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Journal Journal: How fair is that? 1

Under a new bonus plan, the thrift's executive officers can get a cash bonus this year worth up to 350 percent of their annual salary, (the company) said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For (the CEO), the new criteria could increase his cash bonus to $3.5 million from $3 million, based on his base salary of $1 million last year.

This, after raises for the peons that don't even match up to the increase in inflation.



User Journal

Journal Journal: On being "different" 4

I've been following SarahAnnAlien's JEs with great interest. We all have our own issues to work out, and I am very interested in the process that she is relating to us publicly to resolve some of her issues.

Funny thing. I am not an alien (as she has called herself, referring to the transgender thing) but I can really relate to a portion of her entry number 1.

To quote, "An then there were the local support groups. At one point I was going to five different support groups for trans-this, queer-that... I went to everything I could find. I did my best to participate in the community. It took about a year and a half, but I eventually realized that there were two basic reasons why I was a bit uncomfortable in the groups. First, just about every single person at the group, while very friendly, was also very, very different than I was. I couldn't really relate to them, since they seemed to be on a completely different wavelength or something, and they couldn't seem to relate to me... but usually insisted that they *did*, despite evidence to the contrary. And second... sigh... what's a polite way to say that there's a whole lot of really fucked up shit in that community? There probably isn't one, huh? Anyway, I decided that I didn't want all that crap to become part of the person I would grow up to be... so I gave up on the groups, and the community, with a very few exceptions."

It's the whole support group thing that I can really empathize with.

You see, on September 14, 1994 (part of my "year from hell", as it's known) I was arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) and as part of my Deferred Prosecution, I was required to attend a two year alcohol treatment program and attend AA meetings.

At the precise moment the police officer asked me to step out of the car, my whole attitude towards alcohol changed. I made a vow that I would never consume any alcohol, ever again.

Later that morning, after I had sobered up and had to explain to my Mother why I was home but my car wasn't, I called my psychiatrist and said, "Your suggestion of a couple of months ago was right.* I need to know what I can do to help myself prior to going to court for this."

He scheduled me for an evaluation and some tests that confirmed that I was, in fact, a stage 3 alcoholic. He suggested that I start attending AA meetings, and located a two year outpatient alcohol treatment program that was specifically designed for women.

When I went to court, representing myself, I presented the judge with all of the information and the fact that I had done my research and had been proactive in showing that I had permanently quit drinking and was taking steps to follow the laws (at the time) for a deferred prosecution. He said something like, that's good, follow the rest of the rules and I'll see you in two years to rule on the final charge.

So I dutifully followed directions and went to the treatment and AA meetings, among other things, and the thing that I figured out very quickly was that I was different from everyone else there. For AA, I went to many different meetings, both mixed and women only. The treatment was women only.

I was not like other alcoholics. First of all, I only drank one or two days a week, but once I started, I couldn't stop. The other thing was, I was done with drinking. It was no longer an option in my life, but everyone else at these meetings insisted that it was a difficult thing to quit. There were complaints about not being able to attend parties or go to a place with alcohol (a bar) or even being with friends that still *drink*, not to mention not being able to have alcohol in the house for fear of a relapse.

The alcohol treatment counselor didn't like me much, I didn't fit into her little box that was labled "alcoholic" so she didn't really know *what* to do with me. I was an unknown and because of that, there must be something wrong with me.

At the mixed AA meetings, I made some friends, though none of them lasted past the meetings. I have some good memories and some kick *ass* sayings, (my favorite is "It's ok to look at the past, just don't *stare*.) but it didn't really help me. I avoided the all women ones. Some of the stories that I heard there were messed up and I try and keep them blocked from my memory.

Finally the two years ended, I appeared before the judge and he dismissed the charges. It has been over 11 years since I have had any alcohol, and I have never been *close* to a relapse. One of the *big* things that I did a couple years after the arrest was to go on tour to Germany with my choir. (Germany, GERMANY! Beer capital of the WORLD!)

I guess what I'm trying to do here is to give you a bit of encouragement, Sarah.

I got "well meaning" unasked for advice from other alcoholics and what I learned to do was to smile and say, "thank you, I'll take that under advisement." and promptly go off and continue my journey, in my own way.

Stop answering these e-mails with long explanations of what you've tried and what hasn't worked. Simply say thank you and go on your own merry way. Remember, opinions are like assholes, every one has one. Most of them try to tell you that their opinion is the best and the only one that will work for you.

