Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nice late dinner, feasted on roasted vegetables & local chorizo, complex, spicy, magically delicious. Walked with Peretz by the paper after, high half moon, he was pulling even more vigorously than normal, a little hyper from being home alone so long, I imagine. Chilly night.

So tired that it's taking a bit of the edge off anxieties, will probably come back in full force once asleep, that's what usually happens anyway. Going to defer that a little by reading some more of second rate scifi novel I picked up the other day, strange fanciful conception of time travel, not how it actually is at all.
Got back from trip to Salem Willows a little while ago, if there was skee ball available in my immediate area, I think I'd be a lot happier & more sane.



Oscillations between terrible worry and engaged contentment are so rapid lately that it's rather like watching two superimposed films, can pay attention to one or the other pretty much as fancy, if that's what you call it, strikes me.

Had a lot of salty snacks, should drink some more water.

Roasting root vegetables.
Made a little video of the stills I took of the Fat Worm of Error show yesterday, available here (please excuse the pokey slow server).

Off to Salem Willows with friends & family in a little bit, must walk dog & perform ablutions first.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Joe's pizza with linguica, mushrooms & olives = really fucking delicious, happy salty haze, going to the seaside tomorrow, feel like I'm already there.

Gonna have a beverage, walk the dog, swap tapes.
Busy day, went for dim sum, walked around a lot after, took a lot of pictures, went to show in town after, ended up playing at that after all, took a lot more pictures, going to walk the dog, then go to Joe's for pizza, I think.

Made my throat a bit scratchy screaming hoarsely at show, could use another beverage.
Playing 'Stone Dead Forever' for my brother. Whistling by graveyards a speciality.

But there is ane aboon the lave,
Has wit, and sense, an' a' that,
A bonie lass, I like her best,
And wha a crime dare ca' that?

Ah, Robbie, how ye ken me.

Maybe dim sum in a bit.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Browsing the paper's site, trying to find interesting photos, more of a challenge than it should be. Unsurprisingly, liked this one I hadn't noticed before:



More animal photos, please.
Same time last year was doing my best to get somebody else through a difficult time, doing the same for myself now. Not really much difference in terms of dedication, level of effort, attention to detail, etc.- can act pretty much the same whether or not I actually care about something if I think it's necessary.

Having a beer, listening to Abba. Now the Smiths.

My brother's busily ripping cds. We like music.

Dined on bread & fancy cheeses.
Took way too many photos today, ate a lot of fatty foods, bought a big stack of pulp scifi with interesting covers.

Like this photo a lot:

IMG_3424.jpg

More Donut Dip, also Tramore Chip Shop, WEBS. Uploading Magic Wings photos now.
Local BBQ update. Maybe they can learn to make pork sandwiches properly before they reopen. Nothing against the folks, the other stuff there was great, but the swishing shoulder in sauce before serving business needs to stop.
Looked like rain all day yesterday, didn't rain until the instant I got on 91 to go the airport. Pretty torrential, driving through Springfield, invisible lane markers, drifting trucks.

Wasn't raining at Bradley, thought it might any time, so parked in garage, rather than lot by Terminal B, found that sole corridor between Terminals A & B was closed due to renovation. Had to walk over outside, not really much of an outside path either.

Very claustrophobic experience, Terminal B. American Airlines Arrivals/Departures screens spend 2/3 of the time showing ads for American Airlines rather than information, expect they'll be going under soon.

On drive home, heard about my brother's business a bit, got here, fed him beer & healthy vegetables & scotch. Talked about other stuff, he showed me some interesting details of maps.

Had some very nasty nightmares, not nasty enough to wake me up, but nasty enough that I found I had knocked over my bedside lamp when I finally did. Just removed bulb shards with shopvac, will extract remainder of bulb from socket later.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thinking about web apps I'd like to see, maybe they already exist, I've been pretty busy and pretty upset, so I haven't been keeping up as well as I might.

One thing I'm interested in is trying to generate metadata about arbitrary data sets by collecting rich information about the relations between objects in the data set. I guess I'm thinking about something like free tagging only applied to relations between objects rather than the objects themselves. Something like an extreme generalization of the 'Am I Hot or Not?' variety of site might be a fun way to do this. Allow users to submit arbitrary objects and some relations between them. If we're restricting ourselves to dyadic relations, users could be presented with object pairs and asked whether they relate in a given way, if the relation is such as to apply to the object pair in question at all, etc. If done properly, I'm pretty sure, the relation semantics could be enriched in a similar way with more complex scenarios designed to determine if relations are commutative, symmetrical, etc.

Another thing I'd like is a project/collaboration-oriented social network, I'm thinking a framework for proposing projects, collecting members & funding, providing communications & planning infrastructure, canned work flows for a variety of organizational structures, etc. This seems like an obvious thing to do & something worth doing, so it seems like somebody should've done it already, but I'm not aware of it. It may be just that design for project planning/management apps is still very oriented to the technical user. There might be something to learn from the proliferation of to do list type apps out there.

Anyway, as I say, I'm very busy & upset, could somebody put together mockups & get back to me?
Virginia Dare Korker, pause that refreshes.

My brother's plane is running a little late, glad I'm not working tomorrow.

House shopping process is pretty interesting. Get the impression that everyone else is more emotionally invested in it than I am. How it is with most things I guess. Things capture my imagination & I can see a lot of possibilities, but I can do that with a lot of different things. Very different with people, almost all of them, I find totally uninteresting; the ones I find interesting, I'd do most any damn thing for. Think this is something about me that confuses people. Feels very natural to me.

Hey, T, if you ever get back from whatever party you're currently attending, you should really try roasting some vegetables, write for details.



Squash & spinach remarkably delicious, seller rejected my offer on property outright, sounds like they feel certain of getting more than I think they will in the present market, if they can, more power to them. May revisit the issue in a few months if nothing else interesting pops up.

Listening to more Au Pairs, 'Sex Without Stress', funny, sweaty from all the cooking.
Reading godawful 18th Century translations of the Orphic Hymns.

Frighteningly alert, if I weren't so scattered I could probably write some OK poetry.

May roast some squash, maybe prepare spinach also, haven't been so good about using up my produce this week, too damn sad & worried.
Reading the Wikipedia entry on the Gordian Knot, funny to always be wending one's way through partially unknown associative networks. Like this bit, for example:

"The knot may in fact have been a religious knot-cipher guarded by Gordium's priests and priestesses. Robert Graves suggested that it may have symbolized the ineffable name of Dionysus that, enknotted like a cipher, would have been passed on through generations of priests and revealed only to the kings of Phrygia."

Was just talking about heritability of mental/cognitive disorders with my boss, my dad's dyslexia, my problems with knots. Good at untying them, understanding them, lousy at tying them.

Didn't realize how funny that was till I wrote it.

Anyway, Hail Dionysus!
Home for a bit.

Made formal offer on property, will probably hear back about that tomorrow.

Au Pairs comp I ordered ages ago finally arrived, listening to that.

Ball of panic continues to grow, at least I won't having any problem being awake & alert while driving down to Bradley to fetch my brother late tonight.

Bit muggy out.
Sitting at my desk at work shaking, been too busy to take a walk, my realtor is coming by shortly to get a deposit check from me, have me sign some paperwork. Really want to be in the dark, curled in a ball, with Peretz.

Reading about EMDR. When in doubt, research, right?

Realtor's here, wish me luck.
Press release on PTSD prevalence caught in the spam filter, making me cry.

Excerpt:

"...seek immediate help if you notice the following symptoms:

*Constantly overreacting and responding to things with more intense emotion than the situation actually calls for
* Nightmares, hypervigilance, anxiety, depression, flashbacks
* Being flooded by feelings over which you seem to have little or no control
* Suddenly feeling as though the other person is "the bad guy" and that you have been tricked or duped and are in great peril
* A large split between your intellectual awareness and your emotional response"

Crap, crap, crap. Need to take a walk, I think.
Letter in the paper today from lady sickened by front page photo of Hampshire Prez Ralph Hexter & his husband, simultaneously proclaiming her tolerance for all & wondering why people neglect the Bible, why such content isn't hidden discretely in the back pages if published at all.

Made me think of the curse of Ham.

Made me think of the angry, pinch-faced little old ladies inevitably present in films of civil rights marches.

Made me think of sermon from Greenwood, Mississippi, 1956:

“There is room in Heaven for all people,” said he. “There is a place for good white people. And there is a place for colored folks. They have their own separate Heaven, and it is just as good as ours.”

Had it with this crap, time to stop being nice about it.
Bittersweet dreams, probably the best I could hope for.

Drinking coffee, thinking about complex systems. As I maintain some for a living, I think about them a lot. There are an awful lot of them all around us, interacting with us & one another. Our politics & social thinking seem to have a lot of difficulty acknowledging this, a lot of cutting of Gordian knots, makes a mess.

Thinking about this, how genuinely inevitable it seems, wondering what can be done about it. It's not like nothing is being done about it, the high degree of specialization in our society is a way of dealing with it, among other things, makes its own messes.

Trying to see a joyful path.
Finished watching Desk Set, should've gone to sleep some time ago. Going to start it again & try to fall asleep watching it, hope for happy dreams.

Strange but true, me all over. Pressing the repeat button now.
Long break from Desk Set, long talk with my mother, house purchase related issues, sorting of author names on scientific publications, pretty fascinating.

