Previously, in Trip's Life...

30 November 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Yay! The customer we had a twice-weekly phone meeting with has decided that one meeting a week is enough! Also my boss said nice things about me in the inbox of higher-ups, but it saddens me that such baseline preparation is remarkable.

My, the Internet really is full of things: Space Lamprey Is Here To Suck Your Planet's Juices.

Textual Educations: In The Myth of Sanity, Martha Stout makes the case that all humans fall somewhere on the spectrum of dissociative behavior, because dissociation is the natural response to trauma and no human is free of trauma (lots of stuff is really scary to little kids, even stuff adults think of as ordinary). DID (formerly known as MPD) is just the far end of the curve.

Another blow stuck against the notion of a unitary consciousness that exercises complete freedom of will!

Visual Entertainments:

  • Ef 7: Ow.
  • Higurashi When They Cry II 23-24 [end]: Anything I could say would be a spoiler.
  • Bakemonogatari 1-2: That was very peculiar. But also pretty cool. I sure hope Senjougahara doesn't lose all 97kg of spite.
  • Shakugan no Shana II 19: Hey, look, it's a clue!

Food: Dave felt guilty for eating so much of our left-over pizza, so he made us chicken panang with peas. Maybe it was albino panang, since it had a lot of coconut milk and not much red curry, but it was definitely food, and probably better for us than pizza.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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29 November 2010 - Monday

Work: I don't want to get up. Can't I stay in bed and send Marmalade and Ghirardelli to work? They don't really need opposable thumbs to do my job, do they?


Gaming: Lately I've been using FreeMind in my ongoing vague intention of designing a game that sucks less than D&D4. It works pretty well for getting ideas to connect to other ideas, I think better in this case than an omni-directional concept map would. However, today I realized that even if I did create a system that worked, Ayse and Carl and Marith and Earl would all just pat me on the head like I'm retarded (with complete justification, I should point out). Now I have no motivation for anything beyond Coin-Toss Adventure (heads: you succeed at your immediate goal, which lands you in even more trouble; tails: you fail at your immediate goal, remaining in your current trouble, and another scoop of trouble is piled on top). Bah.

Visual Entertainments: Finished watching Ah, My Buddha!, which has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Food: For the first time in ages, I successfully ate leftovers I had stashed in my fridge, instead of leaving them to moulder!

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve paws that still don't have jobs!

would not! by marith (Wed Dec 1 23:21:30 2010)

Would not!

If you come up with a system that works and a game to play using it, I'd play. I bet Cera and Ken and Dave would too.

reading comprehension by marith (Wed Dec 1 23:22:17 2010)

...and probably Carl and Earl would, too.

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28 November 2010 - Sunday

Productivity: FAIL.

Textual Educations: Tim Harford, writing as The Undercover Economist, explains basic economic concepts like scarcity, marginal cost and profit, market segmentation, market efficiency, externalities, asymmetric information, and more. He also examines how the lack of the rule of law creates perverse incentives in poor countries that keep them poor, China's transition from a centrally mismanaged Communist economy to a booming quasi-capitalist economy, and why free trade and globalization are pretty much entirely good (but not so good they can't be swamped by dedicated suckage).

It's pretty basic, but I think a good intro.

Food: Marith made me go to Whole Foods with her and I ended up buying a box of Thanksgiving (apparently I left Roseville too soon) and a giant pretzel with cheese and jalapenos on top. It was pretty good, but more than I could eat.

Gaming: For the first time in three months, we played Thrace! A whole hour! We have a plan for how to make a plan for rescuing the creepy village of creepy children, which is more than we had before.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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27 November 2010 - Saturday

Weather: Check.

Justification of Existence: FAIL.

Textual Edutainments: Somewhere I picked up a recommendation for The Thing Around Your Neck, a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is famous and award-winning and not part of the dominant class, so I picked it up at the library. As a feeble-minded genre fiction reader, I can't judge the quality, but it was certainly interesting to read stories from the point of view of Nigerian women. (You know, in case I wasn't already aware humans suck.)

