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Archive for October, 2011

Update #1:  The only reason Europeans went along with the Union and the Euro as a currency is because they loathe the US.   They presumed that by some sort of enforced evolution they could synthesize an analogue to the US.

Now they are dropping the pretense, unwilling to profess undying love and dedication through the shattered remains of their smiling teeth.

 

In Italy, the coalition of premier Silvio Berlusconi was given an ultimatum to submit concrete plans within 48 hours on how to reorganize Italy’s complex society, touching on the neuralgic issues of labour rights (Article 18 of the labour code) and how to treat the elderly.

Nobody tells us what to do retorted a furious Mr Berlusconi, who then gave his first hint of revenge by calling the euro a strange hybrid creation that hasn’t convinced anybody.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8858604/The-two-halves-of-the-eurozone-are-locked-in-a-broken-marriage.html

Update #2:

Politico’s Jonathan Martin: “And also, what actually happened to these women as well, we want to be sensitive to that, too. It includes both verbal and physical gestures.

“These women felt uncomfortable, and they were unhappy about their treatment, and they complained to both colleagues and senior officials. In one case it involved, I think, inviting a woman up to a hotel room of Cain’s on the road … We’re just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women beside what’s in the story.”  – PoliticoWeasel Jonathan Martin

So… “beside what’s in the story” really means “Cain is a sexual predator”?

Trust us on this, the details are only going to slow the process down, or worse yet, shut it down entirely.  This a demon we’re talking about, after all.

****

We carved pumpkins and scooped pumpkin guts tonight.  Fun?

Annnnnd HOW!

Allow me to introduce the brand new Dr. Lemur’s 1200W NoondaySun Pumpkin, just in time for Halloween 2011.

This was formerly known as Project X-Ray but that seemed to me to be too much of a cliché.

No, I’m not an expert on carving pumpkins nor a particularly good layman at carving them (as you can plainly see).  What I care about is that this pumpkin is going to shine.

But what's special here? The fact that this pumpkin is loaded from the rear with four 300W bulbs.

Yes.  Four 300W light bulbs.  Why?  Because I couldn’t get five 500W incandescent bulbs in time and no one sells holders for the 500W halogen ones that burn houses down via torchiere lamps.  Probably just as well since I had been thinking of elaborate cooling methods involving heat exchangers and mineral oil.

Only one friend out of the many I have (six, maybe seven? – 🙂 ) suggested that one ought to do something that flies in the face of sound thinking every once in a while, and I’m glad that he saw potential and nurtured it.

At one point I even thought, “Oh, I know!  Forced air cooling!”  But then I thought, “You idiot, it’s going to take 3000 gazillion cu-ft/min to cool it” – or some big number of cubic feet, and I realized that pumpkins just aren’t designed to be cooled by large quantities of forced air (and therefore pressurized above ambient).  It occurred to me then that pumpkins are ephemeral things with the approximate shelf life of an outdoor cat in a busy neighborhood, and I should stop worrying about the MTBF of the average garden-variety pumpkin.  Instead I shall visually observe the pumpkin every 30-45 seconds and be on the lookout for the smell of caramelization gone bad, where we begin to tread into the caramelized-until-it-burnt smell regime.

See the four holes at the bottom of the pic? Those holes allow the bulb sockets to stick into the pumpkin from the back and the bulbs attach once the sockets are in.

The top six holes around the stem and their matching bottom six circumferential holes?  Those are cooling holes cleverly designed to keep the pumpkin from outright bursting into flame and serve to let the smell of roasting pumpkin waft around the neighborhood.

I figure five minutes on and five minutes off should be safe.

I want this pumpkin to light up like the noonday sun.

I have sad news to report, however… due to this weekend just not working the way it should have, the alternate lighting method that I was going to use – a pumpkin with three road flares shoved up it’s hoo-hoo – was doomed to be a no-starter.  Sadly, I had to accept my limitations (read: seriously, the painkillers weren’t doing a damn thing) and be pleased with the tasks that we accomplished, and go home.

I am satisfied, however.  Pictures will be forthcoming.

****

Cruel Wife, meanwhile is doing the Turducken approach to pumpkins – a pumpkin being eaten by a bigger pumpkin being eaten by a monster pumpkin.  It’s in it’s rough stages here.  She has broken two Saf-T-Carve pumpkin knives, an X-acto blade, and is currently using the dullest knife in the house with the logic that if she does slip it won’t cut as deep.

No, she is not doing that.  I am making a joke.  She’s got a post-graduate level degree and knows metallurgy things.  She wouldn’t use a dull knife.  I don’t think she would, anyway.  But I’m not asking because I don’t want to be insulting.

Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

****

Here is what happened to Dr. Lemur’s Pumpkin….