Pretty tired, would like to watch the rest of Desk Set.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scotch on the rocks, watching more idyllic vision of life.

Could easily be that idyllic, pity it isn't.

People apparently don't care much for my manner, can't say I think much of theirs.

Doesn't much matter, manners are bullshit. Love is all.
Desk Set is even better than I remembered, why would anyone want to leave a world with Desk Set in it?

Moral of the story: information professionals should stick together.

Going to pour myself a drink & drink to that, I think.
Listening to my last.fm 'neighborhood', can't say I care much for it so far, maybe I should move.

Also had some broccoli.

Going to start watching Desk Set in a minute.
Watched glorious orange moon rise above the range, crying like a baby.

Too messed up to roast that Hubbard tonight, I think.

Wishing I knew how to explain to people feeling worthless that they're not worthless at all and make it stick.

Sad and inept, shit. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

See, can't even talk myself into it.

Going to try to calm down, then take a walk with the dog in the moonlight.
Copies of Desk Set & Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape have arrived. Plans for later include roasting Hubbard, perhaps making a pie with some of the roasted Hubbard, perusing Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape, watching Desk Set. Plans for now include walking dog, going to Amherst to check config of workstations, going to Greenfield to install printer drivers. Should probably also pick up coffee.
Reading on paper's site about Easthampton zoning board's allowing some children to keep their pet chickens. Makes me feel better about the possibility of moving there. They want to be together.

Moving forward on property purchase, need to go hand over a deposit check, sign an offer at some point. Almost exactly like a grownup. Sounds like we're going to aim for a closing date of November 30th, so if I end up doing that, I imagine I won't be going anywhere for Thanksgiving, Xmas, will be using remaining vacation in December to move.
Last night my mom was asking me what last.fm is, here, mom, check it out.

The snapshot thing is getting a bit excessive, Big E photos. Think I may be done with photographing fairs & festivals for the year, though the Ashfield Fall Festival does have its temptations.

Some things I do may seem like morbid dwelling on the past, they're not actually that at all, reinscription, reinterpretation, renewal. Palimpsest. Layered, dynamic, strong & capable, those are the facts.
It's been a full lunar year since experience of extreme natural beauty mentioned but not really described here. Still reeling.

I say it's indescribable there, but here's an outline, pretty done with the ineffable: spent the day exploring the Connecticut coast with a friend, over course of day, it became increasingly clear that we were in love with one another. At sunset, we were walking on the beach at Harkness State Park, holding hands. Once it got dark, we left the beach & headed across the grounds back to car. I noticed the full moon rising over the sound to my right, we walked toward it, looming orange over the boathouse. We gave one another a hug. Sounds of distant party in large house on park grounds. Beloved friend said, "I wish things were different." Watched moon some more, then headed back toward car. Young deer wandered across our path, stopped & looked at us quietly for a while, then wandered off.

Perhaps it's understandable that I tried very hard to make things different? Beyond my abilities apparently, not the least bit sorry to have tried.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Didn't realize how tired I actually was till I tried to stand up. Legs collapsed under me, knocked some stuff over, nothing broken.

Hand hurts like the dickens, one of those large, superficial cuts that feels more like a burn.

Think I may actually buy former market, strange.
Big E, Big E. Walked around, ate fried foods, took a lot of photos, overheard a lot of amusing conversations I've already forgotten, experienced massive sensory overload. Came home again, fed dog, walked dog, returned to work, rebooted server, came home again.

Sweaty, feet hurt, hand hurts where I cut it on server this morning. Peretz feels neglected.
Last.fm finally got around to generating my neighbors & bang!- there's my pal poppybird. Several strange things about that, first of all it shows our musical compatibility as 'very low', which aside from being a lot of nonsense, shows, I think, that they use different algorithms for compatibility & proximity. Also the neighbor relation is asymmetric (tell me about it), maybe the compatibility one isn't? Also, she appears to have stopped listening to music altogether, preferring to spend weekends watching adventures of girl detective. I assume & hope she's just using a different app for music playback these days. Also hope she gets out in the sunshine sometimes, think it'd do her a world of good.

OK, back to work.
Preapproved for mortgage, soda shop, soda shop.

Kind of weirds me out that people are willing to lend me money, probably shouldn't, still does.

Figured out annoying character encoding issue, nice to save people time in ways they'll actually notice occasionally.
Today is Mountain Day.

Dreams worked out nicely.
Dispatched robots handily, a bit ahead of schedule, no muss, no fuss. Who's the real killing machine?

Off to dreams of a highly vile & erotic nature, exhaustion often helps with that.

Peretz is cleaning his paws, thinking pure thoughts.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Funny how needing to go do something late at night makes me sleepy, nothing much else does.

Having some peach soda, hoped it would perk me up, not really working.

Oh well, if I fall asleep & the robots overwhelm me, it was nice knowing you.
11:11, make a wish.

Long walk in & around town with P, feeling a bit rueful.

Ruing reference librarian's instincts, inability to watch somebody seeking information & not finding it without pointing them in the right direction.

Ruing reflexive hostility to hypocrisy, doublethink, sophistry, lies.

Only a bit rueful, though, know perfectly well that this is all the result of hard work and a good part of what makes me useful.

But you know all this, have done for ages, what were you supposedly upset with me over again?

Dead tired, information professionalism to be tended to, pressing on.
Decided I'd had enough of ridiculous product line differentiation & have put Peretz on a different feed. Trying Dave's Soda & Pet Food City natural house brand, he seems to like it, scarfing it down now. We'll see how it goes. Wet food is probably the next logical step, still feel a bit resistant.

Think I'm too fuzzy from sustained anxiety episode to focus on the Big E as much as it deserves, maybe tomorrow.
Hubbard!

IMG_2945.jpg

Eating spicy cabbage wrapped in tortilla, clearing my head nicely.
Harvest time is on with a vengeance at farm share, more squash & garlic than I really know what to do with, lots of other stuff as well. Fixing some cabbage with anaheim chiles & onions now.

Head hurts. 1 am rendezvous with destiny still on, having a cup of joe to prepare myself. Might be a good night for Big E as I need to stay alert, but head hurts.
Woke early with a start, spent some time walking around with P looking at foliage, taking pictures. Scary dreams, not as scary as some people's, still pretty scary.

Rescheduled 1 am robot killing tonight.

Still trying to decide when to hit Big E.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

P seemed to enjoy his special dinner, hopefully he's forgiven me for the bath. Had some leftover veggies & rice myself.

Bit of a state of nervous exhaustion, tempting to just walk the dog & go to bed, would mean returning to work subjectively sooner, a bit hard to face.

Will probably spend some time lying on couch shaking, listening to music. Could walk dog, put on pjs, then fall asleep doing that, actually. Might be a plan.
So, Schmetterlingfotographie deferred to a later date due to time constraints, did go out the Mohawk Trail a bit in search of kitsch, pretty fun. Forgot to get Peretz needed food, going to make him a special ham, rice & pumpkin dinner in a bit, I think.
When I went to fold my laundry, discovered that wet Peretz had rolled vigorously all over my bed, leaving it looking/smelling a bit like a porn set.

Going to go photograph Kitsch und Schmetterlingen now.
Pots & pans didn't take anyway near as long as I expected, decided to bathe Peretz sooner than later, have done so, he wasn't very happy with me, seems cheerful enough now, hope it makes him less itchy.

Still waiting on laundry, camera battery charging.

Listening to The Jam.
Laundry's well underway, just took P for a walk behind the paper, snips of poetry far too sad to write down forming in my head. Going to start scrubbing pots & pans shortly.

Once laundry's dry, think I'm going to go explore the Mohawk Trail, take photographs.

Should really wash the Peretz, maybe later.
Went out for a late breakfast with Henry, showed him the giant willows off the levee, he's leaving in a moment, it's officially fall.

Need to do laundry, dishes, try to stay functional. Don't feel very functional.
Watching cartoons, more than a little tired & worried. Should probably just go to sleep, have the inevitable bad dreams, get up again. Planning to just let that happen for the next few months. It's not really a very big deal.

Drifting off while typing, imagining things are moving just out of sight.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Henry's still taking a nap, put food away, drank water, walked the dog, drinking lemon lime soda.

Might have some ice cream.

Feel like I've been spun around in a spinny thing several times. Soda helps.
Went & swapped tapes, rebooted servers. Henry's taking a nap, I should be putting food away, will do that in a minute.

Extreme terror state, strong urges to rush around hugging people, staring at computer screen instead.

Hard to describe physical sensations. Should probably have a glass of water.
So, reinterpretation of Yom Kippur as ham feast holiday duly accomplished, two years in a row = official ritual as far as I'm concerned. Ham, roasted produce all very tasty, touch of sherry vinegar brought out sweetness of the root vegetables nicely.

'But, dbr', you may say, 'you taunted G-d in this very same fashion last year & look how that turned out.'

Sure, sure, there's something of a point in what you say. I, on the other hand, say, 'Bring it on, fucker.'

(Keep your heads down, folks, I'm trying to draw his fire.)
Just finished peeling massive quantities of fruits & vegetables which are now roasting for Yom Kippur Harvest of Souls Feast, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onion, acorn squash, apples, dressed with olive oil, salt & pepper, to be tossed with sherry vinegar once done. After that, will warm up tasty local ham severed lovingly from happy pig. L'chaim!

