Numbers vs. Meaning

A friend on Facebook posted a link to this chart on Allen B. West’s website.

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The implication from the article is that Obama’s leadership and policies have resulted in an unnecessarily high casualty rate in Afghanistan. But what Allen ignores in this little presentation is that these numbers are not matched to “the surge” strategy put in place in late 2009 through 2011. So the numbers of casualties increased, but so did the number of troops deployed in theater. This is why a raw number is less useful than a percentage rate. Just another example how data can be made to fit a story instead of being used to impart knowledge.

Top 5 Reasons NOT to Wear VFFs

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been wearing a rather unusual shoe called Vibram FiveFingers (VFFs). While there are lot of things I love about these shoes, there is a dark side to them as well. So as a public service, here’s the top 10 5 things you should consider before trying out VFFs!

  1. They’re so comfortable, you will dread wearing “real” shoes.
  2. Strangers will talk to you about your shoes.
  3. Psychologically, walking “barefoot” feels great… until you walk into a public restroom.
  4. Your posture and stride will improve and you’re likely to lose that back pain you love.
  5. You may be liable for injuries incurred when people do triple takes at your shoes.

So, remember, think before you VFF! 😉

Addiction

My internet connection seems to be going in and out more than normal tonight, which means writing a blog entry is a bit of a risky enterprise right now. But oh well, here it goes!

This week has been “downtime” for me, since the next contract hasn’t started yet. I’m really a upstanding kinda guy, but I do have a terrible addiction…

Yes, I’m taking about reading. I’ve read four five full length books since returning from New York City on Sunday. I can’t help myself. I’ve started a sixth & seventh as we speak.

In some ways, the Kindle has been a godsend. For starters, it’s a lot cheaper to read books on the Kindle. That’s a good thing when you plow through multiple books a week! But the biggest downside to the Kindle is that it makes feeding my addiction so much easier! Finish a book? No problem, just hop on over to the Kindle Store and get your next read without having to leave your chair (or bed).

It’s amazing I’ve managed to get anything productive done all week!

But fortunately, I have. Not as much as I hoped, but I’ve covered all the really critical bases – got through my mail, deposited checks, sent in tax paperwork, etc. I do still have a big backlog of photos from the Winchester Photo Meet and our trip to New York City. But with Cindy’s help (reminding me that is), I’ll get through those soon enough.

This week has also been weird for me because I’ve suddenly become a dog owner & home owner (I’m house sitting while my folks are in Panama). In the past, I’ve been here when they’re gone, but it’s only for a day or two and I feel no real compulsion to be productive around the house. But with a whole week here, I’ve suddenly found myself thinking things like “That grass looks like it’s gonna need mowed soon” and “Let’s see if we can find something fun to do with the dog today before the sun goes down”.

Overall, it’s been a great week! Pretty much the only downside has been that Cindy isn’t here to share it with me.

Movable Type Pages

I’m generally pretty happy with Movable Type (my blogging software), but I’ve spent an hour today trying to get the “Pages” area to populate correctly and it just isn’t working. This is obviously a bug, which I suppose means I should upgrade to the latest version. But I’m too damn busy to be wading into an upgrade right now. So I guess the pages will just go un-linked for the time being. :-/