900 Watts of power coursing through this gourd.

1200W pumkin was enough for Cruel Wife to carve pumpkins by.

Lest you feel like you can stare into the pumpkin through the vent holes, I don’t advise it.

A 1200W pumpkin glows with an unnatural fire of eldritch origins.

Within a short amount of time the pumpkin began to smoke.  Next year I am cooling with chilled mineral oil.

Cruel Wife’s tier of pumpkins came out snazzy.

Kind of creepy Halloween places to be over at Cracked.com.

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Pre-Weeny

First off is a steampunk haunted house (Evolve Company and Third Rail Projects).  I love that mask down below there.  It has MOVING PARTS.

I need a cigarette.

Photo by Chad Heird - go check out their stuff

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Next will be my equipment pics for the Pre-Weeny preparations.  Operation NoondaySun Pumpkin.

I won’t reveal much other than it involves 1.2kW and a pumpkin.  I had to scale back from the original 2.5kW I had planned.  I was bummed, but there wasn’t a way to safely do it (that I could get the components for in time).

Pictures to come.

 

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I defy you to tell a tale that rings the belltower of truth quite this sharply.

New York firefighters removed about a dozen gasoline cans and six generators from Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street protesters have camped for almost six weeks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

[snip]

The equipment, which helped power computers and mobile phones and keep people warm as temperatures dipped near freezing, are safety hazards and illegal, Bloomberg said. Forecasts call for rain and snow in the metropolitan area tomorrow.

“Our first two concerns are First Amendment and safety, and this was safety,” Bloomberg said. “People were courteous and understanding. The story of this morning is that there was no story.”

[snip]

Mark Bray, a spokesman for the group, said the action was “a pretext to make the protest less sustainable and more difficult for us.” Occupiers have about 14 fire extinguishers, he said.

Is this really so hard to believe?

Here we have a person who is so convinced by his own self-righteousness that he feels that the world owes him the favor of being a disruptive ass. Freedom of speech probably does cover congregating in a particular spot for months on end but not at the expense of others. As long as the protesters congregate in one place it is a higher risk area because of the possibility of a crazy extremist from either side, and the police don’t get to just ignore this – they have to be on alert to protect either the pinko limp-wrist misanthropes or the law-abiding citizens that would like their park back.

The underlying message from the protester is this: If we want to protest you should do everything within your power to make it sustainable and non-difficult. You would think this guy breast-fed until he was seven years old.

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I like cracked.com (do read that link, it’s funny) – it does hit and miss sometimes but mostly is a hit. Check out this link – I mean read the actual link, but don’t click on it. I intentionally put the space in after the “http:” just so the browsers wouldn’t ID that as a link and so click-monkeys wouldn’t click on it reflexively and spoil my point.

http: //www.cracked.com/article_18845_6-secret-monopolies-you-didnt-know-run-world.html

I thought it was irony (yes, that word that I hate to see mangled so often) when I saw this:

Internal Server Error – Read

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Reference #3.1d631060.1319840609.16b96974

Proof that They are controlling the world and want you to be clueless! I’d like to think that the Lemurati pulled at least a few strings but alas, they never called me up to see if I was interested in participating in their little club.

I wonder what insights our Russian troll would have on this matter.

Note: I am fully aware that by the time you read this that link may be repaired.

But here’s a few links that are good, at least as of 2 minutes ago.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19220_the-6-most-badass-weapons-ever-improvised-in-battle.html

But on the “I’m a lover, not a fighter” side… it gets creepy.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-50-creepiest-pieces-romance-advice-ever-published

Where I come from this next one is lumped in with “stalking”.

A check? No one takes checks anymore. And swiping a debit card for kisses is stupid like socks on a chicken.

Then I read the last one, below, which kind of made me shudder because of the weirdness.

And for grins, who can resist reading an XKCD comic?

Creepy Jealousy

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I’m not as prepped for Halloween as I’d like but that’s the way life goes.  I’ll figure it out.

If you are a gun owner you already know about Hornady Zombie Max Ammunition.  Good, good for you.   You just never know and better safe than sorry, I say.

This brings up an important safety announcement.

  1. Get some Zombie Max Ammo
  2. Shoot for the head, always for the head.  Unless other targets of opportunity make for hilarity and you’re in a safe location
  3. Rent Bubba-hotep
  4. Watch it.
  5. Rent and watch:  Ahhh! Zombies!, Night of the LIving Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil (it’s like the weird Uncle Carl of zombie movies but it has Milla Jovovich so it gets a pass), 28 Days (no, it’s not a movie about menstruation),  Pet Sematery.  Watch a few episodes of The Rosie Show on Hulu.  (Just seeing if you were awake.)

