Thursday, September 30, 2004

We may not need a global test...

But thanks to the policy instated by the current administration the perception and most likely willingness of foreign powers to cooperate with us (tradewise, policywise, etc. ) has gone down.

http://www.iht.com/articles/537873.html

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040908/ts_alt_afp/us_vote_poll_bush_kerry_040908164913

http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1013302004

I'm pretty sure the insult in the comments to the last post came from one of the 'seeders' on the Tech Republic page. Probably someone who searches google to see how many times his 'work' is referenced.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Do you belong to the church of Google?

Information has be come our god.
Maybe that really frightens some people out there.

How many times a day do I pray to the Church of Google?
How many requests for the truth do I make?
Google knows all.
Google tells all.
It may not always be right, but neither were the attempts to augur the future from sheep’s intestines.

At least with Google I have some choices when it comes to the answers to my questions.

Google provides us with reassurance that there are others out there who have the same plight. How many times (in my old job) did I type in “Ihatemyjob.com”? How many countless drones in the corporate world have queried: “ My boss is an ass”? I know at least one person who did this on almost a daily basis.

Every human needs something too look up to maybe even forward to, most normally functioning humans need to feel like they belong to a group any group in order to exist peacefully in a society… if you can’t have god, maybe answers are better.

Things I ask Google:

Is Laura Bush a chain smoker?
Why are penguins black and white?
Do other people use Google daily the same way I do?
Are human beings all really genetically related? Is there an actual family tree?

(No wonder we fight with each other so much).

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Replies to my mother

My Mom has engaged in a very political argument with here friends. She sent me a note earlier questioning why a few of her friends who don't seem to be making sense to her regarding the upcoming election.


So why are these people including you know whos voting for Bush? It dawned to me one day that it could be a Catholic Religion thing otherwise I just can't explain it. They also keep on telling me Kerry waffles so much but I think smart people do that don't you think after they figure things out.

Mom http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/09/20/schneider.world/index.html


I’m puzzled by this also…why seemingly perfectly rational people will vote for such a corrupt moron…I wonder if that’s possible for a moron to be corrupt… maybe corrupt puppet is a better term.

I think it’s because your friends have fallen prey to to what the Conservatives are so good at which is diverting people’s attention from the real issues.

- the war (and it’s negative effects)
- and the economy and jobs

Do you remember George Orwell’s Animal Farm where the pigs teach the sheep to bleat out the party-line over and over again… Four legs good! Too legs bad! The waffling thing is just another example of this. Then they try to turn things on the opposition (Kerry side) by saying that he ‘flip-flops.’

You might point out to your friends that they’re reiterating (reciting) canned rhetoric from the Conservative party, and if they can counter the information documented on how the economy and jobs have been negatively impacted (and measurably!) since GW got into office.

Another point… Conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have made such a hooplah surrounding anything they consider to be Liberal Speak. It just figures that the most vocal and beligerent people in the Cons. Party are white christian males who’s positions of power in the larger scheme of things are challenged by the upcoming ethnic, people of color, or gay/lesbian people. I’m very tired of hearing them try to out yell or over power people in debates. I have begun to believe that they employ these contumacious tactics as a sort of inkscreen for their lack of good and supportable arguments. They sound and look very loud and piggish.

Never mind them that soap at Target now costs a dollar more or gasoline is at least 30-40 cents more per gallon.

Imogene

Sunday Dinner

I’m a little late posting this. The Tarragon Chicken comes courtesy of Martha Going to the Big House Stewart. We will miss you Martha. Though I did not make the mustard sauce from the chicken juices.

Cabbage and Noodles
5 cups shredded cabbage, Pressed and drained in a ricer
One medium yellow onion chopped
1 lb egg noodles boiled (al dente)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika if desired

In a large pot heat the butter until browned. Add the sugar and heat until partially carmelized. Fry the onions over medium-high heat until tender. Add the cabbage and saute on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add the noodles toss and season with salt pepper and paprika.


Tarragon Lemon Chicken
4 large chicken breasts
12 sprigs of fresh tarragon
8 slices of lemon
4 large cabbage leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Steam the cabbage leaves until they are soft and pliable. Set aside. Take each chicken breast. Salt and pepper each one. Place 3 tarragon sprigs and two lemon slices on top of each breast. Carefully wrap the breasts with the cabbage leaves and place in a oven safe dish on top of a metal rack in a large wok. Bring an inch or so of water to boil and cover the chicken. Steam on medium heat for 20 minutes. Make sure to check for doneness before serving.


