Sunday, August 29, 2004

Interesting


Click here to view the chart of Bush approval vs. terror alerts



Currently Playing...
Song: Cat Stevens - Another Saturday Night
Book: HP and the Order of the Phoenix
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Radio Alena


I've had the idea of having my own internet radio station for a while, but since I haven't had the dough to dish out for Live365, and doing it the techie way only confused the hell out of me, I didn't think I'd be able to do it for a while.

I ran across a ShoutCast tutorial and decided to try it out for myself. I think it's working properly, so I encourage you to tune in to Radio Alena and test drive it. Please let me know if it's working or not working (so I can maybe fix it).

The radio playlist is my MP3 collection, with WinAmp set on shuffle. So basically, it's a wide variety of music; mainstream, indie, folk, folk rock, celtic, classical, hip hop, trance, you name it.

I am the stokededest geek girl EVAR.


Currently Playing...
Song: Ani DiFranco - Anticipate (or you could just listen)
Book: HP and the Order of the Phoenix
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Lying Liars


I find myself increasingly irritated and frustrated by the Bush Campaign. I'm frustrated because if mainstream America knew the facts, they would be outraged and up in arms. Well, the ones able to tear themselves away from the couch, anyway.

Currently, the group calling themselves Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (paid for in large part by people on Bush's payroll) and various Bush counterparts are on the air trying to smear Kerry's military service record. So intent are they in making Kerry seem like Satan, so desperate are they to get the American public's view away from the truth about the war and the Bush administration, that they are even willing to outright lie. TO YOUR FACE, they lie.

Now, I don't know where these Swift Boat Veterans or Mr. Bush are from, but in these parts, saying "boo" to a veteran would get you punkslapped with a cane, much less questioning the hell they went through serving the country. I'm of the mind that if someone risks their life for their country and lives to tell about it, you don't get all up in their face and start saying they're a liar and they didn't really get those medals they talk about, and come to think of it, they never got wounded at all.. I bet that shrapnel in their leg, so deep that surgeons couldn't retrieve it, why, I bet they shoved that in there themselves.

I've half a mind to beat these lying liars with my own damn cane.

My god, the balls on these people. Balls! Huge ones! I mean, I guess I have to at least give them that, that they have huge fuckin' cojones for accusing a decorated veteran -- who by all accounts continually risked his life for his brothers-in-arms -- of lying about the whole thing.

Not to mention, the Purple Heart? Who in their right mind would even want one of these, considering the nature of the medal? Much less lie about it three times?

Oh, oh, oh, and don't even get me started about the hypocrisy of the frat boy who ran squealing away from the front lines, the one whose military records mysteriously vanished, leaving a whole year of his "service" in a cushy position for rich boys unclear. The guy who never saw combat accusing the decorated veteran of lying about his war experience. FUCKIN' BALLS, I tell ya.



Currently Playing...
Song: Ivy - Worry About You
Book: HP and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Goodbye, Summer


Moments ago, I happened to notice this ad while checking my email. Now, I agree death happens and all, and that it's nice for a person's family if they secure some sort of money for them before they kick the bucket. What disturbs me most about this ad is the kid.

I friggin' hate insurance companies anyway, and have recently decided they exist to help folks -- out of their money, that is. This ad simply demonstrates a new low.

Using an image like that, to me, equates to emotional warfare. Most people with kids would look at a picture like that, picture themselves croaking, and then imagine their whole family sitting like the little boy, heads in hands, wailing, "Why the hell didn't s/he get life insurance??". I mean, look at that poor kid! If you must market your death products, at least try to have some sensitivity and tact? Good grief. No pun intended.

School has started, which means only 4 more months until I flee this town and get to finally go to university. I have an appointment with the director of the Forestry department on Tuesday, and I'll finally get to see the school and ask some questions. I'm very excited because it seems it's finally becoming reality.

I'm taking Intermediate Algebra and Sociology 101 this semester. Regular readers may remember that I took this Sociology class last semester, but due to my extreme night owl tendencies, I found it incredibly difficult to get up in time to make it to class by 11. After a number of absences and late arrivals, I finally gave up, feeling like I'd given up any chance of getting a good grade. The teacher is a popular one, and after Monday's class, he told me he'd wondered where I'd gone when I withdrew. That he missed having me in class, and that when he saw my name on the roster, he was glad.. and that when I walked in, he said, "Yes!"

