Sunday Papers 8-31-2014 (on 9-1-2014)


This was just a terribly long week and I’m glad it’s over. Not much time for reading or anything. However, if you’re so busy that you’d rather be underground, you might want to think about it after reading about how difficult it actually is to keep a system of tunnels functioning, at least if you are in New York City. If you are in Russia, say, after the apocalypse, the tunnels might be your only hope, as I’ve learned playing Metro: Last Night, which is incredibly beautiful, difficult, and has a great story, based on the story Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

I know everything goes through phases and right now I seem to be in the ‘getting smashed by everyone’ phase in BJJ. Again. The difference is that I think I’m getting harder to submit and my defense is getting better, but I’m just getting smashed smashed smashed. And I’m on the bottom so much that, if I get on top, my top game sucks big time. I guess I know what I need to focus on in the future, but my attacks from open and spider guard are at least getting better. Now I need to focus on some sweeps from open guard, get on top, and get comfortable there, I guess.

After my wife destroying her wallet by mistake I took the opportunity to look for a new wallet for myself, because the Tyvek wallet I’ve had for the last couple of years is starting to look terrible and, well, I think it’s maybe time for an adult wallet. So after doing some research yesterday I ordered one from Inkleaf Leather, which looks great, is reasonably priced for a handmade leather wallet, and is made in the U-ESS-AY!

Sometimes I get nervous about natural disasters and start reading about urban survival (and spent way to much time with my nose in post-apocalyptic books and video games) and now I’m frivolously putting together a Bug-Out Bag. Make fun of me all you want, but when it’s time to ask for a spare space blanket, you know where to knock.

And in kinda sad news, you can now have an Invisible Girlfriend. If that makes you feel better. I’d think it’d just make you feel a lot more lonely than you already are.

Sunday Papers 7-24-2014

After linking to it before (I think) Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band are working on an album! This is great stuff and very well worth your $6!

There is something every German knows and believes Native Americans are all about — Karl May‘s Winnetou books. It’s funny, because on the one hand this is the way Germans learn about America (never mind the fact that it’s completely fictional) and it’s an author and a whole corpus of stories that is completely unknown in America. That, and that there is a very active Native American re-enactment culture in Germany. A lot of this is covered in this NYT Video about exactly that, including the usual naive/casual racism and cultural insensitivity that the Germans are often known for.

It’s still busy-timez for me and I can’t wait until next month, when things should quiet down again. I’m working on a second podcast with a friend and we’re desperately stuck in the struggle to find a name, which is driving me a little nuts. How can I not think of a good name?! We are two episodes down already and they’re sitting on my hard drive waiting to be christened. Pathetic.

And as we’re moving again into the darker months of the year, you might want to know how and why you’re getting hooked on coffee.

Sunday Papers 8-17-2014


This is pretty much the busiest time of the year for me, so bear with me as we crawl towards fall. One good thing about the PNW is that there are not a lot of annoying insects here — I have no idea why that is, but I don’t question a good thing. However, it’s never a bad idea to keep up to date with the latest bug killing gear. Just in case.

Speaking of bug hunting, here are some weekend ephemera about xenomorphs, because you know you want to know about this.

I think the TV show The Walking Dead is a terribly mixed bag of zombie action (good!) and straight-up soap opera dramarama with zombies in the background (bad.) and while I gather that the comics are different they are way out of my price range at this point. But I do keep my eyes out for sales and stuff and The Walking Dead game was on sale on Steam for $5 a while back and I was curious about it. One the one hand I think it’s a bit too scripted for my taste with looong, not skip-able scenes just to get up and down a ladder, but the characters are for the most part great, the dialogues are great, and DAMN YOU DIFFICULT MORAL CHOICES!

There are some other things in the works, maybe a second podcast in addition to the other one, new episodes, all kinds of things. Sometimes things move slower than you’d want them to (humans!! Grrr!), but things are moving, so there’s that.

And as a bonus, there’s a review article on Wirecutter concerning dish soap which will answer ALL questions you didn’t know you’ve had about cleaning dishes.

Sunday Papers 8-10-2014

We’re looking more seriously into buying a car, which is a pain in the ass and I hate it and I wish it would just fall into my lap…like that’s going to happen. Anyway, here are your Sunday papers!

I’ve never been particularly afraid of clowns and I might even venture that this fear is something very American, because I don’t remember clowns being a scary trope in Germany, although I can see how they can be. That is exactly one of the problems clowns talk about when they are at their clown convention. And one of my favorite short stories that was published in the New Yorker years ago probably doesn’t help.

While re-enacting and LARPing and all these things escape me a bit, those ferocious collectors can, if they are serious, collect a bunch of neat stuff and if you line it up next to each other, like, for example, soldier’s gear through the ages, you get something pretty neat.

Some linguists are studying the development of super-dialects on Twitter, but hey, if you want to read an ESL grumpy German tweet about stuff you can also just follow me, hehe. And if you want to hear me, download the inaugural episode of my podcast about stuff and things (iTunes : Soundcloud).

Sunday Papers 8-3-2014

This one’s late, because we were in another state for family bidness and I finally got a pedicure! But better late than never, so here are your Sunday papers!

You might or might not know that I’m suffering from a bulging (or even prolapsed/slipped) disc in my neck. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse, but it’s never really away. So information about how the spine works is always welcome, especially in connection with good posture and BJJ.

Just when you think you’ve know everything, guess what — there is a surprising amount of marching band fan fiction. But hey, whatever floats your boat, as they say.

This week has been busy work-wise, so instead of picking one particular soundtrack, I’ll just direct you to The Sound of Cobra and let you suffer through making the choices and explore some new music! And if this is not chill enough for ya, download Warren Ellis‘ ambient podcast Spektrmodule and coast towards next Friday evening. Oh, and speaking of podcasts, a friend of mine and I recorded the first episode of our podcast, It’s Unclear (iTunes : Soundcloud), and it’s amazing, so download and listen to it RIGHT NOW!