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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in also_huey's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, January 1st, 2015
    1:20 am
    Current Videogame High Score List
    Arkanoid: as of 01SEP14
    also_huey - 754,770 / level 33 (the end guy is really hard)

    Two Tigers: as of 06MAY07
    also_huey (flying solo): 16 (missed two 8s and a 9)
    also_huey and Gebran: 13 (missed two 8s and a 9)
    also_huey and Jimmy: 12
    also_huey and smillaraaq: 11
    also_huey and sauergeek: 9
    It occurs to me that the score makes it look like I'm handicapped by having a partner, so I should probably add
    • that the rules while flying solo are easier than pairs, to the tune of the first three ships you have to sink, so my solo '16' basically equates to a pairs '13'
    • that all four of those people scored that on their very first (and, except for Ava, only) game
    • that two people scoring well depends on both of them having their best game, and my average game is a 10 or 11, and
    • that I play solo just about every day, while I've played pairs maybe a half-dozen times since I got the thing, so if I did that more often the pairs scores would be much higher
    so all four of them actually helped at the time, although I obviously could have done better myself.
    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
    11:17 pm
    Found money
    Between the divorce and the market crash, I was completely wiped out. Thirty-nine years old, single, and flat broke except for a falling-down house and a fourteen-year-old truck.

    So I gave up money. It's easy to do if you don't have any. Make enough to pay the bills, and don't worry about any other damn thing, because there's no point. ...unless somebody's going to pay me to worry, and then I'm a worryin' fool. But no, mostly people paid me to edit documents and manage an increasingly broken documentation process, so I just kept doin' that, and stopped opening mail about investments that were worth slightly less than the amount I was underwater on my house.

    Fast-forward to a couple months ago, I get cold-called by an investment adviser. He asks me if I need any help. I said "probably, but not anytime soon. I don't even KNOW how much money I have", and gave him a capsule summary of the divorce, the market crash, going from closer-to-millionaire-than-not to completely broke in the space of a few months, and giving up money.

    He says "I bet that really chapped your ass". I said no. "It's money. I made it once, I'll make it again."

    So today I started doing the forensic accounting. I'm not done yet (I think there might be another account or two still lurking in the piles of paper here) but so far it looks like, in the last six and a half years, I've made back about half of what I lost.

    And I think I've been leaving some employer-matching money on the table for the last six years, because I pretty much zeroed everything out when I realized how broke I was. So if I come up with a budget that allows me to live on, say, $100 less a week, that magically turns into $200 more a week into the kitty, and I'll get back the other half that much faster.

    It's time to start worrying about money again, I think.
    Sunday, November 9th, 2014
    1:23 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 18
    Exciting enough race, but aside from Ricciardo's front suspension failing at the end of the front straight (after which, he quite amazingly DID NOT CRASH) and Bottas having a bad day, people again generally finished in roughly the same order you think they would.

    Other news: Marussia is officially done. Caterham is attempting to crowdfund a trip to Abu Dhabi in the hopes of finishing 10th and collecting the US$11M in prize money, which would presumably go to pay of creditors. This seems like a long shot to achieve a bad idea, since they'd need one car to finish at least 10th AND ahead of a Sauber, and they've never finished as high as 10th, and their lead car has never finished ahead of a running Sauber.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 334 (10 wins, 15 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 317 (5 wins, 15 podiums)

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 214 (3 wins, 8 podiums, DSQ from 9th podium for tech)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 159 (4 podiums)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 157 (2 podiums)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 156 (5 podiums)
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 106 (1 podium)
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 98 (2 podiums)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 80
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 55 (1 podium)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 53
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 47 (1 podium, in 17 starts)

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 23
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 1
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (11 finishes, best 11th) (2 DFLs)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (12 finishes, best 12th) (3 DFLs)*
    Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
    6:18 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 17
    Two teams in receivership is really kind of a bummer. Hard to imagine that the world is short two mad zillionaires who are willing to flush a couple hundred million dollars down the toilet just so they can hobnob with the rest of the jet set. And now Kobayashi doesn't get the chance to redeem himself that he deserves. Also, this really doesn't bode well for Haas.

