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Timmerov's Blog
Sunday, January 31, 2010
the other day my preteen son was dancing around the living room singing, i want to be a ninj-cha-cha. over and over. the beautiful and talented alisa and i just looked at each other. what the heck is a ninj-cha-cha? some sort of stealth dancer. when looked for cannot be seen. when listened for cannot be heard. it is said a ninj-cha-cha can dance through walls. heh. if you find yourself at a musical and you don't see or hear anything, it just might be a troupe of ninj-cha-chas. they usually perform between acts. the most famous troupe, and by far the most popular, is one called intermission.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
so the question of the day is: can the government create wealth? or does it just move money around? it's a popular sound bite with the anti-tax crowd. with whom i sympathize. but is it true? a government can clearly create wealth for itself. count the palaces of the king of saud, saddam hussein, and the vatican, for examples. but that's only creation relative to itself. that wealth was taken from others. governments can clearly inhibit the creation of wealth. by not allowing people to harvest resources. like the oil in anwr. and by consuming the available lines of credit. and by stupid monetary policies like printing so much paper money inflation makes it worthless. i assert governments can facilitate the creation of wealth by doing things that benefit all of us. things that no other organization has a direct incentive to do. like build and finance schools and infrastructure. like roads and power lines and internet backbones. so i guess the answer is yes and no. the government can't directly create wealth any more than a hammer and saw can. however, those tools allow me to do work, and hence create wealth, that i wouldn't be able to do without them.
Friday, January 29, 2010
b is 7" taller than g. the beautiful and talented alisa is 7" taller than b. i am 7" taller than alisa. our family is colinear. possibly for the only time in our lives. though it could happen again. the most likely time would be if i was 3.5" taller than b who is 3.5" taller than alisa who is 3.5" taller than g. we'll just have to wait and see.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
me plus the internet makes me smarter than any person alive 30 years ago. i think a large number of people have noticed this. you don't have to look very far to find examples of ordinary folks spewing wisdom from an internet soapbox as if they were the oracle of delphi. i also think most of them haven't noticed that a large number of *other* people have discovered exactly the same thing. they're behaving as if they think this iq boost applies only to them. which i find absolutely fascinating. the internet has made you the smartest man in the world. yet not smart enough to figure out - so is everyone else.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. which is infinite most of the time. but not always. take gaming for example, 10 milliseconds is the difference between being the fragg-er and fragg-ee. 10 ms round trip is about 900 miles. so if you are halfway across the country and we're connected to a server in my home town, expect to respawn a lot. latency is a funny thing. perceived latency is non-linear with clocked latency. there's a threshold amount of latency below which your brain won't complain. it just compensates. making latency effectively zero. get a little bit over that threshold and now the brain yowls like a teen with a dead cell phone battery. latency is effectively infinite.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
  chocolate float
so i made a chocolate float out of chocolate ice cream and carbonated water. it wasn't very good. it had an icy texture. not sure why. previous floats didn't. might need to develop some float making technique. cause the float made from black cherry carbonated water and vanilla ice cream was also icy. hrm. for the first floats the soda water was warm. later floats used cold water. i wonder if some of the water is freezing when it encounters the ice cream. hrm. further study required.
Monday, January 25, 2010
i'm not sure what a liberal is. it seems that many people use the term to mean everyone that isn't conservative. then make fun of them for not having a unified position on everything like conservatives do. some people use liberal to mean anyone who isn't fiscally conservative and religiously conservative and socially conservative. which is kinda odd. cause the republican party is fiscally liberal. anywho, most people call themselves conservative. course most people will join the majority. no matter what that majority is. that herd mentality is hard wired in humans. and it's served us very well for a very long time. so i can't knock it too much. course innovators have served humanity pretty well too. i'll leave it to the reader to figure out with which group i prefer to associate.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
we played musical chairs at work recently. i used to have a really nice office. it had a big window that collected light indirectly through the windows on the offices across the hall. it looked like an aquarium. but it had lots of natural light. and no glare. it was really cool. now i have a desk. on the floor with a zillion other engineers. it's between the front door, bathrooms, and kitchen. it's pretty much the highest traffic area in the building. wee. i guess they want me to work from home. anywho, i must have looked kinda glum. cause a buddy stopped by and pointed out the my office is much bigger now.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
  flying dream
i haven't ranted about taxes on the rich being too low in a while. i got worn out showing the math. blank stare. and worn out showing actual honest to goodness tax returns. apparently, i haven't given up the fight yet. i've been looking for an analogy on point. not so much to convince others our tax system is broken. but to communicate how i feel when the topic comes up. the other night i was dreaming about flying. i don't dream about flying as much as i did when i owned a nice little aerobatics number. spend part of every day umop ap!sdn. anywho this dream was different. everyone was grumbling about how much they paid for their ticket. except me. i was flying for free. i pointed this out. was ignored. we got talking about how they could get better seats for lower prices. again, i offered to pay. really. it would be no trouble. i can afford it. then they got angry at me. not because i was freeloading. but because it's very very important that i fly free. the logic of it didn't make any sense. me flying often and for the cheap meant more flights. which increases supply. which makes their seats cheaper. course in reality i just consume those seats for free too. and now their fares have to finance more flights. one guy was screaming, it's not a zero sum game! as if a person in the gaming industry for 25 years doesn't know what a zero sum game is. i also know what specious means. anywho, tax time is coming. either put on your happy face. or do something intelligent about it.
