Friday, August 07, 2015

4088 Conversation with my heir apparent, #2

Friday, August 7, 2015

You either sink or swim or you don't.


The Nugget pooped in the potty at my house a few days ago.

She poops every day, and she poops a LOT!  I haven't seen grown men with her output.  I usually say something like "What on earth is your mommy feeding you?!", which usually gets me her breakfast and lunch menu for that day.  She does tend to be rather literal.

Well, anyway, the other day I expressed amazement, and I asked "Your belly is so little, and that poopy is so big, where on earth were you storing all that?"

She looked up with a huge smile, and said, "In my bagina!"

(Daughter later explained they had been learning the proper names for body parts.)

4087 For discussion --- Go!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Nostomania - An overwhelming desire to return home or to go back to familiar places.


The following video from CGP Grey, "Humans Need Not Apply", is 15 minutes long, but if you're interested in thinking about the future of society, it's worth watching.


Don't bother reading the comments on the video.  They're not worth your time.  Mostly a bunch of idiots rhapsodizing about never having to work again, fun fun fun.  Obviously they hadn't thought it through.

What do you think will happen?


Incidentally, CGP Grey has a number of interesting videos on a variety of subjects.  Sometime when you don't feel like reading in your down time, or if you're sick and looking for diversion, check him out:

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

4086 Incomplete diagnosis

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"Between friends there will always be disputes.
It is not in the disputes themselves that we know our true friends,
it is in the way we address them."


Over New Years 2012/2013 I was in the hospital with what was diagnosed as severe pneumonia, the "worst case the lung guy at the hospital had ever seen", to the point where they really didn't think I would live.  Organs were shutting down.  But within 12 hours on antibiotics I was already getting better.  The doctors were amazed.  (That post entry:

I think they didn't quite realize what I likely had!

When we had lost electricity for so long after Hurricane Sandy, and then got hit with a Nor'easter which dropped temperatures below freezing.  With no power I had tried to keep warm by boiling water constantly on the gas stove, and by filling both bathtubs with hot water.  The house was filled with warm steam.

From an article about illness caused by cooling towers in NYC, "A type of severe pneumonia, Legionnaires' disease -- which was named after an outbreak during a 1976 meeting of the American Legion in Philadelphia -- is not spread from person to person but by breathing in mist with the organisms. Outbreaks usually occur in the summer."

"By breathing in mist with the organisms..."  What you want to bet I had Legionnaires?

Legionnaires usually develops within 10 days of exposure.  If it was Legionnaires, and if it was due to my breathing all that steam, I must have been fighting it off for a good six weeks before I couldn't fight it any more.  I do know that I was getting progressively weaker all through November and December.  I thought at the time it was just age and kidneys catching up with me, plus that I am very sensitive to molds, and with all the houses and mountains of household goods rotting away all around us from Sandy flooding, I thought that's what it was.

Interesting.  Maybe if not for the mold I could have eventually fought it off.

Even more interesting, the folks most at risk of death are older people, smokers, and those with weak immune systems (like from kidney problems or diabetes).  Boom, boom, and boomity-boom-boom.  

I must be in better shape than I thought.  

4085 A playdate for my cat?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The little boat floated gently across the still pond exactly like a bowling ball doesn't.


About three weeks ago I noticed that every late afternoon into the evening, Jasper was showing interest in a corner in the kitchen, the corner between the dishwasher and the stove.  There's a small stick vacuum cleaner leaning against the counter in front of the dishwasher, and a round library kick-stool in the corner.  And Jasper would crouch there, ears up, tail flicking, for an hour or two or three, until he'd lose interest.

About two weeks ago I found out what was attracting his interest.  It's a cricket, a small black cricket.  It's probably female, because it doesn't "sing".  It never strays from that corner of the kitchen, stays in a 4' by 4' square which extends to under the Nugget's play table.

Jasper watches it intensely, chases it and bats at it when it moves, stares at the stove, or stool, or dishwasher when it hides under one of them, and scrabbles after it when it dares to go as far as Nugget's table.

I'm surprised that it has stayed in that corner.  I'm surprised that Jasper hasn't caught it.  I'm surprised that it has lived this long.  I don't mind it as long as it stays in the kitchen.  In fact, I often feel guilty that poor Jasper doesn't get enough physical or mental exercise (older cats tend to lose interest in toys once they figure out how they work), so I'm grateful to the cricket.

If the cricket ever disappears, I think maybe I'll buy Jasper another cricket from a pet shop - they stock them for feeding lizards and stuff - if there's any way I can be assured of getting a female (quiet) one.  

Only problem is, how do I make it stay in the kitchen?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

4084 Why Trump?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Everything worth knowing leaves bruises.


Everyone I talk with wonders how Donald Trump is polling so high.  Most just shrug and say it must be because people love a spoiler, love comedy, want to see the explosions and radioactive fallout.

I was sort of thinking that too, until I looked into it a bit.

The transcript of Trump's announcement that he's running is at  It looks like he sent out a team of people to blue collar bars to ask people what they thought of the country, the world, and what needs fixing, and this speech is the result of that study.  He addresses all the concerns of the Republican conservative base.  He doesn't exactly cover the "hows", but he hit all the "whats" really hard.  No other candidate is doing that, not to that degree.

