20061230

huh.

what are the odds of this? housework can help prevent breast cancer in women. woman, bake me a pie. because i care.

20061228

(deep?) thought of the night

a woman is like a steel pillar: she can be an unbreakable support when you need her, or a heavy anchor if you try going anywhere she doesn't want you to.

20061225

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all, with a special shout out to my good buddy JC.

20061224

random thought

normally, i don't like playing games with my parents so much. i'm too competitive/focused, which means i usually end up pissed at some point. but during cranium tonight, with the combination of two thirds of a bottle of wine and my team making a huge come from behind win, times were good.

20061223

like peanut butter and jelly

my new favorite combination: J├Ągermeister and Apples to Apples. although really, you could substitute just about any alcoholic beverage for the Jager and it would still turn out well.


20061216

as if we needed more proof...

red, after some careful research, points out exactly how ridiculous the IRS is.

20061215

hooray!

i've brought another friend in the fold: kate-lynne is addicted to firefly. well, maybe not addicted. but she does "like it a lot." which is great, because it gives me an excuse to watch it again. mission accomplished.

Have you given yet?


There are still 10 days till Christmas, and Child's Play could use your help!

20061214

chalk one up for the weatherman

so, the for today predicted a 100% chance of precipitation. and precipitate it did, to the tune of about 12" of snow. and it's still precipitating, albeit much slower than it was earlier today.

hopefully i'll remember to get more pictures with some sort of reference later tonight, but here's some i took a few minutes ago:



the first was taken using the flash, and shows the left side of our front sidewalk; the second did not use a flash, and shows the right side.

this kind of weather makes driving to work quite interesting. my morning commute includes pine canyon (that link will put you about the middle of the canyon... switch to aerial image and zoom out a bit to get a better picture), which is a drop of about 2000 feet over 8 miles or so. It has its share of wrecks under the best of conditions, and right now it's completely covered in compact snow. i think the boss is already planning on everybody being late tomorrow, which is good, because we probably all will be.

20061213

castro dead?

this report is still unconfirmed, but if it proves true, it should mean some better days ahead for the people of cuba.

20061212

time for a fresh start...

20061209

from the spambox

from: Thyrza Aden
subject: Re: forbad bedpos
description: The robobar supplied our drinks. He drained his while I was just orange and white. Closed and...

20061208

that's just depressing...

sadly, this is a real article:

Condoms too big for most Indian men

Fri Dec 8, 6:40 AM ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Indian men's penises do not match international sizes and most condoms on sale in the country are too big, according to a medical study.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, the country's top health research institute, found 60 percent of men in Mumbai had penises at least 2.4 centimeters (one inch) shorter than international condom sizes, The Times of India newspaper said Friday.

For 30 percent, the gap was five centimeters (two inches), said a researcher quoted in the article headlined "Indian men don't measure up".

The institute surveyed 1,400 men visiting family planning clinics across the country to conduct the "Study on proper length and breadth specification for condoms".

The study was carried out in a bid to improve the sizing of condoms, which have a failure rate of up to 20 percent in India.

"While improper usage is one of the reasons, there is also condom slippage or tear, which is associated with the size of the condom in relation to an erect penis," said Dr Chander Puri, director of the councils National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health.

The effectiveness of condoms in India, which has a growing population of 1.1 billion, is an important issue as they have emerged as a vital safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV-AIDS.

India has the world's highest HIV-AIDS caseload, with 5.7 million people living with the illness, according to UN figures.


who knew there was an international norm for condom sizes? also, they really shouldn't have shown any of those men's faces... they'll probably never live this article down.

h/t say anything

20061202

oy

as of today, i've been sick for 8 days, which is my excuse for the light posting. started out last saturday with a nasty sinus infection, and then monday morning i woke up with infective conjunctivitis, a.k.a. pinkeye. on their own, either of those things probably just would have been annoying, but together, it really sucked. i actually ended up missing the entire week of work, putting my sick days to good use.

luckily, things seem to be clearing up now. i got some eyedrops for the pinkeye on thursday (we don't have a local doctor anymore, so one commutes up from wenatchee a few days a week... thursday happened to be the day they were in) and some antibiotics for the sinus infection yesterday, and i think they're doing their job. which is good, because the other regular teller at work is out on vacation next week, so things would really suck if i weren't able to make it in.

also, roald amundsen was the man.

20061127

because i had way too much time on my hands today

a pinkeye haiku:

Having goop drain out
Of your eyes is a very
Strange feeling, I think

poetry, or something like it

a protein wisdom haiku:

Please bring Jeff back, as
fast as you possibly can;
you are not the same.

20061123

from the spambox

we've got two of them this time around... the second is definitely my favorite, but the first isn't bad either.

from: RulesYou may
subject: No RulesYou may
description: Whos Online General Rulesyou may am not threadsyou repliesyou is edit. Or Prince Edward Island or...

from: equivalent
subject: HouseCity Experts
description: Vehicle is the British spy or. Car hours deadline blueberry or muffins warm Sugar of Sweet. Tees...

almost, but not quite

man... if she weren't way out of my league and probably already spoken for, melissa theuriau would probably be worth learning to speak french for.

diamonds: you'll be paying for them forever

with Christmas coming up, you start seeing more diamond commercials than usual. so here's my question: do women like diamonds because of the way they look, or because it shows that a man is willing to spend obscene sums of money on her?

20061122

finally!

my travel journal from my recent trip to oregon and california is finally available for your viewing pleasure.

random day

today, george washington is exactly 274 years and 9 months old. in honor of this momentous day, i would like to present the following video. it's not overly accurate, and contains some crude/foul language, but it's pretty damn funny.

or i thought so, at least.

20061121

coming soon to a blog near you

i should have my travel journal up for perusal by this weekend at the latest, and probably sooner than that. it's five pages long now, and i'm just getting started on the most eventful day. luckily, that day was also the second to the last, so there shouldn't be too much more to go.

20061120

thought of the day

actually, this one has been rolling around for awhile. i can't really connect it to anything at the moment, though i'm sure there was some sort of context when i first thought it. also, for all i know, it--or something very similar to it--could already have been thought by someone else. but until someone can show me that such is the case, i'm going to go ahead and give myself credit for it.

Thought: "To truly control any group, you must make sure that they always have something to lose. The moment the population has nothing to lose, it's all one to them whether they die of starvation, the elements, or at the hands of the police (secret or otherwise) or military. At that point, you're one motivational speaker away from a revolution, which is never a pleasant thing."

i could probably expand on that, but i seem to have writer's block at the moment. plus, there's always a chance that the credit will end up having to go to someone else, in which case any extra work would be wasted.

20061118

good question

this one is for any catholics out there; originally (at least in my experience) posed by a character in Neal Stephenson's "The Confusion."

"What if you eat it [the transubstantiated bread and wine, i.e. the body and blood of Christ] and then you got sick and threw up? When it came out, would it be Jesus's flesh and blood? Or would it de-transubstantiate on the way out, and become bread and wine again?"

20061117

well that sucks

man, it's not even 9:30 and i'm already feeling like it's time for bed.

20061115

from the spambox

from: herevia MTexpress
subject: Expensive gesture Finger trouble
description: points Of will be. Super race showed what truly meant in. Walk into stadium holding lant...

20061110

delay of game

the "journal" post i'm working on for my vacation will probably be slightly delayed, since i'm going to crackima to pick up my car tomorrow. i do plan on doing some more work on it later tonight, and will hopefully have it up reasonably soon.

amendment

i need to amend an earlier statement i made, saying that 9 out of 10 terrorists want you to vote democrat. turns out it's actually more like 11 out of 10.

this is offset somewhat by iraqi civilians, who would much rather have seen you vote republican. or, at the very least, not for those "redeploy to okinawa" type democrats.

