Archives: November 2003
Sun Nov 30, 2003
Carnival of the Capitalists Is Up
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Home for the Carnival
I made it home. Yay!
Then I wasted no time in changing the capitalists -at- elhide.com address to next week's host, A Penny For..., since it is past the generally accepted timeframe for entries to tomorrow's Carnival of the Capitalists, hosted at HobbsOnline A.M.
The December 1 edition has not been posted yet, but no doubt it will be by Monday morning. I'll announce as much when I become aware of it.
Meanwhile, feel free to submit entries for next week starting any time!
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Jay's First Rule of Christmas Music
An artist releasing a first Christmas album must cover White Christmas, or it's not a real Christmas album.
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Sat Nov 29, 2003
We Have A Winner
I was wondering who would pick up on this little "pie" detail. Figured someone would, when I threw that in there.
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I figured I'd post something before I have pie for breakfast and go off to the craft show in the unfortunate rain and gloom. Though I do see a path of blue off to the south. That's a good thing.
Did you know that some people don't like pie? It's true! My old friend Tom, for instance. But then, he doesn't really like ice cream either, unless it's mint chocolate chip or mint chocolate cookie. It's some kind of genetic mutation, if you ask me.
I happen to be fond of pie. Just ask my slightly distended belly. It'll surely attest to the fact.
Blueberry is arguably my favorite. But I like it all. Cherry. Blackberry, as made by my sister. Banana cream. Custard. Apple. Pumpkin, squash and sweet potato, all of which make especially fine breakfast or any time eats with genuwine food value. Coconut custard. Did you know some people can't stand coconut? There's another mutation. Peach. Mmm... peach! I just lurve peach flavored stuff. I am one of those weird people who likes mince! In fact, that's what's for breakfast today. With the added benefit of being the best mince I have ever had, made by a lady in this neck of the woods. They also have superlative, and cheap, pies just over the border in Rock Island, Quebec, at a tiny supermarket. Oxymoronic, that. Then there's Boston cream pie. Or is it creme? Whatever. Yum!
Mmmm... pie. Now here is the part where you all invade the comments and share your favorites, your pie stories, and your confessions of mutancy. That way tonight I will have much to entertain me.
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Goofy Quiz for a Gloomy Saturday
You are Spearmint.
You are quick-witted and sharp. You pay close
attention to details and you can tell what your
friends are feeling. You are always the first
to understand a joke and you are valued for
your insight and advice. However, you
sometimes isolate yourself from other people,
afraid to share your own feelings.
Most Compatible With: Cinnamon
Which Tic-Tac Flavor Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
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Fri Nov 28, 2003
Goofy Quiz For A Slow Weekend
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Yawn... I'm Awake! Really.
I hope all of my American readers had a great Thanksgiving. I ate too much, though not to where I felt sick or anything.
For some reason I slept and slept. I can't remember the last time I slept in excess of 12 hours! I fell asleep at 8:00, woke briefly about 12:30, woke again about 5:00, then slept from about 6:30 to 10:40. Now I am merely sleepwalking. I guess maybe my body is convinced that being in Derby, Vermont means it's on vacation.
Speaking of being in Derby, that means I am within 90 minutes of
this guy or this guy, depending whether I drove north or south. One of these times I'll have to meet them.
Posting will continue to be sparse, but I may pop on like this now and then. Have a great weekend!
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Reminder: Carnival of the Capitalists
Just a reminder, especially since this is such an odd week, that there will still be a Carnival of the Capitalists edition for this Monday. Probably with extra readers and a pent up demand for good bloggage when Monday arrives.
You should submit your entries to capitalists -at- elhide.com as usual. Bill Hobbs will be your host. Please put CotC in the subject line, and have your entries in by Sunday evening.
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Thu Nov 27, 2003
Here I am in Vermont, hanging out while the wimmen do all the work. :> Well, except the butternut incident, where my help was initially declined and we were entertained by the sight of my stepmother using a hammer to get the knife through the oversized squash. Naturally I had no trouble when she finally relented and let me make the last two big cuts.
It's been several months since I visited. Somehow I'd never been told my stepmother got a new car 5 months ago. All the houses around that were under constuction or merely planned before are up. Not that this crowds things much, given 10 acre lot sizes. This is Vermont. Smaller lots would have required years of approval process and maybe even an act of congress or something, to allow the environment and the inherent purtiness of the place to be ruined. Horrors.
My stepsister has her dogs here. Most of them have to stay in their crates in the cellar so they don't wreck the place, but my Foxy gets to hang out inside. She is such a sweet dog, and so excited to see me. One of these days I'll have to post one of my pictures. After Jake, who died of cancer last year, Foxy was probably my favorite. Caper remains too much of a terror. Autumn and Robbie are adorable and hard to tell apart. I was like Jake's dad because I was around from the time he was a puppy. Autumn was my baby the same way, only she knew me from the time she was born instead of starting at three months.
I just love dogs. They're a pain, and I don't know when or if I will ever bother to have my own. I always say I have enough trouble taking care of myself!
Anyway, back to cleaning up spam and I really ought to do some laundry I brought with me, if the other stuff that beat me to the washer is done now.
Have a great day! If you're actually reading this today, you're probably as crazy as I am.
Tomorrow or tonight I'll post a reminder about Carnival of the Capitalists, complete with a URL. I am spoiled by w.bloggar, which allows me to wiz through composing link-laden posts. This is one of those rare times I am typing directly into the pMachine control panel.
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Wed Nov 26, 2003
Is There Anything Better?
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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like overkill
What is up with major radio stations for Boston and Providence playing non-stop Christmas music before Thanksgiving? It's bizarre!
It also messes up my routine of channel flipping. One of them is the station I am settled on more often than not, which makes me more of a wanderer (Groo does what Groo does best) even than usual. Since there are only a handful of Christmas songs I get enthusiastic about hearing (meaning naturally they are mostly the rarest played ones), and since Christmas is a month away, people, it's completely freaking me out.
Hey! This would be a good question of the week: What are your favorite Christmas season tunes and by what artists? Unless people want to leap all over this question here, maybe I'll post it separately for next week.
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On The Road
Posting will be light. How light I am not sure, as I will have some online access over the weekend. Don't be surprised if there is almost nothing from me after this afternoon until Sunday night when I get back from Vermont.
Apart from turkey day itself and visiting my father there, which I haven't done in way too long, I look forward to starting my Christmas shopping. There are a couple craft fairs that can be useful. One is Kirby Quilters at Lyndon State College in Lyndonville. The other is a major show in Barre, at the municipal auditorium. Two floors of stuff. Worst case, it's an excuse to buy some Nelson's fudge and some nuts from The Mapled Nut Company. I also love pumpkin butter and some of the other stuff from Vermont Harvest. Added bonus is if e stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill and the shops in Stowe.
Anyway, I may or may not be back today. I'd kind of like to do another Letter of Tomorrow. M is good. Almost as good as J. I still need to pack some mounds of laundry to impose on their machines while visiting, have a bite to eat, pack some actual clean clothes and stuff, check in at the office, maybe pack a computer and/or some other stuff to go with me (if I do that I may be able to take care of some important business on the way home Sunday, but it will be a pain so I dunno), go to the bank (if I'm lucky with a check to deposit, otherwise just to get some cash), and check in with the new landlord to see if I ought to be doing paperwork today before I go.
So yeah, time to fly! Especially if I want to minimize the part of the drive spent dodging suicidal moose in the dark. Read my blogroll if you run out of material here.
In some kind of fucked up throwback to 1996, when there were still people who didn't understand the Internet and thought you needed permission to link them, Cold Hollow Cider Mill has requested I remove the link to them in this post, which I have done, under threat of some kind of blacklisting. While I still remember them fondly as a cool place to visit, which I haven't done in over nine years, I will never dream of linking or attempting to promote them favorably again, because this is ridiculous behavior. If you don't want to be linked, get the fuck of the web.
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GREEN EGGS AND LEMBAS
Received this via e-mail...
GREEN EGGS AND LEMBAS:
Excerpt from a screenplay for THE LORD OF THE RINGS by Dr. Seuss
(Scene: Bag End, after Bilbo's party)
That Samwise-Sam! That Samwise-Sam!
I do not like that Samwise-Sam!
Would you like some bread and jam?
I do not want your bread and jam.
I'm busy being mad at Sam.
He likes to sneak. He likes to spy.
I'll grind him up for hobbit pie!
Oh, do not grind him up for pie!
He is a pretty handy guy.
He mows my grass. He paints my gate.
He is my friend. We both are straight.
Well, then, I will not grind up Sam!
Bring me bread, and bring me jam!
We'll talk about another thing.
Tell me, do you have the ring?
I have the ring. I have it here.
But, mercy me! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!
I fear the ring is very bad,
The golden ring that Bilbo had!
Tell me, will you take the ring?
I will not take that evil thing!
Would you, could you, by the fire?
Would you, could you, in the Shire?
I would not, could not, by the fire.
I would not, could not, in the Shire.
Would you, could you, in a tree?
Would you, on the road to Bree?
Would you, with an orc or troll?
Would you, in a hobbit-hole?
I would not, could not, in a tree.
I would not, on the road to Bree.
I would not, with an orc or troll.
I would not, in a hobbit-hole.
I will not take it here or there,
I will not take it anywhere!
For it is bad. It's as you say.
You'll have to take that ring away
And throw it in the Cracks of Doom!
I'll need a friend. But who, or whom?
(Gandalf produces Sam, who has been spying)
Oh, Master! Master! Sam is here!
He'll wash me down with beer, I fear!
I do not wish to be a pie!
I will not eat you, little spy!
But I will send you far away.
You both will go away today.
You'll go to Bree. A man is there.
The man looks foul. The man feels fair.
He'll lead you both, if all goes well,
To meet the elves in Rivendell.
Oh, Master! We will meet the elves!
We'll get to meet the elves ourselves
And hear them sing their elven songs!
We'll hear them bong their elven-gongs
And strum their elven loola-lutes!
They'll hoot their elven hooty-toots!
I hope you'll hear those loola-lutes
And hear the hoots of hooty-toots!
But go with care. To be a pie
Is better than to meet the Eye!
The Eye is mean. The Eye is red.
He rules nine Riders. They are dead.
They'll try to make you dead, as well.
But will they catch you? Time will tell!
Oh, dear! Oh, dear! This is a mess!
We'll have to fix this mess, I guess.
So we will go, just Sam and me.
And what will happen? We will see!
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Tue Nov 25, 2003
I have neglected to mention that blogdaughter Lawren recently passed 10,000 hits, which is a particularly impressive feat given the speed with which she did so.
More gradual but no less significant is the 10,000 breakthrough by Indigo Insights.
Both are worthy reads! Be sure to offer both of them congratulations and a boost toward the next benchmark.
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Landlord Appreciation Day
I still have to get back in touch with the new landlord, who hasn't contacted me explicitly yet, regarding whatever paperwork is involved in securing the new apartment.
Meanwhile, I ran into the old landlord this morning, which was perfect. Let him know I thought I would be moving. When I know for sure, I can put a note in the same dropbox he has in the cellar for the rent checks.
He seemed genuinely disappointed that I'd be leaving! Said he'd rather see me stay than have the apartment available to renovate and charge higher rent on. Go figure. I guess paying rent on time every month and being quiet and unobtrusive counts for something. By way of explanation I told him it would be seven minutes from work.
My uncle and his partner chose well when they picked him out of three possible buyers. What a nice guy.
This morning he had a backhoe under my bedroom window, digging loam from beside the driveway. I didn't hear it until I was already awake. That gives you some idea how soundly I sleep and why I have trouble with alarms. Looks like he's going to have better fill put in there, then have it paved to enlarge the parking officially. There's normally a car parked half on the dirt there anyway. He also had marked with orange paint an area where a puddle forms. I figure that'll get dug up, filled, raised, and repaved. It's been needed forever.
Oh well. If tomorrow I learn the new place has fallen through, I'll feel better about staying where I am longer. I still don't like the parking situation and the commute though. Who knew. The rent that was outrageous a couple years ago is now cheap, and it sounds like I didn't have to fret much about it being raised any time soon.
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Can anyone recommend a low cost digital camera of acceptable quality? It doesn't need to be capable of huge resolution or tons of tricks. Just reasonable quality for the price, so I can take pictures good enough to send people, post on the blog, or whatever. Low cost is a big factor.
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When You Wish Upon A Blog...
I finally succumbed to the temptation of creating a wishlist with Amazon. What the heck.
Every year I go through the ritual of putting together a Christmas list for my family, as otherwise for the most part they have no clue what I might want or need. Thus this is partly for their benefit.
I am not absolutely certain the URL in the link is correct. When I go there it knows I'm me. I assume when someone else goes there, it will know it's someone other than me viewing the list.
The list is by no means complete. I suspect I could make it amazingly long with minimal effort.
Looks like the correct URL for the Amazon Wishlist is HERE, using Kevin's advice.
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I am a slacker. I finally upgraded to pMachine 2.3 overnight, after being asked to for security hole reasons by Hosting Matters support.
The blog is still intact, and I haven't noticed any problems. Guess it worked okay. If you happen to notice it being weird, let me know.
One interesting thing is the new version supports trackbacks if I do the little bit of hoop-jumping to enable it. But does it work cross-platform to MT? It must, else why would it be useful. Guess I will try enabling that at some point. Oooh... catching up with the in crowd. What a concept.
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Iraqus Interruptus: Effective Terror Control Method
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I don't remember all the details, but I just had a dream in which Acidman was a central character. Naturally this means it was a bizarre dream with a series of seemingly disconnected and equally strange scenes.
In one part, there was a sign outside of what looked like a bowling alley, on the side of the road, that had the number 48 at the top, and a bunch of other stuff on it. It turned out to have something to do with Acidman's practice, in the dream, of buying lottery tickets for an assortment of 48 other people. Turned out I was one of them and had won a small amount in the current drawing. He was all excited for people who won as I did, even small amounts, and hoped there'd be big winners. What really came across was his unmitigated joy at the idea of blessing someone he liked with a large windfall.
In another scene, we were at something resembling a VFW, Knights of Columbus, or similar hall, for a meeting. This was near the location of the lottery sign, opposite side of the road.
The parking lot sloped dramatically from the street end toward the back, and at the same time had a pronounced crown from side to side. It was to the left of the building. There were a bunch of cars at the height of the crown that had nothing to do with that building, apparently there by a sharing arrangement. At least later in the dream, the parking lot, especially higher on the crown, was slick with ice that made it hard to walk, or even stand. It was very think, with an uneven, almost pebbled texture. That was the only reason it could be negotiated at all with sufficient care and attention. There was some griping about the situation somehow being the fault of the alien cars parked up in the center of the lot.
There was a meeting of several people inside the building. The building looked level from outside, but the meeting room leaned at a ridiculous angle front to back; perhaps as much as 30 degrees. Looking front to back, the entrance to the room was front right, there was a podium front left. I was seated in a big, comfy recliner all the way at the back, to the left. Right up against the wall, as far down the hill as you could go. The room was obviously not the main hall, but a secondary meeting room.
Several other people were scattered around chaotically in other chairs, none as big and comfy as mine. Acidman was there initially, before others arrived. He had something that needed approval, but I never understood what it was for or why it needed approval, which is why it was crazy that he left me there to present it and speak for him. At least, if he wasn't back in time.
