“Since March a group of protesters have been guarding the entrance to the Volodarsky salt mine, which holds an underground collection of at least a million firearms ranging from first world war heavy machine guns to Soviet-era Kalashnikovs.”—
Whomever wrote this piece for the Atlantic seems to hold my view on hops, namely that their overuse in craft beer is fucking ridiculous and ruining craft beer. If you want a hoppy beer, drink an IPA and enjoy the hell out of it. But how about we don’t over-hop our hefeweizens and porters and stouts and lagers and pilsners and every other fucking type of goddamn beer that wasn’t overhopped until a bunch of fucking hipster douchebags decided they wanted to make beer because Wil Wheaton made it “cool”? (N.B. Technically, I blame Sam Adams for the overuse of hops…must be all those fucking beans they eat in Boston that dulls their goddamn tastebuds.)
For the non-beer drinkers who might drink wine, here’s my SAT analogy: beer : overhopped beer :: tannic wine : eating a fucking banana peel
Are you fucking kidding me? Take the nastiest thing about beer and make it into a non-alcolholic drink? Smart. Perhaps next, we can take milk and let it sit for six weeks in a peat bog so it can take on the smoky undertones of scotch.
Be a goddamn grownup and drink a fucking non-alcoholic drink if you want a non-alcoholic drink (the marketing justification from the makers of this vile brew is that they’re targeting people with the maturity of newborns.)
I subscribe to an email list that announces upcoming entries in a monthly series of industry webinars.
This morning, instead of following the instructions in the email about who to contact with questions, one person simply hit reply and wrote that he was having problems registering for the upcoming webinar. That reply went out to everyone on the email list.
Someone else replied that they were having the same problem. Others replied that they were getting these replies and they didn’t understand why. People started telling everyone to stop replying. Someone in charge of the list said that he didn’t understand what was happening, but that he was going to investigate. More people replied to say they were getting other people’s replies. Someone suggested that people should use the unsubscribe link in the original email to stop getting emails. People then tried to unsubscribe by replying and saying “Please unsubscribe me” or some variant of that. More replies of people saying they were getting all the replies. Lots of yelling to stop replying.
The current totals in the broad categories of responses are:
I Can’t register for webinar: 2
I’m getting all the replies: 18
Fix the email system: 5
Stop replying to the emails: 18
Use the unsubscribe link: 2
Unsubscribe me: 4
I desperately want to chime in with some nonsense to keep this going, but I know that clients are on this list. *sadface*
This morning I had a meeting out at a bridge that we’re going to be replacing. When I arrived at the site, there was a Canada goose flopping about in the road, right at the bridge. It had obviously been hit by a car and couldn’t stand up. It’s uncaring goose friends were off grazing on the grass on the side of the road, leaving it to fend for itself.
I was the first one to arrive for the meeting, and I didn’t want to stand there for an hour watching it flail helplessly in the roadway while other cars just drove around it, so I put on my safety vest, picked it up, and put it on the side of the road. Now I could stand there for an hour and watch it flail helplessly on the grass. Except that when it’s goose friends walked down a short patch away from the bridge to the river I had the bright idea to bring the goose over there so that it could rest (and eventually die) in a more peaceful spot. And I wouldn’t be able to see it.
When I put the goose down at the water’s edge, though, it clearly wanted to go into the water. It was flailing it’s wings and stretching, but just couldn’t move, so I picked it up again and put it in the water. That seemed to calm it down, and it managed to work it’s way out to be with its friends.
I forgot about the dam spillway, though.
The dam is right next to the site, and I facepalmed as the current started to grab the goose, which clearly couldn’t swim against the force. About a minute later, it went over the spillway. It survived the fall, which was only a few feet high, but instead of continuing to follow the current downstream it got caught in the eddies at the bottom and struggled to stay afloat as the falling water tossed it around. I decided that I couldn’t watch and walked away. But when I checked back a few minutes later, it was gone. I don’t know if it finally got out of the eddies or if drowned.
Scientists have, throughout history, taken some ridiculously insane risks, and endured much pain, in the name of science. For instance, we’ve talked previously about John Stapp, human crash-test dummy, Werner Forssman, who stuck a catheter into his own heart, and Stubbins Ffirth, who ate human vomit to better understand the contagiousness of yellow fever.
It turns out that this tradition of risk in the name of science is alive and well today! As Ed Yong reports at Not Exactly Rocket Science, a graduate student put his own unmentionables on the line to study exactly how painful bee stings can be:
It started when a honeybee flew up Michael Smith’s shorts and stung him in the testicles.
Smith is a graduate student at Cornell University, who studies the behaviour and evolution of honeybees. In this line of work, stings are a common and inevitable hazard. “If you’re wearing shorts and doing bee work, a bee can get up there easily,” he says. “But I was really surprised that it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.”
That got him thinking: Where’s the worst place on the body to get stung?
