Random Access Memories

March 31, 2008

Science on Tap

by @ 7:05 pm. Filed under Personal

I made it, kind of crowded but we’ll see how it goes.

**40 Minute presentation**

The speaker this time was a specialist in climate modeling. He did a good job, but the presentation was rather heavy on conspiracy theory relating to the Bush administration and big oil squashing any satellites that might provide proof of global warming. (He didn’t have to try so hard to sell the idea to his audience)

Maybe the one tomorrow will be better.

My new phone

by @ 1:01 pm. Filed under Personal

This is the Moto Q i’ve been using to post with lately. If anyone is curious i’m using the Postie” plugin for WordPress. It’s not bad, trying to make a few edits but my PHP skill is lacking.

The phone is pretty decent, most things can be hacked with a registry editor.



by @ 11:20 am. Filed under Personal

I noticed this while biking home from the bank.

The field at Ballard High School is getting replaced with astroturf.

I should bring the detector out here before that happens.



by @ 9:07 am. Filed under Personal

Now, before I start this tirade let me make it clear i’m not in favor of making any species extinct.

However, it seems that we’re horribly concerned about any species going extinct.


Over 99% of species that ever lived are now extinct.

Earth’s largest extinction (the P/Tr or Permian-Triassic extinction event) killed 53% of marine families, 84% of marine genera, about 96% of all marine species and an estimated 70% of land species (including plants, insects, and vertebrate animals).

Do we cry over this? No, the earth moved forward, life held it’s grip, and eventually thrived once again.

So what is different now?

Guilt. We feel guilty because this time we are the cause.

Is that a scientific or logical reason to be concerned? No. Extinction is a natural part of evolution, the cause is a triviality.

Does it really impact the earth in a horrible way if a plant goes extinct? No, the earth doesn’t care, another species moves in to take over.

We don’t like things to change. We like them to stay exactly how they are. So, what happens someday if a species is going extinct due to completely natural reasons that mankind has not impacted? Would we try and save that species too, even tho it’s normal and acceptable for it to go extinct?

I’m sure people would, should they?

March 30, 2008

Test Posting

by @ 7:45 pm. Filed under Personal

Just a test post from my new moto q.

This is the yurt in it’s new location, on the land of it’s new owners.


March 27, 2008

Bus BS

by @ 9:09 am. Filed under Personal

So I got on the bus yesterday and tried to buy an all-day pass for 3.50 by dropping in 3 1$ coins and 2 quarters. The bus driver said they only sold those on weekends.

Ok, my screwup, I didn’t read the rules, so I lost 2$. I reached for a transfer and he said “You only gave me 1.25”.

Turns out in King County the bus drivers add up the coins dropped into the machine visually.

Am I the only one that thinks that’s exceedingly stupid given that the coin slots allow you to put in dollar coins? Along with the fact the driver has a scant few seconds to look at the coins he’s been given and determine how much was dropped in. (I had used 3 of the new gold dollars too, not the old Susan B’ silver ones)

Called in a complaint about it this morning, doesn’t feel like a situation that should continue as-is.

March 26, 2008

Crap night

by @ 8:50 pm. Filed under Personal

I tried heading over to a “New to Seattle” group meeting, but I just stood around feeling stupid so I left. I think the problem is when I stop being tactless and sarcastic I have nothing to fill the void with. I end up with no idea what to say.

From there I tried to catch the lecture by Michio Kaku at the Pacific Science Center. It was completely sold out.

And then I got snowed/rained on while I walked a mile to try and find the right bus and waited half an hour for it.

Yeah, i’m just thrilled.

March 21, 2008

Mostly moved

by @ 6:11 pm. Filed under Personal

I got about 3/4 of my stuff moved from Olympia to Seattle today.

Made for a really long day. The hand truck I bought was useless on the stairs, so I had to hand-carry everything up.

I am certainly NOT looking forward to doing that again anytime soon.

Tomorrow I’m heading back to snag the rest of my stuff and to help the yurt-buyers get the site ready for the yurt move on the 29th. I’ll be very glad when that is over with.

