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Timmerov's Blog
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
  prime birthdays 2
so how old will i be this year? heh. glad you asked. it's prime. if you square it and subtract one the result will be evenly divisible by 24. have fun figuring that one out.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
  boof boof
i made yet another character for ddo. not surprising. my favorite part of this kind of game is the beginning. the two classes most in demand are rogues and clerics. boof boof is a cleric rogue. hiding and sneaking are pretty useless. sneak attack is only sometimes useful. the useful functions of a rogue are opening locked doors and chests (treasure!) and disabling traps. traps in ddo appear really scary. but often you can just run around them. or negate them with the appropriate spell. or you can use the cleric method: run straight through it. then fix yourself up on the other side. boof boof took one level of rogue and is spending her precious skill points cross class on disable, search, and open. so no heal, no concentration, no turning, no divine vitality, no devotion. boof boof's not quite as good as a pure rogue. and not nearly as good as a pure healer. the groups i like best have a pure rogue and a pure healer. then i can use her spells and action boosts to smack bad guys with her repeating heavy crossbow. boof boof boof, crank crank crank.
Monday, May 29, 2006
today's the day we set aside to remember all those who lost their lives in america's many wars - both the just and the unjust. today's the day we set aside to remember why we as a nation spent those lives - some for the freedoms we now take for granted. today i offer a soldier's prayer: dear lord, let my life be spent wisely.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
someone once observed that i eat the food i don't like first. and finish with the food i do like. actually, the decision tree is a bit more complicated than that. it's true that i eat all of one thing before moving on to the next thing. some foods i don't like to eat cold. so i eat them early. generally, these are the foods i like least. so to first order, i eat what i don't like first. however, there are exceptions. like corn on the cob's gotta be eaten hot. so i'll eat it before green beans. but not before broccoli which i really have to choke down when it's cold.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
  chicken flavored toothpaste
it's for katz. she loves it.
Friday, May 26, 2006
it gets hot here when the wind is calm. it stays nice and cool here when there's a breeze blowing in from the coast or from the bay. then it's actually a bit too cool for my tastes. when i have all of my computers going it gets pretty toasty in my office. so i open the window to keep cool. works great. until like just now. i shut down one of the heat machines and failed to close the window. chilly now. brrr, pass me a blanket.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
  prime birthdays
alisa and i were born in the same year. whenever someone asks us our age, just for silliness, we add either 'prime' or 'not prime'.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
  inventions 2
so like, if you built a sex machine out of a kitchen appliance... would you demonstrate how it works on television? link is most definitely not safe for work.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
alisa suggested the other day that men would do more household chores if sears made a riding vaccuum cleaner. 'course a remote control vaccuum cleaner would be good too. with options like offroad tires, saw blade, and flame thrower. oh man. i'm gonna be so rich.
Monday, May 22, 2006
  building sets
bennett has a kid k'nex building set. he meticulously builds everything in the instruction book. when he's done he starts making modifications. often times the first thing he does is remove the electric motor. which just reinforces dad's theory that toys without batteries are more fun for kids than toys with batteries.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
  then and now
the violent death rate in iraq is 25.71 per 100,000 (presumably per year). for comparison washington dc is 45.9. shocking i know. still, where would you like to go for your next vacation? iraq's rate is a lot higher than it was before the invasion. the death rate went from 5% to 7.9%. only some of that increase is violent deaths. the rest is infant mortality, exposure to heat/cold, poisons like bullet fragments in your food and water, lack of nutrition, disease, etc. heh. we've successfully made their country more like ours. can't just let a country live in peace. can we? not even our own apparently. for a more appropriate statisitcal comparison: compare the u.s. at 5.5 to iraq at 25.71, and washington dc at 45.9 to baghdad at ~75.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
  iran 2
my last post was offensive. i don't think iran should have nuclear weapons. i don't trust them to not use them to say, wipe israel off the map. it's my amateur opinion that the horrible result of a nuclear iran is the most likely outcome of our current foreign policy towards them. it's not too late to change course. hopefully, we can.
Friday, May 19, 2006
suppose you were sitting on the second largest material prize in the history of the world. and your neighbor, with the third largest material prize in the history of the world, was just overrun by a hostile foreign country. and that invader's now making threats in your direction. wouldn't you be in a big goddam hurry to develop weapons that at least have a hope of making them think twice before invading you? your neighbor was erroneously accused of having such weapons. if you're going to be invaded regardless of whether you have wmd's or not... you might as well have them. and make the fuckers pay dearly for violating your country.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
