Tuesday, December 30

Whew

[Whew]

The year is just about over.

Mama left on Sunday, and I took two days to regroup. There's a new kitchen table. The couch has been ordered. There are only two unpacked boxes in my entire aprartment, and those are filled with paperwork. My desk is again a mess, but there are neither dishes next to the sink nor dirty clothes on the floor. I even made the bed this morning. Weird.

I'm headed to Michigan to see my friends Conni and Darrell for a few days. I doubt I'll post until I return on Saturday. [Got a great present from the two of them this year: a full set of matching wheely luggage. Conni said that they were distrubed by watching me struggle with my multi-bag packing system when I last visited. Now that I'm packing for this trip, I will agree that it is easier being able to pack everything into one bag.]

Regular season football is finished, and along with it the office football pool. I never won a week, but I did finish a respectable third out of thirty-three on confidence points for the year:
# 1 — Packers Suck! — 1,433
# 2 — Gambling Fool — 1,428
# 3 — Bulletproof Bra — 1,419
Oh, well.

Now, I'm off to finish packing.

Happy New Year to all!

Monday, December 29

Draft Dodging

[Draft Dodging]

A few months ago, the pentagon put out the call for draft board members. Shortly thereafter, some members of congress became vocal about increasing the size of the US military. Now, the enlisted, as a part of an ongoing stop-gap policy are being prohibited from retiring, and we're hearing rumblings about the army's suicide rate.

And, although there have been discussions about reducing US forces in Iraq after the capture of Saddam Hussein, it is important to remember that most US troops are elsewhere. And, although the Pentagon is discussing realignment, possibly even closing a quarter of its 400-plus international bases, such a move would only imply reduction if those same troops aren't redeployed elsewhere.

I am suspicious.

Will the draft be reinstated? Not before the election, I imagine. But, if Bush wins a second term, and if other enemy states are chosen for Bush's machine to correct, I think the possibility is strong.

Friday, December 26

Birthday

[Birthday]
I was born on a Thursday under the astrological sign Capricorn.

My Life path number is 8.

The golden number for the year I was born is 12.

That year was a leap year.

There are 366 days until my next birthday.

The moon's phase on the day I was born was waxing crescent.
No, I'm not posting the year.

Thursday, December 25

Success! Sort of

[Success! Sort of . . . . ]

I stripped my last #1 Phillips driver bit, and snapped my only 5/64 inch drill bit, but the chairs to the kitchen set are assembled. I haven't even tried to assemble the table, but I might leave that to Mark and Darrell tomorrow. I'm certain they'll be happy to put it together for me [or, at least that's the premise under which I intend to proceed].

Merry Christmas

[Merry Christmas!]

Did you get sticks and pieces of coal in your stocking? If you'd like to protest, I could be wrong, but I think complaints go here.

Happy Holidays to you all!

Wednesday, December 24

Mama — Days 2, 3 & 4

[Mama — Days 2, 3 & 4]

The early part of Day 2 [Monday] was spent shopping for a table and chairs for the kitchen. We found one that will work [small enough for the space and cheap enough for my budget]. After we found the table, mama said it was time for a beer, which was okay with me, because it’s okay for a lady, apparently, to smoke at a bar, and I thought it was time for a cigarette. It was just before noon. She pointed to a bar on Milwaukee near Western and said,
“Let’s go there.”

“Mama, that might be a little rough, and I don’t speak much Spanish.”

Rough I can handle.”

And, so, we went. One beer [and a narrow escape from an amorous middle-aged non-English-speaking man] later and we were out. The rest of the day is a blur of groceries and cleaning.

On Day 3 [Tuesday] I went to work, and left Mama alone in my apartment. This is the true test of the pre-Mama cleaning. Other than a bottle of peach-flavored massage oil [forgot about that, would have tossed it, it wasn’t too tasty] that she found when cleaning under my bed I passed. Keely and Mark picked her up and we met for dinner before taking off to the Redhead where I learned a few things that were interesting and disconcerting and will be further investigated. I have again realized that when comparing myself to the Mama person, I am the mild one.

Day 4 [today] has been movie watching, grocery shopping and more cleaning. And drinking.

Sigh.

Sunday, December 21

Mama Quips — Day 1

[Mama Quips — Day 1]
  • "Your hair is too flat. Try this Root Lift spray."
  • "Women shouldn't smoke on the street. It's unladylike."
  • "We'll clean this place up if it takes all week."
  • "Do you have a broom?"
No fights, though. It's actually been fun. She's smaller than I remembered. And, she's a strawberry blonde [not totally unexpected, the color changes every time].

Off to the air mattress. Hope all your holidays are going swimmingly as well.

2003 in Review from Fimoculous

[2003 in Review]

Fimoculous has put together a great Year In Review list.

I'd love to explore all of the links. However, I need to leave now to fetch the mama person from O'Hare.

[I am better prepared than I was yesterday thanks to K and M. Such wonderful friends. Also, expect posts to be scant over the next week, whilst I'm entertaining the mama person.]

Saturday, December 20

Contronyms

[Contronyms]

Our language is so deliciously confounding.

Contronyms are special cases of homographs (two words with the same spelling). Some examples [list edited]:
  • anabasis - military advance, military retreat
  • bolt - secure, run away
  • buckle - fasten, fall apart
  • by - multiplication (e.g., a three by five matrix), division (e.g., dividing eight by four)
  • consult - ask for advice, give advice
  • discursive - proceeding coherently from topic to topic, moving aimlessly from topic to topic
  • enjoin - prescribe, prohibit
  • fast - quick, unmoving
  • garnish - enhance (e.g., food), curtail (e.g., wages)
  • mean - average, excellent (e.g., "plays a mean game")
  • oversight - error, care
  • quiddity - essence, trifling point
  • rent - buy use of, sell use of
  • screen - show, hide
  • transparent - invisible, obvious
  • unbending - rigid, relaxing
  • wear - endure through use, decay through use
  • weather - withstand, wear away
I wish I could spend all day exploring Fun With Words at RinkWorks, but I have to scour my digs for my mother's arrival. She's staying for an entire week. And, I'm woefully unprepared.

Thursday, December 18

Hugh is Channeling my Thoughts

[Hugh is Channeling my Thoughts]

With help from Hugh MacLeod . . . . some of these are my thoughts. And some are just projections of what I think those around me are thinking. Sigh. Here goes . . . .







And, finally, sometimes I wish it were possible for so many of us . . . . 



Sigh.

Off to bed.

Ha!

[Ha!]

Tuesday, December 16

Cheezborger Cheezborger vs Cheeburger Cheeburger

[Cheezborger Cheezborger vs Cheeburger Cheeburger]

Because of an epic decision, obviously intended to insure that drunken Chicagoans never get a Cheeburger when they really want a Cheezborger, we can all rest assured that there shall not be a Cheeburger Cheeburger within 125 miles of an existing Billy Goat Tavern.

Sunday, December 14

Niche Marketing

[Niche Marketing]

I was out with Keely and Mark last night, and we ended up discussing the Bone Clone. Keely had seen the site it a while ago, and was mostly unamused. She mentioned that her first thought was that there might be quite a market for recent widows, you know, something for remembrance . . . . 

"Before we cremate, we need to do one more thing. Get out the silver nitrate . . . ."

And, I thought I had a sick sense of humor.

Saturday, December 13

Cynthia's been One-Upped

[Cynthia's been One-Upped]

NSFW!

Now I'm wondering who on my Christmas list doesn't need one!

Profanity Resolutions

[Profanity Resolutions]

"To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes."