Friday, January 22, 2010
  voluntary manslaughter
so a crazy man executes an abortion provider in a church. his defense is he's guilty of voluntary manslaughter. yes killing him was wrong but in the mind of the crazy person was the lesser evil. the difference is the death penalty vs 5 years. let's think about that one for just a minute. okay crazy person. when you are released will you seek out and kill others like your first victim? yes, of course. am i justified in putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger to save their lives? how about drug dealers? or the owners of coal mines? or the president? hrm. so far the court has said they'd entertain allowing the jury to consider that lesser charge. i guess it depends on the facts presented in the case. hopefully, the court will have time to reflect on the sheer stupidity of that ruling. or maybe it's a cruel trick. raise the guy's hopes that he can get away with murder. then sentence him to death. muhahahahahah! timmer for judge jury and executioner. course, that's exactly what this case is about.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
i'm going to shamelessly steal the punchline for this blog from some video from some blog i got to through bad astronomy. so thanks author i'm too lazy to re-find. anywho, i'm about to bash religion. don't make the mistake that i'm picking on your religion in particular. this pot shot is taken at all of em. anywho, the problem with religion goes something like this: worship our god of peace and love or we'll kill you and damn your soul to hell!!!!!!!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
i am a fan of onlive. hopefully you will be too. i am also a fan of onlive on facebook. woo hooty. now i can honestly tell the beautiful and talented alisa that i have to have a facebook account for work. be sure you join the official fan club thingy. and knot one of the nockoffs. enjoy.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
the beautiful and talented alisa and myself got an unexpected windfall date saturday night. we went to a place that served you raw meat and gave you a hot rock to cook it on. it was pretty yummy. then we had chocolate fondue for desert. diet be damned. afterwards we went to see avatar. it was visually pretty. but not a lot better than a modern video game. way way bigger of course. i guess i'm not impressed because i had high expectations. on the other hand, i had no idea what the plot was beforehand. other than it was crappy. low expectations. no disappointment. i think he did his race proud. one thing puzzles me. disney had to airbrush away the penises of 101 dalmation puppies. yet, avatar is full of bare breasts. surely, the morality police have seen this movie. where's the outrage? google avatar bare naked breasts. very little noise. small blue alien aboriginal breasts are okay? the omaticaya are tall and lean. they are simultaneously gangly awkward and athletically graceful. much like human teens. i watched a movie starring naked teens painted blue. and the anti-breast people are silent. i swear i don't understand morality in this world. maybe i should go to pandora.
Monday, January 18, 2010
  floats 2
despite my bitching and moaning this diet has been going pretty well. i've been slightly hungry a few times. but instead of having a king sized snack and finding myself full halfway through dinner, i just tough it out. i discovered some no sugar added ice cream from breyers. it tastes okay. figured i'd try it in my root beer float experiment. except i didn't have any root beer. so i used cola instead. i added the cola to carbonated water. no sugar. the ice cream has artificial sweeteners. it's plenty sweet. the cola float turned out pretty good. and it was only about 150 calories. now i'm out of cola. got lots of other flavors. gonna skip lemon lime. and go for the berry flavors. the beautiful and talented alisa suggested i try chocolate ice cream with soda water. sort of a chocolate float. which sounds kinda good.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
  alt meds
i'm not a big fan of alternative medicine. though in most cases i'm big on letting people experiment with their bodies. or their kids' bodies. the exception would be vaccines. diseases that kill millions can be nigh eradicated if we all cooperate. and yes some of us will pay for it. dearly. i'm a scumbag. and i say we all need to cooperate. if you refuse you are worse than a scumbag. anywho. end of rant. do you know what they call alternative medicine that's been proven effective? heh. medicine.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
some folks say they're a skeptic when it comes to this that or the other thing. that's cool. i usually ask which skeptic? cause skepticism in the scientific sense is a good thing. keeps progress from being sidetracked by nonsense. on the other hand, when a lay person says skepticism they usually mean denial. which is a huge difference. the former is, i don't believe you yet. the latter is, i won't believe you ever. if you're going to call yourself a skeptic then please wander over to bad astronomy. lotta good info there from the folks who defined the term. like the amazing randi.
