Friday, December 23, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ubuntu Is Here!

Just a quick note to anyone who's interested... the Ubuntu CDs have arrived, so let me know if you want one! I've got 8 left for PC, 2 for PPC (that's Macintosh) and 3 for 64-bit PC.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Disassociation

I've been thinking a lot, lately, about politics and community and such. I had originally intended to write a nice long post about it. But, I think I'll just try to summarize my points briefly.

First, I'm tired of the Left. They don't get it much better than the Right does, and, frankly, they spend their time trying to correct wrongs (that's good) using the same techniques that created those wrongs in the first place, or at least perpetuate them (that's bad). So I'm leaving the Left. It was fun, we had some good times, but it's not working out.

Don't think that I'm giving up on what I think is right, though. And don't think I'm joining the Right or Center. Not really my style, either.

Second, I don't remember ever stating that I was a Black Ally. I remember possibly saying that I was a genderqueer ally. I could be wrong, and there might be more things that I've allied myself with in the past. No more. I formally dissolve my allied status with any groups that I've been allied with. The recent discussion (see below) about what an ally should and should not do have proven to me that I don't want to associate with a group of people (the allies) that would behave in that manner. Particularly with respect to a group I don't remember allying myself with in the first place.

I'm still going to argue/demonstrate/whatever for equality and such. But I'm not going to argue for an equality that excludes me because I'm white and male and (perceived) heterosexual. Or, perhaps more particularly, because they disagree with me. Those who wish to join me are free to do so, if they desire.

Third, I've decided that there's no use in arguing with someone who misunderstands what you write or chooses to focus on aspects not relevant to the topic. They will never understand because they are unwilling to try. People like that only serve to waste time, energy and distract the issue even further. I suppose it's lucky that this blog has approximately zero readers (give or take a few).

So, there you have it. I am no one's ally any longer. I belong to the groups I belong to, but that's it.

Don't force me into your group. I don't force you into mine.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Articles for reading

Helios over at Lobby4Linux talks about his experiences as a streetcorner bum and Linux (to put it simply).

Looks like the folks at Microsoft, Norton and Symantec knew about the Sony rootkit months before the scandal hit. (Here's an article about the rootkit fiasco, for those of you who were unaware.)

Steve, Kyle and I have been discussing starting a newsletter/magazine/rag thing for publishing and distributing on campus. Myself, I have grander plans, but it could be a start.

I'm adding groklaw and the blog of Helios to the sidebar.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Postfix + Mailman

I have been attempting to set up an email listserver for a couple days now, and I finally fixed the problem. It was:

|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman post list"@domain.tld>
(expanded from ): unknown user:
"|/usr/local/mailman/mail/mailman post list"


The solution, when it came, was simple. What had happened was the aliases were being mapped to the virtual list, and so it wouldn't handle the external command execution properly. The solution? Just make sure that virtual_alias_maps doesn't have $alias_maps as one of its values. :-D

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A picture's worth...

One of the things that I remember from 2001 was pictures of the dead from the WTC. They were quite horrific. So, I have a question: why is it ok to do the same sorts of things to other people? Take a look at RadGeek's post on White Phosphorus.

Email Incident

I just received another ememo in my inbox. This time, it's about a hate email. The chancellor wants to assure us that "[s]uch hate-filled words do not reflect the values of this campus community."

Good, I suppose, but what about the recent queer hate grafitti on a bench? What about the anti-asian graffiti in the downstairs UMC restrooms? Why was someone told not to discuss her sexual harrassment case? Why, when someone wrote a lewd message on an RA's door, it was investigated fully, and with forensic experts, but when someone writes "learn to like dick you fucking dyke" on a (straight) woman's door because she has a "safe zone" sign up, nothing happens?

Why is it that these "efforts to build a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of the campus community" 1) only seem to occur when there is a bias-motivated "incident" and 2) only seem to be aimed at the black population? (With all due respect and sympathy to Ms. Gebre-Michael and other members of the black community... but you're not the only ones.)

Why is it that these ememos seem to be damage control; a way to (try to) avert further scandals, rather than tools to actually discover the root causes of the incidents? (That's not the same as figuring out whodunnit... cops can do that just fine. The administration at this school should be examining _why_ these occur in the first place, and working to end them.) Why do they only come out after the press gets involved?

Why do I feel that, to paraphrase Mr. DiStefano, such hate-filled words _do_ reflect the values of this campus community?

Because change doesn't come because those in power say it does. Change comes when you and I make it happen.

Truly a Musician's Joke

Just thought this was funny...

A C, an E-flat and a G go into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me, I'll just be a second." Then an A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor.

Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims, "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight."

The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says, "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development." This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au natural.

Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.

The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, with the soprano out in the bathroom, and everything has become alto much treble, he needs a rest, and closes the bar.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

SIDDS - Sudden Instant Disk Death Syndrome

So, I've spent the evening, not working on homework or finding other amusing things to do, but dealing with a massive hard drive failure on my server. The server which houses my mailserver, the psp brothers-only website for my chapter, not to mention years of work by me and miscellaneous other things.

I'm kinda unhappy right now. It wouldn't be so bad, except that I don't have a recent backup. (Shut up.)

I guess it's not as bad as it could be, though. The mediawiki that acts as the psp brothers-only website was on a seperate drive, so it should be fine. Also, a number of other files were there, so that's not so bad.

Nevertheless, I bought a new harddrive and now have to completely (or mostly) reinstall Gentoo on it, which will take a long time. I'm going to focus on getting the brothers-only site up first, though, so that's Apache, MySQL, PHP. Maybe when I build the mailserver this time, I'll do it right. ;-)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Collapsing Menu Thingies!