Ripped directly from weather head:
In the U.S. House of Representatives: House Resolution 3687, by Rep. Doug Ose (R-CA):
(b) As used in this section, the term 'profane', used with respect to language, includes the words 'shit', 'piss', 'fuck', 'cunt', 'asshole', and the phrases 'cock sucker', 'mother fucker', and 'ass hole', compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).
Perhaps we should start finding more intersting euphemisms for everything. I think that will be my New Year's resolution. I shall endeavor to curse less and imply more. I shall conjure the spirit of Mae West, who once said "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it. "

Friday, December 12

Expletive

[Expletive]

On TV and radio, some words can be used when they are meaningless, but not when they refer to their basic meaning.

According the October FCC ruling, it was okay for Bono to say "this is really, really fucking brilliant" on the broadcast of Golden Globe Awards because the f-word "may be crude and offensive, but, in the context presented here, did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities."

There was, apparently a bit of conservative noise about the FCC's decision.

Then, this week, during the broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards, Nicole Ritchie [when talking about her time on the farm with Paris Hilton] said "Have you ever tried to get cow shit out of a Prada purse? It's not so fucking simple."

And, again, there are complaints.

If I understand the ruling correctly, if I am speaking over the airwaves, I could say that something was a really shitty thing to do but not that a cow took a shit. And, I could say that it was really fucking cold but not that we were really fucking because it was cold. I could not refer to "sexual or excretory organs or activities" in any graphic manner regardless of my use of expletives, but I could use those expletives when they refer to nothing.

Why rip meaning from a word? Why?

Thursday, December 11

ADHD + Ritalin

[ADHD + Ritalin]

Fascinating. Although there had been several studies about the short-term effects of Ritalin, and other stimulants for children with ADHD, little long term research had been undertaken. New Research in Animals Reveals Possible Long-Term Effects of Stimulants on Brain and Behavior. Notable:
Dr. Carlos Bolaños and his colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas assessed certain behaviors of adult rats given methylphenidate prior to adolescence. They found that compared to drug-naive rats, those chronically exposed to methylphenidate were less responsive to natural rewards, such as sugar and sex, and more sensitive to stressful situations. The methylphenidate-exposed animals also had increased anxiety-like behaviors, and enhanced blood levels of stress hormones.

So, I guess we can look forward to a plurality of the next generation of young adults being disinterested in sex or food, always stressed, and prone to freaking out when they are stressed. Great. I wonder what new repacement drug will come out and in what different manner it'll fuck the kids up.

Saturday, December 6

Capitalism for Communists

[Capitalism for Communists]

Or is it Communism for Capitalists? Communists for Capitalism? Capitalists for Communism?

Now, that's funny.

[Via BureauCrash.]

Thursday, December 4

I'd like to force feed Lieberman Doughnuts

[I'd like to force feed Lieberman Doughnuts!]

Reminds me of a quote:
"There is only one basic human right: the right to do as you please, without causing others harm. With it comes our only basic human duty: the duty to accept the consequences of our actions."

— P.J. O'Rourke

We should all accept the consequences of eating our own fucking jelly doughnuts, Lieberman.

PSA

[PSA]

Right now, go to Google, type in "miserable failure" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Now. Right now. What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, December 2

Disturbed

[Disturbed]

I was on Fark trolling for news, and I saw the headline: See how many sex offenders live in your neighborhood where "Some Chick" provided a link to this site.

I thought it might be a good idea to know, so I started trolling . . . .

From this registry I found that there are 18 on the police beat around my apartment and about a hundred within walking distance. And, from this registry, I found that there are 128 in my zip code. This is somewhat disturbing, but is about what I expected.

What I didn't expect was one of the listings from my hometown. I am disturbed. Very.

Wednesday, November 26

Watching the Watchers

[Watching the Watchers]

Check out Cryptome.

[Via icey at this Fark thread.]

Steven Aftergood is my Hero

[Steven Aftergood is my Hero]

According to this article at the Washington Post:
Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, is an army of one, the David in an era of Goliath-strength government stealth.

Armed with a pocket-size copy of the Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act and an investigator's patience for source-building, Aftergood is out to slay what he sees as the arbitrariness of the U.S. system for classifying documents to keep them secret.

To do that, he asks foundations and donors for $150,000 a year ("in a good year") to keep his online newsletter, Secrecy News, and staff of one — himself — going. He often scoops the national media with anecdotes about government attempts to keep information secret.

In fact, the government's classification chief, J. William Leonard, has bookmarked Aftergood's Web site because it is usually easier to find critical national security documents there than on government Web sites. As director of the Information Security Oversight Office, Leonard has one goal for enhancing his office's Web offerings: "I want my information to be posted on my Web site before it's posted on Steve's. It's a matrix we have yet to meet."
Mr Atgood's newsletter will now be on my list of regular reads.

[Note: I'd like to ask the editor, the writer, or perhaps Mr Leonard himself about the use of matrix in the last quote: "Did y'all mean metric?"]

Tuesday, November 25

Who are you David Brazil?

[Who are you David Brazil?]

I don't know David, but his list of books For Crystal would work for me.

Legaleze

[Legaleze]

I've been looking at a lot of contracts recently. Both for work, and in reviewing things like my mobile phone, and such. And, I've been thinking about what relationship contracts written by lawyers might look like . . . .
Confidentiality — All parties shall keep confidential all information regarding the other party's business and affairs, including, but not limited to, information about said party's other relationships [regardless of significance] information concerning said party's financial situations, historical documentation not previously made public, disclosures made with or without caveat, provided, however, that neither party shall be obligated to keep confidential information which is made public through no breach of this Agreement.

If either party is required by court order [request for documents, civil investigative demand or similar process] or subpoena to disclose any information construed as confidential, the other party shall be informed by the ordered or subpoenaed party promptly. The ordered or subpoenaed party shall disclose only the minimum information required to be disclosed in order to comply with legal action.

Termination for Contiguous Material Breach — If contiguous material breach of this Agreement by either party continues more than seven (7) days, the non-breaching party shall provide adequate notice [note: at all points in this Agreement, and, unless otherwise noted, "adequate notice" implies notice acknowledged by the receiving party] to the breaching party describing the nature of the breach and the steps necessary to cure the breach. The breaching party shall be encouraged to retort in full. Post notification, the breaching party shall have fourteen (14) days to cure the breach. If at the end of fourteen (14) days the breach has not been cured, the non-breaching party will provide adequate notice to the breaching party describing why the cure was ineffective, and the breaching party shall have an additional seven (7) days to cure. If at the end of this seven (7) days the breach has not been cured, the non-breaching party may terminate the Agreement by delivery of adequate notice to the other party.

Termination for Consecutive Incidental Material Breach — If incidental material breach of this Agreement by either party continues more than two (2) consecutive incidents, the non-breaching party shall provide adequate notice to the breaching party describing the nature of the breach(es) and the steps necessary to cure the breach(es). The breaching party shall be encouraged to retort in full. Post notification, the breaching party shall be allotted one (1) additional consecutive incident wherein the breach(es) shall not recur. Should the breach(es) recur during this allotted incident, the non-breaching party shall provide adequate notice to the breaching party describing the nature of the breach(es) and the steps necessary to cure the breach(es), and a description of why the cure [if any] was ineffective, and the breaching party shall be allotted one (1) additional consecutive incident during which a cure may be provided. If during this fourth (4th) and final incident the breach has not been cured, the non-breaching party may terminate the Agreement by delivery of adequate notice to the other party.

