BILLYGARD.COM

It's back

Since I no longer use the ISP that originally hosted the website, I finally moved it to my domain name registrar who now offers web hosting. The articles here are in a state of flux, since I am experimenting with new ways of formatting tables and lists (such as those in the music section), and am updating some code to account for new HTML 5 and CSS 3 features (such as the AUDIO tag).

If you like to go on the internet to keep yourself up to the second on the “tragic events” (terrorist attacks) of 911, global warm - oopse - climate change, a new weight loss drug that finally works, the movie stars of today and their glamorous divorces, and heart-healthy artificial substitutes for real food, then you have definitely come to the wrong place. But if you are one of those pensive thinkers with a lot of time on your hands who has named every rose in your neighborhood, likes to turn everything into a scavenger hunt, and find yourself pondering things such as the beauty of a mercury vapor light, music you remember from your past that you can't even find on an “oldies” list, video games where the most violent weapon is a mushroom, why grownups go to fitness gyms instead of a park meadow, why there is a swimming pool next to every renowned beach, the orchestration of elevator music, why even on a beach most people have shoes on - then this site is for you. Join me in those topics that have not created a movement, those which people, if they think about them at all, keep to themselves since their buddies just “wouldn’t understand.”

4/10/04

I saw a sign on a cemetery in North Seattle saying "Space Available." And to think it was right before a day where we celebrate the "Space Available" sign that went up on a tomb 2000 years ago.

Two Surfs for the Price of One

I was swimming at West Point light house today. If you enter the water right off the point where the north and south beaches intersect, the waves from both sides run together - two surfs meeting head to head. As I went further out, I discovered another well-kept secret, a stiff current flowing north. It felt like stepping into a river. And I knew right away why this was so. The tide was coming in, and I was swimming off an exposed head land where the waters flowed unhindered from the Straight of Juan de Fuca. Now I've felt some current in Shilshole Bay before. But nothing as dramatic as this.

8/17/03

Dignity and Water Don’t Mix

At Seattle’s Westlake center is a waterfall. If you get there when it is on, you are in for a treat. A plaque mounted in the ground next to it says you’re supposed to run through the fall yelling “I’m a Seattle superhero!”. The spray is so directed as to get you soaked when you go through it. Wear what you want through it, but one thing you cannot take with you is your dignity. You may try to go in with it, but you sure won’t be coming out with it. If you can’t get wet, you can’t be a superhero.

4/01/03

Birds of Different Feathers

In a Wendy’s parking lot, I saw a group of birds collecting around a paper bag. Especially cute was that half of them were crows and half of them were seagulls. And both got their turn picking up the bag.

3/29/03

The Play Instinct Spotted at Sea

At West Seattle’s Lincoln Park beach I saw what impacted me at the time as the perfect hypostatic union of innocence, playfulness, and love. Rocking back and forth on the waves was a piece of driftwood, a twig, and a small triangular piece of material, assembled into a little sailboat. I can only say that this work could be expressing a more perfect whimsical spirit than its creator could express even in person.

I find I cannot look up at the clouds and the Milky Way without thinking that it was in this very spirit that God created us and the universe in which we dwell.

They couldn’t to come to a consensus about whether the new millenium starts in 2000 or in 2001,
so I celebrated for a whole year.

Billy’s Pages

Do you itch to be a twitch? Why is everybody so touchy? Why do we protect ourselves from the rain, the wind, the ground, the sun, and from each other. Its time to shrink our “personal space”, to shed our armor, to stop being a touchy prig and learn to be a touchable twitch.

Making Sense of Rubic’s Cube. See my explainable solution. See how, by using conjugates and commutators to construct complex strings out of single moves, you can solve the entire cube. Also see some additional puzzles that are based on Rubik’s Cube.

Do We Really Need a Better Mouse Trap? Let's remember that great game that entered the toy world. The Mouse Trap game came out in 1963, and its pieces and colors have likely become highly familiar to the youngest of baby boomers.

Cheer up; it feels good. It’s so easy, and it’s such great fun. So how could it have slipped into such obscurity? It’s time to bring back the smile, the good mood, the cheeky, cheerful, positive and upbeat look. If you forgot how, and if you dare, here’s a refresher course.