The thing he was presenting involved a fancy silver post about 3 - 4 feet tall, with a silver skull on top. Very cool and artsy, if you're into that macabre sort of thing. Then there were some plans or drawings on huge, folded, somewhat aged-yellow and dingy looking pieces of paper. I never did see what was on them, because they were such a struggle to wrestle with and open. I woke just before I had to display the paper plans.
I supposed it could have been some kind of memorial and that a scale model. It had the air of a permit process, as if he needed a permit to display or build this at all, or as if he had gotten smacked down for doing so and this was the defense.
Acidman had tried to show and explain things to me outside the building, but he had as much trouble opening the drawings as I did, and whatever explanation he gave was totally lost on me. I think it assumed I already knew the backstory of what was happening, which I didn't.
Anyway, the meeting droned a while after Acidman left. Finally there was nothing else to delay it, and I was disappointed that it was my turn. I started to get up to go to the podium, beside which was Acidman's silver skull statue thingy. They told me naw, it was fine just to stay in my seat. Good, since I had no idea how I'd get to the top of the room without losing my footing. Amazingly, I was dying of nervousness that I had to speak before the group, but I completely swallowed it and started speaking with absolute confidence in my best, carry to the whole room, public speaking voice. Which is a real thing; for someone who just dies at the idea of speaking before a group, I have an excellent voice and projection for it when needed.
It ended there. Then I was in a house, and whatever else was happening there that I can't remember, Acidman explained to me that he always kept the cellar door open at night to help keep the house from being excessively hot. Seems there were dual heating systems or some funky thing. I was left there, apparently in charge, with other people in the house, including at least one kid, but not Acidman. The place slightly resembled my father's old house in Holland, Vermont, at least in placement of the outside door and cellar door. However, where you'd have entered his kitchen was one huge room instead. That part of it reminded my of my friend's father's old house in Brewster, MA when we were late teens, before his father sold it and moved to Naples, FL.
So here it is, middle of the night, and I am not sure I'd even slept at all. What I know is Acidman is gone again, and I am way too hot, wondering how anyone else in the house can stand it. I check and sure enough, the cellar door is closed. At first I opened the outside door for quick relief. Then I decided that was too much of a chill too fast, but not effective longer term. So I opened the cellar door wide and closed the outside door. About then, someone else came along and I explained what I was doing. Somewhere in my rational mind that knew I as dreaming, it didn't really make sense. About that time, I woke up.
I felt like I'd not had much sleep, but in fact I'd been asleep about 6 hours. I had the urge to blog the dream, but decided to try to remember it and go back to sleep. Sleeping didn't work, so here I am.
As far as I can remember, this is the first dream I have had in which a fellow blogger was there in the flesh. Strangely enough, it's just in the past week I had the first dream I remembered about reading a blog. In that case it was Chicago Boyz, and I was all excited about something I read there. Naturally that made me go look the next day in case it was prescience, but there was nothing as exciting as the dream content. Too bad I have no clue what the dream content was.
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Mon Nov 24, 2003
N.Z. Bear has reached the awesome milestone of 500,000 hits in Site Meter. Go congratulate him!
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Question for the Gals in the Audience
There's a guy you see around; maybe via work, maybe in social circles, maybe just around. Whatever. You are kind of interested, so you flirt ever so slightly, or act overtly friendly toward him. You make a point of coming up and saying hi, asking how he is, staring intently and listening avidly to anything he says, however lame. Maybe you look at him wistfully at times. Maybe in his presence people joke about you having kids and you say, loudly, "I don't even have a boyfriend!" while looking intently at him.
For whatever reason, he maybe seems like he is interested, but is reticent. Certainly he never does anything bold like asking you out, despite that you are a beautiful, pleasant woman. You never got bolder than mild signals that you'd hope would snag him into action without taking too much risk yourself.
Eventually, after he doesn't do anything, do you simply get mad? How about if you know or believe he might have been taken by someone else while you were practicing the art of "winning through subtlety"? Then what happens; do you give him the evil eye and become no friendlier than would be socially obligatory if you run into him?
Why? After you have been so subtle about your interest, why be far less subtle about your disappointment? I don't get it.
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Carnival of the Capitalists Comments
This post is here expressly for the purpose of providing a place where people may comment or ask questions regarding CotC generically, or regarding either the hosts and info page or the past CotC locations page. Of course, e-mailing jaysolo -at- elhide.com works too, but some people may prefer this medium.
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Darth Clone Speaks
One of the new lawyers working for my big client is also one of the coolest people I have ever met. He's aware of the Jay Solo persona, so he sends e-mails with a Star Wars theme.
Well, his computer needs an audio cable from the sound to the CD-ROM drive, which I have dutifully kept forgetting to put in after hours, despite the trivial nature of the request. Today I received the following reminder to entertain and dislodge me:
As Jay Solo was attempting to flee aboard the Millenium Falcon, his plans were thwarted by an abrupt visit by Jabba the Hut. The following dialogue errupted:
JS: Hey Jabba
JH: Not so fast Solo...
JS: I know, I know, I'll have your cd cable sometime soon.
JH: No Solo, you will have it now, you have been given ample opportunity.
JS: But Jabba...
JH: No buts Solo.
The threat of perpetual carbonite convinced Solo to appease Jabba.
- Darth Clone
Maybe it's just me, but I thought it was terribly funny. He has adopted the name "Darth Clone" until he can think of something better. I like it.
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You May Be A Pencilneck Blueneck Geek Or Something
This is very funny. I'd never heard of bluenecks before, but right out of the gate, the "you guys" one made me howl.
Some of them fit better than others, at least for me. If someone called binoculars opera glasses, I'd look at them like they were a mutant. I've raised and executed chickens, never mind seen live ones. Everyone has a can of WD-40, unless they ran out and haven't picked up more yet. That's a lame one IMHO.
Then when you get to the last one, it pokes backhanded fun at rednecks. Heh.
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Carnival of the Capitalists #7 Is Up
Kevin Brancato of Truck and Barter has the latest edition of Carnival of the Capitalists. Hard to believe we're already in the seventh week! It's looking good, and there are lots of links that sound intriguing to me. I'll certainly be checking them out. You may want to as well.
Next week's host will be Bill Hobbs, at HobbsOnline A.M., and as usual submissions to capitalists -at- elhide.com will get to the current host. Bill requests that you put CotC in the subject line, which is a good idea whoever is hosting.
As always, the CotC permapage is the place to go for a list of future hosts, and the most recent one, plus detailed information. There is also a page for previous CotC locations, with links directly to each edition. If you missed previous ones, that's a convenient launching point to get to them.
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Odds *Yawn* and *Yawn* Ends *Yawn*
I saw that apartment I mentioned, thought it was great, and told them I would take it. Woohoo! It will be ready somewhere between December 1st (highly optimistic on the landlord's part, in his sister's and my opinion) and a couple weeks from now. It's far nicer than the place I have now, even if it will cost me, all told, a couple hundred or so more a month. Not only is broadband available there, at least in the form of cable modem service, but there are cable hookups coming into four rooms.
After I saw the apartment while the landlord himself was not there, and before I went back, met him, and looked at it some more, I went to my grandmother's for lunch. Unfortunately, it was one of those times when I felt like I was having the life drained out of me by exposure to family.
I was dismayed that after having a computer I gave her for four years without using it - one I'd have made some use of during that time - my mother is finally arranging a spot for a computer as a friend is giving her their old one. The good thing is it's going to be newer and faster. I just feel like it was such a waste. She's planning to set them both up, so the kids can use the old one when they're there.
Anyway, after I saw the landlord, I came to the office intending primarily to do some billing. If I got paid fast enough, I could then come up with the initial money for the new place as well as a last month of rent on the old place without borrowing. Instead I ended up being unable to stay awake! I got something like six hours of sleep. This could be good, as long as I make sure I get more. I'm supposed to get a 6:30 wakeup call from Renee, who needs a ride to work while her car is in the shop tomorrow. Maybe enough more sleep tonight will make that easier, and make tomorrow a normal kind of day for me. If I don't fall asleep in the middle of the day again! Darn Lexapro. That side effect had never left me 100%, and being off of it for a couple weeks, then going back on, made this like a lite version of the outrageous first several weeks of excess sleep and TMI side effects. The crazy thing is I swear that drinking caffeine now puts me to sleep! Is that possible?
Before I go I must do billing! If there's a bill on the manager's desk in the morning, I might get a check before I leave for Vermont Wednesday afternoon. That would be ideal. So except one more post, off I go to do that, yawning all the way...
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Sat Nov 22, 2003
That Was Quick
I may have found an apartment, but if so, I may also have to move rather sooner than I'd prefer.
Renee was driving home tonight and saw that the landlord was at her old apartment. So she stopped and knocked at the window, and asked if it was up for rent. It is. It's more than I'd hoped to spend, but it fits the other specs perfectly and is very large. If I don't negotiate it down any, it's $1000 plus gas heat. That depends how much I want to volunteer work around the place.
It's first floor of a 2-apartment building. It has 2 bedrooms, nice kitchen, living room, small office, and cellar space. A washer and dryer can be put in. It's 7 minutes from the office, and in a nice location. The 2nd floor tenants are a couple of computer game geeks and reportedly pretty quiet. There's room to park at least two cars. It's in one of my favorite towns in the area, a half mile from where Renee now lives, near other people I know, walking distance from commuter rail, and so forth.
If I go there after 11:30 tomorrow morning, I'll be able to see the place. At that point I'll find out how much down I have to come up with, and when they want me to commit to. Then I'll just have to negotiate with the current landlord if needed, as perhaps he'll let me out on the half-month or something.
I'm so excited! Renee loved the apartment, and the landlord loved Renee, so it's good she's recommending me. She moved because she had the opportunity to rent an entire house, and the upstairs neighbors she had at the time were quite noisy.
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Sorry guys, there won't be much from me today. I'll be pretty busy, and have to leave at about 3:30 to meet friends in Burlington at Victoria Station. There are always the links on the blogroll. Of particular interest last I checked were Weekend Pundit and Electric Venom; debating weather and weathering waves respectively.
One thing. I was having another look at MT, since it does have capabilities pMachine lacks. Going through the directions, I saw a couple points of confusion or question. Is the DB path moot and to be eliminated entirely from mt.cfg if you are using MySQL and adding the required three lines for that? Is it customary to place all the CGI and non-static files under cgi-bin? Does mt.cfg get consulted only during the run of mt-load, or is it read for settings each time so changes can be made later? Having wrestled with pMachine, MT doesn't look as intimidating as it originally did to me, but pMachine still appears to be significantly easier.
I might be back late tonight, but more likely it'll be tomorrow. See you then!
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Fri Nov 21, 2003
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Let Them Be Toast
Have you seen PoliBlog's weekly Toast-O-Meter yet? It's an informative yet amusingly entertaining report on the Democratic nominees, handicapping them using toast-related analogies for their current status and chances of gaining the nomination.
Check out the latest one, out today!
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Back From The Dead
Courtney is back with a post from yesterday, allegedly explaining her absence.
I guess this makes the poll on her mysterious disappearance moot. The final results were:
4 votes: Michael Moore got insanely hungry in her presence.
3 votes: Frank is secretly holding her as a sex slave.
2 votes: She robbed the cradle and ran off with Andrew.
2 votes: She doesn't love us any more and secretly laughs at our concern.
1 vote: Started a new blog and didn't bother to tell us.
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Thu Nov 20, 2003
The Letter of Tomorrow
I thought it would be fun to take the initiative, get a head start, be different, step out of line, rebel as it were. The The Letter of Today was K, and therefore The Letter of Tomorrow must be L. Let's launch...
L is for Libertyblog's loyal reader.
L is for Lead and Gold, rounding up the latest on the Atta-Iraq connection, not a city of Tripods.
L is for Latvian words of regret.
L is for Little Tiny Lies linking about Massa Clinton.
L is for Leaderlog on corrupt mutual fund practices that fail the "Dracula test."
L is for Laughing Lupines who appreciate good speeches.
L is for Lawren's Longings and Legal observations.
L is for LilacRose Learning about Clinton and Leaning toward guilt.
L is for Life going on for Little Miss Attila.
L is for Lack of posting, but for good reason this time, and for Learning to drive.
Let's load up on loquacious linky love, lest you be left lacking, loathfully lonely and listless.
Boy, did I jump the gun. Kate has finally gotten around to it being "tomorrow" with her November 25th Letter of the Day which, as you know from this post, just had to be L.
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The Blog of the Day
Rob Sama points us to an interesting new blog to watch, The Blank Of The Day. Looks good so far.
The theme is posts that have something interesting that can be expressed categorically; United Nations Confusion of the Day, Best News of the Day, Freebie of the Day, and so forth.
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I have no plans to be a Michael Jackson free blog. However, neither do I have plans to post about him.
That said, if you are curious about my opinion on Jackson and the entire affair, Acidman expressed it perfectly so I don't have to. His thoughts are precisely my thoughts, so I need say no more.
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Fun With Google
Inspired by my referrers...
Wow! The Carnival of the Capitalists permapage is number 2 of 645,000 hits for the word capitalists on Google. That is so cool!
Of course, it is also way cool that I am number 4 of 11,000,000 Google hits for Jay.
Ditto for being number 4 of 28,700,000 Google hits for Solo.
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Another Day, Another Goofy Quiz
Your soul is bound to the Burning Rose: The
"I go where my heart beckons me, and I go
with my head high. But sometimes, I get a need
until I bleed so my heart swims above my
The Burning Rose is associated with passion,
intensity, and desire. It is governed by the
god Eros and its sign is The Flame, or Physical
As a Burning Rose, you can get lost in the moment
if you let yourself. You are a very physical
person, be it in relationships, work, or play.
You may be driven by your hormones sometimes,
but you know it's because you have to follow
What Rose Is Your Soul Bound To?
brought to you by Quizilla
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Letter of the Day
Kate knows K is a fine Letter of the Day. Let's see if I kan kontribute anything klever to the kollection of K links...
K is for Kenyan opining. I might at that I have never met someone of Kenyan descent I didn't think was wonderful, and that she is completely right.
K is for the Kevin who is hosting the next CotC.
K is for the Kevin who has advice on frequent flier miles.
K is for Kate of the yellow rose.
K is for Kin commenting on Turkey's joining the West.
Just remember, without the kewlness of K, things could never be OK.
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Reminder: Carnival of the Capitalists
Don't forget to submit you business-related or appropriate economics posts to capitalists -at- elhide.com for the November 24 edition of Carnival of the Capitalists, hosted this week by Kevin at Truck and Barter. Most hosts look for entries to be in by about 6:00 PM Eastern time on Sunday, and it's best to indicate it's for CotC in the e-mail's subject line.
A post in CotC can generate substantial traffic and get your material before many new readers. If you've thought about it but have no idea what might be appropriate, most of the past entries are good examples. You can find a list of past hosts with links direct to each edition of CotC on the Past CotC Locations page.
CotC is oriented primarily at self-submissions, but reader nominations may also be accepted at the discretion of the host.
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Did you know there are still more than 78,000 servicemen still missing from World War II? I had no idea there were so many!
