April 24, 2015

April 21, 2015

Three Quarks for Muster Mark It Says Here

The Idea of the Last Quark Before the End of the Universe, Illustrated

In the Falkland Islands, the bird is called "quark", which is an onomatopoeia similar to its name in many other languages, like "kwak" in Dutch and Frisian, "kvakoš noční" in Czech, "квак" in Ukrainian, "кваква" in Russian, "vạc" in Vietnamese, "kowak-malam" in Indonesian, and "waqwa" in Quechua.


April 08, 2015

iBillboard Reading on the Information Superhighway

An unnecessarily ineptly worded pronouncement considering the number of underemployed English majors who could whip its phrasing into plausibility in a trice, unless, of course, the purpose of the missive is to underscore the fraudulence of the whole affair by lending the strong scent of corrupted language to the effort.

April 05, 2015

April 02, 2015

Fools Day Narrowly Averted



I see in the comments to this video of Paul Butterfield performing with his band at the Monterey Pops Festival that there is some sentiment for electing him to the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

However much his records, particularly his first few, might be found in the record collections of many many discerning people who really really like rock 'n roll, just because the music he laid down there with his band is compatible with what many discerning people look for in rock 'n roll, it is not rock 'n roll he played, at least that I ever witnessed.

Electing him to The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame would be equivalent to electing Tiger Wood to Cooperstown. There are sports that are not baseball to judge the performance of those such as Wood who choose for whatever reason not to play the game, just as there are musics that are not rock 'n roll by which we can  judge the excellences of Paul Butterfield.

All of this because of a stray David Sanborne saxophone comment here, reminding me that I've pledged to forgive whatever infelicities Master Sanborne may ever deliver with his horn for the sake of the sequence of notes he managed here:

April 01, 2015

March 22, 2015

March 18, 2015

Bush Too Florescent for Photos

A clump of azaleas crowding the visible spectrum, March 2015

March 12, 2015

Notably Dead, Terry Pratchett (April 28, 1948 – March 12, 2015)

Terry Pratchett died today. He wrote literally scores of very entertaining novels about Discworld among the 70 or so book he saw into print during his life, which lasted 66 years, and I am not one to say if that is too long or too short for him, now that he's passed and we have only what we're left of him instead of himself to account for.

Terry Pratchett died, as he knew he would, of the cumulative effects of a peculiarly deadly form of Alzheimer's Disease, posterior cortical atrophy, which, misdiagnosed, first visited him sometime in 2004 or 2005. Terry Pratchett made all this publicly known in late 2007, little more than seven years ago. He got a knighthood and shit at the end, so I suppose it was not an unbearable seven years for him, even knowing.

March 08, 2015

Simultaneously Up to Date and Later Than You Think

Occasionally I'm blindsided by Daylight Savings. It doesn't happen often, not every decade, but once in a while, yes, I'm thrown by the clear difference between my conception of the hour and the authorized count itself.

It happened this morning when, waking, I looked at the time on my phone. Nearly 7:30 somehow, though I never sleep much past 6:00.

Soon enough the black hands of the clock on the bathroom wall brought some clarity to the situation. They pointed to 6 and 27, just about where they would if I'd slept no longer than normal. Could the bathroom clock have stopped working an hour ago? No. The clock operated still, evident in the continuing motion of the narrow red hand sweeping along in its remorseless course of seconds.

Therefore, let's see. The phone displays what it's told is the perpetually updated time in the real world according to some reputable agent out there. The time in the real world is therefore almost certainly being displayed on the phone.

The bathroom clock is almost certainly wrong, then, if concordance with the real world is our standard. But, clearly, just an hour off. There is a procedure for rectifying the difference between the time displayed on the phone and that displayed on the bathroom wall around this time of year. It is called Daylight Savings.

Thus, guided by the tenets of of rational inquiry, I successfully resolved this morning an instance of the most pressing problem of the hour itself before directing the full brunt of my recently awakened attentions to the rest of the day's interests.


