31 Dec 2009, 7:09pm
Gnomes Link Dump

Happy New Year

venezuelan fireworks
It’s the end of the most pronounceable year we’ll have for a while. Out with the old MMIX. In with the next.

Hope your 2010 surpasses all expectations, in the positive direction.

The year is going out in a snow flurry. Pretty from behind glass. We toddled out for a bit and decided immersion didn’t improve the experience, so we went back inside. Mm, pretty again.

I originally had this notion that I’d send individual new years wishes to people by email, but you know, that ain’t happening. I never even got to the last third of the Christmas cards to send. It doesn’t diminish my good wishes your way.

Generator Link: Zen Sentences, randomly generated by flash such as “the aesthetics of fasting cannot be a majority decision”, “change could be a serial function”, “wonder goes barefoot”, “a purple shift uni(re)verse building community” [via]

Lady Link: Girl Comics is Marvel’s three-issue anthology miniseries featuring comics by women —writing, lettering, drawing. “Although some creators have gravitated towards their favorite female super hero, it’s not specifically focused on our female characters, and I’m not trying to generate content that I think will appeal to more women. I don’t want to give away all the stories, but we’re really running the gamut of Marvel characters.” ~ Schaefer

Light Links: pretty winter scene, paint color indecision, cooperation, no fancy parking, apologetic bus, smart car. driver?, rank plumbing, tangled wires, fire-starter dinner conversations, teleport anywhere and sign here. and then there’s diss. That enough?

Quote: “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” ~ Tom Hopkins at QB

29 Dec 2009, 12:24pm


My left foot insists on pumping the air to clutch. In the rental car, my hand swats out automatically for the gear shift. I need to retrain my feet. The accelerator needs a much lighter touch. My ear can’t tune into knowing my speed by engine sound. 40 km/hr sounds the same as 100 km/hr. I feel like I’m driving a hovercraft. It is more insulated against sound, and has different shocks. It corners differently. The instrument panel talks in different places, a tachometer where I expect the speedometer.

I’ve been driving one car exclusively for 10 years. Very odd to be behind a different wheel (which we have for one more week then, no idea what. A life of public transit again? Car depreciation sucks.)

My chest still twinges to lift anything or lean but it’s not f/t pain and low-grade enough that Tylenols and Advil can dull it for a couple hours. Ach. Slow progress.

freezing rain
Slippery stone railing.

Quote: “We are the survivors of all imaginable rumors and fears./ Our frailty is only equal to our endurance” ~ Herménégilde Chiasson in Pluriel, An Anthology of Diverse Voices/ Une anthologie, des voix (Chiasson wrote Goose Lane’s 2007 Beatitudes; there’s a downloadable excerpt in the sidebar there).

27 Dec 2009, 1:38pm

What is Free? What is Ethical? What is Theft for Files and Ideas?

Over at Neatorama they raised the question, Is Stealing Wi-Fi Wrong? A few dozen weighed in.

Which analogy fits?

Crossing a neighbour’s fence to steal apples? Neighbour’s unruly tree boughs dropping fruit into my yard and take modest amount on honour system without harming the tree?

An unlocked door is an invitation to live communally? Or a social contract says a door doesn’t need to be locked to indicate boundary?

Putting up curtains signals a No to Peeping Toms, while no curtains is an invitation? Or is the issue the Tom, not the curtain?

Is it the equivalent of playing loud music and demanding people wear earplugs or buy tickets or else be accused of stealing the radio?

Does it matter how much you use? Stopping for a drink from a neighbour’s water hose is different than hooking up piping to their water supply…either if fine if you ask or it would be strange to ask?

[Intermission while you mull]

freezing rain
poor bikeFreezing rain.

There are 4 abandoned bikes within a few blocks of here. What happens to the owners? Do they upgrade and never tell the bike? Forget where they locked them? Lose the lock? (Here’s a bigger picture of the abandoned bicycle.) Kate saw some too.

[Returned with your popcorn?]

I lean towards copyleft and open source model rather than proprietary monopolies. Giving credit where it is due makes sense and is sensible for us all to move forward but to restrict others from stealing ideas is trickier ground. If most trade is not hand-carved product but ideas, how do you measure and portion out financial rewards so everyone can pay rent? The hoarding reflex for ideas stifles possibility of ideas being used. They have little value if they are not spread.

The best marketer can win out rather than the best thinker leaving no rewards for creativeness. Which is the same issue as farmers getting a tiny of the cut of the shelf-price of pre-made food. Where is value added and when does it trickle back to who?

