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2006-01-31-- Posted by: allegra

Keith got called back - apparently they told him he showed more talent (he made cinnamon buns) in the talent demonstration than any of the other candidates, so now my son is actually going to be working on getting a trade, woo hoo!!!! My son the baker. Okay, he hasn't actually done his first day of work, and he hasn't called me to tell me (I learned second hand from Katie) but still woooo hooo!!!!

enough sleep
2006-01-31-- Posted by: allegra

There's been a lot of unhappiness in the press about the 'tipping point' in global climate change, that there has been an abrupt jump in the C02 levels, and that we're now in the doom and gloom scenario. Well, I've done doom and gloom. Now I just figure that the Correction is going to happen, and that sensible people will be ready to move to where they can grow food, wherever that turns out to be. People will continue having babies and getting in fights and starving and making music no matter how weird things get, and if we go extinct as a species, somewhere out there is a species that will actually get it right. So the odds, and science fiction, teach me. I'm gonna go extinct no matter what the fuck I do, and really, my job as an adult is to get used to that notion without letting it slow me down or depress me too much. And, since these days I'm getting enough sleep, that's a lot easier. Paul is the absolute nicest nap partner in the universe with the possible exception of Keith when he was little (Katie was a little vigorous to be much fun - many's the time she woke me up with a well placed fist to the face).

I figured out what's wrong with me - at least I have an idea - and the cystoscopy at the end of February will prove or disprove my theory. It would explain everything and requires surgical repair, yuck and likewise gross, but what the hell, we and our works are a debt owed to nature, as a French philosophe once remarked. In the meantime, I'm managing, and I'm even managing not to be crabby, which is going some.

2006-01-31-- Posted by: allegra

Carl Sagan invented a baloney kit. I am excerpting at length with comments....

The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:

* Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts

This means, children, that you actually have to ask somebody else to do the fact checking, and then have the civility to thank them for it.

* Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

Again, it is astonishing how this is suPPosed to happen in science, and never happens in BUSiness, which is suPPosed to be scientific.... right.

* Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").

Now is the point where we're all supposed to bust out laughin', and never do.

* Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty as charged. My besetting sin; my folly, my days of remorse. I don't do this nearly enough.

* Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.

Big owie. Ow Ow Ow.

* Quantify, wherever possible.

.... and considerin', gawdawmighty, I cain't count to but three, and even then I get confounded of a time.....

* If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.

Aw, who can keep her mind on anything that steady? That's just foolishness.

* "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.

You may be dead, you manic sod of a self-publicist, but I'll have to wrassle you over that one. Nothing in my whole fucking life would lead me to believe that's true.

I'm just going to skip the next question, I don't even want to deal with it. Additional issues are

* Conduct control experiments - especially "double blind" experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.

The drug companies don't like that part.

* Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.

There's that confounded word again. Wonder what it means?

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric

Lot got snipped here.

* Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).

My mom is always beating me over the head and shoulders about that one. Oh, how she loathes sloppy thinking. Gets her right riled up and feisty, it does.

* Confusion of correlation and causation.

Allegra thinks "They go together, so one must be caused by." Crap, pigeons could nest in my skull if the holes were any bigger.

enough sleep
2006-01-30-- Posted by: allegra

Beautiful singing and playing at Tom and Peggy's last night, after a stupendous pork roast meal. Happy sigh.

Moose dressage
2006-01-29-- Posted by: allegra

It's been ages since I posted a decent moose picture, so here one is.

We are having a quiet morning at home, Keith and Kate and I, and Paul has gone off to work. My day includes long tedious lists of life maintenance.

My health is much better; it's not hurting anymore. I'm back to taking vitamins; I was on a long vitamin holiday but it seems like the only thing keeping the nastiness at bay is vitamins, including honking amounts of vitamin C. That plus exercises and ENOUGH SLEEP seems to be turning the tide. I read on that losing weight would help my 'problem'. Okay, I'm convinced!

At some point early this afternoon Mike will turn up to grab Keith to help with the last of the hot tub move. Mike sent me an email a couple of days ago that made me laugh so hard I was stumped to think of when I last laughed harder; unfortunately, it is so cheerfully scatalogical and personal that I am not in a position to share it, or even turn it into stand up material.

Work on the comedy routine is proceeding very well. I am trying really hard to write all new material, and it's working out so far. I just thought of a great tactic for Stephen Harper; tell the Yanks that they have to pay up for the softwood lumber up until Dec 31 2005 and THEN we'll help them with their space wars. We'll never collect, and we'll never have to help them, and it will keep his constituency quiet, and make him look as tough as a frozen banana. How's that for political astutitoodiness?

Keith is now level 21 in Warcrack. I mean, World of Warcraft. Or, just WoW.

Did I mention Katie dyed her hair black again?

Well, I guess it's time to start shovelling out the bedroom and unpacking from my San Francisco trip. Sometimes things take a while. At least the living room is reasonably tidy - it's great having people over once in a while.

I am really enjoying the new floors downstairs. It's really wonderful to have things just be... clean. And fit to be kept that way.