Owlish Mutterings
Order of the Stick
In the category of more geeky things, we have the Order of the Stick. Much amusement.

Diablo vs Klingons
Ok, to counteract Kerry's clear lead among the insanely geeky category, I was part of a straw poll this evening while playing Diablo II. 3 of 8 players said they were going to vote for President Bush, no one said they would vote for Senator Kerry. How many others were of voting age is not known. Spontaneous comments about Kerry included "I don't trust him" and "his speeches are boring." Hat tip for the Klingon story I thought needed to go to Instapundit, but I can't find the link.

Tarot survey
The Hermit Card
You are the Hermit card. The Hermit has chosen a
solitary spiritual path. He shines light on his
inner self and, by this means, gains wisdom.
The Hermit's home is the natural world and it
is by being in tune with that world that he
learns the laws of nature and learn how they
operate within himself. His path is a lonely
one as he lives in silence and has for
companionship only his own internal rhythms.
But those crossing his path are touched by his
light and wisdom. Though often alone, he
manages nevertheless to instruct those who meet
him and guides those who chose to follow him on
a path towards enlightenment. Image from The
Aleister Crowley Tarot deck.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla Certainly on target now.

I have no clue who the person doing this book review is. I've thought about getting a tattoo at times, but I haven't done it yet. Pretty much every friend I've mentioned the thought to has been either passively or strongly against it. Lots of people with tattoos at the bike rally, none of them close to what I wanted. hat tip:llamabutchers

And, the latest quiz: I don't know about the missing my mother's funeral part, but what the heck.

Lone Star Rally
So, this weekend has been a motorcycle rally. Loud. Mostly Texas license plates, some Louisiana. Mostly white at least middle aged guys, although there is some mix. There's a clear difference between the tourists here to watch and the riders. Thursday afternoon there were almost no tourists, many more Saturday. Is it a bad thing that I can blend in fairly well into the crowd? I had the random thought that this was what a mass murderer does: breaks off most personal ties, then goes to a public place and scopes out the crowd. When I had that thought, I saw another guy wandering around and kinda freaked. Music's not as good as during Mardi Gras - mostly cover bands, it seems. Pretty big crowd though, and without the ridiculous police presence during Mardi Gras.

An interesting article here, titled Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail. I now know intimate family details on 3 liberal bloggers I never read. If I read only mainstream media, I would think there were no conservative [or at least non-liberal] blogs. Except of course for the ones involved in the "coordinated assault against CBS News and its memos." If I were little green footballs, who apparently was interviewed for the article then ignored, I'd be pissed.

Mary Poppins
If you ever wondered about the author of Mary Poppins, this article will tell you everything you need to know. From Gnostical Turpitude.

Ok, LunaNina's free association list, week 85:
  1. Pointless::paperwork
  2. Sadistic::leather
  3. Bunny::rabbit
  4. Betrayal::_____[blank]
  5. Oliver::Cromwell
  6. Star Wars::sucks
  7. Let it ride::cards
  8. Ray of light::sunshine
  9. Tight::ass
  10. Gadget::iPod
Of course, it's more George Lukas sucks, but hey. From News from the Great Beyond

150 monkeys
I've heard this before, but it looks like this is where the concept started: a human can know about 150 people at the same time, which affects how small groups differ from larger ones. Although I've heard 30 people is about the point at which corporations need to start working on rules for interactions. From Gene Expression, from the Belmont Club's discussion of terror cell size, from Instapundit.

From The Volokh Conspiracy comes several posts about Jimmy Swaggart's comments. 2 comments:

1)"And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died," Swaggart said to laughter and applause from the congregation.

Tell me why I should attend church again?

2)In the broadcast, Swaggart was discussing his opposition to gay marriage when he said "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry."

Well, I've never seen a woman I wanted to marry, so I guess that makes us even.

Update: as usual Lileks has the best word.

He's on a roll, both with Rather's Acme Rocket skates and Rather's stint as a hardboiled detective, err, dick. hat tip to LGF.

