there's a wonderful line in the movie babe. every now and then mr. hoggett gets an idea that tickles around in the back of his head that just won't go away. i know how he feels. he put a pig in a sheep dog show. i'm gonna play with blocks. big blocks. not the size of stonehenge. they're like 20 tons. more like 4 ton blocks. we went to joe's for thanksgiving. joe's got a small chunk of farmland in the middle of suburbia. and three meadows. the north meadow is large and unsuitable for anything. except stacking rocks. big rocks. well, not real rocks. concrete "rocks". two standing on end. and one across the top. the difference between men and boys is the size of their rocks.
i love my wife. she made the three most beautiful pies for thanksgiving to take to joe's house - apple, pumpkin, and (mary's favorite) chocolate. i didn't help much. except to fetch this or that. the best part about making pie is kissing the chocolate off the beautiful and talented alisa's face. busted. so busted.
a long time ago i read a cute little fantasy book. the protagonist needed to travel across a nation to save the world. there was a prophecy: aid this man and a third will die. so everyone tried to kill him. eventually, they find out the other half of the prophecy: hinder him and all are lost. i feel this way about coal. if we burn coal the dirty way the pollution will kill a third of us. but the other half of the prophecy is to burn coal the clean way and everyone dies. that sure sounds backwards, doesn't it? but it's right. as in, stated correctly. the pollution from dirty coal cools the planet. without it (ie clean coal) we cook.
i lose my job at the end of the year. for the second time this year. sigh. it's okay though. i have a new job. it's the same as the old job. heh. in reality, that's just a fun way of saying my company's reorganizing again. did i getcha?
my least favorite part of the day usually starts a couple of hours before the work day is supposed to end. cause that's the time that my coworkers invariably send me happy bubbly email about all the wonderful things they did wrong today. and i have to focus composure and reply. great! now tomorrow, throw it all away and do it right. instructions were mailed yesterday. at 5 pm. sigh.
the administration's position is that we can't afford to lose in iraq. which pretty much means we can't withdraw. however the military's position is that we can't add more troops. we're stretched too thin. oddly i agree with both positions. if "we" means "this administration" and not "the united states". i don't care about winning in iraq. what exactly does that mean anyway? we're not going to keep the oil or the land or enslave the people. we're just making people suffer. we started a war. we deserve to lose.
pakistan recently changed its laws on rape. a woman no longer needs to produce four witnesses to prove she was raped. apparently this has angered some islamists. heh. well. one wonders if they have wives, daughters, sisters, mothers. rape 'em. just make sure there are three or fewer witnesses. see if they change their tune. or maybe they'll put the victim to death for having extramarital sex. either way works for me.
usually i swear by my online bank. i really can't imagine writing checks by hand every month any more. it's just silly. but they've recently done something incredibly stuuupid. now in order to get access to MY money i have to log in with my secure password and now in addition i also have to answer a challenge question. i get to select six questions from a list. but very few of them actually apply to me. what is my favorite candy? is it a krackle bar? or is it a krackel bar. like i freakin pay attention to the spelling. it's the red one. what's my favorite movie? it's different right now than it was 5 minutes ago. sheehs. so now the answers to the challenge questions are all fuckyou. somehow i don't think they're getting the additional security they were hoping for. don't get between me and my money. i'm a hacker, goddammit.
they generate treasure at random in ddo. you can find weapons with special properties. like giant killer. or flaming. sometimes you find combination weapons. like flaming giant killer. sometimes the combinations are pretty funny. like the dagger of ghost tripping we pulled the other day. or the backstabbing hammer of righteousness.
when was the last time someone started a war and won it?
imagine a pot of water on a stove. that's iraq. things are simmering because of the heat caused by our soldiers. at the same time things are not boiling over because they're the lid that's clamped down tight. now to suddenly switch metaphors... we've got a tiger by the tail. an angry tiger. it will bite us if we let go. but someone's gotta have the courage to take the hit and not retaliate. then we can say: sorry i pulled your tail. sorry we bit you. want to sell some oil?