20061109

well, that was a fun thought

so, i've already given up on flickr, and created another blogspot blog, specifically for my pictures. it can be found here.

wow

so, i'm not going to comment too much on the recent elections, but i will say that waking up wednesday morning and seeing the results was rather disheartening. i blame the republican losses on several factors:

1) the fact that the republicans were basically useless as a majority party. about the only things they really did to set themselves apart from the democrats was pass bush's tax cuts, and be generally more supportive of the war on terror.

2) they did a really good job of making themselves disliked: liberals dislike them because they're republicans, and conservatives dislike them because as time went by, they started acting like liberals, especially when it came to government spending.

3) a biased media.

4) scandals hurt a lot of republican candidates; definitely those who were involved, and quite likely several who were not. see here for more on the various scandals.

also, 9 out of 10 terrorist leaders agree: vote democrat

i'm sure there are some other reasons, but those are the first ones that came to mind for me.

20061108

triumphal return

or at least a regular return. despite wearing my "whitworth college republicans [front] i think, therefore i am a conservative [back]" shirt on a drive through berkley and while walking through san francisco, i survived my travels. i've got a few pictures up over at flickr right now, and should be adding more later.

since a full writeup of the trip would be incredibly long in blog format, i'm planning on writing out the whole thing (probalby in word) and then posting a link to that for those of you who are interested.

20061106

tales from the road, part I

i'm writing now from beautiful (but ridiculously flat) davis, california, where the weather is still in the 70's. this is not a full post, just a brief update to let both of my readers know that i'm still alive.

portland was pretty dang awesome. it rained almost the entire time, but it was great to see geanna again, and to get to meet her family and some of her friends. i'm hoping to make it back sometime next year during a nicer season, to get a true taste of the city. more on that part of the trip later... probably this coming weekend, after i've gotten home and had some time to recover.

yesterday was interesting... i thought my flight left at 1:30, but it actually left around 1:05. which, unfortunately, was right about the time i was going through security. so that wasn't a whole lot of fun. but the folks from southwest were very helpful... i got on standby for the 2:55 flight, and luckily there ended up being an opening, otherwise i would have had to sit in the airport for another two hours till the next flight. although there was a margarita bar not far from where i was sitting, so it might not have been too boring.

anyways, rachel should be getting back from class pretty quick, and then we're off to dinner, so i'm off for now. i'll try to write again, but it probably won't happen until i'm home.

20061103

new york times helping republicans?

hard to believe, isn't it? but buried deep down in an article that basically argues that bush and congressional republicans are responsible for providing iran with information on how to build a nuclear weapon, we find this interesting paragraph:

Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away. [emphasis mine]
that's right... roughly a year before we invaded iraq, saddam was quite likely a year away from having a nuclear weapon. which means that had we not invaded, we could very well be facing a nuclear iraq and/or terrorists armed with nuclear capabilities.

on sort of a side note, since when has the new york times been concerned with keeping a secret [SWIFT, phone tapping/records, CIA prisons, "harsh" interrogation, etc.]?

see here and here for more posting on this.

20061102

time to blow this popsicle stand

woohoo! time away from waterville! first it's off to portland for geanna's birthday dinner, and after a few days there i'm headed down to sacramento/davis to visit rachel; she decided that visiting her boyfriend/fiance down in honduras was more important than coming home to see me, so i guess i'll have to go to where she lives.

a quick word of warning to any others planning on traveling: according to the TSA, it's not ok to bring dynamite or hand grenades onto your flight. you know, just in case any of you were planning on taking either of those things with you. i'm not sure how i'll get by without my dynamite, but i'm sure i'll figure something out. seriously though, who the hell would try to bring that with them?

20061101

happy birthday!

to my good friend geanna.

good to see that some people still have a sense of humor

john kerry, however, is not one of those people. i'm having trouble getting the embedded video to work, but i'm sure most of you have already heard his recent comment on our troops, as well as mr. kerry's blaming the whole thing on us right-wing nutjobs.

unlike mr. kerry, however, our troops do seem to have a sense of humor. thanks to lorie byrd, we now have their response:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

20061031

winter cometh

it was 15 degrees* outside when i left for work at 7:45 this morning. it had warmed back up to a balmy 26 degrees* by the time i got home around 5:30 though, so i may still have a few days left before i need to start wearing my coat.

*all temperatures in fahrenheit

random historical fact of the day

john locke died two centuries, two years, and two days ago. or at least he would have had i remembered to post this last night, and for some reason it's not letting me backdate it. oh well.

20061029

go mike!

as the election draws ever closer, mike mcgavick, the republican challenger to incumbent democrat senator maria cantwell, has been gathering several newspaper endorsements, making it appear that he'll actually have a chance of winning this. king county is a hard obstacle for any republican to overcome, but mike has managed to get himself endorsed by several newspapers from the left/liberal side of the state, including the seattle times, the king county journal, and the bellingham herald. which, to me, means one of several things: a) they actually believe he has a good chance of winning; b) they actually think he's the better candidate; or c) they think he has no chance whatsoever of winning, and see this as an easy way to gain favor with the more conservative elements in the state and make themselves appear less partisan. or, i could be completely wrong on all of those... maybe they just pull names out of a hat, who knows?

but after reading those endorsements, as well as those from the spokesman review, the yakima herald-republic, and several others, i'm much more hopeful about his candidacy than i was a week or so ago. i just hope that if he does win, it's not close enough for the democrats to pull out their "count every vote; or, failing that, keep counting until we win" method that they used to deny dino rossi the governorship.

is it just me...

...or does it feel like it's about an hour later than it actually is?

20061026

Thor's Day I.v

Thor, fickle fellow that he is, decided that he'd rather be out smiting giants than talking with me. So unless I can convince him that talking with me is more entertaining than the sound a giant's head makes when it is crushed by Mjolnir, or come up with a whole lot of mead, the Thor's Day posts will be discontinued indefinitely.

boycott chevy!

i never planned on buying a chevy anyways, so this probably won't make much difference, but oh well.

tuesday night, during game 3 of the world series, chevy showed a commercial highlighting the positive influence of "latin americans" on America. which, in and of itself, is not a bad thing; along with crime, and typhoid, and driving wages down, latin americans have done some good north of the border. my problem came when i noticed that the commercial was in spanish. now, maybe i'm just old fashioned, but i think that anything even remotely related to the premier event of America's pastime--such as a commercial aired during the game--should be in America's national language, which, last time i checked, was ENGLISH. chevy, for all their claim to being "an American revolution," seem none too concerned with actually being American.

balancing act

i am really looking forward to my trip next weekend... partly because i'll get to see some friends i haven't seen in awhile, and partly because i won't be at home. living with my parents hasn't driven me crazy yet, but i'm definitely getting close to the point where my sanity will be more important than having money.

20061025

wrong, but funny

an example of my family's humor.

my uncle was quoted in the paper today (not sure which one, but i'm guessing either the seattle times or post-intelligencer, since he lives over there). one of his employess killed someone else and then committed suicide. my uncle's response: "I wondered why he didn't show up to work today."

i don't think it was actually intended to be funny, but it definitely made me laugh.

20061024

liberal bias?

nope, i ain't seen none of that.

fortune cookie say...

sender: changes
subject: breaks visitors. Let natures
description: Absent consider absence absence action or against without of considered in resign resign legal

on which note, has gmail been crapping out on anyone else lately? it still works for me, but half of the time i get stuck using the html view, which is barely functional.

