Thursday, December 30, 2004

$15 million
    - initial U.S. aid offer to tsunami victims

$35 million
    - current U.S. aid package to tsunami victims

$37 million
    - current European Union aid package to tsunami victims

$40 million
    - amount of money Republicans will spend on Bush's innaguration

I wonder how many American lives would be saved if Bush cancelled the innaguration, made it a private event, sent all the money to help the victims. Might make the "terrorists" think, "Hey, maybe this guy does have a heart."

...

Naaah.
Paycheck: $140 more than expected
Work Schedule: New Year's Day off

This, combined with yesterday's events, make for one hell of a last 24 hours. But I still miss Ella like Michael Jackson misses his nose.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

now the record always spills on the trails we blazed
the walls are closin in, but that’s ok
'cause I been waitin all week to feel this way
and it feels so good, so good
i’m on top of the world


        Paul Oakenfold - Starry-Eyed Surprise

I just got off the phone with Bruce Perens. In the open source world, this guy is pretty much the equivalent of Freddy Mercury.

I ran an idea by him and not only did he give me some great advice on the questions I had, not only did he give me some advice on issues I had not yet even considered, not only did he say that he thought my idea was "fantastic" but he offered to be on a board of directors if it ever got to that point. And this is after I told him it would be "open" and nobody would be making much of anything.

I feel like my head is about to explode.

Tonight I managed to cook dinner, set up the development/production computer and relocate my media machine, draw up an FAQ for the project, hire a Macromedia Flash developer from the Netherlands who just happens to have prior experience with coupling maps with GPS data, contact Bruce Perens and run the idea by him, call my mother, call my grandmother and contact another coder that might have some old, spare code kicking around that he could donate to the project.

I thought it would take a month just to get this far. It's 9:34PM.
cuz now I got the world swinging from my nuts
damn it feels good to be a gangster.


        Ghetto Boys - Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster
This post is mainly meant for me to look back in retrospect as a sort of "aha!" moment.

This morning, while prepping something to eat (grilled cheese for the curious), I realized that any attemps I make at "getting something big done" are marred by two primary issues.

a) Spending too much time preparing to do the work and too little time doing the work itself.

b) Rushing into whatever it is I need to do without proper planning.

Opposites of each other, I know.

For example, right now I need to start work on a massive project. I'm so itching to just start coding that I'm tempted to just bypass the planning phase (very bad idea when programming) and just start coding. On the other hand, when I start laying out how the code is going to look, I wind up getting nothing "meaninful" done. Nothing I can point and at and say "here, look what I accomplished today!"

All my projects vacillate between these two problems with a healthy dose of distracting myself with things like video games. I suspect this is because I don't want to do either of the two things above so I'd rather do nothing.

Man, that sucks.

Ok, time to actually start doing something. =)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What makes me all warm and fuzzy in my tummy is when I see Christians getting pissed about religion in the classroom. I've been saying this since I became aware of the debate; It cuts both ways. The reason people don't want your Christianity in their school is the same reason you don't want Islamic literature reading assignments.

Pick a side, Christians, then argue it consistently. Not just when you like the result or benefit from it.

On a lighter, observational note, a short story...

I work with a kid by the name of Tristan. One of the nicest kids you'll ever want to meet, though that's kind of irrelevant to the story. Turns out that he's one of the people being cut after New Year's. That's just how retail works. The people that sell, stay. Right?

So my boss had to break the news to him and apparently he took it kind of hard, asked if he could leave for the day. The boss agreed.

The next day Tristan called in as "snowed in." My boss was irked by this and commented that his absence just confirmed his decision to cut Tristan. Now...

Let me begin by saying this is not a criticism of my boss at all. He's one of the nicest bosses I've ever had. This is a commentary on our society in regards to labor. In fact I'll use the term "employer" instead of "boss" to avoid any confusion.

Tristan's employer told him that they would no longer need his services. There is no appeal for Tristan. A decision was made about our capacity for employees and Tristan didn't make the cut. Nothing personal and I doubt anyone would call their decision unethical. After all, both parties specifically entered into an "at will" employment contract. This means either could terminate the contract at any time.

On the other hand, Tristan is doing the same thing back to his employer. He owes exactly as much fidelity to them as they owe to him; none. How is deciding Tristan deciding he doesn't want to show up for work any more or less ethical or appropriate than his employer deciding that they don't need him to show up to work any more?

So why do we view Tristan's actions as unethical but we view the actions of his employer as nondescript?

The answer that occurs to me is that we still have a serfdom mentality. It's an underpinning of our society. Those with money have some intrinsic right to direct our lives that we do not have in return.

And that's why I'm pro-union.
So far about 44,000 people have been killed. Out of those 44,000, I've seen precisely two specific names mentioned. One was a Czeck supermodel and the other was a Sweedish boy. Both survived.

In other words, if you're not young and white, or pretty and white, you're not worth a plugged nickel.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

In 1994, Los Angeles was hit with a 6.8 Richter earthquake which killed 30 immediately, as many as 90 total when you tabulate indirect deaths. It was the largest quake in recorded California history.

Yesterday, a 8.6 quake hit Sri Lanka. To put this in perspective, a 8.6 quake is just under 100 times more powerful than a 6.8. Local reports say 150 people have been confirmed dead so far.

Here are the last five "Breaking News" alerts that I've gotten from CNN.com:

Attack on U.S. military mess hall kills 22.
Jury recommends that Scott Peterson be put to death.
U.S. House overhauls intelligence.
Tom Ridge resigns.
President Bush nominates Kellogg CEO Carlos Gutierrez to be secretary of Commerce.

Naah. We're not too America-centric.

The asian quake is a sideline on CNN.com. On ABCNews.com, too. CBSNews.com doesn't mention it at all. None of them sent a "Breaking News" email.

These are news outlets that issued "Breaking News" alerts for the Pacers-Detroit basketball brawl, the Fed raising interest rates by a quarter-point and an appeals court deciding that the national the "do-not-call" registry can be implemented while court considers whether it violates telemarketers' free speech.

Naah. The news is more than mere "entertainment."

We know what the world wants. The world wants America to give their countries all this cool stuff too. The terrorists are just player haters.

Oh, and guys? Could have used you a few years ago. I thought you were the fourth branch?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Time: 11:44pm
Date: Dec 23, 2004
Temp: 60° F
Surface: Parking lot blacktop.
Sound: Nothing.

The world is composed of two groups. One of them understands how this is relevant, and why.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

CNN.com reports that "consumers remain confident in the safety of prescription drugs sold in this country at a time when some popular ones have been linked to health threats, an Associated Press poll found."

What the fuck does the public opinion on drugs (or anything for that matter) have to do with truth? What makes you think that 99.92% of Joe and Jane Q. know anything but shit and lala about the intricacies of neurological chemistry, for starters?

After the politicians and the private media have decided how, when and what we're going to see, our daily mental diet of this bleached, antiseptic edutainment by way of the comically labeled "news" (patroitic Hummer2 commercials peppered in every three minutes, of course), ...what truth do you suppose your average American has, anyway?
Current listening:

The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Death Cab for Cutie - A Movie Script Ending
Beck - Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime
The Crystal Method - Trip Like I Do
Vangelis - Blade Runner Blues
Death Cab for Cutie - 405
Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
Scissor Sisters - It Can't Come Quickly Enough
Richard Cheese - Down With the Sickness (wah ah ah ah)
Sublime - What I Got
The Killers - Somebody Told Me

I've got this musical itch lately. Everything I've found is kinda getting there but it's like down down down to the left down up up up ...but still the itch remains.

What's a boy to do?! Somebody, quick! Suggest something. Think Orbital's "Fluffy Little Clouds" dreaminess with Radiohead's "Kid A" pragmatism.

Damn it.
Ever think that we're born into this world, given a list of shit to find (a list too long to possibly accomplish), we run around like idiots trying to get it all, then die?

It's kind of like playing Scavenger Hunt. Which isn't exactly an original comparison, but have you ever watched people play this game? They act like daft and rabid assholes.

I wonder if that's what god sees. Would it understand?
Greg was lurking outside one day, trying to act casual, when another engineer accosted him and said, "I'm sick and tired of you guys loitering in front of the building every day!" Later he phoned the appropriate bureaucrats on our behalf. I listened to his side of the conversation for twenty minutes: "No, there is no PO, because we're not paying them. No, there is no contract, because they are not contractors. No, they are not employees; we have no intention of hiring them. Yes, they must have building access because they are shipping code on our box. No, we don't have a PO number. There is no PO, because we're not paying them." Finally, he wore them down. They said to use the standard form to apply for badges, but to cross out Contractor and write in Vendor. Where it asked for a PO number, we were to use the magic words "No dollar contract." We got badges the next day. They were orange Vendor badges, the same kind the people working in the cafeteria, watering the plants, and fixing the photocopy machines had.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I napped for two hours tonight and just now I remembered that I had a nightmare of sorts. I dreamt that I had another child. With Melissa. The dream took place when the child was about two years old. And it occurred to me -- why so late, I've no idea -- that I was going to be paying support for another eighteen years.
Boss: Did you contact another store about a karaoke machine?
Me: Nope.
Boss: Well, they said "Justin," I figured it might be you.
Me: Hm. Maybe Jeff?
Boss: Well, they said the person was "really helpful," so I figured that it was you...

