Thursday, November 23, 2017

Devilled Egg Thanksgiving

The first holiday at home in years and I find that I'm not really interested in elaborate cookery. Kiara is all about sleeping in, downstairs in her apartment, so it's not like I'm committed to a family meal.
I recall Dave's habit of making supercharged devilled eggs. Kiara contributes horseradish, paprika and the all-important real mayo (my habit is to use whatever's cheap, which is fine for everyday but not the holiday.)
Crafting unique devilled eggs is fun! Here's the first batch:
Starting from 12 o'clock, it's clockwise: olive, red pepper flakes, crater of Louisiana Hot Sauce, finely cut onion greens right from my garden - it makes it a salad!, minced onions, and riced parmesan cheese. What wild flavors would you enjoy?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Base Ick Riddle

Another internet riddle going around is almost always answered wrongly but not for the reason most suspect. Here's the riddle:

Skipping over the "Losing Their Sh1t" nonsense, we have a fairly straightforward puzzle with a nice twist at the very end, or let me write, the "very very" end. That's a clue.


1. There are three symbols on the image: Grey Thing, Bananas, and Clock.
2. Grey Thing = 15
3. Bananas = 4
4. Clock = 3
5. 3+4+(4x15)=67

In the 4th equation I saw that all of the symbols were different from the symbols above.
I concluded that the actual symbol meanings are:
1. Grey thing valued at the sum of the sides of the polygons in it
2. Bunch of bananas valued at the number of bananas in the bunch
3. Clock valued by the position of the little hand.
This makes the last equation:

The symbol on the right side of the last equation consists of TWO IDENTICAL SYMBOLS!  The question becomes: what is "?".

?? cannot = "38" because "?" cannot be both "3" and "8".

However, we don't have to assume the equations are in base 10.
With a little thinking, the solution is obvious: this problem is in base 37.

To those of us used to base 10 that may be icky, but that is base digitism. Don't be a digitist!!!!

The answer is therefore "?" = "1" and the last equation is 2+3+(3x(5+6))=11 base 37.

You're welcome!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Old 45 Covers

A while back I got a bunch of 45 rpm records that were thrift store discards - nobody buys these any more). It's time to give them away - somehow! - but first to record the more interesting album covers. None of these pieces of music mean anything to me, I just didn't like waste.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Moot Court Again!

Tonight I served again as a judge on a Moot Court for the UW Law School - see This is a nice part of being part of the community - I meet some up-and-coming young people at the beginning of their careers and help a little with their success.
The Moot Courts need enough persons to fill seats and although I am not a trial lawyer, I can fulfill the role for purposes of the competition.
For purposes of oral evaluations, the training at Toastmasters has been very helpful. I can offer positive and useful feedback on what may be persuasive to a jury. I leave the heavy trial-lawyer commentary to the trial lawyers but it has been interesting to see that their views in general accord with mine; they just have a deeper foundation to their explanations.
I use the traditional "sandwich" technique - a slice of positive, a suggestion for improvement, then another slice of positive. You can really see how this increases acceptance and comprehension.
I have come to realize that this is something that I want to do better at - not just to show up and do my best at the moment, but actually study the subject so I can produce a better result. I have about a year until the next round so I'll put this on my list of projects.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Floppy Memories

I spent my free time this week uploading data from my old floppy disks. Putting it into the cloud (thanks Carbonite!) means I'll always have access, and can move these disks along to their final destination. In the process I came across a whole lot of photos which I am gradually sharing. Before I went to Russia, I bought a camera that recorded to floppy disks, on the theory that disks were cheap so I'd never run out. I never did run out but the technology moved on.
An early selfie!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Christine Places At Fall #Toastmasters Conference

Congratulations to my Toastmasters friend Christine for placing 2nd in the Table Topics finals held November 11, 2017 at the Western Washington Toastmasters Fall Conference at the Lynnwood Convention Center. The competition was fierce, representing the efforts of hundreds of competitors from all over Western Washington, and at the end Christine stood at the victory podium.
The morning of the Conference featured several very educational presentations by top Toastmasters. Surely we will see the results at upcoming meetings!
Between sessions and at lunch more than a dozen Club 832 members socialized with each other and with friends from other Chapters. Semi-Annual Conventions are a great opportunity to stretch out and touch persons from all over, learn new things and have a great time!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

