Print Story If population growth is a problem shouldn't Mormons be Public Enemy number one?
By lm (Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:30:56 PM EST) (all tags)
Last week I was working on a diary. Then my computer went beep beep beep and it was all gone. It was a really good diary too.

Blather follows.

So about a year ago, I bought this cute little 12" PowerBook G4 off of the McRackys. It has served me well thus far. It came a little underpowered, having less than a gig of RAM. But the price was right and it was coming from folks I'd trust to be honest. I like placing my money with people I feel like I can trust. Further, I don't need a screamer of a machine, just something to write papers on and surf teh Intarwebs.

It also came preloaded with the Leo Tard. On the one hand, this is nice because the version of OS X that shipped with this baby probably did not have Time Machine. On the other hand Time Machine was useless for me until this winter when my in-laws bought me a 2.5" firewire enclosure in which I could slide the old drive from my dead iBook. But on the other hand, I think I hate the Leo Tard. I think it has a problem with it's TCP/IP stack.

The problem I run into is that periodically HTTP just stops working. This isn't a problem with Safari as when web pages stop loading, if I start up Firefox it doesn't load web pages either. But while this is going on the rest of the TCP stack seems to work just fine. It could also be a hardware problem. But (a) it does this whether or not I'm on AirPort or on a wire and (b) it would be an exceedingly odd hardware problem to only affect HTTP packets. So my conclusion is that it's a Leo Tard problem.

The way to check for certain, I suppose would be to reload the system from original disks. But I'm lazy.

:: :: :: :: ::

From the Tony Blair and Kurt Beck are coming to steal the precious bodily fluids department, we now have clear evidence of SOCIALIST TIES TO OBAMA APPOINTEES!!!!!!. Color me unimpressed by an international coalition of social democratic parties having an Obama appointee serve on a commission. I doubt she knows the Internationale by heart.

In other Obama appointment news, the rumor mill is hard at work saying that CNN's very own Sanjay Gupta will be Obama's nominee for US Surgeon General. While I'm not a huge Gupta fan, I am well pleased at the poking in the eye of Michael Moore that this represents. I have a very short list of people whom I refuse to see anything touched by them. The list is short enough that I have more fingers than names on that list. Moore has made that list. So any poking out of his eyes by sharp, pointy, fire-hardened stakes, is news to my ears.

On the other hand, I'm almost certain that if Gupta is the nominee that the intent behind the nomination isn't to poke out Moore's eyes. In fact, I'd be displeased if this was the case. Revenge on a has-been movie maker is not a good reason for a cabinet level appointment.

For entertainment value, I should have liked to see Howard Dean be nominated. That would have been a real hoot!

One last bit about Obama from the political irony department: only Protestants get to pray at the Obama Inauguration. It's kind of funny that the two most religiously diverse inaugurations in modern history were that of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Of course one could argue that an Episcopalian bishop qualifies as half-catholic or that Protestantism is sufficiently diverse within itself.

My wife pointed out that what would have been a riot is if Obama had invited a Muslim to give the invocation.

Having watched the inauguration with my wife and daughters, I went outside on the balcony when it was over and looked around. Despite what I've been led to believe, it doesn't look like the apocalypse.

:: :: :: ::

In health news, I'm a fat man again. I've been clocking in at 186 or so thus far this week. I can only blame a lack of will power on my part. I need to become reacquainted with Will. On the other hand, I ran my best time ever for a mile, 7 minutes, 33 seconds on Monday.

Shoulder presses are still giving me trouble. I've made good progress on the number of reps, but I'm still not up to the full number of reps as the rest of the super circuit. I'll get there with time. I'm in no rush. After all, life is more like a marathon than a sprint. And given my recent hand  injury, it's probably best that I take it real slow right now.

Speaking of my hand, it is still giving me a bit of trouble. It was slowly getting better, each day it hurt a wee bit less than than the previous one. Then I made wine from raisins and aggravated the injury  squeezing out the raisin juice. Squeezing the juice out of fruit is hard work.

Once my hand recovers, I should find some good exercises for the forearms, wrists and hands. I don't really want to live through the past three weeks again. For the first two of those, every time I've lifted my wife out of her wheelchair, I've had a sharp, shooting pain through my hand. After the second week, the pain went down to a bearable level. The hard part was remaining stoic. The wife feels bad enough about asking me to take care of her without knowing the pain I've been going through.

