Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wake Me When This is All About Over, m'kay?

Never really been a fan of the weekend. It used to be, if I was bored enough, I could just sleep my way through it. Any more, however, absent chemical assistance, I can't sleep more than 3-6 hours out of every 24. Just can't. So, I gotta sit there and "enjoy" whatever the hell's going on. F'meh.

Bigtime Donna WTF of the day

Donna is frequently capable of inciting "WTF" reactions. In fact, it's usually at least a daily occurrence. Still, the "WTF"s she incites generally aren't "bigtime WTF"s. Today... Well, today she hit the "bigtime" mark.

This weekend is Donna's Birthday. Tomorrow, August 22nd, she will turn 37 years old. Donna is never one to let a birthday go by uncelebrated, particularly her own birthday. To Donna, her birthday is an occasion that should be celebrated with drinks, dinners out and, most of all, presents. Things like being in debt are not a deterring factor to spending yet more money to celebrate something that, in the end, is just another fucking day on the goddamned calendar. Each year's birthday is an exercise in validating her self-worth, it seems. Presents, dining out and hitting the bars is the objective yardstick by which she measures that self-worth.

Whatever. I get it: I married someone who's a little fucked in the head. I married someone for whom worth is determined by external factors rather than an internalized feeling of innate self-worth. Donna is so very "western" (or maybe just "American") in this regard.

Most years, Donna's birthday dinner is usually something that just she and I do. However, for whatever reason, she felt compelled to involve others. Whatever. If it makes her happy, fine. If it means that, rather than eating some place interesting, we eat at someplace that's more "accessible" to all involved, so be it. Besides, "accessible" places are frequently less expensive than the more "interesting" places are.

As per usual, she also wants to spend the later parts of the evening out at the clubs, drinking it up, and being paid attention to by her friends. Again, "whatever, I'm used to that." This year, however, after I spend a non-exclusive dinner at a hum drum eating establishment, she wishes to spend the remainder of the evening as a "girls night out."

Ok, a little selfish, but, again, "whatever". At least I don't have to spend an evening at a club I don't like. At worst, I'll have to put up with her drunken bullshit when she gets home: the incessant, inane chatteriness and/or vomiting from the alcohol (followed the next day by the inevitable hangover and general worthlessness). Still in the realm of "whatever". Not because it isn't extremely annoying but because it just follows to the expected pattern.

No, the coup de grace on this is the request that - in addition to paying for a hum drum dinner, putting up with the effects of her drunkenness, not spending the birthday celebrations with her - she wants me to play chauffer (at least for the ride home). She and her partner in drinking crime want to go out, but, obviously, if both are drinking, neither can drive. While it's possible that her friend's husband might be cajoled into driving them - even just as dropoff/pickup - that's not good enough for Donna. See, her friend's husband isn't the smoothest of drivers. He believes in binary drive. His is a textbook example of "herky-jerky" driving. Such driving often doesn't mesh well with someone who's been drinking too much. So, naturally, she has requested that I pick her up from the club when she's ready to go home. Thus, if I should agree to this, I will get to listen to her babble the whole way home. I will get to be driven to the point of wanting to either throttle her or to want to drive us into a bridge abutment. And, I get to sit around, waiting for her fucking call, all the while getting more spun-up at the dread of the forthcoming ride home.

Happy fucking birthday you self-centered harpy.

Odd Juxtaposition (Last.FM)

Last.FM just played Altered Images' "Happy Birthday" back-to-back with Morrissey's "It's Not Your Birthday, Any More". Coincidentally, today is the day we're (and, I mean "we" in only the very loosest of terms) celebrating Donna's 37th birthday.

Stop Asking

If one has no intention of watching a given show or use a given service, why ask what it is as though tucking the info away for later use?

Some Days...

There are just days that feel like you'd be better off playing leap-frog with a unicorn.

