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Category: misc

06/07/09 10:26 - 60ºF - ID#48861

small thoughts

I didn't think any of these really warranted their own post.

1. A couple of weeks ago, Federal had bogo bacon and cheap stuffed pork chops. Swine flu creates a global freak-out, and I reap all the benefits.

2. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend Wolfram|Alpha for when you need facts instead of web pages. It does math conversions geography nutrition chemistry stocks genetics and probably more.

3. I've probably written about Spar's before - if you eat meat and you haven't been there yet, don't wait until after barbeque season is over. They have a good selection of 'normal' foods - sausages for grilling, cold cuts, sandwich cheeses, slab bacon, ribs - and some Extremely European items just kind of mixed in. They've got blood & tongue, two kinds of Krakauer, three kinds of head cheese, probably half a dozen kinds of salami, and a wide variety of cheeses with uninformative names. I was about to get the horseradish cheddar when I thought - let's go with the German butter cheese. For future reference: it's pretty mild but HOLY CRAP IT STINKS.

4. The woman at Spar's gave me a slice of Hungarian head cheese for being so well-behaved.

- Z

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Permalink: small_thoughts.html
Words: 277
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: compost

05/28/09 07:02 - 68ºF - ID#48776

i can't help myself!

There's definitely something wrong with me.


To the driver of the orange Saturn VUE with New York State license plate #AGN-3258: check, mate.


n.b.: If I see your car as a personal challenge, you're definitely doing something wrong.

- Z
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Permalink: i_can_t_help_myself_.html
Words: 52
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: culture

05/18/09 07:30 - 53ºF - ID#48692


As the Western terminus of the Erie Canal and an important part of Western New York's industrial heritage, North Tonawanda has a rich and interesting history. The North Tonawanda History Museum boggles my mind:


A couple of days ago, (e:dragonlady7) made me go with her to Big Lots. I told her it was a bad idea, since it was almost my naptime and when I get tired I cause trouble. She said it would be a short trip [it wasn't] and that they had good prices on patio furniture [they do, but they left me with no opinion whatsoever - either positive or negative - and it's tough to drop a couple hundred bucks on stuff like that]. (e:fi) said it would be a cultural experience. So I went but all I wanted to do was sleep on The Biggest Recliner They had a pretty decent selection of all kinds of things, but their discount aisle [Big Lots has a discount aisle] was definitely weird.


So when we finally made it to the checkout counter, I was feeling a bit punchy. The guy behind us in line was buying a pretty big bottle of ketchup and I thought this was hilarious. In my mind, he was very self-conscious about the ketchup he was buying, like a man buying tampons for his wife. I really wanted to fuck with him. 'Hey man, that's a lot of ketchup.' 'What's with all the ketchup?' 'You are one ketchup-loving sumbuck.' But my instinct for self-preservation kicked in and I didn't want to have to explain to the emergency room why I picked a fight about ketchup.

- Z
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Permalink: culture.html
Words: 291
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: a series of tubes

05/17/09 09:44 - 48ºF - ID#48687

lemme tell ya

I could watch this video all day. I just wanted to see what it was like to watch it twice at the same time.

I think this guy needs a cable TV show where he explains things to people.

- Z
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Permalink: lemme_tell_ya.html
Words: 51
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: a series of tubes

05/14/09 11:36 - 66ºF - ID#48666


I don't know if anybody else is having this problem, but we're having trouble with the google-webs at my house. It's weird, I can't concentrate without it. I don't know if I've got emails, or if somebody's posted on estrip, or if the world is ending, or what hilarious LULZ somebody's glued to a kitten in the last three hours. I haven't used Yahoo in like ten years and although I'm sure it's a lovely site it's just totally throwing me off-kilter.

- Z
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Permalink: woh.html
Words: 84
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: misc

05/07/09 11:41 - 52ºF - ID#48616

data art redux

Evans, NY 14047

Ever since I was a kid I was mesmerized by maps. In my off-time I created this little art project where I turned map data into non-abstract abstract art. I may make this more dynamic - maybe put it in a Flash app or something, improve the navigation or whatever - but it's pretty cool as-is.

You will need an SVG-enabled browser [anything but IE]. Every page is a representation of a county, town, or ZIP code, which is shown in the window title. The part of the image inside the county/town/ZIP is solid-colored; the part outside is faded. If you click outside the area, it will shift the image. If you click inside the area, it will zoom in or out. Hover over the map for a tooltip telling you what you're hovering over [this is also the image you'll go to if you click].

- Z
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Permalink: data_art_redux.html
Words: 159
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: compost

04/30/09 06:10 - 63ºF - ID#48545

the bat-whisperer?

B's calling me the 'bat-whisperer' now but I am just a dude.

