Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday: Holy fuck

I'm delaying the story of absolute fuckery until tomorrow.  This allows me to compose the story with 80% fewer incantations of "fuck," and will allow me to determine what course of action the fuckers' bosses decide to take.

In other news, I saw this post today on the vintage ads page, which contained this image:

which led me to say out loud, "holy fuck, I actually have that!"

Seriously.  Didn't even need to get off the couch to pull it from the shelf.  So not only do I have it, I have its location in my library-partment memorized.
Huh.  Holy fuck for the whole day, then.

Here's a pile of things to click on and read.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday: "But I don't want to join the American Chemical Society. I'm not a chemical!"

To be fair though, the junk mail from ACS does have a convenient "tell us if you never want to hear from us ever again."  That's nice.

"What? I live in the suburbs like you. I work in the city. I take the train.  You got a problem with that?"


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday: Ramen Day

Extra menma, because they're flavor sponges.
The ramen place also now takes credit cards, so it is significantly less hassle to go to.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday: Today's links have associated images that I thought matched/were funny.

But first, this happened today when I was coming home from work:
No clue what was happening, but usually ambulances and fire trucks are bad to have show up.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday: Smoked fish

In a sandwich:
Baguette, onion-garlic mustard, arugula, some cheese, smoked swordfish.

"I am bizarrely pissed off to find myself in this field of wildflowers."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday: That just didn't work

My plan for today was to go to Nico's, eat dinner, and then get smoked fish from their shop.  However, the shop closes at 6, and dinner at Nico's is way different than Saturday lunch.  I was expecting the regular counter service/buzzy beeper to tell you when to get your food.  Dinner is a proper wait-your-turn, sit-down, take-your-order affair.  I wasn't going to wait, so I opted to sit at the bar.

I've never done this, and it was like entering a whole new world.  Instead of only seeing the waitstaff occasionally, you get to see the bartenders perpetually working.  Fill drink orders for people at the bar; fill drink orders for other tables; collect used glasses deposited on the bar, rinse them, stick them in the super fast dishwasher; take orders from people sitting at the bar; fill walk up drink orders; answer questions from random people about billing issues.  It's far more work than I thought.  One more thing for the list: suggest that the pasta special is really good.

Spoiler alert: it was.  Scallops and shrimp linguine with mushroom/spinach cream sauce.
Another benefit of being there at night was that I was able to take a different panorama of the shipping terminals on Sand Island.
I love infrastructure.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday: Baked goods

I'm on the Honolulu magazine mailing list, which mostly involves me clicking the "archive" button in gmail.  Sometimes, this leads me in search of doughnuts.  Today was the second one.

No, I didn't drive into downtown to a coffee place.  The article claims they have blueberry doughnuts (one of the best flavors), but that they source them from St. Germain's bakery.  Not this one.  This one.  I figured that would make a nice place to stop in to get something for dinner.  It's a tray and tongs style bakery, which are always good.  Here's what I selected (in addition to doughnuts):
Clockwise from top left:

  • Bacon bread.  Not bad, but not really good in this format.  I should have sliced it and made crostini or something.  Then the bacon in the middle would be in each one, and the slicing would cut down on the gluten-y stiffness.
  • Curry pan.  Not the best tasting curry ever, but it was in a super flaky croissant style bread.
  • Ham roll.  I thought it was cheese in the middle, but it turned out to be onion butter.  Kind of a surprise.
Not a bad selection, although I'm somewhat hungry again now.  :-/

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday: Thanks, United

This showed up in my mail today:
I don't think I need to take a trip to Hawaii, United. You know where I live. You know that I can take a trip to see the "island life" by going to the grocery store.

I was going to put this into the links, but there are just too many good quotes to cram into a single bullet point.  I think this was in Brad Delong's list for the day.

"I am a very dapper bear, with my pipe and fancy glasses."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday: Adventures!

Part 1: Honolulu Academy of Arts Museum of Art

It's been about a year or so since I last went to the art museum, during which time, they've changed their name.  I assume they did so to prevent people from being confused that they weren't a museum or something.

