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Republicans

Journal: John McCain, MySpace, and Code Theft 2

Journal by janeowit

At first I thought the "prank" on a presidential candidate John McCain seemed a bit petty, making his myspace page say he has reversed his position on gay marriage just because someone in his campaign used some code without crediting the author.
But McCain doesn't seem to know his own position regarding contraception, and seems unclear if condoms prevent HIV, so he pretty much deserves any prankings that come his way.

Plus all that intellectual property crap is important too.

User Journal

Journal: Finally a Folk Song About Ikea! 12

Journal by janeowit

I think I found a musician that writes lyrics even Some Woman will find hard to ignore.

Jonathan Coulton, the contributing troubadour for Popular Science magazine, rocks my socks off... and writes songs that show off an incredible sense of humor and intelligence. Music hasn't been this fun and educational since They Might Be Giants.

To prove my point...

I give you Exhibit A, the hilariously catchy "Ikea".
(Billy the bookcase says hello
And so does a table whose name is Ingo!)

Exhibit B, the hopefully mathematically, and otherwise, correct "Mandelbrot Set".
(Mandelbrot's in heaven, at least he will be when he's dead.
Right now he's still alive and teaching math at Yale...
Just take a point called Z in the complex plane
Let Z1 be Z squared plus C
And Z2 is Z1 squared plus C
And Z3 is Z2 squared plus C and so on
If the series of Zs should always stay
Close to Z and never trend away
That point is in the Mandelbrot Set)

And last, but, certainly not least, the "Flickr Song" that beautifully narrates this video. I don't know which part made me laugh the most; "Dwyer's rocking out on air guitar" or "as it turns out, the eyepatch is A-OK!"

United States

Journal: Virginian State Legislature at Work

Journal by janeowit

I think it's a little overdue, but Virginia says it's sorry about the whole slavery thing.

If you are as curious as I am as to what goes into a bill apologizing for your state's role in establishing the role of slavery in the New World, here's the full text. I think it's worth reading, I can't convey how disturbingly and thoughtfully detailed it is. How there are specific incidences of Native American tribes helping the people of Jamestown paralleled with similar listings of bills and acts to undermine them. It goes beyond saying that Africans were enslaved, it says how they were dehumanized in a way unlike any other form of involuntary servitude.

And the closing, the reason for this seeming fluff piece of legislation, is truly beautiful.

"The most abject apology for past wrongs cannot right them; yet the spirit of true repentance on behalf of a government, and, through it, a people, can promote reconciliation and healing, and avert the repetition of past wrongs and the disregard of manifested injustices.

In recent decades, Virginia's affirmation of the founding ideals of liberty and equality have been made evident by providing some of the nation's foremost trailblazers for civil rights and electing a grandson of slaves to the Commonwealth's highest elective office.

The story of Virginia's Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, the human carnage, and the dehumanizing atrocities committed during colonization and slavery, and, moreover, the faith, perseverance, hope, and endless triumphs of Native Americans and African Americans and their significant contributions to this Commonwealth and the nation should be embraced, celebrated, and retold for generations to come.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby acknowledge with profound regret the involuntary servitude of Africans and the exploitation of Native Americans, and call for reconciliation among all Virginians.

And, be it resolved further, That on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the settlement at Jamestown, the General Assembly call upon the people of the Commonwealth to express acknowledgment and thanksgiving for the contributions of Native Americans and African Americans to the Commonwealth and this nation, and to the propagation of the ideals of liberty, justice, and democracy."

Isn't your heart just a little bit warmer? Let's all hope we never have draft one of those, because I can't think of a more difficult thing to write.

Microsoft

Journal: Don't try to pretend it was a coincidence, IE 7.0! 4

Journal by janeowit

For the past month I've been harassed by a bubble that keeps telling me I need to keep my computer updated. It isn't one of the security breach fixes or a new way to ensure I have a valid copy of Windows, so I haven't gotten around to it until now. They want me to upgrade to internet explorer 7. And I have to admit, it's great! They have tabs!! No more constantly opening pages in new windows. So far it has made my internetting experience more pleasant, except for the little iTunes side effect.

It took maybe 20 minutes after the computer restarted to realize that I wasn't listening to something. iTunes is a permanent fixture in my taskbar, and is usually open whenever then the computer is on. So I go open it, the program is still there, but inside is an empty shell. No songs. No videos. Nada. Zilch. I check the pod, and everything is still on there, and am thoroughly relieved.

There's still a problem, if I just hook the pod up, it will automatically sync to match the library, which doesn't exist. First things first, I do a system restore to a time when I know I had a good, working library file. Of course I'm not that lucky, and it still comes up empty.

So I get all the songs off the pod into a different player that isn't going to automatically erase them. Once I know they are secure, I open iTunes, plug my pod in and have her memory erased. It was the saddest thing ever. Import the the folder. Voila. New library created.

So I have the same material I had on my ipod before. I know lost some stuff that I didn't copy to the pod, but it probably wasn't that good. I also lost all my playlists and ratings. That's the part that will take me months to recover from.