March 04, 2015

The iPhone 6 Greasy Lens Test

Rainbow over Santa Cruz, February 2015

February 24, 2015

The Tree In the Other Way

The Previous Tree Presently, February 24, 2015

February 23, 2015

The Tree In The Way

Above Santa Cruz Harbor, November 2, 2014

February 21, 2015

Harbormouth, Santa Cruz, 2014

Santa Cruz Harbor, September 2014
Santa Cruz Harbor, October 2014
Across Santa Cruz Harbor at Daybreak, October 2014
To the mouth of Santa Cruz Harbor, October 2014

February 20, 2015

Time and Being in a Rearview Mirror

Hats off to the first to show that Heidegger's philosophy required of him his Nazism, or conclusively establish that Nazism was merely a quirk of character unconnected in any essential way to his formally arranged thoughts. His newly released black notebooks provide enough material for a decent argument about how Heidegger managed to glide from the one to the other at the time, e.g., in the mid-Nineteen-Thirties, when he put himself in service of Hitler's regime as rector of an important university, and did a little cleansing of the staff.

As chairman of a society, which is named after a person, one is in certain way a representative of that person. After reading the Schwarze Hefte, especially the antisemitic passages, I do not wish to be such a representative any longer. These statements have not only shocked me, but have turned me around to such an extent that it has become difficult to be a co-representative of this.”

—The seriously disappointed response of the chair of the Heidegger Society, Prof. Gunter Figal, chair of the philosophy department of the famously seriousminded University of Freiburg, Germany.



For the timebeing, West Coast edition

February 09, 2015

Is It President's Day Yet?

The last update of The Quotidian came some months ago, just as the San Francisco Giants began their, to my mind at least, improbable playoff run which somehow led them to victory in the 2014 World Series.

Now it's almost time for pitchers and catchers to report for Spring Training: the Giants are scheduled to open things up down in Scottsdale in nine more days.

February isn't particularly unbearable in Santa Cruz, not like places I've heard about back East, Ohio and Michigan and upstate New York and, jayz, Minnefuckingsota. The force of such a hint of Spring as the promise of pitchers and catchers once more arriving at their appointed stations in Florida or Arizona is somewhat mitigated in Santa Cruz relative to that presumably enjoyed by Easterners by the clemency of its February, Santa Cruz inconvenienced by a range of weather in the month rather than bludgeoned by the sterner stuff had by those back East, the hurricanado and its cousin the Nor'Easter and all the snow of it and the freshets of frozen wind.

Uh, no. Santa Cruz has its own evidences of spring in truth, even absent the welcome reminder that the game is soon afoot, the game of baseball once more.

October 01, 2014

Giants October Baseball Roundup

It's being reported that Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is the first shortstop in Major League Baseball history to ever hit a grand slam in a post-season game, having stroked a round-tripper with the bags bulging, as they say, in tonight's loser-go-home NL Wild Card game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's actually being reported over and over, in fact, as if this statistical anomaly, Crawford being the first ever shortstop to hit one, multiplies the immense satisfaction of immediately plating four runs inherent in the grand slam itself, a satisfaction as maximally immense as the rules of the game will allow to begin with. It was a Pirate-slaying stroke in the instant.

September 11, 2014

September in Civilization

Saudi Arabia agrees to host training of moderate Syrian rebels

Something about the idea of moderate Syrian rebels cries out for a Monte Pythoning, I suppose. A training room somewhere outside Riyadh run according to the tenets of moderate rebellion.

What civilization hath wrought, given six thousand years and home field advantage: the Saudi royals underwrite a proposed replacement for the current Syrian government composed of "moderate" rebels, while the utterly compromised Iraqi govenment lies in tatters, suffering reconstitution just the other day by the newly installed Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, whose administration currently faces the loss of considerable amounts of territory once presumed to be Iraq but held, forcibly for now, by an entity called ISIS as part of its newly proclaimed caliphate, which entity is now targeted for bombing by the USA. Politically the situation could not be more fluid, if by fluid the full flavor of catastrophe might be conveyed.

June 16, 2014

Bloomsday 2014



A pint of plain for your only man, here on the sixtieth anniversary of him setting off with his confederates to trace along the shabby streets of Dublin the steps laid out for Leopold Bloom by Mr. James Joyce in his book, "Ulysses," creating the modern phenomenon of "Bloomsday," such as it is.

 

FLANN from Mick Mahon on Vimeo.

May 14, 2014

Unopening

Passageway, May, 2014

May 07, 2014

A note on the gate

I've been thinking about boundaries and gates. This video cleverly investigates the bewildering complexity of international boundaries as they are drawn in the real world. The narrator himself speaks an English at the far reach of what most English manages to sound like these days. Perhaps there was a time when we all had to speak like that to be speaking English at all, but pronunciation, globally, has moved on from that kind of talk. He has not left English, he is still operating within it. But it is not call-center English. It is an enclave of the tongue.