flame, the smoke curls up from the briar and from the curl of my lip. now all that is left is to relax and wait for my lovely perse to get home. and perhaps think about what to make for dinner.

ah, who am i kidding? i'm going to play oblivion till she gets home. then i'll think about dinner.

05 December, 2006

White Collar Blues

another rough draft.

White Collar Blues

Weary. Oh not
with the bone-ache
of working men,
that day-end drain
and strain on all
sinew and tendon
and limbs longing
for langorous ease.

Weary. Of thought
neverending, never
slowing, ever
racing around
the hamster-wheel
of the forebrain
while always, only
wishing for the
clarity of glass,
empty. Blank.

And glass, full.


edit: 12/12. see. told ya i'd work in hamsters. [grin]

04 December, 2006

a giant christmas-time peeve

we're deep in the heart of the "holiday" season now, and once more, amongst the garland and tinsel and silver bells a twinkling, my biggest christmas-time peeve rears it's ugly head.

betcha ya wanna know what it is, doncha? no?

fine, well, i'm going to tell you anyway.

it's the use of "scrooge" as a noun. not so much that scrooge has become a noun; that's a terribly common sort of thing in english, and one of the ways the tongue evolves. no, it's the meaning that irks me. we've all used it this way, likely myself included. but it still bothers me when "scrooge" is used to indicate someone who dislikes the christmas season, or is generally miserly, miserable and misanthropic. why? because any semi-sentient being who has read "a christmas carol", or seen one of the many stage and/or film adaptations (muppet version included) should know the point of the story is the fucking redemption of ebenezer's soul. the book ends with scrooge being remembered as a man who knew how to keep christmas. yet, all we seem to have retained in our collective, cultural memory is "bah, humbug!". why is that? do we just not, as a people, honestly believe in redemption? or is the name just too evocative of miserliness? it certainly has the right sound for it.

regardless, it irks me. for if nothing else, it says something about reading comprehension.

01 December, 2006

baseball writing: anti-intellectualism and conservatism

i've been reading a good deal of the posts on fire joe morgan (damn you bacon!) lately, and it got me to thinking about american anti-intellectualism. how (or perhaps, why?), you may ask? it's very simple.

baseball, while no longer the most popular sport in the good ol' us of a, has long maintained the myth that it is the thinking man's sport (as well as being the national past-time). this is highly debatable. yet the perception (less vaild, i think, in the era of fantasy sports) is that baseball has always been the most statisically obsessed (major american is and will be implied) sport. most people who at least causually follow the sport know about batting average, rbi's, era, home runs. in the context of this, efforts in the past decade or so have rachetted up to develop improved statistics to evaluate players and their impact on the team's chances of winning.

enter the backlash. for, while baseball may be staticially obsessive, it is also an extraordinarily conservative sport. no modern player can ever be considered superior to someone who played in the golden days (say, the 20's). the older players "knew how to play the game" and didn't cheat like they do these days (only cause they didn't know about steriods. oh, black sox anyone?). and while statistics are good, these new fangled stats aren't. let us also not forget intangibles. ah, glorious intangibles!. the old stats were good enough (for moses!) then, so they are good enough now. the biggest knock though, is they have been developed by "nerds" who never played baseball professionally and thus cannot really understand the game (this comes often from former ballplayers turned analysts).

why does this attitude exist? partly because, like news in general, sports reporting and "analysis" has become all about TV ratings. so, if you use information readily availible to the public, where is your job security? you need an angle. that angle has become the idea that stats, particularly newly developed stats, cannot be the sole basis for player evaluation. nevermind that no one has ever claimed that they are anything other than an objective toolset to be used amongst a variety of criteria. they can't tell you about a player's heart and grit, damn it!

ah, heart and grit. we're tying ball back into the mythos of the american "self-made" man here. this, i believe, is where the anti-intellectualism of american society is best reflected. we worship the self-made man. the kind of person who suffered through hardship and succeeded when all others thought he'd fail; getting by not on skill or talent, but on grit and determination. we love the sort of guy who doesn't go to college, but winds up a millionare businessman (likely because of natural talent and skill, plus some luck, but no matter).

what causes this? my opinion is that intelligence is a method of creating an elite class. that is, it falls prey to the twisted interpretation of "all men are created equal". this phrase should rightly mean that we all start with the same chance. not that everyone is equal, in the end. those who are more intelligent often are more successful (not always, naturally, but that's a different discussion). those who are gifted thusly do not have the struggle of the common man, and this creates a sense of inequality that must be stiffled. moreover, we, as a nation, seem to still suffer the lingering effects of puritanical conservativism. intellectuals challenge the status quo, and for conservatism, that's a no no. the old ways are the best, don't try to change them. let experience be the yardstick. and so on.

had more to say, but work has distracted me. any comments are welcome though. plus, read that blog, even if it's just for the humor value.

