I suspect my family will try to forge my name on a document giving my consent to sell some property. I want to leave a record that I do not wish to sign my name to that document authorizing a sale.
"Keep America Beautiful - kill yourself."
It's funny how other memes are presaged in the Rockford Files. In one episode, Rockford waterboarded a guy to get him to confess. Not literally waterboarded using a board and pouring water over him, but by pushing him back into a pool when he knew the guy couldn't swim.
In another episode ("There's One In Every Port"), a character (Steve Landesburg from Barney Miller) who has a skin rash says the doctor's going to put him on steroids if it continues. So steroids have been around in the popular consciousness since the 1970s at least.
In "The Trees, The Bees, and T.T. Flowers", a police negotiator remarks how many use the "suicide by cop" method. He doesn't use those exact words but the meme is present.
It's also interesting seeing the cars in the episodes. Some of the smaller ones, like Civics and Accords, foreshadow the modern SmartCar. You also see Gremlins and Pacers!
I was coming out of some large arena where there had been a political gathering, or other large gathering of people. I was with Jim and Dan. We were energized, running through a parking lot. It was raining.
I saw an old Conservative man with large wire-frame glasses. It looked like George Bush Sr. (Herbert Walker Bush). He was muttering something, standing near a big puddle, figuring out a path through it that would get him the least wet. I yelled at him as we passed, something like: "Why do you want to keep all the money locked up, hoarded away? Give it to us, we'll spend your money! We'll spend it for you, if you're not going to! It'll be good for all of us..." Something like that. I was making eye contact with him and could see that I held his attention; that he was entertained by me, and was not dismissing what I was saying outright. He seemed to be actually considering my arguments!
Jim, Dan and I continued running, leaving the old people (including the one I'd been talking to) far behind. Now we were in a mall, still running.
I said something like "Did you see that? I was getting to him!"
Dan said, very negatively, "He was getting angry, too."
I had been feeling bouyant, energetic, exhilerated. Now I felt that Dan was trying to crush me. It was plain to me that I had made a good impression on the old conservative; I had advanced an argument and he had seriously considered it. But Dan wasn't going to see it my way. He saw it rather as me offending some old powerful rich guy.
Dan was so sure about his interpretation. I realized (perhaps just after waking up) how large was the barrier I was trying to overcome: there was such a strong psychological prejudice against me, it interprets anything I do negatively. In the eyes of those who know me (Jim, Dan), everything I do is discounted, dismissed as ineffectual. I had been making inroads in challenging the political philosophy of the Old Conservative; but in Dan's eyes I had merely offended him.
Day residue: It's been raining. In Coursera's "Think Again: How to reason and argue" class, I posted a description of how to do syllogisms with logicagent, but it was ignored. Many were asking for help on syllogisms and I think my program can provide some insight into how to determine the validity of hypothetical syllogisms; but they responded positively only to those linking to other textbooks and verbal explanations on the web, not to interactive programs that attempt to automate the syllogism...
When I woke up, I was hot. I had to uncover myself and get up, my body felt so warm.
Beju, beloved lovebird, died on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. He was 13 years and 10 months old.
Pictures: http://i.imgur.com/rzmAIh.jpg Bej and Blue outside, this summer, after a bath. Beju has the red face.
http://i.imgur.com/Va3JJh.jpg (from the other side)
The name Beju stood for Baby Junior. His father's name was Baby.
Beju and his mate Blue had many many babies. They were a veritable egg factory, and excellent parents, for quite a few years; their offspring are spread throughout Seattle. Blue became egg-bound a couple years ago and we had to take her to the vet; after that she stopped laying. Tracie says they continued mating up until last week at least
I found him face up in the sink. His feet were in a perching position, as if he had been sitting on the curtain above the sink's window, then fallen.
His eyes were open. His mouth was open, but not making any movement. He was limp when I picked him up.
I put him in a towel, and called Tracie.
After Tracie got home, she held him and showed him to the other lovebirds, to Betty and Princess and Blue. They chirped at him, coming very close, as if trying to wake him up. (I think of the lamentations in the background of Armstrong's second version of "Oh Didn't He Ramble" linked below, where one guy says "Please come back.") Blue preened him and kissed his beak and nipped at his feet.
His eyes closed. But then later they were open. It was strange; perhaps he was paralyzed, not yet dead? When I first found him his eyes had a glazed-over look, but later they had lost that. But then one eye became dented, caved inward. The other eye remained shiny and glossy as I looked into it, talking to him.