    The race itself was interesting, but the finishing order is pretty much what you'd expect.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 316 (10 wins, 14 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 292 (4 wins, 14 podiums)

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 214 (3 wins, 8 podiums, DSQ from 9th podium for tech)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 155 (5 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 149 (4 podiums)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 149 (2 podiums)
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 94 (1 podium)
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 83 (1 podium)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 76
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 53 (1 podium)
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 47 (1 podium, in 16 starts)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 47

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 23
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 1
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (10 finishes, best 11th) (2 DFLs)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (11 finishes, best 12th) (2 DFLs)*

    MEMBERS OF NO LONGER GOING CONCERNS:
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL, in 15 starts)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (11 finishes in 16 starts, best 11th) (6 DFLs)*
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (13 finishes in 16 starts, best 13th) (6 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (9 finishes in 14 starts, best 13th)
    André Lotterer (Caterham): 0 (0 finishes in 1 start)
    Sunday, October 12th, 2014
    1:07 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 16
    Another largely uneventful race, save for this: while Hamilton led flag-to-flag, Rosberg made a tragic screwup in the first corner, went to the back with a tire change, and then drove the entire race on one set of tires, and passed everybody else to finish where he started, in second. That's- ...that's not a thing that should be humanly possible, unless the Mercedes is really stunningly superior to every other car.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 291 (9 wins, 13 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 274 (4 wins, 13 podiums)

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 199 (3 wins, 7 podiums, DSQ from 8th podium for tech)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 145 (5 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 143 (4 podiums)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 141 (2 podiums)
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 94 (1 podium)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 76
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 71 (1 podium)
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 49 (1 podium)
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 47 (1 podium, in 15 starts)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 47

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 21
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL, in 15 starts)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (10 finishes, best 11th) (2 DFLs)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (11 finishes, best 11th) (6 DFLs)*
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (11 finishes in 15 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (10 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)*
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (13 finishes, best 13th) (6 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (9 finishes in 14 starts, best 13th)
    André Lotterer (Caterham): 0 (0 finishes in 1 start)

    *at Monza, Gutierrez finished ahead of Ericsson, but was scored behind him due to a penalty. I'm still giving Ericsson credit for the DFL.
    Sunday, October 5th, 2014
    2:16 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 15
    In stark contrast to the usual adage 'rain fucks up everything', other than the Alonso retirement and better-than-average drives by both STRs, the field almost finished in points order.

    Hope Bianchi is okay.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 266 (8 wins, 12 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 256 (4 wins, 12 podiums)

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 193 (3 wins, 7 podiums, DSQ from 8th podium for tech)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 139 (4 podiums)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 133 (2 podiums)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 130 (4 podiums)
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 82 (1 podium)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 76
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 71 (1 podium)
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 46 (1 podium, in 14 starts)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 45
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 39 (1 podium)

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 21
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (9 finishes, best 11th) (2 DFL)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (10 finishes, best 11th) (5 DFL)*
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (10 finishes in 13 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (9 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)*
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (13 finishes, best 13th) (6 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (9 finishes in 13 starts, best 13th)
    André Lotterer (Caterham): 0 (0 finishes in 1 start)

    *at Monza, Gutierrez finished ahead of Ericsson, but was scored behind him due to a penalty. I'm still giving Ericsson credit for the DFL.
    Saturday, September 27th, 2014
    7:16 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 14
    So busy last weekend, never wrote this up.

    Mercedes DNF karma finally regressed to the mean on Rosberg, which was a bummer. Same karma got Button. Bottas, who had a brilliant day, had a flat tire on the last lap that hosed him right out of the points. Kobayashi didn't make it to the end of the formation lap. Everybody else finished about where you think they should.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 241 (7 wins, 11 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 238 (4 wins, 11 podiums)

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 181 (3 wins, 7 podiums, DSQ from 8th podium for tech)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 133 (2 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 124 (3 podiums)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 122 (4 podiums)
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 72 (1 podium)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 72
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 65 (1 podium)
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 45 (1 podium, in 13 starts)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 45
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 39 (1 podium)

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 19
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (8 finishes, best 11th) (1 DFL)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (9 finishes, best 11th) (5 DFL)*
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (9 finishes in 13 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (8 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)*
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (12 finishes, best 13th) (6 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (8 finishes in 12 starts, best 13th)
    André Lotterer (Caterham): 0 (0 finishes in 1 start)

    *at Monza, Gutierrez finished ahead of Ericsson, but was scored behind him due to a penalty. I'm still giving Ericsson credit for the DFL.