20061022

movie review

i'm going to steal a page from jeff goldstein... sort of. i was originally planning on doing a movie review in five words or less. but instead, i think i'm going to write a "full" review (probably a paragraph or so worth of sentence fragments) and use the auto-summarize function of word to make it smaller... maybe 5%? i'll figure something out.

movie: green street hooligans
starring: claire forlani, elijah wood, and a bunch of people i didn't recognize.

or maybe not... word sucks. so here's the 5% it came up with, the rest is down below. spoilers are included, if anyone cares. also, this one includes some swearing; fair warning for those who are offended by that sort of thing.

5%:
Hatchet goes berserk and kills little brother, which pretty much ends the brawl.

Full:

Elijah wood takes the fall for his crackhead roomie at Harvard, gets kicked out and goes to visit his sister in England. Gets caught up with his sister’s husband’s little brother, who leads a soccer/football “firm” called GSE (green street elite), which is basically a gang without guns. says shit, fuck, and possibly bitch. Gets shit beat out of him. Helps beat shit out of some other people. Other firm members find out he was a journalism major—they hate journalists, and think he ratted them out to the papers. Meantime, his sisters husband found out and went to protect him; but people at the pub recognize him as the former leader of the GSE (“the major”), and he gets sucked in for a few drinks. At the same time, a member of GSE who’s fed up with wood betrays the group to a rival firm; the son of the leader (“the hatchet,” or something like that) of said rival firm was killed during a brawl w/ GSE when the major led it. The major gets stabbed in the throat with a broken bottle; pretty fucked up, but he’ll live. Little brother decides to call for a finishing match, which goes well until Claire forlani (the major’s wife) shows up and is about to get the crap kicked out of her, but little brother draws off the attackers by telling the hatchet that it’s his own damn fault his son got killed, he didn’t protect him well enough. Hatchet goes berserk and kills little brother, which pretty much ends the brawl. Wood goes back to America, gets a tape recording of former crackhead roomie confessing to being a crackhead, which he uses to get back into Harvard. The end.


opinion: i don't really like elijah wood, and it was really weird to see him swearing, but overall i'd have to say it was a good movie. don't watch it if you don't like swearing and violence, though... the major reasons it was rated R were for "brutal violence" and "pervasive language," and those are probably understatements.

20061021

yarrrgh...

because obviously, weekends aren't actually for relaxing. they're for doing more work! the local highschool's homecoming game/dance are today, and my little brothers are having their dates over here for dinner. which meant mom went on a cleaning spree. which meant i got recruited to do quite a bit of cleaning... my hands still smell like bleach.

on the bright side though, my good friend trevor and his wife ashley stopped by with their new daughter on their way to the coast. it was really good to see them again, even if it was only for an hour or so.

so, now it's back to sitting in front of my computer, and hoping that kate-lynne gets back from wenatchee at a decent time so that i can do something other than sitting in front of my computer.

20061020

junk mail wisdom

from: parents. According
subject: Scanners
description: Supreme Court ruled same am as those of private employers Youre Injured Workers insurance

20061018

great moments in literary history

from Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver:

The Dutch Ambassador rolled his eyes and tossed the waffle back over his shoulder--before it struck the ground, a stout, disconcertingly monkey-like dog sprang into the air and snatched it, and began to masticate it--literally--for the sound it made was like a homunculus squatting on the floor muttering, "masticate masticate masticate."

for a book that, for the most part, deals with semi-serious matters, like cromwell and the royal society (men like hooke, wren, and newton), it manages to have some very entertaining bits.

20061017

if only...

if only i lived in michigan, i woudl vote for mike bouchard.

20061016

quote of the day

"Reading whole books is not a bad idea." --Dr. John Yoder

20061014

bring out your dead!

well, maybe not. actually, i'm going to attempt to resurrect something that i think i did here in the past, the posting of odd subject/description lines in my gmail inbox. here's the one that most recently caught my eye (no, not in that way):

From: Blackmon Jeri
Subject: best prices for impotence drugs Harriet [ed: harriet sounds a lot like daniel, right?]
Description [the first little bit it shows after the subject]:
ED Choice, your best choice for ED drugs. Viagra 100mg - $1.56/pill Viagra SOFT - $1.89/pill

....

wait a minute, viagra soft? it was my understanding that people who used viagra were not using it to get soft, but rather the opposite. unless i completely missed something...

Tigers Win!

Magglio Ordo├▒ez just hit a walk-off 3-run homer to send the Tigers to the World Series.

20061013

when life gives you lemons, kick it in the balls

the road trip that was supposed to be happening this week is quite obviously not happening. which is somewhat disappointing--i think it would have been a good experience--but at the same time, i really hate driving, so i think i'll get over it. also, at the beginning of next month, i'll be doing the next-best thing: an air trip. it won't be quite as cool, since i won't be flying my own plane (which i don't have, and which i would probably just crash when i tried to land it anyways), and there aren't quite as many stops (portland for a few days with geanna, hopefully getting to see alyssa as well, and possibly even a detour to visit BD at multnomah, time depending; and then down to sacramento/davis to visit rachel, who i haven't seen since march, and who hasn't updated her blog in almost as long); but in terms of cost it will be about the same or a bit cheaper than the road trip, and it doesn't require me to drive for an ungodly amount of hours. i've already got all the days cleared with my assistant manager, so unless the manager decides to veto those because he really needs to go golfing (unlikely, since it'll be november, but he does enjoy his golf) or southwest somehow screws up my tickets or the planes i'm supposed to be on, i'm looking forward to what should be a very enjoyable trip in a few weeks.

20061011

quote of the day

"Nobody has accused me of having a real sophisticated vocabulary, I understand that." -- President Bush, as part of this exchange.

the ultimate tool

100th anniversary swiss army knife:

20061008

all quiet on the southern front

oh wait, that's a lie. because a teacher in oaxaca, mexico was recently hacked to death with ice picks for refusing to support a state-wide teachers' strike. just another great example of the left being tolerant, i guess.

h/t tongue tied

20061005

random historical fact of the day

the city of barcelona is named for the barca family, who were made most famous by hannibal.

Thor's Day, part I

Thus begins a (hopefully) weekly series in which the Norse god of thunder lays the smite-down on whatever it is he feels like smiting at the moment. Because let's face it, who's going to say "Nope, sorry Thor, you can't smite that"? I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

05 October 2006, somewhere outside of Bilskirnir

Me: So, Thor. Can I call you Thor?
Thor:
Me: Right, moving on. Would you like to share a little bit about yourself with our readers? Most of them have never met a Norse god before.
Thor:
Me: Alright then. Anybody who wants to know more about Thor, go here. Now that we've got all the pleasantries out of the way, let's move on to the fun part: the smiting. This week's topic is overrated bands.
Thor: Gnarls Barkley and Snow Patrol.
Me: That was quick. Why those two?
Thor: Gnarls Barkley's music is not nearly good enough to make up for such a stupid name. The first time I saw it I thought, "What the hell? Is Charles Barkley trying to start a comeback career as a rapper?"
Me: OK, I can see that. How about Snow Patrol?
Thor: Again with the stupid name. Also, their music is whiney, and it's a bad idea.
Me: I get the stupid name and the whiney music, but what about the bad idea bit?
Thor: Patrolling the snow. What a waste of time! In my day, if somebody was stupid enough to get themselves lost in the snow deserved whatever they got.
Me: I'm generally with you on stupid people getting what they deserve, but my religion frowns on letting people die.
Thor: What!? You are not a follower of Thor? Die, infidel!

[A brief scuffle ensues, which mainly involves me being thorougly bludgeoned. Before he does any permanent damage, though, I am able to explain to him that my relationship with God is not a personal insult directed at him, and that we can still be friends. He apologizes and offers me a tankard of mead, and we conclude the session.]

