a fruit basket and card

From my new employer. How nice. The sweatshirt is incredibly boring, though.

I will be going to San Jose on Jun 2 for orientation. That lasts from morning until evening on Monday, and half the day on Tuesday. At that length it has better be good. If people try to make me do "I'm a little teacup" participation exercises I just stare at them until they call on the next person.

I had to work a half day today on an urgent bug today despite being on vacation.

I'm about to begin writing on file cards and spreading them around in various arrangements. If you know me you know what that means. Or maybe you don't. It's a simple technique for bringing order to a sprawling subject domain. Many cards are set aside. Some are rewritten again & again. Some never change. Many have additional notes attached. They are put in piles and then taken out or copied into other piles. The result is a draft outline.

I am also considering bringing the Yi and/or Tarot oe bear on my side writing project. I don't usually do that but in this case I have a feeling it just may work. The problem space there has a few great and solid pillars within it, but bridges are not as yet woven across the abysses between them. The Tarot might be superior for this project given its imagistic quality and that the end result would be in a visual medium. Personally I tend to favor the Yi.

I have a few other side projects that I want to get to the two-page treatment level before I have to put on the shirt. I'm not too worried yet, although of course, I haven't yet gotten as far as I'd hoped.

Addendum. 4:18PM. My four-figure tax refund check has finally arrived, as I broke open the new deck and laid the new pen upon the cards. I think I will take a quick trip to the bank. Quite a change from being in the red since last week! And tomorrow I get paid for two weeks of overtime, my last automatic deposit as a contractor.
talking head

chimpanzees - genus homo?

Chimps May Have Closer Links to Humans

Humans and chimps share 99.4 percent of DNA -- genetic code for life -- according to a team led by Morris Goodman of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

"We humans appear as only slightly remodeled chimpanzee-like apes," said Goodman.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, proposes that chimps be added to the genus Homo, currently reserved only for humans.

"Some day we'll live on Venus. Men will walk on Mars. But we will still be monkeys, down deep inside." - David Byrne, "Facts of Life"

another twelve hour day

We have a big push on the software front. I anticipated it a couple of months ago and tried to head it off, but my warnings were not heeded, and so now milestones are slipping and people are working crazy hours. That includes me. The upside? I'm a contractor, and I get paid by the hour. The downside: I will become an exempt employee soon, because in this climate I need the job security. Then I can put in sixty hour weeks and not get any overtime.

People are making brilliant comments in a few recent entries. I have time to read them at a rapid clip as the email notifications come in, and no time to respond to them properly. Maybe tomorrow, with luck.

Oh yes, there's a very good chance that Kat and I will be able to get to Austin for the Io Pan Jam and New Orleans for the Jazz Festival! I'm going to take off two weeks between contracting and slavery -- I mean, exempt employmentt. We might even be able to get to the parties leading up to the Jam.

"Don't fly more humans than you have to"

The solution to the unreliability of the space shuttle?

Simple -- try to minimize casualties by keeping people off that godforsaken deathtrap.

This is not just my snarky observation, but the recommendation of the former commander of the space division of the Air Force Systems Command to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

NASA may have to live with a risk factor of two catastrophes for every 113 shuttle flights, so it should limit its crew size and use robots and unmanned rockets whenever possible, a missile and rocket expert [Aloysius Casey] said Tuesday....

Steven Wallace, a board member in charge of accident investigations for the Federal Aviation Administration, suggested that a reliability level of 98 percent would not suffice for commercial airlines.

"In 2000, we operated 11 million flights, 32,000 a day and without a single fatality," Wallace said. "Operating on this level of reliability, we would lose 640 of those airplanes every day."
egg head

jihad: war against the infidel

CNN radio is repeating a short piece claiming that "jihad" does not mean "holy war" and that Islam is a peaceful religion. I have no doubt that the numerous media reports to this effect are well-meaning and meant to counter rampant and spreading anti-Muslim bigotry. Nor do I have any desire to provide ammunition to those who ignorantly defame Islam, but in fact Islam is not historically a peaceful religion and "jihad" does traditionally mean a holy war carried out to bring a land of unbelievers under Islamic control. Every religion has its warts and jihad is one of Islam's greatest failings from a human rights perspective. Collapse )