Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I couldn't update on Friday because we had suits visiting the office and we were supposed to limit our internet usage to only call based work. Fuck that. And really, what do they expect us to do in between calls? I have no work specified. I'm not shirking any responsibility if i play online while waiting for my next call. Fuck off.

At any rate, I did manage to e-file my taxes, which means I get my refund in about 9 days. Rock on. YAY refund. This is the first year that I get a refund. In past years, I've had to declare the grant money that the government GAVE me as income - which they then taxed of course. However, that money had already gone to pay for educational expenses, which means that I had to come up with the money I owed, some other way. Let me ask, why not just give me less money in the first place?!

Anyway, we didn't' go out for Mardi Gras but we did get drunk. Jen made this ridiculously strong drink that got us both drunk immediately after drinking it, which is funny, because we had intended to go ahead and make the trek to Novak's....but, then the drink of death, and neither of us could drive.

Sunday was saw Ghostrider. I do not recommend it and we did not see it voluntarily. Sunday was also the L word. Far from last week's episode, each scene this week was exactly one-third as long as it should have been.

In other news, the high yesterday was 58 degrees and Friday and Saturday this week, the high is expected to reach 66 degrees! Open those windows - it's time for spring cleaning!

So while Bush and Co is ratcheting up the rhetoric on Iran, Al Qaeda and Osama are centralizing and consolidating their power in, where else, Iran? no. Pakistan - our ally. With friends like these....anyway, the NYT reports that Osama and CO have set up a number of training bases and an "operational hub" in Pakistan. The leadership is strong and in charge tell me why we're talking about Iran?

Here's your Iran war UPDATE: "Second carrier arrives near Iran"

The USS John C. Stennis is a Nimitz Class supercarrier. It is nuclear powered, has a crew of 3200 sailors in addition to 2500 airmen and has a complement of 90 aircraft and 16-24 surface to air missiles. The Nimitz class is the largest class of military vessels ever built. The carrier is accompanied by a Carrier Strike Group that includes at least one AEGIS Guided Missile Cruiser, two AEGIS Guided Missile Destoyers and at least one Attack Submarine. This group packs some SERIOUS firepower.

and from the BBC "US 'Iran attack plans' revealed" - the attacks would target Iranian military infrastructure, air bases, naval bases, missile facilities, and command and control centers. The BBC reports that there are two "triggers" to such an attack: confirmation that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons, OR a high American casualty event in Iraq, linked directly back to to Iran. " Authorities insist there is no cause for alarm but ordinary people are now becoming a little worried, she says." The article says quotes this in reference to the people of Iran, but I think that it holds true for citizens globally.

once again they've fucked me over for lunch. cafeteria closes at 1:30. I didn't go to lunch today until 1:30, which means my lunch consists of the foods i brought to snack on. I had a string cheese stick, some pretzels, some nuts and some grapes. I'm a hunter/gatherer yes I am! (minus the hunting, unless you count hunting around in my bag for more food.)

eh. talk amongst yourselves. more to come tomorrow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I hate people on the phone that ask "how are you" and then don't wait for a response. Either you want to know or not. Don't use "how are you" as a greeting. Just don't.

What's with all the gay hate lately? Tim Hardaway, former NBA player said in an interview "I hate gay people...I'm homophobic. It shouldn't be in the world, in the United States, I don't like it." Well fuck you too. The local website also has a poll: "I think Tim Hardaway's comments are...." Answers (as of 11:57am): What most people believe (27%), Courageous (14%), Stupid, but his right (16%), Insulting and hateful (17%), and Who cares what he thinks (21%). Well, it's nice to know that "most people" hate gay people and think we should not be in the world or in the US. FUCK YOU ALL TOO.

