so the other day the beautiful and talented alisa was standing on the step stool searching through the many glass and plastic containers stored in the cabinet above the refrigerator. i happened by. i don't know if you ever noticed or really thought about it. but a woman's flesh is an intriguing sensual contradiction of simultaneously being silky soft and yet it's completely firm. this is especially true of the part of the woman the woman usually sits upon. except this woman's most womanly of woman parts was currently directly between my eyeballs and my hands. at least until the three came together. and all was good. really good. but then there was a rattle and a clatter and a jar leaped out of the cabinet. brain told hands, catch that. hands told brain, busy get lost. no no no catch that now. must i? yes. NOW! if you don't catch it you'll have to clean up a mess of broken glass. sigh. okay. but only under protest. duly noted. left hand caught the falling glass. and handed it back to the beautiful and talented alisa. right hand kept doing what it was doing. she wondered why she didn't hear a crash. who says i'm not a multi-tasker.
in a recent bunch of speeches obama's let loose with a few stats. the us consumes 20% of the world's oil when we have less than 2% of the world's proven reserves. (it's actually more like 1.5%.) therefore we should do something(tm). at least one of them fact checking sites called shenanigans. these two quotes are both true. but putting them together doesn't make any sense. hrm. they both have points. obama's 20%/2% suggests our consumption is really out of whack. course japan consumes 5% and has 0%. the related number provided by the fact checkers is the us contribution of 9% of the total world production. 20%/9% is a much more reasonable share for the richest country. it means we import some 55% of the oil we use. not too bad. but wait just a minute. how the heck do we produce 9% when we have 1.5%? apparently we're blowing through our reserves 6x faster than the rest of the world. um, this is a bad thing(tm). a very bad thing(tm). which i think would make obama's point more clear. at least to the numerically literate. yeah. we have a problem. and we should do something(tm). course i think that something is to build solar and nuclear plants as fast as possible. the manhattan project and the appollo program rolled into one and made a few x larger.
it's ordered. but i have to have the old door tested for lead paint before it can be installed. wee.
i've temporarily stopped mining bitcoins. the miner crashes the whole computer. requiring a reboot. which suggests a driver issue. google scuttlebutt is ati's opencl doesn't play nicely with with more than one program using it at once. it used to work fine. and now it doesn't. there might be something else using opencl. but i don't know what it is. well, mining's on hold until i get time to figure it out. i just got a batch of two dozen games to test at work. wee.
today we're going to chat about active income and passive income. the litmus test is, if a house plant can do it, it's passive income. 99 of you have active income almost exclusively. you do things that house plants can't do. you build houses, boats, houseboats, roads, bridges, cars, computers, games, solar panels, books, etc. you do other stuff to. like care for others, paint things, move things, count things, research things, etc. house plants can do none of those things. 1 of me owns the companies you work for. it could be owned by a house plant for all the company cares. i don't contribute money, expertise, wisdom, direction, anything at all. a house plant could do my "job". that's passive income. yet the way the financial machine works in this country, when you individually save $1, the house plant gets $400. which is totally fair. the house plant worked hard for its money. and deserves every hundred dollar bill it gets.
despite what's implied by this blog, i'm not really a witty reparte type of person. usually i think of the perfect thing to say hours or days later. there was one time though. and i only thought of it cause a fark headline recently asked if you'd date your best friend's ex. i don't really have very many best friends. and they don't really have very many ex's. so i kinda had to stretch the definition of "best friend" and "ex". so anywho. k (the "best friend") was out. and k (the "ex") was hanging out at tao house. probably waiting for k (the "best friend") to show up. so anywho, she's a sweetheart. way way too nice for him. imho. anywho. i'm working away on some piece of code or another. and she's bored. and asks out of the blue, what do you call it when you lose your virginity? my once in a lifetime quip, prom night?
the beautiful and talented alisa tells a funny story about how someone lost presence of mind and introduced her mother as "my mom". so alisa struck up a conversation. i hear you are "my mom". humor used effectively to extract oneself from a socially awkward situation. but it got me thinking. i'm going to name a few characters my-mom. then people can make funny sounding statements like, so the other day i was playing call of duty with my-mom and we uh... wait what? your mom plays call of duty? yes. but i wasn't playing with your-mom. i was playing with my-mom. right. my mom would never play call of duty. yes they do. what? nm.
