Month: June 2003

Ramble, ramble, ramble.

I’m sure anybody with programming knowledge (or a mind delighted by trivia) will have come up with this already. I was watching Ray take a bath the other day (see below), and this happened to wander across my mind…

How do people make decisions? It isn’t as simple as setting priorities and following them. If that were the case, people wouldn’t change, and wouldn’t adapt to changing situations.

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Priorities: These are the things you value, either consciously or unconsciously. For the sake of the ramble, let’s say they fall into if-then patterns. If you see a chance to do something nice for someone else at a cost relative to the person’s worth to you personally, then do it. If you have to choose among things you would otherwise find equally desireable, then chose the most stylish item. If you don’t want to be held responsible for something, then blame someone else. *If 1, then A. If 2, then B. If 3, then not A. If 4, then not B.

2. Metapriorities: These are the ideas that set the relative weight of your priorities. Let’s say they fall into “vision statement” patterns or what people call their “philosophy of life.” The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Know thyself. The one who dies with the most toys, wins. *A is better than B. In case of A, not A conflict, choose A. In case of B, not B conflict, choose not B.

3. Feedback: This is how we know our priorities aren’t fulfilling the rules set by our metapriorities. This is harder to give pat examples for. It’s easier to say *If more B than A, change priorities to If 3, then A and If 2, then A. So if A is generosity and B is ice cream, and you find out you’re pretty selfish with your ice cream, then you’ll start changing the specific instances in which you’d give away your ice cream so you’d be a more generous person.

4. Metafeedback: This is how we know our metapriorities aren’t fulfilling the rules set by our priorities. *If more than X priorities much be changed to satisfy metapriority Y must be modified so less than or equal to X priorities must be changed. So if you find yourself having changed your priorities so you always give away your ice cream, you start telling yourself that maybe generosity isn’t that great, and maybe you need to change your ideas about generosity instead of giving away all your damn ice cream. Metafeedback also applies to feedback and metafeedback: if the pot can’t contain itself, what does contain the pot?

5. Choice: This is how conscious we are of all of the above.

Good news, bad news.

The good news is that Ray’s starting to become aware of the “pee” function of her genetalia, which means that down the road, hypothecially speaking, we should be able to potty-train her.

The bad news is that she decided to demonstrate her awareness by standing up in the bathtup, squirting water out of the drip area of one of her toys (which happened to be on the belly area of a lion), holding said toy to her crotch, yelling “whee!” and pissing all over it.

Oh well.

Talk. Okay, I think we can declare Ray officially talking now. She’s been talking for a couple of weeks. I got her, Sunday, to say “Daddy, where are you?” It comes out as “Daee wah-you?” The catchall word that means everthing has been “Go!”

“Let’s change your diaper.”


“Are you tired of sitting in your carseat?”


“I’m going to tickle you!”


And…”Is it time to go?”


Watch! Oh, yeah! The watch arrived. Ooh, you got to see this watch. It’s a gift for Lee: a pocket watch.

You can see the movement through the case–front and back. It’s spring-wind, gold-colored, and, well, you can see all the little pieces moving inside.


Terrorism update.

Did you hear about the math teacher that was arrested on a flight to New York lately? His TI calculators looked suspicious, and the guy threw a fit when security opened up the cases.

Well, what did he expect? They were instruments of math destruction.

Via Lee, who stinks.


Today, Lee and Ray went to some friends of ours to hang out and let our kids play together.

I stayed home.

I’m feeling sorry for myself already, but if I’d gone, I’d be bitching about all the work I had to get done. Erkle.

Update: Most of the newsletter is done, with just the editorial, the joke of the week, and some quotes to go.

The good news and the bad news.

The good news is that Ray has conquered the McDonaldland play area. She disappeared around a corner, and the next time I saw her was through one of the little window areas at the very top. She said, “Ooooh.” Then…she slid down the slide.

I just kept thinking that if it came down to a battle of nerves, I think she’d win. It’s not like she doesn’t have fear. She fears the obvious things, like falling off tall objects that my younger brother Andy never did. It’s just that she observes the situation, determines just how far she thinks she can safely go, and does it.

The bad news is that she’s learning how not to bite mom and dad, the hard way.

The other good news is that the ’98 to 2000 pro has been successfully completes, with a 0% data loss.

The other bad news is that it was, in Lee’s words, “interesting.” I managed to set up an unintentional but perfectly-functioning dual boot system before discovering that it would take a new CD-ROM drive and video card to perfect the transition. And some more RAM. But–this is one of Lee’s systems. It’s a learning experience; that’s the way it works.

The other other good news is that I’m done with day two, Wednesday. I don’t have a page count yet, as the info is entered on two different systems (see above) and 6 pages in a notebook. I’m so hyped about it that I want to show people my first draft. Maybe I’ll show Lee. Dunno.

The other other bad news is that my Grandfather’s in the hospital. They had to put in a permanent pacemaker. He’s feeling a lot better…but…whew. Anyway, if you pray, prayers would be good; if you don’t, send him some karma. This is the guy that tried to get me to quit sucking my thumb by showing me his hand (the one with the thumb the combine had snipped off decades ago) and telling me that he’d sucked it off, because his mother let him suck it after he turned five. He’s one of those quiet South Dakota types that likes to play horseshoes and tell bad Bohemian jokes, because he’s Bohemian. I have a scrollwork angel on my wall he sent us to commemorate our wedding…I guess I’m just trying to explain how precious he is.

Pretty precious.

And…the other other other bad news is that two of my younger sibs are off to New York for a band trip soon. My mother says they lowered they lowered the alert level too soon. If there is a god, please spare New York from my brother Andy’s sense of humor. He doesn’t deserve to die for those jokes…well, okay, he almost does, but spare him anyway. Amen, I hope.

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