Archive for the 'uncategorized' Category

the standards you walk past are the standards you accept

I like to think that my grandfather was this kind of soldier.

As Jeremy points out, it’s a good basis for a more general code of conduct. Have some moral courage.

pretty much the best picture i will ever take


meanwhile al is explaining to ross that we are made of stars

Today the sword of Not Trying To Fix Everything brought a wheelbarrow full of horse manure up from the back paddock, put it all around Mum’s roses, planted pansies between the roses, washed down the back deck and then oiled it with tung and linseed oil. So, you know. That happened.

look at this handsome devil

Me and my da.


forgot the best part

…which is what we did on Labor Day afternoon. We all schlepped down to Noisebridge, where the girls did a circuit hacking class with Mitch Altman. Liz and Milo were there and Jamey and Rowan came too, and then Danny showed up. Danny and I curled up in the library writing. Every now and then Claire or Jules or Jeremy would come and give me a hug.

Claire made an LED lamp that changes colour. The frequency increases if you put your hand near it – it has an infrared sensor. Julia made a name tag with her name spelled out in LEDs. She soldered it all herself.

I love Noisebridge for being so close to us and so full of light, and for having a library, and for running this class deliberately to be at a family-friendly time, and for being a place where all my friends hang out, and for having as its motto “Be excellent to each other.”

i hunted down the hunt

IMG_20111125_113607.jpg by yatima
IMG_20111125_113607.jpg, a photo by yatima on Flickr.

Now the hunter has become the hunted!

the autobiography of bertrand russell

So far ahead of his time. On institutional corruption:

While I was an undergraduate, I had regarded all these men merely as figures of fun, but when I became a Fellow and attended college meetings, I began to find that they were serious forces of evil. When the Junior Dean, a clergyman who raped his little daughter and became paralysed with syphilis, had to be got rid of in consequence, the Master went out of his way to state at College Meeting that those of us who did not attend chapel regularly had no idea how excellent this worthy’s sermons had been.

I hear Penn State is good at some kind of sportsball. And Australian journalists are currently apologizing for yet another abuser because he wrote with great sensitivity about cricket. ALL RIGHT THEN. Here is Russell on Keynes:

…it seems to be to be owing to him that Britain has not suffered from large-scale unemployment in recent years. I would go further and say that if his theories had been adopted by financial authorities throughout the world the great depression would not have occurred. There are still many people in America who regard depressions as acts of God. I think Keynes proved that the responsibility for those occurrences does not rest with Providence.

I tweeted parts of that second quote through my work account, and an apparently-Randroid work contact pointed out that many books disagree, notably Friedman and Schwartz in their A Monetary History of the United States. Esprit d’escalier: I should have replied that I regard the current recession as an act of those who regard Friedman as God.

In the same tweet I called Russell Edwardian Cambridge’s Skud. Skud raised a virtual eyebrow, but I stand by it: I meant the lucid prose style and the ability to, for example, shed light on a bitter political struggle by examining a version control system.

bebe the circus queen the cat

Basement cat by yatima
Basement cat, a photo by yatima on Flickr.

life on mars

My last trip to Vegas was miserable, because my narrative about it was “Introvert in Introvert Hell,” which, while true, was not useful. This time I have decided to try “Introvert Who Is Capable Of Perkiness In A Higher Cause, Or For Work,” and in pursuit of this I am determinedly pretending that Vegas is a poorly-terraformed Mars (as Jeremy points out, they did it in the fifties, with nukes; these days they wouldn’t be allowed.)

The Martians (Vegans?) have been making me laugh. I had a particularly good cab driver:

“In town for a conference?”



“Yep. I have the look, do I?”


I’m sure he meant that I look exactly like he imagines Lisbeth Salander: see attached.

Lisbeth by yatima
Lisbeth, a photo by yatima on Flickr.

The woman who checked me in was also a hoot:

“What brings you to Las Vegas?”


“Oh! No pleasure at all?”

“Not really. I live in San Francisco.”

“Oh! I see!”

