pray for you
when my mother's husband lay dying at home of pancreatic cancer, his relatives would tell him, they'll pray for him. what they're really saying is, "you're dying. there's nothing anyone can do for you." which i believe is the right way to say this thing that needs to be said without actually saying it. they're not saying, here's some medicine. they're not saying, i brought you a doctor who can heal you. they're not saying, i found a treatment that will cure you. they're saying, you're completely screwed. which actually gives you a certain freedom. you stop worrying about it. you stop producing all those stress hormones, endorphines, etc. that just get in the way of the process of healing. or dying. sometimes you recover as if by miracle. sometimes you die in peace. gerry passed away without pain. most likely of a morphine overdose.
ben's cub scout pack (all 6 of them!) are selling popcorn as a fundraiser. order early. order often. anywho, generally fundraisers are a total rip off. this one's not so bad. 70% of the proceeds goes to scouting. but only 27% or so goes to the pack. we'd do better to buy $6 worth of popcorn at the store, and donate $6 each to scouts and to the pack. this way we get to deduct a $12 donation on taxes. but i suppose it's good for the kids to get used to the idea of working to raise money for their activities.
in a scientific context there are no facts. there are only theories. in an engineering context, a set of those theories are assumed to be facts within the domain to which they are applied. like thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, electromagnetism, relativity, newtonian mechanics, evolution, etc. from those assumptions, engineers build bridges, cars, and airplanes. some scientific theories aren't appropriate for engineering use yet. should we build a bridge on string theory? nope. should we build a car based on common descent? absolutely. should we build an airplane on inflation? maybe. remember this the next time you hear some fool yappin' about scientific facts. regardless of whether he's pro-science or not.
never heard of the non-aligned movement before. but judging by this snippet
i'd say we're pretty well aligned. cautiously of course. cause i don't know what the rest of the document says. i'm only getting whatever information makes it through the media filter. who knows. they might want the leter m stricken from the alphabet.
i call this the amazing disappearing oil trick. last month we announced the discovery of a vast field of oil in the gulf of mexico. some 50 billion barrels worth. 5% of the world's reserve. this month it's 3-15 billion barrels. next month it'll be 1-6 billion barrels. and maybe we'll actually recover some 280 million barrels. which the world will consume in 3 days. a reduction from the original estimate of 99.44%.
apparently a u.s. report to the u.n. about iran's nuclear program misrepresented findings by the iaea. they called foul. the iaea was right and the u.s. wrong about iraq's program. my money's on the iaea. the problem i see is the world completely ignoring the u.s.'s hysterical shriekings about how we need to punish the immediate threat that is iran. fool me twice. shame on me. iran has stated they want to wipe israel off the face of the map and genocide all jews. do they mean it? or is it just bluster? and the world's likely to let them advance their bluff. if indeed they are just bluffing. 'cause our credibility is trashed. nice little shit hole we've made for ourselves huh?
there are many things one could say about steve irwin. he had an extra dose of personality. he set his limits by experimentation. and found them far beyond what fear marks safe. deep down, each of us wants to be steve irwin. except he's dead.
phone driver 2
another day i was skating to the gym. there's one section at an intersection where there is no sidewalk. but there are geese. in city limits. go figure. i have to cross the street. there's a right turn lane. usually nothing's coming. but today this jeep faded in. so i stayed on the white line near the traffic light separating the right turn lane from the rest of the traffic so he could go by without waiting for me and i didn't have to skate on gravel. i'm still slowly moving down the street towards him when he turns on his left turn turn signal. yikes! he wants to be where i am. i'm clearly in his way. so i dive across the street and into the gravel filled gutter. he didn't change lanes. huh. he's got one hand holding his phone against his head and the other hand's gesturing at me. sheehs people. think. before you kill someone. set the damn phone down and drive. they'll understand. or pull over if it's an emergency so you can concentrate on saving the life of the person on the other end without risking mine. thanks.
when i was leaving the gym the other day there was this line of cars stopped at a green light. i was like, what the heck? so i skated over and here's this dude at the front of the line talking on his cell phone completely oblivious to the annoyed honking of the cars behind him. i skated over and stuck my face in his open passenger side window. still didn't notice me. sheehs. HANG UP THE FUCKING PHONE AND DRIVE, ASSTARD! he noticed that. i got some grins and waves from some of the newly liberated drivers.
