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It's time to take this bull by the horns and milk it.

Thoughts and observations of an Enneagram Type 7 INFP Beatles fan. I prefer baths to showers, late nights to early mornings, cats to dogs, and Mary Ann. The perfect blog for all featherless bipeds.

Gooblek is a 2-to-1 suspension of cornstarch in water. It acts like a liquid if you move it slowly, but a solid if you hit it or squeeze it. Click below for info on Asparagus Pee.

Asparagus Pee?

Winning the War?

Boning up on Stem Cell Research

A War on What?

See Ya in the Funny Papers!

New "Republican Values" Ad over at MoveOn

Great Performances - Tchaikovsky No. 4

Heh, Heh, Heh. She said...

The Wisdom of Crowds - But is it Art?

This Isn't Supposed to Be a Trick Question!

The Mailbox Police Finally Caught Up to Us!

Jazzed about Mraz

Radio Programming by Natural Selection

Running for the School Board

Good News for Family Guy Fans


Blogger Knowledge

Reverse Speech Presidential Elections 2004

Telegraph | News | Alcohol sharpens your brain, say researchers

Will Ferrell - A message from White House West

My Daily Nature Walk

Skeptics Society - Francis Crick Obit

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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Winning the War?

It appears that Mr. Bush has taken back the only reasonable thing he's said in recent memory, that he didn't think you could win a war on terror.

"Terrorism" is a process, an attitude, a verb — it's not a sovereign entity or a specific person.

Yes, you can and should make it more difficult for things like 9/11 to happen, and we need to capture Osama, but all it takes is a handful of crazy individuals to slip through the cracks.

Didn't we learn anything from the Vietnam guerrillas? How can you stop individuals like snipers from taking pot-shots opportunistically using massive organized force?

To mix metaphors, there will always be bad apples with sour grapes. How can going over unilaterally and blowing up stuff in their countries of origin at incredible cost in dollars, lives, and international opinion possibly help? It's all about people, ideas, and money — let's use them wisely.

Friday, August 27, 2004
Boning up on Stem Cell Research

The best article I've seen on the guy with the new jawbone is Jaw transplant allows man to chew after nine years - New Scientist, but this one has a picture.

Thursday, August 26, 2004
See Ya in the Funny Papers!

Click for full cartoon in all its glory.There was a cartoon in the Auburn Journal a few days ago, and I believe there is a tiny but exciting little caricature of me in it.

New "Republican Values" Ad over at MoveOn

True Republican ValuesOver at MoveOn, they've got a pretty good new ad about "True Republican Values". Check it out.

Great Performances - Tchaikovsky No. 4

Go to Keeping Score: MTT on Music at PBS.orgI stayed up late to watch a very cool show on PBS - it was conductor Michael Tilson Thomas going through the details of how the San Francisco Symphony prepares to play a piece like Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. When he talks about his feelings on how certain passages should be interpretted, the passion he feels for the music is awesome and obvious.

I've always liked that piece, and I've had a soft spot for MTT ever since I saw him conduct when I was a student 22 years ago at Iowa State - I think he was with the Los Angeles Symphony back then.

They're playing the show again this afternoon at 4:00, so we're taping it. You can find out all about it here: Great Performances . Keeping Score: MTT on Music - there's a well done Flash presentation there as well that's worth playing with that includes an interactive score of one of the movements.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Heh, Heh, Heh. She said...

So I'm talking with The Lady Janet this morning about my campaign for the local school board, and I said, "You know, maybe we should both just vote for these other two people and forget it," and she said, "Let's wait and see. I'm still planning to vote for you unless you're splitting off this other person's vote and you're a Nader." (Heh, heh, heh. She said "urinator.")

Monday, August 23, 2004
The Wisdom of Crowds - But is it Art?

At my office, I subscribe to a moderated listserv forum hosted by the Audio Publishers Association. There was a thread going about abridgement, and one of the participants, Barry Marks, wrote a broad response about art and the realities of the marketplace that I found surprisingly insightful, so I've asked Barry's permission to use his essay as a guest column. Please take a moment to read But Is It Art?.

This Isn't Supposed to Be a Trick Question!

This just in from today's Poll:

Results of a poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland released on Friday indicate that 54% of Americans believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Evidence of such weapons has not been found. (AP)

Do you think that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or a program to develop WMD, before the United States invaded last year?

Yes 62% => 8296 votes
No 33% => 4423 votes
I'm not sure 3% => 475 votes
I don't care 0% => 93 votes
Current number of voters: 13287
© *The Excite Poll is provided by Rosner Interactive Services. It is a voluntary poll for our users, and is not scientifically projectable to any other population. We present these polls to give Excite users an opportunity to share their opinions on particular topics. Individual answers are not collected.

I wasn't aware that this was a trick question - did 62% of the people who took this poll overlook that last line that says "Evidence of such weapons has not been found."? If the Bush Administration could find even a shred of evidence, they'd be all over it. Is this mass hysteria, mass hypnosis, or am I missing something?

Sunday, August 22, 2004
The Mailbox Police Finally Caught Up to Us!

Click for bigger...This is the amazing mailbox that The Lady Janet constructed for us to hold all the big stacks of mail and catalogs we get almost every day. It's been our mailbox for over 8 years now, and it's perfect - it almost always holds it all, it matches our house perfectly, it's very sturdy, it's well-made, and it's cuter than a bug's ear, even if the bug's crawling on a kitten who looks perplexed.

But now our new mailman has decided that despite years of flawlessly enjoyable mail delivery and receipt, it comes up short on several counts of USPS standards for what constitutes a mailbox, and we've received a form asking us to correct the problems. Brother.

If we don't ignore it, or they pursue it, we need to provide a door and a flag and make it waterproof. Stay tuned...