On to more gay hate... you may remember a story from several weeks ago, in which members of a male choir were attacked in San Francisco. Now, we learn that as many as three marines may have been involved in the attack. Awesome. My question is, if you know that San Francisco is like the Gay MECCA - what do you expect when you go there? bastards. Note: the marines have not addressed the investigation yet, and the implicated marine was sent off to Japan. He is currently unavailable for questioning.

more on the military. What could go wrong by allowing mentally unstable persons, felons, or those with low aptitude scores into the military? Why don't we just take them all in, and train them, then arm them, then send them to Iraq to be further destabilized, and then bring them home without any support structure for when the go completely nuts, or are just pissed off, or want to continue committing crimes with their newfound weapons skills. great. is it somehow wrong to recruit felons, that they might die for their country, but in many states they can't vote because they are felons? Why do the people of DC not have representatives in Congress? Could it be that the republicans know that DC is solidly Democratic and doesn't want to add to their losses in the House and the Senate?

more on prison. "US Prison population to add 200,000 by 2011" reads the headline. The addition will cost taxpayers an additional $27.5 billion. Nice. Did I mention that the US has the largest prison population in the world? The home of the free, has the largest prison population in the WORLD. The ACLU reports that nearly 2/3rds of those incarcerated are there on non-violent offenses - many, many, many of them are there on drug possession. Did I mention the largest prison population in thew world? Is there something wrong with our system?

more on what's wrong with our system. Substitute teacher in Connecticut was convicted of exposing minors to porn site and impairing the morals of children.

1) malware and spyware were the root cause of the pornographic pop-ups that were coming up on the computer screen.

2) these SEVENTH graders had probably already seen anything that popped up, in the movies, or heard about it on the radio, or DONE IT.

3) the woman, refusing any plea, now faces 40 YEARS in prison. 40 FUCKING YEARS because the pop-ups wouldn't go away. Remember that Southwest commercial about a cubical worker that clicks on something and a popup comes up and kills on the computers in the office "Wanna get away" it asks. Yes, I think this teacher would like to get away.

NOTE: As noted in the comments over at DKos, by CTLiberal - "a child rapist may get 8 years in prison while this phony computer offense can get someone 40 years." The number and ridiculousness of laws pertaining to children and sex is FUCKED UP. Scratch that, the number and ridiculousness of laws pertaining to anyone and sex is FUCKED UP. So please, please, please tell me what's wrong with they system that allows a teacher to be sentenced to prison for 40 years because of spyware?

more on drugs. check out this fantastic article from Rolling Stone about medical weed in california.

more on sex. what the fuck is wrong with Republicans? Catch this extremely poorly photoshopped E-card that is available at Blue Mountain E-cards (American Greetings Interactive) It features, among other things: Senator Hillary Clinton in a maid outfit, Governor Howard Dean and Senator John Kerry wearing dog collars, and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi in bondage gear. That's classy - classy with a "k" - as Katie might say.'

Let's talk about bad reporting. Lead paragraph:

"Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) believes it is his right as a Muslim to be sworn into Congress with the Quran. But apparently, the freshman lawmaker doesn't believe it's Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-Colo.) right to smoke a cigar in his congressional office."

There are soooooo very many things wrong, wrong, wrong with this paragraph. 1) As a Muslim, it is Rep. Ellison's RIGHT to use the Quran at his swearing in (and would we really want him being sworn in on the BIBLE? A text that doesn't hold the highest level of sanctity?) 2) Rep. Tancredo does not have the RIGHT to smoke in his Congressional office. It is customary that Congresspeople can smoke in their congressional offices. They have gotten around the city-wide no-smoking ban, by simply exempting themselves. So there really is no RIGHT to smoke, in fact every time he does light up, he breaks the law, and it's just fortunately that lawmakers have exempted themselves. 3) So, maybe Rep. Ellison should have double checked the rules before sending the cops, but maybe Rep. Tancredo shouldn't participate in just deciding that he doesn't have to follow the law. 4) and maybe shoddy reporters shouldn't compare a man's religion to smoking, last time I checked, smoking wasn't part of Rep. Tancredo's religion.

NOTE: (from Wikipedia) This is the same guy that:

1) Attended an event where there was a prominent picture of Robert E Lee displayed, confederate flags flying and at the close several men in full Confederate regalia sang Dixie (the unofficial anthem of the Confederate states. After well deserved outcry, he refused to apologize for an insensitivity that the event might have caused.

2) Called Miami, Florida a "Third world country." Never apologized.

3) An event that he was speaking at was canceled by the venue because their Hispanic staff threatened to not show up and the management didn't want to alienate their 80% Hispanic customer base.

4) Radio show. Rep. Tancredo is asked what we should do if the US was attacked with nuclear weapons by Al-Qaeda. Answer: Bomb Muslim holy sites. Never apologized.

