Sunday, December 25, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Last week I presented research at the Naval Postgraduate school, went
to a Brandi Carlile concert, saw a rough cut of a friend's movie about
the Hiker Trash on the AT, and went for a great run on Mt. Diablo,
which may have been my first real run with actual hills in it since
Friday, December 16, 2011
Me: Because large banks are evil.
WF: May I ask what makes you think that large banks are evil?
Me: Because I have a PhD in economics and you tanked the world
economy. Not you specifically, but Angelo Mozilo and people like that.
I already zeroed out the account so it should be pretty easy.
WF: Your account has been closed. Thank you for calling.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
My last day in Busia is a boring and rainy one. The highlight so far has been vegan white bean pancakes. It's hard to make progress on my personal research when it takes 45 minutes to run one 600,000 observation Poisson regression. I think the finding is going to be that when I look at US military deaths from 1990-2006, there are no interesting effects on recruitment, while they're there and strong if I only use 2001-2006, so maybe war-time deaths are especially important.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
Not my personal favorite endurance sport, but I gotta respect it. The article is fairly insightful too-- I like the point about the effort being more inspiring from afar.
From The New York Times:
Marathon Swimmer Diana Nyad Takes On the Demons of the Sea
Why the 62-year-old can't stay out of the water. Despite the jellyfish.
I like what he says about change being unlikely. Seems like we could be cynic-buddies.
From The New York Times:
CURRENTS: On Sidelines, Candidate Speaks Freely
Buddy Roemer, a long shot candidate with little to lose, says American politics is plagued by a "plantation mentality" and that the wealth that built the United States may yet stifle its democracy.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
"Save what little money you possess to meet basic survival requirements, but spend your time lavishly in order to create the life values that make the fire worth the candle. Dig?" That's actually an Ed Buryn quote, but it was my favorite line of this book. It's a pretty short book, long skipable sections of which are lists of informational websites, but still a decent read. I enjoyed the first half or so, but soon realized that Potts' vagabonding isn't really for me. I do love traveling, and I could see myself never really having a normal career and instead drifting from adventure to two-year job in some crazy place to adventure until I get hit by a car, but exploring new cultures isn't really the type of adventure I most crave--my most desired adventure involves steep granite mountain escarpments and at most one or two other people who I already know. I could go on about how this book made me realize how very American my sense of humor is and how much I have no desire to change that, but instead I'll just say that you should ask me about that culture stuff over a beer sometime, and that this book is a decent read about one of many ways to lead an interesting and unconventional life.
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace (on tape).
I alternated between laughing out loud and wanting to collapse in the middle of the street and cry because it's all so pointless and people are so horrible to each other. God, I loved this book.
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (on tape).
I've mentioned how much I hated this book before, but I finally finished it.
Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy
"He leaned forward and began to count off on the fingers of the hand that held the cigarette: She aint American. She aint a citizen. She dont speak English. She works in a whorehouse. No, hear me out. And last but not least--he sat holding his thumb--there's a son of a bitch owns her outright that I gaurangoddamntee you will kill you graveyard dead if you mess with him. Son, aint there no girls on this side of the damn river?"
McCarthy isn't perfect; most of his books have at least one section dozens of pages long where the main character runs into a stranger who relates a long, boring, and pointless dream that's probably supposed to be deep but is really only long, boring, and pointless, but when you weigh that against the beauty set against all the brutal violence, he's always still worth reading.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
"Experimental data are often analyzed by fitting regression models and their ilk. As shown in section 10, randomization does not justify such models. Experimental data should therefore be analyzed first by comparing rates or averages, according to the intention-to-treat principle. Only then should models be deployed. It must be emphasized that statistical adjustments to experimental data often depend substantially on assumptions, not just on randomization."
Monday, November 14, 2011
Then people pointed out that the dude in photo #3 is my long lost
I thought this was particularly insightful: "In fact, it's hard to
avoid the sense that Republicans are especially eager to dismantle
government programs that act as living demonstrations that their
ideology is wrong. "
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Don't upgrade. Now that I already did, it's kind of a pain to
downgrade because I'm stupid and only have Snow Leopard Time Machine
backups in storage in the US. I think my options are to (1) manually
back up everything I need, wipe the drive, install Snow Leopard, and
hope that all the software, photos, and music all function when I'm
done (2) wait until next month, manually back up all the photos I've
taken in the last several months, restore a Snow Leopard Time Machine
back-up from July, and add the new photos back (3) move my job market
paper research to my PC, learn to use R instead of Matlab (R's free
and I presently only have Matlab on the mac), and basically just put
the Mac to rest, or (4) scream, throw the mac against the wall, and go
for a run.
