i think out of the box. so the other day i was thinking about ethical population control. forced abortion and infanticide are horrible concepts. let's go elsewhere. we could sterilize parents after they've had their quota. something like everyone has the right to replace themselves. and i suppose you could buy sell and trade these child rights if you wanted more or less children than the quota. that might work. the government could raise money by selling extra rights. but then i thought of a wacky variation. you can have as many children as you want. but children in excess of the quota are sterilized by age 10. parents get to pick which ones. if the first kid dies in an accident there can be another fertile sibling. this wouldn't be an option if the parents themselves were sterilized. it also gives families that have surpises time to acquire a fertility right for their extra child.
henry coe state park is burning. when it started it was a lovely giant smoke plume on the horizon. now it's a general haze that makes the sunrises look like something that should not be seen on this earth. the extra soot in the air gets in my nose and reacts with the stuff that's already there. the product is something unique in my experience. the mucus in my nose has taken on an almost latex-like texture. i noticed this brushing my teeth when i accidentally started blowing snot bubbles out of my nose. a few more 'accidents' later and i had to call over the kids. webbih, gareuh, gum ear. chech ih ow. (i still had a mouth full of toothpaste and brush.) i got a nice satisfying EEEWWWWW! then of course they wanted to blow snot bubbles too. i of course did the only reasonable thing. i sent them off to school.
alisa got a new car. it's a subaru pzev legacy sedan. it's a very nice powder blue outside and two tone dark/light inside. it's taking us a while to get used to the differences from her old car. for example, the mirror doesn't flip between day and night. instead it dims. which takes away the trick where you can simultaneously see both the kids and the cars behind you. ah well. we all went to the dealer to do the paperwork. the boys wanted to find our old car. so we wandered all around the lot. when we returned we said it would be okay for the kids to check out the inside of the new car. we didn't think about the oil grease the kids had just been tramping through. oops. it wouldn't be so bad except the car didn't have the super special extra sealant sauce yet. so the first thing we did was clean the brand new car so the marks won't be permanently sealed in. and we made a temporary rule about no shoes on feet in the new car.
some gestures are universal. the other day there was a guy in a jeep-like vehicle driving like an asstard. and man i just kept getting in his way. and just pissing him off. shame on me for signaling, changing lanes, and only driving some 10 mph over the posted speed limit. he was much happier when he was 100 meters ahead of me driving at the same speed. he took the exit before us. made eye contact. and gestured. i smiled and waved. i wanted to say, i don't think that gesture means what you think it means. but that option isn't available yet. he obviously thought he was saying: YOU DRIVE LIKE AN ASSTARD! when really he was saying: *I* DRIVE LIKE AN ASSTARD!
the current non-proliferation policy falls short. basically we say please don't anyone else develop nukes. and we promise not to use nukes first. this is weak. the policy should be... if we get into hostilities with a non-nuclear country we won't use nukes on them except under the most dire circumstances. like we're about to be overrun. on the other hand... if we get into conventional hostilities with a nuclear state we will use our nukes first. strong incentive for non-nuclear states to stay that way. and strong incentive for nuclear states to not enter hostilities. conventional or otherwise.
heh. iran continues to claim they are enriching uranium for civilian nuclear power. but they still don't have any plans to build nuclear electricity generating plants. heh. nice. 'course nuclear power sucks. there's no reason to develop it except as a cover for weapons. iran's really the first country brash enough to dispense with that whole expensive cover story thing. bush really wants to nuke em. which would be really incredibly stupid. however this administration has demonstrated it's perfectly happy to perform stupid acts of this magnitude. things will be interesting. if i was gonna wack iran i'd do it when their charismatic leader was out of the country. preferably in our country. where we can snatch him. and make him cry like a baby to go home. oh wait. he's in new york. uh oh.
i bought myself a new pair of sunglasses. i broke the first rule of buying sunglasses last time. fold em up. if the ear pieces touch the lenses put em back. dunno why i got that last pair. i bet there were children involved at the time.
i haven't bashed president bush in a long time. an observation for which i think some of my readers might be grateful. i don't perceive a need for me to do that now. there are plenty of others doing a perfectly adequate job of exposing the scumbagitude of this administration. i still don't have any sympathy for him. i think he started an unjustifiable war. he should be tried in a world court on that charge. if he's innocent of it he'll be acquitted. if a jury of his peers convicts him he should have to pay the consequences. 'course he did everything he could to prevent the creation of a world court. quite possibly because he did commit the very crimes such a court would be able to prosecute him for. alas, we'll probably never know.
you all know what tom swifties are. but what exactly is an alisa swiftie? this is an alisa swiftie: it's been a long time since i could just sit down and read a book. how novel.