Termination for Non-Consecutive Incidental Material Breach — If incidental material breach of this Agreement by either party continues more than one-third (1/3) of any twelve (12) consecutive incidents [four (4) incidents out of twelve (12)], the non-breaching party shall provide adequate notice to the breaching party describing the nature of the breach(es) and the steps necessary to cure the breach(es). The breaching party shall be encouraged to retort in full. Post notification, the breaching party shall be allotted six (6) additional consecutive incidents wherein out of the total of eighteen (18) incidents the breach(es) shall have occurred fewer than one-third of the time [six (6) total breaching incidents out of the eighteen (18) most recent consecutive incidents]. Should the breach(es) recur during the six (6) additional consecutive allotted incidents in large enough number that the total amount of breaching incidents is larger than one-third (1/3) of the eighteen (18) most recent consecutive incidents, the non-breaching party shall provide adequate notice to the breaching party describing the nature of the breach(es) and the steps necessary to cure the breach(es), and a description of why the cure [if any] was ineffective, and the breaching party shall be allotted six (6) additional consecutive incidents wherein out of the total of twenty-four (24) incidents the breach(es) shall have occurred fewer than one-third of the time [eight (8) total breaching incidents out of the twenty-four (24) most recent consecutive incidents]. Should the breach(es) recur during the six (6) additional consecutive allotted incidents in large enough number that the total amount of breaching incidents is larger than one-third (1/3) of the twenty-four (24) most recent consecutive incidents, the non-breaching party may terminate the Agreement by delivery of adequate notice to the other party.

Force Majeure — Neither party will be deemed in default of this Agreement to the extent that performance of its obligations or attempts to cure any breach are delayed or prevented by reason of any act of God, fire, natural disaster, accident, act of government, strikes or other labor disturbances, shortages of material, supplies or utilities, or any other cause beyond the control of such party ["Force Majeure"], provided, that such party gives the other party prompt [as quickly as circumstances allow] and adequate notice thereof and uses good faith efforts to so perform or cure. In the event of such a Force Majeure, all parties shall perform such parts of the Services as they are capable of performing.
Perhaps this is only funny to me.

Sigh.

Tuesday, November 18

More Enneagram

[More Enneagram]

Tonight, I took the longer Enneagram Personality Test. The results are a little different:

Type 1 Perfectionism |||||| 22%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||| 41%
Type 3 Ambition |||||||||||||| 51%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||||| 41%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||| 48%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||| 42%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 38%
Type 8 Hostility |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||| 51%
Your Conscious-Surface type is 8w9
Your Unconscious-Overall type is 7w8

conscious self
overall self


Hmmmmm. I found more info everywhere. This seemed interesting. . . . . But, what does it all mean?

Too much for tonight. Off to bed.

Sunday, November 16

Sharing Too Much | Something to Ponder

[Sharing Too Much | Something to Ponder]

Okay, I took the Enneagram Personality Test. Here are the results:

Type 1 Perfectionism |||| 14%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||| 42%
Type 3 Ambition |||||||||| 38%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||||||| 58%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||| 62%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||| 50%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 38%
Type 8 Hostility |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||| 58%
Your Conscious-Surface type is 8w9
Your Unconscious-Overall type is 6w7

conscious self
overall self


Hmmmmm. I dunno about all that . . . .

Although I can act with callous indifference toward others, and I am introverted and indecisive, I don't think I hide it when I like someone. Hmmmmmm. Perhaps I do. Perhaps I appear to like everyone and I hide my feelings in that way.

And, are my defining characteristics hostility and detachment?

Something to ponder . . . .

Math is Sexy

[Math is Sexy]


"The images in this room are created entirely from mathematical algorithms. If you find them offensive in any way, all I can say is that beauty (or obscenity) is in this case most certainly in the eye of the beholder."

Blah Blah Blah

[Blah Blah Blah]

Yeah, I know, I've not been updating. I kept thinking I'd get around to it, but hadn't been possible from work. Work's not been particularly busy, but it has been trying. There were changes made recently. Subterfuge and spin are almost as exhausting for careful observers as they are for the participants.

And I haven't been updating from home, because I've either been too distracted to concentrate or attempting to sleep when I'm not working. I've had issues with insomnia for the first time in months. I slept perhaps two or three hours a night from last Sunday through Thursday. Finally, Thursday night, I slept from 8:30 pm to 6:30 am. And, I thought it was over. But, last night, I saw most of the hours on the alarm clock. For a while, I practiced counting to see how accurately I could count a minute. Perhaps tonight . . . .

And now, I shall post a few of the things I this week without much comment:
  • I am eager to read, but haven't yet read Gore Vidal's latest scathe.

  • I skimmed but didn't fully digest comments by the always fascinating Geoff at Coherence Engine on narrative and hyperfiction.

  • I did read the horoscopes. Why? Dunno. Perhaps because they take so little brain. Not that you should believe them, but you should check this week. Especially, you, Cancer, and you, Sagittarius.

  • Jeremy provided more fuel for my scoptophobia by directing me to BoingBoing.

  • It seems that I'm a bit late on noticing the Plug'n'Pray conversion kits. But, if you haven't, you should.

What else? Well, I had intended to go to the theatre this evening to see Dreams of Desire, but cancelled at the last minute. Although I hate it when anyone does that to me, I find myself doing it to others frequently — especially when I'm feeling out of sorts. I rarely cancel because I have something "better" to do. In fact, I cannot recall the last time that happened. I would like to see the play. Perhaps I'll go next weekend, which is, I believe, the last.

Instead, I took a nap, and worked on my football picks. I'm ranked #1 out of 33 in the office pool. Thus far this season, I've picked correctly 87 times and incorrectly 57, which is pretty good considering I watch perhaps an hour of football total each week. But, I still haven't won an individual week. I'm just more consistent than everyone else. Maybe this week I'll take the pot.

Off to bed so I can practice counting minutes.

Sunday, November 9

Sex, Football and Chili

[Sex, Football and Chili]

I've clicked through Forbes intermittently for some time. Kinda strange, then, that I missed this article on why sex is necessary. [BTW, gentle reader, SexBlogs is always abreast of such issues.]

Well, according to the article, benefits of frequent sex include:
  • Improved sense of smell
  • Weight loss, overall fitness
  • Reduced depression
  • Pain-relief
  • Less-frequent colds and flu
  • Better teeth
And, ladies . . . .
Dr. Claire Bailey of the University of Bristol says there is little or no risk of a woman's overdosing on sex. In fact, she says, regular sessions can not only firm a woman's tummy and buttocks but also improve her posture.

Dr. George Winch Jr., an obstetrician/gynecologist in Elko, Nev., concurs. If a woman is pre-menopausal and otherwise healthy, says Dr. Winch, her having an extraordinary amount of intercourse ought not to pose a problem. "I don't think women can have too much intercourse," he says, "so long as no sexually transmitted disease is introduced and there's not an inadvertent pregnancy. Sometimes you can have a lubrication problem. If you have that, there can be vaginal excoriation—vaginal scrape."
I certainly wouldn't want that.

Can men have too much sex?
"Yes," says Dr. Eid, "It is possible for a young man who is very forceful and who likes rough sex, to damage his erectile tissue." The drugs [Viagra and Levitra] increase rigidity; moreover, they make it possible for a man to have second and third orgasms without having to wait out intermission.

"I see it in pro football players," says Eid. "They use Viagra because they're so sexually active. What they demand of their body is unreasonable. It's part of playing football: you play through the pain." This type of guy doesn't listen to his body. He takes a shot of cortisone, and keeps on going. And they have sex in similar fashion."

Interesting.

And, you wondered how I would segue into football. Ha!

I again have no chance of winning this week on the football pool. I do have a chance, however of overtaking first place for the year. Astonishing. Truly.

I watched a bit of a few games today while I was cleaning the kitchen and cooking. I made chili. I made a lot of chili. I've never been good at cooking in reasonable quantities, and it's hard to make a small amount of chili anyway. So, I made a vat. [Perhaps I was thinking about all those football players overexerting themselves.] I didn't eat any of the chili. It's always better a day or two later.

