Print Story So Happy It's Thursday
By lm (Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 01:43:18 PM EST) (all tags)
A friend of mine from grade school thought the title up. I never really understood why it didn't take off like TGIF.

I think it was the same friend, but it may have been another, that often wondered why no Christian denomination had yet called itself Friends Under Christ's Kingdom.

The usual blather follows.

I've not been sleeping well at nights. I've taken this to indicate that my coffee consumption is out of control again. I've gotten up to probably about a pot a day. So all this past week, I've been trying to limit myself to two cups a day. (And by "two cups" I mean two regular sized mugs full rather than the 5 oz "cups" by which the capacity of most US coffee makers is measured.

Yesterday was pretty stressful, though, so I had three cups. When the workday starts two hours earlier than normal to do an upgrade on the client's live database, sometimes extraordinary measures are required.

The coffee paid off, however, when the day turned into the afternoon which involved me chaperoning a visit to the doctor's office and more blood than I care to see on a given day.

:: :: :: :: :: ::

A few weeks ago I bought an aeropress. I was introduced to it by a cow-orker who brought one in to the office one day. He brewed up a pretty amazing cup of joe for me with it. So when my french freedom press died recently, I bought an aeropress as a replacement.

I don't drink coffee at home all that much. Most weekdays, I go into the office where the coffee is to be had for free. This leaves weekends. But on Sunday there is free coffee to be had at coffee hour after the liturgy. This leaves one day a week where I need make coffee by my lonesome. So learning to get a good cup of coffee out of the aeropress has been a weeks long exercise. Sometimes I made the brew too strong. Other times I made it too weak.

This morning, I came across just the right combination of amount of coffee grinds, amount of water, precise temperature of the water, etc. Damn, that thing brews a great cup of joe.

:: :: :: :: ::

I started the week out running five miles in forty-four minutes and change. That's my best time in some time. Upon reflection, I suspect that part of the reason may be that I stopped using the leg and lower body weight machines on the days I visit the gym. I think that stopping those exercises, specifically the calf raises, also contributed to the return of leg cramps. Since I started running seriously, I've almost never had leg cramps. I've never really bothered to figure out why. But the past month or so, I've been getting them. Then this week, I was lying on the floor preparing to do crunches after running but before using the weight machines and I figured I stretch my calves. The motions of the stretches reminded precisely of doing calf raises without any weights.

My work on the weight machines shows no progress this week. But neither have I faltered.

My weight has been meandering between 178 and 180 pounds. This is about ten pounds over where I'd like to be. I don't see myself shedding that weight anytime soon. At this point, I'd rather eat when I'm hungry. But I still have hopes that despite the weight gain, I can get rid of some of the flab on my gut.

:: :: :: ::

A brief tale.

An email from Amazon.

We're writing about the marketplace order you placed on 12/31/2010 with xxxx.  Unfortunately, xxxx has not confirmed the shipment of this order, and we are not able to provide you with shipment details yet. Because of this, your credit card has not been charged.

So I used Amazon's form to communicate with the seller of the book.

Amazon alerted me that it hasn't received notice from you that this item (Farabi's Commentary and Short Treatise on Aristotle's De Interpretatione) has shipped. If it's out of stock and not going to ship, please let me know. I'm planning on heavily using this title for my MA thesis and I'd like to order it from somewhere else if you've not got it in stock. Thanks.

And the reply:

I apologize for the delay, but I cannot find the book!

Organization at its finest!

:: :: ::

I recently read Brian Patrick Mitchell's Eight Ways to Run the Country and I was pretty darned tootin' impressed. The title isn't really justified as its a descriptive work rather than a prescriptive work and the title makes the book sound like its a popular work trying to gain popular support for a prescription of how the country should be run. (I suspect that the title was a publisher's choice rather than the author's choice.)

The main content of the book is a new political compass that places various USian political traditions on axes of their views on kratos (coercive power) and archy (rank and order). The genius of this is that it allows for a comprehensive, and fair, analysis of pretty much every political tradition in the US. The chapters on each of the eight traditions compares and contrasts them with their neighbors on the chart so that how they differ becomes clear. Many times, the descriptions even point out the differences in extent within a tradition (i.e. some persons or groups are closer to the center than to the edge of the chart).

The book isn't without its flaws. Mitchell says a few things that don't square with me, including one thing that is almost unforgivably wrong about libertarianism. I also disagree with Mitchell on his categorization of "the middle" as being inherently populist. (I think you can have a theoretical framework that holds that both archy and kratos are necessary but should not be unlimited.) The book is also entirely US centric. Such blemishes are minor.

The book starts with the left and works around in a circle through the entire left end of the spectrum and on to the right. While reading the bits on the left, I thought that Mitchell was tough but fair and, possibly, a bit biased to the right of the spectrum. Then I got to the chapters on the right end of the spectrum and Mitchell was just as tough. If there is any real bias, it seems to be against Austrian style economics. Interestingly, the review on Lew Rockwell's site (by Thomas Woods) seems to have the opposite impression and states that Mitchell writes positively of groups like the Mises Institute.

