December 31, 2005
Happy 2006 Everyone!
So here's my New Year's Resolutions for 2006
1) I need to lose 25 pounds. I need to lose more, but let's be realistic
2) I need to use that recent degree to actually get a job.
3) I resolve to bring in more traffic to this site!
4) I resolve to actually get Rainy fixed
5) I resolve to take Jennifer somewhere really FUN for a special occasion.
6) I resolve to be nicer to everyone!
Where in the World??? Part II
Here's another one! Where is this picture taken? This one is easy guys.
Where in the World???
Where was this picture taken? Your thoughts in the comments?
December 30, 2005
Attention Game Developers
I think a potentially interesting game would be Sim Forest. You would be able to meet the needs of loggers, campers, environmentalists, animals, etc. You'd also have to worry about encroachment from civilization... that sort of stuff. You don't really want a Best Buy on the edge of your forest, do you? What about a polluting factory? This could be a really interesting game. Anybody?
Shocking: Things in Movies are FAKE!
On filming the DaVinci Code, Newsweek chimes in regarding the producers trying to get the rights to film inside the Louvre.
There are many plum locations in "The Da Vinci Code," but none more famous or romantically charged. And be honest: wouldn't you be disappointed if you heard that "The Da Vinci Code" movie had to fake the Louvre?
Um... no? I mean, this is a MOVIE. All of it is faked. The story is fake. The characters are fake. Almost always the settings are fake. Even when they film on location, things don't necessarily match up. The DaVinci Code is a Hollywood movie featuring Hollywood actors who are performing lines from a Hollywood script based on a fictional novel. It's not real.
So no, I wouldn't be disappointed. In fact, I'd be surprised that with today's technology they wasted their time.
No One Cares About Turin? There's a Reason!
Apparently people aren't excited about the upcoming 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Despite spending $15 billion, nobody is buying tickets.
Could there be an obvious reason though? Well, it does feel like we JUST finished the previous Olympics. By February, hardly a year and a half will have passed by. But that doesn't necessarily mean failure... the Salt Lake games were very successful, despite even less time having passed since the events in Sydney. But maybe the problem isn't time. Maybe it's space... you know, distance. Around 8000 miles separated Sydney and Salt Lake City. The distance between Athens and Turin? A little over 900.
The last time we had two Olympics spaced so closely together was 1992, when Barcelona held the Summer Olympics, and Albertville, France hosted the Winter Olympics, around 350 miles away. The Albertville Olympics? I don't remember them either.
Don't worry though. Journalists get paid every two years to write basically the same story: Upcoming Olympics in Trouble. Terrorists were going to wreak havoc in Salt Lake. Athens couldn't even build the venues. They're going to have to GIVE away the tickets! And then the Olympics come around, and the stands are packed, and everybody has a pretty good time. I'm sure Torino 2006 is going to be just fine.
December 28, 2005
The Futility of Mario Kart DS
I got Mario Kart DS for Christmas. Every time I am losing a race (which is quite often) I take it like a man. But whenever I'm doing quite well... any kind of commanding lead, my opponent disconnects. So of course, my win record is probably ZERO! Geesh. It makes me really mad. Some people have no honor.
December 26, 2005
Photos from a Nikon D200
My dad bought a new Nikon D200 and I got to play with it yesterday. Very, very, very nice. Check out this shot.
Everything about it, low light conditions, a fast moving kitten, and a zoom lens, would lead to a poorly focused picture... especially in the hands of someone like me.
Instead, it's extremely sharp. This replaces (or rather is in addition to) my dad's D70, so hopefully I'll get to borrow the D70. I have a Coolpix 5700 right now, which is a so-called "prosumer" camera from a couple years back. It does a nice job, but it has it's flaws. Horrible focusing, annoying delay, that kind of stuff. Sometimes a great shot happens in a fraction of a second. You have to be able to capture it THEN... not after five seconds when the camera has decided the focus is right and it finally takes the picture.
December 25, 2005
Thank You Power Company!