:: :: ::

The process of making wine from raisins strikes me as being absurd. First you dry all the liquid out of grapes to make raisins. Then you rehydrate the raisins. Then you squeeze the liquid used to rehydrate the raisins back out to make into wine. Absurdities aside, it's a traditional way of making wine that goes back quite some time.

On day two of fermentation, the raisin wine blew its cork. Tis a good thing that I had followed a certain someone's advice to leave the primary fermentation vessel someplace safe like the bathtub for the first few days. There was yeast and raisin juice all over. Fun stuff to clean up.

Additionally, I bought a hydrometer so that I can find the specific gravity of a liquid before I add yeast. This will allow me to do two things. I'll be able to start with a high enough sugar content to guarantee the 12% alcohol content needed to preserve fruit wines without refrigeration. Also, by taking measurements before and after fermentation, I'll be able to calculate alcohol content. The first of these is far more important. The second is kind of fun.

:: ::

I quite liked Thomas Friedman's op/ed piece on the possible benefit of schooling Hamas but I think he misses a key point. Israel's intentions are less important than Hamas' reaction.  Let's say that Israel's intent was entirely pedagogical in nature. Does that mean that Hamas is going to be a willing and eager student? That's doubtful. Or put the other way, let's say that Israel's intent is entirely to destroy Hamas. Would that prevent Hamas from taking away the same lesson as Hezbollah? I'm not so certain. While Israel's intent is certainly an important part of whether or not their actions are just, it has little to do with the practical outcome in a situation where Israel's actions are likely to be the same regardless of their intent.

On Sunday, I caught Bob Edward's Weekend on the radio and he  interviewed the author of Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America. Usually I'm put off by these sorts of lists. But the author was very thoughtful about his choices, going with those titles that had a profound effect on US society as a whole over titles that merely sold a metric gzillion copies or were raved about by literary critics. I think I'm going to make his list my casual reading program over the course of the next year. His full list is as follows:

  • John Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
  • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, The Federalist Papers
  • Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • James Clark and Meriwether Lewis, The Journals of Lewis and Clark
  • Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Mary Antin, The Promised Land
  • Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Benjamin Spock, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care
  • Jack Kerouac, On the Road
  • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
While a handful of the titles are acknowledged to be literary greats, most aren't. Rather most of them deal with the nuts and bolts of everyday life that both captured the experience of large swaths of the US public and recapitulated what it meant to live  the American Dream.

The City of Cincinnati may sell their street lights to the local power company. This confuses me. I can see why the city would want to sell something they get money for. What I don't understand is for what purpose  for-profit corporation would buy the lights.

Back in January of 2001, The Onion wrote a satirical piece on GWB's inauguration . It'd be funny if so much didn't turn out to be true.

"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close," House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."


A few years ago, in the summer before the 2004 election, a friend of mine opined that if George W. Bush were to be re-elected, that it would be the last election the US ever had.

This summer (or was it spring), a different friend of mine opined that George W. Bush was certain to declare martial law if a Democrat got elected.

I've seen the views of these two people brought up in various online forums. I've never given them much in the way of credence. Ever since I took a course in modern political philosophy from Xavier where we read the prince, I've been convinced by the professor's musing on Machiavelli's observation that democracies were the most difficult regimes to conquer as the longer that a people has had to get used to freedom, the less likely they were to allow themselves to be subjects of a foreign regime. My professor pointed out that this observation is why she laughed when anyone ever seriously presented the notion of the US becoming a dictatorship. In her eyes, the US simply has had too long of a tradition of liberty.

I tend to agree with her on that. Perhaps I'm too naïve or too optimistic. But I think in the long term the US will do just fine. Having a bad president is nothing new. We've had bad presidents before and we'll have bad presidents again. After the bad presidents have come and gone, we'll get on with dealing with the aftermath.

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If population growth is a problem shouldn't Mormons be Public Enemy number one? | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)
Hand and wrist exercises. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:47:13 PM EST
Like anything I can think of, you probably know these already:

I studied Aikido long enough to get injured in my hands, wrists, and shoulders many times.  These stretches are essential even today.  I was somewhat happy  to find this video (and the included "related videos" under it), since describing the stretches in writing doesn't really work.

