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Timmerov's Blog
Friday, August 31, 2007
  feed bag
so on the flight to michigania recently i had the privilege of sitting across the aisle from a mother and her kids. they were well behaved. which was nice. mom had the largest zip loc baggie i have ever seen. it could have been its own carry on bag. it was full to bursting of snack sized packets of junk food. like oreos, fritos, chips, cookies, popcorn, etc. during the course of the flight they ate all of it. must have been some 10,000 calories in that bag. it was crazy. it was frightening.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
  get rich
my lastest get rich quick scheme involves selling t-shirts that say clever things. like "i beat anorexia". only comes in xl, xxl, and xxxl.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
  alisa swiftie
what's the schedule for today? you're going to ropes and i'm taking the boys sailing. well if they don't want to go sailing i can skip ropes. heh. that's what we call an alisa swiftie. except the beautiful and talented alisa didn't say it. i did. heh. my first alisa swiftie. she's rubbing off on me. i think that's a good thing.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
heh. i know some people who don't believe in global warming. 'course they were born in the south and have been moving steadily north all their long lives. everything looks perfectly normal to them. what global warming? heh.
Monday, August 27, 2007
  time scales 2
over the past 100k years the temperature of earth has been pretty flat except the most recent 10k years which are anomalously warm. over the past 10k years there's a clear cooling trend. over the past 1000 years it's been pretty flat. over the past 150 years it's definitely been getting warming. over the past 20 years, warmer. though we're starting to have a lower confidence level of that assertion. over a couple years, no one can say. and anyone who does is blowing smoke. and anyone who expects to be able to is a pumpkin head. year to year variation in temperature is huge compared to the size of the climate change changes we are looking for. you won't be able to see them in the data with any reasonable confidence level for many years. unless of course they're catastrophic. which is predicted by no one outside of hollywood. ;->
Sunday, August 26, 2007
  time scales
if we look at a time scale of billions of years the globe is definitely going to get warmer. over this time period the sun is going to expand into a red giant bigger than the orbit of the earth. if the earth still exists it will be mighty mighty hot inside the sun. on a scale of dinosaur years the earth has been pretty much the same temperature. the dimmer sun was more/less balanced by more geothermal heat escaping. over millions of years you can see periodic patterns of warm periods and cool periods. millions of years ago it was a 41k year cycle. which matches one of many celestial processes. why that one? i have no idea. in the last million years it's a 100k year cycle. which matches a couple of celestial processes. why these? i have no idea. why did it switch? i have no idea. perhaps because they are in phase and whatever effect they produce combined is bigger than the 41k one alone. which is bigger than either individually.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
  climate change
it's silly to talk about climate change unless you specify the time scale you are discussing. nobody does this. i think that's why there's so much room for name calling. scientists use a model of solar forcing and greenhouse feedback. there is some debate about the collected data. but then, there always is. and there is some debate about the relative strengths of the two factors. if they are weakly coupled then the sun drives everything. we're at the mercy of the heavens. and nothing we do has much effect. on the other hand, if they are tightly coupled, ie the feedback is strong then any little change we introduce gets magnified a hundredfold or more. the ipcc says the solar forcing is weak at like 10% of temperature changes. that seems awful low to me. even insanely. but hey it sure explains the chicken little act. the u of m guy thought forcing was very strong. like 90% of the temperature change. that sounds awful high to me. even insanely. but that explains his position that life will be pretty much the same. just in different places. i think he owns land in alaska. so he might not be completely unbiased. i don't have all the data i want to make my own calculation. but the back of the envelope estimates i can do suggest about 60% solar forcing. historically. more recently it looks more like 40%. but that's for only the last 25 years or so. which is a relatively short period of time. so my confidence level is substantially lower. but it's still worrisome. to say the least.
