Archives for: December 2005

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 22:41, null, politics, art, Leave a comment Permalink

Did the workers like Woody Guthrie or was he as much beloved as the hippies?

I suppose Arlo wasn't terribly popular.

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 22:19, null, on writing, Leave a comment Permalink

The problem with my writing isn't, like a number of my loyal readership believes, that it's full of offensive caricatures of people I wish I knew better. No, if that were the problem, then I might be let off as a satirist, a sparring wit, something...

It's crap. My god, it's crap. Even if you get past the technical errors, my obliviousness to anything that might be categorized as human and the utter lack of continuity in anything I manage to type out, there's still the problem that the people I'm trying to emulate often can't write that well... and all I have is an ineptly rendered sycophantic borderline sociopathic pastiche... yay.

The amazing bit isn't that I could be callous enough to write this garbage. That's all derived directly from the platonic essence of mediocrity. No, the astounding bit is that anyone would be bored enough to read it and then get offended. Anyone who reads my attempts at novelism and then derives some emotion from it has massaged from my ineptly formed sentences a more authentic effect than my efforts could be expected to affect in a lesser reader.

On the holiday spirit... cranberry or white?

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 21:36, kittens, puppies, rant, rave, Leave a comment Permalink

As the year draws to a close, I have a perverse desire to write a casualty list… relationships that have died...

I feel no remorse naming the two most mortally wounded: my friendships with Nate and Morgan. This is not to say that I feel no remorse, but it’s the ones still clinging to life that concern me. If I type the words, acknowledge their grave condition, will it be enough to push them over the edge?

Even with people dropping off at an ever accelerating rate, I still have their blogs. Nearly everyone I know is narcissistic enough that if they don’t have a blog, they still have an online specter that makes good stalking material.

When does it stop? After college, all your friends drop away until left completely alone, you go out and marry the first person you can find… buy a suburban house and fight about Swiffers… I’d rather it ends now.

Lonely, reading morbid Turkish fiction, in a coffee shop: “What do you normally do for New Years?” I have a party. My friends come over and we all make food. I sit with people I barely know and watch them smoke. It’s usually cold, but I’m usually drunk so it doesn’t matter. I sit outside, away from everyone else, because I don’t want to be alone. I wear a stained linen shirt that doesn’t quite button and slouch on the floor, wind up with my pants around my ankles or my friends sleeping all around me, ecstatic about the simplicity of good food. I like the later one better.

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 21:18, null, art, Leave a comment Permalink

"Who are you?"

"When the revolution comes to town, I'm the one they string up.

Don't take this to mean I'm reactionary, counter revolutionary, or even political. The newspaper bores me.

No, there's something about me that offends people of all persuasions. Sometimes it's intentional, but usually I wander around setting off this rage by accident."

down with metaphor

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 02:04, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

"I have never had much patience with writers who claim from the reader an effort to understand their meaning. You have only to go to the greatest philosophers to see it is possible to express with lucidity the most subtle reflections."

-Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, pg 30

"There are two sorts of obscurity that you find in writers. One is due to negligence and the other to willfulness. People often write obscurely because they have never taken the trouble to learn to write clearly. This sort of obscurity you find too often in modern philosophers, in men of science, and even in literary critics. Here it is strange indeed. You would have thought that men who passed their lives in the study of the great masters of literature would be sufficiently sensitive to the beauty of language to write if not beautifully at least with perspicuity."

-Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, pg 31

"It is very easy to persuade oneself that a phrase that one does not quite understand may mean a great deal more than one realizes. From this there is only a little way to go to fall into the habit of setting down one's impressions in all their original vagueness. Fools can always be found to discover a hidden sense in them."

-Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, pg 32

"There is another form of willful obscurity that masquerades as aristocratic exclusiveness. The author wraps his meaning in mystery so that the vulgar shall not participate in it. His soul is a secret garden into which the elect may penetrate only after overcoming a number of perilous obstacles."

-Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, pg 32

moules something

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 01:38, null, food, Leave a comment Permalink

Atwood says he's narrating his country into being.

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 01:36, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

"...he had cut short the happiest moment of his life because he couldn't bear to be so happy."