Phone-Free Weekend

[Phone-Free Weekend]

I don't have a home phone. Mobile's just easier. I don't need a home phone, and Ameritech's customer service is so shitty that I got away from them as soon as I had another option. That was about four years ago. I had cable internet access before that, so I didn't need a phone for that. Telemarketers haven't ever been allowed to target mobile exchanges, a great bonus.

The only problem is that I'm intermittently absent-minded.

I've mislaid my phone perhaps ten times over the years, and I've, luckily, always gotten it back. Some kind soul would phone numbers on the speed dial until one of my friends [usually Keely] would agree to pick it up for me. Or, I'd call my own phone and the finder would answer and meet me. Regardless, I've always gotten it back.

I also occasionally forget my phone at the office. Before last Friday, though, it's always happened on a week night.

But, now, because I've not gone back to the office to pick it up, I've had a phone-free weekend. It's odd.

Sunday, November 2

Priorities & Intentions

[Priorities & Intentions]

I had intended to clean the bathroom, edit my work to-do journal, fix my AvangGo channels, put away all of the laundry, and peruse my big Leondardo Da Vinci book.

I ended up fixing my football pick spreadsheet [changed the weight of at home/away percentages, and added bye-weeks, recent upsets, last-week losses as considerations], putting away some of the laundry, baking a pumpkin pie, eating way too much [I dunno what's wrong with me, but I couldn't seem to find enough food today . . . . I'm just amazed I avoided eating the pie], watching Alias and some football, and napping.

I am weak.

Friday, October 31

Doh

[Doh!]

Groening was apparently just being sarcastic. Ah, well, I bought it. Considering life in this litigious age, it seemed improbable but not impossible.

Thursday, October 30

Wednesday, October 29

The Night Sky

[The Night Sky]

I should stay up late, or get up early to see if there's a visible aurora. Tonight is supposed to be even better than last night.

Escher Lego

[Escher Lego]

Oh, how wonderful it is to play. It is also wonderful to know that there are others who like to play too . . . .

Every time I see Escher's Relativity, I think about how cool it would be to have a model of it. Of course, it never occurred to me to use Legos. Apparently, it did occur to Richard Bushnell.

Tuesday, October 28

Average Beauty

[Average Beauty]

These photographs by Jason Salavon are "the result of mean averaging every Playboy centerfold foldout for the four decades beginning Jan. 1960 through Dec. 1999."

The results are four blurs — one for each decade. They are beautiful, and strangely, still obviously feminine.

Lovely Dark & Deep

[Lovely Dark & Deep]

From my weekend . . . .


Friday, October 24

Today's Options

[Today's Options]

I'll rarely tell you what you should do, gentle reader. But, today, wishing desperately that I could follow my own advice, I'll tell you that you should go back to bed.

If you are unable to go back to bed, you should browse the sites listed in Web Exhibits, allow yourself to be hypnotized by Zombo.com, amuse yourself with Sci-Fi Fan Films, ponder the skills of the Precision Lawn Chair Demonstration Team, determine just how many Ferraris you might have purchased over the years with your drinking money, and/or download everything at Sine Fiction to judge their music-to-sci-fi-novel matchups.

Whatever you do, don't troll the news from this week. You might then have to . . . .I warned you. You should have gone back to bed or stuck with the fluff.

[BTW: No posts for a few days. I'm getting out of the city to visit my friends Conni and Darrell at Coach Stop Farm. I'll be back early next week.]

Wednesday, October 22

Isms

[Isms]

I feel a rant coming on.

Up until now, when discussing sexism in the workplace, I would honestly state that I had never seen anything overt first hand, although I heard stories.

I've observed blatant favoritism, but, have honestly been the favorite a plurality of times, perhaps prohibiting me from analyzing the concept objectively.

I recently witnessed something that I wish I could have labeled as favoritism. That would have made me more comfortable. But, really, the only conclusion I can reach with the facts I've accumulated is sexism. What must one think, what can one say when all the boys are invited and none of the chicks are? [And, no, I’m not one of the women. This really doesn’t impact me directly.] Especially when a few of those men are subordinates of the women? I said, "That's really fucking blatant!" But, I said that to very few people. And, I said it privately, in hushed tones, as to avoid conflict.

I feel offended and deflated.

Sick of Hearing

[Sick of Hearing]
  • enable
  • dovetail
  • bandwidth
  • repurpose
  • liaise
  • impactful
  • shooting fish in a barrel
  • mutually beneficial
  • loyalty
  • kudos
  • value-add
  • incentivize
  • sunset
  • drill down
  • when the rubber meets the road
  • metrics
  • bottom-line
  • recontextualize
  • flatten
  • synergistic
  • grow
  • empower
  • mindshare
Uuuuuuugh!

Sunday, October 19

Failed a Quiz

[Failed a Quiz]

I took the Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer quiz and only got 3 out of 10. I hope I'd do better if I met one at a bar . . . .

Friday, October 17

Fucking New Yorkers

[Fucking New Yorkers]

[Yeah, I know, no posts recently. But work's been busy, and I've been going through a bit of a mental defrag . . . . and we all know how unrecommended it is to run nonessential programs when you're defragging. Anyway . . . . ]

I had to be in early today because of a 9:00 am meeting. Not toooooo early, just 8:15 am. But, that's early enough to mess with my already-less-than-strict routine. Actually, the only strict thing about my routine is coffee. And I had to skip that. Anyway, I get in and throw my purse and jacket onto my chair and run to the conference room to show the caterer where things should go. After everything is settled, I go back to my desk to find a typed note:
Last night was an example of the true spirit of Yankee baseball, where Pedro Martinez can go from a king to a peasant and Aaron Boone could hit the winning home run in extra innings.

Never quit, stay the course, work hard and stay focused on winning.

This is the attitude we have and will continue to have to ensure the success of [the project].

Yankee Spirit = Persistence & Confidence!

Keep that Yankee Spirit! We’re doing a great job!

No, it wasn’t signed. But, I know [actually, everyone at the office knows] the culprit. For those in my office with a preference, about two-thirds are Cubs fans, about a quarter are South Siders, and the rest favor various other teams. If there's another Yankee fan in the office, [s]he ain't talkin'. Anyway, apparently, there was much groaning over this little note. So, I fired off an email to that particular visiting New Yorker that said:

You are a cruel man. You are a sick man. And, to think, I liked you.
Still no response.

Saturday, October 11

Tan, thin and libidinous

[Tan, thin and libidinous]

It may take four years for approval, but after that, I'll let you know whether this drug fulfils its claims.

Friday, October 10

Rush | Eight Years Ago and Today

[Rush | Eight Years Ago and Today]
"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."

— Rush Limbaugh show, October 5, 1995

Via surfdork on this Fark Forum.

Baaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaahaaaaahaaaaa!

Thursday, October 9

Pain is Pain

[Pain is Pain]

Alas, anyone with any life experience could have told us that without the studies.

I am drunk, thanks to Jennifer. And, I am feeling neither physical nor emotional pain. Again, thanks to Jennifer.

What would life be without friends?

I do not care to know.

Time to wash up and go to sleep.

Tuesday, October 7

Home | Habits

[Home | Habits]

Long day. Left the house at 8:20 am, got home at 10:20 pm. Very long day.

I seem to be reverting to an old bad habit: picking and peeling the polish off my fingernails. I don't know when I stopped, but I remember that, years ago, I used to do it. Today, I picked half the polish off most of my nails. I didn't even realize I was doing it until I had a few so thoroughly damaged that sparing the rest didn't really matter. It's oddly satisfying to peel off a large chunk of polish off cleanly. I don't know why.

