Owlish Mutterings
I'm going to check to see if I have any stock in the company that makes McAfee virus protection, and if so sell it immediately. I'm using my dad's computer, which has an out of date version, and a popup window is coming up about every 2 minutes telling me to buy the current version. I want programs to protect me from this, not to encourage it.

New car, Dodge Ram to be precise. I'm 99% sure I like it, but it's been a while since I drove a truck as my only car. The main problem is even if I had infinite amounts of money, I don't know what car I would want.

In His World
Ok, this is the greatest chapter ever.

I want to say something inspiring and encouraging to this, but I can't. Bleh. [The Captain America comment].

Shuttle Launch
Started Spider Robinson's Calahan's Key this afternoon; it contains a quite realistic description of a shuttle launch. Basically, a combination of "Hey this is really cool" and "Been there, done that, will do it again." That reaction, of course, was the reaction of the background; the main character is more like "WOW!!!!!!!"

Movie meme
Via Jen Speaks, via Llamabutchers, from TexasBestGrok: Top 100 grossing movies of all time, ones I saw in the theatre in bold, ones I have seen elsewhere in italics. Ones in italics I am sure I have seen the entire movie; there are a few that I've seen bits of but not the whole thing. 1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,8242. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665 3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459 4. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) $431,065,444 5. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375 6. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003) $377,019,252 7. Passion of the Christ, The (2004) $370,025,697 8. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000 9. Shrek 2 (2004) $356,211,000 10. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002) $340,478,898 11. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367 12. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196 13. Lion King, The (1994) $328,423,001 14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) $317,557,891 15. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001) $313,837,577 16. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) $310,675,583 17. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) $309,125,409 18. Independence Day (1996) $306,124,059 19. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) $305,411,224 20. Sixth Sense, The (1999) $293,501,675 21. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) $290,158,751 22. Home Alone (1990) $285,761,243 23. Matrix Reloaded, The (2003) $281,492,479 24. Shrek (2001) $267,652,016 25. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) $261,970,615 26. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) $260,031,035 27. Jaws (1975) $260,000,000 28. Monsters, Inc. (2001) $255,870,172 29. Batman (1989) $251,188,924 30. Men in Black (1997) $250,147,615 31. Toy Story 2 (1999) $245,823,397 32. Bruce Almighty (2003) $242,589,580 33. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $242,374,454 34. Twister (1996) $241,700,000 35. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) $241,437,427 36. Ghost Busters (1984) $238,600,000 37. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) $234,760,500 38. Cast Away (2000) $233,630,478 39. Lost World: Jurassic Park, The (1997) $229,074,52440. Signs (2002) $227,965,690 41. Rush Hour 2 (2001) $226,138,454 42. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) $219,200,000 43. Ghost (1990) $217,631,306 44. Aladdin (1992) $217,350,219 45. Saving Private Ryan (1998) $216,119,491 46. Mission: Impossible II (2000) $215,397,307 47. X2 (2003) $214,948,780 48. Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) $213,079,163 49. Back to the Future (1985) $210,609,762 50. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) $205,399,422 51. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) $204,843,350 52. Exorcist, The (1973) $204,565,000 53. Mummy Returns, The (2001) $202,007,640 54. Armageddon (1998) $201,573,391 55. Gone with the Wind (1939) $198,655,278 56. Pearl Harbor (2001) $198,539,855 57. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) $197,171,806 58. Toy Story (1995) $191,800,000 59. Men in Black II (2002) $190,418,803 60. Gladiator (2000) $187,670,866 61. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) $184,925,485 62. Dances with Wolves (1990) $184,208,848 63. Batman Forever (1995) $184,031,112 64. Fugitive, The (1993) $183,875,760 65. Ocean's Eleven (2001) $183,405,771 66. What Women Want (2000) $182,805,123 67. Perfect Storm, The (2000) $182,618,434 68. Liar Liar (1997) $181,395,380 69. Grease (1978) $181,360,000 70. Jurassic Park III (2001) $181,166,115 71. Mission: Impossible (1996) $180,965,237 72. Planet of the Apes (2001) $180,011,740 73. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) $179,870,271 74. Pretty Woman (1990) $178,406,268 75. Tootsie (1982) $177,200,000 76. Top Gun (1986) $176,781,728 77. There's Something About Mary (1998) $176,483,808 78. Ice Age (2002) $176,387,405 79. Crocodile Dundee (1986) $174,635,000 80. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) $173,585,516 81. Elf (2003) $173,381,405 82. Air Force One (1997) $172,888,056 83. Rain Man (1988) $172,825,435 84. Apollo 13 (1995) $172,071,312 85. Matrix, The (1999) $171,383,253 86. Beauty and the Beast (1991) $171,301,428 87. Tarzan (1999) $171,085,177 88. Beautiful Mind, A (2001) $170,708,996 89. Chicago (2002) $170,684,505 90. Three Men and a Baby (1987) $167,780,960 91. Meet the Parents (2000) $166,225,040 92. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) $165,500,000 93. Hannibal (2001) $165,091,464 94. Catch Me If You Can (2002) $164,435,221 95. Big Daddy (1999) $163,479,795 96. Sound of Music, The (1965) $163,214,286 97. Batman Returns (1992) $162,831,698 98. Bug's Life, A (1998) $162,792,677 99. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) $161,963,000 100. Waterboy, The (1998) $161,487,252 Ok, several points. (1)Pretty much anything on this list that is an action movie, I saw in the theatre. Pretty much anything on that list that is both a "children's movie" and animated, I have seen or will see sometime in the future. Everything else I have little desire to see. (2)How on earth did The Waterboy end up on that list?? (3) I once went out with a woman that thought Gone with the Wind was the greatest movie of all time. Fortunately, I didn't go out with her long enough to see it. (4) There are several movies on that list that my parents recommended I go see, that I haven't. Pearl Harbor, Passion were the biggies.

