Print Story So why don't old women catch the references to the songs of my youth?
Diary
By lm (Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:16:59 AM EST) (all tags)
I have need of going to Georgetown University's library. I hope it is everything that I expect it to be.

Nothing related to that follows.



I've had my `new' computer for about a year and three quarters now. I've done school work on it. I've done professional work on it. I've done personal projects from publishing to programming on it. I finally reached the point where I found it useful to install Microsoft Office. Google Docs, as it were, has no data merge capabilities between its word processor and its spreadsheets. That kind of surprises me. And it's one of two things keeping me from exclusively using Google Docs. (The other being the inability to format line spacing in footnotes differently than line spacing in the body of the document.)

I suppose I could have gone the Open Office dot Org route. But Open Office dot Org blows chunks on OS X. And, well, our household just happens to have three licenses for Microsoft Office just lying about. Since it was only installed on the two machines I never use, I did that which was needful.

:: :: :: :: ::

My youngest daughter made Japanese style curried vegetables for dinner on Wednesday. It turned out absolutely fabulous. When she sets her mind to it, she can cook quite well. But, being twelve, more often than not she gets distracted and forgets something or gets impatient and doesn't read the recipe all the way. But this turned out very well.

So, kudos to her. Now if she can just learn to make moussaka as well as her older sister!

:: :: :: ::

With my mom being in town, and consequently the easy availability of foods not normally kept in the household, I clocked in on Monday at 171, up five pounds from Friday morning. I knew there was going to be a gain before I even stepped onto the scale. All the same, it's a nice little feeling to have spent a weekend not paying attention to what I'm eating and only end up 2 pounds on the wrong side of the divided line. By Thursday, I was down to 167 but grew a pound overnight to end the workweek at 168. That's a nice go considering that I've been taking it easy this week.

Lifting goes unremarkably. I'm still struggling to add one rep per week to the shoulder presses to get up to the same number of reps as all the other exercises. The first circuit goes pretty well, but when I hit the second circuit, I can barely squeak in 15 reps which is the bare bottom of an acceptable number of reps for those pushing to build muscle endurance rather than muscle strength.

Running is still going well. This weekend my calves did not have cramps at all. This indicates that my legs are starting to acclimate to the Vibram Five Fingers. I was intending to wear the VFFs on one of my three mile runs this week. But I decided to push that off. On the one hand, both of my heels are rubbed a bit raw. Perhaps I should get a bit of tape rather than taking my present course of figuring that sooner or later the rawness will develop into callouses. Developing callouses, of course, would go much more quickly if I could abstain from picking at the scabs and dried skin. On the other hand, by the end of the week, the tops of my feet hurt in a slightly odd fashion. I think its from the largely uncushioned impact the front half of my foot is making with the concrete while I run. In any case, I think the prudent thing to do is to push off wearing the VFFs during the three mile runs until I'm more acclimated.

Saturday, I'm scheduled for a 8k walk. It's not something I would normally do but its a high profile event at work. I would have no problem with walking 8k to get somewhere. And I often go on shorter walks just for the sake of walking. I could also see hiking though the woods for 8k or more. But 8k through city streets doesn't seem very attractive to me. Nevertheless, I figure I might as well, it's not even 5 miles. I do hope running is permissible, though. Running that distance would probably take me half the time of walking. Then again, there may be plans for all my cow-orkers to walk in a group. I doubt I could convince them all to run at my pace instead of me walking at their pace.

Lastly in health news, I have a cold. I suspect that it either Swine Flu or Captain Trips. It isn't horrible. I've had worse. But it also isn't much fun: malaise, a slight cough, snotty nose, fever, etc. My wife also has it. It seems to be hitting her much harder than it is hitting me which is unusual. For whatever reason, in the past she has been much less affected by those types of illnesses than I. Where I might be laid up on the couch hacking my lungs for a week, she gets a sore throat for a couple of days. But, regardless, it's either Captain Trips or the Swine Flu. Humanity is almost certainly doomed.

:: :: ::

Notre Dame's Philosophical Review put up a what seems to me to be a rather poor book review on a very interesting topic: Creationism and its Critics in Antiquity. The reviewer (J.P.F. Wynne of Northwestern) gives what looks like a competent synopsis of the main sections of Sedley's book and points out some important aspects of the foundations of Sedley's arguments. But there is no real criticism past the superficial level. That said, the book looks interesting. Where else are you going to find the collected creation accounts of presocratic philosophers, atomists and stoics?

Did you know that making soft toilet paper kills Mother Nature? I didn't. But the science of it is kind of neat, ``The reason for this fight lies in toilet-paper engineering. Each sheet is a web of wood fibers, and fibers from old trees are longer, which produces a smoother and more supple web. Fibers made from recycled paper -- in this case magazines, newspapers or computer printouts -- are shorter. The web often is rougher.''

