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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Bruce Ewing, Inventor, Scientist, SuperGenius' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, February 14th, 2008
10:18 am
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007
7:53 pm
People think such muddy thoughts
shadowrunr recently posted a link to slashdot's science section, on an article regarding disappearing languages.

I read through the comments, and found them lacking in some ways, so I posted a comment there, and I'm repeating it here -- for my two cents.

It is not languages that embody unique cultures and ways of thinking. It is PEOPLE who embody unique cultures and ways of thinking. This planet now holds 6.5 billion unique cultures and ways of thinking. If you want more, then you want a breeding program, not a language preservation program. Languages, in and of themselves, are just a coding scheme. Trying to assign them more weight than that is simply romanticizing the subject, and irrational.

Even if it were true that languages embody ideas -- not all ideas are equally valuable. Each dying language was contained within a culture that was in contact with neighboring cultures. If we grant, arguendo, that there are ideas being lost with the languages, then they are ideas that had so little appeal and vigor that none of the neighboring cultures felt the ideas were worth being assimilated, emulated, or spread -- otherwise the ideas would also be embodied within other languages that are not being lost.

Presuming that some derivative form of English will be one of the final few dominant languages (or the very final one) is not mono-lingual prejudice. I once asked a multi-lingual Vietnamese what the EASIEST "second" language was, for him to learn. He said, "Oh, English by far!" If you understand that, and you understand that humans are genetically programmed to trend toward the easiest paths, then the outcome is inevitable. Overall numbers of speakers as of today is almost an irrelevant issue. In the end, it will simply come down to which language is the easiest to learn. If your language of choice is not as easy for a non-native to learn as English, then your language will eventually die. I'll wager money on it. Conduct your own poll -- see for yourself.

I also disagree about the wondrous value of learning multiple languages. I spent several years learning to say the same things in French that I can say in English. 99.99% of every one of those 7000 languages is devoted to communicating identical content. This is extremely inefficient. Condense out the interesting .01% of each that I cannot say in English, and I will gladly learn it. Until then, it is not an efficient use of time or brainpower.

Please note, too, that NOT ONE CULTURE in all of recorded history has lasted forever. So for those here who are weeping about how painful it is to lose your cultural heritage -- that may very well be true, but it is historically inevitable for every culture, and every language. It's just a matter of time.

One other thing: we have now entered the digital age. Many people start with an outdated basic assumption that info and understanding about cultural differences is hard to find, and therefore precious. But it won't be long until all this multicultural info is available at your fingertips. In 20 years, you will have 10 lifetime's worth of learning about cross-cultural differences sitting right in front of you at any moment. In that upcoming era of overabundant info on cultures and language, much of this debate will look silly.
Monday, September 17th, 2007
8:54 pm
Global warming as a "statement"
Twice in the last few weeks, I have heard people say that they are upset/frustrated/angry about how humans are "crapping in our bed" -- meaning in an environmental sense, of course.
Read the restCollapse )
Monday, July 2nd, 2007
10:30 pm
Scientists & "Geek cool"
In a previous post, I mentioned my theory that when "theories" sound really good, listeners buy into them without any significant critical thinking. That is, if you can make an idea pretty-sounding, it turns people into gullible idiots. Today, I would like to freely admit that this disease also hits scientists.

There is a strong psychological need in people to feel "special". This had effects on things like the ancient Greek theories of the cosmos. While there was at least one ancient Greek who proposed that all the planets orbited the Sun, the more popular theory was that the Earth was the special center of the universe.

Theologically, there has always been a prejudice that humans are the special creatures that God loves best.

But over the last few centuries, scientists have been finding: if you make an assumption that humans, or the human place in the universe is "special" -- you almost always end up with the wrong answer. And if you make the opposite assumption, that nothing about humans, or the Earth, is "special" -- then you are much more likely to come up with good answers. From a scientific point of view, the fact that such a difference is detectable is strong circumstancial evidence that the second assumption, that nothing here is special/unusual, is correct.

Most scientists have taken this view strongly to heart. We are not special. The Earth is not special. We are just another species of animal, and the Earth is just a planet like any other, and our Sun is like many other suns, in a galaxy that is like many other galaxies.

However ... scientists still have this age-old psychological weakness. They cannot phrase it in terms of being special (usually) -- but scientists are geeky types. Scientists are turned on by ideas that sound really "cool" -- in the flamingly geeky sense.

