More Bullshit . . .

March 15, 2014 at 10:17 am (Uncategorized)

. . . on A Cold Eye (where I describe myself frankly as a bullshitter). I hesitated to post the link here, thinking, “What’s the point? All I’m doing is inviting realpc to come over here and tell me I’m wrong about everything.”

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Leaving work behind.

March 14, 2014 at 4:25 pm (By Ron)

I have a few thoughts on how we are “tranisitioning” (to use a modern buzzword) away from work as fast as we can.  Posted over at The End of Work

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We need a laugh….because….well, the world!

March 12, 2014 at 11:58 am (By Ron)

I got this from a Tumblr post….sorry for the length but I hope you enjoy it.

 

How Do Court Reporters Keep Straight Faces?

These are from a book called Disorder in the Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
_______________________________
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
_____________________________________
ATT ORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
_________________________________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
___________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
____________________________________

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
___________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
_________________________________________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
___________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless th e Circus was in town I’m going with male.
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
______________________________________
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
_________________________________________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral…
_________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS : Are you qualified to ask that question?

______________________________________
And last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No..
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

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Nuke Tuesday here at Ambiance!

March 11, 2014 at 6:19 pm (By Ron)

Licorne2

The French Licorne (“Unicorn”) test in 1970.   I’m thinkin…..t-shirt?

 

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You all caught this right?

March 10, 2014 at 6:20 am (By Ron)

I was a bit disappointed by the first episode of the new COSMOS series,  (That Big Bang explosion looked more like ‘Otto blew up the white phosphorus factory again’ then the Beginning Of Everything.  And the Cosmic Calender? Groan!  Can’t we have newer more creative metaphor?) but did you notice Neil deGrasse Tyson

n-degrasse-tyson

looks a lot like Isaac the Bartender from The Love Boat?

TED LANGE

“While you’re explaining the Higgs boson to the masses as we pass Saturn, I’d like a Fuzzy Navel, please!”

Added:

I sent the following as an email to our Glorious Blogmistress and she asked me to repost it here!  Enjoy!

Thinking it through a bit more, I’m even more disappointed in COSMOS.

We’ve now seen more interesting footage, REAL footage mind you, not stills, of some of the planets than their animators made.

The whole thing felt wheezy.  Nothing fresh!  Bruno looked like Space Jesus as seen by Pixar. (“Goy Story”?)

Unlike in Sagan’s day, we’ve had 30+ years of looking at some hellfire explosions from Hollywood, so the bar is pretty high.  They seemed to be going through the motions.  (personal fav?  At the end of Broken Arrow, John Travolta 1.) wins a brawl with Christian Slater but is 2.) impaled by a cruise missile in 3.) the middle of an exploding fireball in 4.) the middle of a train wreck!   Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about!)

Even worse the whole thing is produced/written by Brannon Braga, most famous for his work — 25 years ago now — on Star Trek:The Next Generation.  Some of the COSMOS tracking shots and camera angles(!) looked like NextGen!  Which would be fine if this were 1988, but hey, can’t we do new?

More science please, less grade C CGI.
Added, Part 2:
Via i09, NASA now has a Flickr account with actual images that put COSMOS to shame.

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Why Nukes are the Greatest Invention

March 8, 2014 at 9:53 am (By Amba)

But you have to go over to A Cold Eye to read it.

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A Mechanism of Immortality

February 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm (By Amba)

. . . that even a materialist could love?

I’m not a convinced materialist (that takes belief, and I am not a believer of any kind—I’m as pure an agnostic as you’ll find), but I’m immersed in science all day long and so I am conversant with its core belief, which is—crudely put—that only what has a demonstrable physical, material basis is real. Let’s take that as our premise just for the moment, without taking it as truth or untruth.

We all have odd thoughts sometimes, and what follows was one of mine. It was spurred by hearing about someone who, late in his own life, had quite convincing hallucinatory conversations with his deceased wife. And more than one person my age who has said that it was only when their second parent died that they lost them both. And the truism, maybe especially a secular Jewish one, that memory is our immortality.

What if that’s literally true?

