Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Odd little meme

A meme I found while cruising the 'net.

1) When you were in the womb, what was the weird food your mother craved?
I dunno what specific pregnancy cravings she had, but mom typically started her day with a cigarette and a Coke and usually added a slice of her "special bread," which was pound cake. She spent the rest of the day keeping the tobacco industry solvent.

2) If you had to kill a fellow blogger, who would it be and why? And no shrinking from this question.
There's a guy I wrote about in my post titled Faux Unschooling. I'd be willing to kill him.

3) Do you own a pair of cargo pants?
Not specifically. I have shorts with extra pockets but no actual cargo pants.

4) Which resident of the blogosphere would you sleep with and why?
Ronnie! And I do! Cuz it's fun!

5) Which present from a prospective suitor would most impress you?
a) jewelry
b) flowers
c) shoes
d) a book token
e) an erotically shaped vegetable
f) other...(please verify)
Ummmm, I guess jewelry would be the most impressive.

6) Which acting parts were you forced to play on stage back in school?
In high school I did some duelling (fencing) coaching for a coupla plays but was not in the Philalectic Society. In college I helped out a friend or two in the drama department by being in their plays.

7) What totally fucking freaks you out and leaves you whimpering for your mother?

8) Which great opponent of Cartesian dualism resists the reduction of psychological phenomena to a physical state and insists there is no point of contact between the extended and the unextended?
Honest, this question was actually on the original meme I stole borrowed and I just happen to be pretty sure that it's looking for you to answer Henri Bergson. Now ask me about Hedonism. Or Calvin. Or Hobbes. Or Calvin and Hobbes.

9) How many fluffy, rubbery, plastic wind up, edible or just plain strange creatures inhabit your personal workspace and what are they?
When I was working, I had a couple of the little plastic guys who'd walk when you wound 'em up. I used to tie a carefully-measured string around their necks and have 'em commit suicide by walking off the end of my desk. Their frenetic vibrating at the end of the string was quite remarkably grotesque.

10) Do you personally find your own genitalia attractive?
Sure. I can't tell you how often I stand naked in front of the mirror and exclaim, "Nice dick!" Don't you?

11) Naked, greased, and sent up to your room: Mark Spitz or Michael Phelps?
Clearly this question is not aimed at me. I'll substitute Salma Hayek and Emmanuelle Beart and answer, "Both!"

12) Great on-screen love affairs. Fess up. Which one gets you hot/moist/whatever?
William Powell and Myrna Loy in the Thin Man series. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby.

13) Who would play you in your biopic?
Younger me: what's-his-name, the fat hobbit.
Older me: Richard Dreyfuss

14) What is your regular coffee shop order?
I don't drink coffee and definitely don't do coffee shops.

15) Give it up with two of life's great mysteries.
1. Women.
2. Men.

16) What is the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten?
Green vegetables.

17) Clowns; do they make you: a) laugh b) shudder c) horny.
Absolutely shudder. Ick!

18) Who was the last person that you told to "fuck off"?

19) Who's the best:

a) Bond
Sean Connery, but who really cares? The Bond series is SOOOOOOO lame.

b) Batman

c) Monster in Gojira movies
Gamera, the children's friend.

d) Member of the Village People

e) Member of the Banana Splits
No fucking idea.

f) Simpson's supporting cast member
I don't watch the Simpsons.

g) Beatle
John Lennon.

h) Magnificent Seven character
I'll substitute the original movie, Seven Samurai, and answer: Heihachi Hayashida, samurai of the "wood-chop" school.

i) Frasier or Niles
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

j) Character in Doonesbury
Tough one. I'll say Cutter John.

k) Osmond

l) Disney baddie
Hades from Hercules.

m) Bond girl
Ursula Andress is the only one I can think of offhand.

n) Bond villain
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

o) Member of the Partridge Family
Didn't watch it.

p) Radio deejay
Cap'n Humble, New Orleans DJ who now runs a poboy shop.

q) Non-monotheistic deity
Ma'at. I'm ready for my weigh-in, motherfucker.

r) Fictional deity
Flying Spaghetti Monster. (They're all fictional.)

s) Monkee
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

t) Witch
Kim Novak in Bell, Book, and Candle.