29 November, 2006

post turkey-day thoughts

leftovers are dangerous. this, i learned in rather embarassing fashion last night. perse had very kindly made me a turkey & cheddar sandwich, which i unfortunately faild to finish. why, you may ask? turkey is delicious, even as leftovers from the great feast day. some might argue that thanksgiving leftovers is the real joy of the holiday. usually, i would chime in with agreement.

not today though. all because i scraped my lip on the toast enveloping said delectable turkey (and cheddar!). yes, you heard me. i injured myself with toast.

what this means in respect to my manhood, or even in regard to my status as a compentent member of the human race is, at this time, unclear. it could be argued that, well, lips are sensitive and (mine, at least) prone to chapping. if a bit of wind can injure your lips, well why not hardened bread as well? people cut themselves on paper all the time and no one (well, mostly no one) thinks less of them.

still, i cannot shake this feeling of deep, dark, horrific shame. i mean, it's toast! how could i hurt myself with toast? what sort of graceless creature could do such a thing? yet i find the answer is: me.

oh yeah, christmas carols are everywhere now. was going to write more on this, but i've got to go cut some eyeholes in a paper bag...

27 November, 2006

Gulf Coast

rough draft

Gulf Coast

The wind in the palm leaves
whispers of rain. Not just
of imminence, nor only of memory.
But all: a song of deep green
longing for days where grey
washes blue from the skies.

With rustling fronds they speak
of shaping clouds and conspire,
with rooted will, to seed
them with the idea of water.

Barefooted, listening, basking
in the yellowed blaze; I sink
my toes beneath the moist
flesh of the earth
and am inclined to agree.

17 November, 2006



The jungle has eaten the city.
Only roots are left behind,
crossed with pathless trails all
leading beyond this shore.
This slim sandy green spit, stretched
into a dock over cleared blue.

These planks, rough-hewn, uneven
move under my feet. They feel
grey, bleached by sun and time.
I walked past time to get here:
crumbling in places, grown tall
in others, stumbling into now.
This spot where time stills
into a salted breeze
playing the marsh reeds

I long to dip my toes
and wonder if night brings mist.



The dewed cool of the morn and I,
with my fingernails
under the dirt, sowed them as children.

Months long have I exhaled small clouds,
whispers of water;
held the sun still to shine them.

And now.

Walk slow in the shade between
the rows and let them
bend yellow heads low, to kiss you.



In Sunday school, they taught
me with allegory. How the wise
men built homes upon the rise
and ridge of solid rock;
how the foolish staked their claim
below, and on the plain
made treacherous homes.
The shifting silt and sand
was unfit for those who thought
beyond having water close at hand.

So, the story sings
that stony perch is where
our soul should sit. Firm
on the rock where the Word
was first writ.

I learned something, though
not the lesson they sought.

Sand was stone, stone will
be sand and sand again
will return to rock.



They were mountains, once,
jagged with the arrogance
of youth. Then time came
with wind and water: ice, rain
wore the striving peaks
to smoothed hills, rounded,
hoar with winter, ground
still finer still into silt,
soil, sand, dust, dirt.
All return as Adam, bound
by rivers, went back to clay
and in the sea's abyss they lay.
For the ocean owns us all.

Snowfall and Moonlight

Snowfall and Moonlight

Most others keep inside, nights like this.
We know the secret though, to staying warm.
So these nights seem made for us alone.

A night like this, the first you woke me.
You'd been dreaming of the daylong storm,
heavy flakes piling thick on branches groaning

the weight in the wind, like at this midnight.
Waking you padded soft to the windowpane,
unveiled the moon as you wiped away your breath

and, like this night, roused me from sleep.
Eyes alight, your smile begged our footsteps
be first to fall upon the fresh snowfall.

In this moonlight on snowfall, at midnight
again, I follow you across shadow trees
the world glinted sapphire as your eyes.

We melted angels into the snow, a night like this.

