Announcing a new business venture: HazMat Airlines!

October 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm (Icepick) (, )

Every passenger will fly with level C or level B hazmat suits! The cabin will be hosed down with chlorine bleach between every flight! Frequent Flyer rewards include a free upgrade to level A hazmat gear for every 15,000 miles flown!

So, who’s with me? Don’t let this business opportunity pass you buy! Get in on the ground floor!

 

Or should that be HazMat Airways? Better copyright and trademark that, too.

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Two for Karen!

October 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm (By Ron)

Karen and I were discussing various things on the phone, and mentioned these two….and said I’d put the YouTube videos up for them!

Thing 1:  Nixon’s Piano Concerto

 

Thing 2: Gilmore Girls! A brief sample..

Enjoy all….

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zzzzzzzzzzz…

October 19, 2014 at 4:29 am (By Ron)

I’ve been a bit feverish lately, and trying to work through it…by sleeping.  But when Ron sleeps….he dreams….for your amusement here’s two.

 

1.)  My artist friend in northern California and I have been discussing her many bureaucratic struggles with healthcare, and a certain group is in the news lately…

So I dreamt that I was her “ISIS Benefits Coordinator”, and I called her to tell her what she was eligible for.  As a “daughter of jihad” and for the sacrifice of having “married an Italian”, she qualified to receive “12 million barrels of sweet, light, unrefined crude oil.”

“Oil?”, she said.

“Of course!  We are ISIS, what do you think we have, dental?”

 

2.) She invited me out to NoCal for a special cookout.  For some reason I had to drive there in a ’58 Impala.

58 impala 2

I brought an entire barrel of Vernor’s Ginger Ale ( a Detroit favorite!) and a large version of the Vernor’s Gnome as a lawn ornament.

I had made my millions by inventing a piece of software that would take any photo and turn it into a file for a 3D printer to make a lawn gnome out of it….You know, we could use this!  We need the AmbiGnome, am I right?

When I got there she told me it was the time of year that the wind currents would pick up a certain type of California squirrel, carry them out over the Pacific, and back, sort of a squirrel Jet Stream.

My friend and her spouse were out there with butterfly nets snagging these squirrels as they flew by. and they were just flinging them in a pot of hot oil!

“What about the fur?”, I said, and was told the California squirrel has a fur that turns into a breading like fried chicken when put in hot oil….

And feast we did…

 

Back to bed…

 

Extra:  The old Vernor’s plant, right downtown in Detroit back in the day…

redbeard

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Halloween upcoming!

October 18, 2014 at 10:04 am (By Ron)

So…what are folks doing for Halloween?  Anything special?  Parents taking out kids?  If so….dressed as what?

 

I have several Halloween avatars …

 

Ron-avatar_Dracula

Ron-avatar_skeleton-2

Ron-avatar_The_Invisble_Man

Which do you like?

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Ebola, and the stupidity of categorical statements from public officials

October 12, 2014 at 10:25 pm (Icepick)

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a categorical statement about the new case of Ebola in Texas. The CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, made the following statement:

At some point, there was a breach in protocol, and that breach in protocol resulted in this infection. The (Ebola treatment) protocols work. … But we know that even a single lapse or breach can result in infection.

However, the CDC went on to state that they had spoken with the nurse and could NOT determine what the failure in procedures was. They do not know what, if anything, the nurse or anyone else did wrong.

While it is most likely true that this new case was a result of a failure to observe safety protocols, the CDC should not be making categorical statements. And here’s why.

Taken from the President’s remarks on September 16, 2014 [the President's remarks are in block quotes, my responses are not]:

First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low.

Within three days, an asymptomatic infected person was on his way to the USA via plane.  So much for the consensus view of the experts.

We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States.

Wrong. See previous comment. The methodologies for screening were so rigorous that lying and Ibuprofen could beat them. Given how easily Duncan entered the country, the chances of this happening were not “extremely low.”

In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home.  We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus.

This one appears to be true. Thank God some of it was.

We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.

So prepared that they got an Ebola victim and sent him home with anti-biotics. And so prepared that according to the CDC itself the medical staff at the hospital in Texas were too poorly trained to implement the procedures correctly.

Three out of four sentences wrong, although at least the President’s speech writers stuck in a slight qualifier in the first sentence.

This is why the CDC should not have made such categorical statements today regarding the new case in Texas. By doing so they look arrogant, and look especially stupid in light of the President’s comments from September 16th, which were no doubt made after the relevant people from the CDC had made their views known to the President and his staff. As it is, they look like the jerk-off NASA administrators who said that the chance of a shuttle failure resulting in catastrophic loss of life & equipment were one in millions or less. It erodes their credibility, and does not reassure the public.

NOTE: I am not implying the President or his advisers were lying on September 16th or today. Perhaps they are, but that isn’t proven and I will give them the benefit of the doubt. But the remarks from September 16th have serious credibility issues, and today’s comments left them no wiggle room should the new statement be incorrect. And even if their belief is correct, today’s statement projects arrogance, which is off-putting to say the least.

Instead, the CDC should have released a statement worded something like this:

We’re confident that our safety protocols are effective and believe that one or more of these protocols were likely breached resulting in this additional case. We are working with the infected nurse and her coworkers to determine exactly what happened. We will work diligently to insure no further breaches of established best practices, or if we need to revise our protocols.

