I’ve been working on and off, when my ridiculous schedule will allow, on a story that’s currently around 30k words and shows no sign of even approaching the climax, so it’s safe to call it a novel. I’m taking a break, putting it on the shelf for a bit, and decided to bumble about the internet for a while until I need to leave to get my shit accomplished today, couple hours.

The reason I bring this up is because the working title of it is Hop, hence hoppin’. It’s what I’m doing today, hopping from link to link using one of my long time favorite tools for link discovery, StumbleUpon. I quit using it for a while because I quit using Firefox, moving to Chrome, and their implementation for Chrome wasn’t very good until recently when I checked back in. Basically, I make a list of my interests, which are many and varied, and I hit “Stumble” and find myself at a fairly interesting place, eventually. Try it, it’s fun.

I don’t want to sleep with you: I’m not posting this because it’s good, I’m posting it because it’s bad. It’s exactly the kind of shit that hopelessly friendzoned loverboys send to their disinterested interest, and it makes me cringe.

Aside: One of my big pet peeves are sites that break out of stumbleupon’s frame. I understand that you want your site front and center, but it adds a big negative modifier to my likelihood in taking an interest in the content.

Animated “How Things Work” gifs: I fucking love these things, can’t get enough of them, but having them all on one page chokes my poor little piece of shit computer. I’m a big fan of mechanical things, that Geneva Drive animation down the page blows my mind. If I could drop everything and learn how to make mechanisms like that, I’d spend all day in my garage.

I’m a confessed weirdo. I love watching documentaries and there’s nothing better for me than a “How It’s Made” marathon. I’m not sure if that’s the exact name of the show, but you know the one. They go through the process of making various items, the narrator explaining the steps while that bad music usually associated with those training videos you had to watch at work plays in the background. I’ve been known to lose entire days to the occasional marathon of that show. I think it’s on the Science Channel now. Not sure.

Smullyan’s Paradox: I also love a good mindfuck. I’m struggling to see the paradox here, but it’s a fun little thing.

At a desert oasis, A and B decide independently to murder C. A poisons C’s canteen, and later B punches a hole in it. C dies of thirst. Who killed him?

A argues that C never drank the poison. B claims that he only deprived C of poisoned water. They’re both right, but still C is dead. Who’s guilty?

I’d argue that B definitely killed him, given that B had no knowledge of A’s plan, in which case it gets a bit more complicated. Either way, they’re both dicks. C must have been a real asshole.

xkcd: Canyon: I’m not one of those xkcd fanboys, but I keep half an eye on it. I came upon this one as a stumble, although I have seen it before (I went back through the archive when I first discovered it, and have been more or less current since). Some of them can be really brilliant, thoughtful, thought-provoking. I like this one. It also happens to be one of the first (#13). I feel like he already had his creative voice, right from the beginning, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Aside: One of my regrets from the past few months is not backing up my large collection of images and reaction gifs collected from the internet over the past five years or so, before my computer melted itself down.

Protohaus: I could live in this space permanently. Dead serious. The sticking point might be my wife, I don’t know if she could. My first apartment was pretty big, a one bedroom with tall ceilings, very spacious. I lived my life in the living room. I don’t need much space to operate. Computer/work area, kitchen, bed, bathroom. Maybe a comfy chair to read in.

Although one of my big dreams and something I always think about when motivating myself to be successful is having a nice “study”, old school, with leather chairs and an old wooden desk, lined with bookshelves and minimalistic technology. Maybe a glass of scotch and a cigar. A boy can dream.

Snowflakes under magnification: Sometimes you have to take the time to marvel at the beauty of the world.

Cost of a wedding: I’m guessing this stumble came courtesy of my interest in “Married Life”, which I listed due to my ongoing interest in improving my marriage (not that it’s anything but good, but any married person can tell you that it takes work). The problem is, idiots submit things about getting married to this category, so I end up getting links about wedding planning. I’m way past that, bro. Anyway, I think ours cost six grand, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less. We got married on a riverboat. We both agree that given the choice, we’d have banked that money instead and gotten married in a park with a few close friends and relatives, and instead of honeymooning for a week in a rented cabin in the woods (another few grand), we would have stayed home and had just as much fun, created just as many memories.

My advice for couples planning a wedding? Keep it cheap and simple, unless you have money to burn. The day is about your love, and your memories of it will be wonderful, regardless of the pomp and circumstance. Fuck the frills. Our engagement/wedding rings are from the K and Wal marts, and we treasure them as much as we would if they cost as much as a new car. They’re symbols, nothing more, nothing less.

Wallpaper: a shoreline: I like a good nature scene. I feel like this one may have been colored a bit, fucked with, but it doesn’t make it any less beautiful, despite what appears to be a storm on the horizon.

The Toolbox: a directory of useful single-page sites and apps: Bookmarked this one for future use. The content made me happy. The design of the page, however, did not make my shit computer/internet connection happy. I think of my computer as a grumpy old man. Anything pleasing to the eye (as this site most certainly is), it pooh-poohs and only reluctantly allows to load, if at all.

The illusion of choice: Shitty low-res version, I don’t feel like googling for a better one. It gets the point across.

The Arrogance of Authority: Interesting little parable. Although I agree with the first comment:

If this story was true, which it’s probably not, the thug booted Federal Goon-Stooge would have pulled out his Magnum 357 and shot the bull in the head, same way they shoot people’s dogs for little or no reason.

Top 10 Hunter S. Thompson Quotes: As much as I hate “Top X Y” posts, Hunter S. Thompson is an inspirational figure for me. Smart dude. Exhibit A:

We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.

Feb 3, 2003

Americans, you have the worst standard of living in the developed world — by a wide margin: Long title, short opinion piece. But it succeeds in making me angry, which I suppose was the point. I had to take out a loan to pay off the debt a simple appendectomy created about four years ago. I’m still paying.

And the funny thing was, if it weren’t for my wife (my girlfriend at the time), I probably would have gone home and died. She insisted on taking me to Quick Care, a little cheap clinic around here, to get checked out. From there I was rushed to the hospital. I hadn’t wanted to go at all because I knew if I went to the hospital I was facing a bill representing a month of work for what I thought was gas. Turns out I actually was sick, on my way to dying, in fact, needed a routine surgery, and racked up about two years worth of wages in bills in less than 24 hours. Most of it was written off because of my earning level, I believe my final total was around four grand, and as I mentioned, I’m still paying for it.

We’re really kinda fucked in this country. Makes me sad to say it, but it’s true. My entire adult experience confirms it. My current struggle, my entire existence, is one of a legless man in a field of broken glass, trying to paw his way to comfort. I could enjoy my life if I simply relaxed and decided I was to be eternally broke, move into a trailer, and go from dead end job to dead end job until I died penniless. That’s not how I want to go, and so I struggle, I stress, I strive, I push.

No cash reserves. Every unexpected expense puts me into debt, which I then struggle to pay off. My savings account hasn’t had more than fifty bucks in it in years.

But I digress (and depress). Back to good times.

Researchers make DNA data storage a reality: What we find out about the universe and about our own limitations continues to amaze me.

How to delete yourself from the internet: Really interesting process.

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