Friday, January 30, 2009

They grow up so fast

This just made me grin. And I feel like crap. So maybe it will help you, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

“Don’t let them take my soup.”

Obviously, the innauguration of Barack Obama was a big deal for millions of people. I voted for him, and hope that he can even partially meet the many expectations we've all laid on his administration. My family will be praying for his safety and success.

I liked his innaugural speech quite a bit. It was serious but hopeful. It was a message for serious adults in a serioius time, not just puffed up, pseudo-patriotic rhetoric.

With that being said... my favorite Obama quote from the day was reported in the New York Times:

Mr. Obama, the first president since John F. Kennedy who came directly from the Senate to the White House, first savored his inauguration over a lunch inside the Capitol. A hearty seafood stew, served topped with puff pastry, helped to counter the day’s chill.

The president had only a few spoonfuls before he left the table to greet his 237 guests, but he turned to a waiter and said, “Don’t let them take my soup.”

As someone who, myself, uses humor (sometimes successfully) to help put people at ease and move along through trying social situations, I found President Obama's casual, gently funny remark to be a very nice indicator of the man's personality. It's not the remark of someone trying to get a big laugh from the whole table; he probably didn't expect it to be reported. It's not, after all, newsworthy at all.

It's just a nice, funny aside from a guy who's trying to be chummy with the wait-staff ass well as the joint-chiefs-of-staff.

I like that. A lot.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No migraine, polar bear. Head cold.

Here's something weird that someone who, unlike me, is a doctor or research scientist should check out.

I get migraines. Many of them are food triggered, but not all. Probably 1.5 mild ones per week, one medium one per month, and one killer migraine every three months or so. With a record, thus far, of "Take me to the ER" migraines every two years.

That being said... I don't think I've ever had a migraine while suffering from a cold. I get stuffed up, and maybe end up with a sinus kinda headache. But never, not once, a migraine.

I wonder if something that my body is kicking out when I've got a head cold does something to suppress migraine stuff. See? We need people with biologimical learnin' on this one.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Unicorn Chaser: Really cute Crayon Physics level

I've been playing crayon physics deluxe recently. Awesome game. Go buy it.

Here's a hugely cute solution to one of the early levels.

Crayon Physics - That Darn Pole, featuring Wall-E from Jimmy Gunawan on Vimeo.

See? (Andy says to the dark side of his ego) We can do nice, fun, neat, harmless, smart things, too.

We are now, all of us, officially going to Hell

I don't want to link to the thing I'm going to tell you about. Sorry, but it's horrifyingly bad. If you want to seek it out, that's fine. There's probably enough clues here. Anyway...

I'd seen an ad for a TV news-ish, crap, reality infotainment show on one of the lower-end cable stations. Basically, it was, I thought, a TV version of "The Darwin Awards." Stupid things that people do that get you killed. Yes, killed. Not just hurt, but dead. It's explicit in the name of the show.

I wanted to comment with information about this show on another blog I read (it was marginally related to the topic) so I found the URL for the show, where they had clips from the TV series. I clicked on one to see if it was as bad as I thought it must be.

It was worse. Way worse.

This wasn't the "Darwin Awards." This was just a listing of different and (I guess) interesting ways people can be killed. The obituaries meets "News of the Weird."

On the one I watched, they featured a story about a man who was cut in half, his legs severed just below the waist. Doesn't matter how, though the details of the instrument death were included in a pun that was the title of the clip. Bad enough, right? We're being entertained, in this case, with the story of a guy who was accidentally killed in a horrifying way. The pun in the name of the video means we're also being lightly amused, if the intentions of most punners can be assumed to be "light amusement."

But it gets worse. While telling the story, the narrator marveled that the man was still alive when an ambulance arrived. "The EMTs took him away..."


"... still alive and kicking. More or less."

"Alive and kicking. More or less."

So. We've gone beyond snuff TV, watching car chases and police raids that end in death. Not for the newsworthiness of data about a war or how to respond to crime or even the titilation of a famous person's murder. No. This is "death as light chuckle." This is taking the painful, accidental, gruesome and untimely death of a man and turning it into a not-really-funny punchline.

You used to get this level of humor in local news stories about kids whose lemonade stand got shut down for one reason or another. The local anchorperson, plastic hair gleaming, would close the segment with a line like, "Well... I hope those kids haven't been permanently 'soured' on being entrepreneurs."

Yeah. Sure. Yuck, but... OK. You have to take the shot, I guess.

But not this.

We're punning about a guy who was cut in half, and died three hours later, in the hospital, while doctors tried to save his life.

I have never been tempted to boycott a product based on what shows they advertise on. The connection between advertising and free speech is tricky and fuzzy. Nothing has ever bothered me so much that I thought, "You know what? I'm uncomfortable buying products from a company that would try to make money from this content."

I'm tempted now.

Maybe I'm overreacting. I don't know. This just struck me as really, really evil.

I'll try to come up with a unicorn chaser for later.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quick tip r.e. relief from IBS and/or collitis

Warning. May be TMI. But if you're a sufferer, you don't care about anything but results.

I was talking with a friend I hadn't heard from in several years. He asked me how my gut was doing; last time I'd seen him, I'd just been to the ER with terrible stomach cramps and various other unpleasant GI symptoms. Some doctors have diagnosed what I had as IBS (irritible bowel syndrome), some as collitis.

Either way, I haven't had a bad bout in almost four years and told him so. When he wanted to know what had produced the change, I told him I was doing only one thing differently:

No soda.

Yep. No pop, coke, seltzer... call it what you will. No carbonated beverages at all. I've had, I think, two sips of ginger ale in about four years, and it's made an incredible difference. While I still get occasional bouts, they feel more like mild stomach aches than... well... pain and nausea that sends you to the ER for relief.

He was glad I was doing better, and suggested I tell people about it here on the blog.

So there you are. If you get bad stomach stuff, try going without carbonated drinks for a couple weeks and see if that helps

{note: not a doctor, etc. check with yours if you think quitting pop would be a bad idea, or if you're on a diet that requires Mr. Pibb.]

Friday, January 2, 2009

Yes, but...

Yes, but they know that a certain percentage of the population does this. And they also know which of us are schizophrenic and which are just wiseneheimers.