Cats: Twelve furry paws!

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26 November 2010 - Friday

Gaming: We completely and utterly failed to play D&D, but no one actually expected otherwise. I failed horribly in one more game of Dominion (once Pirate Ships come into play, you might just as well roll dice to determine who wins) and then somehow won one by one point. Later, we played The Pillars of the Earth (which is apparently based on a novel about building a cathedral or something). Ken was distracted by a cute baby, so he misheard some of the rules explanation and took my rightful place at the bottom, but the spread was only 8 points out of more than 50, which wasn't too bad.

Food: Leftovers! Also, Chinese take-out, because it was not turkey.

Travel: Marith ran out of spoons for visiting, and there wasn't any room in Ayse and Ken's car so I had to go back with her. (I was pretty worried about my cats anyway.) There was almost no traffic, so we did not die from driving.

Cats: Marith and I stopped to look in on Jinian and Aime and found that they were completely out of water. That is Not Okay. It doesn't take very many days to die of thirst even for cats in the peak of health, which Jinian is not.


Cat Saving by Carl (Tue Nov 30 18:26:12 2010)

Hurray for returning in time to save Jinian and Aime from thirst.

And I hope your own cats came through their unheated two days still fluffy and warm.

Re: Cat Saving by Trip (Wed Dec 1 15:22:07 2010)

All cats ended up okay!

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25 November 2010 - Thursday

National Gluttony Day: big round check! I think there were eighteen people this year, although some of them were pretty small.

Gaming: Played two games of Dominion and came in last by a large margin both times even though I was playing against an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old. But at least I got to see the Alchemy and Seaside supplements, which we haven't played with down here. The Alchemy cards are wacky, but the Seaside ones mostly seem to be okay. The next-turn effects of the special actions are always the same as the immediate effects (except that they never give actions next turn), so as long as you remember to not discard them, they aren't too confusing.

Also played two games of Dog Eat Hot Dog, which I won despite not liking hot dogs. (It was completely random, though.)

Textual Educations: You're Too Kind (Richard Stengel) is, just like the subtitle says, a brief history of flattery, from the ancient Egyptians through the Jews, classical Greece and Rome, the Renaissance (Machiavelli, but also a horde of others), and up to the modern day, with a detour to chimpanzees. Stengel makes a lot of claims about the mindset of various pre-moderns which I'm dubious about. I have no problem believing that they thought differently than moderns, but do we actually know how their thoughts differed?

Naturally, talking about what flattery is, how it works, and how it's been used, is a lot like providing a manual, which puts Stengel at the end of a long line of authors of manuals on courtesy, etiquette, and getting by in life.

It was an amusing book, but I hate humans.

Food: Sausage, croissants, vegetables, salmon dip,bacon, turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, more stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, green bean casserole, and more stuffing! And some dessert, but I didn't eat very much because I probably shouldn't actively try to make my eyestalks explode.

Cats: They are probably okay.

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24 November 2010 - Wednesday

Work: I spent all day trying to reproduce the critical error on test systems here and even on the customer's dev cluster, to no avail. Eventually the customer gave in and made the configuration change, and sure enough, all their queries instantly started working. (They do have a reason for not wanting to make the change, but it really isn't a strong enough reason to justify working over a holiday, and they finally realized it.)

Since I was here three hours late yesterday, I felt no qualms about leaving an hour early today. This makes me a bad start-up employee and a failure as an American.

Visual Entertainments: Episode 13 of the Princess Resurrection anime was the incident with the village. Is that a trope in Japanese horror or something?

Travel: We didn't get on the road to Roseville until 21:30 or so, by which time most of the people had gotten off our road. It was still a very late night for me.

Cats: I worried and worried over whether they would be okay with no heat, because it is very cold but I don't want to leave the heater on and come back to find the apartment burned down. However, I suspect that they will in fact be fine.