This doesn't mean that he really understands the concerns.  It just means his research team nailed it.  But the folks in those bars are cheering.

Secondly, and this may be the most important factor,
he's not a politician!
The American voters are sick and tired of politicians.  They'd love to get someone in there who will say enough is enough, and kick some tail.  They think Trump can do it.


Whoa, I just realized I should make sure no one thinks this is an endorsement!  Nope.  Just speculation on why he scores so high in polls.

Monday, August 03, 2015

4083 Dorian and the Dipshit

Monday, August 3, 2015

The first testicular guard, the "cup", was used in Hockey in 1874
and the first helmet was used in 1974.
That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.


Every once in a while I decide I have to read a classic I'd been avoiding.  I don't know why, I guess maybe I think it would be some kind of shame if I die without having read The House of the Seven Gables or something.  (I mention that particular book because I've started it at least five times, and I simply cannot get past the first two dozen pages.  It's mental anesthesia to me.  Brain death.)

So, a few days ago I came across a reference to Dorian Gray.  No one ever references "...Seven Gables", but people often mention Dorian's picture, and it happened to be one of those free downloads to my Kindle, and it's not so very long, so,....

I'd gotten only about 1/3 the way in when I realized I passionately hate Lord Henry.  I didn't want to read another observation from him.  He is the most supercilious asshole I've ever "met".  He judges everything and everyone, finds everything wanting even though he claims not to judge, purposely says exactly the opposite of what he thinks people expect him to say for no other reason than to disconcert people, claims to live only for beauty, but then sets out to destroy beauty wherever he finds it.  He is fascinated by the beauty and visible innocence of the young Dorian, so he sets out to debauch him, while claiming to adore him and teach him to live life fully.  I hate hate hate everything about Lord Henry.

Yeah, I know, this is supposed to be a philosophical novel, and ok, I could understand the philosophical aspects were they not espoused by one as odious as Lord Henry.  Wikipedia describes Lord Henry as an aesthete, a hedonist.  You know, he could have been a hedonistic aesthete without being an odious ... asshole.  Sorry, but that's the best I can do.  It fits.

So then Dorian develops an interest in precious and semi-precious stones, and we are treated to a bazillion pages of descriptions of stones.  Why?  In the pre-internet stone age, is Wilde trying to impress the reader with his knowledge?  That's the only reason I can think of for that.  If we were supposed to apply that to Dorian's state of mind, it could have been done much more directly and more interestingly.  We finally slog through all that, and Dorian discovers textiles and embroidery, and we get a bazillion pages of ....

I'm now no long reading, but just scanning pages.  I'm 65% of the way through and I'm determined to finish,

... although I don't have the faintest idea why.

4082 Is that really what you think? You know you could be wrong?

Monday, August 3, 2015

"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."
--John Kenneth Galbraith--

I've been trying to ignore all the internet comment on the  Bill Cosby allegations, because mostly it's younger folks saying "These women didn't report it when it happened, therefore it can't be true."  They have no idea what it was like then.  In some states as late as the '70s a woman had to have a minimum of two MALE (not female) eyewitnesses to even bring charges, or she had to be so badly beaten she could barely see or walk.  Otherwise no one would believe her.  Then if she actually managed to make it to court, her reputation was raped again by the courts.  So reading the ignorant comments royally pisses me off.

But I m reading some articles, especially those with substance.  One article quoted from the court documented testimony of Cosby himself, wherein he details his "seduction" techniques.  He said, quoting from the deposition, on the question of consent, "I think I'm a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things."

At that point I said to myself, "Yep.  He did it.  He did it all.  No longer any question in my mind whatsoever."

Sexual predators (wolves) are very good at identifying and selecting the lambs among us: the women who are low in assertiveness, who are eager to please, who are cowed by authority, who are afraid of male power, who are impressed by success, who are unlikely to cause trouble.    They scent blood, they know who they can attack.

Secondly, in sexual matters, I am very well aware that men thinking with the wrong end always think that women want whatever they want them to want.  In my dating days I got so sick and tired of fighting off men who informed me that "You want it.  You know you want it", no matter how loudly and angrily and definitely I said no, stop, go away.  Hands up, Ladies --- how many times have you heard "You want it, you know you want it"?

The line I heard more times than I can count, from different men in different areas, in exactly the same words, which made me wonder whether it was born in male minds, was "You can't walk around looking like that and not want it all the time!"

Huh?  I've always dressed rather modestly.  But even a mother Hubbard can't hide a big bust.  I guess that's what they meant?

So, yeah, Mr. Cosby.  I'll bet you believed you were a "pretty decent reader of people and their emotions".  Too bad it was all coming out of your own mind and applied to others, without bothering to actually ask.


On the subject of consent, men claim to be confused as to what it means, when do you have to get a verbal yes, when can a no mean yes, whatever it is that their testosterone-fueled minds can't quite grasp.  A woman has written an excellent illustration of exactly what consent or lack thereof means, that even the densest should understand: 
It's short and amusing.