suppose in spite of everything the democrats fail to gain any seats in the senate or the house. which could happen if the redistricting plans are as effective as the incumbents hope. the biggest threat to the incumbent would not be the minority party but from a challenger within his own party. the best strategy for the liberals would be to join the conservative party and mount a serious challenge to the rightmost candidates. you still won't have a liberal government. but it at least won't be a radical right government.
i love my wife
i ran off to play half a game of hockey before my afternoon meeting. alisa came home and found my meeting stuff all packed up on the floor and my car gone. so when i drove up she ran out of the house with my backpack and boxes thinking i had forgotten them and was returning to get them. she is such a sweetie. i'm glad i found her.
bush says he doesn't need permission from the fisa court to listen to telephone and electronic conversations. i remember the last time bush said he didn't need permission to do something. ie from the u.n. to invade iraq. 100,000 people died.
the bearings in the bread pan for our bread machine froze. that was the third bread pan. we could get a new bread pan. but the machine itself is about 7 years old. so for tomorrow's date, we're going bread machine shopping. woo hooty! date! anyone want a bread machine sans pan?
one of the big problems with our lawmaking process is the ability to change a bill just before it's voted on. what this means is that lawmakers often have no idea what's in the bill they're voting on. they haven't had the time to digest it and think about the implications. they just follow the leaders. this disproportionately puts the power in the hands of a few. power corrupts. proof by demonstration.
people have started calling for mine safety reform after the recent fatal accidents. we don't need reform. we need competent people in charge. not political allies. they give us dead miners. proof by demonstration.
post traumatic stress is the emotional state induced when people realize that this nice safe world of plenty they live in is an illusion. reality is dangerous and fickle. your life could end at any moment and you'd be completely powerless to stop it. so why do we call this recognition of truth a disorder?
we watched the movie alexander. it was okay. i can see how people were offended by the sexual behavior. it was too long. there was one scene where a soldier hacks off the trunk of an elephant. i wonder how they did that stunt. post processing? a stunt elephant with a gimmicked trunk? just curious. someday i might make an amateur movie with soldiers and elephants.
we're hiring software developers at rearden labs. pass the word. send me a resume. we're doing some really fun stuff with motion capture, image processing, and machine vision.
i broke into my neighbor's house. no i'm not some sort of cat burglar. my neighbor knocked on the door to my garage. strange. she had managed to lock herself out of her house. she had the keys to the front door. but the screen door was locked. the front door keys didn't work on the garage door locks. the gate to the back yard was padlocked. i jumped it. the back sliding door was locked. i finessed the front screen door open. problem solved. meanwhile i had left garrett home alone. where alisa discovered him. if only all of my problems were as easy as that screen door.
i typed 'neil stevenson' into google and i found what i was looking for: books by neal stephenson. google's great.
i kinda miss flying. the dads hadn't seen me in a while. so every time someone arrived i had to tell the same two stories again: bennett broke his leg, and i sold my airplane. watching the rc planes fly made me want to fly. the winds were backwards so san jose approach wrapped around our park. also made me miss my wings. some year the kids will be grown and i'll be retired and have time to fly again.
i took garrett to baylands park with the dad's group. the great meadow is popular for ultimate frisbee, kites, and remote control airplanes. we watched two planes collide in mid-air. the blue one suffered power failure, dropped into a nose down spin, and disintegrated on impact with the ground. the red one lost a wing and the pilot managed a large arc of tight circles that spread parts over a large area. the blue pilot picked up his pieces and went home. the red pilot spent half an hour searching for all of his parts. ouch.
should colin powell's kids get a free ride? of course not. i'm all for helping the disadvantaged. but we should change our equal opportunity programs to aid the poor instead of aiding the minorities. i totally agree the poor are disproportionately minorities. so my change still helps those that need it. and it gets rid of the stupid argument that a successful black man didn't earn his position.
we don't have racial equality yet in this country. congress is white, for example. but we are making progress. when i was a kid i'd hear racial slurs from adults. we seem to have silenced most of the casual bigots. which is the most important first step. could we have progressed further? absolutely. though i'll cheer this.
the dad's group used to ride caltrain up to the city to play at the metreon and visit the martin luther king memorial. the kids usually have fun. even through the rain and the cold. no one organized it this year. looks like we would have had good weather. figures.