That would have been reassuring without projecting know-it-all arrogance.

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So what’s going on?

September 29, 2014 at 10:48 pm (Icepick)

After the crumby neighbors finally got kicked out, the new owners have been tearing out that interior of that house and remodeling it. There’s also been outside work on the septic system and removing an old dead oak tree, but that’s there.

Here? I’ve been doing some major pruning, battling fleas, chasing my daughter around and trying to figure out how to schedule our lives to accommodate her growing educational needs.(We are homeschooling.)

And trying to stay dry. Today the lake at the end of the street reached a level I’ve never seen before, not even after the three hurricanes in 2004 or the weird July of 2008. Close to overflowing the bank on the far side. Hopefully the pumping station will lower the level overnight.

But that can only happen if the rain stops! Today we tied a record: 22 days in September with rain. The old record has stood since 1892(!) and it will be broken tomorrow, quite possibly before the sun comes up.

We’ve also been sweating like fiends as the AC in the main part of the house stopped working a couple of months ago. We’ve got a couple of wall units, one for the bedroom wing and one for the main living areas, and it has not been pleasant since the one stopped working. I tried a few things to fix it, but so far nothing has worked. I’ve got a couple of other things to try, but it is murder getting it in and out of the wall, and frankly I haven’t had the energy to try again. (Needless to say we don’t have the money to buy a new one.)

I’ve also found a chess club I can play at. I can play online any time, but I grew up actually moving pieces with my hands, and that’s still what I find most satisfying. (I also visualize future moves better with a 3-D representation in front of me, rather than one that’s 2-D.) That’s made me rather happy in recent weeks, even if it is a 45 minute drive one way. (The old club from the Orlando area is all but completely defunct now.)

Kim continues to work. She’s a bit bummed now as a combination of events have resulted in all of her friends in the office being elsewhere now – the last of them transferred to the Philly office for a year just last Friday. Hopefully that won’t be too hard. She’s also has another organization she participates in, but that’s rapping up at the end of the year. Kim is clearly ready for something <i>new</i> for her energies. (I mean away from the home. Besides, health and financial issues mean no more children.)

The little one continues to grow in all ways. Although we miss having a baby or a toddler, she’s more interesting and more entertaining now. Also more trouble, but even that’s funny sometimes. The enthusiasm of youth! Nothing like having an entire universe in front of you and having pretty much all of it be new. I could go into particulars, but I won’t.

So, what about the rest of ya?

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still here!

September 17, 2014 at 10:41 am (By Ron)

Hi all…

 

Ron here….I’m having puter troubles, so I’m on another persons computer for now.  If anybody has a Windows 7 home edition….let me know!

I need to post more here I know….I will be back!

 

:)

 

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A new family motto

September 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm (Icepick) ()

The old family motto came from a comment by my mother:

We’re not crazy; we’re just mean.

Too true. But since I’ve either disowned my family or been disowned by them (and good riddance either way), I want a new motto. Today, in a text to my wife, I may have hit upon it.

If I’m going to be a fluffy pink poodle with purple sequins, I’m going to do it the right way.

Context might help you understand it, but why worry about that? Should probably make it first person plural, though….

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A PSA about PSA Tests….

September 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm (Icepick) (, , , )

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. My wife, Kim, has asked me to broadcast this information. More than a decade ago she lost her father to prostate cancer, so this matter is near and dear to her heart.

So to all the gentleman, and other males, out there, go get a finger shoved up your ass by a professional. It might just save your life. And it might spare your daughters, wives, sons and other loved ones from a feeling of loss due to your absence.

NOTES:

PSA = Public Service Announcement

PSA Test = Prostate-Specific Antigen Test, a blood test to help detect prostate cancer; used in conjunction with Digital Rectal Exams for screening purposes.

More information can be found here and here.

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Everybody Has a Theory About Procrastination. Here’s Mine.

August 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm (By Amba)

But first (ha ha!), here’s the latest new one that made me want to write this. And here’s an old post of mine presenting two opposed perspectives on procrastination, one heroic, one subversive. So there you have three other theories of procrastination (four, actually: the first link talks about procrastination as a time-management error before proposing that it may instead be a mood-regulation error).

So here’s mine.

For us to do anything challenging, and particularly anything creative, our regular everyday self has to get out of the way, and it doesn’t want to.

Our regular everyday self wants the credit for the work, and the gratification of having done the work, but in fact it cannot and does not DO the work. For the work to happen, our regular everyday self not only has to sacrifice the petty, reliable pleasures with which it lines its cozy nest and shores itself up; it has to sacrifice itself. It has to go away. It has to cease to exist for an indefinite unbounded while, a little death that for all it knows might be the big death. For the regular everyday self, this is not only unpleasant, it’s terrifying. It will put up a fight for hours, for days. Procrastination is its rear-guard action. A miniature version of this battle must be fought at the entrance to every workout, every workday.

But you can’t go in at the deep end with your clothes on. You have to shuck your regular everyday self: it’s the entrance requirement of the creative realm. Once you do, and only then, new stuff can come through, into the world through you.

And then at the end of the day or the task, your regular everyday self comes back and celebrates to find itself still alive and possessed of this new stuff that it can show off. The creative doesn’t need to celebrate. It just goes off looking for some other place where it can get into the world.

/my theory of procrastination. But does it help? It helps me.

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