By all means, read the e-mails and if you find something that you *haven't* tried or would like more information on, persue it. If it's the same old stuff, say thank you for your suggestion, and leave it at that.

Don't waste any more of your precious energy trying to convince other people that you *are* different.


* He had mentioned, a couple of months prior to my arrest, that he thought that my consumption of alcohol was becoming a problem. I denied it, and he left me to continue until such time that *I* realized it had become a problem and came back with my tail between my legs asking for help.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why is it? 4

When friends decide to de-clutter their lives as a new year's resolution, it invariably means that your own life ends up more cluttered?


User Journal

Journal Journal: "I fought the saw and the saw won!"

Well, actually *I* didn't. BBB did.

He had previously slayed an oversized hedge (about 35 feet tall, 14 feet wide and at least 20 feet long) and was working on cutting up some gia-mungous pieces to be hauled away in a truck. They were being particularly stubborn and refusing to be subdued by his electric chain saw, causing it to kick back and slash open the side of his hand.

Him being the manly-man he is, went into the house, cleaned up the wound, took some clean paper towels and duct taped them around his hand and proceeded to finish helping load the truck with the guy hauling away the hedge.

He then picked me up from work and together we proceeded to the emergency entrance of the local hospital. Turns out the wound was pretty deep and between 1 and 1 1/2 inches long. The doc decided that because of the location (side of the hand, next to the knuckle on the little finger) that he would use dermabond instead of stitches to seal up the wound.

Probably the hardest part of the whole ordeal was when the nurse (the "white faced jackal" as he fondly called her) cleaned out the wound thoroughly, so that the dermabond could be applied to seal it. Poor man was squirming in his seat, good hand doubled up in a fist from the pain and he couldn't do anything to her because she's female! (it's the biker credo, protect the women and children) Fortunately, the doctor only came in and applied the dermabond and then left again. (he was male, of course)

All in all, he's fine, though his hand is a bit sore and he won't be able to abuse it for at least a week. (not that it will stop him, of course)

Enough of that adventure for now.

I have noticed that my JE's have been sporadic lately, though mostly from SSDD syndrome.

The holidays have snuck up behind me and yelled "booga booga booga!" scaring the daylights out of me. I was so busy with the choir concerts, singing for Christmas, that the holidays are upon me and I have only half of one gift purchased.

I also haven't been posting much from work lately because I hardly have time to breathe, much less post on the 'dot. You see, we are short two people. One is on a planned maternity leave, the other on a surprise medical leave and in our department we merely share the workload, putting off some of the tasks until such time as one or both return. (after the new year, hopefully)

It's a sucky way of doing it, but I'm not going to complain too loudly. The days go quickly, because there is alway something that *has* to be done. (that hasn't helped me be motivated to get my home tasks done, like shopping for Christmas presents)

I actually got the chance to post tonight, because I thought it better for BBB to rest after the adreneline rush he's had today. We postponed the planned shopping expedition until later in the week, after he's had a chance to come to terms with his temporary limitations.

Hopefully I will find the time to post again during the holiday weekend. If not, I wish you all the best for the holidays and the coming year.



Journal Journal: C: go boom! 3

So, I've been having a little trouble with my computer over the past couple of weeks. Usually powering down and starting up again would allow me to use the computer for about an hour before I was ready to quit or it happened again. (rebooting didn't work, because when it froze, it froze *everything* so the 3-finger salute was useless)

Wednesday night my luck ran out. the powering down and back up didn't work. It didn't recognize the C: drive.

Now, about a year or so back, I found I needed more memory, so I had added an 80gb hard drive. All of my documents and pictures were stored on the new drive, the old C: drive had all the programs. (Note to self: time to make sure a regular back-up schedule is put in place)

The other piece in this is the fact that BBB is a gamer. We have been talking for a couple of months about upgrading his computer and giving me the guts to his machine, since mine was basically original to what I had bought in 2001. I was still running Windows 98, and BBB had Windows 2000. I had recently done a game study for the Evil Empire and as a comp gift, I got a copy of WindowsXP Professional which had not been installed yet.

Wednesday night, my computer said, "quit stalling!" and promptly refused to work any more.

So, Thursday after work, BBB and I met Talinom at Fry's. After much searching, discussion and education (1) , I dropped $1,100 on new computer parts(2).


Friday after Talinom got home from work, he started gutting BBB's computer and placing parts in mine(3). By the end of the evening, I had a computer back up and running.

Saturday, Talinom worked all day(4) and by evening, BBB had a new computer. He's playing Guild Wars now and the graphics are teh awsome!