Now, "geek cool" is a strange bird, certainly. Almost an oxymoron. Things that sound cool to a geek are going to be things like massive space collisions, or the end of all life from a global heatwave. Dramatic. "Romantic" in a sense.

And here's where the scientists turn into gullible idiots.

Have you ever heard the theory that Earth's Moon formed from a titanic collision of the early Earth with a "Mars sized object" that rammed into it at 11 kilometers per second? The theory is extremely popular in scientific circles. It's also total crap. I am willing to stake every bit of reputation I ever have, on this theory being utterly wrong.

Why am I so sure? First, it assumes that the Earth and Moon are special. I mean, how many early planets get smacked by a Mars sized object? And if you think the answer is "many" -- then where are all the Mars-sized objects that missed?
Second, and most important, the theory is too utterly cool. You may not be able to imagine just how dreamy-eyed a scientist can get, visualizing the collision -- the bits flying off -- the planets melting and smushing into each other.
(There are also some other bits of evidence that the early Earth was cold enough to have liquid water on it, for example.)

The coolness of the collision itself keeps way too many scientists from even considering the data, and odds against the collision theory.

But the Earth's formation was not special. And it was not cool either! (Unless you're into extremely slow condensation and agglomeration processes.) I suppose this is the next thing scientists must take to heart in their search for truth.

So how did the Earth's Moon really form? Just like the Sun formed, and the planets, and all their other moons. The exact details of it aren't understood completely. But in a cloud of cosmic dust and gas, you get swirls and eddies. Eddies are places of "low pressure", and dust collects there. If there is no sun nearby, it will also be very cold, and gases will freeze onto the dust and other stuff. A big eddy starts to turn into a sun, when too much dust and ice freezes together in the center. And when you look on a larger scale, that big eddy will have smaller eddies swirling around it, and those become planets. And planetary eddies have even smaller eddies around them, and those condense into moons.
Saturday, June 2nd, 2007
9:13 pm
Emission reductions as a "solution to global warming" are WORTHLESS
When it comes to the whole climate change hysteria, there are actually three completely separate issues: the excess CO2 in the atmosphere, any short-term global warming that's happening, and climate change in general. It turns out to be important to consider them as separate issues in order to have a rational expectation of what is possible to "fix", what is natural (and shouldn't be changed), and what is unnatural, but inevitable. I will get back to that particular issue in a later post -- today's will deal specifically with the idiotic calls from politicians and environmentalists for enormous CO2 emission reduction programs to halt "global warming".

(I want to say right off that reasonable emission reductions would be good for the environment, in general, however.)

A graph & a short logical argument, behind the cutCollapse )

Going back in time (to make absolutely sure the statement is correct): in 1850, when humans released an 1850 quantity of CO2, atmospheric CO2 levels remained approximately flat -- and the 1850 to 1900 timeframe is the last time in history that you can make such a statement for.

To use emission reduction to get atmospheric CO2 concentrations to fall, we would certainly have to reduce CO2 emissions to 1900 levels, or below!

Is it even remotely possible for all of humanity to go back over 100 years in emission reduction?
Nope. Not a chance.
In 1900, there were only one billion people on the entire planet.
Now China and India both have more than a billion people each, and both already emit more CO2 than all of humanity emitted in the year 1900.

Then what's the answer? First you have to narrow down the precise problem, as I said at the beginning. The problem is that there is already too much CO2 in the atmosphere. The only answer is to physically remove it from the atmosphere. This is called "Carbon Sequestration." There are many methods for doing it; many have been known for 15 years and more. Why is nobody doing any of it? Because all the idiots in the world are panicking, and clamoring for emissions reduction. There is currently no serious support, worldwide, for carbon sequestration -- the hysteria surrounding "global warming" has been completely detrimental to the implementation of the one and only possible solution.

But also, please recall that atmospheric CO2, "global warming", and climate change are 3 separate issues. If we DO manage to get CO2 levels back to 300ppm, that will probably not stop the global warming (just slow it down some), and it will certainly have no effect at all on climate change.

Rational debates in the "comments" are encouraged.

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, May 31st, 2007
8:20 pm
Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
7:21 am
It looks to me like backwash.com, where I have written some "articles", is going down for the count. At some as-yet-unspecified future date, to be sure -- but the decay seems more than just progressive at this point. It'll be sad if it gets nuked, because there is a lot of clever content buried in there -- especially on old messageboard threads. I have made a suggestion to simplify it down to just the content: columns, links, and messageboards -- and move it to a legacy webserver. Hopefully it could limp along indefinitely that way.