Another ingredient in this thought is having copyedited a book about the Singularity, the techno-geek fantasy that machines will bring us immortality (it’s been called “the Rapture for nerds”). Various mechanisms are imagined, but one of them is transferring our consciousness into a silicon substrate, a deathless machine. I am extremely skeptical of this and think it’s basically a religious hope of escape from death transferred lock, stock, and barrel onto science, but that’s beside my point here.

Which is: What if we actually transfer at least a part of our consciousness into another brain?

That seems less of a stretch than transferring it into the alien medium of silicon. And love is the technology of transfer. Longtime couples, besides sharing a lot of experiences, certainly incorporate parts of each other’s outlook into themselves. “Becoming one flesh” might be a metaphor not only for feeling one another’s joy or pain, but for an identification intimate enough to incorporate some of each other’s cognitive traces. When one dies, then, maybe some aspects of their consciousness literally live on in the other’s brain.

Just putting it out there. When I listen to jazz, it feels like Jacques is listening through me.

Cross-posted on A Cold Eye

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Meanwhile, the Crimean seethes and Eric Holder has the vapors.

February 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm (Icepick)

And all Scooby can think is, “Whoa, man. It all seems so real to me now!”

(Scooby speaks fine American when stoned.)

[Edit: originally posted on the 27th of Feb, and since moved down.]

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A day at the movies!

February 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm (Icepick)

This morning, my wife and I decided to take our three year-old daughter to see The Lego Movie. (We’ve got a friend who is likely to assault us if we don’t see it soon.) So we went to the 11:10 AM showing this morning at a local theater of good repute.

For three matinee tickets, one small drink, one medium drink, one large popcorn, and a package of Junior Mints (my wife’s greatest desire at a movie), the total price came to $49.00. Forty-nine dollars! My shock at this is evidence of how infrequently we go to the movies, I guess, and for the record, this was a regular showing, not a 3D showing or an IMAX showing or a Smell-o-vision showing.

Anyway, what we saw of the movie was pretty good, but about 35 minutes in our daughter started throwing up. Yuck. Thankfully, with both parents in attendance, one of use handled the mess and one handled the child. Sigh. The manager at the theater was most accommodating and even gave us passes so we can come back another time, which was unnecessary but very appreciated.

For those that have seen the movie, we were at the point where they build a ramp to get the police car off the train in the Old West, which will make much more sense if you see the movie. It had been rather clever to that point in time, and was a real treat visually.

And I feel the need to draw your attention to one of the trailers. A movie called The Boxtrolls is coming out later this year, and it is a stop-motion animation flick, from the studio that did Coraline. Anyway, I thought the trailer was nicely done and worth the two minutes it will take to watch it.

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WHERE’S MY THEBES?!

February 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm (Icepick) ()

The rantings of one very irate man to follow soon.

Quite a bit later, certainly later than “soon” by any reasonable definition…

First, some background.

My mother was born in 1927. She worked at Walt Disney World Resorts from 1980 to 2000. I was covered under her medical insurance for several years while I was still a minor. Eventually Mom retired with a (great) retiree medical benefit.

I was born in 1968. I worked at Walt Disney World Resort from 2003 until 2008.

My mother died in September of 2011.

Then the adventure begins!

Shortly after Mom died, my sister and I received her death benefit payment from Disney. It wasn’t a lot, but it came to the correct person, with the correct SS#.

Then I started getting notices from the WDW benefits center telling me that I was eligible for a medical benefit. I called them, told them I certainly wasn’t eligible, and they said it was cleared up.

I kept getting notices about signing up for my medical benefits. Grrr. Called again, eventually, told them they were wrong. Eventually they figured out that two of me were in the system, one with a SS# that was off by one digit. Someone had goofed up and created a phantom me. They told me that they had it resolved.

I kept getting notices about signing up for my medical benefits. Grrr. Called again.

Lather, rinse, repeat a couple of times.

I kept getting notices about signing up for my medical benefits. GRRR. Called again some time last summer. Allegedly got everything settled, killed the phantom me, had everything under the correct me, had everything cancelled.

I KEPT GETTING NOTICES ABOUT SIGNING UP FOR MY MEDICAL BENEFITS. GRRR. Gave up calling, decided, “Fuck it [Something much more polite than "Fuck it", I'm sure], I’ve done what I need to do, they need to figure this out on their own.”

I kept getting notices about signing up for my medical benefits. Didn’t care any more, ignored them, moved on with my life.