I can't figure out what would make this happen, and why I couldn't search well enough to have it fixed well.

User Journal

Journal: Franken for Senate 5

Journal by janeowit

It's still not definite, but it's getting closer to actually being official. First Al Franken decided to leave Air America (his last day, Feb. 14) and said he was contacting Minnesota lawmakers about the feasibility of a possible run for the Senate. Now a "a senior Democratic official from Minnesota" says he has made his decision and is going to run! I'm going to take it as fact because I've been ready to jump on this bandwagon since he first mentioned it two years ago. Who needs experience when you're funny?

P.S. Speaking of Als, I sure hope Gore gets that Nobel prize.

User Journal

Journal: I wish I had a warranty 7

Journal by janeowit

I never realized that the human body would fall apart so early in life.

Just add one more thing to my pile of health potatoes (I don't like to call them problems). I think I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand. About a year ago, my hand started going numb when I read, but I just assumed that I read at an odd angle. Then in November it started happening more often, especially when I drove. I asked my mom about it, and she said it was just something that happened when you aged. I sort of believed her, but was confused about the asymmetrical aspect of it.

For the the last three weeks I've been waking up several times during the night because my hand is numb. Usually if I shake it out, it feels better and I can and turn over and go back to sleep. Last week the hand started going numb during the day, and required regular shaking. Combine that with regular wrist aching, and you get one frustrating "part of aging". So I googled my symptoms.

I think I have carpal tunnel. In one wrist.
Wah, wah, wah, somebody better call the wahmbulance.

United States

Journal: Miss America Pageant: Best Answer Ever! 4

Journal by janeowit

When Miss District of Columbia was asked the question, "If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?" She knew she had to be original, not flying or invisibility, nor any of the cool powers they have on "Heroes" (I love that the little boy can steal from ATMs) and she had to have a good reason for it.

Her answer?
I would like to be able to be a fly on the wall in any location. That way I would be able to know where Osama bin Laden was hiding, and also know what my best friends really thought about me.

I'm not even kidding. I don't see why she didn't win, sure, other girls made vague references to peace, but Miss Not-Even-A-State seems to be the only one who remembers that we wanted to capture bin Laden and she picked a superpower that would help. Plus she'd know if Miss Delaware was talking smack about her behind her back. What's more American than that?

User Journal

Journal: You like me, you really like me...

Journal by janeowit

I don't know if you got around to reading this article, but if you you might find that the third comment is rather insightful.

I'm still glowing with the delight that you only see on girl's face the first time she is modded outside of journal. Thanks to whoever had the points. I know it was an inside job.

User Journal

Journal: [Redundant] Kid Dakota show and embarrassment 19

Journal by janeowit

All in all it was a good show Wednesday night, as far as the circumstances allowed. It was my first time at the 331 club since they started enforcing the noise regulations last November. I guess the inspectors finally got around to the bar, and cited it because it is located in an area that is not zoned for the live music. They are still allowed to have one microphone for amplified vocals. The bar has been around since the 1940's, so it is trying to get testimony that live musical performance has been a part of the bar since before the city was zoned, so it gets to be grandfathered in somehow.

But for now, they only have one mic. So it was sort of adorable to see Darren share that mic with his guitar. I think there is often a childlike quality to his performance, with his pressed tightly together and his eyes shut, but when he is hunched over, and his chin is almost resting on the guitar it just adds to it. If I wasn't familiar with the situation, or it was my first time, I'd probably be thinking that this guy had no stage presence, and I might even feel kind of uncomfortable because he never looked up. But it wasn't, so I though it was good. I actually don't think he needed to be as close to the mic as he thought he did.

During the third set, a very well dressed (and therefore out-of-place) couple came in and sat right in front of me. Making them the closest people to the stage. And they ordered food, and no one in the front orders food, you sit in a booth in the back, which is where people who aren't there for the music usually sit, but anyway. So they sit there, with their heads together, talk through the songs, and laugh at Darren. Like, tee hee hee, did I hear that right? It was really bothersome. When I left I accidentally got blue sharpie on the side of her Coach purse. I wonder if she'll find that as frustrating as I found her bad etiquette.

He played three sets, twenty-three songs total. Only eight have been previously released. Two of the songs I'd never heard before which is always nice. It's hard to get a song I haven't heard at least once. But I knew the lyrics to the rest, just from seeing him play so often. He almost never plays Ten Thousand Lakes, one of his most popular songs, because it requires a capo and he never has one. If you're lucky he can borrow one from another band that's playing, but he rarely remembers to ask. Last night he told us the reason he needed one was because he wrote that song when he used to smoke a lot, and now he can no longer sing it in that key. Fun fact!

