Mar. 23rd, 2013 09:34 pm
milktree: (Default)
There's this show on FX called The Americans. It's a pretty good show, I like it.
There's this other show called Justified. It's a *really* good show. I like it a lot.

But that's not the point.

Each of them is somewhat ... graphic, explicit, etc.

Here's the thing: the parental warning at the beginning of the episodes isn't always the same. Sometimes they're LSV (Language, Sexual situations, and Violence) sometimes they're just LV.

So, if you're a parent, and you think it's fine to let your kid hear swear words and violence, but not sex (not how I'd set my priorities, but I understand some people do), you can't necessarily know from any particular episode if the rest of the series is "OK"

I'd think for a serial program where pretty much every episode is important to following the arc of the story they'd put the most extreme warning on every episode so you wouldn't get surprised mid-season.
milktree: (WTF?)
I found this:


in the ashtray of my car today.

I can't remember ever being in CT with this car, other than driving through on the way to somewhere else.

I *certainly* haven't left my car at Bradley International Airport.

I'm baffled.
milktree: (Default)
I've been reading this book of Adams' writings from various places: interviews, newspaper articles, scraps of unfinished stuff. It's called The Salmon of Doubt.

Here's some good stuff from the bit I'm reading now:

    I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

    1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

    What are the benefits of speaking to your fans via e-mail?

    It's quicker, easier, and involves less licking.

On predicting the future, and how we all get it wrong, really wrong lots of examples of wrongness including trains, plains, radio, telephones, the stock market, Bill Clinton &c. :

    One such that I spotted recently was a statement made in February by a Mr. Wayne Leuck, vice-president of engineering at USWest, the American phone company. Arguing against the deployment of high-speed wireless data connections, he said, "Granted, you could use it in your car going sixty miles an hour, but I don't think too many people are going to be doing that." Just watch. That's a statement that will come back to haunt him. Satellite navigation. Wireless Internet. As soon as we start mapping physical location back into shared informations space, we will trigger yet another exposive growth in internet applications.

That last quote was from The Independent on Sunday November, 1999.
milktree: (Italy)
I voted for the first time today. Kinda.

Italy has a different method of absentee ballot than the US, not to mention a different method of electing candidates. I don't understand all of it, yet.

Thankfully, they sent me instructions:

And in English too:

They send me a certificate that says I'm a legitimate voter, the top bit has stuff about me, I tear off the bottom bit

and include it in the postage paid envelope:

with the two ballots for Senate and Chamber of Deputies

You vote for a party, and you can put a preference for a particular candidate if you want. I have no idea how the preferences are factored in. They provide a cheat-sheet of whom each party is putting forward:

What isn't shown is that the ballots go in a sealed unmarked envelope, then that envelope goes in the brown postage paid envelope with the certificate of eligibility, so the actual vote can be kept secret while making sure that only the right people vote. I assume the white envelopes get handled by a different group than those who open the outer envelope.

It's pretty weird to be considered part of "right people to vote" in an election of a country I've never been to; I'm hardly an "informed voter". I voted against Berlusconi's party.
milktree: (Default)

(clicky for bigger)

I got this survey request from LL bean (they thought they could hide it, but it went to a unique email address) and this was one of the pages.

I have no idea how to answer it. Nordstrom is very different from Amazon which is very different from LL Bean, but LL Bean is pretty similar to Eddie Bauer, and North Face is nearly identical to Columbia.

But there's only one scale.
milktree: (Default)
When you call someone who you have reason to believe won't recognize your voice, it's polite to start with, "Hello, my name is $name, I'm calling from $company|$club|$friend's_house about $thing."

If you start with, "Is this milktree?" My response is, "Who are you?", closely followed up by "why are you calling me?" and then, "click."

I really should start with, "Well, who did you call?"
milktree: (Police state)
Warning: Rant about the insanity of NY's senate:

This is the only time I'll ever quote Ayn Rand, I promise:

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

For those of you who don't know, I'm a gun owner, I compete in sports that use guns, and I teach gun safety and marksmanship. I'm certified to teach NRA Basic Pistol, which is one of the courses approved by the MA State Police to fulfill the training/safety/education requirement necessary for a MA gun license. Part of the training requirement is a section on law, both MA and Federal. I spent a fair amount of time learning about this stuff, so this isn't just uninformed knee-jerk reactionary outrage. It's well informed, well thought out, knowledgeable outrage. Emphasis on "outrage".