u) M.A.S.H character
Spearchucker Jones.

v) Flintstone
Barney, I guess, but I don't really care enough to differentiate on this one.

w) Tom or Ray off Car Talk
Don't watch it.

x) Jackson
Miss Jackson, cuz I'm nasty.

y) Jedi
They're all pretty dipshit.

z) Member of your household

20) Who's the crappiest

a) Bond
Who cares? The Bond series is SOOOOOOO lame.

b) Batman
Michael Keaton, cuz he sucks in everything except Night Shift.

c) Monster in Gojira movies

d) Member of the Village People
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

e) Member of the Banana Splits
No fucking idea.

f) Simpson's supporting cast
I don't watch the Simpsons.

g) Beatle
Paul McCartney.

h) Magnificent Seven character
Again, from Seven Samurai not "Mag7": Katsushiro Okamoto, the ingenue.

i) Frasier or Niles
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

j) Character in Doonesbury
I dunno. Maybe Joanie Caucus? Not a heartfelt choice.

k) Osmond
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

l) Disney baddie
Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.

m) Bond Girl
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

n) Bond villain
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

o) Member of the Partridge family
Didn't watch it.

p) Radio deejay
Casey Kasem, what a doucehbag.

q) Non-monotheistic deity
Philomenus, Greek god of the plow. Seriously. Oooooh, impressive.

r) Fictional deity
YHWH, cuz they're all fictional, and this one did a lot to fuck up Western civilization.

s) Monkee
I don't care enough to differentiate on this one.

t) Witch
Any in that worthless fucking Harry Potter universe.

u) M.A.S.H character

v) Flintstone
Fred, I guess, but I don't care enough to really differentiate on this one.

w) Tom or Ray off Car Talk
Don't watch it.

x) Jackson
So many to choose from. Michael, I guess.

y) Jedi
Anakin before he became Darth Vader. What a fucking emo whiner.

z) Member of your household

Monday, September 27, 2010

Olet vel non olet? That is the question.

There's a Roman saying: Pecunia non olet! Money doesn't stink. Where does it originate? Well…

Once upon a time, before Christianity plunged the Western world into the Dark Ages, there was a Roman emperor we call Vespasian (Titus Flavius Vespasianus). Good old Tit Flava, as his friends might have called him if they were contemporary rappers, had his own ideas about money. He's the guy who initiated construction of the Flavian Amphitheater, aka the Colosseum, along with other huge, expensive public works. He's also the guy who imposed the vectigal urinae (piss tax) on Rome's populace. For the record, piss creators did not pay this tax, the people who bought the collected piss for use in tanning, laundry, and other chemical businesses paid it.

When his son, who later became the emperor Titus, complained that it was kind of a disgusting idea, Vespasian held a gold coin under Titus' nose and declaimed, "Non olet!" But this post is not about Vespasian, or his son Titus, or even about piss or a tax thereon, it's about money and whether or not it has, for lack of a better descriptor, provenance.

I have friends from all across the various spectra of life, political, philosophical, religious, etc. and I'm sure there's a complete spectrum of opinion on this topic. I'll state directly here, in diametric opposition to Vespasian, that I firmly believe that money does have provenance. For example, back in the dim time at the dawn of history when we did programs on punch cards, I worked for Boeing Computer Services. I was working with the commercial airplane division when I was offered a position with a military project. Woulda been good money (and pretty easy work) but I declined. I would not work for and take money from a military project. Like I said, I firmly believe that money has provenance and some money does stink.

But that's just my opinion and I'm curious as to your thoughts about this topic. Olet vel non olet? (It stinks or it doesn't stink?) Whatcha think?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Pregnant

Most things in life exist within a spectrum. The human visible spectrum ranges from about 4000 to 7500 Angstrom units or 400-750 nanometers, which is preferred nowadays, but I'm old. I like Angstrom units. My favorite color, cadmium red, is one specific point on that spectrum - 6438.4696 Angstrom units. And the human visible spectrum is itself merely a subset of the fuller electromagnetic spectrum.

My opinion about any particular piece of art ranges within a spectrum from wonderful to terrible with every possibility inbetween. I adore Waterhouse's "Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses."

