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This weekend? Clean the basement!

November 16, 2007


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 8:41 am

Akismet is trapping lots of ugly comment spam lately. Must be a holiday thing. Like paragraphs and paragraphs of the following:

fat sex xxx old fat sex fat sex tgp tits big black fat sex super fat sexy fat sex movie galleries fat sex vids fat sexy women fat sex movie fat sexy redheads old and fat sex movie galleries fat sexy legs vidios big fat sexy women free fat sex images fat sexy wonen

On and on and on. Sometimes with accompanying links, sometimes not. And those links will be mixed in with mortgages and law schools and insurance. I wonder if that’s really where those URLs go?

Another technique that’s been popping up a lot lately: fake trackbacks. You’ll get a trackback that says, “I found a really interesting post today” and then quotes the first paragraph of your most recent post. But the originating blog is just a spamfront. They work by appealing to blogger vanity, I’m guessing. Worked on me…the first time, anyhow.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 9:03 am

I’m not in a hurry to die and (I assume) go to Hell, but one bright aspect to eternal damnation is that I’ll get to see what Satan does with all those friggin’ spammers. You just know its gonna be something special…

I can think of any number of appropriate punishments for them, but common human decency and the Geneva Convention forbid most of them.

You didn’t find Lokki in there, did you?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 9:32 am

Nope. I always keep an eye out for Lokki parts in the trap.

Comment from Lokki
Time: November 17, 2007, 11:16 am

Still Alive and Well

Did you ever look to see who is left around?
When I think about the past it only brings me down
Cause everyone I thought was cool is six feet under ground
They tried to get me lots of times and now they’re
Coming after you – I got out and I’m hid in safe
maybe you can get out too
Baby you get the word out
So everyone will know –
I’m still alive and well
Still alive and well
Every now and then I know
it’s kind of hard To tell
But I’m still alive and well
Still alive and well

Johnny Winter

Comment from Dawn
Time: November 17, 2007, 11:25 am

I live in a town with a rural and “urban” population combined at 7,600. All over town someone has plastered Ron Paul revolution signs. So I looked him up and, tell you what, I like what the guy has to say. Maybe it’s Texas pride (he’s sort-of from Texas), but he seems to be saying all the right things. I voted for Ross Perot the first time I was legal to vote and I have never let myself live it down, so someone either agree with me or talk some sense to me.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 12:23 pm

His name is plastered over the highway overpasses on the way to Boston, so it isn’t a localized phenomenon.

I was a fan of his, years ago. My inclinations are all libertarian. But somehow there’s a thing people go through when they become famously libertarian. A sort of batshit-crazification process.

But, hey, in the primaries? Vote how you want. Doesn’t much matter. (Except McCain. Please don’t. That guy really gets up my nose!)

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 17, 2007, 12:42 pm

Dawn, you’re kidding, right? Please tell me you’re kidding. The guy is the favorite candidate of Stormfront (neo-Nazis) and 9/11 “truthers,” and he won’t return their donations or repudiate their support. He’s appeared on Alex Jones’s show several times (Jones is a “truther”). He’s made statements about the “Israel lobby” controlling congress. He’s said at the debates that he thinks that we brought 9/11 on ourselves. He doesn’t come even remotely close to taking the War on Terror seriously. He thinks that we are breaking the Geneva conventions and that if we stop, then the terrorists will obey them too.

And he doesn’t even practice what he preaches domestically. He puts pork in bills for his district and then votes against the bill, knowing it will pass and he’ll get the credit for getting them money in addition to getting the credit for not voting for pork.

In short, he is a disgusting, hypocritical, anti-Semitic nut.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 1:37 pm

“In short, he is a disgusting, hypocritical, anti-Semitic nut. -Mrs. Peel-

“…batshit-crazification…” -Weasel-

Thank you for summing up my own opinion of Ron Paul, ladies.