Yay! So, I just added collapsing menus to my blog, using the code from http://www.dustindiaz.com/dhtml-expand-and-collapse-div-menu/. It was relatively easy, but it took a little tweaking to get it right. Anyway, enjoy the new collapsiveness, unless you don't have javascript enabled, in which case, enjoy the non-collapsiveness!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Scott's Blog

A quick update to let you know that my good friend and PSP Brother Scott has started a blog here on blogspot, so check it out! http://ortmage.blogspot.com/.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Why why and why?

Why is it illegal to pay someone to have sex with you, but not illegal to pay someone to have sex with someone else and then photograph it?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Petition for M$ to support ODF

Hey there, do you like being able to exchange documents with people all over the world? Do you like to be able to read these documents 5, 10, 50 or even 100 years down the line? Then, sign the petition to Microsoft to support the OpenDocument Format:

http://opendocumentfellowship.org/petition/

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

I would like to introduce you all to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to which I am now a subscriber. The head of the church has written to the Kansas City School Board (apparently controlled by a six-member Majority of Stupidity [think "Axis of Evil" only less likely to invade France, South Korea or Iran]), informing them that, if they are going to teach the so-called "theory" of intelligent design alongside evolution, they should also teach the theory that the universe and everything in it was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Because, after all, if it's better for students to hear two ideas about the Origins of Species, three would be even better. And we wouldn't want the students to not get a well-rounded education, would we?

Of course, if they used these 'theories' to teach critical thinking skills (they won't), then it might have some justification.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We've got another Nobel Lauraete!

Well, John Hall, who works here at the University (in JILA) and in NIST, has won the nobel prize. Hooray for CU/NIST!

Monday, October 03, 2005

RIAA Countersuit

Recording Industry vs the People has an article about a woman, Tonya Anderson, who is countersuing the RIAA. Not that I expect it to have much good come of it, but...

Oh, dunno whether anyone's coined this yet, but seeing as the RIAA and such are working so hard to dampen inovation and creativity and such, I shall now refer to it as the Recording Undustry.

Monday, September 19, 2005

GATHER GLBT Support Group

From Molly:

Hi Gather,

We will be starting a support group on

Tuesday September 27th from 5:30-6:30pm in the GLBT Resource Center

If you have any issues relating to your sexuality, are questioning, generally dealing with life, coming out, family, or anything else , please come! Everyone is welcome! This is a great chance for you to confidentially talk with other people in your situation (No, you are not alone!) If you are interested you can email, show up, or meet with me before the meeting.

What to do?

Firstly, I thought I'd say that, while I was in lab yesterday, a couple of the others who were there were discussing what would win in a battle of the states of matter.

Just thought it was amusing :-).

It appears that there's an Anarchist general info meeting tonight, on campus, which is interesting, because I didn't know there were any anarchists on campus besides me. I want to go, but I have dinner scheduled with Scott and Chris. Grr. And I don't know how to contact the group to find out when the next meeting will be. Maybe I'll reschedule with Scott and Chris. :-/

And I have just had a conversation about Prescilla, Queen of the Desert and "Ping-pong Pussy."

Also, Hugo Chavez was on Democracy Now! this morning, which was interesting.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Canadian Terrorists: Dropping the Eh?-bomb

Scott came up with the title for this post.

Brief update. Last night was Kyle's 21st birthday... and he got really really smashed. Hehe. Would've been better without the getting sick part, but you know how those things go.

Things are going well in general, though I'm busy with work, school and homework, as usual. I've been playing with the mediawiki, and it's mostly nice but there are some important features missing, like a calendar and better uploading capabilities.

Radgeek has announced another holiday, International Ignore the Constitution Day.

Oh, and the German elections didn't turn out with a clear winner (unsurprisingly), so that means it's probably Grand Coalition time... a joint German government of the two large centrist parties that claim to hate each other but only differ slightly in views and won't actually end up changing much. Oh, was anyone else frightened by Angela Merkel's claim to a "clear mandate", even though preliminary results showed 35% to 34% for the leading two parties? Sound familiar?

So much more to say, but so much homework to do, so ta for now.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Quotage

"Dick Cheney... that's, like, his job! To suck people's souls!" -- Bryce.

Why do I have to go to Chem recitation?

Grr... so, today I had an extended recitation for my chemistry class. I had thought it was going to be an actual lab today, but, no, instead it was three hours of wasting my time. Why do I need to go to this sort of thing?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Dark Pink Rose


Dark Pink Rose
Originally uploaded by emeraldimp.
So, apparently I need to go to the library more. While we were out chalking for DLP today, I came across these rose bushes next to the sundial. In the failing sunlight, I snapped a picture.

President Bush declares 'War on Weather'

This post is fictional (well... mostly) and intended as amusement only. Probably the people mentioned haven't said anything of the kind.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a move that Republican leaders called, 'decisive,' and, 'the mark of a true leader,' President Bush declared in a short speech today the beginnings of a new "War on Weather" in response to Hurricane Katrina:
"America will not stand for this kind of tragedy on American soil. The big boys of Weather have got to learn that you Don't Mess with Texas."

When reminded that Hurricane Katrina hit largely Louisiana and Alabama, the President responded, "When you mess with any part of the U.S., you mess with Texas."
"I call the nation and, most especially, the Congress to band together in the aftermath of this terrible act of destruction, and authorize a new Department of Homeland Weather Security to ensure that we can stamp out all those storms that seek to destroy our way of life here in the U.S."

The new Department of Homeland Weather Security was introduced to the Congress in March, 2005, under the title, "Weather Modification Operations and Research Board," passed out of committee in both the Senate and the House, and was passed unanimously, under the urging of President Bush, and will take effect starting October 1, 2005.

Critics of the President's plan call the Department, "impossible," and, "a huge waste of money," to which the President responded, "Which is a bigger waste of money, the hurricane or the department?" Critics had no response.