So I ended up spending a day and a half at that engineering conference. It was fucking awful.
Why? Primarily because structural engineers lack the gene that enables people to give effective presentations. It’s an evolutionary quirk. I’d explain it to you in a little more detail, but sadly, I lack the gene myself.
The conference featured an enormous number of presentations that generally fell into one of three categories:
Practicing engineers who were presenting a case study for an “interesting” project that they had worked on.
Academic researchers who were presenting research they had done.
Non-engineering professionals who were presenting on a topic related to the engineering consulting business (eg., legal, ethics, project management)
I tried to mainly attend the case study presentations. These have the most potential to be directly relevant to my work. Sadly, they are often presented by people with absolutely no public speaking ability. And when you combine the inability to speak publicly with a person to whom English is a second language and thus heavily accented, the result is often a monotonous unintelligible series of word-like sounds interrupted by periodic “ums”. And sometimes the project has been designed but not yet constructed, so the innovative method that is the focus of the case study is still really just theoretical.
I try my best to stay away from the academics. These are invariably painful yawners with no practical applications. This was confirmed when there were no better options and I reluctantly sat in on one. Stick-a-fork-in-my-eye bad.
I sat in on a few of the non-engineers presenting on business topics. These people were better speakers, but their presentation content absolutely sucked. I sat through three of these consecutively, and I have no idea what any of them were trying to convey. They had no point. And they were spouting the most rudimentary stuff and trying to pass it off as paradigm-changing insight. Did you know that you should prioritize your tasks by doing the most important ones first?
At lunch today, we discovered that the ticket package we purchased did not include tickets for the buffet lunch that was being provided in the exhibition hall. We were told it would cost an additional $45 per person. For a sandwich buffet. In an exhibition hall. Set in amongst the various exhibition booths staffed with vendors promoting their concrete anchors, reinforcing bar couplers, and computer modelling programs. We went next door to Legal Sea Foods and had a great lunch for $20.
The swag sucked. Usually at these conferences the exhibitors do all they can to hand out as much branded crap that they can. Not this time. Most of the booths were giving out nothing but brochures. If I wanted to read about your product I’d go to your web site. Don’t give me a fucking brochure. What is this, the ’90s? I managed to grab a few pens and a water bottle, but that was pretty much it.
The best thing about this conference was his teeny bottle of Tobasco Sauce that I swiped from the table at breakfast because it was so damn cute.
I just compiled a combined youth baseball and soccer schedule for the Spring because both boys are playing both sports. I’m now crying because it appears that the only thing I’ll be doing on the weekends for the next two months is hanging out at the baseball and soccer fields.
Did our taxes today. We’re getting a refund. I wasn’t expecting that. Pleasant surprise.
All this rain has me nervous about getting water in the basement. I’ve patched a few leaks in the masonry joints at the base of the chimney well this Winter, but today i can see moisture tying to work it’s way through the blocks around the joints. There must be a leak in the chimney’s exterior foundation wall that’s allowing water into the well and pooling in there. I don’t know how I can fix that except by digging out the foundation wall from the outside, where the walkway and steps to the side door are. That will be a fun project.
My soon-to-be-93-year-old grandmother told me that her City announced a program for this year that would allow homeowners to get a $750 rebate on their property taxes if they performed 40 hours of community service, and that she keeps calling City Hall to find out what she can do to participate. They keep telling her that the program hasn’t actually started yet because they haven’t gotten the details worked out. She keeps calling, though. She hopes they don’t have her answer phones, because her memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
My group is scheduled to go to an engineering conference in Boston on Thursday and Friday, but we’ve got so much work at the office that I don’t know how we’re going to manage that. We bought the tickets at a time when we weren’t busy, but things changed quickly. We may have to eat the tickets, or maybe just send a couple of people.
Glenn was disappointed that the movie portrayal of the story of Noah, which is about God flooding the planet in order to destroy all of mankind because of their evil and wickedness, was strongly antihuman.
If you have State Farm Insurance and wish to speak to your agent, you do so by singing, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” at which point an agent at a State Farm Insurance office building steps into a portal that instantly transports the agent to your current location.
But how does the agent get back to his/her office? They have to walk, obviously, because there’s no portal at your house that they can step into.
But what happens if the agent transports to you from an office that’s far away, like Florida? Do they fly back? Because that’s too far to walk.
I told him that’s why we don’t have State Farm. It’s not nice to make them try to get back to their office on their own.
Last Fall, i broke my rule about never volunteering for anything when I agreed to be an assistant coach for Brian’s soccer team. I agreed to do it because I thought it might help Brian be more engaged out on the field, and because his coach all but begged for someone to help him. So I did, and it was kind of fun. There’s not much responsibility for an assistant coach of 6-year-olds to do. Basically, it’s akin to being an assistant cat herder.