Yeah, he actually said that to me.. and here I was under the impression that he had no idea who I was or really cared. Very nice, flattering way to start out the semester. That day was capped off by barely getting into the extremely crowded math class I wanted. I couldn't register for it because even the wait list was full, I just had to go and hope there were enough empty seats. My math teacher is very popular, too; I had no idea when I picked her last semester how high in demand she is, due to her amazing way at making algebra understandable.

I discovered today that the two brand-new books I bought for my stupid-ass Speech class last semester (that I withdrew) are completely useless. I was hoping to regain some of the money lost in those books by selling them this semester, only to find that the class requires the newer eleventh edition. I have the tenth edition, and I suppose I will likely post them on eBay just in case some person out there wants them.

The whole textbook thing is such a total rip-off, so don't even get me started.


Currently Playing...
Song: Dar Williams - Wilder Than Her
Book: HP and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

What Kind of Thinker Are You?


I found this test (which I swiped from Caren) interesting. I'm a Forestry major, and apparently I'm going into the right field.

You are a Naturalist Thinker

Naturalist Thinkers:

* Like to understand the natural world, and the living beings that inhabit it
* Have an aptitude for communicating with animals
* You try to understand patterns of life and natural forces

Other Naturalist thinkers include
Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall, Johnny Morris, David Attenborough

Careers which suit Naturalist thinkers include
Biologist, Meteorologist, Forester, Farmer, Astronomer, Alternative therapist



Currently Playing...
Song: Chemical Brothers - Life is Sweet
Book: HP and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

iPod Mania


I feel really shameless, but I'm just going to lay it on the table. I want an iPod (or any other snazzy MP3 player) like a dying man wants a new liver. I would do a lot for a free 20 gig iPod, and since I've found a way to get one, that's where you come in.

Before you start screaming at your monitor, hear me out. This link is my referral link. I need five people to enter in their correct email and street addresses, and sign up for this program. I'm not selfish: if you sign up for the offer and refer five people, you too can win the iPod (or iPod mini) of your choice.

Now, I know there's no such thing as a free lunch, and generally I'm incredibly skeptical when online businesses claim I can have something expensive for absolutely nothing. So I checked out this offer, and according to Wired News this is not some shady scheme, but is actually a legitimate offer.

Check out the article for yourself, it names actual people who have jumped through the iPod hoops and actually received their little nuggets of heaven. All rather painlessly, too.

So what I'm asking -- begging, really -- is that you click here and sign up. The offers are from reputable, established companies like AOL, Columbia House, and BMG, and some of them don't even require a credit card to complete. No major commitment, unless you do the music deals, and of course at some point you have to buy something from them.. but how can you beat 12 CDs for the price of one? The trial offers (and that's all you have to sign up for, a trial) are all cancellable before you get charged for anything.

It's relatively painless. Click here to help me out, and heck, get a free iPod of your own!



Currently Playing...
Song: Kris Delmhorst - Mingalay
Book: HP and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Obsessing Over: iPoooooooooooooodddddzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzbaby!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Late Night Minutes


The Spidey Friends Network -- Photo journal entry.

The first three pictures I took tonight, as I was leaving for a late-night trip to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart during the day is a rather exhausting and annoying experience, full of the rednecky unwashed masses I'm faced with every day at work, so I try to go only if I absolutely must, and then I go after 10pm. The only problem with going late is that it's like stepping into some stoner's nightmare. Bright fluorescent lights. Boxes everywhere. Plethoras of grizzled employees, male, female, and a little bit of both, randomly stocking and cleaning and staring at you. Plus the weird kind of customers who only shop at night.

Tonight's trip was interesting. From the moment I walked into the store, I felt like I'd stepped into some vortex that transported me to another planet. And call me paranoid, but I felt abnormally stared at, like I had a huge booger hanging from my nose, but no one dared to tell me. I can't even describe individual happenings, but take it from me, I was in an alien Wal-Mart. Employees and customers alike, they were all too weird for words.



Currently Playing
...
Song: Ani DiFranco - To the Teeth

Sex Bomb, Indeed


eXpressive: 6/10
Practical: 2/10
Physical: 6/10
Giver: 8/10

You are a XSYG--Expressive Sentimental Physical Giver. This makes you a Sex Bomb.

You are sexy sex sex sex! The sexness! You are the sexiest, hottest and most charismatic of all types. You are a captivating speaker and a great dinner date -- relaxed, self-effacing, charming and generous. Your type probably has origins in something sad -- trying to keep the peace in a tough family situation, or an early heartbreak -- and you'll probably want to address and resolve that at some point, but in your relationships that heartache is pure gold!

