14 January 2004

There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.
-- John Kenneth Galbraith

It looks like Movable Type is back up and working now, so you can shift back to reading there. Don't get me wrong, I like posting here, and it does have it advantages, but I think that MT just has greater advantages.

I did make some changes while I was at it, so you can see the full expanded archive, which contains links not only to my MT monthly archives, but also the posts created prior to my switch to Movable Type.

We're starting to make progress on getting MovableType working again. Right now if you had a link to an old post, it's busted. We may or may not be able to fix that--it all depends. If anyone is a MovableType guru and has suggestions, we'll more than willing to accept them. Right now we're trying to detremine if we can rename the archive in the current version of MT to allow the old archive to remain available and keep the old permalinks.

We'll see.

13 January 2004

You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it.
-- Art Buchwald

Bad! Bad! Bad!

An article in the D.A. today announced that tomorrow (Wednesday) will be the last day ever to buy ice cream from the WVU Dairy. If you have ever gotten ice cream at the Mountainlair or from the residence halls or even off the back dock of the Ag Sciences building, you know that this is a Very Bad Thing.

I love the ice cream from WVU Dairy, and was always frustrated by the fact that Scoops at the Lair was never open when I was downtown. Now, tomorrow is my last opportunity, but what on earth will I do with a gallon of chocolate ice cream?

The only ray of hope from this is that "if a successful way to market the product is found, and they receive the support they need, WVU ice cream will make a return."

Easy Million

If you haven't been reading S. at the Hillbilly Sophisticate, then you may have missed this recent article in the Huntington Herald Dispatch, on the 'Survivor' auditions held in WV.

John Mike Nichols, 37, of Teays Valley, had sent in videotapes for two previous "Survivor" shows with elaborate themes including one that had him in a wedding dress. This time he thought it would be fun to try out in front of a live audience and just be himself -- funny.

The special education teacher at Winfield High School got the crowd roaring saying he was applying only because his wife wanted him out of the country for 38 days and that it could be easy money.

"I figured it would be easier to go on 'Survivor' and win a million than have to go down to the Pink Pony and give Jack Whittaker a lap dance," said the husky Nichols.

For those of you who aren't from around here, Jack Whittaker was the biggest WV powerball winner, who has been having some small problems as of recently.

Yes, this is a good week to take quizzes. It's either that, or start to study...

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!

M.A.S.H. was one of my favorite shows, although it was through re-runs that I mostly watched it. I wonder how that shaped my TV viewing preferences, or even if the shows that we watched growing-up even influence what we like later?

And if that is so, what is to blame for 'Reality TV'?

12 January 2004

A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who has never owned a car.
-- Carrie Snow

Today's walking music: 'Dreamworld: Music inspired by The Matrix'

Looks like website transfer has gone well. MovableType still is not working, but as I said, there is still some work that needs to be done, and it won't be done until after work today at the earliest. At some point I get to go cancel my account with my old hosting service. I am debating how cranky I should be when filling in the "Why are you leaving?" box. I want to be cranky, because I'm irked at the lack of technical service I received, but I want to be polite, because cranky doesn't get the message taken seriously. Ugh.

It's time for another quiz...This is a very nice one with a lot of possible choices. Plus, of course, it's fantasy characters.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

11 January 2004

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.
-- Wallace Irwin

Well, everything is now set and ready to go once the switch is made. The switch should take 24 to 36 hours, so we'll see what happens. It may take me a day or two from there, to get MovableType up and working again, since I can not fuss with it until things are live, and there are some changes that will need to be made before it will work, so it may take a day or two after the switch before MT works again.

Meanwhile, we started watching 'Star Trek: Deep Space 9' last night--I gave Michael the complete first season on DVD for Christmas. I'd forgotten how much I liked DS9, and I commented last night that I had not realized how much magic was on the show. Michael said that it was mysticism, but I disagree, and think that it's magic. It's also really dark, which I also particularly like. Only problem is a single season on DVD costs $100, so it's not like we'll be running out and purchasing the remaining 6 season immediately.

In other news, Jim, who is running for County Council in Indiana, got a nice writeup in his local paper. Despite being a Republican, Jim is actually a good guy, and I'm glad to see him doing well. On-line article may be gone tomorrow, but I'm providing it anyway, just in case.

And now, I'm off to go read--I did pick up Steven Brust's 'Lord of Castle Black' yesterday, and it's always a good sign when I laugh out loud while reading the first page of the prologue.

10 January 2004

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.
-- August Strindberg

Things are finally happening as far as moving the website. Moving slowly, but moving nevertheless. Since we had nothing better to do last night, we finished Season 4 of Buffy. There were a couple of scenes that I absolutely loved, mostly because they made fun of what traditionally happens in TV and movies. We also decided that we really like the character of Spike, but I absolutely don't get why people think he is so attractive, I mean, YIKES! Personally I think Oz and Xander are the cutest guys on the show, but there's no accounting for taste.

