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Journal Journal: In Soviet Union the Rich Eat You! 5

I always had the idea that given enough hard work and a bit of luck, I could move up into the "upper class." I recently came to the realization that it just isn't going to happen.

Lottery winner? Please, you couldn't even buy your way into the club; the servant's entrance is around the back.

My better half, who runs a personal assistant business, just landed a client who is one of the top muckety-mucks of a F500 company. Part of the deal is they want someone "they can trust" to wire up their house for all kinds of electronic goodness (wireless/wired i-net, cable, stereo in every room, blah, blah, etc). She recommends me, so I go over to their house to see what they want and figure out how much to charge.

Okay, first of all, this house has something like 8 bedrooms (not including all the bathrooms, studies, storage areas, closets, *pant*). And it is just one of several homes they own.

How about the two closets (each one the size of my living room) that hold either the winter or summer clothes for the Missus? Yeah, her shoes have their own room, too.

Oh, and don't get me started on their five car garage. I thought I was in heaven when I finally got a two-car garage (my tools got a home! woot!)

So, I'm looking at all of this, and I'm thinking, there's no way. From what I understand, a lot of it is for "show" -- part of the rich thing is throwing lots of social events. The other part is that they can.

I'm not there, and I'm not sure I could ever be there. Throw down $10k on a shopping spree (clothes!) in one afternoon? No way. Blow $300 on lunch, every day? Get real. Fly to another state just to personally sign some papers, then get right back on the next outgoing flight (tickets all purchased that day)? You must be joking - overnight the papers to me. Hang a Picasso in your Foyer, because you can? I'll see it in a museum, thanks.

The Media

Journal Journal: Who should write laws on marriage? State/Feds? 5

So the Nebraska state law that sripped rights from gay and lesbians to marry, have civil unions...or breathe was struck down.

"Those damn dirty 'activist' judges. Let's kill them all" -- Tom Dee-Lay

Okay, here's a radical idea: the government gets out of the 'marriage' business altogether. No one gets marriages. Instead, you apply for and are issued a civil relationship license and enter into a contract for the same. The requirements for civil contract are the same as they are now: two (or more) legal-age adults, who are of sound mind, etc.

If you want to get "married," then you go to your Church, Mosque, Temple, or Ryan's Family Steak House and get the officiant to mumble the words, light in incense and rattle the beads to complete the ceremony your individual belief system may require.

What about divorce?

That would be written into the civil contract - a method of dissolution/bailout clause/whatever.

For your "marriage," simply go to Ryan's Family Steakhouse and order the #12 without gravy.

Music

Journal Journal: This land has trousers, this land has lots of mousers 11

So, I decided to get off my dead ass and learn the guitar.

Over the weekend, I picked up the next-to-the-bottom model from the local guitar shoppe. The very helpful salesman steered me away from the cheapest because the next-to-the-cheapest came with an electronic tuner. How did anyone ever tune their axe before the invention of the e-tuner? Man, it is so easy: pluck the string, then either tighten or losen the string as the little gizmo sez, and when the light is green, the trap is clean. Uh, right.

The guitar also included a DVD that had some freak reject from Kajagoogoo (the hair, man!) walk you through the basic parts of the guitar (check), how to tune it (check) and then some basic chords (oh man). I doinked around on it for a bit and then called it good.

Anyway, today was my first class. Lo and behold, but those few chords that I learned from the DVD were the ones we did first: G, A7 and D. Schweet! My fingers are totally trashed from practicing, and I have hacked the hell out of Margaritaville, but I'm actually playing it! w00t!

Sci-Fi

Journal Journal: Never give a sucker an even break 5

Some select Bush quotes:

"When I first read that in the newspaper about the need to have passports, particularly today's crossings that take place, about a million for instance in the state of Texas, I said, 'What's going on here?'"
-- April 15th, 2005 (emphasis mine)

Zip back a few years:

Interviewer: How do you get your news?

"I glance at the headlines just to kind of a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves."
-- Sept , 2003

So, did he happen to read the newspaper this time, or is he just a lying sack of shit?

Sci-Fi

Journal Journal: In your face, US! TEXAS RULES!!!!! 8

Okay, so the Texas State Senate passed a bill that the RIAA is creaming over: if you record a movie in a theater, you can be detained and get fined, etc.

