observant readers will notice that my daily posts have missed a few days. anyone wondering why? okay here are some reasons. some are more reality based than others. so take your picks. a) i'm hugely preggers and about to give birth to space cow twins. b) i hate you all. c) i'd rather play ddo. d) it's little league season. e) onlive is going to launch in a small number of weeks. and they're making me play computer games other than ddo. they mostly suck. except for world of goo. which not only rocks as a game. and as entertainment. but it also rocks technologically. long live the sign painter.
so the other day i was driving to work with other commuters. one was a guy in a bmw convertible talking on his cell phone. got a good look at him. cause he passed me a few times. anywho, up ahead a firetruck was approaching with its lights and siren on. the utility truck in front of me stopped. i stopped. the bmw didn't stop. passed us again. the firetruck made a sudden left hand turn in front of us. the bmw guy dropped his phone and stood on the brakes. his phone bounced off his shoulder. and off his head. and went over the windshield. it clattered across the hood of the car. hopefully leaving lots of really nice scratches. then the phone leaped into the path of the oncoming firetruck and smashed itself into a zillion tiny pieces. most people would take this as a sign from god that you shouldn't be talking on a cell phone while driving. but then again, this was a beemer.
i kinda like obama for the same reasons i kinda like schwarzenegger. they're both pretty darn practical in that they do what can be done. instead of shooting for mars. which is doomed to fall short and wastes a bunch of time energy effort and we end up with nothing to show for it. i kinda don't like obama for the same reasons i kinda don't like schwarzenegger. they both borrowed money for more of the crap that broke the budget in the first place. paying people to not work. that's fucking stupid. sheehs. anywho, it's also a lot of fun to combine their names. but only one way. the other way is out of bounds. even for me.
i've previously written about how religion is a mating strategy. recap: i'll kill your unborn child along with my wife so don't even think about fucking her. but, let's look at the other side. atheism is also a mating strategy. most folks believe that strong families are a critical core pillar of a healthy society. yes, even atheists. some people start families later than others. like say because of college. humans like to have sex. so it's pretty natural for people at college to embrace a belief system that allows them to have sex but not start a family. ie atheism. or at least a suspension of the beliefs they were imbued with at church. some folks go on to say these two strategies compete with each other. but hrm. maybe with caveats. coed colleges are still a relatively new thing. the competition would be more evident when there were many extra males looking for partners, not mates. at church. cause there aren't enough "loose women" at colleges. which obviously causes all kinds of trouble. i'm kinda hoping this perceived competition between the mating strategies evaporates over time now that the college male/female populations are closer to the same size.
sometimes the world just turns upside down. like when conservatives threaten to kill liberals cause the liberals are killing an evolution based program embraced by the conservatives. really weird, huh? i explain. health care in the past has been for the healthy and the wealthy. by healthy i mean the total amount of money you pay in exceeds the amount of money your provider pays out. and by wealthy i mean you can afford to pay your premiums. the health care system would drop you if you were expensive. either by being unhealthy or by being poor. by unhealthy i mean you are a financial loss for the health care company even if you pay your premiums. which is unlikely given that you're likely to be too sick to actually work. by poor i mean you have no skill you can sell. in either case society goes all survival of the fittest on you. and drops your coverage. you get thrown to the wolves. define natural selection. all that evolution theory put in practice. now, there's a pretty strong correlation between conservative-ness and evolution denialism. so one would expect liberals to embrace the status quo natural selection based health care. and conservatives would embrace health care reform that's more jesus-like. ie feed the hungry and minister to the sick. unless of course, the world is upside down.
the recent set of storms arrived just in time for b's spring break. so he and the beautiful and talented alisa skipped town for one last ski trip. that left me home with g. we did the normal bachelor things: sleep, eat, school/work, baseball, video games. one of his little friends stayed over after baseball practice on friday. we had a scrimmage on saturday morning. his mom took g and friend to the 100th anniversay cub scout jamboree. much fun was had by all. she wanted to know what we did friday night. i, of course, lied. we dusted. you dusted? uh, huh. i tied dust rags to them. then fed them sugar and caffeine. i probably should have hidden all the breakables first though. ah well. i think i'll file a patent. and sell licenses to the franchise. dust devils. or something. i'm gonna be so rich.
over half of us households don't pay any taxes. there are (at least) two ways to spin this. it's a great thing. ordinary folks aren't paying any taxes. taxes have been shifted to the rich. who can afford it. yay! stick it to the man. on the other hand, it's an awful thing. most american households are too poor to pay taxes. ouch! that just seems bad. most americans are freeloaders. or want to be. again, ouch! recently, i heard a position that conflicts with mine. which is the formerly expressed spin. rich folks should pay the taxes. everyone else should get a free ride. the alien idea is that everyone should pay nominal taxes. or more of course. this keeps people invested in the government. and caring what it does. and being pretty vocal when it does stupid shit. like paying people to not work. with their money. i'm still cogitating on what this is going to do to my world view.
