Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Found on FullPunch.


Being sick on a trip is not fun.

Finding yourself at 4AM intently consulting Google for the characteristics of gastric upset (yep, yes, nope, yep, nope, kind of) versus those that signify a heart attack (nope, nope, nope, nope, nope), even less so. 

Make a note:  next time, skip the sausage on that pizza. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Three days ago, our daughter said she had the download of a form she needed for an event this weekend under control.  My wife asked three times, and each time, same answer.

Today is thanksgiving.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to drive for eight hours to get to the place that needs the form.  (And after which: seven hours to get from there to her college.)

Guess who didn't actually download it?  Guess which web site doesn't seem to be working?  Guess which organization has an email box that just bounces back inquiries?

Oh, the next three days are going to be freaking awesome.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I know it'll fluctuate, but today I saw a cumulative loss about about three pounds from our consistant visits to the gym.  I'm delighted.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I'm in my early sixties, and yet I'm paranoid that tomorrow a dental surgeon is going to glare at me and say mean things to me? Really?

Um. Yeah.
I dodged the bullet, but he announced intention to re-aim in about two months.  Ah, well.  


To get at the battery in a Prius remote fob, you have to -

a) put the little lever and, while holding it, pull out the little emergency key
b) put the little lever again and, while holding it, push up the back of the fob to slide it off.
c) unscrew the four tiny screws holding the plate that's under the cover.

And now you can get at the battery.

Given that its under that cover, why is the plate needed at all?  And if it is, why are there four screws?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stay or Switch

I'm one of those who just doesn't get why the classic Monte Hall problem works that way. I understand the logic, but I can't accept it.  I even wrote  a very simple program to try the 'recommended' solution, and it works - but I don't get why.

Even this site, Stay or Switch, can't help me.  But it's fun to try. 

Gun Guys

I'm not a gun freak, and grudgingly admit that some people have what I regard as a good reason for wanting one.  Perhaps because of that, I found this review, from the Unshelved site, interesting.

Gun Guys by Dan Baum
Reviewed by geneambaum - link to this review
As a kid at summer camp, Dan Baum spent hours on the rifle range where he learned to appreciate the solid click every time he slapped the bolt into position to shoot again. Despite his parents’ disapproval and his status as a lifelong Democratic, Baum both owns a rifle and hunts.
To wander the world of American gun enthusiasts and attempt to figure out what makes guns so attractive to some, he camouflaged himself in a NRA hat. His search led him to a desert convention of machine gun aficionados, to a man who purchased his first gun for protection after being mugged and became a self-defense instructor, to an underemployed contractor who has over $3,000 dollars invested in his customized AR-15. (Baum refers to weapon collecting as “Barbie for men.”)
Why I picked it up: I am somewhat similar to Baum, a lifelong Democrat with a concealed-carry permit who packs heat at the grocery store. I don’t know what it is, either, but I also love guns. There’s something satisfying about slapping in a fresh magazine my Glock and racking the slide.
Why I finished it: Baum talks about the first few weeks when he was carrying a pistol every day, concealed in his waistband. He spent a lot of time analyzing passersby, watching to see if they were a threat or had bad intentions.  Scenarios constantly play out in his mind -- what he’d do if that guy takes the lady in the tube top hostage or what if that shady-looking man pulls a balaclava over his face and demands the cash while Baum is in line at a 7-11? I laughed out loud when I read that part because I had similar thoughts when I began to carry my gun.
I found it interesting that many second amendment activists think poorly of hunters, calling them “Fudds” (after Elmer Fudd) because they generally don’t advocate for guns outside hunting.
Baum spends time in a police simulator where he must make split-second decisions about whether or not to fire his weapon. He was shaking with emotion and stress after just the first simulation because he was overwhelmed by having to make the decision. Having never drawn or fired my gun (except at the range), this made me rethink how difficult it might be to use it to defend myself.
I'd give it to: Evan, who is anti-gun and would like that the book doesn’t waste time talking about the Second Amendment. Baum looks for reasons why there are 270 million guns in the U.S.  Apparently video games drive many purchases, which is going to alarm Evan.

You're Redundant, Mr. Bond.

Apparently, being escorted to the Olympics by 007 has given her ideas.

Is There A Better Way?

....and if so, would we use it?

Found at ODDMAN


Found at Oddman.CA

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gay Marriage?

Oh hell yeah....  and this is why.


I suppose if we do it about five thousand times, it will become a habit, but as we are no where close to that count, we're no where close to that label, either.  But tonight, once again, we went to the gym and worked out.  Nothing strenuous; neither of us staggers off the eliptical, gasping.  But we do have that mild sense of accomplishment....


From Oddman.CA -

Blood Creek

The start seems to have a problem playing, but it goes away after a moment or so.... The Duel at Blood Creek - Short Film from Leo Burton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


After days of thinking yeah, we should do that, we finally disconnected the phone jack which gives us static and connected a different jack to the red/green wires that had been connected.  I say that glibly; that was after about ten minutes of can you see if that damn wire is under the washer? Agh, we should get a better flashlight.... And after all of that?

Still had static.  Gah.

The Labs

The doc called.  She got the results of my various labs.

Blood sugar is up, as is the three month number.  Higher than it should be, but not scarily higher.  More like the 'work on this' range.  She still wants me to see the endocrinologist, though.

Kidney function fine.  Liver, fine. Cholesterol excellent.   Not sure how much of this is due to luck, and how much to drugs, and how much to the fact that we've been doing about thirty minutes at the gym, five or six times a week, but...

