oh dear. confession time. i'm writing scripts for video games again. got me banned before. though this time i think it'll be okay. it's an autohotkey script that launches ddo six times, enters my user names and passwords, logs in my characters, and moves the windows to where i like em. it mostly works. the intertubes warned me the learning curve would be steep. it's got some quirks. but it mostly worked as advertised.
okay so i'm missing something here. two of our sailors went missing in afghanistan. and were later found dead. wait. sailors missing in land-locked afghanistan. wtf? who's in charge there? does this make any sense? at all? frick. timmer for general.
the boys discovered we can plug the laptop into the tv. which is pretty cool. cause now we can watch netflix instant play on the big tv instead of on the relatively small laptop screen. the problem is it's dvi out. so there's no audio. yet. i need to secure the appropriate audio cable. then we can be dangerous. sorta. hdtv has almost as many pixels of resolution as computer monitors that were available 5 years before hd and 10x cheaper. woot. a couple of things become immediately apparent when connecting a computer to a tv. tv's suck at scaling. they seem to do the thick line thing instead of interpolation. like computer graphics cards. cheap cards. also the text looks funny cause the sharpen filter is turned up so high. which i guess makes the normal tv content look extra crisp. which i guess sells tvs. but makes my eyeballs hurt when i try to read text. fortunately, it can be turned down to sane levels.
so i was responsible for entertaining the boys this weekend. i told them we could either go somewhere and do something. or we can do something here. they kinda didn't want to go anywhere on account of having gone many places all week. so i gave them a list of things we could do. paint a perspective mural on the back wall of the big room. paint the garage door so the google street view view looks like there's a military tank parked in the garage. or make something for this year's anniversary. which happens to be furniture. so we spent the weekend cutting clamping and gluing. which was fun. we also fixed the bicycle tire. which was kinda fun. except we had to do it twice. the leak only leaked when the tube was sufficiently inflated. we didn't find it the first time. we also cleaned the grill. i think that was a first for this particular grill. scary huh? well, at least we didn't have a fire. like they had at the little league bbq. which might be why i was so motivated to get the thing cleaned up somewhat.
the mr deity videos are pretty funny. they're kinda borderline blasphemous. but what the heck. live dangerously. check em out. in one of them, larry's trying to get mr deity to remove some of the horrible things that happen to people. like cancer, famine, lou gehrig's disease. he argues people won't believe in you. mr deity says, yes they will. no they won't. yes. no. want to bet? sure. i think they got the inspiration for that one from vista. imagine some microsoft marketing person and/or engineer trying to persuade mr gates he can't ship vista cause it's such a piece of crap that no one will buy it. yes they will. no they won't. yes. no. want to bet? sigh.
the beautiful and talented alisa makes wonderful salads. how to put this? an alisa salad is to a pile of iceberg lettuce as great sex is to kissing aunt edna. anywho, there's also potato salad and crab salad and chicken salad. i don't know how she does it. but her salads make all other salads look like somebody chopped up a bunch of stuff and then tried to glue them back together with mayonnaise.
a long time ago it was illegal to export encryption technology. it was considered a munition. now the government wants to snoop on everything sent over the internet. in effect, it says you can't use encryption to keep your private communications private. it's kinda too bad encryption algorithms aren't classified as munitions any more. otherwise we could have invoked the second amendment and the nra to keep the cops from reading the love notes i send to my beautiful and talented wife.
following up from yesterday's post. if stupid gullible people embrace the alternative non-medicine quackery and die from it, the average intelligence of the world goes up. which can't be a bad thing. might be a good way to trim the world's population. course it'd probably be faster, cheaper, and less painful to just duct tape a plastic bag over your head. oh god. please don't let me be responsible for starting the next alt non-med fad.
the placebo effect has been studied for a long time. placebos work best when people don't know they're getting a placebo. this is fundamentally how alternative medicine works. it sounds all sciency and/or mediciny. people want to believe there's a cure for whatever ails them. voila! the placebo effect kicks in. and often times the patient gets better. so in some very limited sense alternative medicine is real medicine. it's an effective application of a placebo. real doctors and non-medicine practitioners should work together. patients should see the real doctor first. then on the advice of the real doctor they should see the alternative shamans for the actual administration of the placebo. under absolutely no circumstances should an alt-med-quack be permitted to provide primary care. that's a recipe for preventable deaths. and yes, us smart people have to make that rule. and impose it on you. cause if you're the type of person who can't tell when they're getting a placebo, then you're the type of person who can't tell when a well meaning but potentially dangerous alternative non-medicine non-doctor is giving you very bad medical advice.