This, I Do Not "Get"

I use StumbleUpon, quite frequently, to help stave off boredom. Many other stumblers will suggest stand-alone images that they found within the larger context of a full web page. As such, they will create a direct-link to the image rather than the containing page.

More than a few sites put "hotlink protection" in place to prevent other people embedding the images hosted on their sites from being embedded in other sites. Most cite "bandwidth protection". Now, I'm not going to bother with pointing out that the whole point of the world wide web was to help conserve disk space (etc.) by making it so that any given object only live in one cardinal location and be referenced elsewhere. I'm not even going to bother pointing out that, if you've a copyright to a given piece of work, it's a lot easier to track its usage if you host the work rather than necessitating that people download it and then host their own copy of it.

At any rate, I was Stumbling, once again, today. I hit the Stumble button and was taken to the following page: 

Now, the link seems to indicate that the intended image was a 1600x1220px JPEG. Depending on the image in question, that could be a fairly decent chunk of bandwidth or it could be only a few 10s of kilobytes. Yet, the "blocked" page kicks back a few kilobytes worth of data, as well. So, it begs the question: if your goal is bandwidth protection, why not set your hotlink protection to something that chews up FAR less bandwidth. I mean, as it stands, these guys just come across as utter tools. They might want to reconsider their protection scheme. I mean, every URL that StumbleUpon sends to my browser comes with a StumbleUpon referer. The site owners could put an exception in place for StumbleUpon referers that either displayed the picture or just redirected them to their home page. I mean, at least that way, they can take the free publicity as a means of getting site traffic.

Whatever. I mean, if you're so hard up for bandwidth that a popular 1600x1220 JPEG's going to put you over the top, maybe you should send back something a bit more terse and bandwidth efficient.


Why? Just, "Why"?

I find it rather annoying that most popular Cure song on Last.FM is "Friday I'm in Love" (perhaps the song I most hate from my favorite group)

I Feel Most Alive When I Dream

I believe the time I most consistently enjoy life is when I'm asleep and dreaming.

Scent-influenced Dreaming?

My hands still reek of lobster. Ought to be interesting dreams, tonight. :p

A Rare Treat

The expendables was actually worth the price of admission. And the joke about source of Arnie's frustrations was priceless.

Any more, I so dread going to the movies. I never know, "Is it going to be worth spending the $25 it costs for my wife and I to just get seats". I think, with the pricing of movies, the only ones that will ever, consistently, be worth pricing are visual spectacles - movies that don't translate well to the small screen. The rest... Well, they better have a damned good story to be worth it. Unfortunately, so few movies are well-written, any more. So few movies are worth it. I just gotta think that movie theatres are doomed if they can't get the pricing under control. They just are so rarely worth the price or the hassle.

Really Just a Matter of Perspective

Isn't Memento really just the story of a guy with early-onset Alzheimers?

Alzheimers at Easter

Alzheimers offers a great opportunity come Easter time: you can hide the eggs from yourself. Unfortunately, you're also usually to rickety to actually get them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Dinner of Lobster Rolls

In the summer time, we like to make a dinner of the occasional, fresh made lobster rolls on homemade rolls. It's truly a combined effort: Donna or I dunk the live lobsters into the pot; I divest them of their shells; she makes the meat into lobster salad to be put onto the rolls.

Alive and kicking

Just out of the pot

First one's shell

First one's meat

Two lobsters' worth of shells and meat

The finished product
All in all, it's a rather tasty treat. We only do it once or twice a summer. Some years we do shrimp rolls, instead, but shrimp's prices are rather higher than normal, this year. It's a nice, light meal that goes well with the summer weather. Would have had (yet another) caprese salad, but, I forgot to do one up. Oh well, "tomorrow". Besides: we still have more lobster salad to kill, tomorrow. So, looks like leftovers for lunch.

Why Offer?

