Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time and tide wait for no man

Dear Software Company whom I will not name but whose initials are 'Data Systems International'.

It is 2009.

It is 2009.  Time to update your ticket submission form. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monastic Dedication

Home schooled: Sunlight angling through the window, dappling the work table. Scholars bent over their lessons in monastic dedication. The quiet hum and thrill of self-directed youngsters devouring knowledge ...

PastyD Sent the 9 y/o for his math notebook and a pencil. He comes back with the dog. Logic might dictate that toy fox terriers cause amnesia.

PastyD "Cold. Cold. Cold," he says as he walks through the door wearing shorts and a sleeveless tee.

PastyD Third times the charm, right? No. Still no math notebook, but I've seen the dog twice now and the third time I get a white board. Yet I hope.

PastyD Woo hoo! We now have a math notebook, math workbook, pencil, white board, and a toy fox terrier. We're all set. We just need a valium now.

PastyD ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PastyD That last tweet was sent by the toy fox terrier...and they say dogs aren't smart. Pishaw.

Monday, September 28, 2009

In Which I Confess that I am a Dumbass

I've known you could use source to hide your variables in a second file

% foo.conf

source foo.conf
cat "$BASE"/file.txt

But I did not know until today you could also park functions there.

% foo.conf

function type_file (){
     cat "$BASE"/file.txt

source foo.conf

How I make a living in IT I sometimes do not know.


Folks, the Czar will explain two things here: first, that (Kirk) Cameron represents a very small percentage of conservatives—mostly centered in the South—who reject the reality of Evolution, and frankly, a whole bunch of other things. It is possible to be conservative and evangelical—it is also possible to be conservative and not evangelical, which seems create a Does Not Compute klaxon in liberal brains.

You want to see a mental disconnect
watch someone talk to my wife.  The plethora of Tibetan knick-knacks, the non-standard animals, the religious angle ... and they dive into politics and their heads go all explodey from detonating preconceptions.

Roman Polanski raped a child

It happened again.  Someone wrote on a topical matter far, far better than I could.  On Roman Polanski's recent arrest ....

Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let's take a moment to recall that according to the victim's grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, "No," then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

Roman Polanski raped a child.  I do not think one could repeat that often enough.


Abbie Hoffman was the source of the one amusing Woodstock anecdote. You'd think you'd get a lot of funny stories from filling a cow pasture with half-a-million adolescents. But no. The Who were playing. After "Pinball Wizard," Pete Townshend turned away to adjust his amplifier. Abbie rushed onstage, grabbed the microphone and began a political rant. Townshend "whacked him in the head with his guitar."

It was one of Pete's best licks. And here's another: "The people at Woodstock," the book quotes Townshend as saying, "really were a bunch of hypocrites claiming a cosmic revolution simply because they took over a field, broke down some fences, imbibed bad acid, and then tried to run out without paying the bands."


Globe-spanning worries, domestic crises, economy in the tank, wars going off here and there, potential wars smoldering in the forest and ... Smiley Jim has the time and energy for this.

Today, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark to support Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games at the 121st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session.

We departed reality a few years ago.  We are living in a satire.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Checklist for Battle

A warrior always takes care of his gear.  Including his shoes.

Sword? Check.
Foot Powder? Check.

Can't go to battle with smelly feet.  It just wouldn't be right.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How To Build A Dynasty

Step One: Indoctrinate The Children

Kate Beaton rocks<br/><br/>

Little Baby Ted is soooo cute.  Too bad he won big in the 'My Father Sucks' contest.

From the Always Awesome Kate Beaton.

Conversation with a Monkey

The Monkeys are at their sister's house.  I call her up.

Me: Are you feeding them or am I?
Sarah: Let me ask - am I making dinner for you or is your dad?
Little Monkey: What are you making, Dad?
Me: I don't know yet.
Little Monkey: What are you making, Sarah?
Sarah: I don't know yet.
Little Monkey: I'll take my chances with you, Sarah.