There are a few less now than there were. Via Deb comes the news that seven missing servicemen have been found in Russia and returned for burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetary today.
It's good to have them back home.
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New England Bloggers Unite
You know, the Californians and their expats have the Bear Flag League. The Tennessee bloggers have the Rocky Top Brigade.
Perhaps some of us New England bloggers should have the Pilgrim Pact or something like that. Yankee Blog Militia?
What do you think, fellow New Englandas?
And should we make this a right-leaning association, as the Bear Flag League was founded to be, or should it be for anyone? Making it right/libertarian would keep the size from getting totally out of hand, this being New England and all.
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Beggars Being Choosers
Last night I finally went on a major grocery shopping run. Things were getting pretty dismal before I did! Heck, I was almost out of peanut butter. How sad is that?
Anyway, the people at the register when I got in line, a couple ahead of me, were fighting with the clerk. Turns out they were on one of the welfare programs; maybe WIC. The guy had cereal he wasn't allowed to buy, and the clerk was enforcing the rules like he is supposed to.
The clerk ended up having another guy complete the transaction because the customer wouldn't even talk to him.
Turns out the same guy comes in all the time and always chooses to go through this clerk's register, even though they hate each other at this point. It's like some kind of a contest. The customer torments the clerk by trying to get away with getting whatever he wants and being proud that he's not paying for it, and indignant that the clerk is strict with the rules. The clerk is annoyed because his taxes are paying for the stuff, and the customer can't simply accept what the rules allow.
I saw this kind of thing during the years I work in convenience stores. The favorite was to come in, buy a nickel candy with a $1 food stamp, and then use the 95¢ change along with the other change you'd scraped up to buy a pack of cigarettes in a subsequent transaction. Your tax dollars at work, people.
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How Low Can You Go
I got the urge to check my blood pressure this morning. It's so under control that my next checkup isn't until December 11, 3 months after the previous one. Indeed, if it were any more under control, I would definitely have to cut the meds:
This may be remarkably low, but I recently chanced to go off the meds for about four days not long ago. It went up to about 165/100. Which still beats 220/140, but isn't good. I'd like to think I have at least another four decades in me, after all.
Guess it's safe for me to have some more caffeine this morning to combat the lack of sleep I inexplicably got...
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A Whale Of A Find
It just goes to show you...
A Japanese whale
hunting research vessel has discovered a new species of baleen whale. I can't say it any better than this paragraph from the article:
“CAN YOU IMAGINE? An animal of more than 10 meters was unknown to us even in the 21st century,” said Tadasu Yamada of Tokyo’s National Science Museum, the senior author of the study that appears in this week’s issue of the journal Nature.
Makes you wonder how well we know our own world and reality. I always say that the universe is a stranger, more complex place than we have yet imagined. When we can overlook the existence of a distinct critter this large on our own planet, in our own more obvious perceptual domain, how much that we take for granted can we really be certain of?
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The Istanbul thing I mentioned a couple posts ago is still very much breaking, and sad, news. According to this MSNBC article, we're now up to at least 25 killed and 400 injured.
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I thought I would share a bit of classic "me" silliness.
Periodically, I get together with several former colleagues at Victoria Station in Burlington. Generally this is every couple months, but it's been about six since the last one. So there's been an e-mail thread trying to arrange one this very week.
Michelle e-mailed the group and said:
I just wanted to say hello to everybody! My man and I will be at pre-cana (marriage prep class) on Saturday so have fun drinking. Wish we could join you!
I just couldn't resist some fun. I replied to everyone in response:
I wondered for a minute there; pre-cana sounds like something
So they have to teach you how to get married? Here, let me help:
1 - Go to cheaptickets.com or the vendor of your choice.
2 - Get tickets to Vegas.
3 - Buy wedding bands.
4 - Fly to Vegas. Don't leave the wedding bands at home.
5 - Locate a wedding chapel thingie.
6 - Pay the wedding chapel thingie.
7 - *Poof*! Be married at the wedding chapel thingie.
8 - Optional - Go on honeymoon.
9 - Not optional - Have madder, more passionate sex than ever until what you have done actually dawns on you and you panic.
10 - Live happily ever after, mostly, or at least until the divorce.
See? No class needed. Feel free to vary the recipe, maybe by flying elsewhere and then taking a driving vacation to Vegas. Or Reno; that works too. No muss, no fuss, no $10,000 wedding to put you (or your dad) in the hole. It just works. Nobody can be offended that someone else was invited and they weren't because - ha! - nobody was invited.
None of this pre-cannabis nonsense.
Renee should expect this kind of thing from me by now. I stirred her up, and she said:
You very silly man!! Pre-canabis! Pre - cana like the wedding at Cana that Jesus helped out with - made extra wine when they ran out etc...
The idea is to teach couples getting married how to have a MARRIAGE not just a wedding and then a divorce. It's kind of cool. I wish I had taken mine more seriously and ditto for [her ex]. Maybe we would have worked things out and still be married.
Silly . . . .
Just a bit of silliness for you this morning to make your day more surreal.
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Here Is The News, Another Action Filled Adventure
It was probably close to 3 AM when I fell asleep, so I am having a strange morning, waking at 6:30, wide awake, with the urge to turn on the news. So I did.
Bombings in Istanbul. Ick. Yet, after 9/11, it feels relatively minor as an "urge to check the news" story. Why Turkey, anyway? Let's show our true stripes and kill fellow muslims? That's the result, no matter how British the targets.
Then there's the segue into 100,000 or more protesters in Britain today for the President's visit; a number that's suspicious in light of the mass debunkings of similar protest numbers all over the blogosphere. But since The Media™ is intellectual kin to the commie left "get out the protest" people, whose numbers are the TV stations going to report? Zactly.
Turns out there was rain overnight. After midnight, while I was paying no attention. Lots of it. Like most of an inch. It's wet, there were some dreadful accidents, and traffic is pretty awful this morning as a result.
The southbound tunnel on I-93 is expected to open on December 19th. Or be ready to, even if that doesn't mean a formal opening that date; they weren't clear. Did you ever notice you'll have three newscasts on three channels, and the reports are almost identical but for the exact words and order of presentation? Well, one of the stations tried to pretend it was different this morning by reporting the Big Dig story when the others weren't. Or at least the others were downplaying it. Yep, I am a clicking madman, surveying the TV news wasteland as if I am a timeslicing CPU. Anyway, that's cool. The northbound tunnel seems to have made a dramatic difference in traffic through the city.
What else... oh right! Michael Jackson has been in Vegas filming a music video, but has arranged to turn himself in. He is totally innocent and plans to fight fight fight in court. His lawyer says so; it must be true.
All of which left me saying "okay, that was interesting, but I don't feel like there was anything worth the premonatory urge to turn the TV on." Which is why that sort of urge is by no means foolproof.
Not that the Instanbul story feels minor to the dead people, or even the injured ones. 12 and 320 respectively are fairly impressive numbers. Here's hoping the injured recover quickly, and the scum behind it are atomized with minimal fuss or delay.
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Letter of the
How can I pass it up when the letter of the day is J? I can't! So let's help Kate out...
J is for Jedi, strong in the Force and warping coincidence as a result.
J is for Jacksonville bloggers.
J is for Jeff, in the process of being interviewed.
J is for JFK, late feature of fictition.
J is for just my kind of leadership, which not everyone appreciates.
J is for Jennifer, being historical.
J is for Jen's poor dog, being hysterical.
J is for jocular answers to a deep question.
If you remember just one fine thing as you journey through blogland, remember that I am the Jay. The others are, well, other Jays.
How could I forget! J is also for Jim, providing further J coverage.
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Wed Nov 19, 2003
Virtual Twilight Zone
I just made a rather disturbing discovery.
I logged onto the control panel for my business domain and decided to check awstats.
Among my top referrers are three blogs that have that domain in their links... with the port number after it that takes you to the control panel login. Why would anyone link the site that way? And I am not the only one they have so linked.
That has me saying "okay, do they know my password? Are the three people all the same person?" One of them is a metablog, and the link to my control panel is in the same list as sites like Blogdex. WTF, over?
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Wonder Why Vermont Is An Awful Place To Start A Business?
Okay then, if I had any doubts about how bad Howard Dean might be as a potential President, they are gone now.
After years of government deregulation of energy markets, telecommunications, the airlines and other major industries, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is proposing a significant reversal: a comprehensive “re-regulation” of U.S. businesses.
Go read the whole thing. This is most disturbing.
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I bought a Brockton Enterprise last night and perused the ads for apartments and houses for rent. I am so bumming right now. What I pay now in Quincy is cheaper than the majority of apartments to the south of here, even in the cheap locations. What's up with that? If housing is going to skyrocket without incomes matching, sooner or later something has to give. Apartments appear to have gone up significantly since I last looked at ads several months ago.
The strange thing is that the apartment rents are cathing up with the house rents, and the lowest cost house rent advertised was below many of the apartments. $1000 for a one bedroom house on a lake.
This is all made worse by the fact I don't want one *right now* but rather at the end of January. I could probably arrange something with the current landlord if needed, where I ould leave mid-month. They're renovating the apartments as us tenants who lived here when he bought the place leave, and that takes about two weeks. Thus there would be something in it for him if I offered to leave in mid-January. But I digress. I despair of finding another place I can pretend to sort of afford, but I so don't want to stay here.
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Peaktalk has the 61st edition of Carnival of the Vanities up, with a maddening collection of links for your perusal.
Next week's CotV is at Setting The World To Rights, where submission details are described in this post.
Not enough reading for you? Deb Yoder has stepped up and done a lovely Bear Flag Review. That ought to keep you busy for a while.
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I Can Just Picture It
When at a total loss for what to post, it's pictures to the rescue! Especially doggie pictures, of course. So without further words wasted, here we have:
Closeup of Jake jawing Mrs. Lamb, his comfort toy from when he was a puppy.
Another one of Jake from the same photo session, if you can call it that.
A better old picture of my niece Michelle.
Me in Kennebunk Pond in Maine, where I tend to stay for hours once I'm in. I want a pool when I grow up and have a house.
And that's it for this session of blogging with "thousand-word" substitutes for actual inspiration.
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Tue Nov 18, 2003
I must be rubbing off on Glenn! When neither "heh" nor "indeed" will do, he borrows another of my favorites I can't recall seeing from him before. Sheesh.
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Massachusetts News On Gay Marriage
The Massachusetts SJC ruled that same-sex couples are legally entitled to wed, and barring them is unconstitutional based on the state's constitution. Thus a SCOTUS appeal is unlikely, and naturally the legislature is working on an amendment to counter this eventuality.
Channel 5 breaking news story.
MSNBC also hopped right on it as the breaking headline.
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I just hit 50,000. Woohoo! The lucky 50,000th visitor appears to be from The Cheese Stands Alone. The ISP is cox.net, and the time zone is Pacific. It happened at 9:34:41 AM Eastern, and the lucky reader stayed on for 2 minutes and 29 seconds, making 3 page views, with IE 6.0 on Windows XP. The last page viewed was this one, appropriately enough, and since LeeAnn left a comment there, I can only assume she was in fact visitor 50,000.
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When Submission Is A Good Thing
Just a reminder that the next Carnival of the Vanities is at Peaktalk, a blog you should already be reading periodically anyway. Pieter's reminder post with all the relevant information is right here.
The key point is the deadline this week is today at 3:00 PM Pacific. Which makes it the usual 6:00 PM Eastern deadline for submissions. Include a description if you'd like, but it may or may not be used, and send your submissions to pieter-at-peaktalk-dot-com.
I am sending my entry right now, which is why I am thinking of it enough to remind the rest of you.
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Fought Down Sound
I was going through the blogroll and got to Ken Layne's blog, which is now pretty much dedicated to Ken Layne & the Corvids, who recently put out a CD. So it was that I finally got around to going to the Fought Down page and downloading - via dialup, sadly - the samples of five of the songs. The cover tune grabbed me enough to be worth the price of admission by itself. The rest sounds decent too; certainly worth your while to check out if you hadn't yet. It's good stuff!
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Public Service Announcement
Just in case some of you don't know this or can't figure it out based on the typical signs, there is an e-mail going around with a subject of:
Problems with your PayPal account.
It is apparently a virus, in the form of the attached InfoUpdate.exe file that the mail invites you to run with the following body text:
Dear PayPal member,
We regret to inform you that your account is about to be expired
in next five business days. To avoid suspension of your account
you have to reactivate it by providing us with your personal information.
To update your personal profile and continue using PayPal services
you have to run the attached application to this email. Just run it
and follow the instructions.
IMPORTANT! If you ignore this alert, your account will be suspended
in next five business days and you will not be able to use PayPal anymore.
Thank you for using PayPal.
This is all very funny when they arrive at non-real addresses, with which no PayPal accounts have ever been associated. Silly scumbags.
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Speaking of Moving and Word of Mouth
Seeing how I mentioned it in this packrat post, I'll do the word of mouth thing again. Unfortunately, it's seriously scattershot, given the international audience of this blog versus the southeastern Massachusetts focus of the question. But hey, I know I must have local readership, and word of mouth works in mysterious ways. Word of mouth rocks.
I am looking to move, preferably arranging by Christmas an apartment or low cost house rental to move into about February 1st. The big objective is to be closer to work, in a place with ample parking, without spending more than I do now. The savings will come in commuting costs, car insurance (which rose 45% when I moved to Quincy), stress, and time. Plus not having the spectre hanging over my head of an eventual increase to something closer to market for my area. Now I pay $900 heated, which I can pay but can't afford. A more realistic rent here would be $1100, even without the place being refurbished as it will be once I move.
The where is anywhere reasonably close to the west Brockton and Easton area. That includes but is not necessarily limited to Easton, Stoughton, Sharon, Mansfield, Norton, Raynham, Taunton, West Bridgewater, Brockton, and Avon. I'm on call, and it can take annoyingly long to get on the scene in response to a page from where I am now.
The what is 4 rooms, more being a bonus, no-nonsense parking for at least two vehicles, for the same cost or less than now. I might entertain rent as much as $100 more if it's a house or a truly huge, amazing apartment. First floor is a bonus but not mandatory. Washer and dryer hookups are mandatory. No smoking in the other apartments, or airtightness from them, is important. Ability to get broadband is a huge plus, if not mandatory.
I'm a good tenant; quiet, pays on time, isn't demanding, a little slobby but won't trash a place, mostly just wants to be left alone. I really hate finding I have crazy neighbors!
So let me know if you have any good leads. E-mail is jaysolo -at- elhide.com or you can click the link near the top right on the main page.
I also e-mailed everyone who works for my big client and am asking around to other people. I really don't expect to find anything through the blog, but you never know...
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Question of the Week: Human Rodent Tendencies
Some of us are incurable packrats, as I am being reminded of while trying slooooooowly to deep clean and organize my apartment, and start to pack things in far advance preparation for expected moving in a few months. Which is a whole other story.
And yet... there are memories, and sometimes useful "hey, good thing I kept that" instances. But damn, it piles up.
What do you think? Packrat tendencies; a good thing, a bad thing, or it depends? Got any good packrat stories to share?
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LeeAnn directs us to a compendium of baby naming cruelty, which I have only begun to go through, but thought worthy of pointing out.
