mishalak: Mishalak with short hair wearing a blue shirt and looking upwards. (Blue)
I was listening to Fresh Air and they had on a guest talking about online dating. Having done it for years my advice to you if you are a young person is not to start and if you are older, quit. In fact if you are over 35 and still single stick with it. You, like me, are too old to start living with someone. It is a little sad that the opportunity has passed you by, but that is life. Opportunities escape us all the time. If I had been nicer, or actually nice at all, when I was younger I might have paired off with someone for the long term. Especially if I had put myself out and gone out to meet and make friends instead of drifting off into the sterile online world.

More specifically online dating is not intended to find you friends or mates. It is intended to separate you from your money and/or time. The longer and more you spend on the site the more they win. If you go online and immediately find "the one" they lose. Do not be fooled by the success stories. It is no different than accidental successes with any other placebo or scam. It is likely they they do not even know they are a scam. A hell of a lot of worthless remedies are promoted by the discoverer in the honestly mistaken belief that he or she is doing good as well as getting money.

Instead of looking for someone else out there who will make you happy you need to find the thing that will make you happy-ish. None of us are happy for long, humans are not built to be perfectly happy all the time. If you are happy-ish and have friends that is the best that can be expected out of life. If the close friendship that is a relationship happens out of this you are lucky and it is wonderful. If you do not have it, stop worrying about not having it and work at being happy-ish by yourself.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Blast and darn. Was not this glorious electronic future supposed to do away with the unavailability and rarity of music once and for all? Instead I find that I cannot purchase the single "Damaris" by Patrick Wolf due to my living in the USA. I suppose I shall have to resort to piracy instead of giving Mr. Wolf his due. I know I have ranted on this subject before, but it is just as true now as it was then.

Update: Well if I could figure out some way to buy an iTunes gift card denominated in UK pounds then I could buy the tracks. The trouble is that that is not easy or obvious as to how to do it. Oh well. Not really what I wanted to do anyway. I have lots of iTunes gift cards and I was hopeful that I had found something nifty to use them on, but it is not as if not having more music will make my life significantly worse.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
One of the stupidest idea of the past 50 years is back again: producing food in skyscrapers. This time the BBC environmental corespondent Richard Black breathlessly reports that we'll be farming fish in skyscrapers so that we can get enough food to cities like London, New York, and Shanghai. The stupid, it burns. This is nothing more than a retread of the same nonsense that has been promoted by that idiot Dickson Despommier who's been peddling this rubbish since the turn of the century.

The idea goes something like this. "Oh, no, we're running out of cheap oil, we won't be able to ship lettuce from California to New York City. We should produce the food locally to cut out shipping." Never mind that it is less expensive both in terms of carbon and in terms of dollars and cents to grow produce in a warm climate and ship it by air than to heat a greenhouse in a cold climate. And that's a greenhouse sitting on less expensive land on the outskirts of a city not prime real estate downtown.

The last time I looked up the numbers for the price of crop land average net returns is about $104.19 per acre in the United States. So for a decent economic return the cost of building/buying an area of land to grow crops on will need to be no more than about (104.19*30)=N*1.02^30-N, or $3,852.41. Those were are are only ballpark numbers, but they fit with the then price of prime farmland in Ohio.

Since then farmland has become more expensive. Recently I saw a price quoted of $10,900 per acre in New Jersey. Undoubtedly there is some development potential built into that price, but it is still far and away less expensive than skyscraper real estate. There are 43,560 square fee in an acre, does anyone know of any skyscraper anywhere that rents office space for less than twenty-five cents a square foot? Anyone? Last I heard it was something like one hundred times as much. Meanwhile even with the slightly bubble like prices in the Midwest they are still down at $5,064 an acre for prime farmland.

The idea that a skyscraper could be built to raise anything agricultural is mindbogglingly stupid.

Now growing things hydroponically (is that a word?) or in vats in some suburban warehouse type space... that might be conceivable. But I continue to laugh at the 'futurist' that proclaims we'll be growing things on the sides of buildings in the future.

