TMI Tuesday #185

Tuesday, 05/05/2009 ≅10:46 ©brainycat

tmituesday

This week's questions come from Autumn, and she did a great job.

  • 1. Have you ever bought a membership to a porn site? If yes, what is the most recent one and did you like it?

    It's been a long time since I've bought a membership to a porn site. I guess the last subscription for porn I bought was fyre tv, but I was really disappointed with the content. It's full of the generic, forgettable porn that I don't rent from the local stores. I got in on it during the testing phase, but watched it for about 10 minutes in the last 5 months. It's a FANTASTIC platform and business idea, but the content they offer is so lame that it's just not worth punching in my 5 digit PIN to login.

  • 2. Would you rather watch a erotic/porn movie, read a story, or listen to an audio? Why?

    I'm totally torn between watching and reading. There's a time and a place for both. Sometimes I want the visual stimulation without having to think about it, or I just want something playing in the background while I pay attention to other things. Porn is great background tv; the plot is always the same so you can drift in and out as necessary. Sometimes I want the psychological turn on or detail, the intimacy the author provides by getting inside the heads of the characters. It really depends on my moood and whaTMI t I'm trying to get out of the experience.

  • 3. If you have a significant other what do you do for each other to get in the mood? If you don't what would you kind of thing could a future potential long term partner do to get you in the mood?

    My wife and I aren't relating very well lately. I feel like she doesn't do anything to get into the mood, and that's a real point of contention for me. I gave up my best friend of many, many years for her and I'm not getting any recognition or reward from her, and I'm angry about it.

  • 4. When it comes to sex, how much do you talk about it with others? How comfortable are you talking about sex?

    I like blogging about it every Tuesday ;) Seriously though, I can talk about sex in the abstract, third person sort of way with anyone. I feel free sharing most details of my sexuality with people I know whom I don't work with. I've never slept with a coworker ever because I like to keep my personal and my professional life seperate. Only my wife knows most perverted desires and fantasies. I know others have them too, I've seen them in porn and erotica, but I'm not willing to fess up to them in front of the world just yet.

  • 5. What are the last 5 things you search for on Google (or another search engine)?

    Today, I've mostly been searching for information about excel. I've gotten myself assigned to a project wherein I need to build a spreadsheet to track ongoing datapoints. This would be SO EASY with LAMP, but unfortunately that's not an option for me. So I'm googling around trying to figure out how to make it act like a proper database.



Four for Friday

Friday, 01/05/2009 ≅12:07 ©brainycat
  • Q1 Democracy: According to a friend of mine, the Pope is on record as saying democracy cannot survive without religion "A democracy without values can easily turn into an open or hidden totalitarianism as history teaches us." My friend read between the lines, replacing "values" with "religion." Do you think democracy can survive without organized religion?

I think democracy can survive despite religion. Religious sects of all flavors do not own any monopoly on morality; and the Pope's own church provides numerous examples of this. Secondly, democracy is only more "moral" in the context of modern western values. Democracy is a new form of social organization and for many cultures that haven't adopted industrial production, it doesn't make any sense. Thirdly, organized religion is the least democratic institution in the western world. Where else is the word from some invisible master accepted without question as the absolute rule of law? And why do religious people want to limit the rights of other people they live with?

  • Q2 Replay: Sixteen years ago on Thanksgiving Day, Phillipsburg High School and Easton Area High School left the football field without a clear winner: a 7-7 tie. That is about to change. The participants, now grown men in their early 30s, will head back onto the field this weekend to settle the score. Are there moments from high school you would like to replay?

I'd like to do most of highschool over again. You know the old adage that goes "If I knew then what I know now..."? Yeah. I'd get better grades and earn a scholarship. I'd approach girls a lot more. I wouldn't party so hard so often. I wouldn't let my home situation get me down so much. I'd make more friends and worry less about what other people think of me. Basically, act like a grownup instead of a teenager ;)

  • Q3 Lawsuits: Three-quarters of all small business owners in the U.S. say they are concerned they might be the targets of a frivolous or unfair lawsuit. Of those who are most concerned, six in ten say the fear of lawsuits makes them feel more constrained in making business decisions, and 54 percent say lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits forced them to make decisions they otherwise would not have made. If you could have sued any one person from your past, who would you sue, and for what?