Also, in LeeAnn's comments, Kim reminds us that "THE OTHER KIM" refers to that du Toit character, and not to the one and only Velocidude. But then, he also wants us to know Kim is a perfectly masculine name...
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Glorious Wooden Walls
This is a magnificent post on wooden warships and the battles they were in. Excellent reading and accompanying pictures. Definitely go have a look!
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Elevated Fat Stairs You In The Face
RantDude rants about a way in which people bizarrely don't help themselves when it comes to being fatter. I couldn't agree more, although there are no doubt times when someone can be disabled in a way that makes stairs agony and elevator less so. We can't always know what's going on with each person. But... there can't be that many!
It used to drive me crazy when my partner would always take the elevator from the second to third floor. I don't usually take the elevator even if I am carrying a monitor or something. Then again, the stairs are a straight shot up, while the elevator requires stopping, waiting, and holding the weight that much longer. It's the same impatience and need to just move that makes me sometimes run up and down stairs. On the other hand, the older I get, the more likely stairs are to feel like an interminable challenge. Depends on my mood.
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Here's a junior member of the VWRC, helping to spread truth, justice, the American way, and make you say "awwwww."
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Ice Cream Producers and Consumers Unite Over Annika
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Woohoo! Site Meter is back from the dead. And it did still manage to track that I got some 500 hits yesterday, which is excellent.
If any of you were hesitant to enter relevant posts into Carnival of the Capitalists, let that be a lesson for you in how much traffic doing so can generate. That is, about 300 extra hits, give or take, is not out of the question. More than the numbers, that's people getting your writing in front of their eyeballs. I assume you want that...
Luckily I didn't hit 50,000 while Site Meter was down. Yay! There are 75 hits to go, which means sometime in the morning. Just shy of my 9 month blogiversary, too. Not too shabby.
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Mon Nov 17, 2003
My grandfathers were both diabetic, and in theory I am at more than a little risk. It's probably safe to say my mother is amazed I don't have it, and my blood sugar stays acceptable. At any rate, Tony is reporting on news that diabetes has been cured in mice. Or "reversed," if you prefer. Woohoo!
This is astounding news, and can't come soon enough as a full-fledged option in humans.
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Sorry for the lack of posts today guys. I seem to be a little sick, and prone to sleeping to an abnormal degree in conjunction with that.
I'm really bummed that Site Meter still seems to be down as it was this afternoon. I was on my way to a really superlative day when it abandonded me, and would probably be hitting 50,000 any minute now at the rate I was going.
Usually they're great about it not being down more than a couple hours. I hope the reports and the counter are down, but the hits are sill being logged accurately...
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It's Monday, Sooooo....
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I know that in the Ecosystem, I have been ranging near the top of large mammal, hovering around 110, and I know I have gone as high as 60, well into playful primate. I know a day under 200 hits is an anomoly for me now. But still, it is weird to think of myself as one of the "big names," even when people tell me I am one.
So it still astounds and honors me to be included on an e-mail heads up with: Glenn, Michele, Kim, Atrios, Misha, Kate, Stefan, Kevin, Kevin, Dean, and Denise.
I know, I know... It just seems a little surreal.
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There is an update to the nonsense being perpetrated on Justene by the Infotel scam operation, in the form of a copy of their demand letter. It's fascinating, in a surreal, demented sort of way; like watching a company commit public self-humiliation.
In case you missed this originally, you can trace the whole deal through my post here.
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Rounds And Rounds We Go
Medic Mom points out that the 19th is National Ammo Day. Sounds like an excellent idea.
On an unrelated note, she has posted some good Confederate flag graphics for those who might like to use them on blogs.
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In The Memetime...
Donnie wants us all to stop saying meme. Meme, meme, meme. Great word, no? It really memes a lot to bloggers everywhere.
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Dean Hates You. Go Dean!
Dean hates you all. Go share your feelings with him. Make him feel just great about himself and his current endeavor.
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Sun Nov 16, 2003
11-17-03 Carnival of the Capitalists is Up!
Professor Bainbridge has this week's Carnival of the Capitalists up and looking great. Check it out and spread the word!
Next week's host will be Kevin at Truck and Barter. As usual, e-mail capitalists -at- elhide.com, and please include 'CotC" in the subject.
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Another Goofy Quiz
cuddle and a kiss on the forehead - you like to be
close to your special someone and feel warm,
comfortable, and needed
What Sign of Affection Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Via Kate, whose result was the same as mine, and who has adorable little squirts.
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Sam & Frodo, Sittin' In An Ent, Doing Things They Don't Repent*
Kate has caught up with the rest of the world, finally watching LotR. She was disappointed, having not remembered Sam and Frodo being as gay in the books. She plans a reread soon as a sanity check.
* Sorry, couldn't resist when this came to mind.
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Embracing Paris Hilton
The Bear has written a great observation about the attention-seeking tendencies of bloggers, and how we ought to recognize and embrace that trait. I admit it; I love those links, those hits, those comments, those "love your blog, can I have your baby?" e-mails. It's just so much fun!
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Please Don't Card Me
Why do supermarkets, and other retail chains, insist on using those damn discount card programs? Personally, I can't stand them, purely as a customer. It's one more place wanting personal information. It's making me work to shop with you. It's making me less likely to shop you, knowing if I don't have the card, I won't get a sale price. I have gone into stores and walked out without buying an item I explicitly went in for because I did not have a card, and the item happened to be on sale. I could stand paying full price as expected, but not paying full price when others were paying a bargain price. That's a lost sale, not a good thing for the retailer. It's another something I have to carry around with me in case I happen to go into that store.
I've given some unresearched and unsupported thought as to why retailers so readily adopt card programs, despite the fact that most people seem to despise them. In fact, that is number one on the list of reasons not to have one of the card schemes: alienating customers current or potential. If enough chains follow suit, or you are the only game in town, naturally it becomes easier.
So there's one negative. Another might be the overhead of running such a program. Another might be that it won't accomplish what you hope to accomplish if you are soft about it. That is, if people know that a clerk will swipe a generic discount card through when they say "no, I don't" to the question of whether they have a store card, there is less incentive to be sure to get one. Another might be that people will provide false information, foiling any demographic data benefit to the card issuer.
What are the positives? I can only posit based on what I would do were I in the shoes of the retailers. The alienation factor is strong enough that the positives must be awfully strong to overcome it.
Creating a mailing list for targeted advertising and offers. Foiled if the info provided by the customer is false, but good in concept.
Controlling limits on sale price purchases. If the limit is 4, in theory the computer system knows that customer bought 4 last time they used the card, and shouldn't get the sale price this time. I have no idea whether stores actually do this.
Demographic data collection. This is not only applicable to information about who the customers are and where they live, but could go as fine as buying preferences matched with demographics.
Test marketing, using the mailing list and demographics, to see what offers or loss leaders will bring people in, and how effective different presentations might be.
Check cashing is the old and original reason for such store cards, remains a valid one with no relation to giving sale prices only to card holders, and is the one circumstance in which the retailer ensures collection of valid data rather than issuing a card to yet another customer named Mickey Mouse.
Sense of membership or previous investment. If you have a card for one store and not another, you may tend to shop preferentially at the store in which you have already made that investment of effort.
Are there other benefits to the retailer that I am overlooking? When I conceived of writing this post more than a week ago, I'd thought I might make it "scholarly" by seeking out and linking articles on the practice that would provide actual reasoning and insight, and actual data on just how much card programs turn potential customers off. Since I wanted to get it written, and was inspired by the amount of recent shopping I have done at stores with card programs, where I lacked one of their cards, I went ahead and speculated instead.
I figure there has to be a good business reason for them, perhaps some of the ones I speculated about above, or such programs wouldn't be so rampant. While I may not like it personally, I find it fascinating to put myself in the shoes of the management of those retailers and imagine how I would justify it, or use it knowing it exists.
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Fangs For The Memories
Velocidude is looking for advice. Yes he is; on a car for his
sexy, jailbait near-sixteen year old daughter, making it easier for her to get around when she's old enough. To drive. But wait! He also needs advice on... pussy fangs. Fangs in advance for your help!
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Drumwaster has some trivia questions for you. Sadly, I know the answer to only one of them. What's up with that!
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Sat Nov 15, 2003
Fast Company Now asks whether you agree or disagree on this CBS MarketWatch list of 10 most overpaid jobs in the U.S.:
Washed-up pro athletes in long-term contracts
CEOs of poorly performing companies
Motivational speakers and ex-politicians on the lecture circuit
Real estate agents selling high-end homes
West Coast longshoremen
Pilots for major airlines
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Nope, Can't Happen Here
I have always thought identity cards were evil, and Dissident Frogman's post has a wonderful graphich he created that illustrates why. It's a good thing we don't have ID cards in this country! You know; just driver's licenses people need to look at for seemingly everything, and Social Security numbers that are not an ID that people are always asking us for to vouch our identities.
But thank God the United States doesn't have ID cards. That would be so wrong for a free society, conceived in liberty and stuff.
The above link was via Samizdata in this useful post that points to various ID card links. Check it out.
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Me Neither, Jen. Me Neither.
I have never gotten the Kennedy Worship Cult.
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How About A Goofy Quiz
This is kind of funny...
You represent... apathy.
You don't really show any emotion. You can be
considered cruel and cold, but you just don't
really care about anything. This is just the
way you are... you're quite a challenge to get
close to, and others may perceive you as
What feeling do you represent?
brought to you by Quizilla
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It is ironic that I mentioned phone book scams in this recent post. I am not sure it was Infotel, but it sounded like their directory. Last year a saleswoman called to get confirmation, and I ended up arguing with her because she insisted we always had gotten that book before. Seeing how even when others have worked in my office, I have written the checks, I wasn't easy to con. Unusually for me, I became irate and literally told her to fuck off before hanging up on her. Again, I have no idea if it was Infotel, but by whatever vendor, this is a common scam.
A variant besides calling is simply sending things that look like bills and hoping you will pay them. That was big a number of years ago. Now they print "this is not a bill" somewhere to make it less likely people will fall for it.
Anyway, Justene ran into the scam with Infotel. The comments got rather intense. Subsequently the company has threatened suit due to the comments on that original post. However, they strongly appear not only to have no case, but to be stepping out of bounds. However, that doesn't stop them from costing time, aggravation and money. Even with self-representation, it's opportunity and staff costs.
Xrlq is all over it and has reproduced the comments that Justene has turned off and not visible on the original thread while she is away. He had previously posted on the matter here, noting that the Infotel scammers had asked Verve to cancel her account.
Check it out and show Justene the blogosphere's support.
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Fri Nov 14, 2003
Leave Gennie Sated
Gennie is unhappy. You don't really want Gennie to be unhappy, do you? She's too adorable and entertaining to be anything but, heh, dizzy with happiness.
So answer her questions, dammit. Answer these questions on your blog:
1: Do you currently have a blog crush? Who is it?
2: What makes this blogger so appealing?
3: What's your favorite post from this person's blog and why?
4: What's your least favorite post from this person's blog and why?
5: What's sexiest about this blogger: their blog, their appearance, their personality, or all of the above?
And then link her post from your post so she will know about it and, naturally, get Ecosystem credit. That's important.
Don't make poor Gennie have to beg. Or worse, threaten. *shudder*
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Forked If You Do, Forked If You Don't
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I'm not too big on visiting graves either. I believe the last time I did was to visit my uncle's grave when my cousin was visiting from Texas. We visited my grandfather's and the rest at the same time.
Most of the more recent generations are either at Mount Prospect Cemetary in Bridgewater, or the Bryantville Cemetary. That one is fitting, as Bryantville got its name from the Bryants in my family tree. I believe my father and stepmother will be in Plymouth, in the cemetary overlooking where the Mayflower is parked. You go back a bit and there are wayback relations in Plymouth, no doubt. We also have some in East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, and places like Freetown.
Strangely, the most recent time before my cousin's visit that I can remember visiting a cemetary was when I was in Nova Scotia, near Kentville. I'm not sure if the town I was in was Canning, or a different one. The cemetary was up the road from my gradfather's cousin's house. I stopped to check out all the Irving stones, and took pictures of them for my mother. She's the big genealogy nut. The Irvings in question are probably all related.
I know it's efficient and all, but I have never become comfortable with the idea of being cremated. As if I'll care when I'm gone, right? I just picture that it's me being burned, and picture there being nothing identifiable left of me that much sooner than there will be as worm food.
I'm not sure how I would feel about being turned into a diamond.
If I were ashes, I think it would be cool to be scattered in space or on another world.
Acidman is right about childbirth and infancy being such an iffy thing in the past. Talk about anti-technology being anti-life, there's a prime example where rolling back would be outrageous. My grandparents lost their second child and first girl, my mother's older sister, in infancy. We still have crib deaths, but you have to wonder seventy years later how different things would be. I very nearly didn't make it, and the reason I did appears to have more to do with I just did - call it a miracle if you like - than with 1961 medical technology. The night I was supposed to die I inexplicably recovered instead. It could as easily - more easily - have gone the other way, and I'd be a name on a little headstone, probably in Bryantville. Then, given the impact a baby's death can have on a marriage, it's possible they might not have gone on to have my younger brother. Or might have done so sooner. Everything would be completely different.
Which is entirely another topic; how the world changes if you remove any one of us from it in the past. I know there are people whose lives I have changed, for whom things would be far different. That's something to think about, if you ever find yourself down, lacking in self-appreciation. Think of all the people you've touched in ways large and small. It's enough to make anyone feel more significant to the world.
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On Becoming A Less Annoying Salesperson
The Degoban Exile has a most impressive post full of advice for sales people who visit businesses. I feel her pain. There was one day I remember, in 1999, when my partner was in the office with me and I was the shield against distraction for him, when I spent almost all day fielding one sales walk-in after another. It was crazy! That and phone calls, which I still get regularly. There are fewer salespeople in person.
I don't always mind either of them. Usually it's phone services, which I do mind, and which usually operate in a scam-like or sneaky manner. Ditto for the phone books that try to scam you into confirming you'll take delivery, so they can hit you with a bill for something you didn't want.
I hate when people won't take no. I hate when they don't accept that I am too small to need what they are selling. Not interested means you can stop talking and hang up now, or as Deb says, leave a card.
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I Like It
I like it a lot!
PS - I wear XXXL or XXL T-shirts. Like 'em loose. Just in case anyone was feeling generous...
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Postal Workers Are People Too
Julie debriefs us based on her recent experience working at the post office. It's all absolutely correct and worth reading.
I know this because my mother was a rural mail carrier. An excellent one who, like most people at the post office, cared deeply and worked hard to do the job well for the customers. Then again, the postal region we were in got the annual award and bonus for best customer service in the country year after year. Several time I drove her around the route when she had car problems, so I got firsthand exposure to things mail carriers encounter.
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I'd Call This Self-Inflicted
Our fine Jedi friend* Deb laments that she is only number three on Google for the search phrase "'damn I am an idiot."
Would it help her out to link her with damn I am an idot as a link? I am nothing if not eager to be helpful, so damn I am an idiotit is!
* Not to be confused with a fine four-fendered friend.
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Jeff reports on the indications that there is a lack of ice on the Moon, and what that means to the Moon infrastructure versus Mars direct question of how to proceed.
