b pitch pulled his bicycle the other day. we had just glued the light back onto the mounting bracket after the last mishap. it was all busted off again. b landed on his chin. we had to use his shirt to staunch the bleeding. one of his hand made tie dye t-shirts. fortunately, we know how to get blood out of clothing. lots of cold water before the blood sets. so we spent a few hours at urgent care. total damage: 5 stitches. wee. welp it gave me time to plan some halloween costumes. i had grabbed the wrong folder full of sudoku puzzles. i meant to grab the folder full of new-not-finished puzzles.
i have a tinfoil hat. no more mind control rays affect me. uh uh. no way. i made it myself. i stuck an aluminum pot on my head. and beat on it with a hammer until it was the right shape.
our replaytv went down again. sigh. this thing is really nice. but it takes more tinkering than a vw bug. sheehs. anywho. the fix this time was to yank out the part that was failing and throw it away. apparently, it's not needed. reminds me of an episode of firefly. out of gas, i think. it's a flashback to where they acquire kaylee. bonus: she's naked.
i traded my boss for an iphone.
health like life
life insurance is a strange thing. someone benefits from my death. you clearly don't want to over insure yourself. but you want your dependents to not lose out if you shed your mortal coil unexpectedly. well, that's one way to look at. another is it's an investment vehicle. there are a whole lot of tax benefits associated with life insurance. plus, it's *your* money. you can get it if you want it. or need it. so here's the idea. set up a health insurance plan like life insurance. give me the same tax benefits. take the house's cut to pay my recurring costs, like well care appointments. let me believe that the rest of the money is mine. and i can get to it whenever i want to. or need to.
so i just read a news article about a guy who accidentally amputated his left arm with a circular saw. i was just wondering, how?
it's painted. yay! painted with a natural cedar water sealant. it's kinda pretty. the major parts are in place. the lattice on the top needs to be tacked to the framework so it doesn't go anywhere. painting was a big pain in the backside. but it's done. hooray! hooray! now we can get back to the fun stuff. hitting things with hammers. and the cap pieces need some angle cuts. and they need to be painted too. but they're flat. and have only 6 surfaces each. not 6000. did i mention i didn't like painting the lattice?
heh. some guy had this crazy idea of awarding the nobel peace prize to the atomic bomb. after all, there hasn't been a world war since they appeared. there have always been wars. but they've been smallish horrible local things that didn't escalate. which i great! sorta. anywho. the guy's a nut. there are very specific rules for the nobel prizes. like it has to be awarded to a living person. it's not like time's man of the year. which can be awarded to whatever they feel like. in 1982 they felt like giving it to the computer. beep beep.
apparently people are leaving organized religion by the droves. this is a crisis for the church. they are after all, losing their revenue stream. did you know we could eliminate world poverty if we sold the vatican? anywho, you might be tempted to think this is a huge win for rational thinking and atheism. but no. people are turning to superstitious claptrap. like space aliens and psychics. sigh. even when they lose we lose too.
what's up with this crazy weather? this morning it was thinking real hard about raining. the clouds were low and black. so black that when they were over head you almost needed to turn on the headlights to see. but it was only mostly cloudy. so sometimes the sun burst through. and then it was really bright. so bright you needed sunglasses. but it didn't stay that bright for very long. long enough to find my sunglasses. but not long enough to actually get them on my face.
b is a prolific reader. he just started middle school this year. he came home with this story. the librarian doesn't know him very well. he was requesting his third advanced reader test. the librarian said, (b slips into his wicked witch voice), you know little boy, these books must have been read during this school year. b, these are the books i read this week.
an interesting paper on toxic financial derivatives was published recently. the good and bad mortgages are supposed to be grouped together at random. suppose i am willing to cheat. and i know that some of the good mortgages should really be in the bad category. and i know that some of the bad mortgages should be in the toxic category. i can "randomly" put them together into the same contract and sell them to a competitor. the paper showed that the buyer will be unable to tell the difference between a legitimate contract and this booby trapped contract. but wait. it gets worse. once the thing blows up, there's no way to prove that i didn't select the goods and bads completely at random. you could have just been very unlucky. niiiiice. i'm hoping this result holds up to scrutiny. and makes these things too risky to play with. even if that makes it more difficult for marginal incomes to get a home loan.