I don't want to sue anyone. I want to kick their ass and hand out knowledge bumps to those who need it without fear of being incarcerated or sued.

  • Q4 Licensing: On this day in 1901, the State of New York became the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates. If you could require a person to obtain a license before doing something that currently does not require licensure, what would it be?

Why does the state get involved with fishing, hunting, using federal (and several state) parks but yet any pair of male and female idiots can get it on and make a baby? WTF?!?!?! This has never made any sense to me.



Conjuctivitis suxorz

Wednesday, 29/04/2009 ≅14:57 ©brainycat

Somehow, I aquired a nonspecific topical bacterial infection on my right eye. I'm glad it's not viral pinkeye, but it's no joyride either. Yesterday, it began burning - not itching like allergies - and a thin film of mucous kept building up that I wiped off with a qtip so I could see. I figured I probably got a cat hair in it while I was snuggling my kitty and scratched my cornea or something. So I slept on it, but in the morning my eye was crusted shut and it HURT. I called work and told them I have swine eye (they didn't think that was as funny as I did) and made an appointment at the clinic.

I love my clinic. Everything's computerized; if I call in from my cellphone, my records pull up automagically when they pick up the line. When I check in, I swipe my card and the deductible is immediately paid. When they take me to an exam room, my records are right there waiting for the doctor. I've gained 4 FRICKIN' KILOS since I quit drinking! WTF!! But my blood pressure is still good, 102/80. She was able to confirm my history, my medications and get on with the exam in moments. She verified it's not pinkeye and not cancer, and prescribed ciprofloxacin, antibiotic "of last resort" according to Wiki. She clicked a button and the prescription was sent to my pharmacy. Hot DAMN, I love technology!

The prescription was ready by the time I walked the 15 blocks to the pharmacy. I got home and dutifully put a drop in my eye. I've always hated putting drops in my eye, and it took a couple of tries before the liquid actually landed on my cornea. ZOMG! THE PPPAAAAINNN!!!! It must be medicine, it hurts like all unholy hell. I haven't noticed any improvement in the discomfort, but the mucous isn't building up any more. It's now draining down my cheek. And probably dripping into my sinus, and hopefully I won't get a secondary sinus infection. That's all I need with the plague lurking around the corner.

So what have I done on my day off? Not much. Answered some for people at wordpress.org, hopped on the Wednesday Weirdness meme, watched a show about the excavation of Caesarea, played with the cat and generally fucked off. I'm supposed to stay home from work tomorrow too, lest I become Patient Zero at the office.



Wednesday Weirdness #53

Wednesday, 29/04/2009 ≅14:09 ©brainycat

This week's Wednesday Weirdness meme features questions by: Another Suburban Mom.

  • 1. Is there a particular smell that turns you on? If so what is it?

Yes, lots of things. I suppose the most interesting olfactory fetishes I have are orange Dial liquid hand soap and Dektol. Why? When I was in highschool, I took a lot of engineering classes, which were in the same wing as the art classes. I'd often wander out of drafting class and hang out with my girlfriend in the darkroom while she developed her photos. A dark, secluded area, a sense of danger, teenage hormones... you know what happened. Often.

Shortly before I met my wife, I dated a women who used Dial soap. A lot. Almost in an obsessive/compulsive sort of way, but I have a thing for hygiene, so it worked out really well. Interestingly, research seems to indicate scent is more important for female mammals then for men.

  • 2. Have you ever tried or considered trying a Master Cleanse type method to lose weight?

Yes, in an effort to control IBS. They tasted yucky, I lost weight that I didn't need to lose, and I can't really said it did anything for my condition. Identifying and avoiding my "trigger foods" was much more useful.

  • 3. When you browsing a book store for reading material, do you find yourself checking out a book solely based on the cover design?

Only if there's naked women on the cover. But I'm sort of a pig like that. I spend all my time in bookstores in the computer books area, or the auto racing magazine rack. If I start wandering around, I'll spend more money than I can really afford to.