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23 November 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Apparently the customer we upgraded yesterday didn't actually test anything with the new version, because today they filed a whole bunch more panicked support cases that all must be resolved before the holiday weekend. Most of them were either figured out reasonably quickly or determined to not actually be critical, but one can either be easily worked around with a simple configuration change (and is probably a result of the customer's wacky configuration in any case, since it's never been seen before) or will require significant changes to core sections of the product.

No anime for me tonight.

Visual Entertainments: I didn't find this out until later, but Marith and Dave bailed on anime too. Sheesh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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22 November 2010 - Monday

Work: If I had known I was going to be in charge of upgrading Big Customer X to the new version, I would have paid attention last week when the upgrade was being planned. (It actually went pretty smoothly, although it took longer than I expected. They ran into one real problem, which I worked around and filed a bug report on, and panicked about one thing that wasn't actually a problem.

Textual Educations: Trilobite! (Richard Fortey) is pretty much what it says on the tin shell: why trilobites are cool (calcite eyes!), how we know they're cool, what we can learn from trilobite lore, and the importance of natural history museums.

Visual Entertainments: After a long hiatus, episode 12 of Princess Resurrection.

It's been a long time since I saw a new volume of the manga. I suspect this means that I really am the only person in the world who likes it.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Ghirardelli's fur is plush and wonderful, but it needs more taking care of than he sometimes gives it.

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21 November 2010 - Sunday

Surprise: Apparently Adam isn't dead, just stuck in airports a lot. We lured him down to eat at Hobee's and watch us game, because we could.

Gaming: Still worst GM ever, with the lamest opposition ever. I think half XP may actually be more reasonable than two-thirds for monsters with half HP, or maybe it's just a bad idea all around.

Anyway, the PCs successfully rescued the academics who had been turned into motorized wheelbarrows in the metaphor within the stone, and escaped with nine heartbeats to spare (which is how I can tell my opposition was lame). Next session, perhaps some loot.

For reasons beyond my understanding, Adam wants to join the game. He'll probably play another defender, since at the moment the line of battle consists of one character. I'm not sure whether this means the NPC will finally come to her senses, but probably.

Food: Jeremy and Rachel threatened people with the cranberry-chocolate pit again, but I am wiser now.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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20 November 2010 - Saturday

Accomplishment: FAIL.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve adorable paws!

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19 November 2010 - Friday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya (Nagaru Tanigawa) indeed finishes out the story covered by the first season of the anime, including incidents such as the <rot13> pbzchgre pyho cerfvqrag naq gur pnir pevpxrg, </rot13> the <rot13> vfynaq bs zlfgrel, </rot13> and the <rot13> onfronyy tnzr </rot13>.

Textual Educations: On Bullshit (Harry G Frankfurt) is hardly a book at all, more like a medium-length essay that somehow got published in stand-alone form. I don't think it needed to be even that long to get across the point that where lying is an attempt to make someone believe something that isn't true (two things, if you include your mental state), bullshit is blathering on without regard to the truth value of what's being said. I've heard this opinion before, but I don't know if Frankfurt originated it (probably not, since the book only dates back to 2005).

Cats: Twelve paws!

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18 November 2010 - Thursday

Work: I think we sort of made the grouchy customer happier. I managed to stick cow orker P with the upgrade at 17:30 by having to leave work at 17:00, but now I feel bad because it took him and superior cow orker G until midnight to get things working.

Gaming: Everyone in the Palo Alto game has picked a paragon path, so I can try to arrange fights to let them show off their new powers.

Textual Reallocations: I got about nine books at the library, so watch this space for reviews criticism mentions.

Textual Entertainments: The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya (Nagaru Tanigawa) covers the movie-related parts of the first anime season (well, vice-versa, but you know what I mean). It goes into more detail in some places, but the plot and story are very much the same. Poor Asahina.