5) Spoke out against the Non-partisan Congressional Black Caucus, Dem Hispanic Caucus, and Repub Hispanic Caucus. (Because there's not still an unofficially old white male caucus, out there).

6) Fierce opposition to immigration in any way.

Isn't if funny how right to lifers seem so anti-life. Shouldn't they be protecting kids too? born ones, i mean. like adopting all the kids in America. they're already here in the world, and they need someone to fight for them too. so where are pro-lifers on gay adoption? (usually) against it. because kids are better off without parents, than with gay parents. how about torture? that seems like an easy one - sanctity of life, right? - wrong. all for torture, and sometimes the death penalty. how about smoking? i think that pro-lifers should be against smoking - adults included! and they should be against well, fatty food causes death right? how about guns. guns kill people. that's not very pro-life. how about immigration? don't immigrants have the right to life too? etc etc etc. i know I'm making generalizations, i don't care right now. I'm sick of hypocritical evangelical Christians who believe that the bible is the WORD of God, but they can pick and choose which sections to follow.

UPDATE: Think Progress reports that Rep. Ellison never called the cops, it was actually his spokesman and he called the House superintendents office "as is standard protocol" they transferred him to the police. and there you have it. complete with rightwinger info.

This is just cool: who left the bath tub unplugged?

"The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty agreed between the US and the Soviet Union in 1987 set out the destruction of all short- and medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe."

Because of the US, Russia wants to withdrawal - mostly because the US wants to put "defense" systems in Europe and the Russians don't quite believe that those missiles are not pointed at them.

Meanwhile, Russia thinks that our foreign policy sucks, and it does.

(Putin: "
.. Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centers of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished ... And no fewer people perish in these conflicts - even more die than before. Significantly more, significantly more!"

"...One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States has overstepped its national borders in every respect. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this? ... And of course this is extremely dangerous. The result of this is that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this – no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them!") Great. Awesome even.

So Russia is getting pissed at us and meeting with foreign ministers from India and China - to discuss ways to counter US power. Awesome. Did we mention that these countries account for 40% of the worlds population? and they have the worlds 7th, 9th and 3rd largest militaries in the world? And that India has the fastest growing economy? and that India an China desperately need Russian oil and gas? that all three agree that the Iranian situation should be resolved through the IAEA?

So what else did they talk about? " Their formal agenda covered issues ranging from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Korea to energy security, nuclear non-proliferation and trade. The subtext, however, was clear: how to use their growing economic and political muscle to prevent Washington from tackling such issues alone."

There's no strategic alliance yet, but it's not hard to see one in India, China and Russia. And then what happens? Did I mention that all three have nuclear capabilities and Russia, alone, has 16,000 nuclear warheads?

Meanwhile, Bush keeps ratcheting up the rhetoric on Iran. Lord help us.

First they say that unequivocally, Iran is supplying munitions to Iraq and it's killing US soldiers. (they even have an exact number!) But the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff isn't so sure - he says, we're not sure. Then Bush says, yes we are sure - that the Qods force has been supplying weapons and they are part of the Iranian government. then he says he doesn't know if members of this force (really part of the Iranian military, saying they're part of the government is like saying the coast guard is part of the government) were ordered by the government or attacked on their own. Then he says (and here's the kicker):

"But here's my point: Either they knew or didn't know, and what matters is, is that they're there. What's worse, that the government knew or that the government didn't know? [...]

...what's worse -- them ordering it and it happening, or them not ordering it and it happening? And so we will continue to protect our troops."

Uh, right. So as someone pointed out, that would be like someone saying well, Timothy McVeigh was US military and he bombed Oklahoma City. So by Bush's "logic" that would mean that we should have held the US government responsible either way - whether they ordered him to attack Oklahoma city or whether he did it without their order. (Maybe we should have, bear in mind my comments about sending men and woman off to war and then being surprised when they come back a little fucked up. and then not having a support system to take care of them. maybe it is criminal negligence...) Bush thinks it doesn't matter. He doesn't understand that there can be individual action that the larger organism doesn't realize/take part in. re: the scooter libby trial - should we hold bush responsible? I mean, of course, if he authorized the leak, but even if he didn't should he be held responsible for his subordinate?