Friday, August 24, 2007
  camp sucks
camp pretty much sucks this year. there are more two stroke gasoline powered golf carts than ever before. ropes was completely redone. yeah, the catwalk needed a part. so they replaced everything else. sigh. the giant ladder is gone. the play ground is gone. the leap of faith is gone. double sigh. all week people were building up the crab walk race. but nope. it's gone too. apparently they had too many people sprain ankles or hurt themselves. sheehs. if you're the type of person that hurts themselves doing this sort of thing then don't do it! fer cryin out loud. either that or exercise more so you don't hurt yourself doing this sort of thing. sheehs. anywho. sailing was okay. the water was warm. and we weren't really racing. which is good cause we had a hat overboard drill.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
  water balloons
garrett and i won the water balloon toss for 5-6's and adult partner. we didn't notice and kept tossing the balloon. eventually it broke on him. he stood there for a moment. i'm all wet! then it hit him. i'm all wet! he took off running right at me to get me all wet too. i took off running the other direction. it was fun. ben and i were doing well in the water 7-8-9 toss. but it oozed out of his hand and burst on the ground. oops. tears.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
  u of m profs
a professor from the university of michigan gave a talk on climate change. he regurgitated a lot of the same stuff you're sick of seeing by now. he's not really a climate scientist. despite the title of his talk. he grew up in alaska and studies mercury pollution in polar bears. which is not due to global warming. but rather to burning coal. polar bears hunt seals on the ice and birth their cubs on land. climate change is making the swim between the two longer and longer. this double whammy might reduce the polar bear habitat to the zoo.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
  alaskan pipeline
the alaskan pipeline is an engineering marvel. the oil has to be kept hot or it stops flowing. surprisingly, to me at least, it's the friction from pumping the oil through the pipe that keeps it hot. the permafrost under it has to be kept frozen or it will create sinkholes. there are ammonia refrigerators to keep the permafrost frozen. the temperature varies from 50 degrees below to 70 degrees above. the pipeline expands and contracts quite a bit. it's not attached to the support structures. it's free to snake back and forth on them. which i think is kinda funny. alaska's getting warmer. which is worrisome. because many of the clever engineering tricks won't work if it gets too much warmer. but that's okay. if it does get that much warmer the ice will be gone and we can move the oil by tanker ship.
Monday, August 20, 2007
the beautiful and talented alisa dragged me out onto the lake in a kayak. usually she takes the front and i take the back. we make a good team. but this time i was in the front and she was in the back. and we made beautiful circles and zig zags all over the lake. not entirely voluntarily. kayaks are pretty fun. they spin like tops. very slow tops. the water never slows it down. unlike a boat that has a rudder. so even though the kayak is pointing in the right direction and you're paddling straight the kayak continues to turn. the longer you let it go the bigger the oscillation gets. it really drove home the importance of making small changes early. heh. now suppose you have a planet...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
so here at camp i'm enjoying the breeze and making blogs. earlier i was following the beautiful and talented alisa through ceramics. we bought a tile to glaze and put in the new farts and craps building. the nice helpful staff person noticed me milling about looking kinda lost. i pointed at alisa. she asked me if i was with her. i smiled and said, eternally. at least, that's my story and i'm sticking with it. really i might have thought of that line just seconds too late. but this is a blog and i'm entitled to artistic license. just because the events are fictional doesn't mean the thought is any less true.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
  scambag airlines
i'm not saying airlines actually do this or anything. and i hope they don't. but if i was gonna run an airline scam it would go like this. sell tickets for flights to the same place at 5 am and 9 am. both get to the hub before any connecting flights. charge $50 more for the 9 am flight. when it gets nearly full cancel it and transfer everyone to the 5 am flight. send them all updated itineraries politely telling them they're screwed. or don't. a few days later make a new 9 am flight. and sell all seats at the higher price. see what i've done? classic bait and switch. i've advertised a superior product and delivered a less valuable one. most people won't notice until they check their itineraries the night before they travel. and yeah they can yell and scream all they want. but they'll be talking to some poor peon who can't help them. and they have to get up really early the next morning so they can't afford to argue about it for too long or they won't get any sleep. and then the next day they're too exhausted to complain. it's beautiful. don't you think? i'm gonna be so rich.
Friday, August 17, 2007
  even more thoughts
the un predicts 9 billion people by the end of the century and declining numbers after that. sounds like good news. and it is if you think we're still at the point where we have resources left. but the end to population growth isn't because of rational moral ethical family planning. it's because of an increased death rate. the un doesn't actually say that. they say something more palatable like due to limited resources. but sheehs. you can paint a shit bomb bright happy colors. but it's still a shit bomb.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
  more thoughts
so the simple model says we're doomed. what do we do? first: panic. whew. good. got that out of our system. feel better? second: blame someone else. it's grandpa's fault. he replaced himself with two kids. if grandpa had only replaced himself with one kid we'd be golden. forever. but the grandkids are here now and we don't have a time machine. so we could cut the population by 75%. ha ha. okay. so we could hold the population steady and cut our consumption by 75%. ha ha. or some combination thereof. any way you look at it, it's a tough choice. the alternative of course is to insist i'm completely wrong and do nothing. which is the same as doing both.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
so yesterday's post was supposed to get you to think. the earth doesn't have infinite resources. and human consumption of resources doubles every 25 to 50 years. depending on which resource you're consuming. that's the funny thing about exponential growth. it gets really big really fast. so that $1 million portfolio looked like infinite bounty to grandpa. but it's gone in less than 3 generations. ouch. so the big question is where are we on the curve? how many more generations before the crash? best guess: one. in other words, we are the grandkids.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
suppose you have a $1 million portfolio. and it earns 10%. you can live pretty comfortably on the interest of $100k. inevitably you kick the bucket and your two kids get your doh. they each want to live they way you lived. so they withdraw the $100k interest plus another $100k of the principle. no biggie. they kick the bucket and your four grandkids want to live they way you did. so they take the $90k interest and another $310k. your portfolio is down to $590k. your great grandkids want $800k. but there's only $649k. so they kill each other and your great great grandkids get nothing. now suppose you have a planet...
