July 15, 2013

crash dump summary (yes, something is wrong with Sum Ting Wong)

Stack top:

Surely you’ve seen the Asiana fake pilot names thing by now.

It’s hilarious! And problematic. It is possible for something to be both, for sure, but when I encounter something horrible and hilarious, I try to be precise about why the thing is horrible, then laugh. The problem in the Asiana pilots case is that I haven’t seen much acknowledgement that there is anything amiss with these made up names.

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March 17, 2013

Not just in software

You know that image with the client’s spec on the swing set, and what they actually needed was a tire swing? I just did that to my esthetician. 

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December 29, 2012

movies about creating worlds

  1. Being John Malkovich
  2. Shutter Island
  3. Inception
  4. Argo (+ the transcendent power of storytelling, yes yes)
  5. The Truman Show (added 7/21/13)
September 4, 2012

the thoughts that go through your mind

Parking lot -> Bandera Mountain -> summit of Bandera mountain -> back down -> for (int i = 1; i <= 8; i++) lake -> Denny River -> Parking lot

Justifications: “mike’s cool; these guys are probably going to be cool” (certainly); “it’s only twice the distance from U-district to Golden Gardens” (note: but markedly less flat, and no Starbucks at the 3/4 mark); “Jens did a half marathon — I should too”; “might as well get some use out of the hiking boots” (oh boy they proved their worth today); “soak up the outside while it is not misting” (get dust-colored tan);

Ways that hiking is like China (c. 2009? when I last remember it)

  • bathrooms where you have to bring your own toilet paper
  • dust in everything
  • about 13 miles /hours — except no one brings you beverages or foily meals.

Morbid thoughts that go through my mind, miles 1-15

  1. scamper scamper; guys, stop being tall
  2. What would this march feel like on reduced calories? Rephrase: what does a death march feel like?
  3. hips: <climb>; ribs: we want to go this way!; brain: no, ribcage, that direction is off the mountain. we should not go there.; abs: <whistle, for we do not exist>; arms: flail, throw onto nearest forward rock
  4. If something should happen — not that I think it would, but if something should ever happen — what are the chances that I could trek to somewhere with cell reception and describe my location with precision? Is there some experienced hiker who sits in the command center and tries to figure out what the confused and startled hikelet means? I mean, I thought we were between exits 42 and 45, and we were actually between 45 and 47; oops.
  5. Total elevation gain is a LIE because we are going up and down and up and down and; hey, intermediate value theorem / displacement / velocity / bloop bloop bloop
  6. “wish I were the prom queen, fightin’ for the title / ‘stead of being 16 and burning up a bible / feeling super super super! suicidal” (official hike soundtrack)
  7. Feel that soreness in your hips? That is roughly what period cramps feel like.
  8. This is a three apple, one clif bar, one shot block, one one thousand year old egg on wheat sandwich kind of hike. Why are there no apple trees around here?
  9. We’re going over there? Ok.
  10. That part of the hike where panting turns into sobbing because blood sugar has pulled a c. 2000 NASDAQ
  11. rock rock rock ok, this is just a dorm room where someone has left tons of stuff on the floor; you can get through it
  12. more rock??
  13. pain(waxing) <<<<<< pain(this hike)
  14. motivation: commune with nature, escape civilization, feel the grandness of scale, get to the damn car
  15. body: FUUUUUUUUUUUU ok but we’re almost there, almost there, almost there; man, it’s cold.

I am not climbing a single stair for the next month.

August 10, 2012

unlikely stories of children and their names

Inspired by a sign, “Stone Way” (?) — but also related to “the Los Angeles Angels” and “the La Brea tarpits.”

Wei Wei Stone lived among kids who loved language but not him, not his two, which became one, then three, then one again. Or they did like him but they liked language more and so they toyed with him with language.

“Hey Wei Wei, how much you weigh weigh?”

“A stone!”

“Look out, it’s a two-Wei street!”

