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O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Linkee-poo deliberately opens its mouth to prove itself the fool

George Takei shows us what went on after the Coke Commercial team packed up. (Yes, I know, Penguins = S. Pole, P. Bears = N. Pole, but it's funny damnit)

Predicting the weather in 1851, by the use of "animal instinct" married with technology. Given that our prominent local weatherguru (Dick Goddard) host the "Wooly-bear Festival", we haven't really come all that much father. (Grokked from ChiaLynn)

"'This appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults – a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official should be questioned about his or her private sexual life," the statement (from Herman Cain's lawyer) said." Uh, yeah "Bob". Good luck with that. Hey, remember what the definition of "is" is? (Pointed to by John)

Eric does his own thing on the Cain self-implosion.

Governor Brownback apologizes to teen over his staff's over-reaction on teen's tweets. Since I linked to the story earlier here is the followup. And good on Brownback for (partially) owning the mistake by his last sentence (although his first sentence was, "it wasn't me"). That is leadership.

Some interesting inside baseball on the sovereign citizen prosecutions in Alaska.

Scenes from a homeward commute

From last night. This is the kind of sky painters have wet dreams about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Linkee-poo felizes your navidads

Magick 4 Terri, an auction site to help Terri Windling (also, new Terri Windling blog to follow). Terri is an amazing person. She is also the first writer I ever approached to get an autograph. Which I did at an incredibly, terribly wrong time, and she was gracious enough to oblige me. Or, as I say, I was full on stupid at her, and she matched me with an grace and poise I will probably never posses or be able to repay. I'll look at these more closely and see how I can help out. (I had seen some other links, but finally grokked from matociquala)

Kelly Harmon shows her work over on the Clarion blog (markup of her first novel's first page from the editor).

Writtenkitten tool to crank out the words. (also grokked from matociquala)

Jim Hines talk about the Amazon (or anyones) review advice.

Cheese and what it means to be cheese. Good thing we don't have those pesky regulations here in the US. It's a little known fact that most cheeses sold in the US aren't really made from milk, but are water based with "milk solids" (and other binders) used. Not to mention flavors and colorings. One of the reasons we buy our cheese from Middlefield Cheese (but not all of theirs start as milk, most of the milk they buy is turned into those "milk solids", and they use some of them their own selves). (Grokked from someone, sorry, lost the trail)

Using a fluorescent spray (and microbiology) to quickly identify cancer cells in a surgical setting. We are truly living in the SF world. Yes, there's problems with it, and it's years from actual application, but very cool none the less. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

When you can't build up, build down. That's a /. article on building an inverted pyramid in Mexico City. Hmm, from what I remember, Mexico City is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan which was itself built on Lago de Texcoco (a lake). Not sure that's the best place to "build down." (Pointed to by Dan)

Ursula K. Le Guin on her own take on the five myths as expounded by moveon.org. Yes, they're all political, and they're all of "the stories we tell ourselves." No, we're done with birtherism, so it's not included here. (Grokked from Morgan Locke)

This secret bill to be voted on soon will basically nullify posse comitatus. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Because, even in Canada (waves to our neighbors to the North), governments are going beyond the laws to stop protests. I can only say, this makes me want to be more involved with OWS. (Grokked from Steven Gould)

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm not dead, yet

Another tough test. Studied way too much detail, which means I didn't study hard enough on what I needed. Scored 93%, with +2 bonus (Ivermectin, if you needed to know). Don't know where I was in class. So, one more lecture test (where I'll miss the last week), one more lab test (which I'll miss), and presentation. I could stop now and get a C.

Presentation is on Wednesday. We just were assigned our topic tonight (Plague and Lyme Disease, I plan to start my presentation with, "Bring out your dead!" in a bad English accent, scoring on both).

And did I mention the BLS/CPR class on Thursday where I have to finish a workbook before class? Oh, and everyday I have to get into work about an hour early.

Short story, I'm boned.

Linkee-poo hails from the land of a 10,001 Jay Lakes

Lot's o' links from Jay Lake's link salads. If you all aren't already, you should be reading Jay Lake. There are so many good links the past couple of days, I'm only sharing the ones that fit within a narrative. The planetary mega-organism link doesn't fit in them, but man what a story. Maybe it would work with, "the universe is weirder than you think."

John Scalzi tweets the Lord of the Rings. Okay, well, his comments on the movie marathon that ran over the weekend. If you ever wanted to know what writers talk about when they say that they are lucky to have spouses that put up with them, here's a window into that world.

"It would have been helpful if this article had pointed out that these proposals imply both a huge increase ($34T over 75 years) in health care costs to beneficiaries and an increase in costs to the country as whole. Virtually all research shows that these sorts of plans will make the country's health care system considerably less efficient." Not to mention, "The cost of Medicare equivalent policies would far exceed the typical retiree's income by 2050." An analysis of a NYT article on increasing support for a Medicare "fix." You're liberal media at work. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Also, don't forget, "Wherever the next Edison is, you can bet he or she will think twice before they join the ranks of America's uninsured." (Grokked from Jay Lake)

David Frum on how the GOP lost sense of reality. There's a lot of truth to power in there. It's a long article, but well worth the read. (Grokked from ticia42)

Paul Krugman on the 99.9%. Well, more about the 0.1% and who they are and how well they've had it. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Pictures or it didn't happen

Okay, on the twitter feed I mentioned that I injured my knuckles installing this years decorations. For those of you who doubt the veracity of that claim, here is the picture.
I reinjured them this morning before I could put on bandages after my shower. Still hurts. And they bleed freely until I could put pressure on them.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Linkee-poo is waiting for the Spiders from Mars

Ryan Britt talks about the future of the book through the lens of science fiction.

Building scenes for effectiveness.

When learning a skill, motivation is needed, but it's not all that's required. There is a point in almost anything you do that raw motivation can get you to. However, at that point there is a wall you need to bust through. Think of it like the proverbial "wall" of marathon running. That point is the division between amateur and pro-am level. It is the 95% point of excellence (it's a business planning concept, the first 95% of a project will take 95% of the time and energy, the last 5% will take the other 95% of time and energy). It's that point where you ask yourself, "just what am I willing to do and give up to achieve my dream." It's a lot of work. And if you're not willing to go that distance it's perfectly okay. I know lots of "good enough" guitarists, poets, writers, designers, athletes, etc. They enjoy what they do and they're pretty damn good. But if you want to go farther, you need to give that other effort. If the first part is "motivation", let's call this second phase "determination." And don't think it's easy afterward, there are another series of "walls" after that one. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I think I've said before that the best, "naturally good" guitarists are not the ones you see up on stage. The "naturals" tend to burn out at that first wall. It's the ones that had to work hard at it that busted through that wall. Same for designers. Hmm, I may have to do a whole post on this.

Gov. Sam Brownback, you're a douche. And yes, I linked to your page to make it easier for your staff to find this. (Grokked from Eric)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Linkee-poo thinks it's beginning to look a lot like November

Exposing the cost of health care. I think I've said it before, to have the "free market" functions conservatives think will work well, doctors' offices will need to install price boards. Like the ones they have in fast food restaurants. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The New Yorker on "we are the 1%." (Grokked from Morgan Locke)

When Black Friday goes bad. Just an informational note mace /= pepper spray. They can have the same effects on people (actually, pepper spray is worse because it's meant to get into your air passageways). And now, watching the noon news, it looks like there a bunch more problems with black friday shoppers. (Grokked from Dan)

"As for all of that inspirational, up-by-their-bootstrap talk you hear on the Republican campaign trail, over half of the near poor in the new tally actually fell into that group from higher income levels as their resources were sapped by medical expenses, taxes, work-related costs and other unavoidable outlays." Were as, according to those fun Americans at the Heritage Foundation those "poor" and "near-poor" have "roughly 14 of 30 amenities." I guess the think those "poor people" should take their next cruise vacation to some Central American countries to see how the poor "really live" and stop being whiners about not having enough food, or being one-paycheck away from homelessness. Wow. I guess the conservative are now armor platting that bubble they want to live in. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Linkee-poo goes over the river and through the wood

There are many things to be thankful for this year. I still have a full-time job, I've been getting good grades, my tenure on council is ending (and yes, I am thankful), great friends who offered me the opportunity to finish up my novel, great friends in general, retention of sanity, the opportunities I've had, etc. That doesn't mean it's been an easy year. All those things I'm thankful for are salted and textured by those things that have gone wrong (ie. things I would have been thankful to have done without).

