Friday, October 30, 2015

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Earliest Known American Brickfilm?

Wikipedia says the earliest known brickfilm, at 6 minutes long, was made in 1973, and that the second earliest known brickfilm, at 3 minutes, was made in 1980.  (The 1973 film appears to have been made in Denmark, but I'm not 100% certain of this).

My first brickfilm (called "LEGO City") runs only 34 seconds, but was made in the summer of 1979 (in Dallas, Texas).  I was 12 years old at the time.

The film was lost for decades, until 2009, when advanced age forced my grandmother to move out of the house she'd lived in since 1976.  I unearthed a box full of family 8mm films at that time, and had them all professionally digitized in 2011.  I had no idea my LEGO film was an unusually early example of the genre until I happened to read the Wikipedia page for brickfilms a few days ago, in anticipation of taking my little girl to see The LEGO Movie.

I've posted my film (and a few other 8mm animation experiments from the summers of 1979, 1980, and 1981) on YouTube.

The "LEGO City" footage was captured in our back yard at 5506 Mt. Vernon in Dallas on my mother's 8mm Kodak M12 Instamatic movie camera with no frame control.  (I simply had to push and release the "record" button on the front as quickly as possible.)  The camera had no sound capability.  It was mounted on a tripod I saved up for and bought that summer at my local Target store.

That summer we lived in a ramshackle rent house with no grass in the back yard.  (We only lived there for six months; in fact, the little house was torn down as soon as we left, and a brand new home was built on the lot in early 1980.)  A yellow sheet spread out over the dirt served as the land, a blue blanket the sea.  Every LEGO set I owned was assembled for the coastal "main street" scene depicted.  The storyline features the sea rescue of a pilot (and the recovery of his seaplane), a female pedestrian being hit by a car (and the resulting attention of hospital and police personnel), and general agitation caused by construction vehicles at the nearby airport.  The final few frames show that meanwhile, astronauts are enjoying exploring the moon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Premature Nostalgia

When did cars stop getting cooler, and begin getting lamer?  Technologically more advanced, sure—but increasingly soulless.  When was the peak?  The 1950s?  The 1930s?
I can tell you when the iPhone peaked.  iOS 6, on the 4S.  I already miss it, and it's still in my hand.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Summer of Animated Slugs?

Took my six-year-old daughter to see the William Joyce-penned Epic this morning.  The movie features a snail & slug duo as comic relief:
During the previews, we saw this slug as featured in the upcoming Pixar film, Monsters University:
Not to mention this very slug-like thing:
To my amazement, we next saw a preview for an animated movie about nothing BUT snails (racing snails, apparently), called Turbo (get it?):
That's where I was planning to end this post.  But we got home, made some lunch, turned the television to Disney XD, and—absolutely no joke—saw for the first time a new show called Slugterra on the screen:
Okay, so apparently Slugterra has been around since last October, and I hadn't noticed it.  But seriously, what gives?  It's not unheard of for similar ideas to cross-pollinate, propagate, percolate, and ultimately reach fruition at the same time, especially in the world of animated films (think A Bug's Life and Antz both manifesting in 1998), but this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chair Rockin' Faster

Wow.  Just hit me right between the eyes (ears?) that Randy Newman's If I Didn't Have You from Monsters, Inc. is essentially an uptempo version of Hoagy Carmichael's Rockin' Chair.  Looks like plenty of folks on the internet figured this out years ago.  Can't believe it never clicked for me before.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Haven't posted here in a long while.  Having a small child in the house will do that.

There are some dead links below that I'll try to go back and repair.  Or not.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Personal Film Trove

For nearly three decades there's been a missing keystone to my personal archive.  A small box, 5" x 6" x 10", that originally contained an electric iron.  My mother and her mother have argued back and forth for years over who had been responsible for the box, who had last seen it, and when--but all of us were certain it had been lost for good, because every stone had been overturned, several times.

Yet tonight I found an unturned stone, and the prize beneath.  At my grandmother's house on Rosedale, in the bottom drawer of an antique wooden file cabinet filled with tax and business records from the 1970s.  Intentionally hidden behind the spring-loaded file support panel at the back.  There was the box.