I really ought to do a full on review. It's a lovely book for a political junkie.

:: ::

In my last diary, I forgot to mention that while TCM was having an Australian movie marathon, I caught Peter Weir's The Last Wave. Parts of it I quite liked. It was definitely a slow burning movie that kept heightening the suspense. My largest complaint is that I'm not certain how aptly the ending fit the plot arc. But that was a few months ago that I saw the film. Now that Oz is getting hit with massive floods the likes of which haven't been seen for a hundred years, the movie seems quite relevant and even profound.

Since I posted my last diary, I tried to watch Superman Returns. I kept falling asleep and not only not caring about the bits I missed but was able to keep up with the plot without any trouble.

I also re-watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Brilliant.


On Morning Joe, the various talking heads were discussing Verizon adding the Jesus Phone iPhone to its line up and one of the mentioned the Motorola Atrix as an alternative. It looks pretty sweet, an Android based phone that plugs into a Netbook like shell of a docking station. That is potentially a pretty clever set up. That said, while I've not used any Androids made by Motorola, my inclination is that they'll somehow manage to bollocks up the software and turn a very nice piece of hardware into something unusable. For a long time, I was a diehard fan of Motorola phones. Then I had two in a row that made what I think were some pretty serious UI mistakes. And that was without being "smart" phones. But the contract on my current phone doesn't expire until August. So there is plenty of time for the reports to come in on how well the Atrix actually works.

Tragedy in Tucson turns out to be best possible free advertising imaginable for Glock.

The secret to a good marriage is right here

Social Media supports freedemocracy. Well, until the masses tweet, "Kill the blasphemer!" I'm a bit concerned, but not surprised, that the western media can instantly see the potential for social media as a force for good but fails to see how it can also lead to groupthink, stifling of dissent, and easy organization of lynchings and other forms of vigilantism.

WaPo has a nice bit on why the Confederate states tried to secede from the Union. Too bad that they didn't title it States' rights my ass.

My adopted hometown gets community gardens. I should apply. I won't apply. While well intentioned, if I got a plot, I'd probably never get around to using it.

< Stardate 2011. Point Whatev's. | It's the first thing you notice when you look at a planisphere, C'MON. >
So Happy It's Thursday | 25 comments (25 topical, 0 hidden)
Motorola Droids by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:03:23 PM EST
Supposedly have less crapware than others (the LG Ally wasn't bad) and are very rootable, with active rooting communities. Unlike the LG Ally, which I regret purchasing. Well "purchasing". It was "free", with the 2 year contract, which means that getting a Droid will cost $BigBucks.

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

Two months in and I still have no desire by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:13:44 PM EST
to root my HTC Incredible. I haven't even changed the scene in weeks.

[ Parent ]
I like to live "dangerously" by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:27:00 PM EST
Because I'm a "rebel".

Also, I want to use my Ally as a wifi hotspot for my Nook Color.

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

[ Parent ]
I downloaded the Kindle app instead by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:31:46 PM EST
and the white screen mode really sucks juice.

OTOH, I've gotten through the free Angry Birds and X Construction levels, maybe rooting is the next thing to try.

[ Parent ]
If you're interested by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:42:00 PM EST
The HTC Incredible apparently supports Wifi tethering.

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

[ Parent ]
Yeah, the contract kinds of blows by lm (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 04:09:06 PM EST
Our provider won't activate a smartphone without a data plan which I think is nuts. But I can understand why they do it. They want my money. And I suspect that most people that ask for a smartphone without the data plan will be back the next day to add the data plan because they get home and are shocked to get no data. But as for me, there aren't many situations where I need data but don't have access to WiFi. And those that do happen usually only happen once or twice a year (road trip to Buckeyeistan, etc.).

What attracts me to the Atrix, however, is that it might be a iPad replacement for me. The iPad is my PowerBook replacement. It works pretty well at that. But if I can lose the phone and just have the Atrix, I have fewer things in my pocket. So I really like what the Atrix looks like it will turn out to be. But, of course, they could screw it all up.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Data plans on the road by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 04:48:43 PM EST
"Google Navigate".
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking more along the lines of ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 05:06:48 PM EST
... weekend long family reunion at a state park with no Internet access but right next to a cell tower.

... or night in hotel with no devices with a ethernet port and only ethernet access to the Internet.

Pretty much everywhere else I go, WiFi is ubiquitous with a few exceptions such as when I'm on the train or bus. In most of those situations, I'm reading hard copy anyway. Or napping.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I don't really mind the contract by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #18 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 09:21:41 AM EST
I've been with Verizon for 10 years, and not likely to switch. I object to them locking down the phone that much.

Like you, I only need data without having wifi access about twice a year, when I'm visiting Dad in Utah.

