Ambrosia between two slices of bread


Coming home after an evening of light revelry, I found myself a might bit peckish. Finding myself in such a situation and feeling it best to resolve matters before I set sail for the shadowy realm known to us as sleep, I set about making myself a sandwich. Having availed myself of the bounty to be found at the most local supermarket earlier in this day, I found a number of wondrous substances at the ready. Beginning with two slices of German Dark Wheat bread, I set myself upon the first ingredient that caught my attention: chunky peanut butter. The peanut butter added to the mix, I found myself at a grand impasse: Nutella or raspberry preserves. Upon realizing that the joy of peanut butter and jam had crossed my pallet more recently than the exquisiteness of peanut butter and Nutella, I selected Nutella to grace the slice of bread opposite my chunky peanut butter. Moments before I brought the Nutella coated bread and the chunky peanut butter coated bread together, a fantastic idea struck me.Coming to me in a flash was the notion that I could pour a bit of honey down upon the bread before sealing the sandwich. This stroke of inspired genius led to the construction of my first chunky peanut butter, Nutella and honey on dark wheat sandwich ever. As sandwiches go, this one has few parallels or competitors.

Truly, I must have a muse hanging over my shoulders. Only a muse of truly divine merit could inspire me to devise such an ambrosial delight.


Soul Calibur IV has been announced for the Xbox 360 and PS3. For those of you that know me and my preferences in video games, you might have some idea of how very excited I am right now. For those of you that don't know my fondness for the series, suffice it to say that I am very excited. Furthermore, for those that didn't catch the reference, HUGLAGHALGHALGHAL is taken from Jerk City (a puerile, offensive, not safe for work comic that I don't recommend anybody read).

Rock Band

I happen to have a friend that works for Harmonix, creators of Guitar Hero I & II, which provided me a unique opportunity earlier today (technically yesterday). I got a chance to play a development version of Harmonix's upcoming game Rock Band for a couple hours and, I have to say, it is awesome, really awesome. I had to sign a NDA so I am not allowed to tell you anything else about it but, seriously, Rock Band is awesome. Now, it's time for me to settle in and wait for the game to actually be released.

Woods Hole again

I have now officially (although there is nothing actually official about it) moved down to Woods Hole, MA (Cape Cod) for the summer. This marks the earliest that I have ever transferred myself to Woods Hole for a summer and, as such, there are very few people here. Also, sadly, it's still a bit too cold for swimming or matters nautical (sailing). Thankfully, it's still quite pleasant in the way that Woods Hole always is and there are enough people that I'm not bored out of my skull. It's nice to be back.

Oh, and if any of you folks want to drop in for a while, feel free.

On my journey back from MN

Since I returned to Massachusetts and got my computer set up, I've been meaning to write about my trip back from Minnesota. As time goes by, I see that as less and less likely to happen so, instead, I will give you a very brief summary so that the important points can be touched upon.

Having made only a few hours of headway, my clutch decided to wear out 20 miles north of Madison, WI. This was incredibly unpleasant, requiring that I be towed to Madison to have my clutch completely replaced. As bad as it was, my clutch going was not all bad; I was able to reacquaint myself with my old friend Amrys, whom I had not seen in far too long and who happens to currently be living in Madison. Amrys was friendly enough to provide me with company, a couch to crash on and a brief overview of Madison, including an introduction to a quite pleasant breakfasterie. My car was fixed by noon the day after it broke and I was able to get underway once more. The car provided no more problems from that point.

On leaving Minnesota, I had commenced listening to Frank Herbert's Dune in audio book format, which is a monstrously long audio endeavor. The second leg of the Journey took me to Ithaca, NY and I was only just finishing Dune shortly before I arrived. Now, I must say, as a way to entertain myself during 17-19 hours of driving, listening to Dune served fantastically well. Listening to Dune kept my attention so well that I didn't, even once, find myself bored by the driving and completely failed to notice Ohio, even though receipts clearly show that I stopped in Ohio.

I stopped in Ithaca, NY so that I might be able to visit with a few friends that I have who attend Cornell. Over the course of one day and two nights, I spent some time hanging out with my friend Liz, some time hanging out with my friend Hannah and, in 45 minutes time, picked up a sunburn. How white must I be to get a sunburn from 45 minutes of New York state, early May sun. It was a good time, which was followed by the final leg of my journey, the Ithaca, NY to Concord, MA stretch.

The Ithaca, NY to Concord, MA leg of the journey was pretty much uneventful and filled with the fantastically amusing audio book rendition of The Areas Of My Expertise by John Hodgman. I would like to go on record highly recommending The Areas Of My Expertise.

There you have it, a brief summary of my pilgrimage back from Minnesota.

Go See Hot Fuzz NOW!

Dear Internet, go out and see the movie Hot Fuzz at your next possible option. Every moment that you delay going to see Hot Fuzz increases the extent of the disservice that you are perpetrating against yourself. Hot Fuzz is the best, funniest, most entertaining movie that I have seen in a very long time. Hot Fuzz is a buddy cop movie by the guys who made Shaun of the Dead and it manages to combine all the best elements of, make fun of and pay homage to all the good action and police movies of the past. I was totally engaged and laughing for nearly every minute of the entirety of this movie.