  • 4. Which 80's trend were you least happy to see come back this year; big shoulder pads or neon?

LONG LIVE PARACHUTE PANTS!

  • 5. How long do you think could you disappear for until someone would notice your absence and start looking for you?

Until about midnight, then my wife would assume I'm at a bar relapsing and/or in bed with someone else.

  • 6. Have you ever walked out of a movie and asked for your money back? Which movie(s) and why?

Yes. I walked out of "Shanghai Knights" because the sound was way off, and they gave us coupons for free admission to another movie. Otherwise, I'm pretty good about making sure I don't spend money to go see a flick in a theater unless I know it's worthwhile. There's been plenty of DVDs that I didn't bother to finish. The most recent is "Rise of the Lycans". I dont' know why I tried to watch it. The other Underworld movies were so bad I found myself hoping for the sudden onset of eye cancer to spare me from the disaster unfolding on the tv.

  • 7. Have you ever changed your plans because of something you read in your horoscope?

Are you kidding? The horoscope changes for me!



My perfect river for a cruise

Monday, 27/04/2009 ≅17:59 ©brainycat

Join the conversation at thatsmyanswer.com.



Monday Meme: Curious as a Cat

Monday, 27/04/2009 ≅15:21 ©brainycat

Join the meme fun at Curious as a Cat and get yer Monday brain jumpstarted. I did and it was fun.

1) If I could make one change to my workplace, I would install taller cubicles. We have the half-height cubicles, and it looks like a graveyard with everyone's head and shoulders sticking up. And there's not enough room to properly display my Ferrari team flag and thumbtack the various charts and lists that I need immediate access to. I would really like to increase my privacy and wall acreage. If I could make two changes, I would also put a state of the art filtration/sterilization system to reduce my chances of getting sick.

2) The silliest thing I ever heard from my parents was either "Of course god exists, it says so in the [King James] bible" or my dad saying, "If you try drugs once, you'll go crazy forever." Little did he know, I was already irrevocably nuts ;)

3) The most fascinating crime that happened before my time would either be the destruction of the Knights Templar, or the antics of Jack the Ripper. I think the Knights Templar were a fascinating intersection of politics, religion, wealth and knowledge at a time before the four were necessarily as interdependent as they are today. Essentially, the betrayal of the Knights teaches us a lot about how the changing economy ground old political structures beneath it's incessant wheels. Jack the Ripper is cool, the first truly modern serial killer and inspiration of so many theories, arguments, speculation and ultimately even novels and movies.

big-mouth4) Flipper the dolphin mated with a buffalo and is hanging out on the Porch! Get a camera!



What’s the big deal about swine flu?

Monday, 27/04/2009 ≅13:22 ©brainycat

You've no doubt heard about the latest swine flu outbreak. If you're like me, you found yourself curious why this particular outbreak is worth so much attention. I poked around teh intertubes for awhile, and found out why swine flu is such a big deal.

Swine flu is a generic name for a class of viri that was responsible for the 1918-1919 pandemic that killed 2.5% of the world's known population. This latest variety of H1N1 is believed to have killed anywhere from 60 to 100 people in Mexico already, and cases have been reported around the globe already. This variant includes some proteins also found on the SARS virus H5N1. It is unclear at this time if this has any effects on it's communicability or lethality. The death rate in Mexico is not definitively known, but reports indicate it's about 7%, plus or minus a point or two. This, I believe, is an inflated rate, as it only counts the number of diagnosed survivors. No doubt quite a number of people got sick but did not seek hospitilization.

While "normal" flu viri kill less than one half of one percent of flu patients a year, these pandemic flus kill several orders of magnitude more. Being healthy is somewhat of a liablity, as the stronger the immunological response you can muster, the more phlegm is developed, which can drown the patient or invite massive secondary bacterial infections. Of course, immunocomprimised patients are always at risk.

Fifteen percent of the diagnosed patients in the US had taken the flu vaccine. The vaccine is tailored every year to strains that are expected to spread, but these projections are made months before flu season and prognosticating plague is a less than exact science. Personally, I wound up in the hospital with life-threatening intestinal flu the year I tried the vaccine, so I haven't touched it since.