Me: Ow. Mjolnir really hurts!
Thor: That's the general idea.
Me: So, I'm going to go recover. And Thor is going to go find something that is not me to smite. Tune in next week, when Thor and I will talk about smiting somebody or something else.

product recommendation

i don't know how many of you ever have the urge to use sealing wax, but if you plan on buying any in the future, i recommend a place called atelier gargoyole. it's not quite as efficient as it could be--they don't have their online shopping cart up yet, so you have to order by fax, phone, or snail mail, but the folks who run it are very helpful and very friendly. they threw in a few packs of matches with my order, and even did a few sample seals--one done with matches, and one with a butane lighter--to show how different types of burning would affect one of the colors of wax i got. for now, i'm going to give them an A-... once they've got the online shopping cart available, that will move up to an A.

20061003

gneato

i found a really cool spider at work last friday, and got a few good pictures of it. not sure of the exact species, but it's some variety of argiope. it's now living (unless it's been eaten) in the hops vines in our back yard.



20061002

caption contest

sweet, i managed to pull off another honorable mention in the wizbang! weekend caption contest. here's the suit in question.

20061001

the end?

well, i finished watching firefly today, special features and all. final verdict: it's a damn good show. better, in my opinion, than some of joss whedon's earlier work. buffy, for example, was always entertaining, but not always good. i think firefly managed to be both. now that i've got a better feel for the characters, i think i need to re-watch serenity and see if i get anything more out of it. while i'm not quite to this level, i do have to say that on the whole, i am very impressed with whedon's work.

20060930

i hate you Fox

i just spent a good chunk of my day watching the first seven episodes of firefly. which, for some inexplicable reason, was cancelled by fox. they definitely lose for that.

20060927

what are the odds of that happening?

the ladies i work with at the bank often complain that it's too cold, even though we've got the temperature set at 72, which is probably warmer than it will be during the winter. anyways, for the last several weeks, i've been saying, "if you're cold, put more clothes on!" and then today, my assistant manager finally caught the absurdity of that statement. "what," she said, "are the odds of guy telling two girls to put on more clothes? you'd think he'd be cranking the heat up." and i thought to myself, you know, that's a good point. but since i only find one of them attractive, and they're both married, i'd much rather be comfortable than see some more skin.

20060926

coolest. diploma. ever.

mom found this when she was cleaning out the back of the library and brought it home. i'm not sure whether i should keep it for myself or give it to one of my english-major friends as a prank gift.

20060923

product recommendation

normally i try to avoid all things associated with coca-cola, but in this case i'm going to make an exception, and recommend vault, their new soda/energy drink. mainly because it reminds me of surge; which, along with whichever one of the root beers they make (because let's face it, root beer is hard to screw up), and that commercial with kate beckinsale (because let's face it, she's pretty awesome), is one of the few good things they've ever produced. get to it!

20060919

Talk Like a Pirate Day

yarrrrgh! sadly, i had completely forgotten about this. it's especially sad when you consider that my college mascot was a pirate.

anyways, do your part by talking like a pirate, and enjoy the following picture, which i stole from say anything:

20060918

moving up in life

alright, third place in the wizbang! weekend caption contest! that's an improvement over the honorable mention i got earlier, and a big improvement over the no mention that i usually get.

20060917

delay of game...

so, it looks like my planned road trip may have to be put off. like, maybe till next spring. i was counting on one of the local dealers having the car i wanted, so i didn't pre-order it or anything. but apparently the yaris is fairly popular, and most of the ones coming in are already sold. so, sometime in the next few weeks, i'll probably be taking care of that problem.

one advantage, though, is that i'll have saved up more money by the time the one i want comes in, so i'll have to borrow less.

also, i'm still hoping to be able to borrow my parents' car (yet again...) and make a weekend or extended weekend trip down to portland, since that area has the largest concentration of the people i was planning to see on the trip.

boo!

so, it turns out my skills are still not quite up to the task of getting haloscan set back up. they've got a new auto-install function for it, but apparently that doesn't recognize the beta version of blogger i'm using now. so if anyone has some spare time on their hands and knows more about .xml than me (which, lets face it, doesn't take a whole lot), let me know and i can send you a copy of my template and what needs to go into it.

i'll try to save the comments this time, so feel free to begin again.

20060915

word of the day

the word of the day is "Saddamists," not to be confused with "sodomists." the iraqis tend to be muslim, and muslims definitely frown on homosexuality. so i would imagine that your average Saddamist is most definitely not a sodomist.

h/t president bush (about half way though the text)

20060914

i am a huge nerd

i now own a first edition copy of "contact" by carl sagan.

20060913

great moments in television

1) mastercard used richard dean anderson (a.k.a. MacGyver) in a commercial. that was pretty much awesome.

2) the mythbusters have an M1 Garand in their arsenal. again, pretty awesome. if you ever need to blow out a deadbolt lock, that's the gun to use.

also, i haven't forgotten about fixing comments (not that it'll make a huge difference), but i think that will end up being a weekend project. last time i switched over, i had to have forrest help me get the template set up. hopefully this time either my skills will be improved or the walkthrough will be easier, or both.

20060912

yarrr...

so, i switched over to the new "beta" blogger last night, because it looks like it has some cool new functions. and i think it will. however, it required a change in my template, and i forgot yet again that the comment service i was using (haloscan) was part of my template. so i pretty much just lost all of my comments. hopefully i'll have that back up and running again soon. in the mean time, don't bother leaving comments, because they'll probably just disappear again when i do get it fixed.

20060908

we need more politicians like this

i'm half-tempted to move to north carolina just so i can vote for vernon robinson, after hearing some of his ads. my favorite is the "beverly hill-miller."

yarrr...

so, i should be up in chelan right about now, eating mexican food and drinking margaritas with the folks from work. but it looks like montezuma decided to launch a pre-emptive attack on my bowels, which pretty much hate me right now. so instead of sucking down tequila, i'm sucking down pepto-bismol, which is not nearly as much fun.

20060907

more pictures

these were both taken using the color-swap setting on the camera:




unfortunately the lighting was pretty crappy... we've been more or less surrounded by smoke from the local forest fires for the last few weeks.

more pot/kettle interaction

with elections coming up, i've heard quite a few commercials running. the two that i'll be making reference to here are both for washington state supreme court positions. the first is from the incumbent chief justice, and basically says "i've got hellas experience as a judge at three different levels of court, and my opponent has none [opponent is a lawyer]. paid for by the committee to re-elect me." i thought hey, cool... experience is good, i'll probably vote for that guy. but then i heard an opposing commercial. apparently the incumbent won't be able to serve out his full term if elected, because the washington state constitution requires judges to retire at age 75. if a judge leaves office before his term is up, a replacement is chosen by the governor. "avoid politicizing the judiciary, vote for the other guy," is the gist of the second commercial. again i think, hey, they've got a good point. i don't want the governor (who i still don't think won her election, but that's another matter) picking a new supreme court justice. but then came the "paid for by" part of the commercial... "paid for by the republican party of chelan and douglas counties." which, obviously, are not at all political. i completely agree with their commercial, but it still seems a bit funny to have a political party telling me not to politicize the judiciary.

20060902

testing the new camera

my new camera just came in yesterday, and so far i have to say i'm quite impressed. canon's image stabilization is pretty much awesome; the only blurry picture i've taken so far is of a sprinkler hard at work, and i think that was just because the camera didn't know what to focus on. here are some of my favorites:






once i get a better idea of what constitutes a "good" shot, the canon s3 IS should be able to do the rest for me.

the pot saying "f**k you" to the kettle

"A group that raises money for Democratic Congressional candidates uses a canvassing company that pays some workers submimium wage, in apparent violation of Wisconsin state law, to talk about the need to raise the federal minimum wage, Isthmus newspaper has learned."

stolen from say anything.

