Abacus Noir

Self Wright

Zeppelin repair

Came across this in a large coffee-table size book on the Hindenburg.

Imagine doing repairs on the side of this giant airship, while in the middle of the ocean!

Clips from the weekend newspaper

“Animal farm” and “1984” would’ve never happened if Orwell hadn’t escaped the nightmare he later wrote about.

More graphic novels

I’ve decided to only check out graphic novels (for various reasons).

I enjoyed the last one I’d read (“The ring of the Nibelung”), and moved on to something random yet promising (essentially, browsed the stacks, picked one of three that I liked).

“The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.”

Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

Elephant and Piggie

We’ve had this series for a while now.

It’s the one set of stories that works for children before they can read, when they can read only a few words, and for adults too!

Individual stores are collected in these “Biggie” editions

Highly recommend 🙂

Missing blogs

The content I find online is largely crap, of the form

  • “10 ways to …”
  • “How to …”
  • or, with increasing regularity, “you should feel angry about …”

(These days I’m finding occasional success with Substack. But only occasional.)

My favorite kind of content was a bit of the rambling sort, sharing opinions on this-and-that, without really any expectations of being read at all.

Quoting from other sources, making connections, the dream of hyper-text as briefly presented in the mid-90s, some time before the end-of-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-history.

This current “mood” was brought upon by accidentally coming across a blog I read around 2005-2010, and learning that the author passed away in 2013. Time flies.

Yes, there’s a risk of getting nostalgic here, and there are forms of content (most notably video, more on which some other time), and I used to be tired of “backward-looking-ness” too, but there you have it.

I know that kind of blogging isn’t going to come back, and I miss it.

An old car

Something about keeping this old car running seemed really inspiring.

Preserving a 1918 Ford Model T

Monthly recap (Aug 2021)

An evening sunset

Major updates

  • Trip to Aptos
    • Started out as a Santa Cruz day trip, expanded in scope to the weekend 😀
  • Tara started school (in-person! first grade!)
    • Sadly, many of her former friends’ families relocated in the last year’s Covid churn

Minor updates

  • Some dental adventures I won’t go into 😞
  • A team dinner (sounds boring but I hadn’t done one of these in a long time !)
  • Family “game time” with Labyrinth and Ticket to ride
  • Two birthdays, two-three social meetups
  • Tara’s first sleepover

Watched/read/played/made

  • Watched Harry Potter #3: Prisoner of Azkaban with Tara. One and a half times.
  • Watched the new season of Money Heist
  • A new “reading mode” where I just keep a bunch of books open.

 

An old television

Saw this “for pickup” on the sidewalk recently.

I can’t imagine who would use something like this, but it was pretty high-end in its time!

RCA “ColorTrak 2000” television

This is as old as me! The style then was to “embed” these into large cabinets (I’m guessing), hence the simulated woodgrain.

Here is a view of the connections at the back, which really show its vintage (“look, it’s stereo! you can even turn the left and right speakers on and off!”)

Here is a 1985 newspaper advertisement for it (link courtesy Wikipedia).

Tale of two articles (2)

Saw these two articles side-by-side, the contrast was too much 🙂

On one hand, “we need to raise the debt ceiling, we’re about to default, the Treasury will exhaust emergency measures“, on the other hand, “we need to borrow another 3.5T”

On Mark Fisher

This person’s review of Ghosts of my life basically spoke my mind (and why, as someone who spent a few years being over-impressed with him, I should make him a bit more ordinary)

The book feels like an intellectualisation of an emotional, or psychological, state

At one point, Fisher acknowledges that an exaggerated sense of certainty is a common factor in the conversation and writings of depressives, a statement that he goes on to prove, to display, over and over again, without ever offering any kind of personal critique.

Some of Fisher’s ideas are compelling and are important, but the book keeps coming back to its central idea: that “now” is shit, the past was better and the future no longer exists.

The other problem I have with Fisher’s essays here is that he writes about things he likes as if they are inarguably great, which is suuuuch a Gen Xey thing to do.

And why this matters:

Maybe, as a fellow depressive, its pessimistic tone and conclusions just feel a little unhelpful. Life can be good, I tell myself: it has been, and one day – hopefully soon – it will be again. Fisher didn’t feel like that, and this opinion is coded as knowledge, and there is nothing in the world that pisses me off more than people expressing opinion as if it’s fact.

(for some context, here is an interview with the author)

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