Ron Paul is a flake, and so are a large percentage of his “Ronulan” minions – IMHO. I mean, they were actually selling their own Ron Paul legal tender ’til the FBI shut them down.

Not piling on you, Dawn – but you might consider taking another look.

Not that any of this shit matters. They’re all garbage – R or D.

I’m planning on voting for Fred! if I can, just to piss the D’s off, and because at least he can give a decent speech – unlike W.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 1:49 pm

Ah! Lokki!

I’m so pleased you’re not Filtered. I was beginning to wonder.

Carry on…

Comment from Dawn
Time: November 17, 2007, 2:18 pm

I knew there was something wrong with Ron Paul with all the hippie LOVE junk. My only source of information was his own website.
Stoat, I live in Arizona and McCain couldn’t buy my vote. McGoo, the only time I ever voted for a Democrat was to vote against a local Mormon Republican (AZ Speaker of the House, Jake Flake) who wrote a letter to a parole board on behalf of a Mormon Bishop child molester. He didn’t feel the guy was a danger to society even though he had multiple victims, one a six year old girl whom I knew.
http://www.azwaterbank.gov/awba/member_images/FLAKE.gif Looks like your typical good old boy, doesn’t he.
Guess it’s back to a tossup between Huckabee and Thompson.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 3:39 pm

You know Weasel’s definition of hard times? It’s when I goof off by raking up five bags of leaves and lawn refuse, because it’s that much more fun than what I’m supposed to be doing.

You know, I don’t think people properly recognize how very difficult it is for a lazy person to survive in this world.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 17, 2007, 4:03 pm

Dawn, now you know, and knowing is half the battle! 😉 btw, any irritation you saw in that post was definitely directed at He Who Must Not Be Named, not you.

Weas, try timeboxing. It helped me on my paper.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 4:20 pm

Dawn! Was that Az S of the H running back in the mid-90’s? He does look familiar.

Whoa. That’s when I lived in Phoenix (Chandler, if you want to pick nits). It is also the only time in my life I voted for a D over a R.. But I can’t remember why. But – believe me – it was a serious reason. I wonder if he was the one?

Coincidences. I’m having lots of them – and near-ones – lately.

Like I said, I like Fred! just because. And because he ate the last journalist that insulted him. Including the bones.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 4:42 pm

Mrs. Peel,

In my opinion, timeboxing is essential for anyone having multiple overlapping tasks on their plate – especially when one has a good handle on the extent and difficulty of each of the task(s).

And, if you believe in your timebox allocations, its a great stress reliever because you KNOW you’ll get there – on weight, on cost, and on schedule.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 6:31 pm

Hm. From my read of it, it sounds like timeboxing is just setting aside a fixed chunk of time to do something. I don’t really know how long things are going to take — I had no idea what I wanted from basement or the garage until I got there.

My current approach is, whenever I see something that needs doing, I do it (unless I’m already doing something else that needs doing). I have a bad ‘efficiency expert’ in my head that otherwise tries to make me group tasks into similar boxes.

When I first started out, I was boxing books according to topic and quality of binding. That went out the window REAL fast…

Comment from Dawn
Time: November 17, 2007, 6:50 pm

McGoo, Jake Flake is a 20 plus year career politician. He switched from AZ Senate to AZ House because of term limits. He is a snake, but probably not the one you didn’t vote for. His district is up here in Mormonville (Snowflake, to the rest of you all.)
I lived in Chandler for a few years. We sold our house right before the Phoenix housing market went crazy. The people who bought our house from us sold it again for a 200 thousand dollar profit. Nice.
Mrs. Peel, no offense taken. We are of like mind. BTW, I thought timeboxing was going to be something fun to help me goof off. Instead it was just a gentle reminder that I really ought to be taking my midterm while the hubby watches the kids.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:07 pm

Jake Flake! What a name! When I was a kid, our Rep and Senator respectively were Hooker and Gore (Al’s daddy — as crooked a pol as ever walked on his back legs).

