Monday, December 24, 2007

HL Mencken

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Edward Everett Hale

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a hand.

Vicomte de Chateaubriand

You are not superior just because you see the world in an odious light.

Henry Ward Beecher

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Albert Einstein

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Latin Class Joke

nunquam ubi sub ubi


You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.

William Shakespeare

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

Mack Newton

I think we need to understand one thing; the things we want out of life, our desires, have to be stronger than the things we're afraid of - if we're serious about being successful.

Charles Richards

Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.

Lou Holtz

No one has ever drowned in sweat.

Babe Ruth

It's hard to beat a person that never gives up.

Denis Waitley

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.

Albert Einstein

If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.

Albert Einstein

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.


Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I enjoy art and I've been known to buy a print now and again. In the next breath, I must also admit that I know almost nothing about art and have a color vocabulary that would be exhausted by trying to identify all of the contents of a 24 pack of Crayola crayons.

Today as I was poking around a few artist's sites, I was struck by the fact that I'm seeing the medium of Giclée listed more and more often. I've seen it for several years, but until about ten years ago I had no idea what Giclée is. In case you are as ignorant as I was, let me enlighten you. Giclée is French for really expensive ink jet printer. Yup. It is a fancy word that allows them to sell a really expensive piece of art that they just shot out of the ink jet printer sitting on their desk. Great. What is even better is how you pronounce it. Zhee-clay. Gah.

HL Mencken

The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Marie Curie

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Can someone explain what the hell is going on here. Why aren't we more outraged by this? Why haven't we heard about this? Have I just not been listening. More over, where is the outrage from the Religious Right? Seriously, I am incensed. I could care less that this guy was probably corn holing somebody important in an administration that is openly hostile to gay rights. What I do care about is that he was entering and leaving the White House under an assumed name and that he was throwing softball questions at the president while more serious reporters were being denied access. OK. I actually do care about this guy's background. It just shows me how empty the phrases Religious Right and Moral Majority have become.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A weekend in the Hamptons?

While I certainly don't have anything personal against Rudy Guiliani, I don't particulalry respect his politics. Given that he is currently one of the front runners for the Republican nomination I am actually looking forward to the beating he will likely take over this report that NYC funds were used to guard him in the Hamptons while he was cheating on his wife. Ultimately the funds that were spent will be accounted for and explained away, but the juicy golden bits of the article can be found in this quote:
Privately Giuliani aides say this story, less then 40 days before Iowa, is a drag on the campaign because it is now left having to defend the expenses while tacitly acknowledging the affair.

Ultimately this will mean that he will be confronted with questions that ask him to explain the whole thing and what he was doing up there. How do you ask politely if it was true that he was screwing his third wife in the Hamptons while his second wife waited innocently at home. All the while his police escort was waiting outside on the city's dime. Good luck Rudy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Joseph Conrad

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Al Franken

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.

Monday, October 08, 2007

James F. Byrnes

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mark Twain

Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The cost of the war

Well, amid a million personal issues that are swirling around right now, I can't help but think about the war and the costs to our country. Current estimates are between 300 million and 720 million dollars a day to support the war. That is 1 to 2 dollars every day per person that comes out of our pockets as citizens. To date that is nearly 3300 dollars for every American. When we look back on it we have each paid several thousands of dollars to wreak havoc on a country that posed no real risk to us. We've had several thousands of dollars taken from us on the pretense (or rather lie) that Iraq posed an imminent threat to us. I would rather have wiped the hemorrhoidal ass of a Tijuana donkey with the money and then light it on fire than see it put to this use. Yes, it is disgusting and vile, but isn't the needless deaths of 70,000 - 80,000 Iraqi civilians and nearly 4000 allied service persons even more disgusting and vile.

What could I have done with $3300? Well, any number of things. I could have had my house painted. I could have taken a nice vacation to Europe. I could have paid off a credit card. I could have sent 17 OLPC computers over seas for use by children. I could have paid for one years worth of health insurance coverage for 2.5 children in the SCHIP program. My point is that I feel like my money is better spent elsewhere.

So, is this about money or lives? I think both. The money that is being spent is our money and the fact that it has financed so much death leaves a collective blood stain on all of our hands.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk Like A Pirate

I'd just like to remind everyone that it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. It is good for the environment. GArrgh!!!

The most important image ever taken

Yes. I know I'm doing it again. Every once in a while I get in a mood where stuff like this really fascinates me. This is so humbling and amazing at once.

10,000 Galaxies where we can't even see one with our naked eye.

We're all a bunch of Monkeys!!

This is a funny clip by Ernest Cline. It has been around for a while, but I still get a chuckle out of it. I think I like it so much because it taps into my somewhat unhealthy obsession with monkeys.

Dance Monkeys Dance!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut

Liberal Crap I Don’t Want to Hear Again:

Give us this day our daily bread. Oh sure.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Nobody better trespass against me. I’ll tell you that.

Blessed are the meek.

Blessed are the merciful. You mean we can’t use torture?

Blessed are the peacemakers. Jane Fonda?

Love your enemies - Arabs?

Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. The hell I can’t! Look at the Reverand Pat Robertson. And He is as happy as a pig in shit.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Suck it Jesus?

Kathy Griffin's recent remarks during an award acceptance speech made me shoot water out of my nose. Bucking the trend of thanking Jesus for every accomplishment in ones life she said, "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus," she then finished with, "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."

I can't find a link to it on youtube yet, but Here it is on CNN

What is even funnier is Bill Donohue, a spokesperson for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, had the balls to call it hate speech. This woman's failure to acknowledge and kowtow to his beliefs is hate speech. I have a hard time believing this joke on her part has even 1/100th of the damaging effect than the claim of the Colts head coach that Jesus wanted the Colts to win the Super Bowl. Donohue then goes on to compare Griffin's comment to that of Don (Nappy Headed Ho's) Imus.