So that's just a piece of how *MY* week has been going.


(1) Talinom 'splained the difference between video cards to me. BBB had to step away because his brain was about to asplode.

(2) Thankyouverymuch, RW. As I said on the phone this morning, I know that this amount would have bought a whole new computer, but that would have been more of a basic one. It really was cheaper to upgrade the gaming computer, rather than to buy a new one.

(3) Yes, it would have been easier if I had just taken BBB's case and bought him a new one, but I didn't want a flashy one, so I made it much more complicated for Talinom.

(4) You sould see this geek at work. He is awesome. Thank you, thank you Talinom!


Journal Journal: Meme on a slow Friday 2

1. Legal First name? Shh! Don't tell anyone it's Karen

2. Were you named after anyone? Yeah, my sister's best friend at the time. She hasn't been friends with that person for a very long time, tho.
3. Do you wish on stars? Sure, why not?
4. When did you last cry? Sunday evening, watching Extreme Home Makeover. I'm a sucker for a sad story.
5. What is your favorite lunch meat? sliced turkey
6. What is your birth date? 23 May 1961
7. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Absolutely! Who wouldn't?
8. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Moi? Sarcasm?? I wouldn't do *that*! (see answer to no. 7)
9. What are your nicknames? Red is the most common, but I've been called all kinds of things.
10. Would you ever bungee jump? My brother-in-law said it best. "I'm not going to pay someone to make me piss my pants!"
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Depends on the type of shoe. Sometimes I wear them without the laces just to tweak people.
12. Do you think that you are strong? Yes. More than I should be, sometimes.
13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Black Licorice, but I rarely get it because you can only find it in old fashioned mom-n-pop ice cream stores.
14. Shoe Size? 7 or 8, depending on the shoe
15. Red or pink? Green
16. Who do you miss most? My mother.
18. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Blue jeans and green and white Adidas.
19. What are you listening to right now? The Bob Rivers Show on KZOK
20. What did you eat for breakfast? Chocolate cake with butter cream frosting
21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Burnt Sienna
22. What is the weather like right now? Cool and cloudy. Waiting for the next predicted storm to arrive.
23. Last person you talked to on the phone? BBB
24. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Their smile
25. Do you like the person who sent this to you? She's a woman after my own heart (since I took this from bethanie's JE)
26. Favorite Drink? Kaliber, the only na beer worth drinking. It's made by Guinness
27. Hair color? Red
28. Do you wear contacts? Gas-permeable hard
29. Favorite Food? steak
30. Last Movie You Watched? I don't watch many movies, but I did watch most of Ghost the other day.
31. Favorite Day of the Year? My birthday. I always wear my tiara.
32. Scary Movies Or Happy Endings? Happy endings, I'm an optomist at heart
33. Summer Or Winter? Winter
34. Hugs OR Kisses? Has to be hugs. Love that full body contact.
35. What Is Your Favorite Dessert? Cheesecake with fresh fruit
36. Living Arrangements? Manufactured home in a trailer park (commonly called "trailer trash")
38. What's On Your Mouse Pad? The 3-eyed squeezy toy from Toy Story. You press the button and it says, "Greetings, Oh Enlightened One. Oooooohh"
39. What Did You Watch Last night on TV? Cops. We had a friend over to the house and it was on in the background.
40. Favorite smell? fall holiday baking.
41. Favorite junk food? Cheetos
42. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles
43. What's the farthest you've been from home? Which direction? I've been to Australia and New Zealand, and in the other direction, I've been to the Czech Republic and Poland.



Journal Journal: Safe and secure 3

I came to an interesting realization last night. I am very comfortable and happy with myself.

I am in my 16th year with the Boeing Employees Choir. This year is the first year that I have not gotten horrible shakes during my annual audition. I do not cringe and hide, hoping that the director will not notice me, so I can get out of singing in a quartet in front of the rest of the choir. I sing boldly and confidently, including wrong notes, even though I stand in the front row and the director and accompanist can clearly hear me.

Driving home from choir last night, BBB and I were discussing what had happened in practice. The director sent the men home early and the women stayed and worked on the quality of the sound that we produce. When my alto section was required to sing our part alone, I sang confidently, knowing that I produce the sound that the director is looking for.

I don't think that I have an outstanding voice. As a matter of fact, I hate listening to myself. I just know that I have the type of sound that the director is looking for. (a couple of years back, I tried my hardest to get out of the annual audition and the director told me that I didn't really *need* to do the audition, he just loved the opportunity to listen to me sing.)