    As the season winds down, the constructor-point standings are pretty much nailed down, except for Williams and Ferrari sorting out 3rd and 4th, and similarly Force India and McLaren 5th and 6th. Moving any other constructor from their current position would require some kind of miracle. This includes the clot of Marussia / Sauber / Caterham at the back.
    Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
    10:37 pm
    Seems to be going around
    I've been kind of in a funk for a couple days now. Maybe it's just a temporary patch of worse-than-usual insomnia, maybe it's the client fucking with us at work (the peak load day has just been postponed to the day after our first round of layoffs? You don't say! And we find out about this two days before that happens? EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!) and maybe it's just usual cyclical being-me-ness.

    Y'know, everything sucks, I complain; everything is going well, I start to ponder new things to complain about? Happy people don't make history, y'know. And a part of me still wants to change the world.

    Clearly, unhappiness is required. And to paraphrase Miranda: if you cannot afford unhappiness, unhappiness will be provided for you.
    Monday, September 8th, 2014
    12:20 am
    The religion show on the radio
    So, if the Bears game isn't on regular TV, I go to the irish bar. And if it's a 1PM game, on the way home, the religion show is on the radio.

    Whatever idiot it was on the religion show today informs us that your life has value in four ways:
    • your relationship with God
    • your relationship with the people around you
    • your relationship with your children, and
    • the wisdom and culture you pass on to them.
    So, if you're an atheist introvert with no kids: ...your life has no value?

    This does not seem like a very positive, uplifting, spiritual message to me. In fact, it kinda sounds like "well fuck THOSE people then".
    12:08 am
    2014 F1 Season, Week 13
    Of all of the unsurprising races, this was probably the unsurprisingest, except for Alonso blowing a motor. On the track where raw straight-line speed and mechanical grip are king, because there is no downforce, the Mercedes were 1-2, the Williams were 3-4, the Red Bulls were 5-6, and the remaining four top-10 were 3 Mercedes-powered cars and Kimi. Alonso had originally qualified 7th, and after that they asked him "is 7th as good as you can reasonably expect here?", and his answer was "no, 9th. The Force Indias." And, sure enough, Sergio Perez finished a second in front of Kimi. The cars came in almost exactly the order you might have predicted. The biggest surprise was probably the British guy, the German guy, and the Brazilian guy, all addressing the crowd under the podium in Italian.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 238 (4 wins, 11 podiums)
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 216 (6 wins, 10 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 166 (3 wins, 6 podiums, DSQ from 7th podium for tech)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 122 (4 podiums)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 121 (2 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 106 (2 podiums)
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 72 (1 podium)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 70
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 55 (1 podium)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 41
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 39 (1 podium, in 12 starts)
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 38 (1 podium)

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 11
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (8 finishes, best 11th) (1 DFL)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (8 finishes, best 11th) (5 DFL)*
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (8 finishes in 12 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (8 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)*
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (11 finishes, best 13th) (5 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (8 finishes in 12 starts, best 13th)
    André Lotterer (Caterham): 0 (0 finishes in 1 start)

    *at Monza, Gutierrez finished ahead of Ericsson, but was scored behind him due to a penalty. I'm still giving Ericsson credit for the DFL.
    Thursday, September 4th, 2014
    9:37 pm
    IT'S OFFICIAL
    I'm broker than I have been since my second divorce, which happened during the market crash and the housing market crash.

    The dog's vet bills wiped out my hockey ticket fund, and then the trip to my cousin's wedding wiped out my emergency fund, and the $1000 in repairs the truck needed to pass a state safety inspection wiped out my twelve-year streak of "I fucking refuse to carry a credit card balance" record.

    As comfortable as my life is, I live pretty close to the edge. You don't live inside the beltway without 1) paying a huge mortgage, and 2) making a huge amount of money to be able to afford that mortgage, and I'm doing both, but it's right at the fucking tipping point. ...and the last $7000 worth of unforeseen bills have kind of thrown me over that.

    I dunno what the goddamn fuck I'm gonna do, but I'm pretty sure that it won't be pleasant.
    Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
    1:24 am
    PLONK
    One of the really depressing things about Ava is that I'm pretty sure she mentally filed the entire world into three groups:
    - people who will not be offered the opportunity to disappoint me,
    - people who have disappointed me, and
    - people who have not disappointed me yet.
    The first group was the overwhelming majority of the world. The second was the few dozen people who she had ever considered friends. The third group, up until a year or so before we got divorced, was just me. ...and then I moved up a notch.