Time to carbo-load and get some sleep.

Sunday, October 5

The goat curse has been lifted

[The goat curse has been lifted]

Chicago will party tonight.

Gratitude

[Gratitude]

Thanks to Mark, my new harddrive is installed and functioning. All of my files were saved. And I can translate books to MSReader and read Acrobat files on my iPAQ.

It's wonderful to have helpful friends.

Off to bed . . . .

Thursday, October 2

Wednesday, October 1

Nesting

[Nesting]

I can't even imagine going out tonight.

The cable was back up when I came home last night, so, I spent several hours trolling for news. The only productive thing I did was ensure my laundry would be picked up and talk to the dude who picked it up.

Tonight? Equally mundane, really. I shall order pizza and watch The West Wing, and, perhaps, put away the laundry when it arrives.

I don't feel bad about this . . . . it happens every year at about this time. I shall blame it on the chilly weather, which, for me, always amplifies my nesting tendencies.

Reefer Madness

[Reefer Madness]

Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser

The book had gotten so much press, I couldn't pass it up when wandering through the Unabridged Bookstore. Schlosser, in his introduction and conclusion makes a point of telling us that this is a tale of money. In reality, it's three vastly different tales, and the dollars frequently are a secondary focus within them. The first, Reefer Madness, largely deals with the ridiculousness of marijuana law in the US, and wasn't terrifically enlightening. In the Strawberry Fields, the second essay, discusses the treatment of migrant and illegal-alien farm workers in California's strawberry industry, from housing and sanitary conditions, to the often-bought fantasy of the benefits of sharecropping. I hadn't considered before that so many of our fruits and vegetables must be laboriously hand picked. It is a story of greed, prejudice and governmental collusion. I'll never look at a strawberry the same. In An Empire of the Obscene, Scholosser chronicles the machinations of Reuben Sturmann, from his selling comic books from the truck of his car through his virtual control of the entire US porn industry and beyond. It is also a history lesson, reminding us of Comstock's legacy, and of our varying prurience as a society — throughout time, among factions, as private seekers who would publicly deny it. Throughout the book, I guess the money does bleed through: we want what we want and if we can find it, we'll buy it, regardless of its legality, or the perils involved in its production.

Tuesday, September 30

That's Service

[That's Service]

I just got another monitor. It's marginally better than the last one, and that's enough to stop me from whining about it today.

It was on my desktop when I returned from lunch. And, it was already personalized for me: it has a Hello Kitty Ladybug sticker on it.

Now, that's service.

Monday, September 29

Technical Difficulties

[Technical Difficulties]

I've been having problems with my cable. And, because I won't be able to stay at home at any time this week, I won't have at-home access until Saturday.

So, posts will be light for the next week.

Friday, September 26

Wednesday, September 24

Today's caveat on the behavior of ladies

[Today's caveat on the behavior of ladies]

A lady never attends a cockfight.

Eventuality

[Eventuality]

Eventually, one's horoscope has to be right, I mean it would be equally unlikely that it could be wrong every day as it would that it would be right every day. Today, I think I’ll believe it:
Spiritual breakthroughs may have you feeling a little disconcerted, dear Coco. The clearing away of deadwood, such as traumas from the long past, might tell you a few things about yourself you'd rather not face. Nonetheless, it's vital to release these hang-ups for one to progress as a human being. Bear in mind that even if tears are involved, this is a positive development. You'll feel freer and happier once it's all set free. Onward and upward!

That being said, you may want to stay at home this evening: a conference of some kind could touch upon some pretty volatile issues, and the people present could disagree to the point that the meeting turns into a shouting match. You probably have strong opinions on this, as well, but don't get involved. You won't be able to stop the argument, and it can only stress you out. In fact, if you can, it might be advisable to avoid this meeting altogether. Think about it!
Yeah. I think I'm staying home this evening. Bubble bath. Order in. Work on clearing away my spiritual deadwood and perhaps, paint my toenails.

Sunday, September 21

One Word

[One Word]

Like flossing my teeth, I should do this daily.

Like flossing my teeth, I shall do this intermittently.

Sigh.

Goals | Reality

[Goals | Reality]

My evening?

While listening to Spirituality and Brad Peterson, IWhile listening to Tool and U2, I
  • washed the dishes;

  • attempted to prep something for dinner tomorrow [I did not realize until late into the process, sadly, that I am out of eggs];

  • unpacked a few more books; and

  • cleaned out the fridge.
While listening to John Fahey [Yup, J, you forgot it, and I'm glad that you did.], I did almost nothing but sit and smoke.

This was about a third of what I had intended to accomplish this evening. Utter failure.

Friday, September 19

Music and Evolution

[Music and Evolution]

I think they left out one crucial point: try shagging someone who has no rhythm.

[At the NY Times you may use: login = bulletproofbra, password = crystal.]

Thursday, September 18

Art Bell is Back

[Art Bell is Back]

He has always been a wonderful road trip companion.

Hailing a fashionable taxi

[Hailing a fashionable taxi]

I'd cross the street to hail a Hello Kitty taxi. Now, a London taxi would likely be more comfortable, but I'm unsure that I want to get into one that's a rolling American Express billboard.

Tuesday, September 16

Utterly Fascinating

[Utterly Fascinating]

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

[From Mark via email.]

Allocation of Funds

[Allocation of Funds]

There's no cash in the work coffers for any more external training this year, so if I want to attend anything, I can most likely get the time off, but would have to pay for it myself.

There's a course that I wanted to attend, and now I'm wondering whether I can justify spending my own money on it. Edward Tufte is giving a one-day course on Presenting Data and Information. It would be $ 320, and I'd get his books Visual Explanations, Envisioning Information, and The Visual Display of Quantitative Information as part of the class materials.

Is it worth it? I mean, I've probably spent more at Sephora, Ulta, and Walgreens in the past month.

Or should I just buy the books from Amazon for $ 133? I could even hunt for them used . . . .

I could take it on September 30th, October 1st, or October 2nd. But, I have to decide soon . . . .

Attraction & Approachablity

[Attraction & Approachablity]

What is it that makes someone approachable? Some days, I don't get approached at all. Today? Three hard hits before lunch, one with a business card and a pleading for a lunch date. I don't have a clue why. It's not the outfit — I've worn it several times before. Perhaps it's the weather. Perhaps my mood is obvious: my day started well and I've been grinning since I left the apartment. Who knows . . . .

Add This to My Permanent Record

[Add This to My Permanent Record]

Scary: Ashcroft is a bloody fucking fascist.
Scarier: He doesn't think he is.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

Monday, September 15

Scoptophobia in the Locker Room

[Scoptophobia in the Locker Room]

Many health clubs have banned the use of mobile phones in the locker rooms with good reason: you never know who might be taking pictures of naked patrons with their camera phones. This jamming device may tackle the problem.

[Thanks to Jeremy, who is quite aware of my scoptophobic tendencies.]

Fatherland Security | Defining Terrorism

[Fatherland Security | Defining Terrorism]
"Within six months of passing the Patriot Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases," said Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. "They say they want the Patriot Act to fight terrorism, then, within six months, they are teaching their people how to use it on ordinary citizens."
Uh, yeah. Who couldn't have predicted that?

Thursday, September 11

My Ever-Increasing Photo/Video/Image-Specific Scoptophobia

[My Ever-Increasing Photo/Video/Image-Specific Scoptophobia]

Okay, now it's time to stop using dressing rooms.

Wednesday, September 10

Two Quotes and a Question

[Two Quotes and a Question]
Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.

— Drew Carey


Relationships are hard. It's like a full time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two week's notice. There should be severance pay, and before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp.