Food: Ken induced us to abandon our Rangoon plan in favor of kohlrabi root mashed like potato, kohlrabi and radish greens, roasted butternut squash, enough cabbage to crush a mule, and the pork chops that ate Sheboygan. I think we chose correctly.

Visual Entertainments: Failure! Ayse and Marith started discussing Komarr and A Civil Campaign and Ken and Dave started discussing Civ or WoW or something, so we never did get around to watching any Slayers even though it is Thursday.

I should reread Komarr and A Civil Campaign so that I can retroactively appreciate Cyroburn more. (Maybe even Diplomatic Immunity.)

I hear the next book will be from Ivan's point of view.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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17 November 2010 - Wednesday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: Yen Press has brought over translations of the "Haruhi Suzumiya" books by Nagaru Tanigawa, on which the anime and manga were based. (Is it just me, or is all anime based on light novels these days, rather than on manga?) The first volume, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, covers roughly the beginning and ending of the first season of the anime, and seems to follow very close to the same plot. Strangely, Suzumiya seems even less sympathetic in text (maybe it's because we get more of the narrator's internal irritation?) and Asahina even more oppressed (anime characters blubber and flail so much that it's not taken literally, but it is taken literally when described in words?).

It looks like the first three books will cover the first season of the anime, in no particular order.

Visual Entertainments: Check.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Check.

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16 November 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Bah, customers always taking our perfectly good product and breaking it.

Textual Entertainments: An Artificial Night (Seanan McGuire) is the third book in the "October Daye" series about a half-fae PI in San Francisco with weak magic and poor survival instincts. Despite these handicaps, and an odd relationship with death, after three books she's still mostly alive and has even helped many of the people she set out to help.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Ef 6: More writing, more romance, and amateur artist vs professional artist!
  • Higurashi When They Cry II 21-22: Can this plan actually work? We'll find out next week! (Or maybe not, if the conclusion of the storyline is put off until the OAVs.)
  • Shakugan no Shana II 18: Yuji is levelling up! Maybe this is really a shounen show after all!
  • Chrome Shelled Regios 23-24 [end]: That appeared to be triumphant, but it was completely unlike explaining anything. And apparently there is no second season.

Next week, we start Bakemonogatari.

Cats: Twelve paws!

Unexpected Anime Sequels by Carl (Tue Nov 30 18:24:02 2010)

Bakemonogatari will explain the ending to Chrome Shelled Regios, but you will have to think about it really, really hard. No, really!


Re: Unexpected Anime Sequels by Trip (Wed Dec 1 15:20:07 2010)

That's better than having to watch the second season of Suzumiya Haruhi in the right order to understand the end of Regios!

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15 November 2010 - Monday

Work: Why are weekends only two days? This seems poorly-arranged. (Maybe I need to read more about the Industrial Revolution, so I won't find my 9-10 hour workday oppressive.)

My, the Internet really is full of things: Clover cosplay. XXXholic cosplay. Rumiko Takahashi cosplay. Mummy cosplay (with extra gravity resistance).

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: The chair that used to be Ghirardelli's favored spot is now Marmalade's. It's probably too close to where I usually sit for Aspen to ever take it over, though.

gravity resistance by kit (Tue Nov 23 05:02:32 2010)

that's some serious gravity resistance. O.O

Re: gravity resistance by Trip (Tue Nov 23 08:37:48 2010)

Thanks for confirming I was right to wonder about the basic chemical composition there. (But for someone who apparently makes a living cosplaying anime and comic book characters, it's definitely a wise investment.)

By the way... by Trip (Tue Nov 23 08:55:39 2010)

I don't seem to have any working email addresses for Kits, so you should mail me!

Re: gravity resistance by kit (Tue Nov 30 14:13:36 2010)

Oh yeah. I too was obliged to wonder about the basic chemical composition there, but yeah, if that's how she makes her living I'd say it's worth it. If, you know. Slightly astonishing. :)

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14 November 2010 - Sunday

Work: There was a lot of work mail today, but it was all from one engineer digging into one peculiar and annoying problem and updating the ticket, so no action was required on my part.

