All Tweets for Week Ending 2009-08-30

  • @wilshipley re:carbonfiber Tablet: stain-resist,too: "a lil club soda will get that right out!" also not anti-grav, but "gravity-resistant" in reply to wilshipley #
  • Captain Tightpants. SF. /// RT @NathanFillion: Things that inspire you? Me: beautiful weather. Catchy music. Incredible scenery. Clouds. #
  • Copy Dog: RT @Jawschwacox: is barking at whatever you're barking at. #
  • Not that I don't care….it's just that I don't know the difference….not that I don't care…it always looks beautiful to me…. #
  • mmmmm…the Chinese restaurant across the way has egg custard steam buns….mmmmm…those and dry-braised green-beans: lunch! #
  • @gideonse are you trashing portman or johansson? in reply to gideonse #
  • @gedeon @chockenberry Thanks to the IconFactory for quick and *amazing* response to cust support req w.r.t. to RampChamp, their new app. in reply to chockenberry #
  • @gideonse well, give her a break…she DOES have to act past her teeth. in reply to gideonse #
  • @gideonse her teeth keep them held down. in reply to gideonse #
  • @danielpunkass also like how you can 'accidentally' throw a 2nd ball while one is still on the ramp or has fallen back onto the ramp in reply to danielpunkass #
  • @gedeon Thanks again! http://bit.ly/1afvJG in reply to gedeon #
  • Spam email from at&t: Online Special: AT&T's New Motorola Package Deal. AT&T's selling record players now? #
  • Listening to Billly Joel and wondering if this 1 viewcontroller should be actionsheet/imagepicker/tableview/navcontroller delegate & tableDS #
  • @AdamHertz i got the same. first thing i did was look at stats. lowest # overall: 30: % of people 65+ who knew electron < atom in size in reply to AdamHertz #
  • Must get all duckies must get all duckies must get all duckies must get all duckies must get all duckies must get all duckies #RampChamp #
  • In Santana Row with Becky & Becky amidst white people of all races. I hate this prefab reality, but it's very pleasant here. #

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Cat Stevens, Islam & Good-Bringing

When I tell people my own personal history of having stopped formally being a Theist, it’s an exercise in describing the soft-landing: there were no thuds, no shudders, shifts to the left or right.

Nothing flew off the high shelves and shattered like so many teacups or bruised like so many Star Wars figurines still shrink-wrapped for future high-valuations, collections that stuck around but were never enjoyed or handled for what they were. Intrinsicality forgotten and replaced by inertial axiom: once upon a time I was given to have been convinced it was important so it/they stay(s) put and—oooh, shiny!

This is the same mechanism by which individual spirituality is supplanted by religion. No one need interpose dissuading elements. Time and static inertia will do the job. In other words: dust settles on everything.

Just because no one need intervene doesn’t mean that the self-deluded won’t suborn God Herself for selfish purposes and countermand another’s best interests to speed things up a bit.

So while I chose the slower route, or rather, let the road rise up to meet me and allow the allegorical dust to settle (ignoring but never fully silencing my Bednar genetics) onto the an self-emerged notional Universe that evolved evolvability for itself, I enjoyed my new Mentalian garden—especially the sweet peas.

So as the God and the Earth moved from the Center of the Universe and it was no longer a Roman Sun which rose and fell, no longer inscribing its path on the Vault of Someone Else’s Heaven, so much was so much less.

Less stressful. Less contentious. Less versus.

It’s only human nature, though, to want to measure time and measure distance, and you can’t measure one without the other: you need to know how much time has passed in order to know how far you’ve gone and you need to know how far you’ve traveled in order to know how much time has passed.

Things move of themselves, it’s just that sometimes we move along with them.

And so along the way I’d occasionally turn and look to see where I’d been and occasionally the distance would be vast. Occasionally, I’d have not had have moved at all—havoc wreaked upon verb tenses would be the only evidence of any sort of history at all!

This is all not to say that there weren’t frustrating times, times when I wish that my discoveries along the way—which is to say that discoveries made “along any way” are in relative reality axioms and corollaries which have discovered you at the only time and place where you are ever visible to them, the Where and When of sufficient ability and sensitivity to absorb the lesson.

The frustrations, however, took the form of lashing out at those whom I judged. It doesn’t matter the vectors along which those judgements were made so much as that judgements appeared at all, but most often those judgements were the hue, texture, caliber, alpha, chroma of spiritual and mental and emotional inferiority and lag: I’m here already and why the fuck aren’t you?

I was the superior one, naturally.

The karmic and cosmic joke, of course, is that the only position in which to make such judgements and shout out such damnable damnations is with your back to your own awakenings and continuations, and the people to whom you are shouting? They’re also in the same position, backs to where the learning and awakenings are, so they’re not listening anyway.

One such judgmental disappointment was when Cat Stevens had decided to stop making pop music and convert to Islam and go off and live somewhere “like a crazy”.