So, what has changed to suddenly make me unafraid to sing out and with no fear of failing in the process?

I feel safe.

Part of it may be the fact that I *have* been in the choir so long, and the director likes my voice. Part of it may be the fact that I'm well past 40 and haven't had any major dire consequenses in any of the mistakes that I've made getting here. I can feel pretty safe that anything I try and fail at isn't going to be too big of a problem.

The main reason is the fact that I feel safe and secure with BBB, that I can be myself, whoever that may be. I can be playful, somber, happy, sad, angry . . . whatever suits me at that moment in time.

It is quite a nice feeling.



Journal Journal: WTF? 4

Ok, so I'm reading my friend's JEs, and switch back to my "messages" page and there are no messages there!

I flipped back and forth between different screens and no dice. Nothing comes up.

Fine. I'll do the stupid "log out, log back in" thing. Hrm, my main page says "21 New Messages". Click on the linky that they give and *Poof* NOTHING. No messages.

Now mind you, I have already looked at several JEs, and commented in one before this happened.

What gives?


User Journal

Journal Journal: It's not easy bein' green 2

This little story is from my best friend. I got this in an e-mail this morning, and I thought I'd share a laugh with y'all.

The Second Plague

That would be.....frogs.

So. I'm driving home late last night. It is pouring down buckets in Bonney Lake, and as I'm peering through the windshield at the really dark 2 lane country road that leads to my house, I'm thinking, "wow! It's raining soooooooooo hard, it must be hail mixed in with that -- look at some of those big drops BOUNCE!" And about a mile along, I'm thinking, "ok....that's really wierd, cause all that bouncing hail just isn't happening within the rhythym of the rain...." And about the time I turn into the road into my subdivision, I'm figuring out, "oh my God....that's not hail -- it's FROGS."

You see, my house is across the street from the Fennel Creek Greenbelt, and we have lots of frogs. (In fact, they are so loud in the summer, ya gotta close your windows to sleep since they love to sing loudly all night long.)

So, anyway, I back into the driveway (trying not to think about the fact that it's more slippery than usual because I've probably run over a bajillion cute little frogs on my way in) and I grab the umbrella and run around to get my breifcase out of the trunk -- and come to a screeching halt, because between me and the trunk of my car are dozens of frogs, covering the driveway and garage door. "Okaaaaaay.....I'll just be leaving the briefcase where it is, and not touching that garage door then...." So, I go onto the porch to get in the front door....and there are the REST of the dozens of frogs, covering the front porch step and door. "Good grief.....how do I get in without letting in the frogs?!? Cause I am NOT staying up half the night shoo'ing frogs out of my house!"

So, there I am, jumping around on the front porch doing the go-a-WAY-frog-dance, in the pouring rain, at 10:30 at night....hopping up and down and waiving my umbrella.... I'm just hoping none of the neighbors were looking out their windows ("what kind of wierd religious ritual is that woman doing?!?"). Finally, I'm having to resort to sort of flinging the frogs off the door and step with the tip of my umbrella (gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "frog-sticker") -- all the time trying not to hurt them -- and my mom comes to the hall window and is looking at me like what-the-hell-is-my-child-doing-NOW?! And I'm going, "DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!! DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!! THERE'S FROGS!!! THERE'S FROGS!!!" And she's looking at me like I have sprouted 6 heads or something.....

Finally, I get them off the door and doorstep, and I'm yelling, "Open the door!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!" And I go leaping in, and close the door -- and then have to check my shoes, hair, pantlegs, the umbrella...to make sure I haven't brought any in with me as passengers. And we're looking out the window at the porch, and they are everywhere.....The guy across the street has his garage light on too, and they're everywhere on his garage door also.....

Ummmm......repent sinners? Please? Cause I am just not up to coping with lice and locusts, etc., etc.....

Hope your Friday is frog-free! :)



Journal Journal: Norton lies like a rug 3

Last year, in September, I bought a copy of Norton AntiVirus 2004, capable of being installed on 2 pcs.

For the last 2 weeks, I have been getting pop ups on my computer saying "Your subscription to Norton AntiVirus software is about to expire. Do you want to renew now?"

Fuck You and the horse you rode in on! NO, I DON'T want to renew!

So, a week ago I decide that I'm tired of getting this information. Go online to the Norton website. Look for the FAQs.

Do they answer my question of whether I would have to buy 2 subscriptions for the 2 pcs that I got the software for last year, or could I get away with buying one for both. No answer is forthcoming, so I decide to call the support phone number and get some real answers.