Jack O'Lantern

Jack O'Lantern

through the hollowed
shelled out hull
the knife-blade slashes,
cleaves the skull

sideways rends a
terrible grin
flashing cross the
wrinkled skin

cat-slit glinting
eyes afright
with flickering, eerie
shadowed light

jack beheaded
waits alone
as ghoulish welcome
to your home.

In the Morning

In the Morning

Dawn reminds me I forgot
to close the blinds.
Slipping out of bed a
warm steel grip grasps my
wrist, attached to half-dozing,
questioning eyes, a
mischievious grin peeking
out beneath the sheets.

In my defense
I only wished to make
blueberry pancakes.

still you insist on
convincing me brunch is
far the better meal.
slowly our debating
builds in tempo, finds a
rhythm of point and counter
till we reach a mutually
satisfactory conclusion
that breakfast can wait.

Ghost Hands

ghost hands

beneath your words
lies a quiver my ears
alone are tuned to.

your ache is mine,
not a pain alone.

across the miles
my ghost hands slip
into your breast,
cradle, caress, hold
your heart together.

let me stand a
shield, absorb
the buffeting blows.
i do not bruise;
my bones refuse
to break; my skin
a cloth to soak
time and tears away.

First Snow

First Snow

Even when you expect it, it's still a surprise.
Snow clouds never hold the same warning pain
as storms that make the summer skies cry.

Walking through memories in Central Park.
The growing wind unwinds your scarf;
my fingertips graze your neck as I wrap it again.
We kissed on that bench, under that tree
and everywhere between. A spring day,
the first our hands met.

Fresh snowflakes land in your lowered lashes.
You stick out your tongue with childish delight
to catch another, your lips still warm
as a spring day past.



sleep deep wrapped warm
blanketed in dreams
long desires tasted.


the fire burns low
in the hearth. from
the ashes i rise
phoenix-like bared
skin and soul before
your eyes striding
across the room to
open the box you
kept hid from pandora.


low vibrations your
breath'd voice floats
between locked eyes
speaking a vision;
land greened twined
with blued seas, waves
unmatched power pull
on the shores swell
break through stone
walls helpless to resist
the spring-tide. rhythm.


wake to memory. touch.
sense kept alive, light
in fingertipped skin.

Cold Front

Cold Front

Just after sunrise you can see the line.
Straight smooth stratus clouds
riding over the lower layer:
dark rolling nimbus, edges torn, tattered
by the battering breath of the north wind.
A widening blue cuts the sky, clearing.

Perhaps it will rain again today.
They said it might return. Even now
the road is still dark with wet.

Later this week I'll lean, sore-armed,
on a well used rake, pulling cold air in,
silently cursing the stubboness of oak trees.

For now I walk,
an unneeded scarf kept to my throat
by the soon bitter wind. A change.
They say tonight it may snow.

Coffee Break

coffee break

smudge-grey skies,
the kind that blend
and blur concrete
lines, cast over
my footsteps on
puddle-pocked sidewalks.
a light drizzle, whispering
of just passed rain
still waiting around
the corner, mists
my breath, mingled with
caffiene steam floating
from my clasped cup.
phantoms both, just as
your step beside my
stride; your held
hand in my pocket.
i turn my collar up
against the wind and
walk into november.

Untitled 2

Early morning brings
the whispering
of your breath upon my neck

I collect this peace
as memory
to face the days between us.

Early morning finds,
still lingering,
your fingers twined in mine.


In the early morning, I
suspect my socks are blue.
Still, I will not wake you,
for I love to watch you
smile at your dreams.

Bang My Whimper

Bang my Whimper

Soft, loud or silently mouthed
the circle still completes.
And as the world shudders,
implodes in contracting
convulsions, shatters and ends,
the beginning thrusts itself
forth, again. Slow, swift,
the rhythm of life returns,
the circle still completes.

At the Beach

At the Beach

Barefoot and bareheaded you
wander up, over and down the dunes
wondering where the wind
hid your loose-brimmed straw hat.

The warmth you feel caressing
your shoulders and lingering
where your hair bares your neck
is not late August sunshine.

Following your footsteps
feeling the same grass blades,
sand grains beneath my feet
I know I've found my paradise.

Something so simple as skin.

And the Heart Grows Fonder

And the Heart Grows Fonder

Absence sleeps in the middle
of a bed too large for one,
huddled under two blankets more
than needed. With light,
I can fill darkened rooms;
with smoke I can still
rapid blood; with drink
I can quench all thirst
but this. No skin will
sate but the touch of you.