There is still something to be said for lunar infrastructure, but ice deposits would certainly have made it much easier.
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Carnival of the Capitalists
Professor Bainbridge has posted a reminder regarding Carnival of the Capitalists.
He is incorporating entries into a draft as he receives them, and e-mailing confirmations to the senders within 24 hours. If you have submitted a CotC entry this week and have not received a confirmation yet, please resubmit to capitalists -at- elhide.com.
The draft will be posted in final form Monday morning.
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I Have Crazy Dreams
I just woke up from the strangest dream. It was like I was in a surreal SF novel. People were being tossed out of their dwellings by new arrivals at the whim of the government. The new people were mostly in wheelchairs, and the dwellings were nothing to write home about, nor were they appropriate for the wheelchair bound. For instance, a wigwam-like area a few feet off the ground within a bush-like plant like nothing you've necessarily seen on this planet. All the other dwellings were rustic, carved out of totally new wilderness. It could easily have been a settlement on a new colony world or something.
The possessions of the people, all healthy, all having built up to having what they had, were just arbitrarily tossed or destroyed, even when they'd have been useful to the new people. This started, then continued for different people in different types of dwellings in different areas. Before the scene changed, someone in one of those elevated mound dwellings was actually challenging the new tenant, screaming and smashing stuff, while the new tenant looked on helplessly and made lame protestations.
Next scene was at some kind of immigration office where you had to register, or where other government business was conducted. Nothing much was around it, including not that many trees on a flat plain with scraggly grass and such here and there. Roads were all dirt.
A bunch of us were in line there, waiting interminably, in a scene that looked like the old days at a Massachusetts registry before Bill Weld reformed things. We were discussing how you had to do something like have impressive boobs or give them something to get better service and ensure you got what you wanted.
After a while, government people dropped off a huge load of new people who unceremoniously swarmed into the place and messed up any system of having a line, displacing and getting ahead of those who'd been there already. And yet, the new people were taken care of immediately and efficiently, leaving the rest of us in line as before. Just when I was next to be served, it happened again. This time the government people made the new people form into parallel lines, so we all ended up waiting specifically for the service window we were facing. Lucky for me, I was able to step right up momentarily.
The guy at the window was almost familiar to me. He so wanted to be extra helpful, but kept looking for me to say the right things and I was always one off. Eventually we went outside because I was missing something I needed, and he could finish up and give me my papers there. I guess it was some kind of ID papers, passport, that sort of thing I was after. He was asking me about my stepsisters, and had thought one of them was my wife. When he learned I was single, he talked up his sister and wanted me to meet her. Once again, instead of saying the right thing, I put him off. This time it was by offering a business card so they could contact me. I was fine with meeting her; that was just my way of handling making plans to make plans to do so.
For some reason we ended up back inside the building, now largely empty except the people at the service windows, decidedly friendlier without a line of people to wait on. Over in the corner, Tim was balancing several full glasses of milk on his outstretched arms. Then he popped them up in the air and started juggling them, dropping one.
The guy I was with went over and tried to grab them and demonstrate how he could juggle better. This resulted in the two of them dropping a couple more glasses of milk onto the carpet. I, looking on, spilled a drop of something I was drinking onto the floor, and everyone was horrified. I observed that this was insane, when nobody cared that those two were spilling entire large glasses of milk and not immediately cleaning them up.
Then I woke up. This has to be one of the most bizarre dreams ever for me.
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To Dream... Perchance To Sleep
Well, I don't know what's wrong with me, but I seem to have discombobulated my sleep cycle again. Thus it's 5 AM and I am awake, having not been to sleep yet, but having napped twice during the day yesterday when I couldn't keep my eyes open.
What's really great is to sit at the computer, close my eyes, and start dreaming without being asleep yet. That's so cool! In a disturbing sort of way.
I think there are a variety of factors. Things in my life distracting me, maybe my foot being infected again, my weight having yo-yoed a bit, worry - though not seriously stressful worry, my having been off Lexapro several days then going back on when I could afford the prescription, and just the fact I so naturally gravitate to being a night person.
I worked 12 - 9 PM from the end of April 1994 to November 1998. At that point I wasn't supposed to remain on that schedule, but couldn't fully adjust, so I more or less stayed working 11 or 12 to 8 or 9 for another 13 months or so.
To this day, I still have trouble going to work before 11 AM, or getting to sleep at a time conducive to earlier hours. Which is funny, considering how many years I managed to get up by 3:30 AM for work. When I was younger and more flexible.
Oh well. I feel sleepy again now. This is good. I can get a few hours of sleep, and meet a client in "late morning" as planned.
If you see limited posts, it's because I am busy, as well as fighting with my body's silly inclinations. Enjoy the blogroll if I am not around.
If I have time, I might write something about supermarket cards for Carnival of the Capitalists...
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Thu Nov 13, 2003
Must be because Google looked for the union label...
Sorry, my puns are gory sometimes.
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Mrs. du Toit has written a must read post about the all too rampant evils of modern public education. I've long known I didn't want my kids in public schools if I could possibly avoid it. This just reinforces that.
Lucky for me, I missed the whole drug thing. That hit big in time for my energetic younger brother. Ditto for special ed being a big deal, and crazy programs that ensured the kids didn't learn much at critical stages.
Not that the schools were much more than holding pens, boring us into conformity, when I was there. I really can't say I learned much in high school that I didn't already know. Certainly not enough to justify taking four years of my life that was supposed to prepare me for the future.
Go read it. It's good and disturbing stuff.
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Something's Burning... And I Think It's Toast
So right next to my office, sharing my airspace, is a breakroom used primarily by my big law firm client, though anyone in the building will pop in to buy a soda or maybe use the sink. I borrow the freezer regularly, since the one on my small fridge is useless.
They have a toaster oven.
It's used by everyone, therefore nobody ever cleans it; empties the crumb tray and wipes it down. There's a lesson there, I'd say.
It had gotten to where the act of cooking anything would fill my office with stench, from the crumbs reburning and forming an insurmountable, tar-like layer.
I had actually started entertaining the thought of buying them a new one to save myself, when one of the secretaries e-mailed the rest of them to hit people up for donations toward a replacement. I told her I would chip in if they fell short, but it worked out, so they have a new one.
All but unused.
Still nice and clean.
So wouldn't you know, someone fricking burned something in it this morning! People pay no attention; have you noticed? No biggie, just put it on for way to long or high, then walk away and play with the kid you just dropped in daycare, or whatever. Of course, they also like to leave it turned on overnight. That's a charming thought.
At least all the food cooked in the microwave usually does is make me hungry from the yummy smells, not sick from the disgusting, burned stench.
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No Pressure Here
At least my blood pressure is good!
Yes, they are usually a bit different that way, though not always. And who knows how accurate the monitor really is these days.
It's a Marshall Blood Pressure Monitor Model F-89, made by Omron, bought several years ago at one of my favorite stores, Lechmere, which no longer exists. I still miss Lechmere. The monitor was about $105 on sale. Obviously it's held up well!
Whenever I have taken it to the doctor's office for a side by side comparison, it has at least been self-consistent enough to flag change, and generally it has been within about 10 points of the doctor's reading.
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Something is Afoot Again
It's hurting and making me limp in such a way that it appears to be swollen again. Great. I mean, just because I am a total slacker about doing the exercises, only took one course each of antibiotics and piroxicam, and (my thinking, not the doc's) haven't gotten new sneakers yet, why should there be any problem? Not to mention that I hardly ever have the sneakers - and the arch supports now in them - on at all, even in the office. Kind of makes it difficult for the arch supports to enforce conformity.
It's not that bad yet, but I think I will renew the two prescriptions and maybe, just maybe, remember the stretching exercises. Plus I have enough money for the split second that I can afford new sneakers. But I am not sure I should get those while the foot is swollen...
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Getcher Fresh, Hot Capitalist Posts In Now!
I'd say it's about time for a reminder to submit your entries for this week's Carnival of the Capitalists.
Professor Bainbridge is hosting. As always, you may submit posts to capitalists -at- elhide.com to get them to the current host. Professor Bainbridge had the following request for entries:
When you submit your posts, please include a brief description of the post. Also include the full text of the post, the name and URL of the blog, and the URL of the post. Please keep the posts substantively original commentary or material, as opposed to simply some links pointing elsewhere, and keep the posts from being way over into the political rather than business realm.
All of which sounds exactly right to me! CotC goes up on Sunday nights, generally, so you should plan on getting entries in by early Sunday evening.
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Rand Simberg points out an excellent article analyzing the rumination process by the White House on space policy, scope and direction, and the possible results we may see from it. It's a good piece, by Keith Cowing.
Here's a snippet:
Rather, the focus seems to be coalescing around sending humans back to the Moon and to the establishment of a inner solar system infrastructure that would allow decisions to where to go next (e.g. Mars, asteroids, etc.) to be made once certain technological and operational unknowns are better understood.
The Moon is seen as a destination that is easily attainable where complex operations on a another planet can be field tested. Whether the hardware that is developed has specific direct applicability to Mars or other locations depends from one system to another. However the operational knowledge to be gleaned from operation in a hazardous environment will invaluable in preparing humans to go elsewhere beyond the Moon.
You know, the Moon makes a great deal of sense to me, as does building an infrastructure. If it spreads out getting to Mars over 30 years when we could be there within 10, so be it, if it puts us there to stay. We need to go beyond flags and footprints, and if this President is as practical as I think, he'll lean toward a more measured, concretely built approach over time.
Further, even if I could argue that infrastructure is not the place of government, and technology development is not either, in the real world, that's long been how we've done business. It is not without issues, but it has worked rather well considering. For the government to promote space technology and build some infrastructure would be no departure philosophically. The real problem is if they preclude private access, or make it overwhelmingly difficult, rather than easier.
Thus if the government wants waystations on the Moon and in orbit, which privates are allowed, nay, invited to take advantage of, great. If the government places emergency waystations in strategic positions between here and Mars (Andrew Libby, we need you...), then fine and dandy. If the government seeds the Solar System with communications infrastructure and space internet, then excellent. Makes it easier for the entrepreneurs to get an effective start.
Can it be done without that? Sure! But the government would at minimum have to get out of the way. Anyway, read that analysis. It's well done.
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Jeff Soyer: Gunmoronenkritik
Jeff is spot on with this post about the bizarre tactics being used in an effort to prevent gun makers from remaining in business.
In another post he points to this intesting site, Davids Medienkritik, "Politically Incorrect Observations on Reporting in the German Media By: David Kaspar." It's in both German and English. Good thing. I can read the German enough to know how to pronounce it more or less correctly, but I never got enough vocabulary, and didn't retain much of that, to be able to comprehend most of it. It might not take a lot to get me there, but I'll take the English, thankyouverymuch. I think this one may be an addition to my blogroll, along with probably a dozen others I haven't gotten around to adding yet.
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Rob Sama is filiblogging; blogging the filibuster as it happens. He started here. Then he went on and posted here.Then here, here, here, here, and twenty-three additional posts so far. Which means you should probably just read the whole thing. But hey, this will be a fun Ecosystem boost for Rob for a couple days...
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Wed Nov 12, 2003
All In The Family
Some of us were so eager to be part of this family that we started assigning ourselves family and neighborhood roles in the comments. Do yuo have a place there?
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Carnival of the Vanities
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Boy, I take the day off yesterday and then all hell breaks loose. Don't look for much from me until at least late tonight.
At least I will be collecting some overdue money today. That's always a Good Thing. Even if it is a small client and amount.
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Tue Nov 11, 2003
Tim replied to an e-mail, and as an added note he pointed out this article, in which the girl Keara mentioned within is his niece. Besides being awesome anyway, what leaped out at me was that "the secret to the team's success is that the girls train with the boys."
That makes sense to me.
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I'm Sure It Goes Well With The Thermal Underwear
This is so funny! Do away with beer, scare tourists away.
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Maps! We Are From
France Freedom. Maps!
I just found a huge old wall map of the United States that I'd forgotten I had! In my previous abode, it hung on the wall of my room, but I never hung it up in my apartment. Just left it in a crate of stuff.
I ought to put it up and mark it with the locations of all my blog friends. Then I can see at a glance the connect-the-dots potential visits when I make a trip across the country at some point. It's old and folded enough that it's not like marking it would be ruining it. On the contrary, cuz it's you guys, it'd be some serious enhancement.
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Accidental Time Capsule
I'm cleaning and going through stuff in my messy beyond belief apartment today, and I swear it's like an archeological dig. Finding books and clothes I didn't remember I owned, for instance.
One good thing about it; in the process, I got my cordless phone and voicemail system working again. I have a computer in the bedroom that runs it. I left that shut down after it appeared to have died, but I never did any real troubleshooting. Which tells you how much I normally use the phone, or care about getting voicemails, which are generally in the form of hangups or wrong numbers.
Oh well. At least one room will be a
little lot cleaner today.
I have clothes that were supposed to go to charity that ended up stubbornly embedded in the bedroom instead. Along with gadzillions of old socks I never wear and probably never will, and ought to be purged. And stuff like that. It's high time I got to it! Since I'd like to move closer to work, all the better to lighten up.
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Veteran's Day Roundup
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Here's To The Women
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As Quotable As It Gets
This was the "quote of the day" on a quote mailing list I subscribe to, run by a friend of mine. I thought it was worth posting here, even though probably hundred of other bloggers are doing the same thing.
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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Lot's of good stuff recently over here, which I'd not perused recently. Silly me. In particular, here is a post on good corporate culture. I couldn't agree more about the furniture. I can never understand why companies pay such outrageous prices for the stuff, but then I am so bootstrapped it's pathetic. Then there's a post on newfangled airships, which sound way cool. You should definitely add this to the list of distractions while I am - ahem - "not posting" today.
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Busy today, or at least being more responsible about actually getting things done, so expect few free cookies. Maybe tonight. In the meantime, there's all the stuff I went crazy posting yesterday, and mass quantities of blogroll links over to the right, and if you somehow missed it, Carnival of the Capitalists is always a good choice. And I tell you that from a purely unbiased, disinterested, neutral perspective. Heh.
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Profiting from Discrimination?
In IO theory we teach our students that price discrimination requires monopoly power and monopoly power allows the firm to make above-normal profits. So why don't the industries that practice a lot of price discrimination seem especially profitable?
Alex invites you to send your thoughts. Looks like there are no comments there, but he has an e-mail link in the sidebar.
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Mon Nov 10, 2003
Mmmm... Power Tools
Seeing this post forced me to unleashed maniacal howls of laughter. It almost sounds like it's intended as a spoof.
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Congrats To A Real Old-Timer
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Vanities Can Be Fun
Have you submitted an entry yet for this week's Carnival of the Vanities? I just submitted mine. Max at Dead Ends is hosting, and specifies what info you should supply by 10:00 PM on the 11th.
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Question of the Week: Who's Your Hero?
I thought I might make it interesting by stealing something along the lines of these questions, but I decided to stick with the simple question I had settled on days ago for this week. Usually I make it complicated and have a "question" in multiple parts. This week I will simply say...
Batman or Superman? Discuss.
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Golden Braids Forever
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Are Free-Range Children Considered Organic?
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Blogging Tools & Good Business
David Clain is planning to create some blogging tools for the community, and is seeking feedback.