So, why *do* they offer children's ticket prices for R-rated movies? I mean, if you're of an age where you qualify for the children's discount, you're not supposed to be watching an R-rated movie. Hell, they probably shouldn't even offer them for PG-13 movies. And, maybe if they didn't offer children's rates on those titles, parents would be less likely to bring toddlers to the midnight showing of the latest splatter flick.

Matinees Only Till Noon??

Not sure why the AMC near my house bothers with matinee pricing. I mean, who's going to the movies before noon?? It used to be, "matinee" was anything with a start time prior to 1800 or 1900. Now...

Religion as Insurance

Sometimes, I wonder how many of the professed-religious are so for reasons similar to those that cause me to buy property insurance. Obviously, this isn't directed at all who are religious. Really, it's just aimed at the "you need to be pious or you'll go to hell" type of believers.

Where's the Common Ground

Sometimes, I fear I lack sufficient X chromosomes to make sense of the things Donna says to me.

Worse than Crabgrass.

Pumpkins like to grow westward. The volunteer in our back bed has grown nearly 20 feet to the fence, up and over the fence and all the way back down and is now trying to climb over our neighbor's bushes. So, over 20 feet of lateral translation, a 6ft up-and-down and now trying to scale a 3.5ft tall, VERY wide bush.

So, in our yard, tomatoes, varieties of squash and crabgrass all grow with similar vigor and sprawl.

Observations On Lawn Maintenance

It'd be more accurate to call it "cricket-herding" than mowing the lawn...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Light `em Up!

Gas grills *have* to be started with a *FOOM!" else can you be sure all the spiders are dead?

Drivetime Tunes?

I'm thinking Grendel's "Hate This" would be a good drive-time tune ...though might send the wrong message to any coworkers that heard it blaring.

Airlines Evil

Is it a good sign or a bad sign that the airfare for our December cruise came out to $666?

Though, it's one of those lower-order worries. I mean, the overall expense of this trip is piling up:

  • Our cruise leaves out of San Juan, PR. So, had to fly down. Originally, was going to fly down the Saturday immediately prior the cruise-departure day and fly back the Sunday following the cruise's return to port. However, the airfare would have been over $1000. $666 is a comparative bargain
  • The cruise itself is over $2500 for the cabin
  • Gonna have to take cabs between home and DCA (local airport)
  • Gonna have to take cabs between SJU, our hotel in San Juan and the port facilities. Not horrible, but, it adds up
  • Have to board the dogs ...and that's usually better than $60/day.
  • Don't yet know how much baggage fees are going to be
  • Hotel would have been nearly $200/night, but I still had hotel points left from when I traveled for a living. So, at least that's $600 I'm not spending.

I mean, just the travel-components are going to be nearly $5K for this trip. And, I know Donna's gonna want to go site-seeing (i.e., "shopping") at the various ports of call. Then there's however much alcohol and the other activities cost.

Yeah: there's a reason I don't take vacations all that often.

Sequence is Important

"Wait: how old is that potato salad" is best thought *before* swallowing it.

Systems' Security is a PitA

I understand that security's important. I really do. However, other than because I know that most security people are fairly clueless, I just don't get a lot of the restrictions they put in place.

For instance, with UNIX systems, they generally come with tools to help you diagnose network problems. In Linux's case, this is tcpdump. Unfortunately, our security people say, "you can't install tcpdump on systems on our networks". I mean, yeah, tcpdump is a packet-sniffer. But, in a fully-switched network, it's really not the potential avenue for abuse that it was on non-switched networks (so, this is a security requirement that's nearly two decades out of date). What makes it really silly is, Linux comes with a software firewall. In fact, our security geniuses require its use. However, I can configure that firewall software to grab and log all network traffic that comes across the system's network connection. In other words, I can still get all of the tcpdump-type info, I just have to enable logging. The data's a bit less well organized, but I still have the data. So, is there REALLY any security advantage in denying me a good tool like tcpdump? All it does is make my life as a system's administrator harder and have does nothing to create the type of data-protection that the policy probably intends to do.