But look, the moon
tonight has left me too,
and being absent, is becoming new.

After Dinner

After Dinner

You open yourself as
uncorked wine, pour out
that subtle, supple, sensual
secret stuff inside; passion
bottled fluid, flowing, enfolding
the shrunken space between
us. Two tongues linger, languorous
wrapping together, tasting

I lay drunk with you.

14 November, 2006

thoughts on shapes

i'm looking at a (more accurately, the) demitasse cup i made earlier this year. it was an afterthought, as far as creation goes. just a way to use up clay left over on the wheelhead from throwing teapot spouts. yet it came out well, and now i drink coffee from it most mornings. this, naturally, means i need to make more (having only one). not only for my own use, but i need to practice throwing off the stack (or hump, depending on who you ask).

so, an examination of the shape is in order. how to improve it. two flaws in the existing piece: the foot and the handle. as far as the cup itself, the size is near perfect, as is the weight. the foot, however, is about a quarter inch too wide. as for the handle, it's too large and has consequently is a shape more fitting a larger cup.

i think about shapes often. bowls, plates, cups, pitchers, etc.. the taper of a bowl edge, whether it should be steep and narrow or wide and shallow. what uses are best suited by what shapes? where should a handle go? all of these things are important in the design of a piece. whether i think about them because of my love of pottery, or i love pottery because i think of these things is unclear. likely a mixture. no matter. i still find it important. so much so, that i'll pick up nearly every piece of dinnerware or vase, etc. in a housewares store.

shape defines not only look and use, but how a thing should feel in the hand. feel and fit. this is what i'm striving for: something that feels like a part of your hand. to accomplish this, what is essential to keep in mind is how you hold things. cups, for instance, are round for two reasons: the first is that wheel-thrown ceramics and blown glass produce round shapes. yet, those shapes are easy to alter (i square off bowls often). the second it the natural curve of our hands. this makes round shapes more pleasing to hold. try it yourself. i'm certain you'll agree. even with a handle on a cup or mug, we still often want to hold the actual cup. i know i'm not the only one who will wrap his hands around a mug, fingers slipped through the handle.

with a cup for a hot beverage though, handles are essential. after all, burns suck. so, back to my demitasse cup. because it's small and light (only should hold about 2oz.) i find i can only comfortably fit one finger through the handle. herein lies the flaw. the shape is better suited to accomadate two fingers, though scaled down a bit. i hold it, though, with one through the handle and one directly under it, supporting. however, the curve is not well designed for this. what i need to do, then, is create the handle with this method of holding it in mind. this will allow my natural inclination as to how to hold it feel, well, natural. the next step in my learning of this craft: how to alter the basic forms to suit function.

13 November, 2006

pulling handles

i've noticed my handles tend to skew to the left. now, considering that i'm right-handed, this isn't a problem so far as function goes. actually a bit more comfortable, as they conform to the curve of my fingers. aesthetically, though, this is bothersome. mostly because i'm unsure why. i'll have to ask in class this week. not sure if it's something in my pulling technique or when i attach the handle to the cup. something do to with shrinkage? likely not, because it seems fairly consistant. so i'm guessing it's my technique.

going to play with copper oxide this week too. didn't put the iron oxide on my ginko leaf impressions thickly enough last round, so they don't show through the glaze. but, light matte blue accent on the shaner clear is a very nice combonation. will likely try that again. should have two pieces finished this week; my first use of the shino glazes. need to find which of the available glazes is a good green. not as many earth tones available to me at this new place, but i'll find stuff the i like. eventually.

feels good to be back in tune with the wheel. took a little bit, but i feel i'm back at the level i was before moving. practice, practice. going to try my hand at tea pots again after turkey day. they're a pain, but i like the challenge.

10 November, 2006

buncha poems

these have been kicking around on my hard drive. you may have read some of them. thought about giving each a seperate post, but, well, i'm lazy. enjoy (or don't):

EDIT: 11/17 apparently, i should break these up. so i shall.

[poof! they're gone!]

07 November, 2006

how come this never happens to me?

now that's some special sauce. apparently, two cops in NM got pot on their burgers. this is not a topping option i've noticed at any burger king around here. maybe you have to ask for it?

