Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year to Everyone.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
National Novel Writing Month
I was a winner this year. I managed to string together 50,000 words of crap, so I get to call myself a writer. They even sent me a little temporary tatoo to impress my friends with.
I was kind of surprised that I could get that much done in such a short time, and I did learn that I need to think a lot more about the structure of the story BEFORE I start writing. My characters just ran away with the plot, and now they won't give it back.
I still have a way to go before I'm actually done. They don't actually ask you to finish the novel, just to get the word count. I'm gonna take a break though. The sun is shining, so maybe I'll ride my bike. It's windy and below freezing though, so maybe I'll just curl up with a book or magazine. I've gotten a bit behind on my reading while I was doing all that writing.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I didn't actually see any snow when I was out biking today, but it was cold enough. There was about a twenty mile-per-hour wind from the North as well, so I had my work cut out for me on my way home. I guess brisk is a bit of an understatement. I did enjoy the ride though. If it doesn't warm up some, it will get old pretty fast though. I guess I should be used to it. I've lived in Nebraska since 1943, and we've had winter every one of those years.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. The idea is to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. This may result in things like less attention to posting here and lack of sleep. I'm already at 10K though, so I'm doing pretty well. Lots of distractions coming up though, so I need to get ahead a little bit to make up for the time I'm going to lose later.
See you in December.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Hey, I turned off the Bears game at halftime last night because they were playing so badly. They came back to win with THREE defensive touchdowns to offset six turnovers. Now that's winning ugly, so I'd rather watch the cheerleaders.
I'd like to assure everyone that my imagination is up to imagining a full forty man roster with seven coaches, medical personnel and a front office, but I'd rather concentrate on the cheerleaders, so that's the direction I'm going. If you do a good enough job on the cheerleaders, who cares whether the team wins or loses. --gk
Monday, October 16, 2006
I've had a lot of fun fotoshopping Christian over the years, so I thought it would be only right to mash-up his face and this Peewee puppet's body. Problem is that it looks more like Tom Hanks with a crewcut than it does like Christian. Oh well, maybe it's best to be kind to people who may write your place in history. Good luck leaving Lincoln you smarta** young b*****! --gk
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I see from looking at my nonexistent recent posts that football has interfered with my ability and ambition to write coherent English. Life is like that. It used to be that there was only six hours of football on Saturday, six hours of football on Sunday, and maybe a decent game on Monday night if you were lucky. Now it's up to 10 hours on both days of the weekend, so you really don't have time for anything else. (Assuming that you have any aspirations toward personal hygiene.)
I'm sure it's a vast single-wing conspiracy to corrupt the American male. If so, it's successful. If you have a TV that you can see from your bed, there's no reason other than food or bathroom breaks to ever rise from rest for the whole weekend. If you are lucky enough to have an understanding wife and a bedpan, you won't have to get up at all. --gk
Friday, September 22, 2006
It rained a lot yesterday, 1.48 inches according to Accuweather.com. Some of that water wound up on my kitchen floor as usual. I spent a couple of hours mopping just because I don't want a pool in my kitchen. A hot tub would be nice, but I can't cook and swim at the same time, so no pool please.
I had a few equipment problems with the rain as well. My umbrella broke on me when I was out getting groceries, and my mop broke while I was working on the kitchen floor. I am a far-sighted individual; however, so I had backup plans in place. I'm not sure of the new mop though, I've had it for awhile, and I kept using the old one. The backup umbrella is not very good either, so I guess I'll need to see about getting one that will stand up to Nebraska winds and keep most of the rain off. At least the sun is shining today, so I can go out and do a little shopping.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Phew! I knew that I'd been a bit remiss about posting, but I didn't think it had been that long. Mostly just back problems again. When it hurts to sit in front of the computer you don't really feel very much motivation to natter on about anything much the less the kind of trivia that I usually post here.