Today was Family Sunday, which meant that the museum was free to the public.  I didn't know this was going to be the case, and was somewhat confused when I went to the info counter (where you usually pay).  I would have preferred to just pay the regular admission, but that is apparently not possible.  Plus, I had no cash to put in the donation thing.  I feel bad being cultured for free, so I bought as much stuff at the gift shop as I thought I would like.  The good part of that is I now have a book on Hokusai, so yay for ukiyo-e.

Here are the highlights:
What is up with the leg on the Magi on the left?  That can't be attached to that torso.

"And Abel said unto Cain, 'Seriously, Dude? Not only are you killing me, but you're using the jawbone of something else you already killed?  You're totally getting cursed. Probably marked, too.'"

Did you know that Rome was founded on this day 2766 years ago?

This is the greatest tiger in the history of the world. I love this tiger.

Chinese moon viewing chair.  I kind of want one.

You know those stones from Indiana Jones? They're not entirely fictional.  Odd bit of synchronicity for the day: the reference book on mythology I've been browsing for the past week notified me of their existence today while I was bouncing through Hindu myths.
Part 2: Auntie Pasto's

This is another on the list of "places I've been too before, but not at all recently."  Italian food is still one of the hardest things to get here in Hawaii.  This isn't the best place I've been to, but it's located reasonably close to the museum that I figured it was a good after-art option.

I'm not going to say that this is a red sauce restaurant, but they do have the red and white check down:
Tasty hot bread.  The oil had a lot of good fresh herbs in it. 
Stuffed mushrooms.  Drowning a bit in the cheese sauce, but the strong garlic flavor punches through nicely.  I'm not totally sure if the stuffing is just the roasted garlic, or what, because that was all I could find.
Cheese ravioli in meat sauce.  Yes, I mostly just wanted something classically "red sauce"-y.  The sauce is good, although a bit too heavy on the fennel.  I suspect that means the meat is an Italian sausage.  

Not bad, although they only have street parking, which is annoying.  I was surprised that they're expanding to the mainland.  I would have thought that there would be enough options there already.

Part 3: Links

  • Yes. Everyone has the right to not talk to the cops.
  • I caught this movie on TCM today.  It seems to be part of a series of short mysteries by SS van Dine, but they're not available anywhere on DVD.
  • No.  We have a justice system.  We do not need to create a separate one that guarantees results that some people want.
  • What? That's just...what? And then he stole a bottle of wine?
Part 4: No, seriously, that tiger is great.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday: Random things

I suspect I get miso just so I can watch the convection currents.

  • Best cosplay ever.
  • So these people are unhappy that a "crappy" pokemon has a move that makes it powerful, so they decide that it's unfair to use?  Jerks.  I always kind of liked Bidoof, because it's like a raccoon.  It's a beaver, though, isn't it.  Whatever.  Fuzzy forest creature.
  • Huh.  The arson thing was what made this biography for me.
  • I think I might go look at art tomorrow.
Second version of the miso gif under the cut.  The one above is optimized for the top rim of the soup, this one is optimized for the plate in the lower left corner.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday: in which "circularization" means "I just lied to you."

I haven't deduced where the lie is, but it's clearly in there.  Fucking lies.

Then I got the envelope solution to complete, only to discover that it's generating absolute garbage for dense lines.  I think I need to more aggressively terminate the solutions.  The only other thing I can think of is to do a simultaneous fit, which is programmatically more complex.

I'm also glad that the whole Boston thing is wrapped up, because that was just stupid and sloppy.  Tip for prospective terrorists: you're probably an idiot, so maybe you're not smart enough for this job.

Huh. I had no idea that owning a pet dragon would be so cool. (surprise: I totally knew that owning a dragon would be so cool.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday: At some point, you just have to accept that the math won't let you do that

I think that's the point I'm at now.  There's a lot of stuff you can make math do for you, but there's a point where you have to stop.

