30 September 2010

Making good choices

This from an acquaintance down in San Diego:

If you live down here, or are familiar with San Diego, this might really hit home.. My friend found a purse in PB. He looked around for some form of identification, but found a to-do list instead. Sadly it could belong to any number of girls who live here. Just paying it forward.

29 September 2010

Not exactly the example I would use, but...

I edited this slightly for readability.

scottley: fuck i don't want to go to class today. hot in the class room.
scottley: there's an OCD/autistic kid in there.
scottley: i took his seat last week
scottley: on accident
scottley: he wasn't angry or anything
me: yeah but he needs his spot
scottley: he just walked back and forth in front of my desk 3 or 4 times
scottley: "oh wow! wow. i guess today i'll sit on this side. oh man. yeah, i'll sit over here. wow. oh wow. way to the left today. okay. okay. i'll sit over here."
scottley: he wanders the computer science department talking to himself
scottley: leans way over to kids sitting on their lap top to see what they're doing on the computer in the hallways
scottley: The other day, professor was talking about algorithms, how different processors in a distributed computing system communicate, send messages
scottley: in one algorithm, a message is sent by a processor to another saying essentially "OK, i've received your messages, stop sending them because i don't want connection with you anymore, i'm using this other processor"
me: hahaaaaaaaaaaa

Load-testing the speakers with Mumford & Sons "The Cave"

This song is apparently about Homer's Odyssey. At least in part. Other parts, I don't know. But I like it.

For something similarly poppy and inspirational, I recommend the song Sigh No More. Actually I recommend you try out the entire record, but that's me.

28 September 2010

You are not the customer, you are the sucker

My health coverage costs are going up (again), due in part to several 'very large claims' filed by other Fremulon employees. Seriously. It gets back to one of my favorite jokes about health insurance, which is that it's great as long as you don't get sick. I wish I were kidding.

Anyway, the problems with the industry, and the system as a whole, are wonderfully articulated in this article, called "How American Health Care Killed My Father", by David Goldhill. The essay summarizes nicely all the different ways in which the current 'health care' system fails the people that use it. In the process, it makes a lot of people a very large amount of money.

The important thing to understand is that you are not the customer in your doctor-patient transaction, and as such, you have no leverage. Another important thing to understand is that people in the business of making money on your transaction will fight bitterly to prevent you from having any choice (e.g. leverage) or transparency in the transaction. The final, and most important thing of all to understand is the position of the 'health care' industry in re: you the patient, which is: go fuck yourself.

The good news is that Obama, et. al. has signed all of America up for a system that is quite obviously broken and will bankrupt the country. So that's fun.

Where from here? Nowhere. As long as some people are making piles of money, what incentive do they have to change the system? The whole thing will have to collapse before we see any change at all, if ever.


Props to Big Cheese for sending me the original article, and also to Ze Newbs for discussing with me while we were in Barcelona and Sevilla (he had read it separately because he has a subscription or something - he's highbrow like that).

27 September 2010

Quilting is hard (or so I'm told)

I've been told that quilting is hard. I have no idea, but this is cool. Because it's a color wheel, but also a blanket.

I bet it would be hard to get all those seams to line up right.

Pithy social commentary and travelogue coming later this week. With pictures, hopefully.

Thanks, DDC.

24 September 2010


Don't care if you've already seen this.
I loved it.

Not sure if I eat it, or it eats me

Is this awesome? Or just terrifying?
mmm... cake.

From me to you, via the internet

You'll have to click to embiggen.
Thanks, cool material.

sooo... that happened

If you hadn't heard, the teaparty.org website got hacked by 4chan, and they had (are having?) some fun with it. 4chan is best described as everything that sucks and is awesome about the internet, distilled into its purest essence. They don't pull punches over there.

Their main deal on teaparty.org is to redirect the photos to images already on 4chan, which gives you the result shown at right.

I laughed.

Thanks, boing-boing.

Is this some kind of intervention?

Just got back from a very long 2 week vacation (more on that in a bit). It was excessive. After going out 14 nights in a row I decided I'd take a break from the booze. So imagine my surprise when I got this incorrectly(??) addressed email in my Inbox.

Coincidence, or is someone trying to tell me something?

to[redacted, but how did they get my email address? was it an accident? or something more calculated... dun dun DUNNN]
dateWed, Sep 22, 2010 at 9:22 AM
subjectRe: Enquiry from pachills website
Sep 22 (2 days ago)

Dear Colin, [not me but apparently has an email address similar to mine. or maybe it is me??]

Thank you for your interest in Pacific Hills.
We have different pricing depending on the program, length of stay, location, insurance, etc... Please call me direct: 949.973.9153. [949 area code = it's in my neighborhood. coincidence? perhaps not...]
In the meantime, while the majority of Pacific Hills’ marketing material is on the website (www.pachills.com), I have provided a brief summary below:

* Pacific Hills has been in business for over 18 years providing short and long-term gender specific treatment programs.
* We offer a dual-diagnosis program, which means that we employ psychiatrists to help bring to the surface the mental health side of each individual’s addiction.
* We offer a Christ-based program of recovery, in addition to a traditional 12-step ‘AA-type” recovery program. Of course, there is a significant amount of overlap between the two programs.

We are also a National referral company and if our treatment center is not the right fit, I will be happy to help you find the best program possible for you.
Thank you and God bless you!
Kindly, Terri

Terri Chaney
Crisis Response Counselor
Pacific Hills Treatment Center
Recovery Options

On 9/22/10 8:55 AM, "> wrote:

Name :Colin [wtf?]
Phone Number  :N.A.
E-Mail : [redacted again, and not me, i promise]
Comment :cost for 90 day alcohol

20 September 2010

sevilla was awesome, made it to madrid

Sevilla was awesome. More details on that later. And photos, if you´re into mediocre photos of cool places taken with an inadequate camera by a below-aveage photogapher. Because if you´re into that, i´ve got just the thing for you.