one of the premises of the homeopathy branch of alternative non-medicine is to take an active ingredient, say my ejaculate, and dilute it to truly astronomical proportions, like say in a water drop the size of the sun. no lie. do the math on their claims. anywho, the resulting solution would be an effective inseminate for every woman on earth. in one short year i could be father of billions. obviously bunk. right. right? RIGHT?!?!?!? sigh. timmer for dad.
sometimes you milk the bull. sometimes the bull milks you.
dogtown fine arts
we would have stopped to shop. but the oversized garbage truck kinda put us off.
hrm. last post i used the term uk. then i realized that many of my american friends might not know exactly what that is. okay. there's england. england is most of an island. britain is generally considered to be england plus wales. wales would be an island west of england except for a narrow spit of a land bridge between them. great britain is england plus wales plus scotland. scotland is the north part of that island. the united kingdom is england plus wales plus scotland plus northern ireland. ireland is a smaller island nearby to the west. ireland is its own country. except for the northern part of the island. the english sorta settled there and claimed it as their own. kinda like israel and the west bank. with similar objects raised with automatic weapons and things that go boom. the british isles is england plus wales plus scotland plus northern ireland plus ireland plus about 6000 other littler islands in the vicinity. whew. the things you learn when your kid goes there.
b returned from the uk with a bunch of kitch and a political perspective. the american form of government is superior to the british in all ways except one. the separation of the head of state and head of government. everyone loves the queen. who apparently has a bunch of powers that she never uses. like the ability to dissolve parliament and call for new elections. presumably this would be done when the people are angry enough to go all guy fawkes and storm the houses with pitchforks and uh flaming sticks. [english torches are flashlights. i don't know the english word for torch.] i'm inclined to agree. the uk recently dramatically cut its budget in response to the recession. fiscally a very good move. we, on the other hand, decided to spend more in the form of stimulus packages and extended the time we pay people to not work. politically a very good move. fiscally not so much. if the us had a regent loved by the people, we might be talking about one of those governmental dissolutions. sigh. timmer for king.
in case you're wondering why i've missed so many blog days recently, it's because we were traveling. b went to the uk for nearly three weeks. g went to ymca camp for a week. and the beautiful and talented alisa and i went to mendocino for a couple of days. hardly seems fair. it was pretty. cold. but pretty. we hiked a lot. something the boys don't really like to do. the pacific ocean makes a really good air conditioner. and it was on full blast. the coolest thing was the lighthouse at point arena. i have a print of a painting hanging on my wall called the view from god's window. the view was that amazing. more so than the painting cause the surf broke. anywho. the pygmy forest on the ecological staircase was also pretty cool. it was a lot like a real forest except for scale. i felt like a giant walking through the woods. fee fi fo fum. each stair was uplifted about 100,000 years after the previous higher one. i wondered if they coincided with the ice ages. further research is required. we went right after breakfast. i wasn't very amused by the fat people huffing and puffing up the slight grades whining about having to walk all the way back. they didn't. cause they didn't walk all the way there. so couldn't walk all the way back. the plan was to eat yummy food that the boy's wouldn't touch. we half succeeded. we ate food at places that would have made the boys squirm. the brazilian fish soup was good. lotta thai overtones. the duck was good. i liked the house special sturgeon at cafe beaujolais. but it had a salty gravy-like sauce so alisa panned it. the b&b served an apple tart. also panned by alisa. which was okay. cause the first thing she did when we got home was make them correctly. and man were they good. i love that woman so much.
the second amendment says we have the right to bear arms. it also says in the same sentence a well regulated militia is necessary to have a free state. some folks argue that means i'm allowed to mount a loaded fully automatic minigun on my truck. which, while undoubtedly kick ass cool, really isn't. at the other extreme, some folks argue that in order to be a gun owner you must be part of a well regulated militia. which is an idea that, while arguably technically correct, goes precisely nowhere. heh. imagine the blank stares of the yahoos at starbucks when you ask, what well regulated militia are you in? anywho, arms are to ensure our free state. from hostile outside states. and even from our own. arguably, it's the armedness of our populace that has kept our government from taking the route of oppression. which is a good thing. a very good thing. on this front my "arm" of choice is a camera. it's non-lethal. and extremely accurate. seems perfect for the protesting pacifist. so of course it's illegal to record on video the actions of police officers. fooey. truly i can't be the first person to suggest treating cameras as arms protected by the constitution. can i?
