ever notice that most people have never thought about their own position? so expecting them to stop and think about someone else's is prolly just a wee much to ask.
history suggests that when you raise the capital gains tax the government collects less money from that tax. and when it is lowered they collect more. this seems kinda strange. i mean, if the same amount of money was made from long term stock sales (the tax base) then a higher tax rate would bring in more tax revenue. not less. obviously, the tax base goes up more than the tax rate goes down. and vice versa. follow? now, i have a choice. i can write a bestselling book and rake in millions of dollars. or i can speculate on the stock market and make millions of dollars. on the former i pay some 38% in federal income taxes. on the latter i pay 15%. gee, lemme think. the book adds something of tangible value to human civilization. whereas me manipulating the stock market to my advantage at your expense really uh doesn't. course this argument only applies to people whose income tax is over 15%. poor folks shouldn't be buying stocks.
after our dinner last night we wandered into our favorite book store. we love books. i caught her re-reading the first chapter of the time traveler's wife. good read. the book that caught my eye was allegedly by a cia operative that blew his cover to expose other rogue cia operatives that were manipulating presidential elections. the hype on the cover wowed his mountains of evidence. so it must be true. anywho i got to thinking. clearly people have been cheating during elections since the very first one. the question is how much can you cheat in the most important election of them all before folks cry uncle. i'm thinking: a lot. a whole lot. generally the difference between candidates is pretty small. the us economy chugs along just fine regardless of the political affiliation of the shmo currently running the show. they're more like seasoning on the dish. important yes. but sheehs. get rid of em and the food's just as nutritious. suppose we have an election that's somewhere between suspicious and flagrantly fraudulent. we need continuity. we the people have a fundamental need to line up behind whoever is the next guy to take the helm. the question is how far out of whack do things have to be before we reject the election? i think they'd have to be way way far out of line. the next question is how far out of whack before we do something for the next election? again the answer is we'll swallow a whole lot. this assumes the candidates are pretty similar. the whole argument goes out the window if they're very different. like one says he'll start a war of conquest. and the other won't. at least, i hope it does.
i had a date with the beautiful and talented alisa last night. grandpa had the boys. we went to dinner in mountain view. indian place called shiva's. was fine. parking was inconvenient on account of the arts festival going on on the main street. so we ambled up and down that for a few minutes before it ended. the nice lady in one of the stalls was selling hand made rock earrings and pendants. judging by the prices she liked them a lot. a few minutes later i decided i liked them a lot too. (here's a link
to her web page.) i discreetly purchased a pair for her birthday. she'll be so surprised. they are russian seraphinite. green, matching her eyes perfectly. look like they have a waterfall frozen in them. nice 3d effect. i can't wait for our next date. i think she'll have to buy a dress to match.
dad & dad
california supreme court overturned the gar marriage ban. right away some vocal folks said they'd keep up the legal fight to make other folks unhappy. people are pigs. i'm pro gay marriage for some very simple reasons. one, it's none of my damn business. two, married folks pay more taxes. three, gays tend to adopt instead of procreate which is really good for this overpopulated world. four, happy people are more productive. five, god is gay. truly. father, son, holy ghost. three clearly male entities in one big happy union. mary mother of jesus was a virgin. the father wouldn't even lie with her. he likes men. not at all like the roman and greek gods. they'd breed with anything.
i paid $53 for a tank of gas yesterday. on one hand that sounds like a lot. $15 would have mostly filled it when i first got married. one wonders how high it will go this summer. i haven't been real good at predicting gas prices in the past. so i'm gonna keep my big fat trap shut this time. is it high enough? there are still suburban rednecks driving jacked up trucks that will never actually go off road. so i guess it ain't high enough yet.
i could be criticized for using stereotypes in the past two posts. get over it. stereotypes are useful for establishing rules for interactions with strangers. after you interact for a bit, the person is no longer a stranger. so evaluate whether the stereotype really applies. keep it if ya'll are both happy with it. or discard it if it doesn't apply. forcing folks to conform to a stereotype is stupid.