By the way, Jesus died because you suck.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pale Blue Dot

I've seen lots of references to Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot speech lately. For those who aren't familiar, here are probably the two best renditions of the speech.

Both are amazing. I don't think there is really a need to add anything.

Monday, August 27, 2007

GK Chesterton

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Malcolm X

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is music a measure of my mental health

I'm not sure if there is a cause and effect relationship, but there definitely seems to be a correlation between how much music I get to listen to and how good I feel. Oddly, I've actually felt pretty good lately. I say, oddly because right now I've got enough stuff on my plate that I ought to be hiding under my desk rocking back and forth and gibbering about the squirrels that seem to be haunting my dreams. I'm not. I've had several opportunities lately where I had a chance to spend several hours listening to music. Not good music mind you, just music. Who knows, it might just be all of the solvent fumes I've been breathing lately.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

A very nice but very long weekend.

This was one of the longest weekends on record. By the time we got home Sunday night, I felt like I'd been put through the wringer and was ready for sleep. It all started Friday afternoon. I rushed home from work to try and get some more work on the house done. I managed to get the mantle attached to the wall and all of the extra random spare pieces reattached to the thing. The few things left that need to be done are for me to attach to top to the base, fill the nail holes, sand it, prime it, paint it, and then tile around it. Having typed all of that out, I now feel further behind. Heh.

Friday night was something that I'd been looking forward to. A group of old high school friends (many of whom I'd lost track of) got together for dinner. We got together for dinner as a local restaurant. It is funny how things don't really change that much. When I looked around the table, I saw the same people that I remember from school. Older? Yes. Wiser? Probably. More mature? Probably not. It was really nice looking around the table and seeing the same group of guys I remember from 15 years ago hadn't become something completely different. The one big difference? We headed home at 10. If the 18 year olds that we were could see the 33 year olds we'd become, they'd laugh at how early we turned in. As an 18 year old, the night began at 10 and not ended. We got together the next day for a bbq. Riley was center of attention and I got to talk with Bob (whom I've known since the first grade) for a while. It was great and I can't wait until we do it again.

After the bbq we left for St. Louis. It would have been a nice little drive if not for an accident on I70 that got us stuck in traffic for over an hour. If it hadn't been for the accident, I think we'd have made it to St. Louis before dinner, but the accident turned a 3 and a half hour trip into a 6 hour trip. Once we got to the hotel in St. Louis we headed straight for the pool. The promise of the pool was one of the things that we used to keep Riley placated. After the pool we headed for the room and then pretty much straight to bed. We were all pretty beat. The next morning Riley and I went back to the pool and swam some more. I think he had a little more fun that time. There was no one else in the pool at the time. I actually managed to coax him out into the middle of the pool at one point. The night before he was so tentative. He wouldn't let go of the side of the pool unless he had a death grip on my arms or shoulders. I think I might have a bald spot on my back where he ripped the hair out. After our second swim we got showered and headed for breakfast. The breakfast area was a madhouse. There were kids and families running everywhere. I think it was the Johnson family reunion.

After breakfast we checked out and headed to Jennifer's Grandmother's house. A couple of hours there and then we went to a shower for her and little fetus Lola ;). The shower was held at her cousins' (Meredith and Raphi) restaurant Coco Bongo. If you love Cuban food and are ever in Alton Illinois or St. Louis for that matter, you should stop in. They brought out a plater full of empanadas and I had to control myself. I question the sanity of anyone who doesn't love these flaky pockets of meaty goodness. Before that they served plantain chips. I was a little nervous. I've never eaten plantains. They look too much like bananas for my liking. I decided to man up. They'd put cheese on them and anything that you can eat with cheese is ok in my book. These were fabulous. Next was some coconut encrusted grouper. I was in heaven. After I walked (rolled) out of there I thought I might die (or explode). Like I said, if you are ever in town, look them up. The shower itself was great too. We got a lot of really nice stuff that we needed. We left the shower around five and headed for home. We made it back to the hood around nine and called it a night. Once again we were all tired.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Penn Jillette

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magic tree.

Makes perfect sense.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More progress.

On the first floor I was able to get an electrician to do the rough in and on the second floor I have the mantle base finished. I will try and get the mantle finished this week sometime this week and start hanging drywall downstairs next week. Here are some pictures:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

I ran across a version of rainbow connection today and it brought back memories of my youth. I actually got choked up a little bit thinking about it. Someday we'll find it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jesus Christ I feel like shit

I don't know what is wrong with me. Whenever I get a cold it is never one of those whoppers that just takes you out for a couple of days. The colds I get are those where you just feel like you stayed up all night drinking and fell down a flight of stairs. Nothing that would excuse not going in to work, but certainly not well enough to do anything fun. I've felt like this for the last couple of days. Please, please, please go away Mr. Cold. RICOLA!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.


Any system that depends on reliability is unreliable.

Red O'Donnell

Sometimes the best way to convince someone he is wrong is to let him have his way.

Adlai Stevenson

It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.

Steve Allen

If you can walk through life with a smile, you are probably not paying attention.

Groucho Marx

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Chinese Proverb

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

La Rouchefoucauld

Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.

Oscar Wilde

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.


Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Henry Ford

An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.

Mark Twain

Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said.


A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.


Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.


Cult: (n) a small, unpopular religion. Religion: (n) a large, popular cult.


You think Oedipus had a problem, Adam was Eve's mother.


A person is just about as big as the things that make them angry.


