March 2008

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By Week

March 31, 2008. Monday.

(8:53pm). Last Bag O' Links before April Fools Day.

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day, which is when most of my favorite newssites decide to have a sense of humor. In that spirit, I figure I will get a few news bits out and other links so I can take the morning off, besides to appreciate the wry chuckles they elicit. This is also a way to stop myself from answer a forum post that fails to note the constitutional issue of "Full Faith and Credit".

This is a wide mix, so enjoy:

  • Clothing Libraries. Based on a similar plan as our book libraries, these provide generally nice clothes to those people who need them for job interviews or for funerals or for whatever. You check out the clothing just like you would check out a book. You pay for damages, and so forth. Sounds like a bloody brilliant idea and one that would have lots of uses in the States.
  • Huntsville Schools Look Like They Might Merge. My highschool was the product of a merger and it really did help our community out. The plans they are discussing sound perfect. Move students around slightly to decrease costs. I have a sneaky suspicion, though, that some people are going to make a fuss.
  • North Korea Threatens South. Mostly linked for this moebius bit of reasoning: "North Korea threatened South Korea with destruction Sunday after Seoul's top military officer said he would consider attacking the communist nation if it tried to carry out a nuclear attack." That's right, North might attack South because South said it would attack North if North attacked South. That my friend, is what we call "win-win".
  • Meet Thomas Midgley, Jr. The man who put lead in our gasoline and CFCs in our atmosphere. The inventor that, "had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth history." He may literally have doomed us all.
  • Disabled Pregnant Woman Used as Target Practice. Turns out Wal-mart isn't the only person abusing the disabled *rimshot*. In other news, despite Wal-mart having a sound legal basis for doing what they are doing, is there any way they can walk out of that without a P.R. spectacle?
  • Trivial Pursuit Sued for Using Fake Facts. The upshot of this being that the facts were faked so that the guy who compiled a book of trivial (but marketed as real) facts could find out who was copying him. What does this mean? Never trust anything you read in a trivia book. Trust Wikipedia instead.
  • A buttload of people in Huntsville are reading The Maltese Falcon. I'm on it. I already have my copy, so about three books down the road I will read through it.
  • The Final Anthropic Principle, which holds "Intelligent information-processing must come into existence in the Universe, and, once it comes into existence, it will never die out." Interesting.

(1:12pm). Dr. Strong on Youtube..

Dr. Strong will always be a memorable part of UAH for anyone who took a class under her. I found this clip on Youtube essentially acting as a shout out, and could not help but to share:

Or you can go to the page directly.

(8:32am). Yeargh!.

Some dreams are weird. Some dreams are vivid. Some dreams are vivid-weird. The dream I had this morning about 7am? VIVID-WEIRD.

Ugh. This morning will only be made tolerable by a jack cup of Irish Breakfast. Just a splash of skim milk. Mmmmmm.

The dream, which is one of those that leaves you kind of exhausted afterward, had at its core an alien invasion. One clearly inpsired by the British series Hyperdrive. They were nice, heavily unionized, ruthless, ineffecient and prone to weird dietry and aesthetic issues. They had an allergy to magnesium, and seemed to prefer cereal.

The general direction of the dream is a group of nice, not-quite-offensive aliens were shoving me out of my own life. Including trying to take my young kid. I kept trying to fight back but was having no easy time of it. People kept taking their side, assuming them to be nice, quiet neighbors. I tried throwing magnesium on one of them but got confused and grabbed a bottle of manganese instead. That sort of inanity.

The denouement was me fighting with a female officer, very much so based on Hyperdrive's Teal, and her being able to shift forms. My ex-roommate Daniel was there and I was trying to convince him that she was an alien, but she was able to play the middle ground and shift only enough to keep me from winning, but not so much that it was obvious what she was doing.

The dream stalled, there, mid-climax. I woke up, glad to be done with it, feeling tired and drained for having it.

mmmmmMmmmm, Twining's Irish Breakfast.

The other yeargh here is a simple question: how do you get one cat to lose weight when the other cat is almost too skinny and probably needs to be fed more? The game of "separate feedings" is trying to be worked out, but perhaps to no avail.

March 30, 2008. Sunday.

(8:48pm). The New and Improved UAH (+ tonight's bag o' links).

Sarah and I walked around UAH for 30 minutes or so tonight. I wanted to show her some of the changes. The circle is complete up to the point where trees grow around it. The "glass walkway" is complete and looks nice, but the "Charger fountain" looks like they already have had to take it apart and it is quite beat up. We then handed up to the NCRH complex and looked into the quad. We found out, after walking across the grass, that we should not have done that (the sign was posted in an inner door).

For some unknown reason, I started taking shots at the Lancers on the way out. While I was an R.A., there were a few Lancers that irritated me. I don't even know if UAH still has them or not.

The parking garage is mostly done. After which, it seems that the two years of construction will start pulling to a close. I imagine around 2010, most of the new changes will have had time to sort of sink into the background and pick up the general rhythm of the campus at large. I'll try and stop by at that time (I'm sure I'll be out there before that) and take a look.

Now for this night's "Bag o' Links":

(11:09am). Waiting for Corndogs..

Corndogs are getting ready to be cooked. I'm pretty sure that's not what they mean when they say brunch, but really. It's just semantics. This is my combination breakfast + lunch. This is my br + unch. Maybe there should be another word, for when you want to eat lunchy things for breakfast instead of breakfasty things for lunch. Like lunch + breakfast = lunkfast. That's it, I'm adding the word to my dictionary.

Lunkfast - eating lunch style foods for breakfast. Popular among college-age males and men who didn't feel like eggs but wanted corndogs instead.

