Sunday, 1 December 2013

09:24 – We just ended a pretty decent month, with sales about 2.1 times those of November 2012. If that growth rate holds up for this month, we’ll ship 60 or 70 kits in December.

We just started watching series two of Reven8e on Netflix streaming. The plot, such as it is, is ridiculous, but I’ll watch anything at least once if it stars Emily VanCamp.

Speaking of adorable Canadian actresses, there’s the incomparable Amber Marshall, whom I’ll watch over and over. And over. Barbara is heading over to her mom’s today to get her apartment decorated for the holiday. I have only six episodes left in series six of Heartland, so I’ll probably watch those while Barbara’s away today and then jump back and start watching series one again. I plan to make it through all six series at least a couple more times before series seven wraps next spring and I can add it to the cycle.

Barbara always has a hard time choosing a Saturnalia gift for me, so yesterday I simplified that task by ordering my own gift for her to give me: the DVD sets for series one, two, four, five, and six of Heartland (we already had series 3). On the US Amazon site, the sets were priced from $20 to $50 each, averaging about $35 each, so I ordered them from instead. The same sets there were $CDN 16.99 (~ $US 16.03) except for series six, which was $CDN 22.99. Shipping was only about $12.

09:49 – While I was walking Colin just now, I caught a fleeting glimpse of the almost-mythical Jasmine Littlejohn. Alas, I didn’t have a camera along, so I can’t prove it’s true, but I swear that I’m almost certain I saw her. She came out the front door, walked quickly to her car, waved at me, got in, and drove off. I guess I should file a sighting report on the Bigfoot/Jasmine reporting site.

30 thoughts on “Sunday, 1 December 2013”

  1. Has she still got the 200 cm, 150 Kg boyfriend?

    As far as I know, Jas has never had a serious boyfriend. She’s dated a couple guys several times, including one boy who was a highschool senior when she was a college freshman. I was cheering for that one. Kim said his goal was to become a marine biologist.

    My own opinion is that Jas has unrealistic expectations. She’s religious (as in wait-until-marriage), and she has zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs. I mean zero. She’ll walk away from a guy literally in mid-date if he’s foolish enough to, say, drink a beer. I’m trying to imagine a Venn diagram of college boys who (a) are willing to do without sex from their girlfriends, (b) don’t drink at all, even beer, and (c) don’t smoke and have never smoked grass. I’m afraid that leaves Jas with a very, very small population to choose among.

  2. I remember you saying that Mary was religious but that Kim and Jas weren’t. There probably *are* non-Christian guys around like that but if that’s what she’s looking for she might need to become a devout fundamentalist Baptist. (A SB won’t be good enough, they’re too liberal.)

  3. I think what I said was that Mary went to church frequently but Kim and Jasmine didn’t. That’s changed. All of them are now churchgoers, Kim less so than Mary and Jas.

    Jas worries me a bit. It’s just not natural. Incidentally, devout SB girls are no more likely to be virgins than any other girls. Arguably, less so.

  4. Regarding the Venn diagram. From your description I can only imagine very small circles without many (any?) intersections. Jasmine’s perfect mate will be on a different sheet of paper entirely, perhaps even sitting in the Papal chair. She will either adjust her standards downwards or be single all her life. I am reminded of Billy Joel’s “Only The Good Die Young”.

  5. Yeah, I remember the time I told Jas she should try drinking to excess at least once while she was in college, and to do it either with her girlfriends or with a guy she absolutely, positively trusted. She looked at me like I’d suggested something utterly outrageous.

  6. What’s a good second profession to go with herb gathering in WoW?

    Alchemy or Inscription would both use the herbs that you gather. If you’re not interested in those, you can sell the herbs in the Auction House. If you want to make money in the Auction House, you could choose mining or skinning and just sell everything.

  7. Thanks Dave. I’ve got plenty of Miners and Blacksmithers so I’ll try and diversify.

  8. I’d never suggest drinking to excess to anyone. Having been moderately drunk (5-6 margaritas) twice in my life I know how bad it feels.

  9. Jasmine should stick to her guns and do the right thing. This world is bad and sad enough without adding to one’s life bad choices at such a young age, like OFD did. It must be extremely difficult to sustain those beliefs and that stance in the face of the enormous pressure that this society/culture exert 24/7. My hat’s off to her.

    Nearly forty here today in Retroville and overcast with barely noticeable snow flurries.

  10. Ping Ray!

    I’ve just booted a WXP box that I haven’t touched for three years. It’s doing MS Update at the moment, “Checking for the latest updates”. Been doing that for hours. Does it really take that long? I’ll hit the hay now, hope it’ll be done by morning.

  11. You know, you really do not know the limitations of a car until you make it break loose. I agree with Bob. Learning your own boundaries and what happens when you exceed them, is important to know, IMO.

