i think it's dumb to criticize a government agency like the irs for doing dumb things when there is no commissioner running the program. no one's responsible. there hasn't been a commissioner for quite some time. it's a post appointed by the president. and approved by congress. which is filibustering every presidential nomination. it's especially dumb when the folks doing the filibustering demand that the president demand the resignation of the non-existent commissioner. i'd love to. what say we approve an appointment first. then we'll fire him.
time marches on. we celebrated the beautiful and talented alisa's 29th birthday yesterday. in binary. there were five candles on the cake a la marie. one was unlit. we got into a bit of a debate whether the msb should be on the left or on the right. eventually the argument was won by saner minds. specifically the one holding the lit match. for presents she got a bleacher chair. so she can be comfortable while watching the boys' baseball games. a new hand made cover for her joy of cooking cookbook. a few thousand legos. and instructions on how to assemble them into the serenity spaceship from firefly. b made a most delicious chocolate chip pudding cake. i roasted a chicken and made mashed potatoes. i wasn't supposed to do the dishes. but the boys were worn out from taking mom on a hike. i went along. but didn't actually hike. on account of my cranky ankle (crankle?). all in all, a good day was had by all.
okay so the cats brought home a rat and two squirrels today. that's a record. i've never had two dead thing presents before. much less three. and yeah, it was caturday. which means the dead things are sitting in the garbage can a little longer than i'd like. still though, it's a whole lot better than if it had been tuesday. thanks cats. should put a go pro on them. heck if you can put a go pro on a falcon and catch awesome footage of it taking a duck, you should be able to put one on a cat and catch awesome footage of it catching squirrels. right?
there've been some pretty big patent battles in the news recently. everybody knows that nobody wins these these. except the law firms. who make out like bandits. so the question is, why do they do it? is it just a penis stretching exercise? cause after the litigation, the parties generally come to very sensible terms. so what gives? taxes. that what's gives. if you make the deal, the money you get from licensing the patent is taxable. proceeds from a settlement are not. neat huh?
the gop's favorability rating continues to drop. it's dropping because they're engaging in bad behavior. it's good that the public is sending this message. it's bad though. really bad. cause these are people in power engaging in bad behavior. yeah, it's fun to go to the zoo and see the 800 pound gorilla flinging poo. ha ha. that's funny. at least for a while. until you have to clean the gorilla poo off your kids. or tell them not to touch the poo. or fling the poo. sheehs. okay. let's go see the pritty birdies. at least they sing while pooping on you.
the other day a co-worker of mine expressed the sentiment that he'd like to see the following hypothetical scenario happen in real life. a company does everything domestic. doesn't offshore manufacturing. doesn't offshore service. everything is done within the borders of the good old us of a. and they get sued by their shareholders. cause the company is supposed to act in the best interest of the shareholders. and the company could have cut costs by offshoring manufacturing and services. lower costs mean more profit for the shareholders. clearly the company's officers were negligent by doing the "right" thing.
puzzle and dragons is a very strange name. pad is a strange contraction. fitting i suppose. i keep calling it pnd. and i keep hearing it called puzzleS and dragons. whatever. here's what i've learned so far. move orbs from the bottom row. especially the corners. or at least ensure you disturb the bottom row every turn. otherwise those orbs just sit there. not helping. the upper rows get plenty of entropy from new orbs entering. farm the weekend dungeon for coins. farm the daily colored dragon dungeons for the enhance materials. they show up on a random hour. and every 5 hours thereafter. fuse monsters of the same colors for an xp bonus. fuse the same skills for skill ups. if you're going to fuse one creature multiple times, fuse the lowest xp combination first. saves you a few coins. invite others to be friends. accept friend requests. friends as helpers give you 10 pal points once per day instead of 5. plus you can use your friend's helper's monster's leader skill. which can be pretty darn powerful. i sort the helper list by hp to identify the most useful helper.
starlight princess was walking around the other day carrying a squirrel by the scruff of its neck. it wasn't quite dead. but after a few hours of head licking it was. fortunately it was a monday. so the dead thing didn't sit in the garbage can for very long. what smart cats we have. they know to bring dead things home for the master's husband two days after caturday.
