I ate my wafer...


Prizio wrote a nice post about the nature of blogging a couple of days ago, and in general, I would agree with him about the superior nature of more personal posts. However, at least for me there is always the substantial drawback to posting more personal musings in that one is forced to send their ill-formed intellectual ideas naked into the void. That is, I have had several ideas for posts in the last week or so that I have not used simply because they were not well formed, and I would have much rather bounced them off one of my superiors in person first. A few of you have probably already figured that I tend to bounce ideas off people in person if I suspect that I haven’t read enough about the topic, mainly because it is an easier to limit the amount of ignorance one shows that way. However, for the heck of it, I’m going to try an topic today that probably has already been thought about, overanalyzed, and discussed to death. Tell me what you think ( or more specifically, what I should go read).

Intuition, or gut-feelings, etc:

I used to think that there were two categories of intuition which for lack of better terms I will call obvious, and random.
Obvious would be where someone claims to have intuition of an event that seems extremely easy to foresee. Perhaps a good example would be if a large tree was dying in a person’s yard and they became more and more certain that it would fall on their house in storms. As the their intuition that the tree would fall grows stronger the more rickety the tree gets, when it finally falls, if they are particularly superstitious, they may believe that they foresaw it, while most thinking people would realize that it was inevitable that they would have felt most strongly that the tree was ready to fall as it was most obviously getting progressively more unsound.

Random would consist mostly of belchings from one’s sub-conscious. Some of these would be easily traced to psychological stuff, for a crude example, people that are uneasy during storms, and “know something bad will happen” may have a bad experience with a storm when young, etc. I could give other examples, but I would point out that people that tend to have “gut-feelings” of this nature tend to be wrong almost all of the time. Certainly they are willing to take very poor accuracy and still listen to their gut feelings. I think it is fair to point out that under-educated women are most prone to this.

However, as I said above I USED to think that intuition could be simply split into the obvious and random categories. I would like to add that (hold laughter please) that I’ve been trying to keep track of the rare times that I personally have strong “gut-feelings” about things. I’ve tried to keep decent records for about 6 months, in order to weed out merely retroactively labeling “random” stuff as intuition, and conveniently ignoring negative results. In any case, I found several events that I had rather specific gut-feelings about that would not have fit conveniently in either of the two categories. Rather, they seemed to be a combination of the two. Perhaps the better of the examples would be a gut-feeling that my car would break down on a long trip several months ago. It had given some small signs of problems, in backfiring once or twice on cold mornings , and a slight decrease in fuel mileage, but nothing to justify the relative certainty I had that it would break down. As it turned out, the ignition module failed, a process that can give the small warning signs that I had seen. I had read about such failure about 3 years ealier, but had utterly no memory of how they failed until I was forced read manuals, and to fix it in the middle of nowhere. I would like to suggest that although the warning signs were tow small to be considered reasonably obvious, it was not some random process in my mind. Rather, on a sub-conscious level I had associated the symptoms with the potential problem. I would like to point out that this isn’t a common event in my life, and that I shall not expect it to happen particularly often! Since I had been keeping track of such things, I was aware, having written this down before the failure, that it was an entirely different “gut-feeling” than could fit in my other classifications. I wonder if it is common for this type of low level, sub-conscious problem solving to occur. I realize that there is lots of new age B.S. that sounds similar to this, but I’m not implying anything other than a possibility of sub-conscious pattern seeking, and I would like to emphasize that I believe it to be quite rare.


I just spent an hour helping my mother look for songs on Kazaa. There was a certain irony in her total failure to find her contemporary chirstian stuff (ugh) in the file sharing world. Not that I really wanted to explain to her why not many people shared that kind of stuff!

Found this on Drudge...reminded me of my friends from the Delt house.

I just spent a very hot, sweaty and long day, trying to save a storm damaged apple tree at my grandmother’s house. Although the tree itself may or not make it, that’s pretty much irrelevant; was time well spent with my Dad continuing our ever expanding Neanderthal joke (Whenever one of us screws up: Grunt…Thor use come-a-long to tear tree branch in half, Thor need bigger Craftsman® pipe to break wrench with, etc). I also learned more than I ever wanted to know about starting tree cuttings, thanks to Hillsdale’s wonderful Dr. Cooper. Hopefully either the tree, or some of the 40 cuttings I started will survive, it really had quite unique apples.

Be warned, I’m going to brag for a minute about lockpicking. You can read it, or continue perusing the rest of your blog reading list, I don’t really care.

So, I let Ilene into her brand new Dodge Neon last Sunday by picking the door lock, which went almost effortlessly. This was a particularly big deal as the newer Chrysler locks happen to be considered pretty hard, if not practically impossible to pick consistently. Although I have opened a couple other similar locks this way recently (Gunar’s 2000 Cherokee and a 1995 Wrangler at Galloway), Ilene’s lock was too new to have any wear whatsoever, especially as she has keyless entry, so theoretically it should have been quite difficult.

As if that wasn't good enough, the next lock to come my way was a recently rekeyed Schlage 6-pin commercial cylinder at the Montpelier Public Library, after one of my Mom’s friend’s (I always let people who do stupid stuff remain nameless…well at least I will here) left her stuff in the public meeting room. Since my Mom is on the board of trustees, her friend called us, but since the lock had just been rekeyed that week, my Mom didn’t have the correct key…enter Bob. So we drove over there, and it just practically fell open for me…we’re talking about less than 30 seconds. I also had to pick the lock in the opposite direction before leaving, and that was equally effortless. So, I’m standing there, and my mom’s forgetful friend is utterly in shock, she had “never dreamed that a door could be opened like that.” Since the woman is a family friend, and utterly trustworthy, I looked at her and laughed, then explained briefly how I came have such skills. Finally, I pointed to her brand new, 2003 GM, van and told her that I could certainly open the door to it in less than 5 minutes, and most probably drive away with it shortly thereafter without leaving a trace. After that stunning display of arrogance on my part, the woman gave me the stunned look for a minute, then smiled and said “well, the fact that you can do it really doesn’t mean much does it…its must be too complicated, and time-consuming for random criminals to learn, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered to figure out how to do it.” Backhanded complement perhaps, but it made my day, especially in the context of Ilene’s car. Of course, I’ll probably choke on the next lock I have to pick publicly, but it is still a nice feeling.

