Friday, March 27, 2009

Sanitary Hand Wipes! Unlimited Refills! Cholula Hot Sauce!

Sanitary Hand Wipes
Exposed surfaces are covered with germs! I cannot risk infection; I demand a supply of sanitary hand wipes (and don't give me any of that alcohol gel crap, that leaves all the dead germs still upon my mitts)

Unlimited Refills
Life, itself, can be a thirsty business. Top off my coffee, won't ya, Hon?

Cholula Hot Sauce
Tabasco is too watery and vinegary. How can I eat my Mahi-Mahi fish taco without adequate flavor and heat?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Adding Google's google-code-prettify to Blogger

Guido Van RossumImage by palewire via Flickr
Wanted to be able to add highlighted code snippets, so copied how Python's Guido does it (nice example), as a stop-gap.

Blogger's support for programming code is embarrassing; zero-support given. So this is at best a partial fix. It makes use of Google's own google-code-prettify Javascript code. It is easy to use, so the whole of the docs fits easily on a single page:

Using "Blogger Control Panel | Layout | Edit HTML": just inside the "<head>" block, add these CSS and Javascript links:
rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/>
Then add "onload='prettyPrint()'" to the opening "<body>" tag
<body onload='prettyPrint()'>
You will need to use HTML escape if the code had naughty HTML syntax characters (&,",',>,<). A good writeup: [Don't be confused like I was: this is different functionality than the xml.sax.saxutils function quoteattr !]. You can also use an online HTML escape tool like

Then put whatever code you wish between these HTML brackets
<pre class="prettyprint"> ... </pre>
Here is a tiny snippet of Python highlighted code:
def hello(i):
print "hello"
print i
For a whitespace sensitive language like Python, it pays to take a little caution, to compensate for the typical laxness of whitespace preservation in HTML and Blogger's basic editing tools. Type or cut-and-paste the code in the "Edit Html" tab - you will get good and predictable results.

In general, when using Blogger's in browser WYSIWYG editing tools, check the "Edit Html" tab last, just to make sure that Blogger's editing tools did not strip extra spaces from your Python code
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SQL Server T-SQL Schema Introspection

O'Reilly's "SQL Cookbook" by Anthony Molinaro is awesome, and chapter 5 "Metadata Queries" is very helpful.
A complete list of the metadata table columns for SQL Server are found at "SQL Server Schema Collections" at
Here is another location, purportably of the same info, but I found differences, so wise to consult both - "Schema Rowsets":

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gah! Sexy leaves me cold, Slutty every time!

Modern culture defines what "sexy" and "slutty" mean, and we have to deal with those definitions. I have no desire to put any label on anyone, so I will work backwards from what the definition of the words means to me.

Drunk girl: Girls gone wild?Image by publik16 via Flickr
When modern culture says "sexy", what they seem to really mean is "objectified, ice-cold, obtuse, humorless, and creepily adolescent".
I prefer Women over Girls, maybe because I reject all those things. There is a whole realm of experience only available to people to have earned some maturity.
The sense of Fun and Self-Assurance are why I prefer "slutty".
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Quick Peck at Disneyland

How to turn a day at Disneyland into a gut-wrencher: being hilariously inexperienced and having romantic expectations thrust upon you.

Sleeping Beauty's CastleImage via Wikipedia
More awkward than romantic. So it is a perfect match for me, because, as a human, I am more awkward than romantic. We, the girl and I, were the less sexually advanced friends of a pair that hooked up and got hot and heavy during a visit to Disneyland. So, whatever is the opposite of hot and heavy, that was us, the girl and I. I remember holding hands, and often needing to switch sides, because of clamminess and sweatiness of our palms. We suffered the agony of being with a pair deep kissing and heavy petting, while scared out of our minds, not entirely turned on by each other, and having no clue what to talk about, or even where to look. It ended as a quick peck at the gate of the park as we were leaving. She aimed for my lips, I aimed for her cheek, because I am a gentleman or a terrified little boy, whichever sounds better. I apologized, pulled back, and planted a quick dry one on her lips.
Dessins de Martin van Maele. Martin Van Maele....Image via Wikipedia
Aww, it is so innocent you could just puke.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

My bucket list starts with: Sleep

Sleep I am pretty sure I will live past 11pm, so I gotta get some sleep.

Eat French Food I cannot contemplate dying without more French food touching my lips.

Eat Japanese Food Need raw fish!

View Duchamp's "Étant donnés" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art If art did not exist, Duchamp would have invented it.