so on the way to work today i heard beep! crunch! oops. wasn't me thankfully. nice asian chick gets out of her car with her phone still stuck on her ear to inspect the damage to the front of her car. there wasn't much damage. just the expensive kind. hang up and drive. before you kill someone.
so most every morning when i go to work i see an old black man in a hat pushing his bicycle down the road. sometimes on the way home i see him. but he's riding the bike then. it's a flat road. so i wonder why he doesn't ride it there too. figure he's got a schedule. and if he rides the bike he'll get to where he's going from where he was before he wants to be there. the red suit is my favorite getup.
of all the animals in the kingdom, squirrels are unique. they live their lives backwards in time. it's true. yesterday i saw a dead squirrel carcass on the road in front of our house. today i hit it. hard. no little body. see? backwards in time. there can be no other possible explanation.
i had a bit of insomnia last night. so i stayed up to 3am working on code and that other project and tidying up around the house a bit. finally found dreamland around 3am. so at 6am the beautiful and talented alisa rouses me to look at some silly ducks on the front lawn. sheehs. ducks. i pulled the blanket back over my head. later when the boys were ready to leave for school they were distracted by said ducks. they'd obviously been fed by humans and had no idea how tasty they were. the boys thought it was neat to have the ducks wandering around in the garage. until they started pooping. and dad made them clean it up. the ducks fled. smart move. my sleepy brain was starting to think that beautiful and talented alisa had a recipe somewhere for duck l'orange. and she owes me one.
garrett is the toothy wonder. he has his adult two front teeth on top. and adult two front teeth on bottom. but he managed to lose the four teeth next to them. a while ago. and the new ones still haven't come in yet. gives him a certain look. whatever. i'm sure they'll come in eventually. as soon as his body decides to put half as much effort into growing teeth as it does to growing hair. i swear. the kid needs a weekly trim.
ben caught a line drive last game and tossed the ball to first for the easy double play. we played 6 innings that game. in the first three we were outscored 11-0. the second three we outscored them 9-4. seems that every kid decided they had to strike out their first at bat. that and a there was only one umpire calling plays from behind the mound. badly. ah well. you get what you pay for.
If a recipe for a perfect mom was ever created... (open card) it would be for you. Happy Mother's Day!
The Recipe for Moms
Take a dump truck full of love, a hat full of kindness, and a cup full of caring,
Put the love and kindness into a balloon,
Shake with your hands,
Until the balloon expands,
Pour in caring,
Cook in any oven,
at 333 degrees.
You can tell its done when the balloon pops.
Let stand until you find whoever needs it.
Glaze with contentment.
Serve with happiness.
Taste the yummiest thing ever.
best. mother's. day. ever. according to the beautiful and talented alisa. she got to sleep in. got breakfast in bed. then opened her presents. she got a recipe (which i'll post tomorrow), a hand made painted flower pot, a hand made vase with hand made flowers, and a boggle game. she was wary of the boggle game. i suggested paranoid. but she insisted wary was the right word. see, someone had carefully cut open the shrink wrap and tried to seal it back together. turns out there was no poisonous viper inside. just a message written with boggle dice expressing how much her children love her. my mother got a phone call.
i'm old school. baseball is a meritocracy. you earn your position on the field. if you don't play much in games, work your ass off in practice. when your opportunity comes, seize it. with both hands. like catching a fly ball. the kids on my team are great. they're kids. they sorta play at practicing. i keep throwing new stuff at them so they learn baseball. i don't have the time to play drill sergeant every day. which is what it would take to turn them into a winning team. the parents on the other hand. some are really great. some aren't. how come you don't play my precious snowflake? uh, wtf? get your precious snowflake's sorry ass to practice. get him to the game more than 2 minutes before start time. and when i do put him in the game make sure he's in the freaking dugout ready to go. sheehs.
