well, i finally finished up "guns, germs, and steel" a few days back. i would say that it is a must-read for anyone going into history, and i would definitely recommend it for anyone who has an interest in the subject. i would tell you more about it, but i'm tired, and having problems typing.

next on the list is "the left hand of darkness" by ursula k. leguin, and then (it'll go well w/ my poly-sci classes this fall) "the selling of the president 1968." could be an interesting read. i think that's about it... i'm tired, and i'm going to bed. later all.


sorry about the weird angle... i had to get up on a dresser to get the whole thing in the picture.

better late than never

well, this is probably going to be way the heck to big again, but i'm going to give it a try anyways. i'm notoriously horrible at IM walkthroughs, so i have to wait till next week to learn how to change the picture sizes for this. anyways, here it is: the world.

not on a silver platter, but still pretty nice. in the little bit of time i have left before school starts i want to draw in the country lines, fringe the coastlines at least with some blue, and attempt to find some more army men... i've only got 4 full teams right now. which will work, but its always better with more players.

i lied. i'm not going to post the world here, because it's way too huge. i'll just have to do it seperate again... oh well.



let's try this again, shall we?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

i vote for this to work!

yay! thanks for the walkthrough forrest. anyways, this pic is from my friend's wedding this june. that's him on the left, me in the middle, and his twin brother on the right.


john kerry: what exactly did he volunteer for?

not viet nam, though he may have known that he was going to end up there anyways. today's federalist patriot points out that when john kerry enlisted in the navy, it was as an inactive reserve officer. knowing that the federalist has a fairly biased view of the presidential candidates, i decided to check on that for myself. lo and behold, they were right. so in that sense at least, kerry is no better than bush. neither of them wanted to go to viet nam; just because kerry ended up there doesn't make him somehow superior. if my english teacher could see that last sentence, she would flip.

kerry's medals may also be iffy, but i'm not going to attack those... i really don't know enough about them. he had to have done pretty good to even have a chance of faking them (i.e., there should be no argument that he at least did his duty, and possibly went above and beyond), so i would like to thank senator kerry--because of course he reads this--for his valiant efforts on behalf of the united states. i don't appreciate his bad-mouthing fellow soldiers when he returned, but there's really nothing i can do about that now.

check out this site for some interesting info on kerry's silver star, but be sure to check as many sources as possible before making a decision... try and get a good balanced view.

for now, i'm off to enjoy my three days off from work. hopefully i'll remember to keep this place updated. farewell.


whatever happened to open primaries?

i just got my good old absentee ballot in the mail today, and i really don't like this new system we've got going here in washington. instead of giving you all the candidates on one ballot, they're now split up onto seperate ballots by party; you choose only one ballot (and thus only one party) and vote on that. true, i was probably going to vote for all republicans anyways... but not even having the option to vote democratic on some of the positions really irks me.

for their reasoning on this new system, or to register to vote, or to check out the candidates, go to www.vote.wa.gov. to any out of state readers, i urge you to vote in your respective states. i've only tried for a few of them, but i believe you actually have to go to your state's home page (example: www.ca.gov) and link to elections stuff from there. make sure to get informed before you vote.


australia, and the new, improved europe

i'll need to go over australia again, but it's done enough for now. and i got a new blue for europe (copen blue... who knew there were so many different shades/tones/instert art term here's?) and went over that again... i think it looks much better.

and remember, everybody knows what PETA really stands for... People for the Edible Treatment of Animals. Have you eaten your daily requirement of meat today?


well, i tried

i got mainland australia and tasmania done, but couldn't finish up the rest of the continent. the purple i had was too dark, and i ran out of white to lighten it up. i should be going down to get my new glasses tomorrow, or at the very least for work on tuesday. still planning on getting asia done tomorrow... australia will just have to wait. and if anybody can think of a good place to get ahold of some plastic army men (2-3 inches high) post a comment and let me know. it's harder than it sounds.

i think i'll need to use a lighter color for the different regions, but it looks pretty good... puts europe to shame.

africa really doesn't look too shabby either. well, ok, it looks like fecal matter. but at least the quality is good.

the saga continues

south america and africa are done now, and i'm planning on doing australia after dinner. pics of that should be up around 9 or 10.


