30 August 2007

Men are stupid

I've succeeded, if that's the word, in pissing off the ladyfriend.
Too hard to describe how we got here, but suffice it to say that it's my own stupidity, as usual.
Not sure how long it'll take to work itself out, but things are unhappy at chez Seymour just now.
When you love someone as much as I do Chris, it's a bad thing when you make them mad.
As I've always said, the loss of that one leg of the X chromosome was more dangerous than we knew...

Pontine is better

There turn out to be other pontine (or bridge-related) things out there, which only reinforce my notion that what hit the pons area of my brain was a Pontine haemorrhage. There were the Pontine marshes, of course, a Roman-era engineering project where they drained a huge marshy area and reclaimed it as farmland. There are Pontine islands (photo), off the western coast of Italy. They look very pretty in the website, and I hope to make a journey there some day in homage to my condition.
A Google search turned up many other pontine things, most of them nasty medical conditions that I don't want, either.
But it still sounds better than a cavernous angioma. Sorry.

Another "I don't get it" by our allies

The Brits are at it again.
There's a big tizzy going on at the moment about allowing Iraqi translators, who feel threatened if they stay on in Iraq, to take up residency in the UK.
At the same time, there's a movement in the British Government to deny residency to Gurkha veterans, even decorated ones.
(See http://tinyurl.com/2l5y9w for details.)

Now, I will admit to a long-term love affair with the "little brown men from the Himalayas" (I have more than one book on the Gurkhas on my shelves), so I may be prejudiced here.
But taking in the Iraqis and forcing out the Gurkhas is the worst foolishness since the Brits refused to give back Gibraltar, and I hope that popular sentiment forces them to cave on this one. Ingrates...

Some tests you don't want to win

I just took a "what's your Asperger's score?" test at http://www.piepalace.ca/blog/asperger-test-aq-test/
Asperger's, for those who don't know, is related to autism, and may well be a 'lower' form of the condition.
Geeks, for instance, score high on the test.
The scoring (on 50 questions) runs from 0 to 50, with anything above 32 "generally indicating Asperger's Syndrome or high-functioning autism".
The average math contest winner scored a 24.
The average computer scientist scored a 21.
The average male scientist scored a 19.
The average man scored an 18.
I scored a 26.
Even geekier than I thought, apparently.

Past as prologue

In a recent speech, Dr. Sher Afgan Niazi, the Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, referred to "the glorious past of Muslims". (This via jihadwatch.org, which I highly recommend.)
He is right. There have been many glorious moments in history that were inspired by or connected to Islam.
Just not very many of late, however.
The 'glory of Islam' has degenerated into a huge population of whining, self-serving clowns who survive, for the most part, on the gluttonous appetite of the West for petroleum. If only we can break that chain, I suspect that much of the Islamic world will wither on the vine.
Now if only we can convince our glorious leaders to conduct a War on Oil with the same fervor they do the stupid and useless War on Drugs, we'll be fine...

29 August 2007

Scary woo-woo people

From an on-line news report about the nationwide anti-gun rallies yesterday:

"I wish we had the power to just close that thing down," former D.C. Mayor and current City Councilman Marion Barry said. "We ought to put a padlock on the door, padlock it."
Barry's colleague, City Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, said "we cannot have anyone with guns other than the law enforcement individuals and our military that were intended."

Therein, alas, is the split between those who hope (foolishly) that law enforcement (note the derivation of the phrase: it's not crime prevention, it's enforcement of the law after it's broken) can and will protect each and everyone of us from the bad guys, and those of us who feel that we should be able to protect ourselves as necessary. (We're ignoring their ignorance of the history of and importance of the Second Amendment.)
The police preventing crime?
Not gonna happen.
Never has, never will.

It appears that there was little, if any, activity in Philadelphia (in spite of our looking-to-be-a-record murder rate this year) about this event. I don't know if it's just apathy or anti-pathy, but I'm happy to see no hysteria in Philly.

Personally, I don't want to rely on the good offices of any police department to come and 'save' me when the bad guys show up at my door. And for those who insist that that is never gonna happen, I suggest a troll through any of the recent news reports about home invasions and street muggings.
There are bad people in this world who do bad things to nice people.
I choose not to be a victim.
If you choose to be a victim, fine. Just don't think that taking away my ability to protect myself and those I love is somehow going to make you safe, too. (And when the bad guys show up and hurt you, and the cops don't show up for a half hour or so after you call 911, don't come complaining to me.)

