Monday, October 6, 2008

My politics, charted... sort of.

Left-Leaning Freedom Lover on political map

And one with a bit more detailed questioning:
You are a

Social Liberal
(80% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(50% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

HT to

Both of these claim to measure the same things, but the second one has a longer and more detailed quiz attached, and i suspect that both say as much about the biases of the quiz designers as the quiz takers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Because the LHC is perfectly safe....

I'm posting links to their webcams to prove it. See? No reason to panic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Drugs! Or, why i love Big Lots

Hi, my name is Michael, and i am a caffeine fueled raging motherfucker.

I'll drink coffee, and if it is good coffee i will even enjoy it... especially if someone else is paying for the good coffee.

I'll drink tea, even though not enough of the caffeine seems to get into the finished drink unless i brew it so strong that anyone drinking it with me turns whiny about it.

I'll guzzle soft drinks, diet or regular, Coke or Pepsi, brand and flavor don't much matter as long as it is not flat out nasty, and has my drug of choice included in the recipe.

And energy drinks? Whoa, bonus, with their additions of various dosages of herbal speeders and B vitamins, few bevvies work on me nearly as well. Never mind that a few of them break my not nasty tasting rule, the rush is worth it... The price, on the other hand, not so much.

Which brings me to Big Lots... at least locally, their beverage aisle is about 50% energy drinks, ranging from 8 ounce glass bottles of blackcurrant weirdness in the shape of a grenade, to 24 ounce cans of heart asplodey goodness... A riotous mix of familiar brands in unfamiliar flavors and mixes you might not want to know are in the marketplace... Including i remember a drink that claimed to be sex fuel... From the amount of dust on those cans, i guess no one else wanted to try it either.

Which brings me wandering eventually to my latest fix... Howling Monkey Energising Cola... the bevvy with the creepiest and least informative promotional site i have ever viewed. The flavor is close to bog-standard cola, with some slightly odd side notes, i have been getting this stuff in 6 packs of 16 oz cans for $3.60 with about the same boot to the head factor as the more common Red Bull, Monster etc...

And i have never seen this stuff anywhere else! I love this stuff, but apparently the same marketing geniuses who screwed the pooch with their entertaining but non informative web site were in charge of distribution of this speedy ambrosia.

And that sucks, because the biggest problem with Big Lots is that all too often, once a product is gone, it's gone. **sigh** And then i will have to find another way to feed my monkey.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whiskey tango foxtrot...

Or: more fun with Adsense:
Ads by Google
Silent Partner Body Armor
Point Blank Body Armor
Level IV Body Armor
Second Chance Body Armor
Bulletproof Vests Helmets

eh, these must have come with either mention of "security" or "paranoia" in the previous post... The thing is, i don't see myself as the type to wear a chicken suit... Not even the nifty class IIIa armoured trench coat a friend showed me being sold years ago.

The fact is, neither i, nor most people live a life of danger... And most of us who do, are generally in jobs that PROVIDE such gear.

Shit can and does happen, but security is a trade off... Something that folks like Bruce Schneier point out all the time. Without having done any clicky clicky on those ads, i am willing to bet that few of them go to sites sellong to folks who get shot at for a living.

I bet that most of them go to links selling to frightened people. And i am just not that scared.

So, is it a bad idea to occasionally make posts poking fun at the ads i get served?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Paranoid? Me? Did THEY tell you that?

I am not really a paranoid, at least not in the sense that a professional headshrinker would use the term.

I mean, assuming that i remember Psych 101 correctly, from back at the dawn of time, there are three main diagnostic criteria for clinical paranoia:
  1. Delusions of Grandeur: Ummm, not me, i am just some random John Q. Asshole who writes a blog to amuse himself and maybe anyone else who stumbles on it... Hell, i am even too lazy to check whether my dimly remembered diagnostic criteria for paranoia is right. In the general scheme of things, i know that i am not hugely important, except to myself, and my friends and family.
  2. Delusions of Reference: I am not, in general convinced people are talking about me... Hell, i sometimes fail to notice when people actually ARE talking about me.
  3. Delusions of Persecution: This one is a little harder to deny. While I am quite aware that THEY are not out to get me, and that THEY pretty much don't really exist... I am security conscious and I own several guns. I have a carry permit and don't like going places where through law or rules i am not allowed to use it.
The reason for this is simple, though the odds of getting caught in the middle of a shooting spree are probably similar to those of any given individual winning a lotto jackpot, when they DO happen, it seems to happen most often in places where law abiding types are not allowed to be able to shoot back.