work, and freedom

alright... only got off work an hour late last night. it was my first time closing, and for some reason they had me doing it solo. i'm good, but not that good. but i talked with the manager at work this morning, and apparantly i did a really good job; apart from the whole hour late thing, that is. he said "a few more tries and you'll have it down." maybe. but i'm running out of time for those few more tries. i'm headed back to school on the 6th, and if they're really strict about joining the union, my job may be over before then. the union wants $32/month from me, plus however much the "initiation fee" is. if it's anything over $20, i'm just going to quit. i don't think i should have to pay to work. my non-union work period runs out in 5 days, so i'm just not going to say anything and see if they notice.

on the bright side, i have the next two days off. my RISK board is progressing nicely... i'm going to do south america and maybe africa tonight, australia and maybe africa tomorrow, and hopefully finish up asia on monday. then it'll be time to draw in some temporary borders and do a few different shades of the respective colors (green for asia, blue for europe, etc.) for the different regions. and paint the units. but it's been ridiculously hard to find all the little army men i'm going to need. i'm going to need about 100 more, and i'm running out of places to look. i bought up the only ones hooked on toys had at the time, and the dollar store only had huge things (about 5 or 6 inches tall... way too big for what i'm doing). hopefully i can get that all taken care of before school starts. if not, i'll have to come home for fall break and work nonstop to finish it up.

i think thats about it. if anybody has any suggestions for the board, units, or life in general, let me know.


north america

the same north america, but a different view

the sensitive candidate; and more RISK

maybe this is what kerry meant by his "more sensitive" war on terror. as crazy an idea as it is, and as much as i dislike kerry, i'd have to give him some mad props if he could pull it off.

also, see above for some more risk pics. i should have south america done after tonight; i've got sunday and monday off of work, so hopefully i'll be able to finish up a few more continents.

thin is out?

in holland, it seems that may soon be the case. over here at tongue tied, you can read about a group called "small intestines anonymous" trying to get the word 'thin' removed from the dutch dictionary, and put those "fat over-rulers" back in their place. there's also a link back to the original story; take a look, and be prepared to feel amusement and/or pity.


random stuff

fire is cool, as long as it's not on a large scale. like the "fischer fire", which nearly doubled in size over the last 24 hours, to around 11,000 acres. unfortunately i can't get a good link (you can try this one, but i'm not sure how well it will work) to the news, but here's the copy-paste version:

USA - The wind-blown Fischer fire has grown to more than 11,000 acres.

<>(AP) - Fire officials say its growth overnight is partly due to it moving into dry brush and grass in the Ollala Canyon area. The fire 20 miles northwest of Wenatchee has destroyed one home and damaged another residence and an outbuilding. No one has been injured. <>Smoke from the fire forced crews to temporarily close Highway 2, between Cashmere and Dryden.

Information officers said winds were expected to decrease Wednesday but a chance of isolated thunderstorms remained.

Sweet! that's like 40 miles from my house. the smoke up here as been pretty bad up here in waterville, and it's even worse where i work down in east wenatchee. at some points, i could barely see from one side of the columbia to the other. crazy stuff. hopefully i'll have some pictures of all the smoke and stuff up in the next day or so.

i can't remember what other random stuff i was going to put up, so here's a quote:
"The media often mention 'ultra-conservatives' but never 'ultra-liberals.' Have ultra-liberals become extinct, gotten lost, or met with foul play? We cannot ignore the fate of fellow human beings, even if we differ with them politically. At the very least, we can report them as missing persons." --Thomas Sowell



the previous post needs a correction... sort of. apparently the site i linked to with the tax information was way off, the guy didn't have his numbers straight. read forrest's comment to my last post... he sets it out pretty well, and i'm too tired/lazy to type it all out again. i don't know if his numbers are any more accurate--i haven't gone through the math myself--but he makes some good points, and his numbers make more sense. you're not going to increase tax revenue by lowering taxes; it's not like a business, where you can lower prices to attract more customers. i can't think of anyone who would suddenly get an urge to start paying taxes just because the rates were lower.

anyways... in my defense, i was up at 4 this morning for work, so i haven't exactly been at the top of my game today. check the original link, check forrest's numbers, and if you know anything about math, figure it out for yourself. taxes aren't that important to me... i still don't make enough to pay them. i just don't trust john kerry to run this country.

reminder to all 2 or 3 people who actually read this: make sure you get more news than i put up. i like to think that i'm fairly accurate, but i am definitely a biased source.

whose money is it in the first place?

like most of you, i don't like taxes. here's some interesting information for those of you voting this fall... i think it pretty much speaks for itself.

also, a recommended blog is the Lunatic Left.
good reporting, and he seems pretty objective.