I wrote down a recipe from one of the blogs referred to in this carnival, but now I can't figure out where I got it. So anyway, it turned into a chicken soup kind of thing. The basic concept was boneless chicken breasts, 1 can corn, 2 cans black beans, 2 cans rotel tomatoes, 1/2 packet taco seasoning, 2 cans chicken stock. Simmer in crock pot all day, boom, food. So, I came close. I had a package of non-boneless chicken breasts I wanted to use up. So, the actual recipe used the full packet of taco seasoning [what do you do with half a leftover packet of seasoning, anyway], and a beef bullion cube instead of chicken stock. Close enough. Drained all the cans except one can of black beans. Cooked on high for about 2 hours, then I pulled the chicken apart with 2 forks, cooked it for 2 hours more on low. And added maybe an extra teaspoon of cumin. Not bad. Some tortilla chips and chedder cheese would help, though.

Ok, this is now officially the summer of moving. I've helped move 3 different people's stuff already, and we're working on moving my grandfather from Memphis to near my parents. I hope it works. Unfortunately, this means I missed Speak like a pirate day. Aarrrgh.

With a hat tip to TexasBestGrok comes 2 surveys: Take the What High School Stereotype Are You? quiz. and

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I would like to point out that Elrond is way cooler than Wesley Crusher.

Rathergate explained
Here is a description of the possible actions and thoughts leading to Rathergate. Sounds humanly possible. Hat tip: Instapundit and Roger Simon.

GayWired has an article about a guy making a gay themed tarot deck. Looks interesting, but the digital photos may be distracting [no, it's not Xrated. I think]. Not for sale quite yet. Many moons ago I joined a group of guys with a football pool. Every week you would get a list of the NFL games that week and the spread. So, basically, a list of 12 yes/no questions. I used a tarot deck to pick teams, and pissed a couple of people off because I did better than they did.

Looking at this post at TexasBestGrok, I searched Owlish Mutterings. What do you know, this shows up in BlogShares. Hmm. I'm a penny stock. So, start some link whoring? Although, I think John has the better name. Some early search results for Texas Best Grok that are not on his blog gets a listing of WiFi hotspots and Top 10 Motorcyclists pet peeves on Space.com. Owlish Mutterings, on the other hand, gets an odd Christmas story, an article on Seymour Hersh on the Middle East Information Center and a group of sonnets from 1922.

As usual, looking at random lists of things can be fun. I'm probably going to add Texas Blogs to my blogroll, including Houston's Clear Thinkers and Tex the Pontificator. Good stuff.

Mindcontrol lasers
Gaypatriot has a conspiracy theory explaining the timing of the Rathergate memos. Basically, the theory goes, the Kerry campaign had been sitting on these memos for a while, planning to spring them at the end of the campaign. With the polls and maybe management shakeup, they used them ahead of time. My comment: It's a simple, believable conspiracy theory, which makes it not ready for prime time. Come on, this story is big enough and nutty enough that it needs aliens, vampires, the Illuminati, and spacebased mind control lasters. So, my conspiracy theory: Dan Rather, hero, and recently elected Queen of the Space Unicorns, was getting ready to come out as a conservative on live TV. To keep this from happening, the Illuminati kidnapped him and replaced him with a clone. The Dan Rather clone, of course, has a bomb surgically implanted, and ..... um yeah. [cue music] That's all, folks. Update: News flash! It wasn't a clone, it was an android!

Rather must go
Doing the random walk through blogs, I ended up going here then here. Strongly worded, but I agree, Dan Rather should be let go. As to whether he gets retirement, that is a subject to which I don't have a strong opinion. Update: Hey Dan, if you need a resignation speech, here's one.

So, thanks to the coming hurricane presumably, on my afternoon walk there were license plates from Louisiana (x7, at least), Mississippix3, Florida, as well as Indiana and Pennsylvania. This compared to last Saturday, with only one Louisiana plate. Lots of guys (and a couple of girls) surfing as well. It turns out I now have the requisite vehicle if I ever get into surfing.

New proof that Bush is evil
Startling new evidence! Bush kicks puppies! Read the comments section.

Hamlet, updated
Good stuff. So, Hamlet kills father -> Kerry kills Clinton? JFK? Have to think about that one. Via Instapundit.

Regarding Mike Silverman's thoughts on the whole gun issue: When I came out to a buddy from college, one of his reactions was along the lines of: since college he knew a gay couple that feared for their physical safety at times, because they were gay. My reaction was:I live in Texas. If I was afraid that I would be bashed, I would get a gun. Guns are the great equalizer. You don't need a feudal lord if you can protect yourself from bandits. Or, to use a more contemporary example, if the people being dragged off to Hitler's death camps had guns, and had a 1:1 exchange instead [you will kill me, but I'll kill you first], you have to wonder if it could have changed things.

