8nov2003: Today marks the beginning of my home page's sixth year on the web. I mentioned this to Cristyn, and she was surprised that I didn't get a web page until '98. She was on the web in the mid-90's— she says, waving her cane— back in the days when they had to mix their own paint so that they could write the HTML code on the walls of their caves. That's not exactly how she put it, but that was the sentiment. She is right, of course, but I note happily that the site has persisted when so many peoples' have faded away, been pulled down, or been redesigned into oblivion. Thanks for visiting, and do come again.
(And there are some updates to the God-Man Fan Page, too.)
20nov03: Migration between servers forced me to make a few structural changes on the site. This served as the impetus for a bevy of other updates. It's taken me over two years, but I've finally carried out my intention to HTMLiorate our wedding vows. Given the number of visitors that come through here, it feels sort of like getting up on the roof and yelling "I dearly love Cristyn!" at the top of my lungs. Although I don't actually know how to get on the room of my building, this I can do.
I also found an unfinished Heidegger parody in my user directory. I've put a bit of polish on it and added a link to it.
26nov03: Since Cristyn could get more time off than I could, she has come here for Thanksgiving. She's been here several days already, and we've put them to good use outfitting her with winter clothes, playing games, watching movies, cooking, eating, and generally making merry. We had a game of Go*Mofasta that has finally convinced me that a tie is possible in the game, even though she managed to secure victory just before the board filled.
27nov03: We made the cranberry sauce a couple of nights ago. We mixed up berries for the pie filling and chopped potatoes for mashing last night. The pie will go into the oven once the turkey is done, and the spuds will go on the boil in a bit. So the bird is in the oven, and we're wiling away time.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year: Cristyn, both in my life and here for the holidays; a good job and a great bunch of students; a comfortable life in a pleasant little town. It often seems as if the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but we aren't there yet. There are still many good things happening, opportunities, and hope. I hope your life is filled with love this Thanksgiving, even if you're dropping in from another part of the world where this is just another day.
An aside about the berries: One of the great treasures of Maine is the wild blueberries. They have more tart flavor and less bland sweetness than the farm-grown kind I know from out West. I highly recommend them, especially the Sow's Ear winery's wild blueberry wine.
6dec03: The first real snow of the season fell last night and is still falling. So I went trudging around in it, took a few snapshots, made a few snowballs to throw at the lions in front of the art museum, walked to the grocery store, and walked back with bagsful of hearty winter fare. It's been eight years or so since I've really been out in snow, so it's fun and beautiful. You'll have to ask me in February if it's become an unbearable weight on my soul.
12dec03: Temperatures have crept above freezing for several days now. Yesterday we had heavy, liquid rain. There are still small piles of snow at the edge of some roads and walks, where it had been piled up, but most of the white fantasia has given way to mud.
In an attempt to remain sane in the midst of the job market, I've been doing some drawing. Here's an image from a ludographic work-in-progress. I've also posted a review of Fortune's Colony.
17dec03: Today it rained through most of the day, which kept us from walking to the post office and mailing Christmas packages. We had a foot or so of snow since my last update, so today caps another iteration of this odd sequence: snow... warm day... rain. Veteran Mainers tell me that this is not unheard of.
Cristyn flew into town Saturday, arriving before the snow. So she was here to wander around as the snow fell, make snow angels, and watch it all in fascination. She's a Southern California girl, you see, so snow was something of a marvel for her.
Last night, we drove down to South Portland to catch a midnight showing of Return of the King. We'd seen the first two movies on opening night and saw no reason that being in New England should stop us from making it a hat trick. The characterization of Gandalf left me a bit cold, but the movie was nonetheless a tour de force.
20dec03: I've been thinking about changing the look of this page for a while, so here it is. I'm still not sure what I think about it.
1jan04: I have returned from the Eastern Division APA, where I endured a grueling regimen of interviews and philosophical conversation. I actually had fun this year and amidst the chaos was able to hang out with a bunch of people whom I only see at conferences. I came back yesterday, just in time to usher in the New Year with Cristyn.
While I was in DC, Ilya and I tried going to the Spy Museum. It was sold out, so we grabbed ochazuke at a nearby restaurant and hit the Smithsonian Freer Gallery instead. I mention it just as an excuse to use the word 'ochazuke.'
11jan04: I've been trying to organize my on-line philosophy papers. My professional homepage had become something of a thicket, so I redesigned it. Today I posted the new version, relegating things to separate pages and adding a navbar. Web design, strangely enough, is a soothing break from trying to edit the papers themselves.