shame on me
fool me once shame on you. fool me twice... heh. so b got once with an edamame pod stuffed with wasabi. i thought it quaint that he'd try it again. hah. the pranked pod was obvious. i grabbed on of the others. wondering if he really thought that would work. i squeezed the pod to eject the beans. and squirted myself in the face. hrm. shame on me. he soaked the thing in his water glass. sealed it shut with just enough wasabi. then created the wasabi packed one as a diversion. flawless execution. 'course you know. this means war.
happy tax day
so this year we set an all time low for tax rate: -200%. yes, that's *minus* 200 percent. our real income last year was negative. we reworked our positions on the stock market. that's a nice way to say we dumped our losers. the long term capital losses exceeded all of our other (real and positive) income. total net minus. which makes the tax rate kinda silly. will have to do some sort of averaging over several years to get numbers that make sense. now, funny thing. the government doesn't let you claim that as a loss. you can only use it to offset long term capital gains in future years. pah. but wait. there's more. we exercised iso stock options for onlive. now, funny thing. the government considers this to be taxable income. presumably because it's a valuable asset i received this year. problem is, the actual value of this asset is zero. cause i can't sell it. double pah. okay so, to recap just how screwed up our tax system is. we have to pay taxes on money we didn't make. and we can't offset that with losses that we did.
so the other day g noticed all the accumulated gunk behind the refrigerator. i usually get the bigger dirtier cleaning jobs. so last weekend i attacked it. the first problem is always how to get the fridge away from the wall. you can get a good grip on the side of the door with the hinges. but the other side just opens the door. i don't want to pull the thing lopsided cause that tends to chew up the nice hardwood floors. hrm. invention time. i got a loop of clothesline. tossed it over the fridge. worked it down low. and pulled. worked like a charm. after cleaning, i duct taped the clothesline in place. so it's accessible but out of sight. the whole time i'm wondering why refrigerators don't just have handles for this very purpose. am i the only one in the world who cleans behind the fridge. hmm... fridge handles. frandles. catchy. think i'll sell em as add-ons. i'm gonna be so rich.
i have the privilege of using vista32 for work. man, that is one big pile of suck. super fetch has stopped working. base filter has stopped working. blue screens of death. then there's the security features. i wish these didn't work. you just told me to do something. should i do it? file sharing. ha! google the problem of the hour. follow the incomprehensible instructions. and hope no one's playing a horrible trick on you. it seems to just miss clicks. which is really annoying. cause sometimes it heard you but decides to be really goddam slow about responding. thanks. i needed 6 copies of chrome running. reboot. hope you can get some work done before the next time it falls over.
i'm really disappointed in tiger woods. he lied. i believe him when he said he was sorry for the pain he caused his wife. that's cool. but he went on to say it was wrong. diced words like clinton. he meant causing his wife pain was wrong. but what everyone heard was that cheating on his wife was wrong. which is not what he actually said. which makes it a lie by intentionally misinterpreted truth. i was appalled by a true american hero telling the world he's sorry for what he is. fuck that shit. imagine james bond apologizing for nailing all those hot chicks. right. not gonna happen. shouldn't happen. shouldn't've happened in tiger's case either. be who you are. cause if you try to be anything else, you'll fail.
the iraq war was a mistake. yeah, says who? heh. me. but don't take my word for it. most of the republicans elected to the hill agree with me. $700 billion and counting disappeared in explosions of sand. that's $700,000,000,000. no wonder our economy tanked. not to mention some quarter million of our best and brightest were removed from the workplace for a decade. some 5000+ were removed permanently cause they're dead. thousands more cause they're disabled. which is worse, economically. a funeral is a lot cheaper than supporting a disabled veteran. then there's the $100 per barrel jump in oil prices. that's some $10 billion dollars per day that disappeared from our books. and went where? lemme see. oh yeah, our enemies. jesus fucking christ. define hubris.
name that itune
so here's a fun party game. one person creates an itunes play list by search for a short word. search song titles, album titles, artist. the rest of the party goers try to guess the search word. enjoy.
easter means coloring eggs. everyone was running around joe and mary's with blue green purple hands. i told you a good time was had by all. some of the crazier folks got up real early. and hid >80 colored eggs around the three meadows. less crazy folks stayed in bed and goggled. it took me longer than average to find my chocolate bunny. which turned out to be a cross. surprisingly, it had no corn syrup. or maybe someone loves me and checked beforehand. usually, that makes a thing food. heh. not this though. i think a real blood soaked hunk of 2000 year old wood would have tasted better. the eggs though were a completely different story. mmm... deviled eggs. i think my favorite was the wasabi.
we went to joe and mary's for easter. yes, there are pictures on facebook. a good time was had by all. i love going there. not just because of the great company and textiles. but also because it is without a doubt the single greatest source of blog material in the world. period. for example, mary is a very bad person. she used to sit on phone books in church so she could see better. this offends the paper god. apparently in at least one polytheistic religion the paper god is angry with the ass god. so followers clean themselves with water instead. and i guess the water god is totally cool with the practice. but then the paper god only gets angry. unlike the glass god. a long time ago glass was the perfect thing to wipe with - soft, absorbent, mess-free, odor absorbing. but the glass god didn't like glass being used this way. and people wouldn't stop when he/she/it got angry. so he/she/it changed glass into the brittle sharp edged thing it is today. thus ensuring that glass was never used to clean shit off a backside ever again.