At any rate, the drums leading to war with Iran continue to beat. And just why should N. Korea be treated any differently when it comes to nuclear research? They too were singled out as part of Bush's Axis of Evil - right? How come they got a deal and Iran gets Patriot Missiles on their doorstep?

Meanwhile, a new report from the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy, headlines - "Teens turn away from street drugs, move to prescription drugs, new report reveals"

"The explosion in the prescription of addictive opioids, depressants and stimulants has, for many children, made their parents' medicine cabinet a greater temptation and threat than a street drug dealer," said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman and President, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. "The world of children and teens is awash in prescription drugs and some parents can become inadvertent drug pushers by leaving their prescription opioids, stimulants and depressants in places where their kids can get them."

So, kids are turning in their marijuana and shrooms for harder drugs. Why? Because we prosecute for the natural stuff - that's right, the stuff that's pretty near impossible to OD on pot or shrooms, but pretty near impossible to fuck up with prescription meds. So way to go drug policy, you're killing more kids and putting more in jail.

Unrelated note: I love when people call me and ask to be transferred to the CEO or the company like it ain't no thang. Yeah, right. I'll just transfer you there.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid schedules vote for Saturday and threatens to cancel next weeks vacation! hahahhaaha

"Senate Democratic leaders abruptly switched course in the Iraq war debate today, shelving a complicated non-binding resolution that has run into procedural hurdles, in favor of a House version that simply states Congress's objections to President Bush's troop escalation plan.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this afternoon announced that the Senate would take a rare Saturday vote on whether to proceed to consider the House resolution, which is expected to pass that chamber Friday, with some Republican support.

If the Saturday vote succeeds, Reid said he may cancel the upcoming week-long recess, scrambling campaign plans for at least six presidential candidates....

In particular, Democrats are calling the bluff of a group of Republican senators who oppose the escalation, but who joined with their GOP leadership to block the earlier Democratic-led resolution from coming to a vote, in an effort to force Democrats to allow a pro-administration measure to be offered."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why is it that the weekends are always so short? And what's with the weather outside? It's a heat wave - all 42 blessed degrees of it. I think it's supposed to get bitterly cold again though, before the week is out. However, I swear I saw 50 degrees on the 10-day forecast....what do they know?

Meanwhile, this weekend I had the opportunity to stick it to Best Buy because they've screwed me over so many times before.

1) I bought a digital camera for my mother and selected the specific camera because it came with FREE memory card. But then, then the memory card was on backorder, and then they were out - so instead, BB sends me a gift certificate to purchase the mem card on my own (point of order: the amount did not cover the cost of a mem card). However, the certificate had an expired before I had a chance to use it - because the expiration date was like a week from when it was issued. Bastards - there goes $40.

2) I join BB rewards so that I can get cash back on my purchases. However, for 2 months they are unable to find my account when I go to check out, ergo, I lose $50 in cashback points because they can't apply my purchases to my the midst of the CHRISTMAS SEASON. Bastards - there goes another $50 (at least).

3) This one just occrured to me. But, when Jen and I bough our TV, we had seen a deal online that if you bough a TV you got an under-the-counter dvd player ($150 value). We mentioned this to the guy in the store, he pulls up the website and sees nothing of the sort. we don't get the extra dvd player. Later on, I read a story on Consumerist about how BB has two websites, the external one on the internet AND an internal store intranet. It works like this: you come in and say you saw something on the website. they pull up the INTRANET website, don't see the deal you saw, and you get nothing. you home, pull up the website and notice that you got screwed.

That's exactly what happened to me. Bastards - there goes $150. and last, but not least, my "revenge."

4) I purchase a My Book (external hard drive) - it fails to work. I forget about it for awhile, and finally take it in to get a replacement. They say that there is nothing they can do. I say, you sold me a product that does not turn on, right out of the box - and there's nothing you can do? Correct. Hmm ok. So I purchase another My Book, switch the one that doesn't work into the new packaging and return the one that does not work hahahahha - it's not like you lose any money, just send it back to the manufacturer. stupid bastards.

All in all, they've cost me around $250, not to mention the not working My Book - that I haven't returned just yet - so hopefully, my diabolical plan will succeed!

