what do you call it when the north wind blows up your kilt?
i got a $38 parking ticket for parking in front of a sign that should have said horse trailer parking only, but didn't. i'm gonna write the word donation on my check. then it'll only be a $20 ticket. donation. whatever. park service got its money directly. if they only want $38 instead of the more we usually send to such things that's their iq test.
summer is really here. i can tell cause i didn't even think about wearing my yellow ski jacket on the bike ride to school the other morning. if this keeps up, we'll be taking batting practice on water balloons this year. yay! unlike last year. where winter just never let go the whole year.
i missed baseball practice thursday evening and saturday morning. why? i was playing call of duty 4. i call it "working". played for probably 16 hours total. i must be really good by now. but no. i didn't even finish the first major objective. on recruit level. but. i got paid for it. and that's what counts. right?
so torres got suspended for a big hit. and maybe he should have. but i don't know. the rules are pretty clear. it's an illegal check if you leave your feet prior to contact. the instant replay clearly shows his skates on the ice when he makes contact. his skates leave the ice briefly after contact. one could even argue because of contact. but it's a legal check according to my understanding of the written rules. it'd be kinda interesting to see how many reviews and suspensions are handed out after the fact. kinda like no harm no foul. or in this case, there was harm therefore there was a foul. which is a stupid way to run things. not sure what it's called in law. ex post facto sounds impressive. it means making up the rules after the fact. or in hockey's case, the rules are unwritten: it's a penalty if you injure someone. which is also a dumb way to do things. cause you don't know if you're breaking the rule until you do it. don't get me wrong here, i don't want to see people injured. i'd like the rules to be clear and applied consistently. which means people have to accept that injuries occur during legal big hits. which is hard to do when you're emotionally invested in your star player. so it isn't gonna happen. which means, hits like torres' and injuries like hossa's are going to continue.
the beautiful and talented alisa has been plagued by a recurring rash for nearly a year. the poor dear. it's pretty bad. she went to a specialist. yeah, you've got a rash. here's some stuff to make it not itch. and uh hope it'll go away on its own. it didn't. it spread to the kids. it kinda looks like insect bites. which go away. but then you get the mystery bumps. that show up for no apparent reason. itch like hell. then slowly go away. damn. one pediatrician said it doesn't look like scabies. another said it might be. so she treated b. and he responded so well, that everyone else was like me too! me too! so we all got prescriptions. during b's spring break. so he and alisa went skiing for a week. they came back on wednesday. and on thursday night we all got naked and spread miticide all over everywhere. alisa washed everything in the house that anyone touched in the past three days. stuff that didn't get washed went in garbage bags for the next three days. that was a whole lotta work. but hopefully we have attacked the disease. instead of just the symptoms.
so we watched the first two seasons of battlestar galactica on hulu. cause it was free. well, free meaning infested with commercials. but not very many. heh. wtf am i trying to say? hulu played the same damn commercials over and over and over and over. i am never going to get a citi visa card or shop at lowes or play mass effect 3 or watch prometheus. i might have done those things. but not any more. effective use of advertising dollars. not. it also kinda soured me on the show. there was a lot to not like. one thing i did like is they had ftl travel. but not ftl communication. which is kinda cool. everything else is really meh. except boomer. i sorta crushed on boomer. don't tell the beautiful and talented alisa.
summer is here. which i can plainly see cause i plainly cannot see. i explain. our house is sorta L shaped. my office is in the inside corner of the L. its window faces west. the setting sun is usually blocked by the big room. which pretty much occupies the entire west leg of the L. however, when summer arrives, the sun sets far enough north that it shines under the big room's eaves, through the office window, and directly into my eyes. i have to shutter the shades in order to see the computer screen. it's a minor inconvenience. but it means the cold wet damp time is coming to an end. which makes me happy. net win. big win.
