December 30, 2010
Most people's political views are determined by the level of their understanding of economics and finance, and by whether or not they are net contributors to or net beneficiaries of the tax/welfare system. People who pay tax and who realise that "the government's" money is in fact their money, and that others are receiving in benefit what they have worked hard to earn, tend to be more critical of policies that benefit people who are not helping themselves.
People who don't pay tax tend to support generous regimes that benefit them. The Liberals aim appeared to be to get as many votes as possible by affording state benefits to more and more people - hardly a good investment of the US's capital. It has created a culture of entitlement that we would do well to break down if we want to compete and prosper in future.
The work ethic here is unbelievably low.
December 28, 2010
December 27, 2010
December 23, 2010
Every so often something happens, a chain of events, the result of which is just a good feeling inside that something is right in the omniverse. I call this feeling a heart smile.
I have never been one for office Christmas. There are just so many aspects that inspire drudgery. The entire Secret Santa crap, for instance...
Before I run off on a tangent rant about Secret Satan.. er Santa.. Allow a rambling digression...
I work in Major Sales in Costco. I love my job. I enjoy the people I work with. I like getting up knowing I will be working there. My cadre of co-workers is Jr., Jessie, Ashley and Chayton. We are all new hires and locals. With the Holiday Season upon us I thought buying Santa Hats would be jolly fun. Unfortunately there are a lot of really crappy ones out there. Then at the local Grocery Outlet they had little chimney stockings. So with a few guilder and some puff paint, sparkles and a loving wife with a creative streak and steady hand, I had some custom socks to hang up at work. I got a sour candy cane, just to make sure they did not think I was going soft.
With some of those 3m hooks I set up the five stockings, one for each member of the team and one for Greg, our manager. I did not make myself one as I thought that seemed a little narcissistic. The stockings where a hit even if they did take a while to get noticed in some cases...
It was fun and I had my little moment.
Imagine my surprise when Ashley came in with matching Christmas ties and a chocolate Orange for each of us. We all wore the ties for the next week. Then Chayton came in with a bag presents with Ferrero Rocher for all of us. Next Jr. had pop-corn tins. Jessica then came in with some mugs filled with fun and useful items (and gum). I was pleasantly surprised by each of my comrades. Is it any wonder I love my job?
It was just so fun, really a Christmas type feeling.. A heart smile.
Merry Christmas everyone!
December 20, 2010
December 02, 2010
On of my "Dad Jokes" is to tell the kids to go to bed because 5:00 comes early. Welcome to CostCo's 5:15 to 1:45 schedule! So I am hoisted by my own petard!
Actually, I enjoy the early shift quite a lot. It is highly physical and very busy. They roll the door sup at 9:45 and we have to be in ship shape by then. The Manager of "Hard-lines" (read: the right side of the building as you enter, prior to food) . Has trust in me with orchestration product moves. Following our marketing plan. Items in our flyer go on the end of aisles (end caps) and certain products we are obligated to have on those "end caps" as well. Major product shifts are always planned by management, but they graciously accept idea's as well.
Each Television needs to have a demo-model set up and running and there is an envelope with Support information as well as two stickers that go onto the carton. Then the facing of the product has to be considered. Sony pays a lot of $$$ for that box artwork and we want to make sure it gets a good exposure.
Brian, my hard-lines manager has a knack for making rows of product perfectly fit within the given space. It is a frustrating talent for me to observe, when I have tried to duplicate and fail only to have him waltz in and arrange it in five minutes.
My talent must be in the execution of complex tasks in an efficient manner. And the technical aspect of getting everything up and running.
Lately I have had Thursdays and Fridays off of work. Which allows me to attend the TOPs meeting with Tina and have two days off in a row. Tina and I have a date night after TOPs and we opted to have Pizza and soda at CostCo. I was informed that two banks of TV's were not working and after some attempts they were going to wait for me to fix the issue. They did not know my next work day was Saturday.
Anyways Saturday arrived and I was surprised to find the same situation existed. One of my co-workers threw some doubt into a repair because he had worked on the situation on and off for the last two days.
It took me less then five minutes. The composite cables that run from each splitter to each bank of TV's has the wrong colors. During the opening I had taken a small TV set and troubleshot this, writing the actual colors on the wires.
So I got to feel smug for the next five minutes...
November 19, 2010
Static weight is nigh impossible. Keeping your weight within a certain box is certainly doable. The devil is in the details.
I am having a tough time transitioning from a sloth job to an active one. I used to sit on my butt for a good 7 hours a day at work. That was reduce from 40 hours to 34. The rest of the time I would put my butt on other weight bearing devices. I did walk, then run to and from work, adding an hour of heart pumping goodness. Later I took to running two to five miles in the morning, prior to work and on days off.
Now I am on my feet for eight hours. If I am in early (opening) or late (closing) I spend one to four hours pulling pallets, stacking boxes and moving TV's around. My days off tend to reflect the ass on things. Oh, I am riding my bike to and fro nearly every workday adding 40 minutes of heart pumping goodness into the mix.
You can probably see how my old caloric intake of 1400 to 1800 calories can not fuel me. Getting the right amount of Cals into me has been a see saw of too little and too much. I would find myself exhausted with two hours left on my shift, only to down 200 calories and be back up in fighting shape.
I think I have come up with a gooder plan, but I am still looking for the gooderest.
According to my handy RMR calculator I need 2000 calories on my days off and 2600 on work days. This would be to maintain a 185 pound frame. My kyptonite has been snaking after dinner due to hunger then gluttony?? A want for a taste of something, regardless of its value...
My feeling is that waiting till 10:00 AM to have breakfast then eating every two hours for supplementation of fuel is a good route.