I dials the number, and connect with someone with an accent. After much wrangling, the answer I receive is "you have to buy two subscriptions."

So, you're telling me that Norton no longer sells software for two or more pcs?

Fuckers. According to the prick that I talked to, Norton doesn't offer multi-pc software any more.

"Fine. Since you idiots can't supply me with the software that I require, I guess I'll have to go someplace else for my anti virus software."

Today, BBB decided to stop at Fry's while he was out running errands. He had seen that they had the book for Guild Wars on sale, and was hoping to find a copy. Since he was there, he decided that he would check to see what antivirus software was available.

Guess what? Norton *doesn't* sell software for 2 pcs. The sell it for 1, 3, 5 and 10 pcs.

Not only that, the software for 3 pcs is regularly $89.99, and Fry's has an instant rebate of $10.00. Cool, only $79.99.

But wait, there's more.

There is a mail in rebate for $50.00! Nice, that drops the price to $29.99. And if *that* wasn't enough, if you just *happened* to have bought a copy for LAST YEAR (like me), there's an additional $20.00 rebate.

My Norton AntiVirus 2005 software will cost me $9.99 in the end.

Take THAT, you fuckers! Not only did I NOT have to buy 2 subscriptions for my pcs, I have an EXTRA copy for my laptop!

BBB stood and listened while the sales rep at Fry's called Norton and asked the same question that I did. He was told that Norton didn't offer multi copies of the software any more.

BBB walked off laughing after the sales rep asked the dude what he was supposed to do with all the copies of the 3, 5 and 10 user copies that he had on the shelf.

Doncha just love stupid customer service reps? (sneaks off chuckling softly to self, preparing to install the new software)



Journal Journal: I get to play dress up

The bunch of people that I hang out with (my "chosen" family) are artists in various forms. They also play or have played in the S.C.A.

The Matriarch of our household is the main merchant (and the only one with a business license) and we always have a booth at the Kent Canterbury Faire.

BBB and I, being part of the merchant household, do security for our booth, which includes camping for two nights in Earthworks Park in downtown Kent.

This also means that we get to dress up in "period" costumes during the days of the faire. BBB wears a kilt, and I don something that resembles some women's dress back a few centuries or so.

This year will be slightly different, as BBB and I will also most likely be sporting a new accessory. Namely, the ball pythons.

This is an invite for y'all slashdotters living in the Puget Sound area to come down to Kent to the faire. It's only $2 admission and you have the opportunity to see some fun entertainment: a live chess match, a demonstration where knights in full armor are beating up on each other, amongst other things. You also have the opportunity to buy some fun things including swords and knives.

If any of you do manage to make it to the faire, please look me up. Our selling pavillion is the obnoxious brightly striped one selling jewelry, pottery, blank books and a few other things thrown in there. Or if you see a large gray haired man in a kilt carrying a snake and a short redhaired woman, also with a snake wandering around, stop and say hello to a /. buddy.



Journal Journal: Morning's excitement 5

This morning started with our male kitty, Toby, acting rather skittish around a specific corner of the living room. Now he does this every once in a while so it didn't really concern me.

As I am getting my lunch ready and gathering things for work, BBB makes the comment that Toby really *is* being wierd. He can't figure out why unless one of the snakes got out.

"Have you checked to see if they are still in their cages?"

Thinking, "yeah, right" I checked out Ssebrina's cage, and she was nestled snugly under her log, peering out at me.

I lifted the lid of the Slytherin's cage and found that it came up too easily. (Odd.) I picked up the box that he sleeps under and lo and behold, no snake. No, he's not hiding under his tree root.


Shit! No wonder the boy cat is skittish. He either had a face to face meeting with Slytherin, or has been carefully monitoring the snake's movements.


Well, we have a general idea of what area he is in. Toby is being skittish around one specific area of the house.

Tear apart the piles of boxes in the corner. No, he's not hiding under there. BBB turned over the chairs.

Nope. Not there either.

AAAAUUUUGGGHHH! My ride is here! I have to leave to go to work and we still have not found the snake. Crap. "Well, call me when you find him."

About halfway to our third carpooler's house I get a call on my cell phone. "I found him. He was hiding in my jewelry case." (BBB makes jewelery that he sells at renaissance fairs)

Whew! He's found.

Now, don't get the wrong idea. I was not scared that I had a snake running loose in the house. I was scared that my *pet* was missing.

BBB has placed four phone books (two on each end) on the top of Slytherin's cage. It is now time to get locks for the top.

What's your exciting story today?


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