Sorry, Yahweh, atonement just isn't my bag.
Henry got here, we went to Amherst for breakfast, ate a lot of pork products, went to Yale Genton, got fitted for tuxes, went by coveted property, looked at it, neighborhood, went to Outlook, got Yom Kippur ham, sundries.

Peretz is glad we're back.

Formal wear business was surprisingly painless, rental is surprisingly cheap.

Worried sick.
Discarded in the bushes along the greenway between the Roundhouse lot & park: Missed Fortune 101 atop a pile of children's toys. Wished I had my camera, may go back later.



Kind of losing it, hope Henry gets here soon to distract me.
Thinking about http, it's remarkable how easily people can come to see extremely contingent things as normal & natural. Cascading consequences of design decisions, trying to come up with good ways to explain those, not that anybody's going to ask. Document delivery v. application delivery, to do that you have to explain the difference between an application and a document, is there one?

Dog wants out now... now!

OK, OK.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Talked to my mom on the phone for quite a while about a lot of things, including feeling so worried that I might throw up.

After that, choked down a couple spinach quesadillas, reasonably tasty, made me feel even more like I might throw up.

Peretz is itchy, should probably give him a nice bath at some point, how he hates it.
Just violently sauteed some broccoli, best if I remember to eat, spinach quesadillas later, maybe.

Walked around, experimenting with camera's behavior in low light.

Feeling a bit sped up.
Did some dishes, made a half a pot of coffee, took P for a walk, thinking about cookery, how astonishingly much I can get done when I feel like it. Should probably try harder to maximize time spent in situations that make me feel like it, there's a lot to be done. Anyway, plans, projects, working on it, calculating, that's me, work out all the angles, then strike.

Sky empty of everything but half moon and remarkable gradients, going to have a cup of joe, then walk around town by myself for a while.
Going through Don Norman recommended reading list, tons of stuff I'd like to read, this one is particularly appealing but way too expensive, local research library doesn't carry it, not welcome there in any case.

Sounds like Henry may be up here in the morning rather than late tonight, looking forward to seeing him, dreading the formal wear shopping. Wishing all the things I was dreading were silly crap like that.
Ordered a copy of Desk Set, also Infrastructure: A field guide to the industrial landscape. Reading Don Norman essays.

Trying to keep my head filled with things other than the corpse of someone I love isn't easy, probably best.
Read thought-provoking article on the future of OPACs, then drove down to Ludlow for soda, thinking thoughts provoked.

Struck me as a bit parochial, library science tends to be a bit that way, I guess.

One thing that jumped out at me was a tendency to differentiate between cataloguers and users, this seems like a really bad idea. The way I look at it, anybody who uses a system is a user, that includes the developers, the admins, the people entering data, the people retrieving data. Not having a clear sense of all likely use cases and user types is a recipe for bad design. A priori assumptions that there being different use cases and user types implies necessary tradeoffs in favor of one or another are a recipe for bad design. There are always going to be tradeoffs due to resource limitations, but the overarching design goal needs to stay optimal usability for all user types in all use cases, any deviation from that should require careful thought and pulling of teeth.

Another thing that bothered me was the idea that centralization of services somehow entailed the death of the library. Libraries are basically information repositories, if the goal is information dissemination, networked repositories are always to be preferred to standalone ones. I think the anxiety is much more about efficiencies equalling redundancies than the demise of the library or the OPAC. Jobs aren't sinecures, folks, the tempo's increasing all the time, we can learn to dance to it & have fun or stand around looking sullen getting our toes stepped on.

Overall impression coming away from this article: librarians would really benefit from closer collaboration with developers & systems people. If there's ice needing to be broken, I suggest getting together informally, having a few drinks & watching Desk Set.
Work's all done, introduced coworkers to fish 'n' chips shop, considering returning bottles & fetching more soda, was thinking of going down there with my brother next week, might rather have more soda now.

Head's full of sadness & poetry.

How should one react when people who ought to know better decide you're Evil with a big E? It's mostly with worry & pity in my case, also a bit flattered to be ascribed such mythic status, thought of as anything involving a big E. Not sure that's the best way to react, but it's mine.
Thinking about computers in the movies, it's not so much that they're gotten all wrong, it's that there are nowhere near as many of them as in real life. Probably because they're not sufficiently dramatic. They're actually pretty dramatic.

Desk Set got it right, anyway. As long as I have that, I'll be OK.
"Hi,

I've been working on a Scrabble variant, Burns Scrabb'e, the idea, pretty much, is to use the works of the poet Robert Burns as the canonical reference. Ideally, this would involve the addition of a number of apostrophe tiles, in order to facilitate play with a standard set, I've generated a word list from a Gutenberg etext of the poems & songs of Burns which omits apostrophes. I guess my question for you folks is, do you have any plans for implementing support of user-supplied dictionaries? I've really been enjoying your app, being able to use it to play Burns Scrabb'e would make it all the more wonderful. Sorry about the load issues.

Thanks,

dbr"

"Hello,

Please note that dictionaries for this game are different from regular dictionaries.

Some words maybe present in them which are not found in your normal dictionaries (and vice versa). It is not possible to change these dictionaries as most players are used to these versions.

For more information please see:

http://www.scrabulous.com/scrabble_dictionary.php

Best regards,
Sanhita
The Scrabulous Support Team"

Prophets are never understood in their own time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My mom's paper got off OK. While talking to her realized how badly my stomach hurt. Been that way for days, just worried. Pushing it into the background pretty well, it pushes back.

Drinking vodka, watching Torn Curtain.
Day's last walk with Peretz, half moon behind the trees. Of two minds about most everything, each of those of two minds about something else. Sounds a bit exaggerated, that's true enough, it's also just how it is.

Low roar of freight train passing slowly into town; low, thin mist on the field. Squeaky wheels.

Ran out of biscuits, gave P some shredded wheat.

Going to shower, slip into pjs, find out if my mom's paper got off OK.
Leaves are beginning to turn.

Some changes of plans, got more hot dogs rather than more fish 'n' chips (Tramore's got quite a good deal on those- 2 dogs, fries & a soda for four bucks), decided I couldn't face Ingleside, went to KMart instead, some things just won't die. More run down every time I go, didn't carry deluxe Scrabble™ of course, got folio travel kind instead.

Talked to Andy for a while while eating hot dogs, shared concerns about lack of venues, nice old buildings being neglected, etc., etc.

Might just fall asleep.
The more time I spend alone, the less lonely I feel.

Walked to town & picked up a used Poetical Works of Robert Burns, may go to Target later & get a deluxe Scrabble™ set, maybe go get more fish 'n'chips, then go to the Holyoke Target.

Annoyed at managed WAN provider's inability to add routes in a timely fashion.
Burns Scrabb'e, rules for tournament play:

The rules of Burns Scrabb'e are the rules of Scrabble™ with the following additions & modifications:

1) The canonical reference for the settling of challenges is the copy of the works of the poet Robert Burns in closest physical proximity to the players. The onus is on the challenged player to produce an example of Burns's use of the challenged word from this copy. Only text presented as from the pen of Burns himself may be cited in defense. In the case of ambiguity with regard to physical proximity (e.g., one player is in closer proximity to one edition of the works of Burns, another to another), the authoritative volume is to be determined by the age of the editions, with the older presiding. In the case of works of indeterminate or equal antiquity, the edition with the higher page count is to be used. Should this criterion also fail to decide the matter, the authoritative work is to be determined by the toss of a coin, with the challenging playing calling & the challenged flipping. In no case are translations or editions employing modernized spelling to be used.

2) All words which can be shown to flow from the pen of Burns are allowed, this includes contractions (see rule 3, below), proper nouns & words of a single letter. In the case of words of a single letter, when such a word is played onto an existing word, the single letter word is also to be scored.

3) Either a standard English Scrabble™ set or a regulation Burns Scrabb'e set may be employed, in any given tournament, all sets must be of a single type. A Burns Scrabb'e set differs from the standard by the addition of ten one point apostrophe tiles to the standard hundred. In play with a standard English set, words written by Burns with one or more apostrophes may be played with the apostrophes omitted, in the case of a Burns set, their use is mandatory.
For enhanced usability/ease of printing, I've created a preliminary Burns Scrabb'e lexicon in a 5 column pdf format, available here. Should really do a length-sorted addendum, but the dog wants out.
So, letter frequency in Burns looks to be within shooting distance of letter frequency in English, could probably play with a standard set, around ten extra apostrophe tiles would be ideal, lacking that, I've generated a preliminary lexicon from a Project Gutenberg etext of the Poems & Songs of Robert Burns (etext #1279) stripped of Gutenberg boilerplate & glossary which omits the apostrophes. You can get that here. This is merely a handy reference guide, challenges should still be adjudicated by reference to the nearest copy of the works of Burns. Also it's machine-generated & I've haven't yet proofread it, so your mileage may vary.
Can't sleep, running letter frequency analysis on an etext of the poems & songs of Burns, haven't cleaned out editorial material, findings will only be preliminary.
Early Yoda concept:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Peretz is aroused by the cool night smells, found a bun in a bush.

My brother is egging me on to make Burns Scrabble a reality, Burns Crabb'e perhaps.