We speak dogmatically about the political spectrum. We range in our religious beliefs from utter surety that there is a Deity, Which keeps Itself busy watching sparrows fall, to hardheaded certainty that the metaphysical plane is an intellectual construct from the mind of Man and is complete bunkum. We live a spectrum-rich life.

But there are some things in life which are binary. Yes, you're reading this on your computer so you inevitably thought immediately of binary code. Coins are binary, head/tail. Most normal light switches are binary, we'll just ignore those pesky 3-way switches (A 3-way? Perversion!) and rheostats, which are spectrum devices (And clearly deviant!). Etc. And that brings us to the title of this post.

You all know the old saying, "You can't be a little bit pregnant." Pregnancy is binary. Either you are pregnant or you are not pregnant. Binary. No spectrum effect for this type of situation. If you tell me you're pregnant, I understand that statement and I'll accept it at face value. If you tell me you're not pregnant, I understand that statement and I'll accept it at face value. If you tell me you're pregnant except for X or Y or Z, I cannot parse that statement into something meaningful. What we've got here is a failure to communicate, my dear Semiotic Cool Hand Luke.

What we've got here is a failure to communicate.
I'm pregnant, except for X or Y or Z.

I unschool, except for math or bedtime or sugar.

I'm sure you're a wonderful person, Cool Hand, and I know you love your kids but are you really pregnant?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eight is Enough

No, not the tv show, the meme. From Bonnie.

8 Books I've read recently or am reading now:
Egypt's False Prophet, Akhenaten – Reeves (a study of the first monotheist)
The Glass Rainbow – James Lee Burke (I love Burke)
The Grand Design – Hawking and Mlodinow (Starting soon)
Paul is Undead – Goldsher (Zombie novel of the 60's music scene)
Ready About – Hoyt (examination of sailboat design and thoughtless adherence to tradition)
Truman – McCullough (bio of Harry S., my birth-year president)
The Vegetarian Myth – Keith (Sadly illogical and vitriolic)
Worth Dying For – Child (upcoming Jack Reacher novel)

8 Songs or Albums I listen to all the time:
AWB – Average White Band
Boom Boom – John Lee Hooker
Fiyo on the Bayou – Neville Brothers
Good Old Boys – Randy Newman
Greatest Hits – Van Morrison
Legend – Bob Marley
Rock & Roll Gumbo – Professor Longhair
Wcyaya - Osibisa

8 Things I love:

8 Things I've learned this year:
My children are adults
It's possible that I, too, am an adult
20 years of marriage and child-rearing goes by in an instant
Confirmed that there is no end to human stupidity
Confirmed that there is no end to human magnificence
I have a lot of friends
That ain't 8 but it's what I have to offer

8 new recipes I want to try and make by the end of the year:
Bobotie (Family cookbook)
Oysters Roffignac (Commander's Palace)
Pigeonneaux Paradis (Antoine's)
Red Sonya cocktail (Family cookbook)
Redfish Nicoise (Arnaud's)
Schwarzwalderkirschtorte (Family cookbook)
Shrimp Mariniere (Antoine's)
Tournedos Royal (Brennan's)

8 Favorite online hangouts:
AeroTrader (planes for sale)
Friends' blogs
Yachtworld (boats for sale)

8 Projects I need to work on:
Exterior house painting
Finish work in master bath
Varnish touchup on livingroom and diningroom wood floors
Regular cardiovascular exercise
Run to the dump with large junk items
Install toilet in basement
Repair/reinstall kitchen planter/windowbox
New base mouldings on porch columns

8 people I think should do this:
I don't tag

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Free Speech

I hope most of you recognize this. It was Article III in the original document but the first two were not ratified so it became the first amendment. I like it. I am an American and a Constitutionalist. Here it is in more legible form.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Therefore, I support the right of fundamentalist fanatics soi-disant Christians to peaceably assemble for the purpose of burning Qur'ans as an exercise of their free speech rights as described above.

I also support the right of my fellow citizens to voice their opposition to a new Islamic community center which will be the same distance from Ground Zero as fast-food joints, strip clubs, and porno shops. Sacred ground, indeed!

And I cherish my right under this beautiful First Amendment to speak my piece freely:

Fuckin' assholes.