We used to say "Bej - cage" to get him to go back in his cage after he'd been out for a while. He understood, and would go back. Sometimes it took him a little while, if he wanted to fly free some more. Later I convinced Tracie to leave all the birds' cages open all the time. Beju and Blue still chose to spend most of their time in their cage
In the last year or so, his beak started growing very long, and we would get it trimmed at the vet. Then Tracie learned to trim it; she would take him in the bathroom and cut his beak with nail clippers when it got so long it started interfering with his ability to eat. I remember once I was outside, and she raised the bathroom window to show him to me, and me to him. He looked out with curiosity, also looking a little flustered because he'd just undergone a beak trim.
I remember many times looking at him in the eyes for a while as he sat in his favorite spot up high in one corner of his cage, until he slowly closed his eyes. That's how I knew he was okay, content, calm; he was also indicating, I think, acceptance of me.
A musical tribute: http://subbot.org/misc/music/ramble.mp3
In the second chorus I tried to imitate the feel of rapid lovebird chirps. I also screwed up the intro a little at 0:07, the second chorus at 1:07; and it gets pretty ragged in the third chorus where I tried to pull out all the stops.
Kid Ory's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbXzcKX4f20
Louis Armstrong's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yueotDgmgw - note the tempo speed-up, something I was trying to do on the last chorus of my version.
Another Armstrong version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzkCeWBuTv8 ; I meant to throw in the little phrase Louis does at 3:29-3:30, but I forgot. (This is the version with the band member in the background pleading, "Please come back".)
In the comments to the last video, acousticjass says the intro is "Flee as a bird", a typical New Orleans dirge; fitting. Here's Armstrong's Flee as a bird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP2nCJXkGKA
I ran across a 20-year-old photograph of me, a girl I used to date, and a flaming gay guy standing at Jimi's grave in Greenwood Cemetery in Renton: http://i.imgur.com/4fKglh.jpg. (I'm in the jean jacket.) The inscription on the back of the photograph says "Van, Julie, and me - 1992".
We're standing at about the same place as the kids in the first photo on this site: http://jetcityorange.com/seattle/jimi-hendrix-grave/, but the camera angle is different. The trees in the background show that the spot is the same though.
For what it's worth, I agree with the guy on the linked site: the old old gravesite was classier in its simplicity.
I think I was just getting into heroin in those days. I was later to use that girl ("Julie") as a justification for progressing towards becoming a full-fledged junkie, after she broke up with me
In the picture, I'm leaning a bit to my right, towards the girl, indicating perhaps that I had gotten out of balance. I'm trying to correct for it by tilting my smile upwards to the right. The result, as I look at it now, is a bemused expression, a little sceptical of the girl, but still giving her the benefit of the doubt. I look straight into the camera, my eyes communicating some kind of ironical feeling. I'm carrying a folded-up blue umbrella, and a paper bag. Was there weed in it?!?
Some of those times are coming back to me now. Van (the gay guy laughing with Julie) knew a lot of clubs on Capitol Hill that we went to. Julie worked as a publicist or something for some band like the Temptations that played the Edgewater one night that I went to with her. We had a kind of a whirlwind grunge romance that ended abruptly, pushing me into a deep depression that I self-medicated with heroin. Those were the times of BBSes and her roommate James was one of the proto-trolls on Chat Chat Chat, one of the popular Seattle boards. His nick was "Prince Valium". I'm remembering now, we met online, and then met up because she wanted to get some weed. Buster Bunny, Cavedweller-Ratking, the Shadow, Elf were some other original trolls from that time that taught me a lot about how to have fun online
Hendrix would have been 70 this November 27th...
http://subbot.org/misc/music/ bluemonk-honkytonk.wav or
At about 18 to 19.5 seconds, I got that hump in the bass that I want all the time. Again, for a beat, at 27.
Trying to do it at the tempo of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmhP1RgbrrY
Screwed up at 17.5, played a G instead of an F in the melody. Concentrating on getting the bass riff that Monk does in that clip...
Also maybe pushed the beat a little, unintentionally, around 10.
I just woke from a dream. I was with three other guys, we were playing at various things. There was sex-play, which after waking up bothers me because of the homosexual nature of it. But anyway, in the dream we were horsing around. Two went off someplace. The third was located among some bushes in rocky soil. I was curious and went to where this guy was. In the dream, I liked this guy, felt comfortable around him, didn't feel awkward getting physically close to him.
