(6-15 February 2003)
15 February 2003
Happy Birthday to Ariela Maruri
-Restlessness, strange disgruntledness, & it all hits so fast after such a good day yesterday. Need more time to sort it through & I should really get to bed before I have to get up again. But I want to write & I don't want to write & I can barely sit still. Hm.
-The day sort of evened out, I wrote half a chapter & then finally got to sleep. Work was about the same as it always is, lots of down-time for me to get sick of the Web, but also some up-time to help people realize that computers are not the mythical demons they feared were hiding under their mattress decades before.
-There's yet more content on the site! Check out the Weather Station, the latest division of BP Imports!
14 February 2003
-Sleeping in can be nice, in the right sort of circumstances.
-Thai food & a movie about Vietnam make for a good Valentine's Day today. The movie ("The Quiet American") was excellent (the best of 2003 so far ["The Hours" is listed as being from last year], sort of by default, though it might hold up for a while). Anyway, 'twas a good time.
-Sometimes it's good to be wrong.
13 February 2003
-There was a power outage at work last night that sent me home an hour early & cancelled classes for everyone else, saving them from up to 3 hours of school. There were some good hallway lights kicked on by the generators, but it was still pretty freaky to just have everything shut off, especially the way everyone's been on alert lately.
-Lauren throws out the expected objections to yesterday's post about pacifism in national dealings... I have the usual things to say about the Hitler gambit (aligning with Stalin bad; moral reasoning not actually the source of action there, it was Pearl Harbor; by the way it's still immoral to utterly abridge someone else's freedom with your own, in other words the only true liberating army would be one that used no force whatsoever, otherwise you're just sinking yourself by becoming as bad as what you're fighting). As far as self-interest, it may be a stretch to say demilitarizing is in the USA's best self-interest, but the Cuba example seems pretty out-dated to me. The point is, the only threats the USA has now are from terrorist/rogue sources. So even if it wasn't best in the old days to be pacifistic (from a PURELY hedonistic selfish perspective), methinks times have changed so that it is now. But all this is still debatable & I didn't really expect people to agree.
-So I found a link that made reference to Zimmy, but then I realized that it was in this pretty sketchy website... so, I've decided not to link it. Nevertheless, someone wrote something about doing a Google search for "Mayonnaise Man" & looking at a picture of Zimmy. While this was amusing, the rest of the surrounding page isn't worth looking at.
12 February 2003
-From a self-interested perspective, being a pacifist is just CRAAAAZY, right? Sure, maybe the moral thing, but how could a country really survive being pacifistic? So many people for so many years have told me that people would attack you, no matter what, if you didn't have a big military to scare them off. But wait a second... all-time record high of threats against the US corresponding to all-time high in size of the US military? How can this be? Could it be that rampant use & build-up of the military has CREATED threats against the US? What reason would North Korea have to want to be able to lob a nuke at a West Coast town if we didn't have an angry military that had killed millions of their people? Would anyone really be so adamant, or even interested, in taking on or taking out the US the way that people seem to be? Strange... pacifism DOES seem to be the most selfish & self-interested choice. I know what you're thinking... there's no way that we could switch over to pacifism now. We're in too deep, might as well shoot for WWIII. You really don't think that Iraq & NK & everyone else would welcome a decrease in US militarism with increased diplomacy? You think that backing off an imperialistic perspective would encourage threats? I say we try it, & then I won't have to think about contingencies for what to do if a nuke hits the Bay.
-Today is just not feeling right.
11 February 2003
-There is a song by the B-52's called "Rock Lobster". This song is extremely funny. I had never heard it before, but KFOG's doing their A-Z variety that, while they are not covering all the songs they have, does cover a lot of obscure stuff in alphabetical order. For the curious music listener, I highly recommend "Rock Lobster". It rocks.
-That's it, it's time to be disciplined. It is time to write every day. After writing a chapter tonight, I'm prepared to enforce a boot camp for the writer's soul on myself. It's time to just sit down & write this darn book.
