scientists announce it's 85% likely there's a planet around some other star. everyone cheers. scientist announce it's 95% likely we're fucking up the planet. everyone boos. why? the answer is star trek. people want to believe there are other earth-like planets out there. they want to be captain kirk and bang beutiful alien women. they don't want to go to the gym and exercise even though it will make them healthier and happier. they don't want to stop to consider that maybe just maybe they're mismanaging their own planet.
when i'm working i disappear into the tank. the rest of the world is gone. there is this little voice inside my head that keeps a watch on things. it tells me things like the stereo's on fire, or you need to go pee, or alisa said something. this voice has absolutely no sense of humor. it just dishes up the facts. one day i was working as a contractor in washington state when it told me an angel just walked by. zoink. angel? heh. the receptionist was wearing a white dress with wing-like gauzy stuff between her arms and body. she had a halo of blonde hair. and she was carrying something vaguely harp-shaped. an angel.
i learned something about myself today. i can hold my breath for 2.5 minutes upside down and contorted under my desk. i can also simultaneously perform manual dexterity tasks like disconnect a hunnert wires from a high tech stereo amplifier while literally under fire. and with the additional distraction of several screaming smoke alarms. i also learned something about our mail carrier. she won't stop for snow, rain, hail, or a guy charging out of his house carrying a flaming box.
poof? electronic components are made of smoke. lots and lots of smoke. the smoke doesn't like being crammed into such a small space. so it's always trying to get out. the sound it makes when it gets free is poof! when i'm working i'm in the tank. and i'm pretty good at ignoring everything and everyone around me. but not poof. poof is a bad sound.
china v taiwan
hypothetically speaking, if china were to invade taiwan... would that be a civil war or an invasionary war? the land now known as taiwan used to be part of china. and it's the most important chunk not captured during the communist revolution. but that was 50 some years ago. most people alive then are dead now. surely taiwan must be its own country by now? or is it somehow still part of china? heh. hopefully, this will remain a thought experiment.
war vs war
i make a distinction between civil war and invasionary war. in a civil war, the people oppose their own government. sometimes with help from other countries. examples abound. an invasionary war is when one country initates hostilities and invades another (duh!) there's lots of room to debate which category a particular conflict fits into. so why do i make the distinction? civil wars can be won or lost. invasionary wars are usually losing propositions. the exceptions to that casual observation is when the intention of the invader is to kill capture the territory.
people sometimes ask me how much of my blogs are true? heh. well, uh... every last word. ;->
sometimes people ask me if i would personally kill george w bush. usually it's something like: if you had him in the sights of your sniper rifle, would you pull the trigger? i answer with my own questions. has he been tried and convicted of a capital crime like treason? am i the executioner appointed by the people? or... is he about to immediately and directly cause the death of another human being? are all other means of preventing that exhausted? i have no intention of being a murderer. neither directly nor indirectly. that'd make me too much like him.
a while ago i asked the question, when was the last time one country invaded another and won? so far the best answer is the american indian wars. which we won because we were willing to kill every single indian. and we kept their land. i wonder if that's what it will take to win in iraq.
notice that concentrated solar power requires direct sunlight, ie clear skies. if we burn too much coal, clean or otherwise, there won't be anywhere on earth with clear skies. no clear skies, no direct sunlight. no direct sunlight, no concentrated solar power. sigh. how do you get people to do what you know they know they need to do?
ever heard of concentrated solar power? most people haven't. basically you find an empty patch of ground with clear skies most of the time. cover it with mirrors. super-heat water to some 1000 degrees. store it for days or weeks. convert it to steam when you need it. use the steam to drive turbines to generate electricity. voila! solar power at night. pretty neat, huh? but wait. there's more. the technology is available today off the shelf. and it's cost competitive with coal burning power plants. even without subsidies. or carbon credits. or requiring coal plants to pay carbon penalties.
i was originally going to publish yesterday's post before valentine's day. then i had an attack of the smarts.
the battleground of the sexes is so often the bathroom. specifically the toilet seat. women say put it down. men say shut the fuck up. well, they'd like to. but they don't cause if they're sharing a toilet with a woman then they're getting something they'd rather not give up. so what's a guy to do? the best you can do is a draw. here's my secret. "we" put in a shelf above the tank. it's the perfect size for toothbrushes, hair brushes, barrettes, scrunchies, dental floss, razors, etc. it tilts ever so slightly away from the wall. not much mind you. just enough that things fall off slightly more often than normal. inevitably something lands in the toilet. and it doesn't matter if the seat is up or down. eventually someone gets the idea that everyone should put the lid down. ah, great idea! you say. sweet victory. a gender neutral solution. after a few drops saved by the lid (which is fun to call from the bathroom even if it wasn't an accident) your partner becomes a permanent lid lowerer. and you can shim the shelf so stuff stops falling off.
i love my wife. she makes the greatest valentine's day cards. this year's had red hearts with little angel wings and it said some mushy stuff inside. last year's was a purple staircase thing with hearts glued on each step that said some mushy stuff. last anniversary's card was purple with a white tissue paper rose-like design thing and lots of silver mushy text. it's my favorite. it's still on my desk. so what'd i get her? well uh... this year's "card" sorta turned into a cub scout picture frame house. i still need to paint it. and write some mushy stuff on the back of course.