Still can't find manual. Car may be in better shape than I thought. Bad:Good::Good wins. Many strange dreams in the last few days. One with Nazis having won WW2, ruled the US, but with very few symbols around. I have no idea what the point was.

I've gotten to the point that I want to reformat my hard drive. Unfortunately, I can't find the stupid manual with the stupid serial number. Bleh.

Male Beauty
There's been something of a thread about men, their general tendencies towards slovenliness, and why on The Volokh Conspiracy, with comments on Instapundit and Sullivan. Part of the question is do both men and women who are attracted to men as a sexual object get attracted to the same thing? Undoubtedly there are differences between a women's attractiveness to a heterosexual male, but are those similar between the sexes? I may have to do some research.

Good news: quite a find at half price books. Bad news: car dying. Bad news wins.

Rego Mentem
Stephen den Beste has a post discussing basically various thought experiments involving body, mind, soul, and identity. For the record, not that it has any importance in the real world, in the roleplaying game Ars Magica it is possible for a mage to switch minds with someone else; the soul specifically doesn't switch [because the soul is beyond the reach of Hermetic magic].

Who wants to live forever?
Clayton Cramer discusses one of Glenn's columns:
As you get older, your high hopes and ambitions inevitably collapse around you. The wonders of travel turn into a series of disappointments. Your high hopes for your children come crashing down, especially when you discover the moral ugliness of the culture in which you are raising them.
Two thoughts: (1)I don't want to live to 150 if I have moderate Alzheimer's at 80. (2)I just spent 10 years of my life learning stuff for a career I'm not sure I want. If I knew I was going to work until 200, my thoughts on skill training would be very different. That's what always got me when people talk about "saving lives;" [in a medical context, not a religious context]; everyone eventually dies, so enjoyment of life calculations to me always made more sense than lifespan calculations. Obviously not everyone feels the same way, and apparently Mr Cramer feels increased lifespan is a bad thing. You know, antidepressants can be quite helpful in some situations...

Pursuit of Happiness
Via Sullivan, a fun blog to spend more time on.

Media Bias
Via Instapundit, Vodkapundit discusses a study on media perception. It's a side note, but telling. The movie reviewer in the Houston Chronicle last week gave an A to Supersize Me, a F to Van Helsing. Now, I have seen Van Helsing, and not Supersize Me. However, it seems to me that one is yet another fictional tale, and the other is a fictional tale at least with some references to good literature. On the other hand, what's with the Bond references? An omni-religious Q branch run by the 18th century Catholic Church?

Summerland 2
Oh yeah, I tried to watch the second episode. Annoying enough that I turned it off after 5 minutes. Oh well.

Well, I haven't posted in a couple of days, partially because I don't have anything riveting to say, and partially because my main computer is infected with a worm or virus or something. It's annoying, but I have been more productive.