"Here's armorial bearings frae the manse o' Urr;
The crest, a sour crab-apple, rotten at the core.
Buy braw troggin frae the banks o' Dee;
Wha wants troggin let him come to me. "

Thinking about 'Atholl Cummers'.
Snow's Ice Cream, very refreshing, think less luxurious, icier ice creams are in for a renaissance.

Soda shop.

Thinking about attractive floor tiling.
Long a mystery to me why Wednesday night TV is so lousy. Watching the Sox.
Macaroni bake came out far tastier than anticipated, very glad I thought to buy sherry, brought together the garlic, onion, bacon, chard, cheese flavors very nicely. Discussed it with my brother on IM, he asked that I reserve some for him in the freezer, have done so, enjoying food afterglow. Advising T on cookery on cell, she's making that fried rice, hope it comes out good, makes me happy.

Going to spend an hour spacing out, then have a bowl of Snow's ice cream.
Went & got coffee, cheese for macaroni bake (last minute change to appenzeller), fancy scotch, cheap cooking sherry, donuts. Exhaustion has been leading to some nice quasi-mystical states, pushing that along with donuts & coffee. Given how worried I've been the past little while, I figure the more time I spend in dissociated, ecstatic states the better.

Thinking of putting Big E on hold till next week, think I'm just too tired to really enjoy it much.
Sorta kinda done with work for the day, more to do, hopefully can all be done remotely.

Still feeling pretty exhausted from banner day Monday.

Need to go get coffee, might also take opportunity to acquire gruyere, tasty donuts.

Peace & love. P says so too.
On my foggy walk along the levee with P, devoted a good deal of the time I wasn't spending generating elaborate self parodies to thinking about Euler's Number. Sometimes get the feeling that I should really be learning more math & languages, never seem to get to it. Both tend to make me feel a lot better when I can manage to apply myself to them, should work on that, probably.

Still not very awake.
Foggy morn.

Ensorcelled, sealed in a tower with a fawning deaf-mute, slowly going mad.

When magicks go wrong- well, it isn't pretty. Will endeavor to keep the Sefirot more clearly in mind in future, thank G-d I take such pains with my protective circles.

Keeping my eyes on the Aleph, boning up on combinatorics.
Having serious trouble waking up. Most likely all the vitamin A.

Just scratched Peretz's head, he wants out, need a bit more coffee first.

Still not used to morning chill.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

3 delicata squash roasted, 3 eaten. Watch for signs of vitamin A poisoning. Happy squash euphoria apparently the first of those.

Have a couple acorn squash, thinking another spicy stew later in the week.

Was pushing squash on my mom, she's not having any.

Also thinking about making chard, bacon & gruyere macaroni bake at some point. Tomorrow maybe. Need to get gruyere.

Also have spinach.

Why on earth would you want to kill yourself?- fall is a lovely season.

Silly bird.
Again no Big E tonight, too fatigued from last night's adventures, roasting some delicata squash with maple syrup & butter instead, probably equally fun in any case.

Applied flea & tick medication to Peretz, how he hates it. Giving me sullen looks.

Thinking about property, actually pretty sure I like it, dislike change in general when it comes to things like where I live, anyway, thinking about it.

Waiting for oven to preheat, then adventures in the cool night while squash roasts.
Went & had more Tramore Fish 'n' Chips, also tried one of their hot dogs, deep-fried Blue Seal brand, they don't have kraut but very tasty nonetheless. Had longish chat with owner, suggested he start carrying Harmony Springs in the 12 oz bottle.

Went & had a look at former market, seems a good deal more livable & suitable for my likely purposes than former bakery, might actually buy it. Took pictures.

The former retail space downstairs is huge & there's straight through access through a two car garage, full of cars right now so the floor will support some serious weight, pretty much totally unfinished, though there is a nice though somewhat fucked up tin ceiling. Basement seems quite dry, might actually be suitable for storage and/or servers. Exterior street facing wall seems an ideal location for a mural, very large unbroken expanse of brick & concrete, a few wires & utility drops.

Lots of repairs/improvements needed, ones that are short-term necessities seem manageable (some electrical, maybe roof over garages), totally unbearable wallpaper in dwelling space.

Waiting to hear back from my realtor what permissible uses are in neighborhood business zone.
Line's back up, only 19 hours downtime, that's quality service.
Bank finally got back to me about debit card I found, had already been cancelled, instructed to destroy it, did so. Nice to stay in character, one less thing to worry about.

Long walk with Peretz, pulling him away from various rotting foodstuffs, he did manage to get ahold of a pizza crust. Growing boy, they don't feed him properly at home.

Wonder if I'm going to be too exhausted to go photograph the Big E tonight, hope not.
GAAAFSN, can't stop laughing about it.

IMG_2385.jpg
Latest info makes it sounds like it may have been Verizon itself, not excavators at all, that cut our T1. Apparently they were dropping in a line for the construction crew just as it went down. Lovely.

Didn't sleep much, feel great, disasters have that effect on me.

Monday, September 17, 2007

No joy from Verizon, told our isp we would have people on site till midnight, they told Verizon that, Verizon entered that into their system as 12 pm, wouldn't send a tech outside working hours, didn't call to tell me that or anything, by the time that was sorted out, they had no techs on duty, supposedly one will show up in the morning, we'll see.

Finally got home, took P for a walk, decided to warm up a bowl of soup, cut myself a slice of hearty multigrain bread to go with that, decided I should write my boss an update on situation, did that, went back to kitchen to get soup & bread, bread was gone.

Good dog.
Big E multimedia extravaganza scrubbed for tonight, paper's T1 is down, by all appearances shorted by excavators, waiting to hear from Verizon tech, should be an exciting couple of days.
Got to thinking about the possibilities of Hubbard pie, Scientology tie-ins, went to town to pump Cooper for idea, didn't have any really, got me to think of some anyway (melty marshmallow body thetans, meringue volcano top), but he did suggest doing a multicourse cult-themed dinner party. Ideas so far, adulterated grape FlavorAid (bit obvious, but clearly necessary), Blackened Kid Koresh, looking for more suggestions, obviously.

Not sure what's up with Big E, may go with Tim, him shooting video, me taking pictures, not yet confirmed.
Fall is here in a big way, at least on the vegetable front, all sorts of squash, delicata, acorn, Hubbard, pumpkins, etc. Also spinach, fall root vegetables not in yet for the most part.

Tried to leave work properly early, didn't really manage it, all kinds of followup from home, going to do some more of that in a minute.

Talking to my brother about images.
Out with P, watching homeless folks shivering in the morning chill, thinking about the inadequacies of our responses to madness. Given the state of our knowledge, it tends to present a forced choice between various forms of neglect.

Also thinking, relatedly, about my efforts to attribute rationality to somebody who wasn't acting in a very rational-seeming way. I think, pretty much, that she had simply decided that she absolutely couldn't hurt another person anymore and all the incoherence flowed from trying to adjust things to that. As I'm pretty sure she caused the other person a great deal more long-term hurt by doing that, by creating a situation where he's never going to be able to get over his hurt, it's just another example of why one should never adopt absolute priorities. Really, complex situations are complex for a lot of reasons, simplifying them violently makes a horrible mess.

Been caused horrible damage by this myself, as has she, I'm sure. I have vastly better developed and more effective coping mechanisms than either of them, unfortunately.

OK, so rich inner life is intruding, unwelcome guest, doing my best to make it feel welcome anyway.

Hands are very cold.
Chilly morning, teeth chattering after shower, an interesting change.

Doing a fair job at being simultaneously worried sick and not worried at all. Divided consciousnesses a specialty.

Working a half day today as I am returning in the middle of the night to kill robots. Not as exciting as it sounds.

Wonder if I should do Big E night shoot tonight.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Keep saying to myself, "I am a war machine. I am a war machine. I am a war machine."

It's true enough, hesitancy & doubt are just part of the process. Little path of destruction.

Thinking about how rituals intended to imbue things with solemnity slip inevitably into boilerplate.

Trying to imagine reading things without understanding, seizing on things that reinforce prejudices & fears, a fog with monsters in it.

There's no fog, all is perfect clarity.
Made some nachos. Our decadence may surprise you- what of it? (Waves hand dismissively)

Peretz wants out again.

Watching bad television mysteries.
More vodka & lime, making excellent progress through back catalog, should probably restock on scotch as my brother's coming & it's getting to be that time of year.

Peretz wants out, let daddy drink his drink, kiddo.

He looks nervous.

Thinking about my grandma, not that one, the other one.
There are some things I desperately want to be doing but can't. This sounds pretty upsetting, but the plain fact is: they're so much better than the things I desperately wanted to be doing but couldn't previously that it's actually a vast improvement. See more possibilities, feel more motivated. We'll see what comes of it, I suppose.

Spacing out is winning over baking for the moment. Enjoying post-soup euphoria.

Sky continues to be quite something.
Soup's all done, tasty, spicy.



Can't really decide if I really want to bake something or if I'd rather space out listening to music. Would really like some crusty bread, pretty sure I don't feel like making that.
Hearty, rustic & extremely spicy vegetable & kielbasa soup simmering. Hearty enough that it's more of a stew, actually. In any case, that's another week of farm share dutifully transformed into tasty & nutritious food & no issue as to what to eat for the next few days unless I feel like having one. So a little sense of achievement, always nice.