Mushroom Stroganoff
White sauce with wine (to be added here)
1 lb Crimini mushrooms sliced
2 tbsp white truffle oil
2 tbsp white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
½ c. light sour cream
Chives, chopped

Prepare the white sauce with wine. Saute the mushrooms in the truffle oil until done. Do so in smaller batches so the mushrooms cook evenly. Salt and pepper to taste. When all the mushrooms are cooked add the white wine and cook on low heat a little more. Add the white wine sauce and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sour cream. Serve and garnish with additional sour cream and chives if desired

Monday, September 27, 2004

Do you remember that kid you went to gradeschool with who invariably wet their pants with glee everytime the teacher or sub made everyone take that “following instructions” quiz. I can remember them sitting in class, so zealously attentive as the teacher begun softly, “Take out a piece of lined notebook paper and put your name at the top of the page…” I usually fell asleep sometime during the course of the instructions and later awoke to find that I had left a tiny puddle of drool on my notebook paper.

I wish that I was more organized, more concerned with optimizing procedures. Did I say this? I must be dreaming a dream where I’m happy with droning along at work. Obviously, if I had taken the EQ (Emotional Quotient) test as a child I would have eaten my marshmallow on the spot instead of saving it for future eating and receiving another marshmallow on top of that. This explains, of course why I have not made my first million.

My team-mate has left on sabbatical and I’m now covering for her. Yes, she’s had this role for a number of years so of course she’s a whiz at getting things done. I really was amazed and almost rendered inadequate at how quickly she’d push things out. Now the project teams will have to deal with klunky me trying to get things out in time while learning all the processes. I feel like Max Klinger when he took over for Radar O’Reilly as clerk for the MASH 4077.
I'll get to things, I'll learn how to do them and do them well, but I just can't do execute tasks with the same sort of zeal and passion that some people here seem to be able to muster.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The future is here..

I sent the following announcement to a group of people I know. We're planning to meet sometime in October for the first time. The whole idea is to start with something and gain or learn from all the other participants. A friend of mine who's decided to join in noted that he missed the late night discussions in the dormitory hall-way. While I don't think these discussions will run through the course of the evening, I think this will be a good diversion for me. Maybe we're just a bunch of 30 somethings (former college geeks, now geeks who work in high tech) so embroilled in the duldrums of corporate life that we long for a reprieve... something that will remind us that "No, there doesn't have to be a damn point to everything (ie. not everything has to have a practical application)." Hence, an attempt to revisit philosophical discussions we may have encounted in the past or at least bring up the questions you are discouraged to ask in our daily lives. I wish I could do this first invitation more justice. If you all have any suggestions for future discussion topics let me know.

Chimera

Definition:

1. [n] a grotesque product of the imagination
2. [n] (Greek mythology) fire-breathing she-monster with a lion's head and a goat's body and a serpent's tail; daughter of Typhon

'Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say "Here are our monsters", without immediately turning the monsters into pets.' – J. Derrida.

Monsters are creatures of our imagination, and so Derrida alluded that the future is a monster that we should welcome not fear. Throughout human history, oral and recorded, monsters have embodied everything we fear from our failings or sins to plagues and storms. It’s often common for humans to assign mythical creatures to personify the things they cannot understand…

What are some of the monsters that plague the world today? What sort of fears of the general public are embodied in the mythical creatures in the contemporary world? Do they differ from the ancient beasts?

Disicipline/Thought in Focus: Deconstructionism

Readings for This Discussion:

Derrida and Monsters:
http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/monster.html

Deconstructionist Thought:
http://www.fact-index.com/d/de/deconstruction.html#The%20meaning%20of

Articles of interest (that you may want to read in addition).
WiredMonsters:
http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,13208,00.html

MonstersinArt:
http://www.decordova.org/decordova/exhibit/terrors/essays.htm


Ground Rules:
1.) Anything is game as long as it somehow pertains to the main thread of thought at the core of the discussion… the discussion can go anywhere.
2.) If you can tie the principles of philosophy or the topic discussed to contemporary subjects, things, and people this is a plus…
3.) No one individual can dominate the conversation
4.) We meet somewhere where we can enjoy both good food and drink as well as discussion


These rules are subject to change, by suggestion and agreement of the discussion participants.