So, while I slice up the bird, and stuff my face with yams and pie (mmmm, pie), and toast the day with tomato juice (a family tradition), I will also be remembering those things that haven't been so fine.

Because life contains both. And this day, more than a celebration of Thankfulness, is a celebration of life. We're alive, and for that grace, we are thankful.

I'm thankful for you, those people who take the time to read my mind droppings. So part of that toast of clamato or V8, or some other cocktail, I will be wishing that in the coming year may our tears be few and our laugher stronger.

Here there be dragons. A Macy's Parade Balloon from before commercial character balloons. Also, I remember a time when the Macy's Parade didn't stop to do commercials for broadway musicals. Yeah. I'm an old man.

Fourteen real-life ways people "killed" vampires. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Want to know what makes a mid-list writer get his squee on? This. Librmancer (The Revenge of Smudge). (Congrats, Jim)

Tweet of my heart:
@Nnedi: "Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses." ~Proverb

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Linkee-poo cuts out early

If I don't see you before then, and you're in the US of A, have yourself a fabulous Thanksgiving. And if you work at Wal-Mart, sorry, dudes. They're going to make you work on a national holiday. On the plus side, maybe in a decade or so people will crack jokes about how all the foreigners shop at Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving Day (probably opening at 4pm by then), just like we crack jokes now about how Jewish people in NY go to Chinese Restaurants on Christmas.

Matociquala shares a picture of a tomb. There's a story waiting to be written.

Some inspiration for those of us who are looking to lose weight, as we head into the weight gaining season. (Grokked from ticia42)

Okay, as both a fan of Salvador Dali and some of Disney's more experimental work, this is just friggin' cool. Destino, their collaboration. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Protestors (maybe from OWS) interrupt President Obama's speech. Just imagine the outrage in the conservative media if this had happened to President Bush. Oh, wait, it couldn't have because people were denied access to President Bush's speeches if they had the wrong t-shirts or refused to sign a pledge of loyally.

Look, look, real election fraud. And this time it was committed by a liberal. ZOMGs, I expect to see this all over the networks now. Except that, you know, the plot was foiled early on in the process. Not like conservative have ever fielded their own fake liberal candidates that actually got on the ballot (I'm looking at you, Arizona).

The Internet Water Army. I would say I've dealt with these guys on my own blog, but I think they were just your run-of-the-mill link-fishers. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Linkee-poo stands or falls, state its peace tonight

The Onion AV Club on the Simpson's Book Job. Hopefully I can catch that episode in reruns. (Grokked from Chris Lough at Tor.com)

Chuck Wendig with 25 reasons readers will quit your story. Written from the reader's perspective.

An NPR report on what's to love about chocolate milk. It was fascinating to hear and read again. Not so much for the main subject (that chocolate milk is gaining traction, both for long distance runners and schools), but for some of the incidentals. Like chocolate milk being preferred by kids (because it's sweeter, d'uh), and chocolate has properties that inhibit pancreatic lipase (the digestive enzyme that helps you process fat- not necessarily a good thing as you need the fat to process some vitamins and other good things, but it's affect doesn't appear that strong), and for the final segment (the last two paragraphs in the story). That's where a school official (Penny McConnell), because of the backlash against banning chocolate milk in schools ("In my world, chocolate milk is soda in drag," says Ann Cooper, director of Food Services… "Most of it… has as much sugar as Pepsi or Coke…") worked with the local suppliers to reformulate the chocolate milk and remove all the high-fructose corn syrup. And with that, their chocolate milk is only 30 calories more than the milk. If that doesn't make you think, "Bwa-what?" you're not paying attention.

Eric echos some of my darker thoughts concerning OWS, the rise of the protest movement, the TP, and other such things. If you add in thoughts about various networks using such protests as fronts for their own ideological thrusts, the nauseating fact that President Obama hasn't reversed much of the silliness of the philosophy of the "unitary presidency" left to him by the previous occupant (things that he actually has the power to reverse without going through Congress), and the rising emotion of "WTF do we have to lose" gaining traction in the head space of youngsters… well, that and about 50 other things all lead me to worry in different ways about the underlying foundation of our liberty and state. There are some other thoughts I have about this, but right now I don't have all the time to bring them into the light and set them into words. Eric did a good job for some of it though.

The scourge of halal turkeys. Seriously, this anti-sharia shit-storm in a teacup has got to end. Although maybe it could go mainstream in the conservative party, it would only make them look more foolish. (Grokked from Merrie Haskell)

Then again, we don't have to look too far to find religious foolishness. Seriously, I'm more concerned with the people the conservative party is putting forth than I am if Butterball treats their animals kindly before offing them. This growing movement of God in Government and its rewriting of history and laws has got to be ended. No, really, read those quotes from the Republican Presidential Debate, what they are talking about are direct assaults on freedom and liberty and an overturning of our country. A soft revolution that will have our grandchildren wondering just where we went wrong. Christ, you all are making Ron Paul look like the sane grownup at the table. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

AS NPR reports, the ADD drug Adderall is the latest to fall prey to "shortages." And just in case you wish to believe the pharma excuse, "too much regulation", you might want to read this article (linked at the bottom of the NPR story). Then you might also want to know that Adderall isn't the first drug to experience this "shortage" in the recent past, such as the various competitors to Synthroid went through a few years ago (which, BTW, no other drug that went off market has come back on). Oh yeah, what this industry needs is less regulation. And monkeys may fly out of my butt, too. It's all about patent expiration and money.

When the press goes to the dark side. For some perspective, Hugh Grant gave some convincing testimony before a parliament inquiry regarding phone hacking and other press novelties. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bad Script Writing

Just an odd thought while watching a rerun of the Daily Show.

First we had Bernie Madoff running a ponzi scheme and making off with his investors' money. Madoff? Really? If you wrote this it would be an an example of bad character representation. At the very least a whimsical nod to morality plays.

And then we have MF Global. Really? MF Global? Come on.

Whomever is writing this script, they really suck at names. Get a baby-name book for crying out loud. Try your local cemetery. Do something so these characters' jobs in this scripts aren't telegraphed so much.

Linkee-poo spends way too much time

Today, as we're told by the Writer's Almanac, is the birthday of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, the original "Q", in 1863. It's Q whom we blame for the phrase, "Murder your darlings." Or, to explain that, "Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it — whole-heartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscript to press: Murder your darlings." Good advice.

Jim Hines talks about keeping the agent and the new "self-publishing" stupidity.

A new report on Branding in 2012. As per most marketing strategy reports, 98% bullshit (with its attendant verbal salad) and 2% value, but for those of us working on brand, some interesting thoughts. Distilled, be prepared for another slog through retroville while trying to incorporate "legend" into brands. As in, "The Man, the Myth, the Legend." Remind you of the Dos XX, "most interesting man in the world" commercials? I though it would. Oh, and don't forget the romanticism with flowers, animals, and pastels. Visual blender here we come.

In case you're wondering if OWS is having any effect, worry no longer. When the bankers' lobbyists get involved, you know people are concerned. Yes, it's time to crackup the mud machine and set for "sling." (Grokked from Ferrett Steinmetz)

XKCD infographic on money. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"… Saturday was for the social conservatives… essentially two hours of prominent Republicans talking about how persecuted Christians are in modern America, and how secularism is out to destroy us all." Yes, you can see just how much Christians are persecuted in this country especially at this time of year. Look, if theocracy is bad for Turkey and the Middle East, it's just as bad for us. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I forget who retweeted it, but Newt Gingrich is what dumb people think smart people should sound like. Seriously, roll back child labor laws? WTF?