"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
Also, by blixco (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:50:13 PM EST
have you seen <a href="">History is a Weapon</a>? Lot of free books there.

"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the link by lm (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 12:55:30 PM EST
I'm not really interested in stretches, though. I'm more interested in building strength. The most recent studies suggest that stretches, save for ones that do more warming up than actual stretching, tend to make injuries more frequent. I really doubt my problem comes from having insufficient limberness rather than having insufficient strength. The stretch to which you linked does look like it would help somewhat with strength. But I'm looking for something designed to build strength as lack of strength is my real weakness.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
There's a lot of by blixco (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:14:34 PM EST
small exercises that help strength, but these stretches aren't really for limbering up.  They allowed me, for example, to use my wrists and forearms more effectively in strength-bearing movements (ie throwing someone across the mat) byt giving me a better and more effective range of motion.

These are stretches based in mechanics that emphasize strength in small, fluid movements. So...yeah.  I mean, exercise advice is like religious advice, but these actually helped my forearms, hands and wrists during times that they were under gigantic stress (Aikido study, instruction, and years of weightlifting).

"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Donut Wheel hasn't made a G4 in some time by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:37:05 PM EST

One might think they haven't been placing too high a priority on making sure today's code works on four year old computers. But I don't know that for sure.

While you may have been led to expect the apocalypse happening today, I was led to believe it'd be rainbows and puppies from this day forward, yet there are no rainbows, and no puppies. Behold my surprise that nothing has changed. Actually, I'd be content if those not qualified to hold political opinions would go back to shutting the fuck up, like the days before BDS spread like wildfire, and morons started reiterating talking points about other morons' talking points.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
I guess that's the difference ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:29:39 PM EST
... between Ohio and DC (which is just outside of the Bible Belt) and the left coast. I suspect not many people out that way are  seriously considering whether or not Obama is the anti-Christ.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
This equals true. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:38:12 PM EST

In fact, quite the opposite. Loads of my coworkers spent this morning watching inaugural television instead of, say, working. I cannot imagine this happened for the 2000 inauguration, and had anyone suggest that it should have, they'd likely be shitcanned for engaging in partisan politics at work.

Then again, I suppose engaging in partisan politics at work is only not OK when one does not hold the majority opinion as absolute truth.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
Our corp put up a weblink to a live viewing by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:24:22 PM EST
of ABC, then again our CEO is on Obama's economics team.

[ Parent ]
well, my old company by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 04:24:12 AM EST
ceo is in the running for commerce secretary.. You want a guy who sent how many thousands of american jobs to off-shore companies running the US Commerce Dept ?  Hmm..

Granted, I liked the guy, he was a great speaker, great motivator, not so sure he knew the business (background was IBM sales) given some very poor choices/acquisitions he made..

[ Parent ]
We've outsourced developement and testing by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 04:27:39 AM EST
jobs, we were even outsourcing them back in the late 90's.

[ Parent ]
What's there to consider? [nt] by debacle (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:20:50 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Deadlifts. by gzt (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:42:45 PM EST
When you can deadlift twice your bodyweight, your forearms, hands, and wrists will be strong enough to do just about anything you need them to. This is an attainable goal. 1.5xBW can be done in a matter of very few months.

I don't that I want to deadlift 2x my bodyweight by lm (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:28:09 PM EST
That'd be 360 or so, before the weight gain that would be sure to follow from buckling up. Sure. I wouldn't have to worry about lack of strength. But I also wouldn't fit into most cars.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
NONSENSE by gzt (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 02:57:48 PM EST
You probably don't have the genes to be huge. You'd end up fairly solid, sure, but you wouldn't even need new pants. Unless you wear emo pants.

[ Parent ]
I plead ignorance by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:59:08 PM EST
I just looked up what a dead lift was. I could clear 350 easy. In fact, I've done the equivalent when I was in far worse shape than I am now and a smoker to boot. I was thinking double my body weight in an Olympic style clean and jerk.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
well, then, 400 or 500#. by gzt (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 04:59:02 AM EST
Then again, if you can deadlift 350, the problem probably isn't that your hands and forearms are weak, because they have to be fairly strong to be able to hold onto the bar at that weight.