What the...

Someone here actually has this quote in their e-mail signature...


To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing


What the ....? Though I would like to think that this works in terms of avoiding responsibility or at the very least helps you resist their attempts at overloading you with work... it doesn't sound right to have this as your credo... at least openly. Maybe I see that as just being terribly self-effacing... even for me.

Damn, I missed Talk Like a Pirate Day!

This would have been good for me... girl who is challenged when it comes to Office Speak... I could mask my disability by talking like a Pirate.

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/about.html

Arrrrrrhhhhh.... send the Spreadsheets to Finance... Arrrrrhhhh...

Monday, September 20, 2004

Understanding the opposition

From this morning, I did spout off a lot, and I’ve been feeling terribly frustrated about the events and surrounding the Presidential elections. And I should watch my language when I speak of such things, I discovered that I’m no different from the folks in various chat rooms and bulletin boards who cannot make sense of things and therefore reacts to their confusion and powerlessness with violence and truculent behavior.

I’m finding as many Americans are that when a line is drawn so close to the middle in a political race, both sides will start to play nasty and use whatever is in their chest of dirty tricks to woo the undecideds over to their camp. However, from what I’ve seen or observed lately, both sides seem to be afraid to attack each other because they don’t want to upset the current standing they have in the polls. Despite this, it seems that the camps lines are drawn and the hot liquid from the zealous on either side is now percolating towards an explosive point. I’ve looked at discussion groups from both sides and it seems that many of the people bothering to comment on these sites are experiencing the same lack of censorship that I did this morning when it comes to expressing the their astonishment at the opposition’s position.

I’m also finding that when teams are drawn so firmly as they are in this election, a perception is grown on both sides that the opposition is driven by people with the capacity of a village idiot. Simply, each side believes that the arguments for supporting their candidate are right and the facts are so set in black and white they cannot understand or even bring themselves to understand why the other side would even vote as they would.

So what are we supposed to do now. If you’ve picked a side… and intend to vote. I suppose the most you can do is simply vote. If you must argue with the folks on the other side of the fence. It does help to be able to back up your arguments with facts and statistics, stories. Most of all, it would benefit anyone from either side to avoid engaging in any angry and heated arguments.


I’m done sitting on the fence to observe… I’ll get down for now.

From what I saw of the TechRepublic forum on voting for GW:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=156599&messageID=1631545

Initially, it seemed to me that this site was dominated by Republican hardballers.. then I saw a few people attempting to argue against them.

Apparently the Conservatives are pretty hip about using pop-culture references…
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=156599&messageID=1636874

Cool-aid or more properly Kool-Aid ™ is used to refer to the liberal rhetoric of spilling out the same thing over and over again. I really haven’t seen anything from their camp which explains in good detail how Bush intends to deal with the loss of jobs or the cost of the current war, or are they even willing to address these issues as facts.

One thing I did notice about looking through this forum… other than the fact that a large number of other tech employees both conservative and liberal are spending time to read all the vitriol on these sites and respond to it… was that the same folks usually spend their time arguing on this site and their names appear consistently through the different branches of arguments.

Finally, the most important thing I learned from perusing through the postings on a political forum… was that you learn absolutely nothing except that there are a lot of illiterate and angry people out there with a lot of time on their hands. That or they're being paid to bait people to come to the site and lay down their two cents… and by thus doing so they are subjected to the flashing advertisements on the page.

Prices are rising

We went shopping at Target yesterday, and I noticed that the prices of some of the items we normally purchase were higher by anywhere from 50 cents to 5 dollars. I found myself having to buy cheaper or go without. This troubles me, as it's clear that if I'm not buying items then other people are probably not at all. What is this doing to our economy?

I love to buy things and spend just as much as the next woman, but even now, I'm finding that I have to be more cautious about what I buy. To me this spells disaster for small businesses or specialty shops. If I'm not spending on their products, people who make as much or less are probably not either.

Are people just sheep?
Can't they see this?
And the gas prices? I suppose they've gotten used to those as well. All for a matter of National Security.

I must say I overheard a comment once from someone in the office who'd just purchased a large SUV. She was so worried that someone would scratch or vandalize her car. "They just don't understand, that when you have two kids, a family, you just need a larger car."

Really, I thought, when I was very young ( younger than 12), my mother had nothing more than a station wagon to haul around two kids and a cantankerous husband, and we did fine. Too bad, with prices rising as they are those SUV lovers will not be able to fill the trunks and storage areas of their car with as much booty from Target or SMall-mart.

