Friday, November 30, 2007
IM conversation from this morning...
GDad: Lunch ABC?
SB: Sure DEF.
GDad: ABC = Anywhere But Chinese.
SB: I thought it meant "after breakfast, chum"
SB: So I replied with "Don't eat Fritos"
GDad: Of course.
SB: Cuz they make you poot.
This morning, I heard a report about how some supporters of abstinence-only edu-ma-cation were rallying in protest around recent governmental decisions to provide actual education to teens. The protesters had supplied their own RealLifeTM teenagers to testify that abstinence-only education had prevented them from falling into a death spiral of despair, disease, etc.
One girl said, "I have remained abstinent, um, abstinated..."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
I was corresponding with Hoji at Geek, Interrupted about Battlestar Galactica Razor. We both are both excited and perhaps pathetic. Hoji's remarks are in bold; my responses are in plain text.
Grandpa Hybrid - what's up with that? (kinda cool tho)
Do hybrids age, then? If so, what about skin jobs?
Old school Cylons - *giggles like schoolgirl with glee*
Old school Cylons - EXCELLENT!
Old school Cylons part Deux - Are there more? Are they plotting to overthrow their "children?"
Old school Cylons talk, just like TOS! I guess the new Cylon warrior machines didn't need voices, since they were only created as warriors, and the humanocylons with whom they needed to interact could use Cylon juju to communicate with them.
Starbuck - casting doubt on her 'destiny' - 12th cylon? Nahhhhhhhh
Starbuck's destiny may be foretold by competing prophecies, a la the Belgariad. This could mean that she's destined to do one of two things, but even the gods are unsure which path she will follow. Of course, it could also be that she is destined both to lead humanity to Earth and to destroy humanity. That would stink. Maybe they run out of tylium somewhere around Saturn's orbit, and they arrive at the solar system in, say, 1873 AD. Made it to the neighborhood; couldn't find the house.
Gina and Cain (or at least Cain) - should have expected it, but didn't see it coming
I think I heard that a while ago. Maybe it nailed the motivation, but I think it may have been more to titillate the fanboys.
Adama the Elder - oh, he happened to be the guy on the surface of the planet when the Hybrid took off. How convenient. *snort*
Adama's presence on the planet when the Hybrid left - some speculation... I read a guess that perhaps the skin jobs actually came from Cylons created by Earth, and they joined with the Cylons from the colonies. Razor kind of clobbers that guess, but maybe there's a line of thought we can pursue there.
Perhaps the Significant Seven (SS) humanocylons left the Old School Cylons (OSC) to ramp up for the assault on the colonies. The OSCs may have been in the process of creating the Final Five (FF) at the time the SSs left. The SSs had all of the technology to create new hybrids, resurrection ships, etc., and they knew that there would be five more models, but they didn't have knowledge of what those models looked like or how they fit into the grand scheme of things.
Take this a bit further. If the OSCs' goal was to achieve organic sentience in order to commune with the Cylon god, then perhaps the whole "destroy humanity" directive became unimportant to them. They may have even wanted to save humanity, because they could have developed a morality that held life to be sacred, irrespective of whether it was human or cylon. If that is so, then perhaps the OSCs modified the FFs to save humanity from the SSs. You'll notice that all of the FFs so far have continued to support humanity even after realizing they were Cylons. It could be that the OSCs knew that the SSs would attack humanity, so they set plans into motion to protect humans out of a sense of propriety or guilt. That would also speak to the modified Cylon plan to "guide" humanity during the New Caprica occupation.
How does that tie to Adama? Well, he was present at the hybrid facility at the end of the war, so maybe he has some kind of mystic or sentimental significance to the OSCs. They might have put people in place to guide him in his career with subtle pushes in the right direction as well as to protect humanity. Saul Tigh has known Adama for 20+ years, so he has had ample opportunity to influence Adama. Chief Tyrol has had some opportunity to help out. The FFs may not have even known what they were doing, but their programming could have helped them with those pushes.
That would also provide some of the motivation for Cain. Her sleeper programming to protect humanity was reinforced by the duplicity of the Gina 6 (Not the Jena Six). She also had a strong reaction to the Cylon attack that may have been part of her sleeper programming spurring her to action, and that action may have been to find the rest of humanity by following the Cylon fleet.