Really am thinking soda shop quite seriously, too serious by half, I am.
Pics of property & surrounding neighborhood. Wrote my realtor about having a look at it. Strangely asking price is exactly the same as bakery, also across the street from a school, public elementary, though, not Catholic.

Soda shop, soda shop.
Noticed that another property of interest had come on the market in Easthampton, went & had a lot at its exterior, took pictures, walked around neighborhood, took more pictures. Looks a little dilapidated, but has some serious advantages over the old bakery, it's actually zoned commercial, looks like the commercial part is more usable for things I might want to use it for, like the neighborhood better, looks like somebody actually lives there, so it's probably livable. The street it's on looks good & ready for a minor commercial renaissance, might be a fun thing to try to do with some of my spare time.

Went to Big E's after & got my staples, also a spicy locally made kielbasa to use in my soup, presumably the meat in that is also locally sourced. Really like that store, it's a longish but easy walk from newly coveted property.
Took a walk with the dog, took a walk by myself, took more photos.

Thinking about making a nutritious soup.

Need to restock on staples from some grocery store or other.

Not sure which to do first. Maybe grocery store, would probably make for a more interesting soup.

Might also do some baking. Having a cake around might be nice.
Thinking in the shower about how strange it's been to be attributed Svengali-like powers &, I suppose, attitudes.

Just plain don't have either.

It's true that, as a youth, there were occasions when I acted more sympathetic & interested in others than I actually was in order to gain what I imagined was an advantage with them, didn't like the situations that got me into, these days I usually act less sympathetic & interested than I actually am, if anything.

A problem with understanding other people reasonably well is that it makes it possible to feign sympathy & interest successfully. Another problem with it is that people are generally at best pretty ambivalent in their desire to be understood. In my experience, once they get a sense of what that's actually like, they turn & run as fast as possible.

So, alienation & other beautiful things.

Peretz wants out, I want to drink more coffee, I'm sure we'll work something out.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Slipped into pjs, bravely working my way through the vodka left behind.

People leave consumables in my house & I consume them, then move sadly on.

Frozen pizza was pretty enjoyable.

Wondering if I should stay up really late, watching cartoons, then, once it gets really cold out, fix myself a cocoa and drink it out on the stoop. Might be a plan.
Noise show I wasn't that interested in was cancelled for some reason.

Cool breezes through the window, going to be a cold one tonight, they say.

Might like a snack, frozen pizza maybe.
Went into work to check into malfunctioning wireless router, turns out it's not malfunctioning at all, there's just another old one of ours plugged in somewhere in the building broadcasting the same SSID. Looked for it for a bit, couldn't find it. It's unfortunate that I didn't notice that I was in the wrong brand router's admin console while I was associated with the bad one as I could've just shut its damn wireless off, couldn't manage to pick it up again once I lost it. Anyway, explains a lot, imagine someone's put it out on the floor as a switch, would've thought the antennae would've been a dead giveaway myself, but what do I know?

OK, dishes.
Mixed feelings about shutting down my suchfunsuchfun franchise, though watching the vultures circle above it, I suppose it was probably for the best. Poor dead horse.

Peretz is resting quietly, resting his chin on his extended paws.

Trying to decide if I should go do some work at work or do some dishes here or go see noise show I'm not that interested in. Maybe all three, actually, young & energetic, no claims on my time.

Footloose & fancy free, that's me all over.
More remarkable, luminous skies to be delighted & amazed by, sun's going down now.

Photos & still more photos.
Went to those festivals, well, tried anyway, Athol one was rescheduled due to rain, walked around & took pictures anyway. North Quabbin Garlic & Arts festival was kind of eh. Note to hippies: the dominant culture contains design sensibilities vastly more sophisticated and interesting than yours, look into that some time. Also, dreadful music, just dreadful, made me think of Emma Goldman. Lots of self-congratulatory eco-signs, quack therapies, overpriced produce, etc., etc. Did enjoy some tasty locally raised meat products.

Uploading pictures of all this now. Pictures from earlier here & here.

Such a beautiful day for driving around took 202 all the way down to Holyoke, came back up 5, sky, light in trees, sparkling river.
Took a walk with Peretz around back of paper, took photos of construction, went to record fair, took more photos, talked with Dooley. Uploading those now.

Drinking some more coffee, recharging camera battery, going to take another walk with P, then go to the Athol Fall Festival and take more pictures, hope they have fudge, got a request at record fair to pick up a garlic braid if I went to the garlic festival, will probably therefore do that also, take more pictures.
Plans for today have filled in nicely, Flywheel record fair in Eastworks, Athol Fall Festival, North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival in Orange, think I'm going to try to hit all three, take pictures, obviously most excited about the Athol one. Bit down that I missed the Williamsburg Grange Fair last weekend, dog was sick, matter of priorities.

Even the loveliest people do terrible things sometimes, sometimes it seems that it's the loveliest people who do the most terrible things, tempting to think that's just a matter of contrast, don't really think it is. People who give a lot of thought to what they do are a lot more likely to do terrible things on purpose, in full consciousness of just how terrible they actually are. Whether that's actually worse than people bumbling around hurting everyone around in an oblivious fog, I don't know, think it's almost certainly not, but it can certainly seem worse.

Ear hurts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Guess Henry's not coming up tomorrow, wonder what I should do with myself, maybe make soup.

Pleasantly cool evening, very dark out.

Can't remember large stretches of today, need to get more sleep.
Made that fried rice, quite delicious.

Lying in a pile with Peretz, watching Doctor Who, it's very pleasant.

Horrible transient panic states, not so great.
Ah, Sparkling Pep in the 7 oz bottle, I'll be right as rain in no time.
Just sent T a couple highly discounted hard anodized aluminum pans as a housewarming gift.

Picked the free shipping, so it might be a while, dear. I'll keep you posted.

Also, here's how I make that fried rice with kale you like:

You need 8 oz of bacon (that's half a package, generally, though you can often get 8 oz packages also), a bunch of kale (usually sold in bunches), a nice thick 2-3 inch piece of ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste (I usually use Lan Chi chili paste with garlic, but others will work, try to get one with little or no sugar), a cup and a half of rice. Sherry or white wine could also be nice in this if you happen to have any.

So, start cooking the rice, meanwhile peel the ginger & garlic, mince, wash the kale and strip the leaves from the stems, discard the stems and either chop or hand shred the leaves into smallish pieces, chop the bacon into smallish pieces, by the time you've done all that your rice is probably done, set it aside.

Heat about a tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok over medium high heat, once the oil is hot, add the bacon, stirring until it is nicely browned and crispy, add the ginger and garlic and a rounded teaspoon or so of chili paste, stir for about a minute, add a 1/4 cup of soy sauce (also a 1/4 cup of wine if you're using it), stir until the liquid is boiling vigorously (this will happen quickly), add the kale (this may be a little unmanageable at first, depending on the size of your wok, you might want to cover the wok briefly to steam the kale so it will shrink and become easier to stir), stir until the kale is cooked (this won't take very long, but longer than some other greens, it's also harder to overcook, so don't worry too much about it), with the wok still on the heat, mix in the rice and stir it around until everything is nicely mixed, taste for salt, if it's not salty enough for you, add a little more soy sauce and mix some more.

Serve & enjoy.
Went & got that burger from Look Restaurant I'd wanted to get on Labor Day, not hungry enough for pie. Had been thinking of maybe walking around in industrial zone by the Mill River after, taking pictures, was just too tired. Came home & rested for a while, may go out for a walk soon & take some different pictures.

Henry's coming up tomorrow by a means of transport yet to be determined, guess we're going to go tux shopping.

Walk is a little daunting, but I think it'd be better if I took one.
Have the rest of the day off, apparently. Halfway tempted to go see Joan Jett at the Big E tonight, don't imagine I actually will. No idea what I will do.

Peretz is grooming himself, makes some great facial expressions when he does that.

First thing is coffee, second excursion with P, more later no doubt.
Woken by work. Same old, same old. Should really replace that SCSI controller sometime.

Going to try to go back to sleep.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cool breeze from window, all manner of tasty food in the house, nice euphoria from exhaustion I'm pushing along with more vodka. I should really face it, I'm on easy street.

Really, if I can fall asleep & manage to make myself get out of bed in the morning, everything is pretty much cake & prizes.

Wow, just started sneezing really hard. Can't stop.
Roasted vegetables!



Realized a while ago that I was wrong to think it was Wednesday today. Anyway, work's all done for today, going to eat a bowl of vegetables.
Just drank a Virginia Dare Korker thinking of Virginia Dare.

Fed Peretz dinner, he's back to his usual fare, put a little pumpkin on top.

Vegetables are roasting. Continue to go through olive oil at a prodigious rate.
Made a kugel.



May roast vegetables next, may just eat kugel.
Sharing more challah with Peretz.

Wouldn't you know, spent this morning thinking about smtp's lack of an authentication mechanism, later another half-assed nonstandard attempt to address that bit coworkers. Here's a tip, if you're going to require confirmation to accept mail, don't embed the request for it in the middle of a standard bounce message, users don't read those.