I know I'm slipping into a political argument here, but I awoke sick to my stomach this morning... after hearing on the radio that the ludicrous monkey in the White House and Kerry are not so far engaging in any debates? What's this? No Presidential debates... what are both sides afraid of? I know exactly what Bush's Campaign is afraid of either his skull will implode while he's up at the podium or some godawful blunder will escape his lips and frighten the undecided to Kerry's wing. Isn't that sad? And his supporters never fail to come up with some half-baked excuse for the President's lack of verbal ability: "He's a man of the people," or "He's just informal when he speaks."

I just cannot believe that someone who needs so much assistance to sound good or even appear to have command over his words can actually lead this country.

Am I confusing the president's verbal failings with his ability to make decisions that effect our economy? Maybe his track record speaks for itself. It is clear that his efforts or the efforts of his office do nothing or little to benefit those of us who make less that 250,000 even 60, 000 a year. Strange too how jobs from even 40,000 to 60, 000 are disappearing.

The President's campaign's rebuttal for the opposition's cry that they are not lifting a finger to better the economy is simply: that's an old and tired argument. Can you believe this??! That people will simply agree with them? He's bringing it up you obtuse and fatheaded rich fucks because it is an issue that matters a great deal to the American public, especially those whose businesses, jobs, and livlihoods are threatened by the increasingly shitty economy.

It seems that more than ever politics is about hiding, diverting... and either those jack asses in the White House are getting sloppy about hiding their efforts, or people simply don't care anymore.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Oktoberfest - Mt. Angel, OR

Oy, was I bad last night... though not as bad as I have been on previous Oktoberfests. I couldn't help it... the sausage, schnitzel, potatos, sauerkraut, apple-cake, marzipan and roasted nuts... German cooking is some of the best homey cooking on the planet. And happily I washed it down with two Spaten Oktoberfestbiers.. rich, amber sweetness with a warm nuttiness (like me). I'm not a true beer lover, but I prefer German beers over the NW microbrew... I mean I don't want lemon or raspberries in my beer. I ordered a beer not a fricking fruit salad.

Nevertheless, I waddled out of the Oktoberfest like Templeton the Rat because a fair is indeed a Smorgasborg. Of course, I have to pay for my sins by slaving on the tread mill for an extra two to three hours this week, but hell... it was worth it!

Friday, September 17, 2004

I had coffee on the other campus today with a friend. He seemed to be obessed over the notion that the fundamentalist Christians were taking over the company.* I guess they've been posting their big meeting posters (printed on company paper by company plotters) promoting their meetings all over that site. He stole one and folded it up... "It was for an old event that's already over anyway," he said.

Apparently the VP of R&D is the key note speaker at their big boobah.

"That's why this company's going down the hole and our stock is in the toilet!" he insisted.
"Really," I said, "I thought it was because we weren't taking risks and were pushing too hard on foreign markets without developing a robust infrastructure."
"Oh, shut up."
"You're obessing over this arent you?"
"Yes, I am."
"Maybe you should take yoga for that."
"I'm serious..."

He was concerned that there was some sort of old boy Christian network that favored only those who shared their value system.

"You're right we are fucked," I said
"These people can't think... and excuse me for using this, I know you hate it... OUT OF THE BOX."
"Well, they did come up with that idea to build a laptop into a snowboard... and my group, we put out that Village People video. Look, you can't blame people for not being able to hit a true vein of creativity when they're overworked and exposed to the same rhetoric about valuing hardwork and discipline. No one really knows how to play around here. Maybe only in the Banana Republic Fraternity sense of the word. Even our motto promoting a healthy, happy workplace is pretty lame, Attain and enjoy yourself. Also, nothing against people who are so focused on working hard all the time, but you don't always attract the most creative or even innovative people when you seek out people who fill that sort of office persona to the T. And everything has to have a practical application... all learning, knowledge... but it's hard path to teach people to think for themselves.. that's why they have canned classes here on constructive bowel movements... oops, I mean constructive problem solving."
"I guess you're right."
"We need to get out of here."
"Yeah, I dream it every day."