We've been doing a lot of work outside lately, what with the weather and all - (e:dragonlady7)'s been in the garden and I've been all over the garage. We were both working in the driveway area when my horrible next-door neighbor came over to the fence with both guns blazing. I have this thing that I do where I ignore her. B not so much. The situation became [in a manner of speaking] un-diplomatic to the point where I felt that I needed to intervene.

I felt that I needed to intervene. I am just a dude, not an intervener. Even a forest fire will burn itself out if you ignore it long enough, am I right people?

So I position myself directly between the two of them so that they would shut the hell up and put my arm over the fence which is a source of contention in what may or may not be construed as a gesture of ownership. I slowly raise my finger to my batty next-door neighbor and I look her in the eyes.

Meanwhile B is looking on silently and fretting, as she thinks perhaps I had just had an Exceptionally Bad Idea and she might be called upon to hide the body. My batty next-door neighbor actually looks a little terrified, and probably also thought I'd had a Bad Idea. A little background: she's about 117 years old and probably crapped herself literally as well as figuratively.

But to tell the truth I had no idea at all. There was a Situation, and I had put myself into a Place with respect to the Situation. Of that much I was sure - other than that, my mind was totally blank. And I wasn't looking her in the eyes, I was staring at the bridge of her nose, from which a large drop of blood was emerging. As you can imagine, this did wonders for my concentration.

I muttered something. She said "Yeah, I know it." That was it. I went back to work in the garage; my batty next-door neighbor shut up and left. B silently flipped out because she had no idea what kind of diplomatic coup I could possibly have just pulled off.

Later in the afternoon she came back and asked me - politely! if we could clean up her side of our garage. I said we had talked about it yesterday and although we had a lot of work to do, it was on the list. "OK," she said, and left.

Finally B asked me what I said to her. "I said her nose was bloody." "That's it?!" "That was the only thing I could think of."

I am just a dude. Why am I now the Motherfucker Of Diplomacy.

- Z

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Permalink: the_bat_whisperer_.html
Words: 480
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: yay

04/29/09 03:27 - 59ºF - ID#48535

useless shit. free!

BUSTED LAWNMOWER L@@K Engine kinda works. Side discharge, no handle. $0

DISHWASHER CATASTROPHE, runs. Summer fun for the kids. Outdoor use only. $0

KIDDIE POOL OF MYSTERY. Be a super sleuth and find out if it leaks. Buy DISHWASHER CATASTROPHE and KIDDIE POOL OF MYSTERY together and save $0.

GET A WORKOUT this summer. Lawn spreader, high-traction tires won't turn. $0

LEAD PAINT - scare your friends and neighbors. Like new! $0

LAWN ORNAMENT, plush cow. Slightly mouse-poo'd. $0

50-GALLON DRUM SALE, one day only. Take the drum, get all the shit inside it FREE! No substitutions.

Ask about our VINTAGE TURPENTINE. By app't only.

Get it before it's gone, probably first thing tomorrow morning, at
40 Hartford Ave. 14223

- Z
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Permalink: useless_shit_free_.html
Words: 119
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: misc

04/28/09 12:05 - 67ºF - ID#48525

data art


I'm between projects now, and I'm using the time to do a little data art. Here we have an 'abstract' rendering of my neighborhood - 14223.

Depending on how much downtime I've got, I may write a little app that lets you create your own.

- Z
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Permalink: data_art.html
Words: 53
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: misc

04/22/09 04:52 - 40ºF - ID#48474

'drive it like you stole it'

You mean with the windows rolled up and the radio turned down and obeying all posted traffic control devices so as not to arouse the suspicion of the 5-0? How boring.

A recent survey of 450 college students showed that 57% of them did not understand what a '50% chance of precipitation' is and somehow I ended up in this majority. Now that I think about it, it seems dumb but I always sort of read it as '25% chance of getting wet' - like if they were 100% certain that it would rain over 50% of the area, that would mean there's a 50% chance that I personally would get wet. Or if they're only half sure that there will be rain, and if there is it'll only cover half the area, I would have a 25% chance of getting wet. I mean, that's really the number I care about. What it actually means [and of course I know you already knew this so I won't ask] is that given identical atmospheric conditions, half the time it'll rain and half the time it won't.

The manager of the water authority says no tours [for reasons which are kind of obvious if you think about it for like two seconds] but maybe they'll send an intern to take some photos for the website. [I love email- you can pester strangers with weird questions about their jobs (e:zobar,43416) and even if they want to look at you like you're from Mars, they can't!]

There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about Britain's Got Talent, and also the Khmer Rouge which led me to an unsettling discovery: Paul Potts has a very unfortunate name.

- Z

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Permalink: _drive_it_like_you_stole_it_.html
Words: 281
Location: Buffalo, NY



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