jury duty

I had to go in for jury duty today. Gotta go back next week to see if I’m selected for a case. It always happens to me this way! I’ll be kicked off after lunch the first day we go back and I’ll have wasted two days. Blah.

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not that itchy

I can’t tell if it’s still spreading or if it’s getting better. It might be doing both. Damned rash. I’m also not sure if it was from sunscreen or something else. I’d hate for it to turn out to be something gross like scabies. Unfortunately, my primary care physician is out of town all week so I can’t ask her.

On top of all that, work is kicking my brain into a wobbly jellified state. I’m about to just give in and code something stupid, just to code something!

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I think my rash came from the sunscreen I used on my trip back from the SF bay area. At least it’s not itchy!

I ran 2 miles on the beach this morning. It went smooth once I started going, but that first couple hundred yards was very painful. My ankles just didn’t like the bouncing. After I got used to their complaints it got better. I probably could have run farther than 2 miles but Sangeeta promised she was going to do a short run and I didn’t fancy having her return to the car before I did so I turned around at the pier. But wouldn’t you know, she did a normal run, so I ended up waiting 20 minutes for her to get back.

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I never thought I’d see the day, but I developed a rash on the backs of my hands and on my wrists. I wonder what I got into…

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QotD: If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

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bankcard woes

It happened yesterday, when I went to pick my car up from the shop. I expected I’d pay with my debit card (as I usually do) and didn’t expect any problems.

My card was declined.

Maybe treat it as a visa card?


I called the bank. It turns out that, due to a merchant’s compromised credit card database, my card had been marked for termination and replacement. My bank scheduled a replacement to be sent to me and, seven days later, for my old card to be cancelled. Unfortunately, there was a delay in the sending out of the replacements, so the first I heard about it was several miles from home with no car and no phone and no money.

Very inconvenient.

Luckily I’m on good terms with the folks at the shop, so it turned out to not be a problem. I’m still upset about the surprise though.

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I’m running

I went running again today. I’m well into my 3rd week of morning runs on the beach, and probably the best thing I can say about it so far is that I’m not dead. On Saturday I ran two miles, but today I ran/walked almost three miles.

It was hard to get up, hard to get started, and hard to keep running.

Anyway, at least I’m still doing it.

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the prank

I had a dream last night after only 3 hours of sleep. It woke me just after midnight and I had to write it down because it was so interesting.

My friend and I were selected to pull a prank. It seems a woman wanted to scare her family into getting better household security by having us burgle her house. When we went to meet her at her house, I was dressed in a bunch of old mismatched hockey pads and a hockey mask, and carried a plastic sword. My friend was dressed in a blue FuBu jumpsuit with a hood, and he had his t-shirt pulled up over his nose so all you could see was his eyes and some hair sticking out.

The woman told us to get in through the back door. We’d need to find a way to get it open, and in the mean time we weren’t to let on that she knew anything about the prank, even if it seemed nobody was watching. With that advice we headed off to the back yard.

The yard was nice and grassy. The back porch was actually along the side of the house, but its deck was covered by a roof and walls, with three steps leading up from the grass to the black painted deck. Once there we saw the glass doors and, inside, a mouse with a key taped to his back. I thought of Pirates of the Caribbean as we tried to coax the mouse over to the slot under the door. Then a big dog came from inside the house to bark at us through the glass door, and the mouse ran away.

At about that time, I looked back into the yard and saw our hostess walking across the lawn with a basket of laundry. We froze and then hit the deck, flattening ourselves as much as possible so she wouldn’t see us easily. I thought this was somewhat absurd, since she’d just sent us back here, but I wasn’t quite sure what she’d do if she spotted us. Anyway, she didn’t look at us at all. She continued past the porch opening and out of view to the left.

We were still trying to figure out how to lure the mouse back when I again saw someone walking across the lawn. This time, however, it was a figure dressed in a blue FuBu jumpsuit with hood and a t-shirt pulled up over the nose. WTF?!? I silently pointed the person out to my friend, and as we watched, he/she turned and met our gaze, then continued walking across the lawn.

Something was obviously strange here. We decided to abandon the back door and follow the blue FuBu, which brought us to the waterfront. There, our mark met up with another stranger in mismatched hockey pads and mask! Suddenly I realized that my friend and I were the real targets of this prank! These two were going to cause some havoc and get the authorities looking for two freaks fitting our description, and leave us to catch hell for their misdeeds. Well, not if we had anything to say about it they weren’t…

We followed them to a residential neighborhood. They split up and approached two neighboring houses. I snuck up on my simulacrum as he rung the doorbell of one of the houses. As the woman of the house answered, he shouted “Haha! Remember me? From porn?” and brandished a red jelly dildo at her, threateningly. I quickly lunged forward and, with my plastic sword, smacked the dildo out of his hands. I shouted “Begone, wretched slime! And don’t let me catch you trying this crap anymore!” as he ran away.

I was vaguely aware that a similar scene was playing itself out in blue FuBu next door, but before I could go to investigate, I awoke.

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Excerpted and adapted from last week’s e-mail correspondence:

The problem of long term happiness has been an obsession of mine for years. The self-help gurus all say that happiness is not something that happens to you, but rather something that happens in you. In other words, being happy isn’t dependent on anything outside yourself. I have a hard time believing this though. It seems tantamount to denying the reality of the world around us.

Phil once pondered out loud what it would be like if we went through all our typical behaviors but with the sole exception that we weren’t conscious at all. I told him it reminded me of Monday. ;)

conscious – Saturday
unconscious – Sunday
subconscious – Monday

The whole “reality is in the mind of the observer” idea implies that the world ceases to exist when you sleep, and is recreated when you awake. The other theory I like is that all creation gets its size from invisible “size rays” which emanate from your toes and fingers, and this is why things which are farther away from you look smaller. It’s another wacky slant on the philosophy of solipsism, in which nothing is real except you. Logically unassailable but somehow unrewarding.

So yes, I do believe in an external reality. I don’t think I’m imaginative enough to have come up with the whole world all by myself.

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near collision

On the way to my parents’ house yesterday, we witnessed an auto accident up close.

We were driving in moderate traffic, in the 4th lane (the one next to the slow lane) when I saw a car driving perpendicular to the flow of traffic, heading right! The rogue car missed all the other cars and slammed into the wall to the right of us, maybe 3 car lengths in front of us, before rebounding and coming to rest facing backward in the 2nd lane (the one next to the fast lane).

It was quite an adrenaline rush! I hope the driver was okay, but I couldn’t back up and check without risking my own accident with other traffic. Farther down the road, I noticed that after me there was only one other car which had made it past the accident. The rest of the freeway was completely vacant.

Theories on what went wrong seem to have focused on a too-close lane change, clipping the victim’s car and sending it off in a new direction, much like the CHP’s chase-ending tactics. Other theories included a stroke or a panicked braking, but these only indirectly account for the perpendicular orientation of the car. Anyway, I didn’t see the beginning, so I can’t be sure what happened.

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