Saturday, August 23, 2008

You know how recipes first list all the ingredients and then say 'Mix these two, and then add such and such' and the like? if you have sugar and butter, for example, you always mix them together first (or maybe with eggs if that's also an ingredient).

Well, I usually don't get around to reading past the ingredients list until too late. And I don't worry about doing things in an order that makes sense to me, either. I'll think to myself 'I'm probably supposed to do these two together first' or 'don't put the baking soda in too soon!' but then I'll just go ahead and toss the ingredients all in and then mix.

I've watched a lot of Good Eats, so I know better. I'll modify recipes to my liking. (For the cookies I just made, I was going to add salt because you should always put salt in most anything you bake--sadly, I forgot. I do that a lot.)

But I usually don't really think about things much when cooking. It'll work out, I always assume.

Luckily, given enough sugar, cookies still taste okay.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

OMG, I am delighted by how things just went down with the Hobart LX18H, Seneca's dish sanitiser. It's because I'm crazy. You don't care. So here's a related rant to keep you entertained. Or not.

When loading silverware into the dishwasher or sanitiser, always put the pointy ends down. Because people trip and fall and gore themselves on pointed-up utensils and get blood all over the nice clean dishes. Sad. They also cough (covering their mouth) and pick their noses and have colds while/right before taking the clean dishes out. You want them touching the handle of the silverware you're going to use, not the part that goes in your mouth. (Note: if you just picked your nose, wash your hands, and if you have a cold, shunt this job off to someone else, even if the silverware is properly loaded.)

Anyhoo, in addition to this, the small silverware container we use is shaped thusly:

| |__|__|
So I like to sort things. Easier unloading. The big section is for miscellany--sharp knives, spatulas, etc. Then knives go in one of the middle sections, and either forks or spoons in the other middle one, reserving the last two for whichever is more plentiful: forks or spoons.

Usually spoons win after breakfast and forks after lunch. For dinner during interim, it's probably forks, but when meals are prepared it can go either way.

On Friday at lunch, I was a bit insane. We had lots of spoons and a paltry three forks. Things fit properly, but I was saddened by how empty the fork section was. We needed to use some forks! Luckily, Michael used one, which helped slightly.

Today, though! Just now! We had lots and lots of spoons and ZERO forks. All three of those things are filled with spoons spoons and more spoons.

But the tray wasn't full. We had all the silverware we needed, but not enough plates/bowls/cups, a very unusual situation. Usually there are half a dozen to be found.

Anyway, I grabbed some dirty cups and ate a bowl of cereal. Result: an essentially full Hobart tray with three sections of silverware and zero forks

This is big.

Okay, it's not that big.

Okay, so it's totally lame. But I totally own that kitchen, and the Hobart. I make my own excitement on the weekend.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Well, it's official: they've succeeded in replacing a parking lot with eight stories of people who own cars. What could possibly go wrong?

My tiny one-way street now has two layers of cars parked on the far side, and by 'far side', I mean the right lane and the centre lane.

I've never double-parked. It always seemed like something only a complete asshole or someone in an emergency situation would do. You're a college freshman. You can walk one goddamn block.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My response to the title question1 was essentially 'Somewhat, yes', at which point I felt the need to define it as best I could.

Time is a full-sized dimension for which causality, for the most part (as we typically perceive it, and as it causes our perception)2 is uni-directional.

Traditionally I thought of space-time as four dimensions through which we were travelling at a constant speed, and where we would by default be travelling that speed one direction through time. But recognising the causality of perceptions made me realise that's really stupid. (My excuse is that it's from my high school days or earlier. No excuse for not moving well past it years ago. I did kind of move past it, but didn't completely abandon it.) Obviously we're not 'moving through time' (or maybe we are because, well, that's how we define movement), but because my current state is caused by my past state, the past appears to me as, well, the time.

In metaphysics, we discussed timeslices and how this stuff doesn't degrade into nominalism. (My position was that it does and that it's good that it does because nominalism is the view that actually makes sense.)

This newish line of thought lead me to determinism. It always seemed baseless and strange to me what people say that if determinism is true, that Laplace's demon can calculate not only the future, but also the past. Clearly, were determinism true then a given timeslice of the universe could lead only to one outcome, but why could there not be multiple timeslices that can cause a given timeslice? Consider Conway's Game of Life. The blank board, for example, can be caused by:
* The blank board
* The blank board with exactly one cell, located at at 0,0
* The blank board with exactly one cell, located at at 0,1
* The blank board with exactly two cells, located at at 0,0 and 47,42
* And so on.

This doesn't only apply to the blank board, of course. Any board causes by board X can also be caused by board X with one lone cell added apart from all the others.

Clearly, the universe is not governed by the rules of Conway's Game of Life, but it seems as if the principle should be similar. (I suppose my examples should have been selected to agree with the conservation of matter and energy, but that's more complicated. Still entirely doable, though.)

As I wrote this, though, something I missed earlier struck me: the verificationist would claim that 1. the claim that those vanishing cells exist/existed is meaningless and more importantly (because 1. is addressed by my comment in my previous parenthetical) 2. the claim that a given timeslice that could cause our current one existed and that another potential causing timeslice didn't is meaningless.

I have a lot of sympathy for verificationist. But they're so very annoying, don't you agree?

1 Not that anyone asked it. It just popped into my mind.
2 Initially I went with 'for normal matter', but I didn't like that at all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Last interim, every night before bed I would think to myself, 'Oh! We have a mouse!' So I would dash downstairs and put away all the loose food on the island counter. Then I'd wipe it off. Then I'd sweep.

Then I'd go to bed.

Unhappily, all this occurred around 9pm, long before the rest of the house slept, so every morning when I awoke, I'd find chips on the floor. Plates of crumbs on the counter. Perhaps an open loaf of bread. And every morning I'd spot a mouse fleeing the scene up, the exhaust vent or dashing away behind the microwave. 'Curses! Foiled once again!' I'd exclaim, being sure to use plenty of exclamation marks.

You see, I had a dream, last interim. I had a dream that one morning I would come downstairs to hear our little mousekins bemoaning the state of our kitchen. 'Oy vey!' he'd grouse. 'There's never any food around that I can get my furry little paws on. I guess I'll just move next door.' Then the following evening I'd come home to find Michael on the orange couch complaining that mice have mysteriously appeared in New Guild's kitchen.

Alas, this dream never came true, because I go to bed at a ridiculously early hour, leaving plenty of time for messiness to abound.

Rumours have it that another interim is nigh, and I've resumed my futile nocturnal cleaning ritual, but it will merely be another dismal failure should food magically appear after I head off to bed. This morning I had, among other things, half a bagel for breakfast, as it was sitting out on the counter. For my plate I used one I found also on the counter, covered in crumbs. (The other plate I found, filled with veggies, was allowed to stay out for our rodent friend. I'm not entirely heartless, after all.)

Forget to wash your dishes--it happens; no matter. Eat all the yoghurt leaving me with naught but half a stale bagel for breakfast. But please, starve this cute little mouse. Why should he eat like a king whilst my ribs still show.