|log (2004/04/30 to 2004/05/06)|
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
I'm sitting here typing on the laptop (battery at 67% and counting down), with the house offline, and even the game consoles unplugged, because of the impressive loud (and bright) thunderstorm outside. We're trying to figure out just what we can do without plugging into the wall (can you charge an iPod mini from an iBook's battery via firewire?). Maybe we should just trust our surge suppressors; but apparently I don't.
So anyway we're not on the Net, and you won't be able to read this until we're back. You'll just have to be patient.
(Whoa, another big lightning bolt.)
We'll start out this evening with some Fact or Fiction (some Fact or Fiction in really bad taste, in fact). Which (if any) of these two stories is Real Truth?
Let us go away together, away from the anger and imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement. In the evenings I shall read to you while you work your cross-stitch in the firelight. And then we shall go to bed, our bed, my dearest girl...
The offer, which was presented to the al-Hurra and al-Arabiya Arabic-language networks, would involve nude appearances by President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Okay, so maybe that second one wasn't so tough. We thought it was funny, though. When we wrote it.
We've recently stumbled upon a weblog by a smart guy who likes Iaiaian (M.) Banks' Culture novels, and thinks about consciousness and the future of civilization and stuff like that. From there I resist the temptation to join the Culture List, but I do browse around quite a bit in the Culture Data Repository.
Extra Credit Question: Did anyone in Treasury Public Affairs think through the consequences of labeling Americans with taxable incomes less than $200,000 as not "hardworking"? What are the consequences of the Bush Treasury's deciding that you aren't "hardworking" unless your taxable income is greater than $200,000 a year?
And what the heck while we're here 'On a Mission From God': The Religious Right and the Emerging American Theocracy. (Did I already cite that?)
And then finally away from that sort of politics, to a place that's either far from politics, or in the heart of the real politics, a lovely little piece from gilest: To Bath by Towpath.
Today we will just advertise the next Synthetic Zero Loft Event (tomorrow and Sunday, in New York City, in the invisible palace of culture).
And nothing else at all!
Oh! Also (and how could I have forgotten to mention this?) I did that haircut thing again, and this time it was a couple of months earlier so the back of my neck is really chilly, and the strange whooshing sound in my ears is accompanied by an icy temperature.
But it's not in my eyes anymore.
Odd fact o' the day: we seem to be (or we were recently) Number 34 on this list ("ranked by Daypop score"). Due to the Page 23 meme, probably. Or some bug in their program.
Reaching way back the mists of time, we find that back then we were bobbing for:
Windows Services for Unix
(I love to ongt, ongt, ongt, ongplles and banongnongs!)
And more extendedly:
MV=Py (i.e., if the money supply is infinite, watch out for infinite prices)
So I think the basis of my sexual orientation is basically olfactory.
I remember being in the car on the way to work or somewhere, and seeing a jogger jogging beside the road ahead, and looking at her and feeling the vague pleasant mixture of affection and admiration and attraction that I generally feel when looking at random female persons, and then as I overtook her discovering that he was actually male. The involuntary change in my inchoate attitude, as I recall it, was centered somewhere in the back of the nose.
Something about smell.
When I've played with the notion of having sexual fantasies about men (because, hey, it seems silly to cut half the population out of the pool of imaginary lust-objects), the problem also seems vaguely olfactory, although I'd have a hard time describing exactly how (and that's probably a good thing, as two-thirds of you have I imagine already stopped reading due to too much information).
There's something tactile in it also; women have this lovely extra layer of smoothness in the skin. I can picture the hairless calf of a swimmer, poised to slice into the water, and while it's always smooth and muscular and firm and lovely, it's only if it's a female swimmer that the imaginary feeling is just right. But equally for the imaginary smell.
I wonder if that's something genetic, or derived from experience? Or both?
Let's see; current events. One end of the back stoop of the house was suddenly an inch or two lower, and kind of saggy. The guy from down the street who knows about houses came by (to talk about the place where the outer wall of the house is still tar-paper after the work he did replacing the rotted wood, and about the peeling paint, and about the flat roof that could use coating, and...), and he stuck his head under it and said that it was put together entirely wrong and ought to be rebuilt. The guy from next door basically agreed. He also lent me his jack, and I went out and bought some supplies at Home Despot and jacked the corner up a bit and put in a couple of four-by-fours on cement bricks with little metal brackets holding them to the bottom of the stoop, and now it's more or less right again, although the entire contraption isn't held to the house as well as it ought to be (need to buy some "lag screws" maybe).
But I feel very successfully homeownerly, and when I walk by that side of the house I glance smugly at the four-by-fours.
I got a Jury Duty summons the other week, for a session starting tomorrow, and I sent it in without thinking very hard; but now I realize that this is like the worst possible few weeks to have even the danger of Jury Duty (a summer student starts a week from tomorrow, there's a conference the week after, the kids have recitals and stuff), and I should have done the automatic deferral; hopefully at the courthouse tomorrow morning I can get that deferral despite having not checked that box on the form originally.
Subject: impress her waveguide
Huge mail-storm caused by someone posting "please remove me from your mailing list" to the Don't Amend announcement list, followed by six zillion people posting "what do you mean, remove you?" and "please remove me too" and "why am I getting all this mail?" and (most amusingly) "stop responding to the entire list!!!" messages. I really really don't understand the latter ("I'm responding to the entire list to tell everyone that it's bad to respond to the entire list!").
There were also a few "Please keep me on your list!" and "please send more mail!" messages. Those were nice. Today there's an apology on the site, claiming their site was "hacked". My guess is the list was just misconfigured, but face is face.
now I have this image in my mind of the above crossed other with the road movies like Mad Max et al.... of the Volvo being persued by gangs of bikers and dune buggies shouting, jeering, firing crossbows and chanting "It may have porn! It may have porn! It may...." with the people in the Volvo firing back and shouting "Its not porn - its this month's accounts - now bugger off".
A very lucid page on the Everett interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, and the various interpretations of the interpretation (Many Worlds, Many Minds, etc). Everett seems so correct to me (what's all this "wave function collapse" nonsense?), and the epistemological issues are fascinating.
And in Final Fantasy X I'm on the Thunder Plains, and the kids think it's very funny when I get zapped by the lightning and roll around on the ground.
So the poll is going along nicely; keep those cards and letters coming and maybe we'll give the first results when it's been a week or so. And I have scads of reader input and stuff queued up, and maybe I'll post some of that again some day. Or something.