my friend andy, who used to work on this really cool web comic called casey and andy, has stopped working on it in mid finale arc. asstard. just left that piece like an ugly old woman for this hot new thing called cheshire crossing
things were crazy saturday and sunday in la. but were less insane by monday. so i suggested a tommy's run. they said there was one close. i said, huh? no way. let's go to the original original tommy's at rampart and beverly. it's culture. the franchise tommy's are just fast food joints. they said no way, that'll take 20 minutes to drive there. so instead they ordered mexican food that was going to take 45 minutes to be ready for pickup. dorks. and they did this late in the afternoon. so i just barely had time for a tommy's run after the van returned with their food and before i had to get to lax. i wasn't about to not go. this would be my 5th trip to la without a run. so there it was. and there i was. i got extra chilli. it was goooood. my mouth said oh yeah! that's the stuff. it was so good i had to have another you-call-that-extra-chilli?!?! double cheese burger. i'd already warned alisa i'd be skipping dinner that night.
so 8 pm friday night before the long labor day weekend my boss calls up and asks me if i can go to los angeles to help set up for a very important capture session on the 5th and 6th. it's not like i can really say no. we were only planning cub scout stuff, swimming, errands, and other local stuff. no travel. so bright and early saturday morning we've got the sleepy boys packed into the car and we're off to the airport. i've got only a carry on. no toothpaste. pah. stupid security theatre. anywho, i was feeling pretty pissed off about this whole fiasco. not really for me. but for alisa. she's stuck at home with a broken finger and two boys bored from the long summer vacation. yeah, i was feeling pretty sorry for myself about what was being asked of us. until i saw private thomas was on my flight on his way to iraq.
i claim we are all atheists. the difference is that i believe in one god less than most of you. and when you understand why you insist that all those other gods can't possibly exist you'll understand why i insist yours can't possibly exist either.
a friend of mine (joe) is fond of saying that oil is so valuable that our grandkids will be appalled that we burned it. he's right and wrong. oil is easily the most valuable stuff on earth. but our grandkids will be appalled that we did anything with it other than put it in the tank. in terms of energy per pound, nothing comes close to oil's products: gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel. you can't fly a 747 on batteries. nor are we likely to. ever.
my mother shops at the second closest grocery store. she's pissed off at the rich family that runs the closest one. they have no full time employees except family members. so they don't have to pay benefits. except to themselves. they don't fire people. they reduce a person's hours until they quit. they donated their huge house to be a park when the last family member dies. in the meantime they don't have to pay rent or property taxes. each newborn kid has a dozen rich aunts uncles and grandparents. they each give him $10k per year. at their levels of wealth their investments return 20% after taxes. so when the kid turns 18 he's got some $12 million in the bank. and goes to work for the family business. doing absolutely nothing. rich people need more tax cuts.
i was wondering the other day how alisa would look in a princess leia bikini. apparently i was wondering out loud 'cause bennett asked, princess leia of star wars? i asked if he's ever seen star wars. he said, no. so i told him the story of a man named darth vader who worked for the emperor running the galaxy. things were pretty peaceful and prosperous until his two bad little children decided they wanted to run the galaxy themselves. so they started a war and ended up blowing up his police station. as punishment he cut off luke's hand and sold leia into slavery. peace and prosperity returned until the bad children started the war again. this time they succeeded in killing him and rewrote all the history books to make their father look like a really bad guy. but they tacked onto this story some bogus nonsense about how he came back to life as a good guy. obviously guilty consciences. poor bennett. he's going to have to go to school twice. once to unlearn everything i've taught him. and again to learn it the mainstream way.
(my employer) showed contour reality capture system (my project) at siggraph. woo hooty. i went on vacation for effectively 3 weeks afterwards. i needed it. been working on this dumb thing for 2.5 years. now i get to rewrite it and make it better. it's actually a pretty cool thing. we capture an actor's performance and stuff it into the computer. then the animators turn it into a movie, commercial, or game. at my job you'll find computers, cameras, black lights, and beautiful women slathered in glow in the dark paint. send resume's to firstname.lastname@example.org.
i got a brand spankin new mac pro quad xeon. courtesy of rearden labs. alisa's annoyed i brought an intel product into the house. she worked at amd on the nx586, k6, k7, and k8. anywho, it's pretty nice, quiet, cool, fast. moving everything from the old computer to the new one was almost completely automatic. that was really nice. it does have some weirdnesses. like it reboots or kernel panics when i tell it to shut down. and it doesn't remember what should be shown in the windows when it starts up. weird. price of early adoption i guess. presumably it's a pc too. but i haven't been brave enough to try out that feature yet.
migger is a word i made up. it's a derogatory term for a muslim arab. kinda like nigger. we've killed (or caused to be killed) some 50,000 to 700,000 miggers. the larger number counts inter war sanctions. but you never see these numbers in the media. why? their lives aren't significant enough to tally their deaths. they're not really human beings. they're just miggers. and the war on terror will last as long as we keep thinking of people this way.
it's been really convenient how the cry of terrorist! goes up whenever the administration needs to drown out the voices of the opposition. i predict this election season will be no different. it's like crying wolf. we've got to make the little boy stop the game before the wolf really does come along and bite us. again.
