Friday, January 30, 2009

Ghost Zomes

:: skeletal view ::

:: solidified view ::
D. Koski has been obliging me with better visuals of his "ghost hexahedra", newly present in his modular dissections thanks to some new numeric rules he's exploring, seeing what happens if he follows them. He updates the core Poly list used by geometers i.e. this isn't an exclusive to BizMo Diaries (not a scoop).

A ghost hexahedron is like a stick figure pressed flat. Three faces end up on either side of a flat surface. For example, the great rhombicosidodecahedron (aka "great rambo head") contains decagonal faces and these flat Penrosey zomes manage to tile them. I'm showing the fats above, but we also have thins.

Speaking of scoops, I'm still milking the 7.5 : 5 triacontahedron discovery, their phi/sqrt(2) radial ratio. I like this discovery because (a) it's expressed in tetravolumes, still a novel concept in some university departments and (b) because authors not citing our Coffee Shops Network as a source may be suspect (so a good way to trace the phonies maybe?) and (c) there's the rhombic dodecahedron tie-in, even better for marketing.

CSN is a source
of a lot of contemporary geometry. We move this information straight from philosophical sources (like on Youtube) to our customers' LCDs (like on laptops), providing cool open source marketing concepts they might use on the job, especially if not taking the "winning through intimidation" Exxon Math approach (obnoxious and closed source).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pizza Night

This was finals week and Tara's been studying hard. She and Rose well deserve this Papa Murphy's cheese pizza and Buffy Sixth Season I just went and got, also cookie dough, more for me (had a craving, might be pregnant?).

I'm gratified and honored we're getting a top UK mathematician for Pycon, good news in my inbox today. We've been going back and forth about early math education issues, with Stanford a third vertex, making a triangle (except if you're seeing it, then that's another point, so a tetrahedron then -- Bucky to Plato: don't forget that observer, important in physics).

I need to go present about the concentric hierarchy (of polyhedra) to Wanderers again, having pounded the bar with my fist, making my Guinness jump. My marketing skills aren't always top notch. Maybe try that Captain Grunch angle again?

A real Westinghouse would have the right puppets by now, cleared by the censors to talk like a pirate, say "triacontahedron" or whatever the bleep.

Kodak is laying off, when it should have been updating the pavilion at Epcot all this time. Conspiring to not have a future never made any sense.

How's Tom Connolly doing I wonder. Tom, if you're out there, I have your Alone in the Wilderness right here on my desk. Bob McGown, wondering after you too.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Admiring Javascript

I'm at the first Portland JavaScript Admirers, well attended, geeks cheering for CubeSpace. We've got lots of independent contractors, including my Hewlett-Packard friend from Pythoneers (how I'm logged in, wearing the fleece), whom I also invited to our Ruby meetings, first Tuesdays.

We have lots of new immigrants from other states.

There's another guy with glasses across from me into "Django backend, JQuery front end" same thing I'm learning.

Not everyone's an "admirer" yet -- we're free to be skeptics. One guy is up to having a falling out, having been an admirer. We're in all phases.

For those who don't know, Javascript animates your web browser from within, lives in the client, is otherwise known as ECMAscript. It stalled as a language during the lame "browser wars" (Netscape versus Microsoft versus...) but now people praise it, are discovering its true potential, in the form of FOSS toolkits and libraries especially -- what tonight is about.

The Javascript community does have evangelists (no surprise), so more competition for telepreachers of other stripes.

ActionScript, used in Flash, is a close relative of Javascript.

Javascript's "this" invokes in different ways depending on pattern, beware of cluttering your global namespace. Even though 'var' is optional, again you'll be messing with too many globals if you skimp.

Forcing Javascript to act as if it had classes, not just objects, gets gnarly (too clever) IMO. "Prototypal inheritance" leaves me a skeptic, but I still admire Javascript.

SproutCore is client-side MVC
in a browser, not trying to emulate another language, is inspired by Cocoa, Ruby on Rails. Sproutcore is for writing thick (200K?) clients in a browser, but as one page concepts (like Gmail).

Observers, triggered by setters and getters, keep bindings up to date, e.g. take action to update a view.

The function(){}.property() method is similar to Python's, weird syntax though.

To an old dog like me, this feels a lot like working with FoxPro's canned widgets: SC.Grid, SC.SourceListView, Form Controls... Talk JSON to the back end, CouchDB adapter?