budget cuts are coming. and one of the most obvious targets is nasa. which is really a very very very small part of our budget. it also pays off big time. how? okay, so nasa developed a rocket that spins the fuel really fast so it gets ejected really fast with lower pressure inside the combustion chamber. someone had the bright idea of using the same trick with fire hoses. a single fireman with one of these rocket engine hoses can put out a fire faster and more safely than three firemen wrestling with a traditional hose. like 5x faster. and uses 5x less water too. that's the cool thing about research. you get something from it. it's not wasted money. unlike things from which you never get anyhing. like say, paying people to not work. like say, paying people to do work they'd do if we taxed them instead of subsidizing them. like say, more military than we need. like say, so much military we're tempted to use it to blow shit up. shit we have to rebuild. do the cost/benefit analysis. axe the cost heavy things. boost the benefit heavy things. timmer for president.
so the other day i got an email titled this: Help [Council_Name] Improve Your Son's Boy Scout Experience. reminds me of portal. it's a great game. you should play it. unless you get motion sick. i played it all the way through. twice. the second time with the sound on. glados says the funniest things. like, Unbelievable. You, *subject name here,* must be the pride of *subject hometown here.* apparently, she's running the boy scouts now. there's scouting to be done. except for the ones who are dead. keep on scouting till you run out of cake.
i'm not real big on bitching about problems. and not proposing any solutions. yesterday i bitched about a problem. specifically doing nothing other than letting the free market solve the energy/food/water/pollution/population problems. which will lead to war and famine. the solution is simple. do these two things: 1) slow/stop the world's population growth. easier said than done. it means embracing and promoting contraception. it's the solution. not the problem. the problem here is contraception goes against god's command to multiply. we're going to need the popes et al to listen to what god is saying now. today. cause it's different from what god was saying 6000 years ago. global warming is the heat of god's anger. it's a warning. we need to stop doing what's displeasing him. lest his anger turn to wrath. and he kills everyone but the people who got the message and built an arc. 2) we need to bring online a terawatt of solar and nuclear power. not because it's green. not because our addiction funnels half a billion dollars a day to terrorists in the middle east. but simply because fossil fuels are on the decline. the ship is sinking. we do not want to go down with it. we need to switch over to something that can lift the load as oil fails. the good news is solar usage is growing at 30% per year. the bad news is we're starting so close to zero. it will take 40 years to get solar output to a terawatt. assuming solar keeps growing faster than any industry in the history of the world. 40 years of a stagnant/shrinking economy. 40 years where the economy just doesn't give a shit if the president is red or blue. well then. that's all we have to do. it really is that simple. to state anyway.
i read an article recently with an obvious anti-warming bias. let me repeat their statistics with somewhat more neutral rhetoric. 89% of meteorologists believe the earth is warming. presumably this is belief in warming above and beyond what can be explained by natural weather cycles. that's significantly less than the 97% of climate related scientists. and not at all surprising. when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. ie the weather scientists look at the data and see weather. and the climate scientists look at the same data and see climate. what's surprising is that the two numbers are so close. about 30% of both groups say they're very worried about climate change. this actually sounds high to me. the #1 worry for long term thinkers is dealing with shortages caused by an ever increasing population with an ever decreasing energy supply. of which changing conditions on earth is a compounding factor. but is certainly not the cause. that rests squarely on the short term thinkers. 59% of meteorologists and 82% of climatologists think human activity is a significant factor. again, hammers and nails. with a larger more interesting degree of discord. probably healthy, too. the natural state of a scientist is skeptical. i really don't see a problem here. other than the slant of course. which is that there is no crisis. and we should do nothing. and let the free market solve the energy/food/water/population/pollution problems. heh. that's a strategy. and it will work. though we might be kinda horrified at the free market solution to shortages. people will fight for control of the dwindling supplies. the arab spring was triggered by the inavailibility of food. the future holds more of that. at lest until there's nothing left to fight over. then people will go without. they go hungry. they dehydrate. they die. with swollen bellies. not everyone, of course. just enough to get the population back down to what our production levels can support. that's the free market solution. if we do nothing.
way back in 1973 the russians put a rover on the moon. it was a good little rover. it logged more kilometers than any other rover so far. i came across and article about it recently. which claimed it was remotely operated by ground controllers in "near-real-time". wtf? how could anyone write such an absurdly innumerate thing? sheehs. okay, i work at onlive. real-time means latency between pulling the trigger and seeing the results in less than 120 ms. near-real-times mean the controls feel like they're under water. the moon is some 380,000 kilometers away. that's 1.3 light-seconds. a round trip between here and there is at least 2.6 seconds. imagine trying to play call of duty with 2.6 seconds of lag. heh. fire! one potato, two potato, three po-boom! yeah. you would never call that real-time. or even near-real-time. you'd shut off the game and do something else.
