Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Profanity. I guess I am thinking about this because of the new job. After a few days of my being there, a couple people, I think, noticed that there was something lacking from my typical vocabulary, because they started checking to see if I was offended by their use of the F word, etc.
In my life, I have had a couple verbal exchanges like this, where a friend/coworker will cuss then look at me and apologize. My response is usually to laugh and say: "Dude- knock yourself out. Why would I care?"
This is not the textbook response that you hear about in churchy places. Those typically go more like: "Well, thank you for the apology, I love you anyway." And then the other guy gets all quiet and scuffs their toe in the dirt and there is a moment and they start to cry. I'm not trying to say my response is better or worse... I'm just telling you what usually pops out of my mouth in that situation.
But the fact is, I don’t know why I don’t cuss myself. (Actually I do cuss, a bit, when nobody else is around. I don’t know why that is either. ) And then again- it all depends on how you define cussing. I say gosh, gee, crap, heck, dang, darn, screw you, butt, and fiddle-dee-dee all the time. I can not see any logical reason why those words are any better than… certain other words. I don’t really have a reason for avoiding some terms and not avoiding others- it’s just a habit/ instinct, mostly due to what words I could and could not get away with when I was a kid.
Cusswords seem to fall into two categories mainly: Religious and Bodily function. I can actually see a good reason for me to avoid using the religious ones. I tend not to shout things like "Gosh darn you to friggin heck!" tooo often because I actually believe in a Gosh, and if He really did darn you to friggin heck, well that would really be pretty mean of me to wish. But for, say, a Buddhist or an atheist to say it, it’s not really all that meaningful. They are just blowing off steam. They are not literally expressing a desire that I be subjected to an eternity of suffering. On the other hand if a Buddhist were to shout at me: "I hope you get reincarnated as a dung beetle 3 million times in a row!" that means something. Or if an atheist were to yell: "I hope you die and cease to exist, and that your life was a complete waste of time!" Or if a Viking were to shout at me, like that one in Walmart did the other day: "May the Hammer of Thor pulverize your family!" ...
On the other hand, wishing some one a nightmarish afterlife is really pretty funny if you don't take it too seriously. And I never do.
Not that nothing ever offends me. The other day two kids, about 13, of an ethnic minority which shall remain nameless, but they did seem to think that the waist of thier pants was suppossed to go beneath their butt (morons), walked into a fast food place that I happened to be in. They were obviously pretending that they were gunfighters who had just walked into a saloon in the middle of the Mojave to order rattlesnake head whiskey instead of two prepubescent dweebes in Mcdonalds ordering ice cream. They were working hard to get the f word into every sentence they said. I found that to be rather silly, pathetic, and idiotic. The really sad thing is that I've seen fairly oldish people act the same way.
There was a radio station like that back in Peoria- 105.7 FM. They played metal/alternative rock and they seemed to feel that their listener base wouldn't respect them if they didn't work in a cuss of some kind or other during each station break. It often sounded very lame and contrived, like they didn't exactly know how to cuss properly: "We just heard Chewing up Garbage by the Gothwieniees. Next up is My Pain is Broken by Rathead. Its 3:46 and 76degrees at the airport. You're listening to 1057 the X rocks! Uhhh- Arse." I seem to remember alot of stations in Utah suffering from the same sort of inferiority complex.
Speaking of Utah and cussing, that reminds me of the time when I was at BYU and... ah I don't feel like telling that story just now maybe later. time to get off the computer and get a life.
Moral of the post? I have NO IDEA!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I've been at my new job for three weeks and so far what with this and that I have been getting paid reasonably well to do very little.
This would not bother me much- ok be honest- it would be great!-- except that the new job's Internet filters are the most anal I've ever seen, so my surfing options have been extremely limited. (I can barely convince it to let me peek at the blogs once a day.)
So this leads me to have spent the last couple weeks doing what is probably one of the top five on the list of "Dumb things I have gotten paid to do." (Some where after throwing rocks and racing RC cars). I have been surfing Wikipedia.
Thought I'd share some of the things I have learned:
Alan Shepard, the first American in space, before blasting off on his historic mission prayed what is now known as The Shepard's Prayer :"Dear God, please don't let me f*** up"
Several of the 12 men who have been to the moon were quite religious- one later led several failed expeditions to try to find Noah's ark. Another one of them thought he was psychic. This same astronaut stated that a"cabal of insiders" inside the US Government were studying recovered alien bodies, and that this group had stopped briefing US Presidents after John F. Kennedy. He also said, that "We all know that UFOs are real, now the question is, where they come from." (weirdo)
Its possible to have a cross of an antelope and cow. You can also cross a mouse and guinea pig, and a guinea pig and rabbit. The Russian dude who did all this also tried to cross humans and chimpanzees, but circumstances kept him from really getting a good shot it. Part of me is disappointed.
There is a European Buffalo .
The town of Forks, Washington now celebrates an annual Stephanie Meyer day.
Oh yeah and I almost forgot about the Humster!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who'da thought?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
-Sorry had to get that out of my system-
$4 gas. It sparked a conversation this weekend between the Moose and I. Alternative energy sources was the topic.
