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User Journal

Journal: Time to Confess, all You Liars! 7

Journal by claudia
I've been remiss in keeping up the Liar's Club, but it's time for you liars to 'fess up.

My truth: I love pickled herring.

P.S. The next meeting of the club will introduce a new, exciting twist. Stay tuned.

User Journal

Journal: You are hereby invited..... 39

Journal by claudia
It's the official inauguration of the super-duper exclusive Slashdot Liar's Club. I am rolling out the red carpet and the front door has been christened with a bottle of Thunderbird.

Now, to begin. You get to tell as many lies as you want, but there must be one nugget of truth amongst them. Your fellow club members get to guess which one is true. The truth must be revealed within a week.

Being the gracious hostess that I am, I shall start:

1. I am Bethanie.
2. God doesn't just talk to George -- he talks to me, too, and this is what he had to say.
3. I am having an affair with Eric S. Raymond. Sorry to break it to you this way, sweetie, but I thought it would be easiest.
4. I love pickled herring.
5. I love Linux.

Hardware

Journal: What Is Causing That Infernal Racket? 20

Journal by claudia
I live in this large apartment building in San Francisco. They're always renovating whenever someone moves out. They replace the windows and hardwood floors. Lots of banging, hammering, and sanding.

The two neighbors below me moved out, so this noise has been going on for weeks.

It usually starts in the late afternoon and goes on for the rest of the day. My floor shakes. It vibrates!

I got so tired of the noise, I ran out of my studio and was so muddle-headed I forgot my keys. I had to collect call my sweetie because my cell phone was dead and I had no money. He called a locksmith ($65 for two minutes' work!) - all because of the damn noise.

Back to the construction: They usually stop at around 5 or 6, but tonight, the noise went on until slightly past 9 pm. I called the landlord to complain. Why are the sanders still sanding so late? Don't they know people are trying to have dinner in peace? He promised to look into it, and sent someone to check on the room below, where (he claimed) no work was being done, and in fact work had stopped hours before.

But the noise continued. And still the floor vibrated.

It was only after a fitful dinner that my sweetie took a look under the bed, where the noise was loudest. What could be causing that infernal racket?

My vibrator. Under the bed. Buzzing away on the hardwood floor.

oops.

User Journal

Journal: Thanks, friends 1

Journal by claudia

I wish I had the energy to thank each of you personally for your kind regards for Raz and also sharing tales of your pets. They make us more human, after all.

I'll just say to all of you: Thank you.

User Journal

Journal: Bye, my sweet kitten 10

Journal by claudia

I've always grown up with pets --- mainly cats. We had one pedigree dog who was rambunctious and led us on thirst-inducing chases through the Nevada desert.

Cats, however, don't need to go through that effort. They just sit there and expect that you will love them.

One night, some friends and I came back to my apartment and the Queen of Cats (Xantha) sat there just like the lovable, enticing Queen she was, deigning to chat with us! She did! She loved everyone. Even people that didn't like cats loved her. We were all adoring and chatting with her when she suddenly keeled over. It was either a stroke or heart attack. We ran to the vet immediately but there was nothing they could do for her, as she had already passed.

Now, today, I've actively decided to put one of my cats down. I've never done that before. His name is Rasputin. He's 16. Tomorrow at 3 pm. How did I know? I gave him some catnip -- his favorite thing in the world. He just sat there, his eyes glazed over and told me he didn't have the effort. Yes, he hasn't been feeling well lately and I don't like keeping him in further pain.

I've never done this before, but he definitely deserves a eulogy.

Pets have always died naturally in my world. When do you put someone out of their pain? Yes, I include pets in the "someone" realm.

Bye, sweet cat.

User Journal

Journal: Just another typing monkey 1

Journal by claudia
"Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare."

"Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard..."

Typing monkeys

Oh, how I needed that laugh.

Television

Journal: A Little Experiment 2

Journal by claudia

Today, I conducted a mistaken, misguided anthropological experiment (to put it in it's best light).

I no longer have a job to go to, but that's an aside. Suffice it to say, my job, the last software engineering position, was outsourced to India without even a pilot test.

Now, normally I'm a rabid news junkie -- not only of the online variety but cable as well. The only other thing I'm fanatical about watching is The Food Network. That's usually all I watch (but I'm not anti-television by any means).

But, dammit, today, I got lazy. I was working on the resume, watching CNN, fiddling with taxes, reading The Agonist, wearing my sweats still at noon without having yet taken a shower, petting the cats, and opening the refrigerator door every few hours thinking there might be something new and yummy in there for me.

That should have been an omen. Hindsight, and all that.

I got bored and restless and started flipping channels on the remote. Well, before that, I had a glass of wine which I usually don't do during the daytime (too often).

I flip and stay on this channel I've never really watched -- Lifetime. I'm a curious type, but, good god, it's the Spanish Inquisition televised with advertisements. Sadly to say, I watched a whole movie.

The commercials, however, were the worst.