    She's probably said the words 'never speak to me again' to more different people than even the most socially-maladaptive Kardashian. She'd implemented real-world killfiles. Letters from her mother went into the trash, unread. She didn't answer the phone, and only occasionally listened to the answering machine messages. She'd managed to almost completely shut off the outside world, except on her own very carefully considered terms.

    I worry about being like that. Not, like, being an insane shut-in I guess, but more that I still get a little bummed out when I have to fire somebody off of the facebooks. When someone is shitty to me for no reason I can understand, I no longer get upset and lash out, I say "That's disappointing" and press the 'you go away now' button.

    And the lesson I learned from Usenet is that, once I've reached the point of finding someone content-free, removing them from the killfile usually just gives me enough information to confirm that initial decision.

    ...but man, the software holds a grudge better than Ava did, and I'm not convinced that's a good thing.
    Sunday, August 24th, 2014
    4:31 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 12
    A lot has been made of how 'over' Lewis is, which is kind of silly. There are seven races left, and double points for the last one, so for the sake of 'math', we'll call that eight. The difference between 1st and 2nd is 7 points. That's 56 points in play for two cars expected to finish first and second. Lewis is only behind by 29. He wins four races to Nico second, and he's one point back. It's not anywhere near over.

    Brilliant drive today by Magnussen, dicing with Vettel, Button, and Alonso, and getting the better of 'em for most of the race -- in a clearly inferior car -- to finish 6th, just behind Vettel and ahead of Button and Alonso. Bag of dicks to the FIA for giving him a 20s penalty for what was a fairly similar move to what Lewis gave Nico, which dropped him to 12th.

    Also, did some nerding and figured that, if either Kobayashi or Ericcson manage to finish 11th and ahead of the lead Sauber in two different races (this has happened once all season, due to Monaco attrition rather than skill and speed) or somehow manage a 10th, Sauber could be behind both backmarker teams, and get the same no money that Caterham got at the end of last season.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 220 (4 wins, 10 podiums)
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 191 (5 wins, 9 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 156 (3 wins, 6 podiums, DSQ from 7th podium for tech)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 121 (2 podiums)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 110 (4 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 98 (2 podiums)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 70
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 68 (1 podium)
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 40
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 39
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 37 (1 podium)
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 33 (1 podium, in 11 starts)

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 11
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 8
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (7 finishes, best 11th) (1 DFL)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (7 finishes, best 11th) (4 DFL)
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (7 finishes in 11 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (7 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (11 finishes, best 13th) (5 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (7 finishes in 11 starts, best 13th)
    André Lotterer (Caterham): 0 (0 finishes in 1 start)
    Monday, August 18th, 2014
    10:36 pm
    Some days, it just doesn't pay to be a Social Justice Party Viking Ally
    Look: 'intersectionality' does not mean "no one can ever be wrong".

    Suppose, for example, there's a one-legged left-handed red-headed homosexual named Earl, who believes very firmly that he is the Queen of France. Choose as many as you like of the following:
    1) if you point out that Earl is not the Queen of France, you are obviously homophobic
    2) is you suggest that an earnest belief in a delusion is less than optimal, you are punching down and ableist against those with mental health challenges
    3) ...wait, WHAT?
    4) y'know, I'm not an expert on european history or political systems, but I am pretty sure that 1) the Queen of France would have to be a woman, and 2) France does not currently have a Queen, and hasn't for quite a long time, which kind of suggests that Earl may be delusional
    5) hey, if a firm belief in one's being the Queen of France helps him get by, what's it hurt?
    6) you're just punching down on poor Earl, you toxic bastard. To hell with you!

    I scored a 'yes' on all of those except 5, where I got an 'I dunno'. I mean, maybe he just lets all the neighborhood kids eat cake. Maybe he gets arrested breaking into the Bastille. Maybe he cuts up his mother and makes a dress out of her skin. I DON'T KNOW. Delusional people sometimes act delusional. It's kind of inherent to the whole 'delusional' thing.

    So, I was banned from RationalWiki.