my mother is getting a new roof on the house. the workers start working at 5:30 am on account of it being so hot. like record hot. they're praying for cold. she lives in a part of the country where they had excessive snow just six months ago. when they were praying for warm. hrm. apparently god is being kinda contrary. and giving them the exact opposite of what they're praying for. hrm. or maybe there's some sort of six month bureaucratic delay between prayer and answer. i think i'd prefer to believe in the latter. which means... folks should right now be praying for more heat. not less. so they get it this winter when they're tired of the snow again. and i'm pretty sure they will. cause oddly enough, years with heavy snowfall correlate with years of elevated temperatures. kinda makes sense. you need humid air to get precipitation. and you need heat to make humid air. so if you've got friends on the east coast, tell em to start praying for a warm dry winter now.
we got one. from scotland. apparently b did not get a sheepdog for g. bummer.
the apple itunes store got haxored. heh. some developer swiped a bunch of passwords for itunes accounts. then he logged on to the compromised accounts and bought a bunch of his books. probably would have gotten away with it too. except his books showed up on the top 50 best sellers. with no reviews. i only paid attention cause onlive recently gave me an ipad. and like a dummy i entered my real credit card number so my kid could download free games. i've since changed the payment option to none. which i think is the smart thing. gonna go do that for the rest of my accounts. you should too.
last weekend was a sort of fix stuff weekend. we found some pretty little solar powered lights. they where glass lamps on stakes. you're supposed to pound them into the ground in your garden and/or by your walks. g and i removed the stakes. he used the stakes to make weapons. go figure. the lamps were the perfect size to fit through the lattice on the top of the pergola. so now we have pretty little faerie lights in the pergola at night. the only view of it from the house is from g's room. so we spent some time gazing on the pretty before going to bed.
you know the economy isn't in the best of shape when there are white guys standing around outside of home depot hoping to score some work.
bin mark 2
so the first compost bin didn't work too well. it was made of the screen from the screen door when the screen door screen was replaced. i drove some stakes into the ground and stapled the screen to them. the staples didn't hold. and the grass clippings and banana peels spilled out. sigh. it was also way too tall. turning the material was a pain in the ass. so... i rebuilt it. the compost spent some quality time in the wheelbarrow. i cut the screen in half. the stakes were cut in half and moved. now the bin is shorter and larger. it's also wrapped in chicken wire. we'll see how it holds up. i didn't wear gloves when mucking with chicken wire. big mistake. you'd think i'd have learned after the 3' dodecahedron. incidentally, it's the same chicken wire. re-using stuff is way more green than recycling.
i made some really yummy steaks last night. mmm mmm. so here's the recipe. first, buy some really nice red meat. with white flecks of fat in the middle. not just globs hanging on the outside. don't freeze it. season about an hour before cooking. i rubbed a little powdered ginger on both sides. heat the grill up to about 230 or so before adding the meats. then flip the steaks every minute or so until they're done. about 15 minutes. then let them rest for a bit before serving and eating. we had dinner and movie. so for this part i just ate everything else first. mmm... delicious. enjoy. happy 4th.
so the other day i was annoyed about something. and i had the urge to pound. i spied the scrap wood box. it was cardboard wrapped in duct tape. it was about a year old and not holding up very well. so i grabbed some scrap wood and a hand saw. i cut and cut and cut. and then i cut some more. i thought of my father. he always said never use a hand tool when you can use a power tool. he died of poor health at age 60. anywho. the boys were much more keen on pounding the nails to hold the whole thing together. which kinda slowed down the whole process. not to mention didn't satisfy my need own need to hit stuff. but now we have a nice wooden box for scrap wood made out of scrap wood. which pleases me immensely. somewhere in the middle of the project i was showing off my work to the beautiful and talented alisa. she said, that's the straightest line i've ever seen. i said, that's the straightest line i've ever sawn.
little league all-stars play in double elimination tournaments. winners go on to the next one. all the way to the little league world series. they try to play each game at a neutral field. which actually turns out to be a lot of work. each round is played on the same day. so the league has to find volunteers who don't want to go see their team play. turns out, this year that's me. i volunteered to be the tournament director at our home games. the first time didn't go so well. fortunately it was a tournament of champions game. and doubly fortunately someone else did the announcing. the second time was an all-star game. and there was a lot more work to do. i did my homework beforehand. i wrote up and printed out a script to follow. i also had a pre-game checklist. i kept going over the checklist until everything was done. much of which was collect names (and pronunciations!) and fill in the blanks in the script. then at game time i just read the script from start to finish. voila!