Archive for December 2006

2 Years and 200 Posts

This is my 200th post, and tomorrow will begin my 3rd year with this site. I’d like to leave you with a “stay tuned for some exciting developments in the new year” but, if all goes well, nothing too exciting will happen to me. Things are pretty good just the way they are. Speaking of which, it’s New Year’s Eve, it’s 6:30 in the evening, and I have no plans. I’ve got to go rectify that situation, but before I do, I’d like to wish all 3 of you an excellent 2007 – I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.

Line Rider

Make lines, and a little guy on a sled rides down them. Simple and, for me at least, totally addictive. Go play with it for a bit here, then after you’re all proud of your creation, go look at what other people have done with it here.

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve, all the shopping is done, most of the wrapping is finished, and it’s almost time to drink. The Lovely Wife and I exchanged some gifts last night from under our Christmas tree, we’ll spend tonight with my family and exchange more gifts, then tomorrow afternoon with The Lovely Wife’s family and, yep, more gifts.

I wish all of you the very best this holiday season, from the bottom of my cold, secular heart.

Top 50 Videos of 2006

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I posted a link to the top 50 videos of 2005 here, but it has, and the same people (person?, whatever) have done it again for 2006. The main difference a year makes is that now the vids are all posted on YouTube (much easier to browse) and I’m probably familiar with even fewer of the bands, though I haven’t done a formal count yet. (I will.) Eventually they’ll be delivered directly to your neocortex, but I won’t care because I’ll find it all to be horribly pretentious atonal noise. You rotten kids wouldn’t know good music if it poked you in the ass! And get out of my yard! I’ve got a pellet gun!

I could look at this all day.

Seriously, I’m on my way. I’ve been here for hours. Here being the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. They’ve got 60 albums of photographs, including,

“…approximately four thousand [panoramic] images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits … agricultural life; beauty contests; disasters; … schools and college campuses, sports, and transportation. The images date from 1851 to 1991 and depict scenes in all fifty states … the District of Columbia … more than twenty foreign countries and a few U.S. territories ….”

There are actually, as of today, 4239 images in this group, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Boston Harbor in 1876, a 1902 NYC skyline, San Francisco in ruins in 1906, Miami, Springfield, St. Louis and everywhere else. I could spend the whole day in this one album.

Here’s downtown Austin, TX in 1910.

Capitol
(Click for the full 2457 x 420, or go to the catalog for the huge 4066 x 695 version)

There are also,

“… about 7,000 different images made during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and in its immediate aftermath. The images were scanned from the Prints and Photographs Division’s collection of original glass plate negatives.”

There are tons of forts, houses, bridges and battlefields, all fascinating, but what stopped me in my tracks were the 5 pictures of the “Price, Birch and Co.” slave pens in Alexandria, Virginia. Photographs of a slave dealer’s pens. In my country. Less than 150 years ago.

One Two Three Four Five

And, my favorite,

“The Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection features color photographic surveys of the vast Russian Empire made between ca. 1905 and 1915.”

That’s right, color. There are tons of pictures in here of the countryside, gardens, churches, etc, but I especially like the pictures of the people. These are people from across Russia, from city folk to yurt dwellers, living in the years between the Revolution of 1905 and the Revolution of 1917. One of my favorites:

Three Generations
(click for full picture)

Study of Three Generations, Zlatoust

“A. P. Kalganov poses with his son and granddaughter for a portrait in the industrial town of Zlatoust in the Ural Mountain region of Russia. The son and granddaughter are employed at the Zlatoust Arms Plant–a major supplier of armaments to the Russian military since the early 1800s. Kalganov displays traditional Russian dress and beard styles, while the two younger generations have more Westernized, modern dress and hair styles.” Link

And that’s just 3 of 60 different collections. You also have African-American photographs assembled for the 1900 Paris Exposition, Ansel Adams’ Photographs of Japanese-American internment, Spanish Civil War and World War I posters, and on, and on, and on. I’m happy to pay taxes for stuff like this.

Junk Mail

Is this really the scourge of the internet? Emails like this? I have a little trouble feeling sorry for someone who would give all of their personal info over because they received this:

Really bad spam.
(Click for full size)

I love how, just in case you’re not feeling it after all the terrible grammar, right at the end they throw in, “It is all about your security.” Oh, well, ok then. Here’s my SSN.

Sick of this place.

I was really getting sick of looking at the old, dark colors I had going on here, so now it’s all light and, I think, more readable. Anything you don’t like?

Oh, Christmas Tree.

I didn’t celebrate the Christmas growing up (after the age of 8 or so), I don’t believe in the Jesus (not even if he appeared to me in glowing vestments), and I think the Consumerism is immoral (even while part of me loves the shiny), but I just bought a house this year and dammit, that calls for a Christmas tree. We bought one this past weekend, with lights and ornaments (who knew ornaments didn’t come with ornament hooks? Not me.), and it currently is holding court in my living room, giving everything a fresh, pine-y, Christmas-y scent. I’ll post some pictures soon, right now I’m off to bed. After I water the tree.