— Bob Ettinger


What do people mean when they say the computer went down on them?

— Marilyn Pittman

No comments. I've no comments.

Tuesday, September 9

Alone on the Elevator

[Alone on the Elevator]

Six or seven years ago, I was working in the loop, and someone told me that there were cameras on the elevators in my office building. I asked a security guard about it, and he grinned at me saying, "we know you". I was mortified. I, when alone on the ride up to the office, had regularly used the elevator as my personal grooming parlor: time to straighten my stockings, fluff my hair, blow my nose, pick something out of my teeth, stretch, rearrange my cleavage . . . . I wondered what other people did and whether they knew.

Through Fimoculous I found this series of obviously contrived, but nonetheless interesting vignettes seen from the perspective of an elevator camera.

Football | 3 of 33

[3 of 33]

I did pretty well on this week's Football pool, but not well enough to take the prize. There's always next week. Help me out and you may be rewarded. I make great pies. And brownies. And cookies.

Opus Returns

[Opus Returns]

I may actually start buying the Sunday paper again.

Thursday, September 4

Football Weather

[Football Weather]

It's chilly out. It's football weather. Just cool enough to want a sweatshirt and some hot cocoa. And along with the weather comes the sport. I just made my football picks for the week. Then, I called Aaron to check my logic. He was proud. I haven’t been keeping up much [enough to know that Joey Porter was shot in the ass, but that story was hard to miss].

Okay, here they are in order of confidence:
  • The STEELERS over the Ravens

  • The SEAHAWKS over the Saints

  • The LIONS over the Cardinals

  • The Broncos over the BENGALS

  • The TITANS over the Raiders

  • The Rams over the GIANTS

  • The BROWNS over the Colts

  • The DOLPHINS over the Texans

  • The BILLS over the Patriots

  • The PANTHERS over the Jaguars

  • The Buccaneers over the EAGLES

  • The CHIEFS over the Chargers

  • The COWBOYS over the Falcons

  • The Bears over the 49ERS

  • The Vikings over the PACKERS

  • The Jets over the REDSKINS
Yup, I took the Steelers even though Porter's got a bum bum.

Ah, there’s no sound like the sound of large men smashing into one another .  .  .  .  off I go to watch the game.

Monday, September 1

Global Population

[Global Population]

Do you sometimes wonder just how many people are alive right now? Look no further: here's a running total.

Sci-Non-Fi

[Sci-Non-Fi]

Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K gentle readers. Actually, a more apropos phrasing might be there’s some shit goin’ on that could, if improperly attended, fuck us all up. I feel entirely underinformed about a lot of this . . . .

First up, nanotech:

Although the NSA can only cough up $ 2 MM for studying nanotech's social, cultural, and economic implications will be, our government can apparently shell out quite a bit more for defense research including $ 50 MM to MIT to, among other things, aid in the launch of The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. In related news, a nanotech cabal meets in Chicago this December to determine what you might buy.

Next, we have cyborg research:

Kevin Warwick is becoming a cyborg.
Imagine a world where people make lunch plans via telepathy, acquire genius-level mathematical skills in an instant, and learn to golf by downloading the neural impulses of Tiger Woods.

For Warwick's experiment, a neurosurgeon fired a 100-electrode pin implant that looked like "a tiny hairbrush," said Warwick, into the medial nerve of his arm. A research team then linked his nervous system to a computer via the implant, and that's where the fun began.

From a laboratory at Columbia University in New York, Warwick moved a mechanical hand in England by thinking about it and moving his own fingers. As if it were his own hand pressing down, he also felt the surface tension experienced by the mechanical hand thousands of miles away.

"That effectively meant my body was 5,000 miles long," he said.
Next, biotech:

Genetic engineers at Dartmouth have used yeast to produce a complex human glycoprotein.

Next up, computing:

Scripps Research Institute scientists are working with bio-chips to build new breeds of computers.

And finally, teleportation:

According to Wired, practical applications for teleportation, though not exactly the type seen in Star Trek, could be less than a generation away.

Strange times indeed . . . .

Thursday, August 28

RIP Santa

[RIP Santa]

Perhaps it was time for me to rely entirely on my internal moral compass for the naughty / nice balance sheet.

Technicolor Yawn

[Technicolor Yawn]

This morning, the evil alarm clock almost made me cry.

I would have made it to work on time if I hadn’t gotten motion sickness from the train.

Admittedly, I wouldn’t have gotten motion sickness from the train if I hadn’t been so bad .  .  .  . 

The lovely Kate and I went out last evening and we had as lovely, giddy, and thoughtful a time as we ever do. We started at the Uncommon Ground Café. While waiting for the Brad Peterson Variety Show to start [note, his site's down right now, I think he's updating it] we each had a manhattan. Then we each had another. After some goat cheese and artichoke dip, it was Kate’s idea that we should switch to extra-sour lemon drop martinis, and we had a few of those each.

In the interim, I did see part of Brad’s set. I hadn’t seen him in years, and was pleasantly surprised to find his voice as intriguing as ever. After the second round of extra-sour lemon drop martinis, the set was over. I did chat with Brad for a bit, and I’m sure I’ll catch up with him further later.

Anyway, against all sane thoughts, after we closed the café, Kate and I decided that we might have one more. So, we went to Katerina’s where we had a few really tasty godiva chocolate martinis each.

I do not know what time I made it home. I know I made a phone call [one of my clearer memories from the evening, sitting outside the bar on a stoop] while Katerina was mixing up the first round. That would be a good point of reference had I been using my phone instead of Kate’s and been able to lookup the time.

Even if I do not know the time, I am painfully aware of the condition I was in. I told the taxi driver not to take the turns so quickly. He laughed at that. I know that the steps to my fourth-floor apartment swayed. I also know that throughout my disrobing and technicolor yawn issues, I managed make no more of a mess than I would on any other Thursday evening.

Today, amazingly, I plowed through the whole day at work, keeping my record of never calling in sick or leaving sick because of a hangover.

But .  .  .  . this evening’s plans have been altered. I shan’t make it to shows at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. I shall lounge, take a bubble bath, read, troll the ‘net, drink a small medicinal glass of red wine, and maybe, later, post again.

Tuesday, August 26

The Horror — NSFW

[The Horror — NSFW]

I saw a pop-up ad, and I couldn't believe . . . . but it's true. I'm having my place swept for surveilance equipment. Regularly. My aversion to cameras has blossomed into a kind of photo/video/image-specific scoptophobia [help me here if there's a better word]. Ugh. I'm gonna have nightmares for weeks.

The Night Sky

[The Night Sky]

Mars will be roughly 1.8 × 10-06 Parsecs away from Chicago at 1:35 am CDT. Even if I could see it from my apartment, I, hopefully, shall be asleep.

PSA on Flirting

[PSA on Flirting]

I smile a lot. I constantly play with my hair. I pay compliments frequently. I wonder and ask about what people like to do. I initiate conversations. I am easily amused and laugh at many jokes. According to this piece, I am constantly flirting with everyone.
Since some of the above signals could just be gestures of friendliness on a woman's part, you should count a minimum of four before you conclude that she is, indeed, flirting with you. If she commits five or more, your evening is set.
Please be advised that this may not be the case.

Missing It

[Missing It]

I had already scheduled my week when I realized that The 10th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival is upon us. My plans for Thursday evening and Saturday are still tentative, so maybe . . . .

RIP Wesley

[RIP Wesley]

In the mid-'90s, I remember seeing Wesley Willis sitting at Lounge Axe, barefoot, drawing these huge pen-pencil-magic marker cityscapes. Before and later, I remember him seeing me on the street, grabbing the back of my head and saying, "lemme head butt ya". And I did. Everyone did.