JQuery makes it really easy to select DOM elements and manipulate 'em. JQuery is in the same ballpark as Prototype, another JS toolkit. JQuery seems more array-based, so I'm think the J alludes to the Iverson-Hui language (good mnemonics, even if unintended).

Geeks are exuding pleasure about JQuery
, especially the rich library of plugins. Prototype is messier and doesn't support plugins so easily. Prototype provides for richer programmatic stuff whereas JQuery is quite "thin".

JQuery 1.3 is way faster than 1.2, thanks to the reworked CSS selector engine with a Sizzle breakout (Sproutcore might use?), other optimizations. Instead of browser sniffing, it does unit testing to figure workarounds i.e. instead of reading what's on the label, it administers its own tests.

CouchDB is written in Erlang and stores JSON, serves HTTP. "Use this anytime you've been frustrated by SQL". It's based on Mapreduce (shades of OSCON), has a built-in test suite. Each table is a big Btree, schemaless (heresey), ACID compliant. CouchDB's mapreduce is more flexible than Hadoop's. Map is a harvesting, reduce is a processing, often a tallying.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fun Spoof

This School of Rock idea is an old one, but it helps to get a refresher course every now and then.

There's lots of cross-traffic between "rock star" and "clown" (in terms of face paint and getup) and so, more vicariously, "geek" (a carnival attraction).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dark Side of the Sun

:: artist's concept ::
Like seeing is believing right?

Of course this sounds like an Ali G. ism, like his asking Buzz or one of those straight arrow astronaut guys, if "man will ever walk on the sun.. like in winter, when the sun is cold".

Here though, seeing the dark side is a real space program event, couched as a conundrum:
"This is a perspective we've never had before," says STEREO mission scientist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters. "We're now monitoring more than 270 degrees of solar longitude—that's 3/4ths of the star."

"After all these years," she laughs, "we're finally getting to see the dark side of the Sun."

(Editor's note: The Sun has no dark side. That was a solar physics joke.)

Ali G. to Noam Chomsky: "how many words to you know?" Chomsky seemed annoyed, a bit of a slow dog, but hey, not everyone's a comic genius, at least not all of the time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wanderers 2009.20.1

Tara managed to at least catch the new president's speech from PPS, though equipment troubles kept some of the musical numbers from reaching her public high school.

She's been working on getting a speech and debate team started, having sampled Lincoln's and discovered her penchant for civic life.

Given it's so "bloody cold" (a UKism) I chauffeured her to the library last night after the CBS News, showing up late for Wanderers.

Steve Spiegel gave what I thought was a clear and concise presentation, full of good advice for improving community mental health, including political justice between cultures [ala DemocracyLab in my thinking], fewer messages about social status, and more respect for charitable subcultures [thinking Coffee Shops Network].

He wondered why he didn't get a more appreciative audience in academia, with me suggesting his thinking was "not obfuscated enough" (i.e. was too easy to understand).

Another interesting fact about Steve is he suffered intensely stress from the Vietnam War, though not from having directly partaken of the violence in distant Southeast Asia, but from not feeling effective enough in stopping the war where it began, in the North American psyche.

That war made him crazy and this little philosophy he's distilled to a few sheets of paper is what helped him get through it.

Others around the table, such as Dick, Glenn and myself, were in Asia around that time. My short time in Vietnam was as a civilian tourist however, whereas Dick was in Korea during some of the worst parts. Glenn was at an NSA listening post very close to the DMZ. He's not our only Wanderer with NSA experience -- thinking of Don Benson.

I've temporarily signed in to the Chicago user group pre Pycon, got up to 53 slides yesterday, focusing on "topics" versus "lore". How might a high school math teacher and corporate trainer both cover the same topics while keeping the material engaging and audience-appropriate?

Lore is not just about banter or telling jokes, although that's part of it.

Another secret is Pascal's Triangle is never an inappropriate topic, if handled mindfully and age-appropriately.

Best wishes to Barbara, off to California again. Sorry Gordon -- sometimes this absent minded thing catches up to me. I'll make it up to ya.

Morning after: Nancy and I had coffee at Fine Grind today (greetings to staff), talking anthropology and religious "isms": Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Quakerism, even Jungianism. Nancy, a Wanderer, has personal experience with a number of these traditions, being a child of her times (eclectic, open to other cultures).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Transitions of Power

Smart Numbers
In the old days, I tell my students, numbers were stupid, they couldn't do anything, didn't know anything. Operators descended from heaven, like space ships, and caused numbers to be added and multiplied.