Ukiyoe Cookie Monster.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday: I'm tired and my head hurts

Sneaky owl.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday: logarithms are your friend

Because if you're attempting to fit a polynomial to something that spans 4 orders of magnitude and has outliers that can cover that entire range, you're going to have problems.  It turns out that one point at 1e3 is equivalent to 100 points at 1e1.  However, taking logarithms of things shrinks everything down so that they have roughly equivalent weights on the fit.  I'm still not totally happy with the way this transforms the error estimates, but it at least gives a better polynomial fit.  You know, one that actually looks like the data.

"My hat has a hat. It's a fox."

  • I've heard a lot of people wondering why people are glad that Thatcher's dead, even if they were too young to live under her government.  I suspect things like this are the reason. She was kind of a horrible person.
  • Alphanumeric!
  • Yes.  I'm sure it was just like this.  Dole plantation here on Oahu nicely fudges the history, where they point out all the nice people who stayed in houses on the plantation that the company provided so they wouldn't have to travel so far to work.
  • Bunnies.
  • I never really did a science fair.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday: Vague title that I think is funny, but no one else would

Rain in the mountains always kind of looks cool.

Look at this asshole.  Not only does he drive an obnoxious SUV limo, he parked in a no parking zone.  Plus, he's no where near straight, so he sticks out into the lane.  Also: it's kind of hard to turn into the driveway with that obstacle.  I couldn't figure out who owns it, as "VIP Tour" is basically the name of every limo service ever invented ever.

"Tasty bacon."  I'm guessing this is a Tim Horton's thing.  It looks like it'd be deathly good, except for that egg.

  • Bunny haet robot!
  • If I recall correctly, these "federal government electric systems" would be like the TVA, right?  So, they were complaining about people not paying federal taxes on electricity from a project that was designed to provide electricity to areas that were not served by the incumbent power systems, right?  Nice to see dickish corporate power isn't a new invention.
  • The dog.  You'll know when you get there.
  • They still have a bajillion dollars, but it's always good to see some people lose, even if it never really hurts them.  Well, other than the knowledge of being wrong.
  • Taxes.
  • NASA and rockets.
  • I was fooled by this once.  It tasted terrible, so I dumped the carton into the sink.  An hour later (an hour later in tropical weather, mind you), it was still semi-solid, so I banished the filth down the drain with a constant deluge of hot water.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday: Tax day

Part 1:

It's far easier to complete the Hawaii state taxes when you discover that there's a simple form that doesn't require you to enter a thousand zeros on a dozen different forms.  Basically that reduced the time to do taxes down to about an hour, small enough that the laundry I put in before starting still isn't dry.

I apparently didn't put down the amount I underpaid on the Tax Day post from last year.  I think it was something like $1000.  Yeah.  I fucked it up a bit last year.  This year? $500.  So I'm slightly better, but still not correct.  Wonderful.  I guess I mess with the withholding thing again this week.  I think I need like (n-0.5) withholding credits or whatever they're called.

The breakdown this year was: FICA/SS: 5.5%, Federal: 14.2%, State: 6.6%, Total: 26.3%.  Huh.  So somehow I have a lower effective tax rate than last year?  I wonder if this means I screwed up one of those returns.  Whatever, it's done, I'll write the checks, we'll all be happy afterwards.

I'm also somewhat curious what I did with my redo of Donald Duck's taxes last year.  If I remember correctly, inflation adjusted DD made kind of a small amount, and having three dependents got him a pile of EIC deductions.  I wish I'd actually put it into a post.  Oh well.

Part 2:

I saw this video yesterday:
And despite knowing that it's futile to try to use reason, I went to FRED, and pulled out some data.  First, take the industrial utilization as the amount of potential slack that magic supply side effects could use.  Now, assume that you make the same percentage of income at full utilization.  Compare that to the current federal deficit:

Replot, but now plot up what a "zero deficit" curve would be by adding the deficit to the tax reciepts:

This shows a direct plot of utilization.  Note how we always have basically 20% slack?  That's because we live in a capitalist society, and having that slack means we can shift resources to new projects if necessary.  The recession has certainly put a crimp on it, though, with an additional 10% being unused.  Anyway, determine how much more we need to cover the zero deficit scenario:
 Convert that value into the required utilization necessary to implement that change:
Now, first, note again that utilization is on average 80%, with no obvious swings relating to tax breaks.  Therefore, we could have stopped with just that plot and claimed that trickle down economics is obviously untrue.  Next step, note that the current required utilization to fund things is near to 1.0.  If the claim is that taxes unduly burden the economy such that we leave resources unused, then this suggests that we would optimally use all resources if taxes were zero.  Therefore, in order to obtain the utilization necessary to produce a deficit free economy, we would need to not have taxes, which of course creates a paradox.  It's possible to claim that in this magic tax free economy, industry would grow much faster than it currently does, such that 80% utilization represents a larger economic base.  Still, for this to be at all workable, you have to sort out the problem that we need to introduce an increase in the economic base equal to the entire slack.

Again, logic isn't the point of that douchebag in the video above, but it's still interesting to think about.

Part 3:

I had to get karaage, after watching this video yesterday.

I again had structural issues with my ahi.

Part 4:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday: More food stuff

Seriously blogger, it's like you know the order I want the images, and then do the exact opposite.

Anyway, didn't pack a lunch like I had planned, had to go eat something, decided to try Island Sub and Burger to continue yesterday's theme of "visit a place I've been to before, but not for like a year or two." I did take out so I could continue doing work while eating, which meant my fries came in a tiny paper bag.  You can see the result of that in the picture below.  Still, they have decent fries, and use the neat trick of putting lemon pepper on them.  It's just enough that you get a quick hint of lemon as you eat them, making the grease not seem quite so bad.

I went with the Cuban sandwich, no pickles (because pickles aren't any good).  Not bad.  The pork is nicely spiced, although it was a bit dry (the standard pork problem).  This could have been made up for if there had been some more ham and cheese in there as well.  As it was, a single thin slice of ham simply didn't have the added moisture to bring back the pork.  Still not a bad lunch, and I think this may be one of the cheapest options around (although I skewed the result by skipping a drink and going with water.  I was thirsty today).

  • I saw this today, and then clicked through to look at the fake Pokemon they decided to include in the game.  There are a number of really wonderful puns.  I think my favorite is the dual evolution paths of Growmeo/Montegrew and Tuliep/Capulilly, although Icetope/Chillnobyl is pretty good too.
  • That's good.
  • That's bad.  Seriously, it's like they don't even care about the appearance of corruption.
  • Somewhat interesting take on bitcoin.  The thing that struck me is the fact that all of the main points about "what is money" could have been taken directly from my undergrad macro class.  That such fundamental points still need to be stated is kind of depressing.
  • Is it just me, or does the "All Build Construction" logo look like a certain cosmic horror?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday: pancakes

Someone spent all day talking about pancakes.  This led me to looking up places that have pancakes available for dinner without having to drive all over the island.  Luckily, I discovered that Eggs and Things has opened up a new location outside of Waikiki, so I don't need to venture there.  Unfortunately, Google Maps suggested I take Kapiolani to get there, and that turned out to be a giant mistake.

I hate Kapiolani.  It's randomly coned for counterflow traffic, and if you want to turn left, it's easier to pull over to the right side of the road and shoot yourself, because there are no places to turn left.  I should have gone with my initial path and ignored google.  Oh well.

POG.  This is not the fake over-sweet version they sell in the store.  This is proper juices combined together.

Dinner combos come with a salad.  Not bad, with a tasty pineapple dressing.  I avoided the bits of egg, and had some trouble keeping the salad together.  I think the bowl was a bit over-full.

Part of the reason to go here: cajun calamari steak.  This was a bit spicier than I remember, but still well made.  Cooked just perfectly so that it cuts with just a fork.

The other reason.  They make proper pancakes.  These are much better than most that I've had in restaurants.

Syrups.  Standard maple in the back.  Coconut to the right; I like it, but maple will always be my favorite. Guava in front; I do not like it.  At all.  I always try it again when I visit, and always decide that I hate it.
I think this was a good decision.  I should come back and try other things, since it is more convenient than braving Waikiki traffic and parking.