the beautiful and talented alisa left for tahoe 3 days before i and the boys did. so i packed. i managed to not pack any pants for garrett. he wore his brother's. oh well. alisa was pretty pissed. seems to be a difference in attitude between males and females. guys would rather do without something than carry extra stuff. women are the opposite. which makes sense. it's the guy that will be toting the stuff.
the beautiful and talented alisa dragged me up and down a mountain last week. my legs are still sore. it was fun. the snow was decent. the weather was fine. well, it was after it warmed up to 19 degrees.
my friend joe taught a course on game programming at hong kong university. one of his students came up with the oil game. every turn a player cam drill wells, build solar plants, build tanks, or use tanks. oil is cheap but runs out. solar is expensive but produces energy forever. if you're playing by yourself or cooperating with everyone else then the best strategy is to drill wells and build solar plants. otherwise you need to build tanks. if you have more tanks then the other guy has more oil. so you have to use your tanks to take his oil. so he has to build more tanks to defend it. and nobody builds any solar plants. and of course when the oil runs out... everyone dies. it's a simple model of a complex system. but it's creepily close to the real world.
the united states doesn't export much: food, dollars. that's about it. fortunately the world wants both. we're enjoying a priviledged position as the world's banker. or maybe we're the house. if you want to play the commerce game you need dollars. and we can make as many dollars as we want. 'course we have to increase the value of our assets to justify printing more dollars. which we do. by creating ever more businesses. wall street performs some amazing accounting tricks right under our noses to inflate the value of our assets even more.
apparently my blogging style is poetry. or maybe it just inspires poetry. which is pretty much the same thing. a certain friend of mine always replies to my emails in haiku. bill watterson of calvin & hobbes is inspired by cats. she's inspired by lower case streams of consciousness.
i don't usually publish twice a day. but i can make an exception for today. a school shooting
is a parent's worst nightmare. it's a not-quite-worst nightmare when it happens at a school attended by the children of your friends
. well dang.
i'm always very amused when people quote /my/ blog to /me/. i always smile and say something like, wow! yeah! that is really cool! i never try to take credit. 'course i often borrow material for my posts. but not this one. nope. not this one. nope nope nope.
apparently the washing machine likes my wife's pajamas as much as i do. it grabbed onto them and just wouldn't let go. had to disassemble the stupid thing to get the them free. needless to say they weren't clean. so now poor alisa doesn't have any pajamas to wear to bed tonight. guess she'll have to sleep naked. oh bummer.
bennett's cast free. yay! his knee and ankle are very stiff and sore. he was extremely disappointed that he wouldn't be able to run and jump and play reindeer games for at least two more weeks. and we're going to tahoe next week. poor kid. we'll take some games.
apparently some church has offered a $1000 reward for proof that the sun is the center of the solar system. their money's quite safe. in the 1500's copernicus discovered that a heliocentric model predicted the positions of the planets in the sky a hell of a lot more easily than a geocentric model. around 1600 the idea started to take hold that this theory was more than just a mathematical curiosity and that the sun is in fact the center of the solar system. the inquisition took offense and ordered giordano bruno to recant. he was a bit of an asshole and refused. so they burned him at the stake. the inquisition then turned to galileo. he recanted and avoided a death sentence. later popes really wanted to know when the planets would be where so they knew when to schedule easter. vatican astronomers quietly used the heliocentric model. in 1905 einstein rocked the scene with his theory of relativity which states in part that all reference frames are equally valid. so now putting the earth at the center of the universe is just as good as putting the sun there. go figure. relativity's just full of these fun little paradoxes. anywho, this story closes in 1983 when the church finally admits that maybe, just maybe, galileo was right.
my mother has to make a difficult choice. she needs surgery on her foot or she'll be crippled in 5 years. however, the operations and recovery will take a year. and they have only a 60% chance of success. if it works she'll be ambulatory for the rest of her life - about 11 years for a diabetic woman born in 1940. if it fails she'll be crippled forever immediately. there are several strategies she can follow. the simplest is minimizing the worst case, ie no surgery. or she can maximize the number of years she can walk. with surgery she expects to get 6 years (60% of (11-1) years). without surgery she expects 5 years. so she should have the operation. alternatively, she can look at it this way: she can trade 1 year of pain for 2 years of being crippled. yuck.
garrett wrote his name on his papers today. all by himself. that's my boy!
my oldest son bennett tried out for little league for the first time. he failed to field a single ground ball. he didn't hit a single pitch. he was the slowest running bases. every coach there said they'd be very happy to have him on their team. just for his heart. his leg is still in a full length cast. he ran the bases on crutches. that's my boy.