I have my egg burrito (280 cals), then at first break yogurt and Nutragrain bar (80 cals and 140), lunch, sandwich and Lean Cusine (150 and 230 calories), last break nutragrain bar (140 calories). Which puts me at 1020. Leaving 960 or 1560 depending upon the day.
November 17, 2010
When you choose to play a computer game, and that game is an MMORPG, there comes a point where you have done it all. Or you have done as much as you want to, or can, depending upon gear etc...
You can always go back and start an alternate character (aka alts). Lets say you want to be a Tauren instead of an Orc for once. The thing is this. Been there done that... The last thing you want is a game to become a chore to play.
Here comes the Expansion! This is where they re-invent the game and package it and sell it to the 12 million people playing. When you consider that this particular form of entertainment costs less per month then any other entertainment offering by an outside supplier (yeah, lets not split hairs here). A redo of your virtual world can be a fun time.
So this December the World of Warcraft is releasing Cataclysm. Where a heretofore presumed dead bad guy (bad dragon) rises from the ashes and opens a can of whoop ass on the planet of Azeroth. Nick named Death Wing. He does what super-villains attempt to do, mess up the world pretty badly. We heroes now have to make it through the maze of storyline and finally confront him.
Back in 1994 Blizzard came out with a computer game called Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. This was a strategy game that laid the foundational back story for the World of Warcraft. They released Warcraft II in two parts, then Warcraft III in 2002.
The writing staff for Blizzard went in depth with multiple story lines and intriguing characters and history. This rather rich tapestry has been laid out in a number of Books, Graphic novels and of course, in game.
When World of Warcraft entered the market in 2004 there had already been several successful MMORPG games, they took the best aspects of the successful ones and built upon that adding a remarkable lore.
Imagine, if you will, a favorite work of fiction and you can suddenly interact with said book on a personal level, with friends. The immersion effect is quite overwhelming and very cool.
The Blizzard folks do not take themselves all that seriously and pop-culture references abound.
So this next expansion is looking very fun and promising. (BTW I can send you a free trial of Wow if you would like)
November 10, 2010
November 08, 2010
November 05, 2010
I am going through band-aids. Working with cardboard boxes and wooden pallets provides any number of scrapes and cuts. Yes, I have some nice leather gloves and I do use them when stocking. While I am sure that has saved my epidermis time and again, I do not wear them every minute and it is surprising how sharp an innocuous box edge can be.
My latest is a 1/2 inch scrape on the left side of my middle finger on my left hand. This is one of those that I did not notice until after the fact. I was moving blue tooth I-pod device blister packs. Go figure...
We have a bit of a scramble prior to rolling up the doors. There are pallets of items in the walkways, flat bed carts filled with cardboard and old stretch wrap and bands. Each needing to be stocked in a correct manner. Televisions have two stickers and an envelope that need to be put in specific locations that do not cover text (if possible) and there can be a layer of dust or oily residue that does not allow the quick bonding of the afore mentioned.
Some items need to be rotated so the newest is on the bottom. Other items are just resistant to being stacked. There is an ever increasing set of tricks you employ to bend the packaging to your will.
My strengths lie in some spacial geometric gift, to figure, on the fly, stacking patterns that allow the most items in the smallest area. Also, the speed and precision to employ said patterns in a minimum of time. The strength to move heavier items also helps.
The coolest part, to me, is working with Jean-Paul or Joel, who share the same strengths. Recently while stocking the kitty litter with Jean-Paul, we found that picking up the product in a certain way and tossing it a certain way allowed the other to quickly stack the item with the facing perfect just in time to catch the next.
This built a mutual respect and created an aspect of challenge and fun for the project.
A couple of nights later, I had finished the facing of my area (Hard lines) and headed over the help sundries.
"Okay, I have six minutes left on shift, who needs help?"
"You can't do anything in six minutes." was the response from a fairly new hire.
Looking at a knowingly smirking Jean-Paul I stated "I bet we can break down those two pepsi pallets in six minutes."
With a succinct nod from Jean, we wordlessly assumed a two man assembly line and hefted the rather heavy cubes of soft drinks into their location. Stopping only long enough to shift to the second pallet.
A short time later, job done I panted (slightly) "Okay, I got two minutes left on shift, who needs help?"
I think her jaw is still on the floor.
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy my job?
November 04, 2010
So the spin is that the voters wanted more progressive government and Obama did not deliver. So they voted far right...
Even Obama is saying that the voters do not understand what he has done for them.
I find that the voters know exactly what he did to them and wants to do and thus, voted accordingly.
November 01, 2010
October 29, 2010
Republicans Kind of Suck … Which Is Why They Will Win Huge in November (Original link)
Because in the Democratic land of epic, mega, ultra, apocalyptic levels of sucking, those who kinda suck are king.
October 20, 2010 - by Frank J. Fleming
This election season has been hard on pundits. The Democrats are going to get massacred in November, and it’s really obvious to pretty much everyone exactly why — which makes writing political commentary like trying to come up with a long-winded explanation for why two plus two equals four.
Here’s my attempt.
Doesn’t it suck when you have a dog that barks all night? Everyone hates that. It’s annoying. It can even drive you pretty crazy if it goes on long enough. People hate that.
Know what also sucks? A zombie apocalypse. That’s when society collapses due to some spreading zombie virus, and most of your friends and family are dead, and you have to scrounge for food to survive while the walking dead threaten you around every corner. People also hate that.
So, we’re all agreed that a barking dog and a zombie apocalypse both suck. Everyone following so far?
Now let’s look at what led us to the political situation we’re in. During the second term of the Bush presidency people just got fed up with Republicans. They were idiots, they were no good at the whole fiscal conservatism thing (which is sort of the whole point of them), we had these wars that seemed to be going nowhere, and the economy was beginning to fail. They sucked, and people were sick and tired of them.
