Friday, May 28, 2004

I'm sitting here in the accounting office slowly freezing to death. I can see the sun through the windows, so I'm assuming that in spite of the temps only being in the 60's that some jerk cranked the AC up to Arctic. My feet froze solid about ten minutes after I came in today. I just lost all sensation from the knees down. I'm typing this with a pen held in my teeth because my hands are two fist sized blocks of ice and I can't hit individual keys with them. I can't believe I'm supposed to get any work done this way.

Anyway, we finally got our grades from last class. I was worried that I wouldn't do well, but I guess my worrying was for no reason. Our PLT had a paper and an oral presentation on that paper. We got 100% on the presentation and 99% on the paper. The deduction was because the margins were an eighth of an inch over the one-inch requirement. I sense a joke in there: a one point deduction would have no effect on our grade while still giving us "room for improvement." I can see our instructor getting a chuckle over that one. I had two individual papers due. The one I was pretty sure was ok. It was just journaling about what we read for class. There was a minimum of two pages for each week's reading for a total of 10 pages. Mine ended up being 15 pages or so. I got an "Above and beyond expectations" and a 100%. The other paper was more involved, although much shorter (5-7 pages) which is actually harder. I had to do some serious condensing to fit all the required elements of the paper in seven pages or less. I didn't have room (or time) to write a real conclusion to the paper. It just sort of ends. I got 100%. Sheesh. The more confidence I have in a project, the lower the grade and visa versa. I'll never figure school out. But I got a 4.0 in the class so that boosts up the GPA a bit.

Otherwise, class was ok. I just don't enjoy the material that much. Our PLT is humming along nicely with our second new member in as many classes. We got a ton of work done and our final project is already falling nicely into place. According to my theory in the previous paragraph, we will get a horrible grade...

Anyway, long weekend coming up. I'd like to get the phone line buried from the house to the cabin so I can get on the Internet at home without it being a major production. The weather looks like it will cooperate on Saturday, but Monday looks dicey. In any case, we will give it a try. If nothing else, I can string it from the trees and bury it later.

The other project that must get finished this weekend is the power shed. In fact, I will likely work on that before I work on the phone line. I want the electrical situation taken care of once and for all.

Saturday is the high school graduation and will likely be my dad's birthday party/Memorial Weekend Cookout combination. I'm going to try to make an early night of it tonight so I can be up around 6am Saturday and get some work done before all the festivities eat the rest of the day. Yea, right. It's looks good on paper, anyway.


I've long been a fan of biodiesel for transportation. This article has some back of the envelope calculations on just what it would take to replace all gasoline and conventional diesel with biodiesel. The answer is about 11,000 square miles of alga farms. These can be built anywhere there is a waste stream; human, animal or agricultural. The alga will clean raw sewage, stop fertilizer run-off, and eliminate the "poop problem" from large-scale meat animal operations, such as hog farms. That has enough benefit in and of itself to justify the cost. The biodiesel is just a by-product that allows us to stop importing oil. That means the worthless rag-heads in the Middle East can drink their stinking oil because we don't need it or them. It makes perfect sense, so of course we won't do it. Instead we spend $40 billion a year in Iraq and pay $2.15 a gallon for gasoline.


One spammer fined millions of dollars. Another off to 7 years in jail. Like 100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea, I call that a good start. May there be about a dozen more just like him. Something like 90% of all spam is sent by a handful of individuals. We know who they are and where they live (right in the U.S.) and it's about time something be done about it.


Dorothy Parker was once asked to use the word "horticulture" in a witty sentence. She replied. "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think."


Bill Cosby smacks down poor blacks. All I can say is "Amen! Preach it brother!" Some highlights:

"I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? And where is the father?"

"People putting their clothes on backwards: Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong? . . . People with their hats on backwards, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up to the crack and got all type of needles [piercings] going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from? Those people are not Africans; they don't know a damn thing about Africa."

"What is it -- young girls getting after a girl who wants to remain a virgin? Who are these sick black people and where do they come from and why haven't they been parented to shut up? This is a sickness, ladies and gentlemen."

You tell 'em Mr. Cosby. I can't because that would make me a racist. Of course all the victimology specialists really want to tell Mr. Cosby he can't say those things, but his credentials are too strong. And even they have to realize that he is right. The answer to the problems in the black community are found in the black community. Not white-run government programs. But I can't say what really needs to be said; go read Mr. Cosby.

And just to go along with what Mr. Cosby was talking about we have these two gems:

The first is a high-school girl with cerebral palsy. The harassment directed at her culminated in a classmate threatening her with a knife, then setting her hair on fire. She was sent home for the remainder of the school year and not allowed to take her finals. The assailant is still in school, unpunished.

The second was three kids, two nine-year-olds and a ten-year-old beheaded in their apartment. This is a sickness indeed, and it goes beyond the black community.

Jerry Pournelle has a couple good essays this week. One discusses the latest neo-con complaint that our Army is too small. The second tackles what we need to do in Iraq.

An just to make your day complete: many are looking to the Greek Summer Olympics scheduled to start in 10 weeks or so to give us all a reprieve from bad news. Or maybe not. It seems the Greek government isn't doing too well getting the place fixed up for August. Cost overruns, missed deadlines, and security problems. Maybe we should skip this time...

Just some thoughts to brighten everyone's day. Maybe I'll just start skipping the news thing...

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