The unintended consequences are CHOICE: no longer will I have to put up with stupid idiots who insist that their useless conversations on cell phones must take place during the movie.

The relevent sections of the bill:

Sec. 35.935. UNAUTHORIZED OPERATION OF RECORDING DEVICE IN MOTION PICTURE THEATER. (a) In this section:
(1) "Audiovisual recording function" means the capability of a device to record or transmit a motion picture or any part of a motion picture by means of any technology now known or later developed.

Yes, that would be a cell phone: it can transmit the soundtrack part of a motion picture.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly operates the audiovisual recording function of any device in a motion picture theater, while a motion picture is being exhibited, without the consent of the owner of the theater.

No, you don't have consent. That's why one of the many trailer/ads have the "turn off your cell phone/pager" riff. Answering the phone = "knowingly operates the audiovisual recording function'."

(f) A person may not obtain damages in a civil action against the owner or manager of a motion picture theater, or an agent or employee of the owner or manager, arising out of an act taken in the course of detaining the person on a good faith belief that the person had violated this section,

Okay, here's the sticky part: am I, as a patron of the movie theater, an "agent"?

The bill's sponsor thinks so:

Senate Bill 481 would establish new criminal penalties for unauthorized movie recordings and allow movie patrons to collar people they think are violating the law and detain the suspects until police arrived.

"I guess you could have a citizen's arrest," said the sponsor, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio.

Wot a country!

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: Lock and Password your phone, people! 11

Seems that one Patrolman Christopher Green, upon pulling over a drunk driver, discovered some nude photos (of the driver) on her cell phone.

Being the Good Ol' Southern Boy that he is, he copied them to his PDA.

Two weeks after he pulled her over, he called the driver and invited her to a restaurant. Then, on the day of her arraignment, he showed the pictures around the courthouse.

It is unlikely Chris will get any jail time or a fine (the blue line protects their own, and whatchu lookin' at, boy?!), but he'll probably get a little slap on his wrist and a warning to 'not show the stuff in the courthouse...save it for the bar after work' or 'upload it to the internets instead'.

Welcome to Texas.

Update 1:03 CST: I flubbed the link code - thanks to Johndiii for providing the right one. It's fixed now.

Television

Journal Journal: Supreme Court to Ignorant Nutjobs: buzz off 6

So, the SCOTUS correctly declined to hear the baseless case of Terri Schiavo's crazy parents.

The end o' the line is near. Their last hope is that Jeb will overrule all 22+ court decisions and take the cortex-less body into State custody, but the likelyhood of that happening is low.

What is most disturbing is Congress' meddling in local affairs, passing laws that violate the Constitution and generally disregarding case law, all because the nutjobs want the govt to help god fix the situation.

I don't think god needs their help. If the god really wanted the cortex-less body to suddenly grow a new cortex, it could easily make it happen, being all-powerfull and all. It would have already known about this, being all-knowing, so the fact that it doesn't grow a new cortex in the Terri's mush-filled skull means GOD DOESN'T WANT HER TO LIVE.

Hello, earth to nutjobs: go home; your work is done. The god has spoken by taking a vacation.

The Matrix

Journal Journal: Son of a biscuit

What do you say when you can't say anything else?

So, we're getting ready to take the trek out to Los Angeles tomorrow; my sister had her baby boy two weeks ago (should we hook 'em up with Fortknox's daughter?).

I'm really looking forward to getting some good eats (Roscoe's Chicken 'n' Waffles, Tommy's Burger, etc), seeing the peeps, and getting a little relief from this 80 degree (26.67c) weather we've been having -- in Frebruary!

Yesterday I get the nasty cold from hell. I can feel it coming on Monday afternoon, and by that night I'm sweating and my body is producing buckets of mucus. Gaaahh!!!! I load up with drugs, and get 10 hours of fitful sleep.

Today I'm feeling a little better.

More sleep 'n' drugs tonight, and maybe I'll feel well enough by tomorrow. I can't really hang with the baby for a few more days until I get over this thing... sucks.

Oh, and I have no desire to eat anything. It is not fair.

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