Don’t they think about these things? I wouldn’t join the Graphic Artists’ Guild because of the acronym. They’re suppose to care how things look.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:11 pm

My first auto insurance agent in Dallas Tx was…wait for it…Joe Driver. I think he’s still in business there.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:11 pm

That’s one way, Weas. You can also use it to set aside a fixed chunk of time to just work on it. Another way to use it, which is how I used it for my paper (which is basically a dissertation on everything I’ve done at work for the last 8 months), is when you are faced with a huge task that’s so big you can’t even figure out how to start. Basically, you set aside thirty minutes to make a start. Sure, you still will have a lot to do, but you’ll have done thirty minutes’ worth. Same dude explains it in the second paragraph here. I forced myself to outline my paper, even though I knew I would change the outline, and then forced myself to draft the sections, even though I knew I would come back and rewrite them. That worked pretty well.

There’s still a lot to write, though. yuck.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:12 pm

Geez! He’s moved up in the world!


Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:26 pm

Any of you guys who enjoy the occasional visit to PirateBallerina, got some good news and some bad news. The good news is in the next three days, I’m moving PB (and other websites) to faster, more reliable servers (some of our servers look too similar to the ones the Weaz is letting the rag-pickers haul away). The bad news is Qwest shut down our T1 three days early.

So Weaz, on the moving and throwing away front, I feel your pain. Especially tonight, after loading most of our office stuff in a trailer.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:31 pm

Holy geez, JW! What kind of serious bandwidth are you piping through there? Or are you running lots of other internet businessy stuff?

I own a fistful of URL’s, but nothing that might require a physical trailer.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 7:53 pm

That sucks mightily, jw. I was wondering why PB has been down the last day or two. I was gettin’ worried.

Did you tell Qwest to fuck off, or sumpin? Never bite the hand that T1’s you.

*BTW, jw, when you said “good news” I actually imagined for a second, “Pow Wow the Indian Boy just got arrested for serial sheep molestation – and he caught a dose of genital Scrapie, too!”

My heart rate was waaay up there, as you can no-doubt imagine.

But congrats on the new Digs. Everything will be all better soon.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 17, 2007, 9:26 pm

Weaz, my company serves up mucho data over the internet, not just websites, and wants mucho bandwidth; otherwise, it’s like trying to vomit through a soda straw. PB is a tiny little scrap of paper wafting down the median in the backdraft of the huge “SELECT * FROM DB1 WHERE …” statements that pump data out to the hinterlands 24/7.

We needed to downsize (cut expenses drastically) and at the same time, most of our equipment is 5+ years old (that’s, what, 500 in computer years) and in dire need of replacement (I’ve slowly been consolidating stuff on fewer and fewer servers as each on died or went all Alzheimery on me; our email server for the past year has been an old CompUSA desktop POS that worked surprisingly well as an email server), so I found a hosting company that specializes in SQL servers. I’ve already moved the data (well, copied it) two weeks ago and tested it; it serves up fine. That was the big scary move; the websites, email, DNS, etc. stuff’ll be easy.

Which brings me to our T1 being down. Unfortunately, Steamboat, I have no one to blame but myself for the T1 being down prematurely. Call it piss-poor planning (which I majored in, btw). I picked a drop-dead date two months ago, and missed it by three days because a check that should have been sent a week ago got FedExed Thursday. Ah well. In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor speed bump in the back parking lot (you know, where the Table People park their Novas and their Datsuns).

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 17, 2007, 9:50 pm

If you haven’t seen this video yet (LGF featured it Wednesday, I think), you gotta have a look:. the Englishification of an Indian music video (“come see me eat nipples, eat nipples!”).

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 10:14 pm

There’s another one of those coincidences, jw. I minored in “piss-poor planning”, too!

Sounds like you’ve got things well in hand, jw. Much as I like your site, I suspect your minions can live without it for a weekend. Wart et al will probably heave a weighty sigh of relief.