[I hadn't thought about him for years until Mark Noble sent me this link. Thanks Mark.]

You can read more about Wesley at Alternative Tentacles.

Sunday, August 24

Flash Kafka

[Flash Kafka]

Via Fimoculous.

Fountain of Youth -or- Tweaking Your Sirtuin Pathways

[Fountain of Youth -or- Tweaking Your Sirtuin Pathways]

Who among us will live for centuries? I, for one, am willing to attempt to add a glass of red wine to my daily diet in lieu of the amount of calories it contains from other foods I'm eating but likely shouldn't be eating anyway. As a matter of fact, I think I'll do that right now . . . .

Pretendster

[Pretendster]

Honestly, Friendster kinda freaks me out. But this? This I find amusing.

More Calculatoogle-ing

[More Calculatoogle-ing]

I am apparently woefully behind on this. Check out this post at Waxy:
  • 1 smoot = 5.58333333 feet

  • (30 gigabytes) / (160 kbps) = 18.2044444 days
 . . . . and this post at Kottke:
  • 1 yottaParsec = 3.08568025 × 1064 yoctometers

  • the speed of light = 582 749 918 knots
 . . . . and finally everything on this post at Kuro5hin.


Ugh. I have other things to do but I caaaannoooot stop.

Is it Calcoogle? Calculoogle? Googlator? Calculatoogle?

[Is it Calcoogle? Calculoogle? Googlator? Calculatoogle?]

This may be the most useful thing I've seen in weeks.

Some of the Answers:
  • 69 degrees Fahrenheit = 20.5555556 degrees Celsius

  • radius of Earth = 6 378.1 kilometers

  • the answer to life, the universe, and everything = 42

  • 1 000 000 000 miles = 5.2155242 × 10-05 Parsecs

  • seventeen plus (thirteen times three) = fifty-six

  • one US gallon = 768 US teaspoons
This is too much fun.

Saturday, August 23

I am an Introvert

[I am an Introvert]

Accordingly, if you care, this article may interest you. Noted:
Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not . . . . many actors, I've read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors . . . . We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking.
Actually, the more stressed I become, the more extroverted my behavior. I have been a bit stressed lately. [I should be apologizing to many about my being a whining, bitching princess, and I may just get around to that.] It's time to regroup. I think a trip to Sephora may help. The shipment from Komenuka Bijin certainly did.

Thursday, August 21

Language in Transition

[Language in Transition]

Additions to the most recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English [not to be confused with the Oxford English Dictionary, although they have the same publisher] include:
  • bootylicious

  • bada bing bada boom

  • hacktivist
Also found are:
  • blog

  • geek

  • mission-creep
I challenge you, gentle reader, to use all six in a single, meaningful, truthful, not non-sensical sentence.

Dreams of Snow

[Dreams of Snow]

I had another odd dream last night. The same lover, the same urgent want to talk about snow, this time we were in a vague hot outdoor environment.

What does the snow mean? What do these dreams indicate?

I do not know . . . . .

I rarely remember my dreams. And, when I do, I tend to consider them, if only briefly. But, if some image or plotline appears more than once, I begin wondering whether my subconscious is trying to reveal something.

I begin wondering whether God is answering my questions and I am too obtuse to understand the answers.

Is someone trying to communicate something to me that I’m missing entirely? Have I changed the subject or the atmosphere so violently that such communication was impossible?

Is this actually about snow, and my general preference for cold over hot weather?

Am I then associating that lover with a general preference in the weather continuum?

I do not know . . . . .

Enough for now. Back to work. Time to get a burrito.

Wednesday, August 20

Inertia

[Inertia]

There are things would like to do but never seem to get around to doing. Actually, there are thousands of things. Here are the ones that crossed my mind today:
  • sort through all the paperwork that [mostly, I'm sure, unnecessarily] moved with me

  • study Huna

  • update the right column of this blog

  • thoroughly read up on the continuing Texas gerrymandering debacle, and the intentions in Ohio to try the same thing
    From the NY Times article on Texas:

    Justice Department officials have issued a report documenting an attempt by Mr. DeLay, the House majority leader, to abuse the machinery of homeland security by using it to track and arrest the Democrats. They wisely rejected demands from Mr. DeLay's aides for rawly partisan muscle from Washington as "wacko," but that does not make the efforts of the staff less outrageous.

    [for NY Times articles you may use ID=bulleproofbra and password=crystal
    ]
  • go to Burning Man

  • organize my recipes

  • study Kaballah
Ah, well. I'll get around to some of it eventually. Right now, I intend to blame my inertia on the heat.

Tuesday, August 19

Finally Home

[Finally Home]

And exhausted . . . . it might be because of the events of the day, it might be because my terrifically poor diet of late, it might be because I keep forgetting to take my vitamins, it might be because I slept fitfully last night [truly bizzzzzzzzzare dreams of being in Hawaii over Christmas with a lover who wanted to talk about snow]. Regardless, I shan't say that my exhaustion is in any way related to the shoes I chose to wear on such a hectic day.

Anyway, there are things I'd like to comment upon thoroughly, but I'm too tired and lazy. So it shall be short blips for now:
  • It's really been a wormy week.

  • Mars will not kill you.

  • Lake Vostok might kill all of us with some super-oxygenated mutant microbes. If not, we'll likely kill it.

  • When I thought of shopping for a bikini I wasn't thinking of this, but must admit it is interesting.

  • When prompted to consider GQ magazine, I can't ever say that I was frightened. . . . until now.

  • From Lessig: Public Knowledge, Creative Commons, and The Center for the Public Domain have launched a call for stories about the public domain.
    Your stories are important because American copyright, trademark and patent law, grounded in Article I of the Constitution, are designed to promote individual creativity and innovation: we need to make sure they're functioning in this way.

    Unfortunately, the recent expansion of intellectual property laws has had the opposite effect. New laws are discouraging creativity and innovation rather than encouraging it, and stifling other important values such as freedom of speech. Longer copyright terms, the end of copyright registration requirements, stronger trademark laws and the expansion of patent eligibility are some of the changes that have spurred this trend.
  • Because I no longer have enough toilet paper to play the Toilet Roll Game I know it is time to shop for more.
Time for bed.

Ugh

[Ugh]

I'm still at the office. There's no end in sight . . . .

It's Official

[It's Official]

Although I realize that lawyers serve in more complicated and difficult ways for many, I tend to require them as tour guides through the red tape of the system. Lucky, I guess. Today's tour guide was more than sufficient for the task.

My name has been changed. I am now Crystal She-who-must-be-worshiped.

Okay, that's not true, but it would have been fun wouldn't it? [Think: "She-who-must-be-worshiped, party of four, your table is ready!"] I've actually gone back to my maiden surname. And I've changed my middle name to Joseph. I think it may be a while before I could sign my name without thinking about it. Actually, I signed my name wrong today twice. Those who had to reprint were patient, but it was weird. And I had to concentrate. Don't ask me to do it tipsy.

Sunday, August 17

Truly Informative Sex Manual

[Truly Informative Sex Manual]

Carb Coma 101

[Carb Coma 101]

Would you like to go into a 5-to-6 hour carb coma? Here's how:
  • Have a light dinner followed by pie.

  • Relax for a bit, and then have more pie.

  • Sleep. Awaken. Have a light breakfast. Relax a bit, and then have more pie.

  • Lie down for a few minutes.

  • Awaken a bit later feeling (a) famished, and (b) like you've been hit by a truck.

  • Realize that you have no low-carb options in the house, and, lazily, eat more pie.

  • Lie down to read.

  • Awaken 5-to-6 hours later feeling (a) famished, and (b) like you've been hit by a truck.
Ugh.