hillary's in denial. just like bush and iraq. just like bush and the economy. vote.
boss called to let me know another patent has been approved. woo hooty. this one's some sort of new wireless technology thing. it's kinda cool. will it make me rich? maybe. but not for a long time. better to sell sugar water if you want to get rich quick.
it was dumb driver day today. YES! I SEE YOUR F***ING TURN SIGNAL! NO! I WON'T LET YOU GET OUT OF MY WAY!!! not just one dumbass. but several. is there some sort of cosmic signal that i'm not tuned in to? like everyone gets up in the morning. checks email from their space traveling overlords. oh, i'm supposed to drive like a dumbass today. check.
i'm a bad person. i've let it slip that the boys and i have been working every spare hour on their mother's birthday present. not that there really are that many spare hours in our schedules. sigh. and when we do get one we have to really stretch to get the beautiful and talented alisa out of the house. why don't you go to the movies, dear? with your dad. it'll be fun. uh huh. it's hot. you should go to the nice air conditioned gym. on your bike. for an hour and a half. and take a shower. uh huh. honey, we need a 3mm hinge plate part number 645-020. yeah i broke another one on the cabinet door. there's a store in oakland's got one in stock. would you mind? heh. yeah i really shouldn't pique her interest quite so much. cause whatever it is has no hope of living up to the hype. i uh better get to work.
yay! blogger seems to have fixed that nonsense that didn't get through my firewall. or maybe my firewall restarted. or something. but anywho. i don't have to use my alternate isp connection to edit my blog anymore. i can hear you all rejoicing. the nice new feature is blogs are now automatically posted on the specified post date and time. go blogger.
mmm... tesla roadster. mmm... lessee... a normal car costs $25k and goes 100k miles. that's $0.25 per mile. say 28 miles per $4/gallon of gasoline. that's another $0.14 per mile. the sexy roadster costs $110k. that's $0.90 per mile. plus $0.02 per mile for electricity. hmmm... $0.39 per mile verses $0.92 per mile. man. tough call. drop the price to $50k and it's a no brainer.
sigh. blogspot aka blogger seems to have changed their web pages some. they no longer get through my software router. ah well. guess i'll have to go get a gige router switch thing. been meaning to do that for a while. maybe i'll even replace the old airport we've been using for 7 years. heh. as soon as i get enough free time to clean the accumulated dust off the stack of accessory electronics. been kinda busy with school projects, little league, birthday presents, cub scouts, and oh yeah there's that startup i work for.
money is a funny thing. a long time ago, money was a real life tangible thing: coins and later paper. today, money is a number in a computer. all of the goods in the world have a value relative to each other. divide up the total money in the world among all the goods and you get a price for each thing. the value of goods isn't constant. goods are created and consumed. they appreciate and depreciate. generally, there are more goods in circulation each year than there were in the previous year. if the total amount of money stays the same then prices, rather counter-intuitively, go down. however, prices generally go up. ie inflation. the only way that can happen is if total money goes up more than goods. this new money comes from the government. and it's totally and completely free. the government doesn't have to do anything to earn the money. it just one day says it has a billion dollars in the bank. and it's real money. it's just as real as yours and mine. the government pays for services and buys things. the tricky part for the government is to create the correct amount of money. if it creates too much we have inflation. too little and we have deflation. both of which are bad for business. the people of the world will use whichever currency behaves the best. traditionally this has been the dollar. but recently, it has been getting some competition. heh. timmer for treasurer.
the long term capital gains tax is 15%. the rationale is we want rich people to preferentially invest in u.s. companies. if ltcg's were taxed as normal income the super rich would be motivated to invest their money outside the country. the ltcg tax rate has been steadily declining. and i think that trend will continue. the low rate has made me rich. i have the real power, money. people want stuff. they come to me. i say: oh no i can't invest in that. that is not competitive with some juicy looking foreign thing. unless, i say, we lowered the ltcg's tax just a little. again. i'm gonna be so rich.