I'm reading the "Gun Confiscation and Lawful Gun Owner Imprisonment Act" just passed by the NY State Senate and I'm absolutely baffled how any of those clowns could possibly think what they're proposing will have *any* positive effect on public safety, or how they could honestly think we're *so* stupid as to believe them when they say it.

One of the most offensive things about it is what Senate Republican
leader Dean Skelos said,

"It is well-balanced, it protects the Second Amendment, and there is no confiscation of weapons, which was at one time being considered."

Well balanced? What exactly was the balance? I see exactly one good thing in the bill, the names and addresses of gun owners will no longer be public record. But that's not a balance of anything, that's good for *everyone*.

What it does do:
- confiscates lots of currently legal magazines; any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, even pre '94 ones, must be turned in to authorities or sold out of state. All remaining magazines that hold eight or more rounds must be modified to only hold seven. This will destroy any gun competition in the state, since they *all* use 10 round magazines. Plus it'll make it nearly impossible to find "NY compliant" new magazines. How long before "common sporting use" in NY becomes "nothing", and a complete ban seems "reasonable"

- requires (allows?) mental health workers to report any patients that they deem "dangerous" to the state's department of criminal justice, branding that person as a "prohibited person" forever. The lesson is: don't get help if you're feeling blue, you might lose your rights; all it takes is an anti-gun shrink.

- current "assault weapons" must be registered with the state, and the definition will be changed from two "icky evil scary looking feature" to just one. That makes sense if anyone, at all, ever, was killed in a drive by bayoneting, or by a collapsible stock, or by a flash hider, or by a grenade launcher, or by a grip that's comfortable. (pistol grip)

- requires all private sales to go through an FFL, which means that every transaction will cost the seller $35 (whatever the FFL charges) but can't charge the buyer more than $10 for it. Do the people who write this shit realize how stupid that is? Why did they even mention the $10 part?

- background checks on all ammunition sales, including private sales. It would be illegal to sell an extra box of ammo to a guy at the range. "large" purchases of ammunition (no definition) would be tracked by the state. Do they realize that a reasonably active shooter can easily run through 12,000 rounds in a year, and that a very active competitive shooter can go through more than twice that?

Just for fun, read the section on ammunition sales in the actual bill, search for


It's insane, not just because it'll have zero effect on public safety, but because it's completely unworkable. It's clearly intended to make legally owning a gun so burdensome that people won't.

There is nothing balanced about this bill. Nothing. Unless you consider a burglar saying , "at least I didn't kill you" after ransacking your house and stealing your stuff, as "balanced".

Not a single thing in this bill will make anyone safer. Every single part of the "assault weapons" language does nothing but ban cosmetic features. That's not hyperbole. Not a single "evil feature" listed makes a gun more deadly. Imagine if red cars or ones with sunroofs became illegal with the justification that it'll stop drunk driving. It is exactly that stupid. Making ammunition sales burdensome does nothing, even the most heavily armed soldier only carries a few hundred rounds with him, and that's a small purchase of ammunition, they come in 50 or 100 rounds boxes. Requiring mental health providers to report dangerous patients will have the effect of driving people away from counseling they probably should get. The only part that might make any sense at all is the magazine limit, except that people who are willing to kill people don't particularly care about such a thing, and there's *millions* of regular/full capacity magazines out there. 18 years after the Federal AWB magazine capacity limit went into effect we still haven't run out of pre '94 full capacity magazines, they're trivially easy to get.

If there was any doubt that each little bit of incremental "reasonable", "common sense", "gun control" was anything other than just another step toward a total ban and confiscation of all guns you'd have to be willfully blind to not see that doubt vanish in a puff of insane screaming politicians.

Here's the bill in its entirety:
milktree: (Default)
    Minger n. or minging adj.