However, I am feeling much better these days ... physically at least. It's still quite difficult to maintain any optimism about the world that I'm reading about in the news. Our president still seems to be totally deluded about his presumed infallibility. The Muslims reacted to a discussion of past violence by the Pope with a lot current violence thus affirming his statement. If the Muslims want respect in the West, then the damn well better start respecting non-Muslims in their own countries. I don't really expect that to happen. I expect the Muslims to die off with the rest of the Third World when the environment goes to hell. I am basically an optimist, but there just ain't much good news in the world these days in spite of the takeover by Fox and the other right-wing news organizations.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Well, my back has finally improved to the point where I can actually sit in front of my computer for long enough to type in a blog post. I spent of most the last two weeks being lazy, reading and watching TV as my brain turned slowly to mush. Hopefully a little time doing some actual creative activity like writing in my blog will counteract the effects of all that wasted time. --gk
Friday, August 11, 2006
The bad back is back. I've been pretty sore for most of this week. I tried to work out on Monday but that just made it worse. It usually helps to do some type of exercise, but when I get it wrong it makes it worse, and I got it really wrong this time. So ... I've been just laying around in bed reading or watching TV most of the time, and I ran out of new books. TV this time of year mostly sucks, so whatcha gonna do? Rage, rage against the aching of the back. (My apologies to Dylan Thomas.) --gk
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I haven't quite melted yet thanks to the application of liberal amounts of air conditioning as required and the fact that I live in a basement where the outside temperatures have a lesser effect. People who live upstairs from me have been running their A/C continuously for past few days. It was only 104 yesterday, but that's about as hot as I ever remember for Lincoln. Not much fun. It's supposed to cool off today, but I'll believe it when I feel it.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
We're back to the normal weather for this time of year in Nebraska, HOT. It's not too bad for me, since my basement stays fairly cool even when it's in the 90s and 100s outside. I just open the windows after it cools off at night. That doesn't work when it stays up in the 80s all night, so I do occasionally use a little A/C ... only a couple of times so far this year after it got up to 108 last week.
I usually don't mind either heat or cold while I'm awake. I like the variable weather in the plains of the Midwest, but when I'm asleep I need to stay warm. My body slows down a lot. My pulse gets down into the 20s and my body temperature get down to around to 96 or 97. I guess that's not too far from normal considering the amount that I exercise and the fact that I've been on a caloric restricted diet for over 30 years. I generally only eat 1500 to 1800 calories a day compared to the normal 2400 to 2700 required for my activity level. I'm fairly skinny, 6 ft - 140 lb, as a result, but I seem to also be very healthy. I save a lot on groceries too. --gk
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I've been having some computer problems with my desktop the last couple of days. It would boot up, but then the screen would go dark after a minute or two. Nothing really consistent but very annoying. I tried a few things, and finally used Symantec/Norton GoBack to return the configuration to the last one that seemed to work. That seemed to solve the problem. I was amazed. I've been running that installation of XP for two years or so, and that's usually long enough for extreme bit rot to set in. So far I seem to have gotten lucky, (Knock on wood.) I just hope it stays that way.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The human body is just so poorly designed! If the so-called Intellegent Design Theory is correct, how come the design is so damned poor? Backs and knees are extremely poorly designed. They fail on almost everyone in less than the expected human lifetime. I really don't think that you can call that intelligent. It would really take very little to make all the human musculoskeletal structure much better than it is, make us all extremely athletic. Nobody with any intelligence would have designed in the possibility of becoming morbidly obese, yet a large percentage of Americans are just that. And the percentage is increasing.
What brings all this up and makes me so testy about it is that my back is acting up again. I've learned exercises and things to avoid to keep it in line, but it periodically ignores all my careful tenderness and lets me down anyway. Oh well, we are born to suffer, and then we die. --gk
Friday, June 30, 2006
Well, really it's just warm. I like weather, and I even enjoy extremes. That's why I live here in the Midwest. We get most of the extremes except for hurricanes, but the tornados are just about as exciting on a local level, and we don't need to build all those levees.
I've been waiting for this Global Warming thing to kick in and give us some really exciting stuff, but it doesn't seem to be working that way. They're getting all the fun stuff on the coasts, and we just get drought. Summer temperatures haven't really seemed to increase any, although the winter temperatures do seem to have gone up some. I hardly had to turn on my furnace at all last winter.
It looks like Southern California is overdue for another big earthquake too. They have all the fun. Of course we do have that really big volcano under Yellowstone. If that baby lets go, Nebraska could be buried under several feet of ash. And we could always hope that the New Madrid fault down around St. Louis could have another coniption. Take our minds off the Mideast for awhile. (I'm making an assumption here. I know that I have a mind, but the evidence from TV and other forms of popular culture seems to indicate that I'm in the minority hereabouts.)