20060831

quote of the week

"You wanna know something? I actually like George W. Bush. In some ways, I'm the George W. Bush of hip hop - nobody likes me, but I'm still gonna run it for the next four years." -- 50 Cent

h/t say anything

20060828

things that pissed me off recently (updated)

1) unifil gives out Israeli troop positions during the recent conflict between Israel and hezbollah.


2) mexican activists and other crazy folk raise the mexican flag above an American post office.

3) national guardsman attacked on the left coast.

i'll probably be adding to this as other things pop up.

20060827

bad players

since sierra made the multiplayer version of F.E.A.R. free, i've been playing quite a bit of that. i'm average to slightly-above-average when it comes to first person shooters: rarely on the bottom 1/3 of the score list, and occasionally in the top 1/3. so it's always easy to tell when i'm playing with people who suck, because i do awesome. for example, earlier today i was playing a 3v3 team deathmatch, and my score alone was higher than the combined score of the entire other team.

20060825

thoughts

1) just ordered a new digital camera today... mainly for my road trip in october, though actually having a good camera may encourage me to take more pictures.

2) mary katherine ham is still awesome (see last post), but bethany definitely isn't hard on the eyes. the verdict: conservative chicks rule even more!

3) if you're looking for some good folk-type music, i would recommend checking out michael carlos. i had the chance to see him live a week or so back, and i was quite impressed. he's got a good voice, and is multi-talented when it comes to instruments; he played accoustic guitar, piano, eukalalie (sp?), harmonica, and the accordian. i was very tempted to buy his cd, but ended up being glad that i didn't: the two songs that i liked the best ("jerusalem" and "the piano has been drinking [not me]") weren't actually his, though he performed them quite well. also, on a semi-random side note, he's actually my friends' boss at the forest service, and his real name is carl.

4) jeff goldstein, while not nearly as attractive as mkh or bethany, does have a pretty damn good sense of humor.

20060822

conservative chicks rule

exhibits a and b: mary katherine ham

hahaha!

a birthday poem and present for everybody's friend slick willy, who just turned 60.

20060815

never assume

this is mainly about local politics, so you may not be interested.

there are currently three people (that i know of) running for douglas county sheriff, all of whom are, in one way or another, hitting up people for their votes. one sent his wife & a community member doorbelling; one left us a flyer while we were gone, with a little note that said he was sorry he missed us; and the third came himself, along with the county prosecutor. and right off the bat, he lost my vote with the following: "is your mom or dad home?" i'm 22 years old. though i don't remember doing so, i'm old enough to have voted for the guy that he's trying to replace. heck, even one of my younger brothers is old enough to vote now. but he apparently decided that my mom & dad would be the only ones voting, or in interested in hearing why we should vote for him. mom was out in the garden, and dad was watching the mariners game, but took the time to shout out "i'm voting for [other candidate's name]" before going back to the game. at which point, guy #3 left me a flyer, saying "maybe he'll change his mind." i'm not sure if he ever had my vote to begin with, but he doesn't now.

20060810

thoughts on the connecticutian primary

"nedrenaline"? isn't that some sort of performance enhancing drug? and "joementum," to me, really sounds like some sort of mind-altering drug that english majors slip into their daily starbucks.

20060807

if only...

for somebody who really doesn't like the West, mahmoud ahmadinejad seems to dress in a fairly Western fasion:


but i can't help but think that something is missing... that's it, a necktie! you know what would look really good on president psycho? a stolypin necktie. i'd send him one myself if i thought there was any chance of him putting it on...

20060806

thought of the day

so, fidel castro is reportedly recovering from his intestinal surgery now. but what if he doesn't? if i were raoul castro, as soon as fidel croaks, i put a bullet in him and claim that he was assassinated by an anti-cuban group. possibly america, but probably not; while it would be great to blame an outsider (because as much as cubans may dislike fidel, they probably dislike outsiders even more), but there's really not much that cuba can do to the US. no, i would probably blame cuban "exiles" (or whatever they're calling all those people that raft across to the US) and/or some internal group of dissidents. that would have the double benefit of taking an indirect swipe at america (bringing up the ghost of the bay of pigs) and making your citizens more suspicious of each other, which means they have less time to worry about what you're doing.

but then, i'm not overly familiar with raoul. maybe he won't need to go to those lengths to gain support, maybe he can let fidel die peacefully and everybody will just fall in line behind the new castro. discuss amongst yourselves.

20060802

that seems questionable to me

hmm... dasani water lists salt (which, they tell us, adds a negligable amount of sodium) as one of the ingredients in its bottled water. does that seem a bit odd to anyone else?

double teamed (updated)

so, it seems like both my internet connection and guild wars hate me now. i was just starting one mission earlier and my internet crapped out on me. came back later and things were working fine for awhile, managed to finish one mission. then i went to try another one, and about 5 minutes into it guild wars decided to crash. which is annoying not only to me, but also to the people in my group, who were then operating short one man.

--update (08/03)--
triple teamed! my bowels also decided to hate on me last night. it was somewhat less than pleasant.

20060801

random historical fact

i may actually have already posted this one, but i just found my notes for it floating around again. here it is:

the latin word for arch is "fornix," which, since many of the prostitutes in rome operated under archways, brought us the word "fornication."

20060728

recommendations?

so, i'm looking at getting a digital camcorder for my road trip. normally i'm not really into pictures or videos, but since i more or less hate driving, i don't think i'll be making too many road trips in the future, so i may as well do the best job i can recording this one for posterity.

anyways, here's the camera i'm looking at now... it's a bit more than i was originally planning to spend, but still within my price range. and it's got some pretty decent reviews over at cnet, so i think it may be a good buy.

any suggestions would be most welcome.

20060727

the little red book, in cg

so, apparently the new movie "the ant bully" is like the communist manifesto writ large. read these two reviews for the particulars. i just had one thought to apply to this: though ants may indeed be fairly communistic in nature, they are also, to the best of my knowledge, the only species besides man that wages war against other members of the same species, so not exactly the happy-peaceful society the movie might make them out to be.

thanks to wizbang for links to the reviews.

20060724

merry birthday!

to my good friends jonathan and josiah pickett.

more on mac vs. pc

"The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.
DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can achieve salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: Far away from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.
You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counter-reformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It's true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions: When it comes down to it, you can decide to ordain women and gays if you want to."

by Umberto Eco, found here

wow

so, i was surfing the university of chicago's website last night (one of the grad schools i'm thinking of applying to), and found out that their history department accepts about 35 grad students a year. now, having no experience with grad school, i'm not sure how that number compares to other programs/schools, but it seems very small.

also, as i read more into it, i'm thinking it may be a good idea to get my MA somewhere else first. UC is a straight-up PhD program, though they do award MA's to folks working towards the doctorate. i think the main bit that scared me off was the writing sample required with the application. several of my professors at whitworth told me i was a good writer, but i'm very tempted to think that i was relatively good rather than absolutely good. there were definitely some students in the department i considered good writers (nick fox and j-coe, for example), but a lot of what i read (which was not everybody, of course... there could have been quite a few more good writers out there that i just never knew about) was not that great. plus, there's this (from the Application FAQ):

The Department of History considers the writing sample the most important part of your application. Please select a sample that you consider to be your best work. It should be self-contained, that is, includes a beginning, a middle and an end of an argument. Generally, 25 double-spaced pages (including footnotes) is sufficient, but do not feel bound by length should your best paper is longer. If possible, the work should be a piece of original research and in the specific field of history you hope to study at Chicago. The writing sample must include your name and the class/publication for which it was created.

the longest paper i had to do at whitworth was 18 pages long (got a B, i think, and i'm not even sure it deserved that), and the one that i considered my best (got an A, and it was used as an example of a good paper) was only 6 pages long... probably closer to 5 without all the footnotes. that's especially unfortunate because it was on an area that i am very interested in, byzantine history and the crusading orders (the paper was on the siege of rhodes in 1522; i argued that it was the quantity rather than the quality of ottoman troops that won the battle for them).

but who knows? i was just a few classes away from having another BA in political studies. i plan on finishing that up at some point, and maybe i'll end up doing something in that area instead, go for a job in the state department or something. that's the wonderful thing about being young... i've still got some time to make up my mind. and/or win the lotto.

