October 30, 2009


In passing Tony and I have definitely commented on the various friend look-alikes we have floating around in Waynesboro.


I defy anyone to find an Econ doppelganger as absolutely convincing as this one:

Yes. This is for real. Apparently Econ was passing out candy at Waynesboro's annual Main Street Halloween walk.


October 26, 2009


Even typing “nerdcore hip hop” makes me feel like I'm violating an unspoken but serious rule. Saturday night I was at an awesome party the central event of which was a screening of Nerdcore Rising, a documentary about a rapper named “MC Frontalot.” In it you get a “band who starts out playing small venues and wonders if they could ever make of living out of it, but, lo and behold (!), now they can play in huge packed venues for lots of fans” story, and reflections on the significance of the genre.

Before I watched it, I didn't know that nerdy guys like and are like uncloseted gay guys because they feel insecure about not “living up to” traditional notions of masculinity, and that nerdcore artists might be true heirs of hip hop because it was never about being cool back in the good ol' days.

Stylistically it was unremarkable, but a noteworthy exception gave me an utterly unexpected flashback to a scene from a childhood movie I haven't been able to place yet. It was from something Winnie the Pooh, and involved trippy rumination about heffalumps and woozles. This isn't a quality I look for in documentaries.

The movie was also funny. A song about internet porn had me in tears by “on her knees and hands.” I link to an mp3 of the song for your pleasure. My only real complaints about the documentary were that it ends up feeling slightly like a recruitment video, and it features too much Jello Biafra, which as it turns out, happens when one asks him speak into a camera.

October 16, 2009

Magic number(s)

Sort of a compliment to Tony's post, but interesting enough that it merits its own post.

In his post, mentioned the fact that Waynesville's population was relativity small compered to Waynesboro.

And, if you look on paper, it is. Much smaller (2006 est. 3,507 vs. est. 21,454).

But that will be changing. Very soon. In fact, it could very well happen overnight.

Let me explain.

Waynesville and St. Robert (affectionately known, by me, as "the 'Ville" and "St. Bob") are technically different cities, but they're basically, along with the Army base Fort Leonard Wood, one community, as you can see here:

View Larger Map

The 'Ville has a population of around 3,500 and St. Bob around 2,700.

But if you were to come here without knowing anything about the community other than the population figures, you'd be mighty confused. How many communities of 6,000 have rush-hour traffic jams?

They don't. The actual population of the entire community is somewhere closer to 40,000. The problem is, most of Ft. Wood's population is unincorporated, so it doesn't count towards the figures of either city. Fort Wood has about 35,000 people (tricky, since the Army is transient... so it might, in all truth be even more).

If you read the article above, though, you'll read that the Wayesville and St. Robert city councils and the Pulaski County commission are in talks to annex the population of Fort Leonard Wood, which will mean that they'll add 17,500 people to the numbers of each city.

If you're keeping track, that would put the 'Ville at 21,007 and 20,260 for St. Bob. And since they're basically one community that's upwards of 40,000 people.

This is significant, for a few reasons. First, now people will actually look at the city populations and not think "podunk, middle of nowhere town." They'll think "podunk, little CITY off I-44."

Second, and most importantly, businesses might give us a second look and give us the possibility for even more growth. Which means that maybe we'll finally get a Panera Bread and a standalone Starbucks.

If we couple it with Rolla, 20 miles up the road towards St. Louis— pop. 18,438, plus 6,000 college students— we've got ourselves a nice little corridor of small cities. Who knows, maybe we'll even get a Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstore (snicker).

When all is said and done, it looks like Tony and Chase still live in a larger metropolitan area— Augusta County, VA has a total population of 70,910 (not sure, at this point, if that includes Waynesboro and Staunton).

Pulaski County, MO, on the other hand, has a population of 44,546, including the 'Ville, the Fort and St. Bob. So we're still smaller.

You guys just aren't multiplying overnight.

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October 15, 2009

'Ville vs 'Boro (map edition)

Despite Waynesville's relative smallness compared to Waynesboro, the city has a higher percentage of roadways available for Google Street View.

But when Google came through the 'boro, they captured one of the oddest items I've seen in any lame "street view sightings" site. Es.g.: 1, 2. They pictured a line painting truck:

That said, Street View has really bloomed. Just zoom in here to check the coverage area.

I've also been thinking about the Mercator projection and Atlanta's mapathon.

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October 11, 2009

goodbye high school (shoes)

We replaced my black dress shoes today. The old pair, somehow shredded over time, just weren't well. Always cheap and borderline embarrassing, they lasted through eight years and hundreds of juggling performances (and dozens of incarnations of the Inverted Crotch Catch of Doom) and job interviews and interviews.

Incidentally, while researching my own juggling history and looking for an image of the shoes in action, I found our old Entropy site is still up.