-Let's say you're the Bush administration CIA. & what you want more than anything is a war in Iraq. Now, some people in your country & lots of people in other countries are having a big problem with this. Everybody says they really think terrorism is the threat, not Saddam Hussein. They all hate Osama bin Laden, someone who is verified to exist by the random appearance of magical tapes that you, the CIA, are the authority on whether or not they are authentic. What would be the most perfect thing for Osama bin Laden to say right now? How about that he supports Iraq, for sixteen minutes, calls upon everyone in his organization to help Iraq, & meanwhile makes no threats of terror against the USA? That way terrorism ISN'T the real threat, it's all about Iraq... & there's your link between al-Qaeda & Iraq. That would be too perfect to hope for, though, right? So let's say you get out the voice of Osama bin Laden, your basement CIA operative, to say what he wouldn't really say if he existed. Let's just say that. Then Colin Powell will be the first to break the news, & maybe Europe & America will be fooled into rushing off to kill someone so clearly backed by the worst villain in the world! & all his people! But don't worry, everyone, this is just hypothetical. Osama bin Laden exists. The Bush administration has all the tapes in its vault & has verified the validity of every one!
10 February 2003
-Last night was the first night in well over half a year that Emily & I spent apart... she went to Fresno to look at wedding dresses & it didn't make a whole lot of sense for me to go (working on Monday, when the store was open, while she worked on Friday & Saturday to make up for Monday), especially since she sort of thinks I shouldn't see the dress before the wedding. Anyway, it's no fun at all to be apart. We talked last night on the phone & it was like we were back in Beantown & Princeton, what seems like an eternity ago. In short, being alone, even for a day or two, doesn't cut it. She'll be back tonight.
-SOTW/Quiz Stats updated. You know the Monday drill.
-Working at Chapman is teaching me so much more than schooling at Brandeis did. Not that the lessons are necessarily encouraging, or universally applicable, but the difference in learning is there. Part of it comes from the simple learning of perspective one gets from having to be nice to people one wouldn't normally be nice to. In a service job of any kind, being nice & supportive is necessary, & while it bothers me to be insincere in certain circumstances, usually I'm just limiting my tendency towards frustration/aggravation, which I guess is a good thing to practice anyway. One just can't get frustrated or angry in a service role. So I end up giving a lot more credence & support to ideas I'd normally find unacceptable... sometimes this is really bad, but usually it helps me understand people who I'd normally write off. Ultimately, I still write them off, but I've learned something about the way they come to their vantage point. The things that have been most surprising have been how willing people are to talk in ways that strike me as racist. It's never overt or explicit, but the implications in the way people will talk about certain curriculum requirements or student populations are extremely telling... & disconcerting. On lighter notes, people love to complain about anything & everything, & so many people of an older age seem to be looking for so little compared to college students. Yes, I know, it's not a revelation that cynicism tends to grow with age, that people tend to get more conservative & think about themselves more & other people less as time passes in their life. But witnessing it, person-to-person on the ground, is still fascinating. How can we get people to stop giving up on their dreams & just trying to get a decent retirement?
9 February 2003
-As of yesterday, I've had a webpage for four solid years. Not all of that time has contained this daily log of events, but all but a few days of it (the June Drought when my DNS & webhost stopped communicating), I've had a webpage of some sort up & running. Crazy. Maybe crazier is the idea that I can't imagine when I'll ever NOT have a webpage. Why would I stop doing this? Why would I bring it down? If the 'net remains as affordable & available as it is now, or more so, four years might not even scratch the surface.
-My spacebar seems to be all but broken. Either that or I don't use my thumb as well as I used to. My money's on the former, & it's frustrating.
8 February 2003
-Pando, Pando. Do you learn?
-Saturday mornings are so much less fun without debate.
-It appears that after about a week or so off, the Quiz's popularity has exploded again. Many people come via e-mail or private forums, but the Stay-at-Home-Parents Forum's take on it is hysterical. One navigates that forum by clicking "Next" in the upper-right corner & is a good use of bored web time.
7 February 2003
-Fiver Mep is now 50. If this means anything to you, it's notable & if not, carry on with your day.
-I've forgotten lately how much energy can come with getting past a certain threshhold of tiredness.
6 February 2003
-Kevin Grinberg wins today's prize for best e-mail received. He sent me something from "Storey Clayton (email@example.com)". In it, he gave me a detailed explanation that it's not Outlook's fault that it sends unverified e-mails, it's the larger Internet's fault for the difference between SMTP & POP3. Fair enough, though I still think that there's a difference between something that, when the IP address is checked out, is bunk & something coming from the same computer I use for e-mail, but without the right password (in fact, explicitly from the WRONG password). Nevertheless, this was really amusing. My protest is now even larger, though, as to why there is 10 times the security for receipt of e-mail as there is for sending e-mail under an alias account. That's just so weird to me.
-By the way, while we're on-topic, any e-mail from the address firstname.lastname@example.org is definitely NOT me. The account is a forwarding shell account for real e-mail accounts that I use. So if you get something from that address, you know something's fishy.
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