So now this Spring there were a couple of coaches who aren’t returning, and the league needs people to coach those teams, and the guy I helped out last Spring also happens to be the league Coordinator, and since I did such a great job as an assistant in the Fall he thought I’d be a great head coach this Spring. So now I’m a head coach.
“In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.”—
This is the full text of the bill, filed by State Senator William Ross (R, Wrentham). Now, there’s no way this bill makes it out of committee, but what the fuck was this guy thinking even filing this bill?
The best thing in the world is when an episode of Dora the Explorer comes on and you realize you have the book for that episode and you can run and get it so you can page through the book along with the show and point out how the pictures in the book are JUST LIKE ON THE TV!
Either this is the worst case of Strep Throat ever, or I’ve got a virus on top of it. Stupid fever still won’t go away. Kathy seems to think it’s the flu, which is probably not an unreasonable guess. Note: I did get a flu shot this season. I had to take another day off work, which is not good…
But Kathy has been amazing and attentive to my needs.
Either this is the worst case of Strep Throat ever, or I’ve got a virus on top of it. Stupid fever still won’t go away. Kathy seems to think it’s the flu, which is probably not an unreasonable guess. Note: I did get a flu shot this season. I had to take another day off work, which is not good because we’ve got some projects with deadlines coming up that we’re falling behind on. Plus, I found out one of the guys in my group called in sick with similar symptoms. Then tomorrow, I’m supposed to spend the afternoon at a seminar, followed by a dinner / awards presentation that will likely go well into the evening. Arrggghh.
I’d been fighting off a cold for about a week, when on Saturday morning I was suddenly also hit with a fever and sore throat. After suffering with that for a day, I went to urgent care yesterday and got diagnosed with Strep Throat. I’m only just now starting to feel human again. Before, I just felt like a steaming pile of shit.
When I get fevers, my brain likes to screw with me when I try to sleep. This time was no exception. Saturday night, instead of allowing me to go to sleep, my brain decided that it would play clips of the movie Spies Like Us while I was in a state of half-sleep delirium. Over and over. Repeatedly. All friggin’ night. I haven’t seen the movie in ages, so I don’t know why my brain wanted to show me that. Maybe just because it’s a funny movie?
Rules: Always post the rules. Answer the questions of the person who tagged you and write 11 new ones. Tag 11 people and link them. Let them know they are tagged.
My 11 Questions:
1. James Bond: Overrated, Underrated, Properly Rated?
I guess it depends on who’s doing the rating. If it’s someone who rates him as “kick-ass awesome”, then he’s properly rated.
2. Best live event (concert, sporting event, play, etc.) you’ve witnessed in person?
Sarah McLachlan at the Orpheum in Boston was pretty awesome.
3. Have you willfully or intentionally caused a traffic accident?
No. But I came *this* close when I punched my brakes on a tailgater. A few times. I can’t stand tailgaters.
4. Ever been seasick?
No. But I fainted once while fishing. Back in college, I think. We were on a party boat off Plymouth fishing for cod, but just kept pulling up dogfish because there weren’t any cod left in the bay. The crew members would cut the dogfish off the lines, break their skulls, and toss them back. I wasn’t too happy with this procedure. I was watching one of rejected dogfish in its death throes spiralling down into the murky depths and the next thing i knew I was lying on the deck of the boat with my friend over me asking if I was ok. I was lucky I didn’t go over the railing.
5. What song is guaranteed to make you stop whatever it is you are doing and get up and dance?
The Hot Dog Dance. Fortunately, the kids have stopped watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so I don’t have to do that any more.
6. Given the abject failure of Leninism and the true horrors of Stalinism and Maoism, is it now a given that socialism cannot work as an organizing principle for a society?
I don’t know. It seems like those failures were caused by the people running the system, and not necessarily the system itself. I think it could work if entrusted to the right people. But perhaps the system lends itself to making leaders corrupt. So maybe it’s a catch-22.
7. Is there a truly classic, seemingly untouchable Hollywood film that you would like to see remade? By whom? Starring whom?
I’m not really a big proponent of remakes. If a movie is a classic, what’s to be gained artistically by remaking it?
8. What profession other than your own or what you’re studying to do most intrigues you?
Lactation Consultant. Babies and boobs. What could be better?
9. Is there a food your family/partner/spouse loves and serves/enjoys often that you cannot stand?
Nope. I eat almost anything as long as it isn’t overly spicy. Kathy’s father, though, used to love to serve turnip when we went over for dinner, which I’m not fond of. I think he did it as a challenge. I would still eat it, though.
10. Worst book you ever finished reading all the way through, just for spite and hate-reading and rage?
Countdown by David Hagberg. Back in my techno-thriller phase. Truly terrible writing.
11. Would you go into space if offered a seat on a Soyuz rocket?
I don’t think so. I’m pretty risk-averse, and this seems quite risky.
I don’t really have the energy to think of 11 new questions right now, so I’m not going to tag anyone else. Look at me breaking the rules!