Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve


If you are reading this you have (or nearly have) successfully completed the calendar year 2008. Tonight will be the time-honored tradition of celebrating the new year in hopes of it being better than the previous one, or something like that. Then the traditional fireworks, followed by some more partying and then the drunk dodge home (The night of the 31st/morning of the 1st is considered the most dangerous time to be on the roads as it has the highest number of drunk-driving related accidents, therefore the effort to dodge all these drunks).

I’m off to go pick some stuff from my fireworks stash to blow up tonight. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I just got home from dropping Brenda off at her house. It has been snowing most of the evening, so only a freak warm front that brings hot air and lots of rain in the next few hours will prevent me from having a white Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas Update

So one party is cancelled today, while the other is on, so that should make my day slightly less hectic. It’s snowing outside and there’s currently 11 inches on the deck. Our igloo is fairing quite nicely with the added snow. Zach hates it but I did manage to get him to stay in the opening long enough to snap a few pics.

Click on either of the images to see the really big versions if you wish.

Seattle has taken it upon themselves once again to be the sole “defenders of the environment.” They are doing this by refusing to use salt on any of the icy roads because of the environmental impact that may pose. Apparently anything that gets spread onto the roads in Seattle eventually gets washed into Puget Sound and they haven’t yet done a multi-year, multi-million dollar study to determine if washing a few extra tons of sea-salt into the ocean will harm marine life or not. As Seattle is one of the hilliest (I didn’t know that was a real word, but spell check and the dictionary tell me it is) large cities in the country, not salting the roads is very dangerous. But then again this is Seattle and they look for any excuse to keep people from driving their cars anywhere, even if that reason is because it’s life-threatening to try to drive some of these roads that are sheets of ice.
Thank you Al Gore once again for giving us your global warming, otherwise we would surely be dead from what’s already likely to be the coldest December of my lifetime so far.

A White Christmas?

It might actually happen this year! Or at least a Christmas with some traces of snow left on the ground in varying shades of white, gray, and brown. It's been snowing/slushing all week and therefore most of our accumulated snow from the last week and a half hasn't melted yet. It started snowing the evening of the 12th and some of that was still around when it resumed snowing a few days later. From recent memory I recall traces of snow on the ground for 16 days in a row 2 years ago. We might have that beat if there’s still snow on Saturday.

I’m going to be all Christmas partied out by the end of this week. Our party that got snowed out last Saturday due to our nonexistent blizzard is rescheduled for Friday. There are two parties today (overlapping a bit) as well as another one on Saturday. I'm gonna try to make both tonight. I still haven’t decided if I want to go shopping later today before these parties start. I enjoy going out on Christmas Eve so I can make fun of the panicked people who need their last minute gifts for people. Not that I don’t often wait until the last minute, I’m just not panicked about it. And I've had all my shopping done for quite a few hours now anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Border Update

So the night of November 30 my mom, my sisters, and my girlfriend were coming home from Mt Baker, while Dad and the dog stayed behind at the condo since there wasn’t room in the car for all 7 of us. We decided that since we were only a few miles from the Canadian border that we would swing through Canada for a quick stop, primarily because Brenda had never been there before. We also wanted to stop by a grocery store and buy a bunch of candy that cannot be bought in the US due to pesky FDA regulations (KinderEggs). So we stopped at Zellers, which is just like Target, and bought a bunch of random candy to bring home, then we stopped by Wendy’s for supper. We get back to the border only to wait just under an hour to actually get to the crossing point. After talking with the customs dude for a few minutes he asks to see our passports. None of us actually had a passport with us since we didn’t actually plan on leaving the country that afternoon, nor did we realize that finally needed one to get back into the US.
We were then sent to the holding area where we were supposed to talk to some other customs people to convince them that we are indeed US citizens and have a right to be in the US. Thanks to idiots in the government who think illegals need at least as many rights and privileges in the US as real citizens, a government issued drivers’ license is not proof of citizenship or even legal residency in the US. Also, the entry fee to enter the US legally for someone who cannot prove that they are a US citizen is about $570.
Thankfully my mom was able to talk our way into the country and we made it home in one piece, without having to shell out a quarter’s tuition to get home. The moral of this story, if you’re coming into the US, pretend to speak Spanish and don’t cross on a major road. That will save you from many problems.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Van Update

So as a follow-up to my post on December 1, a day or two actually means 2-3 weeks on this particular occasion. So our van is basically totaled now. Apparently there was a defect on the frame of the van where the steering box housing (if I remember correctly) which caused it to fail structurally. This is actually supposed to be one of the strongest parts of the vehicle as it basically supports the full weight of the vehicle and the full force of forcing the 4500 pounds of it to turn at whatever speed it happens to be traveling.
It also appears that this is not an isolated case, my mom did some research and found quite a few reports where owners have complained that the exact same thing has happened to them; the biggest difference is that most of these complaints were filed between 1994 and 1997 for the van that was built in 1993. My mom also thinks she can find a bunch of accident reports where the van did a similar thing at freeway speeds, killing everyone involved which would mean that the owner wouldn’t be able to file such a claim if they were in the van at the time.
My grandpa took the van from Mt. Baker to his house to look at it and discovered several large cracks in the frame with rust in them, indicating that the cracks have probably been there since we bought the van (15 years ago next week).
God was definitely watching over us as we have driven that van up and down the West coast several times, and even out east to the other coast. That it died while we were parking on the top of a mountain was a bit inconvenient, but if it had broke a few minutes earlier we probably would have plunged over a cliff, or if it failed after we left that would have been another cliff to plunge over.