Morbid Thoughts
Death My Dad's dad died when my dad was a teenager. He was older than my grandmother, but not by a huge amount. My Mother's mother passed away about a month ago. She was in a lot of pain, her quality of life was pretty poor, and she was ready to die [she called her pastor, and told him so]. My dad's mother and aunt died several years ago. One had alzheimer's but physically was doing pretty well, one was physically gone but mentally ok. They were living together, and after one died the other died quite quickly. Growing up, one classmate died of cancer [I think a lymphoma]. I remember him as quiet and have almost no clear memories of him. One classmate lost it and killed his parents. A couple years later I talked to someone who claimed information that made it even more tragic. One classmate, who was a pretty close friend in middle school, died in the last year. This is projection, but I have to wonder if he was gay and died of AIDS. In college, one of my fraternity brothers lost his grandfather[I think], who had essentially raised him. I remember sitting on a couch in the chapter room, being completely unable to think of something helpful to say. Throughout my medical career I have had patients die. Probably the one that had the biggest effect on me happened during my internship, during a family medicine inpatient rotation. Earlier in the month this woman had come into the hospital, had been treated, and released. On the last day of the rotation she came in, comatose, needing a machine to breathe [I think]. I ended up staying the night in the ICU, alone except for the nurses, waiting for this woman's heart to stop so I could call a code. That was a long night. It didn't happen, and we declared her brain dead the next day and took her off the respirator. I remember her granddaughter crying; I remember her son calmly [in a controlled manner?] agreeing with what happened. I treated one woman whose husband died. She tried valiantly to hang onto the house in which they lived. She eventually had to sell. After at least 2 years, she was started to move on. During residency, one of the fellow's 2 year old daughter developed a rare brain cancer, and eventually died. He now has a son. I remember him telling a medical student how he bawled when he held his daughter in his arms. It was somewhat sarcastic - she had made some disparaging remark about someone crying. The point of all of this, if there is one, is that I have a friend, who I think had a tragedy in his life a year or more ago, and I don't know how to confirm it or even if I should. I don't know what it is to lose a close relative, although I have been around people who have. I guess I should offer my sympathy to that person if what I think happened is true.

Gaming economies
The economies of the 2 multiplayer games I play are very weird. I recently read an article describing the economy of everquest, linking in game activity to real world dollars. I havn't found it by google; I'll keep looking. The problem with Diablo2's economy is that gold is pretty close to worthless, so either runes or one particular artifact get used as de facto money. Runes are useful, so they are continually getting taken out of circulation; same for the stone of jordan [soj]. Knowing what a relatively rare artifact is worth is fairly difficult. On the other hand some guy gave me an amulet I fairly strongly needed; it wasn't worthless, but he couldn't have traded it for something good either. So, sometimes people act like jerks, sometimes they are nice. Actually, it's fairly easy to get help of various types, so in general the jerk level is pretty low. On the other hand I have seen several scams attempted-people wanting my password, trade scams, etc.

Ooh, Ahh
A blog linking to this one. [Thanks]. Makes me wonder what the connections look like down at the bottom of the blog pyramid, and how far up I have to go to get to the bottom. "I'll put you on my blogroll if you put me on yours," etc. The interesting thing to me is which section he decided to quote.

Shame is a many splintered thing
From Ramblings, to Llamabutchers, via TexasBestGrok Shame, at least for me, is dependent upon the situation. Therefore, there are times I feel embarrassed that I played role playing games growing up, as well as times I feel embarrassed that I am not playing now. So, when I'm in psychiatrist mode, damn near everything about myself causes me shame. Hmmm. Passive voice, let's rephrase that. I think that I should feel/I feel/I wonder if I should feel/ shame about lots of things, including close to all thoughts about sex, my body habitus, lots of random times when I misspoke or didn't speak when I could have. I feel shame when I'm eating with my parents and they (1) order water (2) order the cheapest entree on the menu, or share a salad and an entree (3) tip barely 15%. On the other hand, I don't feel shame [anger, maybe, but not shame] when it's clear I am more conservative, at least in some ways, than friends or co-workers. I don't feel shame trying to defend roleplaying as a social exercise to other psychiatrists [well, maybe a little]. I don't feel shame that the clothes guy from Queer Eye would throw away every article of clothing I own. I don't feel shame that I cry at the end of most Disney movies.

Friends and Halo
Working on reconnecting with old friends, making new ones. Spent this evening going to dinner with a married couple [straight, old friends] and then getting my ass kicked in Halo and Crimson Skys. It just makes Red vs Blue that much better. Some things never change. He used to kick my ass on Duke Nukem too.

Force Movement
Via USS Clueless, a discussion of the US moving various forces out of Europe and Korea and into places like, maybe, Iraq. The amusing line was this:
Administration officials are also discussing plans to remove some F-15 fighters from Britain and to withdraw the handful of F-15 fighters that are generally deployed in Iceland, although final decisions have not been made on these ideas.
My initial reaction was why in the world do we have F-15s in Iceland? Fortunately the article goes on to explain why.