Anyhow, guess I need to get back to that. Just wanted to share this picture with you, as well. It comes from Postsecret (just in case you don't know, though I'm sure you do, it's where people send in anonymous secrets through postcards (and yes, some of them are assumed to be fake or exaggerated, but you never know which ones)):

That. Angers me. I think.


It also makes me...chuckle.

March 29, 2008. Saturday.

(11:39pm). Pretty Much a Return to Last Post's Bits.

With a Jack Cup of tea (golden assam with a dash of milk and no sweetner) in front of me, I am thinking about my last post. Part of me is thinking about a review to John Ringo's Emerald Sea that I would like to have up by Monday night. I have the first couple of paragraphs already written in my mind. I just need to solidify them before I link to them.

Part of me is thinking about power conservation and how cool it is that some thousands, if not millions of people, turned their power off for an hour and sat there in dark and candlelight and thought about what that meant. Part of me is thinking about how pointless it was, being one hour only and mostly just individuals and couples. Having seen the utilities side of of a couple of businesses, it is not unusual for a mid-sized store to burn the amount of power per month that it would take Sarah and myself a year to use. It takes a lot of neonlights to get some attention from the roadway, apparently. And there is no real way for such stores to just turn out their lights without just shutting down. Which they will not do, unless they somehow get to deduct the "lost business" off their next taxes.

And part of me just can't stop thinking about how negative some people are to it. How they make it out to be this big fisking deal like someone taking a damned hour out of their year to not burn through power is this big affront to them personally. I cannot possibly conceive of what kind of mental breaks you have to have to take offense at someone, who is not affecting you in any way, doing something they feel is a good cause. Especially when the good cause is "not be so wasteful". At best, I assume it is people afraid that they will 1) be proven to be bad or 2) will somehow find their luxuries removed become someone proved they weren't necessary.

At worst, this is just another example of someone taking something not about them in the least and making it about them. Another basement dweller frothing at the mouth. Well, here's this. I got so agitated by the random message board comments I saw, I came up with a Latin phrase. Si es sanus, sum insanus. Basically it means, if you are the standard of healthy, then I am clearly unhealthy. I mean it sort of in a "if you are right, then I am wrong" but with an ironic emphasis. In other words, this is a way of saying "I think you are insane".

As you note, I am getting to try out my reference page that I set up for all the weird little words I like to make use of.

Anyhow, I am going to bed, and I will leave you with one more little Latin quote: Bene vixi, appetat sane nox. I have lived well, now let the night fall.

(10:18pm). Lights Back on. John Ringo.

I picked up the third book in the The Council Wars series (currently a tetralogy, though I am under the impression that the fourth book is not a wrap up but just another stage). John Ringo is an odd writer. His style is not quite like anything else. I couldn't place it in any sort of "fan fiction" category, but that seems to be close to way to sum him up. Some of his dialogue is really chunky. Some of his plotting is really offpaced. But it overall works. As a single, solid whole, it is good. He also throws in nonsequitors, injokes, references to geek culture, and plenty "why the military can be a good thing" lectures. I laugh out loud at a few scenes, and don't groan at any, so that seems to be a thumbs-up of sorts.

Sarah and I got back home a few minutes late to start the "Lights Out" thing, but we managed to get everything off at 8:15pm. Kept them off until 9:15pm. It was nice and relaxing. For maybe the third time in my life, I read my candlelight (and reading was 90% of what I did). My left eye feels sort of strained by it, but it is not a bad way to read, assuming you get a good strong candle that doesn't flicker. You do have to let your eyes adjust to it, some, but it's no worse than reading outside in daylight. Your eyes have to adjust to that, too.

I've read several skeptics who complain that things like the "Lights Out" is pointless. "Oh," they will say "that's going to fix the global warming problem?" I imagine there are some, right now, asking (on message boards) "So, it's all fixed, then?" It was not about that, to me. It was sort of taking an hour to meditate on how much power we use, on the gadgets that are commonplace. On things like refidgeration. We left our fridge on. No real easy way to turn it off. But really, how much of our life would we have to change to make do without it? I think it's a good way to put it perspective, both the sheer number of extraneous electronics we keep on all the time, and how valuable it is to us to find some middle ground.

In other words, I guess I just need to say to the skeptics who hate anyone trying to do anything to make anything better: bite me and grow up.

(5:18pm). A Quiet Day, Light's Out, Happy Birthday Becca.

Just recently back from an afternoon tea party with friends, listening to some music from John Dowland's A Pilgrim's Solace, smoking some nameless Black Cherry cavendish. There is a sense of relaxation in the air right now.

First off, happy birthday to Becca. It's not her birthday (that was yesterday) but today is the day that I get a chance to celebrate it. Went to Emma's Tea Room for the first half. The second half will involve Rock Band at the Sharritt's. I will likely throw together an experience review of Emma's shortly, but not right this second.

Tonight, though, is also supposed to be "Lights Out for One Hour" night. And I might do that, as well. Some candles and some quiet, just focusing on things in a relaxing way. Sounds like it could be fun. Another moment of quiet.

Now to share a few links I have picked up throughout the day:

March 28, 2008. Friday.

(6:17pm). Today's Bag of Links.

I have some interesting news bits from the Alabama front. I don't get to post much local news, but these bits are interesting enough to share.

The most interesting (read: painful) bit of that third article is this line: "The committee turned down two immigration bills. One of those would have required all workers in the state to have an identification card...a similar bill calling for identification cards cleared a Senate committee Wednesday." We already have Social Security cards and state licenses and IDs. Either they ARE a good way of tracking citizenship, in which we don't need another. If they are not, for whatever reason, then another card isn't really the answer. They approve a million dollar "new ID" and we don't have money for education here. sigh.

