September 28, 2006

I hate having a cold

Headache-> sinuses-> sore throat-> infrequent, strong coughs. What a pain.

Although, if I didn't have a cold, I'd have been in Houston tonight, wouldn't have run into an old friend at Krogers, and learned that a guy I knew died recently.

I had known he was sick and wasn't practicing, but didn't know it was that bad. If he had a grave I think I'd go visit it. Nothing to do about it now.

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September 24, 2006

The Party

Last night my next door neighbor had an open party for the apartment. I went, he was there, and 5 women of various ages, including 3 medical students. Moderately fun. We talked, ate some "chicken fajitas," and played Pictionary. My team was stomped. Their team had two friends who were obviously on the same mental wavelength- if one was drawing the other could nearly always guess what the answer was. I drew 2 things that my team couldn't figure out but the other team could, which seems like a bad sign.

And how the heck do you draw something that will identify as "airhead," anyway?

Some of them went to a medical student bonfire afterwards; wild horses weren't going to drag me there.

And I brought some cheese dip [which didn't turn out particularly well; Kroger brand cheese-like substance might be to blame].

Went to the St Arnold's Octoberfest pubcrawl the night before. We called it an extremely early night [got back around 9:45]

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September 21, 2006

The Second American Civil War, Part 2

Part 1 here.

When I wrote part one, it didn't occur to me that it was the day before 9/11. Spent most of that day reading all sorts of stuff, all over the sphere. Overall, I think this scenario is less likely than I did 10 days ago, but that doesn't matter- I'm trying to imagine a scenario in which a Civil War within my lifetime is possible.

2011: Nukes hit the Eastern Seaboard. Besides the massive loss of life, economic loss, etc, this has some political effects. The US becomes somewhat more polarized politically. A large number of the bigger companies in California leave for parts of the midwest, both avoiding ever increasing state taxes and for security's sake, in case there's a strike off the Western Coast. This leads to an increasing spiral, tax base leaves -> the underclass refuses to let payouts decrease, so taxes increase in the upper brackets -> tax base leaves. Hollywood still exists as a brand, but nearly all movies are made elsewhere. As upper and middle class leave, housing prices drops dramatically, leading to the loss of significant amounts of cash on paper, especially for the middle class. The loss of things as they were leads to massive protests, which are as incomprehensible to the soccer moms and military dads in Texas and Colorado as the French students protesting for lifetime employment starting at 18 or illegal aliens wanting anglos out of California.

The blast in Washington didn't kill the President, the Vice President, or a significant fraction of Congress, but it killed 6 of 9 Supreme Court Justices. The highest levels of the federal government move to a secure military base; the surviving bits of the lower levels stay around what was Washington DC or decentralize. Large portions of the federal government exist only on paper.

From this point there would need to be some scary trends: (1) the US splitting into those who want a diplomatic, fortress USA solution, and those who want to go to full war footing against a large fraction of the Islamic world; (2) the Supreme Court going for some ... interesting, international flavored interpretations of the Constitution, especially the first and second amendments; (3) with some successes against the Great Satan, fascist Islam strengthens drastically, leading to the US having no favorable ties to any Middle Eastern regime, and the invasion of what is left of Israel.

After that, perhaps, northwestern US tries to leave, possibly joining Canada. This might even be acceptable, given the drastically lowered federal power, except for one thing: the Alaskan oil fields, which had not been tapped due to environmental protests, and which are vital given the reduction in Middle Eastern oil.

Beyond that, I don't know. Some technical changes in the next twenty years? Drastically increased longevity? Bioenhancements as common as breast augmentation is now? Improved computing power to the point of true AI? A true epidemic, whether natural or man-made? Significant space colonization would make a big difference, but I can't see than happening in the next 50 years without alien contact.

Posted by Owlish at 08:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chris and Eric's Dallas Gig

Went up to Dallas last weekend, primarily to see a friend [or acquaintance, or friend of a friend, or whatever] play the guitar [with another guy] in a cafe. The cafe turned out to be about 4 blocks from where I used to live, which was kind of weird. Tasty food, poor service [although we may have overwhelmed the seemingly high school age waitstaff {or maybe college aged; I'm getting old}]. Met the liberal guy on an email list I get into polite disagreements with sometimes; he looks like an old hippie. The guitar player very thin, possibly formally anorexic, which is extraordinarily unusual given his age and that he's not gay. Makes me worried; I think he smokes. My friends say he's been fasting some for religious reasons, I hope that's the only reason.

Hung out on Sunday, played Kingdom of Loathing, watched the Cowboys game. Was going to do some shopping [what else does a tourist do in Dallas?] on Monday, but my friend has bronchitis, and wanted me to take her to her doc. Had sushi Monday night at Simon's Sushi again; still tasty but not amazingly so, not sure why. We were sitting with several acquaintances of theirs, which might have had something to do with it- being slightly nervous meant I was less focused on the food.