I know better. I can't handle a carb overload like that anymore. It's back to the low-carb thing for me for a while. Soooooo . . . . my first task upon waking was to order food that wouldn't exacerbate the issue. Task number two was adding a lot of protein and editing out all the really-carby crap [you can sort by carbs!] for my next Peapod order.

Saturday, August 16

Fair and Balanced

[Fair and Balanced]

I would like to state for the record that I am [usually] fair and balanced.

Anarchy | Freedom of Speech

[Anarchy | Freedom of Speech]

I saw this article yesterday, and was thinking thinking thinking [while I was at the office and should have been working working working].

Sherman Austin is being incarcerated because it has been determined that Raise The Fist violates this federal law [specifically subsection P, 2]:
Prohibition. -

It shall be unlawful for any person -

(A)
to teach or demonstrate the making or use of an explosive, a destructive device, or a weapon of mass destruction, or to distribute by any means information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction, with the intent that the teaching, demonstration, or information be used for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence; or
(B)
to teach or demonstrate to any person the making or use of an explosive, a destructive device, or a weapon of mass destruction, or to distribute to any person, by any means, information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction, knowing that such person intends to use the teaching, demonstration, or information for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence
I was reminded of Your Own You Own from Pigface's Notes From Thee Underground [which I spent an inordinate amount of time not finding last night].

Your Own You Own
for 23 years we've told you to beware
to be aware
before awake
your freedoms are being eroded [x2]
your needs blocked [x2]
your freedoms are being eroded
your needs blocked
your sexuality legislated
your dreams your right to dreams, stolen [stolen! stolen! stolen! stolen!]
you are being criminalized
you are being reposesed
your being digitized for ease ov location
your breath thee breath ov youth is being polluted [provication! [x4]]
your own you own
your very own
your own you own
your brains are being polluted, poisoned, and fragmented by fear
not your fear [x3]
your own you own [x10]
you only run free
as ov this day
you do not have the right to socialize
your own you own [i lost count, i'd say 30]
or criticise, or analyse, or fantasise, or politicise, or publisice
or subsidise, or visualise, or conceptualise, or realise anything!

Even though I had that encircled-A adorning my stuff in highschool, I was not then nor am I now an anarchist. However, I do believe that there are times when dissent must escalate. We are losing our rights. I am frightened and disturbed.

Practice

[Practice]

I'm out of practice when it comes to pie making . . . .
  • The fluting on the crusts isn't very attractive. Actually, I can't remember how I used to flute crusts so prettily.

  • The custard isn't as firm as it should be. That may be because after standing over the bubbling cauldron and stirring for forty-five minutes in last night's heat-n-humdidty I hallucinated that it was thick enough.

  • There are also dark edges on two of the pie crusts [I made three pies] owing, I think, to a very inconsistent oven.
Nevertheless, there is pie. And, it is, I think, tasty pie. Even if it lacks sufficient structural integrity. I shall try again, but only when the weather's much cooler.

Thursday, August 14

Seeking Alien Abduction

[Seeking Alien Abduction]

I wonder how one should construct an appropriate landing beacon for these aliens?

Today's Quote

[Today's Quote]
Naturally the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.

Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reich-Marshall
at the Nuremberg Trials

[Found in Ms. Magazine's Summer 2003 print edition.]

Crystal Rabbit

[Crystal Rabbit]

Thanks to Jeremy, I have an idea of what a Crystal-rabbit hybrid might look like.

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo

[Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo]

I am not making this up. I found it at the Washington Post.

Wednesday, August 13

False Friends | The Diamond Age

[False Friends | The Diamond Age]

Well, we all know that some of our friends are false. And, I remember learning as a little girl that Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend. Now, to complicate matters, some artful entrepreneurs are making it even more difficult to tell whether our sparkly friends are real.

Hmmmmmmmm, call me gauche, but I'd wear them.

Anyway, back to the story:
Diamond, it turns out, is a geek's best friend. Not only is it the hardest substance known, it also has the highest thermal conductivity - tremendous heat can pass through it without causing damage. Today's speedy microprocessors run hot - at upwards of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, they can't go much faster without failing. Diamond microchips, on the other hand, could handle much higher temperatures, allowing them to run at speeds that would liquefy ordinary silicon. But manufacturers have been loath even to consider using the precious material, because it has never been possible to produce large diamond wafers affordably. With the arrival of Gemesis, the Florida-based company, and Apollo Diamond, in Boston, that is changing. Both startups plan to use the diamond jewelry business to finance their attempt to reshape the semiconducting world. . . . 

If diamond is ever to be a practical material for semiconducting, it will need to be affordably grown in large wafers. (The silicon wafers Intel uses, for example, are 1 foot in diameter.) CVD [chemical vapor deposition] growth is limited only by the size of the seed placed in the Apollo machine. Starting with a square, waferlike fragment, the Linares process will grow the diamond into a prismatic shape, with the top slightly wider than the base. For the past seven years - since Robert Linares first discovered the sweet spot - Apollo has been growing increasingly larger seeds by chopping off the top layer of growth and using that as the starting point for the next batch. At the moment, the company is producing 10-millimeter wafers but predicts it will reach an inch square by year's end and 4 inches in five years. The price per carat: about $5.
It seems the Diamond Age may indeed be upon us.

BTW: Do you recall the lyrics?

Let me help you . . . .

The French are glad to die for love
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend

A kiss may be grand but it won’t pay the rental
On your humble flat
Or help you at the automat

Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square-cut or pear-shaped
Those rocks don’t lose their shape

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend

There may come a time when a hard-boiled employer
Thinks you’re awful nice
But ‘get that ice’ or else ‘no dice’

He’s your guy when stocks are high
But beware when they start to descend
It’s then that those louses
Go back to their spouses

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

I hope that song sticks in your head. I've had several songs stuck in my head today, and I've been told that the only way to get them out is to either give them to someone else or find another one.

Glad to be an American

[Glad to be an American]

Because, apparently Britain is running low on beer.

Sunday, August 10

Who is Proud to be an American?

[Who is Proud to be an American?]

Who could be proud of our doing this in Iraq?
A 1980 UN convention banned the use against civilian targets of napalm, a terrifying mixture of jet fuel and polystyrene that sticks to skin as it burns. The US, which did not sign the treaty, is one of the few countries that makes use of the weapon. . . . "We napalmed both those [bridge] approaches," said Colonel James Alles, commander of Marine Air Group 11. "Unfortunately there were people there ... you could see them in the [cockpit] video. They were Iraqi soldiers. It's no great way to die. The generals love napalm. It has a big psychological effect."
This distrubs me.

Modern Conveniences

[Modern Conveniences]

Why would anyone who is able not use Peapod?

There’s a $4.95 delivery charge right now. They charge me more if I go into Dominicks myself and then have it delivered. And I can shop from the comfort of my desk chair. Sometimes, I do like to wander through the grocery store — especially when I’m not sure what I want to cook. But, for day-to-day shopping, it’s so much easier.

For example I cut and pasted all of the ingredients for a recipe into the quick list .  .  .  .
  • bananas
  • pineapple juice
  • semi-sweet chocolate
  • unsweetened dutched cocoa
  • cream cheese
  • eggs
  • heavy cream
  • salted butter
  • unsalted butter
  • whole milk
  • shortening
  • cornstarch
  • flour
  • salt
  • table salt
  • vanilla
  • cider vinegar
  • powdered sugar
  • sugar
.  .  .  .  the system suggested mostly viable options for each selection, and, voila! On Wednesday evening everything that’s needed to make Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie will arrive with the rest of my necessary groceries.

Oh, you want pie too? Hmmmm. Well, you have to visit me to get pie. That’s the rule.