one of the talking points of my conservative leaning friends is they want smaller government. and by that they mean lower taxes. and fewer incomprehensible intrusions into their private lives. one of the talking points of my liberal leaning friends is they want smaller government. and by that they mean lower taxes. and fewer incomprehensible intrusions into their private lives. seems like having our cake would be a no-brainer then, eh? heh. nope. the right-ish drank the far-right kool-aid. and the left-ish drank the far-left kool-aid. they've been calling each other stupid for so long. neither side can make a deal with the other. cause agreeing with them would make them stupid too. heh. or worse. they'd have to admit they were wrong when they called the other side stupid. gah! the horror! fortunately, they're all getting old and will die "soon". sigh. at least we're training our children to not be the bigoted monsters we were. right? right?!?!
too bad mary queen of scots wasn't scotty queen of mars. then her head would have grown right back.
refcount is short for reference counter. it's a field in an object that tracks how many pointers are pointing at the object. when it gets to zero you can delete the object. in theory it eliminates that dangling pointer problem. ie someone uses a pointer to an object that's been deleted. generally considered bad news. the problem is, in practice, refcounts suck. big time. there are two choices. you can tightly bind access to the object with updating the refcount. this is the most safe option. unfortunately, it's inefficient as hell. the other choice is to rely on the user to update the refcount. this is somewhat error prone. hah. who am i kidding. it's a recipe for disaster. every once in a while someone at work suggests we use refcounts. i just shake my head. you were a cs major weren't you? no one uses refcounts in the real world. sigh. but then there's microsoft. i hate that company so much.
i think the last two posts hit on something. most people remember their flu shots. and they have marginal experience with them. as in they make you feel yucky. and you wonder if it's really worth it. the problem is... flu shots and measles vaccines occupy the same slot in people's heads. flu shots suck. therefore vaccinations suck too. it's an error in logic. unfortunately, it's a deadly error. deadly to other people's healthy babies. don't be a baby killer.
diseases have two basic strategies. there's the highly infectious route. spread as rapidly as possible. kill your host. and jump to reservoir when you run out of hosts. examples would be small pox, bubonic plague, measles, etc. dangerous diseases. because they kill healthy people. we combat them with herd immunity. reduce the number of available hosts to zero. the other strategy is to tax your host enough to spread but not enough to kill it. examples would be cold and flu. this is a tricky business for the disease to strike the perfect balance. this is why there are so many different strains. the ones that get it right survive to next flu season. those too taxing or too nice, don't. these diseases are not deadly to healthy people. usually the weak succumb. these diseases mutant rapidly. this makes them difficult to combat. i'd argue, we don't want to. herds of animals are healthier when there's a predator culling it. humans are the largest herd on earth. we're also the top predator. nothing preys on us. except disease. which puts me in the seemingly odd position of saying get vaccinated against killer diseases. but don't get flu shots.
i have mixed feelings about people who choose to not vaccinate their kids. first, they're stupid. it's generally a waste of time to argue with stupid people. second, they mostly put themselves at risk. mostly. if you expose 100 vaccinated people to measles it's likely one is going to get the disease. yeah sure it's likely to be a mild case. but that's still pretty frikken miserable for a week. and quarantined. if you expose 100 un-vaccinated people to measles you'll get 90 infected people. who then go expose more people. and you can see how outbreaks occur. third, babies haven't been vaccinated yet. they are particularly vulnerable to preventable killer diseases. they depend on everyone around them for protection. don't be a baby killer. just don't. okay, so you've decided to be an idiot. what can you do? heh. how can you be a smart idiot? i'm tempted to say go to ground zero of an outbreak. see if you can contract the disease and die. or survive and get inoculated the expensive painful hard way. but that is a bit rude. even for me. so in all honesty... first, don't leave the country. not even to go to someplace safe like europe. second, don't socialize with un-vaccinated people. third, don't socialize with babies or members of families with babies. fourth, accept the financial responsibility for your medical irresponsibility. a measles outbreak costs some $5,000 per un-vaccinated person.
so our local library just got a great new upgrade. there are six new check out machines. each one can scan 4 books at a time nearly instantaneously. which is pretty cool. the old check in method was to put your books on a conveyor belt that took them to the back room where staff piled them up to be processed later. the new check in method is four machines with a door that opens and closes. each machine processes one book at a time. each book disappears into the same back room. the smart conveyor belts sort them into piles going to different parts of the library. very convenient for the staff. they can probably cut back a person. however... ohm's law says the number of books going into the library equals the number of books going out. uh oh. i'm thinking there is going to be a massive line of people waiting to check in their books one at a time. they're gonna get really unhappy. heh. i'm predicting they're going to have to re-hire that person to feed the machines during peak hours. like all weekend. heh. so now, instead of having large stacks of books safely stored hidden away in the back room... there are going to large stacks of books out in the open in the library lobby. dumb.