Inside, 8mm films of my first, second, third, fourth, and fifth birthdays, several early Christmases, trips to the zoo, kite flying in the park, and much more.  Even the stop-motion films I made frame-by-frame with clay figures and Lego sets when I was a little older.

Thirty-nine precious gems in a treasure chest, I tell you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Dessert

Thanksgiving fell on November 22 this year, inspiring me to make a cake resembling a turkey dinner resembling Dealey Plaza.

All the savory foods/structures are made from dessert items (the gravy roads are caramel syrup, the triple-underpass mashed potatoes are frosting, etc.).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I Love To Singa

Al Jolson and Cab Calloway, from a fantastic repository of jazz and big band video clips from the 1920s to present, redhotjazz.

The footage above is from the 1936 Warner Bros. film The Singing Kid, and the song was obviously used in the Merrie Melodies cartoon that came out later that same year (titled I Love to Singa), the plot of which was loosely based on Jolson's much more famous film from 1927, The Jazz Singer:

Watch the cartoon here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Grungy Bruce

I contend this TV clip of a man performing on stage at the Apollo Theater earlier this year does not feature a homeless feel-good character, but instead Bruce Willis in disguise. No one in the mainstream media seems to have picked up on this. Most of my friends do not believe me.

Willis has convinced people that he is "real life homeless man, Brad Prowley, who makes a living singing classic R&B songs on the streets of major cities not just to get by, but out of a true, life-long passion for music."

I suspect this is some sort of gambit by Willis to demonstrate that he can "act," and that he is more than just an action star. I suppose it also gives him a chance to sing, like he used to, and to be appreciated (so to speak) on his vocal merits alone.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The end of civilization is hereby officially heralded by the drone of robotic bagpipes.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


VERY excited about this new super-collective channeling the spirit of E.L.O., founded by Bleu and featuring power-pop god Andy Sturmer (among others). CD "Alpacas Orgling" due out sometime this year. (Mrs. Lynne, the fruit of your labor gives us a savior.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

My All-TIme Favorite Scent

Finally given proper treatment, I hope. You'd better believe I'll be trying this.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sita Sings the Blues

One of the most outstanding project ideas I've seen in a long time. Innovative, beautiful, and fun. The Ramayana as retold by cartoonist/animator Nina Paley, to the songs of Annette Hanshaw.

My favorite segment is probably The Battle of Lanka. But I'm also mighty fond of the strutting moon in Hanuman Finds Sita.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

True American Idol

I pity anyone in my town who stayed home to watch a silly singing contest on television tonight, while Tony Bennett was downtown blowing the roof off the Meyerson. One of the best, most memorable musical performances I've ever seen, or ever will.
UPDATE: My super-brief "review" on FrontBurner.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

GE One Second Theater

Not sure how long this has been going on, but I noticed an episode flash by for the first time tonight. I can imagine this barely-liminal conduit being exploited in many ways.

The Future of Books

Great piece from Kevin Kelly in yesterday's NYT Magazine.

I note that the article illustration (above, Abelardo Morell / Bonni Benrubi Gallery for the NY Times), previously appeared on the 1997 paperback cover of Nicholson Baker's excellent essay collection, The Size of Thoughts. Are there really so few good pictures of books available?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cafe Istanbul

If you haven't tried it, try it. Excellent food, excellent atmosphere. I remain consistently fond of the Doner Durum (No. 11 on the menu). Super babaganush. Dine outside on the quietly breezy, awninged sidewalk patio, or watch the bellydancer inside (Friday and Saturday nights) for a more lively time. Right around the corner from the Inwood Theater. Great strolling destination after a film.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Amanita Design

If you've ever wandered around the Polyphonic Spree site, you may have already seen a cousin of the Samorost flash games. Interactive art that promotes context-awareness and intuition-driven problem solving. Beautifully satisfying and soothing. Play them.

Check out the Amanita animation clips, too. (Sorry, no direct URLs.)

Worthy of Guarded Optimism?

Sports Night, West Wing, Studio 60.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Visit to Another Planet

Had occasion to visit a $28M home tonight. No, I wasn’t bartending. Less than 2 miles from my front door, but it might as well have been Versailles—or Venus. Truly staggering opulence.

The annual property taxes for the place are comparable to the market value of my house.