9/11 is all newt gingrich's fault. he drove that whole monica lewinsky thing. he created the kenny star show. which distracted clinton from doing presidential things. like watch out for terrorist plots. so bill didn't have the goods to hand to bush. i'm sure georgie would have loved to have had an excuse to smack the bad guys before they smacked us. hey, never said i didn't like conspiracy theories as much as the next guy.
the best time to plant a tree is 50 years ago. the second best time is right now. the best time to fight global warmin is 50 years ago. the second best time is right now. the difference is we can live with fewer trees. business as usual will dump so much carbon into the air it'll fuck us up big time in 50 years. go plant a tree. don't wait 50 years. it'll be too late.
i remember just getting swarmed by mosquitos when i was a kid growing up in pennsylvania. they were everywhere. we always had mosquito bites. i noticed this trip i didn't even see a mosquito. where have they all gone? or am i suddenly this year too old and stringy? the kids didn't get any bites either. did they spray? is it the weather? is it global warming? hmmm... well, don't miss em. though it might bode ill for the food chain.
the airline industry is very sensitive to the price of fuel. which as i've said ad nauseum is only going to go up. so they're hurting. and many will go bankrupt. they can try to go to the government and say please bail us out. but ha ha. pass the price to the consumer. no sympathy. fortunately the airlines are under attack by terrorists. now they can raise prices and blame it on terrorism. and the massive extra cost of security theatre. now they can go to the government and get special treatment. it's a matter of national security.
my mother got a tattoo. four of them actually. on her face. she has freckles saturating her skin and rust colored hair. hence her nickname, rusty. her eyebrows are nearly invisible. so she adds them with makeup. she makes fun of her sister when she paints her eyebrows too far up on her head so she looks surprised all the time. mom can't see very well close up any more. even with glasses. applying makeup became challenging. so she had her eyebrows tattoo'd by a professional. and she added some eyeliner just for good measure. now she doesn't have to worry about looking like a tammy faye baker clown. and i get to blog about mom's tattoos.
my grandfather died 3 years ago. i didn't realize i still had some mourning to do. his mind was still sharp at 88. but his body was failing. i went to see him after the major stroke that eventually killed him. he hated people seeing him this way. i've never been good at getting words out during emotional moments. (my traitor throat betrayed me on my wedding day.) i just wanted to say to him, i don't see a crippled old man worn down by age. i see the fifth grade teacher and principal, the football coach, the man who ran a welding a pipefitting school, the man who built most of his own house, tended his roses, finished the basement in our house, mowed our lawn until i was old enough. the man who helped carve my pinewood derby racers, who was there when my father was in texas with his second family. i wanted to say, most of what i am is you.
civilization has stagnated. at the end of the week at camp michigania they hold a teen dance. they played the same songs i danced to as a teen 25 years ago. the radio stations in pennsylvania were playing the same songs they played when i left 22 years ago. we doomed. maybe it's not their fault. maybe it's organized music. maybe it really is so much more profitable to sell the same old crap, which they own forever thanks to skillful manipulations of copyright law, than it is to create new stuff, or acquire it, and sell it instead.
okay is an interesting word. when i say it to my children it means, do you understand your instructions and do you promise to execute them? they respond with, okay. which means, yes i understand and will obey. at least it's supposed to. when my children say okay to me it means, may i please? and i reply with, okay. which means, yes. sheehs. it's a wonder we can communicate at all.
i got tired of people being rude to healers in ddo. like they think i'm required to fix the wounds they got cause they were stupid and ran off alone and got their 12 year old backsides handed to them. like i don't have anything better to do with my spell points and the juicy juicy spells on my list. so i made a healer named please. now it at least sounds like they're being polite. can i have a heal, please? heal snertboy, please!
cash v accrual
there are two popular ways to keep your books: cash and accrual accounting methods. the accrual method is required for all businesses over a certain size. why? because it's so much easier to pull an enron with the cash method. criminals did. and shareholders laid down the law. the u.s. government uses the cash method. last year's deficit was some $400 billion by cash. or $1.3 trillion by accrual. the national debt is some $8 trillion by cash. or $45 trillion by accrual. the bulk of the difference is payments for future programs. like social security, welfare, medicare, medicaid, pensions, etc. the justification for using cash instead of accrual goes like this: congress could decide at any time to change those programs. in other words, to not pay. but really. can you imagine the fate of the congress that decides to stop paying welfare?