Shower After all of this, I better shower. If I go past 48 hours, I get really musky stinky.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Whoa! Prius is good, but not the final answer for living Green!

2010 Toyota Prius photographed in Gaithersburg...Image via Wikipedia
The Prius is not the final word in living a fulfilled life, while consuming the fewest non-renewable resources.
Please, before you consider a Prius, try these options on for size, to see if they fit into your lifestyle: (1) Living without a car at all (2) Driving the smallest fuel efficient conventional gas car possible (3) reducing the amount you drive to the fewest miles per week possible. The Prius is a fine car, but we still don't know the full lifecycle costs of recycling/disposing of the car's electrical battery. And the Prius is a more complicated and expensive car. If the point is to live a fulfilled life, while consuming the fewest non-renewable resources, there are less high-tech ways to proceed.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dumping someone like a FatFink: Two days before Valentine's Day, I am ashamed to say...

Scan of a Valentine greeting postcard circa 1900.Image via Wikipedia
Yeah, I once delivered the bad news two days before Valentine's Day. Not one of my classier moves.

For myself, I was usually dumped by having my phone messages ignored.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Golden years in Tokyo, eating Sushi!

Very fine food. I really love seafood, and Japanese food in particular. I cannot say I will particularly enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city, so I will probably spend my days inside my house (with paper walls) surrounded by a
My lunch at a Japanese restaurant.Image via Wikipedia
zen garden.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

My song about Space Mountain, my favorite place (apart from the arcade next door)

Who among us doesn't love space travel in a flume log, with silver and blue paint? Let's sing about mankind's favorite indoor roller-coaster, Space Mountain!

(verse 1) Feel the rumble in our seats,
70's cheese sci-fi sound effects "bloops" and "beeps",
I hear the the clacking of the anti-rollback device,
The warmth of the over-the-shoulder restraint feels very nice.
Space Hill, Space Mound, we're swerving again,
Roll me and Coast me, Space Mountain
(verse 2)
I drop my Goofy Gum Drops upon the tracks,
Millions of riders that barfed up their snacks,
I can't see my hand in front of my face,
If you hear preteens screaming, you must be in Space!
(shredding guitar, leading to bridge)
Space Hill, Space Mound, we're swerving again,
Roll me and Coast me, Space Mountain

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why historically based valuation can lead to taxpayer looting

Comment to Arnold Kling's Econlog "William Isaac is Wrong on Market Value Accounting":
[ Kling referrs to George Akerlof and Paul Romer paper "Looting", and links to this New York Times writeup ]
> Historical-value accounting was an invitation to bankers to loot.
> OK, why? You can obviously have any sort of value accounting scheme without the looting of taxpayers.
If I understand, it is because with historical-value accounting, players make absolutely no claim about future returns, and so the players can take on all kinds of business that no one can defend as being sustainable, as that business grows and grows and grows.
The usual analogy is jumping off of a 50 story building.  When you reach floor 20, you have 30 stories, historically, of fine results.  But nobody could defend your continued descent as sustainable.
The politically enabled players take on all kinds of business, for short-term gain, then walk away before the inevitable crash, for the taxpayers to pay far, far above the total sum of the payday of the players.
If the players have to defend a future value to the marketplace, they have _some_ responsibility to demonstrate sustainability, as they take on more and more and more business.
What leads to looting of taxpayers is: (1) not having to defend *any* reasonable story about future returns (2) politically enabled players taking a short term payday on a huge amount of unsustainable business (3) with the players knowing somebody else will pay for the ultimate massive shortfall, a shortfall much more massive than the monies actually looted.
[ Additional comment ]
> Right, but make banks defend this to investors, not regulators. So if we should make Mark to market a requirement for banks to disclose to investors looking to put in capital, but not for capital requirement ratios.
Mark-to-market requirements can have different objectives.  If one of the objectives is preventing the looting of taxpayers, then we are most definitely talking about capital requirement ratios.
Because, as we are currently experiencing, the buck stops with the taxpayer.  Investors in banks have no ultimate responsibility to pay for all bank shortfalls; the worst that can happen is the complete devaluation of their investment, which in this case is small compared to the loss.

Call me... "Sniffer of Hands"

A drawing of the brain of a dogfish shark, fro...Image via Wikipedia
I pity my poor hands. My brain is always sending them on suicide missions to the hairiest, sweatiest, most fragrant crevasses of my body, so I can take a constant inventory of my current level of body odor. I wish I lived, worked, slept in a massive hot shower all the time, with sudsy body washes, so I could be permanently squeaky clean. My hands would appreciate it, not to mention my nose.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Mighty Putty sells itself (with the help of Billy Mays screaming)

Could Billy Mays' beard beat up Chuck Norris' beard?