In any case, I am going to be porting from there some of the things I have written, and expanding on them, and adding more, here.

Some of it will be aimed at a wider audience. Some will be somewhat sociopolitical or economic. Some of it will be technical. Some will be aimed only at people interested in science. And some of the rest will be so scientifically technical that only a fellow scientist (if one should ever read anything in this journal) would find it in the least interesting. I'm debating about whether to put it all behind cuts, even when it's short. But hey, this place is supposed to be for jotting down your thoughts, and I've got a lot of wild-ass thoughts to jot down.

So, I'm thinking I'll be posting a little article every other day, for a month or so, since I have quite a few pre-written on BW, and in my head. They will mostly be of the form "Why X is stupid" -- because that is the way I think about lots of things. After I do a post, I may very well go back and re-edit it over time, to make it punchier. So don't be surprised if you reread something, and find it doesn't match what you remember from before.

Tomorrow, I'm pretty sure I'll start off with a rant about something I call "the politics of poetry."

Current Mood: awake
Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
2:08 pm
Goodbye, Squeaky :-(
I loved my little Squeaky Monster kitty ... and I tried very hard to keep her going while she was still having fun. The last 5 months I was feeding her raw meat, and eating was always one of her favorite things, anyway. She LOVED that! So, while her health was certainly deteriorating from the cancer, she still was having enough enjoyable times during every day that I figured she would choose to go on -- if she knew everything. She clearly was in some discomfort, constantly. But I don't think it amounted to serious pain -- so I kept on.

I was trying one last trick to keep her going: I had the vet give her some antibiotics two weeks ago, after not seeing him for 5 months. It seemed like it was starting to make an improvement -- and then she came down with a cold on Saturday afternoon. She had been a bit feverish, I'm guessing, and had been insisting on spending most of her time outside in the cold. In any case, she was sneezing a little, and wheezing a little, and lost almost all her appetite. The one thing that I was thinking was keeping her life worthwhile for her.

She was already in rough shape, physically. And the cold seemed to devastate her reserves. Dehydrated her, when she had nothing left to spare. I couldn't see her overcoming the cold -- at least in any kind of shape to bounce back afterward. So I had her put to sleep this morning. She didn't want to go to the vet. She struggled a little in my arms as I took her to the car. And clearly the needle kinda hurt when she got the shot. Poor little kitty! Innocent and sweet and loving, and didn't deserve any of this.

She was quite intelligent for a kitty. And so soft and warm. Even as she died, she was still so soft. So soft.

I loved you Sqeuaky! I know you loved me too ... you made it so clear. Goodbye ....

Current Mood: grieving
Thursday, November 9th, 2006
1:10 pm
I'm posting this because I just had to write something -- but I couldn't post it on Backwash. A certain columnist there can be trusted to always take what I say badly -- and I wasn't really intending to phrase this nicely.

(Perhaps keep in mind that I'm a Libertarian, and this is a hypothetical example.)

Hypothetically, let's say that the Democrats came into power in Congress, and suddenly I discover that I am inundated with feelings of "dread" for what they might do. I am overcome with the conviction that Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry are EVIL -- not that I have ever met either one, and not that I can clearly or rationally explain WHY.

Six years pass, and I have lived with these feelings and convictions the entire time. At the end of the six years, the Congressional Democrats lose power. They have "accomplished" so little, and created so few new and awful laws that those laws can easily be counted on one hand -- maybe one finger.

The point being -- that with 20/20 hindsight, my feelings of dread were IRRATIONAL and WRONG. Clearly, I am projecting MY OWN internal irrational fears onto Democrats.

So, QUESTION: should I, in the future, (1) do everything possible to make sure the Democrats never come back into power, so I never have to feel those feelings again?
Or, (2) should I admit that I have a problem with a CLINICAL CASE OF PARANOIA about Democrats, and get psychological help -- from a headshrinker if necessary?

Thing is, if you use the term "dread" -- either consciously or subconsciously -- in regard to the political opposition, without some very good reason to back it up -- you need help!

Current Mood: annoyed
Thursday, October 6th, 2005
5:02 pm
Personals sites & Russian Dating Scams
Now that I'm alone in this house, and I've pretty much got my day-to-day life back together again, I'm trying to meet some women and date a little. Maybe date as much as I can, actually ... I've got more than a decade of rust to scrape off my dating technique.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try the online route -- escpecially as that method has suddenly seemed to work out to such an astonishing degree for my glorious friend gazehound. As a pragmatist, I must always have a GREAT respect for anything that has been shown to actually work!

