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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Road Apples, #2

Just a few miscellaneous thoughts running through my head at the moment...

Of Dreams and Computer Programs...Ever have a dream or thought that runs through your head so much at night that you can't sleep? That was me, last night. I kept having this reoccurring dream that I simply couldn't stop thinking about. It reminded me of my days back in college, when in basic programming class you would write some code that would end up creating this loop: an over-and-over again cycle that has no end in sight. The dream/thought was incredibly stupid, related, I think, to something in the entertainment news the other day. Anyway, after a night of tossing and turning, I finally gave up at got up this morning around 6am. After a shower, cleaning cat dishes/feeding said herd and some news reading, I'm finally mentally getting to the point where I think I can function. The truly ironic part in all of this (and with me in general, I suppose) is the fact that God blessed me with brain that's always just usually isn't working on important things.

And the Newest Car on the Information Superhighway older brother, who I helped finally get on-line yesterday afternoon. I actually helped him get a laptop about a month or so ago, but he had problems actually getting on-line. Problem solved yesterday, as the issue had to do with a user account name (and the fact that the dial-up ISP was sending him his bill...via email...which was a problem, as he couldn't get on-line until yesterday). Anyway, as someone who has been on-line since the early 90's, I'm really glad to see him take the plunge. Rich, it's official: the Internet isn't, in fact, a fad. Side note: Between my mother, my brothers and I, we have a total of 13 cats (5 for Rich, 4 for me, 2 for my younger brother Chris, and 2 for my mother), which sounds pretty freaky when you think about it. Mind you, I never set out to have 4 cats, but that's a long story.

In the "You Know You're A Geek When" Department...I ordered alphabetical tabs to help organize my CD collection yesterday. I found them at an on-line store, something along the lines of ''. They are not exactly what I wanted, but they are the only thing I could find that was close. What did I want? I keep my CDs organized alphabetically, so I wanted something to help me re-shelve them when I take one or two out. Truth be told, I have about 20 that need to be put back in the case, but I've just been putting it off. Maybe this will help motivate me.

What's I'm Currently Listening To...In the car, I've been playing a lot of 'The Pretenders' lately. I love the material from the first three albums. Among the earliest of the material is 'Message of Love', which is as good as bass, guitar, vocals and drums can get on record. One of my favorite albums of all time, bar none, is 'Learning To Crawl'. At home I've been watching YouTube videos of 'The Clash'. Both groups show you that sometimes something really good (late 70's/early 80's rock) can come from something really bad (much of the disco of the 70's).

What Do Cats Think About...when they simply stare off into space? They must be thinking about something. I mean why would anything be created that simply sits there and stares without anything else going on? On some level I do think that cats think. The whole cats vs. dog, who is smarter debate is an interesting one. I read an article a few years ago that discussed that same issue in fairly granular detail. As I recall, the answer as to which was smarter depended on how you define the term 'smarter'. For example, dogs have far greater social skills than cats (not a surprise to cat owners out there who are used to being regularly ignored by their pets), which makes them want to do things that please their owners. These social skills can be leveraged in ways that can get the dog to perform tricks, like fetching a stick or rolling over. That doesn't make the dog 'smarter' because it can play fetch but a cat can''s more like the dog wants to fetch the stick because it wants to please someone; on the other hand, a cat is more than capable of performing the action of fetching a stick, but it simply has no desire to please anyone but itself, so it doesn't. Helping matters for dogs is the fact that they have been socialized with humans for a far greater length of time than cats have. Cats have the advantage in terms of what I could call 'survival intelligence', meaning that a cat is far more likely to be able to live and thrive on it's own than a dog can, but that doesn't point to much in terms of raw intelligence either. I think the bottom line is that both animals have roughly the same level of basic intelligence, but how that intelligence is expressed, and how we react to it, is different.

Well, I've been putting off paying bills and performing other necessary tasks for long enough, so I best get to them.

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