03 November, 2006

but i didn't inhale!

remember that bullshit line from clinton? sure you didn't inhale bill, we believe you.

well, sad to say, bill's line is far more believable than this bullshit: Evangelical leader says he bought meth but 'never used it'. this is laughably stupid. it's one thing to claim that you just pretended to inhale when someone passed you a joint at a party, to look "cool". we know it's bullshit, but there is at least a scant bit of plausibility to the lie.

this, however...i mean, come the fuck on. who buys drugs and then throws them away? was he just curious as to what meth looked like? got enough of a high from the illicit thrill of buying meth? was going to smoke it (crap, do you smoke meth? i stay away from this sort of thing) but then had a change of heart? bought it for a friend?

really. i mean, when you get caught, fess up. people will forgive fucking up; they are less inclined to forgive blatant lies about fucking up.

yet another work rant

can you sense a trend?

okay...so you want to have your name and address fields to be variable length. fine. that's nice, and thanks for putting a delimiter in there for me. however, you stupid fuckwits, if you then put the data into a fixed length table, you have done NOTHING but make coding more complex.

look at this shit:

fine, fine. but, you see, if you want a variable length table in cobol, you need to write: OCCURS 1 TO 156 TIMES DEPENDING ON NAME-ADDR-AREA-LEN. or somthing akin to that. otherwise, you have a fixed length table. such as above. in which case, you'd have been better off just defining the fucking field names so i could do simple moves, instead of having to write a routine to unstring the fucking name from the address. more over, if you and moving variable length data into fixed fields, there is no point. a variable table takes up the maximum defined size in memory when you run the program. you aren't saving any space in working memory. you certainly aren't saving space in the database. the only time variable length tables are useful in cobol is when you have a variable length OUTPUT. otherwise, it's just a pain in the ass.

i hate these morons.

01 November, 2006

stupid fucktards

so, i just got off the phone with comcast. why? because they were still billing me for service in CT. i moved to MD in the middle of august. i cancelled my service. they were supposed to turn it off.

why did they not turn it off? because, apparently, i wasn't home. of course i wasn't home, i'd moved to a different fucking state. in fact, i told this to the person i scheduled the service cancellation with, when i asked i could return the cable box in maryland. and mentioned that I WASN'T GOING TO BE THERE BECAUSE I WAS MOVING OUT OF STATE.

fucking morons.

31 October, 2006

work rant

i hate working on code written by consultants. why? because they don't always know what the fuck they are doing. nor does anyone else know what the fuck they did.

the problem i face is the necessary assumption that what i was given as a base was functioning correctly. i fear that assumption is, unfortunately, false.

it doesn't help that the design of these host systems sucks. really, really just sucks. why, for instance, create a spouse segment, and then store the spouse information in the "additional insured" segment? and if you decide to treat a spouse just like a second insured, why not get rid of the obsolete record layouts? fer fuck's sake, why is deleting so god damn difficult? isn't that what versioning tools are for? to retrieve stuff that might have been deleted if you find you still need it?

perhaps i'm anal. perhaps it's because i learned from anal people. but well-structured code is much easier to figure out. consistency. spacing on the lines. neat and tidy. so much easier. and jesus, why is every freaking working storage variable an 01 level? did they just want to make initialization more of a pain?

i hate this. i wish i could have written it from scratch. there are vast swaths of commented out code. why? why? for me to make any sense of what's going on, i have to clean it up. waste of my time, frankly.

ugh, i sound like one of those sticklers for standards. but, frankly, if you aren't going to be the only one working on a module, they help.

23 October, 2006

slightly geologic poetry

pers, august, keifus...this is all your fault.

Michelangelo Speaks to the David

You stand there, enslabbed,
lithic and waiting, an eon
old image: shepherd, young
king. So with chisel in hand
I will rend you bones
from earth into stone
and unvein you from marble.
Loosen your arm and sling
so to God again you sing
of awe, in marvel.


minor edits/tweaks: oct 24

Michelangelo Speaks to the David

You stand there, enslabbed,
lithic and waiting, an eon-
old image: shepherd, young
king. So with chisel in hand
I will rend you bones
from earth into stone
and unvein you from marble,
loosen your arm and sling
so to God again you sing
of awe, in marvel.