Of course, this provides another possible Cylon in Laura Roslin. She seems to be uncharacteristically hostile to the enemy Cylons (to wit, throwing Leoben Conroy out an airlock), but when Athena/Boomer 8 allied with the humans, Roslin warmed up quite a bit. She is in a position to defend humanity, as well. She also had the same Opera House visions as the Number 3 model regarding the FFs.
Trying to bring some rationalization to the table as to Cain's actions - not really needed
Rationale for Cain's actions - see above.
I'm still trying to figure out how this sets up the final season (March? ARGH)
If my house of cards is built on a solid foundation, then this could set up the new season by providing the FFs with a motivation to continue to serve humanity. The whole milieu is steeped in religious significance for humans and Cylons, so a mystical calling would not be out of character for these folks.
My money is still on Cain as the last Cylon. That would be delicious...
Cain as the final Cylon. I'd go along with that, but I'd hedge my bet with Laura Roslin, unless I'm forgetting that she has passed the "human" test from Baltar's Cylon detector. Of course, we don't know that Baltar's detector works correctly on the FFs. If they are physiologically different, then they may not be detectable by that machine.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
GPop missed most of the fun. Both GPop and Brother 3 had to work on Friday after Thanksgiving, so we took two cars to Grandma's house. Son and I departed for visits to the rest of the family, and GPop and Brother 3 went back to our homes. Here's the travel map. The order of travel is 0, 1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 0.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I was talking to someone today about the Russian language, and I decided to check out Pravda's web site. I don't speak or read Russian, so I ran it through the Babelfish translator. I found a cool story that said the Russian mafia is paying the Korean cloning scientist/fraud some money to try to clone the extinct woolly mammoth from frozen tissue samples.
First, that would be cool. Pleistocene Park, here we come.
Second, would the Russian mafia use mammoths in their operations? I can't imagine that it would be easy to keep an undercover operation if your operatives led around 12-foot tall furry animals with them. Maybe that's the idea.
I was pondering this morning the phenomenon of business jargon that spreads, plague like, through organizations. Specifically on my mind is the term "slide deck," used to describe a Powerpoint (or similar technology) presentation, either in electronic form or on paper. The usual suspects, the jargon-spewing zombies (like Carl here), pick up these new terms to disguise their inability to contribute anything new.
I found this site that describes the term as an "unnecessary neologism." I like that term.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
From Cranky Epistles...
I'd like to suggest a meme, where the premise is that you will attempt to find 5 statements, which if you were to type into google (preferably google.com, but we'll take the other country specific ones if need be), you'll find that you are returned with your blog as the number one hit.My five search terms are (as of right now):
This takes a bit of effort since finding these statements takes a little trial and error, but I'm going to guess that this meme might yield some interesting insight on the blog in question.To make it easier, we'll let you use a search statement enclosed in quotations - this is just to increase your chances of turning up as number one, but if you happen to have a website with the awesome traffic to command the same statement without quotations, then flaunt it baby! Of course, once you find your 5 statements, pass the meme on to others.
"Elegant, Beautiful, Strange"
"The Importance of Being Scripted"
And the one that I thought should have been a hit, but wasn't:
My dear friend, Eggbert Terwilliger, is a fine gentleman. Until Son joined my family, though, Eggbert had limited experience with children. When our niece came to visit soon after Son joined our family, I made a cheat sheet for Eggbert so he could tell them apart. I e-mailed it to him before he met our niece. It gave him time to digest the information.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Many thanks to the people that pop in here to read about whatever's on my mind. It's both gratifying and frightening. You should all pat yourselves on the back for your efforts in deciphering what's here. You are welcome to build a back-patter from this diagram. Wear the hat on your head, pull the handle, let go, and feel the love.
Here's the reason for the congratulations.
To borrow schtick from Indexed, here's a Venn diagram.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Son had a homework assignment to create a book called Life is Good. It's a celebration of family, aspirations, and personality. The last page he worked on was the Author's Note. The assignment was to dedicate the book to two people who are important in the author's (Son's) life. He asked if he could dedicate it to GPop and me. Then he asked for some help in writing it.
This book is dedicated to my dad and pop, GDad and GPop. They needed a forever kid. I needed a forever home. They love me. I am their son. From the day I met them, my life will never be the same.