Bottom line, if you haven't seen Hot Fuzz yet, you should be checking movie listings right now and getting yourself to the next available showing. No hyperbole, this is the best movie that I have seen in a very, very long time (and I have seen some pretty good movies recently). Don't delay, don't wait for the DVD, just go see this movie now, right NOW!.

A Bit Withdrawn

I have just tendered my withdrawal from law school. The short of why is that it is just not me; the long of why is long and I might get into it later, or I might not. I will be moving back to Massachusetts in short order and, from there, I will figure out what next for my life.

Whilst, on one hand, coming to law school was a mistake, on the other, it has provided me with interesting experiences and a deeper understanding of my personal tastes. I have also made good friends here that I hope not to lose contact with simply because I am leaving the geographical area. I will greatly miss the people that I am leaving behind but I will not miss attending law school or paying for law school. Perhaps it is best for me to say that going to law school was a mistake, but a mistake that I do not regret making.

George: 1, Hennepin County: 0.4

Or, if you prefer, how I got a parking ticket reduced from $35 to $14:

So, about a week and a half ago I got a ticket for parking my car within 30 feet of a stop sign. I was, in fact, parked about 2 feet from the stop sign. I was, of course, unaware of the law, which is not an excuse for breaking it. In my neighborhood, some stop signs are marked no parking within 30 feet but others are not. I figured the lack of posted signs might be something that I could use; due process and all.

Being a law student, I have access to various electronic legal resources so I set about exploring Minnesota case law to see if I might have a valid argument. Eventually, I found a case with a fact pattern much like mine; some guy was parked in one spot for more than two hours in violation of a Minneapolis ordinance even though there was no marking. Unfortunately, for me, the guy in the case I found lost. Then, at the end of the opinion, I found this:

Finally, it is defendant's position that the enforcement of the ordinance is unconstitutional because of the failure to post signs which indicate the time limitations in particular zones, more especially the restrictions governing the area in which he was parked. It appears that in some parts of the city the 2-hour limitation is posted and in others it is not, a situation which, defendant asserts, unconstitutionally misleads the public. In the absence of an express provision in a statute or ordinance requiring posting, we are of the opinion that the necessity for such notice is a matter of administrative or legislative judgment with which the courts will not concern themselves, notwithstanding the public's acknowledged habit of relying on signs of this character in actual practice.

State v. Perry, 269 Minn 204, 208 (1964).

In there, near the end, there was one glimmer of hope, specifically "notwithstanding...", which said to me that if I could show a public habit of parking close to unmarked stop signs but not others, I might have a chance. I figured it at a really long shot but one that would be fun to try arguing in court. Over the course of the following week, I noticed quite a few cars parked just as would help my case.

Finally, today, I got around to going down to the Hennepin County Government Center to argue with a hearing officer. After an interminable wait time, as is customary with government offices but could be avoided by making an appointment, I got to speak with a hearing officer.

Hearing Officer: The ticket says you were two feet from the stop sign.

Me: Yeah.

HO: You're not disputing that?

Me: Nope.

HO: perplexed

Me: Well, see, in State v. Perry, the Minnesota Supreme Court...

HO: Stop! I'm not a lawyer. I don't want to hear this. If you want to practice, I'm more than happy to set up a court date for you.

Me: Ok.

HO: I can also change this ticket down to $14.

Me thinking to myself: My case is weak and getting it dragged down to $14 is sufficient to prove that I can play the system. That and, more importantly, since I'll be done with term and back in Massachusetts in about a month, setting up a court date would likely be a huge pain in the neck.

Me: I can do that.

HO probably thinking to himself: That saves us litigation costs.

End result: I save $21 and score a moral victory.

Dinosaur Comics Helped me Find my Philosophy

Dinosaur Panpsychism Explanation

I was reading Dinosaur Comics, as it is consistently one of the best comics on the Internet, and T-Rex was explaining panpsychism. Upon reading the first panel (included on the right for copyright violation purposes), I found myself thinking that panpsychism sounded an awful lot like my personal philosophy of the universe. Poking around wikipedia a bit more, as one is oft want to do, I came across a few other philosophical ideas. I don't quite accept panpsychism, preferring the very similar hylopathism.

I feel safe describing my personal philosophy of the universe as hylopathism with weak emergence and an acceptance of the pathetic fallacy. Putting this in simpler terms, I believe that everything in the universe, from the smallest subatomic particle to the largest galaxy, is sentient, aware of and experiencing existence in its own way (hylopathism). All sentience and awareness within so-called higher beings emerges from and may be reduced to the constituent sentience of lower beings (weak emergence). I not only accept but revel in the attribution of human characteristics and emotions onto the inanimate; a small part of me is saddened when a rock is split in two because the atoms on the new surfaces have had their friends torn from them (pathetic fallacy).

I feel that the extension of hylopathism with weak emergence is much the same as strong panpsychism. The single mind that unites all things is simply an emergent entity composed of its sub-entities. To get existential for just a moment, we are all, one and the same within the all-being but, at the same, each our separate individual selves; our liver is at once the same entity as our heart and at the same a totally separate entity. Have you ever considered the sentient nature of your liver? How about the sentient nature of one of your brain cells? How about the sentient nature of one of the hydrogen ions released into your stomach acid? Hydrogen ions are very lonely creatures, a single proton trying as hard as it can to find a friend to share electrons with (loneliness is the pathetic fallacy sneaking in).

There you have it, I believe in hylopathism with weak emergence.