Everything frightening you could imagine happening to you as a woman was shown -- sleeping in bed at night and a strange man taking a knife to your throat (and this was a commercial!).
They're making money off of this crap.

I've taken to calling it the Victimized Women's Channel. In their eyes, the world is all about being a victim well, because, you're born a woman and no one is ever going to treat you right so sit down and watch how other women are being victimized because you might feel better.

What horse-fucking-shit.

What did I do afterwards? I took a shower and out of the corner of my eye, noticed my Origins Foot Scrub. Now, this is stuff you use to rub the callouses off your feet -- you know the hardened ones on your heel or big toe. I took it and practically used the whole tube on my body. Afterwards, I still felt defiled. I have an urge to run to Walgreens and buy boxes and boxes of Biore pore cleanser and plaster those little suckers all over my body. I want all that
Lifetime crap sucked out of me.

Anyway, just a hint for the unemployed. If you're gonna watch Lifetime -- make sure you have lots of scrub and soap and loofahs around.

United States

Journal: A Message from a father of the Constitution 16

Journal by claudia

The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty by James Madison, August 1793

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . .

[There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and . . . degeneracy of manners and of morals. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. . . .

[It should be well understood] that the powers proposed to be surrendered [by the Third Congress] to the Executive were those which the Constitution has most jealously appropriated to the Legislature. . . .

The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war . . . the power of raising armies . . .the power of creating offices. . . ..

A delegation of such powers [to the President] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.

The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted. The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them, is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them. The separation of the power of creating offices from that of filling them, is an essential guard against the temptation to create offices for the sake of gratifying favourites or multiplying dependents.
---------------

James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. This is from Letters and Other Writings of James Madison.

User Journal

Journal: What Fresh Atrocity is This? 2

Journal by claudia
Bush wants to do away with OT pay for many positions by making them exempt.

I've always understood exempt positions to be the white-collar professionals such as investment bankers, environmental engineers, and those like me, software engineers. The article states, "Now it's been distorted to provide overtime to engineers making over $80,000 a year."

I've never heard of an engineer being paid OT, mainly because it's an exempt position. We generally make enough money to pay our bills, and more, even though some weeks are damn brutal. I don't need to be paid OT. However, I have worked in non-exempt positions, such as an admin assistant, which paid so shittily I relied on the OT to pay the bills and take an occasional trip. Not to mention dealing with the narcissitic boss with an overblown sense of entitlement. I like seeing the harrassed, long-suffering exec. assistant paid the OT instead of me; or for that matter, anyone who has to deal with that sort of crap. We exempt people are fairly removed from it, for the most part.

My first thought is that this is extremely bad for the economy. OT is what drives companies to hire new workers because it is so costly to them. Do away with OT, and companies might now have the opportunity to milk 60- or 80-hour weeks out of what are now non-exempt positions instead of hiring someone new.

Could this potentially be a setback for the economy?

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: A Bun In Another Kind of Oven 4

Journal by claudia
It's not just for girls anymore. It's a male pregnancy.

I ran across this site today and was taken for about a minute until the science didn't quite add up, especially about the umbilical cord. Still, it's an intriguing idea and a brilliant hoax. I even fooled a couple of people at work.

But, I started to seriously think about this possibility. Could this technology come about in our lifetime?

When I read Douglas Rushkoff's "Media Virus," I was struck by how he defended talk shows. I've always hated them. However, he postulated they were useful because they helped acclimatize us to cultural situations and possibilities, such as interracial marriages. They helped to make it commonplace.

Could web sites now be doing this for our scientific future?

User Journal

Journal: NFL: The South Rises Again 4

Journal by claudia

I'm addicted to this little thing called American football. They don't wear shorts like in soccer.

Predictions:

Eagles vs. Falcons: Eagles have homefield advantage and it's the worst field in the NFL. I'm still going with Vick and the Falcons in a narrow upset. McNabb will play, but not the entire game.

Tampa Bay vs. 49ers: No huddle offense vs. Warren Sapp and Gruden's outrageous brilliance on O & D. Brad is back. Oh my. 49ers can't keep up the no huddle the entire game, so I'm going with the big D and TB by 1.

Raiders vs. Jets: It's going to be either a shoot-out or a shut-out. Gannon's on his last legs, as is Rice, and they're tasting it. Jets are hot, but Raiders by 3.

I might be eating crow on Monday, but I can always spice it up and make it palatable.

User Journal

Journal: Globalization: U.S. vs. Ireland 5

Journal by claudia
I ran across this very interesting article on Metafilter regarding globalization.

I'm not too surprised that Ireland ranks first. The company I work for drooled at the prospect of opening an office in one of the hottest tech cities in the last few years: Dublin.

But why is that?

Take a look at the top 10 countries on the list. What I find immensely interesting is that not only are they hosts to various UN organizations and international courts, but not a single one of them has a strong military. Also, none of those countries have a foreign policy which aims to impose its will on other countries.

It will be interesting to see in future years how the U.S. fares on that list. My prediction is that it will drop.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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