the pope recently pleaded for people to save the world before it's too late. talk about irony. the pope is one of the few people on earth who actually has the power to save the world before it's too late. not only embracing but promoting contraception would be a great start. it would even be really good for catholicism. most surveys indicate that people who claim to be catholic are pro birth control or not anti-birth control. it's what the people want. it's what the people need. if i was god it's the message i'd be delivering to his papalness daily. hourly. heh. continuously.
i was explaining to the boys about superstition. the adage for hiking/camping trips is if you take a raincoat you won't need it. if you don't you will. the belief that independent events are related is a superstition. we were having this discussion at the post office. granny's computer executed the halt and catch fire instruction. we were sending her our old laptop which will be a major upgrade over her 5 year old pos pc. i made the boys take books to the post office in case the line was long. of course it wasn't. so we didn't need the books. but if we hadn't brought the books the lines would have been long. if you're superstitious. which we aren't. so now this rambling preamble brings me to the dilemma. the scout pack visited the police station. officer dan gave everyone child id kits. collect the kid's finger prints and photos before they get abducted. it's obviously a really good idea. we've had them a long time without filling them out. um why? if we fill them out we'll need them. if we don't we won't. right? 'course we're not superstition at all. we're just excellent procrastinators. right? right?!?
the beautiful and talented alisa has decided it's time to repaint the hall bathroom. this hasn't been done since we moved in to the house more than 13 years ago. she wants to do it right. and that includes proper painter attire. and that will require sacrifices. she will sacrifice a pair of jeans to be cut off short short. so the front pockets peek out. and the back pockets are nigh useless. that's easy. my sacrifice will be much tougher. one of my t-shirts will become a half shirt. the tricky part is to decide which one. i can't choose one that's too ratty. and i can't choose one of the many tie dyes hand made with lots of love. can't botch this. gotta get it right. i'm thinking maybe a hockey t-shirt.
i read recently that by 2010 europe will increase its solar power production to 3 gigawatts. great. but whoop de fucking doo. the world uses some 14 terawatts. so while on one hand that's great for europe. let me know when they figure out how to increase that by some 1000x. and figure out how to make that many photovoltaic cells using some 20x less fossil fuels. then, and only then, will i say they're doing something to fight climate change. thanks for playing.
not long after alisa and i were married i decided to get a haircut. i was kinda tired of the tanglemop look i'd been carefully cultivating for years. so i got it cut short. real short. i didn't warn the beautiful and talented alisa in advance. i saw her arrive and met her at the door before she had a chance to open it herself. her job was stressful at the time. she started to say something about it as she tried to escape to the safety of her house. but stopped short when she noticed something was different. she got the uncontrollable giggles when she noticed exactly what it was. many minutes passed before she could get enough of a handle on the gales to say, who who are you and what have you done with my husband?
you can't spread democracy at the end of a gun.
eroie is the amount of energy you get out of a system divided by the energy you invest in creating, running, and disposing of it. bigger is better of course. i argue that low eroie things are useless. currently in this category are solar cells, windmills, corn ethanol, etc. it has been argued that it doesn't matter what the eroie is as long as it's more than 1.0. cause then you can reinvest the energy and get as much as you want out. heh. this argument fails for a number of reasons. the first is that the energy you invest is of one form. usually oil. and the energy you get out is another form. say electricity. you can use electricity instead of oil to build stuff. but not as efficiently. which drives down your eroie. and if it's already low then it might go below 1.0. and then you're screwed. the other major reason the argument fails is because your system has inputs other than energy. like for example there are only so many places suitable to build windmills. you can't just build arbitrarily more.
if you fly on a private jet you don't have to go through the security theatre. i wonder how long until some enterprising company takes advantage of that. buy a share of a private jet which includes a certain number of miles. need more miles? buy more shares. man, there are all kinds of fun deals you could make. i'm gonna be so rich.
people who think the abstinence only program isn't working don't understand its objective. they think it's to keep teenagers from having sex. no intercourse no unwanted pregnancies. sounds reasonable. but no. the thou-shalt-not-have-sex mantra is completely overwhelmed by social and hormonal forces. sorry, the real purpose of the abstinence only program is to increase the number of voters in your base.
we have two political parties in this country: the party that compromises with the other one, and the party that doesn't.
so here we are. six years later. and there's been no other terrorist attack on u.s. soil. does that mean our airport security theatre is working? maybe but i don't think so. it's 99% likely that the bad guys know that we the people of the united states will not allow another 9/11 style attack to happen. you can crash the plane. but you can't use it as a weapon. people like me should be able to sign a sworn oath that i will defend the plane from terrorists even if it costs me my life. and having done so we should be able to skip the security theatre lines and just get on the plane.
