the other america?

apparently, the fact that the senate voted to socialize healthcare is a "big victory for the american people," according to president obama.  i wonder if he means that other america that john edwards brought up during the 2004 election, or maybe states 52-58, which he didn't get to visit during the campaign.  most of the american people that i've talked to think that this is the worst idea since the shit sandwich.



flipping through the bbc website over the last couple of days, i've run across a couple of fairly interesting articles.

in the first, i discovered that the EU wants to regulate the maximum volume of mp3 players... apparently too many people are losing their hearing from listening to them too loud. whatever happened to personal choice? if somebody wants to be an idiot and blow their eardrums out, then we should let them have at it, and deal with the consequences themselves. my opinion? if this does pass, all it's going to do is create a market for mp3 player amplifiers.

article two: the lack of common sense is not restricted to one side of the atlantic. the US House of Representatives just passed the CALM Act, which would regulate the maximum volume of tv commercials; the Senate is working on a similar bill. really? yeah, those are a bit annoying. but last time i checked, your remote control (even this little guy) comes with volume controls a mute button. or maybe you could even change the channel. or use the commercial time to grab a snack or take a bathroom break.

on the bright side, i suppose if politicians are busy with crap like this, they've got less time to do something really stupid, like sacrificing the economy on the alter of gaia.


quote of the day?

"...male bodies continually optimize the gonadal climate for spermatogenesis and sperm storage."

from a completely harmless but rather odd article found here.


well... huh.

i've been reading and thoroughly enjoying the dresden files, by jim butcher... just finished up the 'last' (in the sense that the next one won't be published for several months) of them today. i knew it had been a series on sci-fi, and decided to check hulu for it this evening. lo and behold, it was there.

so i watched the first episode.

what. the. f**k.

the tv series is "based on the novels" in the same way that a bowl of sugar is part of a complete breakfast. as long as you remember to eat it with a few pieces of toast, a glass of milk, a glass of juice, and a bowl of actual cereal, that is.

i can understand the writers making up cases that were different from those in the books, and to some extent inventing characters to go along with those. but some of the rest... not so much. i stopped counting errors after i ran out of fingers, but i'm quite certain i would have run out of toes and possibly hairs as well. if i were feeling slightly more obsessive-compulsive, i would (and still might at some point) re-watch it, just to get an accurate count. off the top of my head:

1) bob should be a slightly perverted air spirit, not a ghost
2) harry shouldn't be using electricity
3) harry should be driving the blue beetle, not a jeep
4) murphy should be blonde, and shorter
5) they screwed up the name of harry's old teacher, and made him a relative
6) the "skinwalker" from the first episode is entirely different from the one that just made its appearance in book eleven.
7) no mister?
8) harry should be living in a basement, not a regular house
9) bob should be in harry's lab in the sub-basement, not on a shelf in the living room
10) murphy shouldn't have a kid

and there are all my fingers.

as for the tags: this is a very bad thing, based on a very good (and slightly nerdy) thing, and i recommend never putting yourself through it.


hey kid! i'm a computer!

stop all the downloading!

on a slightly more serious note, the time has come for me to build a new computer. the graphics card on my old system finally gave out on me after about three and a half years, and things have advanced enough since then that i decided to start from scratch and build a completely new compy. right now i'm running everything off of my laptop; it's more than enough for every day tasks, but not quite up to snuff as far as gaming is concerned.

so far i've got a good chunk of the pieces (see below), but i'm still not entirely sure which mobo and processor i want to use. any input from those familiar with computer bits and pieces would be much appreciated.