His name promised greatness but his mother gave the reduplicated diminutive form. In high school Wei Wei was William but his signature was W^{2}_S. He liked thinking that his Latin name was Vevilius so he could be addressed as Vevili, like a reduplicated perfect.

In college Willam studied geophysics. He now works for Shell Oil and lives in the outskirts of Houston with his wife and two kids.

Carroty and Broccoli Friend

Carroty’s name is Carroty Friend, but only Broccoli is afflicted with being called by his full name. Broccoli Friend sheds a lot. They live on my couch.

July 13, 2012

from Alyosha Efros’s facebook

(via Vadim Kantorov)

There once was a man who said ‘Damn!
It is borne in upon me I am
An engine that moves
In predestinate grooves.
I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram.’
–Maurice Evan Hare (St. John’s College, Oxford, 1905)

July 3, 2012

minor regret

Not acquiring a pair of Björn Borg underthings.

Because when you wear them, you’re no longer bare.

[*] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjorn

Maybe this was the kind of thing that was supposed to go on on illegitimatepuns.tumblr.com…


July 2, 2012

back in the USSR

culinary highlight of trip:
Dumplings — in an exceedingly endearing cafe in Tartu, Estonia. These dumplings are virtually identical to the ones I eat at home in flavor and texture (pork and cabbage, I think), with one major exception: instead of Chinkiang (black rice vinegar) for acidity, sour cream is added.
We are all one world.

eta: I have no way of knowing whether the cafe proprietor got some of Ling Ling’s finest frozen dumplings and boiled them according to the package instructions, or if these are a locally-originated thing, but I think the use of sour cream makes it different enough to note.

June 24, 2012

things I can say

Relics of 8th grade:
  • milk
  • fish

From this trip:

  • male goat
  • hill
  • road
  • street
  • I am
  • They took my newspaper (approx.)
June 4, 2012


I haven’t been in this city for 24 hours yet and have already:

  • found my host’s home by sheer virtue of having stared at gmaps so many times before leaving, as my written notes were missing one rather important piece of information
  • had a Danish (pastry)
  • settled the ‘two serious things’ of phone and electricity
  • seen the graves of Søren Kierkegaard, Hans Christian Andersen, and — the big one — Friedrich Kuhlau. Who-lau, you say? German-Danish Romantic composer, friend / soul sister of Beethoven’s — but best known to Asian kidlets for flute sonatas and piano sonatinas, and parents as 库劳. At least it’s not 苦劳。
  • Had a rather nice brunch by the river with Jens (real maple syrup!)

Jens, looking properly miserable at his food

  • Went to sand sculpture festival park
  • Seen the Little Mermaid, lovely fountains, etc.
  • Had falafel wrap #1: Mona Shwarma of Nørrebrogade is not quite East Side Pocket, but rather fine.
  • Gone swing dancing :D

Copenhagen — or maybe Nørreboro — reminds me a lot of China. Not just the bikes, which are locked with key, not chain, and have practical adaptations galore (baby carrier, rear baskets); or the slight grunginess (this is apparently the up-and-coming part of town); but the layout of the supermarket is exactly the same as the one in Beijing Normal, there is fruit sold on the street (think Flushing, NY), people are very comfortable in the city, instead of hiding from it in cars; people whose thighs don’t touch; lots of hair salons and cafes;

And there are completely gorgeous parks everywhere, with lots of consideration for both mountains (statues, I think) and water. Oh, and bridges!

There are differences too, but those are either too obvious to state, or too subtle for me to have detected. I guess one such difference is that the grass is green because it’s drizzly, not because paid workers walk over it with pails of fertilizer and sprinkle it on by hand.

Why am I compelled to compare CPH with CHN? Dk with Pek? (ok, stretching it now) It’s about the same level of ‘foreign’ to me. In China I can understand people, read some signs, and be understood by some; here, I can’t understand people at all, I can feebly parse some signs, but I am understood by most everyone. When people see me their heuristic still goes to “American,” for a variety of reasons.

So, eh, yeah. I’m pretty psyched. Time to sleep before the sun rises so I can go running before going to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

(Photos here)


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