Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Sim Bush & Sim Kerry


Geeky funniness.

Random Stuff with Tangent as Added Bonus


I am a big fan of music swapping. I enjoy getting recommendations from people with similar music tastes, also those unsimilar simply for getting to try different music. Music swapping allows me both to share some great unknowns as well as be introduced to them. So it's no surprise that I enjoy Burn It and heartily recommend it to others. Even though one or two people in my group didn't send CDs, I did end up with an awesome CD that is still on heavy rotation. Totally worth my time.

I participated in the last Winter edition, missed the Spring though I really liked the theme, skipped the Summer edition because I was uninspired, but the Fall one... I'm ready to get back in. The Fall theme is "Back to School" for obvious reasons, comprising of songs that came out while you were in school, songs that make you think of school (whether it was out at that time or not), or songs that make you feel like you're back in school.

I'm going for songs that remind me of high school; the rough draft:

The Nails - 88 Lines About 44 Women
Digital Underground - The Humpty Dance
King Missile - Detachable Penis
The Bangles
The Go-Go's
Nirvana
Metallica
Old 10,000 Maniacs
The Cure
Depeche Mode
NIN
Paula Abdul
They Might Be Giants
Counting Crows (August and Everything After)
Milli Vanilli

Just typing the list out and looking over what I have, I'm hoping this mix isn't overly annoying to other people. Hee.

Earlier I remembered something kind of randomly; I recently downloaded a bunch of The Cure in anticipation of this mix. The song "Boys Don't Cry" came on, and I suddenly remembered back when I first heard the album and it sort of amused me. You see, I was a pirate even back then; I had bought the tape or CD, recorded it to a blank tape, and then returned it. The Wherehouse had a policy then that you could buy any music and return it if you didn't like it. Obviously it was abused by people like me, who quickly learned I could get whole albums for free as long as I returned the original within a week. I don't think I did this a lot, but I did do it more than once.



Currently Playing...
Song: Paul Oakenfold - Trance Energy
Book: Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Politico


I am trying to catch up on all my daily blog reads, and in doing so, I've come across some interesting stuff that I want to post.

I've been lately really enjoying JuliusBlog, and today found this an interesting read. 10.26.2004: Readers may be interested to learn that the "caging" e-mails below (one and two) are indeed the same documents referenced in Greg Palast's latest BBC Newsnight investigation. -- DEAD LETTER OFFICE: GeorgeWBush.org: Bush/Cheney in 2004! (parody site)

Is there a "We Have The Biggest Balls Award"? Because the Bushies seem to be hell-bent on winning it. The Republicans admit they are planning to intimidate black voters at the polls in Florida.


In other news, Austria scraps Arnie statue:

Plans to build an 80ft statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character in his Austrian home town have been scrapped because he's backing President Bush.


Also trouble on the homefront: Sex Ban For Arnie


Lastly, this just makes Wiccans look like overly-sensitive whiners. I would think most of us don't really care, this Halloween image of a witch is not a new one. Secondly, why ruin a fun little holiday for everyone, instead of simply not posting any witch pictures, asking kids and parents to not use those costumes as they're so very offensive, and maybe educating kids a little bit about why?



Currently Playing...
Song: Portishead - Waiting for the Night(Depeche Mode Cover)
Book: Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

The Future in One Week


I received this email today, which was written by a friend's brother. I thought it was well-written and well-timed, so I wanted to share.



Hello Everyone,

With one week to go I'd like to make one last effort to convince everyone to vote on Nov. 2nd. Most of you already are going to vote and some of you already have. Still, humor me.

This election is going to be very close and extremely important for all of us. At stake are our national security, economy (both current and future), the education of our children, and the health and welfare of our older relatives and someday us. Add to the mix the new supreme court appointees that are likely over the next four years and you can feel the weight of this election.

You all know the situation we are in now and what has and has not happened over the last 4 years. With that in mind, I have attached a summary of the current administration's accomplishments during those four years. If you don't have time to read this short document, 'vote smart', then at least consider the following questions.