I’ve been watching the heck out of those “Bollywood” englishification videos. They’re a hoot! The Japanese ones don’t work as well, so far.

Anyone have a clue as to why it seems that the Indian language has so many words that sound like English words – even though they aren’t? Or is it just me?

BTW: (for the guys) In my humble opinion, this lady would be worth fightin’ – fists or knives – to the death for:


Damn. Love that little sneer.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 17, 2007, 10:16 pm


Filtered? What’d I do?

Oh! My link looked like an advertisement, I bet.


Comment from Dawn
Time: November 18, 2007, 1:44 am

If anyone cares, I blew my midterm! I got a 69. Just one more lousy question right and I would have at least pulled out a passing grade. About 8 questions were in a chapter we weren’t even assigned to read. I might have to take an incomplete and start the whole class over. Suck…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 6:01 am

Meh. I kicked it loose, McGoo. I always half hate to do that, because the resulting message often plops awkwardly in the middle of a conversation about itself being quarantined but, thing is, Akismet supposedly learns how to be a better filter when you mark something “not spam” so I feel obliged.

Dawn: sucks. I still have that stupid dream where somebody works out I didn’t take enough algebra and I have to go back to high school. Brrrrr.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 6:49 am

Hey, it’s the nineteenth anniversary of the Jonestown massacre.

Who wants Kool-aid?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 8:05 am

Thanks, Weasel. If I’d had to presence of mind to think “Hey, this is an advertisement”, I would have realized it wouldn’t fly. But did I think? Noooo……

Dawn – my sympathies are with you. But it’s not like you got a zero. Its a midterm – you can recover from this. Might not get an A, but you could still pull a B or C.

Geez – was Jonestown near twenty years ago? Damn. The origin of the phrase.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 8:57 am

No, geez, McGoo — it’s the 29th! It was almost 30 years ago!

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 9:32 am

Holy sheep shit. You’re right.

No wonder my memories weren’t quite clicking right. I just figured I was having another bald moment.

Everything’s all better now. Thanks.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 18, 2007, 9:44 am

Sorry to hear that, Dawn. I’m struggling to get past a tough course myself. I did manage to get a 90 on the last test, but that was curved up from 60, so that gives you some idea of what it’s like.

Weasel, are you serious? I’ve actually had that exact dream several times, in which I had to go back and take basic Algebra I again, even though I have a ridiculous amount of math to my name. We must be soul mates.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:04 am

Oh, yes, I’m serious. But our soulmatehood ends there. I’m awful at math, and I really did…kinda sorta fudge my transcripts to take less of it in high school.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 18, 2007, 11:12 am

You should have built a time machine and traveled to the future so I could tutor you.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 12:16 pm

I think it’s a cop-out to blame your teachers…but, yes, I had some lousy math teachers. I’m not mathematically inclined to begin with, and they didn’t help.

My grandmother was a high school algebra teacher, so…go figure. I guess genes aren’t everything.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 12:19 pm

Raccoon drama.

raccoon drama

The part of the basement I’m cleaning today was my darkroom. I inherited a bunch of negatives from my grandfather, which are an endless source of WTF? for me. Like this one. The raccoon behind is in a hutch. Is the one in front dead? Or napping?

My grandfather was a hunter, but I don’t think he’d lay a dead raccoon in front of a live one. They’re intelligent little bastards.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 18, 2007, 12:28 pm

My family moved around quite a bit when I was a kid, and I wound up attending 27 different schools, which sort of made my math education a bit, shall we say, uneven. I didn’t learn anything real about math until the Navy, where electronics finally gave me a handle on plane geometry and boolean algebra. Still, I had to take tutoring to get the drop on boolean algebra (the threat of returning to the fleet to chip paint for six years if I failed to pass the course was a powerful incentive).