Global Warming is Once Again Saving My Life

Thanks to Al Gore’s more useful invention, global warming, I am not dead right now. We are currently experiencing some of the coldest and nastiest conditions I can recall in my lifetime of living here in Seattle. With highs squeaking into the 20s and lows flirting with single digits (all Fahrenheit) and blizzard conditions over most of the region, I am warmly sitting in front of the raging woodstove with my laptop. We’ve got about 6 inches of snow on the ground at the moment, which is amazing; 6 inches of snow in a year is pretty good here, not to mention all at once.
I was actually stranded at home a good chunk of Friday and Saturday since I happen to be the only one in the house with a vehicle that has 4 wheel drive, therefore both of my parents took it upon themselves to borrow it several times to run errands and stuff like that. The weather people also claim that there will be 90mph gusts of wind from about midnight to early this afternoon, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

Now that I'm up and ready to leave for church, I just got a call from the Don that all services are canceled and that I can sleep in. As this morning is the first time all week that I've been out of bed before 11am (yay Christmas break) I really wish someone would have made that decision and let me know before I went to bed. Oh well I guess I'll read for a bit then nap for a few hours.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Funniest Car Listing

Here's a car listing for a Nissan Xterra that someone found on Craigslist and posted to Fark:

OK, let me start off by saying this Xterra is only available for purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o'clock shadow, this Nissan would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It wasn't meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No, that's what your Prius is for. If that's the kind of car you're looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Just stop.

This car was engineered by 3rd degree ninja super-warriors in the highest mountains of Japan to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn't even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don't get lost), heated leather seats (a real man doesn't let anything warm his butt), or On Star (real men don't even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super action junkies need. It has a 265 HP engine to outrun the cops. It's got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid kit in the back. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite down on when you're operating on yourself. The Xterra also has an automatic transmission so if you're being chased by Libyan terrorists, you'll still be able to shoot your machine gun out the window and drive at the same time. It's saved my bacon more than once.

It has room for you and the four hotties you picked up on the way to the gym to blast your pecs and hammer your glutes. There's a tow hitch to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban, self cooling machine gun. I also just put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $12,900, but I'll entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don't walk up and tell me you'll give me $5,000 for it. That's liable to earn you a Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let's just say you won't be the prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There's only 69,000 miles on this four-wheeled hellcat from Planet Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it's a rugged, no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just chilling with my ladies, but I'll get back to you. And when I do, we'll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Rock on.

Not really sure what to say to that but I was laughing pretty hard when I read it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

And It’s December Already

Wow, November went by fast. It seems like we just had Halloween and now Thanksgiving is already past us. So what have I done so far this month? I voted against a bunch of politicians and measures that still managed to win. I worked and went to school. I managed to study my Bible Quiz material and work out every single day during the month. I had two Thanksgivings last Thursday, at Brenda’s grandparents’ house and the other at my house. I was also stuck at the top of Mt. Baker Highway thanks to the steering rods sheering off the bolts in our van(thankfully while we were parking in the ski-area parking lot and not when we were driving the icy, winding, cliff-side roads to actually get to that parking lot) which means that our van is only drivable if you’re trying to drive it straight since the front tires won’t turn. And last night I was detained at the US/Canadian border since my ID is apparently no longer considered proof of citizenship. Good times, good times. More to come in the next day or two after I finish my Psych paper and my IT presentation.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fifth of November

On this sad day it is time to once again remember the 5th of November. It is once again Guy Fawkes day! It has been 403 years since the attempt by the Catholics to blow up the Parliament building while in session and assassinate King James. In remembrance I might try to watch V for Vendetta sometime today.

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !

A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,'
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." I'm a bit more afraid of my government than I used to be, but I fear people more since they're mostly just the stupid, unwashed masses. Time to arm yourselves a bit more heavily and head for the hills.

Oh $#(^!

Enough said for now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I set two goals for myself today. The first was to run 5 miles; the second was to finish my Mark book. As of a few minutes ago I finished the first goal by going 5.32 miles in 61 minutes. The second is one I haven’t started working on yet today. I’ll just have to update this again before I go to bed to let the world know that I’ve either completed my set task or gave up in miserable failure. Expect new update within the next four hours…


I have 15 of 42 pages completely done, so I'm much farther behind that I want to be, but I'm tired and am going to bed now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Here is an article I read last night called "545 People". I pretty much agree with all of it, so I'm pasting it here. If you really want to read it on its original page you can find it here.
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits , WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted - by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses, provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees. We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

-Charlie Reese

I have no incumbent representatives or senators worth voting for, and at this point I'll vote for anyone that isn't them. Obama really scares me so I'm also willing to vote for anyone running against him, even if it means sucking it up and voting for someone I've never liked, such as McCain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hershey No Longer Makes Chocolate

For those who haven't heard, the Hershey Company has announced that it will no longer be producing Milk Chocolate. They have made the decision to replace cocoa butter in their products with vegetable oil and chocolate flavorings in order to save money. FDA regulations say that nothing sold as Milk Chocolate can contain vegetable oil, therefore Hershey is removing Milk Chocolate from its labels. I love Milk Chocolate and even eat the Hershey stuff, but I'm not going to be buying it again if they make it gross like those cheapy brands that my grandma likes to buy.

And So It Begins…Again…

I’m currently sitting in the classroom waiting for my second class to start and am now bored. So in the unlikely event that this post is read, and the unlikelier event that someone is interested, there it is. IT Management should be an interesting class from what I’ve gathered from our only class so far, and I hope my other classes are at least as interesting. That is all for the time being.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pence Opposes Bush Administration Bailout Plan

Representative Mike Pence is nearly alone from what I’ve heard in his opposition to the massive giveaway to failing companies. Here’s what he has to say:

“Our financial markets are in turmoil and the Administration was right to call for decisive action to prevent further harm to our economy but nationalizing every bad mortgage in America is not the answer.

“The Administration’s request amounts to the largest corporate bailout in American history. Congress should act, but should act in a way that protects the integrity of our free market and protects the American taxpayer from more debt and higher taxes.
“To have the freedom to succeed, we must preserve the freedom to fail. Any solution to our present crisis must preserve our essential economic freedom.

“Congress should delay consideration of any legislation until the facts and competing solutions can be fully debated, consider alternatives to massive government spending and figure out how to pay for the solution through budget cuts and reform instead of more debt or taxes.