[ Parent ]
You don't have to be able hold on for very long by lm (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 05:11:01 AM EST
I'm thinking that while grip strength and wrist strength might benefit some from dead lifts that dead lifts aren't the best way to improve those.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
heavy deadlifts for grip by gzt (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 05:45:03 AM EST
It really is one of the best exercises for grip. I'm not sure it'll do much for the wrists.

[ Parent ]
and, for a set of five you have to. by gzt (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 05:47:19 AM EST
You end up holding onto the bar for quite some time in a set of 5 heavy deadlifts.

[ Parent ]
I didn't do five by lm (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:14:38 AM EST
I figured I'd go for one at 360 this morning. It floated on up like hot buttered soul.

Aside from my aversion to lifting heavy weights without professional advice and a spotter, I suspect that if dead lifts were so good for grip strength that there wouldn't be so much readily available advice on modifications to dead lifts (e.g. using a thicker bar or wrapping a towel around the bar) to make it a good exercise for grip strength.

But the real reason I'm avoiding dead lifts is that my goal is to avoid injury. Engaging in an exercise which will injure me if I don't pay fiendishly close attention to detail with regards to proper form doesn't seem to me to further this goal. Were I younger and didn't have a family, I might feel differently.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
The deadlift isn't spotted. by gzt (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 11:38:44 AM EST
Though professional advice is helpful.

It's good for grip strength to a certain point. After that point, one needs different - more complex - stimulation to encourage adaptation. That's pretty much like all strength exercises, really. Also, deadlifting frequently enough to drive adaptation in grip strength once you're at that level is not sustainable - people pretty much stop deadlifting heavy outside of competition once they're able to lift truly heavy weights because it really taxes your ability to recover and would interfere with other work. So suppose you're deadlifting 600 and grip strength is your limiting factor, you're not going to be able to deadlift 600 often enough to strengthen your grip.

[ Parent ]
Last election for the country, by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 01:55:44 PM EST
should a commander in chief wish an unelected third term, it would be wise to treat the entire military well. They have a responsibility to make sure the succession is legal, after all.


on various topics by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 02:27:24 AM EST
Population growth: in a rehearsal last night, a woman who is a stay at home mom said that she wondered how people who have to work all the time manage to take care of all the other things that life hands them, to which I responded "we go insane".  She said "well, I've got four kids so I'm going insane."  It was all I could do not to say "well, whose fucking fault is that, lady?"

On the power transition: I'm very glad to see how smoothly things went.  I wouldn't have predicted that the Bush administration would tried to stage a coup, but I frankly would not have been too surprised.  Who would have stopped them?  Most of the people I know who own guns are Republicans.

On having a bad president: I know a guy who is incredibly far to the left, and has been a little too happy about the end of the Bush era and the election of Obama.  (I'm very happy about it, but I'm also not expecting to walk out the door this morning and have a bluebird land on my shoulder and sing songs to me while a magical horse whisks me to a tea party with FDR, JFK and Bill Clinton.)  I feel like telling him that yes, the Bush years were bad, but on the other hand, during the Bush era I graduated college, found my first real job, and got myself out from under a crushing debt burden, so frankly things could not have been so bad.

On health: I've lost something like twenty pounds in two months, but I've got about 110 to go still, so don't feel too bad. 

Ah by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 02:57:46 AM EST
The stay-at-home mom defensive trigger. I think some people are so primed to expect to be put down that they attack when defense is not even required.

[ Parent ]
Big weight loss by Phage (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 04:43:49 AM EST
What's your method ?
I remember you saying once that you didn't do diets.

[ Parent ]
Hormonal imbalance [nt] by riceowlguy (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 03:46:20 PM EST

[ Parent ]
I've seen quite a few Onion stories by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 02:31:17 AM EST
bylined "Cassandra" Well, they should have been, anyway.

On my cube wall is the latest print version headlined "Terror Experts Warn Next 9/11 Could Fall on Different Date". I'm currently working on counterterrorism issues.

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

If population growth is a problem shouldn't Mormons be Public Enemy number one? | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)