An American's a person who isn't afraid to criticize the President but is always polite to traffic cops.

Albanian Proverb

When you have given nothing, ask for nothing.


A priest advised Voltaire on his death bed to renounce the devil. Replied Voltaire, "This is no time to make new enemies."

Jewish Proverb

Don't be sweet, lest you be eaten up; don't be bitter, lest you be spewed out.


Science and religion are in full accord but science and faith are in complete discord.

Thomas Carlyle

The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.

Irish Toast

May those who love you, love you... and those who don't, may God turn their heart, and if he cannot turn their heart, may he turn their ankle so that you will know them by their limp


Low Brow is the man who can fart the national anthem.
High Brow is the man who stands and puts his hand over his heart.

Eleanor Powell

What we Are is God's gift to us. What we Become is our gift to God.

Thomas Szasz

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.

MIT Assasination Club

To err is human; to forgive is simply not our policy.


Democracy is a government where you can say what you think even if you don't think.


A society without religion is like a crazed psychopath without a .45.

Scandinavian Proverb

Go often to the house of thy friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path.

Joseph Joubert

He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.

Czech proverb

Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Umberto Eco

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

Terry Pratchett

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.

Richard P. Feynman

Of course you only live one life and you make all your mistakes and learn what not to do and that's the end of you.

Richard P. Feynman

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.

Raymond Chandler

Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency.

Philip K. Dick

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away

Peter Ustinov

It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously

Mahatma Gandhi

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

Lady Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

Things without all remedy should be without regard: what's done is done.

Harry S. Truman

If you can't convince them, confuse them.

Gore Vidal

I'm a born-again atheist

Friedrich Nietzsche

It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right - especially when one is right.

Elbert Hubbard

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Dr. Seuss

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Douglas Adams

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

Dan Barker

If the answers to prayer are merely what God wills all along, then why pray?

Clint Eastwood

There's only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I'll get married again.

Bertrand Russell

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.

Arnold Lobel

Books to the ceiling, Books to the Sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them

Philip K. Dick

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away

Steven Weinberg

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

Stephen Jay Gould

In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

Sir Julian Huxley

Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.

Noam Chomsky

Regarding censorship: It is a poor service to the memory of the victims of the holocaust to adopt a central doctrine of their murderers.

Kate Sheppard

All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome.

John Cage

If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.

Andre Malraux

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.

WC Fields

A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.

Thomas Szasz

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.

Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Robert A. Heinlein

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

Roald Dahl

A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.

Paul Dirac

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.

Oscar Wilde

Only the shallow know themselves.

Norm Papernick

Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.

Noam Chompsky

Freedom without opportunity is a devil's gift.

Nadine Gordimer

The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

Kurt Vonnegut

Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

Kurt Vonnegut

Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

Ken Kesey

I've never seen anybody really find the answer, they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.

George Bernard Shaw

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

George Bernard Shaw

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Doug Larson

There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

Don Juan Manuel

He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have.

Burt Bacharach

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of.

Akira Kurosawa

In a mad world only the mad are sane.

Albert Einstein

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I've been a fan of Terry Gilliam for quite a while. From Monty Python, through Brazil, to 12 Monkeys. I find his vision and sense for the absurd to be amazing. He never fails to make me laugh. The first time I heard that he was adapting Don Quixote for the screen I was elated. When I heard that it had fizzled a week into production I was crushed. I watched enthralled as he knowingly became a reflection of Quixote in the documentary of that film Lost in La Mancha. I am a Gilliam fan because I know that he consistently swings for the fence. Whether he knocks it out of the park or strikes out, you never know, but I don't think he's ever just "phoned it in". I was surprised when I came across Tideland. He made it in 2005. I'd never even heard about it. Like me it seemed to only be popular in Asia. Well, I decided to give it a try. It is the story of a girl (Jeliza-Rose) of about 8 or 9 whose been raised by her abusive and neglectful junkie parents. It starts with a scene where Jeliza-Rose cooks up a dose of heroine for her father (Jeff Bridges) to shoot up. This got my attention. A few scenes later Jeliza's mother (Jennifer Tilly) dies. Jeliza's father panics and flees with Jeliza. They go to his dead mother's abandoned farm house. There they setup house. Not two scenes later, you see him shooting up again. Jeliza goes off and plays by herself while he quietly overdoses. He was such a neglectful parent to begin with that she fails to realize or at least acknowledge this for the rest of the movie. The next 30 minutes of the movie involves her interacting with and trying to gain the attention of his rotting corpse. That gets us about 45 minutes into the movie. Things only get weirder from there. Let me just say that the events of the rest of the movie are hard to describe. Her father is eventually taxidermied by the neighbors and she is rescued when the train that runs by her house is dynamited by those same neighbors.

Gilliam begins the movie with what feels like a plea to be understood. He says that the story is told through the eyes of a child and he asks that we set aside the qualms and prejudices that we may have built up since we were her age. He then admits that for those who view the movie, there will be three groups. Those of love it, those who hate it and those who don't really know what to think of it. I guess I fall into each of those categories. I love it because it is so Gilliam, and you can tell that he is swinging for the fence in this one. I'm not sure I hate it, but it isn't his best work. Finally, I am a little confused, but that may just be that it was late and I was sleepy and distracted while watching it. Anyway, if you are a Gilliam fan this might be one for you. If you aren't a Gilliam fan you will hate this. Finally, if you don't know who Terry Gilliam is, please watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or Twelve Monkeys or Brazil or Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail first.

Russian Proverb

The church is near but the road is icy; the bar is far away but I will walk carefully.