No, my unpreparedness is because I did not purchase in time the requisite five 500W halogen light bulbs with which to light up my pumpkin, so I will have to use seventeen 150W bulbs, all shoved into one pumpkin.  Yes, I am going to install a 120V fan on the back of the pumpkin to pump air out of it.  Or I will fill the pumpkin with mineral oil to help with the temperature issue.

Pumpkin #2… you’re going to have to wait to see how he gets lit up.  It will be EPIC.  I hope.

Show up around here on Nov. 1 and see if I have the pics posted yet.

****

Hey, kids… want to see something even more scary than Evil Baby Clowns?    (see veeshir’s links in the comments section below, please)

Let’s see what has been uttered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel today…

Nobody should take for granted another 50 years of peace and prosperity in Europe. They are not for granted. That’s why I say: If the euro fails, Europe fails,” Merkel said, followed by a long applause from all political groups.

“We have a historical obligation: To protect by all means Europe’s unification process begun by our forefathers after centuries of hatred and blood spill. None of us can foresee what the consequences would be if we were to fail.”

Maybe I’m just paranoid but that didn’t sound as peaceful to my ears as it could.  It sounded sinister, but swaddled in the cloths of compassion.

She was asking for the parliament’s “political” green light on a negotiation mandate for the EU summit, beginning later today in Brussels. The summit is seeking to increase the firepower of the €440 billion-strong European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to stop the sovereign debt crisis spreading to countries like Italy and ultimately, France.

The Bundestag approved the measure by a large majority, with 503 members in favour, 89 opposing and four abstaining.

Got that?  Huge agreement – that Germany must do whatever must be done.  Whatever must be done.  For the good of all, of course.

While stressing that Germany’s contribution to the EFSF loan guarantees would continue to be capped at €211 billion, she said she could not exclude there may be “risks” for Germany linked to the EFSF increase of firepower. Her own party colleagues had demanded that she clearly excludes German state assets, such as the central bank’s gold reserves, to be put as collateral for the EFSF lending power.

“Nobody can clearly estimate if there will be such risks. What I can say is that we cannot exclude it,” she said, insisting that the current situation is pushing European leaders into “uncharted territories”.

“Not to take these risks would be irresponsible. There is no better and more sensible alternative. Europe and the world are looking at Germany,” the chancellor said.

Looking ahead to the summit, the chancellor repeated her long-standing stance that “there is no silver bullet, no simple solutions. We will still deal with these topics for years from now.”

She repeated her insistence that the EU treaty had to be changed, in the medium term, to be more strict on countries breaching the euro deficit rules.

“Where does it say that any treaty change has to take 10 years or that there should be no more changes after the Lisbon Treaty,” she asked.

More strict.  Again for the good of all, of course.

EU leaders last Sunday agreed to have an evaluation presented to them in December by council chief Herman Van Rompuy about the possibility for a “limited” treaty change.

On the three euro-countries currently propped by EU-IMF loans, Merkel said Ireland was on “the right path”, Portugal showed it could implement the promised reforms, while Greece was still “at the beginning of a long road.”

For the first time, as opposition MPs noted later on in the debate, Merkel had words of praise for the ordinary Greek citizens feeling the brunt of the austerity measures demanded by international lenders. “People in Greece have to stomach a lot of sacrifices. They deserve our respect and also a sustainable growth perspective in the eurozone.”

According to the latest report of the so-called troika, consisting of experts sent from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Greece will need even higher debt restructuring and losses for private lenders compared to what EU leaders had agreed upon on 21 July.

“But debt restructuring alone does not solve the problem. Painful structural reforms have to be made, otherwise even after debt restructuring we’re back to where we are today,” Merkel warned.

Ok, you’ve been softened up.  Here’s that final blow you’ve been unconsciously expecting:

That’s why, she said, Greece would have to be “assisted” for quite some time. “It’s not enough that the troika comes and goes every three months. It would be desirable to have a permanent supervision in Greece,” she said, adding that this issue would be brought up at the summit.

Permanent supervision.   That is one of the more arrogant things you’ll ever hear.  That is saying “Greece is so fundamentally screwed up that they will never be capable of self-policing.”  It is tantamount to making the declaration that an autistic or retarded individual will never be self-sufficient, and for the individual autism sufferer or Down’s Syndrome sufferer, this may indeed be true.  But to place that judgment on a culture speaks of a vast gulf in self-superiority.

Yes, it is true that Greece has some serious freakin’ issues and a total lack of even the basic economic common-sense God gave a gopher.  A lot of Europe isn’t far behind and politicians in the US seem convinced of their brilliance, enough so that they believe we can repeat the actions of the European socialism proponents but without the fatal mis-steps.