Much later, I watched helplessly as my wife took and failed calculus three times (going through two tutors in the meantime); she showed me the chicken scratches that constitute calculus once, and I archly informed her that she was being hoodwinked, that learning calculus was a fool’s errand in the same category as learning pig-latin in Esperanto, and that no reasonable adult would waste valuable time on such nonsense. She eventually passed calculus and life returned to normal. In the ten years since, she has used her hard-earned calculus knowledge exactly never. (Okay, she sometimes describes something difficult as “like finding the f of x”, so I guess it was of some value).

I said all that to say all this: Abandon the study of this “mathematics” posthaste! It is a cruel deception of the Devil’s own design, by which he enervates and destroys a mortal’s will to resist dissolution and intemperance!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 1:11 pm

I’m not a cryin’ sort of weasel, but I have been known to weep real tears over a simple word problem.

If a train leaves Chicago at 10:30 headed South at 40 miles an hour and another leaves Philadelphia at 11 headed North at 35 miles an hour, I HOPE THEY CRASH INTO EACH OTHER SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE AND EVERYBODY DIES IN HORRIBLE SCREAMING AGONY, and I don’t give a shit what time of day they do it.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 18, 2007, 1:28 pm

I’ve never been able to understand the troubles most people have with math. Calculus was as easy as eating dinner for me, and DiffEQ was as easy as breathing. I can’t even teach DiffEQ because it’s so intuitive for me. I do teach algebra and calculus very well, though.

(And I’m not one-sided, nor do I think it is a virtue to be one-sided. I wish people would stop announcing with pride that they don’t know math or that they don’t know grammar.)

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 18, 2007, 1:35 pm

Really? I wouldn’t have guessed that. If you’re verbally inclined AND artistic, wouldn’t it be easy for you to translate the words into a picture? I always needed a sketch to understand those.

ok, I’m going to quit procrastinating and go do my homework.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 18, 2007, 1:45 pm

Concepts I can’t grasp intuitively make me angry, as a Navy buddy who [eventually] taught me pinochle can attest. Boolean algebra was the same. I remain obstinately opaque to instruction until the moment arrives that it all suddenly makes perfect sense to me, after which I regard those yet to achieve my state of higher comprehension with sneering disdain.

Just one of my many charming character traits.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 2:09 pm

We are kindred spirits in this respect, Mrs. Peel. Math is the milk of life to me and I’ve never understood why people don’t play with it hours every day just for relaxation.

Especially artist’s, fer crissakes! I believe Mrs. Peel will back me up: math is one of the most beautiful creations in existance. Waaaay prettier than a Rembrandt. Especially Calculus and Differential equations – as Mrs. P pointed out.

Partial-diffeq was always pretty when written out long-hand. Ya do a lot of that in gradient optimization. Exquisitely useful stuff, and graphically very pretty.

Although I personally feel that tensors were invented specifically to vex me. The scripting and nomenclature drives me batshit – it really pee’s me off.

jw, electromagnetic field theory is like that to a lot of people: they don’t get it for the longest time – and then it just pops into place in their noggins, permanently. When I tutored it I used to tell people “It gets worse and worse, more and more complex, until – suddenly – it gets dirt simple”.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 18, 2007, 2:11 pm

That’s a pet peeve of mine, Mrs Peel — people who brag about being ignorant of something. Like, “oh, I don’t really understand computers” in a way that sounds like, “I’m far too intelligent to waste precious braincells on unimportant crap like that.” I suppose the only thing I really feel that way about is sports. My lack of math skill has always been painful and frustrating to me. I’d like to be good at math. I have a feeling there’s some very interesting stuff in there.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 2:20 pm

I’ve run into that attitude more than once, Weasel. I seem to run into it most often with Liberal Arts or other non-technical folks, who do seem to be positively smug about their ignorance of things technical and mathematical. As if it were some kind of snotty virtue, as you describe.

I always wondered if it was 1) simply defensive acting out by the individuals, or 2)real smugness and arrogance, or 3)my own misinterpretation of appearances.