He also has observations on doing business right, in a post that's an example of a potential CotC entry you might not automatically think of as such.
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A Bundle Of Value
My surfing has suffered lately, or I'd have noticed this sooner, but better late than never.
Barry Parr has a thought-provoking post on when bundling of products might be a good thing, positing that it normally benefits producers without solving problems for consumers.
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Hey, It's Good For The Prostate
Ryan Rhodes wants to know about your masturbation habits.
But seriously, he wonders if trivia on how frequently married men masturbate seems accurate to you. Naturally the comments divert into frequency and admittedness of female maturbation, and peeing in the shower. Classic blogosphere discussion fodder, no?
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I Am Unhyphenated
James at VWRC has a wonderful post on hyphenated-Americanism, the joyful innocence of youth, and true color blindness.
As for me, speaking of absurdity, I am English-Scottish-French-German-Dutch-Irish-Native-American. Which even if you trim it down to what it really amounts to, English/Scottish-American, sounds absurd.
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It's a Girl!
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Then I Saw Her Face, Now I'm A USURPer
Tiger is inviting other bloggers to become usurpers, meaning joining the United Society of Unusually Responsible People.
I think it's cool, but I am as yet undecided. I'm not sure I'm quite that responsible. Unless you mean for causing trouble and making dreadful puns.
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CotC Host Extensions
Just wanted to note that I have officially extended the host list for Carnival of the Capitalists to include the following
victims kind volunteers:
April 5, 2004
April 12, 2004
April 19, 2004
April 26, 2004
Subject to change, as I haven't had explicit confirmation from every one of them for the exact dates.
Also, I could have sworn that one more person than this volunteered and was queued, but if so, I lost track. If that was you, please let me know!
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Deworm Yourself Dammit!
Look, would whoever out in the blogging or blog reading world who has a fucking worm that keeps sending mail out spoofed from my old Jay Solo e-mail address PUH-LEASE get with the program and clean yourself up!?
A couple bounces here and there would be one thing, but dozens per day, multiple days in a row, is ridiculous.
It's a virus rich world. Pay attention. Learn virtual hygiene. Stop being Typhoid Bloggie.
This might give some clues as to whether you are the hive of infected scum and villainy...
Received: from sdn-ap-005scfairp0409.dialsprint.net ([22.214.171.124] helo=Sjemcax)
Izzat you? Well then fricking DO something about it!
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Oceanguy Crawls Onto Land
Somewhere On A1A has joined the club and moved off of BlogSplat. Woohoo! Redesign is still in the works, and content is thin, but it's always a blog worth watching and I am sure that won't change. Update - or blogroll for the first time, eh? - accordingly,
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Herd It Through The Grapevine
Professor Bainbridge has a great post about management fads, and why the managerial herd tends to flit from one to another of them. It reminds me of college, when even professors could get interested in the latest fad management trends, and promulgate them in class.
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Carnival of he Capitalists #5 Is Live
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CotC Update: Past Hosts Page & Future Hosting Opps
I have added a new page for past Carnival of the Capitalists hosts to be listed, linked to the post in question. This makes the info and host list page less crowded, and makes it easy to locate any previous CotC. Since there is much good to be found in them, that's worth making easy.
The past hosts page is linked from the main CotC hosts and info page. I expect I'll also link it from over on the right.
Soon I will add to the future hosts list. I have hosts enough to get another four weeks past where it currently stops. You are still welcome to volunteer. I just may not assign you a week or post it in the host list immediately, and it will be way in the future; May 2004 and beyond.
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**Spoilers** I Liked Matrix Revolutions **Spoilers**
I'm going to try not to be too spoilerish, but if you wish to be sure of not getting spoiled with respect to any of The Matrix films, including the latest, don't read this post.
may be are included.
You wuz warned...
I enjoyed Matrix: Revolutions far more than the negative reviews implied I might. It was heavy on action and fighting. It was intriguing. The visuals were spectacular. I would say it's better than the middle one, but in reality it completes the middle one as a single movie, and they make each other better by existing in the form they are in.
I found the way they handled the death of The Oracle (actress) to be interesting and to make sense in the context of the films.
I believe that given how hard to represent on film the sort of cyberspace realm The Matrix represents, they did a damn fine job of it throughout.
I have questions about the technology, such as how the Zion ships fly and propel themselves. That's especially true given the open air flight later in the film.
I was reminded of Star Wars once or twice, and of Starship Troopers at one point.
You'l notice that there is no rational correspondence between rate and duration of fire and available ammo in the robo-suits. It's downright funny, but they're still cool.
I question how Neo was able to do some of the the Real World things he could do.
Which means the big thing about the ending of the trilogy is it leaves my questions and speculations largely unanswered. I wouldn't have thought they could do such a satisfying job of it while failing to resolve things enough so I could say with finality that Neo is a real world messiah/super hero, or that the real world is also a simulation, or something else is going on.
I lean toward construing Neo as a messiah for both machine and man, somehow with abilities that overlap and transcend realities.
Sherri was puzzling over it all through pizza afterward. It seems maybe there is always a Neo and Trinity, over and over when needed, and the idea is the code and the details of their lives can be stored to manage to recreate them. That was one of her thoughts. But then she asked me about it seeming this time was different. It definitely was, I agreed. So either it was yet another instance of the same basic events, but finally went far differently, setting things on a new course. In that respect, Neo reminded me of Rand Al'Thor and the ending made me think about how The Wheel of Time might (eventually!) end.
About the 16 year old kid, near the end, I was thinking "oh boy, here's the disciple, the prophet, the founder of the organized religion of Neo. That would be Neology, right? Heh.
I am mildly bothered by the fact that the movie was ended with the possibility of more. It could be considered over. Period. Done. But due to the nature of the reality and concluding words of the Architect and Oracle, it is possible for more of the same to arise, for another - or same - "One" to come back, for rogue programs to become rampant, or for machines and humans to conflict further, in film-worthy ways.
Anyway, it is worth seeing. It goes beyond being an obligatory viewing because you saw the other two and were left hanging. Just remember what the film is about and where it's set, and that the writers didn't set out to satify each of our individual, disparate expectations on philosophy, ending, and how much would be left explained clearly to us.
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Sun Nov 09, 2003
Once again, I have encountered the problem in which some nonexistent problem with a particular post makes Netscape and Mozilla barf. That is, display the blog in a screwed up manner.
It may have been nested tables, or it may have been nothing; just corruption of some sort.
By reducing the main page to displaying only two days, I got the main page back to normal. I actually remembered I have Mozilla on this machine! I just didn't like it, so didn't keep using it after I tried it. Plus it was as bad as IE about taking over the system. I still haven't gotten all my file type icons back to normal.
Anyway, if you guys notice the garbled times, I appreciate e-mails to let me know. Otherwise I may not notice and it could be whacky for days.
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Vote For The Lesser Good
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With A Rebel Yell
Acidman has done a superlative job of explaining the reason (most) people have for displaying the Confederate flag in the south. Some people will always equate it with racism, and no doubt some who display it mean it that way. That's vile, but no reason to make everyone stop.
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Weyr Goofy Quizzes Roam
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Feeding My Obsessive Compulsion for Goofy Quizzes
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Sat Nov 08, 2003
The Bear Speaks
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Light Of Reason Should Not Be Extinguished
Arthur Silber of the excellent blog Light of Reason needs your help. Like a giant, flappy butterfly in the Amazon, the foolish transit strike in his area has indirectly conspired to put his blog out of business. Read the details here, and let's see if maybe we can get him through this trying time.
Among the blogosphere, I figure we can donate, get him some paid writing gigs to help out, or even figure out better transportation locally; shared ride or such. Come on folks, help out a great blogger.
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Well Reasoned Anger
Deskmerc is a writing force to be reckoned with, and has proved it today with a post simply titled "Anger." I was completely blown away. The post is inspired by the latest troop deaths, but the deaths as such are not the complete and simple source of anger. He says:
No, what makes me angry is that it became necessary to use military force in the first place. I'm angry that we got to this point. We shoulda capped that Saddam motherfucker 15 years ago, but we didn't, and in that intervening time he made plans because he knew one of two things would happen...we'd either just let the whole thing slide in the UN and he'd be top dawg in the Middle East, or someone would get tired of his shit and take him out. He planned for both. And the world, including us, gave him the time to do that.
Indeed. In another spot, he really flags nicely what is different about politics these days:
Issues like abortion, the death penalty, the proper method of taxation or whether or not strawberries are the state fruit don't mean as much to me now as proper national security. There are bastards out there willing to blow themselves and as many Americans up as possible. The next time we may not be so luck and lose just a section of the Pentagon and two buildings in New York. Next time it might be a nuke. Next time it might be biological. It behooves us to put a lid and squash anything like that. Because when it DOES happen, and we can't forget that it DID, everything goes all to hell, and these single issues like abortion, the death penalty, methods of taxation or strawberries won't mean a damn thing because too many people will now be dead.
Definitely not politics as usual. The oblivious will fare poorly in upcoming election cycles.
Are you still here? Well, begone with y'all, to see some well-expressed passion for setting the world to rights. I'll still be here when you get back.
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Business Basics: Structure With Care
I had intended to write a major post for this week's CotC, on business structures, an intro for the confused or uninitiated, with extensive details, perhaps some research, and an extra bit on partnerships from my own experience. Instead, this is going to be more of a quick overview, but will still have some anecdotal, cautionary thoughts. It's going to be off the top of my head; what I "just know" and hope it's (still) correct and applicable. Extemporaneousness can be fun. Or not.
The first, simplest business structure is a sole proprietorship. That would be you, selling a product or service in an effort to profit. In some sense, we are all sole proprietors of our lives and their earning potentials, some better exercised or more in demand than others. You have sole liability and responsibility, and you alone benefit.
A sole proprietorship is simple to create; you just are. Depending on jurisdiction, naming, and extent of activity, there may be a local permit or DBA (doing business as) certificate needed, to enhance that level of government's revenue and control over you.
Generally you will use cash basis accounting, and you can be relatively loose with your money is the business money and vice-versa. The tax return is fairly simple, and the taxes are burdensome, or feel that way, due to supporting the entire weight of Social Security taxes yourself through what is delightfully called "self-employment tax." You might find yourself filing a schedule C, schedule SE, and a depreciation form with your 1040, though there are now simpler variants to make it easier for really small fry to be compliant through compliance made easy. I joke about it, but the easy forms are a good thing.
As a sole proprietor, you are the boss. Period. Not counting that ultimately the customers are your boss. You know what I mean. There are no meetings, no other people wanting to go in another direction, just you and your wits. At the same time, you have only yourself to rely on, if you disregard employees or a spouse who helps with things.
You draw money you have made as needed, or treat the business money as fungibly your money.
The next business structure usually comes third in such discussions, but I will talk about corporations second for my own nefarious purposes.
A corporation is its own legal entity; a "person" if you will. This allows the business in its own right to function, and continue functioning, regardless of who owns or manages it; to sue and be sued without liability flowing through to the owners in most cases; to own property, and so forth. As a proprietor, you are liable if someone sues you
frivolously for screwing up. A corporation is so liable, but not the owners, unless certain conditions can be shown to apply.
A sole proprietorship can die, or be more difficult to pass along and continue, when you retire or die. A corporation has the benefit of indefinite lifespan and continuity, and in fact takes a real effort to dissolve.
It is more difficult to form a corporation, and there are rules that must be followed, even for the smallest ones. Publicly traded corporations have additional hoops.
Benefits include limited liability, ease of ownership transfer, tax and business expense advantages, real or perceived permanence, and clear distinction of personal from business finances, even if the corporation has but one owner.
In between the complexity of a corporation and the simplicity of a sole proprietorship lie partnerships. Basically take a sole proprietorship, add another owner without incorporating, and you have a partnership. This is a default. If two of you start a business together and do not form a corporation and issue stock to each partner, you have a partnership. It's about as simple to create as a sole proprietorship, but adds the aspect of having a partner, or partners, who also have a say in running the business.
How much say depends on what your partnership agreement says, if you have one. Here is where a partnership can be more complex than a corporation, with so many things to consider. There are defaults governed by state laws, I believe as codified in the UCC (uniform commercial code), if I remember right. For instance, splits of profit and loss default to being equal in the absence of agreement to the contrary.
You want an agreement; trust me. I am operating without one, and I know better. This was pounded into me in college, in business law, accounting in general, and advanced accounting in particular. By the time my advanced accounting class got done with partnerships, time was tight for non-profit and government accounting (fund accounting; ugh), mergers & acquisitions (pooling, etc.; ugh), and everything else. I know better.
When several of us started out saying "we can program circles around these so-called programmers who call Visual Basic support, we should write programs ourselves" and decided we would start "a business," it really amounted to a geek club at first. I was the token business guy, but everyone else was sure they knew more than I did, and I wasn't assertive enough. When we had our first revenue of any kind, everyone was in a panic. "Oh my God, we aren't incorporated, we can't take in any money!" I corrected that bizarre assumption and explained that in the absence of anything more formal, we were automatically a partnership.
We then proceeded never to get around to incorporating, for various reasons related in no small part to the same reasons we started out as ten people, have had eleven involved over the course of time, and are now down to 2.5 people I expect to turn into two, and could become one in the end.
Anyway, a partnership is simple in a way, but you have to file a 1065, somewhat complicated (my job), each partner gets an informational K1 form, and then each partner has to file at least one extra form, and potentially take some direct expenses not done on the 1065. You are taxed the same as if you were a sole proprietor.
In addition to profit and loss being allocated, when a partner does work and is being "paid" for it, that's expensed to the business as Guaranteed Payments to Partners, and credited to the partner in question for theoretical drawing. If the available cash to draw from the theoretical GPTP doesn't actually match what's been earned, a partner can have fun paying taxes on the theoretical earnings. Not that I would know about this personally, or know about tax liens, account seizures, or anything...
You need an agreement, or to be a corporation, or both. Each partner should have a defined, legitimate role, and be relied upon to fulfill it. If they do not, there should be consequences that can be enforced. If a partner's role is to provide capital and be mostly silent and uninvolved otherwise, great. Not involved in any way means not involved, and means you should be seriously questioning why that partner is there. If work, talent, existing customers, capital, or what have you aren't brought to the table in equal measure, then split of profit shouldn't be even. Duh.
Too many cooks. There needs to be good reason for a partnership. Now, you might like the simplicity of you and your friend going into business together. It's uncomplicated if you can agree enough, but agreeing at the start should include what happens when you someday don't agree. And you someday won't, on something. You might expect or plan for the partnership to be of limited duration, and so not want to add a corporate overhead and eventual dissolution to the mix. Do you really want joint and several liability? Liability goes right into each of your own pockets and personal assets.
Some things to work out:
There are probably many more I am forgetting. Basically, it's like a prenup for business, and must consider anything that can be in question, and look at things in harsh, pessimistic light rather than the glowing light and wonder of starting a business together. I really should know better. I once wrote a dissolution agreement and managed the end of a very small partnership between two friends of mine who ended up hating each other. I think of them whenever I see the opening credits of films by a company that started later and used the same name they had used. That was an experience.