It was easily the most expensive current, full-time residence I’ve ever been inside—the only two exceptions I can think of being the White House and Blenheim Palace.

The pool house alone was a Fitzgerald or Cheever story brought to life.

Earlier in the day, I’d been haggling over a $100 line item with my contractor. Imagine how silly I felt about it, strolling around that jaw-dropping castle. A C-note probably wouldn’t get me a switchplate in that joint.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Saturday, April 29, 2006

True Landmark

Got a rare chance this afternoon to tour the inside of the Masonic Temple on Harwood, currently up for sale. Wish I had the $3.6M to buy the amazing structure myself. It's like a granite fortress—and talk about the history of Dallas dripping from the walls. Surely someone could snatch the building up and turn it into a combination cinema/restaurant/lounge-type space, right in the heart of the city's neo-natal downtown renaissance.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nine-O-Nine, Again

Wow—someone posted their own encounter with the Nine-O-Nine on Boing Boing—and used a photo almost identical to the one I posted below, 15 days ago.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I Got The Original Grenadier

Walking among the stalls at the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth this afternoon, I turned to my wife and said, "One of these days, I'll find Mark Driscoll at one of these things again." I'd bought two of the El-Paso-based, occasional New-York-Times-Book-Review illustrator's paintings at a street fair in Austin in the early '90s, but despite diligent online searching, had never been able to track him down again. After more than a decade of looking, I'd begun to think maybe he'd given up art altogether.

A few minutes later, I was shaking his hand, and buying some more of his work. Turns out he had an image in the Book Review as recently as this past Febuary that I'd managed to overlook.
The Grenadier ©2004 Mark Driscoll
He also has a brand new website you should check out.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rocket Pig

I can't explain why, but this series of photos had me laughing so hard I thought I'd have a heart attack. I think it was the pig's expression in the penultimate shot that did me in.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Wheel Has Been Reinvented

Seriously. And it looks like this. (Watch the video clips of the three vehicles.)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Inefficient Packaging

Amazon sent me a 13" x 19" x 4.5" box today. Contents? Four chopsticks.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My Own Rodin

Had a discussion the other day about the nature of cast art; for example, whether Le Penseur at the Musée Rodin in Paris is any more "genuine" than the one at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco (or any of the other 20-odd museum installations of the work). I'm beginning to think not. In fact, it turns out that for ten grand, I can put one in my own back yard, full size, complete with Rodin's signature.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The woman who walks The Giant Dog has returned to her laboratory and created herself a Second Giant Dog!

Introverts' Rights Revolution

As was true of his 2003 essay referenced within, anyone curious about what it's like to be an introvert in an world dominated by extroverts should read every word of this brief interview with writer Jonathan Rauch.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Signed up for home milk delivery this morning. Wasn't sure such a thing was still possible. It is. My milkman's name is Carl.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


When they do "The Pat Tillman Story" for TV (and they will), they should consider going back in time to get a younger Henry Rollins for the title role.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rabbit Vehicles?

Came across these two images within a span of 24 hours, during two wholly unrelated searches.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Double Jefferson

Handed a cashier a twenty and a five this afternoon, for what turned out to be a $20.45 purchase. I instantly regretted not having handed her a twenty and a single instead (that's a clue to my psyche, I suppose). But imagine my surprise when my reward was some silver and two twos. I hadn't seen any in years.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What I want for my birthday:

When I was 11 years old, I wrote a letter to Paramount Studios asking for the original of this. I figured it might be sitting around, unused. Never heard back from them.

UPDATE: Some lucky kid got it for a mere $18K.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Big Ruckus

A friend and neighbor was kind enough to leave me his Big Ruckus for a couple of weeks, while he's off adventuring in northern India. I just got back from taking a few laps around the neighborhood. Sure, it's technically just a scooter—and sort of a homely one at that—but for the next fortnight I'll be doing my best to relive law-school days astride my red Yamaha Radian (which looked exactly like the one below).

All-Beatles FM Station: $150

The latest release from Apple (how's that for poetic justice?), combined with a handy product from DLO, has made possible an idea I had a year or so ago: my very own Beatles radio station, right in my car.

