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Timmerov's Blog
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
  red eye
so last night i was taking pictures of myself. i was studying the red-eye effect. the problem was, i couldn't take a frikken picture where i had red eyes. i messed with all the settings. no luck. finally i googled to see how i could turn off the camera's automatic red eye removal feature. turns out, it doesn't have one. the red eye effect only happens when the flash is close to the lens. close in an angular sense. camera manufacturers know this. so they put the flash as far from the lens as possible. the solution was obvious. move further away from the camera. so i enlisted the help of the beautiful and talented alisa. yes i made her drop what she was doing and take my picture. like a dozen. she must love me. anywho, success! timmer with red demon eyes in every shot. which was kind of a failure. ah well. except for one shot. i had a white eye. and i nearly panicked. google retinoblastoma to see why. but then i realized the red eye effect is light reflecting from the retina. which apparently is red. however there's a hole in your retina where your optic nerve sticks out of your eye. apparently optic nerve cells are white. which is kinda cool actually. it means my experiments might not be a complete failure. gotta go file patents. i'm gonna be so rich.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
some people say the government's deficit (and hence, its debt) will be our downfall. others say economic growth will erase it. they're both right. if the economy grows, the deficit will shrink. and the debt will fall to manageable levels. however, if the economy doesn't grow, the deficit will grow. and debt will grow. and we really will collapse. okay, so the question boils down to whether or not the economy will grow or not. i've said this before. it's worth repeating. the economy runs on energy. add more energy, the economy grows. stop adding energy and the economy stops growing. it's really pretty simple. and by energy i pretty much mean oil. some people say we're fast approaching peak oil and the world will run out. other people say there's lots of oil still in the ground. again, they're both right. we're running out of cheap high quality oil. but there's still lots of expensive crappy oil all over the place. what's weird is the people who a) assert there's lots of oil. meaning high quality cheap oil. which would fuel economic growth to never before seen heights. which would make today's colossal debt mountain look like a molehill. yet these same people are b) shrieking the loudest doom and gloom about how the debt will kill us all. huh. it's almost as if they're selling something. or really don't want to regret buying something.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
  code red
so the teachers at b's high school knew there was an upcoming code red drill. and since they knew it. so did the students. a code red means there's a shooter on campus. the classroom doors are to be barricaded. no one goes in. no one goes out. until the all clear is given. and then apparently they go out with their shirts tucked in and their hands on their heads. it's pretty serious. so anyway. the alarm goes off. and the announcement comes over the speakers, this is not a drill. and the students are all like yeah yeah code red. wait. did she say NOT a drill. this is not a drill. oh shit. b was in pe class. their instructions are to run to the far corner of campus, and wait for the teacher to help them go over the wall. the teacher jogs up. wonders why they're in the corner instead of under the bleachers. see, he was in the locker room. he could hear the alarm. but not the announcement. apparently there was a bit of confusion among the students too. some thought the announcement was that this was a drill. so the teacher took them under the bleachers to wait for the police to escort them off campus. the office called the teachers. are all students accounted for. yes. have you evacuated campus? no. no? no. this is not a drill. what? this is not a drill. oh shit. everyone over the fence. so some 30 students went over the wall. and into the bushes of the apartment complex on the other side. where they were yelled at by an old biddy. get off my lawn! heh. so they made their way to the muster point, a 7-11, to wait for school buses to take them to another school. except, someone rear-ended one of the buses. wtf? how the fuck do you rear end a giant yellow school bus as big as a barn? so anywho, now the buses can't leave the scene of an accident. so the students go to plan b. amazingly, there is an actually honest to god plan b. so off they go to the bowling alley. to watch the news and call parents. a good plan. much better than the jump the wall into the bushes plan. but yeah okay. meanwhile, i'm at work. the beautiful and talented alisa is at work. we're getting emails from the school. and phone messages. and updates. and more updates. eventually i stop answering the phone from numbers that look like they're from the school. b has a cell phone. he'll call me on that. unless of course it's in his pe locker. and he calls me from the bowling alley. which has a phone number very similar to the schools. so yeah, anywho. turns out the middle school student who "saw" the suspicious armed individual made it up. not sure why the high school also had a code red. they're several blocks away. code blue means lock the doors and sit tight until further notice. just as disruptive. but far less terrifying than a code red. meaning people are getting shot at the school. which wasn't the case. anywho. b gets reunited with his phone. and his lunch. he called me at work. and hung up after he delivered his one line message. dork. apparently he had to go to class. immediately. like still wearing his pe clothes. yeah. all in all a pretty exciting day. course the kid who cried wolf faces criminal charges. i think he should just get one swat from every person inconvenienced by his actions. that'd be thousands. 10 swats a day for three years aught to cover it.
