well... shit

i have to say it: being unemployed is highly overrated. and expensive. there's absolutely no job market--or at least no jobs that i'm really qualified for--in the wenatchee area, and i can't really afford to move to somewhere that does have jobs. i had an interview in spokane last friday that i thought went well, but since i haven't heard from them by phone or email i'm guessing that i'll get a letter in the mail sometime in the next day or two saying "sorry, we went with someone else." i haven't given up hope yet, but i have admit that i'm not overly optimistic about life, the universe, and everything at the moment.


so what's worse?

the fact that i'm using wild turkey 101 as a cough suppressant... or the fact that it's working?



alright, felicia day uses goodreads! and she's got pretty good taste, over all. the sad part, though? even if i update mine and manage to get in all the books i've read, i think she's still managed to read more of me, on top of acting and attending various conventions. makes me feel kinda lazy....



oddly enough, it all started with broccoli. i hate broccoli, and started to wonder how anybody could enjoy the taste of that vile green stuff (or mushrooms, or asparagus, or any of a host of other disgusting things). or, another example: we all know that different people will remember the exact same event in different ways. why?

are events (or tastes) absolute? does broccoli have a fixed taste, one that some people enjoy and others don't? or is it more complex than that? maybe broccoli has a whole host of different tastes, and a person's physical makeup (in this case, their taste buds and sense of smell) causes them to pick up different parts of the flavor mosaic. same with memories... are we actually seeing things differently (thanks to the physical makeup of individual eyes and their connections to the brain)? or do we just attach different levels of importance to the various parts of our memories thanks to a variety of factors (upbringing, alertness, training, etc.)?

this was much more impressive when i originally thought it out about 1:00 this morning, but hopefully it's enough to give you a general idea of what i was thinking.


happy birthday, America!

234 today, and you don't look a day past 200. i think you may be getting into yet another midlife crisis, but overall you've aged remarkably well.


happy memorial day

thank you, to all the brave americans who have given their lives while defending freedom around the world.


an open letter to the person who broke into my car and stole my zune

warning! foul language content.

dear fucktard,

thank you very much for smashing in my window and stealing my zune. i knew i didn't hate seattle quite as much as i should, but with your help, i've gotten closer.

even if we ignore the part where you chose "criminal" as a career path, you're obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed. i realize that my stereo is completely built into the dashboard, and that my cds were mostly burned copies (since i've always been paranoid about the originals getting stolen), you completely missed/ignored my friend's purse, which had several credit cards and over $100 in cash in it.

that $100 is an interesting number, since that's exactly what my insurance deductible was to replace the window, and the amount you'll be lucky to get for the zune. when i bought that over two years ago, it cost me about $240. looking online for a replacement, i found a brand new model of the same version, along with the car kit (which normally goes for $80 on its own) for $200.

and speaking of car kits... you know that other set of wires you stole? that was the car charger for my cell phone, you fucking moron. maybe my facebook wish will come true, and you'll shock yourself when you try to plug it in. i hope it does a very thorough job of it, and i hope you've got good health insurance to cover your hospital bill.

daniel bareither


why don't they get it?

or maybe they do, and just don't care. via say anything, which i hadn't visited in awhile, i learned that congress is looking at capping ATM fees. which sounds nice... but as far as i'm concerned, that's none of congress' business. i worked in the banking industry for about four and a half years, and while ATM fees are annoying, they're not generally big money makers. the bank i worked for charged $2.00 for non-customers (it was free if you were using one of our debit cards), which in my experience is right about mid-range as far as fees go, and we actually ended up pulling one of our ATMs out of a local community because the cost of keeping it stocked and maintained wasn't worth it. as far as i'm concerned, a bank can charge whatever the hell they want for a fee; if people don't like it, they can go elsewhere. it's not as if there's a shortage of banks out there. even the little podunk town i live in (population ~1100) has two banks to choose from, and if you're willing to drive half an hour into a larger city (which most people have to do for groceries, medical appointments, and entertainment anyways, as well as work for quite a few) you've got more than a dozen different banks and credit unions to choose from.

note to congress: businesses exist to make money. if you take that ability away from them, why should they bother to continue their existence?



this sums up my life almost exactly, except for the jerk part. other than the fact that they're not me, she's had fairly good taste in her relationships.


or, maybe not

"so everyone can get their fair share of funding." yeah, sure. fuck you, census bureau. it's not your money to play around with, it's ours.



i would really love to learn to fight with a pair of short swords. is that weird?



next week, i will build a portable desk, so i can get out of the house and write without any distractions. probably won't be too fancy, but as long as i can fold it up to stick it in the back of my car, and have enough space to have a few sheets of paper (or a stack of paper and my laptop), i think that should be good.


unemployment, week 3

so far, i've been fairly unproductive. finally finished off the pieces for my RISK board, got another paragraph on my story written (but i really need to go back to outlining), and studied absolutely no greek. about the only thing i've actually been consistent with is starting to get some exercise again, walking a couple miles 4-5 times a week. things should be nice enough to break out the bike pretty soon, and then i'll be able to expand my range a bit.

i'll be traveling a bit this weekend and again next week/end, and hopefully those will be enough to get me re-energized.


what's the point?

starting march 1, european users of microsoft windows will be given the choice of having something other than Internet Explorer as their default browser. in my opinion, the european competition commission wasted both their own time (and money) and microsoft's by arguing for this. on the last four computers i've owned, one of the first things i've done after the initial setup is to hop online (using IE) and download a different browser; right now i've got both firefox and chrome, and just keep IE around for the rare occasion when i have to manually update some microsoft product.

everybody who knows what they're doing and doesn't like IE will be doing something similar... at best, this will save them a minute or two. and the people who don't know what they're doing still won't have a clue, but now they'll have more choices to confuse them. so really... what was the point of this? way to go europe!


Something Useful

As some of you may already know, I'm about to become a statistic. To the best of my knowledge, my job with North Cascades National Bank will be coming to an end at the same time that this month does. Back in October they closed my office down in Orondo, but asked me to stay on for awhile to help out with a retention project. While I was working on that I accepted a slightly less temporary position (through the end of February), providing coverage through the holiday season... I haven't heard anything else since then. In some ways, I'm a bit disappointed: I really like the group of people I work with, and will be sad to see them less often. On the other hand, I'm definitely ready to move on to something different. Regardless of what you may have seen in the media, banking was already a fairly heavily regulated industry, and with all the new rules Congress keeps pumping out it's getting more and more stressful to try and help people, worrying that you may inadvertently break some law or other.

I'm not looking forward to being unemployment, but I do plan on taking a bit of time off before going into job hunting mode. I've got a bit of money saved up, and along with my final paycheck and (hopefully) some severance pay, I'll be able to get by for awhile.

Obviously I'll have a bit more free time on my hands, although based on conversations with former coworkers, it sounds like unemployment is much busier than I would have expected. I think a certain amount of vegging is justified, but I really don't want to get into a habit of that. I do hope to get back into my writing (which I haven't done seriously in several years, so it could take awhile to get back up to speed), but when I'm doing something I like, I can only keep at it for so long at a stretch before it's time to take a break. So, with that in mind, I'm soliciting suggestions for something (or multiple things) useful to do with my time while unemployed. I prefer things that can be done with a minimum of monetary commitment, but have no problem donating my time to a worthy cause. Any input would be much appreciated.


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.