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.  – Margaret Thatcher

I can say “I don’t believe that Haiti will ever get it’s shit together”, and I’ll probably be right.  I could also say of the Middle East that they’ll never be peaceful because their cultures are fundamentally screwed up, and I could very well be right.  But to say “I think we should stay in Haiti forever and override their poor judgment whenever they lapse, because we know they most certainly will” is beyond arrogant.  It is proof that the German superiority issue is still alive and well even today, nearly seven decades after WWII.

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Who says romance is dead?

Sent to me by The Butcher of Lansing.

No idea where it came from originally.

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We were at The Dude and Crazy Cat Lady’s Cat ranch for the Xth annual bonfire and Roman Food Orgy.

20111023-134633.jpg

We ate more than was healthy, and then we ate more than was safe or reasonable.

I am STILL waddling.

Here is how my plate went down…

BBQ pork (shredded), bulkogi beef, corn chips, cheese-distillated (fractionated) product, synthetic onion-flavored sour-cream dip, spaghetti, horseradish, seconds on bulkogi beef, two chocolate-chip cookies, two slices of pumpkin bread, two halloween-style sugar cookies, and a bottle of tonic water.

Lots of kids were there and a number of friends, too. The Dude, ID10T-Killer, Black Lab on Crank, and Tenacious Bulldog.

Prometheus brought fire, too, I guess.

After test driving my iPad briefly (only three hours after I used it 10 minutes following the three hour setup), I heard Cruel Wife go “OOOOOOH” and at that point I knew we were going to go buy her one as well.

I can see how we’ll get our money’s worth already. They keep the kids quiet on car trips – using Angry Birds. I can see how Cut the Rope will be a useful tool as well.

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Wings made of money

My boss told me to get an iPad and submit a reimbursement request.

So I am now blogging from the road on the way to get the kids their flu shots.

So far I love it but I miss the mouse. I bought a Bluetooth keyboard and a MIL-SPEC case for it. More later as we are taking the kids to get flu shots.

But now Cruel Wife MUST have one, too.

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The main post is below this impromptu Lemur Life Story…

aliceteach over at DPUD has a great post about Frank Miller for Toddlers.  That won’t make sense if you haven’t seen Sin City, but go watch the movie she put there.

My comment there was:  At least at that age you can say “Oh, look at the funny looking rubber ball!” and almost (sometimes) get away with it.

It reminded me of a time in college when my roommates and I, in a fit of boredom and an innate desire to be obnoxious (alcohol may have been a factor), crafted in the dark of night a (anatomically correct) 7 or 8 foot tall (erect) male phallus-thing.  The wording was chosen to avoid certain Google searches .

We poured bucket after bucket of water on this thing and had a layer of ice that was inches thick over the whole thing.

The next day we got pictures of each other sitting on one or the other of a pair of giant testes, and I had one of myself sitting there, proud as can be, complete with the full-arm cast I had for several months.  Shown below is a very good friend from those college days, and we’ll call him… OldEnglish800… for reasons which I will not divulge at the moment.

OldEnglish800, feeling teste, face blurred for his own good.

Women were driving by our house and every few minutes a car would honk and chicks would yell “Whooooo!”   It went on for hours until someone got cheesed and called the cops.  We denied that it was ours and the cops decided to get in a workout with their clubs.  They were extremely tired after trying to break several cubic feet of ice with nightsticks and had some firefighters come and loan them some axes.  They were not too happy with us, but as future events unfolded we became much more closely involved with them.  They had our number.   That’s another story.

I took the picture back home for the Christmas holiday.  The family was laughing over it and my grandmother comes in and says “What’s so funny?”

Immediate silence.  A hush came over the room as we all panicked and thought as one, “What the hell is the right thing to say and could someone else please say it so I don’t have to?

It got kind of awkward after about ten seconds with the ten or twelve of us sitting there as if we were Bambi frozen in the middle of the road by the Pork Chop Express’ lights.

The pressure was building… building… and suddenly my aunt jumped up explosively and said “LOOK MOM!  HERE’S A PICTURE OF LEMUR SITTING ON PART OF A GIANT SNOWMAN!  Isn’titsillyhowhe’soutinthesnowandcoldwithoutaproperjacketandthatcastuncovered?”  Then she started hyperventilating, gasping for breath.

We held our collective breaths, waiting for the moment that our almost-octegenarian matriarch would figure it out and come unglued.  Believe me, a 4′ 11″ matriarchal ungluing is not something you want to witness more than once in your life.

She turned to me, looked me squarely up and down, frowned, and said “Lemur, why are you going out in the winter without a coat?  You could get pneumonia!”

I shook my head in shock and said “Well, Gram, I don’t know what I was thinking.  I guess I was so excited about building a snowman I forgot it.  It only got down to 8F that day so it wasn’t like it was viciously cold.”

My Gram walked out of the room muttering about how terrible I was taking care of myself and again, as one, ten or twelve of us went for our drinks and had doubles.

