Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Horse-Dog Jake: 1999-2011

His hips have been bad for years (a problem dogs his size are prone to), but in the last few months, it's been getting harder and harder for him to stand up, or even go up one step without falling down.

He had good days and bad days, but it was pretty obvious that soon it would be nothing but bad days, and I didn't want to watch him have to go through that. Better to go out with a little bit of his dignity intact.

I thought I was handling it fine, then I noticed all those nose-prints he left on the patio's sliding glass door, and thought about cleaning them off. For the last time.

I thought the hard part was going to be self-doubt & second-guessing over the timing of my decision - should I maybe have let him have some more of those good days?

Turns out the hard part is that I just miss having him around.

Pretty Much Useless

Story about shortages of drugs. Turns out they're mostly old, unprofitable ones that companies don't make anymore because companies that don't make profits don't stay companies very long. Then nobody gets ANY drugs.

And here's the inevitable "we're from the government and we're here to help you" solution:
Also, pending legislation would require manufacturers to give FDA advance notice of problems such as manufacturing delays that might trigger a shortage. The FDA cannot force a company to make a drug, but was able to prevent 38 close calls from turning into shortages last year by speeding approval of manufacturing changes or urging competing companies to get ready to meet a shortfall.

So, they want to create an additional, burdensome, paperwork requirement on manufacturers when the problem in (we can only assume) 37 of the 38 "close calls" was burdensome paperwork requirements on manufacturers.

Tell me again why we need the FDA?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

This Isn't Stupid, This Is Science

Via The Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys:

[YouTube direct link]

If you're one of the people who watch this and ask "why?", the are four answers.

First, it's repeated experiments in the science of materials testing. Until you stress a material to its breaking point, you cannot know its strength or reliability. One typical procedure is to use an impact test - repeatedly striking samples of a material with an object of known weight and density until the sample fails.

In this case, they're testing modern plastics. In my youth, most plastics were either too soft or too brittle for construction, so I did most of my testing with cardboard boxes and wooden pallets. Also, I lived a block away from a Montgomery Ward and they threw away large appliance boxes nearly every day.

Second, they're investigating crash-test safety ratings. Does a plastic garbage can provide any protection against pedestrian impacts with stationary objects? More importantly, if so, how much?

Third, physiological pain tolerance. To quote Lt. Callahan, "a man's got to know his limitations". Using the 0 to 10 pain scale, subjects separate intolerate impacts from tolerable ones so that the intolerable ones can be recognized and avoided in the future.

Fourth, it's fun.

Boy-science - it rules.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Racial Bias? Toughen Up, Buckaroo

Short version: white folks are starting to perceive a pattern of anti-white bias in society. You can read about the inexcusably unscientific study here. (Note: NEVER trust a survey with a sample size under 1000. Ever. It's the one thing I learned in college statistics.)

Anyway, Caucasian-Americans... yeah, that's awful, but you know what? Tough. Get over it. Same advice I give blacks complaining about bias.

EVERYONE'S got obstacles to overcome.

Me, for example. I ain't no rock star, I ain't no supermodel. On a good day, I qualify as fair-to-homely, plagued by bad dentistry and a receding hairline. Most times, I've got all the social graces of a headlight-struck deer. Generally I remind people of that dweeb in Chess Club they used to beat up in high school. And if you went to my high school, I probably was.

But so what?

I make do with what I got, fix what I can, and try to spend most of my time where I'm wanted.

If you're a little boy who cries "bias", my advice is to stop being a Whiny Walter, put on your big boy pants and focus on getting what you want out of life. If what you're doing ain't doing it, try doing something else. Repeat until you either get what you want or die trying.

If you think you're failing because everyone's against you, well, chances are the problem isn't everyone. It's you.

Finally, spend less time taking surveys about racial bias, and more time chasing your dreams.

Broke Another Irony Meter

You can tell this was a government-funded project:
Drivers in San Francisco can easily find a parking spot with the help of a phone app that will show information about areas with available spaces.
City officials advise drivers to pull over first before they use the city’s iPhone app.
Guys?... if people had a place to pull over, they wouldn't need an app to help them find a parking spot.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Basil Envy

Basil's always going on & on about how fun & awesome Angry Birds is, but I know it's just an app, and since my cell phone still has a rotary dial, I don't get to play.

Sure, they make a version for Windows, but they charge money for it.

And why do that when I hear from a reputable source that I've never heard of before (hey, it's on the internet, what's not to trust?) that there are at least 6 free online games that are in the same vein.

Of those, I liked Crush the Castle 2, Sieger, and Cannibal Casserole best. Those kept me amused enough to keep pushing through the frustrating tricky parts all the way to the end.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Crash Test Kittens

I found this amusing.

[YouTube direct link]

Strangely, it appears that some folks in the comments to this video seriously think it's a form of animal abuse.