And, just as a reminder, conservative idiocy never really dies it just comes back after everybody is exhausted of talking about it. Birtherism? Again? That Orly Taitz's dog and pony show isn't greeted with laughter and derision, but instead invokes people (including some elected representatives) shouting "Traitor" and "Treason" at those who oppose her maybe one minor symptom of the wackiness of conservative America. unfortunately, it's not the only symptom.

Weekend roundup

Argh, I still don't have my holiday decorations up. This whole sunset at 5pm thing is throwing me off. And actually, now that we're into the "battleship grey skies until the ice goes out" time of year, the effective work till time is about 4:15pm. Loosing two days to taking the car to the collision shop, and then picking it up, just hasn't helped.

I had been hoping to avoid putting up the decorations in the cold and rain, but it appears the universe wants to laugh at me.

The final leaf clearing is only partially done. It was still windy this weekend, and I tried to play to that (changing the direction I normally clear the leaves, which meant longer trips to the back hauling the tarp loaded with 100lbs of the brown things). But I ran out of daylight so there's one section on the front lawn that isn't done, and the whole side yard. Because I had to work in reverse order, that one part is midway out to the street on the front lawn. So I get to be "bad neighbor" until I can finish it, or enough snow falls that it hides my sin.

The benefit of the driving around was I had to run into Home Depot over the weekend and I saw the thing that I absolutely need this holiday season. The 12 foot airblown Santa. Wants.

If I set that up, I swear I'd give my neighbor across the street, with whom I have decoration wars (mostly in his head, but it's fun to play with him) an actual heart attack. The downside is that now that it's winter, my lot is very windy and 12 feel of inflatable anything is going to have problems in that wind.

Sunday was devoted to cleaning inside and studying. I knew we had gone over a lot of material last Wednesday, but I hadn't realized just how much until I started making note cards. ZOMG. And he went over it fast enough that I think I will need to read the chapters to figure out just WTF we're talking about. It took me way to long to figure out that six slides were talking about different virus capsule construction techniques, shapes, and functions. I kept trying to put them all together in my head. It wasn't until I skimmed that section in the book that I realized, d'uh, that we were talking about different virus strategies. Sigh.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Linkee-poo flies in the face of something or other

Chuck Wendig helps you buy a clue with 25 things you should know about suspense and tension. They're two forms of bridges, right?

John Scalzi's Thanksgiving Advent Calendar finally hits the writing.

The famous David Klecha talks about the writer's website/tool 750 Words. I've been interested in this since I heard Dave first talk about it.

Now with the highest resolution maps of the Moon we'll be able to find those hidden Nazi bases before it's too late. (Pointed to by Dan)

Hint to Newt Gingrich, one does not just fuck with Barney Frank and expect to walk away clean. Because Mr. Frank has a wicked tongue and a megaphone to use it with. There's something here about people who live in glass houses and what they should or shouldn't do.

Past performance is not indicative of future earnings. Except, sometimes it is.

A NYTimes article on the census revealing the "near poor." Not like we didn't know this. But I guess since we now have some data. "'These estimates defy the stereotypes of low-income families,' Ms. Renwick said." But they're not poor, after all they have cars and homes and microwaves and air conditioning. So how can they be struggling? Yes, those last two sentences are sarcasm along the lines of, "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Why Wall Street just doesn't get it. A Reuters article that goes into some depth and exposes a lot of angles to just what OWS is railing against. There's too many quotes to pull out of this article, but this one resonates for me: "While some members of the financial elite (are willing to pay higher taxes)… note the picture for Wall Street firms is not as sunny as some on Main Street might paint it. Wall Street banks already are beginning to shed jobs, and… is predicting bonuses for those who remain will shrink by 20 percent to 30 percent. … Many of America's well-to-do… say they don't feel particularly advantaged. A recent survey… found that half of the nation's richest 1 percent 'don't see themselves as being part of that elite group.' Also, 44 percent of those surveyed told HNW's pollsters they already pay too much in taxes." (Grokked from somebody, sorry, I lost the thread)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Linkee-poo plays hooky, in its mind

An interview with Elizabeth Bear. Mmm, crunchy goodness.

Occupy Flash! Power to the people! (Pointed to by Dan)

Distilling books (and movies) into four icons as a way if discerning authorial intent. Probably only a designer thing, but here's another way to think about your work's theme.

"Let the smoke from the bridges I burn today be seen far and wide." Only with less effect. Wow, self immolation much? Seriously, my fellow authors, do not do this. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Huhn, almost done with November and I discover it's movember. Or "grow facial hair to bring awareness about men's health" month. Normally I don't have a problem with bringing attention to things, or even facial hair (although I any mustache I grow always looks like the bad porn mustaches of the 70s), and no offense to anybody with prostate, penile, and testicular cancers, but given the history of "scientific" medicine and it's propensity to study even "female medical issues" on men, I'm not sure I want my charity dollars going to more research for these (and I say this as someone that falls into the high-risk category for two of those, I honestly don't know the risk factors to penile cancer except too much sun exposure). Prostate cancer, when caught early (yes, guys, get those PSA tests regularly), is a highly curable disease (although the side effects can be devastating, as in high-likelihood of impotence that isn't helped with the wonder drugs). But, if I had know about it, I probably would have participated. A good friend was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, I would have done it as a way of showing my support of him.

For some reason with the app NSA Crytochallenge I'm doing a mashup with Last Starfighter in my head. Only with MiB. Yes, I downloaded it, I love crypto challenges. Don't look at me that way, you all know I'm both a geek and a math affectionado.

The AP is reporting that the harvest of rice from around Fukushima has been banned because of radiation. We're in the loop-de-loops now, folks.

The big banks and small business. Not really shocked to learn that, you know. Having seen the small business (which wasn't really so small) get shuttered by a big bank that bought-out a small bank with lots of consumer and small-business business, but really didn't want to bank in that market. So just remember, when I support the bank bailouts (which I do, I just don't support the aftermath of, "Oh, we pulled their asses out of the fire, but now we can't ask them to reform" concept), I'm supporting the mechanism that lead to my being unemployed 1.5 years ago. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"Tea party members said before the meeting that they didn't know what to expect… Some said they were confused about the purpose of the Occupy movement because it has no leader and no consistent list of goals promoted by every Occupy group." Mr. Kettle, the Pot is holding on line 3. Let the co-opting begin. Only, who is doing what to whom is still up in the air.

For the fear of tax. You know, for a political movement that likes to shout about "unelected judges writing law" and the influence of "unelected bureaucrats," their kissing the ass of Grover Norquist and the potential political fall out of crossing him has gone way too far. Grover hasn't run for any office as far as I know.

Another small explanation of OWS. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The Great Day in the Morning Conundrum

Anybody have experience with Yuengling Beer? They've just started selling here in NE Ohio. I know the history (oldest brewery, PA people love it, blah blah). I'm just wondering if anybody has had it and what they thought. I almost bought some of their Black and Tan last night. And since I heard a profile last year, I've been wondering what they're like.

But as you all know I'm a notorious cheap-skate. So paying $1 a bottle, with $6 being the minimum investment, is a little steep for me (yes, I'd pay $2 or $3 at a bar to try it, I'm not that cheap, but I don't go to bars anymore, so I guess I am that cheap). If all else fails I'm assuming that I'll be someplace around the holidays that I might get to try it.

Now, to counter the cheap-skate image, normally I do pay $7.50 (Guinness in cans) and $9.00 (Sam Adams Cherry Wheat) for a six-pack. Although that lasts me a year and a half most times. So I'm not a complete cheap-skate.