    I also agree that Jas’ expectations are not likely to be fulfilled. And the group of guys left are likely to be more problematic than choosing a guy who has done some experimentation and knows himself. Even when I was a bit more religious than I am now, I strongly disagreed with sexual mores based on insensible Bible fiction. Yeah, there was once a reason to wait, because birth control was non-existent. Same in dealing with pig diseases. It amazes me that once upon a time, gay guys were the safe ones and many heteros like Robert Schumann were the ones who died from STD’s.

    That is all in the past, and IMO sex is no different—certainly not anything sacred,—than two people playing tennis. Both are ways to get to know someone at a deeper level than conversation. I always urged my kids to know their partner in every sense of that word, before making a relationship permanent. And they did. Both moved on to different partners as a result.

    Booze and drugs can be problematic. I once dated a girl I liked very much, but when we were out, she could not stop drinking unless I stepped in. She always obeyed me, but the risk that she one day would not, was just too much. My grandfather, directly descendant from a Lakota mother, had the Firewater vulnerability, and I saw firsthand the true heartache and sadness that caused my grandmother. I just let my drinker go, as much as it pained me, as I really loved her as a person. I have no idea what happened to her. She did not stay in the area.

    My son had a very similar experience, but without the obedience. They broke up. She has a graduate degree and is a professional in a field making lots of money, but spent time in jail for DUI. She joined AA after that.

  12. Well, we’ve had half a century of sex being treated as nothing more important, if even that much, than two people playing tennis and look what that’s got us. Ditto the rampant abuse of dope and booze over that same half-century. What a lovely paradise we have wrought here in the West, eh?

    Broken marriages, epidemic divorce, STD’s galore, the moral equivalency of any and all kinds of rutting with whomever and whatever for whatever purposes one deems fit, abortion as a sacrament and the killing of tens of millions of babies, and last, but not least, demographic suicide.

    Tennis, anyone?

  13. [snip] Ditto the rampant abuse of dope and booze over that same half-century. [snip]

    Alcohol and other intoxicants have been abused rampantly for a *lot* longer than 50 years. I had a young man who worked for me for several years who was the child of an alcoholic. He wouldn’t touch a drop, and I could understand that given the lifetime of troubles that booze had caused him and his family. But I also always tried to convince him to try one beer, just once, to prove to himself that he was stronger than the bottle. I don’t know that he ever did or didn’t.

  14. I realize the longevity of booze and other intoxicants; my view is that they have become vastly more socially acceptable and advertised or portrayed positively constantly in various media for the past fifty years. Combine that with a doubling of the population here; booze alone is involved in all kinds of accidents and violent incidents to a far greater degree than was the case before; greater mobility, access and all the fun times to be had!

    We’re looking at the last decadent stages of a failing empire, across the board. This one is likely to go down much harder than most.

  15. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Discuss how badly the impact has been on this society and culture and be assailed with hyperbolic queries that imply fascist decrepitude and Puritanical mania.

    Moot, anyway. Once the country breaks up into regional political entities, some areas may indeed enact a form of what we knew as Prohibition; others may indeed enforce civil laws and ordinances with public humiliation punishments. Still others may require conversion to Islam, Southern Baptist, or Episcopalian, highly recommended for the latter as they’re gonna be demographically toast by 2026 here. And rather than burning at the stake, I fear many of the walking dead population may end up rotating on back-alley spits as the main course once the food distribution infrastructure fails for the metropoles.

  16. Decadence? Depends on one’s point of view. What I see is not decadence, but society’s inability to improve the lives of the next generation over the previous—or even keep it level. Certainly there is technological advancement, which has led to a dramatic increase in life expectancy. But jobs are not at all a priority in the US anymore. In fact, eliminating them is the prime objective of today’s corporation management. I just had a tech guy here today to fix my Internet (problem was interference on DSL frequencies from straight line inside wiring, instead of using twisted). He said the big giant he works for is developing technology to put a radio box on the telephone pole near your house, snap a booster on the outside of your house, give you a wireless box for every TV and computer, and voilà the 24 people in his office are out of work. Multiply by 3 or 4 offices per state, times 50 states, and top management is salivating at the elimination of many thousands of jobs. Just what America needs!

    Personally, I do not think having sex or the state of modern mores is the cause of any of the problems we face. In fact, there has been sufficient evidence to convince me that young people having regular sex outperform those who are not getting it. And there has been a fair amount of research over the years showing athletes perform better when having regular sex, including the night before competitions. It does not wear them out; it charges them up.

    And we do not need more religion in society for its improvement; we need less. Religion is unjustifiable, oppressive, arbitrary, mistaken in concept, impossible to validate, and a form of insanity and torment. Mark Twain had it right: “Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.”