a scout is courteous and kind. they're different things. at b's school they're having a big just-be-kind program. b got a jbk award for being courteous. which is not the same as being kind. for examples. here's your fucking donation. kind, but not courteous. i'm really sorry, but my precious snowflake gets really upset when other children play with his toys in the sand pit at the public park. courteous, but not kind.
more old models
no this isn't a cindy crawford joke. but it should be. anywho. several days ago i posted about predictions made using models running on computers available some 30 years ago. here
's another that did a pretty good job of predicting the future. which is now our past. one of the reasons is that it modeled the underlying forces and principles and interactions therein. as opposed to fitting curves to the data. it's by hansen. who is one of the biggest targets of the vitriol spewed by the anti-warming crowd. heh. it's kinda like one hockey player screaming at another, you suck you suck! and the latter just points at the scoreboard.
value of consensus
suppose you're an astronaut. some 31,000 scientists say your rocket will fly. however, none of them are rocket scientists. they in fact have a bachelor of science degree in some field not related to rocketry. like say - weather, climate, bridges, archeology, business, psychology, etc. suppose further there are 30 scientists with phds in rocket science. these 30 say the rocket *won't* fly. it'll blow up or malfunction or doesn't have enough fuel to reach orbit or otherwise fail catastrophically. killing everyone on board. would you get in that tiny capsule-like craft at the top of this thing the overwhelming consensus of scientists say will carry you safely? or would you trust the folks who actually study such things, and pass? you probably wouldn't go anywhere near it. so riddle me this. when 97% of people who study climate say human activities are warming the globe, and when 80% of people who study weather say the exact same thing, why would some 43% of lay people say they believe the opposite? if only we could put them in that rocket. and let them blow up. unfortunately, we're all in the same rocket. and we all blow up together.
speaking of taxes, our tax rate was way up again this year. generally because most of our taxable income was wages. that's not to say we didn't have investment income. we did. just none of it was taxable. cool huh? course the tax rate depends on what you count. i like to count everything. though that's still really imprecise. income is the sum of: wages, taxable interest, non-taxable interest, 401k, and maybe capital gains. why maybe capital gains? we're still carrying forward a loss larger than this year's gain. ouch. on one hand it's money we made this year. so it should count. but the tax rate on it is 0%. pah. i'll serve up numbers with and without. tax is the sum of: federal income tax, employee social security, employer social security, employee medicare, employee medicare, state, foreign, sdi, real estate, maybe federal amt, maybe state amt. why maybe amt? gawd i fucking hate amt. we exercised options on private stock for which there is no free market. ie it's not a real gain cause i can't sell it. yet the law says i have to pay real money taxes on a gain that only exists in paper. and might never become a real life gain. apparently, the law doesn't give a shit. so why should i? sheehs. anywho. after all the smoke clears, this year's tax rates: 49% (amt, no cap gains), 38% (amt, cap gains), 30% (no amt, no cap gains), 24% (no amt, cap gains). which is actually quite a swing. and really illustrates the points i've tried to make many many times in past posts: taxes on active income (like wages) are way to goddam high. taxes on exercising founder stock where i'm actively innovating my ass off are way way to goddam high. and taxes on passive income are too low.
how much is the beautiful and talented alisa worth? heh. a lot. a whole lot. nearly $5000 yesterday alone. taxes were done. we got a refund from the feds. and a balance due to the state. i handed her a pdf on a thumb drive to proof before we turned it in. she found an error. we had way too much investment income. turns out none of it was canceled by last year's capital loss carryover. weird. i'm quick to blame turbotax. cause apparently others have had the same issue. on the step-by-step page in question, turbotax specifically says it copied the numbers from the federal forms. but i remember the fields as being blank. pretty sure i didn't delete them. weird. and they definitely ended up blank in the california forms. when i manually entered the numbers, our balance due became a refund. yay! i should do something really nice for that woman.
by my count, the beautiful and talented alisa has done over 100,000 sit-ups since the beginning of the year. how are you doing with your new year's resolution? mine's pretty much in the crapper. i blame the weather. keeps me from getting outside to exercise. that's ma story. and i'm sticking with it.