Henry David Thoreau

Do not despair of life. You have no doubt force enough to overcome your obstacles. Think of the fox prowling through wood and field in a winter night for something to satisfy his hunger. Notwithstanding cold and hounds and traps, his race survives. I do not believe any of them ever committed suicide.

Carl Sagan

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent.


Patience is the art of hoping.

Tom Waits

I like to walk out of a restaurant with enough gas to open a Mobil station.

Robert A. Heinlein

Wisdom includes not getting angry unnecessarily. The Law ignores trifles and the wise man does, too.

Robert A. Heinlein

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Robert A. Heinlein

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

Robert A. Heinlein

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense

Robert A. Heinlein

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

Robert A. Heinlein

I now define "moral behavior" as "behavior that tends toward survival." I won't argue with philosophers or theologians who choose to use the word "moral" to mean something else, but I do not think anyone can define "behavior that tends toward extinction" as being "moral" without stretching the word "moral" all out of shape.

Kurt Vonnegut

Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!

Isaac Asimov

I can not bring myself to believe that if knowledge presents danger, the solution is ignorance


By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.

Bob Dylan

Disillusioned words like bullets bark, As human gods aim for their mark, Make everything from toy guns that spark To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark. It's easy to see without looking too far That not much is really sacred.

Albert Einstein

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts

Nelson Algren

Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never play cards with a man named Doc. And never lie down with a woman who's got more troubles than you.

Matt Groening

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra, which suddenly flips over, pinning you underneath. At night the ice weasels come.

James Baldwin

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.

J. W. Nienhuys

It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating us in a stupid way.

George Bernard Shaw

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

Albert Einstein

The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.


I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

Will Durant

One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.

Vladimir Nabokov

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.

Ted Koppel

History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions.

Sir William Drummond

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.

Robert G. Ingersoll

Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.


The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.


Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.

Mark Twain

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

Mark Twain

They spell it "da Vinci" and pronounce it "da Vinchy". Foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.

Hermann Hesse

People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.

George Santayana

To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.

Friedrich Nietzsche

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Friedrich Nietzsche

At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.

Frank Herbert

The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.

Blaise Pascal

Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.

Blaise Pascal

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.

Bertrand Russell

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.

Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown

It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so.

Adolf Hitler

What luck for rulers that men do not think.


Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and need.


It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.


Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Slowly removing each of the roadblocks

Bit by bit I'm getting each of the million little tasks out of the way that are part of the remodel on the first floor. This weekend, I got the underlayment in the bathroom finished. At this point there is a total of 2 inches of plywood covering the joists in the bathroom. Why so much? Well, the floors are so uneven in this house that there was a 3/4 inch difference between the living room and the bathroom. That leaves the following things:
  • Hang bathroom door
  • Rewiring of the spaghetti mess that goes into the three breaker boxes in our basement.
  • Rough wiring for the bathroom, kitchen, laundry and new fixtures in the dining room
  • Rough plumbing in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry
  • Hang drywall
  • Finish drywall
  • Install new windows
  • Install trim
  • Install cabinets
  • Install dish washer
  • Install counter tops
  • Finish plumbing
  • Finish electrical
  • Paint
  • Install hardwoods
I'm going to try and do the things in red. Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

George F. Will

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.


God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.


Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.

Thomas Jefferson

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Harlan Ellison

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.

William Reece Smith, Jr.

We must remember that a right lost to one is lost to all.

Wernher von Braun

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

Walter Kerr

Half the world is composed of idiots, the other half of people clever enough to take indecent advantage of them.


What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly, that is the first law of nature.

Thomas Jefferson

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.

Terry Pratchett

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Stephen King

When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, "There's just something about you that pisses me off."

Stephen King

The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance...logic can be happily tossed out the window.

Robert A. Heinlein

Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.

Quintus Ennius

No sooner said than done, so acts your man of worth.

Patrick Henry

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

Messiah's Handbook : Reminders for the Advanced Soul

Every person, all the events in your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.

Marquis D.A.F. de Sade

The mirror sees the man as beautiful, the mirror loves the man; another mirror sees the man as frightful and hates him; and it is always the same being who produces the impressions.

Leonard Brandwein

Beware of computer programmers that carry screwdrivers.

Hunter S. Thompson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.

Emo Philips

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.

Dennis Ritchie

//UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

Dalai Lama

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

Chapman Cohen

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

Bernard Berenson

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.

Benjamin Franklin

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Ambrose Bierce

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.

Ambrose Bierce

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Ambrose Bierce

Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

Alexai Sayle

Americans have different ways of saying things. They say "elevator", we say "lift" ... they say "President", we say "stupid psychopathic git".

Albert Einstein

You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I've only ever had one.

Albert Einstein

The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

William Ellery Channing

The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny ... In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges.

Voltarine de Cleyre

... so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrranize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.

Poul Anderson

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way, did not become still more complicated.

Pope John Paul I

If someone had told me I would be Pope one day, I would have studied harder.

Mario Cuomo

The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that someday they might force their beliefs on us.

Haile Selassie

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.

Galileo Galilei

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.

Frederick Douglass

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.

Benjamin Franklin

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Stephen Jay Gould

I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.

Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

While there's life, there's hope.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

R. Buckminster Fuller

Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering.

Evan Esar

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a rich widow.

Harry Golden

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Some more progress on the first floor

Look. I've framed in some walls:

I know it looks like hell, but I'm actually making progress. You wouldn't believe the plumbing mess I had to have cleaned up. It looked as if four generations of schizophrenic plumbers had made that room their playground. It is all someone sane now. Next comes the electrician.

George Carlin

If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.

