Friday, November 21, 2008

Shots and games

Today I got my first flu shot. Work was offering them for free so I figured I might as well cash in on it. So that was happy. If the scientists guessed right on which strains will be prevalent I might just avoid getting sick.

In other news, Geneforge 5 finally came out two days ago and I'm very happy about that. If only I actually had real time to play said video game. I must say the geneforge games are the only games that ever made me think about a book by C.S. Lewis before.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Air Quality

While car shopping a while ago I discovered something odd. Our county doesn't require vehicles to pass any emissions testing to be roadworthy. I don't know if its something about the winter air, but this bothers me. Often while I bike to work along a 50 MPH highway the only smell in the air is car exhaust. Feels like I'm breathing in pure fumes. I'm sure most of the residents of our city don't notice because insulated inside their cars they mainly breath air from their driveway, not the air around them. But that's not the only road where I've noticed serious problems with breathing in exhaust. I think mainly the city is just getting to the point of generating its own smog. And its not only that. Its not uncommon in this city for people to use their fireplace as a primary heating source. While I don't mind a small fire now and again, there are entire sections of my weekly routes that are continually bathed in woodsmoke because of the constant fires heating the homes on those roads. Between these two I get a very strong sense that the air I breathe is not terribly healthy and is probably getting worse. My asthma probably makes me more resentful than most people as well since I have trouble breathing when I bike past these quaint smokey chimneys. But I think its high time the people around here took air quality seriously.

I think the most opinion I've ever heard or seen expressed on the subject are the old apartment neighbor who took his muffler off his sports car so he could hear the engine growl louder, another associate who has sawed the catalyctic converter off his truck so it will "run" better, and a man at the car inspection place who complained next we were going to make ATV's pass emissions inspections too, what was this world coming to? As much as and even more than the culture here relishes its freedom to drive unnecissarily large trucks for their daily commute, I relish my ability to breath all year round.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Norby and the Oldest Dragon

I just finished reading the second to last book in the series of sci fi children's books written by Isaac Asimov and his wife. Using my birthday money I have actually managed to purchase the entire set, which is happy given that they are old and somewhat obscure books. This particular books plot reminds me a lot of the plot of the original Star Trek movie, except done a lot better. Which is saying something since I am a fan of even the cheesy installments of the original Star Trek movies (never saw the TV series, don't ask how that happened).

The difference is in the Star Trek movie the character inadvertently killed by the alien life form is someone I at least never could really care about. Her romance with one of our main characters seemed little more than an interspecies novelty act. So when she dies its kind of like, oh, what a downer, an annoying character was gotten rid of. Glad she didn't stick around for the sequel.

In the Norby book, the inadvertently killed character is the main character's brother and you care about him. And the final sacrifice joining minds together was more than some cheesy "I want to touch my creator" meeting a sexual impulse that can be followed by Bones' saying "Well, it's been a long time since I delivered a baby. I hope we got this one off to a good start." In the Norby book, the final sacrifice is teaching a newly sentient form about death, diversity, and compassion and done without selfish or hormonal causes. It's also coming from someone we haven't known long but is loved and honored by everyone in the book.

So if you thought the plot elements in Star Trek: The Motion Picture were fun but could use a better kind of cheesy presentation, I'd recommend Norby and the Oldest Dragon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Computer

I have finally purchased a new computer. I guess I'm just tired of being afraid the old one will break down without having backed up recently. 5 years is pretty good for a laptop so I think I'm done testing fate on it. I've almost transferred all my information to the new one. It was something of a job setting up the dual boot so I can run both mac and windows. But I managed it. Windows is supposed to offer to format your drive before installing itself, but the disk I got for whatever reason failed to offer so I had to somehow trick it into doing it, which Bonnie Jean figured out for me. Holding down F10 during a certain point of the installation routine triggers a "disk recovery console" which can be used to reformat the drive. Now its working beautifully.

So I'm happy with the new machine. I've enjoyed trying out the webcam.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Well, I just finished watching Obama's victory speech. I could learn some things about public speaking from him. I do have some disagreements with Obama's policies, but in general I think I am pleased with tonights results. This will be an interesting next 4 years.

Oh, and I almost wish I could speak to the woman at Walmart I overheard the other day claiming that Obama was part of a secret muslim plot to blow up all the TV stations and tell her, no, don't worry. That Christian guy we just elected won't blow up your TV stations. He'll be too busy making eloquent speeches through them.