I'd Rather Not
Surprising new claims, first documented by Mother, May I Sleep with Treacher?: "For the fourth time in as many days, CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather has interrupted his nightly telecast to reiterate his claim that he has been crowned Queen of the Space Unicorns." :) Ok, CBS News needs a new motto. I suggest: Kerry: If we can't get him elected, no one can.

Gabe at the Hot Dog Stand
If you haven't read it, read Gabe's description of his wife being induced, having a C section, and his kid being born. Classic. Somehow, during my pediatrics rotation 3rd year, I ended up spending more time at the Hot Dog Stand [yeah, there's probably a name for it like Newborn Examination Table, but it looks like a hot dog warmer] than the other students. Kind of fun, kind of scary when the kid isn't breathing quite as well as you want him to.

Kerry - screwed beyond belief
Ok, when Maureen Dowd writes an editorial insulting Kerry [and Bush, of course] can we call Kerry's lame attempt to become president officially over? Then there's Kerry's interview with Time:

TIME Are you surprised at the bounce Bush got out of his convention?

KERRY I don't know what you're talking about in terms of the Bush bounce. This is a very close race, and I'm not somebody that runs around worried about polls. If I did, I wouldn't have gotten up last December. Polls don't mean anything to me right now.

Me: in other words, right now, now that Bush is ahead. Hat tip: Drudge

Something Awful has fun information about the world's religions. The crazy thing is, the section on Scientologists is entirely true. I've heard that they really can read the magnetic strips on credit cards with their teeth.

So true
You might be a blogger if... You know more about the State Fair of Minnesota than you know about your own state's fair. You don't need to click any of these links to get the jokes. It's way too true. Go look at the other ones. Via One Hand Clapping.

Drug War idiocy
From NYT, via Right Side of the Rainbow: A man selling several hundred dollars worth of marijuana, while in possession of a firearm, faces a minimum of 63 years. Argh.

Diablo 2
So, I went into a game made by a guy wanting 2 perfect diamonds. In what may be the best trade I have ever done [for me], I ended up trading 2 p diamonds and 1 p topaz for 3 shael and 1 io. I would have traded 2 p diamonds for 1 shael, and thought I got the better of the deal. And the other guy seemed to think he got a decent deal. The economy of the game seems weird since the second ladder season started. Oh well, not my heartache.

Instapundit has a summary of various blogs. I like GayPatriot's - he knew 3 people who were affected in various ways.

From Inside Allan's Mind comes this quiz: Blue
What Color is Your Brain?

brought to you by Quizilla He also has a recipe for what looks like a crock pot tortilla soup [without the tortilla] that I'm going to try.

The Carnival of recipes is up. They've got a recipe for chili that is theoretically Texas authentic, and a recipe for sloppy joes that sounds intriguing. I think I'll contribute my chicken enchiladas recipe one of these days. Which means I'll have to make it to make sure I remember the ingredients.

Media stocks
Note to self: sell any big media stocks in my portfolio immediately. Just how stupid is Dan Rather, anyway? I guess it's been so long since they've been challenged, besides tiny, ignorable things in the letters to the editor column, that attacks on a story are interpreted as attacks on them, leading to more stupid statements on TV. Remember, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the coverup. 6:30 CNN headline news mentioned that independent experts thought the documents were not genuine, but that was a tiny part of the blurb. If I was only watching CNN I could reasonably interpret this as a defensive move by Bush.

This version of hurricane coverage is so true. The last tropical storm we had, the local news channels were sending their reporters out, specifically where they were telling the public not to go. One had the reporter standing in waist high swift flowing water, which is a good way to die stupidly. Galveston is overdue for a hurricane [on average, once every 8-10 years]. If you don't know about the 1900 storm, this is a pretty good description of events leading to the natural disaster with the largest loss of life in the history of the US. My question is, in the World of Darkness such an event would have to have been due to the intervention of various beings, so who caused it? The TechCentralStation article makes it sound like some technomage was working on weather prediction and probably control, and either paradox caused the storm, or a nature loving tree hugger type caused it, like Werewolves or Verbeena mages.

Gamer reproduces!
Yes, Gabe, one of the Penny Arcade guys, just had a son. Congratulations. Cute little guy, too. Hope you weren't doing anything for the next 18 years.