The guy from the previous installments of Elegant, Beautiful, Strange (EBS Guy) just stopped by my desk for a neighborly kvetch session. So far, so good. Work is unfulfilling, time passes faster as you get older, so many years until retirement, my shirt is covered in lint, etc. Pretty innocuous conversation for my precaffeinated state.
EBS Guy: I read in the news that they discovered an ancient Roman burial site in Syria recently.
GDad: Really? That's interesting.
EBS Guy: Yeah. I'm fascinated by this stuff. Hey, did you know they say that the Greek civilization may go back a lot farther than we think?
GDad: Really? I know they were one of the old ones...
EBS Guy: Yeah, they found that the ancient Greeks may have had a full civilization while there were still dinosaurs on the planet. The Greeks hunted them.
GDad: . . .
EBS Guy: Yeah, they did DNA testing and everything. Imagine... hunting dinosaurs.
GDad: I wouldn't have guessed that.
EBS Guy: I saw it on the History Channel.
GDad: Makes you think.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
There is a mall down the street from my office. I went there today for lunch with a co-worker whose blog name I'll have to ponder, but for today, we'll call him Big Gay Al. We had a nice lunch at a food court place that sells an odd collection of chicken-related food, hamburgers, and Greek food. I think the very Mediterranean-looking gentleman who came out of the back to help the cash register person may have something to do with that last bit. The cash register lady and the cook may be co-owners, because she told me that they were opening a second location in January, after I expressed interest in the business and the high quality of the food and service.
As we were walking to get a little exercise, we passed by one of those wretched Dead Sea Salt places. I tried to avoid the aggressive kiosk guy, Alon from Israel ("It sounds like 'alone,' but I am not alone."), but Big Gay Al was in the mood to be entertained and to flirt a little. Once Alon figured out that Big Gay Al may be interested in buying, but that I was just barely tolerant of his sales spiel, Alon turned on the charm with Big Gay Al and let me back slowly away, but I didn't escape without smearing some greasy salt all over my hands. Maybe it removed toxins or something.
Big Gay Al ended up buying a year's supply of greasy salt (about a pint). At one point, Big Gay Al remarked to Alon, "You seem to have a thing about babies' bottoms." Alon is new to our culture, and I think the snark went right over his head. We moved on.
Remember when we discussed whether a person wearing a monocle and holding a plunger on a Segway was functionally equivalent to a Dalek? I saw a mall security guard wearing a bicycle helmet and riding a Segway. I had to stop and get a picture. I had no choice. Behold the next stage in human evolution - the Mallek.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Last night, we watched an episode of Corner Gas where Oscar described his experience with destroying things. The schtick they use on the show is that they show the flashbacks, but the characters in the present act as though the speaker had narrated the flashback. One of Oscar's flashbacks was him in the kitchen making a salad. As he dropped the last bit of lettuce in the bowl, the salad exploded. Another character asked how one could blow up a salad, and Oscar replied, "It happens more often than you'd think."
The last time we bought furniture, we went to the showroom of a big furniture warehouse kind of place. The sales guy was an older man who'd had a lot of experience with such things. He encouraged us to look at certain pieces once we'd explained our needs to him.
One of the big selling points of the piece we eventually bought was that it had been treated with a stain-resistant Teflon coating. The salesman told us that the coating had no color, odor, or taste. GPop did a double-take and said, "Honestly, how many people taste their couches?"
Without missing a beat, the salesman replied, "You'd be surprised."
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Dear Not-Quite-Human Scum,
Thank you for thinking of me with your relentless assault of unsolicited, unwanted, and unread dreck you have poured into my e-mail inboxes.
Many Some Few No people feel wanted because of the number of incoming messages in their e-mail inbox.
I do not have any need for a Rolex watch, real or fake, nor a R0lex, nor R|0|L|3|X watch. I have a nice Seiko watch I got as a gift last year, and it will serve me well until entropy consumes it someday.
I am quite satisfied with my personal attributes "down there," so I do not have any need at this time for V1@grA, C1@L1$, or L|3|V|1|T|R|4. If at some future date, I require assistance, I am quite comfortable speaking to my D|0|C|+|0|R about this issue.