I am feeling the love.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Dawg Ate My Data, Miss ...

Climate researchers request original data for surface temperatures. Original researchers claim they only have the laundered data, not original data because [1]...

Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources … only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.


Were they storing the data on floppy disk? People have been making backups of massive amounts of data across multiple tapes for decades.

This is not a big deal.   We solved this back in the 1960s.  You grab an IT guy, throw him at the problem and presto - multiple tapes, multiple copies. Store in a cool dry place. Good for decades.


[1] Which (duh) is a problem.  Without the original data you're pretty much taking their word for things. Which ain't how I learned that Science was Done.

They say it was the liquor made him crazy

All that said, I have a hard time agreeing with the argument that adult father-daughter incest is always, without exception, rape.

Well, golly, Tracy Clark-Flory: in CandyLand were unicorns shit rainbows and little streams of alcohol come a-trickling down the rocks this would be a reasonable position to take.  In the real world we actually live in it's a foolish, contemptuous notion.

But I could not articulate this nearly well enough to justify the pixels sleeting into your eyes.  Happily, Steve Barnes did it so I do not have to.
The hideous McKenzie Phillips incest revelation started a debate in the blogosphere about whether or not parent-child incest is always rape. My thought is that it is always just about the sickest thing in the world, a violation of every imaginable social rule in 99.9% of the world's societies through most of time. Children enter the world so damned helpless, and need desperately to bond to their parents, the source of love, food, shelter, education, and so much more. There is just no way that that bond, once formed, could possibly be expected to magically transform into a mature, non-abusive sexual relationship. And what if the parent didn't raise the child? And neither of them wish to have children? Separate from the genetic component (tribes encourage exogamy to provide genetic variation) there is the question of social good. In other words, I wouldn't doubt that there might be some extraordinary circumstances in which such relationships are not evil. But creating a context in which they are accepted opens the door to an abuse potential in other relationships that is simply not worth even considering changing our social attitudes.

Can an adult woman make the decision to have sex with her father? Well, obviously. And what should we think about it? The only safe conclusion, if we wish to protect the little girls who are looking at their Daddies as god-creatures and wish desperately to please no. Can an adult man make the decision to have sex with his mother? Well, obviously. But again, in whatever grotesquely rarified atmosphere such unions would be considered "healthy", the door has opened to an horrific violation of the basic protections of children. I see no way that it could ever be in a society's interests to do other than look upon such relationships as ghastly.

There is a reason he makes a good living slapping words onto paper.  See also the Hangdogs' Flatlands

She held her tongue about the other women
She held her tongue when he drank all the rent
She shot em when she caught him with her daughter
Told the sheriff that's one sin I won't repent

Via TJIC who has strong words of his own for this nonsense.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


LOL  From

I think one stimulus package will lead to the next stimulus package ...

Marc Faber

I think one stimulus package will lead to the next stimulus package, to the next one and more money printing. And so in five to ten years time the real crisis will break out when the whole system collapses. That will be the end.

...[this time] the government was in a position to bail out, but the next time around, the government will go bust.

Video 9m

Nine minutes of video. Worth your time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Space Prole

Pearls Before Swine

Egypt. A few guys at the top thought that killing all of the pigs would stop swine flu [1].  What it did do is create a huge garbage problem in Cairo.  A despised minority was hauling away the garbage to pick through it for goodies and pig chow. 

No pigs, no incentive to haul away the garbage.

It has exposed the failings of a government where the power is concentrated at the top, where decisions are often carried out with little consideration for their consequences and where follow-up is often nonexistent, according to social commentators and government officials.

Hooray for the power of centralized bureaucracy to screw things up.

[1] One might suspect there is a an ulterior political motive at work.  Per Wikipedia, they'd be right.  Pity that did not make into the NYT article.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


"Ares always reemerges from the chaos. It will never go away. Athenian civilization defends itself from the forces of Ares with metis, or technology. Technology is built on science. Science is like the alchemists' uroburos, continually eating its own tail. The process of science doesn't work unless young scientists have the freedom to attack and tear down old dogmas, to engage in an ongoing Titanomachia. Science flourishes where art and free speech flourish."


