Merry Christmas from Google

I thought that this would be a day without blogging — I’m just dealing with the usual end of semester crap and didn’t have anything new to say. Then I saw the announcement: 20 years of Usenet available via Google.

I had forgotten some of the stuff I used to spend time writing about–poetry, fonts, even some stuff in PowerBuilder. But it’s not forgotten any more — both from my days at Virginia, where I had my first Usenet access, and at AMS, when I was first a programmer.

One thing I’ve noticed: my sense of typographic anal-retentiveness in monospaced type. I must have spent a really long time in the computer lab getting that early .sig file lined up just right…

Praise Bob! Praise Whittards!

I’m working from home this morning. It’s amazing how much more productive I can be by adding two distractions: Bob Dylan‘s Love and Theft on the stereo and a cup of hot tea. I’ve given Lisa a lot of grief for her habit of bringing back a small duffel bag worth of tea every time she goes to London, but I have to admit, Whittard’s Christmas Tea is awfully nice.


How do web pages get amazingly popular? They produce silly pop-psychology survey tests that give an amusing result, and provide HTML code that includes a link to the survey site so you can share your results with everyone who comes to your web site.

Like this:

If I were a work of art, I would be M. C. Escher’s Lizards.

I am a bizarre juxtaposition of the real and the unreal. Based in the realm of mathematics, my two-dimensional appearance belies a complex and free-willed behaviour which both delights and confuses people.

Which work of art would you be? The Art Test

Or that’s the theory, anyway. Too bad it doesn’t really work.

Deck us all

It’s hard to get into the holiday spirit when it’s 55° outside, somehow. What’s that? Didn’t you grow up in Newport News, Virginia, where it snowed maybe three holidays in the eighteen years you were there? Well, yes, alter ego italics, I did. But this is frickin’ Massachusetts. Last year it was already below freezing by Thanksgiving.

It’s hard to get into the holiday mood without the proper incentive. So, without further ado:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo!
Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley
Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!
Don’t we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou
Trolley Molly don’t love Harold,
Boola Boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

Or something like that.

It’s time for tea

Good morning! In the immortal words of the Beatles:

Nothing to do it’s up to you
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s O.K.
Good morning, good morning

In reality, of course, I have a bit to do today. But right now I have this damn song in my head and I can’t get it out!

The Muppets: Gateway drug to all good things

I was trying to remember what the first time was that I heard the Beatles. The first album of theirs that I ever listened to was a vintage copy of the White Album that our youth pastor lent me. It started a three year period of intense Beatlemania that culminated in the trip to see Paul on the “Flowers in the Dirt” tour (that’s the one Esta alludes to here).

But that’s not time I ever heard their songs. That would have to be on the Muppets, when Dr. Teeth and Janice covered “With a Little Help From My Friends” and the acoustic cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by Sgt. Floyd Pepper (on the Lynda Carter episode). That’s what I’ll be remembering today.


Esta as usual writes a thought provoking piece this morning. I too have felt like I’ve been writing at the surface lately. It’s too easy to point to things that someone else has written, at least at the end of the semester. Well, I hope I can write some more significant things soon– right now it’s just really hard to concentrate.

Walking and Falling

I feel really good this morning. I should know better than to resist Lisa — she told me hopping on the treadmill would be just the thing to raise my energy and she was right. Funny thing happened while I was on the machine, though–just as I was wrapping up my walk, it stopped dead. I checked the plug, the switch, the safety, the wall fuse–nothing. After about half an hour and a panicking call from Lisa later (she’s really addicted to our machine), I finally realized that the fuse on the treadmill had blown. Fun, fun, fun…