“Congress must not hastily embrace a cure that may do more harm to our economy than the disease of bad debt

“Before any bailout is enacted, Congress must set itself on an unalterable path to truly overhaul these Government Sponsored Enterprises from the top down and hold those accountable, in and out of government, who drove them, and our financial sector, to the brink of bankruptcy. Some important work is already underway, but additional reforms are needed. Even now, we read that the Treasury Department is using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase many of these bad mortgages while it seeks the authority to purchase them all. Congress should also ensure that these GSEs can no longer pose a systemic risk to the entire economy while placing them on a brisk schedule to be fully private companies with no guarantee of taxpayer support in times of trouble. And Congress should immediately repeal the Affordable Housing Fund, which will actually siphon off capital from these under-capitalized entities, in order to fund left-wing, third party organizations.

“Next, Congress must consider all available options to put our nation’s economy back on its feet. There are no easy answers but there are alternatives to massive government spending.

“Indexing the Capital Gains tax to inflation (which the Treasury Department can do without any help from Congress), or suspending it for one year, would release an enormous amount of capitol into our economy. Passing an energy bill that lessens the price of gasoline at the pump through more domestic drilling, wind, solar, nuclear and conservation would bring relief to family budgets and create American jobs. Establishing an entitlement reform commission to develop bipartisan solutions to the crushing weight of entitlements would strengthen the American dollar.

“These and other alternatives to a massive federal bailout must be fully considered and debated before Congress acts.

“Finally, any new expenditure of taxpayer dollars should be paid for with fiscal discipline and reform. If Congress decides to spend nearly 1 trillion dollars on a corporate bailout, it must find budget savings to prevent that cost from being passed along to the American people.

“We must address this crisis with forethought, creativity and fiscal discipline. Protecting the American taxpayer from higher debt and taxes and renewing our belief in the power of the free market must be our guide.”

I hope I hear more politicians echoing his sentiments in the next days and weeks ahead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moral of the Story, Don’t Do What the Government Says

So the government wants to spend roughly a TRILLION dollars of your and my money to bail out banks from around the world who hold too much bad mortgage debt. Why are they holding this bad debt? Because they either gave mortgages to people who could not afford to pay them back or they bought these mortgages from other banks at a discount. Why did these banks lend money to people who had no business borrowing that much money? Because the government told them to. Why did the government tell them to? Because more people owning houses is apparently more important than more people actually being able to afford to own houses.
Should the government be responsible for bailing out these huge banks? Maybe. The government is responsible for these banks issuing hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to people who should not have qualified for these loans in the first place. So in that sense the government should be responsible for fixing a problem they caused. HOWEVER, most solutions the government implements are usually worse than the problems that they created, so it could actually be better for everyone if they did nothing at all.
Listening to the random news shows on TV, many people are criticizing the proposed plan because it only helps the wealthy banking industry and leaves out the poor people who are facing foreclosure. The poor people who can’t pay the loans that they never should have received in the first place is that cause of the problem. If the government does some sort of bail out of these people I hope that there are riots in every street of the country for rewarding people for being stupid at the expense of those smart enough to not get in this situation.
Is there more to this whole situation? Probably. Ultimately it will mean that I’ll need good credit in order to get a mortgage in the next few years.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reading List 2008

Here's the list of all books I recall reading so far this year. For the sake of simplicity, listening to the audio book on my Zen will count as reading. I think this is about average for me, but this is the first year in several that I've actually tried to keep track.

   George Orwell
The Amber Spyglass
   Philip Pullman
Atlas Shrugged
   Ayn Rand
Belles on Their Toes
   Frank & Ernestine Gilbreth
Cheaper by the Dozen
   Frank & Ernestine Gilbreth
   Steven D. Levitt
   Ann Coulter
The Golden Compass
   Philip Pullman
Good to Great*
   Jim Collins
Have Space Suit Will Travel
   Robert A. Heinlein
How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)*
   Ann Coulter
If Democrats Had Any Brains They’d Be Republicans
   Ann Coulter
Inventing a Nation
   Gore Vidal
The Millionaire Mind
   Thomas J. Stanley
The Millionaire Next Door*
   Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko
Noble Vision
   Gen LaGreca
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
   Thomas E. Woods Jr.
The Rolling Stones
   Robert A. Heinlein
The Star Beast
   Robert A. Heinlein
Starship Troopers*
   Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land
   Robert A. Heinlein
The Subtle Knife
   Philip Pullman
What’s So Great About America
   Dinesh D’Souza
The World is Flat
   Thomas L. Friedman

* Books I've read before

Books in my stack of reading material that I'm currently reading or will be reading soon:
The ACLU vs America
   Alan Sears & Craig Osten
Built to Last
   Jim Collins & Jerry Porras
The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States
   Benjamin F. Morris
The Fountainhead
   Ayn Rand
My Job Went to India (And All I Got Was This Lousy Book)
   Chad Fowler
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress*
   Robert A. Heinlein

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Free Pop and Popcorn

Parkway Plaza Theater is giving away free pop and popcorn to everyone to gives them one of these coupons this weekend. Just print one out per person and enjoy.

I win!

The Stranger, the more hippy of the ‘news’papers in Seattle wrote an article criticizing the current state superintendant for not being able to answer 3 questions they gave her from the WASL* (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) test. These particular questions are logic problems used to evaluate students’ reasoning processes. Students are instructed to “Write to help explain your best thinking using words, numbers, or pictures” when answering these questions. I believe partial credit is given to those who do not correctly answer them but show how they got their answers. The three questions given to her are as follows:

Tom, Dick and Harry work in a bank. One is the manager, one is the cashier and one is the teller. The teller, who was an only child, earns the least. Harry, who married Tom's sister, earns more than the manager. What position does each person fill?

Penny works in the Package Palace. It is Penny’s job to stamp the sides of packages that are not touching the floor and not touching another package. Today there are 25 packages on the floor. Penny put the packages into 5 stacks, and the sides of the stacks touch. How many sides of packages must penny stamp.

The local recycling plant has just bought a new metal compactor that produces a smaller cube of scrap iron than does the older machine. Somebody noticed, however, that the combined volumes of one cube from each compactor was numerically the same as the combined lengths of all their edges. What are the dimensions of the cubes, if you consider only integral solutions?