Besides watching 'Buffy' from the time we walked in the door after work, until 1am, I also managed to finish another book. I read 'Crown Duel' but Sherwood Smith. Great cover. Good characters. Good writing. Good story... except for the fact that the book was written as a romance. Which is entirely too bad, since all the rest of the book was excellent. In my opinion if the author had ditched the worst of the romance, the book would have been half the size and also excellent. As it is, if you have the stomach for romance, it's a good book. Otherwise, you might want to pass.

9 January 2004

Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.
-- Rudyard Kipling

In case you haven't been paying attention...

As of 7 January, 484 soldiers have been killed in Iraq. You can see a chronological list of those who have died or view an alphabetical list.

Two women were killed in the past month. Kimberly A. Voelz, who was trying to defuse an explosive device, and Kimberly Hampton, whose helicopter was shot down.

The latest injury rates, as reported by All Things Considered in Wednesday, are that almost nine thousand (9000) soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. The good news from this is that many of those wounded would have died in previous wars, but due to technological improvements their lives have been saved.

For My Next Trick

I was, for absolutely no discernible reason, reading an article on Tom Cruise, when the following sentence caught my eye: For The Last Samurai he learned horse-riding, hand-to-hand combat and Samurai sword-fighting.

Which reminded me of the training that the actors who starred in the Matrix went through--months of learning Marshal Arts and reading philosophy.

What do I have to do to get a job like that--where I am required to take the time to do things that I want to do anyway? I've known for awhile that I am obviously doing something wrong in my career path, but jeesh.

Problem is that no one seems to want to hire a Jack-of-all-Trades. Everything is specialized now, and the more you know about one single thing, the more marketable you are, whereas I have taken the path that has given me a wide swath of knowledge, across many different topics, for which there seems to be no call what so ever.

Mind you, I'm not speaking just of my compilation of trivia, as vast as that may be, but the fact that I know a good bit about a very wide variety of subjects, ranging from botany to comparative theology to computers to infectious disease history and control. But this seems to be a combination for which no employers are searching.

But now I know! Not only would my varied knowledge be useful in movies, but they'd actually encourage me to learn new stuff! How cool is that?

Of course there is fact that I can't act and I'm not attractive--but how much of a problem could that be?

8 January 2004

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
-- Albert Einstein

Last night we set up service with a new ISP. Have not yet gotten the e-mail with set-up information, but it should be arriving any time now. In theory there should not be any major disruptions, but who can say for certain? Regardless, once the new site is up and running, I'll be back to posting on Movable Type again. As much as I liked this format, Movable Type is a lot easier for me.

I am desperately trying to enjoy these last few days before school starts. Not that I don't enjoy school, but it is stressful, and doesn't leave a lot of free time for fun things, like reading, or watching 'Buffy'. And as far as 'Buffy' goes, we're working our way through Season 4 now. We've been watching a couple of episodes every night after work, since we we're unable to manage a full day of nothing but Buffy. This is the season when 'Angel' started, and there are occasional references to the other show. Not sure if it made me want to watch 'Angel' or not though. Of course if Erin has them to loan out, then I'm sure we'll watch them. It's strange, the more I watch 'Buffy' the more I like it, but I don't think I would have had the patience to watch it as a TV show (even if we had had cable). It's been so long since we've had cable and watched TV, that it seems like far more trouble than it's worth to watch a show on a regular basis. I think having an entire season on DVD is much more like reading a book, where you can stop and pick-up wherever you please.

But as I said, it's been a very long time since I've watched TV on a regular basis--probably since I was in high school, so what do I know?

By the way, I've made permalinks of a sort--the date is a hyperlink. This is an improvement over my old system, but I still like the ease of MovableType.

7 January 2004

It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.
-- Albert Einstein

Today's walking music: U2 The Joshua Tree

When I wrote up my list of books yesterday, I knew I was forgetting at least one book. That was 'Paths of the Dead' by Steven Brust. I have no idea how I forgot that book, because I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am considering buying the next book in the series in hardback, just so I don't have to wait. (I hate waiting.) Still undecided on that, though, because as I have said once or twice before, I am partial to paperback books, not just for the price, but for their portability, and the fact they are lighter and easier to hold. 'Paths of the Dead', however, would be well worth the investment in a hard back book. It is a continuation of sorts, from '500 Years After' and 'The Phoenix Guards' which are written in nearly the opposite style as the Vlad Taltos novels, if you have read those. (The Vlad novels have the same setting, with some character interaction between the two series, but are written in vastly different styles.) If you have not read Steven Brust previously, this is probably not the place to start reading, although the book should stand nicely on its own, I think it is far more enjoyable if you know the back story and get the inside jokes. And since 'The Phoenix Guards' and '500 Years After' are also excellent books, it shouldn't be a burden to read.