- How many of us have never made mistakes? Do you really trust someone who never admits to making mistakes?

- Are you better off now than four years ago?

- As the war in Iraq drags on and terrorists attack with more frequency around the world than ever before, are you safer now than before? (Really think about this one)

- With 90% of our military engaged with the Iraqi war, who would protect us if nuclear weapons from North Korea or Russia made it into terrorists' hands?

- Is it safer to be Strong and Wrong and on your own or Thoughtful and leader of a real coalition of strong friends? (Is providing 90% of the troups and money for the current coalition, really a coalition?)

From these questions, I guess you can figure who I'm voting for. Here's a hint, the same candidate that Bush's hometown paper in Crawford, Texas supports. If you're not sure or want more facts you can always check PBS, FactCheck.org, The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, or other nonpartisan organizations.

Take care and vote,
Bill


Hello All,

Well, here we are a little over a week from the most important election of our lifetime and I'm back to remind you all how important it is that everyone not only vote, but also cast an informed vote.

Unfortunately, the campaigns and the networks haven't really been doing a great job at helping us out. For example, 'The Swiftboaters' claims received lots of press, even though they have all been refuted by fact and government records. All, that is, but Kerry's claim to have been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve. Like Bush's missing National Guard dental records, there is no evidence to support his claim. Fahrenheit 911's overly enthusiastic presentation of information leading up to the Iraq War (though none of it refuted by the Bush Administration) has also turned off voters.

Where this leaves us is to find the facts out for ourselves. To this end, I have included the following web pages: www.factcheck.org, a site that is sponsored by the respected Annenberg Foundation, and www.people-press.org, sponsored by the equally well-respected Pew Charitable Trust. Checking these sites is a beginning, as other unbiased, non-partisan sites are available to help in making an informed decision November 2nd. Even if you are pretty sure who you're going to vote for, still have a look.

Now, if you'll indulge me a bit longer, I'd like to present you with some concerns that are at the crux of this election; the questions: "Are we better off now than 4 years ago?" and "Are we headed in the right direction?"

Let's start at home

Have the Bush Administration's policies strengthened the country?

A) Bush's economic policies (including his tax cuts that are disproportionately beneficial to the richest Americans), not the Iraq War or the War on Terror (they ARE two different wars), have wiped out the huge surplus he inherited coming into office. The country is now more in debt than ever before. Bush proposes to make these tax cuts permanent. This week he signed a $130+ billion tax cut for big business.

B) The country has lost more jobs than ever before and Bush will be the first president since Herbert Hoover (we all read about Hoovervilles in the Grapes of Wrath) to have a net job loss after 4 years in office. All other war time presidents added jobs.

C) The number of Americans under the poverty line has increased under Bush, more than any president since... you guessed it.

D) Bush's energy plans promote a continued and guaranteed dependence on foreign oil. (Was that why we invaded Iraq?) All the possible oil in Alaska's wildlife areas Bush wants to drill wouldn't satisfy the country's needs for more than 6 months.

E) Social Security now issues disclaimers on its statements that your benefits (the ones you paid for) may not be there when you retire and Bush has publicly spoken of privatizing Social Security. Individual retirement accounts are interesting, but how many of us made money on our investments in 2000 and 2001. Also, they will cost 1 trillion dollars just to be set up.

F) Health costs have risen and more Americans are now without insurance than ever before. Medicare payments have gone up (17% this year) in direct response to Bush's health care plan. Medicare is in serious trouble.

G) Assault Weapons. Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton supported a ban on Assault Weapons (Uzis and AK-47s, the weapon of choice for terrorists). This ban expired on September 13 and Bush, though he said he supported it, did nothing to extend it.

H) Children and the nation's education system ARE being left behind. The President may have had an idea, but he didn't fund it.