I am not the sort to pay my tax on people who don't understand math. But when facing similar odds of losing it all, i want an ace up my sleeve.

Nope, THEY are not out to get me, but i do want to reduce my odds of being collateral damage.

Anyway, a professional would probably not see me as paranoid... but a shit pot of amateurs do. And it isn't just because of the "gun thing."

I have, in the past, been accused of being a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Not because i am one mind you, but because it is a convenient label for someone who sees a greater threat to this nation coming from the erosion of civil liberties than i do from Islamic terrorists.

Fuck the god-monster of Abraham and all the assholes it inspires. And this includes the "good guys" of the bunch who are nice and friendly and tolerant... but do nothing to stand up to the psychos in their midst... Until the psycho commits an atrocity or three, then they weren't a "real Jew/Christian/Muslim" according to the moderate god botherers of the matching sect.

And it is the psycho god botherers who are driving the reductions in civil liberties. Because the psycho religionists who get into the positions as shot callers in one country give order to do shit that gives the shot calling psychos of other religions and nations the excuse to retaliate.

Sometimes these retaliations come in the form of terrorism.

Terrorism is the excuse du jour for the further erosion of our civil liberties.

This is not due to a conspiracy, despite what i have been accused of believing... This is because religious extremists across several nations got into positions of power. And these fuckers can't get along, so they kill CIVILIANS in each others ranks, because they can get to each other.

Which of course keeps most of us civilians scared enough to fail to notice how OUR religious whackjob shot callers are power mad motherfuckers.

So freedom of speech gets whittled away at, as does freedom of assembly, and forget about freedom FROM religion.

And freedom from unwarranted search and seizure has been pretty much fucked, as has the right to privacy that was inherent in it.

The bastards are wiping their asses with my bill of rights... some few of them out of powerlust. But mostly out of fear. This is NOT a conspiracy... the scheme is too fucking stupid to be part of a successful conspiracy. Because rights stolen help the NEXT motherfuckers in power just as much. And Obama's vote on FISA tells me it will not be getting any better under him. And unlike the current assholes, he wants to disarm the citizenry in general not just the poor folk.

There are no conspiracies that matter... just a long line of fuckups.

At least there is some small hope for privacy... If i ever have to cross national borders with my laptop again, i will be using that software from a live cd, with my HD backed up at home and freshly scrubbed before i set out. Not because i have done anything wrong, not because i have something to hide... because it is none of their thrice damned business what i do with my machine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Wil Wheaton is pissed off. And i can't really blame him. Some movies should probably not be remade. But the thing is... Is Rocky Horror one of them? I mean yeah, it eMpTy V, so they are likely to fuck it up, but that doesn't mean it can't be done right.

Oh, but all remakes suck anyway right? The original is always better. Of course, in the case of John Carpenter's "The Thing" the remake is more of a classic than the original, but hey, this is John Carpenter we're talkin' about... Even if I actually did prefer Rob Zombie's version of "Halloween"...

**ducks the various heavy, sharp and occasionally flaming objects thrown my way**

No! Really! Rob Zombie's version actually tries to examine what can turn a kid into a monster, a mix of bullying abuse, and perhaps screwed up genetics. Carpenter's version only provided an "explanation" tying Michael to a Celtic death god called "Samhain" (and pronounced as Sam Hane).

Problem being, the Celts never worshipped such a Deity. Samhain (pronounced Sow-ain) is a harvest festival, the final of the year, and a night when the land of living and dead are closer than usual, thus a good time to celebrate friends and family who passed on before you.

Zombie skips the supernatural explanation, Michael Myers is just a big, tough, crazy, homicidal son of a bitch, who really loves his little sister.