The purpose of the department will be to carefully monitor all meteorological activity inside the United States and near its borders, and detain or deport those storms that may pose a threat.

Mark Udall (D-Colorado), House sponsor of the bill, said in a statement following the president's speech, "The breadth of this department is wide. It will cover not only hurricanes and other tropical storms, but also tornadoes, floods and blizzards. This is the beginning of a new era of stratospheric peace, though the road may be long and difficult."

I Drew This: the Incompetence of King George

Normally, I would just post a link to I Drew This and have you read it yourself, but I think that D.C. Simpson is right on, and it's important that you read the whole thing. So, and please forgive me, D.C., here is the full text from I Think This from September 1, 2005:

The irony is enough to make you vomit.

Today, September 1, the Department of Homeland Security launched National Preparedness Month.

Preparedness for what? The display of unpreparedness going on in Louisiana is greatest human tragedy on American soil in my lifetime so far. How dare these people talk to us about preparedness. People are dying amidst disease, squalor and misery because of their unpreparedness.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm sorry. I'm really angry.

What we keep hearing, from the administration but also from people who should know better, is that this is not the time to "play politics" with the disaster.

Well, first of all, who's playing? I could not possibly be more serious.

And second, why do so many people have this idea that politics are a game? Some sort of popularity contest, unrelated to people's actual lives? I have news for you. Politics are the means by which we select the leaders who will, in turn, make policy. Policy affects your life. At times like these, policy can be the difference between life and death.

Poll after poll shows that people agree with the Democrats on almost every major issue. We would be a liberal country if we voted for the leaders who would actually enact policies we agree with. But we don't vote that way for some reason. You saw it in the last election. It was all "I'm going to vote for Bush because you know where you stand with him." And "I'm voting for Bush because he makes me feel safe."

It is not the quality of a leader's Clint Eastwood impression that keeps you safe, people. It is the quality of his (or her) policies. And this administration's policies are terrible. Al Gore's would not have been. John Kerry's would not have been. You would have agreed more with their policies and priorities. They would not have been asleep at the switch. America, your nearsightedness in returning this man to power made this crisis worse. It made people die.

George W. Bush said on "Good Morning America" that no one anticipated that the levees might break. That is flat out false. In fact, many people anticipated it. FEMA, in 2001, identified a category 5 hurricane destroying the levees and flooding New Orleans as one of the three major disasters most likely to befall the United States. One of the others was a terrorist attack on New York.

Well, guess what? We've had both. Guess what Bush did to prepare? Nothing. Then the administration looked us straight in the eye, both times, and said no one could have anticipated that this would happen. Well, bullshit, George. It's bullshit and I don't think you care.

This one is even worse, because in 2003 and 2004, the Bush administration specifically cut the funds for strengthening those specific levees, because it needed the money for Iraq. It's ironic that we were told, ad nauseam, that we had to invade Iraq because it posed a real threat to our safety and we had to be proactive. So, in the name of that, the administration took away the funds that might have prevented a far more likely tragedy from claiming so many lives, as it is now in the process of doing.

And who normally deals with these tragedies? Well, the National Guard. That's why we have a National Guard. It isn't designed to fight wars. It's designed to deal with domestic disaster scenarios. But nearly half the Louisiana National Guard is in Iraq.

George's vanity war and his neo-imperialist fantasy of remaking the middle east and his obsessive desire to slash his friends' taxes all came before these people's lives. And now they're dying. Old people. Children. Sick people. Mostly poor people, who couldn't escape, and, when the hurricane was bearing down on them, got no governmental help in doing so. And now they're dying, George. Dying.

Playing politics? George, you've spent your whole presidency invoking 9/11. You've spent your whole presidency trying to claim anyone who doesn't support your policies doesn't care if 9/11 happens again. This despite the fact that the other side tried to stand with you right after that tragedy happened. They ignored your policy failures; the fact that Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, gave you specific warnings about bin Laden and plans for dealing with them; FEMA's warnings that such an attack would be a huge disaster; and the fact that Hart-Rudman warned explicitly in Spring 2001 that one was coming. And you did nothing, but the Democrats let it slide because no one thought it was the time to dwell on past failures.

Well, now we're in it again, and in a lot of ways this one is even worse, and you not only did nothing to prepare, you impeded others' ability to do so. And again we're being told this isn't the time. Well, when is the time? How many times do you have to get people killed before we're allowed to talk about it? How many dead babies do we have to see on TV before criticizing the people who let it happen stops being "shrill"? I've had enough.

America, to you I say, this is proof that your policymakers should be people who are competent and whose policies you actually support. If you install a government because, gosh, they look likable and macho on television, you're going to get lousy policy, and people will suffer and die. It is not a game, it is not an abstraction, and you need to stop treating it so casually.

George, to you I say, we are not playing politics. You're the one who's playing. Playing golf, playing guitar in photo ops, acting like nothing was wrong the day after Katrina hit, the day the levees broke and New Orleans started to disappear. Giving speeches comparing yourself to FDR while lives were being washed into the Gulf of Mexico. You're the unserious party here. You don't get to base your whole career on playing politics, then urge others not to do so the moment politics becomes inconvenient.

People are dead because of your policies. If you really do talk to God, I hope he gives you an earful for this one.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Let me reiterate...

I love my TDI Golf.

Gasoline (the lowest octane) was $2.899/gal tonight. Diesel was $2.799. Plus I get 40mpg.

We made the right choice.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Some old Limericks

There once was a lady of Ryde
Who ate a green apple and died
The apple fermented
Inside the lamented
And made cider inside her inside!

There was a party of Lyme
Who married three wives at a time.
When asked, "Why the third?"
He replied, "One's absurd!
"And bigamy, sir, is a crime!"

