Blog-type stuff

Strong-Bad School of Logo Design?

Strong-Bad School of Logo Design?

So, I was playing around with logos and stuff, and a silly one for this site just happened to come up. But I couldn't leave it at that, oh no. By the time I was finishing up, I realized I was following the Strong Bad School of Logo Design. Without the fangs, of course. Fangs are silly.

Oh, sure it has some problems, and it isn't going to take over this site's logo any time soon, but its gotta be worth something. Anyone? Anyone?

That is to say, anyone need a molten-plexiglass logo? I might be able to hook you up. Even with not so silly designs.


A Treatise on Pants

Dammit, I just ripped another pair of jeans. Yes in the same place. Top of the leg, thigh side. Damn it.

Trivial you say? Well, yes, it is indeed. But on the other hand, I've never heard of someone else having this problem. Oh yes, jeans wear, slowly, but they don't thin and fail. Not like they do for me. At least, no one else I know has fessed up to it.

But I'm not trying to bore you with "Trite Inconveniences From Blair's Life." That's next season. No, I have a theory. And I think it has to do with wash intervals.

You see, the nicer a woven material is, even denim, the thinner each individual fabric is (even if you need many more to reinforce the garment.) However, as you wear fabrics, denim especially, it loosens up. The constant pulls and tensions of everyday life start to pull apart the weave. Now, in and of itself, this isn't a bad thing- oftentimes pants will be too tight the first time you wear them, then nice for a couple of wears or so until wash time.

But the more wears between washes, normally not a problem with jeans as long as you don't abuse it (ahem, self, I'm looking at you), the material gets looser. Eventually you can start to see more light through the weave then you would expect; certain patches of high tensile wear start to thin out, get softer. And then, in one not-so-stressful pull, you get a rip. An annoying stress rip, one that can't seamlessly be repaired. Not that you'd really want to, seeing as by that time the entire region (and often many more) are in the same state, which would lead to replacing the pants from the inside out, not an efficient system.

My first reaction to this theory is how counter intuitive it seems: with the exception of strenuous activity, most of the time the thing that is hardest on clothes is washing them. It's one reason it pays to be gentle and thoughtful when you do the wash, at least if you don't want your things to look like they came out of the bottom of a Salvation Army $1 bin. But I think I can reconcile this piece of data. New pants, no matter how long between washes, don't exhibit this wear pattern. They need to have at least been broken in for this to occur. I hypothesize that, because clothing gets much of its tensile strength from having a tight mesh, it actually gets weaker the longer between washes. At first, this isn't an issue; most clothes are more than tough enough to withstand a couple of wearings of good stretches. But everytime you go beyond that, there may very well be more damage done to the individual threads in the mesh: because they are relatively farther away from their mates, they must do more work.


A question

If now's as good a time as any, does that imply that it's also as bad a time as any?


They're made out of Meat

This is very well done. I really need to get back in to making videos/movies.



innocence is fragile

easily broken

and rarely replaced

-Erin Lindsey



As a serious political theory question, what is the point of the Vice President in the post 12th Amendment era? I actually very much like the idea of a loser being in a position of at least some responsibilty: it helps to prevent tyranny from any party that might get a majority, and in my mind it also is a small step towards helping minor parties advance.

But, since the VP is now, for all intents and purposes, a Presidential appointee (albeit one appointed before an election), why should we bother about direct election? The role is very poorly defined, and it would be easy enough to change the line of succsion to another elected candidate. That way, if the President wants a top advisor or administrator, he can appoint one, as it is now.

It's not a large issue by any means, but in my mind is simple political clutter. It was a good idea to help limit the executive branch; but one that, in the early years of party politics, was found too annoying by the parties and thus done away with. Either bring it back to what it was, or eliminate the position as anything except an appointee. It would recognize the truth of the situation and it would also give the Senate another position to block if they would so choose.


Holy *#*#*#*#*#*#

So, most of you know I have a penchant for urban transit, especially subways, right? Well, I just learned a new fact about my birthday. In 1863:

"The Metropolitan Railway opened the world's first underground railway on 10 January between Paddington (Bishop's Road) and Farringdon Street. "

Woooo! That's so cool! Okay, maybe I'm too excited, but I think it's cool.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.


"Was the Randy Johnson trade a good one?"

-Written as an email to answer said question, it's long enough I figured I'd post it here. What can I say, I have a soft spot for baseball and like talking about it ;-)

He's gone, isn't he?

Actually, at first I wasn't sure. Randy may be highly inconsistent, but he does give 200IP per year, no matter what. Except his back is fluky; maybe the Yankees there know something we don't. The Yankees certainly think their rotation is full- they (obviously) believe in Igawa, and I don't think they're counting as much on Pavano as they are thinking that Karstens / Rasner / Hughes / Sanchez will be at least servicable this year. So, for this coming season, it really depends on Mussina/Wang/Pettitte : if we loose one more than say, a month, and moreso if we loose two at a time, the rotation will be thrust upon those guys I just mentioned. Cashman seems to really like them, and I like the chances of one of them panning out next year. If we need to rely on more than one to be more than adequate, things could get shaky.

For the future, I don't think this is a bad trade, organizationally. I'll quote the Transaction Oracle on the prospects involved:

"There are no top prospects here and all 3 of the prospects, while they would rank higher on the list of practically every other organization in baseball, were just barely in Sickels' top 20 Arizona prospect list. The Diamondbacks can deal these players without even sweating the prospect depth."

The prospect are 24, 24, and 23. Ohlendorf is the real key here; he is 24 and has just finished a full season at AA + one AAA start. He came out of college, so is not old for his level, and has put up respectable K numbers while walking a few too many, but really, really keeping the ball in the park. He has a decent shot at being a good player. Jackson is a good step below; his K-rate is not impressive- I'm not sure he's really better than a C prospect. Gonzalez, the shortstop, is 23 and hasn't done much but hit for decent average in his career. The kinda guy who probably has upside, but I'd need to see a good scouting report on.


So just how many days are left?

Here's a somewhat useful quick little script I wrote up. I think it's pretty self explanatory:

  • -3868 days until Pitchers & Catchers report.
  • -3823 days until Opening Day.

  • Pretty nifty, eh? Well, it's something! :-P. Practising my mad PHP skillz. Anyway, that's a real time count, and you can always access it at, or you can always access the counter on the menu to your left. At least until the season starts.



    "Simplicity is Highly Overrated"

    This was frustrating to read, only because he equated features with a lack of simplicity. In other words, he's confusing what a product does with its usability; this things are related, but not as directly as this makes it seem. It is possible to design things that offer lots of features, but are intuitive and thus simple to use. Of course, I would bet that the more features a product has, the more difficult it is for a designer to make an intuitve interface, but that's more of a different problem. I think, for instance, this is why some people keep hoping for an Apple-designed phone: not because it won't have features, but because hopefully their designers could make them more easily useable.

    Cell phones are actually, in my opinion, a perfect example of this: features are added, and people like them; this is not a bad thing. But only a few companies put any thought into usability; Motorola is probably the most infamous. For an example of phones with a lot of usability and features, look at some of the older LG stuff, it always seemed to me to be of a quality at least slightly higher than their competitors. Don't get me started on companies like Verizon who have decided on a standardized interface, which on its own is not a bad idea at all, but their design is so, so atrocious...

    Part of me was really hoping this would be a discussion on the appeal of ideas that are simple: does the simplicity of an idea really make it more truthful? Closer to reality? It certainly does make them more appealing. But I'm getting ahead of myself: this is a discussion for another time.