Saturday, September 19, 2009

I may be a dork, but it's genetic

I came home from running an errand and found my iPod like this ..

I came home and found this on my laptop ...


I came home and found this on my laptop ...

"Dad you're a dork and left your phone.  Mom called."


Friday, September 18, 2009

Compare and contrast


I have spent way too much time playing De-Animator.

And why? Killing hordes of shambling undead is fun. But I like the look and play of this game.  It takes actual time to reload your six-gun.  And much longer for the shotgun.  Yowza.

 Reload - what?

Check that out.  Not only a Weaver stance but I'm also pointing a completely useless gun at the shambling undead: I forgot to reload.

That is so me come Zombie Time. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Totally like whatever, you know?

Totally like whatever, you know?
By Taylor Mali

In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?

Declarative sentences - so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not -
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It's like what I've heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally . . .
I mean absolutely . . . You know?
That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like . . .

And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness
is just a clever sort of . . . thing
to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since . . .
you know, a long, long time ago!

I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How to be happy in business - Bud Caddell

How to be happy in business - from

Fate or the Hand of God - take your pick

Searching for rocky planets, four light years away ...
Laughlin realized that by focusing observations on a single promising star, the signatures of smaller planets should gradually emerge. “Your signal, the mass of a planet in a given orbit, scales with the square root of the number of observations,” he said. “With four times as many observations, in theory you can detect planets that are half as massive. If you’re willing to average over not hundreds, but hundreds of thousands of measurements, you can probably detect planets with masses equal to or less than that of Mars”—that is, a tenth the mass of Earth.

The more Laughlin thought about it, the more foreordained Alpha Centauri appeared for such an extreme search strategy. It began to seem somehow destined. On human timescales, the stars appear fixed in the sky, but as our Sun moves through its 250-million-year orbit around the galactic center, it brings us to new neighbors. Every few hundred thousand years, the list of our nearest neighboring stars must be made anew.

“If we were plopped down at some random point in the galaxy, there’s only a 1 percent chance we’d find ourselves near stars so optimal for detecting small rocky planets like our own,” Laughlin said. “The hand of fate has dealt us a very interesting situation that has not existed for at least 99.9 percent of Earth’s history. It’s remarkable that Alpha Centauri is right next door just as humans emerge and develop the ability to make these measurements. I’m enamored with that coincidence.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Made My Day

They say technology puts distance between people.  I got a text today from Her that puts the lie to that:

I seriously love you. We are very good together and are lost alone.

Made .. my ..  day.

Combat Outpost - Afghanistan

"People don't understand anymore what war is."

You Should Watch This: Combat Outpost - Afghanistan.

Primer On Libertarianism

Democrats: The people in power can’t be trusted. You need to remove them and put our guys in charge.

Republicans: The people in power can’t be trusted. You need to remove them and put our guys in charge.

libertarians: People in power can’t be trusted. You need to remove their power and be in charge of your own damn self.

Primer On Libertarianism.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nerdly Kids

Aidan got a birthday card with lights and sound.   Then he tore it apart to see what made it go.  Gotta love 'em.

Older Monkey got a birthday card with lights and sound. He tore it apart to see what made it go. Then he taped it together so it would function without it's supporting framework of card stock. Now it lives in his room, neatly attached to a wall, abstracted from it's original context.

Gotta love them smart, nerdly, kids.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

President Obama, Wall Street - September 14,2009
And although I will never be satisfied while people are out of work and our financial system is weakened, we can be confident that the storms of the past two years are beginning to break.

As-of last week guys who are out and about in the real world getting their hands dirty and actually adding value are telling us that the storm is still blowing along at a good gust.