The superintendant, Terry Bergeson, only attempted the first two questions and got both of them wrong. I tried and got all three right, therefore I’m now accepting write in votes for the position as the new State School Superintendant.

*The WASL test was put together by a panel of teachers and representatives from the largest employers in Washington to evaluate the basic knowledge and reasoning abilities of Washington high school students. Those who pass the test show that they meet a satisfactory level of reasoning ability required to be hired by these companies. Sadly, few students pass every section of this test on their first attempt, and most teachers (including the superintendant) fail as well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It Is Finished

The massive printing project at the shop is done and I'm no longer working nights. Tomorrow will be the first day since 26 June that I have not worked at least part of the day (counting a day as 00:00-23:59). Given that I've seen more sunrises in the last month than I have in the last few years combined, I'm planning to start going to bed a bit earlier now.

I have a new computer, an HP Pavilion DV9657cl laptop, being the first complete computer I've ever purchased for myself, and the only one I've owned that had 100% stock parts. This will change when RAM goes on sale as I'll upgrade it to 4GB and possibly rip the entire thing apart and apply a tube of Arctic Silver 5 liberally to all the hot parts. It's got a 17" screen, HD-DVD drive, 320GB of hard drive, an nVidia 8600M GS video card, and most importantly a numpad. It weighs slightly less than a textbook and I get 3+ hours of battery life when in the balanced power mode.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dark Knight for the Win

Last night we saw Dark Knight at the Valley Drive In. We were expecting to have to wait until after Journey to the Center of the Earth to see Batman in the double feature, but they decided that since most of the people going were planning on seeing Dark Knight they were going to show it first. It was also the busiest I've ever seen the drive in, with the gates opening a half hour earlier than planned just to accommodate the extra crowds. Sadly it was not dark enough to see it well for the first half of the movie, so some of the darker scenes were very hard to make out. Also it took us a while to get the sound at an optimum balance of bass and treble to hear it well. Neither sound or video were that bad but they definitely detracted from the movie experience as a whole. I will therefore reserve judgment on the quality of the movie until after seeing it in IMAX next week. Other than that, it really was a very good movie and very much deserving of it's new record for the highest grossing box office receipts for a single day, estimated to beat Spiderman 3 by several million dollars.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Three in a Row

Last night was the third night in a row I went to bed before sunrise. I’m really tired of my work schedule right now, but not because of the hours. I’m tired of it because I’m really tired on the days that I want to do things with people, because it means getting up many hours before my body is ready to wake up, thanks to being used to going to bed between 5 and 7 in the mornings.
What else seems important right now..? My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this past week. I got my truck fixed with my grandpa’s help so it should get me from point A to point B for a few more years to come. I acquired a new computer thanks to eBay; I’ll completely finish it with parts from Fry’s Labor Day or Thanksgiving sales, but I’ve got more than enough parts sitting around to make it fully functional until then.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Last Sunday I had one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had in very long time. I was talking with random people at church after second service and noticed my mom and sisters talking to some random woman I’ve never seen before. One of my sisters comes over and says something to me that I can’t remember. My mom then points to me and mentions that I’m her other son. Then the lady asks if I’m the girls’ younger brother.

I’ve gotten used to people asking if I was my brother’s younger brother since he’s been taller than me for years and has been gaining weight so he’s bigger than me too, despite the fact that I’m 2 ½ years older than him. But this was the first time anyone has asked if I’m the younger brother of my baby sisters (they’re 9 ½ years younger than me). It might be one thing if they were bigger or taller than me, but I’ve got them beat in every measurement.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Goodbye Sonics

On Wednesday a settlement was reached between the city of Seattle and the owners of the Sonics and the team will be leaving for Oklahoma City. As I’ve never cared for basketball, other than for a Super NES basketball game, I’m rather glad to see them go. Now I don’t have to worry about programs on the TV and radio being preempted by basketball games. Many people are panicked and angry because this might mean the end of professional basketball in the region. To that I say “I hope so.” What I would really like would be for Seattle to acquire a professional hockey team instead. I have fond memories of attending minor league hockey games with friends and family in the past and would actually go to see hockey games if they were available.
The city is hoping that the state will raise some tax to give them half a billion dollars or so to renovate Key Arena in order to try to persuade a new team to come to Seattle. I vote that if a new team wants to come here and are dissatisfied with the current facilities (where were completely renovated 15 years ago or so at great expense) that the owners pay the full expense of these desired upgrades.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Birthday USA

As everyone knows, Wednesday was the 232nd anniversary of the independence of the American colonies from England. Although we observe (with illuminations) the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th every year. I vote that we continue to celebrate both days as long as we are legally allowed to do so, and then even more so after that point. There are those who claim that our independence is not something worth celebrating, I say that they can move to Palestine or Cuba or some other 3rd world crap hole that they admire more than the US.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Here's a picture I took of a frogpole (not quite a tadpole anymore, still not quite a frog) on Sunday.

Right now Deviant Art is my only real hosting service for pictures, and I've been posting new things to Deviant more frequently than I've been blogging in recent months. I'm taking a short break at the print shop right now and will be getting back to work momentarily.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I'm sitting at the print shop right now for the sixth night in a row. Babysitting laser printers isn't very hard or exciting after a few hours; they will run unattended for over an hour. I need to keep emptying the top tray so that there's still room for more paper to come out. I also keep the paper trays full so there's no risk of running out of paper. Once I have a large stack of books printed I take them back to the cutter and jog them up, cut them in half, and box them for safe storage. During the rest of the time I keep busy with random tasks and I keep myself entertained here alone by listening to music and audio books on my headphones. I just started The Golden Compass. I'm working 6ish to 3ish every night and try to wake up by noon every day. That's my schedule until further notice.

