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Clark S. Cox

Here's how I know I'm not in the midwest anymore:

Clerk: "Is it still raining outside"
Wife: "Well, it's drizzling"
Clerk: "What does 'drizzling' mean?"
Wife: "It's the midwestern word for what you Californians call 'rain'."

Seriously, there was a pretty decent rainstorm here in the past couple of days (basically what you would expect in KY or PA every couple of months or so), but it was nowhere near the scale that the news made it out to be ("OMG, it's rain!!!! Everyone head for the hills!), or that some people made it out to be (Receptionist at doctor's office: "Wow, I can't believe you made your appointment today; I mean, it's raining out there!").

Though, I'm starting to believe that people who live in arid climates should be forced to drive in wet conditions before getting their license. It's one thing to not drive in the rain very often, it's totally different to not know how to drive in the rain. For too many people here, "driving in the rain" seems to mean one of the following:

  • Slow down to 20mph, often, without warning, and without a discernible reason (I saw water! and it was falling from the sky. OMGWTFBBQ!?!?!?!)
  • Drive as aggressively as possible; out of fear and panic (OMG, I'm so scared, I have to get off the highway, and my exit is only 2 miles away. Whatever can I do!?!?!?! I know, I'll cut Clark off!)
  • Do both at the same time (how that is possible, I don't know, but I've seen it)

Here's a tip people: Slamming on your breaks as you approach a puddle is a horrible idea.

I don't even want to imagine what would happen if it snowed out here :)

2 comments -- Speak
My "vacation" (the reason for the scare quotes will become apparent) has been two weeks of chaos and stress.

My maternal grandmother (my last remaining grandparent) is fading fast, and probably won't see another Christmas. She is living with my parents and needs a sitter during the day. She is unable to walk on her own, and can only feed herself half of the time. She has good days and bad, but even on her best days, she seems a pale shadow of the woman I remember. This was made, to me, all the more explicit considering that I hadn't seen her since last December.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last month and had to have a double mastectomy three days before Christmas. Luckily, she was out of the hospital on Christmas Eve, but she's been in bed most of the time since then, and her new shape really seems to bother her; not to mention the fact that she cannot pick up her grandson.

And then, to make matters worse, my son was bitten yesterday by one of my in-laws' dogs. Clark attempted to take some of the Michael's food while he was eating, and Michael would have none of it. So, he reacted as any dog would to another dog attempting to steal food—he snapped at him. The problem, of course, being that Clark is not another dog. My mother-in-law grabbed Clark, and went upstairs to inspect his wounds, and Elizabeth woke me up, understandably hysterical.

We spent the entire day in the ER while they stitched up Clark's face. He had three large lacerations underneath his left eye, and two smaller wounds underneath his right jaw. He was very close to having lost an eye, or, worse yet, having punctured his right carotid artery.

So, to any of my friends in Louisville that I haven't yet seen, I wanted you to know that I haven't been ignoring you without cause :)

Edited to add:

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Current Location: Louisville
Current Mood: numb numb

1 comment -- Speak

People often have trouble believing that you can be moral and non-religious at the same time—as if morals can only come from religion. I am a moral person, and I am an atheist. I do not believe in God; I do not believe in an afterlife; I do not believe in a soul.

Upon hearing that, many people follow up with something along the lines of: Well, if you don't believe in God, what keeps you from stealing, killing, etc.?

Because it makes rational sense to be moral:

  1. I like existing. I really like existing. Death means more to someone who believes that there is nothing afterwards. Life is all I have, and once that is gone, I don't exist any more. I want to continue existing.
  2. If I were alone, and never cooperated with other people, existing comfortably (or at all) would be difficult, if not impossible, as all of my time and energy would be devoted to finding food and water, and fighting off predators and competition. Therefore cooperation is good.
  3. If I want other people to cooperate with me, there are essentially two ways I can elicit that cooperation:
    • Force them; show them that you will cause them harm if they do not cooperate.
    • Entice them; show them that things will be better if they do cooperate.
    If I force them, then a large part of their energy will be focused on removing the threat (i.e. me), which is counterproductive, and, for obvious reasons, potentially dangerous to me. Additionally, a large part of my energy would have to go towards enforcing the threat; this is also wasteful. If, on the other hand, I entice them, and show them that the relationship is beneficial to the both of us, all of that energy that would have otherwise gone into fighting for and against my threat can now be channeled into more constructive endeavors. Everyone wins.

