Archive: January 10, 2016

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Sunday,  01/10/16  09:37 AM

I woke up this morning and said to myself, "self, this morning I'm going to blog [again]."  And so I am...

It has been three months.  Who can say why I stopped?  I was busy, but ... I'm always busy :)  Maybe I just didn't have much to say.  And who can say why I'm starting again?  I feel like I have a lot to say now...

Did you watch Pittsburgh survive Cincinnati last night?  That my friends is what you call winning ugly.  It was fun to watch though.  And today we have Seattle at Minnesota, in a game which is predicted to take place below zero.  Awesome. 

By the way, ESPN's website is now so horrible that I can't even find the right article to link.  What the heck happened over there?  It was *never* a good website, and *always* a bloated mess, but now it's some weird unorganized and unnavigable collection of crap.  Nobody could think it's a useful site, could they?

Sorry about Sport Illustrated's articles' video autoplay.  That has to be the single thing I hate the most online, amid heavy competition.  Actually if I could simply filter out all video the entire web would be better, for me.

PS do you remember why ESPN's URL is  Yep I do... it's a relic of the portal era.  Try visiting for an interesting surprise.

Oh I have so much to blog about.  Top of mind is the whole Ammon Bundy / Citizens for Constitutional Freedom thing.  It pisses me off that people who don't understand the first thing about what's going on there are commenting on it anyway.  Somehow it's cool if you're a SJW to claim racism here, like the only reason we don't call Bundy a terrorist is because he's white.  Sigh.  I don't condone the actions of Bundy et al, but clearly this sort of armed protest falls into a different category from Islamic fundamentalists.  And what's happened to the Hammonds is clearly an astonishing abuse of government power

By the way, my Bundy link is to Salon, which somehow managed to post a balanced article on this situation.  Even a stopped clock...

Reading Salon has become such a chore, not because I disagree with them (I do) but because they're so stupid.  I like reading the New Yorker for its intelligent discourse, and I used to like Salon for the same reason.  But the average IQ of the typical post there has plummeted...

For a good example of the stupidity of Salon, please see any one of their articles about the amazing success of Donald Trump, e.g. Trump talks at a fourth-grade level, maybe that's why the Fox News crowd loves him.  Trump is clearly an interesting phenomenon that deserves a more nuanced and thoughtful take than this. 

Do you follow Scott ("Dilbert") Adams?  You should, he's a great blogger.  His series of explanations for Trump's success, based on what he calls "the master persuader theory", have been wonderful.

In case you're wondering, I'm in the "anyone but Hillary" camp.  I think I support Cruz right now - based on IQ - but I'm actually warming to Trump.  Oh and I did/do like Fiorina, but I'm afraid she's peaked and could now only be chosen as a VP candidate, to balance the chromosomes on the GOP ticket.

Speaking of stupid, could our President's attack on gun ownership be any dumber?  Murder is already illegal, so why would passing more laws do anything to prevent murder? 

By the way, I don't own a gun and have never used one.  That you know :)  But I like the idea that a would-be burglar doesn't know that...

Have you seen The Force Awakens?  Or should I say, how many times have you seen it?  I think it's awesome!  (You knew I would.)  I might have to see it once again tonight :)  And I might have to tell you all the reasons why, but that would be another post.  Suffice it to say, for this longtime Star Wars fan (I remember standing in line for six hours to see the first one), it was a most satisfying continuation / restart, and washed away the sour taste of the three prequels.  Can't wait for the next one?  (Who *is* Rey!!!!) 

Related, 2015 was a great year for space movies.  In addition to The Force, we had The Martian, which was wonderful.  I loved the book, and I loved the way the book was brought to the screen.  And as a bonus, I love the way it rekindled a public interest in space.  Onward to Mars!

My favorite space movie of 2015 wasn't fiction; it was SpaceX launching eleven satellites into orbit, and then landing the booster so it can be reused!  I watched it live, absolutely on the edge of my seat, and when that rocket touched down I yelled louder than I have for anything for many years, tears in my eyes.  Absolutely awesome.  I think I'll be able to tell my grandchildren that yes I was there at the dawn of the commercial space era... 

