I’m unreasonably sad that my Yotsuba daily calendar has run out, and there is no new one for 2016–2017. (The strange cutoff date is because the calendar covers the Japanese school year, which runs from April to March.) I’ve had one of those on my desk for the last ten years (!), and now… nothing.

Boaty McBoatface: a compelling argument against allowing the public to name things. (I prefer “Boaty McBoatpants,” personally.)

Favorite “To Your Good Health” paragraph of 2016 (so far)

Marin found this gem in a followup on a column on breast biopsies:

One woman suggested I have a large needle placed in the scrotum to see if it caused me more than “discomfort.” That wasn’t very nice. [END COLUMN]

Best Amazon Question of 2015

The Pencil Grip: Would these help my 4 year old, he holds his pencil like he’s Goin to stab someone?

Boring answers, though.

That feeling when you’re arguing with the CSR that you are only owed an $8 credit, not the $10 they’re mistakenly offering you.


A wild ASAP Deadline appeared! in the Tall Grass at work today, which meant I was going to be staying at the office later than usual. At 5:00 pm, the last of my coworkers warned me (just prior to leaving) that the budget pizza joint a couple doors down was throwing some sort of block party with a live band, and that there was a decent group of sketchy-looking bikers already gathering in the parking lot.

I feared for my sanity (programming with unwanted loud ambient music isn’t really enjoyable), but was fortunate enough to finish up prior to the party really getting going.

Later this evening I was at a west coast swing dance, and was describing my brush with “almost having to murder a band and a bunch of bikers” to Jacki. Her first question was what I would do with the bodies. (I hadn’t thought things out that far.) She then suggested that I use the budget pizza joint to sell mystery-meat pizzas to hungry college students.

Holy. crap.

Thinking back on it, in 2005 I didn’t know anything about unix servers or Ruby on Rails. I could barely get PostgreSQL running to support my work program, and writing SQL was a slow and painful process. Back then I still looked at the command line with skepticism (my Mac roots run deep).

Now I’m comfortable with all that junk… while not especially impressive, it’s still nice to look back and see *some* sort of growth.

Ten years

Ten years ago today I released the first version of a program I wrote for my office. I remember going into work that Saturday morning (I didn’t have remote desktop access back then) to fix some last-minute bugs—and I remember leaving for PDX and Japan later that same day. That the thing actually worked while I was gone remains a modern-day miracle to me, given my n00bish programming skills and lack of anything resembling testing.

That program has defined my job for the last decade—and it all came out of a desire to find some reason to use my last shot at an educational discount for database software. (I never did actually buy that copy of FileMaker.)

Roadtripping man annoys his sister with seven hours of lip syncing: Kottke’s description is perfect: “an epic display of top-notch lip syncing and world-class shade throwing.”

Mr. Roboto

Marcus occasionally uses his West Coast Swing technique class to expose us to other types of dance, and last week was one of those occasions. So instead of working on connection or stretch or rolling our feet, we learned a short, simple contemporary dance routine.

The theme? Robots learning to love.

Turns out there’s an uncanny valley for robots, too.

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