Now for a couple/three of non-Bama links:

(10:10am). John Dowland Searching. Hey, No Rumble. Stage 2 Transition complete.

Apparently, Philip K. Dick was either a massive John Dowland fan or had some sort of meta-continuity to his works that involved the appearance of being a John Dowland fan. The name shows up quite a bit, the song "Flow My Tears" is directly referenced in the title of one of his more famous novels. Dowland was a composer of about 400 years ago and seems to have written a fair number of songs for the lute and voice, and is mostly remembered as a melancholy writer. There are songs not-melancholy, but none of them are his more famous, it would appear.

Checking out torrents, there was one for about a gig and one for about 700meg. I'm trying to get the 700meg one, just so that I have a good stock of samples. There are several options to buy his music, ranging from $50-$100 box sets (which really do seem like the best way to buy it, just not something I can afford at moment) to those $7 LaserLlight sort of package deals. With one exception, I have had mostly good to great luck with my discounted classical collection, and have dozens of CDs in the same sort of category, so I am probably going to drop $13 dollars some time in the next month or so and get this one. If anyone has $13 and likes me a lot as a friend, then you guys can swoop over to my Amazon Wishlist and buy me a copy, from the depth of your generous soul.

While writing this, I got an e-mail which I promptly deleted (SPAM or some such) and that made me glance at my recent e-mails. One of them led me to this link: Open Playtesting for Pathfinder RPG. Sounds interesting and if I hadn't sworn off of 3.5 style rules I would probably say "let's do it!". One quote on it though, roughly "we are the first ones to have an open playtest" seems less than truthful, but only if you include the indie gaming community that I love so much. Ghostlight (now defunct), Fudge and Sorcerer were all forged (pun intended, for the maybe two of you that would ever read this and get the reference), if memory serves, in the fires of being out there an discussed. I imagine semantics might prove me wrong, but if Ron Edwards can be found, he might could muster a more intelligent response than my own. Back in the 90s there was a strong movement, at least, of games to get them out, let people play them and let the players have feedback, and the creators had more of a "final editorial say" than anything.

This morning did not have the sub-bass rumble to wake me up. I slept kind of late because of that. That's a mixed blessing.

Finally, we are now at a stage two level of completeness on the move over. My livejournals have been sorted through, all but one have been deleted. I have made a "backdated" post set to December 21 (or was it 23?), 2012 that directs people to come here instead. If you followed that link...then "welcome". Heh. My LJ is now "friends only" but mostly in the sense that it allows my friends and myself to look at old posts but makes them invisible to the world. I have probably doubled if not close to tripled the content on this webpage, gotten rid of some of the old. I have sorted a few pages out.

Stage three involves two primary things. The first is to do the same to my somewhat brief "tea blog". Get the best articles off of it. The other part is to sort my photos section out and get consistent, effective photos set up.

Stage four also has two rough stages. The basic one is to get the "side project" websites up: Sarah's site, my site dedicated to our marriage, the site dedicated to my family. None of them will be as expansive as this one, though hopefully I can get some input and have the family website grow kind of fast at some point in time. And Sarah might post more in the future once she has the option to do so. The second part of that is to get the notes and blog postings from the social sites where they were archived. Since most social sites have no good ways to handle blog postings, which have the flavor of afterthought-i-ness, this might take some time.

From that point on, Stage Five is just to keep putting up reviews and commentary and what not, and get this site more fine tuned. With my last site, it took about six months to a year of fairly constant update before people truly started coming to it. I've let the site sort of languish as mostly a place to set up downloads for a couple of years. I've been enjoying the hell out of fixing it, mind you, but I feel like I let it down. Heh.

(1:46am). That Explains the Traffic Jams.

Turns out that the reason why traffic has completely went to shite on University and Parkway lately is because Huntsville has grown by 8000 people during last year alone. And we are the fastest growing town in Alabama. Joy.

Is it rude to tell people to "GO HOME!"? Is it? Ah well, I guess it is. They can stay.

March 27, 2008. Thursday.

(11:04pm). Being Tired for Damned Near No Reason.

Tonight was busy enough, apparently, to seriously tire me out. It's only 11pm and I am more than ready to crash. I've also eaten too many peppermints. It's been awhile since I have had hard candy style sugar and my mouth is confused by this much sweet. Ugh.


Tonight hung out with Jimmy and Sarah. He took us out because he missed Sarah's birthday about a month ago and wanted to make it up to her. She choose Pepitos and it was a fair choice. I got to try their steak chimichanga (fair, but I would rather their standard tacos, which is my main dish from them). After that, we came back here and talked about movies for a bit, watched a few episodes of The IT Crowd and the "Art" episode of Spaced, played a few videogames (a mattering of Resident Evil 2 and Mario Kart DS. By this time, both of us were both exhausted. We reminiscenced for a bit and then he had to go.

Jimmy and I lived together for five or so years, but now I only get to see him about once a month (about as often as I see any of my friends). It is good to catch up, but in some ways it feels almost rushed when we do hang out, because we got stuff to accomplish. When I lived with him, it was much more about just lounging around quietly for a while.

To get rid of a few links I have been saving, or just read, I will post them now. Most of these are chosen for having a "naughty bits" theme.

