Zero-Sum Game

Thursday, March 28, 2013

For today in infinite regression, I offer the following post:

I am in the middle of reading Dr. Lawrence Krauss' "A Universe From Nothing."  The book, as you can imagine, has sparked a firestorm of bitching from the theological community: it turns out that nothing isn't nothing; nothing is full of something, and that that something "creates" what we see.  Often, lots, and proveable.

He is judging you, while you think about this...
Krauss doesn't hide his disdain for theology, noting that it isn't a "real" scientific or academic discipline, especially when they kvetch at him.  He poses the following challenge, with regard to the contributions of theology as an academic focus (he is not talking about the value of religion, but the value of studying something that cannot be proven, and what that study contributes to our species):
In regards to theology not being a real subject, I put this challenge out to all theologians. Name me one piece of knowledge theology has contributed to human society in the last 500 years.



Monday, March 25, 2013

This is real.

This actually exists.

A Cthulhucon.

For those of you who are fans of the paranoid, weird, macabre, doomed, depressing, haunted tales of HP Lovecraft, this seems like a truly inspired gathering.  There's even a screenplay contest!  My favorite title:  "Call Girl of Cthulhu."  That's got promise.

Unfortunately, it's in Portland, OR, and I don't think I'm burning any vacation time to get there.  Additionally, I can kinda guess at the general condition of the attendees, which while probably somewhat cleaner than a GenCon or DragonCon, is probably a lot more....Rob Zombie.  Conjecture, sure, but it takes a very different person to wrap your whole life around horror and occult movies than that of who wraps their whole life around gaming systems.  Whatever.

I got into Lovecraft about a decade ago, starting with the collected works entitled Necronomicron (which is also a grimoire mentioned in several of his stories).  I now have several Lovecraft collections, and though the infamous Cthulhu is mentioned only a few times in Lovecraft's actual stories, "his" mythos drives much of where the author was coming from.  Our source of underlying anxiety, common among all of mankind, is the evil presence of Cthulhu, waiting to return.  That's reflected, then, in all of Lovecraft's stories.

Lovecraft was also heavily influenced by science, in that given the scientific advancements of the early 20th Century, he came to view humanity as increasingly insignificant in a vast universe.  He sprinkled into that sentiment that not only are we insignificant, the universe is also actually out to get us, but only because we're a cosmic pebble among greater forces that render everything we believe sort of silly.  Themes like that allow for the creation of truly awful horrors which we cannot overcome, and glimpsing the true nature of those forces would drive our puny brains mad.  That's some damn good fiction, you ask me.

And now?  There are games (Arkham Horror, Cthulhu Dice, and Elder Signs to not even scratch the surface), a webcomic based on the much-beleagured University of his stories, car decals, a Presidential bid and...the Con!  And that doesn't even begin to get into how deeply Cthulhu pervades gamer, geek, and horror fiction cultures.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

So as many of you on this blog know, I have 3 kids:  Smitty Jr (7), and the WonderTwins (4).  All boys.  Our house (and this is not meant to be a statement about boys-versus-girls, but just a statement of fact) is chaos.  It is loud.  At dinner, all 5 of us attempt at various moments to talk over one another.  They can't even play board games without yelling and squealing.

Much of the time, their energy is joyous.  It fills me with energy.  It makes me laugh.  Their inquisitiveness astounds me and drives me to keep teaching them and showing them.

But sometimes, I lose my shit.  Sometimes that one last word or yelp snaps a little something in my brain.  A "what" suddenly becomes a "WHAT." Some days, I just don't have it in me to be all over them, and instead I retreat into books and blogs.

But that stuff isn't a failure.  It's a good example.  But sometimes, regardless of knowing that, I feel like a half-assed parent.

A good friend sent me this post, and near the end of it I think are what should be the 7 Commandments of Parenthood:

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You’re not a terrible parent.
Yeah.  That.  All of that.
So to my fellow parents out there, read this guy's blog post, and feel better about the fact that you are, indeed, a fine parent.


Our Weird Libido

Thursday, March 21, 2013

At long last, an internet porn cache has finally decided to study what people in the world like to jerk-off to.

And we are a truly fucked-up species.

