Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Very Long Engagement

I was at a meeting this morning, and it started to drag, so I began to write a sort of stream-of-consciousness to pass the time. Here it is, in all its unvarnished glory (and names have been changed):

At my meeting I got bored, so I wrote the alphabet, in both upper- and lowercase letters. I enjoy my handwriting. Then I wrote the numeral "3" in two different ways. One of the numerals looked mean, and one looked kindly.

Is this keeping me awake right now, writing this? I don't know.

Must remember to look up every once in a while, so they think I'm writing something about work.

I could have sworn that this meeting was over when striped Bill thanked Ted, but short-sleeved Bill just keeps talking. And Lord, is that man ever loud! Everybody keeps interrupting everybody else. Talk louder for long enough and you win, right? Right. But all you are is a winning douchebag.

I come to these meetings and I do nothing. Anything I may have gotten out of it, that may have been valuable to me, ended an hour ago. Naps should be acceptable at that point.

I was a little surprised to see Bob taking notes in a Dragonball-Z notebook. Way to go, Bob.

This table is so much bigger than is necessary for five people. We should get some more people up in here. And a bartender. What if there was a two-drink minimum for these meetings? I souldn't even feel it, since we're a full two hours in.

They say you can't bullshit a bullshitter. That may or may not be the case, but this meeting proves that bullshitters can bullshit with bullshitters. I call it co-bullshittery.

False ending number two and.....go.

Ted has the power to end this. He already said he's late for someplace else. Please, Ted, do what you know in your heart to be right. Do me the kindness of cutting me loose. I can see that striped Bill also wants to go. Let him go, too.

And also, just because you laugh very loud for a long time, that doesn't retroactively make funny whatever it is that you're laughing at.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Some good news!

Eight Democratic governors are requesting an inquiry into the excessive profits being made by gas companies in the post-Katrina days.

Good for them. There's no reason that, in the wake of a natural disaster, everybody in the country should be a little worse off economically, while Exxon and Shell post record profits.


Monday, September 19, 2005


Here's what Brownback said, that I was referring to in my last post:

All the members of this body know a young man with Down's Syndrome named Jimmy. Maybe you've met him, even. He runs the elevator that takes the senators up and down on the Senate floors. His warm smile welcomes us every day. We're a better body for him.

He told me the other day -- he frequently gives me a hug in the elevator afterwards. I know he does Senator Hatch often, too, who kindly gives him ties, some of which I question the taste of, Orrin...


... but he kindly gives ties.

HATCH: It doesn't have to get personal...


BROWNBACK: And Jimmy said to me the other day after he hugged me; he said "Shhh, don't tell my supervisor. They're telling me I'm hugging too many people."


BROWNBACK: And, yet, we're ennobled by him and what he does and how he lifts up our humanity and 80 to 90 percent of the kids in this country like Jimmy never get here.

What does that do to us? What does that say about us. And I would just ask you, Judge Roberts, to consider -- and probably you can't answer here today, whether the individuals with disabilities have the same constitutional rights that you and I share while they're in the womb.

Again, what a naked, despicable ploy by Brownback. To surreptitiously claim that all children aborted would be happy, huggy elevator operators is ridiculous.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Roberts Hearings

I just heard the most ridiculous thing in the world on the television today.

Basically, Senator Brownback made the argument that because of abortion, there are less people to hug people in elevators. There were a lot more words to it, but that was the thrust of it.


Monday, September 12, 2005

This Makes Me Happy

I don't have much to say about this story, except that it makes me so happy to see.

Boone Pickens, a Texas oil tycoon, has sponsored a flight to go through the region devastated by Hurricane Katrina and pick up the pets that were stranded. They saved about 80 animals, though they had wished to get about 200.

The article concludes by saying that about 200 animals have been reunited with their owners in Houston. In a time of such sadness, I can't think of a thing that would make me happier than to find my dog (hypothetical, since I don't have one).


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hilary's wedding

I was in Williamsport over the weekend for my cousin's wedding, and it was really nice. Here's a picture that I thought was pretty cute.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Reason vs. Faith

Right off the bat, I'm pretty firmly agnostic. By that, I mean I don't go to church, I don't have pretensions of knowing the hows, whats, and whys of the universe, and the issue of God doesn't have an effect on my daily life. I'm not atheist because as a logical thinker, I realize that I cannot logically disprove His/Her/Its existence, but neither can I logically prove His/Her/Its existence. So I don't really let it weigh on my mind, unless I'm arguing/debating with somebody.

But here's what really gets my goat, so to speak. An argument you might hear from a fundamentalist Christian, against the Big Bang, might go something like this:

It's more likely for a tornado to sweep through a junkyard and leave in its wake a fully assembled 747 than for the Big Bang to have randomly created the universe we all know and love.
Basically, the thrust of the argument is that if the chances of something are slim enough, we can conclusively rule out the probability of its ever having happened. I'd take issue, and say "highly improbable" doesn't equal "impossible," but we'll leave that for now.

Here's another argument you might hear from a fundamentalist Christian, in favor of Jesus' being the Messiah:
There are 456 prophecies that Jesus had to fulfill to conclusively be the Messiah. Scientists have determined that the likelihood of his fulfilling just 48 of those 456 prophecies is 1 in 10^157. The likelihood of this is so small that Jesus must be the Messiah.
Do you see the disconnect here? In one case, they use statistical improbability as proof against something's having happened, and in the other they use statistical improbability as proof positive of something else's having happened. This is the kind of shoddy intellectualism that results when religious folks cling tenaciously to their beliefs in the face of science to the contrary.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Guess Who's Back?

OK, so I don't know if this means that I'll be writing furiously like I did there for a while, but I'm here now, and that should count for something.

The big event, which allows me to be writing this right now, from my room, is that after a year and a half, I finally have a working computer again. Being able to write blog entries from home should take some of the strain off, since I keep trying to think of things to write from work and can't really come up with anything.

My posting has waned recently, as y'all have noticed, largely because of my intense interest in politics waning. Er, scratch that. The interest in politics is still there, and the interest in political discussion is still there. It was the interest in the partisan hackery that is the political blogosphere, left and right, that waned. I couldn't take being held accountable for things I never said, or watching otherwise reasonable people be made unreasonable by opinions ascribed to them by dint of their partisan leaning. I've had extensive conversations with my dad about this. He's probably tired of hearing about it.

I gave my first professional briefing at work today, and it went swimmingly. Everybody involved said it was very good, very informative, and I wasn't even too nervous. Hooray for me.

So this is kind of boring, huh? I guess maybe I'll try to think of something more exciting to write next time.