  • End of Semester Orgy. Huzzah, until I read the line "to celebrate the end of Year 11". Jesus H. Christ. This is a bunch of high schoolers balling to the wind. I betcha they watched an episode of Skins and just had to have at it (thanks to Strages for letting me know what that show is, even though I haven't watched it). How would you like to be the of age fellow that sees the naked flesh and thinks its a love parade or something and jumps in, to realize later that you banged a dozen 16-17 year olds? On second thought...
  • TSA Forces Woman to Remove Nipple Rings For Flight. Power-tripping once again, another TSA agent sets down an arbitrary "you do this, or you don't get to fly" bullshit rule. This time, the rule involved pliers.
  • Stripping Vegans!. That's probably enought said about that.
  • Note that America is part of the BOTTOM THREE in sexual satisfaction. I swear to God, men, get to it!

(10:37am). The Insulting Psychobot.

Total Dickhead, a blog about Phil Dick fandom, posted an entry about a robot therapist designed to insult people. I guess you could say it is more complicated than that, but that's one of the more interesting bits.

I also found the quote he sites from PKD's "Man, Android and Machine" to be really interesting: "We humans, the warm-faced and tender, with thoughtful eyes -- we are perhaps the true machines. And those objective constructs, the natural objects around us, and especially the electronic hardware we build, the transmitters and microwave relay stations, the satellites, they may be cloaks for authentic living reality inasmuch as they participate more fully and in a way obscured to us in the ultimate Mind."

It is the concept that so many use: animals are closer to God because they cannot disobey their nature. But it's taken the next step. Machines, who cannot help but represent their programming, are more attached to the ultimate Mind. Their very being is to uphold it.

(9:30am). Reality Used to Be a Friend of Mine.

I used to be friends with reality She used to be real close to me But she tried to hide from me... Reality Used to be a friend of mine Reality used to be a friend of mine

Your guess is as good as mine as to why that was stuck in my head. It seems like it popped in my head last night before I went to sleep, but I have no clue. I looked through about one and half years of blog entries (you want to know something? read yourself. read what you consider significant for two-three years previous). Probably one of them had a subject title of "Reality used to be a friend of mine".

The loud sub-bass sound of construction was back from yesterday. This time it did not wake up so much as helped to reinforce my staying up mechanism once I did wake up. Right now I can feel it vibrating everything: the walls, floor, my desk. It's not quite good enough to get my cup's liquid to have neat interference patterns or anything, but I suppose you can't have everything.

Ooo, the Songs in the Key of X. One of the best non-soundtracks ever (it was an "inspired by" CD). Sometimes I do love the random, haphazard CDs I have bought over the years. I have something like 1200-1300 albums total (admittedly, something like 40 was a Bob Dylan box set that I never touch and another 60 or so were the complete works of Mozart, but still).

OK, I am starting to sound really random, here. Sorry about that. I'm about to do another couple months of sorting through my LJ and porting over anything worth saving, while letting the rest of it go. Sometime this afternoon, I am going to try and set up a mass-privacy setting change on it. I will stick the whole thing into privacyland. That way my friends can still read it (and me) as an archive (if they ever care) but it will generally be dead space on the Internet. If that does not quite get the effect I need, I may have to delete it, but before I do I will do what I can to find some sort of real archive capability.

March 26, 2008. Wednesday.

(2:41pm). Shudders. Ah, the Tension of Submitting Stuff for Grad School.

I am currently playing through Nine Inch Nails Ghosts I-IV and trying to calm down. I submitted by Statement of Purpose to UA this afternoon. You can read that if you want. If there are any typos, it is too late now. I am sure I could have edited it down and make it more concise, but since this is grad school I took the stance that it is better to just say everything that I think now rather than say it super quick and have to fill in gaps later. This way, if I get denied, at least I will get denied for being too much me. There is a certain bohemian pleasure in that.

It really is nerve shattering, though. I think of myself as grad school material, but actually putting that into word form and submitting. Rough.

(1:39pm). Two more book related links.

I have two more links that I came across today about books that I would like the share.

Much like The Matrix before it, there is now going to be College classes on Harry Potter. They seem interesting enough, but part of me still snickers.

For those how like P.G. Wodehouse, those who would like to Wodehouse, and for those who don't know Wodehouse but wouldn't mind seeing what the hell I am getting at: Alexandra Mullen's The Pleasures of Wodehouse.

(8:36am). The Results of American God Ebookage.

I was going to post this earlier (see previous post about the weird way that sun exposure affects my concentration) but I have some good news. Good news to me, anyhow.

"The weekly book sales of American Gods have apparently gone up by 300%" say Neil Gaiman in latest blog ("Scary Eyes"). This is due, at least in part, to the presence of a free ebook located on HarperCollins website. Before I switched my blog over here, I commented that the HC experience was less than satisfactory, it felt like users had to fight with the ebook reader. I sent them a comment along the lines of "I like the concept of free as much as the next, but to me ebooks are about having options in the way you read that a physical page can never offer, your version feels as though it is lacking in options, therefore gets rid of 60% of why I would like ebook copies". Well, that's what I meant to say. God knows what I actually said. 35% is, of course, the reduced cost that some (but not all) ebooks have and 5% is the ease of transport.

At any rate, this is good news it that it helps to show that ebooks can work. It is possibly bad news since an ebook that required some bother to read probably leads to selling more books than an ebook which does not IF THE BOOK IS A GOOD BOOK. We may see people putting up even better books in even harder to read formats, in hope of triggering some response.

I kid! I kid! But, still, never trust the outcome of a meeting between an actuary, an accountant, and a salesman. There be dragons!

(8:03am). Yay for the Sounds of Construction on a Wednesday Morning.