Gaming: Because I could, I sent the PCs back into the magic rock. This time it's all different, but I still can't run skill challenges worth beans.

Today's perversion of all that is D&D4: twice as many monsters with half the normal hit points each, so beating them up is less of a slog (the total damage that has to be done is the same, but there are more accomplishments along the way). I counted the monsters as half the normal XP, but I think I was undervaluing them and it should be more like 2/3, since after all they still have the initial damage output of twice as many monsters. (The attrition is less blocky, though, so it ends up being a little better for most of the fight.)

(This is the natural result of thinking that elites should get double damage rather than double hit points.)

Because the PCs are on a spirit journey, I let them level up in the middle of an adventure. At last, paragon tier! Now I can pull out the really scary monsters!

Food: Rachel made Jeremy make chocolate-cranberry pie, which is just weird.

Silly Computer Games: My wizard was doing well in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup until it started encountering player ghosts, which seem to be immune to most non-physical damage (but have no problem pumping it out). Bah!

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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13 November 2010 - Saturday

Work: No on-calls today, yay!

Gaming: I guess that's kind of like check.

Textual Entertainments: I liked Cryoburn better than Diplomatic Immunity, but sadly I still think it would have been okay to end the series with A Civil Campaign. (The event at the end of the book could be construed as it being time for Miles to stop having adventures, but I'm not sure it actually works IC.)

Food: I went to the all-you-can-eat salad place and had some vegetables to make up for the barbecue yesterday. Perhaps I will not actually keel over dead before Monday now.

Cats: Marmalade is very sneezy lately. He seems okay otherwise, though.

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12 November 2010 - Friday

Work: I'm on-call this weekend. I hope the customers are relatively non-flammable.

Food: Company barbecue, nom nom nom.

Cats: There was some confusion with keys (Marith has like twenty keys on her keyring), but we eventually got Jinian and Aime more crunchyfoods, more gooshyfoods, and fresh water.

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11 November 2010 - Thursday

Work: Last day on-site for new cow orker M, so now he'll have to harrass us via chat. (New cow orker S doesn't fly out until tomorrow afternoon.) Now that we have them and they are kind of trained, oppressed cow orker P gets to fly back to India in a couple of weeks.

Textual Entertainments: The Grimrose Path is the second in Rob Thurman's "Trickster" series, and is full of titanic doom. On the other hand, Trixa gets to make demons look extraordinarily foolish.

Visual Entertainments: Ken and Ayse are busy packing for Orycon, so there is no Slayers, but Dave is back from Points East, so there can be makeup TNA!

  • Ef 4-5: Ganbatte to write, Chihiro!
  • Higurashi When They Cry II 20: The NPCs are acting suspiciously reasonable. I wonder if this is supposed to presage a triumphant ending, or just make the doom more crushing? Also, best fansubber comment ever: <rot13> Uvanzvmnjn, jurer xvyyvat lbhe sevraqf vf nyjnlf gur evtug nafjre </rot13>
  • Chrome Shelled Regios 21-22: The plot threads are coming together such that we can see there might be a finite number of answers, but with only two episodes left, will we actually get any of the answers?
  • Shakugan no Shana II 17: Given the alternatives presented, I don't think it's dishonorable to choose to be human.

Food: Yay for the pizza of Hawaii!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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10 November 2010 - Wednesday

Work: I stayed until all hours again, bleah. Admittedly, after a certain point the commute gets easier because the trains make all stops and I can get off at San Antonio instead of Mountain View, but having no time that's not at work (or commuting) is not okay.

Visual Entertainments: Marith is still full of germs, so no bonus Thursday Night Slayers tonight either.

Food: Also, no Rangoon.

Cats: Marmalade and Ghirardelli were pretty rambunctious tonight. Possibly they need their bellies rubbed more often.