But, most security people don't really understand the systems they're "securing", so... There you have it.

Still: bite me.


Either I've got a slow nosebleed or I've been poisoned: been smelling and tasting "metal" since late last night. Yum.

Only That Many?

Given the ignorance/stupidity of the average person, it's surprising that only 18% think Obama's muslim

Know Your Enemy

Some people just "aren't right". I'm probably looking at a significant chunk of my friends list when I say this. =)

Congrats, D: You Saved Us

So, because of the egg recall, Donna was very pleased to point out that we weren't in any danger because of her localvore habits

Stop Thinking Like a UNIX-tard

Ok, so, I wanted to transfer an installation package from my system at work to my system at home, but didn't want to ass around with setting up trusted SSH keys. So, what do I do? I try to email the file.

Now, mind you, this was s 36MB MSI file. I knew that GMail had less restrictions on file sizes, so, I figured, "mail it to myself". Gmail apparently sets a 25MB filesize limit. "Hmm... What to do," says I.

AH! I've got Cygwin installed both on the system the MSI's sitting on and my laptop. I'll just split the file up into manageable chunks and email myself the chunks:

  1. Take an md5sum of the source MSI
  2. do a quick `split -d -b 12582912 MgtUI.msi MgtUI-chunk`
  3. Email myself the md5 and the first chunk in one email, then the other two chunks as separate emails
  4. Flip back to my laptop and fire up gmail
  5. Download the sent files
  6. Discover that Windows has saved the files with a permissions mask that Cygwin interprets as 0000.
  7. Use the security editor to set the file permissions on each file, individually to something that Cygwin will accept
  8. `cat` the chunks together
  9. Run an md5sum on the reconstituted MSI and verify it all came through ok
  10. Run the installer

I'm thinking I could probably have gen'ed a DSA-2048 key and set it up as an authorized key, SCPed the file across and installed it in well less than the time it took to do the prior ten steps. Oh well... There's about a bajillion ways to skin a cat. My UNIX-tard brain made me do it one of the more painful ways.

Technological Aesthetics

What the prevalence low-priced digicams have wrought: lots of off-center, one-armed self-portraits

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've Married a Cackling Loon

I mean, I knew I'd married a loon, it's just the cackling part that still catches me by surprise, sometimes.

Get a Haircut, Hippie!

So, I'm looking at the picture with this article. I get that Tshirts and jeans are comfortable - I wear them a lot, too. But, I can't help but suspect that it's as much affectation as it is a matter of "comfort". There's little about Zuck that strikes me as "genuine". Maybe I've bought too much into the FB-backlash press ...Still, theres something about the guy that just strikes me as choke-worthy

Boned... (Thanks Thunderbird)

Fuck... That's right: Tbird's junkmail controls are too aggressive when you use virtual identities/mail addresses. Argh

Niftish (Thanks Thunderbird)

So, the new Thunderbird automated mail setup mechanism's cool ...if your mail provider is set up "correctly"

At Least It's Not as Hard as It Used to Be

Nuking out Thunderbird profile directories is unfun to rebuild from. Now I gotta

  • reinstall all my extensions
  • reconfigure those extensions to what they were.
  • reload all my calendars
  • restore my address books
  • rebuild my virtual identity mappings
At least with the calendars and address books, I had it all stored with my gmail stuff. So, it's just pointing it back at my Google accounts and re-synching.

Still... Sux0rz.

A Bit of a Personal Audit, I suppose

If there's one thing today's interview did is drive home just how disconnected I've become in the last few years. When you're explaining to your investigator that "I mostly keep track of people online," it drives home the impact of your career and other lifestyle choices in isolating you from the world.

Were it not for an online "life", I'd have no life at all!

Grill Till Crispy

Feeling a bit more done than rare: I hate grillings.