He was engaged in doing something to what seemed like a rock, a small boulder, close to a foot in length it looked like. What was he doing? Playing with it? Trying to break it apart? He was concentrating on it, doing something to it with his hands, holding it at the same time.
Somehow my attention became directed to lower ground, a few hundred feet away, where there was a car - our car, it was clear to me - surrounded by figures in white with white hoods (possibly turbans? Day residue: Sikhs were in the news, victims of an armed attack, so I'd seen video of men wearing white turbans the day before...).
It was unclear what they were doing. The car they were surrounding was our car. Did they think we were in it?
Then I woke up. After waking up, the thought occurred: the guy I was with, that I thought was fiddling with a rock, was about to blow up the car. He had laid an ambush and was going to kill the people who wanted to attack us. The rock was some kind of detonator.
In the dream, I hadn't had this thought. It was only after I was awake that it came into my consciousness.
How did my brain construct that dream? How was my character in the dream unaware of the trick, the ambush being laid for the attackers? Who was my character in the dream, was it my conscious brain? Was my unconscious telling the story, letting my dream character go along not realizing what was really happening?
Or was my post-dream realization that a trap was being laid, an ex-post-facto explanation, some kind of conscious attempt to rationalize the nonsensical events of the dream...
I was considering buying it. Here are some pictures: http://imgur.com/a/OGWVw
The dealer gave me 48 hours to drive it and make my final decision. I didn't like the stereo; it didn't have a good bass response, even with bass turned all the way up and "middle" and "treble" ranges turned to -10. The stereo is very important to me as I spend a lot of time on the freeway, and like to listen to music. It didn't give me enough volume to listen to the Louis Armstrong CDs, and the static was much more noticeable than on my old Corolla's sound system. I took it to Car Toys and asked them for an estimate; they gave me a ridiculous quote of $2275 or something. One guy said the Corolla has bigger speakers in the back, and the acoustics of the car is better. Anyway I decided I couldn't live with that stock stereo in the Kia.
It's a shame, because otherwise it was a great car, fun to drive, got decent gas mileage, had enough room. The major other issue I had with it was that the rear seats didn't fold down flat. I tried to sleep in it one night but the incline was too uncomfortable. Why couldn't they make the back seats fold down flat?
I liked the rear tinted windows, and the bluetooth phone connectivity. The visibility wasn't so good looking backwards; the rear windows are small so even headchecks don't give a full view. Also the side mirrors were kind of triangular, pointed at the edges, which also reduced the visibility. I think I could have gotten used to that though.
There were also some spots on the trim that didn't rub off, maybe oil. And the front hood had a ding in it which I pointed out to them before taking it on the extended drive, and which they promised to fix for free.
But I ended up deciding to unwind the deal. If I'm going to spend $21k, I want to get everything I want; and that includes a good sound system (at least as good as the Corolla's!), and rear seats that fold down flat.
They didn't hassle me about backing out of the deal. They just looked disappointed. Oh well.
Afterwards I felt sad, driving the old 2000 Corolla. All that dealing with salespeople had gotten me accustomed to interacting with other humans, and I felt lonely by myself, despite my music.
I stopped by the upper Snoqualmie River, and put on my swim trunks. Then the sun went behind some clouds. I waded in up to my thighs, then decided it was too cold and got out. The bottom was very muddy in that spot, and my sandals were getting sucked into it. It was hard to walk.
I drove to another spot, and went for a jog along the Snoqualmie Valley trail. I found a path leading through the brambles leading to the river. This bank was rocky instead of muddy. I waded in. Again I got cold and was going to get out. Then I decided to splash water on my arms. Then I washed my face. Then I stood about waist deep and plunged myself in. It felt so good I did it a couple more times. The river at this spot was faster. There was a small island across maybe a 100 foot channel, but I didn't dare to try to swim to it. Maybe another day
Getting into the water was invigorating. It made me feel better. Jogging back, I came across a herd of deer, at least 50 of them. They got startled and ran away. I saw quite a few bucks with large sets of antlers.
Jim and I are on a playground. We've just come from a bar. Jim had several drinks. He's in a good mood, showing off on the jungle gym. He's being loud, bouncing around on the equipment. I watch him, with some mixed feelings. There is an apartment balcony at the level of the top of some structure (bars?); as Jim makes his way across the top of that structure, at least two doors open and some young guys come out, and hail Jim, smiles on their faces. I think they made references to drugs, "Have you come around to buy some drugs?" or something like that...