i'm very good at what i do. i write code. i really don't like it when my code crashes. i had recently changed some things in one of the libraries i use. and all of a sudden, one of my programs is logging errors when i quits. uh oh. that could be the recent change. so i started digging in to it. it looked really strange. i started to get a bit suspicious. so i googled the error. apparently someone else was having exactly the same problem. he even provided source code that demonstrated the issue. which other people compiled and ran with no issues. weird. he finally fingered it as being the amd catalyst software desktop thing. that was just updated recently. so i checked. and sure enough, it enabled a whole bunch of crap i never use. so i disabled it all. and voila! no more access violations. dumbass thing. apparently, not everyone takes as much pride in their work as i do. dammitsomuch. i'd really like to send them a bill for the hour i wasted looking for their bug.
this is one of those friend of a friend stories you see so often on the internet. but i like it. so i'm gonna repeat it. a friend of mine was in med school and was working in the er when a dead man walked in. there wasn't anything wrong with him. he just insisted he was dead. it was a slow night. so my friend talked to him for a while. and ascertained that he was just a crazy guy. he tried to convince him he wasn't dead. look you're breathing. no i'm not. man holds breath. doc-in-training sticks a stethoscope on him. and let's him listen to his heart beat. which crazy guy denies being able to hear. finally, he asks, do dead people bleed? no, of course not. so he gets a needle and pricks the guy's finger. the man looks at the blood drop on his fingertip. see? you're not dead. the man says huh, dead people bleed.
western civilization is based on something i'm going to loosely call justice. let's say someone opens fire on a crowd, killing say 26. we gets a trial, a conviction, and a sentence. and depending on where he did his dirty deed that could be life in prison or death. and we're pretty happy with that. it's what i call justice. middle eastern societies are based on something i'm going to loosely call vengeance. same guy kills 26. vengeance requires an eye for an eye. a tooth for a tooth. a life for a life. 26 lives for 26 lives. 26 lives - that had nothing to with the original crime - are forfeit. the law demands it. presumably everyone understands these are vengeance killings and not subject to more vengeance. to westerners this is horrifying. and fairly incomprehensible. but it works. the problem is when a western serviceman commits a crime in a middle eastern country. whose law applies? ours means he dies. theirs means he plus 25 other servicemen die. and presumably, middle easterners are willing to die to extract this vengeance. again incomprehensible to westerners. remind me again why we're still there. i'd hand the guy over to the afghans. let them stone him to death. with the very clear understanding that this is the only life they are going to get. they'd have to give up any further right to vengeance. normally at this point i'd say, timmer for president. screw that. i don't want the job.
i kinda like the navigation pane in windows 7. meaning, i use it. the navigation pane is the section on the left hand side of the desktop window with favorites, libraries, homegroup, computer, and network. well, i mostly like it. it's got one piece of stupidity. i usually have several remote drives mounted. and sometimes when i'm dragging a file from a desktop window to an editor, the cursor passes over one of these remote hard drives. and then everything stops. forever. well, not really. but it's many seconds. plenty long enough for my ire to be raised. i tried just closing it. but it doesn't stay closed. in fact, it kinda misbehaves. like sometimes it'll open a zillion folders down to god knows where. does it think it's being helpful? i frikken hate it when computers do that. just frikken do what i frikken tell you to do. AND NOTHING ELSE! frikken machine. needs to remember its place. anywho. i figgit. google is god. i followed these instructions
. heh. i'd have repeated them here. but gawd. regedit? really? don't ever tell me windows is soooo much better than eunix because it's got a gui and you don't have know any arcana to get it to do useful stuff.