Just so you know.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In case you were wondering what I was thinking about the Super Committee

Part of me, somewhat around 50%, is now hoping for the Super Committee to fail. Because then the sequestration comes into play. And the pain from that, reversible change, will give the public a general taste of what conservatives and their Tea Party pushers, want to inflict.

See, Gov. Kasich got elected on traditional conservative pap, cut spending, cut taxes. While the SB5 debacle slung enough feces to cover everybody and drag them all down into the mud, understand that SB5 was an attempt to shore up his popularity. This is because as people came to grips with just what would have to be cut, he lost a lot of support. So SB5 was red meat for the troops. And it backfired. Sure, the solid base liked it, the independents (read: former moderate conservatives) loathed it.

With the Super Committee not being able to bring forth a plan, or one that can't pass, those automatic cuts go into effect. And those cuts will hurt. People will see first hand what Republicans have been spoiling for since President Obama was sworn in.

And I predict, just as in Ohio, most people won't like it.

All that needs to happen is Democrats need to keep up the chatter and keep reminding people that except for the cuts to DoD, these cuts are what Republicans have been advocating all this time.

And it could only get better if McCain makes good on his threat to legislatively reverse the sequestration on the DoD. That would be a coup for progressive politics.

So, yeah. Part of me wants them to fail. It's the same part that wanted to look at the conservatives at the beginning of August and say, "Okay, we'll do it your way and go into default." And then sit back and watch it happen. Well, not sit back, I'd get the troops out on the circuit reminding the public that this is exactly what conservatives wanted.

Please, Brair Bear and Brair Fox, don't throw me in that briar patch.

A Little League Moment - NaNoWriMo

When I was learning how to play baseball in little league, we had a small rule. If you get a hit or bunt, you run to first base. You run your little heart out. And you dig in without thought of heading to second, you just run to first as full out as your little pre-pubescent legs can carry you. And you tag first base, always. Always. Always.

If your fly ball is caught, you tag first base. If it's a foul ball, you tag first base. If you're thrown out at the plate, you tag first base. If you're tagged out on the way, you tag first base. If you trip on those still growing legs that make you run like a drunken baby-giraffe, roll in the dirt, are unable to gain your footing before the next 8 innings go by, you tag first base.

For those of you writing for NaNoWriMo, this is an object lesson. If you're behind, keep running for first base. If you're ahead, keep running for first base. If you've already finished your 90,000 opus (40,000 words over the NaNoWriMo goal) you keep running for first base. First base is November 31st, and, baby, you better keep running to first base.

That's the lesson NaNoWriMo teaches.

You only lose when you stop running (and that's the lesson I need to relearn).

Linkee-poo's brain hurts

Not much today, working my behind off. Last night got a 18 out of 20 (possible 22 points). My brain just froze up on some questions. And in the pre-test studying the words just bounced off the grey cells and refused to be implanted. I think I need a vacation.

*cough* internet archive of some early Astounding Stories *cough* (You know who this is grokked from)

John Scalzi's list of "name of my next band" Compiled by @johnhornor. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"When I said that I thought it was criminal and Un-American to register the poor to vote, I really didn't mean it. Except that I really meant it." Ah, the non-apology apology gets taken to new heights of silliness. Dear Matt Vadum, it wasn't the words you used, it was your despicable and elitist slimeball philosophy that was objectionable. Not to mention you're an ignorant ass. Or you might want to go with being a tool, but I don't think you're that cynical. I personally don't think you have the intellectual power to be that cynical.

Photos of OWS from across the country. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

And more fuel for the fires. That's an article on how the richest of us also get the biggest slice of government "welfare" (ie. social safety net, farm subsidies, tax shelters, etc). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Non-sequitur thought of the morning

Is it just me, or does John Hodgman always remind you of Professor Bunsen Honeydew of the Muppets?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Congress thy name is irony

So, have you noticed how the exact same people who said that we couldn't ever possibly impose compensation limits or oversight in the banks we bailed out (or for executives in other industries that the government has helped out) are now arguing that Fanny and Freddie execs and personnel must conform to government pay schedules?

I wonder what Fanny and Freddie's lobbying and campaign contribution budget has been these past few years?

Linkee-poo is still studying for lab test tonight

XKCD pretty much nails the virtuous Wiki cycle. Also ties into how Fox News generates their leads as well. In the morning, "There are rumors…" to the evening, "All the news is abuzz with…" (Pointed to by Dan)

Just how deep is the Mariana Trench? This deep. (with kewl R'yleh reference) (Grokked from matociquala)

ChiaLynn is now a real-goddamn-lawyer. (Congrats, BTW)

Some interesting things going on in the world of smart phones. Shades of "Apple's iPhone tracks where you go" only even more robust, and for all those other phones, not the iPhone. With this an all the other things going on, time to revise Alfred E. Newman.


So, what are some of those "burdensome and costly regulations" that those conservatives are all railing against? Well, apparently, cutting back on how much potatoes, empty carbs, sodium, and pizzas are in federally funded school lunches is a part of that. Pizza as a vegetable. Because, instead of say, trusting our government health and nutritional scientists, we'd rather do the free market solution of trusting the American Frozen Food Institute. What could go wrong, they've got the name "American" right in there. Shades of the Reagan administration classifying ketchup as a vegetable. So glad our conservative congress is focused on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Vince posts the Non-Sequiter comic that had me giggling over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Linkee-poo says you should stop, hey, what's that sound

John Joseph Adams is taking a survey of readers of Lightstream and Fantasy.

Jim Hines with some thoughts on convention panels. I'm still somewhat of a newbie when it comes being on panels, but I've also been thrown into the deep end when it comes to them (first panel I was on I ended up being the moderator, 5 panel I was on was with Cory Doctorow). But, yes, this. Although, I hadn't heard that authors had egos. That's a new one to me. Also, I'll second his last point, GoH should be working the con for all it's worth (strap them to a hand cart if you have to, but get them to the next panel on time). I mean, that shouldn't be all they're doing. Some time to mingle and be with their friends is nice. But if it's the Green Room or the panel rooms, it should be more time in the panel rooms.

Sean Craven with some thoughts on OWS that you probably haven't heard yet.

There's a lot on the wires about the various OWS demonstrations and police actions. I don't have enough time to make sense of most of it, but 1) if you engage in Civil Disobedience you should expect to be arrested for it (if not maced, gassed, clubbed, water cannoned, etc). 2) the police will act vigorously and with overwhelming force, the intent is to convince you that "resistance is futile", it's part of their job. Arguments about 1st Amendment rights not withstanding. 3) When the court orders something, no, the Mayor doesn't have the right to refuse, in either direction (unless they're willing to engage in Civil Disobedience themselves, see point 1). 4) Yes, it's approaching the end of the 2 month time limit, we all expected this to happen so the Powers That Be can claim you didn't make your point. 5) Once someone is in custody, there's no reason to be dickish about it.

There appears to be a new bill making its way through Congress (no doubt giving an awful rendition of the "I'm just a bill" song) called SOPA. I don't know much about it (yet), but there seems to be great concern over it. I'm so glad we're focused on jobs and the economy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The test from hell

Okay, hardest test yet, and to believe the prof, the hardest test of the semester. Lots of rote memorization and then combination of information to answer the questions. The final answer is I got 69 out of 75 correct, which is 92%. Still an A, although the lowest so far. On the plus side it was the highest score in the class. This isn't including the extra credit question, what was short essay (what is Mitochondrial Toxicity). Depending on what he's looking for I either got it, or got half of it. There's no indication of how much the extra credit was worth (and I think he was waiting to see what people scored).

Next up, lab test on Wednesday. I don't even have my study cards made up yet. And tomorrow night is a meeting. Sigh.

Linkee-poo continues to study, study, study

Typos are sure to abound.

Dr. Phil (the real one) shares a cool video of our planet from space showing auroras, lighting, and lightning. Just in case you've lost your sensawunda about the neighborhood.