A few years back Moose and I kicked around the idea of human powered electricity. It sounded pretty good. What we thought was: "lets get a stationary bike and rig it to generate a current."That shouldn't be too hard to do. We imagined installing this invention in places like homeless shelters- anyone who needs a job can just go in and peddle- and in prisons- you could give the guards masks and whips and transform beatings into electricity.
One problem with the bike concept was that the current generated would vary with however fast the convict/hobo peddled. That type of current would be anything from useless to annoying to fatal for most real applications (imagine pulsing light bulbs, microwaves, radio volumes, life support systems). My solution was to convert the energy generated by the peddler first into a form that could be released uniformly, then convert that to electricity. Some sort of mechanical water pump that the bike drives water to a reservoir on top of your roof say. The water can then be released at a uniform rate to generate a uniform current.
Eventually I took the time to do some research and some simple math/physics on the concept to determine how much electrical power one guy might be able to generate on a bike. Here is what I found out.
Q: What is a Watt?
A: A Watt is a measurement of Power, or in other words, energy used per time. In physics:
Q: Ok what is a Joule?
A: A Joule is a measurement of energy, specifically 1 Joule= 1 Newton meter. (A Newton is a metric measurement of weight or force,- about .273lbs) (a meter is 3.28 ft,) so:
1Joule = .273lbs x 3.28ft = .895 ftlb
One way to think of this is to remember that 1 Joule is the amount of energy it takes to lift .895 lbs 1 foot off the ground on Earth. (or you could say that 1 Joule is the amount of energy it takes to lift 1 lbs .895 feet off the ground- or any combination of feet and lbs that multiplies out to .895)
Q: Your power bill most likely reads in kWh (kilowatt hours). What is a kilowatt hour?
A: A kilowatt hour is a measurement of watts used in an hour. It is a measurement of energy, like the Joule.
OK... so lets assume you are going to rig your bicycle-generator up in your living room. Lets say you are going to pump water from your basement to the top of your house- for a potential energy drop of 30ft. that means to generate 1 kWh, you will need to move 107,000 lbs of water from basement to roof. Given that a gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs, you are looking at 13,000 gallons of water moved from basement to roof to generate 1 Kilowatt hour of power.
That's a lot of gallons.
Q: How much does a Kilowatt hour cost you?
A: Well, it varies from place to place. You can take a look at your power bill and find out what it is for you exactly but chances are its about 8cents.
So. You get on your bike and work up an inhuman sweat to move 13000 gallons of water up 30 ft- (I hope you can imagine this - If you can't, try carrying 13 gallons of water up the stairs 1000 times- it should give you some idea)- thus generating 1 kWh of energy- and how much money have you saved? About 8 cents.
The moral of the story: Alternative power is not as simple as it sounds. One of the main things that gets forgotten in the debate of how to manage our energy needs is the sheer titanic power represented by fossil fuels. We use electricity soo much that we take it for granted. Trying to imagine what it would take to create this type of power using just your body is a good reality check.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Meaning of Relativy -Einstein
Das Mars Projeckt- Werner Von Braun
I also want to read Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker because Douglas Adams said that book changed his life.
The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs
...Moron this later...
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I just went outside a bit ago. Its wet spring time. Everything is growing in a brutal, unregulated fashion. Weeds shoving themselves up rudely in patches of gravel. Grass trying to rip out concrete. Spring is a time of conquest. Nature trying to overthrow civilization.
You know another thing that makes me weirdly cheerful? The end of the world. Doomsday. Ragnarok. The Apocalypse. Global Warming (ha ha). The Next Ice Age. I love the idea of it all crashing down. Civilization, that is. I liked I am legend, The stand, the new die hard movie, Aeon Flux- cause they all talk about BIG CRASH scenarios. Do you know what movie I really loved? Battlefield Earth. Yeah you could make fun of it, but I loved it. I love the idea of coming down out of the hills in 100 years and exploring what’s left of the mall. They are finally doing something to the old Kmart in Woodriver that has been abandoned for 20+ years. There is a large patch of its parking lot that has slowly been turning back into a field for a decade or so now. I have been rooting for it. It fascinates me. I can’t explain it.
Yeah I know. If civilization goes down, Liz will die and so will probably most of my family. (maybe even me). And there will be no internet and no trips to Mars, and there will be a whole lot of suck. True, true if you wanna be a pessimist. But there will also be no John McCain, Hilary Clinton or Barak Obama. Doesn’t that sound GREAT!!!!!?!?!?!?!? I guess I just really like the idea of starting over. A clean slate. Death and carnage. Thinning out the gene pool. No trial lawyers. No speeding tickets. Nobody dying of old age on death row. No psychologists. Therapy consists of cutting the bad guy’s head off. No McDonalds. No TV. No such thing as inside. Great tans. Long hair. No professional clergy. No dress clothes. No Ties!!!
Sunday, May 4, 2008
32 And from thence let them journey for the congregations of their brethren, for their labors even now are wanted more abundantly among them than among the congregations of the wicked.
True story. I never liked Peoria either.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
This morning the garbage truck woke me up. I got out of bed to spy on them. I laughed myself silly. It looked more like a prank than real trash. My favorite part was when the trash dude grabbed one bag that was alot heavier than it looked for some reason. It totally de-balanced him. He had to take those awkward dancing steps you take when you are trying to throw something that is also trying to throw you.