Friday, April 30, 2010

Thirty days hath April

It's the end of April. Huzzah!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


There's this strange guy named Brian who attends our local swing dance events. He's been coming for two years, but he almost never does anything more than the basic jitterbug step over and over again. He does ask women to dance, but he seems to be pathetically shy, and he obviously has no confidence when it comes to trying out moves. As far as I can tell, he has no friends there either.

I've tried to chat with him, inviting him to a workshop, for example. Doesn't seem to do any good. I wonder what the deal is with him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Human immune system cells

A bit of educational information here. Here is a brief and somewhat fragmented discussion of some of the cells of the immune system. By this, I mean the human immune system, of course. Strictly speaking, this should be stated; however, when people speak of the immune system, it's normally understood to mean that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yay, Elizabeth!

Congratulations, Liz!

She'll never read this comment, but I did want to express my joy and appreciation.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Batman: The Brave and The Bold

This is a darned good show. Too bad it's in reruns right now. Sigh.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

'I' is a crazy woman

This lady, "I", is a complete whack job. She is shrill, annoying, irrational and just generally trouble. Her mouth operates much faster than her brain does, and it's really annoying.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MK is a dear friend, but...

More on MK...

She's a wonderful person and one of my dearest friends. She tends to be completely irrational at times, though. She reads way too much into things, which causes her to tear herself up with worry and paranoia. What's more, she calls me and seeks assurance when she finds herself in these states. I don't mind listening to her -- she is a valued friend, after all -- but she does cause herself way too much aggravation.

Here's an example of how she blows things way out of proportion. I recently tagged a whole lot of people in somebody's Facebook album. This person then posted a comment on my wall: "You've been busy. Tagging, that is."

MK says to me, "Is this guy saying that you're being a nuisance???" With barely restrained exasperation, I said, "No, no, no. I love you dearly, but you read way too much into things. This is a good example of that. He was just saying that I was busy with a lot of tagging. You don't need to read anything more into it that that." I wanted to add, "For pity's sake! You are so completely irrational!"

Don't get me wrong. She is a wonderful person. She just needs to be more emotionally secure and stable, though.

Friday, April 23, 2010

MK drives me nuts sometimes

My friend MK drives me nuts sometimes. She is so insecure, so lacking in confidence, so lacking in emotional strength.

Consider this. A friend of hers, Bridget, got married recently. Prior to going out with her groom, she had been pining over this other fella. A fella who had expressed interest in her at one point, but who didn't make enough of an effort to pursue her. Eventually, she moved on.

For weeks, MK kept asking me, "Do you think that Bridget will regret her decision." I'd say things like "I doubt it" or "Probably not" or "I don't know." Yet over and over again, MK kept asking that question, as though she was intensely worried that Bridget would still be pining over this guy.

Eventually, I told MK, "Why are you obsessing over this? Look, you're beating yourself up over a situation for no good reason. Bridget knows far more about this fella than you do, and she knows far more about her own state of mind than you do. We've got no reason to believe that she's still carrying a torch for this other guy, so why keep fretting over this? She's a grown woman, and it's her decision."

What I really felt like saying was "WHO CARES!?!?!?!? Who cares if she'll regret it or not? If you want to know if she'll regret it, then wait and see. You're not going to get an answer by asking this question over and over again."


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lines of Code -- a useless metric

I am astonished that anyone would choose to measure programming experience or programming quality in terms of the number of lines of code produced. That's an absolutely stupid means by which to measure either quality or experience.

I love this quote from Bill Gates: "Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


He's a jackass.

There. I said it, and I got it off my chest.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abusive cousins

Okay, okay. I know that this blog must sound like a series of bitter rants, and I do want to post some more positive remarks sometime. For now though, I want to get some things off my chest, even if they're from the distant past. I find that expressing these views can be therapeutic.

During my early childhood, I had a bunch of cousins who teased me and my brother mercilessly because of some innocent friendships that I had with girls my age. They did it because they took pleasure in causing us pain and discomfort. This is unacceptable behavior, since it's wrong to deliberately hurt other people just for the fun of it.

So what did the adults (my parents, my uncles, my aunts) do to solve this problem? NOTHING! Or rather, essentially nothing. Oh, they might have conceivably told our cousins to stop now and then, but for the most part, they put the blame on us. They blamed us for getting upset. What's more, they themselves frequently joined in the teasing, knowing that it made us upset.

And that's just wrong. I'm decades older now, and I'm long past the stage where I can deal with the teasing. Their approach to the problem appalls me even to this day, though. It was just wrong.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I am so bummed. Very disappointed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

She sure does talk a lot

My friend MK sure does like to talk... sometimes on and on. She's one of my favorite people, but she tends to ask a lot of questions that she already knows the answers to. She also hopes for yes/no answers to questions where the correct answer is obviously "It depends."

A new word: exiguous

Exiguous. It means "scanty; meager; small, slender."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The sun... incandescent gas?

So the sun... is it a mass of incandescent gas? Or is it a miasma of plasma?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Darn. Rats. Darn.

Darn. Frustrated again. Somehow, these things never seem to work out. It stinks to high heavens. So very unfortunate.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doc Savage movie

Been watching the old Doc Savage movie from 1975. Now that was fun. Ron Ely had just the right look and bearing for the Man of Bronze, and the casting of his five aides -- the fabulous five -- was just right.