i'm not really in to predicting when the world end. but let me give it a shot. based on science. energy usage has been increasing by about 2% per year for a very long time. so let's assume that'll continue for another thousand years or so. one can estimate the temperature of the earth by approximating it as a spherical black body. for simplicity let's ignore the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere. the earth absorbs energy from the sun. warms to some temperature. and radiates heat back out into space. we're currently a nice toasty 15C. let's predict the end of the world will happen when the temperature goes up to 100C. at which point the oceans will boil. and since humans are mostly made of water, we'll boil too. that's an increase in temperature (in kelvins) of 30%. black body energy goes up as the fourth power of temperature. to get that temperature we'd have to increase the amount of energy radiated by the earth by a factor of 2.8 or so. so when will the cumulative energy use by people exceed that of the sun on earth by 1.8? currently we're behind by a factor of 10,000 or so. but growing exponentially. in 400 years we outshine the sun. in 500 years, the oceans boil. so there's my prediction. the world will end on may 18th, 2513. at 8am.
"The fact that I asked my wife to make penis cookies for my friend to choke on and she agreed tells you everything you need to know about our marriage." link to the right.
coal kills 15 people in the us per terawatt hour. a human life is worth about $3m. which works out to about $.05 per kilowatt hour. which is a substantial portion of the national average $.12 per kwh. one suspects coal is externalizing at least some of those costs. ie they're not paying for those deaths. but we are. apparently that's a price we're willing to pay. okay compare to nuclear, which is some 400x less costly in terms of dead consumers. one can force coal to pay their death tax. which would mean higher rates for most of us. or one can give nuclear a subsidy. which would make it cheaper than natural gas. without all those dead people. just something to think about.
there are many arguments against nuclear power. some are scientifically and logically sound. others are not. and then there's the "thinking" goes like this. radiation is dangerous. it's so dangerous that we shouldn't use it ever. if someone were to merely walk around the nuclear reactor they'd receive a lethal dose of radiation. and die! they'd die! from radiation! yeah okay. true enough. course if a person walked into the furnace where they burn coal they'd catch on fire and burn up. completely. and would be just as dead. sigh. grow a brain morans.
good lord i'm tired. i did some of the chores normally done by the beautiful and talented alisa. only two loads of laundry. yard work. dinner. dishes. (twice, thanks b!) b made small plates for brunch. they were pretty good. he hollowed out some zucchini cups. and filled them with something. something like mashed potatoes with heavy whipped cream. my favorite was the dog treats. they're not really dog treats. i just call em that. cause that's what they remind me of. some sort of puft pastry sheets filled with cheesy goo. rolled up. sliced. with bacon bits sprinkled on top. the potato things were as weird as they were tasty. imagine fried potato slices stuffed into a muffin tin. holding a tangle of hash browns. liked those too. almost forgot to wrap alisa's present. whups! fortunately i had some "wrapping paper" on my office door. it was some art g did long ago. been meaning to take it down for a while. grandma came over to partake of the festivities. all in all, it was a good day. maybe i'll recover by next year.
did you know it takes more energy to dissociate (break apart) deuterium than it does to fuse it? crazy huh? it takes a *lot* more energy. apparently protons and neutrons really really like being stuck together.
i'm not coaching little league baseball for the first time since my kids started playing. i have basic fundamental differences of philosophy with the current coaches. here's an example. i teach kids, you hit the ball, you run. don't look. don't decide where it's going. just run. but it's foul! don't care. you hit the ball. you earned the right to touch first base. that's me. okay so after my kid's game their coach, who's been coaching slightly longer than i have, tells them that's stupid. if it's obviously foul, don't run. something about situational awareness. basically just philosophically different. so very next game we watched, (we missed a game for a scout camping trip) batter hits one off the end of the bat. it's a tiny fly ball with a ton of back spin on it just in front of the catcher on the first base side. it's currently fair. but it's obviously going to go foul. so the kid doesn't run. the catcher on the other hand charges forward and fields it on one hop, just barely fair. makes the throw to first for the easy out. if the batter ran, he might have delayed the catcher just enough that the ball would have actually gone foul. so yeah. situational awareness is a perfectly reasonable philosophy. just think mine's better.
