AuthorJoe Helfrich

Paperman

Your Daily Awesome: The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury

It’s time to just nuke New Mexico

And probably Arizona too, that’s most likely where the infection spread from.

A New Mexico lawmaker today introduced a bill that would charge anyone receiving an abortion after being sexually assaulted, or performing one on a woman who was assaulted  prior to the resolution of any associated criminal trial, with “tampering with evidence.”

Evils, lesser and greater

Today is Barack Obama’s second inauguration day.  Four years ago, I sat in a McDonald’s watching it online and wrote this.  Today, I’m in a bagel shop (or at least I was when I started this), but I’m not watching. I’m not celebrating. And I’m not hopeful.

Those of you who know me may have noticed that I was pretty quiet during the election, not just on the blog, but everywhere. The simple fact is, that while he was orders of magnitude better than Mitt Romney, I simply couldn’t bring myself to support Obama. So I didn’t go out and knock on doors. I didn’t pass on much in the way of political information.

I didn’t even vote.

Here’s the bald simple truth: Obama’s political career should have ended in disgrace today.  He shouldn’t have even been the Democratic nominee.  His and his administration’s failures in policy and action are too numerous to give but a partial list of here, and range from disappointing and astonishing to comical.  But ultimately, my decision was made by his failure to close the Guantanamo detention camp, and his failure to conclusively put and end to the United States’ use of torture, and to prosecute those individuals who committed it and those who ordered it.

Continue reading

Yeah I know

I said it wouldn’t be quiet here, and then it was. Because I knew what the next post had to be, and I didn’t want to write it. It’s hard to write something that might cost you friends.

Your Daily Awesome: Mists of Pandaria Trailer

If the singularity ever does occur, it will be a side effect of the Blizzard cinematics team making the tools necessary to one up themselves. Again.

Your Daily Awesome: Soledad O’Brien

…kicks John Sununu’s ass.

More about it here.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen her actually ask questions instead of bob her head while people bullshit, either.  It’s so incredibly refreshing. Also sad that it’s all it takes for people to stand up and cheer for modern journalism, but still, nice to see.  Maybe I need to start watching CNN’s morning show again before blocking the channel….

Real Basic Tutorials: Underscore.js

So someone once told me that a web page I had made looked like it was “from the 1980’s school of web design.”

“There wasn’t a web in the 80’s,” I said.

“That’s my point.”

OK, it hurt, but looking at the page I had to admit she was right. It wouldn’t have been pulled out of the GeoCities archive for mocking or anything, but there were probably lots of pages that looked like it in there.

Since then, I’d stuck with tinkering with WordPress themes, but after the lovely wife came up with a couple website ideas, I’ve revisited HTML and learned a bit of programming (and then a different bit of programming as I realized the first plan wasn’t the best one, and then more as the technology changed underneath me….) One of the frustrations I’ve run into is that a lot of stuff assumes a level of skill that isn’t quite there yet for me; I’m at that point where I can look at examples and follow along, even spot errors in production code, but when I try to write something from scratch, I stare at the editor screen, with no real idea of where to start. It feels like the difference between being able to read a language, or flip through a phrasebook without too many embarrassing pronunciation errors, and actually being able to speak it. Continue reading

Your Daily Awesome: Seven Minutes Later

Can’t add anything to that.

In which I duck my brother

My phone beeped. The text message read “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE,” so I knew my brother had gotten his mail.

I had been planning to build a bed for my stepdaughter. I had plans drawn up and everything. Trying to save money, I asked my wife to look for a mattress online. Instead, she found a bed that almost exactly matched my plans, for about what the wood was going to cost me.

So we went to the used furniture store to look at the bed. And sure enough, it was just what we were looking for–a twin bed resting on top of a desk on one end, a set of shelves and drawers on the other. But on one of the shelves, there was something that made me recoil in horror.

A pair of speckled blue ceramic ducks

While these should offend the senses of anyone looking at them, I was horrified to learn that there were more of them.

They were just sitting there, waiting for me. As they taunted me silently from the shelf, I wondered, were they a warning? A sign from some great horror beneath the waves that the bed was cursed? Or had the ducks placed themselves there deliberately, knowing that I was coming, and that I would be their way out of an eternity gathering dust in a junk shop?

If you’re confused, you should understand that my family has a bit of a history with blue ducks.

These had a mark on the bottom, that declared them to be Enesco products. It appears that these were once in some way a “thing,” mass produced for people to buy, and not some horrible one-off experiment passed on at a party. Thankfully I could find no trace of them on the current site, so apparently someone has come to their senses.

Still, the company that now owns Gund once made these things. It makes me weep a little.

Regardless, we bought the bed, and almost against my will, the ducks. But there was only one thing I could do with them.

A box containing two ducks, and several warnings.

The sealed and addressed box.

 

Happy birthday little brother!

 

Sadly, I may have created a monster. Armed with the knowledge that there are more of them out there, he’s gone looking. He’s already found one for sale on the web. I can only pray to the elder gods that the item was sold before he found it.

 

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