20060720

... you might have made a mistake. (updated)

if your territory is getting the crap bombed out of it because you kidnapped a few soldiers... you might have made a mistake

if you've pissed people off to the point where even germany, canada, and the rest of the G8 are supporting israel's actions against you... you might have made a mistake

if the people who should be your strongest supporters, the terror-exporting wahhabi's of saudi arabia, are now declaring that it is unlawful to join you, support you, or even pray for you... you might have made a mistake. (h/t say anything)

on a somewhat related note, NPR talked to a guy in lebanon yesterday who said that because of what israel is doing to lebanon, hamas should be there. apparently he doesn't realize that if hamas were not there in the first place, israel would have no reason to be bombing israel.

--update--
if you decide to join forces with the people that israel is blowing the crap out of... you might have made a mistake. (h/t pw)

--update (07/21/06)--
if you declare that israel would have no reason to bomb israel, you would technically be right; but if you meant to say instead that they would have no reason to bomb lebanon... you might have made a mistake.

20060719

a "proportional response"

it seems that a lot of folks around the world want israel to limit themselves to a "proportional" response against hizbollah and hamas. in my opinion, however, that would be very bad for the "palestinians" and lebanese citizens, since it would involve israel randomly firing off rockets at civilian population centers; which, israel's technology being much better than that of either terrorist group, would result in far more civilian deaths than the hamas/hizbollah attacks. true, israel has killed civilians with their airstrikes... but that's to be expected when hizbollah is hiding among the civilian population (NPR mentioned that one of it's reporters was approached by hizbollah militants dressed in plainclothes during "all things considered" a little after 5 tonight... if you're less lazy than i am, you can probably actually find the audio on their site) and preventing lebanese civilians from leaving the cities.

there's hope yet

Judge overturns Wal-Mart healthcare law

20060717

bah

why do people always blame "big oil" for high gas prices? personally, i think they're overlooking a few things:
1) "big oil" is, in fact, a business, and businesses exist to make money, NOT TO SERVE CUSTOMERS. while they may make their money by serving customers, that is a means rather than an end.
2) what about the blame on OPEC? their control of the oil supply sets the price for crude; as they drive up the price for the raw materials, the price for the finished product (gas) will rise with it.
3) a gallon of gas is still, in many places, cheaper than a gallon of milk (the articles a few years old, but those milk prices are still high).
4) also, gas here is still cheaper than it is in europe. true, our public transit is not nearly as nice as much of europe's, but our country is more than twice the size of the european union (at 9,161,923 sq km to 3,976,372 sq km... that's not all of europe, but a pretty good chunk of it); it's a bit tricky to fill an area that size with reliable public transit. that, and our politicians have much better things to spend (or at least attempt to spend) our tax dollars on, like in-state tuition and social security for illegal aliens.

i had some more arguments, but it's time for bed.

20060714

well that could suck

as if the bombings in india weren't bad enough already, it now looks as if they were committed by members of pakistan's intelligence service.

h/t pajamas media

20060713

does anyone here speak english? or at least ancient greek?

actually, i'm looking for something more along the lines of someone who speaks/knows a bit of old german. i just finished reading "the name of the rose" by umberto eco (good book), which was completely translated from the italian... except for the parts where the characters are speaking a foreign language (german, latin, french, spanish, etc.), which makes some bits of it a bit hard to understand. anyways, it's set in the early 1300s, and there's one line in old (possibly middle, not sure... but a friend of mine who's majoring in german didn't recognize many of the words) german that i want to figure out:

"Er muoz gelichesame die leiter abewerfen, so er an ir ufgestigen."

if anyone can tell me what that means, i would be much obliged. all i know is that it has something to do with a ladder.

20060710

#$()*#$)*(#&$; also, an apology (updated)

guild wars hates me right now, and the feeling is mutual. to all those people (who will probably never read this, but oh well) who have been in groups that i've disappeared from, i'm sorry. i didn't quit, guild wars logged me out.

--update--
and again.

--update--
and again. this time it was w/ henchies though, so it wasn't quite as bad.

--update--
and yet again, just as we were about to fight the boss. with a pretty good group too.

--update (13 July)--
this time, it let me beat the final boss, and get my faction reward, before kicking me. without registering that i beat the mission.

man, what have i been eating?

i had the weirdest dream last night. i was a jedi, as was a friend of mine. we were in an unfamiliar building, and i have no idea why we're there. all of a sudden, saddam hussein--who, in this case, was also a dark jedi/sith lord--climbs up out of a trap door in the floor and flops over, apparently not in very good shape. we tie him up and prop him up against the wall, then go back to whatever it was we were doing. a little while later he sort of wakes up, and immediately starts trying to turn the jedi-in-training (not exactly "padawans," since they aren't specifically assigned to either of us) that we have along to the dark side. there are two of them, both represented by my younger brothers' friends. we warned them not to listen, and then basically ignored the situation. the apprentices thought they were pretty awesome, but we didn't think they would be stupid enough to a) listen to the bad guy, especially one that we had just captured with little effort; and b) attack two jedi knights. especially since my friend was amazing with the light saber and i was pretty much awesome with the force. we were, unfortunately, wrong, which resulted in one dead jedi apprentice (not sure what happened to the other one, the dream didn't cover that). i had a neat force trick that let me temporarily slow down time for everybody else in a small area, which, for all intents and purposes, meant that i could move incredibly fast. as soon as one of the apprentices started pulling their saber out, my friend started charging at them and i used my time dilation-esque power and disarmed both of the apprentices. as soon as i brought things back to normal speed, one of them tried to fight anyways and got herself chopped in half by my friend (again, not sure what happened to the other, though i'm assuming he surrendered). at that point the dream pretty much ended.

20060708

exactly

you remember all those mac/pc commercials that've been showing on tv lately? here's a much better version of them.

20060707

dear microsoft

go away and leave me alone. we both know my copy of windows is "geniuine," since i've had to prove it for pretty much every update i want to download. so why do you keep telling me (at least 3 times now) that i need to download the latest update of the "windows genuine notification doohicky"? it's not like i'm going to ditch my legitimate copy of windows for a pirated one... that would just be stupid. i realize that most of your employees are on the "smart" end of the intelligence scale, but c'mon, give the rest of us some credit.

20060705

if only

sick days would be a lot better if only it weren't for that whole "sick" thing.

20060703

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

230 years and still going strong. Keep up the good work, America.

smart as paint

on a good day. maybe. but i'm really starting to doubt it. when north korea starts threatening the US with nuclear war, i figure they've completely lost it. in my mind, that's a good way to make sure there's no more north korea. they say it would only come if we launch a preemptive strike against them, but i'm pretty sure they don't have the capability to launch an "annihilating strike" as they are now, and i'm sure they'd have even less after any strike on our part. because let's face it... when we hit somebody, we don't do it half-way.