In other unrelated news, this was just brought to my attention. Our food service, Aramark, post their menus online. Todays menu includes, under the "Hot" food section this nibblet: "Celebrate Black History Month! $5.05" Ok, so far so good. Click on the link....."Choice of BBQ Chicken of Fried Catfish Nuggets with choice of two sides." Uh, yeah. At the least, that's ill-advised and at the worst, outright offensive. Anyone else think so?
UPDATE: After a quick email to the aramark representative, rhonda receives a phone call from aramark apologizing for their mistake. the offending link is taken down...

So yeah, the impending war with Iran. I vote that if we attack Iran with nuclear weapons, we all need to go to Canada. And by go, I mean run. Because if we use nuclear weapons in Iran, or fuck, even conventional weapons in Iran...if we attack/invade Iran without legitimate provocations (which they are not going to give) then we are, to put it in valley girl-ese, so totally fucked. Despite our immenent fuckedness, here's where we stand.

1) Two, soon to be three aircraft carrier battle groups steaming towards the Gulf.
2) Patriot missile defense deployed to Iraq.
3) Detaining Iranian personnel in Iraq
4) Stating that materials for IEDs have been funneled in from IRAN
"The officials also asserted, without providing direct evidence, that Iranian leaders had authorized smuggling those weapons into Iraq for use against the Americans" NYT (Note: this article quotes the defense department giving an exact number of allied forces that have been killed with munitions supposedly originating from Iran. The same DoD that can't even (and doesn't want to) keep track of Iraqi civilians killed in the occupation.)
5) Declining (snubbing) Iran invitations to open a dialog
6) Appointing a Navy Admiral to command forces in the area
7) Raiding the Iranian consulate against the wishes of the local authorities.
8) Making the mistake of confounding the Iranian government, the Iranian people, and extremists in Iran.
9) Saying shit like this "They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for," says Hillary Mann, the administration's former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs." Newsweek
10) And this:

At a farewell reception at Blair House for the retiring chief of protocol, Don Ensenat, who was President Bush's Yale roommate, the president shook hands with Washington Life Magazine's Soroush Shehabi. "I'm the grandson of one of the late Shah's ministers," said Soroush, "and I simply want to say one U.S. bomb on Iran and the regime we all despise will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized."

"I know," President Bush answered.

"But does Vice President Cheney know?" asked Soroush.

President Bush chuckled and walked away."

11) Combined with this: "The details suggest Cheney was almost a deputy president with a shadow operation. He had his own source of advice. He had his own source of access. He was making his own decisions," Light said.

Yeah, we're going to war.

Meanwhile another helicopter was shot down in Iraq, we still don't have enough people in Afghanistan and we can't armor the troops we already have deployed. Standard military, National Guard and Reserves have all served multiple deployments and seen their time between deployments slashed. No one is allowed to retire (we're still kicking out the gays, though!), returned soldiers are committing suicide because the facilities to help them with PTSD are just not there, and they are being shot at from all sides in Iraq...because it's a civil war. All the while, the Republicans are stalling debate on Iraq, and more soldiers are dying. And Bush wants to take us into ANOTHER war. With what army? With what resources? With what reason?!

Notice that Bush has all but abandoned the "Iran will have nuclear weapons - and that's not allowed " tact and has latched onto "Iran is hurting our troops in Iraq." It means that dear Bushie thinks that if he makes Iran about completing the mission in Iraq, then he doesn't have to go get another Authorization for Military Force..he will have already had one. Sneaky bastard.

Concurrent Resolution on the President's Escalation Plan

This week the House of Representatives will be considering the following Concurrent Resolution.

Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That—

(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and

(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

It bothers me to now end that we even have to include part 1. Of course, we support the troops. Of course we protect the members of the armed services. Hating the war, disapproving of the war has nothing NOTHING to do with the troops. It has everything to do with the Administration that sent them into an unlawful war, based on deeply flawed and outright fabricated evidence.

Meanwhile, just where are countless homeland security funds going? Oh right to little places like Cheshire, MA. Population ~ 3400. They just got a homeland security grant of $665k. That's right, $665k to tiny Cheshire MA. Surely, they will now be protected from the terrorists. Yeah...right.
What a waste.

How can you be a paleontologist and think that the world is 10k years old? How do you rectify that in your head, if you are seeing evidence for life 65 million years ago and continue to cleave to the idea that everything the bible says is literally true? I mean, I'm sure he is a very good paleontologist, his work is even described as "impeccable" but how do you make sense of it in your head? That is all.