Goes to show you – octegenariansn and toddlers can be easily deceived at times, but you can’t depend upon it.

****

Now, for the original posting material…

Titled:  Oh.  Yeah, this means goodbye, I guess.

Harold Camping, Doomsday Priest, has apparently stuck by his prediction that Tomorrow (Friday, October 21, 2011) will be The Day We Die.

Don McLean sings softly in the background:

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?

I’m pretty sure that the Rev. Camping has not cleared his bank account or sold his house yet again, despite the rather obvious need to spend money like there was no tomorrow in order to save the last few souls.  I’d say if he is enlightened as he says he is, it shows a remarkable lack of faith on his part when you look at the record of his behavior.  I’d also say the good Rev. Camping never actually read the Book of Matthew.  Just sayin’.

I started singin’,
“bye-bye, miss american pie.”
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

But, wait… the old fella suffered a stroke (but didn’t die) in June, which seems awfully soon after The World That Refused to Die Event (May 21st, 2011).  Does that not seem like a pretty convenient way to shutter yourself away from a world full of derision, mockery, and in the case of the gypped people, betrayed anger?

Yup!  It does to me, too!

Yeah… I hear what you’re saying, Camping, but no offense… you’re a f***ing loon.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

When you look at all  the nice well-intentioned folks (but stupider than a bag of hammers) that gave this screwball all their money and gave away their savings and gave up homes, it becomes obvious that another part of American Pie would seem to fit the good Rev. Doomsday.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

Don’t read anything into this.  I just really like the song and I thought it would be fun in conjunction with mocking the Doomsday Priest, is all.   I’ve often wondered what McLean meant in the lyrics but I don’t obsess about it.  It’s a catchy tune.

I was a Jim Beam man, after Tanqueray Gin, of course.  I don’t like Rye though.  Blech.

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iPads.

I never thought I’d be interested in a device that sounds like a feminine hygiene product but gosh darn it, my BlackBerry™ is such an incredibly user-unfriendly hunk of shi… thing, that I am reduced to running out and buying shiny shiny things to make up for the lifetime of inadequacy I’m shouldering after foisting the things on both myself and Cruel Wife.

On the apple website though, I was reading up on accessories.

Use the Apple Wireless Keyboard on your desk, on your lap, or anywhere within 30 feet of your Mac or iPad.

How, exactly, is that supposed to instill confidence?  Great, now I can use it around the corner!  I can prop the iPad up in the bathroom and take a dump without leaving my comfy chair in the office.  I can’t even see them well at 5 feet away, how is 30′ of wireless input-device separation supposed to make me feel good about myself?

I am a bit troubled that the cost breakdown is similar to an iPod, where I can bend over in double-jointed fashion – extra-flexxxy-style – if I should decide I want 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB.  Here’s the progression for just the wireless version, no 3G capability:

16GB Wireless iPad – $499

32GB Wireless iPad – $599

64GB Wireless iPad – $699

See that?  Start at 16GB, then add $100 for another 16GB, and for another $100 you can get 48GB over the starting price.  Seriously?  As you buy more of something it should get cheaper (which it does) but with memory cheaper than it has ever been, this much of a break implies you’re rectally hemorrhaging because you’ve been violated, not because you’ve neglected to eat enough fiber.  I’m still sorting out the details on whether or not you can actually utilize memory via the SD card adapter when plugged into the docking port.  I’m not going to hold my breath.

If you’re like me, you’re addicted to the ability to surf while away from your wireless points – just because you never know – which in this case is as good as telling the aforementioned violator to please use the sandpaper-covered condoms you’re handing him (or her, if we stipulate the involvement of a sandy vibrator instead of an actual biological phallus sheathed in sandpaper).

According to Apple, admitting to self and the world that you have a 3G-orilla on your back will set you back $729 if you want to get the 32GB version.  There is one bright spot – the data package for the thing is available without a long-term contract so there isn’t the sense that you’ve bought into a strangers-only S&M get-together in the seedier part of a bad town without a safe-word.†

But the engraving on the back will be free.Yes, that is the engraving I’ll choose if Cruel Wife allows me to buy the thing.

Why would I choose this expensive shiny-shiny solution and be happy with the price?

BECAUSE I FEEL SO VIOLATED BY THE BLACKBERRY™ BRAND THAT I’D RATHER EAT TURPENTINE-SOAKED BROKEN GLASS MIXED WITH BUBONIC-PLAGUE RAT-TURDS THAN KEEP USING IT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A YEAR TO GO ON MY CONTRACT.  And that is not because of the recent one-day loss of service last week.  It really sucks that bad.  It sucks worse than that, in reality.

