First attempt at penguin flight ends badly.

flying_penguin

 

This is why most penguins swim. Landings are tricky.

I’ve been in SCCM 2012 training all week and haven’t had a chance to do a more substantial blog post so I give you this. The SCCM training has been in a virtual classroom so I’ve been able to work from home. There’s more material than can be reasonably covered in a week, but I have picked up a better understanding of SCCM. More specifically I’ve learned that SCCM 2012 is much better than the SCCM 2007 we use at work.

Dave and I are still going to do a podcast soon, but he’s been sick so it hasn’t happened yet. That means there still time for you to suggest topics for us to comment on if you’ve thought of one.

 

I present to you: The official SEB otter.

If you’re looking at this on Facebook then you’ll need to click through to see it in motion:

angry-otter-table-screaming

And now: A cute story about a little girl and her pet fish.

 

I can totally relate to this.

ishouldprobablyexerciseYou may recall that back in October I took on a challenge my employer put out to walk 8,000 steps a day for 20 days in the month in order to get a Fitbit Flex for free (normally $99). My hope was that if I could complete the challenge it would become a habit and I’d be on my way to returning to the slim figure of my youth, or at least not as fat as I was.

So the bad news is that with the arrival of winter my time spent walking has slowly dropped off to the point that I only managed to get out and walk once in January and haven’t done it since (and I didn’t even make it to 8,000 steps that day). We’ve been in the grip of a polar vortex for a few weeks now — not to mention being sick as a dog with a nasty cold two weeks ago that kept me in bed — and it’s just more than I can muster the motivation to overcome.

The good news is that what little weight loss I have managed, about 10 to 15 pounds, has stuck with me. I was 300 pounds when I started and my weight is currently hovering between 281 and 285 (my last weight as of yesterday was 282.2). My fancy wi-fi scale tells me that I’m down 13.9 pounds in 9 months. I expect it has a lot to do with the healthier meals Anne and I have been eating as of late because it’s sure not from exercise.

Once the temps around here start averaging above terrifyingly-ball-shrinking levels I am determined to get back to walking regularly and I hope to see the losses increase. For now, I’m slightly healthier than I was. It’s nothing to celebrate, but it’s better than nothing.

 

In memory of Bill Owen.

I was digging through old photos to scan in for Throwback Thursday when I was reminded that my best friend, Bill Owen, was killed 12 years ago yesterday. It’s been three years since I last posted a memorial to him so I thought I was past due for taking a moment to remember a man who I’d known for over 20 years and who was like a brother to me. There are still things that will bring him to mind from time to time like a movie trailer for something the two of us would’ve been excited to see or a new video game I know he would’ve loved to play. Every now and then I still dream about him. He stuck with me through thick and thin and never hesitated to tell me when I was being an asshole. I will miss him for the rest of my life.

This is the photo that reminded me of this sad event. It’s from one of my daughter’s birthday parties in the mid-1990’s. He’s sitting with his then wife, whose name I don’t recall how to spell properly so I’m not going to try. He’s happy and that’s a great way to remember him.

Bill Owen

I still don’t get poetry.

I’ll be 48 this year and I still don’t understand any poem more complex than the ones about that fellow from Nantucket.

That’s all I wanted to say.

I’m going to revive the SEB Podcast.

fightwithmyselfI checked the SEB Podcast archive this morning and realized that it’s been almost three years since the last one (May 8, 2012) which is really weird because it totally doesn’t feel like it’s been three years. So I rang up Dave Hill of ***Dave Does the Blog fame, who has traditionally been my co-host on the podcast, and asked him if he was interested in getting back into it. He agreed it was about damned time we did another one and so we’re figuring out what our weekends look like to try and get one in the can soon.

Three years is a long time and these days all the cool kids are doing their podcasts via Google Hangouts so you can see the people who are talking and Dave suggested we try that route for our next outing. I thought that was a good idea even though my current desktop placement is in my basement and my current backdrop consists of a shitload of boxes full of crap from the last time we moved that we never got around to unpacking (which is probably for the best considering I’ll probably be moving this May). So my first task will be rigging up something to hide the ungodly mess that would otherwise be visible behind me.

