May 2009 archive

Over the years, I've had more dreams about almost having sex than I've had about going through with it. Someone in a dream will want to have sex, but a circumstance will thwart me.

This morning I dreamed that a friend introduced me to Vladimir Putin. Although he had striking eyes, I can't say I got the sense of his soul that a certain Texan did.

Putin wanted to have sex with me. He isn't my type, but I said OK because I figured it would make for a great story. I was reminded of a (real life) friend who'd once let Allen Ginsberg suck his dick just because he was a famous poet.

I agreed to follow Putin to his house. He drove an older, worn-looking German car, which at first struck me as strange, but made sense when I realized there are situations where world figures would want to keep a low profile.

I never got to his house because I lost sight of him in traffic. I feared that if I ever met him again, I'd have a terrible time getting him to believe it had been unintentional, that I hadn't just ditched him. It's tough to resign oneself to the indignity of being misunderstood.

When I'm aware that I'm dreaming, I can exert a measure of control over the plot (and the special effects). So perhaps the key to having dream-sex more often will be to recognize when something is a dream. Why being hit on by Putin didn't tip me off, I don't know.
Gotta love it when a DVD has a menu entry for color bars, and the movie is in black and white.Les diaboliques (great movie, btw)

around 7:00 PMevening storminess

For those not familiar with the Amr story, a summary:

In the early 1990s, I worked for a startup company founded by Amr Mohsen (an Egyptian expatriate who had, until then, had a distinguished career in the semiconductor industry).

A few years after I'd left his company, Dr. Mohsen sued another company for patent infringement, introduced a fraudulently backdated engineering notebook as evidence, got caught (document experts testified about the notebook), faced perjury and other charges, had his bail revoked after he was caught trying to flee the country to avoid trial, while in jail offered to pay another inmate to arrange to (among other things) intimidate witnesses on the outside, and was ultimately found guilty on charges including perjury, suborning perjury, contempt of court, attempted witness tampering, and solicitation to commit arson, and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He was acquitted on one charge (soliciting the murder of the judge who was to hear his trial).

The niche of the electronics business that I've worked in has seen a few scandals over the years (theft of trade secrets and the like), but Dr. Mohsen's story was the most lurid.

The drama is largely over--Amr is in prison--but his appeal is in process. It will probably be anticlimactic, but in case you're as easily amused as I am:

Amr's counsel recently moved for more time to file a brief. Roughly: our office has been swamped with work for other clients charged with smuggling, money laundering, murder, arson, and so on; please give us another month. Why they didn't just say they're busy and leave it at that, I don't know. I've never followed an appeal in federal court before. In any case, Amr's lawyers assured the court that they "have exercised diligence in this matter and intend to file the reply brief on the requested date should the present motion be granted."

The motion was granted. The extra month passed, the brief still wasn't ready, defense counsel moved for yet another month, again listing a bunch of matters that are competing for their time, but dropping the line about having been diligent and expecting to meet the new proposed filing date.

Further developments, as always, to be posted here. Continuing a line of discussion that came up in the May 12 comments, and surfaced again in the May 13 comments--
The axioms in math are simple only because the mathematical community have decided they are axioms. When we ask what it "really means" to add or whether numbers actually "exist" things get more complicated.
I agree, but one thing I like about math is that you can practice it without asking questions like whether numbers actually exist.

If I saw math as a kind of empirical science--as a practice of finding, investigating, and describing things that exist--then the artificialness of axioms could be seen as a flaw. If the goal is to find out about numbers that somehow exist, then axioms are an imposed framework and ultimately beside the point.

But you can also do math as a frankly invented game, where axioms are not chosen because we think they are self-evident, nor are they to be deemed good or bad by virtue of how well they correspond to anything that exists. Me personally, I'm not bothered if a game is artificial; it doesn't make the exercise hollow.

It's like playing chess. You explore and enjoy the richness of the system that follows from a set of rules. (If Hex were more well-known, I would have used it as an analogy instead. Hex is an interesting game despite having much simpler rules than Chess.) My current favorite sweetened drink:
   2 parts fresh squeezed lime juice
   1 part agave nectar
   9 parts water
Stir and serve with ice.

I use Persian limes or Mexican limes or a mixture thereof.

I recommend a darker agave nectar if there's a choice, but any kind is better than sugar (no character) or honey (just not my taste).

Calories/volume is about 80% that of Coke or Pepsi.


Joshua tree
(Yucca brevifolia)

The tenth amendment to the US Constitution:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
How to interpret this-- ay, there's the rub. There is disagreement.

Recent events have brought some curious characters out of the woodwork. The Georgia Senate recently passed, by a 43-1 vote, a
resolution (dead link; archived here) saying that if the feds do one more annoying thing, the Union is finished. It says the Constitution is nullified if, for example, Congress legislated "further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms including prohibitions of type or quantity of arms or ammunition". It's just a resolution, it supposedly has no binding force. I have to wonder if the people who wrote it are Walter Mitty types.

Georgia isn't the only state getting into this act. An Oklahoma resolution notes, grimly, that "many federal mandates are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States" and, in so many words, tells the federal government to go fly a kite.

Strange country I live in. Strange world, even.
Echinopsis subdenudata scorpion

cactus with scorpion

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