Completely unrelated to anything...I highly enjoy the synopses of L word episodes. They almost always make me chuckle, if not laugh out loud - much to the chagrin of my coworkers. Now, am I the only one that needs to see some more of that Shane/Paige action? Ok. Also, last night's sex scene (the longest one of the season,) was irrevocably marred by the fact that we were at natalie's and her mother was watching with us. talk about awkward.

Here's some excellent thoughts on what we've all known for awhile. Bush is the puppet and Cheney is the puppet master. talking Points memo riffs on this quote:

"The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter. The Vice Presidency performs functions in both the legislative branch (see article I, section 3 of the Constitution) and in the executive branch (see article II, and amendments XII and XXV, of the Constitution, and section 106 of title 3 of the United States Code)."

Meaning, of course, that the VP does not have to submit to the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch but is a power unto itself. right. so does this mean that if subpoenaed in the Scooter Libby trial, he also does not have to submit to the Judicial Branch?

Monday, February 12, 2007

This is something I found from last week:

Here's the problem with skipping work one day by calling in sick: the next day, you have to act like you feel bad still, even if you really feel great because you went to the gym AND had breakfast before going to work. Bugger.

So here's my new plan. Racquetball twice a week, and every day. gym, shower, breakfast, work, dinner, relax. I like it.

I think I forgot to mention that Ashley (of senior year of high school, Ashley who I haven't seen on spoken to in 4 years, that Ashley? Is back from her "mission" in DC and is interning at my mother's workplace. Small fucking world. SMALL FUCKING WORLD. Yeah, just thought I'd mention that.

Meanwhile, the US government sent 363 tonnes of cash to Iraq, where it promptly disappeared. How much is 363 tonnes, you ask? $12 BILLION. That they just sent over there and then failed to guard, secure or keep track of. Way to go. Questioned about the funds, and the concern for their whereabouts, the financial adviser for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) said, "I have no idea. I can't tell you whether or not the money went to the right things or didn't - nor do I actually think it's important." ...

Q: "But the fact is billions of dollars have disappeared without trace."

Oliver: "Of their money. Billions of dollars of their money, yeah I understand. I'm saying what difference does it make?"

What difference does it make?! Are you deluded?

"Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste ... thousands of 'ghost employees' were receiving pay cheques from Iraqi ministries under the CPA's control. Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents fighting the United States." NICE.,,2008191,00.html

Yesterday (while I was skipping work), I missed the pleasure that was Rep.Waxman (D-Ca), of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took some Blackwater (subsidiary of Halliburton) officials out to the shed and beat them with a stick. When a Republican representative tried to stand up for Blackwater, Waxman said "I suggest the Congressman return under his rock." Ha ha ha. I'm still looking for a transcript of the entire event. More on that later.

Note, someone has pointed out the UN Resolution 44/34 prohibits the use of mercenaries and that Blackwater falls into this category. Regrettably, I have to point out that the resolution specifies that "a mercenary is any person that is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict." To my knowledge, Blackwater was hired to provide security and not to actually take part in the fighting. A fine line, I know. Nonetheless. and regardless, even if it was prohibited, would that actually stop anyone?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I got the below email the other day. Two questions, 1) who fucking ratted on us? 2) why would you fucking do that? Live and fucking let live, morons. I don’t walk into your cube to see what you’re doing. So, just because you can walk through our space, don’t think you can tell my boss what we’re up to. Asshole.


It was mentioned to me, by someone outside our team, that they saw people on the team talking to clients and on the internet at the same time. You know I am pretty flexible in my internet policy, but one thing I can’t be flexible about is using the internet while talking to clients.

Even if the question is basic and you have answered it 100 times before, you should not be accessing the internet, playing games, etc. while talking to a client. They must come first and we must give every impression of their coming first. I do not want anyone to doubt where our focus is while helping clients.

Please ensure that while on a call all non-work related internet windows are minimized or closed. Please ensure that only tools needed for the call are on your screen.

I am completely confident that we are all doing our best for the client. We know we have down times and I have no problem with the internet. Let’s just make sure that no one can question us or our ability to perform our jobs.

Thanks for your help with this!!


