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.


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:
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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.



hadji girl


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.


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.

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


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


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.



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.

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


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.


funny, but not recommended

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



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.


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.