    ...this is supposed to be an object lesson in 'irony', right?
    Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
    8:00 pm
    Negative Work
    One of the more important lessons I've learned in management positions is the concept of Negative Work. When you first enter the workforce, you might have a certain amount of resentment for that guy who doesn't do anything. He's busy taking up valuable oxygen and paychecks, and not doing any fucking work at all, and it just doesn't seem fair that you're there breaking your ass, while this other guy fucks off, and they don't fire him.

    Once you get into management, you learn that this guy is not the problem. In fact, there's at least a half-dozen or so reasons I can come up with off the top of my head why I, as a manager, would keep somebody who literally was doing zero productive work.

    Sure, in a perfect world, you don't want to keep someone who is a net loss to the company, but what you really don't want, even worse than somebody doing zero work, is somebody doing negative work, somebody who fucks up so badly that it takes a productive employee time to undo what they've done, just to get back to the point where they started, and THEN do what they were allegedly trying to do in the first place.

    If you have a negative worker, it's actually to your advantage if they do absolutely nothing. Since you can't really tell them to just sit there in the corner (unless you're a japanese corporation, anyway) you wind up doing what we did in the Army: give them something harmless to do, but time consuming. We really did make kids dig holes, and then when they're done, we inspected the hole, and said "good job. Now fill it back in and make it look like we were never here". There's office-environment versions of this. They usually involve Microsoft Excel.

    I mention this because the last time my parents were here, my mom insisted on cleaning my kitchen, while my dad did yard work. She 'reorganized' everything in the kitchen (i.e: "hid everything such that some of it took days to find") while my dad butchered one of the two thriving azaleas I had in the front yard.

    A couple days after they left, they put a message on my facebooks. "There's poison ivy in the front yard". I responded "whups, forgot to tell you about that. ...we're even for the kitchen". Seriously, Mom, in what universe does it make any goddamn sense at all that half of the tupperware and all of the mason jars are suddenly stored in a cardboard box in the closet of the guest room? Especially when the shelf you took all of that shit off of is now half-empty?

    Today, in a cleaning frenzy, we un-Mom-ed the kitchen. Mason jars are in the cabinet over the fridge. Food that rotates quickly is on the bottom shelf. Baking shit is on the top shelf. There are four sizes of tupperware, that all has lids that match, and the mismatched tupperware is all either in the recycling or the Goodwill box. And it only took us about an hour and a half to undo and re-do everything Mom so cleverly screwed up.

    Next time, Mom? We're just going to drop you off on the mall and point you at interesting Smithsonian exhibits. Stay the hell out of my kitchen.
    Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
    1:05 am
    Unpacking my defects
    I've really been trying to work on my detached snark at the rest of humanity. An ex-girlfriend once told me "I think that the rest of the world exists largely for your amusement", and that was certainly true for a long time, but I've come to realize that my laughter is not helping.

    But when I look at the people that I have tried to help -- some very close to me -- there seems to be a trend of something between fatalism and outright reality-denial. This ranges from the belief that we live in the best of all possible worlds, meaning that there's no point in preparing for the future because it's all downhill from here, to a lack of belief in any future at all. We could all die tomorrow, so what's the point of folding the fucking laundry, much less trying to find a better-paying job or pay down the credit-card debt?

    I've known at least a half-dozen people on that spectrum, but I find myself wondering if, instead of asking "What the fuck is wrong with you?", I shouldn't instead be asking "What the fuck is wrong with me, that I'm incapable of understanding what the fuck is wrong with you?" What is it that I don't get? What advantage do I have that so blinds me to how that could possibly make sense inside someone else's head?

    My first thought was that it's because I once hit bottom - I knew that my life was valueless, I had left no mark, and had I never existed, no one would miss me. I've experienced being alone to the point that knowing there was no one out there who could help, and learned how to help myself, sometimes painfully and through sheer cussedness.

    But then I thought: ...no, some of those people have hit that bottom as well, but somehow never managed to learn that lesson when they were down there. Besides, everybody has a Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them, so I don't really have a corner on that market. And there's no point in playing in the It Sucks To Be Me Contest. First, from a pragmatic standpoint: I've never killed anybody, never had a friend die in my arms, never been raped; I'd lose to any of my friends who have one or more of those experiences. Second, from a philosophical standpoint: there are no winners in the It Sucks To Be Me Contest, because everybody has a Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them, and nobody is measured by it, but instead by how they got past it to the rest of their lives.

    ..."the rest of their lives". There it is again, that belief that I have, that not only is there a tomorrow, but there's things I can do today that will make it better, or at least slightly less worse. [1]

    Is that it? They never got past it? They're still so marred by whatever that trauma was that they're incapable of believing in a life that's better?