Thus people turned to the Democrats. And Obama.
Let’s just say they also sucked.
AMERICANS: “So, the economy is pretty bad and there’s high employment. You think you can do something about that?”
DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA: “We can spend a trillion dollars we don’t have on pork and stuff.”
AMERICANS: “No … that’s not what we want. We’d really like you not to do that.”
DEMOCRATS: “You’re stupid. We’re doing it anyway.”
AMERICANS: “That’s not going to help us get jobs!”
DEMOCRATS: “Sure it will; millions of them … though they may be invisible. You’ll have to trust us they exist. And guess what else we’ll do: We’ll create a giant new government program to take over health care.”
AMERICANS: “That has nothing to do with jobs!”
DEMOCRATS: “We don’t care about that anymore. We really want a giant new health care program. We’re sure you’ll love it.”
AMERICANS: “Don’t pass that bill. You hear me? Absolutely do not pass that bill.”
DEMOCRATS: “Believe me; you’ll love it. It has … well, I don’t know what exactly is in the bill, but we’re sure it’s great.”
AMERICANS: “Listen to me: DO. NOT. PASS. THAT. BILL.”
DEMOCRATS: “You’re not the boss of me! We’re doing it anyway!”
AMERICANS: “Look what you did! Now the economy is way worse, we’re even deeper in debt, and we have a bunch of new laws we don’t want!”
DEMOCRATS: “You’re racist.”
AMERICANS: “Wha … How is that racist?”
DEMOCRATS: “Now you’re getting violent! Stop being violent and racist, you ignorant hillbillies! And remember to vote Democrat in November.”
So the Democrats sucked. But not just plain old, usual politician sucked, but epic levels of suck where it’s hard to find an analogue in human history that conveys the same level of suckitude. It was sheer incompetence plus arrogance — and those things do not complement each other well. We’re talking sucking that distorts time and space like a black hole.
It’s Godzilla-smashing-through-a-city level of suck — but a really patronizing Godzilla who says you’re just too stupid and hateful to see all the buildings he’s saved or created as he smashes everything apart. Or, to use Obama’s favorite analogy, you have a car stuck in ditch, so you call the mechanic, but the only tool he brings with him is a sledgehammer. And then he smashes your car to pieces and charges you $100,000 for his service. Finally, he calls you racist for complaining. Obama and the Democrats have been so awful, it’s hard for the human brain to even comprehend.
But the Democrats will counter that the Republicans also suck. And while this is true, it’s not really going to help them. As I pointed out before, both a dog incessantly barking and a zombie apocalypse are things that everyone would agree suck. Yet no one during a zombie apocalypse, while hiding out in a boarded up mall, would turn to the other survivors and say, “We don’t want to kill all the zombies; then we’d have to go back to being woken up at night by that annoying dog next door.” But this is the best argument the Democrats can come up with. “Remember how awful the Republicans and Bush were? You hated them. You don’t want to go back to that.” Yes, why would people want to go back to when 6% unemployment was considered high?
People do remember how much the Republicans suck, and they know where it tops out … and that is nowhere near as bad as the Democrats are today. Like with the barking dog, it’s annoying, but you know it’s not going to cause the collapse of civilization as we know it. Not so with the zombie apocalypse; who knows how bad that could get if left to continue? Same with the Democrats and Obama; people have never dealt with anything this horrible their entire lives, and they aren’t that curious to see how much worse it can be.
So the Republicans kinda suck, and that’s why they’re going to win huge this November. Because in the land of epic, mega, ultra, apocalyptic levels of sucking, those who kinda suck are king. Or at least are going to win in a landslide.
Because once the zombie apocalypse is over, the annoying neighbor dog is going to be music to your ears.
For a little while, at least.
October 28, 2010
Once upon a time I noted that sugar does not have an H, yet is pronounced as such. So I took to pronouncing it as Sue-gar. Just because it appealed to my sense of humor, I guess I could say it was my rebeller nature of not bowing the THE MAN. But, really it just tickles my fancy.
Along the weary road I travel there have been several such pronunciations that I have mangled to my dastardly purposes as well. Just as there are words my family has developed as well as inherited.
For instance the rubber spatula used to scrape bowls was commonly referred to as Kiddie-Cheater, when I grew up. Whipped desert topping is Fru-fru.
The Parmesan cheese that you purchase for dumping onto Italianish food is Shakey-Cheese. Something that Connor coined and Diana's Girl Scout troop adopted. So it is in the wild...
One of our family favorite internet cartoons, Strong Bad, gave us the phrase "No-Probalo" and "I aprekiate it"
A sieve in our house is called the Germanic Siep (read Zeep).
Some Cowboys from Calgary provided me with the wonderful phase "Usta-could." And the equally useful elimination of answer choices "Yes-No?" Added to the end of a question?
"So if I take that road I will make it to Sutherlin, Yes-No?"
"Usta-could, now its a dead end at the river."
My kids had equally interesting pronunciations for the name Tobias (toby-us) and ambulance (am-bue-lense), and the colonel (Col-o-nell).
Some time ago I noted that wife, could be mis-pronounced weef. Without a thought to correctness last night, I introduced Tina to a co-worker using my dialect. Tina corrected me and the co-worker found it cute.
I'm sure every family has unique sounderwordisms like this. I am not sure they all have as much fun with them.
October 22, 2010
When Shoo suggested blogging, I was unsure if I could come up with stuff to write about.
Turns out that "stuff" is not really an issue. I can apparently blog something at any given moment. Quality? probably cringe worthy at best.
At any rate it does give me some idea what my mind was doing at some point in the past.
What a strange trip its been...
October 21, 2010
I hate exercising but I love exercise.
Five days a week I start the morning with 20 hindu pushups. Even with regular sets I find that increasing the number is a challenge. In my mind I would like to do 50 per set.