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Today was a restful day. We got up relatively late, nearly finished off the waffles (and had some with pineapple!), and played cards for a while before showers. We went in to town, and stopped at Lighthaus to get mom a Compactflash adapter and another memory card. Then, to Border's so Steve could post for his classes while mom and dad went shopping. After returning, some swimming before trying out mom's new toys and dinner. Some TV, then I worked on labeling my photographs for posterity. Now I'm writing this.

Two weird things today: first, I broke Steve's nail clipper while cutting my nails. And I don't mean operator error - the metal snapped! Anyway, I suppose it was an omen, because shortly thereafter, Steve tor his toenail. It was bloody. Poor thing. I think it hurts a lot. He's sleeping now, though. Will try to do some reviews tonight. Nothing in the papers (that I saw) about tourists being trapped by a lava flow. Forgot to check the USGS website, though. Unfortunately, Amy's shots didn't turn out.

That's all for now.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I hate it when I don't have time to finish an entry. Ah, well. Here we go again...

We had pizza the evening we arrived, baked ourselves. Sunday, we rested a bit, and went to the Ali'i Gardens market, where we got leis for the incoming travellers. We met Amy and Brenden at the airport that evening, though we got there a bit early 'cause mom was excited. We got them checked into their hotel and had dinner at the "Kona Style Fish and Chips" restaurant. Pretty good, although we didn't have fish and chips. Then, mom, dad and I headed back to our hotel.

Monday, mom and dad picked up Amy and Brenden from their hotel, and Amy hit her head on the car roof getting in. Oops. We did a late checkout and we had lunch at Drysdale's waiting for the condo to be ready. That evening, we picked up Steve from the airport.

Tuesday we listened to Chris (that's the manager of the timeshare in Kona) tell ten-year-old jokes - although there was some new and some old info. We went to Costco to stock up, and we also had lunch at Quinn's.

Wednesday, we got up relatively early and went snorkeling. Steve shot a whole roll of film, and he got some nice shots. Brenden was attacked by a rock; Amy, Steve and I were attacked by fish. Then we hung out at the condo for the rest of the day.

Thursday, we went to the Hilo side of the island. We stopped at many places along the way... Waimea, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls. WE took a wrong turn in Hilo and spent a while trying to figure out the way back. We also went to the "Boiling Pots," though we couldn't see them boiling. Steve is sometimes rather adventurous... at Rainbow Falls, he found a trail and hiked back to the top of the falls. Literally... he has pictures looking down the waterfall. On the way, we also stopped at a pier/park that had some beautiful views. We think it was Laupahoehoe Park. We also found a Japanese (?) graveyard.

Friday we didn't do a whole lot, though we went up to the Keauhou Shopping Center for the Polynesian Paradise show. It was different this time. No male dancer and no young girls. It was also a bit better.

Saturday we went into town and walked around a bit. Steve and I watched the ocean for a while, and had a drink it Durty Jake's before we met for dinner at Hard Rock. After, I cut some pineapple for Steve while the others went to watch the sunset.

Sunday we rested and hung out at the pool until it was time for the Luau. We also picked up pictures from Costco. The Luau was good, but the don't have you take a picture with the Luau girl and boy anymore. Oh, well.

Today, we got up bright and early (8) and started out (~9:30) for Volcanoes National Park. We stopped at Kealekekua Bay (where Captain Cook first landed), and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (the City of Refuge). Also, we stopped at Na'alehu to eat. The bakery is very good. A bit later, we stopped at a black sand beach called Honolu'u. We saw some resting turtles there, too.

Later, we passed Volcanoes and went to the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. Lots of pretty orchids there, but very expensive.

After that, we went to Volcanoes and checked in at the visitor's center. The walk out to the lava is three miles each way, and the last couple miles, the ground has been falling into the ocean! We watched the video and took a look at the steam vents. The road to the sulfer banks is gone! We also went to the Volcano House to look out. Then, we headed down to Thursten lava tube and went through. Steve and I went beyond the lit part a ways with flashlights.

Then we went up to the Kilauea Military Camp for dinner. Now, we're heading towards Chain of Craters Road to see if we can see the lava. Will update later.

---Later---

Ok, so we went out to the Ranger station and looked through the telescope there and were able to see it flowing into the ocean. Steve wanted to go out and see the lava up close, so Brenden, Steve, Amy, mom and I hiked out across the barren, jagged field a ways - slightly past the end of the trail markers, though not all the way out and not as far as some people were going. We climbed up an outcropping and had a pretty good view of the lava coming down the mountain, but we didn't get very close. Then we came back to the car. As we were driving back up, we saw a glow off to the right side of the car. We stopped, an as near as we could tell, it was a new lava flow. Amy got a couple picture of it, so we'll see how they turn out. Pretty spooky - I think we got out in time. If there's anything interesting in tomorrow's paper, I'll save it.

We're on Hwy 11 again, we we're headed back to the condo. If anything interesting happends, I will write more.

Monday, May 9, 2005

(photo by SLehr, 2005)
Well, here I am in Kona, Hi, again. As always, it's gorgeous here. This trip should prove to be an interesting one. Along with mom, dad, myself and Amy, we have Brenden, Amy's fiancé, and we will pick up Steve, my boyfriend, from the airport tonight. With six, it should be an adventure. But let me fill you in on what's happened so far.

Saturday, we (mom, dad, and I) got up ridiculously early at 3:30am and Amy drove us out to the airport. Fortunately, the flight to San Fran was uneventful, as was the much longer flight from there to Kona.

Ok, so the others just got back, and apparently Amy hit her head on the car. Ouch. I think she'll be okay, though.

Anyway, on the flight to Kona, I mostly read, though I did work a bit on one of the plays that Amy and I are writing. During the flight, I was sitting next to a group of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. - 13 in all - who had decided to all come together to Hawaii. Pretty neat. After landing and getting the car and the luggage, we headed over to Quinn's for lunch, since it was only noon. Good food. The catch was Ono.