20060702

not bad. not bad at all.

congratulations to my friend pat, who was recently hired for a job at microsoft. well done pat. now update your friggin blog already.

20060629

we can only hope...

today, the house voted to end the offshore drilling ban. which, let's face it, was pretty ridiculous. in fact, under the current law, cuba (with china's help) is able to drill for oil closer to our shore (still in international waters) than we can. i submit that that is bad policy. we can only hope that the senate also realizes this.

20060628

sure, what the heck

website of the day: silicon alley computers. they're not exactly newegg... but then, newegg has never sent me an email asking me to put a link on my website (though it looks like i've got one anyways). so, without further ado, i give you silicon alley computers, now available as a link under the "links" header, of all places, on my sidebar.

for the curious, here's the email they sent... the spacing may be a bit off, but i think we can safely blame blogger for tha.:

Hi Daniel,
We found your website while searching the Internet and would like to suggest our site to you for a link on the following page of your website:
under ther heading:
Links
Our link information can be found on our site here:
Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Silicon Alley Computers


not exactly sure how they managed to find a blog my size will surfing the intorweb, but oh well. it's good to feel wanted.

so this guy walks into a bar...

bartender says, "hey, you're that terrorist fella the jackal! what are you doing here?"

the jackal: "i just escaped from a french prison, and i'm trying to make my way to the united states so i can turn myself in and get sent to guantanamo bay... or at least get gitmo-style treatment."

bartender: "mmm... well, good luck with that. can i get you anything while you're here?"

the jackal: "no, i just stopped by for some of the free peanuts, then i'm gettin' the hell out of dodge."

a new destination

the more i read about new hampshire, the more and more tempted i am to move there at some point in life. there's no sales tax, no income tax (i'm assuming they offset that with a property tax, but we've got that here anyways, so i think i'd survive), no seatbelt laws (which i think are stupid; of course, i also think that not wearing a seatbelt is stupid, but i don't think it's something that the government should be forcing anyone to do. if you want to take that chance, it's your own damn fault if something goes wrong.), and apparently you can buy all sorts of good fireworks there (possibly even year round, though that hasn't been clarified). they seem to think the same way i do: if you want to do something stupid, go for it... just don't hurt anybody else in the process. and if i remember correctly, they only pay their state legislators $100 a year, which means they either have to be rich or have a job besides passing laws, which really seems to cut down on excess/stupid laws in that state.

for now though, i'm stuck here in the red half of a blue state, thinking of ways to save the world; or, failing that, at least take over it.

20060626

orson scott card, why must you be so awesome?

so, i just finished reading "ender's shadow" today, and now i'm tempted to go back and read "ender's game" again, even though it's only been a few months. the stories are that good. i actually would have finished it a few days ago, but i had to space things out because i didn't know when my next book (children of dune) was coming. luckily, that showed up today. also, tomorrow is my birthday, and all i asked for was books (and another video card so i can go SLI, but i don't think that's going to happen. oh well.), so hopefully i'll be set for reading for awhile.

20060625

excellent...

so, i got a promotion last week, a few days after being with the bank for one year. i now get to officially use the titles that i had unofficially been using for the last 4 months or so, and i'm making a little over $1,000 more a year than i had been previously. which, in my opinion, is pretty nice. good reviews from my supervisors, no complaints from the people i work with, and apparently i'm well liked by the majority of our customer base as well. now if only natalie portman would realize how much awesomer i am than whoever it is she's dating now, life would be nigh on perfect.

20060622

book review/recommendation

title: when christ and his saints slept
author: sharon kay penman

an excellent book, especially for anyone interested in english history. it follows the story of stephen, a grandson of william the conqueror, and maude, daughter and heir of the recently deceased king henry I. in my opinion, it was a well told story, backed up by occasional comments from various contemporary chronicles.

the basic story line is as follows: henry, his family and court are moving from normandy back to england; his only [legitimate] son, riding the famous "white ship" which brought william the conqueror to england, is killed when the ship runs around a few miles out of port. stephen, who was supposed to be riding on the white ship as well, is "miraculously" saved when he changes his mind at the last minute, changing ships at the last minute so that he can travel with the girl who will later become his wife. henry I, in desperation, names maude (the "good guy") as his heir, hoping she'll bear him grandsons who will be able to take the throne. but when henry dies not long after an argument with maude, england--which is already balking at the thought of a female ruler--is ready to believe the worst about her, and stephen (the "bad guy") is able to have himself proclaimed king.

stephen is either the worst bad guy ever or the best bad guy ever, depending on how you look at it. first off, as the king's nephew, he had a legitimate claim to the throne... not as good a claim as maude, to be sure, but a good claim. though stephen is initially reluctant to take maude's place, after some prodding from his brother (an english bishop who seems to hate women) and looking around and realizing that most of the english nobles are neither ready nor willing to follow a woman, he decides to go for it. unfortunately, in the process of this he ends up starting the very thing he hoped to avoid by preventing maude from taking the throne--a civil war.

stephen is, with one possible exception, the best character in the book (that is, he's actually a good person). maude, on the other hand, is--to put it politely--a bitch. while stephen is fighting for what he believes is best for england, maude is fighting for herself. her driving motivation is me, me, me, mine, mine, mine for almost the entire book. the only thing that manages to change her motivation is the death of her brother (one of her father's 20+ bastard children), a powerful and well respected nobleman and battle commander, and the only possible contender stephen has for the best character/best person award. at this point, realizing her hope of taking the throne is basically nil, maude retreats to normandy, which her husband--who, though he has a great sense of humor, is pretty much a dick for most of their marriage--has managed to conquer, and begins directing all her efforts towards making sure that her son will sit on the english throne.

stephen reminds me, in some ways, of jimmy carter; a good, well intentioned person who it would be great to work with or for, but who has trouble making the hard decisions that are necessary to run a country. his mercy if often seen as a weakness, and is also frequently used against him; at one time, a rebellious lord provided his five year old son as a hostage, and then promptly breaks the truce, gambling on stephen's history of doing what is right rather than what is necessary. the gamble pays off; the child is spared, and more people lose their respect for stephen.

although stephen was able to hang onto the throne for his lifetime, he is unable to pass it on. his oldest son, eustace, chokes to death while eating an eel (the same meal that killed henry I). operating from a position of weakness--he's getting old, and maude's oldest son henry has just humbled the french king in battle after marrying his ex-wife eleanor and adding aquitaine to his normandy holdings--he recognizes henry as his heir.

it's a fairly long book, and written from a fairly femenist perspective, but is an otherwise good read.

20060621

the word of the day is...

Areodjarekput, which is an insult that means "to exchange wives for a few days only." and no, i have no idea how to pronounce that either.

maybe it's not so unlikely after all...

dallas county is going to send mexico a bill for services rendered to illegal immigrants.

like rob, i find it highly unlikely that mexico will actually pay said bill, but it's still nice to see dallas county making the effort. the short article linked to above mentions that the county has spent at least $15 million so far (though it doesn't give a time frame), and they're still counting, so i shudder to think what the cost must be at the national level.

20060620

a myth is busted (updated)

well, it turns out that people i know are actually not invincible, contrary to current belief. i just heard this morning that a fellow history major and recent grad (2004) of whitworth, forrest ewens, was killed in iraq. i didn't know forrest very well, but from the few classes i had with him, he seemed like a great guy. i'll be praying for his family and for the men who fought alongside him, and ask that anyone who is so inclined would do the same.

--update--
whoops, wrong country. in my defense, i was not quite awake when i was given the news. in the comments, another forrest pointed out that it was actually afghanistan, and provided a link to an article on the event.