I hope the rumors surrounding the death of US Census worker Bill Sparkman are just rumors. I will decline to engage in further analysis until such time as the details become clearer. But this could be a rather worrisome indicator.

There is at least one case where a public option for health coverage is less expensive than an equivalent private option. ``According to the independent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, Medicare Advantage now costs the government 14 percent more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare.''

I found out this week that Michael Marmura passed away. He was the translator of Ibn Sina's Metaphysics of the Healing that we've been using in our class on the same. According to my professor, he was one of the finest minds in the world of Arabic philosophy.

This reflection on the relevancy of Keynes' magnum opus distills into a nutshell my unease with most economic theory of the present day.

The dominant conception of economics today, and one that has guided my own academic work in the economics of law, is that economics is the study of rational choice. People are assumed to make rational decisions across the entire range of human choice, including but not limited to market transactions, by employing a form (usually truncated and informal) of cost-benefit analysis. The older view was that economics is the study of the economy, employing whatever assumptions seem realistic and whatever analytical methods come to hand.

:: ::

So I bought a couple wine making kits to go about making wine the right way. I find it interesting enough to look into the science at each step that is different from simply dumping yeast into some sort of mash. The only real difference thus far was dissolving bentonite into hot water and adding that into the mash during the primary fermentation stage. So far as I can tell bentonite is basically a clay and absorbs some of the loose particles in the mash to help clarify it. I don't know that adding the bentonite made the wine taste much better but I did notice from taking a sample between the primary and secondary stages that starting with a a higher quality mash certainly produces a higher quality wine. And I don't know that the kits really end up being any more expensive. The merlot kit I picked up for USD 70 for enough concentrate to make six gallons of grape juice is not a terribly high price. That ends up being in the neighborhood of three dollars per liter of wind at the end of the day. The port kit ends up being much more expensive, being 3 gallons of non-concentrate juice for twice the price of the merlot kit.

And now that I've taken a sample of something done properly, I can honestly evaluate my earlier attempts. They're bloody awful tasting.

::

Many moons ago, I was pretty impressed with the iGoogle portal. But I never really used it much. Turns out that in most Windows web browsers, Google will feed you the portal by default if you're logged in with a Google account. Consequently, I get logged into iGoogle quite a bit at work. And the more I use it, the more I think its sadly lacking. The integration one would expect from Google's various apps just isn't there. The widget for Google Analytics doesn't seem to work, or at least not work very well. The integration with Google Calendar is mostly a large, heaping pile of sucktasticness. The only thing it is good for is keeping a list of events for the upcoming week/day/etc. Google Mail almost works.

But the one thing I do like about it is the widget that pulls new random links from WikiHow every day. Most of them are rather banal and uninteresting. But enough aren't that I always look forward to seeing what will come up. For example, today there was a link to a document on how to make Swedish style cinnamon rolls. I will have to try to make these.

I should also mention that I do like the Google docs widget, but only on Chrome. It's nowhere as convenient on either IE or Safari.

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So why don't old women catch the references to the songs of my youth? | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
will comment about bog roll later by gzt (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:16:10 AM EST
I swear!

I was just having a conversation about this. by gzt (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:57:38 AM EST
Not this exact topic, but a similar one. Anyway. I don't go for uber-luxury 3-ply myself, I typically purchase the generic version of 2-ply. I will probably have to reconsider my purchasing habits in light of that article, since I really do try to reduce the amount of paper and such I waste. Since I do tolerate less than perfect plushness, I would probably be satisfied with the recycled version of 2-ply. Only question: how much more will this cost?

Actually, my ideal would be a bidet. But that's not happening any time soon.

ooh! I will see if anybody will send sample rolls.

[ Parent ]
a bidet by R343L (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:01:42 AM EST
I would love a bidet so much. Also not going to happen.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
I use 1 ply by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:17:45 PM EST
but it's a really, really soft 1 ply.

So I don't know how that works out in the calculus. I will say that the particular thickness generally means I use less. But there is too much effort involved for me to do the math.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Yar, rational choice by duxup (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:33:11 AM EST
My biggest stumbling block to discussing economics stuff is that folks just seem to assume "everything will be ok" because the economy will work itself out because some sort of rational decisions are an inherent part of the economics or the free market or something.

I'm not implying that over time garbage businesses and get tossed out. At the same time I don't think it is some sort of super efficient self cleaning system either. People suck, they’re irrational, and they do dumb things. I’m a pro at it. How it is folks don’t apply that to economics considering people are the bus drivers for it is beyond me. I can only assume that ideology plays a part as recognizing that fact might imply that some government management is necessary, how much is constantly changing, and that bumps into many folk’s politics or academic careers.