Friday, June 23, 2006
That's just a fancy way to say 'Old Fart,' but I get to add another year to my age today, so I guess it's fairly accurate.
I'm planning on going out to celebrate this evening; so if you happen to be driving around downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, be careful not to run over any drunks lying around in the gutters. It might be me.
Friday, June 02, 2006
I really hate mornings. I really hate getting up out of a nice warm bed and facing all that horrid sunshine or rain or whatever. I used to put my (Very Loud) alarm clock a full room away, so it forced me to actually get out of bed and move around and get my heart started, etc. I have even been known to refuse to go to bed just so I wouldn't have to get up the next morning. It doesn't work. Eventually your body forces you to go to sleep, and it's better not to do it while driving or even walking.
Now that I'm retired and have no earthly reason for early rising, it seems easier, and I do seem to manage to get myself started almost every day unless I am actually sick. The process seems to be so painful though, that I usually need to bribe myself with the promise of a few hours of fun playing on the computer instead of getting anything useful done.
Coffee is my friend. Without coffee there is no such thing as morning. All praise to the god of coffee. Is there a god of coffee? Should I start a new religion? If it will make mornings more bearable, I will do it. Well, perhaps some things are a bit beyond my aged bones, but I'd be happy to make the coffee and watch while someone else does the contortions.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Heinz toasts new product -- 5/19/2006
From: The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Austrailia)
FOR those who find baked beans on toast just too messy to put together, help is on the way. Heinz has devised a frozen baked bean sandwich which simply needs to be heated in a toaster.
Heinz chief Bill Johnson said the company needed to give people "new ways to use beans. If people take the time to cook beans and put it on toast, why shouldn't we cut the process for them and give them beans on toast?" he said.
The technology is being developed by Heinz researchers in New Zealand.
The main problem with this story is that it's about something happening in New Zealand, and it appeared in an Austrailian paper. That almost always seems to mean that it's a hoax of some kind.
Baked beans on toast doesn't sound all that bad to an old bachelor like me. Just two ingredients really, although the toast does require a bit of preparation, which is a definite negative. It covers two of the basic food groups, your can of beans and your bread. If you have a can of beer with it, you're pretty much golden. One problem that might bother those with higher culinary aspirations is the fact that all that stuff is pretty much the same color, so if you happen to have some still green celery or pickles (much more likely in bachelor pads) around, they might be a good addition. Remember that mustard is yellow, so it's a good addition too, and you can make a nice design on top to impress your girlfriend.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
UFO study finds no sign of aliens
Mark Simpson -- BBC News
A confidential Ministry of Defence report on Unidentified Flying Objects has concluded that there is no proof of alien life forms.
In spite of the secrecy surrounding the UFO study, it seems citizens of planet Earth have little to worry about.
The report, which was completed in 2000 and stamped "Secret: UK Eyes Only", has been made public for the first time.
Only a small number of copies were produced and the identity of the man who wrote it has been protected.
His findings were only made public thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, after a request by Sheffield Hallam University academic Dr David Clarke.
The four-year study - entitled Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in the UK - tackles the long-running question by UFO-spotters: "Is anyone out there?"
The answer, it seems, is "no".
The 400-page report puts it like this: "No evidence exists to suggest that the phenomena seen are hostile or under any type of control, other than that of natural physical forces."
It adds: "There is no evidence that 'solid' objects exist which could cause a collision hazard."
So if there are no such things as little green men in spaceships or flying saucers, why have so many people reported seeing them?
Well, here is the science bit.
"Evidence suggests that meteors and their well-known effects and, possibly some other less-known effects are responsible for some unidentified aerial phenomena," concludes the report.