Burn him!
From Llamabutchers: Which English Civil War Political Faction are you: witch You are a... WITCH!! Not really a political faction, but the second most widely reviled class of people (after the French). You can expect no quarter from anybody, and will probably die in agony. Of course the question we all want to know is: if you really are so dangerous and powerful, why don't you just use your magical powers to escape?? What English Civil War Political Faction would I have supported? brought to you by Quizilla What this means, who knows.

Diet update
Ok, so on July 26 I had this plan: caloric intake 1500-1800 cal, walk 2m/day, weight train 3/week, maybe flexibility training. So, how am I doing? Eh. Walking pretty much daily, when I'm at home, which over the last month has been less than usual. Calorie counting some days, pigging out other days. Used the apartment's gym equipment twice. Taped some yoga/tai chi sessions off the fitness channell. Lost about 5 pounds. Grade: C+ I think I need to renew my gym membership.l

Hamster Death
World got you down? Just kill some hamsters. Or join the Church of the Gerbil. Man, the internet is silly sometimes.

Media Bias
HatTip: RealClearPolitics I have some small problems with this editorial. Last two paragraphs: "The performance of this country's finest news organizations in the run-up to the Iraq invasion of March 2003 will be remembered as a disgrace. To be sure, it was an angry, fearful time, and independent-minded reporting might not have been heard above the drumbeats of patriotism and war. But it's hard to read the hand-wringing confessionals from news organizations that now realize that they got the prewar story wrong without concluding that the real problem was they were afraid to tell the truth. Resisting undue outside influence is part of what news professionals do, even when that influence comes from the public they're honor-bound to serve. It's hard enough to get the story right, without holding it hostage to an open-ended negotiation with zealots who believe they already know what the story is." So, the main problem with mainstream media is that it is giving too much [credibility, voice, something along those lines] to the right wing lies. Um, no. The main problem with mainstream media is that it has believed itself to be apolitical and balanced when it is not. If you don't believe this, I don't know how to convince you. Besides, think of these key words from the entire story: cadre, warriors, hostile, corrupted, extortion, hostage, zealots. Especially after a large number of Russian children were killed by Islamic terrorists, those words don't bring first to mind right wing bloggers.

The Wheel of Time
Ran across a couple of references to Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, so I thought I should throw my two cents in. I have read books 1,2,3,4, and 6. The problem is, I like the general theme [young people with unknown gifts must learn to use those gifts to defeat Ultimate Evil, which was previously responsible for bringing down a great civilization], but the books seem to get slower and slower. Maybe because he's following 5-6 story lines at a time, maybe not. Maybe because his characters constantly fight against being heros. Maybe because the various rulers seem just f'kn stupid.

Penny Arcade quiz
Ok, pop quiz. I scored a 14 [Charles]. It also claimed "Of the users who took the test and are male and in your age group 100% scored lower than you." I don't know if that is a good thing.

Culture of death
If you haven't read this article in Tech Central Station, go give it a try. Then tell me why it's a bad thing for us to send people seeking martyrdom off to it. Bleh. And then we have the deaths of the Russian kids.

Two great tastes
First taste: I was going through the Sunday newspaper from 3-4 weeks ago, and saw an Ask Marilyn column asking her readers to send in a paragraph of exactly 100 words, with no duplicates, and all of only one syllable. The results are here. Second taste: I saw Aliens vs Predator over the weekend [short review: not as bad as I was expecting, a few small points could have brought it closer to the continuity of both lines, what idiot thought they needed to fight in an ancient pyramid under antartica instead of just an alien planet, did they specifically weaken the female hero to not remind people of Ripley?]. At some point this week, the thought came to me: what the world needs is Aliens vs Predator slash fiction. The mind boggles. I may try to write this thing - I keep going over sentences in my head.

Chomps, the world's angriest dog
Yup, this is one angry dog.

Hey, now I know what Pocky packages actually look like[follow the like, the pick with the snack foods]. A few years back I haunted the messages associated with The Brunching Shuttlecocks; pocky was a frequent theme, but not even Central Market carries it.

Public Libraries
I left my computer at a friend's house, so I'm using the internet from the closest library. The interesting thing is seeing who else is here. Right now there are 2 guys, who are trying to get into their yahoo mail account, and failing. English may not be their primary language, so that might be the problem, or a simple forgetting of the password. Got to wonder.

Well, an update. She had an operation on her foot early this week, which went well. There is a friend from Dallas staying with her now, and my parents will go up to help her some time soon [this weekend or next, depending on how things are going.] The doctors predicted a 2-3 month recovery period.

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