James Thurber

All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'm kind of a big deal. (In Japan)

I was looking through the site traffic report for this site and noticed that I'm kind of a big deal in Japan. I apparently got a bunch of traffic last month comming into my site from Japan. Something like 250+ unique visitors. Oddly though, with just about 20 seconds of time on the site. Weird huh?

Google. I hate you.

This article: Google Maps: Drag and drop to tweak your driving route on lifehacker makes me hate google even more. Not because they are evil or bad or privacy invading bastards (the jury is still out on all of that) but because they are so damned good. They just seem to do everything right. Why can't I be half this smart.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Things are a bit different

Well, things are a bit different. I just changed the hosting of this site and the blog. I realized that I really didn't need a "web site" anymore. Google will host things for me, so why bother running a server in my attic. It just uses up electricity and is probably giving some hacker a platform to launch attacks on various government institutions. Give me a yell if you see any problems.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So how did I do?

Below is the list of words that according to the publisher of the American Heritage Dictionary I should be able to define and my attempt to do so:

acumen -- great skill
antebellum -- After the war
auspicious -- a situation deserving of great fanfare and attention
belie -- to give away
bellicose -- warlike
bowdlerize -- to make up
chicanery -- shady dealings
chromosome -- a collection of DNA
churlish -- grumpy
circumlocution -- to talk around
circumnavigate -- to navigate around
deciduous -- trees that loose their leaves in the winter. as opposed to conifers
deleterious -- speaking in such a way as to show something or someone in a poor light
diffident -- indifferent to
enervate -- to bring feeling into with nerves
enfranchise -- to give the vote to
epiphany -- a great realization
equinox -- the longest day of the year
euro -- the currency used by many members of the European Union.
evanescent -- the characteristic of seeming to have an internal light
expurgate -- to throw out
facetious -- exaggeration for the purpose of humor.
fatuous -- having little substance
feckless -- having few morals
fiduciary -- having to do with money
filibuster -- the act of not surrendering the floor during debate in order to prevent a vote.
gamete -- a unit of a gene
gauche -- overly decorated
gerrymander -- the act of drawing political district lines to strengthen or weaken a political interest
hegemony -- the collection of power in a single entity
hemoglobin -- a part of blood.
homogeneous -- a collection of things are considered to be homogeneous if they are all the same in a specific characteristic.
hubris -- pride
hypotenuse -- the side of a right triangle that is opposite of the 90 degree angle
impeach -- to bring up on charges
incognito -- in disguise
incontrovertible -- indisputable
infrastructure -- a substructure of a larger whole that is critical to the workings of the larger structure.
interpolate -- to draw conclusions about a phenomenon when you have data that occurs on either side of the point in question
irony -- the use of a word or phrase in a scenario that implies the opposite meaning of that word
kinetic -- pertaining to motion
kowtow -- to bow before or to show subjugation to
laissez faire -- a policy of non-intervention
lexicon -- a dictionary
loquacious -- prone to extended speech
lugubrious --
metamorphosis -- a change in shape or character
mitosis -- a form of cell division
moiety --
nanotechnology -- an extremely small technology.
nihilism -- the absence of belief in something
nomenclature -- a system of naming
nonsectarian -- a concern that is not between sects of a religion.
notarize -- the process by which the apparent and actual signatory of a document is confirmed to be one in the same.
obsequious --
oligarchy -- The rule by a small class of people
omnipotent -- all powerful
orthography --
oxidize -- the process by which something reacts to oxygen
parabola -- the shape traced when graphing a function that takes the form y = mx^2 + b
paradigm -- a system of thought or ideas
parameter -- a parameter is an input to a process whose value if changed might have an effect on the outcome of the process
pecuniary -- having to do with money
photosynthesis -- the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy for use and storage by the plant
plagiarize -- to steal the written work of another.
plasma -- Plasma is a form of matter where the electrons become disassociated with their nuclei. It is also a component of blood.
precipitous -- a situation that is susceptible to drastic change given a slight change in the state
quasar -- A quasi stellar object. It is essentially a collapsed star that emits radiation
reciprocal -- having the nature of equality between two entities
reparation -- the payment of money for a wrongdoing
respiration -- the act of exchanging carbon dioxide from within the body for oxygen outside the body by way of the lungs.
sanguine -- appropriate in nature or having to do with blood depending on the context
soliloquy -- a long speech given within a play
subjugate -- the act of completely dominating and pacifying a group
suffragist -- a person interested in acquiring the vote for a group of people.
supercilious -- extraneous
tautology -- a truism or a statement that is impossible to prove false
taxonomy -- a system of classification
tectonic -- having to do with the crust of the planet
tempestuous -- a system that is violent and unpredictable in nature. Having the characteristics of a storm or tempest.
thermodynamics -- the study of the movement of energy within a medium
totalitarian -- a form of government where all aspects of a citizens life are subject to government control
unctuous -- to speak in soothing and persuasive tones
usurp -- to take the rightful place of someone else.
vacuous -- empty
vehement -- the violent expression of something
vortex -- a circular disturbance of a medium
winnow -- to pare down by making small slices
wrought -- either to be filled with or when speaking of metalurgy it is the process of hammeringing a piece of metal into a shape.
xenophobe -- a person who fears outsiders
yeoman -- someone skilled in something.
ziggurat -- a stepped pyramid

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I like my car

So I just spent about $550 getting my car fixed today. This weekend and while it was in the shop I had a rental. It was a Chevy Malibu. After driving the Malibu for 4 days I am glad to have my Hyundai back. I'm driving a 5 year old beater with 100,000+ mile on it; that is by almost every account more fun to drive. The Malibu was sluggish unwieldy and boring. I'm a fairly aggressive driver. I don't think dangerously so, but I like to mash on both the gas and the break on occasion. Not at the same time mind you. While driving the Malibu I decided to mash on the gas a little. It picked up some, but only after winding up for a few seconds. A few seconds later I pushed on the breaks. Once again, but the exact same break pressure that would have made my Hyundai come to a nice short stop with very little dive. When I applied a moderate amount of break pressure to the pedal on the Malibu, all four tires broke free. It wasn't some wild uncontrolled skid, but the car just seemed to wallow there. Needless to say, I pretty much drove like a grandma from there on out. Maybe I can chalk a little up to my unfamiliarity with the way the Malibu reacts, but I am certainly glad to have my car back. Dents and all.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I did that.