I realize I don't want to be like that: I don't want to show off, to be loud, to disturb people nearby even if they don't seem to mind.
Another thing I wanted to write down, now it's slipped away. Was it about p ^ ~p? That both Jim and I can co-exist, even if we have opposite views on things like showing off on the jungle gym and having lots of friends?
"We see that all men mean by justice that kind of state of character which makes people disposed to do what is just and makes them act justly and wish for what is just; and similarly by injustice that state which makes them act unjustly and wish for what is unjust."
- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Chapter V Section 1
My brother asked me today: Why did you react so strongly and negatively when Dad told you to do something? I said I had a limbic response, something upwelling from my gut.
I propose that the reflex emotion is due to a sense of justice? When someone tells me to do something, I want better reasons than "just do it"...
I think I'm wishing for something more just.
Tyche is a little slate lovebird. I've known him since birth, over a decade ago. He's always been small, since birth. He's very intelligent; he used to lift his sliding cage door, then hold it open with his legs to let his cage mate in or out.
Almost a year ago, he suffered some trauma while we were gone, and we took him to the vet (I noted the event in this post).
Since then he hasn't been able to fly anything like he used to. He'll still climb up to high spots and sometimes launched himself off, but he wouldn't be able to get any lift. However today I saw him fly across the room, a good 20 feet; the best I've seen him fly in a year!
He sleeps on a shelf above a window, which he hasn't been able to fly up to since whatever happened to him about a year ago. I put ladders so he can climb up to a table under the shelf, then another long ladder to the shelf. Sometimes he uses the ladders, but other times he prefers to climb up the curtain. When he gets to the top he moves along the top of the curtain to the ladder and hops between the rungs so he can get on its other side, to climb the last little distance up to the shelf.
As I wrote this, Betty, Tyche's mate, came and sat on my shoulder. I told her I was writing about Tyche. The birds know that I spend a lot of time on the computer and they are often curious about it, looking at the screen, walking across the keyboard, pecking at the keys...
Another k$5 diary about a lovebird, Tabitha: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/3/16/5470/68756
My donnalee account was anonymized at kuro5hin. I feel wronged. A guy attacked me, because in his own words he wanted to "troll me off the site", because he didn't "like me very much." (See the irc log where he said this at http://pastie.org/3347977/wrap.) So I defended myself, matching him post for post. He started it, as he admitted; I responded tit-for-tat. Why did I get banned?
In fact why did he get banned? Best would have been to let us sort it out ourselves. If others didn't want to see it, there is a greasemonkey script that hides users. Censorship should be at the client, not the server.
In #kuro5hin.org, a guy with the nick "av" said that no one cared who started it. Why not? I was attacked, and defended myself. The same libertarians that uphold the right to self-defense as a natural right blame me for exercising it.
"av" also said I had fallen into a trap. What was the trap? To respond tit-for-tat? Tit-for-tat has been shown to be the winning strategy in the iterated prisoner's dilemma. Why shouldn't I be able to use it to defend myself?
What was the way out of the trap? To ask that my attacker/harasser (he posted my phone number online, and I received close to 100 txt msgs in the space of a few minutes!) be banned, of course. To go the secret, back-door route and email rusty and try to connect with him so that he would like me and do me a favor and censor the other guy. That's what they wanted me to do, I think. That's what they do, that's the standard way of dealing with harassment.
But I have never been one to take a public fight private, to
Last week, the power in Olympia went out for 7 days. I stayed there to help with the birds.
It got cold, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit inside. I had a portable propane heater but we didn't want to use it around the birds. I put it in the bathroom along with a gas camping stove. The heater warmed up the bathroom quickly and I could go in there to warm up. Sometimes I brought the birds in too for a short while.
The birds were really good. They took the cold without complaint. During the day they sang, during the night they slept quietly. I would check on them, and they seemed fine. I think they liked having me there with them, talking to them, going through the ordeal with them.
We lit candles during the night so they had some light. Then we ran out of candles. Betty panic flew one night, hitting walls in the dark. I was bundled up in a sleeping bag but shone a flashlight around her and she calmed down.
We put "little hotties" hand warmers (chemical heat in pouches) under Beju and Blue's nest box to try to mitigate the loss of warmth from the heating pad we keep around their box.
Tyche can't fly anymore, but he ran around and climbed ladders to the shelf he sleeps on and the cage he spends the days on.
After a few days, Tracie took the most vulnerable birds to the Rec Center, which had power. I stayed with the other birds.