Monday, August 13, 2007
  ha ha
this is almost funny. i was going to write something like it. and it would have been much funnier. but now it doesn't look original. so i won't.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
the house continues to settle. a closet door in the hallway suddenly started sticking. that was easy enough to fix. the boys helped me remove it and trim off the offending bit if matter. garrett managed to stamp on the hammer that was carelessly left under his foot. so he got a huge bandaid. just for fun. the front door is even more crooked. it's difficult to get it to latch at all now. sigh. we're going to camp michigania for a week next week. with any luck the house will fall completely over and we can build a new one.
Friday, August 10, 2007
the process monitor on my computer happily informed me that the application i was developing testing and running was using 16 million terabytes of ram. cool. i'm reasonably certain the world has not produced that much memory. in total. since the beginning of time. damn stupid thing.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
sometimes when i go to see a movie expecting it to be bad and it's only kinda bad, i'm happy. when i read a book that made its author billions i can't help but have high expectations. higher than i should given the candy nature of the previous six books. so anywho, i finished deathly hallows and it was dully hollow. wee. actually, it went half way to having literary value. but then it collapsed with the kind of spurious logic that's the trademark of the series. curse, what do i know. folks don't have midnight parties celebrating the moment they can shell out the dough to buy my books.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
i found a website that published an interesting set of facts regarding green myths. it was a wonderful demonstration of how to spin facts. for example, walking 3 miles to work is worse for the environment than driving because the food calories needed to power the person are so energy intensive to produce. well, technically mostly true if the food is beef. not so much if it's milk. and they didn't mention vegetables which are some 7x less energy intensive than beef. second very few people commute 3 miles to work. they didn't mention bicycles. and they compared energy used per mile. which takes an hour on foot and some 6 minutes by car. what does the driver do for the 54 minutes he saved by driving instead of walking? kinda blows the whole savings out the window if he drives to the gym and exercises for an hour. also doesn't the presented data suggest we should address the cost of food production instead of promoting the use of cars? sheehs. as if eating were optional.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
a trailer for beowulf is available on the apple site. angelina jolie is hot. even if she's a cg toon that doesn't speak, blink, or breathe. ice blink did the artwork. which is gorgeous dahling. ice blink is another division of the parent company i work for. the facial motion capture was done the old fashioned way ie with markers glued on their faces. the poor bastards. the facial capture stuff i worked on wasn't ready yet. next year's movies. ice blink did polar express. which was solidly in the canny valley. ie where the quality of the toons is high but not high enough to look real. so they end up looking creepy. i think ice blink learned lessons from polar express. i'm hoping beowulf will be on the good side of the canny valley. we'll see.
Monday, August 06, 2007
so bennett and i were playing ddo the other day. i was running a wizard. he was running a cleric. the quest we selected was to guard a crate in a warehouse from kobolds hired to smash it. neither of us are melee types. so our plan was to summon monsters to help us. so as soon as we zoned in we summoned the most powerful allies we could: fire breathing hell hounds. with a growl and a roar they charged off to battle the kobolds. and promptly burned the crate to crisp.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
happy anniversary to us. the beautiful and talented alisa and i have been married for the best 14 years of my life. the boys and i made her a hideous imitation of a beautiful card we found on the intubenets. bless her. she said she loved it.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
the other day i was driving home from the city and some asstards blew past me in heavy traffic at speeds in excess of 150 kph. that got me thinking. and the think i came up with is a clever stem valve cap for tires. when this one is activated by centrifugal forces that correspond to say 120 kph it opens the valve and lets the air out of the tires. it's perfect for spouses, judges, cops with lead feet. i'm gonna be so rich.
Friday, August 03, 2007
the liquid laundry detergent we use comes with a handy dandy spout for pouring the stuff into the cap. the spout is cleverly designed to collect the inevitable drips and channel them back into the bottle. the problem is, it's backwards. i pick up the bottle in my left hand so the label is facing me. that just seems right. unscrew the cap and hold it with my right. and the spouts upside down. sigh. set the bottle down. turn it around with one hand. and pick it up again. annoying. i think i'll sue. hmm... $10 million? sounds good. i'm gonna be so rich.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
i have an aunt who works for barnes and noble. the hairy pewter books arrive at our house on the day they are released. i've been so busy lately i haven't even cracked the spine yet. neither has alisa. not even to read the last page to find out which of the obnoxious little fuckers die. the reviews i've seen call the ending worthy. either they're copying each other's reviews or there's an inside joke inside.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
after some 10+ years shopping at the same albertson's, they changed the brands they carry. now i can't get my corn syrup free, low salt junk food. so today the boys and i made our first trip to safeway. we were annoyed cause we didn't know where anything was. i got a silly smile when i discovered the diet coke across the aisle from the dog food.
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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