following up yesterday's post, so what about climate models? are they accurate? the answer is the same. some are crap. and some are not. the ones that are calibrated to the past are doomed to fail. same as the yester-mentioned stock market models. the ones that are based on how things work will fare much better. climate is weather on a longer-than-your-life-span time scale. which is really chaotic. like the stock market. so no model will be able to predict individual weather events. anyone who says they can, or should, is an idiot. there are plenty of idiots on all sides of the climate topic. so don't go saying timmer says all you agw (or anti-agw) people are idiots. cause that'd just prove the idiot is you. sheehs. anywho. the trick is to separate the good models from the bad. and that's pretty tough given the information turned up by google searches. not impossible. just tough.
can we trust computer models to predict the future? heh. yes and no. relatively recent research strongly suggests that efforts to predict the stock market based on past performance is doomed to fail. does that mean that *all* computer models suck? no. engineering models of bridges and airplanes work incredibly well. no one builds real aircraft to see if they'll fly. they build a computer model. if the computer says it flies, then they'll build scale models. then they'll build the real thing. building the real thing first would be stupid. so *all* computer models are perfect? heh. no. see above. in 1972 mit published some predictions on the limits to growth based on computer models. how'd they do? see for yourself
. on one hand, it's pretty good. on the other hand, we haven't gotten to the interesting bits yet. though looking at which direction the miss is trending, i'd say the "inevitable" economic (and population) collapse is further out than was predicted 40 years ago. and mostly because technology has extended our reach into the ground to pull out more oil profitably.
so i was enjoying the lovely weather on easter sunday. just sitting outside the house away from computer screens and most other electronics. the woman next to me was yakking on a cell phone. talking not vomiting. sheehs. anywho. so there i am minding my own business. when all of a sudden a couple of hornets land in my lap. wtf?!?! fortunately, i'm not the type to panic in such a situation. i wasn't actually under attack. they were all like, bizz buzz pardon us. yeah okay. that was weird. i went back to what i was doing. nothing. cause i wasn't finished. when the hornets fell on me again. it might have been the same pair. or a different pair. what the heck are you guys doing? oh. it's spring. yeah okay. i'll move. carry on. so to speak.
even if you're not into us maps with real-time wind data, this
is still pretty cool.
what good cats we have. they brought us a dead squirrel. last time they brought us a live squirrel. and wanted to bring it in the house. fortunately, it's trash day. so disposal will be pretty easy. glad they didn't decide to perform this trick tomorrow. so why do cats bring owners smelly dead things? is it an act of love? we give them food. are they returning the favor? are they saying, your cat food sucks. bring us stuff that tastes like this. did they find a cool toy, and broke it, and expect me to fix it? is it a threat? we want some of the fresh fish you guys eat. or you're next. yeah, you don't want your kids showing up on the porch all smelly and corpsified do you?
morgan fairchild, sophia loren, meryl streep, madonna, demi moore, cher, michelle pfeiffer, tom cruise, ellen degeneres, tom selleck, sharon stone, julia roberts. they're all older than i am. some by a lot. yet they're all aging more slowly than i am. if at all. how do they do it? heh. they're vampires. well, maybe. not in the traditional sense. and i don't know which of the lovelies listed above are blood drinkers. but that won't stop me from contributing to the rumor mill. literally neck biting undead? no. there's a therapy involving juvenile blood plasma that keeps an old body young. is that their secret? i have no idea. but... it does explain why angelina jolie and brad pitt adopted so many children.
there's a sign over the urinal in the men's room at work. caution! shallow water. no diving.
