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Diary
By lm (Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 08:21:59 AM EST) (all tags)
A fairly eventful week.


Slow and steady progress continues in the health arena. Run times were all below 8:15 for the first mile. Yesterday, I beat 16 minutes for the two miles I do on Tuesday and Thursday. I can now pass the army fitness test for a kid half my age. Lifting also steadily improves. This week I was able to do a single full set of shoulder presses for the first time. Now to work on getting a full set on the second and third circuits.

Weight, on the other hand, has mostly plateaued again. After clocking in at exactly 175 all week, yesterday I dropped to 174.

:: :: :: :: ::

I went out and bought a corker and some corks from the local homebrew store on Wednesday. The folks that run it are quite nice. They're always busy brewing something or the other when I go there but they'll also always certain to stop to make sure I find what I need and answer all my questions on how to do this, that or the other thing.

Corking machine and corks, in hand, I racked a gallon of cider that's been going since last December into bottles and corked them. There was enough left over to set aside for sampling. Cider at six months out is so much more pleasant than after just a month like the last time I tried it. The harshness is gone and its far more mellow and tastes far more of apples than the earlier batch. I think this will motivate me to get back into the habit of starting a batch of something every week or every other week. I think I'm going to set aside the bottles and get some friends of mine who really like hard cider to see what they think.

Later today, I intend to rack some raisin wine I started in November into bottles. I'm interested to see how that turned out.

:: :: :: ::

I got two job offers this week. The first one was for a great job with low pay and sucky hours. The second one was for a sucky job with good pay and kick-ass hours. Both were for small companies. I took the one with good pay.

This time around, job hunting was an interesting experience. Write up front, I put into my cover letters that I'd just finished my first year of grad school and I was intending to continue so I wanted something that I could do part time come fall. At first, I didn't get much response but then this past week, I started getting all sorts of phone calls. Turns out that the DC area has quite a few small tech companies that are willing to be flexible on such things.

Oh, and the job I'm going to be turning down, it was a gig as a hearse driver going around picking up the dead from car accidents, nursing homes, residences, the medical examiner's office, etc. and driving them to cold storage for a funeral home. I think I would really have liked that job. Aside from the issue of relatively low pay, however, the hours were 17:00 Friday to 02:00. I'd essentially have been on call all weekend, ready to dash out at a moment's notice whenever the dead needed a last ride.

:: :: ::

I ordered a French edition of Descartes' Discourse on Method. With my new job I think I'm going to put off taking the school of philosophy's French exam until fall. Nevertheless, I need to keep reading French here and there or my taking the class this past spring will be for nought. I have a good English edition of the Discourse on Method so if I work at translating it, I can check my work. Presently, I've been reading mostly news articles. It's interesting and I can use context to adjust a good deal of my translation but I end up in the end not really knowing how good of a job I've done.

And now that I've got the job hunt out of the way and finances aren't so stressed, I can get back to doing more research. My largest present task is start figuring out what al-Farabi had to say that is relevant to what I'm going to write my thesis on. I'm about four months behind schedule on this. Fortunately, the deadline is still fungible. I don't even have a proper thesis advisor yet.

But I'm also intending to fire up the Latin Fun Challenge that never took place. Watch this space.

:: ::

For those of you who like to run, I though the Daily Mail's The Painful Truth About Trainers was a provocative read. In my ideal world, I'd be running over grassy plains monkey-footed. But I don't live close enough to anywhere like that so I'll keep running on concrete in the least expensive pair of made in the US trainers I can find. Although, I may shell out for five fingers the next time my current pair wears out. But that won't be for some time.

Former evangelical blockhead Frank Schaeffer wrote an interesting piece on why he bears the blame for Roeder's assassination of Dr. Tiller. What gets me is that Schaeffer and his dear old dad regularly used violent rhetoric without ever stopping to consider that someone might take their rhetoric at face value. In the same way that the Neorandian faction of the GOP is taking Reagan's rhetoric about government being the problem and not the solution as gospel but ignoring Reagan's huge expansion of government programs, the rabid religious right wing ignores the actions of the two Schaefers and only heeds their angry rhetoric.

But, of course, the lunatic bits of the left wing can't bring themselves to rationally address Schaefer's apology.

The BBC repots on the value of the pyloric sphincter valve and how it could help fat gits like myself lose weight. Any article that mentions pyloric sphincter valve has to be worth reading. But this one raises questions. Just how much nutrition does a solution need to carry to engage said valve?

When my mom was in town she mentioned the Native American influence on the US Constitution. On the surface, I have problems with this theory. While the Iroquois federation undoubtedly had some very fine principles with regards to governance, I think that most of the bigoted white men that wrote the US Constitution viewed the natives as mostly ignorant savages that needed to be civilized. Hence, I find it doubtful that outside of a few individuals, Ben Franklin is probably one, that the founding fathers cared enough about the Iroquois to find out how they were organized. But in googling for more information on this, I found a rarity of rarities: a web page that discusses a contentious issue and even handedly addresses both sides of the debate. I am shocked and awed.

::

Way back in 2003, Peggy Noonan offered some advice to the Democratic party. I highly doubt that any of the power brokers read that column and changed strategy. But it seems to me that in 2006 and 2008, the Democratic party did alter its strategy to largely conform with Noonan's suggestions. But the most interesting thing, to me, is that I think its now safe to say that GOP really ought to head Noonan's advice.