Next exercise I like to call, riding my bike to work. I have two hill climbs that required me to get off the bike and walk initially. Now the first one gets my cardio up and I can cruise up without down shifting from my initial hill climb gear (front 2 and back 4). The next hill is more taxing a 4% grade for a half mile. I need to down-shift, the same amount but later in the climb. My goal is to keep consistent pedaling speed. This really targets my glutes, which I feel protest near the top. For the rest of the trip to work it is pretty much a rolling uphill and downhill course.
At work the exercise changes day to day. Most of the time it consists of 7.5 hours standing and walking with an occasional short running and lifting of an object up to 200 pounds. Sometimes there is a four hour period of lifting and pulling heavy objects.
Followed by a ride home that has another two hill climbs (or a longer route and one less climb).
Once a week I like to spend skating. This is for around 60 to 90 minutes and involves a surprisingly large amount of muscle groups.
When I go to a gym I find myself unmotivated and bored quickly. If I have someone with me I do better. Still, it is way down on my list of things I want to do. I think it is the open ended nature and a feeling that I am actually preparing myself for... well... nothing...
There is a lot of satisfaction with my current exercises. Every gas station I ride by gives me a little thrill that my money is staying away. Even the colder mornings now are more bracing then miserable. I am wondering about the occasional icy morning.
October 20, 2010
MapMyRide - Shoot me now, hill climb. in Roseburg, OR
This hill really kicks my rear. I keep hoping it will get easier over time.
October 19, 2010
October 17, 2010
Along with my 90 day probation period I get benefits including a 401k with matching funds. In looking at the various funds history's one thing is apparent. They have preformed poorly over the last three to five years.
So, getting to invest in something that looses money really does not sound all that great...
October 15, 2010
US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'
Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here is his letter of resignation to Curtis G. Callan Jr, Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society.
Anthony Watts describes it thus:
This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.
It’s so utterly damning that I’m going to run it in full without further comment. (H/T GWPF, Richard Brearley).
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:
1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.
5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.
6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.
APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)
October 13, 2010
On Sunday I will hit the 90 day mark of my employment. Meaning I will cease to be in my Probationary period. Seeing as my reviews have been stellar it was, to me, waiting for the planet to spin then worry. This is a very different employment situation for me. Since moving to Oregon I have had jobs that I enjoyed and some not so much.
The first one I enjoyed, then left for a better opportunity. That job was equally challenging and enjoyable. Due to a downturn in the economy I was laid off.
That lead to a job I was not that crazy about, but it paid the bills, the stress of making quota was horrid. The same company moved me to a position that was much more suited to my skill set. Then to a position that I was enjoying. They closed down that division suddenly one Wednesday. I fully understand from a business standpoint, personally it was a harsh time.
The next job I found challenging, then felt quite used as it became apparently they used me instead of hiring a contractor (Salary is so much cheaper you know). Only to be kicked to the curb with a "Job well done, goodbye!"
This lead to a long unemployed stint that, in retrospect, I could have utilized some grants for collage education. I was able to be active with my Daughters TV episode.
Next came another Full Time job at a good time for a pay cut. I was low man on the totem pole and immediately above me there was some frustration with knowledge crossovers, I adapted and there was some good opportunities available. It was with our local government so the benefits were pretty good as well. Things were tight but, manageable. Then they cut me back in hours and tight became, count the pennies tight. Just about the time they were going to cut me back to 20 hours I landed a full time at my current position.
With 90 days I get to enjoy the many benefits and I am really enjoying the job. The entire experience falls so well into my mindset and skill-set one could almost think it came about through "intelligent design". My supervisor delegates a laundry list of tasks with a high level of trust. The management has tapped me for various assignments above and beyond. They have also been quite generous with accolades. In any given day I get to field questions about electronics, troubleshoot problems with our various displays, move products to better locations and make executive level decisions, with a near rubber stamp from those in charge.
Mentally there is no Monday morning dread of the work week starting. Rather, it is a giddy anticipation. I get to ride a bike into work, wear shorts and during busy times the hours tick by at an amazingly fast pace. Best of all, work stays at work.
Have you ever had a job were the management did not seem to have a clue, yet presented themselves as all knowing? I see every manager on the floor every day in every conceivable position. Stocking shelves, sweeping up messes, driving fork lifts and planning moves for the next shipment. It is quite inspiring to have a boss who keeps pace (sometimes out paces) you.
I really feel I have fallen into something great.
October 11, 2010
For the last 11 weeks I have been gainfully employed full time. It is still a lot of fun. My title is Major Sales. I will greet people as they enter, field questions about electronics and diamonds, and give my best directions as to where a given item might be located. Our store is a warehouse in name and nature. Things are moved to make room for other things every single day. It is a treasure hunt atmosphere. Luckily my brain is wired well for recalling where items are located.
I have become quite versed on HD televisions, blu-ray adding to my knowledge on computers. Thanks to my sister in law Connie I got a laymen level of information on jewelry which I am supplementing. My goal in talking to our members (read customers) is to make sure they get the product that fits the need. They should be able to explain why they chose that computer or that Television. "Zero returns" is my personal sales motto.
I was able to fix the Gordian knot of component cables that run our Televisions. In general I am become the go-to guy for fixing frustrations.
Also, I passed the safety test on forklift driving, which will allow me to start training on them (woot!). Further the marketing folks have tapped me to do the front board pictures. This is a rather fun assignment with some frustrations on the slowness of our intranet printing (4 min 23 sec a page).
Then comes the unexpected new projects. Where they need to squeeze six pallets worth of new items into an area that has one pallet worth of room. It is a challenge and requires some creative solutions.