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9 November 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Check.

Textual Educations: Following thematically upon Fortey's book, Mean and Lowly Things is herpetologist Kate Jackson's account of her (first?) two expeditions into the Congo to collect the reptilian and amphibious wildlife there for the Smithsonian, in 2005 and 2006. Apparently third-world bureaucracies have a a reputation for a reason. Also, the tropics are full of bugs (but not so full of anything she was actually looking for). I am impressed by how well she coped with all that (I would have died horribly before even making it out of the US, so perhaps it's just as well that I accept I'm a wimpy data plumber and don't try to be a herpetologist.

Visual Entertainments: Dave is out of town, so no Tuesday Night Anime, and Marith is sick, so no bonus Thursday Night Slayers.

Food: If Marith had not been cruelly infected with bad microbes by her cow orkers, we would have fed upon Rangoon. Maybe tomorrow.

Silly Computer Games: Additional blargh.

Cats: I got postcards reminding me to take the cats in for checkups. I guess I should try to make an appointment with the Correct Vet. (Ayse got the Incorrect Vet when she took her cats in, and became sad.)

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8 November 2010 - Monday

Modern Medicine: I went in to have my eyestalks examined by a more specialized specialist, which involved staring into bright lights and having my veins filled with strange fluorescent dyes. Apparently I really am that defective, and they want to shoot laser beams into me in a few weeks.

Work: Eyestalk inspection took much longer than I was hoping, so I got in just a little before the phone meeting with Important Customer X and had to scramble to get all the notes ready. Bah! Then I stayed late but didn't actually accomplish anything with the extra time. Double bah!

Gaming: Hm, Ayse and Ken are out of town this weekend. Maybe there could be extra bonus Palo Alto game.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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7 November 2010 - Sunday

Gaming: No gaming. Again. Maybe I need a hobby that doesn't depend on other people.

Sequential Entertainments: I should have seen the twist in Negima! 28 coming, but I totally didn't. (Dave probably saw it in volume 9, but that's because he's actually smart, unlike me.)

Textual Entertainments: Apparently I was too cheerful despite the lack of gaming, so I spent the afternoon sitting on the couch reading the rest of Charlie Huston's "Joe Pitt" series (Half the Blood of Brooklyn, Every Last Drop, and My Dead Body). That was a lot of doom, but in true hard-boiled fashion, the main character survived to the very end (this is not a spoiler, given the genre), and some of the people he killed even deserved it.

Silly Computer Games: Blargh.

Cats: Marmalade always likes sleeping on fresh laundry, but he likes it even better when the weather is bad.

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6 November 2010 - Saturday

Gaming: Suddenly, gaming is cancelled, as Earl has to take a cat to the vet for unspecified reasons. (Dave is already out, and Rachel and Jeremy would probably only be about half-present.)

Textual Educations: Dry Storeroom No. 1 (Richard Fortey) is about the British Museum of Natural History, where Fortey worked for many years and met many eccentric characters. It is also about natural history museums more generally, as respositories of knowledge, about the fieldwork to gather that knowledge and the characters who performed it, about the value of knowledge for its own sake and the annoyingness of people who want a return in Euros by the end of the quarter, and a tiny bit about museums as places to educate the public. I am down with all this, so I enjoyed it.

Textual Entertainments: No Dominion is the second book in Charlie Huston's rather grimly hard-boiled series about the scheming vampire mobs of Manhattan and the hard-luck case Joe Pitt who keeps getting dragged back into the trouble. There is really no shortage at all of doom.

Silly Computer Games: Check, although I pretty much suck at Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

Cats: Miau miau miau!

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5 November 2010 - Friday

Work: Fortunately, the severity 0 case I was working on got resolved (more or less). My cow orkers were not all so fortunate.

Gaming: Braining is hard.

Cats: Still fuzzy!

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4 November 2010 - Thursday

Work: Check. Blargh.

