Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's The Only Thing That's Fair

So I have over the years proposed a solution to a social problem that has generally been met with a response of total dismissal. I'm kind of curious as to why this idea just seems to bounce off of peoples minds.

The problem is, to foster gender equality:

  1. What surname should a woman take when she marries?
  2. How should the children be named?
The answer to part 1 is easy. Assuming the husband's name is obviously patriarchal, so the woman should keep her own surname.

So then how do you name the kids? The hypenated name thing obviously is bad tech and doesn't work -- just in the 3rd generation you'd have 7 hyphens in your last name. So my universally rejected proposal is, have the male offspring take the father's last name and the female offspring take the mother's last name. So you kind of have male and female lines. Males born without a known father would take the mother's surname, as they do now. Genderly challenged would be allowed to choose when they turn 18, maybe?

You might say, well, that puts children in the same family with different last names. Yes, it does, but that is not uncommon now when people are on their 2nd and 3rd marriages.

So my daughters would all be Grieve's or Sohan's, looking back as far as I know in their grandmothers. It would actually give a purpose to genealogy, which I generally find to be pretty much uninteresting.

So why is this idea so universally dismissed? It's The Only Thing That's Fair.

No biking today, roads were wet, took a nice long walk instead.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reelin' and Rockin' -- or is that Rockin' and Reelin'

Whew, just got back back from Lynagh's. My wife (mother?) is working 3rd shift (now) so I get to stay out as late as I want, woo-hoo. 1st 3 songs went fine, then later sang backup for 3 different people, then did 3 more. "Who do you love" is so great to play, if you have anyone decent up there with you, you can vary the dynamics and tonality and get a Grateful Dead thing going that really rocks.

The real reason for this post:

This is truly shocking to me. WWN is an american institution. I bought my friend David a subscription to it at Renlar, it was great, it would come in Friday afternoon, we would read about exploding pigs, opera-singing pigs, flying pigs (the best issues always featured a pig) -- and decide, enough work for the week, it's Friday, let's get the hell out of here. I can't believe it's gone.

But, we did quit subscribing after 3 years because we realized they were recycling all the stories that we had read 3 years earlier ...

Biked 37.9 miles in 2h54m, 1 stop last Saturday. Temperature in the low 80's, man does that make a difference. Going to High Bridge Park this weekend, 40 miles.

Had a great cookout / going away party last Sunday with Ben Lacy playing. Gained major street cred when the cops showed up at 9:51 re a complaint on the loud music ?!?!?

Didn't have a drink Monday or Tuesday, didn't particularly notice any withdrawal symptoms, so I don't think I'm an alcoholic. I'm wondering tho, are there lab tests that can be run that say, yes, you are an alcoholic?

Naprosyn continues to gnaw at my belly but it does help the osteo-arthritis in my left thumb.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Quel Dumbass

Well, I was so proud of my folk ontologies, I sent it to my hero Charlie Stross, then a couple of days ago ran across folksonomy, like taxonomy -- web 2.0 pundits already all over my Original Idea. I am such a Loser, sigh :-(.

Biked 37 miles Saturday morning, 2h55m, 1 stop. I would say heat index was at least 10 degrees cooler than the week before, much easier.

Currently listening to Man Man "The Man in a Blue Turban with a Face" (2004). This will also gain the coveted Unclassifiable rating that "Six Demon Bag" received. Deliciously odd music.

My wife and I saw and enjoyed "La Vie on Rose", the Edith Piaf movie. So then spent my 30 emusic downloads for the month downloading Edith Piaf. Interesting, the bio on eMusic is more complete than the one on Wikipedia. Annoyingly, once again, I now have 30 songs from the 30s to the 60s whose dates are 2005 and 2006. So now must locate a good discography and correct all the dates. No, I'm not obcom, but I do feel it helps in the understanding and the classification of the music to accurately know when it was from.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Politically Incorrect

A new tag!

The tagging exercise definitely made me aware of the meta-levels of the blog, its themes, what it distills out to. I realized today just a while ago that political incorrectness is definitely a theme that deserves to be tagged. That last sentence reminds me of the most recent post in Charles Stross' blog, re, how long would take you to build up the context of something even more abstract and 21th century than that last sentence to explain it to, say, someone from the 17th century like Isaac Newton.

Anyway, my friend David sent me this link to Pamela Anderson and PETA's campaign against KFC:

I replied to him with recollections from my childhood:

Like most people of my generation (mid-50's) in the midwest/south, I grew up with ties to a farm. When I was, say 8-13 years old, I would spend a week or two on my maternal grandparents 150 acres just west of Lagrange, KY (now $.5M homes). I would do farm chores: tend chickens and cattle, and help Pop maintain fences and barns. Also fish in the ponds, wade in the creek, build obstacle courses in the hayloft, and otherwise goof-off. My impressions from those years:
  1. Chickens are dumb as bricks; have no personalities; and deserve to be eaten (I have no clue where PETA gets their allegation that chickens are as smart as cats or dogs ?!?!?).
  2. Likewise for cows.
One of those things, when theory departs from experience and practice in the real world, bullshit quotient has a way of going up, up, up -- not surprising in the least.