Well, I am not sure this turned out exactly as planned. If it enlightens, great. Business structure needs careful consideration, and my advice would be to lean heavily toward incorporating or otherwise being more formal, as with the newfangled LLC (limited liability company) that is available as an option at least in some states. An LLC combines features of partnerships with limited liability of corporations. If you are small and incorporate, an S corporation may be an option for combining corporate structure with a bit more simplicity, available if you have stockholders and revenues below a certain size.
Be aware that there are real differences, look into them, and be prepared to do it right. This is especially true with the potential for volatility extant in a partnership.
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Same Day, Different Goofy Quiz
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Robert Prather has moved Insults Unpunished to a new domain! Update your blogrolls or bookmarks accordingly. What!? He's not there already? Well, seems to me this would be a good time to check out a fine blog and rectify the oversight.
Note that the correct URL for the fourth edition of Carnival of the Capitalists, which you should have a look at if you haven't already, or if you didn't check out all the entries, is now http://www.insultsunpunished.com/archives/006028.php. I have adjusted the CotC list of hosts to reflect this.
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Those Goofy Quizzes
This one is from yet another cool blogging Jay...
Fantastic!! You are GEORGIA O'KEEFE.
You are a true spirit of nature, and it shows in
the flowing floral paintings for which you are
most famous. You feel the beauty of all things
around you, and your friends appreciate you for
your ability to share that extraordinary beauty
Which famous artist most reflects your personality?
brought to you by Quizilla
Via Jay Johnson of Drawing Dead.
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Fri Nov 07, 2003
Love At First Blog
Jennifer has been inspired to speak of love, and to ask what you think of meeting people online.
Excellent topic indeed! What could be more a wave of the future for anyone, or particularly appropriate for bloggers? You read someone - or each other - and you can get a lot of knowing who they are and where they're coming from done quite efficiently. You can flirt remotely, in a low stress way, and go as slowly or quickly as the spirit grabs you both.
Just think: A world where minds fall in love and bodies follow.
It's a Good Thing.™
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By virtue of putting the SCSI card in a Windows 98 machine and installing the scanner software there, I got my old scanner up and running. Woohoo! You know what that means, don't you?
Yep. Pictures! Here are a few to get you started...
You've heard of foot porn. Does that mean this and this are foot bestiality? Or would that require painting my nails?
Here's an older picture of my niece, Michelle, my brother Wayne's middle child. Being a middle child myself, I can relate.
Here's another niece picture, this time of Jalenie, from school this year. She's thirteen, and is amazing me by deciding to read a ton of Shakespeare of her own accord. Of the several works she showed me she was reading, I had only read Romeo and Juliet, and that was for school.
If you stick your hand at a puppy, it might just become a teething toy, but result in a cute picture. It was obviously the time of year I was particularly tan, but the scan made it look even darker.
Here's my friend Bob, in a very suitable costume, on Halloween one year at our old employer.
This is from a Polaroid of my paternal grandfather, at Green Provincial Park (where there's a museum dedicated in part to my family) sitting in my uncle's van at the last family reunion in Prince Edward Island when he and all his siblings were alive and present. Some hadn't seen each other for decades, so it was great to get them together. If you see me, you can definitely tell we were related.
Finally, a glance at my office, just part of it, from waaaaay back when we were first moving in. The first room you come to on entering is the conference room. Then you come to the main room we use for the bulk of work, which is the middle of three. We didn't initially rent the third room, but the landlord kept it for storage instead. The hallway the three rooms are off of completes the space. There will be more pictures later.
That's it for now! Back to work for a bit, then home to bed.
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Hurry! Enter Now!
Just a reminder that the deadline for this week's Carnival of the Capitalists in midnight Saturday night, due to Deb's company deciding she ought to be needed at the office for about the first time ever on this particular Sunday. Doh!
Send those topical business and economics posts to:
capitalists -at- elhide.com
It's a bonus if you give a brief description of the post as you might choose to describe it, if only to help inspire the host. Also include the name and URL of the blog and the URL of the post. Full text of the post is optional, but never a bad thing.
Please keep the posts substantively original commentary or material, as opposed to simply some links pointing elsewhere, and keep the posts from being way over into the political rather than business realm. The line can be fuzzy, but it's going to be fairly clear what's egregiously off topic.
If you miss this week, next week's host will be Professor Bainbridge, to whom e-mails to capitalists -at- elhide.com will go after the cutoff for this week.
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Well, looks like I will be meeting friends at 2:45 Sunday to see the 3:15 showing of the new Matrix movie. That way if it's sold out, we have only to wait for the 3:30 or 3:45 showings.
Bad reviews or not, I have to see it and judge for myself. The lawyer who is also a nurse, and works for my big client part time, went last night and very much enjoyed it. Can't say she totally understands it yet, but liked it. They all went for her husband's birthday. She's fun to talk with because she's a big SF fan.
Speaking of which, there's a newly minted lawer at the firm I hit it off with instantly in that unusal "oh look, a new best friend" sort of way. He already knows more about some things that are happening in my life than some people I've known for years. He's one of the bigger Star Wars fans I've met, and is all excited about the new Transformers move that will be coming out.
But I digress. I will, naturally, report on my Matrix viewing sometime afterward, and see how they ended up versus the array of ways I speculated they could end up. And see what's left hanging or unexplained, which I begin to suspect is going to happen...
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Renee sent me this in e-mail today. I cleaned and formatted it for the blog and thoguht I would share it, for any of you who haven't seen it yet. It's extended from previous variants I've seen, and really got me laughing. Here it is...
The latest version of a classic.
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?
You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.
CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.
DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.
BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours the milk down the drain.
You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have down sized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school.
You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
You have two cows but you don't know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.
You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.
You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two. You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts. Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the hospital.
You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send radio tapes of their mooing.
You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.
You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best looking cow.
You have a cow and a bull. The bull is depressed. It has spent its life living a lie. It goes away for two weeks. It comes back after a taxpayer-paid sex-change operation. You now have two cows. One makes milk; the other doesn't. You try to sell the transgender cow. Its lawyer sues you for discrimination. You lose in court. You sell the milk-generating cow to pay the damages. You now have one rich, transgender, non-milk-producing cow. You change your business to beef. PETA pickets your farm. Jesse Jackson makes a speech in your driveway. Cruz Bustamante calls for higher farm taxes to help "working cows." Hillary Clinton calls for the nationalization of 1/7 of your farm "for the children." Gray Davis signs a law giving your farm to Mexico. The L.A. Times quotes five anonymous cows claiming you groped their teats. You declare bankruptcy and shut down all operations. The cow starves to death. The NY Times' analysis shows your business failure is Bush's fault.
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Better Living Through Chemistry
So I picked up a prescription, which I had delayed a few days, since I didn't have the $183.57 for the balance after my so-called health plan's alleged prescription discount. I'd like to say it's the most expensive prescription I've had to buy, but this is a 3 month supply. I paid as much $130-odd for a single month of either Prilosec or Pevacid. Luckily that improved enough for OTC ranitidine and TLC to keep it in check. It is, however, the most I've paid in one swell foop for a prescription.
So then I look at the bottle and it has five yellow warning stickers.
I guess it was really important for them to tell me I should discuss this with my doctor if I had become pregnant, or planned to. Nope, no such plans, but thanks for thinking of me guys! Breast feeding is bad too. Well, it's bad if taking this drug; normally it is good. Guess I am safe, as I don't believe I'll start lactating any time soon.
After those two, the others are so... mundane! Dizziness; check. Drowsiness; check. As if I need that. No alcoholic beverages. Aw darn.
The fun thing is I have been off of this for several days, being out of samples and still not having the money for the prescription. I do hope this doesn't mean I have to experience six weeks of traumatic side effects while I adjust to it all over again. That would really suck.
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You Want What As A Wedding Song!?
I had no idea people used so many strange choices as wedding songs.
For the record, I am partial to some of the traditional stuff. Paul Stookie (did I spell that right?), Carpenters, that sort of thing.
Also for the record, I happen to love Obsession, by Animotion. There are far worse earworm songs than that one.
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Aren't You Reading My Blogdaughter Yet?
For some reason I got enough of a kick out of my blogdaughter's Friday Five answers that I just had to link it. The Brad Pitt thing especially made me laugh. Not that I am any judge, but he is actually one that I can understand women's attraction for; he's almost pretty. Spacey, politics aside, I have always thought was an amazing actor. He really came to my attention in The Negotiator.
If I admit to liking Beanie Babies, does that mean I have been pussified?
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Kate's letter of the day is E, which I find engaging because it is an excellent letter, standing for Ellis as it does.
As evolving memes go, it's easy to enthuse over this elementary yet erudite exhibition , exciting and entrancing everyone.
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Memewhile, Back At The Ranch...
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Meet Them Again At The Rainbow Bridge
Jeff made me cry with this post about the death of pets; something that always gets to me. I've had a few wonderful dogs die in the past few years, including perhaps my all time favorite and most intelligent dog I've ever known. Since I lived with him from the time he was a puppy - about 3 months - to 7 years, I was like the daddy figure, even though he was my stepsister's dog. It's so hard to say good-bye, and to find it's time when there is no choice but to end further suffering
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What If They Came For YOU Next?
Jeff reminds us of the case of the elderly gentleman in trouble for - horrors! - defending himself by having a - gasp! - gun. Without permission of The City!! How dare he question The City in its right to take away his God and constitutional-given right, obligation, to defend himself from aggression. What was this silly man thinking!?
There is now a defense fund that has been established by Pervasive Light. I had to help Jeff spread the word. Perhaps you will help out too?
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How's That Navel This Morning?
In my referrers this morning is this Google search for Jay, in which I appear at the top of the second screen.
Of about 10 million, 300 thousand total.
Eee. Leh. Ven. Holy cow.
My old blog is at twenty despite beng, well, old and cobweb-ridden.
I have no issue with Jay Leno being number one. I'd be surprised if he were not. Jay Peak is the number four Jay, which also seems right. It was beautifully visible off in the distance from the window of my father's old house in Holland, Vermont, before he moved to Derby a couple years ago.
I'm not sure I entirely approve of this upstart Jay being ahead of me at number eight, but hey, he's on my blogroll because he is one fine blogger. Well worth your checking out, no matter how pussified he may be.
Another excellent Jay journeys along at number fifteen, and is excellent company.
Finally, we find this worthy Jay at twenty-one, and this other one at thirty-two.
How did I get to be in such great company!?
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Read this if you haven't yet. Shed tears of joy and wonder. Swell with pride at what we have accomplished and encouraged, and will continue to.
This speech is one of those truly great and historic ones that come along once in a while. It is worth pondering, enjoying and cherishing. Did Bill Whittle get himself a speech writing gig we don't know about, or what?
I do have one thing that made me want to comment:
They will point to the role of technology in frustrating censorship and central control -- and marvel at the power of instant communications to spread the truth, the news, and courage across borders.
I read this and thought and yet... and yet... this is still a battle playing out within the very country that ostensibly promulgates and serves as the fount of such notions. Censorship and central control? Still have to fight a running battle to minimize and shed that impulse among many in the United States. Instant communications and technology as a tool to spread the truth and defeat lies, distortions, and those who would spread them out of power lust or ignorance? We are taking full advantage of them and just seriously getting ahead of it in the United States.
That makes it seem both an awesome tool, and an uphill battle in the rest of the world, given that the enemies of life and freedom have never given up their nefarious work even in freedom's heart.
Those were just some of my thoughts, inspired by just one tiny part of the speech. Read it. Make sure it is known for the inpiring, historically significant work it surely is.
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Thu Nov 06, 2003
Capitalism in Action, Part 2
Here I want to get an idea what kinds of how people like or are willing to pay when buying stuff online, such as from me or other bloggers. Research R Us. Separate polls are below to take 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices. If only one applies, answer on the first, and so forth. Later I go into details of what might be sold, and seek feedback on that.
Now what I'd really like is a checkbox style question form for the next part. Argh. Know what, for now I will list some possibilities and let people give me comments. I'm just trying to get an idea, after all, in letting this percolate the brain cells into something joltingly good.
Off the cuff possibilities of stuff I could potentially make available for ordering:
The idea is not to become a full online store, but to supplement my income and be less broke, which at the same time would allow/justify my keeping more parts in stock at the office. In fact, what I might tend to do is vary what I have based on what I have extra of at a given time. Selling parts and computers is only part of my real life line of business, but it's enough so that a segue into offering a few things here intrigues me.
I've avoided the usual "T-shirts and mugs" thing so far because everyone does it, and I don't have a compelling design idea or artwork as yet. I wouldn't mind that, but I also wouldn't mind being different. What do all you other capitalist scum think?
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Capitalism in Action, Part 1
In the spirit of capitalism, not to mention my need to earn more money, I have some questions for you, in order to help me decide what and whether. I am not necessarily thinking in terms of the kinds of things you see at other blogs, though there could be that too. I am thinking I might be able to mail order people some computer-related parts and accessories, or look into other things besides that traditional printed shirts and whatnot. Though a mousepad might be cool, if I could get some good art for it. But I get ahead of myself! Here is the preliminary poll...
Please feel free to spread this around so I can get relatively large numbers of responses to this and the followup polls in a short period of time. Thanks!!
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Guess I Am Safe...
Well, I prefer large dogs, even if goofy Goldens are my favorite, and I am a slob. So I guess I am safe from:
You know the definition of homosexual men we used in Chicago? "Men with small dogs who own very tidy apartments."
Yeah, yeah, all this time, and I am just getting around to reading Kim's superlative and entertaining piece that has been the talk of the blogosphere.
I can't recommend it enough, and I have only gotten that far into it!
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Hey, Someone Answer The Door Please
I had meant to link posts I found from time to time as examples of what could be entered into Carnival of the Capitalists, but that folks might not think to enter.
Here is one such post, which granted was already Instalanched, but is an intriguing discussion of the potential opportunities to be derived from "Citizens' Media," and of the content industry - news, entertainment, etc. - in general.
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The Beagle Express
I feel remiss in forgetting to post a couple days ago that Biscuits & Gravy is now The Beagle Express. Which means it's off BlogSplat, and that's always cool.
Jim has been worth checking out from the day he started blogging, and all the more so if you are into hunting, which he discusses often. If you had missed him before, now might be the time to start visiting and to blogroll him, even though he'll be offline a lot for hunting this month.
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Gynophiles and Anthrophiles
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You Know They Got A Hell Of A Band
I just saw over on AtlanticBlog the news of Bobby Hatfield having made his way into Rock and Roll Heaven yesterday. That is so sad, and 63 is way too young for it. For some reason I'm reacting more strongly than I usually do on first seeing the news of a performer's death.
I so love singing along with The Righteous Brothers. It'll be strange now, knowing one of them is gone.
MSNBC has it linked from their front page, and no registration required there.
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Wed Nov 05, 2003
Steve has read Atlas Shrugged and has his way with Ayn Rand in this entertaining post. Oh wait, this is Steve, so the use of the adjective "entertaining" is redundant. Sorry. He takes issue with "the speech" that is tedium epitomized, no matter how correct what she's saying may be.
Rather than retracing my steps here, I will quote my comments over on that post:
Steve, I couldn't agree more. I finally read all of the speech about the 3rd time I read what I find generally to be a compelling, almost archetypical book. Meaning it could be considered a bit overstated or absurd in many places, but is doing so to pound home valid points, ideas and cautions.
"This Is John Galt Speaking" is like a pompous, dry, arrogant lecture stuck into fiction in a way that's about as pleasant and effective as it would be to stick Al Gore in the Presidency. Within a fraction of that, plus the points built in the context of the story, you either get it or you say "why am I reading this when I'm a fucking socialist!?" It never should have been that long, done that way.
* Hmmm... "We are a shruggery"?
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Jeff has written a most excellent post, not boring as he suggests in his humble way at the end, regarding The Reagans and related matters. He has, as do I, mixed feelings he covers in the course of his post.
But I'm an ardent supporter not just of the Second Amendment but the 1st as well. I felt that CBS had the right to air anything they wanted and it was my right not to watch it.
Exactly. We all know what we see on televisions or films isn't necessarily fair, accurate or balanced. We know these people will try to pass of as fact and history mere distortions and lies. We have a right not to watch. We have a right to spread the word about the offenders. They have the right to keep offending. Advertisers or sponsors have the right to keep supporting them. Or not.
We have the right to ensure they know we object to their failing to label fiction as such, or their failure to exercise good taste. Now, this might only mean low ratings. But enough low ratings and won't they learn? Oh wait, we're dealing with people like TV executives...
Just read it. It's well worth the time for the wide-ranging commentary on various TV depictions.
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For Unabashed Carnival Knowledge
Carnival of the Vanities is up at Wizbang, and is a cool design to behold.
Note that next week's CotV is hosted by Dead Ends, where I noticed a great post on The West Wing's temporary Republican President storyline.
On another carnie-like note, Carnival of the Capitalists for November 10 will be hosted by the aforementioned birthday girl, who requests that you get your entries in by 2359 (11:59 PM) on Saturday night, the 8th. E-mail to capitalists -at- elhide.com per usual.
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Our young padawan turns a little less young today, as she had mentioned here. Go wish Deb a happy birthday!
Deb's official post on her birthday is here now, and getting no less attention than it merits.
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Tue Nov 04, 2003
I'm So Vain...
Speaking of Carnival of the Vanities, I just had to go figure out where it would be this week and turns out it's at Wizbang. Excellent!
Kevin would like entries to CotV by 6:00 PM, mailed to carnival -at= wizbangblog.com as he notes here.
Off I go to enter... How about you?
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Question of the Week: Love At First Sight
Why, I do believe that I forgot to do a Question of the Week™ last week! Or to enter Carnival of the Vanities and get the traffic it would supply, in hopes of luring the unsuspecting masses of not-yet-readers to my blog and hooking them hopelessly. Heh heh heh..
Anyway, how about a time honored question this week, even if it's a day or two later than usual. Sure, here goes!
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Or similar variants, such as falling so quickly and completely it may as well have been first sight?
Has it happened to you? Or anyone you knew? I know I am anticipating Valentine's Day topics by three months, but hey, I was startled to see mass quantities of Christmas stuff in the supermarket last night. If they can be early, so can I in spades. Therefore, inviting stories here of love at first sight or alarmingly abrupt falls into love, and how things turned out. Conversely, inviting comments and stories that would seem to belie or deny the possibility.
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Life can intrude, and what is more important? Well, yeah, blogging, but we have to pretend we think real life is, or people might think we're insane.
The same applies to me folks. I will try to keep you
misled informed and bored entertained, but there will be inevitable discontinuities.
Lots of good blogs over to the left. I'd suggest going to one or two to graze each time you come here and are disappointed to see nothing new. And don't confine yourself to the top. I read the "asteroids" about as much as I read anyone besides the Solarans and a few other favoritest blogs. Check them out!
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More CotC Business
I am intending to create a mailing list, onto which I will place once and future CotC hosts by default, unless they squirm, plead and beg to be removed. Heh.
The purpose will be to announce when each week's CotC is up, as I would tend to figure any host is going to be interested to know that, and will post as much and link that week's edition. We may be able to use it for other discussion or announcements, but I would expect it to be a light traffic thing mainly for ease of weekly announcement.
Stay tuned... I'll get to it eventually.
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Carnival of the Capitalists Name Change?
Duh. I had forgotten the poll on renaming Carnival of the Capitalists! Just remembered to check the results again.
41 Votes were cast to date. the plurality and apparent strong preference enough to take it to heart is "No, why mess with it." That has 16 votes.
Next is the name "Wealth of Notions," with 13 votes.
4 people referred to comments for their own suggestions.
"Cache of Capitalists" was next, at 3 votes.
"Market of Ideas" and "Cavalcade of Capitalists" tied at 2 each leaving "Capitalist Cadre" with 1, and no others with votes.
There are some comments I will sum up below, as there are thoughts and ideas there of possible interest.
Still taking votes, I guess, long as I haven't gotten around to consulting with the hosts, who weigh more in this than readers, and making a final call on the results. It is looking like it will remain unchanged, which has good arguments in its favor.
For convenience, I am attempting to place the identical poll here. The question again is whether Carnival of the Capitalists ought to be renamed, avoiding confusion with other "carnivals," the one of the vanities, after which CotC is named and inspired, and Shooter's Carnival, a place where gun bloggers post - which you ought to be visiting if you are into that topic.
If renaming is an overwhelming favorite, then what name to use? Wealth of Notions is cool, but it did have the disadvantage of being previously used as paper or book titles in economics.
The disadvantage of renaming is a marketing thing; rebuilding name recognition, and have a discontinuity between the original CotC posts and links and all, versus future ones. If we go for the next year having to say "formerly known as Carnival of the Capitalists" to clarify, then maybe we shouldn't change it.
Anyway, the poll, with view button to see the results too:
Comment fodder from the original post:
Capitalist Running Dog Collective suggested.
The Marketplace of Ideas suggested as improvement on The Market of Ideas.
One person likes Carnival, the normal objection, but not using Capitalists in the name.
Prophets of Profits suggested.
Surfing from Serfdom suggested.
Okay guys, have at it! Tell others to have at it! I intend not to let this drag on beyond the next edition without closing the poll and moving on from there.
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Another Goofy Quiz Already? Yep!
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Mon Nov 03, 2003
Goofy Quiz, Good Point, Fun Too
This takes extraordinarily long to load at slow connections speeds, but is rather amusing and, I think, makes the point it is attempting to make very well. Of course, Velociman and Justene won't be surprised with my results. Heh.
You don't get to see who, you only get to see enough to see how sexy and mature they look. One of the oldest in the set was about the closest to looking like a pass. Go figure.
This was via Rob Sama here (note the new format for crediting someone, in which I use the URL where their quiz post was so they get Ecosystem credit for the link after the recent changes).
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Naw, We Don't Need People In Space!
You know, automatons can settle other planets, start on seeding other systems, making sure if this kind of stuff gets sufficiently out of hand that we don't lose all our tomorrows. Who needs people? We should be completely expendable.
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Interesting news on the reportedly despicable portrayal of my hero and his impressive wife. The Reagans may be canceled due to the pressure, modified to take the edge off the worst of it, or released later after being made more palatable.
Impressive. Pressure against politically focus distortions of history apparently can do some actual good.
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Maroon-flavored asshats of the arguably vegetative brain-donor variety who make the mistake of attempting to operate motor vehicles on the same roads as the other half of drivers. You know, the half that can, say... drive. Coherently. Coherence can be fun and a boon to traffic safety.
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Driving around on November 3rd, In Massachusetts, with the window all the way down the entire time, even at 80 on the highway, because it is 81 degrees and gorgeously sunny! After the weather droids said rain and yuck, no less. Woohoo!
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The Naive Nine
This is a remarkable commentary by Zell Miller for why he will vote for a Republican president for the first time ever.
In particular, he describes President Bush movingly and accurately, rather than through a lens warped with irrational rage and misperception.
What I like best, and would like to promulgate as the new term for the current Democratic candidates, is his use of the term "Naive Nine" to describe them. Heh. Indeed.
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The 'But' Economy
Not to be confused with the Bertha Butt Boogie.
Jack Welch talks about the negativity in reporting on current, highly positive, economic news. I think he's exactly right. There's a combo of media having been burned through questioning nothing during the bubble, and there's an unwillingness in some quarters to accept the political ramifications of a nice recovery just now.
Obviously the hype should never get out of hand like that again, and the media was not doing their job by feeding the frenzy rather than investigating and questioning. However, there are times when real news is real, true, and unabashedly positive.
Bravo, everyone. Good job!
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Quiz: They Say Lame, I Say Goofy...
Let's call the whole war off.
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Sun Nov 02, 2003
Carnival of the Capitalists is Up!
As always, enjoy!
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Sheesh! Barely Post and Then...
Lose your traffic! Yikes, it hasn't been this pathetic, even on a weekend, in ages. Sorry guys! I can't always devote most of my time to you. There are things like work and family out in my real world.
In fact, there will probably develop some new sort of balance as time goes by, in which I will post more than I have, but less than I used to.
I meant to post "249," which would have been post whooping ecsattically about dropping to 249 lbs the night before last. Yay!
In college in the early eighties I hit a high of 233, and then lost 55 lbs in 9 months, looking almost anorexic at the trough of 178 (I am 5' 11" for what it's worth, and a largish build). I gradually gained back and settled at what seemed a pretty natural range of 205 - 210 for a long time, but at that point I was doing massively physical work and walking miles per day between two jobs.
When I ended up out of work for 54 weeks, then go into support work, I started to gain, and other than knowing I'd gained a lot, I never paid attention. I finally weighed myself, assuming I must be up to about 240, which was an awful thought, and in fact I was up more like to 255. That freaked me out! So I promptly went up another 10 lbs.
At my very peak weight of all time I hit 290, but had settled at about 283. It was from there that I dropped to 255, then bounced into the 258 - 263 range consistently for several weeks. Which sucked, because I still haven't gotten a proper fit into some of my old stuff that was undersized after I ballooned. Including new pants I had never worn.
No sooner did I observe what a great psychlogical barrier undershooting 250 would be than I found myself almost screaming for joy at seeing that firm 249 on the scale. Yes!!!
And my favorite old black jeans fit now!
Since then, I have gone up to 250 and then 251, but it's there, waiting for me, and I may already fit in never-used clothes I outbulged even as I purchased them.
Of course, today I at well. Went to my grandmother's for dinner, which I have been remiss for not doing in several weeks. My brother and cousin had been eating the hugest pork shoulder from an apparently huge local pig that gave its all to support our deliciously non-vegetarian proclivities. They were never going to finish it, so my brother brought it to my grandmothers, where we had it with gravy, mashed taters, P.E.I. turnip, butternut, and green beans. Yum! Then there was apple crisp.
I was describing the fun I have had lately with lack of cash flow for groceries, which of course just encourages them to pile me with food to take home. I have leftover pork and apple crisp, plus pasta and a jar of sauce, P.E.I. Potatoes (hey, gotta support the cousins up there, especially the one with a produce distribution company), and a couple butternut squash. Yum!
I got to learn some of the family news I'd been loopless on recently, which is always good, in intermittent moderation.
Now I'm back at the office checking mail and blog before trying to do work, and bumming over the lack of traffic today. It's cool, because I think my nephew just located some previously scanned pics that will make up in part for the fact we didn't get my scanner to work. Woohoo! If there are any of interest, I'll upload and link them with descriptions.
I am so sleepy I am thinking any attempt to work may fail, but at the very least I made so much progress cleaning and organizing in the office yeserday that I would like to continue.
My mother was surprised to learn that I dream of the house (and yard, almost more so) I grew up in constantly, despite it having been gone nearly ten years (literally; they took every material of any scrap value and then the fire department used it for practice) and my having moved out some 22 years ago. The other regular presence in dreams is my grandmother's house. For the first time, I came right out today and told her how upset I was about her losing the house, and that to this day I have never gotten over it, despite it not being a particularly nice place.
Anyway, more later if I remember what else I'd meant to mention, and if I have the time. I'll try to keep up at least a meaningful post or two a day for my "fans," but the volume may stay low like that for some time to come, with rarer bursts.
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Sat Nov 01, 2003
My friend Bob is amazing. He so helped me Friday!
I had computer parts to pick up, almost $1500 worth, but not enough money because the customer was being slower about paying than usual (even though they wanted the computers a few days ago), and ran low on time to drive the 45 miles to Woburn for them.
Bob had offered to pick parts up, and I said I would get them because they were too much. Then he pointed out he could put them on a credit card. Duh!
So Bob went to the place, put $1404 on his credit card for me (one item was out of stock), carefully checked the stuff that had been picked from stock before signing for it - on large order, as my orders go - and spent like 2 hours in traffic because there had been a pileup.
Serendipitously, he could have been in the traffic involved in the pileup had he left for home rather than getting my parts!
And it's like no biggie; I can give him a check next Saurday when some of us go to see Matrix Revolutions. I was so tickled! Even though he knows I'm good for it, I'm floored.
While he was here afterward, on learning he was building a new computer for himself and wanted a lit up case, I gave him one of the mindight blue cold cathode case lights I have in stock.
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I was looking through old pictures late last night, and naturally I ran across some Halloween pics I'd love to post if I got my scanner hooked back up and scanned them in. For some reason that I cannot recall, I removed the scanner's SCSI card from the machine it was in.
They are so cool! Plus you'll get to see Darth Bendy and OBendy-Wan Kenobi duking it out.
Better late than never, on that. Of course, there's never a bad time for puppy pictures! I have a couple of them in which a golden retriever baby is playing with my foot or gnawing my big toe (no red nails, sorry everyone), and one in which a puppy is chewing on my finger and you can really see how hairy I am against my tanned arm.
We just have to keep you know who away from the puppy pictures! I heard he's on the wagon, and I wouldn't want to be the one to encourage him to fall off.
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Work, or Post? Hmmm...
Sorry guys, this will be a busy Saturday. I should leave to get my
slave nephew about 9:00 AM and we have a busy day, unless it devolves into my blogging and his playing computer games.
We have to turn in several bags of cans from the office. Um... well, there are about six big bags in my car and about eight more at the office. Which will give me folding cash for the weekend. We have old boxes and stuff to take out to the dumpster; the kind of things you keep in case the product, like a monitor, dies right away and needs to be returned.
We have computers to build and rebuild. More cleaning and organizing in the office. And the thing I actually ordered him to report for, routing system maintenance and looking at problems people who work for my client have flagged on their systems. Basically clearing temp files and chk files, checking some settings, removing obsolete LPT mappings to a defunct print server, doing scandisk and defrag, and looking for problems. I had people send me the niggling problems that bother them while I am at it. The 50-odd machines can take a lot of time, even with overlap.
Oh well. There is always Sunday. But I want to go to my grandmother's that day too. I have been remiss for several weeks, and she is getting no younger, at 87 and counting.
Expect minimal posts again. Sorry!
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One Ring Is All Anyone Should Need
I had absolutely no idea there were so many different designs for wedding bands. I tend to think of them as plain gold bands, period. It's the engagement rings that are fancy.
I wonder if they make wedding bands modeled after The One Ring. Who knows, Ith might want one sometime.
Some of them are really cool looking and yet not that expensive.
[Pauses to use Google...]
Oh look! Someone does sell special "One Ring" bands. Kewl Beans.
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