financial derivatives are generally blamed for the wall street meltdown. they work kinda like this. you have a bunch of mortgages. some are going to fail. but you don't know which ones. you separate them into two categories: good and bad. you randomly select a few of the good and a few of the bad. you package them up in one contract and sell it. the theory being that you'll make so much money off the good mortgages that it'll cover the losses from the bad mortgages. okay. so far so good. the problem is there's a fundamental assumption defaulting mortgages are independent. turns out they're not. which is actually pretty obvious in hindsight. you'd think no one would want to touch these contracts as being too toxic. heh. not so. the industry has factored that interdependency into the cost of the contracts. they are still being traded. and they're still extremely lucrative.
rules rules rules. the president of the united states cannot accept a gift from a foreign government or agent thereof. well, not the kind that look like bribes. for obvious reasons. like say the nobel peace prize. since it was specifically awarded in anticipation of future work. actually, he can accept. he just needs to get approval from congress. which seems likely. since he has stated it's an affirmation of the american people. or some such poetrics. he said he'd give the money to charity. heh. except he can't. the prize will belong to the us government. so congress could give it to charity. or pay down the debt. or give it to me. which would be really cool.
i named a ddo character cantreach. sometimes other players in a pick up group ask me why i named the toon that. easy. whenever i tell my kids to do something, like pick up their toys, they hold out their arms and say, cantreach! cantreach!
nobel peace prize
most of the nobel prizes are merit awards. the peace prize doesn't have to be. it often is. but it's just as often a political award. sort of a, you are doing the right thing. keep it up. lotta folks are pissed off that it was awarded to obama. which makes perfect sense from the merit award point of view. but like i said, it's a political thing. or maybe it's just a relative thing. obama is so much more of a peacemaker than his predecessors. that to some, he looks like a holy savior. heh. also compare him to ahmacrazy guy. he has repeatedly stated he wants wipe israel off the map. and if he succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons, he will have the ability. them to extreme negatives on the peace scale make the current us president a no brainer for the nobel political peace prize.
congratulations to rio for winning the 2016 summer olympics. this will be the first time the summer olympics will be held in the southern hemisphere. where it is technically winter. doh.
people both love and hate mutexes. some see them as a necessary evil. my new policy is there can be only one. and it's not re-entrant. that should force people to write good code. cause they'll have to actually think about when they're stopping the world. and whether they really need to. everybody say, amen.
knowledge is a very cool thing. you can hoard it. but if you share it you end up with more. i love knowledge. i can't get enough. the internet is the greatest thing ever. but sigh. ever notice that there are people who are actively hostile to the sharing of knowledge? condescension they call it. or worse. it's really a sad case. there's nothing you can do for them. 'cept pray.
ever notice that when people say, i digress, they usually mean, i digressed? (past tense.) because when they say it they're usually finished digressing and are ready to get back on track. hrm. i guess they simultaneously mean, i will stop digressing. which is long enough it's a digression all by itself. i think i'm going to start using the phrase, i un-digress. which is fun to say. and it'll be a good test to see if people are still paying attention.
i don't need forgiveness from you! i get forgiveness from gawd! heh. we all know people like this. can't stand em. they're very confused about what other people think it means to be a christian. it's a perverse corruption of the religion. the lord's prayer asks for forgiveness and in the same breath forgives others. that's the necessary part of necessary and sufficient. unfortunately, it's not sufficient. that forgiveness part needs to be communicated to the offended party. both for their own well being and also your own. if you can't bring yourself to tell the offended person you have forgiven them then you haven't actually forgiven them. and as per the lord's prayer, how can you expect to get forgiveness from god for your own sins if you can't forgive others?