Some of you may recall the short-lived, much-missed, all-Beatles station in Pilot Point in the mid-1990s, as well as the season-long all-Beatles treat we got from a local station last year. I mourned those sources when they disappeared. They were the only radio stations I listened to in my car other than NPR. Tuning in at any given moment was a guarantee of a great song, picked at random, from my favorite band.

Now, the 1GB (240-song) iPod Shuffle from Apple resurrects the concept, on my own terms. The upgraded capacity of 240 songs is enough room for the complete Beatles canon, plus a few extra favorites. Plug the iPod Shuffle into the DLO TransPod, and plug the DLO TransPod into a 12V socket in your car. Choose a frequency, press play, and you're done.

The TransPod powers (and charges) the iPod Shuffle, and also transmits its output to the vacant FM frequency of your choice on your dashboard radio. Once configured, it can be left alone. In my Ford Explorer, for example, this set-up can be left on perpetually, isn't disturbed when the car itself is turned off or started, any doesn't impose any significant tax on the car's battery overnight (although it's conceivable that the electrical systems in other cars may behave differently in some or all of these respects). I've installed mine in an out-of-the way-12V socket, so as not to unnecessarily clutter my dashboard area—because once it's running, there's no need for it to be within arm's reach.

The interface is seamless. When I press the in-dash radio pre-set button assigned to the frequency I chose for the iPod, it's just as though I'm pressing a button for a normal radio station—my own "iPod station" is there broadcasting for me, playing a randomly-selected Beatles song. I've been running this system for over a week now with no issues.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

10 Rules, Plus 1

I'm not an Elmore Leonard fan, but I like all 10 of these rules. Especially number 11. (Via 43f)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Photo Upload Test

Haven't tried this before—but if this "photo uploading" stuff works, this post should include a picture of the gingerbread house we presented to our realtor this past December:

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lazarus Schmazarus

Let's try this again. What's three and a half years, between friends?

Monday, September 02, 2002

Spent last night at the Four Seasons for a black-tie affair. I could get used to wearing a tuxedo and drinking Martinis on a more regular basis. Too bad such occasions are few and far between.
Am I the only person who thinks "You'll Never Walk Alone" is a bizarre message with which to end the MDA Telethon every year?

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Check out Astronomy Picture of the Day for a new image and accompanying explanation every day from NASA. And don't miss the archive section.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

Went to my local Apple Store last night for the after-hours, early-release festivities for the much-anticipated OS 10.2 ("Jaguar"). Finding a telling clump of cars in one corner of the parking garage, I entered the closed mall through a nondescript beige door between a dumpster and a Pepsi machine, convinced I’d be one of maybe twenty or thirty geeks to show up for the event (assuming I didn’t get lost along the way).

Much to my surprise, upon emerging from the cinderblock labyrinth behind the stores into the mall proper, I found a long line of people against the walls and darkened storefronts, stretching around a far corner and out of sight. Taking my place at the end of that line, at about 9:50 p.m., the line rapidly grew behind me until it again disappeared around another far corner. After about 20 minutes I heard an Apple employee say he’d counted 600 people so far, and the line continued to grow—I’m guessing at least 1200 people showed up before the night was through.

The store doors opened at 10:20, and they only let a few people in at a time. It was 11:15 when I finally made it inside, and somehow it was worth the wait. I looked around at machines and software for about half an hour, got a copy of Jaguar, and stood in line another 30 minutes for a cashier. When I left, about a quarter after midnight, about 40 people remained in the original line, still waiting to be let in.

Overall, it was extremely gratifying to see so many people turn out for a software release, and to show their support. True believers, I guess. Now comes the hard part—taking the plunge, leaving the security of 9.2.2 behind, and upgrading to OS X.

Monday, August 19, 2002

What I'd like to see is a sandwich bag made from one of these roll-up TVs. Take out your sandwich, then flatten out your bag to watch some lunchtime tube.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

I don't normally look twice at sports photos, but this one really caught my eye:

There's as much real-life drama in the dynamic between and among these various faces, reflecting the different parts they're playing in this instantaneous scene, as in any Biblical composition of horrified disciples in a Renaissance painting.

Note, for example, the incredible, direct line of action that extends from the older man's pelvis on the lower right, all the way across the image, through arms and suspenders, to the accosted Oriole's head at the upper left. Even the eyes of the three guys not "directly involved" form another line, pointing right to the sweet spot of the composition. Note also that the image has the same triangular tension as the famous Iwo Jima photo (and resulting sculpture), and more or less the same number of figures.