Thursday, September 16, 2004

Noodle Soup with Beef and Spinach

J had a recipe in a cookbook we must have lost during the move. I tried to improvise and I think we actually improved upon the original. I'm sure that the cinnamon and anise have healing properties, but I'm not sure what... This soup makes the whole house smell of exotic spices.. all you'd need is to burn a little spiced myrrh through some woven rugs on the wall and imagine yourself on a trade route to Asia.

1 lb beef cut into chunks for stew
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp ginger julienned
1 medium onion peeled and scored at one end
5 star anise
1 pod of Chao Kwo*, Optional
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 c. soy sauce
6-7 c. water
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 lb bag of spinach leaves
1/2 c. chopped scallions
1 package fresh Chinese noodles (those used for wonton noodle soup work well).

* I know this is wrong, but I picked it up from the spice section of the Asian Grocery...not knowing exactly what these pods were... but the smelt wonderfully of slightly smoky cardamon... they just smelt good... for all I know they could provide the benefits of a cure of atheletes foot or even act as an aphrodisiac... though that is of course doubtful. I've looked it up on the internet and my queries have returned nothign... I'm thinking of taking a few pods into work and asking someone who may be able to tell me what they are.

In a medium hot skillet, brown the beef on all sides in the one tablespoon of oil. Set aside. In a large soup pot heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, cinnamon stick, anise and Chao Kwo. Reduce heat to medium low and saute for five minutes. Add the oyster and soy sauces and tamarind paste and heat of a few more minutes. Pour in water and add the onion and beef. Cover and simmer for at least 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Before serving throw in spinach, scallions and sesame oil and stir. Serve in large bowls over boiled, drained noodles.

Serves at four people quite heartily.




Can't speak the walk or walk the talk

I seriously can't present myself in a 'professional' fashion in meetings. I'm not a good speaker when it comes to presenting in the traditional 'effective' meeting format. Whenever it's my turn to speak a garbled mess ejects itself out of my mouth.. I stammer and come off sounding like a female Jimmy Stewart.

I could get up in front of a crowd and Emcee or sing at Kareoke, but I just cannot give a serious business presentation. I suppose I could attend the Toastmasters class, but I've decided that I would rehearse at home presenting on a few silly and stupid topics...

  • Evidence that The Reign of Geeks is Near Its End
  • The High Impact of Workschedules on the Suburban American's Desire to Procreate
  • PHB Seminar (How to deal with an extremely obtuse boss)

I had a strange dream a few days ago that I was working for John Dewey's office on a project team... understanding the value of the truth. After being involved in so many projects that are seemingly practical in value, I guess I was hungering for enganing in some activity that had more of an intrinsic value rather than a material one. So I decided to start a philsophy/discussion group with a few friends... here is the proposal I made (informal of course):

I’m just throwing out this idea, because I’m bored and feeling like the e-channel just isn’t as stimulating as it used to be.
Maybe I’ve gotten my fix from Dr. 90210 learning about botox junkies and ex-porn stars obessed over collagen and cadaver implants.

I’m thinking of starting a reading/discussion group… focused on reading and discussing works from philiosophers but tying their work to current events, humor, or pop-culture.

Is anyone interested in participating…? At least send me a reply and tell me if you think it’s a crazy ridiculous idea or not.

Reading list could be anyone from Aristotle to Eddy Izzard.
Topics can cover a wide variety of issues (excluding partisan politics) from plastic surgery, the quest for youth to evolution of music culture/with technology (Hey, I’m just throwing some ideas out there) or whatever you guys want to talk about.


I would be committed to not requiring more than 20-30 pages of reading. That means single chapters or articles to focus on only. Some examples include (readings from Foucault for Dummies or Great works of Philosophers in comicbook format), or on-line articles. I would send out an e-copy or link to everyone and we could meet once a month at a bar or some other seedy establishment and choose to talk about the stuff or not. Also I am open to any topics, authors, or items you would wish to bring up for discussion or argument... whichever is more appropriate.

Sincerely,

Imogene.


Laura's a toker?

Is there any truth to the rumor that Laura Bush is a chain smoker?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A little decadence never hurt anyone

In fact, you need to consume a healthy amount of oils to maintain decent looking skin and hair. I met this woman once who boasted that she ate nothing or very little with fat in it. She must have spent a fortune on conditioner and I wondered why she actually had hair. I decided to break my diet just a little for my favorite peanut sauce…
After all, everything in moderation.

Last night I serve a few spoonfuls on top of some steamed green beans. Of course you can adjust the amount of pepper and curry to your taste.


