…I only just got around to this, but:
kicked over my giggle-box, as did:
…I only just got around to this, but:
kicked over my giggle-box, as did:
“If I’m the G-dd–n Batman, why am I on top of a cake with this amazonian bimbo?”
I commend to the attention of future brides everywhere the strategy that this one used to encourage participation by both genders in the bouquet toss: attach a Fry’s gift card to the bouquet. (However, brides should consider carefully the value of the card they’re going to attach. For $10, yeah, I’ll participate. For $250, I’ll kill a snitch. I’m not saying I have, I’m not saying I haven’t…)
People you normally don’t see this dressed up, part 1.
And two. Finally, here’s what seems like a fitting song for the happy couple.
Indeed. In our studies of the history of technology, we have found that much scientific and technical advancement is motivated by that same principle.
Gandhi is supposed to have said it would be a good idea, but I am unable to find a trustworthy source for that quote.
Western civilization is doomed:
Western civilization is not doomed:
That’s a Hot Wheels car with a built-in video camera. And a built-in LCD screen so you can play back your video without downloading it (though you can do that as well with the USB cable). Target had it for $50.
I have no idea how much video it records or what quality, but man! I would never have predicted that 41 years ago.
(You know something else? Hot Wheels at Target are going for about $1.07; I think I paid $3.49 for a five-pack. You know what I was paying for Hot Wheels when I bought them out of my own pocket at the age of 4 or 5? About a buck. You know what $1 in 1970 money translates into? $5.83. I’m sure someone’s going to tell me today’s Hot Wheels aren’t as well made as the 1970 0nes – I don’t have any of my 1970 ones in front of me, but the new ones feel fine – or that they’re made in China and coated with lead paint – I don’t chew on mine – but frankly, I don’t care. Name me something else that’s stayed at a near constant price for 40 years.)
In our case, the fireworks are both illegal and not really all that good an idea, to be perfectly honest. I did do a lot of driving yesterday, and saw a fair number of state troopers, but no DWI checkpoints; I did 80 MPH much of the way without incident. Unfortunately, while I was driving this route, I was doing so fairly early in the morning, before Lawrence wrote this post, so I missed out on the best potato chips ever. (Surely someone in Austin sells them.)
So what else can you do to celebrate the 4th? Well, you can hit the gun store, provided you have one near you that’s open on 4th of July Monday. (All the good independent gun stores in Austin are closed Sunday and Monday, but Cabela’s in Buda is open today. Edited to add: And the Cabela’s in Buda was not the Mongolian fire drill I was expecting.)
Or you could go to the range. Provided you can get a slot on the firing line, given that everyone else and his brother has probably had the same idea.
If you have a veterans cemetery near you, you could also go pay your respects.
I don’t actually know Richard Johnson or his family, but I stumbled (almost literally) on that marker, and there’s something striking about it. He would have been roughly 28 years old when the United States entered the war. What was he doing before then? What was life like as a 2nd Lieutenant during World War I? Where did he serve? Did he see action? He lived for 58 more years after the end of the war: what did he do with the rest of his life?
I want to add a nice word here for the VA’s Nationwide Gravesite Locator, which was indispensable. (The gravesite locator at the Houston cemetery was broken when we were there.) It would be nice to have a version of this tool that’s optimized for smart phones, but the existing version did work on my Evo.
Can I just note here (nothing personal, Weer’d) how tired I am of my birthday being associated with a national dope smoking holiday?
Can I also note that I’m tired of the whole medical marijuana thing? It makes me feel somewhat hypocritical, because I think adult human beings have the right to put whatever they want into their bodies (as long as they don’t harm other people; and if you drive while high and hurt/kill someone, it’s the hurting/killing that should be punished, not the drug use), but “medical marijuana” has become a massive joke.
If we’re going to de-facto legalize pot, then by the holy claws of Klortho the Magnificent, let’s just man up and have the courage to do it, and then do double-blind controlled studies to test the medical effectiveness of pot, rather than writing “prescriptions” for every real and imagined ailment under the sun.