The connection to Brian Leiter is crypto-anarchist at best, but if you have a website you might think about adding a link to the Brian Leiter project. More details can be found here.
25jan04: I'm back in Maine. Classes start tomorrow.
I let it slip by without mention, but several days ago I HTMLiorated Cristyn's vegan tofu cheescake recipe.
7feb04: I bought a pair of ice skates today and, after dinner, went down to the park and skated around a bit. I had a good time and managed not to hurt myself.
I've also been in a font mood lately, scribbling out a couple of new ones: Spellstone and Nutty Captain. These went faster than any of the fonts I've done before, but I think they're my best work to date. Go figure. You can check them out over at Font Monkey.
19feb04: For the first time in a very long time, I'm doing some cartooning without any ludographic application in mind. This profile of Saint Anselm is part of a short comic story that I'm drawing. The whole thing will find its way on-line, but that may take a little while. I was happy with this drawing and wanted to show it off before going to bed. Now, sleep.
21feb04: I am now done with the comic in which Anselm has a cameo. It's working title was Transfinite Canvas, but I finally hit upon this David Hume meets Rocky and Bullwinkle title: An Enquiry into the Infinite Potential of Webcomics or A Monkey's Journey to Omega and Beyond. (On reflection, Jonathan Swift rather was like Hume meets Rocky and Bullwinkle. There is no Swift undercurrent of social satire here, though. Only monkeys.)
4mar04: Even as the ice has thawed and the snow has melted away, uncertainty about what I'll be doing next year has lifted. Today I accepted a tenure track job at SUNY Albany.
One side benefit of having a long-term position is that I'll probably establish residency, rather than maintaining my permanent address in San Diego. This is a salient side benefit today, because I just received my absentee ballot for the election that was held on Tuesday. Due to some bureaucratic snafu, it arrives too late to save a drowning witch.
1apr04: It seems I will not be in Albany next year after all; I've accepted a two year philosophy postdoc with the CIA. I can't tell you anything more about it, but I think it's an exciting opportunity.
2apr04: I forget what I intended to write yesterday, since I noticed the date and wrote the obligatory spurious thing instead. It's raining here and has been all day, which makes me want to say something like: The rain in Maine is a pain upon my brain. Except it's not that bad. I'm just having trouble coming up with more apt words that end in -ain.
9apr04: Today Cristyn and I celebrated our e anniversary. I didn't leave out a hyphen there. It's not our e-anniversary, the first time we traded e-mail or anything like that. The e is Euler's number, the base of the natural logarithm. I don't remember which of us suggested the idea, but we calculated our e and pi anniversaries a while back and entered the dates in our PDAs. When the day approached, we made plans to eat dinner and drink blueberry wine-- she on the west coast, me on the east, sharing conversation via cell phone. It was a romantic evening.
I am remarkably lucky to have a women in my life who sees the romance in celebrating the transcendental anniversaries, in addition to the integer anniversaries that anyone would celebrate.
29apr04: Wynton Marsalis played a concert on campus tonight. He and his quartet played two sets. The first was all songs by Duke Ellington, since today would have been the Duke's 105th birthday. Trumpets are the coolest instrument ever, and boy does that Marsalis guy know what to do with one. (The rest of the combo was pretty hot, too.)
Now I need to do a little bit of grading, then some sleeping, and tomorrow more grading.
13may04: The last day of classes was yesterday. The term has been fun, and I've had a good bunch of students. In the final session of the pragmatism seminar, one of the students made this observation: "Reading Cornel West is like walking in mukluks on a thorny surface." Perhaps, but the weather here is the gorgeous sort of weather that invites napping under trees-- too nice to think about mukluks, even if only in simile.
25may04: I just finished grading the last final exams and faxed grades to the office of student records. This was the last of the work I had to do as a teacher at Bowdoin, so the summer begins in earnest. I have to make the final arrangements for the move to Albany and get some writing done. I have two papers that are in dire need of quick revision, to be returned to journals as soon as my enchanted quill can write them.
26may04: Almost as long as I've had a homepage, I've had this little news area on it. Many updates have been notes about some change or addition here on the site. Others have been news from my life, snapshots, and whatnot. Some might have justified their own page. (The Tao of Jeeves from my first year on the web, for instance.)