Traditionally we’ve asked the readers of our respective blogs to submit any topics they’d like us to chat about. I’ll be honest, with as infrequent as my blogging has been lately I don’t know if there’s enough interested parties to make suggestions, but if you’re still checking in here and have something you’d like to hear us express our semi-informed opinions on you can either leave a comment on this entry or send me an email and let us know.

Yes, this is an attempt to get back into blogging/podcasting more often. Something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. This year may also be the year that I finally get around to trying my hand at vlogging, something else I’ve been kicking around for years. Though right now I’ll be happy if I just manage to get back into blogging a couple times a week at a minimum.

A small video primer on why vaccines work.

Joe Hanson over at the It’s OK To Be Smart YouTube channel has a great video on vaccines and why it’s important to get them for yourself and your kids:

The rise of the anti-vaxers has resulted in the resurgence of diseases we had all but eradicated and a lot of people are going to suffer needlessly and die because of it if the trend continues.

Right now it’s measles and whooping cough which are bad enough, but there’s a very real danger that polio could make a return. We had it on the ropes world-wide until last year when it appeared to be on the rise in several countries. With today’s ease of travel that could make an American outbreak just a plane ride away.

This just in: American’s knowledge of science still sucks.

introspective-catYou don’t have to look very hard to see that science literacy in America is pretty dismal, but it’s still disheartening when a new survey is released showing that it’s even worse than you thought.

Quarter of Americans Convinced Sun Revolves Around Earth, Survey Finds – ABC News.

A survey of 2,200 people that was released Friday revealed some alarming truths about the state of science education across the country, with many failing to an answer even the most basic astronomy and science questions, according to a release about the survey.

Out of nine questions in the survey, participants scored an average 6.5.

Only 39 percent answered correctly with “true” when asked if “The universe began with a huge explosion,” while only 48 percent knew that “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals,” according to the statement.

It’s hard to estimate how much of this ignorance is willful because it conflicts with religious belief. It boggles the mind that in 2015 less than half of Americans understand and/or accept the theory of evolution.

Worse, most folks don’t think science is worthy of increased government spending:

Asked whether there needed to be more government funding for science, 30 percent said there should be.

These weren’t difficult questions. Anyone who made it through high school should be able to answer them without difficulty. A good part of the reason America has risen to the position its in is because of our mastery of science and the benefits that come with it.

I suppose we could chalk this up to the topics not being something that most folks deal with day to day, but they seem like the sort of thing you’d know just by paying a little attention to what’s going on around you.

Woman attempts to beat Jesus into another woman.

face-palm-JesusA woman by the name of Margurite Dawn Haragan of Boise has taken a novel approach to converting a Jewish lady to Christianity. Instead of wasting hours giving testimony and preaching from the Good Book, she opted for the more expedient approach of simply beating the shit out of the poor woman until she agreed to convert:

Prosecutors: Jewish woman beaten, harassed in conversion attempt.

“The defendant was banging on the front window yelling at her that she better believe in Jesus and she was not going to leave until she did believe in Jesus,” Ada County Prosecutor Dave Rothcheck said. He said the victim, identified in court only as “A.G.,” opened her door to tell Haragan to leave and to write down her license plate number.

That’s when the suspect slapped her in the face and dragged her to the ground by her hair, Roscheck said.

“The defendant began kicking the victim in the stomach and thigh area,” he said. “During this time the defendant was screaming at the victim that she better accept Jesus or she would not let up.”

Eventually the victim did agree to convert to Christianity and, true to her word, Haragan stopped stomping on the victim’s neck and let her go. Despite her success, Harragan has since been arrested and is facing two counts of malicious harassment that will be considered a felony due to it being considered a hate crime. She’s facing up to 5 years in prison for each count and is cooling her jets in jail thanks to a $100,000 bond.

But it’s all worth it because she managed to save at least one soul from going to Hell for believing in a false religion. I’m sure Jesus will have a special reward for her once she makes it to Heaven.