Now I’ve heard countless technical types admit ignorance on various subjects (like art, literature, poetry, etc) but I have rarely heard that tone of “smug pride” in the confession.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: November 18, 2007, 5:56 pm

If you want to picture a comic tragedy, just imagine the weasel and certain badger trying to add-up the bill in a restaurant.

We’re not (very) stupid. Neither of us can count. Neither of us is proud of it.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 9:05 pm

I didn’t mean to imply anyone here was smug about being math challenged. Hope no one got that impression.

Badger, another scene of comic tragedy is watching a half-dozen arithmetic-obsessed engineers at lunch argue and debate about how many $4.95 specials were ordered as opposed to how many $4.89 ones. Then they calculate everyone’s tab to the penny. Twice. Then they leave off the tip, and have to recalculate it all over – after settling on a tip percentage.

I used to absolutely love waiting patiently until some young anal-retentive designer finally finished his laborious calculations – and then I’d say, “Well, I guess the company can pick this one up, folks!”, and charge the whole thing to the firm.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 18, 2007, 9:10 pm

I came to the conclusion a few years ago that I’m good at the math I’ve actually learned, I just had such a checkerboard schooling early on that any real progress I might have made in that direction was retarded (no chuckling, please, I mean retarded as in the spark retard-advance Model T sense). I point no fingers and lay no blame; my parents did their best, as did my multitude of teachers. Is was, as they say, a shit happens kind of thing.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 18, 2007, 9:28 pm

Of course, now that I think about it, most of life is a shit happens kind of thing. Doesn’t make me a Hindu, but it certainly makes me wish reincarnation were true–there’s plenty of stuff I’d like to take another (and–devoutly to be wished–better) swing at.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: November 18, 2007, 9:30 pm

And Steamboat, you were so implying Smugness Among The Minions (which was a movie in the early 60s starring Natalie Wood and George Peppard, wasn’t it?).

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:05 pm

Thanks for letting me know what I intended, jw. 🙂

You’re right, jw – I think anyone who can’t integrate sin(x^2)dx or describe what a conjugate gradient function is is barely potty-trained and should not be allowed to vote, bear children, or operate heavy machinery. 🙂

I’m joking, but I actually know people who would seriously agree with that statement.

Oh, I understand completely that HOW you’re taught something – especially the first time – can “set” your whole future with respect to that subject.

I think that’s why I consider the entire area of Opera to be so much mindless screeching noise: Dad insisted that us kids listen to Caruso at far too young an age.

I still get physically hostile when I hear opera. I can’t help it. It’s imprinted into my psyche.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:09 pm

I actually have occasionally heard that smugness from engineers announcing that they don’t need to comprehend English, but I get it WAY more from the non-math people. That may be because I am a math person. But I wasn’t getting that vibe from anyone here, either.

Electromagnetic field theory wasn’t so bad, but when it comes to transistors, I only just recently managed to throw the switch from “WTF DUDE???” to “Oh okay, I think I got it now.” Should have dropped my last analog course and taken a digital course instead. Oh well, too late now.

Also, McGoo, you reminded me of this recent XKCD. The last panel is so something my best friend and I would do.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:14 pm

…and, Weasel, now that mucho many comments have gone by:

Those racoons? It almost looks to me as if that “caged” ‘coon isn’t really caged. Look at the frame of that box its in and then look at the one to the left with a SCREEN in front of it. He may just be exploring while the other naps.

It almost looks like the cages are abandoned. Is that ground covering leaves? Could that be the underfloor area of a pier and beam house? The screens would let it breath under there.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:28 pm

Ditto, Mrs. Peel, on all you said.

Semiconductor device physics. Tough subject, but extremely important for hardware designers, especially analog and mixed-signal.

With todays teaching aides, and with some really good CGI and animation, I see no reason why semi-dev-phy should be hard at all. If a student can be SHOWN what the dopants and the majority and minority carriers are doing in there, its waaaay easier to understand the math. That’s what’s hard – getting the right mind’s image of what’s occurring in there and why.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:30 pm

It was the “holes” thing that blew my mind.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 10:48 pm

Yep. Holes get’s every time. Bwahahahaha! That, and tunneling.