Then on the fifth day we put all the birds in cages and took them to spend the night in the Rec Center. At first there were other people there, so I sat in front of the cage with six cockatiels in it and talked to them and whistled with them. They were wonderful and kept pretty quiet. I enjoyed spending time communicating with them. I felt we formed a stronger bond during that time.
On the sixth day, we took all the birds to a motel room. Again, they were wonderfully well-behaved. I had to catch them all and put them in the cage by myself. They were cooperative, seeming to remember the previous night in the Rec Center and so let me put them in their cages without much protest. Only Betty made me run back and forth chasing her down for maybe 10-15 minutes
At the motel, we let Betty and Big Head and Tyche out. Betty and Big Head can fly and flew up to the curtains a couple times; but we let them know that we wanted them to stay off the curtains, to sit on the cages on the table. And they did! They seemed to understand, and comply with our request. They were very good birds
All the birds were good. They kept fairly quiet. We took some of them out of their cages and they sat on my shoulder without protest. They seemed to enjoy the change and our company and attention. They are really a study in how to deal with adversity: never getting depressed, chirping instead and trying to remain happy.
Finally the power came back on and I transported the birds back to the house, and let them out of their cages. They had been amazingly well-behaved and I was thankful that nothing serious had gone wrong.
I think the birds and I have strengthened our relationship as a result of this experience!
I had a dream I was at my therapist's house. It was a large sprawling expanse with several buildings around a courtyard.
At the end of the dream, he was showing me how to use a powerful and big vacuum cleaner. It had a long, thin tube made of very hard, red, rubber with a metal fixture on the end. Jay showed me how to use the tube to suck up dirt from the floor. The tube was fixed at its other end to the vacuum's body, which was a big (several feet in length), rectangular, flat box. The box seemed to be attached to a wooden frame resting on the floor; I wasn't sure if you could remove the box and carry it around with you, it seemed it would be difficult to carry the vacuum on your back. My task seemed to be to vacuum the building, which was at least two stories, next to the part of the courtyard where the vacuum cleaner was situated; I wondered how I was going to get the vacuum cleaner into the building.
In another part of the dream, but close to this part with the large vacuum, I was cleaning the bottoms of my shoes. They were very muddy. I picked up a rock from the courtyard to scrape off the larger chunks of mud.
I think in another part of the dream, there was another vacuum cleaner.
Day residue: I was at Tracie's, and had been vacuuming the previous day.
The immediate thought when I woke up was that the vacuum scene represented the therapist trying to show me how to clean up my subconscious mind. But in the dream it was clearly his house. Maybe he is showing me how he cleaned his own mind, and also using me to help him give himself therapy during our sessions? This is conscious speculation, after the dream!
The vacuum was so big, it was most convenient if you had a stable place to keep it, unlike me who's constantly moving around. But Jay has a home, so it's easier for him to keep his mind clear of contaminations...
There are imperfections in this interpretation of course: why would i need a big vacuum if I'm moving around? The analogy (of house to mind) requires the house to symbolize at the same time a physical house, and also the mental construct of "mind". Otherwise, if the house in the dream only represented the mind, why would it matter how big the vacuum was, since the vacuum would be a mental construct too. If the vacuum is large and requires a stable house to fit in, maybe that means a stable living situation is tied to my therapist's strategy for keeping his mind free of contaminating dirt?
Lake West Camp
Wind making leaves fall, sounded like rain (worrying me throughout the night).
Night started out clear, with a bright, near-full (checking the calendar now, it was full) moon directly overhead, and cold - around 37F (according to the car's thermometer).
In the morning (7:20 am) the car thermometer read 49F. Clouds were rolling in.
Slept without a tent (hence the worrying about rain). "Stars shone gloriously" in my eyes as I went to sleep...
Heard a beaver? make a sharp, loud, slapping sound in the lake as I was blowing up the air mattress. At first I thought it was a gunshot, but then a couple minutes later the sound recurred, and I heard the sounds of water rippling around a splash, and figured out it must have been a beaver or otter in the lake
Hunters in an elaborate shelter up the road...
Logging trucks in the morning, lots of noise, going fast
Drove up to Brown Creek Camp. Stopped on the way to climb down to a stream and brush my teeth, and wash my face in the clear, cool water
Made hot coffee at a Brown Creek campsite, and hot cereal. It started raining hard!
Thought about the fully observable, stochastic environment of climbing up a slippery, muddy, wet, leaf-covered slope.
Ran down one trail to the river. Saw some wild chickens.
I felt in great shape