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[Comments] (2) November Film Roundup: 2014's penultimate roundup! Here it is.

Over Thanksgiving I also saw a bunch of Phineas and Ferb with kids, and it's a fun kids' show, but not gonna review it. Okay, fine: it's a fun kids' show. The characterization is pretty bad and based on stereotypes but the multi-layered plots are very clever. There's your review.

[Comments] (1) 2014 Scrapbook, Part 1: As I'm sure you've noticed, the direction of NYCB has trended away in recent years from me journaling and putting up photos of everything I do shortly after I do it. With so many large companies encouraging millions of people to do this and mining the data to create more annoying ads, it doesn't seem as fun. Call me contrarian!

But before the end of the year I wanted to sort of catch you up with a little scrapbook of some of the good times from 2014. This is mostly tourist and family stuff; I've kept all the cool museum finds for a separate post.

West Coast

I took a brief trip to the Bay Area, where I sorted out a ton of stuff in Kevin Maples's garage that we left with him when we moved from San Francisco in 2005.

Like Russian Ricky Martin gum from 2001.
Or Sumana's grade-school poster on Lee Iacocca.

Sumana and I met up in Seattle for the Foolscap conference, where I was a guest of honor along with Brooks Peck. It was my first con and I had a great time! Thanks to Ron Hale-Evans for inviting me.

The official Guest of Honor portrait, or at least a photo from that session.
One of the installation pieces I ran at the conference, in its conference-hotel context.


In a pretty amazing development I got an email from Doug, a fan of Constellation Games who keeps a private plane at a New Jersey airport. We hung out one Saturday and he and his wife took me and Sumana on a flight up the Hudson River.

Really fun random experience. Thanks, Doug.


In the summer I brought my acquired-on-the-cheap tuxedo to London for Rachel's wedding.

Wedding party.
Rachel's speech.
While in London I visited the incredible Monument to Heroic Self-Sacrifice

We went with the kids to Warwick Castle in... Warwickshire.

Celebrating its 1000th anniversary!
Castle Warwick was a huge tourist trap.
But it had great views...
...and siege machinery.
No trip is complete without a visit to The Butts.

The Holidays

We got some nice snow for Thanksgiving.
I made a TON of pie.
Christmas was the polar opposite--shirtsleeves at Disneyland.
I don't know if Susanna realized that this picture made her family look like we were all about to pull off a heist.
We made a TON of cookies.

The Year In Stone Lions


The Year In Reusable Orbiters

Susanna and kids underneath Endeavor.
The Intrepid's on-deck building holding the Enterprise, seen during the plane flight.

The Year In Signage

All of these are from the UK, because foreign signs are just funnier.

I thought the contrast between old and new style was really striking.
Oh no! Disappointment!
Possibly the worst sign in the world.

[Comments] (2) 2014 Scrapbook, Part 2: That Belongs In A Museum: Welcome back, let's check out some cool stuff I can't afford.


In March, before starting my job at NYPL, I took a trip to Providence to hang out with Jake (still an awesome guy after nearly twenty years of friendship). Jake introduced me to the Retro-Computing Society of Rhode Island, who have an amazing museum. I say "museum", it's just one big room, and it looks like this:

I believe that all museums have a room that looks like this; it's just that at RCSRI that room is coextant with the display portion of the museum.

RCSRI has an open house once a month, but we got a private tour because Jake is a close personal friend of the proprietor.

The said proprietor, seen holding a Singer paper tape.
Just one of the incredible sights.
Good advice.
The front of a specialized tablet peripheral for CAD (?), about four feet square.
I can DIAL-A-VUP from the briny deep.

I took several detailed photos of the famous "space cadet" keyboard for the Symbolics LISP machine, because although this computer is famous in hacker lore, at the time there were no good close-ups online. (I dunno about now. Well, there are now, because I'm putting these up, but as I'm writing this draft, I don't know.)

Note the four directional buttons with thumbs-up and thumbs-down.

Los Angeles

Museum of my youth, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.
Dino kids.


Along with my uncle Leonard I visited the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, who have a museum of clockmaking in the back of the London Guild Hall. The Guild Hall is still an active government building, so make sure you go all the way round the back for the museum, though I'm not sure why I'm even giving this advice because apparently the Clockmakers' Museum has all been packed up to be moved to the Science Museum. Anyway, I'm really glad I got to see this little museum because it was full of tons of amazing old clocks (many of which still run), and equipment for building and repairing them.

Like this toolchest.

Another new favorite: the Tring tiles from the British Museum. Two-panel comic strips show Jesus as a little kid getting into trouble. "Left: A boy playfully leaps onto Jesus's back and then falls dead. Right: Two women complain to Joseph... while Jesus restores the boy to life."

And the parents don't take this lying down! On another tile, "Parents shut their children in an oven, to prevent them playing with Jesus." A well-thought-out plan.

New York

From the Sidewalk Museum of Discarded Art, a picture of the New York skyline made of Cheetos.

The Met had a fabulous exhibit with a lot of Xu Bing. I got my chance to get some good photos of An Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy, a set of rules for writing English words like they're Chinese characters.

"Rain, rain, go away"
The alphabet.

And of course there was his masterpiece of eaten meaning, Book From The Sky.

Man, I wish this had been the inspiration for Smooth Unicode instead of Allison's thing. Bring some class to my bots for once.

I also saw these assembly instructions for an Alexander Calder mobile.

Do not lose!

And Paul Klee's Carcasonne set.


Finally, on a trip to Portland I indulged in some Mondrian candy.

Liquid Velocity 3 by Jun Kaneko


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