Go me. ... I still want a job that pays enough to ...you know, live on. =)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Chris has a very, very high-quality copy of a Brittney Spears concert. Likely snagged it from a satellite feed, who knows. But Rebekah watches it damned near every time she comes here. Several times, actually. The basement has been upgraded a bit so now it's possible to watch it on a 9' (yes, feet) screen. This means that the video is nice and ...detailed. Let's just say that the choreography ranges from insinuous to explicit. This screen hides nothing.

During what I would call the "worst" of it (don't kill me, she's already seen it about 10x), I asked if she had any questions. You know, doing that whole "open door policy" thing.

Bek: No, no questions. ... But I know what the bottom line is.
Me: Bottom line?
Bek: [in somber tone] She's a [spelling it out] S L U T.
Me: Hm. You think so? The guys too, or...?
Bek: No, just the girls.
Me: Why not the guys?
Bek: Because that term is only for girls.
Me: So what would you call it if a guy acted like that?
Bek: [4 second period of thinking] I don't know.
Me: Well ...think about that, ok?
Bek: Ok.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A reporter asks a solider to ask Donald Rumsfeld some pointed questions about insufficient armor and everyone spazzes out. Bush gets "the Iowa state director of a conservative advocacy group, FreedomWorks," to lob him some softballs in a fake town hall-style Q&A and nobody much cares. Freedomworks' founders are Jack F. Kemp, the former vice-presidential nominee and Dick Armey, the former House Republican leader.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

[conversation with a customer]
Them: I need an extension cable.
Me: For electricity?
Them: Yes.
[bring them over to the extention cables]
Them: Nono, for cable TV.
Me: Oh, I thought you'd said "for electric."
Them: No, you said "electric."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

"Ok, you can unbarricade the door now..." - Ella
A slice of cheese pizza and some ...I don't know what to call them. Pre-seasoned tofu triangles with a dipping sauce. ...

I'm not sure I'll ever get into tofu. This was kind of gross. Tasted like spongemeat. Kind of like eating an earlobe, dipping sauce cover-up be damned.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Jesus. It's 11pm already. *sigh

Got my computer area a bit more organized. The rest still looks like arse, but the desk area is more or less pimped out 120%. Now all I need is a KVM switch...

Had an "insight" the other night (herbs do that to me) which was pretty straightforward -- why not mention my cross-departmental skills in my resume? I always seem to get tapped to work between different parts of the company (training/support, protocol implementation/network admin, API writing/QA/coding). So that required an edit.

Now I'm off to Craigslist. I think I'll have a solid bite within a month. I'll be disappointed if I don't.
A customer came in inquiring about the Game Cube we have on sale. It comes with Metroid Prime bundled. Said he didn't let his kids play shooters.

Why? I guess we all think our own thoughts are pretty much "median" and maybe that's my problem, but I've never really gotten into a disagreement with someone and thought to myself, "ah, the solution here is to shoot them." Like ...ever. Heck, my favorite genre if first-person shooters and I dislike violence in general (but no qualms about defending oneself at all).

*shrug. Then again, I'm sure my TV-is-inherently-evil position is pretty excessive by most people's standards, too.

Decided to take another stab at being a vegetarian. Not going to be hardcore. If someone serves me meat, I'll likely eat it. But I don't think I'm going to purchase it myself. Dunno. I realize that animals die when you clear land to grow vegitables, so it 's kind of absurd to think that you're backing completely out of the death cycle, but it's a start.

New Year's Eve will be my do-or-die continue/no-continue point. I also have to be careful about replacing meat with really crappy food. Which is what I did the first time I was a vegetarian (circa 1991).

I've have no idea why I'm writing this. It's trivial to anyone but me. And I already know.

Oh. And I've got my two computers set up again sitting on a desk that could withstand a direct hit from a small thermonuclear weapon. A return to programming is planned.

Considering doing a sort of news aggregate featuring an impact/importance tool/filter, a comment system with a trust-based moderation scheme, RSS feed (of course) and a mechanism by which people can create "HOWTO" files which describe how you can actually do something in the real world.

Novel, I know.

Oh, almost forgot. It'll have user blog capability and a schema designed to prevent people from only surfing news that they agree with. I consider this hidden pitfall to pretty much be the demise of modern news dissemination: Everyone learns but they tend to learn from sources they agree with, giving the illusion of being informed.

That part is going to be tricky.

Also planning on getting into the rental scene too. Right now the best free stuff out there is pretty much CraigsList.com which is a great idea but their layout and searching functions suck.

Anyway, less talking. More coding.
"You need to be a genius to hook up this cable." - A customer, just now, referring to a standard telephone cable. You know, the kind your house phone connects to the wall with. I'm not even joking.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

From CNN.com:
"Kofi Annan must go. There's just no question about it. ... The confidence that the United States has had in the United Nations is waning right now, and the only way that's going to change is if there's a change in leadership," Rep. Dan Burton said Monday.

Imagine me laughing hysterically at this point.

How do these people say these things with a straight face?

I sometimes worry that in not watching television, I've become detached from how the "real world" perceives things. I worry that a statement like this wouldn't strike many of them as even a little ironic.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Post-analysis of the red-blue political divide hasn't exactly turned up anything new. From ABCNews.com:

Some of Wheaton's [IL] residents are quick to draw an unflattering portrait of their "blue" neighbors one hour away. The "blue staters" are pushy, they said, with a social agenda that includes gay marriage. "I think they want to push us in that direction, and some of us don't want to be pushed in that direction," said Leonard Sanchez.

I hate to tell you this, Sanchez, but that was the right-wing response to civil rights, too.

And now -- just like then -- we'll pull you into the 21st century whether you like it or not. It's not a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when."

Later in the same article:

"President Bush won. He is our president. He has that word 'mandate' because he won decisively," Mitroff said.

What fucking moon do you live on? If by "decisively," you mean that he won, sure. Then there really isn't a need for the word "mandate" or "decisive" if you only mean "won," is there?

Bush 50.2%, Kerry 48.5%. That isn't much of a threshold, is it? That's a difference of 1.7%. Decisive? Using any yardstick that's called "by a pubic hair."

I don't know, you tell me: if a football game ended with a score of 24 to 23 (a whopping 4% difference!), would you call that victory "decisive?" Yeah, me neither.

Bush doesn't have a mandate. Forty eight percent (read; half the country) think he's a mistake and an embarrassment.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

"Hm. I need to find something more offensive to say to the gnomes. This isn't cutting it." - me

--

"Wow, Sigourney looks so young!"
"Yeah. Looks like she's been ironed."

--

Why is it that any sort of behavior that would normally be considered anti-societal, lunacy or possibly even criminal ...be perfectly "ok" when it's framed as "religion?"

Why is it that you're a lunatic if you hear god's voice but merely religious if you listen to someone else who says they've heard god's voice? Why does it become more respectable the more people you add in between you and the source?

Bizarre world we live in.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

"WOW! THAT'S A LOTTA NUTS!!"
The lunatics on the far right with the invisible best-friend (read; Christians) apparently feel that Bush 'owes them' and the debt can be repaid, most notably, in the courts.

From ABCNews.com:

Cass wants a U.S. Supreme Court that will outlaw abortion and gay marriage. "Do you want to take your children to a National League baseball game for instance and have homosexuals showing affection to one another? I don't want my kids to see that," he said.

Aaaaaaaaaugh! A human is showing another person they care about them! Aaaaaaaaaaugh! Aaaaaaaaaaugh! Holy fucking shit, make it stop, MAKE IT STOP!!!

Good thing Cass wasn't there for Jesus' baptism. That was half-naked men showing affection for each other. In water, no less.

Why is it that the more someone claims to follow Christ, the less they act like him?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I'm in the Mood To Do Something Big, Something Important, Something Life-Adjusting.

Only I don't know why we're here in the first place.

And therefore what the goal is.

And therefore what I should be doing to achieve it.

I guess this is the one upshot of religion. Gives you answers where none actually exist.

Ah, paralyzed again!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

"Fwoomp." [we both break]

...

"What would you say if I told you I just came up with a theory that explains the creation of the universe, time travel and god all at once."
"Tell it to me."
[explanation given]
[long, long pause]
"Well ...good for you for figuring it out."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The BBC website has a slideshow dedicated to the newly-embraced Western consumerism in China. In the fourth slide, a hotel manager quips:

"There should be more places like this in Beijing - they have everything you could want, and even things you never realised that you wanted."

God, apple pie and buying shit you didn't even realize you wanted.