Derivative knock-offs are part of the process of learning and information transmission failure is part of the process of information spread. Some will miss the point of the object, idea, recipe or find new points but it will distort in the process of evolving to something else. If we keep accurate copies thru only airtight channels, the form will keep original integrity but won’t get as much access to become integrated into culture.

A model of internet as cooperatively shifting information from Nina Paley in the 1 minute animation:

If you’re up for a longer read, she has an in-depth look at Creative Commons, not commercial use. In part she says,

Human beings, especially in volunteer online communities, tend to take the path of least resistance and least offense.

You might feel that a certain amount of friction can be helpful, that you want to track usage of your work, and enter interactions with those who wish to go beyond what the license allows. But to achieve this, you can simply state: “You are free to use this work in any way you want to, as long as you attribute me as the creator. Depending on the scope of the use, it would be nice if you could also tell me about it.”

[…] forbidding commercial use will prevent your work from being used by any free content community that makes its entire body of work available under more permissive terms. This includes large knowledge bases such as Wikipedia, some open source software distributions

My default for Flickr photos if Creative Commons and non-commercial use. I’ll have to rethink that.

We watched her animated movie Sita Sings the Blues where the story of Rama and Sita is told against that of a modern couple interspersed with 1920s blues singer bits that make it kinda Bollywood/Golden Age of Cinema musical. It’s quite unique.

Quote: “I will soon be going out to shape all the singing tomorrows.” ~ Gabriel Peri

25 Dec 2009, 9:24pm

Merry Xmas

kris kringle
May you have greater health and longevity than this Kris Kringle (which is not quite as old as the dust on him).

Overheard: Male A: What’d you do for Christmas?
Male B: I got a capon —
Male A: What? You think you’re superman or something?

May it be warm and fuzzy as this kitty (a gift from my little cousins).

Merry Xmas from the furry ones [via]

May your new year add beauty, relentlessly.

Quote: “Peace is our gift to each other.”~ Elie Wiesel

23 Dec 2009, 2:43pm
General Gnomes


love the slogan for it
There’s something comic about the slogan. Or did I mean cosmic?

other boom So otherwise, yeah, as some of you on FB know, a couple days ago, we crashed on the highway and car parts scattered, but not bodies or bones.

Bri’s okay. I’m still achy-fatigued. I went to the doctor. She said apply heat, take pain meds as needed and call back in a couple weeks.

It’s sort of an equal relief as being zipped past the queue upon stating reason for visit as to be whisked out the door with warning signs of what to watch for.

I’m indifferent about good news or bad news. I just like to know what to anticipate. I’m topped up for surprises at this point.

We still don’t have word back from insurance on some —

I got distracted just now — looking out the window and saw a guy pushing his friend’s wheelchair, starting to use it like a skateboard, and then coasting on the back of it as they went down hill, veering off sidewalk towards corner of building. (They righted themselves.)

Ah, seems the accident subject bores me. It’s inactionable from here. Bunches of departments are beavering away making decisions that are out my hands. All kinds of report numbers and case numbers and other phone numbers.

Speaking of phone, it isn’t functioning. It was doing weird reverb and cutting out and now nada.

And email doesn’t work. Is life all consorting to tell me to go back to bed?

At cheerfulness I find causes a pang of grumpiness and upsurge in depressive. Say anything contentious or negative or emotive, and I’m drained and put-upon. Unless it’s really darkly-humoured in which case I find it mildly light-hearted. Neutral, bland, is the least offensive of the three.

I’m thinking back to the old novels I used to read where someone with thinned nerves is given a doctor’s prescription for a retreat to a seaside resort. It seems timelessly sound.

I just bide my time waiting for the bubble in my level to float to the middle. By some measure I’ve been waiting all week, or all of 4 months, or since April. Which is to say, muddling thru, sometimes great, sometimes let’s just talk about you…

I’m inside a selective vision. The morning’s haze is finally starting to burn off, 8 hours into the day.

I know all things are relative. When I’m up I can’t see down, when I’m down I can’t see up. I don’t have to step outside it all to know that. The incoming data is a good litmus test for how I’m feeling “deep inside myself” as Hyacinth was in the habit of saying when prodding Richard

“I’m not one for dance classes. I feel if God had wanted us to wear leotards, he would have painted us purple.” – Kitty Monologue by Patricia Routledge, 1985

Quote: “At every word a reputation dies.” ~ Alexander Pope

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