Mission Statement-resources
Hmm, did a lot of what I think, little of who I am. I am a 37 year old white male, [using medicalspeak], gay, living in a medium sized city in Texas. I read lots of sci-fi/fantasy, preferring "soft" sci-fi to "hard" sci-fi. I went to medical school, but am not currently working as a doc. I came to the conscious realization that I was gay about 3-4 years ago. I am not nor have I ever been in a serious relationship with another man. I am out to my immediate family and close friends; I think my sexual tendencies are not anyone else's business. [There may be a better way to put that, I'll have to brood]. Anyway. I am generally bored with most sports, although watching wresting [scripted, not unscripted] with a couple of friends was fun for a while. I tend to use profanity in situations in which I think it will be useful [sometimes nothing else has the impact]. While I wish we had a useful space program, I know too many people who work/worked in the area to think that NASA is such. I was raised Methodist. I have been considering rejoining, although I will not attend church in any denomination that thinks I am automatically damned for being who I am. I like computer roleplaying and turn based strategy games. I have tried a few real time strategy games, with little success. Currently I play mostly Diablo 2; I have thought about joining a MMORG, most likely City of Heroes, Star Wars, or World of Warcraft once it comes out. So, lots of time to blog. How much inspiration will strike.... who knows.

Animal sex
Fun title, huh? From Belle Du Jour, via Instapundit. This brings to mind a random thought. There is a continuum in the animal kingdom from mate for life to the 3 F's [find em, f em, forget em]. Species on the mate for life side tend to have no physical differences between male and female; species on the 3F side tend to have significant differences [the female peacock is drab and brown, for example]. Homo sapiens, looked at this way, would fall on the mate for life side but not at the end of the continuum [the male tends to be taller than the female, for example]. Make of that what you will.

Mission Statement
Ok, the basic who am I and why am I doing this statement. 1)My political stance [when I take one] would be best described as engineerist. This leads to fun statements directed at me like "You're a Republican, aren't you?" 2)In the upcoming presidential election, I would be more likely to vote for Bush [whose stance on gay marriage, stem cell research, and the size of government I dislike] than Kelly [who seems to think of the War on Terror as a police action and seems to be a power junkie]. 3)I have been reading weblogs for quite a long time [in internet time and in real time]. I got into it first through the humorous aspects of Lilek's site, started reading his bleat, then started reading Instapundit and others on his recommendation. 4)I didn't start my own blog because I thought I didn't have anything to say. Finally realizing neither does anyone else, I decided to go for it. 5)Or, on the other hand, I have things to say but didn't really want anyone to hear, thus making a blog perfect. 6)I expect to be writing about personal stuff more than political. I expect to be doing more writing than linking. I expect the unexpected. 7)The writer of TexasBestGrok is a friend from high school years. It's a lot of fun reading his stuff, partially because I can add a lot of context to some of his posts, partially from the "I didn't know that" reaction I get sometimes.

Watched the 2 hour introductory show last night off/on [flipping between that and Queer Eye]. Some thoughts: Gut feeling: I liked it, might consider watching it again although it is not my usual fare. I had an emotional reaction to the ending. Second thoughts: 1) An elementary age kid attempts suicide, and they just give him a talking to??? 2) The adults seem to be changing more than the kids. I'm not sure how realistic that would be. 3) I might have missed the context, but: when she got the call from her nephew that her sister was dead, how does this relate to the kid? In other words, was this the first call he made? Was it the last? Did he call the evil uncle first, who told him to suck it up, so he called the good aunt for emotional support? It may be small but relates strongly to their previous relationship. Third thoughts: Googleing Summerland gives lots o reviews, which seem to boil down to "beautiful stereotyped people in California." Which is true.

Via texasbestgrok, who found it at the cheese stands alone, my musical alphabet a Blue Oyster Cult Chris De Burgh; Clannad Def Leppard Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; Emerson, Lake, and Powell; Evanescence f Giant; Glass Tiger Hoobastank i Jethro Tull Kansas Linkin Park Meat Loaf; The Moody Blues; The Monkees Nine Inch Nails o p Queen; Queensryche Rush Joe Satriani; Seven Mary Three; Simon and Garfunkel;Michael W. Smith;Styx They Might Be Giants; Toad the Wet Sprocket u Vertical Horizon Wilson Phillips Yes z Missing a couple of letters, will probably add to this later

Ok, this is a start.

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