God Bless America.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I think I might have a job as a creative-type at a web development company, courtesy of an old friend ho tells me that she'll seriously bump my name and that I destroy, skill-wise, anyone in that dept. now. They're looking for design and programming skills (PHP, no less). I'd be kind of surprised if I didn't get it. Lexington. $32-38k/yr. That's 2-3x what I'm making now.

Long story short, I work at a Radio Shack. I normally clean up at sales jobs but there is one person working there who knows EVERYONE in town. Someone walks in for a cellphone, they ask for her by name. This week she has 8 cellphone sales (at around $27/ea ($216 total) added to her paycheck). I have precisely zero. In fact I haven't even had a sale to screw up this week.

Not to be a prick, but if you put her in any other store she'd fall flat on her face. She's a clerk. So clocking $7.63/hr is really driving me nuts because there isn't anything I can do about it.

Today I told my boss that I'd like to investigate going to another store post-holiday. He was surprised and asked why. I gave him a bullshit answer. He pressed the issue. I told him that he already knew why and that I wasn't bringing it up because I knew nothing was going to change. He agreed but stated that (a) it would have to be post-holiday (no problem) and (b) that it couldn't happen until he found a replacement for me. In other words, my fate is determined by something I have zero control over.

I don't fucking think so.

If I could make a list of the "Top Ten Sucky Things," someplace close to the top would be "going to bed when someone you care about is really pissed at you."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Ella: What was that noise?
Me: Was that the fish?
Ella: [breaks]
Me: What??
Ella: You asked if that was the fish...
Me: Well I thought maybe it bumped it's head into the wall!

Monday, November 15, 2004

When opening a box cutter, always try to make sure that the blade end isn't facing your palm.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

In addendum to my earlier post, this is the text that the creationists want to place in the public school textbooks:

"This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

That's funny because I've always wanted the same thing put on Bibles. Wouldn't that be swell? A bright white Surgeon General warning -- complete with a skull and crossbones (let's have some truth in advertising!) -- on the spine of every Bible.

But I gotta say, haven't heard anyone clammoring for that one...
You all probably remember when Alabama tried to upend evolution by calling it mere theory (you know, with the other weak "theories", like gravitation...).

A trial opened Monday over whether a warning sticker in suburban Atlanta biology textbooks that says evolution is "a theory, not a fact" violates the separation of church and state by promoting religion.

Jimmy Falon replied, "As a compromise, dinosaurs are now called 'Jesus Horses'."
I'm listening to this group Arcadia Fire. They're like emo. Like really bad emo (who knew you had to *try*?) with a drummer who really likes miscelaneous mid-phrase breaks. The male singer looks suspiciously like Napoleon Dynamite.

I can, however, put on Radiohead's Kid A (both, natch) and always find something new. Every time I hear it, reminds me of a 12 month-old discovering it's toes and being the subject of (and subject to) idiotic fawning.

If you haven't seen Radiohead's Rabbit In Your Headlights video, check it (Bearshare works well for me). Best video ending ever. Perhaps because we all have days when we feel like that, figuratively.

If you haven't seen Jon Stewart's (of the Daily Show) appearance [I recommend the ABC bittorrent client] on Crossfire, ...trust me -- spend the next ten minutes downloading it while you make popcorn or poptarts or what have you. Then come back, play the video and choke on whatever you just cooked. It's that stunning. It's kind of like finding a ten dollar bill in the pocket of a jacket you haven't worn in two years.

It's so stunning I actually felt bad for the Republican.

Oh. One more: If you have never heard the Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows, grab it. I was at work today and it came over the satellite radio. Indistinguishable from modern avant-esque stuff. Progressive, even. Listen and while listening, tell me this isn't 2004 Liam Gallagher, Beck, Squarepusher with a full blotter sheet between them.

So how'm *I* doing? ... I'm doing ok. Brain is warming up. I know my own breathing again.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Interviewer: Would you ever license your music for use in a television advertisement for something like soap or mid-size Korean automobiles?

Thom Yorke: No. The way ad agencies work is to suck the blood of any vaguely original or unique thing in order to breathe life into their dead creations.

[later in interview]

Interviewer: Why are British situation comedies so lame?

Thom Yorke: What, and American ones are better? OK, I do like that one about the Texas Republican rigging his way into the White House. How we laughed..

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

First, never talk to the crazies. Ever.

Second, I'm in Brooks Pharmacy when a woman in line in front of me laments how she can't find those hammer-and-peg toys she was so fond of.

Woman: [speaking to myself and the cashier] Yeah, you go into a toy store and ask for them and they're like [shrill, aghast voice] "oh noes, you can't have that anymore!" Everything is so PC these days.
Me: Hm. I think it might have something to do with stupid lawsuits. I'm not sure I see how politics fits into this one.
Woman: [her Fox (tm) WaveBlocker momentarily losing it's hold] Uh ...well ...everything is PC today. [gets her stuff, leaves]
Me: [talking to her as she's walking out the door] Still not seeing how stupid lawsuits have anything to do with politics...
Me: [to cashier] No bag, thanks. I'm trying to save a tree. =)

Monday, November 08, 2004

"The ...VCR? Seriously?" - me

Sunday, November 07, 2004

"Ever been to the grand canyon?"
"Nope."
"It's BEAUTIFUL!"
"It's a giant rock."
"No, it's a giant hole."
"So your favorite thing is an absence of a giant rock?"

     - Conversation with my co-worker

"Do you have CD players?"
"Sure [showing her the spot]. We have CD players that can also play MP3s. It's a smaller file so you can fit about ten albums worth of music on one CD."
"No, we're only interested in one at a time."

     - Conversation with customer five minutes ago
I know there are a lot of you who are pretty disgusted with this last election. The previous (2000) election was easy to hate because it wasn't legitimate and the entire world knew it. Bush was selected, not elected.

This time it's different -- the citizens (albeit by a slim 51% margin) have actually chosen this former cokehead to continue leading them despite failure after failure. Iraq. Job creation. Energy policy. The economy. Enron. Osama. The Patriot Act.

But I suggest everyone step back and take a look at the grand scheme. Progressives, by their very definition, progress. Conservatives, by their definition, are conservative about progress. And given that a conservative's agenda in 2004 was a progressive's agenda in 1974, you can't escape the conclusion that despite some dire, backward-moving years (read; Reagan), we are winning. In fact I'm here to suggest it's inevitable.

All the next four years are going to achieve is to demonstrate in undeniable terms how catastrophic the conservative agenda is. Bush said he needed four more years. Ok, he just got them. Congress is heavily conservative-controlled, so he can't use that as an excuse for his failure. His full 8-year term are his responsibility and his alone. Both for the successes and failures.

So where could his policies take us?

You can't win the war on terror with the use projection of force against a group that isn't state-sponsored. If you can't threaten immediate destruction (nuclear weapons) and you can't negotiate with them (since negotiation invariably involves compromise, something that religious folks seem to take a dim view of), then your policy is useless against those who either don't fear your threats or find a way through the cracks. Witness 9/11.

Progressives believe the only way to "win" is to have policies that treat other countries fairly so that such hatred never forments and if it does, you'll have too many friends to allow it's spread. In other words, "the only way to win is to not play the game."

Sound familiar? It was considered both obvious and insightful in War Games because it was a computer that arrived at this conclusion. I still think it's obvious and insightful.

You can't continue depleting natural energy resources. They're finite. As the situation in the middle east becomes more tenuous, their use becomes more costly. Not only in terms of dollars but in terms of human life and global and domestic political goodwill. The solution is renewable sources such as hydrogen.

Does anyone doubt that hyper fuel efficient cars will be widely available in 2050?

You can't continue to spend 400bn every year on your miliary and only a fraction of that on education and domestic infrastructure. The Soviet Union learned this in a pretty painful way.

Gays have moved from the alleys (1960s) to the bars (1970s) to the TVs (1980s) to the senate (1990s) to demanding equal protection under the law (2000s). If you think they're going to get back in the closet you're out of your fucking mind.

Call me crazy, but I predict that being gay in 2024 will be pretty much like being black in 2004 (read; annoying only the truly ignorant).

Nah, call me progressive.

Friday, November 05, 2004

"Hey diddle diddle,..."
"THAT TWAT ATE MY SKITTLE!!"
"D'ya mind this song?"
"No, this is fine. ... But can you not put on any more of this crap, ok?"
"So an medulla oblongata walks into a bar... There, there's your cerebral humor." - Ella

Thursday, November 04, 2004

"You and I should go to India."
"Ok, but let me pee first."
"It's a pussy, not a clown car!" - unknown
"You know, if Tone Loc and Mos Def had a baby, it would be 'Tone Def.'" - Ella

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Hi padraiceen.

First, let me start off by saying that generally, discussions like this start off as a flamewar and don't end much better. So far your replies have been lucid and not mean-spirited and I appreciate that. I, however, tend to come off as far more caustic than I intend.

I just want you to understand that in this reply, in the capacity that I'm attacking anything, I'm attacking ideas, not you.

