Monthly Archives: April 2005


M and I have joined NetFlix again, so we will soon have movies mailed to our house.

I notice that NetFlix now has a “Friends” feature where your friends’ ratings, recommendations, and short reviews show up when you are browsing for new movies. So, if any of you fine folks also use Netflix, let me know and I will add you as a friend.

(No, I’m not going to just enter someone else’s email address and click Invite without their permission – *I* have a privacy policy too :) Speaking of which, if you want to enter me as a friend on Netflix, I approve… they already have my email address at this point – the one)

ok thx bye

More ramble about beliefs and modes/elements

I have previously written about beliefs and belief systems. The short version was something like this:

1. A belief is both a thought and a feeling, or a link between thought and feeling. It is a Thought that you Feel is true.
2. Beliefs influence our behavior. We get into a situation, we decide based on our beliefs (or other factors), and we act.
3. The consequences of our actions, in turn, serve to reinforce our beliefs or break them down. If a belief leads to a decision with good consequences, it gets strengthened. If the belief that leads to a decision with bad consequences, it will be weakened.

Now I find myself thinking more and more about the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual “aspects” or “modes”. Where do belief systems fit in to those aspects?

1. The outside world acts on us in a way that is usually physical, tangible. The physical state of being is the vehicle by which our minds and hearts interact with the world. If our physical needs are met, we can operate the physical vehicle in pursuit of our mental, emotional, and spirit needs: first we live, then we love, learn, and leave a legacy. If our physical needs are not met, we have no vehicle or means to service our mental, emotional, and spiritual needs, and they take a back seat.
2. Our reactions to our circumstances is usually emotional, first. Stimulus and perception/observation is the start of the cycle, and our most immediate, most visceral reaction is emotional. But, we are able to exercise willpower and intercept our emotional reaction from immediately affecting our behavior. Our mental capacity allows us to “visualize ahead” – and we can imagine consequences from our actions before we take those actions. We are not reducing or shutting off our emotional reactions, but we are disconnecting it from reflexive reaction and channelling it toward another action.
3. Our beliefs are not really a separate force from our mental and emotional modes, but are in harmony with them. Just like our need for affection, which is emotional but is ultimately served by the physical plane, our spiritual need, the need to be the best person we can be, similarly acts through our mental and emotional modes to find its expression.
4. Finally, our decision is made, we take an action, and we await the consequences. The seed has been sown. Our spirit, intellect, and feelings have acted upon our phyical selves, and when the consequences are realized, they will be in the physical plane as well.

With this in mind, can we map the “unique human faculties” to the physical/emotional/mental/spiritual?

1. Self-examination: self-awareness, observation. (Physical/Mental) A physical observation leads to a thought. Our minds are aware of our bodies and senses.
2. Vision: imagination, creativity, visualization. (Mental/Emotional) We can imagine each decision, each action, and each outcome. Imagination is mental, but our reactions to each possible outcome are emotional. (The idea of “creativity” is often expressed along with “emotional” too: creativity is associated with the element of water and the suit of cups).
3. Conscience: self-guidance, connection to wisdom. (Emotional/Spiritual) Our spirit calls us to be better people, and this is the driving force that leads us to make decisions that trade short-term or low-level needs for long-term fullfilment or higher-level needs. The best decision and action is the one that we can be proud of in 10 years.
4. Willpower: capacity to act out our vision. (Spiritual/Physical) The cycle starts by the physical acting on us, now the circle comes back around and we act on the physical, sow our seeds, and see if the results are good. We take an action and then get ready to observe again.

OK, I think that gets close to what I wanted.

seeking dns consultants

My company is seeking some DNS advice. This will probably be of the “consulting service” type of arrangement, where the consultants prepare a quote, work on a specific task, and bill by invoice. (If we can’t find a consulting service we like, we may also consider hiring an hourly contractor for a short period of time, probably 3-6 weeks).

Approximate prerequisites are:
Knows more about DNS than I do
Exposure to multiple (at least 5) corporate IT environments with a role in managing or advising DNS infrastructure, preferably multiple “mixed” (unix/windows) shops
Familiar with recent trends in DNS (such as dynamic updates, Active Directory, etc) and familiar with DNS best practices.
Able to intelligently discuss choices that most IT organizations make with regard to DNS and articulate the pros and cons (i.e. don’t say “this is the only way”, rather say “here are the tradeoffs”)

Tell me if you know of a consulting service that might meet our demanding requirements :) For now we are only considering established consulting services with references, but if we get to the point of looking for hourly contracts I’ll probably post again.

Earth, water, air and fire

I spent some time last night looking at my Tarot deck and the book that goes with it. I really really like this deck, (I lost my deck when I lost my game bag with books, dice, etc. in it, but luckily I had a second copy of the same deck.) The deck is The Witches Tarot.

The four suits are already well known for how they integrate with elements, and states of existence/awareness…
Pentacles – Earth – Physical
Cups – Water – Emotional
Wands – Air – Mental
Swords – Fire – Spiritual

Wherein the writer attempts to tie the four elements in with Covey’s Seven Habits material…


There really should be a journal for: Worldbuilding. This would be a place to post ideas for worlds, where people would ask questions and offer suggestions to help flesh it out.