Made it to Madrid. It´s nice here, got a much more big-city feel than sevilla, perhaps because it´s a much bigger city. The sights are world class, and the food is good. Biggest difference between the outrageously hot girls in Sevilla (of which there are many) and Madrid (similarly many) is that while the Sevilla girls tend to smile, the Madrid girls tend to walk around with an insouciant big-city pout.

Visted the worlds largest open-air market yesterday. It is huge. it´s mostly a flea market full of junk, but it was fun to walk through and check out block after block of crowded merchant tents. You can buy just about anything there except food, because the food vendors that are already on the streets complained. Got a couple pictures of that, too.

They finished up the Vuelta de Espana in downtown madrid yesterday. I took a break from my busy afternoon of taking sun in the park to watch some of that. Third largest tour in the world, besides Tour de France and the Giro d Italia. So it was a big deal. They shut down the downtown for half the day. Tens of thousands in the streets, etc, etc.That was cool.  The peloton is a sight to behold. They go very, very fast and ride very, very close together.

I´ve been gone a long time and I´m ready to come home. Past ready, even.
thanks for reading.

15 September 2010

Sevilla > Barcelona (image unrelated)

Just my early opinion. I´ll know more in a couple days. In the interim, the comic is so bad it´s good.

hat tip to regular reader scott for the tip.
more later.

14 September 2010


leaving barcelona tomorrow and i don´t know if I´m just exhausted from so much sightseeing or limited sleep but i will not miss it. at all.

not sure what all the fuss is about here. the sights are pretty good but it´s very spread out and everything is a pain in the ass. it took me four and a half hours to get dinner last night. seriously. and we took a taxi to the restaurant to 'save´ time. think about that - four and a half hours. 60 minutes to get to a restaurant, hour of waiting, hour and half for dinner, and a half hour walk home. the taxi ride was only about 15 minutes but we spent the next 45 minutes walking around the old quarter trying to find it. believe me when i tell you that barca is not an easy city to get around in if you don´t know where you´re going. street signs? illegible, if you can find them. street layout? not too bad in the newer parts but utterly impossible in the old quarter. never have i wanted an iphone or gps device more than last night.

my friend sonia said that she did one bike tour here and spent the rest of the time on the beach. i think that makes a lot of sense, having seen the city.

the sights are very good (sagrada familia, and the art) but since the city is so big it´s very spread out. be prepared to do a LOT of walking. i should have done more walking practice before i came here. i´m in decent gym shape but not in practical walking shape and it´s been tough on me to drag my ass around for hours every day. They have a tube system and although it´s easier to get around, it´s not any faster. so if you want to get somewhere in a reasonable time you´re better off on foot for most of it.

i am sure there is some cool stuff here but i haven´t been able to find it. and it´s not for lack of looking, since i´ve been walking all over the city. the cathedrals and buildings are great when you finally get there. the food is overrated, but the beaches are nice.

highlight of beach time yesterday was the completely naked man walking around. not only did not have any clothes on, he didn´t have any clothes at hand, so he was just strolling, sitting, rinsing, showering, and lounging in the nude. barca is euro in that tops are optional (i´d say about half the women go topless when sunbathing), but naked guy? he was the only one. he was in no hurry to go find some pants though. he walked through all the beach traffic, got in the water, went and had a lie-down on the chaise lounge, cruised to the showers on the main walkway for a rinse off, and came back for another lie down / sit-with-head-in-hands. sometimes when you´re tasting it on a barca beach completely naked you just have to take a few minutes and refocus.  note that this this all took about 2 hours, but at no point did the lounge-rental guy ever try and charge him for the lounge rental. zach and i agreed this was sound policy, because if he has money, where is he keeping it?

internet time just about up. hope you are well wherever you are.
next update from Sevilla or thereabouts.
thanks for reading.

13 September 2010

Live from Barçelona

not much time and foreign keyboard is throwing off my game but so far so good.
london was outstanding but i need a vacation from my vacation. long nights out followed by long days sightseeing. great times.

barçelona is good so far. and warm weather means i spent my afternoon sunning at the coast. on the mediterranean. sights are as advertised, and by that i mean they are both epic and awesome.

okay more later when i get to an interweb cafe.

07 September 2010

London / Barcelona / Sevilla / Madrid: see you there

Lincoln said, and it was later relayed to me, that it's 'not the years in your life, but the life in your years'. That might sound cliche and tired to you, but it speaks to me, and it's one of the reasons I planned this trip. 

Juuust about to head down to the airport and catch my flight overseas (waiting on my ride), and, if I'm honest, I'm pretty effing pumped about it.

Wanted to get the word out about my current favorite jam. I've been wearing this one out the past couple weeks. This is it:

Julian Casablancas - Out of the Blue

And I was introduced to this just today: Mumsford and Sons - Little Lion Man

Next post is from Foreign Lands. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.

02 September 2010

If historical events had a facebook feed

You will have to click to embiggen this, but I promise it's worth it. Using the image straight from coolmaterial.com, so go there and click through if you want to check out that website.

01 September 2010

The Wilderness Downtown - interactive fun

I don't have chrome (tried it, didn't like it, went back to firefox), and I don't have time to close all tabs and windows, and my address didn't have enough data for the full 'experience', but this was still cool:


You'll need speakers and a robust video card, but it's worth it.