In the past I have worked at places where the management would sit in offices, hand down expectations with a vagueness that would set one up for failure. Or they would come out of their hovel, bark orders for seemingly no purpose then to display alpha dominance then walk away not caring about the outcome. This is not the case currently. I see management running forklifts, restocking product and sweating it out like the rest of us. Most of them have been with the company in nearly every position. It is VERY common to see them manning cash registers, sweeping up messes and pitching in during heavy times. This, to me, is inspiring.
What I find I enjoy is showing up, doing the job then heading home. When I hop on that bike I might have a thing or two about work to consider, but as the miles roll on those too fade.
Life is good.
October 06, 2010
October 04, 2010
Diana, Trevor and I went to our local rink many times over the summer. Skating is one of those activities that I really enjoy (as previously stated ad nauseam). The fact my kids enjoy skating makes it a great family outing.
Last night, I was off early enough from work to go up and skate with Diana at the Eugene roller rink. I sort of recall being there before. But with my sieve-like memory that may or may not be factual as many rinks look the same.
The rink is nicely put together and probably dates back to the early 70's. It was 80's night which means way too much Michael Jackson and a lack of groups like, Ultravox, Dead Kennedys etc. There was an older crowd (no speed bumps as Trevor put it).
The local derby team was in force as well. I enjoy skating with the music and the style I enjoyed most was a fancy footing dance. Suddenly, a gentleman appeared who was a blast from my past. He had all the moves and style that I remember and I pointed out to my kids the skating style to which I aspire. The kids seemed impressed and dutifully said I was really close and had my own style as well.
So I did kick it up a notch. Today I am thankful for the pain relief provided by Ibuprofen. Its not the years, it's the milage.
September 30, 2010
While it is not the best version of this commercial. I came across it a few years back when I was in Canada. Last year I heard some kids reciting it word for word. Some other kid stated that everyone knows that rant.
Anyways I think it is pretty funny and effective.
September 29, 2010
Haiti still waiting for pledged U.S. aid | detnews.com | The Detroit News
One-point-five billion pledged US aid still has not arrived in Haiti.
Connie posted this on FB. Wanted to share the goodness.
September 28, 2010
According to a recent poll, likely voters get their political news primarily from cable television. Among cable channels, 42 percent, a plurality, watch Fox News for its political coverage. Only 12 percent said they watched MSNBC. What's more, most likely voters don't like or have never heard of MSNBC's prime time talent.
The poll, conducted by Politico and George Washington University, used a sample split evenly between political parties - even slightly favoring Democrats in some areas: 41 percent of respondents identified as Republicans, while 42 percent said they were Democrats. Forty-four percent said they usually vote for Republicans, while 46 percent answered Democrats. Forty-eight percent voted for Obama, while only 45 percent voted for McCain.
Even among this group, Fox News is by far the most popular cable outlet. CNN comes in at second, with 30 percent. A sorry MSNBC brings up the rear.
Among cable news personalities, FNC's Bill O'Reilly - consistently the highest-rated cable news talker - is the most popular. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they thought O'Reilly has a positive impact on the American political conversation. Thirty-two percent said he has a negative impact.
Interestingly, respondents - again, split evenly among the two parties - thought all three of Fox's evening opinion commentators (O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity) have a net positive impact on the national debate. All three have a positive spread in the category. Also of note, for none of the three did majorities answer "never heard of".
MSNBC's hosts are a different story. Only 23 percent said Keith Olbermann has a positive impact on the debate, while 25 said he has a negative one. A plurality, 42 percent, had never heard of him
But at least it was only a plurality. Majorities said they have never heard of Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow - 70 percent and 55 percent, respectively. The positive impact/negative impact responses were split down the middle for both.
In other words, the vast majority of likely voters either do not like MSNBC's prime time talkers, or have never heard of them (with the notable exception of Chris Matthews, whose name was not included in the poll).
"How did it get to this state?" wonders Ed Morrissey.
After all, NBC had a long history in television news, starting decades before CNN and even longer than Fox. Its partnership with Microsoft should have given the cable news network a distinct advantage in the New Media world. Their roster of news anchors, present and future, should have immediately challenged CNN for primacy and marginalized Fox, who may have had cash but relatively fewer newsgathering resources in the US when it launched.
Under the direction of GE's Jeff Immelt, though, NBC's cable network went for the full-insane demographic. Fox took CNN's talking-head format and simply reversed the bias, although Fox rightly argues that it presents more opposing viewpoints than CNN did as part of their establishment talent and not just occasional guests and party spinmeisters. NBC decided to emulate Air America with its cable lineup instead, perhaps seeing some opportunity in the last Bush term to capitalize on his unpopularity and become a center of opposition opinion.
Rather than accomplish that, the decision by NBC and its parent GE has not just destroyed MSNBC's credibility but also NBC's as well. With the exception of Joe Scarborough, who is hard to pigeonhole but certainly isn't a hard-Left hysteric, the entire lineup is exactly what one would find on the failed libtalker radio network. It's no coincidence that two of its featured hosts come straight out of Air America, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz. Maddow has, at least, produced a watchable show, albeit with a hard-Left tilt that clearly is out of touch with the mainstream, but Schultz is barely coherent. Top that off with a daily "news" broadcast from Keith Olbermann that almost literally consists of a Two Minute Hate (Olbermann's WPIW lists), and it's a recipe for the kind of disaster that only political hacks could love. The wonder is that GE and NBC apparently seem content to alienate 88% of the viewing audience with its trainwreck theater.
September 24, 2010
At work I am finding that tasks called 'daunting' are my favorite. I got home tonight very exhilarated by my work day.
I do need to digress a bit. Thursday Night my supervisor apologetically gave me a long list of items that needed to be done before the store opened on Friday. He himself, was to arrive at 6:00 Friday morning to try to complete whatever was not finished. He pretty much dismissed the Idea that I would be able to accomplish a modicum of the list.