Please Don't Hit "Reply-All"

Why is it that, whenever someone sends a broadcast email, there's always the idiots that HAVE to hit the damned "reply all" button

Rain and Traffic

Suppose I should head out, early, so that I can navigate the traffic idiocy this rain will have created... No matter how much or how little rain we get, people, invariably, lose their freaking minds because of it. It's almost as bad as getting snow. Oh well, at least there's actual flooding to justify some of the nonsense, today.

The "P" In "PEPCO" Stands for "Powerfail"

Shocking: PEPCO's reporting 10x (or more) many power outages (from the current storms) than any other power utility in the region. Dominion (Northern VA) reported like 250 outages - mostly related to a mechanical failure rather than weather; PEPCO reported over 7500 weather-related outages.

Please Don't Copycat the Stupid Shit

Twitter suggestions: do not want. Why import a FB feature I hate just to try to cut in on FB. You want more of my hate??

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amusing Juxtaposition

I just noticed that Donna has "The Complete Meat Cookbook" sitting immediately above "1000 Vegetarian Recipes" on the kitchen bookshelf

Here's Your Sign

I'm all for Twilight fans getting vampire veneers: it makes the crazy visibly obvious so I know who to avoid.

I Did This to Me

Listening to Last.FM can be like self-imposed punishment, at times (Skee-Lo?)

Clearly, I've Angered the Last.FM gods...

I've been afflicted with "Ice Ice Baby".

Le sigh.

Like Porn, "I Know What It Is When I See It"

Just because something was released or performed in the 90s doesn't make it "90s" music: some things are transcendent(ly bad).

The "90s" Tag on Last.FM is a Harsh Mistress

The Backstreet Boys? Really??? What next? N`SYNC? GAH

Dear Last.FM

I do *NOT* consider "Kris Kross" to be "90s" tag music. It's too "wiggedy-whack"

When one says "80s music", does the term typically evoke disco or does it evoke "new wave"? In much the same way, when one says "90s music" it evokes "(mainstream) alternative", not simply everything to get on the airwaves between 1990 and 1999.

Requirements for Greatness

Isn't it almost a requirement for great cheeze-art to be painted on velvet?


Do any non-bots ever end up following someone (on Twitter) just because they liked a post that showed up in a keyword search?

Creative Ways to Die

When I was in college (waaaaay back in 1988-1992), I used to post to Usenet, quite a bit. I was recently digging through the Google archives of Usenet. I found the below "classic" post.
When I was going to college, squirrels were an ever present danger(?) at Penn State's University Park campus. They were everywhere. They were fat. And they were in no way afraid of humans. God help you if you had squirrel-snacks on your person and weren't terribly aware of your surroundings and the swarms of beady eyes tracking you as you transited the quads.
Any way, during this period of time of posting on Usenet, I found the lovely gem of a newsgroup, At the time, it was more an avenue for dark humor than the group of insufferable twats that it became. I've always been a fan of dark humor and it was a perfect outlet for my "creative urges". So, I'm kind of happy that the below survived in the Internet's memory...

Path: gmdzi!unido!mcsun!uunet!wuarchive!psuvax1!psuvm!thj100
From: (Thomas H Jones II)
Subject: damn tree rats!
Message-ID: <>
Date: 12 Apr 90 05:29:00 GMT
Organization: Penn State University
Lines: 54
Posted: Thu Apr 12 06:29:00 1990