Just remember: two in the chest, one in the head. And never use a firearm whose caliber doesn't start with a 'four'. (Unless you don't have anything else, then just use a lot of bullets.)

28 August 2007

A boo boo by any other name

I've never really liked having a cavernous angioma.
Not only was it hard on my brain, but the very name of it always sounded nasty, like something you'd step in on a bad sidewalk.
Now, however, I've discovered that my ailment has (because of its location in the pons area of my brain, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pons for details) another name, which I like much better:

I had a Pontine hæmorrhage.

That sounds much better. (It's not, of course, but it feels nicer to say, and more manly.)
The society that promotes this condition, of course, is stuck in the 'angioma' phase, but I'm changing the name for me.
Christine pointed out that it's past tense for the hæmorrhage, but that technically I still have a cavernous angioma.
Either way, trust me, you don't want one.

27 August 2007

Oh, gee, you have to spend some money

The War on Guns blog (http://waronguns.blogspot.com/) has long floated the notion that we should all go out and buy some ammunition (or any other gub-related object) on 28 August.
I concur.

26 August 2007

Lucky, after all

The old joke about 'met a man with one leg' is so true.
My personal trainer (what, you don't have one; they're all the rage) and I were exchanging life stories the other day, and I found out that he'd lost his father (to cancer) two years ago, and is still dealing with the loss.
That made me reflect on how lucky I am to still have all four (remarried after the divorce) parents.
I suspect that won't be true a decade from now, but you never know.
My dad (the blood one) is coming to pick me up in awhile to go root around in my storage locker for some important stuff.
It's the little things in life, like that, that I'll miss when he's gone.
So, if you still have a parent, tell them how much you love them.
Eventually you won't be able to.
If you have a child, same thing.
Do it now. (Hey, you're on the computer; send an email.)

More on the same subject...
Following the lockup run, we had a discussion about me and how I'm living my life.
Not all of it was positive.
Later he foolishly decided to have the same discussion with Chris, my lady love (who hates being called "my badger", but that's just because she doesn't love badgers the way I do), and got both barrels from her about boundaries and parenting.
We're back to being fine now, but it was a bad time in between.
So, when you decide to talk to your parents (or your children), make damn sure you know what you're doing...

25 August 2007

Is it just that Bambi thing?

Big tizzy over the introduction of hunting on Sunday in Virginia and other states.
(See http://countertopchronicles.com/ for details.)
Not that there are any religious issues here, of course, but all the folks against it fall into the standard Moral Majority swamp.
It does make me laugh, because I'm pretty sure the deer and other target species don't give a damn what day they get shot on...

Overrun is overrun, whatever you call it

The Euroblogsters are constantly referring to the Islamicization of Europe, with the huge influx of Moslem believers into traditionally Christian countries in Europe.
We don't, yet, have the same problem. But we do have a different form of population shift, with the huge influx of Catholic believers coming northwards from Mexico and Central America into the traditionally Protestant United States.
I think we can safely call it the 'Hispanking' of America.
Painful and humiliating, like all spankings.
Just say no.

23 August 2007

Why friends are important

Had some friends and family over for snacks and drinks last night. Chris, bless her, made a raft of lovely things to eat, and I'd bought a bottle of nice Scotch for my dad to drink, so everyone was pretty happy. (And full.) My buddy Ivan stayed behind (with his long-suffering ladyfriend Meg) and helped me burn down my Cube so that I could sell it. (Anyone want a nice Mac Cube? 20GB hard disk, a bunch of RAM, and a 15" flat screen. Let's talk.) Amazingly, it's nearly twelve hours later and it's only 20% of the way through the "writing random data to disk" phase...

22 August 2007

Driving from the right seat

Why is it that everyone in the Philadelphia area is so hopeless at the standard driving techniques (pulling out, stopping, passing, etc.) that other parts of the country seem to do so much better?
My dad's here from San Diego, and he's shaking his head constantly at the antics of other drivers.
Now that I'm forcibly co-piloting, for the foreseeable future, all I can do is grit my teeth...
I, of course, want desperately to buy one of those full-auto paint ball gubs and have at them out the window when they display their incompetence. (But I'm sure there's a special section of the Vehicle Code that prohibits that.)

21 August 2007

Quote for the day

I feel very old sometimes. I carry on, and would not like to die before having emptied a few more buckets of shit on the heads of my fellow men.
Gustave Flaubert

I, too, feel old sometimes. But, like my man Gustave, I carry buckets at the ready.