Sight for the week's end (Shake Well Before Use). Ariel is rightfully proud, but I'm just as proud. I did this. Something I did ended up in the Wall Street Journal. Really, I should say that my team did this. We are starting to get noticed. This is awesome and scary at the same time. Back to the grindstone.

Progress on the first floor

I did a little more work on the third floor today. Here are a few pictures of the progress from midday. Right now, I have this room down to the subfloor.

You are probably asking yourself, "Look at those hardwoods, why did he go all the way down to the subfloor?" Well the answer is complicated. First, the floors weren't in as good as shape as it would appear from that picture. They needed refinished. They also has spots that needed patched. Finally, the planks were less thick than what is standard. Normal flooring is 3/4 inch thick. These planks were just over a 1/4 inch thick. That means that there is even smaller margin for error when refinishing and it is almost impossible to get replacement wood. So after talking to my brother and then agonizing for a couple of hours, I started prying it up. After a few hours I had it all up and most of the mess cleared. One room down. Two to go.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Catching Up

I really have no business writing this right now, but I need to get a few thing written down while I have a chance. Here are the big things that are happening right:

Jennifer and I found out today that there is a very good chance that we are having a girl. I'd really like to post some pictures from the ultrasound, but they are all hard copies at this point in time. If I can find someone with a scanner I will post a picture. This means that I lost the bet. I was betting that it is going to be a boy and she was betting that it was going to be a girl. We will both be happy either way. What was the bet you ask? The looser has to pick the restaurant whenever we go out for the next month. Does this sound silly? "How bad could that be?", you ask. You've obviously never seen us try to decide what is for dinner. There is usually crying involved.

Plans are starting to hum along for the remodel. Remodel? Yeah. We are finally getting around to moving the kitchen downstairs. It is going to cost an arm and a leg, but it is far past due. At the same time we are going to try and do the bathroom that adjoins the kitchen and make it into a combination bathroom/laundry.

Jennifer started school to become a licensed massage therapist this month. It is a big step for her and I am so proud.

I am currently getting blasted at work. I have one project that is a little over two weeks from launching. Development is nearly complete. Really the only thing that is holding us back at this point in time is the documentation. The person that is doing the documentation is very good at what he does, but he is stretched too thin. What should have been a couple of week process has stretched into a couple of months. We will get it done, but it is going to be close. The fact that we have gotten this far is really only due to the fact that I was lucky enough to get a really great development team who have taken it upon themselves to push things through. The other project is still in the ramping up phase. I've been on the project for over a year now and at times it has worn on me. The work is very rewarding and I love this project, but it is starting to wear on me. Both of these projects are really full time jobs and at this point in time, I am doing both a disservice with how busy I am.

My sister is still missing. She's been gone for over a year now and we as a family are beyond worried. It is getting hard to not think the worst given her history and health problems, but we still hold out hope that she is out there and OK and just doesn't want to see us. Emillie, we miss you.

Last, but probably most important, is that my Mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Holy shit! Holy shit! Holy shit! I'm freaked out. I'm sure not nearly as much as my Mom, but I'm freaked. She is lucky because it was caught early enough that she won't need chemotherapy. She will be going into surgery next week to get the lump removed. It would appear that it has not spread to her lymphatic system, so things should be fairly routine. She will be staying with us after the surgery. I know things are going to be just fine, but I'd give anything for her to not have to go through this.

Ok. That is it for now. There are actually about 40 other things that are going on right now, but I won't bother you with the mundane details.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bump Keys

This video scares and fascinates me a little bit.

I've known for a while that most locks are really only effective as a deterrent to casual thieves, but this is pretty scary. I guess I will be getting a file and trying this out at home.

There ain't no way these boys are getting out of this pickle. Squeamp dump dennnana deaaawn.

I really like Patton Oswalt's comedy. Who wouldn't laugh at the comparison between Las Vegas and sucking a sequin encrusted demon cock? ... (Crickets chirping) ... Anyway, listen to the clip in this blog post where he compares BushCo to the Dukes of Hazzard.

Squeamp dump dennnana deaaawn..

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dick Will Make You Slap Somebody

I'm sorry, I have an excruciating headache right now and can't sleep. Rather than watch horrible late night TV, I was watching horrible late night YouTube. This clip is a classic:

Oh wait it gets better:

He won't even buy you some shrimp from Long John Silver's and what's that plate? $2.99?

Here is her website and she has a myspace page. I really am tired, so somebody will need to tell me if this is funny or not.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Proof that there is justice in the universe

This story is proof that there is some sense of cosmic justice. Here is what he was saying the whole time: Play

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007)

I just found out that Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. died yesterday. I won't say anything special here other than mention that he was by far my favorite author and his passing makes me very sad.

UPDATE: Kurt is up in Heaven now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Remodeling and the fun of home demolition

With the recently ballooning size of our family, we've decided that it is time to normalize the house a little bit. When I bought the house, the kitchen being on the second floor seemed quaint and interesting and an issue to be dealt with at a later date. Now that the inhabitants of the house number 3 (soon to be 4) that later date has come. We have to have more living space. We need a kitchen and dining room that are functional. To that end we've begun to undertake the task of turning our first floor office and bathroom in to a kitchen/bathroom/laundry room combo.

