Tuesday, December 31

There's a window over my desk now, so looking out over the top of my screen I can see the tips of the monster cactus, and beyond that the back of the house that's been converted into a Thai Buddhist temple with gilded llamas (donkeys?) chilling in relief under the gables. Beyond that, one of Berkeley's peculiar glowing mottled skies with bits of blue starting to creep in. It's rained and cleared twice in the 90 minutes I've been sitting here.

After this morning's work, there'll be cooking and cleaning and then a small flood of people to wish in the new year in our warm new houseful of people.

I wish you luck and light and love and a good new year.

12:53 PM (link)

Tuesday, December 10

We at and the blissblog have not entirely closed up shop, steadfast readers. In fact, there is a substantial redesign and subsequent relaunch in the works. In the interim, a few Christmasy links to make it official:

Did you know that the modern Christmas celebration was popularized by Dickens? I have it on reasonable authority. While you're there, read the bit about the authorship of "The Night Before Christmas" and then indulge me in a little pride of association: I took a class or two with Don Foster, the literary detective, and he's delightful.

Additionally, Making Light is delightful indeed.

07:32 PM (link)

Saturday, August 10

The recent near-constant availability of excellent conversationalists has done terrible things to my motivation to ramble at the web. May it ever be thus.

05:10 PM (link)

     “Look not at Time's events, which come from the
spheres and make life so disagreeable!
     Look not at this dearth of daily bread and
means of livelihood! Look not at this famine and fear and
     Look at this: In spite of all the world's
bitterness, you are passionately and shamelessly attached to it.”

- Rumi, Mathnawi VI, 1733-36. Trans. William C. Chittick

05:05 PM (link)

Thursday, July 18

From the who's-fighting-for-your-rights department:

An Iowa state judge has upheld a subpoena ordering an Iowa Planned Parenthood to turn over the results of up to a thousand pregnancy tests because they aren't legally considered medical records (and therefore confidential under Iowa law) because doctors and nurses don't administer the tests. Of course, doctors and nurses frequently don't administer blood tests of all kinds, pap smears, and many other kinds of tests.

The results are being subpoenaed by law enforcement officers who are investigating the possible murder of an infant whose body was found dumped. They have no reason to believe that the mother had a pregnancy test at all, and that if she did, she went to Planned Parenthood.

To my twitchy eye, it looks like a case of rousting the women down at Planned Parenthood because they must be involved, given their baby-murderin' ways. Adding to my suspicion is the ruling judge's remark that “Astonishingly, PPGI apparently considers itself and its personnel to be above the law...”

Jill June, president of the Greater Iowa chapter, says she'll go to jail to protect the records if she has to. Donations and and encouragements can be sent through their website, should that sort of thing appeal to you.

05:30 PM (link)

Tuesday, July 16

Props to Salon for covering the bizarre and ugly RAVE act currently in the senate. Simultaneous beatdown to Salon for letting the guy who directed this droolingly lame self-parody of a movie write the article.


Still, the article does a decent job of disseminating the critical information: the act is an extension of the crack-house laws from the '80s, and it's intended to make anyone who throws a party at which drugs might be present vulnerable to enormous fines and up to 20 years in jail.

You can read the bill here and contact your senators here, should that sort of thing interest you.

Thanks to Luminescent's article at Kuro5hin for the legislative links.

10:56 PM (link)

Saturday, July 13

Sometime in the last few months, a big swath of old posts because unassociated from their archive categories and therefore disappeared from the record. They've now been restored.

03:46 PM (link)

Friday, July 12

How long has it been since I felt really sharp? I've been half-babbling, unfocused, skimming along on the surface of most conversations outside of my inner circle for what feels like a good long while.

I've gone all brain-flabby. Time to get more hardcore.

