Friday, August 20, 2010

Oatmeal Stout from Breckenridge Brewery

I like the Oatmeal Stout from Breckenridge Brewery I enjoyed while reviewing mortgage paperwork this evening.

I'd drink it again.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Arizona Board Game Society

I went to the Arizona Board Game Society meeting yesterday evening at Gamer's Inn in Mesa, AZ. Five or six people, mostly IT. Good times.

We played Dominion with the Intrique expansion. I misjudged when to switch modes to grabbing up victory points, and so was soundly beaten. I've played Dominion a few times now; it's pretty good. I tried to buy a copy of Dominion at Gamer's Inn but they were out of stock and didn't give me any confidence on when they would be back in stock, so I'll have to get it from instead. Convenient thing, that

Then we played Power Grid using the France map. That game is great fun but as one of the other players pointed out, the end-game is disappointing in that there's way too much opportunity for players who cannot win to play kingmaker and take actions that choose a winner. Still, the gameplay of the game prior to the final round is compelling and I'll look to play this again.

The evening closed with a quick game of Family Business. It's a quick-playing card game with some depth. It reminded me a little bit of Gloom, but not a lot. I liked it. It's quick, simple, not too hard, but still has some redeeming value with some depth, especially if you try to pay attention to the social aspect and steer the balance and momentum to encourage the other players to eliminate one another.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Opening .swf files with Firefox on your Mac

I've been asked how to do this a few times by friends and relatives for whom I provide informal tech support, so I'm going to try to document this.

Let's suppose you have a .swf file that you'd like to play locally.

For example, Cyberbee has a lovely .swf file on copyright. (Try this web page. If the copyright classroom experience doesn't play for you in Firefox, then the directions below for playing .swf files locally also won't work.)

If you've downloaded the .swf file locally, or otherwise gotten your hands on a .swf file, you might then want to be able to play that file off of your desktop.

An easy way to play it locally is to open it with Firefox thereby taking advantage of Firefox's ability to play it with the Adobe Flash player.

As a one-off you could open it with Firefox. (Right-click and select "Open With...". Select Firefox as the application with which you'd like to open the .swf file.)

However, it might be more convenient to configure the Finder to always open files of this type with Firefox. You do that like this:

Right-click on the .swf file.
Choose Get Info.
There's an "Open With" section in the Get Info dialog. Expand it.
Choose Firefox as the application with which to open it.
Select "Use this application to open all documents like this."
Close the Get Info dialog.
Double-click on the .swf file, and viola! It should open in Firefox and play.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Church Service

Attended Christmas eve church services this year at The Covenant Church in Cheboygan, MI.

The Covenant Church
3424 E. US Hwy. 23 Cheboygan, MI 49721
(231) 627-9889

A Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols

Songs and carols included O Come, All Ye Faithful; O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Emmanuel; Joy to the World; Heaven's Child; O Little Town of Bethlehem; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; One Child; O Holy Night; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Angels We Have Heard On High; and Silent Night.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Avoiding scientific inquiry into gender issues

Having watched Idiocracy last night, I feel a bit sensitized to stupidity and anti-intellectualism in public fora.

In the Sunday June 22 Arizona Republic, among the Opinions, Kathleen Parker writes in "Why women still do more housework":

... But little truck is given to the obvious: Men and women are hard-wired differently. Of course, that sort of statement will get you thrown off college campuses these days -- ask Lawrence Summers -- but common sense and experience often explain what science cannot.

Often? And how would one know when common sense and experience have successfully explained what science cannot? Science has an understanding of reproducibility of results, peer review, empiricism. "Common sense and experience" rely on assertions seeming true and narrow perspective.

I don't think common sense and experience often explain what science cannot explain. That's the sort of anti-intellectual platitude that sounds nice and like it might be true but is unfounded. It's "truthy", if you will.

"Hard-wired" evokes the hardest science in psychology and cognitive science. If men and woman are hard-wired differently, it will be (and in part, so far, has been) hard science that will discover this wiring, in what ways it works, and in what ways there are differences -- with care to understanding of significance in both its scientific meanings (statistically significant) and common meanings (differences that actually matter).

These differences in wiring will be anything but "obvious" -- this is the lesson, e.g. in popular science book Freakonomics, that things that seem like they ought to be true aren't necessarily true.

To deride serious researchers and scientists ("gender theorists") that any answer to differences in men and women lies in "simply that men and women have different preferences" is to idiotically beg the question: yes, but why do people have different preferences? Is this a matter of biological wiring? A response to cultural messages? Investigating this in a scientific way, subject to hypotheses that are testable and theories that can be proven wrong, potentially improves human understanding of the world. I wish the writer were acknowledging that, perhaps even encouraging women to become interested in careers in the sciences.

What the writer actually closes with is "Sometimes things just are what they are. A wishful theory is no match for nature's stubborn ambition.", a disconcertingly defeatist approach that admits unknowability where it ought not be given ground.

I was very disappointed in the opinion piece "Why women still do more housework".

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Unsubscribed from Dinosaur Comics

I unsubscribed from Dinosaur Comics this evening in Google Reader. I just consistently didn't "get" Dinosaur Comics.

One less RSS feed burying me.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Bought 12 gallons of gasoline

Today I bought 12 gallons of gasoline, bringing the odometer to 15786 and yielding 25 miles per gallon since my last fill.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Joe's Farm Grill

Went to Joe's Farm Grill for dinner this evening. Had a BBQ Bacon Blue Burger with a chocolate shake. Tasty stuff.