    was kinda funny (well, only if youre a sadistic bastard like myself), but
recently a friend of mine was out feeding the local "tame" squirrels which
infest our campus.  those little suckers gotta be about the fattest squirrels
youll ever see.  theyre kinda cool, though, cuz you can just get some nuts and
such, bend down, make a ticking noise and theyll come running to you (after
playing their stupid "im a timid little creature of the forest *blink, blink*
game) and you can hand-feed them.  any way, he did this and things went ok for
a little while till the little f*cker decided that he wanted to see if the
protein you get from flesh (in this case:  human) is any better than the pro-
tein found in the acorns and peanuts.  he bit down and held tight.  supposedly,
it didnt even come off when my friend started to shake his hand around.
    any way, it got me to remembering other things ive seen these squirrels do.
ive seen them jump other people who were feeding them.  ive seen them hop up
on fence posts to beg for food.  and ive seen them JUMP on people who have nuts
in their backpacks and try to get at the nuts (you should see the way people
spaz when *that* happens.)  you ever see those nature films that show sharks in
feeding frenzies?  well, if you go to the student union building and get a bag
of nuts from one of the machines on the ground floor, you can get the squirrels
to do the same thing just by placing the open bag in an open space and calling
the squirrels over.  just amazing to watch sometimes.  (another fun thing to
do while theyre all frenzied is to run screaming into the middle of the group
and tree them.  they sit there chattering at you until you go away and let them

    any way, on to the suicide part (and, yes, it involves the killer squirrels
from hell, as they are locally known.)  here's my plan:

    go to a local grocery store and buy a coupla bottles of peanut oil (peanut
butter will sufice, but its messy.)  now, if its a sunny day, you can make the
whole suicide look like some kind of terrible accident and all the little tree
rats will be exterminate after your death.  ok, back to the sunny day:  take
the peanut oil and thouroughly coat yourself in it (actually, if you have a
bathtub available, it would be good to take a nice long bath in it so that it
can be soaked into your skin.)  once nicely coated in the oil (people will just
think its suntan oil, hence the desire to do it on a sunny day) go outside to
someplace you know that squirrels hang out (which around here is EVERYWHERE you
go. *argh*)  just lie down and wait.  if you arent feeling particularly pa-
tient, use the squirrel attracting sounds.  assuming that all goes well, a
swarm of ravenous squirrels will gather around you and go nuts (pardon the pun)
and gnaw off all the nutty tasting skin.  it will probably hurt like all hell,
but if they remove a significant portion of your skin, you will die of blood
loss, shock or, if you get "rescued", infection.  maybe even leave a note
saying you kept having visions of the planters peanut man and that he told you
that peanut oil made a great tanning lotion?  eeuu... grisly.  makes my stomach
turn just thinking about it.
    wonder if theyd use it as a base for a movie like the birds, only about the
arborial vermin which infest our campuses:  _Death_From_Above:__A_Story_of_

What Is Religion, Anyway?

Is it, really, the smile on a dog?

So Happy I Could Kill Myself

I just realized (well, I've probably realized it before), but, even the music I listen to that sounds cheerful really isn't. I love bands like Oingo Boingo, The Smiths, Guadalcanal Diary... So much of their music has this really poppy, hooky, catchy melody. If you don't actually listen to the music, it sounds like fluff. However, when you listen to the words, their songs are so frequently really dark. If you contrast the dark content with the cheery presentation, it makes it even darker.

Fuckin' A!

How About A Damned Recommendation

Dear HP:

Ok, it's really great, and all, that you "support" the use of both SMI-S and SNMP for pulling SAN data from Cisco SAN switches. However, when use of one provides fairly minimal data (SMI-S) and use of the other provides fairly rich data (SNMP), you might want to put in your documents, in BIG BOLD LETTERS, "we recommend the use of SNMP wherever enterprise rules and policies permit". Then again, if you made shit easy, I'd have less job security ...So, I should probably be thankful, eh?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Epilepsy Drugs Can Kiss My Ass

Dilantin (7 years)
  • made me psychotic
  • weight loss
  • didn't work
Depakote (17 years)
  • severe emotional suppression
  • long-term liver damage
  • weight gain
  • worked well
Topamax (< 12mo)
  • caused severe anxiety problems
  • pancreatic damage
  • severe weight loss
  • no seizures while on it
Lamictal (<18mo)
  • irritability
  • slight weight gain
  • couldn't achieve theraputic dosage
  • didn't work
Keppra (10mo and counting)
  • extreme irritability
  • extreme depression
  • weight gain
  • currently seizure-free

Utterly non-shocking and all too predictable.

