marilyn manson

I claim that this is marilyn manson outside the "hyde" at the bellagio

I claim that this is marilyn manson inside the "hyde" at the bellagio.. somewhere

I feel like I'm the last person they wanted at this gathering, dressing as I do, and being at the level of hipness that I'm at, but my friend managed, unintentionally/serendipitously, to get on the guest list earlier in the day, and was allowed to bring one friend — me

As it happens, I actually like marilyn manson — some of his music, but mainly what I've seen of him in off-stage interviews. Alas, I did not get to meet him personally, and have a deep philosophical conversation, probably because the club was loud.

Also, he didn't actually play music there.. he was the "host", which I'm not sure what that means, but seems to mean that he was physically present.


software development

I need a way to record my meditation on my phone..
let's add a text area to my timer app!

and of course, I need it stored in the cloud,
so I can access it from my computer..

I could create a heroku app,
but it will sleep most of the time and be slow when I access it..

so how about google apps script!
code code code
perfect, a simple generic script that just evals whatever code I send it,

oh, and I need a thing for merging conflicts,
on the off chance that I.. um.. would have conflicts with myself..
code code code

you know,
I could maybe just add an iframe to my app with a google doc..

I could just use a google doc in a web browser like normal,
and switch over to it to record my meditation..

lines of code written: about a hundred
lines of code used: 0

droid razr maxx hd again

omg, this phone is so super amazing, I don't even bother to bring my charger when I use it as a gps in my car



I played craps for the first time. I've heard craps has the best odds at a casino — just under a 50% chance of winning.

In fact, I leaned today that there is a bet you can make in craps that is perfectly fair, but apparently casinos limit how much money you can put on this bet.

Anyway, I invested $10 in this game of skill, and left with $15.. so that's nice. I wonder, if I invested the standard 10,000 hours into learning to roll craps dice if it would be possible to gain a statistically significant edge. I don't wonder it that much though..


We had no lines at all going to the stratosphere to ride the "big shot" on a cold Monday evening :)


oh, fox rent a car..
I've been renting a car for $15/day in vegas from fox.
I wanted to renew my rental,
but they said it would be $25/day.
I looked online,
and I could get a fresh rental for $10/day..
so that's what I did.

(update: just a side note, my previous rental was a chevy spark, which I feel must rank near bottom on any scale of coolness, however, it has this spot on the dash where I can just place my phone in gps mode, and it magically stays there.. this time they offered me a "better" car with no such spot, and I turned it down in favor of a spark again.)



Sabbatical to Pursue Personal Pet Projects


..a working title for whatever-it-is-I'm-doing..


Las Vegas

I saw someone win with four-tens. I swear, there are four tens in that photo. I, uh, wasn't a participant in that hand, thank goodness.

update: incidentally, I am in Vegas visiting a friend, and I always feel like I need to say "I'm in Las Vegas.. visiting a friend" so people don't get the wrong idea that I'm here to do traditional vegasy things, like, say, play poker.. and it's true, that's not why I'm here, in fact, I didn't have any plans to go to the strip at all except that my friend invited me to go play poker (though I have considered going to a show).

Anyway, I suppose at a higher level, one purpose of my year long whatever-it-is is to become more emotionally secure, and not worry about people judging me for, say, playing poker in vegas.. on that front, I suppose I'm off to a rocky start ;)

We noticed that Tegan and Sara were playing at a casio at 3pm today — we noticed this at 2:40pm, and we were 20 minutes from the casio, so we went, but they wouldn't let us in, but we watched from just outside.


that mountain has trees that the camera couldn't see as well as I could standing there

a trail I didn't go all the way on because I didn't think I could find my way back in the dark

the black beetle I rented in Maine

ice cream from the ice cream place I saw on my way into Arcadia — I remembered the phrase "dairy bar".. there should totally be ice cream bars — anyway, I thought it would be open late like a bar, but I got there just before it closed at 7pm. By the way, that ice cream is purple and brown, not white. It was a blackberry/coffee swirl :)

android copy paste

I'm sure everyone knows this but me, but apparently you can long-tap to highlight text and copy it, and you can long-tap where you want it to go, and an option will appear to paste it. I just copied a phone number from a web page, and pasted it into my dialer :)


droid razr maxx hd

my old phone's battery sucks, and more than once I found myself waiting for a ride with no way of contacting the person if something should come up.

