Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Joy of Cat-ship, Part 3

Me, repeatedly, for the last half hour, progressively more irritated: "Why does my mouse cursor keep shooting up to the top left corner of the screen?"

Cat hair in my laser mouse.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Snap, Crackle and Pop of Little Feet

How do you explain to a cat that technically static electricity discharge is his fault, not yours?


Sunday, January 21, 2007


A while back I heard about a movie called Sunshine. It's apparently about a group of astronauts on a mission to reignite the Sun after it begins to die. It sounded to me like The Core in space; that is, a completely implausible but nevertheless entertaining movie focused on big special effects sequences but completely lacking in style (not that The Core isn't a very entertaining B-movie — I actually own it). Imagine my surprise tonight when I saw this slick, simple, fascinating, and all-around well crafted trailer.

Now, I can't make any guarantees as to the quality of the movie when it actually comes out (after all, the final trailer for Star Wars: Episode III had me wondering if George Lucas might have actually done something right for once — with evidence like that, no one can ever call me a pessimist), it's simply a great example of how a good trailer should be made. Granted, it does use the same music that was composed for the second The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers trailer, but if you hold that against it you will have to hold it against a dozen other movie trailers that have come out in the past five years as well.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Word of the Day

Pomiary - It's not in the dictionary, but if you investigate a little, I think you could tell me what it means.

In the meantime, a quote from the same book:
"Sir, have you considered the converse of engineering? We fall into it so naturally, but in the end every project expires, and one way or another every team is dismantled, and that's something we're not wired to deal with. It saddens, even traumatizes us. That's where geniuses are needed, to engineer the conclusions of things."

— From The Collapsium, by Wil McCarthy

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Proverbs 3:27-28

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.

Do not say to your neighbor,
"Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" —
when you now have it with you.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Joy of Cat-ship, Part 2

My first thought upon waking on Saturday morning at 6:45 AM was not, "Why is the shower curtain rod no longer attached to the bathroom wall?" Rather it was, "Perhaps if I roll over my cats will stop head-butting me in the face." (Idealistic strategies like this are why I always lose at chess.) Nor did thoughts of the shower curtain cross my mind when I awoke again at 8:00 AM, being replaced instead by, "Perhaps if I feed them, they will stop head-butting me in the face." When I awoke (or, more accurately, gave up any hope of head-butt-free repose) a third and final time at 11:00 AM, I was concerned only with defending my hand-to-mouth dry cereal breakfast against the ravages of feline gluttony. Thoughts of the shower curtain finally crossed my mind at 11:30 AM when, upon entering the bathroom, I noticed there was far more blocking my view of the floor than normal and far less blocking my view of the tub.

My fifth or sixth thought of the day finally came at 12:30 PM: "How did they unlatch the bathroom door?"

[What you should be asking yourself at this point is, "How does the vomiting of a cat wake him up, and the to-floor crashing of a metal shower curtain rod not?"]


Monday, January 8, 2007

"I'm being transparent with you guys."

"Partial honesty" is an oxymoron.

It's the reason we swear an oath in court, "to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." We have so many so-called definitions of the truth, and so many justifications for why the things we say are technically true. "Why weren't you there?" "I didn't feel well." Of course, what you didn't say is that the sniffles wouldn't have kept you from going if there hadn't been other reasons too. "Are you leaving?" "Yeah. I'm going to get some stuff done at home." Oh, that's clever. You didn't actually say that was the reason you were going home, you just knew they would assume it (or at least not challenge it); no matter what the real reason is or why you don't want to discuss it, it's still a lie. "How are you?" "I'm good." ....compared to ______, or in spite of ________. Lie.

Highlights from the dictionary definition of "honest" include: not deceptive, characterized by truth, without affectation, devoid of any hypocrisy or pretense. I cannot honestly claim that any of those things describe the whole of my speech or actions. I flatter myself that I rarely tell lies, while conveniently not addressing the fact that I deceive quite often. I practice deception and claim self defense. Are they large deceptions? Flat-out untruths? No. _____ is a difficult subject, so I leave that out. I don't want to talk about _____ with/in front of this person, so I let them assume something else. I can't dodge a certain question, but I know I can deflect the questioner with a confident-but-vague-to-the-point-of-saying-nothing-at-all answer. I talk about something sensitive, while being careful to make it sound like it's less of a big deal to me than it is. All lies, and the truth is that I do it to protect myself because I don't trust God to do it for me. It's hard to be completely honest (a redundancy), even with the people I want to be completely honest with, and I don't want to do anything that's hard. Honesty has the potential to put me in a situation I can't control, a situation where I am at the mercy of others, and I don't like that very much.

A couple of people have told me that going to Italy for three weeks completely alone was a brave thing to do. The truth is, I simply considered the possible consequences and decided I was willing to accept them. It's easy to make the sacrifices you are willing to make. What's hard is doing what the friend I quoted in the title did when he confessed something that made him vulnerable, and then pointed it out.

I have been working on it, I'm just not there yet.


Friday, January 5, 2007

The Joy of Cat-ship

My first thought (I use the word generously) upon waking this morning at 12:30am: "Why am I standing in the hallway?"

My second thought, only slightly less blurry: "What is that sound?"

I realized I would much rather still be in bed when I looked down to see my one of my two cats throwing up on the carpet. I used to think I was a deep sleeper, but apparently the relatively quiet sound of a cat vomiting is enough to pull my subconscious out of bed.

I'm pretty sure that ranks among my least favorite awakenings ever, but in spite of the occasional pile of vomit (hairball related), they have been pretty nice to have around. I guess I'll let it go this time.