I like the way they bronzed up Ron Ely. In the short-lived Marvel Comics series, the coloration of Doc Savage's skin was positively garish. In this movie though, he looked bronze without looking grotesque.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not enough time

There just isn't enough time in the day. Argh.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Jennifer Dempster has got to be one of the most appealing television fitness celebrities of all time. She wasn't as hard core as Cory Everson or Kiana Tom, but she was likable and attractive, and her life was a fat loss success story.

I also like Sharon Mann. Now that gal knows how to make a workout enjoyable.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tarantulas for novices

I have just discovered the Tarantula Pages website (), which offers some valuable information for aspiring tarantula keepers. Among other things, it provides an article on suitable tarantula species for beginners, as well as various caresheets. Definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I am having a hard time learning balboa. For this reason, I am deeply indebted to the efforts of one F.A., who is incredibly sweet and more than considerate in her attempts to help me learn. I just wish that I could practice regularly and devote more time to this endeavor.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bernard Haldane

I will never, ever forget the time when some agent from Bernard Haldane tried to get me to sign up for their job search services. That was pathetic. He was promising me the moon, even stating that he "guaranteed" I would find a job through them. When I asked if this meant I would get my money back if they didn't land me a job, he went strangely silent.

People like that are scum. They prey on the desperate, as well as on people who don't necessarily have a lot of cash to spare. They are completely despicable.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Ziks and tendonitis

Apparently, I have a bit of lingering tendonitis in the second toe of my right foot. I bruised the toe joint due to loads of exercise, and while the bone has recovered, it seems that the tendon is still a bit inflamed.

My podiatrist gave me a few samples of Ziks ointment for pain relief. He says that this stuff will also help with the healing process. I'm a bit skeptical, but what the hey...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Lousy podiatrist

When I injured my toe a couple of years ago, I decided to look for a podiatrist who was as close as possible to my office. I reasoned that the injury didn't look severe, so I wasn't about to hunt around for the most experienced person.

That was a mistake.

First, she misdiagnosed my condition. Based on my x-rays, she said that I had a predislocated toe, and she gave me instructions on how to wrap it for proper healing. However, after reading about this condition on the web, I realized that her diagnosis didn't seem right. Indeed, another podiatrist confirmed that she screwed her diagnosis up and failed to consider other symptoms. (He said, for example, that an x-ray alone is not sufficient for diagnosing this problem.)

And how did she give me instructions for wrapping the toe? By trying to describe the process over the phone. That's no good. What you should do is demonstrate it to the patient so that there is no risk of being misunderstood. At the very least, provide some sort of written instructions with pictures, for pity's sake.

She also told me to go get some horseshoe pads. What she didn't say is that these things are not available in drugstores. I'd expect a physician to be reasonably familiar with what's available in drugstores and what is not. Heck, as it turns out, these items are not in common use, so she should have at least said that I might have to search on the internet for them. Indeed, I'd expect that if she were any good, she would at least recommend a few places (at least one!) that did offer these items.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Publilius says,

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." - Publilius Syrus

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Audrey, you are a despicable human being. There is just no way around that fact.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Tammie, you have no integrity. You are a dishonest piece of humanity. You are a liar.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I hate playing against my countrymen

I hate playing games against my countrymen. It doesn't matter if we're playing cards, board games, or basketball. Far too many of them insist on cheating as a matter of sport. This problem is just too palpable to ignore.

It's not just a problem in game playing. When I was a young elementary school student in the USA, I found that students would line up in an orderly fashion when in the cafeteria or when lining up to see the teacher. I received a bit of culture shock when my family moved back to our country, though. I found that line jumping and overtaking was commonplace -- tacitly accepted, even. I didn't like it, but I learned that this was the status quo.

That all stinks.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


I was asked to help three of my co-workers move these two slabs of polished granite back onto our conference room table. (Together, they constituted the tabletop.) Mind you, these things are solid stone and they way a few hundred pounds each.

The slabs were resting on a dolly, in a near-vertical orientation, so we first had to gently tip them to a horizontal orientation. Unfortunately, as soon as I placed my hands on the end of one slab, one co-worker jumped the gun. He started tipping the slab over from his end, before the other two guys were in position -- and without asking me if I was ready. He also started moving it a bit too quickly, rather than slowly and gingerly.

When I felt it shift, I yelled, "Not yet! Not yet!" but it was too late. We lost control, and both slabs started to crash. One of them hit my hand and wristwatch, causing a sprain, massive swelling, and some bruises. The momentum also forced me to the floor, causing me to sprain my ankle. Somehow, one of my toes was also banged up and developed a nasty hematoma. By God's grace though, nothing was broken.

Accidents happen, I know, but this was a case of tremendous recklessness on so many levels.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Spring out! Oh, boy!

I just saw a nifty new variation on the lindy hop swing out. It's called the "spring out." Basically, you let your body act like a spring during counts 5 and 6, drawing the follow in and then pushing her back out.

I can't wait to try it!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pocket Hercules

This is not an April Fool's Day joke. There is a 19-month old boy in Roosevelt Park, Michigan with a rare genetic condition called myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy. This means that his muscles are abnormally enlarged, and in this case, it means that he has 40% more muscle mass than normal. If the report I read is to be believed, the boy was able to stand up on his own when he was just two days old. (I'm a bit skeptical about that last part.)