EDIT: Nov 6

this is the final, i think

Michelangelo Speaks to the David

You stand there, enslabbed,
lithic and waiting, an eon-
old image: shepherd, young
king. So with chisel in hand
I will rend you bones
from earth into stone
and unvein you from marble,
unloose your arm and sling
so to God again you sing
of awe, in marvel.

lovecraft and the movies

what is it about lovecraft stories that inspires people to make such terrible movies from them?

halloween is nearly upon us, so it's time to watch creepy movies. so, whilst scanning what was on, my lovely pers selected "beyond the walls of sleep", noting it was an adaptation of lovecraft's story, and knowing that i thourghly enjoy reading lovecraft. awfully kind and thoughtful of her. however, the look of dismay and disgust that overwhelmed my face after about 2 minutes of watching that dreck quickly resulted in us watching "the omen" instead.

there were two grievious fault in the film: one forgivable, one not. the forgiveable fault was that it was just plain bad. a prime example of the downside of inexpensive and easily available digital cameras. while they do allow for talented filmmakers to show their potential, without having to have much in the way of a budget, they also allow the same opportunity to hacks with willing friends. note to all young, aspiring film makers: spastic cuts and editing do NOT bestow an atmosphere of horror and suspense. they just irritate, annoy, and occassionally cause seizures. we won't comment on the acting, because there wasn't any.

the unforgivable sin though, what what these assholes tried to do to lovecraft. i think they were trying to make the story hip and modern. lovecraft is not hip. lovecraft is certainly not modern (no lovecraftian character would ever call someone a cunt). certainly there are faults in his work (racism, sexism, a tendency towards purple prose, having inspired far too many hack imitations, etc.). however, they are still a pleasure to read. much of that pleasure is derived from the peculiar lovecraftian elements of his writing. high on the list here is setting. lovecraft is one of those rare writers whose work must remain rooted in it's time and place. just doesn't work otherwise. the turn of the century atmosphere is important, because it defines the character of his protaganists. who are dillatantes; amatuer scientists and men of "society". thoughtful, sensitve souls capable of attuning to the eldritch mysteries of the cosmos. lovecraft's heros faint, often as a result of their exposure to blasphemies from beyond the stars. they are not men of action, they are men of thought and theory (for the most part).

moreover, his brand of horror depends on what you do not see, not what is shown. the indescribable, the unnameable. actually, most good horror works off of this. it is what we don't see, don't know, don't understand that terrifies us. once the horror has been defined, it loses some of its power.

so what do people do with this? try to make slasher flicks. it's just plain wrong.

it's not hard to figure out what makes lovecraft enjoyable. what i cannot figure out is why filmmakers try to change it.

20 October, 2006

continuing discussions with august

the issue at hand was transformation vs. rearrangement, and I asked you about igneous v. metamorphic rocks. How do they work? How do scientists distinguish different degrees of change? Is this model a helpful metaphor for talking about human change?

as you likely know, there are three major groupings of rock: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. you mention only igenous and metamorphic, but we really have to dicuss all three. igenous rock is primal and primary. that is, it is formed by cooling magma, either extrusively (ie: basalt) or intrusively (ie: granite). thus, as the earth first began to cool and form a crust, the first rock type to exist was igneous. sedimentary rock is formed from the lithification of eroded igneous and metamorphic rock; metamorphic rock is formed by the alteration by heat and/or pressure of igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rock.

in a way, it's like heraclitus's river, again. the instance changes, but what underlies is the same. consider marble and limestone. chemically, they are identical: calcium carbonate. yet, marble is metamorphized limestone. what changes? crystal structure. however, that simple change has a profound effect.

granted, this is but one example of metamorphism. a simple one at that, as there is no alteration mineralogically. heat and pressure are extremely important factors in the crystalization of minerals. but, i suppose to say there is only rearrangement, not change is, while accurate, incorrect. that does imply there is no change at all in the universe.

as far as metaphor goes, i'm unsure. one could consider humanity as a base, with culture acting as a metamorphizing force. but that feels wrong to me. i think of culture more as clothing. changing clothes doesn't change the person wearing them, but it can and does change the perception of that person.

12 October, 2006

just for you claude

i'm watching the mets game.

granted, i am hoping they lose...