First, her list of problems with the Democratic party of the early 2000's:

  • Your adherence to Bill Clinton simply because he won two elections is mistaken
  • You've stopped seriously addressing the issues
  • You refuse to work with Bush even on issues with which you agree with him
  • You've become a party of snobs, rejecting anyone who isn't `pure enough'
  • You let issues where your platform is at odds with the majority of Americans continue to serve as a wedge issue
And her suggestions to solve them:
  • ``Be constructive, not destructive. Help. If President Bush advances an agenda you deep down support, then go public and help him.''
  • ``Don’t `position' yourself on issues like Iraq, think about your position on Iraq and be guided by a question: What will be good and right for America and the world?''
  • ``Stare down the abortion lobby, the gun-ban nuts, etc. Be moderate. Make progress. ''
  • ``Be pro-free-speech again. Allow internal divisions and dissent. A vital political party should have divisions and dissent.''
  • ``Stop being just the We Hate Republicans Party. That’s not a belief, it’s a tic.''
  • ``So stop allowing Bill Clinton to present himself as Mr. Democrat. Ask him to stay home.''
  • ``Stop the ideology. A lot of Democratic Party movers and intellectuals have created or inherited a leftist ideology that they try to impose on life.''
  • ``And by the way, I’d like it if you started smoking again, at least for a while. Democrats were nicer when they smoked.''
I think that all of these, save for the last, could apply to the present day GOP by a few simple substitutions: Bush for Clinton, Republican for Democrat, pro-life for pro-abortion, gun nut for anti-gun nut, etc.

As for the last, Obama smokes although he's trying to quite. Peggy was prescient, eh? Although if Obama does succeed in quitting the faggot habit, I guess Peggy will start hating him.

< on some stuff | The last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed >
Why do all the snappy titles ooze out of my head between thinking of them and titling my diary? | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)
(Comment Deleted) by xth (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 09:07:14 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth



Dunno if it's like that in the UK by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 09:24:19 AM EST
but, from my perspective, a lot of Obama's early star power was a) he seems smart and b) he is very eloquent (a huge contrast to busch).

But, smoking is seen a blue collar/uneducated/"not smart".. I'd call that the US prejudice, smokers == dumb. So my arm chair analysis is that's what the gootube ads were trying to convey - "obama isn't such a smartypants because, see, he smokes. omg!"

[ Parent ]
Hearse Driving .. by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 09:40:23 AM EST
C'mon, Lee, you know that would be a great job for very interesting/puerile/(word that's escaping me.. Starts with an "E" I think, enjoying the gore/rubbernecking/nose in others business, not exploitative) stories to the hole..

Much more interesting to the general husi population than discourses on philosophers or your doxblog...

Corking cider and not capping it ? Assuming it is hard like wine, but not fizzy ? (and a higher alcohol content ?)

Running shoes: Interesting article. Not sure I buy his anecdotes==facts.

No bubbles by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 09:59:52 AM EST
The bubbles have long ceased to rise. Hence, I'm presuming its safe to cork.

I'm with you on the hearse job. Boy am I with you. I think it would be good for my soul.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
That's a helluva lot of money by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 09:57:24 AM EST
for slippers....


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
Blood by ni (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:04:25 AM EST
But, of course, the lunatic bits of the left wing can't bring themselves to rationally address Schaefer's apology.

My, they're certainly out for blood, aren't they? I remind myself occasionally that dailykos isn't a homogeneous group, and I am more likely (because of the things that cause me to visit) to see the truly terrible posts than the mainstream ones, but it remains difficult to take them at all seriously in light of that.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

Speaking of blood by lm (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:08:11 AM EST
Did you know that I could not find a place where I could sell my blood plasma to in all of DC or Montgomery County, Maryland? The closest I could find is down in Virginia.

Ohio had such places on almost every street corner.

That aside, your point on dKos is well made.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
You can't do it at all here. by ni (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:28:23 AM EST
Blood is donation-only in Canada. Often (indeed, most of the time) I think this is how I like it, but occasionally I have a moment of unpatriotic practicality and wonder if it wouldn't be better to get a more blood for the nation by offering compensation.

Assuming, that is, that the US does get more blood per capita given than Canada. I think this is probably, but not at all certainly the case, and very brief googling didn't turn up an answer.

Addendum: "Very brief" googling was "looking at the first three hits". Feeling a bit guilty over this remarkable feat of laziness I decided I could at least look at the forth, which, as it happens, does claim that the US gets more blood per capita out of its citizens than Canada.


"These days it seems like sometimes dreams of Italian hyper-gonadism are all a man's got to keep him going." -- CRwM

[ Parent ]
You can't sell blood in the US either by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:32:52 AM EST
Only blood plasma.

I've been meaning to get around to donating blood to the Red Cross for quite some time. I'm just a lazy git. And the few times I've tried to do the drop in donation thing during blood drives, they've been all full up.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
In short by duxup (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 11:50:33 AM EST
Be pragmatic, don't be a jerk.

____
Bare feet and biomechanics by Alan Crowe (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 01:18:46 PM EST
We are so thoroughly socialised to lacing on our artifical hooves, like a furry fan obsessed with an ungulate phenotype, that we never stop to think about hard surfaces and shocks to our joints like a mechanical engineer would.

Why do all the snappy titles ooze out of my head between thinking of them and titling my diary? | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)