We enjoyed the five seconds without power yesterday night. It woke us up. Jennifer was afraid she had gone blind, and I was afraid that I'd forgotten to pay the power bill. Those five seconds were just enough to make sure all the clocks lost their time, which is okay, because some of them still weren't updated from the last power outage. I have to say... you're doing better that a couple years ago when the power was practically out more than it wasn't. We enjoyed that one time when the power was out for three days and we had to huddle by the fireplace for warmth and all our food went bad... food we had just bought to replace the food that went bad in the last power outage. We probably wasted $300 that year on food we just had to throw out.
Our Salute to C. Everett Koop
Who's the best Surgeon General ever? C. Everett Koop! Once upon a time Koop was vital in disseminating information about tobacco and HIV, and is best known for one of the most ridiculous looking beards ever. I mean, I kinda get it. I can't stand hair on my upper lip, but I just choose not to grow a beard because of it. (A lower goatee and/or a soul patch is acceptable, although only back in my single days when I could get away with looking like a total moron.) Now Dr. Koop spends his time selling products for seniors who have fallen and can't get up. It's a great way to stay out of a nursing home, or so they say. It even says that Dr. Koop uses one himself. If they say so.
Runner up props go out to Jocelyn Elders, who got fired for acknowledging that it might be a good way to teach masturbation in school as a way to promote abstinence. That was just a decade ago. Boy were we prudish back then, though to be fair, I don't think it's really a very good way. I mean, I just don't think it's as fun. But that's just me.
UPDATE: Apparently people interested in Dr. Koop can pay him to come speak at their function or event. How much? $30,000. I need to become famous so I can charge thirty grand for a speech. Hey, I'll take THREE grand! I'll take three HUNDRED dollars for me to come speak at your event, and you don't even have to pay for travel expenses. I'm starving!
Merry Christmas from Us!
Merry Christmas from Jennifer and the Boys!
December 24, 2005
Harry Potter is STILL in the Cupboard
Enter Harry Potter. Millions have read the saga of the boy who lived. For eleven years he was tormented by an abusive foster family, until one day he escaped. Rubeus Hagrid came knocking to take him away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Or did he?
What if Harry never left the cupboard beneath the stairs? Lily and James Potter were killed in a tragic accident, leaving their only child to Lily's sister. Harry Potter lived with his controlling, abusive foster parents for eleven years before he escaped to a magical world... a magical world in Harry's mind.
Harry Potter, after eleven years of mental and verbal abuse, is a victim of disassociative disorder. In order to cope, Harry has created a world in his mind where he can escape to. In the real world, Harry is a literal nobody. But in the wizarding world, Harry isn't just accepted... he's famous. He can do no wrong. Every year he saves the day, with the help of an incredibly powerful wizard and father figure, Albus Dumbledore.
In the wizarding world, Harry's parents weren't killed in a tragic automobile accident. They were killed by the most evil wizard ever... a man so powerful that others dare not speak his name. Harry's mysterious scar, likely a result of the accident that killed his parents, turns out to be a curse scar that allows Harry to sense the presence (and eventually emotions) of Lord Voldemort.
Compared to the lonely existence Harry leads inside the cupboard, Harry is instead a popular Gryffindor: leader of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Triwizard Champion, backed up by his two best friends Ron and Hermione.
Harry is an expert seeker in a sport called Quidditch: an invented sport that has some resemblence to soccer, but is supposedly played on brooms.
But none of these things are real. They are all figments of Harry's vivid imagination. Convienently, Harry can't perform magic while living with the Dursleys. The Dursleys have, with the exception of Ron Weasley and family, never met any of Harry's friends and associates. (Weasley himself lives with a large family of largely homeschooled siblings raised by two financially insecure parents whose idea of birth control is the rhythm method. He himself is likely living in a fantasy world.)
Eventually, sick of the abuse he endures at home, he runs away (while on vacation) with a large, hairy man. When he returns, he claims that he will be going away to a special school for wizards. And he does indeed go... taking a train to St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys.
Preposterous you say? What about the six years of magical adventures told from Harry's point of view? But what is more likely? That Harry Potter is an eleven year old with an overactive imagination, and a desperate need to escape his horrible reality? Or that Harry Potter is part of a secret society of wizards who live among us undetected?
Poor, poor Harry.
December 22, 2005
Windows Live Local One-Ups Google Earth
Google Earth is one of the coolest pieces of software around. Here's our apartment on Google Earth.