Somewhere along the way, it stopped being trendy to have your own homepage. Many homepages that were well-tended little gardens have been reclaimed by the digital wilderness. Others survive only as dessicated relics of the last century on some forgotten server, hosting pages of excited chatter about events long since past and filled with promises that they'll update more often.
It has since become popular to have a blog. I have resisted having my site become a blog for reasons that have been unclear even to me. For a while I was loathe to update this news area, fearful of letting it become a blog. I felt, deep down, that I did not want to have a blog.
Part of the reason, I think, is that the cycle of life and death that laid low so many homepages works doubletime on blogs. If the Obfuxicon goes a couple of years without an update, then there's no problem. A blog, on the other hand, needs regular entries. Guilt, apologies, promises of further updates, blah, blah, blah.
Another part of the reason is technical. Blog content is typically handled by blog scripts, which I trust about as much as I trust orc dentistry. I don't want the site to update automatically by means of some web-based interface. I'd rather handle the HTML myself, at least until your browser learns to parse LaTeX.
I set out writing this update with the intent of mentioning that this news area is now tracked by an RSS feed. The terrible irony that it became a blog-worthy rant will haunt me for at least the next five to seven minutes. There's a link to the feed below.
11jun04: Movers came today to portage away a few dozen boxes and some items of furniture. With any luck, all of this falderal will find its way to Albany by July.
After having mentioned recently how the Obfuxicon can go years without an update, I've just added two new words. As a recursive twist, they're both neologisms about word formation: dizzogg and effstark.
27jun04: Cristyn and I are in Maine, enjoying our last few days in vacationland before we caravan to Albany. We will miss the Sow's Ear Winery, so we bought a case of the blueberry to take with us. Neither of us had much prior experience with lobster, so we felt obliged to eat one before leaving the state. (My opinion of the experience is reflected in the new obfuxicon entry for lobster.) Today we went to see the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers' production of Everybody Loves Pirates! The show was brilliant, and provided far more lobster based entertainment than the evening spent at the lobster house. Tonight, we go over the bridge to Topsham for German food.
11jul04: We are now in Albany, where eleven days of stumbling around has given me some sense of the area. I've finally made it over to the local coffeeshop-- Uncommon Grounds-- to check out its philosophical vibe. I made it over to Zombie Planet today for a Heroclix tournament. It's a cool venue, and I'll certainly be going back. The movers from San Diego should arrive in few days, and the bed should be delivered any day now. Other than the absence of stuff everything seems to be going well.
29jul04: The movers arrived last week, and I got New York plates for my car today. So it seems more or less official: I'm a New Yorker now. (You might say that the epithet New Yorker should be reserved for someone who lives in NYC or perhaps on Long Island. In that case, I'm Albanian.)
Also: A much needed update to the name FAQ.
11aug04: I'm in the middle of a deep allergy doldrum, which causes my attention to concentrate on frivolous things. I can fight it if there's work that really needs doing, but it's usually best to let the thing run its course. So I've been doodling on an epic ludographic project— whence the panel shown here.
[Update: I finished the project and, after considerable delay, put it on-line; cf. the Decktet.]
5sep04: I've finished the first week of term, and both classes are off to a good start. There's a barbeque later in the day, but I took a moment out of the long weekend to relax with some fonts. The result is a redesign and a new entry over at FontMonkey.
19sep04: All work and no play makes the philosopher something something. So I took advantage of a long weekend to go on a little road trip. My old friend Chris Mag Uidhir has just begun a year in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont, and he was kind enough to let me crash at his place for a couple of nights. Otter Creek (right) reminded me of the Androscoggin.
The Sheldon Museum, one of Middlebury's few tourist attractions, was a great disappointment. The renowned collection of oddities consisted of only a few items. There was the petrified indian boy (below), a box full of Sheldon's teeth, a photograph of the headstone of an Egyptian mummy who had been given a christian burial, and a fork which— according to the sign in the display case— had come from a cow's behind.
To mention something related to the website: In June and July, the most popular page on the site was our wedding vows. Since then, the top spot has been usurped by the rant about Greedo shooting first. It seems that the forthcoming DVD will have Greedo and Han shooting simultaneously. Many sites have linked to the rant while saying appropriately derogatory things about the change.
1nov04: Life is creeping along, as it has a way of doing. The semester is about two-thirds done. The weather in Albany is toying with the idea of being cold. The presidential election is tomorrow, which means we should know in a month or two who the next president will be.