April 29, 2006

Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Via Boing Boing, everything you need to know about sharpening kitchen knives.

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April 27, 2006

I'm angry

I'm angry, and I don't like it. And I'm not sure if it's for stupid reasons, or for reasonable reasons.

So how'd today go? Things started out pretty ok, got a haircut, had lunch. First sign of trouble, got a phone call around 1, with my friend giving me some instructions for dogsitting next weekend. Not a problem, except I was planning on coming up to his house later in the day, which he and his wife either forgot or never knew.

So, went up to their place. Their son is in a not fun stage, where if he isn't able to dominate the conversation at dinner he at least pouts, if he doesn't do a fake cry, which usually ends up in his missing dessert and having a bit of a temper tantrum in his room. Lovely.

His parents wanted to wash the dogs after dinner. I'm sitting with the kid, who has been given a task of sharpening a bunch of pencils for his Montessori school, apparently to get him interested in writing. This didn't seem to be particularly useful, as he quickly got bored sharpening pencils in the electric sharpener, so he wasn't pushing them in perfectly horizontally, so eventually it overheated. I'm doing my best to make this some sort of learning experience or a game or something, and it ain't working.

I'm wondering more and more if the kid's diagnosable with ADHD. Even if I'm ever fully convinced he is, I'll never convince the parents.

Both dogs decide the best place to shake off after their bath is right next to me.

It's clear my female friend is convinced it would be best if I moved to Houston. Best for them, absolutely. Best for me, not so clear.

I was considering going up to their place late Friday night after gaming, to go to the Westheimer Street Festival on Saturday, but the aren't actually leaving until Sunday, so that's not going to work.

I left their place a little early, and went to the joint MIT/Stanford happy hour. Recognized no one, saw no one identified with MIT, left. Called one guy who usually goes to these things, couldn't get him.

Grump, grump, grump. Things could be so much worse. But I have so little motivation to make them better.

Posted by Owlish at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Do-It-Yourself Lasik

In general, I'm in favor of people being more involved in their healthcare. Do-it-yourself surgery, not so much.

Via Beautiful Atrocities. Includes this great comment from Ultron:

"We encourage you to donate your old eyeglasses to your local school, Lions Club, or other charity."

That makes sense. I'm pretty sure anyone who tried this would never have any use for eyeglasses again.

Posted by Owlish at 09:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 25, 2006

Historical Reenactments: The Secret Wars

This video may be the geekiest thing that can possibly exist. Fortunately, it's tongue-in-cheek.

H/T: Johnny is a Man

Posted by Owlish at 05:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 24, 2006

Wen Spencer, Author

I just finished her 4th book in the Ukiah Oregon series. Fun stuff, well writen, and gay positive, what more could you want?

The series is too complex to summarize in a few sentences, but to give you an idea: Ukiah was raised by a pack of wolves until he was physically about 13. He was captured and raised by a lesbian couple. He has several gifts which come in very useful as a private detective, and they're also useful for stopping an alien invasion, which has destroyed countless worlds, including some civilizations much more advanced than humanity.

I've also read Tinker-also good stuff. A second book is coming out soon in that universe, Wolf Who Rules, which has been combined into a hardcover by the Scifi Book Club, soon to be published.

She's got something of a blog here- mostly announcements about convention appearances and whatnot. Interview here. Another interview here, this one aimed at new authors.

Posted by Owlish at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thomas Dolby Blog

Thomas Dolby, musician extraordinaire, has a site here, blog here [not all of the posts are his writing, but his style clearly comes through: posts on his meeting Paul McCartney, his music rig, his workspace in a shed behind his house].

H/T: Brad Sucks

Posted by Owlish at 11:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 22, 2006

Which Hero Are You

Didn't I do this one already? Anyway, via JP:

You scored as Captain Jack Sparrow. Roguish,quick-witted, and incredibly lucky, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who sometimes ends up being a hero, against his better judgement. Captain Jack looks out for #1, but he can be counted on (usually) to do the right thing. He has an incredibly persuasive tongue, a mind that borders on genius or insanity, and an incredible talent for getting into trouble and getting out of it. Maybe its brains, maybe its genius, or maybe its just plain luck. Or maybe a mixture of all three.

Captain Jack Sparrow


Batman, the Dark Knight


Neo, the "One"


The Terminator


William Wallace


The Amazing Spider-Man




Indiana Jones


Lara Croft


El Zorro


James Bond, Agent 007


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
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April 20, 2006


Let's see. I'm back in Galveston. My computer is on life support- the power cord was a significant problem, so I ended up buying a iGo to act as a cord, and to provide some other options. I've got a friend who recommended them. It isn't solving everything, though.

So, assuming I'm buying a new desktop, I want a middle of the line setup, and I want to be able to play some games, any suggestions?

I'm getting unhappy with my current apartment. A friend is in the process of buying a second house [a duplex], and he would be quite happy for me to rent from him. Don't know if it's such a good idea for me, though.