I finished it all. With the list in hand my mind was able to organize the job in an interlaced series of tasks that could be done prior to the close staging an efficient undertaking. It could have easily been a debacle, but the things outside of my control fell into place.
Tonight was a similar situation. This time I was not staying afterwards, so I have to pass the job onto my co-worker. I had notes and a plan of attack. We got the do-able portion either staged or done prior to close (when I had to leave). This left my co-worker with one smaller task and the awaiting of new shipments.
I even anticipated a number of problems that would occur and pre-solved them as well. It was my brain firing on all cylinders. Solving complex, real life, real time problems like these certainly appeals to me. My favorite command is "Just get it done"
Juxtaposed is my not wanting to create any problems. That is to say, leaving well enough alone, keep it simple stupid, if it aint broke... Are more the motto's that guide me.
As I sit here on the brink of a Saturday, I am really looking forward to work in the morning and skating in the evening. Sadly I miss out on Connors swimming. Sunday Connor and I are going on a bike ride... It is going to be a nice weekend.
Maybe its the shorts...
The powers that be decided that our neck of the woods would like 26" to 37" Televisions. We got the obligatory Samsung Series 7 3D sets (which some of the other store imports for opening told us would be a tough sell). We sold them all in the first four weeks of being opened.
Other stores have not seen any inventory go out the door.
Also the 55" 240 hz LED LCD have been nigh impossible to sell at other locations. We sold all of ours and we have been getting in other stores inventory (which, by the dust on top, have been stored for a while). We cannot seem to keep the things in stock. We got four last night, two already are spoken for.
The TV's we carry are all the newfangled flat HD televisions. There are a few things to know about them.
The size is still measured diagonally, so getting the height and length requires some searching the literature or having a tape measure at the store.
1080p is the top resolution for High Definition. It refers to the number of lines that make up the image. You may see 720p or 1080i as well. The 'p' stands for progress, the 'i' stands for interlaced. Progressive is better as it displays the full image faster.
120hz is the speed at which the images are displayed. 120 frames per second is about the best on a bigger screen. up to 32" a 60hz would be fine the hz rating seems to be noticeable at 37" and up. There are some 240hz machines out there that would provide the smoothest action.
However, that is more Dependant on how your brain and eyes are wired.
Finally the way the TV displays the image. Plasma, LCD or LED. Plasma gives a good big picture at a lower price. The plasma gets rather hot and uses more electricity then other sets. Also, most of the ones are still at 720p.
LCD is lighter but require a back light. There are limits to how bright you can get these sets. So they may require more shading.
LED are LCD screens that use LED's for the light source. These are brighter then your LCD and can even fight the suns glare. These also have the lowest electrical consumption and are the thinnest at under 2" in some cases.
The interesting bit to me is how these numbers compare to broadcasts. Nothing broadcasts in 1080p at 120hz. The best is 1080i at 60hz. The 120hz sets do something kind of cool. They take the current image and the next image and create a new frame that is inserted in the mix. This makes the motion look better.
September 23, 2010
We keep hearing how Fox is extreme Right in its viewpoint etc. Further, we hear how dangerous it can be etc. At the same time MSNBC is given a pass. Yes, Fox news has some Right wing shows.
The lineup at night:
FNC features "The Glenn Beck Show" which is Libertarian (conservative).
"Special Report" which a UCLA study a depicted as one of the most fair and balanced straight evening news broadcasts on television.
"Fox Report" with Shepard Smith, by far FNC's most liberal anchor.
Next is Bill O'Reilly who is right of center. He regularly features opposing viewpoints.
Then Hannity who is certainly right of center. Who also features opposing views.
Finally "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren whose political leaning is unknown and who appears straight down the middle in her reporting.
What does MSNBC offer?
"Hardball" with Chris Matthews - left
"The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz - far to the left
"Countdown" with Keith Olbermann - far to the left
"The Rachel Maddow Show" - far to the left
"Countdown" rerun, soon to be "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell - far to the left
So FOX in percentage terms, 50 percent is conservative, 33 percent is neutral, and 17 percent is liberal.
September 22, 2010
September 21, 2010
Myth #1: Tax revenues remain low.
Fact: Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts.
Myth #2: The Bush tax cuts substantially reduced 2006 revenues and expanded the budget deficit.
Fact: Nearly all of the 2006 budget deficit resulted from additional spending above the baseline.
Myth #3: Supply-side economics assumes that all tax cuts immediately pay for themselves.
Fact: It assumes replenishment of some but not necessarily all lost revenues.
Myth #4: Capital gains tax cuts do not pay for themselves.
Fact: Capital gains tax revenues doubled following the 2003 tax cut.
Myth #5: The Bush tax cuts are to blame for the projected long-term budget deficits.
Fact: Projections show that entitlement costs will dwarf the projected large revenue increases.
Myth #6: Raising tax rates is the best way to raise revenue.
Fact: Tax revenues correlate with economic growth, not tax rates.
Myth #7: Reversing the upper-income tax cuts would raise substantial revenues.
Fact: The low-income tax cuts reduced revenues the most.
Myth #8: Tax cuts help the economy by "putting money in people's pockets."
Fact: Pro-growth tax cuts support incentives for productive behavior.
Myth #9: The Bush tax cuts have not helped the economy.
Fact: The economy responded strongly to the 2003 tax cuts.
Myth #10: The Bush tax cuts were tilted toward the rich.
Fact: The rich are now shouldering even more of the income tax burden.
September 20, 2010
It turns out my little Cost Co is pretty good at selling big TV sets. When I say big I am referring to 55" or greater. We have some pretty dynamic people.
