Monday, July 28, 2014

Pacing, the Manly Cave People Hypothesis

In today's example of odd non-RHEL-related assertions I encounter during this RHEL certification course, I have been informed that men pace while studying because back when men were cave men they had to move constantly in order to be able to kill stuff.  I suppose I could have rejoined with examples of modern hunter-gatherer societies, which are sometimes regarded as the original affluent societies because, spoiler alert, they don't actually have to work very hard or kill stuff as often as one might suppose, or mentioned that men really aren't the Borg, or mentioned women who pace, but I didn't.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Vintage Caturday: Kitten!

Niko, an adorable Japanese bobtail adopted by my aunt and uncle several years ago.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In Which I'm Afraid of Americans: Heritability of Violence Edition

I have a new job.  Among other things, my new employers are paying for me to obtain Red Hat certification.  So I have been going to class this week.  I have learned stuff I didn't know, like RHEL's weird journalctl thing, stuff I already knew, like ssh, and that the old guy sitting next to me has some ever so slightly racist attitudes toward life.  I know this because, while making idle conversation, it came up that I served in the Peace Corps.  This gentleman doesn't understand why anyone would do such a thing because:
  1. Kennedy is dead.
  2. There are a lot of Americans who need help.
I responded that it's hard to get the government to fully fund domestic volunteering, which is a far more politic answer than a lot of things I could have said.  Conversation moved then to the problems with Americans, his example being that the Americans of the south side of Chicago have shootings all the time, and what can one possibly do?  I suggested access to better education and infrastructure.  He told me that that wouldn't work because "those people" had been violent and poor so long it had been bred into them.  I'm reasonably sure that those aren't even heritable traits, genetically, but I guess the overarching conclusion is really that only the right sort of Americans need helping.  Since his example is the south side of Chicago, I am guessing that the right sort of Americans aren't people of color.  Of course, if this gentleman had talked about the mass shootings that have been making the news recently, "those people" would have been well off white people having violence bred into them, but for some reason no one suggests that white people are really inherently anything, except possibly superior in a master race kinda way. 

I decided I was done with the conversation at that point and walked off to make a phone call.  There may have been a better way to respond to that.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Poetry Tuesday: What Happened to the Hibiscus

As for the hibiscus on the roadside--
My horse ate it.

I love Basho.  And his life.  Why does no one pay me to travel about and write haiku describing the experience?  

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Bad News News Channel

Almost half the world drinks instacoffee instead of the real thing.  This may be the most depressing thing I've read since learning that koalas get cancer.

Friday, July 11, 2014

In Which I Lose vs Apricot Pie

Story of my life with food recently, losing.

Whatever, I wanted to make a pie, with fruit, and apricots are an underappreciated fruit.

Standard pie procedures, add sugar and spices to the fruit, and struggle to make pie crust flaky.

I love my lobster cookie cutter. It's one of the stranger things
I was sent in a care package, but it's wonderful.  
So far so good, except apricots apparently have way more juices when cooked than when raw, so the finished pie was more stew than pie.  

I'm not saying it's necessarily bad, but it could use more structural integrity.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Poetry Tuesday: Lion King of Ling

                                      Know me as I am, the one who has been foretold.
                                      It has been written in prophecies, and you know it in your hearts;
                                      I am Gesar, King of Ling,
                                      Who brings prosperity, dignity and joy,
                                      Who destroys cowardice, delusion and slavery,
                                      I am Gesar, Lion King of Ling,
                                      The great conqueror and the great healer.
                                      I am the light of your darkness,
                                      The food of your hunger, and the scourge of your corruption.
                                      I hold the sword of truth in one hand,
                                      And the medicine of peace in the other.
                                      The time of my kingdom is now.

From the epic of Gesar of Ling, of the Khampas (or Khambas), the fierce warriors of eastern Tibet.

Excerpt from The Warrior Song of King Gesar, by Douglas Penick.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Vintage Caturday

My mama just sent me the following picture, of me at around 7 playing with the kitties we had when I was growing up.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Poetry Tuesday: Ishq ki Ijazaat

To not be able to love the one you love 
is to have your life wrenched away.

To do this to someone else is to murder their soul.
                        -Vikram Seth

The Hindi is more beautiful than the translation, so please watch if your internet access permits.

Ishq ki Ijazaat

Love is my right, not a crime
To accept us as your own is the call of our times
Perhaps He has answers, the one who made us as one
Yet of different hues, are our passions spun
You deride us, of nature we aren’t
For you are the masses, and our number are faint
So we will barter for love your gods and your saints
The passage of ages drips, painted with our pleas
But you did not relent, the slander never ceased
You who wish to change us, answer us please
Where is the justice in your blind reproval?
In fear draped cocoons, hidden we’ve lain
Under archaic curtains that colour our pain
Banish these laws, unshackle the chains
Treat us as equals, embrace us without blame
Accept us as your own, it’s the call of the times
Since when has love played by the rules of faith
Or chained the helpless, or made caste it’s wraith
Or been bound by borders, or the rules of the age
Then why single us to be stopped by your rage
This meeting of hearts, your blessings can tether
You and us, all in love and celebrating together
So accept us as your own, it’s the call of the times
Let love be my right and no longer a crime