Friday, January 25, 2013
i don't usually cite articles heavy on the religions. usually because they're either metaphysical feel good clap trap. or the rantings of loons. this is neither. i think the most poignant point she made is the two greatest setbacks suffered by a person during their lifetime are death and birth. yes, birth. when you're a fetus there's an army of do-gooders looking out for you. in the name of jesus. but as soon as you're born, they're nowhere to be seen when you're poor and hungry. which is very un-jesus-like behavior. we are all parts of one body. and when the woman with an unwanted pregnancy suffers, we all suffer. so what's the right answer? scripture doesn't say, unfortunately.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
people follow leaders. it's human nature. it used to be critically important that people picked good leaders. their life depended on it. literally. not so much anymore. which is too bad. cause now folks can get away with the crap i'm about to describe. here's a little tutorial on how to tell if the people whose word you accept without question, ie your leaders, are full of shit. in the old days such leaders would be likely to get you killed. sigh. natural selection at its finest. okay suppose someone publishes a chart that shows global temperatures going up. you scoff cause your chosen leader says it's natural variation. no problem so far, truly. then someone publishes a chart that shows global temperatures leveling off. see? natural variation. you scoff again. then someone publishes the same chart with the well known natural effects subtracted out. and you're left with a chart showing a steady rise in global temperatures. your chosen leader says hey! you changed the data! you can't do that! you start to scoff. but then you think. hrm. my chosen leader scolded the scientists for *not* taking into account known natural effects. then scolded turned around and scolded them *because* they took into account known natural effects. hrm. when this happens, it's time to pick a new leader. your life used to depend on it. now something much much more important is at stake: your ego.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
the numbers on my shiny new credit card are on the back. not the front. weird. and they're not raised. so the card can't be used in one of those old fashioned ka-chunka machines. hrm. i guess no one ever uses them any more. i can't remember the last time i've seen one. cool. technology marches on.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
b's getting a bit of a shadow of something on his upper lip. hrm. i guess we're going to have to have another of those talks that i have absolutely no experience with. my father absented himself from the family a decade before i needed to shave. it's not like it's particularly difficult. so i kinda really can't blow it. unless i have an attack of juvenility. which happens sometimes. i'll try to be good.
Monday, January 21, 2013
  global warming
the problem with global warming is we don't experience global weather. we experience local weather. so when someone says the past 333 months have been warmer than long term historical averages, we think back about last month. when it was really fucking cold. like there's frikken ice in the water buckets on my patio. i pay extra taxes to not have to deal with this shit. anywho, it's really easy to reject the claim that no no no it really was warmer than average.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
does anyone think it's weird i'd argue rape is caused by watching rape movies? but gun violence isn't caused by playing video games glorifying gun violence? hrm.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
  violent games
many of the top video games are first person shooters. ie you run around picking up bigger and bigger guns. and shooting hordes of bad guys. ie enemy soldiers, aliens, zombies, monsters, deer, etc. there's a line of argument that this desensitizes people to violence. and hence makes them more likely to commit violence in real life. there's an opposing line of debate that says people don't commit real violence because they can vent their frustrations in the virtual world. it's also safer to waste virtual drug dealers where you have infinite lives. as opposed to fucking with the real drug dealer on the real street corner with a real gun and real bullets. where you have only one life. being in the game business, i'm very happy to give violent people violent games. cause their experience with "shooting" a "gun" is limited to clicking a mouse or mashing a controller button. and if they ever find themselves holding a real gun they won't know what to do with it. and are likely to be more of a danger to themselves than to me.