I think the older man's arm around the neck of the guy on his knees is one of the most interesting stories in the scene—because he's morally balanced somewhere between trying to prevent the fight, and also realizing he's in a position to inflict pain on one of his opponents. To me his dilemma is all the more interesting because he's a pitching coach, in a mature position of authority, past his physical prime (and with the supposed "white hair of wisdom"), yet suddenly possessing the opportunity and justification to choke the life out of a young player.

Finally, notice that the Red Sox catcher's jersey is being pulled right off his torso, despite his "armor" plating. You can read the stretched-out word R E D arcing forward between their forearms, like a verbal metaphor for blood spurting from his chest. The more I look, the more I find in this amazing, everyday shot.

Monday, August 12, 2002

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

We've watched the bats for three nights running now. While I'd originally though there were three or four, for the last couple of nights there have definitely been only two. It may be that there were only the two that first night as well, and I overestimated their number due to my inexperience watching them fly.

Monday, July 22, 2002

We watched three or four bats dance around above our back yard last night at dusk (about 9 p.m.), doing the most interesting tight-turn, figure-eight-esque formations, around and around, really fast. In terms of pattern, it was almost like watching moths circling around a giant invisible light bulb. They must have been gobbling up the mosquitoes (I hope). I swear, those bats were making 90-degree midair turns. Perfectly silent. It was really fascinating to watch. First time we've seen them.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Had a nice Fourth of July gathering at our place yesterday after the neighborhood parade wound down. We grilled up some fajitas and served them out on the deck with some dips and sangria—simple but effective. More than a dozen people showed up (Mike & Karen, Ben & Tracy, Brenk & Amanda & Beck, Jamey & Ginger & Erica, Gregg & Suzy & Caitlin, and Wendy & Dave & their fetal twins), the biggest crowd we've hosted since moving into this house a year ago next week. Only trouble was, there wasn't enough room around the umbrella table for more than 8 to 10 people, and the sun was oppressive. Chalk that up to poor planning on my part. But the grill performed like a champ, and the misting fan was quite a boon.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Minority Report: Plot Flaw

UPDATE:  My argument below was picked up by Jason Kottke and his readership.


Like many others, I enjoyed Minority Report, but hated the spoon-fed ending.

But the film did make me think, and I'm always happy to see a movie that makes me think. Not quite "Memento-league" thought required, but I'll take what I can get. Unfortunately, after about an hour of ruminating on this one, beyond the few "expected" plot flaws, a major flaw turned up that actually guts the entire structure of the plot. The flaw is so subtle that they either completely missed it in production, or were counting on the audience to miss it. And yet it destroys the logic of the story.

NOTE: If you haven't seen the film, and don't want the plot spoiled for you, please read no further.

If you are reading further, be aware that you may have to turn this mindbender over in your head for a few minutes before you see precisely what I'm driving at, but once you see it, it "clicks," and there's no turning back. I've already bounced it off a few respected minds, who were forced to conclude as I did—but I fear it will be more difficult to explain in print than by talking face to face.

The problem, stated as succinctly as possible, is this:

1. Sydow's character sets up the "fake" child molester/killer in the hotel room with the fake photographs, for Cruise to find.

2. BUT, the ONLY thing that triggers Cruise to go and find the fake killer is the fact that he (Cruise) sees himself on his monitors killing the killer—based on the Precogs' images.

3. In other words, Sydow did absolutely nothing in the story to encourage Cruise to discover, or even cross paths with, that fake killer. Cruise's ONLY link to the fake killer is the Precog images of him killing the fake killer.

4. So here's the real heart of the flaw: From Sydow's character's point of view, upon establishing the fake killer, there was no way whatsoever to know that Cruise would actually ever stumble across that fake killer. Or if so, when? (Ten years hence? Twenty?)

5. And yet, for the plot to work, we must believe that Sydow established the fake killer in order to get Cruise out of the way in time for Precrime to go nationwide (because Cruise had stumbled across the Ann Lively secret).