All I really wanted was to be able to keep my contacts and my calendar so up to date that Steam would be envious.  Was that so terribly much to ask?  Not only could RIM not provide that without buying Outlook, I’d have had to use Google Calendar, and I could not even get downloaded third-party apps as a passive-aggressive workaround because every failed attempt at logging in (requiring typing in the user and password each time) told me that the apps center was behaving in error.  No kidding?

Look, RIM supposedly excels at this sort of utilitarian thing, and there I was having to jump through hoops in order to do what should have been transparent.  I don’t have time to dick around with the hardware/software issues.  I got the BlackBerry™ because presumably BB users don’t have time for that shit because they are busy getting things done.  Yes, it pings my e:mail accounts and religiously tells me when a new e:mail has come in – SOYLENT’S AGW mockery and snooch updates are always within reach but those aren’t needed when I have to quickly go to silent mode for a meeting only to find that my BB is beeping at me because I didn’t set it for silent mode for e:mails, too.   But responding to e:mails requires extra unweildy keystrokes and switching between apps is roughly as pleasurable as stabbing mosquitoes on your arm with a fork.

Getting to any place on the web with the BB is also about as snappy as a model T on a Formula 1 racetrack.

In short, I lived an unvalidated life of denial and shame, trying to fake the motions of a happy BB user and coming up short.  It certainly gave me a regular feeling of satisfaction of yet another piece of spam read in prompt fashion, but when one still relies mainly on coffee-stained post-it notes to keep track of everything, eventually it dawns on you that you’re huffing the silver paint of personal information manager despair and eating the soggy cold fries of technological failure.

Time to get something shiny-shiny.

That was shock imagery only – I haven’t watched or participated in any such S&M activity.  I was using artistic license.

Update:  BlackBerry™ is offering $100 worth of shovelware like the cliche husband buying flowers to atone for a major screwup with the wife.  I know it’s not the classical definition of shovelware but it is for all intents and purposes to me.

The Canadian company said that from October 19 to the end of the year, customers would be able to download from a selection of premium apps on the BlackBerry App World Store, including games such as Sims 3, Bejewelled and Texas Hold’em Poker, the music discovery service Shazam Encore and a selection of hands-free voice to text programmes. BlackBerry will add to the current list of 12 titles over the next month.

Yeah, just what I, the fella who just wants a damned calendar needs – poker, Sims 3, Bejewelled, and a “music discovery service”.  Plus their voice-recognition stuff is awful.  My cats are better at understanding what I’m saying.

****

h/t to Cruel Wife who understands that lately I’m having a hard time giving one… no idea where she found it, and it’s not like I care enough to ask, either, hence the presence of the graphic in this post.  That cat is classic.

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Drudge obviously gets it….

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Note:  I apologize for putting this in such close proximity to the Furrier Transform  (Fourier Transform of a Cat) posting from yesterday, but I’ve actually been studying this thing for a week, and having massive geekgasm after massive geekgasm. 

A plan?  A Planimeter, that is.

While doing research for another Dr. Lemur graphic I was poring over photo after photo of old steam locomotive drive linkages.   It was then that I stumbled upon an instrument that (honestly) I had never heard of but the old Slide Rule crowd all seem to know quite well, the Planimeter.

Three moving parts.  The first pivot which can pretty much go wherever you want it is linked to an elbow of sorts, and connects to a second arm that has two things attached to it – a tracing stylus and a wheel that has graduations on it.  That’s it.  Simple.  You can make one out of Tinkertoys™.

What does it do?  If you are sitting, stand up.  If you are standing, sit down.  This is so freaking whackjob cool…

Why, it pretty much directly reads out the area within any arbitrary shape you can draw.  And here I thought that there used to be some crazy fellas in a basement calculating areas within a bound shape via brute force Riemann Sum methods (in 2-D, of course).  But one does not have to do that.

Think about that… two moving arms, a sharp stylus to travel around the outside of the shape you want to integrate in 2-D, and a wheel that tells you directly what said area is when you’ve traversed one circuit – but part of the time going along the curve C, the wheel turns, and part of the time it does not, but it still works.

The math is really… mathy.  The polar planimeter as shown above is easier to follow (if not easier to derive) but the linear planimeter math is cooler because it does a line integral thing.

I asked the resident mathy-guy, who I shall call DocJ, ran me through Green’s Theorem when I showed this to him and he walked me through why this thing works and if anything it was even cooler.

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I’ve cruised FARK tonight and my life is forever enriched by this:

On a flight she took from College Station to Houston in October of 2009, Colleen O’Neal says the turbulence was so bad as a result of the weather the plane banked from side to side and made dead drops in the sky as though it were losing power.

[snip]

O’Neal is now suing United/Continental and few other airlines in charge of the flight because  she can no longer fly as part of her job, as the trip gave her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“This does not just affect my ability to get on an airplane, there have been times when I’ve been driving down the road and I hit a pot hole and I have to pull over because I’m having a flash back,” she says.