Big smiles all round. She was very sweet, and my life support pod is modern and comfortable and immaculate and surprisingly easy on the eye. I hung all my Calvin Klein dresses and power suits on coathangers, and I am hardened for two days of meetings. Yes! I can totally do this! Only 58 hours till I get back to San Francisco!

what is the awesomest thing you ever saw?

DSC_7453 by Goop on the lens
DSC_7453, a photo by Goop on the lens on Flickr.

Sorry. I win.

a necessarily incomplete list of things that enthrall me right now

The Manhattan Project
Area 51
Lockheed’s Skunk Works
The SR-71 Blackbird stealth bomber
Aurignacian cave painting
French archaeology
The urbanization of China
John Maynard Keynes
Cambridge Spies
The history of thalidomide
Delia Derbyshire
The plays of Alan Bennett
The plays of Michael Frayn
Tony Judt’s Postwar

I guess the linking theme is the long 20th Century. The cave paintings are older, obviously, but they were properly *noticed* at the end of the 19thC and have been fetishized ever since.

More specifically I seem to be picking at something about the way our tools transform and deform us. The limits of our imagination and the unintended consequences of ideology. Also: hope.

in other news

I have been having epic rides on Omni and thinky rides on Archie and funny, challenging rides on Oliver, who is new and a bit of a clown and perfect for me. Oliver is a dapple grey with huge dark circles on his shoulders and haunches and mysterious white spiderwebs on his forearms and hocks. Archie likes hugs. Omni is my sweetie. All these horses. I walk around the stables cleaning tack and rolling up polo wraps in a sort of daze of happiness, like a kid in a candy shop.

brother and niece

They are gone and I am bereft. They are among the least high maintenance of all the people to whom I am related, so there is not much narrative to impart, because all we were was happy. We looked at interesting and pretty things. We laughed. We ate delicious food.

They have promised to come back.

perfect day

IMG_20110424_192159.jpg by yatima
IMG_20110424_192159.jpg, a photo by yatima on Flickr.

claire writes a poem for her friend rohini

Obedient, Your
Nice and
Infinitely lovely!


We had a tiny earthquake. And saw a swarm of bees.

bebe likes them better than she likes me

Al and Kelly are miffed that I haven’t mentioned them in my blog yet. So! Al and Kelly are here, and it is lovely. Al is my brother so close in age we are practically twins, and Kelly is my sister’s kickass daughter.

We’ve eaten at Samovar and Angkor Borei and Tacqueria Cancun and Spicy Bite and Noeteca and Tuba and Pancho Villa and In and Out Burger, and had coffee at Ritual and Nervous Dog and cocktails at the Royal Cuckoo, to the point where Kelly finally said “Don’t you ever eat at home?” So Jeremy made lamb chops and cheese pie tonight, which was delicious. We’ve thrift shopped and been to House of Air and Crissy Field and Talbot’s Toyland and Robogames and the Lego Store. I want to show them all of San Francisco all at once. I am a little manic when it comes to hostessing. They escaped with my car and saw the redwoods and Berkeley.

They’re lovely guests, easy-going and ever willing to be pleased. When I took Alain out for drinkies with my girlfriends, they all declared him charming and delightful. When I pointed out a mass of aloe vera, Al and I said, in unison, “‘Allo, Vera.” We walked past Mitchell’s late at night with the fog rolling in, and Kelly said “Are all those people in line for ice cream? At this time of night? In the cold?” And I said that they were and she said: “That is awesome.”

It is. It is.

notes from a sleepover

you should have warned me that Julia gets, uh, rather *excited* on chocolate!
she is in the front room yelling, “fight like a man Dre”
and “YAY DRE!!!”
she’s on the purple chair jumping up and down.
and screaming!
it’s pretty funny.
Not sure she’ll ever fall asleep. ever. for her whole life!
I’ll let you know how this all turns out.

you’re not missing anything

Sadness is not making me a nicer person.

first day of kinder

Actually three weeks ago but Jeremy only just uploaded it.


Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens