The Hynes 2012 Holiday Quotes

I belong to a fairly eclectic, creative, some would say eccentric family, and this is especially noticeable around the holidays. Many humorous, thought provoking or just plain weird things get said around our holiday tables, and this year, I decided to capture some of them via social media.

When I was younger, I always used to carry a notebook around with me, where I could write observations that jumped out at me for one reason or another. This year, I decided to tweet some of the more interesting lines from Christmas morning.

They ended up fitting together very nicely, so, for those who didn’t see them on Facebook or Twitter, or didn’t view them as a whole, here are the Hynes 2012 Holiday Quotes

Of bowties and burquas,
and skin of teddy bear;
it's all very meta
like playing a song
with something that used to be a song,
or the cello guys with Toblerone

A slippery slope of maverick jelly beans,
touch screen gloves,
a Santa rubber duckie,
and a modern flint.
It's the holiday of candy fish.

Something happens when you talk too much, dad!

And it was the very, very end of the Swedish festival.
Did you get any fish?
I guessed a giant sonic screwdriver because that makes the most sense.
So many things I'm keeping inside my head right now

Is it a Tardis pillow?
I can't believe you guessed that
And how often do you get a bobble head of someone you know?
And what do you do at falcon ridge?
Lie on a blanket.
So what's better than a blanket that's a picture of you lying on a blanket?
Very meta.

Brimstone is hard to get
because we live in a blue state.
Now you need to write a song
about the fragility of the universe,
meta picture blankets,
and Doctor Who.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Campaign in Free Verse

It's evening and the chance of scattered thunderstorms has passed. So has much of my energy. I was up late last night for the convention that nominated me to be the Democratic Candidate for State Representative. I was up early to get a little campaign work done before heading off to my day job.

Back home, at the end of the day, I feel I should be reaching out to voters; potential supporters or donors. I should be writing my campaign biography or some issue statements.

My wife and daughters are off at various events, and I take a few moments to relax. Friends online are tweeting about idol on TV. Me? I play some YouTube videos of poets reading there works.

Then, it strikes me; a campaign in free verse. No, I can't talk about the issues in the style of Billy Collins or Ted Kooser. Or can I?

What are the issues? That the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation? That the best minds of our generation are being destroyed by madness, looking for an angry tax break?

At church the other week, the preacher talked about cultivating joy, not the artificial saccharine Hallmark Card happiness that gets pasted on the face of every politician when they say how happy they are to see someone they can't remember, but the sort of joy that is hard to grow, that comes from a minor victory in the face of a major struggle.

Yes, making sure that money is spent appropriately and effectively is important, and that no one has to pay too much, or more than their fair share, but what is it that really matters?

Helping people cultivate joy in a rocky garden and share a little kindness. Maybe that is more the task of the poet but maybe we need a little more poetry at the capitol.

It's evening and the chance of scattered thunderstorms has passed, for now.

The Water Ballet

The NPR correspondent drones on about some Afghani undersecretary and I turn off the car radio. I've heard enough of war and international politics. Besides, it is raining and I want to watch the water ballet.

The rain taps insistently on the windshield, varying its amplitude and frequency as I accelerate or slow down, and as the skies above darken or lighten with rain. The creaking windshield wipers provide a more steady beat.

The wheels hiss as they push aside the water on the road, in search of some asphalt to grab and the pitch of the hiss of the neighboring car wheels shifts as they doppler by.

One car, a prima ballerina, leaps to the front as a chorus of cars dance in tight formation behind and we all head off to our daily work. There will be more broadcasts about wars and undersecretaries, that I can listen to later. For now, I will quietly drive, watching the water ballet.

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Random Stuff

Mother’s Day: We had a nice day at the park. I started working on the macrame hammock. Based on my experiences Sunday, this is going to take a very long time to complete. As long as I have energy for the project, I’ll provide updates.

Coming home, there was a car riding on our tail which promoted this tweet:

The Red Camero
Speeding, swerving on my tail
waiting accident

Actually, Kim was driving and the Camero was blue, but it gets across the idea.

It got me thinking more about other aspects of writing and so I spent some time watching YouTube videos about Lacan, Derrida, Zizek and others. More on that later, when I have more time.

#npr, #poetry and #games on my #n900

It was a rainy Boxing Day here in Connecticut, so I spent a bit of time playing with my Nokia N900. The N900 comes with a built in FM Receiver. However, software for running the FMRadio was not included on the N900. So, yesterday, I searched around and installed the fmradio package. To use the FM Radio package, you need to plug in headphones which it uses as the FM antenna. You can scroll up and down the radio dial, and when you find a station, add it to your presets. Even though you are using the headphones as an antenna, you can still use the speaker on the phone for the FM station. You are supposed to be able to get RDS as well, but I didn’t get any RDS messages. All in all, the fmradio package is fine for my use, but nothing special.

I also tried installing the Linux Infrared Remote Control, or LIRC. In theory, I should be able to set up my N900 as a universal remote. However, configuring it looks a bit complicated. I did manage to turn on the TV with it, but that is about all. I may spend time at some point trying to program it to better control my DVD player. The other thing that I’ve love to see it do is support TV-B-GONE. This is a simple device that turns off just about any type of television. As I read about people trying to set up TV-B-GONE functionality on the N900, I came across qtirreco. I tested that a little with even less luck.

Another thing that I did was visit Librivox. This site has recordings of many great works of literature that are in the public domain. I downloaded a poetry collection and now have around a hundred great poems that I can listen to on my N900. I hope to listen to much more great literature on my N900.

Then, there are the games. I’ve read about people working with various game console emulators, as well as potential copyright issues that this brings up. I’ve always told my kids they could play any game they could write and I started them off programming Logo years ago. More recently, I’ve been interested in Squeak.

Squeak is a modern, open source, full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable - even its virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk making it easy to debug, analyze, and change. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications, educational platforms to commercial web application development.

I downloaded the source, compiled it in my Scratchbox on my Linux Laptop, and moved the package over onto my N900. Runs like a charm; almost. It brings up an Xwindow with Squeak in it. However on the small screen, it is nearly impossible to read the fonts. I tried checking around to find easy ways of changing the fonts, but without much luck. All of the instructions were based on clicking on the options within the window. However, the window is so small, it was very difficult to get the right options. I’m thinking of starting squeak on a different computer, and tweaking an image file to much more readable fonts and then trying to use that image file on the N900. If I can get all of this straightened out, I may try running Etoys on the N900.

If you’re doing anything interesting with the N900 or want to share applications or ideas, leave me a message.

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