  phone db 3
suppose my integrity was somewhat less than honorable. and suppose i worked for the nsa. maybe i was given the job by a known disrepute. now, what could i do with the phone call database? i'd have the dirt on every one of my enemies. and everyone one of my allies' enemies. i'd know who called what whore house. who called what lobbyist. who was being lobbied by whom. who buys their dope from where. i'd know who leaked damaging information about me to the press. i could leak damaging information to the press. and just like that my foes are vanquished. the temptation to use this kind of power was too much for richard nixon. it might be too much for me. and i don't cheat on my taxes even. we gain very little from having the world's phone records. and we risk an awful lot.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
  phone db 2
how many suspected terrorists are there in the united states? at one time president bush was asserting that the iraqi resistance was a small number of radicals. so how many could possibly be here? 9/11 was carried out by 20 individuals. maybe the support group was several hundred. okay, so there are thousands of terrorists hiding in the states. getting warrants to track the phone records of this many people sounds like a pain in the ass. i think congress would be pretty agreeable to passing laws to streamline the process. they passed the patriot act abomination after all. that would make everything clearly legal. this whole scandal wouldn't exist. and we'd be able to accomplish exactly the same goals.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
  phone db
if i had a list of every phone call made in the world, how could i find terrorists with it? i expect the data to look like a social network. much like links on the web. ie there are hubs who make large numbers of connections. and non-hubs that mostly only connect to hubs. the internet is a social network. google is a hub. i am a non-hub. okay, so i start my search for terrorists with a small number of known or suspected terrorists phone numbers. then i track who they call. and who they call. and so on. very quickly i get connections to everyone in the world. okay, so i need to be more discriminating. so i find people who are called often by suspects. maybe i've just found a new suspect. or maybe i've just found the best middle east restaurant in the big apple.
Monday, May 15, 2006
  2/3 evil
heh. some folks pointed out that saddam killed some 300,000 people. that's actually the lower estimate. estimates from other sources are 500,000 and 1 million. so let's be conservative. that's over 25 years. or 12,000 people per year. bush's conservative estimate is 8000 kills per year. his upper estimates are about 4 times higher. just like saddam's. clearly saddam was a person of great evil. he killed people at a rate 50% higher than bush. so is bush only two thirds evil? what do you call that? bush is a person of substantial evil? remarkable evil? intense evil? at least saddam generally limited his kills to his enemies. bush kills are random.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
we went to germany to visit alisa's family a few summers ago. somewhere i picked up the word liebchen. probably from friends whose parents or grandparents were off the boat germans. i figured it meant little loved one. like what mom would call her daughter. so while in germany i started calling cousin janina liebchen. she was like 17 at the time. she kinda gave me a funny look. so did her dad. she took me aside and explained that it meant lover. oops! might be a context thing. ie it could mean either depending on who says it to whom.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
2,819 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. total casualties from iraq war counting coalition members and military contractors: 2968. just counting those deaths - george bush has killed more than bin laden. but the blood doesn't stop there. 4638 iraqi security and police force deaths. 9037 iraqi civilian deaths since january 2005. iraqi death counts aren't very available for the period between the official start of the war in march 2003 and december 2004. neither are iraqi death counts for u.s. military actions before the official start of the war. apparently, we were softening up their defenses 6 months early. like before u.n. resolutions. like before congressional approval.
Friday, May 12, 2006
when i was a kid, my nightmares were about monsters. bigfoot specifically. when i was a young adult, they were about being back in school. now they're about bad things happening to my kids.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
  voting 3
my hypothetical voting process would put a large number repeated on both the ballot and on the voter's receipt. this number can simply pair the ballot with the receipt. or maybe it can do more. suppose it encodes the list of candidates and the ones i voted for. it would also have to encode some secret known only to the election commission. otherwise i'd be able to prove how i voted. now when there are problems i can show up with my receipt and recreate my ballot. my number could encode a time stamp and the current totals. some small portion of the electoral secret could be on my receipt. given enough receipts someone could divine the secret. and be able to independently decode the ballots. i'm not sure if that's a good idea or not.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
  voting 2
paper ballots work pretty well. you have a tangible object you can look at. and count by hand. and photocopy. and show to skeptical people. the system we have right now is insane. i cast my vote on a machine and it goes off into the ether. some time later results show up on the television. recounts don't make any sense. there is nothing to recount. we have to take it on faith that nothing went wrong. and nothing is ever going to go wrong. we are fools.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