So.... not so bad, I guess.

Next up: the dentist.


No matter how often I watch this short clip, I can't bring myself to beleive it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


This morning I went to the doctor's for a four-month checkup.  I've been tense, the last week, about this -- my blood sugar readings are haywire, and I've got the dental surgeon next Monday, which is in itself a triple whammy - he may judge me for how I take care of implants; he will likely want to do a bone graft, which is tedious and takes several months to 'set', and of course the implant itself, which will take months to integrate into my bone, assuming it works at all. (I've found the hard way that my body doesn't seem to like cow bone, for example.)

Immediately, though, the blood sugar thing, coupled with a weight gain after six weeks of going to the gym, had me actively nervous.  She's going to give me major amounts of grief. Whereupon the doc said a) yeah, the increase is something to be thoughtful about, but don't freak - first, treat it with increased drugs, then we'll send you to an endocrinologist to see if anything else is going on, and b) the weight gain actually happens quite often when people go to the gym - the important thing is that you are exercising, and doing good things for your cardiovascular system.  She didn't lecture me at all.

Then this afternoon I heard part of a review on NPR of a book called The Antidote, where a guy tried many self-help ideas on himself, and concluded that most don't work. (Yeah, I'm not too thrilled with how that study was run.) One thing he said, though, intrigued me.  Basically, he said that he was told that people who get really anxious tend to overplay how bad the nervousness will be.  As an exercise for dealing with that, he was told to ride the subway and call out the names of stations as they arrived.  He said that, as expected, he did feel nervous doing it -- but the apprehension was much worse than the actuality.

So I'm thinking guardedly positive thoughts about Monday.

Got the Clap?

Found on NotAlwaysRight.

(The customer at the front of the queue is talking loudly on their phone, and ignores me when I ask what they want. I decide to ask the person behind them for their order.)
Customer #1: “Excuse me! I’m at the front. You serve me before him!”
Me: I’m very sorry, sir. You were on your phone. What can I get you?”
Customer #1: “Jesus! Stop interrupting me, can’t you see I’m talking to someone?” *continues conversation*
Customer #2: *quietly, to me* “Follow my lead.” *then, very clearly, at normal speaking volume* “Clap once if you can hear me.”
Customer #2: “Clap twice if you can hear me.”
(Claps twice, with me and the person behind him joining in.)
Customer #2: “Clap three times if you can hear me.”
(Three claps, more of the queue and the people sat at a nearby table have joined in – most of the other people in the shop have stopped talking to see what the clapping is about.)
Customer #2: “Clap four times if you can hear me.”
(Most of the people in the shop clap along with him, with the person on the phone struggling to hear what’s being said by their friend.)
Customer #2: “Clap five times if you can hear me.”
(Everyone claps, and Customer #1 hangs up, looking angry.)
Customer #1: “How dare you interr—”
Customer #2: “Clap six times if you can hear me.”
(Everyone, except the now fuming phone guy, claps.)
Customer #2: “Oh, good. You seem to have finished your call. Why don’t you place your order now?”
(Customer #1 stutters for a few seconds, then storms out, mashing at his phone.)
Customer #2: “Oh, well. That was fun.”
(He got his drink for free, and now we always use that to shut up customers on their phones!)


I have been reading articles about the election.  I am not surprised - much - to see that Obama's campaign ran a well-oiled machine based on years of patient slogging, registration of minorities, and neighborhood door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor contact. I'm sure that explanations of their failures are coming.  Similarly, I'm not surprised to read that Romney's loss was due to arrogance in ORCA, which was never tested, his inability to convince voters about his core beliefs, and lower-than-expected turnout of white supporters. I'm sure we are going to hear of the things that they did well -- though we won't hear as often as the first.  But, you know, it depresses me:  neither side talk about the actual plans, and whether a vote was or wasn't a vote for them.  It's like we're all considered to be cogs, and the successful candidate is the one who best manipulates us.

Saw an article on the AARP site - which I don't normally frequent; perhaps when I get older - about average 401(k) levels rising; apparently, the average 401(k) now is about $75,000.  It went on to say that older participants had higher amounts, with the highest amounts going to those who had participared at least ten years (makes sense, right?).  Those people had, on average, about $220,000 in their 401(k).  I read this to my wife, and we both reflected on the value of our 401(k)s.  Which in turn made me think: why is it that my feeling on the adequacy of our financial bedrock is affected by these articles?  Either we have enough, or we don't: what others have should not affect our feelings about it.  It's the math, as someone recently said.  And yet - it does. Strange.

In a desperate attempt to crack the code of understanding French when it is spoken moderately fast, I bought a novel from World of Reading, in Georgia -- excellent company, by the way.  The novel is quite small - you could read it in a day - and it comes with a mini-CD of a person reading it.  So I can listen to the CD while looking at exactly the same words.  (Even then, I find that using the Audacity freeware to slow the speech down a bit more is helpful).   It seems to be working.  Slowly.

I get to have another implant put in -- a lower tooth had an infection.  I'm cool with that.  But why am I apprehensive that the dentist, who is the guy who did the upper implants, is going to judge me on whether I'm adequately taking care of those existing implants?  Shouldn't I think Good idea, get a professional's view -- if not, I can work harder, or, at least, prepare for problems. Yeah.  I should think that.  Don't, though.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012


...perfect together.

Found here.

My Response

Found at ODDMAN.CA