On the other hand, I am a Nice Guy. Precisely the kind that American women avoid, right? (Because we are not a "challenge", we are "too easy", etc. I've heard it all a million times. We ALSO happen to be the kind that make the very best fathers, but I guess most American women don't care about that, eh?) In any case, as an honorable man, I am certainly not going to misrepresent myself, and I am very curious whether American women in their late 30's change their minds about the desirability of the kind of smooth, drama-free, quiet, loving relationship that Nice Guys can provide. So I posted myself online as a blatantly Nice Guy -- and I am really curious what (if any) response I might get. I mean, none of us my age are as cute as we used to be, either. (I'll make an exception for birthdaygirl gazehound!)

After a week of sending very nice little e-notes (one skill I am quite proud of is my ability to write excellent email) to all my most interesting "matches", I got basically nada back. *

my long-winded thoughts on Russian Dating ScamsCollapse )

* I did get a somewhat more promising contact the second week, from a woman that I did not contact first. ;)

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005
9:27 am
The kitty gets her revenge on me
(In my sleepy state, thatkgirl's footnoting style seemed so perfectly appropriate -- hopefully she will forgive me for borrowing it for a moment.)

I needed to get a refill on the kitty's chemo medicine.
So I call the vet (who has to actually place the order).
The vet looks at his notes, calls back, and insists that I have to bring the cat in for a full blood test before he will reorder the prescription.
So, I have to bring the cat in at 8:45 this morning -- and they are strict that I must not feed the cat any "breakfast". Which means, really, nothing after about 1am.

Somehow the cat knows this. At 2am, just as I am beginning to drift off to sleep -- the cat comes in through her cat door and begins to loudly sing her "Look what I caught! Look what I caught!" song. I go into the family room, and flip on the overhead light to find a live bat laying upside down on the rug, with the kitty standing over it.*

I run to throw the cat into my bedroom, run back to open the screen door, get a couple magazines to slide under the bat to shift it back outside, and proceed to try to flip the bat onto my makeshift litter.** After a few seconds of my gentle abuse, the bat takes off*** and I quickly try to herd it out the door. Thank god for echolocation. The bat flies mostly toward the door, adjusts its course, and flies straight through the center of the open portion of the screen door. Whew! I let the cat back out of my room, jump back in my bed, and hear the cat go back outside again.

It's now about 3am, and I am just beginning to drift off to sleep again. (Finally! Geez!) And what is this lovely music I hear? The freaking cat, singing her "Look what I caught! Look what I caught!" song AGAIN! I run back out to the family room, and what do I see? The cat, standing over ANOTHER freaking upside down bat!**** Repeat the process from the preceding paragraph. This bat did not revive until I had taken it all the way outside, and put it up high in a bush (so the cat wouldn't catch this one again), but it is no longer in the bush, or under the bush, so I think I can safely assume that it DID revive. (Each of the last 4 bats seemed to do a little of the "play dead" game. They don't seem to turn into a quivering bundle of nerves, like a mouse.)

Now, the cat's been active all night, and hasn't gotten to eat any yummy***** bats, and is starting to get hungry. Please recall that I am not allowed to feed her until after the blood test. She comes back in not long afterward, and proceeds to explain to me how very hungry she is ... FOR HOURS. Finally, she curls up right next to me and goes to sleep at 7am. I lay there for an hour, and got up at 8.


* During summer, we leave her cat door open at night. And she brings us live presents like this (and a few dead ones). I can't tell you how happy it made my Granny when the cat brought in the mouse and let it loose as a present to us. Especially when the mouse took up residence in our kitchen for the next week. And can you imagine the glee my Granny experienced when she went to put on an oven mitt, and found her hand being lovingly caressed by a warm wriggly fuzzy mouse body?

** Never ever touch a bat with your bare hands, of course. Ever. Method #1 of catching rabies.

*** This is an impressive sight. I've seen it twice now -- bats taking off from the ground, right beneath my eyes. They fly very slowly and completely silently for the first half dozen wingbeats.

**** I only had one cat, ever before, catch a bat. He was an INCREDIBLY good hunter. This current cat has caught FOUR bats in the last two months. She really isn't that impressive as a hunter, and I have NO IDEA how she could possibly be doing it. But at least she doesn't kill them. I think they all survived after she brought them back to show to me, and I relieved her of her prizes.