  1. We already have a kitchen that functions so we will never be without a place to cook.
  2. The space is relatively unused at this point in time so we probably won't miss it much.
  3. The basement below will never be finished so adding more pipes and wires to the existing forest will probably go unnoticed.
  1. The space has too many windows and doors and is not very big. This makes placing cabinets and appliances a chore.
  2. The house is old and I'm scared to get an inspector involved. Who knows what he/she will make me bring up to code.
  3. One of the rooms has some water damage and a little bit of black mold. I found this doing some of the demolition and probably won't do much more demolition until I can kick everybody out of the house for the day and finish it up and clean out the mold.
  4. The walls are already riddled with existing wiring, plumbing and heating that will either need to be moved or worked around.
  5. The walls that aren't chock a block full of obstructions are exposed brick that I will probably need to be able to hang cabinets and cut down on the dust.
  6. The floors aren't level.
  7. The walls aren't straight.
  8. It will take a metric shit-load of time to do all of the work necessary.
  9. I'm only qualified to do about 70% of the work.
  10. I only want to do about 50% of the work.
    1. If possible, I will never do sheetrock again. Way too messy and very fiddly when it comes to doing a good job.
    2. If possible, I will never do waste side plumbing ever. One screwup and your basement is filled with poo.
  11. I'm not 100% sure how we will pay for it all.
On the good side, I just noticed that Jackson county has informed me that they value my home at about $20K over what I owe on it. That gives me about 10% equity in the house (if their value is correct) that I might be able to borrow against. We've started to do some planning and should be able to jump into it after the weather warms up a bit.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Here's the news of the day

I haven't written here much lately. I have an excuse. I really do. I have two excuses actually. First off, I'm married. Yup you heard me. I'm married. Actually it isn't just me. It is Jennifer and I who are married. To each other. Yup, this was more or less inevitable given the fact that we got engaged last year but the time line was recently accelerated. Accelerated because we have some other good news. We are going to be parents. That's right. I've managed to reproduce. I have spread my seed. (Please imagine my evil laugh reverberating through your mind.) Back to reality. I couldn't be happier. OK. That is the end for now. I will keep everyone up to date. By the way, the expected due date is September 29th.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Brass Balls

Oh my f’ing god!!!! How is this thing even aerodynamically stable? The size of the brass balls on this guy has to shift the center of gravity way back. The noise of them clacking together in a 300kph wind must be deafening too.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Are the chickens coming home to roost in Iran? How soon till they land in America?

In reading this article about an explosion in Iran, I wonder if that country isn't starting to experience a turning inward of what appears to be a consistent call to violence against the west and its perceived allies. Maybe not a call but a distinct lack of condemnation that legitimizes it. If it is legitimate to encourage the use of car bombs against your external enemies, how long until your own internal factions realize that these same weapons can be used against you? What worries me more is that, it can't be long until it will be more common in our own country. I'm not talking about some sort of 9/11 style attack but something more akin to the Oklahoma City bombing. I worry that in seeing how effective and disruptive these style attacks are that our own internal dissidents will resort to the same tactics. Maybe we lack people that desperate. I'm not sure.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sensenbrenner is a jackass.

This article on wired just incenses me. Why are we still having this debate? Here is the quote that gets me the most:
Sensenbrenner wanted to know how Pelosi planned to control global warming and not "wreck the American economy," especially if other countries such as China and India, who are also big polluters, refuse to clamp down on emissions and could welcome outsourced jobs from the United States should an economic slow down occur here.

Doesn't Sensenbrenner realize that the economy will be fucked if we are up to our knees in seawater and our eyeballs in displaced people. The economy will be fine, but not if the sea level rises the predicted 20 inches.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Concessions of a Retarded Stripper.

First, let me preface this entry with an admission. I have what some have called a "mean sense of humor". They are probably right. It is not that I don't feel your pain, it is just that most human endeavors, when looked at from a cosmic scale are comedy. Tragedy devolves into irony and irony when looked at from the right angle becomes uproariously funny. Whether this is actually the case, or I have just fallen prey to my own bullshit, I will leave for someone else to decide. With that disclaimer out of the way, I will get down to the real purpose of this post. A while back the notion of a hypothetical "retarded stripper" started to strike me as funny. How would such a notion even occur to me? It all started with a somewhat involuntary interaction with and obviously drunk stripper. Her mush mouthed slurred propositions struck me as funny. My mind wandered and I eventually started thinking about a hypothetical retarded stripper. This concept made me laugh. Before you jump to judge me, just know that I'm not the only one. I know for sure that other people have laughed out loud at the idea. If you are one of those people who just don't see it as funny, maybe these three easy steps will help:

Step 1: Tragic Concept -- Retarded Stripper
Step 2:
Step 3: Comedy -- pee your pants laughing.

As you can see, it is quite logical. If I've already lost you I'm sorry. Maybe there are a few reruns of Full House that will grab your attention. Anyway, I thought the notion of a Retarded Stripper was so funny that it called for a website that told her tale. Named "Confessions of a Retarded Stripper", this site would be replete with humorous quotes as well as funny video of folks acting like a retarded stripper. Have I lost you yet? So, I went so far as to register a domain and put together a blog. It was at this point that my conscience started to catch up to me. Yes I have one. It might be small and under developed, but I'm not completely dead on the inside. Anyway, I decided that, much like masturbation, making fun of retarded people is something that should be done in private. Because of this, the site has languished and gone without my attention for a couple of months. Much like many of my other "Great Ideas"TM. I'd pretty much forgotten about the whole thing until a few days ago. It was as that point in time that I got something in the mail that grabbed my attention. It was a piece of bulk mail congratulating me on the opening my new business and offering to sell me all sorts of wonderful paper products. The funny thing is that it was addressed to Concessions of a Retarded Stripper. Maybe I will start selling peanuts and soda from the site. I'm sure that some aggregator harvested my address from the DNS registrations and just mass mailed me the packet. What I find funny is that somewhere, somebody took it upon themselves to change the spelling of one word to make it look like that domain was registered to a legitimate business.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Installation Art and the Magic of Water Boarding.

