Family and Stuff

I was thinking about writing about the mad cow controversy, but then I realized that there’s not really that much to talk about. The North American Beef Industry is *fucked*.
instead I started thinking about Christmas and family, and how bizarre my family is compared to the rest of the world. You see the strange thing in our family, the dirty, dark little secret that nobody wants to talk about, well spill the beans – there are none. There are no black sheep (well, beside me and one of my cousins – we’re crazy!). There is no drama, no controversy, no embarassing uncles, no children in jail, no freaks (but plenty of geeks). We’re having a family reunion next year and so far out of 70 people only three can’t make it because their kid is in a world diving competition. Everyone else *wants* to come. Strange, huh?
It’s hard for me to understand another’s perception who comes from a family that is messed up. This is my weakness and probably why I believe there is always hope for humanity. From my perspective everybody *can* get along, and have a fun time as well.
I took the holidays off from blogging to relax and enjoy the holidays, but I’m going to get right back into the swing of things – big changes are coming soon!

It was her eyes

I had a very upsetting experience today. I was over at my buddies place shooting the shit, talking about games when his girlfriend and sister came home. After smoking a bit of pot, we were just getting into an amusing conversation when Erin, his sister, got up and headed for the stair well. At the third or fourth step she started collapsing. What probably happened over the course of 30 seconds felt like a lifetime as I watched somebody die right before my eyes. She started convulsing, not in a particularily violently way but more of an ending, the last throes of a mortal being. As her now ghastly white face came to rest on the step her eyes revealed her death, it was her eyes that went blank, it was her eyes that made us realize that this was something of deadly seriousness.
We all knew that there was something terribly wrong so her brother called 911. As he was talking and we were trying to move her body to the floor I noticed her eyes move. Slowly she came back to us. It took some coaxing but eventually she was with us again. By this time it was too late to cancel the firetruck and ambulance, so the next hour was one of dazed confusion, emergency response men, oxygen tanks and a calmly talking paramedic. She went to the hospital and I watched the house… Eventually they came home and Erin was shaken, but fine.
The official report was fainting due to some alcohol, a little pot and maybe not enough to eat. I’ve seen people faint before but not like this. Fainting doesn’t explain how we all knew, how the first thing on our mind was calling 911 so that she could be resuscitated before it was too late. She may not have died, that’s a possibility, and as we didn’t taker her pulse we can’t ever truely know. As far as I’m concerned though she wasn’t and then she was, a true disaster turn miracle, and just in time for Christmas.

In Internet news…

Everybodies favorite search engine Google will be releasing a new tool soon: Google Print. I happened upon it while checking out Bloogz, which seems to be driving a lot of traffic to my site. Either that or it’s a really crappy program that keeps showing up in my referral logs. Anyways what’s interesting about this google print is that it’s basically the same service Amazon was offering earlier but has seemingly since taken down – the ability to search for text within books. So while amazon has launched a product search in competition with Google’s Froogle, Google has shot right back with a venture into the online book selling market. Very interesting. I wonder how long it will take before Amazon removes google’s quick search from their site and all out war is declared. Enter in the third contender Microsoft and you’ve got a real battle royale brewing. I suppose in our capitalist society we, the consumers benefit from this competition, but I have a feeling that before this ‘battle for control of the internet’ is over many, many innocents will have perished in the slaughter. There can be only one! 🙂


I love music. Maybe not as much as Wally, but at the same time I do appreciate music and what it does to people. I’ve never contributed to the musical world ever though, having absolutely no technical talent, however on Saturday Wally and I set ourself a goal of making a song in an hour, which we did. Sure it took another hour to clean it up and add a little snaz, but I’m very impressed with the results. Although Wally did most of the work I really felt that it was a collaborative process and we together produced this musical ‘sketch’.
Check it: wally_glutton_and_chef_quix-4.mp3
I like it, but then that may be narcissism.

Complexity, redux

I was reading some of the fascinating comment in the 21 grams thread and just had to respond with a full out post. I love this stuff. I live and breath this stuff when I’m not conquering the galaxy or making crappy webpages. So after taking my sweet time coming up with an intelligent response I figured I’d do the lazy repost for all of you not following that thread. Be aware that we’re discussing the philosophical nature of souls, so some may not want to tread. 😉

Continue reading Complexity, redux


Yesterday was my birthday and for the first time in years I managed to get myself quite drunk. The venue: a bar with the basement taken over for a work christmas party. The people: good friends in the service industry. The kicker: the ‘speakeasy’ room where for the first time in months I was able to partake in the holiest of ceremonies – an indoor cigarette and a pleasant joint. There was a vibrant atmosphere, possibly due to the illegal nature of the festivities, more likely than not though the casual camaraderie between people who have to deal with other people for a living.
I quite enjoyed myself and as I mentioned before, managed to get quite drunk in a short period of time. This is an unusal activity for me because for the last three years I’ve been trapped in the suburbs, forced to drive myself and my friends around as we hit the town. The responsible citizen that I am usually requires a limit on alchohol intake. So it was a rare treat to be able to get smashed and not have to worry about a thirty dollar cab fair.
In other news, I’ve decided that I’m going to have to redesign my site and add a righthand sidebar to keep track of hot topics, otherwise known as pieces that I’ve written that are still generating quite a lot of comments. This would also allow me the opportunity to really start piling on the links – I am a man of habit and would quite enjoy having all of my daily links in one place.
In the meantime, I’ll simply present some of these pieces:
21 grams

The Right

Even though I try to avoid politics on the basis of principle, I sometimes get drawn in by the cacophony of praise that Mr. Bill Whittle receives every time he writes some pro-America / pro-republican / pro-war litany on his e..e..e.. site. I’m not sure what I’m going to comment on his current piece but I can only hope that it will draw much ire from the legions of cronies who blindly follow the slop bucket of rhetoric dispensed from e..e..e… These threads often go on for days, I just hope I’m not too late. I am probably being a bit harsh really, there is some interesting perspective presented, and obviously there is a large percentage of people able to elucidate their opinions in a clear and logical (at least from their perception) manner.
In other news, I attended my dads Phd candidacy today which went very well. I would talk more about it except that I don’t think many people are interested in harmonic domain analysis of power systems elements with non-linear or repetitive switching compents (Yes that is the title). I can’t say that I understood all of what he was talking about but I take comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone… I’d say my dad’s a bit of a crazy genius, he’s sort of invented some new math involving matrices to analyze systems purely in the harmonic domain. I don’t doubt he’ll be in a signal analysis textbook someday. But enough of this for now.

Violence and Video Games

There’s a general misconception that seems to be on the rise with the general public in regards to violence and video games. Let me clarify this: I believe it’s a misconception, but I have no actual proof besides some thought experiments and some violence statistics. Well, actually no links to speak of, but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that violence is in a decline over the past decade, something around 13%. That’s pretty significant if you think of them as numbers and not just a percentage. Say there were something like 10 million violent crimes in 1993, and in 2003 there were 8.7 million – 1.3 million less instances of needless pain, anger and sorrow. Yet if a kid picks up a rifle and starts picking off people in a manner that’s characteristic of a video game, suddenly video games are causing violence in children.
Something’s not right here.

Continue reading Violence and Video Games