    An insult or a describing word. Means : gross, horrible, ugly and disguisting. You can say something is minging, e.g clothes, food and somebody. This word is normally used among British teenagers from a poorer back ground. The richer or middle class British teen will some times use it in a sentence to make fun of poorer teens or chavs. Pronounced m-ing-er or m-ing-ing.

    Jokey kind of way to a friend "stop being so annoying you minger" or "ewww your food looks minging"

    Mean way "your face is minging" or "your mums a minger"

copied from

The BBC show is "Five Days", I can't tell you if it's worth watching yet, but so far it's pretty good.
milktree: (Default)
    Concentrate is not a place that grows tons of fruit

Ha ha ha! There's lots more good ones. I've been caught by a bunch:
milktree: (projects)
I could watch youtube videos of machines that make things all day.

I love that stuff. When I was very young, my favorite part of Mr. Rogers was when he visited the [something] factory. I get sucked into "How it's Made" on Discovery (or History, or TLC, or whatever it is) even though it's a terrible show.
milktree: (Default)
This chick:

Who is, to my eyes, smokin' hot, is "self-conscious about [her] middle & thighs"

That's a pretty distorted view, there.
milktree: (Default)
I saw "Our Town" at The Huntington Theatre Company tonight.

It was really good. I don't like plays, and I still think that. It was $60/seat, I'm a cheapskate, and I still think it was totally worth it. I hate facebook, but it was worth posting about it there, too.

This particular presentation (arrangement?) was part of what made it so good. The first two acts were exceptionally minimalist, almost no props, modern costume, flat lighting, classic black box. But half way through act three, that all changes, shockingly, dramatically.

milktree: (Default)
A 20 minute video about sexual objectification and feminism:

I'm posting here 'cuz I want to hear your reaction to it.
milktree: (Default)
I'd like to see a debate where the candidates used a chess clock like timer, with a third button for the moderator.

It would work like this: The clock would start with the full time of the debate, split evenly between the candidates. When a candidate was talking, his time would count down. It would only stop counting down when he hit his button, at which point the other candidate's clock would count down. The moderator's clock would have no limit, when he pressed his button, it would cut off the other microphone and both candidate's clocks would count down at half speed. When a candidate ran out of time, his microphone would shut off, leaving the rest of the time to the others.

So, any of them could go off on a tear, but doing so would leave the others with more time at the end to get the last word.

I'd also like to see a moderator with a team of fact checkers who would call all the candidates on their lies and half truths. I also want to see a debate with more than two candidates. I also want a pony.
milktree: (Default)
A right wing guy I know just sent me this:

It's a collection of what Obama said in the '08 election next to what he's saying now. They're pretty similar, bordering on "exactly the same"

What I think is curious is that he sees this montage of then and now as an indictment of how Obama has done nothing, yet I see it as him being consistent in his goals.
milktree: (Default)
I just got an application for an absentee ballot, sent to me by the Mass. Democratic party.

I wonder what they're worried about.
milktree: (Default)
From the Maurice Sendak line of high fashion and haberdashery:


Apparently, it's a real thing, it's part of Mulberry's fall '12 collection:
milktree: (Default)
Congressman calls evolution lie from 'pit of hell'

    ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell" meant to convince people that they do not need a savior.

Here's the best part:

    Broun ... sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
milktree: (Default)
On the radio today they did a segment on "crutch words", words (or sounds) we use to, for lack of a better term, take up time while we think, or to add emphasis. When used for emphasis, they're not precise words, but rather our default "Pay attention to me!" words.

Some examples:
- like
- um..
- I mean
- you know
- literally
- so...
- listen
- you see

When I hear those out of context it always pokes me wrong, like the person doesn't really know what he's saying. That's not fair, I notice "um" and "so." (and use them myself when I'm not paying attention) but they don't strike me as sloppy the way like, I mean, and you know do.

What made me smile was that the guests on the show, the experts who really, truly, had lots of interesting stuff to say about the field of crutch words (Yes, it's a field), all said "you know" and "I mean" pretty regularly.

Now I'm extra sensitive to what I say; I prefer a pause over "um", and really really try to avoid, "I mean" and "you know".
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