This flu is probably more dangerous than H5N1, the famous avian flu. It's spreading faster, and has at least the same lethality if not more. Fortunately, we have drugs to combat it. Or rather, some people do:

The article went on to state that only up to a quarter of a given Western nation population (except Great Britain at fifty percent) can be treated with antiviral drugs from government stockpiles during the first pandemic wave. This would mean, as Australia's Dr. Buddhima Lokuge et.al. states (see eMJA article), Australian government stockpiled antivirals "will be limited and reserved for those on a confidential rationing list." The United States public are in the same boat and face an identical government policy situation -- selective rationing:*)

In economic news, analysts indicate that for the most part the scare has had a negative impact on the markets, but Roche (the manufacturer of Tamifil, manufacturer of the drug that the flu responds to the best) has gone up.

Will 2009 be remembered as the year the epidemic started? Will history's recollection overshadow the first non-white president for a submicroscopic sliver of protein and RNA? Will the wildly disparate availability of medicine and medical care be the catalyst for worldwide revolution? Hopefully not the former, hopefully the latter.

EDIT 4/29/2009
It appears the H1N1 swine flu has arrived in Seattle.



I miss fireflies

Sunday, 12/04/2009 ≅19:44 ©brainycat

found at Bug Girls Blog There's very, very little I miss about living in the midwest. I was born, not raised, a west coast kind of guy. Besides proper thunderstorms, decent BBQ, and lazy float trips down warm rivers the only thing I miss are fireflies. Lightening bugs, as we called them as kids, don't live on this side of the Rockies in North America and when I decided to move out here I didn't think I'd miss them.

I was wrong. I miss fireflies terribly. Not the insects themselves per se, but all the good times that happened along with them. Fireflies came out during the last grainy minutes of daylight, as the temperature dropped from "searing" to "merely uncomfortable", and the evening breeze would come up and finally provide some relief from the broiling humidity. Emerging from underneath shade, out of doors and willing to venture a few feet away from sources of fresh water, people kids would emerge and congregate as they are wont to do at those ages.

Embued with the cruelty common to all children, I was the undispusted master Firefly Swatter as a young lad. This was a competion the neighborhood kids would do every few nights or so. We'd get our trusty wiffle bats and see how much glowy guts we could smear on them, one bug at a time. The winner had the glowiest bat by the time the fireflies settled down for the night.

Later, fireflies became synonomous with hanging out with girls, clumsily fumbling through the rituals of attraction: signal and response, just like the insects floating around us. Cool damp air, the warm earth, the drone of countless insects, fireflies twinkling about, and the soft moans of pleasure are and forever will be indelibly inked upon some primitive part of my brain.

Shortly after the wonderfulness that is girls became known to me, so did booze. Drinking with my friends, picking up on girls, listening to music out at the edge of the county are about the only parts of my highschool years that I remember fondly. Then I grew up, and got my own place to live, and a job, and suddenly there just wasn't time for sitting around for a few hours doing almost nothing.

Why the sudden melancholic introspection? Because I missed firefly day. Not that I have a lot to contribute to this study headed by the Boston Museum of Science, but if you live in a firefly zone you can still sign up to participate. It appears, that like bats, frogs and several other creatures of the summer night, their numbers are inexplicably dropping. Thanks to Bug Girl for the headsup and brief trip down memory lane.



Stand Up and Be Counted

Monday, 30/03/2009 ≅15:44 ©brainycat

pharyngula said it perfectly:

This is one of the reasons we godless need to be militant in expressing our ideas: there are children out there right now who have the potential for genius, but their talents are being shunted into the futile wasteland of religiosity. Yes, there are a lot of atheists in the topmost ranks of successful scientists, but it's not because they are intrinsically smarter than someone who believes in gods — it's because they more easily embrace the mode of thinking that is most productive and successful in scientific fields, and are less burdened with absurd presuppositions. Let's stop handicapping our kids.

Piqued? Read on...



nihilism

Saturday, 21/03/2009 ≅09:11 ©brainycat

Nihilism. It's not just for breakfast anymore.