For the holiday they moved the pumpkin pie bin up front and are giving out samples, this along with the dollar off coupon (no limit). We are letting people know we can provide for the pumpkin pie needs.
In my group we decided to let people know that we have pie, were the samples are and the coupon information, as they head through our department. It was pretty gratifying to see all the carts with two pies in them.
This was on a Saturday and the next day I learned that we had outsold our "rival" stores. So I allowed myself a small pat on the back.
September 19, 2010
Check out the following headlines in the British press about the arrest of six men who may have been planning to kill the Pope during his visit to England:
"Muslim Plot to Kill Pope" (Daily Express)
"Police question six street cleaners held over plot to attack the Pope" (Daily Mail) (2nd paragraph: "Armed officers detained the men, all believed to be Muslims of North African origin, as they prepared to go on shift at a cleaning depot in Central London.")
Yet in neither of two separate articles by the Associated Press (Nicole Winfield and David Stringer/Victor L. Simpson) do the writers mention a possible extremist Muslim/Islamic connection. The writers simply identified the suspects as "London street cleaners."
September 15, 2010
September 14, 2010
Next month there will be a vote that makes a statement about the current administration. There was quite a body of people who elected Obama for a number of reasons. (I did not vote for him because he did not seem to have enough experience and he was a liberal democrat. I thought McCain would be a poor president, but at least we would have the relief of gridlock)
After Obama was elected I did hold out hope that he would do as he promised and bring the country together. He promised to slash the budget and to deter the lobbyists. Also, there was to be more openly visible processes and time for we the people to weigh in on bills.
So I hoped for the best. What followed has been the exact opposite. With laughable blame being pointed for each and every failure.
The Democrats had everything and if, as I have been told, the ideology and methods were so superior then this was the chance to show us all.
One could be surprised at the number of democrats who are distancing themselves from the president. Further, one could be surprised that the wonderful landmark bills passed would not be at the forefront of various mid-term elections.
Put me back in office to complete our agenda for the people! Look what we have already accomplished with the recovery bill and the healthcare bill!
The worst thing that could happen is more RINO's get elected. IMHO
September 11, 2010
In order to avoid the blackish shell and runny interior, avoid temperatures over 500 degrees when cooking pancakes.
Also, reduce the cooking time down from 15 minutes, try to stay inside the house and or kitchen...
September 09, 2010
September 03, 2010
A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dog along for company. One day the dog starts chasing butterflies and before long he discovers that he is lost. So, wandering about he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch.
The dog thinks, "Boyo, I'm in deep doo doo." Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.
Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dog exclaims loudly, "Man, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here?"
Hearing this the leopard halts his attack in mid stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew", says the leopard. "That was close. That dog nearly had me."
Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the dog saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.
The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The cat is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."
Now the dog sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks," What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers pretending he hasn't seen them yet. And just when they get close enough to hear, the dog says, "Where's that monkey. I just can never trust him. I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard, and he's still not back!!"
September 02, 2010
September 01, 2010
I have two competing theories for you. Vogon destructor fleets stop by Earth every 100,000 years or so and suck thermal energy out of the Earth to fuel their space ships and that causes ice ages.
Second theory, God arbitrarily decides to freeze the planet and even Noah’s ark won’t help save the day.
Of course, you can’t disprove either of these theories, but that doesn’t mean they are right.
"Although Obama said the U.S. commitment to Iraq's future does not end with the combat mission, he made no mention of an emerging debate in Congress over paying for the diplomatic mission the State Department says is necessary. Plans for U.S. diplomatic posts in Iraq already are being scaled back as Congress sees the winding down of the war as a signal to invest elsewhere."
August 31, 2010
According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations.
The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion.
The U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2010 is expected to be $1.3 trillion, according to CBO. That compares to a 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion and a 2008 deficit of $458.6 billion, according to data provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
In 2007 and 2008, the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
There is a significant difference in sitting at a desk for eight hours and standing and walking around for eight hours. Merely standing burns 800 calories pretty easily.
At 49 years of age 5'11.5" tall and 185 pounds my RMR for sedentary is 2081 calories.
At work it becomes very apparent when I do not have enough food. My energy levels drop and I feel fatigued and lethargic.
I need to find brown bag foods that will last a week in the fridge, that give me good quality energy at a reasonable dollar. Further they should be easily consumable in a 10 minute period and have approx. 300 calories.
August 30, 2010
August 25, 2010
In a post WoW online vent chat, I quizzed Shoo about the topics of the day.
1. Should a Mosque be built at ground zero. Seeing as how it is not being built at ground zero, sure.
2. Is president Obama a Muslim? We both pretty much shrugged. My thought is that Clinton was the first black president, so why couldn't Obama be the first Muslim president, in the same vein?
3. Are the above two stories distractions? Yup, media focus on those to the exclusion of other topics.
August 24, 2010
Lets say your a big name Hollywood type. You believe the planet is becoming dangerously hot, due to people. Also, you feel those critical of the science you trust are either evil or misguided.
So you decide to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were wrong. If this was so important, why would you scale back the event and then bail out?
Last March James Cameron sounded defiant.
The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical "solutions" being proposed.
Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen Colorado 19-22 August. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet. They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage.
Everyone on the "denial" side agreed with Mr. Camerons conditions. The debate was even listed on the AREDAY agenda.
But then as the debate approached James Cameron's side started changing the rules.
They wanted to change their team. The "skeptics" agreed.
They wanted to change the format to less of a debate—to "a roundtable". The Skeptics agreed.
Then they wanted to ban the skeptics cameras from the debate. They would have access to the footage. The Skeptics agreed.
Bizarrely, for a brief while, the worlds most successful film maker suggested that no cameras should be allowed-that sound only should be recorded. It was agreed
Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he "wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out," decided to ban the media from the shoot out.