    There are interviews out there with Paul McCartney, who opined on discussions of life, death, and spirituality that he and John Lennon had over the years. I agree with the basic substance McCartney reported as their conclusion: after 6,000 years of known history, it is inconceivable that if there is an afterlife that coexists with our own, that would not have been seriously proven by now.

    It takes more than tales from kooks who claim to have spoken to a supreme being to convince me—regardless of whether they live today or did 2,000 years ago. A call for more religion in life is nothing more than fascism in action. Emma Goldman’s anarchist analysis of Christianity in particular, is instructive in showing how it chains and limits mankind, instead of elevating it:

  17. I am constantly scanning for good programming out there. If you like oldies, a Midwestern guy a little younger than me, now in NYC, named Russ DiBello (aka Famous Amos on NYC radio up until 2009) is running a stream using the moniker of the former Philly oldies station 95PEN (AM950 WPEN). He compresses the hell out of the music, but has backed off on that enough that I can stand it now. The playlist is rock oldies aimed at men (hardly any ballads). Put the following in your stream player:

  18. BTW, I have been asked a couple of times now in real life (as opposed to online) about how one can capture an audio stream, essentially ‘recording’ it on the computer.

    Get XMPlay; add your stream info to the playlist; right click on that playlist selection, and check the “Write to disk” option. It will ask where you want to save it and what you want to call the filename, and it records the incoming stream directly to HD. Winamp will do the same job, but it decodes the stream, then re-encodes it, essentially taking the sound ‘down a generation’. XMPlay just sends the original incoming stream to HD.

  19. Best Dear Abby ever from Sep 16, 2011:

    “DEAR ABBY: I recently bought a small travel trailer that I use for weekend fishing trips. My dog, “Goldie,” accompanies me on these short trips and sleeps with me on the only bed in the trailer.”

    “My wife, “Shirley,” is now expecting to go on some of my fishing trips with Goldie and me. The problem is, Goldie is used to sleeping with me, and I believe she should have first dibs on the bed since she was there first.”

    “When I informed Shirley that she’d be sleeping in the back of the truck, she came unglued. Now, Shirley and I are hardly speaking. Goldie is a young Lab pup who is my very best friend, constant companion and never nags. I think my wife is being selfish and inconsiderate, but I’d like your opinion. Am I out of line here?”

    “- Goin’ Fishin’Midland, Texas”

    “DEAR GOIN’ FISHIN’: If you’re expecting sympathy from me, you’re barking up the wrong tree. You are not only out of line, but it appears you’re also in the doghouse. A real Texas gentleman would let Shirley and Goldie share the bed while he slept in the truck, and that’s what I’m urging you to do.”

    Except, I think that the guy has it right.

  20. I can see that easily being worked in to a New Zealand sheep joke, but as this is a family forum I’ll pass.

  21. I’m trying to imagine a Venn diagram of college boys who (a) are willing to do without sex from their girlfriends, (b) don’t drink at all, even beer, and (c) don’t smoke and have never smoked grass.

    Wow, that is *strict*. It’s sad to think of somebody depriving themself of all those (at least potentially) pleasant experiences.

    I agree with RBT that everyone should get very drunk at least once in their life. In my case, it taught me that I tend to be quite violent and irrational when under the influence — which was very useful to learn, because it led to my becoming teetotal. As to cannabis… well, it’s a more-or-less harmless weed, certainly less dangerous than alcohol. I think a sane society would use cannabis a lot more and alcohol a lot less.

    Sex, of course, everyone should try at least once — and that first time should definitely be before marriage.

  22. I dunno. I never felt the need to get drunk. I have on occasion reached the point where the world is a little wobbly – at that point, I have zero desire to drink any more. I’m not sure what the point would be?

  23. Well, I wasn’t suggesting that Jas get falling-down, throwing-up drunk, merely that she try drinking two or three beers or glasses of wine.

  24. “…I remember the time I told Jas she should try drinking to excess at least once while she was in college…”

    I assume here that either your or her definition of “drinking to excess” equates to “two or three beers or glasses of wine.”

    Needless to say, this would not be mine, but admittedly, I was a hard case. And I’ve known people in the past and currently who are blitzed on that amount of alcohol.

  25. Yes, for Jas, two or three drinks would be drinking to excess. Even at my mass, given that I drink about one beer every month or two, I can feel the effect of one beer, let alone two or three. At half my mass, I guarantee Jas would be not just buzzed but silly after two or three beers or glasses of wine. That’s why I qualified it to say she should do this with her girlfriends or with a guy she absolutely, positively trusts.

  26. My experience has been that a good number of girls get drunk with guys who should not be trusted. I was trustworthy. I would not do to any girl what she would not do with me voluntarily when sober—even if she said she wanted to while drunk. And that did happen at least once that I remember. My first wife never touched a drop of booze; second could not hold it and threw up if she tried. So I had no choice but to be trustworthy.

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