Thursday, March 31, 2005

Interview with the Irish Geisha

Questions for Irish:

1) Is human nature basically good or basically evil? Explain.

2) Do chics dig jerks? If so, why? If not, why do so many nice guys leave high school thinking this is true?

3) If you could re-live any day in your life, which would it be and why?

4) If given the chance to switch bodies with a man for just a day, would you?

5) What draws you to the blogs that you read?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Why I won't be posting much for 6-8 weeks

This is the x-ray of my right wrist taken last night.

See the crack in that long wrist bone?

Here's a second look.

And now a close-up

With my right hand immobilized, typing and using the pc in general are tedious and frustrating.

Seems that when it rains it pours. Guess I'll be photo blogging for the forseable future.

Orthopedist will give me a cast tomorrow. I'll post pics.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Interview

Here are "the rules":
* Leave me a comment saying “interview me”. The first five commenters will be the participants.
* I will respond by asking you five questions.
* You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
* When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some.)

The questions I was asked:
1. If you had to choose an animal form what would it be? Why?

I think I'd like to be a big whale of some kind. They really get to see the world. And I'd like to know what their language is like, and what's it's like to "see" the world by sound. They don't have to work too hard to eat: Just strain a mouthful of seawater and swallow. So it seems a very serene life. I think they're wise.

2. What is your earliest memory?

I have rather accurate memories of many incidents very early in my life. One is from when I was perhaps 18 months old. I remember staying at someone's house, and they were doing construction on the upstairs. Mom and Dad didn't have a good place for me to sleep, so I remember being shown that I could get behind these wall studs in the upstairs in this space between where the roof sloped to the floor and where the wall would be. I remember the adults being very encouraging of me, and thinking the 18 month old equivalent of "they're setting me up for something". The plan was to get me to sleep there, thinking I'd not be able to get out and cause trouble. This was true. I couldn't figure out how to get out, and required adult help in and out. I remember waking up and thinking, "well, I'm gonna have to cry if I want to get out of here".

3. Where do you go for really good food and what do you get?

I like my own cooking, generally. I can make for myself exactly what I want, so restaurants aren't a necessary part of the process. And I like such a broad variety of things, that I don't have any single "go-to" dish or restaurant. That said, my favorite dish is some kind of slow cooked meat (often beef stew) with my spent grain bread and a pint of my stout. Hearty earthy peasant food. My favorite restaurant is John Harvard's Brew Pub in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. Best beer & food in Boston for your dollar. Gourmet pub fare, good beer.

4. You have the opportunity to interview the Pope, what question do you ask first?

Where does your faith come from? In other words, by what senses or experiences have you come to have your belief in and understanding of God?

5. What book do your read over and over again and what takes you back to it?

I really don't read books twice. There are very few that I've read more than once, and that's largely because of academic requirements. There are many that I recommend. "Startide Rising" by David Brin is one of the most imaginative pieces of science fiction I've ever read. I think Guns, Germs and Steel is worthwhile. I think 1984 should be required reading of all citizens of any democratic government. I think I read Kant's "Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals" 3 times for 3 different courses as an undergraduate. It's an important piece, but I wouldn't have read it 3 times by choice. But that's the piece I think I've read most.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Truth & Reconciliation

God: Gee, Ken, you're really pissed off at me

Kenneth: What gave you that idea?

God: All these sarcastic things you keep writing. Ya know, you can just bring these things up with me directly. No need to go behind my back, so to speak.

Kenneth: Forgive me, but the lines of communication have seemed pretty unidirectional until just now.

God: I get that a lot. I do answer all my fan mail. Not everyone opens the responses I send.

Kenneth: So this is my own fault? This is feeling very Catholic.

God: I don't have time for this right now. We can have that chat in 65 years or so. But to answer your question from earlier today: All my tests are open book, so to speak. I don't send you things to handle without sending the means to handle them. I'm a fair guy. You have to be open to the help to recognize and use it, though.

Kenneth: Yeah, I just figured that one out. Sorry I made you hit me over the head with it.

God: No worries. You'd be less interesting otherwise.

Catholic Mysteries 2

Catholicism: God is all knowing. He knows everything that ever has and ever will happen.

Human: He even knows what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow?

Catholicism: No detail of your life is unimportant to God.

