Monthly Archives: March 2002


One more day until I get my bloodwork back. The cynical part of me predicts like practically every other test done on me, it will be “inconclusive”. Maybe it's because I feel fine right now, but I really feel like I should have just kept my mouth shut and toughed out whatever bout of whatever I'm going through. There are many people on IAM with far worse medical problems than I can imagine, I should follow their example.

Thanks to something half way between a tremor and just a jolt of surprise as the back door blew open in the wind, I dropped the bathroom mirror I was cleaning (what you say?!)… As it fell it hit the contents of the cabinet and either broke or slipped out of my hands, cutting along the outside edge of my right little finger. I'm actually surprised I got cut at all, but what I did get was sort of like a really deep paper cut… I could actually see the bone in the instants before everything became covered in blood.

I grabbed some gauze and bandages and quickly put myself back together. I still had full feeling, and was pretty sure movement was unaffected. It bled a fair amount (not a pretty sight to come home to I'm sure), but realistically I was certain nothing essential had been severed. I probably could have used stiches to minimize any scarring, but that's really not an issue to me so I just left it with my own bandaging. It's quite sore, but assuming it doesn't get infected I'm sure there's nothing to worry about.

Anyway, I've got work to do. I did have two stories I wanted to link to… They're not quite as inflamatory as most of my links, but I found them interesting:

  • America's greatest 20th century victory – Argues that Vietnam was America's only war victory in that every other war severely taxed the US economy after the war. Of course, I've watched every flavor of Apocalypse Now in the past week, so maybe I'm biased. I know that a fair number of the older, extremely modified people I know spent their time in Nam… I always wonder if it made a difference (next interview?)
  • An Iraq war could fan flames of recession – A war in Iraq could of course hugely increase the price of crude oil via OPEC nations, and, unless Russia does the US a biiig favor, this increase could have a devestating effect on the US economy — what is the current US dependance on OPEC oil? Last year I think the US and Canada produced about 3 million barrels (per day) of oil for US use. Europe and Africa sold America almost 5 million barrels daily, whereas Asia and the Persian Gulf were able to sell the US about 15 million barrels a day…


Did my interview with the doctor, and a few vials of blood were taken. Results will be in presumably on Tuesday and I have another appointment then. Not really much to say since all they have to go on until the labwork is complete, so right now all I know is it's probably bloodsugar related (obviously), possible thyroid — none of it sounded particulary unusual or untreatable.

Whatever it is, stress is definitely a factor. As such, I have, at least for now, put on hold what may be the largest stress factor for me (converting IAM to billing, both because of my personal distaste for charging people for anything, and because of the hundreds of upset messages). This change has NOT been cancelled — just pushed back. When I know whatever this medical problem is, I will give a new date-set (probably something like March 24th).


It's been suggested to me that I may have developed adult onset diabetes or whatever it's called… If I don't eat for more than about three hours, I start getting incredibly irritable. If I let it continue, I start to get extremely disoriented, and then I have tremors, and finally minor seizures. I know this is a common enough disorder that there are probably people here who can tell me if it sounds familiar — until a week or so ago I assumed it was just nerves, but I am starting to think it's something more serious.

Also, I was washing the car today, and an older gentleman approached me. “Is that your little car,” he asked about the TT. We started a typical conversation about cars, and then he asked me what I did for a living. I didn't really feel like getting into BME, so I just said, “I'm a computer programmer.”

“I used to do some of that stuff as well,” he said.

“Oh, really? What sort of work?”

“I worked for IBM for about ten years, and then I left to reverse engineering Canon fax machines,” he told me.

Huh? This is now starting to sound like my life… I'm starting to feel a bit weirded out, because my programming career started by reverse engineering Canon fax machines… He finished, “…we developed a little product called SciFax.”

Now that was a coincidence! “I wrote SciFax!” I told him.

“You're Shannon Larratt? Richard's son?” he asked me — we hadn't seen each other in over ten years, and he had gone from an older man to an old man, and I had gone from a child to an adult. We reminisced for a short while, and then he was on his way.

Odd encounter.

More Christian comments

The following question and followup are excerpted from Pat Robertson's webpage here. The black text below is from their website, with my comments in red. Now, I think we all know that Robertson is a kook, but, he does have power, and we need to be vigilant.

Question: I have a 17-year-old son who came home with both of his ears pierced. He told me it was just for looks, but somehow I think it was to go against me, as well as God. He says he's a Christian but wants to remain in the world. What should I do with him? Is there anything in the Bible that talks about men wearing earrings? (Christian and Hebrew men at the time when the Bible was written probably all had earrings. Any gender separation regarding earrings is largely a modern convential utterly unrelated to issues of faith.)

Pat: The Bible does talk about cuttings and piercings (Yes, because it was an element of Hebrew culture, not because it was good or bad. It just was — and still is — a part of the world and thus pops up in the stories.). All this stuff is a remnant, or an emblem of satanism (On any historical level this is foolish; I'm not saying that “Satanists” don't get tattooed, but it's far from a Satanic act, nor is it limited to Satanism. It is a cultural element, like clothing, whos meanings and uses are determined by the culture of the time.) — the tattoos, the body piercing, all this. In many cultures, for example, the demonic powers invade people and supposedly they're immune to pain, and then they skewer themselves (Yes, and many charismatic and evangelical Christian sects practise very similar rites.). They stick things through their tongues and their mouths — this type of thing comes directly from satanism (Ludicrous.). So the rings in the ears, I don't know. It's just one part of weirdness and it's one part of teen-age rebellion and what do you do with them? I hope they don't get their ear lobes pulled off by somebody someplace. But if you've got any solution, I don't know what it is, except to sit down and talk to them and say, `Look, this is from paganism (No, it's from HISTORY. Both Pagan and Christians did these things. Prett much everyone back then did.). You are a Christian.' (How about sitting down with your kids, making sure they're mature enough to make decisions for themselves, and letting them choose what they want, and if it turns out to be the wrong thing for them, helping them through it?)

Terry Meeuwsen: And I think, Pat, that seems to be a part of our culture today, that kids feel like if it's, `Not what it means in my heart, then it's OK for me to do it.'

Pat: Oh, no. (Actually, Jesus was quite specific about the fact that it's what's in your heart that's important; Romans 3:28 (KJV) says “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. This 'new law' was in some ways the most radical change Jesus offered this faith.)

Terry: They don't equate the connection between the two (Because there isn't one for them. No lies will change that.). So I think maybe to gently pull out some Scriptures (Scriptures, like statistics, can be twisted, but I challenge anyone to show me a point in the Bible where a link is drawn between anything other than cultural elements and piercing. There are references to slavery and piercing being linked, as well as certain funeral cuttings being a pagan ritual and thus banned, but that's about it.). What I wouldn't do is try to find Scriptures and box the ears of your child with this. You know, the greatest thing we can do is pray for them. (No, the greatest thing you can do for your kids is let them know you love them, and are there for them either way. The last thing a parent should do with a troubled kid into piercing is use it as an excuse to form a dangerous rift. Children need their parents' love and support, even when they make dumb choices.)

Pat: I happen to know about one that had a big thing stuck in her tongue. I mean, it gets infected, it's hard to eat and (This is of course simply false and utterly ignorant of the facts.), it has certain sexual connotations we won't go into (Agreed, minors flaunting their sexuality raises obvious concerns, and parents SHOULD talk to their kids about this.). But in any event, it was a sign of rebellion (Sometimes, but not always. This is a very narrow viewpoint that misses the point and is just asking for a negative confrontation.). And after awhile you say, `Look, you've got a lot of potential. I mean, you really are smart, you've got a lot of potential. You've got something good going for you. Why do you screw your life up? (And how does body piercing change your potential? Because people like YOU will treat us badly? That's YOUR SIN, not ours. Calling your kid a screwup is never acceptable. If your kid is a screwup, you have to work with them to fix it, not against them.) You are something precious in God's eyes (If we're precious, and our bodies are precious, then I think God wants us to play with them and have fun with them. The bible certainly contains its fair share of eroticism.). Don't try to make yourself look like a freak and then wonder how you get the tattoos off after you've gotten your body all messed up (Christians, historically have been tattooed. This decision that tattooing is wrong is a very recent idea and is political and cultural, not religious.).'

And that's my biggest problem (the comment at the end): Pat Robertson (and most other Christians) abuse Christianity and abuse Jesus by attributing their own CULTURAL (not religious) bias onto Him. Going with the assumption that He exists, from what I know of history, Jesus really couldn't care less what you look like. Read the Bible and look at what freaky buddies Jesus hung out with. These people were absolute wierdos by the terms of the dominant culture of the time…

Truth — religious truth — is timeless, and, thus, it clearly makes no comment on cultural elements such as fashion. It is concerned far far greater issues. Again, assuming that it is true, it is Pat Robertson, under the laws of Christianity that is very clearly operating as the tool of the devil. Let me ask you: What does the Bible tell you about how we can identify the Anti-Christ? The devil and his minions are almost always disguised as the pious.

Two things

I got a message today on a subject that I'm sure many of you are concerned about as well, so I wanted to share my response here. It was about how now, under the new system, in theory anyone could buy access to IAM, thereby allowing any old riff-raff onto IAM, who could then cause problems. My response:

I totally hear what you're saying on this, but the fact is that people who want to force their way in will and do.... What this means is that if a person comes in and causes problems, we know EXACTLY who they are (from their credit card validation)... I actually think this may reduce those sorts of problems.

If a person joins IAM, they are still bound by all the standard TOS rules (including a requirement to have body modifications or involvement in related activities). Having joined by credit card will mean that if they commit serious wrongs here, we know the real person who has to answer for them. If someone abuses the site, they will be dealt with. If it turns out paid members are destroying the site (which I don't think will happen), then I will remove that as an option.

Anyway, I've been noticing something odd on the server… If anyone has a good idea as to what it is (I think it's just file buffers emptying themselves to the disc), drop me an email. I'm not running out of RAM or anything like that:

More importantly, I'm shutting my computer off for the night. I'm quite physically sick, totally stressed out over all this crap that's going on right now, and I really don't want to spend tonight online because I know it's just going to mean more messages that I don't want to read. If I didn't care about this community so much I'd just go live in the forest (OK, I admit I'm doing that anyway). So, I apologize to those of you who might need to email one of my bots, but it will have to wait until morning.

Nighty-night all.