But in Python, everything is a snake, a live object, including numbers like 1 and 2, and they have knowledge of addition and multiplication "in their bones" (__ribs__). When you go 1 * 2, that's not a space ship, bristling with static methods from on high, from the alien "knows operations" land, that's invoking an innate ability of the integer type.

It's a change in gestalt, especially if you start with the old one.

[ more context on edu-sig ]
Tara and I are both working today (school is work), she for no income. Mom phoned. Alexia spent the day with us yesterday, is interviewing for a new position.

The inauguration is bein' a blast, watching the two first couples, now the veep couples, shaking hands. Why is Cheney in a wheel chair today? (volume muted).

Helicopter. Well done.

Monday, January 19, 2009


As a preacher of non-violence, MLK did not eschew the Bible, a container for violent stories, but with a purpose of teaching, enabling, empowering. For the longest time, this was the only shared soap opera. No one watched Lost.

Likewise in geek lore, we have some scary talk about world domination, making the world work. Our inspired choreography might include subversive action, such as in Serenity, a favorite geek movie.

Glenn was over this morning with new insights from Hamlet's Mill, some of which I attempted to capture on my white board. His Sumerian style geometry (ancient, yet about thinking globally) is a great antidote to my more mundane and workaday Supermarket Math (lots of SQL, lots of stuff about food). But then I've got my spices.

The grid-matrix you see lying on your back, talking about stars, is the same one you might use looking in, at earth from space, for navigation.

The matrix you choose will reflect your ethnicity, plus you needn't choose just one. Sometimes we use LCD triangles for spherical stuff, other times a global matrix of hexagons and pentagons, other times lines of latitude and longitude, with the ecliptic clearly showing (relates to Saturn, not in the same disk as Venus and Mars, more in alignment with our 23 degree tilt).

Either way, we want more outdoor school type activities, more challenges to the body, not just the mind, and yes, under the heading of mathematics and/or computer science why not?

GIS work requires getting out and about, whereas getting all pasty-skinned drinking Jolt under fluorescent lights in some windowless cube farm is not our idea of how to develop one's future job skills, even in engineering.

The CSN idea includes "template shops" where we field test our ideas, plus planned-in rotation among staff. Many of the jobs involve moving between shops, not as an onerous duty, but for those wishing the challenge of broader experience. The Laughing Planet guy said "where do I sign up?"

Back when Nirel's latest incarnation of Schröedinger's Cat was Seattle-based, the idea of trading staff with our Pauling House campus looked appealing, given how short a drive it is. Even easier would be five or six around LA, maybe trading with Portland.

However, some of our shop designs map to wilderness areas, are more into serving weary hikers who've made it to a BarCamp (computers provided, though you might pack in a small one). There's no airstrip here, only infrequent helicopter service. A few full-timers live here year round.

A coffee shop is a place to trade stories, update one another, plus gives visitors high bandwidth uplinking back to their home office, presuming some sort of encrypted VPN.

Airplanes have interesting kitchens in terms of being compact, but that's not to say a CSN kitchen has to be all about storing individualized portions on trays, hot stuff in separate warmers. That might be the delivery system in some research outposts, but usually there'd be more homegrown produce from some Garden of Eden domes (or whatever brand).

Navy ships also have interesting kitchens, suitable for team building experiences.

Recruiting staff for CSN should be easy, once the prototypes work out more of the kinks. The 2012 target for rolling out some of our back office services to a wider public is not a critical bottleneck, just a date to work back from (a NASA style count down, with a critical path implied).

Our message to CSN customers: start building your track records now, start showing us you know how to pick winners, give us a sense of your identity. Vendors are somewhat in the same boat as network game suppliers perhaps using Java, Shockwave or Flash, though some use a thick client design.

"What would I support if I had the wherewithal" is valuable market research information, especially associated with credible demographic statistics, but is also critical information to voters in democratic societies. Where were you on OLPC? What have we to thank you for? This is where politicians will want to shine, in sharing their track records, even if just nickles and dimes (low voltage). Match your walk to your talk, demonstrate your integrity.

Many a political career might start in a coffee shop, especially those designed shops for networking purposes (the "networking salon" idea goes back to at least the 1980s, was the talk in Jersey City when I served as a high school math teacher).