A world starts with a “concept” – usually the concept is “What makes this world different from the world we live in?” Some examples might be:

  • “There are three genders, and mating is by groups of three.”
  • “The cost of magic is pain.”
  • “The American Civil War led to the formation of two separate nations.”

The concept is then fleshed out by asking “Why?” and “Therefore?” These questions lead to investigation of cause and effect, to see what unfolds. “If the cost of magic is pain, some might choose to suffer pain themselves, and do positive magic, and others may choose to cause pain to others so they can do dark magic.” The cause and effect chain leads the writer to visualize some of the aspects of this particular world. For the purposes of checking out the prototype, keep other important aspects of the world as similar to ours as possible — i.e., fully explore the effect of making one important change, but only one, before changing something else that is unrelated.

(I joined a couple of communities like worldbuilding and worldbuilders… maybe those are similar to what I want… I’ll keep an eye on them.)

Minutes of Eurythmics in our collection: 398.1
Minutes of Pink Floyd: 326.9
Minutes of The Bobs: 319.2
Loreena McKennitt: 235.1
Queen: 202.3
Enya: 192.7
Billy Joel: 189.9
Peter Gabriel: 181.2
All others: Less than three hours each
Total running time of entire collection: 7 days, 1 hr, 52 min

That is all.

Choosing a diet

I am officially off the low-carb diet, due to the attack of gout and other concerns. It did what it was supposed to do, though… I lost 9 pounds on it in 3 weeks. That rate is probably too aggressive, though.

The directions from my doctor(*) are to follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet. Which sort of leaves the door open to any number of diets. The deciding factor for me is that I want something that’s easy to figure out. That is, I want to be able to eat a sensible breakfast and lunch, and then instantly (or at least quickly) figure out what would be best for dinner in order to balance things out.

So, here are some options I’m thinking about (though if there’s something I’m not considering, please let me know!)

1. Dietary exchanges; 2. WW online; 3. Half-assed diet; and footnote (ha!) regarding gout

damn that hurts

OK, there is now no doubt in my mind that what’s happening to my toe is gout. Last night, the pain was bad enough to wake me up, so I took more advil and went back to sleep. Today I took some alleve, which really did work for about 12 hours, and is now starting to wear off so I took another.

I’m going in to the doctor tomorrow morning at 9:45 (yes, saturday) so we’ll see what he has to say. He will probably say to keep taking the alleve and change my diet. Apparently, burning fat on the low-carb diet also contributes to uric acid in the blood, so that compounds the effect of eating more meats. I have been making sure to drink lots of water.

Damn it, I don’t want my body to fail me. That’s enough. At least wait until I’m 40 to start betraying me.

Also: ow.

Update, Saturday: Doctor says he agrees, it is probably gout. I have a script for Colchicine and another for Incomethacin (an NSAID like advil or alleve). Doctor also said it’s OK to stop taking Thiazide and to double up on the Lotensin to see if my BP comes back down. I also went for a blood test to confirm the uric acid level, and if uric acid is not high, we may have to look at other causes.

Slightly good news, the pain is a lot better today, back to Thursday level. I think Friday was the worst of it. I hope.

Diet update

Good news… I have lost about 8 or 9 pounds, after being on the low-carb diet for a little over 3 weeks.

Bad news… I developed some excruciating pain in my big toe. I can’t think what I might have done to bruise or strain it. What does a painful toe have to do with my diet? Hopefully nothing, but it could be gout. According to wikipedia: Gout is a form of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in joints. It is an immensely painful disease, which in most cases affects only one joint, most commonly the big toe.

I really hope I don’t have that I hope it’s just a sprained toe… but even if I do, changing to a more normal diet would probably correct it. i.e. it’s a blood chemistry thing, not an infection or cancer-type thing.

I don’t think I will stay on the low-carb plan much longer. I’m probably going to start looking into weight watchers. However, in other good news, I still don’t feel I have taxed my willpower much. I just need to decide what an appropriate diet is, for my goals, and I think executing it should be totally within my power.

The times that have been difficult in sticking to the diet have been going out to lunch with friends, or going to party-like functions where food is served. I think in those situations it would be a good idea to find one thing that I can eat, eat a small amount, and then eat something more appropriate when I get done.

Taxes done

Taxes are finally done. I am getting a huge refund, mostly because 1. working for two employers, I overpaid social security tax, and 2. getting a lump sum from the Y! and having it taxed like a single period’s paycheck meant that the deductions for the lump sum were set on “insane!!!”.

Anyway, the returns are done and sent electronically. 12 days ahead of schedule too!

The only things I was moderately confused by were 1. why I didn’t get a mortgage interest statement from the finance company that held my loan for 1 month before selling it to a bank, and 2. how much that check for car tax refund was, that I got in Feb. because I deducted the whole amount last year, so the refund reduces the amount I can claim this year.

OK must go eat and watch Law and Order.