Supervisor, Client Support”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Per a question in the comments, Tasty remain completely aloof and unperturbed by the new addition to the family. Sometimes Dublin will run up to Tasty but quickly backs down when Tasty just looks at her. Occasionally, Dublin will manage to summon enough courage to chase him into another room, only to be chased back out of the room by the man of the house. And, if Tasty is really annoyed with her, he will pop her on the head a couple of times, claws not extended. Note: Saturday morning, I woke up to Tasty laying by my side, and Dublin laying right next to him - they were touching, and they remained like that for several hours. :)

(I realize that my writing is simplistic and just barely coherent. You must forgive me this morning until I wake up a some - the little one was up until 3AM last night)

The Superbowl. Yeah, that sucked. Even if you were cheering for the Colts, you cannot say that it was a good game. At first, Jen and I thought it was going to be an extremely exciting game (what with the opening kick-off return and the initial fumbles), we thought "hey! wet and wild!", but then it was just sort of down-hill from there. The Bears played horrendously, and the Colts performance was less than stellar. On the whole, the game left me vaguely unsettled.

And the commercials were just as bad. I think I can count on one hand the number of commercials I actually liked: the trippy coke one, letterman & oprah, and I can't think of anymore right now. More on that later.

Jen and I finally watched an Inconvenient Truth on Saturday. Excellent, excellent film. One of my favorite parts was the graph of fuel economy world wide. Some countries mandate 50mgp, we can't seem to get over 25mpg. No wonder US car makers are suffering and can't compete world-wide. You think it would be in their best interest to make their cars more efficient and take a chunk of the global market. Instead, they remain in bed with the oil companies (who are raking in record profits), and shafting US consumers. Other extremely interesting segments: 1) if this glacier or that glacier melts, then ocean levels will go up by 20 ft world-wide. 2) time lapse of all forest fires raging around the globe 3) satellite of Hurricane Katrina picking up strength over the warm waters of the gulf. 4) number of articles in peer reviewed journals that dispute global warming - 0, number of articles in popular media that dispute global warming 50%. All in all, excellent, excellent film and nominated for an Oscar. Note, Gore is witty and clever during his slide-show, none of that wooden-ness that burdened his presidential campaign is there. You can't help but feel that the state of the country would be much improved if this man had been sworn in. I hope he runs for President again, I think he has the the moves, the money and the conviction to get things done, with none of the inexperience, bad votes, and/or lack of focus of the other guys. I'm writing a check the moment he announces. Alot of reliable people say that he will run, and more than one has said he will announce at the Oscars. (He's also up for a Nobel Peace Prize...take that shrub!)
UPDATE: That problem with greenland melting, yeah, here's a pic

Also watched GI Jane again. I don't care what anyone says, I like it. And, every time I see it, I want to immediately go to the gym.

Have I mentioned that the new office makes me feel like I'm in an airplane....all the time? Between the color scheme, the low ceilings, the muted light, and muted sound (everything sounds like it sounds when my ears are clogged) - I can't help feel like I'm on an endless flight to nowhere. Now all I need is uniformed flight attendants giving me little glasses of a third of a can of soda. Which is not to say that this place is not better than the warehouse, it most definitely is. After all, I do have a whole cube to myself, well, minus the space the fax machine takes up (the fax machine that they so graciously put in my cube, when there are two completely empty cubes right next to me. grrr).

It was also cold enough today to turn my space heater on. -9 degrees with the windchill.

You can now purchase former missile bases. THey're being billed as the castles of the 20th century. If I had a couple hundred thousand, I would definitely think about getting one of these gigantic spaces.

Or, if you wanted to be really tight on space, you could purchase a flat in London for over $300k - the kicker? The space is 7' x 11'. That's right, 77 sq feet. That's $4300/sq ft. (just for shits and giggles, i pay about $.33/sq ft. HAHA Suggestions for making the space livable include making the bathroom entirely a wet room (you see this often in space deprived Japan by putting the sink on top of the toilet tank and the shower head above all of it, and lofting the sleeping space. here are some pictures of the proposed renovation.
oh, and here's how the place looks now no lights, and filled with rubble, hot.

UPDATE: Barack Obama (One Million Strong) has reached 221,000 members. They've updated their goals to reach 1,000,000 by April 21st. Like I said earlier, I'm a Gore girl until he says he's not running, then my allegiance is up in the air. But, I would love to see a Gore/Obama ticket, and that would put Obama in a great position to be president in 2016.