Our CSN CTO has lots of freedom to engage in greenfield development, while others might leverage their marketing experience. Enfranchising around charitable giving is an idea whose time has come. Let people do their own steering, literally vote with their dollars (as they've been doing all along).

Worthy NGOs, get ready for a facelift (a new marketing context), and a lot more dough to play with, if all goes according to plan.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Playing with Dolls

A diet of Sims and music videos results in... Sims music videos, duh.

These aren't too serious, in terms of content, but in terms of skills, we're looking at creative TV-making with whatever the environment has to offer.

You'll find a lot in this genre, and that's a good sign. A next generation will know how to make television (knows already, at a tender young age).

For a younger crowd, or adults in the mood for more weirdness, there's always I Need a Nap, with Weird Al and Kate Winslet [ sorry, video selfishly removed ]:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PPUG 2009.1.13

I took a break from my spartan cube (Kermit), to join PPUG, and later OS Bridge in Roman (a room) -- long day at the office, with a lunch break at Rams Head.

Announcement: Northwest Python Day, January 31st, 9 am - 5 pm (lots of lightning talks!).

On tonight's menu: meta classes, deque, stupid dict tricks (Jason), Natural Language Processing, except John isn't here, so no meta classes, dang! We're about 30 strong.

Women are pretty much running these meetings (not always overtly), which is encouraging, especially after all that disappointing news on the Math Forum, about declining enrollment in some dying (as in withering) academic programs.

A deque (pronounced "deck" -- or "dee que" by some) is a double-ended queue, found in collections. It has a rotate method which is kinda cool. Jason also showed extendleft with rotate, "wildly faster" than extendleft with reversed.

dict.__missing__: collections.defaultdict lets you specify the type of the default "nothing" you'd like as a value -- could even be a function (any callable with no args). A newer approach is to subclass dict to gain access to __missing__, which will be called whenever __getitem__ fails.

OK, John Melesky is here (bus problems).

Python Metaclasses: never use them (opening joke). "There are parts of Python where thar be monsters." Decorators might fall into this category, descriptors... "They're not actually that bad" (pretty coherent, but unpythonic, non-obvious). Hmmmm, I'd not heard of "class decorators" before.

[ long convoluted example goes here, originally involving exec, with an environment at least -- reminds me of Foxpro's "&" i.e. macro substitution -- made less crufty by our group process, enhancing the lambdas (we rock) ]

John: "we're getting almost Perlish" (too clever by half?). I'm fairly persuaded I don't want to use metaclasses very often.

The natural language toolkit (NLTK) looks fascinating. Monica Toth knows her stuff. Here's some of what you get:

Corpus: a database of speech or writing samples intended to demonstrate how language is actually used. from ntlk.corpus import brown will give you access to the 1,161,192 words and 57,240 sentences in that collection. You can do probabilistic and statistical work against a corpus.

Wordnet: a lexical database of words and "synonym sets", or synsets. from nltk.wordnet import * gives you a relations() method on a word like "door". Get all hyponyms for door using door[0][HYPONYM] e.g. car_door, double_door...

from import * gives you access to suntsu_chat(), your own personal chat buddy (a chat bot -- Eliza is there too as eliza_chat(), also -- fun for kids).

: The documentation lags the reality in this academic, research-oriented package. Linguists have a language all their own.

I asked a stupid question about Wsgi. Maybe we'll hear about Orange next time? We might also learn about RDF, an alternative to SQL for defining models. I signed up to yak about Vpython.

Produce Row: yes John, you're correct that "NATO professor" and "nutty professor" don't rhyme so much as alliterate. Thanks for the more detailed background on RDF, and Illinois politics.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Day at the Museum

I'd been hyping Wild Beauty to Tara and today was the last day, plus I'd missed much of the 2nd tier (lower level), wanted more puzzle pieces, then there's the whole rest of the gallery.

We took in the 2K year old Chinese artifacts (some look good as new), later Japanese and Korean pieces.

One sign lectures the Chinese about Western superiority (barbarians do that), another was sexist, saying an eminent scholar no doubt sketched the pictures, but the embroidery would have been done by women. Given the culture of that day, this probably made sense.

Yes, Sarah Ladd was connected to Portland's Ladd of Ladd Addition fame, was his daughter in law. She and Lily White ran the photography boathouse, a place for their guests to learn the skills in the company of some intelligent role models.