But now Microsoft has created something called "Birds Eye View" which features photos taken from the air, and from four different directions. Here's our apartment looking north.
You can see my car parked under the carport!
And here's our apartment looking east!
That's just crazy! It's really crazy. Any more resolution and you could see right through our window!
Jennifer thinks it's kinda creepy.
December 21, 2005
Kirkland Christmas Pictures
Posted by Quickr Flickr
Newsweek Asks: Where's the Outrage?
Arlene Getz of Newsweek wants to know why Americans aren't outraged over the use of warrantless phone taps by the U.S. Gov't. Of course, this is the question the media constantly asks itself whenever they try to attack Bush... where is the outrage?
Of course, if you're like me, you just kind of assumed this sort thing was happening all along... even before September 11th. People have watched enough movies to understand that their communications are likely filtered through computers which look for words like "bomb" or "terror" or "nuclear" or things like that. Those communications are probably then examined more closely by professionals looking for any evidence of actual wrongdoing. In fact, if these sorts of things aren't happening, then somebody isn't doing their job right. People who live in the real world want these sort of things to happen. The outrage would be to allow another 9/11-type event just because we weren't willing to look amongst ourselves for suspicious and criminal activity.
People just aren't worried about this sort of thing. The media finds itself essentially manufacturing scandals... and not particularly interesting ones either. Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, a stained dress, and a cigar? That's stuff people want to hear about. Murderers and rapists are humilated in an Iraqi prison? Not particularly engaging. I'm not saying that makes it right, but there's a reason they have to preach so loudly... they have to convince otherwise content Americans that something is horribly wrong with the Bush administration.
Spotted: Yet Another Solstice
There was a grey Solstice parked in the KFC parking lot today. That was the color I was going to get... it looks nice, but the convertible top for some reason looks really cheap. Given the high cost (both monetary and otherwise) of actually getting one of these, I'm not sure it's worth it... especially when you live somewhere as rainy as this.
Of course, if one just happened to show up under my tree, I certainly wouldn't complain.
December 20, 2005
HP: 45 Exp: 823 Class: Liberal
Found on the door of a college professor:
The elections have enshrined Bush and the vicious agenda he spearheads. An agenda justified by LIES and enforced by naked power, where tens of thousands of U.S. troops are sent to kill and be killed for U.S. empire. A war that has taken the lives of 100,000 Iraqi people. An agenda that calls dissent "treason," where legal rights to trial, privacy and protection from profiling and surveillance are torn away under the "with us or against us" terms of a growing police state.
No matter how much Bush and his team like to hide from, distort and re-fashion the truth, no matter how many dirty tricks they pull, no matter how they try to intimidate or coerce, spin or distract, they cannot change the fact that there are millions and millions of us in this country who know this whole direction is DEAD WRONG! The war is unjust! The deaths are immoral! Any electoral "mandate" they claim for this direction is illegitimate!
We refuse to allow the world to be cast under the cold shadow of a "new Rome" or to accept a razor-wire police state at home. We refuse to accept the terms of an election where the continued occupation of Iraq is not to be questioned and the Patriot Act should be enhanced or repaired. Our will to stop this course will not be stifled.
There are millions of us who THINK. Who don't want to be the cops of the world. Who refuse to go back to Jim Crow and a legal underclass—whether African American or Arab, Muslim and South Asian. Who refuse to let the religious right control our private lives and make fundamentalist Christian morality the law of the land.
Not in Our Name embraces a wide spectrum of political views, including about the efficacy of voting. But all of us unite around the need for massive resistance in the streets and broadly throughout society. We agree that we must repudiate and STOP this course of war and repression, including efforts to steal the election and violate people's rights.
We call on everyone who hates this course and sees the danger - millions and millions across the country—to act with determination and firmness, to refuse to be silent or to acquiesce to terms that tell us we must support their "war on terror" for a hollow promise of "safety." We must repudiate their plan and their logic, and stand with the people of the world—no matter who is elected and no matter what the empire-builders have in store. They are thinking and acting outside the ballot box - so must we.
Because the stakes are so high and so much is at stake, we must act and organize in bold, creative ways that reach and unleash the millions who are not yet in motion. There needs to be a sea of resistance, where people connect and organize with each other and the fascist-types know they don't have a free hand. A sea where opposition to this agenda, even the simple word "NO," is seen everywhere—on shirts, posters and stickers in home windows, offices and shops—emboldening people on our side and signaling support for those under attack. And there must be determined manifestations in the streets beginning even before the final vote tally and growing each day as events intensify.