Case: Antec Nine Hundred
Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-850TX
RAM: Corsair XMS3 DDR3 SDRAM 1333
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 275 Superclocked Edition

as far as the big stuff goes, here's what i'm thinking so far:

Processor: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield
Motherboard: EVGA X58 SLI LE

i'm also considering picking up an SSD to use for the OS, but i'm not really sure the bang is worth my buck. i got one opinion on how big of a drive i should have for that (100gb), which seemed a bit big to me, as well as a bit pricey... the 80gb drives i saw were all $230+.

questions? comments? discuss amongst yourselves.


i'll take what's behind door #2

door #1: obamacare, which would cost roughly $1 Trillion over the next 10 years

door #2: the republican plan (yes, they actually came up with one), which would cost roughly $61 Billion over the next 10 years, cut the federal budget deficit by $68 Billion over that same time period, and reduce insurance premiums as well.

decisions, decisions....

see here for more info.

h/t AoS/HA


what is wrong with these people?

headline: Rich Germans demand higher taxes. they seem to think that donating their money is not enough, the government has to take it from them and use it for programs to help with the financial recession. my reaction? they obviously have no idea what they're doing. any businessman worth his salt would be able to do more with his own money, with less overhead and more control over how it's spent, than the government could. and at least 99 times out of 100, any charity you pick (or form, even... these are rich folk we're talking about after all) would spend your money more efficiently than government. government is where money goes to die.



as i may have mentioned before, my job is shortly coming to an end; october 16th is my last day with ncnb.  on occasion, one of the many vp's will send out a motivational quote to the staff.  this was today's: "Starting right now, work on adopting the mindset that you're a huge stakeholder in the success of your organization.  Fact is, you really are one. --Steve Ventura"  except for those people whose office we're shutting down, that is.  you guys don't have so much of a stake in anything here any more.


lost in translation?

apparently "hey hey hey" is open to interpretation.  personally, i'd take it as somebody excited enough to see you that just one "hey" won't suffice.  but when the lord of the land says it, it means "go to war today."  possibly with some exclamation points.  who'd've thunk it?



What next?

So, for those of you that don't know, my job will be ending in just over a month.  We haven't been given an official last day yet, but the bank I work for is shutting down the branch I work at on October 9th.  

My long term goal is to study Byzantine History at the University of Chicago, get my PhD, and teach at the college level, preferably somewhere small like Whitworth.  The guy who's focus is Byzantine history looks like he's right up my alley, but let's face it: he's not getting any younger, which means I need to move fairly quickly so I can get there before he retires.  And lucky me: for a favorite field of study, I picked one with the most required languages (scroll to page 7), although the language tests don't sound quite as scary as I would have thought.  I'm not sure exactly what the "departmental certification" means, but I'm assuming I'll need a pretty good grasp off all the languages--Byzantine Greek, Latin, German and French--by the time I get there.  I'm hoping I'll be ready to apply next year to start my studies the following fall, so sometime between now and then I need to work on picking all of those languages up.

Short term goal(s):
Find a new job, preferably one that allows me some time for language studies

Secondary, medium term goal(s):
Get my TEFL certification so I can teach English in Germany, France and maybe Greece, picking up those languages while I'm there, and study Latin on the side

Tertiary, unrealistic goal(s):
Win the lottery, so I don't have to worry about working (freeing up much more time for study), can afford whatever language school I feel like, and don't have quite as much time pressure while working on my doctoral dissertation

I'm sure that got old after the first time, but I don't have a whole lot of opportunities to use it, so lay off me.


but the real question is...

... "is there an app that will let me block all those annoying iphone/app commercials?"


can you hear me now?

because pat got all hypocritical on me, and because i don"t feel like logging into my other gmail-google account, i shall attempt to post via email.  not sure how well that will work out, since it does not seem to like apostrophes or forward slashes.  the end.

