The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Lego Movie

I think it's a sad indictment of Hollywood when an obstensibly 1½ hour long commerical for a toy system is one of this year's (or of the recent few years) best movies.

I'm speaking, of course, of “The Lego Movie.

And yes, it's that good. It has great humor, there are no annoying characters (and believe me, there are a few that could have been horrifyingly annoying, or cute, or both) and the “Lego Universe” is … the Lego Universe, where characters can create anything from spaceships to double-decker couches out of existing pieces.

Yes, everything in the Lego Universe is made up of Lego bricks. From vehicles to smoke, it's a beautifully rendered world of brightly colored bricks. Bunny was constantly amazed with the usage of Lego in the film (even if most of it was computer generated, everything on the screen could, in theory, be made with enough Lego bricks).

And the main villian, Lord (later President) Business, has motivations beyond just taking over the world for its own sake, which really comes into its own in the “I really didn't expect this to happen” ending.

It's a very imaginative film, and in fact, that's the point of the film—to impress upon the audience that it's okay to deviate from the instructions and just have fun with the act of creation, even if it's just sticking two bricks together.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If you are thinking of advertising on Facebook, watch this video. If you are clickfarm, like this post

Veritasium has a very interesting video about Facebook likes (link via Hacker News) and how, in an odd way, they can actually lead to less views of a Facebook page, especially if you buy “likes.”

And don't think Facebook will want to clean this up any time soon, as click farms benefit Facebook (Facebook makes easy money). This is a real case of “buyer beware!”

In addition to this, you should be aware that you aren't seeing everything on Facebook, due to its filtering. Just saying …


“It's not my fault!”

Hey guys. It's me. The guy who put the exhaust ports on the Death Star.

I know, I know—

“What a stupid design flaw!”

“You are singlehandedly responsible for the destruction of our ultimate weapon and battlestation!”

“How could anyone have made such a huge mistake?!”

Over the past week, I've gotten a lot of guff from people I considered to be friends and colleagues about how my “shoddy” design would be the downfall of our entire government. Not only that, but I've been forced-choked (and regular-choked) by more superiors than I can count (and Human Resources have been very relunctant to respond to my complaints about being invisibly strangled by a cyborg space wizard). But I have one response to all of you who blame for the destruction of the Death Star:

Via Flutterby, An Open Letter From a Death Star Architect - Dorkly Article

And yes, you'll have to read it to find out what the Death Star architect's response was. And yes, the architect has a point—it's not like anyone could have forseen such events.

I mean, what are the chances?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sole has no eyes

I'm in the kitchen of The Ft. Lauderdale Office of The Corporation, preparing some boiling water for some tea. I was looking through the cabinet when I came across something that just stunned me.

[Oddly enough, this isn't even tea!]

A package of tea (which really isn't even tea) that informs us, that, yes indeed, tea is gluten-free!

As if that wasn't readily apparent.

I mean, I could understand maybe mentioning that their tea bags are gluten-free, but tea itself?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Notes about an email asking to change a link

I receive email from time to time informing me of broken links on my blog. The good thing—they let me know of broken links. The indifferent thing—given enough time, most links break (despite Tim's advice) so that's expected. The bad thing—the people who send such email don't bother to actually read the page in question and are really here to leech from my Google Page Rank (for the record—3).

So it was very refreshing to see the following email:

From
"Amanda Tracy" <XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>
To
sean@conman.org
Subject
Broken Link on boston.conman.org/2002/06/02.1
Date
Wed, 19 Feb 2014 14:58:09 -0700

Good Afternoon Sean!

I wanted to let you know that I really love your post about helping your friend “F” move out of his parent's house and into a town home! My favorite part was when you mentioned what it was like when F's dad was trying to clean off the furniture. That was hilarious!

When reading, I noticed that one of the links is incorrect. The link labeled “U-Haul” is currently taking readers to “u-haul.com”, but the correct domain is “uhaul.com”. I was wondering if it isn't too much to ask, that we fix the link to “uhaul.com”?

Thank you for taking the time to read through this email, I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!

Amanda Tracy
U-Haul International | Online Marketing and Strategy
Web Analyst
XXXXXXXXXXXX X XXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Not only was Amanda polite and to the point, she actually read the post in question!

Incredible!

With an email like that, of course it wasn't too much to ask to fix the link. And thank you, Amanda, for bringing the broken link to my attention.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Notes on a conversation overheard at a local fast food establishment

“I'd like combo number two, with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion, please.”

“Do you want pickles on that?”

“No. Just cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.”

“Ketchup?”

“No. Just cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.”

“Mayo?”

“No. Just cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.”

“No mayo?”

“Right. No mayo. Just cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion..”

“Okay … ”

[mumbles to self] “At least I didn't get the hamless ham and cheese without the cheese.”

“How do you do that?”

Do what?


An update on the “Notes on a conversation overheard at a local fast food establishment”

The combo number two came with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion … and ketchup.

Sigh.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Stripped

[OMG!  NEW BILL WATTERSON ART!]

Well here's an unexpected surprise: Bill Watterson, long-retired creator of Calvin of Hobbes, was so impressed with Stripped—a new feature documentary that invites some of the biggest names in comics “to talk about the art form they love, and what happens to it as newspapers die”—that he agreed to provide the art for the film's poster.

Via MyGoogleFaceSpacePlusBook, Brand New Art from Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Walk without rhythm, and you won't attract the tiger

And apropos of some recent news, I know some of my friends will appreciate this: Calvin & Muad'Dib, a mash-up of Bill Watterson's artwork for Calvin and Hobbes, with Frank Herbert's writing from the Dune series.

And oddly enough, it works.


Of course, Uncle Scrooge has always been very popular in Europe for some reason

[Prospecting in the Klondike]
Well, it seems to day is comics day around here. First it was Calvin &Hobbes, and now it's Uncle Scrooge.

Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is a comic book masterpiece. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories, a tribute to one of the all-time greats, Carl Barks, by a guy who isn’t too far shy of that title himself. Expertly researched and threaded through an existing continuity in a way that’s still incredibly accessible to readers. And yet, every time I read it, I find myself thinking “wouldn’t this be better if it was told through the timeless medium of Finnish prog rock?”

Via Jeff Cuscutis through MyGoogleFaceSpacePlusBook, Don Rosa Draws For a Finnish Rock Album About Scrooge McDuck

Um … I never asked myself that question either, but the video presented of one of the songs has me intrigued enough to maybe pick up the album when it comes out.

Obligatory Picture

[Here I am, enjoying my vacaton in a rain forest.]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2017 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.