Europe and Greenland

the RISK project moves on; and more random thoughts

i'm into the painting stage now... i have europe and greenland done so far. i'm done with work tomorrow at noon (but i have to start @ 5:30... *shudder), so hopefully i'll be awake enough to get a good chunk of north america done. eventually i think i'm going to go over europe in a lighter blue... it's darker than it looks in the picture. with t-minus 20 days left to work on it before school starts, i really need to get moving if i hope to have it done for fall semester.

back to the random thoughts again. i seem to have lots of those. this one involves people in france complaining about their horrible 35 hour work weeks. i decided to analyze ours. there are 168 hours in a week. a full-time employee works 40 of those, usually spread out over 5 days. according to a recent study, the average time spent commuting to a job is 26 minutes each way, for a total (assuming 5 days of work, and that you actually drive both ways) of about 4 hours and 20 minutes. this brings the total time dedicated to work to 44.33 hours/week.
next, a look at sleep. if you're lucky, you get 8 hours a night, for a total of 56 hours/week. if we subtract our work and sleep totals from the total number of hours in the week, that leaves us with 67 hours and 40 minutes of "free time" each week, or about 9 hours and 40 minutes a day.
assuming you don't actually get 8 hours of sleep each night, the missing time can be added to "free time", since you most likely won't be working.

ok... so before i confuse myself or anybody reading this any more, here are the approximate weekly totals for how time is spent:

Work: 26.3%
Sleep: 33.3%
Free: 40.2%

so really, you've got nothing to complain about.

a week for weird dreams

i'm going to blame it on getting the early shift at work... that's been throwing off my sleep schedule. this time i was at a different friend's house (only she doesn't live there anymore), and we were trying to kill her demon-possessed cat (she doesn't have a cat). we tried beating it against the wall, and that didn't work. then we tried drowning it in the sink, but as soon as it hit the water, there was a puff of smoke and it disappeared. i ran back to the other room to help her with some other possessed creature/object (not sure which), and she said "no you idiot, don't leave it alone!" i turned around, and sure enough, the cat was running out the door. at that point, the dream ended. at least i think it did... for all i know, we could still be running around somewhere in my subconscious, chasing down the cat with a shotgun or something.

and a fairly humorous quote i found, which has nothing to do with demons or cats.

"Al-Sadar [sic] may have suffered two shrapnel wounds. One more and he'll have enough purple hearts to go to Massachusetts!" --anonymous


what are you on? and where can i get some of it?

i had the weirdest dream the other night. i meant to comment on it last night, but i was too busy killing 0's and 1's, fighting off the muslim invaders trying to conquer the holy land. if you've never played "stronghold: crusader", you should; it's a pretty fun game.

anyways, back to the crazy dream. it involved myself and a friend of mine in a very intimate situation. i don't even think of her like that; we're just good friends. and in the dream, we weren't even married or dating or anything. our reasoning/excuse for our actions? "an expression of our friendship." don't ask me where that came from... that's what we said in the dream.

i think i'll leave it at that.


random thought for the day

how's this for a large spread... weaterbug, with some help from the american weather service, tells me that the low temperature for today--in mansfield, about 15 miles from my house--as 36 degrees, and the high as 103. crazy stuff.


making a better space sim

this is what freelancer could--and should--have been. the one thing that it seems to be lacking is multiplayer, but i may not have been looking hard enough for that info. being able to build and control a fleet = cool. being able to destroy space stations, and then have the AI build new ones = very cool. the story line sounds fairly cool, but i haven't played any of the games that came earlier in the series, so i'm probably not getting the full experience. i can't officially recommend it since i haven't actually played it yet, but if i have any money left after buying books this fall, i think i'm going to pick up a copy.


hodge podge

got a variety of topics for you tonight.

first off, i hate my job. we're horribly undermanned, the youngest person besides me is in their mid-30s, and they didn't train me on about half the things i should be using, which makes me much less useful than i could be. i'd like to go into more detail, but that would take too long. so i'll just leave it at "i hate my job."

second, it's nice to know that californians aren't totally crazy. today, the state supreme court decided unanimously that gavin newsom (mayor of san francisco) overstepped his authority when he issued marriage lisences to gay/lesbian couples, and decided by a 5-2 margin to nullify the 4,000 or so homosexual marriages that took place. go here for more info.