Do some research next time Mr. Black! Start by just jotting out numbers on the back of the envelope involving price per pound on fish, how much room they need, and for how long. It simply isn't realistic. Oh and Mr. Black, I think you ought to test out google as well. It was distressingly easy to find out how many lighthouse keepers are still employees watching after lights in the middle of the ocean. NONE. The last manned lights seemed to have been retired before the start of this century with most of them going unmanned decades before that.
mishalak: Mishalak with long hair and modified so as to look faded. (Faded Photo)
Mercedonius 2 after AUC 2760, Nones

Going back through my old posts to clean up and tag them I discovered someone who used to comment on my journal, [livejournal.com profile] yonmei, has been suspended. I don't know why, I don't know when, and I cannot remember if we'd stopped reading each other first. Not having her journal there to refer to is like having a bit of my memory missing. This is one of the biggest negatives about LJ. At either personal whim or the whim of the company things I'd like to know can just disappear. I do not like it. I particularly do not like that even her comments on my journal are hidden from me if they still exist at all. If I knew of any company I could trust to host my journal more honestly I would be gone starting today.
 

The Ends

May. 31st, 2007 05:20 am
mishalak: Mishalak outside in the snow with scarf. (Snow)
How else are means justified if not by the ends? The thing that does not justify the means are the intended ends. Results, and to be clear this means all results intended or not, are not justified by good intentions. If someone intends to do good and ends up doing more evil than good in his ignorance it is still evil.

Today the CEO of the service we use here finally posted on the subject of the recent deletions of journals and communities unrelated to their intended target, pedophiles. In our culture calling a person a pedophile is about the worst thing that can be done. Murderers get off easier than pedophiles in the court of public opinion. And that is part of what makes this so fear inducing and rage inspiring. Innocents were caught up in this and tarred with that brush. And because of the way it came off and the two day information vacuum it allowed people like me with terrible imaginations to think, "Who's next? Me?" I don't follow anything like shota or incest fic (in fact I find it rather squicky), but by a strict reading of the law I am sure that some of my activities could be deemed illegal. Such as having written parody fanfic, after all the law of copyright is whatever the lawyers can convince a jury of. Or perhaps some of my posts on homosexuality are too frank for prudes and violate 'community standards' in Ignorant Fuck, Alabama.

Everyone makes mistakes and they are saying all the right PR things now. But for quite some time I've been unhappy with the behavior of Six Apart/Livejournal. The breastfeeding brouhaha, various technical faults, and the negative reputation of Livejournal have all annoyed me, this was just the last straw making me move from not loving the site like I did to actively wishing it ill. And despite the right moves being made I don't think that is going away. Livejournal has, for me, moved from being plucky new kid making something cool and in need of support to being a company like eBay. A fact of life that often cannot be avoided, a less than good service I'll use, but only until I figure out something better. Perhaps I might be motivated enough to learn something about how Wordpress works and set up a site that I would run to my own liking on my own domain. Perhaps not, since I like not having to think about the backside of things. I want the water to come out of the tap without having to struggle with making it work on a regular basis.

So I'm not happy. If I were more... something, I'd be trying for a movement rather than thinking of running away. Like paid users buying the company from Six Apart to make it a non-profit along the lines of the Mozilla Foundation. But I'm not the man to run such a movement and even if I was it would probably be hard to get them to sell. Though my mind keeps coming back to that as a solution. Buy the code and never let us be beholden to any easily stampeded MBA types again.
mishalak: Mishalak with long hair and modified so as to look faded. (Faded Photo)
I'm going to have to stop reading this book. It is making me very frustrated. Over and over there are basic mistakes of fact about biology and evolution. Being realistic I shouldn't get frustrated. It isn't like the writer would have changed his mind if he'd encountered the actual arguments instead of some sort of evangelical cliffsnotes version of the research into altruism and genetics by evolutionary psychologists.

Here is my understanding of where the research is at combined with my knowledge of bee biology from reading too many books on the subject because I used to keep them.

Bees and Altruism )

Still I hoped for better from a scientist writing on god. Something that would actually challenge my atheism rather than the same arguments I'd read in Mere Christianity about how humans are different than the animals. We are, but we're on a continuum. Animals have many human traits to a lesser extent. And part of that is that we can't get inside the minds of animals to prove what they are thinking very easily. I suspect in some animals we would find they are just as generous and horrible as humans in a tribal state of existence.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Snark)
Okay what is it with the guys who whine about not being able to find another "straight acting" guy? I mean if you're really that straight acting no wonder you can't spot each other down at REI. I'm there too and apparently you can't even spot me and according to many of these "gay" Republicans I'm way too flamey. I am beginning to suspect that these guys aren't actually gay, they're just robots built by the RNC to stand over there for the photo op to show that the Republican party isn't actually that homophobic.

And I mock you Log Cabin Republicans if you're reading this. I'm probably twice as masculine as the lot of you. I'm not afraid to act as I please and live as I want. If you think I'm a Nellie then you really ought to be dragged to a Pride Parade to show you the real definition of that stereotype. Oh you don't go to Pride Parades because of all the weird queers you don't want to be associated with? Nothing but drag queens you say? Well no wonder you coward, you're not there!