I'm also keeping myself busy by reading books on various Adobe programs. Right now I'm going through a book on Illustrator CS3. I know a bit about Illustrator already but I really would like to learn how to do much more than I can at the moment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Today I started posting some stuff onto my Deviant Art page.  I don’t have very much artsy stuff to share with the world so I’m starting with so picture from Soos Creek Trail from Tuesday.  (I thought the trail was about 4 miles long, but Brenda and I found out that it’s closer to 11 miles round trip from end to end).  We walked about 4 ½ miles before turning around at the park and heading back to the car. We also took over 150 pictures, a few of which are now on Deviant Art. See them here if you care to have a look.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And So It Begins…

No, I’m not copying the Babylon 5 into, although that was one of the coolest shows to ever be broadcast on TV. Tomorrow we start the marathon printing session at work. I’ll be working from 21:00 tomorrow night, until about 03:00. Everyday after that I’ll be working from about 18:00 to 03:00. I’ve loaded up on audio books to keep myself busy and will probably finish more books in the next few weeks than I’ve finished in the last few months combined. I’m also going to work more in the next few weeks than I’ve worked in the last few months combined. I’ll be shopping for a car and laptop sometime in the next month after figuring out my budget for the school year to see what I can afford; right now I’m in need of something in addition to my 1994 S-10 pickup and my 1999 Toshiba laptop.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We’ve got a fun new project at the print shop this coming month. Apparently we’ve got an order for 1500 catalogs and they’re at a size where it’s not economical to print on a press. Therefore all of them will be printed on 4 laser printers. It’ll take about 45 minutes per set to print the pages of each individual book and they want the printers to operate 18 hours per day. So as soon as the final sign off is made on the samples I’ll be working 18:00-03:00 everyday for about 3 weeks straight, or 4 weeks if it’s decided not to run weekends. Each book will have to be cut to size, have tabs inserted, and boxed to be shipped to the binders. In total I’ll have to work close to 200 hours during this period, which a huge portion being overtime. I should make enough in those three weeks to completely cover fall tuition, books, and fees; as well as possibly acquire a laptop that’s less than 10 years old.
Should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Movies of 2008

So far I’ve seen 5 movies that have been released this year. There really hasn’t been that many that I’ve had a strong desire to see, or at least be willing to pay money to see. So here’s my five movie countdown:

Veggie Tales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything

I enjoyed most of this movie, but I cannot comment on the entire since I fell asleep in the middle of it; which isn’t a good or easy thing to do when seeing it at the theater. It definitely had its moments though.

27 Dresses

While seeing the first part of this movie I thought it was a rip-off of The Wedding Planner. It was pretty good overall, but lacked the sheer awesomeness of the other movies I’ve seen so far.

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!

Definitely the better of the cartoons that have come out this year. It reminded me that good animations actually do come out more than once a year. I’m not sure if I’d spend money to buy the disc, but it was still a good movie.

Speed Racer

This movie was excellent. The story was good, the animation was superb, and the characters were likable. Some of it was total sensory overload on the big screen, which can be very fun once in a while. The one thing it lacked to make it the best movie of the year was a character named Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I’ve been waiting years for this movie and was not disappointed. It wasn’t quite as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but still awesome. It was better than Temple of Doom and more exciting than Last Crusade, and had some of the humor from both. The only Indiana Jones story that could have made a better movie would have been Fate of Atlantis, that is and would be an awesome story to see made into a movie; I’d rather not wait almost 20 years for another Indiana Jones movie if they decide to make one. Nursing Home Brawl probably wouldn’t be a very exciting sequel to my favorite Lucas/Spielberg joint project.

I still want to see Iron Man and Narnia. Hopefully the drive-in will have the two playing together and I can see them back to back in the near future.

I think I'm done procrastinating now and will start my online final for Operations Management.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hooray for Bush!

Finally, he’s taking a step in the right direction as it relates to illegal immigration.  According to Bush signed an executive order requiring all employees of federal contractors to be legally eligible to work in the US.  This will cut off jobs to probably thousands of illegal workers who will have to either find new work or go home and then make those jobs available to legal immigrants and US citizens who need them.

School is almost done, need one more online final and then it's over for three months. I'm hoping to get at least one day off per week this summer to do whatever I want.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Almost Done...

I've got a paper and presentation due tomorrow, then I'm essentially done with school for the year. Right now I can't focus on much of anything for more than a few minutes at a time, so I've decided to make a quick post as one of my distractions. We're writing a paper on one of the print shops I work at sometimes. This should be an interesting project when we finish it; it's not due for another 12 1/2 hours though, plenty of time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I got bored so I took a survey from Rabenstrange's blog:

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

On a sad note, gas is now $4 a gallon at the Arco by my house. I'm debating if I should stop buying gas yet and use up my stash in the garage, or if I should save it in case gas gets more expensive.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Zen

Last week I acquired my 4th Mp3 player in 9 years. I wanted a small, flash-based player that I could slip into my pocket for long runs. I got a 4GB Zen V Plus for $40 from the Creative online store during a 1-day sale. It’s about half the size of the new iPod Nanos, a tiny fraction the price, and can play a broader range of media types.

My first Mp3 player was a Casio Cassiopeia, which was technically a windows-based PDA, but I bought it primarily for its mp3 playing capabilities. I kept it for a few months than sold it for a little more than I paid for it on eBay to help pay for my first missions trip to Romania.

My second Mp3 player was actually a dedicated player, the Iomega HipZip. This player took mini-Zip discs (remember those?) which held 40MB each. I was able to buy these discs for $5-10 a piece and could store a whole CD on one. When the cost of flash memory was nearly $50 for a 16MB compact flash card, these were really a good deal. I did have problems with this player and had to get 3-4 of them RMAed from Iomega before I got one that was fully functional. I think my last one is in a box in my shed right now.

My third and more recent player is my Creative Zen Touch. This was the ultimate Mp3 player when it was released in 2004, and thus became my Christmas present to myself that year. It was a tiny bit bigger than my HipZip and quite a bit heavier; being about the size of a deck of cards. This has a 20GB hard drive and a battery that lasts around 30 hours of continuous use. I’ve never filled the drive more than 60% full. It’s also hard drive based so it’s larger and heavier than a flash based player and will skip if banged around, which makes it a poor choice to take running or anything like that. I usually keep it in the bottom of my backpack and use wireless headphones to listen to it all day. Or at work I just set it down somewhere where I’m in range with my wireless headphones most of the time. This is by far the best way to listen to audio books. I have no real issues with my Zen Touch other than I cannot take it running with me. It will still travel in my backpack to school and work, and probably be my primary stereo long into the foreseeable future as it has a higher quality audio output than most Mp3 players sold today, including everything Apple has to offer.