Well, darn! I was hoping that the aliens would land and take over. They couldn't possibly do any worse than our current leaders. Could they? Well, I guess they could start eating us, but I'd probably be OK. I'm so skinny that I'd be last one they'd chose for the table.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
People have occasionally asked me what I wanted for my birthday, so I thought I'd publish this gift idea. I do have a fondness for pictures of dead presidents and even greater fondness for pictures of Salmon P. Chase. Sounds like a breed of underwater dogs bred to retrieve fish. Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite portraits. --gk
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I believe that yesterday was the first time that I've ever referred to myself as elderly. On the other hand, I've owned up to being a dirty old man since I was a sophomore in college back in the 1960s. I've also given up referring to myself as "The World's Greatest Single Individual Living Human Being." Used to be my stock answer to, "How are ya?" It did seem to amuse people for quite a few repetitions, or maybe my friends were just shallow or had short memories. I don't think anyone ever thought I was serious, but I did meet one young lady who thought I was arrogant and self centered.
I suppose I am a bit arrogant in that I do have a lot of faith in my understanding of the world. I do have some standards that I like to maintain in chosing the people that I associate with, but I don't really go to any great lengths to disparage other people or avoid them unless they make me seriously angry or ill. I will respond to claims of fact that seem to be wrong or stupid, but I don't claim to be an authority. I just point out where such claims may be verified or falsified by generally accepted sources. More often I make jokes that show the claim in a humorous light without laughing directly at the claimant.
I don't like discourtesy, violence, or angry argument. I do like serious debate and humorous repartee, which is French for conversation. I do dislike the French also. They are so impressed with themselves; however, that I'm sure they don't care.
Monday, May 01, 2006
It rained several inches in Lincoln this weekend, and some of the water seeped down into my basement apartment. I was forced to do a bit of mopping, but my kitchen floor is now as clean as can be. Of course this happened right after I'd cleaned the floor anyway, but now it's been rinsed several times. I'd move except that my landlord likes me and keeps my rent low because I cause so few problems ... just got me a new stove and refrigerator and replaced my shower too. The apartment as a whole just got a new washer and dryer as well.
I'd like for it to dry out for a while though, so I can get a little biking in and go out to see all the spring flowers and green grass. I expect even with all that rain we're still in drought conditions because of all the non rainy days for the last couple of years, so we can still use a bit more. Just hold off for a few days. --gk
Monday, April 17, 2006
I ran into this little guy on my way downtown last Friday night. He was just sitting there by the side of the walk, so I thought I'd try to get a picture. As soon as I knelt down, he came right over and checked out the camera to see if it was edible. I had to move it back a little to get this picture. He came right up to my shoe but lost interest when he found out that I wasn't actually going to feed him.
I guess it really wasn't fair. He was doing all this posing for me, and I didn't have any food to give him. I guess that's the breaks when you go out panhandling.
Friday, April 14, 2006
I knew Americans were getting overweight and even obese, but worshipping produce? This is a couple of miles beyond silly and over there with the UFO nuts and the alien abductees. Look, God is communicating with me through my tomato! I mean doesn't he know how to dial a phone or something?
Are we supposed to look for concealed messages from God whenever we eat any fruit or vegetables. What about pasta? Is angel hair pasta some kind of mysterious message from the heavens? Who can repair my alphabet soup if the messages from God aren't coming through by the letters in my bowl? Do I need to take it to a priest and have it blessed or something? Did the person with the sacred tomato win the lottery the next day? I bet they did. So many questions, so few answers. --gk
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Science, or at least some cartoon animals, have finally discovered what makes relationships so darn difficult. I leave you to ponder the following.
Of course there is some hope for those of us with overactive imaginations or delusions of adequacy. We can just develop a relationship with an entirely imaginary person and redo mistakes until we get them to come out right.
Next year on Valentines Day I'm going to ask women to be my imaginary girlfriends. That way I can have as many as I want without having to worry about all the entanglements or remembering the their names and buying them gifts on their birthdays and stuff like that.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Well, it's nice to know that there is a technical term for my condition. I think it would be a little more impressive if I converted it into fake Latin as Combobulatus Terminalius. Then whenever people ask me how I am I can just say, "Well, I'm combobulatus terminalius, but it isn't serious."
I used to say, "I'm the worlds greatest single individual living human being." so fast that nobody could understand it, but that's so patently false that I finally gave up on it shortly after entering puberty.