Edited to add: Also, you kids get off my damn lawn.
Friday’s XKCD started me thinking.
Here’s Randall Munroe, who’s established a pretty significant business providing content for free. He’s facing a tough family situation, so what does he do? He explains what’s going on to folks, providing as much detail as he’s comfortable with, thanks people for their support, and basically promises to keep on as best as he can.
Randall Munroe is a class act. Randall Munroe makes me want to buy stuff from his store. (And today’s XKCD is pretty funny. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for Wagner references.)
When Ryan North goes on vacation, or on his honeymoon, he recruits guest artists for his comic. And a lot of them are pretty darn good. Ryan North is a class act. Ryan North makes me want to buy stuff from his store.
The Penny Arcade guys would probably be embarrassed by someone describing them as a class act, but look at what they do when they need time, or are busy at a con; or heck, look at what they do during the holidays.
There’s another web comic I read. It used to run five days a week. Then it started drifting down to four days a week. Then the artist had some personal issues and posted reruns for a while. Then he came back. It started drifting down to three days a week. Then two. Then once a week while he worked on other projects. Right now, it was last updated over a week ago. Two weeks elapsed between that update and the previous one, and a little more than two weeks between updates before that.
“He does it for free! How dare you complain?” Well, maybe. But right now he’s running a fund drive. In addition, part of his business model is providing premium content as an adjunct to the free webcomic. When he goes radio silent for weeks on end, what motivation do I have to pay for premium content, or donate money? Or even to keep reading his webcomic?
I feel like I’m coming perilously close to crossing a line. I don’t think artists have an obligation to keep providing stuff for free, forever. I can understand people becoming overwhelmed. But there’s a good way to handle that; the Randall Munroe way.
I’m ending the “instead of content” musical series with this link that Lawrence sent me, which I rather like.
I think I’ve made it through the worst of the chaos; things should be getting back to normal over the next day or so, modulo a few outstanding bits of business.
I also wanted to throw a link Lawrence’s way for his “A Short, Incomplete, and Somewhat Random List of People Who Have Had Their Heads Impailed on a Spike on London Bridge“. This is the kind of link you don’t know you need until you need it, and once you do need it, you’re happy to have it. I find it rather unfortunate that heads on spikes have gone out of style, as I have a little list of society’s offenders who would benefit from that treatment.
I generally recommend to folks that they observe the holiday in the traditional way; get drunk and storm a prison.
Apologies for the lack of other content. Today is a travel day. And a certain bag-loving airline has temporarily misplaced my bag.
My primary care doctor has been on my case to see a cardiologist. She sent me to one practice, who we’ll call “Austin Heart”. I fired them after my first visit. This time she sent me over to a practice we’ll call The Grace L. Ferguson Heart (And Storm Door Co.) (Grace for short), conveniently located in the same complex as her office (and right next door to a place we’ll call The Hospital).
I go in last week. They interview me, do an EKG. Some minor abnormalities on the EKG, but “nothing that really causes us concern”. Still, given my age and other factors, they want to do some tests “just to establish a baseline”. “Fine,” I say, “let’s get those scheduled and get them all knocked out in one day so I can minimize the amount of time I have to take off work.”
So they schedule a nuclear stress test, an echocardiogram, and a PADNET test (for peripheral artery disease) for this morning. Except for some reason they can’t schedule the PADNET test; I have to call The Hospital and schedule it myself. I figure this is going to be just a half-day thing, right? So I schedule only a half-day off work, and spend Monday night and all day Tuesday off coffee, soda, chocolate (not that I eat a lot of that anyway), tea, and anything else with caffeine in it.
Show up this morning. Somehow, the camera for the nuclear stress test had gone down over night, and they weren’t sure it was going to come back up. It takes time for “the heads” to come up to operating temperature.
Fine, we can still knock out the echo and the PADNET, and maybe the camera will come back up. So we do the echo, they call over to The Hospital and move my appointment up, I walk over to The Hospital and check in there.