Here, on a sleepy stretch of shoreline at the far end of Asia, is surely the biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history. Their numbers are equivalent to the entire British and American navies combined; their tonnage is far greater. Container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers - all should be steaming fully laden between China, Britain, Europe and the US, stocking camera shops, PC Worlds and Argos depots ahead of the retail pandemonium of 2009. But their water has been stolen.

This is why the chilliest financial winds anywhere in the City of London are to be found blowing through its 400-plus shipping brokers.

Between them, they manage about half of the world's chartering business. The bonuses are long gone. The last to feel the tail of the economic whiplash, they - and their insurers and lawyers - await a wave of redundancies and business failures in the next six months. Commerce is contracting, fleets rust away - yet new ship-builds ordered years ago are still coming on stream.
Just 12 months ago these financiers and brokers were enjoying fat bonuses as they traded cargo space. But nobody wants the space any more, and those that still need to ship goods across the world are demanding vast reductions in price.

Do not tell these men and women about green shoots of recovery. As Briton Tim Huxley, one of Asia's leading ship brokers, says, if the world is really pulling itself out of recession, then all these idle ships should be back on the move.

'This is the time of year when everyone is doing all the Christmas stuff,' he points out.

'A couple of years ago those ships would have been steaming back and forth, going at full speed. But now you've got something like 12 per cent of the world's container ships doing nothing.'


Ladies and Gentlemen: the Pikachizer.

Translate a web page or some text into the mysterious language spoken by Electric Mice. Watch out! bold and italic tend to upset them. Don't mess with bolditalic!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kick It

Kick it!
The beats drop out sometimes, and I’m not fluent in French.  I’d like to think the cover shares a brash, innocent with the rest of our oeuvre.
I dunno oeuvre from octopus. But 'Kick It' by The Band From is a pretty darn good cover.

Just a Baby

Just a bit mnore on the late Edward Kennedy ..

For a while back in the 1930s the initials E.K. appeared several times on a board at the Hyannis Yacht Club on Cape Cod. They indicated the champion sailor for that particular year in the 18-foot wooden sloop division. Edward "Ted" Kennedy, the senator from Massachusetts and the last of nine children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, would boast from time to time that they stood for "Edward Kennedy." But if sister Eunice, 11 years his senior, was around, she would gleefully point out, "Teddy, you were only a baby at the time."

The E.K.'s indeed belonged to Eunice.

If I wanted to permanently cripple an individual's ability to cope in the world, I would make it a high priority to make sure that person developed a reflexive fear of tools, of both the physical and mental kind, which would include denying the person any opportunity to develop any familiarity or facility with them, lest understanding and respect be allowed to fester and perhaps undo the original teaching.

Clever Spam

Something about this email just sounds a bit off.
From: Google Mail Team <>
Date: Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 2:37 PM
Subject: Warning Code:VX2G99AAJ‏

Dear Account User,
This Email is from Gmail customer care and we are sending it to every Gmail accounts owner for safety. We are having congestion due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.
Due to the congestion in all Gmail users and removal of all unused Gmail Accounts. Gmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, you will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.

* User name: ............................
* Password: ................................
* Date of Birth: ............................
* Country Or Territory: ....................

Warning!!!   Account owner that refuses to update his or her account within Seven days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.
Thank you for using Gmail ! 
The Gmail Team
Just to be clear: following the directions in this email would mean one is a fool.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Private Lee

Seen at Madison Area Pagan Pride Day.

Private Lee - Front

I do not know if the horn plays "Dixie".

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Hanging out at the Pagan Pride Day in Madison.

The city booked the pavilion and surrounding area for MAPPD. And the adjacent gazebo for weddings. And I do not believe the bride in the first wedding had any idea her processional would process down a path lined with pavilions hawking card readings, magic doodads, massage tables, funky art and many, many people in kilts, blowsy dresses, and funky t-shirts.

At least, watching her mad face when she debarked from her limo bus and beheld the spectacle, one would get that impression.

Friday, September 11, 2009



Remember.  But move forward, too. Light a candle, yes. But also drive a rivet.