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Timmerov's Blog
Monday, December 31, 2007
  language
my kids started reading my blog. guess i better cut down on the cuss words. hmm... smells like a new year's resolution.
 
Sunday, December 30, 2007
  flaming eyeball
i had a pnp dnd character who was a master of disguise. he saved the world once. and as a reward he got a flaming eyeball. it could do some minor little tricks and looked kinda cool. but it was a FLAMING EYEBALL! i tried to disguise it with a flame proof eye patch. but it kept smoking. i tried concealing that with a cigar. ha ha. so much for going around incognito. hmm... there's something funny about that beggar. i can't quite put my finger on it. maybe it's the FLAMING EYEBALL! made it pretty easy for the bad guys. tell me exactly who did this or i'll break your bones. uh it was some guy. short. hooded. didn't get a look at his face. shiny sword. and uh oh yeah. he had a FLAMING EYEBALL! why do gms hate disguises?
 
Saturday, December 29, 2007
  real co's
you know you work for a real company when... you're not allowed to commit your new stuff to the code base until someone tests it. they can't test it until you commit it.
 
Friday, December 28, 2007
  time stop
the beautiful and talented alisa took me to the world premier of a tap dance musical show by a local troupe. it was okay. the 11 year old was cute and really short. the 16 year old was cute skinny and really tall. she must have been 6'2" and 102 pounds. one of the stars was pregnant. they did pretty much every song ever written remotely associated with time. let's do the time warp again, from the rocky horror picture show. step in time, from mary poppins. was fun.
 
Thursday, December 27, 2007
  ouch
garrett got into a tussling match with a neighbor kid and fractured his collar bone. i'm used to adult injuries. being a wrestling coach i've seen my share. but kid injuries are very different. the collar bone is just under the skin. so it's pretty easy to see. g's was clearly not right. so we took him to urgent care for x-rays. boy has x-ray technology improved since the last time i had x-rays. some 20 years ago. it's digital. like your camera. so the pictures show up on the computer right away. no waiting for film to develop. yay! anywho, g's collar bone was in one piece. and in the right place. which surprised the crap out of me. but it had a big ole crimp in it. like the kind you get when you bend a pipe 90 degrees and then straighten it. ouch. that had to hurt. poor little guy. his arm's gonna be in a sling for a while. and he gets to play attention whore. yeah, poor little guy.
 
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
  201
i am a fat fire truck.
 
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
  christmas
merry christmas. happy holidays. super solstice. happy chanukkah. and/or whatever you might be celebrating now.
 
Monday, December 24, 2007
  christ mas
christmas is not my favorite time of year. the days are short and cold. which sucks when you're a solar fueled creature of fire. anywho, i'd much prefer if folks were happy and jolly and gave each other presents throughout the year instead of concentrating them into one insane obligatory holiday. christ is one of my favorite people of all time. my christmas wish every year is for all of us to be more like him.
 
Sunday, December 23, 2007
  war
sometimes starting a war makes sense. let's be very clear about my position. when i start a war it will be to kill you and take your stuff. all of you. and all of your stuff.
 
Saturday, December 22, 2007
  nuts
seems i'm a left wing nut job. sheehs. everyone knows the terms are left wing weenie and right wing nut job. though the real nut jobs are greanpeace, peta, creationists, preemptive war hawks, 9/11 truthers, corn ethanolites, pro-coalers, suicide bombers, etc.
 
Friday, December 21, 2007
  tinkle down
tax cuts for the rich have been packaged as many things: reaganomics, supply side economics, trickle down economics. the last is a misnomer. it should be called tinkle down economics. cause they're pissing on you.
 
Thursday, December 20, 2007
  princess bride
my boys are 6 and 9. close enough to the age of the sick kid in the princess bride movie. they loved it. us big kids loved it too. cause we totally empathize with grandpa. all them interruptions. been there.
 
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
  religion
religion should be taught in public schools. a broad spectrum of religions. kids need to know the difference between a religion and a vampiristic cult. religion should be taught along side science. they're complementary. we need to study the word of god as well as the works of god. miss either one and you get only half the picture. like the cave dwelling sunset expert.
 
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
  sunsets
i know a man who's lived in a cave all his life. he's never come out of it. everything he knows about the outside world comes from reading books and studying paintings. he's an expert on sunsets. ask him. he'll tell you. even though he's never seen one. a sunset is the work of god. he's only studied the word of god. he has only half the picture. maybe that's all he needs. but he shouldn't claim to be an expert on sunsets. that'd be absurd. or on god.
 
Monday, December 17, 2007
  biography
my biography will be called, when i go to hell. i actually hold my tongue pretty well. but man, in the afterlife all these choice taunts are gonna be let loose. what's that? you think you'll be safe in heaven. two words: ha ha.
 
Sunday, December 16, 2007
  births
birth rates among teens is up this year for the first time in 14 years. how's that abstinence only program working out for you?
 
Saturday, December 15, 2007
  iran
supposedly, iran stopped building nukes four years ago. the cool thing about this highly publicized report is it conflicts violently with the position of the administration. if we had had more of this spine stiffening in 2002 maybe we wouldn't have gone to iraq. and killed half a million people. and spent a few trillion dollars. for something we could have had for the cost of diplomacy and patience.
 
Friday, December 14, 2007
  money talk
the government collects some $2 trillion from us taxpayers. does it matter if more of that comes from the rich or the non-rich? i mean, the same amount of money is collected. presumably the same programs are funded. though perhaps if we taxed the rich more and the non-rich less then we'd need to provide fewer benefits for the non-rich. in which case it would make sense to tax everyone less. but the rich less less. one subtle difference though, if you put more money in the hands of the non-rich they will spend it on things they need. whereas the rich would spend it on things that make them the most money. everyone needs a thneed!
 