g's game ended in a tie on a crazy play. g pitched well. they had a lefty ace that shut us down for a while. the bottom half of the line up came through with some hits. 7-7 bottom of the last inning. bases loaded. two outs. count's 2-2. batter hits a fly ball to right field. kid moves under it. hits his glove and pops out. he picks it up and throws to g at second. g sees two runners on second. the lead runner takes off for third. g tags the one on second. and races after the guy going to third. no one knows what the heck is going on. he's not going to catch him. so he throws the ball to the third baseman standing on third. too late to make the tag. runner's safe. or is he? there's a runner on every base. hrm. the breakaway base broke away. so it took a long time to get the attention of the field umpire. dude, that was a force play. no need tag needed. plate umpire goes out for a conference. runner's out. runner from third doesn't score. game over. 7-7 tie. was fun. there were two outs. no idea why runners didn't just run like crazy. same reason the right fielder didn't just catch the ball.
more duggar math
just for fun. suppose adam and eve were duggars. and they did what duggars do - make more duggars. it'd take them 273 years to create 6.8 billion people. which as one of them pointed out, would fit in jacksonville florida. in 133 more years there'd be duggars standing shoulder to shoulder on every hospitable square cubit on earth. in 26 more years there'd be duggars standing or bobbing in every square cubit on earth. however, at this point there's a bit of a problem. cause a human being runs on about 100 watts. which is pretty close to the solar flux per square cubit. at noon. at the equator. with clear skies. at 100% efficiency. on average it's a maximum of 25 watts. so the duggars are going to have to come up with some way to power their bodies other than the sun. cause it's just not bright enough for 4.5 quadrillion duggars. silly exercise i know. however, it does sorta illustrate the pitfalls of pretending exponential growth is manageable. notice how the milestones kept getting closer together in years. it also illustrates the stupidity of assuming exponential growth will continue forever. the duggars are going to be unable to sustain themselves long before they hit even the second milestone. probably shortly after the first. which is a whole lot like now.
i'm mining again. yay! there was a brief shutdown period until i had time to figure out why an older version of poclbm was crashing. and freezing the whole computer. which is really goram weird in this day and age. i downloaded a fresher version a while ago. but the syntax changed. and i didn't have the time to figure out the new format. it was new at the time. and not on google. now it is. and i'm back in the mining business. also have the fancy dancy encrypted wallet client. which is cool. or would be. if i could remember the pass phrase. whups.
so the garage door saga continues. it rained saturday. the boys' baseball games were rained out. obviously the perfect time to tear up the garage. all i had to do this week was move the opener. it was below the loft before. now it's above. only one trip to home depot to get metal brackets to secure it to the ceiling. course it couldn't go smoothly. nothing like this ever does. the cord is too short to go around the loft to the outlet it used to use. so i had to drill a hole through the loft. np. just messy. second problem. the stupid thing vibrates like crazy. so it literally shakes a hot light bulb filament to pieces. there exist inserts that you can screw into a light bulb socket to convert it to a more normal wall outlet. we used one of those for a while to power a lamp clamped to the loft. but the insert thingy didn't connect well. and cackles like crazy. it seemed unsafe and was unreliable. so we stopped using it. though being in the dark garage was a bit disconcerting. so while i was messing with things i removed the light bulb socket from the opener and replaced it with an outlet we had in the box of good stuff(tm). course that couldn't just be easy either. the wires in the opener were multi mini strands. and were too small for the outlet. it wanted heavier gauge solid copper wire. wee. fortunately, we had some of that in the box of good stuff(tm). and now we have a light in the garage again. yay. now all we need is a door.
i don't know michelle duggar. but she's 19 for 20 in the baby making department. which is some 18 strikes against her in my book. and a possible topic for another post. here's another strike. she claimed overpopulation is a myth. cause everyone in the world could fit in jacksonville florida. okay. let's fact check that. the area of the city is some 2264 square kilometers. the population of the world is some 6.8 billion people. that'd give us each some 0.33 square meters. which'd be a square some 57 cm on a size. which is slightly longer than the distance from my elbow to my fingertips. so uh yeah. i guess we'd all fit. quite literally shoulder to shoulder. you'd only be able to lie down if you let two others stand over you. i think we should pack the duggars this tightly for a couple days. maybe they'll change their minds about overpopulation. and birth control. it's a vagina. not a clown car.