All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted. --Missionaria Protectiva


prayer requests

for the retallic family, who i've known for most of my life.


catching up

pat apparently gets hypocritical as well as jolly when he's drunk, because he decided to complain that i don't update my blog often enough. which is probably true... but considering the fact that it's been over 3 years since he updated his blog, i'd say i'm doing pretty alright.

student loans: as of next week, my loans (from the government, at least) will be paid off. which really means i just get to add a bit more to what i'm paying my parents back every month, but at least they're not charging interest.

europeans = ftl. but only partly, since they did show a bit of common sense in their most recent elections. mostly i have to complain about the way the write down dates. as a reward to myself for paying off the aforementioned loans, i was going to take a trip to belgium and the netherlands to see a couple of bands that don't have any concerts scheduled here in the good old US of A. but thanks to their sideways dating, a show that i originally thought was november 7 (11.07.09) turned out to be july 11, which means the concerts are 4 months apart, not 4 days like i originally thought. so europe will probably get put on hold until next year.

and for now, that's all. we've got some of an unfortunately small number of our "normal" relatives visiting, so i think i should be present for awhile.


quote of the day

yeah, i've been a bit lazy about this lately. like, a month or so. but this quote definitely made me think, "i really need to post this."

“If I had my way, I’d destroy all the mosques and spread the whores around a little more,” the [Iraqi] detective said. “At least they’re not sectarian.”

via AoSHQ


fuzzy math

if you haven't already seen the watchmen, don't bother. several individual parts were far more impressive than the whole, which was disjointed and hard to follow. also, as much as i don't mind females in states of undress, there was a lot of unnecessary nudity. i mean really, can you imagine being the guy who had to animate dr. manhattan's man parts?


Quote of the Term

i have always been a fan of the following quote; and as our government prepares to blow roughly 57 zillion of our tax dollars, it once again proves the wisdom of our founding fathers:

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. -- I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
written by Benjamin Franklin, and appearing in the November 29, 1766 issue of The London Chronicle.


quote of the day

"In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." --John Adams


question of the day

if you can repeat something, does that mean you can just "peat" it?


only in europe. hopefully. depending on who you talk to, between 1 million and 2.5 million french workers decided to protest the threat to their jobs caused by current economic conditions. the form their protest took? not going to work. if you're not even going to bother showing up for your job, why should sarkozy worry about it?


no, you wouldn't

"if you were God for a day, what would you do differently?" if you mean having God's powers, i'd probably do quite a few things differently, and the world would be a worse place for it. as well-intentioned as i generally am, i am far from perfect. but if you mean actually being God? i wouldn't do a single thing differently. God does what He does because of who He is. God is holy. God is love. God is faithful. God is merciful. the list goes on and on. i may try to be those things, but He actually is them.

which leads up to a conversation i had with my boss the other day. one of my co-workers has been treated rather poorly by her spouse. so my boss decides i need to listen to beyonce's "if i were a boy," to see if i agreed that it fit my co-worker's situation. so i listened. my first response; "this sounds like self-pity." she was essentially singing about how she would treat herself (or girlfriend/wife/whatever) better if she were a boy. which isn't really true; if we're following her stereotype, then if she were a boy, she'd act exactly like the person she's complaining about. also, i would find her much less attractive.


just for you, pat

the same pat who, although he hasn't touched his blog in almost 3 years, thinks i need to update mine. but since the laziness that kept me from posting in 2 weeks is still here, this will pretty much just be a bunch of bullet points.

  • the snow is spokane is as bad as they say. most of division was missing a lane of traffic in each direction and getting in and out of parking lots and going through intersections on side roads were offroad expeditions.
  • quote of the day: "Some people can put juju inside the helmets and when they are worn the victim can either lose consciousness or be struck dumb," passenger Kolawole Aremu told the Daily Trust newspaper. forget yellow cake... saddam should have been looking for juju in nigeria.
  • memo to israel: do it right this time. don't stop until this job is done. maybe after all of this, the palestinian people will realize that groups like hamas are not saviors, but rather the source of their woes. get rid of the terrorists, and israel will have no reason to bomb you.
  • i'm going to keep playing (and paying), but i'm starting to get WoW'ed out. any suggestions on a good RPG? i've heard good things about the witcher, but not sure if i want to go out and buy it yet.
  • there is no luck in gingerbreadmanville.
  • watching through babylon 5 again... great show. much like another one of my favorites (sg-1) though, i have to wonder how it ever made it through it's first season.
  • estamos en los estados unidos. se habla ingles aqui.