the beautiful and talented alisa does most of the cooking. it's one of her talents. i make pizza or stromboli or sausages or pasta once in a while. but i don't cook much. why not? am i some sort of sexist? heh. maybe. or maybe i just kinda suck at cooking. for example, last night alisa was busy playing homework nazi. and i got hungry. so i started making dinner. spaghetti. everything's ready, i say. except... crap. i burned it. yeah okay i know that sounds like a joke. and you're probably sitting there grinning our giggling or both. how on earth dos one burn spaghetti? obviously, one can let all the water boil away. but i didn't do that. i used a "too small" pot with "too little" water. i don't think too clearly when i'm hungry. usually i break the spaghetti in half and drop it in the "too small" pot with "too little" water. and everything works just fine. this time i decided to make like a pro. like i said, i was hungry and not thinking clearly. so i stood the full length pasta on end in a nice column in the middle of the "too small" pot with "too little" water. gave it a quarter twist and let go. voila! the spaghetti was spread out perfectly in a really pretty 3d geometric pattern. smiling, pleased with myself, i went on to the next thing to do. sniff sniff. what's that burning smell? uh oh. one of the spaghetti ends was black and smoking. weird. oh. it's the heat from the gas flame coming up around the "too small" pot with "too little" water. oddly, it only set one of the sticks on fire. now remember, i was hungry. and not thinking too clearly. or fast. so i started to smoosh the spaghetti sticks down into the pot. they were almost flexible enough. i noticed all of them were discoloring. i removed the burned one. but figured the rest would be a-okay. and for the last time i re-iterate. I WAS HUNGRY AND NOT THINKING CLEARLY, OKAY? so anywho, when it was "done" i drained it and threw it away before anyone noticed. i wasn't hungry enough to eat that. sorry dinner's not ready, i called. why not? i burned it. you burned the spaghetti? yep. the family, bless them, was polite enough to not ask any more questions at that time. though i did eventually have to promise to write this blog. anywho, take two. the rest of the family was willing to wait another 15 minutes for the not-burned spaghetti. cooked in a not-"too small" pot with not-"too little" water.
a while ago i read an article about a noted economist. i know he's noted cause he got noted on the internet. heh. okay, so his basic point was that the economy is gonna crash. yeah maybe. because of the stimulus. yeah maybe. and anyone with anything other than a 100% cash position is an idiot. um, no. i'm thinking this guy wants to buy your stock for the cheap. i explain. if the market gets flooded with cash, then the exchange rate between the cash and everything else has to adjust. for example, if you double the amount of cash in the world and change nothing else, the price of everything doubles. inflation. dilution. whatever you want to call it. which means, everyone who holds cash will have their buying power halved. so yeah, i think our noted economist and all his fellow kool aid drinkers should hold as much cash as possible. i happen to agree with him that the stimulus will cause inflation. however, his investment recommendation is completely wrong. you want to own real things. things that store value during inflation. like buildings, businesses, gold.
so i was listening to my music collection on itunes while playing onlive. when all of a sudden, the music stops. it's got a dialog box up that says, itunes does not support that resolution. wtf? i'm playing fucking music. why the fuck does it care what the resolution is? sheehs. sure, if i was playing a video maybe. onlive grabs fullscreen exclusive. which causes the other devices to be reset. which apparently is what itunes is complaining about. but only sometimes. wee.
so alisa and the boys went skiing this weekend. the last time they left me home alone i tore up the garage. and they was only gone for 8 hours. what should i do with a whole weekend? hrm. i was thinking about painting my office. and removing all the gunk from the ceiling.
i don't drive much. so i don't fill my tank very often. though i'm going to have to soon. unfortunately, gas is $4.33 at the local station. that sure seems high. and it is. relative to my paycheck. but it's pretty normal relative to gold. which makes sense. i explain. the fundamental unit of currency is a day's worth of labor. everything else is valued in its terms. gold used to be the currency of choice. partly because it's rare. which is good cause governments can't just magic the stuff out of thin air like they can with other currencies. the relative prices of oil, labor, and gold have been remarkably stable for a very long time. when something significant happens, like say someone adds $2t to a $14t economy... the exchange rate between dollars and everything else has to be adjusted. oil and gold move pretty quickly as the new dollars pour in. but labor lags behind. how often do you get a raise? when was the last time you got a 14% raise? i have never. except when i changed jobs. which is kinda disruptive to business. so the effects of the obama (and bush to a lesser extent) stimulus is showing up at the gas pump. give it a few more years and it'll show up in your paycheck. in the mean time, the gold owners are pocketing the difference. so yeah, stimulus is a means of transferring wealth from the have-lesses to the have-mores.
a slut is someone who will have sex with anyone but you. heh. so blo'really hard wanted to know why he should pay her to have sex. heh. what he really means is why should he pay his insurance company to pay her to have sex with people not him. heh. course in reality, he's paying his insurance company to pay her to not get pregnant and to not go on welfare. it baffles me that such individuals can rant and rail about single moms and welfare queens on one hand. and on the other deny them the tools that would prevent them from being single moms and welfare queens.