Sort of Thai Peanut Sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ½ tbsp peanut or salad oil
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and julienned
1 lime leaf
½ a small jalepeno pepper sliced
2 tbsp curry paste (you can find this in your Asian grocery)
1 c. coconut milk
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
White pepper
Salt if necessary

Heat the oil on high. Brown the garlic and add the lime leaf, jalepeno pepper, and ginger.
Saute for a few minutes. If you don’t like picking things from your food you can remove the lime leaf. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the peanut butter and coconut and mix over the heat until combine. Stir constantly as to avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with vegetables and tofu over hot rice... in moderation, of course.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I've never been a fan of abstinence

or acetism, or self-sacrifice, or self-denial... I think I've let each of the deadly sins possess me at least several times in my life.

I remember reading the biography Isak Dinsen (Karen Blixen), the author of Out of Africa when I was a teenager and I remember that she asserted that fasting made her stronger. Perhaps she wasn't the best role model for a fourteen year old girl who was developing a self-awareness of her body.

I tried anorexia for about four hours... then dinner came around. The thought of throwing up my food and worse rotting my teeth deterred me from experimenting with bulemia.

But I've noticed that I cannot eat those legendary menus I was capable of downing in my teens and early twenties. Once at Oktoberfest I successfully ate (not sampled) 5 different kinds of sausage, 2 servings of saurkraut, a medium soft drink, 4 pints of beer, one marion berry sundae, a corn on the cob, coleslaw, curly fries, and a fried dough boy with raspberry jam.

What? AK-47s on the streets again?

I just did this… I’m not big on the political gravy train, but here it is… The only thing I fear about these things is that my address will end up somewhere I don’t want it to, but then the conspiracy freak in me thinks…. “That’s exactly what THEY want you to believe.”
Ciao,
Imogene.

Speak up: http://www.moveon.org/savetheban/
------------------------------------------------
The national ban on military-style assault weapons will expire on Monday, September 13th, unless President Bush and Congress act now. President Bush promised to renew the ban, but instead he's letting it expire -- he has refused to call on Congress to deliver it for his signature.
For 10 years the assault weapons ban has taken the deadliest weapons off our streets, cutting their use in crimes 66 percent. But beginning Tuesday the 14th, an 18-year-old will once again be able to buy an AK-47 assault rifle in most states.
We can stop this if we speak up now. President Bush and Congress must renew the assault weapons ban, not let it expire. Please join me in demanding it, at:
http://www.moveon.org/savetheban/

Friday Morning Breakfast and Reflection

As I sat on the couch to eat my Apple pie and drink my cup of coffee, I turned on the T.V. Condeleeza Rice was on, more propaganda for the war on terror. I had to change the channel to Matlock. I'd rather watch that then be in the television presence of her pursing lips and holier than though countenance.

I thought, I have a lot to be grateful for.

  • My name doesn't sound like or rhyme with a sexual act or organ.
  • I've lost 3 lbs.
  • I don't have to wake up too early every morning.
  • Friends is no longer on the air.
  • I am living with a man who makes the best darn apple pie on the planet, and he makes me laugh til my sides split.

I have a lot to be grateful for.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Suprise... god didn't give you the face or hymen you were supposed to have

Dr. 90210 the other night featured a hymen reconstruction... honestly. I didn't watch it, but the ad promo they ran over and over again had my mind racing.

All they have to do is marry the Suprise by Design Show with Extreme Makeover... I love it!

Suprise! You have a new vagina!

I just want to know how to build a pre-loader for Christsake!

I don't want to read a half-baked anecdote about your insomnia and addiction to caffeine. If I run into another flash tutorial where the author/developer attempts to display their wit and humor in their lame attempts at storytelling, I will scream.

I just want to get my job done.

I guess I'll just have open someone else's flash files and dissect them again. Maybe they should teach more people how to tinker around with things in school. The problem is in this place... you're expected to know how to fix everything, build everything, automate everything, learn languages and applications on the fly and get your project management/meeting work done at the same time. I'm still hiding out in the outskirts of work responsibility here, hoping that they won't assign me to any committees. Work force committee, eLearning committee, automation committee, functional excellence committee, committee committee. I want to be like Buster from Arrested Development (not seen, not heard... but I still just want to get my job done).