In order to respond to any offer of low-cost vacations to the exotic spots you mention, I think I would first have to prepare myself by hitting myself in the temple with a hammer, hard, claw end first. I've stayed in cruddy hotels before, and the thought of giving my money sight unseen to anyone in exchange for some hypothetical vacation experience is pretty repugnant.
Finally, I do not require any introductions to people for romantic liaisons. I'm sure the people you would like to add to my social calendar are quite nice, but I'd prefer to travel in social circles of my own choosing.
So, I no longer require your services, and I respectfully request that you stop sending these missives to me. I hope you understand that if I do continue to receive them, I will be forced to find you and kick you repeatedly between the legs until you are bifurcated from the neck down.
Friday, November 9, 2007
This is a picture of our neighbor's cat. I had written something on the patio in sidewalk chalk last week, and the cat came over and rolled around in it as though to erase what I'd written.
The LOL-ness of it may be:
"I IZ FROM DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CENSORING UR SPEECH"
"I IZ LITERARY CRITIC. U SUK."
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Last night, Son brought home a homework assignment for his health class that was a food diary. He was supposed to list all of the food he ate during the day and identify whether it was grain, fruit, vegetable, meat, dairy, or the sinister "other" category.
As he was working on the assignment, I kept getting questions like, "Is cereal 'S-E-R-?'"
"No, the cereal that you eat is 'C-E-R-E-A-L.'"
"OK. How do you spell 'biscuit?'"
I told him. He wrote some more stuff down, and then he asked, "Is banana 'B-A-N-A-N-A?'"
"Yes. That reminds me of the joke about the little girl who says she knows how to spell 'banana,' but she doesn't know when to stop."
"Yeah, I've heard that before."
He finished up his assignment, then went over to the counter next to GPop. Son grabbed a banana, peeled it, and started to eat it. GPop asked, "Did talking about bananas make you hungry?"
Son replied, "I had to eat it. It was on my list."
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
"It ain't bragging if you done it."
--Variously attributed to Will Rogers or Dizzy Dean
Because of Educational Reform created and endorsed by a Coalition of the Willing in our federal government that culminated in No Child Left Behind (a.k.a "Death by Standardized Testing"), I now see the results of innumerable standardized tests for Son.
Back in my day (he says, as he complains about his gout and rocks on the front porch with a lemonade), we had the Iowa Test of Basic Skills every two years, and then we took the PSAT to get ourselves a National Merit scholarship, then we took the SAT or ACT (or sometimes both) to get into college. And we were happy in those days. There were pies on every window sill, Fords or Chevrolets in every garage, and kids respected their elders. Not like today, where Go-gurt-eating third graders will garrote you for the chrome on your Hyundai's oblique H nameplate. And don't even get me started about how hot it gets in the summers these days, and...
Harrumph.... Where was I? Oh, yes...
So last year, Son brought home a standardized test that showed capabilities in Reading and Math (their capitalization, not mine) within margin for error of average. Son described himself as a "C student" all last year, even though we held him to a higher standard. He really resisted, partly I think because he didn't believe he was capable of anything more.
Two days ago, he brought home a different standardized test that measured reading skills. This test provides a reading level in the form of Y.M, where Y is a number of years in school, and M is a number of months in that year. For example, Son is currently in 7.3 - seventh grade, third month thereof. His test showed him reading at grade level 9.5 - ninth grade, fifth month.
When I praised him for his hard work, he got all "Aw, shucks" about it, but I could tell that he was just bursting with pride for achieving so much. Last night, he asked me if I could get him any "ninth grade books" that he could read. The other criterion was that the book needed to have dragons, swords, and shields in it. The bookstore seemed to have a reasonable selection, but I suggested that we go home, because we easily have a couple hundred books at home that would fit the bill.
Son: Do any of them have dragons in them?
GDad: Do you know who I am? What do you think I read when I was a kid?
Son: I don't know. Geeky science stuff?
GDad: Well, OK, yes, but there were also plenty of dragon-related books. If there aren't any in the house, I'm sure we can find some in the barn.
Captain Ruffles sat next to me in a rehearsal several years ago for a singing group to which we both belonged. The rehearsals had a fairly casual feel to them, so there was occasional chatter. A member of the chorus was wearing an orange sweater that evening, and Captain Ruffles decided to channel Mr. Blackwell.