rank voting would be a really nice experiment to try. but it's anathema to our two party system. so it's unlikely we'll ever get to try it. bush, clinton, and perot are running for president. you'd like to vote for perot. but you're afraid of wasting your vote and letting that dirtbag clinton win. ah but if we had rank order voting, you could vote for perot. you rank your votes in this order: perot, bush, clinton. count the top ranking votes as if it were a normal election. if the dirtbag gets over 50% of the votes then it didn't matter who you voted for. rank order voting doesn't hurt. but if he only gets 43% and bush gets 37% and perot gets 19% then rank order voting kicks in. you take the ballots for perot and give them to the next higher ranking candidate. bush would win the election if he gets enough secondary votes from perot. it's like having run-off elections without actually having a run-off election. why would we go to the trouble? so we can have a greater selection of representatives to choose from. instead of having this stupid paralyzed east/west/north two party system.
you can't see milk in a white bowl. this was an observation made by bennett when he was three. he put it into practice yesterday. he ate his cheerios and left some milk in the bottom of the bowl. then he put his bread plate on top of his bowl and dutifully carried the lot to the kitchen counter. where i grabbed one in each hand with the intention of putting them in the dishwasher. what i really did was pour milk all over the kitchen floor. that's my boy. we were in a hurry to get to school and didn't have a chance to discuss it. he tried the same trick again this morning. but you can't catch me twice with the same gag. he tried to play all innocent like. but i know better. he's my boy.
saddam's to hang. one down. one to go.
imagine hitching a donkey and an elephant to a wagon. they both want to go north. so they're pretty happy pulling the cart generally north. but really the donkey wants to go a little bit west of north. so the donkey starts pulling a bit west. but the elephant wants to go a bit east of north. so he starts pulling harder to the east. which make the donkey turn more west. which makes the elephant turn more to the east. and so on. until eventually the the donkey's headed due west. and the elephant's headed due east. and now neither are happy. cause the wagon's not goin nowhere. sometimes the elephant is stronger and pulls the cart east. sometimes the donkey wins. it's a pretty messed up system.
ever wonder where the world's wealth comes from? it's pretty easy. it's a variation of the spend-less-than-you-earn mantra. except in the case of the global economy it's better stated as consume-less-than-you-produce. put it this way. build a building. build another building. now you have two buildings worth of wealth. and should for a very long time. now it should be easy to see why war is so stupid. build a building. build a bomb. blow them both up. now you did all that work and you have nothing. stupid. the individuals that build bombs and re-build blown up buildings win. but everyone else loses. starting a war ought to be a capital offense.
i love my replaytv. i don't know why anyone would ever watch live tv. it just ain't natural. we've had ours for several years. we very quickly grew out of the original 20 gig hard drive. so i followed the internet instructions and added a second 60 gig hard drive. woo hooty. except it was a noisy quantum fireball. it didn't take long to show up with some problems. like freezing while playing. pah. and it's been getting worse. now it pretty much won't play anything. i revisited the internet and found i can upgrade using the mac. yay! so now it has a very quiet 120 gig hard drive. double yay.
well, turns out bennett is quite the good little medic. a bottle of olive oil slipped out of my hand and smashed itself on the kitchen counter. i tried to catch it and ended up with a wee cut on my left index fingertip. 20 minutes of direct pressure and it stopped bleeding. (damn i'm old.) but then i needed a butterfly and a bandage so i'd be able to use my hands again. which i could not apply to myself with just one hand. alisa is really really squeemish about this sort of thing. so i enlisted ben. he done good.
games as art
here's a fun video
. (thanks lee!) today's video games can have stunningly beautiful scenes. and it's only going to get better. (ask me how if you want a job making it happen.) they are pieces of art all by themselves. what's really cool is people are using them as a vehicle to produce novel and creative art. go gamers.
water troubles 2
like most things, water expands when you heat it. if you work through the details, if the average temperature of the earth rises by some 4 degrees fahrenheit the oceans will expand enough to raise the sea level 3 feet. and as i mentioned in a previous post this'll be real bad for the life giving aquifers all over the world. if the world keeps getting warmer at status quo this'll happen in my life time. well, maybe. i'll be a decicentarian. hey it's possible. i eat right and exercise. it all depends on how much my god loves me.