Someday I’ll have to tell you about Bannucci electrons. No – don’t look it up. You won’t find it. I will tell you this: a Bannucci electron is never there when you look. It WAS there, and it WILL be there. But it’s never there NOW.

Comment from Lokki
Time: November 18, 2007, 11:48 pm

Question: How many legs are there in the bus?

Looking for a number not words!

It’s not a trick question…

Can you figure this one out…

– There are 7 girls on a bus

– Each girl has 7 backpacks

– In each backpack, there are 7 big cats

– For every big cat there are 7 little cats

How many legs are there in the bus?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 18, 2007, 11:55 pm


Comment from porknbean
Time: November 18, 2007, 11:56 pm

What the hell is DiffEQ? SQL servers? Electro-magnetic…tensors…conjugal gradient function. Nah…better not tell me.

I’ll just sit here like the moron I am with my finger up my nose, while you f*cking show-offs serve each other conjugally with tensors on an electro-magnetic gradient. Kinkys.
Ooooo…look, something shiny.

*PnB runs off to gaze at it’s navel*

Comment from porknbean
Time: November 19, 2007, 12:00 am


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 19, 2007, 12:02 am

Those are all porn movie titles, PnB. Don’t be fooled by all the snooty talk.

We’re supposed to maybe perhaps get snow(!) In St. Louis in the next few days. I’m excited now.

Comment from porknbean
Time: November 19, 2007, 12:12 am

Phew! Porn. And here I was skeered that I was missing something important in my edumacation. (I had virtually no math instruction in my schooling, but my kidlets – one in college credit calc and the other doing very well in geometry. Perhaps the former will take up engineering once he gets to college.)

Oh good. I’ve been wanting snow. This warm crap has been doing a number on my sinuses.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 19, 2007, 12:34 am

Hey. Congrats on the kids! Calc and geometry are really important. With those two alone, they’re pretty much set for just about anything they want to do.

That’s what I was told – the snow, that is. I was supposed to travel tomorrow, but no way now.

“But it ain’t like it used to be…”(deleted: 1000-word old fart tale of snows of the past)”…and so there!”

I wouldn’t mind a nice dumpster of a storm dropping on us. It’d be interesting.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 19, 2007, 6:38 am

And I thought it was bad when you people did poetry. And then potboiler romance novels. But now it’s MATH, is it? That’s really too much. Who are you people and what are you doing on my nice, simple-minded blog?

Oh, well, I finally watched jw’s “watch me eat nipples” video. That made me feel a little better.

It snew lightly upon my soon-to-be-MIL yesterday. That’s simply unheard of in England this early in the year. I’m serious — that Aussie dude convinced me the likelihood is we’re headed into the next ice age. And I don’t like cold; my weasel gets chapped.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 19, 2007, 8:21 am

Wait until we start rhyming lemmas, Weasel.

I’m actually looking forward to the snow. I hope it craps on us abundantly – in a manner reminiscent of the UN or something.

I want the city shut down and everyone bundled up and shoveling driveways. Now. I’ll watch.

Weasel – the sun runs this place; CO2 does not. GW is a bullshit imaginary problem that economy-wrecking socialism is the ONLY cure for. If someone preaches GW to you, keep you hand on your wallet and your eye on your civil rights.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 19, 2007, 8:31 am

McGoo, I’m still waiting for the apology after the Y2K debacle. I got moderately caught up in that one; I had to help scrub our computers at work for problems and assumed there’d be some degree of disruption. I’ll bet the US spent billions averting that tragedy-that-was-never-gonna-be. The Italians spent not one lira, thumbed their noses in our general direction, and not a single bad thing happened to them.

But the media? On to the next thing. The ones we brace for never happen. The ones that get us come out of the blue.