Lady, you’ve got more problems than PTSD.

****

It’s been a while since I read so much utter whinging as here at the Business Insider.

And, by the way, few people would have a problem with inequality if the American Dream were still fully intact—if it were easy to work your way into that top 1%. But, unfortunately, social mobility in this country is also near an all-time low.

If it was easy to work your way into the top 1%, everyone would be there, you schmucks.  (ok think about that for a minute)

So what does all this mean in terms of net worth? Well, for starters, it means that the top 1% of Americans own 42% of the financial wealth in this country. The top 5%, meanwhile, own nearly 70%.

Ok, stay with me on this one.  I have just one question:  So what?

This is really a lot like screaming “There are DUCKS in the POND!!!” hysterically.  Is anyone surprised?  Is it a crime against nature or just something you’d naturally expect could happen?  Is there some rule regarding this that is writ in stone?

That’s about 60% of the net worth of the country held by the top 5%.

Good God, you utter bastards.  How dare you own more than others?  Have you no shame?

And remember that huge debt problem we have—with hundreds of millions of Americans indebted up to their eyeballs? Well, the top 1% doesn’t have that problem. They only own 5% of the country’s debt.

Let us take a moment from the madness to breathe into the paper bag of rationality.  The average savings rate of Americans has been something around 1%.  I’m not claiming causation or correlation here, but are the two somehow linked possibly because of the soundness of judgment of the average individual?  Just sayin’.

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Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies say a 22-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the head while showing his girlfriend a handgun.

Deputies say Chaz Ursomanno was taken to Bay Front Medical Center early Thursday with life-threatening injuries.

According to an incident report, 24-year-old Naomi Ensell told her boyfriend to put the gun away about 2 a.m. Thursday. But he told her it was safe and put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire.

Deputies say he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger again. This time, it went off.

The man was unconscious when deputies arrived.

This is going to sound stone cold, but please tell me he didn’t reproduce.  In AP-speak apparently, “unconscious” really means “dead”.

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This is a fantastic idea, because if anything shouts “do me”, it’s a 300m deep structure built into what is basically a city build on a lakebed in a highly volcanically seismic area.  It’s like watching a redneck doing a Fourth of July celebration at a refinery.

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Yes, organic bloated roadkill is much healthier than dirty animals at a farm.  Man avoids supermarket meat for 30 years by eating roadkill.

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Mathy type things.

Well, not having ever taken the time to compute ƒ(meow) I couldn’t tell you how close the approximation in the graphic really is, but it’s plausible.  (Damn WordPress doesn’t have a decent Fourier transform operator symbol…)

Believe me when I say that the Fourier transform of my morbidly obese cat Jilly is the kindest and thinnest way I think we’ll ever witness her.

Below is the continuous Fourier transform in the general Euler form rather than the cosine/sine variation for even/odd functions that are initially easier to look at when trying to make sense of the whole thing.  If you took the transform of Jilly in the very most flattering light (basically a roundish DC signal) you’ll get a delta at zero frequency – razor thin.  She’s actually more of a long-ish single rectangular pulse so her transform will be sort of a central peak – but kind of spread out and lumpy, so I guess you could say she’s already been transformed.

Note: Euler knew what he was doing even if that e to the imaginary phase thing looks weird as all get out.

Note #2:  But by gum it works and it holds water after all this time.  Euler is one of my heroes, right behind Feynman.  Ask Cruel Wife, she’ll tell you.  Granddad was #1.

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Not so fast…

I had a message on my answering machine last night that I didn’t hear until 1AM when I thought of it.  It was the clinic calling me to remind me that today I was scheduled for another epidural at 8:40AM.

Ruh-roh.

The doc (we’ll call him Dr. 10.0) had said if I didn’t get good results with the last epidural to contact the doc I saw two days ago, Dr. Sawbones.

Doc Sawbones had said he wouldn’t cut on me and that it was soft-tissue damage and referred pain.  Ok, fine.  Back to square one.

This morning I went to Dr. 10.0’s practice and apologized because I thought the referral kind of canceled the procedure and I didn’t have plans or a driver for today – and I mentioned that I don’t think another epidural will do a lick of good.

Doc 10.0 asks me how the consult he ordered went (with Dr. Sawbones).  I told him what Dr. Sawbones had diagnosed and partway through Dr. 10.0 was shaking his head.

“No, no, I’ve looked at your MRI’s and seen the herniated discs, I know the pain you’re in, I know the numbness in your hand and pain in your shoulder, arm, and hand.  No.  I’m going to send you to a neurosurgeon at the UofM, Dr. Nutt, and when you see him make sure he knows this is not a consult, that I’m sending you to him because I feel you need a surgical solution and he is the best.  Okay?”