the government should auction smoking permits. they're good for 90 days. each permit let's you kill one smoker provided you catch them in the act of smoking in a public place. sure beats raising taxes. and it gives the smokers a cleaner death than lung cancer. timmer for president. ;->
everyone and everything has an agenda. so what's mine? long term survival of the human race. we face one problem that can be attacked on two fronts and that is simply having enough resources per person. one front is to limit the number of people. there is no solution if population is allowed to grow forever. at some point we have to stop creating new mouths that need to be fed. the other front is where we get our energy. the best bet is concentrated solar. it would be nice if some other longshot technology proves to be better. that'd be great. but an ever growing dependence on fossil fuels is the wrong direction. i hope we can change course. and the sooner the better.
bennett built a car out of one of his many construction sets. he powered it with a tape measure. the spool was mounted in the car body. the end of the tape was secured to a box across the room. let go and zoooommm! off goes your tape measure racer. we clocked one run at 4 mph. it was easy. we knew the distance. it's a frikken tape measure after all. and we timed the seconds to get the speed. i never built one when i was a kid. go ben go.
a man who started two wars, abused his own people, and stole their wealth has certainly earned his noose.
shortly after the kitchen was remodeled alisa took bennett skiing. garrett and i did fun things around the house. like take the door off the refrigerator. we turned off the heat to the house to do this. so the food wouldn't spoil. we flipped all the hardware so when we put the door back on it opened from the left instead of from the right. we didn't tell alisa we were going to do this before she left. literally moments after we finished she came home. while unpacking she walked over to fridge. i grabbed garrett and pointed. tug. tug. TUG. puzzled look. big grin. garrett and i laughed. alisa laughed. she wanted the door flipped. it was pretty inconvenient the other way.
heh. cheney said hillary clinton would not make a good president. in other news, the pot called the kettle black. the doubly funny part is i more/less agree with him.
it often surprises people when they find out i've actually read the bible. i suspect this is because they haven't. i've read most of both the king james version and most of the new way bible. i was kinda young the first time. i stopped for two reasons. first, it became clear that the bible doesn't say what people think it says. boy do nice old lady sunday school teachers get ticked at you when you question anything they say the bible says. i mean like fire shoots out their ears. and two, i got disgusted by the continuous celebrations of violence. both divine and mortal.
boy did i get some flame mail for my burning bush blog
. apparently, i'm a fucking blasphemer. and i don't know shit about the bible. well, screw you. according to my religion, heaven is all fluffy clouds, angels and harps. with st peter checking names at the pearly gates. if you don't like my blog then don't read it. if you don't like my religion don't subscribe to it. but if you're going to attack my religion then you can go to hell too.
my pally 8 hooked up with a group of higher levels. they were taking bets on who'd get the most kills. they all picked the ranger 10. with twice as many kills as the next highest. which they bet would be the bard 10. i told them i'd shield block for em. like ya. 'course i matched that ranger kill for kill. the bard. phyah. he wasn't even in the game.
one day our group picked up a berserker. he and i ran ahead and killed everything. i heard this buzzing noise from the other players. buzz buzz stay with the healer buzz buzz group for buffs buzz buzz don't run ahead buzz buzz. he left the group after we completed the quest. so i sent him a message saying i liked the pace. he invited me to join a group of his friends. every last one of their characters was a damage machine. it was the most impressive display of carnage i'd ever seen. a single flesh render strikes fear into entire parties of our level. we went to a dungeon full of them. and mowed them like wheat. i made the comment: who needs armor when nothing lives long enough to swing at you? next thing i know everyone's nekkid and the carnage continued. swing on the run. no point stopping. that'd just put you at the back of the pack chasing naked dwarf butts.
i got picked up by a group that wanted to do a long dungeon for the final quest reward. they didn't care about xp or any of the side quests. they just wanted to do it fast. it was a pretty repetitive dungeon. go a little farther into the same dungeon 7 times. wee. the typical encounter is a line of fighters and wargs charge you. shamans blast you from behind with spells. so me and the barbarian leaped the initial wall and killed the casters in a swing or two. we'd turn around to face the wall that had turned around to attack us. cleave and great cleave they're all dead too. so off we run to the next encounter. right about then the sorcerer unleashes a couple of fireballs. i guess he likes to burn corpses or something. it was... satisfying. it was a bad day to be a hobgoblin. it was a very bad day to be hobgoblin cleric.
a friend of mine pointed me to a web site that purports to debunk the myth of global warming. it was beautiful. well actually it was pretty ugly. bright red and bright blue fonts. igh. but it linked to sites that were well done. the beautiful parts were claims like this one: cow emissions contribute more to global warming than auto emissions. the beautiful part about this is it's more/less true! and the reader is given the opportunity to conclude for themselves that global warming isn't caused by people. if it exists at all. the articles don't ever actually say that. they just let the guy believe whatever he wants to believe. and the target audience wants to believe that his suv isn't going to kill his grandchildren. as if farting cows aren't our doing. sheehs.
i see the brilliance of bush's iraq plan now. pretty much no matter what we do iraq's headed for civil war between the shia's backed by iran and the sunni's backed by saudi arabia. which happen to be the countries with oil reserves ranked #1 and #2. so if they're busy fighting each other they'll sell us all of their oil for cheap. we win!
the best time to plant a tree is 50 years ago. the second best time is right now. heh. the adage works for things other than trees. like global warming, overpopulation, war, disease, pollution, medicare, pensions, playing with your kids, etc.