all hallow's eve. the night when the barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. if it's possible for ghosts and spirits to cross over they'll do it this night. anywho, we grew our own pumpkins this year in the back yard. i often carve or paint my pumpkin with some sort of dead theme. usually it's pretty tasteless. like the time i put a bullet hole in one pumpkin and a pink pillbox hat on an adjacent one a la jfk. this year's victim of course was steve irwin. i thought about mocking up a sting ray barb and stabbing it into a pumpkin. but a rush of creativity overtook me. this happens sometimes. one year i painted a pumpkin like a strawberry. another year it was a baseball. so this year i found a picture of the dead guy and ps'd it into a bunch of black and white blobs. i printed it and taped it onto the pumpkin. then i peeled off the skin where the black blobs where. it was a lot of work. i was pretty disappointed with the results. and was considering the barbie back up plan. but i stuck a candle in it at night. it looked amazing. easily my best pumpkin ever.
heh. "there’s a 100% chance that the voting machines will get hacked and all future elections will be rigged. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get a worse government. It probably means that the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?" link
to original dilbert blog. is autofellating even a word? hee hee. well, it just became part of my vocabulary.
to share files on the mac you check a box in the sharing panel of system preferences. click that. you're pretty much done. okay, so i want to share the files on my pc. i found a similar check box on the pc. i checked it. no joy. so i asked john. he didn't answer. he just came over to my house, took over my desk, and started doing stuff. for like two hours. when he was done i could read the pc files from my mac. yay! i have no idea what he did. but it involved a fair bit of grumping. i suspect it would have been cursing if the boys hadn't been home. pc's suck. and apparently it's my fault. well excuse the shit out of me for expecting these things to work out of the box.
xgrid sucks. it runs as user nobody. so either you have to give the world permission to write to your directories. bad idea. or you have to run twice as many scripts and let xgrid/nobody signal them via named pipes. blech. i rewrote my scripts using ps and grep to count the number of child processes. ah. much better. i lose the ability to run jobs on different machines. oh well. the machines i'd want to run the jobs on are pcs. and they no run xgrid anyways.
so this guy invents a new athletic cup. and he comes up with a witty name. and he makes a web site
to promote it. yeah yeah. pretty standard fare. ah but here's the inspired part. he posts a video of himself sitting in front of a pitching machine taking one in the cajones to demonstrate its total protection properties. apparently the nutty buddy comes in an extra large size.
apparently the southern california water table is fairly close to sea level. close enough in fact that if the oceans rise 3 feet then so cal is completely screwed. given that los angeles is a pretty sizeable chunk of the world's economy... we really don't want the globe to get any warmer.
everything is ok
here's a video
on youtube made by a few of the employees at rearden studios. life is really good when you get to do creative projects at work. the video is entered in the youtube underground contest. vote early. and vote often.
xgrid is cool. for my job i need to process terabytes of data. i have a quad xeon mac. i need a way to spool all these tasks off to the different processors. i don't want the poor machine to get overloaded. ie i don't really want to run more than say 4 at a time. but i don't really want to write an executor myself. that'd be a pain. fortunately os x has xgrid built in. i wrote some scripts to spool the jobs to xgrid. and xgrid parcels them out when the machine's not so busy. and tells my script when everything is done. nift. the really nifty part is i can set up my other macs as part of the grid. muhahahahahah! i'm super computing now.
polls indicate the democrats are going to score major gains in both the house and the senate. 'course more people than ever are voting on diebold machines which are the official tabulators and haven't historically correlated very well with polls. but that's a rant for a different post. yay dems! go dems! the democrats will save us! heh. well, at least they're not likely to start any more wars. and they're likely to (re-)tighten up environmental policy. not sure what'll happen in iraq. certainly it won't magically get better. and taxes? heh. remember it was the democrats that gave us the rules enron played with. they certainly won't hang bush. which is what he deserves. so in my book they'll be failures. ;->
i got snarked for my obvious hostility towards the government. well, shit. how can you not feel hostility towards a man who wasted a trillion dollars and half a million lives?