you know that soapy dirty linty water that comes out of your washing machine and gets violently spewed into the sink in your garage before slowly swilling down the drain? well, so do we. boy do we. turns out ours wasn't actually leaving the house. there was a leak in the pipe just after it crossed under the house through the foundation. if the leak had been say one foot closer it would have made a big mess in the garage. and we would have noticed right away. instead of letting underground lake leaky grow and grow and grow. the leak was bad enough that the normal outbound flow slowed enough that things got pretty easy for the pipe to get good and clogged. compounding the problem. the lowest spot in the house is under the bathrooms. so the smell sometimes sorta seeped up there. and was mistaken for a more normal icky toilet smell. but i'm a good republocrat. i threw money at the problem. and it's all better now. still need to go down there and move the cable cables around. wee. here's to hoping for some hot dry days.
continuing yesterday's thoughts... if we could utilize just 0.01% of the sun's energy that strikes the earth we could power everything people do. today. except that 0.1% is a pretty high upper bound of what might be practical to collect. since our energy usage is growing exponentially (which the rosy csm commentary failed to observe), we will outgrow the sun within 80 years. are we screwed? nah. we'll get our population under control eventually. one way or another. so is the law of accelerating returns garbage? well, like many such adages, it is and it isn't. if you stay within its limits it's spot on. if you wander into nunu land you're gonna get into trouble. and do your readers a severe disservice.
had a commentary recently about exponential growth. heh. usually i don't have a problem with csm. usually they don't publish pie-in-the-sky god-will-provide everything-is-rosy garbage. it's true that computer capacity has increased a billion times since 1965. however, there are limits. the article expects another billion fold increase in the next 25 years. uh, right. that would make the desktop computer a million times smarter than a person. from the straight dope
, if i hadn't squished 52 house flies as a kid their descendants would occupy a volume of space quite a bit larger than the entire universe. exponential growth is always an approximation valid over some limited range. it can't go on forever. i'm hoping for three more orders of magnitude before computer growth rate slows to nearly nothing. that'll give them computational power equivalent to a human brain. course programming the things always lags. so maybe, just maybe, in my lifetime. course that might also just be pie in the sky.
there's a somewhat popular t-shirt slogan: mean people suck. true, true. i think the converse is also true: sucky people are mean. it makes sense. if you're below average intelligence or ability, you suck. most sucky people can live with it for a while. but eventually that sense of knowing they're really not as good as everyone else just wears 'em down. turns 'em mean. so when someone's just plain being mean to you it might not be because you're doing something wrong. it might just be because they suck.
take a class
i still like the show law and order. in one memorable episode the detectives are questioning the financial whiz boy about some skanky accounting practices. he retorts something like, oh very good detectives. why don't you take a few years of business school before you start explaining my finances to me. heh. i feel like that sometimes when some liberal arts drop out starts arguing science with me. i'd love to use that quip. but i'm never gonna. the whiz kid turned out to be a fraud.
thank fsm for mythbusters. if you put an airplane on a conveyor belt running at the airplane's take off speed in the opposite direction... can the airplane take off? cecil adams of the straight dope fame had all kinds of trouble with this one
. if you've never heard of mythbusters it's a great tv show. they put popular myths to the test. in this case they put a full scale airplane on a conveyor belt. and guess what! it took off. just like cecil said. but lotta folks didn't believe him. the problem is there's some ambiguity in the question. i phrased it above without ambiguity. usually the question is posed using the phrase "speed of the airplane" instead of "take off speed". most people have never flown an airplane. but they have driven cars. so they naturally think speed means wheel speed. and by that definition, if the airplane's wheel speed matches the conveyor belt's speed then the plane isn't going anywhere. but it's not because of some magical mystical non-existent force holding the plane in place. it's because when you untie the plane and let it move itself its wheel speed will no longer match the conveyor speed. the wheel speed is the conveyor speed plus the airplane's ground speed. whew. glad we got that taken care of. thanks adam and jamie!