20060619

i wonder, will blogger let me post without a title? let's find out.

i've been sick/lazy lately... that's my excuse for the lack of posts. there have been several blogworth things happening in the world, but they've all pretty much been covered by other blogs.

tomorrow marks the one-year point at my job at the bank. in terms of my everyday work, that means pretty much nothing. it should, however, mean a raise, and it also marks the point that the bank will start paying into my 401(k); not much (about $50/month at this point), but it'll add up.

it's also the beginning of cherry harvest (technically it started last week, but it was raining a lot, which pretty much sucked for anyone hoping to harvest), which means i'm actually doing work at work, which is a nice change.

20060615

slightly more active than chess babes

the babes of the world cup

fun facts, and other thoughts

wal-mart, all on it's own, is equivelant to the 20th largest economy in the world.

i really hate the new dairy commercials on the radio, which feature little kids or burger flippers telling parents and friends that "you're totally passing up a dairy opportunity!" forget the fact that your average 8 year old or BK worker knows little to nothing about dairy requirements. "Three-a-day of dairy for healthy moms, healthy kids." (but not healthy dads? apparently nobody cares about dads. 3/day is most important, however, for a healthy dairy industry).

favorite songs of the moment: "cassie" by flyleaf, and "caribou and cake" by scarling.

there were some more, but i forgot them. so they must not have been that important.

pretty smart for a dead guy

wizbang has part of the translation of a document we picked up at zarqawi's "safe" house, which indicate that he wanted to start a war between america and iran. i really love one of his points:

3. The possibility of acquiring new weapons from the Iranian side, either after the fall of Iran or during the battles. [emphasis mine]

even though he was hoping the war would stretch our forces out and make things easier for him in iraq, he already knew what the outcome of that war would be.

20060614

i blame google

looks like the hadji girl video i posted about below pissed some people off, to the point where youtube decided to take it down. luckily, there's a slightly smaller but better quality version that you can watch here.

20060613

priceless

hadji girl

ouch

hail is cool. unless you're an orchardist. several orchards in the chelan/orondo area got hit by a hail storm last night... one guy estimates that he lost about half of his cherry and apple crops. times are not good.

20060609

hmm... (updated)

oddly enough, you get fairly different results when using google image search for "dead zarqawi" and "zarqawi dead." i think the oddest thing, though, is that on the first one of those, 4 of the pictures come up as hippos.

also, here's my take on the situation surrounding his death. i'm glad he's dead. he was a horrible "person" (i use the term loosely), and the world is a better place without him in it. even if somebody does just step in and take his place, so what? even if this did nothing to harm the terrorists, i think it will be great for our troops' morale, both american and iraqi. and it should hopefully instill some fear in the terrorist ranks, as we proved that even at the top, you're not safe.

--update--
on the other hand, a search for dead hippopotamus did not bring up any pictures of zarqawi.

exactly

the comments about cows in the last frame of this comic explain perfectly--to me, at least--why peta is wrong.

wow

i'm thinking maybe i need to start playing chess again.

h/t say anything

also, assuming the reader isn't screwed up again, this is my 666th post. which, you know, good thing it didn't come on tuesday. because that would have been creepy.

also also, you can use bugmenot to avoid registration on the link above.

happy birthday!

to natalie portman, who turned 25 today.

20060608

coincidence?

it just so happens that my two favorite colors--green and black--are the colors of the atreides battle flag, which may or may not look anything like this. coincidence? yeah, probably. but still kinda cool.

let the good times roll... (updated)

it's been confirmed: zarqawi is dead. congratulations to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, and congratulations to their Iraqi counterparts.

--update--
hope you enjoy "paradise" zarqawi. (warning: foul language abounds.)

20060607

w00t, i am fleet

or at least my computer is. or will be. 2 more gigs of corsair RAM arrived on my doorstep today, ready to make my computer even awesomer. except i think i'm going to wait on plugging it in until i get a beefier PSU, probably later this month or early next month.

20060606

funny, but not recommended

because odds are, you'd get shot, or at least robbed, if you tried this.

20060604

*&^@#$

for those of you not playing guild wars, this probably won't mean much. oh well.

MHENLO IS GAY. or, at the very least, the guy who wrote his AI script is. they apparently forgot to tell him that running away from the group that's supposed to be protecting you while they're attacking one group of bad guys to attack a completely different group of bad guys all on your own is a really bad idea. so the idiot got himself killed, and now i have to start over on a quest that took me a bit over an hour. GAY GAY GAY.

20060601

so much for saving...

well, after reading emily's latest post, and finding a duplicate set of the RAM i've already got on sale at newegg, i decided to go ahead and max out my computer's RAM capabilities... this'll put me at 4 gigs. do i really need that many? at the moment, no... right now, it's more so i can say "my computer is awesomer than yours" to most people i talk to. i think i'm going to wait on installing it until i've got a slightly beastlier PSU though (maybe this one?); as i mentioned earlier, i think my system is currently slightly under-volted, and i'm not sure how much more my current PSU could handle. and since i've already spent a pretty decent amount this month (gas, movies, guild wars factions, and now RAM), i think that'll have to wait another month. oh well.

if any of you with more technical expertise than i have (probably about half of my regular readers, if not more) have the time to weigh in, please do so.

i am shamed

apparently my state is even more liberal than california, at least in terms of abortion and gay rights issues. i blame seattle.

h/t say anything

i like this guy

i would have designed my statue of liberty a little differently--probably a baseball bat in one hand and a "bring it on" gesture with the other--but in terms of his message itself, i agree completely.

20060531

excellent

ordered the mel brooks collection from amazon today. now all i need is some beer, and some friends who aren't in different time zones (like afghanistan) or different countries (like mexifornia), and many good times will be had.

20060529

life is like...

wiffle ball is a lot like legos... until you get old and arthritic, it will always be fun.

20060525

awesome

while i can understand the desire to get news about potential cloaking devices out must be fairly great, i really think it should be kept under tighter wraps. the less we give our enemies and potential enemies to work with, the better.

desperate house-husband?

no real point to this post, but i really wanted to use that phrase, and it does sort of fit. as he does from time to time, jeff decided that he needed to get clean his shelves to make room for new dvds. i decided to take him up on the offer, and picked up a brand-new copy of serpico for $5, including shipping. normally i would just think "hey, cool, great deal" and let it go. but it still had the $6.99 price tag from best buy on it, which for some reason i found quite entertaining. i understand that if you really want to clear out the space, five dollars (actually, only $3.89, since shipping cost him $1.11) is better than no dollars, but it seems odd to me that he was willing to settle for about half of what that movie cost, especially since it was brand new.

i have, however, come up with one random explanation: people send him movies every now and then. so my guess is this is one he was given as a gift, which means he's actually not losing anything.

oh, right, how the topic fits. jeff has mentioned several times that he's a stay-at-home dad. which, while not something i would want to do--unless my wife were able to make a lot more money than i could--i think is a good thing. in my opinion, unless you really can't make ends meet without both parents working, at least one of the parents should stay home with the kid(s) until said child(ren) is/are in school.

the end.

i disagree

but that doesn't make this shirt any less funny.

20060524

not entirely unexpected, but still... wow

so, the 9th circus court of appeals, who believes that the phrase "under God" is unconstitutional, now thinks that california school children should become muslim for 2 weeks.

20060523

computer woes?

possibly. i think my system may be getting under-volted. here are the cuurent stats:
+12v running at 11.776
+5v running at 4.919
+3.3v running at 3.312
Vcore running at 1.392-1.408 (i think it should be about 1.5)

it doesn't seem to be causing any major problems, although probably about once a month i get a notice that says my graphics card isn't getting enough power, and is reducing its performance to compensate. which is not cool.

is there something i can tweak to fix this, or should i be looking for a new power supply?