The (Personal) Calculus of Death

My father and I shared many mental characteristics in common. Dunno how much was nature and how much was nurture.

Given my own predispositions, I wonder what level of conscious decision-making went into his (early by the standards of both sides of my family) death. I mean, part of what keeps me going is the obligations I've assumed. I made a promise, several years ago, to see after Donna to the best of my ability. The most objective measure of that is "financially". I know that, probably far too frequently, I'm not the best "person". So, I can't really rely on my mere presence or company to be a good yardstick by which I am best "meeting obligations". Many times, I feel my own presence to be of greater detriment than gain - only slightly offset by what my current earning-capacity makes available. From a pure longevity standpoint, it might be a good thing that I haven't cobbled together enough in the way of assets, savings or insurance to reasonably suppose that whatever "estate" I'd leave behind would be sufficient to realistically carry Donna through to her natural end.

It makes me wonder whether my father entertained similar thoughts? He, essentially, left himself die at age 62. Yes, he was sick. Yes, his heart was, obviously, not in the best of shape. But, given overall awareness of family coronary history, being medically trained to recognize the signs of heart attack, etc.. The fact that he died, on his couch, of a very obviously long-in-onset heart attack removes any real doubt that there wasn't an element of "intent" to his exit. I can only imagine that, as he got sicker, he'd run the calculations over, more than a few times. I imagine that he looked at the balances in his savings, my mom's savings, his insurance policies, the cost of living where they did and the likely longevity of my mother (possibly even factoring in my likely willingness to "help out" as needed). I imagine that, at some point, the balance sheet said, "at this point, if you go, things have a reasonable likelihood of working out". And, then, when the time came, with that knowledge in the back of his head, he just "let go."

It's not the passing of the years that I mind. Dates are just numbers. Birthdays are just another date, in the grand scheme of things. That said, I don't want to become old, sick or infirm. I just want to exit relatively gracefully. I want to be in full control of my faculties and my physicality. The daily pains are already here, but they're manageable. They're more of a level of "noted, now carry on". However, at this point in the actuarial probabilities spectrum, I don't really have enough in assets, savings and insurance to have reasonable  assurance that Donna won't, eventually, be left in a state of need. If and when the that threshold is crossed, then I'll have to re-evaluated my priorities and my timelines.

They've Got Names for Everything

I like StumbleUpon, a lot. It's the perfect tool for those who are easily bored, short of attention-span or constantly novelty seeking. I use it on a daily basis. One (of the many) interests I have checked-off in my StumbleUpon profile is "psychology". It was my major in college, so I guess I should be interested.

Today, it sent me a link on "metabolic syndrome". Now, I'm not a doctor. So, I'm not claiming I suffer this (if, in fact, this is even something one can suffer). I don't consider myself to be a hypochondriac. Though, who knows: by classic definitions, I may be. But, since I'm not in the habit of diagnosing myself, I can't say for sure. All I do know is that I seem to have a number of the markers. But, really, that's besides the point.

In reading the article, there was the line:

Those with metabolic syndrome are not only more likely to suffer heart attacks and other severe complications, but often lose many years of life.

I dunno: maybe it's less that the syndrome actively kills you as much as, it leaves you in a mental state where you're just "ready to go" a lot sooner than others might be. I look at my dad's easily-preventable death by heart attack at age 62 and the mental and physical manifestations I saw in him before then, and I can't help but think that the "ready to go" was part of it. I know that, were it not for my obligations, I'd probably just start walking until I either found something or I dropped in my tracks. I frequently think that many of the obligations I've set myself have been a weak attempt at succumbing to the "ready to go" feeling that is always with me.

I, Zombie?

It wasn't until I'd gotten off the Depakote that I realized how much of a zombie it had turned me into. Even better, the people who had noticed, never really said anything about it until after I'd made note of how different I felt off of it. Um... Thanks for looking out for me, guys.