Off now to find some food. I noticed on the map that “Gordito’s Healthy Mexican Food?” is nearby, as opposed to what I wonder, “Bob’s Unhealthy Mexican Food”? I also noticed that Safeway is a whole 2000ft away from here, I don’t know if I can handle that long trip. (Tho I might break down and ride the bike, my feet are killing me)

March 19, 2008

A move-in date is set

by @ 5:21 pm. Filed under Personal

Well, looks like I get to move in this friday.

Now to figure out when to actually roll out based on traffic.

Kinda looks like there isn’t a “good time”.

March 18, 2008

“You’re so afraid if you change, you’ll lose what makes you special.”

by @ 11:06 am. Filed under Personal

Caught this line in an episode of House M.D. that I watched last night.

It sums up my life quite well. I’m not areally a people person, but I am very confident in my abilities. I kind of worry i’ll lose something if I stop being so arrogant, abrasive and tactless.

March 16, 2008

Hoorah, I have a room!

by @ 5:07 pm. Filed under Personal

My first meeting of the day was with an older couple in the Greenlake area. It went smashingly well and I told them i’d take it.

One cause of stress down, several left to go.

March 15, 2008

Back to Seattle

by @ 8:10 pm. Filed under Personal

Headed back to Seattle tomorrow to try and find a room to rent.

Wish me luck.

March 12, 2008

Guess what! I feel like crap!

by @ 11:22 pm. Filed under Personal

Someone else in the house was sick over the weekend, looks like I caught it.

Oh i’m just overjoyed, this is definitely NOT the time to get sick, too many things need to be done..


March 9, 2008

Study shows changing to Daylight Savings Time actually wastes energy rather than conserve it.

by @ 9:04 am. Filed under Personal

Now, i’m sure most of you know that Daylight Savings Time (DST) is in effect to save energy by giving people an extra hour of sunlight.

But what if that wasn’t true? I found this article that uh, shed some light on the issue.

From the Wall Street Journal, written by Justin Lahart

For decades, conventional wisdom has held that daylight-saving time, which begins March 9, reduces energy use. But a unique situation in Indiana provides evidence challenging that view: Springing forward may actually waste energy.

Up until two years ago, only 15 of Indiana’s 92 counties set their clocks an hour ahead in the spring and an hour back in the fall. The rest stayed on standard time all year, in part because farmers resisted the prospect of having to work an extra hour in the morning dark. But many residents came to hate falling in and out of sync with businesses and residents in neighboring states and prevailed upon the Indiana Legislature to put the entire state on daylight-saving time beginning in the spring of 2006.

Indiana’s change of heart gave University of California-Santa Barbara economics professor Matthew Kotchen and Ph.D. student Laura Grant a unique way to see how the time shift affects energy use. Using more than seven million monthly meter readings from Duke Energy Corp., covering nearly all the households in southern Indiana for three years, they were able to compare energy consumption before and after counties began observing daylight-saving time. Readings from counties that had already adopted daylight-saving time provided a control group that helped them to adjust for changes in weather from one year to the next.

Their finding: Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity bills. They conclude that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.

“I’ve never had a paper with such a clear and unambiguous finding as this,” says Mr. Kotchen, who presented the paper at a National Bureau of Economic Research conference this month.

A 2007 study by economists Hendrik Wolff and Ryan Kellogg of the temporary extension of daylight-saving in two Australian territories for the 2000 Summer Olympics also suggested the clock change increases energy use.

That isn’t what Benjamin Franklin would have expected. In 1784, he observed what an “immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.” (Mr. Franklin didn’t propose setting clocks forward, instead he satirically suggested levying a tax on window shutters, ringing church bells at sunrise and, if that didn’t work, firing cannons down the street in order to rouse Parisians out of their beds earlier.)

During the first and second world wars, the U.S. temporarily enacted daylight-saving time as an energy-saving measure. Over time, most states began changing their clocks, and in response to the 1973 oil shock, the country extended daylight-saving time in 1974 and 1975. Analyzing that time shift, a 1975 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation concluded that the change reduced electricity demand by 1% in March and April. But in a 1976 report to Congress evaluating that analysis, the National Bureau of Standards concluded that there were no significant energy savings.

Still, the Transportation Department study stuck. Speaking before the House of Representatives in 2002, Indiana Rep. Julia Carson said that under daylight-saving time, Indiana families would save “over $7 million annually in electricity rates alone.”