Do you remember the landing on the moon?  (Possibly the right question would be, were you alive for the first landing on the moon :)  Well I do, I heard it on the radio, and man, was that exciting!  The dawn of the manned space.  Unfortunately that was 1969, and we haven't gone back since...  The ISS is all very exciting, but whole space shuttle thing never really got off the ground, so to speak.

PS NASA have started a blog, and it's great.  For example this post: Solar System 2016 preview.  Sounds like it will be a fun year, with Juno visiting Jupiter, the OSIRIS mission, Dawn doing a close flyby of Ceres, and Cassini's grand finale.

And finally, speaking of grandchildren, I'm a grandfather!  My oldest daughter Nicole now has a daughter of her own.  Naturally little Orionna has captured my heart already, and has showed a healthy interest in football.  More about her in the many years to come :) 

That's a picture of my Mom with her great-granddaughter.

Well that's enough for a Saturday morning!  I think in the coming days and weeks I'll blog in two directions, forward about new stuff, and backward about all the supremely interesting things that happened over the past three months...  stay tuned!



orbit 14

Sunday,  01/10/16  11:43 AM

You know what's cool?  Making your first post in a new year, after three months off, and discovering that all your blogging tools not only still work, but seamlessly made the transition.  My archive dutifully began recording a new year's set of posts, my logs rolled over, and I even have a new "this date in" link in the sidebar.  Yay.

This will be my fourteenth year of blogging, if you can believe that.  In that time I've made 3,193 posts, which included 9,870 images, and 22,527 links.  At the moment I get about 5,000 page views per day, about half of which come from RSS feed pulls.  That's so cool!

My most popular post is *still* the tyranny of email, which is still quite relevant today :), and my second is *still* IQ and populations, also still quite relevant in fact perhaps more so.  Those were both posted in 2003, my first year, and I don't think it's a coincidence; over time, blogging has become more diluted, both because there's way more people doing it, and way more other stuff competing with it.  And linking has become way less of a thing, so the Google juice you get from a popular post is way less.  I actually think Facebook juice is probably more relevant now, but it's a lot harder to measure.

Well enough naval gazing, onward into another trip around the sun.  It's going to be awesome!


the more things change

Sunday,  01/10/16  12:11 PM

I like blogging because I like sharing my thoughts, and the ego gratification of knowing they're being read is nice too.  But in recent years another reason I like blogging is because I like re-reading my own posts, many years hence.  The little Flight feature I have for my Archive is so cool for this; I can click a button and see what I was thinking about this time for each of the last fourteen years.  (Try it :)

So I just clicked it, and what did I find?

  • 2015: I was just settling in to watch football on a nice rainy day.  Well that sounds familiar :)
  • 2014: thinking about Space.  I guess I do that a lot.
  • 2013: checking in after ten years of blogging.
  • 2012: a summary post, after a year of blogging on Facebook...  and moving to Westlake Island, wow, can't believe that was five years ago!
  • 2011: blogging about football.  Heh.
  • 2010: my first Tesla test drive (in a Roadster).  The seed was clearly planted.  Not to mention a trippy 0s-and-1s Matrix-like graphic, so cool, I must keep that for future reference :)
  • 2009: a positive take on Obamacare, and Scott Adams on friends.
  • 2008: a filter pass with comments about science and the iPhone's impact, and also celebrating the 100th ScanScope at Aperio, and analyzing the Cowboy's Dilemma.
  • 2007: nothing, after a year of not-blogging :( except for an oasis of good stuff in May.
  • 2006: nada.  My nadir of blogging.  There was some cool stuff in February, though...
  • 2005: celebrating rain in San Diego (!), Vitamin D, TivoToGo, and a beach in an East German hanger...
  • 2004: Ottmar Liebert on home-making, LOTR, and blogging about blogging...
  • 2003: ten days after starting, a great list of  notes, including Reid Hoffman, my book, Peter Thiel, a family up for auction on eBay, Carl Sagan's baloney detector, and the problem with metadata.  Oh, and North Korea!  Well that sounds familiar:

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and the more I like blogging about how much things have changed and how much they've stayed the same.  Once in a lifetime...


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