Now at last here's an award that I'm sure that I can qualify for. As soon as I get that Perfect Procrastinator award at the next meeting of the Procrastinator's Club, I'm going to find out how to apply. Unfortunately, something always seems to come up to put off the programs for the Procrastinators, so it may be awhile.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Monday, March 20, 2006
Oh yeah, just when it's supposed to be spring, we get the worst storm of the winter, and last fall just before winter was supposed to start we had a big winter storm. On the other hand during most of the time it was supposed to be winter, it was nice, and I was out riding my bicycle. This weather is all screwed up.
I'm blaming it all on Global Warming, but I think the biggest source of greenhouse gasses is not burning carbon based fuels but political speech. We've had a lot more politicians lately, and I think they are just overwhelming the planet's ability to deal with them. The result is more storms. Look at all the hurricanes, look at the tornadoes and blizzards. It's obvious, but who do we put in charge, more politicians. It's got to stop.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Study: Most get mediocre health care
USA Today: Health and Behavior
Posted 3/15/2006 6:19 PM By Jeff Donn, Associated Press Writer
BOSTON — Startling research from the biggest study ever of U.S. health care quality suggests that Americans — rich, poor, black, white — get roughly equal treatment, but it's woefully mediocre for all.
"This study shows that health care has equal-opportunity defects," said Dr. Donald Berwick, who runs the non-profit Institute for health care Improvement in Cambridge, Mass.
The survey of nearly 7,000 patients, reported Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, considered only urban-area dwellers who sought treatment, but it still challenged some stereotypes: These blacks and Hispanics actually got slightly better medical treatment than whites.
Overall, patients received only 55% of recommended steps for top-quality care — and no group did much better or worse than that.
The story above leaves me wondering just what Congress might be spending our money on if our health care is so bad. You also now have the explanation for my mistrust of the medical profession. Hell, if you can't even buy a good doctor, how are you supposed get decent health care?
Politics Drives a Senate Spending Spree
The New York Times -- March 18, 2006 News Analysis By CARL HULSE
WASHINGTON, March 17 — The largess demonstrated by the Senate in padding its budget with billions of dollars in additional spending this week showed that lawmakers are no different from many of their constituents: they don't mind pulling out the charge card when money is tight.
Just hours after opening a new line of credit through an increase in the federal debt limit, the Senate splurged on a bevy of popular programs before approving a spending plan that was as much a political document as an economic one, its fine print geared to the coming elections.
Forced to choose between calls for renewed austerity and demands for more money, many Republicans joined Democrats in reaching deeper into the Treasury, leaving the party's push for new fiscal restraint in tatters.
Some of their colleagues said it was an open-and-shut case of nervous politicians ducking a tough spending stance to avoid starring in negative campaign commercials. Republicans in some of this year's tightest races — Conrad Burns of Montana, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Jim Talent of Missouri and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island — all backed the chief budget-busting provision as they endorsed an extra $7 billion for medical research, education and worker safety.
Ah, here's some money for health research. The question is, how do we know that money is actually going to people who will produce any results?
Lawmakers, analysts and others said the Senate's reluctance to clamp down on spending was a natural result of an approach that fails to recognize a sharply changed reality. In some respects, the administration and Congress act as if the surplus that greeted President Bush when he checked into the White House is still in the bank, rather than recognizing that whatever windfall was available then was eaten up and more by tax cuts.
The reality is that the cuts, plus two wars, new domestic security needs, natural disasters and a big expansion of Medicare have left the government's account badly overdrawn with no prospect of getting it back in balance anytime soon.
Well, if I owned a company and the people that I hired to run it for me took it from a budget surplus to a nine trillion dollar debt in just six years or so, I'd be asking some pretty serious questions. Gave all our money away, got us bogged down in a foreign war, lost most of our allies and friends; why it's positively Nixonian.
I do have an answer though. I'm gonna get me some of these bionic muscles and become a superhero, so I can set the world to rights. Watch for it in the news!
Scientists make 'bionic' muscles
BBC News -- March 18, 2006
Scientists have developed artificial, super-strength muscles which are powered by alcohol and hydrogen. And they could eventually be used to make more advanced prosthetic limbs, say researchers at University of Texas.
Writing in Science, they say these artificial muscles are 100 times more powerful than the body's own. They could even be used in "exoskeletons" to give superhuman strength to certain professions such as firefighters, soldiers and astronauts.