In 2005, Reps. Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Fred Upton of Michigan drafted legislation that would extend daylight-saving time nationwide. Congress approved the amendment, which called for clocks to be sprung forward three weeks earlier in the spring and one week later in the fall. The change went into effect last year.

The energy-savings numbers often cited by lawmakers and others come from research conducted in the 1970s. Yet a key difference between now and the ’70s — or, for that matter, Ben Franklin’s time — is the prevalence of air conditioning.

“In an inland state like Indiana, it gets hot in the summer,” says Steve Gustafsen, a lawyer in New Albany, Ind., who filed a suit in 2000 in an effort to get his county to abandon daylight-saving time. “Daylight saving means running the air conditioner more.”

That was borne out by the study by Mr. Kotchen and Ms. Grant. Their research showed that while an extra hour of daylight in the evenings may mean less electricity is spent on lights, it also means that houses are warmer in the summer when people come home from work. Conversely, during daylight-saving time’s cooler months, people may crank up the thermostats more in the morning.

Still, the case on daylight-saving time isn’t closed.

“My read on this study is that it’s one data point that gives us something to think about,” says Richard Stevie, an economist with Duke Energy, of Mr. Kotchen and Ms. Grant’s research. “I think that additional research really needs to be done.” And UCLA economist Matthew Kahn points out that even if the evidence on Indiana is airtight, the effect of daylight-saving time on other states might be different — a point that Mr. Markey makes as well.

“One study of the situation in Indiana cannot accurately asses the impact of [daylight-saving time] changes across the nation, especially when it does not include more northern, colder regions,” the congressman notes.

There may also be social benefits to daylight-saving time that weren’t covered in the research. When the extension of daylight-saving time was proposed by Mr. Markey, he cited studies that noted “less crime, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity” with the extra sunlight in the evening.

In Indiana, the debate goes on. “The simpler the issue, the more people have opinions about it,” says Indiana State Rep. Scott Reske, who voted against the switch to daylight-saving time. In the aftermath of the time shift, “a lot of people who hated it now love it, and a lot of people who loved it now hate it,” he says. A separate debate over whether the state should be on Central or Eastern Time rages on.

Bush vetoes bill to limit CIA on interrogation methods

by @ 8:58 am. Filed under Personal

Can you believe this crap?

He went so far as to say this:

“We have no higher responsibility than stopping terrorist attacks,” he added. “And this is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe.”

Yet what attacks has it prevented? What useful information has CIA torture gained us? We don’t know because the whitehouse refuses to release any information. Nice little closed loop of fooling the public, don’t you think?

One more horribly dark stain on GWB’s legacy, and our country as a whole.

Back from Seattle

by @ 8:54 am. Filed under Personal

Well, I headed to Seattle yesterday to try and find a room to rent.

Unfortunately the places I had lined up to visit were all washouts. Going to try it again this coming weekend and see if I have any better luck.

March 4, 2008

Ding-dong, the yurt is sold!

by @ 7:30 am. Filed under Personal

One of the two couples that came to look at the yurt this weekend decided to buy it!

They’re going to draw up a contract and give me a down payment. Then I get to go to Seattle and find a room to rent and look for work. Everything should be finalized by the end of the month if i’m lucky.

It feels SO good, like i’ve finally gotten rid of the albatross around my neck.

March 1, 2008


by @ 9:49 pm. Filed under Personal

So it seems that everywhere security measures (aka. roadblocks) to getting online secure information have gotten more and more annoying.

It has turned from “please enter your password” to “please enter your password, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, model of car, city you were born in, blood type, favorite pizza topping, etc.”

Yet both times any of my secure information has been compromised it has been the banks fault. Because their servers were hacked, or someone walked off with the data, or somehow they simply screwed up on the backend.

So it really pissed me off today when Desert Schools asked me one of those questions that I don’t recall giving an answer to.

After 2 failed attempts it locked me out of the account, so I cannot get into it until Monday morning.

I’m beyond pissed at this point. I practice excellent security with my materials, why the fuck do they need to go and screw around with things just because they think it’s going to be an improvement?

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March 2008

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