It was one of my better efforts because I convinced myself that it was from a certain enlightened point of view that my disappointment flowed: his music brought more joy and good will to the world than he could ever hope to accomplish by retreating into himself and that further, by taking parting shots at his very own musical career on his way out the Western World’s Door, he was subtracting joy from the rest of us by demeaning that which brought Good into so many lives.

Well, turns out that he never really took pot shots at his own music, just the music biz. That he suffered greatly, personally, and found in desperation a need for transformation and was that not his own right?

It also turns out that my favorite Cat Stevens song, Morning Has Broken wasn’t actually written by him, but by Eleanor Farjeon, a devout catholic “who viewed her faith as “a progression toward which her spiritual life moved rather than a conversion experience”.

So, ironically it seems that “Nellie” Farjeon, who died shortly after I was born, made the same move towards the Romans for the same reasons that made a move away from the Romans.

Having read the Wikipedia page on Cat Stevens, I find now empathy for the man in places and where there’s no overlap, no understanding, I do what I have come to believe to be best…accept the ununderstanding and pray/wish/hope that what he seeks finds him, and what each of us seeks finds us all.

I’ve found that removing pursuit from the equation removes the West from the inner world. It’s not that the West is bad, but a fresh point of view is always good.

“Morning Has Broken” was sung on what was perhaps my favorite TV show ever, “Pushing Daisies”, by Ellen Greene, who has one of the strangest, most compelling voices out there. Just beautiful.

The lyrics:

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

There’s another song that Farjeon is famous for, though to a far lesser extent than “Morning Has Broken” (no major pop star ever put in on an album, as far as I know), though Al Petteway & Amy White do make it sound very pretty:

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Of course it’s meant as a Christmas song, a hymn even. If you like, you can lop off the fifth stanza and call it a song about faith that the world turns and the sun rises and the days follow each other and that when there is nothing, despair is not the answer.

Forget the qualifier: despair is never the answer. Where did despair ever get anyone? It’s a low-quality form of energy. Despair will just get you to waste whatever it is you already have.

And Love? There are concepts for which we have dozens of words. Dip into slang and you can come up with a hundred phrases for vomiting. Or for fucking.

Love, though, is one of those inverses to that. Love is a single word that can cover a hundred things. A thousand things. A million things. And for some of us, “love” can mean every good thing.

For Farjeon, in that song:

  • Love, the guest, is on the way.
  • Love, the rose, is on the way.
  • Love, the bird, is on the way.
  • Love, the star, is on the way.
  • Love, the Lord, is on the way.

Whatever it is that you need, or expect, will be provided. By God? If that’s how you define Love or Life. But if you define Love or Life differently, should you consider yourself excluded from providence?

There are a lot of people out there who are barking at you, telling you that that’s exactly what you should expect. But remember that while they’re standing there pointing their fingers at you, reading from their litanies of exclusion, they stand with their backs to their own awakenings, their own continuities, shielded from access to their own providence.

So long as you’re not also pointing fingers and barking from your own litanies and enjoying the discomfitures of the disconnectedness of others, you remain connected yourself. If they stand as interlopers with threats of violence or obstruction, by all means remove them from the path, but remember to feel sorrow for them. Feel sorrow for those with their arms leveled at you.

Feel sorrow and keep yourself ready for the guest, the rose, the bird, the star and yes, even the Lord, if that’s how What’s Next looks to you.

the Iconfactory, RampChamp & Awesomeness

A few days ago someone on twitter commented on the kick-ass graphic design of a new iPhone App called Ramp Champ. I went and took a look. You should, too.

I was ready to buy it. I was expecting to buy it. I was all set to buy it but as my iPhone was tethered up and busy running the app I’ve been developing for the past few months, I decided to take in more of the graphical goodness of the website for the game. “Well worth the read”, as they say.

Or it was until I found this screenshot:

screenshot5.png

My excitement, the thrill of inhabiting that bubble of The Possible, where things of this kind of beauty are created and shared, where you want to work that much harder on your own app, where you can’t wait to dig into the game and play it, dig into your own code and see if you can’t be better than you were yesterday, last hour, last minute…all just kind of deflated when I saw the copy for this innocuous bit of game fluff.

Did it end the world? Of course not. Did it make me think ill of the IconFactory? No, get real. It didn’t even sway me from wanting to buy the game. I was just bummed out that some tired old reality intruded into a particular brand of Aristotelian elysium that we technical-creatives and creative-techies stumble into sometimes where everything is possible for no other reason than wanting/drawing/hacking/coding can make it so.

Back on Earth, I decided to write IconFactory and make a request:

The whole game looked charming and fun. Still does. Just wish there could have been the tiniest sensitivity in the text on the Fuzzy Dice screen.

Not all of us are out to impress the *opposite* sex.

