Tuesday, November 23, 2004

my name is Ed

my name is Ed

... and I am an alcoholic ("Hi, Ed").

That's how one is supposed to introduce oneself at AA meetings. I've only done it twice, since I quit drinking seven years ago. The first time was on the day I quit drinking, the second a few months later when my dad dragged me along to a meeting.

I have never understood the "anonymous" part of AA. In fact, I think that the anonymity just makes it harder for alcoholics to quit. It is as though there ought to be some shame associated with what is really no more than an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Screw that.

AA really didn't help me. Oh sure, there may be people who get some value out of AA meetings; I'm just not one of them.

Instead, what I learned to do is say one simple phrase: "I don't drink". It is amazing how powerful that little phrase is. "C'mon Ed, I'll buy you a beer"..."No, thanks, I don't drink". I have yet to have anyone respond negatively towards that. Matter of fact, the response I usually get is "good for you, wish I could do that".

I still go to bars, I still buy drinks for pretty women - I just don't buy for myself anymore. Now, instead of waking up in the morning (or the afternoon) with a massive hangover, puking up bile, I wake up feeling rested. Now, instead of spending 200 bucks on alcohol for myself, I might spend 30 bucks on liquor for my friends, and end up enjoying myself far more. I also remember everything that happened the night before.

I no longer have to worry about embarassing myself due to alcohol. Now, any foolish stuff I do is done sober. If I get into a fight, I am certain of winning because the other guy is drunk and I'm not - my balance is ten times better than his. If my friends need a ride home after a night out, I can be the designated driver - and I end up feeling pretty good, knowing that my friends got home safe and that I had something to do with that.

I was going to write about my struggle with alcoholism, but it really hasn't been a struggle at all. It is just as easy as saying "I don't drink".

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

ok this time i'm back for sure

ok this time I'm back for sure

I've been taking a lot of time away from the internet lately. There have been some rather lengthy (for me) absences from the blogosphere over the last couple weeks.

There have been a few factors contributing to this. I have been working on a few projects, and the last few weeks they have demanded a greater share of my attention.

While I haven't been blogging, I have been percolating some ideas around in my head. Some of these are going to turn into essays, a little longer than the average blog posting. Some of these essays will be heavily linked, others not so much. The topics will be spread out all over, sort of like the rest of this blog.

So, sometime over the next few days, I will start what I hope is a lengthy series of essays: on the discovery of fossil life on Mars, on my beef with NASA, on my struggle with alcoholism, on learning Physics, on artificial intelligence, on current events, on and on and on.

Also, on December 1st the Day by Day cartoon will return to the top of my blog (Stan and Isaac will remain, but near the bottom of the blog).

Now, if y'all will excuse me, I have three weeks of Instapundit to catch up on.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Carolyn Parrish is wack

Carolyn Parrish is wack

...and she pisses me off. As a Canadian, I am ashamed that she is one of our members of Parliament.

Most of my readers will not have a clue as to whom I am referring. Parrish is the MP who last year stated "Americans--I hate those bastards", and who now is one of the most vociferous opponents to the proposed continental missile defence shield.

What the hell is she on, glue?

Canadians take an inordinate amount of pride in the social institutions of this country such as universal health care. What is so often overlooked is the reason why we have such social programs.

It has nothing to do with some sort of caring & sharing quality of Canadians. We are no more compassionate than any other country. No, the reason that we have "free" health care in this country is due to the fact that we don't spend nearly enough money on our military. We let the Americans look after defence for us.

Our entire army is smaller than the New York City police department. Most of the equipment is older than the soldiers using it, in some cases (like the Sea King helicopters) decades older than the soldiers expected to make it work. Why? because we don't need to have an army, the Americans protect us.

That simple fact is what allows us to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on things like health care.

And yet, people like Parrish continue to bite the hand that feeds us. Have any of the America-bashers considered what would happen if the USA was to actually listen to them? The softwood lumber dispute and beef ban are just the tip of the iceberg. What if they decide that enough is enough and firmly close their borders to us? More than half of all Canadian jobs are directly dependent upon that border remaining open.

And here we have an opportunity, to help the Americans develop an air defence system - and all we have to do is let them operate it in our airspace. We don't need to put any money into it (the americans do that) or put any of our young people in harm's way (the americans do that, too). And in response, we get Members of Parliament acting like toddlers throwing a temper tantrum.

So to Carolyn Parrish, and the america-bashers throughout a big chunk of Canada: grow the fuck up.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

what's the frequency kenneth?

what's the frequency kenneth?

Watching Dan Rather tonight is highly entertaining. The verbal gymnastics he is performing are incredible. He simply refuses to see reason; all logic and reason point to a Bush victory in Ohio, which gives him 274 electoral college votes and the presidency. New Mexico is icing on the cake, and Iowa will probably go for Bush as well.

DC is screwy

DC is screwy

(of course)

They voted 90% for Kerry and 9% for Bush. Kinda telling, isn't it, of the sort of person that is attracted to Washington DC.

we have a record

we have a record

President Bush has just surpassed the record number of votes received in a presidential election, eclipsing Ronald Reagan's record. Hearing that from Dan Rather's mouth... priceless.



CNN just called Nevada for Bush; CBS did it a few minutes ago. That makes it 254-242, with Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Mexico left to go. Bush is leading in all four of those states with 98-99% of the vote counted.

Congratulations President Bush on your re-election.

election results

election results

So much for this prediction.

99% of the polls are in in Ohio. I've been channel surfing for a little while, and I happened upon Ed Bradley explaining mathematics to Dan Rather, showing that John Kerry would need to win more than 80% of the provisional ballots in Ohio to win the election, which is mathematically improbable. Watching Dan Rather implode is hilarious; he has had it coming to him for a long time. He is nearly sputtering as he trys to defy logic.