Go back to your nice well lit closets you FAGS!
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I don't care for mobile phones. This isn't a rant about people talking on them, this is just one of my many weird preferences. On most mobiles/cells there is a stuttering digitized quality. It is like the person I'm talking to is actually a computer with a voice synthesizer (which by the way would be a great excuse for an AI talking to someone on the phone). I don't have bad hearing, but I (apparently) don't hear things the same way other people do. So unlike many people I have a hard time understanding what a person is saying on a mobile than on a landline. No one else I know has this problem, they all seem to understand what is being said just fine from the way they converse.

Cell phones are totally useful, especially when trying to meet up with a person whether out on the town or at a convention. I would like to have one for just that purpose, but I can't justify the expense of that yet; not when I wouldn't want to talk on the thing more than 10 or 20 minutes a month.

So that's why I don't call people on their mobile phones very much.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Yeah of course it has nothing to do with the fact that Gavin Newsom was previously fairly unpopular in San Francisco. Nooo of course not, perish the thought, politics don't enter into this at all I'm sure.

And I'm sure that his actions won't cause yet another state to change its constitution as did Hawaii and Alaska back in 1993 and 1998. Oh heck no, couldn't possibly set back the movement for equality and make it even harder for us to win the right to get married. No sense at all in bringing cases in states where we might have a good chance of having public support and waiting to do so in states where they passed anti-gay laws by fricking ballot imitative.

By gosh let's just nominate him our leader without ever raising the question of "Where the fuck was Gavin Newsom two years ago when Lambda Legal started this in Massachusetts?" Or perhaps, "Why didn't he lay some legal groundwork rather than just going at this willy nilly?"

He's just a parisite making a big noise to win political points from what I can see. It makes me sick that my fellow queers are falling for this like Republicans eating up Bush's rehetoric. I'm going to go give some of that money I don't have enough of to the real heros in this those lawyers in Mass.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Rant, Rant, Rant )

Less ranty I have two new icons. My new default and one of me in my new favorite sweater. The quality of light is really good in both of the pictures. I didn't do any saturation or hue changes.

http://www.livejournal.com/allpics.bml?user=mishalak
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Well I got the final crown on my broken tooth today and paid off the rest of my bill. I'm going to have $30 left after I pay my rent on the 1st of the month. It is a scary feeling to be down to nearly zero. Usually I'm the sort that keeps a fair amount on hand all the time so I don't have to worry if an expense comes up. But instead I'll have to husband my funds carefully until payday next week.

Right now my tooth hurts from the wiggling and pull to get the temporary crown off of it, so I'm not a totally happy camper, though hopefully that will be just fine tomorrow morning. I'm going to have a nice soft yam for dinner along with some juice and not much else. I'm off my feed. I do hope this is all normal and nothing has gone wrong.

The pain does put me in mind of what I consider one of the worst mistakes of my youth. Braces. I didn't want them. Not one bit and I expressed my reluctance to get them to my parents, but I didn't do it forcefully enough to overcome the impressive orthodontist title. Parents, never, never give your kids braces unless it is absolutely necessary. My teeth were as near perfect as nature gets. The main reason for me to have them was to fix a 'clicking' jaw. It didn't work and my teeth have a lot more holes in them due to the difficulty I had keeping my teeth clean with the damn braces on. I would rather have whole teeth and a touch of imperfection than perfectly straight teeth with pits and fillings.

If I ever get to travel back to my childhood I know exactly where I would head, the day before the braces appointment was set up to kick, scream, and threaten my parents until they let me keep my teeth.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Politics in America seems to me to be a mad arms race. Each side of every issue tries to pump up its supporters to write, to call, to vote, to give money by telling the public how disastrous it will be if they don't. That we are in crisis, that the revolution is near. If they get any traction this leads to the other side of the issue doing the same to their supporters. In an endless cycle of spending more money trying to shout louder and frighten people more.

Yet as young as I am I remember the same sorts of dire warnings about similar subjects many times in the past. And I cannot think of a single one that turned out anywhere near as bad as was predicted. I also have the rather different perspective of having been in the Republican Party and involved in the party politics when Clinton was about to be impeached. File off the partisan buzzwords and the same arguments could be taken over to the Democrats/Greens today and be used about President Bush.

I got turned off by my original party by the Clinton thing and when I went across the street I found the other side to be just the same in a wavy mirror reverse. So I decided to contribute to something positive, political détente; a lessening of tensions by backing off from the political arms race. It's not my job to correct every thing I see as a mistake. Just think of what a nice world it would be if more people followed my lead and we might actually get politics with people talking to each other instead of yelling past each other.