You lie effortlessly -- not necessarily a bad thing. You can have problems with fidelity. You need frequent praise and validation, and in seeking it you can make decisions that aren't consistent with your general good judgment. In other words, don't cheat on your significant other just because someone is paying attention to you.

You strongly dislike conflict, and will avoid it. Like an XPYG, you give so much of yourself to your partner that you feel dismissed and unappreciated if you don't get the same in return. But you internalize your feelings more and have a hard time getting over them. You don't *want* to cheat -- you just keep finding yourself in vulnerable situations. But you'll stay with your partner in the long run from guilt and a desire to please.

Your sex life will always be hot. You are one of the rare people who can keep the fires of passion going forever -- if you find a good match. Find another XSYG and you will never need (or want) anyone else again.

Of the 48 people who have taken this quiz, 10 are this type.

(Take the test)



Currently Playing...
Song: Fiona Apple - Criminal
Book: HP and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

Monday, August 16, 2004

Preach On, Sistah


I love Margaret Cho, and I love her blog especially because in many ways, she says the things I think, only way better than if I would attempt to put them into words. This is her post, dated 8/12/04, and I felt it needed to be repeated.




Satan's Work

It is revolting that the gay marriages are being annulled in San Francisco. I don't understand why these bigoted, arrogant, nosy, busybody 'conservatives' have to trample all over civil rights in order to make everyone understand that they think that homosexuality is wrong.

You know what? I think that intolerance is wrong. I think that having no compassion is wrong. I think that meddling in people's lives whom you don't even know personally is wrong.

I think that these people who claim to do God's work are actually working for the Other Guy. Satan likes it when people are motivated by their own prejudice. The Horned One gets all happy when someone is being oppressed or unduly punished. The Dark Lord loves injustice. These so called family advocates and Christian groups are really doing the Devil's Work. I hope they enjoy being pawns for Lucifer.

The true face of evil is the need to control the actions of others. It doesn't matter that you think it might be for their own good or salvation. We will see who goes to hell.


-- Margaret Cho Blog



I've come a long way, personally, as far as my tolerance for Christians goes. I had a moderately anti-Christian upbringing, in that no one in my family was religious and we enjoyed the occasional poke at the rabid conservative Christian mentality. I grew up not really understanding why Christians believe what they do, and to be honest, in a way, I still don't, really. At least, I can understand believing what you're taught all your life, but I guess I don't understand the people who weren't born and raised in Christianity, those who became Christians as adults, having those beliefs.

But that's okay, because I don't have to understand. I'm Wiccan and I believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and religion, that we are all free to choose which path is right for us. Only, when I was younger, when I first became Wiccan, I had little tolerance for Christianity. I would state rabidly how I didn't discriminate against Christians, and that I didn't have a problem with them, but at the time, it was a bit of a lie.

Truth be told, every time I heard the word 'Jesus', I cringed a little bit. It used to be way worse, to the point where as soon as I heard the word, I'd immediately turn my focus and stop listening. This has to do in part to my upbringing, my being taught that Christianity is ridiculous.

In any case, living in the South has made me a much more tolerant person, at least where religion is concerned. I can say with complete honesty that I have no problem with Christianity, that it is as much a valid and positive religion as mine. However, I recognize now that my problem lies not with the religious foundation, but instead with the misguided followers.

Not every Christian is bad, and that's not what I'm talking about at all. What I mean is like what Margaret says.. the people who preach, push, and foster hate and intolerance. To me and my understanding of the religion and of Jesus, the actions of the conservative Christian right are un-Christian.

It must be nice to pick and choose what parts of the Bible one is going to follow, to ignore some of the teachings (which include tolerace for everyone) in favor of others that seemingly back up one's fears and hatred. Jesus loves everyone, right? 'Judge not, lest ye be judged', right? I guess not.


Currently Playing...
Song: Kris Delmhorst - Damn Love Song
Book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (okay, so I think I'm finally addicted)
Obsessing Over: Getting my shit together for university

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

My New Neighbor


If only you knew just how afraid of spiders I am. I cannot even bear the thought of a spider on me or touching me. But I am now sharing an air conditioner with what is either a funnel weaver spider or a grass spider; in either case, the thing is fucking HUGE and totally can see me. I first noticed it as a quick retreating movement of the large spider variety, the type of thing that gives me nightmares. Big spiders. And this one has made its tunnel burrow in the crevice of the wall and air conditioner just inches away from my front door.