Busy, Busy

I'm thinking of the Veggie Tales song right now about being so busy:

I'm busy, busy, dreadfully busy
You've no idea what I have to do.
Busy, busy, shockingly busy
Much, much too busy for you.

So yeah...
Anyway I'm working on a paper for Negotiation class right now. It's not due for a few hours but I figure I'll try to get it done before class actually starts. My finals are all two weeks from today, and then I'm finally done with school until the end of September. Only one more paper and two presentations left after today and then I can slack off until finals are over. I'll shoot to have a real post done tonight.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back Now

Been really, really busy with everything lately. We just got back from the Regional Bible Quiz meet in Spokane and managed to get 10th place. So our team is officially the tenth best ranked team for Assembly of God Bible Quiz in all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and I think Alaska as well.

Brenda and I drove separately as we went to an Adobe CS3 workshop at their headquarters while the rest of the team wanted to leave. A pleasant 300 mile drive later we were there. Aside from getting up really early yesterday and today to go to the meet it went well. Devon, Anna, and Melissa had one of the strongest meets I've ever seen from them.

On the way home we stopped by Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. We had fun and took a bunch of pictures; Trebonte will likely have many of them posted later since his camera actually had a charged battery. Tragically my favorite mug suffered a horrible accident and went bridge jumping, falling 75 feet to its doom. I'll need to find a replacement in the near future, but really don't want to back to Victoria, BC to get a replacement from the only store I've ever seen carry that particular model. I think I know a place that sells the same model but with different designs, so I'll be checking into that in the next few days.

In other news, I'm getting really tired of school and want it over for the school year. Work isn't much better; which is why I need to finish school so I can get a much better job. I had to pay over $3.50 for a gallon of gas for the first time since my last post. I'm currently looking on Craigslist for a futon bunk bed for my room. And I've got nothing else to say at the moment.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April Update

April Snowfall Brings May Floods? It doesn’t rhyme but that’s life. After having the coldest end of March in Seattle’s recorded history, we’re probably having the coldest April too, and most places around here have had snowfall in the last 24 hours, as well as several times during the past three weeks. How is it that when we have unusually cold weather in spring they weather people say it’s just a freak weather pattern? Yet when we have an unusually hot period in the summer it can only be global warming! I’m contemplating building a fire in the wood stove tonight so I don’t freeze, since it gets cold at night (33F at the moment and falling).

I never got to my Sakura-Con update so I guess I’ll give a brief summary now. It was AWSOME! We went all three days and managed to go to the opening and closing ceremonies. They were very cool, but too loud for comfort, which is why I was very thankful for earplugs.
Brenda and I spent most of the time watching AMVs in the AMV theater and a few anime episodes in one of the anime theaters. There were also thousands of cosplayers dressed as their favorite characters from dozens of different series. The whole experience was very fun, equally exhausting, and I’m going to preorder tickets for next year as soon as they’re available. Also, I’m designing my Syaoran costume for next year as well.

In the political news, I really dislike the presidential candidates, but hate McCain the least so he’ll probably get my vote. Not sure if there’s a point in voting for a Republican candidate in Washington since we’re probably the largest Socialist stronghold in the country. Unlike the rest of the country, candidates don’t even have to pretend to me remotely conservative here to get elected. “Elect me and I’ll raise the taxes of everyone who makes more than you to pay for social programs that benefit you” is all a candidate needs to say to get elected around here.

In more important news, our Bible Quiz team got a wildcard invitation to the Regional finals in Spokane. This is the first time we’ve sent a team since I got involved in 1997. They have a long was to go if they hope to go to Nationals but now they at least have a shot.

I still like my classes this quarter and they’re not very hard. The hardest part is the leaving at 07:30 to make it to the first one.

That’s it, nothing else is really going on that I can think of at the moment. I should have my ads fixed soon so that they show up instead of the public service announcements. Then I’ll get my three cents every time someone visits my blog, which adds up over time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Great Videos

I've been really busy the past few weeks and obviously have not had time to post. Here's a link my dad showed me a few minutes ago for what Hot Air calls the greatest sport in history. It looks entertaining and might be fun to play sometime assuming I had the right disposable equipment.

Soon to come: report on Sakura-Con 2008, school in spring quarter, more humorous stories found online, showing the absurdity of other people's opinions, and possibly some completely random stuff too.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

It snowed last Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and we got an inch of a snow/hail/slush mix this afternoon. This is probably going to be one of the coldest last weeks of March on record. State law forbids the use of studded tires starting April 1, but they've announced that they will not be enforcing this law until it stops snowing. The passes have tons of fresh snow and I hear skiing is good.

School starts tomorrow but I'll probably skip the first day since all we typically do is receive our syllabuses and go over them. Since Trebonte is still out west in Hawaii I have little desire to drive the 60 mile trip to school without using the carpool lanes.

I did my taxes early this year and finished them about 45 minutes ago. I realized that if I don't count sales tax (8.8% at the moment) I paid 19.3% of my income to the government in some form of fees or taxes. As over half of my income pays for college, tax is my second largest expense, slightly beating out gasoline in third place. I'm not holding my breath that whatever loser wins the presidential election will do anything to reduce my taxes since they seem to think that they can spend my money better than me. Lies!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let it Snow?

It's snowing outside right now, with some areas within 20 miles of here expecting 5-6 inches.  It's been snowing for the past few hours and sticking in many places.  Sadly I have no snow at my house (like usual).  Good thing we have 'global warming' or we would have frozen to death long ago.  I wish I had 6 inches of snow right now, I haven't seen that much snow in my yard since I was little.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The Seattle Library was closed on Easter.  Here's the official posting from their web site:

Library Closed due to historic low usage (Easter)
12 - 6pm
All locations of The Seattle Public Library will be closed Sunday, March 23 (Easter), due to historic low usage.