Jazzed about Mraz

Jason MrazOK, I'm jazzed, I admit it. I'm a huge Jason Mraz fan, and on August 31st, Dave Matthews Band is closing for Jason Mraz at the Sleeptrain Amphitheater, and we're going. It's been a bit of a challenge already because our only child started kindergarten last week, so it's the first time we've had to deal with "going out on a school night." This is also the first "real" concert we've tried to go to since we got stuck in traffic and missed the first half of Pink Floyd at the Oakland Colliseum, circa 1991, so I'm gonna be there and heaven help anyone who tries to stand in our way.

I'm also a bit peeved at Ticketmaster or Sleeptrain or Dave or whoever is responsible for the fact that when I ordered tickets a month ago, they didn't have any good seats, so I paid less for crappy seats up behind "Nosebleed" in the "Egypt" section of the lawn, and now they have a block of good seats up in the "Behind the People with Connections" section but there's no way to trade up now that they're bought and paid for.

If you've got Winamp, there are some great live videos of Jason Mraz in their media library, like this live solo version of You and I Both. If you don't have Winamp, it's non-evil and free, so it's probably worth your while to download it now.

Friday, August 20, 2004
Radio Programming by Natural Selection

You really know how to push my buttons...Last week I had some work done on my car that involved removing the battery, so I lost the programming for my radio buttons. Rather than trying to remember or look up all of the frequencies, I'm experimenting with a new system - natural selection.

Here's how it works:

There are six buttons. The last button never changes because I'm too aware that 107.9 "The End" is the best station in Sacramento for a compromise between my tastes, what I can tolerate, and the crap that actually gets played, and since it's really the last station before it cycles around, it makes sense to keep it the last button. It's been there for years, and it just feels like "home."

The other five buttons are completely flexible - if they play something I hate, or they talk too long, or too many DJ's are talking at once, I just hit scan until I hear something I like and I reprogram that button. I don't even try to determine what the station is or whether it already exists on another button.

Using this system, I've already been pleasantly surprised a couple of times by what came up. One day in a freak accident, I actually programmed a button for the local Christian Rock station, but that was quickly corrected by stations higher up the food chain. By the way, I don't think "Christian Rock" is an oxymoron. People like Phil Keaggy and Larry Norman have done some really fantastic stuff.

Running for the School Board

No, really, I'm excited!This is a quick update on my campaign for a seat as a Governing Board Member for the local elementary school district. I'm really doing this. My name will be on the same ballot as Bush and Kerry when we go to the polls here in Auburn this November. It cost $330 to give myself a "shout-out" in the back of the sample ballot, and I had to swear before a notary public that I'd uphold the constitutions of the United States and the state of California, forsaking all enemies.

As it happens, there are seven people vying for two seats in this race, which is pretty much unprecedented. You can read all about it in this article from the local paper that appeared yesterday: Financial Issues Key in Auburn Union Race. In this article, I play the part of Christopher Benson.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Good News for Family Guy Fans

Here at Asparagus Pee, we've been aware for some time now that Fox is planning to bring back Family Guy next year, but they're really bringing it home now with Family Guy "mini-marathons," so tonight I get to watch 4 old episodes back-to-back! See, Fox isn't totally evil. Here's the official scoop: Family Guy on Fox.

By the way, it's OK that I'm falling for their evil plot to lure us away from the Olympics - we'll most likely be taping both networks on our two VCRs anyway.

I'm curious... can you do that with a TiVo?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Asparagus Pee LinksGot a bunch of old links piled up, so I won't give sources - just assume the usual suspects...

Blogger Knowledge

There's a cute article based on Lynne Truss's book Eats, Shoots & Leaves over on the Blogger Knowledge site called Eats, Blogs & Leaves.

Friday, August 06, 2004
Reverse Speech Presidential Elections 2004

www.reversespeech.comI'm not sure if this is interesting or not, but it's semi-amusing to me in that well-doggoneit-if-these-conspiracy-guys-aren't-bending-over-way-too-far-trying-to-find-some-kooky-stuff-to-believe sort of way: Reverse Speech Presidential Elections 2004

Apparently, these folks believe you can tell more about a candidate's true intentions by listening to what they say backwards.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Telegraph | News | Alcohol sharpens your brain, say researchers

Interesting new study reported in The Telegraph: Alcohol sharpens your brain, say researchers.

Monday, August 02, 2004
Will Ferrell - A message from White House West

I'm not the President, but I play one on TV.

If you like Will Ferrell and/or you don't like George Bush, this is pretty amusing: Will Ferrell - A message from White House West.

Sunday, August 01, 2004
My Daily Nature Walk

I'm on a new health kick that involves, among other things, eating and sleeping better, drinking a lot less, and going for a walk every morning before work. One of my many blessings is living near the edge of the American River Canyon in Northern California, and my walk takes me from my house, where there's no view whatsoever and the deer never hang around, about two blocks away to a neighborhood in an abandoned olive orchard that has great views of the canyon, and lots of casual wildlife milling about.

Day before yesterday, I startled a pair of deer, a buck and a doe, so yesterday, I took my digital camera with me and snapped a few candids of some wild turkeys (Mmmm... Wild Turkey™) that were just kinda hangin' out, and some sunflowers that were really tough to sneak up on.

Click the pics below for the larger images:

Momma turkey with her chick
Momma T w/Chick
5 turkeys all in a row
5 In a Row
3 turkeys up close
3 Turkeys
3 turkeys facing the other way
About Face!
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Skeptics Society - Francis Crick Obit

So, DNA, we meet at last...I've just learned via e-news from the Skeptics Society that Nobel Prize-winner Francis Crick, well known as the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, passed away last Wednesday at the age of 88. Michael Shermer's written up a nice obituary over on his Skeptics Society website.

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