(Done bragging)

I’m reading The Whisper of the River , and I highly recommend it. Ferrol Sams is relatively unknown, at least to me, but my grandparents (the lawyer hating, doctor side) love his stuff, and recommended it to read many years ago. Read it sometime on a plane, its light reading, but the college hell-raising parts cut close to home, at least for me.


So I was originally thinking about post something about Graduation, and how sad it is to leave, etc. However, there really isn’t much point to it; everyone is going though the same kind of emotional thing so it would just be depressing to write about it. Something I will note is that the sadness seems to come in waves, at least for me. Unfortunately, I’ve been sort of an ass to people several times do to this, namely to the various people assembled on my porch last evening. I’m sorry guys; you didn’t deserve to be made fun of and the brunt of my excessive sarcasm.

Anyway, on a brighter note, I went to church this morning at Christ Church (Dr. Willson’s). I hadn’t planned on going to church this morning, but I was awake early enough, and I’ve always found liturgical services to be sort of reassuring in times of transition. So, I snuck in the back row a minute or two late and was having a hard time following along without a bulletin, as the 1928 book of common prayer is very close, but slightly different from my beloved Lutheran “Red Book” . In any case, I stumbled along wishing that I had a bulletin until the “Welcome and announcements” part of the service. Dr. Willson extolled the virtues of the various graduating seniors that regularly attend Christ Church, and surprised the crap out of me by pointing me out at the end of his speil, specifically that I had completed the entire history major in my senior year, after switching from Physics. At this point an older couple sitting in front of me turned around to take a look at me, noticed that I didn’t have a bulletin and passed me theirs. After the service was over, they struck up a conversation with me, and it turned out that they were Emily Stack’s parents. To make a long story short, Mr. Stack is really quite interesting; he has a similar range of mechanical hobbies to my own. So anyway, within seconds he and I were swapping all kinds of stories, and there is nothing more fun than a fresh audience for old stories! We talked about blacksmithing, forges, aluminum casting, stirling engines, lathes, plasma cutters, welding, and pretty much all of my time wasting mechanical hobbies. To make a long story short:

A. I may start going to church there more often...it is certainly an incentive.
B. My life is highly ironic…often involving churches (old high school story you’ve all already heard deleted for brevity) I’m quite amused at accidentally befriending Stack’s father in the context of my last post, etc.


(I have a couple of interesting half-finished posts on the role of science in the Liberal Arts, and cryptography, but I’m not motivated to finish them today…call it ennui. I was happy to see the amount of feedback to the metzger sucessor contest, if nothing else it was nice to know that people ocassionally read my ramblings here, or at least followed Metzger's link. )

So, we threw a decent little party last evening. And for those of you who might wonder after last weekend, it was a PG affair, thankfully. As per usual, no one arrived before 11:00; apparently the hours between 11:00 and 4:00 AM are much more preferable than drinking from say 8:00 to midnight. In any case there was rampant drunkenness as we managed to drink the last 75% of a half barrel of Rolling Rock, about 2 gallons of homebrew, and random hard alcohol. I got to see “sensual angelical evangelism” first hand, and encouraged it, which, since neither of the participants read this, I will admit that I did indeed “accidentally” lock Krupa and Stack out on the roof to encourage them. Thankful, they didn’t freeze to death, and were reasonable friendly when I opened the window back up an hour or so later. Also, last night included drinking by all of my housemates, which is particularly rare, and fun. I swear that if I ever build another Kegorator, it will have quick connect fittings, because switching from a keg to homebrew after drinking is not easy or fun.

Oddly, I didn’t feel all that great this morning, which is almost unheard of for me. I didn’t think that I drank THAT much, but I suppose that I didn’t keep track either. There is also the possibility that my wheat ale has a lot of congeners in it. In any case, I pretty much felt like crap for a couple hours, until I ate Lunch (the food cured it??!!??). Either that or I’m getting old and losing touch with drinking.

This evening Metzger and I are going to the Hunt Club with Dr. Tsao and Dr. Blum, which may prove interesting. Followed by Mustard house drinking...ahh...what a way to exit college.

Prizio has a nice post that touches on collecting unused objects. For the last couple of days, I've been working on packing up my room, and certainly becoming very aware of how much random unused crap I keep around. I seem to have the pack rat instinct genetically, as both of my parents do the same thing. Just looking around my desk here in front of me, i see several sppons, a can of wd-40, a broken file, an uncompleted ar-15 receiver, several "coaster" Cd-R's that I never use, and about 8 locks in various stages of brokeness.


The entire time that I was reading Metzger’s post about his progeny here on this campus, I was thinking that I wanted to make snide comments, so this post is mainly an excuse to use my comment feature for that. I suggest that there should be “Metzger points” for:


The ability to put off papers until weeks after the due date, asking for endless extensions and still wasting time with video games is key. I don’t know Hugger well enough to call this one.

Disrespect for Authority:
By this I mean Metzger’s affinity for smoking in the E.A.R, Drunkenly offering his Black Russian to Dr. Tsao, “learning the wrong things” and telling Captain Arrn off. I have to say that I think that Silliman is winning this one hands down with his position as the Collegian editor.