..also, the screen had a glich where it would randomly click places sometimes..

so I got a new phone with a better battery life: the droid razr maxx hd.

and I am happy :)  — I'm using the internet from it right now, and it has been serving as a hotspot continuously for the last 3 hours or so, and the battery is at 65%. My old phone could serve as a hotspot for about 15 minutes on it's own power.

Here's the first picture I took with the phone:

it's not a great picture, but it was getting dark.. anyway, those are cows, but they're like zebras with one stripe, or spotted cows with two giant spots.

flight pricing

I plan to go to Las Vegas next, so I'm looking at ticket prices.

Now, another place I've considered going is Denver,
so I noticed when this flight had a layover in Denver:

Note the price is $225.
Now, here's the cheapest flight too Denver, and it's not even non-stop!

meditation notes

I had been doing 5 minute focus-on-my-breathing meditations, and keeping count. After about 17 of them, I upgraded to 10 minutes. I can keep focussed pretty well, and I notice more about how my body breaths — for what that's worth.

Sometimes I have thoughts when I meditate, and I wonder if I should write them down or dismiss them. The verdict is still out for me. Usually I dismiss them, hoping they'll come back later if they're good, and sometimes I write them down if they seem important enough.

I've been trying to lucid dream still — since I've started counting, I've tried 41 times, with 1 short-lived success (well, partial success, I had tried to enter a lucid dream from a waking state, but instead I entered a lucid dream by realizing that I was dreaming.. that is to say, I feel asleep during my actual attempt).

One thing that happens when I try to lucid dream is that my body gets numbish, particularly my arm, and I can't figure out if my nerves are being pinched in some way, or if that's supposed to happen, because it's the same position I sleep in, and I don't have trouble waking up with my arms asleep (generally).

In any case, I've read somewhere that I will feel like my body wants to shift position, but that I shouldn't — I should keep still — and I try keeping still, but ultimately move. I think I did try keeping still for a long while once and it still didn't work, so I don't know, I should try again I suppose..

..something that seems a bit more promising is trying to imagine walking around with my dream body, feeling my dream body, feeling my imaginary environment, etc.. somehow this seems on the path toward becoming comfortable letting my mind detach from my physical body, as it seems to do in dreams.


just saw this from my cab in new york the other day

health insurance

I'm a believer in having health insurance. My sister stayed one night in a hospital, and all they did was run tests — nothing was found wrong. This cost about $16,000.

But I left my job, so I need to find my own.

I applied for a Health Net plan on eHealth, and was rejected.. they haven't told me why.

So.. I need to try again. I'm applying right now for "Obamacare" through the Covered California website. I have a few complaints.

First, the standard password issues, except I had a password that complied with all their written requirements, and it still rejected it — it said the max was 16 characters, but it appears the actual max is less than that.

Second, this statement: "Would you like to see if these programs are right for you? Make sure you select ''Yes'' and get the help you need to reduce the cost of your family's monthly premiums or co-pays." — this seems like spam.. is it spam? or is it the whole point of the site? I definitely want to see a price and what I get in return, that would help me know if each program is right for me..

3. It says "County Code is Required - Please select your county code". There is no box highlighted. There is no box for selecting a country code. It turns out the phone numbers must include a country code. (update: that's "county" not "country".. adding a leading 1 to my phone numbers did get rid of the error, but I suppose it shouldn't have)

4. I entered an address. It says it doesn't match some other address it found somewhere else that I didn't type. The other address is, well, wrong — in particular, it doesn't include my unit number, and the word "Ave" is on a separate line from the street name — where did they find this other address? And will they reject my application for not being the same as it? I think I'll stick with my correct address, and hope for the best..