Friday, January 18, 2013
  rape flicks
a long time ago i remember reading an article about movies in india. the claim was that they all had an obligatory rape scene. so it's really not surprising that india has a rape problem. one could reasonably leap to the conclusion that film and reality are related in this respect. though it's not clear which way the cause and effect go. do movies have rape scenes because rape is an expected part of daily life in india? or did the movies influence the culture? or is it a positive feedback thing where each feeds on the other? kind like global warming. i don't have the data to do anything other than conjecture. but it seems like if india wants to walk with the civilized countries of the world, having a nice long sit down with the movie industry seems like a pretty good (and obvious) start.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
a while ago my right wing friends were all pissed off that democrats were getting elected like crazy. after outrage came acceptance. sorta. horrible things were going to happen. and democrats would have no one to blame but themselves. okay, so democrats have a super majority here in california. let's see what happened. the great depression has ended. the job market is heating up. at least for educated people in the tech fields. government spending is down overall. spending on education is up. taxes are up. but not horribly. the deficit is gone. we now have a small budget surplus. yeah, things are so horrible i'm wishing we could have endured this horror years ago. you know. just to get it over with.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
  battery packs
sometimes i see arguments against getting an electric car because you have to replace the battery pack. which is just weird. the battery packs should last 100k miles. which is pretty much the life of the vehicle. and yeah, it would be expensive to replace. if you replaced it. but you won't. so why make a deal about it at all? i mean, the transmission in a gas car will wear out after 100k miles. and you'll have to replace it. but no one calculates how much the transmission costs per mile. of course not. that'd be absurd. it's part of the car. and is included in the sticker price of the car. it's cost is absorbed in the depreciation of the vehicle. i guess electric cars are so new that con-ponents can spew a whole lot of nonsense and get away with it. cause the opposing common sense doesn't exist yet.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
i kinda want an electric car. so i test drove a coda. i kinda like it. it's a car that really tries to be a car. as opposed to being a golf cart that's trying to be a car. or a video game with wheels. or a gas/electric chimera which does neither well. okay so my impressions. i've already touched on the fact that it's more/less a standard car. they didn't try to reinvent the user interface. ie the key is normal sized. the ignition switch is in the normal place and functions the normal way. the speedometer is in the normal place. as are the turn signals. and pretty much everything. the exception is the gear shift. it's a dial like you'd find on an oversized tempest arcade game. the first thing i did on the test drive was spin it like crazy. it makes that same cool bzzzz noise of the classic arcade. the sales dude nearly freaked. heh. it works. but yeah. a normal stick would have been better. this was the first electric car i've ever driven. it didn't accelerate from zero as fast as i thought an electric car should. but it kept on accelerating through 20 and 30 and 40 miles per hour. the acceleration in a gas car kinda falls off at those speeds. the charger plug was where the gas fill usually is. good. it whined a high pitched keening noise a bit. i'm somewhat deaf. so it didn't bother me. but it might be really irritating to someone with sensitive ears. the body is a 1990s era mitsubishi lancer. which is fine. the doors aren't the super thick monsters that are currently popular. and the windows are large. which i like. the trunk was normal sized. from the reviews i was expecting it to be bigger. the engine compartment was full of stuff. which surprised me. at least half of the gear was dedicated to climate control for the batteries. which was unexpected. apparently batteries degrade rapidly if they're too warm or too cold. if you take your foot off the gas the car cruises for 2 seconds. then regenerative braking kicks in. which i think is weird. and will take some getting used to. braking in general is a bit non-linear. if you just press on the brakes, you'll slow down slowly faster slowly faster. it's kinda weird. if you want to decelerate consistently, you'll have to make constant adjustments. won't bother me. but some members of my family get carsick easily. so that might be a show stopper. need to get the whole family in the thing. to see what they think. given how much i drive, the car will cost about $400 or so more than a gas powered equivalent. most of that is because it'll cost about $10k more up front. even after the federal and state rebate/credit things. it'd be cheaper than a gas car if you ignore opportunity cost. or if electricity was free. which it might be (eventually) if we get solar panels. overall, i like it. and want one.
Monday, January 14, 2013
i am such a creature of habit. someone needs to get groceries. i volunteer. oddly, b volunteers to go with me. cool. i'll enjoy the company. so we get everything. except the chicken with bones. they rarely carry that. apparently. and we check out. and i swipe my credit card. the old one. oops. i knew it wasn't going to work as soon as i did it. and before the manager came over to show me the rejection screen. woot. okay. um. i don't have enough cash. b has none. can i pay by check? fortunately, i have my checkbook. it takes a while. like nearly as long as it took to get the friggin groceries. whew. the worst part was listening to my teenager making fun of me. yeah yeah. shaddup.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
  new cc
so on sunday i get a call from a telemarketer. he was obviously a telemarketer cause he pronounced my name in the redneck fashion. i changed my mind about hanging up on him when he said he was from the fraud department of the bank from which i get my credit card. uh oh. he wanted to know if i bought $1500 worth of jewelry in modesto the day before. no. definitely not. i had been travelling. course i've got him on speaker phone. cause i'm busily trying to pull up my account online. and the beautiful and talented alisa is listening. and decides to squeal like a schoolgirl, oh honey! what did you get me!?!? sigh. ignore her. so they cancelled my card. told me to cut it up. and promised to ship me a new one immediately. which apparently means in three days. so now i have a new credit card. and a new number. and i need to go update all those things that periodically charge my credit card. there's gotta be about a dozen. this'll be fun. fuck you very much credit card thief. sigh.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
  build dat
you didn't build that. i try not to pay too much attention to politics. but i noticed this quote. it was attributed to obama re businesses. the implication is that obama told business owners they didn't build their own businesses. which pretty much set off my bullshit meter. ie someone's trying (and failing) to make political hay from a quote out of context. i kinda wondered about the actual context of the quote. but not enough to check. i happened upon the context at random recently. every business leverages off of things built with government tax dollars. like roads, runways, power lines, sewer lines, etc. the list of things any one business depends on that were built by the government's hand is really really long. saying you didn't build that isn't a very good way of putting it. especially for someone who's supposed to be such a great orator.