January 2, 2014 rolls around and I finally go to the doctor about an issue that had been bothering me for almost two months. Samples are taken, and samples are dropped off at a lab. (Don’t ask for details – you really don’t want details.)

Now, unemployed man that I am, my wife’s medical insurance covers me. Turns out that the same company that covers my wife’s employer is the same company that handles the administration of Disney’s medical insurance here in Florida. (Disney self-insures, so they actually pay for everything themselves, but it uses an insurance company to handle everything for a variety of reasons. This is common for large employers.)

So when I went to the lab I made certain that they had my current insurance information.

A couple of weeks later, we get a couple of notifications of benefits from the insurance company. My wife looks at them and realizes that my Disney insurance has been billed.

GRRR!

Now, feeling like Bruce Banner right before he turns green, I call the Disney benefits people AGAIN. Eventually (and I can’t remember if this was on the first or second call, or maybe a third call), we determine the nature of the problem. Namely, Disney has me listed as my mother’s surviving spouse, thus entitled to her (quite excellent) medical coverage.

This after numerous attempts to clear things up. This after many attempts from me explaining to them that they were in error and needed to fix this. This after the Disney benefits folks told me on several occasions that they had cleared everything up.

So now I find out that I had been eligible for the benefit, according to Disney, since 1/1/2012, and that the insurance had been active (despite my not paying them anything) since 1/1/2013. So now I’m suddenly scared that more than two lab fees (and a visit to the doctor’s office, it turns out) have been billed to the wrong insurance policy. Because you know that would be a true and royal clusterfuck [something much more polite than "clusterfuck", I'm sure], and that I would be on the hook for it, quite possibly criminally, despite the fact that I hadn’t done anything wrong. They take insurance fraud seriously in Florida. Uh, unless you’re the governor, I mean.

Seriously, I don’t know why Disney feels like they need to fuck me all over again (having already fired me early in the recession, thus ruining my chances of ever holding down a job of any kind again, on the flimsiest of reasons by a jack-ass who gambled on his work computer using aliases of founders of the Ku Klux Klan to do it), but my God they have decided to fuck my all over again. Seriously, what is wrong with those goddamned bastards? How fucking evil, stupid, and/or mean are they that they are insisting on repeatedly screwing me over? Seriously, is there anybody with that company that is competent left, or are they dimply this fucking mean? I began to ponder the wisdom of Murphy and Finagle.

(I told you I was pissed irate.)

Anyway …

They tell me they’ve finally got it cleared up again. So they tell me. They really do. They practically pinky-swore on the matter.

Then, yesterday, I get a letter from the goddamned absolutely lovely Disney benefits people, telling me they’ve been trying to contact me, and I need to talk to them about my fucking (I got nothin’) benefits with the Walt Disney Company, of which I HAVE NONE.

So after my wife gets home, I call them. Mind you, I’m very polite when I make these calls. The people to whom I’m speaking probably aren’t the ones fucking me over responsible, and besides, you can catch more flies with honey. Or insert the cliched bit of tripe of you choice for that last clause. Whatever.

So I call them. And I try to find out what’s going on. I explain my situation to them again.

And then they tell me that the reason they’re calling is because they want to know if I’ve signed up for Medicare yet.

~~~~~~….

“Okay, do not slam the phone against the wall,” I tell myself, “the phone isn’t responsible, and besides you own it.”

“Okay, do not try to bash you head through a wall,” I tell myself, “the wall isn’t responsible; besides, you own it. Furthermore, if you somehow break your skull, they’ll probably bill the wrong fucking [absolutely lovely, I'm sure] insurance again.”

GRRR!

Anyway, eventually one of the women on the other end of my communication network connection (because it took two of them because the first one couldn’t get her computer to work) finally tells me that they show I’m not covered. So this was all about what, exactly? I don’t even bother to ask.

So I get off the phone, assured that I’m  not covered by anything (I’m waiting to find out they’ve cancelled all my coverages, even the coverage I have through my wife’s employer), and I say to my wife,

“Congratulations honey, you’re married to a man who has magically aged at least 22 years, is a bigamist, and an incestuous bastard to boot.”

To which she cheerily replied, “Oh, you’re just like Oedipus!”

To which I thundered,

“WHERE’S MY THEBES?!”

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