I) President Bush campaigned as a 'Uniter' not a 'Divider', yet we are more clearly divided as a country than at any point in recent history.

Poor policies and poor leadership lead to these domestic problems. Still, the nearly $150 billion extra dollars spent on Bush's Iraq War (see next section) might have helped fix a few things.

Now, on the International Front

Was the Iraq War, as Bush continues to state, necessary to protect America from terrorism? Not really. The 911 commission (which Bush opposed) reported the following major findings:
NO Weapons of Mass Destruction.
NO Iraqi Links to Al Qaeda or the September 11 attack. (Saddam did support suicide bombers in Gaza, but they were also financed by groups in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. While threatening to Israel and the Middle East Peace process, these suicide bombers posed no threat to the US.)

In fact, Bush's Iraq War has been a huge and unnecessary failure.

A) Bush's Iraq War drained needed resources (money, troops and specialists) away from the real struggle against terrorists in Afghanistan and south Asia. US troops remain in Afghanistan, but the lack of these resources funneled to Iraq has allowed Al Qaeda to regroup and the Taliban to reemerge with bombings to continue in major Afghani cities.

B) Even by the Administration's estimates, the number of terrorists in Iraq now has increased multi-fold since the invasion of Iraq.

C) Leaders in Israel and Pakistan (Pres. Musharaf), two US allies, have recently stated that the Iraq War has increased terror, NOT decreased it.

D) Kofi Annan of the UN echoes those statements and says the world is not safer.

E) Documented prison abuses in Abu Ghraib (and more cases to come) have severely damaged US credibility inside Iraq and the rest of the Middle East Region. So far, Bush has failed to hold anyone accountable.

F) Are we safer now? Bush's Iraq War has been a great recruiting tool for terrorists world-wide. Further, the State Department has reported more terrorist attacks after the Iraq Invasion than the years preceding. Are we safer?

G) Flouting the UN and our traditional allies by pushing forward with war has cost the US greatly in International prestige. After a highpoint immediately following Sept. 11, the Bush War squandered this good will to where the US now is at its lowest point in the eyes of the world in decades.

H) Bush's Iraq War may sometime in the future be described as a humanitarian success. Yet, there are other 'better targets'. As many people in the Sudan and North Korea are dying and suffering AND there are actually Al Qaeda cells in Sudan, and North Korea does have WMDs and has threatened to sell them to terrorists.

I) The Democracy that Bush's Iraq War will presumably create is good, but will not innoculate Iraq, the Middle East, nor the US from terrorists as Bush insists. The Philippines, Indonesia, Chechnya and Russia are all democracies and have all suffered greatly from terrorists. (Chechnya held presidential elections just one week prior to the horrible terrorist attack on school children in Russia)

J) Democracy Part II - Current polling in Iraq suggest that the people hold the US and Foreign Insurgents equally responsible (>30% each) for their current disastrous situation. Only 8% blame Saddam Hussein. Moreover, if the elections were held now, the Bush-installed leader, Allawi, would lose to a religious party supported by Iran.

K) The Cost. Over 1,100 US troops fatalities, 7,000+ casualties and 150 Billion dollars..all and counting. Then, of course, there are the costs to the Iraqis, the people we were supposed to help.

Is Kerry Suited to be the next president?

Unlike Bush's known record as president, we will have to predict Kerry's suitability from his past and from his proposals. This will need to be found out again from some research and not just from the campaign ads run by either candidate. As can be seen by checking Factcheck.org, both Bush and Cheney tend to 'exaggerate' their claims against Kerry.

Bush reminds us that Kerry voted against increased funding for the war in Iraq, leaving soldiers without needed body armor, etc. Kerry points out he voted against the management of the war and questions the President's decision to send the soldiers into battle without body armor in the first place.

Cheney (and the rabid Zell Miller) chide Kerry for voting to cut intelligence spending. The record they cite was decades old and was supported at the time both by Miller and then Sec. of Defense Cheney. Little is also made of the fact that President Bush's current appointee to run the CIA, Congressman Goss, voted for even more intelligence cutbacks during his tenure in the House.

I understand that Kerry is a politician just like the rest of them. He will make some promises to get votes and will be unable to fulfill others because of unexpected circumstances. I do believe, however, the country is headed dangerously in the wrong direction, both domestically and internationally, and there needs to be a change in leadership.

You know who I'm voting for and I hope all of you take the time to study the issues and make an informed choice. After you have made your choice, be sure to vote. Whoever wins needs to know that Americans care enough about problems to vote and that they need to respect that vote. Remember, at the ballot box, your vote counts just as much as the corporate lobbyists.

Best wishes from me, Julie and Liam to all of you and your families. This really is my final political missive for 2004. That is, unless anyone wants to talk politics...

Take care and vote smart,
Bill

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Update


I'm not really sure where the time is going; it feels like the weeks are flying by. I had midterms a couple of weeks ago -- can it really be halfway through the semester already? -- wherein I garnered a high B on my Sociology exam. I did some light studying, so that probably accounts for my non-A, but it's not like I don't know the material, I just have a difficult time remembering names and dates and end up guessing on those.

However, my chapter tests are online and with no in-class reminder, I find myself occasionally forgetting to take a test until it's too late. So I've missed 3 now, and I think I'm probably down like 300 points, which is just awful. I mean, even if I aced the final, I'd still have an unsatisfactorily low grade in the class. I've been lax, too, in picking up every single extra credit bonus point available to me. I'm so lazy.. argh.

I went up to Morgantown and visited my intended college. It's disappointingly not one of the gorgeous, classic ivy-covered buildings on the main campus. In fact, it's a somewhat older (60's or 70's) and slightly-rundown building, but it's kind of charming in a way. There seem to be a pleasant abundance of trees around, and the atmosphere was pretty laid-back and comfortable.

Got a 79% on a math quiz, my lowest to date and I'm not really pleased about it. I am ashamed to say I haven't done any math homework in about three weeks. I know there's no excuse for it, and it's only made worse since it's mainly due to my not being able to motivate myself to do it.

Angie has kind of switched back to 'just friends' mode since returning from her vacation in August. This is truly fine with me overall; however, I admit to being a little disappointed about not being able to sleep with her anymore. Especially now, she's lost around 25 or 30 pounds since I've known her, and she looks frippin' hot. Just the things that make you go damn.

A while back, I weighed myself as having gained 16 pounds. I've been too afraid since then to weigh myself again, and honestly I've been feeling a bit depressed about the whole thing. Is it fair to blame my inability to exercise on depression? Because I feel so crappy, I don't want to do anything or hang out with anyone. I notice that it affects my energy, because I'm not doing anything differently from last semester, and I had lots of energy then and was very social.

I know it's a Bad Thing, but to be wholly truthful, my self-esteem is almost entirely based on my appearance. I know this is a Bad Thing, and I hate it. I keep waiting to get to the point where I can just get over it, but it's such an ingrained part of my personality that it doesn't seem to want to budge. And then, when I'm feeling good, I do feel very confident about myself on all levels. I hate the fact that it takes me feeling secure about how I look to be able to love the rest of me.

I could get into a dark, self-loathing rant detailing the reasons why I suck and am a difficult person, but no one wants to read that. But let's just say that I've come to the conclusion that I should avoid relationships. I'm no good at them, mostly because I kind of live in my own uniquely crafted, emotionally-charged world. You know how I talk about myself all the time here on my blog, but that's the purpose of a blog, so you don't notice? I pretty much am like that all the time. Annoying, right? It's true. I am most often quite self-absorbed and attention-hungry.

Of course, the right person squelches those things in me, but I feel I'm being realistic when I look at my dating history, note that I will be 28 next month, and envision a future of being single. I used to believe that I would eventually marry and maybe even have kids, but these days, I have an entirely more jaded view of things. Too bad I wasn't born a gay boy.. at least I could be single and getting laid a lot.

I didn't mean to get all depressive in this post, but I guess I needed to vent some. Things have been getting a little better, and I suspect PMS as the culprit. The past 30 days have gone by in a total blur, and I had totally forgotten about my period until Angie mentioned hers yesterday. I was feeling better that day and it suddenly occurred to me that PMS had probably just snuck up on me. Can I also say that I hate that I go into an emotional black hole on a near-monthly basis? I never used to have PMS or cramps... is this because I'm getting old???

In case you're wondering, I am taking steps toward feeling better. For example, last Wednesday, after watching Super Size Me, I drastically cut my daily soda intake to one a day. Other than a few sips of tea at work, I've only been drinking water. I figured that by doing so, I'm cutting out at least 400 extra calories a day, and maybe it's wishful thinking, but I may have already lost a little weight. Plus drinking water makes me feel better, in that I'm doing something for my body, instead of working against it like I do all the time.

I also got about six inches chopped off my hair in a style that is intended to look like this. When the stylist did it, it looked fabulous and close enough to the picture, but I'm fairly certain my hair is far more unpredictable than the model's, and it since has since developed into its own style. Mikey calls it "lesbian punk rock".

To maintain the 'do, I got a straightening iron.. how did I ever live without one? I never have had an affinity for blow dryers, and just think of all those wasted minutes I spent straightening that way. I got some new product, too.. some mousse, better hairspray, a texturizing cream. All I need is a curling iron -- gah, did I really say that? -- and I think I can really work my haircut.

I watched Open Water last night, and boy was I disappointed. I thought going into it that it would scare the crap out of me; thanks to my viewing Jaws at the impressionable age of nine, the ocean (actually, any body of water) was completely ruined for me thereafter. Just the idea of the movie's premise made me anticipate the movie, but unfortunately it did not deliver.

Open Water had the potential of being a highly successful thriller, but they wasted precious character-building time dragging you slowly through various stiffly-acted scenes. First of all, the movie is only 80 minutes long, so there wasn't a lot of time to work with, but the time was mismanaged by placing focus elsewhere when what the movie most needed was more character development. You get introduced to the characters via a quick glimpse into their semi-strained, hectic relationship just as they're leaving on the trip. Ten minutes, tops, but that's about it, plus as I mentioned, the acting was so emotionless and scripted that it was hard to really feel the characters' emotions. Or, subsequently, to care about them much. I guess they expect you to like and empathize with the couple solely because they're cute and happy.

There are lots of things I would change about this film, and character development is only the beginning. Once they were in the water, the movie teased me and only sporadically let me know how much time had passed when new events happened. The characters did sometimes make a mention of time, but why put the actual time on the screen every now and then if you're not going to use it consistently? I wouldn't have minded so much if they had just done away with it altogether, but I continually kept wondering how much time had passed and how long they'd been in the water.

There are other things, but I think if those two things had been better, this would have been a scarier movie. There were definitely a couple moments of, Oh my god, nuh uh.. nuh uh.. with my hand over my mouth, but on the whole it was quite disappointing. I dunno, this might scare a nine-year-old, but it failed to impress me -- thumbs down.

Lastly, it is apparently ladybug season once more. There are about five crawling around my light right now, and hearkening back to the fun sea of beetles last fall, I am praying The Ladybug Massacre of '03 doesn't repeat itself. I still have carcasses from last year..



Currently Playing...
Song: The Flaming Lips - Ego Trippin' at the Gates of Hell
Book: The Bulgari Connection by Fay Weldon
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Beeeezy


It's been kind of a busy week. I had a midterm in Sociology, a quiz in math, Appalachian Heritage Day, and a trip to WVU on Tuesday.

I tried to be good and went to bed the night before at 9:30 PM, but due to my extreme night-owlness, was unable to actually fall asleep until about 1 AM. I had to get up at 6 AM, so you can imagine what a zombie I was all day.