-Orhan Pamuk, Snow, pg 262

"They kissed, and with a softness that brought Ka comfort, they fell onto the bed. For Ka, who had not made love in four years, it felt like a miracle. So even as he succumbed to the pleasures of the flesh, his conscious mind was reminding him what a beautiful moment this was. Just as with his first sexual experiences, it was not the act as much as the thought of making love that occupied him. For a while, it protected Ka from overexcitement. Details from the pornographic films to which he'd become addicted in Frankfurt rushed through his head, creating a poetic aura that seemed beyond logic. But he wasn't imagining these pornographic scenes to arouse himself; he was celebrating the fact that he could at last enact such fantasies as he had played incessantly in his mind. So it was not Ipek herself who was arousing Ka but a pornographic image; and the miracle was less her presence than the fact that he could imagine his fantasy here in bed with her. It was only when he began to pull of her clothes with an almost savage clumsiness that he began to look at the real Ipek. Her breasts were enormous; the skin on her neck and her shoulders was wonderfully soft, it scent strange and foreign. He watched the snowlight playing on her; now and again something sparkled in her eyes that frightened him. Her eyes were very sure of themselves: Ka worried that Ipek was not as fragile as he wanted her to be. This is why he pulled her hair to cause her pain, why he took such pleasure from her pain that he yanked her hair again, why he subjected her to a few other acts also inspired by the pornographic film still playing in his head, and why he treated her so roughly- to the accompaniment of an internal musical sound track as deep as it was primitive. When he saw that she enjoyed his being rough, his triumph gave way to brotherly affection. He wrapped his arms around her; no longer wishing to save just himself from the miseries of Kars, he wanted to save Ipek too. But when he decided her reaction was commensurate with his ardor, he pulled himself away. In a corner of his mind he was able to control and coordinate these sexual acrobatics with surprising finesse. But when his mind was somewhere far off he could seize the woman with a passion verging on violence; at such a moment he wanted to hurt her."

-Orhan Pamuk, Snow, pg 248-249

stacking stuff, cubing tomatoes, stuff and the need to get groceries

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 01:15, null, food, Leave a comment Permalink

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 01:14, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink

So, nonplatonic's pretty fucked... and I recogonize that. It's a software problem, it's a hardware problem. There's a new 1U, dual core server with 4gig of RAM sitting in an office in Minneapolis, waiting for me to show up and make it work. Soon I will fix things and nonplatonic will surpass even boingboing...

potato pancakes, toast

posted by ben on 05.12.31 at 01:02, null, food, Leave a comment Permalink

Rotrex is cool.

posted by graham on 05.12.27 at 12:50, technology, Porsche, Leave a comment Permalink

This was going to be a post about the Techart Cayman, but I just realized it doesn't really differ all that much different from the stock Cayman S.

Techart Cayman

So instead I'll direct your attention to Rotrex superchargers and how cool they are. They're belt driven, like traditional superchargers, but they have some sort of crazy planetary friction drive rollers inside that gives them higher impeller speeds and an efficiency close to a turbocharger. This means you don't need an intercooler like with some superchargers, and you don't get any turbo lag.

Now if only someone would develop a Rotrex supercharger kit for the Cayman's M96-derived 3.4L engine (and a limited slip differential), we could see the Cayman spank 911s like it really should. Assuming the Cayman's engine bay is similar to the Boxter's, it shouldn't be too long a wait.

If I Could Blow Up One Webiste:

posted by graham on 05.12.27 at 12:22, Rants, rant, Leave a comment Permalink

I just looked at myspace for the first time. What a waste of... uh... something. What strikes me most is that nobody there can be bothered to format pages properly. Is it so hard to resize images and wrap text? And the colors - dear god! Black backgrounds with dark blue and grey text abound...

I thought myspace was supposed to be a place for shitty bands to promote themselves, but it appears that every Joe and his retarded dog is up there.

Now how do I unsubscribe?

Spyker Bicycle = WTF?!!!1!!!

posted by graham on 05.12.26 at 21:59, random, Cars, Bicycles, Leave a comment Permalink

I honestly never expected the Colnago/Ferrari bikes to be outdone in terms of exorbitance, but I think this bike may have accomplished just that. It's $12,000 and change, a city bike, and has leather grips. Click on the image for hi-res photos of the thing.

posted by graham on 05.12.15 at 18:57, Raves, coffee, Leave a comment Permalink

So the reason I've been poking around on Italian ebay is the fact that my espresso machine has a dead controller and water level probe and I thought that perhaps might have spare parts listed. You know, since everybody in Italy works in either exotic sports cars, fashion, wines, or the espresso industry.

But anyway, I happened across this, and basically now what I'm feeling is espresso machine envy. I never thought it would happen to me!

posted by graham on 05.12.15 at 18:25, Rants, coffee, Leave a comment Permalink

Look at that thing up there. Now look at this thing here.

If this is really what espresso machines have become, someone please shoot me now. (Found on

Yeah, the food is damn good, BUT....

posted by graham on 05.12.12 at 19:55, Rants, seattle, Leave a comment Permalink

I've been punching in all my favorite restaurants. Some didn't do so well. :( However, some of the ones I hate did even worse. :)

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