I have a lot of sympathy for Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens. They are probably getting the Abner Louima treatment from the Boston Police Department right now. Once they've finished violating these two's fleshy nether regions with whatever plumbing instruments are lying around, I'm sure they will probably hand him over to the FBI/CIA in a black bags and zip tie hand cuffs for some gentle persuasion that they lovingly call stress positions, sleep deprivation, water boarding and pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death". What did Peter and Sean do to deserve this? They hung a few of these led light boards around Boston. Watch out for your cornhole guys.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pictures From SLC Trip

Originally uploaded by iammonkeyboy.
They aren't very good, but here are a few pictures from the SLC trip.

Cabbies Refusing to Carry Passengers with Alcohol?

I read this article and had to chuckle. Most of you will know that I'm not one of those people that is likely to say, "America, Love it or leave it." But this article almost makes me want to say that. In the article it explains that about 75% of the cabbies at the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport feel that they are exempt (for religious reasons) from taking passengers that are carrying alcohol. Local Islamic religious leaders issued a ruling indicating that even the transportation of alcohol is prohibited to people of Muslim faith. I'm all for religious freedom. Pray to whatever big father in the sky you like and call him whatever you want, but this is getting ridiculous. Are Mormon strippers going to claim that they are exempt from taking their clothes off so that they may retain their modesty? Will a Jewish waiter refuse to deliver a shrimp dish to his patrons because it isn't Kosher? Give me a break.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Utah Snowboarding Trip

I'm two days into a three day snowboarding trip. So far we've been to Brighton and Snowbird, just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. If not for the fact that both a baseplate and a binding broke leaving me flipping head over heals down a mountain, Brighton would have been a wholly enjoyable experience. That mishap can be laid at the feet of Burton and not the resort, so all in all I would give them an A for effort. Snowbird on the other hand turned out to be a little less enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast, but... Well, apparently, the deffinition of beginner and intermediate is different depending on where you are. Snowbird had enough runs "marked" as beginner and intermediate (green and blue) that it was a reasonable choice for us since we are all more or less beginner and intermediate level skiers and snowboarders. Well apparently, they lie. Whenever I talked to anyone there they said something like, "Snowbird greens would be blues and blues would be blacks anywhere else. If that is the case, I skied down a black today. Granted, it was fairly short and reasonably wide, but it sure was steep. Imagine a slope so steep that if you fell, you were going to slide half way down before you managed to pile up enough snow to stop your slide. Why do I know this? Because durring the lesson I took today, that is happened durring the first hour and a half. I fell. Repeatedly. I fell so many times that it felt like I'd been worked over with a lead pipe by a 300 lb mobster named Vinnie. There were several occasions where I thought, "oh my, I bet my ankle is about to snap." Fortunately for me, my family is big boned and I think all the bones in my body are more or less intact.

After the day that I'd had, I considered something I'd never considered before. A massage. I'd never considered a massage for several reasons. First, I have a large personal space. If I can't flail my arms wildly without touching you, then you are probably standing too close. The thought of someone, not known to me, touching me creeps me out. Second, happy endings. No, I didn't and wouldn't ask for one, but the thought (no matter how ulikely and absurd) of having to deal with the issue creeped me out. I'm so glad I managed to get over these hangups. After an hour's massage I no longer feel like I've been worked over by Vinnie with a lead pipe, more like my first grade teacher (Ms. Espy) with a wiffle ball bat. I still hurt everywhere, but now I can manage to turn my neck and not worry that I might pass out from the pain. The masseuse was impressive and well worth the money. (Sorry J, it was a her and her name wasn't Lars)

Back to one of the reasons I hurt so much. The baseplate and binding on my left foot both broke simultaneously while I was in the middle of a pretty sweet couple of turns on a pretty steep blue. This sent me ass over tea kettle down the hill with a giant board strapped to my right foot. I had to gather myself up, check that I'd not broken anything (nor crapped my pants) and then ride my board down the mountain like a sled. Not fun. You will notice the brand of the binding at the left. The baseplate at the right is made by the same company. I can assure you that three things are going to happen. First, I'm sending this back to get it replaced under warranty. Second, I'm going to sell the replacement on e-bay. Finally, I'm never giving any more of my money to the maker of these products.
One more day left on the trip. Let's hope I make it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Warren Miller is my pusher

Remember when you were 6 and you got your first set of cowboy boots and you wanted to wear them to bed? No? I do and right now, I'm sitting here in my helmet and goggles thinking about going to sleep. I'm three days away from leaving on the first snowboard trip of the year. I've been running around doing a few last minute things here and there. I finally got a set of mittens that I like. I think I'm ready, but I'm a little nervous. It's been almost a year since the last time I was on a board. I know that I'm going to be rusty and I just hope that I don't break something. As I sat down with the packing list I flipped on HBO and what do you know, a Warren Miller film. I love them. I will sit down and stare slack jawed as I watch one. I know that I will never be as good as any of these guys. Hell, I'm not sure I will ever even be good enough to make it down a black, but I can dream can't I?