the name christian science monitor makes a person like me start to twitch. usually the religion of science doesn't get along well with other religions. however, every time i've read something on it i had a positive reaction. granted i've only read a half dozen or so articles. they all presented rational points of view expressed articulately with an abundance of facts. i didn't always 100% agree with their position. but i never agree 100% with anyone. most importantly none of the articles tried to shove the god angle down my throat. hats off.
i'm all for letting people in to this country who want to work hard. not sure why anyone would oppose that. unless of course they were born here and don't want to work hard.
warning! science content follows. let's say the thermometer tells me it's 72 degrees outside my house. but to be useful in a scientific sense you also need to know the error. ie it's 72 degrees plus or minus 2 degrees. now suppose there's a satellite with an infrared detector over my house. it can also measure the temperature at my house. but since it's so far away its error bar is larger. let's say it gets a value of 70 degrees plus or minus 3 degrees. now combine the results and get 71 degrees plus or minus 1 degree. okay 71 degrees no problem but wait just a cotton picking minute. how can the error of the combined measurements be smaller than either error alone? heh. glad you asked. the errors tend to cancel out making the average more accurate than either individual method. this works best when the two methods are independent. like say thermometers and satellites.
the boys and i have been playing ddo. recently they reduced the number of servers from 20 to 6. i think that bodes ill for the future of the game. it seems to be down to just us lifers. sigh. oh well. it's just a game. so the next game we move to should be something where the boys have lots of options on the appearance of their characters. for me it's an exploration and character development game. no real role playing. for them it's more like barbies.
we went car camping with the boys and the camp ranger came by with a truck full of rescue gear. he had attracted quite a crowd of kids and was telling them what each thing was for. he went into great detail about the horrible sorts of injuries that can happen to people who don't follow the rules. he finished with something like, you all know the safety rules here right? good. i sure don't want to have to use any of this equipment on any of you.
a guy i know was blabbing away about how his wife was such a stupid gambler. he was going on and on about how he was winning at roulette. and how she would come over and take his chips and just give them away on other games. um, what? "win" at roulette. he went on to explain his system. i was just like. damn, i thought this guy was smart. but no. he's an idiot. or at least he's a math moron.
the mercury news newspaper sent a nice young person to our door with an offer for the sunday paper that the beautiful and talented alisa couldn't resist. i would have told them to get the hell off my damn lawn. i must be an old fart. anywho, every week we patiently waited for delivery. never happened. every week they'd call us and ask us how we like our paper. every week we'd have to say we haven't gotten any. this went on for six weeks. so we cancelled the subscription. we don't even care about the few dollars we paid in advance. now they've been calling us every week for four weeks asking us why we cancelled our subscription. and every week we have to tell them it's because they never delivered the papers we paid for. oh! they say sounding surprised. i can't wait for next week's call. apparently we really paid for weekly phone calls. i guess we should have read the fine print.
MI pro GW
seems the whole state of michigan is pro global warming. understandable. it's likely to have a number of beneficial effects for them. like a longer growing season and nicer weather. they lose out on cross country skiing tourism. but oh well. i think they're underestimating the strains of immigration. as other places start to suck. people are going to want to move there. also, they have water. lots of it. and the rest of the country's gonna get less and need more. michigan's gonna have trouble defending its water from the majority. which rules a democracy.
alisa was named after her mother alice. alice got lung cancer and passed into the afterlife before the boys were born. sad. she really wanted grandkids. the camp michigania director asked for campers to donate new butterfly class sailboats. the donor would get to name it. but you couldn't give it a person's name. you had to make clever word play. mom's boat is named without malice. the m is the maize and blue university of michigan m. it's a good boat. alisa and bennett took it out in a gale and capsized it. so it's been properly christened. another family that's been camping with alisa's since she was wee donated a boat and named it patent jack. jack was a patent attorney.
1 2 3
i see parents try to correct their kids by counting. heh. it rarely works. cause mommydaddy says 1. kid ignores them. cause they know they don't have to actually comply until just before 3. i use a 1 2 3 4 system with my kids. i just don't say the numbers. one, i point out that what they're doing might be considered out of bounds. sometimes they actually fix it. but usually they ignore me. two, i tell them exactly what to do. the expectation is they comply immediately. this can't be ignored. usually i get an okay dad. they know better than to actually say yeah yeah go away. three, they're in trouble. usually they get an unpleasant lecture and their fun is interrupted. but i'm really sick of giving the same lectures over and over again. so i've been trying to switch to a system of penance. bennett had to write a three point paragraph on the difference between penance and punishment. penance requires contrition, remorse, and making amends. at least in my house. this is something new. so they don't really get it yet. and four is punishment of course.