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

[ Parent ]
Aeropress by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:48:14 PM EST
I loved mine so much I bought a second for the office.

 I have also given up caffeine, which makes a personal coffee device handy for decaf.  I've found that a number of issues I was having have been severely reduced.

Ironically, I  also seem to be getting by with less sleep.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Decaffeinated coffee is a liberal plot by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 04:11:36 PM EST
A number of years ago some researchers found a coffee plant with naturally caffeine free beans growing out in some jungle or the other. I'm still waiting for them to monetize that find. But, from what I hear, it can many years to grow a generation of coffee plants to maturity and start harvesting the beans.

I should do some googling to find out whatever became of that.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Here's what I was thinking of by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 04:21:48 PM EST
In 2004, Naturally decaffeinated coffee plant discovered. The fine article states that commercialization of the plant they found could happen within five years. Those fuckers need to get their derriers in gear.

Apparently, another type of caffeine free coffee plant was found in 2008.

Either way, it's still not on my table!

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
you think by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 03:34:04 PM EST
someone that carries a copy of "Farabi's Commentary and Short Treatise on Aristotle's De Interpretatione)" would be organized ?

Community gardens are usually highly sought after. They do require time. Wish we had some - my garden doesn't get enough sun and too much competition with the tree roots for everything..

And friends don't let friends buy Glocks..

Usually, I presume incompetency over malice by lm (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 04:01:57 PM EST
But in this case, I think the seller may have noticed that most copies were priced at a 400% or higher premium relative to his. In fact, when I saw the listing, I thought to myself "No fucking way." But that is conjecture. Once I get notice the order was cancelled, I found another copy at about twice what the first one was listed for which is still a very good price.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I was going with the by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 09:56:57 AM EST
brilliant yet can't make a cup of coffee or pay his bills philosopher stereotype.. But economics makes a bid too..

[ Parent ]
And FWIW by lm (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:21:53 AM EST
All my philosophy books are on a shelf, ordered by author, then title except for multi-author collections which are roughly ordered chronologically and then by subject matter. I'm toying with the idea of using LOC call numbers and re-sorting the whole batch.

I think most people that have any of Farabi's commentaries on Aristotle are more likely to have such systems than not.

But I could be wrong.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
The secret of a good marriage is by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 05:08:20 PM EST
enthusiastic oral on demand.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

So that's what she meant by /oyster crackers/ by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 05:17:29 PM EST
Somehow I don't think so.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Hmm by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 07:57:55 PM EST
Doesn't your mouth get sore?
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
ur doing it rong by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 08:14:52 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
The only way to win is to not play by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #21 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:37:39 AM EST
But if you must play, then yes; what you said. Oh, and being able to make a killer sauce.

[ Parent ]
States' rights my ass by duxup (4.00 / 1) #22 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:35:50 AM EST
Perhaps the writer knows more than I do, but I don't buy into the idea that states rights or other reasons for succession were myths simply because of the few examples cited. 

I might believe in each state's right to make their own call on many, or most issues, but not believe that right to be infinite (to the extent that they violate other states rights even)... and still succeed from a union on the basis that I believe my state's rights were under threat or being violated by other states.

It seems like a lot of the myth claims are backed up by a just a few fairly simple examples of some contradictory evidence.   To that I say ... so what?   They're human, they're not entirely logical or consistent even when it comes to what they believe, and their actions.  Nobody is.  Arguably this is worse when there is a big conflict and humans operate in groups, and money is involved, and pride.  That however, doesn't mean they still don't believe in X, Y, and Z, and make decisions based on X, Y, and Z because sometimes their actions seem contradictory.

It was a big ass civil war, and an issue simmering for decades.  I'm sure MANY reasons were at play.

Another point against states' rights being it by lm (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:33:33 PM EST
Look at the side by side comparison of the US and Confederate constitutions.

The Confederate constitution weakens states' rights in many ways. States can no longer determine voter eligibility. The federal government can ban importing of slaves from specific states. The federal government can charge tariffs and duties on trade between the states. New states admitted to the Confederacy can't choose to be free states.

Admittedly it increases states' rights in some ways as well, for example the ability of states to issue paper money and to impeach federally appointed judges are both granted to the states.

But, on balance, I think a straightforward reading highlights that the Confederacy allowed for a stronger federal government with fewer states' rights. And, even were that not the case, notice what is missing from the allegations that the civil war was about states' rights: any clear exposition of which states' rights were clearly being infringed by the US federal government other than the issue of slavery.

Moreover, it is inarguable that the right to own slaves is constitutionally guaranteed in the Confederate constitution.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
No friends under Christ's Kingdom by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #23 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 02:27:48 PM EST
but there is, in fact, a "First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston".  I sung BWV 4 there once, nice place.

Coffee by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #25 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:13:29 PM EST
Back up to two pots.   Work is boring and I drink more coffee when I'm bored.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
So Happy It's Thursday | 25 comments (25 topical, 0 hidden)