Work continues to be very busy, I continue to get very little sleep. Keeping little red book by my pillow to inspire me onward.
My mom sent me a recipe for noodle kugel:

"noodle-cheese pudding with apples (modification of Jenny Grossinger)

4 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (Jim uses the whole container pint I guess)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar (splenda for Jim)
2 cups cottage cheese (or whatever; I think Jim uses a 24 oz container)
5 cups cooked fine noodles (We use a 12 oz extra wide egg noodles)
4 Tbs dry bread crumbs (We use Panko)
3 Tbs melted butter

Russell modification: sliced apples

Beat the eggs, sour cream, salt and sugar together. Stir in the cheese and noodles apples. Turn into a buttered 2-quart baking dish or casserole (or whatever holds it)
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and butter

Bake in a 375 oven 40 minutes. Serves 6 (or less)"

Might make one later if I'm not too tired, I've been pretty tired.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Drinking more vodka at the instigation of my mother, nice to have positive adult role models.

She's been listening to Arthur & Village Green Preservation Society so it's mutually positive influence.

Could use some more of that, but vodka's a reasonable substitute for the moment.
Called into work, actual problem requiring my attention this time, an easy one to fix, nice.

Shoulder hurting a bit again.

Peretz seems all better, tried to eat run over squirrel, did eat tiny dead bird on walk, may soon be sick again. Him & me both.
Made an effort to correct at least some of the errors in the content pointed to by commenting on it, feel a lot better.
Distressing to see someone genuinely interested in the propagation of knowledge pointing others to something rife with factual errors & being unable to point it out, really distressing actually.

Oh, well.

Gave P some challah.
Went to Amherst for challah, on drive over, longish internal dialectic on the proper way to understand assertions of the self-evident truth of moral statements, I'll spare you the details, came to the perhaps unsurprising conclusion that they should probably be treated the same way one treats other assertions of self-evident truth.

Did some banking, went to Black Sheep for challah, college students sure make some surly retail workers, got challah, a couple napoleons, said, "Could I have a little bag?" College student said, "A 'little' bag?" I said, "Yeah, as opposed to a really big bag, one this stuff will fit into."

Decided to go for pizza after, one thing I'm finding I dislike about living alone is that I have very little opportunity to get pizza, guys behind counter seemingly having major problems understanding spoken English, weirdly, the guy in front of me in line with the severe speech impediment, him they understood just fine.

Lovely sunset over the Connecticut. Shana tova umetukah, kids.
Stressful time at work, everything happening at once.

Things that were bothering me from yesterday's conversation with muckdemuck have been partially addressed.

Remarkably beautiful day, looking forward to taking a walk with Peretz out in it shortly.
When one is trying very hard to understand something that's very difficult to understand, I think it's inevitable that one will sometimes mistake noticing a new aspect for coming to understand the whole picture, sometimes mistake the aspect for the whole picture, etc. Desire makes us see things, not just things that aren't there, the things that are there as well. If one stops trying to understand at one of these moments where a part has been mistaken for the whole, that's false consciousness, I suppose. Never been much of a one for religion.
My mom's sent me a longer list of abbreviations & acronyms from her domain. My favorites:

DAAM- dishevelled-associated activator of morphogenesis

Smad- human homologue of Drosophila mothers against decapentaplegic (MAD) and C. elegans Sma

Wnt- wingless-type MMTV integration site family member

She's also sending me holiday food suggestions. Sadly the past three pomegranates I've bought have been full of mold.
Pain in shoulder made it hard to fall asleep, slowly waking up, coffee, pajamas, work email, etc.

Conversations in dreams continue to be much more interesting than ones in reality.

Just got email from my mom with link to Rosh Hashanah food customs article, most of it doesn't appeal, but might try to locate round challah (believe Black Sheep may do that), maybe make tzimmes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I know a lot of abbreviations, my mom knows a lot of different ones:

"CTGF, connective tissue growth factor; CXCL, chemokine (CXC type) ligand; DKK, Dickkopf; HOX, homeotic; HC, hydrocortisone; IGFBP, insulin-like growth factor binding protein; JAG1, jagged 1; MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; OMIM: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man; SFRP, secreted frizzled related protein; TGFβ, transforming growth factor-β. "

Godspeed, "Gene profiling of keloid fibroblasts shows altered expression in multiple fibrosis-associated pathways."

T made that recipe, fed people with it, said it came out tasty, was fun. Pretty happy about it.
Went & got apples, braeburns. Also got chips, salsa, going to make queso in a minute.

If one has a choice, one should stick to doing things that are fun or interesting, best if both. Had some plans that had great fun & interesting potential, others chose to turn them into something deeply unfun & uninteresting. Felt bad about not going along with that for a bit, try to be flexible, do what other people want. Don't feel particularly bad about it anymore, not really willing to be that flexible. Could have been, if given a chance, probably happier not.

Did something weird to my shoulder, hurts, ow.
Tra la, work's all done, eating spaghetti squash.

Should really go get some apples for tomorrow. Have honey.

Been a rough 5767, here's hoping 5768's an easier ride. Guess Book of Life gets opened tomorrow evening, closed the evening of the 22nd. Oy.

Kind of feel too tired to go get apples, probably will anyway.
Preparing to roast a spaghetti squash, as good a place for fall to begin to start as any. Been dreading that, probably best to get it over with early. Anyway, I like squash.
My mom got paper she was fretting about accepted by The Journal of Investigative Dermatology or some such- hooray for my mom! Really happy to hear about it, actually. Nice when people get to do the worthwhile things they want to do.

Pretty horrifically beat, still need to go back into work in a bit, drifting off into computer screen. Belong in there, probably.

Apparently, it's "the premier journal dedicated to research in cutaneous biology." So they say, anyway.

Epidermis is showing, etc., etc.
Had a little bottle of black cherry soda.

Didn't leave work as early as I intended as muckdemuck decided he had matters of importance to discuss with me, ick.

Shivering.
So some sort of pet publication is go, sure it won't live up to my pure & beautiful visions, but will do my level best to make it not suck. Anybody have good ideas?

Flushed from lack of sleep, terribly busy day at work, going to leave early as I both went in early & need to go back later.

P is resting quietly, need to take him out in the rain shortly.
Another 6 AM wakeup call from P, not entirely better, I guess.

Goodbye, pines.




Monday, September 10, 2007

Toast with oleo & cottage cheese again, pretty delightful, pluck petals from the stream of experience, press them in my little book.
Another of the t-shirts I ordered for use as pajamas arrived, shipped separately, wasteful. Comfy shirt, anyway, an attractive port.

Peretz is really seeming a lot more like his normal self.

Considering quitting smoking again as it seems I'm sufficiently angry to write angry missives, smoking or no. Actually have plentifully sufficient cause, why not be angry? Can't imagine it actually makes much difference to anybody.

Strong emotions aren't things I'm too comfortable with, slowly getting the hang of them, I think. Learn & adapt, actually easier than the alternatives, maybe not for everybody, pity.
Soaking wet, P seems a bit better, just passed eggplant/pepper dip to T on closed channel. What we do is secret.

Seems like I'm going to be too lazy for vegetable roasting tonight after all, no real point in it anyway, still plenty of other food on hand.

Also, maybe I can think of something even better to do with that stuff by then.

Another early day tomorrow, don't mind that at all.
Finally got together with that new guy, easy peasy.

Needed gas, so back via Sunderland to slip funds to the People's Front, viva Zapata & all that. Got some pumpkin for Peretz.

Signs of fall at farm share, spaghetti squash, more root vegetables, storage onions. Going to make some roasted squash & root vegetables later, maybe. Might be too lazy.
New guy spaced on his appointment with me, need to go back later, maybe after lunch?

Driving back & forth to Amherst, highly productive use of time.

Getting better at feeling sustainedly pissed.
While trying to fall asleep last night, was thinking, "The accuracy and speed of its calculations directly proportional to how severely it was beaten, kept in a highly insulated subbasement to prevent its screams disturbing the human residents, the thing, when allowed to sleep, dreamed of light."

Guess Peretz may be getting a little better, slept quietly beside me through the night.

Need to go to Amherst first thing this morning to show new guy ropes.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Having a 1/2 lemon 1/2 grapefruit 1/2 vodka soda, from the last of the quart bottles of Harmony Springs, going to move on to the little ones I bought for no good reason shortly, excited to have Sparkling Pep, hardly ever get it as it is unavailable in the quart size for some reason, also Virginia Dare Korker, huzzah.

Finished off apple crisp, should make that more often, apparently I'm fond of it.

Peretz is looking sad again, oh well, lovely day for a stroll.
Been trying not to feed P any solid food today, only problem with that is, it makes him even more eager than normal to find & eat strange things he finds in the bushes while on walks & we've been on something like eleven of those today.

Making him rice for morning now.
Well, my pasta came out tasty anyway.

Going to make some rice in a bit to feed P for breakfast tomorrow, hopefully he can digest that successfully, may add a little yogurt.

Poor guy, no biscuits coming in from walks, no nothing.

Maybe it's a good sign that he's going nuts in the basement?
OK, T, sorry for the delay, I've had some more coffee.

I suggest you make a variation of what I'm making myself for dinner, I'm using Swiss chard in what I'm making, but it's kind of a pain to deal with, so I'm going to suggest you use baby spinach (they sell it in bags).

So, you'll need: bag of baby spinach, box of small type pasta (I'm using gemelli), 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, olive oil or butter, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes.