Oh, the epilogue (?) for this book is written by Teresa Nielsen Hayden of Making Light.

6 January 2004

There is no place for the hyphen in our citizenship... We are a nation, not a hodge-podge of foreign nationalities. We are a people, and not a polyglot boarding house.
-- Theodore Roosevelt "The Square Deal"

So, I'm having issues with my webhost again. Short of it is that I can't get anything that uses cgi or perl script to work correctly, which means I'm locked out of MovableType.

This does not make me happy.

So until things are resolved, I'll be writing here, since I discovered that I like to write. Also, if you have any recommendations for webhosting companies....

Right before the holidays, Mark was talking about the upcoming Democratic primary, and I got somewhat snitty with him (I know, hard to believe, me snitty) and made some cranky comment that I didn't particularly care about the primary, because it wasn't like I have any say in the matter or anything. (See previous rants.) Anyway, over the holidays I was thinking a bit more about this, and why the entire process frustrates me so much, and I realized it went beyond the fact that living in West-by-God-Virginia, I get absolutely no say in the primary. It has also to do with the fact that the the entire primary process disgusts me. Yeah, I realize that the presidency is a big thing, and that mud slinging isn't anything new, but come on, when primary candidates beat up on each other, the only thing they hurt is the chance of the whoever wins the primary, of winning the election. As more time passes, the entire process seems more and more puerile, and less and less representative.

It doesn't matter who I like, because I have no say. And it also doesn't matter who I like, because I'm stuck. I want the party to nominate the most electable candidate, and that rarely has little to do with who I particularly like and the issues I find important. I don't trust W and I really don't trust his closest advisors, like Cheney. I think they have a fundamentalist Christian agenda, and this frightens me more than I can say.

So I'm stuck. My opinion doesn't count, and even if it did, I'm choosing from the lesser of two evils, which is no choice at all.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm going to vote. Even if the nomination has been wrapped up for months before the WV primary, even if I have to choose between the lesser of two evils, I'll still vote. It's my right, and my responsibility.

Most excellent Random Name Generator (via Monkeys in my Pants)

From the website: " The random name generator uses data from the US Census to randomly generate male and female names."

There is an interesting thread over at Making Light, to which I came late, that started from the question "do you see pictures in your head when you read?" I was surprised to learn that people actually see pictures in their head when they read. What was even odder was the turn the discussion took towards dreams. I don't see pictures in my head when I read, but I do have extremely vivid dreams, with, when I take time to remember, great detail. Those two facts seem contradictory to me, although I could not say for certain whether they are or not.

Okay, in a completely non-scientific poll taken just now, everyone else sees pictures in their heads when they read, and they also have vivid dreams. Of course seeing as how there were just four of us discussing this, take that information as you will. Interestingly enough, Gina and I both have had dreams where we were the opposite gender, while Mark has not.

Man, I really wish MovableType was working, because I would really like to know how other people experience this.

Okay, now onto more serious issues....

First of all, a happy belated new year to all. My grandmother came and spent a week visiting with us, so I had an absolutely wonderful time. I hope that everyone else had as an enjoyable time as I did.

Secondly, congratulations to Brian and Stacie who moved into their new home on the 30th! Now who will come and help Michael when we need heavy things lifted?

Good things that happened over the past few weeks were a visit from Andy and Heather, who have tentatively set the date for their wedding (Andy chose well and got Heather a gorgeous ring), as well as a brief visit from Del, Kathy and their children. Besides the fact that we had to fit six adults and two children into our living room at one time, it was an absolutely wonderful visit. It's hard to believe how big Del and Kathy's children are (and cute too). I was especially glad, since Andy had not seen Del & Kathy since, I think, my wedding, and have never seen their children. I was a really lovely evening. We also had a visit from my Aunt Chris, Uncle Gary, and two of my four cousins, which is always good, although the visit was too short.

Since my grandmother was visiting, we also played a lot of cards. Many, many games of Oh Hell! We also watched some movies that Grandmom had not seen and, of course, read books.

Here's the tally:
Movies: 'Pirates of the Carribean', 'Men in Black', 'The Shawshank Redemption', 'Live Wire'.
Books: 'The Golden Compass', 'The Subtle Knife', and 'The Amber Spyglass' by Philip Pullman, the Sandman Library (second read through for me), 'Sabriel', Lirael' and 'Abhorsen' by Garth Nix. I also finished Taking the Red Pill' and am still reading 'The Sandman Book of Dreams' and I am almost through reading 'Paper Mage' by Leah Cutter, which I am thoroughly enjoying. I can't even being to say how wonderful it was to just be able to sit and read for fun. Don't get me wrong, I love being back in school, but I've really missed curling up with a good book or six.

Fun things first...

I have issues with...
Take Word Association Test

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variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
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