I did a little research because I've been trying to be less scared of spiders, and I figure the best way to do that is to learn about them. So this species can have a body length of an inch. My little neighbor is a good half-to-three-quarter inch size. Apparently these spiders are beneficial and rarely come into homes because they stay in their funnel web nest (which, by the way, my whole freaking porch is covered in.. ugh..).

This is my new neighbor, Spidey. Yes, it really is that big. It's not a trick of the light or the camera. Trust me.


Spidey is kind of shy and despite my patience, refused to come forward for a better shot. It totally sees me, it's huge.. and that's its funnel-shaped nest behind it.


Spidey with a bolt on my air conditioner, for size reference. See, it's frickin' huge!!


Spidey charged me at one point. I think. It ran forward and then backward, anyway. I figured the flash and movement was pissing it off, so I left him alone and went back inside. I'm currently running the fan on the window unit, in hopes that the vibrations will urge Sir Spidey in search of a more peaceful home.

Posted by Hello

Sneezy


I was trying a little experiment last week, to see if I could make myself post on a daily basis. I tried, and I think it worked for like three days, but alas. Actually, partly to blame is Satan's Head Cold, which is only just now starting its retreat. I first got hit with a sore throat last Thursday, and once it gathered enough momentum, the past few days have been a hazy blur.

I know I get sick a lot. I have various theories on this, but what probably hasn't helped is that I sort of picked up smoking again. I went a whole month without a single puff, and then because I was strong and feeling cocky about kicking tobacco's ass, I bummed one off someone at work during a smoke break. After that, it's been kinda down hill. In the past month, I've smoked somewhere in the ballpark of 4 packs of cigarettes. This, of course, is better than my old pack-a-day habit, but still I'm a little irritated at myself for starting up again.

I've been wrestling with both Picasa and Hello over the past few weeks, as well, to bring you a new series of goose pictures (the first series is here). I like the idea of Picasa and Hello, but maybe I'm just slower than your average bear, because I've been finding both programs to be a bit unweildy and unintuitive. Especially Hello, which is a fantastic concept, but they need to make it more user friendly, as well as provide better, more comprehensive help files. I mean, I had to go away from the Hello site, to Google how to post multiple pictures to one post.

In any case, because posting more than one photo to a post is kind of a pain, especially if you forget to type || after each photo's caption, I'm embroiled in a big mess of Hello code. I got frustrated with it and gave up, but I'll have those photos for you whenever I feel like dealing with it again.

On an unrelated note, I've begun the switch from MusicMatch Jukebox to WinAmp. I've been a faithful MusicMatch fan for years now, but frankly, recently they've been sort of bloating the program at the cost to performance. I like all the features and the interface, but with every version, it's more and more of a memory hog that freezes constantly, if not locks up completely. And I'm past the point of having patience with it, because the MusicMatch people must know about these flaws, but they don't appear to be running to fix them. The program simply gets more bloated as the version numbers rise. So I'm finally giving WinAmp a serious shot.

I don't like it as much as MusicMatch, but it does have some features MM doesn't. For one, there's the ability to generate an HTML playlist. For shits and giggles, I generated one of my music library. I'm always wanting new, good music, and love sharing/swapping with folks. So take a look at what I have, and if you want to make a trade, just email me (address is at the top of the page). Either swapping whole CDs or single songs, just let me know. My only condition is that if you tell me you want to swap CDs, that you actually send me one you've made. You know, hence the word SWAP, which, if you look it up, does NOT mean I send you one and you send me nothing in return. I can't stand leech-y bastards who can't be arsed to spend the time and 85 cents to mail me a CD. And yes, it costs only 85 cents to mail a CD, so I don't want to hear any excuses about how broke you are. I'm broke too.

So yeah, anyway, take a look.. create your own CD, if you want. I'm more than happy to share good music. Oh, and if anyone has figured out how to use the 'Now Playing' plugin for WinAmp, and can explain to me in layman's terms, would you mind terribly?


Currently Playing...
Song: Indigo Girls - Carry Me Away

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Quickie


Highly recommended, particularly if you're a Will Ferrell fan: Will Ferrell - A message from White House West

Monday, August 02, 2004

Survey Says...






Currently Playing...
Song: Tracy Chapman - The Promise
Book: HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling