today i heard about yet another bill in yet another state to inject intelligent design into yet another school system's science curriculum. now, i totally approve of the belief that some intelligent designer out there is deciding which atoms radioactively decay when and decides which chromosomes little johnny gets from mom and which from the postman. and i don't care if that intelligent designer is the christian god, space aliens, or a giant pink foo-foo bird. intelligent design isn't science. here's why. scientific theories by definition, make predictions that can be tested. none of us can predict what the intelligent designer is going to do next because we're just the lab rats and not the guy in the pretty white coat. without predictions we can't put the theory to the test. ergo it's not science. keep it out of the science curriculum. thank you.
i hate it when the doorbell rings. cause i know it's gonna be someone there trying to sell me something i don't want. i would like to put this note on my door.
occupant will NOT buy anything from a solicitor at the door. nor will occupant buy anything from a telephone solicitor. occupant has poor impulse control. that means that if occupant is so moved to make a solicitor eat this notice after reading it to them the solicitor will have no legal recourse because they knowingly and willingly provoked a crazy person.
as any gamer knows, wars are an incredible waste of resources: money, equipment, lives. so why did we go to war in iraq? i've already established that bush is a liar. so we can't believe what he says. put yourself in his place. every thanksgiving and christmas for 12 years he's been going to family dinners and listening to his father go on and on about what a mistake it was to not remove saddam during the first gulf war instead of letting him thumb his nose at the u.n. and make an unsuccessful assassination attempt on bush senior a couple of years later. junior's been planning to murder saddam for 15 years. his plans were delayed by that little war in afghanistan. although that did make it possible to crush saddam the old fashioned way which was sure a lot more satisfying than waiting for good intelligence on where he was and firing a few dozen cruise missiles.
before the war, we were led to believe by implication if not by direct statement, that saddam had the capability to use biological, chemical, and/or nuclear weapons right here in the united states at a moment's notice. and that if we didn't stop him right now he would use those weapons. ignore the moral and ethical problems with the war, this is what made starting the war like we did so scary. it threatened to bring casualties to my doorstep. in effect, it put my house on the front line. i, my wife, my two preschool children had been drafted to fight this foolish war. this is why i was so angry at our idiot president.
the case against the war was strong. crushing economic sanctions made iraq a non-threat to its neighbors. he was effectively neutralized and impotent. that's why he was acting like such a buffoon. why couldn't we ignore him like we're ignoring kim jong il? cause bush wants to murder saddam. anyway, that's water under the bridge. we fools started this stupid war. and now we have to finish it.
it's pretty clear now that bush lied about iraq's weapons. i actually feel a lot better about the war now because it's not coming to my house. it's still a stupid waste of resources ie my tax dollars, just because one man wants to murder another to atone for his father's mistake and avenge the attempt on his father's life.
other "good" things about the war: our allies in the area can no longer stick their heads in the sand and deny their own problems. we've given the nutball terrorists in the area a nice big fat juicy candy colored target to go for instead of raising money and followers to come do bad things here. except our soldiers are armed, protected, motivated and permitted to hit back. let the nutjobs kill themselves on our soldiers who have volunteered to put themselves at risk so the rest of us can stay safe at home and stick medals on the parents of the ones that come home in body bags.
in this country, the ends do not justify the means. junior knew what he was doing all along. he lied about it because he knew it was wrong.
i was going to write something bashing the president but then i realized that i'd immediately go off on a tangent about politics in general. so here we are.
it takes two things to get elected in the united states: money and votes. you need the money to finance your campaign and you need the votes to win the election. the rich people have the money and the poor people have the votes. usually, the demands placed on the candidate by the rich and the poor are incompatible. the rich say, make us richer by taxing the poor and giving us big fat juicy government contracts. the poor say, make us richer by lowering taxes and providing more services. the potential candidate is in the position where he has to con the rich out of their money or he has to con the poor out of their votes. or both. the result is that successful politicians are adept liars. it's a feature of our system. and the media leads us like sheep to act all shocked and indignant when we find out about it.
the republicans tend to make the rich a lot richer and the poor poorer. the democrats tend to make the poor less poor and the rich a little richer but not as much richer as they would be if the republicans were running the show. it's a feature of democracy that unhappy people are more likely to vote than happy people are. now you should be able to see where this is going. when the democrats are in charge the poor are happy and complacent and don't vote. which makes it more likely that the republicans will take over. and they take care of that little happiness problem with frightening speed. (bush spent 10 years
of budget savings in 6 months and 9/11 hadn't even happened yet.) which makes the poor poorer and unhappier and more likely to vote the democrats back in. it's one of those circle of life things.