Well, if ever I needed proof positive that the doc truly believes there’s something wrong other than “he’s a malingerer and looking for pills” assessment.   Burning numb fingers that don’t type correctly 50% of the time, crippling headaches, intense aches in the neck, and stabbing pains in the neck all seem kind of wrong to me.  Maybe I’m over-reacting.

So I’m off to see Dr. Nutt sometime in the near future.  He’s probably sharpening his chainsaw in anticipation.  No, I still don’t want surgery but at least this offers hope of repair rather than acceptance of failure and lots of crappy compromise.

****

More later…

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In the mailbag:

Dear Dr. Lemur –

My cousin has asked me to become their friend on FaceBook.  I think she is a soul-less heartless monster for the way she has screwed one of her brother’s kids out of his inheritance and feel towards her exactly the way this quote puts it:

If I’d known my niece was going to turn out as she has, I would have gotten my sister a dingo for a baby shower present.  – leeann (a blogger)

Except I feel that someone should have sent the dingo to my aunt, instead – maybe even two dingoes just to be sure the job had been done.

What should I do?

Signed,

Wary Kitty in Kalamazoo

Dr. Lemur:  Well, Kitty, a little constructive criticism would do wonders, so if I may offer some that could provide you with needed assistance…?  Kitty, listen carefully because this is important, get a grip on your shoulders and pull your head out of your ass.  Just because this radioactive hose-beast is “family” by no means obligates you to have anything to do with her.

Take two Midol, grow a spine, and tell the creature to take a hike.

****

I’ll say this:  I don’t know why I chose the title I did.  Don’t try to make sense of it.

I can tell you that there is great news and that is that I had a consulting surgeon, probably one of ten in the country, who said that he loves surgery but doesn’t want to cut me open because he doesn’t think it will help.

“Sure, if you go see more surgeons one will cut you open, but I wouldn’t do it,” he said.

“Well, thank you, doc,” said I, and Cruel Wife sighed a sigh of relief along with me.

But, he says, the type of injury is most likely soft-tissue injury that’s just not healed and it’s referred pain.

I don’t know, perhaps that is code for “No idea what’s doing it,” but when I asked him “So you’re telling me that this is not in my head?” he said “Oh, no, it’s real.”

So, in some ways it is great news but in other ways we’re back to square one, with no real solution.  Regardless, I am going to see a longer-term pain management and I’m going to insist that we do something, anything, to manage this without the opiate-based painkillers which are just (a) not good for long-term pain control, and (b) a real pain in the ass for an engineer.  There are other solutions that are being used in Europe and I’ll bring that up with him but my first choice is what can we do to change the referred stuff.  For whatever reason, ligaments in my neck have impersonated my left arm and hand, and are doing a Jean-Claude Van Damme crappy job of the whole affair.

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Hey, if you haven’t seen it, check out the movie “Aaah! Zombies!!” (Wasting Away).   How can you not like a movie where the story is from the zombie’s perspective and the “agent of change” is green goo in a barrel labeled “Baby Formula” that is then mixed into soft-serve ice-cream that uses cheap beer as an ingredient?  You can’t, I say.

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How much longer to we have to put up with Team Obama, again?

I’m experiencing failure to achieve liftoff in my guesses as to how they could alienate struggling and out-of-work families even more than they already have.  Then there are the fortunates like my family that still chafe at having to pay a lot of money to support everyone else (we are comfortable but we are not rich, nor do we feel secure in this economy).  And then there are the affluent who are probably getting tired of being Obama’s financial whipping-boy – whenever he gets blamed for something he talks about how evil the rich are and how raising their taxes even more is really just them paying their fair share.

This is enough to make one ill, especially when you think what, for example, $1000 means to you personally.  Now think about how many people who pay thousands of dollars (at a minimum) in taxes while these classless clowns could get their African Vacation.  A lot of people haven’t had a proper vacation in years because of the economy, or even had a job… Sure being President is a hard job and the family of the President does have stress, but you can’t tell me they are more stressed than the family that is getting foreclosed on and hasn’t yet figured out where they can go.

Although ignored by most of America’s liberal-dominated media, several online US news sites are reporting that Michelle Obama’s grand tour of southern Africa earlier this year cost American taxpayers nearly half a million dollars – and that’s just for the flights. This follows in the wake of claims this August from sources inside the White House itself that the First Lady may have spent “$10 million of taxpayers’ money on vacations alone in the past year.”  – Nile Gardiner

Live it up, douchebags.  Your first-term presidency time is running out and the election is growing nearer every day.  I doubt a second term is in the stars.

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The idea of mountain coasters (mini rollercoasters on mountainsides) makes me think of Action Park (aka Traction Park).

It sounds like a GREAT idea!  What could go wrong?

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