Human: Yeah, but I have three kinds of cereal at home. How does he know what I'll pick?

Catholicism: God knows you so well, he knows what you'll choose.

Human: I thought I had freedom to choose things. That's why I'm on the hook for all this sin stuff.

Catholicism: You do have free will.

Human: But if God knows what I'm going to do, that seems an awful lot like what I'm going to do is already determined.

Catholicism: No, you do have free will. It's just that God knows what you'll do.

Human: But it seems like I could change my mind and fake God out or something. If I'm truly free, it just seems like I ought to be able to surprise people. Being predictable doesn't make me feel too free. And if God knows what I'm going to do, why does he send stuff at me that he knows I'm gonna screw up? It's like giving first graders a test on matrix algebra. What's the point?

Catholicism: This is a mystery. We can't comprehend the mind of God.

Bill Gates: Everyone who codes in C++ and VB will find our products very easy to use.

More looking up at trees

The sky was great that day

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What a total surprise

Though I must say, I did sort of defy some of the stereotype. If it weren't for my athletic genes, I'd have been 100% geek. The truth is that I was a bit Outsider, and a bit Goody two shoes as well.

Here are all the outcomes

Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Looking up at trees

Black lines, Blue canvas

An Open Letter to American Teens

Dear kids,

I know that at this point in life, you'd rather die than be unpopular. If you don't say the right things to the right people at the right times in the conversations you have today, you forfeit your chance to say the right things to the right people at the right times in the future, since those right people could, because of your reaction to their complaint about the algebra test today, never speak to you again. Worse, the Romeo and Juliet passion you harbor for your hottie of the month may continue to go at best unnoticed and at worst unrequited. The stakes are clearly high.

But back to that "give me popularity, or give me death" thing.

Some of you kids get a little mixed up on this one, and think, "give me popularity, or I'll give you death." And this is when it gets messy.

See, of all the kids who have walked into school and exercised their second amendment rights while creating Clockwork Orange style performance art, none so far have been prom kings or quarterbacks. They all seem to come form the teen social caste of "untouchables", with whom speaking costs the speaker social standing.

Now don't get me wrong, I know that to actually exchange a friendly word or two with the outcasts would probably mean getting voted off the island of social acceptability which you've struggled so hard to swim to and remain on. And being popular is, as we've established, basically worth dying for.

But the suicide notes thus far haven't cried for vengeance on "all the kids who smiled at me". They seem to execute the kids who exacerbated their ostracism-fueled depression by mocking, teasing and humiliating.

So when the spooky outsider kid in your school finally snaps, will you be on his list?

I know you want to put all your energy into social climbing, since, after all, your social standing in high school will basically determine your lifetime happiness. But it might be a good idea to hedge and spend a few popularity points being kind to the untouchables. At least, it's a good idea if you'd like your brains to remain safely and neatly inside your skull when that dark angel spreads his wings and walks your hallway.


One who knows the heart of the outsider

Monday, March 21, 2005

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Washington D.C

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Something useful for humanity

This is how to program the Star Wars Imperial March on the Motorala v66 (in MyTones section)

B Minor


E Minor


I cannot wait for Episode III. If there's anything like Jar Jar in it, and if it's not dark and terrifying, I will assasinate George Lucas. I want bawling 10 year olds leaving the theater. I want parents to complain. Then I will know it's been done right.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Catholic Mysteries 1

Catholicism: God made you exactly as you are, and loves you. He loves all his creation.

Human: What's all this "sin" stuff, then?

Catholicism: God hates sin. Sin is offensive to God.

Human: Well, I seem to keep sinning, so God must not love me any more.

Catholicism: No, God loves you because you are His creation.

Human: And God wanted me to be exactly as I am?

Catholicism: Yes, it is part of His plan.

Human: If God made me to be sinful, it doesn't seem fair to get pissed off at me for acting as designed. Bill Gates has no right to throw things when he gets the Blue Screen of Death, ya know?

Catholicism: God isn't pissed at you, he loves you. He hates sin.

Human: Seems a little twisted to me to design creatures that act in a way that's displeasing to you. Why annoy yourself? This doesn't make sense.

Catholicism: This is a Mystery. We can't comprehend the mind of God.

Bill Gates: Ctrl+Alt+Del YAY! Ctrl+Alt+Del YAY! Ctrl+Alt+Del YAY!