when grandpa was here he poured himself a beer for dinner. garrett wanted to know: where's my beer?!?! so grandpa poured him some. then he wanted a bigger glass. then he ran to get a straw. he didn't really like the taste. but he said he did. silly boy.
is a fun puzzle game from lego. build buggies, ducks, frogs, ships, treebots, defenders, etc. move them around to achieve the objective. then go for the bonus goal. watch out for the crabs and alligators. addictive.
the boys were having some enforced outside time. so they played with chalk on the sidewalk. this usually involved rubbing it in one spot until there was nothing left. then pat your hands in it. then pat your hands on the car. repeat with different colors. i feel like i'm driving a hippie flower power car. right on.
i realized today that i've started my fifth decade of life. scary huh?
the blog about schroedinger's god reminded me of one of my college computer science professors. the problem was real world knowledge. what's a dog? you know what a dog is. and i know what a dog is. but try teaching a computer. dog's have four legs, fur, a tail, etc. but a three legged dog is still a dog, right? professor thompson imagined taking away the dog neutrino by neutrino. his challenge was to define the exact moment when the dog stopped being a dog. silly. but it's exactly the problem you run into when you try to make a computer think like a person.
i erred. i made dinner the other night. and it was really good. the beautiful and talented alisa's still raving about it. it was some sort of stromboli calzone thing: tomato sauce, ham, salami, olive oil, feta, mozarella, mushrooms, all wrapped up in pizza dough, with grated parmesan, basil, and oregano on top. mmm... the boys liked it too. the error? now they expect me to cook more often.
there's a new rule in our house. in order to watch tv, you have to play a board game with mom or dad. so far it's working well. bennett's learning to control his trash talk and keep his fingers off of garrett's pieces. garrett's learning to not wail his lungs out at every little setback. and dad's learning to play with the boys instead of co-playing.
i sold my airplane to a nice marine lieutenant. his sign up bonus was burning a hole in his pocket. and alisa never got to ride in it. i decided a while ago i'd rather spend the time with my boys. still. i'm sad. goodbye old friend.
we used to be a great nation. we will be a great nation again. right now though, we're paralyzed by fear. the bush administration has convinced us to be afraid of terrorists. we need someone to stand up and say, i am not afraid. ... i am not afraid. here's why: since 2001, terrorists have killed 3,000 americans. in that same time period, americans have murdered 60,000 americans. automobiles have killed 175,000 americans. terrorists are barely on the radar. do not tell me what to fear.
[continued from seven
] there are now nine governments toppled by bush: afghanistan, iraq, liberia, iran, haiti, spain, palestine, brazil, and venezuela.
sudoku's a type of puzzle that's kinda fun. at least it entertains me about as much as the battleship puzzles in games magazine. paint by numbers are better because after doing the work you get to enjoy the picture. in the standard sudoku puzzle you want fill each box, row, and column with the numbers 1 to 9. sometimes they make pretty patterns with the starting numbers. usually they're not very difficult. google sudoku. exercise your mind. go crazy.
i was cogitating the other day on the idea that you can't prove that god exists. and you can't prove that he doesn't exist. so which is it? well, it's both. he both exists and he doesn't exist. the divinity is in a superposition of the states of existing and not existing. kinda like schroedinger's cat. which is both dead and alive. at least until someone checks and collapses its wave function into one state or the other. god is safe, however. we can test the cat. but we can't test god.
my son garrett, who is four years old, came in to the house and asked very politely if he could have the keys to my brand new honda accord. my they start young. he wanted to play with the lockable pass through in the back seat. i gave him the keys and instructions to stay the hell away from the ignition.
the bathroom in our master bedroom is pretty small. in it are a closet, sink, toilet, shower, door, and person. but there's really only enough room for 4 of those 5 things. alisa decided the door should swing out into the bedroom instead of in into the tiny bathroom. so we tore out the old door, frame and all. bought a new door. and stuck it in. i believe remodeling jobs are best accomplished by hitting things as hard as you can with the biggest sledgehammer you can find. i banned myself from the frame shimming part. probably a good idea. needs paint and we're done.
broke leg butt scoot
i guess ben's tired of the wheelchair. and he's tired of the crutches. and he's tired of sitting around immobile. he's perfected the broken leg butt scoot to get around the house.