Isn't that enough?

Remakes don't automatically suck, even when the source material is widely and properly considered classic.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, probably can be remade in a way that would work. One way may be to play it straight.

Well "straight" may not be the right word, but deadpan. Dump the music, have some maniac like Warren Ellis redo the script. Keep the story, but present it as a sci-fi/horror thriller with both homo and hetero-erotic overtones.

Make it serious and creepy on the surface, with almost subliminal references to the original thrown in.

Heh... Who am I kidding? I am probably the only person in the world who would like that...

Yeah, eMpTy V is likely to screw RHPS up badly... but hell, it just might regenerate interest in the original.

Hell, the news got me checking online for the local cast... Alas, the info shown is for the theater that closed a couple of years ago.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Plastic surgery disasters, where the surgery went well.

Well, this has me seething. A teen girl being interviewed on The View because the year before she went under the knife. And those shitheels on her left are supporting this decision.

The breast reduction i can almost understand, a 15 year old girl with a DD cups and a small frame is probably going to end up with back problems unless she hits one hell of a growth spurt. But that isn't why she did this.

She got the breast reduction because she was often in trouble at school for "creating a disturbance."

Newsflash, SHE was not causing the disturbance, horndogs and bluenoses were causing the disturbance. The kid was just existing.

But i can understand it. I would rather fix the actual source of disruption with a clue by four, but, hell it is her body, and she had parental support.

The LIPOSUCTION on the other hand enrages me. A tiny amount of fat was sucked out of her belly because it seemed unlikely she would grow out of it... Fuck, what little fat she had on her belly was the sort i find attractive in an adult woman. She was definitely no where near obese, or even anything passing for overweight. she just didn't fit the ideal drummed into her, and what the hell, she was already mutilating her tits anyway to get teachers and other kids off her case.

The girl was starting to eat less and less to try to get rid of her tiny belly and make if flat. This is something that can be a major fucking issue, potentially deadly if not treated properly in fact.

Proper treatment is psychological, or at worst psychiatric... NOT surgical, not when she is unlikely to be finished growing especially.

I don't necessarily have a problem with plastic surgery. If you have a limb cut off and saved, it was a plastic surgeon who reattached it, if your nose was broken, a plastic surgeon may have been involved in setting it. Car accident? Assault? Psycho Ex setting you on fire?

All handled in the aftermath by plastic surgeons.

It's the assholes who cut on both men and women to make them fit into some cookie cutter "ideal" of artificial beauty who piss me off.

I have scars on my body that likely could have been avoided with the help of a plastic surgeon, likely many could still be removed. I'm keeping my scars though, because they serve to remind me of times i screwed up, or was jacked up by someone else's screw up.

I am also keeping my gut until or unless i work it off myself as a reminder of my imperfect will. I am going bald and will continue doing so because transplants would ruin my tattoos, my scalp already itches, and i don't like the sound of "Irreversible sexual side effects."

Besides, as anyone who has seen how i dress can attest, i am not good at vanity...

But fashion is a whole other rant.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Well, this sucks...

last night i was faced with insomnia, to the point that i am not convinced i got more than 10 minutes of sleep in sequence, total sleep likely less than 1 hour. This was on very little caffeine intake.

Around 9 am i finally felt ready to fall asleep... about 1/2 hour after getting to work.

Since sleeping at work is Not A Good Thing... this led to a level of caffeine consumption that would make Warren Ellis blanch.

It has finally kicked in. 2 hours before i need to start thinking of getting some sleep before going into work tomorrow.

**sigh** So the cycle will likely repeat tomorrow... but at least the week end is coming next, a chance to work back to a semi normal schedule.

Or maybe i will get really lucky (for a given value of luck) and repeat the cycle i went through in the spring of '92... when i went for a 2 week period with at best an aggregate of 28 hours of sleep.

Lets put my current situation this way:
The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites

It doesn't show it, but i actually went well past the end of the scale.

(tip o'the pin to AG for being how i found the test)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


OK... right before i started writing this i took a peek at the current AdSense/Google ads on the side over there...