Set your toes free. How often do you get a chance to go barefoot, maybe for a whole day or more? Would you really wear shoes all day if there were no place where you had to? Have you done any honest number crunching on the actual protection provided by shoes? Or have the podiatrists and shoe companies saved you the trouble? Do you really believe that bare feet are disgusting and unhealthy, or do you realise it is pleasant and healthful but are just so inured by rules against nice things that you just snapped and joined the fight against all things bright and beautiful? Let’s ignore the collective wisdom that places “shoes on our feet” alongside “food in our tummies” and investigate the superior state of going barefoot. Doing it more will change your personality.

Can William come out to play? If it’s really true that adults need to get more exercise, and if it’s really true that play is the perfect exercise, then why is mentioning both ideas in the same breath unthinkable? Do you suppose this is because the highly flammable combination this presents is well understood and that there is fear of blowing adult “dignity” out of the water? It’s time for grownups to run outside and do the unthinkable.

Face the Muzak. Whatever happened to “elevator music”? Where did it go so fast? Did you know real record artists wrote such music, and not just a studio orchestra hired by Muzak? Here’s to all you utterly disinfranchized fans of the real thing, who have had it with the “light top-40” that has taken its place.

Mama mia, it’s Mario! Especially for you accomplished players of Super Mario 64. Some secrets and musings about this fantastic game, and even those unanswered questions that keep the game interesting even after you can beat the whole thing. What will you find if you go to those places Mario just ain’t supposed to go, like the backside of the front castle door? What about those objects in the game that look like they are there for some purpose, but don’t do anything? And what about this new Luigi craze? Let’s discuss these things.

Just Intonation Why is not every 3 or 4 notes heard together a “chord”? Why a piano is actually out of tune. Here is some discussion and illustration of this rich wedding of music and math.

The Blue Mystique. Red is fierce. Yellow is funny. Green is friendly. But what can I say about blue? This color seems to demand a more pensive look than the others. And why is it suddenly fashionable to make “soft-white” versions of lamp types that have always been a cooler white or even bluish? And why the outrage over lights that make a similar shift in the opposite direction, such as the new bluish-white HID headlights?

Darken Up. Let's go into a neat hypothetical excursion. Darkness is the opposite of light. But can it behave like light? Can you shine darkness across the room and create a dark spot on the wall? Maybe cast white shadows with it?

You know you’re getting old when: Your children complain about senior moments.
But you know you’re still young when: Your mother goes boogy boarding.

Billy’s Toy Box

Probing Questions
Billy’s VRML Site
Wrapping Presents (cat-owner’s version)
Didja know...
European Commission Announcment
23 signs that you’ve had too much of the 90’s
Kids Say the Darndest Things
Actual Headlines
Baby Boomers: Then and Now
Billy’s Wacky Dictionary of Music
Quotable Quotes
Billy’s Wacky Diets
Actual Ads
A Sprite Animation Demo
The Old Rugged Whip
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
A Glossary of New Definitions
Your Mouse Can Smell Rats

Microsoft Verdict Announced

After much deliberation by the trial lawyers on behalf of Apple, Linux, Widgetbytes, and other victims of big software (Microsoft),
the court has finally arrived at a verdict concerning the fate of this great multitasking giant.
Click Here for Details

Billy’s List of Lists

Try one of these for a whole day
Walk all around town
Don’t use electricity
Go barefoot
Don’t smoke
Turn off your phone ringers
Don’t read the news
Fast
Don’t drive
Teetotal
Turn the TV off
Act cheerful
Speak another language
Don’t look at the time
Be celebate
Wear a costume
Turn the computer off (Ouch!)

Wild things to try

Continue singing or humming when you come upon a stranger
Jump over a fire hydrant
Sing making up the words and notes as you go - no prep allowed
Run through a downpour in a bathing suit
Skip across a whole playfield
Go swimming with your clothes on
Talk to a stranger very smilingly and cheerfuly

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“I like a man who grins when he fights.”
- Winston Churchill