So my call is to stop voting. Or at least to stop doing it publicly. Vote in the dead of night by mail in ballot and don't tell a soul why or how you did. Don't contribute to political MADness.

Also note that the shouting does nothing to encourage me that voting for whoever is any better than a vote for Bush. So with me at least you aren't doing your side any favors with the endless stream of rhetoric.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Neck 37-38cm · 14½-15"
Arm 86-89cm · 33-34" (really hard to measure on my own)
Chest 87cm · 34½" (if I breath in deeply)

So according to the standard men's shirt sizing I'm a small to medium by my neck size, a large by my arm length, and extra small by my chest size. So you see the dilemma. I own many short sleave shirts because of this, there I can ignore neck size (mostly) and sleave length (totally) and just go for chest size. Bring on those extra small and smalls!

On to pants where if I'm wearing them tight I wear a 74cm · 29" waist or if I'm wearing them comfortable I take a 76cm · 30" waist. For more fun if a manufacturer is up market, like Calvin Klein, I swear they knock and inch off their waist sizes. I have a pair of 28x32 jeans that fit me perfectly without any discomfort, just snug, not even tight. It can be really difficult to find jeans with a 30 waist and 32 inseam by the way. They often don't carry them at places like Costco. The last time I was in I saw Calvin Klein jeans, nifty! In sizes down to 31 inch waist. Bah!

I swear that makers of shirts are missing a big bet too. The usual proportions are 1 small 1 medium 2 large and 2 extra large. If a shirt is supposed to be tight or sheer the small guys are going to be buying a lot more of them than the big guys. Why not ship 2 small 2 medium, 1 large and 1 extra large in such cases? But no. I go to the stores and the smalls are gone and they have four extra large spandex tees sitting around waiting to be sold.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Even I could not help but notice that the Massachusetts high court decision. Call me cynical if you like, but until gays are getting married on a regular basis I'm not ready to celebrate.

You see I've already thought of a number of ways to block this. First off pass a law that meets the exact minimums required by the court decision. Then tie up that law in Federal Court under DOMA. I would guess that it would be another few years as this makes it to the US Supreme Court. This buys opponents time to either get a local or national constitutional amendment passed. And I'm pretty sure that this move in Massachusetts will galvanize and get the anti-gay marriage groups really mobilized. I'm almost sure that they can at the very least prevent any gay marriages for two years, minimum. Then the question is what sort of support there is for a constitutional amendment.

I think it unlikely that such an amendment would pass in Massachusetts. I'm not so sure about the national level. There is also a chance that DOMA might hold up if one of the more "liberal" justices were to retire. So until it actually happens on the ground I'm just thinking of all this as talk.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (thoughtful)
I was watching a program about the Jacqueline Kennedy story on PBS. The various commentators talk lovingly of how the White House was transformed into a museum under her leadership. Meanwhile I was silently horrified. To me her vision of an American Versailles sounds rather terrible; presidents above the people as our kings anointed by election. I suppose it was inevitable, but I find myself disliking her intensely. I like style, but I hate ossified and stifling tradition which is what she crated in this mania for historical objects.

And she steals the limelight from the president who really saved the White House. Harry S. Truman. He actually moved out of the White House for a time so it could be rebuilt on the inside. I doubt many other presidents would have had the courage to do that. All she did was decorate what Harry built.

If I were president would move out of the White House. If it must be a museum then let it be one, I would act as one of the people and live in a real house.

Bad News

Sep. 11th, 2003 09:58 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
I've decided that I'm going to stop paying attention to the news. Being informed hasn't helped me and it seems to hurt quite a bit. Getting disturbed by things that aren't really affecting me and that I cannot do anything to change. So I'm not going to read anything but the style section in the newspaper and I'm going to switch off NPR. The world can go to hell I don't care anymore.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Snark)
...Who Are Angry With God
This is my (non) profound thought after a workmate gave me a tract about the loving god and how not all Christians are the bigoted asses out screaming about groups damning themselves to hell. I feel like I should write a response, just because. So here we go.

To Save the Innocent from My Rant )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Pensive)
Today I found out that the Denver Post is running a series of articles about what would make Denver better culturally. I didn't read the paper on Sunday or Monday because I was busy and sick respectively. But now that I have seen the opinions online it's time for a nice rant.

Itemperate Ranting )

The much shorter version. Move back to where you came from if you don't like living in a cowtown.

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mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
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