March 18, 2008

Alan the Philosopher

I'll be in the Pasadena Hilton for the next four days for a sick conference. I think the Hiltons should name their next kid Pasadena, regardless of gender. Who names their daughter after a hotel? No wonder Paris is so messed up.

It's the pacific meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Awesome, that's my idea of a spring break. Shall I get naughty? Probably not, one of my professors asked a woman who worked in housekeeping what the difference was between a conference for english professors and a conference for philosophers. She said that english conferences leave hotel rooms littered with used condoms. In the rooms of philosophers she finds empty bottles of booze. That's one hell of a reputation philosophers have going - we know how to partay! Woo!

I think all this study is making me absent minded. In the last year, I've destroyed my computer, lost a cell phone, had my wallet stolen, last my replacement wallet, totaled my car, broke 4 pairs of sun glasses, burnt out my Bosch drill charger, and lost my tent poles in China. I'm not sure why anyone would let me touch a physical object, I mean, I'm just going to break it. Let that be a lesson to everyone, learn from Jesse and Shira. After all, two of those sunglasses weren't mine.

March 15, 2008


I feel really lonely now, not in life, or the world, but in the universe. From the 1940s until just recently, mankind has been using stronger and stronger transmitters to send TV, radio, and mind control signals around the globe. A portion of these signals leaked out into space, making the presence of intelligent life visible to anyone watching, out there, on far away planets. We predicted this trend would continue and increase, but as it turns out, much of our communication now flows through wires and fiber optic cables, reducing our electro-magnetic mark on the universe. If the trend continues, we may become virtually invisible.

To make matters worse, this complicates our own search for life and the Drake Equation. The variable L in the original equation, the length of time that an advanced civilization releases signs of life, may be short indeed, perhaps just one hundred years. Oh no! There could be life all over this galaxy that is only detectable for a small window, roughly correlated with the time between the invention of radio and the increase in high capacity fiber optic infrastructure.

That is why I am lonely. Help me out by answering this serious question that I've got. How many Wu-Tang videos contain fake flames, and I'm not only talking about Wu-Tang proper, but solo careers as well. You've got some awesome ones in ODB's (god rest) Shimmy Shimmy Ya, but the prize has got to go to Wu Tang's Triumph video. With all those special effects, it must have cost millions to make. Any others?

March 13, 2008


I've got to say, this is intense. Not the photo, that's pussy stuff, but Dean Potter slacklining with no leash, just a parachute. Too bad you can't embed NY Times videos, so you're going to have to follow the link here.

[UPDATE - Link is working again.]


The quarter is ending, so my time has been spent working on papers. And wrecking my car. I tried telling my insurance adjuster that every event has a cause, and such determinism is incompatible with free will. Although I was the driver, and my car bumped into another, there is no room for me as an agent. Thus, I am not morally culpable for the accident. She didn't go for it, insurance adjusters are an entirely unphilosophical bunch.

But all is not lost. I'll actually come out ahead in the end, but for the moment I am left without an automobile, impotent in the Inland Empire. For the moment, I am left to juggle radioactive fruit, although I'm not nearly as good at this as I am at fender benders. Why can't one pick one's talents?

March 11, 2008

Ground Control

Sunday brought another unsuccessful run on the Proxima Project at the Jupiter Boulders. This sexy little number can be seen in green, and despite Ian (looking good above), Alan, and two days, it still goes unconquered. Luckily she's smooth on the moves, so I don't mind another round.

However, I did get the FA of Cassiopeia (V8), our lady in red. She's named after the geometric position of your body for the first move - amazing pinch with the right hand, large right foot equally high. The queen Cassiopeia, after which the constellation was named, was punished by Poseidon for boasting of her unrivaled beauty. While this problem is on one of the best boulders in SoCal, she certainly isn't more beautiful than all the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus. Or the boulders of Font for that matter. Oh, to be traveling in the summertime...

March 08, 2008


Some news from all over. I caught two cheaters in my class. One because she used 15 sources that weren't from the syllabus when everyone else used 3, and the other because he turned in his paper with the name of the original author on it. Dumbshits.

I'm grading papers right now, here is a quote: “If Costco were to be placed in their employees shoes, they would have been satisfied with the health insurance.” I know, I know, a singular noun deserves a singular pronoun, but I ignored that. My comment in the margins was simple. Corporations don’t have feet.

And finally, a super human trick. Shira here, that red headed seductress, has memorized pi to 50 decimal places. Fifty, easy right? Let's see...3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510. Nope. In one day she got e to 30 decimal places, one day! There is one hell of a brain on that woman.

March 07, 2008

I Dream of Gene-y

Gene, a journalism student at some local college, came into the gym for a short profile article on an athlete. Because I'm badass, the dude working the counter pointed her my direction. Sure, I'll let you write up something about me. I'm down to have my ego stroked. Oh yea, just like that.

The process was informative. Gene must be clairvoyant or something, since in one photo and one short e-mail, she was able to discern things about me I didn't know myself. Apparently, I'm 25 (thought I was younger!), I've "tackled the hills of Colorado," and I "make frequent trips to Mt. Whitney." Wow, she is like a false-fact psychic! I mean, I knew I lived life "on the edge, literally," (Ha!) but the rest is news to me.

And check out my body position. Sure, it looks like I was climbing a vertical wall with the photo rotated the wrong way, hell, that's what I thought too, but Gene doesn't get things wrong. Gene takes care of her shit.

March 03, 2008

Jupiter Krankheit

I'm sick. I've been sick for three days now. I think I am going to die soon, so to all my friends, I wish I had taken my short time on this earth to say I love you.

But I didn't, so you will probably remember me as that asshole who didn't express his true feelings. But an asshole who could climb. I was at the Jupiter Boulders yesterday, nestled in a canyon near Palm Springs just past a shooting range. I enjoy being out in nature like this, with all the beautiful colors. One of these shells just doesn't belong here, one of these shells just isn't the same. Jake, Shira, and Jesse accompanied me there, and we fit all four of us and two crash pads (one is a mondo) in my Nissan Sentra, rocking out to ODB (god rest). I was sick so I climbed like shit, but Ian and I worked on an FA for a while before my body gave out.

Today I ordered a bagel and egg sandwich on a whole-wheat bagel (I know, what a hippy). The ignoramus behind the counter didn't give me the whole-wheat oat bagel, but instead the whole-wheat raisin bagel. Raisins and egg. Did you hear that? Raisins and egg. Disgusting.