No Sex For You

There are lots of reasons why a married couple might fail to conceive children: sterility, bad luck, bad genes, not knowing what sex is, you know, the usual.

Obligatory quote to draw the reader into following the link: 'A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".'

Those wacky Germans.

More Dumb Internet Quizzes

Hello kids, it's time once again for dumb internet quiz results, yippee!

You are Windows 98. You're a bit flaky, but well-liked. You don't have a great memory, but everyone seems to know you. A great person to hang out with and play some games.

You are Windows 98. You're a bit flaky, but well-liked. You don't have a great memory, but everyone seems to know you. A great person to hang out with and play some games.

You are Musa Ibrahim. YOU ARE AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORP. YOU WISH TO REMIT $21 MILLION TO MY COMPANY FOR SAFEKEEPING. YOU ENJOY BICYCLING AND TYPING IN ALL-CAPS.

You are Musa Ibrahim. YOU ARE AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORP. YOU WISH TO REMIT $21 MILLION TO MY COMPANY FOR SAFEKEEPING. YOU ENJOY BICYCLING AND TYPING IN ALL-CAPS.

Two more for you.

The Outback at the end of the term

We (my friends and I) have this great tradition of going to The Outback Steakhouse at the end of every term and it's a nice tradition because the food is good and the company is better. I don't have very many more comments on the matter except in so far as to say that it never fails, in going to restaurants with a bunch of friends, that we always fail to have enough money to pay the bill and I have to chip in extra. This time I paid at least $10 more than I owed; what used to be a minor hassle has turned into something that really irritates me. Max had the bright idea of having someone play the role of bill dictator (sort of a Stalin for the dining group's Russia) and I am inclined to suspect that in so doing we would get the money together faster and I wouldn't have to shell out so much extra. Allow me to make the point that money is dirty and that it, alone, can cause me to become irritated with a group of my friends just points to its evil. My irritation passes quickly and this is mainly just a rant about how that pisses me off and I am going to look for ways of preventing it from happening in the future.

Irritation aside, man oh man, did I overeat. My insides are in a horrible state of feeling bad and spectacular all at the same time. I'm sure plenty other people understand what it's like to grossly overeat; that's what I did, but I'd do it all again if given the choice (and I will at the end of next term).

Tales From The Afternow

I came across this nifty post-apocalyptic, sci-fi radio show on the internet called Tales From The Afternow. It's a free download, but, if you want, you can get them all via bit torrent as well. It's kind of like Mad Max meets Shadowrun meets Neuromancer meets etc. but it's all audio like one of those old fashioned radio fictions. It's pretty neat and I recommend giving it a listen to, even if you decide against it after the first one.

Mosquitos

I love spring and almost everything that it has to offer, but there is one thing about spring that I simply abhor: mosquitos. There was once a time when the little buggers didn't bother me, though I don't know if that was truly the case or is simply the way that I remember it. Life is a funny thing when you think about all the things that you have done and that at one time it was the present. No, life's not funny, time is. I was originally going to write about the seasons and mosquitos but I think that I'd rather wax philosophical about time, so I'm going to.

About the only thing that any of us can say about time is that it passes. Though that's really all we can say, we don't need to say it in so few words. The present is something that is ever present but can never be caught. The moment you think that you've laid hold of the present, it's already the past. We know that there once was a present, but that's only through memory and if you really try to delve down in your own head sometimes you can almost relive memories as though they were just happening. The problem is that the almost bit is the key bit; memory is like an analog recording--technically is one--and every copy is worse than the last. That is all that memories are, an imperfect copy of what was once the present. The duality of the present, in that it never is but always has been and in that it always is and always shall be, is an odd duality, but if one considers how many odd dualities there are in all of reality (I wanted to use the words nature, life, the universe, existence and a few others here, but realistically have to choose one so I went with being but then realized that reality was a better one and changed it after I finished this parenthetical explanation [I also changed the tense of the second word of the greater parenthetical from want to wanted because that tense seemed more appropriate once I had finished]). I appologize if you found the parenthetical of the previous sentence to be cumbersome, but, when I get myself thinking about time, I can get recursive like that. In the case of most dualities it is possible to see things from either one of the two sides but rarely to see both sides at the same time (ex. those optical illusions that have an old woman and a young woman, IHTFP [MIT students and alum will understand], the radiation of our sun, etc.). All of my life I have seen time from the side that says that the present has always passed and is in memory; I wonder if it is possible to see time from the other side of the duality.

There is a part of me that would like to know what it is to see the present as something that always is, if it was even for just a brief moment. There is another part of me, a stonger part of me, that worries that if I ever experienced such a moment it would be so spectacular that I would spend the rest of my life seeking to relive it. That last sentence made me wonder something perhaps a little more frightening, if one managed to see the present as something that always is, it might not be possible to return to seeing the present as something that's always passed or it might be too glorious to ever return. Of course, it's probably better not to be frightened by the idea, but it's probably good not to search for it either.