Denis Leary
Love Quotes
Bible Puzzles
Fear of the Dark
Bible Study

Right, with the "asshole" rant, the Denis Leary link makes sense, with my "murder in the dark" posts, the fear of the Dark link makes sense... but WHERE THE HELL did the love quotes and Bible stuff come from?

I mean yeah, i mention Judeo-Christian religions.... in the same post that brought the Denis Leary ads no less... but the love quotes?

Methinks the webspider over at Googleland is smoking something interesting.

And i thought computers on drugs was a Warren Ellis thing, who knew it could really happen?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Books, books, books... is now live, and for the rest of the weeks is giving away free books, the same ones you would have been receiving if you had signed up for the email list in the months leading up to them going live, but still. I had missed a few weeks worth myself, including Scalzi's Old Man's War, which i am shocked to have not heard of and read years ago.

Free shit is nearly by definition good shit.

And this shit is good even when you have to pay for it. But for this week you don't, the downloads are free in non-encrypted formats.

But wait! There's more!

It is also a collective blog and a source for (free) short stories.

Also, John Scalzi inflicts on the net one of the greatest horrors i have seen... an LOL Shark.

As a special bonus... all of the comments i have read so far have been entirely civil, even when in disagreement.

Of course, when the trolls DO show up... well, Teresa Nielsen Hayden is one of the bull goose loonies running the site, Patrick Nielsen Hayden being the other, both of whome have shown talent in dealing with trolls... Teresa especially, she invented the technique of disemvowelling.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Am I too subtle?

Stumbled on a Blog post elsewhere, i responded, dritpping with sarcasm.

The OP seems to have agreed with me fully.

Basically he suggested using a form of torture, waterboarding, to force the idiot who locked down San Francisco's network to divulge passwords.

My sarcastic response was to skip waterboarding and torture him in a way that would leave marks. Else, follow rule of law... The OP seems to like the way i think... **sigh**

Yup, the MFHeadcase there is the same one here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Will someone do me a favor?

If the drugs do not take hold in the next hour or so, will someone please shoot me in the head?

The rabid brain eating beast is back again. It started chewing on me around noon, and started getting really vicious about 30 min ago... After i had taken the Excedrin.

The only reason i am writing this right now is because forcing myself to concentrate on something other than the throbbing seems to help, even if i did have to turn the screen brightness on my laptop way down.

Because i took Excedrine, which does in fact usually work, now i have to wait at least 3 more hours, for the paracetamol to work its way out of my system, before i can break into my emergency stash of T3's...

Though at the moment, i am nearly willing to risk my liver jumping out of my abdomen and eating the city.


Brain Control Headset... Maybe not the best headline for someone with some paranoid tendencies to read... though with further reading, seems nifty.

Yeah, i know, it's old news, but i wasn't writing this when it was new...

Monday, July 14, 2008

In the spirit of honesty...

It has occurred to me that in my posting on ideablob that i am at least partially kidding myself.

I claim that the most likely use for the potential $10k on the extremely bloody unlikely chance i win it would be to pay off my debts... And really, i believed it when i first wrote it.

But to be honest both with myself, and with my imaginary readers... well it would REDUCE my debt... but a fair chunk would go into toys. Well, my idea of toys anyway.

The real question is how much of it would i blow on knives, computers and guns.

If i am smart, it wouldn't be the guns... simply because they have the most ongoing cost, ammunition costs are going up, plus gasoline expended in travelling to a range, plus range fees equals an expensive damned hobby. And thus not something i should use a windfall to expand my collection with.

With new computers at least the main ongoing cost is electricity and net access, and since i have a home router, the electricity is the only thing that would really go up. Bonus point for not being something i can be accused of being a paranoid neanderthal for wanting.

Knives OTOH, have minimal ongoing expense, time spent getting, and keeping the edges up to snuff and a very occasional ER visit because i get so stupidly confident that i know what i am doing i end up doing something stupid. But the newest scar is so recent that it will probably be another decade before i get stupid over basic safety while cutting things again.