6. So, to restate, the entire major storyline of the film, whereby Cruise is set up to kill, and therefore take a fall, depends on Sydow getting Cruise to find the fake killer. But Cruise only finds the fake killer based on the Precogs' subsequent images of Cruise killing that fake killer, WHICH SYDOW COULD NOT POSSIBLY HAVE KNOWN FOR SURE WOULD BE SHOWN TO CRUISE, EVER. AND EVEN IF SYDOW COULD SOMEHOW HAVE BEEN SURE THOSE PRECOG IMAGES WOULD ARISE (WHICH HE COULD NOT HAVE), HE COULD NOT POSSIBLY HAVE KNOWN WHEN THOSE PRECOG IMAGES WOULD ARISE.

7. The only way for the plot line to work, as written, is to assume that Sydow was intending to send Cruise a postcard saying "you'll find your son's killer at . . . ," or by some other device alert Cruise to where the fake killer could be found. But for that "postcard scenario" to have set in motion the Precogs' visions, IT WOULD NOT ONLY HAVE HAD TO HAVE BEEN INTENDED BY SYDOW, IT WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY HAD TO HAVE BEEN UNDERTAKEN. The "planned postcard" (or whatever) necessarily would have had to have been sent, and received, because its delivery and receipt necessarily would have had to have been part of the foretold future that was unfolding. And yet, repeatedly, up to the encounter, Cruise lets the audience know that he has no idea who the man in the hotel room is supposed to be, or what connection he might have to him. (Indeed, if he did know why he was heading to the hotel room, it would likewise ruin the plot.) Therefore, logic dictates that Sydow did not alert Cruise, and did not intend to alert him.

8. Which leaves us with what actually occurs in the movie: namely, that Sydow very clearly intends the Precog system alone to do the alerting for him. After all, he knows Cruise will see his own future felony—and he's counting on it. But, as demonstrated above, there's no logical way for Sydow to know if or when this plan will ever work.

To illustrate the problem from another angle: The way the movie is written, Sydow could just as easily have left 20 stooges waiting with fake photos in 20 different hotel rooms. There is nothing in the movie to preclude this. Accepting this as a premise, in the movie, Cruise finds one of the fake killers, but never finds the other 19. Easy to understand, because there was nothing from Sydow to lead him to the other 19. Problem is, there was also nothing from Sydow (and indeed nothing, outside Cruise's own Precog loop) to lead him to the one.

Bottom Line: Sydow simply can't depend on Cruise's own time loop to do the alerting. It makes no sense. And even if Sydow crosses his fingers and "hopes" a loop will arise, and his wish miraculously comes true, there's no way for Sydow to make sure the loop arises in the nick of time to save Precrime from political demise. That would require two miracles.

I find it hard to believe a movie in which so much was obviously invested, in terms of story, research, realism, and effects, could overlook such a fundamental logical error. It's my understanding that a think tank of scientists and futurists worked on developing this film for at least a couple of years (not to mention the screenwriters). And yet, the film goes by so quickly, with such twists and turns, it is an admittedly difficult error to notice.

If you don't yet follow or believe my interpretation, I guarantee it will hit you in a day or so. It's an extremely subtle problem, but it will "click" for you.

Monday, April 15, 2002

First day at the new job. Many forms to fill out. People to meet. Hallways in which to get lost. Work to do.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

I spoke yesterday afternoon with a friend about the consequences of being provoked into a confrontation by an unworthy antagonist. I asserted that by staying on the chessboard, one necessarily validates the opponent. A better option might be to ignore the challenger, and not play his game. Simply step off the board.

At midnight on Saturdays, my local PBS station has been rerunning episodes of the classic British series The Prisoner, which I haven't seen since I was a very small but fascinated child. Last night's episode (unknown to me beforehand), was Checkmate, the episode in which Number 6 literally finds himself as a pawn on a human chessboard, at the whim of others, before once again trying to make his escape from the village.

This image of conformity versus individualism has been a visual metaphor in my brain as long as I can remember. I find it odd that the analogy came up in conversation a few hours before I actually saw the television program for the second time in my life.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

It feels like the last few desperate days of summer vacation, just before school begins again. I start a new job on Monday, and I've tried to cram about a year's worth of projects into the past few interim days I've taken off. One of those projects was to see if I could get this site up and running. But now that I have, I may not have the time to do anything with it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002