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October 8, 2009

Coffee News

"Everything in Coffee News® is fun and entertaining - no bad news here. It is a big breath of fresh air to millions of readers who are tired of hearing only bad news."

Couple the latest edition of Coffee News with a black angus sandwich at Quizno's and you'll have an idea of the recently discovered joy in my life. I used to think of Coffee News as akin to Frank Talk (Hillsdale County's local version, sort of). Now I'm enamored with the worthless information provided by Coffee News. It helps me harken back to junior year of high school, when I was features editor, compiling the Did You Know? facts. Sign me up for one of these.

Coffee News hubs map.

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October 6, 2009

Maple Avenue

Within one month's time I managed to:
Photobucket Drive from Phoenix to Louisville
Photobucket Total my car
Photobucket Push my bank account down to $0.24
Photobucket Help brew beer
Photobucket Start following a murder
Photobucket Attend my first jury trial
Photobucket Meet a cool bullmastiff

But now I'm pretty much completely settled into Waynesboro, Virginia life. It's weird. For the first time in four years I don't have a roommate, I'm making trips to the grocery store, thinking about cooking (in terms of whole meals), learning how to budget myself, etc.

When I crashed my car (and hurt my eye), it was on the day I'd left my house in Louisville to start my "new life" in Virginia ... my car was packed. Everything I owned was with me.

That being the case, I needed to find a new car that could transport me and everything I owned to Virginia. So I ended up getting a solid gold 1996 Volvo station wagon. I actually love it...and because it is so gold I named it "The Shoe" (though I rarely refer to it as such...naming a car is weird) because it looks very much akin to Usain Bolt's Olympic shoes.

The job: I am loving it so far...and I'm sure I'll post about it in the future, once I get internet at my apartment, etc.

Anyway, as the apartment goes, I made a video (poorly edited as I lost my video editor when I got a new computer...in fact, note my heavy, out-of-shape breathing in the video) of the apartment. I still need a sofa, etc...but other than that I'm pretty much set up.

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October 5, 2009

Are we ever justified to think someone's bad?

There's all the difference in the world between saying something of behavior and attributing something to a person. The sentences "you behaved badly" and "you're bad" exhibit this difference.

Here I do not want to think there's a difference between first, second, and third person cases. Whether it's "I," "he," "she," or "you," the principle remains the same. Here all pronouns are equal. By "Here all pronouns are equal," I mean to emphasize that thought about oneself is on all fours with thought about others, or ought to be, and vice-versa.

There's all the difference in the world between calling something "evil" and calling it "bad." (I take it Nietzsche most famously emphasized this, but I wouldn't claim to have ready any scholarship on that point.) Toxins, beer, and poetry can be bad. Only persons can be evil.

These two differences are importantly related. Firstly, why should we need "evil," anyway? Secondly, why should we ever need to attribute things to persons rather than talk about behavior? You need to say something about someone's intentions if you want to say "he's a bitch" or "she's kind-hearted." Nothing without intentions can be evil.

"He's a bitch" might mean to abbreviate "He frequently acts like a bitch," but I'm not convinced the abbreviation works harmlessly.

If one never cared to separate the saved from the damned, the "us" from the "them," would one ever need "evil" or "intentions"?

I suppose it's obvious enough that this line of questioning is intimately related with the line of questioning about those lines from Holland, 1945, and it's the sort of thing I've been worried about recently. Prima facie, things would be better if we just let the heavy moral part of the equation drop out. Then we could just focus on doing no harm and stay on the lookout for illicit inferences about stains on persons that won't wash out. Presumably those who think we need heavy moral language think something crucial will be lost if we stop thinking that way. What the hell could that be?

Referring to the questions in the subject lines of these posts, maybe a way to tie the two lines together would be to ask, "If the answer to the second question is 'no,' does the first question just go away and stop causing trouble?"

If the answer to this question is "yes," then so much the better for us, and so much the worse for those who would separate the wheat from the chaff.

(Damn it, I guess for now I won't worry about the illicit us/them reasoning in my conclusion.)

October 2, 2009

why ever think persons are good?

First of all I'm glad to be back.

Secondly I have a question

from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea:
"He didn't mean to make you cry
With sparks that ring and bullets fly"

Isn't this the most absurd and senseless part of the otherwise perfect song?
Or could he not have meant to make her cry?
Assuming that this is about "him" bursting into random homes and killing whomever he finds, could he not have meant to make her cry? Maybe we ought to shuck the line off and worry about the next one about rings around ones heart.

The metaphorical language about intimacy and wet togetherness is obviously a strength of the album, but, if this isn't someone meaning to make someone cry, what could be?

An officer did something terrible, but with better intentions than most.

Could some one mean to make someone cry? No.

Obviously that's too idealistic. Then we would think everyone is great without wondering why humans cause so many problems. We can't do that.

What do those lines mean?