I feel like I may be back in a similar boat. Right now, it feels like I feel nothing. I mean, I do feel things (I think), I just don't seem to give a fuck. Everything's just kind of "meh". It's kind of a "noted, now carry on" sensation.

I don't know whether it's the Keppra, the fact that I have to psychologically numb myself (to just how much I hate where I am and need to be, professionally) just to get through the damned day, a combination of the two or something else, altogether.

I mean, I still get angry. No matter what's going on in my life - how "alive" or "numbed" I was - the anger has always managed to burn through. I guess it's the one constant. Fortunately, I've mostly been able to channel that. Though, I no longer really have the positive outlets for it any more, as the avenues I used to channel it into either just aren't there, any more, or the reward for the effort no longer feels worth it. So, I'm mostly left with impotent "prickliness" - don't want to be touched, bothered or intruded upon. My personal space bubble has gotten absolutely HUGE, lately.

At the end of the day, it makes me feel like just not bothering. It feels like, beyond taking care of the obligation structure I put in place for myself, there's no real point/reward/benefit for doing anything.

The first go round of this (read "late teens through late twentiess"), I would go out, drink myself into a stupor, do self-destructive things, hang out with toxic people, etc., ....all in an effort to feel something. Maybe, this go round, age and experience have shown me that such activities are both counterproductive and don't result in any more sensation or reward than doing nothing. And, frankly, "doing nothing" is a lot less expensive - on so many fronts - than desperately chasing the sensations that never come.

The Kari Effect

Wonder how much Myth-Buster's viewership would drop if there was no "cute geek girl" in the cast?

Pepsi Math: Oh, the Madness

The Pepsi math's still bugging me:
290cal / 20oz =14.5 cal/oz
230cal / 16oz = 14.375 cal/oz.
Yet, their info panel says that a serving size is 8oz and said serving size contains 110cal (or, 13.75 cal/oz.). It's a tiny thing. It might even be a genuine error. But I loathe unexplained inconsistencies.

Probably just some marketer's backhanded way to get people to call in (or the labeling department's way of seeing if anyone actually reads the labels). ARGH!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mad Men

I think that Donna may be trying to turn me into a Mad Men fan :-\

Just a Matter of Perspective

I look around my house and, on a daily basis, my house feels like a messy disaster.

However, when I look through pictures from even just a few years ago, and it's not nearly so much the disaster it used to be.

Still... It's far more dusty, cluttered and chaotic than I'd have it were it just me occupying this space.

Some People Might Be Insulted

The face-matching algorithms in Picasa sometimes come up with some rather amusing "matches".

Devil's Babies

Why the hell do they always look so evil in photos? They're awesome cats. And, they're far more friendly and social (with people) than any cats I've ever met. Yet, every time I take a photo of them, they either look smug or straight-up evil:

Devil's. Babies

Then again, judging by last night's cat-fight, they are evil. This photo was taken just before Bella (on the left) thought it was a good idea to pick another fight with her brother, Grumbles (on the right). Bella weighs 10lbs and Grumbles weighs 15lbs. Neither is anything near approaching "fat". I think they keep in shape by fighting for exercise.

At any rate, about five minutes after this photo was taken, Bella decided, "it's exercise time," or something. By fight's end, Grumbles had Bella suspended by her neck from the edge of the chair. He had her neck in his mouth and glared down at her like, "I could hold you here, like this, all day." So, he was holding another, struggling animal that was 2/3s his weight, by it's neck, in the air. Grumbles is a strong cat.

Sudden, Very Local Rainfall

Nothing quite like standing under a rain-filled tree that squirrels are scampering through.

You Only Have One Cat??

People that only own one cat miss all the fun that is the daily cat-fights

Nother Lazy Sunday

What to do on a rainy Sunday? We were going to go into the city, but Donna's a bit ouchy, today. So, that may be off the table.