So have a seat. It is not a cut-and-paste, I have bothered to spend a good two hours to compose and edit this reply so it is coherent. It is long. It's long because when it comes to an indictment of Bush's policy and neo-conservative theory, what we have is an embarrassment of riches.

padraiceen writes:
Is there any way I can beg you and everyone who reads this to be constructive about it? Please? /moderate still desperately clinging to the hope that people won't be awful about it this time around

Because of how the last election sifted out, I think a lot of people looked at the presidency and said, effectively, "He's not my president. He doesn't represent me." And Bush always had a pall of illegitimacy thanks to being selected, not elected.

This time is different. This time the American people have spoken and truly had thier voices heard. This is not a sham election but a truly representative one. My anger is directed at them. Wait, no. It isn't anger. It's disgust. No, not strong enough. Revulsion. Bafflement to the point of nausea. The type of feeling you get when you begin to hydroplane with your wife and your kids in the car with you. Only this feeling is going to last for four years.

Since you suggest we should see the upside to all of this, and that you worry we might be "awful" about the vote result, let me explain this progressive's interpretation of a Bush (re)election...

America has willingly chosen a leader who has proven that he is determined to disregard the Geneva Convention, invent new categories for prisoners out of thin air so he can detain them indefinitely and lie to his own citizens repeatedly about the link between Iraq and al Queda (then claim, somehow, that he never made such a link), the threat that Iraq posed and it's capacity for following through with that threat (that it never made). And America will not mind or equivocate too much about these inconvenient facts but instead gloss it over with terms such as "standing together."

This leader has ignored the common sense of the rest of the world -- a world which, in retrospect, seems to have been quite correct.

The entire planet (well, with the exception of the few we could convince with substantial financial incentives) told Bush that there was no WMD (there wasn't, Bush admits, without saying he was actually wrong), no 45-minute threat (Bush blamed that one on the UK and our own intel said it was bogus), no uranium (Cheney asked the CIA to investigate, the CIA reported it was bogus, Bush used it in his State of the Union anyway), no chemical weapons, no mobile chemical weapons labs and that, in fact, the UN Weapon Inspectors had done their job so well that Saddam didn't have a drop of anything left.

At best, Saddam had a daydream in which maybe, someday, perhaps he could restart his terror. I bet he longed for the days when he could openly gas Iranian civilians, like back in '88. But then again it was much easier since Rumsfeld was our envoy to Iraq that year and we gave him the gas because we didn't like Iran.

Bush has squandered a budget surplus and turned it into an unprescedended debt for generations to dig themselves out of.

Do I blame him for the recession? No, these things happen regardless of who is at the helm. But I DO blame him for the recovery, or the lack thereof. He claimed his tax cuts would create a certain number of jobs. It didn't even come close. He said his tax cuts would jump-start he economy by a specific percentage. It didn't.

He is the only president that I am aware of that has lowered taxes during a war, nevermind a war and a recession. He has proclaimed his dedication to "freedom" while at the same time supporting government meddling in gay marriage (the government has no say whatsoever in who we love, religious bigotry aside), medical research, and a woman's right to decide what happens with her own body.

And while I'm on the subject, if these religious women are so hell-bent on saving every last embryo, why aren't they busy implanting one in themselves? After all, doing something you shouldn't has the same ethical consequences as failing to do something you should, and these eggs could expire. Er, I mean die. Which would be murder, right? Letting something die when you could prevent it?

Initially opposed to the 9/11 commission, Bush later stonewalled the commission until threatend with subpoenas and, finally, has ignored the recommendations of the panel. On a side note, I don't agree with the recommendations of the panel either. Specifically, the creation of a new intelligence agency. It just shows that we are not systemically opposed to anything Bush does.

Most damning, 1,000+ American soliders killed to date.

Remember Bush bashing Clinton's nation building and then engaging in it wholeheartedly? We're told that "9/11 changed everything!" No it didn't. It changed our perception of the world, now how it actually is. It was a "wake-up call."

Then I guess that makes Clinton a visionary, doesn't it? A little ahead of his time. That's the defiintion of a progressive: what a conservative will be in 30 years.

Cheney is another excellent target. What does this man do when he isn't hooking up his ex-company with multi-billion no-bid contracts or swearing at members of congress? Oh, I know. He is accusing Kerry of supporting military cuts that he, himself, led the crusade against. Viz:

[1] "This is just a list of some of the programs that I've recommended termination: the V-22 Osprey, the F-14D, the Army Helicopter Improvement Program, Phoenix missile, F-15E, the Apache helicopter, the M1 tank, et cetera." - Dick Cheney before the Senate Appropriations Committee

[2] Cheney cut 9 of original 25 Aegis ships planned, putting shipyard in jeopardy [States News Service, 8/14/90; Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/24/90]

[3] Bush-Cheney Budget Terminated The Bradley. "Major weapons killed include the Army's M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Navy's Trident submarine and F-14 aircraft, and the Air Force's F-16 airplane. Cheney decided the military already has enough of these weapons." [Boston Globe, 2/5/91]

[4] Cheney Terminates The Black Hawk. "The Pentagon’s internal budget deliberations recommended termination of the Black Hawk program under Secretary Cheney." [Aerospace Daily, 5/15/90]

This is a very small sample. I could actually go on for a few pages of these quotes.

So am I ranting? F*ck YEAH.

Even with all this evidence to suggest that this so-called "leader" is a disaster, we chose him anyway. So I can no longer hold Bush solely responsible for the state we're in.

America, this is your leader, your responsibility and your cross to bear. We have told the entire world that this is a person who believes what we believe and values the same things we value. I can no longer tell myself that it's our government that these terrorists hate. No, they hate us. And they now know that what they hate is not some bananna republic dictator whose own people don't want him there. Yesterday fully legitimized Bush.

padraiceen writes:
If people keep saying things like this, we'll just have the same hateful ideological gulf that we had these past few years. Now, THAT is something I don't want a child to experience. Palpable ideological hatred is a terrible thing. ... I just don't see such a grim picture as you on pretty much all of the issues you mentioned below.

Much has been made about how Bush is the first president to be elected with greater than 50% of the popular vote and one reporter on television just said that this was a "great battle." No it wasn't.

What we just witnessed is a fracturing of the American psyche. "You're either with us or you're against us," isn't that what Bush said? If this isn't an "ideological gulf," what is?

If "hatred" isn't saying that anyone who disagrees with you is morally equivalent to mass murderers, what is?

In 2004 America, there is no room for "flip flopping" (some might call it "recognizing when you're wrong") or having a moderate stance on anything. Moderation is seen as wishy-washy when any senior citizen will tell you that wisdom is knowing that there are two sides to everything and the surest sign of maturity is backing down when the facts turn out to be other than you anticipated.

Equvocation is the very antithesis of fundamentalism. And what is Bush's core constituency if not fundamentalists?

Show me some moderation, some compromise in the neo-conservative agenda.

My daughter is ten years old. Her mother is gay and Rebekah lives with both her mother and her mother's girlfriend. All three are supporters of Bush. I've brought up Bush's position on gay marriage. I get dead silence in return. Why? Because to be pro-gay marriage is to be anti-Bush. And to be anti-Bush is to be pro-Osama.

If that doesn't go against the grain of everything American, I don't know what does. Wait, let me back up. It is very American, apparently. Just another mental stop-gap between what we're taught this country stands for and cold, hard reality.

If we're so hell-bent on giving Afghanistan and Iraq a democracy, why didn't we just give them a copy of ours? Hell, we can give them the original. We don't seem to have much use for it these days.

It's amusing to watch people who got their knickers all in a bunch over Clinton's dry cleaner bill argue that listing the names of the dead American soldiers on television would be "unpatrotic." What is more patriotic than acknowledging the biggest sacrifice a person can give to their country?

So to answer your question about whether I can be constructive about it ...I guess I have to turn the question back to you; what is there to be constructive about? If the next four years will be more of what we've just seen, what can I look forward to?

padraiceen writes:
If it's about abortion rights in general, there is no way Roe v. Wade would be overturned. It would be political suicide for the entire party.

Overturning Roe v. Wade is literally the holy grail of the Bush's base constituency. I do think that it would be political suicide and I don't think they could accomplish it. But I do know that it can be made into an issue large enough to seize up any other meaningful political discourse for a few years.

The looming threat of your reproductive rights being taken away isn't so far removed from actually doing it. The definition of "terrorism" is both the threat and application of a catastrophic event. If you grant that we are polarized as a country right now, the next four years of unfettered neocon control of all levels of government are going to make this much, much worse.

To argue otherwise is to make the tacit argument that the Republicans have gained even more control in this election and, somehow, they're going to become more moderate in response? No. This is Bush's first experience with legitimacy. This is a mandate from the United States. A friend of mine argues that Bush doesn't speak for all of us. Unfortunately, given the way our laws are structured, yes he does.

padraiceen writes:
It's kind of alarming how the implication is that you're ashamed that people exercised their rights to vote the way their personal ideologies said they should, because you disagree with their choices.