The future of humanity is what's being fought over - and we must not let the new Roman emperors have it! We must dare to change the course of history.
It's fun to roleplay. Sometimes I like to imagine what it would be like if I were Superman. Other times I pretend I'm the mayor of my own city. Some times I am a dashing knight, searching for the amulet with my trusty steed. But then I turn the computer off and go back to reality.
Unfortunately, these people live in their delusional fantasy world. They imagine themselves to be revolutionaries, fighting against the tyrannical Bush empire. They are the Rebel Alliance. Bush is Emperor Palpatine.
Strangely, they turn a blind eye to true tyranny. I don't see them protesting in North Korea, China, or the Middle East. Instead they make up tyranny of their own. Perhaps it's simply to fill the time. Perhaps they do so because they fear the right is... well, right. Or perhaps they invent tyranny here so they don't feel guilty about ignoring it elsewhere. I don't really know... I don't claim to understand them. I try to ground myself in reality as much as possible. Fantasy is fun, and we all indulge in it, but I don't want to live in it.
Anti-Japanese Bigot of the Day
Check out this guy complaining about Toyota and "yap" cars.
Thats how i look at all yap cars, with a grain of salt. I drove an 06 camry for 600 miles , i wanted to stab myself in the face with a rusty spoon the whole time. The car was scary at 80 on the freeway , small movements of the wheel and it would swerve drastically. Now i know why Toyota drivers always have a 10 an 2 white knuckle grip on the wheel, when i pass them.
I was concerned for my safety and drove 65 for hours, what a pile of garbage. I don't know how far gone you have to be to find that acceptable, but i was amazed at the driving experience. I drove a Pontiac Vibe rental car soon after and had a ball. I was having FUN and i was annoyed at all the Toyota cars in the fast lane going the speed limit, impeding traffic. The Vibe is like a station wagon and it was a screamer, i liked it 50 times more than the yap tin can.
Oops! The Pontiac Vibe is essentially a rebadged Toyota Matrix, uses the engine from the Toyota Corolla, and is built at the same plant that builds the Corolla and Toyota Tacoma.
This quarter Jennifer took a Biology class so hard that many people dropped out after the first test. Today she got her grades back, and she got a 4.0! Overall her GPA for the quarter was 3.9! And her cumulative GPA for sciences? 3.98! Congratulations Jennifer! Some day you'll be awarded some prize or something, because you are THE best student at Shoreline!
December 18, 2005
December Cat Gallery
Here's some photos of our lovely cats.
Rainy on the couch.
Rainy cleans himself on the couch.
Rainy loves to watch television.
When kitties come on the screen, Rainy gets really excited and will reach out toward the screen. I had to put a scratching post underneath the cat tree so he wouldn't keep falling down and into the glass door under the TV.
Rainy also likes commercials for "24" and "Sex and the City" and anything where stuff moves and there are fun sounds.
Fluff loves his tree so much that we found him inside the tree. He's not small enough for that!
December 16, 2005
I'm trying to recover the old entries (as well as categories and all that) but I'm going to be honest... I don't have a clue what I'm doing.
By the way, for all those interested, I didn't get the Macy's job. Well, actually, I didn't get TWO Macy's jobs I applied for. I stink.
December 12, 2005
Every Sticker Adds 5HP
On Friday I came across an unusual looking car in the Shoreline parking lot.
This thing was absolutely covered in stickers. So I decided to do a few seconds worth of research and discovered another picture of the car. (Original here)
You can see here that the car has probably 100 less horsepower because most of the stickers haven't been added yet. This car is part of something called Open Road Racing. They go down to Nevada and they race on closed Nevada highways. This is actually REALLY awesome. I would take my car, but I'm lucky when it just gets to school and back.
But maybe someday!
December 11, 2005
In case you haven't noticed, there haven't been any updates in the last week. Unfortunately, our database was corrupted or something. How should I know. Anyway, I've recovered all the old entries and stuff, but it'll take a little while to import them. Anyway, I just wanted you all to know what was going on!