***** I have no firsthand experience of their yumminess. I'm only going by their similarity to mousies, and we all know how yummy mousies are.
"Love to eat them mousies!
Mousies what I love to eat!
Bite they little heads off.
Nibble on they tiny feet."
Saturday, August 6th, 2005
11:08 am
I just had to ask on this meme -- so now I'm stuck posting it! :-D
But of course, I'll play square with anyone who comments.

1. Reply with your name and I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you what song/movie/book/fictional character/SOMETHING reminds me of you.
3. I'll pick a flavor/color of jello to wrestle with you in.
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me. Well, maybe just me.
5. I'll tell you my favorite/most notable memory of you, should I have one yet.
6. I'll tell you what animal or plant you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal. No cutting corners

Current Mood: (hardly any sleep last night)
Friday, May 20th, 2005
4:12 pm
Books meme
I got tagged for this by gazehound, so here are results:
1) Total number of books owned?
820 that are easy to count, and maybe another 100 still at my dad's house. (It looks like more, but many are MONSTER big books!)

2) The last book I bought?
Nina Kiriki Hoffman, "A Fistful of Sky"

3) The last book I read?
Lois McMaster Bujold, "Diplomatic Immunity"
I'm still VERY iffy on the new female lead character. It was still an OK book. A great series, though.

3a) What do you want to read next?
Robin McKinley, "Sunshine" -- I'm hoping it'll be her old upbeat, charming style.

4) 5 books that mean a lot to me?
1. The entirety of Kenneth Bulmer's (Alan Burt Akers) Dray Prescot series.
(I think it can reasonably all be called one book.) The only sure-fire cure that I know of for depression and heartache of all kinds.
2. Roger Zelazny, "Nine Princes in Amber"
This was the first book I found in my high school library that actually showed me what GOOD fantasy could be! (I was sitting there, bored, one day -- and the cover intrigued me.)
3. Kernighan & Ritchie, "The C Programming Language" -- the ORIGINAL! *Not* the 2nd edition.
The ultimate programming language of today (before it got farked up by ANSI!), by the gods who created it. And it's the book that firmly set me on a computer-based career path. My dad made a copy of the book at work, stuffed it in a binder, and brought it home for me. It's still there, unchanged, more than 20 years later.
4. Horwitz & Hill, "The Art of Electronics"
There was NOBODY else in the class that grokked this college textbook like I did. And now, I can design electronic circuits IN MY HEAD because of it. The very first invention that I expect to turn into an actual consumer product owes its mental existence to the fact that I have cause to BELIEVE in myself, when it comes to doing a daydreaming brainstorm involving electronic circuitry.
5. Carol L Dennis, "Dragon's Pawn"
The first book of the 3rd best obscure series that I've found. And the one that ended up leading to the author contacting me, giving me a signed free book, and having me read unpublished copies of new books, edit, and make suggestions on them! Wheeee!

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, March 28th, 2005
4:49 pm
Po' widdle kiddy :'-(
And now it turns out that I was so very right to be concerned about my squeaky fuzzy little monster kitty back in August.

She's about 12 now, which is on the older side for kitties. I noticed that she was still having intestinal problems, and pointed it out to the vet when we went in for her annual rabies shot. Now I've spent about a grand for an xray, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and a lab culture -- to find out that she's got lymphatic cancer that has spread to her small intestine.

It's looking like I'm going to be all alone in this house in not very long ....

Current Mood: disappointed
Monday, January 17th, 2005
3:01 pm
Well, this changes EVERYTHING
My granny (the one I am the primary caregiver for) died this morning.
A severely fractured arm, a pinched nerve in her back, and an unusual response to the antibiotic Levaquin did her in.
It took a month and a half and she fought all the way.
It's sad, but she's been looking for peace for half a decade....

I'm also sick -- there was a virus being passed around all the staff and residents in the nursing home. An irritating little sore-throat, coughy, phlegmy upper respiratory tract cold-type deal. Yucky!

I was planning on posting a super-detailed explanation of the US "Social Security crisis" (and there IS one!) for my 4 year Backwash anniversary today. It's going to have to wait. I'm about falling asleep at this computer.
I'll have it up by the end of the week, I expect.

Current Mood: sick
Monday, May 27th, 2002
2:37 pm
The really awesome synth background to my song turned out to be a power lawnmower outside my window when I woke -- right as that last song ended. Heh! (The sound was modified in the dream to be nicely melodic, of course.)
2:18 pm
Dream Songs
Just wanted to say hi to everyone who has put me on their friends list! I really appreciate being able to read all the juicy details in your journals -- voyeur that I am! Hehe!

