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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

36 Things I love about Joanna

Joanna turns 36 today, well in America her birthday is tomorrow but since she was born across the dateline it's today.  She's hoping her family gets to call so she can quote the Conchords and tell her mum it's not her birthday.  But since I haven't forgotten here's a list of one thing I love about her for each year she's been alive:

1. Her accent.  How can you beat it?

2. How kind she is to live so far from friends and family just to be with me.

3. How the kids fight over who gets to jump in bed with her in the morning.  It's annoying while it's happening but nice to think about during the day.

4. How she does EVERYTHING around the house and does not complain a bit.

5. That she drives everywhere on my days off.  Well as long as we're not going to a city bigger than Nashua.  Fortunately we rarely do.

6. When she's driving she lets me pick the music.  How can you beat that?

7. She lets me leave the light on to read at night.  Even though she doesn't sleep nearly as well.

8. Whenever I ask if I should buy something her answer is yes you should, you know if we can afford it or not.

9. She lets me watch whatever I want on TV.  Some of this is because we now have a DVR but either way I get the remote whenever I want.

10. The kids are always writing her love notes and drawing pictures for her.  This means she's treating them as well when no one is looking.

11. She lets Sofia steal her perfume.

12. I love how Coleman says he's going to marry her when he grows up.

13. I love her quilts.  She made a very beautiful hand dyed house quilt that is on the wall right by my computer right now.

14. She lets me nap whenever I want.

15. She makes sure Sofia does her homework every night.  If you knew Sofia right now you would know this is a time consuming job.

16. She loves the rain.  Most people here complain about it because they're so used to it but even though she's grew up next to palm trees she still loves it.

17. Other people love her accent.  I've met so many people that wouldn't have a thing to say to me if it weren't for her accent.

18. I love to hear her laugh.

19. I love when Joaquin begs her to read to him.

20. She's so good with money.  I had to force her to spend $300 on clothes last week for herself.  I don't even think she spent it all.  Most wives would not be like that.

21. She doesn't dismiss my half cracked plans without actually weighing the options.

22. She always forgives me.

23. She leaves me alone when I need time by myself, even when she really wants attention.

24. I love how the boys beg to have her tuck them in at night.

25.  She didn't mind marrying me in the county office.

26.  She was so sure I'd get the job I was applying for that she got pregnant before we found out I got it.

27.  She's never complained about a present that I got her.

28. She loves her garden.

29.  I get to sleep in every Saturday.

30.  She absolutely cannot roll her Rs.

31.  Right before we were married she gave me the best birthday I've had with only $5.

32.  She's a very competitive Uno player.  It drives the kids crazy when she wins.

33.  She fixes everything around the house.

34.  She laughs at my constant jokes.

35. Whenever I go on a trip I miss her after a day or two.  I'm even bored when I have free reign in Las Vegas.

36. She's my best friend.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Sex is Safer Sex

Surprisingly even with that title, this is a book about economics.  This was probably one of the best books I have read in a long time.

The book title comes from the theory that if people who are not infected with an STD were to have more sex everyone would be safer.  Note that it's not them that would be safer but the population in general.  Therefore since the individual risk is all borne by the person who decides whether or not to have sex, people have less sex and partners than would be "good" for society.

Interesting stuff and just the tip of the iceberg.  I've read Steven Landsberg's columns for years on Slate and some of the chapters in the book are expanded versions of his Slate articles.   Go and read them but do NOT feel like you are getting ripped off.  While many of the ideas were explored in Slate they were not as fleshed out, the math wasn't included and there was not as much exploration of related ideas.

This book was completely mindbending and was so good that I stayed up until 5:30 to finish it.  I didn't quite make it and stopped three pages short but the point is I haven't had a pageturner like this in my lap in months.  Go and read it now you won't be sorry.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Robot

I wanted to read this book before I saw the Will Smith movie.  According to reviews I read about the movie it was totally butchered and had the opposite moral message that the book did.  I haven't seen it and I'm happy that I read the book first.
I've always loved Asimov books.  Since we're past the dates that many are set in it's interesting to see how much the push into space was overrated as the direction technology would take.  In the book there are space stations and mining colonies on far away asteroids, people have developed hyperspace engines with the help of robots but they still wait for the paperboy to get the news.

The book is broken into chapters of the history of robots told by a robot psychologist.  Each chapter is a short story in the world all it's own with the common theme being how robots interact with their pre-programmed laws.  The first law of robotics is that a robot cannot harm a human being or through inaction allow a human being to be harmed.  The theme of the book is exploration of how a physically superior being, who also is intellectually superior, robots are supercomputers after all, would interact with humans if they had to follow this law.

Robots become ever more sophisticated through the book, it's told over a 60 year period of technology. Eventually everything in the world is run by robots as they become superior but benevolent creations.  At it's root it's a story of how we interact with technology and how as technology becomes more advanced it interacts with us.

Looking over the past 60 years and all the marvels and miracles and looking forward at the next 60 years this book is still relevant and thought provoking.