Or who knows... if i come into a windfall, i just might manage to be responsible with it... Which i suspect would make me nearly unique among humans...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Are you afraid of the dark?

I think most of us are in some form or another, though usually it take the form of a fun sort of scared. Sort of like a roller coaster minus the motion sickness, and well, lacking the use of the sense most humans rely on the most obviously.

Speaking of obvious, how this paragraph is related to the previous isn't. Ideablob is a site i tripped over a while back. it is an ongoing contest sponsored by a bank. Contestants post an idea for a business, and users of the site vote on the ideas, winner for any given month gets $10k to try to develop that business, doubled if the winner hold a corporate card from that bank. It is sort of an experiment in democracy, hope, and the idiocy of crowds. One thing i have noticed is that most of the people who have ideas posted don't seem to be big on posting helpful advice or comments to the ideas of others. And a lot of those who DO post advice etc, have no ideas posted. I am sure you can guess which users i am more likely to see as worthwhile human beings. (hint: This is not worthwhile.)

When i was younger, myself and a few reprobate friends used to play a macabre variant of hide and seek. We called it "Murder in the Dark." We would kill every light source in the house and all but one would scatter. The last player, the hunter, would wait a bit while charging up a glow in the dark hockey mask to max brightness using a blacklight, and then systematically hunt down the rest as the glow from the mask grew dimmer and his (or occasionally her) night vision improved. Last one "killed" donned the mask for the next round. There were sometimes freakouts on the part of folks new to this game especially when i played as the hunter, as most would make noise, mimicking bits from horror flicks... i was generally as silent as i could manage. One variation we never got around to trying was adding things like photo strobes in the hands of the "victims" to use in disorienting the hunter and aiding in escape.

Which brings us to this (hey it isn't spam if it is my own damn blog right?) You need to register for the site to comment or post advice to it... let alone to vote. And hell, i am not going to ask you to, though i would appreciate it.

The idea i posted is just something i want to see happen, a way to return to a past time i bloody well should have grown out of by now. So i hereby promise not to sue anyone who manages to implement the idea, all i demand is a reciprocal promise not to sue may ass if i manage to implement it after you do. Finding a way to bring me out to wherever this is built would definitely be a bonus.

Please someone, make this happen, because we are all a bit scared of the dark, and i love being scared... especially if i also get the chance to freak someone else right the fuck out.

Hi, My name is Michael, and i am an asshole... but then again so are you.

Yes, I know, that title is a bit inflammatory... but before you (the likely imaginary at this point) reader gets all pissed off, read the rest of of the post...

I'm an asshole, and without ever meeting you, i am convinced that you are too... same with every person on this benighted planet, and if there is other sentient life in the universe THEY are likely assholes too.

Believe it or not, this is not pessimism, or even cynicism. It is optimism. We are all at the base, at the same level. And once someone recognizes their own assholatry, actually ACTING like one becomes optional.

See, by my reckoning, being an asshole is a bit like the Roman Catholic view on sin, having the impulse is nearly as bad as acting on them. But unlike the Christian version of sin, no poor asshole nailed to a tree can wash the stain away.

There are no exceptions. If my imaginary readers turn into actual commenters and try to tell me of any, on the off chance that i can't prove them wrong to my own satisfaction, it will likely be because i don't know enough about the person they propose.

Though i admit, that my naming every putatively sentient being in the universe an asshole depends rather heavily on my own definition of what makes someone an asshole, and my idea that it is the impulses as much as the actions that count.

Asshole impulses include and are not limited to: Prejudice, hypocrisy, excessive anger, insufficient empathy, excessive empathy, apathy, irrational fear, magical thinking, selfishness, deception, self deception,willful ignorance and sometimes unthinking altruism.

I can imagine it now, "Michael you asshole, how can you say empathy and altruism are bad things? They are two of the best concepts our species has come up with!"

And i won't disagree, but will point out the adjectives i used. Excessive empathy is worrying more about the feelings of a monster, than paying attention to the result of that monster's actions. Yes, people who become monsters often have some extreme trauma that helped to cause them to become monsters... But this is at best a partial explanation NOT an excuse, and treating what is learned through such empathy as more than a partial explanation is a fucking insult to the thousands or millions of people who survived trauma without becoming monsters themselves.