Thursday, December 13, 2007
  chavez
incredible. chavez lost the referendum to let him stay in power as long as he keeps winning elections. apparently he's never heard of diebold touch screens.
 
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
  ratatouille
ratatouille is kind of a fun cartoon movie. anyone can cook. after we watched it, i served breakfast in bed to the beautiful and talented alisa. what happened later is none of your damn business. though i'm thinking maybe there might be a little more of that on the menu.
 
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
  math puzzle
i like math puzzles. this one was inspired reading the barn to bennett. the smart kid was laying out the barn they were going to build before their dad died. he wanted nice square corners. so he knotted a rope into a 3-4-5 triangle. this led to some discussion as to why that made a right triangle. we got out the legos to verify it and to look for other special triangles. anywho, we did the sum of the squares thing. he was all like, huh. at one point he drew on the blackboard a right triangle with sides 4-5-6. which is wrong. at least on a plane. maybe on a sphere where the "straight lines" are arcs of great circles. the math puzzle is to figure out the radius of a sphere on which you can draw a 4-5-6 right triangle. it boils down to solving a rather pretty transcendental equation. which reduces to the pythagorean theorem when the radius of the sphere goes to infinity. maybe i'll post the equation in some later post. i'll give you a chance to derive it first. enjoy.
 
Monday, December 10, 2007
  durin's day
happy durin's day everyone! it's the first day of the last new moon of autumn. the dwarven new year. dig out your old family treasure maps and keys. hike up the lonely mountain. and wait for the thrush to knock at sunset. 'ware dragons old and red.
 
Sunday, December 09, 2007
  dead authors
robert jordan died. the son of bitch. he wrote some 11 of 12 books in the wheel of time series. each one was some 1000 pages or so. the later ones longer of course. i read em. and now i'm never going to find out how it ends. asstard. when i die and go to hell i'm going to kill him. slowly. over and over and over and over again. kinda like the way he writes. wrote.
 
Saturday, December 08, 2007
  names
stephen king has a son named joseph. i'm not joe-king. he is.
 
Friday, December 07, 2007
  wee!
suppose the government wanted to pay $1 towards the interest on the national debt. that money would come from the taxpayers divided into quintiles by household income approximately in the amounts of: $0.03, $0.10, $0.15, $0.23, $0.49. mostly this interest is paid to people cashing in treasury bills, bonds, and the like. where does the money go? well, $0.25 goes overseas to foreign governments and individuals. the remaining tax-free interest is pretty much paid to the top quintile. so for every dollar of interest we pay on the national debt the bottom four quintiles take a hit of $0.03, $0.10, $0.15, $0.23. whereas the top quintile makes a profit of $0.26. neat huh?
 
Thursday, December 06, 2007
  just don't
under no circumstances of any kind whatsoever should you ever aspirate diet coke. just don't. trust me.
 
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
  happiness
yeah i know there are ways to acquire happiness besides money. thanks ///sssoooo/// much for pointing that out. i really appreciate the misspelled vulgarities. anywho, you're right. painting and family time are good examples. but, you have to have enough money to be able to buy paints and canvases. or picnic with the kids instead of going to work. your utility function is such that you work as much as you have to in order to support the things that really make you happy.
 
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
  borken utility
let's look at some cases where a person's utility function goes wrong. the utility function of a crazy homeless guy might be identically zero. in which case he'd maximize his happiness by being completely broke. yeah okay. a friend of mine insisted utility should increase faster than money. ie u(m)/m increases instead of being monotonically decreasing as is usually required. if so then he should go to vegas and bet all his money hoping to win a jackpot. which is exactly what compulsive gamblers do. interesting.
 
Monday, December 03, 2007
  happy money
money can't buy happiness. everyone knows that. but are they related at all? seems like they are. ie lack of money can make a happy person unhappy. i propose a simple way to quantify happiness. it's equal to money divided by utility for money (which was defined last post). people have different utility functions for money. it's a subjective thing. a happy poor person has a low utility for money. whereas an unhappy rich person has a high utility for money. therapists make rich people happy by lowering their utility for money. religions do a similar thing with poor people. should we all have the same utility function? i don't think so. that would mean we should divide all wealth equally a la communism. which isn't as good at creating new wealth as capitalism.
 
Sunday, December 02, 2007
  utility function
the utility function of money mentioned last post has a few features. it's monotonically increasing. u(0)=0. u(m)/m is monotonically decreasing. maybe real economists can add some more requirements. but this is good enough for me. many many functions fit the bill. some examples would be: square root, log of money+1, etc. it's a bit of a phd exercise (ie tedious!) to figure out someone's utility for money. the problem is you know the value of the money you have. but you have to guess at the value of greater and lesser amounts. basically you make up games like the previous post. suppose you win $250k in the lottery. or you can take door number two: a 50% chance of M dollars where M is the amount of money it would take to get you to take the deal. now you know: utility($250k) = 0.5*utility(M). repeat the procedure with different money amounts until you can deduce the entire utility function. try it! apply it! odds are, it's not something as simple as taking a square root.
 
Saturday, December 01, 2007
  lottery
should people maximize their money? oddly the answer is no. people should maximize their utility for money. i explain. let's pretend you win a house sized chunk of money in the lottery. say $250k. now the lottery people offer you a deal. take the $250k or take door number two which is a 1% chance at $25 million (and a 99% chance of $0). the lottery people don't care. in the long run they pay out the same number of dollars. if the best play is to maximize your money you don't care either. but only a complete gamboholic would take door number two. why? in short because your utility for $25m is more than your utility for $250k. but not 100 times more. which is what it would have to be in order for door number two to be a square deal.
 
most every day i wander the corridors of my mind and open a door at random.

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