These people have obviously never played with real live kittens. Or cats.

I have, and here's the applicable rule:

If it doesn't make the cat bite, scratch, hiss, or bolt from the room, it's not abuse.

If the cat is still purring afterwards, it's DEFINITELY not abuse.

Depending on the cat, at my house, abuse does not include such things as: manually-assisted backflips, being hoisted by the tail from the floor to a lap, paddling, and being tail-dangled (with head-scratches).

Yes, cats are weird. Roll with it.

Successfully Reached Old Age

I've been putting this day off for a while, but I finally couldn't stand to look at foot-high grass-tufts anymore.

So I mowed the lawn for the first time this year.

While I was doing that, 2 boys, probably brothers, probably about 8 & 10 years old, walked past me on the sidewalk, pushing & shoving each over, as boys do.

Next time I look up, they're still pushing & shoving, but they're doing it standing on my lawn.

I felt an uncontrollable urge to yell at them to "get off my lawn!".

Which I controlled.

But it doesn't matter, because it's too late. A line has been crossed, and there's no going back. This is how it begins.

And we all know this is how it ends:

[YouTube direct link]

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Low Salt Diet Will Kill You

Ok, this tears it.

I'm ignoring any and all medical advice regarding my diet, and I'm going to eat whatever I want - in moderate portions - and just keep an eye on the bathroom scale so I don't have to buy bigger pants.

[storms off to fridge to eat a stick of butter]

Update on Oil Subsidies

I told you that the "oil subsidies" Obama wants to eliminate weren't actually subsidies.

I stand vindicated.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Disgust Myself - UPDATED 5-2-11

Osama bin Laden is dead.

Yet I find myself taking no joy in this fact, because I can't stand the thought that Obama will get credit for it.

And the fact that I am so jaded and cynical and petty makes me very sad.

I guess the problem is that, considering what he's done to the country I love for the last 2 years, and considering that Bin Laden has LONG been marginalized to being just a figurehead who did nothing but put out an occasional audio tape, I just have to say...

It wasn't worth it.

If I could have my country's freedom back and a real leader who unashamedly loved America in the White House, I'd gladly let Osama die of old age in a feather bed surrounded by people who loved him.

UPDATE 5-2-11:

Feeling a little better now.

I remember back in 2003, watching some news show talking about how Arabs all over the Middle East were so utterly stunned and broken, stumbling about in shocked disbelief at the idea that the proud and fabled city of Baghdad could ever fall under the weaponry of the West - let alone so quickly. They were deflated, mortified, and sick with the misery of ignoble defeat.

After listening to my boss talk about the topic for 3 hours, I came to realize that it's happening again. The myth and the legend of the wily, elusive Osama bin Laden - the man who thumbed his nose at the West with impunity for a decade - well, he turned out not to be bulletproof. The Americans shot the filthy degenerate in the face and fed his fetid corpse to the sharks.

And once again, there is the sweet, sweet sound of Muslim terrorists weeping in despair.

I bless the German language for their gift to us of the word schadenfreude.

Obligated to Speak Up

Some atheists want atheism represented among military chaplains.

As a non-evangelical atheist, I denounce these morons and their cause.

When Yoda Told Luke That He Must Learn Control, He Meant Be Like This Guy

[YouTube direct link]

Ok, I admit, I skimmed through it a bit, since he makes it look so easy I found my attention drifting, but be sure to at least watch the last 90 seconds in real time.

Off-topic-ish, I'd have thought that exercising that amount of self control for 8 minutes would've had him sweating buckets, but he seems pretty dry.

Really, It Could've Gone Either Way

There are two ways to fuse country music with rap.

There's Charlie Daniels.

Then there's this guy.

Just kidding.

He's into Botswana's heavy metal scene.

No, seriously.

Just Wanted to Say Thanks

To George Bush for ending this monster's life.

You think Saddam was a sick, sadistic, warmonger with dreams of nuking Israel?

Meet Uday Hussein, Iraq's alternate future:

[YouTube direct link]

There's More Than One Rule

From Very Demotivational:

Darwin Award? Nope.

Yes, I'm well aware of the fundamental gun safety rules that you always treat a gun as loaded, and you never point a gun at anything you're not willing to destroy.

However, she IS following the fundamental gun safety rule of keeping her finger outside the trigger guard until she's ready to fire.

She's perfectly safe right now.

Perhaps not for long, because she's hanging out with a moron who'd rather take this picture than coach her up on rock-bottom-basic firearm safety, but still...

Perfectly safe right now.

Breaking Training

I've been married for 12 years, and I'm not an idiot, so I know there are certain words that a man is NOT allowed to say.


But sometimes principle overpowers conditioning, and this is one of those times, so I'm saying it.

"Honey, that dress makes your butt look fat."