My AC is out, which is no fun. The apartment manager says the compressor is out, and he might or might not be able to replace it tomorrow.

St Arnold's pub crawl tomorrow night. Apartment party Saturday night.

It never rains, but pours.

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September 14, 2006

How Star Wars Episode IV Should Have Ended

You know, it's a good thing Evil is usually stupid.

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September 10, 2006

Restricted Area and the Second American Civil War

So, I've been playing a really, really bad computer game: Restricted Area. Basically, an action RPG set in a post apocalype world, that has some significant problems [which the IGN review above understates].

One sort of interesting part is the effort the manual spends on establishing a historical timeline, which is completely unused in the game. Briefly mentioned is an American Civil War, East vs West, around 2050, with the usual megacorps somehow involved.

In the real world, is a second Civil War even possible? I've been trying to come up with a timeline, which I think is at least not completely impossible. Remember, even in states that voted heavily for Bush or Kerry, there were large minorities who voted for the other.

2006: Several close Congressional races, but Republicans retain control.

2008: Continued, increasing fighting in Iraq. Still historically low death tolls in the American military, but a few more allies pull out of the fight due to pressure back home. John Q. Public sees no possible end in sight. Republicans continue to push the social conservative side of things, ramp up the War on Drugs, budget increases tend to bring home the bacon. An increasingly powerful blogosphere brings several problems to light, both in direct government arena [Bridge to Nowhere] and outside it [Ted Kennedy caught in sex scandal]. A "throw the idiots out" feeling develops. No major terrorist attacks worldwide.

A Democrat runs on "I'm not Bush," advocates pulling out of Iraq, and wins the Presidency. The Republican candidate wasn't much stronger on the War on Terror, was never able to make a case for continuing the War.

While President Bush is a lame duck, Iran launches a couple of nukes on Israel, sparing Jerusalem. President Bush immediately responds by nuking Iran.

The incoming president thinks this was a bad idea, and pushes through a rebuild Iran bill.

2011: New York City, Boston, and Washington DC are nuked in a terrorist attack, with the bombs in shipping containers. Bin Ladin claims responsibility, claims it was in retaliation for the US strike on Iran. Large loss of life; financial markets, banks, insurance companies take a major strike with direct damage as well as the EMP pulse. Large numbers of people involved with the federal government are killed. The Democratic President makes a speech, wants to focus on rebuilding and capturing Bin Ladin. Hospitals nationwide overwhelmed by burn victims, some disruption in trade nationwide creates odd shortages, but nothing life threatening in flyover country and the Western states. Massive looting required for survival in areas around the blasts.

More to come...

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September 06, 2006

A Star Trek/Simpsons Mash?

Not really sure what it is, but it's fairly amusing:


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September 04, 2006


Ok, so what's been happening? August was the month of birthdays: a 1 year old cousin, a 5 year old godson, and a 30something female friend. As usual, I went up a couple days early to help with birthday party prep for the godson [was a 45 kid birthday party really necessary?]. As usual, I got pissed off for various small reasons- my friend's trying to create the perfect birthday party meant he kept looking for engineering solutions to problems, while I thought differently. And, I felt like my time was not used in an optimal fashion. I guess.

Probably the biggest problem was at the birthday party itself, looking at the various happy parents and their happy kids, and not really being able to join them.


Still, essentially, putting off doing anything towards living what other people call a life. Considered moving, didn't. Told a friend I was going to post on a gay dating site, haven't. Thought about walking as much as a female friend who's getting ready for a big event. Instead, I've been sitting on my butt and playing Neverwinter Nights and Kingdom of Loathing.

And the world is still headed towards a mess with Iran:

Annan's visit came after Iran ignored the U.N. Security Council's Thursday deadline for Tehran to halt uranium enrichment, opening the door to possible sanctions over concerns that the Iranians are trying to develop atomic weapons.

"On the nuclear issue, the president reaffirmed to me Iran's preparedness and determination to negotiate" a solution to the nuclear confrontation, Annan said at the news conference.

However, Ahmadinejad "reiterated that he did not accept suspension before negotiations," the U.N. chief said, conveying Iran's rejection of a condition set by the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.

Oh, and I tried to make a chocolate meringue pie from scratch [my dad's favorite, and I want to make a Baked Alaska sometime, just to see how it works]. The meringue came out pretty well, the graham cracker crust was tasty but a little uneven, and the chocolate filling was tasty but pretty runny, even after being refrigerated. Maybe with some work, could be tried on company, but I'd be more likely to just use a boxed pudding mix.

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