This One Falls Slowly

Noah Nelson's Mental Clearing House.
Reposts may or may not be endorsements, use your bloody judgment. (@noahjnelson)
Jul 29

Burritos & Brackets

When Nate Silver launched the new I was chuffed—excuse my early morning Anglophile, the coffee isn’t working yet—because this was going to usher in an Age of Reason in online media. Sure, there’d be bumps and clickbait along the way. Bills have to be paid. I don’t get to frazzled by the vulgarities of the business, the historical perspective on media does that for me.

Then came the Burrito Bracket, and I just fucking gave up hope.

The Burrito Bracket project aims to determine the “Best Burrito in America” using a rigorous—totally subjective—scoring system and a bracket tournament structure.

Set aside that this is the kind of playful clickbait that has existed in the news media long before there were clicks to bait for. Set aside that this appeals to the worst sensibilities of pseudo-objective consumer reporting, the kind that has kept gamers in a froth for two decades as they argue about review scores. Yes, set all that bullshit aside.

Because the point is that the bracket is pointless: the best best burritos in America are in San Francisco. We all know this.

Hell, I’m a Bay Area ex-pat who has traded side to hated Los Angeles (irony: no one here thinks there is a rivalry outside of baseball, we just don’t care) and Im the first to argue this.

All this is prompted by the tweet that came through my feed today:

Well, duh.

I just can’t take FiveThirtyEight seriously anymore.


There are two favored positions for apps on my phone. The first and the last page.

Here’s what they look like now.

The first page is who I have to be.

The last page who I like to be.

Jul 28


Crazy. DOOM on an ATM. An exploration video. Posted by HackADay.-LT

There aren’t too many details available about this hack, but we still thought it was interesting enough to share. YouTube user [Aussie50] seems to have figured out a way toinstall DOOM on an automated teller machine (ATM). Not only is the system running the software, it also appears that they are using the ATM’s built-in buttons to control the action in-game.

(via nprplays)


Here, Again

The Implements

  • Three Moleskeins (hardbound journal, turntable planner, soft notebook)
  • a cup of fresh ground coffee
  • Pilot G2 0.38 nib black ink pen
  • The MacBook Pro: Omnifocus, Ulysses, iCal and Safari open
  • a partly cloudy, muggy Los Angeles day
  • the vague toothache that comes from heat (or sugar) contact
  • a glass of skim milk
  • three days worth of neck scruff
  • the nagging sense that I am nowhere near performing up to my potential

It’s good to be back.

Jul 27
Burbank sky welcoming me back to the Southland.

Burbank sky welcoming me back to the Southland.

Gonna miss this little dude…

Gonna miss this little dude…


Travel Day with a Side of Dimesticity

In about an hour I should be on that long strip of blacktop that runs like a scar through the western edge of the Central Valley. It is a lonely, almost monastic, trip that will be made more palatable by the metric ton of podcasts pulled into the phone.

Before any of that happens I’ve got an hour of running errands with mi madre, who doesn’t have a car of her own. A trip to the supermarket which doubles as a time machine back a half decade.

What’s strangest to me about the errand runs is that San Pablo, my home town, has not changed. The Bay Area has one of the worst housing markets in the nation and yet this town, which is just one town over from two BART stations and bisected by a major freeway, has not been touched by residential development.

Perhaps the sorrow runs too deep here. The taint obvious to all.

The real reason is, almost certainly, that the Bay Area’s transportation infrastructure is so fucked that a town one step removed from the BART grid is useless and the freeway makes little impact.

So San Pablo remains stuck in a stupid past, a mosaic of bad planning decisions made in the 70a (strip malls) and 90s (card room turned Indian Casino) that no one can love.

Jul 26


Robert McGinnis

(Source: catfromwonder, via unclesean)