So, in short, time's funny and I have a real distate for mosquitos.

International Committee of the Red Cross Report

Christening a new section of my www server, where I will keep information that I deem to be important to make public, I have put up a copy of the Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the treatment by the Coalition forces of prisoners of war and other protected persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq during arrest, internment and interrogation. The thing has a long title, but I wanted to put it all in there so that there was no bullshitting around. Suffice it to say, this isn't pretty. I'm sure that most of you out there know that the Geneva Conventions say no torturing but that's pretty much what we're systematically doing to people we deem valuable in Iraq. If we're going to set ourselves up as the police of the world shouldn't we at least obey the world laws? Isn't this the kind of thing that we went into Iraq to stop?

UPDATE 2005-09-23: I have removed the report from my information folder because I realized that I don't actually care about the report. I care about the incidents described, but not the report itself.

Rant Radio

As of late, I have taken to listening to Rant Radio's talk radio shoutcast stream. Their modus operandi appears to be freedom of information, which is an issue close to my heart. This is just a plug, but I encourage you to take a look (or listen rather).

If you don't want to bother with their website, you can just tune in [64k|24k].

Three guys with umbrellas

Every so often I have a brilliant idea for something that would work well in a play and decide that I should write one. So far as yet I have written no plays, however I just had another great idea for something to put into a play. My idea is a scene with three guys that have umbrellas. Now, I know what you're thinking and it's probably not what I'm thinking but that's because you think it's a dumb idea and I think that it's a brilliant idea. Just you wait, when I write a play the scene with three guys that have umbrellas is going to move you like you have never imagined possible. By the way, I'm writing a play (I don't give this pipe dream more than a day or so).

I really like trees

I have decided to take up the art of Bonsai. I am currently in the first stages of the art: namely, I have taken a number of books on the subject out of the library. Incidentally, Bonsai is within 635.9 on the Dewey Decimal system. Right now I am in the process of reading the first of the three books I withdrew. Tomorrow, I will probably intersperse my normal Friday activities with continuing to read about Bonsai as well as obtaining some pots and soil components for my endeavors.

In a few days--perhaps this weekend, perhaps early next week--I will begin with the real Bonsai work. By this, I mean that I will spend a fair amount of time combing the wooded areas in my region for seedlings and small trees that seem to be of a variety that would later be pleasant. These seedlings will then be transplanted to the pots and I will begin careful maintenace of them. I suspect that I will go out browsing for trees on a number of occasions so as to get some of the breeds that come about later in the season. Hopefully I will obtain between ten and forty small trees to take care of.

I will not begin pruning or shaping any of the trees that I obtain until next year for two reasons. The first reason is a pragmatic one: if the trees are pruned to early they will be weak and later plans will be interfered with. The second reason is idealistic: since one of my goals in undertaking Bonsai is to work on my patience, making a deliberate point of not rushing in the beginning is key.

You might be asking yourself why I would seek to make little trees and that is a reasonable question, which I will endeavor to answer. There is a part of me that feels that I need to produce something of an aesthetic nature and so I set about looking for an art. For a while now I've been doing some drawing (mostly sketching) in a notebook I have and that's ok, but I'm not very good at drawing and I always rush things to much. This rushing things bit is another part of why I want to take up Bonsai, because it is something that one can not rush without failure. With sketching, I set the pace; with Bonsai, the tree sets the pace (and trees, as most people know, follow a very slow pace). With a sketch, one will hope for a good drawing in a few minutes or maybe hours; with Bonsai, I might hope for a good tree in a few years or maybe before I die. Also, I expect that Bonsai can be a very calming and meditative art.

In short, I am going to learn Bonsai so that I may create works of beauty, enrich my mind and develop my patience in approaching life. Also, I really like trees.

So Impersonal

I went back and looked over some of my blog entries and I couldn't help but think that I'm rather impersonal in all of them. This got me to thinking about this whole blog thing and I don't really know which way I want to take things.

There have been a few entries in which I related things that weren't wholely impersonal and I remember feeling a little apprehensive after having posted them. My apprehension must stem from the same damned place that my aversion to saying anything about how I feel to anyone. I know that some part of it is a fierce desire to do absolutely everything on my own, which is, itself, a combination of a desire for independance and not wanting to impose on anyone else.

Methinks, from a cathartic and self-improving standpoint, that my desire not to continue and publish this entry is pretty indicative of why I really should finish it. Perhaps I should use that as my sort of divining rod of blog; the less I want to say something the better it is that I say it. Funny concept, that would be, listen to yourself and then do the opposite of whatever you decide. Funny, yet somehow logical when you know that your particular decisions on a matter are almost invariable the wrong ones.

Funny that all this should be sparked by seeing somebody else complaining about being lonely on their blog. Just got me thinking, what's the point in keeping a personal journal if I'm not going to say anything personal; it's not like the events of my life are interesting enough, on their own, to justify people reading about them.