The Hospital is out-of-network (OK, fine) and I haven’t met my $500 deductible for the year, so they want $500 RIGHT NOW for the test. “How much does this test cost?” <clerk calls manager> “Between $400 and $500.” Fine. Pay the $500. This test basically consists of one guy and 30 minutes of his time, mostly putting on and removing blood pressure cuffs from my arms and legs, and working the machine that actually pumps up the cuffs and takes the readings. You can’t tell me this is a $500 per person machine.
(But, as a side note, The Hospital is VERY NICE. If you’re going to go to a hospital, this is the one you want to go to. It even has a cafe I’d actually be willing to eat in, although part of that may have been that I hadn’t had anything to eat except some Pringles in the morning, and no coffee, soda, or tea.)
So I go back upstairs to Grace after they run that test. They tell me Dr. X (not THE Dr. X) will be in to see me in a few minutes. Then they come back and say, “Oh, the camera’s up, we can do the test now.” So the Nuclear Camera Guy rounds me and the four other people who were also scheduled for camera time up and takes us back down to The Hospital’s nuclear lab. Lucky me, I get to go first, since I had the earliest scheduled appointment. It only takes him two tries to get an IV into me (the second try he stuck the back of my left hand, so I now have a nice little puckered place there). Then I get to spend a half-hour in the imaging camera, which is about as roomy as an MRI machine when working (but without the magnetic fields, which is a good thing, since I had a pocket full of metal). Then they take me out and tell me they’ll come get me in a hour and a half (1:30 PM) for round two.
Of course, I’m supposed to be at work at 1, so I had to call my boss, tell him it looks like this is going to be an all-day affair, get the number to call and change my schedule from him, call and change my half-day to a full-day, wait around, spend another half-hour in the camera, go back upstairs to Grace; by now it’s 1:45 PM or so.
(Of course, since all the tests are done, I stop by The Cafe in The Hospital and tell the woman behind the counter I want an extra-large coffee. If I had been thinking about it, I would have told Nuclear Camera Guy to leave the IV line in, and just had the girl behind the counter inject that extra large coffee straight into the vein.)
“Did you need something else?” “Well, I thought Dr. X wanted to see me after the tests.” “Let me check.” <comes back> “You didn’t see him already?” “No, he was going to see me, but then the camera came back up, and we went down to that.” <wait> Very nice nurse comes out and explains politely that it’s going to take some time for him to look over the results (which I expected), he’ll call me, and I can go ahead and leave.
Leave. Five minutes down the road, cell phone rings. “How far away are you? Can you come back? Dr. X wants to see you.” “I can come back. I’ll come back. I WANT TO GET EVERYTHING TAKEN CARE OF TODAY.” (By this time, I have probably used the phrase “I WANT TO GET EVERYTHING TAKEN CARE OF TODAY.” with the capitalization, at least a half-dozen times to everyone in the office.) “Let me check.” She puts me on hold. Meanwhile, I’m hanging a U turn and heading back. By the time she gets back on the phone, I’m pulling into their driveway. “Can you come back on Friday?” ” I WANT TO GET EVERYTHING TAKEN CARE OF TODAY. If I have to wait, that’s okay.” “Well, Dr. X left for the day (at 2 PM; ah, the exciting life of a cardiologist) and he won’t be back. Can you come in on Friday?” “Okay, fine, if we do it early.”
So now I have to take more time off work so I can go in at 8:30 AM on Friday, which is going to look real good. Plus, it isn’t like I have unlimited time off work.
The thing that really aggravates me is that everyone was so nice and apologetic about the problems with the camera and all the waiting around. Camera Guy kept apologizing to me, and even offered to buy me a Coke if I wanted one (which I didn’t, plus I didn’t think I was supposed to have caffeinated sodas until after the tests were over). I’m very happy with Grace, and with Dr. X, so far, but this was just one of those days.
At least I finished What the Dog Saw.
Edited to add: And, since the whole point of the nuclear stress test was to get imaging of my heart: when I see Dr. X on Friday, I plan to ask him if I can order some color glossy prints, perhaps 8″ x 10″s. If I can, I’ll scan them (copyright permitting) and post them here.