11 October, 2006

the internet hasn't changed the world

in response to this article on slate

actually, the world really hasn't changed much in millenia, if by "world" you mean human nature and civilization.

certainly an aspect of our world has been changed: communication. it's easier to communicate and be informed of events across great distances. however, this improved communication hasn't changed what those events are. it hasn't change what we are communicating about.

even romancing a woman 600 miles away, through the written word, is nothing new. people have been doing that for hundreds of years. they just had to write letters instead of text messages and emails. the act might have taken longer, but it was essentially the same.

what has changed, what continually changes, is technology. but remember, technology is simply our tool-set. humans are tool makers; this is an inherent, instinctive activity for us. thus we are always creating and improving upon our tools. even the reaction to new technology is the same: embraced as essential and common by the young (particularly those who grow up with it) whilst handled with a bit of trepidation and slight awe (in some cases) by those older, who grew up without these things. so, in walter's case, all these things would be going on simultaneously regardless of his knowledge of them. the only difference our brave new world has brought is the ability to access all of that information, as it happens. one doesn't even have to do that.

heraclitus claimed one could never step in the same river twice. he was both right and wrong. certainly, the exact water constantly changes; however, a river is more than just water. it is the channel, the stream bed, the banks, rocks in the course of the stream, falls, the flora on the banks, the fauna in the water. a part of the river may be in constant flux, but the river, as a whole, is fairly constant. so to with the human world. aspects change all the time, with great rapidity. fashion, technology, language, customs all fall in and out of common use. yet, the concerns of humans, the desires, needs, hopes remain remarkably consistent. so what has changed? not the world, but the means of interacting with it.

does this mean the end of the novel? of course not. if there is one constant of human nature, it is our love of discussing ourselves. even if we never really change. the novel will continue, and will, like other aspects of the human world, undergo superfical changes to reflect the superficial changes in society. but the core will remain untouched. because for all our changes, people never do change, do they?

06 October, 2006

beta testing

just in case you were wondering why the layout is somewhat changed, tags have appeared and not everything works quite properly. i've gone beta, baby!

anyway, the new template editing is okay, but i never minded meddling with the html. tags can be useful if i remember to use them, and once i get past, say, 20 posts. granted, all of 5 or so people even look at this page, so just remember folks, this organization is for you!.

kind of irritating that the help section for the beta version, when telling you how to post pictures, directs you to software that doesn't work with the beta version. ah well. good thing i don't really do that.

just in case you had jack shit to do...

not only is there a christie's auction of star trek memorbillia, but you can actually watch a webcast of it. just in case you're curious as to the sort of geeks buying this stuff.

my guess? a largely empty room, cause everyone bid online. if i'm wrong, anyone who calls me on it gets a bright, shiny nickel.

EDIT: update, 4:48PM. okay, it's strangely fascinating.

04 October, 2006

And a Merry-happy Hallowthankchristoweenmasgiving to you!

yes folks, it's october. for sensible folks (such as ye, thee and me) it means the leaves are starting to turn, the playoffs are under way (lacking the bosox, a fact that really requires an entire post to vent about), apple picking, cider, hayrides, bountiful harvest veggies, autumn and octoberfest brews and breaking out the flannel shirts (well, not today, cause it's like 80° or so, but i digress).

for retailers and retail marketing, however, it's time for their favorite orgy of consumerism. yes, we've passed through back-to-school season, and also through oh shit! i forgot stuff for school season. we've had a week's breather or so. but no more. once more, we plunge into the absurdity of Hallowthankchristoweenmasgiving!

sure, some might call it "the holiday season". but frankly, that's a dull term. nor does it capture the spirit of the true horror lurking in malls and shopping centers across the states. whereas hallowthankchristoweenmasgiving encapsulates precisely what this time of year has devolved into.

many moons ago, there were two major american holidays towards the end of the year. christmas, in late december, and thanksgiving, in late november. thanksgiving was easy enough to prepare for: turkey, lots of potatoes, cranberry sauce and plenty of alcohol. sure, there were other side dishes, but no one cared much for them. all that was required to properly celebrate was eating too much, drinking too much and then falling asleep whilst watching football.

christmas required getting presents and possibly going to church, on top of the overeating and overdrinking. but you didn't have to start shopping till about the 15th of december.

many moons ago, halloween was for kids and drunk students (with eggs and tp). you'd get some candy the day before to hand out. that's all. a blip.

but now, well, things are different. halloween has become a Holiday. granted, i can't say i totally disapprove, as it is deliciously pagan. however, one is expected to decorate houses (inside and out) with offical halloween crap. costume stores spring up everwhere. if you don't buy candy three weeks out, you're shit out of luck. it has become A Big Deal.

thanksgiving has morphed too. people are paying attention to the sides. instead of using the good china, you have the specific (oft turkey shaped) thanksgiving china.

ah, and christmas has just grown, since it's hostile takeover of hannukah. christmas shopping these days, should be finished sometime early november. and it's one after the other. the trappings at the altars of commerce don't just follow each other, they have begun to overlap. i'd not be surprised to see santa dressed as a ghost, being given turkey as a treat.

yes, we can no longer seperate them. it's hallowthankchristoweenmasgiving. and it's only going to get worse.

