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The Ernst Furnsinn Ravioli Rule

Jan. 7th, 2010 | 11:13 am

Joel's parents were trained as professional chefs. During one of the times that we were at a restaurant, maybe one of Emeril's satellite restaurants, Joel's dad looked at the menu and said "Ravioli. Do you really know what they put in it? It could be anything." And he's not wrong. Ravioli usually has some kind of crazy sauce and may claim to be stuffed with something fancy like lobster. And, after all that mincing and flavor, the filling could be anything. Of course, we assume that the restaurant is preparing it in good faith but who really knows? There's also a decent chance that it's not the best thing on the menu.

I have recently added meatballs to this rule.

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Steve Job's Commencement Address

Jan. 5th, 2010 | 11:58 am
mood: contemplativecontemplative

There's a message in here that I'm supposed to learn that's relevant to where I am in my life right now but I can't seem to put my finger on it... hmmm....

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An UpSell Story

Jan. 5th, 2010 | 11:05 am

mieper and I went to Las Vegas around Christmas because she'd never been and I hadn't been in probably over a decade and was morbidly curious. Here's what happened at the Hertz Rent-a-Car counter.

The Guy: "You're renting an Economy Class car. Are you just doing local driving?"
Me: "We're planning on going to visit Death Valley National Park."
The Guy: "You're going to drive all the way to Death Valley? Are you sure you want an economy car?"


Me: "Because.... the car won't be able to make it there?"
The Guy: "Oh, no! Just that economy cars are kind of small and that's a long drive. You might be more comfortable in something larger."
Me: "I think we'll be fine."

We ended up in a Toyota Yaris which did make it to Death Valley. And back.


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Reviving LiveJournal blogging

Dec. 21st, 2009 | 03:12 pm

If I'm right, this should allow me to post to my LiveJournal page for my non-public identity and it will hopefully not show up on my other identity.

Right now only LiveJournal friends are going to be allowed comment on these pages.

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The Zombie Rottweiler Problem

Sep. 15th, 2009 | 01:37 pm
mood: complacentmeh

The Zombie Rottweiler problem describes a situation where someone (e.g. a woman) has trouble finding something in their voluminous purses or handbag. This could be applied to anyone with a messy container, like a backpack, looking for something that they need immediately. In other words, if your life depended on your friend or spouse finding the anti-zombie-rottweiler spray before the slavering, rabid, brain-hungry zombie dog attacked, you might be better off putting ketchup on yourself then knocking yourself out with the bottle.


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Master of Rhetoric - Senator Jeff Sessions

Jul. 14th, 2009 | 10:38 am

Here's ranking Republican Senate Judiciary Member Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) using his finely honed interrogation techniques to trip up Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor:

"Do you think there's any circumstance in which a judge should allow their prejudices to impact their decision making?"

Holy Wit, Batman! How could anyone ever escape that cleverly worded sentence? Judge Sotomayor might as well leave the proceedings and crawl back to her bench on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Here's what I believe Sessions was expecting (in his head) to hear:

"Why yes, Senator Sessions. My decisions are affected by my prejudices all the time. I'm a girl and a Latina and you know how we are when it comes to sound decision making. I hate men and white people so I rule against them whenever I can. It's a miracle that I got as far as I did in this country. Thank God for affirmative action."

What Utter Crap. Stupid Congressional Kabuki. The Honorable Senator Sessions is an idiot.

Here's what she actually answered.

SOTOMAYOR: "I think the system is strengthened when judges don’t presume they’re impartial, but when judges test themselves to identify when their emotions are driving a result, or their experiences are driving a result, and the law is not."

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Framing the Health Care Debate

Jun. 13th, 2009 | 07:48 am
mood: crankycranky

We have police and fire departments because we believe that in emergencies, we need first responders to save lives. People are more than happy to pay for this. However, what's the difference between, "My house is on fire, please put it out." and "I have a serious illness, without medical help I'll die." Is there a difference between the immediacy of the crisis that makes those in the debate value life differently? As near as I can tell, the argument from the health insurance companies, their lobbyists, their allies in Washington, and now the American Medical Association seems to boil down to this: Some people simply deserve to get sick and die because they can't afford medical care and money is how we value people in society.

There's nothing wrong with this argument. It's pretty much been the basic Darwinian principle that life and societies have taken forever. The philosophical question is whether or not we want the kind of society where we believe it's okay to let people die. What I personally can't stand is how the arguments go back to profits and protecting incomes. I'm not arguing against free markets and capitalism - except when the commodity or service being traded have to do with public utilites and especially one that is as essential as health. When insurance companies refuse to insure people of high risk because it would affect their profits, when those high risk people have no recourse to pay for medical care (which has risen in value at very rapid rates due to speculative market forces and constant demand for growth), and when those same companies are fighting against any type of public-funded option, in effect they are arguing that those people are going to die and should be allowed to die as quickly as possible to decrease the surplus population and they should simply say so. Call a spade a spade.

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Best School Absence Excuse Ever.

Jun. 11th, 2009 | 02:30 pm
mood: amusedamused

Now they'lll all be wanting one.

Contrast that with a story about this former president who didn't want to devalue his autograph.

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Wedding Registry Brainstorming

Jun. 9th, 2009 | 03:23 pm
mood: crazycrazy

mieper and I had both been working for a while and living on our own before we got engaged so we both had pretty well-supplied households before we got engaged. Also, neither of us are generally acquisitive except for the occasional hobby burst. In that sense, having Warcraft as a hobby has been nice because it's relatively inexpensive to maintain and requires almost no equipment outside of stuff I had already. Nevertheless, we've been trying to avoid the Twelve Toaster Ovens Problem where well-meaning friends, family, friends of family, friends of friends, family of friends, and friends of family friends feel obliged to help start our new life with Stuff. In the absence of concrete suggestions and references to what others have already purchased, there is the danger of ending up with duplicate items, such as toaster ovens. We don't have room or need for ten toaster ovens so we've been brainstorming on a post-it note on our refrigerator. Here are some of the items that made it onto the form (but will not make the registry - ever):

  • a pet wallaby
  • tandem hang glider
  • his and hers Musketeer outfits and sabres
  • hypoallergenic cat with matching dog
  • two sets of juggling machetes
  • a crystal gazebo
  • one home-sized do-it-yourself supercollider
  • 75 lb punching bag
  • tandem kayak
  • a Peking duck oven
  • a bagpipe
  • his and her's Clydesdales
  • a dancing parrot
  • lawn gnomes
  • a Batman-class chem lab and Bat computer
  • a 1:1000 scale, unassembled Lego model of Death Star
  • an amphibious sedan (hybrid, of course)
  • cold fusion reactor to power some of the above things.
  • a Star Trek Shuttlecraft

    I'll add more things if they occur to me. If you're reading this before our wedding, please don't send us any of these things... except for maybe the cold fusion reactor.

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    Geek Journalism

    Jun. 9th, 2009 | 10:51 am
    mood: amusedamused

    George Will, sad hack that he is, after essentially misrepresenting facts in earlier opinion columns is getting fact checked like crazy by everyone including a fact check of his claim that Obama "is inordinately fond of the first-person singular pronoun". What I find refreshing about Obama is that he seems to avoid the third person passive voice that Bush and Clinton and tons of other politicians love resulting in the popular phrasing, "Mistakes were made."

    Tags: ,

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