5. I've had to enter my date of birth twice so far..

6. under marital status, there is "Single" and also "Never Married". "Single" is the top choice, as if it would be the most common, and presumably have the usual connotation of, well, not having gotten married.. I guess I'll choose "Never Married" since it is more specific.

7. "did this person have a medical expense in the last 3 months".. oh god.. this sounds dangerous.. surely having a medical expense recently is bad for getting health insurance. Now, I did have a wisdom tooth pulled out, but I paid for it out of my own pocket, and I chose when to have it — I mean, if I knew they'd ask this question, I would have chosen to have it later, it's not as if I needed it.. also, it's a dental expense, which is typically not covered by health insurance anyway.. surely if they can sell me "medical insurance" and not cover dental, I can say I got dental work without incurring a "medical expense"..

8. "does this person have or has this person been offered affordable full coverage health insurance for January 2014?".. one of the options is CORBA. I have been offered CORBA, however, it is like $500 a month. I don't consider that "affordable".

9. the confirmation screen shows the information I entered, except my phone number.. it forgot my phone number. I suppose that's fine.. I don't need them calling me..

10. total income for this month.. hm.. technically I worked one day at oDesk, but I got paid that day, and they also paid me for all my outstanding vacation days.. so I earned more than I usually would.. sortof. I didn't earn that money this month though, surely the earning of the money happened previously. Now I could mark my pay for the 1 day I work, but I assume this "how much did you earn this month" thing is supposed to guess how much I'm likely to earn in a month going forward..

11. hm.. now they want me to sign this under penalty of perjury — very serious stuff, they say — hm.. I check back through and notice that it asks if my home address is the same as my mailing address. Well.. sortof.. I don't have a home. My mailing address is the last address I plan to ever have.. maybe I should call them.. part of me says this is a bad idea: "don't ask permission, ask forgiveness, etc.."..

..so I took the risk of asking permission, and I got it!

I asked if I could mark my home address as the same as my mailing address, even though it isn't — since I'm homeless — and they said yes.

I asked if "dental expenses" counted as "medical expenses" and they said no.

I asked if I needed to count the 1 day I worked for oDesk this month, and they said no (I should put my projected gross income).


..oh, after all that, I get insurance, but it doesn't start until next year. what about the rest of this year?.. I hope I don't almost-but-not-die :(

(update: although my insurance ends this month, it turns out that I have 60 days to elect COBRA coverage, and it is retroactive to November 1st, so I'm effectively covered for free for 60 days.. that's nice.. and strange.. and it almost gets me to January 1st, missing only December 31st..)


To do "business",
I filed for an LLC,
with a random name:


..which, it turns out, is taken.
well, it's "too close" to some other name.


Yesterday was a rough day.
It was a travel day,
where I left one Airbnb place to go to another.

I was making up my bed to leave,
and I saw this..

(update: this is an artist's rendition
provided by a reader who was concerned
for the welfare of other readers
seeing the actual spider on my bed,
which can be viewed by clicking here)

..which frightened me,
and I stopped.

I called the owner to let them know,
so they wouldn't continue making up the bed and get bitten by this beast..

anyway, that wasn't the rough part.
the owner bravely transported the huge spider to the safe outdoors on a paper towel.
that's not a euphemism for killing the spider.
they carried this thing live.
it could have just crawled onto them.

anyway, after this, my train was about to leave,
so I ran over to it,
and made the train,
but realized I had their key..

my first attempt to return the key was to get off at the next station and take a train back,
but I didn't know when one would come,
and my trusty 4g internet was not working,

so I called the owner,
and they said I could overnight mail it back.
a sensible idea.
so I got to Boston,
on Sunday,
and went to a Fedex place,
which was closed,
and went to another place,
which was also closed,
and called a place that was open,
and they said they didn't pick up mail today,
so I could give it to them,
but it would sit there until tomorrow.

