Thursday, May 26, 2011

FNB Gossip

Walker's switch to raw vegan leads her less into chiefing the cheffing show, which she and I have been casting, and pulling off weekly since September, sometimes one or another of us taking the full load (Lindsey more than I, given my trips to Philly and Sonoma County).

My version has FNB scaling, changing branding if disowned, yet always respectful of its "parent" organization, even while incarnating as its weirder spawn ("Make Portland Weirder").

We publish DIY ("how to") cooking shows, showing few-for-many styles, not just nuclear family me-for-myself or me-for-hubby-n-kids. Other shows do that, with which we don't compete. Crew cooking in a well equipped kitchen and serving by bicycle in public structures. We're looking at public schools maybe taking this on, bringing back the day when bike riding was a for credit learning experience, as important (another part of) drivers' ed.

I was using funny accents today and talking about ToonTown, as I'm wont to do. "Every day is cartoon day" I intoned, in a Quaker meetinghouse, sounding like some weighty Friend in a Disney cartoon, some Subgenius. Lindsey's energy adds to the lunacy of it all, as do others in this roly-poly cast.

We're talking about shutting down the Thursday program as is and reconfiguring. Too early to see the shape of what's to come.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Yes, another "coming of age" date on the calendar, a prime number this year. Carol, my mother, now age 82, took me to lunch at The Bagdad. I had a Dungeon Burger, curry chic pea soup, and two Workingman's Reds. Mom had turkey sandwich, same soup, and coffee with cream.

She had plenty of stories from the Philippines, of lowlanders coming into a "zip code area" and forging documents, making a kind of "mockumentary" wherein ancestral lands could be sold to USA imperial corporations, like Dole, for nominal prices. When westerners mean "land reform" that's often it: set up a game wherein we make the rules, so we can buy you out for cheap (as in swindle). Easterners would fall for that, time and again. Or do we call them "easterners" any more.

I haven't had time to read The Mercury yet but the cover story title makes no sense. How could indoor digital put Indie Theaters out of business? A lot of them use the same technology. It's about distribution, not what kind of light bulb you're using. If the coffee shops have first dibs on the work of this or that studio, by longstanding agreement, then you'll expect a loyal base, interested in that studio's latest releases. Home theaters will catch it later, unless in the loop in some way (there's no rule against staff house parties). Wineries have a similar economy: some taste it before others. Film culture has always been osmosis-based.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

Lesson Planning

Some programmers new to Python do not understand how a two dimensional array might be implemented simply as nested lists. The "outer list" forms your rows and the members of that list, themselves lists, define the columns. I used to go back and forth with Bernie Gunn on that one, the 70+ year old geochemist who flew his own plane in New Zealand, had cut his teeth on Pascal.

Whereas years of grade-school drill in this biases, such as to put (0,0) either in the middle or lower right, the way printers and typewriters work, by typing against an advancing scroll, suggests the first row will end up at the top of the page. Ding, carriage return. Old typewriter noises. So (0,0) tends to mean "upper left) and (1,0) is one row down, far left margin if you read left to right, possibly far right margin if you read right to left.

The Tractor is similar enough to a Turtle to be imported as such, but the field it plows is simply a two-dimensional array with a simple ASCII representation. Mentally, students are starting to think in terms of a GUI canvas, but in terms of working the server, we're keeping the processes fairly lightweight. The REPL buffer stays reasonable unless students create vast fields (of soybeans), like in Brazil.