where's mr science? we need you. we need a hero. we need someone to present the current state of science in a fun, amusing, and accurate way. no offense to alan alda. but he just didn't cut it.
the other day i was applying tape to a package. find the end of the tape. pick at it until it gets loose. extrude the tape to the desired length. let go of the tape. pick up the scissors. cut the tape. put down the scissors. apply the tape to the package. pick up the roll of tape. find the end, again. pry it loose, again. so i suggested to my boy that he invent the tape zizzor. it's a piece of plastic that's wider than the roll. it's sharp on one edge. use it to cut the tape instead of scissors. at the same time it prevents the end from re-sticking to the roll. i think you'd use them in pairs for convenience. so maybe they hook together when the roll's in the drawer.
name the owners of these famous dogs: odie, scooby doo, toto, pluto, marmaduke, clifford, daisy, krypto, nanna, santa's little helper, astro, ruff, old yeller, gromit, preston, snoopy, benji, lady and the tramp, asta, wolf, white fang, beethoven, pongo and perdita, courage.
the next world war could be fought without the smart bombs and aircraft carriers. it could be fought in cities and villages. by soldiers that are more like violent mobs. the side that wins, or rather survives, will be whoever is able to, and is willing to, dispose of the enemy's personnel most efficiently. a different kind of war. pray i'm wrong.
it appears i blog daily religiously. i don't really. i usually tap out several of these in one session. i just release them one per day.
garrett, what letter is this? "a" correct! and a is for... "crocodile." heh. that's my boy.
a friend of mine wrote a java app thingy that let's you play tabletop dnd style games with your friends who are scattered all over the country. he's in boston. i'm in california. works great with ventrilo. my old dnd buddies recently started blogging. and reading each other's blogs. so guys... who's running? when we playing?
saturday night fever
ah ah ah ah stayin aliiiiiiiive. heh. alisa and bennett came home from school with this cd. i have no idea why. disco lives. at least in our house.
popular speech doesn't need protection. it's unpopular speech that needs the protections of the first amendment. which includes images. like pornography. like certain recent cartoons that made fun of certain religious icons. that protection ends when the speech can do actual tangible harm to others. like shouting fire in a theatre. like calling for someone's death. a la ann coulter. a la outraged muslim mobs.
heh. this is my last post on this topic. when the refs called the guy for diving they ended up with both benches screaming at the refs and at each other. one side cause they got screwed by the call. the other side cause they want the refs to screw em again. needless to say it's hard to think under such circumstances. and of course the refs proceeded to make a long series of really bad calls. each way. guys, just don't make the stupid diving call in the first place.
when a ref calls a guy for diving, he pretty much sends a message to the other team that it's open season on this guy. foul him as much as you want. you've got an ironclad excuse for when he goes down. he's diving! right. i'm pretty sure the refs have never thought about the legal exposure of this policy. if i get called for diving, and the other team plays me even more physically, and i get seriously injured, you better believe i will be suing the league for lots of $$$.
i scored my fourth goal of the season last night. yay! we lost. again. boo! it was a feisty game. the refs lost control of it. why? they called someone for diving. sheehs. get a fucking clue. there are three reasons to call a penalty. one, protect the referees. two, protect the health of the players (roughing, slashing, high sticking). three, cheating to gain an advantage (tripping, hooking, interference, too many men, delay of game). where does embellishing fit in? it doesn't. when a guy flops he takes himself out of the play. no ref was threatened. the other team didn't lose position of the puck. the other team didn't give up a goal. the other team didn't lose a scoring opportunity. we were all entertained by the clown's antics. so where's the harm? no harm, no foul.
things will be interesting in the middle east. i wonder if palestine aka hamas will formally declare war with israel. in some ways that simplifies things. they can fight it out until they're tired of it. or there's no one left. obviously the us will support israel. syria, lebanon, iran will support palestinia. will that spill over into world war iii? no one knows. meanwhile china quietly takes over the #1 super power spot when the wwiii bankrupts us.
i'm pretty sure that howard stern never joked about murdering a supreme court justice. people want to muzzle this guy more than any other. so how come ann coulter can get away with this shit? can i get away with encouraging murder if i phrase it as a joke? ha ha ha! wouldn't it be funny if someone popped a cap into a certain conservative journalist? ha ha ha! well, no. it wouldn't. muzzle her. or at least stop paying for her tripe.
you don't win nobel peace prizes for making peace with your allies. you win them for making peace with your bitter enemies. congratulations to hamas for their victory.
a friend of mine proposed changing copyright law so the protection runs out after the work generated 95% of its expected lifetime revenue. it's an interesting idea. enforcing it would be kinda tricky. said friend is a software developer. so i challenged him to release his old products to the public domain. we'll see what happens.