I thought about taking a taxi back to return it,
and called a cab company,
and they said they could take me there and back for $190,
which seemed too expensive..
I could go back myself and sleep in a nice hotel for that price..

so I decided to drive it,
with a zipcar,
but there was a run on zipcars,
but I found one in Harvard Square,
and I took a taxi there..
but it was gone,
and I went to look at my reservation,
and it was for 3 hours later than I said it should be,
something to do with the website thinking I'm on San Francisco time,

and it wouldn't let me cancel without a fee,
so I called zipcar,
and they canceled it without charging me,
and found a car that was available nearby,
and asked if I wanted them to reserve it for me,
and I said "yes, grab it!",
and then they said "oh, someone just barely grabbed it.."
and I said "is there any zipcar in the city?"
and there was, but it was an hour away,
which was too long,

so I called a friend,
and he was willing to drive me,
a very good friend,
but he had a time constraint,
which was that the Red Sox were playing,
and he had tickets,
with a girl,
which seemed important,
but we had plenty of time,
at first,
but he had trouble picking me up in Harvard Square because there was a festival of sorts which was slowing traffic, and completely blocking random streets,

and when we finally were on our way,
we started to see lots and lots of traffic heading back into Boston,
presumably for the big game,
so I told him to drop me off at a train station,
so he could get back in time,

at this point,
whereas I had planned to meet my host in Maine at the train station at a time when they would be there anyway,
and drive with them to their house,
I would arrive in Maine at 1:45am,

but my gracious host in Maine said they would leave the door open for me,
and told me where my room would be..

I managed to return the key and headed back to Boston,

and it wasn't so bad..
I watched the Red Sox game in North Station,

on a side note,
my train was to leave at 11:20pm,
and I glanced up at the schedule board to see this:

..it says the current time is 11:39pm,
which is after my train would have left,
but it was wrong,
and corrected itself soon after:

when I left,
at the top of the eighth inning,
the Red Sox were down 4 points,
though my friend is from Detroit,
and I was kindof rooting for them on his behalf,
though I would not have said that to anyone in North Station,
(my friend was actually at the game with a Tigers shirt on, which seems brave)

..turns out a lot happened in that game after I left..

the train wasn't so bad.
ticket's were $20 to Maine,
and for $28 I could get "business class",
which I opted for to see what it was like,
and it was pretty comfortable.

I had a power outlet and a chair,
which for a digital nomad is about all that's necessary..

..and when I got to Maine,
a very kind taxi driver drove me to my Airbnb place,
and the door was open as promised,
and I had a nice bed waiting for me,
with a towel,
and a cat..

your hair
from it's privileged position
so close to your brain
it could see all the things
that you couldn't explain

~The Blow


some of my best thoughts come when I'm trying not to think at all

I'll be trying to meditate and clear my mind, or focus on my breathing, and thoughts intrude, but they're good thoughts.. they try to lure me away thinking "oh, this is a good thought, I should stop meditating and write this down"

meta-ly, I had this very thought while meditating, and although I didn't stop the meditation, I did "hang on" to the thought so that I would remember to write it down..

darn thoughts.. surviving and reproducing in my mind..


research tomatoes

I've been asked to review papers, which I hate, because I feel like I'm writing a lot of BS when I could just be saying which papers are better than others.

But I feel bad declining reviews for that reason, because "it's the best system we've got".

So, I want to build a better system: Research Tomatoes

The idea so far is a monthly journal of new research where everyone who submits needs to rank-order at least 3 other submissions, say. And the journal just shows all the papers in rank order at the end of the month.

I think it would also be best to make it non-archival, where Research Tomatoes doesn't own any publication rights, so that people can submit there without ruining their chances of submitting to some top-tier conference (until Research Tomatoes becomes a top-tier conference).

And then when people ask me to review papers, I can say "I will review this paper if you submit something to Research Tomatoes, or at least rank order 3 papers on that site".


dump of ideas and things I'd like to do from pima.. trying to clear it out to focus more on "need to do" stuff.. since it stresses me to have so many items in there..