Other recent e-mails:

Currently listening to The Time Jumpers 2 disc live CD "Jumpin' Time". 11 piece Texas Swing band composed of Nashville studio musicians, unbelievable pedal steel guitar player John Hughey. This will be mostly 4 stars.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

And The Winner Is ...

Science Fiction, tagged in 54/106 blog posts. A close second was Music, with 49 references. A sizeable drop to a tie for 3rd/4th: antitheism and cognitive science with 34. Rounding out the top 5: evolution with 29.

So as was doing the tagging, I was reminded of the project I had my boys working on in 2000, as the .com bubble was bursting and we had no paying projects: an intelligent online diary. It would parse your entries into "thoughts" and create a knowledge base of them. A product called I thought "Thought-Tracker" was doing some of it, googling it now gives hits to something that looks completely different, an open-source project more web-based. One of those guys wound up later getting a job at BBN based on references to natural language processing (NLP) in his resume which were from his work on this project. The same guy was responsible for the entry UI, and thinks he is totally fucking hilarious when he gives me a demonstration of Personal Information Management Program (PIMP).

Anyway, thoughts on what I would like blogger to be able to do re tagging:

  • Music was way ahead until I finished tagging the real old entries. So a graph of # of tag references per time period would be interesting. It would let one know how their interests had changed over the life of the blog?
  • Seemed like certain topics came in clusters. It would be nice to be able to generate correlation coefficients for all pairs of tags and report on those that are indeed correlated.
  • It would be nice if it would auto-tag all proper nouns.
  • And, upon 1st reference to a proper noun, say Charles Stross, it could google for it and present a list of links, such that all references use that link, say to Charles' web site.
  • Or, it could always check wikipedia (or your profile-specified choice) for the proper noun and make the default link.
  • Maybe have two levels of tags, abstract (what I entered) and concrete (for the proper nouns)?
Biked 31 miles today in 2h40m, 2 breaks, from 9:40a to 12:20. Walked yesterday morning from 9:30a to 10:30. Temperature was only mid-80's both times, but I guess it was the humidity making it brutally muggy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

HuhHuhHuhHuh ...

Quoting my friend Patrick, who sent me this totally semiotically ambiguous piece of (I think) antitheism.

Last weekend we had a cousins' reunion in Louisvile, 18/20 of us (my mother's side of the family) represented. My baby sister, who reads this blog, mentioned how mean I sound sometimes, when in person, I am of course a sweetie-pie. Well, I still think celebrating the deaths' of conservative reactionary assholes is not inappropriate. I probably wouldn't do it in person tho. I am sure their families love them despite their inhumanity.

Meanwhile, in response to an e-mail I received re the last post, I believe we can begin to formulate "The Dumbass's Rules of Internet Etiquette":

  1. Drinking and online shopping is a Bad Idea.
  2. Drinking and blogging, on the other hand, is A-OK!
The Les Paul came Saturday (we were in Louisville, Fedex left it on the front porch ?!?!?), and is absolutely beautiful -- I've decided to name it "Black Beauty" -- antique black with gold trim and all the hardware gold -- way too pimp to take out in public.

Here's a picture (and you can Click toZoom).

It's been a real bummer for the last month or so tho. I'm getting arthritis in all the big toe/thumb joints (started ~ 1 year ago), and my left thumb has been killing me lately -- both joints swollen and hurting, playing guitar ascerbates. Getting into a doctor soon. I'm hoping it's gout (too much rich food and drinking), they have drugs for that. Meanwhile, I've decided I will take this opportunity to learn to finally play slide decently -- you don't use your left thumb there. In the past, I've tried to play slide for 2-3 minutes and sucked so bad I've given up. I've played slide a few times lately, stuck with it, getting better. Lots of sustain on the tube screamer helps. I was playing last weekend with my 14 YO nephew who's just started, but who I think has the touch to be a good guitarist -- he plays with fuzz all the time. Rule of thumb for beginners (including me on slide): fuzz-tone good.

I played downtown yesterday (4th of July) with G.Busy for 3 songs. My playing sucked, from lack of practice due to the fucking thumb. But singing and band-leading were OK, and of course I had fun.

New music:

  1. Amy Winehouse, "Back to Black" -- from my youngest daughter, who didn't like Joss Stone, but likes this. This comes across as a totally late 60's motown record. So, with Joss Stone and Jamie Lidell, another Brit making totally kick-ass retro R&B music. 4 stars.
  2. The Kinks, "Preservation Act I" -- playing now, goddamn Ray Davies could write songs. I think that I am going to be forced to give this 4 stars, despite the degree of stiltedness that comes from this being a concept album.
Finished reading "River of Gods" by Ian McDonald. Subtitle "August 15, 2047 - Happy Birthday, India". 4 stars, but -- it kept bugging me, this novel is basically "Neuromancer" on steroids, in India 2047. AI's trying to free themselves, with Krishna Cops instead of the Turing Police. Plus, it violated my heuristic of 100 pages per narrative thread -- 600 pages for 9 narrative threads. But, they started merging with maybe 200 pages to go, so not horrible, but it left some threads hanging at the end. Still, a real page turner, very enjoyable.

Biked 25 miles in 2 hours last Sunday, no cool birds.