I was woken about an hour ago by the sounds of construction. A deep, sub-bass note with pitched piccolo shrills overtopping. It is like some great big Don Juan Triumphant sans deformed men in masks and a grinding organ staccato. It is also really annoying. But, temporary, and "necessary" if they are going to finish that Yet-Another-Motel so I won't complain more than I already have.

I went to bed about 10pm at the latest last night, so that puts me at 9 hours of sleep, one way or another. I only got about three hours of sleep the night before, which brings me to a two day average of 6. Once you factor in yesterday's 6 hour hike, I am at a bad ratio, me pretties.

The after-effects of the sunburn are not too bad. I kind of hurt all over, even places I was not sunburned. It might be just a matter of soreness, though, so I don't know. My lungs feel slightly fluid filled, which probably is a sunburn effect. My lack of concentration fits the profile. Last night was even worse. Overall, though, I think my energy level will be up today. Too bad, for it, that I am going to force myself to stay in bed most of the day so my ankles and knees get rest for the first time in a bit.

My first MUST-DO is get my statement of purpose for U of A sent off. My second MUST-DO is to contact a person who is sending in a letter of rec for me and make sure that is going well, though I don't think it is a problem if it is not. My last MUST-DO is to get my state taxes finished and mailed off, or at least ready to mail off tomorrow. None of these should take more than thirty minutes by themselves, if that long. That should leave some time to tweak more of this site, but that is technically postponed until tomorrow (I don't event want to sit up today, I want to keep the blood away from my legs as much as possible).

I have John Ringo's Emerald Sea in mass-market and a SFBC edition of Rincewind the Wizard. I will read those today. If I magically get done, I will dive into some cheap mass-market horror. No problems.

Alright, I guess I should get things done so I can get back to bed.

March 25, 2008. Tuesday.

(6:15pm). Back from the Hike. Tired. So Very Tired. Sarah "played hookie" (which is a naughty way of saying "took a well earned personal day") in order to go on a hike with me. We hit up Panther Knob, which has become my new favorite hiking trail on Monte Sano, and then looped through Keith and Goat and Warpath before walking back in down South Plateau. I plan to start a hike journal real soon, to keep track of how often we go, weather conditions, trail conditions, and the like. Hopefully tomorrow.

A moderately constant (with 10-20 minute breaks in 3 spots) 4.5 hours, bringin the total hiking time the past couple of days to 10 hours. Along with about 1.5 hours of playing tennis, this brings my calorie consumption to about 11,000 calories. That's one heck of a weekend. I still think a marathoner can kick my ass, but for an out of shape guy, that ain't that bad.

Too much sun a couple of days ago. Today was a lot better. I'll probably still feel mildly sick and headachy tomorrow, but plan to rest for two or three days before even playing tennis (at least one) so that will help. Also have been having some shoe malfunctions (the last hike completely shredded on pair, and the pair I wore today constricts too much). My ankles kind of hurt.

Still, wonderful day. And it's a good tired. It's just a VERY tired at the same time.

(6:09pm). Eli?. Not that many will know what I am talking about, but when I saw this post on about photorealistic papercraft heads, the first thought I thought was: Eli?

papercraft eli head

(8:24am). Rough. Having a hard time waking up this morning. About to (in thirty minutes or so) head off on another day of hiking, meaning that three days out of the past four have been fairly high impact. My plan is to not wake up tomorrow, and we'll see how Thursday goes when we get to it.

Dug around in my old journal for hours yesterday (at least four) and got lots of poems, articles, links, and whatnot out of it. I made it from January 2006 to October 2006. Will hopefully finish out 2006 in tonight's run and start on 2007. There should be a point about mid-2007 where the entries drop off for a bit and then resurge in 2008, if I recall correctly. This means I will probably get done with 2007 with enough time to go back and backtrack 2005.

Tomorrow, I plan to start deleting all my secondary journals. Tightening up my net presence even more.

March 24, 2008. Monday.

(10:00am). Exhaustion Has Set In, and Old Blog Browsing. Listening to The Pillows's Smile album. Drinking some Tetley iced tea with no sugar. Feeling exhausted. After the hike on Saturday and an hour and a half of tennis yesterday, most of me hurts and it feels draining to stand up and do anything. My hands feel swollen they are so tired of gripping rackets ands walking sticks. My ankles are swollen. And my head feels like I spent the weekend drinking instead. Guh.

Today is a day of rest for me. Going to go hiking again on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to it, but I have definitely pushed my body one point past common sense allows.

One of my goals for today (and the next week or two) is to sort through a lot of my old journal posts. Most of them are just as much fluff as this one, some commentary on where I am at but nothing really "for the ages" besides the off chance that I become megafamous and fangirls need some dirt. Boring, boring dirt in which I say things like "I feel sick, but Sarah is taking care of me, mmmmkissss" over and over and pepper it with "Played this game, it is ok. You might want to play it."

Occasionally I post things of some depth, but too many of them were "of a particular place and time" and do not quite port over to anything that the site can use. When I get done, I have the option of deleting the journal or at least just starting it over, but I have no idea if I am going to touch it.

March 23, 2008

(10:48pm). Some things the same though not the same. I talked to my mom and to my brother Danny tonight. These, along with my brother David (through chat), are far and away the family members I talk to the most. Danny and I talk about a wide swath of things, but at its core there are three primary topics: the freedom of information, being an ass versus not being an ass, and being creative. The middle topic, ass v non-ass, is complicated because it also involves a lot of anecdotal evidence about people being asses to us (or, largely, to him) and through the realization of what other people do and how they do it in a shitty way we do get a legimate method of finding out how to not treat others like that.