Sam Hill was King of Roads, Lancaster his engineer. The Columbia Scenic Highway was a dream come true for a generation of Americans, until a "been there done that" feeling set in, paving the way for I-84.

The movie Cars
captures some of the feeling, of destroying wild America. You kill the soul of a place. Healing takes time, and more enlightened generations.

The tunnel connecting the two buildings is shorter than WDC's to the East Wing, but the converted Masonic Temple is somewhat reminiscent in containing a mobile, many contemporary pieces, including the tensegrity sculpture Forest Devil by Kenneth Snelson, a native Oregonian and friend. Tara well remembered our visit to his studio in Soho that time. There's also a Picasso sculpture, and a photograph of Steve Martin (the actor) by Annie Liebowitz.

By this time I was sweltering, feeling too grungy, walking around in my railroad tycoon gown coat, minus the Quaker futurist hat. Checking the gown coat didn't help, so I found the only XL T-shirt in the gift shop, which turned out to be a winner (lovely design). That solved the problem.

We left "Wild L. Hickcox" (related to Bill somehow, serious about photography) to savor the remaining pix in peace. Five Mile Rapids, Big Eddy... Army Corps of Engineers negatives, many aerial views.

I also bought First Americans for Michael, celebrating his birthday this evening (Michael, no fair peaking until you open it).

Addendum: Michael called it my "Abramoff hat" -- I said I was impressed he'd noticed the resemblance.

Friday, January 09, 2009

About Habitats

I had a great interview with a Habitat for Humanity fund raiser today. I think she really understood the vision (she said I should be on the Obama team). We're all in this together, eh?

Note:  if you're getting this, remember Google is not infallible:


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy Go Lucky (movie review)

With Respect
This reminded me of Wendy and Lucy a lot, as in Wendy grows up and returns to the scariest scene in her childhood, to study that same weirdo under the bridge or in whatever wilderness.

She's as adorable as ever, and the guy (guys) just as weird (can't say I'm proud of the species, after taking these in).

Sally Hawkins plays an ascended master, an enlightened Bodhisattva. The Flamenco teacher is also highly endearing, as are pretty much all the women in this film, when you get right down to it. Civilized, superb social skills, what's not to like?

The guys, on the other hand, are another matter, although you have to hand it to the taxi driver: that guy can act. As actors, they're great at playing real creeps (the back doctor is OK, and the love interest ain't bad -- we're all glad that she finds someone, certainly she deserves the very best).

Anyway, I found the film engaging, if discouraging. I'm back to being an Anglophile. Flush me away, any day!

Flaky Flickr

I'm adding a new Synergetics set, an assortment of useful images, however the API is fighting me. Here's what I'm getting:

Could be we're underpowered in the back office? I've heard of that happening (smile). I logged the service interruption in Facebook as well.

Google's new video chat service worked well for me last night -- completely my fault the microphone wasn't working.

"How many energy slaves does it take to screw in a light bulb?" An "energy slave" is like a robot work horse from the old science fiction stories, or from those movies about Pharohs, where casts of thousands build a pyramid or whatever.

Thanks to automation, we're each empowered to build pyramids of a kind, even if mostly in cyberspace. All those server farms and SQL engines represent thousands of clerics, scribes, scholars, maintaining your family albums, your blogs, way better service than kings and queens of old could afford, plus now it's world readable.

People ask me why "world readable" is important, as obviously no one has time to track millions and billions of blogs.

But "world readable" just means accessible from any airport or wifi cafe, so someone near and dear, on a trip, visiting a work site, might check in from time to time, and vice versa. Yes, this could be done more privately (and often is, by me as well), but there's also self marketing and being accountable for one's time, coordinating the enterprise.

Fuller had the right idea in chosing to maintain a semi-public profile even before Facebook. He was ahead of his time. Hey, they weren't as smart about polyhedra back then either.

energy slaves grumpy today

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Topical Writing

Here are some quotes of the day, somewhat punchy, culled from my higher than average output (hyperlinks added, fixed a typo).

I'm also working on a bid, other proposals, steering my small business in choppy waters, helped Tara with homework, cleaned the refrigerator, uploaded to Photostream.

To Wanderers:
...Put another way, just because we don't believe in Santa Claus doesn't mean we have to stop watching coyote cartoons, or making them, sharing them with progeny -- "selfish memes" at work, you might say, and you'd be right (but "selfish" in a way that asks no apology -- great ideas are meant to stick around, a truism and a good one).
To Quakers:
I side with those using "originals versus illegals" as in the current political climate it helps to lump everyone together who doesn't have special rights to declare sovereignty independently of the USA, just because of Euro descent or whatever.