On that note, a massive solar storm is going on right now but the good news is NASA is assuring us we won't die from it. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

In relation to the Mer Haskell link this weekend concerning writing advice, here's Elizabeth Bear's take. That matches a little to my own experience. The more I write, the less I make the mistakes I used to make. That hasn't made the writing any easier, but it sure has made the editing go smoother. Also, with my new writing advice (bang the stones together), I was also thinking of it as a koan (as well as literary reference). A phrase that isn't really meant to make sense, but helps the student break out from the position they've been stuck in to think of new alternatives and to go in new directions. As always, YMMV.

Please, don't make me have to explain this image joke. (Pointed to by John)

One of the many things I miss about having such a hectic schedule is that I don't get an opportunity to meditate. In case you wonder why, here is a series of before and after portraits. Before and After in this case refer to a month long, intensive meditation retreat. These days I feel all to much like Before and not so much After. Now, there are all types of meditation. I prefer a more active version than what most people think of when the think of meditation. It's sometimes referred to as "walking meditation," but really you can do almost anything, not just walk. It's a form of being in the moment, without all the distractions that come with life. Or, to put it another way, just being. It's a difficult state to achieve these days. Now, understand that people just don't walk into Dathun (yes, read that as "one does not just walk into Mordor"), these are people who probably meditate a few times each week on their own. That's the state of the Before. I prefer the After, myself. Hopefully I can get back there sometime soon. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

How Magazine on charging hourly rates versus project charges and how clients perceive answers to that question, "how much?" For the record, I do an hourly rate for my freelance. I give quotes when asked. When I quote, if I go over a little, I just charge the quote. If I'm able to finish the work under the time I quote, I charge what I worked. It's a business philosophy. And I hate to brake it to How, but design is already a commodity. Clients can outsource to India, Indonesia, and Hungary (the most common destinations). However, what you get from me is service and skills. My rate? Sixty-five an hour, minimum of $30. I'll adjust that hourly rate depending on the client and project (and there are always the "free" jobs, I now have 2 new ones on my plate). I'm worth $150/hour in the Cleveland market (skill, experience, speed), but since you have to deal with me off-hours (because of the day job), I charge less that I'm worth. The deal with "free work" is I do it at my pace, and I do it to please myself. For most clients they realize I'm a steal at that price. Although I have lost some clients to the cheaper competition (the rumors I hear are they are only satisfied with the price, not so much with the quality of work they get back).

Ah, gender roles and breaking them. I forgot, not only did we set the clocks back an hour, apparently some people set them back to the 50s. As someone who once wore a pony tail, this is just a sad side show of American conservative philosophy.

John Boehner says "The American people did not support this law when it was rushed through Congress and they do not support it now that they’ve seen what’s in it (well, that's not completely true). In keeping with our Pledge to America, Republicans have voted to repeal and defund the law (and it didn't get anywhere, but, hey, they had a vote), and successfully repealed portions of it (huhn, I've been watching pretty closely and except for the reporting requirements for small businesses, which everybody said should go, I don't remember them doing anything else). This government takeover of health care (bullshit, 1% of total spending in the industry isn't a takeover) is threatening jobs (uh, yeah), increasing costs (okay, it added another 1% this year, fair cop, but did you notice it in your average 8% premium increases, which, BTW, were some of the lowest increases in a while), and jeopardizing coverage for millions of Americans (I think he has it backward here), and I hope the Supreme Court overturns it." Time to get your game face on.

I fought the deer and the deer won

In case you're wondering, "Hey, just what does a Civic look like after hitting a 6-point buck at around 45mph?" Both are guesses, he did have antlers, was pretty tall, but just barely seen in the headlights before I was calculating vectors to avoid the bastard. Also, I was standing on the brakes when we hit, but wasn't fully decelerated. I was doing about 30-35mph on the other side of him. All in all, it was about 2 seconds of interaction. I didn't see a body (but it was very dark, and I didn't have a good flashlight). I don't think he survived too long. So, technically, I think I won.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Linkee-poo is studying its brains out

Study, study, study. Finished up freelance work yesterday, took car to collision center (I fought the deer and the deer won), and then studied until my head and hands hurt. Today I should probably clear the leaves from the lawn, scrub the bathroom, and then study, study, study again.

Mer Haskell and the fluidity of language and writing advice. I've been rethinking several of my easy answers when new writers ask for advice. I used to say, "the secret to success is to suck less." I could do 5 minutes on what that means (suck less than previously, and suck less than everybody else submitting). But I'm going to try this one, "The secret to getting published is to bang the rocks together." Whaddayathink?

Vince continues to tear it up with poetry publishing.

One of the reasons solar cells are about to break through the cost barrier and compete against fossil fuels directly one price is that the materials used to make them are plunging in price.

Hacking reality and gender perceptions through the web (and a Chrome extension). (Grokked from matociquala)

http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/11/11/healthcare-needs-insurance-companies-like-a-fish-needs-a-bicycle/ (Grokked from Jay Lake)

That right Joe Walsh, there are too many people who don't listen to your bullshit. Because it's bullshit.

More on the stories we tell ourselves (ie. modern mythos). The myth of the small business in America just isn't true. See, we're 23rd in the list of nations when it comes to small business creation. Why? "The countries with significantly higher startup rates… are those with stronger, more comprehensive, and more centralised social safety nets, along with correspondingly higher taxation." Yeah, the other myth this one kills is that of lower tax rates. Even though our nominal rates are higher, the actual rates paid are the lowest in the world. Tax cuts don't create new jobs. If they did, we'd be swimming in jobs by now. Another myth? Ronald Reagan was a tax cutter. No, he raised taxes 13 times, after the 5th of which our economy recovered from the 1980 recession. So tax cuts don't lead to economic turn around. But you won't hear either of those from our conservative leaning press, and especially from the cheerleader extraordinary, Fox. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Linkee-poo runs for the hills

So far behind in my reading list, so another short one.

The kitten covers tumblr. Because, obviously, the internet hasn't yet attained critical mass when it comes to cute cat photos. Once it does, other civilizations will find us by the bright glowing sun that is our intrawebbies. (Grokked from matociquala)

Ah, I feel better now.

Dave Klecha gives us some thoughts for writers who haven't experience combat and want to write about it.

Chuck Wendig on the self-imploding debate of self-publishing vs. "traditional" publishing, "… but for now, just know that every writer digs his own tunnel and detonates it behind him." I think I'm going to write that on a fortune cookie and eat it.

The real vampire skeletons of Ireland. In case you were thinking of writing a more traditional vampire story. (Grokked from Tor.com)

Onward to the edge. Or as Martin Sheen stated it on the West Wing at the end of the episode Galileo, "You said it right that time."

Tiny Revolution with a brief history of the Koch family. Gee, free land from the government helped them build the fortune? Why, that's just socialism, or at the very least welfare. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour



One of the things I like about the day job is that I get to do cool things like this. Occasionally. This is one of a series of similar graphics intended for use on our large screen TVs around the company.

I share it here as a way to honor all my friends who have served. Thank you.

Scenes from a Morning Commute

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Linkee-poo has got nothing

Okay, I'm running out of quick content (because of schedules). So a shorty for today. Expect the scales to balance sometime soon. I am so far behind in my reading.

Ken McConnell talks about his self-publishing track. This is offered in contrast to yesterday's link. I've know Ken for, what, several years now. It was actually his experience and attitude that turned me around on self-publishing. It's not my path for now, but I do consider it a legitimate path, thanks to Ken.

If you're NaNoWriMo-ing, you're probably right at the point that Chuck Wendig is talking about (note, NSFW titles). It's natural. Everybody gets there. Hell, even Neil Gaiman has that point. Work through it. When in doubt, just say, "fuck 'em."