in 2000, bush jr pretty much had the votes of the rich secured. the trick was how to con the poor out of their votes. and here's where i gotta admire the politician in the man. he bribed them. vote for me and i'll give you an immediate $500 tax refund. and here we thought bribery was illegal in the united states. pah! what are the sentencing guidelines for 250 million counts of bribery? i'd be really amused to see someone use this tactic to harass the most evil man in the free world.
there might be some spoilers here. so if you're a player who is visiting or might someday visit the dungeon of graves you might want to stop reading now.
i was so close to yet another total party wipeout last night. read about my past victories here
. i warned the players it's a mean nasty dungeon and they will die a lot. i did help them by requiring that their characters all be at least half cleric. because as is pretty obvious clerics are pretty much the best class. but they keep insisting on taking non-cleric levels. ah well. players. can't run a game without them.
anywho, about last night. first the fighter type cleric got separated. the party was using locate object to find him. a fine plan. then they decided to use anti-magic field to avoid some magical traps. needless to say this was going to make it much more difficult to find their lost comrade using magic. they blundered into a room full of mind flayers and fighter type henchmen. there was no parlay cause telepathy doesn't work in the amf and none of the pcs speaks undercommon. the party was like, we fall back down the hallway. no pursuit. okay, we go shoot them with arrows. they take total cover behind columns. okay, we explore the room. great, now melee broke out. the pcs didn't want to leave the amf for fear of the dreaded psionic blast of the mind flayers. but they couldn't cast spells nor did their magic items work. so the mind flayers moved in at great personal risk and grappled three of the pcs. the henchmen moved in and pounded on the grappled pcs. three pcs were in danger of having their brains extracted and being slain instantly. they dropped the amf and used a wish to get themselves and their lost comrade out of the dungeon and back to camp. i was this --> <-- close. ah well. they'll be back.
but not right away. they decided to go somewhere else. in this case they went exploring one of the maze levels inhabited by phase minotaurs. they found and worked some poor helpless lost goblins whose only desire in the whole world was to get home to their gold mines and their wives and baby goblins. but they're all dead now so so much for that dream. these maze levels are nasty because of the shify walls and teleport traps and doors that don't open and of course the confusion. the party is often in total disagreement about which way is left and right much less which way is north. mazes aren't really not that much fun for players nor gm. so after the first one we just said, okay you entered a maze. it takes you four hours to get out and we'll roll randomly to see if you're on the other side or right back where you started. things were different this time, however. there was no confusion effect. i wonder if the party will figure out why. it might be immaterial however. they were exploring a large cavern when the phase minotaurs who just might call this area home showed up en masse. looks like we'll have another opportunity for a total party wipeout again next time. or should i say another opportunity to use a wish.
we're getting a new kitchen. ours is a mess. we've been talking about doing this since we bought the house on the last day of 1993. it was built in the 60's. the counter tops are slime yellow-green. the oven, stove top, and hood are yellow. the bottom oven doesn't work. one of the stove burners works. one partially works. the remaining two don't work at all. the real estate agent was in a big hurry to sell the house. so she did some wonderful things to the house. like varnish the cabinets dark brown. except she didn't clean them first. so now they've got grime premanently glued to them. the dishwasher, refrigerator, and garbage disposal have already been replaced. i will post an url to the before pictures as soon as i take some. things sorta came together all at once. a designer fell into our laps. a contractor friend of ours had some jobs cancel. alisa got a big fat bonus. and an ephemeral winged being appeared at the dinner table and said, please pass the mashed potatoes. we didn't need any more prompting.
the new kitchen will be so much better. the old kitchen becomes a closet and pantry. the new one will be where the original dining room was. one wall will be removed. two walls will move out 2' each. we will get hardwood floors, birch cabinets, green granite countertops, recessed lighting, and a 14,000 btu stove so we can boil water in 2 minutes and reduce a stainless steel pot to a puddle of molten slag in 3. or launch a hot air balloon if we so feel the urge.
cost of new kitchen so far: $2300.
dang. i just found out the hunting bambi deal was a hoax. ah well. it was a good one. just saved $5k to $10k. guess i'll be getting another gift certificate to inline sports this year. i still haven't used up the last one yet. guess i should go buy some new skates for the beautiful and talented alisa. she mentioned she needed to clean her bearings last night. she's still wearing the same pair of skates we bought like 6 years ago. i'm on about my tenth pair or so. i lost track. i had to retire the last pair when the entire frame was violently disconnected from the boot during a hockey game. that was fun. i grabbed a new left boot from the rental shop while the nice boy made repairs. skating with a mismatched pair of skates was interesting. i believe we lost that game.