i'm a fast driver. i get from point a to point b in less time than self-proclaimed fast drivers. so i guess technically i'm a faster driver. traffic on my commute has pretty much declared that the posted speed limit is 16 kph too low. so we all ignore it. even the otherwise strictly law abiding little old ladies that can't see over the dash. there's one cracks me up. must go to the hairdresser every morning. drives a 1960's pickup truck. anywho, the fast drivers exceed even this unposted speed limit. they pass me every day. several times every day. i usually give them a look. but not a smile or a wave. provoking road rage might make me stop. and seriously adversely affect my commute time. sheehs. get a clue. it's all about lane choice.
it may seem like i go out of my way to be an ass. heh. nope. i devote a large amount of effort to being courteous to people who really don't deserve it. like telemarketers. like door to door salespeople. like people who are proud of being ignorant fucks.
so why is our economy so strong? here's a thought. we give people the opportunity to succeed. but just as importantly, we give people the opportunity to fail.
i have a new saying: two ounces of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
if science were easy everyone would be a scientist. let me see if i can make an analogy that works to clear up some confusion about mercury.
there are two types of alcohol. ethyl alcohol is made from hops and grapes and makes a tasty beverage. methyl alcohol is a deadly poison. it's kinda important to understand the difference.
there are two types of mercury: ethyl mercury is metabolized and discarded efficiently by everything bigger than a microbe. said property makes it an effective preservative. methyl mercury builds up and builds up to toxic levels where it's a deadly poison. it's kinda important to understand the difference.
there's also good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. thiomersal is the good mercury. the stuff we're worried about in fish is the bad mercury. unfortunately, there's been so much confusion of the two that people are afraid to get life improving vaccines. denmark stopped using thiomersal nearly 15 years ago. if thiomersal really caused autism you'd expect the affliction to be non-existent there. but no. the opposite really. incidience of autism is on the rise. just like everywhere else.
let's stop persecuting an innocent. let's buckle down and find the real criminal in this case. cause it's still out there. doing horrific things to more children every year. k?
my son is a sort of clueless innovator that endears him to his teachers. he's too clueless to know there's a box he's supposed to be thinking in.
so this guy's t-shirt said, we are the movement. obviously some sort of political statement. and since i couldn't tell immediately what movement he was part of i am obviously some sort of unwashed heathen. heh. i resisted the urge to tell him that movement has another meaning. probably because i was waiting to pick up my dinner. and he was heading to the kitchen. extra funny bonus cause it was an indian restaurant.
following up yesterday's post... more people in africa will get polio from the polio vaccine than from naturally occurring disease. from one point of view, we're clearly vaccinating too much. way too much. however, the goal is to eliminate the disease. if we can do that then no one would suffer this horrible disease again. when you factor in all future suffers we're clearly vaccinating too little. way too little. neat huh?
vaccines are an interesting mathematical and social problem. vaccines both do good and cause harm. the optimal strategy for an individual is for everyone *else* to be immunized. as more people choose this strategy, the pool of potential victims grows. which increases the chance of an out of control outbreak. which means more people will get vaccinated. eventually you hit a sort of equilibrium. unfortunately, it's at the point where epidemics will occur. "fortunately" is a charged word to use here. but i'm going to use it anyway. from the perspective of those who can afford to be immunized, it's fortunate that disease will only spread among those who are too ignorant or too vulnerable to be vaccinated. the fear is they mutate it into something no one's immune to. we're selecting for people who are vulnerable to vaccines and immune to disease. which is a strategy. a scary strategy.
b's totally jazzed about boy scouts. that's good. but man. what a bunch of dorks. course i'm not sure who are the bigger dorks: the scouts or their parents. b and i went on a 5 mile family hike today. the beautiful and talented alisa wanted to go. g did not. apparently he told her he'd give her the silent treatment if she made him go. apparently she asked him what's the down side of that? anywho, a's been getting to the gym more/less regularly. so i got to go. wee! it was hot. no one took enough water. and we went slow. nearly 5 hours start to finish. really slow. but we all made it. and we get to do it again. cause there were no first class scouts nor any uniformed adult leaders to sign off on requirements. oops.