After lunch, we went over to the farmer's market and took a look around. There was an orchid show nearby, so we went there, too. So many types of orchids! Big, small, all colors... crazy. After that, we headed back to the car and came down to the Royal Sea Cliff and checked in. It's kinda a hotel, but the rooms are condos. It's pretty nice, although the pullout bed is pretty soggy. After a while, we went swimming. The RSC has two pools, a slatwater and a regular pool, though we're not convinced the saltwater is anything special.

Before I get started

The following posts, from May 9 through May 23, are from my personal jounral during my Hawaii trip in 2005. These were not originally posted on these days.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Wow... such a long time...

It's weird... the last time I posted about my life itself was February 11. And yet, there've been a lot of things going on in my life. So, here we go, an update on me!

I guess I'll start with the Journey and Chartering weekend. Thursday, March 3, Dusty arrived via a combination of airplane and bus. I spent the day with him, mostly just hanging out. Friday, I had class as normal, but Dusty decided to go ahead and get his tattoo done, so I met him at a shop on the Hill (though I don't remember its name). It looked painful; I don't think I'm going to get a tattoo. But, it looks pretty good. It's DLP letters, on the back of his right (I think) calf. We also tried to find something suitable for gifts for Cole, but didn't. That evening, the whole chapter, even the pledges, went out to dinner at Old Chicago. It was a nice meal, fun. Then we went back to the mentors' hotel room (well... some folks took a detour or two) and got our first clue, which was fun to solve. Most folks left, but some of us stayed and listened to stories for a while. Then the rest of us went home for some needed rest.

Saturday morning, we got up and met at Denny's for breakfast and the second clue. Eventually, we ended up: up the mountain, Target, Fascinations, Safeway, Pearl Street and Old Main before we had dinner (though lunch was in there somewhere). We did have some problems with some of the clues... a couple of times we went to the wrong place, but we eventually figured everything out. Then, the questioning at the UMC. Talk about nerve-wracking! But everything worked out, and we were initiated shortly before midnight on Saturday. Hooray! Sunday, we had breakfast at The Egg & I as full brothers of Delta Lambda Phi.

The other important set of events took place around April 14, which was my six-month anniversary with Steve. On Tuesday of that week, I masterbated with a friend, which itself was agreed on by Steve and me as acceptable. Unfortunately, although I stuck to the letter of the agreement, the spirit of such did not escape unharmed. And, in doing so, I hurt Steve, something I have never meant to do, which lead to the biggest argument that he and I have had. Really the only argument. You can read his comments, as well. As for me... it's in the past, and I don't think I'll discuss it more.

I had two (or more? I can't remember) concerts, as well. The DPO concert, which was titled "A Celtic Celebration," went really well. Probably among our best concerts, though it was, of course, not without fault. The Brighton concert... was not as good. It actually got snowed out and rescheduled.

I've also finished another semester at CU. Just finished my last two exams on Thursday. Unfortunately, they scheduled both physics tests on Thursday, so it was the hardest and most stressful day I've had in a long time. It was a great relief to be finished with them, even if I didn't do as well as I would've liked. Actually, I think the Quantum test went just fine... but I'm a bit worried about the E&M test. As for the other classes, well... I know I got an A in one and an A- in another, and I'm pretty sure I have an A or A- in the third, as well. So, at the very least, the semester grades look good overall.

Oh! Also, since my seizure, my parents decided to get me a new car. Something with airbags. I had a pretty stringent set of requirements, but we eventually settled/compromised on the VW Golf TDI (Turbo Diesel Injection... that's right, it's diesel!). So, the beginning of April, we actually got one. TDIs seem to be relatively hard to find right now. Whether it's because of the rising gasoline prices (creating a demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles) or that VW just doesn't have very many in the US is hard to tell. Now, "Why diesel?" you may ask. Good question. Firstly, the diesel engines are more efficient; my current gas mileage is around 40 mpg, and the fleet manager of the lot where I bought it indicated that this would go up as the engine is broken in. Secondly, biodiesel. Biodiesel is better than petrodiesel for a number of reasons, but one of the most important being muchly reduced emissions. Unfortunately, VW America has not approved B100 (or 100% biodiesel) for use yet. It has apparently approved B5 (5% biodiesel, 95% petrodiesel) recently, though I'm awaiting confirmation on that. And, biodiesel can be used in diesel engines with little or no modification. So, win-win. Better gas fuel mileage either way, plus the option of switching over to a better fuel in the (hopefully near) future.

And I love my new car. It's shiny and neat, not underpowered, and fun to drive. If things go well, I'll probably be a VWer for life.

What else? I can't think of much else to write about now. My family is going to Hawaii for vacation tomorrow, and Steve will be joining us this time. Very exciting! I love him so. Then, when we're back, I have a doctor's appointment (I found a lump on the inside of my leg, and it was pretty big, but it's shrunk almost to nothing now), and back to work after that. I'll keep a journal of happenings on the trip, though whether they'll ever make it onto my blog is uncertain, especially considering that I still don't have my journals up from the last Hawaii trip.

And, in closing, a poem:

Travels afar and journeys within
Broadening hearts or something akin
The goal of life; what joy's in.

Prelinkage

Ok, some prelinkage before a longer post.

RadGeek has some thoughts on crushing walmart.

Hmm... I guess that's it for now. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 02, 2005

I missed May Day

Again. Sigh. Someday I'll remember it. Fortunately, RadGeek remembered. He's not the only one, of course, but probably the best writer.

William Gillis has a post on why copyleft is morally unsound and what he's doing about it.

The Colorado Indymedia site was attacked, along with 10+ others. I'm going to see if I can help at all.

It turns out I'm nerdier than 82% of all people:

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


Also, eventually I'll post on the past few months. They've been interesting.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Anarchism, from La Liberation

Minus some important diacritical marks.

Aaron over at La Liberation discusses Anarchism, Habits and Mores. RadGeek tells the Democrats to grow a spine.

And I beat Kingdom Hearts today. Whee! Oh, plus we found a car! Yay!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Same ol', same ol'...

Radgeek posts Fathers for Lies, in which he looks at misquotation (or fabrication of quotes) to further one's ends, specifically how it was/is used on the Fathers for Life page in an attempt to discredit feminism.

William Gillis argues for technology and against primitivism and the ELF.

And Vision Circle ennumerates the ways in which America isn't No. 1. This piece is originally from the Austin Chronicle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Usual

DC Simpson has a nice argument up at I Drew This about the Terri Schiavo fiasco. I agree. :-D

RadGeek has a very nice article on the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' recent victory against Taco Bell. The article also includes criticism of some libertarian's attacks on the boycott.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sing a song

Sing a song of sixpence.
The lonely nighttime's cry
Shakes the heart with quiet words
And leaves me with a sigh.

When the soul is opened,
With angels can we sing;
And so the lover's deepest wish
With everyone does ring.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Monday, March 14, 2005

Friday, March 11, 2005

I've decided...

...that I rather like Senator Byrd. Though I do remember, at one point, him being likened to Cicero (Ciceroni!), grandly orating while the Republic fell into Empire. Read some of his speeches.

Also look at The Long Tail, and Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools: How to Sell Your Book, CD, or DVD on Amazon.

Quicklinks

Is this Photoshopped? I don't think so...

MoveOn.org: giving up. (From CommonDreams)

The Progressive Democrats of America. Haven't decided about these folks yet.

A.N.S.W.E.R.

BuyBlue.org - well, it's something.

I'd also like to mention del.icio.us . It's a 'social bookmark' website, and really pretty neat. Take a look. Mine are at http://del.icio.us/emeraldimp/ . Hopefully I'll set them up on the sidebar soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hehe

Just saw a very funny domainname: pin.ed.gov .

Hehe!

Gross

Yeah... once in a while a double-yolked egg is interesting... but two whole dozen? (From the Orthodox Anarchist.)

S'more stuff to keep you entertained...

...or at least make you think. (Is it sad that that seems backwards from how it's normally said?)

media girl writes,

What a lot people -- mostly men -- don't seem to understand is that women's control over our own bodies is not negotiable. We are not slaves. We are not breeding machines to be regulated and controlled by the government.


Right on. In the meantime, Daily Kos notes that "This is my body".

We also learn, in a comment from Jo Miller

...about the derivation of the excellent word "kakistocracy[." I]t is not from the Yiddish kaka, though given the context you might be forgiven for thinking so. It's from the Greek kakistos, meaning worst. Kakistocracy is government by worst. Worst in the sense of "most hopelessly unqualified," or worst in the sense of "has fewer morals than a tuppenny skinhead crack whore." Or in this case both.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

OK... After this, I'm going to bed

I found something completely unexpected while searching for music/audio files in OGG Vorbis format: the Long Now Foundation.

Basically, the idea behind the foundation is that we need to counteract the foreshortening of the future; in the past few decades, people's attention has gone from anticipating several decades into the future (eg, Orwell's 1984 or 1950's depictions of "the year 2000") to the next few years, to, essentially, only the here-and-now. Danny Hillis, the foundation's founder, says something I found rather profound and interesting:

I think of the oak beams in the ceiling of College Hall at New College, Oxford. Last century, when the beams needed replacing, carpenters used oak trees that had been planted in 1386 when the dining hall was first built. The 14th-century builder had planted the trees in anticipation of the time, hundreds of years in the future, when the beams would need replacing. Did the carpenters plant new trees to replace the beams again a few hundred years from now?


Plus a neat diagram illustrating the difference between "now", "nowadays" and "the long now", as seen by the foundation.

Now, of course, whether or not you agree with the foundation's purposes or you think they're a bunch of crackpots (or conmen), there are some really neat ideas: a clock built to last 10,000 years, chiming once a century. The Rosetta Project, an effort to catalog, record and permanently store, on optical disks that are human-eye visible (with a microscope... the point being not based on any computer language or operating system, etc.), all the known languages on Earth; (This isn't likely to happen, of course, since many languages are quite near extinction and documentation takes a long time... nevertheless, a good effort could be made); a permanent of human knowledge; and possibly more. There are even some actual benefits right now: the Rosetta Project is a live database, and though I haven't explored it thoroughly, it looks somewhat promising; there is also the Longviewer (aka the Timeline Tool), an Open Source timeline software tool. Looks interesting, and is supposedly running on the Biotechnology milestones page. There's also supposedly a permanent email server of some type.

Besides... I really really want one of the Rosetta Disks... it looks cool and I could be a keeper of a really neat (and important!) piece of history.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Good Doctor is Back!

Okay, so I just had to delete the 5 exclaimation points I put in the title of this post because I'm such a fanboy.

Doctor Who is back! I would stay up until midnight or 1am on Fridays and Saturdays to watch the back-to-back episodes on PBS. I have the made-for-TV movie on VHS at my parents' house. I freaking dressed as the Doctor one Halloween! I'm just so excited!

(Interesting to note what people get excited about, isn't it? Very telling about our culture...)

More linkage!

Okay, really and truly I'm going to write about the weekend soon. But first,

Some amusing (and scary-because-it's-true) comics from Barry Deutsch.

A reminder that today was International Women's Day.

A link to feminist blogs, to go in the sidebar and complement anarchoblogs.

Mouse Words, a feminist blog that I like so far (almost as much fun as Pinky!)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

No big surprise here...

Well, okay, the 25% fascist was a surprise. Otherwise.