You're framing her position in a way that distorts the situation. We, as a country, must elect one person to be our leader. Half the country doesn't get Bush while the other half gets Kerry. So in selecting Bush as a leader, we are saying "Our system of government affords us a method to select our leader. The leader that we and our system have arrived at is Bush." So far I think we can agree.

Some of us perceive Bush's four years in office as a literally non-stop litany of failures. That people selected Bush makes us conclude one of three things: (a) We're wrong about Bush failures, (b) people selected Bush despite the failures or (c) our system is broken. I can't speak for Dolly, but I'm going with option B.

I'm going with option B because -- and please understand it's hard for me to keep this rant down to a few sentences -- Americans don't seem to have even a small grasp of the facts. Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program...

• 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%).

• Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program.

• 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.

• 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found.

• Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission.

So I don't think the situation is quite as you've phrased it. It's not a matter of being ashamed that people used their right to vote, it's being ashamed that Americans don't seem to be disturbed that all of their "news" comes in from sources that have a financial interest in them not knowing certain things. Further, Americans don't seem to have an interest in reading the facts when it's laid out for them in a report signed by their own government.

That's not embarrassing. That's disgusting.

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged from the long task now finished, asked him directly: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic if you can keep it" responded Franklin.

padraiceen writes:
I may disagree with people about things, but I can't be ashamed of them for thinking something, really - that's their right. That doesn't gel with tolerance in my mind.

Intolerance is saying Americans cannot choose Bush as a president. It's perfectly within the bounds of "tolerance" to say you think it was a bad idea. If intolerance is saying "you shouldn't think a certain way," isn't your statement intolerant?

Isn't a constitutional ban on gay marriage "intolerant?"

Further, you must feel that the fathers of this country were awfully intolerant folks! After all, about a third of the population of the colonies were pro-Britain, a third were pro-insurrection and a third didn't care. And that 1/3rd minority created this country anyway. Not only did they say that staying a colony was a bad idea, they refused to accept it, regardless of it's "legality."

padraiceen writes:
But again, abortion is effectively a states' rights issue as it currently stands, if memory serves.

Negative. Roe v. Wade effectively made a state's right to oppose abortion illegal. Overturning Roe v. Wade would make this a state-by-state issue again.

padraiceen writes:
Massachusetts has no chance of ever criminalizing abortions, and I hope you can at least take some comfort in that.

It would be comforting if all I was concerned about was my own rights.

padraiceen writes:
[to Dolly] I hope I'm not trivializing your fears or anything, because that's the last thing I'd want to do.

Clearly you and I see a Bush agenda in an entirely different light. I'm not sure that I'd call your comments "trivializing" (I think you've been pretty polite, which, as I've said, is UNBELIEVABLY rare for such a topic). But I do think that your perception of what we have just done as a collective, as a country, is very much at odds with the facts. Not opinions, facts. Here I'm talking about the 9/11 Commission report, the Duelfer report, etc.

Put another way, let's assume that you're the passenger of a car. At some point you realize that the person behind the wheel is intoxicated and your arms are pinned down. Initially, the driver drifts over the yellow line but then recovers. Then over a curb, clipping a jogger and heading directly toward a house.

This is how those who don't trust Bush to either be sane, wise or even put the needs of Americans before those of his financial backers view the current state of this country. One might view your comments as a person sitting in the back seat saying, "you're making too big a fuss over this." We wouldn't call it "trivializing." We'd call it psychotic.

[again, that isn't an attack against you, I'm just trying to paint a picture for you, so you can spend a few seconds inside of our heads and see it the way we see it.]

padraiceen writes:
I don't know. I just have this bizarre hope that people will express their opinions about the election, and when it's all done, will put it behind them and come together, rather than pulling farther apart like last time.

The last four years have been a never-ending train of deceptions and inability to say "we made a mistake." EVER.

How the heck can I get behind that? Why would I want to?

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Would you expect the neocons and religious right to "come together" and support liberalized sex education that covered topics other than abstinance if Kerry had won? No. We don't lose our moral compass because Bush won.

padraiceen writes:
And this goes for the people on the right, too. If they start acting smug about it, I'm going to say the same goddamned thing to them. I'm tired of the partisanship on each side. It doesn't help anything, and it hurts the people who would much rather just work on patching things up.

Bush's election is a full-on endorsement of partisanship.

Regards,
bodhi
I just think it's amusing that D.C.'s vote margin was 90%:9% in favor of John Kerry over George Bush - the highest margin in the country. "Want to know the real character of someone? Don't ask the guy four states away; ask the guy who lives down the street from him."

     - A friend of mine who works as a technial aide in the Supreme Court

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Right now my stomach is in a kind of loose knot.

Earlier in the day, while walking in the night rain, I had my first-ever sort of mild panic attack. The kind of feeling you get when you hydroplane. That first second. Passed almost immediately. But everything in my body said "get out of this country."

And not in that intellectual sort of "this country blows, let's take a stand" kind of way.

It was more like "you have ten seconds to leave before it blows up."

Monday, November 01, 2004

So ...Vermin Supreme just came into my store. That just made my whole week.

I asked him what he thought was going to happen tomorrow. "Well, I don't think I'm going to win."

I asked him what his platform was.

"Manditory teeth-brushing."
"Seriously?"
"And if elected, I will fund time travel, go back in time and kill Hitler."
"Ok, so you're tough on terror."
"Yes, definitely."

I then helped him with what he came in for.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Just some minor editing rants.

CBSNews.com:
"...may also bring to bare [sic] questions..."

CBSNews.com:
"...bin Laden and al Qaeda have always payed [sic] very close attention..."

C'mon, copy editors. Drink some coffee. Only three days left. Chop chop. Get with it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I have the bestest ex girlfriend on the planet, bar none.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The visit with my daughter went well. It was expensive. Only one bad point (wouldn't listen to me but I didn't need to push the point, either, so I think I owe her an apology).

The ride home was drizzly and annoying thanks to the wiper that stutter-shreeked across the glass. At one point I asked Chris if he spent a lot of time wondering how to change the world. He paused. "No," he said, "I spend a lot of time wondering how to not let the world change me."

Watched innings 4-8 of the second Sox game at a pizza parlor across the street from North Station. Three local guys created a scene straight out of Good Will Hunting. The word "juncture" was even used at one point which damn near caused me to snarf a slice of pepperoni.

A few minutes before my train was due to leave I headed back and found two guys bucketdrumming and asked one if either had seen Chris Little or Larry Wright. He said he'd not seen either in about two years. Oh well.

Inside the station I announced the 6-2 Sox in the ninth about as often as I suspected that people where I was standing couldn't hear my last announcement. Seems like everyone and their grandmother is a Sox fan these days. I'd complain but I'd be a hypocrite.

Listened to Radiohead's Kid A the entire way back, which amounted to about five or six times around. Rainy weather and commuter rails suits it just fine.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

And here is a message to all those Republican women out there who feel that embryos are precious lives that shouldn't be destroyed in stem cell research: feel free to go ahead and implant one.

Put your uterus where your mouth is. It is your duty to have these children lest they become unstable and die.

So really, life begins when you're just thinking about fucking someone.

Which is how Republicans like it. The last time Democrats took semen this seriously it was Monica and her dry cleaner.


    - Bill Maher, tonight, as verbatim as I could manage
So it's post-game and Chris and I are kind of just looking for something to do, we settle on Saturday Night Live. A few weird skits then Ashlee Simpson comes on for the live act. I kind of grumble to myself and fondle the remote but I already know that there isn't anything else on. What the hell, I'll watch Ashlee Simpson.

The song starts, she's doing this stupid dance ...and then her vocals begin.

Her mouth is nowhere near the mic, her lips aren't moving and she is still doing that whole "dancing my way up to the mic" part of the song.

I'm not kidding.

Completely busted.

She half laughs, half continues dancing and eventually makes her way off the stage, completely embarrased and doesn't return when she actually should have started faking it.

Really glad I didn't change the channel.

In fact I feel really dirty blogging about Ashlee Simpson. Big apologies upfront for being an elitist but music doesn't get any more banal and soulless than this.

On an entirely different issue, assuming Ella didn't strangle anyone with their own spinal cord, she is officially in the Guinness Book of World Records for most consecutive Rocky Horror Picture Shows in a row (13).

Congrats, gorgeous. =)

PS: Ashlee just did the closing credits for SNL and she claimed that her band started playing the wrong song. ... How that explains her voice is beyond me. Perhaps she figures she can take advantage of the mean IQ of her demographic.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Conversation with co-worker 30 seconds ago.

"That ain't right."
"Why isn't it right?"
"That ain't right."
"Why isn't that right?"
"That's wrong."
"Why is that wrong?"
"Because that just ain't right."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

For the life of me, I can't understand what makes a person with money think they can treat someone else like shit.

This 60-ish year-old cunt comes in to return a coaxial cable. Box is open, bits of chocolate and cat hair on it, the part of the box that identifies the cable is missing and the receipt is split in two and oblierated. All I do is squint at the receipt to try and make out the stock number so I can return the right thing and she intones, "Oh, they told me [really shrill, mocking voice] 'You won't have any problem returning this if it's wrong.'"