Posted by Owlish at 05:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 13, 2006

My Apparent Life

1) My parents are back from their trip, sailing through the British Virgin Islands. They had a good time, even though minor to major disasters happened nearly every day.
2) There is no way most moderately intoxicated drivers are worse than my grandfather sober.
3) My mom has a cousin, who has been almost the prototypical nerd staying home in his parents basement. I learn today that started some time during high school, and my mom thinks it's because some gay teacher made a pass at him. I didn't say anything, but I think it's got to be much more serious to cause someone essentially to drop out of life- he was raped, or started to discover he was gay, and this was completely unacceptable, or something. I'm sure I'll never know the answer.

Posted by Owlish at 08:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 10, 2006

My Scheduled Life Plan

Life is not going according to plan, not even a little bit.

1) My laptop is dying a horrible, painful death.
2) The day I was planning on going to my parents' place, I discovered that my new next door neighbor is apparently turning his apartment into a meat locker. Thus, the tube carrying cool air into his place, that happens to go through mine, was dripping condensation all over my closet. Good news: I don't think any comics were ruined. Bad news: all sorts of random crap got wet, and I didn't have nearly enough time to sort it all out.
3) Friday night, got a call from a friend. He's planning/thinking about buying the house behind him, and wondered if I would be interesting in moving into it. The benefits for him are obvious; the benefits for me less so.
4) The week before, talked with another friend. He and a close friend for 20 years or so haven't spoken together for the last 3 months. He doesn't really know why; I have no clue. We talked about possible ways he could deal. The impact on me is: sheesh- if they can get into a fight that may end a 20 year friendship, what does that mean for my friendships.
5) Got a temporary job offered fairly randomly, that would have been pretty good. I couldn't take it. Need to get my butt in gear, seriously.

Blogging is going to be spotty for at least the next week, if not much longer.

Have a good Easter, if you celebrate such. If not, go eat some marshmellow chickens and chocolate bunnies.

Posted by Owlish at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 03, 2006

illuminati jimmy swaggart

Ok, who was searching for "illuminati jimmy swaggart?" What were they hoping to find?

Maybe, The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave by Fritz Springmeier & Cisco Wheeler? Lots of other fun stuff on the main site as well, including stuff on mind control and "Death Towers," also known as power lines.

The same applies for this search: "mary poppins" revolution jesus. In what twisted mental landscape do those words go together?

Posted by Owlish at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Huge protests in LA, student walkouts nationwide including in Houston, an apparent need to do something in Congress, what a mess.

I've got a friend who was completely convinced that Mexicans are assimilating just as quickly as any past immigrant group [although he hasn't discussed this for a while, so his views may have changed]. I've never been as convinced, and the news recently makes me less convinced. Which is where this article comes in- Herbert Meyer argues that a large portion of the hispanic population aren't looking for immigration, they're looking for jobs, as guest workers. [H/T: The Wood Shed.]

Some random thoughts:
1) Illegals are not only willing to work cheaper than Americans are willing to, they can work cheaper than possible for Americans. Minimum wage, social security taxes, etc. The Delphi autoworkers contracts average at about 25$ an hour; total compensation, after benefits, was 75$ an hour.

2) While the education might not have been the best, Mexican medical school grads tended to fit in pretty well in the residency program.

3) I'm getting tired of double standards: kids waving Mexican flags is fine, kids waving our flags need to be banned.

4) The This Is Stolen Land people need to get a grip.

Posted by Owlish at 08:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A handy word, coined for a somewhat bizarre answer to a question.

Basically, there was no Death before the Fall -> well, what did sharks eat?

Easy, sharks ate squid, which God didn't consider to be alive because they didn't have hemoglobin.

Read the comments on the first link, in which a bunch of biologists point out interesting tidbits. For example, an organism that has hemoglobin in a larval stage, but not the adult stage.

Posted by Owlish at 05:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Zombies are Hip

The NYT notes a trend: zombies are the happening monster of the decade [it was werewolves in the 80's, vampires in the 90's if you're wondering].

So: why zombies?

Most zombie zealots seem to agree that the zombie renaissance has something to do with the anxieties of life after Sept. 11.

"People have apocalypse on the brain right now," Mr. Brooks said. "It's from terrorism, the war, natural disasters like Katrina." Several zombie aficionados said there was a zombielike quality to the spread of the bird flu.

Zombies, Mr. Brooks said, are the perfect goblin for such times, in part because they suggest broad social collapse, when anyone a policeman, a nurse, a friend can turn into a force of evil. With a werewolf or vampire, all the evil is concentrated on a single creature; with zombies, the evil is everywhere.

Posted by Owlish at 04:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 02, 2006

Animated Tattoo

Maybe 10 years ago I read a scifi story, in which the characters had animated tattoos. That's what they're calling these, although the function isn't completely there. At least the entire thing is inside the skin, making it at least possible there won't be an infection.

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