The conservatives sure don't like it when the CBO and other non-partisan organizations demonstrate how their theories just won't work in reality. Like, how repealing Obamacare would cost us much more in the long run. So, what's a conservative to do? Well, shoot the messenger of course. That's what they've been doing for years. I don't expect them to change. (Pointed to by Dan)

About the JoePa thing? Other than ranting and getting rabid spittle all over these here internets, John Scalzi nails it. With one other comment, I don't' know about the laws of PA, but if this happened in Ohio, Paterno, as an educator (and school coaches are "educators"), he would have been required by penalty of law to notify Child Protective Services at the very least. Hey, great, he told his boss. Who did nothing. WTF, why didn't he then go to the police? Okay, I better stop now before I start with the spittling thing.

The story of broke. Deconstructing the myth of the country being "broke." (Grokked from Jay Lake)

What seems to be the developing political strategy

After listening to the break down of the Republican debate last night, including Perry's de rigor foot in mouth (seriously, if you are as precise as "3 departments", then you have the convictions that would immediately call to mind those 3, you only forget when it's a dog whistle comment), there's some serious knownothingness going on, but…



Oh, Groucho, how did you know way back then?

Edited 11-10-11 12:40pm So, there's seems to be a little misinformation happening as people jump on Perry for not remembering the 3rd of the departments he would cut. Let's be clear here, he only remembered the Department of Commerce because he was helped by what sounded like Mitt Romney. So Perry on his own wasn't batting .666 (2 out of 3) on his strongly held positions of his conservative credentials, he was batting .333 (1 out of 3).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More fun with biochemistry

Tobias brings up a good point in the comments of today's linkee-poo about drinking "throw-back" pops (which use cane sugar) versus their high fructose cousins. To explain why he's seeing the effect he is, I basically explain the other part of how your body responds differently to fructose. So I thought I'd bring my comment up to the top level.

Hey Tobias, that (feeling sated faster with sugar based pops than with corn syrup based pops) is because of how you digest the different sugars (liver process), and how your hypothalamus monitors the bloodstream and the resulting reactions. First up, you have to know that the preferred form of sugar for your body is glucose. It's what insulin is geared to help facilitate. So when your liver has a choice of either processing glucose (or glycogen, which is the polysaccharid of glucose) and fructose or galactose, it will process the glucose first (it has to process the other two, which requires more energy, so it "decides"1 to hold off on the other two to prefer the form of sugar your body can use right away). You liver will actually store fructose in glycogen before processing it through to your blood stream (leading to fatty liver).

So, when you drink that "throw-back" pop, more glucose gets into your blood faster. (Just a note here, processed sugar contains both glucose and fructose with a little galactose). Whereas when you drink the high fructose corn syrup you liver first processes the fructose to glycogen, stores it as fat, and then cuts up the glycogen to release the new formed glucose.

Now, why that makes you feel sated faster has to do with your hypothalamus which rides shotgun over (many functions including) your levels of suspended glucose in your blood. More glucose sets off a cascade of events including increased insulin release (as well as other hormones and proteins). Part of that cascade includes "telling" you (through chemical markers) that "too much glucose = you're full." Again, satiation is a whole cascade of events.

Your hypothalamus doesn't check for fructose. So even the bits that spill over the first past of the liver won't trigger your brain to say, "Whoa, I'm full." It's only after your liver 1) runs out of glucose to process that it will 2) look to your glycogen stores to make and send out glucose.

That explains the delay to feel sated. It also explains why if you drink fast enough, after you feel sated and stop ingesting pop, you will then feel as if you over ate (because your glucose levels are spiking before your insulin can crash your blood glucose levels, which is the "sugar crash")

1 If this is through competitive inhibition or other functions like blocking RNA transcription, I don't know.

Linkee-poo says hey, ho, way to go Ohio

Linkee-poo doffs its hat and bows its head in recognition of the passing of UCF Member in good standing, Wendy_B09, aka Wendy Braxton.

Five ways to recenter your life. I'll need to read that fully, once I have a second. (Grokked from Ticia42, I think)

Worldometers. Data for us data junkies. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tobias Buckell on not being a self-publishing asshat.

Sometimes the people who proclaim the love of the flag are the ones who desecrate it most often. The Cross Spangled Banner? Okay, well, first up the Patrick Henry quote is wrong and is not attributable to him. As is the John Quincy Adams quote. Also, just a quick note, JQ Adams was 8 when the shooting part of the American Revolution started. (Pointed to by Dan)

I think I only mentioned on my twitter feed about the Corn Sugar Council lying depending on your science ignorance stretching the minimal truth in their ads. Well, here it is from their FAQ page, "High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar that is metabolized by your body the same as sugar or honey." That, my friends, is pure PR BS in its unadulterated form (it's all "sugar" - but not in the way the public uses "sugar", and your body most certainly doesn't metabolize it the same way). One, fructose (especially high-fructose corn syrup) tastes "sweeter" than table sugar (which is a mix of glucose and fructose).Then there is the actual structural differences between the two. See, monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, and galactose) are all C6H12O2 (or 6 carbons and 6 waters). However, they're different shapes (hexoses and pentoses). Shape is very important when it comes to enzymes, which is how you digest (and use within the cell). Now, in glycolysis (where glucose is converted to 2 pyruvates, or 3 carbon forms, very important for the next steps you may have heard of, the Krebs cycle), there is a step that changes glucose to fructose (and then back again). So, you'd think the fructose from high-fructose syrup would fit right there in that intermediary step, but it won't because you've already added phosphorus to the glucose, and you convert it to the fructose to add another one. You first have to convert the fructose to glucose before you can start down the glycolysis Demon Drop™ (it's a metaphor for the process). Still with me? Okay, so you're thinking I'm full of bunk. Maybe this article on the problems some people have digesting food might convince you otherwise. See, not everybody who has problems digesting wheat sugars has celiac disease. That's the short answer. The longer answer includes what your liver does. (That last link grokked from Jay Lake)

"The new figures (on greenhouse gas emissions) mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago." But I'm sure it's no need to panic. I hope Tobias gets his novel, Arctic Rising out the door before it's future predictions come true. (Pointed to by Dan)

While "we shouldn't make the victim the murderer" (in cases of rape or incest that result in a pregnancy), apparently it's okay to continue to victimize the victim. Yes, there are lots of unintended consequences of a "Personhood" bill. The loss of in vitro and other reproductive services are just the tip of the iceberg. See, only about 20% of fertilized eggs actually implant. Which means there's an 80% loss rate, which under "Personhood" would be "murder." Then there are those eggs that do implant and begin growing a placenta. Not all of them last the month. Another form of "murder." Then there are the fetuses that don't make it to term or are still born. Still other "murders". Then there are troubled pregnancies where the choice is between the life of the mother, the child, sometimes, if nothing is done, you lose both. Don't think this will happen? Well, before the courts ruled that there was safe access to abortion providers, that the woman had a right to privacy (what Roe v Wade was really about), some women would ingest poisons to abort the fetus. Most spontaneous miscarriages don't make it to the hospital. Can you say which ones were crimes and which weren't when there isn't a body? The more we're learning, the more we can see that what a woman does during pregnancy has a direct bearing on her offspring. Are we going to prosecute mothers who birth children with defects, because sometimes those are a result of what the mother was exposed to or did during pregnancy? Welcome to a real slippery slope. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

With 2012 right around the corner, it's time to gin-up the anti-"teh gayz" hysteria.

Dangerous Minds with an infographic on the demographics of OWS and the TP. (Warning, one ad on Dangerous Minds at this point is NSFW, if you're coworkers look closely). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Elizabeth Warren, traitor to the cause (of rich people, like her). Makes me almost want to move to MA so I could vote for her. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

With the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the individual mandate is within the Constitutionality of the Commerce Clause, that makes it, what, 9 to 2 (and those are the ones that made it to trial) against overturning the law? I can't find a quick compilation of all the lawsuits at the moment, so I might be off with those numbers.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Results

Well, it looks like in Ohio Issue 1 (judges electable until age 75) and Issue 2 (people's repeal of SB5, our anti-union law) are going down to defeat at around 60% to 40%. So that's good news. Unfortunately Issue 3 looks to be winning by the same margin. Fortunately it looks like they drastically altered their language and made it very specific about health care. That language is very different from the petition I saw being circulated (it was 3 pages long). So my bad for not double checking.