The conversations with my mom have a different sort of vibe. They are about 40% me desccribing my day and her acting confused that my hobbies have changed in the ten years since I have last lived at home. Like tonight. "What did you do for Easter?" "I played tennis." "You play tennis???" Now, the "bet your money" funny part here is the fact that in two months or less, I will be on the phone with her, and I will say "I was playing tennis the other day..." and her response will be "You play tennis?". Admittedly, I was never one known for sports (hiking being the only consistent physical activity of my life). That might be part of it.

Since moving from home I have started smoking pipes, gotten married, changed my religious and political beliefs, picked up one hell of a sarcastic streak, increased my love of books, came close to quitting college but ended up finishing, started drinking strong European beers and drinking gin and tonics, started listening to different music, and so on. I have changed quite a bit, but I find myself usually unwilling to share this with my family as a whole. Some members, yes, but as a whole I just don't bring it up.

Because when I do, I can kind of see the inertia kicking in. They have a way of picturing me that is not quite me, and will never be me again. It was sort of me at one time, but has been somewhat distilled over time. Now, though, they occasionally come face to face to a changed me and they are never quite sure how to handle it. I know I do the same back to them. A decade is a long time as far as people go, 1/7 of an entire life. A lot can go down in that time. When I left home, my younger brother was 14. He was just starting his teenage years. He now has a wife and kid.

Ah, family, where things constantly change but somehow try and stay the same. In many ways, this why they are so good and so bad at the exact same time.

But I love them.

(1:34am) The Best Laid Plans of [Insert John Steinbeck Novel Title Here]. Tonight, I was going to accomplish things. I was going to watch Run, Fat Boy, Run. I was going to watch Hyperdrive episodes. I was going to get some paperwork tucked away. I was going to be a contender. What I have done is eat, sleep, misplaced two hours I have no idea where they went to (from 7 to 9). Did a brief stint book browsing (more in a second) and did a brief stint picking up stuff from the old Kroger.

While at the bookstore, I realized how annoying shopping at most big named book stores is. Since I am half asleep, I could not begin to fathom out a way to describe what I mean, besides to say that I just don't feel the love from most of them. I feel the love of profit. I feel the love of presentation. But not the love of books. That, and I find that almost all of my favorite writers who have new books have electronic copies that I would rather have over physical ones.

The reason I am so tired and (seemingly) half delirious is due to a long hike that Sarah and I pulled today. There are some great memories attached, and I will hopefully have details up in a planned hiking journal that I was going to set up today. But I am, frankly, too tired. I'm going to chew on about five pages of The Light Fantastic and get some sleep.

March 22, 2008

(8:26am). Prior to the Hike...Downer Saturday? As a kid I was utterly confused by the notation of Good Friday. The day we celebrate killing God because He was nice and let us. It seemed kind of shitty to call it God. As I grew older, ideas like "fruition of God's love" and "fulfillment of prophecy" entered into my reasoning and I began to understand. This was the whole "For God so loved the world..." bit. Hence: Good.

Now, though, its Saturday. Tomorrow is Sunday. It's the world's longest two day weekend ever (having, as it did, three days and three nights). I have never heard of a nomenclature for Saturday. But if Friday is the fulfillment of prophecy and Sunday is the fruition of God's Love, does that make today just pretty much Downer Saturday? The day when all of his loved ones and friends sat around and obeyed their Jewish customs and tried to not talk about it all that much?

This was the stuff as a kid that I talked about and people gave me the "I'm praying for you" speech. I can see why. But, still, it just keeps popping in my head.

March 21, 2008

(11:22pm). Three News Articles from the "Oh..." Category. I am a voracious reader of news. It just makes me feel good to keep informed. It also makes me feel very, very bad. Take these three news articles I found tonight, for example:

Girl Who Was Disemboweled Dies. In an accident of the sort turned to dark comedy in the infamous short story "Guts" (by Chuck Palahniuk, found in his book Haunted), a kid was severely injured by the suction drain at the bottom of a pool. It sounds like a bad urban legend, and people often nervously chuckle when they hear it, but it does happen. I am not 100% the incidents that have to build up to it, but there you go.

The second sad news I read was Obese Relative May Have Crushed Boy. There are quite a few wiggle words cited, but the gist of it is, a two-year old dropped off at a bed ridden relative's (bed ridden due to morbid obesity) place got his skull crushed and they suspect that he was landed on by the relative.

The third is sad in a different way, U.S. Won't Let Flamboyant British Author In. Due to moral turpitude. Which just strikes me as all sorts of funny, but in that sad sort of way. Do we even stop people for being immoral? Really? Dandies? Wow. Maybe he should have said he would pick cucumbers for two dollars an hour and they would have gotten him in quick.

(1:53pm). Not Exactly Week to Week, but... Just got done paying the bills from this old two week pay period, and just about hit broke. Considering that all the bills are paid, some of them slightly overpaid, and we have money for a few hobbies, it is not so bad at all. At the same time, it sucks. The phrase "week to week" does work, as does "paycheck to paycheck", but not really. Those phrases are meant to imply that you have no sense of the future. I've got a sense of the future. I well plan and budget everything, generally down to the dollar (the cents I may let go awry). I have bills paid up to the date of the next paycheck. And I have 20 dollars left over. It is paycheck to paycheck, but I would say that it's about as intelligent as paycheck to paycheck can get. Still, it does make you go hmmm, just a little.