And then there's this:
Iran claims to have AIDS cure

They claim that some sort of herbal combination helps to boost the immune system. Now, this would not surprise me all that much. I firmly believe that we should make our way back to herbal remedies and stop trying to focus on one "active" factor in a plant that might fight this or that. Maybe it's that factor combined with dozens of other factors. Just like nutrients in food. The New York Times Magazine had an excellent article last week about the drive to reduce food to nutrients - so that now we concentrate on adding a certain nutrient (omega-3) to lots of different foods, instead of concentrating on eating whole foods that already have the said nutrient and the other nutrients that it needs to be activated. OK - so I didn't explain that well, just go read the article yourself. And bear in mind that you can apply the same thinking to medicine.

A professor of mine at WashU once said that the next great war will not be over oil, but will be over water. here's a glimpse. here's some more info, and someone with the same line: and the UN predicts the same thing, war over water:

also, randomly, Joyce brought me two four packs of "Peels" - her husband works for Anheuser Busch and she thought that I would enjoy them!

Despite the recently release UN report that says that global warming is "unequivocal," my coworker insists that global warming may or may not be going on. I have recommended An Inconvenient Truth. Also, according to a new poll, 84% of Congressional Republicans do NOT believe that humans are causing global warming. 84% 84 FUCKING PERCENT! DO NOT BELIEVE THAT HUMAN ACTIVITY IS CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING. god help us all.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Promised Puppy Pic

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I hate my new hours. 9:30 to 6 is just not as good as I thought it would be. I had planned to continue getting up at the same time, around 6:30 and doing chores, or working out until I had to go to work. But we got our puppy, and though she is very very adorable, her moms don't get any sleep with her bouncing around at all hours. Thus, I sleep until 8, get nothing done, go to work until 6 and don't get home until 6:30. Then, and only then, I start chores, and by the time I get done, it's practically time for bed. Also, though I like going to work when the sun has risen, I hate leaving work when the sun has set - because I have to park in the very far parking lot and walk a distance in the almost complete darkness. grr. i say. grr.

There is an auction on Ebay for the original nintendo, all of the accessories that ever came out for it and all the games every made for it - all in good condtion. Just try and guess what it's going for? If you said $20,000 you are correct. People are nuts. Ebay rules. Other fun ebay auctions.

Super Bowl Tickets: $2500/piece (this is for an auction where bids have been placed)
highest price listed? $6000/piece

Bright Eyes Tickets (Chicago) $120/piece
This auction sucks and this is why. Jen and I wanted to go to this concert and we were all ready on the Ticketmaster website when they were supposed to be available, ready to buy a couple for $40 total. However, at 12pm, noon, when they were supposed to go onsaile and we submitted our order....yeah sold out, with in seconds - if they were ever even available. Then we looked on ebay to find that several tickets had already been up for auction for several days prior to them really becoming available to the public. grrrr.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Prime Minister says that he doesn't want his country to be a proxy battleground for the US and Iran. President Bush, responds, "too bad."

oh and that battle the other day when hundreds of terrorists were killed? A UK newspaper is reporting that the battle was actually a massacre of a nonviolent cult that was fired upon first. So there's that.

Cannabis drug may fight obesity
So if a pharmaceutical company wants to make an appetite suppressant from pot, and make millions of dollars off it it. they can do that. but if a citizen wants to have a smoke to relax, they go to jail. what's wrong with this picture?

The facebook group Barak Obama (one million strong) has grown to 183,000 members. I should also note, that it is growing abt about 10,000 persons a day. I haven't joined because he doesn't one hundred percent have my vote. Though proposing to get all our troops out of Iraq by March 2008 certainly helps.

So you may have noticed that we got another dog. Her name is Dublin and she is 8-weeks old. She is the same breed mix as Cinque and likes to chew on everything. She enjoys making Cinque grumble, keeping her moms up at night and pottying inappropriately (though she has been getting better about this). She also enjoys learning new tricks. To date, she knows "no" (an extremely important command), "come," "sit," and sortof "shake." Good girl. pictures will be forthcoming.

this is cool - mini printer

oh and KO has another great commentary over at