i think spain might have the right idea. they're creating jobs by allowing people to grow pot on unused plots.
israel says it's not going to alert the us if it decides to attack iran. heh. i believe them. they didn't alert the us last time they attacked their neighbors. in fact, they attacked a us warship. wtf? heh. it's true. the uss liberty surveillance ship was in the wrong place at the wrong time. and was either attacked intentionally or accidentally. don't know. don't care. point is, if israel decides to attack iran, we better be prepared to fire on israeli planes that look like they're attacking us assets.
yesterday's post explains a bunch of things. like why so many people watch bad tv shows. the shows are better than what the viewer could make. so they must be good. i listen to pop trash music. i freely admit i'm not qualified to judge the difference between the good stuff and the mediocre. i'm smart. it's not very often i meet people who are smarter than i am. and i'm usually deliriously happy when i do. i know many people who are less than average smarts. they know i'm the smarter. but not how much. and this is where things get kinda interesting. some people assume that i'm pure genius. which is pretty awkward. cause i've met real geniuses. i don't consider myself to be one. others just plain don't care. yeah, you're smarter than me. so what? the last group assumes that i'm just a little smarter than they are. and some of them seem to make it their personal mission to prove that 1) i'm not as smart as i think i am. which is probably true given the research mentioned yesterday. and 2) i'm just a little smarter than they are. which their "proofs" prove otherwise. unfortunately, they're not smart enough to realize this. they're like rude little children whose parents haven't trained them to not bother big people. usually they can just be ignored. usually. except they vote. stupidly. well, that's not fair. their decision making apparatus is equivalent to a coin toss. a one sided coin toss. fortunately, there are approximately equal numbers of two-headed coin tossers as two-tailed coin tossers. sigh.
there's a pretty interesting study out. it goes kinda like this. you let a bunch of people interact with each other. their task is to assess everyone's ability in a particular field of expertise. invariable everyone over-estimates themselves. that's not too surprising. we are egotistical creatures after all. also not surprising is people are really good at evaluating others who are not as good as they are. and those who are just a little better. what's unexpected is that people are horrible at evaluating others who are better. they know they're better. but they have no clue how much better. it's kinda like people can count up to their own level. and then everyone else is equivalent. yeah, okay. so what? heh. one of the conclusions they reached is that a democracy is incapable of picking good leaders. voters' ability is a sort of bell shaped curve. so the bulk of the voting populace picks candidates at random. the extraordinary candidate is lost in the random noise of the crowd of candidates only a bit better than average. there's not a large enough pool of voters competent enough to identify him as the best. so we're doomed, right? heh. not quite. the other side of the coin is a democracy won't pick a candidate that's below average. so that's something. a very average bland something. wee.
my initial position on the citizens united supreme court ruling was skeptical. to say the least. and yes, the predictions that billionaires and corporations would throw huge sums of money attempting to influence an election. but is it really any worse this year than previous? not really. at least this year you know that rich folks are trying to buy your vote. well, more precisely, they're trying to get you to not vote for the wrong sorts of candidates. in the past, we've enjoyed this comforting delusion of plausible deniability. in the past, candidates had to do tons of fund raising. now they don't have to. and they can tell us all about who they are. and what they stand for. which is, in some cases, is pretty scary. and even when it isn't scary, it's been disappointing. think huntsman.
so the other day was rainy. g and i walked to and from school instead of biking. i guess he'd been cooped up inside all day. he wanted to race on the way home. dad, i'll race you to that garbage can. ready? go! and he takes off. of course, i've got his backpack. and more than a hundred extra pounds on him. he gets about 4 meters ahead and stops when he realizes i'm not racing. he turns around to walk backwards. the better to taunt me i guess. we're getting closer and closer to the garbage can. he turns his head to see just how close. he turns his head back and sees the big yellow bus of his dad in rain gear blowing past him at full speed. the look of surprise followed by abject terror that he was going to get a) run over and/or b) lose - was priceless. i won. but not by much. he wanted to run a whole bunch more face saving races. i declined. he ran them anyway. then i pointed out to him that he finished last in every single race he ran. and i won every race i ran. it was a fun walk. i can't wait until tomorrow.
the beautiful and talented alisa said she'd go to comic con if she had an orc blitzer costume to wear. blitzerette? whatever. i'm absolutely certain we can come up with something. comic con, here we come! booh ya.