Alright, then, let's end this with a little Tom Waits and "All the World is Green":

The questions begs the answer Can you forgive me somehow Maybe when our story's over We'll go where it's always spring The band is playing our song again And all the world is green Pretend that you owe me nothing And all the world is green We can bring back the old days again And all the world is green The moon is yellow silver On the things that summer brings It's a love you'd kill for And all the world is green

(10:30am). Seems the Point Wasn't About the Dangers of Exclusion. Not that I have ever thought that the real point of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was to bring up a discourse on exclusionary tactics in the ID v Evolution debates, but it was at least portrayed as being a portion of the point. The point is to make the claim that evolutionists are evil fundamentalists who are quick to judge and who should be blamed for the worst disasters of the twentieth century. There are several of my friend who would agree. I would even state that in some cases they are right. Except the logic is wrong. It is not evolutionary thought that made people do the bad things. It is the mindset that they were above the consequences, in touch with a a whole new reality, that lead them to do it. It is what happens when a massive ego meets with the sense of some sort of so called higher agenda. Whether they are emissaries of said higher power, or just using the higher power to their own end, is a debate of intention. Evolution was just an excuse for many of the evils done in its name. Just like God is often just an excuse for a basement dwelling sociopath to kill an abortion doctor. The sort that want to kill and destroy tend to already have the inclination and just need a direction to aim their hate.

But this is all a massive digression. The movie stages itself as a reasoned argument that evolutionists are excluding reasonable members of the Intelligent Design movement. When this is your premise, you damned well better show that the two can work together or you end up with an either/or scenario. You force one to take precedent and despite the general Christian leanings of this nation, I do not think that ID will be the de facto curriculum any time soon (the fact that is simply unteachable being part of it, it is a dogmatic statement, it is either accepted or not).

When PZ Myers (who was interviewed for the movie?) talks about being expelled (pun intended) from the premier by special request of the producer it brings up a momentary chuckle. Especially when the blog says that Richard Dawkins, probably the best known atheist in the world, was allowed in because he was signed up as the man's guest. At the same time, the chuckle is short lived because it is just sad. Surely they would realize that Myers was going to give them just as much bad press either way, and this just makes them look intolerant, pigheaded, and control freakish (the very claims that are often cited against the more vocal religious leaders). At least, had he gotten in, he would be attacking them for content and not for ad hominems which is the very problem that ID says it faces. If anything, this was an attempt to protect the Q&A session.

A different take on the story would be from the Expelled website, which includes this quote: "I just happened to be standing directly in line behind Dawkins' academic colleague. Management of the movie theatre saw a man apparently hustling and bothering several invited attendees, apparently trying to disrupt the viewing or sneak in." This, of course, is almost instantly disprovable. If tickets were required, then how did the man's family and Richard Dawkins get into the theater? Were tickets not required (if not, how do you sneak in)? For this account to work, Myer's family (and Dawkins) would have had to had permission while Myers did not. The terms used in this version of events strongly imply criminality on behalf of the disagreeing party: gatecrashing, hustling, bothering, trespassing, stealing. It is not surprising that many comments left on various websites bring this statement into question.

Nor is it surprising that the latter entry also describes the movies fascination with Nazis as proof of Evolutions downfall, something obvious from the trailer but treated in the entry as as spoiler. Besides, how the hell do you have a spoiler in a documentary?

I'll end this with a link to another blog that backs up the first one's claims. If any official statement comes out that does more than implies Myers is a criminal and deffends the reasons for keeping him, but not his entourage, out, I will post it later.

(2:11am). Bleary Eyed Reading Thing. I read a lot. I will say more than the average bear. If by more you mean something on the order of ten times the amount, if articles and averages as reported can be trusted. I love reading. I couldn't tell you why. I won't tell you. I just gives me pleasure to spend a few hours lost in a good novel. It's not escapism, per se, but it is something in the same vein. It is a reveling in the imagination of humans, of enjoying shared dreams of my fellow man. Or their experiences, in several cases, non-fiction or otherwise. Rather than the anti-social act that so many decry it as being, it is something of an ultimately social act. You give yourself over to someone's conversation. A book is an act of listening through the written word for hours. There is nothing near that social in the standard act of watching TV together, brain dead and staring ahead.

For some reason, though, I ended up reading most of my books in such a way that I finish them while half asleep at night. Just happened with John Ring's There Will Be Dragons (which I posted a review of to this site). No way was bailing out that close the end, despite being sleepy. I stuck it through. Now, of course, I want to start the next one but barely have the energy.

Through it all, though, I am forced to wonder. Just what do I miss by doing this. What subtle bits of ending are overlooked. I don't know if John Ringo has a subtle bone in his writing body, but the point is still valid. While many endings are rushed and slightly unbalanced, it would be wrong to assume that no writer in the history of the written word took care to carefuly craft an ending. Of course I am missing some nuance. Never enough to feel lost by the book, but still some. Of course, I am making this post at a point even more tired than when I finished reading, and it seems to make sense. Maybe it is nothing to worry about afterall.

March 20, 2008

(3:23pm). Musings About My Journal (the Move Away from Livejournal). [Doug's Note: this was posted to my livejournal, dicussing my move over. I posted it here for archives sake.] For the past few weeks, I've been thinking about what to do with my LiveJournal. I post regularly, as you all know, and on a wide variety of topics. At the same time, I've been hankering to run my own blog in my own way. There are thing that I want and things I do not want, that any prepackaged site will not be able to offer.

When I read about the bound to be ineffectual LJ strike coming up this Friday, it got me to thinking. Users probably should have to pay for bandwidth through advertisement if they are going to get a service for free. To say that it infringes upon them seems nonsensical to me. Also, the censorship that everyone got angry about it seems to be words missing from a page of most popular searches, not removed from interests altogether. And they were put back when people complained. Why they were removed to begin with, I have no idea.