the rate of sexual assaults in the military is way up. sorry, i think that was a foreseeable result. the requirements for enlistment were lowered. criminal record? yer in! congratulations. it also sure doesn't help that we've been in a de facto state of war for 12 years. i say de facto because we still haven't actually declared war on anyone since the pearl harbor. some 70 years ago. sigh. solution seems simple. raise the enlistment standards to what they were when we were an honorable nation with an honorable military.
my boss doesn't have a tesla. his boss has a tesla. and his boss has a tesla. both model s's. and now, i have a a tesla too. here's how it happened. we get catered lunches at work on wednesdays. on account of there being no real food within walking distance. taco bell is not real food. sorry. there is fiesta del mar. but not every day. so anywho, this week's food was cheap mexican. which just makes me scratch my head. i wasn't even all that hungry. and it just looked like corn syrup coated death nuggets. which it turned out it was. but i ate it anyway. mistake. i didn't go to work the next day because of a migraine. wee. so i grabbed some primer and painted over the schwinn logo on my bicycle. then i found the tesla logo online. scaled it to the correct size with gimp. which is not as good as zeus. but it's free. which is awesome. printed it. and turned it into a stencil. the x-acto knife was missing it's old worn out blade. so it got a new one. a very very sharp new one. it picked a fight with my finger. it won. but it's back in the drawer in timeout until further notice. spiteful thing. sheehs. see if i ever give you a new blade ever again. i dry brushed the logo onto the bicycle frame. my previous experience with stencils is the paint is very happy to capillary action its way under the stencil and go all sorts of places it's not supposed to go. then i painstakingly painted by numbers until i was tired of it. it looks okay. from a distance. i originally thought i'd not tell anyone. and see how long it took someone to notice. but i was lonely in the garage. so i made the beautiful and talented alisa come see what i was working on. and once the cat was out of the bag, i might as well point it out to one of my co-workers. so anywho, not only does the company have a whole boatload of documentation. i don't write code on migraine days. but i also have a brand new conversation piece.
so the other day i read a claim that was too amazing to be true. if your investment fund earns 7% with a 2% load that goes to your broker, in 50 years your broker will have taken 60% of your profits. cue the outrage! okay first. the "proof" is to put $100k into an interest calculator for 50 years at 5% and 7%. the 7% number is some 2.5x higher than the 5% number. which is yours. your broker gets the rest. qed. well, that is technically true enough. but... how many 20 years old drop $100k into a fund and don't touch it again until they're 70? want to think about it for a bit? or do you want to just accept my assertion the answer is zero? okay. the next hitch is, can you get 7% returns without your broker? can you get 5% on your own? probably not. if you can get 4% on your own and i offer you 5% after my load. it really doesn't matter that my load is 25%. you're better off paying me. issue the next, you're making 5% on your money. your broker is making 7% on his money plus 2% off your money. at some point, he's going to pass you. not sure why this would be surprising to anyone. much less a call to rage out. okay, so a much more realistic approach would be to put $15k into the above fund every year. not too hard to do in a spreadsheet. after 40 years you have 60% of the dough and your broker has 40%. which is still a whole lot. but it's not more than you. market forces will make the load match the difference between what the average investor can make on their own and what the professionals make. i will agree with the author's implied conclusion: there's a whole lot of people who shouldn't be investing in loaded funds. cause well (like dice), they're loaded.
the problem with getting involved in the conflict in syria is there are no good guys. in one corner you've got a brutal dictator. clearly the bad guy. in the other corner you've got al queda. clearly the bad guy. arm em both i say. with machetes. let em hack it out. or maybe just arm whichever side happens to be losing at the time. and stop when they get the slightest of edges. then aid the other side. until they tire of killing themselves. maybe send in cameras to where we sent the weapons. it'd be the greatest reality show ever.
i scan down the fark headlines. and click on the links i'm interested in to read later. with some regularity a video starts playing. with audio. which i really don't want to hear. at all. ever. usually i find the offending page and close it. but this morning, i couldn't find the offending page. i wasn't willing to close all of the tabs. just the annoying one. i ended up muting all of chrome. which i don't like to do. i feel like i'm punishing a good product for the misbehavior of something not entirely in their control. so now if i actually want to listen to something on a web page, i have to go unmute it. sigh.