Two types of muscle are being investigated by US researchers at the Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas in Dallas, working with colleagues from South Korea. Both release the chemical energy of fuels, such as hydrogen and alcohol, while consuming oxygen. In effect they are replicating the first stage in "breathing" - by taking in oxygen. The existing form of artificial muscles are driven by batteries. However, neither of the types developed by the Texan researchers resembles a normal muscle - being made up of wires, cantilevers and glass bottles.
Created on ... March 18, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
French Draft Law Threatens iPod's Future
MyWay.com Mar 17, 1:20 PM (ET)
By LAURENCE FROST
PARIS (AP) - Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) faces a serious challenge in France, where lawmakers have moved to sever the umbilical cord between its iPod player and iTunes online music store - threatening its lucrative hold on both markets.
Amendments to an online copyright bill, adopted early Friday, would give rivals access to the hitherto-exclusive file formats at the heart of Apple's music business model as well as Sony Corp. (SNE)'s Walkman players and Connect store.
It's hard to believe that the people who think they can dictate grammatical correctness to the rest of the world don't see eye to eye with the people who think they can dictate Computer Correctness to rest of the world. I am shocked, just really shocked.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
So what the heck is it with those fancy french hats that chefs wear while they're cooking. They don't even work really well for keeping their hair out of the food. I can see using hairnets unless chef's hair is actually part of the recipe, which in my experience may not be that unlikely with french cooking. They do like unusual ingredients don't they?
I mean everyone in that kitchen knows who went to the fancy french cooking school. Why do they want to wear the silly hats? Does it help them when they want to look down their noses at the mere mortals back there helping them out? Wouldn't a fancy french nose extension be better for that?
Monday, March 13, 2006
A White House spokesman said today that President Bush will request Congress to award Vice-President Cheney the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian commendation, for his act of bravery in shooting an attorney. The President was quoted as saying, "All Americans have wanted to shoot a lawyer at one time or another and Cheney actually had the balls to do it."
In a related development, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which issues hunting licenses, said that it will start requiring hunters wishing to bag a lawyer to have a new "lawyer's stamp" on their hunting license. Currently Texas hunters are required to carry stamps for hunting birds, deer, and bear, at a cost of $7 annually. The new "lawyers stamp" will cost $1000, but it will be open season throughout the year, and in Texas, the spokesman said, "that's considered a bargain".
The department further stated that sales so far have been brisk and it is believed the new "lawyers stamp" will generate annual revenues in excess of $3 billion dollars the first year. Other states, anxious to tap what is seen as a windfall resource that is widely popular, are considering similar game stamps.
Impatient with efforts to close the courts to litigants, the Administration literally fired the first shot in its groundbreaking "No Lawyer Left Standing" initiative. Cheney, hunting on a private lawyer ranch near Kingsville, Texas, bagged an impressive (if superannuated) buck, Harry Whittington, (UT Law '50). Under the new program, hunters may take up to three plaintiffs' lawyers and one defendants' lawyer daily. There will be no bag limit on personal injury, divorce or class-action lawyers. "We've just got to thin the herd," said the Vice-President. "We've tried tort reform and caps on damages, but people are still suing."
"It's easy and fun," the Vice President added. "In Texas, you can shoot in almost any direction and hit a lawyer."
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Yeah, I've been a bit under the weather for the last few days, and the damn weather hasn't been all that great either. It's just a little cough and some congestion for the most part, but I didn't want to spread it around. I've been able to get a lot of reading done, but I'm running out of new books, so I better get better soon. Don't tell me to watch TV. That just makes me sicker with the news and the lousy programming.
Oh well, time to go make some more chicken soup. What did I do with that chicken? Oh, I remember now. I used it in the Voodoo setup by the front door to scare away door to door salesmen. I hope it's not too dried out to get the feathers off and make some soup. I expect the feathers would be hell on my scratchy throat.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I have lots of problems with remembering names. I have a fairly good memory otherwise. I know various tricks and such. Thanks to all the crosswords I've worked and created my vocabulary is much larger than necessary for simple communication. I very rarely forget a face or a place.
Now there are lots of mnemonic tricks for remembering names and I probably know and use most of them ... when I remember to do so. They work really well too. I tend to be a visual person, so the best way for me to remember a name is to put the person's face together with a picture that will remind me of their name. Thing is, I'm usually too interested in what they're saying to stop and spend the time to come up with a good image.