Altruism - thought = even worse. It is giving a hungry man a fish instead of a fishing net. It is a man who can't swim jumping into the water to save someone who isn't drowning. It is sending rice to countries where the government is intentionally starving out a part of the population... and trusting the government to fairly distribute that rice. It is sending money to the char^h^h^h^ spammer who actually just infected your PC with the Storm worm. Thoughtless altruism can be worse than none at all.

And we are all guilty from time to time of having, and sometimes ACTING on those impulses.

There may be some saints in this universe who have never acted on their assholish impulses. I have never heard of any though, and doubt that i ever will, because even the gods we humans believe in are assholes.

In the Greek mythos: Zeus, a serial adulterer, who didn't much care whether his "mistresses" consented, so he was also a serial rapist, ya can't get much more assholish than that. Though Hera, his long suffering wife comes close, she didn't kick that asshole to the curb, she punished the mortal women her husband raped, and often as not the children who resulted as well.

Feh... this type of stuff is the reason that when i am having religious moments, i tend to follow the Trickster types, at least they are up front about the fact they will likely fuck you over.

The Judeo-Christian Mythos isn't any better, sure there is less fratricide, matricide and patricide in the Genesis account than in most creation myths but the Judeo Christian creator is feeding his creations a line of bullshit pretty much from the time they were created.
Creator: Don't eat that fruit, it'll kill ya. (wanders off, not paying attention, so much for omniscience)
snaky dude: Hey girlie, try this apple, it is tasty and will confer on you the ability to form moral judgements.
First (or maybe second, depending on which chapter of genesis you believe is literally true) Girlie: I dunno, that other dude said it was poisonous..
SD: No really, it is might tasty, and good for you, it will set you free.
FG: OK... **Crunch**

You probably know the rest of the story, presented in more conventional terms... The lesson Judeo Christian types took from this, is about "Original Sin" and blame it on the girl and the snake... The way *I* see it the asshole who created them got caught in a lie and punished them for it.

So yeah, in case you haven't caught on, i don't follow any of the Abrahamic faiths. But having been raised in the midwestern US my parents would have had a hard time avoiding my exposure to its mythos had they tried.

Yeah, so i'm an asshole and so are you, what do we do next?

Me, i simply recognise the fact, and try to avoid ACTING like an asshole, with varying levels of success of course.

Other folks: Some if they had read this would simply consider me full of shit. The may agree that *I* am an asshole, and maybe everybody else is an asshole, but they themselves are an exception. This in their minds may justify acting like as asshole, since everybody else is, and they are not... I am guessing we all have met this sort of asshole.

An then there is the sort of asshole who might agree with me fully, except for my conclusions on how to deal with it. They may take the idea that everybody including them being assholes as permission be act like an even bigger asshole. This type is nearly indistinguishable from the previous type.

And then there is the poor asshole whose only sure point of agreement with my rant is that they themselves are assholes... and they feel real bad about it.

**sigh** That last type is on some ways the most annoying to me... especially when they get so tied up in guilt over something they don't have full control over that they do nothing to try to help fix whatever damage they cause. Though i will note that if there IS someone who isn't a obvious asshole, and generally doesn't act like one, it is likely this type.

So, imaginary readers, what sort of assholes are you? Or do you just want to call me a shit head and tell me of exceptions to my rules?

BTW, just because i am not the sort of asshole who intentionally commits plagiarism, the seeds of this rant were planted by half remembered dialog in a book, but damned if i can remember which book. I am about 70% certain the author was Spider Robinson, but i can't, for the life of me, find the bit of dialog in any copies of any of his books i own. **sigh** I think that the book also included the "God is an Iron" pun, but i have seen that one in a few of his works.

So if anyone with similar tastes and better memory finds this, feel free to post likely sources.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Purely for the hell of it...

I wonder if this avenue for writing is one i will get around to doing something with? Ahhh what the hell, i have been considering rewriting my rant on the asshole principle... i will hopefully get around to that tomorrow.