This is how I can be a moral person while simultaneously disbelieving in God.

Batter Blaster

I saw this at Whole Foods, and just had to buy it for the sheer novelty of it. (BTW, the pancakes it makes aren't very good).

Current Mood: curious curious

While listening to a song (in Japanese), I came across a word that I knew that I knew, but that I couldn't remember. I absolutely hate it when I forget words in other languages. So, I fired up the Dictionary on my Mac, and typed in the word: 「わすれる」. Anyone who knows Japanese will immediately see the irony.

What was this elusive word that I had forgotten? I had forgotten the word "forget".
My First Earthquake.

Weeeeeeeeeeee :)

It turns out that it was a 5.6, centered a few miles from my apartment. At first, I thought it was thunder (yeah, right, they don't have weather out here); then I thought it was someone stomping around on the floor above us … but we're on the top floor. Then the swaying started, and then it was over. Elizabeth was a little on the scared side, and the cats were freaked out, but I was more excited than anything else.
GMail now supports IMAP. Thank the Google gods!

Just yesterday, I set up gmail on my wife's new iPhone, and had to use the POP option. POP is horribly cumbersome and is really only appropriate if you only read mail on a single computer. With IMAP, everything stays in sync and all is well.

But with over 2GB of mail in my Gmail, that first sync is a doozie :)
It has been forever and a day since I last updated this journal, and there are many reasons for that.:
  1. Cross-country move.

    Back in February, My wife (ecox) and I moved from our apartment in Mars, PA to San José, CA. All in all the move went smoothly, there were some slight hiccups where the cats were involved, but they came through unscathed.

    I'm pretty satisfied with my new home, and really like the fact that I am now actually within biking distance of most things that I need, and am within walking distance of (real) mass transit. In PA, if I wanted to go into Pittsburgh, it meant getting in the car and driving for upwards of 30 to 45 minutes on some of the worst interstates I have ever seen. Here, if I want to go to San Francisco, I walk or bike a half-mile or so, get on a train, and I'm there in an hour.

    The only thing that I really miss so far is weather (I'd kill for a good thunderstorm), but I'm told that that is common with transplants to the area.

  2. New Job.

    The reason for the relocation was a change in employment. I now work for Apple, Inc. For the most part, it is pretty much what I expected, and I seem to have settled in nicely. It's also nice to be working on the very software that I use personally; it gives one a sense of control. This is in stark contrast to working on cancer treatment software that, $DIETY willing, I'll never see any direct benefit from. Leopard and Xcode on the other hand are software in which I spend nearly every working minute using (and would were I not working for Apple).

    Speaking of Leopard, I highly recommend that you go out and get it come the 26th. There are a ton of new features, and many great new technologies; Of course, I'm not allowed to discuss any of them until Leopard is actually in customers hands, so for the next week, you'll just have to take my word for it and trust that this is a solid upgrade to the Mac OS and it's principal development environment. A lot of work (and a lot of time away from spouses) went into making this the best Mac OS X yet.

  3. New Child.

    Last, but most assuredly not least: On April 10th, just shy of 2 months after moving to California, Clark S. Cox IV was born. He's now 6 months old, and is growing like a weed (that is, he's well on track to being as tall as or even taller than I): he fits into clothing designed for 1 year-olds despite being barely half that. If you'd like to see any pictures of him, there are plenty on my flickr page, and Elizabeth has posted quite a few to her livejournal.

Perhaps, I'll have a bit more time to post here, but I can make no promises.

Genarlow Wilson is in prison for "Aggravated Child Molestation", for a minimum of 10 years, and he will have to register as a sex offender after he is released. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? For someone to be guilty of child molestation, they must be a bad, evil, perverted person, right? He must have gotten what he deserved, right?


What was is "crime"? He had consensual, oral sex with a 15 year old. (Ooh, that sounds like rape, let's burn him). The problem with this is that he was 17 at the time.

This minor had sex with another minor, and the rest of his youth is now forfeit.

Sometimes this country makes me so angry.

Our photos from our trip to Germany this year:

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1 comment -- Speak