Then she gives me a huge amount of attitude when she mumbles her last name from across the room when I'm typing up the return like I'm an idiot for not understanding her. THEN she starts talking about how Rockport has a tornado warning. I ignore her. She then intones "...but you don't care, do you?" in a spectacularly sarcastic tone.

No lady, at this point I could give two shits if you tell me you were going to buy 4 cellphones and I just missed $100 in commission. Fuck you, fuck your coastal address, I hope some roving band of kidney thieves light your eyebrows on fire and while it's happening a giraffe skull fucks you.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

[ignites lighter, nearly singes eyebrows off]
"..."
"let's try that again..."
[ella breaks]
"Here. Take these, Pricilla."
"What are they Elvis?"
"They're like vitamins but ...uh ...better."

- me

"Did he really say that??" - Ella

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"By now you will have probably realized what a raging cunt your mother is." - Ella

"Do people even know that there are other avenues of though? I mean, I've always figured (without realizing I'd actually made such a "figure") that everyone had at their disposal all avenues of reason. They just "chose" differently in their conclusions based upon their point of view. Well what if most people don't actually comprehend a choice to be decided. Much like those mass murderers that you hear about whose mothers swore up and down they were saints." - Me

"Wave of babies." - Ella [ouch]

"Ever notice your tongue is too big for your mouth?" - Ella

"Kindergarten, no more stage fright." - Ella

"Dude, you look just like Liv Tyler!" - Ella
In the last few weeks there has been a spate of alcohol-related deaths on campuses in America. Nobody credible is asking for a ban on alcohol. This makes sense because it won't work -- we've already tried it.

Nobody has ever died from marijuana. The idea that is a "gateway drug" has been seriously questioned. And what, alcohol isn't?

So why is it illegal again?

"Prohibition ... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." - Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Prediction: Nader backs out of race a few days before Nov 2nd in exchange for a prominent (maybe even veep) position when Kerry re-runs in 2008.
"Ok, so what if I do calculus for weed?"

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Crybaby overbite narwal.

What the HELL is that all about?!?
You've probably heard the joke observation that a full half of Americans are of below-average intelligence.

I then realized that Bush has the support of almost exactly half of the United States populace.

This is all beginning to make sense.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Ella just gave gum to her cat.

Her cat ate it.

I'm not making this up.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

I know this is way late, but really worth pointing out.

During the Kerry/Bush debate, Bush was defending his Iraq war when he said:

"...the enemy attacked us, Jim, and I have a solemn duty to protect the American people, to do everything I can to protect us."

What universe does this man live in that he is still trying to not only link Saddam with Osama but he actually claims, outright, that it was Saddam that attacked us on 9/11?

Saddam Hussein has never attacked the United States. Ever.

How is even 1% of the U.S. considering voting for this egotistical lying maniac?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Watched the debate last night.

I think Kerry did spectacularly. He effectively countered the idea that he is a "flip-flopper" on issues and simply acknowledged that while he did support Bush in the war vs. terror, Bush mishandled that trust and it is there that he does not support Bush, which is no flip-flop at all. He was commanding, calm and definitely looked like he could step up to the task.

There was only one "knockout punch" that I could see, however. When faced with Bush's mantra of "I'm certain I'm right," Kerry retorted in a calm, almost fatherly tone that you can be certain and yet be wrong. I think this will strike a chord in those that are undecided, that certainty does not equal veracity. Stir that certainty in with a religious worldview and what you have is a lunatic at the helm.

Bush, on the other hand, looked like he was going to launch into a tantrum on a few occasions. I was half expecting him to grip the podium, lean waaaay over and start screeching "THEY'LL COME FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND MURDER YOU IN YOUR SLEEP IF YOU DON'T ELECT ME, DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?!" At some points he seemed to be utterly inarticulate and at others he seemed to completely lose his train of thought.

Further, he sounded like a broken record. After Kerry had seriously unraveled the idea that he initially supported the war then opposed it, Bush kept repeating the same mantra. It's almost like he was trained to hammer that specific message home and had no ability to shift his tactics once the accusation was explained away in a manner that I think most people can understand. "I trusted you, as Commander in Chief, to do everything in your power to make us safe. You failed."

Post-debate polls seem to indicate that Kerry won by all counts but not by a huge margin. Me, I'm just glad that the pollsters tend to concentrate on "likely voters." That is to say people who have voted before. I'm willing to bet that we see record or near-record turnouts on Nov 2nd.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Ruby, one of the house cats, has taken to shacking up in my room when Ella isn't around.

Right now she's on my bed right in the middle of a clean towel. She is alternating between flicking her tail, chasing it, leaping into the air, tackling her own hind leg then deciding it needs to be cleaned.

Ah, the endless imagination of cats.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Mother: We couldn't get the remote control car to work.
Me: Oh, just bring it in, we can take a look at it.
Child: How can you bring it back to Radio Shack if Santa brought it, mom?
Mother: ...
Me: Oh ...uh ...Santa has a commercial account with us. He's gotten so busy lately he does a lot of outsourcing.
Child: Oh, ok.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I was listening to an MP3 of George Carlin's "Kickin' it in NY" show. In one part he talks about homelessness (which he re-casts as "houselessness" since a "home" is an abstract idea). He laments that if the "greedy cocksuckers" businessmen (his term, not mine) could find a way to make a buck off the so-called "war" then we'd see the streets clear up "pretty goddamn quick."

You may have heard of "Good Samaritan Laws." In short, these refer to a type of statute (found in the U.S., Canada, etc.) that does two things; compel people to give aid to those in need and proect people who give that aid from lawsuits (within reason).

Today I was reading about the 1,000-2,000+ dead in Haiti after Tropical Storm Jeanne. Local infrastructre has been utterly overwhelmed. Thousands have swamped the only aid center but only one doctor is on duty. The police are crippled because their only vehicle was not working and they've resorted to placing barbed wire around the station so they don't get killed by the twenty inmates that escaped during the storm.

Isn't this solvable if someone wanted to, really? What would it take? Five million? Eight million?

Why are there no such laws that govern the actions of countries in such situations, similarly compelling them to do what is in their power to help those in critical danger?

Just a thought.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A decent amount of pain in my right leg sent me to the hospital two days ago. Yep, I have another blood clot. DVT. w00t. *sigh

I'm on coumadin (the active ingredient in rat poison, a blood thinner). Taking four days off from work to stay off it. The concern is not so much the pain from the inflamation but the possibility of part of the clot breaking off, traveling to the lungs and causing an embolism.

So if you don't see any more entries here, you know why. =)

Friday, September 03, 2004

I went into an Army-Navy surplus store this week. Out of curiosity I asked the manager/owner about the polticial leanings of the people who purchased stuff. I asked about Kerry's Vietnam service and the Swift Boat allegations and about Bush's Vietnam dodgings. The guy behind the counter felt that the anti-Kerry material was damning and shrugged off the draft-dodging of Bush. I didn't argue with him. In fact it was kind of clear he couldn't figure out what my position was and was a little uncomfortable about committing himself without that information. But again, I was just there to listen, not to debate. I figured he would have a unique perspective given his clientele.

Why do people have a seemingly bottomless capacity to get all fired up about something when it's the Other Guy who is doing the Wrong Thing, yet a seemingly bottomless capacity to go through the most extreme contortions to pretend that the facts simply aren't there when it's Their Guy? Why can't people just call bullshit "bullshit" when they see it? This trait seriously makes me lose hope for humanity in general.

Back to my extremely dense Alan Watts stuff...

Thursday, September 02, 2004

News does one of two things these days; either it does straight, non-critical reportage or it leans dramatically to either one side or the other. The result being that you either watch partisan news that tells you what you want to hear (Fox News, IndyMedia) or you listen to something that simply echoes the bullshit.

NEVER have I been so disgusted with American politics as I am right this moment. The GOP holding it's convention later than ever in its history and in a town it has never held it's convention in before? Bush wrapping himself in 9/11 is disgusting.

Just the other day he told a reporter that he didn't believe the war on terror was winnable. HELLO? Ever hear of Orwell? IS ANYBODY FUCKING LISTENING?

I'd like to take some comfort in the idea that there is a breaking point, a line which the American people would not allow to be crossed, but we all get our information from the same three sources, ultimately. Is it any wonder we all have the same opinions? Sure, we're free, but that's because we're all drinking the same Cool Aid.

Remember when Clinton fucked Monica? Remember Rush saying repeatedly about how "character matter[s]?" Bush lied in '94 when he said his father didn't get him into the Texas Air National Guard. In fact he was pushed ahead of several hundred men while having the worst possible score without flunking outright. We know this because the guy who pulled the strings just admitted it. I guess it doesn't matter when the guy is a Republican.

To one half of this country I say "fuck you, you can have him. Enjoy." To the other half I say "enjoy your goddamn television."