Mighty Putty took my breath away. Hauling an 18 wheeler! Hanging up a shelf on a brick wall. Making a ghetto coffee mug. Mighty Putty does it all while screaming.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My money's on the shark

Glistening jaws, the shark possesses, devouring the succulent bear. But both would bow before the majesty of the bear holding a shark.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's only okay to lie to protect someone's feelings

I don't think much of lying for self-protection, but, for me, lying to protect somebody's feelings is the right thing to do.

People who tell the truth when they know it will devastate a person are just being a self-righteous bastard. [ I have done this myself, to my shame. It sucks when somebody pulls a question on you all quick-like, and you don't have time to come up with a proper lie. ]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why my hip-hop posse would include Voltaire & Snuffleupagus

Voltaire can lay down the snaps, yo. Dry irony and satire.

Snuffie could carry my hip-hop equipment: Auto-Tune, bling, sliderules.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Innovation during Obamanomics

Comment to Will Wilkinson "Why Obamanomics Will Hurt Innovation":
The simplest rebuttal is that any innovation people are unwilling to begin during an Obama administration, will be taken up by others; perhaps less effectively, but still taken up.
When more favorable market conditions come back, those willing to innovate earlier will have the advantage of a head start.  If _anyone_ uses _any_ excuse to sit on their hands instead of innovate, given the finite number of years youthful entrepreneurial blood flows through the veins, they will be punished greatly for their lack of gumption.
"Working hard when market conditions suggest no chance of real success" - What innovators ever violated this rule?
[ An easier argument can be made that over-rewarding innovation in financial leverage instruments bled young & smart workers from other industries, to the detriment of innovation in those industries. ]

Why Public Primary Education? Why not Private or Charter Primary Schools?

I agree that human capital and physical infrastructure are crucial to growth. I’m even happy to agree that government investment in education has more than paid for itself over the years in added growth. But I also think the evidence points to the idea that returns to public investment in the status quo system of education have diminished to basically nothing. No Democrat is going to do anything to run afoul of their party’s most powerful client in order to promote the deep structural changes needed in primary education to actually improve the quantity and quality of American human capital. So instead we get free money for college, which is Obama’s way of saying “thank you” to the loyal, powerful bloc of Democrats who make their living pouring valuable human capital into nineteen-year-olds by making them pretend to have read Plato and Beloved.
My comment:
> ...promote the deep structural changes needed in primary education to actually improve the quantity and quality of American human capital...
But the fact remains that when businesses hire, a person having gone to a private primary school or a charter primary school (as opposed to a public primary school) commands no higher wages.  I hire; the issues affects me personally.  If the private school or charter school had a document certifying modern workforce training to the student (with the ability to test to confirm, and retrain at no cost to the business if the skills are actually below what is certified), I would be pretty damn impressed.  If such a thing exists for private or charter schools, it is well hidden and very scarce.  Until then, why would a business pay a premium for a person who received primary school education at a private or charter school?  And if public school is good enough, how can change be expected to happen?
> ...I think far too many people are getting pushed into college...
Business do pay a premium for college educated students.  Again, if there was a form of technical schooling (associate degree) that had some certifying/testing/retraining guarantees for work skills, businesses would be pretty damn impressed, and would hire those people above people with some college education.  I would like to see such resumes.

Larry Winget would set this country straight, sez this Lazy Obese Messxican

The way to break out of laziness and inertia is to get really mad at our current state. Personally, disgusted with what we have allowed ourselves to become.

Less time spent on thinking about entitlements, more time spent on thinking about responsibilities. Then working on the problem, not whining about it. I guess more time reading Larry Winget. And putting that Ol' Baldie's ideas into effect.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I wish I could get a new paint job for domicile

Homeownership is pretty nice, will be moving from a 30 year fixed to 15 year fixed. The front of the house is pretty shabby; grubby lawn, and a need for paint (also a huge stack of paver bricks I am too lazy to move to back yard, surprised the city doesn't fine my ass). Painting your house? I can't recommend Vietnamese handyman. Good for the first 75% of the job, but that is all you will pay for, and that is all you will get.

Paint bubbles! Paint peeling!

My handiness (or lack thereof)

I installed a ceiling fan in my kitchen. That is about my limit. My Hypervigilance [ ] makes any project I under-go exhausting for me, and mind-boggling for anyone watching.