Is it a little thing? sure. But multiply a little thing by decades of having to adjust your own thinking to these little things and it’s not trivial anymore.

Any chance you could modify the text on the next dot release to be less hetero-specific?

No, it won’t stop me from buying the game. I’m not holding my $1.99 hostage on you.

This is all just about good will and asking you to do the right thing and be decent let RampChamp be one less time that some of us have to make that adjustment in our heads to make ourselves feel like it might apply to us, too.

TWO MINUTES LATER an email appeared from Ged Maheux, Principal of and Designer at the Iconfactory (reprinted with his permission):

Jeff,

Can’t say thanks enough for sending this email. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work that we sometimes miss the things like this that *do* matter.

I’m all for updating the text in the 1.0.1 version that we’re currently working on. How would this alternate text sound to you?

“Your dream date won’t stand a chance when they see these super-cool dice hanging from your rear view mirror. Instructions not included.”

Let me know what you think and we’ll tweak or lock it in. Thanks again for your feedback, its appreciated more than you know.

Enjoy playing Ramp Champ!

Yours,

Ged

For the record, I’d already purchased Ramp Champ before he’d replied, bought it right after I’d emailed them via a form on the Iconfactory’s website. You should buy it, too:

photo.jpg

After reaching some goals in the game and accumulating enough tickets I went to redeem them for some prizes.

My first take? See for yourself:

photo.jpg

Yep, the fuzzy dice. But I won’t try ‘em out on anyone until version 1.01.

Couch Surfing in Modern Dutch Housing

I’m still trying to clean up archive links and a bunch of other stuff, including getting the WordPressy stuff to work with the Twittery and Facebooky stuff and when I’m get too frustraty, I just go spelunking in all of the weird and wonderful—but mostly just weird (and repetitious—world of WordPress templates.

It’s not their fault, really. I mean, how many degrees of freedom do you get? One-column? Two-columns? Three? Fixed width or fluid? Microformats or not? Pick a color. Widget support. RSS. Pages. Header. Footer.

It’s a close second to Taco Bell for testing the limits of combinatorics (how do they make a menu of 19,722 permutations of exactly 5 ingredients?).

So anyway, the blog right now looks like it’s living in modern Dutch housing that went up overnight in a polder that just came up over night. I should take a screenshot of it for posterity because I don’t really expect to keep all this garishness around.

Caution: Nervous Mother-blogger on Board!

Or do I?

Piet Mondrian anyone?

Then again, it does look a little Partridge Family bus if you squint your eyes and turn your head to the side.

Vorder, Word Gelukkig!

Welllll, Lookie Loo!

Don’t be alarmed!

If this page looks like it stepped out of 1995, well, it’s supposed to look like this.

I chose the Sandbox Theme, one that’s suppose to be a CSS designer’s, well, sandbox. It’s got almost no styling of its own. I’ll be adding my own styling as I go.

It’s still the God of Biscuit’s blog that’s been around for over six years. All the entries are here, all the links are here, supposedly. After getting my hands (and other body parts) dirty with php and grease under the finger nails with parts of Movable Type that I will thankfully never have to do again, I’ve gotten as much of the info (tags were a bitch to move over—they don’t call it Movable Tags, after all) I care to get, I’ll be embarking on slowly but surely bringing CSS styles online.

I’m already on Snow Leopard, and Snow Leopard’s version of Safari already supports some pretty frakin’ cool CSS thingamabobs (go download a nightly build of Safari from Webkit.org and try out some of their samples and remember that it’s all done with CSS only and NO JAVASCRIPT.

Which reminds me…do <blink>blinky tags</blink> still work?

Well, you tell me.

Anyhoo, it’s been a long day. Productive, but long, and I’m calling it quits on this for today.

When The Consumerist Is Wrong

Andrew Sullivan posted this image:

504x_pepsivscoke.jpg
Which originally came from The Consumerist, except that it’s wrong. They chose to ignore the same history I’m sure Coca Cola wants to ignore, just to make a point.

Except the point doesn’t really exist if the data used to make the point was altered drastically along the same vector as the point itself, right?

Remember these?

DA2D01FD-41AF-430F-A457-ABB491510B81.jpg

0D7C901D-E396-4023-8C06-00B1A64C256E.jpg
65EFD2F1-FC07-4078-83E3-C2D4F0FF5A58.jpg

I mean, this is how the giant echo chamber of the internet happens. And really, it wouldn’t be the first time that those on the higher soapboxes or those with the history of cozying up to the aphoristic, dogmatic thoughts and avoiding those things that have a “next ten words”—or both!—finds a thing, repeats a thing and doesn’t bother to ponder it as he passes the link from one place to another.

Passivity is a common trait amongst the conservatives in this country, chanting the talking points of the day. It’s also a trait of the religious who take from Mother or Father Church who in turn takes from God.

How did I get from Coca Cola to God? Do you really have to ask?