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican
by Donna L. Lavins and Sheldon Cotler

Joe gets up at 6:00 AM to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot with good, clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan. Because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast -- bacon and eggs this day. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower, reaching for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount that is contains because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and the breakdown of its contents. Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree-hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer meets these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get worker's compensation or an unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should loose his home to temporary misfortune.

It's noon time. Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification (those rural Republican's would still be sitting in the dark).

Joe is happy to see his dad, who is now retired. Joe's dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to. After his visit with dad, Joe gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show. The host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees, "We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives. After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

In the years to come, Joe's life will change dramatically. The U.S. dollar will be devalued as a result of our huge deficit, our living standards demolished, our standing with the world diminished and our social security gone...all because some conservative republican made sure he could take care of himself and his buddies.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I've had the most elusive cold ever this past week. Long story short, started in the throat (spent a day there), then moved to the lungs (spent a day there) then decided to camp in my head. It's only enough to needle me, remind me occasionally that it's there, but not actually lay me up. I've been eating super-conservatively, sleeping until I can't sleeps no more.

Hope it leaves soon.

Anyway, what the FUCK is this?:

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/08/29/174220

Breakdown:

  • Man creates bike that will accept messages from the internet (he screens them).
  • This bike will then spray water-soluble chalk unto the sidewalk (think; skywriting dots but on the ground).
  • This chalk takes about two weeks to go away naturally (wind, rain) but about two minutes by hose.
  • He was arrested while doing an interview with MSNBC in NYC at the RNC.

    FOR WHAT??

    Microsoft had a campaign a few years back where they sprayed chalk butterflies on the sidewalk and were simply cited and told to remove them. And you know how all those kids spraying non-political messages (read; hopscotch) are being busted left and right.

    I can't decide if this is affirmation that everything is fucked or a call to arms.

    Anyway, I think I have my head back. I've been feeling really ...uh ..."un-me" lately. And not even "someone else," just "not anyone." Lump-ish. Today I woke up feeling quite ...motivated? Hm...
  • Saturday, August 28, 2004

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Saturday, August 07, 2004

    Guess what time it is kids? That's right, it's happy fun review time! So get yourself a nice, steaming cup of STFU, ecoute et repete!

    Knights of the Old Republic
    "Best franchise game so far." "Amazing." "Game of the Year material." Please. This isn't the second coming of Christ. This isn't even Phoebe Cates finally showing up at your door buck naked like you've been asking Santa for since you were eleven. This is your standard run-around-and-solve-simple-"find-stuff-quests" and menu-fight RPG. If that's your thing, great. If it isn't, don't think this game is anything but a (admittedly well-done) RPG.

    The Day After Tomorrow
    All movies, at their most fundamental, can be judged on one criteria; whether or not you care about what happens for the duration. Acting, script, direction -- all just subsets of this one core rule. in that single regard I can say the movie delivered. Hokey, yes. Overblown, yes. But I was rooting for the alive people to stay that way and that, to me, is worth approx. two hours of my life. Barely.

    ----

    I am a scant 2-4 weeks away from paying all the moving violation fines that stand between me and a license I haven't had in ten (yes, count 'em, ten) years.

    w00t for me.

    </long rant redacted>

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    I think I've finally found a band that I don't just enjoy (Boston) or get my head around (Bran Van 3000) or appreciate (Oakenfold) but I fucking downright love.

    The most music-centric people I know personally are goths. Yeah, yeah, scowl if you want to but I know at least three people who truly, seriously treat the scene like it's an honest-to-god in-the-bones sort of phenomena. And while I generally can't stand the genre I do appreciate that kind of connection. When I listen to damn near anything by Radiohead (excepting Creep which I find, at best, darned good) I have this feeling at the pit of my gut. It's the same feeling I get when I wake up next to Ella, though that's not the reason I'm writing this [grin].

    I think Bjork said something along the lines of "music needs to be something that you feel you have to get out of your head or else you'll die." I'm beginning to have that feeling and I'm afraid that I'll fail.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Looooving yewwwwww
    is easy 'cuz you're beautiful
    do be do do do dooooooooo
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh!

    I have that song in my head.

    Make. It. Stop.

    Damn you Minnie Ripperton. Damn you straight to hell.

    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    So here I am, jaw all on the floor like Tommy and Pamela just walked through the door. Only it's Radiohead doing "Paranoid Android" live and I've never wanted to learn the guitar so damned much.

    Karma is that which we are here to do. So sayeth Ram-Kendra from the last Matrix installment. Is that what I am here to do?

    Does one always "just know" when they're striving against it?

    Thursday, July 29, 2004

    I've got bits and pieces of this assassin-of-youth television cum spoken word rant rattling around in my head. I ought to commit it to paper, I really should. I guess I'm afraid of writer's block, not being able to finish the job, that I'll get painted into a corner and uninspired halfway through.

    Got out of the house today. Sorely needed. Spent time with Ella which is always time well-spent. Now I'm considering watching Kerry's speech. I'm torn between my desire to see Anyone But Bush win and my stomach turning from watching a politician say precisely what he thinks I want to hear.

    Laundry should wash itself. Someday it will. But not this day.

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    Today was a good kind of hellish. Woke -- five minutes before my shift starts -- did the work thing for a few hours, went swimming in a quarry for a good hour and exhausted the sh*t out of myself and then went back to work. For the first time ever we got hammered and I didn't screw up. Hell, it was kind of easy.

    So I have the "must swim" itch now. Gotta admit, the quarry was nice. No muck that I normally associate with fresh water. Even got spec'd out by a family of large mouth bass.

    I lead an exciting goddamn life, I tell you.

    Oh, this is an interesting quote! Ed Gillespie, Republican National Committee Chariman, called the democratic party "a very angry, bitter, harsh party." And apparently they're going to be monitoring the internet for anything they don't like. So Ed, here's something to pass the time:

    OVER 900 AMERICANS (god knows the Iraqis don't count) ARE DEAD BECAUSE OF YOUR LYING, STEALING, ASSHOLE OF AN UN-ELECTED CRACKHEAD PRESIDENT.

    And that's just where I begin.

    Oops. Almost forgot about how we turned the entire world's post-9/11 goodwill into pure hatred. Guess you just kind of fucked up the intel on Iraq's connection to al Queda, Iraq's connection to Niger, Iraq's interest in aluminum tubes, Iraq's theoretical mobile weapon labs and Iraq's defectors. Gosh, so many honest blunders!

    And turning Clinton's 236 billion ($236,000,000,000.00) surpluss into a record-destroying $477 billion deficit. Quite a feat. Can't forget that. Wait, I thought it was the democrats that liked to spend... Don't you have the White House, the senate and the house?

    Jeeze, almost forgot about how the government can now find out what books I read without any judicial oversight! Thanks George!

    Last but surely not least, the Bush administration's willingness to attempt a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Shucks. I was always taught that the conservatives wanted to intrude on your life less.

    Ed, I'm sure you're convinced that there is no connection between the Bush clan being an oil family with HUGE ties to the oil industry and Iraq being the second largest untapped oil supply in the world. And I'm just as sure your conscience tells you Cheney and his close, personal friend Ken Lay were chatting about argyle patterns on all those private and confidential White House visits and not, say, energy policy. That would explain why Cheney won't release the records of the visits, right?

    Tell you what, Ed (and I pray to god you read this); Die a slow, lingering death. You are a lying, worthless, piece-of-shit Republican shill. Eat shit. EAT MY SHIT.

    Angry? ... Well, maybe a little...

    The difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is dirt simple. Liberals tend to understand that a range of opinions are not only desirable but a fundamental part of the democratic process.

    Monday, July 19, 2004

    The best sign alteration ever.
    I would give anything for someone to talk to right now.

    Saturday, July 17, 2004

    It's funny how a few simple words can put everything into place. I woke up this morning with a clarity I haven't had in years.

    For those of you internet-media-challenged (and you know who you are), here is a snip:

    there's nothing that's made
    that can't be improved upon
    there is nothing that is made
    that can't be moved upon
    you put a brick wall though
    a field of clover
    I used to go through
    now I just go over
    you can't stop the movement
    you just change the moves
    everybody that's living
    got something to prove
    got something to lose
    and if you don't
    you're dead
    the movement of daily life is choreographed
    by the music in our heads
    it's our hearts, beating
    it's our lungs, breathing
    it's the frustration
    the irritation, elation, the confusion
    in our brains
    it's the heartache
    the winter summer joy pain
    it is the blood, guts and glory
    it is the same old story
    and if you really want to live
    well then it all just *goes*

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    I remember the tingle that went through me the instant I first realized that she liked me back.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."

         - Harry Anslinger, U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics, testifying to Congress on why marijuana should be made illegal, 1937. (Marijuana Tax Act, signed Aug. 2, 1937; effective Oct. 1, 1937.)

    Saturday, July 03, 2004

    I have to get this out of the way. Wrong. Just ...wrong.

