THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: March 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I got my picture taken next to a shale shaker and in front of a possum's belly yesterday.

(Photo to come.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Blizzard of March, 2006

My blog has been white white white white white screen of death for a couple of days now. I am launching this entry out into the void in the hopes of breaking through the grip of icy blankness.

Godspeed, friends.

Photo Credits: here

  • Weird. That seems to have worked.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

On Speaking the Part - Part 1

At a new job, there is so much to learn. And like many industries, the oil and gas industry has its own dialect. Its own vernacular. Its own jargon. A great deal of which is functional, colorful and explanatory. And some of which adapts or paraphrases common expressions in other walks of life. Like the phrase I enjoyed learning earlier today.

"Sometimes, what the Mud Logger giveth,
the Electric Logger taketh away."

It's probably (hopefully) too early for me to make a final decision on an epitaph, but that expression is currently at the top of the charts.

Photo Credits: here

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Time for a new poll.

Which of these is not a line from Lonesome Dove?
A man that rents pigs can't be stopped.
The Velvet Fog is a bizarre, troubled individual but I happen to know he has a good excuse.
You must be a man of vision.
I 'spect you been up all night reading the Good Book.
Loan me two dollars, Gus.
Free polls from

Thursday, March 16, 2006

On Firsts - Part 1

First day in a new office. First day in a new job. First day with a new set of co-workers. First time I've ever worked in a place that had Snickers Ice Cream Bars in the corporate freezer.

Things could certainly be worse .......

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

On Etiquettal Conundrums - Part 1

So one context for this question is farewells. And in that context, one application of this topic is preparing the guest list.

The question, the topic is this:
  • Is it better to underestimate how important you are to people or it is better to overestimate how important you are to people?

Which is more likely to hurt feelings? Which is more likely to tend to create ill will (however mild) or unfavorable last impressions?

Please discuss.

Photo Credits: here

Thursday, March 09, 2006



"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they are any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to."

I am only into three songs right now.

Those songs are listed below.
  1. "Don't Ever Change" by Amy Rigby.
  2. "Gracie" by Ben Folds.
  3. "Are We Ever Going to Have Sex Again" by Amy Rigby.

I am totally in to these three songs right now. In fact, I have sent a copy of those songs to one of my favorite bloggers and I have been expecting for some time now that she will publish a "full report" about those songs. But it seems that, despite her being a woman of letters and me being vaguely familiar with the common meanings of expressions like "in due time," she has not yet done so.

In terms of the next round of tagged folks, I am electing to tag only one person, Grant Bailie. Grant, you are supposed to post an entry on your blog listing your seven favorite songs. You are supposed to reproduce the instructions quoted at the top of this entry on my blog in the same entry.

Photo Credits: here

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

On Stuff to Contemplate - Part 1

Here is a provocative article from Paul Craig Roberts. I'm not sure how I feel about a lot of the article. But in it he articulates a critical economic point that Americans need to understand (the sentence to which I'm referring is pasted below). And he says it in a way that finally crystallized my understanding on an important question.

The question of why the function of the U.S. Dollar as a store of value is so important to the standard of living of Americans. The answer is because:
  • If we can’t produce enough valuable goods or maintain a strong currency, we won’t have access to the oil.

In other words, he is suggesting (correctly, I think) that America will not be able to force countries in the Middle East to sell oil to Americans through military force. War will not work. What we should be doing instead is (1) focusing on maintaining a strong currency (i.e., stop inflating our fiat currency) and (2) concentrating on creating and producing products of value to the countries where the oil is. Voluntary exchange will work.

If we have stuff the people who own the oil want, they will sell us the oil in exchange for the stuff they want.

If we take care of our side of the ledger, trade and commerce will happen.

Violence is so not necessary.

Photo Credits: here

Monday, March 06, 2006

Left, Right; One, Two

The quotes below are from this speech, which I would encourage everyone to read in its entirety. But, recognizing that even Pareto is probably overly optimistic on the over/under for people who will click through and read Lew Rockwell's wonderful article, here's some chattering from me about it.

In the context of discussing a model of government based (incorrectly) on the Good Samaritan parable, Rockwell delivered this wonderfully clarifying sentence:

  • The great error of [people who are, broadly speaking, on the left] is its inability to distinguish the injustice of violence from the supposed injustice of inequality of material condition.

(emphasis mine)

One key point is that cooperation, not conflict, is how society can and should function. The world is not comprised exclusively of victims and victimizers. The "samaritan" people "on the left" (again, broadly speaking) imagine government to be is not necessary.

Nor "good."

Rockwell concludes this part of the speech with these remarks:

The state is something very different. It has no income but
that which it robs from someone else. It seeks its own gain at others' expense. It protects itself and promotes itself before the interests of everyone else. It is beholden to special interests who create and control its regulatory apparatus. It is not impartial. It sides with its friends over its enemies. Moreover, the state is an exploiter, a murderer, a violator of human rights.

The typical response of the left is to say that they want a state that does only good things such as share and care, and not bad things such as steal and kill. But this cannot be. We might as well wish for a lion that only purrs and cuddles, or a rattlesnake that only provides percussion accompaniment to mariachi music. The very nature of the state is that it exists
only through and for compulsion. To imagine otherwise is not to face reality.

    Lew Rockwell has also delivered a few wonderful sentences pinpointing an error of thinking made by people who are, broadly speaking "on the right":

  • The model of [people on the right] imagines that somehow the social order we see around us cannot possibly have come about without a single will operating in society, some firm hand that has designed the order and keeps it running smoothly.
  • People who think this way imagine that in the absence of this firm hand, there would be nothing but a Hobbesian state of nature, where society is a war of all against all and life is nasty, brutish, and short.

  • They need to see how society is harmonious not because of the state but because of the prevalence of human cooperation in the marketplace, where people work to trade to their own mutual betterment.

Let's discuss.

Photo Credits: here and here

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Dear Erin O'Brien née Nowjack:

All of my personalities are clamoring for your promised "full report" regarding Amy Rigby's charming and touching song Don't Ever Change (which can be heard here). As you know, I hope, I emailed you the song on Thursday or Friday. Probably it was Friday. My weekend personality doesn't remember for sure. But all my personalities are pretty sure you've had it long enough to develop symptoms of bedaffled-ness and post about it, so my overly-sensitive personality is close to having his feelings hurt.

So, at this point, my belligerent, pushy personality feels like he has made it as easy for you as he could (what with spelling out the name of the singer and the song multiple times during Erin TV and then ultimately just emailing it to you directly). And my officious personality is seriously considering drafting the "full report" for you. Meanwhile, my pubescent personality would settle for any confirmation that you received the emails.

For heaven's sake.

Very truly yours,


Photo Credits: here

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

On Generalizing, Generally - Part 1

I just enjoyed this Malcolm Gladwell article linked by Lefty Grrrrl on her blog (thanks for sharing, Lefty). It's from The New Yorker.

That Malcolm Gladwell is a smart fellow. There are at least a dozen astute observations in that article (I'm guessing; I didn't really count them) . Check it out. It's long, though. I spent about 15 minutes reading it, and I was skimming.

* * *

In the category of "I Learned Something New Today," the article taught me this:

  • In dogs, at least, the term for the state
    of not being neutered is "intact."


Photo Credits: here