Went to Rodizio’s today with Evil Twin et famille to celebrate him getting his Master’s. Nuclear Enginneering. It’s now his responsibility to provide the rest of us with superpowers.
Rodizio Grill is basically The Parade of Meat. It’s brought to you on a skewer, fresh from the grill, and you have a pair of tongs with which to get your serving as they slice it. And not just one kind of meat, but beef, fowl and pork, all in an endless conga line. There were a couple different cuts of beef, there were two different marinaded chicken, there was bacon-wrapped turkey, there was ham (make sure you get the ham together with the grilled pineapple) and there was sausage.
It’s the sort of place where you will eat until you can no longer feel your left arm. I lost contact with mine around noon, although there have been a few signals from it since then, and it expect to be fully back on line by dinner. Tuesday.
Ironically, I’m going to a vegetarian place with another couple friends tomorrow for lunch. Out of the frying pan, into the salad, I guess. Fortunately, I’m an omnivore.
Let it be admitted at the outset that I have the fashion sense of a particularly slow species of mineral. My (work) wardrobe is almost entirely black slacks with solid-colored (or simply patterned) shirts so I can’t screw up combining things.
That said, I still have to wonder how pince nez went out of fashion.
Maybe I should back up a little here.
I finally got new glasses a month and a half ago, which are great for reading and great for distance viewing… but not so good for the range my computer screen is at. So I need to have a second pair made with my computer prescription.
Somewhere along the way (during one of my steampunky moments, I suppose), I decided I’d like to have my computer glasses be pince nez rather than regular glasses. I don’t know why, I just did. So I found a vintage pair on eBay…
…and have been immediately converted by just how amazingly comfortable they are to wear. I haven’t had the new lenses fitted yet (still pricing around on those), but the ones I got came with colored glass lenses (for use as sunglasses) and they feel fantastic, they’re light as a feather, secure as anything (surviving even a sneezing fit without wobbling loose from my nose) and in my opinion look great. How did they ever go out of style?
Today should have been Douglas Adams’ 61st birthday. I’m celebrating it at work listening to the audio from this video taken at UCSB not long before his death.
Personally, I recommend doing something today that reminds you of your place in the universe — which is perhaps not so small as the Total Perspective Vortex might suggest.
Clearly, this is a bipartisan issue if ever there was one. Time (no pun intended) to do away with DST once and for all. It serves no purpose anymore, other than screwing up millions of people’s lives twice a year.
I think the single most fascinating thing is that this is the first conclave I can think of where the College of Cardinals has been able to get the feel of the public well before the actual voting starts.
Whether or not that’s happening, I don’t know, but they don’t exist in a vacuum. I have to wonder how many are at least aware of the betting sites and commentary and all, and how much some of them will weigh public expectations when they fill in their slip of paper.
I think the pre-conclave buzz over Turkson is probably hurting him now. I don’t think the Europeans can coalesce around a single candidate to elect a European, and the strongest European candidate, Schoenborn, is probably hurt by being an Austrian — too close to another German. I doubt strongly that the Italians can ‘reclaim’ the office. I expect the next pope will be young (at least relatively), and more a pastor than a professor. Personally, I think it will be Braz de Aviz of Brazil, or Tagle of the Philippines, but handicapping a Conclave is not unlike Kremlinology in the 1980s — guesswork on a good day.
I’ve been idly wondering about the regnal name — all I can say for certain is that it won’t be Peter II. I expect it won’t be John Paul III or Benedict XVII — those names are going to both have a cool-down period, I think. I shouldn’t be too surprised if there’s a John XXIV by the end of the month. Something simple and accessible.
I’m going to be 50 this year, and it really doesn’t scare me, not the way 40 did. I got the ol’ salt and pepper going, I wear bifocals, I take glucosamine supplements to keep my knees from sounding like Rice Krispies, and my digestion isn’t what it was 20 years ago, and in gay years it means I’m already dead, but you know what? If this is going-on-50, it doesn’t suck. Mentally, I still feel twenty-something, and I feel like I still have half my life ahead of me rather than most of it over with.
Heh. Back when I was going on 40, I kept seeing things saying ’40 is the new 30!’
Now I’m seeing ’50 is the new 30!’
Well, hell, if I can just keep resetting to 30 every ten years, I don’t mind that. Anyone care to wager if 60 will be the new 30 in ten years?
I will say this: there are a few things I want to live long enough to see.
I want to see equal marriage rights across the country. I give it about a 65% chance of happening this year or next, depending on when the cases hit the Supreme Court.
I want to see another manned landing on the Moon, and I don’t care which country does it. I give it 75% within the next 15 years. I want to live to see us reach Mars with people rather than robots. 40% within the next 30 years.
