July 16th, 2008

#1173: Oil supply

President Bush opened some parts of the country to oil exploration. Oil then dropped, I am told, about $8 per barrel.

But we can't drill our way out of this problem. Oh no. The only answer is conservation and alternative energy, because the Democrats think that doing anything to increase the supply of oil won't fix a goddamned supply problem.

Argh. Sorry about that; constantly repeating myself makes me irritable.

* * *

I did another few pages of Chicory this afternoon. It just goes to show you that when it's time to railroad, that's when the railroading occurs. And not until then.

* * *

It's 4:30 AM already. After grocery shopping I hit the sack, and stayed there for most of the rest of the day.

The weather was July-like: hot and humid, and I didn't want to do anything outside; I'm starting to get bored with D2 again, and you can only play so many games of Freecell before your brain goes numb. And I'd already had my daily "hit" of anime; once I'd drawn those few pages of Chicory, I was pretty much ready for a nap anyway. (I'd been up since about 4 AM.)

Today is Wednesday, and it's a workday. Whee. But that will, hopefully, soon change, as I've put in an availability change request at work: I want to work Friday, Saturday, and Monday, instead of M-W-F. Saturday is one of the hardest days to fill, worker-wise, so I don't think that'll be impossible. Removing Wednesday might be a point of contention, but more likely not--Wednesday is easier to fill than Saturday is.

Anyway, I realized that everything hurts because of my "on one, off one" work week; I don't build up a tolerance for the work because there's about 40 hours between shifts--too much rest time--so my body doesn't get tougher.

This ought to fix that. Also, it will concentrate three days off in a row so I have a better chance of getting stuff done, while still leaving me time to take care of the chores Mom needs done (eg my chauffeur duties).

...and I want to state for the record that it is purely coincidental that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on Wed-Thu this year.... [insert innocent expression here]

I will likely end up working New Year's Eve, though--if only by taking someone else's shift--and I don't care one jot.

* * *

I've been considering keeping a small notebook with me and writing down every movie-related catchphrase that I use. I've come to realize that a lot of the stupid crap that comes from my mouth came originally from a movie or book or TV show, and I think it'd be fun to have a list of all that stupid crap and explanations for it.

Why? No real reason.

* * *

My initial assumption about the latest Order of the Stick plot arc was wrong, but not by far.

As I recall, in the olden days, golems used to be considered "undead", but now they're "constructs". So Roy won't be undead. No; he'll be a bone golem. And WTF is that going to do for our story? I can't wait to find out.

This, after Burlew made us wait a week to see what happened when Celia went to Greysky City. How dare he have a life?

* * *

90° temps projected for the rest of the week. Ah, lucky me; I get to go work in the hottest part of the store (Receiving) where the air conditioning is "broken" again. I think it last broke in 2005, and it took them 4 months to get it fixed.

Yes, the AC was fixed just in time for Halloween.

I expect a similar result this time. Now, if the AC over the office area was busted, you can bet your privates that it would be fixed soonest. Or if the boss had his office back in Receiving. But--WTF, Receiving is on the other side of the building from the offices, and it's not the most energy-efficient space in the store anyway, so it'll just be cheaper to leave it broken and say that "we have a work order in for it!" until it no longer matters. Say, October.

Meanwhile, the people who have to unload the freaking truck every night sweat their asses off.

It'd be nice--in a schadenfreude sort of way--if something meltable (like a pallet of chocolate) got stored in Receiving and was ruined because the AC doesn't work. But we're not going to get a pallet of chocolate in July; it just doesn't work that way. And the Halloween candy won't start coming in before the end of August at the earliest.


When it's cold back there, it's relatively easy to stay warm; you just work. Maybe wear a hoodie on particularly cold nights--otherwise, no problem. But when it's hot, there is nothing you can do about it because working just makes you hotter.

Yeah, my attitude about this is cynical and probably unbecoming. But I can't help it; how many parts on a typical commercial AC unit have a three-month backorder? And how many of those parts have a two-year MTBF?

* * *

Sigh. "Humans are pouring large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, which is changing the climate and the chemistry of the oceans."

The opening sentence of this article is completely unsupported by any actual science. Besides, human contribution to the atmospheric carbon cycle is three percent of the total annual carbon budget of the atmosphere. And most of that is carbon dioxide, which is 0.78% of the atmosphere, so, once again, we are told that 3% of 0.78%--.0234%--of the atmosphere is ruining the global environment.

This is why I can't take the science articles on Ars Technica seriously.

#1174: Will wonders never cease. \""

(Note "Hand of Sarcasm (TM)" Emoticon!)

Major US City Officially Condemns Catholic Church. Click on the link and you get a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge because--surprise!--the "major US city" in question is San Francisco!

I must be psychic to have figured out--before clicking the link!--that it was San Francisco.

There is one problem with SF's resolution 168-08: there's this little clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which is frequently interpreted as "separation of church and state". Basically, SF's resolution is unconstitutional.

That shit cuts both ways, assholes. Either we get creches in the public square, or the public square can't say it hates Catholicism.

* * *

I think this is actually a good idea. Maybe it'll force people to actually obey the freaking law.

* * *

If Barak Hussein Obama were a Republican, this wouldn't be the case. There'd be about a billion jokes about his speaking gaffes alone. But because a Democrat speaking badly doesn't fit the template, it's not done.