Captain Ruffles: Ugh. I can't believe she's wearing orange. That's not her color. It's not anyone's color.
Random Chorus Girl: But Tom Assistantdirector wears orange.
Captain Ruffles: Well, there you go.
Our state had elections yesterday. Son told me that he had never really seen anyone vote in real elections before, so I took him to the polling place with me, and he followed me to the ballot. Remind me sometime to tell you of my 2006 experience with the electronic voting machines.
Our state also has implemented an ID requirement for the polling place. Just to be contrary, I took my passport. It turns out that a passport is NOT sufficient identification for voting, because it does not have a street address on it. Fortunately, I did have my driver's license, so tragedy was averted. (WARNING - The previous sentence contains the passive voice.)
Son watched me press the buttons for mayor, council, and various other functionaries. I let him press the button for the school tax levy AFTER I PRESSED IT (in case any elections officials are reading), but the levy still failed. The school system claims that they will have to stop busing high school students due to lack of funding. That won't affect Son this year or next, but if we grow our family with another teen, it could be problematic before that.
I know there are probably inefficiencies in the school system that could be cleaned up to reduce the impact of a failed levy, but I'm wondering what kind of idiocy causes these anti-every-tax big-L Libertardians to vote to lower their property values and futures of their children. Maybe that's the point. Lower property values = lower taxes.
I think I'll write a letter to ask the school to suspend the sports program. That'll get the attention of the redneck anti-tax crowd. "I don' give no rat's a$$ about no busin', but don' you take 'way my footbawl."
Monday, November 5, 2007
Blogger tells me that this is my 200th post. I'd like to imagine that there are at least a dozen people who read my site, and my Feedburner stats tell me that I may aspire to that, provided not everyone hits my site every day.
I've added blog label categories for those of you who like what you're reading and would like to see more in a similar vein.
I've written before about a co-worker who writes notes that follow the form of actual communications, but which have fundamental flaws. This fellow just provided an example of the other side of the pendulum's swing. I've redacted the name. The subject line is brilliant.
Me - Leaving now to pick up wife and take her to airport
Son and GPop were pursuing other ventures on Friday evening, so I went to the Greek restaurant with Baldo McNerdy and Eggbert Terwilliger. We were talking philosophy, politics, entertainment, and scandal - the usual stuff - when we saw a sign on the door advertising the falafel. I mentioned the Bill O'Reilly falafel thing, and Baldo decided that he must order some.
Yes, the pieces of falafel looked like droppings, but they were patty-shaped rather than sausage-shaped.
Also, Eggbert does not like baba ghanoug.
My costume was just a sash over my clothes that said, "SENATOR." Whenever I stood or sat, I kept my legs far apart. I spent about five minutes making the costume, and about two hours throughout the day explaining it. I think I offended one of the more conservative people at work. He got a little huffy about how Larry Craig hadn't been proven guilty.
GDad: But [Person], he plead guilty.
EBS Guy: But he tried to withdraw that. That means he's not guilty.
GDad: First, he wasn't successful at withdrawing his plea, since it appears that you really only have a case for withdrawal if you are insane, you don't speak English, or you were coerced. None of those apply. Second, attempting to withdraw a guilty plea doesn't imply innocence.
EBS Guy: Well, he was railroaded.
GDad: OK. I'm going to lunch now.
UPDATE: I just updated the dialogue to show that the other person is EBS Guy.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Here's a picture of Son sitting in my dad's 1959 Corvette. Son asked me if that could be his first car. Keep your dreams big, Son, but always remember that life is more than fast cars and shiny things.
Now that I look at that picture, I think my dad must've changed the tires on the car since last I paid attention. The whitewalls used to be much bigger.
This is the picture of Son dressed as Link and our friend, Baldo McNerdy, dressed as Navi.
Later in the evening, Eggbert Terwilliger, Baldo and I had the following dialogue.
Eggbert: Baldo, why do you keep pulling on your... skirt?
Baldo: The da*n thing keeps riding up.
Eggbert: It's obviously not made for the middle-aged man.
GDad: The more "abundant" middle-aged man.
Baldo: Ha ha.
Eggbert and GDad: [90 seconds of uncontrollable laughter]