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Wash the spinach & roughly shred it. Mince the garlic. Cook the pasta according to directions on box. While pasta is cooking add 1/4 cup olive oil or butter to a large high sided pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add some red pepper flakes, maybe a little less than a teaspoon, stir them around a little, then add the minced garlic, stir that around for about a minute (if the pan is too hot, the garlic will burn & you will need to start over), then add your spinach, stirring as it becomes possible to do so. Once all the spinach was wilted, that part is done, remove it from the heat. Once pasta is done, toss with sauteed spinach & parmesan to taste.

That sound OK?

P.S. Oh, crap, editing this post, atypical- this would also be good with cannellini beans in it, if you want to do that, get a small can of those also, rinse well and add to pan before spinach, tossing till warm.
Peretz still seems to be feeling poorly, did just present his belly for scratches rather than just staying curled sadly in a ball. Hate seeing the ones I love sick, more than anything. Wouldn't have thought so, but apparently, that's hard for some people to understand.

Sort of half-napped for a bit, still feeling very sleepy, flushed.

Still no recipe in mind for T, too sleepy to think very well.
Funny picture I forgot I made:



Feeling a bit that way. P also threw up on one of the blankets on his bed, washed it. He's curled up in a ball on the couch now.
A few weeks ago, a generous & well-meaning person bought me a rather large supply of generic unbleached #4 cone coffee filters. Not sure what they do exactly to make them so much more prone to backing up than the ones I normally use, but I think I've decided to give up on them, maybe keep them on hand for emergencies, think it's unlikely I'm ever going to get around to having 200 such emergencies, unfortunately. Dislike waste. Suppose the real waste was in making filters that don't work properly in the first place, the bastards.
So sleepy from being repeatedly woken in the night by ill dog that I'm not much use for anything, not really anything I need to be much use for, not worrying about it.

Might even take a nap.
On walk through Meadows, managed to get quite a lot of tiny flowers stuck in my hair. Extremely humid.

Little break from processing traumatic events has been helpful, they are now more or less fully processed. A lot better than some at processing traumatic events, both in the sense that I actually do process them and the sense that the processing has productive outcomes. Anyway, enough about that, in this forum anyway, feel free to write requesting full results.

Supposed to start putting up daily recipes for T on here, having trouble thinking of what to put up, not sure what vegetables are best in northern California at present, etc.
Gray day, fog shrouds the range.

Finally remembered where I'd put my miniature pseudo-steam vac, did some further cleaning up after Peretz.

Thinking I may take him on a long walk through the Meadows shortly.

Doing laundry.
Wallace Stevens once said, "reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor." I'm more inclined to believe the reverse, but it comes to more or less the same thing. Matter of semantics really.

If one has a safe word & doesn't use it, no one but yourself to blame for what happens.

Meaning?
Trojaned version of tor on the loose, apparently. Be careful with that, sweetie.
Woken early again by desperate P, this shit's got to stop.

Nuance & complexity not everybody's cup of tea, is mine, don't like it? Tough. Sometimes also fond of coldness & cruelty.

& ampersands, obviously.

Spent some time last night discussing varieties of irony on IM, something I know a lot about.

Ignore that man behind the curtain.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Just back from going out with P again, we're both pretty wet. This is reminding me of the time he got into the chocolate chip cookies, wonder if he found some of those in the bushes.

Orange Dry soda, helps to steady my nerves, don't worry, know when to stop.
Just found more diarrhea at the top of the stairs. Sadly, it was dark & I found it with my sock.

Poor Peretz.
Thunder, nice.

Went to town to return cd to Cooper, get ice cream for apple crisp. Tasty, very tart.

Watching cartoons, considering falling asleep.

Lots of thoughts in my head, pretty benevolent, all things considered.
Apple crisp is in the oven, also roasted more eggplants & red peppers.

Not as adept with a pastry cutter as I once was, should do more baking, get reskilled.

Also managed to skin a knuckle peeling apples, pathetic.
OK, pictures up, peppers tasty. Going to have a little rest, I think, then maybe make an apple crisp.

Damn muggy out, took P for a walk behind the paper a while ago, bathed in sweat, looks like a storm's coming, we could use it.
Stuffed peppers are in the oven.

Continuing to be amazed that anyone, having known me for any length of time, could fail to anticipate the likely effects of my observing him treat his wife like a chattel on my attitudes toward him and their relationship. Should really learn to give people less credit.

Gave the web-based Flickr upload client a shot, already sorry I tried it, buggy as hell, making a mess.
Took a walk around Easthampton, took pictures, very hot out, think I may scrub other planned outdoor activities, stay in & cook. Got local hamburger from an alternate source, so meaty stuffed peppers are on again. Also planning to roast more eggplants, maybe make an apple crisp. If I could've found a cabbage, I'd be making borscht as well, maybe tomorrow.

Can't upload my photos easily as uploader app is returning error about outdated API key, it's the latest version of the app, so I imagine it's just more Web 2.0 flakiness, get with it people.
Just went & got my Tinkerbell hat from my car where it's been getting dusty, rinsed it off, it's drying now. Prized possession, lovely token of being briefly understood, don't have too many of those.

Thinking about going for a walk around Easthampton, taking pictures, need to recharge camera battery, wake up a little more first.

Peretz had his toast, he's resting now.
Peretz's digestive disturbance continues, just made him some burnt toast, waiting for it to cool. Poor guy, probably got into something, he does that.

Having a hard time waking up, might have something to do with staying up till 4, dunno.

Have a lot of stuff to cook, not much in the way of plans for it, will figure something out, I imagine.
Never did get around to making those stuffed peppers, later today, I suppose.

Sleepy, don't feel like going to sleep, watching TV.

Peretz is sleeping, has more sense.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The mind of the sweet little old lady at whose house I just dined is slowly going, each time I see her she's a little more forgetful & disoriented. It's sad. That sort of thing scares me so much more than death.

A while ago, I felt a bit like my mind was going, mostly down to lack of sleep, I think. Anyway, it's back now.
Thinking on walk with P about how hard it was for me to accept that there wasn't necessarily anything I could do to prevent someone I care about doing horrifically self-destructive things to herself, being unable to accept that made me act like a jerk, so now I've accepted it, pretty much, anyway.

Guess pedestrian's a bit out the window for the moment, sometimes I'm in a hurry or want to get somewhere far away & go by car. Plane, even, sometimes.

Peretz still has a bit of a digestive disturbance, wonder what the matter is.

OK, dinner party.
Amazing how spicy a single habanero can make things.

Unfortunately, it seems that I will likely still be in the process of attending dinner party while what seems likely to be the most photogenic event of the Northampton Cooperative Bank Balloon Festival at Look Park, the Balloon Glow, occurs. Description from the website so you can imagine, at least: " All balloons are inflated and stood up at dark. The balloonists light their tanks and light up the balloons to the beat of music and make a nice show." Pity.
Thinking about first person exceptionalism in moral principles, never had much hope for useful universal ones, can't say I think much of that, though. Lot of that sort of asymmetry going around in any case.

Thinking I may make at least the tomato sauce for my stuffed peppers now, planning to make a thin one with lime & habaneros, cook it lightly, puree, refrigerate. Need to do some dishes first.

T didn't get that job she wanted, kind of a drag, but she wanted some time off anyway, sure she'll get another one fairly soon.
Made a pot of coffee, got sweaty, Peretz seemed uncomfortable, decided a/c might be OK after all.

Plan is to drink a bunch more coffee, take a shower & lounge about feeling pleasant.

Also might go take pictures of balloons at Look Park.
Serio's was fresh out of local hamburger, going to make peppers vegetarian, I guess. Did have a couple of cheeseburgers grilled out in front of the store by the owner, presume the meat in those was of local provenance, didn't ask.

Ran into the people I'm having dinner with & for whom I was purchasing apples while waiting for my burgers- small, friendly town, pity about the stupid bastards who run it.
Decided to defer cookery till after dinner party, bit too hot, not hot enough to justify a/c.

Spent some time on walk with Peretz wondering what suffering is like for people without much in the way of self-awareness or conscience. I guess, on the whole, I'm not much much for making animals suffer either.

Saw a baby fox in the dumping area, disappearing into the trees, the woods are alive with spirits.

Off to Serio's for nice local apples & nice local hamburger.

Meat grinder, ha ha ha.
Got a cup of coffee. Need to go get more coffee in a bit, also some things for my stuffed peppers, apples to bring to dinner party.

As with so many things, my having a guest at Henry's wedding depends upon the issuance of a visa. The non-issuance of one, actually, unusual.

Was it in The Great Dictator that a little kid does a rant about the need for passports? Some Chaplin movie, anyway. All the little fascisms, you'd think people would wise up. Don't know, maybe you wouldn't.

Anyway, "Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! With the love of humanity in your hearts! Don't hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural!"
Foolishly allowed myself to run out of coffee. Was hoping to spend long time sitting around in pjs, drinking coffee, drat.

Happy to have gotten the chance to play 'aleatory' in Scrabble game, even if I did need to use a blank for the wy.

Apart from the lack of coffee, a picture of contentment. May make stuffed peppers this afternoon.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Finished off that pasta, had a couple of tomato sandwiches, it's a lovely time of year.

Going to take Peretz for a walk, slip into pjs & fall asleep watching cartoons.
Listening to an introduction to conversational Welsh, waiting for photos to upload.

Just ate a peach. Might have another. Dare I? You betcha.

