A Minecraft Halloween

Homemade spider jockey costume (a composite Minecraft monster consisting of a skeleton archer riding a giant spider). Kid-sized, built by Katie (I assisted, mainly with painting, but the design, planning, and most of the construction was her).

Mostly cardboard, covered with paper to smooth it out and provide a painting surface. Heavy fabric and dowels to form the frame for the center of the spider body, with paracord to hold the legs on. For the skeleton: felt panels, some pinned to a black shirt, some to the suspenders. Which, incidentally, were made from old Comic-Con lanyards.

Halloween shopping at Costco. 🙄

I didn’t even see a Halloween aisle this time, but Christmas was on full display.

You know, I’ve been posting examples of holiday creep for over a decade now, and what’s changed the most is the quality of the camera I have with me when shopping. I mean, what the heck was I even carrying in 2005:

Christmas aisle

It was probably my first cameraphone (back when we actually called them that). I know I had a better digital camera at the time, but this definitely wasn’t it!

Flashing help?

Is that help with flashing? Help responding to flashing? Help that flashes.

Maybe I don’t want “flashing help.”

And what am I supposed to know about what happens when it’s on its way? There’s a missing half sentence here!

(Or maybe they just need to pick their line breaks better!)

Broadcasting “Likes”

I figured out exactly what bugs me about Twitter and Facebook showing your friends’ “likes” in the timeline. It’s not just that they’re public — that’s true on Tumblr or Flickr or Instagram too, but you only see them when you choose to look for them.

It’s that broadcasting likes in the newsfeed blurs your intent.

  • A “like” is a message to the original post’s author (and a bookmark for yourself).
  • A retweet or share is a message to your friends or followers.

Putting them in your followers’ feeds turns a “like” into a message to them as well, even though it’s not what you intended. (If you wanted to share it, you would have shared it, right?) It’s a step above completely frictionless sharing, but it still messes with the signal/noise ratio of the timeline.

Smoke rises from Mt. Wilson

Smoke rises from Mt. Wilson above Los Angeles on Tuesday around noon. The wildfire has threatened the observatory and critical communications towers. Today it’s too hazy to see anything but the barest suggestion of the downtown skyline, much less the mountains behind it. Not that it looked quite this clear even on Tuesday – I ran the photo through auto white balance to make everything easier to see.

I’m reminded of the last time the mountaintop complex was threatened by fire, during the 2009 Station Fire… and the photos I scanned from a 1992 tour of the observatory, wondering if that had been my only chance to see it.