Angie went up with me, and I got to take a look at the college I'll be attending. I met with Dr. McNeel, the director of the Division of Forestry, as well as the heads of the two departments I have been looking at, Forest Resources Management and Wildlife and Fisheries Resources. I sat in on one of Dr. McNeel's classes, in which he had a guest speaker who is a highly successful Forestry consultant.

I've come to realize that while I really like the fact that there are many opportunities available to those with Forestry degrees (as well as pretty good salaries), that program is not a good fit. I'd been told by Dr. McNeel that he was being pushed to recruit more women into the FRM program and the demographic of the FRM students in his class was interesting; there were only three women, excluding myself, and there was something about the guys in the class that made me feel like I would be in the wrong place.

The Forestry consultant talked about his business and what he does; essentially he gets contracts and travels around to the various forest plots. He had some cool electronic gadgetry, but he uses them for things like calculating how many trees are in an area, the best way to improve growth in various species, and often enough he uses this knowledge so that the landowner can cut the trees down for money.

I'm fine with tree maintenance and cutting trees down because it's best for the surrounding ecosystem, but I would really find it difficult to make my living off the killing and sale of timber. I do recognize that wood is probably the most important natural, renewable resource, and as long as it's done responsibly, I have few issues with it. I simply do not personally wish to be directly involved in that industry, if I can help it. For one, my heart has always been in ecology, conservation, and research. The FRM degree is a management degree, so while I'd been envisioning the majority of my days outside working in the field, there's a decent enough chance that I could find myself stuck behind a desk instead.

I'd like to be in management of forests, sure, but not to the ends at which I believe most of the FRM graduates turn. Yeah, I could make more money and have easier job placement with a FRM degree, but I've learned that I need to do a job that balances out financial comfort with personal and spiritual satisfaction. So I figure that as long as I make at least twice what I make now, starting in a Wildlife career, I should be fine. I expect that, in these particular fields, it would likely take me a few years or more to get to the level of comfort that I desire, anyway. I don't need to be rich, but I do want to be comfortable.

I'm a little terrified at making a decision. I'm so afraid that I'm going to change my mind and find myself doing something I find incredibly tedious or whatever, and regret my decision. But then I remind myself that I do love these things, and as I can't really think of anything else besides Sociology that I'd like to study, I may as well go for it.

For one, the Wildlife program is more science-intensive than Forest Resources Management. I'm most likely going to take the science option, as opposed to the management option, because this will better prepare me for my Master's. I'm not positive I'll go for a Master's, but I am very interested in research and was told that I would need such a degree to pursue it. In any case, I can fill up my restricted electives with Forestry classes, thereby sort of balancing out my knowledge and making me a more desirable candidate for hiring in the future. If I find I have the financial support via scholarships, I will take a minor in FRM and work as little as possible.

I'd write more, but Angie's waiting for me to go walk with her. We have a Red Priest concert at 7:30 tonight at school, but I'll try to post again soon.

Wildlife & Fisheries Resources Undergraduate Major



Currently Playing...
Song: Melissa Etheridge & Jewel - You Can Sleep While I Drive
Book: The Bulgari Connection by Fay Weldon
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Trials and Tribulations


Well, the other day, I was taking pictures of something stupid in my apartment. I started taking photos, got my shot of 'Kerry sign anywhere in Parkersburg' and some fall foliage. Because the leaves are really beginning to change, I was so excited at the prospect of catching it in photos.

So let me tell you what I, in my infinite wisdom, did. As I said, I was taking stupid pictures of a sticker and set my camera on the arm of my chair for what reason I cannot recall. At the time, I thought to myself, Self, that really isn't a good idea. The camera is sort of balancing on the arm. It could teeter off and fall to the floor.

Did I listen to myself? Of course not! Listening to yourself is for pussies! Consequently my camera tumbled two feet to the floor, landing directly on the lens. The damage is such that the entire lens mechanism is FUBAR; it will not focus, zoom, retract, nothin'. My camera is dead.