* * *

Purdue U. decides the janitor reading the book about the defeat of the KKK in a street riot in 1924 is not, after all, a meany mean-head, and apologizes for saying he was.

Looks like sanity has prevailed, for once.

* * *

Woman apparently didn't understand how she got pregnant and ended up having seven abortions.

That's just--I mean, wow. You would think that after the first couple of times she'd figure out what she was doing wrong. Like: "Hey, maybe I should take the Pill or make him wear a condom." You know? So as to avoid having to go get an abortion? Maybe learn the meaning of the term "contraception"?

She's British, which means the British National Health Service--NHS, socialized medicine--paid for her abortions. If you're going to socialize medicine and make the government pay for abortions, why not make it a rule that you have to be sterilized after your fourth or fifth abortion? You clearly don't want to breed, and you (equally obviously) don't understand how you're getting pregnant--or, at least, you clearly don't care to take any precautions--so why not?

And this woman would have gotten an eighth abortion if her "partner" (not "husband"; partner) had not convinced her otherwise. And she had an abortion after her one surviving kid was born.

This story is a major WTF.

On the other hand, this one, sadly, is not. In a culture which is trying to remove all responsibility from sex, to turn it from procreation into recreation, it's not surprising that babies are considered disposable. I mean, a late-term abortion kills an otherwise viable child. Is this girl's solution all that much different from a late-term abortion?

Only difference: where the baby was killed. It was outside her body.

This is another thing I keep repeating, over and over again: however you spell it, late-term abortion is infanticide. The moral ground is considerably more ambiguous when you're talking about a fourth-week zygote than when you're talking about a healthy baby which would have lived a full, healthy life if the doctor hadn't punched a hole in its skull and vacuumed out its brain.

I don't see how we can condemn this girl for doing this while giving a pass to doctors who perform late-term abortions, not when the difference between the acts is a legal fiction at best.

* * *

While writing this entry I ate half a can of jalapeno Pringles. And I could eat more of them. What's the chemical name of crack? It doesn't look like there's anything in the ingredients list that could be crack, but you never know....

#1175: Son of a....

Ep 39 of Hayate no Gotoku is all fucked up.

I mean, it played through in about 2 minutes. I thought it was the producers having a bit of fun with it--doing some kind of hyper-edited weird thing--until the ep ended.

Damn it.

...and since it's been licensed, I'm not sure I can re-DL the torrent.

Worst part: it's got plenty of Hinagiku in it. I like Hinagiku, dang it.

#1176: Another WTF

Daily WTF has a story involving punch cards and small accounting errors.

I keep seeing this kind of attitude from some commentors:
So, as a naive C++ native speaker who was still in kindergarten when the Apple ][ came out, I'm having trouble grokking the problem here. If I wanted to parse, say, a block of data in memory, I'd either a) read the size, then read [size] bytes of data, or b) read data until I hit a predefined delimiter. If the cards have a sequence number, the only way to miss one without noticing is if the one she tossed was the last one. But in that case, either a) there's not enough data to meet the stated size, or b) she'd have thrown out the card with the delimiter. Or were programmers back then so stupid they just read until people stopped feeding in cards?

"So stupid"?

People with that attitude really don't understand the history of the technology they're working with.

Simply put, when you're running a batch of punch cards to input data, there is no need for delimiters. It's actually that simple: just input data until you run out of records. In fact, it's probable that the machine they were using was a tabulator: its only function was to read the data on each punch card and input it into the mainframe.

This is the second time in a week that I've felt the need to make this kind of comment. The young'uns don't know how good they have it.

#1177: Today's Boortz links.

Two "sex crimes" links:

Man takes pictures of his fully-clothed children on a slide in a British park. Man is labeled a "pervert". His accuser? Another parent.

W! T! F! Better stop taking pictures of your kids altogether if you want to avoid prosecution!

At least the cops took his side of it. Jesus.

28-year-old suffers consequence of "sex crime". Her crime? She did, for a kid 2 years younger than she was at the time, a little oral "favor".

She was 17; he was 15. She pled guilty to "sodomy" and spent 5 years on probation. Yes: as a minor, she performed a sex act (the one popularized by the Clinton administraion) on another minor. For this, she was arrested, tried, and convicted, and is now a registered sex offender.

This is bullshit.

Look: if she was 27 when she did it to a 15-year-old, different story altogether...but seventeen? And 11 years later, her "mistake"--if you can call it that--is still ruining her life! This is ludicrous!

Can we please get some freaking perspective already?

* * *

Bush says "drill", oil drops $9 per barrel.

Economics: it works, bitches. (Which I'm sure comes as a big surprise to all the liberal Democrats out there.)

* * *

Thomas Sowell discusses ways in which Barak Hussein Obama's policies are going to take us "forward to the past!"

"Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." Yeah. But not Democrats! Because they apparently think that history is a construction of dead white males whose intolerance and bigotry prevented true enlightenment, and if today's Democrats can just get these things enacted they will work perfectly because they have good intentions!

Instead, of course, the things they want to do will work out exactly the same way they always have. Argh etc.

* * *

Today I have posted five times. I am hoping that I won't post here again until Thursday.

But you never know.