The great thing about the Y2K issue, though, is that on January 1, 2000 we knew for sure one way or another. Global warming (escus-a me…climate change) isn’t like that. Have you noticed what they’re saying now? “Big changes might happen very abruptly.” Presumably, that’s because people are noticing that temperatures have been stable and perhaps dropping for nearly a decade now.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: November 20, 2007, 1:28 am

Late-to-the-party Felix, catching up on comments (I don’t have the innnernets at home, currently).

1. I stink at math. My dad was a math genius, and he got 4 math dummies as offspring. I’ve always wondered about that, and how it relates to my 7th grade science teacher’s response to someone’s question on “how can there be 7 kids in a family, and none of them look alike?” (I’m old – There used to *be* such families!) His answer? “Different milkmen.” (Yeah, I’m even old enough to remember home-delivery). Teacher nearly got fired over that one (my parents thought it was funny). My dad used to read books about math for entertainment. One he was always going on about was “1-2-3 Infinity” … it made me cry, before I flung it across the room.

2. I work with engineers, and I am constantly surprised at their “difficulties” with lunch checks & tip calculation. I think it’s feigned … It always annoys the bejesus out of me – I *know* I’m math-challenged and can figure it nearly instantly.

3. I’d like to see how long it would take Mrs. Peel and McGoo, as a tag-team, to bludgeon some higher/abstract math knowledge into my head. Probably one of those 1-2-3 infinity things …. Like Stoaty, I’d *like* to get it, but don’t think I ever will. Not sure how I ever ended up working around engineers!

4. Y2K bug – I had some rather violent arguments with some of my coworkers over that one. I was a fairly early adopter on internet shopping (the only kind I like), and I thought, “Hmmm, they’ve reached the acme of being able to VACUUM CASH FROM PEOPLE’S POCKETS WITHOUT EVEN HAVING TO LURE THEM INTO A TARTED-UP STORE DISPLAY. They gonna let that go by the wayside?” Um, no.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 20, 2007, 3:00 am

iamfelix – I don’t know what to tell you about math. you either get it easily, or you struggle with it, or you never get it.

Ya know – I’ve said over and over that I love math (I do, some of it anyway) and its easy (most of it is)….but, at the time, I had to work hard at it sometimes in school too.

Hell, elementary theory of Limits – the first thing you run into in differential calculus – gave me fits for a week. I just didn’t quite get it at first. I LIKED working at it though. Maybe there’s the difference. At the time, even though I was having difficulty with some aspect of it, it was a GIVEN (in my own mind) that I WOULD get it. Because I liked it. I wanted to understand it. Just because…

Y2K, GW, etc are/were crap. Interestingly, both have kernels of “goodness” to them.

Y2K was a very real – if exceedingly small – issue with some software and systems clocks and bookkeeping. And it needed addressed. The rest (99%) was shameless commercial opportunism.

GW – well, its a non-issue for several reasons, but one could argue that boosting awareness of pollution, and economy of resources, is a good thing. The rest (99%) is creeping socialism – pure and simple. People who hate capitalism and the US model success want to crank it back and systematically wreck it.

Note that both flaps – the bullshit part – is aided, aggrevated, and abetted by the fourth estate – the media – which historically has wielded far more power than its members (journalists) are intellectually qualified to handle responsibly. Journalism does not exactly require a high IQ. And it shows.

Hmmm. About 1AM my time. It’s gonna be one of those nights. No sleep for the wicked. I wonder if my neighbors dog is out? I love going out there and barking at him. It really confuses him. It’s Tuesday, so Goth-baiting at Denny’s is a bit iffy. It’s too early anyway.

I’m in the mood for mischief.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 20, 2007, 3:07 am

I keep meaning to ask Stoaty why the site clock always shows TWO hours difference. The east coast – and Rhode Island I presume – are only one hour ahead of Central time, aren’t they?

I’m sure there’s an explanation and this is just a Wrinkled Moment for me, but I’m puzzled.

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