    [1]IRC, somewhere around 2002:
    <AB> Life at f"(x): if things are getting worse at a decreasing rate, that's an improvement.
    <huey> Kind of derivative, innit?
    <Bunny> death is too good for you!

    ...so it seems I've known this for a while. And apparently, I've done a shitty job of teaching it to other people.
    Sunday, July 27th, 2014
    2:17 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 11
    It's axiomatic that "Rain fucks up everything", but oddly, today it really didn't. I mean, sure: Kimi, Magnussen, and Hamilton had some tragic qualifying, starting 16th, 21st, and 22nd respectively, but finished 6th, 12th, and (holy shit) THIRD. And normally rock-solid Force India had the first double-DNF of the year, and the first race where Hulkenberg didn't score points. And both Ricciardo and Alonso finished ahead of both Mercedes. But, other than that- brilliant race, but nothing particularly shocking.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 202 (4 wins, 9 podiums)
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 191 (5 wins, 9 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 131 (2 wins, 5 podiums, DSQ from 6th podium for tech)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 115 (2 podiums)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 95 (3 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 88 (2 podiums)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 69
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 60 (1 podium)
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 40
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 37 (1 podium)
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 29 (1 podium, in 10 starts)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 27

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 11
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 6
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (6 finishes, best 11th) (1 DFL)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (6 finishes, best 11th) (3 DFL)
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (7 finishes in 10 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (6 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (10 finishes, best 13th) (5 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (7 finishes, best 13th)
    Friday, July 25th, 2014
    12:29 am
    Odd signs that my brain is finally coming together:
    Today, I wrote my father's eulogy.

    He's not dead yet, mind you. And I haven't actually written it down, either. But because I'm the literate one in the family, apparently it falls on me to be the one who says things, when things need to be said. So I have to plan this shit ahead of time, or else wind up working on a brutal deadline while I'm hammered- ...and nobody wants that.

    But now that I've accomplished this, after today, when my father eventually DOES kick it, I know what I'm gonna say.

    And I think perhaps I'm going to sing a song. And I think it's going to be a very joyful song, perhaps the most joyful song I know on the subject of buying marijuana from the mailman. ...not that I have any evidence that my father ever bought marijuana from the mailman, mind you, just that it's a very pretty song, and seems appropriate.
    Sunday, July 20th, 2014
    4:04 pm
    2014 F1 Season, Week 10
    Aside from Massa upside-down, Ricciardo going to the back avoiding it, Danny Kvyat on fire, and an inspired drive by Bottas, this race wound up pretty close to points order.

    COULD WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP:
    Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 190 (4 wins, 9 podiums) - 1st or 2nd in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED
    Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 176 (5 wins, 8 podiums) - a podium in EVERY RACE HE'S FINISHED

    HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING A PODIUM:
    Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 106 (1 win, 4 podiums, DSQ from 5th podium for tech)
    Fernando Alonso (Ferrari): 97 (1 podium)
    Valtteri Bottas (Williams): 91 (3 podiums)
    Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull): 82 (2 podiums)
    Nico Hülkenberg (Force India): 69
    Jenson Button (McLaren): 59 (1 podium)
    Kevin Magnussen (McLaren): 37 (1 podium)
    Felipe Massa (Williams): 30
    Sergio Pérez (Force India): 29 (1 podium, in 9 starts)
    Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 19

    HAVEN'T QUITE FIGURED SHIT OUT YET:
    Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso): 9
    Romain Grosjean (Lotus): 8
    Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 6
    Jules Bianchi (Marussia): 2 (1 DFL)
    Adrian Sutil (Sauber): 0 (5 finishes, best 11th) (1 DFL)
    Marcus Ericsson (Caterham): 0 (6 finishes, best 11th) (3 DFL)
    Pastor Maldonado (Lotus): 0 (6 finishes in 9 starts, best 12th)
    Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber): 0 (6 finishes, best 12th) (1 DFL)
    Max Chilton (Marussia): 0 (9 finishes, best 13th) (4 DFLs)
    Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham): 0 (7 finishes, best 13th)
    (Despite being in last place in the standings, Kobayashi has never finished in the dead fucking last position. In fact, in races they've both completed, Kobayashi is 6-1 head-to-head against Chilton. But, because of the way tiebreaker points work, he needs a 14th in which he either finishes ahead of Chilton or else Chilton retires in order to pass him in the standings)
    Saturday, July 12th, 2014
    9:28 pm
    On the fallout from a Nuclear Dramabomb
    One of the interesting things that happened while I was in Texas was that an ONOZ DRAMAZ happened in Boston. If you're not familiar with it, you're curious, and you have at least an hour to kill, start here, read all of the comments, follow all of the links to where they go, read all the comments THERE, and so on.