Friday, January 11, 2013
  free phone
here's how to make phone calls for free. but first, let me point out that this might be illegal. check with your local police department before doing anything like this. anywho, pick a house at random. find the phone box. it's usually outside. open it up. connect a phone to it with alligator clips you can get from fry's. call anyone you want. talk as long as you want. you'll never see the bill. oh yeah. you might want to make sure no one's home first. heh. the homeowner will certainly see the bill. especially if you call mexico and talk for 26 minutes. apparently the owner can't do anything about the bill either. it doesn't matter if they were in a different state at the time. and no one was inside the house. the phone company will say that someone made a call on their line. and they're responsible. tough noogies. they can call the police. and probably should. but they won't be able to do anything either. best they can do is seal up the phone box. so the free phone call guy will have to break in to the box in order to make his free phone calls. at which point it's obvious a crime has been committed. the phone company will still probably say, sorry. you're screwed. pay us.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
why do astronauts have legs? legs are pretty useless in a zero g environment. especially when it costs something like $40k to get your legs to space. leave them behind i say. or better yet, replace them with arms. like sebulba, the pod pilot young anakin skywalker crashed on the last lap of the podrace in the phantom menace. humans are designed for running around on earth. floating around in space not so much.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
the supreme court ruled that corporations are people. not literally. but they have all the rights and privileges of a flesh and blood person. so here's the question: can i strap the articles of incorporation for my corporation into the passenger seat of my car and legally drive in the carpool lane?
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
  new office
so yesterday was my first day at the new office. my key card doesn't work. so i can't get in the door nearest my desk. the doorbell doesn't work. so i can't get in the front door. i've been knocking really loudly when i want in. they should get tired of that really quickly. and fix the doorbell. the kitchen is still full of diet sodas. which is good. or would be. except the bathroom is outside the security perimeter. wee.
Monday, January 07, 2013
ever notice that there are many ways to pronounce ough? and none of them are the phonetically straightforward owgg? ow as in owch. it'd be really nice if english was spelled phonetically. the languages that are, are easy to learn to read and speak. sheehs. we could redirect all that excess brain power at something useful. like honey boo boo trivia. okay nevermind. okay, which is better? the towgg cowggs as he plowggs throwgg the dowgg. or the tuff cawffs as he plows threw the doh. timmer for president.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
  all dogs are super
that's the title of my new movie. the characters are all dogs with super powers. one each. like one dog can turn invisible. and another can make force fields. but not both. one is super strong. one can fly. one is invulnerable. one has a super bark. etc. all the classic powers. it's a coming of age story. super dog powers manifest at the end of puppyhood. which happens later for some dogs. plot? meh. not needed. i mean really. dictionaries get along just fine with no plot. i'm gonna be so rich.
Friday, January 04, 2013
  gray beard
i got an electric shaver for my birthday. i've been using it pretty regularly. at least on the days i drive to work. cause it's free. it's something to do on the 16 kilometer trek. so that's like 4 times a weeks. which is way up from the normal once per five days of the old routine. no apparent ill effects. except last night i had a nightmare that my beard came in completely gray. am not ready for that yet. definitely not ready.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
so i've been going to high school wrestling practice with b over break. i'm old. and nobody hassles me for not doing all of the drills. whatever. an interesting thing happened. before, i ate between 2200 and 3000 calories a day. yeah, i know. that's a lot. but i was still pretty much at 90 kilos. so everything's good. right? sure. but now, i've dropped to well below 2000 calories a day. i just don't want to eat the ice cream. and the chips. and chocolates. it's really weird. i counted calories several of the days. and i was way below 2000. like around 1500. weird. really weird. well. if it keeps up, maybe my knees won't get so sore. that'd be nice. maybe it'll get easier to breathe on the slopes too. never know.
most every day i wander the corridors of my mind and open a door at random.

blogs of friends
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web comics
casey&andy (complete)
cheshire crossing (complete)
middle age
order of the stick

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wizard of id

cool science facts (idle)
exploding unicorn
some ex-intern's
hyperbole and a half

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