I think being a national holiday might also have something to do with being closed, but you can't mention Easter since it's a Christian holiday and therefore must be ignored by all government funded institutions.  Also I don't think the library would be much less busy than usual as dozens of bums pretty much live there. 

Saturday, March 22, 2008

School is Done

School was done on Wednesday so for almost 2 weeks I don't have to go to Bothell during that time.  I also got an A on my marketing final, so I'm pretty happy about that.  I have no clue about my other classes but I'm not really worried about their grades either. 

This coming week will be spent recharging my body from the many abuses and neglect it received while trying to finish the quarter and trying to get back onto a semi-normal sleep cycle. 

I'm shooting to get back into a normal running regiment this week although the weather is still fairly lousy outside.  I did manage to fix my treadmill so that should inspire me to actually get up and do it. 

Until next time...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Almost there...

I just finished a group presentation with Trebonte, and the rest of our group, for our Marketing Management class. We presented a marketing plan for my instant clothes dryer concept that I’ve been playing with for a few years now. Overall the presentation went well and we got it over with. Now all I really have left this quarter is my Corporate Finance final at 15:30 this afternoon, then I’m basically on spring break. Time to start studying now. Wish me luck…

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Live Writer Test

I just downloaded Windows Live Writer and thought I've give it a test.  Instead of typing up most posts in Word, running them through FrontPage for a quick format of any code in the post, and then posting to Blogger, this should allow me to do everything in a single window.

Today was the last day of class for the quarter.  Next week I've got a Business Finance final on Monday as well as a Marketing Management presentation to give on my instant clothes dryer.  On Wednesday we're supposed to be in class to see the other presentations and then the quarter is complete.  Spring quarter begins April 1st.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Good Quote

"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."
- Mark Twain

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dumbest Thing I’ve Read Recently

A pair of hippy neighbors in Commiefornia have spent more than six years in court arguing over solar panels and trees. Mark Vargas sued his neighbors in 2001 because the trees in their back yard shaded his brand new, $70,000 solar panels. The judge recently ordered the neighbor, Richard Treanor and his wife, to cut down two of the redwood trees in their backyard to accommodate their neighbor’s new solar panels. Both families are the “ultra-hippy” type who planted their trees and installed solar panels because it made them feel morally superior to be “doing something” for the planet. However, Treanor planted his redwoods before Vargas bought his solar panels.

If I was going to blow $70K on anything I would probably do a bit of research. If my neighbors had either tall trees or trees that would get tall I probably wouldn’t put solar panels where they would potentially be shaded by the trees.

Read about it Here
And Here

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hi-Def Blues

Blu-ray has been in the news this past month with the announcement that Warner Brothers would begin full fledged support of Blu-ray and slowly phase out HD-DVD production throughout the year. Many critics have seen this as a definitive blow, giving Blu-ray the clear lead over HD-DVD in the High Definition format war. Both Universal Studios and Paramount, however, have also announced that they have no future plans to release movies on the Blu-ray format, sticking exclusively with HD-DVD. Unfortunately for the consumer who can either pick a format and hope it wins the format war, there still isn’t a clear choice of either side as to which player to buy.
On the HD-DVD side there is the issue of the new 51GB disc. This disc was designed to nullify the capacity advantage of Blu-ray’s 50GB disc. However, the 51GB disc has been delayed on multiple occasions as it is constantly being refined in order to work with all existing HD-DVD players sold since their debut in January 2006. No major studios have announced use of the new, larger disc until it is completely finalized and certified as fully compatible by the DVD association.
The Blu-ray Disc Association has also announced two significant changes to the Blu-ray format since its release mid-2006. The first Blu-ray players and discs are known as Profile 1.0 which did not require any of the additional hardware necessary for a player to take advantage of the many special features found on most movie discs. The second generation of Blu-ray discs and players, called Profile 1.1 or “Bonus View” profile, were introduced November 2007. The new players are required to have more powerful hardware to take full advantage of the advanced menus and features found in Profile 1.1 Blu-ray discs; there is no guarantee that any of the Profile 1.1 discs will work on original Profile 1.0 players. The Blu-ray Disc Association also announced Profile 2.0 or “BD-Live” format which will bring more features to the players and discs. None of the Profile 1.0 and few of the Profile 1.1 players will be capable of playing Profile 2.0 discs when they are released this coming October. When commenting on the thousands of people who eagerly bought the first Blu-ray players only to learn that they would not play the latest or future movie releases the BDA representatives merely said, “[These people] knew what they were getting into.”
With these facts I don’t see myself purchasing any stand-alone high-definition player in the coming year. With the chance that HD-DVD may lose the format war I don’t want to risk spending $150 on a player that may not have any new content being published in a few years. On the other hand there’s no way I’d spend $300 on a Blu-ray player today as I already know that I won’t be able to play new movies on it once “BD-Live” discs become the norm later this year.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Affordable Healthcare in Rhode Island

A group of Rhode Island doctors have decided to combat the rising costs of primary healthcare with their HealthAccessRI plan. HealthAccessRI is a monthly subscription service to a primary care physician for “‘less than the cost of a cell phone, less than the cost of cable TV, less than the cost of high-speed Internet,’” according to founding doctor Michael Fine. Fine and a group of likeminded doctors have setup a system that allows for affordable doctor visits without insurance or government involvement.

HealthAccessRI solely covers access to primary care physicians and does not cover other things such as hospital stays, x-rays, or other more serious procedures. Arguing that these are the things that should be covered by the insurance companies Dr. James M. Schwartz contends:
Today’s health-care financing perverts the original concept of insurance, which was supposed to pay for catastrophes, he says. “No auto insurance sells you a plan that covers oil changes and tune-ups,” he says. The current system has also harmed primary care, Schwartz argues, by paying doctors per visit, making it financially difficult to give patients the attention they need. HealthAccessRI gives doctors a steady, predictable income to cover predictable costs.