and i forgot what i was going to talk about next, so i'll just leave with the following comment. i had been planning on leaving the country if worst came to worst and kerry became president. however, due to a lack of funds, this would not actually be the case. if he does manage to get himself elected, i'll just have to borrow a line from band of brothers: "salute the rank, not the man." i wouldn't like him, but he would still be our commander-in-chief. life will go on, even if it does suck for the next four years.

i lied about leaving with that... here's an interesting tidbit i found: "For all the competing poll numbers, there is one irrefutable fact which should sober up Democrats leaving Boston. Since Republicans and Democrats began facing off in 1856, there have been 26 presidential elections. With the exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, no Democrat has won more than 50.1% of the vote in American history. Democrats can and do win national elections, but there is scant evidence they have a natural majority in a two-person race." --John Fund


and some cool quotes

these were all found in today's issue of 'the federalist' (www.federalist.com). any conservative folk out there should definitely be reading it, and any liberals reading this could probably use some news from the other side of the political spectrum.

"Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong." --John G. Diefenbaker

"A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away." --Barry Goldwater

"John Kerry was blasted in a new ad by his fellow Vietnam swift boat veterans. ... They dispute his medal-winning heroism. They say John Kerry phonied up his wounds, which if true, would mean that his dependence on ketchup is nothing new." --Argus Hamilton

and then a whole slough of jay leno stuff:

According to The Wall Street Journal, al-Qa'ida's new strategy is to destroy our financial institutions and bring the nation's big businesses and major corporations to their knees. No wait -- I'm sorry that's Ralph Nader's platform. .... A domestic centerpiece of the Republican agenda for the second Bush term is getting rid of the Internal Revenue Service. They want to do away with the IRS. Whew! So I guess they are serious about going after terrorist organizations. .... The Labor Department reported only 32,000 jobs were created last month. 32,000! The Kerrys have more servants than that! .... I'm sure you heard about this -- you know the Kerrys and the Edwards went to Wendy's the other day for lunch -- made a big deal about it. 'We're regular people going to Wendy's...' But when they got back to their bus, they secretly had a gourmet meal delivered from a nearby yacht club. So I guess there really are two Americas...and they don't like the food of the poor one. .... For the first time, John Kerry has criticized President Bush's reaction on 9/11. John Kerry said if he were reading to children at that moment he would have told them he had something important to attend to. Let me tell you something -- if John Kerry was reading to children, first he would have to wake them up. "Kids, I gotta go now...kids?!...kids?!"

alright, i think that's enough for today. later all.

the greatest moment in cable television

ok, maybe not quite that great, but it was still pretty cool. yesterday, triumph the insult comic dog made an appearance on "the o'reilly factor." it was a very humorous debate, but they actually got some good points across. i'd like to say more, but i seem to be having troubles typing... my brain and hands are functioning at different speeds.



dag, yo. and yes, i know, i stole that line from strong bad. deal with it. anyways, i thought it had been too long since i complained about something. so now i'm going to complain about having to get up at 5 tomorrow morning for work. i'm really not a morning person either... i'll be 3 hours or so into work (start at 6:30, after a 35 minute commute) before i'm actually awake enough to function normally. if the union really wanted to be useful, they could keep people from having to work before 10 am. until that day, they can go do something unmentionable to themselves.


asia is a lot smaller in person

the world is complete, version 1

the RISK continues...

here's a few pics of the last stage of the drawing. tomorrow i get to start painting... this could be interesting.

finally, a post that actually has something to do with history

well, sort of. i'm not going to go very in depth, though. this all came about during another conversation with forrest, during the course of which he directed me to this site. it was actually very entertaining; i agree that our enemies' women aren't lamenting enough, and that something needs to be done about that. although we didn't recognize most of the "signatures" at the bottom, francis fukuyama's name appeared there. he sounded like someone that we had talked about in one of my history classes, and i was write. in 1992, he wrote the book The End of History and the Last Man. while he does have a fairly interesting thesis--that "history has ended in the sense that there is no more room for large ideological battles"--i disagree with him. after my ideas about history class with dale soden, i know that there are way too many ways of looking at history, and deciding what's really important in history, that it will continue to exist for quite some time. the annales school, which originated in france in the early 1900s (i think... i'll have to check my notes for a more specific date) would be more concerned with aspects of every day life--like what people eat, or what the weather was like--than with ideological battles. and that's just one of over a dozen major views of history; there are also many smaller schools of thought and even personal views of history out there.