To Test or Not To Test

Madame Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters, Honored Guests:

I have a serious story to tell, a problem to describe, and a decision for you to make later.
Jim and my sister Sharon were married and in love for more than 20 years. If you had to compress those decades into a single word, it would be “happy”. 
Jim loved his children, two girls; you can see it in every picture of them together on Facebook, and there were a lot.
Jim loved his toys. He and Sharon would go out on their boat and “scare the fish”, not often catching much but enjoying the water together. He towed the boat with his big red pickup that he named “Clifford”.
Jim loved the Seahawks. He was a season ticketholder for decades. The only time he ever got in trouble that I heard of, he was thrown out of Seahawks Stadium for making too much noise cheering. Think about that.
Jim could afford all this because he was really good at his job. When he got out of the Army, he started as a file clerk in title search office and worked his way up to managing the whole place. He was smart and affable, learned everything about the business and trained up the next group of clerks. Even as he got sicker, he came into the office and worked as hard as he could as long as he could.
Jim lived his life well, and loved his family, friends and work.
He didn’t know about the assassin inside him.

Jim had prostate cancer that metastasized when he was only in his 50s.  It sent out colonists to invade other organs and start cancers there. He fought the good fight and did not complain about the unfairness. His last posting on Facebook was “Quick reminder gentlemen, get that PSA test to check your cancer levels. It's critical. My love to you all.”
Then he left.

PSA stands for “Prostate-specific antigen”.  The prostate is a walnut-sized gland essential to male urinary and reproductive activities but with a tendency to go cancerous.
Two disclaimers:
This is a gendered speech. Every man here has a prostate, and none of the women. I ask the indulgence of the ladies on the basis that most of you know some male about whom you care.
I am not a doctor or a scientist. All the medical information is from google, mostly from the National Institute of Health or American Cancer Society. Don’t rely on this without doing your own research and talking with your own doctor.
That said:
About 1 in 39 men in the United States die from prostate cancer.
Of men over the age of 60 who die from other causes, 30%-70% had prostate cancer that hadn’t gotten to the stage where they noticed.
If caught early, treatment yields a high survival rate: a 96% 15 year relative survival rate.
Detecting prostate cancer: the PSA test, just a blood draw, generally accompanied by a DRE – which is undignified but brief. Men, don’t complaining about DRE to lady friend, she might start talking about what a gyno involves, so my advice is hush.
Jim told me he’d never heard of the PSA test. By the time his cancer was detected, it was too late. His process of dying took about two years and whenever he got a public voice – such as once he was interviewed over a Seahawks game – he made sure to recommend the test.
It would seem to be a no-brainer. It’s not a huge expense and while the DRE is a pain you know where, so is cancer so what the heck.

BUT there is a controversy.
Studies do not indicate that early detection of prostate cancer changes overall life outcome looking at the whole population. How can this be? It is so counterintuitive. 
1.      Part of the issue it the problem of false positives. Screening is not magic. With a false positive, you think you have the cancer when you don’t, you would undergo the risk of seriously negative urinary or reproductive issues for nothing.

2.      If you get a positive test, you have to decide whether to treat. Remember that 30-70%? You may be in a place in life where something else is going to kill you before prostate cancer, so why do the treatment – why even take the test?
As for me, I am only in my sixties and in good enough health that I need to plan for another 30 years of life. There is time for PC to kill me, so I went looking for it; I got the test. 
You have different age and other factors, therefore your analysis may differ from mine.
You have to live with the consequences, so you have to make the informed choice.
I can not ask you to get the test.
I will not ask you not to get the test.
I am asking you, today, to calendar a talk with your doctor about the PSA test.
That sounds like it’s take some time. I’ll get to it later” that’s what I would say if I were sitting in your chair. Life is busy, I have a job and a family and I’ll get to it later. 

Gentlemen: For Jim, later came before he knew about it.
The reasons for waiting - family, friends – are the reasons to go now, after this meeting, calendar a time to talk to your doctor.
Put your plan on your calendar right as soon as we're done here.
Jim didn't have the opportunity to put this on his calendar because he didn't know about the test, but thanks to him, we know.
He left so much behind – family, friends, work, a big red truck named Clifford.
Let’s not do the same.