07:18 PM (link)

"I have two working speeds: the first is flat out, with unwavering concentration, blissfully unaware of any distractions; the second is reading Metafilter." (- Eclogues)

03:05 PM (link)

Monday, July 08

This pause has been brought to you by a lovely trip to Montana that included:

One (1) 12-hour layover in the Seattle airport

Sixteen (16) other people in one house, 6 under the age of 12

Three (3) trips to Glacier National Park

Thirty (30) -ish separate fireworks displays (celebratory) visible from the front porch

One (1) fireworks display (emotional) visible from the living room

Zero (0) dead bodies

Fifteen (15) Christmas, birthday, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc. presents (including 1 wooden spoon, 1 miniature bottle of Tobasco sauce, and 1 pillow-sized bag of walnuts) from my father, some 3 years late, all wrapped festively in 1 box

One (1) knee injury

Forty (40) cups of coffee

...and no sleep to speak of at all.

A good time was thoroughly had.

Your regularly scheduled posting will now resume.

09:46 PM (link)

Thursday, June 20

Oh yeah. We're back. The wedding was lovely, our hosts were incredibly gracious, we got to see old friends and meet some terrific new people, and we escaped in the end with only minor collateral damage, tra la la.

Also, I found, purchased, and wore a truly ideal pair of red shoes. Oh yes.

I accidentally spent yesterday alternately sleeping and staring off into space, but I think I'm ready to re-enter now.

08:58 PM (link)

Recently, at Golden Gate Park...

...The high-noon sun glints off black latex, soft leather, and gleaming belt buckles as the arsenal of candy-colored weaponry grows. Someone arrives wearing bunny ears.

"What is all of this?" inquires Garfield Schalk, a silver-haired gentleman from Vienna. "Some sort of social club?"

"The fifth annual S.F. Goth Naval Battle, sir," replies a pallid young man.

"It is serious?" asks the tourist.

"Oh, very serious, sir," replies the goth combatant. "Super Soakers and sock monkeys. Very serious, indeed."

"Soaking and sock monkeys?" asks Schalk, lifting his bushy white eyebrows.

"As prizes, sir," clarifies the goth. "Monkeys and pie."

"Ohhh, and pie," says Schalk, nodding with a satisfied grin. "We shall watch the soaking then," Schalk continues, patting his wife's hand tenderly.

And that, Tinky Winky, is why I remain unashamed of my wee gothy past.

08:26 PM (link)

Most non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including Ibuprofen (Advil) and Sodium Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosin) work by inhibiting an enzyme known as cyclooxgenase (COX). COX has two known forms: COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 is rquired to synthesize a class of prostaglandins that help maintain function in a number of organs and systems, including the protective lining of the stomach, normal platelet function (clotting), and proper blood flow to the kidneys, as well as many types of cell repair. COX-2 is required to synthsize a group of prostaglandins that help cause inflammation and pain. Inhibiting both types of the enzyme can, therefore, reduce pain and inflammation, but only at the cost of damaging other systems.

Certain newer NSAIDs such as Vioxx and Celebrex have the ability to inhibit only COX-2, reducing the COX-1-related side effects considerably. Unfortunately, Vioxx and Celebrex users have proven to be more likely than users of Sodium Naproxen to have heart attacks, so we're not quite there yet.

07:07 PM (link)

Tuesday, June 11

The Web Standards Project relaunched today to the whirring sound of a thousand web developers thinking at once and a reassuring stillness in my inbox, indicating (one hopes) that Mr. Zeldman is finally getting some sleep.

10:55 AM (link)

Monday, June 10

You know, sex advice columns typically aren't my thing, but Cary Tennis is a damn fine writer, and seems like a good human as well. I got into an incoherent (on my part) discussion about his finer points the other night—it's not really useful to compare Tennis's columns to those that dwell primarily on the extraction of objects from various orifices and the finer points of getting rid of crabs.

It's not that Dan Savage and his somewhat pale competitors don't have a place, it's that sex advice is too small a box for the unusual compassion and clarity of Tennis's musings on humanity disguised as advice on getting laid.

Oh, and he's goofy. Get you thither and read.