Does this happen to any of the rest of you? I had a dream this morning -- of a type I've had occasionally in the past. Most of my dreams are very tame and normal. Sometimes my subconscious gets bored and impresses me with some amazing creativity (I'm not a very creative person, during the light of day). Usually my creative dreams involve some rather stunning architecture.

But a few times, my "dream" has been a song that my dormant creative part just makes up. This morning, I think I had a 10 or 15 minute dream, with several consecutive songs. The way the dream went, my sister had introduced me to this new band. And I had 3 or 4 CDs from them, and I was ripping and burning a "best of" CD for myself off these albums. I kinda remember the very last song from just before I woke. Even now, the bits I remember are beautiful. I think I was using Enya's voice for my singer, but the tune was much more upbeat than her usual. The lyrics that I remember seem a bit emo.

It just makes me happy to know that my creative side isn't dead, yet. Just sleeping! :)
Friday, August 17th, 2001
6:29 pm
THAT piece of drudgery is over
Yccch. Well, I finished my inventory and taxes. What a stinky yearly job that is. So I'm back. Now I get to start again on cleaning up my office. It's one heck of a mess!

And I get to start the process of creating another column on backwash. So many things to do. At least I have the time, now, and no deadline hanging over my head.

I chatted with Celestina (the backwash columnist) on AIM last week. Fun!
Wednesday, August 1st, 2001
7:41 pm
gaps in time ...
Yikes! It's been a while!
And it's going to be bad, some more, too. I have my mid-year inventory to do for my business, and some tax forms to fill out. YUCK! But it means I'm going to have to leave livejournal and backwash alone for a couple weeks (or at least limit it to a half hour a day, or something). I am going to try to do one more backwash column within the next week, to cover some of the slackness.
I'm glad gem has decided to stop raging about laural's column. I thought squeg's post of questions to gem was shockingly insightful -- if we get to put more than 10 favorites soon, he's the next one on my list.
It's amazing how much I got done today, considering the time spent looking over the new backwash setup! I am pretty sure it is a lot better -- but I'm going to have to use it lots to make sure I like it. One thing that bugs me a little is that I never use maximized IE windows, and the backwash pages are now exactly 800 pixels wide -- so I am always having to scroll a little to center each window. I may just have to give up and always maximize backwash IE windows, I guess.
And I'm just about to start doing some pretty serious day-trading in the market. I'm scared to post here just how badly or well I do, but I think I will, anyway.
Note to self for calculating my running total: got 7 more pounds of blueberries this last weekend -- so that's 31 pounds now!
Wednesday, July 25th, 2001
6:40 pm
lots to do, sister <- europe
I would have updated here over the last week, but the few times I logged into the main window it had a message that the site was being worked on. I didn't want to spend the effort to see if I could post anyway.

This last week, I have been trying hard to actually get some work accomplished at my office. I am trying to convince myself to cut back a little on web stuff. I have 3 programs to write, and a whole BUNCH of re-organizing and cleaning to do in this place.

My sister's bf came home a little early from his conference in Denver, so I got to quit feeding the cat after last Sunday, and he picked her up from the airport. Yay. That adds a half hour each day for me. My sister should have arrived this morning.

Got 6 pounds of blueberries picked last weekend, and took some to my cousin's birthday party. I might take some more to them while they are in town. It was great seeing that part of my extended family again. Such friendly people.

Had to kill a fox squirrel last weekend, and that was kinda a bad experience. Yuck.

It is amazing the number of columnists on backwash now. It has more than tripled since I signed up. I sure do hope that we are getting readers faster than we are getting columnists! Had fun with gem's top 10 fav things on the members board.

I also picked up some suggestions from lud and modpov about TDream type bands on Kareem's board (that I initiated). I think I will try a few albums. I just wish they were a little more articulate and specific about what is good/bad about each album they refer to. I really can't tell when I read their rants whether I might actually like any of this or not. That's why I asked kareem about it -- what's emo sound like? Electronica? Techno? Krautrock? I'm still shaky about indie, even after scoot's disc. I know my New Age, and "World" music, and the stuff I grew up with. But this new stuff? Beats me.

That's another thing I gotta do. I have to hurry and finish an Amazon wishlist -- if iwilldare is still interested in getting me a present.
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