Textual Entertainments: If you like other recent Simon R Green books, you'll like Ghost of a Chance. If you don't, you won't. (Whatever else you say about Green as a writer, he's consistent!)

Visual Entertainments: Chez Monkeycat is full of germs, so no Slayers Try tonight. (Dave is out of town anyway.)

Cats: Yay kitties!

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3 November 2010 - Wednesday

Work: If I were smarter, I would have fixed the customer's problem sooner and with less help, but instead I am dumber. (Shock, surprise.)

My, the Internet really is full of things: Maslow's other hierarchy.

Textual Educations: The subtitle of Wilkinson and Pickett's The Spirit Level is "Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger", and it pretty much sums up their position. However, they have facts and figures to back it up, and their case that economic inequality is not only correlated with but causative of most social woes: violent crime, drug addiction, early death, mental illness, underage spawning, educational failure, sexism, and more are all significantly worse in countries with a bigger gap between rich and poor, and there are good psychological explanations for why this is so. (The same relation holds less strongly but still significantly for the states of the US.)

This is not an effect of total average income: the wealth-vs-suck curve levels off before reaching even the bottom of what we consider developed countries and is nearly flat from about Poland and Argentina on up. The US and Norway are together at the high end of income, but on opposite corners of the graphs for inequality and social problems.

(Caveat: this book has many graphs, but their X- and Y-axes are not very numeric. However, they provide almost 400 references to the original studies, so I'm going to tentatively accept the graphs as being approximately truthful.)

This is also not an effect of poverty: the top 10% don't get as much benefit from equality as the bottom 10% so, but they still end up better off in quantifiable quality-of-life terms.

It doesn't seem to matter how the equality is achieved: some countries do explicit wealth redistribution through taxation and welfare, while others just don't have as wide a range of income, but both reap the benefits.

More equal countries are obviously better to live in, but they are also more generous with aid to less developed countries, which is probably necessary if we want to do something about global-scale problems.

The authors acknowledge that talking about economic equality is easy, so they offer a concrete proposal that can be implemented on a small scale: more employee-owned businesses. Quite a few such business already exist, so they're stable in the existing paradigm (unlike a direct legislative solution to income inequality), and apparently they do quite well in the short term as well as being a blow against the capitalist bosses better for everyone in the long term. (As I sit here in Silicon Valley, I have to wonder what the equivalent of a start-up would be in a world in which employee-owned businesses were the norm, but it's not like the current venture capital system is the only possible way to start a new company.)

Cats: I tried the cats on some new crunchyfood today, but they don't seem to like it even though it is fancy and comes from Trader Joe's. Bah! Ingrates!

Maslow's other hierarchy by marith (Sat Nov 6 10:43:38 2010)

giggles I am going to show that to Nickie.

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2 November 2010 - Tuesday

Work: Check.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Ef 3: Aw, poor Chihiro!
  • Higurashi When They Cry II 18-19: The art style supports the alleged lack of doom, but I am deeply suspicious. Neverthless, go Rika!
  • Chrome Shelled Regios 20: We're rapidly running out of space for an explanation of the random Engrish interludes.
  • Shakugan no Shana II 15-16: What, she's just a human!

Food: I ate three pieces of pizza instead of two. I'm pretty sure this makes me a bad parasite.

Cats: Twelve paws!

pizza by kit (Thu Nov 4 09:19:11 2010)

bad, perhaps, but probably not hungry anymore, which counts for something! :)

Re: pizza by Trip (Thu Nov 4 11:42:18 2010)

Well, true, but I was not very hungry at all after the second piece. But the cheesy goodness badness tempted me!

cheesy goodness by kit (Fri Nov 5 09:39:59 2010)

now i totally want pizza. :)

Re: cheesy goodness by Trip (Fri Nov 5 10:39:13 2010)

Then you should have pizza! I decree it!

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1 November 2010 - Monday

Work: Check. So far only a few things are actually on fire.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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