20 August 2007

Between Iraq and a hard place

Let us remember that Iraq was a ‘country’ carved out of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One by a couple of ‘gentlemen’ (an Englishman named Sykes and an Frenchman named Picot, may they rot in hell). It was to be a buffer against then-newly-Soviet Russia, and fuck the Turks and the tribes involved. If they’d been thinking, of course, they’d have simply given the Shi’a to the Persians and the Kurds to a carved-out-of-Russia Kurdistan. But they didn’t, of course, and we’re paying the price. (Again the French fuck us!) So let’s undo all that stupid history, skive off the Shi’a and the Kurds, and give the Sunnis in the middle to Saudi Arabia, who at least know how to run an oilfield. (And let’s see how the Sunnis like the Wahabis!)

Tax saving notion

Okay, since no one (not even George Bush) really likes war, let's all agree that we should not commit any dollars or troops to an unpopular war (as determined by referendum).
So, no War on Drugs, no War on Poverty, no War on AIDS, nor War on the Rich...

19 August 2007

Really? Sounds like Jerry Falwell to me...

"The Koran remains for all Muslims, not just 'fundamentalists', the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideas are absolutely true and beyond all criticism. To question it is to question the very word of God, and hence blasphemous. A Muslim's duty is to believe it and obey its divine commands."

There are one or two fundamentalists in the US who'd buy into this in a second if you just replaced "Koran" with "Bible" and "Muslim" with "Christian" in that sentence.

Just as we thought...

...Democrats talk about it, Republicans act:


(This was confirmed on Snopes.)


Whether you know what a Tesla coil is or not, you need to check this out: http://tinyurl.com/ys9cw4
Some serious electrical behavior.

18 August 2007

Who are these people?

I can see the general location of people who read my blog, using the "Where they are" button in the sidebar, and I am always amazed at where some of my readers are located. How, other than random searches, do they ever find me? What must people from obscure countries think of my rants? (Especially those from the Middle East, given my lack of humor about certain Islamic radicals...)
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my stuff.
If it offends you, don't come back.
It ain't likely to get any less so...

16 August 2007


I just finished installing the new versions of iLife and iWork.
Jobs and crew have blown me away again.
The ease-of-use apps I've been using for years just got better, plus there's now Numbers, too. (Spreadsheets again! Yippee!)
Plus the new iWeb blows away Adobe GoLive and any of the other html generators, at a tenth of the price and increased ease of use.
Why anyone uses anything but a Macintosh, I do not know...
(And to forestall all those indignant Windows and Linux users out there, fuck you, it ain't the same.)

14 August 2007

Can't tell...

...if this is a great piece of Photoshop work, or it really is for sale on the Democratic Party page (for a donation of a mere $382, they say), but either way it's funny as hell.
The inevitable "now you can be just like Bill" jokes, of course, are free...

13 August 2007

Guido perfection

Via the Doorman's blog:


Scary good, especially if you've ever been in NYC clubs...

12 August 2007

Not long for this world

This woman is incredibly brave, and will likely inspire some benighted fool to kill her for her beliefs:


Too bad there aren't more like her.

08 August 2007

Speaking of the unthinkable...

From the AP wire: "U.S. officials said more than a million pilgrims were expected Thursday in Kazimiyah, but some Iraqi officials put the figure at four million."

Now is when the ban on biological weapons starts to look like a bad idea...

(Oh, just kidding. I'm not really advocating the death of a few million poor innocent Iraqis... But, trust me, there are Iraqis, and others, who'd settle for the deaths of that many innocent Americans in a heartbeat.)

Thinking about the unthinkable

For some of the best of the internet, check out this guy's site:


Not only does he have some great photography of amazing structures, but his discussion with geographer and writer Stephen Graham about the new urban structure is fascinating.

Blog envy

When I read other bloggers (like the Law Dog; you can find him in my sidebar) talking about their half million hits, my nearly 5,000 doesn't seem like much. But, hey, that's 5,000 people who've read my words. If those were novel sales (which i soon hope to have; check back for details), I'd be getting a pretty good advance on the next one. But feel free to tell everyone you know that they should come read my site; one thing writers like best is readers.