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I could say that I’m embarrassed to admit this…

I could say that I’m embarrassed to admit this… but what would be the point? I sat and watched about 4 hours straight of E True Hollywood Story on the E Channel. To be honest I spent a great deal of my time watching the E Channel this past weekend. I just could not stop! I had to learn more about the Olsen twin’s time spent in the eating disorder camp. I have to wonder… they actually looked the same, weight-wise… wouldn’t one look skinnier than the other. Maybe the afflicted twin spent her time shoving her face with boxes and boxes of Little Debbies treats (then subsequently relieving herself from them Roman style). Maybe they’re lying to us about what exactly she was being treated for. I can’t peel my eyes from the tube as Dr 90210 begins. A fifty year-old porn star who comes in for an alternative to her yearly collagen injections has the opportunity to share her humble pad complete with gargoyles and victorian lamps. She opens her refrigerator and notes proudly that she does not stock anything but liquid items. I note that her inventory includes along with the various waters, fruit juices and sodas, a number of alcholic beverages as well. Maybe if you ate a sandwich every now and then, your lips wouldn’t look like a pair of roosting bats.

Thanks to television everyone any anyone can rise to celebrity freak status.

I sat through the entire 2 hour Laci Peterson story… watching 2 hours of unadulterated Media Porn to masturbate my morbid curiousity and sate my hunger for a good old fashioned American Freak Show set in the heartland of middle (suburban) America (where it belongs). I sat through the show with the same sort of guilty relish that I feel when I sit in the doctors office and read the entire People magazine front to back.

This past summer I watched the media coverage of the Brooke Wilberger disappearance and realized that they would never air the complete story with such heartstring tugging appeals if it was about some chick named Antigone who had two mothers or a girl named Aisha whose mother was a former crack addict. Why this all just wouldn’t be that interesting if it didn’t happen to someone who had a seemingly perfect life. That’s why we watch these things, because we hope to seem some blemishes because we can’t actually bring ourselves to believe that these people are normal. I watch with the same lurid fascination until the news cuts to the coverage of Brooke’s would be room mates at BYU university. “We just keep this teddy bear in memory of her and hug it whenever we miss her.” At this point I have to shut the television off.

I am additcted and I cannot stop watching.

I sat through 15 minutes of Last Comic Standing before I decided that 95% of what was being said was not funny. I think I laughed at the Vietnamese guy’s jokes… mainly because the audience booed at him from making the Swift Boat crack.

Doesn't anyone remember the Patriot Act? Or do they care about what it means to your basic right to privacy? Or do they remember what happened in the Weimar Republic (allbeit this essay was written by an AP History student it gets the point across), after the people allowed themselves to think that it was all right to sacrifice part of their liberties "for the good of their nation."

Could you blame them though? After the treaty of Versailles they were humiliated before all of Europe and many Germans left to starve. I do think I should be thankful for the fact that 'our so called' fearless leader is no where near as good an orator as the little Austrian. I mean as he is so concerned about OB/GYNs ability to "practice their love" on a woman's privates.

While I agree that we should be dilligent pursuing terrorists. I do not believe that the rest of us should suffer the loss of our basic rights as citizens of a democratic society, and I am sick of hearing those pro-Pat Act bone-heads imbue their speech, logic and pleas with twisted logic by appealing to our fears (no matter how real they may be). Or insisting that the Act will not affect you (as long as you are within the confines of the Law or are not suspected of being a terrorist). Still, this isn't the point...

Once you openly reliquish your right to privacy to any government... it will take a hell of a fight to get it back. I'm angry with our congress for even considering this law.



The law before and how it changed: Previously the government needed at least a warrant and probable cause to access private records. The Fourth Amendment, Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and case law provided that if the state wished to search you, it needed to show probable cause that a crime had been committed and to obtain a warrant from a neutral judge. Under FISA—the 1978 act authorizing warrantless surveillance so long as the primary purpose was to obtain foreign intelligence information—that was somewhat eroded, but there remained judicial oversight. And under FISA, records could be sought only "for purposes of conducting foreign intelligence" and the target "linked to foreign espionage" and an "agent of a foreign power." Now the FBI needs only to certify to a FISA judge—(no need for evidence or probable cause) that the search protects against terrorism. The judge has no authority to reject this application. DOJ calls this "seeking a court order," but it's much closer to a rubber stamp. Also, now the target of a search needn't be a terror suspect herself, so long as the government's purpose is "an authorized investigation ... to protect against international terrorism."

(from the following article )