The other problem is that most of the people that I meet are people that I just rub up against hanging around somewhere. We start to recognize each other after awhile and start talking without ever being formally introduced. By the time we get to be friends, it seems a little late for introductions, and even if I do that it always seems that just enough time passes for me to forget their name before the next time I see them.
So, Ace or Sport, for guys and Honey, Darlin', or Sweetheart for the gals is what it is. If I want to indicate a higher degree of respect, I may use Sir or Ma'am or some such, and don't assume that just because you're related to me or something that I actually remember your name. Been times when I had to think for a while to come up a brother or sister's name. Hell, there's been times when I had to struggle to come up with my own. I will answer to just about anything if I think you're talking to me.
So that's the way it is, Ace. I don't mean no disrespect, but the picture parts of my brain that let me remeber your face and where I've seen you before ain't very well connected to the speech and hearing parts that let me come up with the names that go with the faces.
Monday, February 27, 2006
I've often wondered about life in a different form, but it had never occurred to me to consider life as a mop. I believe that I have danced with a few now and then to practice my steps, but I never wanted to be one. I always thought it would be pretty gross to have your head stuffed in dirty water all the time. Mr. Pastis may actually be weirder than I am, and that's damned impressive.
It does seem to me that the pig got it wrong though. If he really wanted to imitate a mop, he should have gone in head first, and that position would make its own statement to the world. Pig's an illiterate pollyanna though, and I doubt if could even understand the concept of mooning somebody. --gk
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Bush Blames Cuts at Energy Lab on Mix-Up
By DEB RIECHMANN Feb 21, 8:47 PM (ET)
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - President Bush, on a three-state trip to promote his energy policy, said Tuesday that a budgeting mix-up was the reason 32 workers at one of the nation's premier renewable energy labs were laid off and then reinstated just before his visit.
Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before Approval
By TED BRIDIS Feb 22, 10:50 AM (ET)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I knew there was a reason why I hate mornings so much, and now I also understand how coffee works. It dresses your soul.
This cartoon explains why nothing that I try ever seems to work out quite the way I had hoped. Robert Heinlein wrote a story once called The Door into Summer about a cat who would force his human to go around and open all the doors of his house in the expectation that one of them would lead to better weather. I guess I'm kind of like that cat. I keep banging my head against the wall certain that sooner or later I'll run into a door that will open for me.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
My lord! That's one of the worst puns I've ever been exposed to. This GSKearney person should be shot, drawn and quartered, and made to eat a dictionary!
According to my sister, Pat Kopsian, if you aren't quite up to being a full fledged curmudgeon due to inebriation, too much fun, or any other cause; you are probably just a mudgeon. It took me a long time to find a good picture of a partially fledged mudgeon, but I think this one captures the essence.
I think I'm beginning to understand why I haven't had many dates lately. Other men cheat on their wives, but I guess they aren't quite so open about it. I like to be honest though, and I can't see why a real woman would feel threatened by an imaginary one?
Sunday, February 05, 2006
It's finally getting cold again. Our string of days with a high temperature above freezing is coming to an end. ARRGHH! It was so nice going out on my bicycle every day. I guess the cold weather is a bigger problem for others though, so I shouldn't complain.
Oh well, I wasn't planning on doing much except to watch the Super Bowl today anyway. --gk
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Well, I have to admit that I'm one of those older models, but what I want to know is where I can get a computer just like the one in the cartoon that will feed me coffee and give me a jump start in the morning. My imaginary wife, Lucky, is no help. She seems to be a night person just like me.
Here's one for all you candy lovers out there.
A study reported in the prestigious British Medical Journal suggests that people who regularly eat candy live up to a year longer than those who deprive themselves.
The study looked at the 1998 health records of 7,841 men, who entered Harvard as undergraduates between 1916 and 1950. And it found that people who eat modest amounts of candy bars, from one to three a month, have a 36 percent lower risk of death than those who abstain.
The researchers say that antioxidant phenols in the chocolate portion of the candy probably are responsible for the added longevity. They say the amount of phenols in a 1.5-ounce chocolate bar are about the same as in a glass of red wine.