UPDATE: I went with option #1. I think I lost all my Firefox bookmarks, notes in Stickies, and lots of other app-specific preferences. What folder would have prevented that from happening?
UPDATE2: Dammit. The answer to the above question is aggravatingly obvious in hindsight (/Library/Preferences). I guess I've never had reason to figure out their stupid names before (com.apple.ApplicationName.plist)--I still remember the system that was a little more obviously labeled from way back in the Classic days.
I suppose I'll eventually get over the loss.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I'm going to tell you right now cousin, when the mood comes on you for a fat woman they just wont nothing else satisfy.
Parham yonder actually claimed that a man ought not to date anything he couldn't lift. Said what if the house caught fire.
Or the barn.
Or the barn.
There was a old waddy told me one time he never knowed a woman raised on indoor plumbin to ever turn out worth a damn.
I mean if you were lookin for somebody to give a shit I can tell you right now it sure as hell wasnt Gene.
This world was never made for him. He'd outlived it before he could walk. Get married. Hell. He couldnt even stand to wear lace-up shoes.
Damn straight. I think number two's my favorite.
Here's a recent one of the articles from Outside--http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/nature/The-Trials-of-Bidder-70.html
Makes you want to get arrested for a good cause, huh? I also recently watched the documentary If a Tree Falls, about the Environmental Liberation Front arson and so called "eco-terrorism" of the 1990's, which is definitely worth watching. It, and the Tim DeChristopher stuff, brings up interesting issues about the validity of courts weighing political motives in crimes, the definition of terrorism, and whether we should treat terrorism just like any other crime. I agree with one of the law enforcement agencies who was involved in the investigations in the 90's in Oregon, and he puts it quite well that we ought to just classify things as crimes or not-crimes, and only prosecute based on that. I totally agree, but to be consistent, if I feel that way about terrorism, do I have to feel the same way about hate crimes? Damn hobgoblin of little minds.
What I am consistent about is being disappointed by the movie Hanna. The first 15 minutes are cool, climaxing in one great chase scene that is edited with cuts to match a very cool Chemical Brothers soundtrack. After that, you should turn the movie off to avoid boredom and poor child acting.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
I rode to Lake Baringo this weekend and saw some hippos and crocs. The section from Busia to Eldoret wasn't amazing (and Eldoret traffic was horrible), but crossing the Kerio Valley from Iten to Kabarnet was fabulous. I left the house around 10 on Saturday and made it there at 5, but I left a little later on Sunday, took a different route, and spent the night in Kakamega, where I'll be living next year. I bought some roadside honey and tamarinds, I got a flat tire that cost me $1 and 10 minutes to have fixed, and I had a good time.
Taking pictures from a motorcycle would be instant death while moving, and while stopped is instant over-heating in my riding gear, but I suffered just for you. Here you go.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Look in your area:
I'm riding my motorcycle to Lake Baringo tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
UPDATE:OK, you can easily change the spacing between lines. Still, I dislike the wordless icons at the top and menus that come and go.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
I finally put my bicycle back together. Replaced rear brake and derailleur cables and housings, and everything seems to be OK. All that's left is to buy some wire cutters and snip off the extra cable length, as my big Leatherman only serves to crimp and fray it.
Upcoming plans that might interest you: Motorcycle ride to Lake Baringo next weekend, supposedly beautiful and full of crocs and hippos. Then Nov. 19 and 20 there's a mountain bike race at Sipi Falls, a beautiful set of 3 falls on the Ugandan western slopes of Mt. Elgon. Then the weekend of the 26th I'm headed with friends to track gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, with a day at Lake Bunyonyi after. And basically a week after that I head back to the US for 3 weeks. Philly for meetings, NYC briefly, a day in Monterey to present a paper, then 10 days or so in Oakland. I'd like to leave the US around the 25th so as to benefit from the foreign earned income tax exclusion (if you live outside the US for 330 of 365 days in any 12 months you don't have to pay taxes on your first $90,000 of income. Yes I complain all the time about how wealthy people's taxes should be raised, while I'm going to pay very little. I'm not going to -not- take deductions that I legally can, but in my defense, I wouldn't be upset if they got rid of this deduction.) Anyway that leaves me with a week or two before work starts up again in January. I'm thinking I might stop in Europe on the way back, I've never seen the Alps. I don't know what I'd be able to do in Switzerland in the winter though. Suggestions?
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
To get a little more specific, the government is trying to weaken the FOIA.
And Mississippi wants to send women and doctors to jail for using IUD's.
Oh, and there's this:
Looking forward to a long motorcycle ride this weekend.