What's next

In the okay, I'm alive and maybe going to be okay, what the fuck do I do now category, I need to find something do do. At least until my publisher, bless him, decides to publish my novel and I turn (pop) into a novelist.
Next time I get by the art store, I'm going to pick up a box of Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrous Watercolors and see if I still have any licks as a painter. (I'm sure a box of his bottles will be a lot more than the last time I bought one, many years ago. But they're still the best.) But there are still some things that direct images portray better than the best writing. If I come up with anything worth looking at, I'll put up some images here. Don't hold your breath; you don't look good in blue.

06 August 2007

Quote for the day

"Everything must end; meanwhile we must amuse ourselves."
This blog, among others things, is what I'm doing to amuse myself until Voltaire gets proved right yet again. I hope it amuses you, too. Comments always welcomed; good, bad, or indifferent.

Not that you care...

...but if you do, please make a contribution to the Angioma Alliance: http://www.angiomaalliance.org/donate.html
You can do it on-line, or via snail mail.
We're a little disease, meaning that only 1 in 200 of humans can get it, but it can be devastating to those who, like me, have it sprung on them without notice.
So, next time you get a brain scan, have them look.
Maybe save your life, or a least a lot of difficulty.

Pity ain't got nothing to do with it

There's a wonderful line from the old parody book Bored of the Rings, where Dildo Baggins has failed to kill someone who otherwise deserved it.
When asked why, he said that pity had stayed his hand.
"It's a pity I've run out of bullets, he said."

Seems to apply to this situation as well:

But, of course, the ACLU is investigating this case of "excessive use of force", as is the FBI.


Hot enough for you?

One hot and muggy sumbitch here today.
So glad we came back from Florida, where it's cooler and dryer...
(Truth be told, warmer today, but cooler tomorrow. So sue me.)

05 August 2007

Word for the day

New to me, anyway:

Another childhood thing gone forever

In the Good Things They Apparently Don't Make Anymore, the Bastards category, I now have to include one of my childhood favorites, known as Sea Toast.
Really immense unsalted crackers, they were a highlight of many a meal when I was younger.
Eating lunch today, I noted how well some sea toast would have gone with my stew.
Pondering that, I realized I hadn't seen them in awhile.
A little googling, and I discovered that Keebler (those bastard elves again) stopped making it awhile back.
How long?
Who remembers?
But I can still see that big blue box, and taste the delicious crunch of a piece, especially with tuna piled on it...
Damn, another piece of childhood gone.

Eleben eleben

Unfortunately, I have been bitten by the 11.11 bug.
I first started noticing it on the digital clock on our television set, many years ago.
Since then it's become almost a joke, because whenever I look at the clock it says 11.11 or sometimes 1.11.
I know, I know, it happens twice a day (four times, if you count 1.11), and it's only because we started using digital time... (Though when I catch myself looking at an analog clock which says 11.11, that's weird, too. As is seeing it in phone numbers on the sides of taxis, etc., etc.)
Even more unfortunately, the whole phenomenon has been hijacked by the woo-woo crowd (do a google search on 11.11 if you need some sardonic laughter in your life, or if you just need something to read), so my years-long fascination with it has become tainted by all their new age crap about it.
Suffice it to say that I still consider it weird, and wish I knew (reliably) what the fuck it's all about...
If it's aliens, fine, show yourselves and let's get it on.
If it's the End of Times, fine, I've been dead once in the last year anyway.
If it's just a consensual hallucination, fine, but everyone (especially those New Age idiots) should stop blathering about it.
It it's nothing, then I wish it would go away and stop bothering me.

Not far enough, in my less-than-humble opinion

Check out the learned and considered explication that this guy offers:


Here's another cogent view of the same problem by the always-interesting Chrisopher Hitchens:


Doesn't go far enough.
Fuck 'em, I say.
No more tolerance for those with no tolerance.

What should they get?
"A .44-40 in the brain pan", as Harry Dean Stanton memorably said in Missouri Breaks.

04 August 2007

Lost in the internet

So I come back to my machine after being called away to help Chris, and I start reading this post. Gosh, I say, I don't remember writing about this particular subject, and I certainly don't remember being so vociferious about it.
Then I realize, it's not my blog, just one that uses the same template.
Damn that short term memory loss...

But now that we've got that squared away, it's back to surfing.
I'll just have to make sure who I'm reading.

03 August 2007

Rare footage of rational newscoverage

Treasure this.
When was the last time that you saw a liberal news organization cover the story this way?

No surprise

Apparently, things caught up with them again:


I used to drive by this place all the time when I lived in Berkeley.

More on the underlying story:


The truth will out

For a surprising view of things (to me at least), check out this interview:

You'll never think of the news the same way again.

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