03 October, 2006

reports of my demise

have been greatly exgagerated.

okay, so only one report, and not me but this blog. it's still here, so if you can see it, comment. if you can't, well, then you can't see this: :-P

28 September, 2006


i've just discovered that my google page rank is a nice, round, shining zero.

i feel i've truly accomplished something here.

21 September, 2006

observations in the window


The spider sits, patient,
a wolf waiting in his
carefully crafted lair;
an exquisite web spun
and strung the length
of the window's pane.

The spider waits, anxious,
still between the glass
and screen. Wondering why
his gods must play
and torture him with flies.

19 September, 2006

work rant (minor)

how on earth am i expected to get anything done on time when a) people keep giving me additional things to do; b) people keep scheduling meetings; c) no one in this fucking company knows jack shit about these products or the admin systems they are on. including the people who maintain those systems.

very frustrating. my contact for aid on the systems i'm trying to read turns out to not be my contact, nor knowledgable enough to help me anyway. the existing extract programs i've been modifying are utter shit. the batch jobs take half a freakin' day to run, an hour or so to upload and format the results. and the ba's don't know what they are missing till they see it isn't there. i may have to kill one of them; she's driving me batty. too detail oriented: the sort of person who needs to understand something completely in order to understand it at all. we don't have time for that.

i feel like people aren't reading my email updates. i also feel people think i'm slacking off, when i'm working consistent 10 hour days, sometimes longer. i know everyone is stressed because this project has crept way out of hand, but still has to adhere to the original target dates because it's strategic (and therefore meddled in by the higher-ups). but really, it's driving me up a wall.

this is what happens when you try to re-engineer shit.

11 September, 2006

in memorium

edit: tinkering in an attempt to get rid of the sing-songy end lines...


i have listened to them.
all those who claim
a hold over our sacred
pain. those who see
a single path, unwinding,
heading only the direction
they chose. unyielding,
unbroken. the way.
for all our feet to tread.

i have listened, they
have not heard.

the story is not told
with a single voice.
the way is unmarked
by a single sign.
but all own their share
both greater and small.
for ever does tragedy
belong to us all.

07 September, 2006

rough draft

cheesy, yeah. oh well...


i met my god on the metro
one night when i'd forgotten
to bring a book to read.

(not jesus, he was sitting
at the far end of the train,
reading a pamplet splattered
by his name; his face
a cross of anger and of shame.)

just a reflection
dancing in the windows.

the doors opened
with mysterious words.

06 September, 2006

what's been going on

since my last entry i've moved and my cousin has gotten married. busy, busy, busy.

wedding was fun, as it was well lubricated. though i must say that my uncle's claim of old smuggler being "a good scotch, for the money" is wrong. i suppose this is the downside to enjoying one's vices: not everyone shares your good taste. yet, i can't always carry a bottle of single malt whisky with me when i travel. a tragedy, really.

as for moving, well, it's sheer delight to finally be living with the woman i love so dearly. still need to finish unpacking, but that takes time. of which not much is availible. plus, i'm lazy. granted, my desire to finish unpacking is also fueled by laziness. that is, i'd like to get my reading chair set up and books on the shelves, so that i can more efficently waste time. [grin] found a new pottery studio to work in, so that's good. as an added bonus, since they are a larger shop, with more classes, there are very frequent firings. so less wait time for work. and i can try my hand at working with porcelin or raku. very cool. A also found glass blowing classes, and i think i might give that a try. fascinating craft and i'd like to explore it. think she's interested too, so it will be a fun thing to do together.

that's all for now, as the grind calls. gotta get the work in, since i have to quit work somewhat early to get to class.

17 August, 2006

double header

so, i've decided to start using this thing. i have it, why not? just one more place to forget to update (just like my LJ). anyway, i think my decision is based primarily on the fact that i should be packing right now. so, naturally, i'm on the internet.

you know, if there was a sox game on tonight, i'd be downstairs, packing like i should be. damn you, mlb schedule makers!

eh, why not?

i give you gifts.