    If you can't devote an hour of your life to someone else's turd farm, here's the summary:
    1) A and B, a couple, are hosting a large party
    2) C, who usually attends this party, has a restraining order against D
    3) D arrives at A & B's party
    4) E, F, G, and H, all familiar with item #2, inform C
    5) C informs someone at the party that they will show up, explicitly or implicitly (it is not clear) suggesting that police will as well.
    6) all of the above except D, and several-dozen-odd others -- most apparently people of at least reasonably good will and above-average intelligence -- instantly form up into Megatron and Mechagodzilla and have an epic raging battle over whether A&B or C are being bigger dickbags here, and many of them say a variety of unfortunate things to each other in the course of doing so.

    Now, these people are all, at best, friends-of-friends to me. I know who some of them are, I may have met a handful of them in person on few enough occasions to not remember any of them. I'm not emotionally invested in either side from the 'defend my friend' standpoint, and I started reading this, what one of the participants called 'an epic shitshow', mostly out of something between cultural anthropology and slowing down to look at a bus accident.

    But I recognize arguments that I've heard from my own friends. And I know that somewhere out there on the internet, in a place I cannot see, is one of these epic shitshows where I am Person D, and I wonder who, among the people I think of as friends, said unfortunate things about me.

    I know it exists, because I can still measure the fallout. More than a couple years ago, a not entirely dissimilar dramabomb went off here. And while I'm only familiar with the facts that I witnessed, the discussion of my relative merits as a human being must have taken place, because I can still see ripple effects years later, and now every time somebody is an ass to me for no reason I can understand, I wonder if their perception of me isn't colored by what nonsense they were told. For example:
    - a couple that I thought of as friends contacted me to retract a wedding invitation that they'd previously sent, because Person C might be there.
    - someone I thought of as a good friend didn't want to carpool with me, for fear of being seen with me by Person C.
    - invitations to social functions that I'd been welcomed at in the past stopped coming
    - at the now-fewer social events I am present at, I occasionally get a comment directed at me that seems to suggest something between "you are not welcome here" and "you are a terrible person and I hope you get hit by a bus".

    Now, I understand that everybody has different standards for 'terrible person who should get hit by a bus', but I'd point out that the same person who said that I was a stalker and a rapist and that talking to me was so painful that I'd been blocked from ever contacting her in any way whatsoever also later gave me her dog when she left the country. And I took care of that poor old dog as best as I could, and a thousand-odd dollars in vet bills later when his body eventually gave out, I took him to the vet and he died with his head on my knee. And after my first divorce, I'd say that experience was probably the second-most heartbreaking thing to ever happen to me.

    ...and then she complained to a friend that I didn't contact her when the dog died.

    A part of me will always love her, but she's fucking crazy enough that I'm perfectly okay with that whole 'never contact me again' thing. That's something I can respect. But I can't help but wonder how many unfortunate things she's said about me that everyone in Team Mechagodzilla simply accepted as fact, that I am a terrible person who should be hit by a bus?

    You cannot un-say something really unfortunate. The apology, the retraction, the correction -- there's a research paper that suggests that, for people who have already made up their minds, these only serve to reinforce the original point. For these people, I will always be a terrible person who should be hit by a bus.

    I am not a terrible person, and even if I was, my bus-avoiding skills are legendary. But this ongoing perception has altered my life, and not really in a good way.

    So when I look at somebody else's dramabomb fallout, here's what little perspective I can offer:
    - Please try to remember that people who disagree with you are operating in good faith, and you cannot un-say something really unfortunate.
    - When someone says something really unfortunate, try to understand both the emotions that have driven them to say that, as well as learning the underlying facts. Karl Rove was wrong; no one creates their own reality.
    - Leaping to defend your friend is noble, but your friends are human, and they can be wrong.
    - ...well THAT sure coulda been handled better.
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