You scored as Anarchism. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>

Anarchism

100%

Socialist

100%

Green

92%

Communism

75%

Democrat

67%

Fascism

25%

Nazi

0%

Republican

0%

What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, March 03, 2005

the Facebook

So, I've noticed something unsurprising but interesting about my facebook connections.

Visualized, there are two main groups: queers and PSP. The queers, though a number are also in the fraternity, are more connected, and least in regards to who's connected to me, than PSP.

And, of course, there are a few scragglers, and one or two crossovers.

Interesting. Facebook is a fun toy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Uriel-lovin'

Just thought I'd share this quote from one of my physics profs with y'all. This is about an actual homework set that we had:

Problem one is standard. Problem two is standard. Problem three is standard. Problem four won the Nobel Prize. It is a trivial problem.

New sidebar links!

So, I updated the sidebar, and changed the structure a little bit. There's now an 'alternative media' section, seperate from the blogroll and the main links. I also added KGNU, Pacifica Radio, Democracy Now!, and FAIR. Take a look, stream some content... if you're in the Boulder area tune to 88.5FM, or 1390AM in the Denver area, for some KGNU. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yay for Chavez!

Denny at Where We're Bound notes that Reuter reports that Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela) has embraced socialism.

w00t! We're on our way! (Drawing off of LeftThought's Adding to the added comment to the current times post that, even though it's not the end, it's at least moving in the right direction.)

EDIT: So long as Chavez doesn't screw it up, intentionally or otherwise.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Blogger Profiles

So, in case anyone looks at my profile, it seems that it doesn't actually update the stats very often. I've posted since November. Really I have.

Friday, February 11, 2005

A month later...

...and I still haven't posted about Steve and my 3-month anniversary. So, let me enlighten you.

It was a Friday night, and I took the S down into Denver, and got on the mall shuttle to head towards the Barnes and Noble that we had agreed to meet at. Imagine my surprise, then, when Steve gets on at one of the stops at the mall! I've always said my timing was good, but wow! Anyway, we rode the shuttle to our stop and went into the bookstore, where we spent a good deal of time looking at books (the reservation wasn't for an hour or so). Then, we went over to the restaurant, Maggiano's, and were seated. Very classy place, serves Italian food. Very good and big Italian food. Anyway, so we order and have some wine and garlic bread, generally enjoy ourselves and eat (half, it turns out) of the dinners (I can't remember what it was called... I don't think it was cannoli, but I dunno). Then we decline dessert and pay (well... okay, Steve paid... :-P) and go over to Tarantula Billiards, which is a pool hall (never woulda guessed, huh?), and shoot a couple of games of pool, which was fun.

Now the annoying part.

We decide to head back to Steve's place, so we go outside and call a cab. As in, phone the cab company and request one be sent. Well, we stand out there for a while, and plenty of cabs go by, but none stop. Forty minutes go by, and Steve decides to call again. It'll be right out there, ten minutes, they say. Okay. We wait fifteen more, and he calls again. Hmm, no, turns out that our request was never put in. So, we've now spent an hour in the cold (like, near 0 F) waiting for a cab that wasn't coming. We say "screw this" and hail the next cab that comes, which takes us to Steve's place.

Anyway, that's about the whole story. Overall, a good night, but we learned something new about taxicabs.

ChangeThis

So, I was surfing the web today, and I came across ChangeThis, an organization "on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds." They accomplish this by publishing "manifestos," which are essentially short articles (on the order of maybe 1000 words) on various topics. What's interesting is that they insist on clear, coherent argument... a change, they say, from the mainstream media, from television and radio. They may contact you to write a piece, or there is a submission process as well. In any case, the few manifestos that I've read so far were decently written and, even though I don't agree with them completely, at least made sense.

So, take a chance, check them out. A warning and a suggestion: all the manifestos are in PDF. But, for once, the PDFs are decently laid out for screen. And, take a look at Dated for Freshness, a decent concept piece on requiring all laws to expire in time.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Churchill and H. R. 418

Firstly, I'd like to point your attention to Where We're Bound's discussion of H. R. 418, which would, by WWB's interpretation, would be "the end of laws." He says:

Let me restate that in plain English for you: If H.R. 418 is passed into law, the Secretary of Homeland Security, a Bush appointee nobody elected, will have the right to declare null and void any law...

No judges will have the ability to overrule the Secretary of Homeland Security’s judgment in declaring null and void ANY LAW.


EDIT:Take a look at the ACLU's interpretation.

Meanwhile, Radgeek writes about Hoppe and Churchill. He discusses how you don't have to agree with their arguments in order to agree that they have the right to make them, as well as drawing an important distinction between Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

Finally, Pizzuti speaks about Churchill's speech on Tuesday (Colorado Indymedia).

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Added Links

I've also added two blogs to the blogroll: The Rad Geek People's Daily, and Where We're Bound.

Further Discussion of Churchill's Article

In Some People Push Back, (available at the Dark Night Press and Ratical - note that these versions are different) written shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Ward Churchill presents an impassioned argument that the attacks were unsurprising and even understandable. Many years - centuries, if you take the crusades themselves as the beginning - of conflict with the "Christian West" have resulted in extremely devestating circumstances in the Arab world. Including, "deliberate genocide", as denounced by former U.N. Assistant Secretary General Denis Halladay. Something that Madeliene Albright, "calmly announced that she'd decided it was 'worth the price' to see that U.S. objectives were achieved."

He does indeed, as you may have heard, liken the american people to the German people under the Nazis, which, given the circumstances, is a relevant comparison; few, if any, spoke out against such actions, in Germany or in America.

The comparison to Eichmann is too far, but everyone who doesn't speak out against these crimes, when informed of them, is complicit. Which includes myself.

The basic point of the article seems to be, to me, that one can't go around bullying people all the time and expect for none to strike back. Maybe we should, like, not bully people anymore.

Ward Churchill's Article

First, the article.

Then, Pinky's commentary

Also, Where We're Bound has an opinion piece on it as well.

Finally, I quick view of my own to be expanded on later: he's right, duh.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Never again

Today is the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

Never.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Response to comments

First, in case you didn't notice, I sided against the radicals more than against the conservatives, so :-P.

Secondly, and I quote, "[w]hile I sympathize with the radicals in that they don't want to be around people whose basic outlook on life includes segregation and hate (I wouldn't, either), there are a lot of people who are 'republican' or what have you that aren't." Seems like I mentioned that "[c]onservative and republican do not automatically equate a belief in segregation and hate." Maybe I should have said 'don't' instead of 'aren't,' and put quotation marks around some of that bit, which are not my own words, I should add.

In addition, yeah, the radicals have the privilege - they're the ones that first started holding 'All Queers' meetings. The moderator/facilitator, btw, was not a radical.

I also seemed to advocate for inclusiveness in the queer term, even the more conservative ones.

I will agree that radicals (far lefters, not the strange concoction by [who?] that are actually reactionary/fundamentalist) can be very black and white in the way that they see issues; I, however, though I do have strongly-held beliefs concerning politics and, well, actually lots of things, try to exercise balance and thoughtful consideration on issues (though I will admit I don't always succeed). That's one reason I have a blog: through dialogue with others I can ensure that my opinions are well thought-out, and that I have communicated them well.

Clearly you failed to read the entire post, and did exactly what I was complaining about - people not listening to each other.

As a parting shot, 'queer' was adopted by the "more extreme radicals" as a way of turning something hateful into something to be proud of, so if anyone has claim to it, it's the radicals.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Linkage and All Queers

Summerisle over at Times of Hate, Times of Joy brings up some interesting points while discussing socialist rhetoric and how to move forward, and tells us that a vision of the possible future should be presented. I can't say that I agree 100% -- part of anarchy is allowing different world-views to come into being -- but, it would certainly help when I'm trying to explain anarchy to someone. Rather than using vague concepts, I would have all the answers and convince them and they'd become anarchists and everyone would live in (mostly) peace and harmony.

Of course, in doing so, they would have a preconceived notion of anarchy that was caused by me, and might act coercively to ensure that their own notion was implemented... and possibly be the only notion implemented, which also isn't right.

Hmm. It might be late. Well, regardless.

Last week, at the All Queers Meeting, there was some drama. Note that this is all second-hand. I've heard two people's stories, which means I see two sides to the whole thing, though there are, of course, many more. Basically, there was a more conservative element present which felt threatened by the more radical element that was also present, who felt threatened by the more conservative element, and instead of everybody listening to one another (which they are still not doing, and instead are gossiping), each side blamed the other for being who they are (basically) and got all angry.

Never mind that the meeting was an 'All Queers' meeting, not an official group meeting, and that anything decided would be carried out by whoever felt like carrying it out, and (most importantly, because this is something that the 'more conservative' side didn't seem to understand) no one was obliged to participate (which is the basic valid point I gathered from the radical side).

Meanwhile, the radical side seemed to be unaccepting of the desires of the more conservative side to work on outreach to the, um, 'even more conservative' (ie, queer republican) elements in the community. While I sympathize with the radicals in that they don't want to be around people whose basic outlook on life includes segregation and hate (I wouldn't, either), there are a lot of people who are 'republican' or what have you that aren't. And, again, it was an 'all queers' meeting, and that implies everyone who calls themselves queer, even the conservative ones (which is a couple of basic points from the conservative side).

Note that my use of 'radical' and 'conservative' throughout this post is to refer to the two main protagonist/antagonist groups that have emerged, and should in no way imply that I am not a radical.

In other news... Things are going well with Steve. Things are going well in general, except that I have a lot of homework. And I promise to write more, but it's now almost 12:30 so I'm going to bed.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula K. LeGuin

On the planet Winter, conditions are harsh and forboding. Temperatures rarely lift much above freezing, even in the summer. In the distant past, before the collapse of their civilization, the Hainish colonized this cold planet, and their descendents now inhabit the milder regions, though vast glaciers cap the poles. The Gethenians, though, have an acute advantage: most of the time, they are genderless, existing without sexual drive nor possessing any genitals per se. However, entering kemmer, they take on male or female characteristics, different ones each time, and are fiercely driven to mate. If impregnated, he returns to a gender-neutral state while she carries the child to term, and then returns to a gender-neutral state as well. Otherwise, both return immediately.

Genly Ai, an envoy from the Ekumen of Known Worlds, comes to Winter to negotiate a trade agreement. Being the first alien on Winter, and being of only one gender, and that constantly, he is regarded suspiciously, and considered a pervert. The Left Hand of Darkness tells how, through a series of hardships, he comes to understand the Gethenians as they are, rather than through a dichotomic lens.

I enjoyed this book, and, admittedly, even for our own time (the book was first published in 1969), the book has controversial themes. But, I read this book in the hopes of shaking my way of thinking about gender a bit, and I don't think that happened much. I don't know whether it's because I find it easy to imagine an entire planet of people lacking a specific gender, or if the book itself didn't go far enough. One of my complaints is that I wasn't constantly reminded of it; LeGuin uses 'he' for all the characters, with possibly an exception for those in a female phase of kemmer, which might also mean I've envisioned a world populated entirely by men that can have babies.

Otherwise, the book was interesting as science fiction (or, if you prefer, speculative fiction). LeGuin also deals with the common themes of politics, outsiders and mysticism, threaded throughout the narrative and seperate chapters with local legends and stories of Winter.

Overall, I recommend this book. LeGuin, even removing the element of gender, can write an intruiging story, well worth your time. Plus, you get to find out what the Left Hand of Darkness is. ;-)