I'm pissed, mostly at myself for knowing it was stupid and doing it anyway. The camera is somewhat outdated, and for the cost of repair, I could likely get a new one. So repairing it seems kind of pointless.

Now, my birthday is in a little over a month. My mom has been inquiring as to what I would most like for my birthday. The first thing I thought of was a CD/MP3 player for my car, but she actually suggested an iPod! Before getting too excited about it, I made it clear that those things are costy, mainly because I didn't figure she wanted to drop that much on a birthday present. She then suggested that I could get an iPod as a combination birthday and Christmas present.

w00t, quoth I. I have done my best to get people to do the free iPod thinger, but so far it's been non-productive. Of course what I want most is an iPod, likely because it's way out of my financial range. And let me just say a Huzzah to mid-November birthdays. I have definitely benefited from combined presents in the past, often much-coveted pieces of electronic gadgetry.

Anyhoo.. now I am so severely torn, due to the sudden, tragic loss of my beloved camera. The thing was hulking, slow, and occasionally frustrating, but damn it, I used it all the time, and I slowly learned to love its quirks, like those of a wayward child. All this ripped from me in one fateful instant! Cruel God, oh. I shake my fist at you.

This is the cruelest game of battling desires. In all actuality, I know that I will opt for getting a digital camera and continuing my iPod dream for a while longer. The fact of the matter is, I did use the camera all the time and it would definitely be missed. If I have to pick one of two things I can't afford myself, I will be practical and choose the one that I will get the most use and enjoyment from. After all, I've never had an iPod, and even though I know I'd probably use it all the time if I had it, if I didn't get it, I wouldn't know what I was missing. I've had a digital camera and I know just how it will hurt to not have it.

By the way, I just have to take a moment to give some props to my mom. She can be a very stubborn, frustrating person, but at times she does things that make me stop and want to cry, they're just so damn frippin' cool. Like the time she not only sent me and my first girlfriend to Vegas for my 21st birthday, but had champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, balloons, and a birthday card sent up to my room. Or the time she tried and tried to smoke pot with me on New Years. Yeah, my mom has moments of brilliant, extreme coolness.

Something has touched me about my mom's iPod suggestion, when I think about you, I touch myself.. eh, sorry. Something about how she totally knew without my saying anything, that that's what I would want most. She even mentioned she knows how much I love music. And I know that's not a momentous thing or anything, but you have to understand that my mom and I have not always had the best relationship, and only now are we becoming able to coexist in the same physical place with a minimum of bloodshed and maiming.

My mom and I are opposites in a lot of ways. I might get into it at a later date, but let's just say that neither of us understands the other very well. Or we sort of do, but can't seem to fit it within our respective paradigms. One thing my mom has historically refused to accept is that I'm gay. In any case, I can't say I feel she pays much attention to the details of my life besides the updates on school, my weight, and work.

I used to demand a lot from my mom and so as I've grown up some, I've been trying to really be self-reliant and try not to burden her anymore. This arrangement is okay with me, but I guess it just surprised me pleasantly when she made her observation.

Anyway, I wrote her about the broken camera conundrum and she offered to send me $200 for whichever I want, and then another $100 at Christmas to go toward whichever I didn't choose. I think I can get a decent 3MP camera on eBay for about $150, maybe one that isn't as clunky. And then I will just save to get a portable MP3 player, but it won't be an iPod. I scoped them out on eBay and other brands are less, which makes me again curse Apple for jacking prices just for the Apple name. Apple, I bite my thumb at you!



