Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Quick Point

I'd like to point you to something that made me feel better, at least: God's Ex-Boyfriend shows us that "person of the year" isn't necessarily an honor.

Updates later. Things go well. I'd like to do a "year in review", too, soo hang on for that. Ciao.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Autonomy - Freedom of Thought

Jean-Michael Smith

Freedom of Thought, the first in Jean-Michael Smith's Autonomy series, is the first novel-length work of fiction I have read that was released under a Creative Commons license. When I first found it, almost a year ago, I believe, I was immediately entranced, which is not something that happens to me often when I am just beginning to read a book. Normally, a book is recommended to me or is by an author I already know I like, and so I allow a good number of pages before I can be hooked. But Jean-Michael is a very skillful writer, and knows how to allow a story to unfold at just the right pace.

Freedom of Thought is a science-fiction novel, set in the near future and located in the Physical and the Virtual. We are told two interwoven stories, that of Kyle Tate, Dr. Nolen, and Marguerite, and the virtual community that they establish, wherein subjective time is longer than in the Physical, and that of an FBI agent, Katy, who stumbles upon them and tries to destroy them before trying to understand them.

Throughout the story, the author uses suspense very well, letting us know just enough about what is happening to make us worry, without enough to be quite sure why. One can never know for certain what's around the next bend, but I, at least, was pulled through the story to the end, though a move and change of computers caused me to lose the URL for the book for some time.

Unlike Le Guin's The Dispossessed, however, this virtual Utopia is not ambiguous. The author has a clearly marked agenda with this story: it is an effort to warn against too much power being given to copyright and patent holders, and the dangers involved therein, as well as what can happen in an autonomous society, both good and bad, though the emphasis is clearly on the good.

All in all, a very compelling story, with plenty of things to think about, both in terms of technology and in terms of society. I recommend it highly, and since you can read it for free on the internet, as well as download it, print it, copy it, etc. due to the Creative Commons license, it's a pocketbook-friendly diversion.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Seizure!

On Thursday I had a seizure.

I hadn't been feeling well, but I thought it was just a fever coming on. I had had feelings of being overwhelmed twice before that day, one in bed and then one coming home from lunch. Each time, I also started having something that was akin to false memories... not hallucinations, though. Anyway, both passed without incident, so I kept going on my way.

Then, my dad and I were working on getting the "development center" set up in my parents' office. This basically involved moving some computers and desks around, which we had just finished and were working on getting them set up correctly. I got up to leave the room and was nearly out the door when I was overcome, again. Apparently, I fell against the door and was convulsing. I don't remember much, except the fever-dreams. I do remember Steve standing out in them, but I don't remember why. Or much else about them, either. I awoke, briefly, in the ambulance, strapped to a board to keep my body straight. They asked some questions, I think about my age and the day, before I lost consciousness again.

Once in the hospital, I woke up and waited a little bit with my parents before a nurse took me off for a CAT scan and X-rays. Then they unstrapped me from that painful board. I'm not sure about the order, but Amy and Brendan came, and so did Steve. The hospital staff also had me hooked up to an IV and I drained two whole bags of fluid rather rapidly. Finally, the doctor came back and told me that it looked like it was just a seizure from dehydration, which was plausible, because I hadn't had as much water as usual the past few days, and discharged me.

Afterward, we came home and had pizza (and water!). And I've been alright since, though a bit sore, and there's a big scrape on my back from where I must've hit the door. And, I've learned, and I hope you will take away, a valuable lesson: don't get dehydrated!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of Schnapps! -- The Dread Captain Whitebeard (aka Santa Claus)

Jolly CringleWell, it's almost Christmas again. Right now, I'm sitting in my parents' living room, right next to the "Christmas Palm". It's an artificial Christmas (fir) tree, put together... slightly different. Doesn't look half-bad, if you ask me. We even wrapped the trunk with gold/brown ribbon. The lights on it make it look pretty cool... they're wrapped up the trunk, and form a kind of net in the branches... from outside, in the dark, you can't see the tree, but you can see the lights. Makes me think of the World-tree. I'll see if I can get a picture up.

Now, you might be wondering what all of this is about. Well, my family, at least for the past couple years, has had a 'theme' of the holidays. Last year's was 'Merry Freakin' Christmas'. This year's is... Pirates of the Arctic Circle.

Arrr!

Unfortunately, I didn't buy (or make) any gifts to go along with the theme this year... I was considering getting my sister a pirates coloring book (she likes coloring books), but I got her something else instead (just in case she reads this, which I doubt she will).

Now, for lifeupdate:

I finished my exams last Wednesday, with the Modern Physics. I think I did alright, but I am still awaiting my grade for that class. For the others, I did both better and worse than I thought (or was afraid) I would: straight 'B's so far. That's good for EM1, but I was hoping for better in Morphosyntax. German Cultures, eh. I don't care. I could've gotten better, except that I didn't do about a third of the homework. ^_^

Because school's been out, I've been attempting to work more. There's one problem, though: they haven't been paying me or mom regularly since the end of September. Mom finally did get a paycheck the other day, but I haven't seen one for a while. Probably won't until the new year, which is good and bad. On the plus side, I don't think it counts as income for this year, so I won't have to pay taxes on it until next year, and that will also keep me in a lower tax bracket (potentially). Unfortunately, and obviously, I won't have the money.

Steve and I have been spending quite a bit of time together recently. We decided the other day that we both wanted to have the Civ 3 multiplayer expansion (well... and I wanted the game :-p), so we went to Best Buy and got each other the game for Christmas. It's fun; I think I do like it better than Alpha Centauri, though I still like Alpha Centauri, too.

He's off of school for a couple of weeks, so he's working full-time at the bank, and, come March, he's going to be taking online courses and working full-time with a promotion. That'll be good for him in terms of money, but I'm partly afraid that it'll make him much more stressed. And, I think it would probably be pretty easy for me to distract him from his studies, which isn't something I want to do consciously, but could very well end up being the case.

I spent the night at his place last night, and he asked me some questions about our relationship, as usual. Which is good, I suppose, except that I've been thinking about something that bothers me about him and trying to decide whether I'm just being silly, or if I need to take action of some kind. And, no, I'm not ready to discuss it here, yet, either. It bothers me, though, because I don't think he slept well because he was thinking about it, what it might be. And that was not what I wanted to do, but I didn't want to lie to him, either. He claims that he still doesn't find anything that bothers him about me. It's not that I don't believe him, but I do find it incredible that he can't think of anything. I don't think I deserve to be thought of the way he seems to think of me. Anyway.

Amy's back. She came in late at night last Thursday. I went out with my parents and her fiance to get her. She's going to be staying in Colorado, going to Front Range in the spring, and then CU come fall. It's both happy and sad. I'm glad that she'll be here, but I know that one of her big dreams was to go to MIT. Which she did, technically. And she still could do graduate work or postdoc work there, so it's not all over. But, still.

I've finally gotten my laptop to nearly work just right with Linux. (The biggest problem was the video card, which I finally got replaced not too long ago). It makes me happy. I've also been playing with my desktop, grendel. I installed a mail server on it, for fun, and also a jabber server on it, which is an open instant messaging protocol. It's actually pretty cool. I also started an account with the jabber.org server. You could, in theory, reach me through jabber (not email) at emeraldimp (at) jabber (dot) org . I also had to install a dns server on grendel, so that names would resolve properly inside the network at my apartment (this is important for jabber, because I can't point the client at just an IP address; it has to be a FQDN). And, I was having a problem using jabber at all from the windows portion of my laptop, and I finally figured out why: it was the Norton Firewall that was blocking it, even though it wasn't configured to actually do anything. There was also no way (that I found) to tell it to allow the jabber stuff. So, I turned off the firewall. And, since my subscription is expired anyway, I think I'll choose another program. I didn't find any reports of the same problem with McAfee, but my parents have a copy on their computer, so I'll be able to try jabber there, before I make any purchases.

That's about all for now. Best!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Autonomy - Freedom of Thought - A Passage

Just thought I'd share a passage from a draft of a book I just finished reading. I enjoyed it very much, and thought you might like to read it as well. There are many passages which I find well-written (though there are still a [relatively small, but noticable to a pedant like me ;-) ] number of grammatical errors that need to be corrected), but I thought the following was interesting.

The following excerpt is from Autonomy - Freedom of Thought (warning: large file, on an encrypted server) by Jean-Michel Smith, and is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.

Ms. Katy Sinclair

Special Agent, Intellectual Property Crimes

Federal Bureau of Investigation


I apologize that our conversation earlier upset you so much. No one can be expected to take the passing of a family member lightly, even one that happened so many years ago.


However, I believe you to be an honorable person, and if we find we cannot be friends, and are destined by our differing philosophies to be enemies, let it at least be for the right reasons, based upon an honest intellectual and philosophical disagreement rather than a misunderstanding exacerbated by incorrect information.


First, on the subject of your grandfather's financial difficulties which led to his suicide. Please find attached the text of his recording contract. You will notice that, while his compensation for CD (“compact disk,” a form of media in widespread use during the late 20th and early 21st century) was standard for the industry of the day (at USD $0.49 per copy sold), no compensation for songs and albums sold in electronic format was specified. As a result, he was only compensated USD $0.0023[6] per download. That is less than one quarter of a cent per copy! Worse, as the consumer market moved from CD to SmartChip media, the lack of a contractual clause specifying new and emerging media resulted in his compensation remaining low for physical sales (also USD $0.0023).


Look at the sale's figures of your grandfather's albums. His sales were at the top of the charts for several years after his royalties fell off to only a few thousand dollars per year. Not because his fans weren't buying his music (they were, in record numbers!), but because he had the misfortune of having most of his music sold after compact disks had been phased out by the industry in favor of DRM copy restricted SmartChips, sales of which his recording company compensated him less than a quarter penny per copy! I urge you to use your own investigative resources to verify what I have written here. The contract is still being honored, and is still on file with Media Associates, and may be easily compared with the copy I have provided here.


Once you have satisfied yourself on this account, I urge you to ponder the greater question of just how much the cost, to our society and our economy, of creating an artificial scarcity of information, be it human knowledge, through patents, or human expression, through copyright, can be justified.


You may not realize this, but copyright was originally created as a means of censorship by the British crown, to combat the free expression that threatened their control of public information with the advent of the printing press. The number of books printed were reduced to one third their former number immediately, and publishers were able to create a cartel which they continue to enjoy today. This concept was extended later to recorded music, video, and ultimately the creation of 'virtual machines' in the form of software. Indeed, in the technology sector the line between copyrighted expression and patented invention has been completely blurred.


At the turn of the century, with the passage of the now-infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by the United States congress, at the behest of the media and copyright cartels of New York and Hollywood, copyright law came full circle, returning to its origins and once again becoming an effective tool of corporate and government censorship on what was at that time a new publishing medium: the Internet. This censorship persists to this day.


Not only has copyright failed to protect artists like your grandfather from the depredations of the recording industry, but it has crippled the ability of generations of artists from pursing their craft by fostering a cartel of publishers which maintain an iron fisted control of the marketplace. No author can be published, no musician heard, no filmmaker regarded, but through the channels controlled by their respective publishing cartels. The promise of the Internet as a means to bridge the divide between artists and their fans has all but been destroyed, thanks to legislation passed by your government and later integrated into our international accords, at the behest of the very cartels it should have circumvented.


Even more appalling, consider Brazil's successful battle against AIDS, waged in direct violation of international patent law, against tremendous pressures brought to bear on them by the American and European governments at the behest of western pharmaceutical companies.[7] Recall the number of researches who had to give up their scientific inquiries in search of treatment for AIDS, and breast cancer, when presented with Cease and Desist letters from patent attorneys employed by pharmaceutical companies alleging that such research violated patents already granted. This delayed a cure for AIDS by several years, at least, and still ties up cancer research to this day.[8] We know today that patents nearly always stifle rather than promote research, and that privatized, twenty year monopolies locking down new lines of technical and scientific development have a profound, domino effect in restricting and even preventing progress.


If our current technical lead over your crippled industry, as represented by the equipment which you and your colleagues already have in their possession, isn't enough to underscore this point, allow me to present one more historical reference: the airplane. Invented at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Wright Brothers, it was truly an invention worthy of a patent by any standard. New, innovative, truly an invention the world had not seen before. Anyone believing that the patent system is an appropriate methodology for compensating inventors would surely agree that the inventors of powered flight more than deserved the patent they were granted.


Yet, with the onset of the First World War it became very clear to the United States Government that aviation technology in the Unites States lagged woefully behind that of Europe, which was not encumbered by the a patent on airplanes. This was such a concern that the United States government, in an unprecedented action and a tacit admission that patents impair, rather than promote, progress, essentially nationalized the Wright Brothers' patent, granted them a default 1% royalty, and threw the technology open for competing companies to develop and improve upon.[9] The result as a tremendous leap forward in aviation technology, so much so that, in later decades, the United States became the world leader in the production of aircraft.


No one creates in a vacuum. All of us, whether we are artists, researchers, inventors, or scientists, stand upon the shoulders of others. No novel can be written, no movie filmed, no song recorded, no device invented, without it incorporating some aspect of another's work, some early bit of human expression or knowledge. Copyright locks up expression for generations ... with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the US Congresses propensity for retroactively extending it, virtually forever.[10] Patents cripple progress in a variety of fields, from software development to medical research, locking down the building blocks for each successive step in development for twenty years in a government mandated and enforced, twenty year monopoly entitlement. There was a time when progress was thought to be exponential, but as each new area of human endeavor fell beneath the yoke of the US and world patent system, this exponential progress was lost. Pundits and intellectual property attorneys euphemistically refer to this as a “maturing market,” but in truth none of the technologies have ever had a real chance to mature, even today, and the markets in question would more accurately be described not as mature, but as stagnant.

So long as we take the shared knowledge of humankind and treat it as a private possession limited to a few through patents, so long as we take the common culture we all share and treat its expression as a private possession through copyright, we will as a society find our technological progress stifled and our ability to express ourselves subject to corporate and government censorship of the worst kind.

I, and others, have chosen to reject this. Our reward for doing so has been a return to exponential scientific and technological progress, our punishment has been to become hunted, by you and your colleagues.

We mean you no harm, we offer you no threat. We only asked to be left alone, to pursue our own interests and our own destiny, independent of the one you have chosen for yourselves.

Please, leave us in peace and allow us to do the same for you.

Thank you, and best regards,

Marguerite


More linkage tomorrow. It's bedtime.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Plus, a petition

A petition asking California Senator Barbara Boxer to contest the 2004 election results when the US Congress reconvenes in 2005. For those of you who have seen Farenheit 9/11, you remember how there wasn't even one senator that time? I think all the trouble in Ohio is worth a look, don't you?

In addition, petition your own senators! For Colorado. I have prepared a simple text; you may, of course, modify it or write your own!

Senator [name],

After reading about the continued problems in Ohio, not only involving the actual election but also the recount, including Secretary Blackwell's illegal (under Ohio state law) sealing of ballots, I urge you to contest the 2004 election in the United States Congress before inauguration. Because of the Electoral Count Act of 1887, one senator and one House Representative are required to contest an election prior to inauguration.

Please show [state name] that you support fair and auditable elections.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Happy Agnostica!

In addition to being the start of Agnostica, and in particular, Quantum Mechanics Day (according to Nukees, anyway), today is my very own two-month anniversary with Steve. w00t!

I should probably write something more, something interesting or informative about my own life here... but I'm not going to.

Instead, it's linkage again!

Atland, a funny webcomic, but not for children!

Jabber is an open-source instant messaging system, servers and clients both. XMPP is the recentely-approved IETF spec. I'm in the process of setting up my own jabber server, I'll let you all know how it goes.

It's not a birth defect, dummy, in which RadGeek argues that homosexuality, whether innate or choice, or even influenced by medications taken while pregnent, isn't something that's wrong.

Without a nation, in which Denny Henke of Where We're Bound expresses his lack of national allegience, which I find echoing within me.

How to secure your emails with GnuPG and Enigmail discusses how to install and use Enigmail and GnuPG (the GNU Privacy Guard) in conjunction with Mozilla Mail or Thunderbird. Security and Encryption are fun!

Spammmimic, which turns short messages into spam and back again!

Okay, that's all. I'm going to meet Chad for lunch today... wish me luck, it's been two years since I've seen him and, well, he is a mormon.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ladies and Gentlemen...

...In Iraq, the US does eliminate those who dare to count the dead.

I smell sex and candy here...

Okay!

Thursday was okay. After work, I went to Parm's house to work on our final project for linguistics.

Friday was school, as usual. Then, I got to work as a parade marshal with Phi Sigma Pi. I was the Transportation/Utility Marshal, which meant I had a golf cart and basically sat around most of the time. Ah, well, the cookies and hot chocolate were tasty. After the parade was over, I went to Steve's to stay the night. As he mentions in his journal, we were intimate in a new (and very pleasurable) way.

Saturday I met mom, dad, aunt Lauri, Terry, Mandy, Mandy's Steve, and Ms. Hickenbach (can't remember her first name) with her boyfriend for breakfast. At 7:30am. Too early for my tastes, but since it was my birthday, I guessed I probably should come. Went back to my parents' house for a bit (after adding some oil to the car) and got presents! Two things, in fact. A nice small George Foreman grill (with bun warmer!) and a microwave steamer. I can finally make ground hamburger for tacos or such! And George is very useful. After that, I came back up to Boulder for the DelPhi community service project, which was supposed to be showing people from high school GSAs around CU, partly to show them what Boulder is like, partially to get them to come to CU (Go Buffs!). Unfortunately, no one (from the high schools) showed up. So, we went home. Sigh. Good idea, but didn't quite work out.

Then, I did a few things at my apartment before heading over to Steve's. We sat on the couch and watched TV poker for a little while, cuddling. The philanthropist player won, which made me happy. Then, we caught the bus downtown (and it was a pretty long ride... that's one of the problems with public transport: you have to wait for it to show up and then it takes a while. Oh well). We were going to go straight to Arby's, but there was a parade in the way. We had to walk around the entire parade route to find a place where we could get to the INSIDE of the route, which is where Arby's was. Anyway, then we got there and got food and rushed outside to meet Barry... and ended up walking around and waiting on the sidewalk for quite some time due to traffic and his getting lost. Sigh. Well, maybe next time it'll be better.

When he did pick us up, we went over and parked in front of Dream while eating. Then we stood outside for a while before we could go inside. The bouncer seemed really nice. Anyway, on Saturdays Dream has two specials: the first 100 people get in free, and then there are free drinks from 9-10. Well, who could pass up an offer like that? I was supposed to keep up with Steve, but it'd been a while since I'd done any serious drinking, so I only managed about 4 before ten and then another (received from Barry before ten) afterward. The sequence of events is not so great after that, but there was a tiny bit of dancing, a lot of talking, some crying on my part (vodka does that sometimes), and considerations of taking home one of the shirtless boys in the club for some fun. To drink, I had: 3 Long Island Peach Trees (Long Island Iced Teas with some Peach Schnapps), a "purple rain" and something that tasted like lemonade to me. I also ran into Tony Boyer, (formerly) one of the colony mentors, and Jake. Outside the club, there was a burrito lady selling what turned out to be very tasty burritos.

When Steve and I got back to his place, we cuddled/mildly fooled around a bit before going to sleep. In the morning we made love.

After that, it was time for me to get going for Kathie Sanquist's 80th birthday party. It's too bad that Steve wasn't invited, because it would've been nice to have him along. Anyway, the party was nice. I didn't articulate it well at the time, but Kathie really is a very neat and inspiring person. She went to CU during the second world war and I'm not sure what all else she's done in her life. Also a very good piano player, though her arthritis has, unfortunately, put a stop to that.

May she see many more birthdays.

After that, it was over to Old Chicago for some dinner with the 'rents. I ordered a glass of wine and the waitress didn't even card me (not that it would've mattered now!). Then, back to the parents' house before coming up to Boulder for the DelPhi meeting, which went decently, though there were many folks not there. And back home, and computer stuff, and here I am! Finally got a check from LaFarge the other day, so I have more money again. Yay!

That's all for now. No linkage tonight because I don't feel like it. :-P

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Quesadilla!

Well, Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, and I spent Wednesday night at my parents' house. I picked Steve up at the airport, and I had a big surprise. I wasn't expecting to be as happy to see him as I actually was. I knew I would be happy, but not that happy. Anyway, then we had ham sandwiches and played Killer Bunnies & the Quest for the Magic Carrot for a while, before going to Steve's grandmothers' house for their dinner (Thanksgiving Dinner Count after Thursday evening: 4 done, one to go). It was alright, though Steve's cousins were a little unruly (as children are wont to be) and apparently his "uncle" (grandmother's boyfriend. eh?) took offense to the little bit of cuddling we did (just cuddling! No making out and only one kiss when we were the only ones in the basement). The food was decent, though the game of Killer Bunnies afterward was a bit long (probably shouldn't have tried to get the kids to play it. It isn't exactly a children's person with a short attention span's game.

Friday, Steve had to work, so I went back to my parents' house for a while, did some laundry and we (my sister and I) eventually closed our accounts with CFNB. Later, I went over to get Steve and spend the night.

Saturday was dress rehearsal for the concerts Sunday, and then dinner with my nuclear family and Aunt Lauri, Terry and Mandy (and Brendan, Amy's fiancee, and Steve, Mandy's boyfriend). And, of course (after a good deal of thought and worrying), my Steve as well. I was terribly afraid that Terry would cause a problem with having Steve there, but not a word was said on the matter. I don't know whether Terry even knew, since we didn't bring it up. After dinner, we played Scattergories, which was fun. I didn't do as well as I would've liked, but "them's the breaks" or something.

Anyway, I spent Saturday night with Steve, and then went to Brighton for the concerts. Steve didn't come, which is understandable, given that he would've had to stay for both concerts, which even I didn't really want to do. But, the concerts actually went pretty well (we desperately need a better concert hall than the church. If the orchestra keeps growing, then there won't be enough room anymore!). I directed Sleigh Ride (with the choir), a medley from The Sound of Music and Tintinnabulations, which was one more than Kat directed (Christmas Festival and Fantasia on Greensleeves). She's offered me direction of the orchestra next season, and I think I'm going to do it, but I want to be sure that the orchestra wants me to direct and is democratically done, not by simple fiat.

Anyway, the roads were ugly and not fun, so I drove to my parents' house and spent the night there, and drove to class on Monday. Since, things have been alright.

I made spaghetti on Monday, and discovered that it was all moldy. I had put it in the pantry, which was an extremely bad idea. Sigh. So I had to throw it out.

I've also developed a great taste for quesadillas, which are very easy to make. Salsa is especially tasty.

And now, linkage:

Blogsites:
Blogshares, a fantasy blog stock market.
Blogwise, a "collection of blogs grouped by keyword".
Blogarama, a blog directory.
BlogTree, a blog genealogy.

Others:

The Alternative Press Review, specifically an article on the Collapse of the petroleum delusion / Rise of the DIY movement.

And, lastly, I have been listening to an Indymedia On Air broadcast from The A-Infos Radio Project, Anarchism, Anthropology and historical analysis, and I am hopeful, not only because of the program, but because of the very beginning, when they're discussing how anarchist discussions tend to be more practical, I was reminded of my post Defacation, in which I discuss precisely these matters. Now I need to actually act.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Certificates of Deposit

So, my longtime (since childhood) bank, Community First National Bank, is "merging with" (read: has been bought out by) the Bank of the West. Upon receiving notice of the merger, and what will become the news terms of service, I decided that I could not accept these terms, and will be closing my account with them.

Which leads to the next question: what am I to do with the money? It's not a large amount of money; nevertheless, it is my personal, long-term savings and I'd like to keep it seperate from my spending money and still have it doing something useful. Mom suggested a CD, which I quite like. I have now been researching CDs, trying to decide where to put the money. The two with the best rates that I've found so far (looking only at nearby credit unions) are the University of Colorado Federal Credit Union and Bellco - where I believe I had an account at one time that has since been closed. I would likely have to join CUA to join Bellco, which would give me access to many more credit unions. But, the minimum deposit on many of these is much higher than the UofCFCU, while Bellco has a $500 minimum, the same as UofCFCU. And, the rates for the two are nearly identical, currently... so I will probably go with UofCFCU (since I'm already a member).

In related news, write your representative to preserve the credit union tax exemption. Credit Unions are non-profit organizations, existing to serve the needs of their members and the community. Help preserve a choice and fight against corporate dominance!

In not-directly-related news, from Radgeek: Free your mind and the rest will follow, urging No Software Patents, and Strict Construction, arguing why the UN does, in fact, have legally binding power over the United States.

Not on Radgeek but equally interesting (no, I haven't read it all the way through yet): No Treason, an essay on why the Constitution is not legally binding upon the people of the United States, anyway.

The top 25 censored media stories of 2003-2004 from Project Censored.

The Ohio Recount is going forward, thanks to the Greens/Libertarians, and all the folks who donated.

In other news, things are going well. Amy is to come back into town tonight, and Steve tomorrow morning. I can't wait to cuddle with him. And he says he's going to molest me. Yay! :-D

Saw National Treasure with Barry last night. It was alright. Nothing particularly spectacular, though I was gratified that the "treasure" was something relatively worthwhile. I was afraid it would be stupid and boring, but it was actually entertaining. I'm not sure I'd spend $7 or more to see it again, though. I also bought Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. It has been made into a Broadway musical, and I had been wanting to read it, but the cover art was what made me decide to actually purchase it then and there (so much for resisting corporate dominance... it was in Border's :-( ). I can't describe it to do it justice, so you'll have to have me show it to you. It's got a hole in the outside cover, through which we can see the Witch. When you open that, it shows her carefully holding a monkey, and petting a wolf with a cat nearby. It transforms her into a sympathetic character quite well.

Anyway, that's about it for now. Poetry sometime soon, I think.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sittin' in the GSA, watchin' all the boys go by...

Sittin' in the GSA, givin' all the boys the eye!
Brother you can't know a nicer occupation.
Matter of fact, neither do I!
Than sittin' in the GSA, watchin' all the boys, watchin' all the boys...

Go by!
EDIT: Parody of lyrics from The Most Happy Fella by Frank Loesser.

Whew... not much time to talk, though I've got a lot to say. I am somewhat hesitant about writing it, because I don't want Steve to feel as if he's hurt me, because he hasn't, but nevertheless there're some things I need to write about.

He's in Arizona this week, at least until Thursday. I miss him.

Well, best get to class.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Holy freakin' cow...

Alright, where to start?

Wednesday was alright, though I was up too late Tuesday and consequently tired all day. Then, went to rehearsal (new violist! Yay! Oh, and did I mention that Gavin is now coming to DPO? Also Yay!), and then to Steve's house to spend the night. Got to explore new ways of intimacy with him, which was fun. And educational. *nods*

This morning, it was hard to get up and leave Steve's arms. I was so tired, I wanted to just sleep through it all. But, we did eventually get up and I took him to work before heading back to Boulder. I was intending to go to class... but by the time I got up here it was about 9:15, and I hadn't had a shower. So I took my shower and worked on my project for a while before I went to work, which was alright. Though I didn't get as far as I would've liked. After work, I went over to Parm's house to work some more on the project, and then I went over to The Yard for the drag show, "Once Upon a Drag Night." And this is the holy freakin' cow.

We packed the place. Somehow, our adverts worked. It was filled to capacity, on a Thursday. We were collecting $3/person at the door.

Yeah. Excellent fundraiser.

In addition, we held a 50-50 raffle for BCAP, which brought in over $300 total (so around 150 for BCAP and 150 for the winner)... and the winner was my PSP brother, Buffy! AND, she decided to donate the money back to DLP! How did I get such cool brothers?

So, all in all, the night was quite good. Still waiting on the final count, after we pay the bar staff and such, but... We've been asked back, apparently, too.

Oh, and the little bit I saw of the show was good (I was a doorman, taking money from people as they arrived). Dusty, my big, aka Monica Moree, was FABULOUS, as always. And even Andrew showed up! In drag! Hehe, ah so much fun. Unfortunately, most of the other drag queens that were SUPPOSED to be there, weren't... Next time I'm going to have Arte come, so we have someone dependable.

Anyway, I really need to get to bed. Take care, everyone. Oh, and I have Butterbraids for sale! Let me know if you want one, they're $9 each. You have until Monday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Virgin Mary... and a side of fries, please...

So, there's an item on eBay that's... a grilled cheese sandwich with a picture of the virgin on it. And the current bid is $100 million.

Steve says:

If someone would pay 100 million for a sandwich with the Virgin Mary on it, could I carve the VM in relief in my own feces and market it as "Holy Shit"?


Hehehe...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Update from a SCARPIE

I'd like to state for the record that I REALLY REALLY dislike my Modern Physics class.

Especially the tests, when it's mostly "did you write down the right equation or not?"

Talons and Claws... fun for a whole year!

Wow... I've been keeping this blog for a whole year... kinda amazing, really. Just thought I'd mention it!

Confusion

Alright, well let's get started.

Saturday was work, wherein I got locked out of the building for a half hour because my key doesn't work on the outside of the building. Then, after that, I went and got Steve and we returned this gal's wallet. After, we went to see The Incredibles, which I've already reviewed (see below), having Panda Express beforehand. Then, we came back up to Boulder and kept ourselves occupied until it was time for SNL at Scott's. After, we returned to my apartment and were intimate until, well, late, and then we went to bed. In the morning, more groping and such. Then, while he watched Into the Woods, I made spaghetti, the way mom used to make it (well, minus the ground beef): cook the spaghetti, then add velveeta and spaghetti sauce to the still-heated pot of spaghetti. Mmmm. Garlic and basil spaghetti sauce, too, with chunks of garlic in it. Tasty. Anyway, we moved out into the living room to finish the show and eat lunch, and he fell asleep in my lap a couple of times. (I didn't have the heart to keep waking him up). We also watched some Simpsons and Will and Grace while we were there... though 'watched' might not be quite the right word.

Then we took a shower (I suggested it because I like to be clean and I feel grimy if I don't take one; I found out today that he seems to have had issues in the past with being teased about not showering enough. I didn't care whether he smelled or not [not that I smelled any better]; mostly I wanted to bathe and to fool around). After, we decided we should probably get going so I could get to my meeting on time and still have dinner, so we went to a Noodles & Co. on the way to his house. I had Orange Cream Soda there, which was tasty. I don't get enough cream soda. When we got to his place, we went inside and laid down for a bit. Then, Opie called and he and I decided it wasn't really necessary for me to be at the meeting, so I stayed a while longer in Steve's arms before I left to go do my homework.

Monday I had class, and the induction ceremony for PSP. Also homework, which I did eventually finish. And a long discussion with Steve about our relationship. For some time, he has been arguing that, even though we use different terms to describe the same thing, it is, in fact, the same thing. But... I'm not so sure any more. First, he described the relationship as high-risk, which is certainly not how I would classify it at all. But perhaps he's putting more into it emotionally than I am. I dunno. Anyway, he then changed it to "moderate risk" after I said that I wouldn't consider it as such. For reasons that are becoming increasingly clear as we further discuss. And part of me understands. But part doesn't. And... sometimes part of me does want to behave in the way that is causing his insecurities. Mostly not, but sometimes.

I will admit that I'm young, and that this is my first serious relationship. Sometimes I wonder if I'm taking it more seriously than he is, and then sometimes I don't think I'm taking it seriously enough. And I want to make him happy, and I supposedly do, but... I dunno. I wonder, sometimes. I wonder whether it's me that's making him happy, or simply the fact that there's someone there. I wonder whether it's him that's making me happy, or simply that someone's there.

There's something else that's been bothering me. I saw Nathan again today. And I couldn't go up to him and say hi. He makes me feel... nervous, ashamed, scared... And I was only with him for a few weeks.

What's going to happen to me if Steve and I break up?

Once, he mentioned having had, in previous relationships, this wondering whether there was something better or if he was missing out somehow. And, I sometimes do wonder that now. There are times that I'd like to be single, or at least be able to persue someone or something without having to think about my relationship with him. Which is not to say that I don't love him, love spending time with him, or that I'm not happier and more content being with him.

I dunno. This is probably way more than you ever wanted to know about me. So, I'll stop here.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Incredibles

Pixar, directed by Brad Bird

I will admit, when I first saw the trailers for The Incredibles, I thought it'd be another poorly-written, cheap-laughs flick. A Superman knock-off, maybe.

What I didn't realize at the time was that it was a Pixar film.

The Incredibles begins with the tragic downfall of the Superheroes, following a series of lawsuits for unwanted heroism. The superheroes, necessarily, must go into hiding, and fifteen years later we join Mr. Incredible, his wife, Elastigirl, and their family (complete with 2.5 children!), still attempting to fit into suburban life. Things are not exactly rosy for the family, and Mr. Incredible, after being fired from his job as an insurance agent, begins moonlighting (unbeknownst to his wife) as a superhero again.

All in all, I was very impressed with the film. It was funny, fast-paced, and even had character development. Not to mention creative. I felt, throughout the whole movie, as if it had arisen from a wonderful game of GURPS Supers, wherein the GM was constantly on his toes trying to outwit the players. Some of the plot was predictable - the first time you see the villain (in silhouette), you know who it must be. Nevertheless, the movie kept me laughing and excited all the way through, which is something impressive.

If you get a chance, see this movie (unless you really can't stand the Supers genre). Bring your kids, too... it's rated PG, though that didn't keep me from enjoying it one bit (well... there was one place where I thought the milder form of an explicative was a bit contrived, but...). It is worth the price of admission.

In addition, the film was prefaced by a short film entitled Boundin'. Not the best short ever, but certainly well-done and entertaining. The shorts are one of the things I enjoy most about Pixar films, and I certainly hope that they continue to play them before each show.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Quicklink

Three interesting rants/articles:

What I'm hearing... from overly caffeinated, decrying the use of "What I'm hearing you say.." as a verbal weapon in meetings. Funny, entertaining, with even a bit of aloe.

Shut the Fuck Up (or, How to act better in meetings). An article by Dan Spalding about, maybe, a better way to conduct yourself during meetings.

And, finally, William Gillis' rant on the "Urban vs Rural" issue.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Gee, every time I see protesters...

...I know I go for the tanks.

From the LA Indymedia, tankage!

And, of course, Gillis' and RadGeek's commentary. With photos.

Other news, in brief: yay Steve! Boo homework! Boo sickness! Yay bittorrent! Yay Discover Magazine! Yay Firefox 1.0! Yay Denver Pops website! Boo Bush! Boo Fascism!

That is all at this time.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It's official!

I have a boyfriend! Whee! And I love him. More so every day. So I'm quite happy about that.

First, weekend update (not the funny one). Thursday my sister called my mom and said she needed to come home, and booked a flight that came in that night. So, Friday came along and I decided I should probably stop in and see my sister, so I spent the night at my parents' house. Saturday was work followed by rehearsal, followed by a party for one of Steve's (my boyfriend) friends, in which I had my first Tuaca Bombs. Whew, those things will get you drunk fast! Anyway, after a while of talking and moderate drinking (for us) and karaoke, well there was going to be some limbo but that never materialized, so we ended up playing poker instead. Texas Hold-'em, not my favorite, but fun enough when you win ;-). Somewhere in there, the male stripper arrived (this was a birthday party for one of Steve's straight female friends), and, well, let's just say you know the stripper's not very attractive when the four gays that are at the party go off to watch Garfield instead. Anyway, in the end the only sober people were the four gay guys who were playing poker, whilst everyone else was drunk off their asses.

I thought it was amusing.

Anyway, Steve and I ended up spending the night there (in the spare bedroom), though the other two (who were a couple also) left. Sunday was the Pops concert, which went alright and which Steve, Barry, Snow and Jared came to. Then, Denny's with Steve and back to his place for a little while before meeting.

All in all, a decent weekend.

Not much else to report. I've a test tonight, and one next Tuesday as well. Busy, busy it seems like.

Also, linkage for y'all.

I won't be able to participate, but there's a plan to Turn Our Backs on Bush.

And, there's what I consider to be the best Indymedia article I've seen yet, Polar Regions Experiencing Severe Climate Change.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Anarchism

Daniel Guérin

Anarchism was originally published in 1965, in Paris, under the title L'anarchisme: De la doctrine et á l'action. Because of this, it completely fails to address anything past 1969, which includes the Postscript. Nevertheless, it describes the ideas and concepts of anarchism, from its inception in the 19th century well into the mid-twentieth, using primarily quotations rather than paraphrases, in order that the quotations "might speak for themselves." The first half of the book is dedicated entirely to this aim; part I is entitled "the Basic Ideas of Anarchism", while part II is "In Search of a new Society".

Part one begins by first defining what, exactly, anarchists mean when they call themselves such. There are many different viewpoints (more, in fact, than are described in the book), but this chapter describes the foundation from which all other viewpoints spring.

Part two describes these different viewpoints and the internal disputes of anarchism and the external disputes with socialism.

Part three is called "Anarchism is Revolutionary Practice", and details the distory of anarchism during the great turmoil of the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. It notes several occasions (such as Kronstadt and the Spanish Worker's movement) in which anarchism played an important role or was even used as the basis for a restructuring of society. One example, in the Ukraine, shows that anarchy and socialism are viable options, for production had multiplied itself, before being crushed by Soviet Russia. Part three also describes parts of the Russian Revolution and the part the anarchists played in it. Had it not been for the Bolshevik Party, the workers councils (or soviets) would likely have remained an anarchist formation.

Finally, Guérin concludes with a postscript dated May, 1968, in which he expresses hope for the future of anarchism in the youth movements that had risen since 1965.

I enjoyed this book, not only because it focused on the ideas and concepts of anarchism, but that it did so without a lot of dates and bibliographical information. It works quite well as an introduction to the subject, and I would recommend it for anyone who wishes to learn more about anarchism. I also thoroughly enjoyed the historical section, because it gave me a better idea about the movements around the world and the impact anarchism has had. I also have a greater understanding of Soviet Russia and the causes of its fall to Statism.

All in all, a good, interesting read.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Purple Haze and Pundition

Interesting (county-by-county winners) maps (Purple Haze) over on Anarchogeek and Vanderbei's site.

So, I've decided that I'm a pundit: I'm loud, obnoxious, and highly opinionated, but I don't actually do anything about it. This must change.

Other news? Just finished Bakunin's God and the State. Will do a review later. Also, I need to decide what to read next. I'd like to take a break from political writings for a while, so it'll probably be a nice novel. We'll see.

Determination and Forward-thinking

I thought I would contrast yesterday's predictions with some positive linkage. So, here it is!

Pizzuti has an idea for a "Progessive Values Coalition", which is a fantastic idea, if you can get the Progressives to actually, well, do it.

William Gillis talks about how the movement that has been built in the past few years can continue, but we have to keep going. He also discusses the case for not abandoning America.

Isaac Laquedem has a letter to President Bush reminding him that he does not have a 'mandate' and that there are many issues to work on.

There's also Ten Reasons Not to Move to Canada, and the Distributed Library Project, which I'm thinking about joining.

And, even though it isn't exactly uplifting, it does remind me why I'm Queer by Choice: Matthew Shepard Died for Your Sins (and other bitchy ramblings).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Prediction time

Okay, let's see whether I have any ability to predict the future!

In the coming four years:
  • more war, duh

  • the war will require more money, which will lead to larger deficits

  • larger deficits will, in turn, require more taxes (but not for the rich!

  • consequently, the gap between rich and poor will grow)

  • Because of the deficits and monies being channelled into the war, there will be less funding for science, education and the arts

  • Because of lack of funding, scientists, researchers and such will search for funds elsewhere, resulting in BRAIN DRAIN

  • the return of the draft, as swiftly as possible, and in a BIG way

  • the eventual collapse of the democratic party (maybe not in the next four years, but come on, people!)

  • more alienation of the world against us the United States

  • Brazil's increasing importance in world affairs and politics

  • privatization of spaceflight

  • continued Imperialism and Globalization

Okay, well that's enough doom and gloom for now.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

(It's time I had some time alone...)

That's great it starts with an earth quake Lenny Bruce is not afraid...

I like REM. Just thought I'd share.

Okay, folks, here we go...

The eve of the election. It's... nerve-wracking, which is strange, in a way. Either way (and I'm refering to the presidential race), it's going to be bad. American Imperialism will continue unabated, innocent people of all races and religions and ethnicities (and so on) will be killed or imprisoned.

Sigh.

Anyway, if you haven't voted yet, via early voting or absentee ballots, then get yourself to the polls tomorrow. Supposedly your workplace is legally required to allow you to go, though I haven't found evidence of that (maybe just in Oregon?).

Oh, and, for those of you in the appropriate counties: YES on 4B (the Science and Cultural Facilities District)! !!! !!!!!!!!!!!! Like, seriously. All the community musical groups I know of would fail without this support, not to mention a plethora of other things that depend on it... like the Museum and the Zoo. YES on 4B!

And... Linkage time:

Sinfest Propoganda - Funny :-D
It's time to form a Leftist Firing Squad: Everybody get into a circle - from Radgeek. Very interesting and a course I would suggest highly.
The FULL transcript of bin Laden's speech, from al Jazeera (in English!). I very highly suggest that you read this.
Victoria's Dirty Secret - Environmentalism time. Recycled paper's very nearly, if not as good, as new. Bastards. I won't be looking at any more of THEIR catalogs. ;-)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Umm... yeah, it's Eminem

If you haven't heard about it, Eminem has come out very strongly against Bush.

Yeah, I know. Weird.

Now, if you haven't seen the video, I suggest that you do. It's a long download (but I can get you a copy if you ask nicely), but stirring.

The ending isn't quite what I expected, but it is, at least, a good start.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Unamerican

I never thought I was unamerican and Real Voices.

Starry Smurf

I have been dubbed Starry Smurf.

The weekend was good. Friday I picked Steve up after class and we came back up here to meet the PSP people to go to a haunted house. The haunted house was fun, but for a different reason than normal. It was a lot of fun to watch everyone else run and scream. Hehe. I suppose we (Steve and I) were kinda party poopers, but whatever. Anyway, afterwards we got some Arby's and Van Wilder and came back to my apartment. Where we proceeded to have problems with the movie (it turns out it was, in fact, the movie, and not my computer), we decided to just forget about it and get on to more important matters. (I mean cuddling, people :-P ) We both had to work Saturday morning, but his new roommates had a couch and a chair that they needed to get rid of, so Steve and I got those (with some help from Barry) and put them into my apartment. It has completely changed the feel of my living room. Then we went back to his place and watched the movie (once we had figured out what the problem was) before heading to bed. SOOO nice to be held. So nice to hold. Sigh. Anyway, in the morning (er... afternoon by the time we got up), we had some chinese for breakfast (left over from the night before) and watched Philadelphia, with a very young Tom Hanks. FABULOUS movie. I love it, even though it's a very sad movie. I'm glad that I had the chance to see it again, and all the way through. I hadn't seen it all the way through, before.

So, then we took a shower and headed out to get a lamp for my living room, which we did find (and it graces it nicely, I think). Then, kesadilias (quesadillas) for dinner before I had to head back up for DLP meeting. A very nice weekend, indeed.

I'm considering participating in National Novel Writing Month but I wonder whether I have time.

For those of you who are CU-Boulder students, voting yes on the USSA referendum will make me happy by making my friends happy, and it will also allow our campus to continue to participate in this national organization.

Of course, your voting for Kerry will also make me happy, in that sickly, "well, thank god THAT's over" kind of way, not by any sort of liking that I have for him.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Indymedia Update, the Continuing Saga

Indymedia is reporting that the UK is now denying that its law enforcement agencies were involved (which, of course, doesn't mean that ANOTHER UK agency isn't involved, but...).

I urge everyone, once again, to sign the Indymedia solidarity statement if you haven't yet.

Life Update

Hi there everyone!

I've been putting up a lot of linkage and political stuff lately, so I thought, for a change (right before I post an Indymedia update), I'd post an update on my life.

Things are actually going well, for the most part. The guy that I had had a date scheduled with, and then found out that he was dating someone else, and I have now had a couple of dates. With another scheduled for tomorrow. Yay! Here's the scoop: Steve (for that is his name) has decided that, rather than date one man at a time, he is going to date several and, from those, choose a boyfriend. I hadn't been aware of this at first, but once he told me, I was fine with it. This, of course, is all before we met in person for the first time last Thursday (has it only been a week?). I wasn't originally going to go down Thursday night, but it turned out that I didn't have class in the morning on Friday because the prof was out of town, so I went down to meet him. He's quite handsome, very nice, owns his own condo there. Just my type, too: geeky. Soooo geeky. Ahhh! So nice. Anyway, so we really hit it off. Didn't even make it all the way through the movie. ;-) Well, okay, technically we didn't leave the couch until the movie was over, but we weren't paying a lot of attention to it by then. Then, in the morning, took him to school (he's going to DeVry for CompSci) before heading back up to Boulder. Then, that (Friday) evening, went to see him again for the previously-planned date. We saw What Lies Beneath, which is supposed to be a thriller, but like most thrillers, isn't, really, very thrilling. Except for one part, when I jumped a little.

Anyway, took him to work in the morning before I went to dress rehearsal for Brighton, which, well, wasn't all that great. Then, work and home again. Sunday was the concerts. The first one sucked majorly, though try telling the audience that. The second went much better, though of course not perfectly. I just have to remember that it's a community orchestra, not a professional one. Anyway, I conducted one piece, which went pretty well overall. Went to OC afterwards with my parents (that's Old Chicago, not Orange County). Monday, school, PSP meeting, in which I tried to draw Steve but failed miserably (but he will never see it! Hahaha!). Tuesday, class and a test. Wednesday, class and rehearsal, and today, class and work. The video card finally came! So now we'll see whether or not it actually works! In a little bit. What else? Mailed in my ballot recently.

Oh, also, I seem to be starting a lot of arguments/discussions about anarchy and just society in general lately. I suppose it's a good thing ("Ignite Debate", after all) but I really tire of arguing quickly. Sigh, ah well.

A friend from high school came out to me the other day. I wasn't completely floored - I had kinda suspected - but I had kinda thought that I'd've heard about it before now. Not sure what more to say about this right now.

I've picked a fight and made up (kinda) with a friend.

I think about Steve a lot, especially when other things are getting me down, because he seems to genuinely like me for who I am, and he's very enthusiastic about it, which is very nice but something I'm not entirely used to yet.

I had a couple moments of weekness and subscribed to a magazine over the phone and purchased tortilla chips (aka dorritos). I also got a D (64%) on my German Cultures quiz, but it's alright since I don't care, and she drops one of the quizzes anyway.

I want to cuddle up with Steve right now, but I can't because I'm here and he's not. Or maybe because he's somewhere else and I'm not. Not sure.

Went to the gamma class' date auction tonight. Didn't get auctioned (wasn't even asked, but that's alright, I wouldn't have gotten anything anyway), but won a couple of auctions accidently because I was bidding for people so they'd have a bid or to boost the price a bit.

Not much else to say right now. I'm sleepy, though. Take care.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Randomness

Hey all!

I really should post an update on my life, but I'm going to give you all a bunch of links, instead!

Firstly, OzyFest: An Interview with D. C. Simpson, the talented, handsome liberal (can you tell that I like him?) behind Ozy and Millie (if you get the Linux Documentation Project when you click on the link, try again later. There's a DNS update going through, but it'll be a little while) and I Drew This on Comixpedia.

Next, George W Bush and the 14 Points of Fascism or "Wake up and Smell the Fascism" from the Project for the OLD American Century. Makes me think that starting up a "Neo-Nazis for Bush" page to counter the Communists for Kerry page set up by the Hellgate Republicans (not that I have a problem with communists per se [though all current implementations of communism are wrong], but I find setting up such sites in an effort to scare voters is extremely distasteful) might be a useful endevour. Not that I'd get any press.

A quick search brings up Nazis for Bush, though. Yes, it is satire.

There's an interesting article entitled "What if George W. Bush had been elected president?" over on it's all one thing.

I'm saddened to see that students are still harrassed over voting eligibilty, but I suppose it's to be expected (which doesn't make it right).

monumental mistake has an article on librarians and activism.

Aaand... that's all for now. Stay tuned for even more fun links!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

John Stewart on Crossfire

Okay, chances are good that you've seen it already, but if you haven't, download the video of John Stewart on Crossfire. And if you like what he's done (and I certainly do) contact Comedy Central and CNN (Crossfire) and tell them so!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Indymedia Update

So, the Indymedia servers have apparently been returned, but there is still a lack of knowledge concerning why they servers were taken and the matter of the subpeona, legality, etc. Anyway, the Indymedia have begun a Solidarity Petition to express outrage and attempt to learn why the servers were taken.

I'll take this chance to remind everyone that a government which hides things from its own People is trending towards fascism (regardless of its "justifications"). And, further, that all governments reach a state where they wish to hide things from their own People, eventually.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Voting

Well, it's getting to be that time again. I recieved my absentee (aka mail-in) ballot on Saturday, and just today got around to taking a look at it (I have not yet voted at a polling place). I was extremely surprised to see, not 2, nor 4 (D, R, G and L) candidates for president, but 12, including an independent and three socialist candidates! I'm also somewhat disturbed that I have heard of none of these candidates except for Kerry, Bush, Nader, Badnarik and Cobb, and the last two through a fluke! It was also nice to see a number of (okay, four) Libertarian Candidates in various races (President, Senate, House Dist. 2, CU Regent At Large). I don't completely agree with them, but I do think they're on the right track.

In the meantime, I have yet to decide on several of the ballot issues. Some are easy: yes on 36 and Referendum B, as well as 4A and 4B (FasTracks and SCFD, respectively). But some of the others I still haven't decided on. For example, amendment 37, concerning renewable energy. I fully support renewable energy, but reading Norm Olsen and the Libertarian party's position on the amendments has made me wonder whether it's the right method to take. Fortunately, I have some time yet before I must mail my ballot in, so I can consider the proposals more carefully.

That's about all for now. This is my 100th post, btw.

Monday, October 11, 2004

In Echo

In Echo of a friend's LJ post, I present "Meh":

Middle ground
Not up nor down
Emotions have no grip

And though I'd like
to feel some
Through my fingers they do slip

I try to care
I really do
But nothing matters much

No pain no worries
No joy or cheer
To my "meh"-state do I clutch

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Third-party candidates arrested

From Mellifluous:
On October 8th at 9PM, two third party candidates were arrested for attempting to enter the Washington University complex holding the second presidential debate. The candidates, Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party and David Cobb of the Green Party, chose civil disobedience to fight the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Over half of Americans believe third party candidates should be included, yet politicians continue to funnel public funds into the bi-partisan Commission. S.W.A.T. teams were used to deny the will of the American people while mainstream media ignored this historic event, a shameless suppression of political diversity.
Americans deserve to know about the unjust takeover of our political process. I posted this to take matters into my own hands. If you believe that real democracy thrives on diverse political voices and that it's time to use alternative methods to support these voices, post this in your Xanga, profile, or Livejournal, or e-mail it to those who care.


I would also suggest that you read the Badnarik blog and the Press Release.

I should probably write some commentary on the whole episode. If what's written in the Badnarik blog is true, then it's disgraceful, but again, not unexpected. I applaud Badnarik and Cobb's civil disobedience, even though I don't agree (necessarily) with all their politics. But, that's part of the point: I don't really know much about their politics, and exluding them from the debates is just another way to ensure that the only choice I have in the matter (not that such a thing as government should exist, but that's beside the point; it does) is between the Republicrat and the Democratan.

Quick Update

Hey there everyone.

Feeling quite a bit better today.

Sorry, last night was kinda bad.

I like writing one-sentence paragraphs.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Will somebody please fucking TOUCH ME?!?

Not much to say with this one. Frustrated and lonely. Last night, I thought that I had a date in a week. Thought I might be headed towards something. Tonight, no. He is apparently already seeing someone. Fuck. Nice of him to mention this before. Not just seeing someone, but it's a long-distance relationship. No one I know well enough to consider seriously as a boyfriend is even remotely interested in me. No one else in their right mind would consider dating me before they got to know me, at which point they would not be interested anymore.

One person. One, and he's in Cali. One that I've never met, and, though I may like to pretend differently, don't really know all that well.

I don't understand it. The conclusion that I reach is that something must be wrong with me. (DON"T FUCKING GIVE ME YOUR PITY! I don't want it. I don't know what I want for certain but I don't want that) But figuring out what is wrong is... difficult. I don't understand it. I could ask people but even if they gave me something useful, I don't think it'd make a difference. I don't think that I can change it, or that I'd even want to.

I had hoped that this would be a more stream-of-consciousness post, but I find that I'm censoring myself, so I'm done for now.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

FBI Seizes IMC Servers in the UK

From the Indymedia:

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the requesting agency. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet.

Since the subpoena was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia, the reasons for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Talking to Indymedia volunteers, Rackspace stated that "they cannot provide Indymedia with any information regarding the order." ISPs have received gag orders in similar situations which prevent them from updating the concerned parties on what is happening.

It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside the US jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.

At the same time an additional server was taken down at Rackspace which provided streaming radio to several radio stations, BLAG (linux distro), and a handful of miscellanous things.

The last few months have seen numerous attacks on independent media by the US Federal Government. In August the Secret Service used a subpoena in an attempt to disrupt the NYC IMC before the RNC by trying to get IP logs from an ISP in the US and the Netherlands. Last month the FCC shut down community radio stations around the US. Two weeks ago the FBI requested that Indymedia takes down a post on the Nantes IMC that had a photo of some undercover Swiss police and IMC volunteers in Seattle were visited by the FBI on the same issue. On the other hand, Indymedia and other independent media organisations were successfull with their victories for example against Diebold and the Patroit Act. Today however, the US authorities shut down IMCs around the world.

The list of affected local media collectives includes Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes, Lilles, Marseille (all France), Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East and West Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal, Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, part of the Germany site, and the global Indymedia Radio site.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Crazy Electrical Storms!

I figured that, since everyone else mentioned it, I would be wrong not to mention the huge freaking storm last night that is completely out of season. Lost power at least once, but mostly I slept through it. I guess I'm just boring like that.

Met two new people at the GSA office during lunch today: Dillon and Angi. Angi seems nice, though truth be told I was doing my homework and didn't speak much with her. Dillon is cute, but I didn't speak much with him, either, before he left, so I don't really know anything about him, either.

No repsonse yet from Nathan.

I'd like to point y'all to some more blogs, if I may. There's an interesting post about Meritocracy vs Timeserving on Lost Highway Times. Also, and you will notice I've added three new links to the sidebar. Anarchoblogs is an aggregate of blogs run by anarchists (which you NEVER would guess from the title), the Indymedia are a worldwide, loosely grouped but highly connected Independent Media Centers, run with the general idea that you are the media. The Colorado Indymedia is the local group.

That's all. Rehearsal tonight for the dance on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Dell

Just a quick note:

I ordered a refurbished laptop from Dell in august, and had been unsuccessfully trying to get it to run X under linux since then. About a week ago, I discovered that the reason I couldn't get X to work was that the card I thought the machine had - the nVidia card listed on my order sheet - was not the one that was actually in the machine - an XGI Volari. Naturally, I was somewhat annoyed about this, since there aren't any Linux drivers for the Volari (at least, not the mobile ones). So, I contacted Dell Customer Care yesterday, and they are going to actually ship me (for free!) the correct nVidia card. Wow! We'll wait until we see whether it works, but this could earn them some good marks from me.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Brotherly Love

So, we've decided that the best way to bond in PhiSig is to have an orgy (not with the initiates, of course). And, we're going to still call the female members 'brothers', but, to bend some gender, call the male brothers 'sisters'. Just thought I'd share.

What to say? The weekend was good (and nice and long but short at the same time). I finished reading Anarchism, so I should probably write a review soon. I also got about halfway through No Phule Like an Old Phule, which I then left at my parents' house, so I can't finish it right now. I also have started Bakunin's God and the State, though I'm not very far yet. We'll see, it's supposed to be good. My parents just got back from vacation in New Mexico (methinks), and mom brought me this old, well, basically a songbook with a bunch of different operasongs in it. With a (renewed) copyright date of 1925. ^_^ We'll see how that turns out, but might be a new project to complete (after the end of the Woody Guthrie Project, of course).

Went to a 'sleepover' on Thursday night, which would've been alright except, well, it kinda died about 2:30am and we all went home. Sigh. I know it's strange, but I kinda felt left out for most of it, and I'm not sure why I should feel that way. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Oh well.

What else? I got back my EM test today... not as well as I would've liked, but I got a 66/100 while the class average was ~43. Ouch for the class! I felt alright with that score, even though a friend got about 20 points more than I did. Yeesh. But a good portion of it was math, which is part of his major, so... Plus I barely studied. Not that I'll ever do better than him. He's too smart for most people's good.

And then, tonight we had Pinning for PhiSig. 12 initiates! That's a huge number for a fall rush! It was great! Only one guy, though. Think he might be gay, but hard to say. Don't think I'll be interested even when he's inducted, though. Not really my type. (I'm so superficial and I really shouldn't be, but there it is...)

I emailed Nathan on... I think it was Friday, and asked whether we could have lunch. Haven't heard a response yet, but given how often I think he checks his email, it could be a while yet. With luck, I'll be involved with someone when he does respond, and I won't be tempted to get back together.

I met this pretty cute EnvE last Wednesday, too. He was sitting outside my modern physics classroom, just sitting there studying. At first I just went into the classroom (okay, lecture hall, whatever), but then I decided he was cute enough after all, and I wasn't going to meet cute people unless I talked to them, so I went back out and introduced myself. His name was John. He seemed shy, especially based on the way he shakes hands. I think it has something to do with the image that I'm attracted to. I think the image comes along with shy people. Which is alright, I think. Provided we end up in a place where we're not shy with each other.

I should also mention God's Ex-Boyfriend, since he was kind enough to put up a link to my blog. Be warned, however: his posts are often more like articles, and they deal with a wide range of subject matter, from child pornography (and regular pornography) to politics to movies and more. The current post is on circumcision, and if you don't want to see pictures of both a circumcised and uncircumcised penis, then I suggest you wait a week or so. I like reading his articles. They're well-written and thoughtful (for the most part), even if I don't always agree with him.

Not much else to say. Be well, all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ramen: Cheap and tasty, but not filling or healthy

Well, I had my first EM exam today. It was pretty difficult. The first two questions were okay (I'd anticipated those, so I was able to do them), but the last one was a bear. Grr! So we'll see how I did.

Haven't seen Nathan again, though I waited for him today where I saw him last week. Ah, well, if I don't see him tomorrow, I'll email him.

You may have noticed the two new bloglinks over on the sidebar. Plotts, aka EJ aka Eric, was my best friend during 7th and 8th grades and part of high school. Still a friend, though I haven't seen him in about 6 years. Pizzuti is a member of the newly-neophyted beta class for DelPhi, so he's now a full colonist. Yay!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Inversely Proportional

Why is it that whenever things seem to be looking up for me, whether it's socially or romantically, or whatever, things get worse for others? It gets annoying pretty quickly, as if I'm some sort of karmic "not-gate".

In other news, I had a very nice lunch at Chili's with Kyle today. Then, we went back to Kyle's place, where we were hanging out (he'd bought a mini-tape recorder for his midnight inspirations) when I checked my messages. Two of them, from Scott, wondering where I was. I'd forgotten about the PhiSig Museum/Imax trip! So, after inviting Kyle (who declined, unfortunately), I drove as fast as I could to the museum. Unfortunately, the Imax show is only about forty minutes long, and I got there about thirty minutes in. :-/ But, I did get to go to a couple exhibits before we headed out. Scott had to go home 'cause he wasn't feeling well, though. But Sarah and I had some good time to talk, and I found out that she's kinda feeling like I am about PhiSig. So, not sure what to do about that. Don't know that I care all that much anymore.

And I can't decide whether it's "inversly" or "inversely", so I'm going to leave it as the latter for now.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Even the Street Bums are Beautiful!

I was down in Denver recently for a PhiSig fundraiser. The original plan was to hand out stuff at the Rockies game in exchange for money (for the group). But... The game was postponed due to weather. So we, already being in Denver, decided to take the opportunity to have some dinner with our Brothers and went to the Lodo Bar and Grill. This is all well and good. Coming back to the car from the restaurant, we passed a guy sitting on the street (who I will not say was a street bum, necessarily) who was eating a bucket of fried chicken.

We weren't quite sure what was going to happen, but I had the strong feeling that he was going to speak to us. Sure enough, he does, though he doesn't say anything that I was expecting: "D'you want some chicken?"

I declined politely.

In other news, we will have four in our DelPhi Gamma class, which should be fun. I saw Farenheit 9/11 last night, which I thought was very well done. You do have to be able to filter Michael Moore's commentary, such as "What was he thinking? Was he thinking, 'I should've spent more time at work'?" from the actual events that happened, but he has a very good point. It should shock you, especially the footage of the war. (I was disgusted, but not shocked. I think the world is in far worse shape than even Moore paints it, but eh).

Oh! And there was this guy in the class before my morphosyntax class that not only LOOKED like Harry Potter, was WEARING a yellow and red jersey-like shirt that said "Potter" on the back. I wanted to take him home and have wild monkey sex, but I went to class instead.

That's about it for now. Still not King.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Firefox

I last checked the site (http://spreadfirefox.com/) a couple of days ago. They were around 500,000 downloads at the time, and I was wondering whether the demand would die out soon. One million seemed like an impossible number. I thought, for sure, at the end of the ten days they'd've had around 800,000 at most.

I was wrong. It's been four (well, okay, five now) days, and they reached their goal. One million downloads and six days to go. So, I urge you, my fellow internet-folk, to go to the website and check it out. I use it almost exclusively (and have since I switched from Netscape/Mozilla a year or so ago), and I haven't had any problems (takes a little while to remember that you have to unblock popups sometimes, but otherwise...) Download a copy, or, if I know you in RL, I can burn you a CD with the latest release. I also have Thunderbird 0.8 (I'm just now trying it out), to replace that buggy, insecure Eudora or Outlook you have.

I should mention that there are versions available for Linux, MacOS, OS/2 and others as well.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Monsters in the Night, Part I

Another original poem for you to enjoy!
The periphery is flecked

With colors bright
Ahead lies only darkness
And monsters in the night

Behind me I hear laughter
And weeping, sometimes, too
Ahead is nothing
A thick blanket
Covering all thought
All vision

All my screams
Are eaten by the Void
And nothing
No one
Recognizes the path down which I tread
The path down which we all tread

As time goes on (for I think it must)
The sounds behind me fade
I'm left with just my memories
"Shadows of a shade"

I lie there, float there
My mind makes demons true
For with no way to anchor my id
I've lost hold of the other two

Fangs!
And tongues
And teeth
And snaps
Tease my curled back

But these I take with ease
I know that soon my wicked past
will turn this night to hell

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Just one more thing...

There are, according to the university stalker-net (http://dirwww.colorado.edu/whitepages/ldapnew.xml) only 13 male students with the name "Morrison" in any position (first, middle and last). Not that that was necessarily his name, but given what we've seen about him...

I'm thinking about trying to call his mother.

Defacing (defacation?)

Yes, I know that defecation is the word you were expecting.

Over the weekend, the university maintainance crew filled a hole in the sidewalk near some steps below the engineering center. I know this because I walked by it this morning on the way to class and saw the wet cement. There were also some saw horses there, presumably to ensure that folks didn't step in it.

Coming back from class, I was walking down these stairs just as this guy, who was standing right above the patch, threw a stick over to the ground and walked away. In this newly-poured patch of concrete, he (I can only assume) had written "Morrison". I didn't say anything (I should have, I think), and I didn't make any attempt to correct it (probably something else I should have done). But as I was walking I started thinking: the concrete had lasted all day (from before ten in the morning until after three in the afternoon), only to be spoiled by one idiot. But I was also facing a dilemma. I find such acts childish, without purpose and disrespectful, not only to my own sensibilities but to the community in general. However, I cannot morally prevent anyone from doing such a thing, as it would be against my beliefs. I could have attempted to lecture him about it, or erased it, but I cannot, for example, tell the police and have him fined (even if I could identify him again).

But it saddens me to see people care so little about the community they live in that they would deface it so easily. He doubtless thinks that what he did was "awesome" and his only remose would be at being caught. Perhaps, on the other hand, his act was an experiment, to see whether anyone would attempt to stop him or fix the cement (in which case I failed), or some sort of protest. I doubt these alternatives though.

Which leads me into a question: how does one create a community wherein this doesn't happen? Where people take more pride in their community and would never even consider such an action? I doubt that it would be possible to acheive 100% non-defacation, and would expect someone to occasionally do something like that again. And maybe that's what this is: the statistical error. The anamoly. I certainly hope that this is the case, but in my heart I know it is not.

On the plus side, it seems to be the minority here. By the time I walked by again at ~7pm, someone had erased the "Morrison", so that now only a lumpy smudge bears memory to it.

In other news, I'm tired and slightly depessed. I want so much to be Scott's equal, but I am not and doubt that I will be. I want a boyfriend. I also want to go away and live all alone on a little previously-uninhabited tropical island so I don't have to deal with people at all. I could live on bananas, though I think I'd get sick of fish pretty quickly.

The DLP Rush Bowling went well. We had three folks show up, so that's pretty good, since this is the first event we've held.

I naired myself last friday because I thought we were going swimming. But, then we didn't. So I'm smooth but no one can tell.

I've also been reading Anarchism by Daniel Guerin (there's an accent in there but I'm too lazy for it right now). It's a brief historical overview of anarchy, anarchism, and anarchists. It's not a biography of any of them, though it does spend some time talking about the social theories as they developed. If the text is accurate, then I've gained an insight into the Bolshevik revolutions that I hadn't ever had before.

My little quickidrive stopped being writable for some reason a week or two ago, and the other night I finally fixed it using a tool that essentially low-level formatted it. I'm not pleased that that happened, and am wondering why (I'm guessing it's because I bought a cheap stick). But it's working again, so that's good.

Anyway, that's probably more than I should write. I have physics I should do but I'm going to bed instead.

Be well, all.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

IP

From Links to Tens of Thousands of Legal Music Downloads (http://www.goingware.com/tips/legal-downloads.html):

...consider Slashdot user Quizo69's comment Illegal becomes legal if YOU change it, in which he points out that that although it was once illegal to be homosexual throughout the United States, the gay community worked together to fight sodomy laws. Through their efforts, state after state repealed their laws until the Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled the last sodomy laws unconstitutional.

If the gay community can fight millenia of hatred until they can live without fear of criminal prosecution, you can overturn the copyright laws. If you don't think you have the political power, consider that there aren't as many homosexual people in the U.S. as there are file traders.


Dunno that it's exactly "millenia of hatred", considering that the concept of a homosexual has only been around for a couple hundred years... and that I would judge the right to "be" (however you choose to interpret that) with someone regardless of gender far more basic than any IP right, whether protection from sharing or freedom to share... but point well taken.

The questions become: are filesharers dedicated enough to do so? Is the payoff worth the effort? What would the consequences be, besides allowing filesharing, and are they desirable?

I think that the current situation of IP is not only ridiculous but deplorable. (Of course, I find even the concept of IP ridiculous, but that's another topic.) Consequently, I support the EFF, and I back it up with the green (another thorny issue; we'll deal with it later). Current IP laws are used to crush or cripple innovation, rather than promote it, as was originally intended when such power was granted to the U.S. Congress in the Constitution.

Hmm, and it's now past midnight. 'Night!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Linkage!

An essay on essays (a meta-essay?): http://www.paulgraham.com/essay.html

A book on American public schools (I have not yet read this book, but the topic sounds interesting and the review of it was good): http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/index.htm

And a couple things to make you think:

Political Propaganda As a Moral Duty: http://www.freedomunderground.org/view.php?v=3&t=3&aid=9036
and the original (please, please, if you don't read the first all the way through, at least read the first couple paragraphs and compare to this one): http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/moralpro.htm

And, as Gavin showed us, something to keep you questioning the government: http://www.freedomunderground.org/memoryhole/pentagon121.swf

Friday, September 03, 2004

No Title

From the Colorado Indymedia (9/11: THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED, THREE YEARS ON):

In the United States since 9/11, about 4,000 children died from child abuse and neglect; in more than 80 percent of cases, parents were the perpetrators. About 36,000 Americans died from unnecessary surgery. Another 21,000 died from medication errors in hospitals, along with another 60,000 from other errors in hospitals. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs killed about 100,000. Roughly 10,000 Americans died from accidental drowning. About 2,100 died from bicycle accidents. Homicidal Americans killing other Americans took another roughly 60,000 lives. Suicide took more than 90,000. Traffic deaths amounted to well over 120,000.

Despite all of America's mayhem and death (more than 7,000,000 Americans died in the last three years, including the clearly avoidable ones listed above plus hundreds of thousands not listed that were at least in part avoidable), the subject of 9/11 is never allowed to rest. About 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 in a spectacular act of hatred and vengeance, carried out, so far as we know, by 19 men, all of whom were themselves consumed.


Not that 9/11 wasn't tragic... but maybe there are deeper issues that we should be focusing on...