Think I might have gotten a bit too much sun.
Went to the parade in Greenfield, took a lot of photos, didn't end up getting mango & sticky rice, got a raspberry cheese pastry & a hot dog with kraut instead.

Got back home to Scrabble heating up, an invitation to dinner tomorrow. Scary monster, Mr. Popularity, it's a mystery.

Pretty beat, have a lot of pictures to go through.
Went to town to do some banking. Two businessmen walking by said, "Did you hear Luciano Pavarotti died?" "I know."

Kind of unpleasantly warm out, think I'm going to go take photos of fair kickoff parade anyway.

Kept waking up in the night, needing to pee, getting old.
May actually have a guest to accompany me to Henry & Nancy's wedding, pretty surprising.

Maybe things are looking up.
Done with work for the week, pretty much. Trying to decide what do with myself. Nap might be nice, doubt I'll do that.

Thinking about starting some little programming projects. Doubt I'll do that either.

Considering moving web sites to a hosted account, losing the land line. One phone to get passive-aggressive harassing phone calls on is plenty. Would be a bit of a project, might be a while.
Trying to decide if I want to go take photos of the Franklin County Fair opening parade later, could also get mango with sticky rice, hmmm.

Having a hard time waking up, P too.

Scrabble activity has died down, sad.

Listening to The Only Ones, "You've Got to Pay", tell me about it, under-appreciated band.
Shaking with cold.

Should really take to sleeping more.
Nothing anyone does to me can be wrong, because I am a monster.

No big deal, I'm a Jew, we're used to it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fun playing Scrabble with my mom, games tend to be very close, pretty much all the way through. Given the strong random element in the game, this seems highly anomalous.

Be glad you have a husband, right? Damn sad.

Scratching Peretz's head makes it hard to type, maybe I'll stop for a bit, typing, that is.
Sounds like all the pine trees by my parents' house are coming down, lot of memories under those pines.

Nice & warm with Peretz.
Pasta's very tasty. Kind of a late supper, but worth it.

Only 8 or 9 tomatoes to go.
Total lack of an adult conception of responsibility, nothing he does is wrong, really something else. Kind of suspected, but not the extent of it, Christ. One less person whose opinion I need to take seriously, I guess. OK.

Had been fretting about getting some stuff of mine back, kind of a relief that it's no longer worth worrying about, might as well have been destroyed by animals.

Glad I'm able to accept that some things are my fault, can try to do better.

Pasta's almost ready.
Making a matriciana sauce. Hearing about how it's all my fault, pathetic, but unsurprising. It's only partly my fault.

Peretz seems to have some sort of digestive disturbance.
Got a note from T, she's back in civilization, more or less (Reno).

Eating more eggplant dip.
Lying awake, not thinking, feeling rather nice actually, nice & empty.

Have taken to sleeping with my cell phone very near at hand again, pointless, still feels better to act like myself, available, reliable, ridiculous.

Pictures passing by, so many of them.
Went & had that beer. Here's to ya.

Listening to music, leaving my body. "She's Lost Control"

Too funny to explain, floating up by the ceiling, enjoying it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Went to a noise show at Mystery Train, guess Tim sort of talked me into it, dullest sort of noise music, Buddies were supposed to play but didn't, still had a pretty nice time. Managed to arrange a tentative date for skee ball excursion/art project. During one of the particularly boring parts, went across the street for a slice of pizza, three tiny, gawky guys, assume they were UMass freshmen, looked like high school students, had gotten a giant (say 18 x 30) Sicilian pie & were sitting in the window eating it, eyes alive with delight, protruding Adam's apples bobbing gleefully. Made me think of kids at Halloween eating whole bags of candy at one sitting.

There's a going away party for a person named Emily that I barely know happening at a bar down the street right now, can't decide if it would be funnier to go or to be inconspicuous by my absence. A beer might be good.
Finally getting around to eating some of that eggplant/red pepper dip I made the other day, it's quite good. Not actually as much of a fuckup as I sometimes think I am, surprisingly good at all sorts of things, actually. Ah well, back to being sad & unappreciated.

Would put in a little smiley but I hate those fucking things.
Lunching on the last of my soup & little red plums. It's nice. Going to make a hearty borscht later in the week I think.

P's licking the bowl.

Busy morning at work, can't remember half of what I was doing, repairing filesystems, redirecting mail, reconfiguring accounts, re, re, re, again & again. Going to go do some more fun sysadmin activities in Amherst after Peretz has had his walk.
Eat Local Challenge is on, BTW.

Doing fairly well at that without really much trying, think that's better, actually. No real need to make a challenge out of it, unless you're really into the idea of your own virtue, for a month. Anyway, it's hard to think much of a virtue you're only able to indulge in while riding on others' backs.

Still local food, less of a waste of energy, tasty.
Walking through dumping area with Peretz, wondering why anyone who knows me would think bullying me & ordering me about would be a good idea. Would think it was fairly obvious that these are things up with which I will not put, good for eliciting aggressively frustrating behavior, not much else. Asking nicely, on the other hand, most always works. 'Nicely' here means honestly and with a reasonable understanding of what's being asked, of course, not formally and/or politely. Not just how it is, it's good policy.

OK, enough about rich inner life, sorry about that. Hi, Mom.

Peretz is sighing, knows me too well.
Listening to 'Family Dirge' by Noel Coward, always cheers me up.

Now 'Blues in the Bottle' is on, rooster chews tobacco & the hen uses snuff, the baby chickens don't take nothing, but they just strut their stuff.

Music's great.

Coffee, too.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Listening to 'Means to an End', has the quality of a personal anthem, so much does.

Listening to it again.

Just sent my brother an idea for a joke website that would probably get us both lynched.
Went to Stop 'n' Shop, got limes, onions, bread for tomato sandwiches, dog biscuits, pita chips. Just after locating the pita chips, ran into Joel's niece Becky & someone I assume was her Italian boyfriend, so spacy from all the time with my head inside computer, I probably seemed heavily drugged. Should perhaps invest some time working on my impression management skills. Ho ho ho.

In further Jolly Green Giant news, got an email back from old college chum Chris Goodbar who I'd looked up & written to the other day. Sounds like he's doing well, lives in the woods, has a 2 year old kid & another on the way shortly, runs a kung fu school. Nice to hear from him, may try to stop in & see him if I ever get around to driving home for one holiday or another.
Peretz broke another leash. In an exciting twist, this time he broke the line not the retraction mechanism. This one lasted over a year at least (previous incident here), he used to break approximately two a year. Getting old. Giving me sad looks, walk wasn't as long as he'd have liked. Need to go get him more biscuits.
Been playing with last.fm, a bit surprised at how much it seems to break. Get better servers &/or sysadmins, folks.

In keeping with the social networking mood of the day, made slight adjustments to my myspace profile after removing a couple months' accumulation of spam. This last has, as usual, accelerated the arrival of new spam.

Made myself a small salad, will get through these tomatoes somehow.
Look closed early for Labor Day, can't say I blame them, was rather looking forward to burger & pie, got some shots of where sign used to be, had vegetarian chao fan & fortune cookie as happy substitute. Photographing fortune cookie fortunes is quite challenging, anyway, "Should have is a favorite phrase for those looking for excuses."

Went & got farm share, have more tomatoes than I know what to do with, imagine I'll think of something. Decided I wanted fresh fruit to supplement fresh vegetables, went to Bashista, got peaches, little red plums, cooking apples, cranberry apple pie. Not sure what I'm going to do with cooking apples, imagine I'll think of something. Crisp, maybe?
Just reading about Look Restaurant's sign being knocked down by a big truck & later stolen with a little truck. Drag. Will maybe go there for lunch, wonder if they're open.
Slow morning, still in pajamas, coffee, catching up on Scrabble games, Roman history. Tough business, being a rhetor.

Wall-mounted statuette inspired by song 'Honeycomb' I made years ago from a free sample of Tempurpedic foam spontaneously fell to bits yesterday, end of an era. Walking, talking piece of foam.

Lot of good Ricky Nelson songs.

OK, too literary, back to business.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Feet got very sore, dusty on long walk through the corn fields. Really, really dusty actually, dirt roads were a lot like a beach, guess we could use some rain. Soaked my feet for a while, still a bit sore. The pictures make it all worthwhile.

Recuperating with soup, Phil Ochs & pale dry ginger ale.
More fair pictures.

Felt like I'd been neglecting Peretz with all the fair going, so set out on long walk with him through the cornfields to the river, past the airport, behind the fairgrounds. Took a little rest in Sheldon Field watching hip kids play kickball, Peretz played with a corgi. Took pictures of all that too, uploading those now.
Blandford Fair was very nice, coming to the conclusion that I like the small town ones better generally. Produced extensive multimedia documentation. A sample:



Also took a bunch more photos. Uploading those now. Producing a lot of data lately.

On drive down to fair, decided that I should really stop smoking, thought that I would have stopped some time ago had horrible things not happened & that horrible things were no reason for me to waste money on harming myself, quite the opposite actually, that I could reinvest the money saved in further evil works. Anyway, after about three hours of not smoking, found myself composing angry & hurtful missives in my head, as this isn't anything I want to be doing, in my head or elsewhere, went & bought some cigarettes. Don't say I never did anything for you.

Photo upload only a quarter done, will link to them in a bit.