Currently Playing...
Song: P.E.I. Bonewits & Friends - The Wizard
Book: Man Crazy by Joyce Carol Oates
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

To the Teeth
by Ani DiFranco


the sun is settin' on the century
and we are armed to the teeth
we are all working together now
to make our lives mercifully brief
schoolkids keep trying to teach us
what guns are all about
confuse liberty with weaponry
and watch your kids act it out
every year now like christmas
some boy gets the milkfed surburban blues
reaches for the avaliable aresenal
and saunters off to make the news
and women in the middle
are learning what poor women have always known
that the edge is closer than you think
when your men bring the guns home

look at where the profits are
that's how you'll find the source
of the big lie that you and i
both know so well
it the time it takes this cultural
death wish to run its course
they're gonna make a pretty penny
and then they're all going to hell
he said the chickens all come home to roost
yeah, malcom forecasted this flood
are we really gonna sleep through another century
while the rich profit off our blood?
true, it may take some doing
to see this undoing done
but in my humble opinion
here's what i suggest we do:

open fire on hollywood
open fire on MTV
open fire on NBC
and CBS and ABC
open fire on the NRA
and all the lies they told us
along the way
open fire on each weapons manufacturer
while he's giving head
to some republician senator

and if i hear one more time
about a fool's rights
to his tools of rage
I'm gonna take all my friends
and i'm gonna move to canada
and we're gonna die of old age

Friday, October 08, 2004

About.com

Yay! We Hate Spyware!


According to this CBS report, "The House on Thursday passed the second bill in three days that would outlaw "spyware," irritating software that quietly monitors the activities of Internet users."

It would add penalties of up to five years in prison for people convicted of installing such programs without a computer user's permission.

The bill, known as the "Internet Spyware Prevention Act," passed 415-0. It would give the Justice Department $10 million to crack down on companies and others that secretly install spyware and those who attempt to trick victims into disclosing personal details and financial information in e-mail scams popularly known as "phishing."


Sounds good to me.. frankly, anyone who messes with your personal property and information should be punished. Additionally, if you're interested in anti-spyware software, two of the best are Spybot Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware.



Currently Playing...
Song: Tracy Bonham - Second Wind
Book: Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Some Funnies


Daily Show with Jon Stewart clips (streaming media):

- Helms - Cooter!: Ed Helms visits Inverness, Florida's hilarious "Cooter Festival."
- Conventional Wisdom: Jon looks at how the repetition of "talking points" shapes public perception of candidates.



Currently Playing...
Song: Coldplay - Yellow
Book: Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

P.S.


Regular readers might notice that I re-ordered the layout somewhat. I use the blogs section far more than any other, so I placed that nearer the top because I'm a lazy bastard who's tired of scrolling down all the time. In the same vein, I use the links section the least, so that got pushed down to the bottom.

You may also notice I have some Google ads on my page now. This is purely to better my humble site without resorting to begging for PayPal donations. I think it's fine for people to do so if they feel comfortable with it, but maybe unfortunately for this site, I never felt right about it. I hesitate to use the word "begging" lest I offend anyone who does the PayPal Donate thing, but frankly, me doing it feels like begging. Although I am indeed a starving student living in a redneck ghetto apartment, I personally do not like asking for money. I never have.

So should you be interested in supporting site improvements, such as paid subscriptions to tool services (Blogger, HaloScan commenting, BlogRolling, etc.), I offer the ads as a way for us both to benefit.

La la la.. okay, I'm done.



Currently Playing...
Song: Gavin DeGraw - I Don't Wanna Be
Book: Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

Friday Something or Other


Since I've been busy this past week and have had no real content to post, I thought I'd give this a whirl. Blogger had this posted in its news section, and I was intrigued by the idea. Yes, I'm aware it's not Friday, but let's just pretend for a moment.

Ask your readers to think of three photos they'd like to see posted to your blog. (Things around your house or whatever.) When you have enough requests, post them!


All right, so what pictures would you like to see (have camera, will travel)? Keep in mind that any request for nudity on my part will be laughed at, you jokesters -- trust me, you and the world are better off for not having seen me nude.



Currently Playing...
Song: Kris Delmhorst - North Dakota
Book: Dreaming Water by Gail Tsukiyama
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!