Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do The Math

 Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't? Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.

 I believe in small government and free-ish markets. I do think there should be some regulations; unfettered capitalism leads to cannibalism. I guess I'm turning into a knee-jerk moderate, or as some brevity-loving conservative editors in my family say, " a jerk". Everyone is solving for X, and I'm still wondering why.     

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance

Even though last week it was snowing here, today spring is in the air.  This afternoon I delivered mail in shorts and with my sleeves rolled up (like the T-shirt says, "I have the right to bare arms.") and last night I took the studded tires off my bicycle. I took the studded tires off, and I even put one back on, but when I went to put the back tire on, the chain was twisted like a cat's cradle. I couldn't figure out how to untwist it (even after getting the cats out of it) and I couldn't even see how I had twisted it into that position in the first place. Luckily, Rich stopped by with a hard drive he'd borrowed, and while I went in the house to make sure he hadn't damaged it, I asked him to fix my bike, and he did! When we went out for a test ride, there was some slack in the chain, and he said just to pedal it, and the slack would be taken up. I argued with him, just as if I was entitled to an opinion in the matter.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Idle Hands

When I do go back, to pounding the old shoe leather, I'll have a new way to tie my laces. Turning boredom into new skills, that's me.

Delivering Updates Instead of Mail

The latest buzz: Karen's sleeping. Sarah's "home and doing well," and I'm so bored that walking down the same streets I've been walking down every day for the last thirteen years is starting to look scintillating.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Karen is home from her surgery, and dizzy. Last report from Boston was that Sarah's surgery went fine, although that was five hours ago. Any news Boston? Boston, come in please.

What Are The Odds?

Last week I was flirting with the high end of my goal weight range ("I think you'd look so nice on my scale."). Apparently it was as creeped out as anyone would have been since this morning when I weighed, it had moved another pound away. Still, yesterday I was wearing my goal
weight range pants for the first time in well over a year and kudos to the Kirkland jeans engineers that no buttons flew off and injured anyone.
I'm attributing my weight gain to the fact that I weighed earlier than normal (being sleepy adds ten pounds) since I had to take Karen in for her carpal tunnel surgery at 6am.  How weird is this? While I'm wating here for Karen to come out of surgery, Sarah's waiting to go in for what they called emergency surgery when they made her rush to the hospital yesterday, but will just be called surgery if they do it today and called "way too late" if they don't.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trust Me

I listened to an episode of radio lab recently. Scientists now believe that there is a very conservative  (in the I-want-to-avoid-potentially-fatal-activities, not the Obama-was-born-in-Kenya sense) part of our brain that tells us lies to get us to stop doing what we're doing. The only way to keep going, is to tell lies back to it. I've included the link to the program because it's a little more complicated (and interesting) than that, but it did make me start to think that if you can't even trust yourself not to lie to you, who can you trust?
Scientists don't yet know that, but Sherlock Holmes said that once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be true. So, we already know that we can't trust large banks (and here's an aside, but why do conservatives (in the Fox News, not the Barry Goldwater sense) support large banks that are more similar to "dens of robbers" than individuals [the robbed, who no longer have dens]?) doctors, lawyers, and insurance companies. If there was any doubt about airlines, we can add this item to the scale (and then pay $50 extra for it). Some passengers stranded in Britain by the recent volcano are being charged the difference between their original ticket price and the price of the flight they're now finally being allowed to take.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No, Really, Join Us

We'll also be going to the Big E on the 30th of September. It was there, Ambre told me that she first had fried, fried, she couldn't remember at first what it was, but really, mmm fried something. Perfect

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Boring Post About Abusing Drug Abusers

I've been eating a lot of turmeric lately because I hear it makes you smarter. I'm hoping that soon I'll know how to pronounce it.
I listened to a story from Texas the other day. The war on drugs (subtitled,  the war on the 4th amendment) seems to be creating incentives for the police to do bad things. In any event, I'm beginning to suspect that the whole war on drugs is just a manifestation of the banana republic effect here. Not the trendy, ironically named store, but the old wikipedia-referenced kind:
Banana republic is a country that is politically unstable ruled by a small, self-elected, wealthy, and corrupt clique. The original concept was a very direct reference to a "servile dictatorship" which abetted (or directly supported in return for kickbacks, the exploitation of large-scale plantation agriculture (especially banana cultivation).
  To wit, why am I paying $700 co-pays at the pharmacy, and junkies in Dubuque can get heroin for six bucks? Is the government waging a war on citizens to protect big pharma against competition?
And another thing, it's April 14th, why do we have a winter weather advisory and 8 new inches of snow on the ground?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An item from The Onion for you.

Someone who cares deeply for you has shared the following news content
from America's Finest News Source just with you.
Papal Infallibility Invoked To Allow Scrabble Word
(I think I'm playing him on Words With Friends),17182/
Sent via The Onion iPhone Application, available in the iTunes App
See the latest from America's Finest News Source at -

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Because the sky is blue..."

Some shallow people are affected by the weather, but not me, even
though we've had blue skies and melting snow.
Karen's doctor has been using a new drug to try straddling the line
between "cognitive impairment" and unbearable pain. Or, "Let's do

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

To A Rubber Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Knee.

Karen saw a surgeon today about her carpal tunnel syndrome. He recommended, big surprise, surgery.
After that we swung by the Providence lab to keep an appointment to have her blood drawn, but they were like the Seinfeld car rental people, they made the appointment, but they didn't hold the appointment.
 Oh well, if it wasn't one thing, it would be another. Actually, it is one thing, and then another.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Annual Easter Morning Picture

Our family doesn't have many Easter traditions, but this could be one
if I do it next year

Thursday, April 01, 2010

HA! I Was Right, It Is A Costly Cult!!!

I just heard one of our Assemblypersons say that the mandatory curbside recycling program that they implemented last fall costs more than it saves since all the recyclables have to be shipped Outside. She said that people moving up here were asking for it. And she supports it. Watever happened to our Alaskan ethos, "We don't care how they do it Outside!"?
Back in the 70's, Alaskan's wanted to build a pipeline to carry oil from the North Slope to the rest of the country. The rest of the country seemed to be protesting, and the bumper sticker of that era was, "Let the bastards freeze in the dark!" And now we're rinsing out soup cans, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."~Ronald Reagan

Wait, Maybe That Wasn't Foreshadowing, Maybe It Was Symbolism.

Foreshadowing is a common literary technique. In To Kill a Mockingbird, a rabid dog in the first part of the book foreshadows racism quietly seething,  with the potential to explode later in the book. Things aren't always so straight forward in real life. This morning, the first words I heard were, "The toilet's plugged up."  So, you might think that later in the day, I'd be handling something nasty, but I wasn't, just mail.

I've been playing Words With Friends, an iPhone Scrabble app. It's a great implementation of the game, especially, if for some reason you don't have any friends even though you've got an iPhone; it will put you together with with some virtual friends to play with. My only quibble (20 points, not counting bonuses) is that it has a pretty broad interpretation of what constitutes a word. I think it's great to take satisfaction in a well placed tile, I don't think you should also get pride of authorship.