I’m a firm believer that the folks that inhabit the economy (us) and the free market are just as big a threat if not greater to it remaining frees as any big evil government is. Governments can in theory step in and hork it all up, but IMO only the corruption and greed of people can totally bork the system and create the overwhelming political demand for a government to step in with full force. Unfortunately, some large corporations and such folk seem hell bent on doing whatever they can to make a quick buck to the point that they’ll risk borking the system at every turn to the point folks are more than happy to get their politicians involved.


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Rationality. by gzt (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:42:47 AM EST
What always gets me is that, in popular discussion, people forget that a lot of choices in the economy can be prisoner's dilemma choices. People can, sure, be "rational", but it doesn't necessarily mean that their choices will keep them out of prison.

[ Parent ]
Yar by duxup (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:04:58 AM EST
There seems to be an assumption that there is accurate information even to make a call.

I recall someone writing about how there was a general theory on Wall Street that company executive's (any kind, not just wall street) can / should say whatever they want publicly, even outright lies, and it is ok (I think it was a moral issue they were addressing) as long as there is information available that demonstrates otherwise you can find via research :o

If that isn’t a good step for rallying support for regulation and etc. I’m not sure what is.


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[ Parent ]
It's kind of like Plato vs. Aristotle by lm (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:20:59 PM EST
Or at least the simplified versions.

Neoclassical economics (Plato) assumes universal truths and tries to make the world fit into that schema. Keynes (Aristotle) assumes that economics is akin to the natural sciences and one must make observations and predictions based on those observations.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
iGoogle by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 10:04:22 AM EST
It's a nice centralized place where I can keep several weather reports, news feeds, and astronomy pic 'o' the day.

From Here, via Andrew Sullivan:

UNITE is the Federal drug task force that has virtually occupied our area for the past three years. No one knows how many people are being squeezed. ... Many local counties have seen officials arrested, including county execs, judges and law enforcement. The local drug "families" so to speak have been hit hard.

I’m not surprised some unstable person hit back., Eastern Ky has a difficult relationship with government anyway. Much local government is corrupt. The only plot to assassinate a sitting governor was hatched here. The old courthouse was full of bullet holes from an assault in the 1930s. Our school was founded to try and bring an end to the Baker-Howard-White war, which brought government troops in at one point. Whether it’s revenuers or government support of coal companies or the welfare state’s corruption of everything it touches, this is an area where it wouldn’t be too hard to find fifty people living off the Federal government and fifty people across the creek ready to shoot any DEA agent that stops to use the phone,.

What it’s NOT is about Glenn Beck, etc. I assure you that few people of the sort who would kill a census worker are concerned with Mr. Beck. They are probably more concerned with why their cousin is in prison or why they aren’t getting paid for running dope any more.

If you're running OS X why not get iWork? It's cheaper than Office on Mac, and much more recently updated.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

iWork is not cheaper by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:14:06 PM EST
I can't recall the exact price but the academic version of Office for OS X set me back something like $99 for 3 licenses. I'm pretty certain that's less expensive than iWorks. I could be wrong on that. Aside from that, it'd be a crap shoot. I don't know how well Words handles footnotes and data merges.

Thanks for the link. I lived in Ky for 6 months or so. I also have family that married into a Ky family. I'm familiar with the mindset. But I think it's too early to start drawing conclusions until better evidence surfaces. Right now, we've got one reporter saying that one state trooper made such and such an observation. I think it prudent to wait for more details on the autopsy and what not before we start drawing conclusions.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Open Office by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:40:36 AM EST
Did you try Open Office on OSX, or NeoOffice?  NeoOffice is a true OSX port of Open Office.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
I tried both at different times by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:15:56 PM EST
And unless NeoOffice has made absolute amazing strides in the last 12 months or so, it's absolute crap. Writing a Java front end to make Open Office dot Org interface with Cocoa does not seem to me to be the swiftest of ideas.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Hmmm by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:10:06 PM EST
I didn't realize it was Java...regardless, it's worked for me.

I'm not exactly a power user, though.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
It may also be a memory thing by lm (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:21:34 PM EST
The last time I tried to run it, it was on a machine with half a gig of RAM or less. MS Office runs just fine under those circumstances. Open Office dot Org, not so much.

On the other hand, it really has been a while since I tried it. The project may very well have gotten much better.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Hmmm by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:29:44 PM EST
I run it on a newer Mini with 2 GB.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
It may also be a version issue by lm (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 06:11:37 AM EST
According to Wiki, being built on top of the 3.0 release of Open Office dot Org which officially supports OS X, the 3.0 release of NeoOffice is supposedly much quicker and far less buggy than the releases built on the 2.x tree.

I would consider trying it again, but there's no real point for me to do so. Like I mentioned, I just happened to have a spare MS Office license lying around.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
So why don't old women catch the references to the songs of my youth? | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback