Whoops! There Goes Me Muff!

October 18, 2020
Growing up my family had The New Yorker Album of Drawings, 1925-1975.

So gorgeous:

I don't really remember this but I feel obliged to throw in this detail from Steinberg taking on the orchestra:

Finally, the one that really had me undertake this scanning...

For some reason that really hit with my family, maybe reflecting our juxtaposition of down to earth roots that still sometimes appreciated the "finer things" but sometimes we kinda stumbled over those roots... "Whoops! There Goes Me Muff!" became a family catchphrase. (Also maybe because "Muff" is one of those words that sounds naughty but isn't.)

I feel an intense pride, Robert, that I live in a country rich enough to have war and peace at the same time.
New Yorker Cartoon
This one I didn't recall, but damn if it doesn't describe the weirdness of the early-90s and mid-00s.

October 18, 2019

it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and be thought a fool, speaking requires too much effort when you could be using that energy to think of all the fool activities to do, such as eating a poison berry and falling down a well.

It's one thing to say, 'I don't fear death', but to laugh out loud somehow drives the idea home. It embodies our theology.
Rev. Laura Gentry

Today my Yoga teacher said that there's 2 types of tired, one where you require sleep, the other when you require peace. I really felt this.

You know what's cool? Concrete. It's liquid rock!

original photo album part 8: senior year til new years

October 18, 2018
My family went on a 2 week, 3000-mile bus tour of the British Isles. And Veronika came to visit my in NYC for New Year's.
If you make things long enough, you will fail. That's important enough that I'm going to say it again, with emphasis. If you make things long enough, you will fail. The same thing that put you in the elevated place of being a creative artist in the first place will curdle or invert or fall on its face or on your face and you will be a person who made something that they should not have made. [...] David Bowie said something I really liked. I don't know if he said it often, but it's the kind of thing that you should get tattooed on your leg. He said that creativity is "one of the few human endeavors where you can crash your airplane and walk away from it."
Questlove, "Creative Quest"
I think it's a good example of being aware of catastrophizing - an individual effort fails, it's so easy to see that as an array of dominos to other creative efforts, to our self-worth, maybe even our ability to make a living and thus ensure our own physical security. But those situations, those kinds of slippery slopes, aren't that common, and usually we can find some place to get traction - that is if the initial failure is even that big to begin with. Which it usually isn't - that's where the ability to cast a "So What" field comes in handy. This effort failed. So what? So I feel like I'm less good of a creator. So what?

Another quote from the book that I liked the sound of:
There was no such thing as distraction. There was only traction.

the righteous mind and moral foundations theory

October 18, 2017
I just listened to "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt. (audiobook- I still so miss having time to sit and read.) His project is to try and help liberals and conservatives understand each other a bit better.

The author starts with the elephant/rider metaphor he presented in "The Happiness Hypothesis" - the elephant is our big emotional/intuitive self, the rider is our conscious, our narrator self that can kind of guide the elephant, a bit, but isn't providing the motive force and in fact is mostly just making up post facto rationalizations for decisions that the elephant has already made.

I mentioned this to my therapist who I saw for the first time in a while last night, and tried to make the elephant metaphor jive with my self-image of a guy who has an above-average seeking of objective truth, even at the cost of having to withhold value judgement - sometimes, even without being able to state a simple fact ("your keys are on the counter") without disclaimer framing ("I think your keys are on the counter").

At first I thought that meant my elephant was better cajoled by my rider, cowed into submission, but another way of thinking about it is that my elephant is driven by the need for being unfaultable and therefore righteous. Being that kind of correct is somehow one of the most critical things of my sense of self. (This need is what caused me to lose my religious faith - the preponderance of other religions being a sign that my faith system didn't have the quality of uniqueness that was necessary for being True, and that my being in the church I grew up in, while other people were in the religion they grew up in, was also "suspicious") My elephant - or I guess it's the rider talking -
doesn't quite get that other people's elephants don't feel the same, and how value judgement flow so freely all over the discursive landscape.

So, back to the book. The book lays out Moral Foundations Theory - first the 5 the author originally indentified (Care, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority, Sanctity) and then a 6th to explain Libertarianism, and how it is distinct both from Liberalism (as the term is used in US) and Conservatism. Haidt argues Liberals put most of the weight in Care and Fairness, while Conservatives have a more even spread over the 5. This gives conservatives politicians some advantages, as they have more "hooks" for their audience. I guess some of that rings true to me, as a guy who leans liberal - Authority and Sanctity for their own sake alone, elevated to a moral good, seems foreign to me. (Huh - though I guess I might have a big emphasis to "Loyalty", at least on the local level, since being reliable and dependable is critical to my self-image.)

The author used a lot of thought experiment questionnaires to get at what people's elephants were really thinking, and to artificially provoke people's riders to scramble to explain why the elephant finds something repulsive even when no one is coming to harm. One example was about sibling incest; it squicks most people and they will call it wrong, even if the story deals with all of the surface objections (the brother and sister described love each other, it will deepen their relationship, they keep it a secret, and they are perfectly careful with birth control.) But a series of this and similar taboo-probing questions made me realize how phoney and artificial the stories are. They presume an isolation that doesn't exist in the real world - the siblings in the story might be found out, and they will have to live in a world that judges them harshly, and so keep their feelings hidden forever - a psychological burden for anyone! So you can't even say there's no pragmatic harm that's done. Similarly, many psychology lab experiments along the lines of "do you want $20 now or $30 in a month" presume perfect trustworthiness and stability of the system the test itself is in, which is just nonsense. We have brains designed to deal with a messy uncertain world, and just because it's easier for the experiment to claim total reliability so the test can be run free of noise, that doesn't mean people are irrational when they don't fully believe the experimenter.

Also the book was needlessly harsh on meme theory. The author gets kind of loose with his arguments - he points to the (widely accepted) similarity between memes and viruses, but then states meme-proponents would say that viruses (including "mind viruses" like religion) should be flushed out and removed like any flu or cold virus. I think most sophisticated meme-proponents would say, look, we're walking biospheres with countless "other" critters making the flora of our gut and elsewhere - religion might (or might not) be one of those helpful ones, and the presumption that all memes are bad for us is preposterous, whether or not you think it's useful to see memes as pursuing their own reproductive agenda.

In the end I appreciate Haidt's attempt to reconcile and appreciate what both Conservative and Liberals bring to the culture, but I think he's a little too kind to Conservatives. There are tough-to-reconcile contradictions with the Conservative "foundations" of sanctity and authority with diverse cultures (again the same contradiction that drove me from evangelical Christianity). I would say that he shows why Liberals need to wave the flag more and emphasize the E Pluribus Unum, and how being a real American is accepting the diversity. But all those diverse groups also need to signal their affection for that greater group project.

At the risk of digging myself into a bigger hole - there was a politician or public figure (wish I could remember who) who got ripped a while back for some naive statement saying (roughly) how all the different groups had different strengths, how like the Chinese or Japanese can put a television set in a watch, how the Puerto Ricans have strong family structure and can put a whole family in an apartment, etc - and I mostly understand why he was so ripped into, that those "strengths" aren't equally appreciated, in fact having to put a family in an apartment is not really good thing on different levels, and how its harshly and idiotically reductionist to put wide groups in stereotype boxes. I guess the thing is humans rate and judge everything. We seem to have a need not just that things be different, but rated as better or worse. (Smart people do this with smarts. It's all too easy to start to conflate smarts with human worth! While it's important to foster smarts in a community to make certain types of progress, that needs to be put in balance with many other concerns for the human project.) I think it's a reflexive defense against the implied "hierarchy of worthiness" that causes us liberals to rise so strongly against that kind of stereotypes, rather than the point that when you paint with a broad brush you're going to get many individuals labeled incorrectly (and also that many brushes are suspect because they DO come labeled with value judgements)
Another example of thought experiments I find false in the presumption of perfect, trustworthy knowledge: the trolley problem.
A trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by putting something very heavy in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?
At its heart the question is meant to point out how passiveness is different than proactive responses, how somehow we feel more responsibility for deciding to "kill" one person than "letting" 5 people die, but - c'mon. That's not how trolleys work, even in thought experiments. You're probably a lot more assured that that fat man will die than the other 5 will be saved! Or if the problem is setup so you have to throw a switch on the tracks, 1 vs 5, what kind of melodrama cliffhanger crap is that? The dilemma would more be "do you set up a posse to hunt down the evil mastermind psychology researcher who contrived to make such a weird example real and do vigilante justice or just leave it to the relevant police authorities..."
This kind of thought experiment seems parallel to the tricks Casino's bank on - artificial environments where are instinctive understanding of things are shown to work only in relative and not absolute terms.
A post on recent findings in dyslexia got me thinking about my own typos, which I sometimes think of as "pseudo-dyslexia". I put this comment on this blog article, one of the highest ranked results for "phonetic typos"...
Sorry to be commenting on such an old post, but this article has high Google juice for "phonetic typos".

My main mix up has weird phonetic swaps between existing words – especially ones that start with "m" with "b", in particular "by" for "my" and "me" for "be" (it seems an oddly bidirectional switch, either) I heard somewhere that "m" and "b" has similar "mouth feel", so I probably have some neurons wired together from way back, along with evidence my typing systems piggybacks on my speaking system.

Other ones are "numbers and the sounds they have", so I read a poster for "5th Element" that said "IT MU5T BE FOUND" as "muft" – ignoring the visual pun for the acoustic part. And my first name is Kirk, and I have something I wrote as a toddler: KI4K"

So it's infrequent enough to be a mild annoyance, though I'm trying to figure out if it's getting worse with age.
These seem distinct to me from mere homophone swaps, their vs there vs they're and its vs it's...
Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood

[Trump] weaponized [the power of positive thinking]

October 18, 2016

Had a small shindig, an unbirthday-ish thing... Melissa bought Pac-Man cupcakes which Chasity + Karen's lil girl Cora seemed to dig very much

photo by Rebekah
Amused that Wendy's is hyping the return of the Taco Salad. It (or possibly its near descendent, the "Baja Salad" that added a dollop of guac) and atomic fireballs were at the heart of one of my best weight drops, 15lbs in 6 months in 2012 - the chili made it really satiating. I was surprised when I went back to Wendy's last year and it was off the menu.

Now I'm all about Sweetgreen and sometimes Panera, but when the Wendy's what was on the block at work, the Wendy's is what I got.
Here's a post I made on the JP Honkband Page on FB:
WE WANT CANDY!!! We're gonna revamp this song for our Halloween Gig on Dunster Road, but lets give it some sweeter lyrics... Here's some verses:

I want candy, that is the truth-
Butterfinger, Twix, or Baby Ruth
Candy that can make my day,
Twizzlers, Rolos, Milky Way

(I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy)

Pop-rocks, they are so bizarre
So break me offa piece of that Kit-Kat Bar!
Packed with Peanuts, Snicker Satisfies -
But why you call one inch "fun size"?

(I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy / I Want Candy)

M+Ms or Reeses? I can't choose!
So maybe go for Charleston Chews --
But you know you better sign a waiver
If you try to give me that NECCO wafer

Wanna suggest a verse? Here are some well known names we didn't use:

Wrigley's Gum, 3 Musketeers, Almond Joy, Hubba Bubba, Skittles, Reese Peanut Butter Cup, Hershey's Kisses, Bit O Honey, Caramello, Hershey's Bar, Milk Dud, Sweettarts, 100 Grand, 5th Avenue, Chunky, Clark Bar, Heath Bar Crunch, Krackel, Mars Bar, Mounds, Mr. Goodbar, Nestle Crunch, Nestle Milk Chocolate, Nutrageous, Oh Henry!, PayDay, Toblerone, Whatchamacallit

October 18, 2015

Random language question: less sexist term of "sitting behind a table" (like on a convention floor) than "manning the table"? "watching" is the best I've come up with (but only because of what I could thank Liz​ for doing yesterday so I could check out the rest of the show) I googled two guides to gender neutral language, but no-one suggests a generalized term for "being a human taking care of something", just case specific terms like "answering the phones", "operating the space shuttle"....
The other day I found this link with a lot of peer-reviewed studies (which I still with a great big grain of salt) about the neurological differences between the brains of people who lean liberal and those who lean conservative. Some of feels like "just so" stories and I don't think any single study proves a whole lot, but taken as a group it's kind of interesting.
Tinder is a turn-based strategy game, and nightclubs are real-time strategy games

October 18, 2014

What is nothing? Macbeth answered this question with admirable concinnity: "Nothing is, but what is not." My dictionary puts it somewhat more paradoxically-- "nothing (n.) : a thing that does not exist." Although Parmenides, the ancient Eleatic sage, declared that it was impossible to speak of what is not-- thereby violating his own precept-- the plain man knows better. Nothing is popularly held to be better than a dry martini, but worse than sand in the bedsheets. A poor man has it, a rich man needs it, and if you eat it for a long time, it'll kill you. On occasion , nothing could be further from the truth, but it is not clear how much further. It can be both black and white all over at the same time. Nothing is impossible for God, yet it is a cinch for the rankest incompetent . No matter what pair of contradictory properties you choose, nothing seems capable of embodying them. From this it might be concluded that nothing is mysterious . But that would only mean that everything is obvious-- including,
presumably, nothing.

That, perhaps, is why the world abounds with people who know, understand, and believe in nothing. But beware of speaking blasphemously of nothing, for there are also many bumptious types about-- call them "nullophiles"-- who are fond of declaring that, to them, nothing is sacred.
Jim Holt, "Why Does the World Exist?"

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.
Alan Turing

Our own universe is not very symmetrical on a small scale—look at what a mess your living room is!
Jim Holt

Kick at the rock, Sam Johnson, break your bones: / But cloudy, cloudy is the stuff of stones.
Richard Wilbur

I kind of like this skull I made for the

halloween loveblender
Probably inspired by seeing the Día de Muertos- themed "Book of Life" the night before.

cardiff castle

October 18, 2013
Skipped out of work early with my office/travelmate to see Cardiff Castle before heading to London. Quote of the day, from some informational signage outside the main house:
In some large houses, a 'Long Gallery' on the upper floor was used for exercise during poor weather. The 'Ladies Walk' at Cardiff Castle is an outdoor version. It allowed genteel exercise away from the smells of the medieval town of Cardiff.

Dream thought: In our universe, mechanistic or quantum, every decision is Hobson's Choice. But the Self isn't Hobson's customer; We are the horse, galloping heedlessly into the night.
Slate on he Tea Party "Heroes" Oh man, I had forgotten going after Clinton via impeachment- since the 90s, after losing an usual 3 candidate race, Republicans have been tantrum-throwing toddlers whenever they lose the presidency. (And when they got the presidency, the neocon agenda got us into Iraq- brilliant!)

October 18, 2012

Tomorrow starting at 7PM I'll be hosting 24 Hour Comics Day (make a comic in 24 hours straight) 2 friends signed up, possibly room for more-
The illogic of religions is not a weakness in them but their essential strength. Acceptance of the bizarre creation myths binds the members together.
E.O. Wilson
I think even the scientific theories of the origin of the Universe and life on Earth are bizarre as well since it describes events so far outside everyday human existence, but the idea of "weirdness is strength" intrigues me.
E.O. Wilson again:
Flannery O'Conner asked, correctly, for all of us, literary authors and scientists, "How can I know what I mean until I see what I say?" The novelist says, "Does that work?", and the scientists says, Could that possibly be true?"
I think maybe my block as a storywriter comes from asking a variation of the scientist's question: "could this possibly represent a self-consistent alternate reality? In my universe, did these events 'really' happen?"


a cow face, a vase, two face

October 18, 2011

--via bb - a fake, alas
Good interface design is as transparent as possible, because I don't want to have to think about it. I just want to write, or do whatever else I'm doing, and not have to think about whatever I'm doing it on.

Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
Rabbi Julius Gordon

First reference to the video game "flip" magazine that was part of Dynamite I've found: it was called "Arcade"
The most relaxing song in the world, according to science!
http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/ man I had forgotten how simple and beautiful the orisinal games were.

what the fart

October 18, 2010

--via Cracked.com's The 5 Most Ridiculous Lies You Were Taught In History Class. I don't know why but the befuddled Einstein going "what the fart?" amuses me greatly.
"Sometimes masturbation takes so much focus I end up just daydreaming on my stomach."
Man, what a weird mix of titillation and wistfulness.


October 18, 2009
To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
drumdots - source - built with processing

My Klik-of-the-Month-Klub #28 entry. Didn't live up to my aspirations, which started out as "SimTunes Lite", narrowed themselves to "BluesBugs", further diminished to "DrumBugs" and ended up with these stupid noisy dots.

Still I like the drum noises.
NFL breaks off a terrifically exciting ending to Vikings/Ravens for an ad and presumably start of Pats/Titans for "contractual obligations"-screw that noise.
Crossing fingers, today might be another instance of 2 recent Boston sports traditions: A. feasting on bad teams and B. loving home field

to not sleep perchance to make comics

October 18, 2008
So from 5PM tonight 'til 5PM tomorrow, I'm going to be largely dedicated to doing a comic. You're supposed to attempt 24 pages, or I think 100 panels if you work in a "webcomic" format, which I plan to, since that's how I've been doing so much of my doodling over the past years. (And to REALLY push the matter, I'm thinking it'll all be in good ol' MS Paint, the freebie program you get with Windows... but I'm a bit idiosyncratic in that I'll be using it with a tablet PC, not a mouse.)

Like the Glorious Trainwrecks monthly 2-hour KotMK (which I'll have to work around this time, sometimes when I do something in an aspiring amateurish kind of way, I appreciate having the time boundaries. I'm not sure if it's more of an excuse for my crapness at comics, or just the reassurance that it won't be a project hanging over me for a long time.

I'm weirdly optimistic that my half-assed art style will let me get this done even with sneaking in some sleep. (Though I'm not sure if completely avoiding sleep would even be an option.)

Comic of the Moment

--Speaking of comics and sleep, the Comics Curmudgeon posted this surprisingly existential Herb + Jamaal.

Quote of the Moment
I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.
Rita Mae Brown

Watching the Bee Gee lip synch in their old "Stayin' Alive" video... "Woman's Man, No Time to Talk", but yes time for girly falsetto?
<<for well you know that its a fool who plays it cool / by making his world a little colder>>
<<and then I ask you over again / you only answer / perhaps, perhaps, perhaps>>

manny being reasonable

October 18, 2007
So, with the Red Sox in a do-or-die Game 5 (and, if it comes to that, 6 and 7), Manny came up with this gem:
Why panic? If we don't do it, we'll come back next year and try again ... If it doesn't happen, who cares? There's always next year. It's not the end of the world.
I guess a lot of fans are irritated with that kind of thinking, but to me it seems kind of sane. Stressing out isn't always the best strategy for winning, some say it was being in a hopeless situation in 2004 against the Yankees that let them relax and just play ball. (And "wait 'til next year" doesn't have quite the sting that it used to, though it's a bit odd to say that before the day is lost.)

The big problem is this team is less clutch than a '78 Gremlin. They've left more men on base than...err...an army general...whose wife had an affair with a sergeant...and so he canceled all the weekend leaves...

Damn, metaphor mojo weak today. Wait, is "more X than a Y" a metaphor? Stupid parts of speech.

Personal News of the Moment
Boston.com coverage of My company Enpocket being acquired by Nokia. I've been meeting quite a few Finns.

Photos of the Moment
More stuff for my Photo Composition class-- focusing on shape in particular:


October 18, 2006
I saw the Boston Globe headline the other day, Tech sector spurs state's economic recovery.

Well, that's good news. Evil B has recently found a job much closer to what he set out to do in computerdom, and while earlier this year the headhunters were relatively quiet, its picked up a bit as of late.

The reading recently how nation-wide there are probably less high-tech jobs than before the late90s boom... well, I take solace in my pseudo-daoist outlook; this field started to feel like my "uncarved block" sometime during college, and going with that flow has done pretty well for me...I've stayed gainfully employed through the big post-Boom shakeout, recovering fairly easily after back to back layoffs a year apart, and there's no particular reason to think the bottom is going to totally fall out.

Quote of the Moment
Q: What led you to resist merchandising Calvin and Hobbes?
A: For starters, I clearly miscalculated how popular it would be to show Calvin urinating on a Ford logo. . . .
It was obviously his decision to make, but I do think merchandising is a part of the cultural communication between artist and audience, one of the the few ways to make it a dialog of sorts.

Warnings of the Moment
Speaking of the Tech Sector... a subset of Warning Signs for Tomorrow-- new threats in a hyper-technological future. Sure, some will never come to pass, but still... cool page. (thanks LAN3!)

when you're really good, they call you cracker jack

October 18, 2005
Cracker Jack Prize of the Moment
Too clever to just discard but not really worth keeping, I decided to make an online version of this Cracker Jack prize:

(Click To Rotate...)

It's an optical trick I hadn't seen before. (There might be a slight delay the first time you click.)

I used to be kind of mad at Cracker Jack, given that their "toy surprise" was always something flat and cardboard. (Though I've gotten some decent stickers from 'em once or twice.) Now I realize part of the problem might be that the FDA has a stick-up-its-butt "no toys in food" guideline...that's why we can't get Kinder Surprise Eggs here, outside of import shops.

FWIW, I put together a decent little image swap in Javascript...it doesn't preload the images but it's nicely resuable, because the IMG tag carries all the information. View source if you're interested.

Covers of the Moment
ASME's Top 40 Magazine Covers Of The Past 40 Years...some good stuff there, with fullsize scans. Whoops -- try this version instead.


October 18, 2004
Quote of the Moment
The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist
Quoted in the addictive game Zuma
...good thing I'm not particularly prone to this kind of game, it has my Mom and Aunt in its clutches...

Article of the Moment
A surprisingly readable article on Ketchup. Some people hope to do for Ketchup what Grey Poupon did for mustard, kind of make some brands an elite thing. I dunno though...to me, mustard has always had a better pedigree than ketchup...ketchup is such a weird thing, somewhere between sweet and tangy.

dumbasses who web support

(1 comment)
October 18, 2003
Crap. Yesterday I called up my webhost to workout some quota issues with the loveblender. They offered to remove some old "log files". I think those "log files" were my content for the past 6 years. Look, dumbasses, just because a directory is named "1998july" doesn't mean it's a damn log file. I just hope they have backups, because I (of course) just realized the ones I made earlier this year have some serious gaps...

Worst case scenario, a surprising amount of the content seems to be preserved at The Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Joke of a Few Moments Ago
Memo to Cruz Bustamante: Alfred Hitchcock's Estate called. They want his silhouette back.
Phil's Phunny Phacts

Link of the Moment
Cool project idea, a polaroid of a polaroid of a polaroid of a....

Game History of the Moment
I had kind of lost track of the myriad of sequels in the Mega Man series, but The History of Mega Man set me straight. Good coverage.


October 18, 2002
Link of the Moment
Europeans don't just hate Americans. They do a pretty good job of hating each other as well.

Miserable Meme of the Moment
That was a little in-yo-end-o.
Eddie Murphy in the new I Spy remake.
I only mention it because I CAN'T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD. And I figured misery loves company, so maybe it'll get stuck in one of y'all's heads too.

News of the Moment
I'm surprised that this Wired story on a message from Osama on a horror film website doesn't raise the possiblity that it's all a hoax.

Quote of the Moment
Men are like chocolates, you just bite them, suck out the cream filling, and then throw them away. The world sees me as a love goddess, but I've never been in love.
from a Japanese Student of English's T-shirt
via this page linked to from J-list, one of Bill's favorite sites. He also linked to a page on Japanese gestures.

three monkeys. twelve monkeys.

October 18, 2001
Games of the Moment
One of the cutest and most hypnotic games I've ever seen, chicken wings are not for flying. There is a whole slew of neat games there: some aren't so great, but most of them are beautifully done, with nice attention to visual design, sound, and gameplay. I especially like The Amazing Dare-Dozen ("The dangerously daring mission of twelve farm fresh eggs to boldly go where no egg has gone before") and The Three Monkeys. Also, be sure to check out the non-game 'misc' stuff on this page..."alphabet" is especially cool. (via John who pointed out a memepool link I had missed.)

Link of the Moment
Peterman mailed around a this link: Treatise on Staying Calm in the current situation. The guy points out that most of the likely terror attacks (biological, chemical, nuclear) aren't going to be that effective, and what to do if you are involved. It's actually pretty reassuring, and the guy sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

Jesus- I feel as if I'm swimming in paisely karma- Charle's rage at not being able to set up the mediaone connection, decluttering my room, hurting Mo's back in bed, the overpacked dishwasher danger, meeting Rob at Christopher's, best of times, worst of times, etc.