based on that last paragraph, i have determined that i left any writing skill i have at school, so i'm going to stop there. if you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment, or email me at menoichius@hotmail.com. i'll do my best to either answer your question, or point you in the direction of someone who actually knows what they're talking about.
almost forgot... head over here for a review of a review of fukuyama's book.


more RISK progress

dang it. if this publishes twice, it's cause my internet is freaking out. anyways, i've finished africa and australia... just need to finish the mediterranean region and northern/northeastern asia, and then its on to the painting stage.

be sure to click on the picture for a higher resolution version.


more RISK progress

well, i've finished up africa, australia, and southern asia now... just have the top-right part of the board to finish. then it's time for a base coat of paint for each continent, and then drawing in the individual regions. depending on my work schedule, i think i should have plenty of time to finish it before school starts.

oh yeah... remember to click on the picture for a higher-resolution version, otherwise it doesn't show up very well.

what i meant to say was, "no, i will not make out with you"

i remembered what i actually wanted to write last night, and it's at least slightly more important than the "fan = fanatic?" question. john kerry apparently does have a plan for iraq, and one that he thinks is better than what bush is doing. but he says he doesn't want to share it until he's safely in the white house. sounds to me like kerry is more concerned with becoming the next president than with what's good for this country. if there actually is a plan, and if he actually cares about America, he needs to share it. kerry wants to emulate jfk, but he really got it backwards; instead of asking what he can do for his country, he's asking what his country can do for him. do you really want someone like that to be president?



sort of. i remembered what i was going to post about earlier, and it wasn't as important as i thought. last night as i was going to sleep, i wondered how the word "fan" was first used to describe someone; for example, "he's a sports fan" or "i'm your biggest fan." is it just short for "fanatic", or is there something else to it?

i think... no, i guess i didn't have an idea

i had planned on writing something tonight. something fairly important. but getting up at 5:30 in the morning has a detrimental effect on my memory. so unless i remember what it is between now and when i finally crash, i'm just going to leave you--or maybe just myself--with a few funny quotes. WARNING: some of these are political in nature. if you are a john kerry supporter, you're probably in the wrong place.

John Kerry threw out the first ball before [a] Yankees-Red Sox game in Boston. In fact, Kerry asked "Where do you want me on the field? I can take any position." --Jay Leno

"It's extremely serious. He's over 300 pounds. He's like a giant beach ball." --Ralph Nader on Michael Moore

"Greece asked NATO...for a presence in Athens in case the Olympics are attacked by al-Qa'ida. Everyone's skills can be utilized. The U.S. will provide the armor, Britain the air cover, Germany the street patrol, and France the evacuation." --Argus Hamilton

"So far opinion is split on the president's plan [for Iraq]. Republicans say the outlook is Sunni, or as Democrats say, we're in deep Shiite." --Jay Leno

"Of course, I would support Bush over Kerry even if we weren't at war, because Bush is the more conservative candidate and I'm not on crack." --Jonah Goldberg

"It really gets me when the critics say I haven't done enough for the economy. I mean, look what I've done for the book publishing industry. You've heard some of the titles. 'Big Lies,' 'The Lies of George W. Bush,' 'The Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.' I'd like to tell you I've read each of these books, but that'd be a lie." --President Bush

"Oh and today John Kerry accused President Bush of catering to the rich. You know as opposed to John Kerry who just marries them". --Jay Leno

"Liberal (n.) a man with his mind open at both ends." --Colin Bowles

ok, so that was more than a few. oh well. suck it up and deal with it. hopefully you enjoyed a few of them.

building a better RISK board, part 1

hopefully the progress picture shows up below, so you'll have some idea what i'm talking about. it looks pretty light right now... maybe i'll go over the outlines in pen before i paint. or maybe not. anyways, i'm doing it on a sheet of canvas, about 5 or 6 feet tall and 8 or 9 feet wide; roughly three times the size of a normal board. i'm planning to attach a large PVC pipe to one end, so the board (sheet... whatever) can be rolled up around it, and the pieces (spray-painted plastic army men) can be stored inside. i'm hoping to have it done by the time skool starts on september 8th, so we can have a game to kick off the year. i'll add more pictures when i get some decent amounts done.


The beginnings of a better RISK board