He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference.
No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way.
The skeptics all agreed to that.
And then, August 21st, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an email that Mr. "shoot it out " Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.
I was really looking forward to this, in the hopes that some actual dialog would reach the MSM.
I guess Mr. Cameron does not believe, or does not feel the planets destruction is all that important.
August 23, 2010
If you begin with the belief that that wealthy countries became wealthy by exploiting poor ones, that state action does more good than harm, and that we could all afford to pay a bit more tax, you are likelier to accept a thesis which seems to demand government intervention, supranational technocracy and global wealth redistribution.
If, on the other hand, you begin from the proposition that individuals know better than governments, that collectivism was a demonstrable failure and that bureaucracies will always seek to expand their powers, you are likelier than not to believe that global warming is just the Liberals latest excuse for centralising power.
August 22, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 20, 2010
August 17, 2010
Barack Obama is abandoned by the Left as his approval ratings collapse
I wonder if we could get that no confidence thing?
August 15, 2010
Thursday last I was invited to learn more about the possibility of being a ref for the new roller derby group. They skate a session then have an hour after for practice. During the skating session, while heading into a curve, backwards, at higher speeds, about to transition to front skating using a "move" that I enjoy. I found out that the resurfaced rink is "tighter" then usual. That is to say I fell, and fell hard. As far as falls go it happened very fast. Balance lost, flying, impact, stars, realize what happened, realize I am not wearing my glasses.
I am fine, just bruised and strained with the aches and pains of folly. So I have attempted mentally to figure out what happened during the fall. the point of impact appears to be just above and to my left of where the spine meets the hips. This was either a small slice of time before my left forearm took the rest of the initial impact, quickly followed by my right which started with my pinky and ring finger and hand. I surmise I had tucked my head, chin to my sternum as the neck muscles on either side of the adams apple are very sore as well. I tried to keep my head from the impact but to little avail as the back of my skull did make a loud bounce and sling shotted my glasses across the floor.
It must have made a sickening sound and quite a production as they turned on the lights and the manager lady was heading across the floor towards. My first attempt to stand was unsuccessful. A second attempt found sure inline bladed footing. My glasses were handed to me and I skated off to the side to assess. Total elapsed time was less then 20 seconds.
Back of head: No bruising, forgetfulness, ringing, nausea, tiredness or slurring of speech. I had no problems recalling short term memory and I slept rather well.
Neck muscles: Trapezius was tight and slightly sore, a wifey massage helped that. The sternocleidomastoid muscles are sore to the touch but have a full range of motion.
Lower back: Bruised with some stiffness. Careful stretching and warm up counters this throughout the workday.
left forarm: Mild discolor from bruising. No ache or pain (I think I landed pretty good there).
right hand: Ring and Pinky finger are stiff. Careful stretch and warm up counter as well.
So all in all not a bad fall for an older guy.
August 11, 2010
August 10, 2010
Here is the sight in question.
I am a Python fan (Monty, not the reptile). So when Steve V. utilized this phrase in Facebook the other day I was prompted to search out the sketch. Lo and behold someone created a website with numerous translations of the above phrase!
August 08, 2010
Researchers have determined that thinking about God can help relieve anxiety associated with making mistakes. However, the finding only holds for people who believe in a God.
The researchers measured brain waves for a particular kind of distress response while participants made mistakes on a test.
Those who had been prepared with religious thoughts had a less prominent response to mistakes than those who hadn’t.
“Eighty-five percent of the world has some sort of religious beliefs,” says Michael Inzlicht, who cowrote the study with Alexa Tullett, both at the University of Toronto-Scarborough.
“I think it behooves us as psychologists to study why people have these beliefs; exploring what functions, if any, they may serve.”
With two experiments, the researchers showed that when people think about religion and God, their brains respond differently—in a way that lets them take setbacks in stride and react with less distress to anxiety-provoking mistakes.
Participants either wrote about religion or did a scrambled word task that included religion and God-related words.
Then the researchers recorded their brain activity as they completed a computerized task—one that was chosen because it has a high rate of errors.
The results showed that when people were primed to think about religion and God, either consciously or unconsciously, brain activity decreases in areas consistent with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The ACC is associated with a number of things, including regulating bodily states of arousal and alerting us when things are going wrong.
Interestingly, atheists reacted differently. When they were unconsciously primed with God-related ideas, their ACC increased its activity. The researchers suggest that for religious people, thinking about God may provide a way of ordering the world and explaining apparently random events and thus reduce their feelings of distress.
Not exactly a surprising result.
UK MEP Daniel was in the deep south and was asked why the GOP, having dominated late twentieth century politics, was faring so badly.
The party’s most serious mistake had been its retreat from localism. The Republicans started winning in the 1960s when they embraced states’ rights and the devolution of power. They started losing forty years later when they abandoned these principles. The audience growled its approval and so, perhaps incautiously, I began to list the areas where Bush administration had foolishly extended central power, ranging from the rise in federal spending to the attempt to strike down state laws legalising same-sex unions. When I mentioned same-sex unions, a growl passed through the room, and I winced inwardly: this, I thought, was perhaps not the wisest example to have offered a Republican committee in the Deep South.
Sure enough, after I had finished, a man with a beard and a red baseball cap sauntered up to me.
“Son,” he said, “Ah ’preciate you comin’, an’ Ah ’greed with most of wut you said. But Ah must disagree with your position on so-called homosexual marriage.”
He paused to hitch his jeans up his great belly, looking into the middle distance.
“Far as Ah kin see, not bein’ under any pressure to git married is one of the main advantages Ah enjoy as a gay man.”
Truly, I thought, America is an extraordinary country. Every time you think you’ve got it sussed, it surprises you. It is the sheer diversity of the US that makes anti-Americanism so perverse.