i've been asked: what's the ov in timmerov? well, as you know i play roller hockey. my wife and father-in-law are from detroit. so by marriage i am now a red wings fan. this happened some time around when scotty was still sending out the ov line. during one visit dad came to watch us play. i scored 4 goals that game. dad said, nice game. and i said, just call me timmerov. it stuck. for the next two christmases my presents were beautiful red wings jerseys with my number and the name timmerov on the back. one white and one practice jersey black.
usually i just go by timmer. but so do a few dozen other people in the world. and the user name timmer is often taken. the most wonderful thing about being timmerov is: i'm the only one.
date night last night was wonderful. today is cleaning day. it's time to sweep the floors. each boy has a broom, leaving none for dad. that's why i'm blogging. that'll teach 'em. getting to lunchtime hockey at windriver seems highly improbable today. ah, well. they only know me as that guy who brings two kids. well, that nickname is better than big red which was my nickname at the last group i played lunchtime hockey with. most of that group is now my regular monday night team. perhaps that's why they fessed up to my covert nickname. hopefully this season will be better than last. we finished 0-9-1. ouch! alas, i procrastinate. my office is now full of brooms. time to work.
well, the house is more or less clean. we used to have a cleaning service. in the beginning it was a good deal. we had two professionals working for 4 hours. then we got less and less time. then things weren't getting done. eventually, i was forced to let them go because the house just plain wasn't cleaned. we were down to paying for one person for an hour and a half. the boys and i spent many days cleaning places in the house that hadn't been touched in 5 years. we learned not to do any cleaning on mondays. we would kick up so much dust that i wouldn't be able to breathe at the hockey game on monday night. maybe that's why we finished winless. uh huh. right.
the beautiful and talented alisa and myself have a date tonight. i'm sitting here bored at the computer waiting for her to come home. she's at work at amd getting an award from some bigwig for making them a pile of money. so i guess that's okay. we're going out for sushi. we'll sit at the sushi bar. we haven't done that since forever. our last date was when we were in germany four weeks ago. it's pretty sad when you have to cross 9 time zones to find a free babysitter. ;->
so now i'm reflecting on what i did today. i played at being a stay at home dad. i hassled one of alisa's good friends at the gym. she was barely pedaling that silly bike and i knew from the sign in sheet that she'd only been in the building for 30 minutes. she was like: did i tell you that i'm 4 months pregnant? i was like: doh!
bennett and i wanted to make a cool paper model of a woodsman's hut. but i couldn't print out the images because somehow i managed to mess up os x on my desktop machine. some google searches later and none of the suggested fixes worked. so i tried re-installing the printer drivers. but some little fingers discovered that big red candy colored button on the front of the computer that makes the thing go "BONG!" when you push it. so the os x disk ended up being unbootable and i spent the rest of nap time re-installing os x. that gave me plenty of time to read the new 3.5 srd which is what i wanted to do during nap time anyway. installation was a breeze. well, a very slow breeze anyway. the painstaking part was restoring all the preferences and data for all of the applications i use. wee! maybe i should do something about that button on the computer.
the power button on the power strip was another one of those big red candy colored buttons. except this one has a light and glows. fortunately, it's out of reach of the aforementioned small fingers. unfortunately, it's in a nice cozy spot where katz likes to sleep. she thought it was great fun to walk on the thing. i guess katz liked to hear people swear. anywho, i taped a small plastic cup over the switch. that didn't work. she could still cycle the power to delta tao's web server. so i got out a power tool. katz doesn't like power tools. and i fastened that power strip to the side of the desk out of reach of katz. problem solved.
my sister took the boys away 90 minutes ago. they're going to the jungle for dinner and the evening's entertainment. my entertainment for the evening hasn't gotten here yet. at least i have plenty of time to set up a blog and do all this typing. think i'll go read some more of the srd.
the beautiful and talented alisa and myself recent took our four and half year old son, bennett, to germany for a week. we left the 21 month old toddler, garrett, home with grandpa.
germans don't understand the dis. it's a concept that's totally lost on them. like for example: "you've got rocks in your head" is met with blank stares. actually that's not entirely true. germans have precisely one dis which they use for all occasions. literally translated it's: "you have a bird." i guess "birdbrain" is a more accurate translation. needless to say, they don't use it all that often.
Okay, so i was advised to join the Blog bandwagon. This is attempt #2. CrimsonBlog didn't work out. Need to figure out how to add titles to each post.