Those elite few within the USA with special sovereignty status (and perhaps extra freedom to sell July 4 fireworks) get special bragging rights as "originals" whereas "the illegals" are doing all this finger pointing about who has the right "documents", can't get their own laws figured out, build huge fences, bridges to nowhere, other boondoggles (very backward and uncivilized, probably owing to rotted brain matter from bad food in supersized portions (a leading theory anyway))...

For those unfamiliar with American Transcendentalism, it owes a lot to Fuller's great aunt Margaret, also Marilyn Ferguson, Barbara Marx Hubbard, plus some Swedish folk like Emilia Fogelklou, who trace back to Whitman (more a Unitarian but those ties are real, with Unity and New Thought also these days, including in Portland (Yoko Ono also a powerful influence, whether or not Quaker, in terms of her highly developed, non-violent, psywar abilities (psywar as in सत्याग्रह satyāgraha -- sorry if the Sanskrit didn't work in your browser)).

"Originals versus Illegals" also good for AFSC work (dovetales with "no human being is illegal" -- but then if you insist...).

Here's a free school supply, helpful when teaching programming to Quakers (a "rich data structure") in the context of learning American history (all about programming, of one kind or another (these days TV and Web programming)):

In terms of Genesis being our creation myth (as Quakers) the operative word here is "myth" i.e. "fairy tale" though of deep import maybe (cosmogenetic tales often contain core dharmas, teachings, helping progeny navigate in a difficult, wild world).
To Synergeo:
No one wants to be made fun of. The perception of this being some kind of circus with odd types of clown, made it all that much harder for the more straight-laced to buckle down and find a foothold. Buckminsterfullerene was their ticket, but still didn't connect them to the volumes hierarchy, still forbidden territory in terms of sharing with high school kids, at least in the lower 48 (an allusion to USA politics, start of 2009)...

Again, the professoriate isn't eager to appear gullible, so runs screaming from any -24, -20, -6, -4, -3, -2.5, -1, 0, 1, 2.5, 3, 4, 6, 20, 24 bow-tie-with-jitterbug, not wanting to get caught in some trap, never mind there's nothing really wrong with the math and running away screaming doesn't necessarily improve one's reputation either. Probably better would've been to take the bull by the horns when Bucky was still with us. Now it's too late for that, although not for the material (these polyhedra ain't goin' anywhere).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Eve

I'm surprised to find wifi at Camp Myrtlewood, a little passed the turnoff to Remote, Oregon on Hwy 42 (Margaret explained to me later it's more for staff than for campers, given the low bandwidth).

Young Friends are piled in front of the fire, squeezed into couches, just like old times, as we await the witching hour or whatever.

The kitchen, nay the entire meeting hall, has been remodeled since my day, though I'd toured on an earlier visit (Men's Retreat probably). John says the flooring is still from my time.

I sneaked into the walk-in fridge for a glass of milk and got a bit weirded out when the door closed behind me, but of course it's perfectly safe (just push, says the sign -- unreadable in the dark, but really, I wasn't worried).

Joe and Jane Snyder are here, providing some continuity with a distant past, when another generation (mine) filled the chairs.

Jane was recently in Italy with her sister, celebrating her retirement from a creative and trend setting teaching career. We compared notes on Rome especially, my home sweet home for so many years. Dr. Joe is being his erudite self (another Princeton alum), seemingly studying that Bible 24/7.

I've brought along my XO, black hat, and some big city views, which I mostly keep quiet about (I'm here to listen and learn, not preach or teach).


Back at the Snyders, we got out some art books, on Subgenius, on Dali, prompting memories of Friend Gerard Roscoe and Salvador's Last Supper respectively which latter used to hang in the Stark Street meetinghouse when I was little. I had my Obey Giant book along, chronicling some of Shepard Fairey's engaging campaigns.

Note to Kathy Hyzy of Western Friend: Colin says hello, we had some intelligent conversation.

As an outsider, I couldn't help but pick up on some of the issues causing the most stress during business meeting. For the most part though, during meeting for worship, Friends expressed quite a bit of happiness and satisfaction with how things were going, unlike in other years I remember.

We welcomed in the new year with gusto.