I think that HealthAccessRI is an interesting experiment that requires further investigation. I would love to have the option to pay for such a service while holding a significantly cheaper health insurance policy which would be reserved primarily for catastrophes and things other than primary care.
You can read the full article here.
Also posted on Marketing College
& Living Large on Less

Monday, January 28, 2008

Inclement Weather Alert

The University of Washington Bothell has canceled all classes and suspended operations for Monday, January 28. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors should not be on campus until this suspension is lifted. This message will be updated as conditions change. Please check back for updates.

As you can clearly see from the picture of my front yard, there is so much snow on the ground that school officials have decided that it is too dangerous to risk our lives by attempting to travel to/from school. This is only annoying because I woke up early to finish a paper before my first class. Since there is no class (due to snow) I have an extra 3 hours to get it done and email it to the prof.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Today’s Idiot is Brought to You by the Letter “D”

Technically last Thursday’s idiot… a congresswoman in the US House of Representatives, Democrat Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, was attending a hearing where the committee was interviewing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Unfortunately for her, she thought they were interviewing Treasury Secretary Paulson. This lead to some questions thought to be unusual until she started asking about his roll in a former job, where Bernanke pointed out that she was confusing him with the Treasury Secretary. Oops.

Read the whole story here if you wish.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Most Popular Vehicles of 2007

Despite the record gas prices, Americans still prefer their trucks with Ford’s F-series taking the #1 spot for the 26th straight year.

1. Ford F-series – 650,589

2. Chevy Silverado – 618,257

3. Toyota Camry – 473,108

4. Honda Accord – 388,826

5. Toyota Matrix – 371,390

6. Dodge Ram – 358,295

7. Chevrolet Impala – 311,128

8. Honda Civic – 298,520

9. Nissan Altima – 276,362

10. Honda CR-V – 219,160

With the exception of their trucks, Americans still prefer Asian-designed vehicles over domestic designs.

Source: The Detroit News

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Logitech Likes Me

A year and a half ago I bought a pair of wireless Logitech headphones for my mp3 player. After a few weeks the band managed to snap on them, which was a sad day as I had come to love these headphones. I tried to fix them but the fix didn’t last and they broke permanently with the wires snapping inside. I started shopping for a new pair and found the ipod version on eBay for around $35. These were the same except that they were white and grey instead of black, and they had a weird plug so that you could control the ipod through the buttons on the earpiece. Thankfully I have an adapter so that I can plug the little wireless transmitter into my Zen, making them even better than my previous pair since the colors better matched my player, plus the battery lasted a little bit longer.

This pair also broke on me shortly after buying them, but I successfully fixed them and they have lasted for quite a while now. Sadly, this pair too met a tragic end when I moved them out of harm’s way while I was arranging stuff by the downstairs TVs, only to have my sister sit on them and snap the band in a new place where I couldn’t fix them. Looking online I found that these models of headphones were notorious for having fragile headbands that would snap soon after they were opened. I emailed Logitech about them and they have decided to send me a new pair. Since the versions I had had too many band problems they were discontinued and replaced with a newer model that should be more comfortable to wear and much stronger with a spring-steel band instead of the brittle, plastic one. This version also sells for more than I paid for my first couple of pairs combined.

If these new headphones are as good as the reviews I’ve read I’ll be very happy. Here’s the link on them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Something new

I'm currently in the process of building my first computer powered by an Intel processor. The goal was a sub-$200 machine good enough for Word and web surfing. The final cost will be about $214 after buying copies of Windows Vista Business and Office 2007. This computer is definately overpowered for this purpose with a 2ghz dual core Pentium, but underpowered in every other area. We went to Fry's and literally bought the cheapest components they had. I was shocked that the most expensive part was the $65 320GB hard drive. I was hoping for an 80 or 120GB drive like they sell in most of their computers, but they didn't have any for sale individually.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Still Won't Vote for Him

A news report today claims that Huckabee is trying to get votes from conservatives:

Mr. Huckabee, who won last week's Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.

A: Thousands of constitutional amendments have been proposed for every one that actually gets ratified.

B: I don’t think a President has the power to tell the Supreme Court what cases it will hear.

C: A President doesn’t have the power to force the ratification of an amendment.

D: I don’t want a President that thinks he has that kind of power.

E: I don’t want a President as liberal as Huckabee, even if some of his campaign stuff is pretty funny.

Monday, January 07, 2008


If you can read this I should probably congratulate you on surviving 2007. Since my last post of substance we’ve had quite a lot of news:

A report by the United States Senate Committee on Environment & Public (a mouthful isn’t it?) about “global warming” gave a list of over 400 well respected climatologists and other scientists who decry the so-called consensus on the issue of “man-made global warming”. Many of these scientists were or are on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and disagreed with the findings. If you have a ton of free time and interest here’s a link to the report itself. It is over 160 pages long. Anyone who claims consensus on ANYTHING in science is obviously ignorant or lying. There’s never consensus on anything. Everything is constantly questioned and retested in new ways to create new theories. Scientists who disagree with the current models of gravity can present their hypotheses and receive funding to test their models with the latest tools to try to prove or disprove their original claims; this is how real science works. Scientists who disagree with the popular claims on “global warming” are shouted down and called puppets of the oil companies;
this is dogma.

The government has once again decided to get into my bedroom saying what I can and can’t use to illuminate it.  Incandescent light-bulbs with light outputs between 310 and 2600 lumens (so generally 40-150W) will be illegal to buy or sell starting 2014.  It doesn’t matter that there are incandescent bulbs that are 4x more efficient than standard bulbs; research funding is going to completely dry up for these new bulbs since they now have a very limited time before they’re made illegal too.  They want us to use the TOXIC compact fluorescent bulbs instead.  I refuse to use those because the color temperature is ugly, they rarely last more than a few months in my house before burning out, and they contain mercury vapor.  They claim you don’t have to worry though, since small quantities of mercury are only dangerous if inhaled.  Since this mercury is in vapor form is just scatters into the air…where it can be inhaled…
I think I should try calling the ACLU to ask them to fight to keep the government out of my bedroom when it comes to my illumination choices. They didn't do anything to protect my right to privacy in the bathroom when the government decided it could regulate how much water got flushed down the toilet so I really don't expect the ACLU to do anything to protect my liberties.