But it did sink in a couple of lessons. The first is the concept of the Eternal September. In some ways, sites that remove users from their own content leads to prolonging the issue. It is weird. We are a couple decades into the Internet as a widely used object, and we are talking about natural rights and treating like it's a piece of nature or a place not founded by numerous businesses, and largely maintained for the concept of profit. When we say that a site should be thankful for the users that drain down the bandwidth "because they give it purpose" we are getting some parts right but most of the practical parts wrong.

And, for whatever reason it did get censored, however briefly and to whatever extent, there is still the question of the censorship. I have no issue with LJ censoring things. As long as it is forthcoming with it, and open with it, then it would be their option. To claim otherwise is to state that LJ is, again, some sort of natural system in which users have natural rights. Since I think they have the right to change my content, then I have to say I want my content to be centralized in a place where it won't be changed. I am lucky. I have the know how to run several types of servers and to do it fairly securely. There are others that don't have that option.

But I do, and I think I want to take advantage of it. If anyone makes money off my content, I'm pretty sure I want it to be me. Also, I am fairly open with my online identity. In fact, I am probably the most open person I know (personally) with it. Pulling it all to one site helps me to reinforce it and keep track of what is searchable and what is not.

I'll get around to posting URLs to change over to in a few days (mid-April at the latest). What I think I will do, for a few months at least, is to post bi-/weekly digests that summarize my posts. They would have links, titles, some content and so on. That way friends on LJ, Myspace, and Facebook would be able to keep up with things without having to bookmark my site. I will definitely be keeping my sites up, so that I can respond to friends and get event information and e-mails and stuff. I will still check my LJ friends list everyday. I will just be highly limiting what I do on those sites. And, in general, any changes in information I make and any pictures I post will be to my personal site only.

Over the next few weeks, I think I will go back over the history of my LJ and pull old posts out and edit them and add them to my site. I will probably, but I am not sure yet, leave my old posts up indefinitely. I may make some sort of ultra-privatized and just leave up for a personal record. I'll figure that out later.

Anyhow, that's me plan. Just wanted to give you a guys a heads up.

(1:00pm) Weird Little Head Poppings. The phrase "bacon bits" just popped in my head. I think it was actually the phrase "tasty little bacon bits" or maybe just "tasty little bits" but it quickly solidified into "bacon bits". Which, well, I hate. I like bacon. I even like fake bacon of the Morning Star and Turkey varieties. But bacon bits are a non-food that I eat when I am in the mood for eating non-food. Like bad potato chips. Or mass produced Mexican candies. I never sit around, on a good day, look in my fridge, and think: "Man, I am hungry and bacon bits would appease me as a human being. In fact, the only real use I have ever found for them that is satisfactory is to put them on weak salads, soak them in salad dressing, and watch them turn into mulch. Yummy, yummy, mulch. This is a trick I learned in highschool. It filled me with delight. Well, not so much delight as bad, fake food that had a huge taste quotient. Even if that taste could not truly be described as "good" by any stretch of the imagination.

But the real question is...where in the hell did that come from?

Likewise, the theme song from the old Blossom show jumped in my head last night. Except it was the tune of the theme song, set to the words of Frasier's theme song. Seriously? WEIRD.

My head is a rollercoaster ride.

(2:52am) You Know What is Worse.... You know what is worse than insomnia? Your mom. No, really. What is worse is when you are really tired, but then remember you needed to do a couple more things before bed. So, like, one of the nights that my body wants to go to sleep and I am having to get some stuff done before sleep is an option. Woo-wee. It kind of hurts the eyes, it does. Oh well, passing time by reading John Ringo's There Will Be Dragons and enjoying it. Probably toss up a review for it soon.

I have done quite a bit of tweaking on this website. I figure another two weeks and I will be ready to drop the personal site profiles. And then, well, I suppose I can be ignored again. heh.

(12:33am) This Is a Test. Assuming this test works, there will be embedded video (Joe Purdy: Canyon Song) right here below:

(12:22am) Bother and Tarnation. Mine and Sarah's TV set has been upon the brink of doom for a few months now. Do not remember the first time I noticed it, but it has not been that long ago when I realized that the picture was picking up a bit of the old red shift, possibly in indication of some Hollywood expansion not yet realized by us mortals. Tonight, the picture went from "just a tad bit too red" to something much worse. Lots of red and the image jumps up and down and all crazy. If you let it warm up, you can kind of tap it on the side (light tap is all it takes) and get it to calm down, but I imagine that is not much longer for this world.

Of course, fixing it is not too far out of the question. Being that, well, it's not under consideration. There is the American way of fixing it, I suppose: buy a new one. Or even the Alabama way of fixing it: buy a new one and put it on top of this one? Or the South Alabama of way of fixing it: take it to Wal-Mart and say that I lost the receipt.

A friend has said that he has a TV to spare, so I need to contact him and see if he was serious. Assuming he was, maybe just might toss our old and broken right into a baseball bat and see what happens.

March 19, 2008

(11:31pm) A Prototype, of Sorts. Looks like I am going to be moving my journal back into my own domain. The reasons are numerous, and sort the same time. It mostly boils down to I want to focus on my own website design, to have my writings and net presence concentrated in one area. I will possibly maintain my social profiles, but probably not. I will mostly likely boil them down to a minimum, and then check them off and on for whatever missives they might have collected.

This post is sort of me testing out how the layout will have to be, and getting used to what sort of things I would need to change.I suppose this is enough text for a test.

Written by W Doug Bolden

For those wishing to get in touch, you can contact me in a number of ways

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