  • hotel where you pay by the hour, not the night.. could be used for storing stuff during the day, or taking a day nap
  • make mate-with-just-knight-and-bishop solver — probably exists, but would be fun to do
  • movie recommender using the OkCupid idea of asking questions (where some people would answer questions on behave of the movies)
  • rather than getting noise cancelling headphones, it may be better to get gun-range ear-muffs and put ear-buds inside them — this would be great on planes too where they want you to turn off stuff during the first 10 minutes.. I tried a pair of 3M Optime 105's, and they were pretty great, and apparently cheap (like $20)
  • build language learning tool where you paste in text from a target language, and it reads it to you using Mac OS X's speech-to-text for that language, and also shows you the google translation for each sentence, and also the word-by-word translation for each word.. and see if this helps
  • make PIMA online, so I can access my todos on my phone
  • try having someone hire me to hire someone else — I think the right way for people to use services like oDesk may be with "middlemen".
  • try using html5 workers
  • try to understand plank lengths better: does a plank length change length if you go close to the speed of light? 
  • apparently I can put a thing on my phone, in the lock screen, saying my e-mail address, so someone can give me back my phone.. maybe I should do that..
  • create a version of node.js that is completely fiberized, to try and sell the idea of using fibers (the current fibers module forces a bit of ugliness since the "main" thread is not a fiber, whereas it could be
  • create a meditation game to keep track of doing various meditations, with merit badges.. this probably exists already..
  • consider lasik eye surgery
  • try running as meditation — that is, I find it boring because it's hard to think, but maybe it's good that I can't think if I'm trying to do some meditation where the goal is to not think.. though I am sortof thinking, in the sense that I'm feeling pain from running..
  • try OpenKeyval to make a multiplayer game hosted on github
  • create mturk competitor that pays by the hour, rather than by the task, where the hope is that it is easier on requesters to set an hourly wage this way, and easier on workers to know how much a task pays.. the problem of course is people being slow, but maybe they won't be if people aren't anonymous
  • create an app that let's a group of people vote anonymously, for committees to use for decision making
  • for language learning, maybe it would be good to hear lots of different people pronounce the same word, especially for words with sounds that are hard for native English speakers to detect, so that they can maybe see what things are consistent between all the pronunciations..
  • I'd love a service that could get a DVD from Netflix, physically put it into a computer, and allow me to stream the content.. is there a reason this wouldn't be legal?
  • someone suggested going to Thailand, specifically the island of Ko Tao.. consider this
  • make phonegap app to send emails to myself (so I can spam pima with even more things that will end up here)
  • make phonegap app to set alarms more easily


I have great friends.


I had written some code
so people could answer a survey question,
and the link was sent out,

and I started walking home,
and I realized there was a bug,
where it wouldn't acknowledge to people that they had answered,

so I pulled out my macbook air,
and turned on my cell-phone hotspot,
while standing on the side of the road,

fixed the bug,
committed the code,
and pushed to heroku

I felt like a true digital nomad


in talking to people, and talking to myself, I find that there is little difference between what people want the universe to be like, and what people believe the universe probably is like.

when I have philosophical conversations with people, I'm starting to just ask "what do you want the universe to be like?" — I think this causes less issues of people worrying about how to justify their beliefs, especially since some people have pretty good reasons in their subconscious for why they believe something, without being able to articulate those reasons.


oh hell
oh hello
oh hell
oh hello


I pay $91/month for my phone,
which includes an 18% discount for being a student,
which I'm not anymore,
and Verizon has finally decided to re-verify my status.

So soon I'll pay x * (1 - .18) = 91..
wolfram alpha, please solve that for me..
x = $111 / month.

45% of that price is for not-my-data-plan,
and 50% of my data-plan-price is just to let me use it on my computer,
which I could circumvent with technology,
but I've been afraid to..

in any case..

I'm thinking about just having internet, and no cell phone plan..

it looks like Google Voice + Talkatone may work..


  • want to try Brackets code editor — can write plugins in JavaScript
  • a friend let me try his 3M Optime 105 noise reduction headset,
    • pros: works great, doesn't require power, cheap
    • cons: doesn't play sound, large
    • consider for airplanes and thinking in loud places

my mac has been begging me to upgrade the OS for a while.. I think I'll let it do that..