    Monday, June 28, 2004

    Tonight I have officially begun something I've wanted to do for ...many years; begin work on an album. Techno, of course, though my style is a bit more organic. W00T!

    Sunday, June 27, 2004

    The last three days have been ...enlightening. =)

    Monday, June 21, 2004

    Normally I wake up with Ella being the first thing on my mind. I wasn't lying when I told her that. Unfortunately, it still is. The last three nights I've kind of drifted awake, content and rested, and it hits me; She's gone.

    It's like having a wallet full of money. If you have it, you don't have to buy anything to justify it. It's just there. You could if you wanted. I'm used to the idea of being able to hug her or kiss her or sleep next to her if I wanted. Now it's gone. And when I wake up and realize this my stomach grinds into a small knot.

    Sunday, June 20, 2004

    I'm on the no appetite/just lost girlfriend diet. The scale reads 205. I can't even remember when I've been that light. Might as well go for 180. Considering going vegetarian.

    So yeah, Ella and I broke up. She isn't ready to settle down and I can't handle being anything romantic to her if we're not settled down. That, plus I have a few issues of my own, like losing sight of who I am.

    See, a year ago was kind of a low point for me. I'd been laid off from a second tech job and I was working as a technician at Dave & Busters. Normally I'd fight to get back the things I no longer had -- a good job, a license, a car. But Ella came along and she was literally the most assuring and beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I stopped caring about anything except being in her arms. And I became a fairly boring and pathetic person in the process.

    I talked to a friend tonight and she was incredibly helpful by giving me a light kick in the ass. Ella isn't ready. I'm not ready. The very best I can do right now is find myself as a person and be there for Ella when and if she needs me as a person, not a boyfriend. Maybe a time will come when we're right for each other again. Maybe not. Right now I feel like I have an incredible challenge in front of me but I also feel I'm up to it.

    At the very least she is dating a guy who appears to be somewhat worthy of her. I know I love that girl because the idea of her being with him doesn't bother me. I guess I've just been so frustrated because I want to see her happy and she hasn't been happy in a long time.

    Anyway, sorry for the hiatus. I've been extremely disoriented with the change of city, jobs, dating status and even the room I live in. I'm reading a bit, checking out jobs around Boston and getting my head screwed back on. Thanks for everyone who offered advice.

    Saturday, June 19, 2004

    A few people have expressed concern. I'm fine. Ella and I have broken up. As in permanent.

    I really don't have much more to say than that. I'll either get over it or I won't.

    Monday, May 24, 2004

    An exerpt from Andy Roony's op-ed piece yesterday:
    "One general said our guards were "untrained." Well, untrained at what? Being human beings? Did the man who chopped off Nicholas Berg's head do it because he was untrained?

    "The guards who tortured prisoners are faced with a year in prison. Well, great. A year for destroying our reputation as decent people.

    "I don't want them in prison, anyway. We shouldn't have to feed them. Take away their right to call themselves American - that's what I’d do. You aren't one of us. Get out. We don't want you. Find yourself another country or a desert island somewhere. If the order came from someone higher up, take him with you."

    Wow.

    Sunday, May 16, 2004

    I ROYALLY fucked up tonight. Sometime around 11pm the words of my manager at Discovery Channel went through my head. "See you on Saturday." Oh. Fuck. Yeah, I completely spaced a shift I was supposed to work. I was about 99% sure that this was the case before I got home and checked the schedule but that only confirmed it. Tomorrow I'm just going to have to own up to it. I hope I don't get fired but I'm more embarrased than worried. That's just not like me at all. I don't think I've ever just spaced a shift.

    Gr.

    On the other hand the GM of my company pulled me into his office, listened to my gripes and wound up giving me a raise without me even asking for one. He acknowledged that I was getting the short end of the stick in a big way and would make sure that it was corrected. It may be too little too late (I have an interview on Monday with Verizon) but at least there is someone at the very top of the totem pole confirming it all. I don't actually even know what my raise is for.

    I think I'd stay there for now if what Verizon offers isn't more than ...say, $1.50 than what I'd be making now and it would only be to see if things got corrected. If not, I think I'd take a pay cut to leave.

    The "missing my shift entirely" thing has me really, really bummed. Other than that I'm doing great but it is still pissing me off royally that I would screw up that badly. And I was just starting to make some serious headway in my bills. Who knows. Maybe they'll give me a second chance.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    Today has been just plain weird and not just a little sardonic. Maybe too good to be true. Whatever. I'll work backward...

    Tonight I play poker (Texas Fold 'Em) for roughly another three hours. I'm about to call it a night about $150 richer for my efforts when I declare "ok guys, last hand." I'm thrown 7 and 8, both spades. I figure "what the hell" and hoping for a straight somehow. The flop provides two more spades but otherwise unhelpful cards. Ok, so this is a draw flush with a small prayer, right? Fifty-fifty odds that I turn up a single spade in either the turn or the river vs. only 1/8th of an investment in a nice fat pot, right?

    I stay in. Another seven, non-suited. Bugger.

    I stay in. Another seven. I'm rocking a sevens full of eights out of nowhere. I leave with $1,935, which is +$337 up for the night. Serendipity disguised as two hole cards. *sigh

    But wait, it gets better!

    Today I realized what I Finally Want To Do With My Life. Teach English as a foreign language. And I'm way too tired right now to elaborate.

    But wait, there's more!

    Neither of my jobs have scheduled me for two consecutive days next week. Can you say "Ella and beach romp" children? I knew that you could!

    But wait, there's more!

    With two jobs I do believe my finances are beginning to see a turn for the significant better.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    I hit a cat tonight. Keep in mind this is on a bike. The thing was on the other side of a wood fence, never saw me, ran full-throttle right into my back wheel. I kept my balance, the critter shook itself off and returned about half as fast as it came from whence it came. I circled back, couldn't find it. I'm assuming it survived more-or-less ok.

    Today I happen to spot a book about playing poker. So I picked it up, started reading a few pages. After work I read a few more. Then I went online and played for about 2.75 hours. Started with $1,000, ended with $1,589.

    Now ...I'm told people play a lot more sanely (learn to check, etc) when they're playing with actual money. I can see that. But I would have just won less not ...not-won. I think I'm going to learn a bit more, practice a bit more, study some probability theory, then once I have a few bucks to rub together that isn't being put to some bill I think I'm going to join some friends in a local game. See what comes of it.

    I have very little interest in gambling. Gambling has always struck me as being a tax on people that suck at math. What fascinates me is the raw mathematics of it. To me, it's spotting stupidity when it peeks it's head up and then nailing it to the wall, which is a different thing completely. Making $600 tax-free for under three hours work sounds kind of interesting too...

    Monday, May 10, 2004

    It's a lot of fun to just sit here thinking to myself, "gee, really don't want to go to work today!," x100.

    Maybe if I think it enough ...uh ... ... ...I'll wind up just waiting until the last minute and enjoy it just about as much as ever?

    Friday, May 07, 2004

    In regard to the recent Iraq prison torture/abuse scandal, Rumsfeld said the abuse "occurred on my watch as secretary of defense. I am accountable for them and I take full responsibility."

    Well that's certainly refreshing. Would be even better if it didn't follow denial after denial until it couldn't possibly be denied one more minute. This is the first time in a long, long line of Bush's cabinet's fuckups where someone actually said "mea culpa." Remember Plame, the CIA operative who was outed because her husband blew the whistle on some of the Bush administration's reasons for going to war?

    And why does the buck always stop short of Bush? When does he finally admit that problems that happen on his watch are his to own up to?
    <div style="pandering-shithead">
    I am so goddamn happy and I have ...more-or-less very little reason to be. I think it's a combination of my vision of the future combined with Ella that makes up for everything else and goes way, way past mere happiness. Right now I'm positively estatic.
    </div>

    Matt's father, his wife and his daughter have moved in temporarily from Chile. He is actually from this area but his family is not, so there is a little culture shock. I was VERY hesitant to pick up instant coffee for him at 7-11 at his request because our coffee surely sucks compared to what they make in Chile, much less vs. our instant brands.

    The experience has turned out to be completely unobstrusive, at least from my perspective, because I'm a hermit anyway and they're all very nice. I get the sense that the father wants to get out of here ASAP. We're semi-clean but he's made it clear that while he's not criticizing us in any way, he's anxious to get to a place that is appropriate for their ages, style, etc. Really nice guy.

    Ran into an old friend from my RCN days whilst in Filenes yesterday. Nicest guy you'd ever want to meet, too. I initially forgot his first name but I remember the names of the beer he used to make. Juan Valdez Stout. Grand Poda Porter. Go figure.

    I showed the plan to an old roommate last night, we'll see what his reaction is. It isn't right for everyone all the time. Some people someday, some people never. But I think he'd rock at it. The rest is up to him. I'm showing the plan again today before work. I'm really digging this.

    My "Missing Ella" scale is beginning to pin out at around 9.8, but early next week looks promising.

    OH, AND I CLEANED THE BATHROOM SPOTLESS. Go motherfucking me!