Friday, January 15, 2010
so i'm 6boxing ddo when all of a sudden the windows start closing. wtf?!?! windows is shutting down. son of a bitch. it takes close to 10 minutes to start up one of my ddo sessions. cause everything has to be done serially. so having the os decide that its tasks have priority over mine is extremely stupid. good thing i wasn't doing anything important. like say, ordering something from the microsoft store. so i go into windows update and i change it to download but don't install the updates. i hope that fixes it. and sure enough, the recommended setting is let windows restart whenever the fuck it feels like it. whoever thinks that's a good idea should be shot.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
i used to get really irritated when someone said something dumb like, it's cold/hot here today therefore global warming is/isn't happening. i mean sheehs. how can people stand to be so ignorant? course i wonder how people can stand to be obese. loose fat hanging off my frame feels gross. no idea how obese people put up with it. i feel the same way about not understanding something. i just wonder how people cope in modern society lacking fundamentals of basic science and mathematics. sheehs. then i had an epiphany. now i still get irritated. but at us scientists. it's our job to educate people. to teach them how to think critically. if they can't then we've failed.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
yeah before christmas i said i hate christmas. what i really meant was i hate some small portion of some of the things that happen in the lead up to christmas. i actually like the christmas season. my favorite part of this christmas was spending lots of extra time with the beautiful and talented alisa.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
one of the arguments for health care reform is the life expectancy of americans compares rather unfavorably with other first world countries. heh. i really have to say i don't think that's a health care issue. well it is. americans are obese. and it's killing us. there are some cases where obesity is a medical condition. but the vast majority of our weight problem is we eat too much and exercise too little. seems like the best thing we can do for ourselves is to tax our sweet tooth. especially sugary drinks.
Monday, January 11, 2010
  health care
it seems most americans love the idea of health care reform. simultaneously most americans hate what's currently wending its way through the system. heh. i think the problem is people want more but don't want to pay for it.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
b asked santa for warcraft this last christmas. not world of warcraft. just warcraft. it seems to have become his new favorite game. he stopped playing the humans when he had to go kill all the peasants. it's got some really nice sounds. which is fortunate. my favorite is the guy who calls out, soap suds. or maybe the guy you says, feed my rat.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
i've been going to the gym fairly regularly recently. it's the same gym i've been going to off and on for 20 years. but just the other day i noticed that the 5 pound weights have a 5 on the side that when looked at sideways kinda looks like a 10. i wonder how many times during that 20 years i thought i was adding 10 pounds when i was really adding 5 pounds. and i wonder why i never noticed before. could my eyesight really be getting that old? nah.
Friday, January 08, 2010
  win7 truth
the last few posts made it sound like installing windows 7 64 bit on a mac pro was a breeze. HA! it was a serious pain in the ass that lasted 5 days. there we two calls to microsoft technical support. apparently it keeps track of how many times you install windows 7. and since i had been shuffling hard drives around it looked like i was installing it on different computers. so i had to get them to send me a new product code. great. when trying to get the 64 bit version to install i blew away both the xp and 32 bit drives. usually by frustration induced stupidity. fortunately i never made the mistake of blowing away the mac drives. i got real snippy with the nice man at the microsoft store when he told me it would take 24 to 48 hours to get a new product code. he really didn't care if i used os x or linux for 2 days waiting for the new product code. and when i did get it all working i found out the windows 7 home premium only uses one of my two cpus. sigh. fuck you very much microsoft.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
how to install windows 7 64 bit on an old mac pro with two dual core cpus running leopard 10.5. i figured i'd start with that line cause that's what i searched for when i first started this adventure. first, you can't install a 64 bit os from a 32 bit os. i only have xp and windows 7 32 bit. sigh. so i had to do a clean install. that requires an install dvd. i didn't have any blank writable dvd's. i tried the boot from usb drive trick. but the mac pro wouldn't play along. so one trip to frys and $20 later i have 98 dvd-r's. wee. i followed the instructions here. the tricky part is getting oscdimg.exe. which is both an exercise in googling and faith in the goodness of strangers on the other side of the intertubes. and is way beyond the scope of this blog. anywho instructions repeated here:

in windows 7 32 bit ...
1 Create 3 folders c:\7iso c:\7exe c:\7dvd
2 Download oscdimg.exe file and put into c:\7exe
3 Copy the files from the downloaded Windows 7 64 bit .iso into c:\7iso. if you ordered online like i did you can go to store.microsoft.com. sign in. click account. download and re-download the different versions of the purchases.