The website PornMD has collected the most-searched search terms on its site, and compiled it for us by rank and location.  Here's a snapshot of U.S. searches:

Pretty normal, nothing shocking
Some searches from around the globe:
WTF with toilets and shitting, people??
And finally some searches from what we consider "oppressive regimes" (ironic, given America's notable sexual repression):
Already creeped-out by "mom" and "family," but prostate??
Go ahead and play around (pun intended) with the fully interactive map and have a look-see as to what starts boners popping in our ever-shrinking globe:

Note:  the interactive map doesn't show all the way across, so you lose the data.  Follow this link.


Channeling Wilford Brimley

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sometimes, life ain't fair.

A year and a half ago, I embarked on a serious mission to get in peak physical shape, adopt healthier eating habits, and lose weight.  I was nearly 220 pounds, almost 40 pounds heavier than I needed to be or should be.  Drinking beer added calories, but I had no balance in the food I chose to eat.  Working out 3 times a week yielded slow, incremental weight gain and no marked improvement in muscle mass and athletic performance.  I was lazy, and slowly becoming someone I was not proud of.

I did it.  I eat healthy now, and enjoy an occasional sin, but it's OK, because "sin" was no longer the bulk of my dining experience.  I did the Insanity workout, then dove right into Crossfit training, and was nearing the shape I was in coming out of Infantry School in the Marines.  I was down 30 pounds.  I remembered what it was like to earn something again, and that makes your mind as tough as your body.

My reward for all this hard work and discipline:  2 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes.

What.  The.  Fuck.

A normal person, when they wake up in the morning, has a glucose level of around 100, and after a meal, about 120.  2 hours after a meal on the day I was diagnosed, I was 514.  My low point was 489.

I went in to the doctor because the night of the Super Bowl, I went to bed fine, and woke up the next morning no longer able to see very far.  My head felt cloudy and I was a tad confused.  Thinking was like thinking through mud.  I chalked it up to getting sick.

But day by day, symptoms racked-up.  Cotton-mouth.  Couldn't drink enough water.  No matter how much I chugged, I needed more and more.  I'd wake up on the hour, every hour, at night to piss a quart at a time (no wonder I was so dehydrated) - my body was pissing-out the sugar it couldn't process.

Finally, I bit the bullet and did the one thing you should never ever under any circumstances do:  I checked out Web MD, because all the symptoms sounded real familiar.  The next morning, I called to doc to get in that very afternoon.

When I got in, I told the doc that I'd bet him $10 I was diabetic.  I told him my symptoms, and said "just go get the glucometer."  514.  Arterial blood draws confirmed it.  My pancreas is broke.

Since then, I take a daily shot of insulin, and check my glucose 4 times a day.

My diet is already healthy, and a diabetic diet looks a lot like the Paleo diet, or simply a diet of someone who eats healthy and loses diet already!  Low in sugar, low in carbs, if you must eat carbs, make 'em whole grain. No big deal there.

I had to take a break from exercise so we could get the sugars to a control level, and then I could get back to the gym, as hard exercise drops your blood sugar.  I'm easing back into exercise; some light cardio last week, now amping-up the cardio and adding some resistance.  Eventually, as I figure out my sugar levels, I can hit Crossfit and Insanity and all that other crap again, because I'll have a better understanding of exercise, my dosage of insulin, and what I need to eat before and after a workout so I don't "go hypo (hypoglycemic)" and pass out!

My glucose is dropping to normal ranges.  No permanent damage was done, as we caught it early on.  Had I not been in such good shape, and thus attuned to how my body was feeling, it coulda been worse.  Only slight eye damage, and not retinal bleeding; my lenses got warped by how much sugar was in my blood and how fast I got rid of it, so from now on, I'll be a tad far-sighted.

I feel good again.  I'm glad we caught this.  I'm pissed and life isn't fucking fair that I worked so hard to not be in this position, but here I am anyway.  The rest of my life is needles and poking and disciplined dieting and watching my blood and nerding around with what certain foods and activities do to my glucose (it gives me something to tinker with!) and sometimes feeling fuzzy and sometimes feeling weak and shaky if I miss a meal and so on.  Needles and shots...forever.

But at least I can still drink beer.


Deep Concealment

Thursday, March 07, 2013

This is being submitted without comment.

Police say woman hid loaded gun inside her vagina



Potential Drunks

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