On the local issues the school tried adding a levy at 3.1mils, which came to $0.39/per $100 valuation. That was defeated 59% to 41%. I'm not usually against school issues, but our local school district sold a big tax increase (7.5 mils if memory serves) to build a new school about 6 years ago. When they were selling that levy (21 years, if memory serves) they promised to not ask to renew or replace another levy (a permanent improvement levy). Well, last year that levy expired and they tried to replace it (which would up the revenue). Since that levy expired, this levy was a new one, which was slightly higher.

Linkee-poo in the morning

I thought I'd post these before some of them become the past.

Look, this kind of stuff (shooting someone photographing you), is never justified. Yes, sure, see the graffiti on the statue, hear the taunts, and I expect we'll have a press release about how the police officer was being taunted individually, but you couldn't see it on camera… but without a charge to "clear" the premises, you just don't do those sorts of things. (Pointed to by Dan)

New study links depression in fathers to behavior problems in children. Lots of stuff in there about how big D causes more problems than just affecting the person experiencing it. There's some things about insurance coverage (the insurance industry is dragging it's feet on recognizing mental health as an issue they should cover). But I also point to this as a symptom of our cultural attitudes, '"'There are countless articles on the effect of depression and other mental health problems in mothers on children, but this is… the first paper that… has looked at similar effects in fathers," said study author Dr. Michael Weitzman…'. Should I find an article on just how often women are prescribed anti-depressants when doctors can't rationalize the symptoms they are feeling? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

We don't need any silly regulations from the EPA (pointed to by Dan). And I'm sure all this "end regulation" talk has nothing to do with the prevalence of polluters who haven't cleaned up their act. Nah. Couldn't be connected.

Because, you know, nothing we do actually harms the environment. At least in the first study. A year or so later and the environment starts showing the signs of damage. (Grokked from Morgan Locke)

A satirical poll on renaming the Department of Homeland Security. (Pointed to by Dan)

Well, Gov. Kasich has pretty much lied his way around SB 5 since the beginning, did you expect him to speak the truth now? Okay, well, I can forgive him a little, because in Ohio, football is a religion. Most fans believe things that never actually happened.

The pee-cup industry must be proud of their lobbyists.

"You keep using that word (socialist). I donna think it means what you think it means." But in other positive news, as basically everybody gets that Mitt Romney will be the GOP candidate, many top conservatives are making declarations that they won't endorse any nominee. Stay classy, conservatives. It's what we like about you.

Thanks for concerning yourself with all the people out of a job, Herman Cain, but I think the world will continue to spin while you try to figure out how to counter the sexual harassment charges. And then there's the Rush ranting which really shows just how depraved his mentality is. I expect to start to hear about how "Rush is just this guy, you know" instead of a power broker within the conservative movement in 3… 2… 1… Boy, I'm glad we don't blame and villify the victim in crimes involving sex in this country. Because that would be bad. (That's irony, in case you missed it).

The morning exercise



I was number 19 at my polling station. Although I was the 18th vote counted, and nobody else was left at the polling stations. I have a feeling the Ohio turn out will be big considering on the last off year election I didn't make it to the polls until 6:30pm and I was number 17.

A slightly bittersweet ballot as this is the first time in 9 years that my name wasn't on this ballot cycle. For those new readers, I've been a Village Councilman for all that time. My term is about to expire and that would normally put me in the position of getting my name on the ballot (typically I would need to gather 25 signatures on my petition for the elections board, not exactly a high hurdle to cross). But this year only one seat is open. We're changing our form of government to include a Village Manager/Administrator, eliminating the position of Mayor, the Board of Public Affairs (our Water and Sewer Board, that's 3 seats), and two council positions (going from 7 to 5). Because of the timing of the new Charter this election we go from 3 seats to 1. I wasn't the highest vote getter, and on my cycle was the person who always received the highest vote totals of any councilman. He was running again. So I took the opportunity to get out.

Today was the first time that decision felt a little strange.

But I want my life back. I want my brain back. And I really don't want to have to care about a lot of people's insecurities and paranoias. I also am tired of the struggle against people who don't think the law should apply to them. So as of January 1, I'll be free. Like I said, it's bittersweet at the moment. I accomplished most of what I set out to do. And I feel I've given good service to the people of the Village. And frankly, my only real motivation to run again was the $400 a month, which isn't enough and isn't a good enough reason to give another 4 years of my life. I've done my bit for King and Country. In fact, I've done it twice.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Go Vote

Tomorrow is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of November which can only mean one thing.

The robocalls are about to stop. For now.

Polls in Ohio open at 6:30am and are open until 7:30pm. There are three important statewide initiatives that could use you're help in deciding their fate.

Issue 1 is all about extending the cut off age for being elected to a judgeship from 70 to 75. This may not sound like it is controversial, but it is. See, I remember the many years ago that the age limit was enacted. See, we had a number of judges on the bench that, well, just weren't all there anymore. But, because being a judge is a pretty lucrative gig, interests would make sure that certain judges would run again and again. So we, the electorate of Ohio, said, "you know, once you're over 70, you probably shouldn't run for a judgeship again. Typical length of service term, 6 years. So if you're elected at 70, you'll still be on the bench until you're 76.

Why is this on the ballot? The main argument is that we'll be losing some of our best, most experienced judges for no good reason except the age limit. But, if that is the case, why not just remove the age limit. After all, won't the judge have even more experience on the court at 76? What this is really on there for is that the conservative majority on the Ohio Supreme Court are about to age out. Given that once a judge is elected, they're most often re-elected (the judge elections tend to have the lowest number of people actually voting). So this is a stalling action to get conservative judges in place to keep control of the Supreme Court.

Issue 2 is the repeal of SB5, Ohio's anti-collective bargaining law. The pro-SB5 side has been touting that it'll save money, that public union employees make too much (and, like the crabs in the bucket, don't you want to tear them down), and unions have too much power. They're mostly talking about the 2 provisions that have the most support in Ohio, making union members contribute to their health care (15%) and pensions (10%). The thing is, some unions would love it if those were the caps, because they pay more. In fact, nearly 90% of public unions pay that amount or more.

So what's it really all about? It's about removing the rights of workers. See, back in the 80s after several disastrous public union strikes, the law was rewritten to force union and management into binding arbitration to settle their disputes. At the time, management thought that with arbitration they would win more of their fights (they would often lose in the courts, which would lead to the strikes). So they rigged the selection of the arbiters to force decisions to go their way. Thing is, it didn't work out that. The unions continued to win 80%+ of their cases, even with the system rigged against them. For the pay comparison, when you adjust for the education levels required, public employees make less (even with the outrageous adjustments the American Enterprise Institute gave to the "intangibles", which put the union employees ahead of even the general working populace instead of behind them when you just look at pay). SB5 says that if there is a dispute, it is settled by management. There is no appeal, and the right to strike is abolished. This is what's known as, "you'll take what we want to give you, and you'll like it." And don't believe for a second that once the public unions are broken, the conservatives won't come for you (that's how general worker "pay" is lower than public union "pay" - ie. adjusted with a extra 10% because of job stability). This is the war on the middle class.

Issue 3 is about stopping Obamacare. Only, it has no chance. We'll get back to that. Issue 3 is very broadly written and would essentially halt any new regulations (and potentially laws) that would come into enforcement after May, 2010. That would include the new exotic animal regulations the governor is looking at putting into place. It would also ban any new Ohio EPA enforcement, changes to law enforcement, and several other things. I was asked to sign a petition for Issue 3, and so read the full amendment. It's a "sovereign citizen" amendment. See, there are several ultra-conservative movements in Ohio that would love to throw off the shackles of any government (no licenses, no law enforcement, no regulations, no taxes, blah blah blah). They've killed several law enforcement officers in the past decade.