Also I embarrassed myself tremendously. More than I ever have in the past. I try to have one interaction with him per concert because I think it might make me come across as a real person with good qualities, rather than just a stalker who comes to all his shows and then leaves without saying anything. So I stopped him as he was leaving because I wanted to know if he had any idea when the next cd would be out. I mean, last summer he said September, and in September he said in December. He decided not to even estimate anymore, but one song is completely done, and eight are almost done. So that part of the conversation went ok.
Then he went off script. I wasn't prepared for anything else.
He noticed Palmie in my lap, and tapped my wi-fi card and asked what it was. Also, he had been using a palm pilot for his set list all night. I tell him, he seems confused about it. The fact that the bar has wi-fi and I know that could be confusing. Then he asks if I have a good web browser. I say yes, and then I assume that there is going to be a follow up question about what I have, about which I have no clue. And that's when things go terribly wrong. I absolutely hate the phrase "verbal diarrhea", but that's what it was. I volunteer the information that I got it for paying tuition at pharmacy school, so it came with everything on it. Including a program with odd health information like lists of what medications can cause discoloration of urine. I'm getting sick from just recalling this conversation. Yeah, we talked about urine colors. But before he left I got back on track, and told him he should really stick with the September 2006 release date. He laughed pretty hard, and shrugged and said "maybe it's out already". So it ended well.

But I really think I need practice talking to people who aren't the very specific groups of people I talk to regularly. I think I need to learn how to have conversation. Is there a community college class I can take on that?

User Journal

Journal: Thanks Bees. 4

Journal by janeowit

I don't normally read the back of the bath products I use. I find that whole lather, rinse, repeat thing unnecessary. Once is plenty. But this morning I found myself reading the back of the very good smelling Clementine body wash I was using.
Amid the usual stuff there was this line "Honeybees provide environmentally friendly and natural solutions to everyday needs, and so do we."

What!? I think bees provide very few solutions to my everyday needs. Or is it that bees provide solutions to the bees' own needs, and The Savannah Bee Company is also working to fulfill the needs of bees. I don't quite understand.

Either way, I don't think we appreciate bees for the environmentally friendly work they do. Next time you see a bee make sure to let her* know you're thankful for making a difference.

*According to the Savannah Bee website, about 99% of an average hive is female, that place is chock-full of fun facts.

User Journal

Journal: Happy Birthday Some Woman! 16

Journal by janeowit

I just wanted to wish you very vocal birthday greetings since I doubt you'd appreciate a phone call at this time of the morning.

I start classes today bright and early (8am, ew), and didn't want to forget. And I didn't forget, because the coolest people are born on the sixteenth.

I'm not sure how you intend to celebrate, but there is a loverly birthday concert in your honor tomorrow night that I'm sure you want to join me for. It's THREE HOURS of acoustic, un-amplified (thanks to new neighborhood regulations) Kid Dakota music! I will be there celebrating in your honor, and I'll be sure to drink a ginger ale for you.

Otherwise, I was thinking we should meet for some cheesecake.

Happy Birthday!

User Journal

Journal: Emotional Rollercoaster thanks to Ray and Buzz 3

Journal by janeowit

Hey kids.

Remember that great version of "Jingle Bell Rock" I found on the web?
I found a new hit internet tune, and it might be the actual best song ever. Have you heard "For All Employees Under Stress (Whip Somebody's Ass)" yet?

Also, I cried during an episode of Numbthreers tonight. Yesterday I was reading, and I ended up sobbing, but it was a book, so it was ok. But it is never ok to cry because Buzz Aldrin made a guest appearance on a television show that is about using math to solve crimes. I'm avoiding Hallmark commercials at all costs.

But I haven't cried about starting school next Tuesday... yet.

Movies

Journal: Four Eyed Monsters. Free Screening! On Second Life? 5

Journal by janeowit

If you may or may not recall Some Woman and I went to see the Minneapolis premiere of the independent film, Four Eyed Monsters.

Some Woman proclaimed that the "movie was a lot funnier than we thought it would be. I don't feel like I wasted my time or money, so I declare it to be a good movie. It had a very amateur documentary feel to it, because it pretty much is an amateurish documentary about their relationship. And trust me, their relationship is interesting and/or weird enough about which to create a documentary."

And I said "I thought it was a great movie, something I never would have thought of thinking about. So if you get the chance to see Four Eyed Monsters, written, directed, and starring Susan Buice and Arin Crumley, go. Even if it doesn't move you, there are funny, funny, scenes, lines, and characters."

Now that we've reminisced, I'm so excited to tell you that you actually get a chance to see the movie, for free, on the internet. Tonight, Tuesday, at 8pm EST the movie is streaming in Second Life. Get all the particulars at http://foureyedmonsters.com/secondlife/.

This is my first foray into Second Life, and I'm thoroughly confused by the whole thing. But I'll be there, or my name isn't SouthDakota Jannings. Which is what my Second Life name is. If you do show up make sure to say hi.

Wednesday morning you too might be saying, "I saw the first screening of an independent feature film in Second Life, and I don't feel like I wasted my time", to your friends, family, and coworkers and feel slightly superior.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.

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