I want to see microbial life discovered on another planet or moon in our system. I give it 50% for Mars (once we get a mission to where the water is — permafrost, polar caps, or northern frozen sea if that theory pans out), 60% for Europa, and 15% for Titan. Everything we’ve seen about life just on our own planet is that once it gets a foothold, it doesn’t let go and it will find a way to make a living. As long as Mars’ climate change from warm and wet to cold and dry wasn’t catastrophic, I think any life that arose early on found a way to adapt. It won’t be more than microbes, but microbes would be enough. Europa, we need to get under the ice. It’s quite possible, maybe even likely, that the tidal stress Jupiter puts on it is enough to keep its core molten and therefore it should have an active geology — see Io — which means something quite like the black smokers in the Atlantic are likely there. If microbial life ever took hold, it’s had plenty of time to become multicellular, and maybe even more complex. As for Titan, I’d love to have something turn up there just to see life based on something other than water. It’s not likely… but something has to explain the excess acetylene in its atmosphere, and life is a possible source for that. You have a solvent and an energy source… whether it was enough to ever start anything, I don’t know, but if it did, wouldn’t cold methane life be an astonishing and awesome thing to be able to study?
I want one confirmed SETI signal. Given the size of the galaxy and all the other variables involved (I think the most difficult is: will we even recognize it when we see it?), I’m going to give it 1% within the next 50 years — but 100% within the next thousand.
I’d also like a MegaMillions hit. I put the odds of that at 0+ε% :)
John Kasich is determined to prove that he’s an idiot. I mean, we already knew it, but he actually seems proud of it and wants everyone to know.
I mean, what else is one to think when he goes about claiming that those who oppose his policies will have to answer to god for that?
Excuse me? What’s next, John — The Holy Office of the Westerville Inquisition? I have heard some horrible things come out of politicians’ mouths, but he’s just said that he expects his political opponents will go to Hell — for having the temerity to oppose him. I haven’t figured out yet if that’s hubris or a genuine mental breakdown.
The next gubernatorial election can’t come soon enough. The Democrats could nominate a broken lava lamp and I’d vote for it, at this point. It’s a shame we don’t have a recall provision in this state. Kasich needs to go, the sooner the better — as of now, I genuinely doubt his mental stability.
So the NRA has released their own ‘Enemies List’, and I’m disappointed to not find myself on there by association. I suppose I’ll just have to add myself.
I don’t know how the oversight was made, but I was not included among your enemies. Please rectify the error promptly.
Because you shill for the gun manufacturers without a care for the gun victims, I am your enemy.
Because you consider even the mildest, most common sense gun laws to mean that Federal ‘jack-booted thugs’ or UN black helicopters are just around the corner, I am your enemy.
Because you hold gun ownership to be more important than gun safety and gun responsibility, I am your enemy.
Because you continue to deliberately misquote the Second Amendment which, despite your efforts, still begins with the phrase “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”, I am your enemy. It is not, and never was, simply “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Because you cast yourselves as the “real victims” whenever there’s a(nother) gun tragedy, I am your enemy.
Because you lie about both the problem and the solution, I am your enemy.
Hope that clears everything up.
December 22 should become Blithering Idiots’ Day, to remind us of the pointless, needless and timewasting hype dedicated to the Mayan apocalypse that, of course, did not happen yesterday. Its patron saint, if it needs one, can be Harold Camping.
All we really need to know about eschatology is that every prediction about the end of the world in the history of humankind has been wrong. With a 100% failure rate, it really is time to give up that game.
I wonder how many people (especially the whiny sore losers posting petitions to secede) appreciate just how magnificent a document our Constitution is. The First Amendment is a particular gem:
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.
It is with the ‘petition the Government for a redress of grievances’ I want to get into here. The White House website has a petition website for precisely that purpose. They range from the sensible to the inane to the insane, but that’s the nature of the public commons.
Anyway, they recommend that the title complete this sentence: “We Petition the Obama Administration To…” so I did:
Take further steps against voter suppression
Since 2000, there has been a rise in voter suppression tactics across the nation.
Caging lists are used to purge legitimate voters from the system, often only on the basis of a single piece of returned mail. These lists frequently target districts that are minority, or have a history of favoring one party over the other.
Voter ID laws are being passed across the country, ostensibly to prevent voter fraud. However, a recent study has determined that in-person voter fraud is an essentially non-existent problem, with only ten cases since 2000 out of approximately 600,000,000 votes cast across the country.
The negative effects of voter ID laws are expected to fall disproportionately heavily on minority voters, especially if there is a fee to receive the ID card. Since this constitutes a fee in order to vote, this is unconstitutional under the 24th Amendment.
We the undersigned ask the government to do the following:
- Constitutionally challenge voter ID laws which levy any fee of any kind
- Vigorously enforce the anti-caging provisions of the National Voter Registration Act
- Explore setting minimum national standards for voting with regard to ballot types, accessibility, and especially with regard to certification of voting machines
- Require that the software on voting machines used in federal elections be open source, so that the process is wholly transparent and less open to manipulation
- Mandate that paper ballots should be available upon voter request
- Designate Election Day a federal holiday, or commit to a Constitutional amendment moving Election Day to a Saturday or Sunday, perhaps the first Saturday after the first Monday in November, which would retain the current range of Nov. 2-8. No one should have to choose between their job and their right to vote.
We believe that the problems with democracy can only be solved by more democracy.
This was the full version I wrote up — there is, however, an 800 character limit so the actual text was abbreviated. I have posted my petition here; whether it reaches 25,000 in the time frame given, I don’t know. I can but hope.