So why won't it work? Okay, well, there are 3 potential outcomes. One, the issue doesn't pass. In that case, we're at square one. The other two invovle the issue passing. If the issue passes, all that other stuff comes along. It'll be hell in Ohio. I won't say anarchy, but it will severely hobble any government control or law enforcement. It'll be open season to violate the law, pollute the water, earth, and atmosphere, and allow unbridled exploitation of our natural resources. Since the main thrust of this issue is to stop the government from mandating you purchase health insurance. It would stop the state from enacting a similar law, like in Massachusetts. The only difference will be in how the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare. If they rule it unconstitutional, well, you won't be forced to by health insurance. But you'll also get all those other bad effects as well. Now, if the Supremes uphold Obamacare, well, you're going to have to buy health insurance. Why? It's called the Supremacy Clause. See, a State can't nullify a Federal Law. Take California for example. They passed a medical marijuana law. So state authorities have their hands tied in enforcing criminal marijuana violations. However, the Feds still can. For years they looked the other way, as long as people obeyed the rules. Now that California marijuana is showing up in other states the Feds have taken a renewed interest in shutting down commercial growers. Because a State law can't override or nullify a Federal law.

You would think since the proponents of Issue 3 claim they love the Constitution they would know that.

So, tomorrow, you need to go out and vote. And that way we can get on to the Presidential 2012 elections.

Linkee-poo says "get out and vote"

John Joseph Adams levels up by buying Fantasy and Lightspeed magazines (of which he was the editor). Congrats, John. We expect good things. (Grokked from Camille Alexa)

Ken McConnell release his latest novel, Starforgers. It's a steal at $2.99 (and then it will be $4.99).

Well, given that the coverup conspiracy theorists who started the "tell us all you know about ET's on Earth, Obama" petition already think there is a coverup, this probably won't mollify them at all. (Grokked from Teresa Nielsen Hayden)

"Thompson notes that several studies point to the issue that high school and college digital natives are really wretched at searching. They are not in the habit of thinking critically about information. The do not assess the credibility of their sources." Yes, that. I can't tell you how many discussions I've had surrounding this. My wife teaches this in some of her classes. She often used the Dihydrogen Monoxide warning site as an example. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Dear conservative activist groups, including the Family Research Council, you look like idiots when you not only support, but honor deadbeat dads by giving them your "100%" certification. I think you don't understand your actual values. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Eugenics programs surviving until the 70s? You want to be afraid of the government, there you go. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Linkee-poo wants to shout, "It's not even Thanksgiving, yet"

"The move to an ownership to a 'rentership society' has been proceeding apace, and nowhere more rapidly than in media. Books have been a holdout, but that's just changed." A little squib on Amazon's ebook "rental." Not sure that's true, just because a company announces a service doesn't mean it ever works out how they planned. Just ask BoA about the $5 a month debt card fee. Look, libraries didn't kill book ownership. Radio (even satellite radio) didn't kill music sales. eBook rental works for the business niche the Kindle fits. I see some sales going away, but I don't see it as a game changer at all. I see it as addressing the "impermanence" factor that ebooks have. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

You know, if only government would just get out of the way, reduce (read: eliminate) regulations and let the market decide all would be right with the world and we could hire more workers. You know, to replace the ones that we killed because they ate the food. And if they couldn't afford insurance, well, that's just their fault. (Grokked from Morgan J. Locke)

A webmd article on sitting too long being an adverse health (in this case cancer) risk. That's one of the problems with my current job, and the classes. I spend way too much time butt-in-chair (but not for writing). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Eric with his take on Jim Wright's post about OWS. Eric is very right about his explanation of the Civil Rights movement. And Dr. King only looks like a moderate voice of reason in comparison to Malcom X and the Black Panthers (and organization with enough cultural resonance that in the last election the appearance of two operatives at an election station sent the conservatives into an apoplectic fit that lasted three years). Ghandi, too, had the foil of more violent operatives seeking independence for India.

Dangerous minds with a long rant on how Blue states subsidize Red states and how that's contrary to the views of the people in those states (lumping states into ideology camps based on majority political party registration and voting). There's a lot of truth in there. Like how the major economic engines of Europe are also the most unionized and have the least amount of income disparity (note our greatest economic expansion in the last century also matched to this set of values). (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Tweet of my heart: @jeremiahtolbert: I just learned the latin equivalent of "ownzored" is "Vos facta mea bona." Shouting that on x-box live next time I shoot someone.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Linkee-poo sees no reason gunpowder treason should ever be forgot

An interview with William Gibson. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Jay Lake on writing Endurance (different from writing endurance, which Jay also has), being surprised by your own work, and integrating life experiences.

A Politifact Ohio report on that "public workers make 43%" (Pro SB5) commercial. I could write a whole dissertation based on the American Enterprise Institute's (the organization that released the figure) assumptions that helped them get to that figure (note, for straight pay to pay, public workers earn 2.5% less than private workers, and then that's not even comparing equal education and licensure requirements). "Mostly False". Yeah, that about sums up most of the Pro SB 5 side of the argument.

Some new reports on fracking (hydraulic fracturing) causing earthquakes. There's also concern surrounding a well just south of Youngstown that's been hit by a series of quakes after a well was fracked. But don't worry, it's all "perfectly safe." Say, did you know that most of your drinking water (if you're in Ohio) is sourced from archaic water resources? Those underground rivers of century old water run just a little bit above the shale layer. But I'm sure there's nothing to worry about.

Juan Cole with a little future prediction about global climate change and a lot of links for how far "green" energy has come lately. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

The Pew Charitable Trusts updates their high cost of long-term unemployment study. Note that as you get older, you're more likely to be unemployed longer. If you want to know why I'm going through hell to get another degree, it's that chart right there. I'm in an industry where 35 if often considered "too old" and "out of touch".

As he often does, Jim Wright channels much of my own thoughts on the morphing of OWS. I've posted a lot of links showing the frustration (and the numbers of why that frustration is well founded) of the OWS movement. And, in truth, my heart is with them. But for reasons Jim points out, you probably won't see me at any of their events. For me, there are triggers that would get me out (in several directions, actually), but right now I'm content to watch and see what evolves out of it. I think the people who started it had great intentions, but the movement is growing beyond them, and I'm not all that sure what kind of seed they planted. It's sort of how I felt about the Tea Party at the beginning (don't we all want lower taxes and less government intrusion?), however they quickly showed the darker side of their movement (IMHO), and I couldn't support their goals.

And here you can tell me that "without your support/commitment, the OWS will never be able to achieve what they/you want." Yeah. I've heard that before. I've done my bit for King and Country. I tilt at the windmills of my choosing, and right now I'm too busy to get distracted once again. Show me I can trust you, and you'll get me out (that's one of the triggers).

And speaking of TPers, you know that whole, "they're calling us bad names" meme they like to run. Yeah, you all started it first. (And a nice reaction by Elizabeth Warren, of course that's our weakness as bleeding heart liberals, we try to understand where you're coming from).

Robert Reich on how OWS has already succeeded. "The old view was anyone could make it in America with enough guts and gumption. Being rich was proof of hard work -- and lack of money proof of indolence or worse. But hard work doesn't seem to pay off as it once did. Instead, to an increasing number of Americans the game seems rigged in favor of people who are already rich and powerful." Reason #3 why I'm no longer a Republican (or I should say, the major political shift in my thinking came about when I realized that last sentence's revelation).

Oh, and about that "highest corporate taxes in world" thing. Yeah, not so much. While the nominal rate is 35%, most companies pay way less, if they pay anything at all.

"'Our conference is opposed to tax hikes, because we believe that tax hikes will hurt our economy and put Americans back to work,' Boehner said." I believe that's the classic definition of a Freudian Slip.