Batshit Apace

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The sheer, unadul­tered, WTF crazi­ness that is this week con­tin­ues apace. And it’s only just af­ter­noon on Tuesday. Normally I’d be grouchy as all hell, but I’ve heard so many other re­la­tions of grouch­i­ness from friends, fam­ily, cowork­ers and Facebook, that my an­thro­po­log­i­cal ob­ser­va­tion mech­a­nisms queued up my con­fir­ma­tion bias and now I’m just fas­ci­nated with what­ever the hell is up with Cleveland right now.

No one slept well last night, or the night be­fore, ex­cept for peo­ple who were drunk or are usu­ally in­som­niac. Yesterday, I had to lit­er­ally sit on Abraham in or­der to get him clothed, no one had a good day at work, and a va­cant house owned by an ab­sen­tee preda­tory loan scam­mer ex­ploded and dam­aged fifty-five other homes, and dis­placed fif­teen fam­i­lies.

Today I was ver­bally abused by a crazy black woman on the bus who nearly sat on me, and then ac­cused me of try­ing to run her over. She re­ferred to every black per­son as an an­i­mal and every white per­son as a dirty hu­man. All at the top of her lungs.

However, I just gave blood and now I’m eat­ing left­over chili and a peanut but­ter sand­wich at home.

Mathlete

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The new se­mes­ter has kicked off and any sem­blance of a hol­i­day has fi­nally left the build­ing. The class I’m tak­ing for the next 4 months is Applied Quantitative Reasoning. The in­struc­tor doesn’t ap­pear to be a hard-ass, but he’s play­ing every­thing ex­actly by the CSU pol­icy guide. I get the feel­ing be­cause it’s eas­ier for him to let the pol­icy al­ready in place do the work. This class is ba­si­cally a part-time job; sta­tis­ti­cal math­e­mat­ics for 16 hours per week.

It’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge, but I al­ways rise to those. I’ve not ex­er­cised my math mus­cles in a decade, so I ex­pect there will be some nec­es­sary cob­web-blow­ing in the first weeks.

Cumulative Review Part 2 — The Yeah!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Instead of writ­ing a post about all of the great things that hap­pened in the last decade, I fig­ured the fol­low­ing video is just as elo­quent.

Obama Lexicon

Friday, 8 January 2010

I’ve no­ticed that Obama’s stock turns of phrase ap­pear more and more of­ten on blogs and com­ing from state­ments from other folks all over the place. To doc­u­ment, these are:

  • Let’s be clear
  • Make no mis­take

I don’t be­lieve this is con­fir­ma­tion bias. They’re used in the same rhetor­i­cal con­texts, for the most part. It’s a sub­con­scious sign that the per­son speak­ing or writ­ing has a deep re­spect for (and very likely looks up to) the President.

Personally, I like it when he talks about teach­able mo­ments, when he’s deal­ing with thorny but morally im­por­tant is­sues. I don’t know that I al­ways agree with what he de­fines as a teach­able mo­ment, but I cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate the sen­ti­ment that there are times when it is im­por­tant to learn a lesson, and to let the mo­ment teach that lesson to you. Your re­ac­tion to that mo­ment pro­vides some­thing you can teach your­self, and then oth­ers. It’s a good mech­a­nism for thought­ful liv­ing.

Cumulative Review Part 1 — The Crap!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

From what I’ve seen, read and talked about with oth­ers, the con­sen­sus is that the first decade of the new mil­len­nium, the first decade of ac­tual worldly-aware­ness on my part, sucked. For the most part, I’ve got to agree. Global ter­ror­ism, geno­cide in Africa, two un­winnable wars, Americans tor­tur­ing peo­ple, two re­ces­sions (or eco­nomic down­turns, or bub­ble-bursts, or what­ever safer word you want to use), and those are just the top 5.

Personally, the new decade hasn’t started out much bet­ter. On New Year’s Eve, Bram was sick. On New Year’s Day I came down with the same thing and lost 7 pounds in 36 hours, prob­a­bly should have gone to the hos­pi­tal, and spent the next 3 days hob­bling about like an old man. During this time Debbie’s brother got what­ever it was. And the babysit­ter, and the babysitter’s hus­band, and an­other kid she watches, and that kid’s par­ents.

So Tuesday I feel up to go­ing to work. I put on my dress shirt and lo, a tear in the left el­bow. What the hell? Whatever. I put on an­other dress shirt and lo, a tear in the left el­bow. What the fuck? Whatever. I put on a sweater and go to work. While walk­ing to the bus stop, I get a call to find out that my uncle’s fa­ther died the night be­fore. He wasn’t blood kin, but he might as well have been. 92 years old, a great and good man, a pa­tri­arch of the 20th cen­tury.

So enough of the crap from the last decade.

PLI

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

When I was very small, the worst word I knew was “hate.” I could get smacked for us­ing it too freely or in­ap­pro­pri­ately. Later, I was taught the typ­i­cal tru­ism “if you can’t say any­thing nice, don’t say any­thing.” Once I’d processed that by be­ing re­quired to sit in a chair and think about man­ners a few times, I then be­came con­fused about the dif­fer­ence be­tween a com­ment and a com­pli­ment. I un­der­stood per­fectly well what a com­pli­ment was, but a com­ment was a co­nun­drum. Apparently a com­ment didn’t have to be com­pli­men­tary. So to my tiny bi­nary mind, this cer­tainly meant that com­ments were not some­thing that was good.

It’s tod­dler logic, like the time I asked Mom to name every­thing that be­gan with the let­ter m. Hey, Mom be­gins with m doesn’t it? She must know every­thing else that be­gins with m then.