4 Open a command prompt and cd to the c:\7exe directory
5 Type: oscdimg.exe -n -m -bc:\7iso\boot\etfsboot.com c:\7iso c:\7dvd\7dvd.iso

now burn the dvd in c:\7dvd. that's really easy in windows 7. right click on the .iso and choose burn to dvd. i couldn't get windows 7 64 bit to install on anything other than a hard drive in bay one with a single full size partition. fortunately moving drives in the mac pro is easy. shut down and play shuffle bricks. start up in mac os x by holding down the option key during boot up. run boot camp assistant. format the lucky drive. insert the newly burned dvd. start the windows installation. the mac pro will restart. at the gray screen the dvd will be ejected. and the screen will go black. immediately shove that sucker back in there. the windows installation should proceed fairly normally from then on. and by normally i mean, reboot a lot. go to the nvidia site and download the latest graphics driver. folks suggest installing the latest bootcamps 2.1 and 2.2. separately, thank you apple. sigh. now everything works except sound. insert the leopard cd. view but don't autorun. navigate into drivers. and run the realtek installer. reboot. and you should be good to go. whew. enjoy.

update: run the bootcamp installation programs as administrator.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
okay. so win xp via boot camp still can't 6box ddo very well. it actually does okay. except for the page faults. task mangler put that at around 3.3G. which seems kinda bad. let's try windows 7. you can download it directly from microsoft. you get both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions. i didn't know that at the time. i just assumed that all modern operating systems would be 64 bit. silly me. i ended up installing the 32 bit version from xp on the other /new/ hard drive. the procedure was pretty much the same as with installing xp. now win7/32 was definitely better than xp for 6boxing ddo. page faults were down to 1.9G. and the frame rate was up to 60 fps. which is pretty awesome. the problem is when new content appears. all 6 instances try to load it at the same time and cause the page faults. the machine has 12G ram. so though win7/32 is much better than xp, it ain't good enough yet. time to try win7/64.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
  boot camp xp
i've been cleaning up my office. i found the retired g5 and recycled it. but first i pulled out the hard drives and stuck them in the mac pro. it's an old one with two dual cores. i've been using vmware fusion as my pc solution. however, it's a bit slow when i try to run 6 copies of ddo at once. so i figured i'd install windows xp on one of the /new/ hard drives. so i did. with repetition it boiled down to this. run boot camp assistant. format the drive. install windows. reboot a lot. as soon as it comes up insert the leopard cd to install its drivers and assorted other crap. reboot some more. go to the nvidia web site and get the latest graphics driver. install it. reboot some more. wait for windows to update itself a few times. reboot. download explorer 8. reboot. whew.
Monday, January 04, 2010
  bad astronomy
everyone welcome bad astronomy to the link list at the right. enjoy.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
a buddy of mine is very pleased with his current health insurance. he pays $4000/yr and gets $1000/yr of services. seems like a great deal to him. another buddy of mine doesn't have health insurance. his family goes to the doctor as needed and they pay out of pocket. he's adept at negotiating a fair price. the money they've saved has paid for their house and their acres of land. i mean completely. he has no mortgage. all this got me thinking. it seems like there's a need for an honest middleman. their task would be to drive down costs. i pay for my health care as i go. usually this puts me at the mercy of the provider. cause when i'm in the hospital i'm not in a position to negotiate the cost of the services. much less threaten to go somewhere else. enter middleman. imagine a superhero type with a giant M on his chest. suppose the hospital wants to charge $500. middleman uses his bill shrinking super power and makes them accept $200. i'm so happy i pay middleman 20% of the difference ie $60. oh man. i'm gonna be so rich.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
i like traveling. exploring new places is fun. flying has always been a part of that. it's never been fun per se. but since 9/11 it's gotten to the point where i just don't want to go. i feel the same way about vegas. worse actually. at least with vegas you know everything is a show. it's all fake. it's all a facade. yet at the airport everyone goes through the motions. literally removing their shoes. as if any of this does any good. it's all theatre. very little of it keeps us safe. what does keep us safe is us. the unwritten rules have changed. now if you misbehave on a plane the passengers themselves will kick your ass. the rules on the ground have changed too. but not in a useful way. heck, i'd prefer if everyone on the plane were armed with pocket knives and knitting needles. we'd be very well served by trading the existing theatre for something useful. like bomb sniffing puppies. flying would be a lot more fun if you were greeted by a pack of puppies.
Friday, January 01, 2010
i like beans. baked beans, lima beans, string beans, refried beans, chilli beans, kidney beans. pretty much any kind of beans. they make my gas really smeelly though. that might be why we don't get beans on the menu much. or maybe the beautiful and talented alisa just isn't fond of them. dunno. course now with the upcoming diet we might have to invest in some beano.
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)
middle age
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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