casting and counting votes is an interesting problem. the system needs several properties. 1) an individual should not be able to prove how he voted. otherwise i could sell my vote. or my employer could fire me if i don't vote the way he directed. 2) we have to be able to detect errors. either the accidental kind where things went abozo. or the deliberate kind where someone cheated. ideally, we want to be able to correct errors. but we might have to settle for just detecting them. either 1) or 2) is pretty easy. having both is where the difficulty lies. i like voting on a machine. it makes the votes easy to count. but knowing firsthand how buggy and how vulnerable software can be... ::shiver:: anywho, i'd do things this way. make my vote on a touch screen like we do. it then prints my ballot. on one side i can see the names of the people i voted for. on each side is the same large number. which i'll blog more about later. between the two sides is a blank area. i can draw any pattern i want in this area. i'd draw a smiley face. then the ballot is separated. names and half the smiley face go in the ballot box for the official count. and i get to keep the rest as a receipt.
Monday, May 08, 2006
  carseat fun
garrett's old carseat has a lap bar that comes down over his head. it then firmly buckles to the seat between his legs. he's big enough and old enough now that he usually rides in a booster seat. but we still use the old one from time to time. the last time we used it mom snapped him in and he started screamin' OW! OOOOWWWW! MY NUTS! MY NUTS! mom knew he was just joking right away. of course. somehow this is my fault. i swear i have no idea where he gets it.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
  olive oil
my wife's new doctor suggested olive oil as a moisturizer. i should send flowers to the doctor's office.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
hey god. hey adam. you look troubled. what's on your mind? where did i come from? i made you, adam. yes i know. but how did you make me? ah! happy to tell you. i took four different nucleotides and made 20 different amino acids. i strung them together to made double stranded deoxyribonucleic acid which makes several types of single stranded ribonucleic acid to make proteins lipid shell meiosis meitosis multicellular mutations change over time common descent and there you are. well that should about cover it. any questions? yes lord. where did i come from? i made you, adam but how did you make me? from clay, adam. i made you from clay oh thank you lord! thank you.
Friday, May 05, 2006
garrett seems to have a gift of expression that i completely lack. the other day he said to his mother: i love you more than the highest mountain. i love you more than the longest train.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
  spear me
i was defending a guy in last week's hockey game. i made a play on the puck. my stick got firmly wedged in the crack of a door. we were flying along the boards at top speed. i charged directly into a set spear. it caught me on the lower left side of my abdominal wall. usually the stick breaks under that much force. this one didn't. i went down screamin. i knew i was hurt and tried to get up to get off the rink. failed. the nice boy on the other team asked me if i was okay. i said, oh yeah sure i'm fine. what actually came out was another, unnnnnnnhhhhhhh. i needed to puke. my legs still didn't work. but hands did. so i took off my helmet. and i could speak again. they asked me to not puke on the floor. i was right next to a door. but it couldn't be opened from inside the rink. great. i left the rink as soon as i could get my wheels under me. i went to a conveniently located garbage can. guts hurt a lot. i pretty much took it on the bladder. i was worried it was ruptured. so i went to the conveniently located bathroom. there was a big sign on the door saying out of order, please use the other bathroom on the other end of this huge building. great. this is the kid's bathroom. so they've got mini pots. great. i'm wearing skates. and lots of protective gear. i manage to get it all mostly removed. and squeezed out a few squirts of urine. most of which got in the pot. pee, sweat, not much difference. no blood. whew. i'm just bruised.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
bennett's second grade class is taking their sat's this week. mom asked him how they were. ben said they were hard. he had to read a book while waiting for the other kids to finish. he is definitely his mother's kid. i didn't pull that sort of nonsense until fifth grade.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
  puking cough
this last cold was the worst. mucus got real thick and sticky in my lungs. i'd get the unproductive wracking coughs. sorta. it would push gobs of sticky stuff up my throat just far enough to trigger my gag reflex. i dashed for the toilet more than once. but managed to keep myself under control. garrett has it now. he lacks the skill. ah well. at least it's easy to clean puke off the kitchen floor.
Monday, May 01, 2006
i know my wife can read my mind. 'cause every now and then she blushes for no apparent reason. such behaviour can only be explained by her reading my dirty mind.
most every day i wander the corridors of my mind and open a door at random.

blogs of friends
bad astronomy
freedom to tinker

web comics
casey&andy (complete)
cheshire crossing (complete)
order of the stick

doonesbury (sunday only)
foxtrot (sunday only)
wizard of id

cool science facts (idle)
exploding unicorn
some ex-intern's
hyperbole and a half

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