Archive for the 'geekery' Category


Today’s piece of brilliance

Star Trek plus Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I just finished rewatching the original Star Trek series (the flying leg kicks!), so coming across this mashup video now is a happy coincidence.




Transportation transitions

saturnftf.jpgAbout three weeks ago, I said goodbye to my beloved 1993 Saturn SL1. I’d gotten this car new, back when Saturn actually made good cars and was an innovative company. (You know–before GM decided to bring Saturn back into the GM fold and screwed up everything.) It still ran great, but a broken odometer meant that it wouldn’t pass its next inspection (due at the end of this month), so it was time to find a new ride.After about two weeks of looking around, Jan and I found our new car. Well, new to us, at least: it’s a 2006 Prius. It makes a nice companion to our 2005 Prius, which we purchased new in anticipation of Sylvia’s arrival. So far I like the new car just fine except for the fact that it’s white. Blech.newcarftf.jpgMy brother gave me an awesome decoration for the new car. I now have the geekiest ride around: a Prius with Companion Cubes. Nice.


Happy Pi Day, everyone

Be sure to celebrate in style!

(Hmmm. Now I’m in the mood for some pie…)


Life update

Geeking out: With “The DM of the Ring,” the Lord of the Rings trilogy imagined as a D&D campaign.

Reading: The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan. Finally. What an amazing book. He’s one of those writers who can make interesting the sort of information that is usually quite dull to read. Some of his turns of phrase are just amazing.

Frolicking: Through the City Museum of St. Louis, which is quite possibly the coolest place I have ever visited. Seriously. It’s sort of a cross between a four-story walk-through, interactive art installation and a playground (in the literal sense–monkey bars, slides, ball pits, and all) for grownups. It’s very difficult to describe. Here’s one picture I took of the outside area:


Yes, you can climb through/over/under all those tubes/ladders/tunnels, even into that gutted airplane over there. And yes, you are at times four stories up. (While Jan was wriggling through a wire-coil tunnel near the apex of the structure, his wallet fell out of his pocket when he was upside down. Fortunately, it landed on a table three stories below him, and a very kind person there cleaned up the debris field of credit cards and IDs and waited for Jan to get down there.)

We happened to visit this place while visiting my parents (who live in the Illinois part of the St. Louis area) for a few days. But if I didn’t have family in the area, I would actually consider a trip out there anyway. This place alone merits a trip to St. Louis–it is that cool.


Happy Star Wars Day

May the Fourth be with you!


Free lunch: More geeky knitting

The cake may be a lie, but this pattern is the real deal. I have no idea what I’d do with this when it’s finished, but I really, really, really want to knit a companion cube.

Show your favorite geek how much you care by knitting him or her a pair of mittens that say “I love you” in binary. And they have the Linux penguin, too!

And here’s a Drupal knitting chart for those who love open source efforts.

Maybe a new presidential candidate would cheer you up. Take your pick.

I’ve been wearing a “Cthulhu for President ’08” t-shirt since early summer. But I think Han Solo and Chewie wouldn’t be bad, either.


Children’s music for grown-ups

Ze Frank is one of the most creative and interesting people I’ve ever come across. I first came across his website in 2000, I think, when this creation of his swept across the Internet.

He has all sorts of projects on his page. (This one and this one are two of my favorites.) Last month he wrote:

Laura wrote to ask if i could write a song to remind her to chill out when she got anxious. I asked people to sing along to a basic track and send me the results as audio files. After I had about 20 in total I mixed the results together to create the chorus of the tune (special thanks to everyone that sent in audio)

Here’s what he came up with.


Weekend fun

It’s been a busy weekend here.

On Friday, we celebrated our nation’s birthday by taking a trip to our nation’s first zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo doesn’t hold a candle to the zoo I grew up going to—both in terms of animal habitats and entrance fees (the St. Louis Zoo is free, whereas the Philly one is a whopping $18 for adults and $15 for kids 2-11)—but it’s what we’ve got. And Sylvia loves it, so there you go.

Yesterday morning my brother arrived for a two-day visit. He lives in Greenwich Village and almost always brings us a dozen fresh bagels that he picks up at the shop around the corner from him on his way to Penn Station. We’re so grateful for this gift, because even though it’s possible to get decent bagels where we live, nothing compares to New York bagels. (Seriously. They’re standing on the summit of Mount Everest, with all other bagels in the world stuck in the Mariana Trench. They’re that good. The other bagels aren’t jealous, though, because they’re in so much awe of New York bagels that they can’t help but admire them.)

p7051739.jpgThis time, in addition to bagels, he brought a special treat that I’d asked him to find: vegan marshmallows. (Real marshmallows contain gelatin, which is made from animal bones and pig and cow skin.)* A few days earlier, I’d told him that Whole Foods stores in NYC carry them (but not any stores in my area), and because they need to be refrigerated it’s very expensive to get them by mail-order during the summer. “Don’t go to any trouble, but if you can find some, that would be great,” I told him. He took it as his personal mission to find these for us, and after visiting a few stores, scored two boxes of them (each holding about a dozen marshmallows for $7, if you can believe it). Thanks to her uncle’s efforts, Sylvia got to enjoy her first backyard s’mores yesterday evening. Which she loved, of course!

Once Sylvia was in bed for the evening, a few friends came over for some serious geeking out. Nine of us played a board game until 2 a.m. Yeah, I’d say we had a good time.

I also managed to get a lot of knitting done. Last night I finished knitting one new piece, and this morning I seamed it; it just needs a few more embellishments. Right now, I’m blocking Sylvia’s new sweater and hope to finish it up (finally!) this evening. A more detailed knitting update—with pictures—will be forthcoming later this week (I hope!).

I hope all of you, too, had a great weekend!


*A few years ago, the excrement hit the fan in the vegetarian world when it was revealed the Emes Kosher Jel, which had marketed itself as a vegetarian gelatin substitute, actually contained animal gelatin. (CNBC did a story about this: part 1, part 2.) The few companies that made vegetarian marshmallows using Emes products went out of business, and since then only a handful of companies in the world have figured out how to make vegan marshmallows.


Politics, shmolotics

Today is Super Tuesday. It’s very likely that after today we’ll know who the parties’ candidates will be or at least have a pretty good idea of what the ballots will look like.

Via Franklin at the Panopticon, Dolores has announced her own candidacy and platform—which, as you might expect, is very knitting-oriented.

I have nothing against pro-yarn proposals, but I do expect a bit more depth from any politicians I choose to endorse. So I was pleased to see, at the Park Bench, a political platform I like. To paraphrase William Shatner, “I can get behind that!”*

My favorite points are “Mary McDonnell will be named Secretary of Education…just in case” (BSG, anyone?) and “We all will be issued jet packs and robots.”

I mean, really—who couldn’t use a jet pack and a robot? I’m convinced that if everyone had them, the world would be a much better place.

*If you’re looking for a music recommendation, I can say that Shatner’s Has Been truly is terrific. It’s great in all that ways that his Transformed Man—which I admit to owning as well—is bad. Then again, The Transformed Man was so bad that it actually transcended its own awfulness and became kind of good…

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